What do you think? (About academic sex and anything else)

It might seem a bit early to do a “What do you think?” when the last one got no comments whatsoever.  But, as always, we are wondering what you are doing, reading, happy about, worried about, etc.  Conferences?  Papers?

AND ALSO Calypso has drawn my attention to some problematic developments in comments over at our good friends’ Philosophy Job Market Blog.  Someone has asked advice about their desire to sleep with a committee member. 

One problem that can arise when A WOMAN does that is that the guys think that she’s getting extra academic benefits in return for  sex and they’re mad.  And I gather at least one comment goes toward this.  I’m going to reserve my opinions here, because the point of this post is:


By the way, from what one can from the comments so far, gay sex is invisible in philosophy departments. 


19 thoughts on “What do you think? (About academic sex and anything else)

  1. Just so no one else has to go first, let me start off by asking whether anyone thinks male students in philosophy are advantaged in any way. (Gasp!)

  2. Well, I’ll comment on what I’ve been reading, since it’s pretty relevant to this blog. I just got vol. 4 of Oxford Studies in Metaphysics in the mail today, and in flipping through it noticed that there were no papers by women. I then got a little suspicious and looked back through vols. 1-3. You guessed it: Oxford Studies in Metaphysics has *never* published a paper by a woman (at least as far as I can tell). The current volume is sold under the tag line: “Anyone who wants to know what’s happening in metaphysics can start here.” There are several ways of interpreting that. . .

  3. I posted over on PJMB, maintaining my unbroken track record of swearing every time I post there. What a fun blog.

    I think everyone should bust out some work on Val Plumwood:

    CALL FOR PAPERS – special issue honoring Val Plumwood

    Ethics & the Environment is considering papers for a special issue in
    honor of
    Val Plumwood. We welcome submissions on Plumwood’s philosophy,
    indigenous environmental ethics, ecological perspectives on
    rationality, and
    other relevant topics.

    Submission deadline: February 15, 2009. Manuscripts may be submitted as
    files via e-mail to eande@uga.edu. For matters of style, consult The
    Manual of Style.

    This special issue is in conjunction with a symposium in honor of Val
    to be held at the University of Georgia March 20-21, 2009
    Melissa Link
    Managing Editor
    Ethics & the Environment
    University of Georgia
    Department of Philosophy
    Peabody Hall
    Athens, GA 30602
    Tel: (706)542-2362
    Fax: (706)542-2839
    E-mail: eande@uga.edu

  4. Hey, PGOAT gave our blog/jj in particular another shout-out on PJMB! All hail the PGOAT:

    “Update from PGOAT: The discussion of whether this is evidence of a vast Chick Conspiracy to take over the old boy’s club by fucking our way to the top continues over at the Feminist Philosophers blog. My favorite comment:
    ‘[L]et me start off by asking whether anyone thinks male students in philosophy are advantaged in any way. (Gasp!)’
    Gasp! Never! “

  5. Thanks so much profbigk. Now I can say it: the problem Anon pointed out has an obvious explanation: no one wants to sleep with a male metaphysician!

  6. Nice one, JJ. :-)

    In all seriousness, though, I think the Oxford Studies thing is particularly egregious when you consider that metaphysics, as a discipline, has no shortage of prominent women doing fantastic work. When you look at all the volumes together — over 40 papers — which are meant to represent leading and ‘cutting-edge’ metaphysics, and see no Haslanger, Thomson, Paul, Bennett, Wilson, Langton, Hawley, etc, the absences start to get pretty noticible.

  7. Hi,

    I think it’s sad that the Oxford Studies in Metaphysics includes no women and that other invite only publications (Oxford Studies in Epistemology, Phil Perspectives, etc…) seem to include a lot of material from people personally connected to the editors. I’d be interested to see some empirical work done to see if there’s any connection between editors of top tier journals to their former students to see if we might notice trends. I think I’ve noticed a few, but that might just be because I’m sort of a nobody with no connections who tends towards bitterness and jealousy. I think there’s far too much goodoldboyery going on in the profession and I’d like to think that all we’d have to do is to out it to make it go away. (In addition to being bitter and jealous, I’m also very naive.)

    As for wanting to sleep with male metaphysicians, I’m not sure. I have to confess harboring a bit of an intellectual crush on many a male metaphysician.

  8. It is sad that Oxford Studies in Metaphysics has no women philosophers published in it. I’m not sure exactly why that is, and I am mortified that this is something that I hadn’t noticed until it was pointed out. (As others have mentioned elsewhere, members of the majority/privledged class/etc., — I am a male metaphysician — aren’t always as aware as they should be.)

    I agree with the last two commentators, with one exception. Oxford Studies in Metaphysics is not an ‘invite only’ publication. (I don’t know anything about the other Oxford Studies of x; they might, for all I know, be solely solicited, although I seem to recall that Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy takes submissions.) OSM accepts submissions, and the submissions are double-blind reviewed. (I don’t think every article is a submitted article, I am pretty confident that the editor does solicit some articles. But a good chunk of those articles in Oxford Studies were blind submissions.)

  9. #10 here.

    Sorry, that was sloppy. The Oxford Studies in Epistemology series looks to be invitation only. I think the same is true for Phil Perspectives and Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion. Hadn’t realized that Oxford Studies in Metaphysics and Ancient Philosophy were not by invitation only.

    I think the profession ought to get away from invite only volumes since these invited pieces put those uninvited philosophers at a decided disadvantage when it comes to the job market. (I guess this matters most for us junior and wannabe junior people.)

  10. It would be terrible if everything was invite only, obviously, but I don’t think we should do away with invite only forums altogether. I won’t name names, but there’re a few excellent papers I can immediately think of (some by female metaphysicians incidentally) that the authors couldn’t, due to their subject matter, get through peer review and only got published because they built up enough cred by publishing other things that they got invitations to publish whatever they wanted in volume X.

    Peer review is important; but the downside of it is that it can sometimes be hard to publish things that go against the grain or challenge the status quo (as any feminist philosopher will know . . .). It shouldn’t be the case that that stuff doesn’t get published – it often turns out in hindsight to be some of the best stuff there is – and invited forums are one way of that stuff getting out there.

  11. A thing we need to remember is that women may be reluctant to invest any effort in an enterprise where women seem to have a particularly hard time winning. Having open submissions is only a very small part of the solution.

  12. In case anyone doubts the existence of excellent female metaphysicians, check out the gender breakdown for the speakers at this conference: http://www.personal.leeds.ac.uk/~phlrpc/Perspectives%20on%20Ontology.htm. Note also that the topic isn’t anything that would be traditionally expected to have lots of women in it– but hey, look, women metaphysicians doing ontology! In addition to criticising those who do badly on this score, we should give credit to those who do well. Yay, Ross Cameron and Eliabeth Barnes! (Is it really a surprise that one of the organisers is a regular commenter on this blog?)

  13. Sadly that came to me on the monthly “Women in Science” newsletter from my professional society… I don’t think the web editor read the comments before *he* put it in the list of useful links and articles for the month, LOL!

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