14 thoughts on “News about What it’s Like

  1. you know, Philosophy isn’t a male founded study. Men sort of operate under the word Philosophy, and do what they can. I’m not even sure if Philosophy is available to get a hold of and imbue with maleness. but whatever, Philosophy is wide open for a woman to do some work – it’s just not open as the impression established by University (that it’s just a sort of constancy without any particular detail).

  2. I don’t understand the previous comment at all.

    Regardless, I’m so glad to see What It’s Like is coming back. I think the stories on this blog serve a very important purpose in our field.

  3. “I don’t understand the previous comment at all.”

    If you read many of James’s comments you’ll get that feeling over and over. I’m starting to wonder if he’s some sort of i.a. test device, imperfectly mimicking human thought.

  4. FWIW, I was wrong in my initial assessments of the WILTBAWIP site (well, I wasn’t wrong about being made to feel extremely uncomfortable, but rather about that discomfort potentially being a bad thing).

  5. I should say men operate RELATED to Philosophy since i don’t know the actual position.

  6. I should say: men operate RELATED to Philosophy; since i don’t know the actual position.

  7. I’ll be glad to see a sister blog on what we are doing about what its like. May I make a suggestions regarding that as well. One thing that I am finding is missing is a kind of network or forum through which people can ask questions about how to address certain sorts of situations, some more nuanced than others. So just as the MIT website compiles some scenarios and strategies for how to approach them, it might be useful to have a kind of running list of difficult to address situations, and how others have approached them. The key to doing this successfully will be preserving anonymity so as to avoid breaching confidentiality and avoiding potential libel, so I am not sure whether it is at all possible.

  8. Lisa, a lot of universities, at least in the states, have a faculty senate, some sort of race/gender studies group/dept that is at least familiar with a lot of the questions, and even an ombuds person, and an affirmative action office.

    It is shocking to think that even so, harassment continues and faculty feel they don’t know what to do. Still, it is a good idea to try some of these, since the rules can vary with institutions and the laws and precedents with states and court districts.

    One problem with the general anti-harassment training that is given to faculty is that states may mandate it without doing anything like adequately funding it. I tried to find out if there was any evidence supporting the effectiveness of the training all the faculty in my university have to go through, and was told frankly that there wasn’t, but effectiveness was not the point. The point was to meet the mandate.

  9. Lisa, actually, having said that, I realize you might be talking about matters that fall outside most of those groups….

  10. Kathryn, thanks! That’s exactly what I was talking about, though they’ve investigated the implications more.

  11. […] March 31st, 2011 § Leave a Comment For my lady friends in academia, and those who support us… What is it Like to be a Woman in Philosophy has now re-opened for stories. In the week of 11 April, posting will resume. Soon there will also be a new sister blog, What We're Doing About What it's Like, designed to focus on positive actions taken by individuals or departments in response to What it's Like. … Read More […]

  12. jj-
    In my province in Canada, and in many (perhaps all? I should know this, but don’t) Canadian provinces, harassment is a human rights violation, and the university has a human rights officer who is there precisely to consult and conduct informal and formal investigations (there is even an annual report!). For the egregious cases of sexual harassment, it is a fantastic resource. It also helps that it is framed as a human rights issue. While that office can certainly be consulted for more subtle cases, and is, my thought is that more subtle behavior, but behavior that still has a chilling impact on women in philosophy — for instance, students who complain that a professor is using sexist language in the classroom; male students who shut down female students; colleagues who systematically devalue the work and contributions of their female colleagues; students who want female faculty to be nurturing and not critical; male students who disrespect female faculty and doubt their authority — there isn’t an obvious institutional resource. But many of us have had to navigate these sorts of behaviors over our careers, even if we have been fortunate enough to avoid sexual predators. Some strategies work; others do not. Oftentimes it is hard to discuss these matters with colleagues, especially in small departments, and equally, it can be hard to find the right sort of extra departmental colleagues to consult with, especially for more junior faculty as well as grad students. Having a context not only to document but also to share the constructive ways of dealing with practical reality that for many of us have become habit might be a good resource. But again, one real concern is anonymity.

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