May 26th, 2015
Adjuncting, as we know, is a constant struggle for anyone who does it full time. For women especially, wage theft, labor exploitation, institutional sexism and parenting issues intersect to affect their working conditions—and, by extension, their students’ learning conditions.
Consider this, from Clare Dale: “I’ve been told that, as a woman, it is often assumed I am bringing in a second income. This is archaic and wrong.”
Or this, from Susan Gill: “Could the fact that imposter syndrome disproportionately affects female academics mean they are more likely to accept precarious conditions?”
A former adjunct remembers something similar to Clare’s experience: her department assumed that, as a wife and parent, she wouldn’t want full-time work. (We’d love to hear from any men who’ve experienced something similar, if there are any.) Two other adjunct mothers are also the breadwinners, which is nearly impossible on their salaries without outside assistance—especially during the summer, when they might not be paid.