[INDOLOGY] Sexism and Bias on INDOLOGY governing committee

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at gmail.com
Mon Apr 8 21:15:42 UTC 2019


Everyone on the INDOLOGY committee cares deeply about gender issues!   And
we act on our convictions.

That we have been accused of not doing so does *not* make it true.


Sent from Android phone

On Mon, 8 Apr 2019, 14:03 Paolo Eugenio Rosati via INDOLOGY, <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Dear Iran,
> For me as white, blue eyes man is quite incredible that we are going to
> question the woman's quota and the need of gender symmetry in the academia
> (and in the politics too).
> I would like to know how many transgender people (M-to-F, F-to-M,
> transvestites, transgenders, etc.) applied for any academic position in the
> last 10 years, and how many of these application were accepted. Don't we
> need of quotas for non-binary genders?
> There is no gender equality in our capitalist and patriarchal world,
> that's why I strongly sustain the necessity of gender and "minorities"
> quotas. I do not want only white caucasian males dicide for my (and our)
> future. Giving gender quotas does not mean that female is the weaker
> gender. It means that female as well as non-binary genders are
> discriminated and we want to fight this discrimination.
> In a utopic society all the human being will be objectively considered.
> However, this society is extremely chauvinist and is excluding gender,
> linguistic, religious and ethnic minorities almost everywhere.
> In conclusion, I really feel uncomfortable that who always cares for
> gender issues is going to resign from the Indology committee.
> Best,
> Paolo
> ---
> Paolo E. Rosati
> PhD in Asian and African Studies
> (South Asia Section)
> Italian Institute of Oriental Studies
> 'Sapienza' University of Rome
> https://uniroma1.academia.edu/PaoloRosati/
> paoloe.rosati at uniroma1.it
> paoloe.rosati at gmail.com
> Skype: paoloe.rosati
> Mobile: (+39) 338 73 83 472
> Il lun 8 apr 2019, 14:32 farkhondeh iran via INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info> ha scritto:
>> Dear colleagues,
>> I would like to thank Isabelle Ratié and Dominik Wujastyk for their last
>> emails which had, inter alia, the merit of enabling us to grasp some of the
>> facts (it is a bit difficult to think in the void). I think we all agree
>> that gender equality is far from achieved. It seems that we disagree on the
>> best way to achieve it. I fully agree with Isabelle when she writes:
>> « Adding a female member to the committee would have the pleasant advantage
>> of satisfying everybody's sense of symmetry, and it is probably the best
>> way to quickly end this controversy; I remain in doubt, however, as to
>> whether this would constitute in any way a significant progress in the
>> struggle against gender bias and sexism. Let us keep our eyes on the
>> frontlines. »
>> As far as I’m concerned, I find that the quota policy is problematic. As
>> a woman, I would not want to be interviewed for a job, shortlisted, hired
>> or integrated into a committee for the mere reason that a woman was needed
>> for the sake of symmetry: I would like to be selected as a scholar for my
>> abilities and because people value my work. I think the best way to achieve
>> equal rights is to see each other as colleagues and individuals without
>> falling in the trap of essentializing the other. Fortunately human beings
>> disagree and that’s healthy that they do. I would not want a male colleague
>> to prevent himself from giving his opinion on my work because I’m a woman.
>> Gender bias exists for sure but, if we don’t see ourselves simply as
>> members of the « weaker sex », then we should be glad to be criticized and
>> to be able to answer and defend our position when it is defensible.
>> Kind regards,
>> Iran
>> Iris Iran Farkhondeh
>> Docteur en Études Indiennes
>> Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3
>> Mondes iranien et indien
>> 00 33
>> iran_farkhondeh at yahoo.fr
>> Le 7 avr. 2019 à 19:07, Dominik Wujastyk via INDOLOGY <
>> indology at list.indology.info> a écrit :
>> I am writing this email in my own voice, not as an INDOLOGY committee
>> statement. The committee has been reluctant to get into "you said, I said"
>> arguments, for good reasons including the fact that some points of
>> disagreement are hard to talk about without revealing confidential
>> information.
>> Yesterday, Prof. Truschke posted a message ("I disagree that dealing
>> ...", appended below) that referenced a committee post that I sent last
