BAJR Federation Archaeology

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yes there have been in my experience stated in earlier post
Quote:quote:Originally posted by diggingthedirt

Could we change the question round – are there any instances where being a woman could actually be of benefit to your success as an archaeologist?

I'm afraid I too have seen this a fair bit across several units and at different levels. Quite blatantly sometimes, and not always by males to females, often by females to females.
Plus there's of course the old chestnut of pigeon-holing by male/female job stereotypes.
Sexism on building sites (and homophobia and racism) is fairly prevalent, although I make a point to always challenge it, which can be, erm, interesting. In archaeology it is far less prevalent, but we need to be aware of it and do what we can to confront it in whatever form it takes.
indeed......... the casting couch is definitely still in use in archaeology.........and for both sexes.............
Quote Windbag "On another personal note,i've not much sympathy for the men on this topic who have complained about discrimination against them. It can happen,but it happens to men a lot less than it happens to women,and the stats bear that out. Form a separate men's group if you want to-I won't be joining it"
No offence Windbag but I don't think such a statement is very helpful in the long run,at the end of the day we ALL want to be treated with equal consideration without discrimination to anyone. In one way the idea of a separate group for women is divisive as we should ALL be considerate to everyone else,could not the whole issue be included with one against discrimination of all types?
Quote Underscore "does british archaeology appear to have some problems attracting attracting asian and black students and employees?"
From my own experience i've only seen one non white digging (he was of english/Hong Kong chinese parents) and i've often wondered if it is because apart from the last couple of centuries what impact have non-white people had on the day-to-day history of the last several thousand years in this island-how can they have any affinity for what is essentially white history? does this have some reason for the apparant lack of interest among non-white people? It would be a shame if it does as I like learning about everyones history.
There are some initiatives, the Museum of London's Shoreditch Park project for example, that have attempted to engage a local community consisiting of people from diverse ethnic backgrounds with the archaeology of their present locale.

And from what I hear they are very popular.....
er, people do actually realise that the "casting couch effect" is in itself sexist, right? and that "that girl got promoted because she's pretty and he wants in her pants no fair!!" is not in fact an example of sexism cutting "both ways" but a textbook example of sexism at work?

if it IS operating that way in an organisation then it means women are being promoted not on the basis of their skills and talents but because someone wants to shag them. which, er, isn't actually very helpful at all, you know? (also, you do realise that not-hot women are human beings with career aspirations too? i mean. just saying!)

and if it isn't operating the idea of it still informs the attitude - that i have seen and heard repeatedly in universty & in my career in commercial archaeology - that a conventionally attractive female archaeologist must owe her position to her sex appeal and not her talent or hard work. which is a very useful way to subtly undermine someone's professional credibility. handy that.

and while no doubt from time to time a young man has been promoted because someone had an eye for him - which, hi, is also wrong, and not a situation you'll find any feminists arguing for; two wrongs maketh not a right etc. yes? - it's not something often insinuated about any guy who gets promoted. in fact, when i think about it, i have NEVER heard it suggested, ecept once in jest where it was intended as an absurd comment - playing on the sterotype of women being promoted for that reason. (at university the assumption was that women were always sleeping with their disseration supervisors. i can't speak for the assumptions when women supervised male students because there were no female professors or lectures in our department... even the most junior teaching staff were all guys.)

things that affect women disproportionately (not necessarily exclusively) - off the top of my head...

if only i had a pound for every time i have heard in all seriousness - or only half in jest - the argument that while women can be as good at the intellectual side, a man can be strong AND smart. therefore, sorry girls, you just can't cut it. because archaeology is all about muscle power really. and it's nice to hear your colleauges discussing how you might be GOOD but a guy with your brain would be BETTER.

women (me sometimes included!) drinking no liquids on eight hour watching brief/monitoring shifts because there are no toilet facilities and it "looks bad" if they leave site to find some, and holding it all day is unbearable. peeing behind a wall is only ok if there is one - and anyway not everyone wants to deal with "curious" plant drivers (has happened to me!).

