The more feminists distrust science, the more women look like fools


I want to make this clear: This post is not about porn. I am not saying it’s awesome, and I’m not saying it’s horrible. There is a time and place to discuss the effect porn may or may not have on men and women, and that is for a different time.

This post is about rational discussions, and the feminists who fail at them.

I’ve often said one of my big pet peeves about feminism are those feminists who distrust science. Not all feminist are like that, but there are definitely some vocal ones. Our newest example is Twisty Faster, over at I Blame the Patriarchy. From the title alone, you know it’s going to be a real winner: “Science dudes declare porn good, support claim with Danish graphs, flawed reasoning

Not Danish graphs. Nooooooooo!

I suggest you go read the post on your own, since there’s just too many goodies to quote. But here I’ll offer a summary of how Anti-Science-Feminist logic works:

  • Scientists who study sex are totally just doing it to get their rocks off, not for the insights into human reproduction, medical breakthroughs, or the sheer pursuit of truth. The only reason they’re sticking a thing in your vagina is to go beat off later.
  • Put scare quotes around any description of the equipment used, to make sure the reader knows it’s wrong and icky. Ignore the fact that all the subjects are volunteers.
  • If science disagrees with your ideological/philosophical/ethical/political viewpoint, it is science that is wrong, not your subjective opinion. If it agrees with you or actually improves the lives of women, conveniently ignore those studies
  • When persistently presented with research, belittle it by using “science” as a derogatory word. Make sure to sneer, similar to “neeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrddddddddd
  • If it’s a man disagreeing with you, it’s because he has a penis. This logic is so obvious that you must make sarcastic remarks about how shocking it is, and belittle him by calling him a “dude”
  • If it’s a woman disagreeing with you, it’s because she’s brainwashed by all the humans with penises around her. Completely disregard her comment, even if that may seem unfeminist of you. It’s for her own good
  • Moderate your comments so only people who agree with you can add their opinions, thus making your argument seem even more airtight!

Therefore: You are always right.

Seriously though, were some science experiments misogynistic? Probably, sure. Are some scientists still misogynist? Again, probably, just because scientists are people too. But you know how we deal with that, other than educating men? By getting more women in science, NOT by acting like woo-filled idiots screaming conspiracy theories.

Every time a feminist treats science like some great big boogeyman, she makes all feminists and women look foolish and ignorant. Science isn’t a bunch of horny dudes in plush chairs sitting around a grandiose table commiserating about how they can best oppress women and get to poke a vagina in the process. To treat it that way by disregarding all scientific studies is simply ignorant. If someone shows me a bunch of scientific studies and I disagree, my response is not going to be a lot of hand waiving, speculation, opinion, and anecdotes. It’ll be scientific studies that contradict their findings, or critiques of the methods and analyses of those studies. One of the comments really illustrates how pervasive this woo-thinking is:

“Alas, this is why I prefer to hold up women’s intuition, which is actually a rational scientific tool of reasoning, over dude science any day. That doesn’t mean science is bad, it means that woman’s intuition is often far superior.”

No. Woman’s intuition is not far superior because it does not exist (you also have no idea what “scientific” or “reasoning” means). PZ Myers just wrote an excellent post on how supporting the myth of women’s intuition actually hurts women and science:

One of the most cunning tools of the patriarchy is the assignment of woo as a feminine virtue. Women are supposed to be intuitive, nurturing, accepting, and trusting, unlike those harsh and suspicious men. It’s a double-trap; women are brought up indoctrinated into believing that being smart and skeptical is unladylike and unattractive, and at the same time, anyone who dares to suggest that intuition and soothing, supportive words are often unproductive can be slammed for being anti-woman, because, obviously, to suggest that a human being might want to do more with their life than changing diapers and baking cookies is a direct assault on womanhood.

This naive imposition of unscientific modes of thought on women specifically leads to the state we have now. Assume a fundamental difference in attitude: women feel, while men think. Now declare an obvious truth: science requires rigorous thought. The conclusion follows that women will not be taking advantage of their strengths (that woo stuff) if they are trying to do science, therefore they will not be as good at science as men, and they will also be harming their femininity if they try to shoehorn their tender and passionate minds into the restrictive constraints of manly critical thinking.”

…Woo is powerless; you want to make someone powerless, put them in charge of nothing, but give it a happy-sounding title. Women have been taken on a millennia-long snipe hunt. But, you know, it keeps them busy and out of the hair of the guys doing the real, important work.

Oh, wait. PZ has a penis, I forgot. I get that makes everything he said bunk, and I only agree with him because I’m trying to be a funfeminist or something. Damn. I guess I’ll stop thinking rationally, quit my job as a scientist, and sit around expressing how I feel about things with no facts to back my assertions! Good thing I already have a blog.

But the really mindbending thing? The feminist PZ quotes who is so clearheaded about all of this, saying that intuition is just as affected by patriarchy? Yep, that’s the same feminist who brought out the major woo-guns when faced with something she personally disagreed with. Um, can we get a little consistency at least, please?

Comments

  1. says

    I come here to be told how Jen feels about things, and to feel bad about being one of the 50% of people who were born male. You know, because as a current example of the male sex, I obviously shoulder all the blame for how every woman in history was mistreated.Personally.Yeah, these sorts of things piss me off too.

  2. kendermouse says

    Why are you putting yourself through the massive headache of reading that stuff?

  3. says

    Anyone who puts any iota of credence into any of that “ESP”, “woman’s/women’s intuition” (single or plural, whichever it is), and any other type of blatantly illogical and irrational woo-think, automatically discredits their opinions on the matter. The fact that some actually do so with the sort of ill-merited arrogance and condescension, the type of which is dripping all over at I Blame the Patriarchy (especially that nincompoop Jill), only makes them all the less worthy of consideration, much less respect.I do so hate rabid feminists. Then again, rabid anythings are a negative thing, as their sole purpose in life seems to be turning what could be a perfectly legit (if not to say, much-needed) social movement – feminism (and equality in general), environmentalism, animal welfare, etc. – and poisoning them in the public eye with raging rhetoric, irrational arguments and arrogance that almost makes Vox Day look humble by comparison. They obviously fail to grasp the fact that for any social movement to work, they need to work on one angle, and one only: public relations. You don’t change the world, or even a tiny fraction of it, by behaving like raucous twits. You need to appeal to people and make your message carry across them with sense if you wish to change them and their actions.Somehow, though, rabid feminists seem to be worse in the sense that it’s not wrongdoers they blame, but the entire opposite sex, it seems. If a guy does or says one trivial thing that some may consider borderline insensitive, WHAM, they’re sexist. No sense of perspective whatsoever.It’s paranoia, plain and simple. Well, amongst other things.Okay, enough mini-ranting.Edit: Oh, and I wanted to say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with porn in any real way, shape or form. No credible evidence has ever risen about it that I’ve seen, and yes, I have checked, thoroughly. If anything, I consider it a great boon in many ways. (And, no, I don’t just say this because I personally enjoy it.)

  4. says

    Being involved in research myself (biology, so I must be one of the bad “dudes” studying “dude” science) I specifically agree with your main point: “The more feminists distrust science, the more women look like fools” – reading the entry on “I Blame the Patriarchy” makes me want to write off feminism as downright silly, and I like to consider myself non-sexist. I’m extremely grateful that it’s not an accurate representation of all feminists.

  5. says

    These “radical” “feminist” people can only be called one thing: fundamentalists. Bigots too (misandrists). They’re hellbent on ruining a good thing. I never liked these people, and I’ve called myself a feminist for decades.

  6. Fritz says

    I waded through the comments thread as far as I was able. All I can add is this: I think I see how I am perceived in the comments on Friendly Atheist: as someone with a bone to pick. Oh wait, is that sexist?

  7. brassmouse says

    It’s kind of like politics that way. If you ignore it, it just gets worse.

  8. jk says

    There are some gems in the comment thread. Denmark and the Netherlands are the same place! Heroin is legal there! Prostitutes are uneducated! And my favourite: “Never in my life have I known a woman to seek out porn to get her through a lonely Saturday night.” That whole article made me embarrassed to call myself a feminist.

  9. says

    Hm, maybe that last bit doesn’t make me a woman. Damn.I also liked “I can only assume that by use, they mean they are forced to watch it with their boyfriends in order to prove their sex positive-ness.” What if I suggested to my boyfriend that we watch it together? Is that boyfriend now gay, because only a dude would suggest it? This is confusing.

  10. says

    It bothers me to think that the time you spent reading this, you could have been watching porn. You have some excellent points in your “How Anti-science feminist logic works” list and that list could be applied to any number of anti-science entities that spew their vitriol into the world. Just imagine replacing “Feminist” with “Fundamentalist Christian” and you’ll see the logic adopted by a much larger and louder group of idiots.

  11. says

    The most telling thing I have ever heard on a study of porn and men was a few months ago. It was a Univ. de Montreal study that wanted to study the effects of porn on men’s minds or something but they could not do the study because they could not find a single male porn virgin. That’s right, every single man had seen some form of porn – nekkid pictures and up. Not a one had not. Zero. The U de Mtl rests in a very populous city and is a large university, maybe the largest I think in Mtl even.http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertainment/mo…So according to the misandric reading of life we should all be in a state of emergency as porn-mad men roam and stalk women coast to coast. Thankfully of course that is not the case.”Guys who do not watch pornography do not exist,” Lajeunesse of the university’s School of Social Work said yesterday.” LOL! Who knew!

  12. duckgalrox says

    …I like porn.I’m a woman. A real woman.According to her, I can’t exist?

  13. The Crocoduck Hunter says

    I think there seems to be a sad misunderstanding here. You certainly can’t accuse Jill of endorsing woo, especially if you actually read the post PZ and barry linked to.Almost every one of your bullet points seems to be a misrepresentation of Twisty’s post, too. #1 was actually meant to point out that the “hurr my experiment will be to watch a ton of porn hurr” joke Goldman made was in poor taste, due to the historical precedent of actual misogynistic experiments. This is certainly not to say that all sexuality research is misogynistic. #2 Not scare quotes, but quoting the article she linked to. If you actually want to discuss whether this specific study was ethical or not, and whether Twisty is dishonestly misrepresenting it, say so more clearly, since it’s certainly not apparent from your post. On this one point you may be right, but I think you make the mistake of conflating the rest of her blog (and indeed her entire character) with this one disagreement.#3 I don’t think she was saying that the studies cited by Goldman are false, but that they ignore the actual harmful effects of porn on culture, instead focusing on things like “sexual satisfaction.” You’re free to disagree about these deeper impacts, but don’t misconstrue her criticisms as denying the results of the studies. #4 Total fucking straw man. For shame, Jen. #5 Seems to me more like “dude” is a way to belittle clueless males spouting their opinions on feminism as if they actually know what they’re talking about, and who are often quick to belittle feminists as “rabid” etc.#6 lolwut? Surely you agree that women can be antifeminist too? Though certainly “You are a brainwashed women, therefore your argument is invalid” is nothing but ad hominem.#7 And make your blog impervious to certain antifeminist assholes. It’s her prerogative. I don’t think she does it to censor free speech so much as to filter out garbage that is as tiresome to her as creationists are to PZ.You’ve always been such a great spokesperson for critical thinking, and it makes me sad to see that you were content to give this matter such an ill-informed and superficial dismissal. Don’t want to sound disrespectful of you at all, or like I’m a blind Twisty fanboy, but I wanted to identify a perceived misunderstanding.

