Meta-analyses by researchers at UT Austin and U of Michigan indicate that spanking produces the opposite of what parents want: Defiant instead of compliant children. And the ills of spanking can last well beyond childhood.
Month: April 2016
Female sports reporters receive abusive comments
Men who are not the original authors read (or try to read) some of the tweets. The NYT provides some of the background.
Anthropology tackles sexual harassment
So much is so familiar. But there are some good ideas we haven’t tried. In particular:
Meeting registrants were required to agree to AAPA’s code of ethics, which forbids sexual harassment and discrimination, and many attendees sported ribbons with antidiscrimination slogans.
Really interestingly, their problems seem just like ours, despite very different numbers. 8 out of 10 of their board members are women, and the association’s members are 56% women.
For more, go here.
Oklahoma: Not rape if victim is unconscious
An Oklahoma court has stunned local prosecutors with a declaration that state law doesn’t criminalize oral sex with a victim who is completely unconscious.
The ruling, a unanimous decision by the state’s criminal appeals court, is sparking outrage among critics who say the judicial system was engaged in victim-blaming and buying outdated notions about rape.
And, apparently, this is actually in accord with Oklahoma law, which still uses a standard requiring resistance.
Michelle Anderson is a feminist legal theorist, who takes this to be, legally though obviously NOT morally, the right ruling.
Michelle Anderson, the dean of the CUNY School of Law who has written extensively about rape law, called the ruling “appropriate” but the law “archaic”.
“This is a call for the legislature to change the statute, which is entirely out of step with what other states have done in this area and what Oklahoma should do,” she said. “It creates a huge loophole for sexual abuse that makes no sense.”
For more, go here.
Apparently Oklahoma is acting to change the law.
Brigham Young using Honor Code Against rape victims
At Brigham Young University, the flagship school of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints, the Honor Code rules campus life. The Honor Code, a broad and far-ranging document governed by LDS’s Church Education System, covers everything from drinking coffee to a “chaste and virtuous life,” “homosexual behavior,” alcohol consumption, clothing, and language. It’s the moral centerpiece of the private university, governing not just students, but faculty and staff as well…
But this year, four students with recent stories of rape or sexual assault have alleged that BYU has used its Honor Code to target them, unfairly, after the fact. They say that Title IX reports are forwarded to the Honor Code Office, putting alleged victims in line for discipline simply for reporting incidents of assault and abuse. Madeline MacDonald and Madison Barney, both undergraduates at BYU who were subject to Honor Code investigations after reporting their sexual assaults, told Jezebel that their attacks were picked apart by university administrators who they say hunted for potential violations gleaned from the details of police and Title IX reports.
For more, go here.
Yale’s Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore on the decision to maintain the name ‘Calhoun College’
From the New York Times:
The decision to keep Calhoun’s name overestimates his value for Yale students. Yale’s president, Peter Salovey, argues that “removing Calhoun’s name obscures the legacy of slavery rather than addressing it,” and living in Calhoun’s shadow will make students “better prepared to rise to the challenges of the present and the future.”
But Pauli Murray has more to teach Yale students, 55 percent of whom wanted to change the name of Calhoun College and who will demonstrate on campus once again.
In 1938, she applied to graduate school at the University of North Carolina, in her home state, only to be rejected because “members of your race are not admitted to the university.” In 1940, she went to jail in Virginia after she refused to move to the back of a Greyhound bus. During World War II, she served as head of the nonviolent protest committee in A. Philip Randolph’s March on Washington Movement. In 1943, she organized sit-ins to desegregate restaurants in Washington. A year later, as valedictorian of Howard Law School, she applied to Harvard Law School to do graduate work. It was customary for Harvard to accept the Howard valedictorian, but Harvard told Murray, “You are not of the sex entitled to be admitted to Harvard Law School.”
Instead, after three decades of civil rights leadership, Anna Pauline Murray earned the degree of doctor of juridical science from Yale Law School in 1965. While at Yale, Murray was an author of the pioneering article “Jane Crow and the Law: Sex Discrimination and Title VII,” which argued that sex discrimination resembled race discrimination and may be prohibited by the 14th Amendment.
