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Episode 2.23: #ImmodestWomen

Before we get into this week’s topic, I want to make sure you all know that there is an active struggle at the Saskatchewan Legislature right now as Camp: Justice For Our Stolen Children fights to stay in place despite the police attempting to dismantle them. Please read and share articles about this and, if you’re in Saskatchewan, do everything you can to make sure your government knows you support the camp.

This week I’m tackling a timely Twitter topic (ALLITERATION!): the #ImmodestWomen campaign that has been sweeping academic social media as women with PhDs all change their handles to Dr. in solidarity with Dr. Fern Riddell. I’m thinking about what it means for women to claim authority, why the equation of expertise with university credentials makes me a bit squeamish, and why I suspect there’s something particularly white about this form of activism. And now, some links!

  • Start by reading Dr. Riddell’s own reflection on these events and then read some othermedia coverage if you like.
  • Here’s the study about men being less likely to acknowledge women’s credentials.
  • I mentioned my friend Alyssa being interviewed for a great piece on open access publishing, and here it is!
  • Finally, here’s a link to the entirety of Dr. Angela Davis’s “Black Women and the Academy” which, as I mentioned in the episode, offers an important counterpoint to doubling down on expertise and credentials as a feminist intervention into the politics of the university. Read it!


The podcast theme song is “Mesh Shirt” by Mom Jeans off their album “Chub Rub.” Listen to the whole album here or learn more about them here. Follow me @hkpmcgregor, follow Kaarina @kaarinasaurus, and tweet about the podcast using #SecretFeministAgenda.

Secret Feminist Agenda is recorded on the traditional and unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.