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Comments

  1. Mattir says

    Radfem Groupthink and the Rape Monkeys often performs at the Pharyngula Saloon and Spanking Parlor. The band scatters a lot of glitter during performances, though, so you keep finding it in unlikely places for several days after attending one of the shows…

  2. Mattir says

    I haven’t made any ad comments since the move, but I was amused to note that I just saw one for a degree in Fire Science. Father Ogvorbis and the capsacin have entered the algorithm.

  3. Thomathy, now gayer and atheister says

    Well said, The Ys. Actually, Quebec, or at least the Montreal area, are as progressive as any place in Ontario I’ve been to …and that’s despite the Catholic Church’s presence in the province.

    That said, I would be hesitant to overstate the state of equality for gays and women, as I think you have. I have had people, even in Toronto (where I live), unfortunately, more than bat and eye at my holding my partner’s hand. Mind, I feel the most comfortable just being myself and loving whom I love in public here in Toronto than I do anywhere else in the world, but it’s still not 100%. We’re getting there, though, however slowly we Canadians march toward equality and the abolishing of bigotry, we’re making that march.

    And the same goes for the equality of women. It’s better than a lot of places. It’s getting better. It still isn’t the greatest. We have a long way to go.

    Oh, and OT, the comic is great. I’ll be reading that plot line in order to find out the intent of the creator. I still find it, despite whatever context it may be in within the plot and whatever the creator’s intent is, to be wonderfully illustrative of a concept that can be difficult to articulate concisely with words alone.

  4. Ing says

    P.S. These “mating harems” you speak of, erm, how likely am I to sneak one passed my wife? Purely for research purpose you understand. Yeah. Research. That’s it.

    I suggest waving something shiny in-front of her face. Biology and evolution shows us that women are materialistic and easily swayed with promises of support and wealth.

    I am right now trying to get a grant in the evo-psyche department to study the evolutionary function of the female human’s manic obsession with hording foot ware

  5. Dhorvath, OM says

    Men and women both have the right to a year’s leave to care for their newborn child

    This is not quite true. Women are granted a fifteen week maternity leave on giving birth, there is also a thirty five week parental leave that is available to both the mother and father, but they must divide it between them. So the mother could take all thirty five and end up with fifty weeks of leave while the father keeps working, right up to the father taking thirty five weeks and the mother only taking the fifteen maternity weeks. At best they can both have twenty five weeks of leave together with baby, which is quite a bit less than what your statement says.

  6. Mr. Fire says

    By the way, Audley, thanks and I heart you too. Oh and next time if you want to say it, say it with homemade chocolate cupcakes plz :-)

  7. The Ys says

    Thomathy – I’m sorry to hear that, and I’m sorry that I overstated things on the equality front. I’m a married, hetero woman and a US citizen, and my experience is that this region of Canada is MUCH less sexist than the US. Even my friends who belong to batshit insane religions (Lutherans, ugh) act normal and sane compared to my Catholic family, and they don’t expect the womenfolk to spend their lives picking up after the menfolk. (Unlike my moderately religious New England family.)

    I wonder if it’s something in the water?

  8. The Ys says

    This is not quite true. Women are granted a fifteen week maternity leave on giving birth, there is also a thirty five week parental leave that is available to both the mother and father, but they must divide it between them.

    This is incorrect. From Human Resources and Skills Development Canada:

    Parental leave: “In all Canadian jurisdictions, employees who meet eligibility requirements are entitled to unpaid parental leave ranging from 12 to 52 weeks.”

    “In ten jurisdictions, the full parental leave is available to both parents if they are eligible. However, in Alberta, New Brunswick, the Yukon and the federal jurisdiction, parental leave may be shared between both parents as long as the total period of leave does not exceed the legislated maximum.”

  9. Louis says

    Ing,

    I may have to reconsider. I telephoned my wife to check that I was allowed to sneak something passed her and she said I was, but not to do it in the house as lube is difficult to get out of the curtains. She also said that there were several other conditions, not least that she gets a chap harem of her own.

    I don’t object to that latter requirement, all’s fair in love and what not, but not having my harem in the house? Dear FSM! It would be inhumane to house them in the shed! I may be a pervert but I am a humane pervert. None of your slum harems here, oh no sirree.

    Louis

  10. Louis says

    Incidentally I should point out I am assuming that Ing is the real Ing and being satirical/sarcastic. Hence why I am playing along.

    If so…phew.

    If not…erm, Grrrrrr.

    Louis

  11. Ing says

    @Louis

    Be sure to buy only authentic Ing brand products. Look for the trademark Ing label in the top right corner of posts.

  12. The Ys says

    Oops. I meant to say:

    “This is incorrect, but I was not entirely correct in my statement.”

  13. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    Ing Brand: A division of SnarkCo

    Not Snark Industries?
    :)
    -

  14. Pteryxx says

    Wow, I had an evening class and missed the party. What an awesome thread.

    my two cents:

    Aetre:

    Step 1: Be aware of male privilege/sexism.
    Step 2: …
    Step 3: Greater equality.

    Where unconscious sexism is concerned, there is no step 2, because just being reminded of the problem can correct it. For instance, Bernice Sandler’s observations in a meeting:

    The results: women were interrupted (invariably by men) at least three times more often than the men. Sandler shared her results with her male colleagues, who were predictably defensive, claiming she must have miscounted or been biased in some way because of course they would never do such a thing. But the next day, when the meeting resumed, the men were far more careful not to interrupt when the women were speaking. Their awareness of the problem altered the way they treated the women in the meeting, even though they denied the problem existed. And Sandler realized, “Oh — this is changeable behavior.” She’s been working to change those behaviors ever since. (bolds mine)

    Source of quote: Is it cold in here

    @Just_A_Lurker:

    Broke my heart when the other kids told her she couldn’t do something b/c she’s a girl, the other girls agreed with it too. I stepped up then but of course the other parents don’t like my child and I much now. Especially not after I let one of the little boys play with girly things. I told him boys could do anything too but his dad got pissed when he came to pick up his son. So sad, my daughter felt horrible too.

    Gavin de Becker suggests that having just one person recognize a child’s worth can make all the difference in that child’s life. A 15-minute self-expression exercise can counter stereotype threat, even for months afterwards. And just one person dissenting in a group, even when they’re ignored, can cause the members of that group to consider a broader range of ideas than they would have if no one dissents.

    Maybe someday, it’ll be important that a child remembers one grown-up, one family, that didn’t condemn them for playing with the toys they wished to play with.

    GRRRR. Anyways, I just want to say thank you. and Fuck the trolls.

    ^This, and thank you.

  15. Louis says

    Ing,

    I am not stupid enough to try shiny objects or shoes, a) my wife is not open to bribes, and b) I like my remaining fingers.

    I have already erected a dingo proof ocean* around the UK to prevent dingos getting here from Australia. Therefore I am in Marital Credit. This is a Good Thing and should be maintained at all costs.

    Oh and I always search for the Ing Brand hologram on my snark. It’s a sign of quality.

    Louis

    *Actual credit for ocean may not be applicable in this case

  16. Mattir says

    Ing, I have to reveal here that I once had a vaguely naughty, but not remembered in any detail, dream about you, in which wondering about your gender was part of the fun. One of the benefits of having virtual friends who don’t reveal their gender.

    Of course, it also means that you may have difficulty attending Horde gatherings, which is too bad.

  17. Dhorvath, OM says

    The Y’s,
    We were talking about different things, I was referencing the paid leave, Maternity/Parental Benefits which are available, not the unpaid leave that you just referenced. I was not aware there was a difference so thanks for that information.

  18. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Mr Fire:
    I’m bringing cake on Friday, so I’ll say “I ♥ you” with coconut and chocolate. :)

  19. chigau () says

    The Ys

    …Dick might be talking about a few rednecks out in Saskatchewan or Alberta,…

    Speaking as someone from Alberta, I would like to state that the most provincial, narrow-minded Canadians I have ever met were from Ontario.

  20. illuminata says

    Funny how all these whiny, flaccid misogynistic douchebombs define “skeptic” as “someone who absolutely never questions the things that I hold to be true”.

    Funny how it’s being skeptic to just agree with them, but if more than one person doesn’t agree with them, those other people are an “echo chamber”. Because everyone knows, theyr’re always right. Because penises.

    I would have thought Indeterminate Me, MM, Misogynist etc ad pukem were all the same dude – since all of them post identical things – but I presume PZ would have banned them if that were true. So, I guess they must all hang out together on some bitter, miserable, bored MRA forum, just waiting for a blog to post about sexism, so they can launch themselves into another embarrassing, ignorant, childish rant about how anyone who disagrees with them = echo chamber.

    I do get a kick out of how more and more of these threads have people stating how the comments here have helped them to expand their knowledge, opened their eyes, etc. and all the worthless, tone-trolling bigot brigade can say is “you’re hurting your cause!”.

    LOL vFunny how all these whiny, flaccid misogynistic douchebombs define “skeptic” as “someone who absolutely never questions the things that I hold to be true”.

    Funny how it’s being skeptic to just agree with them, but if more than one person doesn’t agree with them, those other people are an “echo chamber”. Because everyone knows, theyr’re always right. Because penises.

    I would have thought Indeterminate Me, MM, Misogynist etc ad pukem were all the same dude – since all of them post identical things – but I presume PZ would have banned them if that were true. So, I guess they must all hang out together on some bitter, miserable, bored MRA forum, just waiting for a blog to post about sexism, so they can launch themselves into another embarrassing, ignorant, childish rant about how anyone who disagrees with them = echo chamber.

    I do get a kick out of how more and more of these threads have people stating how the comments here have helped them to expand their knowledge, opened their eyes, etc. and all the worthless, tone-trolling bigot brigade can say is “you’re hurting your cause!”.

    LOL

  21. Indeterminate Me says

    The defensiveness is remarkably telling. As is the haste to place newcomers in a binary box. Nonetheless, until and unless PZ states that the “commentariat” controls this place, and bans me, I will continue to oppose mindless bullies and support those who wish to have the right to comment on , and discuss PZ’s blog posts without having to play by the ugly minority tyranny rule imposed by a self-appointed thugocracy.

    BTW, the libertarian reference clearly whooshed over the heads of the “commentariat”, so self-satisfied and un-self-reflective has it become.

    As I noted in the recent thread *about* libertarianism, the irony is that the “commentariat” here attempts to run this place exactly as libertarian group-thinkers would: intolerant of dissent to dogma, enforcing uniformity of ideology and desperately rejecting the Other – whilst simultaneously giving lip service to progressive ideals of tolerating dissenting ideas, promoting diversity and giving everyone a chance to speak.

    If there were, in fact, room for non-”communitariat” folks to engage in discussions about PZ’s posts on PZ’s blog, there would not, in fact, be so many complaints about the inhibitory tone here. And, the reason you don’t hear more people talking with one another without playing your hostile ugly games is because you aggressively combat them.

    How ironic that there is such an effort to prevent people who won’t comply with your silly invented rules to have a conversation here. I don’t mean a conversation with the “commentariat” – I could give a rats ass if none of you ever responded to anything I post, or that anyone else de-lurking here posts. We can carry on our own conversations, if you would just get over yourselves and leave us the fuck alone. You don’t bring anything new to the conversation, anyway – it’s clearly been many years since any of you had an original thought, or changed your rigid views.

    PZ Myers is an interesting and thoughtful writer and twitterer. I intend to engage in conversation here in keeping with the tone of PZ’s posts, not the hatefest of the “communitariat”, so fearful of considering nuance, so desperate to maintain their simplistic, binary, “either-or”, “Us vs Them” universe.

    Preach all your virtues all you want, it is your practice that so many of PZ’s readers/would-be commenters have an issue with. Many of us outgrew, decades ago, anal insertion obsessions and the delusion that slapping a messenger has any bearing on the validity of their message.

    You’ve had your smug, privileged little club here for far too long. Your tone-deafness to the fact that you intimidate and inhibit decent people who happen not to favor your flavor of childish abuse is only exceeded by your inability to admit imperfection.

    Well, fuck you, too. I didn’t come here to “tone-troll” – but, I also didn’t come here to trade kindergarten insults. I came here to have intelligent discussion about skeptical posts by a leading scientist/skeptic (and, to call him to task, in a friendly fashion, when, on occasion, he falls into the trap of his own lingering dogmas).

    Peer review is supposed to focus on the validity of content. the modus operandi here is akin to what one finds in online multiplayer games: crush the newbie, mock the mild, never admit error, boast rap-style about one’s prowess, and kill-kill-kill — all while hiding under comfortable pseudonymity and forgetting there are real human beings behind the other pseudonyms.

    I thank Loki for standing up to your bullshit, and I hope others will de-lurk and engage in substantive discussions that are more about questioning our own convictions than attacking those of others, particularly the easy straw men so favored by the “commentariat”.

  22. says

    @chigau, way up thread:

    Where does this femme-hate leave non-cis females in their quest for a comfortable “presentation”?

    See, it’s hard for me, seeing all the “makeup is a tool of the patriarchy” type posts and then looking at myself. I’m not the most feminine of trans-women, but at the same time I’m not hyper-masculine (I’m sure those who met me would attest to this assesesment.) It takes a tiny bit of makeup to bring out the more femme aspects of my facial features – I already have pretty lashes so a bit of mascara to draw them out, nice lips so a bit of gloss to do the same, concealer for the more egregious of blemishes. Without it I don’t necessarily fear being declared “unpassable,” but at the same time I don’t feel like I can do without.

    This Saturday is going to be terrifying for me and I’m already worried about it, but I think an important part of being who I am will be related by also being able to step outside my comfort zone and show myself to the Pharyngulites as what Katherine could look like. Skirt, nice top, heels, makeup, breastforms. Not necessary to be me or feel like who I am, but outwardly a sign to the world that I am who I am.

    I dunno how those who’d feel I’m merely fueling patriarchy would deal with a trans-femme like me. But frankly I don’t care – I like looking femme, but for myself, not others.

  23. The Ys says

    We were talking about different things, I was referencing the paid leave, Maternity/Parental Benefits which are available, not the unpaid leave that you just referenced. I was not aware there was a difference so thanks for that information.

    It really depends. There’s paid leave and unpaid leave, and then there’s also a monthly child bonus/benefit payment (I think that lasts for each child’s first year) from the government – I don’t think everyone qualifies for that last one, but I don’t know what it’s based on. It’s a confusing mess of bennies, and I should have been more clear on my point. I apologize for that.

    I think Scandinavian countries have the absolute best leave policies, but I could be wrong on that. Finland, anyone?

  24. The Ys says

    Chigau:

    Speaking as someone from Alberta, I would like to state that the most provincial, narrow-minded Canadians I have ever met were from Ontario.

    There are some truly spectacular people up around the Halliburton area, I’ll grant you that…

    My opinion was based on several news articles from Alberta/Sask wherein a small group of people ranted on about banning abortion and how gay marriage is revolting and toxic. I haven’t seen that yet here in Ontario, but I’ve only been here for three years. I may just have missed it.

  25. The Ys says

    Katherine,

    This Saturday is going to be terrifying for me and I’m already worried about it, but I think an important part of being who I am will be related by also being able to step outside my comfort zone and show myself to the Pharyngulites as what Katherine could look like. Skirt, nice top, heels, makeup, breastforms. Not necessary to be me or feel like who I am, but outwardly a sign to the world that I am who I am.

    Brava for you for stepping out and facing the world, but be who *you* want to be and don’t worry about who the world expects you to be. That may not be the best way to tell the kyriarchy to fuck off, but we should all be able to live with ourselves and enjoy our lives. Do what makes you happy and what makes you feel comfortable. If you think people won’t be able to handle it, carry around a bag full of little plastic porcupines and hand them out to any idiots you stumble across. :)

  26. chigau () says

    Katherine Lorraine
    Don’t worry too much, I’m sure you will be lucky to escape death-by-hugging this weekend :)
    I think the patriarchy is fueled by make-up wearing only if there are rigid rules about who can wear make-up.

  27. jamesemery says

    @Katherine:

    Kudos. Who cares what other people think of you, dammit! Be who YOU want to be, and the rest can take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut :D

    @Indeterminate:

    Sir, don’t even bother. Whether you agree with the band of OMs or not, they are in place because PZ wants them here, and for various reasons, certain topics cannot be safely discussed here. If you wish to post here, try not to go into those topics. PZ might not ban you immediately, but there aren’t really any second chances with the (sort of) mods, or a lot of the ‘commentariat’ as you call them. I’m neither endorsing nor opposing what you’ve said here, but it’s a battle you WILL lose. You WILL get shouted down if you go outside what’s basically approved of. Hence, unless you have something nice to say about the particular brand of feminism espoused here (and the good points DO far outweigh the bad, as in any brand of feminism not specifically glorifying Valerie Solanas), or saying something not-so-nice about MRA types (which, I believe, are given that label far too liberally), it isn’t worth touching those topics.

    Remember, it’s only words, and they’re coming from people miles away, safely behind computer screens. So are YOU, for that matter. No one here will physically hurt you, and they can only emotionally hurt you if you allow them. This place can be far more vehemently aggressive than even 4chan. Try to look at it the same way.

  28. Indeterminate Me says

    “commentariat” member “illuminata” hurls:

    Funny how all these whiny, flaccid misogynistic douchebombs define “skeptic” as “someone who absolutely never questions the things that I hold to be true”.

    Funny how it’s being skeptic to just agree with them, but if more than one person doesn’t agree with them, those other people are an “echo chamber”. Because everyone knows, theyr’re always right. Because penises.

    I would have thought Indeterminate Me, MM, Misogynist etc ad pukem were all the same dude – since all of them post identical things – but I presume PZ would have banned them if that were true. So, I guess they must all hang out together on some bitter, miserable, bored MRA forum, just waiting for a blog to post about sexism, so they can launch themselves into another embarrassing, ignorant, childish rant about how anyone who disagrees with them = echo chamber.

    Funny how your comment illustrates exactly the problems I pointed out:

    1) the straw men

    2) the attacks on the messenger

    3)the binary thinking: the inability to distinguish between genuine trolls, and people who just don’t want to play your childish games and aren’t afraid to employ critical thinking to mindlessly parroted tropes here.

    4) the self-congratulatory tone and pats on each other’s backs

    4) the irony of your “bingo card”, given how predictable and small the tired set of “smackdowns” the “commentariat” engages in.

    Most predictable of all of the “commentariat” bingo card checkoffs – “poor us, we’ve just survived the NIght of the Living MRAs”, so, rather than apologize for jumping to the xenophobic conclusion that every newcomer here who doesn’t immediately pay tribute and lick our boots on every issue is an MRA clone, instead you expect us to understand your poor, set-upon selves.

    Frankly, you LOVE the MRAs – they are the perfect bogeyman with which to scare people and shut down all conversation. What would you do if they weren’t here?

    You might actually give some space for people who might reveal that, in point of fact, your group-think is not the only way feminists – or civil libertarians in general – think, and that there is quite a bit of debate about what are the most effective ways to achieve a goal that is shared by a lot more people here than you give credit to.

    In fact, you (and PZ) might have to give some room for the hard science/rationalist critique of some of the pseudo-scientific, PoMo-derived BS that passes for “Sociology 101″ these days, BS that caused Salman Rushdie to comment that “postmodernism has lost it’s mind”.

    Hell, for the first time in probably decades, you might be challenged by someone more subtle than an MRA, and be forced to think for yourself.

    Rather than treat them as the rest of the rational world does – as a tiny, fringe group of entitled conspiracy-nut idiots who barely register on the radar, let alone actually have an impact on anyone but their own minds – you elevate them to a sort of war of civilizations Big Terror, against which you must wage your holy war, and fuck-all anyone who happens to be crossing the road when you launch your armored assault.

    You even emulate the “War on Terror” tactics by preemptively inhibiting discussion here, creating such a chilling environment that all that is left are your little gang, your MRA frenemies, and the occasional LOLZ troll. And you like it that way. Because it makes you feel important in your little circle-jerk bubble.

    What supercilious bullshit.

  29. Muse says

    @katherine

    I’m tired so not gonna say this as eloquently as I might have hoped – but the concept of having to pass well is itself tied into the whole game. IE you have to look like a particularly stereotypical femme woman in order to be taken seriously as a woman. That shouldn’t have to be the case.

  30. Gen says

    @Katherine Lorraine:

    Like many said up-thread, the wearing or not of make up or other forms of bodily decorations and alterations should ideally be a personal choice and slash or expression of yourself without having to comply with any kind of societal expectations and I, too, long for the day when that is the case. In the meantime – if you enjoy it (for whatever reason), enjoy it!

    I completely agree with what Alethea H. Claw said in 266 and Sally Strange in 253, and various other posts to the effect that it’s more about the impact of rebelling against the accepted norms than about the person actually wearing the make up or shaving their legs, although it’s sadly true that in specific situations that woman often (wrongly) becomes the target of the frustration/rage/rebellion etc.

    Which is, while understandable of course still ridiculous – people do what they have to in order to survive and try to get a spot in the sun while living in the Patriarchy, and slamming on women for trying to make their lives, burdens and oppression easier, even if it is through conforming to some patriarchal expectations (I mean good Maude, who the hell can fight ALL OUT ALL THE TIME, which *never* conforming to anything Patriachy-related, if such a thing was even possible in the first place, would demand) is ridiculous to me, and absolutely anathema to feminism.

    Or at least it will be, once I take control of the feminazi hive mind and control the GYNOCRACY MWHAHAHA…

    …uhm. What?

    That said, since you mentioned being a trans woman (and feel free to jump down my throat if you feel I’m appropriating your experiences or showing my cis privilege in any way), I’ve noticed that there certainly is a troublesome contingent / stream of thought in some radical feminists (of which I count myself one – a radfem, not bigot ;p) who are absolutely bigoted against trans people (trans women, in particular from what I’ve seen), which is highly problematic and in need of call out, confusing the whole are-you-is-or-are-you-ain’t “femme slash butch slash buff slash dyke” (Seriously? Why the irrational and incessant need for the goddamn constant classification and labeling???) enuff? even further.

    Good luck with Saturday.

  31. chigau () says

    … carry around a bag full of little plastic porcupines and hand them out to any idiots …

    That’s it!
    The secret Pharyngula identifier.
    But more like a small lapel pin in the shape of a dead porcupine.
    Jewelery makers?

  32. Tethys says

    Indeterminate Me

    How ironic that there is such an effort to prevent people who won’t comply with your silly invented rules to have a conversation here. I don’t mean a conversation with the “commentariat” – I could give a rats ass if none of you ever responded to anything I post, or that anyone else de-lurking here posts. We can carry on our own conversations

    No, the horde ridicules you for posting incoherent nonsense like the above comment.

  33. Mattir says

    Katherine, it’s okay, there are a bunch of cis-female gendered people who will be dressing in femme clothing that is outside the zone of comfort to support you. While I don’t know how it feels to be trans, it sure feels pretty much like I’ll be pretending to be a traditional female type human.

    ONLY 3 DAYS UNTIL RHINEBECK (and only 2 days before some Pharynguloids descend upon my house).

  34. says

    @Muse:

    Oh I’m not saying I have to look like a femme to pass. I fully understand that. I’d say most of the time I feel the most femme is when I’m merely wearing a t-shirt and jeans (breastforms optional.) Heck, right now I’m wearing a suit and long socks and I feel incredibly femme – I’m also unshaven and my hair is a complete wreck. The socks alone do it – and no one can see them.

    If someone doesn’t accept me as who I am because I don’t look femmy enough then I don’t really care about their opinion. I feel feminine enough right now in the trappings of a man.

    (And also – I once put on a suit with my breastforms just to see how I looked – mission successful.)

  35. Father Ogvorbis: It's Good for You. It Builds Character says

    You WILL get shouted down if you go outside what’s basically approved of.

    Not quite correct. If you show up and repeat, almost verbatim, the same assertions, sans evidence, you will get ‘yelled’ at. Mansplaining only increases the reaction. There is no echo chamber, there is no groupthink here. Unless you consider the radical idea that women are humans to be such a heretical notion that no group of people might agree on that. Women are humans is not groupthink.

  36. Mattir says

    I’m going to contact Surly-Ramics to suggest that a porcupine and the word “INSERT” (like the brain image and “USE”) would make a great pendant.

  37. chigau () says

    Indeterminate Me

    What supercilious bullshit.

    The alleviation for your discomfort is a mouse-click away.

  38. Tethys says

    Why is my comment included in the blockquote?

    shorter Indeterminate Me. Wah!! I’m an asshole and you don’t respect my assholeness cuz you’re an echo-chamber. Wah!!

    Katherine,

    You are very brave. You go girl!!!

  39. Dhorvath, OM says

    Katherine,
    You will wow people as you. Be brave, you have done so much, you can do this too.

  40. Sally Strange, OM says

    Indeterminate Me,

    Can you list the premises, specifically related to feminism since that’s the topic here, that we fail to be skeptical of/open-minded about?

    If not then fuck right off, because you are talking out of your ass.

  41. Sally Strange, OM says

    Katherine,

    I’m sad I don’t get to meet you. I’ll try to glam it up in VT in your honor. :)

  42. Tethys says

    Hey…I could do a porcupine pin! Or pendant, or key-chain or whatever. Hmmm….sketching.

  43. Gen says

    Yes, I noticed that IndeterminateMe is wah wah-ing a lot, without actually *saying* anything other than YOU’RE BIG MEAN MEANIES WITH A CLUBHOUSE I HAET YOU.

    What exactly is your issue, IM? Do you not agree with some opinions expressed in this thread? If so, which ones and why?

    Good grief, if you wanna argue, ARGUE, don’t whine about how no one will “let” you argue or be MEEN to you.

  44. Mattir says

    Just sent the suggestion to Surly-Ramics and will let folks know when she gets back to me.

  45. Ichthyic says

    Frankly, you LOVE the MRAs – they are the perfect bogeyman with which to scare people and shut down all conversation. What would you do if they weren’t here?

    stomp on narcissistic asswipes like… you?

    you know, people who spend more time talking about how others talk about things, and how they don’t like how others talk about things, rather than actually talking about things themselves.

    kind of like this post, come to think of it.

    if you had something worth listening to on topic, it would have been addressed likely hundreds of posts back.

    I loves me some meta-commentary.

    mmmmm.

  46. The Ys says

    The porcupine pin would be fantastic, but I still think it’d be all kinds of awesome for people to hand out small plastic porcupines to idiots. *evil giggle*

  47. Godless Heathen says

    I don’t like people seeing me cry, but it’s more a matter of just not letting people catch me in a ‘weak’ moment, period, than any conscious attempt at being ‘manly’.

    I’m a woman and I feel the same way. However, I think that my opinion on this is a result of being raised in a patriarchy which praises being stoic, strong, rational, whatever (all of which are considered manly) and insults being emotional (which is considered weak and womanly).

    But still…

  48. Mattir says

    Katherine, I’m completely serious about this: you and Cerberus, along with Spokesgay’s acerbic treatment of gender, have had a huge impact on how I and the Spawn view gender and clothing in particular. DaughterSpawn would not have dared wear a pink sportsbra at Boy Scout camp were it not for her exposure to gender as something that can be playful and fun and which does not affect one’s worth or seriousness or whatever. Nor would I be playing with (gasp) makeup and heeled shoes on occasion.

  49. Ichthyic says

    Libertarian group-thinkers

    LOL

    if anything, what the “libertarians” showed us in the last thread on that topic, was that they were anything but of “one mind” on even what the fucking WORD means.

    groupthink: I don’t think that means what you think it means

  50. jamesemery says

    @Father:

    I’ll bite here, because your comment illustrated the ‘hivemind’ concept to a T.

    Which particular assertions do you mean? You got a list? Perhaps it should be sticky’d to the front page of Pharyngula. Leaving that aside, it doesn’t MATTER whether an assertion is sans evidence here. He’s right. If it’s not liked by the so-called commentariat, it will be shouted down. This happens a LOT here. I don’t even know why I’m bothing talking to you about it.

    This is a completely useless bit of rhetorical flappery. It’s ‘mansplaining’ if someone doesn’t want to hear it. Generally, there is no evidence presented to support slapping on that label. In the cases when there is, great, but what the hell ever happened to “your argument is invalid BECAUSE…”.

    No, the exact same phrases and concepts just get thrown out by different people every 3-4 posts every time there’s a thread ‘discussing’ feminism or related topics. Anyone who claims there ISN’T groupthink here hasn’t the slightest claim to objectivity in the matter. That’s fine, though, because those more militant MRAs are exactly the same. So are white nationalists, and so are the Japanese. It’s a problem, but on this scale, not a major one.

    Nope. The concept of women being humans is ironclad and not one person can attack that with a meaningful argument, because there ISN’T such a thing, unless they somehow redefine human. However, this is one of the most cliche’d arguments I see in the comments on Pharyngula, and it’s not even an argument, unless the person making the opposing point has claimed that women AREN’T human or that women should be denied any particular rights or responsibilities. Unless I missed something, Indeterminate has not yet, in this thread, attacked one of those concepts. He has, however sloppily, attacked a group that DOES frequently engage in many of the behaviors he has cited, and frankly, no amount of evidence he or I or anyone else puts forward on that matter will change it. I’ll comment at Jen’s blog, or on ERV’s, or even, VERY OCCASIONALLY on Rebecca Watson’s, but NOWHERE have I seen the sort of unthinking, vitriolic regurgitation of talking points and insults I’ve seen here. Even /b/ is more imaginative, and frankly, more open to discussions that foster understanding. That last bit is my own opinion, of course, but it’s an opinion that genuinely FRIGHTENS me.

    That’s all I have to say about the matter, so please correct me if I’m patently wrong on something, but I’m not posting on this topic anymore today.

  51. The Ys says

    I don’t like people seeing me cry, but it’s more a matter of just not letting people catch me in a ‘weak’ moment, period, than any conscious attempt at being ‘manly’.

    I’m a woman and I feel the same way. However, I think that my opinion on this is a result of being raised in a patriarchy which praises being stoic, strong, rational, whatever (all of which are considered manly) and insults being emotional (which is considered weak and womanly).

    Same here, but I don’t chalk it up to trying to be ‘manly’. I chalk it up to the fact that many people are extremely uncomfortable around strong emotions and can make tough situations worse, plus the fact that there are people who will take advantage of others who show vulnerability. I try to protect myself from both as much as possible. I consider that more of a common sense thing than anything else.

  52. jamesemery says

    Scrap my last. Apologies for the crappy fail-use of blockquote on my part. I REALLY don’t jump in much.

  53. jamesemery says

    Also, my post was surely gibberish to start with, because most of what I was attempting to quote ended up getting left completely out. Dammit.

  54. Tethys says

    jamesemery

    On the contrary. If you have evidence to support your assertions, you will find the horde more than willing to engage.

    Whining that the horde smacks down idiots who post the same drivel over and over as if it is evidence will win you insults and porcupines.

    Tone and precious hurt fee-fees really don’t much matter in this equation.

  55. chigau () says

    So do We™ begin to comment here because we are already of the Hivemind™ or do We™ become warped to the Hivemind™ after We™ begin to comment?
    or since We™ are all actually PZ sockpuppets, does it even matter?

  56. Sally Strange, OM says

    Jamesmery

    I’ll ask you the same question I asked Indeterminate Me, and Mercurial Muse, and all the other misogynists who come in whining about groupthink.

    What specific premises are we insufficiently skeptical about, relating to feminism?

    What specific premises should we be more open-minded to, relating to feminism?

    Since you’re attempting to defend Indeterminate Me, I presume you have an idea of what premises it is he’s complaining about our un-skeptical approach to.

    If you can’t list even one or two of these premises, then you, like Indeterminate Me, are welcome to collect a decaying porcupine on your way out for future insertion into an orifice of your choosing.

  57. Indeterminate Me says

    Can you list the premises, specifically related to feminism since that’s the topic here, that we fail to be skeptical of/open-minded about?

    I can do one better: One of the most commonly linked to essays explaining the pomo soc101 concept of “privilege” is the famous dog & gecko fable, titled On the difference between Good Dogs and Dogs That Need a Newspaper Smack. at:

    https://sindeloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/37/

    What I find most ironic is how few of those who send folks there have actually read the responses in the comments, and the ensuing discussions thereof.

    Comments questioning the utility of the privilege meme, for example;
    comments questioning the actual scientific validity of viewing society primarily (if not exclusively) through a privilege lens;
    comments noting how often the “privilege” phrase is used as a weapon to discredit messengers and avoid dealing with the contents of their message, and how this encourages group-think and discourages constructive, critical thinking and self-reflexion and peer review, which can lead to honed arguments, refined understanding and real progress;
    comments noting how difficult it has become for some committed activists, even some veterans of civil rights struggles, to engage in *any* productive discussions on the Internet on issues of social justice, because of this strain of intolerant smugness and superficial binary thinking so common here.

    I *have* lurked here, for years! More and more, I see folks not given any chances, let alone three, before they are assaulted with personal insults irrelevant to their points and immediately assumed to be “MRAs” if they even ask a question that the “commentariat” here deems “beneath” them (or, frankly, threatens their smug certainty).

    You and others here go out of your way to prep a hostile ground, to ensure that the only people who will dare to open their mouths here are either lock-step followers of the group-think, or your frenemy trolls, each of you getting off scoring rhetorical points utterly irrelevant to actual progress on justice, and often irrelevant to the topic of PZ’s post.

    You all act like this is American Idol, and you are the self-appointed judges of who can utter a thought here, and who must be crushed mercilessly before they even have a chance to clear their throat.

    You speak a good game, but, in practice, you don’t even listen to the lyrics before you start screaming at the “contestants”.

    I would love to have as vigorous as debate about the substance of my arguments as you’d care to have. But, in fact, the “commentariat” is not interested in the substance of my arguments, or in even letting me make any; I am a priori dismissed because I dare to question your self-appointed authority, and the only debate you are interested in having is over which one of you presents the cleverer “insert porcupine in anus” iteration.

