The last of what has been a really excellent series, this time from Peg O’Connor.
My heart simultaneously soars and sinks when a female undergraduate tells me that she is considering pursuing a Ph.D. in philosophy. First, I think, “You will be a great philosopher and make some important contributions to philosophy and someday I will get to be your colleague. Go for it!” My thoughts careening on a parallel track are, “Graduate school in philosophy can be treacherous and lecherous. And then if you make it through, the job market is its own special nightmare. Run away!” In that moment I feel trapped in the classic double bind of damned if I do and damned if I don’t, which many feminists would identify as the hallmark of structural sexism. I resent that trap. Bitterly.