The Turkish European Network has a new website: come check it out!
Turkish European Network for the Study of Women Philosophers Website September 29, 2015
Regina Rini on Solidarity September 28, 2015
The new so-called ‘culture of victimhood’ is not new, and it is not about victimhood. It is a culture of solidarity, and it has always been with us, an underground moral culture of the disempowered. In the culture of solidarity, individuals who cannot enforce their honor or dignity instead make claim on recognition of their simple humanity. They publicize mistreatment not because they enjoy the status of victim, but because they need the support of others to stand strong, and because ultimately public discomfort is the only route to redress possible. What is sought by a peaceful activist who allows herself to be beaten by a police officer in front of a television camera, other than our recognition? What is nonviolent civil disobedience, other than an expression of the culture of solidarity?
Are anti-sexual assault advocates on college campuses ‘hysterical’? September 25, 2015
Stuart S. Taylor thinks they might be, as Susan Svrluga reports over at WaPo. I really only have about five minutes to put this post up — so I’ll let readers respond more thoroughly in the comments but, immediately, this part of what Taylor said struck me as something in need of corrective comment:
[T]o resolve any doubt that the respondents were far from representative of the nation’s college students, consider the facts buried in Tables 3-2 and 6-1 of the AAU survey.
These tables indicate that about 2.2 percent of female respondents said they had reported to their schools that they had been penetrated without consent (including rape) since entering college. If extrapolated to the roughly 10 million female college student population nationwide, this would come to about 220,000 student reports to universities alleging forced sex over (to be conservative) five years, or about 44,000 reports per year.
But this would be almost nine times the total number of students (just over 5,000) who reported sexual assaults of any kind to their universities in 2013, the most recent data available, according to the reports that universities must submit to the federal government under the Clery Act.
You absolutely cannot rely on the numbers reported under the Clery Act if what you want to know is how many sexual assaults are reported to universities and colleges full stop. Firstly, there’s a question about the extent to which institutions comply with the Clery Act in the first place (hence the push for increased fines as a consequence of violation in the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, and increased scrutiny under the Campus SaVE Act). Secondly, and possibly more significantly in terms of numbers, there is a limit as to which reports of assault need to also be reported under the Clery Act. If an assault happened off-campus, if it was not reported to campus security personnel (e.g., campus police), it may not be reflected in a school’s Clery report — even if it was reported to the university in other ways (e.g., a Title IX office, student disciplinary office, etc.).
The deadline for this cfp is fast approaching. It’s the 1st November 2015.
Reshaping the Polis: Toward a Political Conception of Disability
Guest edited by Shelley Tremain, Ph.D.
Submissions are cordially invited to be considered for a special issue of Journal of Social Philosophy on the theme of Reshaping the Polis: Toward a Political Conception of Disability. Feminist philosophers and theorists have successfully shown that the elimination of women’s subordination requires that conceptions of the social and political realms be reconfigured in ways that take into account subjectivity, embodiment, partiality, and other phenomena historically associated with women and femininity and thus excluded from understandings of these realms. Likewise, this issue of JSP aims to reshape (and enlarge) accepted understandings of what counts as the political domain in ways that emerging understandings of disability demand.
Some of the questions that contributions to the issue might address are:
- What are the relations between current conceptions of the political realm, inaccessibility, and neoliberal agendas?
- How do the incarceration and segregation of disabled people in nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and prisons extend the reach of biopolitical forms of power, including settler colonialism and heteronormativity?
- In what ways can disabling epistemologies of ignorance and acts of epistemic injustice be most effectively resisted and transformed?
- How are ableism and disability discrimination reproduced by and through current immigration, housing, education, and employment policies?
Confirmed invited contributions:
Tommy Curry, “This Nigger’s Broken: Hyper-Masculinity, ‘The Buck,’ and the Impossibility of Physical Disability in the Black Male Body”
Maeve O’Donovan, “Resisting Disability: How Misconceptions of Disability Generate Failed Policies”
Jesse Prinz, “Outsider Art, Inside”
Melanie Yergeau and Bryce Huebner, “Minding Theory of Mind”
Please send papers directly to the journal’s Managing Editor, Josh Keton, at jsocphil [at] gmail [dot] com. Submissions should be prepared for anonymous review, include an abstract of 150-250 words, and be no longer than 25 pages (double-spaced, in a standard 12 point font, including endnotes and references). More information about the Journal of Social Philosophy (including author guidelines) can be found here.
The deadline for receipt for consideration for this special issue is November 1, 2015. (Papers not included in this special issue may also be considered for future issues of the journal.) For further information, please email Shelley Tremain at s [dot] tremain [at] yahoo [dot] ca.
That’s the title of a new resource page published by the Kant research group at Western University, available here.
