Comments

        • Andre says

          Well that’s unhelpful lol. Why do I get the feeling MRA is being used much the same way others use Feminazi.

          If MRA’s want equality then they are just feminists who don’t want to be called feminists. I would assume more male centric also in much the same way feminists tend to be more female centric.

          SO why would MRA’s not like the above video?

          I assume from the jokes about how men are damaged women? If so I think it is safe to say that’s meant in good humor and was just joking. They should grow thicker skins if that has the upset.

          • Nathair says

            Google is your friend. Imagine how much more fun the discussion would be if you did a little research on the basic terms and major players before posting.

          • Andre says

            Men’s rights is an umbrella term, encompassing the political rights, entitlements, and freedoms given or denied to males within a nation or culture. Men’s rights have been the subject of a variety of social and political movements.

            I did do a Google search and it looks to me that MRA is the same thing as feminism complete with its nutjobs and radicals.

            So I found myself wondering why MRA’s “finding the video” was a bad thing unless MRA’s was being used the same way Feminazi is used.

            Do “mens rights” amount to trolls and sexists?

          • says

            Andre, yeah, most of the MRAs that come around these parts are either trolls, sexists, or both. They’re very antagonistic to feminism and once pressed on the issues, typically start presenting reactionary attitudes that are much closer to male supremacy than equal rights.

          • Andre says

            Yah I understand and I am willing to bet that most of the drivel sounds something like “Guys have it just as hard so stop speaking words!!!”.

            The way I look at it is equality for women is the same thing as equality for men… kinda the point of the word equality. I would assume the feminist movement would be 100% behind the MRA movement much like the MRA movement needs to be 100% behind the feminist movement because lets be frank here, anything less is just sexism.

            Lets not let assholes fuck up something so simple as “lets treat people like people”.

          • bojamajams says

            andre, it’s because anyone that uses blanket terms that don’t describe anything but what they actually mean in a way that only descirbes a narrow view of the term and those associated with it are bigots but think their “education and experience” somehow justify that bigotry.

          • says

            No, they shouldn’t just grow thicker skins IF that’s what the problem is. He should be called on it. It was just weird frankly.

            However, yes – some of the “anti-feminist” crew, being categorically anti-feminist, generally just sort of make noise. Since feminism comes in many camps and forms, being categorically anti-feminist is just sort of inherently silly.

            Those who engage in specific criticisms about specific issues (like making analogies that characterize males as “broken”) really shouldn’t be painted with the same brush as those who are simply digging in their heals against what they perceives as a monolithic threat to their privilege and supremacy.

            Some of them (like FinalJusticeMovement on YouTube) really does earn his hate-group member status. It’s extremely unfortunate really, that he bathes his sometimes insightful and disturbing examples of double-standards in seething rage against “homosexualists” who he sees, essentially, as enemy combatants that have emasculated men and perverted society.

      • says

        I spent an afternoon on the video comments of a Men’s Rights proponents vid (http://youtu.be/vp8tToFv-bA) and I was actually pretty sure she was a feminist for the first half or so of the video – but then, oddly, she started bashing feminism. In the comments feminism is blamed for all sorts of evils against men – and is considered enemy #1.

        I attempted to dispel that, explaining how pretty much nothing she said was counter to mainstream feminist thought, that there were many camps of feminism – most of which are completely on the side of treating men as human and having value – – –

        And, at some point, the vlogger entered the discussion and explained that I was entering a “safe space” and that I was in danger of being blocked because I said that a commenter’s post about being angry at women and wanting to hurt them was unreasonable. (Seriously, I was even nice about it.)

        Yeah – I do not like the term “MRA” used as a slur. It absolutely reminds me of the term “feminazi” or other types of nondescript ways of “othering”.

        I would much rather that crew be deemed “anti-feminists” since that’s what they are. In a literal sense they are NOT “Men’s rights activists” – because that implies that they care about fair family law, adequate social support for abused husbands and male rape victims – all things that feminists generally also support. However, some have, as a defining feature, absolutely hating feminists and blaming them for all social ills who not only deny the existence of male privilege, but agency as well. They are not content with pointing out that women have privilege in some situations – are generally more protected, are assumed to be better parents, etc. They grasp onto a binary gender system and see demasculination as dehumanization, and feminism as an enemy of female happiness by imposing unnatural gender roles on them.

        Anyhow – yeah – when people say “MRA” in these parts – they mean “anti-feminists”.

        • says

          Grammar fail:

          “However, some have, as a defining feature, absolutely hating feminists and blaming them for all social ills who not only deny the existence of male privilege, but agency as well.”

          Should be:

          “However, some have as a defining feature, absolutely hating feminists and blaming them for all social ills. They do not only deny the existence of male privilege, but agency as well.”

          • Silentbob says

            Actually, it should be:

            “However, some have as a defining feature an absolute hatred of feminists and blame them for all social ills. They deny not only the existence of male privilege, but also agency.”

            Your Friendly Neighborhood Grammarnazi ;-)

        • Andre says

          Wow what a good link. I see why you thought she was a feminist at first. She says she want equality and brings up some very good points about sexism on men, so she sounds just like she wants the same thing a feminist wants, and then the anger comes out. Still its not like feminism is short on nutjobs itself.

          anti-feminists works well but I also like somethink like Separatist feminism or radfems.

        • bojamajams says

          the same way that some “MRAs” are actually anti-feminist is the way that some “feminists” are actually misandrists. Neither bigot should be given any serious attention unless they’re trying to force their faulty ideals into public policy.

          • says

            Pretty much.

            Sometimes it’s good to engage though. I have a few times.

            It’s particularly a good idea to discuss issues with those you associate with – nip it in the bud as they say.

            I’ve never taken a Woman’s Studies class, but my husband has. From what he tells me, I suspect that I may have made the class more interesting if I had attended it.

            :)

            But yeah, having said that, you can pull the label “feminist” out of my cold dead hands. I intend to own it just fine, and absolutely do not see it as antithetical to masculinism.

            The terms “masculinism” and “men’s rights activism” should absolutely be reclaimed from the anti-feminists, anti-civil rights folks and male chauvinists. I think part of that step is to refrain from using MRA as a slur. The term “male feminist” just doesn’t quite get us there.

          • says

            Just to clarify – it doesn’t really work to call non anti-feminist MRAs “male feminists” in order to continue to use MRA as a slur.

            Just, you know, stop using MRA as a slur.

            Not difficult.

          • Jakie_paper says

            Fail! No, they are not.
            The same patriarchy that says women belong in kitchens is the same one that denies fathers can be equally good parents etc. Feminism is an umbrella term that include equality for all genders. It certainly is not in any way an anti-male movement, though it has been painted as such since its inception. It is raising a straw feminist argument to claim that feminism is anything other than the radical notion that women are people.

          • says

            @ Jakie

            I’m not sure what is “failing” since we’re all pretty much agreeing about the real stuff and discussing differences in semantics.

          • bojamajams says

            @melby – I don’t think jakie understands what “some” means, what the use of quotations means, or even the distinction I was making between real views and supposed titles.
            Genderists that claim they’re MRAs or femists when in fact they’re just “anti” the opposite sex from them is akin to a white supremacist claiming they’re actually “white nationalists”.

            @jakie – if you aren’t literate maybe this isn’t the place to be?

