emotional labour · ideas for change · voice

Push some buttons

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push some buttons

It’s been a rough week for feminism. Maybe you found yourself in tears on the bus or the train on the way to work. Maybe you thought about how much it cost for one woman to stand up and say something true and how that courage was mowed over by by belligerence and cowardice. Maybe you are mad all over again and again and again. Maybe things keep happening that push too many buttons.

It’s been that way for me.

Time to take back some control of this whole button-pushing business.

Time to go back to Cathy Deng’s brilliantly simple question: is a dude talking?

Go here and starting tallying: are men talking too much?

I’ve been in a lot of meetings lately. Probably you have too. And have you noticed who’s been doing a lot of the talking? You guessed it. In every kind of meeting — one-on-one in my office, small committee, large committee, massive faculty council and senate meetings — I couldn’t help noticing that one kind of voice kept dominating the floor. The two exceptions, for me, were the meetings I chaired.

Maybe it’s too simple to break things down along a binary of whether or not a dude is talking. What, after all, about race, class, sexual orientation, and ability? Good question. In the spirit of evidence-based inquiry, bear with me (and Deng), let’s just try to measure the dude vs. not dude thing. Just for a few weeks. Or even just one week. Tell me what you find.

Really, do tell me. In the comments below or, if you prefer, via email at lilycho [at] yorku [dot] ca. I’ll tally and report back.

And do submit your results to the on-going Gender Avenger tally.

Let’s push some buttons.


graduation · learning · voice · writing

Binding the Bits: Developing your Voice in Academia

Hello everyone! My name is Jessica Kuepfer and I am both thrilled and honoured to join Hook & Eye as a contributor. 
As I was preparing for this post, I was not only thinking about those I was writing for, but also the voice in which I would frame my message. When Hook & Eye began asking for different voices to join their regular blogging team, I felt I qualified as different, but was unsure of how I would bind all the bits together.
I was born and raised Conservative Mennonite so a foray into the academic world wasn’t the first thing that many in my traditional community saw for me.  As a child, being from a tradition that values simplicity and manual labour, I saw the academic woman as a foreign and interesting being. This weekend, I walked across the university stage for my two minutes of fame to accept my degree with my proud parents snapping photos and video taping my every movement.  It was a celebration of having successfully pieced together the traditional voices of my childhood with a fresh, strong academic voice. 
Contributing to Hook & Eye is much like holding a mirror to the sum total of my academic career thus far – an equal mix of uncertainty and optimism. My undergrad has been chocked full of strong female professors whom I have held up as role models, tentatively imitating their voices until I found a way to incorporate them into my own.  I am now speaking from that in-between place where I have four years down of academia and who knows how many to go, still gripped with the same uncertainty and optimism. 
I am also here to listen to your voices and to learn from your experiences that are bound to be just as varied and pieced together as mine. 
So let’s begin, shall we? 
What steps did you take to develop your voice as a writer and female leader in the academic world?