Endless images of all-male academic and business panels highlight the problem of men dominating the conversation
Most of us have attended a talk or panel where every single speaker was male. Now, the Congrats! You Have an All-Male Panel Tumblr is brilliantly shaming that kind of all-too-common sexism by posting images of, well, all-male panels.
The Tumblr was started in February 2015 by Finnish feminist researcher and artist Dr. Saara Särmä, 40, who conducted her dissertation on Internet parody images and memes. The title of her dissertation was “Junk Feminism and Nuclear Wannabes – Collaging Parodies of Iran and North Korea.” (Yes, you read that correctly.)
“As a feminist, I’ve been noticing these issues for a very long time, but having worked with visual material and humorous images in my dissertation, I thought I could do something visual as well,” Särmä tells TIME. In particular, Särmä witnessed what she says is the marginalization of women in academia, claiming that some of her colleagues were passed over or outright dismissed as serious thinkers because of their gender.
The question all fans of her Tumblr are asking, though: Why the David Hasselhoff stamp on every image?
“The Hoff is just simply Hoffsome,” Särmä says. “As a kid who grew up in the 80s watching the Knight Rider, I have a fondness for the Hoff, also he’s the epitome of a white masculinity, isn’t he?”
On a serious note, Särmä hopes that her collection of images will help highlight the prevailing problem of men dominating the conversation.
“I think women’s expertise is often not simply recognized. It is somehow easier to see a white middle-aged (or older) man in your mind when you think of an expert,” Särmä added. “Academia has been white men’s world long enough, it’s time for a change.”