      • TByte says

        MRAs deal in facts, while Feminists deal in myths.
        For instance, Feminists like to claim that that the rate of false rape reports is extremely low. Two to five percent is often cited. But they can’t present any studies that support this.
        MRA organizations use actual studies, such as Kagan’s to present a false report rate of between 20% and 40%.
        Feminists love to claim that women make only 70 cents on the dollar for what men make, but MRAs point out that when studies control for the choices that women make in the jobs the choose, the benefits they elect, the hours they work, then the gap disappears.
        Feminists work to portray domestic violence as a solely male-against-female phenomena, but in fact boys and girls instigate violence at nearly the same rate (girls, actually, slightly more frequently than boys).
        Feminists claim that feminism seeks gender equality, yet feminist organizations are strongly opposing granting men equal rights, such as through laws granting a presumption of shared and equal parenting.
        In short, there is of course a fringe element to the MRA movement, just as there is a fringe element to the feminist movement, but by and large MRA organizations are much more egalitarian than feminists.

        • says

          More generalizations, no specifics, nothing…

          …again.

          The topics you bring up are serious topics. They should be treated seriously. You should try that.

          Your post reads like an apologetic of the inquisition or the crusades.

          1) People who are angry about those sometimes inflate the numbers

          therefor

          2) There isn’t really a problem and the opposite is true

          ?

          Many people, I’ve done it myself, we’ve all done it, engage in confirmation bias. The way to combat confirmation bias is not MORE confirmation bias – it is discussion and a thorough review of all the evidence and the strength of that evidence.

          It is not “and the pay-gap disappears” – because no serious sociologist dismisses the pay-gap because to dismiss it you have to redefine “pay gap” to mean “once you account for all the sexism” – the pay gap disappears: http://www.businessinsider.com/actually-the-gender-pay-gap-is-just-a-myth-2011-3?op=1

          It is absolutely more nuanced than many people make it – because the 75 cent/ 1 dollar statistic cannot, in any reasonable way, sum up the entire issue.

          It absolutely has to do with men being socially expected to take difficult and dangerous jobs, or to neglect their families, while more women will refuse or are completely disallowed to (such as not having access to “combat pay”).

          Look! It’s a liberal “rag” feminist talking about allowing women to get maimed and killed: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/14/women-military-commission-combat_n_809241.html

          Remember when the “feminist lobby” fought for women (some of whom were instructors) be allowed to fly combat missions? I do.

          It absolutely has to do with the fact that many professions that traditionally have high female representation pay less – even though they require similar level of expertise. http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hpi/cew/pdfs/collegepayoff-complete.pdf

          Women tend to take more time off of work for family obligations than men do. I think that’s a problem – not that somehow “the patriarchy” (or whatever you want to call it) devalues women, but devalues the male contribution to family life.

          For example: When my husband takes one month off work to “help me take care of my newborn” as if it isn’t even his and it is ONLY my job to take care of him; and he is worshiped as the most awesome father ever by his co-workers. There is something seriously wrong.

          Also, if you think that the phrase “Simply put, men choose higher-paying jobs.” is the whole story there – you are naive. As only in this generation (and maybe not even now) women in the health-sciences aren’t constantly asked whether they are going to go into “nursing or gynecology” as if those are their only two choices.

          Women also tend not to ask for raises as often. http://www.npr.org/2011/02/14/133599768/ask-for-a-raise-most-women-hesitate What would be your reaction to that? Because THIS feminist thinks that’s a problem with women internalizing a traditional devaluation of their work, as well as a social norm of “not being a bitch”. Perhaps you’d point at it and say, “SEE – there isn’t a problem!!”

          Oh yeah, and while we’re at it – the stat about female business owners making HALF that of male business owners. Would you, like the article I linked, point to that and say “SEE – there isn’t any discrimination against the OWNER of a company? The pay gap is a myth!” – or would you bother trying to figure out WHY that is true. Do they just not pay themselves as big a salary (if the business is incorporated) – placing the company before themselves? Do they tend to take fewer risks? Do they tend to go into low-profit ventures (such as small at-home businesses)? Do they go into business for different reasons with goals other than “make profit”? Are they subject to external or internalize stereotypes that limit their access to capital or other factors in their financial success?

          Am I putting words in your mouth yet? I hope so – because your post put words in the mouths of tens of thousands of people by stating that “feminists” do this and that specific shit you don’t like, instead of pointing out who, exactly is being misleading or even bothering to support your contentions with any evidence at all.

          So, since I linked either studies or articles about studies FOR you –

          – you’re welcome.

          • says

            Thanks – I just threw that together. One of these days I’ll write something more in-depth – maybe ask our resident Sociologist for good sources.

          • TByte says

            Your post is nearly incoherent.
            Could you try actually making a point, in a linear fashion? Without coming across as hysterical?
            Then I’d be happy to respond.

          • says

            Your post is nearly incoherent.
            Could you try actually making a point, in a linear fashion? Without coming across as hysterical?
            Then I’d be happy to respond.

            If you found MA Melby’s post incoherent, I suggest the problem lies with the reader. She laid out her points in a well-organized fashion, with plenty of citations, and clear argument.

            I think the problem is just that you didn’t like the answers, and especially don’t like that you can’t refute them, so you whip out the “incoherent” and “hysterical” cards to try and bluster your way out of things.

            Seriously…hysterical? Seriously?

          • TByte says

            Yes, incoherent. Yes, hysterical.
            The first few “sentences”(?) read like word salad.
            Then she appears to argue for the existence of a patriarchal basis for the pay gap, and then provides a link supporting the opposite conclusion.
            Then she makes some odd statement regarding the ban on combat roles for women in the military, but whatever opinion she actually holds regarding this is lost in her angry sarcasm.
            But basically this feminist seems to fall in line with most other feminists consider women too weak-willed, helpless, and irresponsible to take responsibility for themselves, as is evident from her externalizing women’s reluctance to ask for raises.
            If you think her post was not incoherent, I suggest the problem lies with you, and that you responded to the tone of her article without actually trying to parse out her facts. Which, of course, is typical of feminists. What they “feel” is more important than what “is”.

          • says

            I understand why my post didn’t make sense to you. You don’t know the language and you don’t understand feminism. You seem to see conflicts where they don’t exist in my post, because you assume what the “feminist” stance is. So let me make this more clear.

            1) “Patriarchy” does not mean that men are keeping women down through discrimination therefor denying them avenues for self-determination, personal economic advancement, autonomy and authority. That’s just part of it. It’s a term for pervasive cultural norms for both men and women, upheld by both men and women, and internalized by both men and women. The patriarchy has negative and stifling consequences for both men and women.

            Male disposability, devaluing the role of men in raising children, and treating husbands as wallets is classic patriarchy – and so is devaluing the work of women by paying them less, paying less for “women’s work”, and pigeon-holing both men and women into particular career choices.

            One idea you had about the pay gap is that women refuse to do dangerous jobs. I said that, yes that is true, but they are also flat-out denied the opportunity to do dangerous jobs because of the pervasive cultural norms which compel men to take risks while protecting women. This is also – classic patriarchy. It is infantilizing women and girls, and is an extension of treating them as property that requires being kept under lock-and-key and limiting their roles and contributions.

