We are living in the #MeToo blacklist era and it has to stop

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We are living in the #MeToo blacklist era and it has to stop

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Hebrew Union College Professor Steven M. Cohen is accused of sexual misconduct, now the#MeToo movement is trying to discredit is academic work as sexist. Source: Wikimedia Commons

The #MeToo and political correctness movements have descended into a modern day witch hunt, with the twenty-teens are paralleling the late 1940s and 1950s. The forties and fifties was when the smell of communism was enough to blacklist any public figure and McCarthyism reigned supreme, as Republican Senator Joe McCarthy, the House Committee on Un-American Activities, the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover’s anti-Communism unleashed a reign of terror on the political world, the entertainment industry and anyone else in their way. Now with the #MeToo movement any accusation of sexual harassment or impropriety, or racist overtones also puts one on a blacklist. Since this movement began in the fall of 2017, we have seen powerful men fall faster than the loose leaves of the season. The movement expanded to any distasteful social media post that fails the standards of political correctness loses jobs and careers. Recent articles are even questioning whether the #MeToo movement has gone too far.

Although Jewish men have been at the forefront and listed as some of the worst offenders in Hollywood, to mention the correlation was to be branded an anti-Semite even if one is a Jew. As Jewish women were accusing men within the Jewish philanthropic world of misconduct, one was not allowed to talk about it; I know I was refused publication of an article on the topic. All this changed with the scandal surrounding Hebrew Union College Professor; Sociologist and Jewish Demographic doyen Steven M. Cohen, who is now facing accusations from eight women for sexual harassment and misconduct. Similar to the other #MeToo exposés, the New York Jewish Week published the big reveal on July 19, 2018, in an article entitled, “Harassment Allegations Mount Against Leading Jewish Sociologist” the subtitled claimed, “Women academics cite long pattern of sexual improprieties at the hands of Steven M. Cohen, who has expressed ‘remorse’ for his actions.”

Instead of denials, Cohen decided to admit his behavior, saying in his statement, “I recognize that there is a pattern here. It’s one that speaks to my inappropriate behavior for which I take full responsibility. I am deeply apologetic to the women whom I have hurt by my words or my actions. I have undertaken a critical and painful examination of my behavior. In consultation with clergy, therapists and professional experts, I am engaged in a process of education, recognition, remorse, and repair. I don’t know how long this teshuva process will take. But I am committed to making the changes that are necessary to avoid recurrences in the future and, when the time is right, seek to apologize directly to, and ask forgiveness from, those I have unintentionally hurt.” Professionals and academics believe genuine repentance and apologies to their victims might rehabilitate and save #MeToo offenders rather than just write them off forever.

Subsequently, Cohen resigned from his position as Director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at Stanford University. The Jewish College paper, New Voices removed Cohen from their board. He has been removed from speaking at the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies summer program at Brandeis University, and as a keynote speaker at the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) annual conference. Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion launched on July 2, a Title IX investigation against him. Like most men accused in the era of #MeToo, his career and credibility are now almost non-existent.

Cohen had a monopoly on the study of Jewish demographics. He was the lead consultant on the often quoted and influential 2013 Pew Research Center survey on American Jewry. The survey’s most glaring conclusion was assimilation and rising intermarriage rates were rampant. The community was identifying less religiously as Jews and intermarriage rates soaring near 60 percent for the millennial generation, with a majority not choosing to raise their children religiously as Jews. Cohen’s frequent studies often looked at the same theme of Jewish continuity, assimilation, intermarriage, and Jewish identification.

