Women speakers and equality at home

Catarina Dutilh Novaes has a really interesting post up, discussing one factor that may contribute to women turning down conference invitations more than men do (if indeed they do– we just don’t know).

[that] women are simply too caught up in domestic endeavors, and thus cannot easily make the necessary arrangements for even a short absence from home…. Indeed, I have heard of many talented female philosophers that they did not travel *at all* for conferences or otherwise while their children were still young (what counts as ‘young’ is of course highly relative). Interestingly, in chap. 8 of ‘Delusions of Gender’, Cordelia Fine reports on a study of faculty at the University of California, which revealed that female faculty with children reported “working fifty-one hours a week at their jobs and another fifty-one hours a week doing housework and childcare – that’s a 102-hour week, accounting for more than fourteen hours per day. […] Faculty fathers, by contrast, put in only thirty-two unpaid work hours a week.” (p. 92/3) No wonder that these women cannot be absent for a few days for conferences and other work-related trips: they are responsible for the largest chunk of the domestic endeavors, and the general perception is that things would simply just fall apart if they are not there. Chaps. 7 and 8 offer additional data on how gender equality on the domestic front is still far from being a reality.

Go join in the discussion!

(And yes, it does seem to be NewAPPS week here at FP. No bad thing either, if you ask me.)

The Gendered Conference Campaign Spreads

Over the last month or so, the Gendered Conference Campaign has been spreading to other blogs! Ingrid Robeyns wrote about a Gendered Summer School, at Crooked Timber. Catarina Dutilh Novaes wrote about an all-male volume on epistemic modality at NewAPPS. As we recently reported, Eric Schliesser wrote about an all-male Hume conference, also at NewAPPS. And he added another one just today. (This last doesn’t meet our criteria, since it’s not actually *all* male. But 11/12 is pretty darned male.) All of these posts except the last, very recent one) have, unfortunately but also predictably, attracted some serious hostility. To be honest, I always feel a sense of dread as I do another Gendered Conference Campaign post, anticipating the onslaught. This makes me all the more grateful that we’ve been joined by such excellent allies in our campaign. (I’m also deeply grateful to the supportive replies we get.)

Interview with Cynthia Willett

To give you some idea of how riveting it is…

My chair told me that I could not both be a mother and a philosopher, at least not as he understood philosophy. So I decided that to do both classes in philosophical anthropology, ethics, and so on, my teaching would have to be radically altered. I would not teach straight from the traditional views but from the views of unconventional caregivers and the renegade scientists whose ideas resonated with my own experiences. I taught Hegel and Heidegger–but through the critical perspectives of Irigaray, and the psychologist Daniel Stern, and the novelist Toni Morrison. At this time these juxtapositions were way out for the discipline, but then with colleagues who thought that even Hegel wasn’t a philosopher, I figured the sky was the limit.

For the rest, go here. (New APPS just keeps the good stuff coming!)

Move to legalise killing of abortion providers


A law under consideration in South Dakota would expand the definition of “justifiable homicide” to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus—a move that could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions. The Republican-backed legislation, House Bill 1171, has passed out of committee on a nine-to-three party-line vote, and is expected to face a floor vote in the state’s GOP-dominated House of Representatives soon.

Just be careful who’s on that trolley track!

If you like to use vivid examples when discussing moral issues about, e.g., killing versus letting die, do be warned.  You could be removed from campus.

The facts in the following case are not clear; mostly one hears of student complaints in the linked-to news article.  One’s sympathy is also not immediately on the side of a white guy who vividly portrays killing his black female dean, but the AAUP has a statement that could strike a chill in all of us who think moral reasoning concerning real figures could interest the students.

From the Chronicle of Higher Ed:

A tenured professor at the Widener University School of Law has been placed on administrative leave and is fighting to keep his job after students complained about his frequent hypothetical references in class to the school’s dean being shot, according to the News Journal of Wilmington, Del. The newspaper reported today that the students had complained about the professor, Lawrence Connell, partly because they regarded his hypothetical discussions of the shooting of Dean Linda L. Ammons, a black woman, as violent, racist, and sexist. Administrators there have responded by accusing the professor of a pattern of inappropriate speech and behavior.

One huge worry is that the students just didn’t much like him and decided to try to get rid of him.  I don’t see any explicit evidence for the worry, but enough of us have reported feeling the scorn of students to make it a real possibility.  And then there’s this statement from here:

If accurate, the allegations against Connell could raise a debate about the distinction between misconduct and academic freedom, said Gregory F. Scholtz, associate secretary and director of the American Association of University Professors.

“Education is all about pushing the boundaries, and it’s all about controversial ideas, but the question always is when does it cross the line,” Scholtz said. “Given our modern culture and the violence that exists, you’re really asking for trouble when you talk about killing people.”


Full marriage equality in the UK!

The government is expected to announce full marriage equality for gays and lesbians under reforms to marriage laws to be announced later this week. The reported move will end the final major legal discrimination against gays and lesbians in Britain.

For more, go here.

Just as good people sometimes do bad things, bad governments sometimes do good things. (Perhaps I’ve been spending too much time with five year olds lately.)

Thanks, C!

PIKSI: Encourage undergrads to apply!

This seven-day institute is designed to encourage undergraduate students from under-represented groups to consider future study in the field of philosophy. PIKSI will emphasize the on-going project of greater inclusiveness that is transforming the discipline, inviting students to be participants in the conversation.

PIKSI will be permanently housed at the Rock Ethics Institute on the campus of the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania. The director and the theme will change on a regular basis.

If you know promising undergraduate women or men from underrepresented groups such as African Americans, Chicano/as and Latino/as, Native Americans, Asian Americans, LGBT persons, economically disadvantaged communities, and people with disabilities, please call this program to their attention. In addition, please consider serving as their “sponsor.” Faculty sponsors mentor students, helping them to prepare their applications, and, when possible and appropriate, work with the students after the Summer Institute to help further the gains the students have made.

Transportation to and from the institute, room and board, and a small stipend will be provided for participants. While we expect that most students will come from four-year colleges, promising students from two-year institutions are also welcome.

For more, go here.