A few thoughts on avoiding avoidance

Feminist Philosophers

“Ostriches. All of them.”

This was the explanation offered by an irritated colleague at another university last week, after complaining bitterly about collective departmental avoidance in response to the offenses of a male philosopher whose office is across the hall from his.

I have had more than one ostrich-like urge to bury my head in the past few weeks. And I think I’ve even succumbed to a few such urges. (Who wouldn’t rather go out for a run, or read that tempting new book on quantum gravity, instead of thinking about the problem of sexual misconduct in philosophy?)

So I get it. I understand why the philosopher’s colleagues are practicing the art of avoidance.

But I’ve also been irked by ostrich-y behavior, and have mentored others who have been deeply wounded by silence—so I understand and share the philosopher’s irritation, and am renewing my efforts to avoid avoidance.

For those who…

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