About a year ago, I wrote a post examining a New York Times article regarding the dearth of women philosophers. At the time, research conducted by The Philosophers’ Magazine (tpm), found that only two out of every ten full-time permanent academic philosophers working in leading higher education institutions in the UK are female. The conclusion drawn from Brooke Lewis, a freelance journalist and writer of the piece in tpm, was that males in the field tend to be more aggressive in their argumentation, creating a hostile environment for women. At the time, our post was notable in the discourse following the article and “Where My Philosophical Girls At?” continues to be one of our most read pieces.
Following up on this topic, I came across a new blog that collects accounts by women of their experiences in academic philosophy (via Leiter Reports). In the About section, the blog is given the following description:
This blog is devoted to short observations (generally fewer than 300 words) sent in by readers, about life as a woman in philosophy. Some of these will undoubtedly be tales of the sexism, conscious and unconscious, that remains. But we hope that others will be tales of ways that improvements have been (or are being) made. Many will be written by women in philosophy. But we hope that not all will be– for others in philosophy also know some important things relevant to what it’s like to be a woman in philosophy. They know, for example, what men in philosophy say to each other when the women aren’t there.
Like the article we highlighted last year, this blog shows the disturbing trend of women in philosophy being treated with hostility by male professors, peers, and students. Take, for example, an excerpt from a post where a female professor is told by one of her students, after recounting a story about her child’s illness, that, “Maybe God was trying to tell you that you need to decide whether you want to be a philosophy professor or a mother.”
Hopefully this blog will bring awareness to the undue hardships faced by women in the field of philosophy and, ultimately, lead to academic reform or other actions to correct this insidious problem.