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Welcome to Global Inc. Here is your induction pack

Imagine for a moment that you join a large multinational company, which we shall call Global Inc. Nobody is quite sure who owns the company, indeed no individual really does own it. Ownership and profits are spread across disparate stock markets, investment funds, banks, even governments.

You are recruited to a specific department. It might be the board of directors or senior management team. It might be IT support, the manufacturing production line, cleaning or maintenance. On your first day you are handed your induction pack. This contains all the strict rules and regulations of the company along with some softer policies, codes of practice, descriptions of your entitlements and even helpful tips on how to use the canteen. Much of it is devoted to your specific job description, what you will be expected to do in your role. Your first week is spent learning every page in the binder.

Then, when you settle into your department, you quickly learn that your new team also has its own unique, unwritten culture and ways of doing things. It is dynamic, evolving, it doesn’t quite match the descriptions in the binder. But so long as the department is doing well enough, meeting its targets and making profits, the hierarchy at Global Inc doesn’t really mind too much, and doesn’t interfere.

Members of some departments have much more power, influence and prestige than others, and of course some are paid much better than others. The power relationships between departments don’t need to be spelled out, they are universally understood. Someone in the IT department can insist that a cleaner scrubs the bathroom window, but the cleaners can’t suddenly demand some SQL subscript code in return.  Nowhere does it say that IT outranks sanitation, but everyone understands. However, woe betide the SQL programmer who starts scrubbing the office floor, s/he will find him/herself angrily berated by a cleaner for overstepping accepted lines of demarcation  - and probably using the wrong detergent or missing a bit.

Within each department there are one or two eccentric individuals. There’s old Chunders Charlie who works in his underpants at his desk every day and Mystic Mary who dangles feathery dreamcatchers over the kettle in the kitchen. Again, so long as Charlie and Mary are hitting their targets and making profits, they’re allowed to get on with it. However occasionally there will be an employee who deviates so far from the departmental culture that it starts to interfere with the departmental culture, causing upheaval, stress and damaging attainment. Let’s call him Awkward Ollie. When Ollie’s corrosive idiosyncrasies first emerge, the rest of the department react with social disapproval, gossiping and sniping behind his back, using group psychology to try to enforce conformity. If that doesn’t work Ollie will soon find himself being yelled at, bullied, socially ostracised and eventually booted out of the department. The easiest thing for Ollie to do is to fall into line with the demands of his department, and usually he will.

So each individual has a vested interest in maintaining their own role within their department. Each department has a vested interest in protecting its own position within the company and maintaining mutually supportive (if unequal) relationships with other departments with which they network and interact.

I said Global Inc. was a large company. I didn’t say quite how large. It has thousands of departments within it, perhaps millions. In fact Global Inc. employs seven billion people – every single one of us. The binder full of policies and procedures is written into laws, into religious books and moral codes, into the myriad threads of social systems and culture that teach us how we are meant to behave if we are born male or female, black or white, British or Bangladeshi or any combination. The induction period happens not over a week, but across the early years of our childhood and beyond.

The company is clever enough to evolve constantly, to incorporate the changing cultures within each department. Until recently, in much of the world (and still in many parts of the world), someone deviating from the strict policy on heterosexuality would be considered Awkward Ollie and be punished. But increasingly, Global Inc has been able to create entire new departments with their own culture, economy (“the pink pound” as we call it in the UK) and latterly the ultimate symbol of conformity to the company – licensed marriage. Even active counter-cultures can be co-opted. As the Clash once sang: “haha, ain’t it funny – turning rebellion into money.” Naomi Klein’s brilliant anti-capitalist tracts are published by Rupert Murdoch, remember.

Occasionally people can move from one department to another. A mixed-heritage Euro-Kenyan boy, born in relative poverty in Hawaii, can rise to become chairman of the board. However the system has evolved in such a way that such cases will always be exceptions, not the norm. Indeed, such an exception acts as a pressure valve to prevent the whole edifice exploding. “If one person can do it, anyone can do it” says one page in the binder, and it may be true, but that is entirely different to saying “if one person can do it, everyone can do it.”

***

I have concocted this grand and rather clumsy analogy to illustrate a key point of my political views, which underpins everything I write on this blog and elsewhere. Socialised gender roles are not there by accident. They are functional. Oppressive acts of sexism, misogyny, misandry, racism, homophobia, transphobia, class prejudice and the rest do not arise from individual weakness or venality but because we have all been induced to retain and reinforce them as essential components of our role within the company. Necessary social progress in emancipation, liberation and human rights will be indulged by Global Inc when it can be turned to the company’s advantage – the welcoming of women into the professions, for example – and fiercely resisted when it challenges the bottom line, such as union rights or decent parental leave entitlements.

It is simplistic nonsense to think of patriarchy, in particular, as a system in which men oppress women by choice and for our own interests. Patriarchy often requires men to do horrible things to ourselves, to each other and to women. Patriarchy imposes dominant roles on men whether we want them or not, and punishes us when we fail to fulfil them adequately.  It’s all there in the job description. It is equally simplistic nonsense to imagine that male suffering (on the battlefield and in homelessness, suicide rates, alienation and loneliness) is a consequence of women’s behaviour, choices or social liberation.

Perhaps one day Global Inc. will collapse under the weight of its own internal strains. There may be a few things we can do to help hasten that day, if we are so inclined, but I’ll agree it is a dauntingly big challenge, and it is easier to criticise the company we have than agree on what we would like in its place.

What we can do, every one of us, is work on the culture of our own immediate departments, think of how our own behaviour is influencing or indeed oppressing others, and remember that ultimately the company is made up of innumerable smaller units, each of which can be changed. Above all, we can consider what exactly is in the binders that we hand on to the next generation of new employees and what we can do to improve them.

This blog is my own small contribution to making that happen.

Comments

  1. says

    Your reminder regarding taking responsibility for areas in which we actually stand a chance of making a difference is a welcome one. The “culture of our immediate departments” is unfortunately also where we might encounter most of our confirmation bias, entrenched assumptions and the like.

    In general, though, the big issues are perhaps more compelling (certainly more headline/hit-grabbing), incentivising us to tackle them rather than things in our own backyards. So some of us might fulminate generally against “sexism”, but not call out a co-worker for some crude gender assumption. Part of what this reminds me to do is to acknowledge, where possible, the efforts made on more localised issues which might not otherwise get much attention.

  2. Theetar says

    I’m kind of confused by “the Patriarchy often requires men to do horrible things to ourselves, to each other and to women.” Does this apply to all men? Maybe I’m just not aware of the horrible things I’ve done to myself and to women due to this mysterious force.

  3. Gjenganger says

    Excellent analogy. But I really would like to hear some thoughts on what alternatives you think are possible, or attractive. Here are some possibilities

    1) you keep the entire system, but rewrite the rulebook so that departments change around, cultures are modified, and you end up with different rules, different people who enjoy the place (hopefully more of them) and a different set of people become Awkward Ollies.

    2) You remove the rulebook. Any time a new person comes into the department, everybody spends five hours discussing in order to figure out, what the new person does, how to talk to her, how everybody must behave to fit together. Much less work gets done.

    3) As in 2), but you split the company up into about a hundred million Local.Inc and discourage moves beween companies. This keeps the time taken by social interactions to a mangeable level. Some work get done, but travel is restricted.

    As you can surely see, I think that some variant of 1) is the only one actually possible – which does make a difference on what you might plan to change. I would really like to hear your version.

  4. Ally Fogg says

    Does this apply to all men?

    To a greater or lesser extent, yes. I’d say it applies to most men some of the time, some men a lot of the time and few men never at all.

    Have you ever felt unable to seek emotional help, or to cry in pain or despair when you needed it, for fear of being seen as weak? That’s you doing something horrible to yourself and that’s what I’m talking about.

    Have you ever been dragged or bullied into a physical fight rather than being seen to be unmanly? (Or in the case of millions of men around the world, conscripted into the military?) That’s men doing horrible things to each other, and that’s what I’m talking about

    Have you ever joined in matey, sexually-charged “banter” at some unwitting woman’s expense (either online or off) because you’ve wanted to be one of the lads? That’s what I’m talking about.

    Perhaps you haven’t done any of those things. You’re very lucky and very unusual if so. .

  5. says

    Where does historical accident fit into all this? I’m not sure when and how patriarchy arose; I’ll leave that to the social scientists and the archeologists and the anthropologists, but it seems that such structures arise because someone accidentally discovers something that works to their advantage and perpetuates it. If it’s true that patriarchy is a result of agricultural men wanting to keep a hold on their children in order to raise more farmhands (or something—just a scenario I pulled out of my ass), then such an idea might benefit the family unit as a whole while having a deterious effect on the status of the women within that family unit. And the idea perpetuates outward because some other guy realized he hadn’t thought of that but decided he wanted it, too.

    How much of running “Global Inc.” as it were, is our responsibility to look forward and find those things that seem innocuous today that might be detrimental to certain groups tomorrow? And how we balance that against the risk of over-policing our own behavior?

  6. Ally Fogg says

    Hi Gjenganger, good to have an old friend along!

    As I said in the piece, it is much easier to criticise the current system than propose an alternative. In general terms I believe in social and economic justice, sustainable economics, social ecology etc

    It is a really, really big and complicated question you ask, but the best answer I can give is that I think it is a political mistake to lay out a utopian model and then try to force society into the mould. That’s why I’m not a Marxist. I don’t believe that in arguing about whether the ends justify the means and all that, because, as Emma Goldman wrote, the means will always determine the ends. So I prefer to worry about the means – how we make the world a better place, not what an ideal place would look like.

    What I do believe is that where we see something wrong we should try to change it for the better. Society is always in transition. It changes for the better and it changes for the worse, and sometimes it just changes. I kind of think the progress of history is a boulder that is rolling down a hill. With a bit of care and dedication, we can divert its path, change its route, but we can very rarely stop it and push it back up again.

    So, my prescription, small changes here and there, when we see an injustice put it right, when we see a problem fix it. Try to make the world a more just and moral place in ways big and small whenever we can. Do that often enough and we’ll end up with a better world. Will we end up with a perfect world? I don’t think such a thing can exist, and those who do and attempt to create it tend to be really, really dangerous.

    Could you ask me an easier one next time please? ;-)

  7. Theetar says

    Hi Ally, first of all it is refreshing to have a question answered (on FTB) respectfully the way you have.

    Regarding all those situations, my answer is no. I’ve been able to get emotion help when needed, I haven’t been bullied into a physical fight, unless some skirmishes at school count. I’m not a particularly “matey” sort of guy and I don’t engage in sexually charged banter with just friends. I wouldn’t have thought that was so unusual, but maybe I’m wrong.

    I can see your point about conscription, but many nations (so called patriarchal ones?) have abolished it completely.

  8. Ally Fogg says

    Really interesting questions nkrishna, thanks.

    Personally I tend to believe that the process of social evolution is pretty similar to biological evolution. Random mutations / historical accidents that benefit “the organism” survive and are passed down, those which do not will quickly die out.

    The difference is that with societies, success and failure tends to be defined according to the interests of existing systems of power (economic, but also religious, political etc) – what we might call ‘capital.’

    If a historical accident turns out to be beneficial for capital it will be incorporated into the binder, to use my analogy, and become part of the ongoing culture. If it isn’t, it won’t, and indeed it will probably be actively opposed and stamped out.

  9. Ally Fogg says

    The “culture of our immediate departments” is unfortunately also where we might encounter most of our confirmation bias, entrenched assumptions and the like.

    that’s a really good point Jacques, thanks.

    One thing that interests me about the analogy is that, in real companies, you get idiosyncratic prejudices, myths etc forming. So people in the paperclip distribution department get it into their heads that the people in the watercooler replacement team are a bunch of utter bastards who never do their jobs properly etc, and that prejudice might be restricted purely to the paperclips dept. But then a heuristic is formed, everything is interpreted through that lens and it becomes self-perpetuating.

  10. says

    It seems that you may have discounted the possibility that men are less inclined to cry because they are biologically less inclined to do so, as opposed to because they have been inculturated with patriarchal social norms equating crying with submissiveness. Vingerhoets explores the possibility that nature, and not just culture, plays a role here in chapter 10 of “Why Only Humans Weep.”

  11. Gjenganger says

    Hi Ally.

    I entirely agree with what you are saying (and I had not expected to be saying that!). The reason I brought it up is that it makes a difference down the line:

    As long as you are thinking in terms of changing the whole system, you can simply assume that there will be so much more happiness around that everybody will be better off after the revolution (except a few evil oppressors). This assumption has the useful effect of neutralising several counterarguments:
    - “We are all victims of patriarchy”
    - “I am against patriarchy, therefore whatever I do is also in your interest”.
    - “Anyone who disagrees can only be in bad faith”.

    Once you accept that it is all a matter of making limited changes to the rulebook, you can no longer pretend that we will all be winners. Then you are into making trade-offs. You need to consider the cost to different groups, as well as the benefits. And you also have to accept that different groups can have conflicting interests, and that the groups that are losing out have a legitimate right to be against your improvements. Now apply this to enthusiastic consent, gay marriage, or the trans v. radfem debate …

  12. Ally Fogg says

    @Damion

    No, I don’t entirely discount such possibilities, but at most I would say that what our society does is take any such small differences and then amplifies them enormously through social processes.

    If it was simply a matter of biology, why would we have such strong social reinforcement of the “boys don’t cry” meme? Why would boys be so much more likely to be mocked for crying than girls?

    As a wise old psychology lecturer once told me, arguing about whether nature or nurture is more important in determining behaviour is like arguing whether your left hand or your right hand makes more noise when you clap. It is all about the interaction.

  13. kestra says

    Is anyone here a fan of Ursula K. LeGuin? Her scifi is very anthropologically and sociologically focused, and she explores themes about gender, religiosity, and cultural change. This post called to mind her novel, “Always Coming Home”, which is set in a far-future Earth where human cultures have both evolved and devolved into subsistence farming with all sorts of social structures and cultural contrasts, but without modern industrialization and an emphasis on static survival rather than constant growth and progress.

    In the novel, a girl born in the elaborate but very gender-equal society of the Valley travels with her father, who is from an expansionist and rigidly patriarchal society. As she is forced into the female role of her father’s society, she basically loses everything that she knew about herself. Finally she is able to return to her Valley and resume her other life, having learned how vital her culture is to her identity. The novel is also supplemented with many materials detailing the life, culture, stories and traditions of the Valley and how they come together to form a coherent belief system. It is a brilliant and elaborate book, and I highly recommend it just for itself, but also for gaining a broader understanding on how society and culture can completely overwhelm an individual and define their life for them.

  14. says

    As a wise old psychology lecturer once told me, arguing about whether nature or nurture is more important in determining behaviour is like arguing whether your left hand or your right hand makes more noise when you clap. It is all about the interaction.

    Indeed. That would be the wise approach – but then, if you adopted that approach, how could you possibly find a justification* for absenting yourself from the ongoing struggle for gender equality? If it’s entirely or mostly biology causing these slight differences in behavior between the genders, then people like Damion can rest secure in the knowledge that their lack of action on behalf of gender equality is biologically ordained and could not possibly reflect poorly on their moral character.

    *Lest you think I’m unimaginative, I’m aware that such justifications are always forthcoming, regardless of whether they reference biology or not.

  15. says

    I’ve read some LeGuin—some of the Earthsea novels and The Word for World is Forest (try saying that five times fast). Definitely have some more of her on my to-read list.

  16. says

    Huge fan of Ursula Le Guin here, and I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t read that particular book. Many of her books, though, are similarly thought-provoking.

    I’d also suggest Lois McMaster Bujold for an interesting sci-fi exploration of what the implications might be if we invented artificial uteruses and women were no longer obligated to gestate fetuses. (There’s one novel entirely about a planet of human settlement of entirely men, who use artificial uteruses and stored female gametes to keep their civilization going–patriarchal rhetoric about women’s lack of value carried to its absurd logical extreme.)

  17. Metalogic42 says

    I find it very apt that you use a massive corporation as an analogy for “patriarchy”, because I’d say we don’t live in a patriarchy at all, but a plutarchy – we’re ruled not by men, but by wealth. Sure, there’s gender-related social issues in our society, and some of them are biased toward one or the other, but money trumps them.

    You mentioned in a comment up there the “boys don’t cry” stereotype, and this stereotype has some influence, but consider this. One day, two men cry for a bit (for whatever reason). One is a janitor at an office building, and the other is a presidential candidate. The janitor can’t do much about people who make fun of him, but the candidate can hire an expensive public relations team to spin it in a positive light. The money trumps society’s preconceived notions of what’s appropriate for men. In a similar vein, a promiscuous man might be seen as a “player”, while a promiscuous woman might be seen as a “slut”. But once again, expensive marketing can flip this around.

    There is the issue of what causes the pre-PR marketing views in the first place, and that’s where you might say that patriarchy comes into play. But I think the real cause is just that people look for superficial things to criticize others for. If it wasn’t gender roles, it would be something else; it’s just incidental. Most who balk and role-breaking don’t really care about the role-breaking per se, it’s just an excuse, which is why that PR can be so effective. It turns a person from being viewed negatively into being viewed positively.

    Former president Bill Clinton is a great example of “patriarchy as incidental”. There are many who raged against his extramarital behavior who would pat their friends on the back for doing the exact same thing. It’s not that they really thought he did something unacceptable, it was just another excuse not to like someone they already didn’t like.

  18. Gjenganger says

    You are getting that psychology lecturer wrong. He is saying that nature and nurture are both important and work together. Which means that you cannot dismiss either, and that is the important point for a science discussion.

    Anyway, this is really a proxy war. For a polical discussion the details of behaviour formation are not very interesting. What matters here is to what extent we are free to imagine any set of gender roles we like and say ‘let us change over to those’. And attitudes are indeed political. One side (that is you, Sally Strange) completely dismiss nature and say that it has no effect on gender roles worth considering. Many on the other side (no names) completely dismiss nurture and more or less tacitly asume that all current gender differences are set in stone and unchangeable,

    The moderate aproach would surely be to agree with Ally’s lecturer and say that we could not exclude some contribution from either. But maybe that would still suggest that we might not be able to achieve gender roles that were completely identical?

  19. Ally Fogg says

    I find it very apt that you use a massive corporation as an analogy for “patriarchy”

    You slightly misunderstand me. I use a massive corporation as an analogy for capitalist hegemony, which contains many social dynamics including patriarchy. You’ll notice I also refer to race, class, sexuality and other dynamics besides. I don’t believe patriarchy is the single or the dominant dynamic in society, but it is one of many that goes to make up the whole. For that reason we can’t consider it separately to the broader political / economic picture.

    You mentioned in a comment up there the “boys don’t cry” stereotype, and this stereotype has some influence, but consider this. One day, two men cry for a bit (for whatever reason). One is a janitor at an office building, and the other is a presidential candidate. The janitor can’t do much about people who make fun of him, but the candidate can hire an expensive public relations team to spin it in a positive light. The money trumps society’s preconceived notions of what’s appropriate for men. In a similar vein, a promiscuous man might be seen as a “player”, while a promiscuous woman might be seen as a “slut”. But once again, expensive marketing can flip this around.

    I pretty much agree with this, and what you are describing is what feminists call “intersectionality” with respect to gender and class/wealth/status. Gender oppressions impact differently upon people differently according to what other kinds of societal shit they have to deal with.

    I think the real cause is just that people look for superficial things to criticize others for. If it wasn’t gender roles, it would be something else; it’s just incidental.

    Except the criticism is not just incidental, it is functional and instrumental. It serves purposes. You are quite right that if we somehow made gender disappear, other forms of discrimination and oppression would take their place. Again, that’s why we can’t worry about gender discrimination in isolation from class, race and all the rest. The dynamics are about power and control rather than simple prejudice or interpersonal relationships.

  20. A. Noyd says

    Gjenganger

    One side (that is you, Sally Strange) completely dismiss nature and say that it has no effect on gender roles worth considering.

    Does she say that? I don’t see it. She’s taking a dig at the people you’re leaving unnamed who don’t consider both nature and nurture as acting together.

  21. Ally Fogg says

    You are getting that psychology lecturer wrong. He is saying that nature and nurture are both important and work together. Which means that you cannot dismiss either, and that is the important point for a science discussion.

    perhaps I didn’t explain myself clearly enough, but that was precisely what I meant to say and what I believe!

  22. Ginkgo says

    ” If it’s true that patriarchy is a result of agricultural men wanting to keep a hold on their children in order to raise more farmhands (or something—just a scenario I pulled out of my ass),”

    It probably has more to do with having to take and defend the territory that you wanted to farm, because you see a lot of the same structures in sedentary forager societies too. You also see it in pastoral societies where it is not so much about grazing land but about protecting the cattle from predators and theiving neighbors.

    We tend to foget the centrality of protecting territory as the basis for family life because our privilege blinds us. We liove in civil societies where our physical and property security is so entrenched that we never need to think of it. Buty in fact it is asocial construct and an artifact, not some law of nature.

    Now the real gender equality question is why women were not involved in all this defensive effort equally from the beginning and then onward.

  23. A. Noyd says

    nkrishna

    such an idea might benefit the family unit as a whole while having a deterious effect on the status of the women within that family unit

    Benefit how? Seems like you’re confusing human goals with the consequences of evolution (ie. cultures that maximize reproductive success tend to be the ones that survive). I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong to model historical accidents of culture on biological mutations, but be careful about reading human goals into those evolutionary consequences. Humans can, after all, choose to end our lineages if we believe it benefits ourselves. My sister and I are childless by choice, for example. Historically, too, there were the Shakers who valued celibacy even at the expense of their society’s future. Evolution judges people like me and the Shakers as “unfit,” but we’re not required to measure “benefit” according to what’s important to evolution.

    Also, what is “over-policing our own behavior”?

  24. Ginkgo says

    Left Hand of Darkness was a wonder and it still is. The only writer who comes close to le Guin in sociological sci fi is Frank Herbert, and he focuses on things like water politics more than on gender.

  25. A. Noyd says

    Ginkgo

    Now the real gender equality question is why women were not involved in all this defensive effort equally from the beginning and then onward.

