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Jan 03 2012

So this is what skepticism has come to?

Jebus. After reading Ben Radford’s reply to the criticisms of his awful article denying sexism in the toy store, I feel even more repelled. It was ludicrous. It was ridiculous. It was pretentious.

Here’s Radford claiming the high ground.

So when I insisted that Riley was wrong in her claim that girls are forced or “tricked” into buying or liking pink items or princesses, my purpose was not to be pedantic, but instead to keep the discussion grounded and rooted in objective evidence.

No, Radford does not get to claim to be “grounded and rooted in objective evidence”, not after that nonsense aout women evolving to pick berries and nurture sick kids (I notice he doesn’t even try to defend that crap this time around). But worse, what he does immediately after piously declaring his skeptical sobriety, is to defend his freakishly stupid argument that girls like pink because it is the color of their doll’s skin.

“One obvious reason is that dolls are by far the most popular toys for girls. What color are most dolls? Pink, or roughly Caucasian skin-toned. There are, of course, dolls of varying skin tones and ethnicities (the popular Bratz dolls, for example, have a range of skin tones). But since most girls play with dolls, and most dolls are pink (a green- or blue-skinned doll would look creepy), it makes perfect sense that most girls’ toys are pink.”

Rebecca apparently believes that most dolls do not have “pink, or roughly Caucasian skin-tones.” To Rebecca, the claim that most dolls have “pink, or roughly Caucasian skin-tones” is a “ridiculous fantasy story.” What’s her evidence for this? Did she do any research? Nope, she zoomed in on a screen capture of Riley taken with a cell phone and concluded that few if any of the dolls are pinkish. (Watch the first ten seconds of the video and see how the background colors change every few seconds; this is pretty much the definition of a flawed experiment, as she’ll get different tones depending on when she freezes the picture.)

Who’s right, me or Rebecca? I could cite studies about the dearth of minority skin tones in children’s dolls, but there’s a much easier way to do it. Decide for yourself: the next time you’re in a toy store, craft store, or anywhere else where dolls are sold, look at the skin tones on the majority of the dolls. Are they roughly pink tones, or are they another color? Or do a simple Google image search for “dolls” and see what skin color most of them show up as; according to Rebecca, it will be anything but pink.

OK, Mr Objective Evidence, please ground this exceedingly peculiar claim, which I have never seen made before, in some of that real evidence. I tried that google search thing he recommended, and yeah, Rebecca was right: most of them weren’t that unholy bright shade of pink associated with girly toys. Here, for example, is a nice representative image that turned up, with lots of dolls:

All different shades turn up from off-white to brown, but none are actually pink. Lots of the dolls are dressed in a nice pastel pink; compare their dresses to their skin tones.

I can’t believe I have to explain this. It is simply and obviously not true that the packaging of girls’ toys is designed to blend in with their skin, or their doll’s skin. I’d like to see some of that evidence that toy manufacturers sample nice Caucasian girls’ skin color and use that as a key for choosing the color of their toy washing machine and its cardboard box. I’d like to see some evidence that girls want toys that, chameleon-like, they can blend in against when playing with them naked. I would like to see evidence that somehow girls desire toys painted in skin tones while boys are looking for something that reminds them of cyanotic corpses. I would like to see some measurements in which Radford pulls out a colorimeter, aims it at some little girls face, then aims it at the garish bright pink of a toy box, and shows me that they are even close to the same color.

You don’t get to claim to be the one true objective skeptic while spouting such ad hoc bullshit.

Then he makes it worse. Rebecca Watson pointed out another major flaw in his arguments:

Here’s another reason Ben made up for why girl toys are pink: Pink is also the most popular color for girls’ items for the same reason that white is the most popular color for new cars: that’s what most people prefer. Get it? Popular things are popular because they’re popular. Pink things are popular because people prefer them.

Radford’s rebuttal is to repeat the same argument with added condescension!

I’m not sure what Rebecca doesn’t understand about this, but I’ve spelled out the logic below, maybe this will help:
1) Most girls play with dolls
2) Most toys that girls play with are dolls (i.e. they are by far the most common girls’ toy)
3) Most dolls are pink
4) Therefore most girls’ toys are pink.

I can do a Venn diagram for her, but it’s valid.

It’s circular. It’s built on a false premise and it says nothing at all. The question is why, in our particular culture, do we have a specific set of gender roles, why do we apply pressure to children to conform to those roles, and as a very secondary question, why are girls’ roles so brightly flagged with pink?

Radford is begging the question. Of course little girls like Riley are urged to conform, and of course it’s all tied up in societal rewards for fitting in to a particular pattern of behavior; Riley can recognize that, why can’t Radford? In this case, our social norms erect great big unmistakeable flags to tell little girls that one specific set of objects are explicitly tied to their identity as girls. They defy them at their peril, and sometimes even four-year-olds can tell when they’re being fitted for a straitjacket.

Radford is supposed to be a fairly widely-known and respectable member of the skeptic community. I am appalled and disappointed that these babblings are how he responds to criticism, and that further he has the gall to pretend he’s the one with the “objective evidence”.

541 comments

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  1. 1
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I didn’t click the link yet but . . . . is this useless fucking douche actually writing for Center of Inquiry?

    If so, i’m rethinking my donation. it’s clearly wouldn’t be the organization i thought it was, if this utter tripe passes their muster.

  2. 2
    jaycubed

    I get pink blindness whenever I look down the barbie/girl/pink aisle in a toy store.

    I have to run away screaming, The Horror, The Horror!

    Fortunately, there are some small private toy stores around that don’t proudly push pink plastic pultrusions on children.

  3. 3
    pHred

    As has been pointed out multiple times now, pink toys are “popular” with girls because it is really, really hard to find anything else sometimes. Like a cooking toy (I cook from scratch often so both of my kids a boy and a girl really love cooking toys) lots of the stuff comes in garish pink. I have a problem with both the major trends that I see in the toy aisles – girl toys are vivid pink and often anti-intellectual while the boy toys tend to glorify violence. Sure, not all toys are like that, but enough are that it is disturbing – as another person mentioned in the last posting, the “popular” toys are the things that loving but uninformed grandparents etc. end up buying.

    BTW I wonder if this Rayford person has ever tried to buy a pair of pants with good pockets for a girl. The toy aisles are worrisome but the childrens clothing section is downright horrifying!

  4. 4
    DLC

    I said it before: Radford : Google “First rule of holes”, dumb-ass.
    As for what color “Girls” toys and the packaging they come in are: It’s a sexist trope that needs to come to an end.
    Why can’t “My First Washing Machine” be beige, like the one in my laundry room ? For that matter, what weirdo buys a toy clothes washer for their kid, regardless of gender ? That’s like buying a toy garbage pail . .. but I digress.

  5. 5
    Rip Steakface

    By the Emperor, that “reasoning” in response to RW’s criticism was so circular that if you do some weird, made-up numerological bullshit to it, you could probably find the last decimal of pi.

    By the way, pHred, regarding the glorification of violence in boys’ toys: glorifying violence is so endemic to culture that it isn’t going away any time soon.

    Besides, killing zombies and wizards is so damn fun.

  6. 6
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    @4 Boys and girls under the age of about 8 or so tend to like imitative toys. They see their parents (hopefully) doing laundry, they want to play at laundry. They see adults driving cars, grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, parenting, teaching school, they want to play at those things too. My nephew’s favourite at that age? The vacuum cleaner.

  7. 7
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    That is utterly astonishing. It is a textbook example of a tautology, a circular argument. This is one of the most very basic things thinking people are taught to avoid. Skeptics call it out all the time. And yet an honest to God professional skeptic not only uses it, but then repeats and defends it. This is . . . ludicrous.

    No honest person can look at this intellectual trainwreck and fail to recognize that, yes, otherwise sane people lose their fucking minds when they don’t want to recognize sexism. It’s pathetic.

    Oh, he also pulled the “I’m only asking for objective evidence” de-rail that’s a favorite for shutting up minorities who tell you when something’s hurtful. But in this case he sits right there looking at the actual, objective, verifiable colors Rebecca pointed out. . .oh God. My head can’t take this. It’s like trying to figure out a mobius strip.

  8. 8
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    DLC – I’ll second Ibis. Kids love to have kid versions of adult appliances. My nephew goes crazy for his play kitchen set complete with stove, dishwasher, and microwave. And, it’s not pink. All the colors are normal hues you’d expect to find in a kitchen. Imagine that.

    When I was a kid I loved my play vacuum, my play oven, my play cars. . .any device intended for grownups was endless hours of imaginative fun.

  9. 9
    andyo

    I really hope Riley’s parents are watching this guy and laughing their asses off about the hole he’s dug himself into because of how smart was Riley at only 3.

  10. 10
    Alverant

    At least “Girls Only: My First Washing Machine” is a front loader. The one that came with my house is one and I won’t go back.

    How about this, the company sells paints so parents and kids can make their toys whatever color they want. Painting is gender neutral and a useful skill to learn. That way when the kid says, “I wanna paint my room ORANGE.” The parents can say, “OK But you have to do it yourself.”

  11. 11
    raven

    Someone should invent a xian cult for all the brain dead atheists.

    Ben Radford makes atheists look bad.

    He would be more useful to us running a fanboy website for Michele Bachmann or something

  12. 12
    Dhorvath, OM

    Our play kitchen was white. Melissa & Doug, good stuff from that outfit. Thing is, our child played with it for a month and then decided that the real deal was the only acceptable option. No more play kitchen, just a good step stool now.

  13. 13
    gworroll

    My grandmother has a doll collection probably worth somewhere north of a million dollars.

    She doesn’t have a single one that would support Radfords “doll color” correlation. We’re talking all sorts of dolls. Collectible types, types girsl would play with, it’s a huge collection that could probably work as the start of a nice doll museum. Hell, the entire museum maybe, especially with the many that are not on display.

    Even if that argument held water… Why do girls have to play with dolls? If they don’t ahve to, why is it so common that they do? He’s barely scratching the surface.

  14. 14
    andyo

    I would have LOVED to have a working toy oven when I was a kid. Otherwise I was a Lego and Transformers kind of guy. Didn’t even like G.I. Joe (the modern small ones, the big ones I would have hated even more if they’d sold them) cause the stupid dolls didn’t do anything except move their limbs barely a few degrees more than a Barbie.

  15. 15
    Ophelia Benson

    Pfffffffff. Dolls aren’t pink. Beige, sand color, pale tan, khaki – not pink.

  16. 16
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    I can’t believe I have to do this, but:

    Boys’ science kits.
    Girls’ science kits.

    It’s not just dolls. As young Riley pointed out, all girls’ toys are pink. So that whole, “It’s the same color as typical doll skin tone” just doesn’t hold water, no matter what.

    Gender difference in toys seem pointed at one thing and one thing only: to help indoctrinate young’uns into their expected gender roles.

  17. 17
    Kyle Rybski

    I haven’t been paying attention to this, but aside from the annoyance of having toys predominantly feature one color, is there something intrinsically wrong with pink?

    I’m hoping that the argument is that it’s sexist to assume without evidence that girls have narrower color preferences than boys, and not that it’s sexist for pink to be the area narrowed in on.

    Speaking of evidence, what’s the history of this? Surely girls’ toys were not always predominantly pink. Is this not the result of many years of careful marketing adjustments (evolution, if you will), like the red and white scheme we’ve eventually settled on for most packaging aimed at adults?

  18. 18
    scorpy1

    Does anybody else get the uneasy feeling that there aren’t many comments there for what seems to be such a hot button issue?

    Either people really can’t see Ben’s egregious logical flaws, don’t care or else the post is being heavily moderated….none of which bodes well for CFI’s relevancy in the skeptic movement.

  19. 19
    jonathonham

    There was an enlightening article posted on Cracked.com dated June 9th 2011 titled The 5 Most Pointlessly Women-Specific Products. This is a ‘girl’ problem so much as a ‘female in general’ problem.

    I’ll leave it to someone smarter than me to discuss the clear gender bias/segregation in marketing and sales environments, but it is there, and it isn’t a good thing.

  20. 20
    SallyStrange

    Glad you commented on this, PZ. If CFI doesn’t fire this guy, or at least force him to issue the humblest of public apologies, they’re worthless. This is worse than embarrassing, this is shameful.

    No honest person can look at this intellectual trainwreck and fail to recognize that, yes, otherwise sane people lose their fucking minds when they don’t want to recognize sexism.

    Quoted for the motherfucking truth, baby.

  21. 21
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Evidently, not only does this vacuous douche write for COI, but he’s now deleting the posts and log-in info of people disagreeing with him there.

    Yep. Not joining that org.

  22. 22
    Kyle Rybski

    Examples of these disagreements would be valuable for determining whether it’s good moderation or not, yes?

  23. 23
    DLC

    Ibis & Josh OSG. Well, you’ve got something there. Now that I think on it, my mother had a 50s vintage toy dishwasher. If memory serves it was sort of polished aluminum-looking with all the dials and buttons one would find on a dish machine of the era. Weird, I hadn’t thought of that toy in ages. For some reason a toy clothes washer just struck me as something that wouldn’t be popular. It’s been a long, time since I was that age. But then, I also remember attending more than one tea party with the neighbor girls. Sorry. just made myself feel gods-damned old.

  24. 24
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    jonathonham:

    I’ll leave it to someone smarter than me to discuss the clear gender bias/segregation in marketing and sales environments, but it is there, and it isn’t a good thing.

    It has a lot to do with market segregation, period. The goal of marketing is to bundle up the population into nice, describable packages, so they can pitch them to their customers: “We’ll go for the aging grunge hipster retired circus clown crowd.”

    The larger the group, the better, as long as you can be specific with the cues used to hook the intended market.

    We’ve been trained to respond to these cues.

  25. 25
    faehnrich

    Wait, this guy’s an atheist?

    Oh man, no one show him the, “God is a perfect being that wrote the bible which says he exists so it’s right therefore he exists” argument. He might get confused by circular logic again and convert.

  26. 26
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    This really is a problem for CFI and they need to deal with it. No, not because BEN SAID SOMETHING I DISAGREE WITH. Because his behavior is utterly lacking in logic, it’s tautological, and he defends it rather than reconsidering. It’s possibly the most direct way he could shit on their stated mission. It would be like a blogger for a charity devoted to sustainable agriculture blogging about how awesome his three-acre farm of Round-Up Ready veggies is doing under its new blanket of nitrogen fertilizer.

  27. 27
    berrykercheval

    And PZ uses “beg the question” in the correct way! The internets are amazed!

    I’m not amazed. I’m just happy someone besides me gets it.

  28. 28
    andyo

    I don’t know if anybody’s linked to this yet, but after it starts in childhood, this kind of marketing never stops.

  29. 29
    andyo

    oh, great. Automatic embedding. Sorry.

  30. 30
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Ah, that’s a great Mitchell and Webb bit, though!

  31. 31
    Fukuda

    @16

    Ugh! The sexist role enforcement is pretty horrible in that one. Chemistry and Physics sets for boys and Beauty Salons for girls?

    Never mind that in our chemistry faculty there are way more female students than male ones(chem. eng. included) and that they tend to kick the boys’s asses in grades and effort. I guess chemistry and science ain’t subjects for girls(!)…

    Our chemistry and biochemistry departments are also full of female professors. Oh well…

  32. 32
    BrianX

    What I don’t really get is how many people who claim to be skeptics seem to be willing to accept “that’s just how it is” as evidence, especially when race and gender issues come up. You would think ignoring confounding factors like, oh, cultural influences would be something that would make any self-respecting skeptic say “D’oh, let me rethink that”.

  33. 33
    demonhauntedworld

    Top Gear presenter James May had an excellent BBC show called “My Sisters’ Top Toys” that is an interesting look at how toys have changed in recent generations.

  34. 34
    Utakata

    …and my reply to Radford’s rebuttle can only be: Desu, desu, desu, desu!

    The anthropomorphised doll Suiseiseki (Jade Star for the multiple syllable challenged), who started thet meme wears green, brown, white and has one purple eye. I don’t think she would be caught dead in pink.

  35. 35
    andyo

    Re: CFI,

    Some of you guys mentioned Joe Nickell in the other thread. I gotta say, in the heyday of Point of Inquiry (or, also known as, when I used to listen to it) those DJ Grothe interviews with Nickell seemed to me off-putting but the guy spoke with such authority and old-guy voice that meh, I just didn’t let it bother me either way. Just, that “I don’t know rule out anything, just investigate” attitude about obviously ridiculous things like those ghost TV shows, I couldn’t understand coming from someone like that.

    So yeah, I agree. Time for new blood. Let the angry atheists take over for a while, see what happens.

  36. 36
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Rip Steakface: “Last decimal of pi” – LMMFAO

    Josh @7 & SallyStrange @20: “otherwise sane people lose their fucking minds when they don’t want to recognize sexism”

    Requoted for even shinier truthiness!

    Finally, I concur with DLC @4: First rule of holes, Ben!

    I’ve done actual research in this field and sorting out the influences on preferences is darn, darn hard. Seriously. I don’t envy the person who has the job of trying to explain preferences. But to give up & declare the whole thing a bad job…what’s with that? Either try to provide an explanation or **don’t try to provide an explanation**.

    Has been never seen:

    I’ve seen a lot of designed things & they all had designers.

    The universe looks an awful lot like a designed thing – based on how I define design, which bears no resemblance to any real and rigorous definition of the word.

    The universe has a designer.

    Compare that to:
    I’ve seen a lot of dolls,

    & they look pink to me – based on how I define pink, which bears no resemblance to any real and rigorous definition of the color

    Therefore, girls naturally like pink!

    QEf’nD!!

    What an idiotic and counterproductive statement.

  37. 37
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Also, girls like pink because it’s feminine because girls like it because it’s feminine because it’s pink.

  38. 38
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Mitchell and Webb:” My Shags as a Whore.

    “They’re prostitutes because they like it. A lot of them are feminists!”

  39. 39
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    @ andyo:

    Let’s not wrap all the CFI staff in Radford’s fail, though. Or dismiss Joe Nickell because of his age. (As for his careful defending of “just inquiring”, why not? AFAIK, his being polite to believers doesn’t make his results less solid. And there’s a value in those inquiries as teachable moments for people who aren’t full believers and could be won to the side of rational thinking.)

  40. 40
    David Marjanović

    By the Emperor, that “reasoning” in response to RW’s criticism was so circular that if you do some weird, made-up numerological bullshit to it, you could probably find the last decimal of pi.

    I laughed for half a minute. Into my quote collection it goes!

    At least “Girls Only: My First Washing Machine” is a front loader. The one that came with my house is one and I won’t go back.

    Before I visited the US in October, I thought top-loaders had died out fifty or sixty years ago. I was quite shocked.

    Examples of these disagreements would be valuable for determining whether it’s good moderation or not, yes?

    Yes. The fact that they’re all deleted speaks volumes.

  41. 41
    andyo

    They see adults driving cars, grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, parenting, teaching school, they want to play at those things too.

    When I was a kid and we were playing outside, I used to walk just around the corner and sit outside someone else’s house and pretend I was going to “work”. Oh how I wish I could just pretend to go to work now.

  42. 42
    David Marjanović

    Either try to provide an explanation or **don’t try to provide an explanation**.

    Try, or don’t try. There is no…

    …whatever. I’ll go to bed.

    My Shags as a Whore

    Link doesn’t work.

  43. 43
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Link fail. My Shags as a Whore:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wQKH5F7sTE&feature=related

    Dear God, please don’t embed. .

  44. 44
    PZ Myers

    Yeah, Nickell is a good guy. Radford’s cryptozoology stuff is good, too. The old school skepticism, even with its self-imposed and artificial limitations, is useful stuff and we don’t want it to go away. But for some reason, a lot of those old guys have this arrogant attitude that there is only one way to do skepticism, and only a few subjects for which it is appropriate, and that’s just wrong.

    And then every once in a while a Radford steps into some other domain and sinks like a rock.

  45. 45
    andyo

    Irene,

    @ andyo:

    Let’s not wrap all the CFI staff in Radford’s fail, though.

    I have nothing to add to the others who pointed out that these people are the more visible ones in the org.

    Or dismiss Joe Nickell because of his age.

    Sorry for not being clear, but I didn’t mean it like that. (I didn’t even know for sure he was an old guy, just that he had an old-guy voice). I meant that because he spoke like that, it gave him the credibility of experience, that’s why I didn’t let it bother me then.

    (As for his careful defending of “just inquiring”, why not? AFAIK, his being polite to believers doesn’t make his results less solid. And there’s a value in those inquiries as teachable moments for people who aren’t full believers and could be won to the side of rational thinking.)

    The problem is laid out in the very popular Dara O Briain bit which makes fun of all the false balance the media gives to such claims. (I assume everyone has seen it by now.) For example, even Phil Plait, the “don’t be a dick” guy, is not investigating moon hoax claims anymore, he just dismisses them and moves on.

  46. 46
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    What I don’t really get is how many people who claim to be skeptics seem to be willing to accept “that’s just how it is” as evidence, especially when race and gender issues come up.

    Its always in line with protecting, enforcing, excusing or justifying their privilege. There’s something in Ben that needs to believe ridiculous nonsense, despite all available evidence, and it just so happens to coincide with his evident disbelief in gender roles, and disbelief in the fact that women tend to be valued merely for their appearance – right as he declares people are only paying attention to the 4-yr-old girl in the vid because she’s cute.

    The white privilege he displays in his pieces I’m also certain he’s unwilling to examine.

    I notice that its only ever issues of privilege and/or bigotry that white dude skeptics deem to irrelevant to talk about vis a vis skepticism. Suddenly, it’s too divisive, too politically correct, too far away from what’s REALLY important.

    I’m sure that’s “just how it is” and not worth examining too.

  47. 47
    Gregory Greenwood

    Reading Radford waffle on about dolls being patterned on ‘caucasian skin tones’, and the packaging merely mirroring this, then I think it fair to observe that if the white people he knows have the electric pink skin tone he implies, then they probably need to seek medical help urgently…

    As for his mantra of ‘objective evidence’ – well in this context that is nothing more than a well-worn silencing tactic, and a rather obvious one at that. The nauseating condescension of his post, complete with an indulgent explanation to all the silly feminists as to how scepticism should be done, really stuck in my craw as well.

    And not forgetting;

    I’m not sure what Rebecca doesn’t understand about this, but I’ve spelled out the logic below, maybe this will help:
    1) Most girls play with dolls
    2) Most toys that girls play with are dolls (i.e. they are by far the most common girls’ toy)
    3) Most dolls are pink
    4) Therefore most girls’ toys are pink.

    I can do a Venn diagram for her, but it’s valid.

    With logic-torturing skills like that, he missed his vocation as a religious apologist…

    If he must mansplain, is a little subtly and originality too much to ask?

  48. 48
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    If he must mansplain, is a little subtly and originality too much to ask?

    All he’s missing his a pat on her ass as he tells her to get him some coffee.

    I’m sick of this “don’t blame the bushel for the bad apple” bullshit. if this is the dude they put out there as the face of their org (or even just one among more), this is the person i’m going to judge them by.

    Since this condescending douche is not only writing for them, but is apparently well-known, AND he’s deleting the dissenting posts he’s not a fucking skeptic and COI is evidently not a skeptical org.

    When they distance themselves from it, then i’ll accept they don’t agree with it. until then, silence = agreement.

  49. 49
    melody

    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says:

    I didn’t click the link yet but . . . . is this useless fucking douche actually writing for Center of Inquiry?

    If so, i’m rethinking my donation. it’s clearly wouldn’t be the organization i thought it was, if this utter tripe passes their muster.

    You might want to read these comments from PZ’s previous blog “Stop embarrassing me old white guys” before you withdraw your support:

    debbiegoddard says:

    Hey, *I* work at CFI, and I’m interested in these topics! I give presentations on increasing diversity in the movement, for chrissakes. But I don’t spend most my time writing–I’m an organizer, campus outreach coordinator, and director of African Americans for Humanism. My coworker Dren, a campus organizer, is a feminist, and two other CFI coworkers are involved with the weareskeptixx blog. (And occasionally I blog for Skepchick.)

    There are different POVs on these topics inside of organizations like CFI. I understand there’s a bias, though–many of us aren’t primarily writers, so our perspectives don’t get out there as much. This is something that I can work to change.

