Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

Political violence workshop November 25, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — magicalersatz @ 10:34 pm

This looks like a really interesting conference – registration deadline is Monday.


The Injustice League and the Public Discourse Project at the University of Connecticut are excited to announce the Political Violence Workshop (Dec 4-6), which will discuss institutionalized and racialized violence in the U.S., with an emphasis on Black Lives Matter.

We have a wonderful lineup of speakers and topics, and we warmly invite you to attend and take part in the conversation!

Registration is free, and only takes about 30 seconds to complete: http://injustice.philosophy.uconn.edu/registration/ . The deadline to register is Monday, November 30th.


CFP: International Women’s Day Conference, Durham

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennysaul @ 11:50 am


Re-Sounding Voices: Women, Silence and the Production of Knowledge

The celebrated history of the sciences and arts is dominated by the voices of great men, whereas the voices of women have often been marginalised. While much has been done to redress this imbalance, the sound of women’s voices is still not as prevalent as that of their male colleagues and counterparts. Not only does a male-dominated canon risk the erasure of the contributions made by women, it perpetuates gender injustice—a teaching syllabus populated by men deprives young women aspirants of role models and sends them a clear message: this is not for you. A history of silenced women contributes to the silencing of women now and in the future.

How can we break out of this oppressive cycle? This conference explores this question under four broad themes: silencing; women in parenthesis; covert contributions; and identity and disavowal. We invite abstracts from any discipline or perspective that address themes related to any of the following topics and questions:

  • Silencing: what are the mechanisms through which women’s voices are silenced and their contributions and ideas erased or distorted? Do these mechanisms differ across subject area and period? How do the (putatively) self-reflexive norms and practices of academic disciplines perpetuate failures to see and appreciate the exclusion of women? Once we understand silencing and its effects, how should we respond, as historians, theorists, and women?
  • Women in parenthesis: why are there so few women accepted into ‘the canon’? Who are the women relegated to the footnotes and parentheses of their field? How can we recognise their contribution? Should women be put into the canon, or is the very idea of a ‘canon’ itself problematic?
  • Covert Contributions: Correspondents, editors, wives, sisters and mistresses: silenced women find other ways to speak, and their ideas may find their way into a discourse other than through ‘official’ channels. Who were the women correspondents of the men in the canon? Are there women editors whose work changed or shaped ideas we now associated solely with their male ‘authors’? Who were the wives, sisters, and mistresses of ‘great men’, and which of them made contributions which went beyond that of domestic and emotional support?
  • Identity and Disavowal: Sometimes women have forced their voice into a literature by adopting a male identity or by disavowing their female identity. Cases include adopting male pen names, performing masculine identity, distancing from female peers, erasing identity through anonymity, addressing topics within a male-defined discourses and interests, and avoiding solidarity with other women. Does work on stereotype threat suggest that these mechanisms might in fact be legitimate? Who are the women who have adopted these strategies to find a place in the canon? What harm have these practices perpetuated, in terms of silencing and marginalizing women? Or, on the other hand, are there cases where this fluidity of gender and identity has had a positive impact on women’s contributions?


Proposals for 20 minute papers should be sent to resoundingvoicesdurham AT gmail.com in the form of 300 word abstracts by 15thJanuary 2016. Please indicate which of the four themes your paper addresses.


Reducing stereotype threat in logic classes

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennysaul @ 11:14 am

A new paper, likely to be of interest to our readers, in the excellent new journal Feminist Philosophy Quarterly.


Mahlet Zimeta on Women’s Hour

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jender @ 9:02 am

Mahlet Zimeta (one of the tiny handful of black philosophers in the UK) is playing a key role in a Women’s Hour series on appearance.  She brings in figures ranging from Hegel to Andrea Dworkin!

Do check it out!

Launch programme: Mirror, Mirror – All About Appearance

Yesterday’s programme: Appearance and Invisibility


Gunmen Shoot 5 at Minneapolis Black Lives Matter Protest November 24, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Stacey Goguen @ 3:32 pm

The NYT and Washington Post have articles up about this:

Police announced on social media that five people suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds and that officers were searching for “3 white male suspects” who fled the scene.

