Hi, everyone. I’m Maisie and I’m this year’s KCL Women and Politics Society’s Podcast Officer.
I’m delighted to introduce our podcast WeRise, the name chosen by lovely Monica Richards and I’m really excited for this episode with Dr. Aggie Hirst relating to our themes on women in academia and women in security and conflict.
Dr. Aggie Hirst is a senior Lecturer in international relations theory and Methods in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. The research situated in the fields of international political theory and critical military study. She is principal investigator on a Leave Home Trust and British Academy funded research project from the US military’s use of war games and simulations for teaching and training purposes. Currently completing her second book, The Politics of Play War Gaming with the US Military, which explores the phenomenon of play and immersion, arguing that the flow state generated by gaming is being used to instill doctrine and cultivate mental and physical muscle memory in service members. She has recently published articles with Review of International Studies, critical military studies, and international political sociology on play video games and the war games Renaissance. And she has recently discussed her research at the University of St. Andrews for the Visualizing Wall Project. She’s also a lead co author of the new IR Theory textbook with Oxford University Crest and is the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion lead for the Department of War Studies. I hope you enjoy the conversation.
Thank you for being the first guest on the podcast. I really appreciate you giving up your time to be here. It’s brilliant to be here. Thank you so much for the invitation. I’m delighted to be talking to youabout these various questions you’ve posed around women in IR and aspects of my research and my interest in feminist theory. So thanks for the invitation. I hope I’m able to offer some useful insights. I’m sure you will just kind of kick off the first question.
So would you say that like in academic institutions, universities, in particular, international relations and like the field of war studies, would you say that that’s still viewed as quite male centered and quite male dominated? Do you think there’s a lot of female erasurethat kind of goes on? What are your thoughts on that? I think it’s a fascinating question, and it’s one of those things that the more you look for it, the more that you tend to find. So I’ve broken down my thoughts into a few different categories. The first, I think most broadly, perhaps, is the question of representation, how many women there are actually in the field of academics? One survey recently, a Trip survey indicated that over in the US women make up a little over 30% of all international relations scholars and men are still nearly at 70%. Many universities now are seeking to reduce this hiring gap and to hire more women. But the gap persists. Then it’s most acute, actually at the most senior levels, and that’s where we see the biggest distinction oftentimes, but there are many other kinds of erasures or marginalizations that I think also persist.
One example, I think, is what we call the gender citation gap. There have been some interesting studies recently that show there is quite a big difference between the extent to which work by women get cited by other scholars. In contrast to men. One study quite recently showed the surveys around 3000 articles published in IR between the late 80s and mid 2000s, and it showed that articles written by men, on average, have 4.8 more citations than those written by women. So right at the beginning, who you are as an author has quite a big impact on the extent to which your work is actually out there in the field and gets drawn upon. Also other gaps, too. Another interesting study was done at the LSE a few years ago, looking at the curriculum that we have in IR and the reading lists in particular that circulate. One study, as I say at the LSE, showed that actually across all of the IR modules at that time, women authors made up only 20% of the text that students were reading, and in contrast, men were, of course, the other 80% you see persisting in the UK and elsewhere. Of course, what we call the gender pay gaps that women are paid less in comparable academic jobs. The UK, I understand, currently has around the highest level of this in Europe. It’s about 15%, and it was about 15% in 2019. Now again, this is being addressed, and some institutions are actually trying to redress the balance and give women the kind of paybump they deserve. But the gap, as I say, does still exist. So those are some of the kind of more structural questions that exist in the sector. More specifically, I think when we think about the academic field of international relations, we can’t really separate the theories that we use and the concepts that we use from the kind of material realities out there. And so for my money, I think we’d have to look not just at who is being hired and how much they’re being paid and so on, but also the kinds of theories and the kinds of academic methods that we use. For some in the mainstream, feminist methods and feminist theory is becoming kind of embraced. But there are still large swathes of the international relations mainstream that don’t really think about gender. They don’t really engage in feminist theory all that much. Some still see it, particularly those who adhere to realistic options are not really the core business of the field, as those of you listening to do IR will know the real estate. One of the kind of core traditional theories of the field tends to really focus on the state as the core actor, and in so doing is sort of somewhat gender blind. Doesn’t really think about the question of where are the women, but rather analyzes global politics and international relations from the perspective of the state. I should say so this I think since about the 1080s has been quite sort of systematically challenged and quite robustly critiqued.
