Rational Agency and Feminist Philosophy

Do posts on rational agency or new behavioral econimics count as feminist?  Does feminist philosophy have to address issues explicitly about women or gender?

One thing going on behind the scenes here is that we see wordpress’s daily tally of the main search terms bringing  readers to this blog.  And sometimes one is “kyriarchy,” which Jender wrote about.   And that’s the pyramid structure of power relations that constrain and oppress so many.

 Looking recently at the search terms and that  post, I realized that feminists’ work that isn’t explicitly about women or gender may none the less have a very closely related topic, the kyriarchy.  Writings about the conception of rational agency or the domination of traditional economics can certainly be in many ways about the kyriarchy.  For example, the European self-conception of rational agency is  very present still in discourse about the “conquered” or enslaved.  

Three questions arise.  Please join in on them.  To some extent they raise the question of whether professional philosophy has often to present itself as politically disengaged.  Perhaps the answer to that  is easy.

1.  If we counted papers on  the kyriarchy as feminist, would there seem to be more feminist papers in the top journals?

2.  If  papers and books on the kyriarchy were candidates for feminist works, would we end up with works in the feminist corpus which really are not feminist at all, maybe to the point of being hostile to women?

3.  Are there many papers in philosophy which do criticize the products of the kyriarchy as unfortunate ways of thinking but don’t seem to contain any awareness of their political significance?  Relatedly, is bringing out the political significance of one’s criticism of the ideas of rational agency a way of inviting rejection by Phil Rev?

I would think that a lot in virtue ethics and some neo-Wittgensteinian work does undertake tasks very congenial to criticizing some of the cultural artefacts of  the kyriarchy.  Is Alva Noe’s work on perception covertly relevant  to the kyriarchy?  Any other candidates?  Specific or more general?

Why are the boys still behind in reading?

That’s what one wonders, baffled, reading this article. After all, the school had segregated the classes by sex and assigned each class perfectly gender-stereotyped books to read.

At the end of the pilot last year, assessments of reading and writing showed that the boys’ marks had increased by a full grade. But the girls’ reading and comprehension skills had improved even more.

What could have gone wrong? Oh… I don’t know… maybe it has something to do with assigning the boys COMIC BOOKS to read instead of literature. Nah….

Pleasingly, there’s quite an uproar over this in the Science Fiction blogosphere, with bloggers wondering why they boys are getting age inappropriate comics while the girls get to read about midwives. A sample. (Thanks, Jender-Brother!)