    Maybe I and others should spend more of our time writing and presenting our POVs publicly in places like the main CFI blog…ha, I’m making myself another New Year’s resolution. (Crap, I don’t have time for them all!)

    melody says:

    FYI – Julia Lavarnway who wrote the piece against Ben Radford’s blog works for CFI. Debbie Goddard and I also work for CFI and have publicly disagreed with Ben on this issue. PZ writes for one of our publications, Free Inquiry. The great thing about CFI is that there is no groupthink. We are allowed to publicly disagree with each other and often do. It keeps us and the organization intellectually honest. There is no oversight on the Free Thinking blog. Contributions to CFI’s Free Thinking blog are not the opinion of CFI and we state that.

    Matt Penfold says:

    The CFI is also organising a conference on the role of women in secularism. A number of the bloggers at FtB will be speaking, Ophelia, Jen, Greta. Rebecca Watson will also be there.

    What I want to know is who is going to clear up the mess when the heads of all the sexists, misogynists arseholes explode.

  50. 50
    SallyStrange

    Speaking of funny videos that poke fun at ridiculous sexist marketing, here’s Sarah Haskins talking about laundry ads.

    If you haven’t seen her “Target Women” series, you’re missing out.

  51. 51
    SallyStrange

    Cool story, melody.

    So, like, when are they going to fire this guy?

  52. 52
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Melody – you’ve been right to remind us of the good work CFI is doing. But it’s conspicuously obvious what you’re not saying: whether CFI thinks it’s useful or appropriate for one of your public faces to be so stubbornly irrational and ludicrous. You may not be authorized to talk about internal matters, and I understand why no organization would want to.

    But you could at least acknowledge the elephant in the room and say you understand why people are looking to CFI for something more than ‘we all have different opinions.’

    I understand you feel cornered and a little pissed at all the criticism (some of what I said yesterday was wrong, and I thank you for correcting me), but it gets frustrating and irritating to hear nothing from you but “Look at all the good work we’re doing.” It feels dismissive.

  53. 53
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    the “our perspectives don’t get out there as much” excuse? The “it keeps us intellectually honest” (HAHAHAHAHAHA) excuse – how then, do they explain the banning of dissenters? The “they totally have a chick’s conference, so it’s all good” excuse?

    And, most hilariously – the “our blog is totally not our opinion” excuse?

    Yeah . .. sounds a little like backpeddaling to me.

    That said, I’ll take your point and reserve judgment, but this doesn’t convince of anything but COI’s doing some damage control.

  54. 54
    melody

    Ben is a very good paranormal investigator. I think he should stay away from women’s issues… and a lot of other people at CFI probably think so as well. We don’t fire people for unpopular views. We are a think-tank. It’s like having academic freedom at a university. Christopher Hitchens wrote for our publication Free Inquiry for years. Do you know how many people didn’t think he should write for us, because his views on the Iraq war or for saying that women are not funny?

  55. 55
    Gregory Greenwood

    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle @ 48;

    All he’s missing his a pat on her ass as he tells her to get him some coffee.

    And make him a ‘sammich’…

    When they distance themselves from it, then i’ll accept they don’t agree with it. until then, silence = agreement.

    QFT. Either they take a stand against what he is saying, or they are tacitly endorsing his position. Sitting on the sidelines isn’t good enough when the person you put forward as the face of your organisation is engaging in bigotry apologia.

  56. 56
    satanaugustine

    Thanks for taking on the obscenely stupid “dolls have pink faces [no, they don't], therefore girls like pink.”

    This bothered me more than just about anything else Ben said in his posts, especially when he took to defending an idiotic argument that a 4 year old could see through:

    Parent: Those dolls’ faces are pink.
    Child: No they’re not. Their faces are the same color as mine and some are the same color as my friends.
    Ben: They ARE pink…because I said so!

  57. 57
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    We don’t fire people for unpopular views.

    *facepalm* How about obviously untrue views? how about for banning people for disagreeing with him? how about being completely UNWILLING TO BE SKEPTICAL?

    “unpopular views” – give me a fucking break. Is there a Dismissive Insults bingo card yet? This deserves the center square.

  58. 58
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Yeah, thanks Melody. It’s just us being unreasonable and not understanding. Thanks.

    How about having a talk with Ben about how bad it makes CFI look when he uses textbook tautologies and circular arguments, then relies on ridiculous studies? Do you not see this?

  59. 59
    melody

    Individuals that work at CFI have called Ben out on what we think is BS. That’s how it works.

  60. 60
    melody

    I publicly told Ben his blog was a load of crap so I have talked to him.

  61. 61
    WordsOfAWizard

    I’m a straight male and I like pink (not solid pink, but when it is used in some sort of pattern, solid any color is ugly). I also like pink food. The fluffy puffy cupcakes with pink icing and too much decoration are delicious.

    When I was 10, I would have proudly owned that toy washing machine. Right now, my leisure time activities are a healthy mix of hunting, fishing, and sewing doll clothes (and sometimes real clothes).

    Hooray for the undeniable accuracy of gender roles!

  62. 62
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Individuals that work at CFI have called Ben out on what we think is BS. That’s how it works.

    You know what? Screw you. You’re nothing but attitude even when I try to talk nicely to you and make reasonable points. I’m supposed to magically know “how it works”, and I merit your snotty condescension when I ask?

  63. 63
    Jadehawk

    Ben is a very good paranormal investigator. I think he should stay away from women’s issues… and a lot of other people at CFI probably think so as well. We don’t fire people for unpopular views. We are a think-tank. It’s like having academic freedom at a university. Christopher Hitchens wrote for our publication Free Inquiry for years. Do you know how many people didn’t think he should write for us, because his views on the Iraq war or for saying that women are not funny?

    fine, if that’s your policy. But then don’t pretend as if it’s somehow unreasonable to assume that CFI is fine with being represented by bigots and/or people who on certain issues can’t argue their way out of a paperbag but insist on trying, anyway.

    Because you just said that that’s precisely what you’re ok with doing.

  64. 64
    'Tis Himself

    melody #54

    Ben is a very good paranormal investigator. I think he should stay away from women’s issues… and a lot of other people at CFI probably think so as well.

    I agree he should stay away from women’s issues. He’s a condescending, pompous, sexist douchebag. And while arguing against paranormal claims is a worthwhile endeavor, which effects people more, claims about the paranormal or sexism? I would submit that more people are concerned about sexism than the paranormal. So why do you have a sexist douchebag smearing CFI’s name with his sexism?

  65. 65
    Jadehawk

    I should also point out that being publicly embarrassing and wrong a lot does tend to get people fired at universities, unless those people already reached tenure. so not exactly comparable

  66. 66
    SallyStrange

    Okay, don’t “fire” him. Just tell him to start his own blog, because he can’t publish his crap on CFI’s front page anymore? That’d be fine. I need a job; I can be your new paranormal investigator. If I can read scientific articles, I bet I can debunk “Ghost Hunter” or whatever. Plus, I won’t say things that are empirically false, then attempt to defend them using circular logic and tautologies, then double down on my wrongness and attempt to silence my critics. Sound like a deal? Call me! Or rather, email me at sallylichtenstein303 at yahoo dot com. No, seriously. I need a job.

  67. 67
    Jadehawk

    Okay, don’t “fire” him. Just tell him to start his own blog, because he can’t publish his crap on CFI’s front page anymore? That’d be fine. I need a job; I can be your new paranormal investigator. If I can read scientific articles, I bet I can debunk “Ghost Hunter” or whatever. Plus, I won’t say things that are empirically false, then attempt to defend them using circular logic and tautologies, then double down on my wrongness and attempt to silence my critics. Sound like a deal? Call me! Or rather, email me at sallylichtenstein303 at yahoo dot com. No, seriously. I need a job.

    ha! me too. where are the applications.

    seriously, it’s not as if the skepticism movement is actually in short supply of people who can do “traditional” debunking and aren’t clueless twits about social issues. Or think that sexism is an opinion.

  68. 68
    A Brain in a Vat

    I guess I don’t get it. I’m as confused as 17 is. What’s wrong with pink?

    I don’t agree that toy makers and marketers are applying pressure to girls to conform to particular gender roles (namely the color pink). At least it’s not their intent. Toy makers and marketers are trying to make money. Our societal norms dictate that girls should like pink, and therefore girls will tend to want/buy pink. Since girls will tend to want/buy pink, marketers will tend to produce pink when directing toys at the female segment. I do see that this a positive feedback loop. They’re contributing to the girls-should-buy-pink ecosystem, but I think it’s a leap to call this sexism.

    Exploiting differences in people is how marketing works. Beer commercials tend to be directed at men. Is there some evolutionary reason men should prefer beer? I doubt it. It’s simply the case that a man is more likely to buy beer than a woman (which I can assume because I feel confident that the capitalist beer companies would be marketing more to women if that wasn’t the case). How did this gradient come about? Who knows. I can imagine them arising from random noise in the same way the random fluctuations in the quantum soup after the big bang led to the vast structures we see in the universe today.

    In Costa Rica kids are more likely to play soccer than in the US. Why? It just is. Is Adidas wrong to market soccer shoes in Costa Rica more than here? I don’t think so.

    As I type this, I thought about the store with a “Girls” aisle and a “Boys” aisle. I do admit that I can’t imagine having a “Latinos” aisle and a “Whites” aisle in an athletic store. This seems wrong, so I admit that I can’t see why “Girls/Boys” should be acceptable if “Latinos/Whites” is not.

    What’s the difference between separate aisles and targeted advertisement though? Is it that the aisles seem exclusionary, saying “boys are not allowed in the girls’ aisle”, more than the commercial in Costa Rica says “latinos should not play basketball”? If that’s the difference, then it doesn’t seem like it’s wrong to try to sell pink things to girls — instead it seems like it’s wrong to have an aisle marked “boys” and an aisle marked “girls”.

  69. 69
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    This is a pattern with you, too, Melody. Everytime there’s a ruckus about something someone said or did at CFI you pop up in the comments section to defend the organization. Some of that’s understandable, obviously. But it’s the first thing you do, and you do it constantly. You have to be prodded and cajoled into admitting that anyone ever has a valid criticism of one of your employees.

    You don’t like shitstorms? Then fucking blame the people responsible for them. Like Ben Radford. Or John Shook when he libels outspoken atheists. Or whatever. We’re not the problem Melody.

  70. 70
    melody

    Every time someone that works for CFI says something controversial or wrongheaded people go after the organization. CFI would have no one left if everyone was fired for causing an uproar. PZ and many others certainly wouldn’t be writing for our publications. Ben’s opinions are not CFI’s. Period. I was not being condescending or rude. I was trying to explain how a think-tank works. CFI is not only an advocacy organization. By the way, these are my opinions and not those of CFI.

  71. 71
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    of for fucks sake. is there a factory that produces these “it’s not sexism” dipships en masse?

    There is NO fucking brain in that vat.

  72. 72
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Goddamn you’re clueless. You’re not even doing effective damage control for CFI.

    Ben’s opinions aren’t CFI’s. Even when they’re on the front page. Do you actually believe people are unreasonable to associate his views with CFI in such an instance? What planet are you on?

  73. 73
    Jadehawk

    Every time someone that works for CFI says something controversial

    “sexism is just an opinion”

  74. 74
    SallyStrange

    Shorter A Brain in a Vat: “Social pressure? No such thing. I reject the entire fields of psychology and social science (plus a few more I don’t even know the names of), and substitute my own uninformed opinion.”

  75. 75
    andyo

    I would like to know what exactly prompted his first post in the first place. Why in the world did he feel the need to “rebut” a 3-year-old obviously very smart girl? It looks just like a very long youtube commenter reaction.

  76. 76
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    “rebut” a 3-year-old obviously very smart girl?

    You answered your own question.

  77. 77
    Gregory Greenwood

    @ melody;

    Individuals that work at CFI have called Ben out on what we think is BS. That’s how it works.

    and;

    I publicly told Ben his blog was a load of crap so I have talked to him.

    Talking to him is insufficient. As of this moment, CFI is publicly represented by a man who has used very poor arguments and pseudo-logic to try to defend clear sexism. If your organisation doesn’t take steps to distance itself from Radford’s opinions in regard to these issues, then that silence will inevitably be taken as agreement with his position.

    CFI’s choice is simple. Declare that Radford does not speak for your organisation in public, unambiguous terms, or be justifiably tarred with the same brush.

  78. 78
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Sally – i especially like the spectacularly stupid crap about beer advertising. men just naturally like it better! that’s why they don’t market to women!

    I supposed I’ve misplaced my Y chromosome then, since I WORK FOR TWO FUCKING BREWERIES.

  79. 79
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I hear an awful lot about whose opinions are not CFI’s (apparently, none of their staff) but I have yet to hear what CFI’s opinions are. So, what is CFI’s opinion about sexism apologetics?

  80. 80
    melody

    I don’t think sexism is an opinion. People in the community are disagreeing that the article is sexist (obviously not this blog). I think Ben’s article sounds sexist. I know Ben and he really has a blind spot with women’s issues.

  81. 81
    rorschach

    1) Most girls play with dolls
    2) Most toys that girls play with are dolls (i.e. they are by far the most common girls’ toy)
    3) Most dolls are pink
    4) Therefore most girls’ toys are pink.

    Ah this is gold. Proving untrue conclusions through wrong premises. Way to go, skeptic.

    Ben is a very good paranormal investigator.

    Comic gold.

  82. 82
    'Tis Himself

    Ben’s opinions are not CFI’s. Period.

    Radford’s opinions are presented on CFI’s blog. Why does this happen, if his opinions are not CFI’s? If CFI doesn’t want sexist douchebaggery presented on their blog then why do YOU allow this to happen?

    Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t claim Radford doesn’t reflect CFI when he’s publishing his rebuttal on CFI’s blog.

  83. 83
    SallyStrange

    Yes, CFI needs a huge, honkin’ announcement on the front page, in 40 point font, declaring that they disavow Ben Radford’s ant-skeptical sexism-denying tactics and abjectly and humbly apologize for all the offense he has undoubtedly caused. Also that Radford will either no longer be permitted to use CFI as a platform for his sexist views. Either he will stop writing for CFI altogether, or that he will be confined to writing about ghosties and things that go bump in the night henceforth. Frankly, I think the first option is best, because, like Jadehawk said, there are PLENTY of people with the intellectual wherewithal to debunk paranormal stuff, and who also don’t have a problem with prejudice and privilege.

  84. 84
    Jadehawk

    I don’t think sexism creationism is an opinion. People in the community are disagreeing that the article is sexist is counterfactual (obviously not this blog).

    I don’t think sexism denying AGW is an opinion. People in the community are disagreeing that the article is sexist is counterfactual (obviously not this blog).

    I don’t think sexism anti-vaxxerism is an opinion. People in the community are disagreeing that the article is sexist is counterfactual (obviously not this blog).

    etc.

  85. 85
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    You didn’t answer my question Melody. What is CFI’s opinion on sexism apologetics, particularly on its own blog?

  86. 86
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    andyo:

    For example, even Phil Plait, the “don’t be a dick” guy, is not investigating moon hoax claims anymore, he just dismisses them and moves on.

    True. However, I’ve read a few of Joe Nickell’s books, and his point here is that ferreting out what’s really going on behind a ghost claim, a “miraculous” statue or an alleged cryptozoological creature can teach us a lot about how myths begin, how belief in the supernatural can spread, the tactics of those who exploit credulity, etc. The explanation has of course so far been always mundane, but was rarely obvious from the beginning. It definitely should not the only thing sceptics should do, obviously. But it’s one useful way of approach.

    I won’t fault Nickell for defending his method. For one thing, he’s wiser than Radford in that he’s not trying to lecture other activists in the movement!

    melody:

    I publicly told Ben his blog was a load of crap so I have talked to him.

    Here’s hoping he’ll listen, this time. He owes Rebecca – and Riley – an apology.

  87. 87
    SallyStrange

    So, like, is there no oversight there? You know that Radford has a huge blind spot when it comes to women. Shouldn’t that be an indication that maybe he shouldn’t be allowed to write about issues involving women, especially when sexism and feminism are involved? Is there any way to enforce that, or are you all just sort of running around doing your own thing with no central coordination, no vision plan, just you do your thing and he does his, and you think he’s probably sexist, but whatever, there’s nothing you can do to keep him from using CFI as a platform to advance his patently illogical sexism-denying views?

    Sounds like an AWESOME organization! How do I subscribe?

  88. 88
    scorpy1

    melody sang (#60),

    I publicly told Ben his blog was a load of crap so I have talked to him.

    Well, bully for you.
    Did you also publicly ask him why most of the comments there are so slovenly congratulatory?

    I have a hard time believing that were all too vulgar to post.

    Instead of trying to run damage control when shown that one of your most cherished writers has abused his power with both misinformation and intellectual tyranny, why don’t you work to bring some much needed oversight there?

    Not in terms of censoring content as you tried to divert people into thinking (though a review of factual content wouldn’t seem out of order), but in making sure your blog owners are not over-moderating and stifling discussion.
    They are, after all, using your “good” name as their soapbox.

  89. 89
    melody

    CFI has not written a position paper on sexist apologists, as that might be mission creep. However, we do have official positions on certain issues that pertain to women such as abortion, women’s reproductive rights, appropriate sex education, same-sex marriage, etc. All position papers can be found here: http://www.centerforinquiry.net/opp/opp_work/category/positions
    If you are looking for CFI positions, don’t look on Free Thinking blog. As stated:

    Consistent with CFI’s mission, Free Thinking will offer uninhibited, unsparing, and provocative observations and insights on a variety of topics of interest to CFI and its supporters—including the supporters of CFI’s two principal affiliates, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism…

    Now for some unavoidable legalese: As indicated, we want our bloggers to be opinionated and candid. To ensure frank and open discussion, the content of the blogs will not be discussed with the management of CFI and its affiliates prior to posting. Accordingly, the viewpoints expressed on Free Thinking are the viewpoints of the individual blogger only and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of, nor should they be attributed to, CFI or its affiliates, or any of their directors or officers. CFI and its affiliates disclaim any responsibilities for statements set forth in the blog. Similarly, any comments posted by visitors to the blog are solely and exclusively the responsibility of that visitor. CFI and its affiliates disclaim any responsibility for such comments. Notwithstanding the foregoing, CFI and its affiliates do reserve the right to remove comments that are considered obscene or potentially defamatory under prevailing legal standards or serve no significant purpose (e.g., repeated comments consisting of a string of nonsense words).

    Free your thinking! Check in on our blog and register your own views. You may be pleased or annoyed—but I don’t believe you will remain indifferent.

  90. 90
    Jadehawk

    or more blatantly: treating the denial of certain well-established symptoms of sexism as comparable to someone’s unpopular views on politics instead of the way one would treat creationist, moon-hoaxer, anti-AGW etc. claims relegates sexism into the realm of opinion

  91. 91
    Jadehawk

    CFI has not written a position paper on sexist creationist apologists, as that might be mission creep.

    CFI has not written a position paper on sexist anti-vaxxer apologists, as that might be mission creep.

    CFI has not written a position paper on sexist AGW-denial apologists, as that might be mission creep.

    CFI has not written a position paper on sexist homeopathy apologists, as that might be mission creep.

    et cetera ad nauseam

  92. 92
    Inaji

    Josh:

    You don’t like shitstorms? Then fucking blame the people responsible for them. Like Ben Radford. Or John Shook when he libels outspoken atheists. Or whatever. We’re not the problem Melody.

    *Clenched Tentacle Bump* I’m with you all the way on this, Josh. We had the chat in the other thread and it’s all well, ya know, he’s not the be all and end all of CFI, but no one seems to much care he is a major face of CFI and is parading his idiocy all over the place.

  93. 93
    Jadehawk

    Accordingly, the viewpoints expressed on Free Thinking are the viewpoints of the individual blogger only and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of, nor should they be attributed to, CFI or its affiliates, or any of their directors or officers.

    I really want to know whether these “viewpoint” clauses would be used to defend, for example, a creationist, or whether that somehow doesn’t count as a “viewpoint” while denial of what we know about sexism does.

  94. 94
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Sally Strange:

    Okay, don’t “fire” him. Just tell him to start his own blog, because he can’t publish his crap on CFI’s front page anymore?

    Where’s the “+1″ button when you need one? :)

  95. 95
    melody

    Jadehawk, CFI actually does have position papers on those issues.

  96. 96
    Anthony K

    1) Most boys play with cars
    2) Most toys that boys play with are cars (i.e. they are by far the most common boys’ toy)
    3) Most cars have wheels
    4) Therefore most boys’ toys have wheels

    WHY DOESN’T MY HE-MAN ACTION FIGURE COME WITH WHEELS, BEN?

  97. 97
    Jadehawk

    ferk. HTML-fail

    Accordingly, the viewpoints expressed on Free Thinking are the viewpoints of the individual blogger only and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of, nor should they be attributed to, CFI or its affiliates, or any of their directors or officers.

    I really want to know whether these “viewpoint” clauses would be used to defend, for example, a creationist, or whether that somehow doesn’t count as a “viewpoint” while denial of what we know about sexism does.

  98. 98
    Jadehawk

    Jadehawk, CFI actually does have position papers on those issues.

    *whoosh*

  99. 99
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Sounds like an AWESOME organization! How do I subscribe?

    Seriously. What was flat out telling us that, while COI knows he’s a complete fucking moron about women’s issues, he’s allowed to speak ON THEIR BLOG about those issues anyways, supposed to do, exactly?

    Apart from making COI sound a whole hell of a lot worse than initially thought?

  100. 100
    'Tis Himself

    Melody,

    I’m a senior executive in a customer service company. If one of my employees wrote something as sexist as Radford’s blatherings on the company’s website then he or she and his or her manager would be standing in front of my desk explaining in great detail why he or she should remain an employee. Afterwards the manager would be writing a groveling apology to be posted on the website.

    It’s obvious to me that CFI is a very shoddily run organization where unsupervised employees can post any shit they want on CFI’s blog. CFI will not be receiving any financial support from me until they show they don’t actively encourage sexism or other forms of discrimination being posted on their blog.

  101. 101
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Oh my God. Radford’s over there at the CFI blog, right this minute, spewing the same crap:

    “3) Examining why most girls’ toys are pink; I give 2 reasons: 1) that most
    dolls are pink (or roughly Caucasian skin colored); ”

    HEADDESK. Melody, you’ve got a staffer whose literally saying black is white. I’m glad that’s not CFI’s opinion.

    Fuck’s sake.

  102. 102
    PS Laplace

    I find it amazing that he can criticize Rebecca for “not providing evidence” when he provides practically no evidence for his assertions except that terrible evopsych pink paper.

    And as if it wasn’t bad enough that he quoted that awful evpsych pink paper and tried to argue that blue has always been the baby-boy color, as far as current research goes even research trying to demonstrate inherent gendered preferences for toys among boys and girls show that color is not one of them. [For example, Jadva, Hines, and Golobmok 2010: "There
    were no significant sex differences in infants’ preferences for different colors or shapes." I can't find the study for free, I have academic access to most journals, but the abstract is here.]

  103. 103
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    The white privilege is astonishing too. Girls like pink because its “roughly Caucasian skin colored’ . . . .

    so are all girls white?

    Oh wait – just the girls that matter. Silly me.

  104. 104
    A Brain in a Vat

    SallyStrange: Could you explain to me from what part of my comment you derive the conclusion that I don’t believe social pressure exists?

    Much the opposite, I am aware that social pressures exist. In my comment, which you obviously didn’t read very carefully, I said “They’re contributing to the girls-should-buy-pink ecosystem.” This is an obvious assertion that I agree that marketers contribute to the social pressure for girls to buy pink.

    If you had read my comment, you’d realize the gist of what I’m saying is, “So fucking what?” Is pink bad?

    Illuminata: Where did I state that men naturally like the taste of beer more than women? No where. The gist of my comment points to the opposite. That it’s an arbitrary gradient derived from the positive feedback loop of SOCIAL PRESSURES. Learn how to fucking read, you blind idiot.

  105. 105
    SallyStrange

    It’s not just his viewpoint, Melody. It’s that he’s obviously, specifically, empirically WRONG. And is refusing to acknowledge that.

    That’s not a viewpoint, that is a rejection of skepticism, and since it entails shitting on feminism as well, a rejection of humanist values.

    How can this possibly be okay for a skeptical humanist organization?

  106. 106
    A Brain in a Vat

    As a free-thinking feminist, I am embarrassed by you knee-jerk reactionary femisheep.

