[INDOLOGY] Sexism and Bias on INDOLOGY governing committee

Aleix Ruiz Falqués arfalques at cantab.net
Tue Apr 2 06:29:55 EDT 2019


Dear Jon and Agnes,

The clause you cite automatically appears in any job advertisement in
> Austria and Germany in the public sector. It is a legal requirement and has
> nothing to do with the university or department in question. Such clauses
> were installed at some point because of (among other things) the
> appallingly low number of female professors (some 14% or so at the time the
> legislation was introduced).


Thank you for the comment. I apologise, I didn't know that universities to
not follow the rules. I thought that this clause was actually taken into
account. The statement is discriminatory against men, nonetheless, and as
an applicant, I wondered if it was really worth trying. Again, that could
be the whole purpose of the clause. I don´t know. I just felt it was unfair
to men, not to men as a social class, but to particular individuals who may
have nothing to do with structural sexism. If you think that´s not the
case, then we disagree and that is fine.

what’s the problem with “Given *equal qualifications*, *preference will be
> given to female applicants”*?


The problem is not in this line, but in the previous one, where it
says *non-discriminatory
employment policy*. Will you agree that when preference is given on the
basis of gender, this is a discriminatory statement? Perhaps I got it wrong.

Jon, when I say that a thousand things can be changed I mean they should
be, and I think the debate is positive, including the debate on
discriminatory clauses. I did not mean anything against Audrey, whom I
personally know I respect very much, as a friend and as a scholar.
Apologies if anyone felt offended. I am looking forward to what Audrey has
to say.

Best wishes,
Aleix





On Tue, 2 Apr 2019 at 15:58, Jon Skarpeid via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> «A thousand things that can be improved» is the argument of
> relativization. Any wishes for change can be met with relativization, but
> it’s a poor argument.
>
>
>
> And dear Aleix, what’s the problem with “Given *equal qualifications*, *preference
> will be given to female applicants”*? Perhaps one day we will need to
> change “female” with “male”. Who knows?
>
>
>
> Best,
>
> Jon
>
>
>
> *Fra:* INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at list.indology.info> *På vegne av* Aleix
> Ruiz Falqués via INDOLOGY
> *Sendt:* tirsdag 2. april 2019 11:11
> *Til:* Audrey Truschke <audrey.truschke at gmail.com>
> *Kopi:* Indology List <indology at list.indology.info>
> *Emne:* Re: [INDOLOGY] Sexism and Bias on INDOLOGY governing committee
>
>
>
> Dear Audrey,
>
>
>
> I am sure that there are a thousand things that can be improved. I think I
> know how you feel. Please see the following clause in one of the jobs I
> applied for, in Vienna, realted to Indology:
>
>
>
> The University pursues *a non-discriminatory employment policy* and
> values equal opportunities, as well as diversity (
> http://diversity.univie.ac.at/). The University lays special emphasis on
> increasing the number of women in senior and in academic positions. Given *equal
> qualifications*, *preference will be given to female applicants. *
>
>
>
> So much for non-discrimination.
>
>
>
> Best wishes,
>
> Aleix
>
>
>
>
>
> On Tue, 2 Apr 2019 at 14:25, Audrey Truschke via INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
>
> Dear Friends and Colleagues,
>
> I am writing to call your attention to the entrenched, worsening sexism I
> have been experiencing on the INDOLOGY governing committee over the past
> year or so (I have served on the committee for six years). Other committee
> members have warned me not to publicly discuss the bullying and abuse that
> I have faced from them in private. I break my silence and go against their
> explicit instructions here.
>
>
> I have repeatedly faced sexism within the INDOLOGY governing committee,
> ranging from patronizing comments to silencing of discussions about bias to
> overtly different standards applied to male and female members of the
> committee and list. I have tried many times to raise these issues
> internally among the committee and privately with specific individuals. I
> have been met with blanket denials, belittling of my concerns, declarations
> that discussing sexism is not a substantive issue, accusations of being a
> troublemaker, and flat out refusals to discuss gender issues. Indology as a
> discipline has deep-seated issues with male privilege, discrimination
> against female scholars, and even outright misogyny. The issues within
> INDOLOGY's male-dominated governing committee are arguably a reflection of
> this larger set of problems that systematically drives women out of the
> discipline. If Indology or INDOLOGY are going to survive in any worthwhile
> form, we must face our ongoing issues of sexism and bias. I have made
> numerous suggestions to the INDOLOGY governing committee in this regard,
> including striving for gender parity on the committee by adding more female
> members, conducting committee business more openly as a check on bullying,
> and undergoing bias training. I hope the committee follows up on these
> suggestions. But, to date, I have seen only a desire to circle the wagons
> and deny bias, rather than any serious attempt to make the committee or the
> list a more equitable place.
>
> Last week, following another case where I documented and called out a
> committee member for acting with bias, that committee member wrote that if
> he were in my position, he would consider resigning from the committee. In
> other words, if I find members of the INDOLOGY committee discriminate
> against women, then I should bow out. I find that suggestion highly
> inappropriate, and I do not acquiesce to it here. But I will no longer
> serve as a punching bag for men who insist I keep quiet.
>
>
>
> I expect to face significant pushback and recriminations for shedding
> light on the dark underbelly of the INDOLOGY governing committee. But,
> unlike many of my fellow committee members, I think that this is an issue
> for the list at large. Many of us, myself included, find scholarly value in
> this listserv. But knowledge exists within power structures, and I find
> that I can no longer stomach what I have to overlook in order to quietly
> run this forum. I think it is time for us to talk about the key issues of
> bias and sexism facing our discipline that make women unwelcome at every
> turn, including in running this listserv.
>
>
>
> All the best,
>
> Audrey
>
>
>
> Audrey Truschke
>
> Assistant Professor
>
> Department of History
> Rutgers University-Newark
>
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>
>
>
> --
>
> Aleix Ruiz-Falqués
>
> Pali Lecturer
>
> Head of the Department of Pali and Languages
>
> Shan State Buddhist University
> Phaya Phyu, Taunggyi, Myanmar 140101
> (+95) 09428757648
> _______________________________________________
> INDOLOGY mailing list
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>


-- 
Aleix Ruiz-Falqués
Pali Lecturer
Head of the Department of Pali and Languages
Shan State Buddhist University
Phaya Phyu, Taunggyi, Myanmar 140101
(+95) 09428757648
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