Some commentators have condemned Kant’s moral project from a feminist perspective based on Kant’s apparently dim view of women as being innately morally deﬁcient. Here I will argue that although his remarks concerning women are unsettling at ﬁrst glance, a more detailed and closer examination shows that Kant’s view of women is actually far more complex and less unsettling than that attributed to him by various feminist critics. My argument, then, undercuts the justiﬁcation for the severe feminist (...) critique of Kant’s moral project. (shrink)
To address the underrepresentation of women in philosophy effectively, we must understand the causes of the early loss of women. In this paper we challenge one of the few explanations that has focused on why women might leave philosophy at early stages. Wesley Buckwalter and Stephen Stich offer some evidence that women have different intuitions than men about philosophical thought experiments. We present some concerns about their evidence and we discuss our own study, in which we (...) attempted to replicate their results for 23 different responses to 14 scenarios . We also conducted a literature search to see if other philosophers or psychologists have tested for gender differences in philosophical intuitions. Based on our findings, we argue that that it is unlikely that gender differences in intuitions play a significant role in driving women from philosophy. (shrink)
We live in an age of evidence-based healthcare, where the concept of evidence has been avidly and often uncritically embraced as a symbol of legitimacy, truth, and justice. By letting the evidence dictate healthcare decision making from the bedside to the policy level, the normative claims that inform decision making appear to be negotiated fairly—without subjectivity, prejudice, or bias. Thus, the term ‘‘evidence-based’’ is typically read in the health sciences as the empirically adequate standard of reasonable practice and a means (...) for increasing certainty. Supporters believe that evidence-based medicine (EBM) can introduce rational order to the deliberative processes of healthcare decision making. It is perhaps puzzling, then, to come across critical perspectives (typically arising from the humanities and the more theory-driven social sciences) raising concerns about a seeming technogovernance being introduced by this deferral to the evidence where power interests can be obfuscated by way of technical resolve. The critics holding this minority view argue that technological solutions to problems of knowledge and practice cannot replace medicine’s normative content. Against EBM’s democratic leanings toward transparency and accountability, medical criteria alone cannot decide valueladen ethically charged decisions. This paper attempts to explain and evaluate this important debate in the philosophy of medicine, focusing specifically on the dispute over 'evidence-based women's health'. (shrink)
The metaphor of “care drain” has been created as a womanly parallel to the “brain drain” idea. Just as “brain drain” suggests that the skilled migrants are an economic loss for the sending country, “care drain” describes the migrant women hired as care workers as a loss of care for their children left behind. This paper criticizes the construction of migrant women as “care drain” for three reasons: 1) it is built on sexist stereotypes, 2) it misrepresents and (...) devalues care work, and 3) it misses the opportunity for a theoretical change about how skills in migration contexts can be understood. (shrink)
Academic debate on the strategic importance of women corporate directors is widely recognized and still open. However, most corporate boards have only one woman director or a small minority of women directors. Therefore they can still be considered as tokens. This article addresses the following question: does an increased number of women corporate boards result in a build up of critical mass that substantially contributes to firm innovation? The aim is to test if ‘at least three (...) class='Hi'>women’ could constitute the desired critical mass by identifying different minorities of women directors (one woman, two women and at least three women). Tests are conducted on a sample of 317 Norwegian firms. The results suggest that attaining critical mass – going from one or two women (a few tokens) to at least three women (consistent minority) – makes it possible to enhance the level of firm innovation. Moreover, the results show that the relationship between the critical mass of women directors and the level of firm innovation is mediated by board strategic tasks. Implications for both theory and practice, and future research directions are discussed. (shrink)
We present several quantitative analyses of the prevalence and visibility of women in moral, political, and social philosophy, compared to other areas of philosophy, and how the situation has changed over time. Measures include faculty lists from the Philosophical Gourmet Report, PhD job placement data from the Academic Placement Data and Analysis project, the National Science Foundation's Survey of Earned Doctorates, conference programs of the American Philosophical Association, authorship in elite philosophy journals, citation in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, (...) and extended discussion in abstracts from the Philosopher's Index. Our data strongly support three conclusions: (1) Gender disparity remains large in mainstream Anglophone philosophy; (2) ethics, construed broadly to include social and political philosophy, is closer to gender parity than are other fields in philosophy; and (3) women's involvement in philosophy has increased since the 1970s. However, by most measures, women's involvement and visibility in mainstream Anglophone philosophy has increased only slowly; and by some measures there has been virtually no gain since the 1990s. We find mixed evidence on the question of whether gender disparity is even more pronounced at the highest level of visibility or prestige than at more moderate levels of visibility or prestige. -/- . (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that Margaret Cavendish’s account of freedom, and the role of education in freedom, is better able to account for the specifics of women’s lives than are Thomas Hobbes’ accounts of these topics. The differences between the two is grounded in their differing conceptions of the metaphysics of human nature, though the full richness of Cavendish’s approach to women, their minds and their freedom can be appreciated only if we take account of her plays, (...) accepting them as philosophical texts alongside her more standard philosophical treatises. (shrink)
This piece contextualizes a discussion by liminal feminists on the identifiers ‘women of color’ and ‘Third World women’ that emerged from some uncomfortable and constructive conversations at the 2015 FEAST conference. I focus on concerns of marginalization and gatekeeping that are far too often reiterated within the uneasy racial dynamics among feminist philosophers.
