Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

Abercrombie and Fitch May 21, 2013

Filed under: appearance — Monkey @ 7:04 pm

They don’t sell plus sizes because their brand is only for ‘cool, good-looking people’ according to the CEO Mike Jeffries. Well, Mike, what did you make of this?


What’s not so great about that Dove video April 18, 2013

Filed under: advertising,appearance — Jender @ 10:50 am

For starters…

When it comes to the diversity of the main participants: all four are Caucasian, three are blonde with blue eyes, all are thin, and all are young (the oldest appears to be 40). The majority of the non-featured participants are thin, young white women as well. Hmm… probably a little limiting, wouldn’t you say? We see in the video that at least three black women were in fact drawn for the project. Two are briefly shown describing themselves in a negative light (one says she has a fat, round face, and one says she’s getting freckles as she ages). Both women are lighter skinned. A black man is shown as one of the people describing someone else, and he comments that she has “pretty blue eyes”. One Asian woman is briefly shown looking at the completed drawings of herself and you see the back of a black woman’s head; neither are shown speaking. Out of 6:36 minutes of footage, people of color are onscreen for less than 10 seconds.

Then there’s this…

At the end of the experiment, one of the featured participants shares what I find to be the most disturbing quote in the video and what Dove seems to think is the moral of the story as she reflects upon what she’s learned, and how problematic it is that she hasn’t been acknowledging her physical beauty: It’s troubling,” she says as uplifting music swells in the background. “I should be more grateful of my natural beauty. It impacts the choices and the friends we make, the jobs we go out for, they way we treat our children, it impacts everything. It couldn’t be more critical to your happiness.”

Read all about it here.

(Thanks, R!)


If men posed like women April 17, 2013

Filed under: appearance — Jender @ 6:48 pm

Steve Carell, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert show us.

(Thanks, Jender-Mom!)


Women Against FEMEN April 5, 2013

Check out a collection of pictures here.  Or browse the twitter hashtags #MuslimahPride and #Femen.  And here’s an article providing some context.


All organized religions seem to get themselves mixed up in some shady hierarchies…..but F*** imperial feminism.


The Scar Project: breast cancer is not a pink ribbon April 1, 2013

Filed under: appearance,beauty,cancer,Uncategorized — annejjacobson @ 7:45 pm

The best explanation of the scar project comes with the second link below. I’ll try to give some background first.

Breast Cancer in young women is very worrying. The statistics put the chances of death within the standard 5 and 10 year markers quite high when compared to the rates of death in older women. In addition to this very scary fact, a cancer victim, young or old, typically ends up with surgery and other treatments, such as radiation, and may be left seriously scarred and even infertile. For many cancer victims, the cancer is fueled by estrogen, and it may make sense in some cases to have one’s ovaries removed.

Nonetheless, the beauty and dignity of cancer victims is very obvious, as the scar project is meant to show us in the young victims of this disease. I am going to link to an NY Times article and a clip about the project. There is also a video from youtube.You’ll be looking at the aftermath of surgery. Some women have had lumpectomies and others mastectomies. You may find the pictures difficult to look at, though my own squeamish self had no problem at all. Still, it seemed better to link to these pictures.

NYTimes article by Susan Gubar,

Clip linked to from the NYT,




Filed under: appearance,beauty,gender,objectification — philodaria @ 3:51 am


Transcript here.


Being honest about objectification March 21, 2013

Filed under: appearance,beauty,objectification — philodaria @ 1:46 pm

Well, the editor of the UK edition of Esquire is being honest about objectifying women, but has some how missed that this is sexist.

Esquire editor Alex Bilmes has admitted that the magazine uses pictures of “ornamental” women for male readers “in the same way we provide pictures of cool cars”.

Bilmes, who moved from rival men’s title GQ to edit Esquire in 2010, said that his magazine’s policy was “more honest” than that of the women’s magazine industry, which he claimed perpetuate negative images of women.

“The women we feature in the magazine are ornamental,” he said, speaking on a panel at the Advertising Week Europe conference in London on Tuesday. “I could lie to you if you want and say we are interested in their brains as well. We are not. They are objectified.”

