In a discussion about publication success and failure in feminist philosophy, on the SWIP listserve (I am not copying it here, because that might violate the rules of the listserve), one contributor comments that as an editor of a mainstream journal, she did not receive papers in feminist philosophy. She thinks that feminist philosophers may be cutting themselves off from mainstream journals–to the detriment of the profession, the journals, and ourselves.I’m writing because I found her comments surprising. Speaking for myself, I can fairly readily get non-feminist papers published in mainstream journals, but I only rarely write papers like that. But almost never has my feminist stuff been accepted by mainstream journals. Every time I write a new paper that I’m quite proud of, I try sending it out, first to some of the most selective journals, and then, as the rejections roll in, I send it out to less selective ones. Usually without success. As a result, many of my publications are either books, or invited chapters in books.I feel I’m doing my bit by trying to get my work into mainstream journals, but how long can one go on doing that, without feeling utterly discouraged? The condescending comments I’ve received from reviewers at mainstream journals are not exactly the sort of thing to provide philosophical inspiration.
A bit of good news passed on to me by Buffy the Patriarchy Slayer, who hasn’t figured out how to blog yet. Over the last 18 months, 6 British feminist magazines have launched. This seems to be part of a broader re-energizing of the movement, which was of course never as dead as everyone said it was.
For instance, Female Trouble, a Manchester-based group that formed last August, puts out a magazine – Desperate Living – as well as raising money for traditional feminist causes such as rape-crisis centres. Other recent examples of feminist activism include the resurrection of the annual Reclaim the Night marches in Manchester, Edinburgh and London, the latter attended by 1,500 women in 2006; a march of solidarity in Ipswich following the recent string of murders; a campaign that saw Cardiff city centre strewn with postcards giving statistics on rape and the pay gap; and a protest against lads’ mags outside a Leicester branch of WHSmith this April.
For more, see Jess McCabe’s Guardian article here. I wonder if British students will be flocking to feminist philosophy classes to get in on the hot new trend!