This book is a brilliant and timely analysis of the complex issues raised by the relation between women and philosophy. It offers a critical account of a wide range of contemporary philosophical and feminist texts and it develops this account into an original project of critical feminist thought. Braidotti examines contemporary French philosophy as practised by men such as Foucault and Derrida, showing that they rely on a notion of 'the feminine' in order to undermine classical thought, which bears (...) no direct relevance to the historical experience of women. Braidotti then looks at the attempts of contemporary feminist thinkers in Europe and the United States to show the gendered nature of discursive power games. She discusses the contributions of Luce Irigaray and many other feminist theorists to the understanding of sexual difference and of its implications for philosophy and politics. This book will be of interest to students and researchers in women's studies, feminist theory, social theory, cultural studies, philosophy and literature, and anyone interested in contemporary feminism and the relation between feminist theory, post-structuralism and psychoanalysis. (shrink)
We present results from a study about women and employee-elected board members, and fill some of the gaps in the literature about their contribution to board effectiveness. The empirical data are from a unique data set of Norwegian firms. Board effectiveness is evaluated in relation to board control tasks, including board corporate social responsibility (CSR) involvement. We found that the contributions of women and employee-elected board members varied depending on the board tasks studied. In the article we also (...) explored the effects of the esteem of the women and employee-elected board members, and we used creative discussions in the boardroom as a mediating variable. Previous board research, including research about women and employee-elected directors, questions if the board members contribute to board effectiveness. The main message from this study is that it may be more important to ask how, rather than if, women and employee-elected board members contribute, and we need to open the black box of actual board behavior to explore how they may contribute. (shrink)
Appointment as a director of a company board often represents the pinnacle of a management career. Worldwide, it has been noted that very few women are appointed to the boards of directors of companies. Blame for the low numbers of women of company boards can be partly attributed to the widely publicized "glass ceiling". However, the very low representation of women on company boards requires further examination. This article reviews the current state of women's representation on (...) boards of directors and summarizes the reasons as to why women are needed on company boards. Given that more women on boards are desirable, the article then describes how more women could be appointed to boards, and the actions that organizations and women could take to help increase the representation of women. Finally, the characteristics of those women that have succeeded in becoming members of company boards are described from an international perspective. Unfortunately, answers to the vexing question of whether these women have gained board directorships in their own right as extremely competent managers, or whether they are mere token female appointments in a traditional male dominated culture, remains elusive. (shrink)
Susan Moller Okin. AFTERWORD or greater weighting of these over “masculine" values. For how are women to continue to assume all of the nurturing activities that allegedly both follow from and reinforce their “naturally” superior virtues, and ...
This article examines one way institutionalized sexism operates in the university setting by examining the gender roles and gender hierarchies implicit in (allegedly gender-neutral) university tenure and promotion policies. Current working assumptions regarding (1) what constitutes good research, teaching, and service and (2) the relative importance of each of these endeavors reflect and perpetuate masculine values and practices, thus preventing the professional advancement of female faculty both individually and collectively. A gendered division of labor exists within (as outside) the contemporary (...) academy wherein research is implicitly deemed "men's work" and is explicitly valued, whereas teaching and service are characterized as "women's work" and explicitly devalued. (shrink)
Sandra Harding here develops further the themes first addressed in her widely influential book, The Science Question in Feminism, and conducts a compelling analysis of feminist theories on the philosophical problem of how we know what we ...
