This happened recently at a major philosophy conference. I (a female grad student) was standing in a long line and struck up a conversation with two philosophy grad students, both male. The three of us didn’t know each other prior to this meeting. We exchanged info about our departmental homes, our dissertation topics and the such. We then proceeded to discuss some philosophical issues, issues I’m well familiar with since it is my AOS. As soon as “ideas” came on the scene, those nice, smiling guys decided that I should be bluntly ignored. For all I know, I might have turned literally invisible. Some ten minutes later, deep in conversation with each other, those two simply turned their backs to me. I figured out their “game” early on during our ideas conversation and decided to turn up the volume of my questions. Funny thing is, they took up all of my questions and went on to discuss them, but without acknowledging my presence whatsoever.
I started my degree in philosophy but left the field because I found it intensely alienating
my experience with philosophy dudes is that they are incredibly sexist
sometimes overtly — but almost always in the sense of being completely focused on men’s thoughts and experiences
philosophers who have something to say about gender (or indeed any other axis of oppression) are excluded from discussions of “real” philosophy — even if their speech and writing style is fully within the philosophical tradition. simone de beauvoir is not taught but sartre and freud are, you know? bentham but not woolstonecraft, peter singer but not carol adams, john rawls but not catharine mackinnon. not that I’m necessarily fans of these women but they are influential.
if said philosophy dudes are heterosexual, they tend to be really creepy to women and intellectualise/romanticise it
like, one time I knew this philosophy student who cheated on his girlfriend with her best friend
and when she asked “why did you do that?” he gave her a nietzsche book to read
and she read it and told him she still didn’t understand and he told her to read it again.
I think a lot of the people who would be interested in philosophy but are actually politically engaged (instead of just vaguely progressive but inactive) end up studying theory in other fields like political science or sociology or even literature (a very female dominated field). oh well, philosophy, you didn’t know how good you coulda had it