Ladybird drops gendered book branding

Since we frequently point out the occasions when toy manufacturers and the like make depressingly gender-normative gestures with their products, it’s a pleasure to also point out the occasions when they get things right. So: three cheers for Ladybird, the popular publisher of childrens’ books, who have undertaken to remove any gendered labelling from their collections of stories, since “we certainly don’t want to be seen to be limiting children“.

In the interests of editorial impartiality, it should be noted that other publishers have made the same pledge: Dorling Kindersley, Miles Kelly Books, and Chad Valley have also undertaken to refrain from publishing new titles with gendered branding.

This is a result of pressure from the Let Books be Books campaign, a subsidiary of the Let Toys be Toys campaign, worthwhile enterprises both.

FP: Early Modern Women on Metaphysics, Religion and Science Conference 21-23 March 2016, University of Groningen

Feminist History of Philosophy

This looks like a fantastic conference:

During the early modern period (c. 1600-1800) women were involved in many debates that tangled together metaphysics, religion and science. The women included figures such as Margaret Cavendish, Emilie Du Châtelet, Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia, and Damaris Cudworth Masham. The debates surrounded issues such as atomism, determinism, motion, mind-body causation, mechanism, space, and natural laws.

The conference will be held on 21-23 March 2016, at University of Groningen. The program will be comprised of invited speakers and speakers drawn from an open call for papers.

Invited Speakers

Sarah Hutton (Aberystwyth, UK)

Jacqueline Broad (Monash, Australia)

Susan James (Birkbeck, UK)

Andrew Janiak (Duke, USA)

Karen Detlefsen (University of Pennsylvania, USA)

David Cunning (University of Iowa, USA)

Deborah Boyle (College of Charleston, USA)

Tom Stoneham (York, UK)

Call for Papers

Submissions are invited from any discipline, and from researchers of all levels (including PhD…

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The Pope on the complementarity of man and woman – or how times aren’t really a’ changing,

From a status update by Mary Anne Case:

Mere weeks after its Synod on the Family, the Vatican is sponsoring, through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a much less publicized International Interreligious Colloquium on The Complementarity of Man and Woman, whose speakers include an international cast of culture warriors from Rick Warren to Nazir Ali, as well as high level Mormon, Sikh, Islamic and rabbinical representatives and a Daoist proponent of Yin and Yang. On the good news front, Pope Francis opened the meeting by acknowledging that “You must admit that “complementarity” does not roll lightly off the tongue!” and “When we speak of complementarity between man and woman in this context, let us not confuse that term with the simplistic idea that all the roles and relations of the two sexes are fixed in a single, static pattern.” But, as I watch the vapid videos (with clips from the Manif pour Tous) and listen to the speeches, the bad outweighs the good.  

The program and speakers – which include Prudence Allen, author of The Concept of Woman – are available here.

And here is a transcript of the Pope’s opening speech.