Fathers on the tenure track

A new study, of tenure-track men who are sharing parenting responsibilities. Amongst the findings:

One of the more surprising findings from the study was that faculty fathers generally weren’t familiar with institutional support designed to help support employees with young children, regardless of gender. Even after being informed of family-friendly policies, most of the dads were reluctant to take advantage of policies like stopping the tenure clock.

“Most respondents didn’t elaborate on why they weren’t taking advantage of family-friendly benefits,” said Reddick. “The data suggests that there’s more than a little awkwardness involved when you’re a dad and you ask for leave to take care of children. The respondents also brought their own perceptions of the role of an academic father to their departments, and for some, they felt it just sounded like an excuse.”

(Thanks, K!)

Religious modesty and the female body

There’s a wonderful op-ed from yesterday’s NY Times by Rabbi Dov Linzer on religion-based calls for modesty and control of the female body. Linzer begins by discussing the case of an 8-year-old Israeli girl who was spat on and called a whore by a group of grown men who felt she was not dressed modestly enough. Says Linzer:

What is behind these deeply disturbing events? We are told that they arise from a religious concern about modesty, that women must be covered and sequestered so that men do not have improper sexual thoughts. It seems, then, that a religious tenet that begins with men’s sexual thoughts ends with men controlling women’s bodies

He continues:

The ultra-Orthodox men in Israel who are exerting control over women claim that they are honoring women. In effect they are saying: We do not treat women as sex objects as you in Western society do. Our women are about more than their bodies, and that is why their bodies must be fully covered.

In fact, though, their actions objectify and hyper-sexualize women. Think about it: By saying that all women must hide their bodies, they are saying that every woman is an object who can stir a man’s sexual thoughts. Thus, every woman who passes their field of vision is sized up on the basis of how much of her body is covered. She is not seen as a complete person, only as a potential inducement to sin. . .

At heart, we are talking about a blame-the-victim mentality. It shifts the responsibility of managing a man’s sexual urges from himself to every woman he may or may not encounter. It is a cousin to the mentality behind the claim, “She was asking for it.”

So the responsibility is now on the women. To protect men from their sexual thoughts, women must remove their femininity from their public presence, ridding themselves of even the smallest evidence of their own sexuality.

Linzer goes on to characterize this as “a complete perversion of the Talmud”. Highly recommended reading.

CFP Updated: Status of Minorities in Philosophy

Ooh, Montreal in April.  Do consider applying to this conference, which has just announced an extended deadline to FEB. 1 — abstracts should be between 300 and 600 words.

Graduate Conference and Workshop at Concordia and McGill Universities We invite quality graduate and undergraduate papers that address the themes of the conference; the problem of the under-representation of groups in philosophy or the implications status of minorities in the profession more broadly. Papers in both “analytic” and “continental” traditions are welcome. Papers in French are welcome. Submission Guidelines Student presentations will not exceed twenty (20) minutes in length, followed by a question and answer period. Therefore, papers should not (grossly) exceed 3,500 words (not including footnotes). Submissions must include the following: an abstract of up to 300 words, paper title, school affiliation, and the author’s current status. The paper should be prepared for an anonymous review process (remove any information that can identify you from the paper).

Submission guidelines and more conference information is here.

Please send submissions and questions to: concordia.mcgill.2012@gmail.com