Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

Poverty, Agency and Human Rights – a book with lots of women September 8, 2014

Filed under: poverty,publishing,women in philosophy — axiothea @ 3:07 pm

People teaching a course on human rights or global justice may like to look at this new edited volume, Poverty, Agency, and Human Rights by Diana Tietjens Meyers  which not only has a very good gender balance, but also discusses plenty of issues in feminist philosophy.

 

 

 

Girls left out August 3, 2014

Filed under: empowering women,intersectionality,poverty,race,rape — annejjacobson @ 9:26 pm

This post follows on an earlier one about My Brother’s Keeper, Obama’s program for boys of color.

From Colorlines:

Kristie Dotson knows what it’s like to have to do her homework on the backs of cars because she doesn’t have a home to go to after school’s out. “I too have gone homeless,” Dotson said of her youth in South Central Los Angeles. Today, she’s a professor of philosophy at Michigan State University but, she said, voice shaking, “Even when you get out, there is no getting out.”

On Tuesday night Dotson, who’s African-American, and a dozen other girls and women of color testified about their experiences coming up in Los Angeles in poor, disenfranchised black and Latino neighborhoods. The event, organized by the African American Policy Forum (AAPF) and UCLA School of Law’s Critical Race Studies Program, was the third of such hearings held around the country this year to lift up the experiences and struggles of girls of color. It’s also a pointed response to My Brother’s Keeper, President Obama’s $200 million initiative to support boys of color.

“This hearing was necessitated by the silence around girls of color that we’ve seen in the discourse around the school-to-prison pipeline and more recently in the silence in My Brother’s Keeper,” said Kimberlé Crenshaw, a professor of law at Columbia University and UCLA and a host for the evening’s proceedings. Too often, said Crenshaw, people settle for fallacies that suggest that girls and women of color suffer less than men of color do from racism. The truth, said Crenshaw, is that “girls experience some of the same things boys experience and some things boys never dream of.”

Much of the rest of the short article is about things many of us can at best half-imagine. It ends importantly with:

Single black and Latino women have a median wealth of $100 and $102, respectively, while single black and Latino men have a median wealth of $7,900 and $9,730, respectively, according to the Insight Center for Community Economic Development (PDF). Dotson is confounded that My Brother’s Keeper could ignore this reality.

“My Brother’s Keeper doesn’t want to talk about the fact that those boys of color coming off those mentor programs are going to come back to these same households supported by these women of color who are struggling,” said Dotson. “Does anyone care?”

 

Philosophers in the media today July 30, 2014

Jason Stanley on Detroit, water, and democracy in the NYT.

The chief values of democracy are freedom and equality. The willingness to subsume freedom to claims of efficiency is one sign of an undemocratic culture. Toleration of the denial of fresh water to others is another. After all, it is hard to imagine denying fresh water to those one regards as political equals. The pressure that has resulted in the decision by Detroit’s emergency manager to turn back control of the water department to the mayor, however temporary, is, one can hope, one small sign that the drought in Detroit’s democracy may be ending.

Myisha Cherry in the Huffington Post on why love is not all we need.

We can also get lost in universal language and think that the rhetoric and projects refer to us all. But unless this rhetoric also comes out of a respect for everyone, with proof that is not afraid of expressing specificity, these “love projects” will not achieve much.

Lastly, Nussbaum and King’s love ethic also neglects the work of other emotions. While I do see the usefulness of love in certain contexts, love cannot be a doctrine of exclusivity. Love will not work in all contexts and therefore is not an end all-be all to our social problems. Shame and fear may work better in certain contexts.

Both excellent and important articles, and actually a rather good fit with each other.

 

Transforming Gender Relations in Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa October 25, 2013

The book “Transforming Gender Relations in Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa” is now available. The book is by Cathy Farnworth, Melinda-Fones Sundell, Akinyi Nzioki, Violet Shivutse, and Marion Davis.
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Click here for a low-res PDF of the entire book – the PDF file size is 3 MB.

Click here for a high-res PDF of the entire book – the PDF file size is 43 MB.
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“This book distills lessons learned about integrating gender equality into agricultural development initiatives in Africa, with case studies of efforts at all levels, from households to national government.