            2) Pointing out why something might be the case, or explaining it in the context of social norms or psychology or anything else, is not denying agency. In fact, many times the opposite is true, being aware of how external and internal influences affect you can help to overcome them. Feminist theory does not just involve how men and women can stand up to external oppression, but identify and eliminate internalized toxic aspects of socialization within cultures and religions that are born out of patriarchy.

            Explaining that women tend to ask for raises less often and pointing out reasons why that might be the case, does not magically take the responsibility off of those women to stand up for the value of their work. Acknowledging this problem also does not eliminate the existence of external factors either.

            Trust me on this one. I worked for a company that flat out paid the female staff less. They also promoted incompetent men over competent women. We complained. They did nothing. We left. They went out of business. The last time I checked in before they closed their doors, there wasn’t one woman in the store. That sort of problem hasn’t magically disappeared, but in their case sorted itself out. *silly sexists*

            3) I was attempting to create a counter-example to your generalizations of feminists. You mentioned no feminists. Even when you mentioned “feminist organizations”, you didn’t mention the organization. I may have actually agreed with some of your criticisms, if you were actually making criticisms of actual stances of individuals and specific organizations – but you went the feminists-suck route.

            I suspect that the straw-feminist in your brain is so codified that my post didn’t make sense to you, because it didn’t fit with your preconceived notions about how a feminist would look at the pay-gap in a meaningful way. You think I was contradicting myself, but I was just contradicting your fantasy feminist – which was my whole point.

            You said that feminists love to point at the wage gap. Yeah, it makes sense to point at the pay gap and figure out the reasons for it. In the “good old days” it was practically impossible for a girl or woman to support herself financially because the norm was that she could only work in very limited, low-paying jobs. It is much better now. However, I have seen, in my lifetime, women staying with incredibly abusive men for financial reasons. This was primarily because they had childcare responsibilities and knew that they could not provide for their children without the income of their spouse or boyfriend. What could they do without him? Pay a babysitter $10/hr while going to an $8/hr job?

            You have very large ministries – mainstream ministries – enforcing standard patriarchal structures among their congregants. These ideas are not diminishing. The man is the head of the household, the woman is beneath him, the children are beneath her – she leaves and she maintains the responsibility for the children in this arrangement.

            I suspect you are MRA and you think that’s B.S. I think that’s B.S.

            MRA and feminists generally have many many shared goals. However, many MRA are simply anti-feminist out of principle it seems. There are also MRA who are exceedingly awful (as I know there are feminists who are also equally terrible – I mean – Jackie).

            My intuition is that MRA is relatively young and will eventually split into camps and work through quite a few things just like feminism has (and continues to).

            It’s true that most feminists do not focus on issues of masculinity and I do not think that it is reasonable to ask men who are interested in exploring issues of male gender roles and toxic masculinity or related subjects to just join the feminist crowd, but I’d love to see less open warfare between them. It’s counterproductive.

            I read an old book about childcare and it suggested that baby boys shouldn’t be hugged or shown too much affection. It would make them girly. It would decrease their usefulness as soldiers.

            I haven’t met a feminist yet who doesn’t think that’s f-ed up. I think that MRA and feminist have a lot to learn from one-another if they just stopped calling each other names and listened.

            From what I’ve seen the MRA need to clean their house – but y’know – women’s work. :)

          • says

            My sincere apologies to Jakie!!! I was thinking of Desertphile when I said that.

            Jakie was in-your-face but not unreasonable. Sorry again!! My bad.

            Desertphile went off the deep end in epic fashion.

          • says

            because to dismiss it you have to redefine “pay gap” to mean “once you account for all the sexism” – the pay gap disappears: (link)

            The link is an example of redefining the pay gap in order to make it disappear. They called it a myth.

            Then I proceeded to explain how the adjustments made in the article to make the pay gap “disappear” are examples of sexism.

            Does that help you understand my “hysterical” post?

            Yeah, that was subtle. We’re you trying to get an emotional reaction out of me so you could point at it and say, “LOOK – she had a female-typical emotional response!! Everything she’s says is now null and void!”

            You’re funny.

            Oh, tell me that I’m wrong. Explain to me how I’m totally misjudging you.

          • says

            Then she makes some odd statement regarding the ban on combat roles for women in the military, but whatever opinion she actually holds regarding this is lost in her angry sarcasm.

            I was pointing out that feminists have been on the front lines of closing the pay-gap by working to allow women into dangerous occupations. No men, that I recall, spoke in the congressional hearings in support of women being allowed to fly combat missions – for example – and the women speaking for the ban to be lifted were “accused” of being feminists who don’t understand the inherent differences of men and women.

            Also, at least in some cases, (I’m not sure if anyone has made of a study of it or not.) when women start working dangerous jobs, those jobs become less dangerous because women are not socialized into not complaining about working conditions.

            I think it’s an interest case here. The danger-gap is real. Men die more often, are injured more often, and take more dangerous jobs. So, you can either look at it as women not wanting to take dangerous jobs and benefiting from male disposability, or you can acknowledge that the MEN working these jobs have internalized that disposability and the supposedly positive male-typical trait of ignoring hazards and refusing to complain. (Seriously, have you never heard someone being accused of being a “girl” for daring to complaining about black-lung, lack of harnesses, excessive heat or noise, etc ?) Did it even cross your mind that agency for the danger-gap can be (and in many cases SHOULD be) placed on the men who work those jobs and the men who supervise those jobs?

          • TByte says

            You try to paint an egalitarian picture of feminism, but in truth feminism as never been an equality movement. It has always been a women’s advocacy movement.
            The groups that pushed for outcome-based Title-IX laws that are hurting young male athletes were feminists. The groups that are fighting against laws dictating the presumption of equal parenting are feminist. The groups pushing “primary aggressor” laws that deny men the basic presumption of innocence until guilt is proven are feminists. The groups trying to portray men as inherently evil and to define domestic violence as solely male-against female are feminists.

            So no, I no longer buy your feminist crap.
            The pay gap has been thoroughly debunked. If you want to encourage women to take more dangerous jobs, to work longer hours per week, to choose salary over benefits when negotiating employment, please do so. But don’t blame men for it. It’s not our problem.

          • says

            Look – feminists-suck is an unwinnable point. Unless you can round up every woman or man that has ever called themselves a feminist, and attack them on every stance they have called for – you lose. By definition, it is a movement toward equality in opportunity and value. That’s it. You can disagree on various stances from various organizations, but even then I’m giving you counter-examples of when organized feminists have gone against your blanket accusations.

            Funny how you just ignore that women have been flat-out denied access to dangerous jobs (including combat), or denied access to athletics (I was told, flat out, after wanting to try out for wrestling with many of my female friends, that none of the girls could participate), my friend is a ski-jumper – talk to her about women not choosing sport!

            This is <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/07/sports/skiing/07skijumping.html"a victory – of feminism.

            Yet – you’ll put all the blame on the women for not choosing dangerous jobs and sport while they are actively fighting those who are banning them from taking those jobs and blocking them from competing – as well as attempting to break those toxic aspects of socialization that women and men internalize that stifle their sense of autonomy, value and self.

            You won’t, however, blame men for not putting on their own respirators and harnesses?! How exactly are you going to blame someone else for that, while blaming women for the very laws they are fighting against?!

            I suppose it’s women’s fault that having a woman on a boat is considered bad luck? Yeah – want to get a job on a boat? Try fighting for your job, being expected to be perfect or you’re a discredit to your gender, and being blamed for everything that goes wrong because your vag magically sinks boats.

