Atheists Talk: Melody Hensley on the Women in Secularism Conference »« Penguins!

Please Make Up Your Mind

Am I:

  1. A delicate flower, in need of protection from any hint of flirtatious behavior from any male in the skeptical and atheist movements, because I insist I’m here to get some work done; or
  2. A raging force of destruction whose criticisms have the power to destroy reputations and halt forward progress on “serious issues”?

Additionally, am I:

  1. A lousy “freethinker” because nothing I say is actually the result of a process of thought, being instead merely behavior conforming to a group; or
  2. A schemer who concocts elaborate stories outs of bits and pieces of the meaningless behavior of other in order to create controversy where none existed and drum up page views?

I mean, I’m happy to consider feedback, but y’all are gonna have to pick and choose here. How else am I supposed to know how to be maximally pleasant for all concerned?

Comments

  1. Rrr says

    Obviously, you are Kali AND Freya. Also, a sound skeptic, as far as I can see. (Not that far; sorry)

  2. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Stephanie, you’re all those things. Or any one of them on a particular day. Why? Because you have a vagina. And vagina-owners can never be right.

  3. Freemage says

    And now I have this mental image of a storm of delicate, razor-edged flowers, devastating the landscape in a maelstrom of blood, at the behest of a puppeteer who is controlled by her own strings.

    Damn, that’d make a cool metal album cover.

  4. MikeMa says

    Sorry you have been forced to make such a narrow set of choices. Human definitions are typically much broader. Keep kicking.

  5. Rrr says

    Actually, while my Internet is still working, may I take this opportunity to nominate MR DJ Groethe for the next Templeton bribee recipient. Thank you. Thank you, I said.

  6. Brownian says

    Everyone decide what the consensus is and then send me a memo so I can echo it.

    It’s too bad we have to talk about these kinds of things rather than how bigfoot doesn’t exist. I was at TAM once. You never saw so many skeptical freethinkers all come to the exact same conclusions independently.

    Except that one woman—the dowser. I think we gave her an award for disagreeing with the crowd on the existence of her psychic abilities; disagreement with the group being the hallmark of skepticism and freethought.

  7. Brownian says

    Actually, while my Internet is still working, may I take this opportunity to nominate MR DJ Groethe for the next Templeton bribee recipient.

    Lord Monckton can take over as the head of the JREF. I like how he doesn’t simply accept the groupthink of the echo chamber that calls itself climate scientists. Very freethinking and skeptical.

    Hell, he doesn’t even kowtow to the Echo Chamber of Lords’ view on who is a member of the Echo Chamber of Lords.

  8. Brownian says

    This is beautiful. <3

    Admit it, JT. Ed Brayton ordered you to write that to prop up page hits.

  9. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    everything bad that ever happens to or around you is ALL YOUR FAULT.

    Yep. Because vagina.

  10. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Re my 13 – Natalie, I should know better than to equate woman with genitalia conceptually after having read you. I’ll work on that.

  11. Karen says

    CC me on the memo that Brownian is receiving. My vagina and I need to know and I am so confused!

  12. D. C. Sessions says

    Bah. Choosing is for lesser beings, Stephanie. On the other hand, if you really must make a decision, I suggest this timeless wisdom

    Then again, it’s pretty sure that as soon as a consensus appears I’ll reflexively oppose it. Just because that’s my nature.

  13. Brownian says

    CC me on the memo that Brownian is receiving. My vagina and I need to know and I am so confused!

    I’ve a penis, so I can fill you in a bit:

    Agreement on political belief=brainwashing
    Agreement on religious belief=indoctrination
    Agreement on issues of racism=groupthink
    Agreement on issues of sexism=echo chamber
    Agreement that Sylvia Browne is the worst thing to happen ever=the result of 100% absolutely independent thought processes
    Agreement that those that disagree with you on issues of sexism is echo chamberism=Carl Sagan comes back from the grave and bows to you

    Then again, it’s pretty sure that as soon as a consensus appears I’ll reflexively oppose it. Just because that’s my nature.

    That’s gotta suck for you. I’m pretty sure everyone here agrees you shouldn’t, for instance, inhale hydrogen sulfide.

  14. says

    Josh, @16 – Thanks. I wasn’t going to say anything, since I’ve been a bit exhausted lately, but it’s fucking awesome that you caught it yourself. Cheers!