Feminist scholars, in particular from around that time have been asking these kind of key questions, where are the women if women make up half of the global population or thereabouts, how can it be that our academic field doesn’t really notice them? So this is their feminist to argue, where are the women? And to conduct studies around conflict around security, which bring that more into focus. So I think it’s about trying to ask these different questions rather than sort of assuming that the state is in the context of security studies, for example, the reference object of security. We need to ask ourselves, who’s security, what are the trade offs that work when we think about marginalized groups or other kinds of groups? Women, I think minorities, religious minorities, and so on. Of course, women have always been there, whether in the Academy to a greater or lesser extent, but also much more ubiquitously out there in the global political world. So I think these questions being asked by feminist scholars, where are the women whose security matters, whose experience is visible in conflict and in war? And this actually brings us much closer to the lived experiences of women and frames us not as wives as mothers or victims of collateral damage in the background, but actually kind of draws attention to women as active agents in the political world that we study. Yeah, because I do find that in a lot of discourse around conflict, women tend to be seen as just very like passive, which I think obviously speaks to a kind of a wider discuss of how each other like behavior and just kind of like groups in general. But I just kind of want to get back to what you said about the citation gap. Do you know, kind of what the percentages for the KCL reading list in the Water Department? As far as I know that information hasn’t been pulled together, it would be very interesting to have a look. I think these are questions that we can ask at a sector wide level and also look at institutions themselves. And it’s always a difficult balancing act, because people for good reason are very invested in their own specialisms in their own modules in their own fields. And I think we feel quite uncomfortable being told you must have X or Y you must change it to look like this or that. But I think most academics would agree that diversification and having a broad range of voices is a good thing. So I think it’s about kind of how to pitch that to people, so that it’s intelligible. And I think that’s what the is going on. We have a very active EDI community in war studies, but also at the College level, we have members of our faculty and College across education committees and senior leadership teams kind of re encouraging people in this direction. So I think it’s just about keeping the message going and inviting people in to begin to reflect on whose voices are audible in their curriculum and whose voices are not. And of course, this is pertinent along lines of gender, but also many other kind of intersectional cleavages around race and ethnicity, around kind of queer voices and trans voices and different class voices, and these kinds of questions to disability age, all the rest of it.
Definitely one of your areas of interest research is in video gaming and kind of like digital immersive military training. Do you think that the virtual kind of online spaces kind of help or hinder, like our understanding of conflict in this kind of digital age? And would you say that women tend to be may be more present in these kinds of digital kind of emissive spaces than they are in real life? Yeah. Thanks for the question. In the last five years or so, I’ve been working, as you say, on these issues of games, of simulations, of the ways that the military uses these kind of gaming technologies to recruit, to teach, to train, and actually in the context of deployment and downtime, and also quite Interestingly for kind of rehabilitation and trauma processing and these kinds of things. I think when it comes to whether they help or hinder our understanding of conflict, there are lots of points to be made. I think they certainly provide us with a snapshot into our current kind of working assumptions about conflict and about war. And that’s because games and simulations are really kind of models. They’re essentially kind of models that work over time, which can really kind of allow us to reflect upon our current thinking, and we can use them to teach people.
We can use them to train people or to explore scenarios. And I say that because games are fundamentally kind of based on cause and effect relations, and they’re always subject to coded in assumptions. They incentivize behavior in certain ways. They disincentivise behavior in other kinds of ways. Military war gamers think that for this very reason they are very useful because what they can do because they’re fun because people enjoy them is that they can make training less arduous. They can make education kind of more engaging. They can start to lengthen and deepen the learning experience through what we might call a state of immersion, a kind of unreflective state which any of you out there who are gamers, I’m sure will know that feeling that you come to after four or 5 hours of play and it’s dark and you’re hungry and you feel a bit disorientated. So I think the interesting question for me around games here and what they show us about conflict in the digital age is that I think there is an under researched kind of question of what are the politics of using this kind of non reflective PlayState for military purposes? What does it mean to kind of use games and play to do things like instill military doctrine or cultivate muscle memory or learn to use a certain weapon or vehicle? And so I think they show us a lot about our current thinking, but they also perhaps unintentionally. They can limit our thinking. I think this is particularly true of simulations. Richard Ashley did some interesting work on this many decades ago. I think in the 80s, where he talked about the ways in which simulations can only really ever give you the conclusion that is already coded into their cause and effect assumptions. It’s interesting that actually, I think games and simulations can contribute to bringing about a state of affairs as much as they can help us understand them or kind of analyze them when it comes to diversity in war gaming, I would say that it’s actually even more a keeper problem than we have in IR.