            You see where I said that it is an *internalized* issue with women not asking for raises as often? It’s an *internalized* issue with men not always taking proper safety measures and not implementing those safety measures. So yeah, some of the pay-gap and some of the danger-gap are caused by things that the people adversely affected have some control over.

            But y’know that’s just the “crap” I’m selling. How dare I blame men for anything? I mean, with women dominating politics, regulatory committees, the IOC – I mean, only in my life-time did they <a href="http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2011/07/house-womens-bathroom-congress-/1#.UBQH5tWJmSo"add a men's bathroom close to the floors of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Obviously, the matriarchy is holding them down. /sarcasm

            Yeah, you deal with reality and I’m just in lala land (by no other virtue than self-identifying as a feminist)?

            I do disagree with other feminists on a variety of things, and I discuss those specific disagreements with them. For example, some are very against allowing competitive cheer and dance to be used in the formulation for Title IX. I disagree. I would considered those athletic sports, no question.

            However, very few people are clueless enough to think that girls and women are treated fairly when it comes to sport and blame the gaps on girls and women just not being interested in sport. Similarly, the pay gap still exists – for reasons that hurt both men and women and are perpetuated by both men and women. Calling the pay-gap a “myth” is just covering those reasons up or over-simplifying them into oblivion – not working to fix the problems behind the numbers.

            Notice how I’ve been defending MRA in these threads? Not all of them are so blinded by anti-feminist propaganda that they can’t contribute anything other than being vaguely contrary.

            As I said before, I might agree with you on your specific examples that you bring up with various subjects – I might not. Your dismissal of feminism – in general – is the part I’m arguing with you about.

            Do you really think that society magically becomes fixed in a generation or two? – or are you denying historical oppression of women as well?

            Obviously, it was completely our lack of good choices that denied the vote to women, and we should take full responsibility for rape being considered a property crime against our husbands and fathers. If only women didn’t suck so much, nobody would have assumed that allowing women to vote would give married men twice the say as unmarried men. /sarcasm

    • John1980 says

      Amazing example of deluded rationalisaion there.

      No, we are not Men’s Rights Activists. We’re Christina Rads normal subscribership and we’re not happy to see her new association with Skepchick and Freethought Blogs.

      Have a look at all of her other videos, including the one she just posted from TAM 2012. They ALL have very high ratings. Only the 3 from Skepchickcon have been thumbed down.

      She is not being thumbed down for being a woman!
      She is not being thumbed down because some secret society of MRAs is attacking her.
      Those particular videos are being thumbed down because of their association with Rebecca Watson, Skepchickcon and the fact that the views express at FTB in relation to feminism are very unpopular with the wider community (men and women alike) who aren’t buying it.

      Get it yet?

      • says

        Yeah, I think I get it.

        Those particular videos are being thumbed down because of their association with Rebecca Watson, Skepchickcon and the fact that the views express at FTB in relation to feminism are very unpopular with the wider community (men and women alike) who aren’t buying it.

        So, the videos are being thumbed down for their “associations” with Rebecca Watson and FtB?

        Yeah, that’s not shady! /sarcasm.

        So your reasons are: Because the views (whatever they are) in relation to feminism (all of those, every single one) are unpopular (because popularity makes something TRUE – just ask TF http://sinmantyx.wordpress.com/2012/06/30/the-drama-the-drama-thunderf00t-why-why/) with the wider community (because john1980 is our elected representative, both of all of Cris’ subscribers and all skeptics/free thinkers/atheists, I should know since I am in both groups and had the opportunity to vote).

        Look – I agree with you to some extent. The MRA label is not useful. Did you see up there where I criticized it and somehow FtB allowed me to live and the premonition of Rebecca Watson didn’t magically appear over my head and shoot lightening out of her eyes at my computer?

        Your attack is vague and stupid, however. Seriously, if there is something you disagree with in this video or the other ones – go ahead and vote them down and make those critical comments. Scroll down a bit and there is an actually conversation happening about the topics mentioned in the panel. They even include references to scientific studies and discussions about how those studies should and should not be interpreted.

        That’s the sort of stuff that happens on FtB and why I hang out here. It’s not the same as YouTube where comments are limited, links aren’t allowed, etc. The blogs are very individual, have their own comment-culture, and I like some and not others.

        Blanket disagreement, without enough detail included to even know what your stance is or how to discuss it, is senseless and is about as defensible or debatable as whether or not you prefer Porter or IPA. Criticizing “associations” instead of actual issues, is just falling into galvanized camp-politics and is a particularly destructive example of attacking people instead of ideas.

        …and if you are tempted to say, “Well THEY do it TOO!!!!!” – just save it, okay?

        • John1980 says

          “So your reasons are: Because the views (whatever they are) in relation to feminism (all of those, every single one) are unpopular (because popularity makes something TRUE – just ask TF ”

          Errr… no. If you’re going to open with a strawman I’ll leave it at that.

          Zomgitscriss has posted a number of videos in the past about feminism and they’ve all received a positive response from her subscibership. What you need to understand is that the crap you people peddle is not the only brand of feminism. It’s far more radical and completely incompatible witht he brand of feminism that of Zomgitscriss, which is much more closely related Paual Kirby than Rebecca Watson.

          Christina’s subscribership is utterly disgusted at her involvement in a Skepchick event and they’ve expressed that fact clearly.

          • says

            Riiiight….

            What you need to understand is that the crap you people peddle is not the only brand of feminism.

            “you people”

            That’s good, keep it coming…I’m sure you can write several posts without actually saying anything specific about anything that any one individual has said ever in the entire universe; and still act really indignant about it.

            The point is there isn’t only one brand of feminism on FtB either. There are 31 bloggers. I’m NOT even one of them and you are accusing me of peddling nondescript “crap” – even in the same thread where I am disagreeing with a few of the more popular opinions that tend to be expressed on some of the blogs here.

            How does that make sense?

            It’s far more radical and completely incompatible witht he brand of feminism that of Zomgitscriss, which is much more closely related Paual Kirby than Rebecca Watson.

            So, if this is true, and Cris was invited to blog at FtB. Doesn’t that undercut your entire accusation that FtB only “peddles” one brand of feminism?! Shouldn’t you be happy that Cris is being invited to panels and sitting beside other bloggers that you tend to disagree with, in order to provide her perspective and opinions?

            Really, your “disgusted” that she associate with people you (and possibly her) disagree with?

            Listen to yourself.

            I’m not constructing a straw man argument. This is what you are saying. You’re not providing any detail at all, about what your disagreements actually are in order to have a discussion about those differences. Your making absolutist statements against non-articulated broad “isms”, and asserting strongly that you are disgusted that someone is associating with “you people”.

            That is classic “camp” politics. It’s just attacking people. That’s all it is.

            As far as Paula Kirby, you might be interested in this post: http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/07/another-alex-speaks-up/

    • says

      One thing I’ve noticed is that YouTube will give a “video is not available” message when a format isn’t available that will play in your browser. Usually that means the browser doesn’t have native support for the h.264 codec, and thus needs a plugin. I think YouTube has some kind of behind-the-scenes process that produces alternate versions using non-patented codecs which are more likely to work out of the box in all browsers, but it may not apply to every video and it’s not immediate, either.

