Wanting a field with better politics

Posted: November 1, 2010 by Jender in Do try this at home!

I am a white male philosophy student who recently finished undergrad. During a period of intense anti-racist organizing no my campus, I was becoming increasingly disillusioned with my field and my supposed “peers” – mostly white hipster philosophers. After one particularly infuriating discussion with these peers, I told a good female philosophy student friend of mine (who was present at the discussion and in fact spoke up more than I did) that I felt I could no longer continue in philosophy and wanted to find a field with better politics, with better students. We talked for several hours and by the end of the night this friend had not only reinvigorated my belief in and passion for philosophy, but we also came up with a plan to start a student group that explicitly linked philosophy and anti-oppression politics.

I suppose the point of this story is just that women are and always have been valuable members of the philosophical community. The issue is that it’s the job of male feminists to help them feel more valued and not overlook their contributions. (Not to imply that a woman’s sense of self-worth depends on what men think of her, but at the least we could do our part not to isolate and alienate women.)

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