  14. Fritz says

    I missed the bigger point in favor of an attempt at humor, but at the risk of sounding like a ‘dittohead”, what others have said seems correct: the more dogmatic anyone gets about a subject, the less they use reason. The most dogmatic seem to defiantly avoid reason.Jen, you seem to like baiting them, and I guess you are well-equipped for it, but this old man feels sad for them. We need their passion and perspective, but they will never join us because we don’t hate penises enough.

  15. says

    “Not Danish graphs.”I think I’ll make a graph that shows the relation of the calorie content of a Danish to its deliciousness. I can’t decide whether it’ll be a line or a parabolic arch…

  16. says

    Try not to be such an obvious troll. If you fucking idly sit by, you are wrong. Also, just because there are males and females, does not mean that it’s a 50/50 split, imbecile.

  17. Zach says

    you say “woo” and it reminds me of James Randi!I just wanted to say thanks, because iv seen this happen first hand … and sadly it was a teacher in college. Nude photo graphs came up, which lead to porn. Me and this other person who happened to be a guy where trying to point out the line the teacher was making between pin-ups in esquire (or something) and nude photos ( like in playboy). My “teacher” was just waiting for a man to say its art. Some one did say it was art, but it was a woman. the teacher even admitted that she was glad it was a woman who said that and not a man. Like some how what i said didnt matter ( not that iv ever claimed it to be art). All i can say is that i left that class always feeling bad that i was a man .. and i dont really define my self that way.

  18. Jon says

    It doesn’t help that the posts are written like a high seventeen year old’s manifesto.Also, the demand for porn will stop when guys and girls stop wanting to have sex all the time. No amount of feminist revolt will change the fact that our loins long for intercourse pretty much 24/7.But, to the point. Radical feminist/religious/pseudo-scientists/etc… are all the same. They have embraced their own irrationality and emotionality so far as to believe that they are both completely rational and not affected by emotions. This is the danger of being human, we are neither completely rational nor completely irrational, to make judgments with the belief that as a group, species, sex, et cetera are either is a flawed and dangerous path.Example, I am a highly educated, well traveled, decently cultured man with a deep respect for women be their role domestic or professional. I love porn. Mmm porn. Sometimes you just want to see some messed up stuff. Why? Though I am almost freakishly rational for the most part, my man parts want irrational and often times unattainable things.I do have to say that Hobbes would think that all this talk is just talk. Living in a social contract without open and active (and I do mean active, like violent) revolt is paramount to consent as far as government is concerned.

  19. says

    I like penises!That might seem like a not terribly insightful comment, but really it is. Because I’m a lady feminist, pro-science, and pro-penis. Furthermore, I have a real problem with “feminists” trying to slut shame other women because they like something that the “feminist” isn’t comfortable with. There are, you know, like at least a dozen women out there who enjoy their sexuality, enjoy learning more about it, and enjoy sharing that experience with other people.Again, it’s slut shaming which is exactly the opposite of what feminism should be doing.

  20. says

    Twisty is all twisted up inside. Wow. What an angry angry woman. I just feel bad for her. Keep up the great blogs, Jen! Love them!

  21. says

    Misandrists in feminists clothing! These are the people who don’t like it when you point out that equality isn’t about womens rights, it’s about PEOPLES rights.I was recently blocked by a well known feminist when I threw a few facts at her that dispelled her stance on the subject at hand, which surprised me as she has been known to openly debate, but not on this occasion it would seem.One of the reasons why I like Jen is because she is open minded, and prepared to listen to all sides, and isn’t above changing her stance if the evidence is strong enough. It’s generally quite easy to spot someone with entrenched ideas, they just refuse to hear anything that might conflict with their view.Even that well known feminist of the sixties, Germaine Greer, has mellowed, and is genuinely shocked at some of the things said and done in the name of womens rights these days, which is quite something from a woman who was a militant activist in her time.The pendulum of fairness has swung too far, as it always does, pick any cause and you’ll find people still fighting for it long after the battle has been won.There are a growing number of mens rights groups who are having to fight to redress the imbalance of the over swung pendulum, predominantly in the area of fathers rights.

  22. says

    “Every time a feminist treats science like some great big boogeyman, she makes all feminists and women look foolish and ignorant. “Close, but not quite. Some of us, even us penis-carrying men, try to hold out hope when women such as yourself speak rationally.But generally, you are right: it does not help feminist cause.As a budding scientist, you should be careful of thinking such as: “If someone shows me a bunch of scientific studies and I disagree, my response is not going to be a lot of hand waiving, speculation, opinion, and anecdotes. It’ll be scientific studies that contradict their findings, or critiques of the methods and analyses of those studies.” Even though the scientific method forces us to make hypotheses, and it’s normal as can be to try to prove what you want to be true, more productive science is to try to prove something which is hitherto unknown.Don’t fall into the trap of spending too much energy trying to grind your favorite axe.For example, suppose some research shows that hormone spikes of PMS can make you temporarily (goofy, irrational, grouchy, emotional… all of the above)Yeah, and testosterone made my beard grow. BFD.It might not be worth a career diversion to try to disprove real effects.There might be productive studies concerning how to mitigate undesired effects.There might be a paper in just characterising the effects (as if no one has studied it yet… sorry, this quick example does not carry the argument very well).But beware of spending too much time tilting at windmills.”women are brought up indoctrinated into believing that being smart and skeptical is unladylike and unattractive” I too hate that. I love smart, strong, thinking women (e.g. my wife). I suspect that a lot of men do, especially intellectually capable men. It’s more fun to play mental games if your partner wins some of the time.We both make cookies, and we both changed diapers.I never got very skillful at breast-feeding. My chest circumference is larger than hers, but my cup-size is small. I guess that was the problem?There’s no (rational) denying that a lot of men will drool over a cute ditz. To the extent that in many, it sets up cognitive dissonance when a cutie is also smart.I’m sure we each can easily name at least a handful of good scientists who have to borrow a penis when they want one. Promote them and emulate them. Eschew the woo.

  23. says

    feminist accommodationism works about as well as atheist accommodationism, which is to say not at all.It’s perfectly possible to be a radical feminist and still remain scientific-minded/a skeptic. For example, Skeptifem, most obviously and noticeably.

  24. says

    These militant atheist people can only be called one thing: fundamentalists. bigots, too (anti-religionists). They’re hellbent on ruining a good thing. I never liked these people, and I’ve called myself an atheist for decades.- – – – – – – – – – – -mind you, there’s crazy people in any group, as long as they’re large enough and made of humans, and they should be fought so they do not become the voice of a movement. but I seriously don’t understand the sudden outbreak of accommodationism and anti-radicalism here.

  25. says

    I don’t understand the first part of your comment – what exactly is “feminist accommodationism” supposed to be?Also, how can one be a radical anything and still be rational? Not that I’m saying anything against Skeptifem, whom I’ve never even heard of, but the terms do seem fundamentally contradictory. Radicalism/extremism/etc. = throwing away all sense of reason and perspective and go hardline to target and destroy the “other side”. Definitely nothing to aspire to.

  26. says

    But….the battle hasn’t been won. Not for feminism, or racism or…or..or. In fact, I can’t think of a single battle for equality that has been “won” off the top of my head (well, I suppose we’re no longer persecuting and murdering those dirty christians anymore, so maybe that one has been “won.” In some parts of the world). Don’t get me wrong, the plight of women (in most Western industrialized countries) is way better than it was 50 or 100 years ago. But only a blind person would say the battle has been “won.” As for the original topic of Jen’s post: Just…wow. I couldn’t even finish reading the linked article. It was just bad writing, mixed with total and complete illogical thinking. Anti-science anyone just makes my brain asplode. I know that “science” has been used to “prove” a lot of terrible things about women (and other disenfranchised groups) over the course of history. But that’s like blaming the gun for killing someone, instead of the shooter. And unlike the gun in this analogy, science has the potential, and has realized the potential, to make everyone’s lives better, happier, safer. Why wouldn’t we take every opportunity to achieve these things? Further, I agree wholeheartedly with Jen. If there’s a study you don’t like, whose results you hate…then make another study and prove them wrong. And if you can’t prove the first study wrong (through honest science, not rigging the results) then sit down and shut up. All your other arguments are just window-dressing. Moral of the story: Fight science with more science, or end up looking like an ignorant buffoon bumbling around with your pants over your head.Oh, and I like porn. And penises. And vaginas. And twisty or whoever can kiss my happy tushy.*Disclaimer: Running on little sleep, so if any parts of my comment don’t make sense, I apologize profusely, and if asked will try to clarify.*

  27. says

    The pendulum of fairness has swung too far?gee, I haven’t noticed that all the high-paying, fulfilling jobs are now regularly going to women, while men have now replaced women as more likely to be at risk for homelessness and grinding poverty; I also must have missed the death of the rape culture, of the second shift, and of the wage gap.

  28. anandamide says

    Gah! Tried to read the comments on the site, now my brain hurts. There are few things more infuriating and baffling for a gay man than being told how porn is always violence against women.

  29. says

    The comment about female intuition gives the whole game away: it’s all about narcissism. What tops off the Maslow Pyramid is not “self-realisation”, whatever that is supposed to be; it’s self-esteem. And if people can’t get justified self-esteem, they’ll go for woo self-esteem. If you offer people an ideology that tells them that, because of the way they were born, they are automatically superior, they will take it and bank it. We all know, for instance, how comforting Aryan superiority is to white trash. What needs explaining is not that many go for it, but the fact that odd individuals — who could have benefited from the attribution of superiority — nevertheless turn down the chance and continue to regard themselves as merely equal to everyone else.

  30. says

    Aah, so you’re one of those who are only concerned about remuneration then! There are far bigger issues at stake than who gets paid what.The real battle was for women to be given equal rights in society, the vote, the right to own and not be considered chattel, to have the right to half the proceeds of a marriage upon break-up. These are the tings that were important.Legislation is in place to provide the framework for women to have equality in the workplace, laws can be changed at a show of hands in government chambers, but mindset is going to take a long time to change. There are still men, and women for that matter, who believe that a womans place is in the home, until that mindset has passed into history all the laws in the land won’t change a thing.The point I’m trying to make is that legally women now have rights, more rights than they ever had, but you can’t alter peoples thinking quite so easily. I should also point out that I speak for western culture, I’m quite well aware that in some countries women are still chattel.

  31. says

    are you committing the fallacy of the golden middle?not being willing to compromise with those who do wrong, and being very vocal and “strident” is not in and of itself a bad strategy, nor is it illogical or irrational; hence the comparison with “strident” atheism which is being decried by various faitheists and accomodationists in the same way you’re attacking uncompromising and vocal feminists.You don’t get to make a definition of radicalism that suits your purposes. Radical feminists are people capable of seeing that the anti-women problems in our society run deep and need a thorough uprooting and re-shaping of society, and that compromising with those who are against this is not a way to achieve these goals. these goals need to be achieved despite, not with, these people. This has precisely nothing to do with skepticism and rationality, which is as common in radical feminism as it is anywhere else (that is to say, rarer than I’d like, but not THAT rare, nor inherently lacking)

  32. Alexrkr7 says

    Agreed. But then I have a penis* so it doesn’t really matter.*I actually have two! They fight all the time…

  33. says

    oh yeah, and I forgot to add that accommodationist feminism is precisely this:”They obviously fail to grasp the fact that for any social movement to work, they need to work on one angle, and one only: public relations. You don’t change the world, or even a tiny fraction of it, by behaving like raucous twits. You need to appeal to people and make your message carry across them with sense if you wish to change them and their actions.”It doesn’t work; no social movement has ever achieved its goal by compromising. It was always strident, militant, aggressive action that backed every social change ever made. Even MLK, who was radical in his own right, achieved what he did to a large degree because of an unspoken threat of “you can deal with me, or you can deal with Malcolm X and his lot, and/or with random violence and riots on the streets”.