  107. 107
    SallyStrange

    Fuck off, Brain in a Vat. You’re boring. Melody is far more interesting. Thanks, by the way, Melody, for attempting to defend the indefensible. It renders this whole exercise far more entertaining.

  108. 108
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I’m glad that’s not CFI’s opinion.

    But, he’s still allowed to use their resources and their name to promote his opinion. Which is just “unpopular” as opposed to completely fucking wrong. And he’s a good skeptic about one thing, ergo, only flattering comments are allowed on the blog – which totally doesn’t share his opinion . .. just promotes and excuses it.

    Yeah, I’m saving my money. A shame, since there’s a CFI really close to me, I learned recently and I was looking forward to checking it out.

    . . . . i still might. Would be interesting to find out if there really is any disagreement. The blog certainly doesn’t give any evidence of that.

  109. 109
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    As a free-thinking feminist, I am embarrassed by you knee-jerk reactionary femisheep.

    I’m sorry your Pharyngula Experience wasn’t everything you hoped. May we try to rectify this situation by offering you a seat on this Fem-U-Pine™?

  110. 110
    SallyStrange

    A shame, since there’s a CFI really close to me, I learned recently and I was looking forward to checking it out.

    . . . . i still might. A shame, since there’s a CFI really close to me, I learned recently and I was looking forward to checking it out.

    . . . . i still might.

    Do it! Do some rabble-rousing. I’d come with you if I could.

  111. 111
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    No Brain – try to remember that after showing your complete ignorance about a topic, lying to pretend you’re part of the group is transparent. And a little pathetic. And, when coupled with hilariously inept shaming tactics – but absolutely NO rebuttal, makes it clear you’re a troll.

    Run along, cupcake.

  112. 112
    Jessa

    Jadehawk, CFI actually does have position papers on those issues.

    Does the CFI have a position paper on the use of bad evopsych arguments to justify sexism, racism, etc? Seems to me that that particular pseudoscientific apologetic would be well within the CFI’s mission if those other subjects are.

  113. 113
    pHred

    Okay, even if we accept the idea that CFI can get away with disclaiming responsibility for the opinions expressed by their bloggers, what the heck is the deal with crushing any dissenting comments? CFI disclaims responsibility for those as well, so why are they not showing up. What does this say about the organization?

  114. 114
    Anthony K

    As a free-thinking feminist dolt, I am embarrassed engage in passive-aggressive emotional shaming to prop up my ‘skeptic’ credentials

    Fixed for honesty

  115. 115
    A Brain in a Vat

    Josh, to be clear, I wasn’t talking about Pharyngula in general. I’m an avid reader. I was talking about two particular femisheep.

  116. 116
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Melody is so helpful! She too is at the CFI blog and offers this:

    “I would like to remind everyone that the opinions expressed on this blog are not the opinions of CFI. As stated: blahblahlegaleseblah”

    Strong statement of principle, Mel! +99 Internetz for U!

  117. 117
    SallyStrange

    I was talking about two particular femisheep.

    Oh, I see. You’re a sniveling, pathetic coward who doesn’t have the guts to name names, as well as being a transparent troll.

    I love the Fem-U-Pine™, Josh! This new model really is exciting!

  118. 118
    Anthony K

    femisheep

    Borrowing a page from the 9/11 Truthers’ handbook, are we?

  119. 119
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I was talking about two particular femisheep.

    Then let me be clear. Shove it up your fucking ass. We don’t tolerate bullshit like “femisheep” here. You’re not in friendly territory for that kind of crap and you’re gonna get smacked for it.

  120. 120
    A Brain in a Vat

    Oh, I see, you keepers of Feminism have now ostracized me? Go fuck yourselves. Your claim to authority over the group is imaginary.

  121. 121
    melody

    I’m quite certain you will not find any executive director at a CFI center that shares Ben Radford’s views on this issue. I’ve dedicated my life to feminism and secularism. I was appalled when I read Ben’s original article. I do not defend Ben Radford’s views, but I do defend the academic freedom we have at CFI. I also defend those who take him down by good arguments.

  122. 122
    SallyStrange

    BAAAA-A-AA-AA

    Today has been a good day on the internetz.

  123. 123
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    So, where’s your rebuttal, No Brain? Teach us “femisheep” a lesson with your mad skillz.

    P.S. “femisheep” is a well known MRA slur. Try harder to disguise your true colors next time, cupcake.

  124. 124
    SallyStrange

    academic freedom

    does not allow for the propagating of outright falsehoods.

  125. 125
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I love the Fem-U-Pine™, Josh! This new model really is exciting!

    That’s wonderful as we’re just about to focus-group it. Each Fem-U-Pine™ is covered in pink, dainty quills lovingly hand-stitched to ensure proper backward orientation. The De Luxe model comes pre-lotioned with Tiger Balm for just $5 more!

    Fem-U-Pine™—from Mom-Corp.

  126. 126
    melody

    Josh, I also expressed my own opinion at the end. I wanted to make it clear that Ben’s blog is not the opinion of CFI.

  127. 127
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    ut I do defend the academic freedom we have at CFI.

    So, you define academic freedom as the freedom to write utter bollocks, while being entirely unable to defend it and silencing dissent?

  128. 128
    Cipher

    Oh, I see, you keepers of Feminism have now ostracized me? Go fuck yourselves. Your claim to authority over the group is imaginary.

    You’re disgusting, and you’re no ally. No one gives two microfucks what you think.

  129. 129
    Inaji

    SallyStrange:

    That’s not a viewpoint, that is a rejection of skepticism, and since it entails shitting on feminism as well, a rejection of humanist values.

    QFT. This is the key point, or should be, where CFI is concerned. It’s not only a rejection of skepticism, it’s incredibly sloppy thinking, no, it’s complete lack of thinking. It’s shameful.

    A Cupcake in a Vat:

    As a free-thinking feminist, I am embarrassed by you knee-jerk reactionary femisheep.

    Have a decaying porcupine, dear, and don’t let the door hit ya.

  130. 130
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Zombie eating canned food: “Braaaains! In a vaaat!”

  131. 131
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Your claim to authority over the group is imaginary.

    Dearie, just have a nice seat and relax. You’re delusional and it’s affecting your reading comprehension. There, there.

  132. 132
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    LOL Irene FTW

  133. 133
    A Brain in a Vat

    Josh, I don’t respect your claim to authority. If you don’t like my term, “smack” away.

    Human sheep of any type are detestable, and those of the femisheep variety don’t get a free pass from me because I happen to agree with the worldview they pretend to uphold.

  134. 134
    Jadehawk

    I’m quite certain you will not find any executive director at a CFI center that shares Ben Radford’s views on this issue.

    are you going to respond to what I’ve been asking, in several different forms now?

    would you be reacting the same way if instead of being a sexism denier, he’d turned out to be a creationist, anti-vaxxer, homeopath, etc. and argued as shoddily as he did?

  135. 135
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Illuminata:

    The white privilege is astonishing too. Girls like pink because its “roughly Caucasian skin colored’ . . . .

    so are all girls white?

    Oh wait – just the girls that matter. Silly me.

    Thank you. This has been bugging the shit out of me since the first post on this asininity. Not only is the explanation laughably stupid, but it’s completely dismissing a rather large number of girls. But who cares! It’s evopsych! It doesn’t have to make sense!

    Here, I’ve got a theory: Besides the fact that making virtually all toys gender specific means more profits for toy companies, there’s probably a very good reason why BRIGHT ASS PINK! is used so much– bright colors sell. Seriously, look at any print advertisement. There are virtually no muted or neutral colors to be found.

  136. 136
    scorpy1

    what the heck is the deal with crushing any dissenting comments?….What does this say about the organization?

    That truly free inquiry comes when only the best have unhindered rights to object and inquire?

  137. 137
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    So that’s several posts of whining about bitchez who won’t shut up when you demand it, and still no fucking argument.

    Piss off, obvious MRA troll.

  138. 138
    Cipher

    Human sheep of any type are detestable, and those of the femisheep variety don’t get a free pass from me because I happen to agree with the worldview they pretend to uphold.

    I truly hope you’re young. Then there’s a chance that someday you’ll look back on this pathetic prattling and cringe. For now, I’ll settle for being embarrassed for you.

  139. 139
    melody

    There is no silent dissent. Many CFI employees have publicly disagreed with Ben.

  140. 140
    A Brain in a Vat

    Classical Cipher, the lack of meat in your comment is what’s embarrassing. Do you have anything particular to contribute, or are you just adding your empty Baaaaaahhhh to the chorus of femisheep?

  141. 141
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Why is it whenever I see any form of sheep (sheeple, fem sheep, whatever), my knee-jerk reaction is to think the person spouting that nonsense is a Ron Paul supporter?

  142. 142
    'Tis Himself

    I’m quite certain you will not find any executive director at a CFI center that shares Ben Radford’s views on this issue. I’ve dedicated my life to feminism and secularism. I was appalled when I read Ben’s original article. I do not defend Ben Radford’s views, but I do defend the academic freedom we have at CFI. I also defend those who take him down by good arguments.

    Why are dissenting opinions being blocked on CFI’s blog? Dumps your “academic freedom” bullshit right down the drain. And I’m being nice to you. I could have called your bullshit “lies.” Because it’s quite obviously true that your buddy Ben not only disagrees with your feminism, he disagrees with your pretense about “academic freedom.”

    I strongly suggest you stop trying to bullshit us, Melody. You’re not doing yourself or CFI any favors by supporting that sexist douchebag, Ben Radford. And please, don’t tell us you’re not supporting him, because if you weren’t then you’d be shooting down his fallacious arguments. Or is he trashing your rebuttals as well?

  143. 143
    SallyStrange

    That’s wonderful as we’re just about to focus-group it. Each Fem-U-Pine™ is covered in pink, dainty quills lovingly hand-stitched to ensure proper backward orientation. The De Luxe model comes pre-lotioned with Tiger Balm for just $5 more!

    Fem-U-Pine™—from Mom-Corp.

    Heeheehee… ohh, that’s the second time in as many hours that a poster here has made me laugh out loud. Irene’s zombie post was the third.

    Seriously, y’all are awesome. Take a bow.

    Josh, you’ve reminded me of that old Bloom County cartoon where Opus wonders, “What do they mean when they say ‘feminine protection’? Is that, like, a chartreuse flamethrower?”

  144. 144
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I’m quite certain you will not find any executive director at a CFI center that shares Ben Radford’s views on this issue.

    How the hell would I know? They’re sure as shit not saying anything.

    And for the last time, I’m not asking for their personal opinions. I want to know if CFI finds irrational, ridiculous methodology (of the sort CFI specifically decries) in support of sexist bullshit is an appropriate exercise for their organization.

  145. 145
    A Brain in a Vat

    Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart,

    I wouldn’t know. I’m not a Libertarian, and even if I was, I wouldn’t support a Christian.

    But go ahead and label me a Ron Paul supporter if it helps you come up with insults.

  146. 146
    SallyStrange

    Many CFI employees have publicly disagreed with Ben.

    How publicly? On CFI’s website? Links please.

  147. 147
    Cipher

    Classical Cipher, the lack of meat in your comment is what’s embarrassing. Do you have anything particular to contribute, or are you just adding your empty Baaaaaahhhh to the chorus of femisheep?

    It’s a little sad that you think you’re worth the effort of a real response. I’m just boredly gnawing on the sad remains of an inferior chewtoy.

  148. 148
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Why is it whenever I see any form of sheep (sheeple, fem sheep, whatever), my knee-jerk reaction is to think the person spouting that nonsense is a Ron Paul supporter?

    Since NoBrain Douchevat followed up his content-free posts with a failed attempt at shaming someone else for what he pretends is a contents-free post, the chances of him being a RP fan approaches 100%.

  149. 149
    Inaji

    A Cupcake in a Vat:

    Do you have anything particular to contribute

    Do you have anything to contribute besides a handy shell for cramming a decayed porcupine into?

  150. 150
    A Brain in a Vat

    Classical Cipher: And I’m amused by the typical “you’re not worth it” recourse of a feeble mind wanting to join in lacking the tools.

  151. 151
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    LOL Caine FTW. you horrible femisheep bitches are on fire tonight.

  152. 152
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    okay, now I’m starting to pity him. he’s really got nothing. that’s sad.

  153. 153
    screechymonkey

    ‘Tis Himself asked, “So why do you have a sexist douchebag smearing CFI’s name with his sexism?”

    Because it’s so hard to find someone bright enough to debunk Bigfoot. At least, as long as child labor laws prevent them from hiring Riley the 4-year-old.

    But hey, Melody thinks that addressing issues of sexism would be “mission creep” for CFI. Got to keep that laser-like focus on checking out ghost story No. 1,524,623,234!

  154. 154
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    you horrible femisheep bitches are on fire tonight.

    It’s all the pink Lady Wool. It’s so dry we go up like tinderboxes. When Farmer Jones gets back tomorrow me and the flock are gonna ask for whole-body Brazilians. That way we’ll also be Porn-Compliant.

  155. 155
    'Tis Himself

    A Cupcake in a Vat,

    You might want to consider the first rule of holes.

  156. 156
    feralboy12

    Toy makers and marketers are trying to make money. Our societal norms dictate that girls should like pink, and therefore girls will tend to want/buy pink. Since girls will tend to want/buy pink, marketers will tend to produce pink when directing toys at the female segment.

    This is why we’re putting all the marketing people on the first spaceship leaving earth when the giant mutant star goat comes to eat us.
    I can’t disagree with the first sentence, but I keep staring at the second. The ability to type the words “our societal norms dictate” with no curiosity about why that happened, or even evidence that it’s true, is kind of amazing. Are you saying it’s runaway selection feedback like, say, a peacock’s tail? I see the point, but even putting aside the idea that boys and girls need separate toys, given the history outlined in these threads it sounds artificial, arbitrary, constraining, and like something to be resisted. Societal norms aren’t always right, and probably shouldn’t dictate matters of personal taste. And especially not when the targets are too young to have developed some of those tastes.
    Oh, and it has occurred to me that my profile pic is another test of that “doll faces are pink” idea.

  157. 157
    Inaji

    Melody:

    I’m quite certain you will not find any executive director at a CFI center that shares Ben Radford’s views on this issue.

    How, exactly, are we supposed to know that? It has been pointed out, over and over and over that dissenting opinions are being poofed out of existence at the CFI blog and there’s no answer to that one yet. If what you say is true, why is no dissent being allowed, at the very least?

  158. 158
    SallyStrange

    Has anyone checked on the latest directive from the Femisheep Hivemind Authority lately? I’m unclear on whether we’re supposed to ignore Brains in a Vat or continue batting him around like orcas with a baby seal.

  159. 159
    A Brain in a Vat

    Since NoBrain Douchevat followed up his content-free posts with a failed attempt at shaming someone else for what he pretends is a contents-free post, the chances of him being a RP fan approaches 100%.

    You’re setting up this Ron Paul straw man in the midst of me explicitly stating I have nothing to do with him? Did you run out of porcupine jokes? You simpletons run out of steam quickly, don’t you.

  160. 160
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Because it’s so hard to find someone bright enough to debunk Bigfoot. At least, as long as child labor laws prevent them from hiring Riley the 4-year-old.

    Oh sweet Jesus I’m laughing so hard. Yes. That really does put it in perspective!

  161. 161
    SallyStrange

    Also, I’m meh on the whole Ron Paul thing. Yes, the sheep thing is certainly reminiscent of a Paulbot, but never forget that there are all flavors of cretinous spleen weasels out there.

  162. 162
    Inaji

    SallyStrange:

    Has anyone checked on the latest directive from the Femisheep Hivemind Authority lately? I’m unclear on whether we’re supposed to ignore Brains in a Vat or continue batting him around like orcas with a baby seal.

    I haven’t communicated with the Mothership, but it strikes me that Cupcake in a Vat is poor chomping. Honestly, I think better of my fangs than that.

  163. 163
    'Tis Himself

    Has Ben Radford ever written lucidly about the Congo?

  164. 164
    Jadehawk

    I can’t disagree with the first sentence, but I keep staring at the second.

    I’m far more fascinated by the third sentence, in which marketers produce things, esp. things other people already want.

  165. 165
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Femisheep Flockmind, Sally. It is a distinct conglomerate all its own.

  166. 166
    Cipher

    Sally, I think the only remaining function for that pathetic specimen is to serve as an example. S’pose we could all point and shake our heads sadly as we go by.

  167. 167
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Sally – since Douchevat so quickly descended into irrelevance, I’d say let him starve. At this point, he’s just pathetic and sad. its not fun to play cat and mouse with someone so clearly unable to produce a single worthwhile sentence.

    his four warring brain cells must be EXHAUSTED.

  168. 168
    andyo

    Bat in a Brain,

    Why the hell were you calling those two particular persons “femisheep” anyway?

  169. 169
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    You simpletons run out of steam quickly, don’t you.

    I’m ready to go all night. Shear me baby, SHEAR me. Set a collie after me and corral me into your big, muddy pen.

    Baaaaaaaaa.

  170. 170
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Femisheep Flockmind, Sally. It is a distinct conglomerate all its own.

    A subsidiary or parent company?

  171. 171
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    A subsidiary or parent company?

    I should have been clearer. The Hivemind and the Flockmind are both controlled by the Femputer.

  172. 172
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Illuminata:

    Since NoBrain Douchevat followed up his content-free posts with a failed attempt at shaming someone else for what he pretends is a contents-free post, the chances of him being a RP fan approaches 100%.

    Or an idiot. Either way.

  173. 173
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Why the hell were you calling those two particular persons “femisheep” anyway?

    He’s an MRA troll. That’s a well known MRA thing. Notice how quickly he abandoned the pretense of having an argument and how he merely parrots what other people say back at them.

    Pathetic and sad. And probably from the slimepit.

  174. 174
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Or an idiot. Either way.

    is there a difference? i thought they were synonymous.

  175. 175
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Josh:

    The Hivemind and the Flockmind are both controlled by the Femputer.

    ALL HAIL FEMPUTER!

  176. 176
    SallyStrange

    I’m ready to go all night. Shear me baby, SHEAR me. Set a collie after me and corral me into your big, muddy pen.

    Baaaaaaaaa.

    Have I told you lately that I love you?

  177. 177
    'Tis Himself

    marketers produce things, esp. things other people already want.

    Marketers don’t produce anything. They sell things. They have consumer consultant who tell them what customers are likely to buy and advertisers to try to convince the customers to buy what the marketers are selling.

    </economic pedant>

  178. 178
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    More Radford:

    Caucasian
    pigmentation (especially the colors used in plastic dolls) tend to be pink,
    or much closer to pink than other primary or secondary colors. Is anyone
    really saying that most dolls aren’t a roughly pink color
    ? Evidence please?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH.

    HAHAHAHAHA.

  179. 179
    melody

    I probably shouldn’t have used the word ‘many,’ but a few have publicly, others more privately.

    CFI employee Julia Laverne wrote this blog: http://weareskeptixx.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/whats-small-and-cute-and-pink-all-over/

    I have expressed my displeasure with Ben’s blog on his Facebook, his blog on Free Thinking, and here.

    CFI employee and Skepchicks blogger Debbie Goddard wrote that she disagrees with Ben on Pharyngula. As she’s doing the job of three people, she’s unable to write a blog at the moment. Rebecca has done a good job on Skepchick.

    Rebecca Watson isn’t a CFI employee, but she spends a lot of time working with our home office, as her partner works for CFI.

  180. 180
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Have I told you lately that I love you?

    I’ll come give you a proper kiss when I’m done cleaning my cleft. All four of them in my hooves.

  181. 181
    SallyStrange

    “ROUGHLY”, Josh. Orange is roughly pink. Tan is roughly black.

  182. 182
    andyo
    Why the hell were you calling those two particular persons “femisheep” anyway?

    He’s an MRA troll. That’s a well known MRA thing.

    I know, but I was seriously asking. I want to know his answer to that question, or that at least he asks himself the question.

  183. 183
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    okay, but who programs the FemPuter? We’re just GIRLS, after all. We like pink thinks not all that complicated electronics stuff.

  184. 184
    A Brain in a Vat

    feralboy12:

    Holy fucking shit! Someone actually read what I wrote. Congratulations, you have a mind.

    “with no curiosity about why that happened, or even evidence that it’s true”

    Two things here.

    No curiosity about why that happened? I am a little bit curious, but I think it’s irrelevant. Some patterns arise out of noise. Other patterns arise out biology. Either way, they can exhibit “runaway selection feedback” as you aptly put it. So why does it matter whether it’s a pattern from random noise or a pattern from biology? I don’t think something being a pattern-from-biology makes discrimination or pressure on according to that pattern more (or less) permissible.

    Evidence that it’s true? I think it’s plain to see that our society dictates that girls should like pink. Isn’t that what we’re talking about? I wasn’t saying it *should*. I was saying it does.

    You say societal norms shouldn’t dictate matters of personal taste. I agree with that completely, but it’s a fact that societal norms DO dictate matters of personal taste. And marketers use patterns of personal taste to target their advertising. It’s the definition of what they do.

  185. 185
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Illuminata:

    is there a difference? i thought they were synonymous.

    All Ron Paul supporters are idiots, not all idiots are Ron Paul supporters. *shrugs* Maybe HeadUpTheirAss isn’t a libertarian. One can never be sure, though.

  186. 186
    pHred

    @153 OMG! That was so awesome. I would have ruined a keyboard if I had been drinking something when I read that.

    I actually used to read Skeptical Inquirer until I got so bored with it I basically forgot about its existence. You pretty much captured why.

  187. 187
    Jadehawk

    Marketers don’t produce anything. They sell things. They have consumer consultant who tell them what customers are likely to buy and advertisers to try to convince the customers to buy what the marketers are selling.

    I know this, you know this, but evidently the brainless vat doesn’t; hence the awesomeness of sentences such as “Since girls will tend to want/buy pink, marketers will tend to produce pink when directing toys at the female segment.”

  188. 188
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    But why, Melody, have none of these people put up anything on CFI’s blog itself? Surely you’re not surprised that that seems odd?

    Stop playing dense. It’s insulting.

  189. 189
    'Tis Himself

    Melody,

    Has anyone suggested to your buddy Ben that it might be a nice gesture towards CFI if he toned down his sexist stupidities? It’s not only the sexism that’s hurting CFI, it’s the stupidities as well.

  190. 190
    SallyStrange

    CFI employee Julia Laverne wrote this blog: http://weareskeptixx.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/whats-small-and-cute-and-pink-all-over/

    I have expressed my displeasure with Ben’s blog on his Facebook, his blog on Free Thinking, and here.

    CFI employee and Skepchicks blogger Debbie Goddard wrote that she disagrees with Ben on Pharyngula. As she’s doing the job of three people, she’s unable to write a blog at the moment. Rebecca has done a good job on Skepchick.

    And what is the scheduled date of the first publication of one of these pieces, or something similar, on CFI’s front page?

  191. 191
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Audley @ 185 – touche.

    ++

    Funny, isn’t it, that despite the fact that I asked him several times for an actual argument, he responds only to FeralBOY.

    Hmmm I just can’t imagine why.

    MRAs well and truly suck at hiding that fact.

  192. 192
    Jadehawk

    Caucasian pigmentation (especially the colors used in plastic dolls) tend to be pink, or much closer to pink than other primary or secondary colors

    secondary colors is as far as this guy’s grasp of the diversity of colors (I was going to say color theory, but let’s not be elitist, eh? :-p ) goes, innit? it would certainly explain his odd inability to understand the existence of neutrals such as beige.

  193. 193
    Jadehawk

    oh, and “pink” is neither a primary nor a secondary color.

  194. 194
    Anthony K

    Why is it whenever I see any form of sheep (sheeple, fem sheep, whatever), my knee-jerk reaction is to think the person spouting that nonsense is a Ron Paul supporter?

