Sexual “offers” in philosophy

Posted: April 10, 2013 by Jender in failure to take women seriously, objectifying women, retaliation

One of the things I find particularly problematic about being a woman in philosophy is the endless stream of “offers” female philosophers receive to hook up or become sexually or romantically involved with a male philosopher. Most of the time these “offers” are not explicit but they are nonetheless easily identifiable. They naturally make me extremely uncomfortable. But I wanted to point to a different implication. They basically leave you in a lose-lose situation. I strongly suspect that if you “accept,” then the male philosopher will never treat you with respect again (that is, he will never take whatever you have to say as a philosopher seriously). And I know from personal experience that if you reject them, then they will retaliate. On two separate occasions I found myself in a situation where a male philosopher and conference organizer was making various sexual advances at an annual conference that he was organizing–one of those by-invitation-only conferences. I had attended these conferences several consecutive years (by invitation). On both occasions I rejected the male philosopher/conference organizer rather explicitly but without being rude about it. I was never invited to those conferences again! In fact, the male philosophers in question never talked to me again.

Comments are closed.