Monday, February 25, 2019

1950s Male Academic Privilege

About two weeks ago I declared that I was invoking "1950s male academic privilege." To be clear, not the kind that has been in the news lately (as in here or here or...oh, never mind, that kind of behavior is unfortunately not confined to the 1950s.) What I meant was that I was electing to focus entirely on my writing, not on doing household chores, or fixing dinner. I felt free to stack up books on the floor and turn my back on dishes in the sink. I worked after dinner and early in the morning, my door firmly closed (to keep out the cat). I did draw the line at demanding a tray be brought up for my dinner.

It worked. I made the last revisions on a book manuscript I had been working on for the last year and put the finishing touches on an essay. The talk I'm giving on Thursday is in reasonable shape. My classes got prepped, an exam got written, office hours happened, a teaching plan was made.

But of course, I'm not a 1950s male academic, so all the "1950s faculty wife" things I didn't tend to are now popping back onto my to-do list. Memos to write. A dinner party for a newly minted faculty chair to organize. Books to reshelve and return to the library. A study to lightly tidy — only lightly so as not to disturb the intellectual work of the occupant. Grocery shopping. Laundry. Except for getting a haircut. Math Man called and made me an appointment.  He's the perfect faculty spouse.

Math Man and I watched The Wife last week. I saw the ending coming a mile away.