There has been a bunch of discussion about the dearth of women in philosophy on the blogs the last few weeks. This piece at The Philosophers' Magazine appears to have started us off, followed up by the NY Times and Leiter. Regan Penaluna, writing at the Chronicle, kept us going. She argues that the problem is the lack of feminine role models in the canon, coupled with clear sexism and misogyny from canoncial dudes such as Aristotle and Rousseau. Leiter follows up here. There are a few must-read posts at Feminist Philosophers here, here, here and here.
I have two main thoughts to add. The first regards Penaluna's point that women are not attracted to philosophy because of its dominance by men and the misogyny in the canon. I see how that might explain, to some extent, the fact that we don't have many women. But I don't see how it explains the fact that we lag behind other disciplines in the humanities and sciences with which we are most continuous (I'm thinking of literature and psychology, though I realize this claim is contentious). I am more impressed by the suggestion that a large part of the problem is that we haven't made much of an effort to attract women, but off the top of my head I can't think of ways to attract women that wouldn't seem ham-fisted and condescending. I am open to suggestion.
Second, Leiter and Jender suggest that the APA ought to do a study like the one the Australian Association of Philosophy did. Leiter says, "Surely the American Philosophical Association could manage something similar."
I completely disagree. The APA obviously could never manage anything remotely like that.