(El Salvador) When “gender” determines academic careers

Sandrine is a young researcher at the University. For the first time in his career, he intends to apply for a promotion. She has to submit her file for assessment to a commission: then she discovers with astonishment that the members of said commission are colleagues from a research unit that competes with hers… It must be understood that the University is a professional world of rare complexity based entirely on inter pares judgment (“between peers”), a Latin euphemism that covers the horrible reality of rumors and what people say.

Imagine a company where promotion, reward and salary depend on the office neighbor, the competition on the first floor or a great relationship with the receptionist at the entrance? However, this is exactly how teacher-researcher careers work. Colleagues, neighbors from the office, “people from the administration” express their opinions about not only the professional, but also the human or political qualities of each candidate for promotion or promotion.

For one winner, how many people are broken by the process?

This system is involved at every imaginable level of consultation: at the local laboratory level; at the less local level of the institution or even finally at the national level. This also applies to the quality of research for a bonus, to the quality of an educational commitment for a career or to the confirmation of a request for funding of a research project: a neighbor will come and give an opinion based on the documents. calibrated files uploaded to the platform. The choice of the incumbent itself is an election process to which young doctors are subject: at the end of the presentation of their research, a committee of future colleagues gives their opinion on their person. An opinion that is all the more legitimate because it is expressed by a commission that can sometimes receive more than ten people.

Obviously, like any vote, it legitimizes the winner. But for one winner, how many people are broken by the process? This sometimes borders on the absurd when institutions, trying anyway to reduce the effect of rivalry related to the internal competition specific to each discipline, “disorientate” all the files in an arbitrary way: thus chemists are inside “academic councils” to evaluate the files of psychologists and that these same psychologists found in the evaluation of the physicist's file.

This situation of absolute incompetence is, however, the only way to guarantee the absence of a direct confrontation over the candidacy, where an individual mandarin will find it necessary to symbolically kill his rival's student. Research files, teaching files, publication files are given for reading and appreciation by colleagues whose function at that moment is to give their opinion. Yes: their opinion. Imagine on the one hand the incredible satisfaction that comes from being able to give your opinion about a colleague! And imagine the endurance, the stamina, that is required to withstand receiving such a frontal judgment from this type of commission.

The rest after this ad

It is as cruel and violent a system as the political world can be

This system, which may seem violent, is in reality political: deeply political. This naturally stems from the position of researchers in society, who, for obvious reasons of autonomy vis-à-vis government and administration, must ensure their composition in an almost autarkic manner, guaranteeing that employment and career development are truly the result of forms of merit, of which fame, recognition by colleagues and the quality of the files are the only guarantees.

It is a cruel and violent system that the political world can be when it comes to entering a system based on recognition. The strength of this system is that, in spite of everything, it still represents a solid disciplinary barrier against the ideological alienation of the disciplines. Take the example of Tariq Ramadan: he was never able to find a job in France when Swiss and British universities welcomed him with open arms. The main reason for our immunity lies in the interweaving of these different barriers that we can hardly bypass.

A false and biased pretense of equality

At the top of this pyramid is the National Council of Universities (CNU). It is an institution that consists of as many sections as there are disciplines recognized in university epistemology, and each time brings together researchers from the same discipline. There is no CNU section in “magic” because magic is not a science. There is a “linguistics” section because linguistics is a “discipline”.

In the past – I'm talking about the time when Alain Bentolila and I were sitting – the members were appointed by the minister, and the trade unions delegated several representatives. Then the trend reversed: unions rule in most sections. Section 17 of the CNU is a section that gathers philosophers, because yes, philosophy is an academic discipline. The prestigious academic section of the Porch passed a proposal last week that clearly commands our full attention. Here's what it says there:

“Section 17 of the CNU recalls its commitment (…) to gender equality (…) The commitment of Section 17 of the CNU includes recognition of the work and colleagues working to think about these issues; the section therefore encourages them, whether through research or teaching within the institutions (…) We invite candidates for promotions, leave and bonuses to explicitly indicate this in their file. »

There is a concept of gender in the evaluation on the teacher-researcher scale

In other words, today, in the national evaluation of the careers of philosophy teacher-researchers, the promotion of the notion of genre is integrated into inclusive writing. Under the false and systematically biased pretext of fighting to promote equality (between men and women? We dare not think so because these two terms seem to have been removed from the spectrum of reflection) we legitimize with creepy authoritarianism the official recognition of promoting gender studies to evaluate “careers, promotions and bonuses “.

Do you really need more to understand the extent of the penetration of identity ideologies within university and research institutions? But behind the seemingly unimportant question of the fate of the last philosophers in France: don't you see the important question of the training of teachers taking place in the universities?

Leave a Comment