“Was She J.D. Salinger’s Predator or His Prey?”

I expect the title comes from an NYT editor, but the article is by aJoyce Manard, who llived with Salinger for close to a year starting when she as 18 and he VERY much older.


He dismssed her at the end.  She understood that she was expected to keep mum about the famous recluse.  And she did for 25 years, until she didn’t.  The sky fell on her.

That season, at a rare literary event to which I had been invited, an entire row of writers I respected greatly rose from their seats en masse and, as I took the stage, departed the room. I like to think that had they stayed and listened to me that day, they might have questioned their assumptions.
For 20 years, I’ve lived with the consequences of having told that forbidden story, and though I’ve since published nine novels and another memoir, none of which involves Salinger, few reviews of any book I write fail to mention that when I was 18 I slept with a great writer, and, more significantly, that I later committed the unpardonable offense of telling that story, or, as it is frequently stated, of writing a “tell-all” — language that aligns me with tabloid personalities.

Maynard asks if the #me too movent would have provied her a different reception.

i don’t know the answer.  At the same time I am horrified at my memories of a time when women ‘using’ their relationship with a famous man were treated as Maynard has been.

Lack of diversity in UK academia, esp. Philosophy

A new report has come out from the ECU, and Helen De Cruz has pulled out some important statistics from it for us:

Some figures for philosophy in this survey, 2016/2017 (N = 1115).
* Only 6.1% of philosophers employed at UK universities are disabled – compare, 16-19% of UK working age adults are disabled.
* 95.2% of philosophers employed in UK universities are white – compare, 81.9% of UK population are white. There are only three non-STEM disciplines with an even whiter faculty. They are sports, history and classics (with around 96% white faculty).
* 70.3% of philosophers employed in UK universities are male. No other non-STEM subject has this low representation of women. To compare, Economics has 29.8% women, Theology has 36.7% women, Sports 36.4% and Politics 37.1%, all these are higher than philosophy, where only 29.7% are women).

Who is Where? Why? And is it Just?

That’s the title of a CPA blog post by Letitia Meynell, approaching questions of equity in the profession as questions about population-selection pressures:

Basically, it boils down to asking three questions: What is the distribution of various groups? How did they get where they are? And is the situation just?

Regarding the first question, ceteris paribus one would expect the population of professional Canadian philosophers to reflect, roughly, the Canadian population at large—half women, 15 out of 20 white, 1 in 20 Indigenous, 1 in 10 having a disability of some kind (and so on). Choose your preferred level of statistical significance and that will tell you how much divergence from this is too surprising to be the result of chance.

The second question simply tries to understand what caused this divergence from the general population. I find it useful to think about this in terms of selection processes, analogous to those discussed in evolutionary biology (though, obviously, without inheritance playing a role). After all, we are talking about populations and how various subpopulations with socially significant traits find themselves in environments (i.e., academia in general and philosophy in particular) that are more or less conducive to their academic and personal flourishing.

Read the full essay here.

Don’t quit yet:

A useful section from an email by Sabrina Joy Stevens

And if these hearings are going to proceed, we’re going to be there every step of the way, checking every attempt to dodge tough questions and helping you hold your senators accountable for stopping Kavanaugh from dragging women’s rights back to the Dark Ages.