One recent article that I’ve provided a link to, which maybe you can also share on the site, estimates that 98% of war gamers in the professional sector are white and male. I don’t know how accurate that statistic is, but certainly of about the 70 plus people that I’ve interviewed for the project, probably no more than 3% have been women, and even fewer have been people of color. So there is certainly a kind of underrepresentation of women in the war gaming sector. I think that underrepresentation means that women wargamers have to be very tenacious to thrive in a kind of male dominated field. They also have to be really excellent at their craft, which they certainly are. And I think it really does pose some key questions of us for the future, whether on how to bring more women into war gaming. There are some debates going on currently about the impact of having more women players in the context of something like a strategic war game. Does that help us understand the scenario better? Does it change the results you might get at a certain game if you have a more diverse playing community, it also challenges something that I heard quite a lot while doing my interviews, which is this kind of rather essentialist assumption that somehow it is men that are driven to win and sort of occupy this Alpha male sort of character in the gaming community. I think I’m always interested to challenge those kinds of assumptions many in the military have shared with me their view that being part of the military culture and being part of a masculinized environment really means that this play drive is natural. It comes from this sort of innate Alpha male quality. And my question has always been actually, is this not more socially constructed? Do we not cultivate this wind drive? And if so, what does that mean for the normative and ethical questions around using war games and the gendered composition of users of war games. As I said, I provided a few links there that perhaps you could share afterwards, which talk about some of the issues that women face in war gaming, some detailing the kind of diversity problem that I’ve mentioned, others talking about the roles played by women, some talking about some of the sexism and Harrison that has gone on, unfortunately, but also some examples of games that have been targeted exactly to women and actually to girls as well. There was a Rand Corporation game, I think, in 2019 that directly put teenage girls in the positions of command to kind of play out and see what kind of results you would get from that gaming demographic. So, yeah, something more to be said on that. Yeah. They’re really interesting. Thank you.
You talked about kind of the roles that women have in the war gaming industry. What kind of roles were mentioned to you? A lot of the women I’ve interviewed or have made connections with in the gaming community. A lot of them are games designers, designers who have worked at Round, who worked for the Marine Corps, who have worked for various academic institutions and institutions of state and military. Oftentimes they are also games facilitators. Many of them have secured academic grants to use more gaming as a kind of research methodology for one cause or another. Actually, at Kings Have a King’s War gaming network, which we set up a few years ago, and I would venture to say, I’m not completely sure of this, but I think we have the best gender ratio of any war gaming network that I know of, because one of our codirectors is a woman, a key facilitator and coordinator is a woman. I’m a founding member, also a woman. We brought in many women speakers to add richness and diversity to the debates in that field. But yes, certainly much more work to be done there. It’s interesting, I think myself and one other person I can think of are the only two people who study games who are not gamers themselves. I think both for the women and for the men in the war gaming community and nonbinary folks. Although I haven’t met any gender nonconforming people in the field yet, the bonus really seems to be on being recreational gamers. First, people who have enjoyed playing games as kids and teenagers and who kind of bring that into their adult professional careers because they’re convinced of the benefits from a learning perspective from a research perspective. So in that sense, there is a kind of collective history or a collective experience that the people of all genders around the world gaming community seem to have for the most part.
Yeah, definitely. I know we’ve kind of already touched on this a bit before as well. So in the studies of security and conflict, what more do you think really needs to be done to address the kind of gender imbalance that exists not only in academia, which I know we’ve always kind of spoken about, but in terms of how it’s applied, like, external situation. So how it’s applied these kinds of war, gaming context or like in the actual military itself? How is it, like applied really in practice? And what more should we do? Yes, it’s always the key question, isn’t it? What is to be done? How do we move from observing the problems to making kind of meaningful change about them? I think with all kinds of political struggles historically and in the contemporary moment, it’s usually the people who are most acutely affected by problems who have the most kind of impact in changing things. So my sense is that it has been mainly through the tenacity of women and allies, but these issues have found their way onto more kind of senior power levels in the University sector. If we think about things like the gender pay gap that I mentioned before, it’s through campaigns like the one being waged currently through the UCU, which is the University College Union around the Four Fights campaign. One of two big campaigns going on at the minute, seeks precisely to get universities to notice and to resolve things like the gender and ethnicity pay gap. But I think it really does have to do with grassroots pressure and campaigns like that. We often look back on history and think things like, well, it was inevitable that X or Y happened, that the Berlin Wall was going to fall regardless, and women were going to get to vote eventually and so on. And what that oftentimes overlooks, I think, is actually the hard work and the struggle that goes on to bring about change. The key drivers of change historically have not been those with the most power because there’s little incentive for the powerful to seek change, but rather marginalized groups themselves. I think this is true whether we look at women’s struggles, struggles over class or race or civil rights when we think about queer and trans rights and so on as well. I would say this is also true of the University system. I think really oftentimes for structural reasons, and because they have a kind of God’s eye view of the situation. Some of the more marginalized struggles aren’t immediately apparent to those with the most structural power. So the kinds of campaigns that are waged through various committees, through various student and staff, kind of coalitions, through national and local kind of groups, I think really served to put those issues on the agenda and to get people to take notice of them.
