On being viewed as a token

15 Jul

What is it like to be a woman in philosophy?

I always enjoyed philosophy. When I decided to go into a PhD program, I don’t think I was prepared for what I experienced as a woman in the department. I was the only woman in the PhD program (albeit it was a very small department). Soon, I found myself on several committees. This was very exciting for me. Throughout my college and even high school career, I had always been a part of department, joining academic clubs, attending and/or running student conferences, etc. I learned about 2 years in that the only reason I was accepted and on the committees was because I was a woman. This was really hard to digest. I constantly questioned whether I was *good* enough to get a PhD in Philosophy. Thankfully my advisor was great and he tried to go to bat for me on several occasions. But unfortunately he was the only one…

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