>> week and made remarks about my opinon on bias training.  So that INDOLOGY
>> members may see the context, here is the full text of the post that I sent
>> to the committee last week.  I have redacted the names of the scholars we
>> were discussing (XXXX and YYYY are both women with appointments at Indian
>> universities).
>> Subject: Re: suggestions for new committee members
>> From: Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at gmail.com>
>> Cc: indology-owner <indology-owner at list.indology.info>
>> Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="000000000000f365830585b8fc88"
>> --000000000000f365830585b8fc88
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
>> Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
>> Dear committee colleagues,
>> I'm very busy and short of time (crazy last week of semester and academic
>> year, sick child at home, etc. etc. etc.), but I've been told that Audrey
>> has re-raised this issue about expanding the committee and inviting
>> specifically women participants to even out the gender balance.  I agree,
>> as I've said before.  So, since nobody else has done anything yet, I
>> propose that as do as we usually do when we're making committee decisions,
>> we have a vote.
>> I propose that, following Stefan's suggestion from October last year, the
>> most recent I can quickly find, we invite the following two scholars to
>> join the INDOLOGY management committee:
>>    - Prof. XXXX (at academia.edu)
>>    - Prof. YYYY (ditto)
>> Shall we say that votes should be in within a week?  11 April.
>> Criteria: this committee has never formalized criteria, or even really
>> discussed them.  Should we?  I would include that candidates should have a
>> record of being somewhat dynamic, i.e., answering email reasonably quickly,
>> and being willing and able to do the weekly-rota duties and having
>> professional experience in such things as student admission committees,
>> journal refereeing or other situations that would help with skills and
>> sensitivities needed to evaluate incoming short CVs.
>> I would also draw attention to Stefan's important observation about
>> considering candidates from East Asia.  Suggestions welcome.
>> I think Audrey's idea of bias training is a good one; I don't think we can
>> formally require this of people, but when we invite new members we can
>> mention that we recommend this, and we should point to some online
>> resources, for example Harvard's ITA test (which is publicly available).
>> (My university uses the Harvard test as part of it's internal bias training
>> package; it's a bit clunky, but generally good.)  Perhaps we can have a
>> committee vote on this issue separately if we want to.
>> Best,
>> Dominik
>> INDOLOGY committee member
>> On Sat, 6 Apr 2019 at 15:39, Audrey Truschke via INDOLOGY <
>> indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
>>> Dear Colleagues and Friends,
>>> I disagree that dealing with multiple cases of sexist treatment during
>>> the last year - and being required to keep mute by those who, in my view,
>>> treated me with bias - is not a serious matter (for those who have asked,
>>> please see my earlier notes giving a list of situations and behaviors,
>>> beyond a single case). I disagree even more that attention to such matters
>>> distracts from the larger fight for gender equality. Demanding equal
>>> treatment is not a zero-sum game.
>>> In the meantime, behind the scenes, it has become clear that the
>>> INDOLOGY governing committee is not a safe place for me. I have been told
>>> in the past week that we cannot require bias training (that's bollocks - of
>>> course we can). There remains no grievance procedure or talk of instituting
>>> one. The committee is discussing adding another woman, but probably only
>>> one because a male committee member has expressed discomfort at the thought
>>> that women might outnumber men on the committee. To quote this man: "Gender
>>> parity applies both ways, however. With the current active lineup, we only
>>> need to add *one* female member to give us parity...nothing further needs
>>> to be done."
>>> For me, I choose to no longer contribute to a power structure here on
>>> INDOLOGY that I think is too ugly to overlook, and so I am leaving the
>>> committee and the list. In the end, this conversation has become about far
>>> more than me, and I hope that others continue that larger discussion.
>>> All the Best,
>>> Audrey
>>> Audrey Truschke
>>> Assistant Professor
>>> Department of History
>>> Rutgers University-Newark
>>> _______________________________________________
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