Female students – a ‘perk’ of the job?

Once again, in case any more proof that sexism is far from eradicated was required, a blatant example of sexual discrimination reveals itself. This September, Dr Terence Kealey from the University of Buckingham wrote in a Times Higher Education magazine piece: “there will be a girl in class who flashes her admiration… Enjoy her! She’s a perk.” He went on to write that lecturers should admire female students “daily to spice up your sex, nightly, with the wife.”

Kealey attempts to completely subvert women’s struggles to gain a place in academic circles by dismissing our academic merits, suggesting grades were achieved by flaunting curves, rather than by working hard. Although female undergraduates are sometimes encouraged to see beauty as a “perk” to use to their advantage, there is no doubt that most would prefer to get ahead by means of intelligence. The idea that a woman’s purpose in a lecture theatre is to look attractive is incredibly distressing, and one that completely disregards all students intellectual integrity.

Unsurprisingly, Kealey defended himself by claiming that the article was “satirical.” It is disturbing that such blatant sexism can be so easily dismissed. Kealey’s words are an enormous betrayal of female students across the UK, and it is to be expected that Kealey will be severely reprimanded for flaunting these outdated and offensive views.

Catherine Elms


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