Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

Reflections on trying to organise a panel with more women March 10, 2015

Recently, we—Elisa Freschi and Malcolm Keating—set about organizing a panel for the upcoming ATINER panel. We aimed for a panel which would include significant numbers of women, using suggestions from the Gendered Conference Campaign (GCC) published on the Feminist Philosophers website to achieve this goal. Not only is the result an exciting combination of global philosophical interests which can push back against stereotypes of philosophy as a Western activity, its gender ratio can push back against stereotypes of philosophy as a male activity. Our hope is that the more panels and conferences which work to include women, the more women’s names will come to mind as experts in these topics. Further, hopefully younger generations of women will find it easier to find a path in academic philosophy. And finally, including more women who might otherwise be ignored due to implicit bias means better philosophy will be done.

Click here to read their reflections.

 

Good for Duke and Project vox March 9, 2015

Filed under: bias,gender,women in philosophy — annejjacobson @ 9:53 pm

Project Vox seeks to recover the lost voices of women who have been ignored in standard narratives of the history of modern philosophy. We aim to change those narratives, thereby changing what students around the world learn about philosophy’s history.

from Projectvox.library.duke.edu

H/T Charlotte Witt on Facebook.

 

On trying to acheive gender balance March 4, 2015

Filed under: achieving equality,Arts,bias — jennysaul @ 3:02 pm

in authors interviewed on a TV show.  And about the surprising obstacles encountered.

 

Jennifer Saul on women in philosophy in phil magazine February 28, 2015

Filed under: academia,bias,gender,women in philosophy — annejjacobson @ 5:02 pm

In the latest issue of Philosopher’s Magazine Jennifer Saul describes the dearth of women in philosophy, lists a number of causes and describes some remedial steps. The result is a great introduction to a very serious problen in the philosophy profession. It’s also a quick refresher course for those who’ve pick up this material in bits and pieces.

In the UK, women are 46% of undergraduate students in philosophy, but only 24% of permanent staff. Women are approximately 21% of professional philosophers in the US, but only 17% of those employed full-time. These figures are very unlike those for most fields of the humanities, in which women tend to be near or above parity with men. Indeed, they more closely resemble mathematics and physical sciences (biological sciences are much closer to parity). One recent study by Kieran Healy showed philosophy to be more male than mathematics, with only computer science, physics and engineering showing lower percentages of women.

We’re recognized a number of times in this blog that there are other features that can provoke discriminatory reactions in philosophy: disability, race, not having English as your first language, class and being in the glbt community. And no doubt more my memory is not bringing to the fore. O, and then there’s ageism, which I think we don’t discuss much. You are welcome to take note of any of these in discussion.

 

BPA/SWIP Good Practice Scheme February 19, 2015

Filed under: academia,achieving equality,bias,women in philosophy — jennysaul @ 10:35 am

Readers may recall that the BPA and SWIP jointly rolled out a set of good practice guidelines for women in philosophy.  Departments were invited to consider signing up for them in full or in part.  I’m very pleased to say that Helen Beebee has just posted an initial list of departments that have signed up to the guidelines so far!  A few of these have links to their own pages on how they have implemented the policies.  More links are coming soon, as they are sent to us.  And anecdotally I’ve heard great reports of really productive discussions taking place across the country as the guidelines are being considered.

 

Anonymous marking makes huge difference in elementary school February 7, 2015

Filed under: bias,science — jennysaul @ 9:03 pm

and non-anonymous marking has long-lasting effects.

Beginning in 2002, the researchers studied three groups of Israeli students from sixth grade through the end of high school. The students were given two exams, one graded by outsiders who did not know their identities and another by teachers who knew their names.

In math, the girls outscored the boys in the exam graded anonymously, but the boys outscored the girls when graded by teachers who knew their names. The effect was not the same for tests on other subjects, like English and Hebrew. The researchers concluded that in math and science, the teachers overestimated the boys’ abilities and underestimated the girls’, and that this had long-term effects on students’ attitudes toward the subjects.

For example, when the same students reached junior high and high school, the economists analyzed their performance on national exams. The boys who had been encouraged when they were younger performed significantly better.