Read the full story here with some ageism thrown in just for good measure.


Swedish mannequins! March 15, 2013

Filed under: appearance — jennysaul @ 6:34 am

FURTHER UPDATE: Apparently not a hoax! (See comments. Keep the updates coming!)

UPDATE: It’s a hoax. (Thanks, David!)

“An H&M clothing store in Sweden is being hailed by women around the world after a photo of two surprisingly curvy mannequins there were photographed and posted online.”

For more, go here. (Thanks, S!)


“Everyone Can Be a Philosopher” March 13, 2013

Filed under: academia,appearance,gender,gender stereotypes,women in philosophy — Lady Day @ 3:25 am

Hey! Wanna feel happy about stuff for a few minutes? Feminist Philosophers reader Sophie Collins sent us the following remarks and image. So very awesome!

I’m a big fan of the blog, as a feminist philosophy undergrad, it’s great to see.

Just wanted to tell you a story that happened in my philosophy class today. I facilitate philosophy classes in primary schools, and today the kids were given the task to draw a symbolic picture which would represent what you need to be like, to be a philosopher. The picture was going to make part of an advert for a different school which needs a philosophy teacher.

Some kids drew speech bubbles, some drew thinking bubbles, some drew them very smartly dressed (because it is a job). Most drew stick people without a gender.

One drew herself, because she is a philosopher.   One drew a guy with a beard, for scratching.

We then brought the best bits of the pictures together to form one picture, for the advert.

I asked if the beard was needed. I said that I am a philosopher,and I don’t have a beard. We discussed it for a bit,and in the end decided to draw a person with pigtails and a beard, and a question mark next to their head to show that it doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or a girl, everyone can be a philosopher.



Women and the obligation to smile: one story and one anecdote March 5, 2013

Filed under: appearance — redeyedtreefrog @ 3:41 am

First, the story:

Misty Harris in the article  Kristen Stewart and the infinite sadness: Film actress’s frown turning gender roles upside down writes:

“Brain-mapping research by the University of California-Los Angeles suggests that when we see someone smile, it sets off “mirror neurons” that make us feel as though we, too, are smiling. Classic gender roles, however, arguably magnify the pressure on women to thusly put others at ease with a warm expression.

As former Alberta MLA Doug Elniski blogged, bluntly, in 2009: “Men are attracted to smiles, so smile, don’t give me that ‘treated equal’ stuff. If you want Equal, it comes in little packages at Starbucks.”

The most pervasive criticisms of Stewart are that she doesn’t emote, appears ungrateful for her success, and always looks like she has better things to do (translation: her introversion doesn’t follow the Hollywood script for an ingénue). Online, reports of the actress cracking a smile are treated with the Smithsonian-like solemnity of one discovering a rare artefact.

Feminist writer Wendy McClure acknowledges that this cultural response to Stewart “isn’t completely unfounded.” But because the same treatment isn’t given to such stoic actors as Tommy Lee Jones or Sean Penn – whose brooding is interpreted as an investment in their art – she finds herself defending the actress’s right to be the anti-Jennifer Lawrence.”

Read the rest here.

Next, the anecdote:

I was on a long flight recently and thanks to some upgrade coupons I was flying in the executive cabin. The flight attendant serving in the executive cabin was really nice. She provided just the right amount of attention and she kept calling me Dr Frog. I liked that. She smiled lots, she made jokes, got me blankets when I looked sleepy, and I had this odd thought as I was enjoying her attentions. Is she flirting with me?

Seconds after I had the thought, I thought wow, that’s what it must be like to be a privileged man. Of course, she’s not flirting with me. She’s doing her job, keeping passengers in the executive cabin, frequent flyers and the well off, extra happy. In this case her smiles stood out as unfamiliar, more smiling than I usually get on a plane, but imagine what the world would be like if most women treated you that way. Maybe  then a woman who didn’t smile would like a deliberate affront.

Still thinking about gender roles, class, privilege, and smiles.



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