Miski Noor, an organizer at the Minneapolis arm of Black Lives Matter, said the shooting happened as demonstrators were escorting three masked men who had been behaving suspiciously away from the site of the rally, where people have gathered for more than a week to protest the Nov. 15 shooting of Jamar Clark, 24.

When they reached a dark area, the men turned around and opened fire on the demonstrators before fleeing, Ms. Noor said.

Jie Wronski-Riley, a student at the University of Minnesota, told the Star Tribune that the shooting occurred as protesters tried to move the counter-demonstrators, who had been taunting protesters, away from the protesters’ camp in front of the police station. Suddenly, Wronski-Riley heard what sounded like firecrackers.

“Surely they’re not shooting human beings,” he thought to himself before looking down and realizing that two African American men on either side of him had been hit, he told the Star Tribune, adding that the incident turned “really chaotic, really fast.”


Jessica Jones, Harassment, and Power

Filed under: Uncategorized — Stacey Goguen @ 3:28 pm

Arthur Chu has an article up on Slate about Jessica Jones, a new Marvel Netflix series:

Marvel’s Netflix series Jessica Jones is many things. It’s possibly the biggest surprise spotlight grab by a B- or even C-list comic book charactersince Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s one of the grimmest, darkest, boldest shows out there: a TV show that’s essentially 13 hours of PTSD related to the aftermath of sexual assault.

And it’s a huge feminist achievement. This is a show in which rape is a core theme, but one that pretty much entirely avoids feeling exploitative or male-gazey. It’s a show with a female showrunner, Melissa Rosenberg, who’s done her homeworkabout depicting sexual assault and the associated PTSD realistically and responsibly and who knows all the standard tropes for strong female characters and deftly avoids most of them. But perhaps most interestingly, Jessica Jones is our first identifiably post-Gamergate thriller.


“Dilbert Creator Scott Adams on Consent: “Take Away My Access to Hugging, I Will Probably Start Killing”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Stacey Goguen @ 3:24 pm

The Mary Sue has a post up about Adams’ recent comments:

In his blog post entitled “The Global Gender War,” published last Tuesday, Adams writes:.

When I go to dinner, I expect the server to take my date’s order first. I expect the server to deliver her meal first. I expect to pay the check. I expect to be the designated driver, or at least manage the transportation for the evening. And on the way out, I will hold the door for her, then open the door to the car.

When we get home, access to sex is strictly controlled by the woman. If the woman has additional preferences in terms of temperature, beverages, and whatnot, the man generally complies. If I fall in love and want to propose, I am expected to do so on my knees, to set the tone for the rest of the marriage.

Obviously it’s absurd and terrifying that a man who is somewhat of a public figure can advertise on the Internet, without fear of repercussion, that he thinks consent is a bummer, and that posting screeds like this one has probably earned Adams some loyal fans. He’s not alone in his terrible and dangerous opinions. But I’m also frankly confused by the scenario Adams describes here. He hates considering women’s temperature and beverage preferences (in addition, of course, to the total hassle of making sure she definitely wants to have sex)? For someone who I’m sure hates the term “man baby,” he definitely seems overwhelmed by the minimum of social sacrifices that accompany adulthood.


Amnesty report on Europe’s approach to refugees November 23, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Monkey @ 3:45 pm

“We are witnessing a paradigm change, an unchecked slide into an era in which the scale of forced displacement as well as the response required is now clearly dwarfing anything seen before” António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

The world is experiencing the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Nearly 60 million people are forcefully displaced around the world due to conflict, violence and persecution. Over 19 million of them are refugees outside their home countries,5 of whom 86% are hosted by developing countries, and 25% in the least developed ones. Rather than being prepared to receive a small fraction of world’s refugees in a dignified manner, however, this report shows how the leaders of the European Union (EU) have sought to prevent their entry into the richest political bloc in the world, by erecting fences at land borders, deploying ever-increasing numbers of border guards, spending on surveillance technology and seeking to enlist neighbouring countries already hosting large numbers of refugees as gatekeepers.