Now three historians and professors, Kate Rosenblatt and Ronit Stahl and Lila Corwin Berman are making the connection between Cohen’s actions against women and linking it to wider sexism by the leaders of the Jewish community, who they say just created a Jewish continuity crisis to control women’s lives and their most personal choices. Rosenblatt, Stahl and Corwin Berman are arguing a wider conspiracy in their Forward article, “How Jewish Academia Created A #MeToo Disaster.” They claim, “We cannot hold an entire culture responsible for the misdeeds of an individual. Nor can we allow that individual’s unacceptable behavior to blind us to the shortcomings of a patriarchal power structure that enabled his work and worldview to set the American Jewish communal agenda. It’s time to acknowledge that a communal obsession with sex and statistics has created pernicious and damaging norms.” In their article all they are doing is manufacturing a plot that Jewish academia just created a crisis as a way to keep Jewish women in their place, linking the rise of the intermarriage crisis with the rise of feminism.

Cultural critic and playwright Rokhl Kafrissen took their argument one step further in her Forward response article “How A #MeToo Scandal Proved What We Already Know: ‘Jewish Continuity’ Is Sexist.” Kafrissen is making the connection between Cohen’s actions against women and linking it to wider sexism in his academic work, making an assumption that his conclusions on intermarriage were a way to control all Jewish women. Kafrissen writes, “These allegations compel us to ask how deeply are Cohen’s sexist attitudes and allegedly abusive behaviors embodied in his work?… These latest accusations force us to reckon with the darker, even more problematic, gendered aspects of Cohen’s continuity-driven agenda.” To Kafrissen “It becomes very hard to disentangle the sexism of the alleged abuse from the patriarchal agenda Cohen spent decades pushing.”

Jewish continuity is not barbaric and neither should we discredit Cohen’s academic work because of it. Former State Department Speechwriter, Melissa Langsam Braunstein in her response in the Forward, entitled, “Jewish Continuity Isn’t Sexist — It’s Necessary” sees Cohen’s only problem as the way he treated women. Being rational, Langsam Braunstein argues, “Cohen’s promoting Jewish continuity or in-marriage doesn’t mean that his research data was inherently flawed, or that Jewish continuity isn’t vital. Unlike other major world religions, Jews don’t proselytize. So, by definition, Jewish adults (primarily mothers, but also fathers if we include patrilineal descent) need to procreate if we want to continue to exist. And personally, I’m a fan of survival.” With a high-powered job, Langsam Braunstein sees the importance of Jews inmarrying and having children, and the problem with millennials opting out.

Rosenblatt, Stahl and Corwin Berman and Kafrissen’s arguments reek of assumptions and conspiracy theories. As historians and academics, they know better than to make assumptions, leaping hypothetically to presume that the study of Jewish assimilation and intermarriage was only based on a political and social motivation and agenda, rather than a genuine academic inquiry based on facts. It is a baseless argument to make without proof, if their students would hand them in papers with such flimsy arguments they would fail them. While Kafrissen presuming to know what motivated Cohen in his mind with his particular research area is beyond the realm of reason. Admitting his guilt, the only presumption one can make is like other the accused men of the #MeToo movement Cohen enjoyed his position of power, over his female co-workers and colleagues. A professor of mine once said there are two sides to an individual the public and private, Cohen was on the personal side a harasser and on the public side a leading academic.

Rosenblatt, Stahl and Corwin Berman and Kafrissen’s conclusions are the anti-Communist movement and McCarthyism at it is worst, where a possible connection to a movement meant that those accused were trying to infiltrate Communist ideology into every facet of their work. This was point was used particularly against Hollywood screenwriters. Cohen’s studies and work have always been more than just him; he often worked with a partner or in a team, associated and sanctioned by universities, think tanks, Jewish organizations and trusted sources like the Pew Research Center, and his work appeared in every major Jewish publication. Cohen’s conclusions were not assumptions or twisting words or text for meaning but based on statistical information and social science research methodology. To ignore his work is to claim that everyone involved and working on those studies lacked any academic or professional integrity.