    • Jakie_paper says

      That would be a convenient way for you to shut her up, wouldn’t it? I don”t think Christina wants to be your Chill Girl. Disappointed?

  1. Moira says

    It’s crazy to me that a fairly frank discussion of gender roles, and an exploration of issues surrounding trans gender identities, resulted in such a virulent backlash on youtube.

    • bojamajams says

      because the whole conversation didn’t produce much and the comment that testosterone damages peoples’ brains was inflammatory and really ignorant, not to mention intellectually masturbatory to misandrists that want to believe it’s actually true.

      • Jakie_paper says

        Does that line help you sleep at night? Because unless this is a sacred cow of yours for deeply personal reasons, I don’t see how you could misconstrue something so badly.

      • Desertphile says

        “… and the comment that testosterone damages peoples’ brains was inflammatory and really ignorant….”

        Yes, but is the observation true or false? In nearly every culture on Earth, for as long as recorded history, human males have been one of the top five greatest banes to human happiness and well-being ever. Disease first, starvation second, then human male behavior. When it comes to horror, misery, strife, and agony inflicted upon humanity, human males are one of the chief causes.

        • says

          …cause that’s relevant and useful, specific and not the least bit inflammatory.

          /sarcasm

          If you really want to, you can go figure out human parthenogenesis and found an island to house your feminist utopia. Or, easier yet, you could write a book about it and infuriate sci-fi writers by claiming you don’t write “genre fiction”.

          (I crack myself up.)

          Seriously, what the hell? Are you really defending a panel that all but said that gender differences were insignificant by claiming that male-typical traits are responsible for all the world’s ills?

          If you aren’t serious – well played – awesome performance art.

          If you are serious – you might want to think on that one for a while more.

  2. Andre says

    Lets say I have a self identified flux-gendered friend who has been flirting and building something of a relationship with someone online and is thinking about going and hooking up with them over a weekend.

    Would it be out of line for me to suggest that for his own protection and the consideration of his crush that a heads up might be in order?

        • says

          Gender is subtle in many ways: how you walk, how you talk, your body language… It even has to do with how you smell. Your friend should spend time with the person, in person, in a group to get to know each other.

          Then if hooking up is still something they are excited about, more power to them. However, it is 1) safer and 2) less awkward, if they get to know each other in person first, especially if your friend is gender queer.

          • Andre says

            That is the same non helpful answer. I don’t care on your views about when people should have sex, I care about my question.

          • says

            Okay, let’s try again.

            Of course this person should give hir potential date a head’s up. However, explaining over the internet may be an inadequate means of communicating the subtle nature of hir gender (or other aspects of hirself for that matter).

            Some people are really invested in their concept of gender, and pulling a surprise, especially when the expectation is an intimate encounter is especially…well….not smart.

            At least if you are upfront, you have a smaller chance of the person being disappointed, hostile or violent.

          • Andre says

            cool and thank you. Sorry if I came off as short tempered. I was out the door and late for work.

  3. says

    I’m not familiar with Greg Laden much at all – but is it just me or is he becoming the new “foot-in-mouth” winner?

    You just don’t use the word “damaged” to refer to how testosterone affects male brains. You just don’t.

    Pregnancy hormones make you permanently “stupid” too, but you don’t use the word “stupid”.

    *face palm*

    • Anonymous atheist says

      I’m not familiar with Greg Laden much at all…

      I mean Greg “I’ll kick your fucking ass” Laden?

        • says

          Yeah, it would be that one.

          I found that e-mail bizarre and disturbing. He left FtB and that’s what should have happened considering what has been made public.

          I don’t know what else has to be said about that.

          • Anonymous atheist says

            He left FtB and that’s what should have happened considering what has been made public.

            I don’t know what else has to be said about that.

            My issue is that on the one hand the FtB crowd loudly denounced and continue to denounce Thunderf00t because they disagree with him philosophically/politically (as do I to some extent), he has not threatened violence, or called for violence against those who disagree with him.

            And on the other they simultaneously say little to nothing about Laden and are seemingly happy to be sitting on discussion panels with him (like the one in the video above) “joking” about males being brain damaged.

            Their priorities of what is offensive and worthy of extensive condemnation seem out of whack to me and it is hard not to suspect that it is their political/philosophical agreement with Laden, vs. TF, that is deciding factor in this inconsistency.

          • says

            You could be right, but I don’t quite see it that way.

            I suspect that Greg was already invited to these panels before that was made public – not an excuse, but something that should be considered.

            He lives in Minnesota, so the SkepchickCon crew probably knows him personally, and those personal relationships are going to color the perception of what happened there.

            Greg Laden practically kicked himself out, because he knew what he did was way over the line. He apparently called the person he said that to and they discussed it. (I have no idea what happened there and it’s not my place to ask.)

            TF is a really bad writer and made bad arguments (if you can call them that), and I think much of the criticism of him is directed at that fact, not to him personally. (At least I hope that is true for others, and in my case it is.) He (as well as PZ) have brought their personal fight into the public. So, it just makes sense that more people are going to comment about it and talk about it.

            For the record, I absolutely think that (as far as what has been made public and I am aware of) what Greg Laden did was in a completely different category than what happened with TF. His e-mail crossed several lines of decency, and you’d have to squint really hard to think that additional context is going to change that.

            As far as I know, however, he is not (at all) defending what he said or how he said it. The only thing I’ve heard is an explanation that through much of the e-mail he was describing what he thought others might do, and not threatening to actually do those things. However, it’s obviously that at other points in the e-mail he was blatantly threatening and the subject matter of the e-mail (wartime killing) was absolutely unimaginably inappropriate. As someone with several veteran friends, I could not imagine saying such things – especially the way he said them.

            There really isn’t much of a controversy or topic of discussion when everyone agrees that something was bad – really bad.

            It certainly reads as if he has completely and utterly lost his temper – which isn’t an excuse – but I have no idea if this represents a pattern of behavior or not. I really really hope it doesn’t.

            There is a book coming out (about a year in the making) of short-stories from Minnesota Atheists. I’m published in it, which is a really big deal for me. His name is on the cover, with a few of the more prominent authors.

            So yeah, this whole thing sort of sucks all around.

  4. Rick says

    Consider the following:

    – Imagine a discussion on race/ethnicity in the US without one African American on the panel

    – Imagine an “open” discussion on the US political parties without inviting one Liberal to the table

    – Imagine a discussion on college students’ rights without inviting one student representative

    While there may be heterosexuals on the panel, the male heterosexual perspective is notably absent from this discussion. This, one could argue, ultimately undermines the quality and relevance of the discussion. It also allows the egregiously offensive misandric comments on the panel to be met with applause, which reduces the likelihood that the male heterosexual perspective will be represented in future discussions.

    I understand that the perspectives are routinely subjugated, ignore or outright oppressed, and so these conversations are necessary. But as a heterosexual male, I wonder how this moves us forward?

    • says

      Besides the annoying comment that Greg Laden said – a stupid way of saying something that’s sort of true but not really (which was NOT met with applause or even laughing – but glossed over as a “huh?”), which was already pointed out (by me) as being problematic, is there anything else you have an issue with?

      Specifically.

      Making a melodramatic blanket hyperbolic statement high on the poetry and low on the substance – does not “move us forward”.

      It’s just annoying, because it is so painfully non-specific and not even true (since the panel consisted of: two cis-females, two cis-males, one transgender gender variant person and one trangender man, which is about as representative in that regard as you can possible GET), that it doesn’t start a discussion.

