North Carolina’s flagship public university is trying to fire a senior professor, accepted the resignation of another faculty member and dismissed an academic counselor for athletes their roles in the fraud scandal that rocked the school, campus officials said Wednesday.
Steps to terminate University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill philosophy professor and former faculty leader Jeanette Boxill started on Oct. 22, the same day that a scathing report into the cheating scandal was released, campus Chancellor Carol Folt said in a statement. Boxill is appealing Folt’s decision, information that was released after a lawsuit by The Associated Press and nine other media organizations.
Following its investigation, OCR determined that the Law School’s current and prior sexual harassment policies and procedures failed to comply with Title IX’s requirements for prompt and equitable response to complaints of sexual harassment and sexual assault. The Law School also did not appropriately respond to two student complaints of sexual assault. In one instance, the Law School took over a year to make its final determination and the complainant was not allowed to participate in this extended appeal process, which ultimately resulted in the reversal of the initial decision to dismiss the accused student and dismissal of the complainant’s complaint.
During the course of OCR’s investigation, the Law School adopted revised procedures that use the “preponderance of the evidence” standard for its sexual harassment investigations and afford appeal rights to both parties, in compliance with Title IX. The Law School also complied with the Title IX requirements relating to the designation of a Title IX Coordinator and publication of its non-discrimination notice.
A study, to be published next month in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, found that “Black” people are viewed more negatively than “African Americans” because of a perceived difference in socioeconomic status. As a result, “Black” people are thought of as less competent and as having colder personalities.
For more, go here.
Alatariel (who designed this female scientist mini LEGO set) has another project up for review; Science Adventures, which features two female and one male scientists. If the set gets 10,000 votes LEGO will consider producing it (as they did the previous set). Voting requires setting up a LEGO ID, but it’s quick and easy to do!
It’s been a tough year for the profession in a lot of ways. Lawsuits, lawsuits, and more lawsuits. Public scandals. Fighting over public scandals. Other scandals not public. Online harassment, bullying, and prejudice manifest. One could easily begin to feel despair. I know there are times when I have–and I know there are others who are grappling with how these issues have affected them, and the painful personal and professional costs that have been imposed on them as a result. In the hopes of spreading a bit of cheer amidst the less sanguine, I wanted to take a moment to say a bit about what I’m thankful for (this is not a complete list, of course, just the first few things that came to mind).
I am thankful for those of you who have courageously worked to make the discipline a more welcoming and inclusive place. Whether it’s been through addressing inequity, discrimination, harassment, or assault, working to create a culture where these things are less acceptable, being willing to listen to the voices of those who have been marginalized and oppressed, standing up for yourself, or providing support to others who have been unjustly harmed on account of their social identity.
I am thankful for those of you who are deepening your own understanding of the complexity of disciplinary boundaries and the ways in which they are sometimes used for exclusionary purposes, or pushing those boundaries with your own work.
I am thankful for the exciting and brilliant work that’s being done in feminist philosophy, critical race theory, and philosophy of disability. It’s been a joy to read, and though it is not this work that first spurred my love of philosophy it is the work that reminds me of it, and gives me the greatest hope for our future as a discipline.
I am thankful for my fellow bloggers here at Feminist Philosophers. You have been an inspiration to me.
What are you thankful for?
(Note: Comments in the spirit of this post welcome–i.e., spreading a bit of cheer–comments in another spirit are not, but the internet is a big place and I am sure you can find another platform to host other discussions)
Many of us here at Feminist Philosophers blog under pseudonyms. One of my fellow pseudonymous Feminist Philosophers bloggers was outed today, by being named as the author of a particular post, on another philosophy blog. I just wanted to take a moment to say a few words about why I write under a pseudonym for those who might not understand why the privacy afforded by doing so ought to be respected.
Not very long before I was invited to become a blogger here, I had something I wrote under my own name published online (not here) that related to women’s rights. My contact information is available on my department’s website. Naturally, then, in response, I received several emails from people who had read it. Some of them were kind. Some of them were praising. Some of them respectfully expressed disagreement. Some of them just called me names. Some of them said they hoped I would be raped. Some of them said they hoped that I would die. Some of them I interpreted as threats. That wasn’t the first (or last) time I published something on the internet under my own name, and it wasn’t the first (or last) time I received those kinds of emails in response. It was, however, what I thought about when I decided what name I wanted to blog under here.
I’m not alone. In the words of Amanda Hess, “None of this makes me exceptional. It just makes me a woman with an Internet connection.” She details some of her own experiences in “Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet.” If you haven’t read it yet, and especially if you don’t understand why some of us prefer, justifiably, to be pseudonymous and ask that our privacy be respected, I recommend reading it in full.
