SEXISM ED: Essays on Gender and Labor in Academia Purchase Button

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Winner of the GOLD Medal in the 2018 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards.

Why aren’t more women at the top of the ivory tower?

The academy claims to be a meritocracy, in which the best and brightest graduate students gain employment as professors. Kelly J. Baker, a Ph.D. in Religion, assumed that merit mattered more than gender. After all, women appeared to be succeeding in higher ed, graduating at higher rates than men. And yet, the higher up she looked in the academic hierarchy, the fewer women there were. After leaving academia, she began to write about gender, labor, and higher ed to figure out whether academia had a gender problem. Eventually, Baker realized how wrong she’d been about how academia worked. This book is her effort to document how very common sexism—paired with labor exploitation—is in higher ed.

Pulling very few punches, Baker writes about gender inequity, precarious labor, misogyny, and structural oppression. Sexism and patriarchy define our work and our lives, within and outside of academia. She examines not only the sexism inherent in hiring practices, promotion, leave policies, and citation, but also questions the cultural assumptions about who can and should be a professor. These problems, however, are not limited to the ivory tower. Baker also shows the consequences of sexism and patriarchy in her own life: hating the sound of her voice, fake allies, the cultural boundaries of motherhood, and the perils of being visible. It’s exhausting to be a woman, but Baker never gives up hope that we can change higher ed—and the world—if only we continue to try.

Part of the Blue Crow Books Critical Higher Education Series.


Praise for SEXISM ED:

“In a stirring suite of essays, Kelly Baker reveals that, contrary to its “ivory tower” characterization, the university is no retreat from the world’s injustices.” Miya Tokumitsu, Ph.D., author of Do What You Love: And Other Lies About Success & Happiness

“An absolute must-read.” —Marc Bousquet, Associate Professor of Film & Media Studies at Emory University and author of How The University Works: Higher Education and the Low-Wage Nation

“A meticulously sourced and thorough look into the myriad ways that misogyny is built into the very bones of the academy.” —Jessica W. Luther, author of Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape.

“Harrowing, though never humorless or hopeless, this collection is required reading.Kecia Ali, Professor of Religion at Boston University and author of Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur’an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence

“A window into sexual politics, the academy, and the structures of inequity that are this American moment.” —Laura Levitt, Professor of Religion, Jewish Studies, and Gender at Temple University and author of Jews and Feminism: The Ambivalent Search for Home and American Jewish Loss after the Holocaust


Book Information:

  • Author: Kelly J. Baker
  • Publication Date: April 2, 2018
  • Paper ISBN: 978-1-947834-22-4; Ebook ISBN: 978-1-947834-23-1
  • Distributed through Ingram