“The authors start from the premise that empowered women and men are better, more successful farmers who can make the most of the opportunities around them. They argue that there is a causal relation between more equal gender relations in the household and in the community, and better agricultural outcomes: the one underpins the other.

“This is a radical thing to say, because it means that the standard development interventions – more extension services, better information, more fertilizer, better machinery – will not fully achieve their goals unless women and men are on equal footing, able to make rational economic decisions unhindered by gender norms that limit what is “appropriate” for women or for men to do, or to be.

“Empowering women as decision-makers in all areas of their lives is challenging and exciting. It is a key to poverty reduction. Transforming gender relations will help to make smallholder agriculture and associated development efforts more effective and efficient, with knock-on effects for a variety of development outcomes…”
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See the link below for more on these matters:

Recognizing the African woman farmer

http://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2012/09/01/recognizing-the-african-woman-farmer/

 

Demonising the poor March 22, 2013

Filed under: poverty — Monkey @ 1:59 pm

The current UK government has done much to demonise the poor. As it continues to make changes to the welfare state, which leave many of the poorest in society worse off, it behoves us to question what we are told. A report issued by the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church, the Church of Scotland, and the United Reformed Church does just that. There is more information and suggestions about how to challenge ideas about poverty availale from their website.

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Infographic from the Joint Public Issues website.

 

Living on the margins in modern Britain January 7, 2013

Filed under: class,colonialism,mental health,politics,poverty,prostitution,work — Monkey @ 5:04 pm

What makes a life in modern Britain go well? Doing ok involves keeping oneself (and maybe dependent loved ones) fed, warm, and sheltered; being part of human networks that provide emotional and practical support; possessing the emotional and cognitive tools to function day-to-day, and navigate life’s obstacles; being born in a geographical location that means one finds oneself on the right side of borders legislation; existing in a cultural niche where one is presented with opportunities, other than robbing, drugs, and violence. Doing ok in modern Britain depends to a large extent on luck – accidents of birth and upbringing, together with other factors that are mostly beyond one’s control. For those who are unlucky, life is tough. Journalist, Laura Page, interviews five people living on the margins in modern Britain.

 

One in six live in poverty in USA November 19, 2012

Filed under: poverty — KateNorlock @ 4:00 am

The number of people living in poverty in the US is higher than previously thought, and close to 50 million, according to the U.S. Census, using the second annual Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM).  As reported on the CNNMoney page, “The alternative measure showed the importance of Social Security and the weight of medical care on the elderly. Without Social Security, some 54.1% of Americans age 65-plus would be in poverty, as opposed to 15.1%. But if they didn’t have to pay out-of-pocket health care costs, their poverty rate would have fallen nearly in half to 8%.”

An Idaho paper lifts out two more findings: “Without refundable tax credits such as the earned income tax credit, child poverty would rise from 18.1 percent to 24.4 percent. Without food stamps, the overall poverty rate would increase from 16.1 percent to 17.6 percent.”

 

Pills to help poor children in poor schools October 9, 2012

Filed under: bioethics,hostile workplace,poverty — annejjacobson @ 8:06 pm

Suppose the problem really is in the environment, but you can medicate your child to help them cope. A lot of people may medicate themselves to help them through a bad situation. Facing an MRI in a closed machine (i.e., you’re in the clanging tunnel for possibly an hour)? Xanax can seem reasonable if you are claustrophobic. A wedding with your most difficult relatives? Maybe xanax there too, or a martini or whatever. How about a bad work situation? A pill a day to keep anger away?

For myself I’d say absolutely not in the last case (clarification added in light of comment one). For a healthy child with a poor school environment that makes concentration and learning really too hard? C/D unmedicated, A/B on pills. I feel fortunate not to have to decide this one. Some people do have tO choose between these alternatives:

CANTON, Ga. — When Dr. Michael Anderson hears about his low-income patients struggling in elementary school, he usually gives them a taste of some powerful medicine: Adderall.

The pills boost focus and impulse control in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Although A.D.H.D is the diagnosis Dr. Anderson makes, he calls the disorder “made up” and “an excuse” to prescribe the pills to treat what he considers the children’s true ill — poor academic performance in inadequate schools.

