Episode 16. Samantha Brennan on Microinequalities

[UPDATED] In the West, women and men share equal status under the law. But in countless practical ways, women experience inequality on a daily basis. Why is it that a woman can lead a country, yet women are slower to be served in coffee shops? Today on Public Ethics Radio, we dive into the structure of women’s inequality with Prof. Samantha Brennan.

Samantha Brennan is a professor of philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. For an example of her work on women and inequality, see her “Feminist Ethics and Everyday Inequalities,” Hypatia 24, no. 1 (2009).

Click here to download the episode (30:45, 22.2 mb, MP3), or click on the online media player below. You can also download the transcript.

* Correction: A commenter rightly pointed out that in the original version of the audio introduction, I grossly mischaractertized the precedent set by Hillary Clinton’s appointment as secretary of state. I regret the error. —MP


Brennan mentions the work of Mary Rowe of MIT, where she is a professor and ombudsperson.

The story of Claudia Card’s experience at the Harvard library is discussed in Brennan’s Hypatia paper linked above, and was discussed by Card herself in her book The Atrocity Paradigm: A Theory of Evil (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).

Iris Young talks about oppression versus inequality in her essay “Five Faces of Oppression” in the book Justice and the Politics of Difference (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990).

For an example of the problems facing women in academic philosophy, see Sally Haslinger’s “Changing the Ideology and Culture of Philosophy.” Louise Antony‘s paper on the same subject does not appear to be online, but she gave a presentation titled “Different Voices or Perfect Storm? Explaining the Dearth of Women in Philosophy” at a 2010 conference.

The Walzer Christian refers to is, of course, Michael Walzer, and his concept of spheres of justice are described at length in his eponymous book: Spheres of Justice: A Defense of Pluralism and Equality (New York: Basic Books, 1984).

Finally, the author of the book advising women to educate up and marry down is Rhona Mahoney, and her book is Kidding Ourselves: Breadwinning, Babies, and Bargaining Power (New York: Basic Books, 1996).


Filed under Episodes

7 responses to “Episode 16. Samantha Brennan on Microinequalities

  1. Pingback: Samantha Brennan on Microinequalities « Feminist Philosophers

  2. Hilary Clinton was the third female Secretary of State in the U.S. (Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice preceded her).

  3. Thank you for this wonderful interview. It was very interesting. I was reading the transcript alongside and I found an error that changes the meaning of the discussion, so I wanted to let y’all know. It’s on page 5, and it’s the next to last paragraph of the 4th time Samantha Brennan talks. The transcript reads, “One of the examples I’ve talked about is Claudia Card talking about when she was an undergraduate, being allowed to use the Harvard library.” When she said “…an undergraduate, not being allowed…”

  4. Pingback: Critical stakes « RAIL

  5. Pingback: Radio: Samantha Brennan on Microinequalities « Feminist Philosophers

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