  34. says

    The battle has been won, in as much as legislation is in place to give women equal rights, but as I pointed out in another reply, you cannot change the mindset of people with a show of hands in government chambers. The same can be said for discrimination against black people, the laws have changed to give them equal rights, but you can’t change the mindset of people quite so easily, and there are ways of sidestepping laws, as this link shows: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06…The link was Tweeted by Laci Green earlier today!The suffragettes over 100 years ago fought for the vote, the feminists of the bra-burning sixties advanced the cause yet further, which saw laws change in the seventies (Here in the UK.) giving women joint ownership of marriage. From what I have seen recently, the only way governments can force the issue of job equality is through positive discrimination, and that certainly isn’t equality. Setting quotas to ensure that a woman has a job, regardless of whether she is the best person for the role, isn’t justifiable in my opinion. There is a clamor for women to get jobs in high paid positions, the so called glass ceiling, but I don’t see feminist protesters outside mines and construction sites demanding that women be given a job in dirty, dangerous conditions. Cherry picking for equality!

  35. says

    legal equality is only the first step, just like in the fight in racism.I’m not in the slightest interested in “remuneration”, but the pay gap and the glass ceiling are highly visible symptoms of a sexist society. why should feminists stop fighting to change society to make it non-sexist in fact, not just in law? (and for that matter, why do you seem to think that laws can be changed, but social attitudes must be left to magically change themselves?)should minority rights advocates stop too, especially since there IS a civil rights act, but no equal rights amendment?you are trunkating the women’s equality movement when you claim it was ever only about law.

  36. says

    Oh god! Why did I actually read the article? So much FAIL!!! I think that the author of that blog forgot that feminism is about women being EQUAL to men, not better. Her tone is just so arrogant.

  37. says

    « are you committing the fallacy of the golden middle? »Hardly. I’m arguing that demeaning an entire group of people for no other reason than fanaticism or hatred is not something beneficial for anyone. That is exactly what the IBtP post that Jen tore into did: “So male scientists argued that the evidence indicates that porn isn’t a horrible thing? Well, they’re just all moronic patriarchal misogynists, then!” This is what radicalism has shown itself to be.There is a difference between staunch feminism/atheism/etc., which is certainly where I fit in, and radical, which judging by most radicals I’ve heard from, equates to thinking, “they’re evil assholes and must be destroyed!”. A staunch social fighter (or whatever you call folks engaged in fighting for social reform) will do what they can to change people’s minds and steer the course of society towards a better future. A radical will scream, insult and threaten and, in return, make themselves look like PETA.« It doesn’t work; no social movement has ever achieved its goal by compromising. »I didn’t say compromise, as in relinquish parts of your position in some way or another. I said do things that actually work. Take PETA for example: showering folks in blood? Dumping manure on lawns? Putting up billboard after atrocious nonsensical billboard? That never has and never will work, and it takes a serious amount of delusion to think it will. What would work? Using facts, reason, but most of all, plain understanding. Understand what people believe, and trying to make them understand the error of their ways – not by offending them all into looking at you like you’re batshit crazy.To use a prickly example (and one I’m almost sure I’ll regret bringing up): Hemant Mehta vs. PZ Myers.Social psychology 101. If you want people to agree with you, actually working with them, not against them, is what tends to get more and better results. This isn’t “compromising”. This is just being smart and aware about it and knowing what works vs. what doesn’t.

  38. says

    I’d just like to add my agreement to that & point out (for anyone who hasn’t spotted it) that slut-shaming is a tool used by misogynists too, probably invented by them – just check YouTube’s unfiltered comments on any pretty girl’s channel – & that by using that tactic “feminists” demean themselves. As far as I can see, it’s a tactic that belongs with patriarchal religion: the idea of sexual purity or otherwise as a tool of social control to keep you down. Sex *should* be (as long as there’s mutual consent) the concern of those doing it, & to a lesser extent those immediately affected by it, not church elders, not the government, & not “feminists” who try to limit what women can & can’t do.

  39. says

    did you miss the part where Pharyngula is one of the most popular science/atheist blogs out there, and PZ gets shitloads of letters from people who deconverted/turned their back on anti-scientism because of his militancy?Also, read up on the overton window. By compromising your position by being political about it, you’re shifting the window away from the direction you want it to go. Framing and accommodationism don’t work. they don’t EVER work by themselves, without a radical wing behind it to shift the overton window to the point where the framers and accommodationists don’t look like the strident ones; and it doesn’t work all that much better when it leeches off the benefit of looking moderate in comparison, either.Seriously, show me the social movement that actually accomplished anything by being nice and political, rather than demanding their rights stridently? Because all the ones I know of pretty much required the threat of violence at worst, and standing tall and proud and be counted as “one of those radicals” at least.

  40. says

    oh… wonderful… this really is.I mean, women were never feeling. Better at abstraction, yes. Men are simply concrete typically in how they do things. Neither of these is inherently better than the other. They each have their uses, their strengths and their failures. Men generally require being able to touch something to know it is there. Women can understand things in a more abstract manner.However, if you cannot give a decent explanation of something you are describing to anybody, then it is useless to all involved.This is why… here is a little silly idea here… we work together. Understand our strengths, and our weaknesses in ourselves, and be able to abjectly list these out.It is a kind of shame that I use to buy their crap growing up. I eventually learned how much it boils down to: these women not understanding how men work and operate. Since they do not understand it, they lash out at it.I mean, I really do not get the male mind either. so do I scream at the horror that is a man? Like I have been faced with some weird C’thulhu. No–I just understand that as a guy he thinks differently. His way is not better or worse, and typically, he probably thinks my mind is very much that of C’thulhu.If we are going to paint villains, do not paint a whole group as bad. No, a single person is bad, groups are just generic.As a woman who has been brainwashed, I offer myself as a ritual sacrifice. Hate me for everything I am… just leave the men alone in your hate. Large groups of anonymous people with a single similarity makes not sense to hate. Well, except Gingers–it is okay to hate them (damn bloody Gingers).Most of what they are saying, could easily be applied to “jew science” or “gay science”, or “aryan science”–or countless other groups that it does get applied to as a blanket statement.Just change the “men use science to keep us down”, to any other group you hate–it comes out the exact same… and you look stupid.Hate me instead. I am not a group of people. I am a single person. I have an identity. One that a lot of people hate. There are plenty of real and valid ideas to hate about me. Which is not in anyway like applying some ideas to a blanket group of people.I offer myself, to be hated, as a specific person, with many hate able traits, rather than an anonymous group of statistical data, such as “men”, “jews”, “women”, “aryans”, “homosexuals” and what not.

  41. says

    The legal foundation had to be set, and as I pointed out, it was as easy as a show of hands, but you’ll have to wait a long time before the chauvinist mindset dies out. You may not want to believe me, but discrimination works against men too, just ask any man who has tried to get a job as a creche assistant, or has tried to get custody of children in divorce. There are men who have committed suicide in despair at the way they have been treated following marriage break-up, I just wonder how long it will be before it’s illegal to have a penis!So, you’re very concerned about the lack of women in high pad jobs, do you show the same concern for the lack of women in mines, on oil rigs, on garbage trucks, on construction sites, etc. You can’t cherry pick equality, you’ve got to take the rough with the smooth.I know men who hit the glass ceiling, nothing to do with equality, they’ve just reached the peak of their ability. The only discrimination now is in the minds of some people, men and women, and no amount of legislation will change that.

  42. says

    “Setting quotas to ensure that a woman has a job, regardless of whether she is the best person for the role, isn’t justifiable in my opinion.”watch the man defend his male privilege. *sigh*quotas and other forms of extra support for women would only be unfair if men and women started out from the same point, which they don’t. As long as men receive more advantages because of social, cultural, and economic capital acquired during the long history of sexism in our society, it is not unfair or unwarranted to give women a leg up to even out the outside advantages a bit, and help erode white, straight, male privilege that much quicker.IOW, there’s no such thing as reverse racism/sexism/whatever as long as white straight male privilege still exists.

  43. says

    I think we have different ideas of what radicalism is. To me, radicalism is synonymous with extremism, whereas you employ it in the same way as, to use my previous example, being staunch. As I said before and again: I never said to compromise, or concede ground to the “other side”’s arguments, or anything of the sort. We must be as strong-willed and unmoving as we can about our desired goals, just as were the fighters for desegregation (and pretty much all social movements in that period). Stay firm, yes, but not like a brick wall. More like a giant buffer: let them bounce off a few times, recognize their wrongs, rather than break their necks.Once again, I never said (or meant) to be accommodating. There is a critical difference between accommodationism, ie. “Well, okay, maybe I’m wrong, but would you just think about this, please …”, and just being staunch, without being extremist about it; ie. “I’m sorry, but I’m right and you’re wrong. Not to be an ass; it just is. Look at the evidence, it’s very clear”.Also, threats of violence don’t help anyone other than terrorists. And if they’re fighters for social rights, I’m a purple canary in the Balkans.Regarding Pharyngula, that’s hardly what I was getting at. In my opinion, the reason hordes flock to it is because PZ tackles interesting topics with a strong mind and an impressive baggage of knowledge and experience. And, yes, I do realize that he does bag his fair share of (de)converts and so on. But I am arguing, with a fair amount of certainty, that more will see him as a vituperative firebrand and wish to distance themselves from him, rather than come closer and hear what he has to say with an open mind. Despite his protests, yes, tone does freaking matter, in no small part. But, that is another subject in itself and I have no desire to get into it.(To clear up any misconceptions: I love PZ and Pharyngula and check my RSS reader several times a day for updates. I just have differences in opinions on how best to tackle social reform.)

  44. says

    Just want to say a hearty Hell Yes to the original post. It embarrasses me no end when feminists reject reality in favor of ideology — whether that’s about porn and sex work, the causes of gendered behavior, the extent and nature of witch burnings, medical science over alternative medicine, etc. — and then act as if this is a freaking virtue. The whole “women’s intuition/ women’s ways of knowing” bullshit. As if “I feel it in my heart” is any better a source of evidence when it comes from someone with a vagina defending their belief in Wicca, than it is from someone with a penis defending their belief in Jesus Christ, their personal lord and savior. Sheesh.

  45. says

    “you’ll have to wait a long time before the chauvinist mindset dies out. “I prefer actively fighting it, thankyouverymuch.as for your “men suffer too” arguments, please go here. Best blog about how current patriarchal society hurts and affects men I’ve ever read, full of actual scientific evidence, but completely lacking the idiotic, dishonest MRA-claims about the evil of feminazis.And why do you think I’m against women in dangerous jobs? I’ve known several female construction workers who were pissed at being treated like delicate flowers by their co-workers, and I’ve always supported the efforts of equality in the military (for example ending the front-line ban) even if I never personally understood the urge to be actively shot at.

