Stylist Magazine’s Woman of the Week Katherine Jegede is helping raise the visibility of women in philosophy
Jegede emphasises that philosophy is simply a way of thinking about the world, and points to women such as gun control activist Emma Gonzalez and Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza as examples of people who are calling for social change. This, she says, is a profoundly philosophical endeavour.
“If we think about philosophy as ideas that can shape the human experience in a significant way, rather than just looking at it as part of the Western canon, then we will encourage more people from a variety of backgrounds to come forth,” she says.
“I believe that there are many people from a variety of backgrounds who have wonderful ideas that can make life more meaningful, or important, or safe… But they need to feel that they are going to be heard and that their ideas are going to be taken seriously, and implemented in an intelligent and practical way.”
Before writing her book, Jegede worked as a science television presenter for the BBC and Channel 4 and for institutions including the World Health Organisation. She says her professional background gave her confidence when it came to trying to get her book published, and she hopes to instil some of that assurance in other women who might not have similar opportunities.
“I’m not diminishing my own talent. I think it’s important that if you do something, you say ‘yeah, I can do this well,’” she says. “But somebody who hasn’t had exposure to some of the experiences that I’ve had may feel that they’re not going to be able to have their voices heard.
“And so if I’m in a position to break down some of those barriers, then I’m going to use that opportunity.”
Applications for The Thinking Women’s Writing Award close at 11pm on Friday 26 October. Find out more here.
Originally published at www.stylist.co.uk on October 1, 2018.