Tufts philosophy professor talks about women’s self-objectification

Nancy Bauer, a professor of philosophy at Tufts University, discusses self-objectification by women at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21, in the Keck Classroom (G52), Pettengill Hall, 4 Andrews Road (Alumni Walk).

The event is open to the public at no charge. For more information, please call 207-786-8204. The talk is sponsored by the Bates anthropology, philosophy, psychology, rhetoric and sociology departments, as well as the Division of Humanities and the women and gender studies program.

Titled The Allure of Self-Objectification, Bauer’s talk will explore a contradiction among contemporary young women: a commitment to professional success as “alpha girls” that seems distinctly at odds with their regressive position in the current “hook-up culture.”

She suggests that the temptation to objectify oneself is fundamental to human experience.

To find understanding within this incongruity, Bauer looks to Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, a classic work of feminist literature that examines the treatment of women through history. Beauvoir shows us why feminist thinkers must take seriously ordinary women’s understanding of their own experience — but at the same time, she suggests that the temptation to objectify oneself is fundamental to human experience.

Bauer received her doctorate in philosophy from Harvard University. Author of several books and articles, she recently published a piece on feminism and Lady Gaga in The New York Times’ online feature The Opinionator.

Bauer is an associate professor in and chair of the philosophy department at Tufts. Her areas of study include feminism, existentialism and phenomenology, philosophy of ordinary language, and philosophy and film.

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