The restructured globalized economy has provided women with employment opportunities. Globalisation has also meant a shift towards self-regulation of multinationals as part of the restructuring of the world economy that increases among others things, flexible employment practices, worsening of labour conditions and lower wages for many women workers around the world. In this context, as part of the global trend emphasising Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the 1980s, one important development has been the growth of voluntary Corporate Codes (...) of Conduct to improve labour conditions. This article reviews from a feminist interdisciplinary perspective the broad academic literature on women workers, covering the more classical debate on women workers in the industrialization process and entering into women workers in the global supply chains and women workers and corporate codes of conduct. The main argument is that this research on women workers is crucial to frame the issues of business ethics and in particular CSR and Codes of Conduct in the context of women in the global political economy. When this crucial knowledge is ignored, then the ethical policies of the companies also ignore the real situation of the women workers at the bottom of their supply chains. (shrink)
This paper presents new data on the representation of women who publish in 25 top philosophy journals as ranked by the Philosophical Gourmet Report for the years 2004, 2014, and 2015. It also provides a new analysis of Schwitzgebel’s 1955–2015 journal data. The paper makes four points while providing an overview of the current state of women authors in philosophy. In all years and for all journals, the percentage of female authors was extremely low, in the range of (...) 14–16%. The percentage of women authors is less than the percentage of women faculty in different ranks and at different kinds of institutions. In addition, there is great variation across individual journals, and the discrepancy between women authors and women faculty appears to be different in different subfields. Interestingly, journals which do not practice anonymous review seem to have a higher percentage of women authors than journals which practice double anonymous or triple anonymous review. This paper also argues that we need more data on academic publishing to better understand whether this can explain why there are so few full-time female faculty in philosophy, since full-time hiring and tenuring practices presumably depend on a candidate’s academic publishing. (shrink)
This paper provides new theoretical insights into the interconnections and relationships between women, management and globalization in the Middle East (ME). The discussion is positioned within broader globalization debates about women’s social status in ME economies. Based on case study evidence and the UN datasets, the article critiques social, cultural and economic reasons for women’s limited advancement in the public sphere. These include the prevalence of the patriarchal work contract within public and private institutions, as well as (...) cultural and ethical values which create strongly defined gender roles. The discussion examines the complexities of conceptualizing women’s equality and empowerment in Islamic states. The paper reveals that there have been significant achievements in advancing women in leadership and political roles, but that there are still institutional and cultural barriers embedded in business systems. Linking feminist, development and management theoretical strands a development framework is proposed which is sensitive to the Islamic Shar’ia encompassing government, organization and individual level strategies. It is suggested that scholars should integrate literatures from gender and management, development and Middle East studies, and in particular that critical scholars of gender and organization should consider the interrelations of the national and transnational in critiques of contemporary global capitalism to understand the complexity of women and social change in the ME. (shrink)
Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice by JAEL SILLIMAN, MARLENE GERBER FRIED, LORETTA ROSS, and ELENA R. GUTIÉRREZ. Boston: South End Press, 2004; Policing the National Body: Race, Gender, and Criminalization, ed. JAEL SILLIMAN and ANANNYA BHATTACHARJEE. Cambridge, Mass.: South End Press, 2002; and Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide. ANDREA SMITH. Boston: South End Press, 2005.
