In 1967, 26-year-old attorney Sarah Weddington joined forces with the Women’s Liberation Movement and took on one of the most perpetually controversial Supreme Court cases in American history — Roe v. Wade.
She was the first woman to represent Austin in the Texas Legislature and the first woman to hold the title of General Counsel to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She served in the White House as an adviser to President Jimmy Carter before coming to UT to teach in 1988.
After 23 years at the University and more than a dozen state and national leadership awards, UT officials told Weddington, an adjunct professor in the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, that she would no longer have a job at the end of the spring semester.
I thought this part was especially telling:
Weddington said she was aware of the looming budget crisis but was surprised to hear her position was in jeopardy.
“I always thought that tenure for me was not that important because I thought as long as you were really good at what you do and did a lot to work with your students, you’d be OK,” she said. “Now I know I was wrong.”
I agree with “Thealogian,” who writes in the comments at Echidne’s, “As a adjunct in a Women & Gender Studies department, I have no illusions–its my side gig anyway, but still, adjuncts have NO JOB STABILITY WHATSOEVER, but most definitely, she would not be an adjunct if she were a man or a famous anti-feminist woman, she’d be tenured.” (And if not tenured in an accredited university with a fancy-schmancy named Chair, then a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute or another rightist think-tank with zero teaching responsibilities and only very a vague job description. You have to hand it to the right-wingers: they dance with the ones that brung ’em, and they take care of their own.)