    I’m not interested in trading puerile schoolyard insults or passing through your self-appointed gauntlet of filth. PZ doesn’t put that kind of crap in his posts, or (most of the time) in his tweets; that doesn’t prevent him from being a vigorous, uncompromising debater, and for being intolerant of woowoo and fallacious rhetoric. I don’t see why someone who wishes to engage in discussion in the same tone and substance as his posts – ABOUT his posts – isn’t allowed to do that here.

    And for those who say, “find another blog”, I’m interested in discussing PZ’s posts on his blog, thank you very much, and who the fuck appointed you the obsessive (unconsciously ironic) tone police? Have you noticed how many of the “communitariat” comments, including your own, are about the tone of other, mostly new commenters? Why not practice what you preach, and let others here engage freely without the patriarchal locker-room potty mouthiness that so thrills the juvenile mind?

  58. Sally Strange, OM says

    Jamesmery reveals that he comments at ERV.

    Are you down with “Twatson,” jamesmery? Do you think that using such slurs is indicative of a mindset that regards the premise that women are human beings and persons with all the rights and responsibilities attendant thereto as “ironclad,” as you put it?

    If a person says, “I believe that women are people,” but then proceeds to act in ways that indicates that s/he regards at least some women as inferior/other to “people,” how do you evaluate their beliefs?

  59. Sally Strange, OM says

    So, Indeterminate Me, you say that you don’t like the concept of privilege. But then, rather than explain WHY you don’t like it, and what its specific flaws are, you go on for several paragraphs about what horrible people we all are.

    Boring. And not conducive to skeptical inquiry.

    Can’t you do better? Please. Explain to us exactly what flaws there are in the theory of social privilege. I for one have found it wonderfully predictive, even across cultures. So. You have my ear now. I’m going out for a bit. When I come back I hope to see a cogent argument for why the concept of privilege doesn’t work, supported of course with evidence, hopefully some peer-reviewed articles.

  60. illuminata says

    IM is just really REALLY upset that he can’t get the uppity bitches to do things the way he commands – because his way is totally better! Fuck the comments coming from people stating the exact opposite is what helped them. They’re obviously lying, as IM’s way is is clearly the right one. Because he says so.

    Cuz everyone who’s ever been the target of bigotry knows, just being nice TOTALLY fixes everything.

    The concept of women being humans is ironclad and not one person can attack that with a meaningful argument, because there ISN’T such a thing, unless they somehow redefine human. However, this is one of the most cliche’d arguments I see in the comments on Pharyngula, and it’s not even an argument, unless the person making the opposing point has claimed that women AREN’T human or that women should be denied any particular rights or responsibilities. Unless I missed something, Indeterminate has not yet, in this thread, attacked one of those concepts. He has, however sloppily, attacked a group that DOES frequently engage in many of the behaviors he has cited, and frankly, no amount of evidence he or I or anyone else puts forward on that matter will change it.

    So, unless someone states “women are not people”, then nothing they do post can be interpreted as saying that? They can’t possibly be implying that while lacking the spine to come out and say it?

    Are you even vaguely aware of how bigotry works, or are you just joining the “bitches better be nice” derail?

    Horders:
    They have “evidence” that we’re just a hive-mind. And their “evidence” is that a lot of people agree on some stuff and actually argue with THEM! I mean, what further proof do you need, Father? We don’t agree with them (apparently, as neither of them has had the spine to state what they do think, or what, specifically, they disagree with – other than tone)! That automatically means we’re wrong. Why won’t we just shut up and agree with them!!!

    LOL testerical trolls are funny.

  61. The Ys says

    I don’t see why someone who wishes to engage in discussion in the same tone and substance as his posts – ABOUT his posts – isn’t allowed to do that here.

    Are you seriously comparing the ‘substance’ of your posts to that of PZ’s?

    *dies laughing*

    *will return later in zombie form*

  62. Mattir says

    Um, we were having a lovely discussion about gendered grooming practices, clothing,and hobbies and how easy or difficult these are for individual people to reconcile these with their feminism. At least, that’s what we were doing BEFORE the current herd of whingers showed up to blather on about the HiveMind™.

    Seriously, do you have a fucking point, other than “you’re such meanies?” It’s astonishing to me that the same complaints come from both the vaguely MRA feminists-are-mean types AND the PZ-needs-to-implement-tone-moderation-to-make-Pharyngula-safe-for-women types. How weird is that?

  63. illuminata says

    Explain to us exactly what flaws there are in the theory of social privilege.

    $20 says, IF he answers, its some variant of “I’m a white dude, and I don’t feel privileged, therefore it’s all bullshit” couched in generalized language to try and maintain plausible deniability when he’s called out on it.

  64. jamesemery says

    Tethys:

    To your first point, claiming it doesn’t make it so, anymore than claiming a battered wife had it coming makes it true. I’ve not seen much evidence to support your point, and plenty against it, which brings me to your second point-

    There are plenty of idiots posting drivel. During the incident-which-shall-not-be-named, there was some jackhole, David something-or-other, who kept referring to the feminist contingent as ‘conservatives’. That man was a troll. You might know who I’m talking about, if you’ve been lurking awhile; I think he’s famous here and a few other places. In regard to posting the same drivel OVER AND OVER, I’ve got a fix. This isn’t some new blog that just started. It’s freakin’ Pharyngula. There are years and years, millions of visitors, and thousands upon thousands of comments. What’s drivel to a hardened veteran isn’t the same as what’s drivel to someone new who might honestly think they have a point to make. In the absence of a sticky at the start of each comment thread (as it would be hella long), an organized wiki, with the stipulation that it’s required reading before commenting here, listing off the bad arguments and WHY they’re bad, might be useful. A collaborative effort among the OMs could probably have this done in a short time. Plenty of places have these sorts of docs for new users; I don’t see why Pharyngula should have any objection to making it obvious what won’t fly.

    To your last point: I think the label tone-troll is absolutely meaningless. There ARE people that use that same technique, but the label is contingent on whether the poster really IS one of those; IE, is the poster INTENTIONALLY trying to derail? If not, they’re not a tone troll. Do you know, or are you just throwing the label to shut them up? Also, RHETORIC exists for a reason. Doling out verbal abuse to combat verbal and physical abuse is, as others have pointed out, like bombing for war or fucking for virginity. I know, it’s fun, and it’s probably the only release some of you hard-working folks get, but my point stands. It’s as nonsensical as a teleological argument. It’s also why this place gets labeled a circle-jerk.

  65. says

    jamesemery:

    I REALLY don’t jump in much.

    That’s obvious. Looks like you don’t read much either. If you’re going to attempt to uphold the assertions of a known Tone Troll™, I have just one bit of advice: do it well.

    Most of us in this thread have been discussing and arguing sexism issues for four months straight now. We’re tired, especially of running into the same lame-ass arguments for the nth time.

    Women are full human beings and deserve to be treated as such. You’d think we were trying to commit mass murder going by all the flak that statement gets.

    In one of the last threads on sexism, the Haters thread, we had Tone Trolls™ popping up all over and derailing the thread.

    Every single time, I (and others) have pointed out that anyone is more than free to use any tone they wish, no one will castigate them for it. We do have regulars here who are unfailingly polite and patient, with nary a grain of vitriol to be found.

    Unsurprisingly, the Tone Trolls™ never do simply address the topic in the manner they wish, instead, their only purpose is to castigate and lecture the commentariat. They want to whine.

    As for the whole “oh, you mean people aren’t skeptics, you turn away anyone who is new and doesn’t automagically agree with you! Icky people!” That’s simply not true either. Thread after thread after thread after thread proves it wrong.

    Yes, people are expected to be able to communicate well and argue well and be able to back up what they say. That last bit is especially important. Weak ass arguments get short shrift, strawmen get shredded and bigoted nonsense gets held up to the light and skewered mercilessly.

    Pharyngula isn’t for everyone. There are plenty of places where the commentariat is reigned in and the discussion confined within set rules. Even so, it’s interesting that those holding grudges and wanting to whine incessantly about The Horde™ never manage to go away from this incredibly awful and hated place.

  66. Indeterminate Me says

    Oh, and, by the way, I have posted very few comments on other topics, because I fear I will simply be preemptively personally assaulted there as well by the “communitariat” which has presumed to pass judgment on my suitability to comment on PZ’s blog.

    The one time I wanted to ask a reference question related to an evolutionary biology topic, I posted under a different screen name, just so I could get an answer. Oh, and BTW, none of the self-appointed “communitariat” gave a helpful answer there, either; it was someone de-lurking who provided the helpful reference.

    Given that I am even willing to risk the wrath of the “commentariat” by arguing this point here, think about how many other people, many of them smart people with interesting ideas and thought-provoking perspectives, don’t even try to comment on this blog – on any topic.

    You really need to examine your own behavior and wonder whether you have been closed together in the same room for so long, you don’t think your shit stinks.

    At the very least, if you insist on scratching your crotch all the time, could you at least not do it in the face of every new person here who is not interested? Ignore us, and we’ll ignore you. I’d much rather engage you in substantive conversation, but you have made it clear you have no interest in that, if it strays ever-so-slightly from the permissable, narrow range of “commentariat” consensus.

  67. Tethys says

    IM

    So do you have a point to make about being aware of sexism in society? Because mostly it sounds like you want to whine that your opinions and feelings are so much more important than everyone else’s on pharyngula.

  68. says

    Katherine
    I see it like this: if anybody can spit patriarchy in the face via the wearing of make-up, skirts and a shirt, it’s you, because your sole existence defines “woman” in a way that defies patriarchy.
    I’d love to be with all of you this weekend.

  69. happiestsadist says

    Chigau: OMG. I completely agree with you on the Ontario thing. I’m a transplant to Toronto from the backwoods that is New Brunswick, and every fucking day, I get to find out new ways this place is far-right, backwards as hell, and bigoted. I love it here for all the good that it has, but I also can’t wait to visit home where I can be a lot weirder and queerer and less terrified of getting bashed. Which feels weird.

  70. illuminata says

    I’ve not seen much evidence to support your point, and plenty against it

    C’mon Horde!! How can you NOT be persuaded by iron-clad evidence such as THIS!

    His response to the “second point” is, essentially, don’t feed the trolls, which is immediately refuted by his third paragraph in which he basically states no one can call a troll a troll.

    To wit: “

    but the label is contingent on whether the poster really IS one of those; IE, is the poster INTENTIONALLY trying to derail? If not, they’re not a tone troll. Do you know, or are you just throwing the label to shut them up?

    Note the conspicuous use of the word “INTENTIONALLY”. This is to gaslight the “HiveMind”. Use of this word is to suggest to the “HiveMind” that what they see is not really what’s happening. So, you can’t call a tone troll a tone troll because how do you know he was INTENTIONALLY derailing?

    I know, it’s fun, and it’s probably the only release some of you hard-working folks get, but my point stands. It’s as nonsensical as a teleological argument. It’s also why this place gets labeled a circle-jerk.

    The “hard-working folks” jab is a nice touch. Are we beneath you (and therefore need to listen to your superior knowledge) because we’re blue-collar? Or are you implying that we must be unemployed?

    It’s also why this place gets labeled a circle-jerk.

    By who? Why should we care? How is this supposed to be convincing?

  71. says

    Illuminata:

    So, you can’t call a tone troll a tone troll because how do you know he was INTENTIONALLY derailing?

    Well gee…Tone Trolls™ do derail threads with their constant whine rather than addressing the topic and we have a lot of experience with them.

    The “hard-working folks” jab is a nice touch.

    I was amused by the “the only release” bit. Ah, the attempts at superiority always come off so very badly. Tsk.

    Oh James? Protip: if you have to use all caps for emphasis, go away and take an html primer. Especially as you seem to be incapable of seeing the handy dandy html hints above the comment box.

  72. The Laughing Coyote says

    I.M.:

    for the love of fuck, that’s the tealest fucking deer I ever did see.

    Write us a fucking book already. Every one of your posts is a big whiny speech on how you’ll just get shouted down, but you haven’t made a single real point yet. Do you have anything useful to say on sexism and feminism?

    Sorry, stupid question.

    Infact, forget I said anything to you. I really don’t want to wade through another of your thick sludgy posts.

  73. Mattir says

    For crying out loud, we have at least one OM who is a religious Christian. We have OMs who are cisgendered, transgendered, gay, straight, male, female, asexual. We have OMs who are single, married, and poly. We have OMs who are celibate. We have regular commenters who are biologists, physicists, engineers, historians, park rangers, artists, writers, nannies. We have regular commenters in their 60s and regular commenters in their teens. We probably have regular commenters on every continent (except maybe Antarctica) and in every timezone. We have regular commenters who are anti-corporate anarchists and those who work for Big Evil Corporations™. I’m a homeschooling stay-at-home-mother, a semi-observant humanist Jew, fond of 12-step programs and religious literature, including the Bible. This is not a fucking monoculture.

    If you show up whingeing about how mean everyone is, you’re unlikely to find a warm welcome in the Pharyngula community. On the other hand, if you comment about the substance of the OP instead of about the naughty badness of the previous commenters, if you relate actual experiences or stories… in other words, if you’re not an asshole, you’re likely to be welcomed into an actual community.

    Do you complainers show up at department meetings, CFI bar nights, and cocktail parties with these same chips on your shoulders?

  74. Godless Heathen says

    I’m a woman and I feel the same way. However, I think that my opinion on this is a result of being raised in a patriarchy which praises being stoic, strong, rational, whatever (all of which are considered manly) and insults being emotional (which is considered weak and womanly).

    Same here, but I don’t chalk it up to trying to be ‘manly’. I chalk it up to the fact that many people are extremely uncomfortable around strong emotions and can make tough situations worse, plus the fact that there are people who will take advantage of others who show vulnerability. I try to protect myself from both as much as possible. I consider that more of a common sense thing than anything else.

    It’s true that people are uncomfortable around strong emotions, but there’s a very large element of not showing emotions because to do so is womanly and therefore a sign of weakness (or a sign of weakness and therefore womanly, either wording works). I don’t think that can be ignored.

    To be clear, I’m not thinking “don’t cry, you need be be more manly,” when I’m trying not to cry, but I think in the big picture that pressure is why I don’t like crying in front of others.

  75. Indeterminate Me says

    Explain to us exactly what flaws there are in the theory of social privilege.

    $20 says, IF he answers, its some variant of “I’m a white dude, and I don’t feel privileged, therefore it’s all bullshit” couched in generalized language to try and maintain plausible deniability when he’s called out on it.

    THAT is exactly why thoughtful people are intimidated or just uninterested in commenting here.

    I eagerly await a “commentariat” member chastising their comrade “commentariat” member for jumping in an obnoxiously tone-trolling. And I raptly await the unprecedented instance of illuminata actually apologizing for anything or admitting error for anything.

    It’s all fine and good when one of you plays the bait and switch game, pretends to be reasonable only so that everyone else in the “commentariat” can preemptively jump all over the newbie and, by either baiting them into a tangential flame-fest, or preemptively intimidating them, kill any substantive dialogue before it can even begin. Then, you smugly say, “see, we were right, as always”, and go your merry way, unreflective and unchallenged in your belief that everyone not like you is an idiot.

    Not playing that game.

    Would love to share my thoughts about the theory of social privilege, however, to anyone who is not utterly closed-minded and dogmatic about it. Not necessarily to attack it in a binary way, certainly not in an anti-feminist way, but rather to poke at it critically and see if it is

    a) being used here as intended – not as a weapon to silence messengers without debating opinions, but as an invitation to open dialogue, and,

    b) whether it is the end-all and be-all single, sufficient tool to understand and remediate injustice,

    c) whether, in fact, the best way to achieve an ultimate goal of equality is to perpetuate and emphasize distinctions along irrational lines that were created precisely to thwart equality,
    and
    d) whether advocacy of privilege theory over any and all alternatives as a means to redress injustice is supported by empirical results.

    Why? Because I attempt to apply those kind of filters to *every* claim, belief, theory and assertion – including, and especially, my own – and, because I know that the only way to try to escape personal bias and observational error traps is to submit one’s assertions to peer review.

    Because that is, to me, the essence of critical thinking, the scientific method, and a skeptical mindset. And, because I am not afraid to apply those even to my most cherished values.

    I am skeptical of privilege theory NOT because I oppose equality of all, NOT because I deny historical injustices and the need to remediate them, but precisely because I SUPPORT those positions with every fiber of my being. Which is why it is irresponsible, I feel, to stop questioning and challenging beliefs, particularly when, as appealing and consonant with my core values as they seem, they are not necessarily supported with hard empirical evidence.

    For me, the greatest need in the world is critical thinking. Religion persists because of its lack, and the majority of deprogrammed “nones” in the US quickly drift from dogmatic theism to dogmatic Deepakism or anti=vac-ism, because they lack basic training and skills in critical thinking.

    And, yes, first and foremost in addressing that failure is for me to examine my own thinking, and to try to think more critically myself. Which is why I would like to engage in substantive discussion here on thoughtful topics PZ raises. I am just not interested in talking about anuses and porcupines, any more than I am in talking about photos of people’s cats.

    Could you at least confine the childish insults to the never-ending thread (or ask PZ to create a special schoolyard bully post for you once a day), and give a tiny bit of breathing room to the many folks who would also like to engage in conversations sparked by PZ’s posts on various topics?

    Would you deny me and others here the right to challenge our own thinking, just because the “commentariat” is incapable of moving beyond the uncritical “Us or MRA” binary bullshit?

  76. The Ys says

    Chigau: OMG. I completely agree with you on the Ontario thing. I’m a transplant to Toronto from the backwoods that is New Brunswick, and every fucking day, I get to find out new ways this place is far-right, backwards as hell, and bigoted. I love it here for all the good that it has, but I also can’t wait to visit home where I can be a lot weirder and queerer and less terrified of getting bashed. Which feels weird.

    Thank you both for correcting me on this. I haven’t seen the attitudes or behaviours (obviously), and I will ask first before commenting again on the issue.

  77. Gen, or The RadFem of Dhoom Formerly Known As Deviant One says

    and who the fuck appointed you the obsessive (unconsciously ironic) tone police?

    THE IRONY IT BURNS US PRECIOUSSSS

    As to your post:

    can do one better: One of the most commonly linked to essays explaining the pomo soc101 concept of “privilege” is the famous dog & gecko fable, titled On the difference between Good Dogs and Dogs That Need a Newspaper Smack. at:

    https://sindeloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/37/

    What I find most ironic is how few of those who send folks there have actually read the responses in the comments, and the ensuing discussions thereof…

    Blah blah more about another blog and another post on another topic

    Maybe some of us have read and even participated in those discussions. I know I have.

    Now I’m going to be very, very generous here and assume that you are looking for more nuanced discussions of sociological terms and concepts with which you are already familiar, in an academic sense, which is what the discussion following the article does.

    However, whatever the discussion following that article was: It has nothing to do with what’s going on here on Pharyngula, in this thread, now. The article is linked because it explains a difficult, contested and abstract concept in a novel way. Many others are also linked to, each explaining said concept differently.

    When you’re talking to someone who’s on a one oh one level, talking to them as if they not only understand the fundemental concepts that make up the idea, (the very fucking concepts you are trying to explain, in fact!) but have analyzed them and their underlying theories thoroughly enough to have a critical theoretical discussion about it is idiotic in the extreme rather unrealistic, don’t you think?

    comments questioning the utility of the privilege meme, for example;
    comments questioning the actual scientific validity of viewing society primarily (if not exclusively) through a privilege lens;
    comments noting how often the “privilege” phrase is used as a weapon to discredit messengers and avoid dealing with the contents of their message, and how this encourages group-think and discourages constructive, critical thinking and self-reflexion and peer review, which can lead to honed arguments, refined understanding and real progress;
    comments noting how difficult it has become for some committed activists, even some veterans of civil rights struggles, to engage in *any* productive discussions on the Internet on issues of social justice, because of this strain of intolerant smugness and superficial binary thinking so common here.

    I would really like to see this discussion here. THE REASON? Because if that discussion ever actually does happen here on Pharyngula, it would mean that there was once, just once, a thread on feminism in whatever form without a bunch of idiots needing a clue-by-four 101-ing.

    Lemme explain.
    1.) Before we can have that conversation here on Pharyngula, we first would have to have a thread that wasn’t constantly invaded by the clueless wielding the exact same arguments we’ve already refuted a thousand times before as if it was shiny and new and they just thought it up all by themselves and are gonna GIT THEM FEMINSTS.

    2.)In fact, if you read through this entire thread, an interesting discussion was started on more nuanced topics regarding gender policing and ethical issues feminists struggle with – until, once again, some 101-needing energy vampire showed up in need of some larning.

    3.)It’s also OKAY to admit that, hey! Pharyngula is not the place to have this advanced discussion! There are more advanced spaces out there (like the blog from which the article on the dog and gecko come from!) where this conversation can be had.

    Believe me, it’s often frustrating to the regulars too – I’ve seen that frustration often, and felt it myself. But 101 spaces are important too, and on a huge blog like this, the constant one oh one repetitions really do make a difference.

    I would love to have as vigorous as debate about the substance of my arguments as you’d care to have. But, in fact, the “commentariat” is not interested in the substance of my arguments, or in even letting me make any; I am a priori dismissed because I dare to question your self-appointed authority, and the only debate you are interested in having is over which one of you presents the cleverer “insert porcupine in anus” iteration.

    I’m not interested in trading puerile schoolyard insults or passing through your self-appointed gauntlet of filth. PZ doesn’t put that kind of crap in his posts, or (most of the time) in his tweets; that doesn’t prevent him from being a vigorous, uncompromising debater, and for being intolerant of woowoo and fallacious rhetoric. I don’t see why someone who wishes to engage in discussion in the same tone and substance as his posts – ABOUT his posts – isn’t allowed to do that here.

    You see, there you go again, asserting that somehow, the “commentariat” is actually preventing you from commenting, or is, as you say, a priori dismissing you because of your opinion rather than the weakness of your argument.

    (By the way, I have yet to see an actual argument from you. From here it looks like you just played this out in your mind based on a hypothetical comment you might have thought of making. Once. Before the meanies came by your house and took your computer so that you couldn’t).

    If you are dismissed without explanation, perhaps you need to consider that it is because the eplanation has already been given to over nine thousand speshul snowflaeks just like you?

    Or you could just, I dunno, ask for an explanation instead of projecting borderline paranoid delusions?

    I honestly don’t get this. If you get chewed out for posting something, *this is just the interwebz*. Really, you don’t have to fling around fuck-bombs and rimshots just to be accepted here (although I personally love the snark and rudeness – it’s so damn refreshingly honest. Which is sad. But another topic.)

    If you want to argue something, argue! If you don’t like the way someone’s treating you, ignore them or killfile them or even better, call them out with reasons other than “I don’t like your tone because my fee-fees”! This really isn’t rocket science.

    I mean this literally: What is the worst that can happen?

    You get torn a new one by an asshole who misunderstood your point? METAPHORICALLY. This isn’t even necessarily someone you know personally, although you might. It also happens in Real Life Tee Em, with disturbing frequency and much less honesty.

    So I have a huge problem with understanding this “I’m too afraid to comment because sometimes some people are MEEN” line of reasoning.

    I’m not interested in trading puerile schoolyard insults or passing through your self-appointed gauntlet of filth.

    Then don’t do that. Argue in your own style, using your own words, deciding for yourself when you are satisfied that you proved your point to everyone reading despite one asshole niggling the details and acknowledging when you messed up. Once again, not rocket science, and not an exam that you HAVE to pass to graduate college or something. Sheesh. No one’s going to come out of the computer to physically whack you on the fingers if you type something idiotic and not allow you to talk to anyone about anything ever again until you start flinging the insults around.

    Why is being not only tolerated or respected but ACCEPTED UNCONDITIONALLY here, at Pharyngula specifically, so important to you? And to you what does “ACCEPTED UNCONDITIONALLY” mean? That you’ll never be called out if you put your foot in your mouth or if you’re trailing virtual shit over someone else’s virtual carpet?

    Because if that’s acceptance, then I’d rather take respect any day.

    Why not practice what you preach, and let others here engage freely without the patriarchal locker-room potty mouthiness that so thrills the juvenile mind?

    Everyone IS free to engage. That’s the beauty of the Shark Tank. If you can back up your arguments, you can jump into the fray with a reasonable chance, regardless of whether you say:

    “Kind sir, though it pains me to admit this to your most kind self, we may possibly have a slightly different view on that specific topic, or agreement on various other topics nonewithstanding. It’s not enough to do harm to our precious sensibilities or friendship or the like, but would you kindly explain to me what you mean, since the reading I’ve done might have been inferior or my sources faulty? You see, I consulted the fine gentleman Richard Dawkins’ tome, The Selfish Gene and from what I understand, the argument is…. *blah blah blah* I would really appreciate to know where your argument stems from, and thanks in advance for that!” or

    “Fuck you, asswipe. Dawkins already dissed this, check out Selfish Gene, assuming you can even fucking read with your head so far up your fucking ass.”

    I mean, seriously. In terms of the actual message (Here’s what I base my opinion on, where did you get yours?), what’s the difference, other than hurt fee-fees? On the interwebz?

  78. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, IM can’t get to point, but just whines. And it wonders why some of us have less than polite attitudes toward those who do exactly what it is doing. If you have a point IM, and can back it up, put it out there. If you can’t do that until you find nobody will jump on your point, you don’t really have one, or you know it isn’t worth the electrons used to post it. Like you think privilege is a bogus idea.

  79. Tethys says

    Jamesemery,

    claiming it doesn’t make it so, anymore than claiming a battered wife had it coming makes it true

    Oh I see, I should just ignore/question my own experience because you say so. Interesting choice of example btw.

    Your biases speak load and clear in your writing. Perhaps thats why the horde doesn’t like you?

    I have been on the receiving end of making a poor/unsupported argument here. It is not pleasant, but I didn’t whine about it like you are. I learned to make better arguments and post citations for facts. And you know what happened? I was apologized to by the attacker.

    On the subject of why you are under the delusion that anyone here owes you a single damn thing, its called privilege. Perhaps you should examine it.

    p.s. At the top of the page is a tab labeled “about pharyngula” that contains the terms of use.

  80. says

    Mattir:

    For crying out loud, we have at least one OM who is a religious Christian.

    More than that, actually. :)

    We have OMs who are cisgendered, transgendered, gay, straight, male, female, asexual. We have OMs who are single, married, and poly. We have OMs who are celibate. We have regular commenters who are biologists, physicists, engineers, historians, park rangers, artists, writers, nannies.

    Ayup. This OM is female, 53 (54 in November), bisexual, childfree, married 30+years, mixed race, native Southern Californian now residing in the wilds of ND, artist and photographer. I’m also a rape and murder attempt survivor and a survivor of a very abusive childhood (like others here).

    I’ve been a feminist and GLBTI activist for over 30 years now. I’m fairly well educated with a passionate interest in various science disciplines. I love learning and I’m interested in what most people have to say, as long as what they say has substance. I’m not so interested in whiny fuckwits.

    Oh, I also love old movies. Tonight’s gonna be good: Bad Day at Black Rock, Rebel Without A Cause and Johnny Guitar are on TCM tonight and Mister is home to share ‘em. :D

  81. The Laughing Coyote says

    Would love to share my thoughts about the theory of social privilege, however, to anyone who is not utterly closed-minded and dogmatic about it. Not necessarily to attack it in a binary way, certainly not in an anti-feminist way, but rather to poke at it critically and see if it is

    I’d love to give you all my deep profound thoughts on sexism and priviledge, but only if you meet my demands, which I will now enumerate thusly:

    a) being used here as intended – not as a weapon to silence messengers without debating opinions, but as an invitation to open dialogue, and,

    b) whether it is the end-all and be-all single, sufficient tool to understand and remediate injustice,

    c) whether, in fact, the best way to achieve an ultimate goal of equality is to perpetuate and emphasize distinctions along irrational lines that were created precisely to thwart equality,
    and
    d) whether advocacy of privilege theory over any and all alternatives as a means to redress injustice is supported by empirical results.

    How much fucking hard physical evidence do you need for the concept of privilege? I’ve certainly seen plenty.

    The fact that almost every woman I’ve ever dated has had a rape story for me, except some of them didn’t define it as rape in their minds because they didn’t think they fought back hard enough, or gave in because they knew he was gonna rape them anyways, is fucking hard enough evidence for me.

    The fact that a ‘good guy’ I knew, when I told him about a girl who was a virgin and hesitant about sex, laughed and said “When that happens I like to play a little game I call ‘just the tip’ Eh? Eh? Am I right?” This guy wasn’t a raging woman hating misogynist, at least he didn’t think of himself as such, he was an open and friendly dude I smoked alot of weed with. That’s privilege.

    He didn’t see the problem, because that’s just a guy’s right in society, right? It’s just how us guys are.

    How many guys do I know who are disgusted by homosexual men, but eagerly excited by lesbians (provided they’re the hot porno movie kind who like to have hot threesomes with random guys). The idea that homosexuality of any kind is only ‘acceptable’ if it’s entertaining to straight dudes seems pretty privileged to me.

    I’m sorry if what I wrote triggers or disturbs anyone.

  82. Indeterminate Me says

    Unless I missed something, Indeterminate has not yet, in this thread, attacked one of those concepts[women being human beings entitled to equal rights, equal freedoms, equal respect, equal power and equal dignity.

    In point of fact, in any thread, ever. I don’t attack those points because I don’t disagree with them in the slightest.

    But we never get anywhere because the moment anyone here raises any critical question at all, the tirade of schoolyard insults descends.

    And, the insistence of the “commentariat” of creating straw men, when they can’t find enough MRA frenemies. to whit:

    “IM is just really REALLY upset that he can’t get the uppity bitches to do things the way he commands – because his way is totally better!”

    “$20 says, IF he answers, its some variant of “I’m a white dude, and I don’t feel privileged, therefore it’s all bullshit” couched in generalized language to try and maintain plausible deniability when he’s called out on it.”

    “Sally:

    Jamesmery reveals that he comments at ERV.

    Ugh. Sorry I bothered now.”

    “IM

    So do you have a point to make about being aware of sexism in society? Because mostly it sounds like you want to whine that your opinions and feelings are so much more important than everyone else’s on pharyngula.”

    All straw men and personal insults and discrediting the messenger. 0% substance.

    By the way, the last quote is my favorite – I have been patiently arguing for you “commentariat” to loosen up a little and let new people engage in discussions without treating them like you are Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, and you “commentariat” have been fighting tooth and nail precisely because YOU act like your opinions and feelings are so much more important than everyone else’s on pharyngula. The irony is deafening, but you are too insulated to hear it.

  83. Mus says

    That would be a great day, a joyous day, when discrimination between men and women end.

    End not only in the Law or in our words, but in our hearts.
    Maybe then we can be a little more close to reach true Liberty.

    Neither “superiors”, neither “inferiors”: only Equals.

  84. Gen, or The RadFem of Dhoom Formerly Known As Deviant One says

    THAT is exactly why thoughtful people are intimidated or just uninterested in commenting here.

    I eagerly await a “commentariat” member chastising their comrade “commentariat” member for jumping in an obnoxiously tone-trolling. And I raptly await the unprecedented instance of illuminata actually apologizing for anything or admitting error for anything.

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    PROTIP #1
    a. When in doubt,

    b. look it up. (Tone Trolling. Sometimes also known as or overlapping with “Concern Trolling”, for your Googling ease.)

    These are words to live by.

    PROTIP #2
    Is Illuminata wrong? Perhaps. But the odds are in my rough guesstimate, from what we’ve seen recently, roughly 95:5 that’s she’s right on the money.

    Once again, we’ve heard and refuted that argument (Privilege is a lie because I’m white and male but my life sux like you won’t believe Q.Q) over 9000 times already. If you have something else, most here will be pleasantly surprised.

  85. Indeterminate Me says

    I’d love to give you all my deep profound thoughts on sexism and priviledge, but only if you meet my demands, which I will now enumerate thusly:

    Only zealots consider asking questions – “to poke at it critically and see if it is” to be “demands” that must be met, so self-righteously enraged at their straw men that they can’t even spell straight.

    How much fucking hard physical evidence do you need for the concept of privilege? I’ve certainly seen plenty.

    I did not question the empirical evidence for the existence of inbalanced privilege in society. Again, you are erecting a straw man more comfortable to you, rather than engaging honestly and openly with someone you don’t even know yet.

    You even quoted my question, and you still can’t get it right? I’ll add emphasis, maybe that will help:

    whether advocacy of privilege theory over any and all alternatives as a means to redress injustice is supported by empirical results.

    The rest of your post is irrelevant because it has nothing to do with what I wrote, and because it is not anything I have, or ever would, debate.

  86. Indeterminate Me says

    meant to underline “as a means to redress injustice” as a third form of emphasis, I guess I used the wrnong tag.

  87. says

    IM, we’Re still waiting for your actual argument as the why you think the concept of privilege is flawed.
    You spent several hundred words telling people that nobody lets you have a discussion.
    There are several possible reasosns for this:
    A) You’ve forgotton why you dislike the concept
    B) You never ever had an actual argument and keep hiding behind the tone-trolling
    C) You know your argument is shit and wouldn’t last 5 minutes.

    Actually, I’m not waiting, I’m off to bed

  88. Mattir says

    It’s all about IM, all the time. As if there are these excellently wonderful insightful comments just waiting to be made should the regulars here become nice enough, or grow a ninth tentacle, or something.

    It’s bullshit – IM, apparently you have nothing to say, because otherwise you’d SAY IT instead of simply explaining over and over again why the climate here is too negative for you to say it.

    Who’s up for discussing makeup? Lipstick, yes or no?

