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thomasf

philosophy gender survey

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I have been surprised by how few girls I met in the phil. dept. as an undergrad. So I'm curious, how many girls reading this are planning on graduate study in philosophy?

Additionally, what is other people's experience of this?

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I'm female. I attended a women's college as an undergrad so that may have contributed to my interest in graduate school. Many students from my school go on to grad programs in philosophy and the majority of the philsophy professors were women. From what I have heard, my experience has been unusual thus far and I should be prepared for a diff situation in grad school (I have heard some negative things but mostly from older women). I'm ready---if only they take me! :D

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I certainly hope there's a more favorable ratio in the program I end up entering, the intellectual pissing contests that tend to occur among groups of all males with ego/security issues who don't know each other well is very trying.

Luckily I had a fairly tight group of compatriots when I was an undergrad who could discuss philosophy over many beers without worrying over the stupid things we inevitably said as a result

in vino veritas ;)

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I'm female, too. My department was pretty small, even for a small liberal arts college. My graduating class had 7 philosophy majors (4 men, 3 women), and the department had 3.5 professors (2 male profs, 1 female, and 1 male prof who split his time between the religion and philosophy departments). Personally, I'm looking forward to joining a department that actually teaches feminist theory (not a particular research interest, but a field I'd like to study).

My advisor was fantastic, and I generally liked the other professors well enough. I really clashed with the department head over both academic and non-academic issues (couldn't stand the bastard), but I think he was one of those professors who loved to be hated. Just relished in striking down any opposing views and generally making you feel like you were two inches tall. Liked to cross the line into one's personal life a bit too much, but sometimes that's what you get in a small, close-knit environment...

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wow. well either this site is a skewed sample or my theories about gender imbalance in this field are deeply flawed. on the other hand, i know someone in the BC program right now and it's heavily male. maybe it's the heidegger focus :)

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I have heard many unpleasant stories about the difficulty women face getting accepted into programs. I suspect there are many reasons why it is predominantly females that have responded so far here... I know three women in PhD programs right now, and they all felt much more anxiety about the whole thing than men that I know in similar programs. The roots of gender biases (um, not to mention the racial breakdown of philosophy programs) go really really deep, especially when you get into more analytic, logic-based programs. My background is heavy in feminist theory and I have been told by one professor at a school (someone I have been in contact with) that the three women profs on the admin committee couldn't get my application through the other members, who insisted my background in feminist and race theory made me too "narrow" for the program. Obviously these are incredibly complicated issues, and perspectives fall on all sides...... so I'll stop talking now. :)

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I'm female, and am going into a graduate program. I had a very mixed experience as an undergrad -- my professors were supportive and didn't seem to take me any less seriously because I am female, but the occasional fellow student did. Some students were just blatant about it, which made things quite uncomfortable. Also, I didn't know any other "serious" female philosophy majors -- at least in my year -- as an undergrad (I am only aware of one other female from my UG program who went on to graduate study in the last couple of years, but there may have been more). There were very few female faculty in the department where I did my UG work, so I ended up not really having a role model or mentor until the last year or so I was there.

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I'm one of about 4 women that I can think of in my 50 person department. The faculty is split 50-50, which has been great. I'll be in grad school in the fall for phil. mind & phil. science. I tend to thrive in situations that are pitted against me, though, so it hasn't been a problem thus far.

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My undergrad department is just now starting to see more female students seriously interested in philosophy, which I find really heartening. I haven't had any trouble with discrimination here, but I've been the only female in many of my upper-division courses. I have some interest in feminism (from a more analytical perspective), so I looked at a lot of departments that were strong in that area. Now here's a question - I've noticed that the vast majority of people writing in environmental ethics are female, while the vast majority of people writing in metaphysics are male. I've also noticed that there seem to be a lot more women in ethics than any other subdiscipline. Has anybody else noticed this? Do you have theories as to why?

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My department is currently about one-third female, up from around one-eighth when I started in 2003. Still, the M&E courses - both contemporary and historical - tend to be very sparsely populated by women. I had precisely the same experience as an undergraduate at a different school. As a female student interested in historical (and sometimes contemporary) metaphysics, I’ve had several absolutely wonderful female mentors, and I’ve recently had no problems with male faculty or students. In general, my solution has been to be really, really ornery and contentious, know my stuff, and shut them down. Perhaps this is not the best solution, but it seems to work pretty well...and gives me a daily source of amusement.

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I've never really paid much attention, but then most of my friends tend to be male so I don't tend to get intimidated if I'm one of only a few women :D

The first school I went to had (I think) only one female on the faculty. In my undergrad/grad mixed classes, out of fifteen students there were usually between three and six females, IIRC.

In the school I'm getting my BA from, the faculty is 2/5 female. Classes are pretty evenly distributed, between male and female, although we have very few students overall that have philosophy as their primary major. Most are history, political science or English majors that have philosophy as a second major. I know I'm the only person in my graduating class that applied to graduate school in philosophy.

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Clearly, not enough to be outraged that you said "girls" and not "women."

In my undergrad, it was about equal. During my MA, I was one of very few women. I know there are some schools that haven't accepted women in multiple years.

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