Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

Job Offers: Are They Professional News? March 20, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — lanternerouge @ 11:10 pm

Consider a Philosophy department that is hiring a new senior colleague. They have two or three outstanding candidates in mind, each of whom they would be unreservedly delighted to welcome into their community. But they can only hire one. They make a hard choice and send out an offer; but it is declined. So they make another hard choice and send an offer to another of their preferred candidates.

Consider now the candidate who gets such an offer from a department they respect, couched in terms of how happy the department would be to have them join. Is there any reason why the department should feel in any way embarrassed about making the offer, or why the candidate should feel slighted in receiving it?

There might be — if the first-choice candidate already chose to publicize the rejected offer, and a professional news blog chose to carry the story. Trumpeting senior offers that are rejected is a way of very publicly revealing subsequent appointments as having been second-or-later choice candidates, with optics unlikely to reflect the completeness of the welcome that a department is offering their eventual appointment. This risks tarnishing a relationship between new colleagues; it interferes in a professional relationship that is (starting the moment the first candidate decides to reject the offer) none of the first candidate’s business; and these, I think, are sufficiently uncollegial outcomes to be worth carefully avoiding unless some unusually strong professional interest is served by making the announcement.

What about job offers, then, rather than offers rejected? Is publicizing offers that have been made, but are still undecided, less professionally corrosive than publicizing those that have already been declined? I have my doubts. Either an open offer will be accepted or it will be rejected. If it is rejected, the effects of having publicized it are virtually indistinguishable from those of publicizing offers already rejected. But supposing the offer is accepted, what will have been the benefit of publicizing the offer before the matter was settled? Prudential concerns might arise here — could the costs of a publicly-known declined offer encourage a university to sweeten the deal during negotiations? But even if this made some sense from the candidate’s negotiating perspective (it strikes me as ultimately self-defeating), that would not elevate it to the level of professional news. Gossip, perhaps; but not news.

Somebody’s actually moving to a new appointment might well be professional news — though it’s worth questioning the presuppositions of newsworthiness that attend such a story. The perceived newsworthiness of a professor’s relocation is just the sort of judgement one would expect to find laden with attitudes and biases about gender, race, and sub-disciplinary fields, and irrelevant halo effects arising from academic pedigree and connections. But even if actual moves were newsworthy, prospective ones would be a very different thing. In general a position is offered in confidence, and until it is formally accepted, it might yet be offered to another candidate. While there may be special circumstances and reasonable exceptions, in general information about job offers is best not treated as professional news.

Why my focus on senior job offers, then? I think that the considerations raised here (being careful with information about hiring processes, out of respect for the relationship between departments and their new colleagues) do apply to junior academic job offers as well, though the typical scale and slightly frenzied nature of hiring into junior untenured positions might make it harder to make confidentiality stick. But ultimately the reason to mention senior hires is because those are the offers that have been treated as newsworthy in the philosophical blogosphere.

A word about comments: This post is about practices, not specific cases. Please do keep comments similarly focused.

 

Gender and interruptions March 18, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennysaul @ 6:40 pm

Lots of interesting stuff here, including the fact that men interrupt women a lot, and that women hardly ever interrupt men. But also that the women who make it to the top do A LOT of interrupting of everyone.

(Thanks, Jender-Mum!)

 

Trust and Women’s Feelings

Filed under: Uncategorized — magicalersatz @ 5:57 pm

Damon Young has written an incredibly honest editorial at Huffington Post about trust and men’s perception of women’s emotions. He writes:

Generally speaking, we (men) do not believe things when they’re told to us by women. Well, women other than our mothers or teachers or any other woman who happens to be an established authority figure. Do we think women are pathological liars? No. But, does it generally take longer for us to believe something if a woman tells it to us than it would if a man told us the exact same thing? Definitely!

This conversation is how, after five months of marriage, eight months of being engaged, and another year of whatever the hell we were doing before we got engaged, I realized I don’t trust my wife.

When the concept of trust is brought up, it’s usually framed in the context of actions; of what we think a person is capable of doing. If you trust someone, it means you trust them not to cheat. Or steal. Or lie. Or smother you in your sleep. By this measure, I definitely trust my wife. I trust the shit out of her. I also trust her opinions about important things. I trusted that she’d make a great wife, and a trust that she’ll be a great mother. And I trust that her manicotti won’t kill me.

But you know what I don’t really trust? What I’ve never actually trusted with any women I’ve been with? Her feelings.