  89. Tethys says

    IM

    You have now exceeded the three post rule, and have yet to post anything but whining about tone.

    Make a point or fuck right off, porcupine optional.

  90. Dhorvath, OM says

    We have OMs who are cisgendered, transgendered, gay, straight, male, female, asexual. We have OMs who are single, married, and poly. We have OMs who are celibate. We have regular commenters who are biologists, physicists, engineers, historians, park rangers, artists, writers, nannies.

    I resemble some of those descriptions. I am also rude sometimes and polite others. I have disagreements with other regulars and when we agree it’s more often than not positions we held before that lead us to that agreement. I reach people and people reach me, were those two things not true, I wouldn’t have reason to return.

  91. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    All straw men and personal insults and discrediting the messenger. 0% substance.

    That is you describing yourself IM. You haven’t made any posts of substance to date. You’re merely tone trolling, like any substanceless tone troll does. Say something of substance, ie, not tone trolling, and back it up.

  92. says

    We all have privilege. Being unafraid to examine your privilege and how it affects your attitudes and actions does not remove the privilege, however, it does make us all better human beings.

    It’s not something to be defensive about or afraid of; no one should be afraid to look at themselves, no one should be afraid to look at their surrounding society and cultural norms and no one should be afraid to learn.

  93. Dhorvath, OM says

    Mattir,
    A good gloss is like lube for kissing. Err, you were thinking in different directions, weren’t you?

  94. The Laughing Coyote says

    Funny, IM says no one’s letting him/her have a discussion, but it seems his/her crap is all we’re discussing now.

    BTW, I’m sorry if I missed some vague aspect of your point, it was very hard to sift anything even resembling a point out of your long winded fuckery.

    whether advocacy of privilege theory over any and all alternatives as a means to redress injustice is supported by empirical results.

    Ignore it, and it will just go away on its own? Is that your alternative hypothesis then?

  95. Pteryxx says

    I *have* lurked here, for years! More and more, I see folks not given any chances, let alone three, before they are assaulted with personal insults irrelevant to their points and immediately assumed to be “MRAs” if they even ask a question that the “commentariat” here deems “beneath” them (or, frankly, threatens their smug certainty).

    Shorn of the descent into value-judgments, there’s actually a point in here. Namely: Unknown commentors who bring up 101-level sexist talking points in threads about feminism get treated harshly, quickly. The three-comment rule’s pretty much gone out the window. Why is that?

    /IMHO mode on

    I remember a season of comments where “That’s feminism 101, go familiarize yourself with the basics” got repeated a lot. It quickly became clear that, on this particular topic, the vast majority of unknown commentors asking basic questions weren’t interested in actually learning anything so much as poisoning the discussion by casting doubt. Around Elevator[x] time, this escalated to most unknown commentors asking bad-faith questions specifically to misrepresent and derail discussion. Some of them got taken seriously at first, some less so, but almost invariably they retreated to overtly misogynistic stances when their points were challenged. (Offhand I can think of three counterexamples where a vociferous individual- as opposed to a lurker- admitted to changing stance. That’s not much for upwards of 10,000* comments. *including non-Pharyngula threads where I participated.)

    Simultaneously, the concept of silencing became widely introduced in these discussions. Namely, that many of the bad-faith tactics used in arguing against feminism weren’t actually about the topic itself, but were means to discredit, harass, shame, or outright threaten the feminist side into recanting. More and more, commentors started to react to bad-faith arguments as silencing tactics, instead of giving the arguments credibility by treating them as serious arguments worthy of consideration.

    Some dismissive comments even have the effect of re-traumatizing survivors, especially en masse. Commentors regularly recuse themselves from these threads because the conversation’s just gotten too toxic- not because of the language or direct insults employed (usually), but because of the callousness, misogyny, and sometimes outright gaslighting being employed by some so-called debaters.

    So, yeah, I agree that the Horde generally has lost patience with unknown commentors who introduce themselves with ignorant sexist arguments. Given the odds that such commentors are acting in bad faith, at the moment, I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.

    And I can’t tell you how pissed it made me to go through what was a very productive and interesting thread, read all 350+ comments and have it end in the same damn place.

    Fuck, guys, one thread. You just needed to shut up and listen for one fucking thread. What the fuck is wrong with you?

    That was Cerberus, over a year ago, on the Woman Problem thread. link to source

  96. Tethys says

    Mattir

    I personally hate lipstick. It smells bad and feels like wax. I prefer lip gloss, either tinted or clear

  97. Indeterminate Me says

    Is Illuminata wrong? Perhaps. But the odds are in my rough guesstimate, from what we’ve seen recently, roughly 95:5 that’s she’s right on the money.

    The epitome of non-critical thinking. You actually argue in favor of Illuminata’s authority to know what I believe and will argue in advance – even in the utter absence of any evidence to support her claim.

    But, of course, the real game is to sufficiently intimidate everyone so the only ones left are you and your MRA frenemies, so you never have to find out what the overwhelmingly vast unwashed masses who aren’t you or them actually think.

    Is it so difficult to understand how preemptively assuming everyone who comes here is an enemy can have an inhibitory effect? How not everyone’s idea of substantive debate is debating solely the “commentariat”, that no one wants to be the sole butt of all your crap? I’d love to engage in a thoughtful discussion here, but, contrary to your self-congratulatory pats on the back, lurking for a long time shows me that you will always gang up on the new person, and you never give a chance for two non-”commentariat” people to engage in a discussion – you solely abrogate the right to utterly dominate this place.

    Even now, the pretense of “so, show us what you got”, is just part of the game you play; Everything I say, have said or will say, is willfully twisted and straw manned so that you can get back to your tired old game of sexing with your frenemies the MRAs.

    Frankly, I think MRAs are boring as hell, and so are 90% of the “commentariat”, and I don’t intend to submit to your “rules”. I intend to engage in thougthful discussion if and when I find people here interested in same, not interested in scoring points they can carve on their basement walls while they virtually high five each other for their collective cleverness.

  98. says

    Mattir:

    Who’s up for discussing makeup? Lipstick, yes or no?

    I love how lipstick looks. That said, it’s never been for me. I always had trouble keeping the stuff on and perfect and yada, yada, yada. Back when I did wear make-up, I resorted to using lip liner in a shade I liked then applying clear gloss. That gave me a long lasting tint which stayed on.

  99. The Ys says

    It’s true that people are uncomfortable around strong emotions, but there’s a very large element of not showing emotions because to do so is womanly and therefore a sign of weakness (or a sign of weakness and therefore womanly, either wording works). I don’t think that can be ignored.

    The wording really does work either way, unfortunately.

    My husband gets very upset if I cry…but he says that he doesn’t see it as a weakness. (He’s told me repeatedly that I’m one of the strongest people he knows, so I know he doesn’t think I’m weak.) He tried to explain it to me once – he has serious trouble handling the emotional overload of seeing me that distressed and unhappy while knowing there’s no way he can fix whatever is wrong. I get a similar feeling when my daughter is crying…it’s pure emotional agony for me if I can’t help her or make things better.

    However, my husband thinks of it as a weakness if he cries, because his father drilled into him the idea that men should be able to take care of everything, all the time, and that he should be able to fix anything without asking for help or showing that he needs help. It’s a weird dichotomy that shows my husband must regard crying as asking for help and a type of weakness (and womanly) somewhere deep down, but we’re having trouble unpacking that one.

    I do wonder how much societal conditioning comes from the desire to avoid seeing other people’s pain as opposed to the expectation that men are strong and fix problems rather than request help (cry).

  100. Gen, or The RadFem of Dhoom Formerly Known As Deviant One says

    Mattir – Yea for me on the lipstick, with the caveat that I like it either near-nude, just basically a tinted lip gloss – playing right into the “natural-looking fake” trap, actually – or badass dark and/or bruised colour – dark purples, browns, maroons and pinks. Mixes of above. Repeat as necessary.

    Still, is what I liek. Also, gloss is indeed yummy lube for kissing, as Dvorath noted.

    Mascara, though? No way. I wear contacts and have puny lashes but can. not. wear. mascara.

  101. The Laughing Coyote says

    I consider makeup a personal choice for women and would never presume to tell them what to do with it either way, of course, but I find up close, too much makeup has a very offputting oily cosmetic smell. Perhaps it’s just me though.

    Also, I like things like blemishes and scars and marks and whatnot. It reminds me that I’m interacting with a human creature just like myself, with a life story and experiences and what not.

  102. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    chigau:

    So do We™ begin to comment here because we are already of the Hivemind™ or do We™ become warped to the Hivemind™ after We™ begin to comment?
    or since We™ are all actually PZ sockpuppets, does it even matter?

    I don’t know about anyone else around here, but I was totes part of the Hivemind™ before I started commenting. I bet it’s ‘cos I lurked before jumping in.

    IM:

    Not playing that game.

    Yay! Does this mean that you’re shutting the fuck up now?

    *reads further comments*

    … Damn.

    Why? Because I attempt to apply those kind of filters to *every* claim, belief, theory and assertion – including, and especially, my own – and, because I know that the only way to try to escape personal bias and observational error traps is to submit one’s assertions to peer review.

    Ah, yes. You’re more skeptical than the rest of us. Right. Got it.

    *eyeroll*

    This isn’t privilege 101. If you want to have a deep discussion about privilege or feminism or whatever, do some research* first, instead of only bringing your half-baked notions to the table.

    Could you at least confine the childish insults to the never-ending thread (or ask PZ to create a special schoolyard bully post for you once a day), and give a tiny bit of breathing room to the many folks who would also like to engage in conversations sparked by PZ’s posts on various topics?

    Would you deny me and others here the right to challenge our own thinking, just because the “commentariat” is incapable of moving beyond the uncritical “Us or MRA” binary bullshit?

    First off, who the fuck are you to tell us what to do? Why should I give a good goddamn about your precious hurt feelings?

    (I would care if you were capable of making an intelligent, to the point, on topic post that didn’t only consist of your whining about how terribly awful we all are.)

    Secondly, as Caine has said in this very thread: Welcome to the shark tank, sweetheart. You don’t have to like it, but it is incredibly (shall I say) rude to waltz into an established community and demand that we act in accordance to whatever fucking idea of “polite discourse” that you have.

    Many of us here (myself included) think that Pharyngula with all of its warts and boils is a safe place. This does not mean that any of us are safe from having our ideas challenged, but if you’re willing to listen you might find that you learn something. Of course, that would mean putting your tone trolling bullshit aside long enough to actually think about what has been said to you.

    If you can’t handle the free expression here, by all means, find a blog that’s heavily moderated. I doubt very many of us will be sad to see you go.

    As a side note: I just received Snuff in the mail today– the question is, do I give up on this thread for this evening or should I start it right fucking now?

    *There’s this pretty decent search engine that you can use to help you out… I think it’s http://google.com.

  103. The Ys says

    Lipstick sucks. I like some of the bright colours, but it feels like a wax coating on my lips and it smears on my coffee cup. Screw that.

    Burt’s Bees has a pomegranate lip balm. It adds a bare hint of colour, smells fantastic, and doesn’t get all over anything that touches my mouth. I approve of this combination.

  104. Gen, or The RadFem of Dhoom Formerly Known As Deviant One says

    Frankly, I think MRAs are boring as hell, and so are 90% of the “commentariat”, and I don’t intend to submit to your “rules”. I intend to engage in thougthful discussion if and when I find people here interested in same, not interested in scoring points they can carve on their basement walls while they virtually high five each other for their collective cleverness.

    You keep teasing but refuse to deliver. I haven’t seen ONE SINGLE SOLITARY argument from you yet, and yet you insist that your argument will be immediately shot down or something. Fine, if you’re afraid of being shot down, whatever. There are other places to hang, and there are no shackles preventing you from posting despite your distaste, as you’ve clearly demonstrated. But for the love of all that’s holey, please do not keep whining about it! That’s not nice, you know. Might even be… inhibitory… to new posters. Because no one else here was ever a new poster, of course.

    TL;DR: ARGUMENT OR GTFO

    Also this:

    The epitome of non-critical thinking. You actually argue in favor of Illuminata’s authority to know what I believe and will argue in advance – even in the utter absence of any evidence to support her claim.

    is absolute bull crap. Authority has nothing to do with it. Experience, however, plays a huge part. These two words, they are not interchangeable. They mean different things. Look it up. There is a certain experience (“I don’t believe in privilege coz my life sucks” normally occurs here on Pharyngula in threads like this as the mating cry of the privileged white male with nothing else to back it up but “I say my life sucks and so don’t have privilege”.)

    If that is not your argument, if you have something that goes against this norm that’s been established, we’d be delighted.

    So, you are welcome to challenge Illuminata’s (and my!) jaded ennui by surprising us with the unexpected after months and months of seeing the same thing over and over again, same shit different day, by MAKING YOUR FUCKING ARGUMENT.

  105. says

    Who’s up for discussing makeup? Lipstick, yes or no?

    Every once in blue moon I spend a horrible sum of money on one of those “Max-factor-lipfinity-still perfect after a blow job” lipsticks.
    Ohhh, and to be a bad little femme, I do it because Mr. actually likes it, I don’t care much.
    I use baby-cream* to keep them soft on any normal day.

    *Made from freshly aborted babies, I have to live up to my atheist image, too

  106. Pteryxx says

    I do wonder how much societal conditioning comes from the desire to avoid seeing other people’s pain as opposed to the expectation that men are strong and fix problems rather than request help (cry).

    Also, as a stranger, you can’t do much about it. Unless there’s a completely clear and safe response (call 911, say) then you’re transgressing personal boundaries and social rules just by going up to the person and asking what’s wrong. So you’re subjected to the emotional strain and helpless to stop it.

    A couple of times, I’ve been the person who went up to a crying stranger and held them until they were calm. (Yay Aspie-ness.) I noted that bystanders were a lot more comfortable when they saw someone attending to the situation, even in plain sight.

  107. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    RE lipstick:
    I only use gloss, and even then very rarely.

    I don’t really wear makeup– I will if I’m going to a wedding or a funeral, but that’s it. That being said, I have no beef with people who do*, if that’s what makes them happy.

    *God, remember the insults about “guy-liner”? If a dude wants to wear makeup, let the dude wear makeup.

  108. Tethys says

    Gilielle

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with doing or wearing something to excite ones partner.

    win/win

  109. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Indeterminate:

    I eagerly await a “commentariat” member chastising their comrade “commentariat” member for jumping in an obnoxiously tone-trolling.
    [later]
    By the way, the last quote is my favorite – I have been patiently arguing for you “commentariat” to loosen up a little

    The commentariat is a collective noun, referring to the set of all commenters; that includes you, by virtue of your comments here.

    (Why the scare quotes?)

  110. The Laughing Coyote says

    Pteryxx: Not to derail, and maybe you could answer this in TET, but I’m insanely curious: How did the crying strangers react to you going up and holding them until they were calm?

  111. Muse says

    I pretty much only wear makeup when I’m actively performing femininity – otherwise I’m just not into putting stuff on my face. I like the way I look in it though – just not enough to do it everyday or feel like I’m reinforcing stupid standards.

    I don’t really like kissing folks wearing lip gloss. It’s sticky and feels weird to me.

  112. Tethys says

    Pteryxx

    Yay you! Hugs are the best remedy for tears, as long as the stranger offering them doesn’t have an ulterior motive.

  113. says

    Thetys
    Neither do I. It was meant a bit ironically since it also fits into the “good feminists don’t do that” drawer. Partners should always try to please each other, respecting each others wishes and boundaries.
    As I said, I don’t care much about lipstick, it doesn’t “hurt” me, but he likes it a lot. No pressure involved. There are other things I like a lot and he doesn’t mind. Best things are of course those that give both of us pleasure (giving pleasure gives a pleasure itself).

    Like mascara. Easy way to brush up the appearance.

  114. Muse says

    @Caine

    TLC:

    Also, I like things like blemishes and scars and marks and whatnot.

    Heh. I could play scar wars with you. ;)

    Ooo Ooo Ooo can I play?

  115. Gen, or The RadFem of Dhoom Formerly Known As Deviant One says

    One thing before I must go to sleep:

    I was wrong about the comment thread in that article IM talked about. I didn’t participate in that cesspool of misogyny, nor did I even read much of it, because ugh. Who can fight that shit all the time? Not me. Arguing and reading the arguments over here is very much all I can handle right now.

    SO IM, if you have any point you want to make about privilege and slash or other paradigms of social inequalities and justice, fire away. I’m waiting with baited breath. If you understand that by “baited breath”, I mean “asleep in mah bed”.

  116. Matt Penfold says

    I’m waiting with baited breath. If you understand that by “baited breath”, I mean “asleep in mah bed”.

    A pet peeve of mine. It is bated, not baited!

  117. Tethys says

    I once dated a guy who really liked nylons and nail polish. I dislike nylons for many reasons, but you can be sure that I had many pairs while we were a couple. Worth every second I spent wearing the awful things too.

  118. Tethys says

    Caine and Matt

    Shhhhhh, the hivemind is a secret conspiracy. Only one of you was supposed to correct baited.

  119. says

    Tethys, years ago, I went through a phase with my nails. I spent frigging hours on them. I do like the look of painted nails, especially if it’s a non-standard paint job (that’s what I used to do), but I gave it up long ago – as an artist, it’s just too difficult to keep super nice looking nails. I settle for clean now.

  120. says

    Before I go to bed, a wonderful episode of daily patriarchy and privilege.
    The TV is running, a talk-show and a young female journalist is telling about her recent documentary about a brothel. The woman who runs it is also there.
    Her particular approach was to mix with the prostitutes, live with them and so on.
    A clip is shown where she is in the brothel. A customer comes in and the women, including the journalist, are presented and the man picks his favourite.
    The host asks the journalist: What would you have done if he’d picked you?
    She says “I really don’t know, I’d probably hidden behind X (the owner).” It was obviously a very emotional moment for her and a very honest reply.
    And the host says: I don’t believe you.
    Does anybody reasonably believe that he would have done this to a 50something man instead of a young blonde woman?

  121. says

    Khantron:

    But you can’t catch mice with bated breath.

    True. I expect most people aren’t lookin’ to catch mice. I can easily catch rats with an M&M on my tongue. Well, I can catch Chas & Alfie. ;D

  122. John Morales says

    [OT]

    It’s bated breath.

    No-one here has seen the cartoon depicting a cat crouched by the mouse-hole, a piece of cheese in its mouth?

  123. happiestsadist says

    I am a makeup fan. I read about it, write about it, buy it, and occasionally even wear the stuff. Not that often, though, I haven’t gone out much lately.

    That said, I feel about lip gloss about the same way as most of y’all do about lipstick. HATE IT. (on me) It’s sticky and goopy and doesn’t last and gets gross at the outer corners and ew. When I wear lip stuff besides For Strange Women’s Pine Cone balm or plain Burt’s Bees, I go for lipstick. More unnatural = better. Nars Pure Matte in Vesuvio is my fave. Expensive? Yeah. But it doesn’t dry my lips, stays on forever, and is the most perfect ever blood-red. Stains are good, too, I dig Benetint. Fresh makes nice tinted lip balms that smell like lemon pie filling and has SPF. Also, I am absolutely obsessed with Urban Decay’s 24/7 liquid liners. The formula and brush are amazing. And they stay put until I remove them. And come in colours like gunmetal and tester-bunny pink. (I like pink eye makeup a lot. Makes my eyes look super green.) Also, after years of experimenting, I have discovered that there is absolutely no correlation between price and quality with mascara. My faves: $40, $20, and $7, respectively. Likely will stick with the last one in the future.

    I’m also a mad nail polish fanatic. Right now they’re smoke-grey, and last week was a chrome silver/peacock blue moon manicure (easy, yet fancy!). I tend to wear blue, grey or some combination of the two most of the time, though I found a nice creamy beige last week, too.

    I used to despise pink, because of how much it’s foisted on me. Slowly, though, it’s grown on me. In that my hair was cotton candy pink for a while, and many of my tattoos feature pink. And the odd touch in makeup. I’d like a pink men’s dress shirt sometime.

    Thus ends HS’s teal deer. Brought to you by my being a very femme genderqueer. My eyeshadow matches my suit.

  124. illuminata says

    Is Illuminata wrong? Perhaps. But the odds are in my rough guesstimate, from what we’ve seen recently, roughly 95:5 that’s she’s right on the money.

    For the record, I’m only ever posting what Comment X says to me. having been a social justice activist since college, I’ve gotten very familiar with dogwhistle clues.

    But, I don’texpect anyone to agree with me.

    that said, let me just point out that, the only people who ever voice “concerns” about my deconstruction of posts are those using dogwhistles (INTENTIONALLY or unintentionally).

    I lay bare what is lurking behind a post’s words specifically so the original poster can get an idea of how their post comes off so that they can correct as necessary.

    When that person doesn’t correct me – with an actual argument or evidence – and instead dives further into trolling, its a fair bet i was right about their dogwhistles. Its my version of the stick rule.

    Trolls like IM accuse me of all manner of wrongs, huff and pout and eventually insult me, so they try to take focus of their failure to show me I’m wrong. Which means, i was right.

    I suppose it’s pointless to point out to Tone Troll that his claim that there are people intimidated or uninterested in commenting is utterly and completely worthless, right?

    Its probably safe to assume that someone so in love with himself would find the suggestion that he’s lying to manufacture support for his repeatedly failed tone troll argument proof of said failed argument.

    And I raptly await the unprecedented instance of illuminata actually apologizing for
    anything or admitting error for anything.

    Interesting. Here he lets it slip that he doesn’t lurk here that much. If he actually did, he’d know this is false. He would, if he actually did luck here, know that very recently I said something assholish and bigoted, got called out for it, and apologized. Which would also kill the hive mind argument.

    In point of fact, in any thread, ever. I don’t attack those points because I don’t disagree with them in the slightest.

    But we never get anywhere because the moment anyone here raises any critical question at all, the tirade of schoolyard insults descends.

    This is how I know privilege exists. Only privilege could convince someone that comments devoid of anything but self-righteous, pearl-clutching lecturing to women on how
    they should talk to men – i.e. NICELY – is “critical” to the discussion.

    <blockquote;I have been patiently arguing for you “commentariat” to loosen up a little and let new people engage in discussions without treating them like you are Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, and you “commentariat” have been fighting tooth and nail precisely because YOU act like your opinions and feelings are so much more important than everyone else’s on pharyngula. The irony is deafening, but you are too insulated to hear it.

    There have been a whole lot of comments recently from lurkers, or newbies, which voiced support for the blog as it is. Some even specifically noted that the atmosphere of the blog is part of that.

    And yet, this self-righteous gasbag is ignoring all of that, so he can smugly lecture you about how it was HIS idea to let new people in. He’s like a rubix cube of narcissism.

  125. The Ys says

    A couple of times, I’ve been the person who went up to a crying stranger and held them until they were calm. (Yay Aspie-ness.) I noted that bystanders were a lot more comfortable when they saw someone attending to the situation, even in plain sight.

    Pteryxx, you rock! And your results seems to play into my hypothesis a bit.

    I haven’t run into many people crying in public, and I definitely haven’t had the courage to walk right up and give a the person a hug unless I knew him/her. If the person seems truly distraught, I stop and as calmly and non-threateningly as possible ask if he/she will be ok or needs help. The offer is usually greeted with both disbelief and gratefulness, but no one’s ever snapped at me for trying to help. I’ve seen some results similar to yours as well – people around the crying person look relieved when that person calms down or stops crying.

  126. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    For those keeping score, IM has now spent (by my count) about 3,155 words expressing just how hard it is to say anything around here, and another 446 words just rather evasively not saying anything. Still waiting for an argument. As much time and dedication as IM puts into commenting here, I’m sure it will be stellar.

  127. illuminata says

    The host asks the journalist: What would you have done if he’d picked you?
    She says “I really don’t know, I’d probably hidden behind X (the owner).” It was obviously a very emotional moment for her and a very honest reply.
    And the host says: I don’t believe you.
    Does anybody reasonably believe that he would have done this to a 50something man instead of a young blonde woman?

    I think it’s pretty safe to say that, if the onsite journalist had been male, the host would not have implied, on television, that they were a prostitute in their spare time.

  128. The Ys says

    Does anybody reasonably believe that he would have done this to a 50something man instead of a young blonde woman?

    If the journalist had been male, the interviewer probably would’ve asked how many of the prostitutes he’d sampled during his research…and then reacted with disbelief if the journalist said “None.”

    The odds are ridiculously low that anyone would imply a male journalist is a whore, though.

  129. Pteryxx says

    @TLC:
    Pteryxx: Not to derail, and maybe you could answer this in TET, but I’m insanely curious: How did the crying strangers react to you going up and holding them until they were calm?

    Meh, I don’t think this thread can GET much more derailed. I just didn’t think detailing my actions would be relevant to the point of bystander comfort.

    Short version: In both cases, I asked the person if they were okay, they said they’d been beaten or were hiding from their partners, I then asked (eventually) if they would like to lean on me for a while and they said yes. So I sat close by, they held onto me and cried all over my shirt for half an hour or so. Both times, we were in relatively safe public places, in full view of many bystanders: once at the game center where I worked, once on my university campus.

    These two strangers were both women hiding from men, by the way. I’ve also held a gay guy who’d been gay-bashed, but he wasn’t a complete stranger; I knew him slightly, enough to recognize him.

  130. says

    illuminata
    He wasn’t implying she was a prostitute much, he was plainly accusing her of lying. He said “you must have thought this through before” (as if thinking things through before mean you’Re going to react like that).
    Men are rarely accused of that, their words count

  131. says

    At Giliell #639 “I don’t believe you”?
    I’m not really sure what he’s getting at there, is he trying to imply that she would have been flattered if she had been picked?

  132. jamesemery says

    @Tethys:

    Thanks for the point-out. Note for future reference: It might have been under the ‘About Pharyngula’ tab originally, but it’s under the ‘Dungeon’ tab now (assuming you’re referring to the link on Standards & Practices).

    *Ahem* Goddamned that shit should be more prominent! PZ, you lazy overlord, fix that shit!

    Also, you have my word (and my sword, and my axe) that I will not complain about tone here ever again. Something more comprehensive and visible might make sense for newbs, but that’s just fine. Fuckers :P

    IM: Read that shit, it’s in writing already.

    Sally: Nice Strawperson; when the HELL did I say anything even vaguely misogynistic? Or cover/endorse the points you raised? When???? Make sense!

    Gen/Caine: A Sticky. I wish to HELL they had stickies here. You two should be among the first things new posters see in the comments. I’ve been reading PZ’s blog for over a year now, and just first dived into the comments around Elevatorgate (probably not the wisest time to jump in). THANK YOU. You are the best 101. Period. Also, Caine, you are a strong human being. Damn.

  133. happiestsadist says

    Caine, amazingly: Covergirl Exact Eyelights. Mine’s the waterproof one. Stays all day with no smudges, holds a curl and is very slightly tinted to bring out my eye colour. I got back into it when I was doing my BFF’s makeup for her wedding. My mission was to give her autumn-hued glam rock makeup that could survive tears, heat and a jump in the lake, and by god, I did it. And because I was going to get some emotion in my eye, I got a tube for me too.

  134. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    IM, why can’t you say “this is what I think, and this is the evidence to back it up”? Or are you just another boring tone troll? My guess, is the latter. You have nothing you really want to discuss other than tone…

  135. The Laughing Coyote says

    Pteryxx: Interesting, that’s the opposite of what I assumed. I assumed that people in such a situation would get all defensive and hostile. Fascinating.

  136. Sally Strange, OM says

    So, Inarticulate Me still can’t explain specifically, using concrete examples, what the flaws in the theory of social privilege are.

    Basically, he just doesn’t like it because it means he might not get the adulation and respect he thinks he deserves.

    This is the only, the sole, the singular point of actual substance that I have seen from Inarticulate Me, over the past few weeks that he has been posting here.

    He really hates this whole idea of privilege.

    But he can’t explain why.

    Conclusion: he’s just another dudebro upset about losing some of his privilege. For example: the privilege to say stupid shit without having people say, “That was some stupid shit you just said.”

    Hey, Inarticulate Me: if you’re so fucking intimidated by us, why are you still here?? Clearly we need to try harder.

  137. crissakentavr says

    http://www.fairtest.org/facts/genderbias.htm

    “[F]or the first several years the SAT was offered, males scored higher than females on the Math section but females achieved higher scores on the Verbal section. ETS policy-makers determined that the Verbal test needed to be “balanced” more in favor of males, and added questions pertaining to politics, business and sports to the Verbal portion. Since that time, males have outscored females on both the Math and Verbal sections. Dwyer notes that no similar effort has been made to “balance” the Math section, and concludes that, “It could be done, but it has not been, and I believe that probably an unconscious form of sexism underlies this pattern. When females show the superior performance, ‘balancing’ is required; when males show the superior performance, no adjustments are necessary.”

    Who is more qualified? How do you know?

  138. Dhorvath, OM says

    Pteryxx,
    Would that I could offer such support. I fear I would trigger more anxiety than assistance and it pleases me to no end that others can be that person for strangers. You are indeed a good person.

  139. says

    HappiestSadist:

    Covergirl Exact Eyelights.

    Ooh, thank you. My eyelashes are so sad. I was very premature and hairless when born, including no eyelashes. When they did come in, they were sad, sad, sad and stayed that way. They’re damn near invisible and not even close to long or thick. Men always seem to get eyelashes to die for.

  140. Sally Strange, OM says

    Sally: Nice Strawperson; when the HELL did I say anything even vaguely misogynistic? Or cover/endorse the points you raised? When???? Make sense!

    Calm the fuck down. You said you commented at ERV. You know, the home of the ever-growing, most active thread on the whole site that’s entirely devoted to bashing “Rebeccunt Twatson”? The place where misogynists can congratulate themselves on not being misogynist because a misogynist woman is egging them on in their abuse of other women?

    Since you said you comment there occasionally, I asked you for your opinion about what goes on there.

    I also asked you about what to do when someone who says they believe in women’s equality demonstrates through their actions that they really don’t. Since you seemed to be saying that you can only call a misogynist a misogynist if s/he explicitly states, “I really hate all women.” That was when someone else accused you of gaslighting. Do you know what gaslighting is? You should look it up. Anyway, the question was pertinent to your own stated opinions.

    Did you just go off half-cocked or what? Stay on that winning streak of backing away from being an idiot.

  141. The Laughing Coyote says

    Caine, would it help if I donated some hair follicles from my eyebrows?

    I think I have a few to spare, right in the center.

  142. says

    James, you’re welcome!

    Oh man, we’re watching Bad Day at Black Rock, and Spencer Tracy just responded to Ernest Borgnine with a line that is a *perfect* response to IM:

    You’re not only wrong, you’re wrong at the top of your voice.

    Heh.

  143. Sally Strange, OM says

    When females show the superior performance, ‘balancing’ is required; when males show the superior performance, no adjustments are necessary.”

    I see this happening with college admissions. For the decades since women have been allowed to enter higher education, men have outnumbered women. That was just natural and normal and any affirmative action was going to ensure that unqualified applicants took away spots from the oh-so-qualified white guys. Now that women are outnumbering men, it’s a fucking crisis, and naturally colleges should admit some less-qualified men just to balance out the genders on campus.

  144. says

    TLC:

    Caine, would it help if I donated some hair follicles from my eyebrows?

    Hee. I have next to no eyebrows, either. What hair I do have is so pale as to being damn near invisible.

  145. Sally Strange, OM says

    Covergirl Exact Highlights, eh? Gotta make a note of that. I’m about out of mascara.

  146. The Laughing Coyote says

    The only makeup I wear is THE BLOOD OF MY SLAIN ENEMIES.

    You know, because I’m manly.

  147. illuminata says

    That was when someone else accused you of gaslighting. Do you know what gaslighting is? You should look it up.

    ME!

    and, (not that you were arguing against this but), that’s exactly what happens on nearly every single thread about Minority Group A’s issue.

    Seriously. Every single thread about rape has at least one comment about how she misunderstood, or did something wrong. Every single thread about Elevatorgate has billions of comments about how Rebecca just misunderstood EG, how she misinterpreted what happened, the ways in which she was wrong, the ways in which she was the bad guy.

    All from people who weren’t there and have no real reason to doubt the author’s words – except for bias.

    (Mansplaining is a subcategory of Gaslighting, IMO. )

  148. illuminata says

    When females show the superior performance, ‘balancing’ is required; when males show the superior performance, no adjustments are necessary.”

    Except in instances where men don’t want a responsibility, i.e. child rearing, or housework.

    Those are two areas where it’s manlier to be sucktastic.

  149. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    I quite like the pharyngula 101 idea, though it seems impudent in the extreme to think that someone/someones “should” do the considerable hard work involved in compiling it. But it would be handy to just say “go (link) here and read before digging yourself in any further; PS you get three chances before you find you’ve designated yourself a total arsehole”.
    .
    This said, though, there are people who are absolutely bloody tireless sometimes about posting links for folk – who then turn out to be idiots who can’t even be bothered to click and read. And I totally get that after the last few months people are out of patience with that (hell, it’s not like I’m commenting more than once in a blue moon).

  150. happiestsadist says

    Caine: Mine are sad little barely-there lashes too. Eyelash curlers and good mascaras are my friends. And it is often true about men and their eyelashes. The Mate has gorgeous ones. But then, so does The Ladyfriend, who occasionally gets accused of wearing fakes.

    That Spencer Tracy quote is amazing. And useful.

  151. Pteryxx says

    *blush* Yeesh, you guys.

    I know this is a bit OT, but I gather people actually want to know.

    The Ys:

    I haven’t run into many people crying in public, and I definitely haven’t had the courage to walk right up and give a the person a hug unless I knew him/her. If the person seems truly distraught, I stop and as calmly and non-threateningly as possible ask if he/she will be ok or needs help. The offer is usually greeted with both disbelief and gratefulness, but no one’s ever snapped at me for trying to help.

