Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Got Some Questions That I Got to Ask, and I Hope You Can Come Up With the Answers, Babe

From Eric Schwitzgebel, here's a good summation of the gender imbalance in philosophy:
At last weekend's [Society for Philosophy and Psychology], one woman told me she heard about a man there who was hoping "to get laid". She unthinkingly responded, "oh, I didn't know he was gay!"

Funny stuff. And it reminds me of story I've been meaning to tell. A friend of mine from my program had some good interviews at last year's APA. One of them got off to an awesome start with some sweet, old school-vintage sexism. My friend was let into the search committee's suite, got introduced to everybody and sat down. Usually, the first question in an interview for a research school has something to do with your dissertation or your research program or something like that. But one of the interviewers saw my friend's wedding ring and decided to go in a slightly different direction. The asshole came out the gate with, "So what would your husband think of you moving so far away for a job?"

That was the first question of the interview. The first fucking question.

Not for nothing, it's also against APA regs to ask that question. But what the fuck, right? Since the APA meets out its stern justice in the form of an asterisk beside the department's name in the JFP--the asterisk being the most terrible of all typographical marks--departments don't really have any incentive not to bust out any fucking question they want. "What reassurance can you give us that you're not going to spend all your time reading romance novels and watching "Martha Stewart Living"?" "How do you balance your work and the biological fact that you'll never be happy without babies?" "Are you going to be a total bitch when you're PMSing?" Take the asterisk like a man, and these questions are all good.

No comments: