Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

Job Talks: Through a glass darkly February 29, 2008

Filed under: bias,women in philosophy — annejjacobson @ 5:13 pm


Dear Professor Manners: 

I’m a pretty hot property on the philosophy job market this year.  I’ve had  three fly-outs and they all went very well.  I had a lot of great discussions with the faculty in each department.  Of course, I understood that the women faculty wouldn’t really be up to a discussion with someone like me, so I pretty much left them to discuss their feminism or whatever among themselves.  One or two tried to break into the guys’ discussion, but I took my cue from the faculty there and didn’t provide them with the opportunity to embarrass themselves.

Since I fit in so well with each department, I am expecting more than one offer.  What I am wondering is what is the right way to turn down an offer I know lots of people would die for?

You may have solved the problem already.  Your profession is noted for being full of people  with  few  or no social graces, and you can no longer assume that the behavior you recount means everyone agrees that women cannot do philosophy.  I understand you may be surprised and even shocked by this news, but the fact of the matter is that you may have thoroughly and visibly insulted people who have the power of deciding whether you deserve a long term job in their department. 

Even if the female professors are generous enough not to let their feelings of personal animosity toward you decide their vote on your candidacy, they may well be worried about your teaching.  It is well recognized, at least among feminist philosophers, that women undergraduates find philosophy classes less appealing than do men, and the sort of exclusionary behavior you indulged in is one of the causes of that.   

Perhaps you should get out that list of VAP’s and think of another round of applications.


2 Responses to “Job Talks: Through a glass darkly”

  1. maenad Says:

    I’m sure that I’m not alone in having had this experience: I was one of two faculty in our department interviewing a long line of young, male candidates. One candidate we interviewed never looked at me once during the entire interview, and directed *all* of his responses to my older, male colleague. This was the case even when I was the one asking most of the challenging questions.

    Needless to say, he did not get the offer.

  2. jj Says:

    The post is anchored in real life experience.

    Did your male colleague notice?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 12,116 other followers