    Why would you think they weren’t? Unequal societies with highly differentiated gender roles can still assign women tasks of contributing to that defense. Just for one example, look at Japan in the 20′s, 30′s and early 40′s.* Women were considered hugely important in carrying out Japan’s imperial ambitions: for breeding new soldiers, for raising their kids up to submit to authority and die for their country, and for keeping their families well fed and healthy so they could excel in their duties. It was a shit role to have if you weren’t into extreme housewifery, but it was involvement.

    ………
    *One might argue this is an example of aggression and not defense, but Japan did sell its aggressions to its subjects as a defensive effort. And that wasn’t so much of a stretch given how Japan’s lack of natural resources is a massive vulnerability.

  26. A. Noyd says

    Ally Fogg

    Have you ever joined in matey, sexually-charged “banter” at some unwitting woman’s expense (either online or off) because you’ve wanted to be one of the lads? That’s what I’m talking about.

    I posted this a few days ago elsewhere:” I was listening to this conversation between two young men (early 20′s) on the bus coming home from class [last week] and they managed to make the entire trip (~3 miles) without being douchey about anything—either to one another or towards other people or groups. Despite this, they managed to share their feelings about their life and encourage and (non-douchily) tease one another. It’s really fucking sad that that’s remarkable.”

    At the time, I was thinking about how amazing it would be if guys had the luxury of interacting like that all the time. They seemed so supportive of one another. It makes me mad that most societies want to punish men for acting that way.

  27. Metalogic42 says

    I hope I get my tags right here. If not, feel free to fix them so this is readable.

    You slightly misunderstand me…

    I somewhat agree with the point about multiple dynamics being in play, but I think we’re going to differ in one important aspect, which leads me to this…

    what you are describing is what feminists call “intersectionality”…

    Kind of, but not really – I’ll concede that dynamics like gender, sexuality, and race intersect roughly equally. But, I’d also say that class trumps them all by far. If you’re a blind asian bi female, but you’re wealthy, you’ll be far better off than a straight while male who is poor. And you’ll only be slightly marginally worse off than a straight white male who is equally wealthy (and even then, most of that worse off-ness will be due to the objective difficulties that come with blindness, and not societal issues).

    You are quite right that if we somehow made gender disappear, other forms of discrimination and oppression would take their place.

    And if we made gender, class, race, sexuality, and all the rest disappear, people would just make up something out of thin air (“I hate that guy, look at the shape of his knees!”) I don’t think we’re really disagreeing all that much about how things are, just about how much of an effect they have.

  28. A. Noyd says

    Edward Gemmer

    What’s wrong with a good round of sexually charged banter?

    Oh, hey Eddie. You might notice I didn’t mention sexually chaged banter. Nor do I equate sexually charged banter with douchiness. If you’re incapable of bantering sexually without being a douchebag, that’s your problem. Now, is there anything you’d care to address that’s actually in my post?

  29. Steersman says

    Ally Fogg said (2.4):

    As a wise old psychology lecturer once told me, arguing about whether nature or nurture is more important in determining behaviour is like arguing whether your left hand or your right hand makes more noise when you clap. It is all about the interaction.

    Nice analogy, although I think it tends to discount or elide some potential differences that could become rather problematic if one wishes to change, for example, the “tone” produced. For instance, assuming that a particular “resonant frequency” is caused by nurture when it is due largely if not entirely to nature is likely to produce efforts to change it that will likely be ineffective if not actually counterproductive. A case in point being, if I’m not mistaken from my limited understanding of the Russian and Chinese revolutions, at least some of their efforts to change society predicated on a belief that humans were almost entirely “blank slates”.

    Social engineering, of one sort or another, is a credible and worthwhile plan of attack; riding madly off in all directions because of flawed comprehensions and models very much less so.

  30. Ally Fogg says

    @Edward Gemmer

    What’s wrong with a good round of sexually charged banter?

    If it is between mutually consenting individuals who are all enjoying it, absolutely nothing.

    If it is directed at an unwitting person (as I specified) and serving to make her (or indeed him) feel uncomfortable and threatened, then there is everything wrong with it.

  31. A Hermit says

    I’ll concede that dynamics like gender, sexuality, and race intersect roughly equally. But, I’d also say that class trumps them all by far.

    I don’t know about that; it depends on the context in which the interaction takes place. It’s not just about how “well off” one is economically, it’s about how easily one moves through a particular social interaction. Your hypothetical wealthy blind asian bi female may very well find herself having a more difficult time getting straight white male employees to take her seriously than a less wealthy, white middle class male middle management type does for example.

  32. A Hermit says

    Sorry, that last comment was supposed to be a reply to Metalogic42 @ 7.2

  33. Metalogic42 says

    Your hypothetical wealthy blind asian bi female may very well find herself having a more difficult time getting straight white male employees to take her seriously than a less wealthy, white middle class male middle management type does for example.

    What does it mean to take someone seriously? If the person cutting your paycheck tells you to do something, you do it regardless of who it is, or you don’t get paid.

  34. A Hermit says

    On the “banter” thing; Miri had an interesting post about research into sexist humour. unsurprisingly it tends to support the idea that engaging in dehumanizing “banter” about women correlates with tolerance for rape, victim blaming etc. http://freethoughtblogs.com/brutereason/2013/05/01/does-sexist-humor-matter-a-review-of-the-research/

    I don’t think it’s exactly a radical idea that “joking” about people in a way which minimizes their status as equals, whether that be in a racial or a sexual manner, would reinforce racist/sexist stereotype and attitudes.

  35. A Hermit says

    Do you do it quickly? So you do it as well as you possibly can? If you’ve ever managed a group of people you should know there are varying degrees of cooperation, even from people who you hypothetically could fire.

    But the point here is that the white male middle manager might have an easier time getting full, enthusiastic cooperation than a wealthier female minority upper management type. The imbalance in privilege between those two in that context is more dependent on race and gender than on class.

  36. Steersman says

    Sally Strange said (#2.5):

    If it’s entirely or mostly biology causing these slight differences in behavior between the genders, then people like Damion can rest secure in the knowledge that their lack of action on behalf of gender equality is biologically ordained and could not possibly reflect poorly on their moral character.

    Bit of a “strawman” there, is it not, Sally? Not to mention ascribing motives and actions to Damion that you haven’t given any evidence of – you, perchance, have some? Although I will concede that there are at least a few who subscribe to that view, many of whom do so from a religious perspective as suggested, for instance, by this quote (1) from Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate:

    On the other side, some conservatives are confirming feminists’ worst fears by invoking dubious sex differences to condemn the choices of women. In a Wall Street Journal editorial, the political scientist Harvey Mansfield wrote that “the protective element of manliness is endangered by women having equal access to jobs outside the home.” A book by F. Carolyn Graglia called Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism theorized that women’s maternal and sexual instincts are being distorted by the assertiveness and analytical mind demanded by a career.

    However, I wonder whether you do concede that there are, in effect, “two hands” clapping and not just one. You might wish to take a close look at that chapter of Pinker’s for what I think are very credible examples of supposedly different genetic factors by gender/sex that strongly influence our behaviours. But I think that that “strongly influence” is a concept many have some difficulty with, maybe not surprisingly as “behavioural genetics” (2) is a rather complex subject.

    However I think the short version is that many people seem to have some aversion, if not a fear bordering on mind-destroying panic, to considering the possibility that our individual and unique genetic inheritances have some influence on our behaviours without that implying that we are lock-step automatons. For instance, consider such “handicaps” as “male-pattern baldness”, sickle-cell anemia, and Huntingdon’s disease. While they are all genetically determined, that hardly precludes current or future efforts to compensate for or to cure them without that entirely dictating the behaviours of those so afflicted – much less having any bearing on their civil rights.

    P.S. You might wish to check your blog where there’s a comment of mine on crocheting and hyperbolic planes in your “In Transit” thread that’s been sitting in moderation for over a week ….


    1) “_http://www.pasadena.edu/files/syllabi/txcave_18360.pdf”;
    2) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavioural_genetics”;

  37. Metalogic42 says

    But the point here is that the white male middle manager might have an easier time getting full, enthusiastic cooperation than a wealthier female minority upper management type.

    Maybe, and maybe the latter will have an easier time than the former. It’s going to depend on personality and management style, not gender. There have been many, many books written about how to most effectively manage, and I’m pretty sure none of them list “be a man” as good managing advice.

  38. Skeptical Atheist says

    re #9.1

    I think the interpersonal skills of the manager has more to do with how they’re perceived by their employees than any other factor.

  39. A. Noyd says

    @Metalogic42 & Skeptical Atheist
    The thing is, gender is something people factor in when evaluating personalities, management styles, and interpersonal skills. Ideas about gender bias our perceptions so that, for example, we judge assertiveness in women and nurturing in men as flaws, but not the reverse.

  40. grahamjones says

    Metalogic42,

    Do you think that women should own half the world’s wealth?

  41. A Hermit says

    Maybe, and maybe the latter will have an easier time than the former. It’s going to depend on personality and management style, not gender.

    Ideally, yes, that’s how it SHOULD be. I know from personal experience (as the white, male middle management type in that scenario) that it too often isn’t that way in real life…

  42. Edward Gemmer says

    If it is directed at an unwitting person (as I specified) and serving to make her (or indeed him) feel uncomfortable and threatened, then there is everything wrong with it.

    Gotcha. By unwitting it sounded like you meant people who weren’t aware it was going on. Thanks for the clarification.

    I don’t think it’s exactly a radical idea that “joking” about people in a way which minimizes their status as equals, whether that be in a racial or a sexual manner, would reinforce racist/sexist stereotype and attitudes.

    It’s not a radical idea, but it is probably wrong. Some of the most popular humor around is based on race and pokes fun at all sorts of things which could be considered “minimization.” Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock come immediately to mind. Richard Pryor, George Carlin and many, many other great comics have made all sorts of great jokes about people, all of which could be argued minimized their status as equals.

  43. Ginkgo says

    “Why would you think they weren’t?”

    Well, the short answer is they “had people for that sort of thing” so they didn’t have to do it themselves. Learning how to use weapons, going up against other people with weapons, often after long, punishing marches to get to the fight – these are burdensome.

    The downside to doing that is that youput yourself into a dependent role.

    “Unequal societies with highly differentiated gender roles can still assign women tasks of contributing to that defense. Just for one example, look at Japan in the 20′s, 30′s and early 40′s.* Women were considered hugely important in carrying out Japan’s imperial ambitions: for breeding new soldiers, for raising their kids up to submit to authority and die for their country, and for keeping their families well fed and healthy so they could excel in their duties. It was a shit role to have if you weren’t into extreme housewifery, but it was involvement.”

    That is a pretty offensive example of erasure by false equivalence – sending someone off to fight is not remotely the same thing as going yourself. However your kid off is probably worse,so yeah, that’s pretty awful.

    “One might argue this is an example of aggression and not defense, but Japan did sell its aggressions to its subjects as a defensive effort..”

    The only diffenrence between the two phases of warfare are the moral wiehgts we assign them. Operationally they cna be close ot indistinguishable. and in nay case it doesn’t matter when it ocmes ot sending people out – war for resources is as old as the species probably.

  44. Metalogic42 says

    @A. Noyd 10.1:

    Ideas about gender bias our perceptions so that, for example, we judge assertiveness in women and nurturing in men as flaws, but not the reverse.

    Speak for yourself. I certainly don’t judge those attributes as flaws.

  45. Metalogic42 says

    William Lane Craig knows from personal experience that Jesus Christ is his personal lord and savior. So what?

  46. Metalogic42 says

    grahamjones,

    Exactly half, down to the dollar? No. I think women should own roughly half of the world’s wealth, adjusted for variances such as population percentages, education rates, and skewing by a few obscenely wealthy individuals who are incidentally male (and a whole host of other factors).

  47. Skeptical Atheist says

    “The thing is, gender is something people factor in when evaluating personalities, management styles, and interpersonal skills. Ideas about gender bias our perceptions so that, for example, we judge assertiveness in women and nurturing in men as flaws, but not the reverse.”

    Different people will use different factors when evaluating others. I was once told by a person that they didn’t like me because I reminded them of their brother-in-law. That doesn’t mean all people are that way though!

    I see a lot of scapegoating going on. Someone doesn’t like them, it must be because of their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity…etc, but never stop to think that it may be because of their obnoxious personality.

  48. says

    One side (that is you, Sally Strange) completely dismiss nature

    Incorrect! Why is it that every time a feminist says, “Let’s look at culture” in response to some perceived inequality, it’s always, BUT BUT BUT BIOLOGY, YOU MUST NOT FORGET BIOLOGY!

    Nobody forgot biology. It’s just that the 100% biology hypothesis for why women don’t X, where X is generally having to do with participating in exciting, important things, like, say, owning property or science or running for office or skepticism, has been pushed for decades (centuries, really), with little to show for it. The 100% culture hypothesis was pushed for a while but has been discredited. So what are we left with? Both. What do we have more control over? Culture. This is why I read calls to consider the biological nature of gender differences as dog whistles for “Let’s do nothing about gender differences.”

  49. says

    Speak for yourself. I certainly don’t judge those attributes as flaws.

    I believe the “we” in the original sentence referred to societal patterns, as established by researchers in social sciences.

    So my question is, did you know that and were just being snarky because you’re one of those silly social sciences denialists, or are you just thick-witted enough to mistake your personal anecdote for relevant data?

    Perhaps there’s an alternate explanation. I’d love to hear it.

  50. Steersman says

    Sally Strange said (#2.11):

    Nobody forgot biology. It’s just that the 100% biology hypothesis for why women don’t X, where X is generally having to do with participating in exciting, important things, like, say, owning property or science or running for office or skepticism, has been pushed for decades (centuries, really), with little to show for it.

    You have any evidence of significant numbers of people actually defending and promoting the “100% biology hypothesis”? Or is that just more strawmaning of the argument?

    P.S. As mentioned above, you might want to check your blog for comments in moderation ….

  51. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    And who owns and controls the vast, vast majority of this wealth?

  52. Skeptical Atheist says

    Sally Strange:
    “So my question is, did you know that and were just being snarky because you’re one of those silly social sciences denialists, or are you just thick-witted enough to mistake your personal anecdote for relevant data?”

    “Ah, never mind. Social sciences denialist it is then.”

    You call others snarky??

    Pot meet kettle!

  53. Paul B says

    It is equally simplistic nonsense to imagine that male suffering (on the battlefield and in homelessness, suicide rates, alienation and loneliness) is a consequence of women’s behaviour, choices or social liberation.

    Well yes and no Ally for i don’t think it’s quite as black and white as you seem to be saying.For women can be just as guilty as men of encouraging men and boys to ”man up” over all sorts of things. And that can have dire consequences. So i don’t think you can dismiss the notion of female culpability as always being simplistic nonsense.It would however be ludicrous to suggest that female culpability in anyway negated male culpability.

  54. Ally Fogg says

    hi Paul, welcome to these parts!

    I’m not saying women don’t play a part in that kind of stuff, of course they do. I’m saying that women and men are both subject to the system.

  55. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    For women can be just as guilty as men of encouraging men and boys to ”man up” over all sorts of things. And that can have dire consequences. So i don’t think you can dismiss the notion of female culpability as always being simplistic nonsense.

    Fair enough, but isn’t it basically oroborus? Gender roles, in the bread winner/homemaker sense, aren’t natural and therefore have to be enforced and reenforced. So, yes, both sexes are guilty of enforcing and reenforcing them on both genders. I absolutely agree that this can and does cause as you said “dire consequences”. Which gives the target either more incentive to submit and adhere or more suffering the consequences of refusal.

    IN this way, patriarchy feeds itself. You have incentive to conform to male gender stereotypes and roles coming from both sides – from other men, so you’d have to prove you masculinity is sufficiently in line with theirs, and from women, so you’d have to exert this stereotypical and fairly toxic society-constructed to be considered sufficiently masculine.

    Other men see this, learn it, and the cycle continues. Women see this, learn it, and the cycle continues.

    That was a really long winded way of saying – I agree, women can be and far too often are just as guilty in spreading and maintaining a harmful toxic patriarchy. With the addition that, as long as all people do so, the cycle won’t ever end.

  56. says

    @ Illuminata

    the cycle won’t ever end.

    Pessimist. I’ve seen things get way better in this lifetime. Dropping the n-bomb is no longer socially acceptable. Girls are now allowed to engage in school sports, albeit at the expense of men’s sports.

    Just this past Saturday when a stupido dropped “Spic” and I called him on it, he walked away instead of offering to kick my ass. I’m telling you, this is progress.

    As for my boss who lately told me he would not hire a woman for a supervisor’s job we needed filled (I am not making this up), well, I guess we will just have to wait for him and his cohorts to die.

  57. A. Noyd says

    Ginkgo

    Well, the short answer is they “had people for that sort of thing” so they didn’t have to do it themselves. Learning how to use weapons, going up against other people with weapons, often after long, punishing marches to get to the fight – these are burdensome.

    That was a rhetorical question. I was trying to point out how more than just chucking spears or marching about counts as involvement in defense (or offense).

    That is a pretty offensive example of erasure by false equivalence – sending someone off to fight is not remotely the same thing as going yourself.

    I’m not making a false equivalence because I’m not saying the costs are the same. You’re the one begging the question that equal involvement means equal costs to the individual. The example of imperial Japanese women works especially well because the necessity of their involvement was explicitly recognized and clearly delineated. It’s not otherwise exceptional. Reasonably, your hypothetical, early defenders of their territory would have had similar strategies.

  58. A. Noyd says

    Metalogic42

    Speak for yourself. I certainly don’t judge those attributes as flaws.

    Well, I was talking about society, but as for you, personally…

    I believe you value nurturing in men and assertiveness in women. So do I. But it’s really hard to take those values and successfully dismantle our culturally programmed implicit biases. (If you don’t know what implicit bias is, here’s an explanation.) As the FAQ says, we’re not aware of these biases and they affect our judgment in ways that are at odds with our conscious values.

    Those biases are why it’s never enough to just say “I’m against racism” or “I think men and women are equal” and expect that you’ve done your part to end prejudice and discrimination.

  59. A. Noyd says

    Skeptical Atheist

    Different people will use different factors when evaluating others.

    People are actually way less individualistic in their evaluations of people than we like to pretend. Of course not everyone is entirely the same, but those quirks rest on top of a basic level of cultural programming.

    I see a lot of scapegoating going on.

    Ever thought that your point of view is heavily biased by your obnoxious personality what level of trust your culture of origin says you should afford the testimony of women or gays or people of color about their experiences?

  60. says

    It’s going to depend on personality and management style, not gender.

    Because clearly, we live in a world in which women never face difficulty being taken seriously or respected due to gender. It’s all a relic of the past, and none of it survives today, definitely not enough to be culturally pervasive.

    What’s that? The preponderance of the research in sociology and other relevant social sciences says it does? LALALALALALALALALALALALA I CANT HEAR YOU LALALALLAALLAALLAALALALALALAAL

    The only one sounding like William Lane Craig here is you.

  61. A. Noyd says

    Oops, I owe you an apology, Eddie. The bit about banter was in my post, just in the quote. Still, what makes that sort of thing douchey is when it’s done at someone’s expense.

  62. Steersman says

    Ally Fogg said (OP):

    Socialised gender roles are not there by accident. They are functional. Oppressive acts of sexism, misogyny, misandry, racism, homophobia, transphobia, class prejudice and the rest do not arise from individual weakness or venality but because we have all been induced to retain and reinforce them as essential components of our role within the company.

    Indeed. Although one might also argue that the same mechanisms also inculcate commendable and socially useful “socialized gender roles” as well – the problem seems to reside more in unreflective acceptance of them and in the belief that they are somehow straitjackets rather than a set of options – to a large extent open to all.

    However, I think there are a number of problems with your analogy – and the entire concept of the patriarchy itself – not least of which is that – as your “induced to retain and reinforce” suggests – there is purported to be some causal efficacy or influence to what might otherwise be characterized as a case of reification (1), of treating “an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) … as if it were a concrete, real event, or physical entity”. And, part and parcel of that questionable perspective, one might also argue that tagging that abstraction with a male adjective or connotation qualifies as some egregious sexism if not misandry – although maybe it is a case of turn-and-turn-about in ascribing some post-modernist “original sin” to the entire male demographic.

    While I think there is some justification for ascribing some degree of causal influence to that abstraction – primarily in the emerging science of emergence (2) as well as in such related phenomena as mob behaviour, the understanding of the nature of that process, and the rectification of its more problematic manifestations, is not helped much by framing it in some rather woo-ish if not sexist terms – particularly as “Illuminata” has, quite reasonably, pointed out that men and women both have contributed to that state of affairs.

    As Pogo (3) said, “We have seen the enemy – and he is us”.

    —-
    1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reification_(fallacy)”;
    2) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence”;
    3) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pogo_(comic_strip)”;

  63. says

    To be clear, I am definitely not in favour of a 100% biological hypothesis. I’m not about to accuse anyone of being a cultural determinist, either. That said, if it turns out that frequency of having a good cry turns out to be significantly negatively correlated with testosterone levels over time, that would surely affect our view of why men often report having “felt unable … to cry in pain or despair” when they needed it. It is an alternate hypothesis to be considered, having established patriarchy as our default assumption.

    Right now the studies on adult crying are far from painting a complete picture, and that is rather unfortunate. I am making the case here merely that we ought to take the possibility of hormonal drivers more seriously. That said, here is some suggestive anecdotal evidence on point from transmen such as Griffin Hansbury:

    Alex Blumberg
    How about in the way you feel things and in the way you perceive of your feelings? Is there any change there?

    Griffin Hansbury
    I have a hard time crying. Before testosterone, it was great if I was frustrated or angry or sad, have a good cry. You’d feel better afterwards. And I do wonder if there isn’t a chemical component behind it because I now have a hard time doing it. And it’s very frustrating.

    What I will do is when I feel that pressure build up, I’ll go into my room. I will close the door and force myself. I have to force myself to cry. And the quality of the crying is different than the quality of the crying was before T. It’s very dry. I find myself moaning and sobbing, but with very little tears.

