Petition: Brexit as threat to UK academia


UK universities consistently rank among the global top in terms of research and education. A large part of the UK’s international reputation lies in its higher education and research. A threat to academia will harm the UK’s general reputation, as well as its ability to build international relations….

To read the whole thing, and sign, go here!  And PLEASE sign.    (It’s not limited to UK citizens and residents– anyone can sign.)

Kate Manne on why Clinton isn’t further ahead

3. The psychologist L.A. Rudman has proposed the following answer: people are (often unwittingly) motivated to maintain gender hierarchies, by applying social penalties to women who compete for, or otherwise threaten to advance to, high-status, masculine-coded positions. This “status incongruity hypothesis” is consistent with the results of the previous study, and helps to explain them. In a 2012 study citing it, among other work by Heilman, Rudman and her collaborators showed that the effect is mediated by what is known as the “social dominance penalty,” where women in such positions who are agentic (i.e., competent, confident, assertive) are perceived as extreme in masculine-coded traits like being arrogant and aggressive. They are often described as “ballbreakers” and “castrating bitches.” (Sound familiar?)

These also happen to be verboten traits for women (as Rudman et. al. confirmed experimentally). So agentic women competing with men for male-dominated roles are doubly likely to be punished and rejected in light of these mechanisms. They are perceived as having more of the qualities they are less permitted to have than their identically-described male counterparts (described, again, using the same textual stimuli, such as letters of recommendation with the names switched).

The explanation Rudman offers for the social dominance penalty was further confirmed by the following, fascinating result: it could be augmented under a “high threat” condition where, at the beginning of the experiment, participants read an article called “America in Decline,” which included the following paragraph:

These days, many people in the United States feel disappointed with the nation’s condition. Whether it stems from the economic meltdown and persistent high rates of unemployment, fatigue from fighting protracted wars in the Middle East that have cost America dearly in blood and treasure, or general anxieties regarding global and technological changes that the government seems unable to leverage to their advantage, Americans are deeply dissatisfied. Many citizens feel that the country has reached a low point in terms of social, economic, and political factors.

In this condition, agentic women who aspired to high-powered positions were significantly less liked and more often turned down for a promotion than in the “low threat” and control conditions.

Go read the whole thing!

CFP: Mary Wollstonecraft


MARCH 8 (International Womens Day) 2017



As part of the celebrations for Hull as UK City of Culture 2017 the University of Hull is hosting an interdisciplinary celebration of the life, work and legacy of Mary Wollstonecraft, (who spent her formative years in the nearby town of Beverley).


Papers are welcome on any aspect of Wollstonecrafts life, work and legacy from Gender Studies, Philosophy, Politics, History, Literature, Education or any other relevant discipline. 


A prize of £100 will be awarded for the best paper, which will also be published in the Journal of Gender Studies Special issue on Mary Wollstonecraft, which will follow the conference.


Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words to  by January 6 2017


Topics can include, but are not limited to:

Wollstonecrafts Life and Legacy

Philosophy and Feminism

Women and Revolutionary Times

Wollstonecraft and her Circle

Mothers and Daughters

A Vindication of the Rights of Women

Travel Writing

Women and Politics

Reason and Passion: A life of Contradictions

Memorialising our Feminist Past


Invited Speakers include:

Professor Michelle le Doeuff :  one of the most important contemporary feminist philosophers. Her works include The Philosophical Imaginary, Hipparchias Choice and The Sex of Knowing,

Professor Janet Todddistinguished biographer of Wollstonecraft, whose books include: Mary Wollstonecraft : A Revolutionary Life,  and The Complete Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft.. 

Caroline Criado Perez: prominent campaigner for the memorialisation of women

Dr. Sandrine BergesWollstonecraft expert and lecturer in philosophy at  Bilkent University, whose publications include  The Routledge Guidebook to Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman , 2013

Roberta Wedge,  spokesperson for the high profile Mary on the Green campaign for the memorialisation of Mary Wollstonecraft.



Further detailed access information, which is event specific, will be provided prior to registration.

Suitable quiet space will be made available for breast feeding if required.

