Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

Market Boost for Women Philosophers seeking jobs November 19, 2014

Filed under: academic job market,women in philosophy — Jender @ 2:34 pm

An amazing new programme.

The purpose of the program is to provide support to women candidates on the job market. Since candidates already receive advice and support from faculty in their departments, this program has a particular kind of support in mind. This is the kind of support that can only come from female peers and mentors who have very recently had a similar experience. The program has several goals:
– To connect female candidates with others in their equivalent positions at other schools.
– To provide female candidates with a “junior mentor” from an outside department, someone who has relatively recently been in their position. Having distance from the candidate’s home department will allow for a mentoring relationship that complements the candidate’s own departmental relationships, and it may even help the candidate better handle and leverage those relationships.
– To facilitate the development of relationships between candidates, their mentors (individually), and their peers (collectively). These relationships take time, as they must involve trust in order to work effectively, so the program design includes multiple points of interaction.
– To provide a structured process for interaction among candidates, peer candidates, and mentors such that candidates feel they are connected to a wider network of females who, on the one hand, have been successful in philosophy, but on the other hand, are not so far out ahead that their success seems unattainable.

Check it out here!


‘Philosophy Grad Student Target of Political Smear Campaign’ November 18, 2014

Daily Nous has the story.

A philosophy graduate student and instructor at Marquette University [Cheryl Abbate] is the target of a political attack initiated by one of her students, facilitated by a Marquette political science professor, and promulgated by certain advocacy organizations.

The full story is quite disturbing, and Justin has screen shots of some incredibly offensive (and misogynistic) comments that have been directed towards Abbate as a result.

Justin has also added this update to the story: “Those interested in encouraging Marquette University to support Abbate may wish to write polite messages of support to the dean of the university’s Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Richard C. Holz, at richard.holz@marquette.edu, or the interim provost of the university, Dr. Margaret Faut Callahan, at margaret.callahan@marquette.edu.”


Women philosophers: 12.04% of authors November 7, 2014

Filed under: women in philosophy — Jender @ 1:33 pm

Table 1 of this paper shows that women are 12.04% of authors of Philosophy papers, 1990-2011.

Thanks, C!


Yet more on CU Boulder November 6, 2014



Reader query: expanding’Women in philosophy’ November 4, 2014

Filed under: women in philosophy — annejjacobson @ 9:18 pm

I teach at a small liberal arts college. A few years ago I started a once-a-semester gathering for our female majors and minors, called Women in Philosophy, mostly to build community over a dinner, but sometimes we talked specifically about gender issues in the discipline and about classroom climate. This year a student asked that we change the name of the group to “Women and Allies in Philosophy” to include people whose relationship to identifying as a woman is more complicated. How can we be more inclusive of trans and gender queer students, which we very much want to do, without opening the doors to men who identify as “allies”? The concern is that doing the latter may recreate in the group the very dynamics that we feel are sometimes harmful to female students in other contexts. Any suggestions for a name change that indicates the direction we would like to go? We would be most appreciative. Thank you.



Barnett moves to sue CU

Filed under: sexual harassment,women in philosophy — philodaria @ 2:21 am

The Daily Camera reports that David Barnett has filed a notice of claim against the University of Colorado, alleging, among other things, “that DiStefano and philosophy professor Alison Jaggar knowingly made false and disparaging statements about him, beginning last year.”

Only three tenured professors have been fired in the university’s 138-year history. All three — Ward Churchill, R. Igor Gamow and Mahinder Uberoi — took legal action against the university in connection with their firings.

“This is a normal procedural move by Barnett’s attorney,” CU’s O’Rourke said. “Whenever the university attempts to take disciplinary action against a tenured faculty member, we get accused of violating that faculty member’s rights, and it’s an effort to shift the attention away from what the faculty member did.”

To be dismissed, a tenured faculty member must demonstrate professional incompetence, neglect of duty, insubordination, conviction of a felony, sexual harassment or moral turpitude, a legal term often defined as an act that violates accepted moral standards.

At the core of CU’s attempt to fire Barnett is a 38-page report he sent to DiStefano and CU President Bruce Benson after learning that a male graduate student had been found responsible for sexually assaulting a female graduate student. . .

Barnett said he was acting as a whistleblower by reporting “willful misconduct” by the office that investigated the alleged assault. Barnett and CU have declined to provide the Camera with Barnett’s 38-page report.

The woman, however, claimed that Barnett began his own investigation into the sexual assault, and talked to other members of the philosophy department about the woman’s marital history and sexual behavior.

H/T DailyNous


Yes, sexual harassment is a thing October 21, 2014

Filed under: sexual harassment,women in philosophy — philodaria @ 4:02 pm

Those who read Robert Hanna’s response to being named in the recent CHE article regarding the situation at CU-Boulder, may have also read his paper that he links to in that response, Sexual McCarthyism, Polyamory, and the First Amendment (if you don’t understand the relationship between those concepts named in the title, you’re not alone–neither did I). Here is an illuminating snippet:

In professional academics, we are now, sadly, in an era of sexual McCarthyism. . . Notice how the phrase “sexual harassment” sounds a lot like “sexual assault” and non-rationally evokes the same moral disgust as the latter phrase, even though the phrases actually mean very different things. But the non-rational emotional association with the ugly phrase “sexual assault” is no doubt precisely why the sexual McCarthyites chose the equally ugly phrase “sexual harassment,” and not, e.g., “romantic relationship troubles.” Indeed, sexual McCarthyites like to talk about “victims” of “sexual harassment precisely because in fact there are no such people as “victims” of romantic relationship troubles–there are just people in all their multifarious peculiarity, having the all-too-familiar romantic relationship troubles with each other — but they want to evoke, non-rationally, the impression that there are such victims.

