Ms X takes part in a workshop. As part of the workshop, Professor Y, an internationally very well-known scholar from the US, is giving a lecture in the evening. After said lecture, a reception is held in the foyer outside of the conference room. After spending some time at the reception, Ms X returns to the conference room. There she encounters the doctoral candidate who planned the workshop, a student research assistant who was involved in organizing the workshop, and Professor Y. The three of them are starting to pack together and tidy up the conference room. They gather up discarded dishes and glasses, collect rubbish and tidy away chairs.
Ms X is very moved by what she sees. Yet at the same time she is disturbed by how unfamiliar, how extraordinary this scene feels to her. As an undergraduate, as a doctoral candidate and as a postdoc, Ms X has carried plates and washed glasses at many events. She has chilled drinks and made coffee, put away dishes and refilled pots, wiped tables and sorted cutlery, tidied tea kitchens and laid out napkins, purchased fruit and carried water pitchers, bought cakes and ordered canapés. In her 18 years of university education and academic work, Ms X has never seen a male professor collecting dishes and cleaning a room together with a doctoral candidate and a student.