    Alex Blumberg
    You’ve answered a lot of questions for us today. You reinforced a lot of stereotypes that we’ve almost dispelled with.

  64. A Hermit says

    Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock come immediately to mind. Richard Pryor, George Carlin and many, many other great comics have made all sorts of great jokes about people, all of which could be argued minimized their status as equals.

    Carlin in particular didn’t do humour that reinforced stereotypes; quite the opposite in fact. That’s what made him so great.

    And I’d say it doesn’t matter if the target is aware of to or not, if you’re engaging in “banter” which reinforces negative stereotypes you are reinforcing those stereotypes in your own mind and for those you are sharing the joke with.

  65. A Hermit says

    Metalogic42

    William Lane Craig knows from personal experience that Jesus Christ is his personal lord and savior. So what?

    So I’m talking about the real world, but if you need more you can go to the data, for example:
    on changing stereotypes here …http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3278615/

    Because of sexist stereotypes, women are expected to engender characteristics like warmth, modesty, and sensitivity. These expectations cause disadvantages for female managers, because they are inconsistent with the stereotype that people have of leaders; leaders are supposed to be strong, result-oriented, and willing to take risks. As a result, women face prejudicial evaluation of their competence as managers (Eagly and Carli 2003b), leading to a decreased access to leadership roles (Eagly and Karau 2002) and more negative evaluations (Brescoll et al. 2010).

    Gender and evaluation here: http://psycnet.apa.org/?fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/0033-2909.111.1.3

    (note the importance of “certain circumstances” ie context in aggravating this tendency)

    There’s lots more out there if you care enough to look for it…so you don’t have to rely on my personal experience.

    Or on your thus far unsupported opinions for that matter…

  66. Steersman says

    shockna said (9.4):

    Because clearly, we live in a world in which women never face difficulty being taken seriously or respected due to gender. It’s all a relic of the past, and none of it survives today, definitely not enough to be culturally pervasive.

    What’s that? The preponderance of the research in sociology and other relevant social sciences says it does?

    While I’ll readily concede that there’s a high degree of probability that some women “face (some) difficulty being taken seriously or respected due to gender”, I wonder what sort of evidence you have for that. Is it 1% of the population? 10%? Citations needed.

    Seems to me that, for men and women both, not all of us – probably none of us – are created entirely equal in terms of capabilities and talents – genetically or culturally endowed or not, and the degree to which we are all “taken seriously or respected” – by gender or any other criterion – depends very much circumstances, on context. . You seem to be disconnecting a phenomenon from any and all potential reasons for it – a rather problematic starting point.

  67. Metalogic42 says

    What’s that? The preponderance of the research in sociology and other relevant social sciences says it does? LALALALALALALALALALALALA I CANT HEAR YOU LALALALLAALLAALLAALALALALALAAL

    The only one sounding like William Lane Craig here is you.

    Link me to it then. Or are you attempting the “argumentum ad snarkum”?

  68. Metalogic42 says

    And now I’m being called a social science denialist, even though no one who holds an opposing view has presented me with any science thus far.

    A Hermit’s extremely tiny sample size of business culture (relative to businesses as a whole) is not science.

  69. Skeptical Atheist says

    “People are actually way less individualistic in their evaluations of people than we like to pretend.”

    How did you arrive at that conclusion?
    Are you stating of fact, if so please cite a source.

    “Ever thought that your point of view is heavily biased by (your obnoxious personality) what level of trust your culture of origin says you should afford the testimony of women or gays or people of color about their experiences?”

    Are you suggesting my personal experiences don’t count?

  70. beelzebubba says

    For people arguing about whether there is any evidence from social science for systemic gender discrimination or patriarchy, here are some links.

    http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/reich/reports/ceiling1.pdf
    http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~wright/GenderGap.pdf
    http://gender.stanford.edu/news/2012/seeing-through-glass-ceiling-1

    I think a lot of people are confusing patriarchy with some kind of conscious male conspiracy against women. It’s just a word used to refer to unconscious bias that is in almost everyone’s mind from centuries of cultural indoctrination.

  71. Steersman says

    Skeptical Atheist said (10.7):

    Are you suggesting my personal experiences don’t count?

    Dontcha know that women can’t be guilty of sexism nor “people of colour” of racism? You musta missed reading the AtheismPlus Catechism (1) ….


    1) “_http://atheismplus.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2632&p=42878”;

  72. A. Noyd says

    How did you arrive at that conclusion?

    See the link in 10.5, for a start. But it’s hard to find specific citations directly supporting this fact because it’s something that social scientists accept as foundational to their field (like biologists do with evolution). See, for instance, this study; it only makes sense in light of people’s reliance on bias and stereotypes in evaluations of others. There’s also the study under the DOI 10.1037/0022-3514.35.7.485 , which I don’t have access to, but looks from the abstract like it examines this fact more directly. Also, researchers in psychology always have to design their experiments not only to eliminate their own bias but to circumvent confounding biases on the parts of their subjects. See Cordelia Fine’s book A Mind of Its Own.

    Are you suggesting my personal experiences don’t count?

    I’m asking if you’ve ever considered whether you’re (implicitly) biased against those you’re accusing of “scapegoating.”

  73. says

    The problem, dear fellow, was not with your snark. The problem was that, if it were snark, it would have been woefully misapplied.

    Also there was the whole question of the simple-mindedness behind the attempts.

    But thanks for dodging simple questions! Do come again.

  74. says

    Well, to put the widespread reports of women experiencing discrimination, plus all the scholarship that has been done on those reports, and the analysis about how and why and when it happens on the same level as WLC’s reports of personal revelation does indeed imply that you consider at least some of the social sciences to be as much bunkum as Christianity is. I don’t need to cite sources to identify that when someone says, “Ha! CO2 is just plant food, how could it be a pollutant?” I’m dealing with a climate change denialist.

  75. says

    It’s not a radical idea, but it is probably wrong. Some of the most popular humor around is based on race and pokes fun at all sorts of things which could be considered “minimization.” Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock come immediately to mind. Richard Pryor, George Carlin and many, many other great comics have made all sorts of great jokes about people, all of which could be argued minimized their status as equals.

    Edward Gemmer doesn’t get Dave Chappelle any more than he does Carlin. I’ve never watched much of Chris Rock’s stuff so I can’t speak to that. Sounds like Gemmer is just stretching the definition of the word “minimization” so he can “minimize” the effects of the actions he’s being asked to refrain from, or encourage others to refrain from.

  76. says

    Certainly not the vast majority of men, Illuminata.

    So now we know who does NOT control the vast majority of the world’s wealth and power.

    Perhaps someone else has a more useful answer?

  77. says

    I figured it out! I had read the comment about how it’s a plutocracy, and it’s really money and wealth and class that matter, but didn’t realize it was from you til just now. Don’t tell me… are you a BROCIALIST? That’s adorable.

  78. Metalogic42 says

    Well, to put the widespread reports of women experiencing discrimination, plus all the scholarship that has been done on those reports, and the analysis about how and why and when it happens on the same level as WLC’s reports of personal revelation does indeed imply that you consider at least some of the social sciences to be as much bunkum as Christianity is.

    Good job misrepresenting me! I said absolutely nothing about widespread reports or peer-reviewed scholarship in my WLC comment. The only thing I put on the same level as WLC’s personal experience was A Hermit’s personal experience. And I stand by that.

    Nice try, though.

  79. Metalogic42 says

    What would it take to convince you? Be specific or else you will find the articles are not as helpful as they could be.

    How about a meta-analysis of the research; one which shows 1) women face discrimination in the workplace, 2) they face this discrimination because of their gender, 3) this discrimination is culturally pervasive (in the first world), 4) the reason for this discrimination is not objective or biological, and 5) 1-4 is the consensus view in the relevant field.

    One additional requirement, just for my own benefit: you yourself have to have read it. Nothing annoys me more than when someone gives me a citation they claim supports their position, only to find that it does not, or even worse, is completely unrelated.

  80. Metalogic42 says

    @Sally Strange (12.2):

    Was that meant for me? I was the one who wrote the comment about how wealth matters, not Skeptical Atheist.

    Also, what the fuck is a “BROCIALIST”?

  81. Steersman says

    Probably a bro-socialist. Dontcha know that every male who even looks half-ways askance at any tenet of feminism is, ipso facto, a card carrying member of the Men’s Right Movement, a Libertarian, possibly KKK, and whose name is probably Marc Lepine? Hence, presumably, poor Sally’s shock at meeting someone who is apparently a socialist on top of supposedly fitting that stereotype ….

  82. Sasori says

    Congratulations on your second post.
    I like your new picture, what would you call the look that you are giving, I would go with ‘Arctic Velvet’ or This is England 86′ realness. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Also, my parents met in Hammersmith Palais.

    I like the nested comments, most people can use their phones in landscape mode to stop the vertical stacking of words, and it makes for a better debate, at least when there arent 50milltion comments. I look forward to the first flamewar.

    Interesting analogy, I think it is very good at setting up what your personal philosophy and approach to gender relations is, I mostly agree, but I must say that the roles of people in a company are literally and rigidly proscribed in job titles roles and descriptions not invisible and often barely detectable social interactions that most people don’t notice really, like gender roles. I may have taken everything too literally.

    Also I am not really sure that ‘men’ are ‘in charge’ I would grant you that the men are over represented in leadership roles in business and politics but I don’t really think that has all that much to do with who is ‘in charge’ in most peoples households and lives. I don’t think anything would really change if it was decreed that 50% or even all CEO’s should be women by next year. The roles of these people are mandated by their job description (make short term profits for investors) in the case of CEO’s and the social, ideological and economic context that they exist in (interests/lobbyists, what it ‘wouldn’t do to say’ current political/economic climate) in the case of politicians.

    I also have a problem with placing the onus primarily on individual/ethical actions and not collectively changing the state, say.
    For instance, imho, the social interactions that constitute what you call patriarchy seem like they’re based on a socio economic model of the family, husband ‘provider’ and wife ‘childcarer’ which seem like they won’t change in any meaningful way without changing the socio economic framework that pushes and pulls people in various directions. The most gender equal Nordic societies could pull the strings of the economy to change things. imho the current focus on personal ethics is much less effective and has the consequence of alienating people who don’t subscribe to it and exhausting some people who do. It may blow up in everybody’s face like the PC culture of the 80′s

  83. John Morales says

    Sasori:

    I don’t think anything would really change if it was decreed that 50% or even all CEO’s should be women by next year.

    I put it to you that if enterprises with CEOs shared your thoughts, the actual ratio would not be so skewed.

    (But it is, and so the implication is clear)

  84. John Morales says

    Steersman:

    [1] However, I think there are a number of problems with your analogy – [2] and the entire concept of the patriarchy itself – [3] not least of which is that – [4] as your “induced to retain and reinforce” suggests – [5] there is purported to be some causal efficacy or influence to what might otherwise be characterized as a case of reification (1), [6] of treating “an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) … as if it were a concrete, real event, or physical entity”.

    1. Care to enumerate these alleged problems with the analogy?

    2. Care to enumerate these alleged problems with the entire concept of the patriarchy?

    3. Redundant sentence fragments echo your laboured thinking.

    4. <sigh> Get on with it!

    5. I wish you’d stop waffling.

    6. Pointlessness and redundancy!

    Here: socialisation occurs, and it mirrors its society. (There’s no reification there.)

    What specifically do you imagine Ally is reifying, and in what category of your two kinds of problems does it supposedly belong?

    (You’ve alluded to many, but got around to mentioning but one, and that by mere assertion)

  85. John Morales says

    Steersman:

    Dontcha know that every male who even looks half-ways askance at any tenet of feminism is, ipso facto, a card carrying member of the Men’s Right Movement, a Libertarian, possibly KKK, and whose name is probably Marc Lepine?

    <snicker>

    (Credibility, you have none)

  86. John Morales says

    Steersman:

    Dontcha know that women can’t be guilty of sexism nor “people of colour” of racism? You musta missed reading the AtheismPlus Catechism (1) ….


    1) “_http://atheismplus.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2632&p=42878”;

    No, I don’t know that, nor do I feel up to perusing an entire forum topic to locate the claim and its Ex Cathedra nature.

    Care to cite chapter and verse?

  87. Tamen says

    John Morales:

    Cite:
    “In social justice terms, marginalized groups cannot be guilty of -isms in regards to the axes of privilege that they fall low on, because they don’t have the power to institutionalize their prejudices.”

    Cite:
    “Sexism – discrimination or social prejudice against women.”

  88. John Morales says

    Tamen, those aren’t a citations, they’re quotations, and unsourced ones at that.

  89. thetalkingstove says

    I like how Steersman tries really, really hard to be all scholarly with his references and stodgy writing style, but the ludicrous drivel still inevitably seeps out.

    The Slymers are going to be whining about the Marc Lepine thing for years to come, aren’t they? Poor victimised lambs.

  90. says

    Hiya Ally, really interesting analogy/metaphor! Certainly does help to explain your world-view better, IMO.
    The post up-thread is useful in clarifying that patriarchy itself, from your point of view, does not constitute the entire system, i.e. “is not the single or the dominant dynamic in society”. But then in that case, is there not a massive problem with the linguistic formulation often used that we ‘live in a patriarchy’; for doesn’t that surely imply that it does basically make up the whole system, or at least is indeed the dominant dynamic within in it?

    Also, picking up on PaulJB’s point, if someone were to suggest that ‘matriarchy’ was a powerful force in our society, why shouldn’t that idea be taken just as seriously in theory? (This on the basis that there are significant areas where an assertive form of female culture exerts a very strong effect: the role of discussing gender in the media and politics; in education, where most teachers are female; psychology, now very largely a female profession; the influence of usually being the principle carer in families & controlling the ‘Mumsnet’ agenda.) I mean, are these not major areas of public life?

    Might it be that the effect of ‘matriarchy’ is discounted as a concept, simply because it doesn’t appear in so many textbooks or in all the classic academic volumes, whereas ‘patriarchy’ perhaps does feature prominently in these things? Sorry, just wondered, that’s all.

  91. John Morales says

    Nivea4Menz:

    Might it be that the effect of ‘matriarchy’ is discounted as a concept, simply because it doesn’t appear in so many textbooks or in all the classic academic volumes, whereas ‘patriarchy’ perhaps does feature prominently in these things?

    Might it be that the reason ‘matriarchy’ doesn’t appear in so many textbooks or in all the classic academic volumes whereas ‘patriarchy’ does feature prominently in these things is relevance?

  92. Skeptical Atheist says

    “I’m asking if you’ve ever considered whether you’re (implicitly) biased against those you’re accusing of “scapegoating.”

    My bias is toward those that habitually blame others for their unmet and often unrealistic expectations.

  93. Skeptical Atheist says

    thetalkingstove,
    “I like how Steersman tries really, really hard to be all scholarly with his references and stodgy writing style, but the ludicrous drivel still inevitably seeps out.”

    Is this plan “B”?

    Attack the person when all else fails!

  94. A Hermit says

    A Hermit’s extremely tiny sample size of business culture (relative to businesses as a whole) is not science.

    Well it is actually. It’s at least some data, a small sample of what’s out there if you care to look, which is more than you will ever see from a theologian and more than we have seen from you here…

    Surely you’re not suggesting that YOUR unsubstantiated personal opinion and experience (or lack thereof) should be more persuasive to me than my own observations, plus objective data gathered by others which confirms those observations?

    You’re the one arguing like a creationist here; dismissing any evidence because it isn’t a 100% absolute measurement of all interactions everywhere for all time, dismissing other people’s experiences and observations out of hand but expecting us to accept yours as definitive…

  95. Adiabat says

    Beelzebubba: “For people arguing about whether there is any evidence from social science for systemic gender discrimination or patriarchy, here are some links.”

    Okay, I’ve looked at your links.

    The third one is a news article reporting on a research study, without linking to it or even to an abstract. It’s impossible to tell without seeing the paper, but if we work off the link you provided alone it seems to just assume that the glass ceiling exists which discriminates against women for being women. Not only that but it basically accuses women (in particular women who would most likely have experienced it if it existed) who don’t believe in it of that catch-all dismissal tool known as ‘false consciousness’. So academics claim something exists, the people most likely to have actual living experience of it claims it doesn’t, and the academics dismiss their lived experience. And that’s exactly it, they ‘just dismiss it’ without any real argument or reason apart the bits where they fill in the women’s thoughts for them as though they have no agency of their own. Not very impressive tbh. I’d go as far as to say it is misogynist.

    The first link is to the “The Federal Glass Ceiling Commission” (the name alone just screams ‘objective’ doesn’t it. No hint whatsoever that their jobs kinda depend on coming up with the “right” answer nosiree). Their “evidence” of patriarchy is mainly just pointing out that there are more men than women in higher positions. Well no shit Sherlock, perhaps it’s time they looked into why? Just a suggestion. Oh, they do refer to “Commission research, CEO studies, and focus groups” though they fail to link to any. A look at their references at the end of the document indicates that it’s all research commissioned by them and is “On file”, so we can’t even double check it ourselves.

    Which brings me to the second link. To be kind, I’m going to look past the two full pages of admitted methodological issues in the appendix, at least they are honest about those. It does mean that you should be at least a bit wary of presenting it as evidence for systemic gender discrimination or patriarchy though. Let look at the paper itself: Like the last one this one goes on and on pointing out that there are more men than women in higher positions as though that’s evidence for anything. Then it quite clearly says on page 277 that its working definition of discrimination is “Discrimination… as measured by relative probabilities of promotion”. Sorry but that is emphatically not discrimination. That is misusing the word so that they can claim that discrimination exists in the conclusion, hoping that they reader would have forgotten their quite deceiptful definition by that point. Notwithstanding that their statistical model is less than impressive, what are their conclusions? “In none of the regressions is there any trace of glass ceiling effects in the United States”. Not only that but they admit “the biases of this method are likely to inflate the appearance of glass-ceiling effects.

    Look, I know I’m probably coming across as an asshole here and I apologise, but the ‘Michael Behe’ style of “science confirms what I believe in” is really quite annoying. My hope is that you’ll accept that what you believe in isn’t really evidenced yet and that it is still at the stage of “belief”, and work to improve that. That’s what I hope, but from reading this thread so far what I expect is snark, if not from you then from others. And probably a few comments attempting to be condescending from people with an overinflated opinion of themselves, which really just come across a rather pathetic. Maybe we’ll see a couple of ‘standard responses’ that have developed in this little ‘community’ echo chamber that you all see as ‘super knock down arguments’, but really aren’t. Maybe I’m being uncharitable; maybe you’ll accept the ‘fig leaf’ gesture that actually reading your links to ‘evidence’ is intended as. We can but hope.

  96. A. Noyd says

    Skeptical Atheist

    My bias is toward those that habitually blame others for their unmet and often unrealistic expectations.

    I’ll take that as a “no,” then. Which is science denialism on the level of creationism. And I can guess, from having seen your output elsewhere, that you’re not at all interested in tearing your own beliefs apart, however much you care to play the skeptic. You’re skeptical like a creationist is skeptical—you aren’t applying doubt proportionately or impartially, rather using it to shield yourself from having to change your mind about certain things. A mind which you apparently believe you can have ultimate control over, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

  97. Metalogic42 says

    A brocialist is a dude who thinks that all oppressions are trumped by class oppression.

    Ok, then I suppose I’m a brocialist. What would you call a chick who thinks that all oppressions are trumped by class oppression? A bracialist, perhaps?

  98. Skeptical Atheist says

    “social pseudo-science denialist”

    I’ll proudly wear they badge!

  99. Skeptical Atheist says

    A. Noyd
    “And I can guess, from having seen your output elsewhere,”

    A sleazy attempt to smear!
    What’s next, accusations of of some kind?

  100. Steersman says

    thetalkingstove said (#12.6):

    The Slymers are going to be whining about the Marc Lepine thing for years to come, aren’t they? Poor victimised lambs.

    You have to have a badly flawed picture of the “Slymers” if you think they are much put out by “bad werdz”. The issue is the rather unskeptical attitude – if not “juvenile hormonal rage” – exhibited (1) by PZ in tarring everyone with that decidedly narrow brush, in so characterizing everyone who happens not to subscribe to PZ’s rather narrow-minded brand of feminist dogma.

    —–
    1) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/06/never-forget/comment-page-1/”;

  101. Steersman says

    John Morales said (#10.12):

    Tamen, those aren’t a citations, they’re quotations, and unsourced ones at that.

    If you had actually followed that link I provided in #10.8 then you would have noticed that it is a thread of two posts that constitutes the Glossary – more like a catechism – provided by an AtheismPlus “Global Moderator” and presumably approved by their inner sanctum. And that the quotes that Tamen provided came from it.

    But I guess that was too much effort for you. Or you were maybe apprehensive about experiencing too much cognitive dissonance at seeing what passes for atheism – a rather unskeptical variety – in that rather benighted neck of the woods ….

  102. says

    It’s not a radical idea, but it is probably wrong. Some of the most popular humor around is based on race and pokes fun at all sorts of things which could be considered “minimization.” Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock come immediately to mind. Richard Pryor, George Carlin and many, many other great comics have made all sorts of great jokes about people, all of which could be argued minimized their status as equals.

    Um… no. Not at all.

    Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock both use humor to turn stereotypes on their head. They use those stereotypes to lampoon those stereotypes. Pryor and Carlin both did the same. It was all about being subversive and challenging cultural norms and stereotypes, and forcing people to think. That’s what makes these four comedians (and others like Tim Minchin, Rowan Atkinson, Dave Allen, Louis CK, and so on) so good.

    I think you’re confusing those four with “comedians” (and I use the term loosely) like Daniel Tosh and Dane Cook, two “comedians” whose entire acts are based on furthering and strengthening stereotypes by being rude and offensive simply to generate cheap laughs. They target their comedy to the lowest common denominator. They simply reinforce stereotypes.

  103. John Morales says

    Steersman: first, a glossary is not a catechism, but rather a description of terminology and its applicability; second, if it were a catechism, it would have chapter and verse rather than be a list of terms; and third, your insinuation that they’re not True Atheists™ is unfounded.

