Women in the academy will regale those who will listen about tales of students always referring to them as Ms. or, worse yet, Mrs., while blissfully referring to male counterparts as Prof. or Dr.
When these women academics, of which I am one, attempt to correct these students, well all hell breaks lose; we are accused as being uptight and egotistical, including by our male counterparts who are not so similarly afflicted.
The battle for respect for our credentials is not just relegated to the hallowed halls of the academic institution. As many of you know, I am regularly interviewed by the media and regularly see the same double standard applied.
Let me refer to the most recent incident. I was recently interview by the Globe and Mail [or should I say Male] for a story about the taxation of Olympic winnings here. You will note I am referred to as Ms. Tedds in this article.
Now were I to complain to the Globe the answer will be that they don’t refer to academics as Dr. to avoid confusing us with medical doctors. I know this because I have, on several occasions in the past, complained.
Yet when a male colleague is interviewed by the Globe, they refer to him as Prof.
Here is an article where they interviewed Trevor Tombe and Mike Moffat and both are referred to as Prof.
Here is a more recent article where Josh Gordon was interviewed and referred to more often than not as Prof. Gordon.
Here is an article where Stephen Gordon was interviewed and referred to as, you guessed it, Prof. Gordon.
Here is an article where Kevin Milligan was interview and referred to as….Yup Prof.
And here is la piece de resistance, an article where I was interviewed and referred to a Ms. and the male academic interviewed referred to as, yup, Prof. In the exact same article! In fact, it was this article that started it all, and when I complained, Paul Waldie did not see the problem.
Now most of the academic dudes referenced in these articles are mostly dudes with which I am friendly. We run in the same circles and do a lot of the same work and commentary. I do not begrudge them at all. But I do begrudge the Globe and Mail for being completely inconsistent in their application of their apparent rule, which appears to be applied in very gender biased fashion.
When people tell me that gender equality is fully here and that there is no reason or rationale for feminism, I cry bullshit. And I do so standing knee deep in gender bias bull shit. Gender bias continues to permeate our culture, and it does so sometimes in subtle ways.