Who we are:
We are a collective of early-career feminist academics (CEFA): postgraduate research students, postdoctoral research fellows and lecturers. We are women starting or developing our careers at universities in the UK, negotiating a landscape of precarity, casualisation, intensifying workloads, and inequality. Our collective includes migrant women, disabled women, lesbians, and mothers with young children. Most of us are on insecure contracts. We are women who need union support, yet we find ourselves without it.
We believe that ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ refer to different things. ‘Sex’ refers to a biological category which cannot be changed. ‘Gender’ refers to a set of social expectations for male and female people in relation to, for example, their behaviour and appearance. ‘Gender’ is therefore not innate, changing as it does from culture to culture and through time, but a socially constructed hierarchical system that operates to naturalise and perpetuate the oppression of women.
Sex as a category is fundamental across the full spectrum of academic disciplines, such as the humanities, social and biological sciences. We need to be able to use these categories to do our jobs as academics.
It is often assumed that academics with these concerns are high-profile, and in more senior positions, with secure employment. With misogynistic ageism, these women are often dismissed as ‘out of touch’. But whilst established academics have the job security to speak out and the seniority to be heard, early-career academics do not. There are many in more precarious positions who hold similar views but remain silent or leave academia altogether. We are some of those women.
Find our open letter to Jo Grady here.
Watch this space for updates, news and resources in the near future.
An Open Letter to UCU Dear Jo Grady, We are a collective of early-career feminist academics (CEFA): postgraduate research students, postdoctoral research fellows and lecturers. We are women starting or developing our careers at universities in the UK, negotiating the landscape of precarity, casualisation, intensifying workloads, and inequality highlighted in…Keep reading
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