An interesting article about the effects of using a male pseudonym in the world of literary publishing.
As our UK readers can hardly have escaped hearing, and as other readers may know, the UK Labour Party is currently in the midst of a leadership contest that has seen surprisingly high levels of support for the candidate initially seen as a left-wing outsider, Jeremy Corbyn. Last week, Corbyn’s campaign released a document titled ‘Working with Women’ that sets out a strategy aimed at gender equality. It makes for interesting reading. If elected Labour leader, Corbyn promises to work for free universal childcare, mandatory sex and relationships education in schools, career services for young people aimed at disrupting gender stereotypes (in both directions), mandatory equal pay audits for all companies and an end to fees for employees taking their employers to tribunals (1). He recognizes the greater impact on women of cuts to public services, and besides an end to austerity in general he promises to reverse cuts to rape crisis and domestic violence services in particular. He also commits to having 50% women in the Shadow Cabinet. Taken as a whole, this is an impressive position from a feminist perspective and I find it heartening to see it being put forward by Corbyn as part of his leadership campaign.
None of the other three candidates – Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham, and Liz Kendall – has issued a similar document. However, I did find the following specific positions each had taken in the campaign:
Andy Burnham: has promised a 50% women shadow cabinet, including a woman shadow first secretary of state.
More information on the positions and pledges of any of the candidates relating to gender equality is very welcome in the comments.
(1) This is particularly relevant to discrimination against pregnant women and new mothers; a recent Equality and Human Rights Commission report estimated that up to 54 000 women per year in the UK who are pregnant or on maternity leave are dismissed, made compulsorily redundant or treated so poorly they have to quit their job.
CFP: Justice and Social Ontology of Race August 3, 2015
The North American Society for Social Philosophy (NASSP) invites submissions for its group session at the Pacific APA, 2016. The theme of our session will be:
“Justice and the Social Ontology of Race”
Proposals on topics intersecting this theme, broadly understood, are welcome, and might include:
– The use of racial categories in social planning and policy
– The ontological status and import of racial categories
– Race and the justice system
– The role of race in social and political identity
– Intersectional analyses of racialized experience(s)
– Racial categories and educational institutions
– Race and experience
– Race and equity
– Racial violence
– The status of criminal hate
Other topics in this vein are welcome and encouraged.
Submissions should take the form of extended abstracts or papers. Abstracts should be around 1000 words, with bibliography included. Papers should be under 3000 words. Please include the following information in submission:
Name, affiliation (if any), email address, and paper title.
We welcome submissions from both members and non-members, but we do require that all presenters join the North American Society for Social Philosophy if their papers are accepted.
Submission deadline: September 13, 2015
Submissions and questions should be sent to: Devora Shapiro at shapirod [at] sou [dot] edu, with the subject heading “NASSP APA 2016 SUBMISSION.” Notification of acceptance will be made via email in October. For more information on the society and our events, visit our website.
Philosophers Eliselijn Kingma and Fiona Woollard have responded to a Dutch proposal to increase government powers with respect to pregnant women smoking.
It is very sad when an early life is set back before it is even born. But it is also dreadful that one in four women is the victim of domestic abuse, and that in 30% of cases that abuse begins during pregnancy. Nonetheless the state does not place webcams in our homes, or chips in expectant fathers. Why? Because a just state needs to balance (1) the protection of individuals against each other, and (2) the protection of individuals against the state. In pregnant women, we are too often inclined to lose sight of that latter demand. The physical unity of fetus and pregnant woman means that intervening on the latter in the name of protecting the former is necessarily a profound violation of the mother’s personal freedom, privacy and civil rights. The fetus cannot be forcefully separated from the mother without, literally, cutting her open. And controlling what she inhales and ingests – let alone forced treatment or deprivation of liberty – is a profound interference by the state of her most intimate and basic human freedoms, and a far-reaching abuse of the powers of the state.
Full translation is here.
The Sunday Manhattan cat: “I watched you leave” August 1, 2015
Readers are invited to submit more cheerful lines.
H/t to RMcK
Many thanks to A for sending on this article.
“The majority of young men and women say they would ideally like to equally share earning and caregiving with their spouse,” said Sarah Thébaud, a sociologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “But it’s pretty clear that we don’t have the kinds of policies and flexible work options that really facilitate egalitarian relationships.”
