Research Fridays @ Intersections of Gender: Misogyny and Abuse in the Academic Library Workplace

26 October 2021



Research Fridays @ Intersections of Gender presents Misogyny and Abuse in the Academic Library Workplace with Carolyn Carpan, moderated by Nat Hurley, on November 5 @ 12:15 P.M. MST.


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In an autoethnographic presentation, I reflect on the relationship between misogyny and abuse I have experienced in academic library workplaces during my twenty-year career as a practicing librarian, manager, and leader. Misogyny is defined as the hatred of women, which Kate Manne (2018) argues is manifested by individuals, collective activity, and structural mechanisms. Women and men are perpetrators of workplace misogyny and abuse, which is intended to silence, control, and disempower women.

In my experience, misogyny is present in library workplaces. It looks like bullying, mobbing, and threats of physical violence. Bullying includes verbal abuse intended to humiliate, intimidate, or threaten the bullying target and sabotage their work (Workplace Bullying Institute). Mobbing happens when multiple colleagues bully the same person, as happened to me in organizations where colleagues acted together to abuse me. Bullying and mobbing included physical threats of violence against me.

Carolyn Carpan has Masters degrees in Women's Studies and Library and Information Studies. She has worked as an academic librarian for more than 20 years in the United States and Canada. She is the author of several books and articles, including the best-selling reference book Rocked by Romance, about young adult romance fiction, and Sisters, Schoolgirls and Sleuths: Girls Series Books in America.