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Aug 07 2012

Forget educated women being unsexy – they probably don’t exist at all

A Voice for Men, an MRA site, is currently celebrating the landing of the Curiosity Rover on Mars… as a victory for men. Not women. Only men. This comment alone should make every female scientist or engineer’s blood boil*:

“It made me so proud to be a man when I saw this. Men are the abstract thinkers, the ones adventurous of mind, body, and spirit. As Paglia said, if technological advancement were up to women we’d still all be living in grass huts.

There were a handful of women in the NASA video they showed when the Rover’s touchdown was announced. I wondered, “How many are camera whores who really work in public relations or human resources or some other non-related nonsense? Which ones are actually scientists but aren’t held up to the same standards and discipline as their male counterparts (e.g. Take a dump and they give you a plaque for being such a great empowered womyn, or, spend most of their time doing commercials for NASA or on speaking tours with the NASSA public relations people instead of being actual disciplined NASA scientists moving up the ladder slowly by merit).

In any case. It was an astonishing achievement BY MEN. If there were any REAL accomplishments by REAL women scientists or engineers who both had the “right stuff” and refused special favors, hats off to those individuals as well.”

That’s right. This commenter already knows that women are intellectually inferior and incapable of doing science. So all those women in the room that most observers would take as evidence to the contrary? Nope, there has to be some other explanation. Camera whores. HR. Diversity hires. It’s simply inconceivable to this guy that a woman could actually be as good as a scientist or an engineer as a man.

I love knowing that no matter how hard I work or how much I accomplish as a scientist, there’s always going to be people out there who think I’m just there as a token diversity hire.

Way to kill my buzz about the landing.

*And any other man or woman that isn’t a flaming delusional asshole.

86 comments

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  1. 1
    Derek

    The site’s called manboobz.com. If you go swim in a sewer….

  2. 2
    apenpaap

    Some people really make me feel ashamed to be male. Or human, for that matter.

  3. 3
    S.W.

    Since we’re bowing to Paglia as a source of authority. “It is not male hatred of women but male fear of women that is the great universal.”

  4. 4
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Derek, manboobz is not a sewer, it’s a good site that points and laughs at the MRAs. Of course, they still showcase edited highlights from the sewer, so best to avoid if you’re feeling fragile.

  5. 5
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Given the automatic tendency to value what men do, listen to men, and so on, any woman in that room was probably twice as good as the next nearest male candidate.

  6. 6
    Nobody

    There’s nothing quite like people who cheer themselves on other people’s efforts. Only a failure of a person could use someone else’s success as evidence of his own superiority. The jumping through hoops to denigrate the women because they intimidate him is just the icing on the cake.

    (switched names to avoid being connected to that other Karl)

  7. 7
    James Willmott

    http://wiki.nasa.gov/cm/blog/womenatnasa/posts/post_1344360977625.html

    Yes, clearly women have *no* place in the Curiosity program… (sigh)

  8. 8
    TheGentlemanPhysicist

    How pathetic do someone’s personal accomplishments have to be that they need to take such fanatical pride in something as trivial as gender?

  9. 9
    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    It’s A Voice For Men that’s the sewer, Derek – ManBoobz keeps a mocking eye on the toxic pollution you can expect to find at web sites like AVFM or Roosh V’s website, also a moral cesspit that Blaghag readers have had the misfortune of becoming acquainted with recently. (See also Alethea’s comment below at #4.)

  10. 10
    eigenperson

    Personally, I found that post far more amusing than angering. It’s always fun watching people systematically disassemble their own credibility.

  11. 11
    Patrick W.

    Manboobz is actually an anti-MRA site that’s also mocking this. I would assume that the point was to not actually link to the offending site.

  12. 12
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Exactly. No doubt they had to put up with a lot more, and had to work a lot harder, than their male counterparts.

  13. 13
    MLR

    There are a lot of things in the world that, even though I don’t agree with, I can understand. Like why some people are greedy and steal and cheat. I don’t approve, but I get why. One thing I just can’t wrap my head around though – and maybe this is a good thing – is this kind of hatred. Much like how a skinhead can hate other races enough to shoot people, I just can’t understand how someone can have such a seething hatred of women to just assume that any woman in a science position is a fraud. I just don’t get it. I know some apologists for MRA-types like to say, oh, they’re just socially inept. Or maybe they had a bad rejection experience and take it out on all women. Well, I’m socially inept. In the past I’ve been rejected many, many times (though not every time). None of that has given me a deep seated hatred of all women, and I just can’t figure out what does it. Maybe it’s jealousy? Smart, professional women are a threat to their own inadequacy? I don’t know where it comes from, and like I said, maybe that’s a good thing…

  14. 14
    callistacat

    So, the author feels proud when he personally didn’t do *anything* to make this happen? Does this mean he also feels ashamed of all horrible acts other men commit?

