New sexual assault legislation planned

From Inside Higher Ed

New sexual assault legislation unveiled

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of eight U.S. Senators on Wednesday unveiled legislation aimed at holding colleges more accountable for preventing and dealing with the sexual assaults that occur on campuses.

The lawmakers, led by Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, both Democrats, said that the bill responds to a national problem of campus sexual assault and the publicized cases of colleges mishandling investigations. …

[One measure:] The legislation would require all colleges to conduct anonymous surveys of students about their views of sexual assault on campuses. The results of the so-called “climate surveys” would then be published online for prospective students to see.

There are a number of other tough measures. Have a look.

SWIP-Ireland, call for abstracts

Call for Abstracts
Society for Women in Philosophy, Ireland
Annual Conference and General Meeting
21st – 22nd November 2014, Newman House, Dublin 2, Ireland
Conference Theme: Women’s Bodies

Recent decades have seen unprecedented scholarly interest in the body, particularly the gendered body. This interest has been fostered by critical work emanating from the fields of philosophy, sociology, gender studies, cultural studies, medical humanities, and politics. Traditional concepts such as sex and gender have also come under scrutiny outside of the academy, where feminists and LGBT activists have drawn attention to the conceptualisation of the body in social and political milieus.

Given this widespread appeal of theorisations on the body, the Society for Women in Philosophy Ireland is organising a conference on the topic of Women’s Bodies. Papers might address, but are not limited to, the philosophical considerations arising from the following topics:

–       biological and social constructions of sexual difference.
–       essentialism  regarding sex and  gender,
–       materiality of the body
–       embodiment
–       pornography
–       pregnancy, biotechnologies
–       the body and sexuality
–       sexual violence and harassment
–       the phenomenology of pregnancy, birth and parenthood
–       technologies and the gendered body
–       social movements, activism, and the gendered body
–       the gendered body in media and culture

The focus of the conference is primarily philosophical, however, interdisciplinary papers combining philosophy with, among others, sociology, gender studies, cultural studies, politics, and medical humanities are also welcome.

Professor Rae Langton (Cambridge) and Professor Gail Weiss (The George Washington University) are keynote speakers at the conference.  Papers relevant to their work are also very welcome.

Please submit abstracts of not more than 500 words by September 1, 2014 to maria.baghramian at ucd dot ie.  Successful applicants will be contacted by 20th September.

This conference is supported by an award from the Irish Research Council.

Professor Maria Baghramian, MRIA
School of Philosophy
University College Dublin

How not to teach logic.

A case in point, from Richard Dawkins:

Richard Dawkins has said “date rape is bad” and “stranger rape at knifepoint is worse” and contrasted “mild” paedophilia with “violent” paedophilia on Twitter. The writer, known for his atheism and books including The God Delusion, emphasised he was not approving anything but giving examples of a “syllogism” – logical argument where the comparisons do not imply any endorsement of either.

Philosophers in the media today

Jason Stanley on Detroit, water, and democracy in the NYT.

The chief values of democracy are freedom and equality. The willingness to subsume freedom to claims of efficiency is one sign of an undemocratic culture. Toleration of the denial of fresh water to others is another. After all, it is hard to imagine denying fresh water to those one regards as political equals. The pressure that has resulted in the decision by Detroit’s emergency manager to turn back control of the water department to the mayor, however temporary, is, one can hope, one small sign that the drought in Detroit’s democracy may be ending.

Myisha Cherry in the Huffington Post on why love is not all we need.

We can also get lost in universal language and think that the rhetoric and projects refer to us all. But unless this rhetoric also comes out of a respect for everyone, with proof that is not afraid of expressing specificity, these “love projects” will not achieve much.

Lastly, Nussbaum and King’s love ethic also neglects the work of other emotions. While I do see the usefulness of love in certain contexts, love cannot be a doctrine of exclusivity. Love will not work in all contexts and therefore is not an end all-be all to our social problems. Shame and fear may work better in certain contexts.

Both excellent and important articles, and actually a rather good fit with each other.

Black academia in Britain

Starting with UK-national staff only, Black people constitute just 1.1% of the total of academic professionals. This is the smallest percentage of any ethnic group, although Chinese are close-by with 1.2%. Even when we add together non-national and UK-national staff we find that out of a total academic professional staff of 165445, 2560 are Black, that is, 1.54%, even though they constitute 3.3% of the British population. Alternatively, white academic professionals compose 87.45% of the total and are over-represented in terms of being 86% of the broader population. In contrast, 6.91% of white workers (both UK-national and non-national) are employed as cleaners, catering assistants, security officers, porters and maintenance workers; while 19.27% of Black staff are employed in these roles.

Thus, Black people are significantly under-represented in academic roles and significantly over-represented in manual jobs.

For more, go here. (Thanks, N!)

Turkish Women not to laugh in public (or talk about ‘unnecessary things’ on the phone)

This has been on my Tweeter feed for a couple days, but I was waiting for some English-language article to come out, and here it is.

In a Holiday (Eid) message the Deputy Prime minister in Turkey, Bülent Arınç announced that in order to protect morality, and in particular chastity, women should stop laughing in public. What we need instead is women who

” blush, lower their heads and turn their eyes away when we look at their face, becoming the symbol of chastity”.

The juxtaposition, in one of  the quotes from Arınç, of the act of laughing in public and ‘knowing what is haram’ – that is prohibited, as opposed to merely distasteful or not recommended – is disturbing: it seems that the Deputy PM is basically telling women that laughing in public is as bad as adultery.

Also, the country would be better off, apparently, if women stopped talking on the phone so much and met face-to-face instead. In my experience, Turkish men spend as much time on the phone as Turkish women, but I assume that their phone usage is necessary – because they have to be at work – whereas good Turkish women will be at home, and hence have time for a glass of tea and a chat with their mother-in-law, say.

But what will women do when they need to check with their husbands what to cook for dinner?

Food, Masculinities & Home: CFP


The deadline has been extended to Aug 31, 2014. 


Food, Masculinities & Home

Edited Volume in Bloomsbury Publishers, “Home” Series

Editors: Michelle Szabo, SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Sociology, University of Toronto, & Shelley Koch, Assistant Professor, Sociology, Emory & Henry College, Virginia

Volume Overview

 The traditional relationship between women/femininity and the domestic kitchen is changing. Both gay and straight men are cooking more at home and have more responsibility for food provisioning as dual-earners, single men and single fathers. Gay, female and trans masculinities are opening up new ways of ordering domestic food work, and new ideas of fatherhood are redefining roles within the household. Food media and popular culture increasingly feature men in domestic culinary roles, while masculine-identified women and trans men are using new media to “masculinize” traditionally feminine food tasks such as baking. All of these trends are occurring in a highly politicized foodscape where issues like public health (re. e.g. obesity rates), food system sustainability, and gender, race and class inequality are at stake.

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