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Women and the Ethos of Philosophy: Shedding Light on Mentoring and Competition


Poltera, J, Women and the Ethos of Philosophy: Shedding Light on Mentoring and Competition, Hypatia-A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, 26, (2) pp. 419-428. ISSN 0887-5367 (2011) [Letter or Note in Journal]

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The ethos of philosophy is notoriously hostile to women. Highly skilled female thinkers leak out at all stages of the pipeline, and philosophy remains one of the most male-dominated disciplines in the humanities. I have two main aims here. First, I explain why we should not take for granted that senior women will be supportive mentors to junior women and thereby plug leaks in the pipeline. More importantly, we should not inadvertently place the onus on them to do so. Second, I argue that we need to consider the possibility that some women contribute to the hostile ethos. Women are as susceptible as men to employing gender schemas. It is a mistake to presuppose that women philosophers are somehow immune from discriminating against other women, competing with them, and deterring them from entering the field. These facets of the problem form a relatively small but significant contribution to the hostile ethos that we need to acknowledge in our efforts to attract and retain women. Accepting this claim does not detract from the seriousness of longstanding gender discrimination against women, or from a widespread lack of recognition by men of women's needs and accomplishments in philosophy.

Item Details

Item Type:Letter or Note in Journal
Keywords:women, ethos, philosphy
Research Division:Studies in Human Society
Research Group:Other Studies in Human Society
Research Field:Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Cultural Understanding
Objective Group:Other Cultural Understanding
Objective Field:Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Poltera, J (Dr Jacqui Poltera)
ID Code:119381
Year Published:2011
Deposited By:Humanities
Deposited On:2017-07-31
Last Modified:2017-07-31

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