A former graduate student assistant of Cohens’ finds it a far stretch to question the integrity of Cohen’s academic work. In the New York Jewish Week response article, “Don’t Dismiss Steven Cohen’s Research” Michelle Shain declares, “Studying fertility is a feminist and a Jewish enterprise.” According to Shain, “There are those who have started declaring Steven’s body of work treif, who want to excise his books from our libraries and purge his insights from Jewish communal discourse. His research on marriage and fertility has come under particularly heavy fire. The idea that studying family formation patterns is sexist, exploitative, patriarchal or misogynistic is simply ludicrous.” Shain concludes there is no correlation to Cohen’s personal behavior and research area, writing, “Helping the Jewish community understand the contemporary context for childbearing is a noble goal that is in no way consistent with sexual predation.”

Just last week, as the Cohen scandal broke, the Knesset passed the Nationality, Jewish-State Law and Conservative Rabbi Dov Haiyun was detained for questioning over a marriage he performed outside of the Orthodox auspices. The loudest objections were coming from liberal American Jewry. I wrote an article for the Times of Israel Blogs entitled, “Outrage, our Jewish community of contradictions” linking the reaction to liberalism and the problems with assimilation and intermarriage, while comparing the highly different makeup of American and Israeli Jewry. I concluded the “outrage” by American Jewry was because it offended their increasing irreligious lifestyle, and that Israel was right to defend Judaism and Jewish continuity because, who else will since American Jewry has lost their religious guidance.

My article relied heavily on Cohen’s work, yet I caved while mentioning his studies I never mentioned his name, changing my choice of quotes just to avoid the controversy, afraid his burgeoning scandal taints anyone who mentions him in any positive light. I was wrong, just as Rosenblatt, Stahl and Corwin Berman and Kafrissen are for different reasons. Liberal Jewry are trying to justify their behavior too. intermarriage is halachatically wrong according to Orthodox Judaism, but Rosenblatt, Stahl and Corwin Berman and Kafrissen are making an illusion to Orthodox as the problem and the threat to Jewish continuity a personal assault of feminism and women’s rights, a political football of liberal versus conservatism rather than good for our entire religion and people. We are Jews, Jewish continuity is part of our belief system, it is one the key messages in a Jewish education, in the day schools, summer camps and even dare I say Birthright Israel, were all studies by Brandeis University’s Leonard Saxe examine success by how much more involved alumni are with Judaism, continuity, and Israel. Take the continuity out of Judaism, and what is there left? Are we self-destructing a 5,000-year-old religious position for political correctness, liberalism and social inclusion for all?

I think it is empowering to have religious convictions but secular goals. I have done graduate work in Jewish studies, where I studied strong Jewish women left on a home front to combat an enemy some using any means possible, some assimilated, few intermarried, and most did not. This was not in the twentieth century, but the nineteenth deep in the American Civil War, where Jewish women in the Confederate South, often a militant tone to survive against the encroachment of the Northern Yankee soldier. Eugenia Phillips was the epitome of the nineteenth-century feminist, she married a fellow Jew, had nine children, yet stood up to Union General Benjamin the Beast Butler. Jewish history is filled is strong feminists, who did not compromise their religion.

The #MeToo movement has blurred the professional and personal to the extreme, not too long away liberals were the most ardent defenders of separating the two. This year marked the twentieth anniversary of then-President Bill Clinton’s near fall from grace and the presidency over his affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, who was at that time in her early twenties. The story consumed his presidency for a full calendar year, still, the public supported him and his numbers barely dipped in the polls at the height of the scandal, and the Democrats gained seats in the 1998-midterm elections unprecedented in a president’s last half of his term. By the time, the House of Representatives conducted their impeachment trial public support for Clinton was at a high. Although the Senate acquitted Clinton, he became the only the second president impeached in American history.

