In an effort to ‘feminize’ their curriculum, the philosophy faculty at Oxford University in England has dictated that 40 percent of the recommended authors on its departmental reading lists must be female. In order to make it clearer to students which authors are female, academic staff have also been instructed to use the first names of philosophers rather than their initials when compiling reading lists.
The measure is aimed at increasing the appeal of philosophy to female students, according to the Daily Mail.
Oxford is also introducing an undergraduate course on feminist philosophy, “partly because its interesting, and partly to raise the profile and status of feminist philosophy at Oxford,” said professor Edward Harcourt, who was the chairman of Oxford University’s philosophy faculty board until recently.
Harcourt said that he hoped the addition of the course would “send the message to our female students that philosophy is for you.”
Harcourt claimed that the use of philosophers’ first names on reading lists would assist in bolstering the profile of female writers.
“For example,” Harcourt said, “one of the greatest philosophers of the post-war period, Elizabeth Anscombe, published as ‘GEM Anscombe.’ If that’s what goes on the reading list, understandably students won’t know she was female.”
Breitbart writer James Delingpole took issue with Oxford’s actions.
“I keep hoping the backlash is going to start somewhere … but I don’t see much sign of it yet,” he wrote. “The twin curses of postmodernism and cultural Marxism have so corrupted academe that even the best universities now prize social justice more highly than intellectual excellence – and aren’t even embarrassed to boast about it. They actually think that gender quotas are a sign of progress.”