Agreeing With a Woman in Public: A Cautionary Tale


Dear men,

Now that my blog is on a network that gets lots of traffic, it has the opportunity to expose you to a risk you may not have previously considered. If it occurs to you, by some strange coincidence, that I have said something reasonable, I beg you to stop and think about your next step carefully.

You see, I happen to be female. I know, that may seem obvious from the name, but a few other men apparently haven’t taken that fully into account. What have they done in their ignorance? They’ve agreed with me. And that can’t happen without consequences.

On Friday morning, Greg Laden and Scicurious blogged on the origins of the human female orgasm. Greg covered background on primate sexual and social behavior that should inform any research on the topic. Sci dug into a recent twin-study paper and looked at how well it demonstrated what it claimed (or didn’t).

On Friday afternoon, Sci sent me an email titled, “Jeezus H Christ on a breadstick what is wrong with people.” “How DO you put up with this all the time?!?!” she asked. It included a link to a comment on her post.

Laden overstates some claims, like saying, without offering any proof or even a URL, that the “byproduct” school started in part in a belief that women don’t have vaginal orgasms. (Stephanie Zvan was probably standing over his shoulder while he wrote.)

The study may or may not prove much of anything, but to link to Greg as offering a great degree of insight? Meh.

For the record, when I write about sex, I’m writing about it from a political perspective. I’m writing about things like sexual freedom and consent. And while I do occasionally write about the politics of research design or communication, I know nothing about this particular topic. That means that I’d have been horribly annoying standing over Greg’s shoulder. It’s part of his field. He was probably there when scientists started discussing it.

None of those things actually matter to this guy, of course. He doesn’t actually think I told Greg what to write on this topic. The real problem is that I disagreed with this guy, and Greg agreed with me, not him. It was a serious enough offense to “Scratch Greg Laden from the critical thinkers list“:

I used to browse him on ScienceBlogs from time to time, but, over the NASA fake exobiology story, and now, over (under the influence of his attack dog Stephanie Zvan, I believe) Julian Assange, he’s lost me … and lost “it.”

A couple days later, we find out why Greg wasn’t thinking straight:

I can only but 100 percent agree with Australian website Crikey, and against at least a certain subgroup of gender feminists such as Stephanie Zvzn (and, in her case, apparent in thrall boyfriend Greg Laden) on this issue.

Yep, now you know. Agreeing with me only happens if you’re having sex with me, which will apparently utterly destroy any free will or even outside attention you used to be able to claim. I hate to say it, but I guess I’m just that good. Odd, given how unappealingly strident (yes, really: “strident”) I am.

It must be true, however. It couldn’t be that this guy is one of those obsessive people who see conspiracy everywhere and throw temper tantrums over the multiple meanings and uses of a word. No, writing three blog posts in four days and bringing everything up again nine months later is never any indication of that sort of thing.

And really, that only begins to explain it. Some dude with a fixation wants to be upset with me? Wants to be upset with Greg? Whatever. But it doesn’t explain why Greg associating with me is an insult, or why the relationship must be a sexual one to produce that agreement. It doesn’t explain why Jason becomes female when he points out that an MRA is engaging in classic troll behavior in the comments on one of my posts. It doesn’t explain why anything Rebecca Watson did is being laid at PZ’s feet (warning: you don’t really want to have read that site) as though he were responsible for her entire life.

Nope. When a man agrees with a woman online, he’d best do it very, very carefully. You’ve been warned.

Comments

  1. says

    I’m very happy you’re on this network as it’s easier to read your stuff. I love the sci-fi shorts and agree with most of what you say – but I can because I’m female.

    Jason, as a fellow Canadian you’re already kind of a softy for the MRA faction :)

  2. says

    Seems like we must be having an affair on a regular basis, Stephanie. What on earth must your husband and my wife think?!?!!?

    Shades of whether or not it’s appropriate for men to listen to women speakers. Just don’t you dare learn anything from them!

  3. physioprof says

    It doesn’t explain why anything Rebecca Watson did is being laid at PZ’s feet (warning: you don’t really want to have read that site) as though he were responsible for her entire life.