    Finally, you are misreading that quotation — it is not disputed that women can be sexist, too — because it refer to groupings rather than individuals.

    (Here’s what a catechism looks like)

  104. A. Noyd says

    Skeptical Atheist

    A sleazy attempt to smear!

    Or… is it a quite normal attempt to communicate that my conclusions about you are not based on this thread alone?

    Yes! Yes, it is! Good boy! *pat pat pat*

  105. Skeptical Atheist says

    Feel free to cite the damning evidence.

    I’ll await your response with bated breath!

  106. Skeptical Atheist says

    A. Noyd
    “Or… is it a quite normal attempt to communicate that my conclusions about you are not based on this thread alone?

    Yes! Yes, it is! Good boy! *pat pat pat*”

    I know I must be doing something right as evidenced by your annoyance and childish barb.

  107. Steersman says

    John Morales said (#10.18):

    Steersman: first, a glossary is not a catechism, but rather a description of terminology and its applicability; second, if it were a catechism, it would have chapter and verse rather than be a list of terms ….

    Really? Let’s take a look at the definition:

    cat•e•chism (kt-kzm)
    n.
    1. A book giving a brief summary of the basic principles of Christianity in question-and-answer form.
    2. A manual giving basic instruction in a subject, usually by rote or repetition.
    3. A body of fundamental principles or beliefs, especially when accepted uncritically: “the core of the catechism of the antinuclear left, the notion that the threat to peace is technological, not political” (George F. Will).

    While you might have a point if the first definition had any relevance, I would say, on reviewing that “Glossary”, that the second and third ones are eminently applicable, particularly considering the “rote or repetition” and the “accepted uncritically” phrases. And it doesn’t take much effort or thought to find examples of those in that “glossary”.

    … and third, your insinuation that they’re not True Atheists™ is unfounded.

    Depends, of course, on what you mean by True Atheists™. Considering both that “Glossary”, and PZ’s recent efforts to divorce himself from the skepticism of Jamy Ian Swiss, and his apparent cleavage to the “SkepticismPlus” of Skepchicks and company – which seems to have a rather large blindspot when it comes to applying skepticism to feminism, I would say that both of those “pluses” have subtracted out most of that principle – which might be somewhat problematic. “Doubleplusgood”, indeed.

    Finally, you are misreading that quotation — it is not disputed that women can be sexist, too — because it refers to groupings rather than individuals.

    You have to be joking. Or that qualifies as being egregiously disingenuous. Just to be clear, let’s take a look at the relevant quote:

    Sexism – discrimination or social prejudice against women.

    Or maybe you’re saying that the only way that women can be sexist is if they too exhibit “discrimination or social prejudice against women”? No possibility that women could exhibit discrimination and prejudice against men? If that’s the case then it looks to me rather much like an article of faith, something “accepted uncritically”, particularly when one takes a look at an actual unbiased definition:

    sex•ism (skszm)
    n.
    1. Discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination against women.
    2. Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender.

    While that set of definitions does include the one that AtheismPlus touts as the only one, it also quite clearly leaves the door open to the possibility that such “discrimination” and “stereotyping” can be exhibited by women. For instance and as a case in point, I draw your attention to this review – on the feministcritics blog – of an essay by bell hooks which states:

    I want to begin by stating my agreements with hooks. She writes, “like many visionary radical feminists I challenged the misguided notion, put forward by women who were simply fed up with male exploitation and oppression, that men were ‘the enemy.’ ”

    Looks to me like a rather clear assertion – by a radical feminist, no less – that some women can be and are guilty of discriminating against and of stereotyping men – i.e., guilty of sexism against men. Kind of dogmatic for AtheismPlus to insist on that one definition, particularly in the light of all of that, is it not?

  108. Steersman says

    John Morales said (#10.18):

    Steersman: first, a glossary is not a catechism, but rather a description of terminology and its applicability; second, if it were a catechism, it would have chapter and verse rather than be a list of terms ….

    Really? Let’s take a look at the definition (1):

    cat•e•chism (kt-kzm)
    n.
    1. A book giving a brief summary of the basic principles of Christianity in question-and-answer form.
    2. A manual giving basic instruction in a subject, usually by rote or repetition.
    3. A body of fundamental principles or beliefs, especially when accepted uncritically: “the core of the catechism of the antinuclear left, the notion that the threat to peace is technological, not political” (George F. Will).

    While you might have a point if the first definition had any relevance, I would say, on reviewing that “Glossary”, that the second and third ones are eminently applicable, particularly considering the “rote or repetition” and the “accepted uncritically” phrases. And it doesn’t take much effort or thought to find examples of those in that “glossary”.

    … and third, your insinuation that they’re not True Atheists™ is unfounded.

    Depends, of course, on what you mean by True Atheists™. Considering both that “Glossary”, and PZ’s recent efforts (2) to divorce himself from the skepticism of Jamy Ian Swiss, and his apparent cleavage to the “SkepticismPlus” of Skepchicks and company – which seems to have a rather large blindspot when it comes to applying skepticism to feminism, I would say that both of those “pluses” have subtracted out most of that principle – which might be somewhat problematic. “Doubleplusgood (3)”, indeed.

    Finally, you are misreading that quotation — it is not disputed that women can be sexist, too — because it refers to groupings rather than individuals.

    You have to be joking. Or that qualifies as being egregiously disingenuous. Just to be clear, let’s take a look at the relevant quote (6) from the “Glossary” of AtheismPlus:

    Sexism – discrimination or social prejudice against women.

    Or maybe you’re saying that the only way that women can be sexist is if they too exhibit “discrimination or social prejudice against women”? No possibility that women could exhibit discrimination and prejudice against men? If that’s the case then it looks to me rather much like an article of faith, something “accepted uncritically”, particularly when one takes a look at an actual unbiased definition (4), to wit:

    sex•ism (skszm)
    n.
    1. Discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination against women.
    2. Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender.

    While that set of definitions does include the one that AtheismPlus touts as the only one, it also quite clearly leaves the door open to the possibility that such “discrimination” and “stereotyping” can be exhibited by women. For instance and as a case in point, I draw your attention to this review – on the feministcritics (5) blog – of an essay by bell hooks which states:

    I want to begin by stating my agreements with hooks. She writes, “like many visionary radical feminists I challenged the misguided notion, put forward by women who were simply fed up with male exploitation and oppression, that men were ‘the enemy.’ ”

    Looks to me like a rather clear assertion – by a radical feminist, no less – that some women can be and are guilty of discriminating against and of stereotyping men – i.e., guilty of sexism against men. Kind of dogmatic – “uncritically accepting” – for AtheismPlus to insist on that one definition, particularly in the light of all of that, is it not?

    —-
    1) “_http://www.thefreedictionary.com/catechism”;
    2) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/05/05/i-officially-divorce-myself-from-the-skeptic-movement”;
    3) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Newspeak_words”;
    4) “_http://www.thefreedictionary.com/sexism”;
    5) “_http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2006/12/31/misunderstanding-patriarchy/”;
    6) “_http://atheismplus.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2632&p=42878”;

  109. Schala says

    @Damion

    I’m a trans woman.

    0.0 nmol T, and what I guess is low-medium of an average cis woman’s cycle worth of estrogen (not cycling, no placebos).

    And I can get that knot in the throat feeling. I can get this *urge* to cry.

    But to actually cry? I very very rarely do. Maybe once or twice a year.

    And when circumstances (dead people in my family) would call for it, I generally can’t even get the urge.

    I’ll get the urge at emotionally charged moments in (mostly video) entertainment (usually fiction) works I know about (ie, seeing them again, the anticipation makes it way more felt), regardless of them being realist, representing our society, or even having humans as protagonists.

    So, I know for a fact that it’s easier to get the urge, but it’s not easier one bit to actually “let yourself” cry if/when you feel its needed. I prevent myself from crying much of the time. I become a blubbering mess, I say things I’d later regret and it fixes nothing at all. Not even my own mood.

    This might be due to asperger syndrome (highly suspect it, no diagnosis yet), or not. I’ve never been very expressive (wether it’s anger, joy, sadness, etc). I got “taught” early enough that showing emotions/weakness got people (of your age) to beat you up just to spite you. Fully condoned by adults present (they might attempt to stop a beating in progress, but they never punish enough to prevent future happenings, from the very same bullies, on their premises).

  110. John Morales says

    Steersman, if you want to hold that a glossary is a de facto catechism, I can’t stop you.

    (But it ain’t)

    Depends, of course, on what you mean by True Atheists™

    I meant by it that which you insinuated when you characterised them as exercising “what passes for atheism”.

    You have to be joking.

    Nope.

    Or maybe you’re saying that the only way that women can be sexist is if they too exhibit “discrimination or social prejudice against women”?

    I was saying what I said; the quote in question (as should be obvious from context) was “In social justice terms, marginalized groups cannot be guilty of -isms in regards to the axes of privilege that they fall low on, because they don’t have the power to institutionalize their prejudices.”

    (Thus my distinction between groupings and individuals; though it says nothing about individuals, it’s actually a consistent group definition, since if they had the power to institutionalize their prejudices they would not constitute a marginalised group)

    Looks to me like a rather clear assertion – by a radical feminist, no less – that some women can be and are guilty of discriminating against and of stereotyping men – i.e., guilty of sexism against men. Kind of dogmatic – “uncritically accepting” – for AtheismPlus to insist on that one definition, particularly in the light of all of that, is it not?

    Granting arguendo that this is your perception, how does it bolster the issue at hand, that being your claim that “Dontcha know that women can’t be guilty of sexism nor “people of colour” of racism? You musta missed reading the AtheismPlus Catechism”.

    You’ve neither shown that it’s a catechism (other than by virtue of being a glossary, quaint as that notion is) nor that what you claimed it stated there was in fact stated there.

    (It’s rather amusing you’ve lost the ability to claim you were being satirical, though)

  111. Schala says

    By the way, when I say “its easier to get the urge”, I mean now, post-transition.

    I was more able to cry from sheer depression pre-transition, but I was suicidally depressed, and majorly depressed for 10 years (I was 22-23).

    I can have the urge to cry more easily post-transition – no doubt thanks to hormones. Testosterone dulling it less (yes, it’s probably not estrogen doing anything on that front). But opening the valves is still left to “the pilot”, based on life experience, how socially acceptable, and how useful it is.

    I contend that, for most men, it brings mostly if not only, negative consequences. Primarily due to how people of both sexes react to a boy or man crying (try to shame him so he stops) vs how they react to a girl or woman crying (try to comfort her so she stops). Parents may be more likely to do the latter even for their male relatives (than just bystanders), but it’s still prevalent.

    See: Cry for help as acceptable for men: not at all. Suicide highest in over 150 countries in the world, by far, too.

    I bet you that, in China, where women suicide more than men, they also can’t acceptably cry for help.

  112. Steersman says

    John Morales said (#10.23):

    Steersman, if you want to hold that a glossary is a de facto catechism, I can’t stop you.

    (But it ain’t)

    If some situation meets the criteria in a definition then I would say the definition is applicable. And I think I’ve shown that that “glossary” qualifies as a “catechism” according to definitions two and three of the set provided. If you wish to play King Canute then go ahead, fill your boots.

    Depends, of course, on what you mean by True Atheists™

    I meant by it that which you insinuated when you characterised them as exercising “what passes for atheism”.

    Considering that the site bills itself as “Atheism Plus”, don’t you consider it a little surprising if not problematic that on that “glossary” page there’s only one use of the word “atheism” within the body of that “glossary”? Bit of stretch to argue that what they’re peddling can be construed as “what passes for atheism” – even in the broadest sense of the word.

    I was saying what I said; the quote in question (as should be obvious from context) was “In social justice terms, marginalized groups cannot be guilty of -isms in regards to the axes of privilege that they fall low on, because they don’t have the power to institutionalize their prejudices.”

    There were two quotes that Tamen provided in #10.11, that one and ““Sexism – discrimination or social prejudice against women” which was what I responded to in #10.22. As you didn’t specifically indicate which one you were referring to with “that quotation” in #10.18 – it would help if you were a little more specific – the one I chose seems more relevant.

    However, in any case, that rather idiosyncratic and arbitrary definition about the “power to institutionalize their prejudices” is also not at all supported by the dictionary definition I provided and is, or should be, therefore equally suspect. As well as being evidence of “uncritical acceptance” – one of the hallmarks of a catechism.

    In addition or more specifically, the dictionary definition for “sexism”, apart from saying diddly-squat about “institutionalizing” anything, only talks about “discrimination” which can take place almost regardless of minority or majority status as long as the individual doing so is able to judge – or misjudge – another individual on the basis of some stereotype, and to act accordingly. For instance, in the analogous case of racism, a black person could judge a white person as a redneck and treat him accordingly which would, I think, qualify as racism even if “whites” as a class are less “marginalized” than “blacks” as a class are. Or a woman could judge all men as potential rapists – as some apparently do – because, presumably, some 5-15% of men have been guilty of that even though, once again, women as a class are supposedly more “marginalized” than men as a class are.

    Very bad karma to give much credence to that rather twisted, racist, and sexist definition of “AtheismPlus”. That so many on that AtheismPlus board apparently do, as do many of their fellow travelers, is, I think, prima facie evidence that their connections to the principles and precepts of skepticism are rather tenuous at best.

    Granting arguendo that this is your perception, how does it bolster the issue at hand, that being your claim that “Dontcha know that women can’t be guilty of sexism nor “people of colour” of racism? You musta missed reading the AtheismPlus Catechism”.

    Maybe I should have followed that with a “/sarcasm”? The definitions in that “glossary” quite clearly indicates that “sexism” does not encompass any “discrimination or social prejudice against men”, nor does “racism” encompass any “discrimination or social prejudice against people of whiteness”. One might reasonably argue that such “definitions” – more like articles of faith or items in a catechism – qualify as egregious examples of sexism and racism in themselves.

    You’ve neither shown that it’s a catechism (other than by virtue of being a glossary, quaint as that notion is) nor that what you claimed it stated there was in fact stated there.

    That “glossary” qualifies, at least in effect, as a catechism – you might want to open a browser page to the definition provided earlier – because it is “giving basic instruction in a subject, usually by rote or repetition” – note the frequent reference to “The A+ Primer”, and the “A+ Guide to Good Faith” – and because it constitutes “a body of fundamental principles or beliefs”, particularly many that are “accepted uncritically”. Or maybe you don’t think that all of those definitions, or at least a significant number of them – notably those on privilege, patriarchy, gender essentialism, sexism, racism, isms, reverse racism – don’t constitute an expression of “fundamental principles or beliefs”? And that many of those are advanced without evidence which might reasonably be construed as dogma, the core of a catechism?

    And the cherry on top is the fact that the thread is locked which doesn’t give much confidence that those subscribing to such “principles” have much in the way of a skeptical or open frame of mind.

    As for “what I claimed it stated”, considering that I’ve quoted or paraphrased what was stated there, and provided the links to what was stated there, I find it rather hard to understand how you can assert that I haven’t shown “what I claimed it stated was in fact stated there”. I guess you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it think. Or read.

    (It’s rather amusing you’ve lost the ability to claim you were being satirical, though).

    That I or someone else doesn’t use an ability in some context means that they’ve lost that ability? I think your inference engine needs a serious tune-up.

  113. Gjenganger says

    This is why I read calls to consider the biological nature of gender differences as dog whistles for “Let’s do nothing about gender differences.”

    You have a point. That is often how it is used, yes. But I do not think that the nurture side is that much more honest. You may accept the principle that behaviour is co-determined by biology, but you tend to dismiss it completely in practice – as even this debate shows. That is understandable – your debating position is much stronger if references to biology can be simply ignored – but it is not actually much different from an all-nurture position.

    I agree with Ally’s point of cultural forces amplifying or overriding biological ones (maybe without the superlatives). But once you actually accept the partial influence of biology on gender roles, there aren a couple of questions you cannot avoid. First, how similar and equal can you actually make those gender roles? Or more realistically, what will it cost? As history shows, you can achieve even quite unnatural behaviours, like celibacy for priests or prohibition on sex outside marriage, but the success is limited, and the social cost is considerable. Anyway, you can no longer just see an inequality and just take it for granted that it can and should be fixed. Second, if the sexes have different dispositions, on average, then a gender role that is suited for women may be less suitable for men, and vice versa. So you need to consider the separate interests of men in setting your goals.

    It may well be that after all the talking you still end up deciding that any biological influences are not particularly important for how we ought to live. But unless you de facto reject biological influence alltogether, you do need to take the trouble of engaging with the discussion.

  114. John Morales says

    Steersman:

    If you wish to play King Canute then go ahead, fill your boots.

    What a weird and inappropriate allusion: “Then the king leapt backwards, saying: ‘Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws.’ He then hung his gold crown on a crucifix, and never wore it again “to the honour of God the almighty King”.

    (Did you intend “humpty dumpty?” ;) )

    Considering that the site bills itself as “Atheism Plus”, don’t you consider it a little surprising if not problematic that on that “glossary” page there’s only one use of the word “atheism” within the body of that “glossary”?

    Not when atheism is a given and the glossary is explicitly stated to refer to common social justice terms, no.

    Bit of stretch to argue that what they’re peddling can be construed as “what passes for atheism” – even in the broadest sense of the word.

    Bit of an unwarranted and hasty generalisation to judge a subset of the atheism movement by its glossary on social justice terms.

    As you didn’t specifically indicate which one you were referring to with “that quotation” in #10.18 – it would help if you were a little more specific – the one I chose seems more relevant.

    Your acumen is evident.

    However, in any case, that rather idiosyncratic and arbitrary definition about the “power to institutionalize their prejudices” is also not at all supported by the dictionary definition I provided and is, or should be, therefore equally suspect. As well as being evidence of “uncritical acceptance” – one of the hallmarks of a catechism.

    You really are slow, ain’t ya?

    (If it were a dictionary definition and not jargon, it would not need to be a glossary entry)

    In addition or more specifically

    <snicker>

    the dictionary definition for “sexism” [blah blah blah]

    What part “one of the things than can easily trip people up is not knowing what common social justice terms are or how those terms are used in discussions” in the explanatory preface is confusing to you?

    Very bad karma to give much credence to that rather twisted, racist, and sexist definition of “AtheismPlus”.

    Most atheists don’t worry about karma, nor am I giving credence to any definition other than to (a) note it’s not what you claim it is and (b) it’s not internally inconsistent.

    That so many on that AtheismPlus board apparently do, as do many of their fellow travelers, is, I think, prima facie evidence that their connections to the principles and precepts of skepticism are rather tenuous at best.

    Implication cannot (definitionally) be prima facie evidence, you dolt.\

    Maybe I should have followed that with a “/sarcasm”?

    It would have availed you no more.

    Remember this: (It’s rather amusing you’ve lost the ability to claim you were being satirical, though)?

    The definitions in that “glossary” quite clearly indicates that “sexism” does not encompass any “discrimination or social prejudice against men”, nor does “racism” encompass any “discrimination or social prejudice against people of whiteness”.

    First, it was a catechism, then it was a glossary (the which is equivalent), now it’s a “glossary”?

    But yes, the first quote (the one defining sexism) indicates that; however, that does not entail that a woman can’t be sexist — the which you contended had been stated there — and which I’ve already noted.

    (Your misuse of the mdash is mildly amusing; your punctuation skills are as good as your rhetoric, but I can address your thought fragments individually)

    you might want to open a browser page to the definition provided earlier

    You should not judge others’ short-term memory by your own.

    note the frequent reference to “The A+ Primer”, and the “A+ Guide to Good Faith”

    That they’re being referred to there indicates that there are not they, though those are much better candidates for a putative catechism.

    and because it constitutes “a body of fundamental principles or beliefs”, particularly many that are “accepted uncritically”.

    Heh. You just noted that the primer and the guide are not on that page, but are merely referenced there.

    Or maybe you don’t think that all of those definitions, or at least a significant number of them – notably those on privilege, patriarchy, gender essentialism, sexism, racism, isms, reverse racism – don’t constitute an expression of “fundamental principles or beliefs”? And that many of those are advanced without evidence which might reasonably be construed as dogma, the core of a catechism?

    Maybe so, maybe not; but it’s not what I think that’s at question, it’s your original claim which you have yet to sustain.

    (As to whether they exist, you’re the one alleging their existence and cardinality)

    And the cherry on top is the fact that the thread is locked which doesn’t give much confidence that those subscribing to such “principles” have much in the way of a skeptical or open frame of mind.

    The utility of read-only-memory is a mystery to you?

    As for “what I claimed it stated”, considering that I’ve quoted or paraphrased what was stated there, and provided the links to what was stated there, I find it rather hard to understand how you can assert that I haven’t shown “what I claimed it stated was in fact stated there”. I guess you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it think. Or read.

    Your claim: Dontcha know that women can’t be guilty of sexism nor “people of colour” of racism? You musta missed reading the AtheismPlus Catechism

    Tamen’s quotations, which you yet claim logically entails the above:

     
    “In social justice terms, marginalized groups cannot be guilty of -isms in regards to the axes of privilege that they fall low on, because they don’t have the power to institutionalize their prejudices.”

     
    “Sexism – discrimination or social prejudice against women.”

     
    (A person is not a group, marginalised or otherwise)

    That I or someone else doesn’t use an ability in some context means that they’ve lost that ability?

    (Oh, you are a good chew-toy!)

    In this specific instance, it merely means you’ve lost what you fondly imagine is your plausible deniability for it given you’ve just seriously attempted to defend it as serious.

    I think your inference engine needs a serious tune-up.

    I think you would do well to learn to distinguish between an observation and an inference.

  115. Ally Fogg says

    @Schala

    First of all, hello! Welcome to my new home.

    Just as a point of interest, it came out a few weeks ago that the latest stats from China are that male suicides now outnumber female suicides there too. So that now applies to every country on which we have statistics

  116. Schala says

    Second, if the sexes have different dispositions, on average, then a gender role that is suited for women may be less suitable for men, and vice versa. So you need to consider the separate interests of men in setting your goals.

