October 29, 2003

Gender Poll

Given the recent interest in women and the blogosphere (for two rather different approaches to this theme, see 1). the new group blog Misbehaving.net; and 2). James Joyner's Blog Chicks Pix), I'm curious about the gender breakdown of this blog's readership.

Future polls will seek to gather detailed information on political affiliation, income level, and toothpaste preferences.

Posted by Invisible Adjunct at October 29, 2003 10:23 AM

Also a sometime adjunct (on a one-year, full-time pro-rata contract, YAY!!!) in History, the Medieval kind. Obscure dissertation -- one other English-language writer on the subject. Really broad teaching fields gained through careful planning in grad school.
Votes for the socially liberal candidates, and if British would be supporting Red Ken, because Tony has sold out New Labour.
Tom's Fennel with Flouride, as a matter of fact.
Oh -- and it would be interesting to know how many readers are adjuncts ;-)

Posted by: Another Damned Medievalist at October 29, 2003 10:49 AM

oops -- that should be fluoride, shouldn't it? Caffeine reserves not yet built up.

Posted by: ADM at October 29, 2003 10:50 AM

Your poll misuses a grammatical term to elicit biological information. I selected "other" for reasons spelled out here. Cordially, SHK

Posted by: Stephen Karlson at October 29, 2003 11:19 AM

Stephen, I defy you to find a dictionary that doesn't list "sex" as a meaning for "gender." Yes, "gender" is sometimes used in a technical sense to distinguish the "grammatical" from the "biological," but in no way is that the exclusively correct use of the term.

In addition to being wrong, your need to point out the irrelevant distinction to a writer (and group of readers) who are undoubtedly well aware of it is pedantic in the least likable sense of the word.


Posted by: ogged at October 29, 2003 11:45 AM


Recent Ph.D in Modern European History, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, fallen off the turnip truck, socially, economically "liberal", uses Crest (boring!) etc...

Posted by: another darned Europeanist at October 29, 2003 12:47 PM

Ogged: Well said!

IA, I wish to subscribe to your publication and buy only such dentifrices as are recommended therein or support it with lucrative subsidies.

--A Person of Male Gender and No Political Affiliation

Posted by: language hat at October 29, 2003 12:48 PM

During a recent presentation at an academic conference, someone noted that bloggers are seen as "mostly male." I think that captures me best: mostly male.

Posted by: Alex at October 29, 2003 12:52 PM

Even if there were a significant or even consistent difference in the proper use of the terms "gender" and "sex" (and I would argue that there is only a small difference inconsistently applied along the lines SHK is claiming), it wouldn't make the slightest bit of difference here. There is a male and female biological sex, but there would also be a male and female social/cultural gender, and a male and female grammatical form used in describing respondents.

Use whatever meaning of the term you want, and you can still answer the damn question.

Posted by: PZ Myers at October 29, 2003 12:54 PM

I opine that most of the visitors to this site are probably going to be male. Thye go for PhD and don't get job, and in the frustration they view here the viewpoints of others that maybe will help tend to the new scary non-academe world. Many visitors, in fact, are probably gedraafzuikt from the onslaught of informations here but return to the cubby-hole once they are satisfied with the content.

Posted by: Bormin at October 29, 2003 01:25 PM

Gender: pushing past the postmodernists and declaring "female!"
Political Affiliation: leftist, Dennis Kucinich supporter
Income Level: below poverty level from 1970 (my birthdate) to 1998 (finished doctorate) with a brief respite as an 8th grade teacher during grad school; now in the middle/upper-middle class due to statistician spouse (but not forgetting where I came from, unlike J-Lo!)
Toothpaste: Pepsodent or anything on sale

Posted by: Cat at October 29, 2003 01:29 PM

Hm, "Cat from the Block". Did you have a big wedding (or two)?

I like baking soda toothpaste. Arm and Hammer makes it, but they immediately started putting the type of shit in that I can't stand in other toothpastes. I absolutely hate the aftertaste of all toothpastes. Baking soda doesn't taste good, but after you rinse it has a nice aftertaste.

You didn't ask about our taste in antacids (Rolaids: terrible aftertaste) or shampoo (they all smell icky to me), so I won't say a word about them. Not one word. You couldn't get my opinion out of me with a pry bar.

