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22 April, 2014 Misogyny Posing as Measurement: Disrupting the Feminisation Crisis Discourse Professor Louise Morley Centre for Higher Education and Equity.

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Presentation on theme: "22 April, 2014 Misogyny Posing as Measurement: Disrupting the Feminisation Crisis Discourse Professor Louise Morley Centre for Higher Education and Equity."— Presentation transcript:

1 22 April, 2014 Misogyny Posing as Measurement: Disrupting the Feminisation Crisis Discourse Professor Louise Morley Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER) University of Sussex, UK

2 22 April, 2014 Closing the Gender Gap Number of male students globally quadrupled from 17.7 to 75.1 million between Number of female students rose sixfold from 10.8 to 77.4 million. Global Gender Parity Index of 1.08 (UNESCO, 2009).

3 22 April, 2014 Women as Pollutants In 2004, Dame Carol Black (then President of the Royal College of Physicians): Increasing numbers of women in medicine might lead to the profession losing status and influence. (Lurie, 1993; Whitcomb, 2004) dominant position of females (HEPI Report, 2009:3)

4 22 April, 2014 Post-Feminism/ New Gender Regimes Narratives of crisis used to justify a return to values perceived as being under threat. Declaration of crisis reads facts/figures to become a declaration of war against the source of threat (Ahmed, 2004). Young womens assemblage for productivity/ phallic girls/ vengeful patriarchal norms reinstated (McRobbie, 2007). The duality of sexual difference is re- confirmed. Gender norms are re-consolidated and re-stabilised ( Blackmore, 2010).

5 22 April, 2014 Crisis Discourse of Feminisation Reinforces gender dichotomy/ binary frame/ seesaw; Is about fear of the Other/ disparagement of difference; Underpinned by essentialism; Reduces gender to quantitative change/ confusing sex and gender; About hyper-visibility i.e. women as dangerous; Suggests a breach of social norms. (Leathwood and Read, 2009)

6 22 April, 2014 Whose Academy is it Anyway? Male Academy = Hosts/ Victims Female Students = Abusive Guests A womans place is in the minority Newcomers not knowing their place A ceiling on womens participation? Reminiscent of immigration discourses (invasion fears).

7 22 April, 2014 Feminisation= Damaging/Emasculating Men? Dominant group reconstructed as victims; Assumption that womens success has come about by damaging men; White male injury now read as the same as subaltern injury. If atmospheric oestrogens dont get them, womens education and economic independence will.

8 22 April, 2014 Decontextualised, Common-sense non- Analytical Understanding of Gender? Fails to challenge wider gendered power relations; Fails to increase womens rights in wider civil society; Allows women to succeed in HE, but not in labour market. Positions women as (turbo charged) consumers, but not in powerful positions as knowledge producers/ gatekeepers.

9 22 April, 2014 The Higher Educated (overperforming) Woman is Responsible for... societal destabilisation; a crisis in masculinity; devaluing of professions/ academic credentials/ institutions; detraditionalisation.

10 22 April, 2014 Undoing Gender (Butler, 2004) Feminisation = Resistance to distributive justice Subversion of gender equality Individual, not collective rights Re-doing of gender. How to build on the momentum of womens increased participation: to undo gender in the academy transform knowledge production imagine a different future for higher education?

11 22 April, 2014 Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER) ESRC Seminar Series: Imagining the University of the Future seminarshttp://www.sussex.ac.uk/cheer/esrc seminars Special issue of Contemporary Social Science (Volume 6:2, 2011) entitled: Challenge, Change or Crisis in Global Higher Education?


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