"Representational and Attitudinal Sexual Objectification: Philosophical Insights from James Tiptree, Jr.'s 'And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill's Side.'"
Michael Rea (Philosophy)
Friday, February 21 | 12:00-1:15pm
339 O’Shaughnessy Hall
Michael Rea is Rev. John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame. He is also a Professorial Fellow at the Logos Institute for Analytic & Exegetical Theology at the University of St. Andrews. “James Tiptree, Jr.” is a pseudonym of Alice B. Sheldon, U.S. Air Force intelligence officer, CIA analyst, experimental psychologist, and one of the most important and highly acclaimed science fiction writers of the twentieth century. Sheldon’s work as Tiptree (both fiction and non-fiction) deals with a variety of important feminist concerns—among them, sexism, misogyny, objectification, sexual assault, the “otherness” of women, and silencing. This paper explores in a philosophical mode some of the important insights about objectification conveyed in one of Tiptree’s most well-known stories, “And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill’s Side.” These insights lead naturally to a characterization of sexual objectification that both avoids problems with standard philosophical characterizations and also sheds important light on the relationship between objectification and silencing.