So a lesbian goes into a church

with her partner. It was her mother’s funeral. And then:

The Rev. Marcel Guarnizo had learned of their relationship just before the service.

“He put his hand over the body of Christ and looked at me and said, ‘I can’t give you Communion because you live with a woman, and in the eyes of the church, that is a sin,’ ” she recalled Tuesday.

She reacted with stunned silence. Her anger and outrage have now led her and members of her family to demand that Guarnizo be removed from his ministry.

Family members said the priest left the altar while Johnson, 51, was delivering a eulogy and did not attend the burial or find another priest to be there.

In very partial mitigation:

Late Tuesday, Johnson received a letter of apology from the Rev. Barry Knestout, one of the archdiocese’s highest-ranking administrators, who said the lack of “kindness” she and her family received “is a cause of great concern and personal regret to me.”

“I am sorry that what should have been a celebration of your mother’s life, in light of her faith in Jesus Christ, was overshadowed by a lack of pastoral sensitivity,” Knestout wrote. “I hope that healing and reconciliation with the Church might be possible for you and any others who were affected by this experience. In the meantime, I will offer Mass for the happy repose of your mother’s soul. May God bring you and your family comfort in your grief and hope in the Resurrection.”

It is extraordinary that someone did not have a proper burial because her daughter is a lesbian.

Quilting Physics

I find this juxtaposition of a great big physics machine with traditionally feminine art immensely pleasing.  Artist Kate Findlay’s quilts and other textile artworks are inspired by the Large Hadron Collider.

“The Large Hadron Collider, a steely pinnacle of physics and engineering, doesn’t generally bring soft, snuggly thoughts to mind. But that may change for people who see Kate Findlay’s quilts. For four years, she has been making fabric-based artwork inspired by the accelerator and its experiments. “I’ve been living and dreaming and sleeping and eating hadron colliders,” she says.”

At last! Twister for girls

Because toys just weren’t gendered enough already.

Hasbro’s lineup of children’s game and been gender-ized! (yes, I made that word up) Classic games like Candy Land, Twister, Clue and Connect 4 have been redesigned to appeal to one gender. Connect 4 is no longer yellow and blue, now it’s black, gold and red with very masculine packaging. The Connect 4 line extension, Connect 4 Dunk, will have a basketball themed commercial that will target boys. Obviously, with the Battleship movie on the horizon, we all know that Battleship is solidly in the boy’s group of game and that will continue, and Clue will join the ranks of boy’s products with this year’s into Clue Eliminiation. On the other end of the spectrum, Candy Land and Twister are going to be girls’ products. Candy Land Princesses and a new version of Twister Dance featuring Britney Spears were featured in the Hasbro showroom.

Thanks, L!

CFP: Women in Philosophy: Why Race and Gender Still Matter

Society for Women in Philosophy (Eastern Division)
April 28, 2012
Notre Dame of Maryland University
Baltimore, MA

Conference Theme: Women in Philosophy: Why Race and Gender Still Matter

Keynote: “Whiteness and Women of Color in Feminist Theory or Considerations of Race and Sex Analogies in Contemporary Feminism,” Dr. Donna Dale-Marcano, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Trinity College.

The Eastern Division of the Society for Women in Philosophy invites submissions for its 2012 meeting to be held at Notre Dame of Maryland University on Saturday, April 28, 2012. This year’s conference theme is “Women in Philosophy: Why Race and Gender Still Matter.” Although “intersectionality,” the difficult yet productive attempt to theorize race, class, gender, disability, sexuality, etc. together, has been a conceptual framework for more than a decade in the U.S. academy, it is almost entirely absent as a recognized philosophical theme or framework within the larger discipline of philosophy. We invite submissions that promote and engage intersectionality, as well as submissions that bring attention to the work of woman philosophers and/or women in philosophy.

Deadline for Submission: Friday, March 30, 2012. Please send a 250-300 word abstract to:

Maeve O’Donovan, modonovan AT
Namita Goswami, namita.goswami AT
Lisa Yount, yountlisa AT

Registration (includes lunch)
For non-members: $80
For members of ESWIP: $60
For graduate students and the underemployed: $40
To join ESWIP:

Open thread on grad school decisions

We’re now at the point of the year when prospective grad students will be attempting to make decisions about where – and perhaps whether – to go to grad school in philosophy. Such decisions are invariably complicated. But being a female prospective grad student introduces an extra layer of complexity that can be difficult to navigate.

And this brings us to the issue of. . .climate for women. [dum dum dum!]

How can female students try to get information about the gender dynamics in departments to which they’ve been admitted? What strategies can they use to make the most informed decisions they can about whether and to what extent a department is women-friendly? Are there particular things to look for? Particular things to watch out for? What do you wish you’d known to look for when you were applying to grad schools?

Let’s be clear: this is NOT an invitation to discuss particular departments or particular philosophers, by name or by description. Any comments critical of the “climate for women” at a particular university will be deleted. Let’s keep it friendly, and let’s keep any criticisms generic. Specific departments should be named only if you want to highlight something really good that they do. So if there’s something that your department does to help female grad students – current or prospective – then by all means share it. That kind of information is really useful for women trying to make comparative decisions.


Anonymous Grading: Why and How

I’m looking for information on anonymous grading, both the reasons to do it and the best way to go about it (assume electronic grading). Suppose your department was considering a policy of requiring anonymous evaluation of undergraduate student work, what arguments would you use in favour? What are the best sources for information? And also, how would you suggest it be implemented?

Help and advice from the lovely community of feminist philosophers appreciated.