Recently blogged about gender and success in the context of my friend Vali’s movie about Tupperware ladies being shown at the trendy Ex-Centris movie theater. This movie is now being broadcast on both cable and network television, in French and English. Vali’s is a successful story, whether or not she realizes it.
Gender and success are also associated in what is commonly called the “impostor syndrome” (also spelled “imposter syndrome,” henceforth “IS”).
People in different professions such as teachers, people in the social sciences, people in academia, actresses and actors, may all have imposter feelings. It was originally associated with women but recent research indicated that men suffer in similar numbers.
This phenomenon affects achievers and successful people of either gender but the original 1978 study was done by women with women as a target group. As is often the case (for instance, in “hedging” speech patterns), it seems that academics (both men and women) behave in a way reminiscent of socially mobile women.
There surely are research papers on the parallels between academia and gender in relation to IS. But IS is felt in daily life, which academics tend to keep secret.
As with the gender revolution a while ago, the time for academics to speak out is now.