Reader Query: Leading Female Aestheticians?

Mahlet Zimeta writes:

I’m co-chairing with Bence Nanay (Antwerp/Cambridge) the 2013 annual conference for the British Society of Aesthetics. We’ve been asked to come up with some names of possible keynote speakers for two keynote slots, and we have also been soliciting contributions. But all the suggestions so far, bar one, have been male. We are unhappy with this situation. So I’d be very grateful for your help or the help of SWIP members with any suggestions.

We are after
– Leading female aesthetician

– Leading female non-aesthetician who might have published some work in aesthetics or whose work might bear on aesthetics (for example, someone from Mind, Ethics, Metaphysics, Social Philosophy)

The speakers do not need to be UK-based, because there is a budget for overseas travel expenses, though UK preferred if possible because we are keen to nurture and promote UK philosophers.

She’s also keen to hear suggestions for symposia or author-meets critics sessions.

How to make women invisible, by Ikea

“Ikea is being criticized for deleting images of women from the Saudi version of its furniture catalogue, a move the company says it regrets. Comparing the Swedish and Saudi versions of the Ikea catalogue, Sweden’s free newspaper Metro on Monday showed that women had been airbrushed out of otherwise identical pictures showcasing the company’s home furnishings.

The report raised questions in Sweden about Ikea’s commitment to gender equality. The country’s trade minister Ewa Bjorling didn’t criticize Ikea directly but told Metro that you can’t delete women from society.

Ikea released a statement expressing regret, saying “We should have reacted and realized that excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalogue is in conflict with the IKEA Group values.””

Source here.

Making Sense of Gender, Sex, Race, and the Family: Now online

HUMANA.MENTE – International Journal of Philosophical Studies

Issue 22 – September 2012

edited by Elena Casetta, Vera Tripodi

is available online:


Andrea Borghini
Food in the Metaphysical Orders: Gender, Race, and the Family

Valentina Chizzola
Sex and/or Gender? Some Neuroscientific Approaches

Roberta Cocco and Francesca Ervas
Gender Stereotypes and Figurative Language Comprehension

Esa Diaz-Leon
Social Kinds, Conceptual Analysis, and the Operative Concept: A Reply to Haslanger

Claude-Olivier Doron
Race and Genealogy. Buffon and the Formation of the Concept of “Race”

Koffi N. Maglo and Lisa J. Martin
Researching vs. Reifying Race: The Case of Obesity Research

Lina Papadaki
Abortion and Kant’s Formula of Humanity


Sanja Milutinovic Bojanic
The Female Brain by Cynthia Darlington and
Gender and the Science of Difference
by Jill A. Fisher (Ed.)

Greta Gober
Sexing the Body. Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality
by Anne Fausto-Sterling

Maria Rodó-de-Zárate and Marta Jorba
The Complexity of Intersectionality
by Leslie McCall


Anna Boncompagni
Shifting Ground. Knowledge and Reality, Transgression and Trustworthiness
by Naomi Scheman

Ingeborg W. Owesen
Birth, Death and Femininity – Philosophies of Embodiment
by Robin May Schott (Ed.)

Giuliano Torrengo
Minimizing Marriage. Marriage, Morality, and the Law
by Elizabeth Brake


Sally Haslanger
by Elena Casetta

Marta Nussbaum
by Sara Protasi


Jules Holroyd and Alessandra Tanesini
Under-Represented Groups in Philosophy
(26th-27th November 2010) 243

Maeve O’Donovan, Namita Goswami, and Lisa Yount
Women in Philosophy: Why Race and Gender Still Matter
(28th April 2012)


Badassery Incarnate, pt2: Feeling Excluded When You’re Not a Straight White Dude (aka my time as a gamer)

When I watched “The Men Who Built America” trailer, I saw red partly because this is just one in a long line of trailers I’ve had to sit through where (often rich and/or straight) white men are running around doing badass things and after about the twentieth trailer it starts to feel like you are getting the message, “This is what badassery looks like. And if you don’t look like this–if you don’t see yourself in these people on the screen–then you are not capable of being a badass like they are.” And while it’s possible to identify with someone who doesn’t share your class, gender, race, sexuality, etc., it can be extra hard to when these trailers play up “This is a MASCULINE guy and this is a HIGH CLASS rich person and this is a EUROPEAN American.”

I had a pretty similar experience last year when I watched a trailer for the video game Dragon Age II. I’m an avid gamer who identifies strongly as a gamer and who is invested in gamer culture, so it felt like a slap in the face to see this series play into the same “by white men for white men” crap that currently permeates the majority of gamer culture–specifically the RPGs that I play. It’s fine for any one game to be by white men about white men. But when it’s game after game after game it’s hard to shake the feeling that, “hey, maybe you don’t belong here.” I got this same feeling when I ran around my high school spouting about how much I loved Fight Club until several different people told me, “Oh, I thought that movie was about masculinity.” Suddenly, I felt cut off from this thing that I love, that I identified with. It’s the feeling of This Is Not For You; this thing and you are mutually exclusive.

Here’s the DA II trailer I got all in a huff about:

For some context, Dragon Age: Origins (the first game in the series) was amazing in that you could play as a woman or a man, straight, bi, or gay, and occupy a whole host of different socio-economic positions (commoner, noble, royal, outcast, ward of the state (sorta), etc). On my first play through, my character was from an inner-city ghetto (albeit a white, elfish one) and I had to basically get recruited into a special ops military group (to save me from execution) after I killed a noble who raped my friend and killed my fiancee because he (the noble) felt entitled to a prima nocta. As far as video games go, the gender/class/sexuality consciousness of DAO was astounding. (Not perfect–but definitely above the norm.)

That’s why it was an extra kick in the gut for the trailer of DA II to represent itself–and all the different kinds of heroes you can play as–with the same old trope of, “Here’s you–the beefy nordic-looking male fighter.”

(I’m also pissed that they used the voice of Flemeth–one of the most bad ass characters of the series who is supposed to be this witch of mythic status who may literally eat men’s souls–and she’s sitting there narrating about how there are a few “men” who manage to grab destiny by the balls. WTF.  It’s such a weird dissonance to realize, this is not what this character would say.  This is a bunch of men putting words into this woman’s mouth.  Flemeth, the actual character, would instead say something like this: ‘Some men change the world forever.  Then I change into a dragon and eat them.  Because that’s how I roll.’)