Mainstream conceptions of autonomy have been surreptitiously gender-specific and masculinist. Feminist philosophers have reclaimed autonomy as a feminist value, while retaining its core ideal as self-government, by reconceptualizing it as “relational autonomy.” This article examines whether feminist theories of relational autonomy can adequately illuminate the agency of Islamist women who defend their nonliberal religious values and practices and assiduously attempt to enact them in their daily lives. I focus on two notable feminist theories of relational autonomy advanced by Marina (...) Oshana and Andrea Westlund and apply them to the case of Women's Mosque Movement participants in Egypt. I argue that feminist conceptions of relational autonomy, centered around the ideal of self-government, cannot elucidate the agency of Women's Mosque Movement participants whose normative ideal involves perfecting their moral capacity. (shrink)
In this rich and detailed study of early modern women's thought, Jacqueline Broad explores the complexity of women's responses to Cartesian philosophy and its intellectual legacy in England and Europe. She examines the work of thinkers such as Mary Astell, Elisabeth of Bohemia, Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway and Damaris Masham, who were active participants in the intellectual life of their time and were also the respected colleagues of philosophers such as Descartes, Leibniz and Locke. She also illuminates the (...) continuities between early modern women's thought and the anti-dualism of more recent feminist thinkers. The result is a more gender-balanced account of early modern thought than has hitherto been available. Broad's clear and accessible exploration of this still-unfamiliar area will have a strong appeal to both students and scholars in the history of philosophy, women's studies and the history of ideas. (shrink)
Civic agriculture is characterized in the literature as complementary and embedded social and economic strategies that provide economic benefits to farmers at the same time that they ostensibly provide socio-environmental benefits to the community. This paper presents some ways in which women farmers practice civic agriculture. The data come from in-depth interviews with women practicing agriculture in Pennsylvania. Some of the strategies women farmers use to make a living from the farm have little to do with food (...) or agricultural products, but all are a product of the process of providing a living for farmers while meeting a social need in the community. Most of the women in our study also connect their business practices to their gender identity in rural and agricultural communities, and redefine successful farming in opposition to traditional views of economic rationality. (shrink)
The opposition of ‘culture’ and ‘rights’ is not uncommon in feminist legal discourse. This article argues that such an approach is fraught with danger as it creates an extremely restrictive framework within which African women can challenge domination; it limits our strategic interventions for transforming society and essentially plays into the hands of those seeking to perpetuate and solidify the existing structures of patriarchy. Drawing examples from a parallel research on Gender, Law and Sexuality, I propose that a more (...) critical and interpretative approach to these two concepts may present a different perspective to portrayals of ‘tradition’ as constraining and/or fixed often displayed in mainstream feminist legal thinking. (shrink)
This paper addresses the likely impact on women of being denied emergency contraception (EC) by pharmacists who conscientiously refuse to provide it. A common view—defended by Elizabeth Fenton and Loren Lomasky, among others—is that these refusals inconvenience rather than harm women so long as the women can easily get EC somewhere else nearby. I argue from a feminist perspective that the refusals harm women even when they can easily get EC somewhere else nearby.
Although previous studies focus on the role of women in the boardroom and corporate response to natural disasters, none evaluate how women directors influence corporate philanthropic disaster response (CPDR). This study collects data on the philanthropic responses of privately owned Chinese firms to the Wenchuan earthquake of May 12, 2008, and the Yushu earthquake of April 14, 2010. We find that when at least three women serve on a board of directors (BOD), their companies’ responses to natural (...) disasters are more significant. Age diversity among women on BODs as well as good corporate profitability (e.g., high earnings per share) positively moderates the relationship between women on BODs and CPDR. (shrink)
This study examines whether microfinance institutions (MFIs) that serve women borrowers at the base of the economic pyramid are likely to adopt a written code of positive organizational ethics (POE). Using econometric analysis of operational and economic data of a sample of MFIs from across the world, we find that two contextual factors—poverty level and lack of women’s empowerment—moderate the influence of an MFI’s percentage of women borrowers on the probability of the MFI having a POE code. (...) MFIs that serve more women borrowers are more likely to adopt a POE code, especially in negative contexts (where women borrowers face poverty and disempowerment and are therefore susceptible to abuse). This study provides evidence that MFIs can build positive ethical strength in negative contexts. (shrink)
