Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Travel fund for female grad students.

There's been a lot of discussion here lately about the dearth of women in philosophy and what the hell we can do about it. (Which discussion I will confess to having mostly sat out because I tend to just get too freaked out and pissed off when so many of the people who are supposed to be my colleagues in this discipline show themselves to be so mindbogglingly misogynistic. It's like I'd almost rather not know what the dickheads really think of me, you know?)

Well, Feminist Philosophers brings news of some of the good people at ESWIP putting their money where their mouths are. They've set up a fund to help female grad students defray some of the (sometimes prohibitively expensive) costs of attending the Eastern APA. Go. Donate if you can.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I could find nothing on the Feminist Philosophers link or the ESWIP page to suggest that this fund was specifically for *female* graduate students. Where is this restriction made explicit?

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the ESWIP page, but that was my understanding from reading the SWIP list serve. The fund was specifically created as part of a discussion to up the number of women in philosophy.

P.G.O.A.T. said...

Hmm. Good point, anon 12:26. Maybe there is no such restriction. I was just assuming there was, since it's being put spearheaded by the Society for Women in Philosophy. But I could be totally wrong.

The ESWIP page says that "[p]rocedures for fielding applications and distributing the funds are to be determined," so maybe they haven't yet decided whether boys are going to be eligible for the funds.

Any thoughts, folks, about whether this should be a general fund for any broke grad student, or whether what's needed more urgently is a fund specifically for women (and, presumably, other underrepresented minorities)?

Anonymous said...

First of all: if ESWIP want to reserve the money for female grads, that's their call and I won't object. It's a free market, and people should be able to do what they want with their money.

My spontaneous response to the general question, however, is to look at this from a means perspective. Are there any people out there who find it more difficult to defray their expenses than others? Perhaps people from lesser-ranked depts with small conference budgets. Perhaps people from Alaska and Hawaii who have to shell out a whole lot more. At my alma mater, a venerable Continental medieval university, male, God-fearing theology students were disproportionately eligible for all the scholarships that 19th century benefactors had bestowed, whereas female, atheist molecular genetics students got much less. Perhaps there are similar imbalances in terms of people's access to sources of funding to go to conferences. Perhaps there are such imbalances on the PhD funding level, so some people would get less funding in general and have to take loans or work on the side. I don't know the exact situation in the US, but the upshot is that I would mainly tend to benefit women if it could be shown that it was disproportionately more difficult for women to fund going to the Eastern APA. There can be other reasons, such as that better funding might inspire more women to go to EAPA, but that might only come in play if the lack of funding actually stopped people from going to the EAPA even though they had interviews. Since I'm not in the US, I genuinely do not know whether that's the case.

( o Y o ) said...

Hurray for boobies!

Anonymous said...

Vote for me because I am a woman! Errr....I mean give money to me because I am a woman!!

Anonymous said...

I can think of at least one reason why this might be helpful for women in grad programs - There have been three times in the last few years that I have attended conferences with other members of my department. In each case, all of those attending were male students and faculty (of course, because my program is predominantly male). So I've never been able to share hotel costs with someone (unless I wanted the unsavory option of sharing a hotel room with a male colleague). It has always cost me more to go to these things