The effect is to push refugees to take the most dangerous routes to reach Europe – particularly across the sea.

No matter how big the search and rescue effort in the Mediterranean, as long as refugees do not have any alternatives to reach safety than the sea, they will continue to die off Europe’s shores.

You can read Amnesty’s report in full here.


Helen De Cruz on women in science

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennysaul @ 1:38 pm

in the Irish Times.

When it turned out that the person behind ‘I fucking love science’ was a woman (Elise Andrew), there were lots of sexist comments, such as ‘You mean you’re a girl, AND you’re beautiful? Wow, I just liked science a lil bit more today’.

For most people, the media – TV, internet and so on – are the only place where they hear about scientific findings. If the communicators of such findings are men, we’re likely ending up with a biased picture of science.


Interview with Elizabeth Barnes

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennysaul @ 12:46 pm

An excellent interview with feminist philosopher Elizabeth Barnes, discussing (among other things) growing up as an evangelical in the Bible Belt; being disabled and discovering Disability Pride; the distinction between ‘core’ and ‘marginal’ pursuits in philosophy; women in philosophy; and work-life balance.  A small sample:


The social dimensions of disability are hard to identify, especially when you are growing up disabled in an environment that has a lot of negative social stigmas about disability. It’s easy for disability to just feel like your own private tragedy. And especially when, like I did, you have a condition that requires ongoing medical care, it’s easy chalk up all the difficulties you are experiencing to the fact that you are ‘sick’ – to blame everything on the biological condition of your body.

What I first encountered in disability studies was the idea that so much of what we struggle with as disabled people is social, not physical or medical. And so much of how we’re taught to think about ourselves as disabled people is determined by the opinions and stereotypes of non-disabled people – opinions and stereotypes which don’t really, when we get together and talk about it, reflect our lived experiences as disabled people. Learning about disability pride and thinking, for the first time, about the social dimensions of disability felt like having my view of the world turned upside down and shaken. It felt like having chains pulled off me that I hadn’t realized I’d been wearing. It felt like being given the ability to articulate feelings that I’d never been able to express before, even to myself. It was a deeply transformative experience that restructured the way I thought about myself, my body, and my place in the world.

When I started learning about disability pride, I finally dealt with the latent, entrenched feelings of shame and inadequacy that I had about my body. I learned, for the first time in my life, how to celebrate the ways that my body is different, rather than try to ‘overcome’ them or be successful ‘in spite of’ them. I can’t even begin to explain how much this improved my life, or the extent to which it was a fundamental change.

Oh, OK, one more small sample:

How do you think we can increase the diversity in philosophy, which is one of the least diverse disciplines?

I wish I knew! I suspect the answer is complicated and involves making concerted efforts along many different dimensions, from how we teach intro to how we handle grad admissions to how we approach hiring and promotion and everywhere in between. The problem is a deep and structural one, and there won’t be a quick or unilateral fix.

But I definitely think that we won’t solve the problem by keeping philosophy basically as it is, and just finding a friendlier, savvier way to market it. I think there are going to have to be changes in what we teach, in what we value, in what we consider ‘core’. I think Anita Allen was right, for example, when she said that it’s up philosophy to prove that it has something to offer Black women, rather than up to black women to prove they can fit into philosophy as it currently is. And I think the same thing goes for so many under-represented groups – people of color, disabled people, LGBT people. I also think that any genuine effort for diversity needs to be intersectional. I mean, I want philosophy to be a better place for women, but we won’t have come all that far if we end up making it a better place only for wealthy white cis non-disabled straight women.

But I’m cautiously optimistic. I think the very fact that we’re having these conversations – that we’re admitting that philosophy’s narrow demographics are something we should be concerned about, and that philosophy as a discipline might be at least partially to blame for them – is a good sign. Step one is admitting you have a problem.



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