If you are reading this, chances are you caught yesterday's, shall we say, unfavorable reactions by Dr. Isis and Zuska to my post “Cultural Diversity in a Research Lab”, followed by a flurry of comments. You get full credit only if you read the original post and comments, and not relied on Isis' or Zuska's digests, because we are all scientists, and we should not take anyone's opinion for granted.
So let's wrap this up with a few comments left after yesterday’s post:
Comrade PhysioProf said...
And isn't it a lovely fucking coincidence that this "Trojan horse" strategy allows the privileged to tell the oppressed to just shut the fuck up, lay low, and not rock the boat--i.e., not do anything that might disturb existing power relations?
June 3, 2010 5:05 AM
GMP (GeekMommyProf) said...
Yeah, I get from Zuska's article that I am now an agent for the oppressor...
But what should I tell my students instead: you will get a job because in all fairness the world owes you one? You just get good and angry and you will get a job?
And for the last time: whoever thinks I am one of the privileged and doing this out of convenience, I am not. I am a 1st generation immigrant, English is not my 1st language. Where I got as a woman in this field and in this country was by playing by the current rules of the game. My personal clout was too small to change the rules, so I decided to show "the oppressors" that I can beat them at their own game. This is what I am advocating to my students, as this is what I know to work.
Rocking the boat while having little clout will get you nowhere (except maybe wet). Once you actually are in the system you have more power to make changes.
Or alternatively my international students can remain out of the system, unemployed, and angry. But as long as they gave the oppressors' boat a good shake, I am sure they will feel great.
June 3, 2010 6:47 AM
Isis the Scientist said...
If you write a pseudonymous blog, no one is going to know that you are an immigrant/brown/a chicken/etc. What they will read is a post that tells the foreign kids to shower and learn the language. I still may not agree with you entirely, but what you wrote in your last comment is infinitely more informative and heartfelt than the above post was.
If you're going to blog using a pseudonym, you have to remember that people don't know you're not a trained monkey unless you provide them with a point of reference.
June 3, 2010 7:00 AM
I call hypocrisy: if I am an immigrant whose 1st language is not English, it's sort of OK that I tell foreign kids to learn English and take showers, but if I am not an immigrant, then I am a bigoted overprivileged byatch and the same comment is unacceptable? Is there any scenario in which a benevolent American-born native English speaker is permitted to give the same advice? Does the comment not have a face value irrespective of who gives it?
I was going to mention my foreign-born status in the original post, but decided not to because I think it’s too personal and revealing. But people apparently interpolate as they will in the absence of information… But wait, isn’t that prejudice?
I am going to allow comments to this post today, and then I will close them.
There are other interesting issues to discuss, apart from my nonexistent xenophobia.