The Job market and women in philosophy

Meena Krishnamurthy aims to start an important discussion.

….Lately there has been a lot of talk about the problems within the profession and taking action aimed at positive change. I think the job market and best practices are something that should be revisited now.

For more, go to her post.

8 thoughts on “The Job market and women in philosophy

  1. Sometimes it seems to me that we need a cotillion for philosophers. I went to one in 8th grade; it was about learning standard ballroom dances but, even more, proper etiquette.

    I’m not proposing we teach dance steps. Rather, we’d teach people how to greet female grad students on the market, how to walk them over to meet their colleagues, and where to look. We could hand out lists of impermissible topics, jokes, and gestures.

  2. I completely agree, though I also think the job market is hellish for probably close to everyone on the job market. I’ve never met a young-ish philosopher who didn’t consider leaving the profession while on the job market. Not anyone.

  3. I, a male grad student, have also experienced the phil. job market as utterly hellish, degrading, and depressing. People were almost uniformly mean and condescending both during interviews and at the smoker.

  4. While I personally also found the job market to be perfectly dreadful, my very strong sense from talking with female friends and colleagues is that women have to deal with quite a lot of awful situations in both conference and on campus interviews that men like me never have to deal with. I’ve seen this firsthand at the APA when I’ve been with female friends and colleagues.

  5. Well, Fritz is no doubt right, and the most Meena makes talks about those very types of situations. I take it one of the questions Meena (and Jenny Saul) were raising was something like: is there something about the meat market quality of the job market specifically that contributes to those situations, and what can be done about it? And if there’s something that can be done about it, a nice side benefit of that would be that maybe it would also be something that’s helpful to Anonymous #3.

  6. Copying my remarks on Philosop-her: One thing, that has come up in other contexts: the more departments separate their searches from the E.APA, the less certain kinds of misfortunes are likely to happen. If a department really needs to have E.APA interviews, maybe they should make a point of NOT having a table at the smoker, so that interviewees feel no pressure to drop by and hang out. If a department wishes to have a table at the smoker for their own grad students to hang out at, then maybe the table can be listed as follows: “University of X graduate students”. This would indicate that the table is not there for X’s faculty to conduct semi-formal semi-drunk post-interview interviews.

  7. As someone in a different profession married to a philosopher (I’m Richard Heck’s wife, btw), I’ve often found the E.APA method to be very odd, given the atmosphere that seems to be part of the conference, particularly when it comes to the smoker. It has always struck me as a really bad idea to mix alcohol and job interviews in that sort of way.

    I’ve been a journalist for decades and have a lot of first-hand experience with how patriarchy runs my profession, so I see many parallels between female journalists and female philosophers, which is a central aspect of what draws me to this blog as someone who isn’t a philosopher, but feels the same kinds of pain. I’d be very hesitant personally to approach a job market that followed the model philosophy follows.

  8. The smoker is disgusting and embarrassing. I sincerely hope it will be completely abolished within a few years.

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