Women Logicians!

Catarina Dutilh Novaes sent an email to philos-l which has now been re-posted with her permission at LogBlog. The post in its entirety is excellent, but here I just want to draw attention to its main point:

The purpose of this message now is to question the widespread impression that there are not (or very few) prominent female logicians and philosophers of logic, people with the standing to be keynote speakers at major conferences. I was thinking it might be useful to compile a list of such people, sort of a handy device that could help those organizing conferences in the area to ensure a better gender balance among the speakers. Please send me names off list, and I will post the results to the whole list once we have a significant number of names.

So do send her some names! The email address is cdutilhnovaes@yahoo.com.

Relatedly, Hippocampa has suggested that perhaps we should all be making more use of http://www.academia.edu/ as a way of keeping track of women in various areas of philosophy. (Thanks Hippocampa and Richard!)

Never underestimate the power of childhood abuse

From Rolling Stone’s archives:

In the year[s] since Michael Jackson made his first national television appearance with his brothers at age 11, he has evolved from a singing and dancing soul music prodigy to the self-proclaimed but widely acknowledged “King of Pop” to one of the most widely ridiculed of all public figures.

That is a literally tragic transition.  The so promising start:

And behind that:

From a young age Jackson was physically and mentally abused by his father, enduring incessant rehearsals, whippings and name-calling. Jackson’s abuse as a child affected him throughout his grown life. In one altercation — later recalled by Marlon Jackson — Joseph held Michael upside down by one leg and “pummeled him over and over again with his hand, hitting him on his back and buttocks”. Joseph would often trip up, or push the male children into walls. One night while Jackson was asleep, Joseph climbed into his room through the bedroom window. Wearing a fright mask, he entered the room screaming and shouting. Joseph said he wanted to teach his children not to leave the window open when they went to sleep. For years afterward, Jackson suffered nightmares about being kidnapped from his bedroom.

Jackson first spoke openly about his childhood abuse in a 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey. He said that during his childhood he often cried from loneliness and would sometimes get sick or start to regurgitate upon seeing his father. In Jackson’s other high profile interview, Living with Michael Jackson (2003), the singer covered his face with his hand and began crying when talking about his childhood abuse. Jackson recalled that Joseph sat in a chair with a belt in his hand as he and his siblings rehearsed and that “if you didn’t do it the right way, he would tear you up, really get you.”

(From Wikipedia, via Obsidian Wings.)

And  how should we see the later parts of his life?  An evil pedophile?  An obsessed person who had altered his body past reasonable boundaries?  Someone of immense talent about to undertake a wildly success tour?  I don’t know.   What do you think?


More on Iran’s Women

If you can tear yourselves away from the news of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, check out these links about the immense bravery of Iran’s women: Ms Magazine here and USA Today here. And remember when we referred you to Tehran Bureau for news? Well, it turns out to have been a key source for all the major news organisations, too, and it’s run by an Iranian woman as well. (Thanks, CR!)