    The solution is evident, make all roles, functions, etc, open to all people, regardless of genital configuration at birth or potential for reproduction.

    Individuals will self-select in positions which are most suitable to them, if you don’t make a point of telling them what they ought to do. Play to their innate individual strengths, maybe, as a starting point, but don’t generalize from 50% of the population, you’re *extremely likely* to get it wrong.

  117. Schala says

    First of all, hello! Welcome to my new home.

    Just as a point of interest, it came out a few weeks ago that the latest stats from China are that male suicides now outnumber female suicides there too. So that now applies to every country on which we have statistics

    Thanks for the welcome.

    It seems male suicides are not any lower in China, but female suicides are higher than elsewhere. Both combined end up with the highest in the world (or close).

    I’m convinced that the female privilege that lets people feel compassionate about your struggle, if you’re female, is less present in China than elsewhere. I’m not certain what is causing the trend change. Cries for help only work with people willing to listen to you. If no one is, you’ll maybe wait a bit longer, and then off yourself in the most irremediably lethal way – just so you can’t possibly recover from it – wouldn’t want to survive but become paralyzed or a vegetable, a prisoner in your own mind and body, but still as sad as before, and even more of a burden if that was one of the initial problems (not pulling your own weight).

    It’s not, as some people think, the result of gun presence. In just about every country that have way more strict gun control laws, men off themselves in more lethal ways regardless, using hangings and lethal-speed collisions with vehicles (wether in or out of one themselves), or jumping from tall buildings.

  118. Klangos says

    >blockquote>Like the last one this one goes on and on pointing out that there are more men than women in higher positions as though that’s evidence for anything.

    There are also more white people than non-white people in higher positions in the West
    Is this evidence of nothing as well?

    It’s kind of embarassing how many ‘skeptics’ default to ‘prove the status quo is sexist’ rather than, y’know, questioning why the status quo is the way it is.

  119. Adiabat says

    Klangos: I can see you’re trying. That’s something I guess.

    “There are also more white people than non-white people in higher positions in the West Is this evidence of nothing as well?”

    Spot on! Well done. Well, strictly speaking it’s evidence that there are more white people than non-white people in higher positions in the West. To go further than that you need to look into why this may be so.

    “It’s kind of embarassing how many ‘skeptics’ default to ‘prove the status quo is sexist’ rather than, y’know, questioning why the status quo is the way it is.”

    You’re getting it backwards. I’m the one asking you to question why the status quo is the way it is. You’re the one claiming to have the answer so I’m asking you to show your working out. I also expected the links I reviewed to do that. The fact that you refuse to do so suggests an ideological position, not one reached through evidence.

  120. Ginkgo says

    “You’re the one begging the question that equal involvement means equal costs to the individual.”

    Costs are the measure of involvement. What other concrete measure is there?

  121. Steersman says

    John Morales said (#10.26):

    If you wish to play King Canute then go ahead, fill your boots.

    What a weird and inappropriate allusion:

    I’ll concede that it wasn’t my best one, but I had more in mind his initial stance of denying reality than his subsequent one pointing out that that isn’t particularly wise. But relative to that first position, you seem to have some difficulty with recognizing and accepting the reality of the difference between the essence of a situation – “a body of fundamental principles or beliefs, especially when accepted uncritically” – and the superficial and historical attributes – the “basic principles of Christianity in a question-and-answer format”. That is either rather disingenuous or evidence of a literalist if not fundamentalist mental outlook.

    Bit of an unwarranted and hasty generalisation to judge a subset of the atheism movement by its glossary on social justice terms.

    Seems to me that that glossary is only the most salient tip of a rather problematic if not odious social-justice iceberg – as a cursory review of the topics and content on tap there indicates.

    What part “one of the things than can easily trip people up is not knowing what common social justice terms are or how those terms are used in discussions” in the explanatory preface is confusing to you?

    The only part that is actually confusing is the question engendered by reviewing that “glossary”: “How is it possible that people supposedly committed to reason and logic and evidence, to skepticism and critical thinking, can be taken in by such a load of codswallop?” I don’t give a rat’s ass that someone wants to come up with some idiosyncratic definition that is not at all consistent with the standard dictionary one; I very much object to people insisting that it actually has some correspondence to reality, particularly in the absence of any supporting evidence.

    Or maybe you don’t think that all of those definitions, or at least a significant number of them – notably those on privilege, patriarchy, gender essentialism, sexism, racism, isms, reverse racism – don’t constitute an expression of “fundamental principles or beliefs”? And that many of those are advanced without evidence which might reasonably be construed as dogma, the core of a catechism?

    Maybe so, maybe not; but it’s not what I think that’s at question, it’s your original claim which you have yet to sustain.

    And if it is “proven” that those definitions constitute an expression of “fundamental principles or beliefs”? I would say then that that “glossary” qualifies as a catechism. Which was my original claim – something you seem frequently to lose sight of, maybe because it’s to your benefit to do so.

    The utility of read-only-memory is a mystery to you?

    Speaking of “weird allusions” or at least of flawed analogies. But responding in kind, maybe you think that all read-only-memory is bug free? You maybe think that Papal Encyclicals are tantamount to the word of god because they’re put outside the reach of the grubby paws of the hoi polloi?

    Your claim: “Dontcha know that women can’t be guilty of sexism nor “people of colour” of racism? You musta missed reading the AtheismPlus Catechism”

    Tamen’s quotations, which you yet claim logically entails the above:

    “In social justice terms, marginalized groups cannot be guilty of -isms in regards to the axes of privilege that they fall low on, because they don’t have the power to institutionalize their prejudices.”

    “Sexism – discrimination or social prejudice against women.”

    (A person is not a group, marginalised or otherwise).

    You seem to be conflating those two perspectives, and to have the rather bizarre perspective that individuals can’t be guilty of sexism or racism. But you don’t think that “dontcha know that women can’t be guilty of sexism” is a reasonable paraphrase of “sexism: discrimination or social prejudice against women”? Maybe you would care to point out to me precisely where in that last phrase it explicitly asserts that women can be guilty of “discrimination or social prejudice against men”? Or maybe that assertion is buried in some microdot sitting in one of the dotted letters?

    As for that “marginalized groups” horse-shit, maybe you could explain to me how, in the event that several blacks discriminate against several whites by stereotyping them – maybe by asserting that “white men can’t jump” and by acting accordingly, those blacks aren’t then guilty of racism? That the entire group isn’t thereby guilty of that? Seems to me to be some rather self-serving, not to say racist or sexist, assumptions, not to say dogmatic or fundamentalist beliefs, packed into that “definition”.

    In this specific instance, it merely means you’ve lost what you fondly imagine is your plausible deniability for it given you’ve just seriously attempted to defend it as serious.

    Great. Not only are you inferring something about the state of my putative ability to claim that I was being satirical, but now you’re now pulling out of your ass the further claim that I’m “fondly imagining” something about it as well. Seems you might want to try getting your money back from that mind-reading course you must think you took ….

    I think you would do well to learn to distinguish between an observation and an inference.

    I would say you “observed” that I didn’t claim that I was being satirical, and then “inferred” that I had lost the ability to do so. And that you did so on diddly-squat in the way of evidence justifies my assertion that you inference engine needs a tune-up. But then again maybe it was “calibrated” against the Bible’s assertion that Jehovah made the universe in six days justifies the inference that Jehovah actually exists. In which case that module, apparently in ROM, looks rather buggy and should be thrown out and replaced ….

  122. Steersman says

    John Morales said (#10.26):

    [repost to put into related topic sub-thread …]

    If you wish to play King Canute then go ahead, fill your boots.

    What a weird and inappropriate allusion:

    I’ll concede that it wasn’t my best one, but I had more in mind his initial stance of denying reality than his subsequent one pointing out that that isn’t particularly wise. But relative to that first position, you seem to have some difficulty with recognizing and accepting the reality of the difference between the essence of a situation – “a body of fundamental principles or beliefs, especially when accepted uncritically” – and the superficial and historical attributes – the “basic principles of Christianity in a question-and-answer format”. That is either rather disingenuous or evidence of a literalist if not fundamentalist mental outlook.

    Bit of an unwarranted and hasty generalisation to judge a subset of the atheism movement by its glossary on social justice terms.

    Seems to me that that glossary is only the most salient tip of a rather problematic if not odious social-justice iceberg – as a cursory review of the topics and content on tap there indicates.

    What part “one of the things than can easily trip people up is not knowing what common social justice terms are or how those terms are used in discussions” in the explanatory preface is confusing to you?

    The only part that is actually confusing is the question engendered by reviewing that “glossary”: “How is it possible that people supposedly committed to reason and logic and evidence, to skepticism and critical thinking, can be taken in by such a load of codswallop?” I don’t give a rat’s ass that someone wants to come up with some idiosyncratic definition that is not at all consistent with the standard dictionary one; I very much object to people insisting that it actually has some correspondence to reality, particularly in the absence of any supporting evidence.

    Or maybe you don’t think that all of those definitions, or at least a significant number of them – notably those on privilege, patriarchy, gender essentialism, sexism, racism, isms, reverse racism – don’t constitute an expression of “fundamental principles or beliefs”? And that many of those are advanced without evidence which might reasonably be construed as dogma, the core of a catechism?

    Maybe so, maybe not; but it’s not what I think that’s at question, it’s your original claim which you have yet to sustain.

    And if it is “proven” that those definitions constitute an expression of “fundamental principles or beliefs”? I would say then that that “glossary” qualifies as a catechism. Which was my original claim – something you seem frequently to lose sight of, maybe because it’s to your benefit to do so.

    The utility of read-only-memory is a mystery to you?

    Speaking of “weird allusions” or at least of flawed analogies. But responding in kind, maybe you think that all read-only-memory is bug free? You maybe think that Papal Encyclicals are tantamount to the word of god because they’re put outside the reach of the grubby paws of the hoi polloi?

    Your claim: “Dontcha know that women can’t be guilty of sexism nor “people of colour” of racism? You musta missed reading the AtheismPlus Catechism”

    Tamen’s quotations, which you yet claim logically entails the above:

    “In social justice terms, marginalized groups cannot be guilty of -isms in regards to the axes of privilege that they fall low on, because they don’t have the power to institutionalize their prejudices.”

    “Sexism – discrimination or social prejudice against women.”

    (A person is not a group, marginalised or otherwise).

    You seem to be conflating those two perspectives, and to have the rather bizarre perspective that individuals can’t be guilty of sexism or racism. But you don’t think that “dontcha know that women can’t be guilty of sexism” is a reasonable paraphrase of “sexism: discrimination or social prejudice against women”? Maybe you would care to point out to me precisely where in that last phrase it explicitly asserts that women can be guilty of “discrimination or social prejudice against men”? Or maybe that assertion is buried in some microdot sitting in one of the dotted letters?

    As for that “marginalized groups” horse-shit, maybe you could explain to me how, in the event that several blacks discriminate against several whites by stereotyping them – maybe by asserting that “white men can’t jump” and by acting accordingly, those blacks aren’t then guilty of racism? That the entire group isn’t thereby guilty of that? Seems to me to be some rather self-serving, not to say racist or sexist, assumptions, not to say dogmatic or fundamentalist beliefs, packed into that “definition”.

    In this specific instance, it merely means you’ve lost what you fondly imagine is your plausible deniability for it given you’ve just seriously attempted to defend it as serious.

    Great. Not only are you inferring something about the state of my putative ability to claim that I was being satirical, but now you’re now pulling out of your ass the further claim that I’m “fondly imagining” something about it as well. Seems you might want to try getting your money back from that mind-reading course you must think you took ….

    I think you would do well to learn to distinguish between an observation and an inference.

    I would say you “observed” that I didn’t claim that I was being satirical, and then “inferred” that I had lost the ability to do so. And that you did so on diddly-squat in the way of evidence justifies my assertion that you inference engine needs a tune-up. But then again maybe it was “calibrated” against the Bible’s assertion that Jehovah made the universe in six days justifies the inference that Jehovah actually exists. In which case that module, apparently in ROM, looks rather buggy and should be thrown out and replaced ….

  123. says

    I can see I’ll need to put in more work on the glossary this summer. It’s a little frustrating, because the really useful studies are behind pay walls. It’s also frustrating because it doesn’t seem to help in these discussions.

    I am always surprised (maybe I shouldn’t be, considering how few people are statistics literate and statistics literate at the level you need to be to understand the construction of social science experiments) that people object to social sciences studies. They can be extraordinarily rigorous, and there have been many that were as rigorous as anyone may like and found the effects described by feminism.

    And yet, some yahoo will always question their fairness because feminism.

  124. Steersman says

    mouthyb said (#20):

    I can see I’ll need to put in more work on the glossary this summer.

    Are you saying that you are, in part at least, responsible for that abomination, the AtheismPlus “Glossary”?

    They can be extraordinarily rigorous, and there have been many that were as rigorous as anyone may like and found the effects described by feminism.

    Seems to be some differences between a set of effects and a philosophical abstraction that is created to explain those effects. “Extraordinary rigor” may well have been used in studying the effects, but that hardly justifies concluding that the same rigor was present in defining and testing whether there is any substance to the consequential abstraction that supposedly has some “explanatory power”.

    P.S. Considering the format that Ally has suggested be followed here, I might suggest in turn that you make some efforts to adhere to those rules of the road.

  125. says

    Steersman: I’m responsible for linking large sections of the social justice glossary linked to on Pharyngula’s side bar (roughly 100 of the papers and studies, including a stats tutorial to aid the reading process). I don’t find it in the least bit abominable to link studies and papers to provide research for people who want to talk about feminism.

    I don’t think you know how social sciences studies work, so I’ll give you a rough rundown: You start with the philosophy, ask if it’s reasonable and test whether or not it’s reasonable using a situation that, if the philosophy is correct, should exist.

    And I don’t appear to be deviating from the rules I read in the first post, so I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

  126. says

    If the situation doesn’t exist or does not fall along the lines predicted by the theory, you have grounds to criticize or adjust the theory, or (if there’s been multiple tests across a variety of scenarios) to reject the theories utterly.

  127. Steersman says

    Mouthyb said (#21):

    And I don’t appear to be deviating from the rules I read in the first post, so I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

    Maybe you didn’t notice that there’s a “Reply” link in the top right of each top-level comment. Clicking on that creates a separate reply form that puts the response in sub-order numbering: your post is #21, I click the link and it creates the post #21.1 If you also later click the same link it creates a post under it numbered #21.2 etc.

    But if you insist on creating a new comment in the “Leave Reply” at the very bottom then that just creates another top-level comment: i.e., #21, #22, #23. Which tends to make a real mess out of the separate conversations.

  128. Steersman says

    mouthyb said (#21):

    Steersman: I’m responsible for linking large sections of the social justice glossary linked to on Pharyngula’s side bar (roughly 100 of the papers and studies, including a stats tutorial to aid the reading process). I don’t find it in the least bit abominable to link studies and papers to provide research for people who want to talk about feminism.

    I hadn’t really asked whether you were “responsible for … glossary on Pharyngula”, but whether you were responsible for the AtheismPlus one as I had assumed that that was what you were referring to in #20. Not an unreasonable assumption given that virtually all references to “glossary” here have been to the AtheismPlus one.

    And I wasn’t saying that it was “abominable to link studies and papers”, only that that AtheismPlus “Glossary” qualifies, in my view, as abominable.

    And finally, do note the collection of my comments into sub-numbered ones under one of yours. You might find, as others have done, that that tends to collect sub-conversations into manageable “chunks”.

  129. John Morales says

    Steersman:

    I’ll concede that it wasn’t my best one, but I had more in mind his initial stance of denying reality than his subsequent one pointing out that that isn’t particularly wise.

    It was the very same grand gesture.

    But relative to that first position, you seem to have some difficulty with recognizing and accepting the reality of the difference between the essence of a situation – “a body of fundamental principles or beliefs, especially when accepted uncritically” – and the superficial and historical attributes – the “basic principles of Christianity in a question-and-answer format”.

    That’s because your theory of mind is weak.

    That is either rather disingenuous or evidence of a literalist if not fundamentalist mental outlook.

    Your ontology is also weak; things are what they are, and the ability to make distinctions is neither a literalist nor not fundamentalist mental outlook.

    Seems to me that that glossary is only the most salient tip of a rather problematic if not odious social-justice iceberg – as a cursory review of the topics and content on tap there indicates.

    So what you still claim is the “AtheismPlus Catechism” is not the exposition of a set of beliefs, but merely a salient tip thereof?

    (As for you finding social justice to be odious, that’s hardly a justification for misrepresenting it)

    The only part that is actually confusing is the question engendered by reviewing that “glossary”: “How is it possible that people supposedly committed to reason and logic and evidence, to skepticism and critical thinking, can be taken in by such a load of codswallop?”

    But that’s not what you claimed you found problematic and to which I responded, is it?

    I don’t give a rat’s ass that someone wants to come up with some idiosyncratic definition that is not at all consistent with the standard dictionary one; I very much object to people insisting that it actually has some correspondence to reality, particularly in the absence of any supporting evidence.

    Welcome to the concept of ‘jargon’, O social science denialist.

    Or maybe you don’t think that all of those definitions, or at least a significant number of them – notably those on privilege, patriarchy, gender essentialism, sexism, racism, isms, reverse racism – don’t constitute an expression of “fundamental principles or beliefs”? And that many of those are advanced without evidence which might reasonably be construed as dogma, the core of a catechism?

    Again: they’re domain-specific terms pertinent to the discussion of sociological issues, and your conceit that they are arbitrary and dogmatic rather than a result of observation and reasoning from actual society is your own problem.

    And if it is “proven” that those definitions constitute an expression of “fundamental principles or beliefs”? I would say then that that “glossary” qualifies as a catechism.

    Back to “glossary”, eh?

    Good luck with your “proof”.

    (Did you know that the actual “fundamental principles or beliefs” of Atheism+ are explicitly-listed elsewhere?)

    Which was my original claim – something you seem frequently to lose sight of, maybe because it’s to your benefit to do so.

    What it seems like is what is: I have to keep dragging you back to that stupid claim.

    Speaking of “weird allusions” or at least of flawed analogies. But responding in kind, maybe you think that all read-only-memory is bug free? You maybe think that Papal Encyclicals are tantamount to the word of god because they’re put outside the reach of the grubby paws of the hoi polloi?

    So, the utility of read-only-memory is a mystery to you.

    You seem to be conflating those two perspectives, and to have the rather bizarre perspective that individuals can’t be guilty of sexism or racism.

    No, that’s you.

    Again: “it is not disputed that women can be sexist, too”

    But you don’t think that “dontcha know that women can’t be guilty of sexism” is a reasonable paraphrase of “sexism: discrimination or social prejudice against women”?

    It’s neither reasonable nor a paraphrase.

    Maybe you would care to point out to me precisely where in that last phrase it explicitly asserts that women can be guilty of “discrimination or social prejudice against men”?

    It doesn’t assert that, either.

    Or maybe that assertion is buried in some microdot sitting in one of the dotted letters?

    Your ignorance of display technologies is noted, as is your penchant for clumsy sarcasm.

    As for that “marginalized groups” horse-shit, maybe you could explain to me how, in the event that several blacks discriminate against several whites by stereotyping them – maybe by asserting that “white men can’t jump” and by acting accordingly, those blacks aren’t then guilty of racism? That the entire group isn’t thereby guilty of that? Seems to me to be some rather self-serving, not to say racist or sexist, assumptions, not to say dogmatic or fundamentalist beliefs, packed into that “definition”.

    This is all irrelevant to your initial claim, the which you claim I seem to lose sight of.

    Great. Not only are you inferring something about the state of my putative ability to claim that I was being satirical, but now you’re now pulling out of your ass the further claim that I’m “fondly imagining” something about it as well. Seems you might want to try getting your money back from that mind-reading course you must think you took ….

    Fine.

    So: Were you being satirical, or were you instead being serious? :)

    I would say you “observed” that I didn’t claim that I was being satirical, and then “inferred” that I had lost the ability to do so. And that you did so on diddly-squat in the way of evidence justifies my assertion that you inference engine needs a tune-up.

    You would, would you?

    (Why don’t you, then?)

    But then again maybe it was “calibrated” against the Bible’s assertion that Jehovah made the universe in six days justifies the inference that Jehovah actually exists. In which case that module, apparently in ROM, looks rather buggy and should be thrown out and replaced

    You’re flailing like a fish out of water.

  130. says

    Steersman: Actually, on your replies there do not appear to be the normal ‘Reply’ that is on the far right of the comment box on my computer.

    There’ve been several references to social justice glossaries throughout this conversation. Since the one I worked on is on the sidebar on Pharyngula and the copious amount of social science denialism you’ve been espousing seems to vacillate between ‘glossary bad’ and various species of ‘feminism unfair,’ it was worth mentioning. The rest of the comment was my frustration with the fundamental, pig-headed stupidity I see co-existing with social science denialism.

    As far as the atheism plus glossary, it is true that no academic sources are cited. However, there’s not a single term on that list that is not the child of some social science finding, no matter how you feel about the concepts.

  131. Steersman says

    mouthyb said (#23):

    Steersman: Actually, on your replies there do not appear to be the normal ‘Reply’ that is on the far right of the comment box on my computer.

    I did say “the link in the top right of each top-level comment”, e.g., 21, & 22, &23, but not the next level down, 21.1, 21.2, etc. There’s only one level of indentation but that seems like a good compromise. But I see that you’ve found that link so now all is right with the world.

    … the copious amount of social science denialism you’ve been espousing seems to vacillate between ‘glossary bad’ and various species of ‘feminism unfair ….

    So if someone questions some particular set of social science precepts and perspectives – particularly yours – then that qualifies as “social science denialism”? If so then another term and definition for that “glossary”, although I think it looks rather much like wrapping oneself in one’s flag – of convenience or otherwise.

    As far as the atheism plus glossary, it is true that no academic sources are cited. However, there’s not a single term on that list that is not the child of some social science finding, no matter how you feel about the concepts.

