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An experiment: why do you despise feminism?

Michael Shermer is feeling victimized, and is now seeing persecutors under the bed, I think. He posted a complaint about Ophelia writing a post that discussed subliminal biases. It’s a bizarre and paranoid whine — apparently you’re not ever supposed to criticize a skeptic, or you’re carrying out a witch hunt.

The feminist witch hunt continues! Ophelia Benson and PZ Myers have caught me again being a sexist: Trolling through my Scientific American columns Ophelia discovered that in my October column I report on Leonard Mlodinow’s book Subliminal, in which he reports on studies that report on people’s report of how they feel about politicians based on various subliminal cues, one of which is the pitch of the voice, lower judged as more truthful than higher (although looks matter even more). Guess what? My reporting of Leonard’s reporting of the studies’ reporting of subjects’ reports makes ME a sexist! Wiiiiiiitch. Seriously. I couldn’t make this up (note PZ’s comment on my own voice!)

Go ahead and read the Butterflies & Wheels post that hurt Shermer’s feelings; nowhere does she accuse him of being a sexist. She does suggest that he seems oblivious to the fact that a bias favoring the authority of deeper voices is also going to be a bias against women, but it’s more an affirmation of his point that we have these unconscious prejudices.

As for my terrible, awful, evil comment: I pointed out that Shermer isn’t exactly a baritone himself. That wasn’t an accusation or an insult; I don’t have a deep voice, either. My point was that you don’t have to have a voice like a foghorn to be a leader.

It’s a truly delusional state he’s worked himself into, and now he’s seeing witch hunts with himself as the target everywhere he looks (probably abetted by those slime pit denizens who see every cross-eyed look and every criticism as a sign that someone is about to get shivved by the all-powerful FtB mafia, and flood twitter and blog comments with such knee-jerk reactions). It’s a shame.

But that’s not what’s got me curious. Notice what else he does? He uses “feminist” as an insult, a very common phenomenon. It has me mystified.

And if you read that facebook post, the comments are similar: mobs of people having fits over “feminists”, sounding like Republicans fretting over “communists”. Here’s a subset of the shorter complaints:

Also, don’t worry about moronic misandrists.
True feminists (those wanting equality and NOT superiority for women) do not behave like this.

Just look at what happened to Thunderf00t when he dared question the pseudo-feminist dogma.

Welcome to The hysterical totalitarian feminist left….(just ask Lawrence Summers)

The death of Hitchens and this feminist clusterfuck have ruined the Atheist community.

Skepticism (capital “A”) is over for me. The movement has been co-opted by people with an agenda. Sad.

Trying to creep feminism into the skeptic movement is total nonsense. Tea Party was bought out by social conservatives, Occupy Wall Street taken over by hippies, and now the skeptic AND atheist movement is being bought out by radical liberals. It’s a shame.

It is a shame that people like PZ Myers and his ilk are so quick to abandon reason when their feminist religion tells them what nonsense to spew.

This shit is getting really annoying. Please ban all those feminist morons from skeptic conferences. Its a dogmatic belief system not based on evidence, dismissive of evidence provided to them and generally pretty aggressive towards other people for no real reason. How can they call themselves skeptics?

(That one’s a favorite: a dogmatic, dismissive, aggressive comment declaring that you can’t be a true skeptic if you’re dogmatic, dismissive, and aggressive. Own goal!)

I have to laugh at this other non sequitur that popped up:

Pz lost his mind after he went vegetarian. I don’t know what Ophelia is thinking

Well, vegetarianism isn’t associated with insanity as far as I know, and also, little awkward fact, I’m not a vegetarian, although I have reduced my meat consumption.

But anyway, I started to realize something: I don’t understand how these people think at all — they’re completely alien. Regarding feminism with contempt is a bit like regarding science with contempt: it’s incomprehensible to me, and I’m wondering if they really understand what they are throwing away.

So let’s try an experiment. Let’s hear from some of these anti-feminists. I’d like them to comment here and explain themselves, and to do so a little more deeply than just reiterating dogmatic excuses. If you think feminism is a religion, explain why, and be specific. If you think feminism is unsupported by the evidence, explain what evidence opposes the principles of feminism. If you think it’s wrong for the skeptic movement to have a social agenda, explain what you think it should be doing that has no social implications.

Most importantly, if you think feminism, that is equality for men and women and opposition to cultural institutions that perpetuate inequities, is irrational, let’s see you explain your opposition rationally.

This could go a couple of ways: there could be dead silence as the anti-feminists wilt under pressure to honestly explain themselves, or there could be an eruption of the usual shrieking misogyny, or there might actually be a few who try to explain themselves. If it’s the latter, the rest of you behave yourselves — pretend you’ve got a cockroach under the microscope and try to probe it to figure out what makes it work, and don’t just try to crush it under the heel of your shoe, OK?

I’m a bit curious myself. I’ve had these sorts of conversations with creationists, and it’s always like wandering through an alien world; let’s try to figure out what weird things are going on inside the skulls of anti-feminists.

Comments

  1. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    let’s try to figure out what weird things are going on inside the skulls of anti-feminists.

    I think you are being optimistic PZ, in thinking the echo of empty skulls won’t be deafening…talk about sheeple…

  2. david says

    “Well, vegetarianism isn’t associated with insanity as far as I know”

    Generally not, but beware of Vitamin B12 deficiency, which is associated with dementia.

  3. James Larkin says

    Feminists put me in a love-hate scenario. A lot of feminists have had to retract their views in public because of radicals taking them over, but I agree with the goal of equality, and I’ve adopted the Egalitarian label. The crazies on both sides of the debate need to have their microphones muted, and then people can engage in rational conversation.

  4. John Morales says

    witch hunt

    witch hunt?!

    witch-hunt

    Ophelia Benson and PZ Myers have caught me again…

    … and so he’s been duly mentally and physically tortured to force him to recant, so that he may be merely hung for it instead of being burnt at the stake.

    (no?)

    <snark>

  5. caveatimperator says

    Funny how these sorts complain about being shouted down, but swarm other boards, such as this one, when their pet topics get discussed, in order to shout people down.

    The crow is calling the raven black.

    (Who wants to take bets on how long it takes before the Slyme starts leaking through the walls? Five cookies says it happens before the 40th post.)

  6. says

    This makes me think of the southpark episode where they go into the future and religion is all gone. So what’s causing all the wars in that era? Different atheist factions….oh the wisdom of southpark.

  7. says

    This shit is getting really annoying. Please ban all those feminist morons from skeptic conferences. Its a dogmatic belief system not based on evidence, dismissive of evidence provided to them and generally pretty aggressive towards other people for no real reason. How can they call themselves skeptics?

    I’ll just settle for a massive facepalm here. Perhaps banging my head into the desk a time or two. And a truckload of sighs.

    James Larkin:

    The crazies on both sides of the debate

    This ^ is not helpful. Neither is using the term ‘crazies’. What, exactly, do you object to?

  8. says

    But the “egalitarian” label seems to have warped into “and don’t you dare talk about culture or stereotypes or any of that nonsense or you will wear the label RADFEM forever!”

  9. says

    The crazies on both sides of the debate need to have their microphones muted

    I said, be specific. Who are the crazies? What makes them crazy? Which parameters of feminism are crazy?

  10. says

    philisyssis, back for another run at proselytizing, are you? Do you remember what happened the last time you tried that here? By the way, as it escaped your notice, this thread is about feminism. Do try to keep up.

  11. says

    Janine:

    Only an idiot(philisyssis) takes fiction as fact.

    Their last outing here was not…successful, however, they are very good at derailing and making a thread all about them.

  12. omnicrom says

    If you don’t assume the show reflects reality why bring up a South Park episode to try and score points?

  13. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    A lot of feminists have had to retract their views in public because of radicals taking them over…

    Examples please.

  14. says

    I mentioned it because I thought it was funny, if you had seen the show you might agree and you would have been able to share a laugh. It doesn’t actually mean that I think this post is going to lead us into a war 200 years from now….geez you guys are uptight.

  15. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Your initial mention came off as being some sort of argument. Poking around for any substance to your comment doesn’t make anyone uptight. So you’re admitting there was no actual substance there? Then what *was* the point? We aren’t laughing.

  16. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Pointing out a thoughtless statement does not make one uptight.

    But I can guess where you are at in this debate about feminism.

  17. John Morales says

    philisyssis:

    Shermer seems to be tying feminism to the atheist movement and to being a skeptic.

    He does?

    Can you elucidate the basis upon which you perceive this to be the case?

  18. omnicrom says

    Why did you bring it up? Because it was funny? I’m glad you enjoyed that episode, but why is it relevant to the comments of this blog post? You second to last sentence baffles me as well. What do you mean when you say “It doesn’t actually mean I think this post is going to lead us into a war 200 years from now”? Did anyone say you did believe that a blog post would lead to war in the distant future? Again why did you bring it up if you’re saying it doesn’t reflect what you believe or what you want to talk about?

    I’m not being “uptight”, I’m confused. Philisyssis could you explain what you’re talking about and why?

  19. says

    Ophelia:

    But the “egalitarian” label seems to have warped into “and don’t you dare talk about culture or stereotypes or any of that nonsense or you will wear the label RADFEM forever!”

    It tends to run with The No True Feminist fallacy. As you know, true feminists™ are either quiet or chill girls.

  20. mythbri says

    I hate feminism because then I get treated as a real person.

    Wait, no. I’ve got it. I hate feminism because then I get to control my own fertility.

    Nope, that’s not it. Um….I hate feminism because if I get married my husband can’t legally rape me?

    Sheesh. I really haven’t thought this through.

  21. vaiyt says

    Oh yawn.

    The crazies on both sides of the debate need to have their microphones muted,

    How’s the view from up there at the fence?

    and then people can engage in rational conversation.

    “We’re going to sit down and have a nice chat, over tea and crumpets, about whether women are human.” NOT.

  22. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Vaiyt, how about we debate if men are human before we move on to the women.

    (I am mean enough to want to hear MRAs explain why they are actually human.)

  23. says

    Vaiyt:

    “We’re going to sit down and have a nice chat, over tea and crumpets, about whether women are human.”

    Going by the quoted materials in the post, it seems there’s a distinct fear that this isn’t about women being considered and treated as full human beings. It’s about women going straight from not-quite humans to superior humans.

  24. says

    Janine:

    (I am mean enough to want to hear MRAs explain why they are actually human.)

    I imagine that would quickly devolve into a complaint about how they aren’t actually privileged at all, it’s those wimmin who have all the perks.

  25. nightshadequeen says

    @James Larkin:

    The crazies on both sides of the debate

    Firstly, can you please avoid using “crazy” as a slur?

    Secondly, what do you consider to be the extremist positions on this debate?

  26. James Larkin says

    PZ [Still getting used to this, please bear my lack of fancy quotes]: “I said, be specific. Who are the crazies? What makes them crazy? Which parameters of feminism are crazy?”

    Who? Those would be those who have hijacked the original movement of feminism and tried to steer it on a course that is not about equality, but about a personal agenda of making sure that women are more powerful than men. I’ll agree to the cows come home that in many places nationally and internationally women are oppressed, and that’s it’s incredibly more common than the same happening to men. However, that does not mean that women should be made more powerful than men – equality is, as far as I am concerned, the best end.

    No direct parameters of Feminism are crazy – they chase acknowledgeable and achievable goals for equality. It is such a shame that the stage has been taken over by people who believe in something that isn’t feminism as it was 10 years ago – This social stigma is probably an explanation for why some people dislike feminism.

    I don’t want the debate on gender issues to be full of shouting about why one gender should be better or worse than the other – I want it to be about how to make things equal. And this is why I think the, as I so ineloquently put it, “crazies” should be removed from the stage of discussion.

    Eh, it’s 12:40 AM here and all I’m doing is saying that I can understand the dislike of feminism due to the current social stigma (Even though I’m egalitarian) – but that people like the person quotes in the original post of this blog are blatantly incorrect.

  27. says

    You didn’t answer the “who” question — you made some vague generalities. Who are these people who aim to make women more powerful than men? Are they here? Do they have names?

  28. nightshadequeen says

    @James

    How, exactly, are feminists trying to make “sure that women are more powerful than men”?

  29. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    No examples of feminist retracting positions from James Larkin. Just a long winded rant that just says that he does not like it.

    No cookie for you.

  30. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but about a personal agenda of making sure that women are more powerful than men.

    Citation needed, or your paranoia is showing.

    I want it to be about how to make things equal.

    So, where is your evidence that feminists want a “superior” position?

    (Even though I’m egalitarian

    Somehow I don’t believe you. Egalitarians are feminists, as feminism is all about equality. This implies you want masculine privilege to continue, which means you aren’t an egalitarian….

  31. says

    A lot of feminists have had to retract their views claws in public because of radicals taking them over misogynists losing their fucking minds

    FTFY.

  32. says

    James Larkin:

    Who? Those would be those who have hijacked the original movement of feminism and tried to steer it on a course that is not about equality, but about a personal agenda of making sure that women are more powerful than men. I’ll agree to the cows come home that in many places nationally and internationally women are oppressed, and that’s it’s incredibly more common than the same happening to men. However, that does not mean that women should be made more powerful than men – equality is, as far as I am concerned, the best end.

    Whoa. You need to be specific, James. Provide cites, examples, something. I’ve been a feminist for 40+ years and I’d dearly like to know where you’re getting this info that feminism has been ‘hijacked’ and this so-called personal agenda.

    Feminism has changed, yes. That’s because some strides were made and we’ve had new generations entering feminism. That’s only natural. It’s not a ‘hijacking’. Nor is it a ‘personal’ agenda. I’m not sure how you’re assigning ‘personal’ to all of feminism anyway.

    And if you think we’re even near equality, you are most mistaken. What do you mean by “more powerful”? Be specific, please. Because it seems as if women having equal power as men is what you’re actually meaning here.

    Right now, we’re living in a time where women’s rights are being not just eroded, but outright taken away. It’s a very scary time for women, especially young ones, who are seeing a return to a time where they do not have bodily autonomy. This is just one thing, there’s a whole lot more.

    Please, put some serious thought into this and try to respond with more than buzz words and phrases. Those are not helping.

  33. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Watch as the Hivemind persecutes yet an other reasonable man.

    See as James Larkin is treated as if women are superior.

  34. caveatimperator says

    Even if there were crazy feminists who were actually more interested in superiority than equality (which, sadly, there are), James and others like him are committing some very foolish equivocation. “There are people who hold these views” is a COMPLETELY different statement from “these people are taken seriously and respected by the community at large.” I see it as not much different from the non-atheists who attempt to argue that we must all secretly admire Stalin and Mao.

  35. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Some one is going to lose an eye! All of the flying sarcasm and flung snark is going to hurt some one.

    It is all fun and games…

  36. frankb says

    I’ll be specific. It’s those people who won’t let me be a man. As a man I have to chase after every skirt. /snark.

  37. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    It is such a shame that the stage has been taken over by people who believe in something that isn’t feminism as it was 10 years ago

    What do these gnu feminists believe and who exactly are you talking about?

    Averse to links/quotes?

  38. says

    Sally Strange:

    We should have a betting pool on which outdated, “crazy” feminist gets named first – Valerie Solana? Germaine Greer? Andrea Dworkin?

    I’ll go with Dworkin first. She tends to be the first cite in defense of “crazy ass feminist” rhetoric. After those are torn down, Solanas and The SCUM manifesto are brought up to confirm the bitchez be crazy defense. This is also done in a bid to force anyone arguing to be super calm and vulcanesque in their arguments, as any sign of passion takes them right back to the bitchez be crazy, all hysterical and stuff.

  39. says

    Frankb:

    I’ll be specific. It’s those people who won’t let me be a man. As a man I have to chase after every skirt. /snark.

    I’m awfully glad you included that snark tag.

  40. frankb says

    I’m awfully glad you included that snark tag.

    This was my attempt to figure out why they think feminists are seeking superiority.

  41. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    No, no, no, James doesn’t need specifics, this whole issue is full of specified complexity. ‘Cause you know, it’s complicated ‘n stuff….

  42. carlie says

    hose would be those who have hijacked the original movement of feminism and tried to steer it on a course that is not about equality, but about a personal agenda of making sure that women are more powerful than men.

    I have heard people say this, but can you provide any examples? I’m interested in two versions here: first, can you provide any examples that you can think of without looking any up? Have you ever seen a feminist argue that women should be specifically more powerful than men, or are you taking this on hearsay, the “everybody knows this” argument? Second, if you can’t accomplish the first, are there any that you can find? Are there examples you can look up and find where someone says women should be more powerful than men, and what is their position in the various movements of feminism (that is, are these people known leaders, obvious outliers, etc.)?

  43. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    let’s try to figure out what weird things are going on inside the skulls of anti-feminists.

    Don’t make me think about my unearned privileges.
    Don’t make me think critically about how I may have unintentionally harmed others.
    Don’t make me think about others’ lives, experiences, and problems.
    Don’t make me think about injustice.
    Don’t make me think…

  44. says

    We should have a betting pool on which outdated, “crazy” feminist gets named first – Valerie Solana? Germaine Greer? Andrea Dworkin?

    Nope, James can’t use any of them, since he claimed that real feminism existed 10 years ago, and has been hijacked since then, so that leaves all of them out.

  45. Steve Caldwell says

    James Larkin wrote:

    Who? Those would be those who have hijacked the original movement of feminism and tried to steer it on a course that is not about equality, but about a personal agenda of making sure that women are more powerful than men. I’ll agree to the cows come home that in many places nationally and internationally women are oppressed, and that’s it’s incredibly more common than the same happening to men. However, that does not mean that women should be made more powerful than men – equality is, as far as I am concerned, the best end.

    James – your post isn’t specific yet, but it’s a good first step. And any journey must start with a first step.

    Perhaps you could elaborate on who exactly has “hijacked” the original feminist movement (I put “hijacked” in quotes because I doubt it involved guns, boxcutters, or other tools of violence). Who exactly are you talking about here?

    And please provide some concrete examples here of the putative “hijackers” expressing an ideology promoting the idea that women are or should be more powerful than men.

    Second, if you find an example of a feminist promoting the idea that women should be more powerful than men, is this a view with broad almost-consensus acceptance within feminism or is it a fringe view within feminism that is rejected by most?

    What you’re describing here doesn’t sound like the feminism that I know about. But it’s possible that you know about something that I haven’t experienced yet.

    Keep in mind that feminism isn’t a monolithic entity where conformity of opinion is required to be a feminist.

    For example, the sex-positive feminist Susie Bright and anti-pornography feminist Andrea Dworkin are both feminists even though they don’t agree on many issues.

  46. Cyranothe2nd says

    I was raised anti-feminist (am not now, but took some years to overcome that programming). A lot of the anti-fems I know make the same moves:

    1. They assume that the past (pre-1900) was a golden age in which men treated women with respect and that women were, on the whole, privileged and grateful for this. Its deeply ahistorical, of course, but they point to social mores like opening doors, standing when a lady enters the room, etc as examples of this grand respect women used to have. They believe that feminism has killed men’s respect for women and this has lead to higher rates of spousal abuse, rape and other gendered violence. These are the “if women would just be women, men would act like men” types.

    2. They believe that 2nd-wave feminism (they almost never call it this, referring to it as edificial “Feminism” instead) lost its way and became about promoting the rights of women above men. They typically use Dworkin and other rad-fems as evidence of this. They will also point out inequities in the court system and the prison-industrial complex. They believe that feminism has a secret agenda to oppress men.

    3. They believe that women have a “natural place” and that place is in the home. If only women would just accept this, all would be right with the world. They see the state of affairs now as the fault of feminism–feminists have disrupted the home, destabilized the family, driven men into insolvency and crashed the economy by taking men’s jobs.

    4. This usually goes hand-in-hand with a (homophobic) condemnation of “effete liberal men,” who are seen as weak tools being manipulated by women. These men bring about the ruin of “real men” by buying into the feminist line and being willing and even eager to give up their own power and make way for women. Anti-fems despite these men even more than they despise women.

    All of these things seem self-evidence to anti-fems. They really have no evidence, beyond the handful of rad-fem quotes they trot out at every occasion. I think they just watched a lot of “Little House on the Prairie” or some shit and think the world was really like that back in the day, and if only we could return to that, everything would be okay.

    A really good book to read about this is Michael Kimmel’s “Manhood in America.” Kimmel attempts to recreate the way that manhood has been socially constructed since the beginning of America, and quite a lot of it has been in opposition to feminism. Being “anti-feminist” is a way of constructing manhood as pro-individualism, rugged, anti-city, anti-intellectual. It is really an interesting book.

  47. Ichthyic says

    I’m kinda surprised to see Shermer being someone who likes to use steam-powered shovels to dig their own holes.

    oh well, to each their own I suppose.

    I keep wondering what would have happened if he simply said NOTHING after the very first time he tried to answer the question about why aren’t there more women in atheist movement leadership and speaking roles.

    the other two panelists had much more interesting things to say on the subject, especially Caroll, and Shermer disagreed with none of that during the first video.

    why, WHY, did he feel the need to double down on the stupid?

    *shrug*

    Streisand effect?

  48. Tenebras says

    For a guy who wrote a whole book about “Why People Believe Weird Things”, Shermer’s not doing so well at recognizing his own weird beliefs.

    FFS, it’s like every time I hop on the internet, there’s yet ANOTHER atheist/skeptic I once had great respect for turning around and shoving their head up their ass. And I usually hop on the internet multiple times a day. I don’t like perpetual disappointment folks, I get that enough from the rest of the human race. Can we knock it off now? Please?

  49. owlglass says

    To me Ophelia appeared to be rather passive agressive, and I didn’t see anything there that suggests that women are at a disadvantage. People also have expectations on the pitch of fe/male voices, it could be that it is relative to what is considered normal. Case in point, men sounding insecure or hysterical don’t need to have higher voices than woman.

    Feminism is important. But when you think some theories in philosophy or humanities are utter nonsense, you’ll have a hard time with some feminism. At times it also has a tendency to only look at how women are mistreated, disregarding how they contribute to the situation themselves. For example, while career opportunities are indeed still inequal (as is payment), women also tend to study more for self-realisation, whereas men more often study where they expect money and power. For example German Studies (I’m German) are full of females who want to become teachers or something the like, whereas (mechanial) engineering is full of men.

  50. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    are full of females who want to become teachers or something the like, whereas (mechanial) engineering is full of men.

    You tell on yourself.

  51. James Larkin says

    @ PZ Myers: Thankfully (At least, as far as I’m concerned), the groups are drifting apart. I’ll concede that due to my lack of a decent memory I cannot name any specifics, and I probably shouldn’t comment regarding any groups – I think there’s a Ukranian group called Femen who has gained attention by sexualising themselves in public, but I don’t have any studies etc. proving there’s a link between the more proactive feminists causing those less proactive to hide away, so once again I concede the point.
    ~~~
    @ Various: When I want a civil discussion between ideals, I don’t think the ideal that “Women aren’t human/are subhuman” is anything other than false – any conversation regarding gender rights should have the foundation that all human beings are equal, although the way they treated aren’t. At the end of a conversation people would have learnt something new, and possibly a solution to a problem would have been found. If you’re seriously suggesting that I want people to discuss whether or not any gender is human or not, that’s a straw man (Although not your fault, my explanation in the original post was less than stellar)
    ~~~
    Also using this post to retract the “Crazies” point., AND also retracting the point that feminism has been taken over – Although there are some folks who are more radical (See Femen above, I wish I was competent enough to remember the other groups ¬_¬), and this has caused those opposing feminism to have a lot more fuel for their hatred – which again may have rubbed off on me more than others. It’s as close to justification as misogynistic individuals can get, and I think that some of the propoganda that such groups have spread (Mens Right Activist groups on places such as reddit exist) is causing people to gain less respect for feminism as a movement. I suppose this could be referred to as the movement being hijacked, but at the same time it’s not by an individual person or group, just a shift in the perception of the movement, which is naturally a different thing than the actual movement.
    ~~~
    Perhaps I’m simply being far too idealistic in wishing that everyone could hold the view that all humans are equal – this is most likely the case. And sorry to anyone who’s had to put up with my posts and post-midnight grammar/lack of logic. Thanks to those who furthered the discussion without using it as a chance to use it as a cheap shot against me as well, it’s quite a skill learning how to debate a position (In this case, several flawed or badly explained ones). Goodnight folks :-)

  52. carlie says

    You know, the MRA types somehow manage to swarm posts here mere minutes after something they don’t like has been posted, every single time. Where are they all? Why are they taking so long?

  53. carlie says

    Although there are some folks who are more radical (See Femen above, I wish I was competent enough to remember the other groups ¬_¬),

    That’s a big tell right there, though – if you don’t even remember who you’re talking about, how can you be so sure in your assertion that there even are any radicals who have “taken over the movement” or become more of the face of it?

  54. says

    owlglass:

    To me Ophelia appeared to be rather passive agressive, and I didn’t see anything there that suggests that women are at a disadvantage. People also have expectations on the pitch of fe/male voices, it could be that it is relative to what is considered normal. Case in point, men sounding insecure or hysterical don’t need to have higher voices than woman.

    You can write the above and you don’t see the disadvantages faced by women? Wow. Also, calling Ophelia passive aggressive? Goodness. I think you have a bad case of cognitive dissonance going on.

    At times it also has a tendency to only look at how women are mistreated, disregarding how they contribute to the situation themselves. For example, while career opportunities are indeed still inequal (as is payment), women also tend to study more for self-realisation, whereas men more often study where they expect money and power.

    Oh FFS, this utter shit, again? Why am I thinking of ahmetduran all of a sudden? (I know, I know.) What do you have to say about chilly climate and how it affects women who go into a career such as engineering?

  55. Ermine says

    Still waiting for any specifics whatsoever from James Larkin (Who I -really- hope isn’t the James Larkin I know in CA, but I’m assuming it isn’t – he’s not -that- much of an idiot, usually.)

    What happened? Is it taking awhile to try and find anyone who actually fits your accusations? I’m certainly not -surprised- at his sudden silence, but I am eagerly waiting to see if he is mature enough to admit his errors, or if he’ll continue along the same well-worn tack, spouting wild generalities without a single specific name or incident in the real world to point to.

    C’mon, we’re all eagerly waiting to hear more!

  56. Cyranothe2nd says

    @ Caine 66–You’ve very welcome.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the ahistorical nature of a lot of anti-liberal thought. I was watching the PBS documentary on the Triangle Factory Fire and thinking, “And libertarians think the market is self-regulating. REALLY???” Its all so gross.

  57. says

    James Larkin:

    When I want a civil discussion between ideals, I don’t think the ideal that “Women aren’t human/are subhuman” is anything other than false – any conversation regarding gender rights should have the foundation that all human beings are equal, although the way they treated aren’t.

    You should be aware that the use of ‘civil discussion’ is often used by people in order to ignore and silence women. Don’t focus on civility. If people are sometimes angry, it’s because they have reason to be. If people are passionate, that’s a good thing.

    That said, “women aren’t human/are subhuman’ isn’t an ideal – it’s reality here on the ground where we live. The fact that women are treated as less than full human beings who have a right to their own lives is something we have to fight against every fucking day, at every level, from personal relationships to laws being passed. It might be good for you to try to imagine what that might be like – then you might be able to have a fruitful discussion.

  58. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    are full of females who want to become teachers or something the like, whereas (mechanial) engineering is full of men.

    As a graduate of a university level engineering program, I can say without fear of contradiction, that the program wasn’t “full of men” because it was actively and quite spectacularly hostile to women. Absolutely not. No. Nope. Not even a little.

    Close-caption for the sarcasm impaired, that’s exactly the reason why.

  59. Ichthyic says

    For example German Studies (I’m German) are full of females who want to become teachers or something the like, whereas (mechanial) engineering is full of men.

    FWIW, it would be a worthwhile endeavor for you to examine all of the biases that this statement might contain, including your own.

  60. nightshadequeen says

    @owlglass

    Feminism is important. But when you think some theories in philosophy or humanities are utter nonsense, you’ll have a hard time with some feminism.

    What do you mean by this statement?

    At times it also has a tendency to only look at how women are mistreated, disregarding how they contribute to the situation themselves. For example, while career opportunities are indeed still inequal (as is payment), women also tend to study more for self-realisation, whereas men more often study where they expect money and power.

    What subjects do you consider to be more of the self-realisation type, and what subjects are more of the money-and-power type?

    A list of subjects to consider: Biology, chemistry, physics, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, urban enginneering, music, arts, language, literature, social science, history, philosophy, computer science, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, business, aero/astro, nuclear engineering, biological engineering, materials science, architecture, etc.

    For example German Studies (I’m German) are full of females who want to become teachers or something the like, whereas (mechanial) engineering is full of men.

    And why do you think that women (please don’t use females) pick German studies instead of engineering? What evidence do you have to back up your hypothesis?

  61. says

    So, a lifetime’s worth of programming stating that “women are bad at math” and “woman have poor spacial recognition skills” snd “women are naturally nurturing” and whatnot is our fault?

    Yeah, and a recent study showed that people with extreme math anxiety actually feel physical pain (well, certain pain centers in the brain are activated, at least) in the lead up to doing mathematics. So on top of stereotype threat and all that shit, women are more likely to have extreme math anxiety and actually be physically pained at the thought of doing mathematics.

    Those women! Always contributing to their situations!

  62. maddog1129 says

    I’m afraid that the question, “why do you despise feminism?” and the comment, “what weird things go on in their heads?” are pre-loaded to derail the kind of discussion that is being asked for.

    That said, I wonder how those who advocate “equality” but not “feminism” would respond to a cartoon I saw on facebook. I don’t know how to link it, but the first frame is labeled “equality to conservatives” and depicts three people each standing on an equally high box, looking over the fence to watch a baseball game. Person #1 is very tall and sees very well over the fence. Person #2 is medium height and can see just head height over the fence, and Person #3 is short, so that even standing on the box, cannot see the game. Frame 2 is labeled “equality to liberals,” and depicts Person #1 standing on the ground, can still see over the fence b/c s/he is tall. Person #2 can see over the fence standing on 1 box, and short little Person #3 can now see over the fence, too, because standing on 2 stacked boxes. Now the equality is not that each has 1 box to stand on, but that each one can actually see the game, even though 1 has no box, 2 has 1 box, and 3 has 2 boxes. Which version of “equality” represents proper equality between the sexes?

  63. Ermine says

    Gah! I check the thread three times before posting to be sure James hasn’t responded, and then he responds while I’m typing out two short paragraphs. *sigh*

    I am very glad to see him actually admit that he didn’t have any specifics, though I wish he’d realized that -before- posting the first time, and even more so the second. Even in the case of the one group he mentions, I note that he -still- hasn’t mentioned a single specific action, behavior, or position taken by that group, just that they exist, so somehow that gives the MRAs ammunition – ergo it’s the fault of the feminists??

