Philosophy 101 and the underrepresentation of women in philosophy

Tania Lombrozo has a great post at NPR about the underrepresentation of women in philosophy. She focuses on recent work by Toni Adleburg, Morgan Thompson, and Eddy Nahmias that surveys the affect of gender on responses to intro philosophy courses (since, statistically, the biggest drop off in women’s participation in philosophy comes between intro-level courses and declaring a philosophy major – at least in the US).

Overall, female students found the course less enjoyable and the material less interesting and relevant to their lives than male students. Compared to male students, they also felt that they had less in common with typical philosophy majors or with their instructors, reported feeling less able and likely to succeed in philosophy, were less comfortable participating in class discussions and were less inclined to take a second philosophy course or to major in philosophy. (Interestingly, however, they didn’t anticipate receiving lower grades.)

Nigella Lawson and Domestic Violence

So Charles Saatchi attacked Nigella Lawson at a posh restaurant. And though lots of people took photos, and some apparently contacted the police, nobody intervened. [Expletives deleted] It is, however, provoking some useful discussion (yes, amazingly, from the Telegraph):

So class or status is irrelevant, but we persist in our naivety. It’s a defence mechanism, of course; we’re desperate to find a cast-iron reason that will distance us from the miserable fate suffered by someone unnervingly similar to our comfortable little selves – because we don’t want to believe that it could happen to us. We cannot tolerate the thought that we are not safe. And from this weaselly position of “I’d never get myself into that situation”, it’s a short, shameful step to blaming the victim: why does she stay with him? Why does she put up with it?

Thanks, C!