    That those terms might be such children hardly justifies concluding that they’re all legitimate. Particularly considering the very great diversity of opinions on many of the related concepts. While I’ll readily concede there’s some credibility to many aspects of social science, a significant portion reminds me of the joke that if you took all of the economists in the world and laid them end to end they still wouldn’t reach a conclusion. While some of that might be due to the complexity of the subject matter, a significant amount seems due to personal biases of one sort or another.

  132. says

    Steersman: I can reply to myself, but not to you. On your posts, there is no reply button from here.

    As for social science denialism, it tends to take the following forms:

    It seems unfair and cannot be accurate.
    It’s about people and cannot be accurate.
    It’s about stuff I don’t like and cannot be accurate.
    It doesn’t match my world view and cannot be accurate.
    It’s about stuff I haven’t noticed and cannot be accurate.
    It’s tested differently from physics and cannot be accurate.
    It uses words I’m not familiar with/jargon and cannot be accurate.

    It was good of you to admit social science can come to some credible results, but many of your posts have seemed to me to fall under the ‘it’s not fair’ and the ‘I haven’t experienced this’ headings. It does occur to you, I hope, that neither of those objections are a critique, yet, doesn’t it?

    As for social scientists and conclusions, it depends on what you want. We deal in probabilistic outcomes, but I’d like to point out that dealing in probability is something all of the science disciplines have to do at some point. IMHO (well, probably not humble) the reason that the social sciences don’t do more with rigor has to do with mission creep from the humanities, which employ a very different standard of proof than the sciences. But I’m biased for quantitative approaches, myself.

  133. John Morales says

    [OT]

    mouthyb, Level-1 nesting is being applied here.

    Each response to the OP gets its zero-level (root) entry (your #24) and responses to a zero-level responses become level-1 responses (this #24.1) since there are no further levels; or, each response to the OP effectively becomes a non-nested subthread.

    That means that to respond to this comment and generate #24.2, you’d need to “reply” to #24, and to respond to Steersman in any given subthread, you’d need to “reply” to its root.

  134. Steersman says

    mouthyb said (#24):

    Steersman: I can reply to myself, but not to you. On your posts, there is no reply button from here.

    Well then, do so. That is what will keep our conversation in a separate numbered section rather than having them scattered all over the place and mixed in with other unrelated comments. Currently our comments and conversation is in parts of 20, 21, 22, 23 and now 24. But if you had responded to yourself in 20 then they, along with my responses, would be collected as 20.1, 20.2, 20.3, etc. Finding it rather difficult to see why you’re not “getting” that. Can you actually try responding only to yourself in #24? Maybe you’ll see what I’m trying to convey.

    It does occur to you, I hope, that neither of those objections are a critique, yet, doesn’t it?

    Yes, but what I’m getting at is that many of those “definitions” in that “glossary” look like little more than articles of faith with diddly-squat in the way of evidence to justify them.

  135. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Steersman:

    And finally, do note the collection of my comments into sub-numbered ones under one of yours. You might find, as others have done, that that tends to collect sub-conversations into manageable “chunks”.

    Some (generally more competent) people prefer flat comment streams, since (a) it’s obvious on revisiting the page what new entries exist and in what order (b) you can reply to multiple comments simultaneously and (c) they can manage to follow the entire conversation at once.

    (I grant level-1 nesting is the least egregious version)

  136. Steersman says

    John Morales said (#10.28):

    It was the very same grand gesture.

    The same way that an engine and a transmission are the same grand vehicle – they tend to have different functions which can be discussed separately.

    (As for you finding social justice to be odious, that’s hardly a justification for misrepresenting it).

    Did I say that “social justice” was odious? Hardly qualifies as much in the way of intellectual honesty to be mispresenting one’s interlocutor so badly and so flagrantly.

    And if it is “proven” that those definitions constitute an expression of “fundamental principles or beliefs”? I would say then that that “glossary” qualifies as a catechism.

    Back to “glossary”, eh?

    That looks rather disingenuous if not actually completely clueless for you to say that – or maybe you didn’t notice the quotes I generally put around “glossary”: they call it such, but I figure it looks more like a catechism which is why I put it in scare quotes:

    Scare quotes are quotation marks placed around a word or phrase to imply that it may not signify its apparent meaning or that it is not necessarily the way the quoting person would express its concept.

    Your further comment:

    Good luck with your “proof”.

    I did say “if” but I guess your reading comprehension isn’t sufficient to question what the implications of that are. But it was “if it is proven that those definitions constitute an expression of fundamental principles or beliefs?”. Maybe you could provide, for example, the evidence for the rather egregious claim – a real howler, if the truth be told – that “in social justice terms, marginalized groups cannot be guilty of -isms in regards to the axes of privilege that they fall low on”. As Christopher Hitchens argued, “what can be asserted without proof (or evidence) can rejected with out proof (or evidence)”.

    And absent such proof or evidence then one might reasonably characterize such “claims” as nothing more than beliefs, “something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons”.

    So, the utility of read-only-memory is a mystery to you.

    Considering that I’ve spent some 30 years working with them and related technologies I rather doubt that there’s much chance of that bogus assertion – something else you’ve apparently pulled out of your ass – holding much water.

    Again: “it is not disputed that women can be sexist, too”

    Whether you think that is the case or not is entirely beside the fucking point that there’s nothing in that “glossary” that concedes that – particularly towards men.

    Your ignorance of display technologies is noted, as is your penchant for clumsy sarcasm.

    What a twit. I was building, designing, and testing such “display technologies” probably before you were out of kindergarten – at least before you went in as I’m not sure you’re out yet.

    So: Were you being satirical, or were you instead being serious? :)

    Speaking of deficient “theories of mind”, you don’t think that “dontcha know” might qualify as a sarcasm tag? But that doesn’t detract from the seriousness of my argument, that that “glossary” looks more like a catechism than not, and that there’s diddly squat in the way of proof or evidence for many of those “claims” which therefore look like little more than articles of faith.

  137. Steersman says

    John Morales said (#10.28):

    [repost because of moderation, probably for links]

    It was the very same grand gesture.

    The same way that an engine and a transmission are the same grand vehicle – they tend to have different functions which can be discussed separately.

    (As for you finding social justice to be odious, that’s hardly a justification for misrepresenting it).

    Did I say that “social justice” was odious? Hardly qualifies as much in the way of intellectual honesty to be mispresenting one’s interlocutor so badly and so flagrantly.

    And if it is “proven” that those definitions constitute an expression of “fundamental principles or beliefs”? I would say then that that “glossary” qualifies as a catechism.

    Back to “glossary”, eh?

    That looks rather disingenuous if not actually completely clueless for you to say that – or maybe you didn’t notice the quotes I generally put around “glossary”: they call it such, but I figure it looks more like a catechism which is why I put it in scare quotes (1):

    Scare quotes are quotation marks placed around a word or phrase to imply that it may not signify its apparent meaning or that it is not necessarily the way the quoting person would express its concept.

    Your further comment:

    Good luck with your “proof”.

    I did say “if” but I guess your reading comprehension isn’t sufficient to question what the implications of that are. But it was “if it is proven that those definitions constitute an expression of fundamental principles or beliefs?”. Maybe you could provide, for example, the evidence for the rather egregious claim – a real howler, if the truth be told – that “in social justice terms, marginalized groups cannot be guilty of -isms in regards to the axes of privilege that they fall low on”. As Christopher Hitchens argued, “what can be asserted without proof (or evidence) can rejected with out proof (or evidence)”.

    And absent such proof or evidence then one might reasonably characterize such “claims” as nothing more than beliefs, “something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons”.

    So, the utility of read-only-memory is a mystery to you.

    Considering that I’ve spent some 30 years working with them and related technologies I rather doubt that there’s much chance of that bogus assertion – something else you’ve apparently pulled out of your ass – holding much water.

    Again: “it is not disputed that women can be sexist, too”

    Whether you think that is the case or not is entirely beside the fucking point that there’s nothing in that “glossary” that concedes that – particularly towards men.

    Your ignorance of display technologies is noted, as is your penchant for clumsy sarcasm.

    What a twit. I was building, designing, and testing such “display technologies” probably before you were out of kindergarten – at least before you went in as I’m not sure you’re out yet.

    So: Were you being satirical, or were you instead being serious? :)

    Speaking of deficient “theories of mind”, you don’t think that “dontcha know” might qualify as a sarcasm tag? But that doesn’t detract from the seriousness of my argument, that that “glossary” looks more like a catechism than not, and that there’s diddly squat in the way of proof or evidence for many of those “claims” which therefore look like little more than articles of faith.

    —-
    1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scare_quotes”;

  138. Steersman says

    John Morales said (#10.28):

    [repost because of moderation, probably for links. And because of quote fail]

    It was the very same grand gesture.

    The same way that an engine and a transmission are the same grand vehicle – they tend to have different functions which can be discussed separately.

    (As for you finding social justice to be odious, that’s hardly a justification for misrepresenting it).

    Did I say that “social justice” was odious? Hardly qualifies as much in the way of intellectual honesty to be mispresenting one’s interlocutor so badly and so flagrantly.

    And if it is “proven” that those definitions constitute an expression of “fundamental principles or beliefs”? I would say then that that “glossary” qualifies as a catechism.

    Back to “glossary”, eh?

    That looks rather disingenuous if not actually completely clueless for you to say that – or maybe you didn’t notice the quotes I generally put around “glossary”: they call it such, but I figure it looks more like a catechism which is why I put it in scare quotes (1):

    Scare quotes are quotation marks placed around a word or phrase to imply that it may not signify its apparent meaning or that it is not necessarily the way the quoting person would express its concept.

    Your further comment:

    Good luck with your “proof”.

    I did say “if” but I guess your reading comprehension isn’t sufficient to question what the implications of that are. But it was “if it is proven that those definitions constitute an expression of fundamental principles or beliefs?”. Maybe you could provide, for example, the evidence for the rather egregious claim – a real howler, if the truth be told – that “in social justice terms, marginalized groups cannot be guilty of -isms in regards to the axes of privilege that they fall low on”. As Christopher Hitchens argued, “what can be asserted without proof (or evidence) can rejected with out proof (or evidence)”.

    And absent such proof or evidence then one might reasonably characterize such “claims” as nothing more than beliefs, “something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons”.

    So, the utility of read-only-memory is a mystery to you.

    Considering that I’ve spent some 30 years working with them and related technologies I rather doubt that there’s much chance of that bogus assertion – something else you’ve apparently pulled out of your ass – holding much water.

    Again: “it is not disputed that women can be sexist, too”

    Whether you think that is the case or not is entirely beside the fucking point that there’s nothing in that “glossary” that concedes that – particularly towards men.

    Your ignorance of display technologies is noted, as is your penchant for clumsy sarcasm.

    What a twit. I was building, designing, and testing such “display technologies” probably before you were out of kindergarten – at least before you went in as I’m not sure you’re out yet.

    So: Were you being satirical, or were you instead being serious? :)

    Speaking of deficient “theories of mind”, you don’t think that “dontcha know” might qualify as a sarcasm tag? But that doesn’t detract from the seriousness of my argument, that that “glossary” looks more like a catechism than not, and that there’s diddly squat in the way of proof or evidence for many of those “claims” which therefore look like little more than articles of faith.

    —-
    1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scare_quotes”;

  139. Steersman says

    mouthyb said (#24.4):

    Steersman: Your ignorance of the evidence does not implicate the ideas in question.

    A rather broad – motherhood and apple-pie – type of statement, is it not? Care to provide some specifics? As a starting point, you might want to try answering the following question I’ve recently posed to John (in 10.29 or thereabouts) and in previous comments that he seems to have some difficulty with, by intent or inability to comprehend:

    Maybe you could provide, for example, the evidence for the rather egregious claim (in that AtheismPlus “glossary”) – a real howler, if the truth be told – that “in social justice terms, marginalized groups cannot be guilty of -isms in regards to the axes of privilege that they fall low on”. As Christopher Hitchens argued, “what can be asserted without proof (or evidence) can rejected with out proof (or evidence)”.

    And absent such proof or evidence then one might reasonably characterize such “claims” as nothing more than beliefs, “something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons”.

    As a point of reference you should also consider the standard definition for sexism:

    sex•ism (skszm)
    n.
    1. Discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination against women.
    2. Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender.

    You actually see anything in there that asserts that women can’t be guilty of sexism towards men? Blacks of racism towards whites? The disabled of “ableism” towards the abled?

    That egregious “definition” in that “glossary” looks nothing so much like evidence that the entire AtheismPlus forum have their heads so far up their asses that it is no wonder that they all look two-faced ….

  140. says

    I don’t know what you’d call a woman who held the absurd idea that a.) it’s possible for one form of oppression to “trump” another and b.) the one form of oppression that does “trump” all the others is class oppression. Why? Because I’ve never met a woman who believed that. Certainly none of the women who were avid socialists with whom I worked during my time as an active feminist organizer ever professed that idea. It’s only men who’ve espoused it, and there are enough of them to make it a phenomenon worth naming.

    I don’t suppose you have a theory about why it is that it’s mostly white dudes who think that the one form of oppression that can possibly affect them too is the one that is the most influential/important/deterministic.

  141. says

    You actually see anything in there that asserts that women can’t be guilty of sexism towards men? Blacks of racism towards whites? The disabled of “ableism” towards the abled?

    Same basic confusion as the one that arises around the word “theory” when discussing evolution.

    By the layman’s definition, sure. Women can be sexist, black people can be racist, etc.

    By the definition used by experts who study racism and sexism, no. For reasons that are good and have been (I’m fairly sure) explained to you previously. Several times.

    Do you have any particular reason for preferring the layman’s definition?

  142. John Morales says

    Steersman:

    The same way that an engine and a transmission are the same grand vehicle – they tend to have different functions which can be discussed separately.

    Nice of you to agree to the bleeding obvious; therefore, if you want to refer to either the engine or the transmission, that’s to what you refer instead of the vehicle.

    Did I say that “social justice” was odious? Hardly qualifies as much in the way of intellectual honesty to be mispresenting one’s interlocutor so badly and so flagrantly.

    “Seems to me that that glossary is only the most salient tip of a rather problematic if not odious social-justice iceberg”

    That looks rather disingenuous if not actually completely clueless for you to say that – or maybe you didn’t notice the quotes I generally put around “glossary”: they call it such, but I figure it looks more like a catechism which is why I put it in scare quotes

    You think maybe I didn’t notice what I pointed out?

    <snicker>

    Scare quotes are quotation marks placed around a word or phrase to imply that it may not signify its apparent meaning or that it is not necessarily the way the quoting person would express its concept.

    Heh.

    I did say “if” but I guess your reading comprehension isn’t sufficient to question what the implications of that are. But it was “if it is proven that those definitions constitute an expression of fundamental principles or beliefs?”.

    If things were different, things would be different.

    Maybe you could provide, for example, the evidence for the rather egregious claim – a real howler, if the truth be told – that “in social justice terms, marginalized groups cannot be guilty of -isms in regards to the axes of privilege that they fall low on”. As Christopher Hitchens argued, “what can be asserted without proof (or evidence) can rejected with out proof (or evidence)”.

    Why should I?

    For the umpteenth time, I am not making that claim, what I’m telling you is that it refers to groups and not to individuals.

    And absent such proof or evidence then one might reasonably characterize such “claims” as nothing more than beliefs, “something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons”.

    For the umpteenth time, being a glossary (and not a “glossary”), it’s a list of terms and their meanings.

    (The only claims made is that a particular term refers to a particular concept)

    Considering that I’ve spent some 30 years working with them and related technologies I rather doubt that there’s much chance of that bogus assertion – something else you’ve apparently pulled out of your ass – holding much water.

    Speaking of evidence, our exchange is there for anyone to read.

    You triumphantly claimed “the thread is locked which doesn’t give much confidence that those subscribing to such “principles” have much in the way of a skeptical or open frame of mind”, and my retort to that was to ask you whether the utility of read-only-memory is a mystery to you, whenceupon you responded neither in the affirmative nor in the negative.

    Whether you think that is the case or not is entirely beside the fucking point that there’s nothing in that “glossary” that concedes that – particularly towards men.

    It’s not something I think, it’s something that is explicitly stated within A+.

    What a twit. I was building, designing, and testing such “display technologies” probably before you were out of kindergarten – at least before you went in as I’m not sure you’re out yet.

    What is their microdot functionality, then?

    (BTW I didn’t go to kindy, and I’d be mildly surprised you’re in your late 60s at youngest)

    Speaking of deficient “theories of mind”, you don’t think that “dontcha know” might qualify as a sarcasm tag?

    <snicker>

    So, you claim you were both seriously stating a sober truth and being sarcastic in response to my asking you whether you were being satirical.

    (You imagine the two are synonymous?)

    But that doesn’t detract from the seriousness of my argument, that that “glossary” looks more like a catechism than not, and that there’s diddly squat in the way of proof or evidence for many of those “claims” which therefore look like little more than articles of faith.

    Actually, your original claim wasn’t that glossary (umpteenth plus one times!) looked more like a catechism than not, but that it was in fact the Catechism and that it made a specific claim that it doesn’t in fact make.

    (But you are amusing me no end, so hey!)

  143. says

    Steersman: The layperson’s definition is not precise–sexism and racism are power structures, as someone tired to tell you earlier. Individuals can participate, but without the organization it is not systematic. Would you expect the first definition given you for gravity (eg in terms of the earth’s gravity and in terms of a highly simplified problem, to be the entirety of the definitions necessary to understand the behavior of gravity?

  144. Steersman says

    Sally Strange said (#24.6):

    You actually see anything in there that asserts that women can’t be guilty of sexism towards men? Blacks of racism towards whites? The disabled of “ableism” towards the abled?

    Same basic confusion as the one that arises around the word “theory” when discussing evolution.

    By the layman’s definition, sure. Women can be sexist, black people can be racist, etc.

    By the definition used by experts who study racism and sexism, no. For reasons that are good and have been (I’m fairly sure) explained to you previously. Several times.

    Do you have any particular reason for preferring the layman’s definition?

    Yes, by your own words the layman’s definition is obviously the more accurate one. If “experts who study racism and sexism” want to go off into own little ivory-tower worlds that have very little correspondence to the world that the rest of us inhabit then fine – although many might raise an eyebrow at the cost and ethics of allowing them to do what then looks like little more than expensive basket-weaving courses.

    But in addition, working with terms that aren’t accurate or that are contradictory tends to cause people to go off the rails rather quickly. Would you think that allowing, say, the British to have a number for the acceleration due to gravity of 30 ft/sec/sec while the Americans use 36 ft/sec/sec for the same parameter is likely to be conducive to trade and scientific research? Likewise with definitions for sexism and racism. As a case in point you might take a look at this thread on AtheismPlus wherein “SubMor” has this howler (1):

    Oppression is cumulative. This is why “cracker” isn’t anywhere near as offensive as racial slurs directed at other groups. The same reasoning also applies to the subject of gender.

    And that egregious and poisonous attitude is what I think bedevils any number of conversations, not least of which is the rather problematic one of “gendered epithets”. While I tend to a policy similar to the “no-first-use of nuclear weapons” one, I think that to allow one or one type while anathematizing others looks rather much like a recipe for endless and pointless and fruitless bickering – not to mention qualifying as some egregiously hypocritical special pleading.

    But no, no one has provided me any evidence that that “experts’” definition holds any water whatsoever. All I see is an ipse dixit statement that looks little different from an article of faith.

    As for the word “theory” in the context of evolution, I would say it is rather much of a stretch to put the theories of evolution and the complex of them surrounding feminism on anything close to the same footing. You really think that the scale and magnitude and the credibility of the challenges to them are even remotely analogous?

    And, as a final case in point, I would say that your comments about mathematicians and crocheting – are you likely to take a related comment of mine on your blog out of moderation any time soon? – is also indicative of the problems that erroneous or flawed definitions and conceptions can cause.

    ——
    1) “_http://atheismplus.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3217&p=54992&hilit=+sexism+against+males+#p54992”;

  145. Metalogic42 says

    I don’t suppose you have a theory about why it is that it’s mostly white dudes who think that the one form of oppression that can possibly affect them too is the one that is the most influential/important/deterministic.

    It’s obviously because white dudes are smarter than everyone else (that is what you wish I’d say, just so you can really rip into me, isn’t it?)

    But seriously, there are many “forms of oppression that could possibly affect white dudes”. What about homophobia, ableism, neuroatypical prejudice, and fat shaming, just to list a few examples (oh lookie, I’m up on all the latest lingo)?

    Unlike you, the skin color of the people who believe classism is a more serious problem than other problems is of no relevance to me. I’m not going to suddenly change my mind about it if I happen to find that it’s “mostly white dudes” who agree with me. That would be…well, a bit racist.

    Anyway, I think it’s worth noting that classism, unlike racism, sexism, ableism, etc. etc. is not based on the state of one’s body and/or mind, but on how much of a thing (money/resources) one has.

  146. Schala says

    For the umpteenth time, I am not making that claim, what I’m telling you is that it refers to groups and not to individuals.

    Here is fun, from Finally Feminism 101, using the same claim:

    Debunking claims of “reverse sexism”

    No matter what definition of sexism” you’re starting with, “reverse sexism” is an invalid claim to make. If you go strictly by the dictionary definition, then a woman being prejudiced against a man is simply “sexism”, no “reverse” needed. If you go by the feminist definition, sexism is predicated on having institutional power over a group, and since women do not have that power, they cannot be sexists, reverse or otherwise.

    Said right there: The feminist definition says a woman cannot be sexist against a man because she lacks institutional power (as an individual, imagine).

    The Donglegate “star” also said as much about women being unable to be sexist and black people unable to be racist (and of course, she’s both). While innocuous things men do (like have sexual innuendo in an innocent conversation meant to be private) are sexist and misogynist, according to that woman, and the ADA Initiative. Because mentioning sex, in itself, sexualizes women and makes it more likely that the joker be treating women as objects. How tinfoil hat do you need to be for this to actually make logical sense?