A number of philosophers attribute the underrepresentation of women in philosophy largely to bias against women or some kind of wrongful discrimination. They cite six sources of evidence to support their contention: (1) gender disparities that increase along the path from undergraduate student to full time faculty member; (2) anecdotal accounts of discrimination in philosophy; (3) research on gender bias in the evaluation of manuscripts, grants, and curricula vitae in other academic disciplines; (4) psychological research on implicit bias; (...) (5) psychological research on stereotype threat; and (6) the relatively small number of articles written from a feminist perspective in leading philosophy journals. In each case, we find that proponents of the discrimination hypothesis have tended to present evidence selectively. Occasionally they have even presented as evidence what appears to be something more dubious. (shrink)
Philosophy has the dubious distinction of attracting and retaining proportionally fewer women than any other field in the humanities, indeed, fewer than in all but the most resolutely male-dominated of the sciences. This short article introduces a thematic cluster that brings together five short essays that probe the reasons for and the effects of these patterns of exclusion, not just of women but of diverse peoples of all kinds in Philosophy. It summarizes some of the demographic measures of (...) exclusion that are cause for concern and identifies key themes that cross-cut these discussions: gender stereotypes and climate issues, ‘cognitive distortions’ and disciplinary norms. (shrink)
There are many reasons to include texts written by women in early modern philosophy courses. The most obvious one is accuracy: women helped to shape the philosophical landscape of the time. Thus, to craft a syllabus that wholly excludes women is to give students an inaccurate picture of the early modern period. Since it seems safe to assume that we all aim for accuracy, this should be reason enough to include women writers in our courses. This (...) article nonetheless offers an additional reason: when students are exposed to philosophical texts written by women, they learn that women have been, are, and can be philosophers. Given how underrepresented women are in philosophy, this finding is significant. If we aim to change the face of philosophy—so that it includes more women—we must include texts written by women in our syllabi. The article considers various obstacles faced by those who work to respond to this call to action. (shrink)
Migrant women are often stereotyped. Some scholars associate the feminization of migration with domestic work and criticize the “care drain” as a new form of imperialism that the First World imposes on the Third World. However, migrant women employed as domestic workers in Northern America and Europe represent only 2% of migrant women worldwide and cannot be seen as characterizing the “feminization of migration”. Why are migrant domestic workers overestimated? This paper explores two possible sources of bias. (...) The first is sampling: conclusions about “care drain” are often generalized from small samples of domestic workers. The second stems from the affect heuristic: imagining children left behind by migrant mothers provokes strong feelings of injustice which trump other considerations. The paper argues that neither source of bias is unavoidable and finds evidence of gender stereotypes in the “care drain” construal. (shrink)
The main objective of this collection of papers is to explore ideas of generation and transformation in the context of postdependency discourse as it may be traced in women’s writing published in Bengali, Polish, Czech, Russian and English. As we believe, literature does not have merely a descriptive function or a purely visionary quality but serves also as a discursive medium, which is rhetorically sophisticated, imaginatively influential and stimulates cultural dynamics. It is an essential carrier of collective memory and (...) a significant indicator of group identity. Along with philosophy, literature explores the intellectual and emotional, aesthetic and ethical components of our lives, and, while focusing on a single feeling or unique event or phenomenon, aspires to capture the universal attributes of human experience. Hence, we intend to juxtapose interpretations of literature originating in very different cultural milieus, such as the Central East European and South Asian,with the literary treatment of the philosophical dilemmas that challenge authors of various nationalities in times of great political, economic and social upheaval and transformation following long periods of dependency and suppression, caused either by colonial and imperialist domination or by communist ideology. (shrink)
The cultural imagery of women is deeply ingrained in our consciousness. So deeply, in fact, that feminists see this as a fundamental threat to female autonomy because it enshrines procreative heterosexuality as well as the relations of domination and subordination between men and women. Diana Meyers' book is about this cultural imagery - and how, once it is internalized, it shapes perception, reflection, judgement, and desire. These intergral images have a deep impact not only on the individual psyche, (...) but also on the social, political, and cultural syntax of society as a whole. Meyer's argues for the necessity of crafting a dissident, empowering, and 'emancipatory counter-imagery' for women. Rigorous, well written, and accessible, the reach of Gender in the mirror is arguably catholic, and addresses the interests or readers across an impressive range of intellectual disciplines. (shrink)
An important selection from the largely unknown writings of women philosophers of the early modern period. Each selection is prefaced by a headnote giving a biographical account of its author and setting the piece in historical context. Atherton’s Introduction provides a solid framework for assessing these works and their place in modern philosophy.
