How to silence women in academia.

Monday September 17th, 2018

This year I am invited to speak at many conferences. Of course, it is striking what everyone knows and yet ignore: women are underrepresented at conferences. Especially in certain areas, when it comes to digital topics, there seem to be few women with a relevant voice.

Please do not misunderstand the latter statement, OF COURSE this is meant satirically. Because, OF COURSE  there are women who can speak with great expertise about everything, including on digital topics. With discomfort I notice everything else around this imbalance: men talk and talk, exceed the speaking time, are then squeezed out by curious, male presenters on technical details – and the contributions of women are getting cropped from the same, eventually disinterested moderators with an annoyed reference to the “advanced time”.
The academic world is even different from the one to which Candice Breitz points so wonderfully penetratingly in her “Pimmelsuppe” posts. But it works according to the same strategies, the hierarchical power structure is quite the same.
There are some websites that point to female speakers. eg. the german speaking website Speakerinnen Liste. But in my opinion, there is a lot more to do.
As Candice Breitz says it clearly:  If there is public money involved, there should be no Pimmelsuppe.
The DFG only supports gender balanced conferences. There should be much more of these kind of funding principles. But until things have changed,  everyone please come to the ACUD, Berlin next Thursday, when 10 women will speak about “Why have there been no great women artists *“.


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