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  • Plight of the funny female

    The Atlantic - 11/19/2015

    A few years ago, Laura Mickes was teaching her regular undergraduate class on childhood psychological disorders at the University of California, San Diego. It was a weighty subject, so occasionally she would inject a sarcastic comment about her own upbringing to lighten the mood. When she collected her professor evaluations at the end of the year, she was startled by one comment in particular:

    “She’s not funny,” the student wrote.

    Mickes realized that university students didn’t seem to welcome, or even notice, the wit of many of her female colleagues. She’s not the only one. A recent graphicmade by Ben Schmidt, an assistant professor of history at Northeastern University, analyzed the words used to describe male and female professors across 14 million reviews on RateMyProfessor.com. In every single discipline, male professors were far more likely than female ones to be described as funny.

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