Murray never gave up her fight for the values that sprang from her lifelong Episcopalian faith. In a moment of despair after her 1940 arrest, she wrote in her diary that it was “dangerous” to dwell on her “weaknesses.” “The great secret,” she told herself, “is not to think of yourself, of your courage, or of your despair” but of “Him for whom you journey.”
In 1973, she entered New York’s General Theological Seminary to prepare for the priesthood, a job from which she knew she would be excluded because of her gender. But in 1976, the Episcopal Church conference voted that “no one shall be denied access” to the priesthood on account of sex. In 1977, Murray became the first black woman ordained as an Episcopal priest. The Episcopal Church made her a saint in 2012.
As Murray looked back on her activism in a 1976 interview, she recalled: “In not a single one of these little campaigns was I victorious. In other words, in each case, I personally failed, but I have lived to see the thesis upon which I was operating vindicated. And what I very often say is that I’ve lived to see my lost causes found.”
Some may argue that it is impossible to bind all of slavery’s wounds; after all, there are other residential colleges at Yale named for slaveholders such as George Berkeley, Timothy Dwight and Ezra Stiles. But John C. Calhoun is the only one whose fame came from his guiding role in a racial regime that enslaved people, inspired secession and formed the specious legal foundation for a century of discrimination.
Yale students of color, especially those who live in Calhoun College, and the thousands who protested last fall do not need any more teachable moments on the injustices he wrought. They feel the legacy of those injustices every day.
So did Murray.
There’s another article on this at CNN by John McWhorter, and coverage of student protests at Yale Daily News.
Reflections on philosophical rudeness
Nomy Arpaly has recently initiated a really interesting discussion on this topic. After an excellent discussion of the problems of philosophical rudeness (read it!), she ties the issue to gender.
I would like to add the following. I think the state of women in philosophy can be improved significantly simply through the elimination of rudeness in philosophical discourse. One can have many views about things we could or couldn’t do, should or shouldn’t do, to improve the state of women in philosophy, but before we settle those issues, why not start by doing what we already know that we have excellent reasons to do – utilitarian, Kantian, virtue-oriented, and commonsensical reasons, independent of any special feminist theory – and reduce our rudeness?
Here is how I think it will help. First, if everyone is rude, women are judged unfairly (as potential colleagues, for example) because rude women are treated more harshly than rude men, by everyone, due to implicit bias. Implicit bias is notoriously hard to change, but thankfully it is not as hard to change behavior – such as rudeness. I am not saying that we should not try to change implicit bias – of course we should – nor am I saying that changing behavior is easy (I have plenty of experience to the contrary), but you get my drift.
Second, in the actual world, polite women are also judged harshly when they respond to the rudeness of others. In a job interview, for example, a woman who faces a rude interviewer has the choice between responding assertively (and thus facing the notorious “shrill voice” bias) and responding gently. A woman who responds in a gentle, conciliatory manner to a rude interview question, or who looks too insecure and intimidated in response to the rude question, is often perceived by the some people in the room as not having enough to say. This whole painful catch-22 does not occur if the interviewer is not rude in the first place. Again, changing behavior is much easier than changing implicit bias.
Third, it has been said many times that women are put off by the idea of entering philosophy because girls are not taught to handle confrontational, adversarial situations, or situations where one’s abilities are judged harshly. Some think philosophy should change here – either through what I called “pacifism” earlier or through changing the way we evaluate people, or otherwise. Some, on the other hand, say that though the education of girls should change, philosophy shouldn’t. After all, girls and women play sports nowadays, and compete in athletics, and the ones who do most definitely don’t ask for the rules of rugby to be changed to make it kinder and gentler, or for boxing be made non-adversarial, or for the cruelty of publishing players’ stats to be stopped.
Me? All I want to do here is suggest that we try to eliminate what we already regard as foul play, what we already know we shouldn’t do but do anyway. It won’t solve everything, but if we reduce rudeness, I solemnly promise that more women will want to do philosophy. I hereby conjecture with confidence that the simple words “sorry, but you were saying-?”, can make a critical difference, consciously or not, to some young women’s readiness to do philosophy. It might sound silly, especially if one forgets how susceptible all humans are to seemingly insignificant factors, but it is not silly, but rather tragic, if we have lost some wonderful potential contributions to the field just because we couldn’t wait for someone to finish talking. It would show the wrong priorities if we continue to lose such wonderful contributions in the name of some supposed sacred right to be as obnoxious as we’ve always been.