This article deals with women-centred prose texts of the 1990s and 2000s in Russia written by women, and focuses especially on generation narratives. By this term the author means fictional texts that explore generational relations within families, from the perspective of repressed experiences, feelings and attitudes in the Soviet period. The selected texts are interpreted as narrating and conceptualizing the consequences of patriarchal ideology for relations between mothers and daughters and for reconstructing connections between Soviet and post-Soviet by (...) revisiting and remembering especially the gaps and discontinuities between (female) generations. The cases discussed are Liudmila Petrushevskaia’s ‘povest’ Vremia noch [The Time: Night] (1991), Liudmila Ulitskaia’s novel Medeia i ee deti [Medea and her Children] (1996) and Elena Chizhova’s novel Vremia zhenshchin [The Time of Women] (2009). These novels reflect on the one hand the woman-centredness and novelty of representation in women’s prose writing in the post-Soviet period. On the other hand, the author suggests that they reflect the diverse methods of representing the Soviet era and experience through generation narratives. The texts reassess the past through intimate, tactile memories and perceptions, and their narration through generational plots draws attention to the process of working through, which needs to be done in contemporary Russia. The narratives touch upon the untold stories of those who suffered in silence or hid the family secrets from the officials, in order to save the family. The narration delves into the different layers of experience and memory, conceptualizing them in the form of multiple narrative perspectives constructing different generations and traditions. In this way they convey the ‘secrets’ hidden in the midst of everyday life routines and give voice to the often silent resistance of women towards patriarchal and repressive ideology. The new women’s prose of the 1980s–90s and the subsequent trend of women-centred narratives and generation narratives employ conceptual metaphors of reassessing, revisiting and remembering the cultural, experiential, and emotional aspects of the past, Soviet lives. (shrink)
In his De la recherche de la vérité (The Search after Truth) of 1674-75, Nicolas Malebranche makes a number of apparently contradictory remarks about women and their capacity for pure intellectual thought. On the one hand, he seems to espouse a negative biological determinism about women’s minds, and on the other, he suggests that women have the free capacity to attain truth and happiness, regardless of their physiology. In the early eighteenth-century, four English women thinkers – (...) Anne Docwra (c. 1624-1710), Mary Astell (1666-1731), Damaris Masham (1659-1708), and Mary Chudleigh (1656-1710) – engaged with Malebranche’s ideas. Their writings reveal how we might dispel the apparent contradictions in Malebranche’s thinking about women, and reaffirm the liberating potential of Cartesian philosophy for women in the early modern period. (shrink)
In Feminism and the Power of Law Carol Smart argued that feminists should use non-legal strategies rather than looking to law to bring about women’s liberation. This article seeks to demonstrate that, as far as marriage is concerned, she was right. Statistics and contemporary commentary show how marriage, once the ultimate and only acceptable status for women, has declined in social significance to such an extent that today it is a mere lifestyle choice. This is due to many (...) factors, including the ‘sexual revolution’ of the 1960s, improved education and job opportunities for women, and divorce law reform, but the catalyst for change was the feminist critique that called for the abandonment (rather than the reform) of the institution and made the unmarried state possible for women. I conclude that this loss of significance has been more beneficial to British women in terms of the possibility of ‘liberation’ than appeals for legal change and recognition, and that we should continue to be wary of looking to law to solve women’s problems. (shrink)
In this paper, we develop a theoretical framework for understanding women leaders in working life. Our starting point is in statistics and earlier women-in-management literature, which show that women leaders represent a minority of the managerial population. We assume such underlying mechanisms causing discriminatory practices towards women leaders to exist which have become naturalized and invisible. Our concern is that everyone irrespective of gender should have a fair chance in career progression. This is both a moral (...) and also an economic challenge. The framework we develop in this paper is an alternative approach to studying women leaders compared to traditional women-in-management literature. It aims at revealing the "natural and taken-for-granted" cultural mechanisms behind discriminatory practices. Our framework is based on a critical discursive approach, which draws on ideas of how women''s leadership becomes symbolically represented and constructed in discursive practices. These symbolic constructions, which are mediated through language, often have an ideological loading which positions women leaders and builds their identities in ways that can help to legitimize unequal relations between the genders. However, our framework emphasizes the possibility of multiple discourses and a dynamic view of culture. The cultural constructions of women leaders are, thus, open to change. (shrink)