    Sorry, I still don’t get where you’re trying to go there, James. But please – Take all the time you need to answer, you seem to make quite a bit more sense when you’ve taken a few minutes to think about it! (Though I’m currently assuming that you spent most of that time googling for names, but “Femen”, sans any actual -examples- of radicality was the best you could come up with)

  64. James Larkin says

    @Caine – Unfortunately (This time I’m apologising in advance for no direct links/evidence, I have the lovely joy of my internet that isn’t exactly fast) some people see that concept as being an ideal and not as a reality. I can give a vague example on Reddit once again, where there are enough subreddits dedicated to rape that it’s actually painful. Thankfully they also have subreddits dedicated to feminism and other topics.

    Also again, where I’m from it seems as if my accent carries badly to the audience here – a civil discussion doesn’t mandate no shouting, it simply means a discussion in which insulting a person outright without evidence. I will in the future make a mental note to omit the phrase “Civil” though, thanks :-)

  65. Stacy says

    Cyranothe2nd, I want to add to the voices thanking you for the insight and for your book recommendation.

    Manhood in America added to my library hold list! Thanks to you. :)

  66. John Morales says

    [meta]

    aleph squared:

    So on top because of stereotype threat and all that shit, women are more likely to have extreme math anxiety and actually be physically pained at the thought of doing mathematics.

    FTFY.

  67. Socio-gen, something something... says

    owlglass:

    For example German Studies (I’m German) are full of females who want to become teachers or something the like, whereas (mechanial) engineering is full of men.

    And why is that, I wonder? Oh, could it be social conditioning that tells women their place is in the home; that marriage and motherhood are the ultimate goal to which women should aspire; that there are certain careers that are “better” for women (all related to nurturing, oddly enough); that women aren’t capable of handling maths, engineering, science, business, atheism, or, really, anything not related to marriage, motherhood, shoes, and shopping; that women who enter engineering and other male-dominated schools/fields — or, really, any area of life in which men dominate — are faced with sexism and misogyny on a near-daily basis; that women who fail to meet expectations for how they should act must deal with constant scrutiny and criticism; stereotype threat, benevolent sexism, “tradition” … and holy shit, there’s so much more.

    James Larkin:

    “I don’t know and don’t remember and gosh, I can’t lay my hands on any source, but just trust me…”

  68. carlie says

    Passive aggressive! Moi?! Usually the shit I get is for being too aggressive, period.

    Silly Ophelia! You can’t be aggressive, because you’re a woman. Therefore you must be passive-aggressive instead, despite any evidence to the contrary. QED.

    it simply means a discussion in which insulting a person outright without evidence.

    I assume that means a civil discussion is one in which that doesn’t happen. That’s what we’re interested too, in fact. We get testy when feminism or feminists are insulted without evidence, which is why we’re asking for it.

  69. says

    James, thanks right back to you. I appreciate you hanging in there to have this conversation.

    I have the lovely joy of my internet that isn’t exactly fast

    I feel your pain. My wireless is acting like dial-up on molasses right now.

  70. says

    John:

    FTFY.

    Thank you. It’s been really getting on my nerves lately that “women suck at math!” is being brought up at every opportunity. Some women excel at math, some women are just fine at math, some women suck at math, just like some men excel at math, some men are just fine at math and some men suck at math.

  71. James Larkin says

    @86 – Now I’m going to restate my base position, that is “Mens Rights Groups have been using more radical appearing acts of feminism to make feminism APPEAR less viable, even though that is not the case.”

    Glad that’s over. Now, Femen have regularly performed major demonstrations by dressing as nuns, then stripping naked in large groups in public to reveal messages pained on their bodies. Now then, as it should hopefully be obvious, this would easily be abusable by a MRA. And on reddit [NSFW link], found http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/13fjog/nsfw_banner_image_of_the_feminist_protest_group/, you can see how they manipulate the message of the banner to be incredibly negative.

    If you want me to clarify anything, or point out me missing the obvious, then do so. FEMEN does have a website, but it is all NSFW content, but I’ll link it: http://femen.org/

  72. Rodney Nelson says

    noticing things is very aggressive!

    But noticing things is passive, therefore passive-aggressive. </snark>

  73. says

    @Caine — sorry, I’m quite dense, but what does John’s “FTFY” have to do with that? Neither my original comment nor John’s edit claimed that “women suck at math” — nor did the comment I was replying to and expanding on.

  74. Ogvorbis: useless says

    Now, Femen have regularly performed major demonstrations by dressing as nuns, then stripping naked in large groups in public to reveal messages pained on their bodies.

    Is the objection to the method of presenting the message, or the message itself? In other words, is the objection the tone, or the content?

  75. says

    James Larkin:

    Now, Femen have regularly performed major demonstrations by dressing as nuns, then stripping naked in large groups in public to reveal messages pained on their bodies. Now then, as it should hopefully be obvious, this would easily be abusable by a MRA. And on reddit [NSFW link], found http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/13fjog/nsfw_banner_image_of_the_feminist_protest_group/, you can see how they manipulate the message of the banner to be incredibly negative.

    All that does is point out how ridiculous MRA talking points happen to be. It would seem you’re saying that any and all feminism must tailor itself so that it couldn’t possibly be painted in a negative light by MRAs, assorted misogynists and your garden variety sexists.

    Sorry, but that gets a big, huge wrong! There has never been a time in feminism where women and their actions (and their aims, goals and speech) has not been denigrated and painted in a negative manner. Surely, you don’t think men were all manner of happy with suffragettes, do you?

    If we’re all doing everything in such a way as to never, ever upset or offend a man, that rather negates the whole point of feminism, doesn’t it?

  76. says

    aleph squared:

    sorry, I’m quite dense, but what does John’s “FTFY” have to do with that? Neither my original comment nor John’s edit claimed that “women suck at math”

    Actually, it did and your comment implied this was applicable to all women. John’s correction was to the point, that it’s some women and it’s because of stereotype threat, not ‘on top of’ as you had it.

  77. John Morales says

    [meta]

    aleph squared, “on top of” means in addition to, “because of” means due to.

    So, yes, your initial comment indeed claimed that “women suck at math”.

    I’m quite dense

    I don’t dispute this.

  78. says

    Aleph squared, pardon my previous. Your comment was commenting on a comment which was about another comment containing the sentiment “women naturally suck at math”.* My irritation is simply how much it has been used as an argument in feminism threads lately, and incorrectly aimed at you. My apologies.

    *Is that convoluted enough or what? ;)

  79. Socio-gen, something something... says

    FEMEN protests topless. So what?

    from their website:

    FEMEN – is a new ideology of the women’s sexual protest presented by extreme topless campaigns of direct action . FEMEN – is sextremism serving to protect women’s rights, democracy watchdogs attacking patriarchy, in all its forms: the dictatorship, the church, the sex industry.

    Just because MRA’s can abuse their message, they should..what? Cover up, bake cookies, play nicely, not be so darned confrontational?

  80. mikeyb says

    There is an area that one could make a case for as a social bias in favor of women. Women are significantly more likely to obtain child custody in divorce cases. Perhaps it isn’t a bias, it could reflect the fact that women are more likely to be judged to be more competent at nurturing and providing for their children than men, both of which I agree with (as a generalization) based upon my life experience. However it is still a puzzle.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-hughes/are-custody-decisions-bia_b_870709.html

    http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/latest-u-s-custody-and-child-support-data/

  81. James Larkin says

    @99 – The objection that MRAs use is the way the message is presented above all. I believe the gem of a quote which I have heard (hearsay again, although I can go rooting for it later) is that “Feminism is bad, look at these women sexualising themselves and claiming to be feminists.”

    No, I don’t claim to understand their logic too well, but it appeals to those not as educated on the subject.

    @100 – Unfortunately, the extremely radical protests (Such as Femen stripping naked to protest) gives MRAs an easier way to frame it with a “This is ridiculous” claim, that can seriously sway the less educated on the subject. Perhaps feminism should also work on showing how flawed these comments are as well – You are correct of course that no matter how you tackle the subject, someone will be offended. However, making sure that society realises that the claim that feminism is ridiculous based on a singular event is false, I believe that acknowledging that goal is quite a large step for feminism.

    Unfortunately I am once again very vunerable under the fact that the above claim is speculation without evidence.

  82. says

    John’s correction was to the point, that it’s some women and it’s because of stereotype threat, not ‘on top of’ as you had it.

    Yes, John’s correction was to the point, and I agree that I should have said “because” not “on top of.” (Though there are also other causes besides stereotype threat). But even in the absence of that, simply stating “women are more likely to experience extreme math anxiety” is not equivalent to “all women experience extreme math anxiety” and certainly not equivalent to “women suck at math.”

    But that doesn’t really matter, I suppose.

  83. says

    Sorry, clarification, by “that doesn’t really matter, I suppose” I just meant that this probably isn’t really a point I should argue about, not an attempt to be passive aggressive. Realized it could read that way.

  84. says

    I don’t despise feminism, far from it, but I do acknowledge that organized feminists often overlook issues of intersetionality and how they affect women of color differently from white women. We still have a long way to go on that. Things like Slut Walks are a good example. There’s plenty to criticize in the choices of the major feminist organization and in the history of the movement.

    But, you know, I’d still take if over nothing. And over the terrifying backward movement we’re making now.

  85. James Larkin says

    @108: Feminism is, at it’s core, the desire for men and women to be equal in society.

    The media representation of feminism, however, is somewhat more skewed. Hence my personal stance as an egalitarian when speaking to people.

  86. Johnny Hillwalker says

    “It’s a bizarre and paranoid whine — apparently you’re not ever supposed to criticize a skeptic, or you’re carrying out a witch hunt.”

    Interesting you say that yet anybody who criticizes Rebecca Watson is immediately labelled a hater or a misogynist. Not to mention yourself PZ, who is no more open to criticism than a brick wall. But pots be kettles and all that.

  87. says

    James Larkin:

    Unfortunately, the extremely radical protests (Such as Femen stripping naked to protest) gives MRAs an easier way to frame it with a “This is ridiculous” claim, that can seriously sway the less educated on the subject.

    Creamed Christ on Toast. What fucking difference does it make what MRAs can do with it? With anything? Femen are not trying to reach MRAs or idiots. Again, you’re making the argument that all feminism must be tailored (or “framed” – beware, people fond of framing have a bad history here) in order to never be up for negative painting by MRAs.

    Perhaps feminism should also work on showing how flawed these comments are as well

    Holy cow, what do you think we are doing, every damn day, James? On Pharyngula alone, we are fighting the good fight in threads like these all the time and have been doing so for years. Many of us are equally active in meatspace.

    Once again, we find ourselves in a position where we are being criticised, however, like many before you, James, you have little criticism when it comes to MRAs or just all the every day, normal guys who believe in the most toxic of sexism.

  88. says

    Also, James Larkin – please be considerate enough to use people’s nyms when replying. People are considerate enough to use yours and it’s annoying to have to scroll all over to see who you’re replying to while trying to write a comment. (Unless you’re on a phone, I understand it’s a right pain to do so on one.)

  89. John Morales says

    James Larkin, so you think it’s a desire, rather than an advocacy? Hm.

    (It’s the label you eschew, not the attitude?)

  90. says

    owlglass:

    For example German Studies (I’m German) are full of females who want to become teachers or something the like, whereas (mechanial) engineering is full of men.

    What others have said. Also, consider, say, the marketing of children’s toys. Boys get to play with generic lego, electronics, musical instruments, mechano sets, and sciencey/intellectually stimulating toys. Girls get dolls, stuffed animals, and infantilised, pinkified nonsense. It starts early. And for those who decide to go there despite all the programming, they are treated like this.

  91. carlie says

    James, I’m glad you’re conversing with us, but I feel bad that so much attention is going to you simply because there are no other guys willing to engage.

    Oh, hi, Johnny! Do you have anything to actually say?

  92. says

    Johnny Hillwalker:

    Interesting you say that yet anybody who criticizes Rebecca Watson is immediately labelled a hater or a misogynist.

    That is blatantly untrue and I suspect you’re well aware of it. A valid criticism is one thing, over a year’s worth of harassment and threats are another.

  93. consciousness razor says

    I believe the gem of a quote which I have heard (hearsay again, although I can go rooting for it later) is that “Feminism is bad, look at these women sexualising themselves and claiming to be feminists.”

    That’s what you took from it? I thought it was supposed to be about her holding a scythe and a pair of balls dripping with blood. It’s not that — it’s just “OMG boobies!?” What’s wrong with “sexualizing” oneself?

    Unfortunately, the extremely radical protests (Such as Femen stripping naked to protest) gives MRAs an easier way to frame it with a “This is ridiculous” claim, that can seriously sway the less educated on the subject.

    What the hell is “extremely radical” about it?

    Feminism is, at it’s core, the desire for men and women to be equal in society.

    The media representation of feminism, however, is somewhat more skewed. Hence my personal stance as an egalitarian when speaking to people.

    That makes no sense. Instead of identifying yourself as a feminist to represent what an actual non-“ridiculous” or non-“radical” feminist is like, you concede all of those misrepresentations as if they were real problems by identifying some other way.

  94. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Caine:

    Once again, we find ourselves in a position where we are being criticised, however, like many before you, James, you have little criticism when it comes to MRAs or just all the every day, normal guys who believe in the most toxic of sexism.

    Aren’t we lucky that James is here to give us the benefit of his wisdom? Why, we could have had equality years ago, if only feminists listened to all those people like James who said, “Don’t be so rude, don’t be so argumentative, don’t be so confrontational — it dilutes your message. It might turn some people off.”

    It’s funny (read: fucking pathetic) that they never seem to think that those calling us irrational hysterical bitches and cunts who ought to be raped ought to change what they’re doing. No, it’s our fault for upsetting them. If we’d just had dinner ready like we were told…

  95. says

    @95 James, your criticism of Femen sounds like criticism of every atheist billboard as too insulting to the religious and therefore bound to be counterproductive. Except we know that even a plain ad saying “Atheists” was deemed too controversial by a bus company.Are feminists supposed to do nothing but shut up and submit? Only that will satisfy the misogynists.Every other form of speaking out or protest can be “used against them”.

  96. James Larkin says

    @112- Hypothetical here: A MRA is able to use a clip of a woman naked in an advert. This advert would have far more of an impact than one without – it’s not just “idiots” who will believe the advert, I am perfectly fine with this sort of feminism, however the ability of MRAs to make a scenario seem less than popular increases with certain factors.

    I’ll agree that people here are working on disproving the lies that MRAs put up, however there is nothing national, at least over here. There is no coverage in anything that people who would be tricked by lies from MRAs would read (At least, by target audience of coverage), so it’s only going to help those learning fully about their opinions and forming comprehensive arguments (Such as myself) who are going to lose some viewpoints here.

    And yes, whilst I am willing to criticise feminism, I will also criticise anyone else by their views. I might appear more anti-feminist in this chat because I’m talking to and debating points with yourself – If this was a huge MRA blog, then I’d appear to be extremely anti-MRA for the same reason.

    At any rate, this has actually been a very enlightening conversation. I’m going to have to go to sleep now, since it’s 2:42 AM and my ability to make comprehensive points dies out after 3. If you do wish to continue directly with me, I wouldn’t object to a discussion by private messages or otherwise. Either way, goodnight :-)

  97. says

    Socio-gen:

    “Don’t be so rude, don’t be so argumentative, don’t be so confrontational — it dilutes your message. It might turn some people off.”

    Yeah. It’s idiocy I could well do without, along with every other woman. I am so tired of hearing it, no matter how in the hell it’s framed. Doesn’t really matter what we do, especially where MRAs are concerned. It would seem that some people completely miss the point that the mere existence of women is the raisin date of MRAs.

  98. says

    James Larkin:

    however the ability of MRAs to make a scenario seem less than popular increases with certain factors.

    Why in the fuckety fuck do you care so fucking much about what MRAs can twist about? Why?

  99. Johnny Hillwalker says

    Caine,

    It isn’t untrue at all unfortunately. Her tweet regarding drunkenness and consent is a perfect example. Her original tweet was something quite vague and open to interpretation, yet anybody who queried for clarification was immediately blocked and labelled a rapist. She even quote-mined somebody on their private Facebook page and labelled him a rapist. The same person who wrote a (fair) critique of her EP talk. PZ immediately questioned his bias when he wrote this critique and wrote an ad hominem post against him, yet did PZ question RW’s bias when she blatantly quote-mined him? No. This behavior is quite disgraceful.

  100. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    At the end of a conversation people would have learnt something new, and possibly a solution to a problem would have been found.

    That all starts with possibility you are wrong. Can you be wrong?

  101. says

    She even quote-mined somebody on their private Facebook page and labelled him a rapist.

    No, she quoted him, on a Facebook page she could access, labeling himself as a rapist. That he considered it to be a reductio ad absurdum and she did not does make the labeling hers instead of his.

    And if it was quote-mining, can you produce the context surrounding her quote that significantly alters the meaning of what he said?

  102. carlie says

    yet anybody who queried for clarification was immediately blocked and labelled a rapist.

    Pics or it didn’t happen.

  103. John Morales says

    Johnny Hillwalker:

    Her tweet [what tweet?] regarding drunkenness and consent is a perfect example. Her original tweet [what tweet?] was something quite vague and open to interpretation, yet anybody [who?] who queried for clarification was immediately blocked and labelled a rapist. She even quote-mined somebody [who?] on their private Facebook page [where?] and labelled him [who?] a rapist. The same person [who?] who wrote a (fair) critique [what critique?] of her EP talk. PZ immediately questioned his [who?] bias when he [who?] wrote this critique [what critique?] and wrote an ad hominem post against him [who?] , yet did PZ question RW’s bias when she blatantly quote-mined him? [who?]

    (How can I verify your claims?)

  104. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Listen guys, evidence, not OPINION please. What is so hard about linking to something other than a video of OPINION to back up your claims? Otherwise, remember the Christopher Hitichens quote: “That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”

  105. omnicrom says

    James Larkin whether you mean to or not you are playing the role of the Concern Troll very well. You seem to be Concerned that the Feminist movement will be harmed if they do things that the MRAs can easily mock and attack. If this is indeed what you’re arguing like it appears to be then your concern is noted and disregarded. Fuck the MRA people who are going to make a big deal about a wing of protestors, they’re going to complain about women NO MATTER WHAT. They’re going to find some example of the Big Bad Radical Feminist who wants to take away their Penises NO MATTER WHAT. The Feminist movement should not give a damn about what the MRA people want because what the MRA people want is the direct antithesis of Feminism.

  106. Ogvorbis: useless says

    James:

    You are using a tone argument. If only those feminists would not do things that shock people, the opponents would be disarmed. What you fail to realize is that it does not fucking matter one fucking bit what a feminist, perceived or declared, does or says — it can, and will, be used against the individual and the movement. A phrase as simple as, “Guys, don’t do that,” created rape threats against the woman who had the temerity to speak out, mildly, against objectification.

    Suffragettes were accused of immorality, smoking cigarettes, being licentious, loose, bad mothers, over-educated, and more. They were arrested, force-fed, and tortured for having the temerity to step outside the male-imposed sex roles. This was for marching in the street, carrying a sign, and speaking in public. The point is, whether a feminist group uses shock theater, reason, insult and vituperation, public talks, public nudity, or even blogging to make the point, engage the public, or give people a bridge to thinking outside the dominant patriarchal paradigm, the feminist will be attacked. No matter how mild or innocuous, no matter how in-your-face and controversial.

    The tone argument, among those who are anti-feminist, anti-human rights for all, is used as a silencing tactic, a way to push the envelope further and further away from the goals of feminism. Suppose feminists take your advice and avoid any behaviour that could, in any way, show that women are aware of their own sexuality and, more to the point, how that sexuality is viewed by many men. What’s next? An attack on women speaking in public? Or appearing on YouTube videos? or speaking at conferences? The fact that MRAs are using what Rebecca Watson said, or what Femen has done to force attention onto the subject shows that they are effective. That the MRAs feel that their place in society is threatened is a positive. That MRAs are willing to spend this amount of time and energy claiming that “Guys, don’t do that,” means “All men are always rapists at all times,” means that they feminism ‘window’ is moving more and more towards actually equality.

    Do you really think that the radical religious right in the USA would be attacking abortion, birth control and feminism so much if it wasn’t working? For feminists, today, to start accepting the tone argument as valid is a massive step in the wrong direction, a victory for the patriarchal paradigm.

    Polite, non-confrontational social rights groups do not succeed. And the MRAs know this. They want polite feminists because polite feminists are even easier to dismiss.

    Sorry for the rant.

  107. says

    If this was a huge MRA blog, then I’d appear to be extremely anti-MRA for the same reason.

    From your use of the conditional, I deduce that you have not yet gone on an MRA blog to critique MRAs the way you have come here to voice your supposed rational criticism of feminism.

    1. Actions speak louder than words. For whatever reason, the idea of criticizing feminists is more interesting to you than the idea of criticizing male supremacists.

    2. I’d love to see this. Please try it out as soon as possible and let me know so I can read it.

  108. says

    Johnny Hillwalker:

    The same person who wrote a (fair) critique of her EP talk. PZ immediately questioned his bias when he wrote this critique and wrote an ad hominem post against him, yet did PZ question RW’s bias when she blatantly quote-mined him?

    No, that’s not true at all. You may wish to interpret it that way, but it would be unfortunate. I imagine you, like many others before you don’t comprehend what ad hominem actually is or what it actually means.

    I wonder, are you at all capable of viewing Rebecca Watson or her talks without an in-built bias? I doubt you are, as you wandered in here full of the same old tired “points”, knocking Rebecca and now knocking PZ. We’ve heard these before and not one of them has held up under scrutiny. We tend to hear such things from a specific quarter, so don’t expect people to listen much unless you can provide actual citations and valid arguments, not complaints or whines about people.

    Also, in case you haven’t noticed, “Watson, PZ, therefor feminism bad” isn’t an argument. You might try actually addressing the topic, rather than showing up simply to repeat the same nonsense which has already been refuted, at length and multiple times.

  109. Johnny Hillwalker says

    Yes, but the quote was taken out of a thread of 50+ comments. And if anyone has done an ounce of scholarly work should know that the context should have been supplied. Unfortunately the thread is gone now.

    As for “pics or it didn’t happen”, read the post she wrote, it’s there for everyone to see how she blocked people. Now you tell me if those questions are the comments of a rapist or misogynist.

    As for links, RW’s post which clarifies the who and which tweet etc. http://skepchick.org/2012/12/twitter-users-sad-to-hear-they-may-be-rapists/

    And the critique: http://skepticink.com/incredulous/2012/12/01/science-denialism-at-a-skeptic-conference/

  110. says

    I’m not a scholar or anything but it seems to me that feminism, as an attempt to understand the world…that is, as a thing to study…gender roles, economics, patriarchy, history, politics, and all of the ways that gender intersects social life…I can’t help but think is a good thing to study. It also seems like its such a broad subject that there would naturally be some feminists who almost completely disagree with each other…and yet make complete sense in their arguments.

    It seems to me like most of the skeptic/atheist crowd seem to be looking at this as some kind of girls vs. boys on the playground kind of thing. It looks like lots of these guys are really just interested in seeming clever and irreverent. I’m still not clear on who is forcing them to do anything…or who is going to be taking whatever it is they are all so worried about losing.

    This whole thing has been really instructive about how “enlightened” the atheist movement really is…like a lot of people I get overly impressed with my own critical thinking…I was really shocked when this whole thing started (thunderf00t) at how much vitriol just came rushing into the public argument. I don’t know why but I would have thought that the whole thing would have been a little more dispassionate. I just assumed that all of us atheists are just better at listening to information, processing, and then critiquing in meaningful ways. It has really made me check my own thinking…Am I really thinking about some subject…or am I thinking about an impression I have of some subject…etc.

    There has been this really dogmatic self-policing group-think that really seems to confuse rationality with impassioned debate. Like scoring points in an argument are valid data points in and of themselves. There’s just no talking to them and it’s really fucking annoying.

  111. nathanwren says

    “rape is a crime”… “my body, my choice”??? Geez, FEMEN, what ever happened to “Go Packers”? Maybe if you had a more appealing message, MRAs wouldn’t be forced to say all those nasty things about you… /snark

  112. says

    Sally Strange:

    RAGESMASH

    Right there with you.

    From your use of the conditional, I deduce that you have not yet gone on an MRA blog to critique MRAs the way you have come here to voice your supposed rational criticism of feminism.

    Indeed. James Larkin, we have challenged others who are in love with civil discourse to wander over to A Voice for Men and put their money where their mouth happens to be. Please, click your way there and sway minds with your civil discourse. Be sure to take screenshots.

  113. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Indeed. James Larkin, we have challenged others who are in love with civil discourse to wander over to A Voice for Men and put their money where their mouth happens to be. Please, click your way there and sway minds with your civil discourse. Be sure to take screenshots.

    Amen. Those who chide “feminists” here appear to be afraid to do the same thing to the Slymepit. Typical of those concerned with tone, not with facts. JL, show us how to talk to the Slymepit and change minds. Or, take your concern elsewhere.

  114. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Joshua Toon, interesting comment. Thanks.

    There has been this really dogmatic self-policing group-think that really seems to confuse rationality with impassioned debate.

    Yes; the two are independent things with four possible permutations.

  115. Johnny Hillwalker says

    No, that’s not true at all

    What isn’t true? Which aspect. because some of that is factual.

    I wonder, are you at all capable of viewing Rebecca Watson or her talks without an in-built bias?

    Here we go again, I criticize RW and PZ, therefore I am biased somehow.

    “Watson, PZ, therefor feminism bad” isn’t an argument.

    I never said anything about feminism, or it being bad at all. But it does reveal your predetermined opinion.

  116. says

    Joshua Toon:

    There has been this really dogmatic self-policing group-think that really seems to confuse rationality with impassioned debate.

    Right, because you can’t be rational and passionate, nope, no sir.

    I was really shocked when this whole thing started (thunderf00t) at how much vitriol just came rushing into the public argument. I don’t know why but I would have thought that the whole thing would have been a little more dispassionate.

    Didn’t take long for the straw vulcan to show its ears, did it? Perhaps there’s passion, Joshua, because it’s difficult to live with and deal with people hating you every single day because you happen to be a woman. Perhaps there’s passion because a majority of people seem to think women are too stupid and irrational to have control over their own bodies. Perhaps there’s passion because women get to deal with harassment every day. Perhaps there’s passion because women have to struggle to make a living wage. Perhaps there’s passion because…

    the list goes on and on and on. Here’s a bit more: take your straw vulcan and stuff it where the sun don’t shine.

  117. Ermine says

    You really should have taken that extra time to think about your replies, James..

    a civil discussion doesn’t mandate no shouting, it simply means a discussion in which insulting a person outright without evidence.

    Like perhaps things like this?

    A lot of feminists have had to retract their views in public because of radicals taking them over”

    or maybe this?

    Those would be those who have hijacked the original movement of feminism and tried to steer it on a course that is not about equality, but about a personal agenda of making sure that women are more powerful than men.

    You are stating that lots of feminists have had to retract their views, that the whole movement has been taken over by these people, and you don’t think any real feminists are going to be insulted, especially after you admit that you can’t substantiate a single one of your assertions?

    Maybe you should try to police the insulting things you say, rather than trying to tell other people how to react after you’ve insulted them? It’ll likely have a far better chance of working, and it’ll get you a lot less ‘No, fuck you!’s in return. No, we’re not going to be sweetness and light after you stroll into our forum and assert that we’re part of a movement that has been taken over by crazies. As a matter of fact, some of us might get downright -rude- after an introduction like that.

  118. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Johnny:
    If you fail to understand that rape=non consensual sex, please stay far away from whichever gender you are attracted to.

  119. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Here we go again, I criticize RW and PZ, therefore I am biased somehow.

    Where is your evidence to back up your criticism? No evidence, your criticism can be dismissed.

    The Slymepit MRA contingent has the problem that when they come to argue, they offer nothing but OPINION, ATTITUDE, and bad attempts at SARCASM. All of those are not logical evidenced based arguments one would expect from the skeptical/atheist community. So, show us you can argue with evidence.

  120. says

    @Johnny 143

    I never said anything about feminism, or it being bad at all. But it does reveal your predetermined opinion.

    You do realize that *feminism* (or, more precisely, why anti-feminists despise feminism) is the topic of this thread, don’t you? It doesn’t reveal any predetermined opinions (except, perhaps, the opinion that comments on threads are related to the stated thread topic) to assume that your comment — at least in your head — pertained to your opinion of feminism.

  121. carlie says

    I don’t know why but I would have thought that the whole thing would have been a little more dispassionate.

    Having passion doesn’t automatically mean that you will argue badly. It just means that you care about what you’re arguing about. And as Caine said, when it’s our very lives that are the subject of discussion, being passionate is kind of expected. For example, wondering if women should be allowed to decide if they want to be pregnant or not is a “dispassionate” discussion when you know you don’t ever have to be in that situation at all. It’s a far different viewpoint when you’re the one staring at the plus sign on the pregnancy test stick.

    Which aspect. because some of that is factual.

    So you’re admitting that some of what you said is not factual. Why did you say things that are not factual?

  122. Johnny Hillwalker says

    Tony

    If you fail to understand that rape=non consensual sex, please stay far away from whichever gender you are attracted to.

    I don’t know what mental gymnastics you had to perform to come up with that conclusion, but I suggest you reevaluate your thinking process.

  123. says

    This whole thing has been really instructive about how “enlightened” the atheist movement really is

    Which is why I don’t think much of this atheist census. What is the point of counting atheists when half of them are likely to be misogynist assholes and people you would not want in any self-respecting movement anyway?

  124. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Joshua Toon:
    The pushback against social, economic and political equality for women within the Atheist/Skeptic movement began well before Thunderf00t. Please go educate yourself.

  125. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, some of it is factual? Pray tell, which bits? And how about putting up some evidence that those bits are indeed factual? Right now all you’ve got is assertion without evidence. Oh and helloooo there shifting-of-the-burden-of-proof, nice to see you again.

  126. Johnny Hillwalker says

    Where is your evidence to back up your criticism? No evidence, your criticism can be dismissed.

    The Slymepit MRA contingent has the problem that when they come to argue, they offer nothing but OPINION, ATTITUDE, and bad attempts at SARCASM. All of those are not logical evidenced based arguments one would expect from the skeptical/atheist community. So, show us you can argue with evidence.

