Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

an invitation April 10, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — annejjacobson @ 8:17 pm

From: Cecilea Mun [cecileamun@icloud.com]
Sent: 10 April 2016 17:02

Hi Everyone,

I was about to sign the Journal of Philosophy of Emotion’s (JPE) contract with the PDC when was informed about the Open Library of Humanities (OLH): https://www.openlibhums.org/. I looked into the OLH and I liked what they had to offer. I tried to renegotiate with PDC, and PDC said no…So I declined the contract with PDC (which came with full funding for the first year) in order to take a chance and apply for publication through the OLH…The application for OLH is due at the end of this month…A decision will be made by June…I think the JPE will be okay, but it may need your help as an editorial board member to help build the OLH Library Board’s and external reviewer’s confidence in the vision for and viability of the JPE. If you haven’t received an email from me already, and you are willing to support the JPE by being on its editorial advisory board, please complete this Good Faith Agreement with the JPE by April 22, 2016, to help us secure a contract with OLH: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EditorialBoardAgreementJPE

The Open Library of Humanities platform is an innovative platform that aims to make publications freely open to everyone. There are no author fees. Journal publications are funded by a consortium of Libraries, which is why you have to apply to be accepted for publication by OLH. Here is an article about the OLH platform: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/research-intelligence/open-library-humanities-aims-flip-journals-open-access
The only condition for being an editorial advisory board member is that you are a professional academic with a Ph.D. in your area of specialization.

You get choose how many articles to review, for how long you’d like to make a commitment to the JPE (a minimum of 1 year), and you will also be given membership to the Society for Philosophy of Emotion (SPE).

Please do not hesitate to become an editorial advisory board member if you are not a philosopher of emotion. Because the JPE intends to send any interdisciplinary article that it receives to be reviewed by reviewers who have the appropriate interdisciplinary expertise or by one expert in the philosophy of emotion and at least one expert in the relevant other area or discipline, the JPE may need experts in all areas of philosophy and across disciplines, including experts in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, epistemology, ethics, feminist philosophy, moral psychology, psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, sociology, anthropology, and linguistics.

If you would like more information about the JPE, your relationship with the JPE as an editorial board member, and the SPE, please take a look at the JPE/SPE FACT SHEET: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1y9ZgjF-qWbAztcfonunzkwNoo5XEvaYLRHJUfnItiwQSincerely,

Finally, please share fervently!

Sincerely,

Cecilea Mun, Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Philosophy of Emotion
Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Margaret Brent 205
18952 E. Fisher Rd.
St. Mary’s City, MD 20686
Phone: (240) 895-4456
Web: http://www.CMergence.com

 

Janice Dowell speaks out about her experiences as a survivor of harassment and assault April 7, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — magicalersatz @ 2:45 pm

Philosopher Janice Dowell (Syracuse) has spoken out publicly in her ‘What is it like to be a philosopher?’ interview about her experiences of sexual harassment and assault in philosophy:

Although this is very unpleasant, I’d like to say something about my grad school experience, on the hoped-for chance that if folks can put a name to someone who has experienced some of the problems with harassment and sexual assault our profession has just begun discussing, it might dampen some of the truly damaging speculation about the motivations survivors have in coming forward that we see on some professional blogs.

There are too many bad experiences to list them all. I’ll mention two, as well as the effect they had on me. Early in my grad career, I was the object of a surprising amount of disturbing attention. Someone put a plastic erection in my mailbox in the department common room and a male grad student followed me home. He let me know that he had done this when I arrived home, telling me gleefully that he was glad to know where I lived so he could come see me whenever he wanted. As I said—disturbing.

The cumulative effect of this attention was pretty bad: I began to experience intense pain in my arms whenever I went to campus. Not surprisingly, I avoided campus as much as I could; no reading groups, student lounge conversations, no socializing before or after class. Also, not surprisingly, it was very difficult to concentrate on my work, particularly to follow lectures in class, given that they included some of the students I was having trouble with. In retrospect, it’s astonishing to me that I finished any of my classes.