  46. says

    I used to annoy people who had just watched the “Gandhi” biopic by saying that the British only gave in to Gandhi because if they didn’t, they would have to deal with an armed insurrection led by Chandra Bose, whom Joé would call a terrorist. The purpose of radicals is thus to make moderates look better by comparison and empower these to cut a deal……..

  47. says

    “watch the man defend his male privilege. *sigh*”What privilege would that be then? I reached my peak in lower management years ago, and I once worked as a technician in a R&D dept with female scientists who were paid an awful lot more than me, and rightly so, their job eclipsed mine.”if men and women started out from the same point, which they don’t. As long as men receive more advantages because of social, cultural, and economic capital acquired during the long history of sexism in our society, it is not unfair or unwarranted to give women a leg up to even out the outside advantages a bit, and help erode white, straight, male privilege that much quicker.”So it’s OK to put men down, even if they are better qualified and experienced for the job, just to give more women higher paid jobs, that’s not equality at all!Yes there is a long standing cultural divide, but that is the mindset I wrote about earlier, can you please tell us how you can change peoples thought processes, without discriminating against men? The unfortunate thing is that the very men who discriminate against women aren’t the ones who suffer, it’s usually those who are sympathetic who get sidelined.Social engineering doesn’t work, you can put as many hurdles out for men, and leg ups for women as you want, those women still have to work with the bigots eventually, as a lady friend found out when she made it to the board of directors of a London legal firm. Getting to the top was the easy bit, staying there was so difficult it drove her to drink. I have to sympathise with her because it was the political infighting at management level that I couldn’t fight through, hence my ceiling at lower management level, I opted for the easy life rather than the pay or prestige, I couldn’t lie and cheat like some of them.

  48. Andy Batma says

    Jen, you have great tits. Your articles are a bit boring though, and your face isn’t much to look at.That said, I’d happily watch you in a porn

  49. says

    some reading on white straight male privilege:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whttp://books.google.com/books?…http://books.google.com/books?…point being that white male privilege is being advantaged in ways that seem “normal” when in reality those who aren’t straight white males are treated quite differently, and have to work harder at achieving the same.And I’m going to now admit to utter laziness and refuse to explain step-by-step the means by which a society can be changed and bigoted attitudes fought. Information about this is ubiquitous, from early childhood education programs to promoting better rolemodels, etc.

  50. Amber says

    god that’s embarrassing ><how could anyone be so ignorant – surely they encountered science at school… maybe if they’d taken an interest in it there’d be more female doctors and they wouldn’t have to worry about some “dude” leering over them …or would they be lesbians because they like science (which obviously has nothing to do with things like having babies or baking, which are caused by woman-magic)

  51. says

    Firstly – I think you missed the point on the first post you linked from Twisty over at IBTP. Which is from 2007. How did you find it?Secondly – you then link a post from PZ that was directly inspired by Twisty over at IBTP but don’t credit her? PZ credited her! Twisty has recently done about 3 posts in a row explaining why science is awesome and why feminists should be 100% on board with it.I feel that you have a real good point in this article somewhere but the problem is that Twisty already made it last week. You don’t seem to have done your reading. I mean – you are totally right, women should trust science, but it kinda makes you look like a fool to hold up Twisty as the bad example since she has been saying EXACTLY THAT for about 2 weeks now. Just saying.

  52. says

    “Oh, wait. PZ has a penis, I forgot. I get that makes everything he said bunk, and I only agree with him because I’m trying to be a funfeminist or something.”Yup, you’ve committed Argumentum ad Penem, the Appeal to the Penis!

  53. the_Siliconopolitan says

    “But the really mindbending thing? The feminist PZ quotes who is so clearheaded about all of this, saying that intuition is just as affected by patriarchy? Yep, that’s the same feminist who brought out the major woo-guns when faced with something she personally disagreed with. Um, can we get a little consistency at least, please?”

  54. says

    While it is true that fanaticism or extremism may be very often accompanied by radicalism, I do not think it is safe to equate radicalism with fanaticism or extremism, especially in light of this note from dictionary.com:”—Synonyms1. basic, essential; original, innate, ingrained. 2. complete, unqualified, thorough; drastic, excessive, immoderate, violent. Radical, extreme, fanatical denote that which goes beyond moderation or even to excess in opinion, belief, action, etc. Radical emphasizes the idea of going to the root of a matter, and this often seems immoderate in its thoroughness or completeness: radical ideas; radical changes or reforms. Extreme applies to excessively biased ideas, intemperate conduct, or repressive legislation: to use extreme measures. Fanatical is applied to a person who has extravagant views, esp. in matters of religion or morality, which render that person incapable of sound judgments; and excessive zeal which leads him or her to take violent action against those who have differing views: fanatical in persecuting others.”While I might qualify as a radical atheist (I like to get at the radix — the root — of the problem), I do not think I am a fanatic or an extremist.

  55. Freddie says

    These militant islamic people can only be called one thing: fundamentalists. bigots, too (anti-non-islamists). They’re hellbent on ruining a good thing. I never liked these people, and I’ve called myself an muslim for decades(for the record: I am not a muslim, but rather an anglican christian atheist)Your point still stands, but I’d be interested for your arguments that radical islam (or christianity, or hinduism..) are a good thing. Radical -anything- does nothing except give people a reason to dismiss their arguments or beliefs as stupid, or worse, dangerous.

  56. says

    We’re men. In this day and age, being born with a penis makes us bad people and wrong in any case. If you don’t believe me, there’s a girl somewhere in the world right now falsely crying rape and/or abuse against a guy and several thousand innocent men in prison right now.Aside from shouldering the blame of all the -legitimately- horrible things members of our gender do against the opposite gender and otherwise.

  57. says

    argh… totally missed this little piece of entitled wrongness earlier:”So it’s OK to put men down, even if they are better qualified and experienced for the job, just to give more women higher paid jobs, that’s not equality at all!”I just love the assumption that the only reason that women aren’t getting these jobs is because they aren’t as qualified for them, thus giving women a leg up would result in the less qualified candidates getting a job.Science sez it ain’t so: there have been experiments where CV’s were mailed out for job openings, which showed that a qualified CV with a western male name was more likely to be invited for an interview than the same or equivalent CV with a female or Arabic name; there was the introduction of blind auditions for orchestras, after which the number of women in those orchestras skyrocketed, which could only be explained by sexist hiring bias; and then there’s the experience of various trans people with the way their careers went after transition, like the female scientist whose career advanced steadily but very slowly, but after finishing the transition to male he suddenly received far more promotions, offers for leader positions on projects, speaking engagements etc, despite the fact that he didn’t suddenly become better at his job; all that is white male privilege. and it’s all subconscious to a large degree, and perpetrated by all men and women. And so we have measures to counteract this society-wide privileging of white straight men, which is so much more visible than the privilege its counteracting, so people blind to their own privilege then complain about reverse discrimination where none exists.

  58. says

    Btw – I don’t know why I thought the article on IBTP was from 2007. I guess I made a fool of myself too for not reading properly!But still, I find it really disingenous for Jen to credit PZ and only acknowledge the fact that they were Twisty’s original words in her concluding paragraph. Also, why not mention the pro-science posts that Twisty has been blogging recently?Lastly, after reading through Twisty’s post “Science dudes declare porn good, support claim with Danish graphs, flawed reasoning” there is very little in it to support Jen’s assertion that Twisty is “anti-science” and “acting like woo-filled idiots screaming conspiracy theories.” I mean, I feel like I read a completely different blog post. It seems to me that Jen simply doesn’t LIKE Twisty’s opinion. Fair enough but this blog post seems like a personal attack and doesn’t actually explain or point out where Twisty is supposedly wrong. Yes there is a list of “anti-science feminist logic” but literally none of it applies to Twisty’s post. So yeah, colour me confused.

  59. Gabriel Syme says

    Jesus Christ, was that meant to be a rebuttal of Dennis’ argument? All you’ve done is shown that within any group, there are radicals and fundamentalists. Bravo! If it isn’t a rebuttal, then.. why bring it up?Atheists who go around loudly proclaiming their beliefs and superiority, while at the same time deriding and offending those who do not share their beliefs (atheism is NOT a religion, but it IS a belief) do nothing to promote the atheist cause of reason and humanism. They simply create a real-life strawman for opponents to hold against atheism in general. Jen has written enough examples on this blog of anti-atheist sentiment to demonstrate the effect this has.The same absolutely and entirely goes for feminism. The feminist case (and correct me if I’m wrong here – my penis often gets in the way of my ability to understand and empathise with other human beings) is about promoting gender equality and recognition that while there are biological differences between genders, this does not make one inferior to the other. Is that, even broadly speaking, what feminism is all about?So it seems logical that to achieve this end, we should set about creating a society in which the genders (and anyone in between) are treated equally and with respect. That way, y’know, you’ll have a society in which the genders are treated equally and with respect. Ken’s post, if you’d actually READ it with the vaguest attempt at comprehension, elaborated on this.Back to the athiest example – the militant atheist declares they hate all religion, and that anyone who believes in that spiteful load of horseshit is just as spiteful and full of horseshit themselves. They fail to see their “opponents” as people with motivations and needs that they have allowed religion to satisfy, or perhaps just people who’ve been brought up that way and have never really critically analysed it. A religious person is the enemy who must be destroyed.Then you have the “proactive atheist” – someone who is commited to furthering their cause but understands that religion is ingrained in society for many reasons, and that to shake its grasp on society we need to demonstrate why reason is preferable to superstition (see how I lapsed into the first person there?). Furthermore, a proactive atheist understands that religion is what they have issue with, not its followers. They understand that they can only bring about change by changing the followers and so work with them rather than attacking and caustically demonising them (at this point I’m pretty much just echoing Ken, so I’ll wrap it up).Ok, I know that was long-winded, but go back and reread those examples and imagine that instead of atheism they are about feminism. Except militant feminism is even more ridiculous since while a follower of religion by definition cannot be an atheist, nothing prevents a man from being a feminist. Many are, in fact.I understand what you are saying about accommodationism here, but I really think you’re misinterpreting it. Not “hating and immediately discounting everything said by a self-defined opposition” is not the same thing as compromising feminism’s beliefs or objectives. Although, as I said, my penis may mean that it is *I* who have misinterpreted and in fact feminism seeks to destroy the male gender in its entirety. Unless that’s the case, treating people as people, instead of a concept they were born into, will continue to not be compromising one’s beliefs.G out.

  60. Gabriel Syme says

    Upon further consideration, I should have double-checked “Ken’s” name *facepalm* I meant “Joe McKen

  61. Trevor says

    First off, this guy is clearly being sarcastic. Secondly, the split is actually closer to 51/49 XY/XX at birth (of those born XY or XX, I’m specifically ignoring the other possibilities like XXY, XXX, and XO), and probably 49/51 XY/XX by the age of about 40, because men (XY) are more likely to die young.

  62. Yaz says

    And somewhere in the world there is a man raping a girl. Or even a woman. And the odds are that he’ll get away with it since the conviction stats on sexual abuse are so low. Yes there are people of both genders who lie about crimes committed against them or by them. Innocent people of both genders are in prison because of this. Guilty people are free because of this too. This has nothing to do with whether or not one has a penis. Nice persecution complex, by the way.

  63. says

    And if there is, that girl or woman will receive a much stronger backlash than the accused. So she’s probably smart enough not to do that, and you’re probably wrong. It’s not that friend/acquaintance/spousal rape doesn’t exist. It’s that men say it doesn’t exist to shame women and maintain their sense of entitlement.

