really older women

From the NYTimes:

Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, became the first woman and African-American to lead the House Financial Services Committee, at the age of 80.

Men, of course, have led major organizations well into their seventh and even eighth decades, retaining their power and prominence. But the #MeToo movement has toppled some high-profile males, from 77-year-old Charlie Rose to Les Moonves, 69, who was ousted as head of CBS after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, creating unexpected openings for the elevation of women.

And Susan Douglas, a professor of communication studies at the University of Michigan who is writing a book on the power of older women, said “a demographic revolution” was occurring — both in the number of women who are working into their 60s and 70s and in the perception, in the wake of #MeToo, of their expertise and value.

“Older women are now saying ‘No, I’m still vibrant, I still have a lot to offer, and I’m not going to be consigned to invisibility,’ ” she said. “These women are reinventing what it means to be an older woman.”

“a woman’s rights”

The NYTimes has a series of pieces exploring what happens as ‘More and more laws are treating a fetus as a person, and a woman as less of one,  as states charge pregnant women with crimes…

A woman studying nuns in the middle ages told me recently that nunneries were often seen as refuges from too-often fatal pregnancies.  Reading the Times’ series one feels pregnancies can be dangerous, not so much physically as legally.  The series is so full of details that it is, as far as I cn see, goood material for classes.

Sexual Harassment: focus on institutional culture

This article presents it as surprising, but I’m certainly not surprised:

“It’s not about rooting out the bad apples; we need to focus on the whole barrel,” said Lilia Cortina, a professor of psychology and women’s studies at the University of Michigan and one of 21 experts who authored the report. “When organizations really cultivate a climate that makes clear it will not tolerate sex harassment, employees are much less likely to engage in sexual harassment,” she said.

Read more.

Thanks, T!

How many Barbies are you giving this season?

I’d guess that most readers of this blog are not thrilled at the idea of buying one Barbie, still less a flock to distribute among the girls they give presents too.  However, a recent op-ed In the NY Times argues that anti-Barbie feelings are a prejudice that valorizes boys toys – and so signs of masculinity – over a femininity in girls.

Eschewing femininity in girls while embracing masculinity in boys (and girls too) sounds initiatively pretty bad.  The writer misses, however, the extent to which the icons on each side encode, and propagate, particular values.  It would be very hard to copy Barbie, though not impossible.  But her presence can still make clear societal values concerning weight, skin color and wardrobe.  Be thin!  Lighter is better!  Wear the trendy!  It isn’t that being thin is bad, but the message that thinness is the preferred look can, surely we all know, be harmful.

Is my negative reaction right?  What do you think?  One quasi-objection might be that for younger people what I’ve called icons are in fact less gendered. What difference might this make?



If you’d like to offer a paper-in-progress for discussion at a Spring 2019 SWIPshop, please submit an abstract (up to 750 words) to by January 20, 2019.

For more information about The New York Society for Women in Philosophy, go to:

We accept submissions of abstracts on any topic in the philosophy of gender, feminist philosophy, feminist theory, queer theory, and related topics. This year we are also welcoming papers on the scholarship of any contemporary or historical woman philosopher (on any philosophical topic).

We are planning three workshops for the spring semester, to take place at the philosophy conference room at Baruch College, Vertical Campus, 55 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, on Fridays from 6:30pm-8pm. Selected presenters are expected to provide a finished paper one week before the workshop to be distributed to attendees in advance. At SWIPshop we have refreshments and workshop the paper.

SWIPshop is a place for philosophers of all genders, all philosophical traditions, and all professional levels (graduate students, junior faculty, senior faculty, emerita) to meet as equals and discuss their work in a supportive environment. Graduate students, in particular, are encouraged to attend SWIPshop and present their work.

When making selection decisions, we prioritize work by junior scholars and graduate students, and aim to have workshops on a diversity of topics.

–The SWIPshop Committee:

Amy Baehr, Kimberly S. Engels, Cara O’Connor, Andreea Prichea, and Kamili Posey

CFP: Interrogating Disability and Prostheses

Special Issue: Women, Gender & Research, 2020/1

The meaning and significance of bodily differences, norms of embodiment, and imaginaries about (‘proper’) personhood are central problematics within feminist studies, disability studies and feminist bioethics alike. These problematics relate not only to differential experiences and contexts for living particular lives, but also to associated social and institutional power-relations, hierarchies and policies, as well as to the material and technological circumstances that in different ways shape – limit and make possible – different ways of living.

