‘On being a woman in philosophy and feeling stupid’

Katrina Sifferd has written a moving, important blog post titled ‘On being a woman in philosophy and feeling stupid‘. She discusses the often insidious effects of being hit on by people you look up to as academic advisors or mentors. Sadly, I’m sure many women in philosophy can relate to what she says:

Each time I had this experience, every positive thing my teacher/professor had said about my academic work disappeared in a puff of smoke. The attention I received made me feel stupid, unworthy. And the rumors in grad school that I was indeed sleeping with this or the other professor just fed my fears. Not only did I feel like my intellect wasn’t up to snuff, neither did anyone else in my program (I thought).

One thought on “‘On being a woman in philosophy and feeling stupid’

  1. The problem with being a new student and hearing rumours about Prof A or B is that you don’t know if they are true. Usually you are not warned before going to University X that you should avoid Prof A or B. Then there are the cases of Professors who try to date multiple students and those who want to date one. There was a post about a Professor who followed one student. Should he be treated the same as those who have a new student each term? What if the climate in the Department is such that dating students is part of the male bonding of the department ? What if a Professor follows an ex-student to another University ? Even though he is not staff he somehow uses his “trying to date ex-student” excuse as a way to build a new network of male Professors and students in the ex-student’s place of work/study although he is not (yet) hired there?

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