University of Colorado to Make Philosophy Department Way Less Sexist

Illustration for article titled University of Colorado to Make Philosophy Department Way Less Sexist

Today in cartoonishly sexist news, the University of Colorado at Boulder released an outside report shedding light on how systemically hostile its philosophy department is to women hires.


As Inside Higher Ed reports, here's a list of sexist shit that U. of Colorado Philosophy has heretofore gotten away with:

  • Male professors openly ogling female undergraduate students
  • 15 formal complaints of sexual harassment in recent years, with unclear outcomes on who was punished as a result
  • Having a "smoker" party to determine key hiring decisions, an alleged extension of the Old Boys' Network
  • Constant sexual harassment at department events, especially between faculty and graduate students, and especially when alcohol was involved
  • A record number of department members working from home, in order to avoid the hostile work environment
  • An undue burden on well behaved male faculty members, since female graduate students would avoid working with faculty members known for sexual harassment and bias, and since male graduate students did not want their reputations ruined by associating with them

After releasing this report, U. of Colorado Boulder announced that they would change departmental leadership and institute mandatory training. This is likely to remedy the fact that potential women recruits are understandably hesitant to join this particular philosophy department, given its reputation for sexism and harassment, which these findings confirm.

Perhaps the "funny" part was the report's indictment of the current leadership's all talk approach to solving this problem:

The report — prepared by the American Philosophical Association's Committee on the Status of Women — details a department in which the culture seems designed to prevent change. "The department uses pseudo-philosophical analyses to avoid directly addressing the situation," the report says. "Their faculty discussions revolve around the letter rather than the spirit of proposed regulations and standards. They spend too much time articulating (or trying to articulate) the line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior instead of instilling higher expectations for professional behavior. They spend significant time debating footnotes and 'what if' scenarios instead of discussing what they want their department to look and feel like. In other words, they spend time figuring out how to get around regulations rather than focusing on how to make the department supportive of women."

Congratulations University of Colorado at Boulder Philosophy Department, you've become a parody of yourself.



Oh god, philosophy. Philosophy is one of my minors and I was the ONLY girl in the department for two whole years (outside of Intro to Philosophy). It was just as pleasant as you can imagine. There was one asshole who took JOY in antagonizing me into feminist arguments because, since he was of Greek ancestry, his opinion on philosophy was the only one that mattered. I also had one older guy as a professor who would try and hug you for waaaaaay too long.

So glad I got that four year degree, though. Today I fetched coffee for a visiting manager so those student loans are totally worth it.