Young argues that this basic kind of discounting – the same kind of phenomenon Miranda Fricker writes about in her discussion of testimonial injustice – is so insidious in part because it’s considered an accepted, almost laughable part of normal social interactions:

Basically, women are crazy, and we are not. Although many women seem to be very annoyed by it, it’s generally depicted as one of those cute and innocuous differences between the sexes.

And perhaps it would be, if it were limited to feelings about the dishes or taking out the garbage. But, this distrust can be pervasive, spreading to a general skepticism about the truthfulness of their own accounts of their own experiences. If women’s feelings aren’t really to be trusted, then naturally their recollections of certain things that have happened to them aren’t really to be trusted either.

This is part of the reason why it took an entire high school football team full of women for some of us to finally just consider that Bill Cosby might not be Cliff Huxtable. It’s how, despite hearing complaints about it from girlfriends, homegirls, cousins, wives, and classmates, so many of us refused to believe how serious street harassment can be until we saw it with our own eyes. It’s why we needed to see actual video evidence before believing the things women had been saying for years about R. Kelly.

He then points out that this type of distrust – a distrust that’s especially geared toward emotional reactions or feelings of anger, betrayal, and hurt – isn’t just something that crops up between men and women:

There’s an obvious parallel here with the way (many) men typically regard women’s feelings and the way (many) Whites typically regard the feelings of non-Whites. It seems like every other day I’m reading about a new poll or study showing that (many) Whites don’t believe anything Black people say about anything race/racism-related until they see it with their own eyes. Personal accounts and expressions of feelings are rationalized away; only “facts” that have been carefully vetted and verified by other Whites and certain “acceptable” Blacks are to be believed.

 

Calling philosophy data people!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennysaul @ 3:39 pm

A rich new resource  for you to study….

 

 

In late 2014, the American Philosophical Association (APA) and the British Philosophical Association (BPA) jointly conducted a survey of 43 philosophy journals to gather data on their submission and acceptance rates, review process, and the percentages of papers submitted and accepted that were written by women and members of minority ethnic groups from 2011 to 2013.

The results of the survey are now available on both the APA website and the BPA website.

The responses were provided by journal editors, with publishers supplying additional data in some cases.
We plan to conduct the survey periodically and hope to include more journals in the future. To request that a journal be added to future surveys, please contact the APA’s publication coordinator, Erin Shepherd (erinshep@udel.edu)

The APA and BPA wish to thank everyone who participated in gathering and sharing this information and hope that it is useful to the philosophical community.

 

Feminist scientists (and science-y feminists) at Gap Junction Science March 16, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — KateNorlock @ 7:38 pm

“GJS is an online home for the meeting points between science and feminism. You might share our passion for science and feminism, be curious about what feminism has to offer science, or be wondering how to actually conduct feminist science in your lab.” More here.

 

Narcissim: social learing theory vs psychoanaltic theory March 15, 2015

Filed under: altruism,health,medicine,parenting,Uncategorized — annejjacobson @ 8:59 pm

From “Origins of narcissism in children,” in the proceedings of the national academy of sciences.

There’s an interesting theoretcal challenge here to the idea that problematic behavior is due to unconscious desires to make up for early wounds. Equally, we get some insight into how pretty rotten people can have quite nice parents.

Narcissism levels have been increasing among Western youth, and contribute to societal problems such as aggression and violence. The origins of narcissism, however, are not well understood. Here, we report, to our knowledge, the first prospective longitudinal evidence on the origins of narcissism in children. We compared two perspectives: social learning theory (positing that narcissism is cultivated by parental overvaluation) and psychoanalytic theory (positing that narcissism is cultivated by lack of parental warmth). … Results support social learning theory and contradict psychoanalytic theory: Narcissism was predicted by parental overvaluation, not by lack of parental warmth. Thus, children seem to acquire narcissism, in part, by internalizing parents’ inflated views of them (e.g., “I am superior to others” and “I am entitled to privileges”). Attesting to the specificity of this finding, self-esteem was predicted by parental warmth, not by parental overvaluation. These findings uncover early socialization experiences that cultivate narcissism, and may inform interventions to curtail narcissistic development at an early age.

 

What happens when the UK police do NOTHING to protect hundreds of girls? March 14, 2015

Filed under: gender,human rights,politics,sex — annejjacobson @ 9:43 pm

NOTHING. Or rather, one person was allowed to retire early and the others got a lecture.