Unfortunately, that was not the worst of it. I was subsequently raped by another philosopher, someone who is still in our profession and whom I occasionally see at APA meetings. I’ve already written about this experience anonymously, here.

You can read the whole interview here.

 

All-female Philosophy of Mind Syllabus

Filed under: academia,Uncategorized,women in academia,women in philosophy — philodaria @ 5:40 am

Here, by Zoe Drayson:

I created this syllabus largely to show that it can be done, and to create a resource for other philosophers looking to add female authors to their syllabi. (I did not create this syllabus in an attempt to rid the philosophical world of men.)  I was also inspired by finding this personal ad on Google.

 

Minicourse on Metaphilosophy and Sex Equality April 4, 2016

The School of Philosophy and Art History at the University of Essex are very pleased to announce that Professor Michèle Le Doeuff will be giving a minicourse on ‘Metaphilosophy and sex equality’ at Essex on 11th – 13th May 2016. The abstract for the minicourse is as follows:

Metaphilosophy, in the sense of discussing what form of philosophy is valuable and what form is hopeless, is everywhere in our lives. It takes place within highly classical works and in the most informal conversations we have down the pub.

Sex equality happens not to be a major beacon for these discussions, to put it mildly. Who lays down the law to whom? On the other hand, if you consider that sex equality should indeed be among the non-negotiable landmarks of any discussion about philosophy, you might have the feeling that you are stating the obvious, and then discover that it never registers.

Now, if metaphilosophy is about defining what philosophy is (how it works, how it occasionally dysfunctions), it does appear as a most eligible level of discussion for feminists. A sphere in which you could at last appeal to justice is more than appealing. All the same, the question «what is philosophy?» sometimes proves slippery.

​In classes, pupils tend surreptitiously to start discussing the character of the philosopher, certainly male, old, bearded and endowed with encyclopaedic knowledge. A woman engaged in philosophy may find it wise not to discuss the question at all and simply prove her existence by doing her job, just as you can prove the possibility of movement by duly taking a stroll. But is this the end of the story?

The minicourse is made up of three lectures:

Wednesday 11 May, 3-5pm: Lecture – The Price to pay (and for becoming what?)
Thursday 12 May, 3-5pm: Lecture – You said ‘progress’?
Friday 13 May, 3-5pm: Lecture – In Praise of autodidacticism

Further information on the course can be found on the Essex website: https://www.essex.ac.uk/philosophy/news_and_seminars/minicourses/default.aspx

Book a place
Booking is required to attend the minicourse. To book your place please email Katherine Bialey at kbailey@essex.ac.uk.

Please send any queries or questions about the minicourse to Rosie Worsdale: rworsd@essex.ac.uk

 

Implicit Bias and the Teaching Excellence Framework

Filed under: academia,bias,science,teaching — jennysaul @ 8:07 pm

The UK government has decided to hastily throw together a framework for assessing teaching quality, which will be linked to funding.  One key feature will be a heavy reliance on existing measures of student satisfaction like the National Student Satisfaction survey. Jules Holroyd and I have an article about this out in the Guardian today, drawing attention to worries about implicit bias in student satisfaction scores (though also noting other problems with these measures!).

 

Gender stereotypes and the gender gap in higher education

There’s an interesting op-ed on the role of gender stereotypes in gender differences in college participation and performance in the New York Times today by Andrew Reiner who teaches a course on masculinity at Towson University, and I thought our readers might be interested. Here’s a snippet of it:

In many ways, the young men who take my seminar — typically, 20 percent of the class — mirror national trends. Based on their grades and writing assignments, it’s clear that they spend less time on homework than female students; and while every bit as intelligent, they earn lower grades with studied indifference. When I asked one of my male students why he didn’t openly fret about grades the way so many women do, he said: ‘Nothing’s worse for a guy than looking like a Try Hard.’

In a report based on the 2013 book “The Rise of Women: The Growing Gender Gap in Education and What It Means for American Schools,” the sociologists Thomas A. DiPrete and Claudia Buchmann observe: “Boys’ underperformance in school has more to do with society’s norms about masculinity than with anatomy, hormones or brain structure. In fact, boys involved in extracurricular cultural activities such as music, art, drama and foreign languages report higher levels of school engagement and get better grades than other boys. But these cultural activities are often denigrated as un-masculine by preadolescent and adolescent boys.

