Sunday, July 14, 2013

Don't be an Interrupting Cow

The joke, a favorite of small children I know, goes like this:

Knock, knock!

Who's there?

Interrupting cow!



And I've been thinking about that as I continue my international disciplinary workshop / gender theatre 101.  I have noticed a woman interrupting a man precisely once in discussion.  Every woman, including me, has been interrupted by men multiple times.  Last week, a male participant interrupted a female participant about three times in as many minutes, insisting that she wasn't answering his question.  Of course she wasn't answering.  She was supposed to have the floor, and couldn't get a word in edgewise. Yesterday, the female presenter, when answering a question, was interrupted by a male participant who started his comment with, "I demand that you fix this."

Don't be an interrupting cow.  Shut up.  Listen. 


  1. I demand that you fix this? Wow.

    1. At first I thought I had misheard him, but then he said it again, so I think he really meant it.

  2. Good grief. Is the end of men here yet?!

    1. Well, I hope not! I mean, I actually like men rather a lot, although those specific examples aren't my favorites of the genre.

  3. Sounds like usual analytic philosophy (!) BUT, importantly, this kind of interaction in philo is understood to be part of playing the game-- and also more evenly doled about across gender, in my experience). We all (ought to) know this, and so speakers feel entirely free to respond in kind, and then afterwards we leave the conference room and get a beer together like a happy, nerdy family.

    But this does not at all sound like what happened here. And that's entirely disturbing. But I also wonder if this sort of over-the-top priggish behavior was in part due to the fact that you are all peers, and graduate students? I wonder, if there were more faculty there--or women of 'higher rank', would the same interaction(s) have taken place?


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