Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

Daily Mail Really Unable to Cope April 5, 2014

Filed under: bias,race,science — Jender @ 5:25 am

with scientists who are women of colour. (I know: you’re shocked.)

UPDATE: There’s now a petition, created by the UCL branch of the UCU.

A piece in the Mail’s Ephraim Hardcastle column on Wednesday used their appearance on BBC’s Newsnight on Monday to comment on the possibility of a new era in understanding the origins of the universe to have a dig at the programme’s “Guardian-trained editor, Ian Katz”, who, it said, “is keen on diversity”.

The item added: “So, two women were invited to comment on the report about (white, male) American scientists who’ve detected the origins of the universe – giggling Sky at Night presenter Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Sri Lanka-born astronomer Hiranya Peiris.”

For more, go here.


Reader query: how to help? April 2, 2014

Filed under: bias,women in philosophy — Jender @ 7:29 pm

A reader writes:

So, I/the rest of my cohort are facing a difficult issue: a male faculty member has two advisees in my cohort, a man and a woman. It is obvious to the rest of us who are not his advisees that he treats the male student *much* better than the female student. Yesterday we all did presentations of our research for this faculty member (as part of a dissertation seminar). Her presentation was very good, just way too long and thorough. After she finished, the faculty member proceeded to go off on her for a good fifteen minutes, in front of the rest of us (her peers). Stuff like “this isn’t philosophy” and “this all has to be gotten rid of,” the latter of which he sort of changed his tune about over the course of his rant. It was intense. Had I been the student on the receiving end, I would have cried. I’m amazed that she didn’t.

My question is: this is plainly inappropriate behavior, but what can we (as her fellow grad students) do about it? I mean, content of the presentation aside, what seems inappropriate was to dress a student down in front of her peers and to do it in such a harsh manner. I’m just worried that, because this faculty member is well-regarded in the department, that if a few of us were to tell someone about this that we at worst would not be believed and at best there would be nothing that anyone else could do.

So, for readers: what can fellow grad students do to support a grad student in an abusive advisor relationship?


This is the US criminal justice system

Filed under: bias,race,rape — Jender @ 5:19 am

Rich white man gets no jail time for raping three year old. Meanwhile, they’re now seeking 60 years for Marissa Anderson’s warning shot in self-defence. Presumably I don’t need to remind you of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis.

[Of course, it isn't just the *US* criminal justice system that behaves like this. But that's where these particular recent examples are.]


Scandanavian Gendered Panel Campaign (“TackaNej”) March 25, 2014

Filed under: bias,feminist men — Jender @ 9:09 am

Even in Scandinavia, well known for its large female political representation, public debate is dominated by men. Business conferences with a 100 percent male speaker lineup are not rare. Some of these men are tired of debating only men, and are taking action to change it.

In Sweden and Norway, male speakers are now refusing to participate in conferences and panel discussions without female representation.

For more, go here.


Athene Donald on Women in Science March 21, 2014

Filed under: bias,science — Jender @ 3:25 pm

with an excellent modest proposal:

So let me offer a new recommendation to add to that made by the MPs. I propose that every MBA course in the country should have an unconscious bias element included, and taking some relevant training should be an expectation of anyone involved in recruitment of any kind. I would also like to see it included as a topic in the school curriculum, a place to start a dialogue among children so that they can identify their own propensities to gender-stereotyping.


Sex/Gender and the REF March 20, 2014

Really interesting article here.


Henry James, mysogynist? February 27, 2014

Filed under: academia,bias,gender — annejjacobson @ 8:08 pm

This may not be news to you, but I’m shocked. Still, I’d have to look back carefully to decide how much his vile opinions went beyond voice. And it is very likely that they did, though there’s some controversy.

The quote is from a wonderful article by Mary Beard, an open access article in the LRB. It’s raising a question that this blog, among many others, has been vigorously pursuing.

but in his essays James makes it clear where he stood; for he wrote about the polluting, and socially destructive effect of women’s voices, in words that could easily have come from the pen of some second-century AD Roman (and were almost certainly in part derived from classical sources). Under American women’s influence, he insisted, language risks becoming a ‘generalised mumble or jumble, a tongueless slobber or snarl or whine’; it will sound like ‘the moo of the cow, the bray of the ass, and the bark of the dog’. (Note the echo of the tongueless Philomela, the moo of Io, and the barking of the female orator in the Roman Forum.) James was one among many. In what amounted to a crusade at the time for proper standards in American speech, other prominent contemporaries praised the sweet domestic singing of the female voice, while entirely opposing its use in the wider world. And there was plenty of thundering about the ‘thin nasal tones’ of women’s public speech, about their ‘twangs, whiffles, snuffles, whines and whinnies’. ‘In the names of our homes, our children, of our future, our national honour,’ James said again, ‘don’t let us have women like that!’


George Takei on Arizona’s pro-bigotry law February 25, 2014

Filed under: bias,human rights,sexual orientation — Jender @ 12:25 pm

Congratulations. You are now the first state actually to pass a bill permitting businesses–even those open to the public–to refuse to provide service to LGBT people based on an individual’s “sincerely held religious belief.” This “turn away the gay” bill enshrines discrimination into the law. Your taxi drivers can refuse to carry us. Your hotels can refuse to house us. And your restaurants can refuse to serve us.

Kansas tried to pass a similar law, but had the good sense to not let it come up for a vote. The quashing came only after the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and other traditional conservative groups came out strongly against the bill.

For more, go here.


The PGR’s un-women-friendly epistemology February 11, 2014

Lady Day:

McAfee’s punch line: “Is there a systematic bias in the PGR methodology that leads it to value more male-dominated departments? Well, yes. An unrepresentative and hand-picked advisory board plus unrepresentative and hand-picked evaluators will lead to a slanted take on the value of the work going on in the profession. You don’t have to be a stand-point epistemologist to see this.”

[Update:  I'm going to recommend that anyone who wishes to comment on the post do so at Gone Public, where it originally occurred, rather than below the reblog here. To that end (and because I'm not able to moderate comments today), I've closed comments below.]

Originally posted on gonepublic: philosophy, politics, & public life:

Julie Van Camp just updated her Spring 2004 article, “Female-Friendly Departments: A Modest Proposal for Picking Graduate Programs in Philosophy” that pointed out the under-representation of women on the advisory board of Brian Leiter’s Philosophical Gourmet Report . This month Van Camp expanded the  postscript with numbers showing that in the past ten years little has changed.

Postscript: November 20, 2004 [updated 2/3/2014]

The 2011 Report:
The list of the Top 51 doctoral programs is included in the 2011 Philosophical Gourmet Report. The 56 members of the  Report’s Advisory Board for 2011 included nine females (16.1%) and was based on the reports of 302 evaluators, including 46 women (15.2%).

The 2009 Report:
The 55 members of the  Report’s Advisory Board for 2009 included eight females (14.5%) and was based on the reports of 294 evaluators, including 37 women (12.6%).

The 2006-08 Report:
The 56 members of the Report’s Advisory Board for…

View original 359 more words


Instructive video on implicit bias January 24, 2014

Filed under: academia,bias,politics — annejjacobson @ 10:31 pm

There are some good examples.  Most may be familiar to lots of our readers, but some were new to me.  One thing that emerges is the effects knowledge of sexual orientation can have on student evaluations.  bad news for mothers also.




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