Interview with Vincent Hendricks

who still, quite clearly, isn’t getting it. Among other things, he clearly thinks that the main issue is whether he *intended* to be sexist. Sigh.

A: The photos have been criticized for maintaining gender stereotypes, and for being quite sexist. Is it okay to display sexist pictures for the purpose is charity?

V: It is, of course, reprehensible if charity work adds to chauvinism or sexism, racism or other prejudice. It was not sexism or anything like that that was driving my willingness to participate, and I don’t think the charity initiative or magazine intended these photos to be an expression of sexism. I am not the kind of person who would want this to happen, and I certainly do not want to be perceived as a male chauvinist.

10 thoughts on “Interview with Vincent Hendricks

  1. “I also wanted the course to have some appeal to young men who read these kinds of magazines but who rarely sign up for logic courses.”


  2. The thing that really bothers me about the interview is that he doesn’t once discuss how posting such pictures might affect women who might otherwise be interested in taking logic. He suggests that the people who were offended were people who are in the U.S., far far away. People in the U.S. certainly were offended, myself included, (and at least some of us did not cease to be offended upon learning that the pictures were taken for a charity initiative, as Hendricks claims). But the point is not offense. The point is that such pictures send a really strong message that women are not his philosophical audience. That, in my opinion, is the real problem with this whole thing.

  3. It’s a brilliant rhetorical turn that he makes; he doesn’t want to be “perceived” as a chauvinist. He doesn’t say that he wants to make sure he isn’t a sexist.

  4. Looks like he’s not letting up. Sometimes I wonder what people like him get from doing what they have done and then saying things like that. It would have been better if he said, “I thought it was a harmless idea at the time. I was mistaken.”

  5. “Let me also point out that the criticism ended, even in the U.S., as soon as it became public that I did this as part of a charity initiative.”

    Uh…did I miss this end-to-criticism? Because I don’t recall seeing a single person–even in the U.S.–say, “oh, they were degrading pictures used for *charity*? Whoops, my bad. As you were.”

  6. And he even has a superpower: “When I interact with people I see them as individuals before I see them as men or women.” An implicit-bias-foiling superpower. Cool!

  7. Thanks, Heg @7. This analysis is very good:

    “a classic non-apology that privileges intent over impact, denies that the clip was actually racist (it has just been “perceived” so), and identifies the main problem as other people (who got all hypersensitive and “felt offended”).”

    The not-pology itself:

    “The clip was absolutely not intended to be racist and we obviously regret that it has been perceived in this way. We apologise to anyone who may have felt offended. Given these controversies, we have decided to stop the campaign immediately and to withdraw the video.”

    Substitute “sexist,” or “homophobic” for “racist” and it’s one-stop shopping for all your not-pology needs!

  8. Allow me to summarize:

    1) He does not realize the images were sexist.
    2) He thinks that doing the shoot for a charity nullifies any possible sexism [that others might perceive].
    3) He thinks this a fine way to appeal to male students.
    4) He does not consider the reaction of female students.
    5) He is incapable of fully admitting an error of judgment.
    6) It is really all a problem of someone else’s perception.

    Got it?

  9. Logoskaieros,

    If you missed the-end-of-criticism ceremony, it took place at The ceremony was officiated by one of VFH’s best friends and (unoffical?) PR agent–Gregory Wheeler :-)

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