    You must be a sheep then. To be a free-thinker, you should instead call other people a sheep. It works like this:

    -Use ‘sheep’ variant once per discussion. Skeptic™ Grade. Gain ‘Feeling of Superiority’: +1 to evidenceless assertions.
    -Use ‘sheep’ variant 3 times: Freethinker™ Grade. Can cast ‘Mantle of -Est’: May invoke No True Scotsman fallacy and declare your goals/values/opinions to be those of the group.
    -Use ‘sheep’ variant 5 times. You’d Never Call Yourself a Genius, but Y’Know—You Clearly Are, Compared to Everyone Else™ Grade. Gain ‘Burden of Atlas’: Those around you are so ‘sheep’-y the embarrassment causes you physical pain. May demand reparations for pain and suffering once per day.
    -Use ‘sheep’ variant 10 times. Just Waiting for the Aliens to Recognise Your Obvious Superiority and Invite You to Join Their Interglactic Think-Tank™ Grade. Gain ‘Power of Absolute Rationality’: Every mid-word capitalised letter and exclamation point you use constitutes a data point. A sneer from you is worth three peer-reviewed studies from anyone not acknowledging your authority. Flounces automatically win.

  195. 195
    Inaji

    Melody:

    CFI employee Julia Laverne wrote this blog: http://weareskeptixx.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/whats-small-and-cute-and-pink-all-over/

    I have expressed my displeasure with Ben’s blog on his Facebook, his blog on Free Thinking, and here.

    None of which are on CFI. Are you really going to try and dance away from that?

  196. 196
    melody

    Caine, Fleur du Mal says:

    How, exactly, are we supposed to know that? It has been pointed out, over and over and over that dissenting opinions are being poofed out of existence at the CFI blog and there’s no answer to that one yet. If what you say is true, why is no dissent being allowed, at the very least?

    Dissenting opinions should not be deleted from a CFI blog. I have never heard of that happening. I think there must have been an error. Did you see that there is a second page? Maybe your comment is there. Deleting a dissenting comment would be an offense.

  197. 197
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I am a little bit curious, but I think it’s irrelevant.

    Cupcake fuckwit, you are truly deluded if you think we care what you think. Your idiocy has been exposed for what it is. Deal with it elsewhere. You are making all the “sheeps” coats sniny and their fangs sharp and clean in case you are too stupid to notice the gaping wounds in your arguments…

  198. 198
    scorpy1

    I’d say it’s curious that people need to go outside of CFI blogs to see any dissenting views by other CFI employees.

    That is, I’d say it’s curious if you haven’t already pointed out how much CFI’s structure favors meekly challenged celebrities over earnest conversation.

  199. 199
    A Brain in a Vat

    andyo:
    I called them femisheep because they immediately started bashing me with their femihammers without bothering to read my comment thoroughly. If they had started hitting me with different worldview’s hammer, I’d have adjusted my prefix.

    Read Illuminata’s reply about the breweries, then read what I had to say about beer, and tell me Illuminata’s comment doesn’t ring of baaaaaaaaaaaah.

  200. 200
    'Tis Himself

    This thread is bringing out the raillery inherent in the Pharyngula commentariat. Keep up the good work, ladies, gentlemen and cupcakes.

  201. 201
    'Tis Himself

    Dissenting opinions should not be deleted from a CFI blog. I have never heard of that happening. I think there must have been an error. Did you see that there is a second page? Maybe your comment is there. Deleting a dissenting comment would be an offense.

    I posted a comment on your blog a couple of hours ago. It has not surfaced yet.

  202. 202
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Caine – we’re still waiting to hear how CFI’s dedication to academic freedom explains the silencing of dissent on their blog.

    It is, after all “mission creep” to talk sexism , while totally NOT ‘mission creep’ to use CFI’s blog to puke out blatantly false sexism, coupled with the exact opposite of skepticism.

    makes perfect sense.

  203. 203
    Cipher

    I’m just going to femirandomly start fem’appending the prefix “femi” to things.

  204. 204
    SallyStrange

    I called them femisheep because they immediately started bashing me with their femihammers without bothering to read my comment thoroughly.

    In other words, because we disagreed with him. Because his opinion is so brilliant that the only reasons for dismissing it out of hand are: a.) too stupid to thoroughly comprehend his opinion b.) brainwashed by the FemiSheep Flockmind (thanks for reminding me Josh, I accept my demerits and won’t make that mistake again), or b.) all of the above.

    You have it right there in his own words. Nah, he’s not an arrogant egotistical asshat with delusions of intelligence, not at all.

  205. 205
    melody

    People aren’t afraid to call out Ben on the CFI blog. We don’t view our colleagues as celebrities. People have their own projects and blogs they tend to. Not every employee has access to blog on Free Thinking, because we have chosen not to have to blog there every week. We are very busy.

  206. 206
    SallyStrange

    I’ve got my femihammer but goshdurnit I can’t find my femimaul or my femipostdigger!

  207. 207
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    femihammers

    Well I wish to fuck you’d tell me who, because some chick stole mine. I’ve been looking for that damned thing all day! You have no idea how stupid it feels to stand in front of Castle Grayskull and raise your hands up in the air for the ritual chant with no femihammer. People look at you like you’re some Walmart mime.

    Hell, it’s not easy on the best days – you try holding onto that thing with cloven hooves.

  208. 208
    A Brain in a Vat

    SallyStrange: It’s not that you disagreed with me. It’s that you disagreed with what you imagined I said because you were so busy salivating, twitching with the urge to bash people, that you suffered from temporary blindness. Or maybe you’re just stupid.

  209. 209
    Inaji

    Illuminata:

    Caine – we’re still waiting to hear how CFI’s dedication to academic freedom explains the silencing of dissent on their blog.

    According to Melody, it’s not happening at all. Maybe a ghost is eating the dissenting views.

  210. 210
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I finally understand what he means by “femisheep”. it means “women who immediately refute what I said, which is totally not cool because i’m unable to counter.”

    poor, pitiful MRA. he needs a hobby. or a tube sock with a face painted on it. Something to keep him busy.

  211. 211
    melody

    Sorry, I don’t believe any comments have been deleted. If he was deleting any dissenting viewpoints, he would have deleted mine… since it seemed to upset him more than any other.

  212. 212
    Anthony K

    I’m just going to femirandomly start fem’appending the prefix “femi” to things.

    Fempending femfixes? That’s a fembulous femgestion!

    +1 feminets.

  213. 213
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    According to some other femicommenters on other femiblogs, they can’t even femisign-in anymore. i’m sure that’s just a femiconcidence too. not a femispiracy, for femisure!

  214. 214
    A Brain in a Vat

    Illuminata: It has nothing to do with women, you fucking twit. It has to do with people of any stripe who pin on a “feminism” badge but forget to insert their brain.

  215. 215
    Inaji

    femihammers

    Femihammers? I brought my femisaw *grumbles and goes back to the femitoolbox*

  216. 216
    Gwynnyd

    I posted a comment last night on Ben’s blog over at CFI that was not particularly complimentary and it is still there. So not every unflattering opinion is being deleted.

    Here’s what I said:

    On the “I never *said* it was because dolls are pink” issue – er, Ben, that’s kinda weaseling around the thing you did say. If you don’t think things marketed to girls are pink because they are like dolls, why write it that way at all? Your point 3 above reads as if it was only when it was pointed out to you that that’s a really stupid thing to say, did you backpedal to an “I never really said THAT if you read really, really, really carefully and take special notice of the fact that since I obviously did no research into the issue, I left myself a way to weasel out of stating it as my belief.”

    As the mother of two girls, I can assure you that the dolls themselves are not pink, they are various flesh tones. Doll *clothes* and accessories are pink. The boxes they come in are pink. The toy houses and cars and strollers and carry cases for the dolls are all overwhelmingly pink.

    On any cartoon, if the main characters are male, there is a female sidekick …. dressed in pink (unless she is a robot, when sometimes her metal shell is pink.) For at least the last twenty years, pink has been shorthand for female and lesser. And it is bloody annoying.

  217. 217
    andyo

    Brain in a Vat,

    I called them femisheep because they immediately started bashing me with their femihammers without bothering to read my comment thoroughly

    Even if they did that, I’ve never seen people who do that being described as any kind of sheep, let alone femisheep. So now I’m wondering: why “sheep”? And especially, why “femi“?

  218. 218
    Anthony K

    Sorry, I don’t believe any comments have been deleted. If he was deleting any dissenting viewpoints, he would have deleted mine… since it seemed to upset him more than any other.

    “See everybody? It’s your problem. You must have posted your comments improperly somehow. We do good work. We do good work. Wedogoodwork. Wedogoodworkwedogoodwork…”

  219. 219
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Josh – I officially love you too. Not just for #207, but especially for it.

  220. 220
    A Brain in a Vat

    Illuminata: By the way, I notice your use of pronouns. Can I ask what makes you think I’m a male?

    Here’s hoping you can get out a cogent sentence.

  221. 221
    screechymonkey

    STOP! Femihammer Time!
    You can’t femi-touch this!
    – from my upcoming album “Please, Femihammer, don’t hurt ‘em,” which also features my cover of a classic tune, “If I Had a Femihammer”

  222. 222
    simonsays

    To SallyStrange and Josh:

    This “front page of CFI” line is extremely unfair. You’re making it seem as if there is some editorial decision to highlight Ben’s post. There isn’t. The homepage automatically displays all the CFI blog posts in chronological order. As more blog posts get published by other contributors it’ll go further down.

  223. 223
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Screechymonkey – That femisational! When does the femicover album femiout?

  224. 224
    Inaji

    Melody:

    Sorry, I don’t believe any comments have been deleted.

    Really? Go back through this thread, Melody, and see how many people complained about having post disappear or never show up in the first place, along with people’s log-ins being deleted and now being unable to sign in. You have deep rottenness going on there, hiding your head in the sand is not going to help.

  225. 225
    melody

    Now you are getting into conspiracy theories. It’s a bit ridiculous. Look at all of the dissenting viewpoints on that blog. I think it’s much more likely a technical error.

  226. 226
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Illuminata: By the way, I notice your use of pronouns. Can I ask what makes you think I’m a male?

    Oh, you’re a dude alright. You reek of it.

  227. 227
    A Brain in a Vat

    andyo:
    from http://onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-of/sheep
    “A person who follows or mimics others, without thought.”

    The implication of femi+sheep is that Illuminata was mimicking a feminist, issuing vitriol that on the surface may seem to be coming from a feminist standpoint, without thinking (or bothering to read my comment) enough to actually make any fucking sense.

    Does this make sense to you?

  228. 228
    Anthony K

    Illuminata: It has nothing to do with women, you fucking twit. It has to do with people of any stripe who pin on a “feminism” badge but forget to insert their brain.

    Oh, shut the fuck up, you fucking retard. Everyone’s laughing at what a Truther rip-off you are, and you’re still pretending to have an argument as if you weren’t the least original thing to hit the internet since chain emails.

    Try showing a modicum of fucking self-awareness before declaring yourself smarter than everyone else, you dumb shit.

  229. 229
    A Brain in a Vat

    Josh: And you reek of sexism, you fucking loser.

  230. 230
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    This “front page of CFI” line is extremely unfair. You’re making it seem as if there is some editorial decision to highlight Ben’s post.

    That’s femdiculous. I made no such assumption. Underneath all this pink Lady Wool, my fluffy Fem-Fag-Frontal Cortex understands how blog posts shift position. The point is that there has been no parallel, similarly situated (as in, on CFI’s page anywhere at all) response to Radford. That’s not unreasonable.

  231. 231
    scorpy1

    Sorry, I don’t believe any comments have been deleted.

    How about you not rest on your belief and get someone to do some internet investigation, since it IS your hosted site?
    I’d start with looking into “Will R”‘s curious statement in comment #37 there

    If he was deleting any dissenting viewpoints, he would have deleted mine… since it seemed to upset him more than any other.

    Is regurgitation of anecdotal evidence as if it means something a requirement to be a CFI employeee?

  232. 232
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    <blockuquote.Oh, you’re a dude alright. You reek of it.

    or a femitapdancer, to be femifair. Though, given the complete lack of understanding about feminism, and only claiming to be a feminist AFTER having his ass handed to him, and then parroting back everything someone else says as if it was his idea, and being completely convinced that his obvious ignorance deserves anything but the thorough mocking its getting screams MRA.

  233. 233
    Inaji

    simonsays:

    As more blog posts get published by other contributors it’ll go further down.

    And that makes it okay, does it?

  234. 234
    Jessa

    Who gets to drive the FemiMobile?*

    *Equipped, of course, with a femispherical engine.

  235. 235
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Josh: And you reek of sexism, you fucking loser.

    Rowr. I love a man who talks rough to me. Why don’t you come up and see my feedbag sometime?

  236. 236
    SallyStrange

    It’s that you disagreed with what you imagined I said because you were so busy salivating, twitching with the urge to bash people, that you suffered from temporary blindness.

    Yup, that would be my b.) brainwashed by the FemiSheep Flockmind

    Or maybe you’re just stupid.

    And that would be my a.) too stupid to thoroughly comprehend his opinion

    It’s really funny how you can’t even contradict me effectively. You think you’re saying something different from me, but your not. It really does add to the already high entertainment value of this thread, so thanks.

  237. 237
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Does this make sense to you?

    Yeah, ANDY. Does his desperation to convince you he has a brain makes sense to you? HUH?

  238. 238
    andyo

    I know the meaning of sheep. I know full well how it’s used in slang, thankyouverymuch.

    But what you haven’t established is how those comments were sheep-like or femi-like. You said something, people called you out on it. I don’t see blind-following, I don’t see it coming from a faux feminist standpoint.

  239. 239
    Anthony K

    andyo:
    from http://onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-of/sheep
    “A person who follows or mimics others, without thought.”

    I’m going to let the irony of your Argumentum ad cliche speak for itself.

  240. 240
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Jessa, does that also come a optional Femtinuously Variable Transmission?

  241. 241
    SallyStrange

    My post on Radford’s article appears to have gone through. I included some negative remarks about his disdain for skepticism and humanism, though I made no substantive arguments. He’s still responding to other posters–now asking them to prove negatives for him!

  242. 242
    Nemo

    I don’t suppose there are any blue toy washing machines labelled “For Boys Only”?

    BTW, can someone explain to me what’s so great about front-loading washers? So far the only thing I’ve noticed is that they cost more.

  243. 243
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Snort. This thread is killing me. The Vain in a Brat owes me a new keyboard, now!

    Illuminata: It has nothing to do with women, you fucking twit. It has to do with people of any stripe who pin on a “feminism” badge but forget to insert their brain.

    Inserting a brain in a… badge??!

    Ha. A fembadge, obviously. Those are the tricky ones.

  244. 244
    andyo

    Yeah, ANDY.

    Well to be fair, “Andy” (in my case short for Andrés) and other names which end in “y” generally sound not-very-manly in Spanish.

  245. 245
    melody

    I just asked on the blog if he has deleted any comments. Anecdotal evidence goes both ways.

  246. 246
    SallyStrange

    You’re making it seem as if there is some editorial decision to highlight Ben’s post.

    No. I’m making it seem as if there OUGHT to be some editorial decision to highlight how WRONG Ben’s post is. Can you comprehend the difference?

  247. 247
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    No, Irene. You see, women dared see through his hilariously inept attempt at feigning feminist leanings. They dared knowing stuff he doesn’t.

    Ergo, they’re EVIL. FEMIEVIL. That’s the worst kind.

  248. 248
    SallyStrange

    Ha. A fembadge, obviously. Those are the tricky ones.

    They’re tiny, so they make ideal containers for fembrains.

  249. 249
    feralboy12

    I called them femisheep because they immediately started bashing me with their femihammers without bothering to read my comment thoroughly

    And it follows logically, because in the wild, sheep often fail to read stuff and are quick to pull out hammers.

  250. 250
    Jadehawk

    BTW, can someone explain to me what’s so great about front-loading washers?

    less damage to your clothing and less water use, for starters. Also, less of a pain from having to untangle everything that got wrapped around the screw during the wash

  251. 251
    melody

    We have had our founder slamming the organization for becoming too “New Atheist” on our own blog when he had access. They don’t delete any blogs. When they started Free Thinking they decided there would be no oversight. I don’t see that changing. I think they would get rid of the blog before they did that.

  252. 252
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    They’re tiny, so they make ideal containers for fembrains.

    ROFL!@@!!!

    Also, they’re pink. Because most fembadges are pink because most girls like pink because the majority of fembadges are pink (roughly flesh-colored).

  253. 253
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    And it follows logically, because in the wild, sheep often fail to read stuff and are quick to pull out hammers.

    And now I’ve accomplished the femipainful – spit taking with remoulade.

    Well done, feralboy12. Well done.

  254. 254
    SallyStrange

    And it follows logically, because in the wild, sheep often fail to read stuff and are quick to pull out hammers.

    FEAR THE FEMISHEEP AND THEIR FEMIHAMMERS. FOR THEY DO NOT READ, NO, THEY SKIM ONLY, AND LEAP TO CONCLUSIONS.

  255. 255
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    @ Illuminata, SallyStrange:

    So much WIN :-)

  256. 256
    Cipher

    I called them femisheep because they immediately started bashing me with their femihammers without bothering to read my comment thoroughly. If they had started hitting me with different worldview’s hammer, I’d have adjusted my prefix… It has to do with people of any stripe who pin on a “feminism” badge but forget to insert their brain.

    *sits and quietly tries to piece together all the nonsensical mixed metaphors into one coherent image*
    Striped people who are sheep with hammers wearing badges with brains on the outside…?
    I love this femithread.

  257. 257
    A Brain in a Vat

    andyo:

    Sally – i especially like the spectacularly stupid crap about beer advertising. men just naturally like it better! that’s why they don’t market to women!

    I supposed I’ve misplaced my Y chromosome then, since I WORK FOR TWO FUCKING BREWERIES.

    Taking offense at the (imagined) assertion that there’s a real, underlying reason behind the “men tend to like beer more than women” observation doesn’t strike you as “femi-like”? You don’t think that feminism concerns itself with inspecting whether particular differences between the genders are valid or socially constructed?

    Regarding whether it strikes you as sheepish to ignorantly start spouting bullshit with a feminist slant in a forum that’s known to be very feminist, well I guess we’ll have to disagree.

  258. 258
    Jessa

    Josh,

    Jessa, does that also come a optional Femtinuously Variable Transmission?

    Femisurely!

  259. 259
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Sorry – FEMoulade. I’m such a terrible femisheep. Forgetting the femimportant femifixes to femithing.

  260. 260
    Jadehawk

    We have had our founder slamming the organization for becoming too “New Atheist” on our own blog when he had access.

    and we’re back to treating making bad arguments and counterfactual statements as if we were talking about differing opinions.

  261. 261
    Tethys

    Who gets to drive the FemiMobile?*

    *Equipped, of course, with a femispherical engine.

    Ooooh, pick meeeee! I assume it’s a full blown femi? Femfully equipped with rear-femrockets and a femichute?

  262. 262
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    What’s your problem with feminism-the idea that women are people but often get treated like, well, sheep, you little pigfucker?

  263. 263
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    So, not only does he know nothing about feminism, he doesn’t even understand what he’s failing to argue against.

    So much to femipity there. what a sad femisack.

  264. 264
    Anthony K

    And it follows logically, because in the wild, sheep often fail to read stuff and are quick to pull out hammers.

    Did you read #227 explaining what ‘sheep’ means in this context? Because it was really clever and original and tricky what Freethinking Brain in a Vat did with ‘femi’ and ‘sheep’. I’m not sure everybody caught that.

    Can you imagine if Freethinking Brain in a Vat called us an ‘echo femichamber’? It would blow our minds with how original and non-sheepy that would be.

  265. 265
    A Brain in a Vat

    Who has a problem with feminism, Josh? Another blind idiot following all the other blind idiots just randomly barking at people? What bit of text could possibly have led you to believe I have a problem with feminism?

    It’s like an army of straw men.

  266. 266
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Taking offense at the (imagined) assertion that there’s a real, underlying reason behind the “men tend to like beer more than women” observation doesn’t strike you as “femi-like”?

    This is the femistupidest femifucking thing I’ve seen all femiday.

    What the every lovin’ femihell is “femi-like”?

  267. 267
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Classical Cipher:

    Striped people who are sheep with hammers wearing badges with brains on the outside…?

    But are they bigger on the femside?

  268. 268
    Tethys

    Sheep bark?

  269. 269
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I love this femithread.

    This femithread is a femixample of why trolls are so femibitter about not being femicepted into the femihorde. You bitchez are fucking FUNNY. They’re jealous.

  270. 270
    A Brain in a Vat

    Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart: I was using andyo’s term, you mouthbreather. Hence the quotes.

  271. 271
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    What the every lovin’ femihell is “femi-like”?

    More evidence that Douchevat is femifucking liar.

  272. 272
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Pigfucker has a shocking lack of fempathy.

  273. 273
    melody

    The groupthink has become too much.

  274. 274
    andyo

    Brain in a Vat,

    Dude, in case you still haven’t got it… My point was that you surely are stretching very forcefully the definition of an an insult (“sheep”), and added the “femi” for no good reason. I know you think it’s sheep-like, and I know we disagree, but I’m just letting you know no one else does. The “femi” was just plain malicious even if you didn’t notice it. That’s why people are ridiculing you.

    IOW, feralboy put my sentiments more succinctly.

  275. 275
    Inaji

    Audley:

    What the every lovin’ femihell is “femi-like”?

    Oh, you know, Audley – all us femisheep are making a silly femi-argument when we femiprotest that yes, we like beer! Well, no, that’s not right, we like femibeer, which is pink! It’s vagenius!

  276. 276
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Awe, look, the troll can’t even come up with a decent feminsult!

    Well, this feminode of the femiPharyngula femihivemind is finally off too femsleep.

    Adios, my fellow femi-sheep!

  277. 277
    SallyStrange

    He’s too femiskeptical to have fempathy.

  278. 278
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    The groupthink has become too much.

    Intellectual courtesy compels you to disclose what you’re referring to.

  279. 279
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    It’s obvious Melody and Sheepshit for Brains are out of their league. I haven’t seen a cogent post by either of them in the last hundred posts. All they can do is mention irrelevancies. Typical of those who have nothing to say, but say it anyway. Great job horde, loved the femisphical engine!

  280. 280
    pHred

    I can’t help but think that the fembadges are little pink triangles, with the points down for safety – having them point up would be hazardous around all the hammered sheep leaping to conclusions.

  281. 281
    simonsays

    @Jadehawk #65:

    I should also point out that being publicly embarrassing and wrong a lot does tend to get people fired at universities, unless those people already reached tenure. so not exactly comparable

    Actually it is comparable-and good for CFI which is why I’m proud to support them. They don’t tell their staff what to think and they don’t tell anyone else what to think either. I work for a Fortune 500 company in a management role and I can’t freely speak my mind in my company even behind closed doors. This means that sometimes someone might say something I disagree with-like Ben just did. Well I can live with that. I don’t have the expectation or the desire to be a part of an organization where everyone agrees on everything.

    If you disagree with Ben Radford then tell him so in the comments. Email him. Write a blog post about it. But shutting down the conversation by calling on CFI management to fire him over a blog post is the kind of crap that Fox News and Bill Donohue like to do. I’ll also quote Noam Chomsky to make this attitude even more clear:

    If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don’t like. Goebbels was in favor of freedom of speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re in favor of freedom of speech, that means you’re in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise.

    @Gregory Greenwood #77

    If your organisation doesn’t take steps to distance itself from Radford’s opinions in regard to these issues, then that silence will inevitably be taken as agreement with his position.

    No it shouldn’t. Can you or anyone else here name any single skeptic/humanist/atheist organization that is holding a national conference composed only of prominent women speakers discussing women’s issues. I’m not talking lip service, not a blog post, not a panel at the end of another event. A full conference. In a down economy.

  282. 282
    andyo

    OK another go.

    What I’m saying is, no one who wouldn’t use the word “feminazi” would have even thought to call them “femisheeps”.

  283. 283
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    The groupthink has become too much.

    translation: i’ve got nothing.

  284. 284
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    One last thing: I’m really femisad that I won’t see the further breakage of our latest femichewtoy.

    So femisad.

  285. 285
    scorpy1

    We have had our founder slamming the organization for becoming too “New Atheist” on our own blog when he had access.

    Yay, another anecdote!

    They don’t delete any blogs.

    And they shouldn’t.

    When they started Free Thinking they decided there would be no oversight.

    And no accountability, responsibility or sufficient democracy.
    But hey, what’s not to like about cultivating respect and exposure for your organization without accepting any consequences?

    I don’t see that changing.

    Neither do I. Your thickness to acknowledging a systemic problem is indicative of pretty much any other CFI sycophant that I’ve seen around Pharyngula in the past.

    I think they would get rid of the blog before they did that.

    They should, since as you’ve pointed out, they’re incapable of even moderate structure and let their posters have free reign.