lack of facilities on excavations - bad for everyone, i think we're all agreed. but come back to me when you've changed a tampon behind a hedge in january while the farmer stops his tractor to see what you're doing behind there.

sexist abuse and "humour" from other subcontractors on site [pornographic playing cards in the tea hut? check. copies of the sport left open to the breasts of the week in the toilet? check. incessant questions about your relationship status followed by 'humorous' suggestions you 'get with' one of the guys on site? check.] complain to your employer you say? well. you can do that. if you want to be labelled as a nuisance in need of growing a thicker skin. [of course this doesn't apply to all consultancies etc. - but it DOES apply to some. and the attitude is prevalent enough that it is actually quite difficult to persuade employees to come forward when stuff like this happens. with the current economic downturn it is only going to get worse - no-one wants to be labelled a troublemaker, or the person who demanded the company pay for a portaloo... plus there is still a fair amount of the "well, t'were worse in my day, you young people, don't know you're born!" attitude going on, which is, shall we say, unhelpful.]

ditto this kind of behaviour behaviour - mainly verbal - from other archaeologists. if you challenge that the response is guaranteed to be "but it's a JOKE! haven't you got a sense of HUMOUR?"

i have worked alongside people who think it's totally appropriate to counter any discussion of the above issue with jokes about "lesbians". see above re: "getting a sense of humour". (i wonder how that would fly in professions that are actually, you know, professional?)

i have had a site director do and say nothing when another subcontractor asked me "if the collar matched the cuffs". in front of all my colleagues. (later he admitted he knew the guy was out of order but he wasn't sure what to say. thanks boss!)

it's not, in my opinion, appropriate for archaeological concerns to dismiss problems with other subcontractors, or to take the attitude that it's just what is to be expected. that's part of the problem! if we just shrug and decide it can't be changed then of course it won't change.

even if you don't have any concern in particular for women in archaeology - how do you think this affects our appearance and status as professionals doing a professional job? would surveyors and engineers put up with dismissive or frankly insulting behaviour from other contractors towards their staff? i don't think so.

oh, i've heard the "not hiring someone who might get pregnant" thing. in a totally serious (but naturally, off the record, conversation.)

tribunals in archaeology presumably have the same downside as in other fields - you may win, but you will probably have to find a new career afterwards. (plus on the whole i find field staff are woefully underinformed about their rights.)
Quote:quote:Originally posted by Dirty Dave Lincoln
and i've often wondered if it is because apart from the last couple of centuries what impact have non-white people had on the day-to-day history of the last several thousand years in this island-how can they have any affinity for what is essentially white history? does this have some reason for the apparant lack of interest among non-white people? It would be a shame if it does as I like learning about everyones history.

yes but there's a long (and often ignoble) history of white europeans travelling the world excavating history that is decidedly non-white. so it's pretty clear that you don't need an ethnic connection to find something interesting.

to be honest, there is probably a whole thesis in this (and getting into it would take us waaaay off topic!) but i suspect the reasons go deeper and would involve talking about how people get to feel "ownership" of a past. (hmm, i'll bet there has been stuff written about this from an irish perspective.)

plus, i believe in the sciences that the perception of what "a scientist" looks like has been identified as barrier to kids from some ethnic minorities even considering science as an option. that might well be at work in archaeology too, making a kind of feedback loop that will need to be broken...
I think its that the pay is so ****e...

this was given to me as a 'plausible' reason by someone who'd looked at some depth into the issues of why archaeology (at least on site) was so white and middle class. Her view was that for middle class non-white students and their families getting a respectable job that paid well was the main aim. This on top of a lack of engagement, and connection to the past over here.

And lets face it, outside of a few rare exceptions, British archaeological sites aren't exactly gob-smacking, drop-dead fantastic to look at are they? Even if you are an archaeologist...

Ooh look, a post-hole...and another a line...and they're the same distance apart...
i would totally agree there's a class issue at work too - this stuff all intersects...

(but some people do find post-holes fascinating!)
quote; british archaeological sites not gob smacking ..of course they are !!! quote:ooh look, a post hole...and another one a line.... and theyre the same distance apart......... if you dont find british archaeological sites interesting.... why bother working in archaeology ??
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