UN Report on Cyber Violence September 24, 2015
The United Nations Broadband Commission has released a landmark report on the growing problem of on-line violence and harassment against women and girls. According to today’s press release:
[the report] reveals that almost three quarters of women online have been exposed to some form of cyber violence, and urges governments and industry to work harder and more effectively together to better protect the growing number of women and girls who are victims of online threats and harassment.
The report notes that despite the rapidly growing number of women experiencing online violence, only 26 per cent of law enforcement agencies in the 86 countries surveyed are taking appropriate action. . .Without concerted global action to curb the various escalating forms of online violence, an unprecedented surge of ‘cyber violence against women and girls (cyber VAWG)’ could run rampant and significantly impede the uptake of broadband by women everywhere, the report contends. It notes that cyber VAWG already exists in many forms, including online harassment, public shaming, the desire to inflict physical harm, sexual assaults, murders and induced suicides.
The full 60-page report – which is sub-titled ‘A World-Wide Wake-up Call’ – contains lots of helpful (and troubling) information.
Below are some quotes and findings from the survey:
“The survey was sent in March 2015 to 27,086 undergraduate and graduate students. Recipients of the survey request will recall that the University offered to make a $5 donation per completed survey to one of four Boston-area advocacy and support services for survivors of sexual assault, rape, and violence.” (From an email sent out with the results)
Here are some key findings from the report:
- A total of 5,875 students responded to the survey, a 22% participation rate.
- One in six respondents (18%) reported experiencing some form of sexual assault while a BU student. (There are significant variations by gender in the numbers that make up this average, which is consistent with averages reported by other institutions conducting climate surveys.)
- A majority of reported incidents involved alcohol use: 78% of respondents who reported experiencing sexual misconduct say that they had consumed alcohol beforehand and 86% say their assailants had.
- A majority of respondents (63%) who reported experiencing sexual misconduct said that the incidents occurred off campus.
- A large majority (94%) of respondents reported feeling safe on campus.
“Female students had less confidence than males in how a reporting student would be protected from retaliation. They also had less confidence that a report would be taken seriously and that corrective action would be taken against the perpetrator. Respondents with nonbinary gender identity had less confidence than female or male respondents that a reporting student would be protected from retaliation, or that the report would be taken seriously and that corrective action would be taken.”
“We really have to untangle the complicated mess of alcohol on campus in conjunction with sexual assault,” Godley says. “I don’t think we can do much about sexual assault unless we address alcohol. I don’t know of any university that has solved this.” (from BU Today)
Anna Leventhal in the Toronto Star, regarding the online threats against women at University of Toronto:
In an age where women are routinely told we’re overreacting and being hysterical, that we should just calm down and ignore the bully, there’s absolutely no social capital to be gained by faking victimhood. It takes courage, not cowardice, to say you’re afraid, and say it publicly.
The Washington Post has an interesting interview up with Lauren Rivera, associate professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and author of a new book called Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs. Rivera focuses on careers in finance, law, etc, but much of what she says seems applicable to academia, especially as we enter hiring and grad admissions season. For example:
Quite simply, we like people who are similar to ourselves. Ask anyone what constitutes a good driver, leader, or parent, and chances are they will describe someone like themselves. The same is true for how people think of merit in the working world. Most employees in these firms are graduates of highly elite undergraduate or graduate programs and believe that’s where talent really resides. In addition, given how segregated our society has become socioeconomically, people who grow up in upper-middle or upper-class communities where college attendance is the norm may not realize structural factors that influence educational pathways and erroneously view university prestige as a reflection of ability alone. Finally, national rankings matter. Rankings provide an easily quantifiable, presumably “scientific” way of making sense of the myriad of educational institutions out there. They both reinforce beliefs that school prestige equals student quality (even though things having nothing to do with students’ abilities factor into a university’s rank) and serve as a convenient justification for limiting recruitment to a small number of elite schools with strong alumni ties to firms.
Obama gives speech about black women September 23, 2015
Brittney Cooper does a great job putting this in context.
Obama did not arrive at this thinking about the importance of Black women solely out of a sense of altruism. Though he quipped that Black women are a “majority of my household,” a fact about which he “cares deeply,” the president arrived at the expansive view of the problems and possibilities that shape Black women’s lives because of many months of committed advocacy work from groups focused on the well-being of Black women and girls.
When the president announced his My Brother’s Keeper initiative focused on the structural challenges faced by men and boys of color in Winter 2014, more than 1,500 Black women signed a letter demanding that the program include remedies for Black women and girls. This public push led to months of closed-door meetings in which a series of reports about the dismal outcomes Black girls face with regard to the school-to-prison pipeline and the sexual abuse-to-prison pipeline forced the president’s team to reconsider what it might mean to suggest that only one sex was worthy of his attempts to address structural racism.