A happy woman in philosophy

Posted: November 28, 2012 by jennysaul in Good news

I am a woman in the Philosophy department and I LOVE being apart of it. Yes, I do confront my days of feeling outspoken or not up to par with my fellow classmates (who are predominantly male); however, I attribute this to my own insecurities and misunderstandings–NOT to the men in my department. If anything they have done nothing but help and encourage me with my assignments and class participation. I have even had males offer to continue a discussion after class with me so that they could hear my ideas outside of the classroom where I don’t feel as nervous speaking my ideas. I have met with many of them and so have the other women, and they are very open to understanding what we have to say. I know I’m intelligent and I know that the men in my program recognize that; therefore, they are willing to support me and hear my ideas where I feel more comfortable discussing them. My problem in the classroom is my confidence in my ideas, and working up the courage to voice them. I would attribute this problem to myself, not those in my class or the dynamic of the classroom. I feel as though everyone in my department/class is incredibly brilliant and intelligent and I want them to be intrigued by what I say, which makes me feel pressured to deliver my ideas in a thorough and appealing way. Advice to anyone struggling in class with the males: they are very open to well-intentioned brainstorming!!! If you’re repelled by the arguing, it doesn’t mean you have to join in, you can simply ask them to further explain or re-explain. Just because there’s an argument happening doesn’t mean you have to partake in it, you can merely act as an obstacle within it. A piece of advice to those in lower level classes: If you feel as though you aren’t grasping or understanding the material, I can firmly assure you that you’re wrong–anyone can understand Philosophy! I am in my final year of Philosophy, all advanced courses, and I still get that feeling..yet I have a remarkable GPA…how so? I take the time to get a good grip on material by understanding it through outside sources, and I make an effort to form academic-relationships with my classmates and professors…teamwork makes the dream work! Push yourself and you’ll discover that just because your initial feeling is negative, that doesn’t have to set the stage for the latter. I also believe that we need more encouraging posts about women in Philosophy because we need to further support women entering the field if we would like to see a change.

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