  64. says

    Thanks for the pointers. It’s fun to have my own personal etymologist on demand. ;-) Okay, it’s now evident that I had misconstrued “radical” to be synonymous with extremism/fanaticism. I take this back, along with my arguments that were built on that basis, obviously. I guess I was mislead by the media equating fanatical/extremist Islam with radical Islam and ended up thinking the word conveyed the same sense. Eh. Bloody librul media!!!Eh, I still don’t like the term “radical” as it reminds me of imagery of hate and threats and violence, none of which I wish to be associated with in any way. But I’ll stop using it to mean as such, at least.

  65. says

    i came to this blog in hopes to get a little more insight on the facets of the female mind. And because i like jen picture.Missions: accomplished.

  66. says

    Maybe, too, we should cease thinking in terms of a spectrum between moderate wusses and bold extremists. I hold that there is nothing necessarily wrong with an extreme position, and nothing necessarily right about a moderate position. Who was it said you cannot cross a crevasse in two leaps? And splitting the difference is not a reliable guide: if it be accounted as an extreme proposition that you should kill all Jews, and as another extreme proposition that you should kill none of them, the ‘moderate’ proposition that you should kill only half the Jews is still very wicked. It all depends on between what and what one is to be moderate. There is no virtue in moderate oppression or moderate lunacy. I would rather look at specific propositions for their truth value. Some propositions advanced by some soi-disant feminists (and by any other category of human beings you care to name) are simply false, quite regardless of the degree of meekness or rabidness. Others are both false and psychopathic, ditto. Some propositions only appear to be telling us anything about the nature of the world, but are so clearly designed to obtain personal benefits and game the system that discussing truth values is a waste of time. I personally would place the intuition woo in both latter categories.

  67. Luna_the_cat says

    Jen, you needed to go back a few more posts to http://blog.iblamethepatriarch… and the posts which just preceded it. Twisty is rather emphatically ***NOT*** a fan of intuition over science! I think that she was having an issue with “science” as it was being done in this instance, however, and the lightness with which an important (if very complicated) feminist issue was being treated. After all, despite what “thoughtful animal” came up with, there are other studies and pieces of evidence that women are harmed, in real terms.I don’t know if you saw my comments there or not, but I would like to make clear again at this point, I disagree with all those who think that the harmful and abusive kinds of porn are the only ones, that women cannot take part in porn voluntarily, or that all porn is even about women anyway — I know different. I also very much disagree that trying to make all porn illegal would help ANYTHING. I support sex workers’ rights, and I support sex workers’ healthcare rights as being an important protection (in more than one sense of the word) — but it doesn’t do anyone any good to pretend that porn is all entirely benign, either. And seriously, comments on the SB where this was being discussed turned very vicious towards women who disagreed in very, very short order.But back to the original point, Twisty (to defend her) is not trying to push intuition over science! But she does have one point, a point that I don’t think you quite go far enough with — you wrote Are some scientists still misogynist? Again, probably,…. Make that “probably” into sweet hopping green jesus YES, and you will get where I think some of us are coming from on this. Note, here, that I am *NOT* accusing “Thoughtful Animal” of being misogynist — far from it, I really don’t think he is — but through carelessness or naivety he wandered straight into a stinking mess of an approach to a topic which involves, in at least a few of its aspects, real sexism. And from those of us who have had to deal with genuinely misogynistic colleagues in science, the careless approach was itself a problem. He didn’t seem to pull up, in his “I’m just pulling up a few quick studies to find out” way, any of the studies which genuinely seem to indicate that viewing porn increases the objectification of women and acceptance of rape myths, for example, and there are a few.

  68. says

    Yeah! I mean… ummmm… doesn’t it suck when people who you should agree with on things in the abstract turn out to be raging loons on the specifics?The problem with feminism as I see it (and since I have a penis I have the objectivity to judge from the outside? Or something? Anyhoo.) — the problem is one that lots of -isms suffer from, which is that some people take a perfectly reasonable idea and stretch it far beyond what it should apply to. It is perfectly reasonable to look for sexist causes for the fact that science has long been a male-dominated field. It is unreasonable to claim that science itself is phallus-centered and therefore invalid, and that women should make up their own way of looking at the world that is more centered around the vagina. (I’m only exaggerating a tiny bit here, believe me!) It is insulting to men AND women, and it is a way that a certain type of feminist sort of reinforces the stereotype that women can’t compete with men on a level playing field.

  69. ign says

    FYI – women getting raped is not a counter argument to the issue of false rape accusations. These are separate issues, both serious but not comparable. We, as a society, can equally address the issue of false rape claims at the same time as addressing the issue of rape.This is exactly what the blog author is talking about – people who don’t know how to reason and argue. This blog post is talking to you. And I don’t mean that in a snide way. I am trying to help you open your eyes. Your counter argument is called a “false dichotomy,” and it doesn’t have a place in reasoned thought.

  70. ign says

    Isn’t a parabolic arch also a line? Is it not as one dimensional and infinitely extending as any other graph of a function? (just teasing)

  71. says

    One of the easiest ways to make me stop giving you any credit for rational thought is to make a statement that implies I am wrong or evil because I have a penis. That said, I could not make it through her blog entry. Interesting to note, over the years I’ve heard many feminists claim they are not respected ‘because they have a vagina’ or ‘because they do not have a penis’. Funny how they adopt and adapt the tactics of the ‘enemy’ and do not transfer how wrong it is.

  72. says

    It’s really sad when women, all of whom have legitimate grievances against patriarchal society, feel the need to demean men in order to feel better about being women. It just compounds the problem.

  73. Mike says

    I think there’s a legitimate dichotomy here, though both posters argued in an unnecessarily aggressive and unproductive way. The dichotomy of false rape claims and low conviction stats on sexual assault is a tough issue. The law makes it hard to prove an instance of rape. That’s tough on rape victims because many of the violent criminals get away with their crimes. However, these legal barriers also protect the innocent. Someone has to prove thoroughly that you committed the crime before they can send you to jail. It is a compromise in the truest sense: an intermediate position that ensures no one is happy.

  74. says

    “Oh, wait. PZ has a penis, I forgot. I get that makes everything he said bunk, and I only agree with him because I’m trying to be a funfeminist or something.”From experience with Real Feminists: When you (young female) agree with some old white d00d its because you are too frail/naive to form your own opinions (best identify young women by the men in their social circles), you only agree with PZ because he is an atheist, you are sexist, you need to get raped more, etc.’PZs pit bull’, ERV

  75. Paul says

    No argument with your argument; just a question. What’s wrong with poking a vagina?

  76. says

    Can I leave aside all the bickering^Wserious discussion and just note that this line:”This post is about rational discussions, and the feminists that fail at them. “Is awesome, and I would quote it on my Twitter account if it didn’t unjustly make you sound like a woman hater?

  77. COCO says

    I love scienceI love googling every question that rushes into my headi love reading about verrucas for over an hour I see female intuition as emotional intelligence combined with experience – we all have it (to some extent)Spirituality in the sense ofhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v…Does worry me…………..All i can suggest isRather than seeking withdrawal from the world, the Quaker mystic translates his or her mysticism into action. They believe this action leads to greater spiritual understanding — both by individuals and by the Meeting as a whole. This view of mysticism includes social and political activities.

  78. says

    …I like porn. I’m a woman. A real woman. According to her, I can’t exist?According to Twisty (Jill), no.I used to read Jill’s stuffs regularly. I finally came to realize that she (like all of us) have certain buttons that, when pushed, cause her to diverge from rationality to knee-jerk reactions.A shame, that. She used to be one of the best wordsmiths I’ve seen in the blogosphere.

  79. Heather says

    Went read the other article. Wanted to gouge my eyes out at the blatant disregard for EVERYTHING. As a healthy 26 year old woman, who indeed does enjoy watching porn with my fiance, who is a scientist, I wanted to rip her face off. Just leaves a bad taste in my mouth — I can’t believe she can speak past her toes.

  80. Yaz says

    FYI comparing low conviction stats to false accusations is completely valid. Mike makes that point quite well. My point is that the guy I was replying to was implying that men are at the disadvantage because women apparently have taken too much power. I call bullshit. And after this gem : ‘being born with a penis makes us bad people and wrong in any case.’ I would like to point out the poster’s persecution complex. Both genders are victims of abuse AND of false accusations. Attitudes like that poster’s are part of the problem.And your condescension is not helpful…or warranted.

  81. Bill says

    Wow, lotta people using this as an excuse to bash feminism. There’s a difference between feminism and raving lunacy, folks. I note a couple of unintentional clues to Jill’s mindset. “Whenever I see a science dude begin to muse on the philosophic value of pornography, my lobe starts to tingle. ” Her lobe starts to tingle? Calling Dr. Freud! Your slip is showing!And her answer to one of the comments to her post (yes, I even read those – this is a real time-waster, thanks Jen),”Nevertheless I remain unmoved by this romanticized mystification — it’s so “wondrous” and “complex” — to which sex is constantly subjected. Whatever bangs your box, of course, but to me orgasms lack the nuance and sophistication of other human pursuits (such as playing the autoharp, or reading to the sick) and so fall a bit short when you’re talking about high moral purpose.”Oh, really? My guess (male intuition?) is that this woman has inhibitions caused by X, which she does not want to deal with or is consciously unaware of, so instead she goes to war with people, especially men, who like sex more than playing an autoharp (there are a few of us, believe it or not). Also, deep down she wants to play “Doctor.” Ooo, my lobe just tingled!

  82. libraboy says

    Nope, according to her you’re an oppressed, deluded self-hater (or something).

  83. says

    The problem with science is that science can only prove those things that can be proven with the scientific method. I do believe there is such a thing as intuition (not restricted to women), because I have it and in hindsight it has always been right. I can’t document this using the scientific method because by scientific definition my own experience is purely subjective and anecdotal and cannot be either quantified (Cartesian logic says anything that is real can be quantified, therefore anything that cannot be quantified is not real) nor reproduced in a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Yet what do we live our lives by if not our own experiences?I was raised by an atheist scientist so I absorbed the belief system of science at an early age. I did the full pre-med program in college before deciding to write instead, but then was a science writer for 20 years. But after a while, there were just too many ways that science fell short, too many things it does not explain, cannot explain. Plus, lately I’ve become fascinated by how the brain works and have been reading a lot of neuroscience, and the neuroscientists like the quantum physicists are starting to sound like mystics. As Ken Wilber says, the farther out you go in ANY direction of philosophical orientation to the world, including the strictly logical and scientific, and the more everyone starts to say the same things.Don’t get me wrong. Whenever someone comes to me with some claim about anything, I go to the science first still. But just as people can be willfully blind about what science can teach us, so too can people be willfully blind about the possibility that what science cannot demonstrate could still be real. (And perhaps, we simply haven’t yet built the machine that can measure intuition . . .)Or perhaps not WILLFULLY blind. “The Brain and the Inner World” has a beautiful explanation of how and why we are unable to perceive those aspects of the world that we don’t already believe in. Interestingly, the Buddha said the exact same thing 2500 years ago, but he couldn’t back up what he said with PET scans and measurements of brain chemicals. He got it just from observing his own brain – true empiricism – but without the quantification, that was just subjective & anecdotal.

