Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

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

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.

 

Further updates on the Marquette situation November 21, 2014

Filed under: academia,gender,glbt,marriage,women in academia — philodaria @ 11:18 pm

Daily Nous posted a further update to the story on the political targeting of philosophy graduate student Cheryl Abbate of Marquette University:

Fox News has picked up on the story. The article, posted today, starts with a lying headline and is clearly meant to rally the troops. Ms. Abbate has written to tell me that she has already received hate mail as a result of the Fox News article. As of now, Marquette has yet to make any public statement supporting Ms. Abbate. I have been informed that the decision to release any such statement will have to come from the university level, and so I urge concerned parties to write to Marquette University President Michael Lovell at michael.lovell@marquette.edu asking him to step up and publicly support Ms. Abbate.

John Protevi posted a letter of support for Cheryl a few days ago (for which he is accepting additional signatures in the comments), but he has followed up on this update with another letter that may be of interest to our readers:

The harassment Ms Abbate is receiving in inimical to the values not only of American universities in general, but of the Jesuit tradition in particular (speaking as a Loyola University of Chicago graduate), and I ask you to take immediate action in the form of a public statement deploring this harassment and affirming Marquette’s commitment to the welfare of its graduate students. . .

If I may, I would direct your attention to these comments on an Open Letter I authored on the situation, which has garnered over 200 signatures in a few short days: http://proteviblog.typepad.com/protevi/2014/11/open-letter-in-support-of-cheryl-abbate.html

“Please add my name to this. Even if everything printed were true and the grad student said and did everything attributed to her ( which I do not grant) this response — public calling out, exposure to public condemnation, political labeling,– by a faculty member violates every expectation of graduate training and collegiality. It is a betrayal of the trust invested in faculty to mentor and guide students, not to make of them casualties in larger battles whether inside or outside their institutions. Bonnie Honig, Professor of Political Science, Brown University.”

 

NFL Player fired for speaking up in favor of equality? January 2, 2014

A pretty stunning account from former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe. 

 

Corvino Responds To Providence College September 25, 2013

Filed under: academia,family,law,marriage,religion,sexual orientation,silencing — philodaria @ 2:27 am

Regarding the administration cancelling his lecture on the topic of same-sex marriage. 

 

How to miss the point: Lesson 1 July 13, 2013

Filed under: gender inequality,marriage — Heg @ 4:45 pm

Don’t get me wrong: I love the Guardian newspaper. But I can only hope Tim Lott’s column today is a poor attempt at a spoof:

This week I am going to write about the biggest taboo in relationships I know… I’m going to write about money. Money in marriage is incendiary. It involves issues of power, feminism, patriarchy, trust and much besides. I have tried to write this column once before and had it flatly vetoed by my wife because she felt that the ground I was treading on was too dangerous.

Sensible wife. Tell me, why did she think it was too dangerous?

This column appears only after an emotional and sometimes painful back-and-forth about the subject. She accused me of sexism, while I suggested she was using double standards (I asked her, in her imagination, to switch the gender roles to see how it would look then).

Ah. I expect she found that reassuring. When people suggest that I switch gender roles in my imagination, I feel totally reassured they’re not being sexist.

My wife works as a part-time associate lecturer and, like many part-time workers, who are predominantly women, tends to be discriminated against in terms of financial reward and employment opportunities. I, on the other hand, am reasonably well paid for challenging but not backbreaking work.

Probably not unusual. So tell me, Tim, what are the implications for your family’s home life?

My wife does more of the childcare, cleaning and cooking than me. This is predominantly for practical reasons. She is physically at home for a lot more of the time than I am and, with a part-time career, she has more hours available. She also tackles all the laundry, having rejected my offers of participation in that area after I shrunk a cashmere sweater, pegged it out incorrectly and turned a dazzling white load grey.

Oh! Of course. Those pesky practical reasons why women do more childcare, cleaning and cooking.  And of course, all your talent for challenging but not backbreaking work doesn’t mean you could learn to wash a sweater.

The income inequalities also mean that if there’s a big expense, like a foreign holiday or house improvements, I tend to have the last say. She feels that infantilises her, as she needs to “ask me”…  My wife says that my having more money than her makes me feel powerful. She’s right – up to a point. It gives me an area of control, although I don’t think I use it in order to control. I just think that some form of imbalance is inevitable.