    Now I’m curious. In my adult life, I’ve gone up to 30 or so people I’ve seen crying in public (and seen a few more that I didn’t approach, usually because I was in a car or they were and I couldn’t get to them.) Does that correspond with how many you’ve seen? I have never had *the person crying* get upset at me for intervening.

    I’m working up some details to post to TET.

    BTW, all the strangers I’ve seen crying have been women, with two exceptions: the gay acquaintance I mentioned, and one young boy about 10. *shrug*

  152. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Laughing Coyote:

    The only makeup I wear is THE BLOOD OF MY SLAIN ENEMIES.

    Geese?

    (Sorry.)

  153. Sally Strange, OM says

    @ Pteryxx

    I can’t think of an occasion when I’ve witnessed someone crying in public. Yet you’ve seen 30 such people? How odd.

    One wonders whether it has something to do with geography.

  154. jamesemery says

    @Sally:

    Okay, calming down, then :P

    I comment at ERV occasionally, and I read ERV occasionally. Pharyngula, Blag Hag, and Friendly Atheist are on my ‘daily read list’. I respect the hell out of Abbie because she does something big: She is a woman in the sciences. That’s a large, concrete contribution to feminism that no one can legitimately deny. I don’t think that she’s intentionally misogynistic. That being said, the ‘Twatson’ comment was inexcusable. The laughter over the shitstorm here I got. The defense of Dawkins as NOT being some horribly misogynistic old white man I agree with, as he HAS made concrete contributions to feminism. The huge broughaha of laughter over his, apparently well-timed, announcement that his foundation was going to help fund childcare at conventions, as if that somehow countered everyone at Pharyngula or Blag Hag’s objections to what he’d said was uncalled for. Her comment section is no more inherently evil than PZ’s comment section, regardless. There are bad eggs on both, and the fact that Abbie made some boneheaded, possibly sexist statements about the whole affair doesn’t make her evil, or misogynistic. You can have unintentional sexism, but you can’t have unintentional misogyny; it doesn’t work that way. To hate women, you must actually hate women, and there are too many people who pretty openly do (whether they state so or not!). That’s my stance on that, and also why you’ll almost never hear me call a PERSON a misogynist or a misandrist.

    I read about gaslighting, as you requested. I stand by my stance that the tone-troll label doesn’t always apply where it’s used, but I see why it’s a de facto assumption here. For future reference, I’ll consider more thoroughly whether my arguments might come across that way.

    That being said, if you disagree with any of that, please explain why. I may learn something ;)

  155. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Laughing Coyote:

    The only makeup I wear is THE BLOOD OF MY SLAIN ENEMIES.

    Also reminds me of this, in a roundabout way.

  156. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    Um, further to what I said in #674, actually that’s pretty much covered by the Pharyngula Standards and Practices, and the Pharynguwiki. So, I guess I’ll just shut up now … /o\

  157. jamesemery says

    @Sally 668

    If it were to the point where women were in the majority by leaps and bounds, say, 80% to 20%, sure, that’s a problem. There’s GOING to be SOME difference, and it should swing a bit from time to time. I hear those arguments used against Affirmative Action all the fucking time and it pisses me off so bad I wanna beat my head on the wall.

    @Caine 677

    It kinda makes you wonder why this stuff isn’t right at the top of the comment thread by default.

  158. Esteleth says

    Aw, did I miss all the fun?! Phooey.

    Let me try to add something constructive.

    On IM and that bullshit:

    Cupcake, we’re not a monolith. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m new – my first comment here IIRC, was about 2 weeks ago. In my first comment, said that I’m not an atheist. Not because I wanted to toot my own horn and convert people or some shit, but because I wanted to introduce myself and be honest – I’d guess that here the presumption is atheist until established otherwise. I have yet to receive a single comment about ZOMG THROW THE BELIEVER OUT. In fact, everyone’s been quite welcoming, which is awesome.

    But you know what? I made myself welcome by lurking awhile until I learned how things roll around here, and then by showing up and being friendly. Not by unfurling a big banner that said “REPENT YE SINNERS” or tone trolling or being a douchenozzle. And surprise! I haven’t had any problems!

    On beauty standards and makeup:
    Well, I’m a dyke. I’m loudmouthed and hairy-legged. I tried the whole hairy-pitted thing for awhile, but I got bothered by my own BO, so I shave there now. I’m an unabashed feminist and leftist and told my Tea Partier kin so. I have long hair. I wear a ring every day and other jewelry some days. I like poofy skirts, pink, and frequently wear ribbons in my hair. I also like ratty jeans and my LGBTerrific shirt. I don’t wear high heels (back problems prohibit them) or makeup (can’t be bothered) beyond lip gloss when I feel fancy. And I see zero problem with any of this. A woman is what she makes of herself. If a woman wears a burka, it is feminine. If she wears a bikini, that is also feminine. If she wears work boots and a hard hat while driving a bulldozer, it is so fucking feminine that my dykey heart bursts and I want to kiss her. Same goes for what is and is not masculine. Pro football gear and tutus can both be masculine.

  159. says

    My take on this matter is, the best thing you can do for anybody is to listen to what they have to say. Don’t judge, just listen. If they want advice they can ask for it. At the same time, don’t expect them to take your advice, for it may not agree with what they wanted you to say.

  160. The Laughing Coyote says

    I can’t think of an occasion when I’ve witnessed someone crying in public. Yet you’ve seen 30 such people? How odd.

    One wonders whether it has something to do with geography.

    Well, you’re certainly more likely to see a crying person in a crowded city than in a less populated area due to sheer numbers, I’d assume.

    However, it could be a touch of observation bias. Being aspie myself, and I can’t speak for all of us, but it seems sometimes I notice lots of things that pass right under other people’s radar.

  161. Sally Strange, OM says

    You can have unintentional sexism, but you can’t have unintentional misogyny; it doesn’t work that way. To hate women, you must actually hate women, and there are too many people who pretty openly do (whether they state so or not!). That’s my stance on that, and also why you’ll almost never hear me call a PERSON a misogynist or a misandrist.

    Okay. But will you identify their actions or words as misogynist, if the label fits?

    Because there are plenty of people who sincerely feel that they respect women, but who then go on to act in ways that are profoundly hateful towards women. To use a well-worn example: a loving father and husband who sees no problem with making funny jokes about rape when he’s playing cards with his buddies. Or the Democratic politicians who are willing to trade women’s access to abortion for increased access to health care. Or the institutional decisions in Topeka that led the state and the city both to conclude that with a tight budget, the expendable thing, the thing they could cut out, was prosecuting domestic violence cases. Are all those people truly haters of women, deep down in their hearts? Who knows? And who cares? The point is that they are behaving as misogynists would. Non-misogynists who mean well must make more of an effort to distinguish themselves from true women-haters.

    Watch this video by my imaginary internet husband, Jay Smooth, only substitute “misogyny” for “racism.”

    When somebody picks my pocket, I’m not going to be chasing him down so I can figure out whether he feels like he’s a thief, in his heart, I’m chasing him down so I can get my wallet back. I don’t care what he is, but I need to hold him accountable for what he did.

  162. Ichthyic says

    Wait, so… Morpheus is a feminist? On a motorcycle?

    *pictures an upright standard motorcycle that converts to a chopper, that converts to an inverted seating (head first) motorcycle*

    yeah…

    “Morpheus” would be a good name for a easily convertible motorcycle.

    I’d buy one.

  163. The Laughing Coyote says

    Ichtyic: I dunno. I picture the ‘Morpheus’ motorcycle as a cursed vehicle A LA “Christine” that kills its victims by lulling them to sleep on busy highways.

  164. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’ll be the first to admit that I’m new – my first comment here IIRC, was about 2 weeks ago.

    Have you stopped by the Pharyngula Saloon and Spanking Parlor, Patricia, Princess of Pullets™, Proprietor, for your introductory free drink of swill or grog, and bowl of popcornz? You also get a +10 e-ducat tabs for further drinks.

  165. Sally Strange, OM says

    Yeah, Coyote, I’ve lived in rural settings for the majority of my life.

    But I’ve also been frequently described as “being elsewhere,” “having my head in the clouds,” etc.

    Probably a touch of both.

  166. says

    James Emery:

    She is a woman in the sciences.

    Yeah. There are a lot of them, ya know. Unfortunately, Abby is also someone who has fostered a great degree of misogyny* and she’s also recently refused to admit she’s wrong on the question of HPV vaccines.

    You want to read about a woman in science? Give this a read: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cocktail-party-physics/2011/07/20/is-it-cold-in-here/

    *You won’t get anywhere here defending her two slimepit threads, so do not even fucking try. We’ve dealt with the subhuman shit posting over there. You want an example of the type of thing going on there? Read this.

  167. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    after years of experimenting, I have discovered that there is absolutely no correlation between price and quality with mascara.

    On most other cosmetics as well. My favorite eyeliner pencil is a brand called Prestige Total Intensity, costs $5 and performs up to Urban Decay 24/7 standards.

    WRT mascara, I’m partial to Cover Girl Lash Exact, although I don’t usually use the waterproof, and also the old standby Full & Soft. I double buy when one or the other is on BOGO sale so I always have a backup, because you’re supposed to chuck mascara every 3 months.

    My Lip Stuff is a great brand for those who like untinted, flavored/scented glosses. Otherwise, the dollar-or-so-brands like Jordana are just as good as the umpty-ten-dollar Mac LipGlasses and whatnot.

  168. Sally Strange, OM says

    To illustrate my previous point, jamesemery, consider that while Abbie may or may not sincerely hate women, putting “Twatson” in the title of a post is a misogynistic act. Allowing misogynists a welcoming space to spout misogyny is a misogynistic act.

    Who cares what goes on in the depth of Abbie’s heart of hearts? We are concerned with actions.

  169. says

    Esteleth:

    I wear a ring every day

    Only one? I wear 7, all silver. Can’t stand gold. 3 of them are silver bands with sayings stamped in them, made by a friend of mine. Mine say 1)Nihil privatus 2 )Non temetis messor and 3) Shoot First.

    Oh and my fave jeans are my torn up Aero Postales.

  170. Esteleth says

    Nerd @692,
    I did indeed! I had a nice bowl of grog.

    Speaking of which, I brought a case of abbey ale with me tonight. Can I offer you one?

    Sally Strange @695
    ZOMG! I am the EBIL BELIEVER! FEAR ME!
    *menaces*

    Beer?

  171. Sally Strange, OM says

    ZOMG! I am the EBIL BELIEVER! FEAR ME!

    *token cowering*

    Beer?

    Please. :)

    Be forewarned. I am going to shun you. Right after I’m finished with this tasty beverage…

  172. jamesemery says

    Okay, trying the blockquote thing again. If it fails, I stink and my apologies, and please, PLEASE help me out with the syntax:

    Oh, yes. I’ll just throw an ‘ic’ on the end of the word. Much like the difference between ‘democrat’ and ‘democratic’. I’ll point out WHY what they said was misogynistic. No problems there. I hang on /b/ a lot too, so I’m familiar with your poker analogy, although I can’t say that I’ve ever really personally encountered rape people taking rape that lightly out in the meat world. That situation might just entail a punch to the face :/ I have what I believe is a rather unusual personal stance on abortion rights, which I’m willing to discuss in a less public forum, but to make a long story short, I think abortion rights should not only be protected, but that the first two or so abortions and all birth control should be provided outright as a free service by the government. I want complete not-for-profit healthcare and prescriptions, too, but I’d trade neither for the other.

    Your quotation from Jay Smooth illustrates my own point to an extent, I think. While stealing something certainly does make one a thief, making a sexist comment does not necessarily make one a misogynist/andrist. However, both must be pursued, and corrected. For instance, if you started throwing around the SCUM manifesto to back your points, then I would most definitely assume you were a misandrist, and I’d call you on it. If you merely made a comment that, say, men only think with their dicks, then I would call that a misandristic comment, and I’d point out why. To call someone a misogynist/andrist directly, though, would probably lead to a situation where they were pissed enough that nothing I said would change their mind.

  173. Esteleth says

    Be forewarned. I am going to shun you. Right after I’m finished with this tasty beverage…

    Oh, of course. I’m going to shun you right back. We shall never speak again.

    But enjoy the beer! It’s a good one. I got it at Ommegang, if you know your NY breweries.

  174. Sally Strange, OM says

    Today I quit my gym. It was very satisfying. The owner asked why I was leaving, and I said, “Honestly? Because you acted sexist towards me.”

    He sputtered, said he wasn’t sexist, said I was disgusting (ya, so totes not sexist!) and mentioned something about his girlfriend. I was like, “See? Clearly you don’t want me here.”

    That guy is totally a sexist in his heart of hearts. But who cares? I don’t have to deal with him anymore.

    The distinction between “You acted sexist” and “You ARE a sexist” is usually lost when you’re in the field. But it is useful if you happen upon someone who genuinely means well but is behaving badly.

    Which is a pretty rare situation.

  175. Sally Strange, OM says

    I got it at Ommegang, if you know your NY breweries.

    *fangirl swoon*

    I love Ommegang! Actually I was born in Cooperstown. And my parents still live in the area. So we often drink Ommegang as a treat when I come visiting.

  176. Sally Strange, OM says

    Also, who throws around the SCUM manifesto for any purpose? Wasn’t it satirical? In my experience, the only people who’ve ever thrown it around were MRAs trying to discredit feminists.

  177. says

    James Emery, what in the fuck makes you think we haven’t and don’t make those distinctions. You’re beginning to shove your head up your ass and talk a lot of shit.

    Egate is not the beginning of discussing sexism here by a *long* shot. You are now in territory you aren’t familiar with and about to get royally reamed for it.

    Pharyngula, for all of it’s free-spirited, rowdy and often vitriolic nature, is a safe space for many people. We don’t put up with bigotry, sexism, gender-based insults to say the very least. We have had long, long threads here which have resulted in many lurking rape survivors, both women and men, coming out long enough to relate their experiences and talk about how sexism affects them daily. The reason things like this happen is because we have a no tolerance approach to those who would cause harm.

    Whether you like it or not, sexism in the form of words does indeed add up to misogyny and it does cause harm. I know people who would actually find this funny. It’s not funny. It is misogynistic. It is harmful.

    More reading for you:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/10/too_true_1.php

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/02/masculine_obtuseness_can_be_ex.php

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/06/stop_digging.php

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/07/too_soon

  178. happiestsadist says

    Kristinc: My eyelids are oily (wtf), and I’ve yet to find a pencil liner that’s up to the job, no matter the price range. I am a big fan of cream/gel liners, though. And UD primer potion, which is about the only thing that keeps shadow on me, though I’m otherwise vehemently anti-primer. Lash Exact is also pretty awesome stuff as far as mascara goes.

  179. jamesemery says

    @Caine

    What’s this about Abbie and the HPV vaccine, exactly? This is news to me!

    Point taken on the Monument and such; wasn’t aware of that one. :/ I had read SOME of the Twatson thread. She’s really, really persona non grata here, huh? Definitely need MORE women in science, though… Hard to marginalize them as the small, insignificant ‘other’ when they are present in equal or greater numbers ;)

  180. says

  181. Sally Strange, OM says

    Look, James, Abbie will still continue to be a woman in science, regardless of whether people regard her as a misogynist.

    Your concern is misplaced.

  182. John Morales says

    [OT]

    <blockquote>PLEASE help me out with the syntax</blockquote>

    PLEASE help me out with the syntax

  183. says

    Sally:

    Wasn’t it satirical?

    No, but Solanas had been off the deep end for some time at that point. I know feminists who do subscribe to the manifesto and there are others who subscribe to similar, such as the Room of our own women.

  184. happiestsadist says

    The site you linked to on #706. They’re pretty good for calling out misogyny for a pop-culture/fashion-y site.

  185. says

    John:

    [thanks, Caine, but credit should go to SC]

    I need to catch up. Seriously. I do give SC a great deal of credit for not letting up on it. Abby was in a place of potentially doing a lot of harm.

  186. Dianne says

    Definitely need MORE women in science, though… Hard to marginalize them as the small, insignificant ‘other’ when they are present in equal or greater numbers ;)

    You’d be surprised. Women go to medical school in near equal numbers with men. Somehow the deans, department heads, and university presidents are still mostly men.

  187. jamesemery says

    @Sally 703:

    Holy Cow! Yeah, that falls into that ‘whether he says so or not’ by a LONG shot! WTF?

    705:
    Well, that depends… Valerie shot Andy Warhol over some stupid shit, and SHE apparently took it pretty seriously. I was trying to illustrate a point, and it probably WOULDN’T generally be used seriously. However, that WOULD be misandry, by ANY definition. Am I wrong here?

    @Caine 706:

    WHOA, hold on, back up a sec… I’m talking about distinguishing it to the person you’re CORRECTING, not among yourselves. Obviously, you’re going to have some people who STILL won’t appreciate the distinction, hence the “ZOMG DID YOU JUST CALL ME A RAPIST???!!!” contingent from the EG affair. Some of us DO appreciate the distinction. Would you be more open to, “Hey, you did this wrong” (which is exactly what RW did when she made her “don’t do that” comment), or “YOU STUPID NINCOMPOOP, HOW COULD YOU FUCK THIS UP?”. That’s the only point I was trying to make.

    Also, I’ll be hitting up those links over the next day or two… I’m trying to juggle commenting while washing dishes and helping my lovely lady cook :D

  188. Ichthyic says

    What’s this about Abbie and the HPV vaccine, exactly? This is news to me!

    it was quite simple, really.

    Abbie made a mistake, and she refused to admit it.

    she does that a lot.

    here was the mistake:

    HPV vaccination is 100% effective in preventing cervical cancer.

    why is that a mistake?

    because while it IS true that 100% of all known cervical cancers trace their cause to HPV infection, there are MANY strains of HPV, and the vaccine (brand name Gardasil) only vaccinates against a handful of them (the most common 4 strains).

    even in the Gardasil literature, it’s quite apparent that those 4 strains account for about 70% of HPV infections that lead to cervical cancer.

    what’s more, we have no long term studies yet that tell us exactly how long the inoculations will last

    so, the problem is twofold here:

    one, it isn’t accurate to say that inoculation is 100% effective in preventing cervical cancer, and two, what saying so does do, is give women the false impression they no longer need pap smears to test for cervical cancer if they got inoculated.

    Abbie was shown to be incorrect in the way she worded her statement, but rather than make a simple fix, and make it clear that pap smears were still useful and needed as a screening technique (and not just for cervical cancer, btw), she instead chose to literally attack the messenger, much like those pitbulls she loves so much, and do harm to her credibility in the process.

    yes, that’s right, she did harm to her own credibility, and damnit, that’s a bad thing when she is one of the best weapons in the blogosphere to fight ignorance about how viruses work.

    clear?

  189. John Morales says

    [utterly OT]

    The doctors at my local clinic:
    Dr. Ken Sieben
    Dr. Abdullah Al Jobair
    Dr. Naquibul Islam
    Dr. Azar Arvand
    Dr. Armin Ghoreshi

    (All men, all Australian)

  190. says

    James Emery:

    Would you be more open to,

    What you are refusing to grok is the fact that we do both, as necessary. In the Social Media thread (which I linked), I was one of the people who refused to jump on someone who was initially seen as one of the ‘bad guys’. A very good discussion resulted. That’s because I (like most all the other regulars here) can distinguish between someone who is misunderstanding something or just clueless and someone who is a misogynist.

    FYI, we also get our fair share of female misogynists too. There’s one by the nym of needfulcarp in this thread. I spent quite a while attempting to have a discussion with that one.

  191. jamesemery says

    @Caine:

    Also, if I haven’t shoved my head TOO far up my ass, I’m having trouble keeping up with what’s being said with other shit to do. With the distinguishing thing, too, I was referring only to how Sally was putting it, and if that’s touchy, STFUpping about it right now.

    @Ichthyic 722
    Thanks for that clarification. Got it :)

    @Dianne
    Yes, that’s a big problem. What’s going on to combat that?

  192. Sally Strange, OM says

    Holy Cow! Yeah, that falls into that ‘whether he says so or not’ by a LONG shot! WTF?

    What are you saying? That you don’t believe me? Don’t you want to know the backstory?

    Remember that bit about gaslighting?

  193. says

    Alan Kellogg:

    Feminism made it possible for women to work outside the home.

    Actually, the history of women working is an interesting one. Women often worked outside the home, which was amazing, given just how much fucking work they had to do inside of it. Have you ever read A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard?

    In more recent times, it wasn’t feminism that allowed women to work outside of the home, it was wartime.

  194. says

    James Emery:

    I’m having trouble keeping up with what’s being said with other shit to do.

    We’re fast paced around here. Right now, I’m commenting, working and watching Rebel Without A Cause with Mister. ;)

  195. Esteleth says

    Women are completely capable of being misogynists (see internalization).
    Take, for example, women who buy into the claptrap that if they follow certain rules, they’ll be protected from harm.

    OT: I’m posting from my phone and I gotta say, the mobile site is nice!

  196. The Laughing Coyote says

    Caine and Kellogg: I once heard a quote somewhere.

    “Employers have never had a problem with hiring on women, just paying them equal wages.”

    It seemed pretty sensible at the time, but looking at it now it seems kind of a simplification.

  197. says

    Sally:

    What are you saying? That you don’t believe me?

    I don’t think so. In fairness, I think James is waking up in some respects and is trying to learn as quickly as he can. Things can be shocking when you’ve been unaware of them.

  198. The Laughing Coyote says

    I think James is definitely learning some things, FWIW. I kind of sensed that he wanted to from when he first appeared, TBH, but wanted to remain silent and see how it plays out. Because I’ve been wrong on first impressions many times.

    James, I was shocked as shit to learn some of this stuff too. But it became impossible to ignore once I did.

  199. says

    TLC:

    Employers have never had a problem with hiring on women

    Actually, they have had a problem. Historically, what employment women could find was from abusive employers who employed children and women specifically because they could exploit them and pay them shit.

  200. jamesemery says

    @Caine 734 + Sally

    Oh, I know that shit happens… It never takes away the shock of hearing about it, though.

    Let me tell you a bit about where I grew up, and this story has little to do with feminism really, but…

    I went to school in an area that didn’t have serious cliques, and where the football players and cheerleaders were, strangely enough, some of the nicest people in school. It’s like upside-down land to what I hear about in other places and what I see in teen movies, in a lot of ways. How weird is that?
    People still generally keep their assholishness to themselves around here, in my experience. I know it’s not that way all over, as I saw a lot of it elsewhere in the military (which is both sexist AND religious as hell, unfortunately), but I didn’t grow up with as much of it. I see more and more of it as I grow older, though, and more people around me fall into poverty. It’s almost like they revert to the most hickish, racist, sexist caricatures. STILL, I don’t see as much of that sort of thing openly, at least. We grows us some strong womens around here, though :) I used to enjoy joking that my ex would toss a refrigerator at someone who messed with her. I’m from Roanoke, VA, btw, if anyone’s had a different experience, here. I know that my experience IS through my own lens of privilege, and I probably missed a lot.

  201. says

    James:

    I know that my experience IS through my own lens of privilege, and I probably missed a lot.

    Yep. Acknowledging that is a big first step into much greater awareness. Good for you.

  202. Sally Strange, OM says

    Sorry James. I apologize for misinterpreting.

    This dude told my boyfriend (because he loves chatting with the male gym members, because he basically has no life outside his gym) that he prefers his women young because they’re “easier to train.”

  203. says

    jamesemery, you make wading through these threads worthwhile. I’ve stopped posting as much in the sexism threads, because the MRAs just harsh my mellow faster than flashing lights in the hind-view mirror.

    Then I see the lights come on for someone, the curtains get pulled back, and they see just how deep the rabbit hole goes.

    Yeah, my metaphors are mixier than an Old Fashioned at Fuddruckers.

    Anyway, it’s good to see enlightenment in action.

  204. The Laughing Coyote says

    That is pretty loathsome. Sounds uncomfortably close to the phenomenon of ‘Grooming’, at least the way I picture it, and that’s all I can really coherently say.

  205. Tethys says

    jamesemery

    Thanks for the fyi on the current location of the terms of use.

    Its good to see that you are now trying to add to the discussion rather than tell the horde how to behave.

    Kudos for getting that cultural privilege does exist and trying to learn about it. As the comic illustrates, once you understand what the problem is, you will notice how very pervasive it is.

    Any thoughts to share on makeup?

    Caine

    I go through phases with my nails. I the spring when I am constantly digging and planting I try to keep them polished just because they’re much easier to clean. When I’m painting or carving though the polish just gets destroyed.

    I always keep the toes polished. They are currently a metallic violet.

  206. says

    Oh IM, IM, wherefore art thou? What was that you said about not one of the commentariat ever saying they were wrong or sorry?

    Sally @ 739: Sorry James

    Me @ 714: I’m so glad to have been wrong about this (eventually).

  207. Father Ogvorbis: It's Good for You. It Builds Character says

    jamesemery:

    The good (and odd (not necessarily different people)) folk here at Pharyngula woke me up to a whole shitload of unexamined sexism on my part. It is very enjoyable to see others get the wet halibut of enlightenment upside the head (that’s sorta how it felt to me). Welcome, and I hope you stick around.

  208. jamesemery says

    Awwwww, shuuuuuuucks, guuuuuuuys ;)

    Yeah, I knew about a lot of what happened, and I know why I don’t always see it, but the BIGGEST thing here seems to be learning how to INTERACT with feminists. I’ve never, so far as I know, PERSONALLY known any until just recently, and I may not agree on every single tiny detail of everything (yet), but I know it’s a set of equality ideals worth supporting. I’ll ask more questions that will get me into trouble later, but right this second, I’ll just bask in the (tentative) acceptance…

    I’ve really wanted to become part of this community for awhile, because there’s so much to learn, but it HAS been a bit hard :/

  209. The Laughing Coyote says

    I was thinking, back to I.M. questioning the usefulness of ‘Privilege’ as a concept. Not to dredge that shit up or anything, but I think I have an answer. I don’t give a rat’s red ass about I.M., but I think the answer I thought up may or may not help James a little.

    Before I started understanding the concept of privilege and thinking about it, The feminist movement, movements for GLBT rights, racial equality, tolerance, and other human rights, all seemed completely separate social issues, each isolated from the other. As soon as headway seemed to be made in one, the other would rear its ugly head. A nasty bag of snakes all around.

    Except it wasn’t a bag of snakes. It’s actually a Lernean hydra, and ‘Privilege’ is the fat greasy heart behind all these different heads, pumping thick black blood into each of them.

    Privilege is a useful concept because, at least for me, it unifies all of these different issues. They make more sense in a broader context now.

    Hope that helps (someone, at least).

  210. Father Ogvorbis: It's Good for You. It Builds Character says

    and I may not agree on every single tiny detail of everything (yet),

    And you prolly never will. We really are not a hivemind. Honest.

  211. says

    James:

    I’ve really wanted to become part of this community for awhile, because there’s so much to learn, but it HAS been a bit hard :/

    If you weren’t smacked around by Truth Machine, count yourself happy and fortunate.

    Welcome to the Shark Tank, James. Our lounge is TET, where all things may be discussed, from the intensely frivolous to the deadly serious. Feel free to dive in.

  212. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    I think the patriarchy is fueled by make-up wearing only if there are rigid rules about who can wear make-up.

    …and who must wear make-up.

    After all, “you’re only a real woman if you…” and “you’re only a real woman if you don’t…” are only superficially differently coercive.
    -

    Frankly, you LOVE the MRAs – they are the perfect bogeyman with which to scare people and shut down all conversation. What would you do if they weren’t here?

    Oh, I dunno…not have the same…fuckin’…arguments, overandoverandoverandover, frequently in almost exactly the same words? More discussion of bluebirds, daffodils, chocolate, and the impending Equine Apocalypse? Discuss pretty much any thing else?
    -

  213. says

    James:

    Lotsa previous asshats spoiling the soup, amirite?

    Oh yeah. And if you stick around and comment regularly, you’ll soon be fighting the good fight and find out right quick for yourself. We get them all here, bigots, proselytizers, creationists, advocates of woo, misogynists and other assorted douchecakes.

  214. jamesemery says

    @Father 750

    Yeah, yeah, I see queen PZ hiding in the background there. WHAT’S HE DOING WITH THAT OCTOPUS??? OH GAWD, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    @Laughing 749

    I actually had an interesting convo about that back in the Elevator War of Aught-11. Never really had a problem with the social theory at all, as it made perfect sense to me. Using it in the pejorative sense didn’t, and still doesn’t really. On the other hand, if you don’t have time to break down why something someone did was sexist Barney-style, it may be the only option ;)

  215. says

    TLC:

    Before I started understanding the concept of privilege and thinking about it, The feminist movement, movements for GLBT rights, racial equality, tolerance, and other human rights, all seemed completely separate social issues, each isolated from the other. As soon as headway seemed to be made in one, the other would rear its ugly head. A nasty bag of snakes all around.

    We’ve had people here who have insisted that feminism is stupid and pointless because it ignores the fight for equality, often using the “it’s all separate” explanation. They’re particularly difficult to get through to, to say the least.

    Excellent post, btw.

  216. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    jamesemery*:

    I’ve really wanted to become part of this community for awhile, because there’s so much to learn, but it HAS been a bit hard :/

    No, it’s not necessarily easy, but you’ll get the hang of it here. Just bear in mind that you could be challenged on anything that you say, and that’s a good thing. :)

    Caine:

    needfulcarp

    She was so. Fucking. Annoying.

    *My turtle’s name is Emery.

  217. Tethys says

    Frankly, you LOVE the MRAs – they are the perfect bogeyman with which to scare people and shut down all conversation.

    Oh irony, thou name is IM.

  218. Ichthyic says

    We’ve had people here who have insisted that feminism is stupid and pointless because it ignores the fight for equality

    and we’ve seen people who insist that racism no longer exists, and affirmative action is not just pointless, but actually interferes in the fight for equality.

    ignorance of history and mountains of evidence, in both cases.

    Unfortunately the people who actually ARE ignorant of the impacts of history have mostly won on the legislative side of things.

    I can understand why: It’s easier for a politician to say they are “for equality”, while appealing to people whose racism/sexism is born of sheer ignorance by saying that removing affirmative action meets that need. In an ideal world, we indeed wouldn’t need affirmative action.

    This is not that world. This world has a history that cannot be denied, and that history has had undeniable impacts on our society and culture for generations.

    it’s very sad to me that it appears to be so easy to ignore the obvious, and make such bad decisions, but there it is.

    OTOH, for the truly ignorant, I can’t blame them too much; if you grow up in a society where all you heard was that certain classes/races/sexes were inferior, then why should you think differently?

    but then, that’s what the damn comic was trying to point out.

    it’s a much bigger problem than just dealing with racism or sexism in society, specifically though.

    Ignorance is the single biggest hurdle to real personal freedom there is.

    and WILLFUL ignorance is, and should always be, considered a severe mental illness of a most destructive nature.

  219. says

    Audley:

    She was so. Fucking. Annoying.

    Fuckin’ A. Every time she brought up the Imma chill girl crap, I wanted to be able to go all Futurama and slap her right through the monitor.

  220. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Caine:

    I wanted to be able to go all Futurama and slap her right through the monitor.

    Sweet Jesus, this. I just quickly skimmed the thread you linked to (and another with needfulcarp) and I am amazed at our collective stamina.

    Heh. If Zerple is lurking, xe should read the links to those old posts. Compared to my posts over there, I’ve been Mary -fucking- Poppins on this thread.

  221. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    Who’s up for discussing makeup? Lipstick, yes or no?

    Lipstick, apparently not available in blue, at a reasonable price (or at all, in Springfield). Last year about this time, it gave me a serious disappoint.

    Less facetiously, lipstick at will, without compulsion or censure. On me, though, it tends to drift somewhat from where I put it…and make-up base generally does the same…as well as make my lips break out. I generally have to remove lipstick within about 4 hours. Possibly I could wear some sort of hypoallergenic, non-petroleum-containing brand, but I don’t wear it often enough to make it worthwhile.
    -

    “That’s feminism 101, go familiarize yourself with the basics” got repeated a lot. It quickly became clear that, on this particular topic, the vast majority of unknown commentors asking basic questions weren’t interested in actually learning anything so much as poisoning the discussion by casting doubt.

    At least, they weren’t interested to the extent of reading at provided links, or even following such suggestions as, “we already answered this; see comment #XYZ, above”.
    -

    [...] but I find up close, too much makeup has a very offputting oily cosmetic smell. Perhaps it’s just me though.

    Nope. I also find it offputting; just one more reason why I seldom wear it.
    -

    Many of us here (myself included) think that Pharyngula with all of its warts and boils is a safe place.

    A friendly, warm and welcoming place. A home-like place. A place where we can all take our shoes off, put our feet up on the coffee table, and sit around in our underwear.

    Metaphorically speaking.

    ;)
    -

  222. says

    Audley:

    I’ve been Mary -fucking- Poppins on this thread.

    No shit. Same with me. And still, we get dumped on even when we are being Mary -fucking- Poppins, which is one of the reasons Tone Trolls are so damn despicable.

  223. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    james:

    Audley, is that your way of saying I’m slow on the uptake? :P

    Ha! No, just thought it was a funny coincidence (for me anyway).

    She may be physically slow, by my Emery is pretty damned smart. She’s the only one of my pets that actually comes when I call her (albeit not very fast).

  224. says

    Caine:

    What was that you said about not one of the commentariat ever saying they were wrong or sorry?