To be clear, sexual harassment is a thing, and it is not the same thing as ‘romantic relationship troubles.’ For one, ‘romantic relationship troubles’ presupposes the existence of a romantic relationship, and sexual harassment often happens outside the context of any relationship (cf. street harassment), let alone a romantic one. For two, just as an example, sending colleagues unwanted emails soliciting sexual interactions would be sexually harassing, but not an instance of romantic relationship troubles even if you have romantic feelings towards them. Why? Because if your colleagues do not want to be in a romantic or sexual relationship with you, regardless of your desires, there is no sense in which this a problem with your romantic relationship to them–namely, because you do not have one.

As an interesting matter of history, ‘sexual harassment’ was not coined in order to elicit moral disgust regarding behaviors which have no victim. Quite the contrary. Susan Brownmiller recounts how the term actually came to be in In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution (reader’s of Miranda Fricker’s Epistemic Injustice will be familiar with this already, as she quotes this passage in her book):

One afternoon a former university employee sought out Lin Farley to ask for her help. Carmita Wood, age forty-four, born and raised in the apple orchard region of Lake Cayuga, and the sole support of two of her children, had worked for eight years in Cornell’s department of nuclear physics, advancing from lab assistant to a desk job handling administrative chores. Wood did not know why she had been singled out, or indeed if she had been singled out, but a distinguished professor seemed unable to keep his hands off her.

As Wood told the story, the eminent man would jiggle his crotch when he stood near her desk and looked at his mail, or he’d deliberately brush against her breasts while reaching for some papers. One night as the lab workers were leaving their annual Christmas party, he cornered her in the elevatorand planted some unwanted kisses on her mouth. After the Christmas party incident, Carmita Wood went out of her way to use the stairs in the lab building in order to avoid a repeat encounter, but the stress of the furtive molestations and her efforts to keep the scientist at a distance while maintaining cordial relations with his wife, whom she liked, brought on a host of physical symptoms. Wood developed chronic back and neck pains. Her right thumb tingled and grew numb. She requested a transfer to another department, and when it didn’t come through, she quit. She walked out the door and went to Florida for some rest and recuperation. Upon her return she applied for unemployment insurance. When the claims investigator asked why she had left her job after eight years, Wood was at a loss to describe the hateful episodes. She was ashamed and embarrassed. Under prodding—the blank on the form needed to be filled in—she answered that her reasons had been personal. Her claim for unemployment benefits was denied.

‘Lin’s students had been talking in her seminar about the unwanted sexual advances they’d encountered on their summer jobs,’ Sauvigne relates. ‘And then Carmita Wood comes in and tells Lin her story. We realized that to a person, every one of us—the women on staff, Carmita, the students—had had an experience like this at some point, you know? And none of us had ever told anyone before. It was one of those click, aha! moments, a profound revelation.’

The women had their issue. Meyer located two feminist lawyers in Syracuse, Susan Horn and Maurie Heins, to take on Carmita Wood’s unemployment insurance appeal. ‘And then…,’ Sauvigne reports, ‘we decided that we also had to hold a speak-out in order to break the silence about this.’

The ‘this’ they were going to break the silence about had no name. ‘Eight of us were sitting in an office of Human Affairs,’ Sauvigne remembers, ‘brainstorming about what we were going to write on the posters for our speak-out. We were referring to it as ‘‘sexual intimidation,’’ ‘‘sexual coercion,’’ ‘‘sexual exploitation on the job.’’ None of those names seemed quite right. We wanted something that embraced a whole range of subtle and unsubtle persistent behaviors. Somebody came up with ‘‘harassment.’’ Sexual harassment! Instantly we agreed. That’s what it was.’


More news on CU Boulder October 20, 2014

Filed under: sexual assault,sexual harassment,women in philosophy — philodaria @ 8:45 pm

An article in the Chronicle, and a reply from Robert Hanna.

H/T DailyNous


Upcoming training for the site visit program October 18, 2014

Filed under: minorities in philosophy,women in philosophy — annejjacobson @ 7:05 pm

The training for the site visit program will provide you with important information on assessing departmental climate, including legal issue.  Do consider signing up!

A second Site Visit Training Workshop will be held May 31, 2015 immediately following the Diversity in Philosophy Conference to be held at Villanova University, May 28-30, 2015.  To apply to participate in this workshop, please email Peggy DesAutels (peggy.desautels@gmail.com) with a paragraph describing your interest in being trained as a site visitor and an attached CV.  Spaces in the workshop are limited.

Information about the training and the program is available here.  Note the comment from the University of Miami.



The Job market and women in philosophy September 30, 2014

Filed under: jobs,women in philosophy — jennysaul @ 8:06 pm

Meena Krishnamurthy aims to start an important discussion.

….Lately there has been a lot of talk about the problems within the profession and taking action aimed at positive change. I think the job market and best practices are something that should be revisited now.

For more, go to her post.



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