In which I “show up” again

Well I was going to ignore it but no one else is, so I’ll say a thing or two. About Harriet Hall’s latest Address to the Feminists, which announces that she’s not our enemy by way of prelude to telling us what shits we are.

I have been falsely identified as an enemy of feminism (not in so many words, but the intent is clear). My words have been misrepresented as sexist and misinterpreted beyond recognition. I find this particularly disturbing and hard to understand, because I’m convinced that my harshest critics and I are basically arguing for exactly the same things. I wish my critics could set aside their resentments and realize that I am not the enemy. [Read more...]

Arithmetic via shopping

Chris Chambers and Kate Clancy point out at the Guardian that pseudoscience and stereotyping won’t solve gender inequality in science, via what they call a “stereotype-enforcing guide to addressing the gender imbalance in science” also published by the Guardian.

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, a developmental neuroscientist at University College London, points out that finding reliable gender differences in the brain is complicated by individual differences: “There are a lot of girls who are better than boys at maths, for example, and a lot of boys who are better than girls at cooking. Therefore, these generalisations based on gender are unhelpful.” [Read more...]

Cultural crap

What is “radical feminism”? I see peculiar definitions here and there – or not so much definitions, as ad hoc explanations apparently pulled out of people’s…imaginary reference materials. The definitions or ad hoc explanations are crafted in such a way that they appear to fit feminists the crafters dislike, unless you actually know anything about the feminists in question.

There’s Vacula’s definition for example.

Secular Woman is an organization, launched in June of 2012, which aims to “amplify the voice, presence, and influence of non-religious woman.” I was initially supportive of the organization and helped promote it because I had hoped that this organization would provide a fresh breath of air to the discussion about women’s issues – something much different than what many have already heard from the likes of radical or gender feminists in the secular community who seem to believe that men, ‘the patriarchy,’ and misogyny are responsible for all or most of the problems women face.

Mmm. Yeh. Except we don’t. [Read more...]

Uglies v pretties

Seen the 9 Ugliest Feminists In America thing?

It ends with a bizarre non sequitur.

Feminists want to be valued for their brainpower and ideas above all else, but they still engage in professional photoshoots to push the prettiest picture of themselves on their web sites and book jackets. I guess even feminism can’t completely demolish a girl’s desire to be pretty.

Well one reason for that might possibly be the way people like this “Roosh” fella like to shame feminist women for being ugly.

I’m fortunate to be too obscure to be on the list, but I certainly get plenty of shaming-for-being-ugly elsewhere, especially of course on the mildew pit (let’s give it a new moniker for a change). I get double shaming because I’m not just ugly, I’m also a million years old, so I get all the old AND ugly shaming. My name is Prune. This of course is because it’s a crime to be ugly, also to be a million years old, let alone to be both at once.

This has always been the way – the hyena in petticoats, you know. But the Internet provides a cornucopia of new ways to disseminate the ugly-shaming. It’s no longer necessary to get on a bus in order to shout insults at ugly women. You can just set up a website or a forum or a blog for the purpose, and then besides there’s also Twitter and Facebook. Life is good! [Read more...]

The heroic standard is too high

I’m thinking about the Romantic cult of the hero, and what a bad insidious idea it can be.

Yesterday Sara Mayhew made a rather pointed remark on Twitter.

If a retired US AirForce Col. who pioneered as one of the 1st female pilot and flight surgeons voices critique about your feminism, listen.

Here again is what I quoted Harriet Hall saying in Shermer’s hit piece on me [update: with Shermer's prefatory phrase added]

As for why the sex ratio [among atheists and skeptics] isn’t perfectly fifty-fifty, Hall noted: “I think it is unreasonable to expect that equal numbers of men and women will be attracted to every sphere of human endeavor. Science has shown that real differences exist. We should level the playing field and ensure there are no preventable obstacles, then let the chips fall where they may.” [Read more...]

This shit is sexist, and feminism is the fight against sexism

Soraya says hell yes she’s a feminist.

Remember the woman who asked Romney about the wage gap?

You know what she got for her efforts?  A good and proper Slutshaming 101 from conservatives who dug up her Facebook page and her Twitter account to reveal that she has in the past used alcohol and maybe suggested her interest in sex. Like Sandra Fluke, she’s a whiny, entitled trollop who should shut up and go home. [Read more...]

Batman doesn’t need to seek help

Laurie Penny and Martin Robbins were chatting about feminism one evening on Twitter. [interjection: I've been there! I've done a good deal of chatting about feminism on Twitter. Some of it with Laurie Penny and Martin Robbins, though not at the same time as far as I recall.] They decided to make it a non-Twitter conversation, with more room to swing the arms. They chose the spacious airy riverview Independent. It’s a very good conversation.

Martin starts by saying that “Feminists are fighting a centuries-old system of power that benefits nobody but the elite.”

Laurie: What you’re talking about is structural violence, and the difficulty people have in understanding that there’s more to sexism than individual men doing individually nasty things to individual woman. In a world where we’re encouraged to see ourselves purely as atomised individuals with no relationship to any sort of broader social context, that’s a tough distinction to make.

So we get people – many many people – telling us to shut up, stop “playing victim,” toughen up, just Be Strong and get on with it – as if it were possible to overcome systemic obstacles by pure will. [Read more...]