Allies vs. role models

Even when the people around you are interested in stamping out oppression, if they haven’t experienced it or spent much time listening to the people they’re interested in helping, they often can’t help you. A particularly funny example from gilly‘s comment over on Tenure She Wrote.

I asked my (male) PhD adviser how I should dress/pack before our first conference together, expecting a response along the lines of “casual” or “business casual,” and he was confused by my question. “Just wear clothes,” he said. Which, I have to admit, is sound advice, but really wasn’t very helpful.