Gentlemen, pardon our stupidity. . .
This was the subject line from one of my history department colleagues during a heated discussion about the ways in which Obama’s campaign of “hope” resembled that of FDR in 1936. Our resident blow-hard in the Communication Department insisted that the economy got worse between 1933 and 1936. I dug out evidence from Historical Statistics of the United States on our library website that indicated that in fact unemployment dropped from 25 to 16 percent and that the GNP rose. Still this jerk could not believe that those of us with lady parts could actually get our facts correct. This led my colleague to write, “ I know we are only women, and therefore we just cannot get our facts right. Heather is just an expert on the New Deal, but what would she know about the Great Depression? . . . I apologize on behalf of the female faculty who presumed that we were equal with our male colleagues in the brains department. What chutzpah!
I am grateful that so many of my male colleagues felt free to tell me in so many words how completely dumb I am because I really had no idea. Here I was being respectful of differences of opinion, thinking I could expect the same, but I see now that my ideas are just plain idiocy and therefore don’t need to be respected. Thank you for pointing out that “historians ought to know better,” and “Kathy should know better,” because obviously I should but I just don’t. Oh, I think I will just go bake something…”
Right on! Maybe we female faculty should also adopt “Respect” as our personal theme song.