    Good lord, that motherfucker is fucken creepy. I guess this is the type of fucken weird spooky fuckebagge that women don’t want accosting them in elevators. And what is uppe with referring to peezee as a “harlot”? Does that dude know what the fucke a “harlot” is?

  4. Juniper Shoemaker says

    You know, I am really sick and tired of the charges that you’re a “schoolmarm” or an “attack dog” hectoring both Greg Laden and his dissenters. This bullshit has been going on for several years. Do these people even read what you actually write?

    I’ve concluded that some bloggers feel the need to form cliques. This is one way they do it.

  5. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Having been called a “shrill bitch” by a very courageous anti-PC warrior for the first time a few days ago, it is my new life’s dream to be labeled an “attack dog.” (The word “vicious” would be a big bonus.) Kudos on being right too often for the creepy Menz™’s comfort.

  6. Daniel Schealler says

    So men who are feminists or allies of feminists have to put up with the same kind of faux-critical race-to-unjustified-dismissal bullshit that female feminists have been putting up with for decades?

    Good.

    We’re doing something right.

  7. julian says

    When a man agrees with a woman online, he’d best do it very, very carefully.

    He had also better do so under a non gender neutral name making his maleness explicit. Unless he wants an inbox full of helpful reminders to not be a cunt, that nobody likes dykes and to come back when he isn’t menstrual.

  8. Daniel Schealler says

    @Julian

    Oooh. That’s a good idea.

    I’m actually going to try that out sometime just to see what it’s like.

  9. says

    Just for clarification, if I agree with you while being female, does that also mean that we are having sex?

    Not that I’m totally averse to the idea in principle. I’m sure you’re lovely, but, well, see, I’m kind of committed to being monogamous with someone else.

  10. dizzlski says

    It’s not just online, but any arena where males outnumber females. I was in the Submarine community for several years, if I remember correctly there were only five women that I directly worked with. Me being an atheist and a liberal wasn’t that big a deal, people would at least debate/discuss those things with me. However agreeing with a female point of view or not laughing at sexist jokes was something that literally did not compute with most of my co-workers. Many frequently referred to all women as crazy, including their own wives and daughters.

  11. Aliasalpha says

    @Alethea H. Claw

    Just for clarification, if I agree with you while being female, does that also mean that we are having sex?

    More importantly does agreeing (regardless of ones gender) imply consent? After all if you don’t really have a choice in the matter that starts to sound illegal

  12. says

    Wow, this is, …weird.
    But, yeah, why would a man ever agree with something a woman says if not because of sex?
    I mean, it’s perfectly clear that:
    -women never have to say anything interesting, worthwhile, of substance anyway
    -and therefore men who agree with them don’t really do so but pretend so they can get laid.

    Makes complete sense
    In the menz’s paralell universe.

  13. physioprof says

    I’ve been keeping abreast of the comments on Hoggle’s blogge post you linked above, and man those fuckers are fucken skeezy.

  14. Stephanie Zvan says

    Whoo, boy. If I’m going to sleep with you all, there won’t be any time left for blogging. Or maybe that was the point…tricky.

    Juniper, I’m pretty sure that most of them have only read enough of what I’ve written to know they’ve lost an argument. To a girl.

    CPP, I told you not to go. Even as much as I’ve seen online, those guys are obsessively…unpleasant.

  15. says

    As the person who “scratched Greg,” oooooohh, I’m quivering. Let’s also add that Greg threatened to “get me banned from the Internet.” Given that Freethoughts co-founder Ed Brayton is an ardent civil libertarian, I’m sure that idea would go over really well with him.

    And, obsessive? Stephanie, meet mirror. Mirror, meet Stephanie. Troll Internet more. Look in mirror more.

    (And, I’d heard about how both of you like to play verbal games from liberal/secularist/atheist/skeptic blog friends of mine long before that post.)

    Finally, as for the #ArsenicGate reason I said “scratch Greg,” well … so far, those exobiology claims aren’t looking too good.

  16. Stephanie Zvan says

    Why would you be quivering, Gadfly? Nothing in this post was aimed at you.

    And no, it’s hardly obsessive to get an email from a friend.

    As for Arsenicgate, the argument wasn’t over whether the science was right. It was over whether Greg had “some motive for not wanting to blame NASA for the hype.” How have you done pinning that down?

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