So I might be exiting a collaboration to protect my postdoc and my own peace of mind. It’s a collaboration of about ten people across several institutions. It came together based on joint interests, but the postdoc and I will quit as soon as the current paper is accepted. I have my own funding (thank gourd). My postdoc is a capable woman and no shrinking violet, but she gets piled on whenever I don’t attend collaboration meetings, and pretty much even when I do, although to a lesser extent because I take some of the heat and can also deescalate some. Plus, the most aggressive people are probably infinitesimally less aggressive when I am there; I don’t allow them to interrupt me as she does out deference, and I talk over them if they talk over me. Still, after every meeting I am winded and exhausted, like I’ve just run a few miles.
It’s not a fun environment. Things have gotten to the point of no return upon the joining of a new junior faculty (male) who, perhaps due to his cultural background, seems particularly hostile toward my postdoc and, to a lesser extent, me.
And I am so fucking tired having to handle assholes in kid gloves.
I pulled out of a grant-review panel a few months ago when I found out I would again serve with a combative jerk with whom I had promised myself I would never serve again.
I will pull out of a collaboration because I don’t want my postdoc dreading every meeting, feeling rattled each time she attends, and I don’t need to be walking into a meeting with a machete to cut through the bullshit flying from every direction.
The thing is, most of the men in the meetings are completely silent. Do they not see what’s happening? Do they think the uppity women deserve it? Do they not wanna say something to deescalate these clearly tense and uncomfortable exchanges? Do they not notice anything? How the hell are people so oblivious? They probably just don’t care.
And, of course, it will be “women are too difficult to work with” again. 🙄
Fuck this, seriously. Thank fuck I am not dependent on them for the funds and can just walk away.