  15. says

    (also…as a general thing, I think for most of us who do advocacy work, seeing people learn to catch and check their own privilege and stuff is one of the most heartening and encouraging things in the world… so on that level, seriously, thank you)

  16. F says

    So, “No”, isn’t a possible answer to either positioning statement on both questions? Then I expect that I fail and default to “No” wrt the title request. I haz a sad.

    So close to diamonds that even I can’t tell the difference. Brilliant, witty, and just a bit snarky diamonds, like grandma used to make.

  17. says

    Isn’t there a Billy Joel song about this?

    I was reading your blog before the FtB move, Stephanie, but the recent kerfuffles have popped you up into the top tier of blogs I follow. Whatever you turn out to be, keep up the great work.

  18. Angela says

    No, no, no: us women are the ones who need to make up our minds! We’re so flighty and changeable. But then again, that is our prerogative.

  19. says

    Yes, us women are flighty and malleable because we need to able to adapt. Because we evolved to select mates from a pool of competitors, so our fickle nature is just to adapt our lives to the ideal male mate we select. Men are consistent so that they can present a strong image in the competition for our affection. Because evolution. IT’S SCIENCE.

    *chokes on own vomit*

  20. Alukonis, metal ninja says

    our fickle nature is just to adapt our lives to the ideal male mate we select

    There was a Star Trek TNG episode like that.

    It was weeeeeeird.

    Can’t fault her for falling for ol’ Picard though. He is a bald dreamboat!

    Wait what were we talking about? How Stephanie should keep blogging because she’s awesome, right? Right?

  21. says

    “This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.
    Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!”

    Words for all of us to live up to.
    Keep up the good fight.

  22. Bruce Gorton says

    Crud, now I have a mutation of Conan the Barbarian running through my head. It is maybe a bit over the top but, if I had to describe who you are…

    Steph Zvan the analyst
    Steph Zvan, a blogger without fear
    Fighting idoicy and sexism
    Misogyny in atheism
    Standing for skepticism
    Honesty and heroism
    Can’t be silenced with a sneer
    Steph Zvan

    After the accomadationist wars in which atheists refused to stop making arguments that might in some way alienate religious “allies” a new war began in which atheists were expected to stop making arguments that might in some way alienate woman hating jerk “allies”. Steph is one amongst many noting a bit of repitition going on, while dealing with various other skeptical issues.

  23. fastlane says

    1 A lousy “freethinker” because nothing I say is actually the result of a process of thought, being instead merely behavior coming from overpowering hormones because you’re female. (i.e. you don’t think, you feel)

    Fixed that for ya. No charge. ;-)

    I think I like Natalie’s snark better, though.

  24. Wodan, id est furor says

    A lousy “freethinker” because nothing I say is actually the result of a process of thought, being instead merely behavior conforming to a group

    This is reasonably accurate.

    Lord Monckton can take over as the head of the JREF. I like how he doesn’t simply accept the groupthink of the echo chamber that calls itself climate scientists. Very freethinking and skeptical.

    Not even remotely comparable.

    Scientific near-consensus on climate change was fairly slow to emerge and had to face a lot of rigorous testing.

    Notwithstanding considerable imperfections in the peer review process, dissent was not typically shut out or shouted down simply because it was found disagreeable.

    Disagreement over the issues was not generally facilitated with name calling, vitriol, and stereotyping.

    Etc.

    Bad analogy.

    (also…as a general thing, I think for most of us who do advocacy work, seeing people learn to catch and check their own privilege and stuff

    Yes, us women are flighty and malleable because we need to able to adapt. Because we evolved to select mates from a pool of competitors, so our fickle nature is just to adapt our lives to the ideal male mate we select. Men are consistent so that they can present a strong image in the competition for our affection. Because evolution. IT’S SCIENCE.

    *chokes on own vomit*

    Able to recognize the utter lack of scientific rigor that is EP.

    Unable to recognize the utter lack of scientific rigor that is critical/pomo theory.

    Curious.

    Incidentally, why have standpoint theoretical views (i.e. argumenta ad hominem) become acceptable in skepticism? Last time personal traits were considered epistemically relevant before the Academic Left came along is now widely considered a failure…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutsche_Physik

  25. says

    Funny, morphing troll, at least when I have my basic mistakes pointed out to me, I don’t repeat them verbatim. Also, deal in specifics if you have a criticism to make. Or are you not able to understand that criticizing an entire theoretical framework instead of the insights generated by it is, in itself, a special form of argument ad hominem?

  26. Wotan, id est furor says

    Also, deal in specifics if you have a criticism to make.

