Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

Young Feminist Philosopher of the Week: Natalie, Founder of the Brave People Protest February 5, 2014

Filed under: gender,gendered products — Jender @ 4:38 pm

A guest post by Amie Thomasson, University of Miami:

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Natalie was just over six when she noticed something. She had been to science camp before. She saw the new flier coming in the mailbox around spring break, announcing the new science, space and rocket camp. Awesome. But where were the girls in all the pictures of happy campers? Natalie went to camp anyway, full of enthusiasm. When she got there, she noticed something. There were only about three girls in a camp full of about twenty children. She had two friends who were four year old girls, and, as she put it ‘that was about it for her friends in science camp’. She decided to talk to the camp director about it—at lunch break, all sitting on the floor in the over air-conditioned function room of the large student union, she asked around the young counselors until they could point her to the Big Cheese. She didn’t have to get up the nerve to talk to him: she had the nerve already. Told him he needed to put more girls on his fliers, recruit more future scientists. He readily agreed. Natalie was thrilled. (This new flier we got a week ago still showed no girls in any of the 5 face shots.)

Long tired of pink, frills and hair gear, and never interested in princesses, it was time for Natalie to expand her protest. So she got out her markers. She made a sign. She got out her colored pom poms and glued them around the sign like footlights. (To attract attention.) She found an old green plant stake in the garden shed to attach the sign to. She led marches (with Mom, Dad, baby sister) whenever they went out to eat. Talked to anyone who would listen (and many who wouldn’t) about her ‘protest against girl/boy differences’. Even found one enthusiastic ally, and got a few high fives. But the work wasn’t done. So she organized a bicycle protest: attached signs and bells to the family bikes, laboriously hand-wrote fliers (four whole copies) explaining the problem, rode behind her mom on the tandem bike to the park. Handed out her fliers to anyone who would talk to her, including a rather hostile French woman (‘I don’t understand what the problem is. There is no difference. You do whatever you like to do’). She made protest t-shirts using fabric markers and cheap cotton t-shirts (for her) and onesies (for the baby sister). The writing may have been hard to parse, but the super-girl insignia was unmistakable. This past Sunday she had plans to sell pink and blue lemonade (pink only to boys; blue only to girls), but Mom and Dad said there wasn’t time for lemonade making and a sale at the park. There was homework to do, errands to run.

So Natalie had an idea, and she got to work. If they were going to Toys R Us, the protest could be brought there: The perfect place: the very symbol of segregation in the toy industry. She set to work making signs. Got out her pink and blue glitter. ‘No More Girl-Boy Differences’, ‘Princesses for Girls, Trucks for Boys: NO!’ ‘Cleaning for Girls, Trucks for Boys: NO!’. She snuck in the tape and feigned interest in toys, then posted her signs in every section of the store: between the princess and dinosaur pajamas, underneath a row of princesses, on the giant green trucks. She even optimistically put up a ‘Sign up to help’ sheet on a kitchen she found that was in brown and tan, showing pictures of both a girl and a boy playing together. That would attract the right kind of kid to help join her protest, she thought. (The kitchen, of course, was located in the pink ‘girls’ section of the store, despite the thoughtful marketing by its maker.)

The Brave People Protest is ready to go worldwide. Make your own signs, share your own ideas. Post on her new Tumblr site pictures of your own guerilla protest posters against the early channeling of girls and boys into separate and narrow gender roles.

Go here.

#NataliesProtest

Or as Natalie says:

“Join my protest. You can join my protest too you can, put posters up in your own Toys R Us and some other places that you think aren’t fair. You can try to get people in your own neighborhood to join and find other unfairnesses and just try to stop them. That’s how you can join my protest.”

Natalie turns 7 today. Nothing would make her happier than for her protest to spread. I don’t know if she’ll manage to change the world, but I’m so proud of her for noticing, and for trying.

Says Natalie: “I will manage to change the world. Cause I can do anything if I put my mind to it”.

 

Anita January 30, 2014

Filed under: gender inequality,human rights,politics,sexual harassment,the arts — philodaria @ 8:25 pm

The trailer for a new documentary about Anita Hill’s testimony during Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearing has been released. (It’s worth remembering that additional witnesses who could have confirmed her testimony, and who made themselves available to testify, were not called to do so.)

 

More gendered products January 26, 2014

Filed under: advertising,funny business,gender,gender stereotypes,gendered products — philodaria @ 11:29 pm

21 of them, over at Buzzfeed. The captions are pretty funny. Here’s one:

 

kleenex for men

 

I was ankle-deep in my boyfriend’s mucus before we bought these man-sized Kleenex. Ordinary tissues just couldn’t contain his oversized, masculine boogers.

 

“Where are the women?” January 24, 2014

Filed under: bias,gender,politics — annejjacobson @ 4:01 pm

Indeed.

 

 

Really top men investigate the mind January 22, 2014

Filed under: bias,gender — annejjacobson @ 1:45 pm

I note the list of the really top men ends with a link that could conceivably reveal a top woman.

 

The Foundations of Mind

Thursday, March 6  &  Friday, March 7, 2014

International House • University of California at Berkeley 
2299 Piedmont Ave., Berkeley, CA 94720 • Front Desk: (510) 642-9490 • ihouse.berkeley.edu


The world’s top scholars and neuroscientists discuss cutting-edge issues related to cognition and consciousness. Topics include:

 
 
  • Does quantum mechanics have a role in our consciousness?
  • Can brain imaging in fMRI explain all that we are?
  • What is ecological consciousness?