In her Al-Jazeera America post today, Lori Gruen, author of Entangled Empathy, says: “I’ve always been leery of the zero-sum mentality that suggests if you protest against one injustice that means you privilege it over another injustice. This is a convenient and distracting narrative that weakens efforts toward social change. Who benefits when those struggling for a better world end up fighting with each other?” Her article brings to my mind those occasions on which I’ve been told that I shouldn’t be a feminist because men have problems, too. Feminist-interested folks should give this a read.
Society for Women in Philosophy – Ireland
4th Annual Conference and General Meeting
November 27-28, 2015
Ways of Knowing: Feminist Philosophy of Science and Epistemology
Call for Abstracts
The 4th annual conference of SWIP- Ireland is on the theme of Feminist Philosophy of Science and Epistemology. The conference will investigate the ways in which issues relevant to gender influence conceptions of scientific knowledge, its methodology and justification. The conference will also be a forum for investigating the idea of situated and gendered knowledge and its connections with the theories and practices of the natural sciences.
Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
– The social situatedness of knowledge
– Gendered ways of knowing
– Gender, power and knowledge
– Feminist perspectives on science
– The social and cultural dimensions of science
– Gender and the ideals of objectivity and value-neutrality
– Diversity in Science
– Science and the question of implicit bias
-Expert testimony and epistemic injustice in a scientific context
– Feminist standpoint theory
– The role of social and biological location in shaping knowledge
– The role of ethical and political values in science
– The epistemology of ignorance
– Gendered peer disagreement
The focus of the conference is primarily philosophical, however, contributions from scientists interested in gender issues are strongly encouraged and are very welcome.
Professor Linda Alcoff (City University of New York, USA)
Professor Maria Baghramian (Universitiy College Dublin, Ireland)
Professor Helen De Cruz (VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Professor Kathleen Lennon (University of Hull, UK)
Papers directly relevant to the work of the invited speakers are also very welcome.
Please submit abstracts of not more than 500 words, prepared for blind review, by September 1, 2015 to email@example.com. Successful applicants will be contacted by 25th September 2015.
Professor Maria Baghramian, MRIA
Co-Chair: Society for Women in Philosophy – Ireland
School of Philosophy
University College Dublin
Alison bechdel’s ‘fun home’ & democracy now July 30, 2015
Bechdel’s graphic novel about her family swept the Tony Awards last month. It was a stunning success for a number of very talented women, and, in featuring a woman who is a Lesbian, made Broadway again cutting edge.
The play and some key people were featured on Democracy Now today. The link is to the video of the show, I hope.
Thanks to SH for the spelling help.
Notwithstanding its rather clunky title, “Pregnancy and Maternity-Related Discrimination and Disadvantage“, the paper included some shocking findings. Interviews with more than 3,200 women about their experiences of being pregnant at work, or returning to their jobs after giving birth, found that 11% reported having been dismissed, forced to take redundancy or treated so badly that they felt they had no choice but to resign.
According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which co-commissioned the research, assuming that these trends are replicated across the entire workforce means that as many as 54,000 new mothers in the UK may be forced out of their jobs each year.
But what few seemed to notice was that the new figures showed we are moving in the exact opposite direction of progress. Ten years ago, the Equal Opportunities Commission produced a similar report on maternity rights in the workplace, with the much more snappy title of “Greater Expectations”. That report estimated that the number of pregnant women and new mums forced out of their jobs was around 30,000 each year. Ten years on, the number is close to twice that.
It’s really interesting to look at what brought this about– some entirely gender-neutral changes (though with gendered effects that were predicted).
In the last Parliament, the Tories decimated civil legal aid, making it harder for working women to get advice on even their most basic rights. Next came the introduction of tribunal fees, which required women to pay up to £1,200 just to have their case heard, followed by several hundred more for an appeal if necessary. What this has meant in practice is that women who are members of a trade union are generally protected, while the 80% who are not union members are basically left to fend for themselves.
As predicted, sex discrimination claims took the biggest hit from these changes, with figures released earlier this year confirming an astonishing 91% reduction.
(I have no idea, by the way, why anyone would predict that sex discrimination claims would take the biggest hit. I’d expect e.g. racial discrimination claims to be equally hit. Though I suppose if they’re just talking numbers, there are more women than members of other groups likely to be victims of discrimination.)
For more, go here.