  15. 15
    aka Mediancat

    Good grief. In the middle of something for the human race to be proud of, someone has to come along and say, “Oh, no, this is just for US to be proud of. You shut up.”

  16. 16
    Derek

    Ah, proxy swimming. My bad.

  17. 17
    Kausik Datta

    I would like to know, even if a matter of academic interest, what kind of family this man came from, who and how his mother was, if he had any sisters, what kind of childhood he had, and so forth. This kind of pathological loathing of women, it is hard to imagine that it would be innate, no? I wonder how the women in his life tolerate him.

  18. 18
    Eristae

    Ann is the deputy lead engineer for the descent, entry, and landing of Curiosity, and we are so proud of her and her entire team!

    Clearly Ann was just a diversity hire that they put into an unimportant position; this is because she clearly is not qualified to do anything, but they want to look progressive. It’s not like the descent, entry, and landing of Curiosity was important.

  19. 19
    Jasper of Maine

    Sort of a nice self fulfilling prophecy they have there.

    1. Drive off a lot of women in the field because you think they aren’t competent.

    2. Think they’re incompetent because there aren’t any in the field contributing.

  20. 20
    dailydouq

    So they’re just trolls then, trying to get a rise out? If not, they’re pigs, and as a man, I denounce them. I’ve hired, promoted and reported to talented women in tech fields so this claim is absurd.

    My only right wing friend once thought Colbert was for real so I don’t want to look at stupid as her getting falling for the gag, but the site sure looks nasty-enough, not very funny if it is a gag.

  21. 21
    ah58

    I watched a report on NASA TV not long after the landing where the head of the “cruise team”, those who were in charge of getting the rover to Mars, handed the rover over to the “ground team”, the ones who will control the rover from now on. Guess what? The leader of the ground team is a woman.

  22. 22
    Rabbit Tattoo

    Of course not! Don’t you know that all ills ever are the fault of women? See, when men succeed, it’s just the logical result of male superiority, even with all the token women around for diversity. But when something somewhere goes wrong, you can’t bet your last dollar that some inferior woman, or women, were behind it.

    Ugh. This is how these guys think.

  23. 23
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    So they’re just trolls then, trying to get a rise out?

    huh? Are you saying that manboobz is the troll here? Mocking misogyny is not trolling, it is social justice.

  24. 24
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    Oh my god!? Women are going to be in charge of driving Curiosity?! Have you seen how they drive!?

    (/sarcasm, of course)

  25. 25
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Guess what? The leader of the ground team is a woman.

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!@@111!

  26. 26
    Eskeptrical Engineer

    Wow, I love it when people assume that because I’m a woman, I must be incompetent at my job. Clearly, no matter what I accomplish, it was all just handed to me due to my gender.

  27. 27
    Rabbit Tattoo

    No. Mocking misogyny is not the same as being a troll. David Futrelle features snippets of ridiculous, sad, and often frightening examples of misogyny he finds around the web to highlight how much of a problem this still is. Sometimes he just jeers and mocks, and other times he debunks various spurious claims.

    For instance, he debunked one of the MRAs shrieking points of male disposability, in particular the whole “women and children first” myth in maritime disasters since MRAs love to howl about the Titanic.

    http://manboobz.com/2012/04/15/a-titanic-mistake-new-research-sinks-the-women-and-children-first-myth/

  28. 28
    YankeeCynic

    Ugh.

    Assholes like this always amaze me. They’re fantastic examples of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. “I *could* look up the details on Curiosity to discover if there were female engineers and what their contributions were, but why bother? I KNOW what the answer will be! Women are stupid! Why waste time educating myself or examining my own views?”

    It’s the fact that nobody challenges these assholes and their ideas that largely allows this vile subculture to exist. There are plenty of people in MRA circles who are so utterly entrenched that they won’t be able to look past their own position. But they start somewhere, and the breathing-room we allow them by deciding that they’re not worth our time is what allows them to further suck people into their madness. If we put continual pressure on them, however, their decent into irrelevancy can only accelerate.

  29. 29
    TychaBrahe

    I’d put this nimrod up against Admiral Grace Hopper, Ada Lovelace, or Margaret Burbidge and day of the week.

  30. 30
    dax

    I hate the BS but satire is satire
    Grow up

  31. 31
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    dax:

    I hate the BS but satire is satire
    Grow up

    When the satire is immature, who should do the growing up?

