No, this isn’t a Clickhole story; if you’re a white man in Stephanie McKellop’s history class, you might be called out, but you probably won’t be called on.
McKellop, a graduate instructor at the University of Pennsylvania who describes herself as a “queer disabled feminist,” recently tweeted, “I will always call on my Black women students first. Other POC get second tier priority. WW [white women] come next. And, if I have to, white men.” McKellop eventually deleted the tweet, but not before the internet immortalized it.
Bret Weinstein, the former Evergreen State College professor who was hounded by student-activists for criticizing their protest tactics, described McKellop’s teaching method as “racism,” and “vile.” The usual conservative news sites have piled on.
Inside Higher Ed ran a news story suggesting that McKellop’s teaching method isn’t exactly discrimination—it’s “progressive stacking,” a widely accepted teaching tool:
Jessie Daniels, a professor of sociology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, said progressive stacking has been around at least since she was in graduate school in the 1990s. She still uses it informally, to right her own tendency to call on men more frequently than women.
“If I have a class of 40 students, since Hunter is predominantly young women, I may have four or five young men in class,” Daniels said. “There’s still implicit bias, where we value men’s voices more than women’s voices, or men’s voices are deeper and carry more in a class. So I’m always trying to overcome my own bias to pick on men in class more than the women.”
As to whether purposely asking a woman to answer a question over a man was a kind of discrimination, Daniels said, “That gets it the wrong way around. This is a way of dealing with discrimination that we as professors can introduce into the classroom. It’s a good strategy, if you can do it.”