1. Zugzwang
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    27 Feb '16 01:35
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/iran-blog/2015/mar/16/iranian-professor-qasem-exirifard-loses-job-due-to-feminine-voice

    "Iranian professor loses job due to 'feminine' voice"

    "A top physics professor in Iran has lost his job because he was told he
    has a feminine voice that prevents him from effectively communicating
    with his university students.

    Qasem Exirifard (age 40, who earned his PhD in physics in Italy) has
    been dismissed because his voice is high-pitched, which is considered
    too feminine. (Would it have been considered worse if he were a woman?)
    In desperation, he even considered having surgery on his vocal cords,
    but the doctor refused to do an unnecessary operation on his healthy vocal cords.
    By the way, some of his former students are women.

    My advice would to be try voice therapy. It's possible to train one's voice
    to speak with a lower pitch. My next advice would to be to emigrate.
  2. Joined
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    27 Feb '16 08:27
    I wonder; could a female professor be dismissed for having a 'masculine voice'?
  3. Cape Town
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    27 Feb '16 09:06
    He wasn't dismissed, his contract was not renewed, not quite the same thing.
    I do agree that the grounds given were unreasonable and that he should consider emigrating if he can (its not easy).
    I do think public speakers including lecturers should do what they can to improve their oration and that a University has the right to choose its lecturers based in part on the quality of their speaking ability, but I am not convinced that a 'feminine voice' is necessarily an impediment to clear speech. I have had lecturers and teachers who spoke too quietly, but one can correct that with a PA system. (or getting the class to be a bit quieter).
  4. Germany
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    27 Feb '16 09:55
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/iran-blog/2015/mar/16/iranian-professor-qasem-exirifard-loses-job-due-to-feminine-voice

    "Iranian professor loses job due to 'feminine' voice"

    "A top physics professor in Iran has lost his job because he was told he
    has a feminine voice that prevents him from effectively communicating
    with his university students.
    ...[text shortened]... ible to train one's voice
    to speak with a lower pitch. My next advice would to be to emigrate.
    My advice for him would be to find a postdoc/lecturer position in Europe.
  5. Subscribersonhouse
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    27 Feb '16 11:44
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/iran-blog/2015/mar/16/iranian-professor-qasem-exirifard-loses-job-due-to-feminine-voice

    "Iranian professor loses job due to 'feminine' voice"

    "A top physics professor in Iran has lost his job because he was told he
    has a feminine voice that prevents him from effectively communicating
    with his university students.
    ...[text shortened]... ible to train one's voice
    to speak with a lower pitch. My next advice would to be to emigrate.
    It seems 40 must be a few years after the Phd, so why now? He has presumably been teaching there for years. It might be a ploy to get rid of him for some other reason, not towing the party line or some such.
  6. Germany
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    27 Feb '16 13:32
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    It seems 40 must be a few years after the Phd, so why now? He has presumably been teaching there for years. It might be a ploy to get rid of him for some other reason, not towing the party line or some such.
    I don't know much about Iran, but in the West one typically does not obtain a physics professorship (which in Western academia is always a permanent position) or lectureship position until reaching the late 30s.
  7. The Catbird's Seat
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    27 Feb '16 17:02
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I don't know much about Iran, but in the West one typically does not obtain a physics professorship (which in Western academia is always a permanent position) or lectureship position until reaching the late 30s.
    I suspect as sonhouse has, that there is more to this than meets the eye.
  8. Cape Town
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    27 Feb '16 18:44
    Originally posted by normbenign
    I suspect as sonhouse has, that there is more to this than meets the eye.
    Quite likely so, but the point is that in a more reasonable society he might have a chance of taking it to court. In Iran he's probably better off just accepting it and finding another job.
  9. Zugzwang
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    27 Feb '16 19:08
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    He wasn't dismissed, his contract was not renewed, not quite the same thing.
    I do agree that the grounds given were unreasonable and that he should consider emigrating if he can (its not easy).
    I do think public speakers including lecturers should do what they can to improve their oration and that a University has the right to choose its lecturers based ...[text shortened]... quietly, but one can correct that with a PA system. (or getting the class to be a bit quieter).
    Stephen Hawking has long been unable to speak with his own natural voice.