    Just curious, Dudebro.

  32. 32
    cag

    The MRA is right, of course. Just look at the amazing advances in science and social progress in countries where muslim extremists are in power and the women are uneducated. The numerous contributions of the Taliban to the advancement of humanity are so well known that they need not be enumerated but I will do so for those who need visual evidence.

    1.







    Where would humanity be without the Taliban?



    I don’t need the /sarc tag do I?

  33. 33
    Stacy

    Not satire. Those guys really think that way.

  34. 34
    Stacy

    Authority? Paglia?

    Hmmm…well, during her 15 minutes she was a world leader in unintentional comedy.

    “Freud thinks man preened himself on his ability to put out a fire with a stream of urine. Male urination really is an accomplishment, an arc of transcendence.”

    (Somebody who has the stomach for it should do a really thorough satire of Sexual Personae.)

  35. 35
    Gopal

    Trolling is a art. Mockery is a virtue.

  36. 36
    Oddree

    I GUESS HE NEVER HEARD OF MARIE CURIE…..assholes make me die inside…

  37. 37
    Lynda M O

    Thank you very much for this endorsement of those of us who deny our humanity when these a-holes prove to be such egregious examples of it.

  38. 38
    Hellbound Alleee

    Personally, I think saying “I’m proud to be an American” is no less ridiculous. What did we personally achieve to be born within a certain border? I’m not one for heritage pride. I know lots of people are, but for my whole life, I’ve tried to understand and/or appreciate it, but it’s almost 46 years later and I still cannot.

  39. 39
    Dunc

    Farnsworth: “Just knowing we’re in the same genus makes me embarrassed to call myself homo.”

  40. 40
    Svlad Cjelli

    Going after Curiosity? *knuckle-crack*

  41. 41
    Svlad Cjelli

    To be clear, no, manboobz.com searches the web and publishes findings. This is real.

  42. 42
    J. J. Ramsey

    Manboobz is more like the kind of site that keeps track of creationists or climate-change denialists. It’s just that it’s tracking MRAs and anti-feminism instead.

  43. 43
    Brakeman

    How many days is a woman unclean and unfit to touch a male each month?

    The authors of the bible would fit right in those sites.

  44. 44
    Twist

    Or they think she just stood around the lab looking cute while her husband did the real work, and then she took all the credit, the castrating bitch!

    (Paraphrased from a real comment I read on a post about Marie Curie at I can’t remeber where)

    Right, back to work – to stand around at the back and paint my nails, we all know I’m only there becuase diversity.

  45. 45
    Jacob

    So, I want to be sure I’m understanding this right. An educated woman is a disgusting thing that repulses men but yet they still have such power over us as to force men to hire them to positions they are not qualified for. Hmm, that’s some consistent, manly logic right there.

  46. 46
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    exactly as pathetic as those for whom having a penis is the heightest heights they can attain. Gotta be proud of something.

  47. 47
    Corvus illustris

    “I’d put this nimrod up against Admiral Grace Hopper … ”

    Oh, do not mention COBOL! But putting him up against the women who can now be found (or who recently retired: e.g., any of Lipman Bers’s famous women students) on US math faculties would be more than adequate. Sell tickets.

  48. 48
    Corvus illustris

    That would be redundant, since it so artfully satirizes itself. She should have noticed that she was doing that, too. (Difficile est saturam percipere [apologies, Decime].) Still, she should be given credit for the insights she does have–and she can be a lot of fun.

  49. 49
    StealthBadger

    On top of the obvious sexism: considering no-one from AVfM was involved in the launch, why don’t they drink a nice piping hot cup of “shut the fuck up and stick your unearned pride up your ass?”

  50. 50
    bcoppola

    Well, it is just as I feared: Sally Ride, Birute Galdikas, Eugenie Scott, even “mere” science grad students like Jen…all just figments of my feminazi-brainwashed imagination.

  51. 51
    Toby

    Well see, its all those “white knights” and “manginas” that stack the deck against Real Men.

    Except for the part where that’s only true in their mind, and in reality it’s utter BS.

  52. 52
    bcoppola

    Freud and Paglia got it wrong as usual. It’s the ability to write our names in snow that makes us Real Menz teh shiz.

  53. 53
    Scr... Archivist

    For a closer look at the women who participated in the safe landing of Curiosity, the Forbes website has this article:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/tarabrown/2012/08/06/the-women-in-the-blue-shirts-who-dare-mighty-things/

    …which also points to this Tumblr page:

    http://changetheratio.tumblr.com/post/28829163026/womenofmarscuriosity

    I daresay that someone like Leslie Livesay has accomplished far more in the last twenty years than those misogynist ranters at A Very Few Men will accomplish in their entire lives.