At the time, the investigation into the president was considered a witch hunt by the Republican majority with a conservative agenda, as First Lady Hillary Clinton claimed: “a right-wing conspiracy” trying to destroy the popular president and what he did in private. Defender extraordinaire, attorney and Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz even coined the term with a book, “Sexual McCarthyism.” Now the tables have turned and it is the Democrats and liberals in charge of the witch hunt. Recently, in light of the #MeToo movement, there has been a reconsideration of Clinton’s conduct, even his former defenders in the Democratic Party now believe he should have resigned from the presidency for his conduct. Clinton’s comments on a book tour this spring did not help the matter, his defiant claim that he does not need to apologize to Lewinsky led to a backlash, which prompted Clinton to backtrack on his comments.

Liberals are now taking any transgression and looking to eradicate that entire person’s work. Should we stop watching every movie produced by accused rapist Harvey Weinstein’s Miramax films or stop reading, looking and mentioning any other artist’s work, creation, writing, every academic’s studies, or any business or political accomplishments because of their personal behavior? Similar to the way liberals want to eradicate and destroy every Confederate monument and wipe out every pro-slavery persona in American history. One by one, we are banishing the talents of this past century, a finger point, a tweet, a smell of any wrongdoing and gone. Like Roseanne, who make a career of insensitive foul-mouthed comedy, a seemingly racist tweet, and everyone forgets she ever created her successful show; now she no longer exists. Just this past week Disney is repeating their anti-Communist past firing director James Gunn from working on Guardians of the Galaxy 3 because of his past offensive social media posts.

I am not defending anyone’s behavior, but it is going too far, when will it stop, when we boycott everything and everyone that we find offensive? I do not condone Cohen’s behavior neither do I have any sympathy for his fall. I have my #MeToo story from university filled with harassment and intimidation, I have experienced how Jewish males in academia and in superior positions have functioned as gatekeepers, altering my career for the worse with roadblocks, degradation and instilling self-doubt of my abilities. I have experienced in my personal and professional relationships being used to further a man’s career, and there is still one man that constantly pilfers from my writing knowing he can get away it with because of his standing and no one will dare accuse him of plagiarism. Should I too be looking to rid the academic and professional world of these men because of their harassment? That is the #MeToo philosophy everyone is living by now.

We cannot, however, boycott everyone that has wronged, we cannot blacklist everyone and everything that offends; we have to separate the consequences of microaggressions and real aggression. Tarana Burke, who originally created the #MeToo movement before actress Alyssa Milano’s October 2017 tweet believes the movement has gone too far and too wide and should go back to its original purpose. The Atlantic wrote on July 4 in an article entitled, “Is #MeToo Too Big?” claiming, “Burke, the movement’s founder, wants it to return to its original — and specific — purpose: to serve as a counter to sexual violence.”

Author and academic Joanna Williams believes the movement and feminism have gone too far in their actions. Speaking to Canadian CBC News in January, Williams pointed out the negatives. William said, “I think bringing back an age where we have curfews and chaperones and restrictions and single-sex accommodation and an environment where women and men don’t feel comfortable to flirt, to talk to each other, to engage in all kinds of relationships … you know, I think there’s so much that women could potentially lose here.” Williams worries about a “clumsy flirtation” leading to a “black mark” on men. There is more on the line than to be concerned about mere reputation and the end of flirting. As with everything that is overdone, women are risking losing their credibility.

The movement is starting to feel a backlash, and when the men fight back, it all seems like back where women started. In the 1950s, McCarthy fell because his inquiry went too far, creating too much of a hysteria, causing too much damage with a mere accusation. Playwright Arthur Miller inspired by the witch hunt blacklisting his fellow writers and fear of being accused with the lot wrote the play “The Crucible” based on the original American witch hunt in 1692 Salem, Massachusetts. Miller presented the past to give the public a perspective and reality check they needed. We are supposed to learn from history to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. Americans and American Jewry need a history lesson respectively, that there repercussions to mass hysteria and finger-pointing, and reintroduce themselves to the importance that Judaism is rooted in its history and traditions unless by the time they get the reality check they have had erased it all.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in Judaic Studies at Concordia University. She is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor, and a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