This article focuses on the transformation of the female reproductive body with the use of assisted reproduction technologies under neo-liberal economic globalisation, wherein the ideology of trade without borders is central, as well as under liberal feminist ideals, wherein the right to self-determination is central. Two aspects of the body in western medicine—the fragmented body and the commodified body, and the integral relation between these two—are highlighted. This is done in order to analyse the implications of local and global transactions (...) in women’s reproductive body parts for their right to self-determination and individual agency and what this means for their embodiment. We conclude by exploring whether women can become embodied subjects by exercising their proprietary right to their bodies through directing technology to achieve their own goals, while at the same time being fragmented into parts and losing their personhood and bodily integrity. (shrink)
In this paper the sameness and difference between two distinguished Indian authors, Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain (1880–1932) and Mahasweta Devi (b. 1926), representing two generations almost a century apart, will be under analysis in order to trace the generational transformation in women’s writing in India, especially Bengal. Situated in the colonial and postcolonial frames of history, Hossain and Mahasweta Devi may be contextualized differently. At the same time their subjects are also differently categorized; the former is not particularly concerned with (...) subalterns whereas the latter specifically focuses on the effect of race and class on gender. The quest for the ‘self’ and ‘subjectivity’ is more pertinent in the latter and consequently the appeal for agency is based on a crude power struggle. Hossain, a philanthropist who championed the woman question, believed that striving for equality should be a collective process which could be achieved by spreading awareness among fellow-inmates inhabiting the prison of patriarchy. Like Euro-American first-wave feminists, Rokeya advocated the necessity of education among women in order for them to be able to comprehend their plight and ‘awake’ for the cause. She addresses fundamental issues of feminism like education and the systematized claustrophobia within the domestic space. Whereas Mahasweta Devi, has been an activist writer who is regarded as the brand ambassador for the support of the marginalized, deprived and denotified tribes of India. It is her mission to provide succour to the marginalized sections, especially tribes from the Purulia district of West Bengal, like the Kherias and Shabars. As an activist writer she explores tribal life and allied socio-political issues which reflect their agony. (shrink)
This article will defend a very simple thesis. In a diverse globalized “flat” world with expanding economic opportunities and risks, we will need to revisit and revise our mindsets about free enterprise, corporate governance, and leadership. That we can change our mindsets and world view is illustrated by studies of primate behavior, and the kind of leadership necessary in a global economy is, interestingly, exemplified by women.
Women’s bodies, states Benhabib (Dignity in adversity: human rights in troubled times, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011: 168), have become the site of symbolic confrontations between a re-essentialized understanding of religious and cultural differences and the forces of state power, whether in their civic-republican, liberal-democratic or multicultural form. One of the main reasons for the emergence of these confrontations or public debates, says Benhabib (2011: 169), is because of the actual location of ‘political theology’. She asserts that within the (...) context of globalization, the concept of ‘political theology’ is complicated by its unstable location between religion and the public square; between the private and official; and between individual rights to freedom of religion versus state security and public well-being. Ultimately, therefore, the nature of the tension between religion as a political theology and the forces of state power can at best be described as a clash between identities of a collective nature (as envisaged by the nation-state) and identities of an individual nature (as manifested in different religions and cultures). Ongoing attempts to counter the ascendancy of religion, and as will be discussed in this article, specifically the ascendancy and visibility of Islamic identity as practiced by Muslim women, has brought into serious debate the notion of a (post) secular society and its implications for religious rights. What emerges from the state’s insistence that individuals not be allowed to enter the public discourse as religious beings, are, on the one hand, the constraints imposed on Muslim women by liberal democracies, and on the other hand, that Islam, as represented by Muslim women, is not constitutive of democratic citizenship. Will the inclusion and recognition of Muslim women, therefore, necessarily augment a democratic citizenship agenda, and will it lead to an alleviation of the conflict? Then, in exploring a re-articulation of an inclusive citizenship—one which is held accountable by its minimization of social inequality—what ought to be the parameters of inclusion and how should it unfold differently to what is already happening in liberal democracies? (shrink)
