Women to the back of the bus…

in NY. On the bright side, the city is threatening to shut down the line that does this.

Since 1973, the Private Transportation Corp has run public bus B110 as part of a franchise agreement with New York City’ s Department of Transportation. Now, the city is threatening to terminate the agreement and shut down the line because it has been discovered that the bus requires all females to sit in the back of the bus in accordance with Orthodox Jewish laws of gender separation.

Thanks, S!

CFP: Sexual Harassment

Margaret Crouch is the new editor of the APA Newsletter on Feminism.  (Thanks and congratulations, Margaret!)  She happily permits us to repost this from the FEAST list.  Note that you needn’t bother trying to navigate APAonline to send in material.  Instead, just see the end of the post below for Margaret Crouch’s email address.

Call for Papers
APA Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy
Topic: Sexual Harassment
Deadline: December 1, 2011

I did not get a call for papers out for additional papers for the Spring 2012 issue this summer, but I am extending the deadline for that issue until December 1, 2011. If you would like to submit something, please let me know to expect it.

I would also like to continue [outgoing editor Christina Bellon]’s focus on issues in the profession, and intend to have a section of the Newsletter devoted to such issues in each Newsletter, should there be sufficient submissions.

I have not yet received books from publishers for review, but will be sending out a call for reviewers in the near future.

Thank you for your patience while I figure things out.


Margaret Crouch

Margaret A. Crouch
Professor of Philosophy
Department of History and Philosophy
Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
mcrouch [at] emich [dot] edu

Professional role confidence:why women leave engineering

It isn’t worry abput math skills. And it isn’t life-work issues.

From the CHE:

October 25, 2011
Lack of Confidence as Professionals Spurs Women to Leave Engineering, Study Finds
By Dan Berrett
Women who begin college intending to become engineers are more likely than men to change their major and choose another career, but it’s because they lack confidence, not competence, says a paper in the October issue of the American Sociological Review.

Specifically, women lack “professional role confidence,” a term that describes, loosely, a person’s sense that he or she belongs in a certain field. The term encompasses more than mastery of core intellectual skills. It also touches on a person’s confidence that he or she has the right expertise for a given profession, and that the corresponding career path meshes with his or her interests and values.

As one of the most sex-segregated professions outside the military, engineering carries ingrained notions and biases about men being more naturally suited to the field, which can have self-reinforcing effects, notes the paper’s lead author, Erin Cech, a postdoctoral fellow in sociology at Stanford University’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research.

“The more confident students are in their professional expertise, the more likely they are to persist in an engineering major. However, women have significantly less of this expertise confidence than do men,” Ms. Cech writes, with her co-authors, Brian Rubineau of Cornell University, Susan Silbey of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Caroll Seron of the University of California at Irvine.

Ms. Cech and her co-authors found … Women’s family plans had little bearing on their career planning, once they entered engineering training, the paper says, though the plans probably do play a role later, when they embark on their careers. Surprisingly, the researchers found much stronger evidence that men were more likely to leave engineering if they had plans to start a family.

Women’s views of their math abilities also did not significantly predict their persistence toward an engineering degree or their intent to enter the field. “Once students matriculate into this math-intensive field, more complex, profession-specific self-assessments appear to replace math self-assessment as the driving social-psychological reasons for attrition,” the authors write.

The paper’s authors suggest that the findings about professional-role confidence may be relevant in other fields in which women are historically underrepresented, including physical science and medical specialties such as surgery.

The authors recommend that engineering programs consider engaging in more explicit discussion about professional roles, expertise, and career fit, and provide more opportunities for internships that put students into real-world engineering projects, where students can see the applicability of a broader set of skills, such as teamwork.

Anita Hill, 20 years later

The Nation has an excellent special issue devoted to the woman whose bravery put sexual harassment on the American national agenda. Patricia Williams writes:

Sad fact: there are few women of my generation who don’t have what is known as our “Anita story.” Mine occurred in 1980. I was five years out of law school and had decided to shift my career from practice to teaching. I was walking down a long hallway at the Association of American Law Schools meat market for new hires. There were two men behind me who were joking about the excellent shape of my legs and the unusually well-defined musculature of my lower quadrants. (Did I mention that it was a very, very long hallway?) At the end of that eternal passage was my appointed interview room. I escaped into it, only to be followed by the two. They, as it turned out, were doing the hiring.

Life was like that sometimes, I thought. And so I went through all the proper motions of expressing how much my fine ideas could contribute to their faculty, pretending that nothing had happened.

I didn’t stop pretending nothing had happened until 1991, when Anita Hill testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the unwanted office approaches of her boss, then-chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Clarence Thomas.

