I’ve had a query from a reader looking for works on gender and genius in the arts, who is particularly interested in queer perspectives. Any thoughts?
Reader Query: “The Science of Sex Appeal” February 6, 2015
A reader writes:
Has anyone seen the documentary “The Science of Sex Appeal,” and if so, could you please recommend academic sources that counter the claims made by this video?” While Cordelia Fine’s book is great for arguing against this evolutionary psychology bullshit more generally (sorry; maybe it isn’t all bullshit, but THIS stuff is), I’d really like to be able to point to specific claims made in the video and offer specific, scientifically supported claims to the contrary. I haven’t found anything through database searches.
UPDATE: This post has been a nightmare to moderate. Do to many requests, I tried to confine comments to ones that really address the reader’s query, rather than dealing in big generalisations about whether feminists hate evolutionary psychology, etc. I’m now closing comments.
FURTHER UPDATE: This is being briefly re-opened.
Reader query on avoiding all-male colloquia January 18, 2015
A reader writes:
I’m a Ph.D student in a philosophy department and was recently tasked with organizing a graduate student colloquium series for the upcoming semester. I sent out an email calling for volunteers, got quick responses, and typed up the list (the speakers and dates are now finalized). Then it struck me all too late that the list was completely male.
It should be noted that none of the women in the department volunteered to present–but I think it would be premature for me to write this off as their own fault for not volunteering. It’s too late for me to change the list now, but I am wondering if you can suggest any ways to avoid this in the future. Merely telling the women in the program that they should volunteer because we need to diversify the list seems heavy-handed to me.
Any thoughts on what the organiser should do? My thought would be to make individual suggestions to women of the form “Hey, you gave a great paper on X to our work in progress seminar. Maybe you could do that at the colloquium?”.
Reader Query: Academic work on affirmative consent October 17, 2014
A reader has asked for recommendations of work on affirmative consent policies (either at the university level or in law) for an upcoming course. Suggestions?
Equality and Diversity Training for Undergrads? February 19, 2014
A reader has written to ask about instituting Equality and Diversity training across a university for undergrads. I think the focus at her university is on implicit bias related issues, but obviously things like bystander training could be incorporated. Does anyone know of ways that this has been done well and successfully? I know that sometimes this sort of effort can backfire, so would appreciate the cautions as well as the more positive suggestions.
Reader query: success rates for women and minorities February 15, 2014
I’ve had the following query from a reader.
This is just a request for some information (if you happen to have it, or know someone who might) regarding whether it’s in fact easier for women and minorities to get jobs in philosophy in the current climate.
There is a lot of negative energy in philosophy at the moment (as you know), and one thing that occurs quite frequently is what I call the taking away of credit from women and minorities for their successes on the job market. It takes the form of faculty members and graduate students saying “So-and-so only got that job because she’s a woman/minority”. Because this kind of attitude is so pervasive and so harmful (because it devalues women/minorities), one perhaps easy thing to do to combat it would be to make some stats available to the relevant people/departments. I’ve been trying to collect the relevant information, but it’s a slow and tedious process. I was thus wondering whether you might have some of this information already.
Please do respond if you’ve got the stats! But I’d say also respond if you have thoughts about other ways of dealing with such claims. I have suggested citing implicit bias as good evidence that things won’t be easier for women and minorities.
A (male, tenured) reader writes:
I have to review a book that came out in 2013. It contains 14 essays, with 15 authors (as one is co-authored). I agreed to do it without considering the makeup of the authors. Now I see that all the authors are men.
I’m looking for some advice on how to mention the gender makeup of the volume. My gut instinct to say something snarky. But snark can be a mistake.
I’m tenured and willing to take hostile responses from just about anyone. So I don’t have to worry about how it will effect me.
Thanks for any advice you can supply!
Reader Query: Feminist Philosophy of Physics. February 10, 2014
From a reader:
I have a graduate student in my Feminist Philosophy course who would like to write his paper in Philosophy of Physics — specifically, he is interested in exploring how the exclusion of women in the field of Physics has resulted in ignoring particular questions within Physics. I referred him to Evelyn Fox Keller’s work in this area, as well as some articles by Helen Longino, Donna Haraway and Nancy Tuana (though the latter focused more on problems of privileging certain types of knowledge). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
A reader who is updating a departmental climate page is seeking….
a list of resources that might be of help or interest to underrepresented groups in philosophy other than women.
What’s the state of your state? January 25, 2014
Readers: Does your state/city/municipality have non-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ communities? Is there relevant legislation in place or pending that you know of? Post here on the state of the laws in your place of residence with regard to LBGTQ equality for the sake of our readers on the market, and save some already exhausted candidates some time.