They also tracked the advanced math and science courses that students chose to take in high school. After controlling for other factors that might affect their choices, they concluded that the girls who had been discouraged by their elementary schoolteachers were much less likely than the boys to take advanced courses.

For more, go here.

 

Lasting change in view from 20 minute conversation with gay person January 31, 2015

Filed under: bias,discrimination,glbt,marriage,science — jennysaul @ 8:01 pm

WE REGRET TO SAY THAT THE RESEARCH REPORTED HERE APPEARS TO BE FRAUDULENT (AJJ.5.23.15):

For the study, Michael LaCour of UCLA and Donald Green of Columbia surveyed a bunch of registered voters in Southern California to get their views on gay marriage (and a bunch of other issues, to hide the true purpose of the study), and offered them financial incentives to get friends and family members to participate as well. Then, trained canvassers were dispatched to the homes of the people who had taken the survey, where they delivered a script about either gay marriage or recycling (to create a placebo group) and asked the voters to express their opinions on the subject. Halfway through the conversations about gay marriage, the gay canvassers revealed they were gay and wanted to get married but couldn’t because of California’s then-ban on gay marriage, while the straight ones “instead described how their child, friend, or relative” was dealing with the same conundrum. The conversations lasted, on average, 22 minutes… In the short term, the 20-minute conversations about gay marriage had a clear and large effect: Before the conversation, the residents had held beliefs on gay marriage in line with the average resident of Nebraska or Ohio; a few days after, their beliefs were in line with the average residents of Connecticut and Massachusetts (an increase of 0.48 points on a 5-point scale), and whether the canvasser was gay or straight didn’t have much impact on the size of the effect. But it was the longer-term effect that was more surprising: While “90% of the initial treatment effect dissipated a month after the conversation with canvassers” among voters who spoke with a straight canvasser, among those who conversed with a gay canvasser, the size of the effect increased over time — “ only gay canvassers’ effects persisted in 3-week, 6-week, and 9-month follow-ups.” By the end of the study, among voters who spoke with a gay canvasser, the gap between where they were and where they ended up on the issue of gay marriage was equivalent to the difference in opinion on the subject between the average resident of Georgia and the average resident of Massachusetts.

For more, go here.

 

Annotated Bibliography on Gender Bias in Academia

Filed under: academia,bias — jennysaul @ 8:21 am

What a fantastically useful thing to have! Here.

 

(Thanks, T!)

 

Dean Adam Scales tackles sexist student evaluations January 29, 2015

Filed under: appearance,bias,teaching — Jender @ 9:17 pm

beautifully.

The school in question is Rutgers Law – Camden, and Vice Dean Adam F. Scales is the man who took his students to task for their chauvinist commentary. He begins his email by mentioning that throughout his years of teaching, his look ranged from “Impoverished Graduate Student” to “British Diplomat,” but noted that no one would ever have known that just by reading his student evaluations for one reason, and one reason only — he’s a man. Scales then gallantly continues his onslaught against sexism:

It has come to my attention that a student submitted an evaluation that explored, in some detail, the fashion stylings of one of your professors. It will surprise no one possessing the slightest familiarity with student evaluations that this professor is a woman. Women are frequently targets of evaluative commentary that, in addition to being wildly inappropriate and adolescent, is almost never directed at men. Believe me, I am about the last person on this faculty for whom the “sexism” label falls readily to hand, but after a lifetime of hearing these stories, I know it when I see it. Anyone who doubts this would find it instructive to stop by and ask any one of our female professors about this and similar dynamics.

 

More on the genius-stereotype and underrepresentation January 19, 2015

Filed under: academia,bias — Monkey @ 10:47 am

Readers may be interested in this radio interview with psychologist Carol Dweck, who discusses the work by Sarah-Jane Leslie and colleagues on underrepresentation and the genius stereotype. Dweck (who was not a part of the study) discusses how the idea that innate genius or smartness is required to do well in certain fields might affect learning, motivation, and the gender gap. (Readers might also be interested to note that there is a call from a woman about seven minutes in who majored in philosophy, achieving straight A’s. She was nevertheless told by her advisor that she didn’t “have what it takes” to apply to grad school.)

 

 
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