On turning forty, getting fit, and fitting in

One year ago today feminist philosopher Rebecca Kukla posted to Facebook about her loathing of the activities required to be fit.

“Exercising regularly and not eating stuff takes a whole hella lot of time, and I resent the shit out of it, frankly. I have no quasi-protestant pretentions that there is some weird sort of virtue in doing this. There is not. It’s self-regarding in a totally uninteresting sense. And it makes me cranky.”

Today she guest posts at Fit, Feminist, and (Almost) Fifty about being wrong, about discovering boxing and power lifting, and about the role gender norms play in limiting the athletic choices for women.

“I now see this as a vivid example of how gender norms can limit our imagination, both through inculcating shame and through stifling creativity. When I was shown a few powerlifts in the gym, I discovered serendipitously that I love exercise when – and only when – it is a testosterone-driven outlet for aggression in a yoga-pants-free environment.”

Read the rest here.

CFP: Society for Women’s Advancement in Philosophy

The Society for Women’s Advancement in Philosophy, in collaboration with our Minorities and Philosophy Chapter and Philosophy Graduate Student Association here at Florida State University, are pleased to announce the 9th Annual S.W.A.P. Graduate Student Philosophy Conference to be held on Friday, March 21st of 2014. This year we are greatly pleased to have Kathryn J. Norlock as our invited keynote speaker.

Any paper topic is acceptable; however, papers in the areas of ethics, social and political philosophy, feminist philosophy, and environmental philosophy will be given priority this year. Papers should be suitable for a 20 minute presentation time.

Abstracts of high quality with a length of no more than 500 words can be submitted to fsuswap at gmail dot com. The abstract should be in blind-review format with no identifying information. Please indicate your contact information and institutional affiliation in the body of your email submission.

Submission deadline is February 22nd. If you have any questions please contact Carmen Marcous (cmarcous at fsu dot edu).

Changing a child’s birthdate to marry her off.

Those of you who are still following the Turkish news may have noticed how all the women seem to have been replaced by mustachioed men. Right now, the focus is on corruption by members of the government, and – surprise, surprise – most of these are men.

But while all this is going on, let’s not forget that there are women in Turkey, and that those living in rural regions, or far away from the main cities, tend to have the hardest time of it.

So this: a 14 year old girl, found shot in the head, after her second baby was still born. Her in-laws are currently trying to persuade the courts that she killed herself, out of depression, while at the same time attempting to establish that her age was not, in fact 14.

According to the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, one out of every four brides is a child, with families increasingly applying to change their daughters’ birthdates so that they can legally marry.

CFP: Death

All interested scholars are invited to contribute to the program of the inaugural conference of the International Association for the Philosophy of Death and Dying. The conference will be held 20-22 November 2014 on the campus of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (east of Los Angeles, California).

Abstracts of 500-750 words should address philosophical questions related to death and dying, including but not limited to:

•  the metaphysics of death, including personal identity, criteria for declaring death, etc.

•  the possibility and/or desirability of immortality

•  death as a harm or benefit

•  death and life’s meaning

•  reactions to death and dying (e.g., grief, ars moriendi and the ‘good death’)

•  philosophical implications of death-related technologies (e.g., life extension, cryonics)

•  ethical controversies related to death (suicide, organ donation, etc.)

•  clinical and biomedical issues related to death and dying



Amy Olberding, University of Oklahoma

John Martin Fischer, University of California- Riverside


Abstracts from scholars outside philosophy are welcome so long as they engage such philosophical issues. Abstracts are welcome from analytic, Continental, and other historical traditions. Abstracts should be submitted to info@philosophyofdeath.org. Deadine for abstract submission: 31 March 2014.


Is the US a racial democracy?

Jason Stanley and Vesla Weaver have a piece up on The Stone–very well worth a full read– arguing that the United States is a racial democracy, i.e., a democracy “that unfairly applies the laws governing the removal of liberty primarily to citizens of one race, thereby singling out its members as especially unworthy of liberty, the coin of human dignity.” Here, I except:

As one of us has helped document in a forthcoming book, punishment and surveillance by itself causes people to withdraw from political participation — acts of engagement like voting or political activism. In fact, the effect on political participation of having been in jail or prison dwarfs other known factors affecting political participation, such as the impact of having a college-educated parent, being in the military or being in poverty . . .

Evidence suggests that minorities experience contact with the police at rates that far outstrip their share of crime. One study found that the probability that a black male 18 or 19 years of age will be stopped by police in New York City at least once during 2006 is 92 percent. The probability for a Latino male of the same age group is 50 percent. For a young white man, it is 20 percent. In 90 percent of the stops of young minorities in 2011, there wasn’t evidence ofwrongdoing, and no arrest or citation occurred. In over half of the stops of minorities, the reason given for the stop was that the person made “furtive movements.” In 60 percent of the stops, an additional reason listed for the stop was that the person was in a “high crime area.”

Blacks are not necessarily having these encounters at greater rates than their white counterparts because they are more criminal. National surveys show that, with the exception of crack cocaine, blacks consistently report using drugs at lower levels than whites. Some studies also suggest that blacks are engaged in drug trafficking at lower levels. Yet once we account for their share of the population, blacks are 10 times as likely to spend time in prison for offenses related to drugs.

The full article is here.