Men as wholes, women as sums of their parts.

From Electric Literature

Describe Yourself Like a Male Author Would’ Is the Most Savage Twitter Thread in Ages
The challenge is a fierce indictment of what happens when you try to write a character you don’t respect or understand

The injunction to women describe themselves as a man would has received a lot of notice. One interesting fact that is that women apparently found it easy to describe themseves as men do, and everyone seemed to get that it was a matter of focusing on parts. Boobs seem especially prominant. Men are seen holistically, but women are not.

One further interesting and possibly related fact is that we all seem in general to notice women’s parts first. (See references at the end.) I think it is important that vision is implicated in these differences. At the very least, it means that our explanations of non-holistic view of women are constrained. They need to account for the difference in vision.


I expect that readers won’t have any problem understanding “holistic,” but we can just note for illustration the following example. With the house below advertised for sale, a holistic description might go, “Pretty Victorian two bedroom home close to the city center with West facing garden.”

Journal Reference:

Sarah J. Gervais, Theresa K. Vescio, Jens Förster, Anne Maass, Caterina Suitner. Seeing women as objects: The sexual body part recognition bias. European Journal of Social Psychology, 2012; DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.1890
Cite This Page:
University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “How our brains see men as people and women as body parts: Both genders process images of men, women differently.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 July 2012. <

Harassment and Academic Freedom

Lady Day has been running a wonderful academic freedom blog for some time. But today’s offering is especially important for FP readers, I think.

One final provocative point. Academic freedom isn’t a zero-sum game; so we really do not need to choose which threats to academic freedom we are most concerned about. That said, there is way more anger in the media and among the public about the purported threat to academic freedom when students oppose campus talks by controversial non-scholars like Milo Yiannopoulos or Faith Goldy (something that happens a handful of times each year) than there is about the ongoing, predictable, system-wide harassment of scholars — scholars! — like me, and the detrimental effect that harassment has on our scholarship. That needs to change.

Read the whole thing!

Guest Post by Danielle Clevenger: Throwing Instead of Listening

This is a guest post by Danielle Clevenger, based on a talk she gave at the 2018 Central APA session, “Shaking Up the Standard Lecture,” which was hosted by the APA Committee on Teaching Philosophy. Danielle is currently finishing up her M.A. in philosophy at Eastern Michigan University and will be starting a Ph.D. program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She has also taught at the University of Detroit Mercy. Her research areas include the philosophy of science, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and socially engaged philosophy. She notes, “I particularly enjoy teaching Introduction to Philosophy, as it allows me the freedom to explore non-traditional ways of conceptualizing and teaching philosophy. I am particularly interested in using movement and other experimental learning activities to enhance the teaching of philosophy both inside and outside of the traditional classroom.” 

It is an unfortunate truth that many classrooms, philosophy or otherwise, tend to be sedentary and lethargic. In order to more fully engage my students, I have started implementing movement based lessons in my classroom.[1] Coming from a dance and theater background, where movement is integral to learning the material, I found myself often observing how movement related to philosophy. As a teacher, I have designed several lessons to get my students up and moving. One of my favorites, that seems to resonate well with students, and significantly enhances their understanding of philosophical concepts, centers on Iris Marion Young’s paper, “Throwing Like a Girl: A Phenomenology of Feminine Body Comportment Motility and Spatiality.” This paper introduces my Introduction to Philosophy students to feminist philosophy and phenomenology. Although this is not a paper that has been historically taught in an introductory course, I have found that it is one that captivates students and expands their view of what philosophy is. Below, I will describe in detail the movement learning activity that I employ and how it connects to Young’s argument in the paper. Additionally, I will share some student feedback regarding this learning activity, and conclude by offering some of the more general benefits of movement based learning activities.

Read More »

Men discussing Aristotle

To learn why we call attention to all-male conferences, check out our Gendered Conference Campaign page.


INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM “Aristotle in Translation: the Organon

University of Lisbon, Faculty of Letters, room 5.2.

23, 24, 26 April 2018
The Center of Philosophy of the University of Lisbon brings forth the international symposium “Aristotle in Translation: the Organon” the 23rd, 24th and 26thApril 2018 in the Faculty of Letters of the University of Lisbon.

The meeting is organized by the Group of History of Philosophy of the Centre of Philosophy of the University of Lisbon (HPhil) and the Project of the Annotated Translation of the Complete Works of Aristotle (PTDC/MHC-FIL/0787/2014).