Hopefully, we do have some progress in that direction. We are getting to a point where sex leaders are working on things like pay gaps, parental leaves, workloads, things like attention to EDI issues and emotional labor that is oftentimes very gendered in terms of what kinds of roles different people get in the Department for their administrative activities and so on. But as I say, I think the drive for this oftentimes comes from below. And so the challenge really is how to make those with the power to change things actually do. So how to apprehend an issue, how to present it to them in a kind of convincing manner. This involves things like campaigns and events, various forms of publicity, and also just to kind of slow and steady change in University and departmental culture, which I think comes from visibility conversations and trying to also support people through change. One of the things we’re doing in the Department of War Studies currently is putting together some events on things like decolonizing the curriculum and diversifying reading lists and so on, because one of the big obstacles to that is actually people finding the time and the space in their busy schedules to make all of those changes. So we’re doing things like running peer to peer workshops between staff members so that we can actually kind of ring spent some time but also in a kind of supportive way, suggest things to one another, voice any concerns, we’ve got to one another. We’ve actually got an event next week looking at demystifying decolonization, to which everybody in the Department of faculty is warmly invited. And to think about what might it look like to try to internationalize and decolonize our modules and our curriculum in the Department of War Studies?
Yeah. I kind of liked what you said about trying to pitch to the people in power that these kind of struggles, like these changes, they’re beneficiary to everyone because I certainly feel like at the moment I’m not sure this is also just down to things like media reporting, so kind of media outlets, particular agendas. But the idea that these kinds of changes, these struggles, like the protest, kind of like behind that and then also seen as just like an inconvenience. I feel like it’s important to move away from this idea that making these changes somehow inconvenience those already have this power in place. Yes. I think it’s a really good observation. I think we see that within and also often outside the University sector, too. If we think about the Me Too campaign or the Black Lives Matter campaign, it obviously in my eyes, these are extremely important campaigns which are about redressing the balance and resolving and changing unjust relations and events. But there is pushback. People feel challenged by some of these changes. They also feel challenged. I think, by the possibility that we’re more complicit or more kind of implicated in some of these unjust social and political relations than we might want to be. So I think communication is key and trying to kind of reassure people that if you do work on these areas, it doesn’t mean that you are single handedly guilty of all the Elder Empire, but it does mean that you’re working to undo some of the privileges which if you are a white person, if you are situated in certain positional cleavages, but we can all take on that responsibility. And as you say, change benefits everybody. It’s historically, I think a lesson to learn that solidarity are absolutely key here that struggles to mutually support one another, even if you’re not a member of a certain group. There are all sorts of interesting conversations there to have about solidarity and how you can have a solidarity based on difference and respect for difference rather than a sort of homogeneous reference object or a homogeneous assumed subject. But yes, no, I think it’s a really important point. How do we create space for encourage people towards but also support people in their kind of processes through which they come to terms with these problems and become allies in pushing for change in your own kind of work as well?
