A group of Iranian men are dressing in drag, protesting the recent punishment of another man. The man in question was paraded down the street in women’s clothing as a form of humiliation. The protesters are from the group “Kurd Men for Equality.” The message of this campaign is: “Being a woman is not a way for humiliation or punishment.” Read more here.
“In ‘The hidden dangers of cycling’ by A. Shadwell, M.D published in 1897, in the journal National Review, the author advises women against ‘attempting a novel and peculiar experiment with their precious persons.’ That ‘novel and peculiar experiment’ would be riding bikes. He writes that the risks to women’s health include internal inflammation, exhaustion, bicycle face, appendicitis, dysentery, nervous attacks.”
You can find the full story here.
Historically, riding bicycles was thought to corrupt women’s innocence. More perniciously, opponents to women riding bicycles have objected to “free, untrammeled womanhood,” to quote Susan B. Anthony. Has that attitude changed much over the years? Maybe not. Read more here.
If you were ever skeptical of the way we default to stereotypical gendered assumptions about who should be doing what and who loves what, this story about the shockwaves that ran through the community of science-lovers when it was revealed that the “I Fucking Love Science” (and, for those who are turned off by the “f-word”, “Science is Awesome”) blogger and Facebooker is a woman might change your mind. Her response over the shock: “Is this really 2013?”
This could start a nice collection of resource material for all of us.
A reader asks:
On the first slide for my introductory philosophy lectures, I
like to try to include a thought-provoking quote each day (ideally
related to that day’s topic, but I am flexible on how tightly
related). I’ve been trying to do some work to balance the gender
ratio of these quotes, but I haven’t been able to find a good resource
for locating good succinct quotes by women philosophers, and
wikipedia/wikiquote are find resources for major male figures in the
historical canon, but don’t tend to have a lot of coverage when it
comes to women philosophers. I was wondering if any of your readers
might know of a good resource to help with this.
The Oxford University Students’ Union Women’s Campaign got busy last week raising feminist awareness. They photographed members of the public holding white boards on which they completed the sentence “I need feminism because….” in a way that was meaningful to them.
Read more about the campaign here. And see a more extensive photo collection of people and their white boards here.
Here’s a good news story. Judith Jarvis Thomson has been awarded the American Philosophical Association’s Quinn Prize for her lifelong contributions to philosophy and philosophers. Read more about this well-deserved honor to a great woman in philosophy here.
Big congratulations to you, Judy Thomson, from the Feminist Philosophers!
It’s not our practice to re-post comments as posts unto themselves, but co-editor of Dialogue, Mathieu Marion, made such a heartfelt apology in the comments on our recent post about Dialogue‘s failure to include any women in its 50th Anniversary edition that it deserves a post of its own. He took full responsibility and expressed his regret in a way that makes it clear that he “gets it.”
He said: “I am one of the editors of Dialogue and I write this primarily on my behalf, but it is my understanding that my co-editor supports my statement; I take here full responsibility. I was made aware of this yesterday by a letter from Shannon Dea [chair of the CPA Equity Committee], whom I would like to thank for bringing the matter to my/our attention. I wrote back to her saying essentially this: the whole thing is a terrible oversight on my part, and I have no excuse whatsoever for this to have happened, simply because there is *no* excuse. I should add that you will find my signature on the petition for the Gendered Conference Campaign and that makes my shame and embarrassment all the more vivid. Actually, what I just described as an oversight may very well be understood as my having not entirely shaken the sort of implicit bias that is prevalent in philosophy, there is no other explanation, as there is no evading the responsibility. Therefore, I can only apologize (as I shall do to members of the Canadian Philosophical Association) in the most sincerely felt way and beg for forgiveness for having thus harmfully misrepresented not only the true state of the discipline, but also the fact that many women have published first-rate papers in the pages of Dialogue through the years that could have been included in this special issue.”
Thank you, Mathieu.
Members of the Canadian Philosophical Association receive a subscription to the journal, Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review, as part of their membership. Yesterday, all members were informed of a special on-line issue marking the occasion of Dialogue‘s 50th anniversary. The editors “selected twelve articles from the journal’s archive which highlight the journal’s breadth and quality of research.” Not a single article by a female philosopher (Canadian or otherwise) made the cut. That’s not to say that women have never been published in this journal. But the final product suggests that the editors didn’t believe representing any of their work would help “highlight the journal’s breadth and quality of research.” The editors might want to have a look at the Gendered Conference Campaign blurb if they’re uncertain about why their oversight is harmful and misrepresentative of the discipline. There’s a lot more we could say about this, but right now “sigh!” is just about all I can muster.
The “X for Dummies” series has its detractors who find it offensive, for sure. But, as Rebecca Rosen points out in “Thank God Somebody Finally Stepped in and Explained the Internet to Women” in The Atlantic, there is something especially offensive about this French-language series that is directed specifically at female “dummies” who want to learn about the internet or their computer.
Why exactly do we need a gender-specific series about this? The English translation of the explanation reads as follows: “Free of boring, technical considerations, this book focusses on the practical and fun sides of Macs. Of course, you will have to learn to use the operating system and domesticate it [it’s not clear if this referes to the operating system or the Mac]. But we promise to give you only the minimum tools necessary to survive in “this hostile environment”. In the chapter about the Internet, we give you all the tips to start surfing with peace of mind, communicate with your friends via messaging services [the original uses “amis”, which thankfully acknowledges that women can have male friends], go shopping safely.”
Rebecca Rosen’s final comment captures how many of us probably feel about this: “Le sigh.”