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Jan 03 2012

Jerks love being reassured that being a jerk is OK

Real men listen to criticism and try to better themselves. A woman wrote a blog post saying that she loves “dick/fart/vagina jokes” and she wants everyone to “keep trying to fuck me” and doesn’t want any guy to ever change, and of course this will be extraordinarily popular with the crudest kind of PUA. To which I can only say that she and they are welcome to each other, and I hope they all find happiness together.

But some of us, like Jen and Megan, have somewhat higher expectations.

134 comments

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  1. 1
    remyporter

    Hey now, let’s not get carried away. Genital/scatological humor is the foundation of society. Everyone should enjoy this humor, and I’m mistrustful of people who look down upon it- especially upon fart and poop jokes.

  2. 2
    Reginald Selkirk

    Jerks love being reassured that being a jerk is OK

    or: Ayn Rand’s Objectivism in a nutshell.

  3. 3
    elaineballou

    The vast majority of climatologists, geologists, and other scientists who study the Earth’s changes report that climate change is happening and is likely caused by humans, but George W. Bush can find some who say global warming isn’t real. Therefore, global warming isn’t real. Nearly every scientist alive who studies any form of life on Earth believes that life evolved through natural processes, but Michael Behe can find some assorted engineers and theologians who say evolution didn’t happen. Therefore, evolution didn’t happen. A thousand women complain about experiencing sexism, but Penn Gillette can find one who says sexism in the skeptical community doesn’t exist. Therefore, sexism in the skeptical community doesn’t exist.

  4. 4
    Louis

    I liked Jen’s take on it (I quote this tiny snippet from Jen’s post as illustration, not exhaustive commentary):

    Third straw man. This has nothing to with dirty jokes or flirting. Scroll back up to that paragraph I wrote about the kind of women who are asking for change. That’s what we’re upset about. Not crass jokes. I am the skeptical movement’s fucking patron saint of boob jokes. Don’t tell me that’s what I’m complaining about.

    The boob/fart/willy/etc jokes aren’t the issue, the sexism is. Ok if those jokes are used in a sexist way, sure, then they are part of the problem (and often times those jokes are sexist, we can all think of examples), but the simple matter of jokes about matters genital or scatological is not inherently sexist or discriminatory. Tasteful is a different question.

    I will defend my gigantic, purple veined dick joke* to the end!

    When will people get the fact: flirting = good, mucky jokes = good. Unwanted flirting = bad, unwanted, persistent flirting = bad, ONLY flirting as if the object of the flirt was…heh heh…an OBJECT purely there for the purpose of flirting and fucking = bad. Mucky jokes that deliberately undermine/objectify = bad. How is this hard? Please, please tell me how this is hard?**

    Louis

    *Or “genitalia of choice” joke. We are equal opportunity “parts” jokers here at Louis Towers, a division of Louis Corp.

    ** Yes, yes this was.

  5. 5
    elaineballou

    Also, my post would have been better if I could spell Jillette correctly and if you had mentioned him at all in your blog post. He was the one who brought this post to everyone’s attention, for anyone who sees my first comment and thinks I’m either crazy or commented on the wrong blog.

  6. 6
    ricardodivali having sniffles over stiffles

    Actually most of her post is irrelevent to the complaints from women on here in the past. All the things she mentioned are probably fine within the right situation and context. Also it’s nice she is appreciated for her brain and seen as one of the boys. Others have not been so lucky.

    Also it’s not ALL men. It’s a few men spoiling it along with a general “didn’t notice/whats the problem/isn’t that normal?” attitude doing little to reign them in.

  7. 7
    tungl

    “By forgetting to see me as a woman, you have treated me as an equal, as a comrade, as a friend.”

    Just to make sure: was this really written in response to a 15-yo being swamped with rape ‘jokes’ because she wanted to show off her Carl Sagan book?
    If so then, yeah, I’m really impressed by how those folks managed to be totally gender-blind in their response. I’m sure that grown men going on about raping a minor up the ass until she bleeds is really just a heartfelt offering of acceptance towards someone they perceive as their equal.

  8. 8
    slydog

    I think the fact that there is so much being said about this issue means that it’s a serious problem that has been overlooked for too long. It has reached a “critical mass” and just exploded.
    I’m embarrassed that some people think “free-thought” seems to mean that one is free to say whatever is on one’s mind, no matter how others may feel about it… even to the point of feeling physically threatened.
    If what you say offends another person, that’s their problem.
    If what you say threatens another person… that’s your problem.

  9. 9
    Matt Penfold

    If what you say offends another person, that’s their problem.
    If what you say threatens another person… that’s your problem.

    Causing offence is your problem if it was not your intention to do so. I am sure many of those in the sceptic movement who cannot understand what Rebecca Watson, Jen McCreight and others object to about the unthinking sexism women face within the movement do not intend to be offensive. They just have not bothered to examine their own privilege, and seem unable to empathise and try to understand that constantly being hit upon by men is not something women tend to welcome.

    So a good number of people in the sceptic movement are offensive, and it is their problem.

  10. 10
    elaineballou

    @tungl #7
    No, I don’t think it was in response to that incident in particular. From what I can gather, she’s now saying it was in response to an incident within her own local skeptical group, but it reads as though it is in response to the general climate of complaints of sexism and feminist response in the skeptical community as a whole (see also: the “critical mass” post by slydog just below you), and it seems to have been promoted as such, whatever backpedaling is taking place now.

  11. 11
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Nice try, Squidly, OL, but you can’t trick me into reading anything else at ERVIN.

  12. 12
    remyporter

    @Matt Penfold: I think there’s also an element that people don’t realize what they’re doing is threatening. In the same way lots of folks will say things incredibly offensive and not realize that it was (and hence are surprised by the result), the same thing is true of being threatening.

  13. 13
    Pteryxx

    “By forgetting to see me as a woman, you have treated me as an equal, as a comrade, as a friend.”

    …because it’s just too much to expect that a person could be an equal AND a woman at the same time. *headdesk*

  14. 14
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Ahem. ERV. Not ERVIN. Goddamned IPAD.

  15. 15
    Matt Penfold

    @Matt Penfold: I think there’s also an element that people don’t realize what they’re doing is threatening. In the same way lots of folks will say things incredibly offensive and not realize that it was (and hence are surprised by the result), the same thing is true of being threatening.

    I am sure that it true. What I do find amazing is that in both cases there are so many who, rather than accept they were offensive or threatening and try to change their behaviour, will become defensive and claim they did nothing wrong.

  16. 16
    remyporter

    @Pteryxx: At the risk of derailing this thread into a discussion of privilege-blindness, the fact that I am male is unimportant to me and to the world at large because society is structured to benefit members of that class. It’s sort of the default.

    That’s how it should be for everyone. I wouldn’t get too upset over that particular wording. No matter how important your gender is to you personally, it shouldn’t be important to anyone else.

    My personal approach to egalitarianism is a calculated indifference to my fellow man. When I interact with people, they’re not human beings- they’re objects that exist within a system. How I interact with them is highly context based, but things like gender and race aren’t things that come into my consciousness. To the contrary, it’s “do they have/know something I want? Do I have/know something they want? Are we simply being sociable? Is there a reason for this conversation to continue?” etc.

  17. 17
    remyporter

    @Matt Penfold: It’s a natural response. “You were wrong to do X.” “No I wasn’t! You’re wrong to say I was wrong!”

    Human decision-making is made largely at a preconscious level. We act, then we invent a story to explain our actions to ourselves. Our rational mind doesn’t really get involved until we need to discuss that story (whether it’s an internal thought process or external discussion).

  18. 18
    SQB

    Also, my post would have been better if I could spell Jillette correctly (…)

    “Jillette, the worst a man can get!”?

  19. 19
    carlie

    I’ve never had a man in the skeptical movement treat me as a sex object. Hell, I could walk right into a stereotypical frat house right now and not be treated as a sex object!

    However, this is because I do not look like a sex object, not because men don’t ever treat women as sex objects. Correlation and causation, I understand the difference.

  20. 20
    sambarge

    elaineballou @ 3 – Exactly what you said. Even with the mispell on Jillette, you were spot on. By the way, I’m not surprised to find PJ involved in this – it’s got Libertarian reasoning stamped all over it. Mind you, PJ might deny climate change too.

    It’s telling that this woman feels that she’s been accepted and treated with respect by the group because they don’t see her as a woman. That sort of self-loathing on the part of women is nothing new.