    Did I not link to exactly where RW labels people rapists for merely asking her to clarify her rather vague statement? Here is again: http://skepchick.org/2012/12/twitter-users-sad-to-hear-they-may-be-rapists/

  127. Johnny Hillwalker says

    And can people please specify which claim I have made that I have not provided evidence for? I will do so immediately.

  128. yubal says

    #10 PZ Myers

    I said, be specific. Who are the crazies? What makes them crazy?

    Well, there are crazy people everywhere. I know (knew) a few crazy feminist but they are not crazy because of feminism, they are crazy because they are crazy about feminism and their interpretation of it. They don’t do anything else (literally) and even for feminism they can hardly do any any good because they were unable to communicate successfully. That makes them crazy, or better, appear crazy. Just like the die hard commies who meet every day in the coffee-house or some of the more obnoxious type of atheist we probably all ran into before. And no, I am not posting names here. Those were feminist I met and not people that published.

    Which parameters of feminism are crazy?

    Probably none, although I have no good idea what feminism is generally accepted to be. For my interpretation it is about opposing to the mechanics of a society that was made by males exclusively for males. Which is understandable. If you are not a women just think about or better ask your mother (also your sister/daughter/wife, if present) and you will see.

  129. Lachlan says

    Feminism is different things to different people. Asking “what is wrong with feminism” is a bit like asking “does God exist”. Which fucking god?

    I don’t call myself a feminist. That simple statement has already made me, in the eyes of many people around here, the worst kind of human being. I undoubtedly wish to keep women in the kitchen, and think that rape victims probably shouldn’t have been dressed that way, etc. And therein lies the problem. It is absolutely impossible to have reasonable discussions about feminism, especially around here. Feminism has become a religious dogma to many people. Question any idea that places women as the victims and men as the oppressors, and the most unfavorable assumptions are automatically made about your entire belief system, just like calling yourself an atheist to a bunch of Christians (and indeed, vise versa).

    Another thing that bothers me is the total disregard for any problems that men may have as a group. The idea that men have it tough in any way whatsoever is blasphemy. Men are the oppressors, and women are the victims, and that’s just the way it is. Don’t get me wrong, this is absolutely true in some parts of the world, but in the society I live in? Hell no.

    Some feminists cannot admit that some things in society favor women. Some MRAs cannot admit that some things in society favor men. Both of these groups have their fanatics, both make some reasonable points, and both treat the other group according to their absolute worst proponents. This is all fucking bullshit, and I have no time for it.

    My beliefs are simple. Prejudice is the enemy. Nobody should be judged according to the group to which they belong. Unfortunately this place is absolutely rife with that kind of thing. Around here you can happily state that all men are sexist (or worse) with impunity. Make a statement about all women, and your better pucker your arsehole. This is not equality.

    Anyway, I’ve questioned the party line, so I am now the enemy. That is essentially my problem with the kind of feminism endorsed around here.

  130. carlie says

    Did I not link to exactly where RW labels people rapists for merely asking her to clarify her rather vague statement?

    Nothing in that piece says what you say she said. Please cite the exact sentences.

  131. Snoof says

    James Larkin @ 110

    The media representation of feminism, however, is somewhat more skewed.

    …which is?

    Be specific. So far you’ve said nothing but “modern feminists say/do bad things to people”. What things? Which people? Which feminists? We can’t engage your criticisms until you make it clear what they actually are.

  132. carlie says

    Lachlan, you have so much hostility built up that it’s radiating out of your post.
    Please read it and understand that you are offering us nothing but your opinion, which, again, is not what has been asked for. You have been asked to provide evidence.

  133. says

    Johnny: can you support your claim that

    RW labels people rapists for merely asking her to clarify her rather vague statement?

    The article you linked to consists of Watson quoting people asking her for clarification and her twitter repsonses, quotes Ed Clint labeling himself a rapist, then spends several paragraphs clarifying her position.

    I’m not convinced by your interpretation. Please, provide evidence that your interpretation is correct.

    If that evidence is solely the title, I suggest you read the full title again more carefully.

  134. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I was just going to say what carlie said at #158. I did not see where Rebecca Watson called all people who asked for clarification “rapists”. She blocked a lot of them. But I must have missed the “rapist” part.

    So far, Johnny Hillwalker, you still have nothing.

  135. carlie says

    Another thing that bothers me is the total disregard for any problems that men may have as a group. The idea that men have it tough in any way whatsoever is blasphemy.

    Total disregard by who? Where? Who treats men and their problems this way? Can you link to any articles, posts, comment threads, book citations, interviews, tv stories, anything?

    Some feminists cannot admit that some things in society favor women.

    Such as who? And which things in our society favor women? And are these things that actually favor women, or that favor keeping women in a particular subservient/lower role? (ladeez drink free nite!)

    Anyway, I’ve questioned the party line, so I am now the enemy. That is essentially my problem with the kind of feminism endorsed around here.

    Such hostile language. “The enemy”? Who has called you that? Who has called anyone that around here? Why use such inflammatory rhetoric? Goodness, such a nasty tone you’ve got there. Why, if you talk to women more nicely, I bet they’d be more willing to listen to you. The problem is, when you get so emotional, it’s difficult to see if you have any points in there or not.

  136. says

    I don’t call myself a feminist. That simple statement has already made me, in the eyes of many people around here, the worst kind of human being.

    Can you name any, specifically?

    Around here you can happily state that all men are sexist (or worse) with impunity.

    Can you provide any evidence for this? A link, for example, to someone saying this with impunity?

    Make a statement about all women, and your better pucker your arsehole. This is not equality.

    I’m not sure what line of reasoning led to that particular turn of phrase, but I feel like this is more likely to make people think ill of you than simply not calling yourself a feminist.

  137. Ermine says

    James Larkin,

    I note that nowhere do you substantiate where Femen or any other feminist has had to retract their views in public, which was your base position – NOT what you’re trying to claim in #95.

    Count me as another one who’s not at all surprised that you’re -here- arguing with feminists rather than the MRAs, if that’s the way you’re going to defend your position. And you wonder why people might be ruuude to you?

  138. says

    Lachlan:

    I don’t call myself a feminist. That simple statement has already made me, in the eyes of many people around here, the worst kind of human being.

    I most seriously doubt that. I wouldn’t be surprised that things you wrote coloured people’s opinions of you. You see, it would be content that would grab people’s attention around here, not what you label yourself.

    Another thing that bothers me is the total disregard for any problems that men may have as a group. The idea that men have it tough in any way whatsoever is blasphemy. Men are the oppressors, and women are the victims, and that’s just the way it is.

    Now you’re lying. Especially if you’re talking about the people here. I’m sure there are some people who say the above, but it’s certainly not the majority. Sexism hurts everyone. Ever heard of PHMT (Patriarchy Hurts Men Too)? Yes, men have problems, however, not to the extent women face and it’s often argued here that women aren’t paying enough attention to the problems of men as a way to avoid discussing sexism.

    This is all fucking bullshit, and I have no time for it.

    It’s very nice it all has such little impact on your life that this is an option. That’s not the case for many of us.

    Around here you can happily state that all men are sexist (or worse) with impunity.

    No, you can’t. It is often pointed out that we are all sexist. It’s impossible to be otherwise, as we all grow up in a sexist society. The trick is to be aware of it and start changing things by changing yourself.

    Make a statement about all women, and your better pucker your arsehole.

    Well, there’s a nasty statement. It’s the same as the above – blanket statements tend to be stupid when applied along gender lines. People tend to hear about that when they insist on making them, especially when they make them over and over.

    Anyway, I’ve questioned the party line, so I am now the enemy. That is essentially my problem with the kind of feminism endorsed around here.

    How interesting. So, in other words, you wouldn’t listen, no matter what. Gotcha.

  139. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Anyway, I’ve questioned the party line, so I am now the enemy.

    Its not the questions, but the lack of evidence to back up your assertions. Why do you think your sheer OPINION is meaningful. Any freethinker should have evidence to back up said opinion. Where is your EVIDENCE?

  140. consciousness razor says

    What isn’t true? Which aspect. because some of that is factual.

    For example, there were people who were tweeting things. That’s about it, as far as facts are concerned. But hey, you got some facts. That’s better than none. Good for you.

  141. Johnny Hillwalker says

    Well fuck-nuts, my lack of reading comprehension has led me down a stray path. *runs away apologetically with tail between his legs*

  142. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Such hostile language. “The enemy”? Who has called you that? Who has called anyone that around here? Why use such inflammatory rhetoric? Goodness, such a nasty tone you’ve got there. Why, if you talk to women more nicely, I bet they’d be more willing to listen to you. The problem is, when you get so emotional, it’s difficult to see if you have any points in there or not.

    That, right there carlie was a thing of beauty and a joy to behold. Of course my future enjoyment of it is likely to be impaired by the deafening whooshing noise as it sails past multiple heads.

  143. says

    aleph squared:

    I’m not sure what line of reasoning led to that particular turn of phrase, but I feel like this is more likely to make people think ill of you than simply not calling yourself a feminist.

    Indeed.

  144. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Let’s hear from some of these anti-feminists. I’d like them to comment here and explain themselves, and to do so a little more deeply than just reiterating dogmatic excuses. If you think feminism is a religion, explain why, and be specific. If you think feminism is unsupported by the evidence, explain what evidence opposes the principles of feminism. If you think it’s wrong for the skeptic movement to have a social agenda, explain what you think it should be doing that has no social implications.

    Most importantly, if you think feminism, that is equality for men and women and opposition to cultural institutions that perpetuate inequities, is irrational, let’s see you explain your opposition rationally.

    This could go a couple of ways: there could be dead silence as the anti-feminists wilt under pressure to honestly explain themselves, or there could be an eruption of the usual shrieking misogyny, or there might actually be a few who try to explain themselves. If it’s the latter, the rest of you behave yourselves — pretend you’ve got a cockroach under the microscope and try to probe it to figure out what makes it work, and don’t just try to crush it under the heel of your shoe, OK?

    (my emphasis)

    (Not-so-obedient, are PZ’s regulars)

  145. says

    Carlie:

    Such hostile language. “The enemy”? Who has called you that? Who has called anyone that around here? Why use such inflammatory rhetoric? Goodness, such a nasty tone you’ve got there. Why, if you talk to women more nicely, I bet they’d be more willing to listen to you. The problem is, when you get so emotional, it’s difficult to see if you have any points in there or not.

  146. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Soooo, at 166 comments, have we had any well supported criticisms of feminism…? I-and the rest of the Horde I imagine-know the answer.

  147. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Well fuck-nuts, my lack of reading comprehension has led me down a stray path.

    I think it is your bias that lead you to assume that was what Rebecca Watson was saying.

  148. consciousness razor says

    I don’t call myself a feminist.

    Why not?

    Anyway, I’ve questioned the party line, so I am now the enemy. That is essentially my problem with the kind of feminism endorsed around here.

    You’ve beat up a bunch of strawmen, so now you just look like an idiot to me. But “enemy”? Not even worth my time.

  149. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Anyway, I’ve questioned the party line, so I am now the enemy.

    You, Johnny Snow, are not my nemesis.

  150. says

    Most people don’t identify as feminists.

    And yet, I don’t treat most people as my enemies.

    Weird.

    I must be some sort of uber-feminist. The Super Feminist. Or something. Cuz all the other feminists treat the majority of people they encounter every day as enemies, on account of they don’t identify as feminists.

    It must be exhausting.

  151. says

    Well, I guess I probably should take this opportunity.

    My primary concern with feminism mostly has to do with tone, to put it frankly. I get the impression that there is absolutely zero mercy for stupid comments – whether they are made out of honest ignorance or because the commenter is a misogynistic troll, they get hit with plenty of rather harsh replies. Frankly, I think the default assumption seems to be the latter, and that the assessment is altered later if the commenter in question expresses contrition after being called on it.

    That state of affairs makes some sense for those honest mistakes, even if it is somewhat harsh, but it’s not all that helpful for honest concerns. Or rather, it sets a very high bar that any criticism must meet in order to be considered reasonable – and I worry that some actual constructive criticism or legitimate disagreements, not just concern trolling and unreasonable criticism, are being lost below that standard.

    For that matter, I’m willing to bet there are some people (well, more than just me) who worry that a random error will drag them down into a firestorm which will require them to exhaustively defend their comment and/or express total contrition for it – or else be labeled a hopeless troll.

    I’m probably exaggerating a little; these aren’t problems on every feminist blog or website. If I’m being totally honest with myself, they’re probably not as significant as I think they are, given the difficulty of finding specific examples. But they do seem like a barrier to entry for this discussion nonetheless…

    I recognize that the right answer may be that you don’t actually want to talk to me on account of me being a concern troll. However, no matter how much I worry about my own cognitive biases exaggerating the problem, I still believe there’s something there, and the fact that I feel like I can’t talk about it doesn’t exactly reassure me.

    And I think that’s something you could affect by changing your tone – but you don’t want to do that because you argue it makes you less effective. I can live with that; I’ll just ignore the discussion if I don’t think I can contribute… but I also tend to get the impression that most feminists would consider me an enemy of their movement for that, and that doesn’t really help my perception of your tone.

    *sigh* TL;DR: I’m a concern troll that can’t get over my own biases. I promise to read your replies, but I think I’ll go back to lurking now.

    (Final closing thought to address points that came up while I was writing this: at what point does the number of people with negative opinions of you become evidence that you’re unnecessarily alienating otherwise reasonable people?)

  152. consciousness razor says

    (Not-so-obedient, are PZ’s regulars)

    These are very fragile cockroaches, John. Accidents happen.

  153. says

    Johnny Hillwalker:

    Well fuck-nuts, my lack of reading comprehension has led me down a stray path. *runs away apologetically with tail between his legs*

    Reading comprehension is a very good thing. It’s best to be prepared before commenting here.

  154. vaiyt says

    Now then, as it should hopefully be obvious, this would easily be abusable by a MRA.

    Anything a woman says is abusable by MRAs.

  155. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Anything a woman says is abusable by MRAs.

    Being a woman is abusable by MRAs.

  156. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Shorter Lyrandar:

    “Don’t be so rude, don’t be so argumentative, don’t be so confrontational — it dilutes your message. It might turn some people off.”

  157. curtnelson says

    PZ, I used to admire you tremendously but now consider you to be kind of a clueless nut. Your contributions to the feminist cause seem to be nothing but damaging, especially to feminism. Your “why do you despise feminism?” query only conveys your own hatred and that you’re wanting to have another fuck you fest to celebrate it.

  158. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    However, no matter how much I worry about my own cognitive biases exaggerating the problem, I still believe there’s something there, and the fact that I feel like I can’t talk about it doesn’t exactly reassure me.

    If you want to talk about it, do so this way: “This is what I feel, and this (link to evidence) is why I feel this way”. What causes problems and having people called concern trolls is OPINION WITHOUT EVIDENCE. So, show your evidence, which wasn’t there in your previous evidenceless post of nothing but OPINION.

  159. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Yet an other person who used to admire PZ Myers.

    I am sure he is heart broken and will not be able to get to sleep tonight.

  160. Lachlan says

    I’m not sure what line of reasoning led to that particular turn of phrase, but I feel like this is more likely to make people think ill of you than simply not calling yourself a feminist.

    Well, there’s a nasty statement. It’s the same as the above – blanket statements tend to be stupid when applied along gender lines. People tend to hear about that when they insist on making them, especially when they make them over and over.

    So I assume you’ve both gleaned some form of misogyny from my phase “pucker your arsehole”? Hint: It really just means, prepare to be very viciously attacked. Distasteful phrases like that are not a form of misogyny.

    Anyway, as far as I can tell, Myers asks “why do you despise feminism”. I don’t despise feminism, and I absolutely support the rights of women to not be harassed, to not be judged or assumed incompetent owing to their lack of a penis, etc., but I do hate the brand of feminism espoused around here. It has absolutely nothing to do with equality, and in my opinion, will ultimately hurt the position of women.

    As for ‘evidence’, expecting me to go through the archives and compile a dossier of the posts/comments that have led me to form these beliefs is totally unreasonable. I don’t have the time for that. The question was asked, why don’t I submit fully to the brand of feminism thrown about on FTB, and I have given my answer. As a small example, yesterday I commented on a Pharyngula post about sexism and said simply “Misogyny is a horribly misused word”. That alone was enough for some commentor to start talking about my shriveled penis. This is not reasonable and open discussion, it’s vicious dogmatism, and it’s common on FTB.

  161. says

    Lyrandar:

    For that matter, I’m willing to bet there are some people (well, more than just me) who worry that a random error will drag them down into a firestorm which will require them to exhaustively defend their comment and/or express total contrition for it – or else be labeled a hopeless troll.

    Yes, people worry. It’s not that huge of a deal though, really. It’s not all that difficult to tell when someone is honestly in error or honestly seeking answers and so on. No one forces anyone else to double down when they say something stupid or wrong. When people commenting here do issue an “I’m sorry, that was stupid” or similar, it’s gratefully accepted and people move on.

    What’s objected to most of all is having people show up, bleating the same nonsense we’ve heard hundreds of times already, when they haven’t bothered to do any reading or don’t know one thing about the situation being discussed.

  162. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    PZ, I used to admire you tremendously but now consider you to be kind of a clueless nut.

    Slymepitter strikes again. Typical of the script they use…

  163. consciousness razor says

    For that matter, I’m willing to bet there are some people (well, more than just me) who worry that a random error will drag them down into a firestorm which will require them to exhaustively defend their comment and/or express total contrition for it – or else be labeled a hopeless troll.

    If you just make “a random error” (which sounds rather innocuous and casual to me), there wouldn’t be a reason to “exhaustively defend” it in any kind of “firestorm.”

    I’m probably exaggerating a little; these aren’t problems on every feminist blog or website.

    You think so? If you’re not, then these people you’re worried about are pretty fucking irrational, and I don’t see why it would be our problem when they dig themselves deeper and deeper into a hole. Why should any subject that anyone takes seriously have to contend with such idiots and bullshitters, and in what sense are these idiot and bullshitters taking the subject seriously? If they’re not despite the fact that they do really care about women’s equality, then shouldn’t these poor pathetic dudes just shut the fuck up?

  164. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    . This is not reasonable and open discussion, it’s vicious dogmatism, and it’s common on FTB.

    And your OPINION was reasonable and open discussion with the fact you could be wrong present? If you can’t be wrong, don’t expect rational discussion, as you aren’t rational.

  165. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Lachlan has the time to whine, not to explain.

    Lachlan also likes to take the comment of one person and condemn all with it.

    If Lachlan truly were a regular reader of this blog, Lachlan would know that the regulars avoid making insults based on genitalia.

  166. spence says

    katherinemuzyczka:

    I don’t despise feminism, far from it, but I do acknowledge that organized feminists often overlook issues of intersetionality and how they affect women of color differently from white women. We still have a long way to go on that. Things like Slut Walks are a good example. There’s plenty to criticize in the choices of the major feminist organization and in the history of the movement.

    But, you know, I’d still take if over nothing. And over the terrifying backward movement we’re making now.

    I don’t quite follow the Slut Walks example (are you talking about that headdesking moment of someone using a racial slur on a sign? I can’t remember where that was), but I agree with this sentiment: I think there is legitimate criticism of feminism as an organized movement with regards to intersectionality. (whether with race, class, sexuality, etc.)

    A few reasons for this:
    – Things like the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival excluding transwomen
    – The aforementioned racial slur poster at some feminist gathering
    – I’ve read things like this: http://dearwhitefeminists.wordpress.com/2008/04/17/an-open-letter-to-the-white-feminist-community/
    – On a personal level, it’s much easier for me to improve things for middle-to-upper-class white women, because I am in tech, and my personal interactions and what little influence I have on the world are also largely in tech. This is my failing, but I don’t think I’m that much worse than the rest of humanity, so I can see how others could have my failing.

    None of this makes me despise feminism though. Kinda like people like Shermer don’t make me despise atheism.

    I don’t really think this is the “standard” complaint against feminism, at least in terms of airplay, nor does it seem to be what PZ is going for here (slimepitters, cockroaches). But it does give me pause when someone says they don’t like feminism (or atheism): I’ve learned that not everyone hates the ideals, they just get frustrated with other problems.

  167. says

    curtnelson:

    Your “why do you despise feminism?” query only conveys your own hatred and that you’re wanting to have another fuck you fest to celebrate it.

    Why do I get the feeling you magically missed all this:

    Also, don’t worry about moronic misandrists.
    True feminists (those wanting equality and NOT superiority for women) do not behave like this.

    Just look at what happened to Thunderf00t when he dared question the pseudo-feminist dogma.

    Welcome to The hysterical totalitarian feminist left….(just ask Lawrence Summers)

    The death of Hitchens and this feminist clusterfuck have ruined the Atheist community.

    Skepticism (capital “A”) is over for me. The movement has been co-opted by people with an agenda. Sad.

    Trying to creep feminism into the skeptic movement is total nonsense. Tea Party was bought out by social conservatives, Occupy Wall Street taken over by hippies, and now the skeptic AND atheist movement is being bought out by radical liberals. It’s a shame.

    It is a shame that people like PZ Myers and his ilk are so quick to abandon reason when their feminist religion tells them what nonsense to spew.

    This shit is getting really annoying. Please ban all those feminist morons from skeptic conferences. Its a dogmatic belief system not based on evidence, dismissive of evidence provided to them and generally pretty aggressive towards other people for no real reason. How can they call themselves skeptics?

  168. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    they’re probably not as significant as I think they are, given the difficulty of finding specific examples. But they do seem like a barrier to entry for this discussion nonetheless…

    An honest inquiry in the spirit of PZ’s instructions for this post: Lyrandar are you a skeptic? This is a textbook argument from ignorance, can you not see that?

  169. keresthanatos says

    Cain, you once said you used a signal booster to be able to get wireless internet. Is the signal booster a seperate unit from the device you use for internet access (sorry for the off topic post, if I need to move to another thread I will do so)?

  170. Snoof says

    Lachlan @ 191

    As for ‘evidence’, expecting me to go through the archives and compile a dossier of the posts/comments that have led me to form these beliefs is totally unreasonable. I don’t have the time for that.

    You apparently don’t even have time to find one post or comment that has led you to form these beliefs.

  171. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    As for ‘evidence’, expecting me to go through the archives and compile a dossier of the posts/comments that have led me to form these beliefs is totally unreasonable.

    In what way is expecting evidence to be presented on a scientific blog “UNREASONABLE”. I read that as you know you are wrong, you can’t back it up, but you can’t back down now that you have made a claim. And why shouldn’t I think that if you won’t provide evidence to back up your assertions?

  172. consciousness razor says

    I don’t despise feminism, and I absolutely support the rights of women to not be harassed, to not be judged or assumed incompetent owing to their lack of a penis, etc., but I do hate the brand of feminism espoused around here.

    Which is what? Define that part in bold. Does this mean there are certain kinds of rights or social equality for women which you don’t support? If so, tell us what those are.

  173. carlie says

    You, Johnny Snow, are not my nemesis.

    +1000 internets

    or that matter, I’m willing to bet there are some people (well, more than just me) who worry that a random error will drag them down into a firestorm which will require them to exhaustively defend their comment and/or express total contrition for it – or else be labeled a hopeless troll.

    But they do seem like a barrier to entry for this discussion nonetheless…

    However, no matter how much I worry about my own cognitive biases exaggerating the problem, I still believe there’s something there, and the fact that I feel like I can’t talk about it doesn’t exactly reassure me.

    This is a feature, not a bug. There are hundreds of comments every time a conversation on feminism happens. Hundreds of thousands altogether, if you think of people commenting on multiple blogs over multiple years. Unsupported opinions aren’t just noise, they’re noise that threatens to overtake the entire thing and make any signal completely disappear (and that’s what often happens). There’s also the fact that a lot of people automatically assume that their own thoughts and opinions are always worthy enough to force other people to consider them and patiently deal with them, one by one, even though those thoughts and opinions are ones that have been discussed dozens to hundreds of times before. It is honestly not too much to expect people to think about what they write BEFORE they do so rather than after, and to follow the conversation long enough before they jump in to be sure that what they’re about to say hasn’t already been covered. That’s just basic conversational etiquette. All we’re adding is that if you refuse to think about what you say before you say it, instead of politely nodding and walking away from you, we’ll call you on it.

  174. says

    (Final closing thought to address points that came up while I was writing this: at what point does the number of people with negative opinions of you become evidence that you’re unnecessarily alienating otherwise reasonable people?)

    Numbers don’t matter — truth isn’t up for a vote.

    What would convince me is when these “reasonable people” make reasonable arguments. That’s what I’m asking for. Are you going to provide any? I’m afraid I’m totally unimpressed by the tone argument, especially when it always goes only one way: feminists are told to be polite and nice or they might alienate people, while the anti-feminists rage and lie and obsess. I’d be more sympathetic if I saw you applying your argument to the assholes who have been harassing Rebecca Watson for over a year, for instance…but somehow that argument never gets made.

  175. Lachlan says

    Snoof @ 201

    You apparently don’t even have time to find one post or comment that has led you to form these beliefs.

    You apparently didn’t read my post. I gave you one from yesterday, as it’s fresh in my mind. The only response I’ve gotten so far is that they obviously weren’t a regular, because regulars don’t make gendered insults. How quickly we forget the “Dear Dick” incident.

  176. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Johnny Hillwalker @150:

    I don’t know what mental gymnastics you had to perform to come up with that conclusion, but I suggest you reevaluate your thinking process.

    It didn’t take any mental gymnastics.

    You said @126:

    Her tweet regarding drunkenness and consent is a perfect example. Her original tweet was something quite vague and open to interpretation, yet anybody who queried for clarification was immediately blocked and labelled a rapist.

    Emphasis mine.

    This is Rebecca’s original tweet:

    If you have sex w/ someone who is drunk, they are unable to consent & that is rape.

    There is nothing vague or open to interpretation there. Rape=non consensual sex. Period. End of story. If you are drunk, you are unable to give consent. Therefore, if you have sex with someone who is drunk (note, being DRUNK is not the same thing as DRINKING), since they cannot consent, you have raped that person.
    What is vague or open to be interpreted about her statement?

    That’s why I commented:

    If you fail to understand that rape=non consensual sex, please stay far away from whichever gender you are attracted to.

    It is clear that you do not seem to understand that rape=non consensual sex if Rebecca’s tweet was vague to you.

  177. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    You apparently didn’t read my post. I gave you one from yesterday, as it’s fresh in my mind. The only response I’ve gotten so far is that they obviously weren’t a regular, because regulars don’t make gendered insults. How quickly we forget the “Dear Dick” incident.

    And I answered this already.

  178. says

    Well, I guess I probably should take this opportunity.

    My primary concern with feminism mostly has to do with tone, to put it frankly. I get the impression that there is absolutely zero mercy for stupid comments – whether they are made out of honest ignorance or because the commenter is a misogynistic troll, they get hit with plenty of rather harsh replies. Frankly, I think the default assumption seems to be the latter, and that the assessment is altered later if the commenter in question expresses contrition after being called on it.

    You’re probably right. I never thought about that, and how the hostility could be hurting us. Men especially can be very harshly treated here, it’s true, and it’s unkind. We should be more patient and forgiving, and not drive potential allies away for simply expressing concerns and criticisms.

    That state of affairs makes some sense for those honest mistakes, even if it is somewhat harsh, but it’s not all that helpful for honest concerns. Or rather, it sets a very high bar that any criticism must meet in order to be considered reasonable – and I worry that some actual constructive criticism or legitimate disagreements, not just concern trolling and unreasonable criticism, are being lost below that standard.

    I don’t want to be too demanding, and I welcome your suggestions as to how to remedy the problem. I don’t want to exclude anyone, of course, especially if they might have original and insightful criticism to offer. Maybe you can help us to understand how to do this better.

    For that matter, I’m willing to bet there are some people (well, more than just me) who worry that a random error will drag them down into a firestorm which will require them to exhaustively defend their comment and/or express total contrition for it – or else be labeled a hopeless troll.

    It’s upsetting to me that some people just looking to offer their criticisms and advice might be attacked or falsely labeled. I apologize for having contributed to such an unpleasant atmosphere. I hope you’ll offer some suggestions about how to avoid this.

    Did you like or appreciate this response? If so, you should ask yourself why.

  179. says

    Curtnelson: you seem to be getting angry and emotional at being asked to defend your position…and I notice you did not provide any specifics about why you think I’m a “nut”. Do try harder.

  180. carlie says

    As for ‘evidence’, expecting me to go through the archives and compile a dossier of the posts/comments that have led me to form these beliefs is totally unreasonable. I don’t have the time for that.

    But you expect us to have the time to engage with your opinions on it.

    And no evidence at all? Not a full dossier, but there isn’t any single event or comment that sticks in your mind? You have such a strong opinion on what kinds of things have turned you off of most feminism, but none of it had enough impact to remember? Do you see how that really doesn’t support what you’re saying at all?

  181. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Lachlan:

    […] but I do hate the brand of feminism espoused around here. It has absolutely nothing to do with equality, and in my opinion, will ultimately hurt the position of women.

    You mean the “brand of feminism” that says we’re not putting up peaceably with the bullshit that’s flung at women day after day after day after wretched fucking day? The kind where we don’t hold your hand and walk you gently through what feminism is, what sexism is, what misogyny is — and why sexism and misogyny are hurtful and harmful. The kind where we refuse to accept being called sluts and cunts and bitches? The kind where you’re expected you to do your own homework and not come in and demand that the regulars regurgitate every discussion and patiently cover 101 territory over and over again because yet another person is “just asking questions”?

    It has absolutely nothing to do with equality, and in my opinion, will ultimately hurt the position of women.

    Thank you, oh kind sir, for telling us what’s really harmful to feminism and to women…

  182. Lachlan says

    208 @ Janine

    And I answered this already.

    No actually, you didn’t. I don’t condemn FTB because everybody speaks the way that this poster does. I condemn FTB because comments like this go completely unchallenged, while a similar comment about someone’s vagina would be totally eviscerated. This is not equality.

  183. omnicrom says

    Lyrander:

    You are acting like a Concern Troll but I’m going to act for now like you mean what you say. The reason that people are inflammatory and outspoken is that being loud and drawing attention is the only way to change things. Making a spectacle is how the Black Civil Rights movement and the Women’s Suffrage movements achieved their ends (and continue to achieve their ends). Being pleasant and polite and calm isn’t an effective strategy when trying to enact change. You say that it’s possible people will be turned off by fiery invective, but the reverse may also be true: If people weren’t fired up about a problem in why would you think they thought it was serious?

