Tag Archive | 1999

Just Say No? The Use of Conversation Analysis in Developing a Feminist Perspective on Sexual Refusal

Title: Just Say No? The Use of Conversation Analysis in Developing a Feminist Perspective on Sexual Refusal

Link: http://das.sagepub.com/content/10/3/293.abstract

Summary: (abstract)

This article aims to show the value of conversation analysis for feminist theory and practice around refusal skills training and date rape prevention. Conversation analysis shows that refusals are complex conversational interactions, incorporating delays, prefaces, palliatives, and accounts. Refusal skills training often ignores and overrides these with its simplistic prescription to `just say no’. It should not in fact be necessary for a woman to say `no’ in order for her to be understood as refusing sex. We draw on our own data to suggest that young women are able explicitly to articulate a sophisticated awareness of these culturally normative ways of indicating refusal, and we suggest that insistence upon `just say no’ may be counterproductive insofar as it implies that other ways of doing refusals (e.g. with silences, compliments, or even weak acceptances) are open to reasonable doubt. Finally we discuss the implications of our use of conversation analysis for feminist psychology, both in relation to date rape and more generally.

A Study on the Status of Women Faculty in Science at MIT

Title: A Study on the Status of Women Faculty in Science at MIT

Link: http://web.mit.edu/fnl/women/women.html#The%20Study

Summary: (abstract)

In 1995 the Dean of Science established a Committee to analyze the status of women faculty in the six departments in the School of Science. The Committee submitted a report of its findings in August, 1996 and amended reports in 1997 and 1998. The Committee discovered that junior women faculty feel well supported within their departments and most do not believe that gender bias will impact their careers. Junior women faculty believe, however, that family-work conflicts may impact their careers differently from those of their male colleagues. In contrast to junior women, many tenured women faculty feel marginalized and excluded from a significant role in their departments. Marginalization increases as women progress through their careers at MIT. Examination of data revealed that marginalization was often accompanied by differences in salary, space, awards, resources, and response to outside offers between men and women faculty with women receiving less despite professional accomplishments equal to those of their male colleagues. An important finding was that this pattern repeats itself in successive generations of women faculty. The Committee found that, as of 1994, the percent of women faculty in the School of Science (8%) had not changed significantly for at least 10 and probably 20 years. The Committee made recommendations for improving the status of senior women faculty, addressing the family-work conflict for junior women faculty, and increasing the number of women faculty. The Dean of Science took immediate actions to effect change and these have already resulted in highly significant progress including an increase in the number of women faculty. This collaboration of faculty and administration could serve as a model for increasing the participation of women, and also of under-represented minorities, on the faculty of other Schools at MIT. This is an important initiative since, even with continued effort of this magnitude, the inclusion of substantial numbers of women on the Science and Engineering faculties of MIT will probably not occur during the professional lives of our current undergraduate students. The inclusion of significant numbers of minority faculty will lag for even longer because of the additional problem of a shortage of minority students in the pipeline.