      I mean, you might as well say something like: “you suck” or “your mom”. I know, not as poetic, but communicates about the same amount of information about what your opinions and thoughts are about the topics of discussion.

      So, to “move us forward” do you actually have any opinions, sources of information, perspectives, etc about the topics that the panel discussed?

    • says

      By the way, the laugh line was:

      “Did you just say all men are dogs? You’re so full of it!” Said to Greg after he, yet again, uses unnecessarily loaded language.

  5. Rick says

    I found this interesting:

    “In the past quarter century, we exposed biases against other races and called it racism, and we exposed biases against women and called it sexism. Biases against men we call humor.”

    —Warren Farrell, Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say

  6. Edward Clint says

    This panel is rather stunning for it’s hostility to scientific inquiry. Debbie Goddard tries to assert, by way of questions, that there is a scientific basis for *some* gender differences in psychology/cognition and the panelists, who have no academic background in this area save perhaps Greg Laden, can hardly denounce the idea fast enough.

    They list vague criticisms of psychology in general and seem to think that this is a handy refutation for a large body of work that spans decades, cultures, and eras. Some of those are “the research participants are college students”, “the researchers have a socio-cultural bias” “individual differences trump gender ones” and, “Yes one study says A, but another study says Not-A, therefore no conclusion can be made.”

    This is precisely the same sort of logic used when climate deniers say that the “hockey stick” graph is BS, therefore there is no global warming. Some studies are flawed, not that anyone cited any researcher- but the BODY of literature can’t be criticized in this mode. The body of literature on the Earth’s climate says that the Earth is getting warmer and the body of psychology/anthropology literature says that there are differences between men and women beyond gonads. In fact, many and interesting ones (none of which can support any argument that people of any gender or orientation don’t deserve equality and respect).

    Greg Laden, a bioanthropologist, is the one person on the panel who really should know better, but does not seem to. In the opening He says there are no “interesting” gender differences. Later, he says there are “modules” in the brain but that they have no genetic basis.

    Tellingly, Greg specifically says the spatial ability differences between genders have vanished in recent years of study, or that those studies are flawed. Well, I just spent 1.5 years research sex differences in spatial ability (and my paper on the subject will appear in the December Quarterly Review of Biology) and I can tell you categorically Greg is wrong. There were researchers (and by the way, these are the same researchers, evolutionary psychologists, that Greg dismisses as biased) who looked at many studies of spatial ability and thought that the “gap” was closing- in the early 90’s. Yes, Greg’s understanding is 20 years old. Masters & Sanders (1993) wrote a paper to try to answer the question, called “Is the Gender Difference in Mental Rotation Disappearing?”. The authors found no evidence the gap was disappearing. Here are more meta-analyses which confirm the male bias phenomena:

    Voyer & Voyer 1995 – 286 studies reviewed
    Linn & Peterson 1985 – 173 studies reviewed

    Further, in 2007 Silverman et al collected data from 40 countries, and 7 ethnic groups using over 250,000 participants in all. In 40 out of 40 countries, males were better at 3d mental rotation. Also, women were better at visual object location memory in 35 of 40 countries beacuse Silverman et al wanted to show how the sexes are different, not how one is better.

    In my own study, I evaluated 15 different human spatial ability experiments. The average performance advantage of males was 44%.

    You can hold fast to the “no innate differences” view if you like, just please understand you are not a skeptic, you are a science denier. You are disagreeing with 98% of the field, with hundreds of studies conducted over decades in dozens of countries and your only basis is supposition, obsolete information, ad hominem attacks and flimsy arguments. To hold this viewpoint is to be anti-science.

    • says

      Finally, a critique with meat.

      I don’t think they did a good job of explaining what you just said. I agree to a great extent.

      I absolutely think there is a particular type of scientific bias (that’s pretty obvious) in the panel. Since I have a background in physics, trust me, this isn’t new to me – so many “hard” science people think that all psychologists and sociologists do is study tea leaves. Since the methodologies and analyses of the social science fields are so different, it is really easy for anyone, who is accustomed to the results of a study being deemed worthless because of a hard rain or a truck driving by at the wrong time, to be really obnoxious when they discuss such things.

      Greg should know better – but yeah, he didn’t do a good job of expressing his expertise and (as mentioned by me and others) used bizarrely inappropriate charged language.

      I would have liked, very much, if the panel made more of a distinction between the studies themselves and how they are interpreted. They did a couple times, but from reading the responses, this was lost on much of the audience. They also, as you mentioned, didn’t do justice to explaining the results of the studies they mentioned or citing them well (even though I give them some forgiveness since it’s a panel discussion, not a lecture or talk).

      I’m only aware of TWO of the spatial reasoning studies. (I have to apologize, because I don’t have the citation at my figure tips either.) One showed a significant difference in spatial reasoning, but also looked at how teachable spatial reasoning is. The gap did not close completely when spatial reasoning was taught, but it become smaller. The standard deviation was different for the groups as well, with the women having a smaller standard deviation than the men.

      Also, as you well know, we’re talking about bell-curves here. Some men suck at spatial reasoning. Some women have very little problem with it.

      I also read (at least a summary of) a study of two tribes in India where spatial reasoning studies were done. One was more patriarchal and one was more matriarchal and the results of the study were significantly different in each tribe. The women in the more matriarchal society did better.

      So, like almost everything anywhere, we’re talking about learned skills as well as (most likely) predispositions that are sex-linked.

      How these types of studies tend to be interpreted though, is the problem. You know better. I’d like to think I know better. The general public, and several people I have discussed this with, really really don’t know better. They go to extremes when doing so is inappropriate.

      So, you have the crew that says: SEE! Men are better at spatial reasoning than women, therefor sexism in STEM fields doesn’t exist and y’all should shut up about it. I’ve even been told by someone referencing these studies that: Women in science are exceptional and go against biology. (I tried to give him a science lesson – http://sinmantyx.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/science-is-not-on-my-side/)

      Then you have the crew (that this panel resembles a bit more, but I’m not going to cartoon them as): SEXIST RESEARCHERS!!! This is a bunch of crap. There are no gender differences! If there aren’t 50% female representation in STEM, we’ve failed as a society!!!

      Of course, spatial reasoning is not the ONLY thing that makes you good at science – but just as one of the panelists said, that research is being grasped onto in order to explain away the results of the extreme sexism in the STEM fields (which is getting a LOT better, but is NOT non-existent and until very recently was extremely pervasive, many times internalized, and beyond stifling.)

      I agree in some ways that gender is simply NOT a good way of parsing groups for research.

      For example, recent studies (some of which actually done where I currently work) show that women increase the “group intelligence” of groups working on a task. (For example, a group of students being given a problem to solve.) The hypothesis is that, since women are more likely to have a higher social awareness, that the women are better able to navigate the group and to make use of the contributions of each member better than the men who tend to work in social groups differently.

      To conclude that “women” increase group intelligence is sort of silly. Their gender identity is not what causes the increase in group intelligence – it is, most likely, social awareness. We all know that some women are NOT socially aware and are incapable of working in groups while some men are extremely skilled in this way. So, it’s sort of sloppy to revert to gender when the real story is how social awareness (that could possibly be developed to a significant extent just like spatial reasoning can) affects positive outcomes.