Do you have any particular feminist theories that have influenced your work at all? I do. Yeah. I mean, I’m not a specialist in feminist theory, but I do integrate feminist ideas and feminist ethos throughout all of my academic work, and it does feature in all of my teaching in a regular way. I was thinking about this. It was a great question, and it was lovely to think back to some of the texts that have most sort of struck me and have stayed with me. Perhaps the biggest influence or the one that I think was earliest and most intense was Judith Butler. Her work really impacted me in my master’s year. I got really heavily into kind of post structural thinking and associated fields during that time, and it’s really had a lasting effect, I think, on my thinking and my work, and that’s because I was really fascinated but also terrified, I think, by the idea in poststructural thinking in Butler’s work and others. But our subjectivity that our social roles are kind of constructed through power relations. I think duty does a really wonderful job of showing us kind of what it means to think about ourselves as subjects that are produced and reproduced and are performative in the world rather than sort of ontologically fixed. But I think the most important thing about this work for me was that she moved beyond that sort of observation to the question which I think really is the central one in all of the study of global politics, which is about kind of what do we do with that information? And what can we do when we realize that we are unstable and processoral subjects rather than sort of ontologically fixed ones? And two of her texts were particularly important for me there. First of all, there is a book that she wrote for giving an account of oneself. In this book, she explores how we might still try to be responsible in the world to do our best in the world despite the kind of ungroundedness of subjectivity. In other words, we don’t have to have recourse to sort of universal truths or kind of inherent goods for us to try to do everything we can to be responsible, responsible to the other, responsible to our communities, to the global community. And so on.
I got introduced to the Manuel Levin and also got very into Jacques Derrida around that time. Another cortex of her is precarious life, the powers of mourning and violence. She wrote this in the kind of she wrote several essays in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and she urged us at a time when critical voices were really being silenced quite extensively to think about the kind of self defeating nature of the post 911 foreign policy misadventures that were in the offing at that time. I think she published it in 2006, shortly after the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. And she was really interesting because she talked about how the dehumanization and the retributive nature of US foreign policy and indeed much of European foreign policy at that time. Certainly the UK was sort of self defeating in nature, but this kind of attempt to dominate otherness to secure security to the Nth degree was not only impossible but also really damaging and had damaging consequences, both for the others, for people out there in the world, but also for ourselves. Far better, she says, is to kind of embrace our mutual vulnerability, to realize that we’re mutually indebted to one another rather than trying to discipline and cancel out other than us and treat the other as enemy in a kind of Schmittian sense. So I still think these two books are extremely beautiful, and I still use them in my teaching today. I could go on about this a lot. I mean, I’ll just mention a couple of other feminist theories that I found extremely powerful. Of course, I’m inevitable of an intersectional approach to theory which engages with postinterenial theory with critical race theory, with black feminist theory, queer theory, disability theory, and other approaches which seek to kind of interrogate and disrupt normalized power relations. I think the key is identifying the multiple but often invisible hierarchies that structure, not just our conceptual and theoretical assumptions but also kind of concrete global politics out there. So I think black feminists like bell hooks and Kimberle Crenshaw have highlighted in different ways but related ways how relations of race, class, gender, and a whole host of other sort of identity characteristics intersect in ways that oftentimes Western or white feminism have neglected. Similarly, trans women have shown how their marginalization has been quite widespread in feminist circles and debates. And, of course, as we know, these controversies continue today. So to my mind, it’s really a key import that productions of power relations across these different cleavages are identified and put right to me that’s the kind of key drive of a critical theory of feminist theory. And I think the virtue of more intersectional forms of feminist thinking is that we can work to take account of these multiple cleavages through what I actually feel that called strategic essentialism, so we can come together. We can work towards a common political cause or goal, but we can resist the possibility of rigid assumptions about who women are, what they need and the exclusionary consequences of that. Amazing. I don’t really have anything to add there. I’d love Judith Butler as well. She was one of those brilliant authors who, for some reason I remember reading her on a train. I think between Manchester and London. I was studying up in Manchester and the whole train journey vanished. I was so captivated. I felt so seen. I felt like all of my existential kind of confusion was something that she had experienced too. But she wrote about so beautifully and this idea that through all of that for ontological destabilization that we go through that it’s possible precisely through that self problematisation to actually be more receptive to otherness in various ways, to recognize our mutual vulnerabilities in those ways and actually to think about to be less preoccupied by what am I and what do I mean and one’s own significance or ontological kind of realness and actually think about myself relationally and to think about how do I give an account of myself to the other who I encounter? How do I live up to the responsibility I owe to them, whoever they may be, someone close by or far away, someone from the same part of the world or somewhere different.