    Look, women aren’t immune to sexism. We want men to find us attractive (if we’re hetero) because from the word go we know that all that matters is that men find us attractive. We know that society values men and masculine-things more than women and feminine things. We’re not idiots. We’re also not the Borg. We respond differently to societal pressures to behave a certain way or not. Some of us become feminists but some of us reject the feminist title and try to win the affection of men by distancing ourselves from ‘that sort of woman.’ These women become the ‘perfect woman.’ They present a physically attractive package (hair, make-up, clothes), display an interest in what are considered masculine pursuits (sports, gaming, science fiction) and distance themselves from women who don’t do the same (feminists or women with feminine interests).

  21. 21
    razzlefrog

    What’s PUA?

  22. 22
    kristycat

    I kinda get where she’s coming from. To an extent, I feel the same way about my male friends. However… I also think she’s missing the point.

    I’m very fortunate in that I’ve never really experienced discrimination or harassment based on my gender – or if I have, it’s been subtle enough that I haven’t even noticed. I, too, love my male friends, and don’t take their crude jokes or occasional sexual comments as a sign of disrespect, because they’re not.

    However.

    The fact that I haven’t experienced it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. There’s jerks out there. You don’t even have to look hard to find them. Pretty much every female blogger I follow, in any field, has been degraded or threatened in overtly sexual or gender-related ways. It happens. I hate it, but it happens.

    So when I hear people being upset about sexism in any community, I don’t feel the need to jump up and defend my male friends. They’re not talking about them. They’re talking about actual problems that actually exist, and dismissing those actual problems by saying, in effect, “the guys I know don’t act like that, so it must all be exaggerated” is not cool, and also pretty ignorant.

  23. 23
    Matt Penfold

    What’s PUA?

    PUA = Pick Up Artist.

    Or Pee-Brained Unthinking Arsehole.

  24. 24
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    I’m not surprised to find PJ involved in this – it’s got Libertarian reasoning stamped all over it.

    Apparently, this Mallorie is also a libertarian.

  25. 25
    godlessheathen

    @ pteryxx:

    …because it’s just too much to expect that a person could be an equal AND a woman at the same time. *headdesk*

    THIS.

    It’s not about joining the boys club or being “one of the guys” it’s about being treated as an EQUAL HUMAN BEING.
    I don’t know why people don’t get that.

  26. 26
    qwints

    “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”

    There’s a large contingency who label themselves as skeptical and/or atheist who are extremely suspicious of sexism claims. For me, this was about seeing parallels between claims arising from religious sensibilities and claims arising from feminist sensibilities.

    I’ve heard and read feminists who use jargon (e.g. ‘mansplaining’ or ‘objectification’) which more closely resembles religious jargon than scientific jargon because of it cannot be defined in a rigorous technical manner. I still sympathize those who see some forms of feminism as another irrational belief system – occasionally I hear language akin to “thou shalt not” and appeals to authority that feels quite jarring. That’s not to say I’m a member of those who proudly label themselves politically incorrect and ‘bravely’ say things such as “women are bitches.”

    People like Rebecca Watson do a great service when they point out the subjective consequence of speech. It’s stupid to argue that someone is wrong for their personal reaction to speech or behavior. We all should try to understand the consequences of our actions. Being sensitive to others doesn’t mean you lose the freedom to say what you believe. For example, the goal of flirtation is generally mutual – the people involved in it should want everyone involved to enjoy it. Being told that the way you flirt is not enjoyable to some one gets you closer to your actual objective in communication.

    I would suggest, however, that there is a difference between informing people of the consequences of their actions (or pointing out conscious or unconscious biases that give rise to those actions) and propounding a code of behavior. A large proportion of people in general, including myself, get extremely defensive when told how they should behave.

  27. 27
    SallyStrange

    How I interact with them is highly context based, but things like gender and race aren’t things that come into my consciousness.

    Uh huh. You’re a fool (who’s ignorant about how the mind works) if you think they don’t come into your subconscious.

    “By forgetting to see me as a woman, you have treated me as an equal, as a comrade, as a friend.”

    This is basically an admission that the men she interacts with aren’t capable of treating women as equals, comrades, friends. Also, how the fuck does she reconcile that with “keep trying to fuck me”?

    Seriously, sexism is NOT rational thinking. It’s really too bad that so many skeptics continue to assume that it is.

  28. 28
    SallyStrange

    A large proportion of people in general, including myself, get extremely defensive when told how they should behave.

    Treat women as equals. Do it now. This is a command. I will brook no dissent.

    Getting defensive about this? You suck.

  29. 29
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    keep trying to fuck me, because I cant think of any reason why I would rather fuck someone else [?], we are after all human. I assure you I’ll return the favor.

    The favor of trying to fuck her? Previously, she instructed: “if you want to try to acquire sex from a like minded person, awesome…” So sex is something people acquire from others, but they’re doing those people a favor in attempting to acquire it. Or something.

    (If I didn’t think there were evidence of this person’s existence, I would be getting Tom Johnson suspicions….)

  30. 30
    SallyStrange

    There’s a large contingency who label themselves as skeptical and/or atheist who are extremely suspicious of sexism claims. For me, this was about seeing parallels between claims arising from religious sensibilities and claims arising from feminist sensibilities.

    I’ve heard this said a lot, but I’ve never seen it convincingly backed up. Seems to me like it’s a convenient smokescreen for sexist men to hide behind. “I’m not a misogynist, I’m just skeptical of feminism!”

    Feminism, at base, is the idea that women are people. Everything else flows from that.

    What’s to be skeptical about?

  31. 31
    Matt Penfold

    A large proportion of people in general, including myself, get extremely defensive when told how they should behave.

    Then that is a failing you are responsible for. It is arrogant of you to blame others. If you cannot behave like a decent human being that is your fault.

  32. 32
    remyporter

    @SallyStrange: Oh, it certainly does. But I’ve spent years honing my cultural ineptitude and general ignorance of how “normal” people behave.

    But really, this isn’t about me. Instead, I’m broadcasting a prescription: don’t think of people as individuals. Think of them as faceless drones. It’s a lot easier to be egalitarian in that situation. It goes against our instincts, but the reality is that we don’t live in a society well tuned to our instincts- we live in a society with a degree of one-off interactions that our brains did not evolve to handle well. Save personhood for the people you know well. Don’t think about anyone else as people. Treat them well because it gets you benefits in the long run.

    I admit, freely, that most people won’t like my prescription. But the more I follow it, the nicer and more generous I am.

  33. 33
    Matt Penfold

    I still sympathize those who see some forms of feminism as another irrational belief system

    So you sympathise with those who think women should be treated as second class citizens ?

    Being a decent human – you are doing it wrong.

  34. 34
    =8)-DX

    This is unwarranted criticism of fart/poop/genital jokes. There is a difference between vulgarity and vulgar humour and using that language to harrass, annoy or target women.

  35. 35
    SallyStrange

    Think of them as faceless drones. It’s a lot easier to be egalitarian in that situation.

    I guess, if you find basic empathy extremely difficult to pull off. Personally, I find it easier to treat people as equals if I try to keep in mind where they might be coming from.

  36. 36
    remyporter

    @SallyStrange: I recognize that most people operate best by employing their mirror neurons and empathizing with people. Personally, I interact with too damn many people in any given day to do that well. I’d rather not invest cognitive effort into empathizing with that person sitting in the bus seat next to me. I’ll just stay out of their personal space which has the added benefit of keeping them out of mine.

    The incident that’s been sticking in my mind recently was when a female clerk at a used media store directed me to talk to one of the “males” (her wording) about video game consoles. I was utterly shocked, in part because of the odd wording, but mostly because the idea that one of the clerks might not know their merchandise was just completely out of left field.

    Again, I recognize that my ability to be blind to these sorts of inequities is an aspect of privilege, but I reiterate: that’s how it should be for everyone. The only reason one group has a unique perspective is because they are an outgroup. If they were an ingroup, they’d have the ingroup perspective.

    Which is not the same as saying everyone should act like dudes. Because if outgroups were members of the ingroup, then the ingroup wouldn’t look very much like the current ingroup, and hence would have a completely different perspective.

    As I skim my posts, I also recognize that coding and essaying are not good combinations, especially since I’m reinforcing the programmers-as-autists stereotype, which honestly doesn’t fit me well, though you wouldn’t know it from my posts. Since I get paid to program and not pontificate, I should probably stop now.

  37. 37
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    By forgetting to see me as a woman, you have treated me as an equal, as a comrade, as a friend.