Confirmed plenary speakers / panelists include:

 
 
  • Stuart Kauffman (University of Vermont)
  • Terry Deacon (University of California Berkeley)
  • Henry Stapp (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley)
  • Ed Vul (UC San Diego)
  • Jacob Needleman (San Francisco State University)
  • Jerome Feldman (International Computer Science Institute—UC Berkeley)
  • Tom Griffiths (UC Berkeley)
  • Robert Campbell (Clemson University)
  • Mike Cole (UCSD)
  • José Acacio de Barros (SFSU / Stanford University)
  • Seán Ó Nualláin (University of Ireland)
  • Fr. Robert Spitzer (Magis Institute)
  • Tony Bell (UC Berkeley)
  • Stanley Klein (UC Berkeley)
  • Carlos Montemayor (SFSU)
  • … and more (see Schedule)
 
  Join the world’s leading cognitive scientists and consciousness scholars for this unique event as mind and consciousness are explored. The perspectives taken range from why the really hard problems like machine vision and translation have not yet been solved to whether a suitably reconstructed notion of consciousness that takes quantum mechanics into account can help save the environment.

 To register, click here now! 

Please send inquiries to
president@universityofireland.com
or phone 510-725-8877.

Proposed paper/poster presenters should send a 500-word abstract
to president@universityofireland.com by Feb. 1, 2014.
We already have offers to publish the proceedings from both a peer-reviewed journal and an academic book publisher.

 

 

“Am I dead?”

Filed under: academia,bias,gender,human rights,politics,women in philosophy — annejjacobson @ 12:28 am

I hope the quote marks manage to suggest the “I” does not necessarily refer to me!

A recent movie reminded me of a literary trope about death.  The actor is often first shown in some very dangerous or threatening situation.  In the next scene, the character is back in a familiar setting.  Still, no one seems to notice, even people very close to them.  Then they try to speak to someone, but no one hears and so no one replies.  Someone in the scene might get the sense that there’s something unusual in the environment, perhaps an odd wind or lowering of temperature, but the character’s presence is not understood.

How many times, I wondered, have I experienced this scene in philosophy?  It used, I think, to happen a great deal, when one didn’t get called on however often one’s hand went up in a question period until finally at the end one could say something and it was completely misunderstood and dismissed.  I might count the two experiences I’ve had recently of having my comments responded to at a conference by someone who didn’t recognize that I actually argued for the counter-claims I had made.  I could put in here a conviction I recently discovered was shared in a group a people; namely, nothing I did benefited my department or my college.  The latter might have at least asked for my opinion, if I existed.

Interestingly, the too often reported experience of having one’s comment in a question period attributed to someone else certainly fits the literary trope.  Here is a scene in which the character says something and it is heard, but everyone thinks it came from someone else who is visible to them.

I have also had much more perfect instances of the trope, one recent one taking the prize, though without the danger, unless one counts publishing as a woman in philosophy dangerous.

Enough about me!  What about you?

 

‘They cannot change me’ January 21, 2014

This video is a nice commentary on beauty expectations for women in the entertainment industry. From Jezebel:

Here’s a striking video from Hungarian singer Boggie, in which her moving image is being retouched and “corrected” throughout the entire video. Directed by Nándor Lőrincz and Bálint Nagy, the three-minute video shows Boggie’s transformating from a lovely woman in dim lighting to a lovely, flawlessly made-up woman who has, judging by her glowing surroundings, been abducted by aliens and forced to sing for them.

 

 

Adjunct Faculty and Gender January 18, 2014

Filed under: academia,gender,gender inequality,parenting — Monkey @ 8:06 am

Every single one of us working in universities should be up in arms at the two-tier system currently operating in academia, whereby faculty is divided into those lucky enough to land a permanent position, and those who inhabit a shadowy underworld of precarious, part-time, poorly paid, temporary jobs. Unsurprisingly, there is a gendered dimension to this situation. To get anywhere in the academic world, one needs to work long, long hours. This is largely incompatible with responsibilities of care. Since women tend to take on more care responsibilities (for various reasons), they often end up in the academic underworld.

Academic life is predominantly a man’s world. Women remain on the periphery, and children are all but absent. American universities consistently publish glowing reports stating their commitment to diversity, often showing statistics of female hires as proof of success, but the facts remain: university women make up disproportionately large numbers of temporary (adjunct and non-tenure track) faculty, while the majority of permanent, tenure-track positions are granted to men… The disproportion between male and female university faculty, as in other work forces, is most striking among those who choose to be both professors and parents.

Things really need to change. You can read more here. Thanks to JP.

 

At least our seminars take breaks January 16, 2014

Filed under: academia,bias,gender,politics,women in philosophy — annejjacobson @ 8:34 pm

Below is a contribution from a recent Edge project.  And we thought philosophy was too often bad for women!

The question was, “What scientific idea is ready for retirement?”

My contribution:

The Way We Produce And Advance Science

Last year, I spearheaded a survey and interview research project on the experiences of scientists at field sites. Over sixty percent of the respondents had been sexually harassed, and twenty percent had been sexually assaulted. Sexual predation was only the beginning of what I and my colleagues uncovered: study respondents reported psychological and physical abuses, like being forced to work late into the day without being told when they could head back to camp, not being allowed to urinate, verbal threats and bullying, and being denied food. The majority of perpetrators are fellow scientists senior to the target of abuse, the target themselves usually a female graduate student. Since we started analyzing these data, I haven’t been able to read a single empirical science paper without wondering on whose backs, via whose exploitation, that research was conducted.

There is a lot more to this piece, which you can find by following the link above, which will take you to a very interesting blog.  The author is Prof. Kate Clancy, who was also features in another recent post on FemPhil., Welcome But Not Really.

 

Violence against women in Papua New Guinea

Filed under: bias,gender,human rights,race — annejjacobson @ 8:01 pm

Apologies for the commercials; the video is worth the VERY SHORT wait, I think.

Click here.

 

 
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