Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Quartz, The Foremost Legal Mind on Sexual Harassment Didn’t Get Tenure For More Than a Decade:
Catharine MacKinnon’s work led to the creation of the field of anti-sexual harassment law. A book she wrote in her twenties argued that sexual harassment in the workplace constitutes sexual discrimination—a claim the US Supreme Court later agreed with. And yet, the brilliant lawyer and scholar had trouble securing academic tenure.
In an interview with The New York Times columnist Philip Galanes, which she did with Gretchen Carlson, former Fox News anchor and anti-sexual harassment advocate, MacKinnon talks about her tenure process.
Galanes asks if the “wandering in the desert” as a visiting professor for more than a decade “killed her.” ...
It did not kill me. I am right here. I just kept doing what I did. But let’s get realistic: What people do is trim their sails in terms of content. They don’t tell the truth about what’s really happening to women, for example, so they get the job. It never occurred to me to do that. And even though I didn’t get the jobs, there continued to be major fights about appointing me for two decades.
In the Times interview, MacKinnon sums up:
Wandering in the desert, as you put it, was my tenure process. And it turns out, in many of those years, I was the most frequently cited scholar writing in English on law. But nobody knew that because the studies hadn’t been done yet.