On being in a women-only group

Posted: April 4, 2013 by jennysaul in presence of women

There are so many negative stories to be told, but here is a (somewhat?) positive one. Not too long ago I attended a meeting for women in philosophy (women only). We met to discuss various issues that women deal with in the profession and the pursuit of it, and what might be done to mitigate some of the problems that arise. I was so impressed by how supportive the environment was and how much everyone who was there really cared about making things better. It was the first time that I wasn’t met with a dismissive attitude when I mentioned things that had happened to make me (as a woman and as a person) feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. I was actually being listened to, and it was great. Having my concerns taken seriously made it easier to believe that I’m not the one who needs to change or “get over it” when faced with discrimination. Yes, things can be pretty awful sometimes, but on the other hand we can support each other, and we need to do so. I didn’t think it would make such a big impact on me to sit in a room with a group of other women for a few hours, but it did–it was the first time in a while that I felt like my voice was truly important.

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