Heard The One About Fascists, Socialists, And Murderers?

In Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny (W. W. Norton, New York, 2006, pp. 6-7), Amartya Sen, in the course of asserting how ‘our freedom to assert our personal identities can sometimes be extraordinarily limited in the eyes of others’, slips in the following: [S]ometimes we may not even be fully aware how othersContinue reading “Heard The One About Fascists, Socialists, And Murderers?”

Women Raping Women And The Frightening Ubiquity Of Rape

A woman I used to know told me–in the course of recounting her political journey from timid, sheltered suburban dweller to a passionate feminist and advocate for abortion rights–that she had been raped twice. On the second occasion, she had been raped by a workplace friend; she became pregnant and required an abortion.  On theContinue reading “Women Raping Women And The Frightening Ubiquity Of Rape”

Women In Philosophy And Reconceptualizing Philosophical Method

This past Monday, on 20th April, Christia Mercer, the Gustave M. Berne Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, delivered the Philosophy Department’s annual Sprague and Taylor lecture at Brooklyn College. The title of her talk was ‘How Women Changed The Course of Philosophy’. Here is the abstract: The story we tell about the development ofContinue reading “Women In Philosophy And Reconceptualizing Philosophical Method”

Praising One Partner, Dissing The Other

Sometimes, on Facebook, an innocent will post a photograph of himself and his female partner, and be greeted with a slew of admiring comments and ‘likes’. These will often be things like ‘you guys look great together’ or ‘fabulous couple!’ Sometimes there are  comments about the wife or girlfriend’s looks: ‘X is beautiful’ or ‘XContinue reading “Praising One Partner, Dissing The Other”

Robert Mundell On Why The Market Is Feminine

Robert Mundell received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1999 for his work in “monetary dynamics and optimum currency areas.” (He is currently professor of economics at Columbia University.) For as long as I can remember, I’ve owned a copy of his little primer, Man and Economics (McGraw-Hill, 1968; another edition bears the subtitle The ScienceContinue reading “Robert Mundell On Why The Market Is Feminine”

Mark Bennett Is A Sexist Tool

Over at the blog Defending People, Mark Bennett, a Houston-based criminal defense lawyer, writes a long, technical, closely argued post critiquing Danielle Citron‘s putative rebuttals of arguments–based on First Amendment concerns–against her proposals for ‘revenge porn’ laws.  Bennett titles his post ‘F**ing Danielle Citron’ and at the end signs off thusly: P.S. “F**king” is fisking.Continue reading “Mark Bennett Is A Sexist Tool”

Starting Them Early: Beauty Spas For Little Girls

Loving parents can now take their children, especially young girls,  to spas for manicures, pedicures and hairstyling. There are times, and they recur quite often, when I wonder about the wisdom of having brought a child into this world. This is one such. Our culture creates and sustains a toxic atmosphere for women from cradleContinue reading “Starting Them Early: Beauty Spas For Little Girls”

Being ‘Appearance-Challenged’ When Looks Matter

Many years ago, an uncle of mine was talking about one of my distant cousins:  about how hard it would be for her to get married, because she was, you know, kind of, how do you say it, “ugly”? He didn’t use the word, of course. He said something like “Her face is a little,Continue reading “Being ‘Appearance-Challenged’ When Looks Matter”

From Santa Barbara to Badaun: Misogyny and Masculinity

It’s been a bad week for women. They found out, in sunny California, that when they do not dispense sexual indulgences to those who seek (or demand) them, they can provoke murderous rages; they also found out, in India’s central provinces, that their bodies remain to be taken by others, used, and then finally, strungContinue reading “From Santa Barbara to Badaun: Misogyny and Masculinity”

Professional Academic Philosophy’s Blind Spots

A few years ago, I read an email–or a post on an online forum, I am not sure–written by a very accomplished senior philosopher (a logician to be precise.)  In his argument, the logician–adept at providing mathematically elegant proofs of recondite logical problems–seemed to have committed at least two logical fallacies in the first paragraphContinue reading “Professional Academic Philosophy’s Blind Spots”