  286. 286
    Anthony K

    The groupthink has become too much.

    Sorry melody, but I already called ‘echo chamber’ (or a variant), and lazy synonyms don’t count.

  287. 287
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    But shutting down the conversation by calling on CFI management to fire him over a blog post is the kind of crap that Fox News and Bill Donohue like to do.

    Uh-oh femihorde. They’re onto us. talking about what a waste of time CFI apparently wants to be is JUST LIKE FOX NEWS!!!! CENSORSHIP GODWINN!!!!!

    Who the fuck called CFI management? Who even advocated that. Shove your absurd lies down your throat.

  288. 288
    feralboy12

    Can you imagine if Freethinking Brain in a Vat called us an ‘echo femichamber’? It would blow our minds with how original and non-sheepy that would be.

    It would be absolutely bleat.

  289. 289
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Yeah, it’s totes great to tolerate any and all conversation. It’s a noble commitment to free speech. We’d say the same thing if it were a blog post denying the holocaust, or claiming blacks were inferior to whites, or that gays don’t have anything to complain about because they’re not discriminated against.

    Yeah. I so believe that. Totally.

    Listen to yourselves.

  290. 290
    Jadehawk

    This means that sometimes someone might say something I disagree with-like Ben just did.

    ever herd the phrase “you’re entitled to your own opinions, not your own facts”?

    well, it’s not a difference of opinion that’s the issue here; it’s one side denying reality and doing so with shoddy arguments. Also, freedom of speech applies to government, it has fuck-all to do with private organizations, you idiot. I can just about see the concept applying to protection of people’s opinions on their free time, but there simply is no legal or ethical obligation by a private institution to let people be reality-deniers on their web-pages, especially when their job is fighting reality-denialism.

  291. 291
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    @ A Prat in Vain:

    Careful, you, we femisheep also fembreath femiflames with our femimouths.

  292. 292
    screechymonkey

    Irene@267: “But are they bigger on the femside?”

    Of course! Like the FemiTARDIS, it’s dimensionally transfemdental!

  293. 293
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Also, deciding where a femibitch will spend her money is JUST LIKE BILL DONOHUE!!!

    you’re horrible people for not being grateful for the all-chick, no-dick conference. Just ignore the complete lack of integrity behind the screen!

  294. 294
    SallyStrange

    The Center for Inquiry has a commitment to skepticism and humanism.

    Right now, featured prominently on their website, is a post that violates both of those commitments.

    And you say you have no mechanism for rectifying that situation?

    What a worthless organization. Truly, shutting down the website would be no great loss, since there’s no way to ensure that posts by contributors at least don’t blatantly contradict the organization’s stated mission.

    Sounds like you don’t have a Center for Inquiry website, just another version of WordPress or something.

  295. 295
    Jadehawk

    can i pretend that typo was a clever pun on the current conversation?

    yeah, let’s go with that

  296. 296
    SallyStrange

    Who the fuck called CFI management? Who even advocated that. Shove your absurd lies down your throat.

    I did, I advocated firing him, so they could hire me instead, and I could be their new paranormal investigator. Sounds like a pretty cush position, you know.

  297. 297
    Anthony K

    It would be absolutely bleat.

    Oh, you femiknow I just can’t femiresist a terrible femipun, and that one was ba-a-a-a-a-a-a-d.

  298. 298
    A Brain in a Vat

    andyo: Well you’re wrong. As a feminist, I probably wouldn’t use the term “feminazi”. I’m not a fan of making words taboo, but I certainly would never use it as it’s typically used.

    We’ll just have to disagree about whether using the term “sheep” was a stretch; but, more importantly, in light of the term “feminazi” that I hadn’t even thought of until you just mentioned it, I can admit that it was a poor word-choice. Again, not because I think any words should be taboo, but because it succeeded in drastically misrepresenting where I was coming from.

    But the fact that this poor word usage caused the subsequent onslaught of doesn’t excuse it. I’m left feeling pretty disgusted with the nearly homogeneous degeneracy.

  299. 299
    andyo

    But shutting down the conversation

    No one is trying to “shut down the conversation” that I’ve seen. They’ve even recommended the guy get his own separate soapblog.

    by calling on CFI management to fire him over a blog post

    No one is calling on CFI to fire him over his views. The defense from CFIers is that CFI doesn’t necessarily endorse his views. But if CFI doesn’t want to be associated with sexism, what are they doing publishing sexist blog posts in the first place, on their website. Can’t have it both ways. If they want to be associated with everything, including sexism, then go ahead, but we’ll call you (CFI) sexist.

  300. 300
    SallyStrange

    I’m left feeling pretty disgusted with the nearly homogeneous degeneracy.

    I take offense to that remark. Our degeneracy is quite diverse.

  301. 301
    screechymonkey

    “I’m left feeling pretty disgusted with the nearly homogeneous degeneracy.”

    I think you meant “femigeneous degeneracy.”

  302. 302
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I’m left feeling pretty disgusted with the nearly homogeneous degeneracy.

    You jump right in and insult regulars. You sneeringly dismiss their concerns about sexism. You use insulting femi-diminutives (while calling yourself a feminist) and you accuse us of degeneracy?

    FUCK YOU. You’re a horrible person.

  303. 303
    Anthony K

    What a worthless organization. Truly, shutting down the website would be no great loss, since there’s no way to ensure that posts by contributors at least don’t blatantly contradict the organization’s stated mission.

    Well, it’s not like they have no standards. Taking on sexist apologetics would be mission creep. Other than that, it’s second star from the right, and free speech til morning.

  304. 304
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    And you say you have no mechanism for rectifying that situation?

    Seriously. A supposed skeptic organization has no mechanism for preventing non-skeptical blatant bullshit, complete with circular reasoning, from being posted on their blog.

    And, evidently, thinking that a supposed skeptical organization should probably not allow that is being just like [Fox News Godwin]. And groupthinking. Of course.

  305. 305
    andyo

    Brain in a Vat,

    Just think twice before using the “femi” prefix next time, especially if you self-describe as a feminist in the same post. You may not know it, but it’s a true and tired (and disingenuous) tactic from MRAs.

  306. 306
    SallyStrange

    Well, it’s not like they have no standards. Taking on sexist apologetics would be mission creep. Other than that, it’s second star from the right, and free speech til morning.

    Right, right. Priorities!

  307. 307
    A Brain in a Vat

    Josh: I didn’t jump right in and insult regulars. They insulted me by completely misrepresenting what I said.

    Or have you just completely stopped giving a shit about the facts?

  308. 308
    SallyStrange

    Josh, be fair: the first thing Brain in a Vat did was insult reality. THEN he started insulting regulars.

  309. 309
    A Brain in a Vat

    andyo: I surely will, thanks for pointing it out.

  310. 310
    simonsays

    @Illuminata #287:

    Who the fuck called CFI management? Who even advocated that. Shove your absurd lies down your throat.

    Here is your comment #57:

    We don’t fire people for unpopular views.

    >

    *facepalm* How about obviously untrue views? how about for banning people for disagreeing with him? how about being completely UNWILLING TO BE SKEPTICAL?

    It’s not hard to get the idea that you wanted him to be fired. If you’re saying that is not what you wanted to say then so be it, but don’t fault me for reading that into your comment.

    We also have SallyStrange in comment #20 saying that CFI should “force him to issue the humblest of public apologies” It’s unclear what “force” that would be.

    (I discard SallyStrange’s call to fire him in that same comment since she later took back that request).

  311. 311
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Sorry Sally, I can’t see you in your Pepto Bismol Cloak of Invisibility.

  312. 312
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Sally – but that latest Stupidity Apologist is claiming the Horde en masse is trying to silence Ben, or some silly shit. One person pointing out that he sucks and they could do it better hardly amounts to even a passable Free Speech Godwin.

  313. 313
    Anthony K

    Oops, I see I’ve femiparroted Illuminata’s argument in #202.

    Have I committed some sort of fembeastiality?

  314. 314
    zebralily

    PZ (if you bother to scroll all through this business above)–

    I teach freshman writing and rhetoric and would LOVE to use some of your counterarguments for this issue (as well as the original tripe for exhibition) in my winter quarter class to introduce arguments to the nuggets. Is that fine by you?

    Cheers,
    Lily

  315. 315
    andyo

    bah, I probably didn’t mean to say “true and tired”, COFFEE!!!

  316. 316
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    fembeastiality?

    That’ a hot treat, but a rare one. The feral fembeast is on the endangered species list. Good luck finding one. But if you do, please share?

  317. 317
    PZ Myers

    I’ve got to disagree with a bunch of you. I don’t think CFI should fire Radford, and I especially don’t think it’s our place to call for it. CFI is a big diverse organization and it’s going to contain a lot of people who have different strengths and weaknesses. I think Radford has just exposed a colossal weakness of his own. But this is what should happen:

    1. External sites like Skepchick and Friendly Atheist and Pharyngula should expose this kind of nonsense without reservation. Shout louder. That’s what we do.

    2. CFI should be acutely embarrassed. One of their contributors just squatted and dropped a big turd on their front page. It’s not just the sexism; it’s the sloppy logic and poor evidence that they should be ashamed of. It is a group blog, though, and one of the problems of those creatures (I’ve been on a couple) is that it’s often hard to find someone to take responsibility. But that’s what someone needs to do.

    What should happen is that that responsible person should be scrambling to find someone to post a rebuttal right there on their page. It could be someone in-house, or they could ask someone like Rebecca to write it. The important thing is that without turning this into a “let’s fire Radford” crusade, they make it clear that they recognize that that crappy post does not represent CFI’s views.

    The silence makes it look like either they have no responsible adults in charge, or that they endorse Radford’s medieval views.

  318. 318
    SallyStrange

    Oooh I’d love to be a fly on the wall in Lily’s frosh writing course! Especially the expression on their faces when they see Radford insisting that pink is beige, roughly.

    I’m standing next to a pink wall right now, it’s like I’m the Invisible Man!

  319. 319
    PZ Myers

    #314: I consider anything I post on the blog to be free for other people to use with attribution.

  320. 320
    Anthony K

    They insulted me by completely misrepresenting what I said.

    “and then they tried to give me femcooties.”

  321. 321
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Simon – do try to stop being painfully dishonest for a moment. I was responding to Melody’s dismissive bullshit about “unpopular opinions” by pointing out that what Ben did was well beyond an “unpopular opinion”. And by highlighting the absurdity of the sort of embarrassing bad shit that is apparently acceptable on CFI’s blog.

    In case you’re new around here, keep in mind I’m the last femibitch to mince words. if i wanted that useless fucker fired, i would have said exactly that.

    And yes, I will fault you for the arrogant assumption that you can read minds.

  322. 322
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    The silence makes it look like either they have no responsible adults in charge, or that they endorse Radford’s medieval views.

    Yes. That’s all I want (and all most, not all, want). It’s reasonable and I resent being bullshitted by Melody for asking for it.

  323. 323
    SallyStrange

    What should happen is that that responsible person should be scrambling to find someone to post a rebuttal right there on their page.

    Yes; this is really what I think should happen. I was mostly joking about firing Radford. The not-joking part was when I was offering to do the job for him.

  324. 324
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I’ve been around the entire thread and still don’t see this phantom fire ben crusade we’re supposedly engaging in.

    All I ever said was they’re not getting my support. Sally’s one post, which she retracted, doesn’t equal a crusade.

  325. 325
    simonsays

    @andyo #299:

    No one is calling on CFI to fire him over his views.

    I’ve shown an example that could be interpreted otherwise in my comment #310

    But if CFI doesn’t want to be associated with sexism, what are they doing publishing sexist blog posts in the first place, on their website.

    As has been pointed out multiple times previously: CFI management does not pre-screen blog posts. Ben Radford’s views are his own.

  326. 326
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Ben Radford’s views are his own.

    Stop it Simon. Stop avoiding acknowledging that this in very much in controversy and will be so until CFI makes a statement or places a rebuttal on their own blog.

  327. 327
    Jadehawk

    all I’ve been trying to get through to melody and friends was that they need to stop treating sexism denialism as a matter of opinion, and need to start treating it the way they would other forms of reality-denial such as creationism or homeopathy. all i got is one denial that they do so, and one acknowledgment that I was right when I assumed that they had mission statements for other forms of reality-denialism while refusing to write one for sexism-denialism because of “mission creep”

  328. 328
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    @ simonsays #281:

    If you disagree with Ben Radford then tell him so in the comments. Email him. Write a blog post about it. But shutting down the conversation by calling on CFI management to fire him over a blog post is the kind of crap that Fox News and Bill Donohue like to do.

    Great, a Fox News comparison! With Chomski quote to boot! False analogy, followed by a course of argument of authority: how impressive. Not the most healthy of arguments, alas.

    But seriously, how is it “silencing” or “shutting down the conversation” to say that what Radford wrote, at length and in several episodes (two long posts, plus comments), is enough to disqualify him as a spokesman for scepticism and that he isn’t fit to work at an organisation like CFI? Or at the very least that he should not post those views on an official CFI website? Or is this organisation not advocating humanism any more?

    Sexism is not just “an opinion”. Right now, Ben Radford and CFI would do well to remember the First Rule of Holes. And stop digging.

  329. 329
    andyo

    simon, I’m not talking about pre-screening. I’m talking about reaction.

    And again as has been explained to you and I also said in my post, the comments were in response to the defense from some CFIers of the easy “CFI does not endorse” cop-out.

  330. 330
    SallyStrange

    As has been pointed out multiple times previously: CFI management does not pre-screen blog posts. Ben Radford’s views are his own.

    Right. Obviously, they mistakenly thought that they could count on their contributors to refrain from supporting sexism or other bigotry, and that the contributors would be sure to back up their arguments with sound research and well-reasoned arguments. Those are things consistent with their commitment to humanism and skepticism.

    However, it’s clear that they CAN’T count on at least one contributor to meet these standards. So they need to change the policy. I don’t know how, but obviously what they’ve got isn’t quite working.

  331. 331
    SallyStrange

    err, back up their theses with sound research and well-reasoned arguments.

    Well, you get the point.

  332. 332
    Jadehawk

    Ben Radford’s views are his own.

    we.are.not.talking.about.a.difference.of.opinion

    I still haven’t gotten a honest response out of melody or anyone else if they’d have reacted with the same “free speech, and look other people elsewhere disagreed, and some of us personally told Ben we disagree with his viewpoint” response had Ben turned out to be a homeopath or creationist.

  333. 333
    SallyStrange

    I still haven’t gotten a honest response out of melody or anyone else if they’d have reacted with the same “free speech, and look other people elsewhere disagreed, and some of us personally told Ben we disagree with his viewpoint” response had Ben turned out to be a homeopath or creationist.

    Well, to answer that question would be to effectively admit that they have a double standard for evidence when it comes to sexism and sexism denialism.

  334. 334
    Anthony K

    What should happen is that that responsible person should be scrambling to find someone to post a rebuttal right there on their page.

    Ooh, a point-counterpoint thingy. Just like the mainstream media. Then, sports highlights, and perhaps a ‘lighter side of’ human interest feature.

    I don’t want Radford fired either. But surely we can do better than engage in the same circular argumentation and give-both-sides-of-the-story fake balance bullshit that everybody else does.

    I’m sure as hell not interested in supporting “Crossfire: Skeptics’ edition”.

  335. 335
    Jadehawk

    I assumed that they had mission statements position papers for other forms of reality-denialism

    *sigh*

  336. 336
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    ll I’ve been trying to get through to melody and friends was that they need to stop treating sexism denialism as a matter of opinion

    Or, in the alternative, stop pretending to be skeptics and embrace the whole bigot hog.

    next up: Darkies, why do they like watermelon so much? What? I’m just asking

  337. 337
    SallyStrange

    Gays, what’s with all the glitter? Hey, don’t tell me I can’t ask questions. Free speech!

  338. 338
    pHred

    Fempunning aside, I certainly thought it was pretty clear that the herd was calling for
    a) some assurance that dissenting comments were not being pitched into the void and
    b) a blog post on the CFI website refuting this nonsense

    We got repeatedly told that the people with access are all too terribly busy to do that.

  339. 339
    PZ Myers

    I don’t think people are appreciating the weird dynamics of a group blog. There is no editor! There is no central authority! They’ve given the keys to the blog to a whole big group of people and told them to write away, and one of them has now written something stupid. And probably a bunch of the bloggers are sitting there rolling their eyes at it, but they don’t have editorial responsibility, so nothing is happening.

    It probably doesn’t represent CFI views, but the blog is not monitored and policed by CFI, so there’s nobody to slap the post down.

    Like I said, this is an unusual case where someone should take some responsibility and organize a rebuttal of some sort. If they want, they can use my two posts on the subject — I give them full permission — but they may want something more politic. If they do, though, they should ask somebody to do it now.

    Maybe they have. It takes a while to churn these responses out, especially if someone is trying to be diplomatic about it.

  340. 340
    PS Laplace

    From the comments on his blog post, Radford says (92):

    You seem to be assuming that Riley has people around her (other than her dad, of course) who force or urge her to conform to gender roles. Do you have any evidence of this in Riley’s case? Or do you just assume that all girls experience that pressure? If so, why?

    I feel like this guy is somehow commenting on gender issues while being simultaneously unaware of the entirety of feminist and gender theory.

  341. 341
    PZ Myers

    Ooh, a point-counterpoint thingy. Just like the mainstream media.

    No, I think commissioning a specific rebuttal would be more like a rebuke and a repudiation.

  342. 342
    SallyStrange

    This is hilarious:

    Sure, absolutely. Beige isn’t pink, but it’s a lot closer to pink than most other colors (yellow, blue, green, etc.), if you look at a color wheel.

    For goodness sake, can’t anyone acknowledge that?

    Beige: it’s not pink. But it’s LESS not-pink than green!

    Airtight reasoning there.

  343. 343
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I feel like this guy is somehow commenting on gender issues while being simultaneously unaware of the entirety of feminist and gender theory.

    he’s straight up denying gender roles in a futile attempt to support his already defeated bullshit.

    But he’s skeptical about UFOs so, it’s all good.

  344. 344
    andyo

    Has anyone told him yet that even if the dolls’ skin color resembled pink, it’s still a stupid argument. I feel like he’s “defending” his godgiven right to be seen as an idiot.

  345. 345
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Maybe they have. It takes a while to churn these responses out, especially if someone is trying to be diplomatic about it.

    And, the overall point is, that until they do, they don’t get to pretend people are unreasonable fascists who want to destroy free speech because this is just a mere “unpopular opinion”.

    Notice Jadehawk never got an answer to her question, just accusations of groupthink and cowardly flouncing.

  346. 346
    PZ Myers

    Did you know that if you follow his instructions and do a google image search for dolls, one of the images on the first page of results is a pair of green-complexioned dolls? In fact, you get a strong impression of the diversity of skin tones on dolls…and mostly not pink.

    It suggests that perhaps Radford has some kind of neurological disorder that affects his perception of color.

  347. 347
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Beige: it’s not pink. But it’s LESS not-pink than green!

    As it was pointed out, non-white dolls tend to get different colors – pastel yellows, greens, etc. So, does Ben think that non-white little girls aren’t evo-psyched into liking pink (which would put a dent in his bullshit theory, I guess)? Or is he simply unaware that not all skin is “caucasian colored”?

  348. 348
    andyo

    I’m just saying that the fact that the dolls’ skin is not really pink, is not really the main reason why his argument is stupid. Or do you think it is?

  349. 349
    screechymonkey

    infinity@340: Yeah, I’d also describe what Radford is doing as the Skeptic Shuffle. “Every point you make is an unwarranted assumption, unless you can back it up with five double-blind peer-reviewed published studies. Every point I make is just common sense. So when you say that girls are subject to pressure to conform to gender norms, it’s an unwarranted assumption and very Unskeptical of you. When I say that girls like pink because dolls are pink, you’re stupid to argue with my obviously correct statement.”

  350. 350
    Jadehawk

    and this whole discussion started because CFI people were getting pissy because pharyngulites were saying that they don’t really feel like supporting an organization that’s ok with being represented by people like Ben.

    which is not “shutting down the conversation”

    which is not asking for ben to be fired

    which is also not unreasonable, when so far no one has done anything other than whine about opinions and free speech instead of doing something that would make ben not look like a representative of CFI

    as I said at the beginning: “everything goes” is a fine position, but not one that allows one to complain when people aren’t happy with supporting an organization that finds itself occasionally represented by reality-denialism and shitty argumentation as a result of that policy

  351. 351
    SallyStrange

    Or that white skin is a relatively recent evolutionary adaptation, so evo-psych explanations based on that are even more tendentious than most?

  352. 352
    Anthony K

    No, I think commissioning a specific rebuttal would be more like a rebuke and a repudiation.

    Sure, maybe, if it’s labelled sufficiently to distinguish it as such. Otherwise, how will it look different than a couple of, as Jadehawk has pointed out numerous times, opinions?

    It’s practically a sitcom as it is. “She’s an outspoken three-year-old. He only sees shades of pink. These two don’t always agree, but they’ll have to work together to get this toy store ‘out of the red’. Watch, Thursdays at nine…”

  353. 353
    SallyStrange

    I’m just saying that the fact that the dolls’ skin is not really pink, is not really the main reason why his argument is stupid. Or do you think it is?

    No, I agree. There’s just so much stupid.

    It’s fractally dumb.

  354. 354
    Jadehawk

    I’m just saying that the fact that the dolls’ skin is not really pink, is not really the main reason why his argument is stupid. Or do you think it is?

    no, it’s just the more entertaining aspect of the stoopid going on there

  355. 355
    Jadehawk

    though, ok, “millenia” meaning 70 years was kind of hilarious, too.

  356. 356
    feralboy12

    What disturbs me is that he would double down and retrench after being shown that the choice of pink as the color for girls is a recent development, is pretty arbitrary and is culture specific. That’s not how a skeptic should react.
    Then again, he’s essentially getting pwned by a four-year old, so some amount of defensiveness could be expected.
    Second rule of holes: know yours from an ass on the ground.

  357. 357
    Stacy

    *sigh*

    What did Ben Radford even say in his ridiculous post? Near as I can parse it:

    1. Toy stores/marketers, contrary to Riley’s words, don’t try to “trick” kids into buying gender-stereotype toys. They do however (he admits) try to “manipulate” them. Which is totes different.

    2. Girls can buy toys from the Boy’s Aisle and boys can buy toys from the Girl’s Aisle, so what’s the fuss? Of course they don’t, because actually the parents do the toy-buying, but there’s totally a coherent point in there somewhere.

    3. Blue has been associated with boys since ancient times, or at least since 1940, according to some sources Ben pulled out of his ass.

    4. Girls’ toys are pink because most girl’s toys are dolls and most dolls are pink. That’s logic.

    5. We’re only paying attention to Riley because she’s a cute little white girl.

    Have I missed anything?

    Because that is some serious stupid right there.

  358. 358
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Interesting, PZ. I really think someone should ask him (someone he likes, and probably privately because he’s already super defensive) if he’s color blind. Is it possible to have faulty color perception and not know it?

  359. 359
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Jadehawk @ 350 – which was the exact same thing said about Dawkins vis a vis his dear muslima bullshit and the same exact free Speech Godwin happened then too.

    it seems big-name skeptics are incredibly not skeptical far too frequently.

  360. 360
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Plus, Stacy, there’s no evidence of gender roles and women totally aren’t judge just for their looks . . . but we’re only listening to Riley cuz she’s cute.

  361. 361
    SallyStrange

    I know! CFI should hire Satoshi Kanazawa to guest-blog for them! He and Radford wold get along great!

  362. 362
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    @ infinity:

    He also seems totally oblivious that no child lives in a vacuum, or even in a bubble with only their close family. Little kids play with other little kids, they watch TV, go to kindergarten… and are taken shopping for toys in a shop! Where they found pink princess stuff for girls and multi-color super-heroes for boys. Ah, yes, just like Riley in the video! Oops.

    To think that Ben Radford once wrote a book about media myths… Sad.

  363. 363
    Jadehawk

    this is the page which pops up first on google image searches (well, images from that page obvs); which incidentally thoroughly refutes the point that blue- and green-skinned dolls would be “creepy”. spooky maybe, but that’s different.

  364. 364
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    If Ben were smart—and after he cooled down—he’d incorporate this debacle into his work and do a whole presentation on how skeptics are just as prone to bias, ignorance of data, and self-interested defensiveness at the expense of honesty. He could come right out and do a full-on mea culpa and use that to walk audiences through how we can fool ourselves, and that we need to be very vigilant about our own failings.

    He’d regain respect and he’d be doing people a very worthwhile service.

  365. 365
    scorpy1

    Stacy asked (#357),

    Have I missed anything?

    Only one other thing, I think:
    5. Rebecca Watson has a long-standing vendetta against me and her insults are totally unbecoming of a proper lady skeptic.

  366. 366
    PZ Myers

    You might also take a look at the sources Radford cites for his ‘facts’:

    “Blue Protects” in A Dictionary of Superstitions, Ed. Opie and Tatem (Oxford, 1989, p. 33); How Did They Do That?, by Caroline Sutton, (Morrow and Co., 1984), p. 54; and The Big Book of Amazing Facts, by Malvina Vogel, (Moby books, 1980), p. 349.

    So…a specialized dictionary (OK, but a pretty tertiary source), and what look like two children’s books. It does give us a clear picture of the depth of his research.

  367. 367
    Anthony K

    Then again, he’s essentially getting pwned by a four-year old, so some amount of defensiveness could be expected.

    What’s worse is that he went after her. It’s like Mr. Burns trying to take candy from a baby and losing. He didn’t get blind-sided. He saw her outstretched arm and walked into her fist while trying to sneak around behind for a rabbit punch.

    I can’t get past the idea that the only way he’d had a fighting chance is if Riley had been instead talking about the monsters under her bed. How boldly he could have lifted the bedskirt and opened the closet, revealing nothing but clothes and toys inside. Boy, would she have looked like a dunce. Skepticism for the win!

    But, alas for him, she had to talk about something relevant, and he was caught totally unprepared.

    So, is this what skepticism has come to?

  368. 368
    Inaji

    Stacy:

    Have I missed anything?

    Because that is some serious stupid right there.

    You’ve got a handle on the stupid, and yes it is serious stupid. It’s not as though we haven’t heard such idiocy before, we have, but generally that comes from MRAs and other assorted douchecakes.

    What puts the disappointment icing on this particular cupcake of stupidity is that skepticism and critical thinking are nowhere to be found in all of Ben’s ramblings on and defensive mutterings.

    It’s beyond embarrassing.

  369. 369
    Stacy

    PZ@366

    In the earlier thread on this topic I posted the sources Radford PM’d me on Facebook the other day. They were even better: one was a post about pink on a blog by a Goddess Worshiper, one was a site that just listed colors and the various things each color symbolizes, and one was Ask Yahoo.

  370. 370
    andyo

    I can’t get past the idea that the only way he’d had a fighting chance is if Riley had been instead talking about the monsters under her bed. How boldly he could have lifted the bedskirt and opened the closet, revealing nothing but clothes and toys inside. Boy, would she have looked like a dunce. Skepticism for the win!

    Yeah, this is for me the most awesome part of all this. And the strangest, as to why in the hell he felt compelled to even comment on it. Pure sexism can’t be the only reason.

  371. 371
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Whoa. You really need to go read what Stephanie Zvan just wrote about DJ Grothe’s own track record of denying misogyny and castigating women who call it out. Jesus Christ. The problem in our “community” just gets bigger and bigger:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2012/01/03/dammit-dj/

  372. 372
    llewelly

    Ben claims:
    “Instead of trading insults with Rebecca, I’d rather look critically at the issues Riley raises”.

    But then he writes:

    “Of course marketing and advertising is going to feature pink toys (since many girls prefer pink-whether it’s genetic, cultural, or both is another matter) and girls playing with dolls and princesses. Most TV commercials don’t depict girls playing with gender-stereotyped male toys like WWF action figures and rockets-and why would they, since girls prefer dolls?”

    And uncritically assumes advertising has no effect on which toys girls prefer.

    Ben also wrote:

    “It’s clear there are social and cultural expectations for women about beauty and appearance, I don’t think anyone is arguing or disputing that.”

    A clear contradiction of the claim in his prior article, which was:

    “The problem is that Riley is wrong: Girls don’t have to buy princesses, and boys don’t have to buy superheroes. Girls don’t have to buy pink things, and boys don’t have to buy toys that are blue, or any other color”

    It is a fact that “social and cultural expectations” are enforced – sometimes violently. Sure, you’re free to violate social norms if you don’t mind being beat now and then, or missing out on the social contacts which are necessary for making a living.

    Ben, if you really believe “It’s clear there are social and cultural expectations for women about beauty and appearance, I don’t think anyone is arguing or disputing that.”, you need to come out and admit the central premise behind your original article is glaringly wrong.

    As a long time fan of monstertalk, I am, painfully, reminded of the day when Brian Dunning decided to make an entire podcast which was firmly in denial of the overwhelming evidence that DDT has been rendered obsolete by evolution.

    As a long time fan of Monster Talk, I must say, this is a reminder that all skeptics have their narrow zone(s) of expertise, outside of which, they are as naive as anyone. (One of Rebecca’s, for what is worth, is marketing. That’s what she studied in school.)

  373. 373
    andyo

    though, ok, “millenia” meaning 70 years was kind of hilarious, too.

    Yeah, that’s kind of what I meant, too. I think it’s even funnier. But the funniest is what Brownian at 367 pointed out.

  374. 374
    llewelly

    The culture in the brain vat has gone rancid
    Toxic hallucinations running rampant

    Cartoon evolution, clumsily drawn
    Cartoon psychology, glaringly wrong

  375. 375
    screechymonkey

    “So, is this what skepticism has come to?”

    No, I’d say it’s was skepticism mostly always was. I joked about it earlier, but it really is relatively easy to debunk things like Bigfoot and ghosts. It doesn’t take a great mind or incredible objectivity and self-scrutiny, especially when you’re not a believer to begin with.

    It’s just not that hard to do “here’s some stupid crap idiots believe, watch me point out how stupid it is.” It’s not useless, mind you: PZ does it to creationists all the time, and it’s good to have people who do the same to other silly stuff like psychics and ghosts. It’s only marginally harder to polish up the “tone” and present yourself as a Serious Investigator who’s totally keeping an open mind that THIS TIME it might really be a ghost!

    And that, as best as I can discern, is old-school skepticism. Sticking to the easy targets, dressing it up in some nice high-minded rhetoric about how open your mind is, maybe throwing in a Carl Sagan quote, and then taking a bow for your adoring audience of like-minded individuals who never believed that nonsense either. Again, it serves a role — and sometimes convinces some people to drop their wooish beliefs — but it’s not really a high degree of difficulty.

    What people like PZ and Rebecca and Greta and Ophelia, among many others, are trying to do, is say “ok, let’s get serious about this skepticism stuff, and apply these tools we all agree are great to stuff that actually matters, like religion, or sexism.”

    (Sorry Brownian, don’t mean to sound like I’m lecturing you — I was really just using your comment as a jumping-off point.)

  376. 376
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    PZ:

    It suggests that perhaps Radford has some kind of neurological disorder that affects his perception of color.

    His whole argument of “girl toys are mostly pink because girls mostly play with dolls, which are mostly pink because skin is pink” certainly brings the question to mind.

    (Aside from the huge logic fail and the unsubtle display of Caucasian privilege, of course.)

    If he wasn’t a native English speaker (at least, as far as I know), I’d wonder if it wasn’t a problem of meaning lost in translation. The issue of languages where pink is a shade of red, has been brought up in a previous thread. But in others, many colours are lumped into “pink”. In French, for instance, we call “rose” (the word for “pink”) both the colour of Caucasian skin and that of the plastic toys marketed to girls. I still have trouble at thinking of “beige” as my own skin tone when I read English.

  377. 377
    Inaji

    Stacy:

    and one was Ask Yahoo.

    :headdesk:

    And there’s the cherry of absurdity on top. FFS.

  378. 378
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    screechy-you’re just exactly right about the character of old-school skepticism that I find so off-putting. I’m sorry, but Joe Nickell drives me nuts with his “I’m not a de-bunker, I investigate with an open mind.” Because you know he’s not being candid, and you know damned well he doesn’t believe he’s going to find a poltergeist. It strikes me as a self-regarding way of claiming Noble Skeptic Purity.

    And yeah, the whole canon of Bigfoot, Nessie, UFOs, Chupacabras. . . I’m sorry, but it is like watching re-runs of In Search Of. How much utility is there, really, in flogging this stuff decades after it was really popular?

  379. 379
    PS Laplace

    @PZ #366:

    Regarding his research, he also finally admitted he was wrong about the evopsych pink thing (comment 97 on his blog post) after I sent him [several, several times, I might add] a 2010 study that I found after about a two minute search which, among other things, presents some fairly decent evidence against innate color preference.

    His comment is somewhat hilarious though. At least he admitted he was wrong, I suppose.

    I read through it, and I agree, thanks for sending that. It seems pretty solid; I’ve been shown evidence that what I wrote was incorrect, and I’m happy to concede that the evidence for pink preference among girls is weak or non-existent. I’ll be happy to correct that after I sort through other potential errors.

    Again, I never claimed or suggested that the study I cited was definitive. I accurately and correctly reported the results of a peer-reviewed study published in a reputable journal. The fact that the study was flawed is not a failure of journalism or research on my part. Could I have done more research? Yes. Hindsight is 20/20, and it’s easy after the fact to criticize. At the end of the day, I was wrong about that statement.

  380. 380
    andyo

    Could I have done more any research?

    At the end of the day, I was wrong about that statement.

    Um, pretty much at the beginning as well. And also, the end of the previous day and what preceded it.

  381. 381
    Anthony K

    Hey, go for it, screechymonkey. I don’t disagree in the least. I guess that’s what it always was.

    Feeling superior to yokels.

  382. 382
    Inaji

    Radford:

    I accurately and correctly reported the results of a peer-reviewed study published in a reputable journal.

    Oh, c’mon, own up to what you really did. You flailed about, looking for confirmation bias, went “aha!” and posted it, happily claiming it as evidence for your sexist views.

    What you didn’t do was think. You didn’t examine the situation, you didn’t research, you didn’t do anything except to spout a lot of sexism, then got all surprised when you were called on it. And you consider yourself a skeptic. Amazing.

  383. 383
    Tethys

    I’ll be happy to correct that after I sort through other potential errors

    Ah, the old they’re only errors if I say they are errors gambit.

    Coupled with “not a failure of journalism or research on my part”.

    What an entitled, pretentious, cupcake.

  384. 384
    debbiegoddard

    I have posting power on the CFI blog. I work there. I also have posting power on Skepchick. I don’t, however, have a lot of free time–especially now that I’m trying to get my chunky self to the gym regularly as part of my resolutions for the new year.

    I posted Ben’s Discovery News article on my FB wall on December 29 with the following: “Hm, I have to disagree with my esteemed colleague, Ben. I wish I had the time to write about it! Is social pressure not a thing? And…Caucasian skin tones? And…arrgh, damn lack of time.” My post received 90 comments, many of them between Ben and two other coworkers, both associated with WeAreSkeptixx, both disagreeing.

    I wrote this to the Skepchick contributor backchannel two days ago: “I was reading WeAreSkeptixx, because Ben Radford contributed an article that I wanted to tear into itty bitty pieces.” Then Rebecca Watson wrote a rebuttal, so I didn’t. This was before Ben’s CFI blog piece–which came out last night, if I remember. Like 28 hours ago or something.

    CFI staff were back in the office today after the long weekend off. I was in the office for 11 hours catching up! Ben’s post concerned me, as it concerned some other employees, as it concerned PZ. Did I (again) want to take a couple hours to rebut Ben’s post? Yes. Did I have more important work to do today? Yes, some very urgent, then I headed off to the gym at 9pm (legs day!). Did other employees who might have written something have more important things to take care of at work today? I think that’s likely.

    The current CFI blog policy has been explained. I think some questions to answer now are:

    - Should CFI continue to have an open posting policy for its blog? Should staff be able to post without their posts first being approved by someone else?

    - Should CFI bloggers ever remove comments, besides spam? (Currently, I think this is something those of us who can post to the blog can do.)

    - Depending on the answers above, should CFI have a quick-response policy for articles that some would say go against our core values? Who should be in charge of determining that and writing those responses? Should posts deemed inappropriate be removed?

    - Do Ben’s posts promote a point of view that goes against the core values of CSI? Of CFI? What is the proper response?

    …for example.

    I’m not disagreeing with the outrage in the comments here (as you see, I expressed outrage too), and I’m not trying to simply defend the organization I work for whose mission I’m deeply committed to. Hey, we’re a bunch of people, and people screw up sometimes, and people disagree with each other, and if I think there’s a problem–and this applies to many things in life–I try to figure out what I can do to help improve things.

    So I’m trying to address this situation constructively, to determine what the problem(s) might actually be (posting policy too open? unclear mission? lack of blog policing? comment policing by unknown persons? etc.), then figure out what should be changed and how.

    Damn. Another resolution of mine was to get more sleep. It’s 1am here and I haven’t taken a post-gym shower yet, y’all. Bedtime for me. More work tomorrow.

    -Debbie Goddard
    Coordinator, CFI On Campus
    Director, African Americans for Humanism

  385. 385
    pHred

    @379 Well that does appear to be a minor breakthrough, but we are still left with the question of why on earth he felt he needed to do a takedown of a four year old. Seriously

    a) girls like pink because dolls are pink
    b) girls like dolls because dolls are pink
    c) Riley does not like pink dolls therefore she must not be a girl, so I must prove she is a cryptid ?

    WTF was going on in his mind with this whole thing ?

  386. 386
    timgueguen

    Hmmm, has Elevatorgate been superceeded by Pinkgate?

    It seems there’s a Pink World coming down.

  387. 387
    Stacy

    Debbie Goddard rocks.

  388. 388
    andyo

    Hmmm, has Elevatorgate been superceeded by Pinkgate?

    Not until Dawkins comments on it.

  389. 389
    SallyStrange

    Do Ben’s posts promote a point of view that goes against the core values of CSI? Of CFI? What is the proper response?

    The answer to the first question is a resounding yes. As for the second, it has been discussed here already. It’s up to the rest of CFI/CSI to decide, but clearly it cannot go unanswered.

  390. 390
    Inaji

    Debbie Goddard:

    Did I (again) want to take a couple hours to rebut Ben’s post? Yes. Did I have more important work to do today? Yes, some very urgent, then I headed off to the gym at 9pm (legs day!).

    Seems to me, with the time you took to address Radford’s bullshit and more time defending CFI in a previous thread, then again in this one, you might have been able to write a post on CFI, even if it wasn’t in-depth, to at least let people know “hey, yes, this is bullshit and no, it isn’t skepticism.” or something to that effect.

    Yes, people have lives, Debbie, even some of us Pharyngulites have them, and yes, we get busy too. However, considering the damage Radford has managed to do in a very short amount of time, perhaps at least taking the time to counter his bullshit should have been considered to be a priority.

  391. 391
    Inaji

    Debbie Goddard:

    - Do Ben’s posts promote a point of view that goes against the core values of CSI? Of CFI? What is the proper response?

    The answer to the first question is yes. Look at not only what he wrote, but what he considered to be research, FFS. That’s absolutely shameful.

    A skeptic should be able to address real, relevant societal problems such as entrenched and endemic sexism. This seems to be beyond Radford’s capabilities.

  392. 392
    Tethys

    Debbie Goddard

    So I’m trying to address this situation constructively, to determine what the problem(s) might actually be (posting policy too open? unclear mission? lack of blog policing? comment policing by unknown persons? etc.), then figure out what should be changed and how.

    I think it is writing 101 that when writing about something outside of your area of expertise, it’s a good idea to have an actual expert look at it before publication.

    Ben needs to admit his fundamental error if he is to maintain any credibility.

  393. 393
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Let’s not pile on Debbie, though. She’s the only one from CFI to begin to address this debacle thoughtfully, up till now. And it doesn’t take a lot of browsing here or on the Skepchick blog to be aware of what we’re thinking!

  394. 394
    debbiegoddard

    Suggestion from @390 Caine appreciated. It would have taken me hours to write a careful and proper skeptical response to Ben’s posts. It took me 15 minutes to write a comment here, maybe 15 minutes to write something on a different day. With my gym commitment, I didn’t have hours free today to throw something up. Some day I hope to be as fast and accurate a writer as PZ is, but I’m not there.

    Plus Rebecca and PZ and Julia L and others posted responses, and Ben’s article linked to at least a couple of them.

    I recognize that it can be important for the hosting organization to take action, so that might not count enough for you or others here. No one took the time to write something rebutting Ben’s article on the CFI group blog today. That’s a fact.

    Maybe you should take the action you can: e-mail CEO Ron Lindsay, [email protected], to let him know that you think it inappropriate that CFI didn’t take the time today to counter Ben’s post on its blog.

    Sincerely,
    Debbie

  395. 395
    debbiegoddard

    Last note from tired self. I’m personally glad to see the comments with clear feedback like: “‘Do Ben’s posts promote a point of view that goes against the core values of CSI? Of CFI? What is the proper response?’ The answer to the first question is a resounding yes. As for the second, it has been discussed here already. It’s up to the rest of CFI/CSI to decide, but clearly it cannot go unanswered.”

    and: “A skeptic should be able to address real, relevant societal problems such as entrenched and endemic sexism. This seems to be beyond Radford’s capabilities.”

    and: “I think it is writing 101 that when writing about something outside of your area of expertise, it’s a good idea to have an actual expert look at it before publication.”

    etc.

    Long comments are long, but I’ll be taking a look tomorrow and sending an e-mail to management (which you can do too!) with recommendations.

    And now I’m going to sleep, for real. Debbie out.

  396. 396
    unclefrogy

    at the end of the first paragraph quoted above I just had to laugh out loud

    “grounded and rooted in objective evidence. ”

    indeed just because you can say the words don’t make it true.

    uncle frogy

  397. 397
    Inaji

    Debbie Goddard:

    Some day I hope to be as fast and accurate a writer as PZ is, but I’m not there.

    I don’t mean this should all be on you, Debbie. You have a full plate and you certainly shouldn’t be alone in addressing this…debacle.

    Someone who has keys to the group blog, and who has the actual ability to think critically and skeptically should be able to take on the responsibility of refuting such obvious and oblivious sexism, or any other sort of thing if it shows up again (hopefully not). Perhaps there’s one person who would be willing to do that, perhaps it could be a shared responsibility, I don’t know. From what PZ said, group blogs are difficult creatures to handle.

    I think it’s clear that something has to change though, else you’ll see more incidents like this, and it’s obviously not going to help out in the support CFI department.

  398. 398
    Sili

    But he’s skeptical about UFOs so, it’s all good.

    Well, is there any evidence that UFO’s preferentially kidnap men for their anal probings?

    Whether there as a many female sasquatches as male ones, I can’t say. That must depend on their strategies for bringing their young to maturity.

  399. 399
    Grimalkin

    Ben kind of fucked himself over asking for objective evidence and then saying that doll skin is pink.

    Which is objectively wrong

    I made a full post about this on my blog, but here’s the gist of how he’s damned wrong:

    http://grimalkinblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/color-wheel-for-the-apparently-color-blind.png?w=539

    Three color wheels.

    The first color being Caucasian, the second being pink (de-saturated pure red), the third being the shade of magenta that most girls’ toys are.

    The objective evidence: Pink is de-saturated red. The Caucasian color is quite clearly de-saturated orange. Objectively not pink.

    Also, if you take the claim of “it’s closer to pink than anything!” to mean that it’s closest to magenta on the CMYK color model…

    he’s still damn wrong, objectively. It’s far closer to yellow.

  400. 400
    freodin

    It’s been some time since I have been shopping for toys… and I was a Lego guy almost exclusively… so I am a little out of touch here.

    Are there really “girls” and “boys” aisles in toyshops? Isn’t that alone a clear sign of sexist marketing… telling the children: “You are a girl/boy, so here are the toys that are for you.”

  401. 401
    Luc

    Most businesses are reactionary, not very ground breaking. Most people copy from others to sell what it’s been proven to work and hope to get a piece of the cake. For this reason I’m inclined to think most businesses don’t think at all about what’s with all the pink. It’s how things are, it’s what they see out there, and that’s enough. Changing the landscape takes innovation.

    But we have to give innovators hope that we will buy their ground breaking stuff (that isn’t proved to work) so they are willing to risk money making them. If we create demand, that makes things easier for them.

    There are also things we could be doing meanwhile. My little cousin goes to a kindergarten whose toys and drawings are no longer sex-segregated because parents protested. The same can happen with stores. I’m not saying you should chain yourself to the stands or anything, but for example a little letter to the editor never hurt anyone. Open radio shows. Maybe a little direct action, say, mix some toys up in the neighborhood’s store, then take a pic of people buying toys normally (the point of this last one is to let people know there’s nothing wrong with desegregation. Yes, people need to be reminded that because they compartmentalize, they don’t apply to same principles to different scenarios unless you make them do it). The general public will avoid conflict as long as they can by ignoring it and denying it, same as most businesses (the ones that play safe by doing what everyone else does). The first thing to do in my opinion is to show the problem by any means possible in order to negate everyone the possibility of denial.

  402. 402
    ricardodivali having sniffles over stiffles

    It’s not just “pink” either. It’s always THAT unnatural shade of pink in the picture, and almost always with THAT purple. You would think manufacturers only had two colours.

    If my child turned either of those colours, i’d be down at the emergency ward immediately.

  403. 403
    NelC

    I’m wondering if Radford’s claim that doll’s faces are pink is driven by a form of perception influenced by language. To Radford, (caucasian) skin is pink, since it’s clearly a light shade of red. The ‘pink’ so favoured by toy manufacturers is also a shade of red, albeit blue-tinged, so it must be the same colour. Perhaps he literally can’t tell the difference, like those folk who have one word for green, blue and yellow who have difficulty picking a sky-blue square from a bunch of grass-green ones. To him, it may be self-evident that a peachy-flesh colour is the same as the hyper-saturated hot pink of children’s toys, so much so that he can’t comprehend why people are commenting on his poor sense of colour.

    Of course, if he was right about women and little girls having a heightened sense of colour differentiation in the pinky-red part of the colourspace, it would be natural that they’d pick up on the difference between faux-caucasian skin tone and Hasbro bright pink, thereby proving he was right! Or something. I’m sure it would make sense to him.

  404. 404
    LykeX

    #16

    I thought this was particularly telling:
    Boys’ Weird Slime
    Girls’ Beautiful Slime

    Looking at the photos, it’s clearly the exact same kit. Packaging and naming differs, but the contents are identical.

  405. 405
    crowepps

    My recollection of my own toys in the ’50s, my sisters’ toys in the ’60s, the toys available for my son in the ’70s, and those for my daughter in the ’80s, was that colors were pretty varied, so I wondered if the Pepto-Bismol pink was actually a fairly recent arrival.

    Looking at vintage toys on eBay, sorted by decade, makes it pretty clear that up until the ’80s, girls toys weren’t predominantly pink at all. In fact, almost none of the toys, not even the tea sets, were pink. The exception is Barbie, the packaging for Barbie is that Pepto-Bismol pink from 1959 on.

    In the late ’80s, early ’90s at the time that WalMart was setting up a business model of profit from volume by shipping in cheap items from overseas factories, lots of toys suddenly were constructed from molded PVC plastics and at THAT time, in the late ’80s and ’90s, suddenly the flood of pink starts pouring in.

    It may be true that pink has been for girls since the ’40s, but apparently predominantly pink TOYS weren’t all that common until the last 25 or so years. Could not track down confirmation of the year it was introduced, but it’s my recollection dividing the toys into ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ aisles was an innovation of Toy ‘R’ Us in the late ’70s.

  406. 406
    Emrysmyrddin

    I thought this was particularly telling:
    Boys’ Weird Slime
    Girls’ Beautiful Slime

    Looking at the photos, it’s clearly the exact same kit. Packaging and naming differs, but the contents are identical.

    I liked the part where the boys’ page states that: ‘boys love making stuff, being messy and being in charge,’ where the girls’ page says: ‘Come see all these RLY KEWL awardz we’ve won!!1!’

  407. 407
    Aquaria

    Most businesses are reactionary, not very ground breaking. Most people copy from others to sell what it’s been proven to work and hope to get a piece of the cake. For this reason I’m inclined to think most businesses don’t think at all about what’s with all the pink. It’s how things are, it’s what they see out there, and that’s enough. Changing the landscape takes innovation.