“I don’t have a whole lot of choice,” said Dr. Anderson, a pediatrician for many poor families in Cherokee County, north of Atlanta. “We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid.”

Dr. Anderson is one of the more outspoken proponents of an idea that is gaining interest among some physicians. They are prescribing stimulants to struggling students in schools starved of extra money — not to treat A.D.H.D., necessarily, but to boost their academic performance.

It is not yet clear whether Dr. Anderson is representative of a widening trend. But some experts note that as wealthy students abuse stimulants to raise already-good grades in colleges and high schools, the medications are being used on low-income elementary school children with faltering grades and parents eager to see them succeed.

“We as a society have been unwilling to invest in very effective nonpharmaceutical interventions for these children and their families,” said Dr. Ramesh Raghavan, a child mental-health services researcher at Washington University in St. Louis and an expert in prescription drug use among low-income children. “We are effectively forcing local community psychiatrists to use the only tool at their disposal, which is psychotropic medications.”

Dr. Nancy Rappaport, a child psychiatrist in Cambridge, Mass., who works primarily with lower-income children and their schools, added: “We are seeing this more and more. We are using a chemical straitjacket instead of doing things that are just as important to also do, sometimes more.”

 

Recognizing the African woman farmer September 1, 2012

Recognizing the African woman farmer (click here for full text)

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“Boys learning new ideas of masculinity around campfires in rural Africa and “sisterhoods” formed to provide a common voice to women are starting to change attitudes about African women farmers, say the authors of a forthcoming book about gender and agriculture. But it will take many more such efforts to support women food producers, who make up 43 percent of the agricultural labour force in developing countries. In some countries, that number rises to 70 to 80 percent…”

“…Transforming gender relations will be essential to this process. ‘All too often, men think that work on gender means that they will lose out, and historically it is true that programmes focusing on women only have ignored men’s real needs,’ Farnworth said.

Instead, efforts to effect change must target both women and men within households. ‘These work to transform how decisions taken regarding how to run the farm, and how to allocate money earned, and who benefits. The results have been really very impressive because women and men see the gains to cooperation so quickly – it can take only months to change patterns of behaviour that have existed for generations.’

Change also depends on the involvement of men at all levels, she said. ‘This is true particularly in the case of adapting technologies and integrating into market value chains. Our findings show that promoting methodologies that encourage cooperation between women and men farmers reap productivity dividends as women and men share resources across the farm and maximize the efficiency of their decision-making.’…”

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Recognising the African woman farmer – Interviews with the authors at the bottom of the page

Akinyi Nzioki, Centre for Land, Economy and Rights of Women: What We Do

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Cathy Rozel Farnworth

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Hajia Alima Mahama

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Melinda Fones-Sundell

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Violet ShivutseGroots KenyaUN Women Global Civil Society Advisory Group

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Marion Davis

Huairou Commission: Women, Homes, and Community

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“The Huairou Commission develops strategic partnerships and linkages among grassroots women’s organizations, advancing their capacity to collectively influence political spaces on behalf of their communities and enhance their sustainable, resilient community development practices…”

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http://www.huairou.org/groots-international

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Groots: Grassroots Organizations Operating Together In Sisterhood

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http://www.siani.se/

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Given God speaks through weather events, what’s the message look to be? August 26, 2012

Filed under: politics,poverty,religion,Uncategorized — annejjacobson @ 4:03 pm

We noted earlier that many well-know Republicans interprete major natural events as messages from the deity. What could the current predicted trajectory of Hurricane Isaac mean?

Notice that It seems to be going west of Tampa, but not so west as to avoid a strong storm surge in Tampa Bay. After that, New Orleans may be a big event. And the convention is being delayed for a day.

So what is God saying? Helpful sggestions in the comments gratefully received. Here are some to start us off:

1. To Repubs: BOO!
2. Let’s stir up whatever is left of a sense of community responsibility by reminding the country that Republicans don’t give a rat’s ass about New Orleans.
3. As a favor to the US, let’s save TV from boring convention speeches and put on some broadcasters in life-threatening situations.

Your take below, please!

 

 
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