    , keep trying to fuck me

    Consistency apparently isn’t one of her stronger suits.

  38. 38
    Jonas

    The bottom line that Mallorie is trying to get across is that she does not want to be patronized and presumed a victim just because she is a woman.

    The goal of the skeptical movement should be equality between women and men. That means that for better or worse, individuals should be judged on their own merits without regard to gender.

    That is not going to happen if we foster an environment where every male skeptic is automatically deemed privileged and every female skeptic oppressed by sheer virtue of their gender.

    It is also not acceptable for a skeptic to try and win an argument by lame tactics like taking a cheap shots at another members race, class, and sex i.e. “Thanks, wealthy old heterosexual white man!”.

    Sexism is bullshit, whether its P.C. or not.

  39. 39
    Vicki, duly vaccinated tool of the feminist conspiracy

    kristycat:

    I’d bet on “it’s subtle”: the person who (perhaps without thinking about it) prefers men for job openings or promotions isn’t likely to tell you “I didn’t hire you because you’re a woman,” if only because HR has made it clear that it’s bad to say things like that.

  40. 40
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    That is not going to happen if we foster an environment where every male skeptic is automatically deemed privileged and every female skeptic oppressed by sheer virtue of their gender.

    That is the case with society at the moment, and that also includes the skeptical community. Pretending otherwise means you aren’t paying attention. Until males understand male privilege, and start ignoring it, the situation won’t change. Unless, of course, you have a secret plan other than pretend there is no male privilege, which is all you post seems to promote.

  41. 41
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Jonas, when blowing shit out your ass its best to keep it to your own bathroom. Otherwise, its just rude. Whether its PC or not.

    Funny how its always wrong to bring up they are white CIS male, which might have something to do with how they view the world. But oh lordy, its okay to be called a cunt who needs to get raped and tortured.

    Christ on a stick, you clearly didn’t even read the article you linked to since it debunks your argument and doesn’t make cheap shots.

  42. 42
    sc_675e647bdffa7bd41dd3384d0884be47

    “Jerks love being reassured that being a jerk is OK”

    I think that’s the reason most atheists like to read your blog. xD

  43. 43
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Yes, Jonas, you are right. Pointing out that there is sexism is the same as promoting sexism. If all of these pesky women would just shut up about it, there would be no sexism.

  44. 44
    Nick Gotts

    jonas

    The goal of the skeptical movement should be equality between women and men. That means that for better or worse, individuals should be judged on their own merits without regard to gender.

    Agreed.

    That is not going to happen if we foster an environment where every male skeptic is automatically deemed privileged and every female skeptic oppressed by sheer virtue of their gender. – jonas

    The ignorance and lack of self-awareness of privilege! It’s not going to happen if we pretend that the goal has already been achieved, and ignore the plain fact of male privilege (which, of course, does not mean that all men are in a position of privilege in relation to all women), and the serious problem of widespread sexism and indeed the vilest kind of misogyny within the sceptical movement.

  45. 45
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Who is a clever little assclam, sc_675e647bdffa7bd41dd3384d0884be47? You are. You are, sc_675e647bdffa7bd41dd3384d0884be47. You are such a clever little assclam.

    Here is your treat.

  46. 46
    Jadehawk

    For as long as I can remember I have been welcomed in to communities which were generally considered
    “sausage fests”. If not for the constant noting of this fact I would have never noticed. You guys were always just
    my friends.

    smells of “I find it so much easier to make friends with guys”

    More recently I have noticed a trend among men in my communities, you seem to have been told that you’re
    awful and need to change. Again, apparently because your genitals imbues you with an inescapable assholism.

    this gender essentialism is a massive strawman. its not the genitals themselves; it’s society, on the basis of genitals.

    With all of my heart I beg you: Do not change. Do not change for me, do not change for someone else. You’re wonderful, just the way you are. If the day comes when you censor your language around me, when dick/fart/vagina jokes are not allowed because of my delicate gender, my heart will break as I wave goodbye in a search for a more open, natural, candid community that does not insist on seeing me first for my gender.

    way to miss the fucking point there. Leaving aside the rather crucial difference between scatological humor and bigoted humor, the point is not to stop telling bigoted jokes in the presence of the target minority; it’s to stop telling bigoted jokes, period. Thus, an individual’s gender wouldn’t enter into it, since a racist/sexist/homophobic joke would be viewed equally wrong among white straight dudes as among mixed company.

    Also, it ignores evidence of what sexist humor does:
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejsp.56/abstract

    http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1998-07621-003

    http://psp.sagepub.com/content/34/2/159.short

    And if you want to tease me because I am shedding a little girlish tear though an odd smile as I type this, thats ok
    too.

    translation: “I’m ok with you reinforcing gender stereotypes to the detriment of my AND your gender; as long as you stay my friends.”

    I did not enter this relationship with the intention of changing you all.

    smooth use of a gender stereotype and the “I’m not like other girls” trope.

    And I have stayed because you never
    insisted on seeing me as a girl
    [...]
    keep trying to fuck me

    so, are your friends who don’t see you as a girl and keep trying to fuck you just very confused gay guys, or are you making shit up?

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - –

    Also it’s nice she is appreciated for her brain and seen as one of the boys.

    I don’t want to be seen as “one of the boys”; I went through that phase in my teens and early 20′s. Now I want to be seen as a female person with a great brain. I shouldn’t have to reject my sex and gender to become a honorary member of the other sex and gender in order to be respected for my brains.

    My personal approach to egalitarianism is a calculated indifference to my fellow man. When I interact with people, they’re not human beings- they’re objects that exist within a system. How I interact with them is highly context based, but things like gender and race aren’t things that come into my consciousness.

    lovely; the fucking myth of the awesomeness of color- and gender-blindness lives on

    *le sigh*

    Apparently, this Mallorie is also a libertarian.

    a libertarian denying reality to make the world fit their ideology? shocking.

    I would suggest, however, that there is a difference between informing people of the consequences of their actions (or pointing out conscious or unconscious biases that give rise to those actions) and propounding a code of behavior. A large proportion of people in general, including myself, get extremely defensive when told how they should behave.

    yeah, reactance is a bog-standard response to perceived coercion. However: “guys, don’t do that” is not coercion. Neither is saying “look, this is what spreading sexist humor does, don’t perpetuate this” coercion.

    Interestingly and somewhat tangentially though, the Civil Rights Act was a form of coercion. So far, I’ve only seen racists and libertarians claim that it was bad. So, for certain values of “coercive”, I chose not to give a fuck whether bigots mind.

    That means that for better or worse, individuals should be judged on their own merits without regard to gender.

    unstated assumption: that “without (conscious) regard to gender”, men and women would be treated on their merits equally. It’s an assumption that’s counter to evidence, but hey, who cares about evidence if it’s all about not having to go an extra step to counteract one’s implicit biases.

  47. 47
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    That is not going to happen if we foster an environment where every male skeptic is automatically deemed privileged and every female skeptic oppressed by sheer virtue of their gender. – jonas

    the facepalm was invented exactly for these situations.

  48. 48
    Jadehawk

    There’s a large contingency who label themselves as skeptical and/or atheist who are extremely suspicious of sexism New Atheist claims. For me, this was about seeing parallels between claims arising from religious sensibilities and claims arising from feminist New Atheist sensibilities.

    FIFY. Tarring people you disagree with as fundie-clones is nothing new or original; neither is there much merit to it.

  49. 49
    don1

    Clearly the anonymity of the internet magnifies jerkish behaviour, but I’m still puzzled. I would have thought that most men were accustomed to living and working in a world where men and women interact. One of the first things you notice as a young man is that some interactions lead to some men being viewed as ‘creepy’ by many of the women.

    Being seen as creepy by women is not really a desirable situation. So on a purely utilitarian POV, don’t be creepy.

    How can you be sure that you are not being creepy? I guess you can’t, but if your female colleagues seem to enjoy your company and include you in their jokes about the creepiness of others then you are probably ok.

    The whole question of sexism among the skepical ‘community’ is divisive, but in a good way. I quite like being divided from people who nominally share my views but who have turned out to be creeps.

  50. 50
    marksletten

    Sambarge said:

    They present a physically attractive package (hair, make-up, clothes), display an interest in what are considered masculine pursuits (sports, gaming, science fiction) and distance themselves from women who don’t do the same (feminists or women with feminine interests).

