Obama’s health-care law upheld by Supreme Court

It’s a 5-4 decision with Roberts being the key supporter.  “Ginsburg’s summation seemed to serve as the bottom line: ‘In the end, the Affordable Health Care Act survives largely unscathed.'”

Words cannot express my gratitude, however temporary this may be.  When I moved away from the USA, it broke my heart to think I might never be able to move back as long as getting health insurance would be barred to those of us with pre-existing conditions.

Perhaps the decision even curtails government power, a bit?  It’s too early for me to care; right now my heart is singing happy, hopeful tunes!

UPDATED: Best coverage on SCOTUSblog, naturally.

Al-Saji edits new Feminist section of Philosophy Compass

Philosophy Compass now offers a section on Feminist Philosophy, and its first editor is Alia Al-Saji (McGill),

who is currently commissioning articles to be published in 2013.  In the meantime, the section homepage will feature previously-published Philosophy Compass articles that touch on aspects of feminist philosophy. Welcome aboard, Alia!  [See their whole announcement and Al-Saji’s full bio here.]

This is great news for feminist philosophers, especially since Philosophy Compass aims to be a guide offering a survey of the field with attention to “what is happening right now in philosophy.”  That’s right, Feminist Philosophy is happening! You know it.

While they get the section filled in with new contributions, the section site currently offers a very interesting backlist of previous contributions of interest to feminists.  So if it’s been a while since you read Lori Watson on pornography, Shannon Winnubst on temporality, or Margaret Davies on feminist legal theory, check it out!

Hypatia Diversity Prize

Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy introduces the Hypatia Diversity Essay

We invite submissions for the 2013 Hypatia Diversity Essay Prize. This prize is
awarded biennially for the best essay, previously unpublished, written by a
graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, or non-tenured faculty member that
embodies a feminist, intersectional approach in a philosophical analysis
combining categories of identity (e.g., gender, class, disability, ethnicity,
nationality, race, religion, sexuality). In addition to receiving $500, the
winning author(s)’s essay will be published in Hypatia.

The Diversity Essay Prize committee warmly encourages essay submissions! Please
submit essays at the Hypatia Manuscript Central Submission Site.

If you have any questions, please contact Linda Martin Alcoff at:
lmartina AT hunter.cuny.edu

Why not vote for some feminist-friendly Lego?

Back when I were a lad, Lego figures were more or less androgynous. About the only indicator of gender was the occasional (removable, transferable) haircut, and the astronauts and racing drivers could have anything under their suits. Since I were a lad, things have moved on somewhat, and Lego figures now have all sorts of gendered elements, not least an impressively extensive and detailed array of facial furniture.

Which is all well and good, but it does raise the possibility that a previously gender-neutral toy might become rather less so, and there are some indications that this is the case; see, for example, the faintly depressing spectacle of Lego’s attempt to create a product range appealing specifically to girls (though it’s only fair to note that one of these apparent simpering stereotypes in fact has a nice sideline in robot design and aspires to be ‘a scientist or an engineer‘).

Anyway, as something of a corrective to this, a reader has come up with a way to propose a rather more feminist-friendly set of figures, via Lego’s new mechanism for public suggestions. You can vote for the idea there, and if it gets lots of attention, there’s a chance that the company will end up producing female engineers, scientists, and so forth. In the meantime, there’s always magic markers.