After rising to the lower-middle class, when I retired I went back below poverty level.

Politically: Anybody but Bush. Former ultra-leftist, when I though that my opinion would ever matter.

Posted by: at October 29, 2003 03:40 PM

And another thing! The use of "cordially" as a sign-off reeks of William F. Buckley. I regard those who deploy it with suspicion.

Male, independent, possessed of infinite wealth in a little room.

Posted by: baa at October 29, 2003 03:42 PM

Actually we spent a whopping four hundred bucks on our wedding (one total) at a local deli (they had a good patio space). The bigger the wedding, the shorter the marriage! We also felt that by hosting our own wedding, we could maintain control of the event, plus begin saving $$ for the future (rather than blowing it all on a 3-hour event).

Posted by: Cat at October 29, 2003 03:48 PM

Political affiliation: none
Income level: unemployed student
Toothpaste: whatever I swiped from my parents the last time I was home (Crest whitening with Scope, this time)

Posted by: Jane at October 29, 2003 05:19 PM

Male. First-year tenure track English prof @ small Southern liberal arts college -- mid $30s. (Mid $60s with 4th-grade teacher wife). Politically somewhere between Jonah Goldberg and Erin O'Connor.

Preferred: Colgate Total.
Current: Pepsodent

Posted by: WM3 at October 29, 2003 06:34 PM

Apparently some people do want to register their toothpaste preference. I understand. I'm partial to Crest myself.

So perhaps my next poll will do toothpaste. And then I would like to do a poll that gets at this question: "Oh -- and it would be interesting to know how many readers are adjuncts ;-)"

Posted by: Invisible Adjunct at October 29, 2003 07:42 PM

i went to a general meeting for the demutualisation of a credit union last night, all the speakers on the platform were male, all the speakers from the floor were male

males might have been a slight majority in the hall but why did they not get up and speak have they no opinions???

Posted by: meika at October 29, 2003 07:47 PM

I was going to make the same point as Stephen Karlson's above. I don't want to sound overly pedantic, but the misuse of the term "gender" to mean "sex", however widespread and commonplace, makes me cringe. It's faux-PC hypercorrection and it leaves me with no option but to vote "Other"! ;)

Posted by: Dean Yaeger at October 29, 2003 07:48 PM

Stephen and Dean,
Your objections to my use of the term "gender" have been duly noted. And since you both note that you selected the third option, let me take the opportunity to commend you for the courage to resist the binary logic. Any man can select "Male," but it takes a real man to vote "Other"...

Okay, I'm kidding, of course. I'm open to a discussion of sex/gender, but I have to say that the way you've each raised your objections says (to me, at any rate) "conversation-stopper."

Posted by: Invisible Adjunct at October 29, 2003 08:10 PM


Underemployed temp, so $1200 in a good month, $0 in a bad, $600 in a typical.

Tom's of Maine, peppermint.


Posted by: Rana at October 29, 2003 08:32 PM

I don't want to sound overly pedantic

And yet... you do! Talk about "hypercorrection." I'll bet you're the type who pretends not to understand someone's point if their usage does not meet your high standards. (And that "they" is perfectly good English, and has been during the many centuries it has been in use.)

Posted by: language hat at October 29, 2003 08:41 PM

There are fights worth picking, and there's everything else. Cringing when a poll uses "gender" instead of "sex" seems silly to me. I hope most are not that sensitive.

(I'm a boy by the way, mostly male and whatever else is in the mix)

Posted by: That darned Europeanist at October 29, 2003 08:41 PM

As long as we're exposing ourselves - tenured Associate Professor, humanities, private university, sought-after MidAtlantic city. Colgate. (Not the school; toothpaste.)

Sex, gender, and thing enjoy being: a girl.

Posted by: charlotte at October 29, 2003 09:09 PM

This is my first blog posting ever. I don't know if it will be accepted since i didn't put an email address. I don't have one that doesn't reveal my real name and employer.

I am a female untenured assistant professor at a large university in the midwest. Social sciences. I don't know what kind of toothpaste I have--it's a big tube that was on sale and has lasted a year. It's red.

Posted by: Gata at October 29, 2003 10:05 PM

Female, assistant professor of history at a research university in the midwest. I adjuncted for two years before landing on the tenure track. Why I read this blog compulsively: survivor's guilt, I think.

