A defamation suit dismissed July 25, 2014
Feminists and sharks (or bees) July 24, 2014
“Women who are ambivalent about women against women against feminism”.
With Patrick Stewart on violence against women as a bonus (at the end of the post).
Correction: Isis have denied issuing the Fatwa, describing it as a hoax, and one document circulated on social media purporting to be a copy of the edict, turns out to be a photo-shopped Syrian document dated 2013. The Guardian and BBC both reported growing doubts, rather than accepting the hoax verdict. To do more than reserve judgement, at this point, seems like accepting the word of a violent and extremist group over that of a (female) UN official.
As if things weren’t bad enough in Northern Iraq, ISIS has issued a Fatwa ordering the genital mutilation of all girls and women in and around Mosul, the city they took in early June. Until now, genital mutilation in Northern Iraq affected 8% of girls aged 15-29, compared to 36% in the 29 African and Middle East countries in which it is most common. According to the UN co-ordinator in Irak, Jacqueline Badcock, 4 million girls and women are at risk if the Fatwa is carried out.
When women advocated for other women, they were seen as colder, and when people of color advocated for people like them, they were seen as less competent. “People are perceived as selfish when they advocate for someone who looks like them, unless they’re a white man,” said David Hekman, one of the study’s authors.
For more, go here.
A great model from STEM July 23, 2014
When UC Davis biologist Jonathan Eisen was invited to give a prestigious named lecture, he was flattered. Then, he consulted the list of previous lecturers in the series and discovered that women researchers had been all but omitted. He wrote to the organizers and declined the invite on the grounds that he did not want to participate in a series with such skewed gender representation. The response from organizers with thoughtful and constructive. The conversation Eisen sparked and that his inviters took up is a great model for all of us. Here‘s Eisen’s blog post about it. Make sure you scroll down to read the organizers’ awesome reply.
The Ethics of In-Vitro Flesh and Enhanced Animals July 22, 2014
Abstracts and call for participation: The Ethics of In-Vitro Flesh and Enhanced Animals (sponsored by the Wellcome Trust)
When will this conference take place?
18-19 September 2014
Where will the conference be held?
Rothbury, Northumberland, England
The conference will take place at the Rothbury Golf Club, starting at 9.00 hrs on Thursday and finishing at 17.00 hrs on Friday.
Call for participation
Everyone who is willing to discuss the conference themes is invited to participate. As places are limited, early booking is advisable. Speakers will generally present papers in 30 mins, followed by 30 mins of discussion.
How do I register?
Registration is made by paying the fee of £ 30, using the following link: http://webstore.ncl.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=2&catid=36&prodid=301
Registration includes the conference dinner on Thursday night, as well as lunches and refreshments on Thursday and Friday. Lunches will comprise a main course, with an option to purchase dessert. For any specific dietary or access requirements, please email Jacqueline.McAloon@ncl.ac.uk. Please note that, for administrative reasons, it is not possible to register for part of the conference. Please also email Jacqueline to inform her whether you would be interested in participating in an informal, pre-conference meeting for drinks and/or dinner on Wednesday evening.
Who are the speakers?
Bernice Bovenkerk, Philosophy Group, Wageningen University.
Amanda Cawston, Faculty of Philosophy and Downing College, University of Cambridge.
Jan Deckers, School of Medical Education, Newcastle University.
Clemens Driessen, Cultural Geography, Environmental Sciences Group, Wageningen University.
Arianna Ferrari, Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
Linnea Laestadius, School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Clare McCausland, Human Rights & Animal Ethics Research Network, University of Melbourne.
John Miller, School of English, University of Sheffield.
Lars Øystein Ursin, Department of Public Health and General Practice, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Kay Peggs, School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies, University of Portsmouth.
G. Owen Schaefer, Lincoln College, University of Oxford.
Barry Smart, School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies, University of Portsmouth.
Cor van der Weele, Department of Communication, Philosophy and Technology, Wageningen University.
Forced Sterilisation and race July 21, 2014
Recent legislation regarding the forced sterilizations performed on incarcerated women in California prisons evokes a muted time in U.S. history when sexist, racist, classist and ableist eugenics policies were orchestrated by the state.
But while the scandal evokes skeletons of days past, the problem is far from dead and buried. Today, state oversight is the perpetrator, as the 39 female inmates who were sterilized from 2005 to 2013 without meeting state requirements for consent exemplify. Despite these nuances, however, forced sterilization looks a lot like it did under the United States’ early Supreme Court-backed eugenic laws: brushed off and racialized.
Such an infuriating issue should attract the ire of the feminist community, but so far there are mostly crickets. This unresponsiveness echoes the attention women’s rights and reproductive justice groups have historically given to forced sterilization, a procedure that overwhelmingly plagues women of color and, in California, has disproportionately affected prisoners of color.
For more, go here.
Yellowface: traditional art and colonial racism July 20, 2014
To what extent should traditional Western artworks be altered in order to excise the racism (or sexism, etc) in them? What do you think?
“Yellowface is nothing new. But people seem unable to leave it behind as an embarrassment of the past. The Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year with a production of the operetta duo’s classic “The Mikado.” Except, writes Jeff Yang over at CNN:
It is the most frequently staged of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas and a perennial favorite of the Society. Every time, they have done it the same way: As a photocopy of the Victorian original, with Caucasian actors wearing garish facepaint and outfits that cartoonishly approximate traditional Japanese garb.
[T]hese “traditional” productions — yellowface productions — of “The Mikado” have to end.
They are the deep-drilled root of the yellowface weed: the place from which the scourge keeps springing back, even when its surface expressions are plucked. There are older examples of yellowface in entertainment than “The Mikado,” but none so popular, and certainly none that have been as popular among mass audiences for as long — 129 years and counting.
I want to be clear that I’m not saying that “The Mikado” shouldn’t be performed at all.
Its biting satire and splendidly silly stage play make it quite possibly Gilbert and Sullivan’s greatest work. But when it is performed by an all-white troupe of actors dressed and made up as Asians, it shifts from a brilliant comedy of manners to, as Asian-American actress and blogger Erin Quill says, a “racist piece of crap.””
Sexual harassment in science: very common in field work July 18, 2014
I am frequently asked whether philosophy is worse than other fields for sexual harassment. I always reply the same way: we cannot get reliable statistics for something so unreported, and so often sealed under confidentiality when it is reported. I also frequently encounter scientists who are shocked by the stories from philosophy. But this shock of course doesn’t show that similar things don’t go on in their fields: after all, philosophers are shocked by these stories too.
Now we know a bit more about what goes on in some other fields, though, and it doesn’t look good. At least in scientific disciplines involving fieldwork, sexual harassment is a very big problem.