David Bronstein (Georgetown University): “The Structure of Aristotelian Demonstration”

Paolo Crivelli (Université de Genève): “Truth and Formal Validity in the Prior Analytics

Paolo Fait (University of Oxford): “The Fallacy of Equivocation in Aristotle’s On Sophistical Refutations

Paulo Tadeu Ferreira (Universidade Federal de São Paulo): “On the Fallacy of Accident in Aristotle’s SE

Pieter Hasper (Indiana University Bloomington): “The Textual History of the Organon: With Preliminary New Texts for Chapters from the Analytica Priora, Analytica Posteriora, Topica and Sophistici Elenchi”; and “Editing and Translating the Sophistical Refutations: Some Difficult Passages”

Marko Malink (New York University): “On the Meaning of Einai in Aristotle’s account of Deductive Inference”

Richard McKirahan (Pomona College): “As in a Battle when a Rout has Occurred”

António Pedro Mesquita (Universidade de Lisboa): “Differences and Predicables”

Pierre-Marie Morel (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne): “How to Translate Deiknunai in APo?”

Bernardo Mota (Universidade de Lisboa): “Proposals for Translating and Interpreting Aristotle’s Analytica from Early-Modern Courses of Logic”

Pierre Pellegrin (CNRS): “Etiology and demonstration in Posterior Analytics II 11”

Ricardo Santos (Universidade de Lisboa): “Aristotle on Term Negation and the Invalidity of Obversion”

Hermann Weidemann (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster): “A Trouble-Maker for Translators: The Aristotelian Phrase τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι”

Marco Zingano (Universidade de São Paulo): “Aristotle’s Categories and the Doctrine of General Traits of Being”

CFP: Public Feminisms

The following CFP for Signs on Public Feminisms might be of interest to some of our readers:

Even as antifeminist and right-wing forces have gained footholds worldwide, feminists have forcefully asserted themselves in the public sphere as key voices of resistance. From the Women’s Marches around the world that took place the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated, to the 2012 protests in Delhi, to a new resurgence of writers proudly adopting the moniker, feminists have organized to claim public space and a public voice. It is no overstatement to claim that “the resistance” is being led by women, with intersectional feminism at its core.

Meanwhile, a shifting media landscape has enabled contradictory dynamics: feminists—through innovative uses of social media and online media outlets, as well as mainstream media—have found (and created) platforms to amplify their public voices, yet the pool of public intellectuals and the punditry continues to be largely dominated by white men.

This special issue seeks to address these dynamics through a multifaceted and interdisciplinary discussion of “Public Feminisms.” Signs has sought—through the creation of the Feminist Public Intellectuals Project—to actively advocate for feminist voices in both the scholarly and the public sphere, building a critical mass of public intellectuals who speak with a feminist voice to audiences outside of academia. These multipronged efforts have engaged feminist theorizing and historicizing with the pressing political and social problems across the globe. This special issue seeks to further extend the discourse of public feminisms.

Possible areas of focus might include:

  • How have new forms of media enabled new public forms of feminism (or antifeminism)? How does changing media create new risks for feminist discourse or feminist individuals?
  • How are feminist publics and public feminisms represented in literature, film, television, theater, dance, or other cultural forms today and in prior moments of resistance? How can these forms of expression be put to feminist use?
  • How has feminism either challenged or contributed to the concept of publicness itself? What historical models of publicness has feminism adopted or transformed?
  • How has claiming public space related to claiming discursive space, or vice versa? How have feminisms conjured new publics or counterpublics?
  • How do race, nation, religion, class, sexuality, and caste structure where and which feminisms tend to become public? How have feminists across time challenged these dynamics?
  • How do nonfeminist forces shape what circulates in the name of feminism, and how can feminists combat it?
  • What can comparisons among different historical eras, geographical areas, or political climates tell us about the conditions under which public feminisms can emerge?
  • To what extent are new languages necessary to shifting public discourses about feminism? How are new conceptual languages or vocabularies adopted as part of public discourse?

Signs particularly encourages transdisciplinary and transnational essays that address substantive feminist questions, debates, and controversies without employing disciplinary or academic jargon. We welcome essays that make a forceful case for why public feminism demands a specific and thoughtfully formulated interdisciplinary feminist analysis and why it demands our attention now. We seek essays that are passionate, strongly argued, and willing to take risks.

The deadline for submissions is September 15, 2018.

Please submit full manuscripts electronically through Signs’ Editorial Manager system at Manuscripts must conform to the guidelines for submission available at

Brief response to implicit bias scepticism


By Keith Payne, Laura Niemi, and John Doris

Studies of implicit bias have recently drawn ire from both right and left. For the right, talk of implicit bias is just another instance of progressives seeing injustice under every bush. For the left, implicit bias diverts attention from more damaging instances of explicitbigotry. Debates have become heated, and leapt from scientific journals to the popular press. Along the way, some important points have been lost. We highlight two misunderstandings that anyone who wants to understand implicit bias should know about.


Read on.