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05/11/2023

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woman grad student

Thanks Daisy for writing this, and I’m so sorry you were targeted in this horrible way.

It is apparently still necessary to remind people that women philosophers exist. I recently had an exchange with a male philosopher friend, where he claimed that the comment section on one of the other big philosophy blogs gave a representative view of what philosophers think about some issue. I pointed out that those comment sections are 99% male and that women philosophers have basically completely abandoned them. He hadn’t even noticed.

Chris

Yikes! this is terrible. I am sorry that you've been treated this way. Another reason I'm not on twitter. Sigh.

Bill Vanderburgh

I watched this unfold and was deeply saddened. The silver lining in all this is that the vast majority of dudebros flinging their vitriol were from outside the profession, even though they were trying to police the use of the term "philosopher".

But there were a few philosophy professors, and a few more philosophy grad students, who said things like, "I'd never call myself a philosopher." That attitude is, to use a technical term, nuts. A professor of physics is a physicist; we don't reserve the term only for those who approach Einstein and Newton in their brilliance. "Philosopher" is probably a cluster concept so there are several ways to be one, but at the very least someone whose profession is teaching and researching philosophy is a philosopher. Sticking to the honorific meaning of the term only serves to reinforce backwards attitudes.

I had the impression, though no direct proof, that many of the negative comments came from bots and trolls, too. There is certainly a vocal and active part of Twitter that is trying to impose ignorant misogynistic attitudes. The "manosphere" is a real thing and we need to continue to fight it. We are winning, though it does not always feel like it.

I have been lucky throughout my career to have been taught and mentored and befriended by many women in our profession. I am grateful to them all for continuing to make our profession better despite the misogyny and disrespect they encounter.

Nonbinary PhD Student

Thank you so much for sharing Daisy. Just to echo woman grad student above, if anyone thinks comments on *those* other blogs are representative of philosophy as a whole... please know that the vast majority of queer, women, nonbinary, trans, and BIPOC philosophers that I know purposefully abstain from engaging in conversations in those spaces because they have proven time and time again to be unfruitful at best. To put it mildly.

Mark

Ugh! Sorry you were subjected to that. Awful. Stay strong! Congrats on the job!

V. Alan White

What an utter horror. But is shows that many people who think themselves philosophers--and may be hired as such--are also just plain assholes. My deepest sympathy to you but with cheers for a great career.

J. Hawn

Dear Dr Dixion first of all congratulations on your posting at Cardiff it is clearly well deserved. Secondly thank you for sharing this story and contextualizing it so well. It is terrifying and horrifying in equal measure that people would seek to publically belittle and insult you in the service of their toxic worldview. I am gladen to hear so many people were supportive. Speaking as someone who is cis white male but fully owes his current position to the mentorship of fantastic female scholars. I think your conclusion is spot on and in the long run you will inspire a generation of students of all genders to have a deep love of philosophy and thrive in the field. Most importantly of all though many of them will be people who don't look like Hume but people who do indeed look a bit like you. Do keep up the good work.

soitgoes

"It’s actually a miracle that oppressed groups have achieved such dazzling excellence...."

That dazzling excellence--to do what cannot be done--is something I think of often. It reminds me that alongside the suffering, there has also always been beauty, joy, movement toward self-actualization....

I didn't have a lot of women guides along the way in philosophy and though I am now far enough along to have earned tenured, there are still empty spaces in my own philosophical landscape where the contributions of women should live. So I thank you for including references in this piece.

Congratulations on the job!

Kino

Congratulations, Daisy! I followed you when I was on Twitter but I have since gotten off it and so didn't see the news. Thanks for writing this out! It doesn't surprise me one bit but I'm sure there are people who haven't appreciated the full extent of the problem who have benefited from reading your account.

I also want to echo what "woman grad student" said-- I used to check that site very often but have since gotten off of it because of the misogyny. Many sensible people around me also did. The thought that someone would take that comment section as representative is deeply saddening. I'm glad you told him otherwise.

I also completely agree with Bill that not letting academic philosophers to call ourselves philosophers is just the bizarrest thing.

Grad Student

Yet another reason why we should all simply delete our Twitter accounts or at least refrain from creating new content and fueling this terrible platform. In general, humans are not good people and social media brings this to the extreme. Before social media, we were much more tuned in who are the people we want within our social circles. The facts are that Twitter is literally open to anybody and the world always contains a certain non-negligible amount of scumbags. The fact that the academic community in general had your back is a very happy one and shows that this is not representative of the philosophical community. Let's celebrate that and acknowledge that we philosophers can't change other communities too much, or at least won't change them via Twitter. It's a lost cause. Congrats on the job!

Quill Kukla

I have a relatively thick skin but I never ever engage on Daily Nous because I have learned that I will be severely hurt and sickened by the toxicity.

"Philosopher" is a fucking job description (as well as a decriptor of someone engaged in an activity) and bullshit romanticization of the term harms all of us.

As I told you at the time, I'm enraged and and depressed that this happened. I'm so sorry.

Miss Marple

I don't have much to add to what has already been said, except to say that I am so sorry to hear this happened to you, Daisy. F---ing incredible.

If there is a silver lining, it is that people in academia (including philosophers) have supported you. I would start to get extremely discouraged if it was philosophers were the ones spewing hate at you on Twitter. I hope the support you are getting means our profession is starting to be a place where all are welcome.

Good luck in your job at Cardiff!

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