EMILY C. R. TILTON
I'm a philosophy Ph.D. student at the University of British Columbia. I have broad interests in feminist philosophy, though I am especially interested in feminist epistemology and sexual ethics. I'm currently focusing on potential tensions between some accounts of the social situatedness of knowledge and work which suggests that the ignorance of the socially dominant is actively cultivated, rather than a mere passive occurrence.
In my spare time, I like to spend time with my friends, partner, and cats. I'm also often at the thrift store looking for new weird objects to decorate my apartment with.
If you would like to contact me, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not What I Agreed To: Content and Consent. Ethics (2021). (Co-authored with Jonathan Ichikawa).
Deception sometimes results in nonconsensual sex. A recent body of literature diagnoses such violations as invalidating consent: the agreement is not morally transformative, which is why the sexual contact is a rights violation. We pursue a different explanation for the wrongs in question: there is valid consent, but it is not consent to the sex act that happened. Semantic conventions play a key role in distinguishing deceptions that result in nonconsensual sex (like stealth condom removal) from those that don’t (like white lies). Our framework is also applicable to more controversial cases, like those implicated in so-called “gender fraud” complaints.
Works in (Various Stages of) Progress:
[Title redacted for anonymous review]
There is an undeniable cultural tendency to unjustly dismiss (many) women’s rape allegations. One popular explanation for this tendency is that people think that rape is not that bad. I reject this explanation--it is incompatible with the deadly seriousness with which allegations that black men have raped white women are met. Instead, I argue that rape myths function to distort the epistemic resources people bring to bear on rape allegations. These myths disrupt people’s abilities to accurately recognize most rapes. So, rape allegations are unjustly dismissed because people (incorrectly) judge that there was no rape. Catastrophizing myths play a central role in this story. Centering this category of myths helps to explain why reactions to rape allegations vary along racial lines, and also why rape culture persists in the face of widespread disavowal of rape. Draft available on request.
Standpoint Theory and Active Ignorance
Many standpoint theorists have implicitly committed themselves to the strong epistemic disadvantage thesis. This thesis amounts to the claim that there are strong, substantive limitations on what the socially dominant can know about oppression that they do not personally experience. There are several problems with this thesis: it is at odds with work that argues that the ignorance of the socially dominant is actively cultivated; it has unsavory political implications; and, fortunately, it is implausible. However, I demonstrate that avoiding this thesis is difficult for standpoint theorists. To avoid it, standpoint theorists must allow that the socially dominant can achieve marginalized standpoints. So, they must grant that men can achieve a feminist standpoint, that white women (and men) can achieve a black feminist standpoint, and so on. Draft available on request.
Pretty Women: Gender Conformity and Aesthetic Achievement
Standard feminist analysis suggests that women face a hard choice: they can either satisfy feminine appearance norms and contribute to women's oppression, or they can refuse to conform and pay the high personal costs. One way to respond to this is to argue that there are other forms of resistance available to women, and so feminist resistance is compatible with the satisfaction of feminine appearance norms. I take a different tack. I identify a form of resistance that is enabled through the satisfaction of feminine appearance norms. I argue that this form of resistance is valuable in part because the satisfaction of feminine appearance norms constitutes a genuine and valuable aesthetic achievement. Thus, we should be on the lookout for forms of resistance compatible with preserving (some of) these norms.
There is a reason I publish as 'Emily C. R. Tilton' and not just 'Emily Tilton'. There is another Emily Tilton who publishes erotic novels. If you google my name, many of her books come up. This disambiguation section serves to emphasize that I did not write these books.
Given my interest in (feminist) sexual ethics, I think this coincidence is extremely funny. My favorite plotline is from her book Bought and Trained: women sign up for a concubine training program and (consensually) have their memory of consenting to this program erased. You can read the blurb for this book here. I have not actually read this book and so cannot recommend more than the blurb. I recognize that this particular storyline puts some pressure on my insistence that I did not write this book--the plotline reads like a philosopher's thought experiment. This is part of why I am so amused by this coincidence.