Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Sounds Like Weird

A Bit on David Allen

23 July 2005

Some women are in a bit of a tizzy about David Allen being appointed to the women’s studies department chair for UW. I’m not.

I’m opposed to women automatically getting jobs on the basis of their sex, just as I’m opposed to men automatically getting jobs. Pick the best candidate.

Earlier in his career, Allen was a nurse — a female-dominated profession — and became interested in feminism as a result. While that doesn’t mean that he’ll “get” everything that women go through, as an administrator, does he really have to?

I feel like he’s sort of my inverse: I’ve worked in a very male-dominated field, frequently as the only woman in my workgroup. We see the same kinds of issues, just from different sides.

In all, though, I think Priti Ramamurthy said it best:

“It marks changes in the field of women’s studies. The idea that women’s studies is only for and about women is no longer the case,” she said. “It’s moved to a focus on social construction, not just of women but also of masculinity, and the changing relationships between men and women, women and women, and men and men.”

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