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Quote:quote:Originally posted by underscore

er, people do actually realise that the "casting couch effect" is in itself sexist, right?

etc. etc.
Much of your post (particularly the patronising, double-think quote above) stinks of identity politics. I hope you judge people by slightly more diverse criteria in your daily life than has been evinced here.

As a general statement on this debate:
1)People's success isn't always proportional to their talent for the specific tasks they are employed to do.
2)The influencing factors, positive and negative, are very very varied: gender, sexuality, religion, wealth, class, charisma, adaptablity etc.
3)It is important to note that these factors are contextual to the fora in which they are applied.
4) It is important to note that these factors operate as multiple effects; nothing ever happens just because someone is a woman, or a hindu, or whatever.

I was once told that if I was a decent spin-bowler I'd have a job for life at a certain unit. Underscore, was that sexist? Would it be sexist if I [u]was</u> a decent spin-bowler?.

I'm a member of the BWA Facebook group, but that may change if all they can come up with is devisive ranting. Fortunately, thus far they seem keen to get beyond the kind of 'seventies feminist thinking that aggregates individuals into easily stereotyped groups.

Regards,
Tom

PS Underscore, don't take this personally


freeburmarangers.org
I am alarmed by underscore post.

For example "women (me sometimes included!) drinking no liquids on eight hour watching brief/monitoring shifts" shows that very basic H&S regulations are being broken by both the main and archaeological contractors.

Taking action to stop this is easy phone the BAJR hotline. The provision of toilets is also fairly clear cut.

I have to say in my 33 years of professional archaeology I have only come across one example of the kind of sexism underscore describes.

Peter Wardle




I disagree with Tom's analysis of your contribution, underscore. I found your first post both informative and interesting- it also jogged a few memories of similar experiences.
Well,Underscore......... the promotion WAS given to the inept male who slept with the female boss ........ and there are several other instances of this in recent times .................so it applies both ways even if not as noticeable (or well known) towards men..........
I found Underscore's post very honest; it is really quite shocking that such things go on - Tom's response was a bit out of order: these are examples from the real world, not just the ramblings of a Gender Studies undergraduate dissertation.

It does raise a difficult point though - how does one deal with sexism in other contractors on site? It's a bit difficult when they are likely to outnumber the archaeologists and they are doing the 'important' work, rather than 'getting in the way'.

I can't say I've ever experienced any real discrimination in archaeology, but it is certainly generally quite a macho occupation and I would suggest that the women that seem to succeed, in the field at least, do so on terms dictated by men - i.e. by becoming one of the lads, and brushing off anything but the most offensive comments, which is far from fair.

I wonder how some of those who have responded with 'what about a group for men?' would deal with the sort of innappropriate comments that clearly happen on regular basis?

As for being offered a job on the basis of your ability to spin bowl, you should have said 'yes, I'm brilliant', and then, after your first game when you inadvertantly concuss the unit director and the lie is discovered, you could have a laugh taking them to an industrial tribunal - unfair dismissal for not being good enough at cricket. I've never heard anything so ridiculous in my life (was it in the 1920s?),but really you should have reported that to the IFA. Discrimination in all forms should not be tolerated.
Quote:quote:Originally posted by tom wilson

I was once told that if I was a decent spin-bowler I'd have a job for life at a certain unit. Underscore, was that sexist? Would it be sexist if I [u]was</u> a decent spin-bowler?.

As a medium paced seamer, I'd find that highly bowlerist. But that's cricket.

On the for-or-against Underscore: Tom, I'm with you on this one.

The danger with the ism's is that life in it's myriad of complexity gets interpreted in reductive terms. Growing up in Bradford I saw people eager to understand life's problems in racial terms, when in many instances that was an irrelevant factor. The real culprits for social problems get off lightly, and the cycle perpetuates.



Quote:quote:Originally posted by drpeterwardle

I am alarmed by underscore post.

For example "women (me sometimes included!) drinking no liquids on eight hour watching brief/monitoring shifts" shows that very basic H&S regulations are being broken by both the main and archaeological contractors.


Underscore, I empathise. I too have pissed into the wind, and in this one (small) way I feel being a man is a clear competetive advantage. But in all your tales from the 'real world', I couldn't help but think that being a woman was the least important thing. This is a Health and Safety issue and in Ireland at least, the law is unequivocal. If a claim is made against a company on H&S grounds, it's not a question of whether or not an employee will win money but a question of how much they are going to win. The company is guilty until proven innocent and this has driven an audit culture in which all T's are crossed. I submitted three telephone directories of information recently in a tender for 1 weeks work.

The law regarding unfair dismissal is equally clear-cut, and if you have to endure working in a sexist environment to the point that you cannot continue, this counts as constructive dismissal. A tribunal will award in your favour automatically in this instance, and the cost will be met by your employer.

An H&S judgment can count against any bidders in a tender scoring process, so the commercial imperative is to put mechanisms and procedures in place to ensure that the working environment experienced by underscore no longer exists. Irrelevant of sex.
I think, this is showing how and why a private (as well as public) forum is needed... like it or not.. just by being a man, it is hard to understand... as Maggie once said to me.. as I breezed on about how I loved Eastern Turkey and the sense of freedom.. and able to sit and chat...etc... "you would though.... you are after all a man... I am a woman and see a different world... walk in my shoes?? you can't... "

Thats why I am personally supporting the BWA ... I will also support any group that feels it is being 'ismed...
apart from cricket... !