. . . By the time many young men do reach college, a deep-seeded gender stereotype has taken root that feeds into the stories they have heard about themselves as learners. Better to earn your Man Card than to succeed like a girl, all in the name of constantly having to prove an identity to yourself and others.

 

What’s Wrong with the AAUP’s Report on Title IX: Preponderance of the Evidence Standard Redux March 31, 2016

I posted a couple of days ago about some of the problems with the AAUP’s recent report on Title IX. I think there are others, but for considerations of space, just mentioned two: one of which was the AAUP’s resistance to the preponderance of the evidence standard, the other was the AAUP’s confusion regarding the increase and manner of OCR investigations. At some point, I think it would be valuable to discuss some of those other issues (I’ll draw on a couple of points from this letter from the National Women’s Law Center below, but I encourage you to read it in full as it pertains to some of the other issues in the report as well), but first, more on the justification for the preponderance standard.

Brian Leiter wrote a reply to my post, taking issue with this passage:

But, more to the point, if Title IX complaints were held to a higher standard than a preponderance of the evidence when other civil rights claims are adjudicated by exactly that standard, then it would follow that complainants would be held to a higher standard, i.e., disadvantaged, on the basis of sex, i.e., they would be subject to sexual discrimination.

I cited Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education in the explanation of my thinking, and in an update on his post, Leiter writes, “that retaliation for reporting sex discrimination is actionable sex discrimination for purposes of Title IX does nothing to establish that a higher standard of proof to prevail on a sex discrimination claim is sex discrimination.” Leiter is right that, in itself, that retaliation in the context of Title IX constitutes sex discrimination says nothing about standards of proof, but I didn’t say that it did. What I did say is that I think the courts’ reasoning in the course of determining whether or not retaliation constitutes discrimination – i.e., how the court defined what it is for something to constitute “discrimination on the basis of sex” – does.

Here’s that language again (emphasis mine):

In all of these cases, we relied on the text of Title IX, which, subject to a list of narrow exceptions not at issue here, broadly prohibits a funding recipient from subjecting any person to “discrimination” “on the basis of sex.” 20 U. S. C. ß1681. Retaliation against a person because that person has complained of sex discrimination is another form of intentional sex discrimination encompassed by Title IX’s private cause of action. Retaliation is, by definition, an intentional act. It is a form of “discrimination” because the complainant is being subjected to differential treatment. See generally Olmstead v. L. C., 527 U. S. 581, 614 (1999) (KENNEDY, J., concurring in judgment) (the “normal definition of discrimination” is “differential treatment”); see also Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. v. EEOC, 462 U. S. 669, 682, n. 22 (1983) (discrimination means “less favorable” treatment). Moreover, retaliation is discrimination “on the basis of sex because” it is an intentional response to the nature of the complaint: an allegation of sex discrimination. . .

The import of the Jackson language quoted is not that the retaliation was a response to the person (Roderick Jackson) but to the claim (in Jackson’s case, a series of complaints about unequal treatment that he felt were prohibited by Title IX).  It can be analogized to campus responses to sexual assault cases in the following way: when a victim makes a complaint that s/he was sexually assaulted, under Title IX that is a claim of sex discrimination, because sexual assault is a severe form of sexual harassment, and sexual harassment has been confirmed by SCOTUS to be a form of sex discrimination.  Therefore, if the school responds to that claim using a process that requires a higher standard of proof than the standard of proof that the school uses for other claims, ones that do not implicate Title IX and do not allege sex discrimination, that is, in the words of the Court in Jackson, “differential treatment.”  So if a student made a complaint that s/he was the victim of harassment based on his/her race, the school would be required under Title VI to use a preponderance of the evidence standard.  If the school were still using “clear and convincing evidence” for sexual assault cases, this would mean that claims of sex discrimination (severe sexual harassment in the form of sexual assault) would be treated differently, and less favorably, by the school from claims of race discrimination (racial harassment).