We wrote about the 300 girls in Oxford. There are a number of other cities where young girls and women were repeatedly trafficked and raped. A report on the first of these cases has been released. From the NYTimes:

LONDON — The recent revelations that teenage girls were systematically raped and trafficked by gangs of older men over long periods of time in several British cities prompted a host of inquiries into why the authorities had seemingly turned a blind eye for so long.

This week, a police report into the first such case to be successfully prosecuted concluded that there had been a forcewide failure to address sexual abuse in the northern city of Rochdale, but that no police officer would face serious discipline.

 

Why Care About How Pixar Draws Faces?

Filed under: beauty,bias,kyriarchy — Stacey Goguen @ 8:14 pm

This post on Tumblr from a few weeks ago shows the range of face shapes that men and boys receive in Pixar movies, and the relative lack of range that women and girls receive.
(H/T RM)

Why does this matter?

Seeing someone on screen who is not conventionally attractive–in any of the various ways one can fail to be conventionally attractive–but still receive love and be portrayed as worthy of that love is a very powerful thing.

Rarely ever seeing women in TV and films who are not conventionally attractive, let alone seeing them receive love and being portrayed as worthy of that love, can have a profound impact on us (as a culture) and what many of us think it takes to be worthy of love.

It is unlikely that it has completely defined our self-worth, but for many of us, myself included, it is a kind of voice or pressure that we need to shut down, again and again and again, every time we are reminded of our absence from the circle of people who are shown as loved and worthy of love.

This is why the shape of faces matters.

imageimage

Green shapes on the left are men’s faces. Red shapes on the right are women’s.

 
Should You Comment on This Post? A Rough Guide, in Addition to the Blog’s General Policies:

  • This issue has a deep psychological and emotional resonance for me, as well as for many other people. If commenters want to discuss the account I’m giving, or the premises I’m invoking, etc., I’m happy to engage and discuss, even if a comment challenges aspects of this account. However, this is only if commenters can show good faith and be supportive of people’s struggles to maintain a robust sense self-worth, given the various cultural norms that exist regarding our bodies. If any comment engages in a manner I deem to be unsupportive or even just oblivious–regardless of the commenter’s intention–I am not going to publish it. If you want to comment but do not know or care how to do so without exacerbating the vulnerability and shame many people feel in relation to this issue, please keep your comment to yourself. This post is not for you.
  • If a comment raises a challenge or asks for evidence without also contributing something substantial to the discussion, I may or may not post it, and I may not not respond to it if I do post it. We have the internet at our fingertips, so unless a commenter demonstrates that they are a valuable conversation partner (or I already know that they are), I have little inclination to google things for them or spell out my entire justification behind these ideas. The claims here are not novel; people have probably written on them elsewhere.
  • Lastly, if I suspect a comment is an attempt to troll, I will not publish it. If you would like to avoid your comment going unpublished despite you having no intention to be a troll or cause troll-like harms, please take the time to ensure your comment cannot be taken that way. If you do not have the time or inclination to do that, please refrain from commenting.
 

Not exactly a sunday cat, but

Filed under: cats — annejjacobson @ 6:36 pm

Quite odd nonetheless. These British organic farmers say they find that doing tai chi before the cows increases the yield (or whatever).





Explained


 

Is Ali khamenei right? March 12, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — annejjacobson @ 6:06 pm

Have we hit a new low in the disregard for the President’s authority?  Is the disregard fueled by racism?  Is that the moral decay from within that Khamenei chargers the US has?

From today’s NYTimes:  TEHRAN — Iran’s highest leader issued a sharp response Thursday to a letter to the country’s leadership by Republican lawmakers, deriding it as an indication that Washington is “disintegrating” from within.

<blockquote> Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, said the letter warning that any nuclear deal could be scrapped by a new president was “a sign of a decline in political ethics and the destruction of the American establishment from within.” The statement was posted on his website.

Mr. Khamenei, who will have the final say in Iran over a nuclear deal, characterized the open letter written by 47 Republican senators on Monday as a reflection of Washington’s decadence.<<

“All countries, according to the international norms, remain faithful to their commitments even after their governments change, but the American senators are officially announcing that at the end of the term of their current government, their commitments will be considered null and void,” Mr. Khamenei wrote. He said the letter was a “sign of declining political ethics.”

Sent from my imperfect iPhone

 

 
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