    You ask whether there’s a danger that legitimate concerns and criticisms are being lost beneath the “Evidence of GTFO” standard. The odds of that are minute at best. For one thing there’s a lot of discussion of the best way to go about enacting change so lots of ideas are thrown around. People ask how to structure laws to be fair or reduce institutional sexism and lots of ways to go about doing that. However “Back off and be less passionate” is never brought up seriously in a discussion because we’ve seen that doesn’t work from history.

    As for being worried of being pounced on the key to surviving is humility. If you say something idiotic and you’re lambasted you apologize and don’t make the same mistake again. If you say something sexist without realizing it the correct response is to take it as a learning experience and not say it again. If someone attacking your arguments scares you off the blog then you either need to grow a thicker skin or keep to safer islands on the Internet as Pharyngula regulars don’t make bones about niceness. I’d say to keep away from Feminist oriented blogs though, Feminism has been going for 150 years now so hopefully you can forgive the frustration.

  184. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Lachlan:

    Feminism is different things to different people.

    My understanding of feminism is: the pursuit of political, economic and social equality for women. Take any of those away, and it’s not feminism.

    Another thing that bothers me is the total disregard for any problems that men may have as a group. The idea that men have it tough in any way whatsoever is blasphemy

    What feminists have you been reading who have espoused these views?
    I’ve been at FtB a few years, and *never* seen the feminists here say anything like that. I haven’t seen Ophelia, PZ, Stephanie, Jen, or Greta say anything like that. What I’ve seen many feminists say is that patriarchy hurts men too.
    So please

  185. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    No actually, you didn’t. I don’t condemn FTB because everybody speaks the way that this poster does. I condemn FTB because comments like this go completely unchallenged, while a similar comment about someone’s vagina would be totally eviscerated. This is not equality.

    You, sir, are wrong.

  186. says

    regulars don’t make gendered insults. How quickly we forget the “Dear Dick” incident.

    1. That was posted on Skepchick, not here, by Stephanie Zvan, not me.

    2. It was not a gendered insult, but a calculatedly informal salutation.

    3. I was not in favor of the informality, myself: he prefers to be called “Richard”, and that’s how he ought to be addressed.

    4. Please, go complain to the people who intentionally abuse others with gendered insults. You’ll find them on the other side of the aisle from most feminists.

  187. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I don’t condemn FTB because everybody speaks the way that this poster does. I condemn FTB because comments like this go completely unchallenged

    Evidence, or it doesn’t happen. We do condemn the use of “dick” as a cussword. Why are you afraid to show evidence?

  188. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Damn, hit submit too soon.
    “So please give specifics about which feminists have been disregarding any problems that men may have as a group.”

  189. says

    Lachlan:

    yesterday I commented on a Pharyngula post about sexism and said simply “Misogyny is a horribly misused word”.

    I responded to that because it was a remarkably stupid thing to say.

    That alone was enough for some commentor to start talking about my shriveled penis.

    :Goes back to the Oh no, Sweden thread and looks: I’m sorry I missed that, I had closed the thread out. There was no excuse for such a comment and gendered slurs and insults are not met with approval here. It was seriously out of line.

    That said, Lachlan, you say some mighty stupid shit and it’s unreasonable for you to expect not to be called out on it. As you’re already so convinced you’re the enemy, I doubt you have the ability to comprehend the content of posts and truly consider them. You seem much more interested in a blanket rush to judgment.

    As for the ‘pucker your asshole’ comment, I’ve heard it used in a homophobic sense and I’ve heard it used as part of a rape threat against a woman. I’m sure your use of it is most likely the standard, but it doesn’t take much imagination to understand how it could be used in much worse ways. It’s a phrase I would personally avoid using.

  190. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    carlie:

    Such hostile language. “The enemy”? Who has called you that? Who has called anyone that around here? Why use such inflammatory rhetoric? Goodness, such a nasty tone you’ve got there. Why, if you talk to women more nicely, I bet they’d be more willing to listen to you. The problem is, when you get so emotional, it’s difficult to see if you have any points in there or not.

    I *HEART* you so much for this. What is more awesome than “you rock”? Whatever it is–that’s you.

  191. carlie says

    I gave you one from yesterday, as it’s fresh in my mind.

    Link to it, please. Stop expecting us to do all of the work for you. I searched for your name here; the most recent thing I got was from two days ago, and there was nothing of insult in it. I searched for your comment “Misogyny is a horribly misused word” and didn’t find it. I’ve already put in several minutes trying to find what the hell you’re talking about, and that’s time I shouldn’t have had to because you should have provided it yourself if you want anyone to take it seriously. You haven’t even said who made a gendered insult at you. Link to it or I’ll have to assume it doesn’t exist.

  192. Ermine says

    Carlie@ # 163 – That was beautiful! Come on people, this thread is asking for -specifics-! If you come back with “Well, SOME (unnamed) people do bad things..” we’re just going to point and laugh!

    It was through feminism that I first heard the phrase, a phrase that I’ve heard quite often since from the same sources, “Patriarchy hurts men, too”. Wanna bet that I can’t easily find a dozen more instances of the same and similar words from public feminists around the ‘net? Don’t even try to claim that feminists have a total disregard for men, I see them doing things all the time to protect men from toxic sexism as well as women. If you’re going to claim otherwise, I want to see -specifics-! Otherwise we’ll end up with people like Johnny Hillwalker here, carefully making claims without any specifics, because as soon as the specifics are given it becomes obvious that they’re lying about the details, just as Johnny has done. Rebbecca Watson didn’t call anyone a rapist, but Ed Clint most certainly outed himself as one in the post that I saw, but *of course* it’s RW’s fault!

    No, you give us specifics when you make a claim like that!

  193. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Lyrander @181:
    What did any of that have to do specifically with feminism? How was that a criticism of “the pursuit of economic, social and political equality for women”?

  194. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Lyrandar, a very nice comment, and if it had only been about feminism rather than this site and its ethos and tone, it would have been one to which PZ’s entreaty would apply.

    (alas!)

    (Final closing thought to address points that came up while I was writing this: at what point does the number of people with negative opinions of you become evidence that you’re unnecessarily alienating otherwise reasonable people?)

    That is a rhetorical (if silly) question, since the point is at zero because there is no such unnecessary alienation; rationalists will not be alienated either by the propositions or by the tone here, as you imply when you note only otherwise reasonable* people will be the alienated.

    * Much like saying “otherwise sane”, it implies they are not reasonable.

  195. carlie says

    Ok, I see it now thanks to Caine, no thanks to Lachlan. Two comments:

    1. “vaiyt” is not a “regular” in any sense that they are a regular commenter whose name is recognizable.
    2. There are no comments at all after that one, indicating that nobody else even noticed it was there, so any lack of response calling it out would most likely be for lack of anyone reading that post and comments.

  196. Rey Fox says

    So I assume you’ve both gleaned some form of misogyny from my phase “pucker your arsehole”?

    I gleaned that you equate criticism with rape. That’s distasteful enough.

  197. carlie says

    So yes, it was wrong, but if that’s the only example you’ve got, that’s pretty weak sauce.

    (looked up vaiyt and found comments going aways back, but not often enough that the name stood out in my mind)

  198. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Funny. If that thread have not just ended like that, someone would have called out vaiyt on that insult.

    Also, carlie, just want to point out that vaiyt has been hanging out here a lot the past few days. So far, seems like a decent commentator. But we better let vaiyt know not to do that again.

  199. nightshadequeen says

    @Johnny Hillwalker

    For context, the following are Rebecca’s tweets.

    If you have sex w/ someone who is drunk, they are unable to consent & that is rape.

    If you “took advantage” of someone who is unable to consent, it is rape. End of story.

    Do you agree with the statement that any sex without explicit consent is rape?

    @yubal

    Please stop using “crazy” as a slur.

    Also, what exact beliefs did these feminists you know hold that caused you to label them as “crazy”?

    @Lachlan

    The idea that men have it tough in any way whatsoever is blasphemy.

    False.

    Some feminists cannot admit that some things in society favor women.

    Exactly what favors women?

    Make a statement about all women, and your better pucker your arsehole.

    Quit it with the rape jokes.

    As for ‘evidence’, expecting me to go through the archives and compile a dossier of the posts/comments that have led me to form these beliefs is totally unreasonable.

    A) If it’s common, you should be able to CTRL-F for it fairly quickly.

    B) Google.

    As a small example, yesterday I commented on a Pharyngula post about sexism and said simply “Misogyny is a horribly misused word” That alone was enough for some commentor to start talking about my shriveled penis.

    If this was yesterday, it should be easy for you to come up with direct quotes, yes?

  200. says

    Carlie:

    2. There are no comments at all after that one, indicating that nobody else even noticed it was there, so any lack of response calling it out would most likely be for lack of anyone reading that post and comments.

    Unfortunately, that’s the case. I did have that thread open for a while, expecting it to take off, but in the wake of all the Newtown posts, it got lost in the shuffle. I ended up closing it out not long after my last comment as I had too many freaking tabs open.

    As for Vaiyt, they comment here often enough, more recently. At any rate, the gendered slur is most certainly not acceptable and the response was completely out of proportion to the comment.

  201. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    curtnelson:

    PZ, I used to admire you tremendously but now consider you to be kind of a clueless nut.

    In what ways is PZ a clueless nut? Do you have anything to substantiate this opinion?
    Or did you expect people to accept and respect your opinion just because you’ve shared it?

    Your contributions to the feminist cause seem to be nothing but damaging, especially to feminism.

    Seem?
    Why do you feel this way?
    Do you have any evidence to back up your opinion?

    Your “why do you despise feminism?” query only conveys your own hatred and that you’re wanting to have another fuck you fest to celebrate it.

    Given how many people criticize feminism, but so few have actual arguments, it’s a very important question. Why do you pretend to know what PZ’s intentions are?

  202. John Morales says

    Lachlan @191:

    I don’t despise feminism, and I absolutely support the rights of women to not be harassed, to not be judged or assumed incompetent owing to their lack of a penis, etc., but I do hate the brand of feminism espoused around here. It has absolutely nothing to do with equality, and in my opinion, will ultimately hurt the position of women.

    You invite the question: what do you think now is “the position of women” relative to “the position of men”*?

    (I’m being dead serious here, not salaciously jocular)

    * Bonus question: “the position of non-women non-men”

  203. Lachlan says

    Rey Fox @ 229

    I gleaned that you equate criticism with rape. That’s distasteful enough.

    I didn’t actually intend to equate those two things. Now that you’ve pointed it out, it’s a more distasteful phase than I realized.

  204. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Lanchlan, are you also willing to admit that you were mistaken about the use of gendered insults at this blog?

  205. carlie says

    I was definitely in error not recognizing vaiyt.

    But one comment, made less than 24 hours before the charge is made, on a post that has no comments after that one and fell off of the front page quickly due to the number of posts in those 24 hours, doesn’t an environment of hostility towards men make.

  206. says

    Carlie:

    But one comment, made less than 24 hours before the charge is made, on a post that has no comments after that one and fell off of the front page quickly due to the number of posts in those 24 hours, doesn’t an environment of hostility towards men make.

    No, it doesn’t and if Lachlan is going to insist on this being the state of things, I’d strongly suggest having actual evidence with actual links.

  207. sc_d29cdfff63847614043828226651febb says

    Okay. I don’t think I’m really in the target audience for this one, at all, but I think it’s worth responding anyway. There’s a possibility that some of the people who take exception to being called ‘feminists’ are actually disavowing very specific forms of feminism. At least in my case (I’m an epistemologist and logician) I am actually more likely to be asked for my views of ‘feminist standpoint epistemology’ or even ‘feminist logic’ than on social equality.

    1) I am, in fact, a feminist. Or at least I am a feminist as it is defined in the post. The only argument I could imagine anyone giving for opposing feminism defined as ‘the belief that men and women should given equal consideration of interests’ is predicated on something like a command or natural law theory of ethics. If you think either God or Nature has dictated that it is a moral imperative for, say, women to remain at home and raise families, then I suppose you will support policies that are sexist on, for example, a utilitarian or justice-as-fairness theory. The problem with that kind of argument is that neither of these ethical theories is plausible.

    2) I am not a feminist in the way that, for example, circa 1980- Dr Sandra Harding is a feminist. That is, I do not subscribe to feminist standpoint theory in the philosophy of science or in epistemology. I do not think it is true that Newton’s Principia is a “rape manual,” nor do I think it likely that the emphasis in the sciences on formal or mathematical modes of thinking is androcentric. The reason I am not this kind of feminist is that I disagree with certain factual claims (‘rape metaphors in the development of science were/are fruitful’ and ‘women are less suited than men towards mathematical thinking’ respectively) on which this kind of feminism is predicated. I do not “despise” this form of feminism, though I think its influence on academic philosophy in particular has been pernicious. Since academic philosophy is a minute sphere, this is not a significant harm, but it’s one that I have to deal with fairly frequently.

    3) I am not a feminist in the way that the organizers of, say, SlutWalk are feminists. This is because I have somewhat idiosyncratic beliefs about ‘reclamation’ of gendered language, and because I have concerns that this type of feminism is tacitly trading on androcentric notions of attractiveness and sexuality. I do not “despise” this form of feminism, but I think it does a disservice to the cause.

    4) I am not a feminist in the way that certain trans- / homo- / whatever- phobic ‘feminists’ are. This is for obvious reasons. I do despise this kind of feminism, also for obvious reasons. It is probably less common amongst feminists than nonfeminists, but still common enough to bear mentioning.

  208. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    I didn’t actually intend to equate those two things. Now that you’ve pointed it out, it’s a more distasteful phase than I realized.

    That right there is it. Being willing to be told something you didn’t know and wouldn’t like to be true, and acknowledging it. Why is this so hard for the rabidly anti-feminist?

  209. says

    I’m unimpressed so far, anti-feminists! So far we’ve got…

    1. Vague complaints about some kind of female supremacy movement from someone who backed down fast when he had no evidence for it being a widely supported feminist ideal.

    2. Lots of tone arguments. Those aren’t support for a problem with feminism.

    3. A couple of tu quoques. You know, those are logical fallacies. Even if some people here aren’t very nice, it says nothing about your opposition to feminism.

    4. A couple of commenters are clearly itching to start screaming about Rebecca Watson. This thread is not about Watson; maybe she poisoned your dog and kicked your crippled grandma, but that would say nothing about why you despise feminism.

    Come on, anti-feminists! Up your game! Let’s hear specifics. I quoted those comments above claiming that feminism is irrational and doesn’t belong in skepticism/atheism, so you’ve got to have something other than irrational emotional anger to back up your claims.

    I’m going to get some sleep. I hope I wake up in the morning to some reasonable, genuine insights into why you’re so opposed to feminism, because so far you all sound like angry Martians, and I don’t understand you at all.

  210. brucegee1962 says

    The feminists who hate men ought to have a bigmeeting with the atheists who want to stop everyone from celebrating Christmas and the atheists who believe that not believing in god means there is no purpose in life. It could be, like StrawCon or something.

  211. John Morales says

    [OT +meta]

    carlie,

    “vaiyt” is not a “regular” in any sense that they are a regular commenter whose name is recognizable.

    I recognise it; a recent (and decent!) commenter here.

  212. says

    Josh:

    That right there is it. Being willing to be told something you didn’t know and wouldn’t like to be true, and acknowledging it.

    I wouldn’t be excited as of yet. I pointed out the rape connotations to Lachlan earlier than Rey and got no response. I soundly condemned Vaiyt’s use of a gendered slur in response to Lachlan and have received no response. I even provided the link he just couldn’t manage to find. Nothing.

    I haven’t been rude at all to Lachlan, but from his complete lack of response, you’d think I don’t exist.

  213. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Brucegee1962, your screed is typical aSlymepitter pitiful attempt at sarcasm/humor. If you have a point, state it clearly, precisely, and with evidence. Or, you have nothing cogent to say, like your screed.

  214. carlie says

    There’s a possibility that some of the people who take exception to being called ‘feminists’ are actually disavowing very specific forms of feminism.

    Possibly, but I think you’re giving them a lot of credit!

    Thank you for your comments- it provides some of the breakdown that many anti-feminists don’t even know exists, and might help them figure out what it is they’re arguing against.

  215. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Nerd, perhaps I do not know what brucegee 1962 has written before but I saw that as actual humor.

  216. John Morales says

    [OT + meta]

    sc_d29cdfff63847614043828226651febb:

    At least in my case (I’m an epistemologist and logician)

    Then you must agree with the proposition that you are [too incompetent; too lazy; too oblivious]* to bother to change your display name from its computer-generated identifier.

    (Not impressed)

    * Inclusive OR, obviosly.

  217. carlie says

    Caine – people just don’t notice your writing because you’re so shy and bashful and reticent. You ought to try to be more assertive.

    ;)

  218. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Caine @220:
    There was something about “pucker your arsehole” that struck me as homophobic, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

  219. says

    Brucegee:

    The feminists who hate men ought to have a bigmeeting with the atheists who want to stop everyone from celebrating Christmas and the atheists who believe that not believing in god means there is no purpose in life. It could be, like StrawCon or something.

    *Snortle* Have a cookie, with a tentacle on top.

    Carlie:

    Caine – people just don’t notice your writing because you’re so shy and bashful and reticent. You ought to try to be more assertive.

    ;)

    Hahahahaha, yes, that must be it! ;D

  220. sc_a5cb88e17cbabcc491f2c12042601ab8 says

    I’m a bit new to this Shermer/Benson feud. I find it hard to believe that Shermer is anti-feminist. He’s a liberal and for social/economic equality just like most of us Skeptics. Why does Ms. Benson think he’s anti-feminist?

  221. Lachlan says

    carlie and Janine, I don’t actually comment all that often on Pharyngula, but most of my comments are in threads related to sexism. Unfailingly, I see examples of what I’d consider to be an unequal treatment of sexism. Off the top of my head, I can remember a thread where I pointed out that Laden’s “testosterone damaged brain” comment was not condemned around here, even as a commentor continued to defend it.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/11/07/exterminate/

    Another thread I can remember commenting on was the one about Julia Gillard’s misogynist speech. One of the posters openly admitted to assuming that all men were sexist until proven otherwise, but this attitude was not condemned at all.
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/10/10/give-me-more-politicians-with-this-kind-of-passion/
    A similar assumption made about women would be harshly condemned, and rightly so.

    Regarding gendered insults, I can accept that they’re condemned by the regulars here, though I cannot recall seeing anyone called out for calling someone a “dick”. For the record, I strongly oppose insults related to one’s gender, however I think the words “dick” and “cunt” can be used as insults without necessarily implying sexist motivations.

  222. says

    James Larkin #68

    Perhaps I’m simply being far too idealistic in wishing that everyone could hold the view that all humans are equal – this is most likely the case.

    That’s called feminism, welcome to it.

    and #95

    Now I’m going to restate my base position, that is “Mens Rights Groups have been using more radical appearing acts of feminism to make feminism APPEAR less viable, even though that is not the case.”

    That doesn’t say anything about feminism though, it just says what MRAs are doing. I understand why that might be a reason why you originally didn’t like feminism. Hell, I read an anti-feminism book as a kid and hated feminists for no good reason until I was 19. But now that you know it’s just the MRAs cherry-picking and distorting a few fringe groups, shouldn’t you be more willing to look at real feminism and see what we’re up to? Christians pick a few strange atheists (Mao, Stalin) and use them to smear atheism all the time, but that doesn’t mean that atheism is bad.

    and #105

    The media representation of feminism, however, is somewhat more skewed. Hence my personal stance as an egalitarian when speaking to people.

    The media representation of atheism is very skewed. Hence my personal stance as non-religious when speaking to people.
    The media representation of liberals is very skewed. Hence my personal stance as a “socially concerned person” when speaking to people.
    The media representation of English majors is very skewed. Hence my personal stance as someone with an interest in editing when speaking to people.
    The media representation of Americans is very skewed. Hence my personal stance as a North American when speaking to people.
    The media representation of geeks is very skewed. Hence my personal stance as a person interested in things when speaking to people.
    Because obviously the way people perceive things is totally going to be fixed by people refusing to be called feminists. That makes perfect sense.

    Unfortunately, the extremely radical protests (Such as Femen stripping naked to protest) gives MRAs an easier way to frame it with a “This is ridiculous” claim, that can seriously sway the less educated on the subject.

    Why are you so concerned with how the MRAs portray feminism? What does all this “concern” have to do with the subject? You say that you don’t even consider yourself a feminist, so why do you care how we present ourselves? What makes you think we need or want your advice on this matter? Stop with the concern trolling already.

    and #whatever

    I’ll agree that people here are working on disproving the lies that MRAs put up, however there is nothing national, at least over here.

    So you don’t claim to be a feminist and you refuse to take part in feminist activism, and then you wonder why there’s no feminist activism near you? Goodness, I can’t imagine why. Could it be that *gasp* people like you are the reason? That people who aren’t willing to take on a name that’s been sullied by assholes for fear of people looking at them sideways a little are the reason that organizing feminist activity can be difficult?
    Fuck it. I’m glad you’ve gone to bed, because I’m done with you.

  223. says

    Tony:

    There was something about “pucker your arsehole” that struck me as homophobic, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

    I mentioned this to Lachlan, also, upthread somewhere. I have heard it used in a homophobic way before. Too many times, actually.

  224. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I could be wrong about Brucegee1962. It’s been a long tiring day, and my eyes and brain are losing focus.

  225. says

    owlglass #65

    For example German Studies (I’m German) are full of females who want to become teachers or something the like, whereas (mechanial) engineering is full of men.

    I once took a computer programming class. I was the only girl in it, and they annoyed me, bothered me, left me out of activities, treated me like I was stupid, and generally didn’t make the place very welcoming. Forgive me if I didn’t feel like spending the rest of my life in that atmosphere. When I was in high school I took Calculus, and made the highest grade in my class (and every other math class I took) and yet for some reason I was convinced throughout high school that I was bad at math. But you’re right, I probably caused that myself. It has nothing to do with the fact that all my guy friends assumed that I was good at English (love it) and Social Studies (neutral) and that I was bad at math (love). Totally.
    Also, don’t use “females.” It’s women, thank you.

  226. John Morales says

    sc_a5cb88e17cbabcc491f2c12042601ab8:

    Why does Ms. Benson think he’s anti-feminist?

    What makes you think she thinks he’s anti-feminist?

  227. says

    Lachlan:

    though I cannot recall seeing anyone called out for calling someone a “dick”.

    I have repeatedly called people out for using “dick” as an insult, going back to Pharyngula Sciborg.

    It’s generally used by people who are idiotic enough to think this sort of thing:

    however I think the words “dick” and “cunt” can be used as insults without necessarily implying sexist motivations.

  228. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    He’s a liberal and for social/economic equality just like most of us Skeptics.

    Actually, he’s a libertarian, not a liberal. So he’s not necessarily for real equality.

  229. Lachlan says

    Caine @ 265

    It’s generally used by people who are idiotic enough to think this sort of thing:

    Please elaborate. Are you implying that the use of these words as insults guarantees sexist attitudes?

  230. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    carlie @228:
    For my part, I’ve recognized vaiyt around here often enough to think of hir as a regular.
    That said, if the thread has died down, it’s entirely possible no one has checked it out. I know that once the initial thrust of a thread has died (i.e. when it doesn’t show up in the recent comments sidebar), I don’t often check on a thread.

  231. John Morales says

    [meta]

    blogofmyself,

    For example German Studies (I’m German) are full of females who want to become teachers or something the like, whereas (mechanial) engineering is full of men.

    For example German Studies (I’m German) are full of females who want to become teachers or something the like, whereas (mechanial) engineering is full of men.

    Hm. Lessee… <clickety-click>

    For example German Studies (I’m German) are full of women who want to become teachers or something the like, whereas (mechanial) engineering is full of males.

    Whaddayano, my test substitution seems suspiciously feminist! :) )

  232. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    nighshadequeen @232:
    Thanks for clarifying another way that “pucker your arsehole” is unacceptable.

  233. omnicrom says

    Please elaborate. Are you implying that the use of these words as insults guarantees sexist attitudes?

    You’re being weaselly with your use of “Guarantee”, and I’m willing to bet you know it. But yes, believe it or not Gendered insults create a sexist atmosphere. Therefore I will call you an Asshole because both men and women have those.

  234. caveatimperator says

    @messy name in Comment 240,

    Your objections, if I can even call them that, are all coming from a vantage point inside the feminist movement, which is what makes you different from the more oblivious commenters, at least to me. Personally, I completely agree with points 1 and 4, disagree with 3 (though I will concede that this is a matter of opinion and something that one can actually argue), and tentatively agree with point 2, depending on how you frame it.
     
    As others have discussed above, the scientific and engineering fields have a very poor track record for treating women well. If you meant, “scientific thinking is androcentric and the scientific method should be replaced by something else”, I would tell you that postmodern wishy-washiness is not welcome ’round these here parts. If you meant, “the culture in which science is done is insufficiently inclusive of women,” I would agree with you.

  235. says

    Lachlan:

    Please elaborate. Are you implying that the use of these words as insults guarantees sexist attitudes?

    I’m not implying it, I’m stating it. That said, Lachlan, the regulars here have had this damn discussion more times than I can count and you aren’t going to use me to derail this thread so you can get out of a tight spot.

    Why don’t you try responding to all those people who are waiting on answers from you instead?

  236. John Morales says

    [correction]

    blogofmyself,

    For example German Studies (I’m German) are full of females who want to become teachers or something the like, whereas (mechanial) engineering is full of men.

    I once took a computer programming class. I was the only girl in it, and they annoyed me, bothered me, left me out of activities, treated me like I was stupid, and generally didn’t make the place very welcoming. Forgive me if I didn’t feel like spending the rest of my life in that atmosphere.

    Sorry, blogofmyself — I was careless, I just wanted to emphasise your comment. :|

  237. carlie says

    I can remember a thread where I pointed out that Laden’s “testosterone damaged brain” comment was not condemned around here, even as a commentor continued to defend it.

    What? Since you still didn’t link to specific comments, I did a search on your name, and the first comment that popped up with your name in it after your comment about Laden’s comment was Gililell, who said “A moronic and sexist comment by Laden. Calling it “provocative” does not excuse it.”

    There was also this from Caine: “For my part, that would be because I have zero respect for Laden and anything he has to say. He also isn’t a part of FTB, which was part of Kevin’s claim.”

    And then the discussion was that the term “damage” in that developmental sense didn’t mean badly messed up in toto, it meant stopped in its current developmental track and changed to another.

    A similar assumption made about women would be harshly condemned, and rightly so.

    Well, no. Everyone is sexist. That’s just how we’re all raised. Some of us try to undo it more than others.

    And going back to look at it, it was skeptifem, and her comment was “You’re acting like women should just pretend that every dude is not sexist as a default,”. Saying “it’s dumb to say every one isn’t” isn’t the same as saying “every one is”. And THEN it turned out that what you were really arguing about was something skeptifem said on her own blog, not that actual comment that she made that I just quoted, and then there was a huge argument where you kept saying no, that wasn’t what you were claiming, but then kept going back to what she said on her blog rather than here. And not for nothing, but skeptifem has her own share of detractors here as well.

  238. says

    Janine:

    Lachlan, you are serving very thin gruel.

    That’s a fact. And Lachlan wonders why people don’t take to him. The things that make you go hmmm.

    I have a very busy day tomorrow, so I’m out. Have fun chewing, I’ll check back in tomorrow.

  239. says

    I’m a bit new to this Shermer/Benson feud. I find it hard to believe that Shermer is anti-feminist.

    I really do not care what you find hard to believe. This just looks like a boring argument from incredulity. But really, I am more concerned with the first part. Shouldn’t you actually find out what is going on before commenting on it and assuming things about what their respective viewpoints and actions were?

  240. carlie says

    To link to a specific comment:

    It used to be that you could click on the date/time a comment was made and the URL would redirect to the direct comment itself, and then you could copy the URL from the nav. bar and use that as the link. Now if you hover your mouse pointer over the date/time area, a little blue text pops up that says “link to this comment” and the same thing happens.

  241. Rodney Nelson says

    sc[buncha numbers and letters] #258

    sc_a5cb88e17cbabcc491f2c12042601ab8 [hush]​[hide comment]

    21 December 2012 at 11:04 pm (UTC -6)

    I’m a bit new to this Shermer/Benson feud. I find it hard to believe that Shermer is anti-feminist. He’s a liberal and for social/economic equality just like most of us Skeptics. Why does Ms. Benson think he’s anti-feminist?

    Shermer is not a liberal, he’s a libertarian. There is a difference.

    If you want to know why Ophelia thinks Shermer is a sexist, start with this post and then work your way to the present.

  242. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    sc_numbers:

    ’m a bit new to this Shermer/Benson feud. I find it hard to believe that Shermer is anti-feminist. He’s a liberal and for social/economic equality just like most of us Skeptics. Why does Ms. Benson think he’s anti-feminist?

    I don’t believe that Shermer is anti-feminist. Nor do I think Ophelia considers him an anti-feminist. As many people have stated before, we are *all* sexist. It cannot be avoided, given the culture we live in. Shermer is no exception. But now that he’s said something sexist, instead of examining his opinion and revising it, he’s chosen to double down and make things worse. So much of the criticism he’s faced is because he refuses to examine his original statement. He’d rather continue denying and digging, denying and digging. *THAT* makes it worse. Why he wants to defend a sexist statement is beyond me. Wait. Scratch that. He doesn’t want to be wrong.
    I think he needs to examine certain opinions he has, because they are sexist (“it’s who speak up about it. It’s who talks about it. It’s who goes to conventions.” ‘It’ being the people who do those things. I.E. Men. Women do those things too. Shermer needs to examine the reasons why more women aren’t as involved in the Skeptic movement as he thinks, rather than assuming skepticism “is a guy thing”).

  243. says

    I wouldn’t even say Bensen thinks he’s a sexist just that he’s said a sexist stereotype and been very dense about it when called on it.

  244. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Lachlan:

    For the record, I strongly oppose insults related to one’s gender, however I think the words “dick” and “cunt” can be used as insults without necessarily implying sexist motivations.

    You will not find any support if you use “cunt” as an insult here. You will find near universal condemnation and probably some very harsh language.
    While calling someone a “dick” is often not considered as serious as calling someone a “cunt”, it is still a gendered insult and should be condemned for the same reason.

  245. Lachlan says

    carlie @ 277

    What? Since you still didn’t link to specific comments,

    It’s a bit hard to link to comments that are examples of my problem, when my problem is with what isn’t said.

    I did a search on your name, and the first comment that popped up with your name in it after your comment about Laden’s comment was Gililell, who said “A moronic and sexist comment by Laden. Calling it “provocative” does not excuse it.”