In this Special Issue we invite papers that critically examine diverse phenomena of disability, whether physical or mental, congenital, acquired, or age-related, from feminist perspectives.

In particular, contributors are invited to think critically and creatively about disability in relation to the objects, notions or metaphors of ‘prostheses’. Prostheses can be thought of in relation to a diverse multitude of phenomena – from wheelchairs to hormone replacement therapy – that in different ways shape and reshape not just functionality, but the very fabric of human lives, particularly in the context of disability. In addition, the prosthetic metaphor is operationalized in a wide range of contexts, evoking a blending of human and technology to triumphantly overcome the ‘natural’ limitations of the ‘ordinary’ human body.

The development of increasingly sophisticated technologies that can aid individuals with disability (e.g. high-tech prostheses, brain implants, exo-skeletons, intense pharmaceutical interventions, etc) have changed drastically the modes through which disability is represented and understood in mainstream and alternative cultures. In consequence, the use and/or incorporation of prostheses cannot be read as simply utilitarian and in disability (and similarly in organ transplantation) is often associated with a dysphoria that indicates the difficulties of identity reformation (Sharp 2006; Sobchack 2010; Shildrick 2015). Despite a biomedical reading of prostheses as always therapeutic and often literally life-saving, recipients may tell a different story of how the incorporation of non-self elements into the body can cause disruption in one’s phenomenological experience and therefore to the sense of self – an issue not just about enduring physical discomfort but mental distress that far exceeds the positivist claims made for biotechnological interventions. The patterns of inclusion and exclusion, and categories of normal and abnormal, and natural and artificial, that generally circulate in western societies, contribute further to the ambiguities and contradictions that problematise each act of incorporation.

The Special Issue welcomes contributions that unsettle the familiar certainties of modernist thought by exposing all the gaps, fissures and aporia between the ideal and the actual that render some lives – often those of people with disabilities – unsustainable. Interdisciplinary
approaches and approaches that bring an important gendered dimension to these considerations, as well as analyses of the diverse aspects of social injustice and local and global inequalities as related to health and ability, are particularly encouraged.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:
Gendered representations of disability and prostheses
Disability and the posthuman
Gender affirming/transforming prostheses
Neural prostheses
Technologies and materialities of disability
Queering concepts and practices of prostheses and disability
Norms of embodiment, personhood and ‘healthy’ bodies
Disability, crip and feminist theory/methodology
Disability/prostheses and feminist bioethics
Disability policies and inequality

Lisa Käll, Associate Professor, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, Stockholm University.
Jonathan Mitchell, Ph.D. Student, School of Philosophy, University College Dublin.
Tobias Skiveren, Ph.D. Student, School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University.
Morten H. Bülow, Ph.D., Coordination for Gender Research, University of Copenhagen.

Deadline for abstracts (max 300-word + up to 100 word author bio): February 25, 2019

Deadline for articles: August 25, 2019

All contributions must be in English and should be submitted to:

Guidelines for contributors:

For more information about the journal Women, Gender & Research / Kvinder, Køn & Forskning, see: or

FPQ 4.4: Epistemic Injustice and Recognition Theory

On behalf of my co-editors, I am happy to announce the publication of Volume 4, Issue 4 of Feminist Philosophy Quarterly. This special issue of peer-reviewed articles on the topic of Epistemic Injustice and Recognition Theory is guest-edited by Paul Giladi and Nicola McMillan, and includes contributions by authors Matthew Congdon, Anna Cook, Michael Doan, Debra L. Jackson, Andrea Lobb, José Medina, and Louise Richardson-Self, followed by an afterword by Miranda Fricker.

As always, we are free and open-access to authors and readers.

Check out the lovely table of contents!

Special Issue: Epistemic Injustice and Recognition Theory

Paul Giladi, Nicola McMillan, Introduction: Epistemic Injustice and Recognition Theory

José Medina, Misrecognition and Epistemic Injustice

Matthew Congdon, “Knower” as an Ethical Concept: From Epistemic Agency to Mutual Recognition

Andrea Lobb, “Prediscursive Epistemic Injury”: Recognizing Another Form of Epistemic Injustice?

Louise Richardson-Self, Offending White Men: Racial Vilification, Misrecognition, and Epistemic Injustice

Michael Doan, Resisting Structural Epistemic Injustice

Anna Cook, Recognizing Settler Ignorance in the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Debra L. Jackson, “Me Too”: Epistemic Injustice and the Struggle for Recognition

Miranda Fricker, Epistemic Injustice and Recognition Theory: A New Conversation —Afterword