    Oh, fuck. I’m always admitting I’m wrong, it seems. And I have even apologized several times for going all, “Oh, so you think you know a little something-something about science, huh newbie? You come on strong with your unsupported assertions like you think you can rock the Casbah, so bring it!” and they’re all, “Uhm, I just wanted to say hi,” and I’m all, “Saying hi is an unsupported assertion! Your Casbah has been rocked.”

    Later, when I’m using their bones to pick the newbie out of my teeth, I realize I might’ve been a tad rough. I usually apologize to their next of kin.

    Not always, though. Sometimes I just admire how sniny my teeth are.

  225. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Caine:

    I had almost forgotten that and just how fucking annoying that was.

    Me too. I may be speaking too soon, but this thread hasn’t felt nearly as bad.

    Okay kids, it’s bed time for Audley. ‘Night, all!

  226. says

    jamesemery:

    Using it [privilege] in the pejorative sense didn’t, and still doesn’t really.

    It isn’t so much that privilege is used as a pejorative. It’s the implication that the privileged person is willfully ignoring their privilege to continue with their behavior, or even arguing against the fact that they are in a privileged position.

    And that is just being a special kind of carob-covered asshole.

  227. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    Burt’s Bees has a pomegranate lip balm.

    Yes, indeed. There’s a tube of it about 12″ in front of me, this very minute.

    I also get good use out of Un-Petroleum lip balm, available in vanilla, tangerine, and cherry.
    -

    The commentariat is a collective noun, referring to the set of all commenters; that includes you, by virtue of your comments here.
    (Why the scare quotes?)

    From context, I’d say that xe means it as an insult.
    -

    The only makeup I wear is THE BLOOD OF MY SLAIN ENEMIES.
    You know, because I’m manly.

    And I’m sure you look absolutely stunning in it. :P
    -

  228. says

    Nigel:

    Later, when I’m using their bones to pick the newbie out of my teeth, I realize I might’ve been a tad rough. I usually apologize to their next of kin.

    :laughin’: I likes my sniny teeth too.

  229. Father Ogvorbis: It's Good for You. It Builds Character says

    What was that you said about not one of the commentariat ever saying they were wrong or sorry?

    Hell, on this very thread I have been yelled at for apologizing. Check comment 355.

    Well, not yelled at, but sternly talked to.

  230. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    I always keep the toes polished. They are currently a metallic violet.

    Mine are metallic silver, with an irridescent/pearly over-coat. Damn, but they’re purty!
    :)
    -

    Also, I now know WHY it was hard. Lotsa previous asshats spoiling the soup, amirite?

    Too many turds in the punchbowl.
    :)
    -

    Except it wasn’t a bag of snakes. It’s actually a Lernean hydra, and ‘Privilege’ is the fat greasy heart behind all these different heads, pumping thick black blood into each of them.

    I like it!
    -

  231. PaulG says

    Ogvorbis:

    Well, not yelled at, but sternly talked to.

    Well, at least you didn’t blindly question the scientific credentials of an actual geneticist! ;-)

  232. jamesemery says

    Hi Nigel,

    Yeah, there are plenty of those fuckers too. I don’t agree with using it that way generally, but with some folks, it just doesn’t matter how you put it, they’re going to take it wrong.

    Sindeloke’s post should be presented in high school. It would alleviate a lot of problems.

  233. John Morales says

    [meta]

    PaulG:

    Well, at least you didn’t blindly question the scientific credentials of an actual geneticist! ;-)

    Who here did that?

    (If no-one did, what is your point?)

  234. says

    James:

    Sindeloke’s post should be presented in high school. It would alleviate a lot of problems.

    I’d say the concept needs to be taught much earlier than high school, to both girls and boys.

  235. jamesemery says

    Caine,

    It should, but do you think they’d go with that particular analogy, that is, that they’d understand it much younger?

    I might spawn at some point, and a good explanation of this for younger kids could help ;)

  236. says

    And the stench of Monkey Genes wafts into the room.

    John:

    Who here did that?

    In this thread, no one. There was an argument with Don Kane, a geneticist in the Haters thread over his usage of a term. My problem wasn’t with his term usage (I think it was phenotype), but his particular thickness when it came to women active in churches.

  237. says

    James:

    It should, but do you think they’d go with that particular analogy, that is, that they’d understand it much younger?

    I might spawn at some point, and a good explanation of this for younger kids could help ;)

    I think much younger kids can easily handle the concept. Most of the regulars here have kids and are raising them to be aware. There’s a lot of discussion about the difficulties involved, most of which comes from outside the home, natch.

    If you ask about this in TET, you’ll be flooded with answers after everyone sees the post.

  238. Mattir says

    Well, the DaughterSpawn and I are both redheads now, to support the upcoming infestation of redheads (and one purplehead) in Rhinebeck. And to support Katherine, there may be even be some leg-hair-waxing. (Yes, trollish Boy Scout nagging about how one would never be able to find a boyfriend if one had more leghair than one’s brother did not inspire any outbreaks of femme grooming. Supporting a transwoman, however, did.)

    I have been getting pedicures for the last several months, partly because I seem to have absorbed the message somewhere that only that sort of woman would have painted toenails (and I’ve decided that it’s time to become whatever that is) and partly because it feels so damn good. There’s also the advantage that my toes are not my fingers – I keep my fingernails less than a 16th of an inch long so as to be able to do stuff with my hands without them getting in the way, and nail polish on my fingernails is just annoying. Right now my fingernails and fingers are blue, but that’s because I was dyeing with indigo on Sunday.

    I like the idea of makeup, but I’m only comfortable with powder, waterproof mascara (so that I can’t rub it into raccoon eyes), eyebrow pencil, and lightly tinted lip gloss.

    James, you have made great progress. Welcome to the Horde. You can take a number for your Ghey Secks with Brownian, but the line is moving VERY slowly and there’s a lot of paperwork to fill out.

  239. John Morales says

    Caine,

    There was an argument with Don Kane

    Oh?

    (Clearly, I epitomise the ‘asshole’ phenotype)

  240. hotshoe says

    Possibly I could wear some sort of hypoallergenic, non-petroleum-containing brand, but I don’t wear it often enough to make it worthwhile.

    My significant other convinced me twenty years ago to NEVER use petroleum-based product anywhere on human skin, and no one in the family has regretted it since. It seems particularly easy now, with beeswax/almond/coconut oil/etc products available at regular stores.

    Well, I know all that cosmetic stuff is supposedly tested on animals without notable harm, and I’ve never seen any studies that prove non-petroleum products are better … but like you say, your normal lipstick makes your lips break out after a few hours. I wouldn’t do it, putting on something I knew I had to take off in just a few hours to avoid annoying symptoms.

    But then, I wouldn’t put on high heels, either – I cannot imagine any social situation where I would be willing to wear a pair of shoes that I expected to make my feet, knees, and back ache after just a few hours. Good thing I’m not in a position where anyone can make me!

  241. jamesemery says

    Mattir,

    It’s only ghey if the balls touch, right? (/snark)

    Don’t know Brownian just yet, but I’m sure e’s a delightful person :D

  242. Ichthyic says

    My problem wasn’t with his term usage (I think it was phenotype), but his particular thickness when it came to women active in churches.

    so, you weren’t questioning his credentials on genetics, you were questioning his ignorance on something entirely unrelated?

    and, btw, FWIW, a molecular genetecist doesn’t necessary have an entire grasp on what phenotype expression entails either.

    I know a lot of geneticists that could give a flying fuck about traits; that’s not where their interests and background is.

    not saying that’s the case with Don Kane, but IIRC, doesn’t he work primarily at the molecular level?

    something about centromeres and zebrafish vaguely rings a bell?

  243. says

    Hotshoe:

    But then, I wouldn’t put on high heels, either

    I have a man’s suit, tailored to fit me which I wear with my fedora and a silk tank. Part of that ensemble are my 4 inch heels. Sometimes, ya just gotta. ;) Other than that, I’m either barefoot or wearing Chucks. I loves my Chucks, all dozen pairs.

  244. Ichthyic says

    btw, looking at Don’s post where you linked it.

    I rather thought John’s first response there was interesting.

  245. Ichthyic says

    yeah, I think Don went off the rails in that thread when he said:

    Sorry, I don’t get the “I don’t think so”

    In SPITE of all the patriarchy stuff, there are still more women in the churches.

    without even realizing what he had just said.

  246. says

    James:

    Don’t know Brownian just yet, but I’m sure e’s a delightful person :D

    Brownian would be the first person to tell you he’s not delightful at all. However, he is adored here and the Horde finds him most delightful indeed. :D

    Ichthyic:

    so, you weren’t questioning his credentials on genetics, you were questioning his ignorance on something entirely unrelated?

    I wasn’t, no. Neither were several other people. There was a separate argument about the whole use of phenotype business.

    In a different thread, I mentioned him and that he claimed to be a geneticist, my very poorly worded comment intending to relay that even smart people, like scientists, can be denser than a brick. PZ posted that he knows Mr. Kane personally and he is a geneticist and a good one.

  247. says

    Ichthyic:

    yeah, I think Don went off the rails in that thread when he said:

    Sorry, I don’t get the “I don’t think so”

    Augh, yeah. I almost went into thump mode over that, and did shortly thereafter. Seriously thick, that one.

  248. hotshoe says

    I have a man’s suit, tailored to fit me which I wear with my fedora and a silk tank. Part of that ensemble are my 4 inch heels.

    And you look killer! So it’s worth it.

    Sometimes, ya just gotta. ;) Other than that, I’m either barefoot or wearing Chucks. I loves my Chucks, all dozen pairs.

    My favorite pair of shoes in my life were white tennies that I decorated with orange and pink nailpolish spirals. I’ve never had the patience to paint another pair of shoes, though. I’m too hard on ‘em, they don’t last.

  249. cashforyourscars says

    My two cents (trust me, I only have 2):

    1. I recently had a thought that, when I wear makeup, it’s pretty natural. And by natural, I don’t mean the colors or anything…I mean, I’m either trying to use my coloring to attract a mate or I’m trying to camouflage myself, and that’s as natural as it gets, right? (Now I’m trying to imagine which styles of makeup would be interpreted as “Don’t eat me! I’m poison!”)(Oh and I’m kind of just kidding on the “attract a mate” part…my “mates” learn real soon that makeup is something I wear when I’m uncomfortable, and it’s only if they’re lucky that I’ll discard it.)

    2. I’ve been wondering this for awhile, and this was the real reason I wanted to post something…if commenters wouldn’t mind responding, I’d like to ask: What was your “red pill” moment? Here, in regards to feminism, though I’m sure the answers would be interesting for many status-quo-and/or-bass-ackwards-schools-of-thought.

    I should probably show you mine if I expect you to show me yours…Well, to start, before my “red pill,” my mindset was pretty much along the lines of, “Well I’VE never had a problem, so surely there is no problem! Silly wimminz!” Sigh. I could get into more details, but this is enough that you can get where I was coming from. Sigh again.

    So, yeah. I had these sorts of thoughts from some point in grade school (around ’94-’95) until fucking 2007-ish. Oh, you know, around election time…

    But it wasn’t the crazy college atmosphere that got me. Okay, I’m in Illinois–hello, Obama Country. Duh. What was it then? Pantsuits. I’m not fucking kidding. That was the last straw, I guess. And let me tell you, I was fucking pissed that it broke my back.

    Let me clarify (at least I’ll try): I wasn’t super-concerned about how Hillary Clinton’s campaign was going (see: Obama Country, IL), but there was some magazine, or some news show, or some website, or SOMETHING, I don’t even remember, but I heard yet another person comment on her clothes. (Specifically: pantsuits.)

    And that just…did it for me, somehow. I got that “You can SEE” moment from the comic PZ posted from Ishida, and then after that…

    Well, shit. So uh…long story short, after that, I realized that my perceptions weren’t the fucking world, and I’ve got a lot to learn.

    (Bleh, I hope this contributes to the conversation. If not, I’ll try to do better next time!)

  250. Ing says

    Caine

    Fuckin’ A. Every time she brought up the Imma chill girl crap, I wanted to be able to go all Futurama and slap her right through the monitor.

    AHEM!?

    ——————————————–

    What was that you said about not one of the commentariat ever saying they were wrong or sorry?

    Most frequent utterance while reading the thread: “Oh PUH-Lease”

    Doing so is the quickest way to be a ‘commentariat’. It’s the only way to avoid the BLack Hole

  251. The Ys says

    Pteryxx – sorry, got swamped with work.

    Now I’m curious. In my adult life, I’ve gone up to 30 or so people I’ve seen crying in public (and seen a few more that I didn’t approach, usually because I was in a car or they were and I couldn’t get to them.) Does that correspond with how many you’ve seen?

    I don’t think so. It’s not something I’ve really kept track of, but I don’t remember it being that many people. I tend to focus on my own thoughts, though, and I’m not always aware of what’s going on around me. Thinking back, I remember checking in on crying people seven different times. There may be a few more instances that I’ve forgotten, but I don’t think there’s any way I’m near 30…not unless I can count instances of seeing my friends crying in public.

    I have never had *the person crying* get upset at me for intervening.

    I’m glad to hear that – it’s wonderful of you to step in and offer to help them. I’ve never had anyone be upset or look upset that I spoke up.

    BTW, all the strangers I’ve seen crying have been women, with two exceptions: the gay acquaintance I mentioned, and one young boy about 10.

    All women and teenage girls. The few children I’ve stopped to help weren’t actually crying (so I didn’t include them in my count). They seemed more shocked to be alone than anything else, and I made sure they either knew where to find their parents or waited until a parent tracked them down before I moved on.

    I have seen more than seven people crying in public, but most of them had someone around who was either talking to them (and they didn’t look like they were shying away or uncomfortable with that person) or they were walking…and in some cases, walking, crying, and talking on a cell phone. I don’t feel comfortable with the thought of chasing someone down to ask if she’s ok, so I’ve never done that.

    As for geography/region/location – that’s mostly in small towns, and about 12 years in large-ish cities.

  252. says

    I don’t know when my “red pill” moment was; somewhere in Seattle, I’d wager, but I wouldn’t know when exactly. All I know is that I moved out of California a “chill girl”-idiot, and moved to ND a feminist.

    Though, I did have a few smaller red pill moments right here on pharyngula; about sexist slurs, for example.

  253. Mattir says

    Who has just one red-pill moment in life? I have them all the time. That’s part of why I like Pharyngula – it’s like a giant red pill dispenser.

  254. says

    Jadehawk:

    I did have a few smaller red pill moments right here on pharyngula; about sexist slurs, for example.

    I’ve had those too, the consciousness raising that goes on here has really helped me to continue learning.

  255. cashforyourscars says

    Hi Caine!

    I fell off the edge of the world. I do that sometimes. :)

    (Oh but even if I’m not commenting, I’m definitely lurking…bwa ha ha? I guess that’s not very sinister. That’s okay! Neither am I!)

  256. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Oy! Now all of a sudden the expanded “recent comments” section on the right-hand side is gone, or is it just me?

  257. says

    @Caine

    Oh

    a) Havn’t updated the blog in too long due to dealing with marriage planning, getting distracted by writing/art, getting absorbed in Fallout

    b) Blog sucks

    c) Home computer saved the name/e-mail in non log in making it very easy to not bother to log in. The log in has the pun attached.

  258. insomneac says

    Another guy delurking long enough to say these threads have raised my awareness. Keep up the good work.

  259. cashforyourscars says

    @Mattir: Good call! Hooray for red pills! I guess I was just trying to pin down (for me at least, I know my experience might be* totally different from someone else’s) that first moment when I thought…wait, what? But then, I’ve been ridiculously privileged to the point where I could have such a distinct revelation. Now that I think about it of course (HELLO PRIVILEGE, WHY YES THIS IS QUITE A NICE HORSE TO RIDE UPON), there are probably people who read this and think “Pantsuits? Really? That’s what it took? Hi, my whole life has been having to deal with this bullshit.”

    To which I reply, “MOAR RED PILLS PLZ! THX, PHARYNGULA”

    *and/or “IS TOTALLY”

  260. John Morales says

    cashforyourscars, previous page:

    I’d like to ask: What was your “red pill” moment? Here, in regards to feminism, though I’m sure the answers would be interesting for many status-quo-and/or-bass-ackwards-schools-of-thought.

    Back in my early 20s, I consciously noticed how ‘man’ (‘mankind’) was the collective term for humans (humanity), so I considered the matter.

    (That’s when I first realised the sexism embedded in our language and mores — which led me to consider other embeddings, religion not least of all (we’re ‘creatures’ in ‘creation’, donchano!))

  261. Therrin says

    Father Ogvorbis,

    And you prolly never will. We really are not a hivemind. Honest.

    Speak for myself.

  262. chigau () says

    My first red-pill-moment was in Grade 1. 1961.
    When I was informed that I could not be a Doctor because I was a girl.
    I informed my informant that he, too, could not be a Doctor because he was too stupid.
    Thus setting the tone for the rest of my life.

  263. says

    Actually, the history of women working is an interesting one. Women often worked outside the home, which was amazing, given just how much fucking work they had to do inside of it.

    One should always bear in mind that for large parts of human history there was no seperation between “working inside the home” and “working outside the home”.
    If you think of a farm, that’s a pretty ridiculous thought to begin with. Or a medieval crafts-shop (btw, craftswomen weren’t that uncommon in the Middleages).
    The Housewife is a largely modern invention. Poor people often didn’t have the chance to have one person at home full-time.

    eyeliner
    I use eye-shadow instead of eyeliner, but I apply it with a wet fine brush. So even if it runs out over time it still looks like that was what I intended.

  264. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    [OT]

    hotshoe, I hear lanolin is tested on animals (sheep, specifically). ;)

    Ah, that acerbic baa-lamb John M. :)

  265. Gen the Tealest Deer Around! says

    @ Caine and Matt: Whoops! Damn, that is a lousy mistake to make, one I’d like to say I wouldn’t normally make.

    I’d love to say that it was intentional, a reference to the mouse thing mentioned or to my breath probably smelling like fish bait at that point since I was on my way to brush my teeth, but it really was just an egregious error. Apologies, and thanks.

    Oh, I see we’ve been forsaken by the IntermediateOne. Quelle surprise, really, though I was hoping for a good discussion or something about privilege.

    @ cashforyourscars, 798

    That is a wonderful question, I’m so glad you brought it up! I, too, was a mere 5 (actually, it’s almost 6 years now I think about it) years ago, one of the “sure girls get treated like shit sometimes but it’s improving (right?!?!), why are y’all getting yer pantiies in a wad?!?” crowd.

    In fact, I still have an unposted blog post I wrote for my then blog about feminism and religion in which I make it very clear: I’m no feminist, definitely no shrieking or pantywadding or man hating going on here, all “isms” are bad after all BUT DAMN…

    I simply didn’t think about gender issues all that much, or anything related to social justice, being a white middle-class girl with a father who died and bequeathed on each of his children a trust fund to be used only for tertiary education (For those following along: *that’s* privilege right there. I didn’t think about it because I was privileged in many ways and therefore I didn’t have to deal with these problems. Also, young and naive.)

    Then I became pregnant and I knew I was unhappy about how I was raised and wanted to do better by my kid. I bought all kinds of generic parenting books etc, and when we found out I was expecting a girl, I bought one specific one: “How to raise a girl”, which I later found to be troublesome on many other levels not the least of which is its strong tendency towards biological determinism, but… Okay, I’mma cut myself off. Sorry for the ramble.

    Tealdeer: One sentence. It said something like (and this is a wild paraphrase): “[Woman Scientist] coauthored a book on psychology and development way back when, when these things were being discovered. They used only male subjects for their study and subsequent deductions on what normal development looks like/should look like. The book they wrote was named “Human Development.” Just look at that cognitive dissonance for a moment.”

    That was when, for the first time, everything I’ve seen and experienced and read suddenly just *clicked*.

    I was dumbstruck.

    I read that sentence (the actual sentence, not my garbled and semi-coherent rephrasing) over and over again, for almost an hour, and felt like all my thoughts had stopped at once while simultaneously clamouring out at the top of each of their voices OH MY GOD.

    Women were The Other, men as The Norm, The Default.

    Once I saw that, once I really, truly saw, it became impossible to miss. I mean, suddenly I saw this shit everywhere, all the freaking time. It really was like being made aware of The Matrix.

    I’d also just started rejecting and questioning religion and acknowledging my mental health difficulties, so it dovetailed perfectly, plus, how women are treated during pregnancy and motherhood is a whole course in feminism in itself, once you can see the code.

    After a while, I also started noticing other things, situations where someone like me was The Good Norm – be it by being white, straight, cissexual, comfortably middle class, acceptably thin and tiny physically or whatever, and I started seeing how these things gave me advantages, head-starts on the course of life, just for the random good luck of being born that way.

    Like I said, it just became impossible to miss all of a sudden and I found myself reading about feminism and other social activisms. And I’ll stop now. ;p

  266. says

    red pill moment
    It was more a “red dust setteling” for me.
    I come from a fairly feminist background, but it was always rather “legalistic”. Pro-choice, equal pay for equal work, decent child-care so women could go back to work, women shelters and so on.
    So it kind of made me think that unless those things applied to me personally, I really was already “an equal”.
    But somehow it didn’t match.
    Why was I the one who was told to be careful, and not to walk alone after dark?
    Why was I not only groped by strange men, but also then held responsible?
    Why did male sales asistants in DIY and car-part shops always act as if I were several cards short of a full deck and not knowing what I was talking about?
    And how come my father, a “feminist” acted like his peepee would fall off if he did the housework?
    There was something missing in my rather union-perspective feminism.
    It’s not that those things were wrong, but they weren’t enough.

  267. Godless Heathen says

    @mattir:

    Yeah, I think I’ve been taking low-dose red pills my entire life and have had tons of matrix moments.

    I’ve been a feminist my whole life, ever since I learned to read around age 6 or 7 and my mom started buying me books on the suffrage movement and other women’s rights issues.

    However, I went through a phase in college where I was JUST. SO. TIRED. of being told I had to be careful when drinking, when out late at night, when doing this or that or the other and noticing that men were rarely told the same things and being too independent to always want to have someone (male or female) with me when I went anywhere, that I kind of rebelled and, in some ways, purposely ignored red pill moments.

    Additionally, I had grown up privileged in several other ways and it wasn’t until college that I started having lots of red pill moments about things like class and race (race particularly), so I was focused on learning about that.

    Then, in the past two or three years, around the same time I started becoming aware of the atheist movement as a somewhat organized movement, I started reading feminist blogs and books again and started having my red pill moments again.

    Hopefully, I keep having these moments for the rest of my life.

  268. John Morales says

    Gen,

    Okay, I’mma cut myself off. Sorry for the ramble.

    Off-topic here, but never in TET.

    You’re welcome to share (and vent!) there, anytime.

    (Look under PZ’s mug profile on the right side-bar for the link)

  269. says

    A couple of events from childhood provided the first kickstart when I was about 6ish. When I got a pink dolls teaset instead of the moon rocket I really wanted at Dad’s company Xmas party (they let me trade it, though!); and when I told my aunt I wanted to be a doctor when I grew up and she gave me a dress-up play nurse’s uniform for Xmas.

    I never had a dramatic full-on eyeopening moment, but had many small ones along the way. Just when you think you’ve got the idea, something else comes along and it turns out the rabbit hole was deeper than you thought. And then, woah, race and class and cis privilege… I has them. I’m sure there’s lots more eye-opening to come.

  270. says

    Alethea:

    When I got a pink dolls teaset instead of the moon rocket I really wanted

    I remember, when I turned 6, I wanted a specific set of troll dolls and the troll playhouse. This was known, because I didn’t shut up about it. I did receive it, however, even though A knew what I wanted, she presented me with Barbie and Ken dolls and a pink Barbie house. Ugh.

  271. says

    When I got a pink dolls teaset instead of the moon rocket I really wanted

    How come that we should all have a moment like that.
    I’m too young to remember that, but the family legend goes as follows:
    For my 1st christmas, shortly before my 1st birthday, I got a doll from my paternal grandparents (my grandpa was a misogynistic asshole. I’m sad that I lost him relatively young, but I surely wouldn’t look back at him so fondly if I had known him for longer). I undressed the doll, saw I couldn’t do anything else with it and threw it into the corner. For my birthday I got a big cool plastic truck that was one of my favourite toys for years to come.
    Because if he disliked anything more than girls it was not being adored and loved and admired by them, from that day on I always got the same toys as my male cousin.
    Took me some time to figure out that I didn’t get the cool stuff because he thought I should play with them, but because that was his only way to make me thank him (I never politely thanked people who gave me crap.)

  272. Louis says

    Red Pill Moment? Great question, cashforyourscars!

    Mine was not so much a red pill moment as a Red Clue By Four To The Head and it happened right here on Pharyngula.

    I’m a bit of an old hand around here, whether or not some people recognise me. I’ve been bantering with PZ since the Talk Origins days and was one of the first converts to this new-fangled blogging experience that is Pharyngula. Sadly for me, my ability to comment frequently is patchy due to that Real Life. Or perhaps I just suck at time management! Either way, not sure if I count as a Hordie or not. As far as I’m concerned, most of the Hordies are bloody newcomers, punk kids messing up mah lawn, with their music and hair!*

    Rather than rehash the details of one or two arguments on these issues I’ll reiterate the conclusions: I was misunderstood once, and on about thirty bajillion separate occasions I was wr…wro…wron…GAH can’t say it…differently correct. ;-)

    Not a bad ratio eh? Right once, wrong a LOT!

    Being that wrong, that often got me thinking. Perhaps those fucking hideous, dirty scumbags on the interwebs are right and *I’m* wrong. No, no that couldn’t be it….could it? That would mean that *I* was the fucking hideous, dirty scumbag? NEVAR!111oneeleven!!!1!

    So I thought to myself: “I know what, I shall read A Book.”, I was very proud of this thought and took the rest of the day off. The next day, after a bit of a lie down, I ordered a couple of books on feminism from Amazon after checking out the reading lists of a couple of universities and over the next few months, when I had the time, I did done me some o’ that fancy book readin’.

    I ordered a couple more books, read them, read a few more things on the web an did something very, very, VERY important: I shut the fuck up whenever feminism and such topics came up on Pharyngula. I did that for several reasons, not least of which was I didn’t really want my arse handed to me again whilst I was still learning the very, very basics. Another reason was from about the first page of the first book it was abundantly fucking clear that I had been wro…wron…alternatively accurate and authoritative.

    Now I don’t claim to know as much about these topics as most Hordies, especially not the proper social scientists who have actually studied this stuff properly, but what that reading out in MeatSpace, elsewhere online and here at Pharyngula did was make me think and permit me enough understanding to start to engage in the conversations with a little more useful ability. Which I now do.

    I’m still learning, and actually I’ll sort of echo a whine of Indeterminate Me’s: Pharyngula isn’t the place to discuss some of the more academic concerns I now have. **HOWEVER** it is not for the reasons Indeterminate Me thinks it is…or at least the proximal cause is not what IM thinks it is. I got my arse handed to me relatively nicely. These were the days before rusty porcupines to the anus. The meanness of the people who hit me with the Red Clue By Four to my pointy head was a FEATURE not a BUG. It worked very well in my case. This does not work for everyone, nor is an endorsement of this as a universal technique. And if anyone has a reading comprehension above that of a houseplant, they’ll find that very, very few of the meanest of meanies here at Pharyngula (self included) advocate “All Meanness, All The Time”. Most, like me, advocate the “let a thousand flowers bloom” approach, do what works, and don’t be afraid to be mean when someone richly deserves it.

    This brings me back to that proximal cause I mentioned. The reason Pharyngula is not the place to discuss the academic quibbles I might have is precisely because it’s so open and popular. We get a lot of seagull posters, i.e. the sort, like Indeterminate Me, who just come in squawking and shit all over everything. That does not engender an atmosphere conducive to academic discussion. (Way to shoot yourself in the foot IM)

    Couple that to an atmosphere where muppetry is only barely tolerated, and then only very briefly, a very vigorous group of commenters with sniny teeth and coats glossy with troll blood, an the general free for all frivolity of the place and stuffy discussion is not what you are going to get. I think someone else mentioned all this, I’m really sorry I forgot who this was and I’d give credit if I remembered!

    Anyway, TL;DR. Short version: Red Pill Moment = Me being wrong here at Pharyngula and getting a kicking. This spurred learning, learning spurred change.

    Can we have beer now?

    Louis

    *Caution: Post contains humour. Some of this may not be serious.

  273. Louis says

    I should point out that my “Pharyngula is not the place for academic quibbles” comment is both a lament and a celebration.

    Lament: I’d love to have detailed, scholarly discussions with the resident subject experts here. This is rendered almost impossible by the seagull posters I mentioned. Especially on hot-button topics like feminism where the signal to noise ratio is discouraging to say the least. Needless to say I think the blame, if we have to go there, lies at the feet and fingers of the seagull posters.

    Celebration: I love the atmosphere at Pharyngula 99% of the time. It’s a knock down, drag out saloon bar fight. It’s irreverent, educational and funny not in-spite of the meanness of the commentary sometimes, but because of it. It’s fast learning! Like PZ said once, it’s the deep end, not the paddling pool. Not every environment is fit for every purpose.

    Also, one thing I forgot to mention about the sort of echo of IM’s complaint is this: popular as Pharyngula is it is a) not all of science, b) not all of the atheist movement, c) not all of the internet. The effort IM has put into whing could have been spent setting up a Pharyngula meta discussion forum. With rules and Niceness Police and everything. No one can stop you doing that. Nothing and no one is stopping anyone discussing anything they like. Go do it.

    Louis

  274. Louis says

    Haha John, I AM relaxed, like I said: HUMOUR!!!!!!!!

    I have occasionally been known to take the piss. Shhhh, it’s pretty subtle, don’t let on.

    Louis

  275. says

    Louis:

    I’m a bit of an old hand around here, whether or not some people recognise me.

    Are you not my Sister-wife Brother-husband, as we’re both fake spouses of Josh, Official Spokesgay?

  276. says

    Oy, my red pill moment was when I spouted my idiot face off about abortion rights and I was quickly corrected where I’d been wrong. I just started shutting up and listening when it came to topics about feminism.

    Then my next red pill moment was when I spouted my idiot face off about why “misogyny” wasn’t such a bad word and I was quickly corrected on why it was wrong, and didn’t get why I was wrong, so again I shut up about feminism.

    I’m sure I’ll have quite a few more feminist-type red pills in the future, but for the moment, I’ve learned to basically shut up and let those who understood the issue speak more appropriately on it.

  277. Louis says

    Shit Caine I was hoping you weren’t going to mention that. I’ve been a bad Brother-Husband and a Neglectful Sort-Of-Hetero-Fake-Life-Partner to Josh. I feel very guilty about it too.

    I need to be punished. I demand NO SPANKINGS! I also demand fewer cookies and a bacon embargo lasting an appropriately severe amount of time. I may even not drink beer for minutes at a time as some form of near Opus Dei-like atonement.

    Or we could just go to the pub…my round.

    Louis

  278. says

    Katherine Lorraine, don’t you dare be hard on yourself. When you first showed up here, you were beginning the struggle out of deep religious indoctrination and barely starting to articulate your thoughts and feelings about many subjects. It was not an easy journey and you handled yourself well.

  279. Louis says

    But rape jokes are hilarious, right? You know because those hysterical victims just make it all up and probably deserved it and it’s only a joke anyway, right?

    Right?

    High five?

    Anyone?

    Anyone?

    {Tumbleweeds}

    {Forever Alone}

    Louis

  280. Louis says

    Katherine Lorraine,

    I second what Caine says. All I had to get over was my own AWESOME privilege and ignorance, and that was hard enough. You got over a lot more, a lot quicker, and with less apparent effort (I’m not saying it was easy, I’m saying you made it look easy). To me that speaks volumes about your strength of character. Nice work!

    Louis

  281. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    I didn’t really have a “red pill moment”– my parents are both feminists, so I never really got the “girls act this way” shit until I hit high school. When I did realize that I didn’t fit the standard mores of beauty and femininininity*, I simply said “fuck that” and did what I wanted to do anyway.

    I’m still learning lots, though. The big stumbling block right now is my language. “Son of a bitch” (for example) has been hard to drop.

    And now I’m off to work.

    *Not in my spell check. :(

  282. Louis says

    ARGH! My memory keeps blarting out things I think are relevant to the Tone Troll/indeterminate ME* derail. Indulge me fellows, I shall bug you again.

    1) I was re-reading Terry Pratchett’s “The Fifth Elephant” in bed last night, and towards the end of the book (p280 in my copy) in a discussion about the {Spoilers} Scone of Stone’s falsity, the Low King says to Vimes “…we are all floating in the same boat. We may certainly try to push one another over the side, but only a maniac like Dee would drill a hole in the bottom.”. People here fall out and argue all the time, just read back a few threads it’s all there. Hopefully what we don’t do is try to hole the boat. What I mean by this is that there is something of value here at Pharyngula, a culture that has developed where rape victims can talk about their experiences for example. Where we don’t tolerate sexism, racism, or other bigotries either covert or overt in any form. Sure that culture leads to the occasional false positive being detected, BUT the occasional false positive (and they are relatively rare sadly) is the price we pay for something of genuine value. I.e. a safer space for some people to be more open. That is the boat we don’t want to hole.

    If we were to hole that boat then we would lose that safer space, we’d lose some of the rough and tumble of this place too, and both of these things are what a lot of the regular folks like. This place has EVOLVED to be that way and those who stay are those fit to that environment. There are other environments. We definitely try to chuck each other out of the boat occasionally, it would be insane if we agreed on everything, but holing the boat? No. Maybe repairing the boat is what is needed on occasion, but trying to replace the hull mid-journey is a bad plan!