And Colgate in a tube, not the newfangled bottles.

Posted by: wendy at October 29, 2003 10:23 PM

#11 was me

Posted by: Zizka at October 29, 2003 11:24 PM

sex: female gender: female
soon to be laid off again adjunct
political affiliation: democrat when i have to be
toothpaste: whatever's on coupon at walgreens, because
income level: destitute

Posted by: mean regression at October 29, 2003 11:28 PM

Male, knowledge studies docent, like Feynmann I don't believe in teeth-brushing, perfect (-10,-10) on the political compass, 7K/year.

Posted by: Chun the Unavoidable at October 30, 2003 05:37 AM

Politcal compass? What, with Republican on one axis and Democrat on the perpendicular axis, or some other coordinate system?

Gender and sex: sometimes I look up from my textbooks and God reminds me just how good it is to be a man

Income: grad student --> I study at a Starbucks, but only buy tea (venti black tea, $2.11, $0.54 refills!)

Political preference: using x for repub, y for demo, in the complex plane I'm somewhere around 35 degrees from x-axis

Toothpaste preference: COlgate 2-in-1

Posted by: Aramis Martinez at October 30, 2003 06:39 AM

When I hear "venti," I can't help but rehearse one of jsm's lines about the stupidity of using the Italian word for "twenty" to describe an avoirdupois measure.

If you must go to Starbuck's (as I sometimes do because the non-corporate cafes tend to suck where I live), always order "small," "medium," or "large." Everytime you grimace and say "tall" or "grande," baby Jesus cries one more tear.

Posted by: Chun the Unavoidable at October 30, 2003 08:05 AM

Sex: XY

Income: 14.5K

Politics: Libertarian sliding toward anarchist
everytime the Libertarian Party does something stupid. Which is often.

I'm an interloper, having no connection with any institution of higher education since living at a large state school as the progeny of a doctoral student in my formative years. This probably goes a long way toward explaining why I dropped out of community college at 16 to live on a boat.

Posted by: E. Naeher at October 30, 2003 09:16 AM

Product/brand manager at a consumer products company, currently researching new toothpaste which will be targetted to academics.

Posted by: Anonymous at October 30, 2003 09:59 AM

Male, 35

Currently, and for the past eight years, a trucking company employee operating a forklift, slinging tires, and packing/loading boxes for $15 an hour; have been teaching as an adjunct history instructor for the last three years. Only two classes a semester along with the aforementioned trucking position (I prefer to eat well rather than teach 4 or 5 classes a semester for peanuts)

Posted by: at October 30, 2003 11:26 AM

Female; 32; asst. prof nearing tenure review; previously, one year as a contract lecturer (paid moderately well) and one year copyediting (paid moderately); income adequate for this part of the world; will use whatever toothpaste is on sale this week.

Posted by: Miriam at October 30, 2003 11:46 AM


Researcher at a think tank.

$71,000 a year (and people wonder why I left academia!).

Colgate 'cause I think it's delicious (but I was a Crest child).

I'm the most awful age a woman or man can be: 39 and yes, I'm dreading my birthday next May.

Hopeful and optimistic liberal living in DC (where I know no Republicans altho' my brother complains that there are Republican riffraff to be found thro'out this town).

Posted by: Hana at October 30, 2003 01:09 PM

Oh! I forgot to add my favorite antacid and I feel really strongly about this! I love, with a deep and abiding passion, Maalox. I wish that they would market it as a candy (when I need to take it, I'm often feeling too ill to really enjoy it and it's fantastic, super! They've marketed lots of new kinds but I say stick with the original. Yum!).

And as for why I read this blog, I think survivor's guilt (I was really lucky and never worked as an adjunct---but I think it was just luck) is a part of it but it's also an interesting one.

Posted by: Hana at October 30, 2003 01:20 PM

sex/gender: male, although Ms. Hathaway and I prefer to queer our gender roles as much as possible -- an increasingly difficult task during football season.