    I have heard (on YouTube) Qasem Exirifard speak (in Farsi). His 'high-pitched' voice
    sounds soft-spoken and more boyish than 'feminine', to my ear, and not lacking in clarity.
    He has claimed that none of his students has ever complained about his speaking skills.
  10. Zugzwang
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    27 Feb '16 19:124 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    It seems 40 must be a few years after the Phd, so why now? He has presumably been teaching there for years.
    It might be a ploy to get rid of him for some other reason, not towing the party line or some such.
    "He (Qasem Exirifard) has presumably been teaching there for years."
    --Sonhouse

    FALSE. Sonhouse again has failed to read and comprehend my cited article.
    Qasem Exirifard began teaching (on a one year contract) there in February 2014.
    His contract was not renewed in February 2015. This fact was mentioned in the article.

    I don't know of any evidence that Qasem Exirifard was politically active against Iran's government.
    If he was, then some critics of Iran's government probably would have mentioned that by now.

    It would be nice if Sonhouse could learn how to read and comprehend rather than hastening
    to jump to conclusions that often seem based on his many ignorant stereotypes.
  11. Zugzwang
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    27 Feb '16 21:262 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead to Normbenign
    Quite likely so, but the point is that in a more reasonable society he might have a chance of taking it to court.
    In Iran he's probably better off just accepting it and finding another job.
    "...in a more reasonable society..."
    --Twhitehead

    In Western societies, women have been denied promotion to management positions
    because their feminine voices are not considered 'authoritative' enough for leadership.
    And many, if not most, Western men don't seem to regard that discrimination as unreasonable.
  12. Zugzwang
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    27 Feb '16 21:401 edit
    Originally posted by humy
    I wonder; could a female professor be dismissed for having a 'masculine voice'?
    On account of their 'too feminine' voices, women continue to face prejudice in the workplace.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2012/12/why-we-prefer-masculine-voices-even-in-women/266350/

    "Why We Prefer Masculine Voices (Even in Women)"
    --Megan Garber (18 December 2012)

    "Want to lead like a boss? Then speak like a man. And by that I mean literally *speak like a man*."
    --Megan Garber

    Studies have found that women with more 'masculine voices' tend to be perceived as more
    able and authoritative leaders, giving them an advantage in competing for such jobs.
  13. Cape Town
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    27 Feb '16 21:53
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    In Western societies, women have been denied promotion to management positions
    because their feminine voices are not considered 'authoritative' enough for leadership.
    And quite often they have made a fuss about it without fear. I suspect that in Iran there is more to be afraid of. But then I do not know a lot about Iran and it may not be as bad as the media makes it out to be.
  14. Zugzwang
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    27 Feb '16 22:401 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    And quite often they have made a fuss about it without fear. I suspect that in Iran there is more to be afraid of.
    But then I do not know a lot about Iran and it may not be as bad as the media makes it out to be.
    In fact, Qasem Exirifard has not kept silent out of fear. He has complained to a 'reformist
    newspaper' in Iran (which published his complaint) about his situation. Some of his
    former colleagues and students evidently have declared their public support for him.
    There's an internet petition (in Farsi and English) for his supporters to sign.
    As far as I know, Qasem Exirifard has not suffered any worse consequences so far
    than not having his contract renewed. He has not been beaten up or sent to prison.

    In Western societies today, there are many women who don't dare to complain about
    sexism (whether discrimination in employment or promotion or sexual harassment) in
    the workplace because they are afraid of retaliation by powerful men.
  15. Subscribersonhouse
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    28 Feb '16 14:361 edit
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    In fact, Qasem Exirifard has not kept silent out of fear. He has complained to a 'reformist
    newspaper' in Iran (which published his complaint) about his situation. Some of his
    former colleagues and students evidently have declared their public support for him.
    There's an internet petition (in Farsi and English) for his supporters to sign.
    As far as ...[text shortened]... or sexual harassment) in
    the workplace because they are afraid of retaliation by powerful men.
    He could buy a voice transformer, make him sound like Schwarzenegger....."I'll be back'....
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