    With regards to the privilege concept:

    * Failure to operationalize (“Your Privilege Index is over 7.3!”)
    * Selective attitude towards confirmations and disconfirmations
    * Considerable deviations from the overall Western concept of rationality in the form of e.g. “epistemic privilege”
    * No novel predictions of fact

    There’s probably more but that’s a pretty good sample.

    Or are you not able to understand that criticizing an entire theoretical framework instead of the insights generated by it is, in itself, a special form of argument ad hominem?

    No it isn’t. Ad hominem is rejecting someone’s argument based on their personal characteristics. An example of this is the concept “mansplanation” (rejecting an argument because the interlocutor is at least putatively a man). “An entire theoretical framework” is not however an irrelevant personal characteristic.

  27. Wotan, id est furor says

    I say, whether someone is a man or woman is of no more epistemic relevance than whether someone is a German gentile or a Jew.

    That’s the flaw which Deutsche Physik and “privilege” hold in common.

    I would add, likewise, that there is nothing more inherently wrong about a scientific panel consisting entirely of men than a scientific panel consisting entirely of Jews, something that has probably happened at least once?

  28. says

    * Privilege is operationalized as having one’s circumstances considered the norm.
    * I said specifics. You demonstrate no such selectivity.
    * I said specifics. You fail to suggest what those deviations might be.
    * Are you suggesting that epistemic privilege is otherwise predicted?

    An argument ad hominem means that literally, yes, but it is a fallacy because it fails to address the argument directly, addressing the source instead. Personal characteristics may also have a bearing on the likelihood of the accuracy of an argument. However, the argument itself still needs to be addressed.

    You also have no idea what mansplaining is.

  29. Wotan, id est furor says

    Privilege is operationalized as having one’s circumstances considered the norm.

    That’s not an operational definition.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operational_definition

    An operational definition defines something (e.g. a variable, term, or object) in terms of the specific process or set of validation tests used to determine its presence and quantity.

    Keyword: quantity.

    I’ve seen (carefully selected) sets of statistics that are apparently examples of privilege but no operational definition of privilege per se.

    * I said specifics. You demonstrate no such selectivity.

    Taking into account statistics that favor men; ignoring those that favor women as well.

    I said specifics. You fail to suggest what those deviations might be.

    Allowing standpoint theory i.e. the facilitation of ad hominem attacks.

    Are you suggesting that epistemic privilege is otherwise predicted?

    This question makes no sense. I am saying that epistemic privilege doesn’t exist. It was bullshit during the 30s and 40s (again Deutsche Physik) and it’s bullshit now, too.

    An argument ad hominem means that literally, yes, but it is a fallacy because it fails to address the argument directly, addressing the source instead.

    Well now I’ve been more direct. Happy?

    You also have no idea what mansplaining is.

    I was recently told that philosophers of science I cited could be ignored because they are all “old white men” (including a number who weren’t) and that invoking their work was “mansplanation”.

    The term appears to have multiple definitions.

  30. Wotan, id est furor says

    Regarding “novel predictions of fact”: “privilege” doesn’t make any. Imre Lakatos made this an important part of his influential philosophy of science, as has Paul Thagard.

    Admittedly, they are both white men. Make of that what you will.

  31. says

    Privilege is a relative concept, not a fixed one. If you don’t understand that, you can’t begin to critique it. As such, operationalizing it involves comparing two or more groups on the dimension in question. That really isn’t hard to understand.

    Standpoint theory is not the same thing as the use to which people may put standpoint theory. That’s neither a criticism of the theory or of epistemic privilege. You still have yet to offer a criticism of epistemic privilege itself.

    Mansplaining has a general definition used by those who think the term is valid and another used by those who would prefer to think it is not. You appear to be giving the first approximately as fair a trial as you’re giving privilege.

  32. julian says

    The term appears to have multiple definitions.

    And you appear to be a multifaceted idiot.

    Slightly less derisively, you realize that could be said about any theory, concept or idea, correct? Fuck, just a few days ago I was arguing with an atheist who kept attacking me for using theory when discussing evolution.

    Taking into account statistics that favor men; ignoring those that favor women as well.

    You don’t seem to understand the definition of specifics.

  33. Wotan, id est furor says

    Privilege is a relative concept, not a fixed one.

    What does this even mean?

    As such, operationalizing it involves comparing two or more groups on the dimension in question. That really isn’t hard to understand.

    Why wouldn’t e.g. higher incidence of workplace death among men count as “female privilege”?

    Myself, I say the concept should be scrapped outright.

    Standpoint theory is not the same thing as the use to which people may put standpoint theory.

