The really funny part of the conference was at the very end when a female scholar gave a talk that condemned the patriarchal silencing of women even in the most progressive circles.
And I’m thinking, “Lady, you sat here for three days, mum as a clam, and now you are telling us? Those who wanted to speak did. I’m literally hoarse right now because I haven’t shut up in three days, and no patriarchy prevented me from doing that.”
The male scholars expressed contrition and condemned patriarchy in the discussion after the talk.
The sad part is that these female scholars are fascinating, profound, and charming human beings and very well-read, talented researchers. When you talk to them outside of male presence, they shine and sparkle. In female groups, they debate forcefully and express themselves loudly and confidently. They shut even me up. But as soon as a pair of pants walks into a room, they clam up, hunch their shoulders, and offer up nothing but meek smiles and subservient giggles.
This is not the first time I notice this. It’s always like that, even in the Humanities where women are the majority.
I remember when back in Ukraine a classmate at the uni said with complete conviction, “Well, of course, women are less valuable than men. How can anybody deny it?” I felt like she was from a different planet. It was a very weird and unpleasant feeling. I’d like to stop experiencing it already.