    Or, just perhaps, that actually LIKE feeling physically attractive, sports, gaming and science fiction and choose not to hang with people who don’t share their interests…

  51. 51
    Jadehawk
    They present a physically attractive package (hair, make-up, clothes), display an interest in what are considered masculine pursuits (sports, gaming, science fiction) and distance themselves from women who don’t do the same (feminists or women with feminine interests).

    Or, just perhaps, that actually LIKE feeling physically attractive, sports, gaming and science fiction and choose not to hang with people who don’t share their interests…

    you really do think there’s a difference, don’t you

    *condescending pat on the head*

  52. 52
    kristycat

    Or, just perhaps, that actually LIKE feeling physically attractive, sports, gaming and science fiction and choose not to hang with people who don’t share their interests…

    …kinda this? Again, I agree with what people are saying here and I really do think this woman is missing the point of the complaints about sexism, but could we not bash women who actually do enjoy hanging out with guys and participating in traditionally “male” activities?

    I don’t think distancing yourself from feminists and acting like “oh, I’m not one of THOSE women” is a good thing, obviously, but it’s not a terrible thing to have fun being “one of the guys” either.

  53. 53
    Cipher

    Or, just perhaps, that actually LIKE feeling physically attractive, sports, gaming and science fiction and choose not to hang with people who don’t share their interests…

    Nobody’s saying these people don’t exist. I am currently one of them (not a sports fan, but yes, gaming and sci-fi). Unfortunately that choice doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Social pressure is always there. There are in fact people who go about dealing with their status as women by trying to be Not Like Those Other Women. They got the same message everyone else did.

    the facepalm was invented exactly for these situations.

    Shit, yeah. I considered yelling at the troll, but facepalm is the right response here. In fact I’ll even make it a double facepalm.

  54. 54
    Jadehawk

    could we not bash women who actually do enjoy hanging out with guys and participating in traditionally “male” activities?

    are you stupid or something? most of the women here are “women who actually do enjoy hanging out with guys and participating in traditionally “male” activities”; the difference being that one can do this and not be “one of the guys” or “not like other girls”; one can even be a feminist while having male friends and enjoying traditionally male activities. But then one doesn’t go around saying stupid shit like “I did not enter this relationship with the intention of changing you all”

  55. 55
    Jonas

    One of our core beliefs as skeptics, is that we do not subscribe to beliefs that cannot be falsified. Theories that are so generally or ambiguously defined that they can not be proven true or false are not worthy of belief.

    This is directly relevant to vague claims like there is male privelege in the skeptic community. Someone please tell me what exactly could possibly prove such a claim false?

  56. 56
    Matt Penfold

    This is directly relevant to vague claims like there is male privelege in the skeptic community. Someone please tell me what exactly could possibly prove such a claim false?

    Evidence.

    Really, you could not work that out for yourself ? I think maybe you are a bit too stupid to be here.

  57. 57
    Jadehawk

    Someone please tell me what exactly could possibly prove such a claim false?

    very simple. a series of studies that showed a lack of statistically significant differential and female-disadvantaged treatment of/attitudes toward men and women in the skeptical community. Such a series of studies would in fact be revolutionary, having discovered the first and only society in which this would be the case.

    As it is, all studies show that these female-disadvantaged treatment/attitudes exist in society and that men are generally blind to the fact that women are subject to these disadvantages and incorrectly assume a level playing-field. You know, male privilege.

  58. 58
    kristycat

    Jadehawk: I’d appreciate it if you’d refrain from personal insults. I haven’t insulted anyone here and I haven’t done anything to merit being attacked.

    The comment marksletten was citing was, in fact, very dismissive of women who a) like to look nice and b) like “traditionally masculine” activities. The strong implication was that women who do so are doing so solely to curry male favor and present themselves as an “ideal” woman, not like all those nasty feminists. If you don’t believe me, go back and read it again.

    Do some women do this? Almost certainly. But not all do. At this point, I’m not even making any claims about the author of this letter. I don’t know her, and neither do you – we are absolutely not qualified to say whether she acts the way she does because that’s honestly who she is, or because she’s actively trying to present a certain image. But the implication that all women who try to be “one of the guys” are doing so as a direct rejection of feminism is one that really bothers me. I appreciated marksletten’s attempt to point out that she, and others like her, may just be pursuing the interests that make her happy and hanging out with the people she actually likes, rather than trying to present an image.

    I’m not sure what about that angers you so much, but again – I’m not insulting you or anyone else here, and if you think I’m wrong, please say so without a personal attack, k?

  59. 59
    marksletten

    jadehawk said:

    you really do think there’s a difference, don’t you

    I DO think there’s a difference. I also think there’s a difference between taking what someone says at face value and (absent evidence) claiming they are a liar and/or victim.

    *suspiciously flinches away from unwanted physical contact*

  60. 60
    Jadehawk

    The comment marksletten was citing was, in fact, very dismissive of women who a) like to look nice and b) like “traditionally masculine” activities.

    incorrect.

    The strong implication was that women who do so are doing so solely to curry male favor and present themselves as an “ideal” woman, not like all those nasty feminists.

    incorrect, but interesting projection on your and his part.

    I don’t know her, and neither do you – we are absolutely not qualified to say whether she acts the way she does because that’s honestly who she is, or because she’s actively trying to present a certain image.

    and again, why the fuck do you assume there is a difference or that these are mutually exclusive? I’m pretty certain that she’s both; namely, that she likes these things and has adopted a specific coping-strategy to deal with the sexism she even admits is present that throws other women under the bus by playing “one of the boys” and “I’m not like other girls”

    ut the implication that all women who try to be “one of the guys” are doing so as a direct rejection of feminism is one that really bothers me.

    see, this is the part that makes me think you’re being stupid. do you know what the words “one of the guys” mean? they do not mean being accepted into a group as you are with equal treatment regardless of gender, they mean being given “honorary guy” status. The “honorary guy” status is anti-women in that it is anti-gender equality. It’s quite similar in kind if not in scope to the “honorary white” status the Japanese had in South Africa during Apartheid: maintaining the system while allowing for the exception a couple tolerable/useful individuals.

    I’m not sure what about that angers you so much,

    stupid opinions about feminism piss me off.

  61. 61
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    They present a physically attractive package (hair, make-up, clothes), display an interest in what are considered masculine pursuits (sports, gaming, science fiction) and distance themselves from women who don’t do the same (feminists or women with feminine interests).

    Wait, feminists don’t like science fiction or sports and refuse to wear make up or [attractive] clothes?

    Who the fuck did I marry?

  62. 62
    Jadehawk

    I DO think there’s a difference.

    and why do you think such a silly thing? do you think that all coping strategies are consciously chosen, all personal preferences are chosen in a social vaccum, and choosing coping strategies is somehow mutually exclusive with forming preferences?

    because all of those would be stupid, and each of those is necessary to pretend as if there’s a genuine distinction between what you said and what you responded to.

  63. 63
    Jadehawk

    Wait, feminists don’t like science fiction or sports and refuse to wear make up or [attractive] clothes?

    jesus fuck, people, is the concept of the inclusive and so foreign to you? Because I highly doubt your wife distances herself from feminists (or from women who also have “feminine” interests)

  64. 64
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Someone please tell me what exactly could possibly prove such a claim false?

    Jadehawk #57 nailed it, but the response to RW and her throw away line of elevatorgate conclusively showed that male privilege is rampant in skeptical circles, and a large number of males kept trying to poo-poo the problem away under the guise of skepticism, without acknowledging reality, the gold standard for evidence.

  65. 65
    Amphiox

    A large proportion of people in general, including myself, get extremely defensive when told how they should behave.

    Since the entirety of human civilization was originated for, elaborated upon, and dependent on the need for telling people how to behave (and making them do it), if the above statement is anything close to true, then we, as a species, are doomed.

    Doomed.

    DOOOOOOMMMED, I tellsya.

  66. 66
    Jonas

    @56

    What sort of evidence, dumbass?

    7. Jadehawk

    That is a somewhat coherent answer but are you seriously claiming that there has literally never been a gender-equal society in all of human history?

  67. 67
    kristycat

    Oh good lord. Y’know what, you’re right. Everyone who doesn’t immediately fall in line with what you think is stupid.

    Peace. I’m out.

