Zoe Smith, awesome weightlifter, puts it very well

One particularly harsh critic said she “looked like a bloke” and that most guys would agree. (Fortunately, the offender in question had the good sense to at least delete the tweets.)

So, Zoe took to her blog and wrote out one of the most empowering, You-Go-Girl smackdowns we’ve ever read. She says:

“…We don’t lift weights in order to look hot, especially for the likes of men like that. What makes them think that we even WANT them to find us attractive? If you do, thanks very much, we’re flattered. But if you don’t, why do you really need to voice this opinion in the first place, and what makes you think we actually give a toss that you, personally, do not find us attractive? What do you want us to do? Shall we stop weightlifting, amend our diet in order to completely get rid of our ‘manly’ muscles, and become housewives in the sheer hope that one day you will look more favourably upon us and we might actually have a shot with you?! Cause you are clearly the kindest, most attractive type of man to grace the earth with your presence.

“Oh but wait, you aren’t. This may be shocking to you, but we actually would rather be attractive to people who aren’t closed-minded and ignorant. Crazy, eh?! We, as any women with an ounce of self-confidence would, prefer our men to be confident enough in themselves to not feel emasculated by the fact that we aren’t weak and feeble.”

For more, go here. (Thanks, N!)

Students to Notre Dame: Drop lawsuit against mandate

Kathryn Pogin, a graduate student in philosophy at Notre Dame, wrote a letter to the president of the University of Notre Dame, arguing that the school should drop its lawsuit against the federal government’s requirement that employers’ health insurance plans cover contraception without copays.  When she ran a draft of it past her friends, they moved to turn it into a petition instead.  Way to be public philosophers!

Of course, Notre Dame’s position is that they have a Constitutional right to religious freedom.  I’d argue that this does not entail a Constitutional right to be an employer that doesn’t provide access to good health insurance coverage, and as a Jezebel blogger points out, “The government is only proposing that employees of a religious organization that is not a house of worship have access to birth control through insurance, not that the religious institution that employs them pay for that birth control itself.”

We’ll post updates as they occur.  In the meantime, and excitingly for philosophers, the result of Kathryn Pogin’s letter is that a high-traffic site like HuffPo offers arguments about the Doctrine of Double Effect!  More of this, please.  More public philosophy.  And thanks to all the Notre Dame students involved for moving to make it happen.


Happy news on Feyerabend conference

A very welcome and positive update, indeed! From Matteo Collodel:

A promise is a debt and I hope that everybody will be pleased with the results of this, in many ways, extra-ordinary situation.

We have now three female names in the list of invited participants and keynote speakers (out of 16, or better 14). A special plenary session will be devoted to the issue of implicit bias as a threat to pluralism, with particular emphasis on the problem of the exclusion of women from academic philosophy, with lectures of Carla Fehr (University of Waterloo) and Vera Tripodi (University of Barcelona), and an adequate time for debate. An explicit reference to the GCC is made in the conference presentation on the conference website. Hopefully, a further contributed paper session could be set up on these themes. To this purpose, I strongly encourage you to submit proposals about patterns of (gender, ethnic, etc.) exclusion in science and academia.

I would especially like to thank Carla Fehr, Jennifer Saul, Martin Kusch and Matt Brown for their constructive contributions to this collaborative effort under such tense circumstances. I am also very grateful to Miranda Fricker, Jules Holroyd, Kristina Rolin, and Miriam Solomon for their support and encouragement, and to this blog and the participants to this discussion for their stimulus and generally positive attitude.

Let’s hope that the intensity of the conference debate matches that of the pre-conference discussions.

All the best,

Reminder: CFP deadline August 15

Ah, to be a philosopher in New Orleans!

SAF Session at the Central Division APA

New Orleans Hilton, New Orleans LA

February 20-23, 2013

The Society for Analytical Feminism invites submissions for a session at the 2013 Central Division APA meetings.

The Society seeks papers that examine feminist issues by methods broadly construed as analytic, or discuss the use of analytic philosophical methods as applied to feminist issues. Reading time should be about 20 minutes. Authors should submit either  (1) a paper, or (2) an extended abstract, as detailed as possible (up to 1000 words) accompanied by a bibliography. Please delete all self-identifying references from your submission to ensure anonymity.

Send submissions as a word attachment to Robin Dillon (rsd2 [at] lehigh [dot] edu).

Deadline for submissions: August 15, 2012.

Graduate students or underfunded professionals whose papers are accepted will be eligible for the Society’s $250 Travel Stipend. Please indicate on a separate page (or in your covering letter) if you fall into one of these categories.