•  30
    Recognizing Social Subjects: Gender, Disability and Social Standing
    Dissertation, University of Michigan. 2019.
    Gender seems to be everywhere in the norms governing our social world: from how to be a good friend and how to walk, to children’s clothes. It is not surprising then that a difficulty in identifying someone’s gender is often a source of discomfort and even anxiety. Numerous theorists, including Judith Butler and Charlotte Witt, have noted that gender is unlike other important social differences, such as professional occupation or religious affiliation. It has a special centrality, ubiquity and i…Read more
  •  43
    Incel violence and Beauvoirian otherness
    In Liesbeth Schoonheim & Karen Vintges (eds.), Beauvoir and Politics: A Toolkit, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. pp. 31-47. 2024.
    In this chapter, Filipa Melo Lopes looks at incel violence, and argues that the two most common feminist analyses of their actions—their objectification of women or their sense of entitlement to women’s attention—are insufficient. They fail to account for incels’ distinctive ambivalence towards women, namely their oscillation between obsessive desire and violent hatred. Melo Lopes proposes instead that what incels want is a Beauvoirian ‘Other’—discussed by Beauvoir in her chapter on myths in ter…Read more
  •  781
    How to dress like a feminist: a relational ethics of non-complicity
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy. 2023.
    Feminists have always been concerned with how the clothes women wear can reinforce and reproduce gender hierarchy. However, they have strongly disagreed about what to do in response: some have suggested that the key to feminist liberation is to stop caring about how one dresses; others have replied that the solution is to give women increased choices. In this paper, we argue that neither of these dominant approaches is satisfactory and that, ultimately, they have led to an impasse that pervades …Read more
  •  4031
    Criticizing Women: Simone de Beauvoir on Complicity and Bad Faith
    In Berislav Marušić & Mark Schroeder (eds.), Analytic Existentialism, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    One of the key insights of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex is the idea that gender-based subordination is not just something done to women, but also something women do to themselves. This raises a question about ethical responsibility: if women are complicit, or actively implicated in their own oppression, are they at fault? Recent Beauvoir scholarship remains divided on this point. Here, I argue that Beauvoir did, in fact, ethically criticize many women for their complicity, as a sign of wh…Read more
  •  2542
    In recent years, online “involuntary celibate” or “incel” communities have been linked to various deadly attacks targeting women. Why do these men react to romantic rejection with not just disappointment, but murderous rage? Feminists have claimed this is because incels desire women as objects or, alternatively, because they feel entitled to women’s attention. I argue that both of these explanatory models are insufficient. They fail to account for incels’ distinctive ambivalence toward women—for…Read more
  •  2364
    ‘Half Victim, Half Accomplice’: Cat Person and Narcissism
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7 701-729. 2021.
    At the end of 2017, Kristen Roupenian’s short story, Cat Person, went viral. Published at the height of the #MeToo movement, it depicted a ‘toxic date’ and a disturbing sexual encounter between Margot, a college student, and Robert, an older man she meets at work. The story was widely viewed as a relatable denunciation of women’s powerlessness and routine victimization. In this paper, I push against this common reading. I propose an alternative feminist interpretation through the lens of Simone …Read more
  •  561
    Perpetuating the patriarchy: misogyny and (post-)feminist backlash
    Philosophical Studies 176 (9): 2517-2538. 2019.
    How are patriarchal regimes perpetuated and reproduced? Kate Manne’s recent work on misogyny aims to provide an answer to this central question. According to her, misogyny is a property of social environments where women perceived as violating patriarchal norms are ‘kept down’ through hostile reactions coming from men, other women and social structures. In this paper, I argue that Manne’s approach is problematically incomplete. I do so by examining a recent puzzling social phenomenon which I cal…Read more