A reader has written to ask about instituting Equality and Diversity training across a university for undergrads. I think the focus at her university is on implicit bias related issues, but obviously things like bystander training could be incorporated. Does anyone know of ways that this has been done well and successfully? I know that sometimes this sort of effort can backfire, so would appreciate the cautions as well as the more positive suggestions.
Reader query: success rates for women and minorities February 15, 2014
I’ve had the following query from a reader.
This is just a request for some information (if you happen to have it, or know someone who might) regarding whether it’s in fact easier for women and minorities to get jobs in philosophy in the current climate.
There is a lot of negative energy in philosophy at the moment (as you know), and one thing that occurs quite frequently is what I call the taking away of credit from women and minorities for their successes on the job market. It takes the form of faculty members and graduate students saying “So-and-so only got that job because she’s a woman/minority”. Because this kind of attitude is so pervasive and so harmful (because it devalues women/minorities), one perhaps easy thing to do to combat it would be to make some stats available to the relevant people/departments. I’ve been trying to collect the relevant information, but it’s a slow and tedious process. I was thus wondering whether you might have some of this information already.
Please do respond if you’ve got the stats! But I’d say also respond if you have thoughts about other ways of dealing with such claims. I have suggested citing implicit bias as good evidence that things won’t be easier for women and minorities.
A (male, tenured) reader writes:
I have to review a book that came out in 2013. It contains 14 essays, with 15 authors (as one is co-authored). I agreed to do it without considering the makeup of the authors. Now I see that all the authors are men.
I’m looking for some advice on how to mention the gender makeup of the volume. My gut instinct to say something snarky. But snark can be a mistake.
I’m tenured and willing to take hostile responses from just about anyone. So I don’t have to worry about how it will effect me.
Thanks for any advice you can supply!
Reader Query: Feminist Philosophy of Physics. February 10, 2014
From a reader:
I have a graduate student in my Feminist Philosophy course who would like to write his paper in Philosophy of Physics — specifically, he is interested in exploring how the exclusion of women in the field of Physics has resulted in ignoring particular questions within Physics. I referred him to Evelyn Fox Keller’s work in this area, as well as some articles by Helen Longino, Donna Haraway and Nancy Tuana (though the latter focused more on problems of privileging certain types of knowledge). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
A reader who is updating a departmental climate page is seeking….
a list of resources that might be of help or interest to underrepresented groups in philosophy other than women.
What’s the state of your state? January 25, 2014
Readers: Does your state/city/municipality have non-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ communities? Is there relevant legislation in place or pending that you know of? Post here on the state of the laws in your place of residence with regard to LBGTQ equality for the sake of our readers on the market, and save some already exhausted candidates some time.
Reader query: activities for women in philosophy group January 10, 2014
I recently received an email from someone seeking suggestions for things that a departmental women in philosophy group could or should do. This seemed to me an excellent topic to crowd-source. So please leave your favourite suggestions in comments!
‘Classic’ readings by women November 26, 2013
A reader sends the following query:
Our department is setting up a proseminar (basically a seminar for first year PhD students to get through some classic material, reinforce some methodology and do some bonding). Of course, there is a danger that ‘classic’ will be read as ‘seminal’ and all the papers taught will be by men. Does anyone have a list of classic papers by women? It might help my cause if I can proactively suggest some.
Suggestions much appreciated!
Famous women philosophy majors? September 2, 2013
Query from a reader:
I’m developing some advertising for our philosophy major, and among other things I’m coming up with a list of famous philosophy majors. The usual lists, though, are (perhaps unsurprisingly) dominated by men. I want a select list that is 50% women, as I want to recruit women into the major. Can you help me by posting a request for people to list famous women philosophy majors (e.g., Angela Davis, Susan Sarandon) in the comments? Thanks!
Reader query: men and feminist philosophy jobs August 9, 2013
A reader writes:
As the job season approaches again, I was curious if I could get feedback about men applying for feminist philosophy jobs. I am a heterosexual, cissexual, white male. I work in a field of philosophy that I often approach through feminist and queer thinkers. My MA advisor was a feminist philosopher of some note, and my PhD advisor was a male queer theorist. I have a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies, my biggest publication is in Hypatia, and two-thirds of my conferences are explicitly feminist or queer oriented. At the job I adjuncted at while finishing my dissertation, I was affiliated with that University’s Women and Gender Studies department, and taught classes that were cross-listed. I say this as a way of pointing out I have fairly traditional credentials for applying for feminist philosophy jobs. However, I don’t know if I should apply for those jobs.
The first question is if it is ethically permissible to apply for feminist philosophy jobs. As we all know, there are few women in philosophy, and many departments are mostly, even exclusively, male. Feminist philosophy jobs are one of the ways many departments make sure to hire at least one woman. Moreover, the constant maleness of departments is a good way to turn off female students, and I wonder at the way such students would react if even their feminist philosophy professors are another heterosexual, cissexual, white male. Perhaps I should apply for jobs in my other area of specialization, and simply ignore jobs whose AOS is feminist philosophy. Feedback on if I, and other men, should apply for feminist philosophy jobs is welcome. Thank you!