Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Incredibly intelligent, reserved women threaten.....

During my years as an undergrad and then as a grad student, I had many professors that I thought were wonderful, kind, intelligent, etc. and a few who were awful and flat-out mean, but I had two female professors who were amazing. One was Catherine Soussloff at UC-Santa Cruz and the other was joanne twining (yes, lower case) at SJSU. They have stood out to me over the years for two reasons: one, because they were both incredibly intelligent beyond the norm and two, because they have been harangued by many as being awful, egotistical, etc. I have looked them both up on www.ratemyprofessors.com and the things that people have said about them made me wonder if we were talking about the same people. I have come to the conclusion that if they were men, they would be considered geniuses, slightly eccentric geniuses, and adored. I remember my ex-husband had a professor who was very similar, but a gay man. He was adored. We went to an impromptu lecture of his at someone's house and it was very similar to one that we went to of Prof. Soussloff's. The impression that i got was that they were both so brilliant that they were constantly going off on different tangents. I suppose if that type of non-linear thinking bothers your sensibilities, then that kind of intelligence might not work for you. Anyway, my point being is that I feel that Soussloff and twining have been so vehemently criticized because they are women who are brilliant (and more reserved than friendly) and expect their students to work hard. I am saddened that we live in a time where people are still threatened by a woman of great intelligence in a position of authority...

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