A reader writes:
As the job season approaches again, I was curious if I could get feedback about men applying for feminist philosophy jobs. I am a heterosexual, cissexual, white male. I work in a field of philosophy that I often approach through feminist and queer thinkers. My MA advisor was a feminist philosopher of some note, and my PhD advisor was a male queer theorist. I have a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies, my biggest publication is in Hypatia, and two-thirds of my conferences are explicitly feminist or queer oriented. At the job I adjuncted at while finishing my dissertation, I was affiliated with that University’s Women and Gender Studies department, and taught classes that were cross-listed. I say this as a way of pointing out I have fairly traditional credentials for applying for feminist philosophy jobs. However, I don’t know if I should apply for those jobs.
The first question is if it is ethically permissible to apply for feminist philosophy jobs. As we all know, there are few women in philosophy, and many departments are mostly, even exclusively, male. Feminist philosophy jobs are one of the ways many departments make sure to hire at least one woman. Moreover, the constant maleness of departments is a good way to turn off female students, and I wonder at the way such students would react if even their feminist philosophy professors are another heterosexual, cissexual, white male. Perhaps I should apply for jobs in my other area of specialization, and simply ignore jobs whose AOS is feminist philosophy. Feedback on if I, and other men, should apply for feminist philosophy jobs is welcome. Thank you!