Are we seeing the end of white privilege?

ACcording to an opinion piece in the NY Times, the economic differences between white and black populations in the US have remained the same for 50 years.

The income gap between black and white working-class Americans, like the gap between black and white Americans at every income level, remains every bit as extreme as it was five decades ago. (This is also true of the income gap between Hispanic and white Americans.)

In 2015 — the most recent year for which data are available — black households at the 20th and 40th percentiles of household income earned an average of 55 percent as much as white households at those same percentiles. This is exactly the same figure as in 1967.

Indeed, five decades of household income data reveal a yawning and uncannily consistent income gap between black and white Americans across the economic spectrum. Fifty years ago, black upper-class Americans had incomes about two-thirds those of white upper-class Americans, while the black middle class — those in the 60th percentile — earned about two-thirds as much as its white counterpart. Those ratios remain the same today.

The median white household has about 13 times the wealth of the median black household — and much of that wealth is transferred between generations. This remarkable gap helps perpetuate the consequences of centuries of social and economic injustice.

Many readers commenting on this piece ‘argue’ that it is not white privilege or racism that is creating the gaps. Rather, despite a lot of contrary facts, they believe it is the fault of black Americans.

CFP: Epistemic Injustice and Recognition

Call for Papers Feminist Philosophy Quarterly Special Issue:
‘Epistemic Injustice and Recognition Theory’

Deadline: Dec. 31, 2017

Guest Editors: Paul Giladi (University College Dublin), Nicola McMillan (Lancaster University), and Alison Stone (Lancaster University).

Confirmed contributors: José Medina, Danielle Petherbridge, Matt Congdon, Rebecca Tsosie, and Miranda Fricker (afterword)

Feminist Philosophy Quarterly seeks submissions for a special issue on Epistemic Injustice and Recognition Theory. An important development in contemporary Anglo-American feminist epistemology has been the concept of epistemic injustice, which, as articulated for example by Miranda Fricker, has emerged out of and re-invigorated a rich line of work in feminist epistemology on epistemic exclusion, silencing, subordination, and motivated ignorance, including work by Linda Alcoff, Kristie Dotson, José Medina, and Charles Mills. Another important development in moral and political philosophy, especially in the Continental tradition, has been the philosophy of recognition. Recognition theory has roots in the work of Beauvoir and Fanon, although its most influential recent articulation has been by Axel Honneth, with debates about recognition and inclusion taken forward in feminist contexts by Iris Marion Young and Nancy Fraser amongst others.

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The Great Bustard:

When I read today about efforts to reintroduce the great bustard on Salisbury Plain, my immediate reaction was, “now there’s a phrase that could be very useful.” “You behaved like a great bustard,” might convey a meaning that one wouldn’t want to make completely transparent. Then I looked at the male courtship dance and saw that the term could get turned into a boast. E.g., “I concluded with a great bustard” might come to signify a deadly rhetorical flourish.

Note: the sound does not enhance the video, IMHO

But on second thought it does seem the bird is going to extremes with an artificial sex surrogate, one very unlikely to satisfy. That and other behaviors returned the phrase to its possibly critical nuance. For example, the males go in for dominance competitions. Ugly and really uninteresting.

In any case, don’t be a great bustard!

Oxford Dictionaries and All Male Panels

Thanks to a reader for pointing out this entry on the Oxford Dictionaries blog: https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2017/07/on-the-radar-manel/

The Gendered Conference Campaign (GCC) has for some time pointed out various instances of all male panels, but now we can have a term to refer to them, namely a “manel.” Not to be confused with an indie pop band from Barcelona.

The term manel, used to refer to an all-male panel of speakers, has recently emerged to join the ranks of the ever growing lexicon of words that are formed by blending the word man with an existing word. While slightly older examples of such terms like mankini, a typically revealing bathing suit for men, or murse, a purse for a man, drew attention to how traditional western concepts of manhood might be in flux, the most recent wave of man- words has had a decidedly different effect. Words like mansplaining or manspreading aim to put names to social phenomena that represent the ways in which those traditional concepts still carry on, typically without the men engaging in them even realizing it.

The social phenomenon of men wearing small bags seems less worth pointing out than the social phenomenon of men being seen as default experts on most topics, so while I  tend to be skeptical about the usefulness of words like “murse,” words like “manspreading” and “manel” do seem to me to be helpful. Feel free to browse some manels of your own on Twitter.  Or look up an array of old GCC posts on this site.

APA Good practice Guide II

Academics may be right to worry about new things introduced in the summer, when it can be hard to get a good critical response. But we can still take action.

The APA has introduced its good practices guide and we need to discuss it. As you will see, there are only two people commenting on the blog, and one of them is going to stop unless more people join in. Please help!

One set of comments is here:
http://blog.apaonline.org/2017/07/18/apa-good-practices-guide-public-discussion-series-about-the-guide-and-how-to-use-it/

There is now a Part Two that has been started.

During the public comment period, which will last through spring 2018, we encourage you to read the draft Good Practices Guide and share your thoughts, questions, and concerns about its contents. To facilitate broader discussion about the Good Practices Guide, the APA Blog is running a series of posts covering each section of the guide in detail (the first of which will be posted on the blog today), and listening sessions will be held at each of the three divisional meetings in 2018. You can also send feedback and suggestions directly to goodpracticesguide@apaonline.org.

Women, Excellence, and Competition

Susan Chira has an article at the NYT about women’s experience in business, the possible connection to barriers in politics, and what some of those structural barriers to high status positions seem to be.

“Why Women Aren’t C.E.O.s, According to Women Who Almost Were: It’s not a pipeline problem. It’s about loneliness, competition and deeply rooted barriers.”

“In recounting their experiences, some women were philosophical; several swung between barely suppressed fury and bouts of self-blame. “

The article also contains what might be the crowning glory of Dunning-Kruger anecdotes:

“Many women, accomplished as they are, don’t feel the same sense of innate confidence as their male peers. Gerri Elliott, a former senior executive at Juniper Networks (who said she did not personally encounter bias), recounts a story related by a colleague: A presenter asked a group of men and women whether anyone had expertise in breast-feeding. A man raised his hand. He had watched his wife for three months. The women in the crowd, mothers among them, didn’t come forward as experts.”

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BBC Pay Gap – Top Earners are Largely White Able-Bodied Men

The BBC recently published the salaries of its most highly paid employees. Unsurprisingly, to the jaded cynics amongst us, of its 96 top earners, only a third are women; the top 7 highest earners are all men; and male and female co-hosts on the same programme are, in some cases, paid very different amounts of money for doing the same job. Moreover, just 10 people on the list are from a BME background, and the highest paid BBC star – Chris Evans – earns about the same as all of these people put together.

You can read more here, and here.

A more fundamental question is why there is such disparity between people’s incomes more generally.

Study of sexual harassment in academia

A Systematic Look at a Serial Problem: Sexual Harassment of Students by University Faculty” seeks to cut through the noise with data, analyzing nearly 300 faculty-student harassment cases for commonalities. The study, which focused on complaints by graduate students, led to two major findings: most faculty harassers are accused of physical, not verbal, harassment, and more than half of cases — 53 percent — involve alleged serial harassers.

For more, go here.