    This does not fly.

    In a previous thread about this issue, I pointed out several girls’ toys and their packaging from my tail end of the baby boomer era that were not pink and were not remotely pink.

    This is a recent innovation. Very recent. As in late 80s most likely, because I was buying girl toys in the early 80s and the saturation of pink wasn’t this bad.

    Businesses innovated from color variety to pink saturation, and in a very, very short time frame.

    They can revert their sexist asses right back to how it used to be, when I had tea sets in primary blue and red, and my Barbies came in blue boxes and her swimming pool was white and the slide on it red. And my EZ Bake Oven was turquoise. And I mean neon, blinding turquoise. One of my cousins had a red and black one. Younger siblings of my friends in the 70s had the version that was harvest gold–just like the new appliances of our generation.

    NO FUCKING PINK.

    What changed?

    Scumbag marketers. They’re the entire problem.

  408. 408
    Aquaria

    Looking at vintage toys on eBay, sorted by decade, makes it pretty clear that up until the ’80s, girls toys weren’t predominantly pink at all. In fact, almost none of the toys, not even the tea sets, were pink. The exception is Barbie, the packaging for Barbie is that Pepto-Bismol pink from 1959 on.

    Barbie had a variety of packaging in the 60s and 70s. There was white, red, blue, purple, yellow, and even packages with pictures of other Barbies on them on a white background. The Barbies that had adjustable hair came in blue boxes. Talking Barbie came in a purple box. The color of the accessories boxes when I was 7 or 8 years old were white and red (mostly red).

    The pink when it was used then was quite different from what they’re using now. Neon hot pink and rosier shades of pink were much more popular then.

    Even Barbie wasn’t as pink in the 60s and 70s as she is now.

  409. 409
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Good morning

    Flock: I love you. I know I can go to bed in my timezone and be sure that when I wake up you have mowed the lawn.

    [ranting]
    There’s some groups of people I’ve come to hate:
    Skeptics(TM), Freethinkers(TM) and Feminists(TM)
    The Skeptics(TM) and Freethinkers(TM) can often be lumped together.
    Their claim goes “I’m a Skeptical Freethinker(TM). I don’t subscribe to dogma. Everything must be treated with extreme scruitiny, everything must be questioned, I must be allowed to say whatever I think without anybody thinking any less of me.”
    So, here’s what you can do:
    Fuck off.
    No, not everything must be treated with extreme scrutiny. I don’t need to question that the earth goes around the sun, it’s been long established. And if you think that it makes you look smart if you simply ignore 40 years of gender studies I can tell you, it doesn’t.
    You’re not that clever. And if you think you need to “inquire” if gender roles are actually hurtfull, and the first thing you do is coming here to blend us with your brilliance instead of looking at the data, then you deserve being called any name the Horde, eh, Flock can come up with.
    It’s called Free Speech, not free from consequences speech.

    The Feminists(TM) are slightly different. They claim they basically agree with feminism, only not the kind of feminism people here have in mind.
    The argument goes either “But I have made a different experience, therefore blahblahblah” (Hello Mallorie Nasrallah)or “Yes, sure, but why aren’t you going after whatever I consider the real feminism” or, the “oh you can vote allright so stop complaining about the details” version.
    You can fuck off, too
    Please, go and form the “Feminist Women of America(TM)” group together with Sarah Palin.
    [rant]

  410. 410
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Oh, an Cupcake in a vat

    I don’t agree that toy makers and marketers are applying pressure to girls to conform to particular gender roles (namely the color pink). At least it’s not their intent.

    Which makes it allright, dies it?
    You know, if you step on my toe I don’t fucking care if you’re doing it accidentially or on purpose, I want you to stop hurting me.
    And here’s a job for you: Get me some red, green, yellow and light blue kids’ tights, size 5 yo. Because I can’t find any that aren’t pink, white, purple, black, grey, brown or dark blue.

  411. 411
    davidb

    A lot of what I see scepticism having come to in this thread is a load of people piling on a woman who is also a sceptic for having the temerity to attempt a damage limitation exercise on behalf of an organisation she both works for and feels is valuable, following someone else at that organisation saying some dumbass stuff that we pretty much all, including Melody and me, recognise as dumbass.

    Sad, really.

    David B

  412. 412
    crowepps

    Aquaria @ 408 – the earliest pink Barbie packaging I saw on eBay in 1959 was the cards on which outfits would be displayed flattened and cellophaned. It makes sense that the card colors would be coordinated so they didn’t clash with the clothing colors.

    Got to admit, I really had fun reminiscing, but would add, seems to me once one allows the skeptical reflex to inspire the question ‘were girl toys always pink?’, it was sure easy to go to that accessible and easy to use site and answer the question, ‘nope, they sure weren’t.’

  413. 413
    kami

    “Then let me be clear. Shove it up your fucking ass. We don’t tolerate bullshit like “femisheep” here. You’re not in friendly territory for that kind of crap and you’re gonna get smacked for it.”

    The badassery in this post is so awesome. When I grow up I want to be as cool as this guy.

  414. 414
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Sally
    Kudos (do they fit well into a flock of sheep?) for trying to argue over at the CFI.

    How can somebody in their right mind claim that gender specific marketing towards girls and boys has nothing to do with gender-roles and expectations?

  415. 415
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I wonder if the rise of pink-and-only-pink toys for girls coincides with the disney princess obsession. Disney is great for marketing horrible sexist ideas to children under the guise of “empowerfulness”.

    Makes perfect sense that other companies would jump off that faux empowerment starting point into making increasingly insulting and worthless girls’ toys.

    And its hardly limited to girls. The JC Penney “Allergic to Algebra” shirt comes to mind. that was from the Junior’s section.

    And, the infantalizing pukey pinkness of breast cancer awareness merch. Nothing says “you’re only as valuable as the state of your tits” as “save the boobies” in sparkly pink.

  416. 416
    mikeg

    As much as I fucking love nits that are ripe for picking, I really don’t want this to blow up like other things have… Mainly because I don’t see that much consciousness being raised over it.

    We can talk about social theory all we want, which in fact I really like to do. But Radford fucking up really shouldn’t put Pharyngula on hold like it has. Maybe I just don’t get the point of still burying his arguments when:

    a) They are pretty demonstrably wrong

    b) We aren’t seeing ‘rift’ within Skeptics- with privilege getting a thorough beating. This is basically one big ‘NO YOU’RE WRONG’ drama.

    I want to look at cephalopods.

    Yes, my concern is noted.

    No, not everything must be treated with extreme scrutiny. I don’t need to question that the earth goes around the sun, it’s been long established. And if you think that it makes you look smart if you simply ignore 40 years of gender studies I can tell you, it doesn’t.

    Yeah, this is a good point. Sometimes, arguing minutia is perfectly applicable. Other times is make Ben Radford look like a douche.

  417. 417
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    LOL self-aware trolls, I think, are the funniest kind. if you know before posting that your comment is completely worthless, why waste the time?

  418. 418
    Emrysmyrddin

    …really shouldn’t put Pharyngula on hold like it has.

    On hold? Really? I hadn’t noticed. I have noticed a slow-down in postings and comments over the last month, but put that down to people being too drunk, stuck entertaining families and/or inextricably covered with tinsel over the ‘holiday’ season. The last few days have seen a flurry of both posts and comments, gearing back up to ‘usual’ levels. Where’s t’oldup?

  419. 419
    SallyStrange

    You call a thoroughly entertaining takedown of a blatantly illogical, empirically wrong, sexist post by an alleged skeptic, complete with entertaining commentary “being on hold”?

    On hold from WHAT exactly?

  420. 420
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    On hold from the WAY MORE IMPORTANT things we should be talking about. Which is, of course, whatever mikeg personally finds interesting.

    What? Did you think there was a non-derailingfordummies argument in there?

    ;)

  421. 421
    mikeg

    but put that down to people being too drunk, stuck entertaining families and/or inextricably covered with tinsel over the ‘holiday’ season.

    You forgot finals week.Lots and lots of people get drunk when that is over. ( I know my finals sucked)

    LOL self-aware trolls, I think, are the funniest kind.

    Yeah, I don’t comment regularly therefore my observations aren’t valid. ‘Tis alright, I know how things work around here. Just sayin’. Elevatorgate really helped a lot of people check their privilege. I know I was one, which is why earlier in this thread I commented about Rebecca Watson getting Atheist of the Year.

    I think we’ve been primed by elevatorgate which is why there is such a damn visceral reaction to this. But, hey, if some people’s minds are being changed, then great. Judging by the comments, there isn’t much persuasion happening. (Other than attitudes towards CFI.)

  422. 422
    opposablethumbs

    re Luc #401

    My little cousin goes to a kindergarten whose toys and drawings are no longer sex-segregated because parents protested.

    (italics mine).

    You’re scaring me. You mean this kindergarten used to sex-segregate their toys? Hell, the kindergartens my spawn went to were nothing extraordinary – not super-progressive or anything – but I don’t remember seeing any sex-segregation (and I think I would have been looking for it). The kids generally did show some signs of segregating, sadly (not being brought up in a vacuum and not being immune to adverts, family and/or peer pressure) but I’m gobsmacked to hear of a kindergarten aiding and abetting this crap by segregating the toys themselves until told not to. Shit.

  423. 423
    Emrysmyrddin

    mikeg, you forget the effect that decent argumentation has on non-commenters and lurkers…I lurked at Sb for years before the move to FtB gave me the (still very shaky) confidence to post a little – during those lurking years I was exposed to the REAL reasons and dire need for definite secular humanism, as creationists, misogynists, racists, religiocracks and the just plain scummy were smacked down again and again by commenters (regular or no).

    Even if the worlds contained within the threads themselves seem stagnant, I can confidently bet that somewhere, someone has read them, sat back, and thought: “Shit. I realise now for the first time in my life that I’m oblivious/well-meaning but condescending/an outright douchecanoe, and I want to change.”

    I wouldn’t bet that it happens at a rate of knots, but I’ve seen people delurk for a mere one comment out of thouuuusands to say: “Er, thanks. I really needed this thread, and I’m better for it.” In this sick, sad, wonderful wonderful world, for me, that’s justification enough :)

  424. 424
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Yeah, I don’t comment regularly therefore my observations aren’t valid.

    That wasn’t a value judgment on your “observations”, cupcake. I was mocking your passive aggressive “yeah, my concern is noted” line.

    It means you knew ahead of time you were wasting time with a post free of anything interesting, and yet you did it anyway. That’s trolling.

    You are free not to read what doesn’t interest you. Try it sometime.

  425. 425
    PZ Myers

    Seems to me, with the time you took to address Radford’s bullshit and more time defending CFI in a previous thread, then again in this one, you might have been able to write a post on CFI, even if it wasn’t in-depth, to at least let people know “hey, yes, this is bullshit and no, it isn’t skepticism.” or something to that effect.

    That’s not quite fair. There’s a huge difference between leaving a comment on a blog or facebook or twitter, and writing a post that addresses a subject at any length. I can leave a comment in between washing dishes and taking out the garbage (or like now, while I’m waiting for the teapot to come to a boil), but to write a real post of any length I have to sit down, clear the decks, flex my fingers a bit, and think for a bit before exploding into a mad flurry of composition. And if you’re someone like Debbie who has to write something about her co-workers…oh, man.

  426. 426
    John Phillips, FCD

    mikeg, well we have Debbie Goddard of the CFI taking note of the criticisms here rather than just doing apologetics, unlike others connected with the CFI who came on here mainly did, as well as asking for suggestions and proposing to act on some of the ones presented. Or haven’t you bothered to read the whole thread yet?

    Little steps! Or we could just give up, because obviously, we don’t meet what you consider an appropriate level of success immediately. Do you give up this easily with everything, or only those things that aren’t important to you, expecting others to follow only your concerns. Perhaps after all, you didn’t learn as much as you thought you did from EG.

  427. 427
    Deen

    But since most girls play with dolls, and most dolls are pink (a green- or blue-skinned doll would look creepy), it makes perfect sense that most girls’ toys are pink.

    As Rebecca Watson also pointed out: What skin color are most action figures? Why aren’t most action figures wearing pink?

  428. 428
    mikeg

    mikeg, you forget the effect that decent argumentation has on non-commenters and lurkers

    I explicitly said that there was a chance that I could be wrong and that this could have impact on readers.

    I wouldn’t bet that it happens at a rate of knots (sic) In this sick, sad, wonderful wonderful world, for me, that’s justification enough :)

    I agree! Which is why I said hey, I could be wrong and minds could be changing. In which case, awesome! I just was making the point that there isn’t much (that I see) awareness shifting. That isn’t to say it is not happening. I am making a comparison from EG in which people were crawling out of the shit pool, exhausted and battered, but with changed minds. So it may be a false comparison, and I may be wrong, which I am prepared to be.

    You are free not to read what doesn’t interest you. Try it sometime

    .

    Noted. What if what I want to read is Pharyngula? What if what interests me is seeing a slaughter of privilege- not just shooting a fish in a barrel. It seems like this is all pretty one-sided. Ben is not on the right side of things- which we have shown to be the case. We have CFI contributors taking notes and exchanging. I know how cutesy and condescending ‘cupcake’ sounds all the time. And really, I’m honored that you took the time to throw it at me. But you are the one person on this blog that has beat it to death. I can’t even order them at the bakery because you leave a bad taste in my mouth.

    Little steps! Or we could just give up, because obviously, we don’t meet what you consider an appropriate level of success immediately.

    Little steps? Fuck that. Run! And bow to me when you get here. (If you can’t tell that is snark, you may be a commenter who is a tad bit too reactionary.)

    Ad homs aside, no I ‘give up this easily with everything’. Even if I don’t give a rodent’s hind quarters about what you value, guess what? You do the same thing. I know you think that your concerns are everyone’s, but that isn’t the case. False consensus effect. Getchasome. Don’t call me out on something that we all do. You are discounting the fact that we probably agree greatly on most of this, but you allow yourself to selectively assess that which better allows you to throw some personal attacks my way.

  429. 429
    Emrysmyrddin

    Er, I agree with you mostly; why the (sic) after ‘rate of knots’?

  430. 430
    scorpy1

    Re: Debbie Goddard (#384)

    Since you asked, here’s my two cents (admittedly, not worth much as I don’t own a blog, let alone a conglomeration of blogs):

    Should CFI continue to have an open posting policy for its blog?

    Yes.
    In contrast to others here, I think even unsavory ideas should have their forum.

    However, while you’re protected from ramifications legally, if you, as an organization are encouraging and supporting exposure, you still bear some ethical burden for what one of your blog owners does using your organization’s platform.

    In short: accept responsibility not for the words of a blog owner, but for maintaining an open environment that supports your mission.

    Should staff be able to post without their posts first being approved by someone else?

    Yes.
    It seemed reasonable to me earlier that posts could be filtered for factual content (not by subject), but PZ pointed out the difficulty of that.

    Should CFI bloggers ever remove comments, besides spam?

    No (though I’d accept removing comments for vulgarity and still leaving initial moderation to the blog owner).

    I did a cursory glance on some other entries and noticed that a number of them don’t even allow comments.

    Add to that what seems, in this case, to be a clear abuse of the system (still waiting to be proved otherwise) and you’ve got a problem of an over-restrictive forum that favors opinion over debate.

    Removing or heavily screening comments that are not clearly detrimental to conversation destroys credibility of the blog and in turn, the organization.

    There should be some overall blog manager(s) to watch for that, depending on how bad the problem really is.

    Depending on the answers above, should CFI have a quick-response policy for articles that some would say go against our core values?

    Yes.

    Who should be in charge of determining that and writing those responses?

    Dunno.
    You could establish a quorum of your blog writers to discuss who or if something needs to be done.

    You could put up a banner at the post top to keep posts chained together, so that future readers don’t have to track down posts within a chain AND don’t assume that your organization condones a given post’s subject matter (again, ethically, not legally).

    Should posts deemed inappropriate be removed?

    No. People need to be able to reference original and response freely to make their own judgement.

    I’m trying to address this situation constructively, to determine what the problem(s) might actually be (posting policy too open? unclear mission? lack of blog policing? comment policing by unknown persons? etc.)

    For me, it’s the last two.

    I can’t tell if you have any policing, because I don’t see much evidence of it.

    People shouldn’t need to go to your organization’s CEO in a dispute; he probably doesn’t have much time to devote to a side project that we’ve well-established is not legally related to CFI proper.

    To repeat, I think there should be a single point of contact (email distro) dedicated to blog disputes that has some way to restore overly moderated comments AND a means to tie together related posts to form a conversation.

    You clearly have enough passionate people to run damage control on other blogs.
    You shouldn’t have much trouble applying that same rigor to yourselves.

  431. 431
    mikeg

    Er, I agree with you mostly; why the (sic) after ‘rate of knots’?

    Because I probably should have elipse’d it. I took out a chunk, and don’t really know how to (sic) things. So, yeah. Imagine […] instead of (sic).

  432. 432
    Emrysmyrddin

    Ah, fair enough – I’m a pedant, I was re-reading, confused and looking for the mistake ;)

  433. 433
    John Phillips, FCD

    Actually, I know my concerns aren’t everyones, but then again I don’t consider other peoples concerns irrelevant or unworthy of note. For even if I personally will take no action on an issue, I wouldn’t dream of telling others what to do about what concerns them. And, please, do show me where I ‘ad-hommed’ you, rather than mildly, possibly, just maybe insulted you with my last sentence. And no, thankfuly, we don’t agree greatly about things, then again, I don’t claim to be a mind reader. What a maroon, that’s an insult by the way, not an ad hom.

  434. 434
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    What if what I want to read is Pharyngula?

    Pharyngula is whatever PZ decides to write about, because it’s his blog. So by all means, read it. But you don’t get to dictate its contents, or complain when he writes about something you don’t want to read.

  435. 435
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    What if what I want to read is Pharyngula?

    Then read it. Doesn’t mean you have to read every single post on it. Why would you think people are interested in reading comments about how unproductive you think it is?

    especially after admitting upfront to trolling.

  436. 436
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Goddard’s class and tact has given me a little hope for CFI. After douchetastic ben and dodgy melody I was disappointed my initial assumption seemed correct.

    In all seriousness, Goddard impressed me.

  437. 437
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Here’s some constructive input for Ben Radford, who yesterday was still not getting it:

    I accurately and correctly reported the results of a peer-reviewed study published in a reputable journal. The fact that the study was flawed is not a failure of journalism or research on my part.

    Alas, yes, it was a failure of journalism and research.

    1) For failing to recognise the massive flaws in a study making far-fetched claims about gender and evolution, for instance the fact in spite of the numbers showing that men in country 2 liked reddish hues as much as women in country 1, the authors concluded by saying that women were more naturally more attracted to these colours regardless of culture and ethnicity;

    2) For using this sort of paper without being aware of the whole field of gender theory, while trying to evaluate the truth about claims of gender stereotyping!

    When he does his usual cryptological investigations, Ben rightly criticise the kind of naive Bigfoot hunters who roam the woods of Oregon without a clue about the habits of the animals who live there, and think that a glint of red eyes in the trees’ shade proves that they’ve seen some unnatural creature. As a paranormal inquirer, he knows full well why it’s pointless to barge in an old house and whip out an EMF recorder if you have no clue about what it measures.

    He’d have done better to take a leaf out of his own sceptical book, by checking his assumptions first, if only by reading carefully what the people reposted the Riley video were saying, and googling every concept or reference he didn’t totally get, before starting to write his piece.

  438. 438
    Inaji

    PZ:

    That’s not quite fair.

    You’re right, I re-thought what I wrote, and commented again, it was wrong to put it all on Debbie, who seems to be the only one trying to deal with the mess.

  439. 439
    Stacey C.

    I have to say I lucked out when it came to gendered toys as a kid. My mom always said she didn’t get why anyone would want to play with a hard plastic doll (this went for either ‘baby’ dolls or action figures). My father explicitly stated that he was very happy to have gotten girls who weren’t adverse to doing ‘boy’ things. (Before he got sick of doing it my dad used to bail and sell hay.) So I had a ton of stuffed animals instead. I also had an old rusty dump truck my dad fished out of the old chicken coop. I mostly read books once I was able to and stuck to the John Bellairs and Boxcar Kids over Sweet Valley High and Babysitters Club. I eventually got some hand me down barbies that I played with for about an hour before dismissing them as boring.

    I seriously lucked out in the parent department. But then I am definitely atypical when it comes to these sorts of things. And it definitely affected how I was able to relate to other women. Among other things I’ve never like ‘going to the mall’ unless I needed something specific and was there to get it and go. (I’m reminded of several painful high school experiences with my best friend who loved to shop.) I don’t wear makeup unless it’s a special occasion and then only when I feel like going ‘the whole nine yards’.

    As far as Ben Radford is concerned…what he said was wide of the mark initially, made worse when he doubled down, but has since floated up a bit as he has made an effort to talk to people in the comments on his last article. I still don’t think he fully understands that marketing of children’s toys and gender roles are very tightly aligned.

    Oh, and I don’t care for pink, never have, and never will…especially given it’s sordid recent history as a signifier of ‘girly’ things.

  440. 440
    Pteryxx

    …Y’all rock. This was great morning reading.

    From a commentor over on Rebecca’s cage match post:

    Sexism is clearly his religion.

  441. 441
    Anthony K

    Here’s some constructive input for Ben Radford, who yesterday was still not getting it:

    I accurately and correctly reported the results of a peer-reviewed study published in a reputable journal. The fact that the study was flawed is not a failure of journalism or research on my part.

    Alas, yes, it was a failure of journalism and research.

    His explanation is very much analogous to how Mooney handled the Wally Smith/Tom Johnson fiasco.

    “I did a Google search, I found the first thing that fit my preconceptions, and I posted it. What more do you skeptics want?”

  442. 442
    Emrysmyrddin

    I too was pink-averse for many years, from a very young age: I got that it was ‘coding’ the toys that I should have been playing with, that it meant that in junior school playground games I ‘had’ to be the rescued rather than the rescuer, that princesses sat around all day singing to woodland animals rather than going out and kicking arse (thanks, Disney), that we got the ironing boards and the vacuum cleaners rather than the awesome wood-turning lathe or the Rock’n’Ride Biker Mice playset with working garage doors…yeah, I’m still bitter about that, I really wanted that fucking toy :D
    Being pink-averse sent me too far in the opposite direction (for me) for a while – turned me into a bit of an adolescent ultra-femme-hater. Couldn’t be seen near makeup for years. I felt that taking an interest in things coded as girly would be a betrayal of my brain in some way.
    What I’m clumsily trying to say is that the two seemed so incompatible for a long time: intellect vs shallowness, being seen as having a brain vs making oneself conventionally sexually attractive…it took me a while as a kid to figure out where I stood, and that the two weren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, despite what every bit of late-eighties-through-to-nineties, child-to-teenager-to-young-adult, culture cueing told me. I managed to grow up despite all that, not because of my inbuilt attraction to fucking berries.
    Tealdeer. That’s why I hate gender coding and enforcement of binaries; because it does hurt and damage, if only on the inside.

  443. 443
    Anthony K

    You know, mikeg, you almost had me until it became clearer and clearer that your whole argument boils down to: “I think feminism is super duper important, and all of you feminist skeptics can go get ‘em tiger, but can you do it somewhere else so I can look at and discuss cephalopods in the manner in which I’m most comfortable? You’re harshin’ my cephalogroove.”

  444. 444
    Ing

    I’m not a toy collector, but I’ve spoken to some and one of the complaints I kept hearing from them is the sexism in the toy industry.

    Specifically in that toy lines made for one gender (ie action figures rather than dolls) are bizarrely insistent that they can’t sell female characters from that line.

    From what I hear, Avatar despite having a rough 50/50 gender split of characters, had toy makers that were stubbornly resisted against making toys of the female characters because it’s toys for boys.

  445. 445
    Anthony K

    “Or if you’re gonna do it here, get it over with quickly. Thinking, talking about, considering how ubiquitous this seems to be in the skeptics’ community is such a waste of time.”

    I mean, this post isn’t on the other Pharyngula, mikeg, so what are you complaining about? There’s a sea slug right on the first page. No comments, as it seems other people are busy elsewhere. A whole blank slate in which you can dictate the conversation.

    Or is the problem not that people are talking about feminism on Pharyngula, but that they’re talking about it at all, and not instead on the things you want to talk about?

