May 18, 2017
A University of Hawaii professor recently claimed that universities should “stop hiring white cis men” until “the problem goes away.”
In a recent American Mathematical Society blog post—unsubtly titled “Get Out The Way”—University of Hawaii at Manoa “temporary assistant professor” of mathematics Piper Harron argues that white, cisgender males should immediately resign from their positions because “actual solutions require women of color and trans people.”
“Not to alarm you, but I probably want you to quit your job, or at least take a demotion,” Harron begins her manifesto. “If you are a white cis man you almost certainly should resign from your position of power. That’s right, please quit.”
At the very least, Harron suggests, members of the “white cis” demographic should, “as a first step,” resign from their “hiring committee, [their] curriculum committee, and make sure [they’re] replaced by a woman of color or trans person.”
She then goes on to assert that the only real solutions (to which problems, she does not specify) “require women of color and trans people,” clarifying that she means to exclude “white cis women” from that category.
“Having white cis women run the world is no kind of solution,” she declares, providing an unattributed graph purporting to show that 53 percent of white women voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
In an effort to strengthen her case, Harron launches into a digression on how the traditional family structure is partly to blame for society’s inequalities, noting that “most of us have seen families where one person was allowed to be more human than the other, but because everyone was IN LOVE people had warm fuzzy feelings about the inequality.”
She then asks what can be done “when every role model, when every concept you have, is steeped in sexism,” but says she has no relationship advice to offer, boasting that she and her husband “are both exceptionally reasonable and good-intentioned people who think sexism is bovine poop.”
Harron has no shortage of suggestions for universities, though, outlining the various ways that she would like administrators to subordinate all other concerns to the goal of diversifying their faculties.
“Stop hiring white cis men (except as needed to get/retain people who are not white cis men) until the problem goes away,” she instructs university officials, adding accusatorily that “if you think this is a bad or un-serious idea, your sexism/racism/transphobia is showing.”
According to Harron, those serving on hiring committees should “think long and hard” before hiring even a “stellar white male applicant,” contending that a faculty member’s actual output is less important than their intangible contributions to the school community.
“When you hire a non-marginalized person, you are not just supporting this one applicant whom you like, you are rewarding a person who has been rewarded his whole life,” she writes. “You are justifying the system that makes his application look so good. You are not innocent.”
Harron concludes her post by assuring readers that “this is not about shame or guilt” because “those things are useless,” but is rather about “shifting perspective,” reiterating that while she knows that most white people won’t actually quit their jobs, she wants them to “understand” that they should.
“Not to alarm you, but statistically speaking you are the problem. Your very presence,” she tells her cis white readers. “I can’t tell you what is the best strategy for you to stop blocking my path. I can just ask that you please get out of my way.”
Campus Reform reached out to Harron for comment on the post, and is currently awaiting a response, though she did briefly address criticisms on social media.
“The terrible people are coming out of the woodwork to tell me how awful (‘racist’ and ‘sexist’) I am for writing this post,” she laments in a Facebook post, then invites those who don’t find her arguments to be “trash” to leave comments.
This article was posted: Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 6:29 am