Please contact if you have access or childcare queries

Guest post: An Open Letter to Sandy Bartky

My open letter to my friend, Sandy Bartky, on this sad day of her passing:

October 17, 2016
Dear Sandy,

Maya Angelou once said that there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. When you first entered my life, in my sophomore year of college, you validated so many feelings inside of me and so many perceptions that I held of the world around me. Your work on body image, feminism, oppression, objectification, performance, and power gave voice to the silent anger festering inside me and inside all women who are paying attention. You provided syntax and context to the story that I was bearing inside me and gave me words to let it out.

In college, I devoured your work like a starving child handed bits of food. I drowned myself in the complexity of your feminist theory, submerging my entire being into the pages of explanations of why we feel so inadequate, so disenfranchised, and so objectified. I pondered and questioned and wrote responses to your position on the fluidity of masculinity and femininity; I facilitated passionate debates on whether it was true or not that to be a feminist, one has first to become one. I used your work to introduce idealistic and naïve young students to the realities and legacies of oppression that most of the privileged elite will never experience. I used your work to teach empathy and to inspire understanding. I tried to give my young students skills and strength to rise up to fight the systemic oppression that you so eloquently described in two short sentences, but that explains the realities of a fog that settles upon many and is invisible, yet stifling to us in our daily lives – “One of the evils of a system of oppression is that it may damage people in ways that cannot always be undone. Patriarchy invades the intimate recesses of personality where it may maim and cripple the spirit forever.”

So to have the chance to meet you in person twenty years after first reading your work was an honor and privilege. I expected you to be impressive and smart. I expected you to be well-read and politically savvy. What I did not expect was your ability to make me feel so loved, so quickly; to feel so welcome each time we met, and to be held so tightly each time you hugged me goodbye. I did not expect for us to go so deep into our histories and to share so meaningfully. I did not expect to find in you a confidante and a mentor and for that, please know that my gratitude extends beyond anything that can be explained in this letter. I thought that we would have more time together and that we would finish so many of the conversations that we have only just begun. I thought that I would finish the rest of my writing so that I could share it with you and you would see your influence within the sentences and your touch within the paragraphs.

I accept now that we will not have that time together on earth. So I leave you with this letter as a small expression of my gratitude for the myriad of ways that you have influenced my life, my work, and my being. You said in the introduction of one of your books that you had hoped that your work be consciousness raising, but also be an instrument for political intervention. Please know that you have succeeded. You have made a difference and that the feminists that you helped to create will nurture, mentor, and support the next generation and the one after that… for years to come. You gave us the tools and we will take it from here. Rest well my sweet friend. May you find on the other side the peace, the love, the equality and everything that you’ve fought for here on earth. Thank you for the love that you have shown to me and for the lessons that you have taught me. Few have been as influential, directly or indirectly, in contributing to the woman that I have become. I love you and I will miss you.

Until we meet again,
Juliet L. Rogers, PHD, MPH
Asst Professor, University of Michigan

Sandra Lee Bartky, 1935-2016

With sadness, we note the death of Prof. Sandra Lee Bartky. Sandy Bartky was a Professor Emerita with the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was also part of the Women’s Studies program from its inception. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana. Her areas of expertise included existential philosophy, phenomenology, critical theory, Heidegger, Marxism, postmodernism, and feminist theory.

Sandy Bartky was a founding member of the Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP), from its formation in Chicago in 1971, and she attended almost every meeting of their Midwest division for many years. The importance of feminists in philosophy to her own personal and scholarly fulfillment is vividly described in her introduction to her widely cited and best-known work, Femininity and Domination: Studies in the Phenomenology of Oppression (Routledge 1990).

It is difficult to do justice to her influence on generations of students and colleagues. Her work was so formative and transformative, perhaps because of her experience as a founder of SWIP. As she says, describing that initial gathering, “Clearly, if there were to be such a thing as feminist philosophy, we who were philosophers and feminists would have to invent it.” It is not a coincidence, and was rather her aim, that so many of us who read her work were shaped by it, shaken into new awareness of ourselves, and expanded by our appreciation of feminist philosophies. She notes in F&D, “Most of my writing is meant to offer occasions for consciousness-raising… I hoped that ‘Toward a Phenomenology of Feminist Consciousness‘ would explain to non-feminists, or not-yet-feminists, what we were about; indeed, I was trying to seduce them.”