    Actually, it was me who said that. Gililell spent most of the thread defending Laden’s stupid comment, and stating gleefully how I was upset that everybody begins as a female. Sexism, and it was called out by precisely nobody.

  246. Rey Fox says

    Shouldn’t you actually find out what is going on before commenting on it and assuming things about what their respective viewpoints and actions were?

    “Shut the fuck up, Donny. You’re out of your element!”

  247. Lachlan says

    Tony @ 284

    You will not find any support if you use “cunt” as an insult here. You will find near universal condemnation and probably some very harsh language.
    While calling someone a “dick” is often not considered as serious as calling someone a “cunt”, it is still a gendered insult and should be condemned for the same reason.

    Can you explain that one to me? Is this not an example of unequal concern about sexism? I sometimes call my male friends “cunts”. I’m fairly sure it’s not because I hate women. I’ve seen many women call many men a “dick”, and I’m fairly sure it’s not because they hate all men either. It seems rather petty and inconsequential to me.

  248. says

    @Cyranothe2nd #62:

    They assume that the past (pre-1900) was a golden age in which men treated women with respect and that women were, on the whole, privileged and grateful for this.

    Why, women were treated as more than equals!

  249. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Lachlan:

    Please elaborate. Are you implying that the use of these words as insults guarantees sexist attitudes?

    What is a dick?
    What is a cunt?
    What is it about those two body parts that makes them an insult?
    Why would anyone take those specific words and decide to insult someone with them?
    Is there something inherently bad about them?
    Is there something inherently inferior about the individual who possesses them?

    Using a gendered insult directly implies that there is something wrong with those of a specific gender. If you call me a dick, you’re considering me or something I say to be wrong/evil/stupid/bad. There is nothing wrong with having a dick. There is nothing wrong with being a man. Ever.

    If you call a woman a cunt, it is infinitely worse, because women are systematically oppressed across the planet. Using that as an insult, you associate a woman’s body part with something wrong/evil/stupid/bad. There is nothing wrong with having a cunt. There is nothing wrong with being a woman. Ever. AND on top of sexist/misogynistic language, women have to deal with a host of shit that men never do.

    Being called a dick is not as bad as being called a cunt.

    But they are *both* wrong and should never be used as insults.

  250. John Morales says

    [meta + OT]

    Tony:

    While calling someone a “dick” is often not considered as serious as calling someone a “cunt”, it is still a gendered insult and should be condemned for the same reason.

    Um. ‘Dick’ is an informal version of ‘Richard’, and not uncommon historically (nor in people of my generation, let alone Dawkins'; cf. #217 by PZ.

    (Can’t say similar of the other word)

  251. says

    I was in the middle of typing up this long response to Lachlan, but I just can’t right now. I am too tired and too done. Maybe if I get really bored tomorrow…

  252. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    First, Lachlan complained about having his penis insulted. Now he is whining that “cunt” is not gendered.

    Cupcake.

  253. consciousness razor says

    It’s a bit hard to link to comments that are examples of my problem, when my problem is with what isn’t said.

    Bullshit. If someone used a gendered insult here, that is saying something. If you don’t remember which threads they were, you could search for whatever the insulting language was. Then we could all see what the responses were like.

  254. says

    @Lachlan
    Well first remove the hates all X arguements you can use a lot of stupid language without hating all X if for no other reason then not thinking about what you’re saying.

    Lets see cunt in particular used derogatorily to ones males friends is similar to pussy etc where there’s an unstated premise that having/being female genitalia is degrading or bad. There’s also the issue common to both of reducing someone to their genitals. That’s a few off the top of my head I’m sure other people can add other problems with using them.

  255. consciousness razor says

    Can you explain that one to me? Is this not an example of unequal concern about sexism? I sometimes call my male friends “cunts”. I’m fairly sure it’s not because I hate women. I’ve seen many women call many men a “dick”, and I’m fairly sure it’s not because they hate all men either. It seems rather petty and inconsequential to me.

    So you don’t even understand what the problem with gendered insults is. Fascinating that you would bring it up as an alleged problem of the feminists here.

  256. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Lachlan @285:

    Gililell spent most of the thread defending Laden’s stupid comment, and stating gleefully how I was upset that everybody begins as a female. Sexism, and it was called out by precisely nobody.

    If I’m reading you correctly here (since I don’t have a link to the original thread to get the proper context), you think it is sexist to believe that everyone starts out as female. If you believe that is sexist, you are wrong. All humans start out life as female:

    2 theories long held regarding female sexuality have been the Eve-out-of-Adam’s Rib theory and Freud’s well-known clitoral-vaginal transfer theory. Because all embryos, male and female, start life by developing a combined clitoral-penile tubercle, it seemed that all fetuses started as male and by the 3rd month the females gave up trying to grow a penis, the clitoris being the remains. Geneticists have discovered that all human embryos start life as females, as do all embryos of mammals. About the 2nd month the fetal tests elaborate enough androgens to offset the maternal estrogens and maleness develops.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4470128

    emphasis mine.

  257. nightshadequeen says

    @googlemess (sc_a5cb88e17cbabcc491f2c12042601ab8)

    A. Can you please change your randomly generated string into an actual moniker?

    B. As for Shermer: just have a read

    @Lachlan

    Greping* for “testosterone damaged brain” on your link:

    We get:

    #86: kevinsolway

    According to Talisma Nasrim, of this place, men hate every aspect of a woman:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/taslima/2012/05/30/men-hate-womans-body/

    Greg Laden, also of this place, says that men are brain-damaged by testosterone.

    So the “feminism” of this place is essentially identical to that of RadFem hub. Men are sub-humans, consumed by hatred of women, every one of them rapist-in-waiting, and mentally impaired.

    It’s all about dehumanizing and demonizing men.

    A completely uncited claim from a person apparently incapable of reading for comprehension. Can you acquire me the link to when Greg said that?

    Then Rutee Katreya at #87, asking for a citation.

    Then your first post, at #94; no mentions of testosterone in between, no defenses of Greg’s comment in between. Maybe the lack of citation has something to do with the lack of condemnation?

    #98, Giliell, providing context, and the first actual “defense” of Laden’s comment.

    Not actually true (as to be expected).
    Greg’s line was that testosterone damages the developing female brain* of the fetus to turn it into a male brain.
    That was not “elegantly put” and yes, provocatively put*, put in a typical Greg Laden way, but for everybody who actually watched the video and followed the discussion (on FTB, what’s more!) on this and this particular sentence knows that “Greg Laden says that man are brain-damaged” is just another lie.

    *I know it pains some guys immensely to know that the female is the default and without the interference of testosterone fetuses will develop into women**

    **Mostly CAIS (complete androgen insensitivity syndrome) is fascinating and gives insights into which processes are really regulated by androgens and which are regulated otherwise.

    You again at #102, with argument-from-dictionary.

    Allow me to provide you with a quick definition of “damage”:…..A moronic and sexist comment by Laden. Calling it “provocative” does not excuse it. Laden is an idiot, and you’re making excuses for sexism.

    Giliell again at #127 trying to explain Laden’s metaphor; LykeX at #136 disagreeing with but understanding Laden’s choice of words, and that’s it of the thread.

    Now, that was some pretty argumentive word choice by Laden; I would not have chosen that word (“altered”, maybe). He’s fairly obviously using a provocative word for the sake of using a provocative word.

    I’ll say it: Greg Laden was incorrect in using the word ‘damaged’ to refer to the effects of testosterone on the male brain.

    As for the rest of your post.

    One of the posters openly admitted to assuming that all men were sexist until proven otherwise

    Everyone is sexist. I am, you are, because of the culture we were raised in, and it’s game of recongizing when we’re being sexist and quashing those tendencies, not denying that they exist. I don’t care how enlightened you consider yourself; you are sexist.

    (greping for “sexist” on that link turned up nothing useful)

    however I think the words “dick” and “cunt” can be used as insults without necessarily implying sexist motivations.

    Can you give me an example?

    Please elaborate. Are you implying that the use of these words as insults guarantees sexist attitudes?

    Directed at Caine; I’m answering anyways.

    Yes, I believe that use of those words are always a symptom of underlying sexist attitudes.

  258. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    John:

    Um. ‘Dick’ is an informal version of ‘Richard’, and not uncommon historically (nor in people of my generation, let alone Dawkins’; cf. #217 by PZ.

    (Can’t say similar of the other word)

    For someone who is usually so good with reading comprehension, you fail here.
    I said:

    While calling someone a “dick” is often not considered as serious as calling someone a “cunt”, it is still a gendered insult and should be condemned for the same reason.

    Emphasis mine. *Calling* someone Dick isn’t a gendered insult. Calling someone *a* dick, is.

  259. Rey Fox says

    Well, I just read that thread, and Giliell did a good job of explaining the testosterone comment and quoted Laden explaining it himself. Lachlan, on the other hand, seemed to be on a single-minded “gotcha” hunt*. Read the thread starting around comment #86 if you’re still tempted to give him the benefit of the doubt. Pay special attention to Giliell’s comment #119.

    * Reminiscent of the Bloom County strips where the gang hunts for snakes in the local pond and ends the day with a mortally beaten brake cable as their quarry.

  260. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    nighshadequeen:
    That was a remarkable amount of work you did. Above and beyond. You *shouldn’t* have had to.

  261. nightshadequeen says

    @Tony

    nighshadequeen @232:
    Thanks for clarifying another way that “pucker your arsehole” is unacceptable.

    I think Rey Fox deserves the credit; he/she/xe pointed it out at 229; but thanks :D

  262. Lachlan says

    Tony @ 289

    If you call a woman a cunt, it is infinitely worse, because women are systematically oppressed across the planet.

    Can you explain how that is not logically equivalent to “refusing to hire someone because they’re a woman is infinitely worse than refusing to hire somebody because they’re a man, because women are systematically oppressed across the planet”. Seems to me that they’re both equally acceptable or unacceptable.

    First, Lachlan complained about having his penis insulted. Now he is whining that “cunt” is not gendered.

    You’re not following. I don’t care about having my penis insulted. I care that sexism is not condemned equally around here. That’s kinda failing at the first hurdle, for a group that preaches about equality.

    Cupcake.

    I’m diabetic. Fucking bigot.

    consciousness razor @ 295

    So you don’t even understand what the problem with gendered insults is. Fascinating that you would bring it up as an alleged problem of the feminists here.

    I know precisely what a gendered insult is, but I question the value in being to concerned about the words “dick” and “cunt”. Saying “don’t be a dick” is not equivalent to “don’t be a penis, because penises are bad and therefore men are bad”. The word has taken on a completely different meaning. Ditto “cunt”.

  263. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Lachlan:
    Did you miss the part where I said they are *both* wrong and should not be used?
    Yes, I consider using “cunt” as an insult to be worse than using “dick” as an insult.

    I don’t believe EITHER should be used as an insult.

  264. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Aaaaaaaand now Lachlan thinks calling someone a cupcake makes them bigoted. Wow.

  265. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Lachlan:

    I care that sexism is not condemned equally around here. That’s kinda failing at the first hurdle, for a group that preaches about equality.

    Sexism IS equally condemned here.
    The *one* comment you’ve mentioned was in a thread NO ONE was continuing to follow. Damn.

  266. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Lachlan:
    The word “dick” is generally used as a synonym for penis.
    The word “cunt” is generally used as a synonym for vagina.

    If “dick” and “cunt” are supposed to mean something new, someone didn’t tell the vast majority of people.

    What do the words “dick” and “cunt” mean when they aren’t being used to refer to body parts and how is one supposed to distinguish between the definitions?

  267. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You’re not following.

    You’re not explaining, you’re whining. Show some evidence or it isn’t a problem. Show us you know how to argue. Which means you cite third party evidence and cease OPINING.

  268. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Lachan is a cupcake, Pharyngula meaning. A lightweight whiner without supporting evidence. If he wants to be taken seriously, he needs to up his game to that expected from somebody arguing in good faith and from reality, not just his warped version thereof.

  269. nightshadequeen says

    @Lachan

    Examples, please. With links and comment numbers and everything.

    Because currently you’re just generating AssertionErrors all over the place.

  270. Lachlan says

    Tony @ 306

    The word “dick” is generally used as a synonym for penis.
    The word “cunt” is generally used as a synonym for vagina.

    If “dick” and “cunt” are supposed to mean something new, someone didn’t tell the vast majority of people.

    What do the words “dick” and “cunt” mean when they aren’t being used to refer to body parts and how is one supposed to distinguish between the definitions?

    If you’re totally unaware that sometimes words take on meanings other than their strict dictionary definition, then I’m really not sure what to tell you.

    Look, the reason I think being concerned about the use of these words is a waste of time is this: they’re not creating an environment of sexism, their use as gender specific insults is indicative of an environment of sexism. You don’t fix this by demanding that nobody uses these words, you fix it by changing the attitudes that led to their use. I strongly believe that changing these attitudes is not helped by making such demands.

  271. consciousness razor says

    I know precisely what a gendered insult is,

    What they are is not what the problem with them is. Read.

    but I question the value in being to concerned about the words “dick” and “cunt”.

    You don’t question it, you just assert isn’t valuable, without backing that up with anything. Questioning it would involve listening to others’ responses.

    But you don’t think this is a problem (with feminists generally, or Greg Laden or anyone else in particular), so this is just about tossing an accusation (which you don’t even understand) vaguely in our direction, and trying to get it to stick, as if by magic. Not exactly a compelling argument.

    Saying “don’t be a dick” is not equivalent to “don’t be a penis, because penises are bad and therefore men are bad”. The word has taken on a completely different meaning. Ditto “cunt”.

    If X isn’t supposed to be bad, then what could be the reasoning behind “don’t be an X,” if any?

    It’s only an incoherent ejaculation (excuse the pun), signifying nothing?

  272. Ichthyic says

    I don’t care about having my penis insulted. I care that sexism is not condemned equally around here.

    this would require you to make the case that there exists reverse sexism “around here” to begin with.

    you haven’t.

    in fact, so far it looks like all your claims of reverse sexism are based on poor memory and your own misunderstandings.

    poor you?

  273. F [disappearing] says

    Ophelia Benson

    Caine – yes, noticing things is very aggressive!

    Yes, yes. Best not to make eye contact (especially any extended eye contact) with things, because they interpret this as an aggressive stance.

  274. skeptixx says

    1) Has anyone, including Shermer, actually said they (quoting PZ) “despise feminism”, with feminism defined as “equality for men and women”? I’m hearing the crunch, crunch of straw.

    2) PZ, if you’re so interested in hearing from people you think of as are “anti-feminists” to find out what’s going on in their heads, and presumably you have the Slyme Pit in mind as one collection of such people, why don’t you simply go to the Slyme Pit, register, and post your question there?

    Fair warning that you will have to start by actually defining “anti-feminist” and establishing that any actually exist among the group you claim is rife with them. I know it may be a while since anyone here pressed you to do basics like that, but it’s pretty standard requirement in a discussion among actual skeptics.

  275. nightshadequeen says

    @Lachlan

    Look, the reason I think being concerned about the use of these words is a waste of time is this: they’re not creating an environment of sexism, their use as gender specific insults is indicative of an environment of sexism.

    Look, I don’t know why abstaining from two insults in the entire English language is so difficult for you. Seriously. Two. Words. Stop using them. There’s plenty of other insults.

    These words are not only “indicative of an environment of sexism”. They reinforce that sexism.

    You don’t fix this by demanding that nobody uses these words, you fix it by changing the attitudes that led to their use.

    And why not do both?

    I strongly believe that changing these attitudes is not helped by making such demands.

    AssertionError: Opinion not fact.

  276. omnicrom says

    Ladies and Gentlemen and Others Skeptixx! Our latest winner of the Logical Fallacy awards for their use of the tried and bullshit “One Single Proof” Fallacy! Oh man if only PZ Myers had posted no less than 8 Quotes from people who hate feminism for ill defined reasons! Oh wait he did, but none of them said “I despise Feminism” so obviously it’s a strawman right Skeptixx?

  277. barfy says

    PZ sets up his query in a disingenuous manner.
    He asks for anti-feminists to comment after a long apologia against Shermer – wholly linking Shermer as an antifeminist (or at least for PZ’s motivation for his trying to understand the mind of people, evidently like Shermer, who don’t believe in equal rights for women.)
    Guess what, I’ll go out on a very short limb here, and assert that I believe without evidence, that Shermer would not describe himself as anti-feminist. I bet that he would describe himself as very much in favor of equal opportunities for men and women. I would bet the first taker on this forum $100 (for real) that Shermer is even in COMPLETE agreement with PZ’s definition of feminism, i.e., equality for men and women and opposition to cultural institutions that perpetuate inequities.
    How about it Caine, PZ …wanna take that bet?
    Re-read the post as the way it is presented – an inappropriate conflation of Shermer with anti-feminists. Shermer is simply in disagreement with PZ and ilk, et al and their form of feminism and enforcement of same.
    You speak rightly of Shermer using the term “feminism” inappropriately as an implied slur. That does not make him anti-feminist. Just not quite on the same high plane of enlightened existence as the man behind the beard and his minions.
    And before you get your tentacles in an uproar, ponder this….
    Without sarcasm or snark, you state that Shermer is suffering from a “truly delusional state”.

    As someone who watched an intimate family member, hospitalized and committed, suffer from being in a “truly delusional state” nine months ago – fuck you.

  278. danielimms says

    ‘Despise’ is a strong word. I don’t despise feminism, but I dislike it.
    On the other hand, I love equality and believe both sexes should have equal rights and opportunities.
    I would guess that I’m not alone in this, and I think it’s a perfectly natural human reaction.
    Imagine a company where management says all staff must work on Sundays. ‘Joe’ forms a group to fight for everyone’s right to have Sundays off, and ‘Pat’ forms a group to fight for the accounting department’s right to have Sundays off.
    Naturally, Joe’s group will not be happy about Pat’s group. The ‘Accountants for free Sundays’ are a bunch of traitors. They are in it for themselves, rather than the team. If they wanted the same for everyone, they would have joined the ‘Staff for free Sundays’ group. The accountants might actually want free Sundays for all, but they aren’t showing it. All the other staff want the accountants to have free Sundays too, but feel like they aren’t getting the same good wishes back in return, so there’s animosity.
    The same is true for feminists and those who want equality for all, whether they label themselves equalists, humanists, skeptics, rationalists or free-thinkers. Heck, they might even form a group called ‘Non-accounting staff for free Sundays’ to fight for their rights, which is why I believe there are men’s rights groups. Not because they are anti-female, but because they want to look after themselves the way feminists (seem to) do.
    The label, feminism, is divisive. If feminists ditch that term and got a word that sounded more ‘equal’, you would find a lot less disagreement and argument over the issues people are trying to deal with. It would change from an in-group/out-group relationship to a communal one where women and men are fighting for each other’s rights.
    I hope this was clear enough to understand. I’m all for equality, but feminism is not the word people should be using to fight for it. It brings up natural opposition from people who like equality.

  279. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Lachlan:
    I understand that words can mean different things. I’m asking *you* what they mean, because I only know “dick” and “cunt” to mean “penis” and “vagina”. What do you consider them to mean? Others have argued the same thing that you have and no one has told me what they are supposed to mean. If you don’t have an alternate definition, then why are you using the words?

    And since you want to play word games here, SURE, “cunt” and “dick” do not *create* sexist environments. Those environments *already* exist. Using “cunt” and “dick” perpetuate that environment. Just as objectification of women contributes to a sexist environment. Just as dismissing women’s concerns contributes to a sexist environment. Just as cat calling a woman as she walks down the street contributes to a sexist environment.

    You really need to examine your opinions from the perspective of a woman. You don’t believe the positions you hold are sexist. I-and many others, several of whom are women-are telling you otherwise. This is the point where you should stop and analyze your beliefs. We aren’t saying you’re a shithead because you have sexist views. We *all* have them. But own up to it. Work towards eliminating them. You probably never will completely eliminate them, but every step you make towards eliminating sexist beliefs helps make the world *that* much better.

    For my part, before I came to FtB and embraced feminism, I would tickle women, EVEN IF they asked me to stop. I would joke about women sleeping with guys, but not guys with women. I used the word cunt as an insult. I accused guys of being pussies if they acted in a non traditional masculine manner. I would touch my female friends’ breasts, b/c hey, I’m gay, so it doesn’t mean anything. That’s just stuff off the top of my head.

    Now?

    Now, I hate that I was ever like that.
    I don’t have the right to tickle a woman without their permission. I’m not going to negatively judge women for having sex, because there’s nothing wrong with consensual, adult sexual activities. I will NOT use gendered insults. I won’t touch a woman’s breasts–just b/c I’m gay doesn’t give me permission to grope a woman’s breasts. I accept that women have every bit the bodily autonomy that I do, and in accepting that, I will not violate that right.

    I understand that the culture I live in results in these beliefs. You cannot *NOT* have sexist views.

    I work everyday to fight against sexist views.

    Just the other day, I wanted to call someone a “son of a bitch”, but caught myself because “bitch” is a gendered insult.
    It is an ongoing process. I wish I could purge myself of all sexist influences and notions. I know I can’t. All I can do is accept that I have these biases and work towards overcoming them. I will accept no less from myself.

  280. omnicrom says

    I am so sorry for your loss Barfy, assuming that person is real and not just a fake family member made up to try and muster some sympathy and shore up your defenses.

    As for Shermer I’m sure you can conflate Shermer with being anti-feminist if you work yourself into the appropriate lather but that’s not actually what this post said. PZ was responding not to Shermer but to the commentators on his Facebook Page. That was made blatantly clear to me at the very least, does anyone want to second that particular reading of the words on the page? Also the actual people here have pointed out that they don’t actually believe Shermer is anti-feminist and explained why the last time someone trotted that bogus line of attack out, so next time read the thread if you don’t want to come off as looking as trollish and dishonest as you do.

  281. consciousness razor says

    ‘Despise’ is a strong word. I don’t despise feminism, but I dislike it.
    On the other hand, I love equality and believe both sexes should have equal rights and opportunities.

    So you do like feminism and contradict yourself, or do you not like how everyone except you defines the word “feminism”? Where will this go?

    Imagine a company where management says all staff must work on Sundays. ‘Joe’ forms a group to fight for everyone’s right to have Sundays off, and ‘Pat’ forms a group to fight for the accounting department’s right to have Sundays off.

    Imagine a company where men get a day off work, but women do not. That is the kind of situation we actually have. Women are the ones who most suffer from gender inequality. Do you live on another planet? It is not the case that everyone gets screwed equally. Working for more equality does not mean you pretend that everyone does in fact get screwed equally. In fact, there would be no work to do, in terms of reducing inequality. It means you identify where the problem actually is and do something about it. If everyone did get treated equally already, there could be work to do in terms of improving working conditions (for example), but that is not the same thing as reducing inequality nor is it the only kind of “right” that people have.

    The label, feminism, is divisive. If feminists ditch that term and got a word that sounded more ‘equal’, you would find a lot less disagreement and argument over the issues people are trying to deal with. It would change from an in-group/out-group relationship to a communal one where women and men are fighting for each other’s rights.

    Your ignorant opinion is noted. Thanks for telling us how we’re doing it all wrong, without even giving a constructive alternative. I’m sure it’s appreciated much more than it ought to be.

    I hope this was clear enough to understand.

    It’s understood, and it’s nonsensical bullshit.

    I’m all for equality, but feminism is not the word people should be using to fight for it. It brings up natural opposition from people who like equality.

    Nonsense.

  282. consciousness razor says

    I guess humour is not my strong suit.

    Neither is taking bigotry seriously, asshole.

  283. yubal says

    # 242 PZ Myers

    Well, I can not deliver a genuine argument for myself but a rather detailed recapitulation and personal analysis of one (or maybe more) arguments I know of. It is actually not that much about feminism but rather about its shortcomings in respect of implication. I need to go sleep myself but I type it in tomorrow when I find a moment.

    @ all Americans/English speakers , can you please drop me a quick line on the current working definition of feminism, that would be really helpful. Just how the word is generally defined and not how you define it, please.

  284. nightshadequeen says

    @skeptixx

    1) Has anyone, including Shermer, actually said they (quoting PZ) “despise feminism”, with feminism defined as “equality for men and women”? I’m hearing the crunch, crunch of straw.

    Firstly, what’s your definition of “equality”? What do you think feminism stands for, and what do you think FTB stands for?

    Shermer:

    Feminists lying about sexual harassment at skeptical conferences.

    As for the sex ratio of attendees, there were 40% women in 2011 and 31% in 2012, the shift, Grothe speculated online, possibly due to some of these very same secular feminists irresponsibly blogging about how skeptic or atheist events were not safe for women.

    (same link) Feminist complaints against him are not “real discrimination”:

    So we should hang together in our fight against real discrimination, bigotry, racism, misogyny, and homophobia wherever we find it. But instead of looking for demons and finding the witch’s mark of Satan in secular inquisitions, let us note the advancements we have made and celebrate that our movement is making real moral progress in attenuating our inner demons and accentuating the better angels of our nature through science and reason.

    2) PZ, if you’re so interested in hearing from people you think of as are “anti-feminists” to find out what’s going on in their heads, and presumably you have the Slyme Pit in mind as one collection of such people, why don’t you simply go to the Slyme Pit, register, and post your question there?

    Fair warning that you will have to start by actually defining “anti-feminist” and establishing that any actually exist among the group you claim is rife with them

    See the quotes listed in the OP

    Also: From a certain someone known as “Skep tickle”

    So – Penny’s drunk, but she’s the one who initiates sex, grabbing Leonard’s arm and hauling him toward his bedroom without asking for consent. Leonard’s roommate and downstairs neighbor (that part clipped from the quote above) both interpreted what they heard through the night to mean that Penny and/or both Penny and Leonard were enthusiastically engaging in sex. The next morning Penny is chagrined, maybe can’t remember the night, calls it a mistake and would like to move on, apologizes to Leonard, but in no way that we’re privvy to see (in these sitcom scenes) is it suggested that she feels she was taken advantage of.

    Isn’t it obvious in these scenes that if anyone was taken advantage of, it was Leonard? (The one who wasn’t drunk.) Now, he did give consent (“Okay” said brightly, with a surprised overtone) but he apparently expected it to be a resumption of their relationship, and was disappointed that it wasn’t.

    Would you like to defend this statement, skeptixx?

    And of course this amusing post – seriously, y’all bragging that you can get a post through here just looks so pathetic.

  285. nightshadequeen says

    @skeptixx

    1) Has anyone, including Shermer, actually said they (quoting PZ) “despise feminism”, with feminism defined as “equality for men and women”? I’m hearing the crunch, crunch of straw.

    Firstly, what’s your definition of “equality”? What do you think feminism stands for, and what do you think FTB stands for?

    Shermer:

    Feminists lying about sexual harassment at skeptical conferences.

    As for the sex ratio of attendees, there were 40% women in 2011 and 31% in 2012, the shift, Grothe speculated online, possibly due to some of these very same secular feminists irresponsibly blogging about how skeptic or atheist events were not safe for women.

    (same link) Feminist complaints against him are not “real discrimination”:

    So we should hang together in our fight against real discrimination, bigotry, racism, misogyny, and homophobia wherever we find it. But instead of looking for demons and finding the witch’s mark of Satan in secular inquisitions, let us note the advancements we have made and celebrate that our movement is making real moral progress in attenuating our inner demons and accentuating the better angels of our nature through science and reason.

    2) PZ, if you’re so interested in hearing from people you think of as are “anti-feminists” to find out what’s going on in their heads, and presumably you have the Slyme Pit in mind as one collection of such people, why don’t you simply go to the Slyme Pit, register, and post your question there?

    Fair warning that you will have to start by actually defining “anti-feminist” and establishing that any actually exist among the group you claim is rife with them

    See the quotes listed in the OP

    Also: From a certain someone known as “Skep tickle”

    So – Penny’s drunk, but she’s the one who initiates sex, grabbing Leonard’s arm and hauling him toward his bedroom without asking for consent. Leonard’s roommate and downstairs neighbor (that part clipped from the quote above) both interpreted what they heard through the night to mean that Penny and/or both Penny and Leonard were enthusiastically engaging in sex. The next morning Penny is chagrined, maybe can’t remember the night, calls it a mistake and would like to move on, apologizes to Leonard, but in no way that we’re privvy to see (in these sitcom scenes) is it suggested that she feels she was taken advantage of.

    Isn’t it obvious in these scenes that if anyone was taken advantage of, it was Leonard? (The one who wasn’t drunk.) Now, he did give consent (“Okay” said brightly, with a surprised overtone) but he apparently expected it to be a resumption of their relationship, and was disappointed that it wasn’t.

    Would you like to defend this statement, skeptixx?

  286. nightshadequeen says

    Also:

    FYI, for those who don’t want to wander into the ‘pit

    Skeptixx == Skep tickle

  287. nightshadequeen says

    @barfy

    Guess what, I’ll go out on a very short limb here, and assert that I believe without evidence, that Shermer would not describe himself as anti-feminist. I bet that he would describe himself as very much in favor of equal opportunities for men and women.

    You know what, he probably would.

    And then he’d turn around and accuse the women who blogged about sexual harassment at atheist cons of lying.

    He might claim he’s a feminist; from this vantage point, however, he doesn’t seem to act like it.

  288. says

    He might claim he’s a feminist; from this vantage point, however, he doesn’t seem to act like it.

    No shit. “It’s a guy thing” struck me as not exactly something a feminist( or at least a decent skeptic with some kind of understanding or awareness of privilege and feminism 101) would have said.

  289. strange gods before me ॐ says

    vaiyt’s comment:

    [Lachlan:] Misogyny is a horribly misused word.

    [vaiyt:] Tell us more about how feminism made your penis shrivel. You’re just dying to make this thread be all about you and your hurt man-feelings, don’t you.

    The meaning is either “tell us more about how feminism gave you koro”, or “tell us more about how feminism killed all your boners forever”.

    Like other permutations of the form “tell us more about how X did Y to you”, it depends upon Y being an outrageous, over-the-top thing that X does not actually do.

    It might be an uncharitable response to an unknown commenter, but Lachlan is not unknown. Given Lachlan’s history of making over-the-top attacks on feminism, it is reasonable to assume vaiyt was considering that history.

    vaiyt’s comment isn’t saying that Lachlan really has a shriveled penis — indeed the snark depends on the opposite being presumable. And it isn’t insulting Lachlan qua man or qua penis-haver. Therefore it is not a gendered slur.

  290. strange gods before me ॐ says

    yubal,

    @ all Americans/English speakers , can you please drop me a quick line on the current working definition of feminism, that would be really helpful. Just how the word is generally defined and not how you define it, please.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/feminism

    fem·i·nism [fem-uh-niz-uh m]
    noun
    1. the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
    2. ( sometimes initial capital letter ) an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.

