A reader writes with the following query for advice:
Say there was a very sexist philosophy department who hired a complete jerk of a professor. Let’s call him Professor X. Professor X used to tell many of his students that I (female philosopher) did not do “real” philosophy. Female philosopher simply kept her head down and did her work so that she would attain tenure (which she has.) And Professor X has left for greener pastures (presumably where more people do “real philosophy.”) There was a student who was much enthralled with Professor X, and took to mimicking him excessively (even to the point of including many of the buzz phrases on female philosopher’s course evaluations). Now, said student wants letter of recommendation from female philosopher because Professor X refuses to write letters for students at his previous institution. Female professor feels quite certain that this student would become one of those asshole philosophers that populate the field. However, if she refuses to write the letter, then she will be marked “does not play well with others” on her merit evaluation (which the chair often bases on student comments on evaluations). What is female philosopher to do?