Despite the growth and success of feminist archaeology, women in archaeology still face issues not necessarily encountered by their male counterparts in the 21st Century. Legacies of past discrimination, particularly the perceived and/or actual demands of family life, have resulted in disproportionate fewer women working at research institutions in many disciplines, including archaeology. This disturbing trend has profound implications for not only the direction of current archaeological research, but also the training of future scholars.
This blog is a forum for advocating for women archaeologists so that we can move beyond legacies of inequity to a future that strengthens a feminine voice in archaeology and a feminist perspective. We contend that the very practice of archaeology is skewed towards a masculine and hierarchical perspective that excludes consensus building and “minority opinions” when interpreting the past. We argue that the feminine voice brings unique and necessary elements to the discipline of archaeology, through values such as mentoring and collaboration. We also clarify that a feminist perspective is not limited to any one gender, class, race, ethnicity or sexuality. Rather a feminist perspective is a radical point of view; one that recognizes that women’s success professionally and personally is integrally tied to larger socio-political movements dedicated to the eradication of homophobia, racism, and androcentrism.
Our hope is to solicit advice, perspectives, and experiences from all realms of the archaeological profession- including tenure-track and adjunct faculty, CRM professionals, and those not currently employed or underemployed. The ultimate goal of the blog is to shift the realities of power experienced in the daily lives of women archaeologists by discussing, inventing and offering solutions to the challenges of professional life.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
What would a feminine archaeology look like?
As a new female archaeologist working within the academy, I am concerned with the possible barriers I may face in my career or the roles I might be placed in because of my gender (in my current department, much of the administrative burden falls on my female colleagues). For many years, it never occurred to me that I might face discrimination, often invisibly embedded in structures of policy and power, that would influence my ability to be a successful, productive researcher and teacher. However, as I have moved through my career, I have recognized, with increasing concern, the elements of myself I am forced to mute or transform in order to 'fit in' to expected roles as an archaeologist and academic (an identity still all too often associated with men). I admit to being concerned about when I decide to start a family, which will add an inevitable layer to the various ways the academy and other institutions fail to support women's choices.