And the nuns, of course

This will seem surprising to some, though it surely ought even to be expected. The limitts to spontaneous imagination in matters of morals and action needs investigation.

From the NYT, FEB 5, 2019.

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE — Pope Francis said on Tuesday that the Roman Catholic Church had a persistent problem of sexual abuse of nuns by priests and even bishops, the first time he had publicly acknowledged the issue.

Catholic nuns have accused clerics of sexual abuse in recent years in India, Africa and in Italy, and a Vatican magazine last week wrote about nuns having abortions or giving birth to the children of priests. But Francis had never mentioned it until he was asked to comment during a news conference aboard the papal plane returning to Rome from his trip to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.

“It’s true,” Francis said. “There are priests and bishops who have done that.”

Mentoring Workshop Deadline Extended

The Mentoring Program for Early-Career Women Philosophers still has openings for the 2019 Mentoring Workshop, and so we are extending the deadline for applications until Feb. 15.

The Mentoring Workshop will be held at Boston University, June 23 – 25. There is no fee for participation in the Workshop, although mentees will be responsible for their own travel, meals and lodging expenses.

To apply for the workshop: Send an email to stating your intention to apply, and indicating at least two areas of specialization, in ranked order. Include as attachments (in .docx or .pdf format) your CV and an abstract of the paper you would like to workshop. More information about the Mentoring Program and the Workshop can be found at our webite:

Al-Saji on Burka Bans

Feminist philosopher Alia Al-Saji, in the New Statesman. Just one sample:

These misreadings of Muslim dress are more than misperceptions, since rational argument, counter examples and historic analyses fail to correct them. One grows weary of how often the debates around Muslim women’s “veiling” recommence, with a recalcitrance that repeatedly disregards previous arguments against banning the practice.

Philosophers of racism would call this recalcitrance an active ignorance, a disregard that creates or constitutes the racialised perceptions of “others.” What is more, the reinvention and rephrasing of bans on veiling are part of how anti-Muslim racism endures, taking on a different guise and hiding under the mantel of seemingly consensual social norms in a given society.

Whether it be secularism, transparency, integration, security, or ideals of freedom, justice, and gender equality, these normative frameworks are instrumentalised to justify the exclusion of Muslim women, and the differential treatment and domination of Muslims more generally.

Read the whole thing!

#MeToo at Davos: we’re losing again

Too many powerful men are sayng they are afraid of even professional involvement with women. That such claims are made is hardly news. Male professors may even cite such worries to explain why their mentees are all male. Even years ago.  It is partof the history of discrimination.

From the NYT:

The #MeToo movement, which burst into the spotlight in the fall of 2017, bringing down powerful figures in Hollywood, the media, politics, sports and more, continues to reverberate 15 months later. It has empowered women to speak up about harassment in the workplace and forced companies to take the issue more seriously. More than 200 prominent men ven explain have lost their jobs, and nearly half of them were succeeded by women.

But in one unintended consequence, executive and analysts say, companies seeking to minimize the risk of sexual harassment or misconduct appear to be simply minimizing contact between female employees and senior male executives, effectively depriving the women of valuable mentorship and exposure. Strong grant organizations – like NSF – try to combat the exclusion of women. It is very hard.

It may be the deeper problem is that too many men are not motivated enough to act in the interest of women in their field.

Call for Logo: SWIP Italia

The Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP) Italia is organizing a logo competition to decide its new logo. On the model of the other SWIP in Europe and in the world, SWIP Italia aims to promote philosophy by women, support them in the profession, denounce gender discrimination in academia. To learn more about SWIP Italia, visit our website at

Students, researchers, professors, graphic designers and other interested applicants within and outside of academia are encouraged to submit one or multiple logo designs. Submissions must reflect the spirit and mission of SWIP Italia.

All logo designs must be in .jpeg or .png format and should allow for the possibility of changing the size of the image while maintaining its graphic and communicative efficacy.

The winning design will be adopted as the SWIP Italia official logo and will appear on the website and social media profiles (Facebook and Twitter), as well as banners and posters of SWIP Italia’s activities and sponsored events. The author will be required to transfer copyright for their logo design. The author will be acknowledged on the society’s website and be awarded a prize of €300.

Send your submission(s) to (subject line: “Logo Submission”) by April 20th, 2019.

For any further information, email us at

really older women

From the NYTimes:

Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, became the first woman and African-American to lead the House Financial Services Committee, at the age of 80.

Men, of course, have led major organizations well into their seventh and even eighth decades, retaining their power and prominence. But the #MeToo movement has toppled some high-profile males, from 77-year-old Charlie Rose to Les Moonves, 69, who was ousted as head of CBS after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, creating unexpected openings for the elevation of women.

And Susan Douglas, a professor of communication studies at the University of Michigan who is writing a book on the power of older women, said “a demographic revolution” was occurring — both in the number of women who are working into their 60s and 70s and in the perception, in the wake of #MeToo, of their expertise and value.

“Older women are now saying ‘No, I’m still vibrant, I still have a lot to offer, and I’m not going to be consigned to invisibility,’ ” she said. “These women are reinventing what it means to be an older woman.”