From Anonymous:

I am on our department’s graduate program committee and am slated to be the graduate program director (GPD) and head of the committee next month. We are planning some big changes for the program, largely in response to an external review committee’s assessment of it. I have been thinking for over one year and communicating with colleagues here and at other institutions about the relevant issues. I have solicited input from all of my colleagues in order to address all their concerns and attempt to meet their needs. In particular, I sent an email with a rough idea for program revision asking for feedback.

One colleague, a very bossy white male, disagrees with some of my ideas and can’t stand that he is not on the committee. He suggested that for these important decisions, the graduate committee be joined by another committee, one whose purpose is to plan future hires. I told him that this made no sense, but that I could guess why he liked the idea. It seems he didn’t read that very closely because his next email to me mansplained very clearly why he wants the other committee included—because he is on it and wants “input”. As I said, I have actively (verbally in faculty meetings and through emails to all faculty) solicited input. He added that he was the GPD eleven years ago and didn’t feel like he had enough control over decisions that were made just previous to that. Poor guy. Let’s compensate him now by letting him control a committee that he is not even on.


    1. “Despite the fears of many fellas like my student, mansplaining isn’t a term for any time a guy tries to explain himself. Mansplaining is about a very specific instance of “privilege and ignorance… when a dude tells you, a woman, how to do something you already know how to do, or how you are wrong about something you are actually right about, or miscellaneous and inaccurate ‘facts’ about something you know a hell of a lot more about than he does.””



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