  291. plutoanimus says

    “The rest of you behave yourselves — pretend you’ve got a cockroach under the microscope and try to probe it to figure out what makes it work, and don’t just try to crush it under the heel of your shoe, OK?”

    Now that’s a “crush video” worth watching!

  292. skeptixx says

    Gosh, I do apologize. I was thinking that skeptical inquiry was valued here.

    Okay, since others tried to throw the Facebook quotes back at me, what about them?

    There is no reason to believe that the Facebook quotes are arguing against the definition of feminism that PZ gave near the end of his opening post. Yet he implies to his readers that they are. Hmm, what’s that called?

    The first of those quotes gives, as the definition its author is using as “true feminism”, essentially the same definition that PZ gives later.

    Others in that list of Facebook quotes objected to certain types or subsets of everything that gets called by that same name, “feminism”. (Please do let me know if you’d like me to quote those quotes and put the relevant words in bold or something.)

    PZ giving his definition of “feminism” as “equality for men and women and opposition to cultural institutions that perpetuate inequities” well after he starts criticizing “anti-feminists” on the basis of their beefs with specific types or subsets of feminism is poor form. It leaves the impression that anyone who says anything negative about “feminism”, even if they qualify the specific form or subset they may be referring to, is “anti-feminist”. Shifting the goalposts, false dichotomy, broad brush, yadda yadda.

  293. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Once again, for those who missed it…
    Feminism-a social movement seeking full economic, social, and political equality for women

  294. says

    SG:

    vaiyt’s comment isn’t saying that Lachlan really has a shriveled penis — indeed the snark depends on the opposite being presumable. And it isn’t insulting Lachlan qua man or qua penis-haver. Therefore it is not a gendered slur.

    I’m no fan of Lachlan’s, it’s quite obvious he’s a dishonest twit. However, Vaiyt didn’t say “tell us how the use of misogynist has killed all your boners, dude” or something like that. If a comment needs to be explained,* I’d say it was awkward at best.

    Given how the community here feels about gendered slurs/insults, I think it’s better to err on the side of caution. I generally find Vaiyt’s comments to be good and their voice to be a valuable one, but we’re all prone to tossing out a bad one now and again.

    *I hadn’t considered Vaiyt’s comment in this light, so thank you for that.

  295. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Skeptixx @315:
    Why do you assume PZ has not already ventured to the Slymepit?
    Also, why do you place everything ln his shoulders? There have been several Slymepit denizens who have come here in the past, so it is not like he (or others here) are unfamiliar with that group.

  296. says

    One of the things I have to thank this blog for, is to make me aware of my privilege. I took feminism( as in Tony’s definition given above) for granted just as I did not believing in gods, it took me no effort to think that women are or should be equal to men, I mean, that’s just normal right? Like there are no fairies or leprechauns or invisible cloud-men, but I was shown here that this simple truth is in fact not self-evident to a lot of people, and I learned about the inherent sexism prevalent in our supposedly so sophisticated first world societies.

    Maybe if Michael Shermer could get off his butthurt routine and actually examine skeptically what has been said in the last couple weeks without the bias appearingly put on him by slymepitters and the Blackford/Thunderdolt part of the spectrum, he could save his reputation and still emerge from this with some kind of respectability. But I’m not holding my breath.

  297. says

    I am a bit curious about how those that made tone arguments about feminism feel about the tone arguments that are often made about atheism. Are you accommodationists in regard to that topic, or does tone only matter when feminism is up for discussion?

  298. omnicrom says

    Skeptixx please fuck off. You aren’t even pretending to be arguing in good faith anymore. There’s so much intellectual dishonestly and so many mental acrobatics in that last post it’s kind of breathtaking in its horribleness. It’s also weirdly disjointed and incoherent, you’ve managed to simultaneously lobbed clear spiteful attacks at feminism and kept the actual supposed substance of your attacks vague and obscure.

  299. says

    Travis:

    Are you accommodationists in regard to that topic, or does tone only matter when feminism is up for discussion?

    That’s a very good question, and one I hope James Larkin will answer, if he returns to this thread, given his fondness for framing*.

    *Boy oh boy, does that ever take me back. Back to the intersection.

  300. hotshoe says

    Monitors –
    any of the monitors on line want to send a message to PZ (for the morning) re banning the current slymer?

  301. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    skeptixx:
    Please note, for future reference, quoting with links goes a long way to proving you haven’t made stuff up.
    Also, I am curious if you accept the definition of FEMINISM I gave @338. If you do not, why? If you do, how and why do you feel that PZ doesn’t live up to that definition?

  302. says

    Tony:

    There have been several Slymepit denizens who have come here in the past, so it is not like he (or others here) are unfamiliar with that group.

    Pffffffffft. Several? We had them here by the dozens and long before the slymepit was a gleam in a sexist brain. That was in ‘the monument’ days. ;)

  303. says

    Hotshoe:

    any of the monitors on line want to send a message to PZ (for the morning) re banning the current slymer?

    I don’t think it’s necessary to send an alert right now. PZ will be checking the thread again in the morning, so he’ll see what’s happening.

  304. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    hotshoe:
    Yeah that doesn’t surprise me.
    That said, given the nature of this post, I am inclined to think PZ might grant the pitters a bit more leeway than normal. They are almost certain to hang themselves, but maybe one of them will utilize their collective brain cells for a few seconds.

  305. says

    Caine,
    Oh, it seems like just yesterday for me. I am not sure why but those days, and the times when creationists still showed up in droves stick in my memory much better than the waves of slymers and assorted sexists. Sure, they often remind me of them but they are less interesting, and they are a depressing reminder of those foolish Halcyon days when I actually thought atheists and skeptics were generally interesting, thinking people.

  306. mikeyb says

    Michael Shermer obviously made regrettable and stupid comments. But I wouldn’t read too much more into it, unless he can be shown to have a history of making such comments. Until such time I give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m not going to read a subliminal unconscious anti-feminism in the comment.

    Other than his naive libertarianism, I enjoy almost everything I read from Shermer.

  307. says

    Travis:

    Oh, it seems like just yesterday for me. I am not sure why but those days, and the times when creationists still showed up in droves stick in my memory much better than the waves of slymers and assorted sexists.

    Seems like yesterday to me too. I find myself rather shocked when I realize how much time has gone by. Those tend to stick in my head better, too. Good times.

    Sure, they often remind me of them but they are less interesting, and they are a depressing reminder of those foolish Halcyon days when I actually thought atheists and skeptics were generally interesting, thinking people.

    Well, a lot of atheists and skeptics are interesting, thinking people. Unfortunately, there’s been a fucktonne of disappointment and disgust at finding out how many nasty assholes are sheltering under that umbrella and a lot of us are having trouble remaining a part of the larger atheist/skeptic movement because of it. Even so, gotta keep fighting the good fight and all that. I think it feels so tiresome because it certainly seems like we should be much further along by this time.

  308. Muz says

    I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but doesn’t seem like to many anti-feminists left their circle jerk to comment over here. Which is a pity in a way.
    So, not trying to represent their views or anything, I did see this video get passed around a gaming forum recently (and if you want to go find anti-feminism, that is the place a lot of the time)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iARHCxAMAO0

    I don’t know much about the author being picketed, but they were saying he was a feminist sympathiser in the seventies and for equality blah blah, but he’s being hounded out for not being in lock step with the dogma and this is the true face of feminism etc.
    As much as there are some unfortunate things in the video, protesters are often like that. If you’ve watched some John Ronson docos you can see the Jewish Anti-defamation league hounding David Ike out of his press tour because they think he might be vaguely anti-semitic, when he’s mostly a harmless loon.
    I don’t think anyone should be silenced for their views (if that’s indeed what happened. Hard to tell). I’m not going to tar the whole movement based on one incident, however. But there’s a lot of dudes already primed to look at this situation and go “See! See what they are like!”.
    As much as that’s stupid, sometimes I do wonder if some feminists are angrily defensive to the point its counter productive.

  309. says

    Took me a while to decide what to say… or even whether to respond.

    Anyway. I apologize for the tone argument earlier. Ultimately, it probably was just a waste of time to do that without evidence… evidence which may as well not be there at this point. I also should have known much better than to make an argument like that last thought.

    With that said, personally, I still think I prefer a less aggressive debate style. I also think there are valid arguments for that in a general sense, but I won’t continue to push my opinion here (and I probably should have used the knowledge that everyone has considered that opinion already to convince myself not to post my initial comment in the first place.)

    Incidentally, @Travis #343: No, it’s not just feminism; I prefer a less aggressive tone for all the issues I discuss.

    Now I actually am going to leave, although again, I will make sure to read any responses.

  310. says

    mikeyb:

    I’m not going to read a subliminal unconscious anti-feminism in the comment.

    His recent “it’s more of a guy thing” and consequent doubling down on that can hardly be said to be a “subliminal unconscious” remark. There’s also the little thing that when actual unconscious sexism is pointed out, an intelligent person thinks, becomes aware of that sexism, acknowledges it and works to change their thinking. Shermer has not done that. At all. Quite the opposite, in fact.

  311. says

    mikeyb:

    whatsa good for the goose isa goode for the gander or vice versa….

    Which means what? Are you simply determined to be considered a fuckwit or is there something else going on?

  312. says

    Lyrandar:

    With that said, personally, I still think I prefer a less aggressive debate style. I also think there are valid arguments for that in a general sense

    You know, there are regular commenters here, such as Robert (Desert Son), Sastra, Gregory Greenwood and Carlie (all OMs, too), just to name a few, who engage with quiet reason and don’t cuss at all or very rarely. They have their own style and feel no pressure whatsoever to adopt a different method or tone.

    The problem people have with the tone argument is that there’s always an attempt to make people change their approach, rather than simply tackling issues and people in whatever way they like. No one here cares if you take a quieter, less aggressive manner in discussion and arguing. That’s fine, we all know there’s room for different approaches. What we don’t care for is being lectured about our approaches.

  313. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    mikeyb:
    If Shermer had copped to making a sexist statement, I doubt he would be facing this much criticism. But. He. Doubled. Down.
    He has yet to own up to saying something sexist and continually defending himself.

  314. crayzz says

    @Danielimms

    Imagine a company where management says all staff must work on Sundays. ‘Joe’ forms a group to fight for everyone’s right to have Sundays off, and ‘Pat’ forms a group to fight for the accounting department’s right to have Sundays off.

    Uhhh, ok. I hope this isn’t going where I thinks its going.

    Naturally, Joe’s group will not be happy about Pat’s group. The ‘Accountants for free Sundays’ are a bunch of traitors. They are in it for themselves, rather than the team. If they wanted the same for everyone, they would have joined the ‘Staff for free Sundays’ group. The accountants might actually want free Sundays for all, but they aren’t showing it. All the other staff want the accountants to have free Sundays too, but feel like they aren’t getting the same good wishes back in return, so there’s animosity.

    Dammit, yeah, you are going this way.

    The same is true for feminists and those who want equality for all, whether they label themselves equalists, humanists, skeptics, rationalists or free-thinkers. Heck, they might even form a group called ‘Non-accounting staff for free Sundays’ to fight for their rights, which is why I believe there are men’s rights groups. Not because they are anti-female, but because they want to look after themselves the way feminists (seem to) do.

    Yeah, except they do that by dragging down feminists. You forgot to mention that bit.

    The label, feminism, is divisive. If feminists ditch that term and got a word that sounded more ‘equal’, you would find a lot less disagreement and argument over the issues people are trying to deal with. It would change from an in-group/out-group relationship to a communal one where women and men are fighting for each other’s rights.

    If people are such whiny shitbags that they think rape threats (a common MRA tactic http://manboobz.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/ytwf2.png) is ok just because they are not mentioned in the name of a specific equality movement, then fuck those people. They are not fighting for the kind of equality I could ever care about.

    Seriously, what morons says, “Yeah, I totally agree that lynching black people is wrong, but the NAACP’s name doesn’t mention white people, so fuck those guys”?

    Look, the problems faced by certain groups are massive. They are society wide. Tackling everything at once is impossible. So we have different groups, each addressing it’s own specific problems. This is where your stupid analogy breaks down. Feminists aren’t fighting for the same things as LGBT activists, or civil rights activists. Sure, they all fight for “equality” but the specific ways in which equality is not met are different for each group. This is why feminism is named so. It fights primarily against the problems afflicting women. The NAACP is named so because it fights against the problems afflicting pretty much everyone who isn’t white. It’s not divisive to name yourself after your function.

    I hope this was clear enough to understand. I’m all for equality, but feminism is not the word people should be using to fight for it. It brings up natural opposition from people who like equality.

    No, it doesn’t. It really doesn’t. Very few people complain about the name of feminism (in fact, you’re the first I’ve ever seen). Most people that hate feminists because of misogyny.

  315. mikeyb says

    356 No humor left this late at night, oh well. Anyway FYI, it is my wife’s statement of feminism.

    Anyway, we definitely need to be more sensitive. But let’s be careful not to transform Michael Shermer into Todd Akin over a couple of stupid statements or the relative magnitude of either. Over and out.

  316. says

    When I mentioned accomodationism I was not thinking about people that prefer a less aggressive debating style and I do not think that is what was being suggested in the comments about tone either. They were not personal preferences but statements about how being strident and loud scare people away. This is what the Mooney’s of the world seemed to want to force on everyone else, the one true path to changing minds.

  317. says

    Feminists aren’t fighting for the same things as LGBT activists, or civil rights activists.

    There’s a great deal of intersectionality within those groups, though. More all the time, actually. And many of us fit all of them, too. I’m a wide social justice type, given that I’m a bisexual, mixed race woman.

  318. says

    mikeyb:

    Anyway FYI, it is my wife’s statement of feminism.

    I see. So, your wife doesn’t know anything about feminism.

    Anyway, we definitely need to be more sensitive. But let’s be careful not to transform Michael Shermer into Todd Akin over a couple of stupid statements or the relative magnitude of either.

    This isn’t about being sensitive, ffs. No one is “transforming” Shermer. People are talking about what he is actually saying. That’s on him. Do you understand that? That if Shermer is going to behave and talk in sexist ways, that is on him. No one is forcing him to say sexist shit. No one is forcing him to double down on that sexist shit. No one is forcing him to remain an ignorant ass who refuses to see and acknowledge his own sexism. It’s on him. People reach the point of Akin’s idiocy by refusing to see and acknowledge their own sexism and privilege.

    How about you stop making excuses for Shermer on the basis of “hey, he’s one of the good ones, you know, a regular guy.” That’s the bloody problem.

  319. strange gods before me ॐ says

    you can see the Jewish Anti-defamation league hounding David Ike out of his press tour because they think he might be vaguely anti-semitic

    Overtly, blatantly antisemitic.

    http://www.davidicke.com/headlines/76716-zionist-propaganda-study-of-holocaust-mandatory-for-australian-schools

    Icke also promotes The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. These are antisemitic actions. He may perform antisemitic actions because of motives other than race-hatred. In Icke’s case, I am willing to believe that. But the fact remains that he does these things, and in doing so he encourages lots of other people to also read The Protocols and oppose teaching schoolchildren about the Shoah.

    It is therefore important to publicly oppose his attempts to spread his ideas, important to teach potential audiences that The Protocols is a racist text, and important not to excuse his antisemitic actions or downplay the harm he causes.

    The ADL has treated Icke fairly. He is not entitled to be granted a platform.

  320. crayzz says

    @Caine

    Oh, yeah, definitely. I don’t dispute that. I don’t think the overlap is total, though. I just meant that demanding that feminism fight for everyone equally would be ridiculous.

    I would like to add, however, that feminism has done more for men’s rights (particularly with PHMT) than incessant MRA whining ever will.

  321. says

    Crayzz:

    I would like to add, however, that feminism has done more for men’s rights (particularly with PHMT) than incessant MRA whining ever will.

    True. And I have to say, this is the first time I’ve ever heard anyone argue that feminism (the name) is bad. Someone doesn’t grok feminism at all.

  322. Ichthyic says

    Michael Shermer obviously made regrettable and stupid comments. But I wouldn’t read too much more into it, unless he can be shown to have a history of making such comments.

    no, the first comment he made might have been considered regrettable, but it was the doubling down post hoc AFTERWARDS that can be considered stupid.

    his continued drama queen act of “witchhunt!!” is the thing that most of us are “reading into” now, and what a lot of us are in fact concerned about.

    so, first off, he makes an offhand comment out of ignorance
    then, unlike a rational skeptic, decides to try and double down ON THE IGNORANCE.
    Instead of simply saying something like: “I really had no clue, just said something to fill space until Caroll or someone else could come up with a better answer.” He decided to go on a full, post hoc, attempt to cover his ignorance with bullshit.
    THEN, he attempts to whinge at people who call him on this bullshit.

    sorry, but he just needs to STOP DIGGING.

    Really, that’s it. Just back the hell up and admit he got all weird and defensive about it, apologize, and MOVE ON.

    it’s really not fucking complicated.

  323. says

    I hate feminism because I wasn’t invited to the party T_T

    …nah. These problems aren’t immediately intuitive given my personal experiences in life but neither are the struggles of African Americans (and other ‘black’ skinned peoples,) but it doesn’t take a very deep look to realize that there is something to it. I know what it’s like to have some of the micro-aggression aimed at me so it seems really weird to see other minority/marginalized folks denying that this could happen to anyone else- but for whatever reason I am at least a little bit of an exception when it comes to that.

    This in mind, danielimms should see some major relevance here. Not having fallen off the turnip truck yesterday I’m going to explain it anyway:
    “Feminism” IS the word for equalizing the sexes. If you think they only focus on women you’re not paying attention, and it’s nobody’s fault but your own when you make up meanings for words. It’s not a very big offense either, the real smackdown comes if you double down and insist that words that sound kind of like something else HAVE TO mean that. Lots of words sound kind of like other words but mean very different things, deal with it.

    But even if this was all about the female perspective there’s still some use there- you might be aware of how atheists tend to fight a lot of the equality battles in courts because other religious groups won’t do it- most people are unaware, and the rest can’t prioritize this kind of thing as they don’t have much to gain from it- even though they aren’t the big religion they still benefit too much from things as they are. Same thing is true for a lot of men, except that recently I’ve been getting the impression that we’re secretly a whole lot less secure about that aspect of ourselves so the reaction to potential change is all the more dramatic- but that’s getting really speculative.

    Given that you’re of the mind that the way things sound matters more than what they actually mean I’ve got another pitfall I’d like to steer you away from: people aligned against feminism think some really stupid things- far worse than anything you would be likely to even see as having some basis in reality. They’re not just a fringe group though- they’re easily numerous enough that they need to be taken into consideration. If you don’t want to include them in a discussion there is basically only one phrase you can use without being dismissive of the problems they put people through: “I don’t know enough about that to discuss it.” You probably won’t realize what harm you’re doing if you try to cast them as some fringe radicals or act like nobody listens to them. Personally I’d argue that they dupe a lot of people into going along with their bigotry and the like but even that is riding the edge- I have to be very careful to not be vague about something like that, both because it does dismiss a lot of the problem and because if I can’t be specific I probably don’t know what I’m talking about.

  324. Ichthyic says

    Icke also promotes The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

    yeesh. I thought anyone outside of “stormfront” promoting that crap would be dead of old age by now.

  325. Matt Penfold says

    Despise’ is a strong word. I don’t despise feminism, but I dislike it.
    On the other hand, I love equality and believe both sexes should have equal rights and opportunities.
    I would guess that I’m not alone in this, and I think it’s a perfectly natural human reaction.

    So you are against equality and in favour of it at the same time. How do you cope with that ?

    How you can dislike the idea that women should be treated equally whilst at the same time say you think ” both sexes should have equal rights and opportunities.”.

    I can see several ways.

    1. You suffer from a severe case of cognitive dissonance, and simply cannot see the contradiction of your two statements.
    2. You are lying about disliking feminism.
    3. You are lying about supporting equality.
    4. You do not understand what feminism is.
    5. You do not understand what equality is.
    6. Combination of the above.

  326. arrenfrank says

    @ Lachlan

    I guess humour is not my strong suit.

    If indeed you have a strong suit, you’ve yet to show it.

    At least danielimms is around to make you seem a fount of cogency by comparison.

    @ Travis

    I am a bit curious about how those that made tone arguments about feminism feel about the tone arguments that are often made about atheism.

    If observing the last couple of years hadn’t already bottomed out my expectations, I’d be agog that all these hyper-rational super-skeptics don’t anticipate mention of this patently obvious equivalency and — for the sake of their ultra-logical bona fides, if nothing else — feign to address it with some hand-waving, at the very least.

  327. says

    Skeptixx:

    There is no reason to believe that the Facebook quotes are arguing against the definition of feminism that PZ gave near the end of his opening post. Yet he implies to his readers that they are. Hmm, what’s that called?

    Feminism is defined by “equality for men and women” so if they use a different definition then those doing so are attacking strawfeminists (thus explaining the crunch of straws you heard) and the error is on them and not on PZ for pointing it out.

    If they are using the correct definition then PZ’s question apply.

    It’s really a bizarre objection, kinda like a creationist saying that PZ is attacking a strawman if he asks them why they are anti-evolutionists because he also gave a definition of evolution and, hey, maybe those creationists aren’t “arguing against the definition of feminism evolution that PZ gave”.

    Somebody’s lack of understanding of a subject being so fundamental that they do not even know the definition of it is no shield against criticism for their lack of understanding of said subject.

    The first of those quotes gives, as the definition its author is using as “true feminism”, essentially the same definition that PZ gives later.

    So… PZ can’t criticise them because they used a No True Feminist Scotsman fallacy (Same thing applies to the one referring to “pseudo-feminist”)?

    Others in that list of Facebook quotes objected to certain types or subsets of everything that gets called by that same name, “feminism”. (Please do let me know if you’d like me to quote those quotes and put the relevant words in bold or something.)

    Yes, please do so, as besides the No True Scotsmans I only see a strawfeminist subgroup (“The hysterical totalitarian feminist left”), or are “feminist clusterfuck” and “feminist morons” subgroups I haven’t heard of yet?

    The closest besides that seems to be the person equating feminism with “radical liberal”ism but given that they say “Trying to creep feminism into the skeptic movement” and not “Trying to creep radical liberalism into the skeptic movement” then they don’t seem to be talking about a subset after all.

    If you mean the person mentioning “feminist religion” then PZ specifically said “If you think feminism is a religion, explain why, and be specific”.

    Oh wait, I know, vegetarianism is the subset of feminism which you are referring to, right?

    PZ giving his definition of “feminism” as “equality for men and women and opposition to cultural institutions that perpetuate inequities” well after he starts criticizing “anti-feminists” on the basis of their beefs with specific types or subsets of feminism is poor form.

    It’s not poor form because it isn’t PZ’s definition, it is THE definition of feminism.

    It leaves the impression that anyone who says anything negative about “feminism”, even if they qualify the specific form or subset they may be referring to, is “anti-feminist”.

    Then you need to read for comprehension. PZ said:

    Most importantly, if you think feminism, that is equality for men and women and opposition to cultural institutions that perpetuate inequities, is irrational, let’s see you explain your opposition rationally.

    I have no idea how you derived the impossibility of saying anything negative about feminism from that but the way I read it is that PZ challenges those that claim that feminism is irrational to point out said irrationality in the definition.

    It doesn’t mean that parts of feminism (or of a subset of feminism) cannot be irrational but challenges people calling it irrational to demonstrate that the root concept is irrational.

    It’s a bit like if someone called science irrational and PZ said:

    Most importantly, if you think science, that is *definition of science*, is irrational, let’s see you explain your opposition rationally.

    It wouldn’t mean that no scientific hypothesis/theory is irrational, nor would it mean that no scientific subfield contains irrationality, nor does it “leave the impression that anyone who says anything negative about “science”, even if they qualify the specific form or subset they may be referring to, is “anti-science”.”, instead it would challenge those calling science irrational to find something in the definition of science that is irrational.

    But, hey, maybe your interpretation is correct and PZ will treat sc_d29cdfff63847614043828226651febb as being anti-feminist for comment #240… somehow I doubt it.

  328. says

    Internicene arguments. Endless hair-splitting. Yawnnnnn. Reminds me of why I left the British labour party in the 80s. People more concerned with the differences between factions of a movement than advancing the movement itself. See you guys. I’m out.

  329. roland says

    I think those who don’t like feminism think that the aim of feminism is inequality rather than equality.

  330. Stacy says

    Internicene arguments. Endless hair-splitting. Yawnnnnn. Reminds me of why I left the British labour party in the 80s. People more concerned with the differences between factions of a movement than advancing the movement itself. See you guys. I’m out.

    Protip: If you don’t want to look like a vacuous asshole, either address the issues raised, or stay out of the conversation.

    Thanks for dropping by.

  331. curtnelson says

    “Curtnelson: you seem to be getting angry and emotional at being asked to defend your position…and I notice you did not provide any specifics about why you think I’m a “nut”. Do try harder.”

    PZ, You often seem to get angry and emotional, too. I wonder what it could mean for us? My position? Not at all. I’m a feminist.

    I think you’re a clueless nut because of your scorched earth policy in dealing with people (Dawkins, Grothe, Shermer) who may have committed infractions against women. It’s nasty and counterproductive in the extreme.

    You want to hear someone acknowledge that skeptic women have been the victims of horrible hate mail? Yes, they have. And it’s very bad, but I’m not sure anonymous internet comments are a good way to measure the attitudes of the skeptic community as you seem to think. How about the way your own followers deal with anyone with dissenting opinions on your blog. And you love it. I’d say you’re less interested in improving things for women in skepticism than you are in expressing a hatred of your own, for men I guess. You should try harder, too.

  332. jefrir says

    For example German Studies (I’m German) are full of females who want to become teachers or something the like, whereas (mechanial) engineering is full of men.

    And why is that, I wonder? Oh, could it be social conditioning that tells women their place is in the home; that marriage and motherhood are the ultimate goal to which women should aspire; that there are certain careers that are “better” for women (all related to nurturing, oddly enough); that women aren’t capable of handling maths, engineering, science, business, atheism, or, really, anything not related to marriage, motherhood, shoes, and shopping; that women who enter engineering and other male-dominated schools/fields — or, really, any area of life in which men dominate — are faced with sexism and misogyny on a near-daily basis; that women who fail to meet expectations for how they should act must deal with constant scrutiny and criticism; stereotype threat, benevolent sexism, “tradition” … and holy shit, there’s so much more.

    Plus there’s the fact that any domain that is disproportionately female tends to become devalued. I mean, there’s no objective reason why engineers should be paid more than linguists. Maybe if we got rid of sexist and other bullshit everyone could pursue things that make them feel fulfilled, rather than feeling that they have to do something else to fit gendered ideals.

  333. carlie says

    Barfy – of course Shermer thinks he’s not an anti-feminist.

    He just thinks women aren’t as intellectual as men. Or he thinks it’s ok to joke about women not being as intellectual as men.
    The first is obviously a problem. The second takes a minute or two more to think about, but it’s also a problem; there ARE a lot of people who think women are not as smart as men, there ARE a lot of women who have been hurt by this, so joking about it is a) making light of someone else’s pain and b) keeping that idea of women=not smart in the public eye as a correlation.

  334. carlie says

    I’m all for equality, but feminism is not the word people should be using to fight for it. It brings up natural opposition from people who like equality.

    I understand this concept, but I think it needs dissecting more. It doesn’t bring up opposition from people who like equality, but from people who think equality has already been achieved. Because the only reason that people who like equality would feel uncomfortable about one particular group being talked about is if they think that focusing on that group somehow raises them above everyone else, yes? Meaning they think that group is already on the level with everyone, or very close to it.

    And that’s a dangerous mindset, because it means that those people are not aware of or will not pay attention to inequalities that are actually happening in reality. Once you think that sexism isn’t a real problem any more, you will ascribe Susan’s lower salary to problems unique to her: oh, she must not work as hard, or she must not just have that drive, or she must not be that smart after all. You won’t even consider the fact that the boss is still, even subconsciously, paying more attention when she says she needs to go home early to pick up the kids than when John does, even though if you look at the books John went home more early more often than she did, that she’s being “graded” more harshly on her performance than men in the department, that the boss thought Mike really did need that raise more because “he’s got a family to support”. Worse, you might be that boss. And if you don’t realize that might be happening, it will never change, and Susan will always get the short end of it. And you’ll go merrily on your way thinking that you do care about equality and isn’t it nice how we’re equal and poor Susan, she just doesn’t have what it takes to get along in the business world. That’s why it IS important to discuss particular groups and their problems with equality, to raise awareness of what narratives we’re filling in about them that aren’t true and that are holding them back.
    And to tie that in to this comment:

    Feminists aren’t fighting for the same things as LGBT activists, or civil rights activists.

    They are fighting for basically the same things, but not in the same ways, because it’s different underlying subconscious fallacies that they’re addressing. Feminists have to attack the fallacy that women aren’t smarter than men. Civil rights activists have to address the fallacy that minorities aren’t shiftless and lazy. LGBT activists have to address the fallacy that… well, I’ve never been clear on that, maybe why they won’t actually convert everyone into loving the ghey sex? Point being that all of the “ism” activisms are fighting both to make sure that they are treated equally, but also to eradicate the wrong assumptions that lead people to treat them unequally. That takes a lot of education, and unfortunately some of it is uncomfortable: I hate, hate, hate the thought that the society I live in, and that me myself, is still racist, but I can’t get rid of that racism unless someone actually calls me out on it when I do racist shit like startle more when a black guy walks past me at night than when I do if a white guy walks past.

    This is why I, for one, completely reject the “tone” argument. Making people uncomfortable with inequality is a huge part of the whole point of “ism” activism. And you can’t make people uncomfortable with inequality in a nice way, because no matter how nicely you phrase it, they are likely to take it badly because you are revealing something about them that they don’t like. In the same way that making a banner with just the word “atheism” on it will still gather tone complaints, just saying “feminism” will still gather tone complaints, So, we might just as well go for shocking people into understanding, and that’s a valid tactic too: just as a lot of people get turned off by rudeness, a lot of people will ignore niceness and assume the lack of passion means nobody thinks it’s a big deal.

  335. carlie says

    But let’s be careful not to transform Michael Shermer into Todd Akin over a couple of stupid statements or the relative magnitude of either.