    2) Be the change you seek. Yeah, yeah, I know, Buddhist pablum, but surprisingly true nonetheless. Don’t ask me to dig up the psychological data. I’m being naughty enough as it is. As I said earlier, if indeterminate ME wants people here to discuss feminism in a different way or dissent from the major feminist theme here, then just go right ahead and discuss it. If the posts are cogent, serious, academic and evidence filled…well…let’s put it this way, they will be so vastly different from 99.999999% of the “dissent from feminism” we get here at Pharyngula that I will personally shit myself in sheer shock. Twice.

    Now I ask myself, why does it appear to be so hard for indeterminate ME to grasp these things after several people more eloquent than I have already pointed them out?

    I don’t know the answer to that question, but I know this: I don’t feel too bad about mocking indterminate Me after reading this thread and others. Could I be wrong? Of course. And if I am I’ll retract the mockery and apologise. But this puts the ball in indeterminate ME’s court. Prove my contention that you appear to be nothing more than an eminently mockable tone troll wrong and you’ll get a genuine, heartfelt apology. Your next post better be substance, and not yet more complaints about form. Or the mockery, she will continue. And there may be requests for a shrubbery!

    Oh yes. You heard me. A shrubbery.

    Louis

    *The capitalisation change is there for a reason. After all, isn’t it all really quite determined that indeterminate ME is very interested in what Pharyngula can do for HIM/HER? Agent Smithindeterminate ME: “ME ME ME ME ME ME ME!”. “MY NEEDS” “WHAT I WANT”. Ask not what your Pharyngula can do for you, ask what you can do for your Pharyngula!

  283. says

    A German court just found that the practice on many dating sites that women don’t have to pay while men do is not a violation of the General Equality Law.

    The (male) judge’s reasoning was that the fact that women don’t have to pay will attract more women (implicitly acknowledging that there are much more men on these sites than women), thus benefiting men as well as it would lead to more potential partners for them.

    More info (in German, warning, the German MRAs are out in force in the comments there) http://www.lawblog.de/index.php/archives/2011/10/12/partnerbrsen-mnner-zahlen-frauen-nicht/

  284. says

    @Caine:

    I suppose “idiot” was a bit too harsh, maybe I should’ve used “ignorant.”

    @Louis:

    It was a longer process than was seen here on Pharyngula. I’d been slowly working myself out of the Fundamentalist death-trap since college, going through a whole weird theist, deist, pantheist sort of phase of wishy-washy god belief strewn about with Christian bows in its hair, but it was all because I didn’t want to give up that sense of community I had with the Christian family I was in.

    I’d abandoned a lot of Right Conservative thinking after college, too, but Pharyngula helped me see a lot more clearly than I was before.

  285. Louis says

    @ Katherine Lorraine,

    Ahhh bit of an iceberg situation eh? ;-)

    Well I’m glad you came/are coming through it. I think my kudos still stands though. So dammit…yeah…something…trails off into irrelevance again!

    Louis

  286. illuminata says

    I got it at Ommegang, if you know your NY breweries.

    I love it when people talk up my brewery. Okay, not MY brewery, but I do work for them, so its mine. AAAAALLLL MINE. Mwahahahaaa

    Which beer is it? Is it 3 Philosophers?

  287. says

    @Louis:

    Precisely. The Pharyngula days came after I’d fully abandoned any god-belief and went into straight atheism. Was still muddling through the whole 14+ years of Fundy training I’d had since my family became Christian but the people here helped with that transition. Now I’m a firebrand Liberal, and my family recognizes this.

  288. says

    pelamun
    Oh dear, and they’Re complaining about the good bad old Ladies Night again.
    Funny, I’ve never seen them complain about the “Ü30er/Ü40er” (older than 30/40) nights, or the occularist that gives you 1% for every year.
    Oh, and my most favouritest “Ladies parking slots”, completely ignorant as to why and how they exist, i.e. so that women can park near the entrance /light and not be raped.
    What I’m also missing is that until recently (I think the EU put a stop to that), they paid massively less in private health insurance, because women on average have more kids than men. Never seen them complain about that. They thought that completely fair. They merited the advantage.

  289. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Caine,
    Like Granny Ogg, I can’t spell banananana, either. :P

  290. says

    Louis #832

    We get a lot of seagull posters, i.e. the sort, like Indeterminate Me, who just come in squawking and shit all over everything.

    Seagull posters! I don’t know if that’s a Louis Original™ but it’s beautiful.

  291. says

    myeck waters:

    Seagull posters! I don’t know if that’s a Louis Original™ but it’s beautiful.

    It should be added to the memes section in the Pharyngula wiki, but I’m too lazy.

  292. Louis says

    It’s not entirely original. I saw the phrase “Seagull Manager” (comes into the office squawking, shits everywhere) and adopted it to my own use.

    So I won’t claim originality, just novel application. Hey, I can still patent that though! ;-)

    Louis

  293. Louis says

    Annnd I cannot even parse my own sentences.

    I can have “adopted for my own use” or perhaps “adapted to my own purposes” but not “adopted to my own use”. I am going to stand in the naughty corner and spank myself with Strunk and White.

    But then I’m kinky like that.

    Louis

  294. Ing says

    It’s not entirely original. I saw the phrase “Seagull Manager” (comes into the office squawking, shits everywhere) and adopted it to my own use.

    I could be wrong but I believe it’s a coinage from our friend Scott Adams

  295. Sally Strange, OM says

    Oh, the seagull thing is just perfect? Anybody else seen Finding Nemo? In it, all the animals are intelligent and capable of speech. Except the seagulls, who have beady little eyes instead of big expressive ones, and all they ever do is squawk “Mine? Mine? Mine! Mine! Mine!” and try to steal things.

    So it’s really a perfect metaphor for posters like Indeterminate Me.

    My red pill moment was a series of unfolding events in high school. First there was the moment when a classmate asked me if I was a dyke in 8th grade. I didn’t know what a dyke was, I assumed it was another word for jerk or asshole, and I wanted him to leave me alone, so I said yes. From that moment on I was the subject of harassment from various strangers on the subject of my then non-existent sex life. It was most disconcerting. I also noticed how girls were expected to run screaming from the volleyball or baseball or whatever and not get all sweaty, and how I was subjected to further harassment for being willing to chase the ball and get all sweaty in gym class, even if I sucked at the game. There were also the moments when I noticed that my male classmates wouldn’t pay attention to me because I wasn’t flirting with them, I was just talking.

    After growing up isolated in the country with hippy parents who allowed me to play with whatever I wanted (mostly legos and occasionally I wanted specific dolls, like Cabbage Patch Kids) and didn’t do much to enforce gender roles on me, it was a bit of a shock.

  296. The Ys says

    (derail back to Red Pill moments)

    I’m not sure I’ve ever had a major red pill moment – more like a series of mini-pills. I grew up with the belief that all people are equal…except for idiots. People (men and semi-religious women, mostly) tried to imply that women have a place in life. Being stubborn, I never listened. And I got beaten up for it, too. All that did was convince me there were a lot more idiots than sane people in the world.

    I called out sexist bullshit in high school, but then lapsed in my 20s. I think I qualified as a “chill girl”. I wanted friends and I wanted to date, and it seemed like speaking my mind kept me from having male company – or many male friends, for that matter – so I kept it to myself, and got in the habit of not calling people on sexist crap.

    Years later and after enduring several assaults, three stalkers, and multiple sexual harassment incidents, I don’t pull verbal punches on sexist bullshit. Or physical punches, for that matter. I hit the last guy who “accidentally” brushed his crotch against my ass. Startled the hell out of him too – I hope he never tried that again.

    I do have a tendency to mock extreme views on either side (MRAs and radical feminists who reject the idea that men can be raped/assaulted too, etc.). I need to work on how I address that type of thinking. This place has helped me tremendously in defining more appropriate and useful language, and I am grateful for it. :)

  297. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    But then, I wouldn’t put on high heels, either – I cannot imagine any social situation where I would be willing to wear a pair of shoes that I expected to make my feet, knees, and back ache after just a few hours.

    Nor do I, though I would break my neck falling off of ‘em long before they made my feet, etc., ache. True even before my knees went over to the Dark Side. (And I didn’t even get a cool light saber for it! I call that cheap.)
    -

    (Now I’m trying to imagine which styles of makeup would be interpreted as “Don’t eat me! I’m poison!”)

    That would be the blue lipstick I covet. :D

    What was your “red pill” moment? Here, in regards to feminism

    Hmm….it was a light dosage of “red pill”. Let’s see…I was about 7 or 8, so my siblings would have been 5 or 6. My dad’s low-ranked Marine pay didn’t cover expenses. To make up the short-fall, my mother worked in a tomato packing plant. One day she came home in a viciously foul mood; she’d been working there for something like 3 years, with few and very minute raises, but this still-wet-behind-the-ears 18 year old guy got a substantial raise after a matter of months, because he was a man, and men have families to support…even though, in point of fact, he was unmarried, had no kids, etc.
    This was my first awareness of the world, itself, being unfair (as opposed to mere parental-level unfairness).
    The irony of my mom’s non-acceptance of the unequal-pay-for-equal-work, even as she (unthinkingly, I’m sure) accepted and did her level best to program us to conform to the cultural norms of what was and was not appropriate behavior/interests/ambitions for girls, did not occur to me until manymanymany years later.
    -

  298. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    Ask not what your Pharyngula can do for you, ask what you can do for your Pharyngula!

    Damn the torpedos! Full speed ahead!
    -

  299. Sally Strange, OM says

    Wait, Illuminata works at Brewery Ommegang? Hells bells, I’m going to visit her next time I’m in town! Heck, she’s probably already me my dad (he’s played a few gigs at the Brewery).

    Small world.

  300. Pteryxx says

    Like most, I have red pill moments all over the place, largely thanks to PZ and commentors here for all the discussion and links. The most recent red-pill moment I had was from Louis linking to that paper about the confluence of alcohol and campus rape. I haven’t been back to my sports bar since…

    I don’t really remember *one* earliest red-pill moment. I was raised in a fundamentalist community and I’ve always been the outspoken freak troublemaker, asking too many questions about things that made no sense… unclean foods, Sabbath, gender roles, whatever. Once when I was very little, I got in trouble for going to the *closest* restroom instead of the one for “my” gender, which was all the way across the building. Once a girl in my class got punished for wearing a skirt that was too short (it didn’t touch the ground when she knelt down) and I spoke up and said that wasn’t fair because nobody was checking the boys’ shorts. And, when I first saw Star Wars as a little kid and played all the roles in turn, I realized only one out of ALL of them was a girl – and quickly thereafter, that every single TV show, cartoon, movie or book was the same. I was six, so any of those could have chronologically been first.

    Learning what feminism was, and that I would become one, started about three years ago and grew directly out of my seeking help for abuse. First, that it wasn’t just me, then that so MANY people have been abused by their mates (mostly women, but not all), and then that systemic abuse is part of rape culture, part of oppression, part of that Hydra of hatred and preying on others that TLC mentioned the other day. Almost every wrong in the world comes down to the Terrible Bargain.

  301. Louis says

    Silly Nigel, rectify that forthwith. If not fifthwith.

    {Pulls out beer…remembers he’s on antibiotics…cries}

    Louis

  302. Esteleth says

    illuminata:

    Which beer is it? Is it 3 Philosophers?

    No – Rare Vos. <3 <3 <3 Rare Vos!

    I'm pretty near Cooperstown – about and hour and a half's drive – and the local stores carry Ommegang's bottled stuff and many local bars have their stuff on tap. :D :D

    My red pill moment? Two come to mind.

    First: I was in kindergarten and I heard my father tell my mother, "I care about your health more than I care about having a son! And you can tell your parents that!" Of course, I was too young to really get what that was about but it has stuck with me.

    I have several sisters and no brothers. If I got gender essentialist crap from my parents, I don't really remember it. But the idea that Oma and Opa were upset that I didn't have any brothers (much less than the truth I later learned – that they told their daughter she was a failed wife for failing to give her husband a son) shook little me to my core.

    Second: I was in middle school. A girl in my class had a horrid case of endometriosis, and to treat it her doctor’s gave her the Pill, which usually works quite effectively. There promptly became a rumor that she was sleeping around and some busybody tried to organize a boycott (small, conservative, rural, uber-religious town) of her father’s business on the grounds that he was “promoting immorality.” Her parents, I’m glad to say, stood up straight and said that they trusted their daughter and, in any case, they cared about her health. The douchenozzles were shamed into backing down, but she was still picked on a lot for awhile.

    The idea that helping a girl who IIRC was thirteen with her debilitating disease was grounds to shun her and her family because ZOMG she could be having SEX awaked the feminist in me.

  303. Dhorvath, OM says

    Red Pill Standout Moment One:
    My mother telling me that I shouldn’t let my girlfriend hang around other boys. My mother, who I thought strong and confident in being a woman, coaching me to undermine the personality of other women in my life. It was bizarre and made me take a closer look at other things I had been told by her while growing up. It also led to a long discussion of the difference between partnership and ownership. Hell, it felt like it was in the wrong direction, but I think she got it.

    Red Pill Standout Moment Two:
    My father telling me to get a haircut. As if conformity was a game he had ever played well. It took me a while to sort out the difference, he only did character within set gender confines, never broaching any boundaries.

    Those stand out, I am sure I could fill pages.

  304. Dhorvath, OM says

    And yes, at that age I still fell into the it’s okay to argue with Mom, but just keep your head down around Dad. I am better now.

  305. says

    Esteleth
    When I was born, my Opa told my dad that I was “only a girl again”. When a year later my male cousin was born, he told my dad to ask his brother “how you do those things right”*

    *Fun fact: My uncle got his girlfriend pregnant while she was still in her apprenticeship and they “had” to marry quickly “before people would start talking”. But since the outcome was a boy, this was apparently better than having a second planned child within a long-lasting stable relationship if the result is a girl.**

    **My uncle and aunt are still happily married, but they are the rare exception of that kind of marriages.

  306. Indeterminate Me says

    Re: Seagulls/cowgulls:

    People who squawk in, flap about, leave piles of bullshit, and flee when a challenge comes.

    Outside, in the real world, we call it “having a life”. Try it some time, it might give you some perspective.

    Speaking of perspective, one of the lessons I learned the hard way is to take a break when I find myself getting sucked in to “someone on the Internet is wrong” debates. Having regained such perspective:

    In re: privilege –

    TL;DR VERSION:

    I am attempting to understand why the privilege model* is superior to the power model that has been the basis of social justice struggles for so long, with empirically proven results, and, why the privilege concept is so commonly abused in counter-productive ways.

    As a traditional civil libertarian and social justice activist, I am skeptical of tendencies to discredit or devalue a power-imbalance approach to systemic change, in favor of a “separate but equal” approach of seeking to ameliorate inherent privilege-imbalance.

    Not because privilege isn’t real. Rather, because, if power imbalance is, in fact, the result of privilege, rather than privilege being the result of power imbalance, then the prescriptions are very different – even incompatible.

    *(On a natural science site, I think it is careless use “theory” in anything but a scientific sense. As this is more of a worldview or approach to problems, I’m calling it a “model”. There is probably a better term, but I don’t think it qualifies as a scientific theory.)

    END TL;DR

    The privilege model, and the proposed prescriptions of addressing privilege in order to advance social justice, is one model. There are others.

    One that has stood the test of time, served the civil liberties community well, and produced empirical progress toward social justice, is the power imbalance model. It is an appealing, simple-to-understand and empirically obvious model, one that fuels much of the current, rather incoherent, somewhat woo-woo infected but well-intentioned “Occupy” movement.

    If one is to adopt a new model of understanding, and the new strategies and tactics it entails, one should examine it rationally, question its utility, analyze any empirical data supporting it, read critiques of it, and, most importantly, compare it to previous models and determine whether, in fact, it a) has effects that so override the effects of power imbalance as to make them mere noise in the signal of privilege imbalance), and, b) importantly, yields a consistently superior result.

    In other words: is this model valid, is it the prevailing cause of the current injustice we seek to address – and, is it useful.

    This does not mean the the underlying notion – that privilege exists, is inherent, and produces injustice – is being argued against. Clearly, privilege describes real phenomena. (The behavior of the “commentariat” here is a classic manifestation of privilege within the confines of an insular group. Privilege pops up everywhere, its not binary, monolithic or static).

    One of the things that trips my skeptical radar the most, right up front, is the zealous hostility with which proponents of the privilege model react to *any* critical examination.

    Another is the lack of scientific rigor in discussions about privilege – I naively believed that the infection of intellectual disciplines with breathless PoMo nonsense had died with Sokal-Brickmont; instead, it has apparently been lurking in undergrad Sociology departments for the past 15-20 years).

    When one finds that kind of zealous hostility among a group that considers itself rational and skeptical, my Shermer bullshit radar screams even louder. Not in spite of the fact that “privilege” makes sense as an underlying concept, but precisely because the way it is being talked about and applied in the real world, in practice, is so different from the way it is explained in theory.

    In practice, as several commenters noted in the comments section of the dog vs lizard essay, “privilege” is often (in my experience, nearly always) used as a weapon to stifle debate, avoid responsibility for one’s words, and justify intolerance, rather than in the non-judging, non-guilt-throwing way in which it is discussed theoretically, as in “it’s not your individual ‘fault’ you belong to a privileged class, you just do, and you need to be aware of it, understand its consequences and make compensations in your behavior to account for it” as in, “taking responsibility for one’s privilege is not the same as being responsible for creating that privilege”.

    There is an astute comment in the dog vs lizard comments about the fact that concluding that “statistical privilege” equals “individual privilege” is a fallacy, and how important it is to acknowledge that all of us find ourselves in privileged and unprivileged positions in various contexts and communities. I happen to think this is an important point, as it is a way of using empathy as a means to increase understanding of what it is like to be continually and ubiquitously, rather than temporarily and contingently, unprivileged.

    Now, just as the validity of an assertion should be judged independently of the identity of the asserter, similarly, the fact that the notion of privilege is commonly abused does not inherently falsify the notion of privilege; however, it does call into question the utility of the privilege model, in practice, as an efficacious means to promote social justice.

    So, I have two questions which I have not seen satisfactorily resolved in discussions about the privilege model, even in the rare cases where these issues are rationally discussed:

    a) What makes the privilege imbalance model superior to the power imbalance model as a basis for action to address social injustice?

    b) why is the privilege model so commonly abused, is there a way to address this abuse and misunderstanding of the nature of privilege so that it becomes a more effective and less contention model (based as it is on evident real phenomena), and why does embracing it seem to foster a hostile, confrontational, rejectionist attitude among its adherents, rather than the accepting, welcoming, teaching model it theoretically entails?

    c) is it healthy to push for uncritical acceptance – dare I say, mere belief (“it just is”, “when an oppressed persion tells you you are being [racist, sexist, etc], you are”, “if you question this concept, you are just confirming your privilege”, “go fucking learn the truth and them come back to talk with your betters”), or is it healthier to embrace skepticism and critical thinking when applied even to the privilege model, as a form of peer review that has proven so valuable in the natural sciences?

    To me, this seems like a nontrivial set of questions. The approach (in practice, if not in theory) of adopting a privilege model as the sole, overriding view of the world – believing that power flows from inherent privilege, rather than the power-based view that privilege is a consequence of power – has real-world implications. Inherent privilege requires different ameliorative approaches than power imbalance, which is not inherent in physiology but rather circumstantial.

    Changing circumstances to correct power imbalances is a *very* different approach to social justice work than accepting privilege and seeking to compensate for it.

    (Note that, in a power model, it is perfectly useful to tactically address privilege, for example by employing affirmative action quotas. However, such action is seen as temporary, unfortunate but necessary, with the goal being a society where “children are judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin”; whereas, it seems to me that the privilege model – again, as actually practiced – seems to argue for a “separate but equal” approach.)

    As someone raised by committed civil libertarians, feminists, social activists who practiced what they preached in their own home long before it was fashionable to teach on college campuses, I am prejudicially suspicious of “theories of everything” that – again, in practice – are deployed to discount, discredit and supplant the power model that has gotten us systemic progress in the form of emancipation, suffrage, desegregation, anti-discrimination law, end of DADT, etc., as well as cultural progress – electing an African-American president, general consensus that electing a female president is inevitable, a majority of Americans supporting GLBT equality, etc.

    Arguments that we have a HELL of a long way to go do not necessarily indicate that we need to replace the model, and the tools, that have served us thus far; there needs to be, in my opinion, a compelling argument to abandon the effort to make deep, enduring *systemic* changes – in order to reverse what we now know, with the support of science, to be fallacious and invalid value distinctions based on skin color, gender, sexual preference, etc. – and to replace this with what seems to me an acceptance of unacceptable racist, sexist, etc claims, and seek “merely” to ameliorate their effects.

    Despite the disdain with which the following statement is usually greeted among the true believers of the privilege model, it is not at all self evident that what is, essentially, a “separate but equal” approach will ever lead to a just and equal society.

    The most unfortunate thing about all of this is that many, many good people, including veteran, on the ground activists with real track records and the scars to prove them, are being callously tossed on the historical dung heap by young people who benefit every day from the progress painfully won by seeking to change systemic power imbalances.

    (NOTE: This comment is addressed to grownups interested in rational discussions sparked by PZ’s posts – with other adults who are capable of engaging in substantive discussion without resorting to the kind of childish name-calling one finds on theist and right-wing blogs.

    Frankly, the “commentariat” here needs to check its own privilege. It practices in here many of the chauvinistic behaviors it claims to object to out in the real world — and suffers from the same, privileged tone-deafness with regard to the impact of its behavior on other people.

    This comment is also not an appeal for acceptance or passing some “commentariat” test. Only privileged, insular groups think their judgment of the worth of others actually matters, or that it has any bearing on the substance of their commentary .

  307. Ing says

    This comment is also not an appeal for acceptance or passing some “commentariat” test. Only privileged, insular groups think their judgment of the worth of others actually matters, or that it has any bearing on the substance of their commentary .

    You’re free to…you know… not bug people. Considering you hate all of us so much we really really can do without your nannyship.

  308. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Finally, an almost straight post from IM. Still TL. It could have been said in three paragraphs by any competent writer, instead a we got a long winded exposition by a pseudointellectual trying and failing to impress us with its cogency. And still tone trolling. Lose the tone trolling. We don’t give a shit what you think about how this blog is run, nor does PZ. He runs it his way.

  309. Indeterminate Me says

    Finally, an almost straight post from IM. Still TL. It could have been said in three paragraphs by any competent writer, instead a we got a long winded exposition by a pseudointellectual trying and failing to impress us with its cogency.

    Talk about tone-trolling – and utter lack of any substance. And, to paraphrase Julian, ‘going out of your way to remind people you’re superior to them’.

    Now, do you have anything substantive to contribute to increased understanding on the part of less-enlightened, non-academic readers of this blog?

  310. Indeterminate Me says

    why is the privilege model so commonly abused,

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    Legitimate critique.

    Amended to, “why is the privilege model so commonly abused, in my experience and the experience of other, more traditional civil libertarians/feminists I have read and/or talked to?”

  311. says

    @The Ys,

    I’m not sure I’ve ever had a major red pill moment – more like a series of mini-pills. I grew up with the belief that all people are equal…except for idiots. People (men and semi-religious women, mostly) tried to imply that women have a place in life. Being stubborn, I never listened. And I got beaten up for it, too.

    This is much like my experience. Having feminist parents has some oddly insulating effects, so when the blatant sexist crap comes up it hits you in the face in a truly alien way.

    But the subtle internalized stuff is pretty damn insidious. It wasn’t until a couple years ago I realized that a lot of my tomboyish behavior as a child was itself internalized sexism. I recognized on a base level (subconsciously to be sure) that being female in my society was to be lesser and devalued. So I simply opted out of being a girl in many ways (not to be confused with genuine gender dysphoria, which did not accurately describe me at all). I hid my mind, my body* and sexuality from others and in many ways myself.

    It was a huge red pill moment for me when I realized that by rejecting everything to do with being outwardly female growing up & during adolescence, I was myself devaluing my own sex. I wasn’t choosing my self expression, I let others do that for me by being the opposite of what I was told to be.

    *Turns out school uniforms can be great at concealing a feminine body and identity.

  312. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and IM didn’t leave one citation to the academic literature, making it hard to present and evidence an idea…

  313. Pteryxx says

    I’m wondering, what does “red pill moment” refer to? I was interpreting it as “the moment you realized this crap was everywhere” or started seeing it everywhere, when the world previously had looked normal.

    By that definition, my moment was certainly when I realized the characters in fiction were always guys. That’s when I started actually looking at my favorite shows and going through my collection of beloved books, and realized it wasn’t just my imagination. (And I’m a science-fiction fan, so yeah…) Dozens or hundreds of different authors, all writing mostly-male worlds, even when the characters are aliens! Gah… I’m STILL angry about that one.

    (So now I make alien races that screw with the gender binary all KINDS of ways. Gotta get back on that writing career…)

    *checks preview and refreshes* O_o

    Also, IM is apparently getting paid by the word.

  314. Sally Strange, OM says

    One of the things that trips my skeptical radar the most, right up front, is the zealous hostility with which proponents of the privilege model react to *any* critical examination.

    How would you know? So far, you have not offered a truly critical examination of privilege theory. I suppose you think you have, but ranting on and on about how it’s been used to silence you does not constitute a critical examination, unless you have evidence that this silencing is not due to other things, like you being a narcissistic asshole, and that such silencing also happens to other people, and that it is a systemic result of the application of privilege theory.

  315. Ing says

    why is the privilege model so commonly abused, in my experience and the experience of other, more traditional civil libertarians/feminists I have read and/or talked to?”

    Have you considered your experience is wrong? It’s not uncommon for people to have a knee-jerk defensive response to the idea of privilege and presume a greater malice then exists. Frankly my dear, I don’t give a shit about your experience, you’re still not giving me anything I can even address. I’m not going to spare with your phantoms.

    The privilege model explains so much so well I have trouble imagining what other explanation one would propose. As my satirical tirade was meant to illustrate the options seem to be a) denial of a problem or b) conspiracy theory and insisting on deliberate intent.

  316. Ing says

    One of the things that trips my skeptical radar the most, right up front, is the zealous hostility with which proponents of the privilege model react to *any* critical examination.

    Straight from the creationist handbook.

  317. says

    It could have been said in three paragraphs by any competent writer

    I’ll do it in one sentence:
    “I have no clue what this privilege thing is about”*

    *Because if IM did, xie (dunno, already identified as he?) wouldn’t utter such stupid things as:

    it is not at all self evident that what is, essentially, a “separate but equal” approach will ever lead to a just and equal society.

    No, cupcake, never ever has anybody even mildly alluded to a “seperate but equal” approach, unless you count the “room of their own” women whom you will not find here.

  318. Pteryxx says

    It was a huge red pill moment for me when I realized that by rejecting everything to do with being outwardly female growing up & during adolescence, I was myself devaluing my own sex. I wasn’t choosing my self expression, I let others do that for me by being the opposite of what I was told to be.

    *applauds slignot* *for the realization*

  319. Tethys says

    INdeterminate

    Provide an example of what you mean by the privilege model, and an example of it’s abuse.

  320. Sally Strange, OM says

    “why is the privilege model so commonly abused, in my experience and the experience of other, more traditional civil libertarians/feminists I have read and/or talked to?”

    Finally! Some specificity.

    I don’t suppose you’d care to identify some of these “other, more traditional civil libertarians/feminists” you have talked to?

    Or quote them?

    Also, please define “traditional.”

  321. says

    A concrete example of systemic devaluing of women’s rights and protection in American judicial enforcement: In case I was not depressed enough, I just came across the following case of crime against (primarily) women just isn’t important enough to warrant serious enforcement.

    To be more specific, in this case, it now means any enforcement. You may remember that the city of Topeka was considering following the county’s previous example and removing their legal burden to enforce domestic battery laws.

    On Tuesday night, by a vote of 7 to 3, the city council repealed their local domestic battery laws. Local victims now have absolutely no legal recourse to seeing their attackers face even minimal justice. The council hoped publicly that it would force the county’s district attorney to resume prosecuting domestic battery cases, but there is no clear indication that this will be the case.

    Approximately half of the misdemeanors prosecuted in Shawnee County last year were domestic battery cases.

    It’s distressing enough that normally law enforcement and prosecution for violence against women treats those crimes as a specialty community rather than real crime. It is something else entirely when they decide to simply ignore the crimes altogether during a budgetary squeeze. These two agencies are attempting to foist the blame for abandoning victims on each other rather than acknowledging the obligation to protect and defend them.

  322. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    IM, you are wrong until you evidence yourself right. Hit the literature, and get back to us. Or don’t bother with another post where we must satisfy you, not the other way around. You must satisfy us with your ideas. So far, I’m not satisfied do to lack of evidence presented. Step up your research.

  323. Ichthyic says

    Amended to, “why is the privilege model so commonly abused, in my experience

    you actually expect us to read your fucking mind and know what your experiences have been, or rather, what they have been limited to?

    amazing level of narcissism there.

    not surprising though.

  324. Esteleth says

    IM, let me turn the tables on you.

    You don’t feel that privilege is the best lens through which to view this issue. I think you’re wrong (an opinion, as I’m sure you can tell, that is shared by many here).

    Alrighty then. What would it take to convince you that you are wrong? I mean that seriously. If, as skeptics, as rational thinkers, we allow ourselves to say, “Y’know, I was wrong about X because I didn’t fully understand the contribution of Y,” when it needs to be said, what would you need?

    I mean, do you not think that many people here came to accept privilege as the best explanation for the patterns we see because we think it is the hypothesis that best fits the data? That maybe we consider privilege to be behind power imbalance?

    After all – it is privilege that grants power.

  325. Pteryxx says

    O_o Holy moley @Ing. I thought that Cracked article was going to be way off-topic… until I read it.

  326. says

    Oh, the worst part is there is already a measurable result in the Topeka decision:

    Eighteen people have been arrested on domestic violence charges since September and released without charges because no agency is accepting new cases.

  327. Sally Strange, OM says

    Traditional == Don’t make me uncomfortable == the Gooduns.

    /snark

    Oh, Ing. You and your PC silencing tactics. Can’t you see that you’re intimidating poor Inarticulate Me?

  328. says

    @pelamun, no, earlier this year the DA claimed that when the county cut his budget, he could simply stop prosecuting lower priority cases. But it was cool because the city ordinances would take care of the beaten and abused victims. Only now there are no city laws protecting battery victims, and so those cases go away through not-my-problem limbo.

    The county officials in charge of his budget are saying they’re sure he’s not really going to let these victims be ignored, but 18 already have been.

  329. Indeterminate Me says

    Provide an example of what you mean by the privilege model, and an example of it’s abuse.

    I repeatedly referred to, and linked to, the dog & gecko essay, which contains both the theoretical privilege model, and examples of others experience of its abuse. Here are specific quotes, since folks can’t be bother with checking out linked resources (even as they complain about the length of comments).

    Example of the privilege model as it is theoretically taught:

    https://sindeloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/37/
    (the dog vs gecko essay.) Salient point:

    And actually that’s kind of why the concept of privilege is important – because privilege isn’t about being stupid. It’s not a bad thing, or a good thing, or something with a moral or value judgement of any kind attached to it. Having privilege isn’t something you can usually change, but that’s okay, because it’s not something you should be ashamed of, or feel bad about. Being told you have privilege, or that you’re privileged, isn’t an insult. It’s a reminder! The key to privilege isn’t worrying about having it, or trying to deny it, or apologize for it, or get rid of it. It’s just paying attention to it, and knowing what it means for you and the people around you. Having privilege is like having big feet. No one hates you for having big feet! They just want you to remember to be careful where you walk.

    Example of its abuse:

    http://skepchick.org/2011/07/the-privilege-delusion/

    Richard Dawkins believes I should be a good girl and just shut up about being sexually objectified because it doesn’t bother him. Thanks, wealthy old heterosexual white man!

    Example of others commenting on its abuse – comments in the dog vs lizard post (1st link above):

    A common comment I have read in many places – including on Pharyngula, and even in this very comment set:

    t would be great if “check your privilege” was used the way your describe it, but the way I see it used most often is more like “I have less privilege than you, therefore I’m right or my perspective is true and yours isn’t”.

    A utilitarian critique, from the POV of practical activism – why misuse of privilege can yield counter-productive results:

    Thank you for writing a well reasoned post on a topic that all to frequently degenerates into flame wars. I feel that you are missing something in Alex’s point. Namely, Alex is talking about what happens, you are talking about what should happen, and then you accuse Alex of missing the point. What I think is going on is that many activists are missing the point that it is possible to be a decent human being, and even understand some things, while having some level of privilege. I have dealt with some activists who seem to think my point of view is effectively irrelevant because I possess the privileges you mentioned above, and that furthermore I can’t have any interesting thoughts because I am looking at things through the lens of said privilege. So in essence, yes people do say that, even if you don’t. And when that point is used to ignore the opinions of those who have privilege, well, a recent study showed that white people in the modern US feel that multiculturalism doesn’t represent them, and that they further felt that anti white bias was on the rise.

    A critique from someone who is a proponent of the privilege model, but is concerned about its consistent abuse:

    But I do have a problem with the fact that over and over again, I see ‘the P word’ used as a stick to beat a person with, an excuse to shut down a conversation, a reason to abuse someone verbally even if they seem to be trying their best, a way to make a person permanently the ‘lesser partner’ in a conversation because their privilege means that they should be sitting, listening, lapping up your wisdom and frankly it’s not as though they are going to have _anything_ useful or insightful to say because they have privilege and _can’t possibly have a useful angle on this_.

    I hear a lot of excuses for this, and I know all about derailment and have absolutely had those sorts of unhealthy, unproductive conversations where they other party is using the “But if you don’t talk to me how will I learn?” card to get away with saying all sorts of unhelpful bollocks. But I’m not just talking about those people. I’m talking about guys I know who are intelligent, thoughtful feminists, one of whom basically cannot involve himself in internet debate without taking abuse despite the fact that he is well aware of what privilege is and will only ever ask for clarification, and another who hates the word privilege with a passion because it is only ever used to tell him he’s an idiot.