Today, as it happens, one of my students, a first-year who is already interested in political and social theory, came to my office hours and asked, “What’s Phenomenology?” I wish I had known that Sandy was leaving us even as I introduced her to a member of the newest generation of university students. I’m so grateful that she continues to raise our consciousnesses, one reader at a time, to seduce us, to make plain our assumptions and move us to know ourselves.

It is something of a custom to share an excerpt of an author’s work in our acknowledgement of their death. I give you just an excerpt of “Toward a Phenomenology of Feminist Consciousness.” If it is tantalizing, seducing, if you want more, if it accomplishes a twinge in your awareness and even a political intervention, then her influence continues, and her endeavor to persuade you to share her endeavors is accomplished. Pessimists, set your pessimism aside, because there is no time for it here. Bartky’s perspective is entirely informed by awareness of the possibilities.

The very meaning of what the feminist apprehends is illuminated by the light of what ought to be. …To say that feminist consciousness is the experience in a certain way of certain specific contradictions in the social order is to say that the feminist apprehends certain features of social reality as intolerable, as to be rejected in behalf of a transforming project for the future. …What Sartre would call her “transcendence,” her project of negation and transformation, makes possible what are specifically feminist ways of apprehending contradictions in the social order. Women workers who are not feminists know that they receive unequal pay for equal work, but they may think that the arrangement is just; the feminist sees this situation as an instance of exploitation and an occasion for struggle. Feminists are not aware of different things than other people; they are aware of the same things differently. Feminist consciousness, it might be ventured, turns a “fact” into a “contradiction”; often, features of social reality are first apprehended as contradictory, as in conflict with one another, or as disturbingly out of phase with one another, from the vantage point of a radical project of transformation.

Thus, we understand what we are and where we are in the light of what we are not yet. But the perspective from which I understand the world must be rooted in the world, too.

Sally Haslanger on gender in the election

Just a small taste:

There are many things that might be said about the androcentrism of the U.S. political system and the ways it rewards masculinity. Masculinity, of course, is associated with strength, courage, protection, and violence (as needed); femininity is associated with care, upkeep, negotiation, peacekeeping. Although national security is a reasonable concern in a presidential election, one could argue that, in Jane Addams’ words, civic housekeeping is at least as important for the well-being of our country as defense (Haslanger 2016).

Yet how much do Clinton’s decades of work on children’s rights, health care, and environmental protection count as qualifications for president, compared to Trump’s alleged business success, built upon unfettered self-interest and aggression toward any threat? Are Clinton’s strengths too feminine? Has she developed hawkish values in order to compete for the office of “top man”? Clinton is caught in a double bind: If she appears feminine, then due to androcentrism, she isn’t suited to office; if she appears masculine, then due to misogyny, she must be corrected or punished.

Read the whole thing!

What Feminist Epistemology Would Say to Donald Trump

By Miranda Pilipchuk:

Since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president of the United States in June 2015, the internet has exploded with reports and analyses of the candidate, with a special emphasis placed on the shocking and dramatic statements Trump has made the forefront of his campaign. As of yet, however, there has been relatively little attention paid to what feminist epistemology has to say about Trump, and his shocking and dramatic statements. This blog post is a small attempt to remedy this gap in the conversation, focusing specifically on Trump’s position as an epistemically privileged subject, and how this epistemic privilege shapes Trump’s approach to the truth.

Read on!

Why was this the breaking point?

Kate Manne:

are Republicans finally rejecting Trump for his misogyny as such, or rather for being kind of disgusting, in a way which just so happened to be misogyny? The misogyny has of course been instrumentally useful for Republicans to harp on, since it gives them an easy out via moralistic outrage and the usual veneer of paternalism. (What about the women?) But I suspect it was the peculiar phraseology, creepy boastfulness, and all-around social awkwardness that probably bothered them more than anything — certainly more than what Trump actually does to women, which they had ample evidence of already. They still don’t give a flying proverbial about women as people, each one an individual with a mind, will, and body that belongs to her and no-one else. So Trump may be ousted as a misogynist in name only. And if Pence does succeed him, our prospects are no better.