  68. 68
    unclefrogy

    look it is simple really simple. I do not have to even believe that the issue is real or not, I do think it is very real though. It is obvious to even the most “anti-feminist” that some females do not like the treatment it has been their experience and they are complaining about it and will not tolerate it. Anyone is still free to continue as before but do not be surprised if you get a negative reaction from other people. It is up to you as an individual if you want to get the negative reaction or not. The days of acting any way you want without any negative consequences is rapidly coming to an end.
    no one has to tolerate what they do not like it, is up to them not anyone else where they draw the line.
    If say something or act some way that some one else feels is demeaning or threatening I can re-evaluate what I have said or did and apologize and or explain what I meant and maybe change or try again. It would be ridiculous and pointless to try and convince the person I offended or threatened that what I did did not threaten or offend them and they are wrong and get mad at them or belittle them .
    I do not have to stand by and let things happen that I can clearly see are wrong without at least speaking up and voice my disapproval or support as appropriate.

    I had to say something I will go back up to the top and continue reading

    uncle frogy

  69. 69
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    That is a somewhat coherent answer but are you seriously claiming that there has literally never been a gender-equal society in all of human history?

    What Jonas has here is the failure to apply the null hypothesis in the proper manner. He is trying to pretend the null hypothesis is that skeptics are gender-equal already. But that isn’t what reality says. The null hypothesis should be that skeptics mirror society, which is heavily gendered, and to move away from that to gender-equal good studies must be done to show the new reality.

    That is skepticism, not presuppositionalism, which is what happens if you pretend that skeptics are equal without evidence.

  70. 70
    qwints

    Treat women as equals. Do it now. This is a command. I will brook no dissent.

    Getting defensive about this? You suck.

    Women are worth just as much as men. The range of behaviors, abilities and tastes of women and men has a large amount of overlap. Women are frequently treated worse than men in my cultures and in every other culture I have studied. These are all things I firmly believe but I still felt personally attacked by your statement.

    I’m not going to tell anyone they should be less active or vocal in their defense of anyone’s rights. To quote Barry Goldwater of all people, “Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” I was only trying to point out what the effect of some forms of communication are on some people which to some extent includes me.

    As for the question of reasons someone might be skeptical about feminist claims, I would point to a lot of work done in the realm of postmodern feminism. Claims such as Judith Bulter’s claim that gender and sex are performative or Mary Joe Frug’s principles regarding languages power to shape reality can sound strange to people trained in the hard sciences. Look no further than the Sokal affair to see how some scientists consider some sections of academia to be literal nonsense.

  71. 71
    Jadehawk

    In fact, since people are having such a godfuckingdamn hard time comprehending the comment, let me rephrase it for greater clarity:

    Look, women aren’t immune to sexism. Just like dudes, we learn to value “masculine” more than “feminine” things, while simultaneously learning that we’re supposed to conform to gender-stereotypes. We are often aware of this contradictory shit, but we’re still not immune to this form of social conditioning. So, we develop different strategies to deal with this.

    Some of us become feminists who reject both the assigned gender-roles and the dual hierarchy of “feminine” and “masculine” activities, so that even though we probably like a shitload of “masculine” things, we don’t need to put down “feminine” things as somehow inherently worse, and we do try to change the “sausage fests” to make them places where even feminine women can be.

    But some of us reject the feminist coping strategy for the “one of the boys”/”not like other girls” coping strategy which on the one hand rejects women and feminine things as inferior, but on the other refuses to challenge male expectations of women (thus the dual-function of being both fuckable and “not-really-a-girl). This means a package deal of: presenting a physically attractive package while simultaneously ragging on the sexless puritan killjoys; display an interest in what are considered masculine pursuits and (to ease one’s existence in such male spaces) disparage feminine pursuits and/or proclaim one’s love for the toxic locker-room culture; and distance themselves from women who don’t do the same, i.e. women who wish to change the toxic culture, don’t want to be seen as constantly fuckable, don’t hate/disparage traditionally feminine things.

  72. 72
    Jadehawk

    That is a somewhat coherent answer but are you seriously claiming that there has literally never been a gender-equal society in all of human history?

    There is no evidence for any such thing, no. One can speculate about early hunter-gatherers, but not since then, and certainly not now. That’s what studies keep on showing, even for some of the least sexist societies currently in existence.

  73. 73
    Jadehawk

    Oh good lord. Y’know what, you’re right. Everyone who doesn’t immediately fall in line with what you think is stupid.

    Peace. I’m out.

    yeah, that’s a convincing argument to make me change my mind, right there

  74. 74
    marksletten

    jadehawk said:

    do you think that all coping strategies are consciously chosen

    Why do you assume the writer’s claimed personal preferences are ‘coping strategies?’

  75. 75
    raven

    A large proportion of people in general, including myself, get extremely defensive when told how they should behave.

    We’ve noticed that a few millennia ago.

    That is why we have laws, police, courts, DA’s, and prisons. We’ve found a lot of people who can’t understand expected, civilized behavior don’t like being locked up either and even more so.

    I’m sure your parents appreciated how you got “extremely defensive when told how (you) should behave” and the schools loved it too. I do hope you’ve let your employers know about your problem as well. I’m sure they won’t mind not telling you what is expected.

  76. 76
    Jadehawk

    Why do you assume the writer’s claimed personal preferences are ‘coping strategies?’

    reading comprehension, you have none. (AKA that’s not actually what I said, but nice try)

    but I’ll indulge you: what makes you think someone’s personal preferences didn’t arise as a form of coping strategy? These two aren’t actually mutually exclusive either. You’re falling into the “must be consciously chosen” trap again, when in reality most coping strategies do develop into genuine personal preferences; that’s in fact one of the ways a brain tends to resolve cognitive dissonance. To use a personal and sexism-unrelated example: my very genuine preference for silver over gold (both color and metal) started as a “didn’t want that gold medal anyway” coping strategy when I was 10 or so.

  77. 77
    Cipher

    These are all things I firmly believe but I still felt personally attacked by your statement.

    Grow up. Not everything is about you.

  78. 78
    Jadehawk

    oh, huh. Azykoth pointed out over on Jen’s thread that the writer of this piece of shit has also been claiming that the nasty shit that happened to that 15-year-old wasn’t a women’s issue and that the fact that the girl mentioned her anus first means all the comments about blood and tears being lubricant are magically not rape-threats (oh, and that #mencallmethings is sexist because women sometimes make rape-threats against women, too)

    lovely human being

  79. 79
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    To add onto the comments about unconscious sexism in women, I am also a woman who likes things coded masculine (frag fests, math, tabletop gaming, debate, hardware, the colors blue and red, leather boots, comics and gamer-themed action figures, etc). Being a woman who likes these things does not exempt me from having problems with sexism, in the following ways:

    masculine themed interests are more socially acceptable (in general, not in specific for women). Anywhere I go, I can strike up a conversation with at least one man in the room on the subjects I am interested in, though because I am female (and have large breasts), that conversation may consist of me explaining that yes, actually, I do like these things and I am female, and no, actually, I am not a bro and don’t want to be treated that way.

    because of that social power (my interests are popular and coded for a position of social advantage), it is easy for me to look down on interests which don’t have the same social capital as mine (all things pink, makeup, the company of other women, shopping, grooming, fashion, cooking, etc.) This leads to the feeling, sometimes, like I owe fidelity to masculine interests in order to ‘prove’ that I should be allowed to like the things I like.

    That pressure to ‘prove’ that I like these things and ought to be allowed to be a part of the community can lead, if I am not careful, to the perceived need to distance myself from those other women, whose gender and gender presentation draw the inconsistencies in mine to the attention of the people around me. It is easy for me to accept male invitations to events, and harder for me to accept female invitations.

    Which means that if I am not careful, the coding around my interests could cause me to make things more difficult for women who don’t share my interests by making theirs seem shameful. And they, in turn, might shame me for mine.

    Which is a problem which the men in the community of my interest are frequently unaware, because their involvement in those interests is not suspect. They can just be interested, and because those activities are coded for them, there is no friction. They don’t have to think about gender, because they are well within where they are ‘supposed to be.’

  80. 80
    qwints

    I’m sure your parents appreciated how you got “extremely defensive when told how (you) should behave” and the schools loved it too. I do hope you’ve let your employers know about your problem as well. I’m sure they won’t mind not telling you what is expected.

    I presume you’re not proposing blind obedience to authority but are simply attacking blind disobedience. That’s fine, but that wasn’t my point. The problem is a break down in communication brought about by certain approaches. Condemn sexism in all its forms wholeheartedly but commands without logos, pathos or sanctions to back them up are unlikely to accomplish anything. Parents, schools and employers can change behavior through reward and punishment in ways impossible to replicate in a loosely knit and defined community such as skepticism.