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University Musings October 24, 2014: Sexism & Plagiarism in Academia: The Case of Southern Methodist University’s Center for Presidential History Election 2004 Project

EDUCATION BUZZ

EDUCATION & UNIVERSITY MUSINGS

Sexism & Plagiarism in Academia: The Case of Southern Methodist University’s Center for Presidential History Election 2004 Project

By Bonnie K. Goodman

The mistreatment of a female writer might turn into a possible case of plagiarism at Southern Methodist University’s Center for Presidential History in Dallas, Texas in their Election 2004 project. SMU’s Presidential History Center has coerced submissions to their upcoming Election 2004 website project on the presidential campaign. They accepted entries, were completely satisfied with the writing, but then after refused to publish the author’s articles and give the author credit, using a ridiculous excuse unrelated to the actual entries or quality of writing, paid this author off, and then intend to hire someone to write the same entries, presumably from the model of the original author’s work. I know this going to happen, because I was the author taken advantage of in this situation. I am a woman, do not have a PhD or university affiliation, therefore I was an easy target.

This past spring I answered a call to write entries for Southern Methodist University’s Center for Presidential History’s Election 2004 project on the presidential campaign and election. I was in contact with Dr. Brian Franklin, the project head and associate director. I was selected to write the entries on the Democratic National Convention and Ralph Nader, and then I was offered to write about John Kerry because in Dr. Franklin’s words I “seem[ed] so keen (and experienced!) on writing.” In the intervening time between accepting to work on the project and the deadline for submission I had a family emergency; the ongoing situation set me behind in my work, I had promised to get the entries in by the end of June, but I could not.

During the summer months, I thought Dr. Franklin might have gotten someone else to write those entries, but then out of nowhere he emailed me on Sept. 9 appealing to me if I could still send the entries in, telling me he wants to me to submit them because as he wrote, “you have got so much great writing experience.” I sent two of them, the Kerry and DNC entries, to which Dr. Franklin told me “extremely thorough!” in an email on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. The only problem, I was having trouble was shortening the entries, I felt in doing so I would depriving them of vital information and watering them too much considering the importance of the topics. I told Dr. Franklin this when I sent the revised entries and the one on Ralph Nader on Sept. 21, 2014. It should not have been news to Dr. Franklin that I wrote long articles, I routinely write feature length articles, and of the over 400 articles I have written for Examiner.com I have written only a handful are less than 1000 words.

Then to my surprise two days later, Dr. Franklin, tells me he would have to wait and see until November if he intends to even use the entries. I obviously felt like a fool, I was not even intending to continue to participate in the project, I was intending to use the entries I had written for my own blog. Then out of the blue, Dr. Franklin emails me, tells me the first two entries I sent were good, and tricked me to write and submit the third entry. After he received all my work, three different versions of the entries at varying lengths and my research, which he can neatly edit and alter and then not give me author credit, he tells me he might not use them and will not pay me until he decides.

I responded and told him how I felt about CPH using my research and my “thorough” articles. As Dr. Franklin had previously agreed with me, there is very limited information on the 2004 campaign. It ranks as one of the most insignificant presidential campaigns in history, except for President Barack Obama’s entry onto the public stage at the DNC and the results little else is even remembered. It is because of the limited sources on the campaign that makes it so easy to plagiarize my work. Any rewrites he does or has anybody do now that he has my work will be close to plagiarism. In the end, I sacrificed the quality of the content and edited the entries to the exact requested word limit, to which Dr. Franklin seemed satisfied, and agreed to use them and pay me for my work.

Everything was fine until the Ebola outbreak, I did not want to receive mail from Dallas, Texas while there was a panic there, the fact that SMU is so close to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, made me more uneasy. Why should I living in Canada be concerned and involved in this issue so far away? Dr. Franklin told me the check would come from Oregon, but I was nervous as millions of Americans are about the outbreak, and since the payment information had been I already been transferred to the accounts payable office, I emailed them asked where exactly the check would be coming from. It was not something I did to be offensive; I had a concern especially at the height of this issue, as did millions of Americans.

