A must-read

They’ve added a great new blogger at Talking Philosophy, Claire Creffield. Alert readers will figure out quite quickly that she is a woman, a type which is generally in short supply there. She’s a dazzling writer, with interesting thoughts.

She is wasted on some of the he-man commenters there, like Michael Reidy.

The question is: What is it like to be woman? Is there a what it is like’ness to the consciousness of a woman? This is a deep question. Is there such a thing as female qualia? Is there inversion in the moral spectrum so to speak? These are bold speculations which led philosophers and others to perhaps consider whether women were ready for the onerous task of voting and the grave responsibility that property brings in its train. You can’t be too careful to whom you allow free speech.

Hawhaw; by jove old chap; pass the cigars.

I’m not allowed to comment there but you are; make her feel less amid the alien corn, if you have a moment and feel like it.


  1. Rodney Nelson says

    You can’t be too careful to whom you allow free speech.

    If that’s a joke it isn’t funny. If it’s not a joke, then it’s said by an open misogynist. So which are you, Reidy, a lame jokester or a sexist? Or are you both?

  2. KatenRala says

    That comment made my stomach churn.

    It seems an inescapable aspect of at least the western societies I’m familiar with that people wonder if another’s type of brain, mind, consciousness, whatever, is as good and as competent as their own; and if they are in any sort of privileged group, they then wonder if they should “allow” other types of minds, some not even a different type of mind, just one subject to a different developmental environment, the same rights and responsibilities as themselves.

    That man, Michael, is either trying to bully Claire Creffield, or is sincere, and in such cases I still don’t know if the honest bigot or insincere harasser is worse. I think they both have at least the same impacts on their targets individually and as a group.

    Neurotypical allistics constantly question if autistic people like myself are even human enough in our heads to even be allowed to enjoy allistic rights and privileges and even exist. I don’t want to center this comment on autism and I will not discuss my experiences in this thread so as not to derail it, it’s just that Michael’s comment cuts close to my personal experiences in life even though I’m male, though my gender isn’t man, and the experiences of autistic people overall; male and female; man, woman, or other.

  3. says

    ^ Nelson party, up in here. 🙂

    Popped in to point out that, ironically enough, there’s already a website which answers the Nagelism which Mr. Reidy co-opted. It’s a great site. At least from my POV, this post resonated:

    “After a job interview talk at my philosophy department, ca. late 80s, a the female candidate was barraged with aggressive questions from the mostly male faculty. The aggressive macho adrenaline-fueled pack mentality was notably different than anything I’d seen by the same professors in other circumstances. It was as if they had planned to humiliate her. The candidate was visibly shaken by the tone; my memory recalls her almost in tears. Of course this was taken as a sign of poor philosophical ability on her part by the profs, and she was not hired. (This woman was already well-known and respected in the field.) I later heard one professor boast how they had “reduced her argument to shit!” with a shit-eaten grin on his face. This comment and his glee made a lasting impression on me, and was one of the key factors for me, as a male, opting out of philosophy and academia. He was prominent in the field. I wanted no part in a field based on intellectual sadism.”

  4. briane says

    Jon, because she’s uppity, whiny, ball breaking, divisive. In short, she won’t shut up and make some scones with jam and a nice cuppa, all while soothing male egos as is her station.

  5. Matt Penfold says

    And also because she will insist on asking questions that some at the site do not want to answer.

  6. says

    Well that’s a flattering version. A less flattering version is that I’m way too irritable and bad-tempered. A downright insulting version is that I’m a bully, which I don’t fully subscribe to.

    The irony (or not) is that it was yet another one of those sexist trigger-words that was the cause. I was arguing with this guy who kept trying to condescend to me, and he called something I said “schoolmarmish” – which is one of those “throws like a girl” items that make the red haze descend. I said “fuck it, I’m off.”

    Not philosophical.

    It was 3 years ago.

  7. Ant Allan says

    @ Ophelia

    You mean… you’re not flawless? IRL, my wife and kids reckon I’m arrogant and irritable, even when I think I’m being perfectly calm and matter of fact… Hey-ho.


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