Similarly, if one white, male, heterosexual student accused another white, male, heterosexual student of punching him in the face and the school used a preponderance of the evidence standard in its process for responding to that assault, but was still using “clear and convincing” in its process for sexual assault, that would be differential treatment based on the nature of the claim, where the claim alleging discrimination based on sex got “‘less favorable treatment” (see language from Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. v. EEOC, 462 U.S. 669, 682, n. 22, 103 S.Ct. 2622, 77 L.Ed.2d 89 (1983) included in Jackson) than the claim not alleging discrimination based on sex.

The National Women’s Law Center (lead counsel in Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education) seems to agree that parity with other claims justifies the use of the preponderance standard in Title IX claims: Given that Title IX was modeled after Title VI, and preponderance of the evidence is the standard used in claims brought under Title VI, it is also the standard that applies to Title IX claims. The preponderance standard is also used in litigation of claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, regarding sex discrimination in employment. Thus, it is the correct standard for allegations of sexual harassment, including violence.” (If you doubt that courts have taken up this standard, note the footnotes to this passage in their letter.)

Likewise, Nancy Cantalupo, in the piece I linked to a few days ago, writes,

Allowing schools to adopt a criminalized standard of proof such as “clear and convincing” evidence or “beyond a reasonable doubt,” . . . would also create legal and administrative barriers for student survivors of gender-based violence that do not apply to the vast majority of comparable populations involved in civil or civil rights proceedings, all of which use the preponderance standard. To name just a few, these groups include: other students alleging other kinds of sex discrimination; students alleging discrimination based on other protected categories, like race or disability; gender-based violence survivors seeking protection orders in civil court; students alleging other forms of student misconduct; and students accused of sexual or any other misconduct who sue their schools in civil court. In reality the preponderance standard is used in the vast majority of cases, not only in internal disciplinary proceedings but also in other administrative or civil court proceedings and under other civil rights statutes that protect equality . . . Indeed, separating out sexual violence victims for different procedural treatment would enact a new kind of damaging “exceptionality [for] rape,” as Michelle Anderson discusses in her paper for the September 25 Conversation. Using anything more stringent than a preponderance standard would symbolize that we as a society are comfortable with giving one group of women and girls, as well as men and boys who are gender-minorities and victimized because of it, unequal treatment when compared to everyone else.

In a footnote on this passage, Cantalupo notes:

Research shows that the majority of higher education institutions had voluntarily adopted a preponderance of the evidence standard for all student conduct proceedings by the early 2000s. See Michelle J. Anderson, Sexual The Legacy of the Prompt Complaint Requirement, Corroboration Requirement, and Cautionary Instructions on Campus Assault, 84 B.U. L. Rev. 945, 1000 (2004); Heather M. Karjane et al., Campus Sexual Assault: How America’s Institutions of Higher Education Respond 122 tbl.6.12 (2002), http://www.hhd.org/sites/hhd.org/files/mso44.pdf  [http://perma.cc/9Z57-PHR5]. Therefore, using a different standard from the preponderance standard in cases involving sexual or other forms of gender-based violence would mean that student victims of gender-based violence would be less protected than students who are victimized by another student in any other way.

Now, Geoffrey Stone has argued against the preponderance standard as follows (emphasis mine):

To justify its insistence on the preponderance of the evidence standard, the Department of Education draws an analogy to civil actions in court. In the typical civil law suit for damages, whether the issue is a car accident, a breach of contract, or an assault, the standard is preponderance of the evidence. But this is a bad analogy. For a college or university to expel a student for sexual assault is a matter of grave consequence both for the institution and for the student. Such an expulsion will haunt the students for the rest of his days, especially in the world of the Internet. Indeed, it may well destroy his chosen career prospects. This is especially likely, for example, for law students.