Dr. Franklin seemed to take great offense by this. Even though since then there has been more Ebola cases since then and everyone was in a panic or at the very least concerned about this issue. On Oct. 6, Dr. Franklin writes me “Finally, considering the correspondence that we have had thus far, I believe it is in our best interest to part ways at this point. Therefore, I want to inform you that we will not be publishing your articles on our website.” Although I was “paid” for my work, I was told I and everyone writing entries for the project held the copyright to their work, which is what makes the possibility of plagiarism even more offensive. I feel being paid was meant to hush me not to make an issue of not being published and given credit for my work, but as all authors the writing credit and being published is what matters the most.

I personally believe when Dr. Franklin emailed me in September he had no intention of publishing my entries giving me an author credit, he just wanted my research and writing because of “my great writing experience.” From the minute I submitted them he started saying he would not publish them, why probably, because I do not have a PhD, I am not a professor, and I am a women he thinks it makes it more easier to treat me this way. His decision to not publish my entries has nothing to do with any communication I had with him, and as I told him, as long as the work is good, he should include my entries in the project. Dr. Franklin or CPH does not have to hire me again, but neither does they have to behave in such unprofessional matter, insult and make a fool of me. It is hard not to presume the worst, Dr. Franklin wanted me to submit all three entries and then when they were perfect and complete, he decides he will not publish them. How can I not feel that my writing was going to be altered, the research modified and used, but someone else given the author credit. No one would ever believe any doctorate needs to plagiarize off someone with only a master’s degree, so it is safe to do it.

I even contacted the Director of the Center for Presidential History, Jeffrey Engel about this issue and any possible plagiarism. I had known Professor Engel, he is one of the last professors I included on the Top Young Historians feature in 2010, I edited while working at the History News Network. As the chief decision maker of the feature, I decided to include Professor Engel on the list. The email, I received on Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 was an attempt to assure me my work would not be plagiarized, writing “this simply will not happen” and  that “I will nonetheless personally oversee their final work in order to assure that there can be, as you put it, “no hint” of plagiarism.” Still my entries would not be included in the project, why, no answer was given, it certainly was not because of my writing,

How can I believe them that my writing will not be copied in any way, shape or form. I was approached, tricked into submitting all three entries, then even before I said or could do anything wrong there was insinuations that my work would not be used with my name as the author. The sources are limited, even if there will be no word for word plagiarism, with all three versions at their disposable, paraphrasing, using the same sources is all considered plagiarism. If not Rick Perlstein would not be locked into controversy over the use of the same sources and quotes in his book “The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan” as in Craig Shirley’s “The Reagan Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign That Started It All.” In addition, I was paid to keep me satisfied and presumably quiet. How can I not believe if I was paid, they are going to pay someone and not use something from the work they paid me for, nobody pays someone for work if they do not plan to use it. The events are even more surprising given that the SMU is the home of President George W. Bush’s library, museum  and presidential center, why would a department at the university even attempt such a thing. Even the smell of plagiarism or any academic misconduct accusation would be an embarrassment for the entire institution.

This is not the first time my work would be used without being given the proper author credit or treated fairly because I was a woman without a PhD. In the fall of 2009, I worked for a former professor of mine, who was the latest editor working on the fourth edition of Fred L. Israel, and Arthur Meier Schlesinger’s “History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-2008.” I worked on writing and researching the overviews and chronologies, which was the biggest addition to this new edition besides entries on the 2004 and 2008 campaigns. It was four months of grueling hell, working sweatshop hours, typing until my figures bled; it destroyed my health. This professor remained coy, but alluded that I would be given a contributor credit. When I asked, he kept saying he could not confirm contributor credit with the editor at the publisher Facts on File until I finished the work, but used the credit as motivation to complete the project.