    Oh, ffs. Hyperbole much? That’s a big part of why we get so exasperated: for all of the whining that women get so emotional and hysterical and irrational about sexism, one little complaint calling out an instance of it is somehow the worst thing in the world and demonizing someone and making them the enemy and ripping him apart etc. Adults know how to take constructive criticism without falling apart over it. (see above comment re: yes, you will be uncomfortable when someone point out what you’re doing wrong)

  336. John Morales says

    curtnelson:

    I’d say you’re [PZ] less interested in improving things for women in skepticism than you are in expressing a hatred of your own, for [sic] men I guess.

    You could say it, but it would be a baseless (and stupid) guess.

    (Care to provide a quotation where PZ makes you guess this?)

    You [PZ] should try harder, too.

    You’re blowing hot air; he refers to justification of one’s stance, not to appeasement of others (such as you); unlike you, he can (and has) done that, so your attempted tu quoque fails so badly that it doesn’t make it as far as being fallacious.

    (When are you going to start defending your position, instead of asserting it?)

  337. Matt Penfold says

    I think you’re a clueless nut because of your scorched earth policy in dealing with people (Dawkins, Grothe, Shermer) who may have committed infractions against women. It’s nasty and counterproductive in the extreme.

    What is nasty is the vile sexist and misogynist crap that women like Rebecca Watson have to put up with. Now Dawkins, Grothe and Shermer may not actually engage in such behaviour, but they refuse to recognise it happens, or when they decide they can ignore the problem no longer, they trivialise it. Sometimes they just lie, as Grothe did when he claimed there had no reports of harassment at TAM in 2011.

    And counterproductive to whom ? Not to the women who have been the victims of harassment and discrimination. It might make some people uncomfortable, but so what ? Why should those who engage in harassment and discrimination, and those who trivialise the problem feel comfortable ?

    You want to hear someone acknowledge that skeptic women have been the victims of horrible hate mail? Yes, they have. And it’s very bad, but I’m not sure anonymous internet comments are a good way to measure the attitudes of the skeptic community as you seem to think. How about the way your own followers deal with anyone with dissenting opinions on your blog. And you love it. I’d say you’re less interested in improving things for women in skepticism than you are in expressing a hatred of your own, for men I guess. You should try harder, too..

    Except we know such comments drive people away from the movement. So what you really are saying is that you do not give a toss that happens. Which is something PZ and others have been pointing out.

    I note you are seeking to trivialise the problem as well.

  338. Stacy says

    I think you’re a clueless nut because of your scorched earth policy in dealing with people (Dawkins, Grothe, Shermer)

    Please provide links to PZ criticizing Dawkins, Grothe, or Shermer in a manner amounting to a “scorched earth policy.”

    (I recall him criticizing those guys in rational terms.

    Their responses to the criticism have been less than rational. Crying “witch hunt,” for example.)

  339. Matt Penfold says

    If I recall with regards Grothe PZ has praised his attempts to get more women speakers at TAM and other JREF events, but been critical of the refusal of TAM to take seriously the problem of harassment and suggesting that until TAM sorts out that issue, people’s time and money might be better spent attending other events put on by more enlightened organisers.

    I also recall in turned out that TAM this year did have an anti-harassment policy is place, but they did not bother telling anyone. They also hired staff to operate undercover, looking for incidents of harassment. Basically they were clueless on how to operate an anti-harassment policy. It is not as though there were not people willing to assist them in putting one place, and for free.

  340. Rodney Nelson says

    tommccann #338

    See you guys. I’m out.

    Who are you? I ask so we’ll remember to miss you.

  341. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    THere are so many paralleles between the reaction to PZ’s posts on mysoginistic comments by prominent atheists and the reaction to the great desecration.

  342. Stacy says

    Matt Penfold, yup. And PZ criticized Dawkins for “Dear Muslima,” but has since mentioned him approvingly and linked to him.

    “Scorched earth policy” is the sort of lazy assertion pitters repeat to one another until they come to believe it.

  343. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    How about the way your own followers deal with anyone with dissenting opinions on your blog.

    Are those rational evidenced opinions, or irrational OPINIONS pontificated as reality? The former is argued rationally. The latter is treated with the disdain it deserves.

  344. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’d say you’re less interested in improving things for women in skepticism than you are in expressing a hatred of your own, for men I guess.

    Example of unevidenced OPINION pretending to be deep, but made up of lies and bullshit. And being called out as such.

  345. says

    Skeptixx: Slymepitters are never welcome here — your gang crosses the line from sexism into outright misogyny, and I don’t think that group’s fondness for inventing ‘creative’ versions of people’s names using crude slang for genitals counts as rational discussion. Banned with extreme prejudice.

  346. Matt Penfold says

    From the Dungeon page:

    The Lymepit

    I’m not sure if the misspelling is intentional or not, but it seems oddly apt to me.

  347. says

    I think you’re a clueless nut because of your scorched earth policy in dealing with people (Dawkins, Grothe, Shermer) who may have committed infractions against women.

    “Scorched earth”? Really? Against any of those people? Please cite any examples of me taking an attitude towards any of those three comparable to “Please ban all those [anti-]feminist morons from skeptic conferences”, for instance. Or even of me accusing them of being anti-feminist. Does this post count as “scorched earth” against Shermer?

    I’d say you’re less interested in improving things for women in skepticism than you are in expressing a hatred of your own, for men I guess.

    I…hate…men? Again, show your work, curtnelson.

  348. nightshadequeen says

    @tommccann

    Glad to know that intragroup peacefulness is more important to you than human rights.

    Don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out; I sure as hell won’t be missing you.

  349. hillaryrettig says

    >Pz lost his mind after he went vegetarian.

    Conservatives and antifeminists will frequently throw vegetarianism into conversations about unrelated things they hate. It’s kind of bizarre, but I think it shows that despite their pretensions of hyperrational ethics, they’re acting out some serious control issues. Mainstream medicine is pretty clear that it’s healthier to eat a mostly or totally plant-based diet, and it’s no big deal to do so, but these people react angrily to the “intrusion” of common-sense medical advice, and perceived domination by “the nanny state,” and can’t help dragging vegetarianism into arguments / tantrums on unrelated topics, and using it as a profound insult.

  350. Matt Penfold says

    Glad to know that intragroup peacefulness is more important to you than human rights.

    Yet more commonality with religion.

    The Church of England recently decided it could not accept women were fully human and thus eligible to become bishops because it was considered more important to upset those in the church who refuse to accept women are people too. The same with gay marriage. The CofE would rather discriminate against gays than upset their homophobic members.

  351. ChasCPeterson says

    I do not despise feminism.
    So this is OT; sorry. I just had to address this:

    Geneticists have discovered that all human embryos start life as females

    gah! This is beyond misleading and entering Wrong.
    First, “geneticists”?
    More importantly: mammalian embryos are sexually undifferentiated. They are not “female”, nor are they ‘male’. They start with undifferentiated gonads–capable of developing into either flavor–and two full sets of tubing. Genetically they are either XX or XY or rarely something else, but their somatic sex is determined later: the gonads differentiate and one of the sets of tubing atrophies while the other is maintained for later. In mammals the switch is hormonal, and the default developmental pathway is female (i.e. if an androgen signal is not received–for any reason–then ovaries and oviducts develop), but that’s not to say that “everyone starts out as female” in any meaningful biological sense. [plus it’s totally different in birds, where apparently every cell gets a direct genetic signal instead of relying on broadcast hormones, and the situation is still unclear in those reptiles whose sex is determined by incubation temperature, though that looks to be hormonally mediated too.]

    moral of the story: Do not learn your developmental biology from The Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy. yeesh.

    But more to the real point: Laden’s ridiculous use of the word “damage” notwithstanding, acknowledging effects of androgens (and/or estrogens*) on developing human brains (as well as on gonads and plumbing and bones and genitalia and hair follicles and muscles and adipose tissue and glands) is precisely the sort of ‘delusions of gender essentialism’ that is normally, er, unpopular around here. Isn’t it?

    *not to mention aromatase, steroid receptors, etc. ain’t nothing simple in biology.

  352. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    After 400 posts, all I see is those concerned about tone, those concerned about labels, and Slymepitters with their faux scripted concerns with attitude. All superficial and mostly irrelevant analysis (see Lachlan for a solid example of such).

  353. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    is precisely the sort of ‘delusions of gender essentialism’ that is normally, er, unpopular around here. Isn’t it?

    You claiming that we don’t acknowledge that there are gender differences? We do. But when you claim they show up in significant mental abilities/behavior differences, do be ready to separate the cultural from the genetic causation.

  354. mnb0 says

    “Which parameters of feminism are crazy?”
    Well, about 35 years ago I have heard Dutch female feminists arguing that women are inherently morally superior to men. I also know a story of a small feminist meeting where one of the members wasn’t allowed to bring her male toddler when she couldn’t find a babysitter – because it was an all female meeting. Finally I recall a proposal of a Dutch feminist that teenage boys should practice first on each other before having sex with girls.
    Sorry, no sources but my memory. It’s all too long ago.
    But these few excesses don’t make me an antifeminist; certainly they don’t make me oppose equal rights. They aren’t essential afaIc.

  355. says

    That’s one of my peeves, too. I show my classes drawings of the developing genitalia of human embryos, and tell the men that women’s vulvas no more look like that first trimester cartoon than their penises look like that nubbin, just in case they haven’t actually seen one. And I tell the women the converse.

    Women’s genitals are not undifferentiated. The genitals of embryos are.

    But I disagree on one thing: it’s not unpopular to discuss that men and women are different — the truth of that is obvious. What is unpopular is pulling cultural stereotypes out of one’s ass and claiming that they have a biological basis.

  356. Matt Penfold says

    Well, about 35 years ago I have heard Dutch female feminists arguing that women are inherently morally superior to men. I also know a story of a small feminist meeting where one of the members wasn’t allowed to bring her male toddler when she couldn’t find a babysitter – because it was an all female meeting. Finally I recall a proposal of a Dutch feminist that teenage boys should practice first on each other before having sex with girls.
    Sorry, no sources but my memory. It’s all too long ago.

    One can always find such examples, but to do so is like us comparing Shermerl et al to the likes of Vox Day.

  357. says

    owlglass

    . For example, while career opportunities are indeed still inequal (as is payment), women also tend to study more for self-realisation, whereas men more often study where they expect money and power. For example German Studies (I’m German) are full of females who want to become teachers or something the like, whereas (mechanial) engineering is full of men.

    A) Being a teacher is a fucking career.
    B) Many women have noticed that it’s actually one of the few that allows them to have children as well as a career
    C) Yeah, totally the women’s fault that after 18+ years of growing up in a gendered world, of being discouraged from STEM they actually arrive at the conclusion that it’s not for them….

    Johnie Hillwalker

    Her original tweet was something quite vague and open to interpretation, yet anybody who queried for clarification was immediately blocked and labelled a rapist.

    Evidence?

    Lachlan

    I don’t call myself a feminist. That simple statement has already made me, in the eyes of many people around here, the worst kind of human being.

    How’s the view up there on that cross?

    Actually, it was me who said that. Gililell spent most of the thread defending Laden’s stupid comment, and stating gleefully how I was upset that everybody begins as a female. Sexism, and it was called out by precisely nobody.

    Giliell spent a part of that thread tearing down your strawmen. It’s still not my fault that you’re unable to understand language.
    My sexism wasn’t condemed by the rest of the bunch because it exists mainly in your head*

    *duh, yeah, I know I’m sexist. I’m trying to become better. But that wasn’t a case of my “misandry”

    Ahhh, and I see that Nightshadequeen kindly did your work for you.

    brucegee

    The feminists who hate men ought to have a bigmeeting with the atheists who want to stop everyone from celebrating Christmas and the atheists who believe that not believing in god means there is no purpose in life. It could be, like StrawCon or something.

    heart&;

    sc-mess

    I find it hard to believe that Shermer is anti-feminist. He’s a liberal and for social/economic equality just like most of us Skeptics. Why does Ms. Benson think he’s anti-feminist?

    Why do you thing she does?
    And you finding something hard to believe deosn’t make it less so.
    Apart from that, the thing wuth Shermer is that he said something incredibly stupid about men and women and then doubled down.
    Why don’t you read the whole thing and come back then?

  358. jose says

    A True Feminist is a libertarian. She thinks systematic class-related problems don’t matter because she overcame them. Or perhaps they do to some extent but in any case, talking about it is pointless. She doesn’t speak about culture. She just works very hard and makes it to the top due to hard work, and that’s why she becomes visible and popular and is invited to conferences, not just because she’s a woman entitled to special treatment like all the fake feminists want. A True Feminist believes in personal responsibility and taking care of herself, which is why she will never be a victim of sexual assault or employment discrimination. Fake feminists have a deep-rooted hatred for the True Feminist due to envy, because they are losers who want special protection from real life whereas the True Feminist is a winner (as no True Feminist ever fails to accomplish her goals).

    In short, you could just list everything libertarians say about progressives and then replace those terms with true feminists and fake feminists, it looks pretty much the same.

  359. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    not just because she’s a woman entitled to special treatment like all the fake feminists want.

    Citation needed.

  360. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    In short, you could just list everything libertarians say about progressives and then replace those terms with true feminists and fake feminists, it looks pretty much the same.

    Not seeing it.

  361. Matt Penfold says

    Nerd,

    I think (but am not sure) that Jose does not actually hold the views expressed in that comment but rather is putting across how they think that Shermer would respond given his libertarian leanings.

  362. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think (but am not sure) that Jose does not actually hold the views expressed in that comment but rather is putting across how they think that Shermer would respond given his libertarian leanings.

    I’ll buy that. Funny how libertarianss always think they did it all by themselves. No mentoring, no nest egg, no scholarships and other help, no privilege and old-boy netwoking.

  363. Matt Penfold says

    Drama queen” is a sexist insult. Please refrain from using it. Thanks.

    I believe Drama Llama is acceptable though.

  364. Steve LaBonne says

    I think we are now ready for a comprehensive summary of all of the specific, intelligible responses PZ has received to the questions in the original post. Here it is:

    ” “

  365. jose says

    Wasn’t thinking about Shermer, was thinking more about Spanish “liberales” (please don’t translate that as “liberals”, but as “libertarians”: it’s a false friend!). In the face of our current economic collapse and the inevitable strikes, demonstrations, etc. they think the socialist unions are holding the country back with their special entitlements and their victim mentality instead of just taking care of themselves by being responsible for their own lives like real workers do. Real workers being the ones who don’t participate in the organized protests. I thought it resembled Kirby’s sisterhood essay.

  366. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    Just in case Lachlan hasn’t run off with his bloody nose:

    If you’re totally unaware that sometimes words take on meanings other than their strict dictionary definition, then I’m really not sure what to tell you.

    And what is this meaning those words have magically acquired? Is this meaning magically divorced and totally different from the words use as words,for sexual organs?

  367. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The banning of commenters just for being part of the slymepit is another example of the unreasonable/unfair tone set here.

    Sorry, very reasonable. All you fuckwitted idjits follow the same script like you presented. Full of attitude, tone, and NO EVIDENCE. Your unevidenced opinion isn’t worth the electrons used to post them. When are you going to grasp that fact?

    Feminism can not be clearly defined due to the number of different visions people have for what is is trying to achieve.

    And yet PZ defined it above as equal treatment/opportunity. Why aren’t you using that definition for an “intelligent” discussion. Unless, you aren’t intelligent.

  368. Matt Penfold says

    Pitman,

    PZ asked for evidence backed arguments, which I am sure you agree you failed to provide. Maybe I can help. What part of PZ’s request could you not understand ?

  369. Muz says

    Becky @396

    I’m not clear at all, cheers. Although I got the impression it was more recent comments about date rape or something. I think they were along similar lines. He seems like a kind of 70s blank slate/libertinist(not sure what a good term would be). I don’t know though. He seems to have a bit of a lock on the “Coping with Masculinity” shelf according to some of that audience anyway.

    There is another angle to MRA-ness out there though that’s probably worth bringing into all this. I and most others around take it as read that it’s at best highly suspicious ‘counter programming’ to feminist activism and I have heard it’s lined with outright anti-feminists and religious conservatives/traditionalists. But I have recently encountered a few people who seem to come to it quite innocently via custody rights and matters surrounding suicide of young males. And I’m willing to believe there are quite harmless branches of the ‘movement’ focused on specific things. But if these guys declare their membership, as it were, they get a hard time from feminists a lot of the time, over things they may honestly know nothing about. I wonder if there’s a need for a little outreach there.

  370. says

    Danielimms wrote:

    The label, feminism, is divisive. If feminists ditch that term and got a word that sounded more ‘equal’, you would find a lot less disagreement and argument over the issues people are trying to deal with. It would change from an in-group/out-group relationship to a communal one where women and men are fighting for each other’s rights.

    Here’s what chaps my cheeks about this (very strange) argument, and similar arguments about tone. So, the word “feminism” (or the use of the word “fuckwit”) makes some people uncomfortable? Well, good, they should feel uncomfortable. The rampant sexism that permeates nearly every human culture around the globe does more than make women feel uncomfortable. It demoralizes women. It causes women to be dependent on the whims of others, whether it be a husband, a father, or a tyrannical government. It kills women. Your discomfort is less than a drop in the ocean, my friend. Stop whining about your discomfort over terms you dislike, and do something to help change things, or at least show your evidence that the word feminism (or fuckwit) is net unhelpful. Thanks.

  371. says

    It is amazing, 432 comments in and there appear to be no serious attempts to answer the questions posed. They will fill this blog with message after message when they feel some rage but when asked to provide a basic description of how they think about these issues, why they feel it and what evidence they have for that viewpoint, there is stony silence and a few half assed replies that lack content, evidence, or anything else that could make for an interesting discussion of the post.

  372. says

    First I’d like to acknowledge the fact PZ has finally figured out that maybe there is a problem. I would also guess that his ego could be what caused the delay. I could be wrong, it may be a result of being blissfully unaware of his surroundings, only he knows for sure.
    […]
    The condescending tones that come from these idiots are annoying and unproductive. Who wants a gnat buzzing around their head while attempting to have an adult conversation?

    Pot, have you met kettle?

    The banning of commenters just for being part of the slymepit is another example of the unreasonable/unfair tone set here. How can a skeptic take a brush and with one motion declare a forum of over 400 members unworthy of even listening to because they are “evil” “misogynists” “MRAs” “racist” and “assholes”.

    If you voluntarily swim with the fishes, you ought to expect to be classed as a fish.If you don’t like being thought of as a misogynist, disavow misogyny and stop associating with those who embrace it.Any other action is a form of condonation. And you know what? If you condone the misogyny of others, that makes you a misogynist also.

    Feminism can not be clearly defined due to the number of different visions people have for what is is trying to achieve.

    Bullshit. It’s been clearly defined in the OP and several times in this thread alone.

    Some want equality even across the board, others want accountability applied to those who had nothing to do with the current state of things.

    Citation needed.

  373. says

    In regards to mnb0 comment about feminists who thought women were inherently more moral than men, wasn’t that a claim used against the suffragette movement? That the moral superiority of women would be diminished by allowing them to participate in politics?

  374. barfy says

    omicron @325
    You say you’re sorry for my loss, and literally in the same sentence make an assumption that I might be lying to “shore up my defense.
    It was my daughter and she was in Resnick Neuuropshychiatric at UCLA. Double fuck you for wanting more.
    Can you even postulate for millisecond just how OFFENSIVE it would be if I questioned a person on this forum for claiming they were raped and then impugned their motive for that claim to be about shoring up a defense.
    You genuinely owe me an apology.
    As does PZ.

    It’s ironic, isn’t it, how the PZ can so vehemently denounce Shermer for his gaffes, and you ALL chime in and nod in agreement and when PZ makes a similar gaffe (and really that’s all it is) about mental illness we all can listen to the deafening silence.
    Get your own fucking house in order.

  375. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Get your own fucking house in order.

    You first. Lose the attitude and paranoia.

  376. nightshadequeen says

    @D Pitman

    The condescending tones that come from these idiots are annoying and unproductive.

    Tone troll.

    Who wants a gnat buzzing around their head while attempting to have an adult conversation?

    Promise y’all will stay out of all the other feminism threads from now on?

    How can a skeptic take a brush and with one motion declare a forum of over 400 members unworthy of even listening to because they are “evil” “misogynists” “MRAs” “racist” and “assholes”.

    Always nice to be reminded the real world still has so many misogynists running around.

    Hint: If you seriously can’t see the misogyny dripping off of the slymepit, I’m not sure what to say to you.

    Quotes will come, when I’m not on slow Logan Airport internet.

    The problem is the type of feminism most often practiced on FTB and among the Skepchics is not fair and balanced

    Quotes please?

    Also – exactly what bits of FTB’s feminism do you have issues with?

    Seriously.

    This stuff reminds me of a recent discussion on Zephyr I lurked on a few weeks ago. Went something like

    Person A: I have a policy of not engaging in sexual activity if I’ve had more than one drink, because there’s a chance I’ll misjudge someone else’s mental state

    Many Other People: This is totally okay (as long as the inverse of “I’m not careful when I’m sober” doesn’t hold!)

    In other words – past this 101 bullshit of “Are you sure it’s bad to call a woman a cunt?” and “But if I was drunk too, did it mean that we both raped each other?”

    So basically – thank you for the people I live with for being awesome and considerate.

  377. says

    So, I spent a fair amount of time discussing feminism, and I was at one point called “an anti-feminist who didn’t seem to hate women”. I think that’s a fair description of me. It’s hard to say whether or not I despise feminism, but I don’t support it and do think that anti-feminist is a fair description of my position. Note that this post is likely to be fairly long as I will try to express my position in as detailed a fashion as I can, and also note that in response to the cries of “Evidence!” I am here to, in fact, express my actual position, as formed over many, many years reading many, many sources. You will not, therefore, be able to get cites on specific works. I do hope, however, to at least be able to present my position rationally, which is mostly what’s being asked about. I concede, in all of this, that my position may well be wrong, but I, of course, simply don’t think it is.

    Also, note that there are at least two things that we can call “feminism” here, which can be opposed independently. The first is feminism as a movement, and the second is feminism as a philosophy. In my case, I’m not in favour of either, and for pretty much the same reasons, so it works out, but it may not for others, as those opposing the movement will be more critical of the actions the movement takes as a whole, while those opposing it as a philosophy will be more critical of certain underlying principles.

    For me, the biggest problem is that I do think that feminism means this (from Tony at 338:

    Feminism-a social movement seeking full economic, social, and political equality for women

    But often think that feminists try to portray it as this:

    …feminism, that is equality for men and women and opposition to cultural institutions that perpetuate inequities …

    In short, I see feminism as a movement aimed at representing women, and women’s issues and achieving rights for women, while usually presenting itself as a movement aimed at equality in general. Philosophically, it argues from the perspective of women while considering the perspective of men to be, at least, already covered and so not really required in the analysis. This follows from a lot of the presumptions about patriarchy, from the very dramatic idea that patriarchy is just the oppression of women by men to the less dramatic idea that patriarchy was a system set up by men for men. Ultimately, feminism both as a movement and as a philosophy settles into the purported female perspective while claiming to be all about equality as a whole.

    Philosophically, I find the claims about patriarchy and that our society takes an overall male perspective to be unreasonable. After reading a lot of both feminist and anti-feminist works and posts, it seems to me that society has too many detriments for men for patriarchy to be considered something set up for the benefit of men. For while men do indeed have many benefits in terms of business and support and in fulfilling that sort of role, men have also had many negatives imposed on them, with the ideal that they should give up their lives as women and work at as nasty and as dirty jobs as they have to be an ideal provider. If society was really aimed at the benefit of men, it seems to me that there’d be far more of an idea that men should preserve their own lives instead of generally, under patriarchy, being expected to give them up for women and children (even if, in practice, this happened a lot less often than implied).

    To me, then, patriarchy is, in fact, a system of gender-based roles that outlived its usefulness, and once it did so it impacted both men and women. When it made some sense for men to do most of the providing and other work and for women to do most of the childrearing, patriarchy worked out best for them. It still works out best for men and women who want that sort of traditional role. However, for others it doesn’t work out so well, and so what we want to work towards is a system that allows for traditional and non-traditional roles, and where the roles are redefined so that both men and women have an idea of what roles there are and can pursue their own desires with as much freedom as possible.

    Feminism, as a movement, doesn’t have a great history of doing that (with rhetoric that brands traditional roles simply unacceptable, for example) and I feel it is because of the underlying philosophy, one which is carried on in the discussions today over “privilege”. For the most part, the good part of the “privilege” argument is that it may be hard for people who have a certain perspective — males, in this case — to understand what life is like from the perspective of those in another situation — women in this case. But it is called “privilege”, which out of the gate implies that one side has benefits that the others lack. And, in a lot of cases, it’s true. But what we found out with equality between the sexes is that often the grass really was greener on the other side. For the longest time, the rate of heart attacks in women was incredibly low with respect to men, but as women entered into the workforce their rates started climbing, approaching that of men, at least in part due to the stress of those roles. Working was not the sort of great, fulfilling thing that it was presented as, especially when done merely to provide for a family. But, for those who found working suited them better than homemaking, it really was a benefit, and one that outweighed the disadvantages. But this, of course, was based on one thing: choice, and the ability to choose that and to be able to choose what job you found the most fulfilling … which is something that under patriarchy men never had. So, were men “privileged” in that regard? It’s hard to say without appealing to individual circumstances, which defeats the whole project of talking about privilege in the first place.

    So, the patriarchy theory that the feminist philosophy and movement is based on seems to me to be wrong. It assumes, for one, that the patriarchal society reflected the perspective of men, and that in order to bring about equality what was needed was the perspective of women to balance it out. But the patriarchal perspective was never one of men or of women, but of a specific set of assumptions and values that, as I said, became outdated. So the focus on the perspective of women left out the perspective of men, which I think is its biggest problem. As it moves to create a new society and new roles, it talks a lot about how women should be represented, but far less about men, and mostly then as an afterthought. Yes, feminists DO acknowledge that patriarchy hurts men, too, but usually as an aside, as a secondary argument to try to get men to go along with their proposals, and rarely as something that needs to be considered and addressed.

    If feminism is a women’s movement, then this is not only expected but quite reasonable. If it is about overall equality between the genders, then it seems unacceptable. I’d have far less problems with feminism if it simply admitted that it was out to represent women only so that we’d have a clear understanding that we’d need something else to figure out how men should fit into a post-patriarchal society. I think that part of the popularity of MRA movements despite how they often go quite overboard is in fact the feeling that there needs to be something to represent men and that, so far, is the best we have. But I personally think that these problems need to be solved holistically, and so am leery of single-group movements that purport to be aimed at equality; I think that it always becomes far too easy to ignore the perspective of the groups that are not yours and end up in a debate or proposing ideas that represent the interests of that group at the expense — unjust expense — of groups that are not that group.

    Now, I will say that I do understand that the outdating of patriarchy affected women more seriously than men in our capitalistic society, and do see that some of those problems needed to be fixed first. I am less convinced that that is the case today, and think that there are serious issues impacting men that we need to address, particularly what role men should have in a post-patriarchal society, meaning what it means to be a man in that sort of society, and working to break down societal impressions about men and what they should want directly as opposed to as a secondary effect for women’s rights or gay rights and so on and so forth. And I personally do not see feminism as capable of doing it, nor do I see its approach as one that will help the move away from patriarchy because it is, as I said, so women-focused.

    And that, then, is why I am an anti-feminist, even though I agree with equal rights for all and do not think that women are inferior … at least not because they’re women [grin].

  378. nightshadequeen says

    Just to be clear: I don’t expect everyone to adopt Person A’s policy; this is hir’s own decision, which is why I support it.

    I do expect people to acquire actual fucking consent from their partners.

  379. omnicrom says

    Barfy: This is the internet. People fake suicide or claim personal tragedy all the time to try and win sympathy. The fact you used your daughter as a shield from criticism and demanded we respect you and apologize to you is EXACTLY in line with someone who does not have a daughter but is trying to mine sympathy and earn reverence.

    So again, if you actually have a Daughter I am truly sorry for you. However the way you are acting STILL makes you come across as an angry asshole, and you DID use your daughter to try and fend off criticism and demand people apologize to you. There is a difference between “Respect me because of my personal tragedy” and “My personal tragedy illustrates a problem we must address”, and that’s the difference between you and a rape victim.

  380. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Gee, at last something resembling a philosophical, but not evidential, response. But when patriarchy is dismissed with a wave of the hand, I find it hard to take seriously. Some presuppositions going on.

  381. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Am I mistaken or was dpitman banned? Hir post was above was vapid and added nothing to the conversation. It did not address the substance of PZs post. Rather, it was yet another derail by way of “waaaah! PZ is a meany head who doesn’t do things my way.”

  382. Nepenthe says

    But the patriarchal perspective was never one of men or of women, but of a specific set of assumptions and values that, as I said, became outdated.

    And this “specific set of assumptions and values” appeared from the ether, I guess?

    But I personally think that these problems need to be solved holistically, and so am leery of single-group movements that purport to be aimed at equality

    Are you/were you critical of the Civil Rights Movement viz African-Americans for excluding the perspective of White Americans? Why or why not?

  383. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Am I mistaken or was dpitman banned?

    Xe was limited to the Thunderdome. The banhammer is probably warming up, as PZ gets cranky when they don’t follow such instructions.

    Besides, typical copypasta post by the loudmouth. They all sound the same, angry and irrational.

  384. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    The problem is the type of feminism most often practiced on FTB and among the Skepchics is not fair and balanced

    Well there’s you’re problem, you’re looking for the Fox News version of feminism.

  385. curtnelson says

    I think you’re a clueless nut because of your scorched earth policy in dealing with people (Dawkins, Grothe, Shermer) who may have committed infractions against women.
    “Scorched earth”? Really? Against any of those people? Please cite any examples of me taking an attitude towards any of those three comparable to “Please ban all those [anti-]feminist morons from skeptic conferences”, for instance. Or even of me accusing them of being anti-feminist. Does this post count as “scorched earth” against Shermer?
    I’d say you’re less interested in improving things for women in skepticism than you are in expressing a hatred of your own, for men I guess.
    I…hate…men? Again, show your work, curtnelson.

    I see, PZ : I’m “emotional and angry,” then I need to “provide specifics,” and then again I need to “show my work.” This is how you deal with criticism. In my first comment (in which I was emotional and angry) I actually made fun of this post’s title (why do you despise feminism) for showing your disingenuousness and apparent enjoyment in “fuck you discussions,” so yes, this post counts as an example of your scorched earth approach to things.

  386. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    To me, then, patriarchy is, in fact, a system of gender-based roles that outlived its usefulness,

    Wander into any fundamentalist church. Patriarchy is preached from the pulpit. You lose, as reality refutes you. It is still present and people believe in it, no matter what you think.

