Deirdre McCloskey: "It’s Good to be a Don if You’re Going to Be a Deirdre: Gender Crossing in Academia"
It’s Rainbow Week in Trinity. This year there has been a particular focus from the LGBT Society on issues affecting trans* people and the debate in the Hist is on the motion, “THB the Interests of the Transgender Community are Best Served Under the LGBT Banner”. Because of their very small numbers, the social and legal obstacles they face do not get much focus.
This brought to mind on of the those whose work I’ve read in the past year for my thesis. Deirdre McCloskey is Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication at University of Illinois at Chicago and Professor of Economic History,Gothenburg University, Sweden, and has started a six-volume work on the history of bourgeois thought.
In this talk to the Oxford Libertarian Society, she talks here of how she knew at 11 that she wanted to be a girl, but didn’t transition until age 53. Talking of the social difficulties, she says it was was much easier in her particular profession than it would be in wider society, but also of how the world is becoming more open in these matter. As she says early on in this piece, “It’s a matter of a free choice in a free society; there’s nothing else involved”.
She really is fascinating to read or listen to, whether discussing economics, history of intellectual thought, or gender in today’s society.
On the subject, I also came across this manual of style this morning, a useful guide to understanding trans* people better.
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