Normalizing disordered eating

Glorification of eating disorders — and the bodies that result from them — in the media is nothing new. But what’s surprising (to me, at least) is the extent to which disordered attitudes toward food and eating in young women are increasingly portrayed as “normal”. Fighting with or hating your body, agonizing over every calorie: these seem to be morphing into standard gender stereotypes, rather than signs of illness. Don’t all young women do this? Isn’t it “perfectly normal”?

As an example, the good people at Yoplait apparently felt that these attitudes were innocuous enough to be a good way of selling yogurt. They recently debuted this commercial, which has since been pulled after numerous complaints (WARNING: the material in this commercial may be triggering for those with eating disorders — watch with caution; ANOTHER WARNING: many of the comments on this video are offensive, and may be hurtful — read with caution)

The Huffington Post has more on the controversy surrounding this commercial here.

Conference: Feminism and Bias






25 – 26th August 2011

Location: Kleiner Senatssaal (Humboldt-Universität Main Building, Unter den Linden 6, Berlin)

The concept of bias has played a key role in shaping feminist epistemology and philosophy of science. It is not, however, an uncontested concept. Feminist philosophers disagree amongst themselves on how the concept should be understood, and whether bias is inevitable. They further disagree on how feminists should respond to and deal with bias. For instance, are biases always detrimental to our knowledge seeking activities? Or, can certain explicit biases (like feminist and anti-racist ones) make our epistemic practices more robustly truth-seeking?

More recently, political and ethical discussions have started making use of the concept of bias. Both philosophers and psychologists alike have begun examining certain sorts of widespread implicit biases about members of stigmatised social groups. The holders of these biases are generally unaware of them, and often have sincere and explicit egalitarian beliefs. On one understanding, implicit biases are unconscious prejudices that unduly affect our ways of both positively and negatively perceiving, evaluating, and interacting with others. The recognition and analysis of such biases has wide-ranging consequences for feminist philosophy and politics, as well as for every other movement seeking social justice. Implicit biases may explain why members of particular groups still find it hard to ‘make it’, despite the lack of overt obstacles to positions of power and authority. Given its centrality to a number of feminist debates, this conference examines the notion of bias (broadly conceived).


Louise Antony (University of Massachusetts, Amherts, USA) “Different Voices or Perfect Storm? Explaining the Dearth of Women In Philosophy”

Jennifer Saul (University of Sheffield, UK) “Formal Equality of Opportunity and Affirmative Action”

Matthew Drabek (University of Iowa, US) “A Model of Feedback Bias in the Social Sciences”

Catherine Hundleby (University of Windsor, Canada) “Bias and Fallacies of Argumentation: The Case of Androcentrism”

Kristen Intemann (Montana State University, US) & Inmaculada de Melo‐Martín (Weill Cornell Medical College, US) “Bias and the Commercialization of Scientific Research: Can a Feminist Conception of Impartiality Help?”

Peter Kirwan (University of California, Irvine, US) “Implicit Bias: Mapping the Dark Matter of Social Psychology”

Heidi Lockwood (Southern Connecticut State University, US) “Why does Diversity Matter in the Academy”

Susanne Pohlmann (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany) “Accountability and Underpinning Attitudes of Biased Beliefs”

This conference also serves as the inaugural event for the new Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Symposium Series Feminist Philosophy and…. It will be followed by further regular events on topics relevant and of interest to feminist philosophers and all philosophers working on issues to do with social justice. Planned future topics include Feminist Philosophy and: Gender, Pornography, Race, Sex work.

Attendance is free but places are limited. To register, email by 11th August 2011. For further information about the Symposium Series and the event on Bias, please contact Prof. Dr. Mari Mikkola (mari.mikkola AT

CFP: Climate change

Special Issue on Climate Change
March 15, 2012 submission deadline
Volume 28, Number 3, Summer 2013
Guest Editors: Nancy Tuana and Chris Cuomo
Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy seeks papers for a special issue on Climate Change. We welcome new feminist scholarship on the scientific, ethical, epistemological, economic, and cultural dimensions of current global climate change, as well as case studies that critically engage specific questions in local, regional, national, and/or global contexts. In addition to essays developing feminist analyses of the science, ethics, and politics of climate change, we encourage investigations of the gendered, neo-colonial, and other power-laden frameworks which shape the discourses and power flows that influence various parties’ understandings of and responses to climate change.
There has been a great deal of work in the natural and social sciences on various aspects of climate change, and there is increasing acknowledgement in the literature that extreme weather events and ecological disasters tend to have greater negative impacts on women, girls, and those who lack economic and social power. Nonetheless, little attention has been given to the complex ways in which hegemonic conceptions of gender, race, nation, and knowledge are implicated within institutional frameworks of climate policy, media representations of scientific knowledge, and suggestions of planetary redemption through “eco-engineering,” carbon markets, or profit-generating green technologies.
In addition to critical case studies focused on specific regions or trends, some questions and issues that might be considered in this special issue include (but are not limited to) feminist analyses of the following topics:

* Geopolitics of climate change treaties and political processes
* Ethics and politics of approaches to climate justice, including cosmopolitanism, human
rights, human security, indigenous rights, and eco-centric perspectives
* Critical analyses of industrial, scientific, policy and activist discourses
* Climate change denial and epistemologies of ignorance
* Intersections and tensions of development ethics and climate ethics
* Epistemologies and ethics of climate modeling, including economic models
* Naturalization of fossil fuel dependence and consumerism
* Climate change and the resurgence of reactionary notions of population control
* Critical analyses of the influence of popular media, from misinformation to education

Deadline for submission: March 15, 2012
Papers should be no more than 8000 words, inclusive of notes and bibliography, prepared for anonymous review, and accompanied by an abstract of no more than 200 words. For details please see Hypatia’s submission guidelines.
Please submit your paper to manuscript central. When you submit, make sure to select “Climate Change” as your manuscript type, and also send an email to the guest editors indicating the title of the paper you have submitted: Chris Cuomo: cuomo AT, Nancy Tuana: ntuana AT