      So, to someone in education – the gender differences really aren’t the interesting bit. The interesting bit is that attempting to increase social awareness and spatial reasoning in our students may help alleviate achievement gaps, and that social awareness is a neglected skill set that we would do well to pay attention to.

      • Edward Clint says

        Thank you for your thoughtful reply, M.A. Melby.

        I couldn’t agree more that there are two important parts here. First, What does the science say? and secondly, What does this mean for us? The fear that the panel video gives me is that some people start with 2 (what would be nice to be true) and then try to work backwards, discounting the inconvenient evidence and highlighting the stuff that seems to agree with well-held activist goals. Naturally, science can not work this way.

        Happily, the cynicism about what EP tells us is largely fictional. As you noted, the difference in spatial ability among the sexes is a matter of imperfectly overlapping bell curves, not a binary “men do X, women do not”. Let’s imagine our worst fear were realized, and that the average man is 10 times better at some spatial task than the average women. Would this make it alright to forbid women jobs? Absolutely not. And no one has ever suggested or implied it. We must be prepared to make a moral argument when one is needed. Here, the argument to be made is that individuals should be respected and in terms of jobs, evaluated on their own merits, not that of their group. There is no finding that will ever be made in EP that can undo this simple moral argument. So we can relax a bit!

        One thing I have learned along the way (Thanks to several studies by Silverman et al) is that women are MUCH better at object location memory. They’re even better when they don’t know they’re being tested! Women have a visual attention to detail and memory that really just, blows men out of the water. And yet, even while this is true, I have seen no outrage at Irwin Silverman and his colleagues for flagrant misandry, or insinuating that men should not have any jobs requiring precise visual attention and memory. There have been no accusations that they are sexist and fraudulent.

        The gap did not close completely when spatial reasoning was taught, but it become smaller.

        Yes, learning is most definitely important. This is why I found it especially important to look at cross-cultural data. I am not sure if I read the papers you are talking about or not, I have quite a library now. I generally found the gap was about the same in every culture I found data for. The performance levels were different- for example asians performed better, but the men better than the women and by the same proportion as Canadians. Ditto for South Africa. I also found it significant that there is no culture in which this has been studied in which the sexes are at parity, or women have an advantage.

        There’s one other reason I believe that cultural factors and plasticity do not account for the gap. My study included humans, but was actually a cross-species comparison comparing sexual dimorphism in 11 species: several rodents, horses, rhesus monkeys, humans, and cuttlefish. In most animals for which there is data, males have a spatial ability bias (but not all; in some voles, there is no difference between the sexes). This suggests some sort of evolutionary explanation, rather than a cultural one because mice, rats, and horses do not have culture in the human sense of the word. Also, for many animals, the environment plays no role whatsoever in spatial ability. If male and female rats are both raised in a featureless room, same cage, same wheel etc.., the males are somehow better at spatial ability. This can not be a result of the environment. I found no animal in which females perform better in spatial ability tests, though sometimes they perform the same.

        It’s also worth noting that many evolutionary psychologists will not like my paper. It is not an endorsement of the EP model used to study spatial ability dimorphism; it is a criticism of it. It is a test of an adaptationist hypothesis, which finds no support for said hypothesis and suggests a non-adaptation explanation instead.

        • says

          At the “consumer” level of science however, it seems that the spatial reasoning studies are getting enormous amounts of press compared to the studies you mentioned concerning object location memory.

          That’s just my impression, I could have just missed it.

          However, when studies came out concerning spatial reasoning, it was in the news and was a topic of discussion for weeks.

          I’m really not sure what to make of that. It could be that people simply don’t think object location memory is as important. Or, it could be that studies showing that female-typical traits are sometimes positive traits is not seen as important (or perhaps as controversial – as you pointed out?).

          In vague memory perhaps it was pointed out that this might be why one’s wife can find the keys to the car.

          *sigh*

          …or maybe it’s one of the many reasons a person with female-typical traits makes a better fighter pilot.

          nah!

          :)

        • says

          Oh, and by the way, even though I’m sure you have thought of this, some animals do have gender roles that affect their common tasks and therefor their learning.

          It would be interesting to correlate the divergence of gender-typical traits with the prominence of gender-specific behaviors of various species. In other words, see if animals with more pronounced gender roles also have larger skill differences between the genders.

          Just a thought.

    • says

      “In fact, many and interesting ones (none of which can support any argument that people of any gender or orientation don’t deserve equality and respect).”

      It sounds like it would have been really cool if you would have been on the panel!

      It does bother me that they didn’t say, “I don’t know,” enough. It’s completely understandable that any panel isn’t going to know everything, but prefacing with the limits of their expertise would have been appropriate with some of the questions. The question about Autism, for example. I have some ideas as to why that boys tend to be diagnosed more than girls as well, but in honesty it’s all conjecture based on limited info. (I’m not an autism researcher for goodness sakes.) Though I don’t doubt that some differences in diagnosis depend on how ASD manifests and how ASD is interpreted by parents, to present that as *the* answer to the question bugged me.

      • Edward Clint says

        Near the end of the video a person begins to ask a question about Evolutionary Psychology and is told “the answer is no” before he can even get the question out. The audience laughs heartily, at the very notion EP could have legitimate output.

        This leads me to think I would be tarred and feathered at such a conference, within the first 10 minutes. Still, I very much appreciate the sentiment, thank you. =)

        • says

          I actually recognized the fellow who asked that question. He’s pretty mellow.

          I doubt you would be tarred and feathered – literally anyway.

          I think the laughter was more of an acknowledgement that Greg Laden was being silly. It’s obvious though that Greg Laden has pretty strong views about EP and doesn’t always…let’s say….express himself diplomatically.

        • says

          I was the one who asked that question, and I found Stephanie Zvan’s “the answer is no” hilarious.

          I also did, seriously, mean it when I asked if the area of inquiry known as evopsych had produced anything useful, or if it was just rhetorical onanism. I appreciated Greg’s response.

          Overall, I found it an enjoyable panel.

          • says

            HI!

            (psst. It’s Marian. I think we hung out at CoreCon. If I’m not mistaken, I actually talked about you in this comment on ZJ’s blog: http://freethoughtblogs.com/zinniajones/2012/07/why-do-you-care-about-being-called-a-woman/#comment-4851)

            Yeah, I don’t know a lot about evo-psyche. I know it is controversial, and probably has something to do with evolution and psychology.

            (I’m not even exaggerating that much.)

            Once the school year starts up again, I’ll have to ask the psychology and biology instructors what their opinions are.

          • Edward Clint says

            Well it makes me very sad that you could even need to ask such a question. EP is one of the most important scientific leaps forward for psychology in the history of psychology. I’ll give you a few reasons why, off the top of my head:

            1. It promises to bridge, or at least help to bridge culture and biology. Before and without EP, culture is some airy, inscrutable force. EP gives us a lens to analyze how things like learning and socialization work; why we can learn the things we can, as easily as we can and not other sorts of things; why people can be socialized along some axes (manners, language, fashion) but not others (sex, personality).

            2. We can ask and answer questions that no previous science could get anywhere near. Why do we have an apparently destructive emotion like anger and why does it have the properties it does? What is the language of thought? What’s it like? Why do most people fall roughly into two genders (regardless of socialization)? Why be clustered around two and not four or one?