"Gie's a Job.."
Prof. 'Dolly' Parton
Well, this has become a more interesting thread. I do support British Women Archaeologists, and am entirely against sexism. As for anecdotes of discrimination, you could pull out examples all day, going one way and another. People are complex animals after all. However, having had a look at their website, I am intrigued as to how they are going to start with some of these problems which their members have brought to their attention. A lot of the problems on this page are serious, but some are somewhat puzzling..
Like this one:

‘My work involves a lot of travel, and staying away from my home. It has meant I have not had a serious relationship for the last four years.’

I know people who've stayed in the same place for four years and not had a serious relationship. This does send the message, along with all the laudable comittments to part time/home working that women should not have to do away jobs. You can't work from home and do a watching brief. You can't work flexi-time if the main contractor is on 12 hour days. Sexism is real, but some of the things on that page are just part of the job, and part of the reason why most people don't stay on the circuit forever.
Quote:quote:Originally posted by Oxbeast

Well, this has become a more interesting thread. I do support British Women Archaeologists, and am entirely against sexism. As for anecdotes of discrimination, you could pull out examples all day, going one way and another. People are complex animals after all. However, having had a look at their website, I am intrigued as to how they are going to start with some of these problems which their members have brought to their attention. A lot of the problems on this page are serious, but some are somewhat puzzling..
Like this one:

‘My work involves a lot of travel, and staying away from my home. It has meant I have not had a serious relationship for the last four years.’

I know people who've stayed in the same place for four years and not had a serious relationship. This does send the message, along with all the laudable comittments to part time/home working that women should not have to do away jobs. You can't work from home and do a watching brief. You can't work flexi-time if the main contractor is on 12 hour days. Sexism is real, but some of the things on that page are just part of the job, and part of the reason why most people don't stay on the circuit forever.

Yeah, I thought so too when I first read that example, but then after I while I thought, "she's got a point." But it's not archaeology specific, it's a cultural thing.

Traditionally, blokes have away jobs and so women have developed a culture around the travelling partner. Some endure it, others relish it but it is accepted that some jobs are away.

It's not so straight forward for women. For one thing, in most relationships women still have the greater homemaking role and I know women who won't go on an away job before filling the freezer and ironing all the shirts. Their male partners get resentful when their mates' girlfriends are home every evening.

Guys who have not experienced away work tend to fantasise the worst case scenario as well, and although women are guilty of this too they have the support of their friends (see the culture thing above) whislt the male partner is thinking about how their girlfriends resemble Lara Croft and all the other men around her.

That only leaves the fellow digger option (and I believe there's an old Digger editorial about what the babies would look like).

Hi all and my apologies for coming late to this discussion. I'm one of the BWA founders and firstly must say that YES, anyone can join at TAG! Just come and see us 6-7pm on the Tuesday night, we're having a launch and some free wine courtesy of some of our sponsors. We've only had time to contact universities at this stage but will be contacting units soon in the new year and getting more postings and information out there. We'd like to get to the IFA conference too next year (and others...) it's all in the planning stages at the moment. I'm trying to sort PAYPAL on the web too so it should be easier to join that way soon.

Underscore's comments are typical of what we've heard; just many women leave the profession rather than put up with it. And Underscore, I'm really sorry that that has been your experience. It isn't fair and it isn't right. While we recognise many of us (but not all!) are within the academic part of the profession, we are desperate to help the commercial side and as much as we can and break down the barriers between them more. I don't want the students I teach going into a work place which is sexist and there is much to learn from each others experiences. In academe we can 'buy' time in research you can't as easily commercially.. somehow we can do that and help.

And yes it's illegal... but complain and you lose your job or never get hired again? Tough choice (I've been there). Having said that we know there are workplaces where women do achieve and go into higher positions. Quite how many do this while getting married/having a family is another question though we haven't yet got to.

In terms of our research, I hope we can get more details published soon; perhaps after TAG we'll get some more ideas on how this can be effectively disseminated. The problem is there's a bunch of us working full time and doing this in our space time: we're dedicated but everything we do is out of our own time and financially our pockets. This isn't a problem, we all believe it's the right thing to do, but it means it's slower. We are still getting the odd survey in, and many supportive messages from men. But we do need to do more research...many many questions simply haven't been looked at.

Seventies feminist ranting.. oh to have the indulgence to do so! It would be easier if we just complained -we don't need to do surveys and ask anyone their real problems for that! But we want to make a REAL difference, where it's needed. We want women to be able to say to each other 'hey, I heard this' and someone else to say 'that's not okay'. Maybe we can together suggest some one-liners to help stamp out the sexist comments in the workplace, for both men and women to say to support each other. We want for all archaeologists to be able to have more flexibility for families (hence the working away comment)... are archaeologists similar to other professions or do they have different strategies that work better for having a life? What about mentoring and career development; talking through your options with someone? If you do complain, having a BWA member/mentor come along to your workplace for support? Actually seeing archaeologists together, a whole bunch of us, having a laugh and chewing over things...it's supposed to be fun too! Regional meetings.... etc. And not just for women either.

Finally, we're trying to help. We realise not everyone will like what we do but we're not against anyone, we don't have personal agendas to bring to this. That's why we've taken a while and done the survey... we want this to be organic, grown out of what women and men want and not what we tell them to have! We just honestly truly believe that the profession as a whole can be better and fairer, and mistakes are being made through a lack of understanding the implications, rather than any conspiracy.

Please join us and be a part of it.

Anne


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