chapter  8
Laughing within Reason: On Pleasure, Women, and Academic Performance
ByErica McWilliam
Pages 15

At a feminist seminar I attended recently, one woman described an incident she witnessed at a committee meeting in the university. A female colleague of hers was laughing heartily just as the meeting was about to start, when one of the male committee members interrupted her by saying, “I don’t know whether you are aware of this, but you have a really irritating laugh! You should tone it down a bit.” “I don’t know of any university rule that says I am not supposed to laugh,” came the hurt and angry reply. “Sure you can laugh,” retorted her critic, “but within reason!”