To the extent that analogy between internal Title IX complaints at an educational institution and action in courts is apt (there is a substantive difference in that what happens in court is thereby public record), the analogy to civil action is far more apt than an analogy to criminal proceedings. In addition to the fact that in criminal cases it is the state, and not the alleged victim, who is party to the proceedings, as Stone writes, civil law adjudicated by a preponderance of the evidence standard provides relief for assault. Again, from the National Women’s Law Center:

The preponderance of the evidence standard is appropriate even in cases where there could be criminal sanctions for the defendant’s actions. For example, it is used in civil proceedings between two private parties, where—like a campus grievance proceeding for a complaint of sexual harassment—each party “has an extremely important, but nevertheless relatively equal, interest in the outcome.” This includes civil proceedings arising out of conduct that can also be criminal, but where there is no authority to impose criminal sanctions, such as a civil tort action for battery, robbery, or murder.

This goes, too, for civil cases regarding sexual violence. For instance, cases brought under California Civil Code Section 52.4, or Illinois’ Gender Violence Act.

Of course, Stone is right that expulsion may haunt a student. We should absolutely take that seriously, and I do. At the same time, let’s not forget how many students are expelled for infractions like plagiarism as compared to sexual assault; let’s not forget having been subject to sexual violence may haunt a victim; let’s not forget that being subject to sexual discrimination (including sexual harassment and assault) might, and in a number of cases has, destroyed victims’ chosen career prospects; let’s not forget that victims are often forced to transfer schools, or drop out; let’s not forget that victims have also been dragged through the nasty trenches of the internet, nor that some have been driven to suicide as a result. Moreover, let’s not forget that it is exactly these kinds of effects that educational institutions are legally obligated to address insofar as they impact one’s access to education; that is, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

 

Why do undergraduate women stop studying philosophy?

Filed under: bias,science,women in philosophy — jennysaul @ 2:07 pm

UPDATE: We’ve decided (in consultation with Morgan) that it would be a good idea to open discussion here as well, so we’re doing so.  Please do feel free to comment!

 

An important blog post by Morgan Thompson, about an important paper.

In early 2012, Toni Adleberg, Sam Sims, Eddy Nahmias, and I began a project to gather empirical support for explanations of the gender gap in philosophy, focusing on potential causes of the early drop-off of women in philosophy between initial courses and choosing to major, since research shows that this is the most significant drop-off. If the proportion of women majors remains stuck under 1/3, as it has been for decades (National Center for Education Statistics 2013), then it will remain difficult to improve the proportion of women graduate students and faculty.

Our paper describing our surveys, results, and suggestions is now published in Philosophers’ Imprint here. We hope people will find it useful, especially for generating more hypotheses, research, and solutions. Below, we offer a few highlights and welcome discussion here at Daily Nous.

 

 

Diversifying a dept, cont. March 30, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — annejjacobson @ 5:17 pm

I found the following summary in the article cited here.  It is behind a paywall, and too long to quote, but the list may be useful.

How a Department Diversified: In Brief

About a decade ago, Penn State’s philosophy department decided that it wanted a more diverse graduate-student body. Here’s what it has done toward that goal.

Changed recruitment: Instead of waiting for applications to roll in, faculty members search for talent at the undergraduate level and have developed relationships with historically black colleges.

Revamped the curriculum: The department focused on critical philosophy of race, which has helped to make the curriculum more attractive to those who haven’t traditionally been represented in philosophy.

Hired a diverse group of professors:Five of the 15 faculty members today are women, and three are members of underrepresented minorities, signaling to graduate applicants the department’s commitment to diversity.

Provided extra financial support: Students can apply for additional grants for the summer — a crucial step, some faculty members say, in attracting and retaining underrepresented students, who disproportionately come from lower-income backgrounds than their white counterparts do.

Created an intellectual community:Many faculty members conduct research on critical philosophy of race. In 2013 the department started an academic journal on the topic. Within philosophy, Penn State has become known for this specialty, which also helps with recruitment.

 

Trump deals

Filed under: Uncategorized — annejjacobson @ 3:18 pm

I’m way beyond the last straw, but the following clip is just so shocking, in part because it represents the lack of balance in … Well, you name it.

 

from March 29, 2016:

.

 

 
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