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Home arrow Sociology arrow Being an Early Career Feminist Academic: Global Perspectives, Experiences and Challenges
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Recognise Tour Power and Privilege

We are fortunate in many ways as feminist academics. Unlike many of our sisters we have the privilege of a platform from which to speak. Some of us are privileged because of our whiteness, our class capital or by virtue of the institutions we work in. It is vital that we recognise the power and privilege we have, and use it to more egalitarian ends.

We must create spaces for marginalised colleagues to talk. If we are organising conferences, we must be sure to provide a platform for those voices too infrequently heard. When we are speaking and writing, we must acknowledge and accredit the voices of others. We must ‘take people with us’.

Much consciousness-raising takes place in the classroom (Sowards and Renegar 2004) and so we must be sensitive in our teaching practices, creating opportunities for marginalised people(s) to be heard and valued.

Self-Care Is a Must

Feminism needs feminists with the strength to fight. We should strive to live by our principles and politics, but this must not come at the cost of our health and well-being.

At a time when our politics are so often undermined and demeaned, it could be easy to work ourselves into the ground trying to ‘prove ourselves’ as ‘good enough’ academics as well as ‘proper’ feminists. As we have discussed, the feminist ethics of care applies to how we treat ourselves as well as others and we must not beat ourselves up for not taking on every battle. We may be in a position where we would not feel safe, physically or emotionally, to call out the injustices we observe. We may be employed so precariously that ‘rocking the boat’ is too costly. We may be unwell or be too tired to fight. It is not the job of one person to solve the problems of the world: this is what makes the strength of the collective so important.

And Have Fun!

There are many pleasures of being in academia. Have fun!

Acknowledgements This chapter is dedicated to our fellow Res-Sisters—past, present and future.

 
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