            3. EP makes loads of predictions about humans. Many of those have been confirmed through decades of research. One is that all humans have the same basic emotions, and express them the same way. Paul Ekman studied faces of people around the world and found out this was correct. People ought to care more about people more likely to share genes with them- and they do. People should be adapted for the past, not the present, and be prone to cognitive illusions caused by the novelty of the modern industrialized world- we are. We eat horrible food (which didn’t previously exist in quantity), we vote for guys to be in charge of 300 million people based on if we like them/want to have a beer with them (which might’a made more sense when societies were measured in dozens of people), and we consume pornography sometimes in lieu of pursuing actual mates.

            4. EP is expanding into even stranger places, that science has never had purchase before: the origin of humor, art, and music. If it doesn’t blow your mind that maybe we can study the sense of humor scientifically, then I’ve no idea what would.

          • says

            Well it makes me very sad that you could even need to ask such a question. EP is one of the most important scientific leaps forward for psychology in the history of psychology.

            The whole reason I asked was because my observation had been, on the whole, that the studies I was seeing from the field are terrible. Bad methodology, full of unquestioned assumptions, and lots of conflation of cultural influences with genetic predispositions. The whole mess is a morass of “Just So” stories and pseudoscientific onanism.

            Greg Laden gave me some pointers to actually valuable work being done in the field, for which I was grateful. Because from where I sat, it looked like it was just a rehash of the “sociobiology” fiasco.

  7. John1980 says

    Amazing example of deluded rationalisaion there.

    No, we are not Men’s Rights Activists. We’re Christina Rads normal subscribership and we’re not happy to see her new association with Skepchick and Freethought Blogs.

    Have a look at all of her other videos, including the one she just posted from TAM 2012. They ALL have very high ratings. Only the 3 from Skepchickcon have been thumbed down.

    She is not being thumbed down for being a woman!
    She is not being thumbed down because some secret society of MRAs is attacking her.
    Those particular videos are being thumbed down because of their association with Rebecca Watson, Skepchickcon and the fact that the views express at FTB in relation to feminism are very unpopular with the wider community (men and women alike) who aren’t buying it.

    Get it yet?

    • Andre says

      It is a interesting video but seeing as she took it down and you know she took it down… Also with how off topic it is I wonder why you linked it?

      Anyway I would like to know why she got rid of it, maybe it no longer represents her opinions?

        • says

          Seriously – that shows a profound disrespect for Cris.

          Insinuating that she is so weak willed that her opinions are not even her own, is beyond the pale insulting.

          • says

            Well who could blame her. She just saw what happened to Thunderfoot when dissenting views on the topic of feminism are introduced at Freethought blogs.

          • says

            She doesn’t have to worry.

            She can write.

            Remember when some of the FtB bloggers had a stark disagreement about the nature of sex work – and bloggers started to get kicked-off left and right?

            Oh wait – that didn’t happen.

            FtB bloggers do disagree about stuff. The reason that TF was kicked off had much more to do with personal difficulties between individuals and how he expressed himself than his actual stances on topics of interest. That’s pretty clear to anyone paying attention.

            Richard Carrier (who has magically been able to stay at FtB even though he wrote a post criticizing language choices in specific harassment policies) has this advice for how to discuss this topic without falling on your face:

            http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/1567

            TF wasn’t even having a discussion. What were his points in his second blog?

            1) You talk about sexism too much

            2) When I talk about sexism and you call me on my B.S. you are being bullies (Considering that his “examples” of branding were just links to criticisms of his posts that did no such thing, I think that’s fair.)

            There was actually a few points in there, but he didn’t actually make them.

            He didn’t say: We should retire the use of “MRA” as a slur because it is polarizing and a type of branding that isn’t useful and shuts down discussion.

            He said: BULLIES!!

            And tied everything into being “representative” of the greater community – essentially engulfing all his points into one big blatant logical fallacy calling for FtB to stop being so locally conformist but conforming.

            ?!

            Anyway, thought we were talking about a video concerning gender typicality.

            Perhaps you have an opinion on how studies concerning gender typicality might be useful/not useful/misused? To what extent do you think gender-related cultural norms and stereotypes might affect psychological research in a way that injects confirmation bias of traditionally assumed gender typicality?

            Or you could complain about TF being kicked out some more. Your call.

            Look, I suspect that from TF’s perspective his ouster sucked and he was not treated fairly and, considering the messy nature of human interactions, there is probably some truth to that and PZ has as much admitted to bad personal behavior behind the scenes.

            However, there is no evidence that TF or Greg Laden being kicked out has had a chilling effect on bloggers ability to be candid and honest about their stances and opinions on FtB.

            Having said that, this place is not a safe place for ideas – and no place should be. Ideas are attacked and dissected and called out all the time. It means that (especially on some blogs – since there are difficult comment-cultures on different blogs) when you give your opinion or stance or assertion to the community, it gets trounced.

            TF obviously was not prepared for that.

            If Cris shared this video on FtB, I can imagine that it would be highly scrutinized and perhaps characterized as an anti-straw-feminist argument. However, I highly doubt she would be ousted because she’s not literally or figuratively holding an “FtB sucks” sign during the whole thing or refers to someone as Rebecca “rape threat” Watson and actually makes points with real evidence instead of essentially fabricating it.

            Just sayin’.

  8. justiceiswhere says

    I have one question: At what point and juncture in the real world did men become so disenfranchised by women seeking “equality” that men need to protect rights they feel they have lost? Here is my take on the subject as a man. One, Men purporting to have lost rights are those who do not embrace the emerging power and equality of women. Two, they want to maintain out of fear old sexual rights of authority society once had granted them. Three, and this is the big one,Men have made small strides in acting equal to women, because the incentive is not there as it has been for in maintaining old traditions. As men are coming from the position of power they delude themselves that they are becoming powerless, because they can no longer feel validated and protected in not treating others equally. In the transition to equality men have to personify new social roles like stay at home caregiver for children that requires sensitivities that can be rejected as effeminate or not masculine. I have seen progress for women viciously attacked and straw maned for being unfair to men in an effort to subvert requests for advancements in equability. Men are more than a penis-auto-bot and women are more the a furrow to sew seed in for man’s pleasure.

    • TByte says

      Answer: when we wised up and realized that feminism is a women’s advocacy movement, and it actually opposes gender equality.
      Those of us who consider ourselves “Equalists” oppose gender bias.

    • Andre says

      My take on it is that it is a great way to weed out the people who are full of shit. The same works for the MRA’s. If they do not support equality then fuck them.

      There is a difference in wanting equality and wanting to trade places. I have no interest in seeing the abused kid grow up to abuse.

      Now I am going to be honest here. I don’t expect feminists to start marching for mens rights, I am cool with everyone working on there own pet projects to fix this mess. However I expect feminists and MRA’s to acknowledge the problems and be happy when the other works on solving one.

    • OtherSider says

      That really sounds like self-blame, and it’s not healthy.

      I think there are misogynists but there are also people who see the negative effects of gender roles for men and want to focus on them, such as the negligent manner in which assault, sexual or not, is handled when the victim is a male. In this sense, they’d be doing the same job feminists are, just looking at it from the other perspective.

      That is why I think Ms. Melby is insisting on not using MRA as a slur. At least, part of it.

  9. maddog1129 says

    I have a question … wasn’t there another post about another talk on the topic of morality? what happened to that post?

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