Danny’s Gender Symmetry Table

The brilliant Danny of Danny’s Corner has created this great gender symmetry table:

This is just a small part of it. You can find the entire table here.

This is the kind of feminism I’m interested in.

Guilty of Ageism

To my horror, I discovered that I have ageist tendencies. The new Chair of our department is very knowledgeable about technology. This was one of the reasons we chose him, which I know very well since I was on the search committee. He is also significantly older than I am. Which makes sense, since he is a Chair and I’m a junior faculty member.

Yesterday, I came into the Chair’s office and found him listening to the radio on his computer.

“Look!” he said. “This is a radio station from my home town in Brazil.”

“This is cool,” I responded. “And I was just listening to a radio station from my native city in Ukraine in my office.”

“Really? That’s great! Do you also listen to the radio on your office computer?” the Chair asked.

“No,” I said and took out of my bag my Kindle Fire in its new red cover. “I listen to the radio on this thing.”

“Oh, what is it?” the Chair asked.

And here I started behaving like an idiot.

“It’s a Kindle,” I said. “A Kindle is . . . a thing that allows you to perform a variety of tasks. You can read books, edit documents. . .”

“Yes, I know what a Kindle is,” the Chair responded in a kind voice. “Is it a Kindle Fire? Can I have a look?”

I should have stopped right there but for some reason I decided to continue on my jerkward journey.

“A Kindle is an alternative to an iPad,” I informed the Chair. “And an iPad is . . . well, a thing that allows you to¬†perform a variety of tasks. . .”

“I am aware of what an iPad is,” the Chair said, looking a little scared.

Of course, he is aware of what an iPad is since all the faculty members at my university receive endless emails from our bookstore extolling the virtues of the iPad. Also, he probably knows more about technology than I do.

Now I will have to shut up and bear it if my students inform me that “a cell phone is a thing that allows you to make phone calls.” Ageism carries its own punishment because it always ends up castigating those guilty of it.


When you get an email from a journal where you submitted an article, you always skim it looking for the word “unfortunately.” Seasoned academic know that the rejections always state, “Unfortunately, we will not be able to accept your article for publication.”

So today I received an email from one of the journals where I had submitted an article and it started with the dreaded “unfortunately.”

“Well, thank you very much for putting me in a vile mood at the end of the semester,” I thought.

As I kept skimming the email, though, I couldn’t find the word “rejected.” It turned out that the unfortunate event the publishers referred to was that they had taken so long to confirm the receipt of the article.

Of course, I felt relieved that the unfortunately wasn’t as unfortunate as I feared.

Two hours later, I received an email from another journal where I had submitted an article. Once again, I skimmed it and saw the dreaded word yet again.

“I guess I’m destined for a rejection today,” I thought despondently.

Then, however, I saw a phrase that makes every academic’s heart leap with joy, “with minor revisions.” The article was accepted and the “unfortunately” this time referred to the fact that the journal wasn’t going to be able to publish it in the next issue but only in the one after that.

Dear journal editors, try to be careful with the word “unfortunately” because you might start causing heart attacks to people.