The discourse of multiculturalism provides a useful means of understanding the complexities, tensions, and dilemmas that Asian and other minority women in the U.K. grapple with in their quest for human rights. However, the adoption of multiculturalist approaches has also silenced women’s voices, obscuring, for example, the role of the family in gendered violence and abuse. Focusing on the work of Southall Black Sisters, and locating this work within current debates on the intersection of government policy, cultural diversity, (...) and feminist activism, this article examines, and critiques, the Labour government’s current “multi-faith” agenda for its impact on Black and minority ethnic women in the U.K. (shrink)
I argue that representations of the Muslim woman in the Western imaginary function as counter-images to the patriarchal ideal of Western woman. Drawing upon the work of Frantz Fanon (and supplementing it with a consideration of the role of gender), I show how the image of the veiled, Muslim woman is both othered and racialized. This “double othering,” I argue, serves: (i) To normalize Western norms of femininity. The social control of women and their bodies by liberal society is (...) hidden. Gender oppression is rather projected onto Muslim women, and identified with their societies, while remaining invisible within Western society. Western womanhood is taken to be “free” of such oppression. (ii) To deflect attention away from Western patriarchy, and promote complicity on the part of Western women with this society rather than other women. (iii) To represent Western femininity as an ideal that solicits women’s complicity universally. The attempt is to establish the superiority of Western society and its gender norms and morally justify the domination of other societies (in the name of civilization and the liberation of women). (shrink)
_Feminist Amnesia_ is an important challenge to contemporary academic feminism. Jean Curthoys argues that the intellectual decline of university arts education and the loss of a deep moral commitment in feminism are related phenomena. The contradiction set up by the radical ideas of the 1960s, and institutionalised life of many of its protagonists in the academy has produced a special kind of intellectual distortion. This book criticises current trends in feminist theory from the perspective of forgotten and allegedly outdated feminist (...) ideas. Jean Curthroys show that much contemporary feminist theory, like much of today's radical thought, is muddled. The 'forgotten' theory of Women's Liberation was, she argues, deeply oppositional and moral. The repression of this theory has led to distortions, most notabley in the preoccupation with binary oppositions. Jean Curthoys argues that where Women's Liberation was once radical, much of contemporary feminist thought hides behind obscurantism, and has become conservative and orthodox. These controversial ideas will be keenly debated by all those involved in womens's studies, feminist theory and moral philosophy. (shrink)
Past research suggests that young women perceive their same-sex friends as both facilitating the pursuit of desirable mates and competing for access to desirable mates. We propose that similar levels of physical attractiveness between young adult female friends might be one explanation for the opposing forces in their friendships. Forty-six female friendship pairs completed questionnaires about themselves, their friend, and their friendship; in addition, each woman’s picture was rated by a set of nine naive judges. Friends were similar in (...) both self-rated and other-rated level of attractiveness. Within-pair analyses revealed that women agreed on which friend was more attractive, and the less attractive members of each friendship pair (by pair consensus as well as outside judges’ ratings) perceived more mating rivalry in their friendship than did the more attractive members of each friendship pair. We offer directions for research on women’s friendships over the lifespan. (shrink)
This paper summarizes recent and ongoing experimental work regarding the reality, nature, effects, and causes of the underrepresentation of women in academic philosophy. We first present empirical data on several aspects of underrepresentation, and then consider various reasons why this gender imbalance is problematic. We then turn to the published and preliminary results of empirical work aimed at identifying factors that might explain it.
A sample of 460 low-income women completed a mate preference questionnaire and surveys that assessed family background, life history, conscientiousness, sexual motives, self-ratings (e.g., looks), and current circumstances (e.g., income). A cluster analysis revealed two groups of women: women who reported a strong preference for looks and money in a short-term mate and commitment in a long-term mate, and women who reported smaller differences across mating context. Group differences were found in reported educational levels, family background, (...) sexual development, number of children, and motives for having sex. Implications for understanding individual differences in women’s mate-preference trade-offs are discussed. (shrink)
The vast network of Drosophila geneticists spawned by Thomas Hunt Morgan's fly room in the early 20th century has justifiably received a significant amount of scholarly attention. However, most accounts of the history of Drosophila genetics focus heavily on the "boss and the boys," rather than the many other laboratory groups which also included large numbers of women. Using demographic information extracted from the Drosophila Information Service directories from 1934 to 1970, we offer a profile of the gendered division (...) of labor within Drosophila genetics in the United States during the middle decades of the 20th century. Our analysis of the gendered division of labor supports a reconsideration of laboratory practices as different forms of work. (shrink)