Politics: independent pacifist. and no, if you ask to punch me, i will not accede to your request. vehemently.

income: severely lacking. a small fraction of the amount given in the previous post. which is why i can no longer afford to live in the same metro area.

why: gap year, post MA. pre PhD. because i just love to hear about the impending misery of grad school.

toothpaste: I have sensitive teeth, so Sensodyne. Although right now i have a tube of Crest Whitening I got on sale, with a coupon. Whitening toothpaste hurts. every. time.

Posted by: shkspr at October 30, 2003 02:17 PM

female, green/democrat/or something, tom's of maine (minty with baking soda), in the middle 20th percentile of income for my state, administrative staff at a community college (with no particular acadmic background saving having a BA in English, which is why I find all this so fascinating. a glimpse into the world on the other side of the wall, as it were.)

Posted by: Elaine at October 30, 2003 02:19 PM

Hana: Don't worry about the 40s; they're much better than the 30s as far as I'm concerned.

Gata: Welcome to Blogovia!

Oh, and I should add that while awaiting dentifrice suggestions from IA, I remain a Crest man. (No mint.) Income closer to Hana's than anyone else's, and I second her relief at leaving academia.

Posted by: language hat at October 30, 2003 03:14 PM


Why am I here?: I wish this forum had been available to me a few years ago when I was making my own transition. The subject is still very interesting.

Income: umm, household, over $200k. But I still use Pepsodent -- $10/yr savings over the next 50 is $500!

Politics: moderate libertarian. I was the same during my PhD and it did increase my alienation.

Posted by: JT at October 30, 2003 03:30 PM

Bit of a leftie (on the European scale), Colgate, male, engineer, researcher.

Apologies if there is anyone else here who posts as polychrome; I looked, but can't claim to have done so in depth.

Posted by: polychrome at October 30, 2003 03:37 PM

"Oh, and I should add that while awaiting dentifrice suggestions from IA, I remain a Crest man."

Customers who bought Crest also bought...You will receive a "personalized" recommendation based on a computerized analysis of your income, zip code, and online purchasing habits. Please expect 4 to 6 weeks for delivery.

Posted by: Invisible Adjunct at October 30, 2003 03:53 PM

IA doesn't recommend brushing with doughnut glaze?

Posted by: ogged at October 30, 2003 04:10 PM

Incidentally, all the minty anti-odor shit in toothpaste that I hate to put in my mouth works really well to wash your hands with if you've been chopping garlic or cleaning a drain. I don't want to be unfair to the toothpaste world.

Posted by: Zizka at October 30, 2003 08:07 PM

I had no idea there was such an interest in toothpaste. Perhaps I should do more on this theme?

Ogged, I would need to know more about your income, zip code and online purchasing habits before offering you a "personalized" recommendation. Please expect 4 to 6 weeks for processing.

Posted by: Invisible Adjunct at October 30, 2003 08:30 PM

What is my income's zip code? If found, please call...

Posted by: ogged at October 30, 2003 09:13 PM

*laugh* Well, see, we have the power to change our toothpaste preferences, if not the academic system.

Female, tenure-track at Midwestern research university, prefer not to discuss income unless in anonymous poll but well-off enough to buy preferred brand of toothpaste at will -- currently Crest Total Whitening, because I am a sucker for toothpastes that promise to do Absolutely Everything. Not unlike my job description, really. ;)

Posted by: Naomi Chana at November 3, 2003 08:20 PM

I am a man. I am old enough to be your father.

I believe that all political theories are more or less junk. With that premise, You would categorize me as an extreme right winger. I support the Likud.

My income level is comfortably middle class in my neck of the woods.

I like mint Close-up or AIM mint.

As I final note I agree with the posters above who are annoyed by the use of "gender" when "sex" is meant. When I first encountered this infelicity, I thought it was being done out of a pseudo-Victorian prissiness, then I learned that it was homage to the latest intellectual fashion from Paris. That caused me to get my back up, I will not conceed on this point and I frequently edit forms.

The corect translation of the Tetragramaton is LORD, as explained by Maimonides, and the correct translation of melech is King not Ruler or Soverign.

I also find the use of the third person plural instead of the third person masculine just plain clunky.

"I'll bet you're the type who pretends not to understand someone's point if their usage does not meet your high standards."

should be:

"I'll bet you're the type who pretends not to understand someone's point if his usage does not meet your high standards."

As a taxpayer I wonder why we support departments of Linguistics

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 5, 2003 03:52 PM