  446. 446
    Ing

    My point was that there is clearly some background concerns of sexism or just odd decisions marketers are making based on gender that Oldwhtiedude is ignorant of.

  447. 447
    Ganner

    Painful to see a skeptic fall into this delusion, but people have a tendency to believe that things generally are the way they are for good reason, or some intrinsic property, rather than being due to blind chance, broad societal decisions and self-enforcement, or any other arbitrary reasons.

  448. 448
    Ing

    @Ganner

    See Libertarianism.

    Of course that’s the one where if it happens to white men who are middle class or up it’s due to societal decisions and corruption that must be fixed, other wise it’s the Order of Things

  449. 449
    mikeg

    Then read it. Doesn’t mean you have to read every single post on it. Why would you think people are interested in reading comments about how unproductive you think it is?

    True, some of that didn’t need to be said. It still doesn’t change the fact that what can be useful is being caught up in a ‘No you’ battle of semantics. Radford is covering ass, and while we should pointing out where he is wrong, it seems like wasted time addressing that he is back tracking. It seems more pragmatic (in that it seems to be the ‘goal’ of these incidents to positively change minds) to address the issue and help those struggling with the concept ‘get it’. So if I wasn’t clear before, my apologies.

    Goddard’s class and tact has given me a little hope for CFI

    CFI is pretty cool. They have my support as they supported my campus Freethinkers’ group (when it was still running.) I subscribe to their feed, so I read what they put out when I can. Radford’s other work shouldn’t be tarnished by this, nor should CFI as a whole. The petty and pretentious comments by Radford have gone down on FB or his private blog. I think we can agree that his comments shouldn’t interfere with his other work.

  450. 450
    Ing

    @Mike

    Slight disagreement:

    Someone who cheats on their SATS may not steal money from orphans…but I’d watch him on the GRES.

    This guy deserves to have anything he says that TOUCHES these topics be scrutinized and picked apart due to how horribly bad and biased he’s shown to be.

    Von Bruan of course is authoritative on rocketry, when it comes to morals and ethics he has nothing to teach us though and should be loudly condemned as a mental midget in that feild.

  451. 451
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Mikeg, his petty and pretentious comments should and can interfere with his other work. He doesn’t get to separate his privilege-blinded sexism from his other work. He gets to own this as well as he owns his other work and to be judged accordingly. I’d judge him better if he admitted his mistakes, admitted his privilege-blinded sexism and decidedly and emphatically admitted to his vain and failed attempt at back pedaling to hide it and distanced himself from such thinking with some lucid communication about how wrong he was. Until then, he’s Ben Radford, a privilege-blinded sexist and ignorant fool who has been and is intelligent, thoughtful and on the right side of truth in his other work.

    Radford’s other work is damned tainted by this and whatever else it may also be, it’s now also the work of a privilege-blinded sexist and ignorant fool. It’s his own damned fault and if he doesn’t like, he should bloody well fix it.

  452. 452
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    I must give a special thanks to those regualrs here who commented over at CFI. I have nothing original nor as eloquently stated as what was posted there to add. It is a good thing™ to speak up elsewhere like that and I’m disappointed that I’m so late to the fray that, at best it seems, all I could do is echo banally.

  453. 453
    Pteryxx

    The petty and pretentious comments by Radford have gone down on FB or his private blog. I think we can agree that his comments shouldn’t interfere with his other work.

    …I can agree that someone being expert at X doesn’t mean they’re not ignorant at Y. Ignorance, inexperience, naivete, those aren’t personal failings per se and can be forgiven.

    I can agree that someone having well-supported opinion X doesn’t necessarily mean they have a good opinion about Y. I can debate them, disagree with them, maybe even admit that they have a blind spot or differing values than I do. Those aren’t personal failings per se and can be forgiven.

    I don’t agree that someone being willfully obtuse, arrogant, or bigoted about X should be irrelevant just because that person’s willing to be rational about Y, when Y is not personal to them but X is. I don’t trust someone who only applies reason when it’s comfortable to do so. Refusing to be self-critical on issues that matter outside one’s own life IS a major personal failing, and I will discount the opinions of a person who displays that flaw.

  454. 454
    skybluskyblue

    Ibis3, denizen of a spiteful ghetto says:
    My nephew’s favourite at that age? The vacuum cleaner.

    Hey, my nephew’s favorite “toy” a year ago was vacuum cleaners too!
    He started collecting the, organizing them and gaining an encyclopedic knowledge about old and new ones. Then the school psychologist dx’d him with Asperger’s, just like me and almost my father the engineer.

    I was a “Tom-boy” as a girl and hated dolls and “girly” things. The only use I had for them was pretending to inject them with insulin, just like my brother got. For me, my love was toads and wading in muddy creeks to catch pollywogs, oh, and “pill-bugs”; such fun! I do see that this Ben Radford said “most” girl like pink, but it need not be that way.

  455. 455
    puzzledobserver

    Just wanted to drop a comment to make the following points:

    1) Lot’s of +1′s or fan votes or digital high fives to SallyStrange. I read Radford’s reply and the comment section, Sally really does a number on the bumbling goofball. It was amusing watching him try to distinguish boy/girl color preference from the concept of “gender roles.” I think his basic (perhaps willful) ignorance of gender roles was the source of that maddening dissection of a 4 year old’s rant.

    2) I played with a lot of He-Man toys. He-Man was basically naked, he was not pink, although the Prince Adam toy did have a fairly ostentatious pink felt vest. Hmm…

    The point of #2 was to express that I have no fucking idea what the point of the skin tone argument was. It’s dumb on a level that defies comprehension.

    3) Is Radford autistic? I ask this somewhat seriously because he seems to be baffled at the notion that “pink for girls” can be reinforced by peer and social pressure. Why does he think it’s in any way relevant that Riley could technically buy a superhero, that it isn’t illegal, that a toy store doesn’t employ guards to slap gender inappropriate toys from a kid’s hand:

    “We’ve got a code 501f violation, there’s a young boy ogling the Barbie section.”
    “Relax, Bob, he’s just looking at their tits.”
    “Whew. Then send reinforcements to the dirt bike section. “There’s an 8 year old girl in a flannel shirt with short hair test riding the boys’ Huffies. She’s got a tough looking mom that keeps saying it’s ok for her daughter to like dirt bikes even if the other kids will make fun of her. IT’S NOT OK!”

    And as was pointed out, Riley herself, the freaking four year old, explicitly acknowledges that she’s technically able to buy a superhero, she’s upset at the pressure placed on her to stay in the pink aisle.

    What the fuck…why does this have to be explained? Amazing.

    4) Women are 50% of the population, they are now attending college at a higher rate then men, they’re excelling in all fields, they ACTUALLY VOTE, this is the new reality. We’ve had a 100,000 some odd years to act like assholes, but now people are peering over our shoulders and pointing out some of our fraudulent behavior.

    Shamans and priests went through the same thing with the scientific revolution: their bullshit was scrutinized. That’s what we have happening in the skeptical movement right now. Women will improve the movement greatly, raising the game of the men who accept the criticism. Those that don’t will trigger the same humor gland in the brain that makes us giggle every time we see the pope wearing that goofy hat.

  456. 456
    'Tis Himself

    I have to admit that my post #100 was pretty close to “Ben should be fired.”

  457. 457
    Emrysmyrddin

    Those that don’t will trigger the same humor gland in the brain that makes us giggle every time we see the pope wearing that goofy hat.

    O Happy Day. I think that femi-prefixing drubbery today is surely part of that process ;)

  458. 458
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    We Are Ing:

    From what I hear, Avatar despite having a rough 50/50 gender split of characters, had toy makers that were stubbornly resisted against making toys of the female characters because it’s toys for boys.

    Now, that makes no sense. Why do they think that girls wouldn’t collect the characters of Avatar and play with those toys even if they were sold in the “girl” part of shops and packaged in pink boxes?

    More likely, manufacturers of action figures don’t have a clue. They are stuck in the “only boys can be geeks” mental trap.

  459. 459
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    It does reflect badly on the CFI’s group blog if anyone is allowe to delete or delay comments because they disagree–and it does weaken their reputation in what should be their strength, namely rational argument and ability to face facts.

  460. 460
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Why are boys’ dolls called “action figures”?

  461. 461
    Jadzia626

    I have to agree with PZ’s post 317 about CFI.

    I also understand where Debbie is coming from, and agree with her.

    And I’m not saying that just because I too write for We Are SkeptiXX.

    I did write a blogpost about the subject yesterday on my own blog. It took a long time, and I didn’t address that much. Pretty much the same as PZ Myers wrote today, plus I addressed the condescending nature of his reply to Rebecca. I’m appalled that a person who supposedly should know better when it comes to evidence and some objective perspective could step so deeply into it and continue to wade around in it.

    So yeah, Debbie made a few comments, writing a post takes significantly longer and is usually done in one stretch when the topic is “hot”.

  462. 462
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    The Smithsonian has an article about when dresses were gender-neutral for children and pink was for boys. (I think someone mentioned this in the last thread.) And I recall my mother telling me that when by grandparents were young parents, toddlers wore dresses so that when they pee’d, the parents would just wipe up the puddle. Before automatic washing machines, the less laundry the better! If you weren’t lucky enough to have a washer, washing clothes could mean boiling water, carrying boiling water, stirring with a stick, scrubbing on a washboard, and wringing by hand. Result: kids in dresses.

  463. 463
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Melody, <a href="/pharyngula/2012/01/03/so-this-is-what-skepticism-has-come-to/comment-page-1/#comment-235850"?Tis Himself, OM, made the prime point: What appears on CFI’s website becomes part of CFI’s image. Furthermore, it appears that Radford is violating your policies by deletng comments that are not nonsense, insults, nor vulgar, but simply disagree with him. That’s two very serious strikes. I suggest that someone get working on the very grovelling apology forthwith.

  464. 464
    Jadzia626

    @Markita

    The link was posted in the comments on SkeptiXX, and I referred to it as well.

  465. 465
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    ClassicalCipher @128, thank you! You always did have a way with words. Now “microfuck” is going into my word-hoard.

  466. 466
    Jadzia626

    @Markita

    Do you have “Argumentum ad Feminam” there too?
    I’m just waiting for the chance to use it :p

    http://www.purplenoize.com/2011/12/definition-ad-feminam.html

  467. 467
    pf

    I’m appaled that Ben Radford is deemed of a sufficient level to qualify as a rational skeptic.

    I’m less stupid than that, and I don’t hold any pretense to being either a scientist or a communicatively gifted person.

    I just, you know, tend to use logic to decide what’s most likely true. It’s really a great tool to apply to every single situation I ever come across. Usually when things don’t seem to be going perfectly, I get a lot of help from looking for the flaw in my logic.

    Why is it that an actual scientist and even a publicist for rational skepticism fails so much worse than me?

    And I seriously have to repeat what Josh and others said: Denying sexism is not a fucking opinion. It is incorrect, dismissive and actively harmful to what any proper humanist should be trying to advocate for.

    That CFI doesn’t disown someone who wants to “discuss” if sexism applies to the pink girl toys marketing thing is a failure. It’s just too fucking obvious to seriously maintain there’s any room for discussion.

    This is a PR disaster, which isn’t fixed with dismissive denials, and I really hope that once CFI takes an official position on this issue (please let that be soon), it is to say that Ben Radford is full of shit on this one specific issue.

  468. 468
    doktorzoom

    , Avatar despite having a rough 50/50 gender split of characters, had toy makers that were stubbornly resisted against making toys of the female characters because it’s toys for boys.

    I suppose they’d also be afraid of the American Family Association boycotting them for selling topless blue aliens, or something… (Leaving aside the logic of toy tie-ins to a mindless, violent PG-13 remake of “Dances With Wolves”…or was it “Ferngully”? Or “Little Fuzzy”?)

  469. 469
    Jadehawk

    Dances with Smurfs // Smurfahontas

  470. 470
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Maybe CFI should take a leaf from Michael Behe’s university, Lehigh, and post a disclaimer.

  471. 471
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    doktorzoom:

    (Leaving aside the logic of toy tie-ins to a mindless, violent PG-13 remake of “Dances With Wolves”…or was it “Ferngully”? Or “Little Fuzzy”?)

    Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Word for World is Forest.

    To quote Gary Westfahl in Locus mag: “another epic about a benevolent race of alien beings who happily inhabit dense forests while living in harmony with nature until they are attacked and slaughtered by invading human soldiers who believe that the only good gook is a dead gook”.

  472. 472
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Herr Doktor:

    Leaving aside the logic of toy tie-ins to a mindless, violent PG-13 remake of “Dances With Wolves”…or was it “Ferngully”? Or “Little Fuzzy”?

    Fern Gully.

    As I’ve said before, at least Fern Gully had Christian Slater in it.

  473. 473
    David Marjanović
    CFI has not written a position paper on sexist creationist apologists, as that might be mission creep.

    CFI has not written a position paper on sexist anti-vaxxer apologists, as that might be mission creep.

    CFI has not written a position paper on sexist AGW-denial apologists, as that might be mission creep.

    CFI has not written a position paper on sexist homeopathy apologists, as that might be mission creep.

    et cetera ad nauseam

    Dances with Smurfs // Smurfahontas

    I have a problem. I’d love to say you’re made of awesome, but I can’t, because that would mean you’re made of powdered & dried Reality Enforcer. :-S

    What to do, what to do…

    It’s like Mr. Burns trying to take candy from a baby and losing.

    *snigger*

    What a worthless organization. Truly, shutting down the website would be no great loss, since there’s no way to ensure that posts by contributors at least don’t blatantly contradict the organization’s stated mission.

    Sounds like you don’t have a Center for Inquiry website, just another version of WordPress or something.

    The silence makes it look like either they have no responsible adults in charge, or that they endorse Radford’s medieval views.

    QFT.

  474. 474
    coldhope

    Good God, have you seen Radford’s latest reply to Melody Hensley on his double-down response? It’s at #159–the most astonishingly blatant strawmanning I’ve seen from him yet.

  475. 475
    Ing

    Now, that makes no sense. Why do they think that girls wouldn’t collect the characters of Avatar and play with those toys even if they were sold in the “girl” part of shops and packaged in pink boxes?

    More likely, manufacturers of action figures don’t have a clue. They are stuck in the “only boys can be geeks” mental trap.

    No you’re reading it wrong. What they’re saying is that BOYS won’t play with a figure that represents a female character. The idea that girls would buy the product never seemed to occur to them.

    The Mattel-produced action figure toy line generated some controversy with its exclusion of any female characters. Mattel came to release information stating that they have taken account of Katara’s increased role within the program, and that she would be included in the figure assortment for a mid 2007 release. The figure ultimately went unreleased, however, as the entire line was canceled before she could be produced.

    Katara is one of the main cast and I believe the first main character seen in the show. The idea of ‘increased role’ itself is laughable since she started out as a main character.

    I suppose they’d also be afraid of the American Family Association boycotting them for selling topless blue aliens, or something… (Leaving aside the logic of toy tie-ins to a mindless, violent PG-13 remake of “Dances With Wolves”…or was it “Ferngully”? Or “Little Fuzzy”?)

    Sorry I forgot I was talking to philistines…not that Avatar.

  476. 476
    coldhope

    Can this guy really not be a Poe at this point? High school debate championship ahoy:

    “…So you’re on the record as stating that my opinions on these things are wrong, and that you strongly believe that:

    1) distinguishing Boys and Girls toys is a good idea;

    2) the concept of gender stereotyped toys is a good idea (or at least not “ridiculous”);

    3) parents do not need to accept more responsibility for providing gender-neutral toys to their children;

    4) girls who like pink items and dolls should be told by their parents that they shouldn’t like them because it reinforces gender stereotypes; and finally that

    5) it is not clear that there are any social and cultural expectation for women about beauty and appearance.

    According to you, these are all statements you agree with, since they are the opposite of statements I endorsed. I’m glad to have you on the record about that. I wonder if the other CFI employees really do share your opinions about this.”

  477. 477
    'Tis Himself

    Ben may be the best at debunking the paranormal, but he’s not even adequate at understanding the sociology of gender roles.

  478. 478
    Jadehawk

    Sorry I forgot I was talking to philistines…not that Avatar.

    oh. wait, do you mean figures from the movie, or the cartoon?

    because no one should want to have anything to do with the movie, stoopid racist POS

  479. 479
    Pteryxx

    Katara is one of the main cast and I believe the first main character seen in the show. The idea of ‘increased role’ itself is laughable since she started out as a main character.

    …Katara’s the frickin’ viewpoint character. She’s the first one we meet, telling us the story. Her voice is the intro voice-over for every single episode; the one that speaks the arc of the entire series. “But I believe that Aang can save the world.”

    How dare they… I’m not even coherent after that. That’s an offense against storytelling.

  480. 480
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    We Are Ing:

    No you’re reading it wrong. What they’re saying is that BOYS won’t play with a figure that represents a female character. The idea that girls would buy the product never seemed to occur to them.

    Sorry I wasn’t clear. I was indeed saying that they thought only boys would ever buy these figures, and that girls wouldn’t be interested even in female characters.

  481. 481
    Ing

    @Jade

    The cartoon.

    …Katara’s the frickin’ viewpoint character. She’s the first one we meet, telling us the story. Her voice is the intro voice-over for every single episode; the one that speaks the arc of the entire series. “But I believe that Aang can save the world.”

    How dare they… I’m not even coherent after that. That’s an offense against storytelling.

    Can you imagine this happening with any other line?

    “due to the increased role of Fry in Futurama…”

  482. 482
    Ing

    …Katara’s the frickin’ viewpoint character. She’s the first one we meet, telling us the story. Her voice is the intro voice-over for every single episode; the one that speaks the arc of the entire series. “But I believe that Aang can save the world.”

    How dare they… I’m not even coherent after that. That’s an offense against storytelling.

    Right…it’s abfuckingsurd.

    Now it’s not the same company so it isn’t a fair representation, but this is the industry that excludes a main character from a franchise yet gives us this from another http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/dragonballzcentral_2191_7144528341

  483. 483
    skmc

    Oh dear. This Radford fellow really puts the Creep in “mission creep”.

    I’d say it’s high time that CFI came up with a position paper on prejudice-denialism (re: racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.). They have such material for anti-vaxxers, climate-change denialism, etc. All denialists use similar feats of illogic; it ought to be squarely within the organization’s mission.

    And yet, this particular steaming batch of logicfail is apparently “freedom of expression” (#158). Funny–I don’t see any flat-Earthers freely expressing their flat-earthiness over there.

  484. 484
    Ing

    @skmc

    The problem seems to be that they are under the notion that social sciences or well…politics… is in the Magisterium of ‘opinion’. It’s a common idea that “decreasing taxation on the wealthiest will create jobs” is somehow an opinion rather than a empirical claim.

    Combine that with evopsyche and the bell curve propping up prejudice and you get even some well meaning otherwise liberal and nice people agreeing to sex and gender esesentialism and fucked up bigotry.

  485. 485
    Ing

    The pink thing was just so illustrative of what’s wrong with evopsyche so often though!

    He jumped to find a evopsyche explanation without first asking if there was anything to explain. That’s a fail at skepticism 101

  486. 486
    normalanomaly

    “BTW I wonder if this Rayford person has ever tried to buy a pair of pants with good pockets for a girl.”

    This this this. I carry a wallet, phone, mini-notebook, and iPod with me most of the time. It’s a good thing I wear jackets year-round, because there is no way I’d be able to fit that stuff into the pathetic pockets in my jeans. What do marketers not get about people wanting someplace to put their shit?

  487. 487
    'Tis Himself

    It’s been over 48 hours since Radford spewed his sexism on CFI’s blog and nobody at CFI has bothered to post a reply, a rebuttal or even a disclaimer as an opening post. Apparently the humanist side of CFI is not a priority with them.

  488. 488
    Ing

    I was going to give a comment in CFI’s defense trying to see things in the best light and all…then I decided I didn’t care.

  489. 489
    patrickbarrett

    I don’t think there’s much point in debating a man who plunges into a public “refutation” of a four-year-old, especially when the four-year-old appears to be his intellectual superior. So I’ll just enjoy this sentence from his “rebuttal”:

    Most TV commercials don’t depict girls playing with gender-stereotyped male toys like WWF action figures and rockets-and why would they, since girls prefer dolls?

    You see, silly Riley, girls don’t like action figures. Girls like dolls. And boys don’t like dolls; boys like action figures.

  490. 490
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    Why are boys’ dolls called “action figures”?

    Because they’re for boys, and boys don’t play with dolls, they play with action figures. Duh. What kind of skeptic are you?

  491. 491
    ChasCPeterson

    evopsyche

    I have to ask.
    Do you always spell it that way on purpose as, like, some sort of a ‘comment’?
    Or is it just because you can’t spell?
    I must know.

  492. 492
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    What I just posted at CFI:

    Hi. . .is this thing on?

    Hi CFI. Is anyone in the organization at least interested in posting an acknowledgment that they know how flawed this piece is? That they’re aware that there’s a huge portion of CFI’s constituency that finds this piece outrageous, and not because they differ with Ben’s opinion, but because blatant sexism and logic-denial isn’t, um, really a matter of opinion?

    Hello? CFI? Is anyone there? Hello?

    Oh, never mind.

  493. 493
    crowepps

    What do marketers not get about people wanting someplace to put their shit?

    Women’s sweatpants don’t have pockets at all. I have been told this is because “women don’t want to look fat”. In order to get pockets, you have to buy men’s sweatpants. Fortunately, those are actually cheaper.

  494. 494
    chigau (違う)

    The 3-piece-suit jacket (men’s) last purchased has 7 (count ‘em, 7) pockets.
    The last lady-jacket had 2. Neither of which could hold anything larger than a match-book.

  495. 495
    patrickanderson

    @mikeg

    This is off topic, but you mentioned earlier you weren’t very familiar with sic in usage.
    ‘sic’ is Latin for ‘thus’ or ‘thus so’, and is used commonly for ‘yes’ in Latin speech.

    I’ve most often seen it used when citing sources after a phrase that looks odd, or where there’s a missing word as a way of showing that you have copied the source faithfully, and the missing word or odd phrasing was part of the original statement.
    It is you literally saying “thus it was” in regards to the copied statement or text.

  496. 496
    doktorzoom

    Sorry I forgot I was talking to philistines…not that Avatar

    Grin…And as someone who initially thought Ridley Scott was going to bastardize a pretty good animated series, I should have figured that out.

    On t’other hand, a quick googling of “Avatar action figures” brings up a sea of light-blue plastic….

  497. 497
    SallyStrange

    I suppose if you wondered why women “have” to carry purses with them all the time, Ben Radford would say, “I don’t care if you don’t carry a purse! What’s the problem? Where’s the evidence that someone is forcing you to carry a purse?”

  498. 498
    Hatchetfish

    Apologies to anyone who I may have missed pointing this out previously. (I’ve been reading in chunks, so maybe it fell through the gaps finding my place back after a few hours.)

    How, if this is valid:
    Dolls are skin toned, which is pink. (fractally false premise)
    Dolls should be dressed in pink. (false premise)
    Girls play with dolls.
    Everything girls play with, associate with, sit on, wear, or know to exist should be so pink it can induce arc-eye at 100 yards.

    is this not valid?

    Humans are skin toned, which is pink (false and scary premise)
    Humans should be dressed in pink.
    Everything humans play with, associate with, sit on, wear, or know to exist should be so pink it can induce arc-eye at 100 yards.

    I think I’m going to call this the “Ice-9 Color Palette Theory”: “If anything is pink everything must be pink. Nothing is true! Everything is true! Ia Ia! Phallus R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!!”

    Sorry, got a little carried away there.

  499. 499
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    No you’re reading it wrong. What they’re saying is that BOYS won’t play with a figure that represents a female character. The idea that girls would buy the product never seemed to occur to them.

    Funny thing, the action figure sets when I was a kid all included at least one kick-ass woman. And the boys had them and played with them. I must know, because my mum refused to buy me such violent rubbish, so I always had to ask others to lend me theirs.
    There are more known female pirates in the history books (and undoubtly there were many more unknown) than there are in toy sets.
    Knights obviously reproduce by cloning.
    It’s not only that they are marketed to boys only, it’s also that their play-reality excludes 20% of the human population. Is it any wonder they grow up with such a disregard for women?

  500. 500
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Shit, that above should read 50%, of course *all hail Tpyos*

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