18th Annual Philosophy Born of Struggle Conference

Economic Crisis, Education and the

Role of Philosophy for the African

American Public.

October 28 & 29, 2011

Michigan State University

MSU Student Union

East Lansing, Michigan


Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Malik Simba

Professor & Coordinator of Africana Studies at California State University-Fresno


On behalf of the planning committee for the 18th Annual

Philosophy Born Of Struggle conference at Michigan State

University, we welcome you to participate in a most

stimulating academic and exciting intellectual experience.

Today when scores of African Americans and many others

are faced with unemployment, underemployment,

homelessness, and hunger; progressive philosophy has the

particular tasks of providing critical insight and theoretical

illumination for practical struggles. This 18th annual

conference with its emphasis on economic crisis, education

and the role of philosophy for the African American public

seeks to tie the university to the needs of the African

American community. In the words of Kwame Nkrumah,

“Practice without thought is blind; thought without practice is



Dr. John H. McClendon III

The details of the program are in this pdf: ConferenceProgram[1]

CFP: Philosophy and Race

Theme: California Roundtable on Philosophy and Race
Type: 9th Annual Meeting
Institution: Hunter College, City University of New York
Location: New York, NY (USA)
Date: 5.–6.10.2012
Deadline: 24.2.2012


The California Roundtable on Philosophy and Race announces a call for
papers for its seventh annual roundtable. This roundtable brings
together philosophers of race, and those working in related fields in
a small and congenial setting to share their work and to help further
this sub-discipline of philosophy. Philosophical papers are invited
on any issue regarding race, ethnicity, or racism, and including
those that take up race in the context of another topic, such as
feminism, political philosophy, ethics, justice, culture, identity,
biology, phenomenology, existentialism, psychoanalysis, metaphysics,
or epistemology.

Submissions are encouraged from junior scholars and philosophers of
color. We seek to foster a productive and intellectually stimulating
environment for those working in philosophy and race. The Roundtable
also aspires to bring together junior and senior scholars to develop
and enhance constructive mentoring relationships.

Submission Deadline: Feb 24, 2012

Send your submission to: organiser AT caroundtable.org
Please include the following:

1. A detailed (2-3 page) abstract, as an MS word.doc or .pdf file
(please, no complete papers!). Accepted submissions should be
developed for a 30 minute maximum presentation.

2. On the first page of your submission, include your full name,
institutional affiliation, preferred email address, and status
(graduate student, associate professor, etc.)

3. In the file name, include your last name, shortened title, and
CRPR 12, e.g. FongDuBoisRaceCRPR12.pdf

4. Subject heading should read: (your last name) CRPR 12

Keynote Speaker:
Joy James, Professor of Humanities, Williams College

Guest Organizers:
Professors Linda Martín Alcoff and Frank J. Kirkland, Department of
Philosophy, Hunter College, City University of New York

Darrell Moore, Philosophy, DePaul University
Mickaella Perina, Philosophy, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Falguni A. Sheth, Social Science, Hampshire College


California Roundtable on Philosophy and Race
Email: organizer@caroundtable.org
Web: http://www.caroundtable.webs.com

How many slaves work for you?

Find out here what your slavery footprint is.

What you do is answer the questions about the foods you eat, the clothes you wear, the kind of house you have, the stuff you own etc, and based on reports from various organisations and an algorithms for the score of a large number of products and product groups, you get an estimate.

They define slavery as follows:

Anyone who is forced to work without pay, being economically exploited, and is unable to walk away. Note: Forced Labor, also known as involuntary servitude, may result when unscrupulous employers exploit workers made more vulnerable by high rates of unemployment, poverty, crime, discrimination, corruption, political conflict, or cultural acceptance of the practice. Immigrants are particularly vulnerable, but individuals also may be forced into labor in their own countries. Female victims of forced or bonded labor, especially women and girls in domestic servitude, are often sexually exploited as well.

They provide tips on how to diminish your slavery footprint, too. A very good initiative, I think!

You can follow Slavery Footprint on twitter here.

Via Adinda Akkermans @nrcnext

Climate for women in empirically-informed philosophy of mind

Fascinating and disturbing. Eric Schliesser writes:

John Schwenkler has been doing an on-line survey, and the initial data is disturbing. As Schwenkler points out: “Men are more likely than women to believe that there are sizable numbers of women who have prominent positions in the field, and less likely than women to believe that there are not. Men are more likely than women to believe that women in the field are taken seriously, treated respectfully, and included in networking opportunities, and less likely than women to believe that this is not so.” If the full results follow this pattern then it suggests that in this sub-field men are not allowing themselves to notice significant frustration (anger/inequity, etc) among their female peers. (I see no reason to think that this sub-field is atypical.)

The survey is still open, so do go participate if this is your field!