Glass Ceiling in the Ivory Tower?

Regarding Stoat’s earlier post On Women in Philosophy and Jender’s earlier post on Critical Mass, I thought this article drawing attention to some recent HESA statistics was interesting. It seems that the numbers of female academics in British Universities has risen slightly. However, the interesting bit:

1) 42% of F/T Lecturer level posts (Assistant Professorships) are held by females.

2) 30.8% of F/T Senior Lecturer level posts (Associate Professorships) are held by females.

3) 16.5% of F/T Professorial posts are held by females.

Assuming, from the Critical Mass article, that what holds for business environments holds for academic ones too, then, although female Senior Lectureships meet (just) the critical mass requirement, I’d expect the need to meet the 30% level is really at the Professorial level. In which case, the 16.5% stat is a bit concerning.

Society for Women in Philosophy conference

This looks like it could be an interesting conference, and an ideal opportunity to hear Professor Jaggar if you’re located in the UK:UK SOCIETY FOR WOMEN IN PHILOSOPHY (SWIP) AUTUMN CONFERENCE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM, NOTTINGHAM(22-23 NOVEMBER 2007)CFP: JUSTICE AND GENDERDeadline for submissions: 1st September 2007Keynote speaker:Professor Alison Jaggar (University of Colorado)A crucial and ongoing task of feminist philosophy is revealing the ways in which gender systems have led to injustice. Feminist analyses of institutions, cultural assumptions, and social practices that result in gendered inequalities have transformed traditional political philosophy. We invite women philosophers who would like to take part in this conference to submit full papers (to be presented in forty minutes) discussing any aspect of gender, justice, and their intersection. Submissions from graduate students are very welcome.Possible topics include (but are not restricted to):• The concept of gender• Family life• Feminism and culture• Models of discrimination• Reproductive rightsPapers should be prepared for blind review, and we ask authors to ensure that no identifying information is included in the main body of the paper.Electronic submissions (preferred format) should be sent put ‘SWIP submission’ in the subject heading. If you do not receive acknowledgement of your submission within two working days, please send it again.Paper submissions can be sent to:Dr. Komarine Romdenh-RomlucDepartment of Philosophy,University of Nottingham,Nottingham. NG7 2RD

Treating things as people

There have been some recent articles (e.g. Rae Langton’s “Sexual Solipsism”, Philosophical Topics 1995; Melinda Vadas’s “The Manufacture for Use of Pornography and Women’s Inequality”, Journal of Political Philosophy 2005) discussing possible connections between treating people like things and treating things like people. S just sent me a link to a 2004 story about a Japanese ‘boyfriend pillow’ (really boyfriend arm pillow). A quick google reveals that a ‘girlfriend pillow’ was later released, but this took the form of a lap wearing a short skirt. Interesting cases to consider as possible instances of treating things as people. And far less creepy (despite the dismemberment) than the Real Dolls. Another interesting case to consider is that of the cardboard cut-outs of loved ones given to families of some US soldiers in Iraq.