    Furthermore, while the landing was happening, I was watching the Google stream that Phil Plait had been promoting. One of the main hosts was the wonderful Dr. Pamela Gay, and space writer Amy Shira Teitel was reporting from JPL. Also, astronomer Jill Tarter was a guest during the webcast, which was nice to see.

    Meanwhile, Emily Lakdawalla has been keeping us up to date with her continued reporting on the Planetary Society’s website. A Master of Science degree in planetary geology from Brown is nothing to sneeze at, but her excitement about space exploration is infectious.

    Besides that, I’m now additionally glad that things have gone so well for this Mars mission, since its success has also denied the misogynists another shrieking point. (Thanks, Rabbit Tattoo for that great phrase.)

  54. 54
    qwerty

    Look – I’m not saying women are inferior. But take a trip to any engineering department, or company. The sad truth is, almost the only women there ARE from some sort of administration or marketing department. And nine out of ten are foreign.

    It’s almost as if young girls were afraid to soil their hands in oil and dust and take care of boring, cold, metal stuff.

    Oh, but the sales department in every bank is just filled with smiles and skirts.

    I’m all for encouraging little children to take interest in all possible areas to somehow break this status quo. But that’s not much different from Don Quixote’s battle with windmills.

    The fact is that the media and society are perpetuating those stereotypes of men-engineers and women-decorations. And one of the consequences of this is that most of the people who work in NASA and whatnot are male. It’s something that needs to be changes, but not denied.

  55. 55
    jon

    “look! here’s a link to a site that has a link to another site that has as post that is ridiculous!’
    First time I’ve played, but I already don’t like this game anymore.

  56. 56
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    lolwhatisthisIdon’teven

  57. 57
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Your point is what?

  58. 58
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    No, it shouldn’t be denied (what exactly shouldn’t be denied?) except when it is not true. Plenty of women were and are involved with the heavy lifting that is Curiosity. Denying that Curiosity is some accomplishment of men and no women is entirely accurate.

  59. 59
    Eric RoM

    Well, there’s the fucking door. What’s keeping you?

  60. 60
    Bill Door

    This is what hard-core racists do as well; I’m reminded of a website I saw once that tried to convince readers that black people had never really invented anything. Serious racists/sexists often have no accomplishments of their own, so to compensate they must first find some demographic to which they belong and convince everyone of the group’s superiority. Then they can parasitically gather self-esteem from this.
    Must be kind of unfulfilling in the end. Isaac Newton’s accomplishments will never be their accomplishments, no matter how white or male they may be. Then there will be the obvious counterexamples. It’s easy to see the temptation to push the bigotry further and further. With no internal source of self worth, only one derived from bigotry, they must be completely desperate.

  61. 61
    Sally Strange

    Personally, I think saying “I’m proud to be an American” is no less ridiculous. What did we personally achieve to be born within a certain border? I’m not one for heritage pride. I know lots of people are, but for my whole life, I’ve tried to understand and/or appreciate it, but it’s almost 46 years later and I still cannot.

    Totally agree.

    As some dude on “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” put it, there’s really nothing to be proud of about falling out in a certain place (or with a certain organ). “You might as well say that you’re proud to be a Caesarian,” he said.

  62. 62
    MNb0

    I’m male.
    And my contribution to that Mars landing thing has been exactly zero.
    Now I’m supposed to be proud of an accomplishment reached by other people, only because they happen to be male too?
    Weird.

  63. 63
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    In fact, it’s exactly like that.

  64. 64
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Hasn’t anyone found an effective treatment for “Dismiss-Every-Crazy-Thing-As-Satire-itis” yet?

  65. 65
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    This seems like an intentionally dense reading. Being a part of a culture – transmitting it, immersing oneself into it, and helping to build it – could very well be something worth being proud of, including at the national level, as could specific values, practices, and achievements of that culture. And this is often what is meant, or what was originally meant when the meme of saying “I’m proud to be [nationality]” was created.

    Whether American culture deserves it is another matter, of course…

  66. 66
    Geek Goddess

    The reason there are only 5-10% women graduating in US engineering schools has nothing to do with their ability and much to do with that we must go through the same difficult curriculum AND put up with shit from some male students or with older professors. My advisor told me I would be taking a job away from a man who had a family to support. And that women wasted their degrees by quitting engineering jobs after a few years. And did my husband do my homework for me? And did I need to borrow a needle and thread to sew up the side slit in my skirt?