    Privilege should not be the stick. Privilege is a concept that is supposed to help you to find an equilibrium with someone, from both sides. Privilege is something that helps those toward the bottom of the heap talk to and understand those near the top, and vice-versa, not a wholesale excuse to abuse those at the top for being there.

    Of course the ultimate aim here is for everyone to understand their privilege and for the world to improve as a result. But taking someone who is used to being on top without even ever having to think about it, and making the experience of understanding the plight of those who’re discriminated against actively unpleasant for them by abusing and subjugating them, making them the lesser partner, the stupid one, in every conversation, is exactly the wrong way to do it. It’s sort of like taking a child and saying “I know you’ve had crunchy nut cornflakes all your life but you should really be eating porridge because it’s so much better for you, also, I’ve put the porridge under the table; you don’t have to eat it but if you do you have to eat it there.” Who’s going to eat their porridge in that situation? I wouldn’t.

    So I guess my point is that I feel like we are having a lot of conversations and blog posts these days where we try to explain what privilege is, and we try to present to those in possession of privilege (which will of course be everyone reading this post) an argument for why they should listen, and learn, and be respectful. But we never talk about the responsible use of this word, this concept, on the part of those who wield it. We just throw it to those who’re oppressed (still, of course, many who’re reading the post) like a free weapon, a tool that allows us to feel vindicated when we want to abuse and patronise people who were simply lucky enough to be born white, or with a penis, or attracted to the opposite sex, unless they choose to grovel before us and hang on every word we say.

    Now, I’m sure nearly everyone reading this would immediately leap on it and say “Oh, of course, but _I_ don’t do that. _I_ don’t work that way!” But almost every single time I see a conversation on the net where the word ‘privilege’ used, _someone_ is using it as the stick.

    A critique from someone who is a more traditional activist focused, as I am, on power imbalances as the primary cause of injustice, best redressed by seeking systemic changes:

    This is a good post; like Alex in comment #12, I wish people used privilege in the way described here. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been my experience.

    Elizabeth’s reply to Alex sadly demonstrates this very well: “No one is saying “being male and white means you live a privileged existence” (with “privileged existence” being success or wealth) they are saying that maleness and whiteness are THEMSELVES privileges.”

    This, I think, contradicts the well-written original post. Let’s go back to the husky/lizard example. Being a husky is not a privilege. Huskies, and lizards, are adapted for situations. Those situations create privilege for those animals, but only in those situations. In a different situation, it might be the lizard turning the central-heating up to bask in warmth, while the husky sweats, while it’s the lizard who is unaware of the concept of sweltering.

    Back to humans. Maleness is not a privilege. Maleness has a set of privileges associated with it. So does femaleness. In different situations, different privileges apply. Depending on the situation, as a male or as a female, you may experiencing positives or negatives.

    (You can, if you like, argue that the sum total of male privileges is greater than the sum total of female privileges, but a) I’ll respectfully have to disagree with you, and b) either way, that neither negates the female privileges nor refutes the point that privileges are situational.

    Where it breaks down further is that, many people may go through life never encountering the situations that would instantiate those privileges, in which case, can they be truly said to have them? If the husky spends its entire lifetime in a desert, is it privileged by its fur?

    Or, in the case of the homeless man under the bridge: perhaps society did grant him privileges as a male, which he squandered and thus ended up under the bridge; or perhaps he was failed by the education system, or internalised misandric beliefs about boys that became a self-fulfilling prophecy — is he still a “privileged male”?

    Yes, this is a threefour paragraph parenthetical. What?)

    The real problem I have with the discourse of privilege is that — at least, in my experience — it seems to be used to justify making assumptions that otherwise would be considered prejudiced. This may not be innate to the privilege concept itself, but still, it’s unfortunately common. From the post above:

    “A man has the privilege of walking past a group of strange women without worrying about being catcalled, or leered at, or having sexual suggestions tossed at him.”

    It’s interesting this was the example chosen for the article — you see, I don’t consider myself privileged that way; but this isn’t because I’m being a husky going “Cold? What cold?”. It’s because, it turns out, as a male, I do get catcalled by groups of strange women. I totally understand why women find this disturbing, because I find it disturbing. It’s not flattering, it’s creepy and threatening.

    So here’s the problem: I’m supposedly privileged by my gender to not have to suffer this, but:

    1. I do, in fact, suffer this;
    2. If I disagree with the apparent privilege, it’s always assumed that it’s because I am “unaware of my privilege” at best, or (depending on the ferocity of the person I’m discussing with) just plain ignorant, or even that I am misogynistic;
    3. As a male, others in society (male or female) take an “oh, just ‘man up’!” attitude, which I suspect they mostly would not to a female;
    4. Plus, of course, I am repeatedly told by the media (or blogs) that this is something that only men do to women, a falsehood that creates stereotype threat and alienation.

    So, the original statement “A man has the privilege of [...]” is a sexist assumption. It’s not true; and it’s to hang a chain of further sexist assumptions.

    Some men, clearly, do have this privilege. Some women do, too — I know some women who don’t give a crap about this. Likewise, although many women do suffer from this, so do some men. It might be — in fact, probably is — true that a man is less likely to have to worry about this than a woman does, at this moment in time, in the society in which we find ourselves, but that’s a) merely a cultural artefact, , and b) a statistical skew, not an Absolute Truth(tm), and statistical “advantages” are not advantages if you don’t win the statistical lottery. They might “advance” a category of people in theory, but in practice only advantage some of the individuals in that category — and my personal belief is that human rights are not a game where the aim is to make “your team” win.

    Fiiiinally, and this is just something about the nomenclature that annoys me rather than anything to do with the theory itself: “privilege” is often used to describe things that I believe should be considered rights, not privileges. Outside of a narrow academic context, privileges are usually considered “extras”, granted and revoked, not baseline rights. But a black person has the fundamental right to go about their business without being harassed without due cause. And if, in our society, this turns out not to be the case, this should be considered a shameful abuse of those rights, rather than a privilege they haven’t been granted. It’s a subtle but important difference of framing.

    That final paragraph, in the comment I just quoted above, perfectly describes one of my other questions about the privilege model vs the power model.

    This common abuse of the privilege term is by no means exclusive to next-gen feminists, by the way; I see this in the dismissal of MLK, Jr. and his “naive color-blind vision” by many who use the privilege model to discuss race. I see it in the way progressive POC and GBLT communities bicker about whose struggle is less privileged, and in particular in black hostility toward gays intent to emulate the 60′scivil rights model – and in some GBLT hostility to atheists being inspired by the gay rights struggles of the 80′s and 90′s, based on scoring of relative lack of privilege.

    I see a lot of derailing of potential civil rights coalitions, and efforts to change power structures, because of this inherently divisive use of privilege – again, this may not be how it is taught, but it is very commonly how it is practiced.

    The very fact that this community assumes all questions about privilege to be guilty of hostile intent until proven otherwise, illustrates the problem. It would be a hard case to make that this behavior is not carried over to the way folks treat people offline. I have seen a change from being welcomed as a partner for change, whose inherent skepticism and insistence on rational thinking is a welcome check on dogma, to being a priori prejudicially assumed to be the enemy, judged by my presumed race and presumed gender. I say this not as a “boohoo, poor privilege white me”, but as an observation that, for some, “privilege” is an excuse to normalize racist and sexist assumptions, rather than to reject them.

    By analogy, my mother is a Holocaust survivor. Many of her generation have concluded, in essence, that the Nazis were right – that, no matter how they self-determine, the world will consider them Jews. Unfortunately, this has led to parents rejecting their children’s right to self-determine and to raise their children as they wish; rather, they are pressured by family to be good Jews and raise their children as Jews “in case another HItler comes around”.

    Others reject that conclusion, saying, no, HItler was wrong, I am not merely my biology, I can decide to override. I can self-determine and raise children who believe in a world where anti-semites are not right, where their distinctions are rejected.

    Final point: just as my mother would never say “the Nazis were right” – in fact, she would find it deeply offensive to be accused of this – so, folks here are understandably disgusted by accusations of “separate but equal”.

    Nonetheless, the *practical* effect of “once a Jew, always a Jew” is “the Nazis were right”; and, the
    “practical” effect of how I see privilege argument used in the real world – and the explicit rejection of MLK’s dream – is that an unspoken “separate but equal” seems to be the effective direction of actiivist efforts.

    Sorry this is not three concise paragraphs; I make no pretense to be a writer, I have no college education, AND I don’t make that a barrier to trying to understand the world OR to acting, in practice, to change it. Mock my diction if you wish – or, address my actual points. Or, fucking ignore me if you can’t carry on a civil, rational conversation. The obsessive need to put down is pathological, not productive.

  330. Indeterminate Me says

    @Nerd,

    don’t bother with another post where we must satisfy you, not the other way around. You must satisfy us with your ideas

    Privileged, much?

    To quote yourself,

    “[I] don’t give a shit what you think”

  331. Indeterminate Me says

    Apologizes for the incorrect nesting. Missed a missing close blockquote tag when I previewed.

  332. says

    slignot

    ah, right. While the City Council has won the power play and the D.A. will have to start prosecuting such cases again, some have fallen through the cracks. To use domestic violence cases to make a political move is really despicable…

  333. says

    http://www.cracked.com/article_19464_6-things-they-say-hurt-careers-that-statistics-say-help.html

    Shit.

    And yes, we’re referring to our hypothetical drinker as a male for a reason — the data shows this trend is only applicable to men, as no correlation between bar visits and paycheck size was found for women.

    Shit.

    The effect was more pronounced in men, leading researchers to speculate that managers and interviewers are subconsciously looking for traditional masculine alpha-male characteristics, which, right or wrong, we associate with being kind of a douchebag.

    Shit.

    But why are sexist men rewarded for exhibiting culturally unacceptable behavior, especially when sexism lawsuits against corporations are up by more than 25 percent over the last five years? Don’t blame the system; a sexist douche (we’ll call him “Chad”) actually has a competitive advantage when negotiating a salary.

    Which brings us back to Chad. You see, Chad not only thinks Pam likes getting her ass smacked because look at what she’s wearing. In his small mind rests another idea: That men should earn more money than women, because men have families to support. That’s going to motivate him to storm into the manager’s office more often than his more enlightened coworkers. Thanks to his “My dick deserves more cash” philosophy, Chad will soon be rolling in the dough. Though he’ll request that his female coworkers knead it first.

    Shit.

    Actually, overweight men are earning significantly more than men who aren’t nicknamed “E. Honda.” Even more amazing is that there’s a linear correlation between weight and annual salary, meaning the fattest men are bringing home the fattest paychecks.

    And as the above graph shows, ladies get the short end of the stick again, as heavy women 10 pounds overweight earn about $25,000 less than women who are 70 pounds below average. What? 70 pounds below average! With the average woman weighing 165 pounds, that means the richest women weigh about 95 pounds, and are nothing more than skin and bones.

    This difference is again the result of Hollywood’s stereotype of gender. Women on the silver screen today are far skinnier than their counterparts from 50 years ago, and this has given us the unrealistic expectation that women in real life should be that skinny. On the flip side, skinny men are typically assumed to be “sneaky,” “weak,” “nervous” and “sick.”

    Shit.

    By now the ladies of the Cracked community must be feeling a little jilted; getting drunk won’t make you richer, eating delicious fatty foods makes you poorer, and the known status of mustached women in the workplace is inconclusive at best. But here’s something only women can do to increase their odds of getting hired: get ugly.

    At least, that was the conclusion of two Israeli researchers with borderline creepy access to thousands of female photos. These researchers sent out 5,312 paired resumes to job openings, with each pair being almost identical, except for one small detail. One resume in each pair contained a picture of either an attractive or an average-looking man or woman.

    The researchers found that female applicants who didn’t enclose a photo were 22 percent more likely to get the job than plain-looking female applicants and, strangely, 30 percent more likely to get the job than attractive female applicants. Being pretty made you less likely to get the job, with the exact same resume.

    However, the researchers noticed that there was a huge disparity between the responses of women recruited directly by the company and those recruited through other means, like an employment agency. Attractive women recruited directly by the company got a response rate half that of plain Jane’s and non-pictured women. Why?

    Well, the theory is that attractive women were less likely to get jobs when directly recruited because the person in human resources conducting the interview was almost always a young, single woman. That is, the type of person who not only isn’t going to be hypnotized by the size of pretty eyes and big boobs, but also might, for whatever reason, take some pleasure in shooting down such an applicant. The researchers speculated that a young single woman might view a pretty girl as competition, but they have no way of knowing that. All we know is it’s kind of depressing to think that actual hiring decisions are made based on a human resources person being afraid someone else will win Chad’s heart.

    Shit.

    :Sigh:

  334. says

    @pelamun, it certainly seems like one of those instances where basic empathy is entirely missing. But I suppose that whoever first said it was right, violence against women is domestic abuse and special, while violence against men is crime.

    Sigh.

  335. The Ys says

    @ Slignot:

    But the subtle internalized stuff is pretty damn insidious. It wasn’t until a couple years ago I realized that a lot of my tomboyish behavior as a child was itself internalized sexism.

    I don’t know exactly how I define tomboy behaviour except as something not traditionally seen as feminine. I don’t necessarily think that it can’t be an expression of feminine behaviour, just that it isn’t traditionally seen that way. I climbed trees, ran around outdoors, collected rocks…but I don’t (and didn’t) see that as a rejection of girliness. I simply didn’t see it as solely a boy thing to run around outdoors and actually get some fresh air, but everyone else seemed to. I figured that was their problem, though. :)

    I got VERY angry as well when I started noticing that all the “cool” characters in my favourite books, comic books, and TV shows were male. I loved the original BSG (1970s), and I love the fact that Starbuck is a woman in the new one. My husband hated it because the best pilot – the one who sleeps around – just shouldn’t be a girl. Go figure.

    I hid my mind, my body* and sexuality from others and in many ways myself.

    I did too, for many years, but not because of tomboyishness. It was after my first beating for being too smart. I stopped bothering with the other kids and started reading more (less outside play) and started putting on some weight. I internalised those horrible messages of “Girls are thin or they’re ugly” and I learned to hate my body. I’ve been unlearning that – slowly – and I’m much better now.

    I will admit to a serious hatred for pink. I was a tow-head as a child, and I wound up wearing it. A lot. Stupid parents.

  336. says

    IM, you know, I’ve seen you posting in other threads. You’ve been succinct, to the point and communicated clearly with no pearl clutching or tone trolling in sight.

    Couldn’t you give that a shot in this thread?

  337. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    IM:
    Sorry didn’t get all the way through your TL;DR mess of a blockquote failure, but I will say this:

    “I have less privilege than you, therefore I’m right or my perspective is true and yours isn’t”.

    It isn’t about those with less privilege always being right (or even thinking that they’re always right), it’s an issue of those with more privilege refusing to listen and dismissing other’s experiences (as you have done multiple fucking times with your “I’m oh so skeptical!” bullshit).

    If you’re unwilling to listen, how could you ever know that our perspective is wrong? If you won’t imagine what we contend with every fucking day of our lives, how do you know that your experiences are, in fact, true?

    The problem is that women are dismissed as “overreacting” or “hysterical” when shit like this comes up by people who quite simply refuse to imagine that there could be a problem with society, or that there could be a problem with their own behavior.

    But whatevs. You’re skeptical about privilege and we’re all big meanies. I got that.

  338. says

    @The Ys, I don’t think most tomboys are acting out of internalized sexism, but I definitely was. I genuinely enjoyed supposedly tomboyish pursuits of bug/rock/shell collecting, automotive grease-monkey/helper, voracious reading, hiking, fishing, climbing, but it was more that it was okay for me to do those things because they were not necessarily feminine. If those were pursuits girls were encouraged to do, I probably would have rejected them.

    As for hiding my body, I had almost the opposite experience. I was underweight much of my childhood/adolescence (not on purpose, I just was), but I have my mother’s disproportionately large breasts. In terms of my growing adolescent body, I was conventionally attractive (I’m even blond) and so I didn’t want anyone to recognize it. I used school uniforms to hide. Being able to buy slightly generous oxford-cloth, button down collar shirts and blouse them out made it easier to disguise my figure.

    I was so success in hiding that more than once a (male) friend had to remind another (male) friend that I was in fact a girl. One of my friends told me in high school they saw me as literally asexual. It was unhealthy.

  339. Just_A_Lurker says

    I did too, for many years, but not because of tomboyishness. It was after my first beating for being too smart. I stopped bothering with the other kids and started reading more (less outside play) and started putting on some weight. I internalized those horrible messages of “Girls are thin or they’re ugly” and I learned to hate my body. I’ve been unlearning that – slowly – and I’m much better now.

    Same exact thing happened to me. Seriously. Add in a father that is most definitely old school in all the wrong ways, Catholic family that supported that behavior and molestation = my childhood.

    I will admit to a serious hatred for pink. I was a tow-head as a child, and I wound up wearing it. A lot. Stupid parents.

    I hate pink too. Even if it wasn’t forced on girls, I’d still hate it because it is so not my color.

    My daughter loves playing with the boys outside, all while wearing her jewels and princess outfit. lol. She looks adorable =)

    When she was younger I went with greens,blues and yellows mostly b/c I hate forcing pink on everything for girls. She wears it now as her choice, but I’m worried how much all this pink and princess crap is teaching her subtly the wrong things. Of course I can’t tell and I certainly can’t force her to be a tomboy when she clearly doesn’t want it, no matter the reason.

    The saddest thing, was I caught her in the bathroom with socks in her shirt because she wanted to be bigger. Where in the hell does a 4 year old get that? Well, she has a girl friend thats older than her, about 7 and my little one wanted “to be bigger” so she could be with her friend. Since I’m bigger and big boobs, and grandma is bigger and has big boobs, she put two and two together. At least that’s what she told us. =( Broke my heart.

  340. says

    @The Ys, and I forgot to mention, I still have a bit of a problem with pink. I don’t feel comfortable wearing it 99% of the time. It was jarring yesterday during the Pink Dot rally to be surrounded in a sea of it.

    I wore the only pink shirt I like yesterday.

  341. says

    I was a tomboy, but it wasn’t a case of denying my femaleness, I simply preferred climbing trees and other “less feminine” pursuits.

    I think what a lot of girls and young women go through was best described by Alethea here:

    I think it’s a pretty harmless stage in growing up female. It even shows a bit of healthy self-esteem, and sound logical reasoning.

    Premise 1: All worthwhile human beings are men.
    Premise 2: I am a worthwhile human being.
    Conclusion: I am a man.

    So anyway, it took me a bit of time to get rid of Premise 1 – but I did get over it. So hey, now all we need to do is drop Premise 1 from the culture and we’ll all be just fine.

    It’s best to read the thread for the full context.

  342. Sally Strange, OM says

    I will note something:

    Mock my diction if you wish – or, address my actual points. Or, fucking ignore me if you can’t carry on a civil, rational conversation. The obsessive need to put down is pathological, not productive.

    These are not the words of a person arguing in good faith. Why can’t you see the astounding levels of projection you’re demonstrating here? Even though people here, me especially, have repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to engage honestly about the material you’re interested in discussing. I’m doing a favor for you, I’ve shown this several times throughout this thread. So seriously, what the fuck is your fucking problem?

  343. Tethys says

    IM

    I am trying hard to engage with you on the subject of privilege, so maybe you could make one point per post? Just for the sake of better communication.

    Lets start with the cat-calling issue. You say that you have been sexually harassed, thus proving that you aren’t privileged.

    It made you uncomfortable, but did you actually fear for your safety? Do you have to be conscious at all times and situations of the danger of sexual assault? Because women do have to live their lives in this manner, but males generally don’t even have to be aware of it.

    Isn’t Richard Dawkins dismissal of Rebecca Watsons concerns just another way of saying “Man up!”?

  344. Dhorvath, OM says

    IM,

    The very fact that this community assumes all questions about privilege to be guilty of hostile intent until proven otherwise, illustrates the problem.

    Do they? Must have hit quota the days that I have asked questions about it. I worry that you are mistaking hostility towards you in a personal fashion for hostility towards those who ask questions based on thinking that you are only asking questions. Could there be something you are doing that puts people’s backs up?

  345. The Laughing Coyote says

    Now I’m trying to imagine which styles of makeup would be interpreted as “Don’t eat me! I’m poison!”

    Yellow and black seems to be the universal signal, though there’s also bright green on black, neon orange on black, and more rarely, bright electric blue. On black. And may I just add that I find ‘poison colors’ gorgeous in nature. The black background makes the colors more intense, I think.

  346. Pteryxx says

    I actually did read IM’s whole wall-of-text, but I’m not able to assemble a coherent argument from it. This might be because I’m distracted, or just not very good at parsing the meta-meta-arguments that go with discussing the concept of privilege; but in any case I can’t tell if IM’s making a good-faith argument or not.

    To IM (Indeterminate Me): I can at least take this point on.

    This, I think, contradicts the well-written original post. Let’s go back to the husky/lizard example. Being a husky is not a privilege. Huskies, and lizards, are adapted for situations. Those situations create privilege for those animals, but only in those situations. In a different situation, it might be the lizard turning the central-heating up to bask in warmth, while the husky sweats, while it’s the lizard who is unaware of the concept of sweltering.

    As I understand it, the point of the husky/gecko metaphor was to describe a social and cognitive phenomenon in concrete, physical terms. It’s not valid for you to take that metaphor and interpret it to mean that privilege is situation-dependent (as opposed to variable with situation being one contributing factor). Nor can you claim, from this metaphor or otherwise, that maleness and femaleness are equally privileged.

    I find it difficult to imagine a situation in which being paid more for the same work is not a benefit. I don’t think having one’s opinion taken seriously is ever detrimental. I don’t think having one’s bodily autonomy respected is ever problematic. These should be the default, not a matter of viewpoint.

  347. Indeterminate Me says

    @Sally,

    Even though people here, me especially, have repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to engage honestly about the material you’re interested in discussing.

    Really? Ah, that would explain the multiplicity of comments about the length of posts, about missing a nesting tag, about me being “pseudo-intellectual”, critiquing my writing skill, etc., as opposed to any illumination from the enlightened superior souls of the “communitariat”.

    And, it would explain the tirade of BS dumped on another newbie here, who happened to be one of the rare people willing to put up with the BS in order to penetrate your hostile, guilty-until-proven-innocent rain of shit.

    Do you *really*, *honestly* believe that the childish insults here are some kind of virtuous gauntlet to weed out the MRAs and weak-kneed in some kind of survival of the fittest test? Or, are you honest enough to admit that it is peurile masturbatory schoolyard bully pleasure at holding someone down and spitting on their face to show superiority?

    It’s just gratuitous bullshit. Folks lecture me about too many paragraphs, but wallow in pleasure at filth-spewing?

    Talk about education – every child learns that it is possible to communicate effectively without injecting an obscenity between every participle of speech, and that freedom of speech does not imply an imperative to speak as nastily and viciously as possible at every opportunity.

    At the very least, stop the posturing and pretense that this is somehow anything but peurile, gratuitous, bullying bullshit.

    I look forward to any, at least some substantive responses to my comments, as non-academic, verbose, “pseudo-intellectual” and non-compliant with “communitariat” regulations as they are.

    So far, I am getting only confirmation that folks here are less interested in making a point than scoring points.

    An old adage among old fart, irrelevant old-school actual feet-on-the-ground not whine on the Internet activists is that most people care about issues only enough to pontificate about them; real activists care enough about issues to DO something about them.

    In the case of changing minds and attitudes, that means a tireless willingness to educate, over and over and over. Sending people who sincerely want to learn off to “do your own research and then come back and be tested for our approval” is a sure sign of a pseudo-activist.

    As is the continuous, bullshit avoidance of substantive response and the insistence on making this a “pro-privilege” vs “anti-privilege” discussion. As are the irrelevant arguments about how privilege is real (irrelevant because I have not, in any way, argued that it isn’t).

    So far, all I see is empirical evidence that I am right about one thing – when you can’t find an MRA frenemy, you’ll invent one rather than spend any time engaging with someone of good will asking substantive questions. Stop telling me to PROVE myself to you – prove me wrong and engage substantively – and resist the temptation to butcher my screenname (which, as I explained several times in previous comments, is about the fluid, nonbinary nature of sexual identity, emphasis on the “indeterminate”, not the “me”.

  348. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Well, there’s a fucking shock. IM is still tone trolling.

    Beyond that, TL;DR.

  349. Pteryxx says

    *shrug* I shorten Indeterminate Me to “IM” because I have trouble with names. Would you rather I spell it out?

  350. Ichthyic says

    IM, you know, I’ve seen you posting in other threads. You’ve been succinct, to the point and communicated clearly with no pearl clutching or tone trolling in sight.

    Couldn’t you give that a shot in this thread?

    *looks at his most recent post*

    conclusion:

    no.

  351. says

    Do you think you could actually summarise your substantive points, maybe in a dot point list? Perhaps with some links back to where you said them. Because I can’t find them, just a lot of multi-screen whining about how we nasty nasty bullies don’t address whatever they are. (Which naturally doesn’t inspire me to read more of it in search of something that might not even exist.)

  352. Indeterminate Me says

    @Tethys,

    Lets start with the cat-calling issue. You say that you have been sexually harassed, thus proving that you aren’t privileged.

    Um, no. That was part of a comment I was quoting. Apologies if the butchered And, typically, you single out the privilege-denial part of that comment – and assume it was from me, since I must be somehow some secret MRA troll – rather than addressing what I posted, in direct response to the request for examples of how privilege is abused in practice rather than in theory.

    The salient part being how it is hurled as an epithet and used as a blanket way of discrediting the messenger without having to bother with the message.

    Sort of how “MRA” and “troll” is used here.

    In point of fact, I have not

  353. says

    IM, that’s simply one illustration of privilege. There are different kinds of privilege and all of us are walking around with a fistful of it. Some people have more privilege than others.

    I’m female, mixed race, bisexual and atheist. Next to a woman who is non-white, lesbian, atheist and a single mother looking for a job which will support herself and her child, I’m fairly bristling with privilege.

    I have a successful career, an independent one, so I don’t need to be very concerned about keeping my bisexuality and atheism under wraps. I don’t have to contend with a job market where I will be less likely to be hired, less likely to make a living wage, less likely to be promoted and be open to daily harassment. I don’t have to be torn apart by deciding to accept a job with no benefits.

    I’m well educated and not inundated with educational debt. I had excellent opportunities in that regard.

    I have a loving and supportive partner who is (and has been) willing to pick up the slack during lean times, who is (and has been) willing to handle household duties, especially when I’m swamped with work.

    I don’t have to contend with attempting to raise my child to be an aware, empathic being, I don’t have to contend with schools, babysitting, daycare, or the financial and emotional costs which come with raising a child.

    I don’t have to try and figure out how to get out, have a little social time or attempt a relationship with someone.

    I live very rural in a very tiny town, so I don’t have to contend with the constant risk assessment and fears of walking to my car every day or night, being scared to run to the store late at night, etc. (Although I’ll never be over doing those things, it’s much worse in a city.)

    I have outstanding medical coverage where most people in the U.S. have none. I don’t have to live in fear of becoming ill or my child becoming ill. I don’t have to worry how in the hell I’ll pay for a check up or a dental appointment. I don’t have to worry about needing glasses.

    The list goes on and on and on and on.

    This was the differences between two similar women. Do you suppose that straight, white males just might have a whole lot more privilege than women?

  354. Indeterminate Me says

    Oops, something I typed caused a submit before I was finished. Trying again:

    @Tethys,

    Lets start with the cat-calling issue. You say that you have been sexually harassed, thus proving that you aren’t privileged.

    Um, no. That was part of a comment I was quoting. Apologies if the butchered quote nesting caused confusion.

    And, typically, you single out the privilege-denial part of that comment – and assume it was from me, since I must be somehow some secret MRA troll – rather than addressing what I posted, in direct response to the request for examples of how privilege is abused in practice rather than in theory.

    The salient part being how it is hurled as an epithet and used as a blanket way of discrediting the messenger without having to bother with the message.

    Sort of how “MRA” and “troll” is used here.

    In point of fact, I have not questioned the concept of privilege nor its reality nor its real consequences. Anyone who bothered to actually read my comments would have seen that clearly stated multiple times.

    Someone, on the other hand, who presumes bad faith and is concerned with erecting straw men to “beat me” with, would jump to the wrong conclusion.

    I’m not interested in attacking the notion of privilege or denying it. Not interested in that discussion. Will ignore repeated attempts to make it my argument. It isn’t.

    Sort of leaves the “commentariat” without anything to respond to. I suppose you’ll just wait until an actual MRA shows up, or some poor, well-meaning newbie you”ll tar with an MRA strraw man, so you don’t have to get out of your comfort zones and, you know, actually engage in changing minds.

  355. Indeterminate Me says

    Caine,

    I’m not sure who you are talking to, but it’s not me. I have not argued against the existence of privilege nor argued in some way that I am not privileged.

    You folks really have a time letting go of the MRA straw men, don’t you? I can only hope a real one will show up, so you’ll be able to revert back to your unthinking attack habits, and not have to actually (shudder) read what someone actually writes and respond to it.

  356. Indeterminate Me says

    Althea,

    I would prefer that you simply not respond, since you can’t be troubled to read what I write. You’ll probably only tell me to read what others write, anyway. More not practicing what you preach.

  357. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Also:

    … real activists care enough about issues to DO something about them.

    LOL at claiming that none of us are activists.

    Jesus Christ, IM, you can really just piss off at this point. You’ve nothing to add, nothing worthwhile to say and you’re boring.

  358. Indeterminate Me says

    @Pteryxx,

    Remarkably, you, too are true to the “commentariat” form, ignoring my actual questions – even the short, TL;DR version, and insisting on pulling out from something I quoted from someone else only the perceived attack on the notion of privilege.

    Not interested in having that conversation, as I don’t question the notion of privilege.

    Read again. It’s not that difficult, I left out exactly one close-blockquote. It’s like you folks have never been on the Internet, and never seen anyone make a mistake with a tag before.

    Or, you simply don’t want to be distracted from your MRA Snark hunt to talk to real people.

  359. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Indeterminate: the “communitariat”?

    <snicker>

    Most recently:

    Althea,

    I would prefer that you simply not respond, since you can’t be troubled to read what I write.

    Heh. You can’t even be troubled to get the name right!

    (Unlike you, I indicate when I make meta-comments)

  360. Indeterminate Me says

    Jesus Christ, Audley, guess you have nothing constructive to contribute. You’re aces at fighting MRAs, but useless when it comes to explaining why the privilege model should replace the power model as a basis for social justice/civil liberties activism, or why “privilege” is so often used as an epithet rather than an empowering and enlightening tool.

    Folks ask for examples. When given links, they ask for quotes. When given quotes, they complain about length, and then ignore the actual questions and pull out bits of the quote irrelevant to the questions.

    I’m sorry, but, thus far, I’m not particularly impressed with the supposedly superior intellectual minds here. Can’t even handle a misplaced tag, can’t bother to engage substantively or respond directly to questions – even when they are numbered and only three.

    Anyone not from the “commentariat” want to chime in with something useful?

  361. Pteryxx says

    Also, there’s a difference between “verbose” and “vacuous”. You could write a 10-screen comment and it’d be (mostly) well received if you actually said something with all that space.

    as to #133 in particular, I read it as about 10% point, 90% presuming/insulting/accusing. Meh.

    Short version of #133 (my interpretation):

    “Um, no. That was part of a comment I was quoting. Apologies if the butchered quote nesting caused confusion.

    [T]he privilege-denial part of that comment [was not relevant to my point.]

    The salient part being how it is hurled as an epithet and used as a blanket way of discrediting the messenger…”

    IMHO, that would have been enough, maybe with a re-quote of the salient portion.

  362. says

    … real activists care enough about issues to DO something about them.

    A host of assorted douchecakes have trotted this out. I have been an activist in feminism and GLBTI issues for over 30 years. Most of the people here are activists and yes, they do something about issues.

    I’ll tell you what I tell everyone else. You don’t get to use this lame ass, weaksauce ‘argument’ because it’s beyond stupid and beyond wrong. You’re spending your time on the net, so it could be said you aren’t doing anything about these issues and you don’t care! Waaah.

    Activism isn’t 24/7. Activism also includes raising awareness. That happens in all manner of ways, including discussion and debate, even on the internet!

    Now, I’ve spent some time responding to you, nicely, I might add. You can display that integrity and intellectual honestly by dropping the crap and responding, not only to me, but to SallyStrange, Tethys and Alethea, who have all said, repeatedly, that they are willing to engage in a discussion of privilege. It’s time to put up or shut up, IM.

  363. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    IM, quit tone trolling, it’s getting in the way of you making your points clear, whatever they are. You haven’t proven privilege doesn’t exist. In fact, you haven’t proven anything. You just make vacuous statements with attitude about us not swallowing your tripe wholesale. We are both intelligent and skeptical. Which means evidence, not opinion, is needed from you. Where is your evidence?

  364. Tethys says

    IM

    I am judging you by YOUR words. You are not communicating clearly, and that chip on your shoulder is quite clear to several different posters here.

    Typically, the horde enjoys a good debate. You aren’t offering a good debate so the horde will use you to keep their teeth nice and sniny.

    If you can’t make a logical argument, and instead just rant on and on about how we’re being mean to you, perhaps you should take the advice from your own freaking example and “shut-up and listen”.

  365. says

    @Pteryxx, I think you’re basically right in your reading here:

    It’s not valid for you to take that metaphor and interpret it to mean that privilege is situation-dependent (as opposed to variable with situation being one contributing factor). Nor can you claim, from this metaphor or otherwise, that maleness and femaleness are equally privileged.