    Saying that I get defensive when told how to behave is not saying you’re wrong to tell me how to behave. Nor it is saying my defensiveness is justified. It’s saying I have a subjective emotional response to certain forms of communication and I have good reason to believe that it’s a response shared by others.

    As an aside, I should point out that I think 1)3rd wave feminism failed to change attitudes significantly in the US and 2)that failure was a damn shame. Obviously this is a debatable opinion, especially since the elements of the 3rd wave that focused on gay rights had a lot of success in affecting national attitudes.

  81. 81
    qwints

    Grow up. Not everything is about you.

    Of course, but your statement of “you suck” was about me.

  82. 82
    SallyStrange
    Grow up. Not everything is about you.

    Of course, but your statement of “you suck” was about me.

    That was my statement. And I stand by it. Men get defensive about being told to stop being sexist? Golly gee, who woulda thunk it. Yes we fucking know that you guys get defensive. It’s not fucking news. It’s not going to change my approach, because catering to guys’ defensiveness has never worked in the past. Stop trying to tell me shit I already fucking know. If you’d been paying the minutest amount of attention to this whole sexism thing, you’d already know that. Obviously you haven’t. Conclusion: you suck. Currently. It’s not a permanent state. Change it if you want to.

  83. 83
    Jadehawk

    As an aside, I should point out that I think 1)3rd wave feminism failed to change attitudes significantly in the US

    instant gratification doesn’t work for social movements. By that logic, 2nd wave feminism didn’t work because it led to more rapes, and 1st wave feminism didn’t work because women still didn’t have voting rights decades after it started.

  84. 84
    SallyStrange

    Also, the statement was applicable to ANYONE who gets defensive about being told to stop being sexist. So you’re dead wrong about it being all about you. Conclusion: the statement that you should stop making it about you was correct.

  85. 85
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    quinnmartindale: A few things which are pertinent to your position (as I see it, of course).

    First, the position that there’s something suspect about feminism is one which no one appears to take out of sincerity. You have to understand that this is not a unique position, and is usually accompanied by the refusal to look at evidence (I typically supply research studies and critical theory, only to have the person I’ve supplied it to refuse to read it because they don’t believe they should have to read evidence on something they believe has to be wrong because they don’t think they experience it.)

    Second, feminism, while treated as a special subject which has no bearing on history or culture in academia (it’s something you have to seek out, versus a core class), has a robust and rather long-running history of theory. There are many places on the net which have opted to publish that theory for the education of the general public, but the same people who are skeptical rarely bother to educate themselves, preferring a general skepticism whenever the subject comes up, rather than committing to researching it. And when they do research it, they tend to read a few blogs and come to sweeping conclusions about the entire discipline.

    Third, it is to the advantage of skeptical men to ignore the discipline in some ways; pretending sexism doesn’t exist and isn’t endemic is a great way to solidify male skeptics against outside influences and to claim social status (and yes, there is significant social prestige to denying sexism exists because the large culture denies it exists). It is literally a way to make skepticism more acceptable, and that tends to be how it’s used.

    Fourth, the same people who claim to need evidence of feminism’s claims tend also to believe that they must be persuaded, ignoring the fact that persuasion takes the willingness of the audience to entertain claims. They demand overwhelming evidence (which is not demanded of many social claims, like the claim women love pink), and when presented with evidence, claim it is not enough to ‘make’ them change their mind, even though they have to be willing to change their mind to change it. They literally misunderstand persuasion.

  86. 86
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    jesus fuck, people, is the concept of the inclusive and so foreign to you? Because I highly doubt your wife distances herself from feminists (or from women who also have “feminine” interests)

    Not really sure why you’re jumping down my throat.

  87. 87
    Ing

    A large proportion of people in general, including myself, get extremely defensive when told how they should behave.

    And since the dawn of human history we’ve had terms for people who when they hear “Don’t eat too much fish, the common ground is running low” and then go out and engorge themselves just because they resent being told not.

    Douchebag.

    You’re not a rebel, you’re an asshole.

  88. 88
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    @ Jadehawk #71:

    So much WORD.

    Yeah, women are not immune to sexism, by function of being human. In fact, the presence of women who de facto keep other women in line probably plays a significant part in the continuing existence of the patriarchy. The existence of a male privilege doesn’t preclude forms of privilege, for instance in-group and out-group, which enable one subset of women to claim that feminists don’t have a valid argument.

    Women who internalise the rules of patriarchy and use a privileged social status (real or perceived, see some Tea Party supporters) to revile the “sluts”. Feminine essentialists who claim that women are more or less a different species, intuitive where men are rational, etc. Or, like here, a woman who derides the condemnation of sexist slurs because they should be received as some sort of homage. Or something. (Additional subtext: what’s wrong with all these feminists if they don’t like masculine attention? Hmm?)

    The inability or unwillingness of some people, including women, to recognise a coping mechanism when it’s staring you in the face is not surprising, sad though it is.

  89. 89
    Nick Gotts

    Jonas,

    One of our core beliefs as skeptics, is that we do not subscribe to beliefs that cannot be falsified.

    Oh really? I’m kind of attached to the beliefs that 2+2=4 and that the sun is larger than the earth, but I can’t see how they could be falsified.

    Theories that are so generally or ambiguously defined that they can not be proven true or false are not worthy of belief. This is directly relevant to vague claims like there is male privelege in the skeptic community. Someone please tell me what exactly could possibly prove such a claim false? – Jonas

    Trouble is, it’s kind of hard to prove true claims false. If the claim about male privilege were false, we would expect the vast majority of women who have significant contact with the skeptic community and who say anything on the matter, to aver that they have not experienced being sexually harassed, belittled, excluded or ignored due to their sex, or treated as if their worth was primarily a matter of their degree of physical attractiveness, within that context. If you can believe that that is the case after the events of the past few months, you are indeed an outstanding exemplar of the obliviousness of privilege.

  90. 90
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Jadehawk already said what I wanted to say, so now I just feel compelled to quote her and say booya.

    I would suggest, however, that there is a difference between informing people of the consequences of their actions (or pointing out conscious or unconscious biases that give rise to those actions) and propounding a code of behavior. A large proportion of people in general, including myself, get extremely defensive when told how they should behave.

    yeah, reactance is a bog-standard response to perceived coercion. However: “guys, don’t do that” is not coercion. Neither is saying “look, this is what spreading sexist humor does, don’t perpetuate this” coercion.

    In case anyone’s wondering, the term “reactance” here is a bit of jargon. And libertarians score higher on measures of it.

    I’m not aware of research on why some people mistake being told “don’t do that” for coercion. It sure sounds like a leftover complaint from childhood, when being told “don’t do that” very often did accompany coercion. But, you know, it doesn’t now that you’re all growed up. Please try to remember that, libertarians.

  91. 91
    qwints

    Jadehawk, I’ll readily admit the verdict isn’t in yet on third wave feminism, but it clearly hasn’t had the impact in changing societal attitudes in the two decades after its beginning as second wave feminism. First wave feminism obviously took a very long time from Wollstonecraft or Fuller to suffrage, but dating second wave feminism from The Second Sex or The Feminist Mystique shows some enormous gains in its first two decades. Gains we haven’t seen since the publishing of “Becoming the Third Wave” twenty years ago.

    mouthyb, I strongly disagree with your statement that no one genuinely questions feminism. Feminism is an imprecise term due to the large range of beliefs and policies people who have claimed the label advocate. I would bet money that many commentators would join me in being suspicious of the conservative feminism represented by groups like the Independent Women’s Forum. I similarly think that many people are genuinely skeptical of the claims made by some in postmodernist circles.

    I’ve had a survey level class on feminist theory and certainly do not consider myself at all informed about the massive amount of theory encompassed by women’s studies and feminism. I do know that I found much of what I was exposed to extremely insightful and eye-opening. I hope I haven’t given the impression that I don’t think sexism is an endemic issue is society at large or in the skeptic community in particular. As a minor example, anyone who’s heard the advice women get on professional attire has been exposed to a ridiculous set of double standards that the male gender does not face. I certainly agree that there is very solid evidence of sexism in American society. That doesn’t mean that there is equally solid evidence that, for example, both sex and gender are mere societal constructs with no physiological basis.

  92. 92
    Jadehawk

    so we have three feminist waves, and you pick the atypical one that happened during a period of massive social upheaval as the measure of influence? odd. also, I wasn’t fucking kidding when I said your argument could be used to claim 2nd wave feminism caused more rapes; that’s because it did at first: http://www.jstor.org/pss/3081921

  93. 93
    SallyStrange

    “I’m suspicious of anti-racism.”

