Sunday, October 19, 2008
Women's challenges as philosophy instructors
I am posting this as a separate thread (I hope that this does not come off as being patronizing) because I think that Becko has brought up a very important issue regarding the challenges that women face in philosophy and academia. Coming from the business world into philosophy I am well aware of the challenges faced by women in that sphere of human activity and interaction. I would think that it must be difficult to be taken seriously when historically the overwhelming majority of philosophers are men and course readings are focused on these figures. We do set the tone by what and whom we choose to teach so I am wondering how we can effectively deal with the damaging effects of gender stereotyping when I suspect that most, if not all, required readings for intro courses are from men. I am reminded of my introduction of the history of philosophy through the readings of Copleston who discussed in his introduction that philosophy as a discipline arose as a result of a slave-based economic system that allowed for the development of a leisure class. It has been argued (correctly) that this system also rested on the subjugation of women. I would be very interested in how Becko and others deal with this issue in their intro courses, as I am sure I am dealing with it inadequately.