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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Cowards

Whenever anybody on campus starts saying that our freeze on salary raises is daylight robbery, somebody immediately pipes up with the dumb, toothless narrative of “we are not in it for the money.”

I detest this kind of sorry crap. I’m absolutely in it for the money. It’s deranged to show up for work for any reason but that you are getting paid for it. Instead of fighting for political change and organizing to get rid of stinky Rauner, people hide behind pathetic narratives of teaching being a higher calling that stands above puny monetary concerns. 

Well, I’m not in the least above these concerns. I work hard and deserve a decent wage. And people who pretend not to care are cowards. 

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12 thoughts on “Cowards

  1. JProf on said:

    Some other dumb crap that they say: “There may not have been a raise in several years, but think about how lucky you are to have a full-time job in academia.” (And of course, I realize I’m lucky, but that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve a modest raise for the work I do.)

    Meanwhile, business professors make at least twice as much money as I do, and they do less work…but some colleagues will bend over backwards to justify this shit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s even worse: a colleague argued today that we are lucky to have a job. . . that comes with great healthcare. I’m at a loss for words.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, they are scraping the bottom of the barrel, and feeling desperate. I will admit that this is something I have been known to say to myself, in private, in dark hours and the fact that I have done it is evidence of my imperfect mental health. I would never say this to another person and much less in an open meeting at work.

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  2. I have never met someone who said they were not in it for the money and who was not also well compensated.

    Of course one may also have chosen it because one liked it. But people in other professions and trades are not expected to want to work for free.

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    • This is the worst part of it: the idea that if you like the work you should be willing to do it for free. Fuck that.

      Like

      • Shakti on said:

        This is the worst part of it: the idea that if you like the work you should be willing to do it for free. Fuck that.

        I can’t tell you how many times someone has said “You’re so good at [something], you should do it professionally” and in the next breath said, “You should get exposure” and they never process the contradiction or the insult.

        This seems relevant, so I’ll share it again: In the Name of Love

        There’s little doubt that “do what you love” (DWYL) is now the unofficial work mantra for our time. The problem is that it leads not to salvation, but to the devaluation of actual work, including the very work it pretends to elevate — and more importantly, the dehumanization of the vast majority of laborers.

        Superficially, DWYL is an uplifting piece of advice, urging us to ponder what it is we most enjoy doing and then turn that activity into a wage-generating enterprise. But why should our pleasure be for profit? Who is the audience for this dictum? Who is not?

        By keeping us focused on ourselves and our individual happiness, DWYL distracts us from the working conditions of others while validating our own choices and relieving us from obligations to all who labor, whether or not they love it. It is the secret handshake of the privileged and a worldview that disguises its elitism as noble self-betterment. According to this way of thinking, labor is not something one does for compensation, but an act of self-love. If profit doesn’t happen to follow, it is because the worker’s passion and determination were insufficient. Its real achievement is making workers believe their labor serves the self and not the marketplace.

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  3. “we are not in it for the money.”

    Proper response: Well if you’re not in it for the money then you won’t mind ceding some of your salary to me, let’s start at 10% and see how that works out.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Speaking as an ex clergy spouse, clergy are told “but you’re doing the Lord’s work” when complaining about not being paid enough. This goes for the mainstream denominations excluding the RCS who take a vow of poverty. The evangelicals are incorporated and drive their marcedes to work.

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  5. Fie upon this quiet life on said:

    My provost and chair have said to me on multiple occasions that they are “not motivated by money.” I wanted to shoot back to both of them (both men) that they must be motivated by sex, then, since throughout literary history there are only two true motivations — money and sex, both of which can either lead to or are symbolic of power. My guess is that if I accused them of being motivated by sex it wouldn’t go over well, though, especially at a religious school.

    I also think that people who say they aren’t motivated by money and that they are “lucky” to have jobs are people who (1) make a lot of money, (2) have no other skills which they could put to use in a different kind of job.

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    • Hilarious. ☺☺☺

      There is another category: people whose spouses make a ton of money so they don’t have to mind low pay. And hey, good for them, but they should know they sound like dicks.

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      • Fie upon this quiet life on said:

        Yeah, my husband makes a lot more money than me, but I see no reason why that should make me devalue the work that I do. Shouldn’t I be paid what I’m worth regardless of what my spouse makes? These people are ridiculous.

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