The examples are too numerous to recount, but like any good journalist, I keep a running file documenting the most deranged cases. There was the local cable viewer who hunted down my email address after a television appearance to tell me I was “the ugliest woman he had ever seen.” And the group of visitors to a “men’s rights” site who pored over photographs of me and a prominent feminist activist, then discussed how they’d “spend the night with” us. (“Put em both in a gimp mask and tied to each other 69 so the bitches can’t talk or move and go round the world, any old port in a storm, any old hole,” one decided.) And the anonymous commenter who weighed in on one of my articles: “Amanda, I’ll fucking rape you. How does that feel?”
Some people who disagree with posts at Feminist Philosophers are kind, respectful, reasonable people (and even though I think it’s true that this extends beyond the circle of bloggers here, I’d say this even if I didn’t, as we often disagree with one another). But some people are less kind, respectful, and reasonable, and I prefer to avoid misogynistic harassment where I can. Of course, I would prefer we lived in a world where none of this was a concern. But we don’t. So I would ask that everyone please be considerate about revealing the identities of those who are pseudonymous.
(And to those who celebrate, Merry Christmas!)
Exploring Collaborative Contestations and Diversifying Philosophy, May 28-30, 2015
Hypatia and the APA Committee on the Status of Women have joined forces to offer an exciting conference event. Two conferences will be held in conjunction with one another, together with an array of workshops on everything from publishing in philosophy to bystander training.
We are still accepting submissions: http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/artsci/hypatiaconference.html
Deadline is January 1.
Submission is a 250-500 word abstract
In a video making the rounds this week, the president joins First Lady Michelle Obama to present gifts to the Marine’s Toys for Tots program at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C. When it’s time to sort the toys into “boy” boxes and “girl” boxes, President Obama goes against the grain.
“You know what? I just want to make sure some girls play some ball,” he says as he places a basketball in the girls bin.
A few moments later, “T-ball? Girls like T-ball.” And into the girls bin goes the Little Tikes set.
At one point Obama appears to catch flak from the crowd of onlookers for placing a toy tool kit in the girls bin.
“Girls don’t like toys?” he replies.
Eugenics Archives is pleased to announce a four-day workshop at the Banff Centre, May 22nd-25th, 2015, in Banff, Alberta. To acknowledge the significant contributions made by students to the Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada project over the past four years, we invite submissions from early career scholars—students and those within three years of completing their doctorates—from any discipline on topics related to eugenics and its contemporary significance. Submissions should consist of a single document that includes a (i) summary abstract (150 words), (ii) longer description (750 words) outlining the presentation and explaining the relevance of the topic to eugenics, (iii) short biographical statement (100 words), and (iv) CV. Deadline for submissions: February 15th, 2015 Acceptances: March 15th, 2015. Questions and submissions to the project director, Professor Rob Wilson: firstname.lastname@example.org; also see the full call at Facebook or blog links at eugenicsarchive.ca.
That’s the title of a new essay by writer Katherine Angel just published in the LA Review of Books, wherein Angel takes to task some of the weak arguments (especially those advanced by the London Review of Books) against taking steps to achieve greater inclusion of women in the field of literature.
There’s a lot of insightful commentary here. And many of Angel’s points carry across pretty straightforwardly to the world of academic philosophy.
The LRB states that it is
“not a pathetic excuse to say that the world is still sexist and that the feminist revolution is hopelessly incomplete. You can see evidence of this everywhere from the pay gap to rape conviction rates and a thousand things that are more important than the proportion of women who write book reviews.”
Those are my italics; it’s a highly charged sentence. Simultaneously plaintive and hand-waving, it dismisses the effect that who we see around us can have on the formulation of our own desires, ambitions, and confidence, as well as its effect on how we perceive individual women … And the plot thickens when the statement appeals to the greater importance of the pay gap. The statement invokes feminism, but invokes it in order to move the problem along elsewhere …
This is a curious strategy. For a start, it relies on an implicit framing of literary culture as a frivolous luxury. … It’s odd, not to say disingenuous, to insist on yourself as the magazine for literature, culture, and politics, and then proclaim your irrelevance when under criticism. Secondly, the shunting along elsewhere of the pressing issues of inequality sits oddly with the magazine’s left-leaning, progressive politics. … But the statement suggests that inequality matters enough to the magazine to make it inform some of its content — though not enough to let that affect its editorial or commissioning practice.
Inequality in literary magazines and inequality in pay are both important, and in connected ways. The visibility and status of women’s writing is important precisely because of a web of marginalization across all areas of life. If women’s voices are always peripheral to male voices intoning from the center of culture, then their voices are peripheral on all issues: the pay gap, consent, harassment, rape, domestic violence, reproductive freedom, the glass ceiling, childcare. The obscuring of women’s voices in media platforms, however elite, however niche, is part of the obscuring of their voices in general; and a lack of commitment to, or an inability to hear, their voices in literary culture is related to the same lacks and inabilities in relation to their voices in harassment, in sex, in courtrooms, and in the workplace.
What is clear is that proclaiming concern and invoking feminism while casting oneself as immune to criticism is an approach that is neither admirable nor strategic.