The unique and excellent blogspot Feminine Voices in Archaeology has moved its home base over to WordPress. This is happy news indeed for me, and it will be for you too. Their old blog service was so cantankerous that I was unable to succeed in leaving a single comment on a main post, despite trying very hard on several different occasions across a 6-month period. It is my understanding that others have had the same trouble. Those days are over now. WordPress is like a breath of fresh air, and I was able to post a comment easy as pie at Feminine Voices in Archaeology last night. It was a breeze!!! Therefore, I hope that you will visit their new blogspot at the following URL:
The following is the salient quote from the “About” section of their blog:
“Despite the growth and success of feminist archaeology, women in archaeology still face issues not necessarily encountered by their male counterparts in the 21st Century. Legacies of past discrimination, particularly the perceived and/or actual demands of family life, have resulted in disproportionate fewer women working at research institutions in many disciplines, including archaeology. This disturbing trend has profound implications for not only the direction of current archaeological research, but also the training of future scholars.
This blog is a forum for advocating for women archaeologists so that we can move beyond legacies of inequity to a future that strengthens a feminine voice in archaeology and a feminist perspective. We contend that the very practice of archaeology is skewed towards a masculine and hierarchical perspective that excludes consensus building and “minority opinions” when interpreting the past. We argue that the feminine voice brings unique and necessary elements to the discipline of archaeology, through values such as mentoring and collaboration. We also clarify that a feminist perspective is not limited to any one gender, class, race, ethnicity or sexuality. Rather a feminist perspective is a radical point of view; one that recognizes that women’s success professionally and personally is integrally tied to larger socio-political movements dedicated to the eradication of homophobia, racism, and androcentrism.
Our hope is to solicit advice, perspectives, and experiences from all realms of the archaeological profession- including tenure-track and adjunct faculty, CRM professionals, and those not currently employed or underemployed. The ultimate goal of the blog is to shift the realities of power experienced in the daily lives of women archaeologists by discussing, inventing and offering solutions to the challenges of professional life.”
The Archaeology in Tennessee blog is now and plans to remain a strong advocate for Feminine Voices in Archaeology and all of the women archaeologists who own and operate this blog. It has 158 regular followers now, which means that every time a new primary post is made to the blog, all 158 people get a courtesy e-mail notification of the posting.
A British colleague of mine who specializes in archaeology and the media tells me that only about 10 percent or less of archaeology blog visitors actually leave comments on a post they read or use the comments feature to have real back and forth discussions with blog owners and other readers about the posted topics. This has been our experience here at the Archaeology in Tennessee blog, and it appears to also be the case at the feminine voices blog. We get scads of visitors and views, but most of the folks who visit and view behave like mindless zombies in an episode of The Walking Dead. If archaeology blogs were graduate seminars in archaeological method and theory, most of you would get your letter grade marked down to a “C” for lack of classroom participation. One of the things I like about the Feminine Voices in Archaeology blog is that the primary posters and those few who comment on posts are not afraid to “tell it like it is” about how women are often mistreated in American archaeology. We can all continue to pretend that nothing is wrong in the halls of archaeology, but we all know that is a damned lie as we send former students out to work in backbreaking field jobs for pay that would barely support a church mouse, much less a household and a family. The whole concept of a “household” in any traditional sense is a pipe dream for many people working in CRM. All is not well in American archaeology, and it really never has been. However, nothing will ever change as long as people sit huddled in their little puddles of “professional fear” and keep their mouths shut like good little zombies. A blog like Feminine Voices in Archaeology gives you a chance to air and discuss these issues in a nonjudgmental and safe atmosphere. Furthermore, on WordPress blogs, you are not required to use your actual name in commenting on a post. You can use a fictitious name like “Rubber-handled Trowel.” So, give it a try. You might just make the world a better place. Change starts with one raised voice.