A piece in today’s Times:
Philosophy may like to portray itself as an open-minded search for the truth but it is an academic bastion of sexism.
That, at least, is the thinking of 60 French female philosophers who have signed an open letter complaining that they are discriminated against by their male counterparts, who are driven by “more than prejudice” and have refined it to “arrogant ignorance”.
Women account for 36 per cent of philosophy lecturers and 23 per cent of philosophy professors in French universities, the signatories say, adding that four of the 51 highest ranked philosophy professors in France are women. [J4MB emphasis: Seems about right, probably a similar proportion for mathematics, physics, engineering… the more demanding disciplines, where performance can be objectively measured.]
The writers say that they face “a glass ceiling, discrimination . . . and too often the invisibility of our research”, as well as “scorn for our contributions” and “even the pure and simple denial of our status as philosophers”.
They say philosophy is shaped by male thought “while all the while insisting that it is neutral” and point out that only a handful of women, such as Simone de Beauvoir, are well known to the public. [J4MB: Few high-ranking philosophers are women. Whining will not alter that fact, any more than the fact that few chess grand masters are women.]
They are calling for a convention to study ways of making the discipline less prejudiced. [J4MB: Hmm, quotas, anyone?]
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