For further reflections on philosophy and rudeness, inspired by Arpaly, check out Kieran Healy.
APA Blog on Diversifying Syllabi
Jesi Taylor, a current undergraduate, writes:
Even a slight change can make a huge difference. Sometimes just dipping your toes into the lake of diversity can make your transformative space, the classroom, a more inviting environment that can, to some students, feel emancipatory. Many conversations with fellow students have made it clear to me that students feel inspired to learn and compelled to engage with the text when they see or feel a bit of themselves in the syllabus. At Brooklyn College I was thrilled to read Fanon and Beauvoir in my Existentialism and Phenomenology course and Mary Astell, Elisabeth of Bohemia, and Anne Conway in my Modern Philosophy course. We even read a piece by Eileen O’Neill entitled “Disappearing Ink: Early Modern Women Philosophers and Their Fate in History”. With those texts as the topic of discussion, we were able to discuss issues related to race and gender as they relate to ancient and contemporary issues in Philosophy.
For the whole post, go here.
CFR: Global Justice, Birmingham
The conference is interested in the ethics and politics of public policies that aim to enhance individual agency by shaping personal decision making and changing individual behaviours. Recent years have seen a proliferation of academic research and public programming aimed at improving individual and social outcomes through overt and covert efforts to change the decisions and behaviors of individual agents. These policies raise deep ethical questions about the proper role of government, the circumstances of justice, the nature and importance of individual agency, and the role of social norms in shaping preferences and actions.
Programme 26 May 2016
- 9:00-10:00 Serena Parekh (Northeastern)-Taking Seriously the Agency of Refugees
- 10:15-11:45 Grad Panel 1:
- Jorge Fabra Zamora (McMaster)- Making Justice Real: The Challenges of Global Law
- Blair Peruniak (Oxford)-Displacement, Responsibility, and Massively Shared Agency
- Andrew Molas (York)- Defending the CRPD: Dignity, Flourishing, and the Universal Right to Mental Health
- 11:45-13:00 Lunch
- 13:00-14:15 Invited Keynote: Clare Chambers (Cambridge) – Regulating Religious Marriage
- 14:15-15:15 Jennifer Morton (City College of NY)- Can Education Undermine Representation?
- 15:30-16:30 Alison Jaggar (Colorado/Birmingham) and Corwin Aragon (Concordia) – Agency, Complicity, and Global Ethics: Social Power and the Responsibility to Remedy Structural Injustice
- 16:45-18:15 Public Lecture: Carl Hart (Columbia) How Pot (and other recreational drugs) Can Cure Racism
- 19:00-21:00 Conference Dinner
Programme 27 May 2016
- 9:00-10:00 Invited Keynote: Serene Khader (Brooklyn College)- Do Muslim Women Really Need Freedom?
- 10:30-12:00 Grad Panel 2:
- Stephanie Sheintul (Wisconsin)- Moral Status and Paternalism;
- Ji Young Lee (Bristol) A Millian Perspective on Paternalism;
- Nicolas Brando (KU Leuven) Cultivating the Potential Self: Children and Agency in the Contractarian and Capability Theory
- 12:00-13:00 Lunch
- 13:00-14:15 Invited Keynote: Kimberley Brownlee—Global Issues of Sociability
- 14:15-15:15 Steve Weidmer (Arkansas State)- Adaptive Preferences and Respect for Agency
- 15:30-16:30 Heather Widdows (Birmingham)-The Demands of Beauty: Choice, Coercion, and Exploitation
For more, go here.
Philosophy suggestions for teenage girl?
A reader writes:
I have a 13 year old niece who is showing an (unprovoked, honest!) interest in
philosophy. She refuses to read Sophie’s World and I want to send her something
for her birthday that will provide a good route into philosophical thinking for a
teenage girl. Could you advise?