Via fannie, good stuff. Good that women have a space to share and–ugh–”prove” the sort of shit that’s said to us in academic contexts. Aside from a few roll-eyed instances, I managed to isolate myself from a lot of that in the analogue world while I was doing my MA.
I hesitate to share this story because the necessary details could de-anonymize me to certain folks, but fuck it, I’ll do it anyway. The most annoying dismissal I can recall came from a friend-of-a-friend I had met about two hours earlier. He’s some sort of self-styled genius who’s apparently good at convincing other people that he’s the greatest thing that will ever happen to science and philosophy. You know. My friend mentioned that I had just finished my degree. Then came the dreaded question that I seem to have to answer differently every time: what did I study? I gave a brief description of my dissertation (gender and sexuality in diaspora and if/how removal from place of origin opens up spaces to challenge scarequotes-traditional patriarchy. Yeah, I still have a hard time summarizing it). Genius Guy’s response to my merit- and distinction-level work at perhaps the best school in the world for my particular confluence of subjects, my Year of Perpetual No-Fun and losing roughly 20% of my initial weight before noticing it because I didn’t have the money or time to take care of myself and my work simultaneously, my 25 years of living as a woman, a queer woman, briefly as an immigrant, on this Planet Earth? “You need to look at the difference between chimps and bonobos.” Humans should be like bonobos, he declared, because their society is matriarchal. That’s it.
I did not bother to point out how cute it was that a proponent of matriarchy had dismissed everything the only woman in the room had said and done in order to promote his own pet theory (his girlfriend was, I’m fucking serious, in the kitchen cooking dinner for us–a dinner I could not eat, because it was a dead animal, but that’s beside the point).
Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves as women living in microaggression-steeped patriarchy is to just not fucking bother.