1. Cranking it down. Having to crank down the level of your work
so people do not feel threatened or because the latest news has not arrived yet and it will not be believed coming from you — it has to come from a consultant. Inner conflict since cranking it down also means jeopardizing success. Difficulty of cranking down since it is a form of self-mutilation undertaken for purposes of survival only.
a. The above is not well expressed and I am not sure how to express it. I am not talking about publishing enough or too much or anything like that — it is always good to achieve. I think it may be that I do not have the right woman skills — you have to really play a less intelligent character and yet not have this affect you. (I live in the South, where men are deferential and women, conformist.)
b. Here perhaps is a good example. The difference between dealing with people who will answer an informed question because it is asked, and dealing with people who will first decide whether the asker is of the right class-race-gender to have the right to be capable of formulating such a question. The constant looking up and down, the constant assertion of hierarchy.
c. Ever since I became a professor I have wished for the kind of training in handling oppression minorities get from their parents and other older relatives. It is the sexism and gender discrimination, and here also probable discrimination against field because it ain’t white, and it is my difficulty even recognizing these things, let alone being to name them and have strategies to deal with them, which is what is actually required. I internalize these things without even realizing what they are. “You do not deserve to have the expertise you have, and your having it hurts me.” The reason I am in school is that that used to be the one place I did not hear this; when it also became a place I heard it I did not know what to do and I still do not.
2. Politics. Conflict is inherently stressful but it is not that there is time for it, it is that there is no time. That is why poor decisions are made, or issues are fought out while people are already tired and irritable.
3. Money. I do not make enough or have enough funding to be able to do my job as I should. For example, I lack all conference funding and almost all books published in the last twenty years. We have not had raises in five years and are below the regional average salary anyway, and I can no longer afford to make up the difference out of my own funds.
4. Low ceilings. A large percentage of my time and energy must be spent on activities I undertook in very early graduate school and then moved on from. I am not saying I am “too good” for this, I am only saying it leaves less space for growth than would be desirable. The question here, I see, is how to make these activities really creative. “Saving time” on them does not work.