  84. says

    Let’s summarise this thread by setting up a porn video site about mystical vaginas that apprehend the nature of reality better than mere eyes and brains. We could call it WooTube.

  85. Erin says

    I so love these posts, but I have an objection, Jen. Is there proof that intuition is a fallacy? I used to believe that the desire to have children was a myth perpetuated by our society and that intuition was a crazy person’s distraction – after having a child (and, by the way, discovering an urge to do so) I have also discovered that there is a very real part of me that is connected to my child’s well being – call it what you want, but most would call it mother’s intuition – and all doctors encourage mothers to listen to it when something feels wrong. I get this is about asking people to keep logic at the heart of their arguments in order to be effective, but it wouldn’t hurt you to look more into the aspects of motherhood before denouncing intuition altogether and so surely.

  86. says

    Don’t have time to write a long reply, but 1) My post was motivated by Twisty’s newest post, but I had the general theme you find in Anti-Science-Feminist posts in mind. Unfortunately I find them way too much at various feminist blogs I read.2) I did mention Twisty made those pro-science posts (last paragraph). However, if you make those and then turn around and act completely anti-science because something is an emotional issue with you…you’re not being very pro-science. Again, it’s not consistent.

  87. Michael says

    Did you notice that there’s a sentiment that women are unable to consent to sex work? That if a woman were to agree to have sex on video for money, it’s instantly rape and thus the woman was unable to give consent. Yeesh

  88. Michael says

    Nope, it’s all those things with penises around you that have corrupted your pretty little mind

  89. Raejean says

    I would think better of you if you restricted your endorsement to consenting adult porn. Just a personal bugaboo.

  90. says

    If you read my many posts on the topic, you might realize that I have just spent the better part of a week boostering — in the face of great hostility — on behalf of the scientific method, and that your characterization of my views as anti-science is anti-true.

  91. says

    I actually do read your blog, which is why I find it highly ironic that even though you say you’re pro-science, you’re decidedly anti-science when something emotionally triggers your own biases. Saying you’re something doesn’t make it so.

  92. George S. Buck says

    Great blog. i have to disagree with you on one point, though. Intuition does exist, not exclusively in any particular gender, but it does exist. It has no part in a scientific discussion as it is an entirely seperate entity. Anyone who says that it should be favoured over science is out of touch with reality. Of course, science often dismisses intuition. That is a little more understandable, at least, since it is unquantifiable.

  93. says

    “Oh, wait. PZ has a penis”Umm, now I’m uncomfortable… lolOkay, more seriously, I love your willingness to counter the “typical feminist mindset” with science. Science and Reason are the best starting block to any debate, if you can’t come from this angle there is no argument. IMHO. However, there are many people who don’t see it this way – thanks for your help in clearing the air.

  94. Marion Delgado says

    I actually did a “Men’s Issues” radio show and a great many irrational and sexist feminists called in to complain (that the show even existed, that men even existed, etc.). This was the early 90s, and the heyday of what I have to call Bad Feminism had been the 1980s – including tons of dissertations and articles and books talking about how reductive hierarchical male science was oppressing women.That said, it was a flash in the pan. Nowadays, I think anti-science feminism is a teeny, tiny, almost nonexistent, if loud and hysterical, minority view. 99.something% of the interaction of feminism and science now is ensuring equality of treatment for women in science.When you encounter women who are both feminist and anti-science nowadays, they often have other agendas besides feminism that contribute to it.Stephanie McMillan of “Minimum Security” certainly had her quasi-viewpoint character rant against science as a result of buying the anti-science, anti-civilization green-anarchist position, but even though Stephanie is a feminist and was recycling dumb leftist canards against science, it was not informed by feminism but by the likes of John Zerzan (who blights the very city I write this from).

  95. Gayle says

    If you had bothered going through a couple of previous posts , you would have seen that Jill spent the better part of last week promoting science and specifically the scientific method with 4 different posts (mind you, hers is not a science blog). Virtually all her commentators agreed with her except the one woman you quote.Sometimes it helps to do a bit of research before you embarrass yourself–again.

  96. says

    Note, that website may not be the most unbiased of sources… Anymore than a website built to support rape victims would necessarily be unbiased about how many rapes are perpetrated each year.Overall–that page seemed to have mostly anecdotal evidence–especially when it came backing it up. I looked at some of the sites linked–such as the FBI UCR site and and then did some poking and found out that such data does not necessarily cover all accusations of rape, because definitions were different.For example–check out the stats you can find from the Bureau of Justice for various years–http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.go…There numbers are quite different than the FBI site..A more balanced discussion of the subject seems to be here:http://lawprofessors.typepad.c….. especially in the comments. There, the level of false accusations seems to be agreed upon to be more around 20-30% of all accusations–and the agreement to it being a “false” accusation contained the high standard of there being a full recantation from the woman. Of course, a lot of this is still anecdotal and the total number of studies on false accusations versus accusations seems to total out around two or three.That’s a pretty slim amount of evidence to base any larger claims on. On theoretical levels–this debate could really use a lot more thought about the situation. For example, almost none of the material or discussion in these places seems to talk about a number of important factors that would greatly influence the numbers here. Some of these might be:1) Whether all women who are raped actually report it to the authorities? From my own anecdotal evidence–having known at least four women who were raped–and only one of them ever having gone to the police–this fact could change the numbers a lot…2) Whether the standard of “recantation” actually means that the accusation of “rape” was false. That discussion in the second website I mention brings up the fact that it is possible for a couple to have had problems, to have the man get angry and sexually assault the woman, to have her report it, then to have the couple make up, and then the woman recants to “solve” the situation. It doesn’t then make the accusation false…In any case–more data is needed overall on this subject before people start making strong claims. Of course, getting the data is hard because of the subject nature of the crime and how humans often react to it. I would, for example, wonder about how often men report being raped in prison. Supposedly prison rape is terribly common–everyone seems pretty terrified about it–but the data on it seems pretty non-existent.Looking just at the wiki page for prison rape, for example, various groups estimate somewhere between 50k-140k instances of prison rape in the US in 2006, but there were only 2200 reported cases and only 262 substantiated allegations.So–does everyone believe that there are only 2200 instances of prison rape out of 2.3 million inmates each year? That’s less than a 1/1000 chance of being raped in prison each year–which makes it a rather low risk.Again–I raise this to point out the complications in the data here–but also to bring out the bigger point that the WHOLE point of this article was about being scientific about various topics–and not just relying upon spotty data. Being scientific also means that you have to be careful about the robustness of your data and about making claims that are only supported by a slender data set..

  97. Mike says

    Jen’s point stands, Twisty is pro-science until someone comes out with a study that claims to prove the pornography is not harmful. Upon realizing that conflicts with her view on the matter, Twisty goes out of her way to declare that this was just performed by a bunch of people just looking to get their rocks off. It’s hypocritical at best.You refute science with science, not with moral panic & outrage.

  98. says

    I must admit–I poked around that blog–and I cannot take it seriously at all.Is it trying to be somehow ueber-ironic or something? Is this the new “hipster feminism” or something?or a “Things white people do” for feminism?Perhaps I’m just too old to understand it.. having just turned 38 a couple of weeks ago…

  99. Mad Scientist says

    As a former mad scientist of the male persuasion, I appreciate your cogent, well-written analysis. All kinds of folks have decried science, or subscribed to pseudo-science or to unscientific speculations, and, while much of that has been harmless, some of it has caused serious harm; eugenics, for example.

  100. Alex says

    I love you! Science is awesome and unbiased. You either prove something or you don’t. You of course can use science to do your own bidding – but it only works if the other people are not Scientifically literate!Intuition of any sort is not accurate. Thank you for pointing that out and actually calling out these issues!

  101. says

    there’s a differene between radical and fundamentalist extremist, which is being conflated here. Radical feminism is like radical atheism.Now if you want to compare, for example, separatist lesbianism to fundamentalism, be my guest. but simply slinging the “you’re non-moderate therefore you’re an extremist fundie” accusation around is at best sloppy thinking, at best; false equivalence and ad hominem at worst. Radicalism in itself is not negative; counterfactual, dogmatic extremism OTOH is. Dennis however preferred to tar them with one and the same broad brush, and that’s something I felt the need to comment on.Clearer now?

  102. says

    it depends. “intuition” is a fuzzy word for many things. there’s such a thing as “intuition” created by experience and intimate knowledge of something that results in subconsciously coming to a correct conclusion without having consciously gone through the reasoning process step-by-step (firefighters for example have this sort of intuition; they will “know” when something is about to blow without being necessarily consciously aware of why; but they do so because they have experience and knowledge of how fires work, look, feel, develop, etc.). That sort of intuition is often quite real and useful, but it’s not magical either. you have it because you worked to get it.and then there’s the wooified “intuition” of gut feeling about things you don’t know shit about. this is the “i know in my heart that jesus loves me”, “i am a mommy, and i know vaccines gave my smart awesome baby autism!”, “even a 4-year-old-knows that XYZ”, etc. That sort of intuition is worthless, counterfactual and often dangerous.

  103. says

    science is, but scientists aren’t. be careful not to reify science, because that often risks missing very real bias in scientists who do all that science.but as Jen said, the solution to this is more female (and minority) scientists to counterbalance any biases, not decrying science as an evil d00d thing…

  104. says

    That is definitely the type of feminism I seek to distance myself from. I love science. I just happen to suck at the academic aspect of it. I may disagree with a study’s conclusions, but if I can’t find a contradictory study or a flaw in the process, then I accept it until one of those things occurs.

  105. says

    I enjoyed this so much, partly because I’ve been moaning and whinging lately about why it is that a disproportionate number of women as individuals and groups are so uncritical of blatantly superstitious quackery which I think undermines us all.Recently I read a totally offensive piece of gutter journalism where the (female) writer tore into the portrayal of older women enjoying themselves with younger men (the so-called “cougar” phenomenon) and suggested instead that women go to a holistic festival to “celebrate all things feminine as part of the Bealtaine festival . . . while invoking Queen Meadbh and getting in touch with my goddess self”. Is it any wonder we have such difficulty being taken seriously when all such journalists can understand is a two-way dead end between hippie happy shite like this and the uneasy portrayal of older sexually active women as predators?

  106. says

    As Twisty/Jill has noted, she hardly qualifies a anti-science feminist. Her criticisms of the piece in question are quite valid. Moreover, science as I understand it cannot answer moral question such as what is good and what is bad.

  107. Arsenic7 says

    Nor can anyone else. Arguing over it is pointless from an objective level but one can still appeal to objective reasoning. Twisty did, and so did Jen, in her response. I think I’m more convinced by Jen.

  108. NickS says

    /sighOr you know, it might actually be based off other studies, but also accounts of the inhumane crap that has and still goes on in pornography. Is it also driven by the fact that both authors are radical-feminists who see porn as a a means of the patriarchy turning women from people into commodities? Judging from the last couple of days of reading through I Blame The Patriarchy (depression occasionally has it’s silver lining) it is, but at the same time it’s a very understandable response to patriarchal bullshit. Does this mean it’s nice and easy to frame Tisty and Jill as anti-science just due to their ideological underpinnings? Given the shit that goes with a lot of sex research (well, more in pop-sci presentation), and ye olde scientific scepticism, it’s not nice and clear cut that porn is good or bad as a whole, leading to ye olde “more research”. Unlike creationism and it’s variants, anti-vaccination bullshit and climate change denial, where-in there is a mighty cluebat of solid knowledge to swing, and the major denialists ideological underpinnings can be used as a shortcut to dismissing them. Not that I agree with Twisty or Jill completely on pornography and sex workers, in part due to the likes of Warren Ellis, Jen and Furry Girl etc and being a cynical humanist with delusions to pragmatism and a biology background. And comments from Duwayne and others in the comment thread wars over on scienceblogs. aka disgust shouldn’t be used as a means to discriminate against others, nor just because you find it personally demeaning should be outlawed. Though I’m still thinking over this…

  109. says

    Holy shit. I just tried dipping into the comments there. I do not have a strong enough churlishness filter for that much vitriol. Am I allowed to call it a misandrous circle jerk? Or is that too sexist?

