It is getting worse and worse.
The most shocking thing I learned from my research on the fate of the working poor in the recession was the extent to which poverty has indeed been criminalised in America.
Perhaps the constant suspicions of drug use and theft that I encountered in low-wage workplaces should have alerted me to the fact that, when you leave the relative safety of the middle class, you might as well have given up your citizenship and taken residence in a hostile nation.
Most cities, for example, have ordinances designed to drive the destitute off the streets by outlawing such necessary activities of daily life as sitting, loitering, sleeping, or lying down. Urban officials boast that there is nothing discriminatory about such laws: “If you’re lying on a sidewalk, whether you’re homeless or a millionaire, you’re in violation of the ordinance,” a St Petersburg, Florida, city attorney stated in June 2009, echoing Anatole France’s immortal observation that “the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges.”
Well, it’s not late, but we are!
In honor of International Women’s Day, here are 10 episodes of Why? Radio featuring some of the remarkable women we’ve had as guests. We have worked very hard to be inclusive on the show, although we have not yet reached the point at which 50% of our guests are women.
Philosophy is an overwhelmingly male discipline and we at Why? Radio are proud of our small contribution to making philosophy closer to egalitarian. (There’s still lots of work to do.) We will continue to make every effort to broadcast women’s philosophical voices and ideas, while celebrating a wide range of topics women research.
1. Carol Gilligan: “In A Different Voice and After”
2. Mary Jo Bang: “The Philosophy of Poetry”
3. Jan Willis: “What Does Buddhism Offer an African-American Woman?”
4. Rebecca Goldstein: “Fiction as Philosophy
5. Robin Runge: “Domestic Violence and the Law: China vs. the U.S.A.”
6. Martha Nussbaum: “Empathy, the Constitution and Sexual Orientation”
7. Deborah Brandt: “Is Ghostwriting Ethical”
8. Rachel Laudan: “Cuisine and Empire: What does food tell us about culture?”
9. Seyla Benhabib: “Can There be a World Without Borders?”
10. WHY? Goes to China! Catherine Gao and Sheryl Jiang: “Young, Female, and Upwardly Mobile in Shanghai”
Nice discussion of what sounds like a great paper by bioethicists Jessica Martucci and Anne Barnhill.
In a new paper recently published in Pediatrics, bioethicists Jessica Martucci and Anne Barnhill argue that the emphasis on the “natural” aspects of breast-feeding can easily backfire. By endorsing breast-feeding as natural, they say, breast-feeding advocates are reinforcing the idea that natural is A) something that actually exists and B) healthier. By setting up this dichotomy, these pro–breast-feeding campaigns might serve as unintentional fodder for concerns against “unnatural” interventions like vaccinations.
A useful annotated bibliography of some key recent studies.
Here’s one that I hadn’t known about that sounds really interesting.
Gender bias against women of color in science
“Double Jeopardy? Gender Bias Against Women of Color in Science”
Center for WorkLife Law | 2014
In this report, Joan C. Williams, Katherine W. Phillips, and Erika V. Hall revisit and build upon the classic 1976 study, “The Double Bind: The Price of Being a Minority Woman in Science.” Their study finds that the four most common practices of gender biases in the sciences are: 1) women have to provide more evidence than men in order to be seen as equally competent; 2) women are caught between the perceptions that science requires masculine qualities and the cultural imperative to appear feminine; 3) “the maternal wall”: the assumption that women lose their competence and commitment after they have children; 4) the fact that women as well as men can be biased against women in masculine work environments. These conditions are exacerbated in STEM environments, practitioners of which often view their disciplines and practices as highly meritocratic. In addition, the dearth of women in STEM fields exacerbates the pernicious effects of tokenism. The report details how these biases function in different ways in relation to black, Asian-American, and Latina women, and how their experiences of bias in fact exceed the limits of these four categories. The report concludes with a list of best practices to implement when recruiting hiring, promoting, and tenuring women of color scientists.