    From http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/06/03/faq-arent-feminists-just-sexists-towards-men/

    and here, another page:

    FAQ: What is “sexism”?
    October 19, 2007 · by tekanji · in clarifying-concepts, FAQ, introductory, sexism

    Short definition: Sexism is both discrimination based on gender and the attitudes, stereotypes, and the cultural elements that promote this discrimination. Given the historical and continued imbalance of power, where men as a class are privileged over women as a class (see male privilege), an important, but often overlooked, part of the term is that sexism is prejudice plus power. Thus feminists reject the notion that women can be sexist towards men because women lack the institutional power that men have.

    From http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/sexism-definition/

    Please note that the fact that male privilege exists, with no counterpart, and that men are advantaged over women without women being advantaged over men, is an article of faith. And questioning it makes you a heretic. It must be accepted without questioning, or it means you’re an evil MRA misogynist who wants to rape all women!

    You can, like Mary Daly and Germaine Greer be hateful towards men, with a sidedish of hatefulness towards trans women “by accident”, because you also consider them to be men (and thus worthy of that hatred too – but with bonus hatred for “invading women’s space”) – you won’t ever be excommunicated from feminism, branded an heretic, an anti-feminism.

    But dare you question the unidirectionality of male privilege (without a comparative female privilege) and woe is you, excommunicated and declared a misogynist, against equal rights and wanting to bring back 1950s gender roles.

    So, being skeptical about claims of uniquely-female (and only female) victimhood is reason enough to bring out the pitchforks, but wanting to kill half the human race (or prevent their birth or some such manner so we arrive at a 90/10 female/male ratio) because you think they’re evil, is fine and dandy, if it’s the right half.

  147. Steersman says

    mouthby said (#24.7):

    Steersman: The layperson’s definition is not precise–sexism and racism are power structures, as someone tried to tell you earlier.

    That’s your definition, but you can’t very well say that it squares with the standard one – the one used by virtually everyone else this side of some ivory towers and benighted environs like AtheismPlus.

    But that definition of yours looks like it is rather badly conflating the basic concept of, for example, sexism – “discrimination based on gender”; “promoting the stereotyping of social roles based on gender” – with the power or ability – at any level – to implement policies based on that discrimination or stereotyping. And in that conflation it seems to promote some stereotyping of its own by asserting that some set of characteristics typically associated with some narrow subsegments of the male-female populations is what prevails in all such subsegments. And in then asserting that in none of those other subsegments can there ever be any cases where, in effect, the “shoe is on the other foot”, that “experts’” definition then promotes or condones or turns a blind-eye to sexism directed at males – and a sexism that can then have some very problematic consequences for them.

    Hardly does much to provide any credibility to the claim that “feminism” is really only all about “equality”, does it?

    Would you expect the first definition given you for gravity (eg in terms of the earth’s gravity and in terms of a highly simplified problem, to be the entirety of the definitions necessary to understand the behavior of gravity?

    I would expect that researchers and engineers scattered to the four corners of the world would, in the same context use the same definitions. And that the Newtonian and Einsteinian frames of reference and definitions are consistent, at least within carefully defined sets of circumstances. I rather much doubt that you could say anything remotely the same about those two decidedly contradictory definitions of sexism.

  148. Steersman says

    John Morales said (#10.31):

    For the umpteenth time, I am not making that claim, what I’m telling you is that it refers to groups and not to individuals.

    And for the umpteenth time I telling you that I see no evidence to justify that assertion which makes it, at least as far as I’m concerned, an article of faith. And that “glossary” a catechism, in whole or in part.

    You triumphantly claimed “the thread is locked which doesn’t give much confidence that those subscribing to such “principles” have much in the way of a skeptical or open frame of mind”, and my retort to that was to ask you whether the utility of read-only-memory is a mystery to you, whenceupon you responded neither in the affirmative nor in the negative.

    Of course I knew what they were – I would have thought that my use of “bug-free” would have been sufficient to lead you to that conclusion. At least if you had any of the specialized knowledge that you appeared to claiming – but I guess not then. But my point with that was that such devices tend to be of limited utility if they’re composed of errors and flaws, and are not easily modifiable or replaceable – as with Papal Encyclicals and AtheismPlus “Glossaries”.

    Whether you think that is the case or not is entirely beside the fucking point that there’s nothing in that “glossary” that concedes that – particularly towards men.

    It’s not something I think, it’s something that is explicitly stated within A+.

    Not within that “glossary” itself – at least that I could find. But maybe you have some evidence of that elsewhere? And other than by various commenters as they hardly seem to carry the same weight as “global moderators”, the promulgators of received wisdom.

    Actually, your original claim wasn’t that glossary (umpteenth plus one times!) looked more like a catechism than not, but that it was in fact the Catechism and that it made a specific claim that it doesn’t in fact make.

    Let’s take a look again at what my “claim” was (#10.8) as it seems to be the crux of the matter. I said:

    Dontcha know that women can’t be guilty of sexism nor “people of colour” of racism? You musta missed reading the AtheismPlus Catechism (1) ….

    For one thing, your rejection of my “looked more like a catechism than not” looks like a disingenuous quibble. The relevant definition of “catechism” – “a body of fundamental principles or beliefs, especially when accepted uncritically” – seems entirely applicable as it doesn’t specify how big or extensive that “body” must be to qualify – two “principles or beliefs” would seem to be sufficient which that “glossary” has in excess.

    As for “a specific claim that it makes that it doesn’t in fact make”, I said, in effect, that that catechism asserts that “women can’t be guilty of sexism”. And that “glossary” in fact says that sexism is “discrimination or social prejudice against women” – “only” by implication. And that “marginalized groups cannot be guilty of –isms”. As mentioned, I think that my statement was a reasonable paraphrase of the latter two statements, although you reject that – rather imperiously – without any justification given for doing so. Must be based on some rather odd syntactical parsing if you have any justification at all.

  149. John Morales says

    Steersman:

    [1] And for the umpteenth time I telling you that I see no evidence to justify that assertion which makes it, at least as far as I’m concerned, an article of faith. [2] And that “glossary” a catechism, in whole or in part.

    1. Justification as to its truth-status is not what’s relevant, it’s what it claims, and that’s not what you claim it claims.

    2. If you want to hold that a glossary is a de facto catechism, I can’t stop you.

    (But it ain’t)

    Of course I knew what they were – I would have thought that my use of “bug-free” would have been sufficient to lead you to that conclusion. At least if you had any of the specialized knowledge that you appeared to claiming – but I guess not then. But my point with that was that such devices tend to be of limited utility if they’re composed of errors and flaws, and are not easily modifiable or replaceable – as with Papal Encyclicals and AtheismPlus “Glossaries”.

    No, it wasn’t. Your point was that “the thread is locked which doesn’t give much confidence that those subscribing to such “principles” have much in the way of a skeptical or open frame of mind”.

    Not within that “glossary” itself – at least that I could find. But maybe you have some evidence of that elsewhere? And other than by various commenters as they hardly seem to carry the same weight as “global moderators”, the promulgators of received wisdom.

    <clickety-click>

    Here you go: Re: Schrodinger’s Rapist
    Post by ischemgeek » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:02 pm
    Global Moderator

    “First, women can be sexist, too. [...]”

    For one thing, your rejection of my “looked more like a catechism than not” looks like a disingenuous quibble. The relevant definition of “catechism” – “a body of fundamental principles or beliefs, especially when accepted uncritically” – seems entirely applicable as it doesn’t specify how big or extensive that “body” must be to qualify – two “principles or beliefs” would seem to be sufficient which that “glossary” has in excess.

    Again: If you want to hold that a glossary is a de facto catechism, I can’t stop you.

    (But it ain’t)

    As for “a specific claim that it makes that it doesn’t in fact make”, I said, in effect, that that catechism asserts that “women can’t be guilty of sexism”. And that “glossary” in fact says that sexism is “discrimination or social prejudice against women” – “only” by implication. And that “marginalized groups cannot be guilty of –isms”. As mentioned, I think that my statement was a reasonable paraphrase of the latter two statements, although you reject that – rather imperiously – without any justification given for doing so.

    That’s because you’re clueless and therefore fail to note you’re indulging in the fallacy of division.

    Must be based on some rather odd syntactical parsing if you have any justification at all.

    It’s not parsing, it’s semantics.

    (I’m not surprised you confuse syntactic with semantic analysis)

  150. Schala says

    Here you go: Re: Schrodinger’s Rapist
    Post by ischemgeek » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:02 pm
    Global Moderator

    “First, women can be sexist, too. [...]”

    But only against women, right? The concept of internalized misogyny is not new.

  151. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    So, KiwiInOz , are you implying then that the vast majority of women do?

    Or were you just desperately trying to avoid admitting that it is men who own and control the vast majority of the world’s wealth?

  152. says

    Steersman: I notice you didn’t actually answer the questions I asked you.

    The reason I mentioned beginning physics is the difference between the beginners physics (Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation, F = G[m1m2/r^2)) and the gravitational field equation, which can be used to discuss the acceleration experienced by objects in normal space ( g(r) = -G(m1/ |r|^2) r (caret atop the final r)). Both equations uses the mass of the object (m), the gravity that is local to the object (G), the distance between the center of mass on the bodies involved (r in the first equation and the first r in the second equation. The r with a caret is the unit vector between objects.

    The difference between those two equations has to do with specificity and precision. The second equation is a more precise description of the relationship between two objects, with respect to gravity. In the same way, adding structuration to the definition is a more precise way of defining sexism, and adds to the ability to be precise about what sexism is. The structural definition is the standard for people who study the stuff; it is the more precise definition, no matter how you feel about it. The rest of your complaint about the term alternates between making no sense to me, especially given the answers you’ve gotten on the subject in this thread, or it verges off into “feminism = sexism,” which is wrong by definition, and wrong in practice.

    It is possible, in my opinion, for people to behave in a sexist manner who are not male; since we live in a society that actively promotes the behavior, it’s no surprise that people in that society occasionally exhibit those traits.

    Adding structuration is not contradictory to noting discrimination (which gets its ability to be discriminatory from structural features, as our host suggested), and nothing contradictory in matching structure to stereotyping (which exists because of structures that promote the ideas used to stereotype.)

    As for your ignorance, I am only echoing other people. You do not appear to know or understand the subjects you are speaking about. It is no one’s job to educate you–that’s on you. The fact that people are trying so hard to do so is generous of them, but in the end it’s your job to look shit up. If you prefer the academic source material, feel free to click on the glossary I contributed to.

  153. Schala says

    In the same way, adding structuration to the definition is a more precise way of defining sexism, and adds to the ability to be precise about what sexism is.

    It only tends to define it in a self-serving way for a movement that claims to want equality by fixing only one side, because their theory says the other side CAN’T POSSIBLY HAVE IT BAD (or at least, on par with their side).

    I won’t fix transphobia by delegitimizing the identified sex of cis people, or delegitimizing their claims of prejudice based on being cis (TERF claims aside, since they object to the very term). It might happen less often, it might not “build up” to something as psychologically devastating as it does to a trans person…but guess what sex identity is something virtually 99.9% of people have to face in life, and insecurity about it is NORMAL (at least in childhood), and common in adulthood.

    Just because I face the brunt of its effects doesn’t mean I get to say I suffer ALL the bad effects, or that fixing MY effects will fix theirs (destroy patriarchy and it won’t “hurt men too”). I want to fix sex stereotyping for all, cis and trans alike. I want sex markers to go away from official documentations. The only entities who could reasonably request it are hospitals, and for pretty specific stuff to boot (pregnancy, ovarian or testicular stuff and fertility stuff – prostate is in both men and women, so are breasts).

    A description that serves to narrow sexism to “Something men or women can do to women” is very self-serving, and sexist in itself. And what do you know: It reproduces the notions feminism claims to fight about patronizing, overprotecting and removing agency from women and imputing a ton on men.

    Because it follows if sexism against men cannot exist ‘on the same level’, that it’s because men are “better” at dealing with shit, or at hiding their dealing-with-shit-ing. They’re not allowed to whine or complain, all in the gender role. And people are not allowed to care about men, unless it’s their immediate family. Also in gender roles of both men and women.

  154. Steersman says

    John Morales said (#10.35):

    2. If you want to hold that a glossary is a de facto catechism, I can’t stop you.

    (But it ain’t)

    If if walks like a duck and squawks like a duck then there’s a very large probability that it is, in fact, a fucking duck. And acting like King Canute – in his initial apparent denial of reality – won’t change that fact.

    No, it wasn’t. Your point was that “the thread is locked which doesn’t give much confidence that those subscribing to such “principles” have much in the way of a skeptical or open frame of mind”.

    Rather surprising level of cluelessness and intellectual dishonesty there – ideology and dogma tends to do that as in Lysenkoism and Loyola’s “Rules for Thinking with the Church”, to wit:

    That we may be altogether of the same mind and in conformity with the Church herself, if she shall have defined anything to be black which to our eyes appears to be white, we ought in like manner to pronounce it to be black.

    My original point was, as you state, the issue of “thread-locking” which you, apparently, then thought was analogous to “read-only-memory”. And my point in response was that such devices can be inherently problematic if they are badly programmed: as with Papal Encyclicals and AtheismPlus “Glossaries” – birds of a feather.

    That’s because you’re clueless and therefore fail to note you’re indulging in the fallacy of division.

    You might have had a point there with that fallacy, at least if I was actually claiming there that such dogmaticism was characteristic of the entire site. Although, considering it even as a real actual glossary and on the most charitable construction or interpretation, that very fact sugggests that it is insisting that whatever concepts, principles and beliefs it entails, describes or asserts should be applicable in all cases and topics discussed – rather inconsistent with the “fallacy of division” (1). But as that wasn’t my point there at all that last assertion of yours – something else you’ve pulled out of your ass – is nothing more than a red herring.

    It’s not parsing, it’s semantics.

    You might have had a point there too, but since the meaning of my phrasing, and that by AtheismPlus seems identical to me I have to assume that you went off the rails and into the weeds, in a rather spectacular fashion, on the question of parsing the syntax. If you’d care to elucidate the specificity of your delusions as to the supposedly different meanings of those phrases then I’m all ears ….

    —-
    1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_division”;

  155. Steersman says

    mouthyb said (#24.10):

    Steersman: I notice you didn’t actually answer the questions I asked you.

    You asked one question – which I answered. That you apparently didn’t like it – or its implications – is no justification for denying that fact. At least if one wishes to be viewed as being intellectually honest.

    In any case, as I mentioned, I think it a rather long stretch to be suggesting that the physics of gravitation – in whatever formulation is applicable to the case at hand – is even remotely analogous to the sociology of feminism. That might eventually transpire and the science of emergence (1) might be a path to it. But the current formulation and definitions of it and of the associated terms – “sexism”, “racism”, “-isms”, patriarchy, and privilege in particular – looks more like astrology or Ptolemaic cosmology at best.

    The structural definition is the standard for people who study the stuff; it is the more precise definition, no matter how you feel about it.

    And you feel that that “structural definition” actually holds some water. But you haven’t given any evidence, any proof that it does – in spite of me asking for it earlier (#24.5). And from where I’m sitting – and from where many others are sitting, Schala, for example – that definition looks, with some actual evidence, like egregious sexism, racism, and stereotyping in itself.

    As for your ignorance, I am only echoing other people. You do not appear to know or understand the subjects you are speaking about. It is no one’s job to educate you–that’s on you.

    That looks rather much like the “Courtier’s Reply” (2). If the premise or hypothesis advanced at the outset – “Jehovah exists”; “marginalized groups cannot be guilty of -isms” – are ridiculous and untenable on their faces then calls for “educating oneself” in the associated arcana look no different from calls to drink the Kool-Aid (3).

    —-
    1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence”;
    2) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courtier%27s_Reply”;
    3) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drink_the_kool-aid”;

  156. says

    Steersman: I asked you if you believe that you are given the expert definition early in learning about something, you said you think all engineers and researchers use the same definition, and besides Newtonian and Einsteinean frames are consistent. Neither of those two statements answered my question, they were merely related by subject matter.

    Buddy, there are hundreds of papers waiting for you right now on scholar.google.com, and on the Pharyngula wiki. You’re asking for proof, go get some. You haven’t asked me about anything specifically, though you have said something repeatedly about sexism being unfair.

    And let me repeat myself: the glossary is waiting for you. I’ll be adding to it as the summer goes on, so make sure and check back regularly.

    Since I do not set the standard for defining sexism amongst specialists, my feelings on the definition do not matter. I really don’t care if you like the definition, that’s what gets used when people who research this professionally define it. But nice try on implying this has anything to do with my feelings.

    The fact that you don’t have casual access to the expert definitions is neither here nor there. You are not an expert, and from your responses, I can tell you’ve never gone out and actually looked at expert papers on the subject. That is on you, not me. To be more precise, that is your arrogance, not my problem or fault.

    From the sheer volume of slogans in your response like “drink the koolaid” and the number of times you’ve dragged the goal posts, refused to respond to the content of posts, denied the existence of well-known events and otherwise done everything in your power not to have an open conversation, I am not convinced that you have anything to add to this conversations. And, as a professor and student, and like any professor when approached by a layperson who is convinced they have solved a complex problem, I can only tell you that you should try and educate yourself, since you won’t take anyone else’s word for it.

    In the mean time, however, it’s clear that this is a waste of my time. You aren’t learning, won’t answer questions and are dancing around any sort of meaningful discussion (especially since you won’t acknowledge anything but the definition you like, which you got off (of all things) a free, online dictionary.)

  157. John Morales says

    Steersman:

    If if walks like a duck and squawks like a duck then there’s a very large probability that it is, in fact, a fucking duck. And acting like King Canute – in his initial apparent denial of reality – won’t change that fact.

    Your irony is strong, if unwitting.

    (It looks like a glossary and it reads like a glossary)

    Rather surprising level of cluelessness and intellectual dishonesty there – ideology and dogma tends to do that as in Lysenkoism and Loyola’s “Rules for Thinking with the Church”, to wit: [blah]

    Your projection is even stronger.

    My original point was, as you state, the issue of “thread-locking” which you, apparently, then thought was analogous to “read-only-memory”. And my point in response was that such devices can be inherently problematic if they are badly programmed: as with Papal Encyclicals and AtheismPlus “Glossaries” – birds of a feather.

    No, the point was that it indicated cowardly dogmatism, the which you reiterate with your allusion to Catholicism.

    (Your disingenuousness is large, but weak)

    You might have had a point there with that fallacy, at least if I was actually claiming there that such dogmaticism was characteristic of the entire site. Although, considering it even as a real actual glossary and on the most charitable construction or interpretation, that very fact sugggests that it is insisting that whatever concepts, principles and beliefs it entails, describes or asserts should be applicable in all cases and topics discussed – rather inconsistent with the “fallacy of division” (1). But as that wasn’t my point there at all that last assertion of yours – something else you’ve pulled out of your ass – is nothing more than a red herring.

    <snicker>

    You have no idea to what I refer, do ya?

    Hint: “A person is not a group, marginalised or otherwise”.

    You might have had a point there too, but since the meaning of my phrasing, and that by AtheismPlus seems identical to me I have to assume that you went off the rails and into the weeds, in a rather spectacular fashion, on the question of parsing the syntax. If you’d care to elucidate the specificity of your delusions as to the supposedly different meanings of those phrases then I’m all ears ….

    You’re funny when you splutter.

    (“syntactical parsing” — as opposed to the other kind, right? ;) )

  158. Steersman says

    mouthyb said (#24.12):

    You haven’t asked me about anything specifically, though you have said something repeatedly about sexism being unfair.

    I asked you, more or less specifically, in #24.5 for evidence to justify the AtheismPlus assertion from their catechism that “in social justice terms, marginalized groups cannot be guilty of -isms in regards to the axes of privilege that they fall low on”. I’m still waiting.

    And I also asked you, even if somewhat rhetorically, in #24.9 whether such egregious bias lends much credibility to the claims that “feminism” is only all about equality.

    But nice try on implying this has anything to do with my feelings.

    You were the one who broached that subject or topic by suggesting (in #24.10) that mine about the credibility of that “structural definition” were without merit. Not a particularly credible position to be taking, particularly since, as mentioned, I think that that “definition” clearly meets the definition of stereotyping – i.e., judging an entire class based on the attributes of some segment of it. Something which you seem somewhat loath to address – maybe not surprisingly.

    You are not an expert, and from your responses, I can tell you’ve never gone out and actually looked at expert papers on the subject. That is on you, not me. To be more precise, that is your arrogance, not my problem or fault.

    What unmitgated horseshit. “Experts” actually have to be able to “deliver the goods” to have any credibility, and on the basis of recent readings of Stephen Pinker’s The Blank Slate – highly recommended, although I expect you would consider that tantamount to consorting with the devil himself – I would say that significant changes over the last hundred to hundred-and-fifty years in the field of sociology and related ones in terms of their perspectives and principles justifies taking virtually everything that comes out of those fields with more than a grain or two of salt. That they have been transmogrified by some highly questionable “feminist” dogma only provides more justification for doing so.

    But, as a general philosophical perspective on “experts”, I kind of like this passage from Leon Lederman’s The God Particle:

    But in our discipline, even members of the establishment rail against the establishment. Our patron saint, Richard Feynman, in the essay “What is Science” admonished the student: “Learn from science that you must doubt the experts …. Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts.” [pg 192]

    And, more particularly and probably a little closer to home and of some relevance, here’s something (1) from a review of the book Professing Feminism: Education and Indoctrination in Women’s Studies by a group of “Feminist Critics”:

    The book is a critique on Women Studies departments in the United States. The authors interviewed dozens of women, from staff to professors to students, all quite supportive of feminism, but all still sharing the same criticism of infighting, indoctrination, political correctness and a near total lack of objective discussion.
    ….
    The authors, however, demonstrate that these problems have existed since their ideology’s inception, and were particularly common within Women Studies programs. The authors wrote of the isolationist attitude that dominates many of the programs, along with a virulent anti-science, anti-intellectual sentiment driving many of the professors, staff and students. [my emphasis]

    I’m hardly the only one raising some welcome questions about the credibility of various facets of feminist dogma.

    In the mean time, however, it’s clear that this is a waste of my time.

