By: Beth Alpert Nakhai, University of Arizona
In a recent article in The Atlantic, Anne-Marie Slaughter reflected on the question, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” (July/August 2012; vol. 310/1: 84-102). For women working in Near Eastern archaeology, this question is likely one they have asked themselves (and their colleagues, partners, spouses, and friends) many times! For several years, I have been engaged in a research project designed to describe and assess the status of women in ASOR. Last fall, ASOR president Tim Harrison appointed me to spearhead an Initiative on the Status of Women in ASOR. I sent out an email inquiry to our membership, asking people to share their thoughts on the status of women in ASOR and in Near Eastern archaeology. Slightly more than 2000 people received the email. The fact that almost half those people opened it indicates a high degree of interest in the topic; more commonly, only a third of ASOR emails are opened. Some 160 people, divided fairly evenly between men and women, sent me responses. These responses were mixed: brief, long, bullet-pointed, stream-of-conscious, positive, negative, enthusiastic, battle-weary. A number of people, junior and senior alike, requested anonymity – but others were willing to be named. I have opted to keep all responses anonymous, since attribution is not a valuable condition for this project.