Getting on and Going forward With Jo Brand

(Semi-apologies to all of you who are familiar with Brand’s comedy.  I have no idea of her, and I was impressed.)

During a very full ten days in the UK I did manage to use a BBC iplayer, on which one can watch reruns of current shows, and some past ones.  One show that was quite amazing was the first episode of Jo Brand’s new series, ‘Going Forward’.











As the author and lead actor, Jo Brand puts it,

Having failed the auditions for Darts Players’ Wives, it’s lovely to slip into a glamorous lilac nurses tunic and step into the exotic world of community health care.

Or, as the BBC puts it,

Going Forward is a universal tale and holds a mirror to modern Britain and the sacrifices made as lives are put on hold for the sake of others. The unique series treads its own fine line between tragedy and triumph to add its own bittersweet voice to this well-trodden ground.

I don’t think I’ve seen a British actor so disregard the conventions of female loveliness in role after role.  Such a relief!  The older series, Getting On, is on Hulu. You may have to have a taste for the very British form of potty-humor to enjoy it.

Judge hands down six-month sentence for sexual assault to avoid “severe impact” on assailant

The victim read a letter to her assailant regarding the impact this has had on her during the proceedings.

Via BuzzFeed:

One night in January 2015, two Stanford University graduate students biking across campus spotted a freshman thrusting his body on top of an unconscious, half-naked woman behind a dumpster. This March, a California jury found the former student, 20-year-old Brock Allen Turner, guilty of three counts of sexual assault. Turner faced a maximum of fourteen years in state prison. On Thursday, he was sentenced to six months in county jail and probation. The judge said he feared a longer sentence would have a “severe impact” on Turner, a champion swimmer who once aspired to swim in the Olympics — a detail repeatedly brought up during the trial.

On Thursday, Turner’s victim addressed him directly, detailing the severe impact his actions had on her — from the night she learned she had been assaulted by a stranger while unconscious, to the grueling trial during which Turner’s attorneys argued that she had eagerly consented.

The full letter the Stanford victim read to hear assailant describing the impact on her is posted at BuzzFeed. I was going to excerpt a quote, but the letter is so powerful and important, I just want to encourage you to read it in its entirety instead.

Gender and Just War Theory

Ethical theorists tend to discuss fighters in war in apparently gender-neutral language such as “combatants.” This may (or may not) be an appropriate idealization for the purposes of clear-eyed ethical analysis. Still, the fact is that the combatant is culturally gendered masculine. Being a combatant is treated by actual people as occupying a gender role with a host of traits. The warrior is understood as more than a mere “combatant.” First and foremost, he is a “he.” In addition, he is tough, aggressive, unemotional, self-sacrificing, obedient to authority, and has authority over others, especially women.

For the full post, go here.

Essex equalises female professors’ pay

The article title says “university wipes out gender pay gap with salary hike”, but it looks to me like the raise is only for the female professors.  For those who speak American, that’s just the full professors.  It COULD be that those were the only ones paid less, but it seems unlikely given the other stats in the article.  Anyway, a move in the right direction!

UPDATE: I missed the bit in the article which said there weren’t significant gaps at other pay grades.

Meena Krishnamurthy on Decolonising Philosophy


A story that I was often told as a student – indeed, one I have since retold my own students – is that contemporary analytic political philosophy began with John Rawls. After John Stuart Mill’s work on utilitarianism in the 19th century there was no further work in political philosophy, the debate was considered settled, until the publication of Rawls’s A Theory of Justice, which was foremost a rejection of Mill’s utilitarianism.

I am not the only one who has been told this “standard story”. As Charles Mills’ notes, the standard story is one that is prevalent in the discipline and appears in works across analytic and continental political philosophy.[2]

I came to realize just how false this story was about two years ago.

Read on.