    Nice flounce – or in preparation for. In lieu of actually answering my questions?

    —-
    1) “_http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2009/07/27/professing-feminism-noh/”;

  159. Steersman says

    John Morales said (#10.38):

    Steersman:

    … yadda yadda yadda ….

    (“syntactical parsing” — as opposed to the other kind, right? )

    Long on snark; extremely short to non-existent on cogent argument and evidence.

  160. Steersman says

    Schala said (#24.13):

    Because “I Said So” seems to be their argument. Specialists, right?

    Exactly. As if their “experts” had their own “Papal Cloaks of Infallibility”. In the hard sciences and mathematics there might be some justifications for that. In the social sciences, particularly relating to feminism? Not so much ….

    Apropos of which, recently ran across this quote in the Pit (1) that you might be interested in or appreciate, although at least a few others here are not likely to:

    “[...] when dogmas enter the brain, all intellectual activity ceases.” — R. A. Wilson


    1) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=88398#p88398”;

  161. johngreg says

    And who owns and controls the vast, vast majority of this wealth?

    A very, very small minority of the planet’s men, and an even smaller minority of the planet’s women — I think the figure is approximately 90% of the world’s wealth is owned and controlled by 9% of the population, and I have no doubt that the majority of that 9% is men, but no idea as to an actual figure.

    And, yes, indeed it would be grand if the majority of the world’s wealth were shared more evenly by not only by men and women, but by the world’s population in general.

    There. Have we fixed world poverty now?

  162. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Steersman:

    Long on snark; extremely short to non-existent on cogent argument and evidence.

    True; it took fuck-all to do you like a dinner, given all you have is ignorant bluster.

  163. John Morales says

    So, Schala.

    @10.33:

    For the umpteenth time, I am not making that claim, what I’m telling you is that it refers to groups and not to individuals.

    Here is fun, from Finally Feminism 101, using the same claim:

    Debunking claims of “reverse sexism”
    No matter what definition of sexism” you’re starting with, “reverse sexism” is an invalid claim to make. If you go strictly by the dictionary definition, then a woman being prejudiced against a man is simply “sexism”, no “reverse” needed. If you go by the feminist definition, sexism is predicated on having institutional power over a group, and since women do not have that power, they cannot be sexists, reverse or otherwise.

    Said right there: The feminist definition says a woman cannot be sexist against a man because she lacks institutional power (as an individual, imagine).

    That’s from a different source, so what does that have to do with what I was discussing with Steersman, which was the nature of that glossary page on the Atheist+ forum in general and the entailment from those two quotations adduced by Tamen in specific?

    and here, another page:

    Still not the one that I was discussing.

    [1] Please note that the fact that male privilege exists, with no counterpart, and that men are advantaged over women without women being advantaged over men, is an article of faith. [2] And questioning it makes you a heretic. [3] It must be accepted without questioning, or it means you’re an evil MRA misogynist who wants to rape all women!

    1. Well, you claim that’s an accurate summary and that that’s what they claim — I note that much.

    2. You’re insinuating feminism is a religion.

    3. Kinda hard to take you seriously when you spout such crap.

    [1] You can, like Mary Daly and Germaine Greer be hateful towards men, with a sidedish of hatefulness towards trans women “by accident”, because you also consider them to be men (and thus worthy of that hatred too – but with bonus hatred for “invading women’s space”) – [2] you won’t ever be excommunicated from feminism, branded an heretic, an anti-feminism.

    1. So?

    2. Well, duh.

    (It’s not a religion!)

    But dare you question the unidirectionality of male privilege (without a comparative female privilege) and woe is you, excommunicated and declared a misogynist, against equal rights and wanting to bring back 1950s gender roles.

    What is this thing you have with excommunication, anyway?

    (Weird hobby-horse)

    [1] So, being skeptical about claims of uniquely-female (and only female) victimhood is reason enough to bring out the pitchforks, [2] but wanting to kill half the human race (or prevent their birth or some such manner so we arrive at a 90/10 female/male ratio) because you think they’re evil, is fine and dandy, if it’s the right half.

    1. Pitchforks, eh?

    2. Yup, that’s your average feminist right there, wanting to kill half the human race.

    <snicker>

    @10.36:

    “First, women can be sexist, too. [...]”

    But only against women, right? The concept of internalized misogyny is not new.

    <shrug>

    I’m not that familiar with feminist theory, so I tend not to make positive claims about it.

    (You, on the other hand, seem a little touchy on the subject)

  164. Steersman says

    John Morales said (#10.40):

    Long on snark; extremely short to non-existent on cogent argument and evidence.

    True; it took fuck-all to do you like a dinner, given all you have is ignorant bluster.

    Hardly. Looks more like you’re a legend in your own mind as you never did provide any evidence to justify the claims I discussed that were made in that AtheismPlus “glossary”. “What can be asserted without proof or evidence can be dismissed without proof or evidence.”

    As for the “bluster”, I hardly think it qualifies as that given that it was based on some of the rather large, and increasing amounts of credible scholarship that is raising some serious questions about great swaths of “feminist” dogma. But you probably don’t recognize that given that you’ve obviously disappeared up your own ass trying to reconcile the contradictions in that dogma. Probably why you look and act so two-faced ….

  165. Steersman says

    John Morales said (#10.41):

    Said right there: The feminist definition says a woman cannot be sexist against a man because she lacks institutional power (as an individual, imagine).

    And the astrological definition of planets are those astronomical bodies which have causal influence on our loves and lives. Hardly makes the claim true, although maybe that’s your premise or criteria for deciding if something is true: “If it’s written in the Bible then it must be true!”

    Similarly with that feminist definition which has a rather narrow, not to say narrow-minded, conception and view of “institutional power” – which seems rather self-serving to say the least if not egregiously hypocritical. As a case in point, consider this statement by Stephen Pinker in his The Blank Slate:

    Because of a fear of accepting any idea that would seem to make these outrages [rape, stalking, battering, harassment] “natural” or unavoidable, some schools of feminism have rejected any suggestion that men are born with greater sexual desire or jealousy. [pg 161]

    While it is probably true that many men have no “greater sexual desire or jealousy” than many women, it seems rather a stretch – actually some egregious stereotyping and sexism – to argue that that applies to all men. And, arguably, that that prejudice has influenced not just “civil” relations between men and women but social policy and laws could quite easily be construed as a manifestation of “institutional power” behind that prejudice, that stereotyping, that sexism – by women against men. Other examples abound (2) – at least for those who don’t have their heads up their asses.

    2. You’re insinuating feminism is a religion.

    Hardly an assertion that she cut from whole cloth. Maybe you missed seeing this photoshop that Paula Kirby created or linked to some time ago that pretty much summarizes, with more than a little justification, that perspective. (1)

    Although in passing, considering that you have a problematic tendency to categorical thinking, I hardly think that most people criticizing feminism view it as entirely without merit. You might want to try reflecting on the adages about wheat and chaff, babies and bath-water ….

    3. Kinda hard to take you seriously when you spout such crap.

    “There are none so blind as those who will not see.” Dogma tends to do that as it consists largely of “pre-judgements” – aka, prejudice ….

    —-
    1) “_https://twitter.com/PaulaSKirby/status/240890945183289344/photo/1”;
    2) “_http://www.pasadena.edu/files/syllabi/txcave_18360.pdf”;

  166. johngreg says

    And, just for interest’s sake, of the 1,426 billionaires in the world, only slightly more than nine percent of them are women.

  167. John Morales says

    Steersman:

    John Morales said (#10.41):

    Said right there: The feminist definition says a woman cannot be sexist against a man because she lacks institutional power (as an individual, imagine).

    I bungled the outermost blockquote there, so that what you imagine I said there was actually part of a quotation from Schala.

    Hardly. Looks more like you’re a legend in your own mind as you never did provide any evidence to justify the claims I discussed that were made in that AtheismPlus “glossary”. “What can be asserted without proof or evidence can be dismissed without proof or evidence.”

    Heh. You imagine I was trying to justify the claim that you alleged the Catechism made?

    As for the “bluster”, I hardly think it qualifies as that given that it was based on some of the rather large, and increasing amounts of credible scholarship that is raising some serious questions about great swaths of “feminist” dogma. But you probably don’t recognize that given that you’ve obviously disappeared up your own ass trying to reconcile the contradictions in that dogma. Probably why you look and act so two-faced ….

    See, that was bluster right there.

    (Janus is entertained)

  168. John Morales says

    Steersman responds to my response to Schala:

    2. You’re insinuating feminism is a religion.

    Hardly an assertion that she cut from whole cloth.

    Insinuation, assertion… much the same, right?

    (But I see you don’t dispute it)

    Maybe you missed seeing this photoshop that Paula Kirby created or linked to some time ago that pretty much summarizes, with more than a little justification, that perspective. (1)

    Whatever it is to which you have linked, yeah, I missed that alleged smoking gun in the form of a photoshop.

    Although in passing, considering that you have a problematic tendency to categorical thinking, I hardly think that most people criticizing feminism view it as entirely without merit. You might want to try reflecting on the adages about wheat and chaff, babies and bath-water ….

    So feminism should ditch the things that its antagonists dislike, because they’re like bathwater and like chaff.

    (In passing, your orthographic abuse of ellipses hasn’t escaped me)

    “There are none so blind as those who will not see.” Dogma tends to do that as it consists largely of “pre-judgements” – aka, prejudice ….

    Actually, those who cannot see must necessarily be at least as blind as those who merely will not see.

    You should be aware that dogma does nothing, since it’s not an agent but rather a belief, but I do concede that it is true that the dogma that feminism has a set of articles of faith which “must be accepted without questioning, or it means you’re an evil MRA misogynist who wants to rape all women!” is indeed crap.

  169. Steersman says

    John Morales said (#10.45):

    Insinuation, assertion… much the same, right?

    (But I see you don’t dispute it)

    You called it an insinuation, I called it an assertion with some justification. Why I didn’t dispute it.

    So feminism should ditch the things that its antagonists dislike, because they’re like bathwater and like chaff.

    More categorical thinking, methinks. I’m not saying that all of the claims of those “antagonists” are credible and justifiable, only that some of them might well be. We’re not going to determine which is which if everyone closes their minds and stands on their own versions of the “conventional wisdom”, are we?

    You should be aware that dogma does nothing, since it’s not an agent but rather a belief ….

    You might want to try arguing that case with the relatives of those who died in the 9/11 towers collapse. And with the family of the woman in Ireland who died – was murdered, more accurately – because the Catholic hospital – a phrase that should live on in infamy – refused to terminate her pregancy.

    … but I do concede that it is true that the dogma that feminism has a set of articles of faith which “must be accepted without questioning, or it means you’re an evil MRA misogynist who wants to rape all women!” is indeed crap.

    And while I’ll readily concede that applying that characterization to “all” critics of the MRM is inaccurate if not “inappropriate”, my impression is that there are more than a few such critics which that characterization fits to a “T” – PZ Myers’ recent screed about Marc Lepine being a case in point.

  170. John Morales says

    Steersman:

    You called it an insinuation, I called it an assertion with some justification. Why I didn’t dispute it.

    You understood me perfectly!

    <beams>

    [1] More categorical thinking, methinks. [2] I’m not saying that all of the claims of those “antagonists” are credible and justifiable, only that some of them might well be. [3] We’re not going to determine which is which if everyone closes their minds and stands on their own versions of the “conventional wisdom”, are we?

    1. Youthinks wrong; categorical thinking is an ontological discipline and helps one avoid category errors.

    2. Saying “may well be” is an insinuation phrased as an assertion.

    3. Um, you do realise you’re commenting on a blog in the FTB stable, right?

    (That was a particularly pointless rhetorical question)

    You might want to try arguing that case with the relatives of those who died in the 9/11 towers collapse. And with the family of the woman in Ireland who died – was murdered, more accurately – because the Catholic hospital – a phrase that should live on in infamy – refused to terminate her pregancy.

    You don’t see the agency in that instance was the Catholic hospital?

    (Categorical thinking: a Catholic hospital is not a dogma)

    And while I’ll readily concede that applying that characterization to “all” critics of the MRM is inaccurate if not “inappropriate”, my impression is that there are more than a few such critics which that characterization fits to a “T” – PZ Myers’ recent screed about Marc Lepine being a case in point.

    Since you hold that it’s a dogmatum of the dogmata of feminism, it follows that the ones to whom that characterisation doesn’t apply aren’t feminists; this entails that you still claim all feminists do in fact hold that dogmatum.

    (Wasn’t much of a concession, was it? ;) )

  171. Steersman says

    John Morales said (#10.47):

    1. Youthinks wrong; categorical thinking is an ontological discipline and helps one avoid category errors.

    Sorry, don’t think so. While I’ll readily agree that using categories is an important part of thinking, my impression is that I’m not the only person to be using “categorical thinking” in a pejorative sense. For example (1):

    I think we can say with sad confidence that categorical thinking has poisoned therapy and the understanding of the patient in pain in such a profound way that we in the professions treating pain are not in any way near a unifying rationale for understanding pain or the person experiencing pain.

    “Inability to appreciate a phenomenon as a spectrum is a hallmark of irrationality.”
    - Richard Dawkins.

    And, in the same vein (2):

    Categorical logic or thinking means thinking that tends to categorized people or objects or case. For example, people are seen as either male or female, not more complex than that. …. Minow objects to such thinking, for it omits the context, the narrative.

    So. Categorical thinking would then appear to be a type that unreasonably or irrationally discounts or deprecates differences, frequently for self-serving reasons. And a paradigmatic example would appear to be Orwell’s “Four legs good; two legs bad”.

    2. Saying “may well be” is an insinuation phrased as an assertion.

    I think your “radar” needs a re-tune as that looks like a false-positive to characterize my statement as an “insinuation”. Particularly in light of Sally Strange’s “the few isolated good points that MRAs have are indeed good points”.

    3. …. (That was a particularly pointless rhetorical question)

    Yours? Or mine?

    You don’t see the agency in that instance was the Catholic hospital?

    (Categorical thinking: a Catholic hospital is not a dogma)

    Did I say that it was? As should have been obvious from my statement, I was suggesting that dogma has some causal influence, specifically that it was the ultimate – or more ultimate – cause to the proximate causes of the hospital and those other terrorists doing what they did. How that chain might be connected and where it came from is probably moot, but it seems likely that dogma consists, at least, of various biochemical structures in our brains that, for want of a better analogy, constitutes various models we have of different aspects of “reality” and on which we base various actions. Apropos of which, Michael Shermer discusses the “model-dependent realism” (3) of Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow in his The Believing Brain – highly recommended.

    But the problem with such models, particularly dogmata of various stripes, is when they don’t have much if any correspondence to reality and when they’re placed outside of normal, rational avenues of discussion, dispute, and correction – as with Papal Encyclicals, “Holy” Books, and some “glossaries”.

    As for who might be “ultimately” responsible for those models, those dogmata, and their continued residence in our brains, that is also likely to be moot. But, offhand, one might reasonably lay at least some of the blame for that at the doorsteps of various, priests, imams, and “professors of feminism” (4) for their indoctrination and inculcation of various “virulent anti-science, [and] anti-intellectual sentiments” ….

    Since you hold that it’s a dogmatum of the dogmata of feminism, it follows that the ones to whom that characterisation doesn’t apply aren’t feminists; this entails that you still claim all feminists do in fact hold that dogmatum.

    Again, somewhat analogous to the “no true Scotsman” fallacy (5). Are you going to argue that, for example and as mentioned by Oolon in the other thread (6), “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists” qualify as feminsts? Or as “feminists”?

    —–
    1) “_http://www.somasimple.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-14905.html”;
    2) “_http://www.csudh.edu/dearhabermas/lawans2.htm”;
    3) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_dependent_realism”;
    4) “_http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2009/07/27/professing-feminism-noh”;
    5) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman”;
    6) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2013/05/09/empathy-and-the-new-gender-wars/#comment-483”;

  172. John Morales says

    Steersman:

    Sorry, don’t think so. While I’ll readily agree that using categories is an important part of thinking, my impression is that I’m not the only person to be using “categorical thinking” in a pejorative sense.

    Since you agree that using categories is an important part of thinking, why do you seek to use it in a pejorative sense? :)

    So. Categorical thinking would then appear to be a type that unreasonably or irrationally discounts or deprecates differences, frequently for self-serving reasons.

    Does it so appear, or would it so appear? :)

    (I note that it is not I who attempts to conflate glossaries and catechisms or groups and their constituents)

    [1] I think your “radar” needs a re-tune as that looks like a false-positive to characterize my statement as an “insinuation”. [2] Particularly in light of Sally Strange’s “the few isolated good points that MRAs have are indeed good points”.

    1. I’m not saying that this claim is complete and utter bullshit, only that it might well be.

    2. That’s an assertion couched as an assertion.

    Yours? Or mine?

    Yes.

    Did I say that it was?

    Indirectly so, yes. You responded to my claim that dogma is a belief and not an agency by adducing an example where a Catholic hospital was the agent.

    As should have been obvious from my statement, I was suggesting that dogma has some causal influence, specifically that it was the ultimate – or more ultimate – cause to the proximate causes of the hospital and those other terrorists doing what they did.

    You just wrote “cause to the proximate causes of the hospital and those other terrorists doing what they did”!

    How that chain might be connected and where it came from is probably moot, but it seems likely that dogma consists, at least, of various biochemical structures in our brains that, for want of a better analogy, constitutes various models we have of different aspects of “reality” and on which we base various actions.

    It’s worse than moot (it’s irrelevant) because it was not the dogma doing stuff, it was the actors, such as hospitals and terrorists.

    As for who might be “ultimately” responsible for those models, those dogmata, and their continued residence in our brains, that is also likely to be moot. But, offhand, one might reasonably lay at least some of the blame for that at the doorsteps of various, priests, imams, and “professors of feminism” (4) for their indoctrination and inculcation of various “virulent anti-science, [and] anti-intellectual sentiments”

    Your continued insinuation that feminism is a religion and its professors are a priestly caste is noted, but avails you little.

    Again, somewhat analogous to the “no true Scotsman” fallacy (5). Are you going to argue that, for example and as mentioned by Oolon in the other thread (6), “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists” qualify as feminsts? Or as “feminists”?

    Your attempted evasiveness is futile; you’d do better to admit it when an unassailable claim is put before you.

  173. Steersman says

    John Morales said (#10.49):

    Since you agree that using categories is an important part of thinking, why do you seek to use it in a pejorative sense?

    When in Rome, do as the Romans do. That does appear to be the typical and quite common use and understanding of that particular phrase, i.e., “categorical thinking”.

    (I note that it is not I who attempts to conflate glossaries and catechisms or groups and their constituents)

    Been meaning to ask you about that, at least the last part, as you seem to be guilty, as are many social science “true believers”, of the logical fallacy of reification, of “treating an abstraction as if it were a concrete physical entity” (1). And since that comment seems to be predicated on our previous discussions of that Atheism+ “glossary” howler – “marginalized groups cannot be guilty of -isms” – I would say that both are tantamount to or encompass someone saying, “Yea, I know that we just finished lynching some poor black man, but it was really the group itself that is guilty of that so we are indivdiually off the hook for that crime”. Rather similar to the “just following orders” defense that didn’t get much traction at Nuremberg, isn’t it? Similarly with trying to argue that the guilt or innocence of a group for crimes such as sexism or racism is somehow something apart from the guilt or innocence of the individuals who have comprised that group.

    While there may in fact be some justification for that perspective in the science of emergence (2), I expect that, in comparison to individual culpability, there is a very limited degree of causal influence and liability, highly contingent on the nature of those groups, that can be laid at the doorsteps of the groups themselves.

    Did I say that [a Catholic hospital is a dogma]?

    Indirectly so, yes. You responded to my claim that dogma is a belief and not an agency by adducing an example where a Catholic hospital was the agent.

    You must have been “trained” by the Jesuits given that they “have been accused of using casuistry (“specious reasoning”) to obtain justifications for unjustifiable actions.” You said and I responded:

    You should be aware that dogma does nothing, since it’s not an agent but rather a belief ….

    You might want to try arguing that case with the relatives of those who died in the 9/11 towers collapse

    Your assertion was that “dogma does nothing” and that, apparently, only “agents” can have causal influence or efficacy and therefore only they can do anything. So – hurricanes and earthquakes do nothing because they don’t have (human) agency? An alarm clock wired to some explosives “does nothing” when it times out and fires the detonator to trigger the explosion? Looks to be a rather narrow if not self-serving definition and understanding of causation and of agency – not to mention the neurology of consciousness.

    Unless you’re trying to argue that “beliefs” exist on the same “ethereal plane” wherein resides the “soul”, the “ghost in the machine”, then I think that you’re pretty well obliged to concede that there are some biochemical and neurological structures that undergird and correlate with those beliefs. And that such structures can have some causal influence if not actually some degree of autonomy – the same way that cancer does.

    Your continued insinuation that feminism is a religion and its professors are a priestly caste is noted, but avails you little.

    Seems entirely applicable to at least some aspects and formulations of it, i.e., “feminism” – as discussed. As for availing me little, I rather doubt that as it seems that many are becoming aware that there are more than a few flies in that particular ointment – always happy to add my voice to that rising chorus, that “battle for the hearts and minds”.

    Your attempted evasiveness is futile; you’d do better to admit it when an unassailable claim is put before you.

    “To the airlocks with him!” But what “unassailable claim” is that again? That the “feminism” [scare quotes] of FTB and Atheism+ is – in theory and practice, and in its supposed “core claim” of equality – entirely free of internal contradiction and hypocrisy?

    —–
    1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reification_(fallacy)”;
    2) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence”;

  174. B-Lar says

    I dont see the problem here.

    Amateur Skeptic assume that they have a complete understand of the dynamics of an issue. “Look! I have a dictionary!”

    Amateur Skeptic goes to a site where specialists talk about said issue in greater depth. Complains that everyone is using words in a different way to them. Fails to appreciate Dunning Kruger.

    No one takes Amateur Skeptic seriously, evidence that Amatuer Skeptic is right about everything.

    Amatuer Skeptic wins, fatality!

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