    It certainly feels a lot like xe was trying to say that because maleness is not always beneficial in traditionally “feminine speres”, it cannot be described in the privilege term we often use. (For example, a man is not allowed to join a parenting group for child outings and the like.)

    So basically I read lots of patriarchy hurts men too, without acknowledgement that the systems perpetuated by men and women that enable individuals to get ahead and be successful (in terms of social standards) are inherently geared toward giving men the edge.

  366. Indeterminate Me says

    John Morales,

    You mean like

    Inarticulate Me

    cupcake

    oooh, clever, never been called that before. Talk about privilege unaware of prejudicial language.

    I don’t feel too bad about mocking indterminate Me…ball in Indeterminate ME’s court

    Tired of scrolling back, but pretty sure there were some other gratutious plays on my screen name.

    At least I made an honest mistake, rather than mocking someone.

    Note you hypocritically didn’t say a word about any of the above. So it is fair to assume you actually don’t give a shit about my misspelling, you are just engaging in yet more derailing, irrelevant trolling.

    Funny how, when I write substantive posts, all the comments are about style, formatting, spelling (plus let’s not forget a whole lot of straw man addressing arguments I have never made), and zero addressing my actual comments.

    Is that not tone-trolling exemplary?

  367. Dhorvath, OM says

    Indeterminate Me,

    Funny how, when I write substantive posts, all the comments are about style, formatting, spelling (plus let’s not forget a whole lot of straw man addressing arguments I have never made), and zero addressing my actual comments.

    I will admit that my point was somewhat orthogonal to the discussion of privilege that you seem so interested in, but it was most certainly in response to claims you are putting forwards. I don’t much need an answer, but I think that zero is inaccurate.

  368. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    IM, try this. One paragraph, five sentences most, for one idea. Then sit back for 30 minutes.

  369. Indeterminate Me says

    You haven’t proven privilege doesn’t exist. </blockquote

    That would be because I have never made such an argument.

    In fact, you haven’t proven anything.

    That would be because I shared some questions I have been asking myself, and for which I have not found satisfactory answers in the research I have done. I didn’t set out to “prove” anything, I set out to learn something.

    You just make vacuous statements with attitude about us not swallowing your tripe wholesale

    .

    We are both intelligent and skeptical.

    I see evidence of neither, just a lot of pontificating about how wonderful you are.

    Which means evidence, not opinion, is needed from you. Where is your evidence?

    I was asked to provide example of privilege model, examples of it being abused; I provided both, as well as examples of others experiencing its abuse, in response to several commenters who chose to discredit my own experience (funny how anecdote is so valued here when it supports the desired self-image, disregarded when it presents a challenge. Isn’t a basic premise of addressing unconscious assumptions NOT to preemptively deny someone’s personal experience? Whatever, I provided additional testimony – and that was just from a single source).

    Not one of the folks who challenged me to produce has actually responded to what I produced.

    To address the complaint that I was verbose and unclear (I was ASKED to provide examples, remember, so I quoted at length, because the links I pointed to before were ignored), I will repost just the three questions in my next comment.

  370. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Sorry, IM. It was a tough day at work and I didn’t bother to separate your few points from your whining about tone.

    A couple of points:

    but useless when it comes to explaining why the privilege model should replace the power model as a basis for social justice/civil liberties activism, or why “privilege” is so often used as an epithet rather than an empowering and enlightening tool.

    1) I’m still learning about privilege myself. I grok the concept, but I personally suck ass at explaining it to someone else.

    I can’t even begin to tell you how incredibly torn up I am that I haven’t met your lofty expectations.

    2) “Privilege” has been used as an epithet when someone either refuses to admit that it exists and/or refuses to admit that it applies to them.

    The concept of privilege has been explained here (and over on Sb) thousands of times at this point. When someone expresses doubt that privilege is important, it is often a derailing or silencing tactic, which you know, women deal with all the fucking time.

    For a tone troll, you sure are quick to insult us. I’d find it amusing if I weren’t so goddamned bored with you.

  371. Tethys says

    IM

    Funny how, when I write substantive posts, all the comments are about style, formatting, spelling (plus let’s not forget a whole lot of straw man addressing arguments I have never made), and zero addressing my actual comments.

    My complaint is about content and readability. You fuck up the formatting and then jump down my throat because your post lacks clarity?

    Nobody knows what your point is asshat, and it isn’t our responsibility to teach you anything.

  372. Indeterminate Me says

    The questions I shared in a previous post
    (within the context of my perspective having seen – and experienced first-hand the efficacy of the power model and the approach of systemic change to address power imbalance dynamics, with the ultimate goal of an equal society, and wondering why it is discredited in favor of the privilege model):

    a) What makes the privilege imbalance model superior to the power imbalance model as a basis for action to address social injustice?

    b) why is the privilege model so commonly abused, is there a way to address this abuse and misunderstanding of the nature of privilege so that it becomes a more effective and less contention model (based as it is on evident real phenomena), and why does embracing it seem to foster a hostile, confrontational, rejectionist attitude among its adherents, rather than the accepting, welcoming, teaching model it theoretically entails?

    c) is it healthy to push for uncritical acceptance – dare I say, mere belief (“it just is”, “when an oppressed persion tells you you are being [racist, sexist, etc], you are”, “if you question this concept, you are just confirming your privilege”, “go fucking learn the truth and them come back to talk with your betters”), or is it healthier to embrace skepticism and critical thinking when applied even to the privilege model, as a form of peer review that has proven so valuable in the natural sciences?

    To me, this seems like a nontrivial set of questions. The approach (in practice, if not in theory) of adopting a privilege model as the sole, overriding view of the world – believing that power flows from inherent privilege, rather than the power-based view that privilege is a consequence of power – has real-world implications. Inherent privilege requires different ameliorative approaches than power imbalance, which is not inherent in physiology but rather circumstantial.

    Changing circumstances to correct power imbalances is a *very* different approach to social justice work than accepting privilege and seeking to compensate for it.

    (Note that, in a power model, it is perfectly useful to tactically address privilege, for example by employing affirmative action quotas. However, such action is seen as temporary, unfortunate but necessary, with the goal being a society where “children are judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin”; whereas, it seems to me that the privilege model – again, as actually practiced – seems to argue for a “separate but equal” approach.)

  373. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    John Morales:

    (Unlike you, I indicate when I make meta-comments)

    And you’re wittier.

    IM:
    There is a preview button, you know.

  374. Indeterminate Me says

    @Audley,

    I’d find it amusing if I weren’t so goddamned bored with you.

    Yet you can’t resist posting tone-trolling critique after tone-trolling critique.

    Interesting. When I’m bored by something, i don’t obsessively preoccupy with it.

  375. The Laughing Coyote says

    Holy fucking balls… go downtown for a ‘date’ last night, and respond to the thread I see on my screen, completely unaware of page 2.

    What’s this talk of replacing ‘power model’ with ‘privilege model’ crap? That has absolutely nothing to do with what (admittedly little compared to others here) I have learned about Privilege.

    What is the functional difference? With power comes privilege and with privilege comes the chance at grabbing more of that tasty power. Why does one ‘replace’ the other?

    This demonstrates to me at least that you understand even less than I do, and I’m a barely educated stoner.

    That brings me to another point. You talk about the need to tirelessly educate. I have been tirelessly educated here. No one has told me to shove anything dead and prickly up my ass no matter how many stupid newbie questions I asked. My experience does not fit your claims. Admittedly, it’s only the experience of one, but it’s all I have.

    I suspect the difference is that I occupy a humble place in this vast world and the idea of admitting that I’m ignorant is a pain I’m well used to.

    It made it easier for me to ask these questions in good faith, and try to learn from the answers I got. Because who knows more about the bad state of oppression in this world than the people who’ve experienced it themselves?

  376. Indeterminate Me says

    @Caine,

    I see my effort to explain privilege (#132) was utterly pointlessM

    Yep, since I don’t disagree with a single word of that entire comment.

    We are in violent agreement, so to speak, on those points.

    Why do you insist on arguing something I am not challenging?

  377. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    IM:

    whereas, it seems to me that the privilege model – again, as actually practiced – seems to argue for a “separate but equal” approach.

    Where the fuck are you getting that from??

  378. The Laughing Coyote says

    Where the fuck are you getting that from??

    His ass, with the rest of the bullshit.

  379. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    IM:

    Yet you can’t resist posting tone-trolling critique after tone-trolling critique.

    Interesting. When I’m bored by something, i don’t obsessively preoccupy with it.

    Well, here’s a newsflash: I’m doing more that one thing at a time, here. *gasp!* *shock!*

    You’re not going to actually respond with any substance are you?

  380. says

    TLC:

    No one has told me to shove anything dead and prickly up my ass no matter how many stupid newbie questions I asked. My experience does not fit your claims.

    That’s because when you delurked (in an incredibly ferocious thread no less), you had taken the time time to carefully read and did not open your comments with lectures on how awful we all were and telling us how to behave.

    We do educate here, often gladly. We don’t think any honest question is stupid. Everyone’s gotta learn and everyone has to start from the beginning.

  381. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    IM, slow down. One idea per post. You need to start over, as nobody understands your vague point, if there is one.

    Personally, you sound like an MRA who doesn’t like being a potential rapist per SR, and tries like hell to define the problem so the rape word isn’t applied to him. In your case, the word is privilege.

  382. Pteryxx says

    Uh…

    b) why is the privilege model so commonly abused, is there a way to address this abuse and misunderstanding of the nature of privilege so that it becomes a more effective and less contention model (based as it is on evident real phenomena), and why does embracing it seem to foster a hostile, confrontational, rejectionist attitude among its adherents, rather than the accepting, welcoming, teaching model it theoretically entails?

    …Is this a tone trolling argument about the concept of privilege itself causing confrontation rather than teaching?

    The approach (in practice, if not in theory) of adopting a privilege model as the sole, overriding view of the world – believing that power flows from inherent privilege, rather than the power-based view that privilege is a consequence of power – has real-world implications.

    Why should power-before-privilege or privilege-before-power even be a worthwhile distinction to make? Privilege and power tend to coincide. And since when is the privilege model “the sole, overriding view of the world” ?

    If there’s something relevant about the definitions of “privilege model” versus “power model”, then don’t mind me; I’ve never heard the terms before.

  383. Tethys says

    IMs wall of text

    Example of its abuse:

    http://skepchick.org/2011/07/the-privilege-delusion/

    Richard Dawkins believes I should be a good girl and just shut up about being sexually objectified because it doesn’t bother him. Thanks, wealthy old heterosexual white man!

    Wrong. This is a perfect example of privilege in action, and not an example of it’s abuse.

    If you think otherwise, give a good reason why or shut up.

  384. Louis says

    Ok Indeterminate Me, I’ll play nicely. Here goes, first an apology:

    I apologise unreservedly and sincerely for mocking you in #45. Please accept my complete retraction of any and all abuse or mockery. I shall now briefly familiarise myself with your recent posts to try to engage with you in a more serious manner.

    Now please be so kind as to indulge me. I’m going to try to synthesise your points/questions a little first. Please correct me if and where I go wrong. If I get it right, please make explicit that you agree (if you do) an that I have fairly summarised your words (if I have). Okay? Thanks.

    1) How do we know (or even just do we know) that the privilege model of social inequality is superior to the power balance model?

    2) Why is the privilege concept so abused in common usage? (You seem particularly hung up on this one, it feature heavily in many posts. Am I right?)

    3) You see the privilege model as somehow undermining a demonstrably successful power balance model and instead advocating some sort of “separate but equal” route to reducing social inequalities. Privilege as a concept is also somehow linked to postmodernism.

    4) In your experience “privilege” is mostly used as a tool to stifle debate and shut down any opposition, cogent or not. This use “in practice” differs from how it is constructed theoretically, and thus how it should be used.

    5) The power balance model has a demonstrable track record of effecting social change.

    Would you say those are your key points/questions related to privilege? And that I have summarised them fairly?

    Thanks

    Louis

  385. Sally Strange, OM says

    Still confused about what Inarticulate Me is trying to say.

    Which is why I’m calling him “Inarticulate Me.” If that offends you, Inarticulate Me, well, I really don’t care. How about you start being more articulate? Then I’d stop referring to you as “inarticulate.”

  386. Pteryxx says

    (meta and OT)

    Caine to TLC:

    That’s because when you delurked (in an incredibly ferocious thread no less), you had taken the time time to carefully read and did not open your comments with lectures on how awful we all were and telling us how to behave.

    …You people who can remember and identify each other really intimidate me with your social skills sometimes. Or, you’re all using cheat-sheets. >_>

  387. Tethys says

    967 responses on this thread. I expect PZ will be closing it soon IM so your opportunity to make a cogent point is very short.

  388. Mattir says

    @slignot:

    It wasn’t until a couple years ago I realized that a lot of my tomboyish behavior as a child was itself internalized sexism. I recognized on a base level (subconsciously to be sure) that being female in my society was to be lesser and devalued. So I simply opted out of being a girl in many ways (not to be confused with genuine gender dysphoria, which did not accurately describe me at all). I hid my mind, my body* and sexuality from others and in many ways myself.

    It was a huge red pill moment for me when I realized that by rejecting everything to do with being outwardly female growing up & during adolescence, I was myself devaluing my own sex. I wasn’t choosing my self expression, I let others do that for me by being the opposite of what I was told to be.

    This, this, a thousand times this. I’m still struggling with this one, and I’m forty eight years old.

  389. Sally Strange, OM says

    (within the context of my perspective having seen – and experienced first-hand the efficacy of the power model and the approach of systemic change to address power imbalance dynamics, with the ultimate goal of an equal society, and wondering why it is discredited in favor of the privilege model):

    Okay, you’re talking about this “power model” as if everyone knows exactly what you’re talking about. Define your terms first. What is the power model, what makes it successful, and how does it differ from the privilege model?

    a) What makes the privilege imbalance model superior to the power imbalance model as a basis for action to address social injustice?

    Since I don’t know what you mean by the power model, and I strongly suspect that your understanding of the privilege model differs significantly from mine and from the majority of social scientists who coined and use the term, this is an unanswerable question at the moment.

    b) why is the privilege model so commonly abused, is there a way to address this abuse and misunderstanding of the nature of privilege so that it becomes a more effective and less contention model (based as it is on evident real phenomena), and why does embracing it seem to foster a hostile, confrontational, rejectionist attitude among its adherents, rather than the accepting, welcoming, teaching model it theoretically entails?

    I’m not convinced that it is so commonly abused. The example you gave–of Rebecca Watson responding to Richard Dawkins–was not, in my opinion, an example of abuse of the model. Dawkins was wrong: being sexually propositioned against your will is not at all like being irritated by someone chewing gum nearby. The probable reason he was wrong is that he has wealthy white male privilege. I.e., he lacks data on what it’s like to be subject to unwanted advances. The only other examples you seem to have are of people dismissing YOUR opinions–which has more to do with the fact that you are so incredibly narcissistic than anything else.

    c) is it healthy to push for uncritical acceptance – dare I say, mere belief (“it just is”, “when an oppressed persion tells you you are being [racist, sexist, etc], you are”, “if you question this concept, you are just confirming your privilege”, “go fucking learn the truth and them come back to talk with your betters”), or is it healthier to embrace skepticism and critical thinking when applied even to the privilege model, as a form of peer review that has proven so valuable in the natural sciences?

    No, of course it’s not healthy to push for uncritical acceptance of anything. But then, once again, you are assuming facts not in evidence. Where is this uncritical acceptance you speak of? I personally accept the privilege model, but not uncritically, which is why I’m willing to entertain your objections to it, despite your disingenuous best efforts to stave off any honest discussion on the subject. That would, of course, distract from your Martyr Tap Dance.

    To me, this seems like a nontrivial set of questions.

    To me, the questions seem pretty trivial, based as they are mostly on assuming facts not in evidence, respect for an unexplained model, and misunderstanding of a well-accepted one.

    The approach (in practice, if not in theory) of adopting a privilege model as the sole, overriding view of the world –

    More facts not in evidence

    believing that power flows from inherent privilege, rather than the power-based view that privilege is a consequence of power – has real-world implications. Inherent privilege requires different ameliorative approaches than power imbalance, which is not inherent in physiology but rather circumstantial.

    You’ve yet to explain what the difference in ameliorative approaches are. Something to do with teaching and divisiveness, I gather? Specific examples, please. Peer-reviewed studies would be even better.

    Changing circumstances to correct power imbalances is a *very* different approach to social justice work than accepting privilege and seeking to compensate for it.

    Again you assume facts not in evidence. Where in the social sciences is it written that, once you recognize privilege, you are bound to merely accept its existence and try to compensate for it, rather than “try to correct power imbalances”? What is the functional difference between compensating for privilege (which is a form of power) and correcting for power imbalance?

    (Note that, in a power model, it is perfectly useful to tactically address privilege, for example by employing affirmative action quotas. However, such action is seen as temporary, unfortunate but necessary, with the goal being a society where “children are judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin”; whereas, it seems to me that the privilege model – again, as actually practiced – seems to argue for a “separate but equal” approach.)

    Again with this power model. You’d better explain it, or point us to a link that explains it, so that we can have some idea what the fuck you’re talking about.

    Clarity of communication, dude. You lack it.

  390. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Tethys,

    967 responses on this thread. I expect PZ will be closing it soon IM so your opportunity to make a cogent point is very short.

    Nah.

    (That’s the whole point of the 800-post paging PZ enabled)

  391. Sally Strange, OM says

    Oh yeah, and also, accepting the validity of the model of social privilege in no way means that you must automatically support or endorse or condone in any way a “separate but equal” approach to social justice. To say that it does betrays a profound misunderstanding of the theory, not a substantive critique.

    So, Indetermine Me, you got your wish. Your critique was taken seriously and dealt with without (much) snark.

    The content is still pretty much the same though: you communicate poorly, you expect people to read your mind, and you don’t understand the theory you’re trying to critique. So the end result is pretty much the same.

    Now what?

  392. Dhorvath, OM says

    On privilege. I find the concept of privilege very useful for learning about the specifics of how people engage with culture. Being made aware of this perspective on how I exist right now stimulates some self reflection and attention to what others are saying. So rather than trying to find holes in another’s experience I seek to find ways in which I either reflect their experience in my own or find that I have been responsible for the same experience in other people’s lives. I am sure that power imbalance can deal with this, but for me, at least, the idea of privilege is succinct and lets me take a step back from my ego during any discussion.

    ___

    I have been tirelessly educated here. No one has told me to shove anything dead and prickly up my ass no matter how many stupid newbie questions I asked. My experience does not fit your claims. Admittedly, it’s only the experience of one, but it’s all I have.

    Add me to that category.

  393. Sally Strange, OM says

    lets me take a step back from my ego during any discussion.

    I think this is one of the main things IM could do to improve his understanding of the theory. Right now he’s too bound up in the fact that occasionally people dismiss his opinion because he has privilege lacks data on what it’s like to be someone besides IM.

  394. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    IM, this could have been facilitated by doing this: “I prefer the power model” *link to academic paper giving explanation of the power model* That is what we mean by evidence. Then we can discuss the nuts and bolts, as everybody is on the same page.

    Oh, and I don’t have any power, but I do have lots of privilege.

  395. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Me, I’d be surprised if Indeterminate Me can realise that merely commenting here incorporates hir into the commentariat.

  396. Esteleth says

    Indeterminate Me,
    Any chance you could reply to my question @900? I am genuinely curious.

  397. says

    Inherent privilege requires different ameliorative approaches than power imbalance, which is not inherent in physiology but rather circumstantial.

    someone doesn’t have the faintest clue what privilege is. hint: it’s not “inherent in physiology”.

  398. says

    IM:

    I’m not sure who you are talking to, but it’s not me. I have not argued against the existence of privilege nor argued in some way that I am not privileged.

    I was talking to you. You are the one who has been going on and on and on about privilege, how we aren’t skeptical enough, and how the essay at sindeloke is wrong and how privilege is the wrong model, how it’s abused and so forth. In between complaining, all you’ve done is argued against the existence of privilege and the fact of your own privilege.

    You folks really have a time letting go of the MRA straw men, don’t you? I can only hope a real one will show up, so you’ll be able to revert back to your unthinking attack habits, and not have to actually (shudder) read what someone actually writes and respond to it.

    Jesus kangaroo-fucking Christ, this is what I get for taking the time to address you, multiple times, politely? Do you mind telling me why anyone here should bother with you?

    I don’t have “unthinking habits” and I have read what you have vomited forth in copious amounts.

    You are not engaging in discussion and you aren’t displaying the slightest bit of honesty here.

    I wrote out a different take on privilege, as you were complaining about the Husky essay. Now you want to deny you’ve had an issue with privilege? You really shouldn’t be surprised when people are tempted to tell you to fuck off.

    Being willing to examine your own privilege doesn’t remove it, it’s not something which binds or defines you. What does happen is that it helps to make you a better human being and helps you to see how the kyriarchy, patriarchy and entrenched sexism hurt everyone.

    Your waffling about privilege and bizarre insistence that it ends up as something separate but equal isn’t helping anyone here to have any sort of discussion with you other than “holy shit, what an idjit”.

    Now I know you won’t bother to read what I wrote, but will focus in on all the nasty words. I’d like to think you’d actually bother to read and comprehend what people are saying, rather than falling back on the continual tone trolling.

  399. Mattir says

    Why I find the privilege model more useful than the power-imbalance model:

    I cannot, single-handedly, lessen or remove power imbalances where I see them. I can work for structural changes (EEO laws and the like to correct the conditions that give rise to power imbalances, but I cannot directly address the power imbalance per se. Also, human beings are complicated and fallible – I’m highly dubious of the idea that we can do away with all power imbalances between individuals or groups of individuals and then live in Utopia from then on. People don’t work that way.

    It’s more useful to have a framework that allows for continual analysis and self-correction. I can notice when I have advantages (or privileges) that other people lack. I can refrain from taking advantage of that circumstance, I can notice when I give similar advantages to other people because I’ve internalized how culture values some traits over others, and I can try to stop doing that. I can point out privilege where I see it and discuss how to change it.

    Basically the privilege model allows me to look at relationships and group behavior as a complex system and to intervene in very small, but doable ways by changing (or trying to change) how I behave. I work in nature education. I cannot make sure that every African American child or every child from a family with an income below the poverty level (or whatever) gets an adequate elementary school education so as to be able to participate fully in my programs. I can, however, notice when I assume that an African American kid isn’t as smart as another kid. I can examine that kid’s behavior and ideas a bit more closely to conteract my bias, and I can be extra careful about how I compare kids. I can provide extra attention to how a particular child is understanding or participating in the program because I know that I tend to overlook children from that particular group.

    The thing that’s great about the privilege heuristic is that it’s a way to assess my behavior and ideas, not to bash everyone else over the head with accusations of privilege. There are people who do this, and in a forum like Pharyngula, it can be useful – it’s wildly unpleasant for the people on the receiving end of the accusations, but those discussions have led me to think a lot more deeply about whatever the issue was (while staying out of the fray, for the most part). In my own personal relationships, I don’t generally find that bashing people over the head with privilege accusations is productive, but mentioning a particular example of privilege as it recurs does help change minds over time. However, Pharyngula is not meatspace, and the style of discussion that works here often differs from styles that succeed in meatspace.

    I’ve found the read-lurk-and-think-more advice is very useful when a particular issue under discussion is really getting under my skin, but there’s also the “take a break and come back in three days in a different thread” strategy. These two, combined with a healthy ability to agree to disagree and/or state that one has changed one’s mind in some specific way, makes Pharyngula a much more congenial place.

  400. Tethys says

    Yesterday both IM and jamesemery started posting in this thread at almost the same time and with the same old tone/echo chamber/the horde is close minded BS.

    Jamesemery quickly realized his mistake and was welcomed into TET eventually.

    IM still isn’t getting it.

  401. says

    whereas, it seems to me that the privilege model – again, as actually practiced – seems to argue for a “separate but equal” approach.

    no.

  402. Indeterminate Me says

    What is the functional difference? With power comes privilege and with privilege comes the chance at grabbing more of that tasty power. Why does one ‘replace’ the other?

    Thank you for substantively responding to one of my questions!

    Imbalance in access to power requires systemic change – and systemic change has been proven to remediate inequality in access – literally to “empower” the powerless.

    Women are now a slight majority of undergrads in US colleges. Not because activists said, “let’s educate privileged male undergrads about their advantages” (although such education is certainly valuable), but because the systemic and cultural barriers to access were addressed.

    Women are not, however, adequately represented in leadership positions in US colleges. It is hard to see how educating privileged male undergrads about their advantages will address this (again, this is not to say that it is not important to educate about privilege). In fact, more than a decade of Pomo sociology classes seems not to have addressed power imbalances at the top. At the same time, the mere fact that women are now a majority of undergrads has ameliorated the once prevalent cultural bias against women getting a college degree, or even being capable of getting one.

    It is not hard, however, to see how systemic changes can address those imbalances – the kind of systemic changes that have been the focus of civil liberties and social justice work in the past.

    In practice, I see a tendency among the most vocal and avid proponents of the privilege model to dismiss systemic efforts to address power issues, and to disrespect the historical struggle to address systemic injustice. I am not alone in this observation, it is not just casual anecdote either.

    Even in cases where power imbalance is being directly addressed – as in the “we are the 99%” – there are pomo folks who push to focus on privilege rather than power, who, for example, suspect labor because they are white males, rather than see them as brother and sister members of the 99%. I don’t want to get into nitpicking examples, they are just illustrative of a more general point.

    In practice, I see it practiced as an either-or, regardless of what sociology professors teach.

    If you prefer, you can simply deny the problem exists, and that will end the conversation.

    Or, you can choose to treat my question as legitimate, and help me think about how to resolve the apparent discordance.

    I don’t claim I am right, or that I have a superior solution. I’m just applying critical thinking to some assumptions that don’t seem to be scientifically questioned, as the privilege model approaches a kind of religious of ideological dogma, where anyone who even dares to ask a question is the enemy by default. That’s not a healthy prescription, particularly not for activism, which must be empirically sensitive and adjust and refine and improve based on results.

  403. Indeterminate Me says

    No one has told me to shove anything dead and prickly up my ass no matter how many stupid newbie questions I asked. My experience does not fit your claims.

    That’s because you haven’t challenged the group consensus. It is easy to be accepted here by being obsequious and/or joining in the childish insults and piling on.

    It’s like a comic getting a cheap laugh by making a fart joke. Not particularly challenging to the audience.

  404. says

    IM

    In practice, I see a tendency among the most vocal and avid proponents of the privilege model to dismiss systemic efforts to address power issues, and to disrespect the historical struggle to address systemic injustice.

    I’ve not seen this to be the case at all. Fighting systemic abuse via legislation, regulation, and policies like affirmative action are needed and work to a certain extent.

    But once you have people on board generally with the idea that women should be treated equally and the laws are all in place, and you still have e.g. pay equity gaps, hiring gaps, fewer women in positions of power etc. etc., you can’t just throw up your hands and do nothing. You have to address unconscious biases and make people aware of the privileges they possess. This way, people can also act on an individual level to counter those biases.

    I don’t see why you think that feminists would forego large-scale measures in favour of consciousness raising. We want both. Show me evidence to the contrary.

  405. Pteryxx says

    …what the hey is “Pomo” ?

    Imbalance in access to power requires systemic change – and systemic change has been proven to remediate inequality in access – literally to “empower” the powerless.

    …soo, change works. Okay…

    In practice, I see a tendency among the most vocal and avid proponents of the privilege model to dismiss systemic efforts to address power issues, and to disrespect the historical struggle to address systemic injustice. I am not alone in this observation, it is not just casual anecdote either.

    I have no idea what this means, but IM’s not alone in saying it! *headdesk*

    Bias IS systemic (wiki: Systemic refers to something that is spread throughout, system-wide, affecting a group or system such as a body, economy, market or society as a whole…) and privilege discussion treats it as systemic as well.

    Other than that, I have no idea what this privilege-versus-power supposed conflict even IS. Much less what, if anything, it has to do with privilege arguments used dismissively.

    If you prefer, you can simply deny the problem exists, and that will end the conversation.

    Or, you can choose to treat my question as legitimate, and help me think about how to resolve the apparent discordance.

    What the heck was the question?

  406. Indeterminate Me says

    1) How do we know (or even just do we know) that the privilege model of social inequality is superior to the power balance model?

    Yes.

    2) Why is the privilege concept so abused in common usage? (You seem particularly hung up on this one, it feature heavily in many posts. Am I right?)

    Yes, because, as a practical matter, it, um, matters. Theory is useless if it is not carried out in practice. By analogy, saying “I believe in evolution” is useless if it is used to justify belief in a sentience universe that is guiding us toward a higher, spiritual quantum realm.

    3) You see the privilege model as somehow undermining a demonstrably successful power balance model and instead advocating some sort of “separate but equal” route to reducing social inequalities. Privilege as a concept is also somehow linked to postmodernism.

    No. I see the way privilege is often used, particularly by younger people, as somehow undermining, etc. and instead leading to some sort of “separate but equal” etc.

    And, yes, privilege model language and methodology is largely taught as part of a postmodernist if not anti-modernist sociology, of the kind critiqued by Sokal and others. One of the central critiques being a lack of empirical rigor; another central critique being a resistance to critical review (doubly ironic given the prevalence of “critcal” this and “critical that” in pomo jargon).

    4) In your experience “privilege” is mostly used as a tool to stifle debate and shut down any opposition, cogent or not. This use “in practice” differs from how it is constructed theoretically, and thus how it should be used.

    Yes. Except not necessarily “opposition”, at all, rather peer review and constructive, rational critique which could lead to improvement and synthesis.

    5) The power balance model has a demonstrable track record of effecting social change.

    Yes.

    Would you say those are your key points/questions related to privilege? And that I have summarised them fairly?

    With my amendments, pretty much. Given the atmosphere here, it is hard not to assume this is somehow some kind of gotcha trap, but I am resisting that tendency to assume and taking you at your word that you approach this with good will, as I do.

    My intent is not at all to attack, discredit, or whine about privilege or the privilege model. I am skeptical not because I am an MRA or because I feel somehow resentful of my privileges being pointed out, but because my concern is less with academic theory and more with grassroots activism.

    I see people coming together as the 99% to address the power of the 1% – a clear, uniting concept that seeks systemic change as a way of reducing injustice. And, I see divisive arguments over privilege, and its misuse as a divisive rhetorical weapon, and a dogmatic hostility to dissent or even questions, despite the lack of evidence of its efficacy in producing measurable, lasting social change.

    Thanks

    Thank you. Seems you were able to understand my question simply by making the effort. I appreciate your skill at consolidating them/

    Louis

  407. The Laughing Coyote says

    I.M.: Oh, I see. I’m accepted here because I’m a good little butt-licker and parrot the party line.

    It couldn’t possibly be that I don’t challenge the ‘group consensus’ as you put it because, you know, it fits the evidence as I’ve seen it really well and makes things much clearer, could it?

    Nah, I’m just licking feminist butts in hopes of getting my head patted.

    It’s like a comic getting a cheap laugh by making a fart joke. Not particularly challenging to the audience.

    I cordially invite you to suck a fart out of my ass through a straw.

  408. Indeterminate Me says

    Two quick notes:

    1) the previous was a response to Louis, and

    2) Pharyngula isn’t the whole world. When I talk about how privilege is misused as a weapon, or how its practice often seems disconnected with its theory, you don’t need to get all defensive about it. I am not necessarily talking about you (certainly not all of you). I am talking about what I see in the world.

    On the contrary, I am raising these questions here precisely because this is (at least supposed to be) a rationally-based, science-loving, skeptical and highly educated group that might have some answers.

  409. Indeterminate Me says

    Laughing Coyote, you are logically impaired.

    I did not argue, nor even imply, that your agreement with the consensus was anything but sincere. I simply pointed out that you didn’t face the childish insults because you didn’t challenge said consensus.

  410. Pteryxx says

    @TLC:

    It couldn’t possibly be that I don’t challenge the ‘group consensus’ as you put it because, you know, it fits the evidence as I’ve seen it really well and makes things much clearer, could it?

    Nah, I’m just licking feminist butts in hopes of getting my head patted.

    I guess IM didn’t see the discussions about hunting or meat-eating.

  411. hotshoe says

    No one has told me to shove anything dead and prickly up my ass no matter how many stupid newbie questions I asked. My experience does not fit your claims.

    That’s because you haven’t challenged the group consensus. It is easy to be accepted here by being obsequious and/or joining in the childish insults and piling on.

    It’s like a comic getting a cheap laugh by making a fart joke. Not particularly challenging to the audience.

    FFS you self-destructive pimple. If you want people to engage with you – which you claim you want – then quit picking every possible opportunity to slime out insults.

    What makes you think you deserve even one more chance to demand that your questions be taken seriously ? When the very next reply, you indulge yourself in yet another piss on the “group consensus” ? What is the matter with you that you can’t control your destructive impulses for ten minutes consecutively ?

  412. The Laughing Coyote says

    Hey I.M., do you ‘challenge the consensus’ on evolution? Because that feels just a little bit like what you’re doing.

    Perhaps the reason there’s a ‘consensus’ is that, you know, it’s accurate?

    Nah, it’s that ol’ hivemind talking again.

  413. says

    TLC:

    I’m accepted here because I’m a good little butt-licker and parrot the party line.

    Well, it’s not like you ever disagree or argue with anyone!

    :Cough:geese:Cough:

  414. Just_A_Lurker says

    I cordially invite you to suck a fart out of my ass through a straw.

    HAHAHAHAHAAHA *choke* Shit, that will teach to me read Pharyngula while drinking.

    I present you an shiny new internet, TLC. I’m seriously loving you to bits right now

    =)