    Standpoint theory entails the legitimacy of ad hominem attacks because it promotes the personal characteristics of people making claims to epistemic relevance. That is the very definition of ad hominem.

    Here is another silly example of “epistemic privilege”:

    http://www.redlightpolitics.com/index.php/2011/07/25/mental-health-colonialism-and-epistemic-justice/

    For thousands of years, First Nations across the globe have used entheogens as tools to treat mind, body and spirit. Ibogaine, mushrooms, ayahuasca, coke leaves, Syrian Rue, peyote, marihuana, kava, Salvia Divinorum, all of these substances (and more) were considered sacraments used in ceremonies to aid healthcare, community binding, celebration and rites of passage. All of these substances are now classified as dangerous drugs by the US Drug Administration. All of these tools removed from their natural communities to give way to a healthcare model that has little to do with the ancient practices of these peoples. Also, all of them are substances that would place a user into the category of “patient” by the definition of The Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health Initiative. Even tobacco (not currently classified as a “dangerous drug” like the ones I listed above, but certainly classified as a cause of addiction) was used purely as a ceremonial sacrament across Latin America until the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores.

    This study falls into a dangerous and I’d say insidious trap: that of epistemic injustice. It fails to account how the inequitable social relation (and the legacy of colonialism) emphasize what counts as knowledge and who is recognized as a credible knower in healthcare. The study fails to address the imposition of health care definitions, the suppression of local spiritual practices (both through forced religious conversion and the classification of sacred medicines as illegal drugs) and it removes all historical and social context from the field of “Mental Health” in particular and healthcare in general. Since this is a new initiative and because of where the funding is coming from, I’d like to speculate on the possible relation between their proposed future plan of action and further imposition of Western produced pharmacological solutions, as well as a rather explicit continuation of a dominant culture that further pushes the Global South into ditching the “South” side and becoming part of an hegemonic culture of globalization.

    Ask yourself: would/should this fly in the “skeptical community”?

    Mansplaining has a general definition used by those who think the term is valid and another used by those who would prefer to think it is not.

    I gathered the definition I’m using from the people using it towards me.

    The alternate definition I got from someone else was that “mansplaining” is when a man condescends to someone else about something he doesn’t know anything about. Why being a man per se is relevant to condescension is beyond me but in this case, the ignorance was reversed: the people I was addressing did not a Goddamn thing about the people or works I was talking about and saw fit to dismiss arguments based on those works summarily because they (well, some of them) were men. And for that reason.

  34. Wotan, id est furor says

    And you appear to be a multifaceted idiot.

    Not even remotely comparable.

    Scientific near-consensus on climate change was fairly slow to emerge and had to face a lot of rigorous testing.

    Notwithstanding considerable imperfections in the peer review process, dissent was not typically shut out or shouted down simply because it was found disagreeable.

    Disagreement over the issues was not generally facilitated with name calling, vitriol, and stereotyping.

    Etc.

    Bad analogy.

    QED. And I’ve almost got bingo here, too.

    You don’t seem to understand the definition of specifics.

    That was more specific. To be even more specific: omitting e.g. higher male rates of homelessness from “privilege checklists”.

  35. says

    Do you mean to tell me, honestly, Horsa, that you do not believe that some people have characteristics that grant them privileges in greater society because more people in greater society share those traits, just because that’s an ad hominem argument? So it is effectively impossible to describe one person as having an advantage over another, because that’s also an ad hominem? I guess you’ve never hired for a job then, because then you’d be forced to hire blindly out of respect for the fact that you can’t tell anything about anyone by the traits they present. How you make any sort of judgment about anyone or anything is completely beyond me.

  36. Wotan, id est furor says

    Slightly less derisively, you realize that could be said about any theory, concept or idea, correct? Fuck, just a few days ago I was arguing with an atheist who kept attacking me for using theory when discussing evolution.

    Broadly speaking, “theory” as used in science and philosophy of science has a technical meaning as opposed to the colloquial meaning in every day use. There is a good reason to make a distinction there. “Mansplanation”, however, is a purely colloquial neologism (and an unfunny one, too, because unlike most new portmanteaux, it doesn’t rhyme).

    In any case, the two putative definitions I’m getting seem to be nearly equivalent.

  37. Wotan, id est furor says

    Do you mean to tell me, honestly, Horsa, that you do not believe that some people have characteristics that grant them privileges in greater society because more people in greater society share those traits, just because that’s an ad hominem argument?

