“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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