Alcoff on Junot Diaz, Me Too, and Intersectionality

A really important article.

Clearly, we need to go beyond easy binaries. The letter I signed calls on all of us to think through the important issue of how to demand individual responsibility from abusers while also being vigilant about our collective and institutional responsibility, to develop critiques of the conventions of sexual behavior that produce systemic sexual abuse. While individuals can never be absolved of responsibility by blaming structural conditions, those conditions do create opportunities, excuses, even training in the ways of domination, and these have to be radically transformed.

Read the whole thing.

Talking about Talking

There have been a few essays and commentaries of late about the difficulties in dialogues within feminism surrounding trans issues. All I’m about to say should be prefaced by acknowledging my lack of expertise or even good acquaintance in trans issues. I am not up to speed on the philosophical literature, nor am I up to speed on how all the conversational dynamics play out in less formal dialogues (e.g., I don’t use Twitter, but gather that this is a veritable hellscape of human misery where these conversations are concerned). My only reason for posting concerns the meta-level talk about talking happening as an offshoot of the core debates.Read More »

“TERFs” turf

TERFs are defined by many as feminists who argue against allowing trans-women into the category ‘women, supposing there is such a category. I saw a TERF piece getting a lot of praise. Or it might just be depressing. See what you think.

See the comments on the use of the term.

“All Translators Make Choices”

Earlier today, Channel 4 News tweeted out a wonderful little excerpt of an interview with Dr. Emily Wilson, the first woman to translate The Odyssey into English. In the interview, Dr. Wilson discusses her surprise in discovering the number of gendered words that weren’t pejorative in the original Greek, but which were translated into English by pejoratives. Watch the excerpt here.

Willingness to rape

UPDATE: I did not realise this was from 2015. Sorry!

Amongst other questions they were asked how they would act in a situation where they could have sexual intercourse with a woman against her will “if nobody would ever know and there wouldn’t be any consequences”. 31.7% of all men participating in the study would force a woman to have sexual intercourse in such a “consequence-free situation” – which is rape.

Worryingly, most men who indicated that they would commit rape did not even recognise their actions as such.

When explicitly asked whether they would rape a woman if there were no consequences, only 13.6% of participants said they would do so, a marked fall on those who had described that they would commit rape.

From here.

Men in Comics

This weekend’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival includes among its many talks and events a panel on “Men in Comics.” Here’s the description:

Men have a long history in comics, both as readers and as characters. This panel is a chance to talk about the decisions that creators make when writing and drawing male-identified people, as well as how these creators’ experience with men in comics have shaped their work. Featuring Caitlin Major, Iasmin Omar Ata, Shieka Lugutu, and Sanya Anwar. Moderated by Eleri Harris.

This all-women panel about men is the latest in a series of such events, intended as playful reversals of all-male panels about women’s participation in various domains. (See, for instance, this all-male panel on women’s empowerment.)

Last year, PodCon featured an all LGBTQ panel on “How to Write Straight Characters,” and Dragoncon featured a last minute replacement of a “Women in Comics” panel by one similar to this weekend’s TCAF panel.

Here’s a fun Twitter discussion of these and other such panels kicked off by Canadian nerd and Dinosaur Comics creator Ryan North.

 

SWIP UK/BUMP Conference

The Philosophy of Pregnancy, Birth, and Early Motherhood

In association with SWIP, BUMP & PHILBIRTH
University of Southampton
Avenue Campus
Building 65, lecture theatres B and C, and seminar room 1163
Thursday 21st June – Friday 22nd June 2018

Conference aims

Although philosophers have explored some issues related to pregnancy, birth and early motherhood – most obviously abortion and the value and metaphysics of coming into existence – relatively little philosophical attention has been paid to pregnancy, birth and (early) motherhood themselves. These are remarkable omissions because pregnancy, birth and early motherhood raise many interesting and important philosophical problems in metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, feminism, the philosophy of science, and other areas.

Pregnancy is unlike anything else that a human being experiences. It involves the production of a new person through a deeply intimate process that can radically transform not only the pregnant person’s body, but also their understanding, values, and who and what they take themselves to be. Pregnancy is also the nucleus of a series of unique physiological processes surrounding reproduction: conception; pregnancy; birth; post-natal recovery and breastfeeding. These processes are of great significance for individuals and society. These are key aspects of human life that are under-investigated in philosophy and are often not dealt with adequately by existing ways of thinking, because they do not fit the paradigm of humans as discrete independent individuals with firm boundaries. In these unique physiological processes, the boundaries between human beings are blurred. This may require rethinking key conceptual schemes – or even how we understand human value. This conference will aim to address such issues.

Pregnancy, birth, and early motherhood inescapably involve issues of gender. Most people who undergo these physiological processes are women. Gender expectations contribute to how we understand the duties of pregnant women and mothers. However, not all persons who are pregnant, give birth, or lactate, identify as women or as mothers, and not all mothers experience pregnancy, birth, or lactation. The conference welcomes papers that address the concept of motherhood from a variety of perspectives, including the perspectives of those who have been pregnant but do not identify as mothers, perspectives of those who identify as mothers but have not been pregnant, and trans perspectives.

These issues are not just interesting and important in their own right, but are also relevant to public policy: pregnancy, birth and early motherhood are constant issues of public controversy and policy development. For this reason one of our keynote speakers will talk about policy during the conference. The conference will also host the SWIP annual general meeting and we will organise a practical advice panel on parenting and work-life balance in philosophy.

Invited speakers

Barbara Katz Rothman (City University of New York Graduate Center)
Elselijn Kingma (University of Southampton)
Sarah LaChance Adams (University of Wisconsin)
Maggie Little (Georgetown)
Clare Murphy (British Pregnancy Advisory Service)
Guy Rohrbaugh (Auburn University)
Stella Villarmea (University of Alcala)
Fiona Woollard (University of Southampton)

Accepted speakers

Robbie Arrell (Wuhan University)
Teresa Baron (University of Southampton)
Lior Betzer (University of Haifa)
Sara Cohen Shabot (University of Haifa)
Sara Gavrell (University of Puerto Rico)
Jean Kazez (Southern Methodist University)
Siu-Fan Lee (Hong Kong Baptist University)
Jane Lymer (University of Wollongong)
Liz McKinnell (Durham University)
Nicole Miglio (University of Milan)
Anna Smajdor (University of Oslo)

For more information, including registration, go here.

Any queries should be sent to the organiser, Suki Finn, at suki.finn@soton.ac.uk