    What kind of reaction do you expect to get in response to THAT statement?

  94. 94
    Jadehawk

    What kind of reaction do you expect to get in response to THAT statement?

    blah blah reverse-racism blah blah blah cracker is as bad as nigger blah blah affirmative action blah blah Redneck Manifesto blah blah blah

  95. 95
    SallyStrange

    blah blah reverse-racism blah blah blah cracker is as bad as nigger blah blah affirmative action blah blah Redneck Manifesto blah blah blah

    *headdesk*

  96. 96
    Jadehawk

    at the risk of causing you more head injuries… I forgot one part:

    blah blah Bell Curve blah blah

  97. 97
    marksletten

    jadehawk said:

    what makes you think someone’s personal preferences didn’t arise as a form of coping strategy?

    I never said they didn’t, I just don’t think it’s possible to know for certain based only on what she wrote in a single rant what formed the basis of the writer’s personal preferences.

    Are you suggesting a desire on the part of a woman to be attractive to men and to like sports, games, etc. can only arise as a coping mechanism to ward off the deleterious effects of pervasive sexism?

  98. 98
    Jadehawk

    Are you suggesting a desire on the part of a woman to be attractive to men and to like sports, games, etc. can only arise as a coping mechanism to ward off the deleterious effects of pervasive sexism?

    what part of “that’s not what I wrote, but I’ll indulge you anyway” did you not understand?

  99. 99
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    lovely human being

    She also described herself on that thread as a “vicious person.”

  100. 100
    Jadehawk

    oh, SC; guess what study just made an appearance on the “pink” thread.

    I’m going offline. There’s only so much stupid I can take in a day

  101. 101
    Matt Penfold

    What sort of evidence, dumbass?

    Evidence from the appropriate academic disciplines, such as sociology and economics.

    This is not hard, yet you seem to have no clue. Please stop showing your ignorance quite so blatantly.

  102. 102
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    oh, SC; guess what study just made an appearance on the “pink” thread.

    Too funny. And sad. Both.

  103. 103
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    smells of “I find it so much easier to make friends with guys”

    I’m still not clear on whether there’s supposed to be something wrong with women who find traditional “feminine” culture and social spaces uncomfortable or unappealing. :/

  104. 104
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Has anyone done a Feminism 101 on the various personal strategies that women use to cope with sexism?

    Some just off the top of my head (not intended to be an exhaustive list) are:

    #1: Buying into it, accepting the rules
    1. Being the very BEST in the gender class. Tops at being a woman. Competitive homemaking and/or dressing. Pageant queens and houseproud.
    2. Being an enforcer. The head prefect. Lecturing others on how to do it right; persecuting those who don’t. Your Mary Whitehouse et al.
    3. Being the exception. The token. I’m a proper human being, not like the rest of those silly girls, haha!

    #2: Protesting against it
    1. The tomboy rebel. I CAN TOO do all this stuff that you say girls can’t. (Much in common with 1.3 but doesn’t need to put down other girls.)
    2. The womyn. The gender dichotomy is right but the values are reversed. Rationality and logic are sooo masculine and cold; we are earth mothers and we rule.
    3. The feminist activist. It’s wrong, let’s change it. Both the dichotomy AND the devaluing of anything associated with women.

    #3: Denial
    1. The depressed. No such thing as sexism; any failures are entirely my own fault; I bring harassment on myself.
    2. The smug. I made it, so there’s no reason any other woman can’t, you loser crybabies.
    3. Lalalalala I can’t hear you. Going along and not thinking about it at all.

    I don’t know why there are 3 in each group. It’s not intended to be exhaustive or even mutually exclusive.

  105. 105
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    quinnmartindale: A survey level class is NOT enough evidence to talk about the volume of theory which composes feminist theory. If you know enough to classify waves, what in the hell are you doing being generally skeptical of it? I’ve never seen on this site anyone who claimed to be ‘skeptical of feminist theory’ who was genuinely sincere and interested in learning about it.

    The impression you are leaving me is that you dislike the idea of sexism, therefore feminism bad.

  106. 106
    SallyStrange

    PRO-TIP FOR WOULD-BE SKEPTICS:

    Being skeptical of Judith Butler and Andrea Dworkin ≠ Being skeptical of feminism

  107. 107
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    SallyStrange: No kidding. Hell, I don’t mind discussion of Butler and Dworkin, both of whom have, IMHO, some salient points about US culture. I don’t even mind debate on the subjects.

    Unfortunately, a lot of debate on the subject, especially with guys, tends to be insincere, mendacious, and fallacious.

  108. 108
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Oh hey, Azkyroth, I’m one of those who finds traditional “feminine” culture and social spaces uncomfortable or unappealing. Largely because they are mostly composed of people-types 1.1, 1.2 and a dash of 2.2 and a lot of the 3s in my magnum opus up there.

    I take it you are aware that society devalues women. One of the ways that this works is by claiming that anything that women are supposed to do in the system is frivolous, dull, unimportant, unintellectual etc. Men’s activities are srs biznis; women’s are airheaded.

    Here’s the tricky thing: we have not one but TWO unhelpful divisions to deal with here. One: “women bad, men good” – easy, this is just rubbish. Two: “things women do bad, things men do good” – tricky. Actually there’s good and bad in both, and it’s best to try to disentangle them. There’s nothing wrong with either knitting or making model spaceships. There’s something wrong with both vanity and violence.

  109. 109
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I agree. I suspect in particular that overexposure to those other types – the 1.2s in particular – are underrated as a driver of the 1.3s’ disdain for “those other women.”

    I think I understand Jadehawk’s perspective on this, finally, but I still find it jarring that her comments tend to emphasize the “participating in and enjoying traditionally male social spaces” aspect so much, when it’s the “throwing other women under the bus” corollary that she ostensibly really objects to. (I also think the fact that the 3s and 1.2s are throwing other women under the bus just as much if not more so is worth more attention than it often gets).

  110. 110
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I agree. I suspect in particular that overexposure to those other types – the 1.2s in particular – are underrated as a driver of the 1.3s’ disdain for “those other women.”

    …I have the sudden worry that I should point out that I’m not intending to dismiss the role of ambient sexism, just musing on a supplementary consideration, and that what I’m describing it itself a product of that sexism. :/

  111. 111
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Oh, hey..

    Who was it that was insisting I was totally off base noting that “that’s ANECDOTE, show me EVIDENCE” is often used as a silencing tactic in these discussions, a week or so ago? (I actually don’t remember.)

  112. 112
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    I concur.

  113. 113
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Who was it that was insisting I was totally off base noting that “that’s ANECDOTE, show me EVIDENCE” is often used as a silencing tactic in these discussions, a week or so ago? (I actually don’t remember.)

    I’m pretty sure the answer is “nobody”. The disagreement was about the utility of your analogy. I was asking for evidence that a particular tactic worked. You made the spurious claim that this was equivalent to asking for evidence that sexism exists; an at-least-less-obviously-flawed analogy would be that it was like asking for evidence that a particular response to sexism worked.

  114. 114
    Tethys

    Ancient scatological humor for archaeology fans.

    Spearthrower made of antler showing a young ibex with an emerging turd on which two birds are perched, found around 1940 in the cave of Le Mas d’Azil, Ariege. The ibex figure is about 7 cm long, and dates to about 16000 BP.

    This was one of the first examples of mass produced art. Fragments of up to ten examples of this design have been found, which means that scores or hundreds must have been manufactured originally. The joke must have been very popular amongst the people of the time.

    I am late to the thread, but pleased to see that Jadehawk is in particularly fine form today.

  115. 115
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    …I was afraid of that. >.>

  116. 116
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Just out of curiosity, how much of your day does archiving everything I’ve ever said take up?

  117. 117
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Yeah, but, you misunderstood me anyway, and I’m really not in the mood for another argument with you at the moment, so congratulations on your find over at Jen’s — it’s independently interesting, regardless.

  118. 118
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    That’s very much fine with me.

  119. 119
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Just out of curiosity, how much of your day does archiving everything I’ve ever said take up?

    *snerk*

    None, man. I really have a superb verbal memory for discussions I participate in.

    Would you like to see a fancy google trick that proves it?

  120. 120
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    I’m just gonna say “THIS” to what mouthyb said up there at #79.