Unbelievable. I just don’t even know where to start. Go read it for yourself.

 

 

 

DOMA ruled unconstitutional June 26, 2013

Filed under: discrimination,gender inequality,glbt,law,marriage,politics,Uncategorized — philodaria @ 2:18 pm

DOMA cannot survive under these principles.  Its unusual deviation from the tradition of recognizing and accepting state definitions of marriage operates to deprive same-sex couples of the benefits and responsibilities that come with federal recognition of  their marriages. This is strong evidence of a law having the purpose  and effect of disapproval of a class recognized and protected by state law. DOMA’s avowed purpose and practical effect are to impose a  disadvantage, a separate status, and so a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority of the States.

DOMA’s history of enactment and its own text demonstrate that interference with the equal dignity of same-sex marriages, conferred by the States in the exercise of their sovereign power, was more than an incidental effect of the federal statute. It was its essence.

Read the decision, here.

 

Marriage Equality in the UK: Big Progress February 5, 2013

Filed under: law,marriage,sexual orientation — Jender @ 8:41 pm

It’s passed the House of Commons by a huge majority. Now on to the House of Lords. Of course, philosopher Roger Scruton was on the wrong side of this one, with the argument that “gay marriage is homophobic”.

Note: this post has been updated in light of the excellent point made in the first comment!

 

Game on: Marriage Equality in the South November 18, 2012

Filed under: discrimination,glbt,marriage — Heg @ 12:25 pm

The Campaign for Southern Equality will be visiting seven states in the southern US as part of their WE DO campaign, which

involves LGBT couples in the Southern communities where they live requesting – and being denied – marriage licenses in order to call for full equality under federal law and to resist unjust state laws….

These WE DO actions serve to make the impact of discriminatory laws visible to the general public; they illustrate what it looks like when LGBT people are treated as second-class citizens under the law. Sometimes these actions include non-violent acts of civil disobedience in the form of individuals refusing to leave the public office where the denial of  a license has occured. The purpose of civil disobedience is to resist unjust state laws and to express a belief that LGBT people are fully human and should be treated as equal citizens under our nation’s laws.

To date, 38 couples in 10 cities across North and South Carolina have sought marriage licenses as part of the WE DO campaign.

They’ve put together a great video:

 

Thanks, JF!

 

Vintage Anti-Suffragette Postcards November 8, 2012

Filed under: family,gender,human rights,marriage — Stacey Goguen @ 6:19 pm

Sociological Images has posted some interesting postcards that were campaigning against women’s suffrage.

I find it fascinating that the implicit argument in these images is something like, “We can’t give women the same rights and privileges that we have, because then they might try to do to us what we have been doing to them, and that is just INHUMANE.”

I know the last bit doesn’t follow unless you have an essentialized view of gender where somehow it is natural and proper for women to wash clothes and babysit, but it is improper and dehumanizing for men to do it.

I just find it funny, especially with the postcard of the three women sitting around a table play cards, smoking and complaining about their lazy husbands.  There is an admission here of, “Yes, we men sit on our asses while our wives do all the work, but that is our RIGHT as men and husbands.  When THEY do it, it’s NOT FAIR and UNNATURAL.”

It’s amusing (in a sad way) to realize that the whole “equality for everyone!” slogan is so easily amended by the exception: “well, not for those people whose natural place is somewhere lower on the hierarchy.”  Or nowadays, it’s more “Equality for everyone–except for those who haven’t really earned it.”

 

It’s about politics, not morality. November 3, 2012

Filed under: glbt,law,marriage,politics — philodaria @ 4:16 pm

Says the one of the strategists who helped put the marriage amendment on the Minnesota ballot this year; the proposed amendment would amend the state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Brodkorb was former Deputy Chairman of the State Republican Party and top Senate staffer, and says GOP Senators knew a driving force behind the gay marriage amendment wasn’t morality. It was political reality.

Top GOP leaders thought they couldn’t beat incumbent Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Republicans would stay home.

“The belief was, the United States senate race was not going to be close, and that Republicans needed and social conservatives needed a reason to get to the polls in November,” he said.

 

 
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