Weight discrimination is costly for women

From the Guardian:

Being thin, it seems, is an unspoken requirement if you’re after a fatter paycheck. And the thinner you are, the better you fare, financially speaking. If you are deemed to be heavy, on the other hand, you suffer, as a 2011 study made clear. Heavy women earned $9,000 less than their average-weight counterparts; very heavy women earned $19,000 less. Very thin women, on the other hand, earned $22,000 more than those who were merely average. And yes, those results are far more visible on women’s earnings than on those of men.

You may also struggle for promotion. It turns out that about half of male CEOs are overweight, but only 5% of female CEOs carry extra pounds. Add an extra layer to that glass ceiling.

The patchwork quilt of achievement

This is just wonderful, the wonderful Athene Donald reflecting on Mary Catherine Bateson:

Consider the following sentence:

‘We see achievement as purposeful and monolithic, like sculpting of a massive tree trunk that has first to be brought from the forest and then shaped by long labor to assert the artist’s vision, rather than something crafted from odds and ends, like a patchwork quilt, and lovingly used to warm different nights and bodies.’

[Bateson’s] sympathies are all with the crafting of a life from bits and pieces rather than those (few?) who simply move from A to B, knowing that B was always where they wanted to be, probably even having set a timescale to achieve this pinnacle of their aspirations. Some people may start off like that. Few I would wager actually manage such a straightforward passage, far fewer than the young setting out are likely to believe. For most of us, however successful we may look to others, there has been a substantial amount of crafting, reshaping, thinking again once one’s heart desire is snatched away and picking oneself off the floor amongst the detritus….

Here’s to patchwork quilts.


Happy Halloween, ya’ll

The Chronicle of Higher Education gives us, in festive mood, A Brief History of Academics Writing Seriously About Zombies. Unsurprisingly, philosophy takes center stage:

In philosophy, zombies are confined safely to the theoretical realm. Contemporary philosophers use thought experiments involving zombies to “illuminate problems about consciousness and its relation to the physical world,” according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, whose entry on “zombies” includes priceless passages such as this:

“Suppose a population of tiny people disable your brain and replicate its functions themselves, while keeping the rest of your body in working order (see Block 1980); each homunculus uses a cell phone to perform the signal-receiving and -transmitting functions of an individual neuron. Now, would such a system be conscious? Intuitively one may be inclined to say obviously not. Some, notably functionalists, bite the bullet and answer yes. However, the argument does not depend on assuming that the homunculus-head would not be conscious. It depends only on the assumption that its not being conscious is conceivable—which many people find reasonable. In [the philosopher David] Chalmers’s words, all that matters here is that when we say the system might lack consciousness, ‘a meaningful possibility is being expressed, and it is an open question whether consciousness arises or not’ (1996, p. 97). If he is right, then the system is not conscious. In that case it is already very much like a zombie, the only difference being that it has little people where a zombie has neurons.”
And this:

“Suppose I smell roasting coffee beans and say, ‘Mm! Roasting coffee: I love that smell!’. Everyone would rightly assume I was talking about my experience. But now suppose my zombie twin produces the same utterance. He too seems to be talking about an experience, but in fact he isn’t because he’s just a zombie. Is he mistaken? Is he lying? Could his utterance somehow be interpreted as true, or is it totally without truth value? Nigel Thomas (1996) argues that ‘any line that zombiphiles take on these questions will get them into serious trouble.’”

Serious trouble, indeed. In some corners of academe, real zombies are unnecessary: the brains eat themselves.

Big burn, Chronicle. Now in the spirit of the season, I think we’re all honor bound to leave burning bags of dog poop on the Chronicle’s door step. . .

CFP: New Encounters in French and Italian Thought

20th Annual Conference Sponsored by the Philosophy Graduate Student Union (PGSU)
March 13-14, 2015
Villanova University
New Encounters in French and Italian Thought
Keynote: Jason E. Smith

The negotiation between French and Italian activists and intellectuals in the mid-twentieth century opened a field of theoretical experimentation, the effects of which pose a challenge for contemporary politics. This encounter materialized through various collectives, traversing the neat intellectual and practical boundaries of the academy. Whether through the images of intellectuals in the streets, or through radical activist groups extending from the Situationist International to Tiqqun, the laboratory of French and Italian thought poses a constellation of conceptual weapons that remain vital for any contestation with the state of things. These implements have been successful in intervening within contemporary struggles on the level of theory, practice, and the construction of history in the present.

Under the inheritance of this tradition, this conference invites submissions from the interstices and margins of recent French and Italian philosophy. Possible paper topics include feminist recapitulations of post-workerism, the theoretical legacy of biopolitics as it is taken up in Agamben and Esposito, and the ongoing challenges for theory and practice posed by social movements extending from Latin America to the Mediterranean in the wake of events such as Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation.

Other topics include, but are not limited to:

Post-Althusserian philosophy
Decolonial challenges to eurocentric thought and strategies
Wages for Housework and care economies
Realism and contemporary ontologies
Re-interpretations of the Gramscian legacy
Philosophies of life and the problem of vitalism
Lacanian psychoanalysis and its heritage
French and Italian receptions of Spinoza, Hegel, and Marx
Affect theory and imagination in cultural productions (e.g. film and media)
Collective organization and social ontologies

The Philosophy Graduate Student Union at Villanova University welcomes graduate students and junior faculty to submit any of the following to be considered for our conference: paper abstracts of 250-350 words, papers of approximately 3000 words (including co-authored work) suitable for a 20 minute presentation, or proposed panels. Authors of accepted abstracts should send completed papers by March 1, 2015.

Please send submissions, prepared for blind review, to vuconf2015@gmail.com.

This conference is committed to accommodating people with disabilities. Conference participants and attendees are encouraged to contact the above email address to discuss accommodations.

Sexy Regalia?

Delicious Women's PhD Darling Sexy Costume, Blue, Large/X-LargeYes, you read that right. Amazon is selling–alongside the equally plausible “Sexy Nemo” and “Sexy T-Rex,” the “Delicious Women’s Phd Darling Sexy Costume.”

Just in time for Halloween!

And for once, read the reviews.

This is just one:

First things first, I am a lady Ph.D.

Like all lady Ph.D’s, I frequently ask myself: “How could I be sexier?”

Delicious costumes has come to my rescue! I can now lecture in my 5 inch gold spiked heels and “barely there” regalia while giving nary a thought to the male gaze and it’s implications on the prevalence of rape culture in our society.

I fully expect my chili pepper rating on RMP to go through the roof once I begin to greet my students in this costume. Hopefully I can keep my post structural hegemony’s from engaging in some wardrobe malfunctions. Then again, who cares?

I’m sexy! Forget about the 7 years I spent sweating out a dissertation and engaging in innovative research!