    Do the guys get those kind of questions in addition to deriving Bernoulli’s theorem or taking two semesters of differential equations? I think not.

    And this girl works in the oil field just fine, where I used to take shit from the older men. Now I’m the director and no one screws with me.

  67. 67
    Rilian

    And he’s “proud” to be a man… as if it’s something he achieved.

  68. 68
    Rilian

    Thank you, that was funny.

  69. 69
    Rilian

    No, she’s supposed to be pregnant, not having periods every month.

  70. 70
    Rilian

    And what if you had a family to support? My mom’s job isn’t just a frivolous hobby, it’s what supports our whole family.

  71. 71
    jon

    my point is that I don’t understand why there’s no direct link to the post Jen is referring to.

  72. 72
    jon

    All the friendly people around here :)

  73. 73
    Noadi

    I guess it could mean to be proud of the culture you live in or the accomplishments of your country. The problem with that of course is that it ignores all the shitty parts of our culture and the horrible things our country has done. I’m pretty proud that some of my tax money went to funding something as cool as Curiosity but a larger part of it went to fund two wars I don’t agree with (3 if you think the War on Drugs is a real war, which I don’t, and I’m not old enough to have paid taxes to fund previous wars). I wish more of my tax money went to science and education and a whole lot less to the military since we don’t need to spend almost as much on ours as the rest of the world combined we already have them outgunned.

  74. 74
    Noadi

    You don’t get the point of linking to coverage of misogyny instead of linking directly to a hate site? When a blogger writes about white supremacists do you complain that they linked to the Southern Poverty Law Center instead of to Stormfront?

  75. 75
    jon

    linking to != endorsing

  76. 76
    jon

    and no, I don’t get the point.

    When you want to say ‘look at this awesome site (A), it’s showing some horrible stuff posted on another site (B) and gives an opinion I agree with’, than you should link to that site (A).
    When you want to say ‘Look at the horrible stuff this site (B) is posting’, you should link to site B.
    IMO of course.

  77. 77
    Fed Up (or just Fed)

    Just a suggestion for a possible change of title? Rather than “they don’t exist at all”, make it “we don’t exist at all”?

    ‘They’ is an *othering* kind of word, is my opinion.

    Just my two cents.

  78. 78
    Georgia Sam

    Reality check: women are now more likely than men to enroll in college & graduate from college. They also make better grades. It’s just a matter of time until the majority of people in NASA control rooms will be women.

  79. 79
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    the mras will claim this is evidence of the gynocracy that keeps men down! (just ignore how women were denied highed education of hundreds of years).

    However, I wonder if this isn’t the result of patriarchy’s influence on society that makes everything considered “female” tainted, undesirable, bad, etc. As soon as they made studying and learning into “girly”, did they doom themselves to fall behind?

  80. 80
    Pieter B, FCD

    Yes, the ratio should be better, but a high percentage of those job titles listed in the Forbes article are senior positions: two Deputy Chiefs, one Director, an Assistant Manager and a Lead Engineer.

  81. 81
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Similar to white supremacists, too. They’re proud to be white because they literally have fuck-all else to be proud of.

  82. 82
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    qwerty:

    It’s almost as if young girls were afraid to soil their hands in oil and dust…

    And that’s definitely innate, right? Just like young girls being eager to soil their hands with baby poop or the dirt from growing flowers must be innate, too.

    Maybe you ought to read a little sociology, if that’s not too soft science for you, and learn how gender stereotyping starts driving girls away from science when they’re too young to even talk.

  83. 83
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    …and women still get paid less than men do, even when things like having children are controlled for. In fact, a woman with a college degree often makes less than a man without one.

  84. 84
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    You know, while I’m not crazy about HR or PR departments overall, a lot of the “non-related nonsense” is what enables the science to be communicated to the general public, which increases interest in it and, if all goes well, funding too.

    I suspect that some of these d00dz are the stereotypical STEM types who deride any non-STEM jobs and don’t see why they should have to lower themselves to actually communicate, especially with lowly non-STEM people.

  85. 85
    coleopteron

    Some jerk from “A Voice For Men”:

    “It made me so proud to be a man when I saw this.”

    The time you spend avoiding reality could be better spent actually accomplishing something. Then you could take pride in something you actually had some sort of involvement in, instead of leeching off the successes of the men and women of NASA – while conveniently ignoring/diminishing the latter.

    Also, please don’t pretend to speak for men. Take your “voice” back because we don’t want it.

  86. 86
    Londo

    Actually, the head of Mars program few years back (in times of Spirit and Opportunity) was a woman. Don’t remember the name, but I saw her talk. I don’t know whether she is still there.

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