In the end, I was never given that writer credit, instead receiving a little line in the acknowledgements, with the words, “Bonnie Goodman undertook the Herculean task of compiling the first drafts of the impressive election overviews and chronologies.” Would I have been so undermined if I had been a man or a PhD, probably not. This same professor often took my ideas from private conversations to use in his own work, op-eds, projects, etc, where I was never attributed or quoted. Years after I no longer speak to him, he is writing a book about a topic, Bill Clinton and the 1990s I told him to write about it back in 2001 when I was only an undergraduate and I conducted research for him on his biography of Hilary Clinton. I mentioned it again when he wrote a similar styled book on Ronald Reagan and the 1980s. I even did extra research for him in 2001, collecting primary sources on the topic, which I am certain he is using and of course I will not be given any credit for my role.

Even when I was the Editor / Features Editor at HNN, History News Network, I was subjected to unfair treatment, because I was a woman without a PhD. While I edited the popular and well respected feature Top Young Historians, I edited a number of other features History Buzz and History Doyens, but in 2007 I was no longer writing articles, as I had in my first year as an intern, when I contributed nearly 20 articles. I yearned to write, but when I asked the editor-in-chief he told me I could not write op-eds for HNN, because I did not have a PhD. Neither did the editor for that matter, he dropped out of the history doctorate program at Harvard University in the late 1970s, without receiving even an MA, but he worked as journalist, wrote best-selling history books, all without the degree.

At that time, I had already had my Masters in Library and Information Studies, and done three additional years of graduate work, instead I was relegated to write the “On This Day in History” feature, because it was based on facts, but no opinion. As anyone writing for Examiner.com knows, you do not have to have a PhD to write your opinions; in fact, most editorial writers do not have doctorates. Fast forward three years to 2010, despite my contributions to HNN, and my masthead ranking second under the editor-in-chief, I see myself being replaced by a college junior, who obviously did not even have a bachelors degree, never mind, PhD. Why did it not matter then, why was he later allowed to write opinion pieces, and articles, become the editor of the entire website publication without a doctorate or even being a graduate student, the difference he was a man and a woman. My whole time at HNN, I was the token female on the editorial staff, HNN has been always for the most part a good old boys club.

My experiences shed light on how PhD and professors in academia take advantage of writers who although experts in their areas do not have a doctorate. I am librarian, a journalist, an editor and a historian who considers herself an independent scholar. It is difficult to gain respect in the academic world enough as a women, one without the golden degree, it is impossible. When I was in library school a professor of mine constantly discussed the disrespect professors had for librarians, including him, even though he had a PhD and the Master Library Science degree and in reality was the more educated one, there is a natural condescension for librarians in the university hierarchy; I already have that against me.

Despite the fact the more women are graduating with doctorates in the humanities now, there is still sexism in the profession. Men because they are losing supremacy, try even more to dominate, intimate, and use women. For all feminism’s fight for equality between the sexes, that goal has still yet to be reached. More women have to speak up and tell what is going on, or else in the future places like Southern Methodist University’s Center for Presidential History will think they can mistreat women and attempt plagiarism just because they think they can get away with it, without anybody ever finding out.

NOTE: The content of this article is based on my personal experiences, names are left out to preserve the privacy of the persons I am speaking about, however, if required, emails can be produced to prove the contents of this article.  

University Musings October 21, 2014: Sexism in Academia: The Case of Southern Methodist University Election 2004 site

EDUCATION BUZZ

EDUCATION & UNIVERSITY MUSINGS

Sexism in Academia: The Case of Southern Methodist University Election 2004 site

By Bonnie K. Goodman

The mistreatment of a female writer might turn into a possible case of plagiarism at Southern Methodist University’s Center for Presidential History in Dallas, Texas in their Election 2004 project. SMU’s Presidential History…October 21, 2014…READ MORE
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