Feminisation discourses appear to represent nostalgia for patriarchal patterns of participation and exclusion in higher education. It is curious why this particular melancholic formulation has gained currency in the context of higher education today, raising questions about the misogynistic impulse seeking to set a ceiling on women's current success by assuming it must have come about by disadvantaging men. This paper will raise questions about the norms, values and assumptions that underpin the binaried conceptualisation, or ‘mystic boundaries’ between women and men. This essentialised division situates women's achievements in relation to men's putative underperformance. I wish to suggest that feminisation discourses are unsatisfactory as they work with monodimensional, stable concepts of identity, ignore intersectionality, and are parochial in so far as they fail to examine gender globally, reduce gender inequalities to quantification, and treat gender as a noun, rather than as a verb or adjective. Higher education is gendered in terms of its values, norms, processes and employment regimes, even when women are in the majority as undergraduate students.
Morley, L. Misogyny posing as measurement: disrupting the feminisation crisis discourse. Contemporary Social Science (2011) 6 (2) 223-235. [DOI: 10.1080/21582041.2011.580615]