  110. says

    ya i agree VeritasTruthseeker. But i was totally loss what she was trying to say. I ‘m not even going to re-rewad it because “Americas got talent” is on……lol

  111. Marion Delgado says

    ditto on reifying science – you CAN codify goals and procedures – which is why social constructionism is wrong – but it’s still a human, social process on the ground. We all know how a baseball game is played, but that didn’t keep an umpire from ruining a guy’s perfect game as it actually played out.The more research and scientists you have, the more the signal of real phenomena emerges from the noise of individual biases and errors.

  112. says

    And make your blog impervious to certain antifeminist assholes. It’s her prerogative. I don’t think she does it to censor free speech so much as to filter out garbage that is as tiresome to her as creationists are to PZ.The level of moderation we’re discussing is much higher. This isn’t dealing with moderate crap problems but rather forming a complete echo chamber. You seem to be correct at least in part regarding #3, although Goldman gives studies that are relevant to that also. Regarding #4, Jen is producing a caricature not a strawman. Not the same thing.

  113. Les W says

    Radicalism refers to returning to the root of something for a brand new rethinking and revisioning. L. radix = root. It does not mean extremism or fanaticism.

  114. Les W. says

    The “iblamethepatriarchy” bit could’ve have been good if it had avoided stridency and attempted what a lot of excellent feminism criticism has done and can do with research findings, particularly in the social sciences–namely, question underlying assumptions and motives of the researchers, examine the rigour and appropriateness of methods and analysis, and offer alternate explanations of the reported findings in the context of oppressive social structures and institutions. An intelligent feminism does not dismiss scientific research and reports as irrelevant “dude science”, but it shouldn’t embrace it naively either. Nowadays especially, scientists have careers and ambitions, research monies come from sources with certain biases and agendas, and which research questions get pursued and which get ignored is shaped by politics, available resources, and the rise and fall of academic interests and fashions. Scientific research practice can aspire to hold itself aloof from bias and corrupting influence, but it can never do it perfectly. The wise user of the products of scientific research knows this. Occasionally, results are blatantly falsified, as we know from the case of the British vaccines-cause-autism research. More often, we are wise to practice healthy sceptism when a new result seems too good to be true. This is particularly true in medical research–a glowing report of some therapeutic benefit in a study funded by drug company money is entirely meaningly unless it can be reproduced elsewhere, and certainly more than once.I am a dude, and I don’t distrust science, but I sure don’t worship it blindly either. If a creationist were to ask me why I “believe” in evolution, I would find it woefully inadequate just to say “because Science tells me so.” Invoking the holy name of Science is never an argument ender. It is just the opening to more rational discussion.

  115. SJ says

    When it comes to feminism, ‘radical’ generally denotes a specific set of theories and beliefs about gender and society, rather than simply indicating how firmly held and strongly expressed those views are.Someone can reject the elements of Marxist class theory in Radical Feminism, have little regard for the arguments made by feminists like Andrea Dworkin, and yet still be utterly intolerant of sexism. Liberal feminists, even the porn loving ones, can be just as extreme in their disgust at sexist discrimination, and their lack of the ‘radical’ label doesn’t mean that they’re willing to appease misogynists. They just tend to have different views on what exactly constitutes oppression, and how best to eliminate it.

  116. says

    “Science Dudes” strikes me as having been written by someone who watches really really kinky porn. I mean, I’ve watched some messed up porn before, but either she’s using “rape” in a way I’m unfamiliar with or she watches really messed up (and possibly illegal) porn.

  117. says

    That’s the official orthodoxy in Sweden and Norway. Commercial sex is violence against women, period. All migration entrepreneurs are male. All prostitutes have been hit over the head and transported in shackles across the Baltic, and all customers are sadists who like the women with their legs chained apart, and would kill them if they had the chance. Righteous indignation is an addictive drug with a high tolerance effect that destroys the ability to process reality.

  118. says

    Well, that’s the thing. I completely agree with you but picking Twisty’s post which isn’t anti-science OR making it an emotional issue sort of destroys the point of your post. You have a list of things that anti-science feminist posts do but absolutely none of it applies to Twisty’s post. So I can only conclude that you a) didn’t read the post properly or b) disagree with the thrust of it. Now disagreement is fine, but accusing it of being some crazy conspiracy theory just doesn’t make any sense. If you really believe it is then I would expect you to explain why. At the moment it is just coming off as some sort of personal problem with Twisty. (I’m not saying for moment that it is a personal thing but the jarring inconsistency between your post and what it actually says on Twisty’s kinda gives that impression)

  119. says

    I like that nosology. As your firefighter analogy suggests, of course, there is nothing gendered in the first kind of intuition. Moreover, it demands exposure to and experience of many similar cases (e.g. fires). One feature of wooified “intuition”, however, is that it purports to apply to unique cases. For example, Jane Woo-Doe may walk up to me and start telling me, by virtue of her woman-magic, all kinds of things about my inner life of which I am unaware and that I do not consider to be true. Her previous experience and knowledge of me is, of course, zero point zip. She may then counter by claiming to have experience and knowledge of many men. But that only works if she has an objective check on the results of her “wootuition” in previous cases, comparable to the fireman experiencing real blow-ups to collate with his gut feelings. What Jane actually does, however, is believe that her wootution is validated by the wootuition itself; she has told N men before me that they had childhood experience X or sexual taste Y, or motivation Z, and if they deny it, proclaimed that she was right about them and they were wrong about themselves, giving her (in her own narcissistic little mind) a perfect hit record. Of course, you don’t have to be female to be a Jane Woo-Doe; Freud and Jung did pretty well………

  120. says

    I’ve never even seen or heard of an autoharp, maybe I should check it out and see how it compares……. Reading to the sick I’ve never done, being the selfish curmudgeon I am, but all things considered I think I prefer mountains to women, and I actually share Jill’s dislike of purple prose about sex.

  121. SJ says

    “Does this mean it’s nice and easy to frame Tisty and Jill as anti-science just due to their ideological underpinnings?”When those ideological underpinnings are used to declare a controversial and poorly evidenced conclusion as an absolute and irrefutable fact, then I think it’s reasonable to see them as anti-science.Even some creationist blogs allow people to discuss the evidence and argue for evolution, while bringing up evidence that conflicts with radical feminist theory draws ad hominem attacks and banning on blogs like I Blame the Patriarchy. That’s fine, it’s their space and they can keep it purely for true believers if they like, but having such a monolithic and unchanging ideology isn’t very scientific.

  122. jilliefromchile says

    Oh wow, Dan Savage drew the MRA’s here. I don’t trust that dude.

  123. octopod42 says

    You do realise that it was some of the commenters who were anti-science, right, not the blogger? Because PZ specifically linked to Twisty’s post that was DISagreeing with the anti-science commenters. Conflating the two is about as mixed up as saying PZ’s a libertarian.

  124. octopod42 says

    And Simon Teagardin — the idea is that a lot of the sex in even totally vanilla video porn is produced under coercive circumstances. It’s not that the script indicates a rape, but that the women in the porn are often being coerced into the depicted-as-consensual “sex” in the film.

  125. Pablo says

    “Scientists who study sex are totally just doing it to get their rocks off, not for the insights into human reproduction, medical breakthroughs, or the sheer pursuit of truth. The only reason they’re sticking a thing in your vagina is to go beat off later.”Jen – this doesn’t take a feminist. As an expectant parent, I hang out in forums with others expecting, which are mostly expectant mothers. It is not uncommon to hear them complain about male gynocologists for this reason – they think that male gynos are only doing it to get a look at their hoo-ha.These aren’t feminists that are claiming this. They are young women, and I view them as very immature. That they can’t imagine that people can view sex from a non-emotional perspective, or as something other than icky/dirty/creepy.

  126. Agreebot Army says

    Kudos for taking on I Blame the Patriarchy, one of the most egregious echo chambers of self-congratulatory dumb-assery in the known blogosphere.Not that science journalism on the whole isn’t filled with unwarranted leaps, misunderstood findings and sensationalism, but I’m right there with you in rolling my eyes at ideologues, whatever their stripe, who turn on science any time a study seems to reach a conclusion that the “know” cannot be true.

  127. Ram says

    From the comments:”Whereas woman-friendly research has to be rigorously scientific”GAAAH!!!The idea that research should be “friendly” to anything apart from the search for truth….Another gem:”The next guy to tell me that ‘porn is free speech’ is likely to get some speech from my foot to his nuts, for free.”How lovely..Is it terribly misogynistic of me to assume that porn involves consenting adults, and being that women aren’t feeble minded invalids”Physical or sexual violence against another person is not FREE SPEECH. I understand that speech in this context means expression, but videotaping rapes and selling them to other men who like to watch rapes is not an expression of anything.”The assumption that even some, let alone most porn involves the rape of women is an extremely disturbing one.Do they really think the majority of men are so low down that they would be knowingly complicit in the profit from the rape of thousands of women?Are they assuming thousands of female porn-stars are being raped, while on film, and they don’t have the wherewithal to take that video to the police?I guess the big bad patriarchy means all the women in porn don’t realize they’re getting raped, or that they do know, but are too scared to go to the police.(no, i don’t think there are no gender biases against women in society, but the idea that those biases automatically turn women into helpless whelps who have no personal control is extremely disturbing)

  128. says

    Not really. The Onion is clever and makes a clear point with some truly humorous satire. The post Jen mentioned is nothing but juvenile diatribe from what would seem to be an irrational 13-year-old if we didn’t already know Jill was an adult.

  129. Milbury says

    I stopped paying attention to Twisty’s link when I noticed the “Ebonics-lite”/”cornpone” motto of her/their page. Complaining about sexism while highlighting your own social/racial superiority complex seems counter-intuitive, to say the least. And if *her* feelings about porn being equal to “abuse of women” are supposed to be valid, then my own opinions about race-baiting/culture-degrading for personal self-empowerment should be seen as the same.Or, to keep things simple, fuck both of that blog’s writers. Fuck them for jumping from the slippery slope as quickly as possible, and fuck them for turning normal human needs into a cause celebre for their own agendas.

  130. The Crocoduck Hunter says

    Ah, I stand corrected. Thanks!And yeah, I’ll acknowledge that IBTP does get more echo-chamberish than most, but seriously, antifeminist cluelessness gets so damn frustrating that I’m inclined to say it’s worth it. Her level of feminism isn’t nearly as well understood as evolution, so it’s understandable that she would need higher levels of moderation. Plus, her horde isn’t as well equipped to devour trolls as the pharyngulites.

