Women in Academia Support Network came into being in May 2017 as a response to men’s discomfort of hearing women’s very real grievances of navigating academia and also just being women in the world. The demanding of women to silence their experience in order to sooth men’s discomfort was neither helpful or supportive of women’s experiences. In response, a dedicated support page was set up so that women could air their frustrations, needs and wants, without male ‘whataboutery’ and ‘not all men’.
WIASN seeks to recognize and actively challenge and change
- The fatigue felt by women when locating the problem of under-representation with the under-represented. This is not how marginalization works. WIASN does not subscribe to the deficit model of women; if only they leaned in more, had confidence training, wore the right clothes and designer handbag. The narrative that women have to do more to get ahead is a narrative we actively counter and relocate within societal, cultural and academic structures.
- How women are viewed as a homogenous group and the intersections, which variously disadvantage women in a myriad of ways are not met with critique, which takes account of such complexities.
- To counter the often under-recognised and overlooked extra emotional and physical labour women give as academics and how this negatively impinges on their renumeration and opportunities for promotion.
- The active undermining, questioning of or overlooking of women’s professional expertise and intellect.
- The gaze on women’s bodies and behaviours; whereby whatever women, say or do (and their life choices) are fair game for comment and discussion.