A reader writes: “Among all the other cruelties in (and out of) school, the kids are now playing “bang (fuck), marry, or kill” — naming 3 girls and then the guys have to say which they would do to which. My daughter said she always gets “killed”.
For its first Issue, the Journal is taking the bull by the horns: it questions its very conditions of possibility. What happens – philosophically and politically speaking – when one attempts to craft a Women Philosophers’ Journal? Apparently nothing that challenging: the subject matter is philosophy and the authors are women from all over the world. It is very simple indeed, and yet so complex that the theme of this first Issue should be ‘Squaring the circle’.
For the International Network of Women Philosophers lays on the presumption that the universal needs to be complicated, questioned and worked upon, its Journal should be able to offer truly inclusive platform to all women philosophers in the world as well as to allow differentiated questionings.
What a fascinating looking show. “The exhibition ‘Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze’ will examine the visibility of men and masculinity from female/feminist/transgender perspectives. In the context of this exhibition, the male figure will assume the historically ‘female’ role with the male body and its gender expression shown as spectacle for a woman’s viewing and contemplation. This truly feminist stance positions the surveyor as critic of traditional gender roles, problematizing notions of ‘men,’ ‘male,’ ‘masculinity,’ ‘women’ and ‘female.’ This is an inclusive show for women and transgender artists to challenge what it means for ‘women’ to look at ‘men.'” Tanya Augsburg, feminist interdisciplinary scholar, juror
‘Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze’ is on at the SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan Street, San Francisco, CA November 4 – 30, 2011. Judging by the preview, available here, some of this is sexy, some quirky and funny, and much of it thought provoking. Thanks AZ.
There’s a New York Times piece, Why Science Majors Change Their Minds (It’s Just So Darn Hard), that’s been making the rounds about the alarming number of students who start out in Science and Engineering, but then switch to another field of academic study. The general tone of the article is that students leave because these subjects are hard, they often aren’t well taught, and students receive the lowest grades they’ve ever received in any subject. It contrasts the way science is taught in elementary and high school as “fun,” filled with science fairs and experiments where you get to blow things up, with the grim reality of first year calculus. There are worries raised about the number of scientists the United States needs and whether that goal will be met but it also raises concerns about who leaves. It’s not just weak students or underprepared students who abandon science in the early years of university, it turns out. The article doesn’t address gender specifically but I found myself wondering if female undergraduates are more likely to think that they ought to leave the sciences if they get bad grades. One the studies cited is by Ben Ost. Ost, a doctoral student at Cornell, found that STEM students are both “pulled away” by high grades in their courses in other fields and “pushed out” by lower grades in their majors.” (Ost’s study, The Role of Peers and Grades in Determining Major Persistence in the Sciences is here. Ost’s abstract says, “In both the physical and life sciences, I find evidence that students are “pulled away” by their high grades in non-science courses and “pushed out” by their low grades in their major field. In the physical sciences, females are found to be more responsive to grades than males, consistent with psychological theories of stereotype vulnerability.” I haven’t read through all of Ost’s paper yet but I did find myself wondering about Philosophy. Philosophers often boast about being tough graders and I think that we like that our grades are lower than other Humanities subjects. Does that grading culture cost us our female students? If so, what ought we to do about it?