    No, that could be true. I just don’t think it’s epistemically relevant. The fact that Jews are disproportionately influential in science to an extreme degree, for example, is not a good reason to have doubts about scientific claims put forward by a Jew. It’s also not a good reason to hire a gentile over a Jew for a scientific post. The same applies wrt sex/gender.

  38. says

    Are Jews, in your estimation, elevated to positions where their scientific endeavours are valued more than gentiles, Horsa? If not, then they are not PRIVILEGED, just COINCIDENTAL.

  39. Wotan, id est furor says

    Are Jews, in your estimation, elevated to positions where their scientific endeavours are valued more than gentiles, Horsa?

    Look at the site. They rack up all the top prizes like crazy.

    If not, then they are not PRIVILEGED, just COINCIDENTAL.

    Same could be said of certain (putative) privileges.

  40. Wotan, id est furor says

    Also, my aim in bringing up the issue of Jews was mainly aimed at epistemic privilege, specifically. Accepting epistemic privilege / standpoint theory requires you to accept or at least seriously consider embarrassingly related claims like those of Deutsche Physik or the woowoo I mentioned above from this link:

    http://www.redlightpolitics.com/index.php/2011/07/25/mental-health-colonialism-and-epistemic-justice/

    …where the author claims that doctors of the Global North have “epistemic privilege” over those of the “First Nations”. (Never mind that “Northern” scientists are also interested in entheogens and pharamaceutical companies are likewise interested in learning from the herbal lore of obscure Amazonian tribes before they’re all swallowed up by urbanization and the like.)

  41. says

    Seriously, you don’t know enough about privilege to know what it being a relative concept means? But you’re trying to critique it? You do get called a mansplainer a lot, don’t you?

    Simply put: One person has or one group of people have privilege–on one dimension–relative to another person or group of people to the extent that the first person or group’s experience on that dimension is considered the norm in whatever society the measurement is taking place. That means that the degree of privilege varies depending on what groups are being considered in which society. I don’t know that anyone has said that a lower number of workplace deaths aren’t an example of female privilege.

    You can keep asserting the concept should be scrapped, but you haven’t given any reasons for it that are more than additional general assertions. Well, except for the really poorly reasoned one up there.

    Standpoint theory does no such thing. It’s simply a recognition of the fact that perspectives on society vary by position in society. Are you saying that they don’t? It may not always be the most appropriate method to bring to bear, but unless you’re saying that it’s wrong in its precepts, that’s something to be approached on a case-by-case basis. And frankly, when we’re discussing what kinds of recreational drugs are made illegal compared to what kinds aren’t, it’s pretty appropriate.

    julian’s namecalling doesn’t obviate the fact that I’m arguing with you based on fact. Don’t be so selective in your evidence. Or are you going to try to tell me that no one talking about climate change ever called anyone a name?

  42. julian says

    Who’s name calling? You’re missing the point on multiple fronts. That sounds like a multifaceted idiot to me.

    Why being a man per se is relevant to condescension is beyond me

    Like I said, multifaceted idiot.

    You did the same thing when you mentioned all Jewish conferences. (Gee, I wonder what might be wrong with an all Hasidic conference discussing the issues women face in society. Or an all Christian conference discussing the role of religion in government.) You not only think everyone and everything happens in a vacuum you deliberately ignore the context of the discussions you’re having.

    Here you’re taking a discussion of sexism, feminism and men and women in society and stripping it down to ‘man’ and ‘condescension.’ All to make your objection seem more legitimate than it actually is.

  43. Wotan, id est furor says

    Seriously, you don’t know enough about privilege to know what it being a relative concept means?

    I don’t. Clarify.

    You do get called a mansplainer a lot, don’t you?

    No. I usually get called far worse for disagreeing with people. Not infrequently, qualified Internet Psychiatrists come out of the woodwork and diagnose me with sociopathy. For disagreeing with them. This despite the fact that neither Drs. Mitchell, Warren, Yu, nor Berger thought I was a sociopath, or indeed a danger to anyone else but myself. (And three of these four weren’t even white men!)

    Simply put: One person has or one group of people have privilege–on one dimension–relative to another person or group of people to the extent that the first person or group’s experience on that dimension is considered the norm in whatever society the measurement is taking place

    So there’s “Jewish privilege”?

    I don’t know that anyone has said that a lower number of workplace deaths aren’t an example of female privilege.

    I would not call it “female privilege” barring much further investigation, in the same way that I would not call a lot of other stats “male privilege”. However, I’ve been told that the stats that favor men are examples of “male privilege” but not vice versa and also that I’m a “men’s rights activist” even though I don’t want special rights for men and deny the existence of female privilege, something that these types usually don’t.

