Friday, 19 June 2015

People who don't suffer from it just don't see it

This is a little bit off topic of depression, but I wanted to share this:

My experiences with sexism in science, by Julie Libarkin.

The motto of Depressed Academics is "Somewhere you can talk about it." And I'm very proud of Julie for talking about it.  (I don't know Julie by the way.)  But she is not talking about depression, she is talking about sexism in science.

I think depression in academia and sexism in academia have this in common: people who don't suffer from it just don't see it.

That is one reason I am pleased that a few people are prepared to blog on Depressed Academics. Other people can see that it is out there.  And that is why I am pleased to see somebody standing up in another area to say: "Hey, you know you don't see this? Well it's still there!"

I must emphasise that there's no reason that you should talk about it. Or that anybody else should.

There's another thing that depression and sexism in academia have in common.  That victims of them often don't like to talk about them. If you've suffered from something, and I mean "suffered", why would you want to talk about it?

And here's another thing that they have in common. If you do talk about these things, there's the risk that it will hurt you somehow. You might be worried that if you talk about sexism or depression you've experienced, people will react negatively, and it could hurt your career. Especially since you might think people won't be sympathetic, or just deny it's a problem. And even if it wouldn't hurt you, it's rational to think it might.

So yep, that's why I'm proud and pleased that people like Julie are prepared to talk about sexism in science. And there's no reason that you should if you don't want to.

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