It’s finally time to wrap up. Do you actually have any advice for anyone listening who essentially wants to go further into academia and research? What advice would you have? It’s a funny one. I’ve been asked this a few times recently. I think I’m kind of ten years into my career now, and it’s funny to think that as one model through, one looks back and thinks, how did I manage X and Y? And how did I manage to negotiate these different things? I think the key thing I would recommend to people is seek out like minded peers, seek out mentors, find friendship and mutual support in the academic environment. Now, do this within, but also importantly, beyond your own institution. Networks of solidarity, networks of critical scholars, feminist scholars, critical race scholars, those people whose work you think is brilliant and whose kind of interventions you want to support, they become really key because one can change institution. But one becomes embedded through these oftentimes very global, very international networks. So I would say get busy, get out there, go to conferences, go to events, go to talks, stay behind afterwards. If we can have them in person or follow up by email and have kind of bilateral conversations, suggest going for a coffee or for a Zoom chat. Tell people when you like their ideas, because these people really act as supporters, but also sense. Checkers when you’re getting into a field. It’s quite hard to know what to expect. It’s quite hard to know what’s reasonable, what’s unreasonable, and to have the people around you who are going through the same thing can really kind of make the difference. I think between feeling really overwhelmed and feeling like you’re part of something, something I think I wish I’d known earlier is that there are some things which are simply structural, right. And whoever you are, whether you are a woman, whether you’re a person of color, whether you’re a queer person or you’re a trans person, there are some things that you will experience which, no matter how hard you work, are still going to happen. So I think it’s really important to kind of not make the mistake of individualizing these things and to think, Well, I won’t be one of those that get held back. I won’t be someone for whom promotion takes longer because I’m a woman. I won’t be someone who gets gendered teaching feedback, which is problematic or this or that not all of us will go through all of those things. But it is the case that structural constraints will put obstacles in certain people’s ways, and people will have to work harder to overcome them. So try and avoid putting too much pressure on yourself to think if I just work a bit harder, it won’t happen. There will be things that are difficult to survive. And this is why these kinship networks and these friendship networks are so important.
I think another thing is learning to separate your worth as a person from your academic successes. This is something I found particularly hard because for me, academia really was a kind of a space of becoming right. I became somebody I liked being. But the problem with that is that any little setback can feel like a kind of apocalyptic disaster. And so realizing and having other things in your life which confer value on you will make any setbacks that do occur and they will occur. Nobody goes to academia unscathed entirely. Make sure that you try and work to separate out those things. Trust your gut. I would say as well, whether you’re navigating the big world out there or an academic institution, it takes a while to get one’s bearings and to figure out what’s the norm and what isn’t the norm. We do have problems in the sector where women can be overburdened with admin roles. We do have problems where women get grants less or get promoted more slowly, and it’s really important to keep a sense of what’s happening at the sector level and sort of see where your own experience lies in relation to that. Academia is very difficult at the moment to get into right. It was very difficult when I got into ten years ago, and it’s more difficult still, now I know that some of my colleagues are even at the point now where they’re kind of discouraging people and saying, actually, the chances of getting an academic job after this are slimmer than they used to be. So you’ve got to be really sure that you want to do this. I still think it’s a fabulous thing. I don’t know any other jobs that would allow me to think for a living and to teach for a living in a way that I have so much control overall, so much kind of autonomy. And I get to think and write about the things I find fascinating. I get to build curricula and hope that students engage with them and enjoy them. There’s a certain flexibility to it as well that you do a huge amount of work, but you have more flexibility than a standard nine to five. PhDs are difficult and they’re long, and they are a marathon rather than a sprint. And everybody who does a PhD feels like they want to quit at some point and feels like it will never actually come together. But it is also one of the most gratifying things that one can do as well. You learn an enormous amount about yourself and the idea that over time you suddenly put together this 80 or 100,000 word document, essentially, a book really can boost one’s confidence hugely. So I think I would advise people to not go into it, assuming a cakewalk to realize that it is highly competitive to realize that there will be knocks along the way, whether it’s rejections for Journal articles, whether it’s frustration, some of the gendered or racialized sort of structural problems that we’ve been discussing, but also, it’s really important we don’t lose the joy in it, the joy of ideas, the joy of social change, the joy of that moment where a light bulb goes on in your brain and you go, these are the things that make it still, I think fabulous in many senses.
Thank you so much. I really appreciate you giving up your time to speak to me. Thanks for the showing flexibility and yeah. Thank you so much for having me. It’s a real pleasure. Take good care. Thank you very much to Dr. Aggie Hirst there. I hope you enjoyed the first episode of the We Rise podcast. Entry music was provided by podcastle, as was the editing software, and I’ll see you soon for a new episode. Bye.