    Standpoint theory does no such thing. It’s simply a recognition of the fact that perspectives on society vary by position in society.

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-epistemology/#standpoint

    Standpoint theory does not touch on views of society alone, but all epistemic claims, including scientific ones.

    julian’s namecalling doesn’t obviate the fact that I’m arguing with you based on fact.

    You are, and that’s pretty commendable, given what I often face.

    Don’t be so selective in your evidence.

    I’m not. Just pointing out what I’ve usually encountered up to this point.

  44. Wotan, id est furor says

    Who’s name calling?

    You are.

    You did the same thing when you mentioned all Jewish conferences. (Gee, I wonder what might be wrong with an all Hasidic conference discussing the issues women face in society.

    That’s sort of irrelevant given that I was talking about scientific panels only. Mathematical ones, too, I guess. (ps Abstract Algebra by Israel Nathan Herstein—great book!)

  45. says

    I did clarify. You might want to read all of a comment before responding to it.

    There are going to be situations in which the Jewish people in a society have privileges greater than others in the society–Israel for example. However, calling it “Jewish privilege” is a shorthand at best. Since privilege is a relative concept, that privilege isn’t embodied in someone who is Jewish. In some societies, they will be privileged. In others, they won’t.

    Your link doesn’t support your statements about standpoint theory.

    I’m not. Just pointing out what I’ve usually encountered up to this point.

    Yet you don’t want others to consolidate and name their experiences. That’s not exactly helpful.

  46. Wotan, id est furor says

    There are going to be situations in which the Jewish people in a society have privileges greater than others in the society–Israel for example.

    I’m not talking about Israel. I’m talking about whether the disproportionate Jewish influence in science, scientific theories that all the world’s scientists use, constitutes a privilege and, specifically, an epistemic privilege. (For the record: I think it doesn’t.)

    Your link doesn’t support your statements about standpoint theory.

    The methods selected for investigating phenomena depend on the questions one asks and the kinds of knowledge one seeks, both of which may reflect the social interests of the investigator. Experimental methods in social science may be good for discovering factors that can be used to control people’s behavior in similar settings. But to grasp their behavior as action—that is, as attempts by agents to govern their behavior through their understandings of what they are doing—requires different empirical methods, including qualitative interviews (which allow subjects to delineate their own systems of meaning) and participant observation. Standpoint theories, as critical theories, aim as well at empowering the subjects of study by helping them forge liberatory self-understandings, and these, too, may require different methods of inquiry—for example, consciousness-raising (MacKinnon 1999).

    Yet you don’t want others to consolidate and name their experiences. That’s not exactly helpful.

    I know that my experience is anecdotal and, as an account of reality, has severe limitations. That’s why I’m not calling it science.

  47. julian says

    That’s sort of irrelevant given that I was talking about scientific panels only.

    Ok, fine. An all Hasidic panel on women’s reasoning capabilities compared to men. Or an all Evangelical Christian panel discussing the mental health of women who have had at least one abortion.

    Your link doesn’t support your statements about standpoint theory.

    Heh, being largely ignorant of philosophy I’ve been thumbing through that page doublechecking to make sure the definitions I have in my head exist elsewhere. Had started wondering where Wotan was getting hir definitions from.

  48. Natalie says

    For the record, I’m almost certain that Wotan is the same guy who got himself banned on Skepchick, Blag Hag and Greta Christina for doing this exact same thing. I’d strongly recommend checking the IP against “Huskvarna” (or something of the sort), the handle he used in Greta’s thread.

  49. says

    Thanks, Natalie. You reminded me he had a couple comments in moderation. He’s also the guy who was spamming Pharyngula with German poetry, by the way. He’s being allowed to post here because I’m interested in having the conversation and it’s not interrupting another. He’s also being fairly well-behaved at the moment.

    Wotan, what’s up with the focus on Jewish scientists? You’ve been told how privilege works. If you want to ask whether a group is privileged in a particular situation, you need to specify what other group you’re comparing them to. Then you need to figure out what experiences are relevant to the particular situation. Then you can quantify.

    Also, I have no idea why you would consider a particular group both privileged in the normal sense and epistemically privileged. Part of the point of epistemic privilege is that they don’t generally go together.

    The paragraph you quote still doesn’t support your statements about standpoint theory.

    You should understand the difference between one person’s experience (anecdote) and the consolidation of the experience of a large number of people (data collection). That would be the point at which we start moving into science.

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