  121. 121
    qwints

    mouthyb, you seem to know a lot more than me about feminist critical theory and I am woefully uninformed. I regret if I’ve left the impression that I don’t like the idea of feminism or am skeptical of most generally accepted feminist ideals. Most of what I’ve said has to do with my reactions to particular authors several years ago and with discussions I had with other self-identified skeptics about the subjects. Again, I found even the limited encounter I had with feminist critical theory to be a valuable eye-opening experience.


    PRO-TIP FOR WOULD-BE SKEPTICS:

    Being skeptical of Judith Butler and Andrea Dworkin ≠ Being skeptical of feminism

    Very good point. You’ve made me realize that I’m sounding like people who say things like “I’m not a feminist, but…” or use derogatory terms like feminazi’s. I deeply regret leaving that impression. I was trying to make the much more narrow critique you’ve indicated and wrote poorly.

  122. 122
    SallyStrange

    Very good point. You’ve made me realize that I’m sounding like people who say things like “I’m not a feminist, but…” or use derogatory terms like feminazi’s. I deeply regret leaving that impression. I was trying to make the much more narrow critique you’ve indicated and wrote poorly.

    Graceful apology enthusiastically accepted.

  123. 123
    marksletten

    jadehawk said:

    what part of “that’s not what I wrote, but I’ll indulge you anyway” did you not understand?

    Well then I guess I don’t get your point in response to my original post. I understand it’s POSSIBLE this woman is pretending to like feeling attractive; watching/engaging in sports; playing games; etc., as sambarge claimed, I simply pointed out it’s just as possible she’s not. I read your comments to mean you believe that even if the writer is being honest she is unconsciously responding to sexism.

    Can you please clarify what you meant?

  124. 124
    SallyStrange

    Well then I guess I don’t get your point in response to my original post. I understand it’s POSSIBLE this woman is pretending to like feeling attractive; watching/engaging in sports; playing games; etc., as sambarge claimed, I simply pointed out it’s just as possible she’s not.

    Given that sexism exists, and women have to cope with it, the probability that women who genuinely enjoy sports or other masculine-coded activities are not also using their enjoyment of said activities as a coping mechanism to diminish the effects of sexism is vanishingly slim.

  125. 125
    Jadehawk

    I understand it’s POSSIBLE this woman is pretending to like feeling attractive

    not what anyone wrote, and you’re back to pretending that something is either a genuine preference or something done in reaction to sexism on purpose

    as sambarge claimed,

    didn’t, actually. you’re the only one who claims that doing something as a result of sexism or as a defense against it is not genuine and some form of lying or pretending about one’s interests and preferences.

    I read your comments to mean you believe that even if the writer is being honest she is unconsciously responding to sexism.

    what could “even” possibly be doing in that sentence? Also, for the love of all that’s good, do finally make the effort of realizing that I split her preferences of masculine things and her behavior into two separate groups to make my point

  126. 126
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    quinnmartindale: Thank you for qualifying your statements.

    A point about online discussions on feminism: I have them often, on many different websites, and the general gist of resistance to feminism tends to follow that same path– the person hasn’t experienced sexism, therefore it doesn’t exist and I’m delusional for thinking it does, women are stupid, or ‘reverse sexism.’

    I really, REALLY hate those arguments. They collude with ignorance, pride in that ignorance and insults.

  127. 127
    Jadehawk

    think I understand Jadehawk’s perspective on this, finally, but I still find it jarring that her comments tend to emphasize the “participating in and enjoying traditionally male social spaces” aspect so much, when it’s the “throwing other women under the bus” corollary that she ostensibly really objects to.

    tropes are not named for what they have in common, but what distinguishes them from each other. and the set of tropes associated with the “one of the guys”/”not like other girls” form of internalized sexism aren’t distinguished from other forms of sexism by the fact that they are against women, but by their specific use of “masculine things are just so fucking superior in every imaginable aspect!” in its various flavors. The one you seem to have taken exception to (“I find it so much easier to make friends with guys”) doesn’t actually have anything to do with being uncomfortable with traditionally feminine spaces or culture as you seem to think. It’s a form of rejection of women as valid subjects of friendship; because they’re just so fucking girly and sucky.

    Now, that one I don’t actually know, from that one sentence she wrote, whether she does this; but women who don’t live this trope generally “notice” that they’re the sole female in a sausage fest, and tend to de-sausage those spaces by including their female friends or befriending other women who show up in these spaces. So I have my suspicions, especially given the rest of the essay which exhibits other tropes of that particular form of internalized sexism.

  128. 128
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    remyporter @32 –

    I’ll concede the point that **you** get nicer and more generous the more you follow a set of guidelines that treats other humans as “drones” and constantly asks, ‘what am I getting out of this interaction’?

    But I doubt that most people would get the same effect. While there is risk of tautology in the definition of dehumanization, the dehumanizing prescription you are following seems unlikely to be a benefit to the personality of those who treat people like objects and objects badly. There is special value in a person that doesn’t exist in non-person life, and there is value in non-person life that doesn’t exist in an inanimate object. That doesn’t imbue (should I have said imbibe?) a particular interaction with more value than otherwise, but it does affect how the other is treated in the course of that interaction.

    I suspect that for you, “drone” still contains some inherent dignity and worthiness of respect that it doesn’t contain for most of the folks reading your words.

  129. 129
    GeekMelange (formerly thepint)

    @ kristycat #22

    Yes to your entire post. I’m also a woman who hasn’t personally experienced much in the way of sexism, but just because I’ve been that lucky doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist, in society in general and the skeptic community specifically. Frankly, I find it hard to dismiss that it’s a problem, given the evidence.

    So when I hear people being upset about sexism in any community, I don’t feel the need to jump up and defend my male friends. They’re not talking about them. They’re talking about actual problems that actually exist, and dismissing those actual problems by saying, in effect, “the guys I know don’t act like that, so it must all be exaggerated” is not cool, and also pretty ignorant.

    I can’t agree with this point enough. I lost track of how many times that point had to be repeated on Jen’s post, both by myself and others. You’d think this wouldn’t be a difficult concept to grasp, but apparently Mallorie and others seem to think very little of the ability of men to differentiate between criticism leveled at them personally and criticism leveled at a culture in general, and to understand that if they’re not exhibiting the kind of behavior that’s being criticized, then they’re obviously not part of the problem.

  130. 130
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    I find this whole thing sad – not just the letter but the response to it on the part of some men. I mean, she says:

    With all of my heart I beg you: Do not change. Do not change for me, do not change for someone else. You’re wonderful, just the way you are.

    [K]eep trying to fuck me, because I cant think of any reason why I would rather fuck someone else, we are after all human. I assure you I’ll return the favor.

    It’s sad that people can read this sort of groveling obsequiousness and not respond with embarrassment and pity.

  131. 131
    triamacleod

    I’ve been following this on various FTB sites and I have to ask this in all sincerity.

    Is this Mallorie person trolling us? Is Mallorie a sexism Poe?

    Because I cannot imagine how someone with so little empathy for the feelings of others can function in the real world. If this person is real I imagine she is ostracized by a good portion of the population and ‘used’ by most of the rest.

  132. 132
    sc_981c06f00f9f1c130e6aac335ee413ef

    oh, huh. Azykoth pointed out over on Jen’s thread that the writer of this piece of shit has also been claiming that the nasty shit that happened to that 15-year-old wasn’t a women’s issue and that the fact that the girl mentioned her anus first means all the comments about blood and tears being lubricant are magically not rape-threats (oh, and that #mencallmethings is sexist because women sometimes make rape-threats against women, too)

    lovely human being

    Personal attacks, the best way to make a point here at FTB

  133. 133
    strange gods before me ॐ

    ?

    Personal attacks are cool, but as it happens I just don’t see a personal attack in that there quote.

    What precisely do you object to?

  134. 134
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness


    sc_981c06f00f9f1c130e6aac335ee413ef

    Thank you for bolding that entire awesome comment! I really think it needed to be QFT since it shows how deep the sexism is engrained in this woman. Women are raised in the same society and are not automatically given a free pass on sexism and feminism, we can be just as bad as the men.

    Oh wait you had something to say about it?

    Well, shit you must be extremely stupid. Since pointed out that person A believes in B, which is a horrible dehumanizing thing to believe in makes someone not a lovely human being in your eyes in not a personal attack. Its a judgement call. I think its an important one since I wouldn’t want this woman from telling my child this shit, I have enough enemies to fight in this uphill battle. Very toxic worldview of hers to say the least. One that apparently you share since I can’t fathom why you would be defending her on the issue of its ok to make rape jokes about a 15 yr. Unless you really are that stupid.

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