  131. rnd(homonid) says

    you know after reading that, I instantly had this mental image of a group of people taking different goes at making the “woo woo” noise, similar to “The Castle Aaarrggh!” scene in Monty Python & the Holy Grail

  132. rnd(homonid) says

    That writer sounds like what I refer to as a ‘granola-whack-pagan’ or a ‘rah-rah-pagan’.Do you have a link or scan of the article? ……….rofl…. the hamsters are on over drive tonight… that last line of your comment gave me this hilarious mental image of a stately looking 45-50ish woman jumping out of the bushes & mauling an eighteen year old boy on the way home from school…

  133. rnd(homonid) says

    I believe the quote,”Criticism oft tells us more about the critic than that which is being criticized.. “is applicable in this situation

  134. ankylosaur says

    I thoroughly agree. Rape is a crime like any other, and prevention/punishment vs. protection against false accusation is somewhat of a yin-yang dilemma that affects all crimes. Of course, in the case of rape, this is made worse by the fact that so many instances end up in he-said-she-said conflicts. I honestly don’t know what to do about that — other than suggesting people use their cellphones to record their sexual encounters in case they ever need to prove in court that their claims about ‘what happened’ are right…A second problem is that rape has become emblematic of gender relations. It seems all theories of gender in society has to somehow ‘explain’ rape — it can’t just be a crime, it has to mean something, it has to be a direct element in keeping society as it is, etc. etc. etc. As if there were no alternatives worth considering — the very kind of thought pattern that Jen’s post rightfully protests against.

  135. ankylosaur says

    Yaz, you’re 100% correct. I wished more people could see what you see, write what you wrote, and spread the knowledge. There seem to be so many nutjobs — male and female — who want to claim eternal-victim status for their gender and their gender only…

  136. ankylosaur says

    trcmstr, I’m with you. I am quite interested in gender relations and the claims that are made about them; and I am appalled at how few people actually ask for more studies, and especially for more reliable data, on the topic. Looks like everybody just wants to say “you’re wrong!” to their favorite enemies.If you encounter other examples of well-done, well-researched studies based on good scientific methodology, please let us know. (Perhaps someone somewhere should start a webpage collecting such material?)

  137. ankylosaur says

    Joé, it is all very well, but don’t forget to so hate the rabid antifeminists too. They’re there.If you find it wrong to see men as a gender accused of things that were actually perpetrated by specific individuals, then you shouldn’t accuse feminism as a movement of things that were perpetrated by specific individuals. Camille Paglia is not Angela Dworkin, Christina Hoff-Sommers is not Catherine MacKinnon, Wendy McElroy is not Valarie Solanas.Hate the rabid extremists. Don’t become one.Take care.

  138. Asehpe says

    point being that fighting against it with quotas actually reinforces the privilege structure by providing straw (wo)men in that women/minorities who aren’t qualified get to positions that they aren’t qualified for, do a poor job, and become putty in their enemy’s hands.bottom line being: you have to make better women, and you’re not going to do that by putting non-qualified ones in positions that are meant for qualified people; you’ll just make them look worse and strengthen anti-female attitudes.

  139. ankylosaur says

    As long as the result is less qualified people getting a position than would otherwise be the case, then the quota system is not going to help anyone. If you can prove that the people being chosen are arguably at least among the best for that position (if not the very best), then please do so. Beating around the bush (‘ah, women and people with strange names don’t get interviews!’ is not equivalent to ‘those who got their jobs because of quota systems are sufficiently or even abundantly qualified’ — these are different and logically independent statements).The way to fight against privilege is not by providing examples that suggest the privilege was justified to start with. One actually has to do the opposite.

  140. ankylosaur says

    The point is not that you’re against women in dangerous jobs — but that you don’t protest against the injustice of men being overrepresented in these jobs, which benefit also women.If women were the ones in these jobs, the argument could be made that this is yet another way ‘patriarchy’ has found to keep women down.Equality means sharing rights and duties, advantages and disadvantages. If you want to fight for equal pay, fine. It’s a worthy goal. But who is going to fight for equal risk and equal exposure to danger, if this is not your cup of coffee?

  141. ankylosaur says

    Indeed. Any group, by itself (including feminists) is bound to have biases that hide some of the truth.

  142. Mr Rumpel says

    sheesh you guys, the quoted comment is so blatantly sarcastic that i feel second-hand embarrassment for you taking it at face value.

  143. ckitching says

    Almost impossible, actually. Everyone carries around mutually conflicting beliefs of some sort. The real question is what do you do when you become aware that two or more of your cherished beliefs cannot all be true?

  144. Agreebot Army says

    Read further. Part of Twisty’s schtick is to coat everything in such a thick patina of sarcastic contempt that a casual reader might conclude she’s just spoofin’. But the more you read the more you realize she’s serious.

  145. Shoegirl says

    Its here:http://www.irishtimes.com/news…I was going to write a letter to Madam Editor to complain, but I forgot about it for a while. It plays straight into the idea that somehow the eco-hippiedom is more valuable than preying on younger men (because that is so -you knkow – EWWWW!!). The writer, it turns out, is a very priviliged, married, hetero 30-something, living in an obscenely wealthy part of Ireland. Clearly she isn’t grappling with the “how do I find a man to love me” problem that many of my 40+ friends are.

  146. Laura says

    I am not sure it is “teeny.” Its very powerful, for example, in the lesbian community (particularly the more ghettoized communities where radical and separtist ways are more dominant). The big issue isn’t so much the trash about how much having angels in your life can do for you or psychic healing, as it is both self-reinforcing and alienates rational women from becoming involved, leaving these communties becoming everymore dominated by quakery and vulnerable to infestation by more of it.I think hetero women are better able to fend off shite like this – or maybe they just feel less of a need for it?

  147. rabbitpirate says

    Science isn’t a bunch of horny dudes in plush chairs sitting around a grandiose table commiserating about how they can best oppress women and get to poke a vagina in the process.

    Wait, what? Ah screw that. I’ve just lost all interest in science.

  148. Lymie says

    “I don’t know what fish talk about when they are alone, but it isn’t water.”By which I mean, the patriarchy that Twisty points out is so pervasive that YOU, Jen, don’t notice its depths. Science includes interpretation of facts and the selective noticing and reporting of facts. To deny that we each have our own filters, that includes our gender, is naive.

  149. says

    Ha! “Righteous indignation is an addictive drug with a high tolerance effect that destroys the ability to process reality. ” That’s, well, just, great. Superb. Couldn’t have said it better.

  150. BSchwerdt says

    I’m too old to argue this bullshit. I envy your energy and passion. Intuition is merely an unscientific way of describing the mental process of coordinating known facts into a reasonable hypothesis. Example: My intuition tells me not to trust someone. Well my brain put together that this person acts a lot like my narcissistic Ex who screwed around on me. Add in that they don’t respect me and talk over me. Throw in a dash of wandering eye heavy cologne and the corvette. Poof – Intuition told me not to trust him. Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Intuition isn’t all Woo. But it isn’t magic or ESP either.

  151. donna says

    talk reality chris and stop the “pity party for men speach.” ALL the men in prison are innocent, just ask them. many more children and women are abused than is reported, i can tell you that, and you live with the memory forever. that is something i know about.

  152. Superspright says

    This blog post is a breath of fresh air…I’m a feminist (and I’m a man) and it’s obnoxious as hell to have women treat me like shit, or disrespect my opinions simply BECAUSE of the fact I’m male. The kind of contradiction that is going on there is patently antithetical to feminist beliefs. So whenever I hear about ‘men’ and ‘men do this’ and ‘men do that’ I just shrug. Broad sweeping generalizations about any creed, race, sex, etc., is intellectually dishonest, and clearly anyone who engages in that kind of thinking is just not thinking in the first place.It’s like most people don’t want to admit that there are differences between our genders (biologically speaking at least)–imbalances, and some of them shift toward men (I’d say most, but the trend is thankfully reversing) and some toward women. I noticed a lot of feminists just don’t believe that. Or, perhaps haven’t researched some of the imbalances toward men. Such as the fact most men will not win custody of their children, or the false reports of rape that happen every single day. Fortunately I’ve never been criminally accused, but I’ve been in situations where I’ve had completely consensual sex, and then later heard them saying I raped them–then later recanting it when I call them on it. It’s a serious thing to say, and I don’t care if anyone sitting behind a computer thinks “heh, I bet he did rape her.” Don’t care. Never would do it–had it happen to me, and I’d never hurt a person like that in even my most sadistic nightmares. But it’s serious to say something like that, and it does a disservice to the women who really get raped. Any woman, or man who falsely accuses rape in my eyes might as well be assisting rapists in the first place–because you lessen the gravity of it, and make the legal process so befuddled because they are trying to catch all the false accusations, and unfortunately a lot of violent offenders will go back out on the streets to do it again while innocent men or women go to jail.But anyway, a feminist should be aware of all human suffering, and what causes it–male, female, black, white, red, yellow, whoever, whatever, whenever. Feminist to me is an overarching ideology that encompasses real humanism coupled with the common sense notion (at least now) that we are equals.*steps off soap box*

  153. SprinkZ says

    The reason why intuition is often brushed aside is because it is PREDOMINATELY WRONG. If you tallied together your premonitory thoughts and seen which ones came true, and which didn’t you’d find that they are mostly wrong–and your gut feelings about situations are almost all wrong too. It’s just ludicrous to think that intuition is a respectable aspect in urban or industrial life–maybe in the Savanna it was useful.

  154. LS says

    This is the first time I encountered the word “Woo,”Am I wrong about how the word functions, or is it counterproductive to use a word which features “woman” predominantly in its etymology to describe pseudoscience?

  155. googleSearch says

    You’re wrong about how the word functions. It does not feature woman predominantly; note the two o’s and the different sound. Don’t assume that everything that starts with wo- is related to women.Etymology of the word is obscure, but it is more likely an imitation of an eerie sound. Here’s one ref. Not sure where you got the “woman etymology”.In any case, I think etymologies are irrelevant in a discussion, only the word meaning is important.

  156. Azkyroth says

    -If it’s a man disagreeing with you, it’s because he has a penis. This logic is so obvious that you must make sarcastic remarks about how shocking it is, and belittle him by calling him a “dude”-If it’s a woman disagreeing with you, it’s because she’s brainwashed by all the humans with penises around her. Completely disregard her comment, even if that may seem unfeminist of you. It’s for her own good.”So it’s not just my imagination.OH MY FICTITIOUS GOD I HATE THAT SHIT… >.>

  157. says

    The idea of science is never wrong. If things that were “purported” to be science were later found to be false or inaccurate, then either the study was flawed, and/or there were misobservations, and/ or the conclusions were erroneous or inaccurate. Science is self-correcting. Science by its own nature REQUIRES questioning and confirmation..again and again. Nice to hear Blag Hag agreeing with me on this. She definitely has more feminist cred than I.

  158. Nadiah says

    It was a year ago, but hey, better late than never. Here’s what Twisty wrote before this post, 28 May “The argument has been made that intuition is superior to science because it is somehow free of the oppressive misogynist entanglements that encumber its dude-dominated counterpart. … it is not possible for any concept, process, person, or cognitive function to exist outside of patriarchy. That’s what patriarchy is: a world order with firmly established and inescapable auspices. Science, like everything else on the planet, is Dude Nation’s minion, yes, but “intuition” doesn’t exist in a magical patriarchy-free zone merely because it is associated with women’s reality. In fact, it is because of patriarchy that women were assigned the supposedly unique and mystical power of hunchiness the first place”. Pretty much the same argument as PZ.

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