Feminists, therefore suspect

I did not expect to see, today, explicit denigration of the APA-CSW’s Site Visit program, on the basis of the members’ feminist commitments.  I was moved to write in opposition to the view that Site Visit teams are “unbalanced” when all its members are feminists, and I share it at What We’re Doing because I know not all of our FP readers frequent Leiter Reports, and because I won’t have time to moderate comments until a bit later today.  Feel free to comment at What We’re Doing, and be patient with the moderation (as this lunch break won’t last)! Excerpt:

I am mildly surprised to see the statement [from a reader], “There are plenty who wish to end sexual harassment in the profession despite having a very low opinion of ‘feminist philosophy.’” If there are plenty, and if the Physics colleagues have been successfully doing similar site visits for decades, then why didn’t the ‘plenty’ of philosophers who deplore feminists start a site-visit program? Indeed, feminist philosophers including Peggy DesAutels and Carla Fehr started the site visit programs in part because of their concern for women and gender issues. Now that they’ve done most of the work, it is somewhat insincere to argue that only one member of a site visit team can/should have such a view, and that the effort should be more “balanced.” The philosophy profession, on the whole, seems to have been content to let a few hard-working colleagues do a very unbalanced share of the work of improving this aspect of the profession.

The PGR’s un-women-friendly epistemology

McAfee’s punch line: “Is there a systematic bias in the PGR methodology that leads it to value more male-dominated departments? Well, yes. An unrepresentative and hand-picked advisory board plus unrepresentative and hand-picked evaluators will lead to a slanted take on the value of the work going on in the profession. You don’t have to be a stand-point epistemologist to see this.”

[Update:  I’m going to recommend that anyone who wishes to comment on the post do so at Gone Public, where it originally occurred, rather than below the reblog here. To that end (and because I’m not able to moderate comments today), I’ve closed comments below.]

gonepublic: philosophy, politics, & public life

Julie Van Camp just updated her Spring 2004 article, “Female-Friendly Departments: A Modest Proposal for Picking Graduate Programs in Philosophy” that pointed out the under-representation of women on the advisory board of Brian Leiter’s Philosophical Gourmet Report . This month Van Camp expanded the  postscript with numbers showing that in the past ten years little has changed.

Postscript: November 20, 2004 [updated 2/3/2014]

The 2011 Report:
The list of the Top 51 doctoral programs is included in the 2011 Philosophical Gourmet Report. The 56 members of the  Report’s Advisory Board for 2011 included nine females (16.1%) and was based on the reports of 302 evaluators, including 46 women (15.2%).

The 2009 Report:
The 55 members of the  Report’s Advisory Board for 2009 included eight females (14.5%) and was based on the reports of 294 evaluators, including 37 women (12.6%).

The 2006-08 Report:
The 56 members of the Report’s Advisory Board for…

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A problem among students?

Let’s hope they know it isn’t just among students:

The U.S. Education Department’s chief enforcer of civil-rights laws said on Monday that her office would be working “faster and better” to make sure colleges abide by federal law in their handling of campus sexual assaults.

Catherine E. Lhamon, the assistant secretary of education who heads the department’s Office for Civil Rights, delivered that message to college officials attending a conference here at the University of Virginia called “Dialogue at UVa: Sexual Misconduct Among College Students.” Her statement came just weeks after President Obama promised governmentwide scrutiny of campus sexual assault and singled out college presidents, in particular, for their obligation to do more to keep students safe.

From the CHE.

Guest post: Statement from CU Feminist Philosopher Alumni

UPDATE:Additional names have been added.

I’ve been asked to post this by a group of Colorado alumni.

As feminist philosophers who are also alumni of the PhD program at the University of Colorado at Boulder we want to commend the APA’s Committee on the Status of Women’s Site Visit Program’s recent work reviewing and reporting on the current climate in the CU Philosophy Department.  We applaud the department for seeking the expertise of the CSW site visitors.

While we are distressed to read about how chilly the climate has become in the department, we want to express our admiration for the faculty members and graduate students who are and have been doing wonderful work under very difficult circumstances.  The Boulder department has an impressive record of training excellent feminist philosophers, many of whom serve the profession in a number of ways. We look forward to more feminist philosophers from CU joining our ranks.

As others have noted, CU Boulder’s Philosophy Department is by no means unique in having an environment that is discriminatory towards and disrespectful to women and other under-represented minorities.  We are encouraged that the CU department is taking steps to improve its climate and would like to see other departments work transparently to remedy their own discrimination and harassment problems.

Corwin Aragon ‘13
Christina Bellon ‘98
Valerie Broin, ‘88
Annaleigh Curtis ‘13
Tom Digby, ‘82
Barrett Emerick ‘11
Jennifer Everett  ‘01
Sara Goering ‘98
Abigail Gosselin ’05
Lori Gruen, ‘94
Peter Higgins ‘08
Audra King ‘08
Theresa Tobin  ‘05
Shelley Wilcox  ‘01
Scott Wisor ‘09
Jason Wyckoff ‘09
Lijun Yuan ‘02

Pamela Lomelino ’10
Diane Mayer ’80
Ryan Mott ’09
Heidi Petersen ’06
Maureen Sander-Staudt ’01