A pattern in casual evaluations

Posted: June 16, 2011 by Jender in failure to take women seriously, implicit bias

This is something that happened quite a few times while I was a graduate student. I would be in a discussion with some male faculty. Some female philosopher’s name would come up. It would often be a very prominent philosopher, but not always and sometimes it was a graduate student. The faculty member would casually dismiss her work as sub-par or say that she didn’t turn out to be as good as people thought she might turn out, and sometimes a female philosopher would even be dismissed based on something not pertaining to her philosophical merits at all. Very seldom did the critical evaluation seem to concern any specific philosophical argument or position. It happened so often that it was a female whose work or person was degraded that the message became quite clear to me. It is very unfortunate that there are some female philosophers whose work I know little about except that Dr. x, or y, or z is not impressed. I am well aware of the way that peoples’ evaluations of others
are often motivated by irrelevant factors and once I realized how often female philosophers were being dismissed like this I began to resist as much as possible putting any stock into these casual evaluations.

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