  387. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Verbose stoic:
    For all that you say you’ve researched the topics under discussion, your understanding of patriarchy is less than 101 level. Please see the sidebar and click the ‘Feminist link roundup’ for further education.
    Btw, the definition of feminism I offered and the one PZ used are the same. You may want to reread both with an understanding of what the words mean. To do so, you will have to understand patriarchy, feminism, kyriarchy, sexism and misogyny better than you currently do.

  388. Anthony K says

    Barfy: This is the internet. People fake suicide or claim personal tragedy all the time to try and win sympathy.

    Nonetheless, accusing someone of lying to elicit sympathy isn’t cool. Don’t do that.

  389. omnicrom says

    So Curtnelson, you pop back up in the thread after being called emotional and angry and being told you need to provide support for your suppositions. Your post is emotional and angry and provides no support for your suppositions. Perhaps you should think about that before the next time you post about how emotional and angry you get when people call you out on your unsupported suppositions.

  390. Maureen Brian says

    Verbose Stoic @ 439,

    Hells Bells, that was long , tedious and confused. I’ll just address one misperception in your paragraph which begins, “Feminism, as a movement …”

    Firstly, the majority of women have always worked: it is not something which magically happened about 1970. Some of that work was tough, some was disparaged and it wasn’t always paid. But it was work. It would make at least as much sense to argue that women were increasingly recorded as dying of heart attacks when they lived long enough for that to happen, when they ceased to die quite so often in childbirth or from the wear and tear of too many pregnancies too close together.

    Did you ever think of it that way?

  391. chigau (違う) says

    curtnelson
    If you type
    <blockquote>paste quoted text here</blockquote>
    this will result.

    paste quoted text here

    It will make your comments easier to read.

  392. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    curtnelson:

    Scorched Earth is a military strategy or operational method that involves destroying anything useful to the enemy.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scorched_Earth_(disambiguation)

    Please explain your logic in accusing PZ of employing scorched earth tactics.

    Also, if I may use the weasel word ‘seems’, you seem to be quite unreasonable. Why is that? You clearly have beliefs and opinions about PZ. However, what is under discussion is feminism. Specifically, what are the reasons people use to argue against feminism? Said reasons should be arrived at logically, using empirical evidence. No one has done so yet (though Verbose Stoic may have come close).

  393. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    Verbiose Stoic:

    Philosophically, I find the claims about patriarchy and that our society takes an overall male perspective to be unreasonable. After reading a lot of both feminist and anti-feminist works and posts, it seems to me that society has too many detriments for men for patriarchy to be considered something set up for the benefit of men. For while men do indeed have many benefits in terms of business and support and in fulfilling that sort of role, men have also had many negatives imposed on them, with the ideal that they should give up their lives as women and work at as nasty and as dirty jobs as they have to be an ideal provider. If society was really aimed at the benefit of men, it seems to me that there’d be far more of an idea that men should preserve their own lives instead of generally, under patriarchy, being expected to give them up for women and children (even if, in practice, this happened a lot less often than implied).

    Are you seriously usignerte chivalry as a counterpoint to patriarchy?

    Chivalry is at the core of patriarchy.
    Firstly, men are supposed to protect women from actually having any life. Chivalry essentially reduces women to mothers and sex-toys (and the odd bit of needlework).
    Secondly, in development of the chivalry. Was the killing and the dying actually for the benefit of women? Or was there some other interest at heart, for instance the ruling classes?Take a look at a history book or two.

  394. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I see, PZ : I’m “emotional and angry,” then I need to “provide specifics,” and then again I need to “show my work.”

    Right, you need to back your fuckwitted OPINION with EVIDENCE. You know, reality as written down by academics. Not videos of other peoples opinions. Until then, everything you say can and will be dismissed as angry male.

  395. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    Err – iOS autocorrect (in the wrong language) got the better of me. The first line of my #458 should read “Are you seriously using…”

  396. says

    Chivalry, in historical context, meant protecting and serving women of the upper class. It applied only to nobility. Chivalry has nothing to say about raping peasant women, and they often did. It fits perfectly into patriarchy’s categories of women. Rapeable (our women) and unrapeable (their women). Note that “unrapeable” never means that they won’t try to rape, it means they won’t call it rape when they do. Noble women had honor. It’s what distinguished them from peasant women. It’s the same dynamic as the shaming and blaming of sex workers, transgender women, and women of color, and any category of woman that’s defined as “other.”

  397. Beatrice says

    Of course, even the noble women weren’t protected from their own husbands. A woman had to perform her “marital duties”.

  398. Louis says

    So thus far pretty much all we have from the creationists anti-feminists is that evolutionary biologists feminists are meanies?

    Gotcha.

    Can I go back to sleep now? Wake me when an original thought pops up.

    Louis

  399. Louis says

    Oh crap I screwed up the strike tags for creationists/ evolutionary biologists.

    {Facepalm}

    Louis

  400. Skeptic Dude says

    I despise feminism because I am an avowed Nietzchean.

    Nietzche’s most valuable insight is that (in his own words) “there are no a priori truths”.

    Feminism particularly, as with idealism generally, is a product of the same cognitive flaw that the religious subscribe to: that reality reflects Truths, rather than vice versa.

    Because there are no higher powers to “reveal truths” from on high. Values, must emerge from reality as it actually exists. Values that do not, are merely contrived and superfluous bullshit.

    Real skepticism owns up to this reality, while the pathetic and weak minded sheeple cling to their fairy-tales like teddy bears (or Bibles). Hence the desperate vehement attack on evolutionary psychology.

  401. ines says

    The arguments I came across against feminism (in a blog I quit reading after that particular discussion, because I was too disappointed to learn that the people who had been so smart about politics and atheism turned out to be such utter morons when it came to women) were:
    1. All women trick men into marrying them so that they don’t have to work for their livelihood.
    2. All women trick men into getting them pregnant, so that they can live off the child support with their new lovers.
    3. When wives have pressed everything out of their husbands, they get divorces where they always get custody of the children and always make sure that the fathers never see their children again, but milk them for everything they have.
    4. All teachers are women who make sure that the little boys have no chance at all in the classroom.
    There might have been more ‘arguments’ like that, but I made sure to get out of there quickly.

  402. flib says

    @466

    Wut.

    I mean, trust me, I get the idea between Truth and truth to inform agenda. But it’s rather difficult to dismiss specific evidence of stratification within kyriarchy by insisting it’s built only out of values. In the case of raw data, it’s still data, and it’s still stratification. This doesn’t diminish something that can be observed factually. Handwaving away the poor methodologies of evolutionary psychology also really doesn’t make for a good excuse.

  403. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Skeptic dude:
    I really don’t like your implication. What a priori truth does feminism contain and why do you believe this is truth, rather than your subjective opinion?
    And what the hell does this have to do sith evo psych*?

    nbsp

    *slightly rhetorical question, as I have a fairly good idea of what you are referring to and would just like to see if my hunch is correct.

  404. Nepenthe says

    Feminism particularly, as with idealism generally, is a product of the same cognitive flaw that the religious subscribe to: that reality reflects Truths, rather than vice versa.

    Could you expand on this? What are the “Truths” that feminists believe reality reflects?

    Values, must emerge from reality as it actually exists.

    Could you give an example of such a value?

  405. says

    Nerd of Redhead:

    442:

    But when patriarchy is dismissed with a wave of the hand, I find it hard to take seriously. Some presuppositions going on.

    I don’t dismiss it, but don’t consider it to be a case where men got together and oppressed women, but consider it to be a case of a particular way of organizing society that, effectively, oppressed everyone, or at least oppressed everyone who didn’t fit into that mold, especially when its detriments far exceeded any benefits it might have granted. As I said, I don’t deny that in a capitalist society the detriments to women outweighed those to men most of the time.

    451:

    Wander into any fundamentalist church. Patriarchy is preached from the pulpit. You lose, as reality refutes you. It is still present and people believe in it, no matter what you think.

    As you pointed out, I said it had become outdated. That does not, in fact, imply that I think no one believes in it or that it no longer exists. Therefore, you cannot say that reality is refuting me, particularly when a big part of my comment was about how we need to move forward into a post-patriarchal society; that should imply that we aren’t there yet.

    Nepenthe (445):

    And this “specific set of assumptions and values” appeared from the ether, I guess?

    I don’t claim that. I DO claim that it wasn’t an idea of men oppressing women that made them appear, but that it was likely a natural progression based on certain biological and societal conditions. We can debate that, of course, in more detail, but I fail to see what your point is here.

    Are you/were you critical of the Civil Rights Movement viz African-Americans for excluding the perspective of White Americans? Why or why not?

    I actually explicitly said that I’d have far less problems with feminism if it was thought of as simply representing women, so this isn’t a fair question. I do think and think that history has shown that these sorts of single-group movements don’t do a good job of transforming society as a whole, and often end up denigrated even though they had success, and feminism is the poster child for this. When the discrepancies are clear, obvious and legal, single-group movements gain a lot of momentum and that they miss the perspective of the other group or groups is not as important. When the protections are in place, then you run into the problems with “privilege” that I mentioned in the comment.

    Tony (452)

    For all that you say you’ve researched the topics under discussion, your understanding of patriarchy is less than 101 level. Please see the sidebar and click the ‘Feminist link roundup’ for further education.

    No. You have given me no reason to think that I am wrong, and I am well-aware that my view of the patriarchy is different than that of feminists. I disagree with them, and gave at least an outline of my reasons, which is what P.Z. Myers asked for. If you have no wish to debate the topic, that’s fine, but all I did was what I was required to do: express my view and why. As I said, I may be wrong, but I think it reasonable for you to even give a short precis of why I’m wrong before I accept homework assignments.

    Btw, the definition of feminism I offered and the one PZ used are the same. You may want to reread both with an understanding of what the words mean.

    I think you missed my whole point in your rush to look at the definitions. You’ll note that your definition only mentions women, and P.Z.’s doesn’t. If you read my comment, you surely will note that I think that for feminism only mentioning women is more accurate.

    Maureen Brian (455):

    Firstly, the majority of women have always worked: it is not something which magically happened about 1970. Some of that work was tough, some was disparaged and it wasn’t always paid. But it was work. It would make at least as much sense to argue that women were increasingly recorded as dying of heart attacks when they lived long enough for that to happen, when they ceased to die quite so often in childbirth or from the wear and tear of too many pregnancies too close together.

    I’ll concede that the comment about “work” was too vague, and so I apologize for that. However, my example came from the post-birth control era, so childbirth and too many pregnancies were not as significant a factor as you imply. Second, the point of the example was to show that acting in the prescribed way for men led to an issue that when women starting taking on that role as well started getting even though they didn’t have it before, and thus a rather minor example of the major point that the supposedly privileged roles had significant downsides. Which many may accept, of course …

    Gnumann+ (458):

    Are you seriously usignerte chivalry as a counterpoint to patriarchy?

    Chivalry is at the core of patriarchy.

    Which was rather my point, actually: that chivalry was a major component of patriarchy and yet consisted of men sacrificing their lives for women. If patriarchy was by men for men, you’d think they would have excluded that.

    Secondly, in development of the chivalry. Was the killing and the dying actually for the benefit of women? Or was there some other interest at heart, for instance the ruling classes?Take a look at a history book or two.

    Under chivalry, in order to prove themselves proper men men of any social class — including the ruling ones — had to do so by placing themselves in mortal danger, usually to protect the helpless, which included women. There are numerous examples in history of wars being started so that someone in the ruling classes could prove their martial prowess and so were proper men. History, then, seems to support my case: that under patriarchy men were expected to place their lives on the line to gain status, and particularly the affection of women. Again, a system set up by men for men would likely give them better benefits than that.

  406. Nepenthe says

    Also,

    Oh shit Tony, Skeptic Dude has us pegged. Quick, we must don our human costumes!

    *chews cud placidly*

  407. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I despise feminism because I am an avowed Nietzchean.

    Philosophical wanking, not evidential argument. Worthless twaddle.

  408. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I don’t dismiss it, but don’t consider it to be a case where men got together and oppressed women,

    Citation needed, or nothing but mental wanking which can and will be dismissed. PZ asked for EVIDENTIAL arguments. Not OPINION.

    Therefore, you cannot say that reality is refuting me, particularly when a big part of my comment was about how we need to move forward into a post-patriarchal society;

    Citation needed for post-patriarchal society, or nothing but mental wanking. You and evidence are divorced. making everything you say worthless. As you show by pontificating without reality.

  409. carlie says

    I see, PZ : I’m “emotional and angry,” then I need to “provide specifics,” and then again I need to “show my work.” This is how you deal with criticism.

    Um, yes. When you criticize someone, you need to be specific and provide support for what you’re saying. This is news in what universe?

    so yes, this post counts as an example of your scorched earth approach to things.

    So, what do you mean by “scorched earth approach”, then? Because I do not think it means what you think it means.

  410. Maureen Brian says

    I would say, maddog1129, none of the above. This is equality (sic) perceived as applying to only half the population and in only one country – not what we are talking about at all.

  411. says

    Patriarchy is not a synonym for conspiracy theory. Verbose Stoic is acting like people mean that there’s a cabal of conspiring men when they say patriarchy. This is such a common distortion of what feminists and sociologists and anthropologists mean when they talk about patriarchy that I’m surprised VS isn’t embarrassed to advance that blatant straw man here. I mean, it’s not like nobody has tried to explain it to him before. I’ve seen him in threads about feminism fairly often, spouting the exact same shit. Yes, feminism is wrong because it blames things on patriarchy, where patriarchy is *insert distorted, erroneous definition of patriarchy.*

    It was a decent attempt. I was going to say sincere, but nobody who has been exposed to correct information as often as VS has, and still propagates incorrect information, can really be classified as “sincere.”

  412. Anthony K says

    Which was rather my point, actually: that chivalry was a major component of patriarchy and yet consisted of men sacrificing their lives for women. If patriarchy was by men for men, you’d think they would have excluded that.

    Compare with religious hierarchies: in general, religion privileges its own believers if it can, at the same time it restricts them and demands sacrifice, including lives.

    The Catholic Church only accepts men as clergy, protects them from prosecution for heinous sexual crimes, yet at the same time it does disallow them open, healthy, sexual relationships. There are undoubtedly many priests who do honestly live celibate lives, to their personal detriment, and they’re aware of it.

    Yet it is not untrue that Catholicism is by Catholics, for Catholics.

    I suspect it would be difficult to construct any large social institution (and institutionalised patriarchy is very large), and have it perpetuated solely by completely self-interested individuals.

  413. Nepenthe says

    @Verbose Stoic

    DO claim that it wasn’t an idea of men oppressing women that made them appear, but that it was likely a natural progression based on certain biological and societal conditions.

    And I’ve never heard of a feminist explanation of the origin of patriarchy that claimed otherwise, so I’m not sure why you’re posing “patriarchy wasn’t an explicit conspiracy by men solely to oppress women” as an antifeminist position.

    I actually explicitly said that I’d have far less problems with feminism if it was thought of as simply representing women

    For what it’s worth, there are many feminists who believe exactly this, like yours truly. But that’s a story for another day.

    I do think and think that history has shown that these sorts of single-group movements don’t do a good job of transforming society as a whole

    Yes, you did. And I’m asking whether you can give any explicit examples that don’t involve feminism. Could you, for example, explain how the gay right’s movement’s non-inclusion of straight perspectives has caused it to fail to transform society. Any non-trivial, non-feminist example would be acceptable.

    If patriarchy was by men for men, you’d think they would have excluded that.

    Why, exactly?

  414. jba55 says

    I didn’t read all the hundreds of comments, so please ignore me if I’m repeating something that’s already been discussed. Now I don’t despise feminism at all, but I do hate that extremists have attempted to hijack the term. I find it frustrating to have to explain to some, not all, people that when I say I’m a feminist I’m not saying I’m a female chauvinist but a supporter of equality. It’s not annoying enough to make me stop calling myself one all the time, but there have been times when I’ve said equalitist instead because I knew there was no point in trying to engage the person I was talking to.

  415. carlie says

    Now I don’t despise feminism at all, but I do hate that extremists have attempted to hijack the term.

    Which extremists?
    How have they hijacked the term?
    What have they said?
    Where are your sources?

  416. Anthony K says

    Patriarchy is not a synonym for conspiracy theory. Verbose Stoic is acting like people mean that there’s a cabal of conspiring men when they say patriarchy.

    Right. I disagree with economic libertarianism because it denies the existence of and tacitly supports the patriarchy, but while there are undoubtedly libertarians in high positions of power who do conspire with each other, a large proportion of libertarians do think they’re acting in everyone’s best interest. I think they’re wrong, not conspirators.

    To turn it around, the bloat in large, actual organisations like government and large companies and corporations, does exist. Not everyone who works in these is in on the conspiracy to ‘waste’ resources (to use the popular criticism of waste). It’s a systemic property of how we’ve thus far organised things.

    Doesn’t mean we can’t change these things.

  417. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Approaching 500 posts without one evidenced post about how feminism is bad. All critics above either can’t or won’t back up what they say. Must be a flaw in their thinking, as the evidence to back up their opinons/sophistry is exactly what PZ wanted to hear.

  418. omnicrom says

    @jba55 482

    I didn’t read all the hundreds of comments, so please ignore me if I’m repeating something that’s already been discussed.

    Are indeed repeating something that has been discussed a couple of times.

    Now I don’t despise feminism at all, but I do hate that extremists have attempted to hijack the term.

    Who has hijacked the term? Do they represent the majority of active Feminists? Are their views given credence and widely accepted? Do they reflect the Feminist movement’s mission and beliefs? If not then how has the term been hijacked?

    I find it frustrating to have to explain to some, not all, people that when I say I’m a feminist I’m not saying I’m a female chauvinist but a supporter of equality. It’s not annoying enough to make me stop calling myself one all the time, but there have been times when I’ve said equalitist instead because I knew there was no point in trying to engage the person I was talking to.

    Have you considered asking these same people why they think feminists are female chavinists? Do you believe feminists are female chauvinists? If so why? If not why do you have a problem with what ill-informed people say?

  419. maddog1129 says

    @ Maureen Brian #478

    I would say, maddog1129, none of the above. This is equality (sic) perceived as applying to only half the population and in only one country – not what we are talking about at all.

    Well, I was trying to look past the labeling on the cartoon. Perhaps the short person who can’t see over the fence is the position women are in, in general? So when people like jba55 at #482 say things like:

    I find it frustrating to have to explain to some, not all, people that when I say I’m a feminist I’m not saying I’m a female chauvinist but a supporter of equality. It’s not annoying enough to make me stop calling myself one all the time, but there have been times when I’ve said equalitist instead ….

    I wonder what kind of “supporter of equality” s/he means? Equal starting opportunity, as in, everyone gets 1 box to stand on? (If nobody had boxes, only 1 of the 3 would get to see the game. If everybody gets 1 box, 2 of the 3 can see the game, but short people are still out of luck. Metaphor for women’s position, perhaps?) Or more of an outcome equality, as in everybody (or a lot more people) get to see the game?

  420. maddog1129 says

    Or if, as you say, “none of the above” (neither of the 2 depicted), what type of “equality” do you think feminism does/should have in mind?

  421. jba55 says

    Carlie:
    “Which extremists?”
    The ones I’ve talked to. I’ve had Valerie Solanas and Andrea Dworkin quoted to me by various people although I personally wouldn’t choose them as representative of feminism as a whole.
    “How have they hijacked the term?”
    By using it in the manner I described.
    “What have they said?”
    That feminism = female chauvinism.
    “Where are your sources?”
    Sorry, I thought I had made it clear this was anecdotal when I said my annoyance was directed at people I had talked to.

    Omnicrom: Since I’m repeating something already discussed perhaps you should ignore what I said. However since you didn’t, my point wasn’t so much about the movement in general but some peoples perception of it and how the word “feminism” has in many peoples minds (again, anecdotal, people I know, not everyone) come to be a negative when it should be a positive. I know this isn’t quite what PZ asked for, but in my experience a lot of people who “despise feminism” do so because they think of radical feminists whenever the word feminism is used.

    Maddog: I support equal rights for everyone, regardless of gender, race or other accidents of birth. Not sure how that fits in with the cartoon you’re using though.

  422. says

    Nerd of Redhead (474):

    Citation needed, or nothing but mental wanking which can and will be dismissed.

    So, do YOU think that patriarchy was a group of men getting together to oppress women, as opposed to it being a societal structure that grew out of biological and social issues? I don’t see the need to provide evidence for a claim that you almost certainly don’t disagree with and that many feminists in this thread have argued that feminists don’t disagree with. Especially when the comment here was a reply to you claiming, without any evidence, that I was dismissing patriarchy, and so I was merely clarifying my position.

    As for what P.Z. Myers asked for:

    I’d like them to comment here and explain themselves, and to do so a little more deeply than just reiterating dogmatic excuses. If you think feminism is a religion, explain why, and be specific. If you think feminism is unsupported by the evidence, explain what evidence opposes the principles of feminism. If you think it’s wrong for the skeptic movement to have a social agenda, explain what you think it should be doing that has no social implications.

    Most importantly, if you think feminism, that is equality for men and women and opposition to cultural institutions that perpetuate inequities, is irrational, let’s see you explain your opposition rationally.

    The first doesn’t apply to me because I don’t call feminism a religion. I disagree that their stance — at least as I see it — on patriarchy as being representative of men explains the evidence, particularly the evidence that men had severe disadvantages under patriarchy (and yes, I’m aware that feminists have taken it on, but personally find it unconvincing), so the second probably does. I’m not talking about the skeptical movement, so the third one doesn’t apply, and disagree that the fourth really does reflect feminism because, as I pointed out, it works too much from a female perspective only. I think that I’ve given more than enough evidence, and Myers did not demand the sort of evidence you are demanding in the original post.

    Citation needed for post-patriarchal society …

    So, I need a citation about how we need to move forward INTO a post-patriarchal society, even as I state that that should imply that we aren’t there yet? How many things that you agree with are you going to demand evidence for?

    Sally Strange (479):

    Patriarchy is not a synonym for conspiracy theory.

    I agree. I think that absolutely obvious, but do think that at least some feminist rhetoric, even in this thread, implies that, intentionally or no. My main thrust is that a patriarchal society does not solely or even primarily benefit men and harm women, and that the evidence is that even in patriarchal societies the deficiencies for men are serious enough to make the more reasonable claim be that patriarchy oppresses those who don’t want to live under its restrictive roles. So if we can put aside, then, the idea of men working for the benefit of men consciously, then we can talk about if it’s unconscious and, if we can agree that even that isn’t true, then we might be in agreement.

    Yes, feminism is wrong because it blames things on patriarchy, where patriarchy is *insert distorted, erroneous definition of patriarchy.*

    Of course, my actual objection is that feminism is “wrong” because it works entirely from a female perspective, and that its general position on patriarchy shows that focus, but let’s not let what I actually say get in the way of your interpretation.

    It was a decent attempt. I was going to say sincere, but nobody who has been exposed to correct information as often as VS has, and still propagates incorrect information, can really be classified as “sincere.”

    Obviously, the idea that someone could read your arguments and not be instantly convinced of them has never occurred to you.

    Okay, now into some actual really good responses.

    Anthony K. (480):

    Compare with religious hierarchies: in general, religion privileges its own believers if it can, at the same time it restricts them and demands sacrifice, including lives.

    I think this example proves my point. What you have is a social structure put together to, hopefully, work to provide a stable society. As part of that, everyone has their benefits and their detriments under that society. Those that want what the society offers benefit overall, and those that don’t suffer. In terms of religions, those who don’t benefit leave, but in an overall society you can’t really leave, and so you either “suck it up” or rebel and get pushed down. Anyway, the structures aren’t generally put together with a mind towards privileging one group, but of getting the benefits and the sacrifices you have to make to get them. So you might be able to say that Catholicism, to take your example, is by Catholics for Catholics, but it’s hard to tie that into any sort of notion other than what is explicit in religion and not the case outside of it: that in Catholicism, actions will be judged by its perspective and those of Catholics. That actions in a patriarchy are judged by patriarchal standards is also a given, but that does not translate so well to saying that its the standards of men.

    484:

    To turn it around, the bloat in large, actual organisations like government and large companies and corporations, does exist. Not everyone who works in these is in on the conspiracy to ‘waste’ resources (to use the popular criticism of waste). It’s a systemic property of how we’ve thus far organised things.

    Doesn’t mean we can’t change these things.

    This wasn’t really aimed at me, but I agree with the last sentence, and in that example my comment is more that you shouldn’t assume that all of the practices are bloat and don’t have benefits; you need to understand what benefits led to that bloat and organization and try to make it so that you keep the benefits the best you can while losing the detriments, and you do that by transforming the organization as a whole taking all perspectives into account and mapping it forward, not by applying one perspective across the board.

    And to preface a little bit of Nepenthe’s comments, I understand that some feminists do get that. I just don’t see it in the feminist movement and in feminist philosophy.

    Nepenthe (481):

    And I’ve never heard of a feminist explanation of the origin of patriarchy that claimed otherwise, so I’m not sure why you’re posing “patriarchy wasn’t an explicit conspiracy by men solely to oppress women” as an antifeminist position.

    Again, my main push against feminism is that it is focused too much on the perspective of women, and assumes that the male perspective is represented by the patriarchal view. I see the interpretations of patriarchy in most feminist philosophy as reflecting that narrow focus.

    Yes, you did. And I’m asking whether you can give any explicit examples that don’t involve feminism. Could you, for example, explain how the gay right’s movement’s non-inclusion of straight perspectives has caused it to fail to transform society. Any non-trivial, non-feminist example would be acceptable.

    Well, look at the Civil Rights Movement. It did take it a lot of time, but eventually it seemed to have momentum and got all sorts of laws passed … and then in terms of transforming society seems to have stalled. Racism still exists and permeates, and it can be argued that it’s even getting worse. For me, the reaction to Affirmative Action across the board is indicative of that problem, because while from the perspective of a disadvantaged group it seems fair and reasonable, outside of that it seems unjust, and a lot of philosophical ink has been spilled arguing it. I can’t help but think that a more combined approach would come up with ways to ensure equal access without making people think that there might be fairness in a charge of “Reverse Racism”.

    Feminism is, as I said, the poster child, but radical and strong movements have all ended up vilified after gaining some successes and then used as examples against the entire movement as a while (ie Black Panthers).

    I don’t focus a lot on the history of other movements — or, bluntly, even of the feminist movement, as I don’t focus on that in anything I do — so I might be a bit short on evidence here, I admit (see, Nerd, THIS is a case where you can ask for evidence and get mad if I don’t provide it).

    Why, exactly?

    Well, because about the only reason I can think of for men to put in a system where their status depends on them taking on very risky and often painful pursuits is as a competition against themselves, but it’s hard to see why this would have benefit to them directly. Adding in that women’s status generally wasn’t this — well, maybe childbirth counts — and it seems even more puzzling. Seen, however, as part of an overarching societal package of benefits and detriments to both sexes, it makes a lot more sense. Debatable, of course, but I haven’t seen a good explanation yet.

  423. dogeared, spotted and foxed says

    Why is anyone discussing chivalry? It describes a highly romanticized Western Christianized ideal that covered (at best) a few hundred years, was practiced by the ruling elite (i.e. land owners), and affected very few men or women.

  424. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Why is anyone discussing chivalry?

    Because the sophist thinks it is meaningful without evidence. Typical of someone pretending to be intellectual, when they really don’t have any idea of what they are talking about. For example:

    So, do YOU think that patriarchy was a group of men getting together to oppress women,

    What I think doesn’t matter. What you think doesn’t matter. What matters is the EVIDENCE, which isn’t found in your mental wankings. So, you aren’t progressing your argument until you present evidence to show your argument is reality based. And nothing…So you have nothing but bullshit.

  425. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The ones I’ve talked to. I

    Worthless as evidence, and you know that. Hearsay at best. Why is it so hard to link to evidence?

  426. mnb0 says

    @411 Penfold: if you had provided the quote in its entirety everybody would have seen you just repeat my point.

    @412 Nightshade: no hearsay from me, I heard and read the stuff myself. But if you repeat me it will be hearsay indeed.

    @435 TimG: wouldn’t surprise me. That’s the “nice” thing of moral superiority – X are morally superior so should stay away from dirty stuff like politics – X are morally superior so should be in charge.

  427. jba55 says

    @493 I’ve yet to find a method to link to meat-space discussions. Honestly I didn’t realize that “some people hear radical feminism when others say feminism” was a controversial statement since I’ve met so many people who think that way. Maybe it’s because I spent so many years among Mormons, but if it isn’t a common belief then I’m glad.

  428. says

    VS, it’s not a question of convincing you. You are propagating definitions of patriarchy and feminism that are wrong. You’re not even subtle as you construct your straw opponents. The definition of patriarchy which you claim feminists are wrong to use, which doesn’t explain the evidence? That definition exists only in your head. I don’t know how much more clear I can be. Cite examples of feminists ACTUALLY (not “seeming to”) advancing a definition of patriarchy that includes a cabal of men conspiring to keep women down. Just one.

  429. says

    Well. VS’s definition of patriarchy exists not only in his head, but also in the imaginations of hundreds of other anti-feminists. In the interest of accuracy, I thought I should clarify that – he’s not pulling it out of the ether. He’s just allowing anti-feminists to define feminism, and using that to explain why he’s anti-feminist.

  430. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    Verbiouse Stoic:

    Under chivalry, in order to prove themselves proper men men of any social class — including the ruling ones — had to do so by placing themselves in mortal danger, usually to protect the helpless, which included women.

    So, if you wanted to analyze German policy 35-45 you would largely source it on the writings and films of Gobbels?

  431. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    He’s just allowing anti-feminists to define feminism, and using that to explain why he’s anti-feminist.

    Typical of presuppositional sophists, who don’t bother to check with reality if it gets in the way of their conclusions…

  432. says

    Sally Strange (496):

    Cite examples of feminists ACTUALLY (not “seeming to”) advancing a definition of patriarchy that includes a cabal of men conspiring to keep women down. Just one.

    So, in order to move this along, let me point out that I’ll accept and concede that feminism is not in and of itself attached to an idea of a cabal of men conspiring to keep women down. Fine. So, since that’s conceded, what impact do you think that has on my actual point about patriarchy, which was this:

    This follows from a lot of the presumptions about patriarchy, from the very dramatic idea that patriarchy is just the oppression of women by men to the less dramatic idea that patriarchy was a system set up by men for men.

    Does that statement require there to be some kind of “cabal” in place, and can you deny that these sorts of phrasings are, or at least were, common descriptions of patriarchy in feminist works?

  433. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    Dogeared et al:

    Why is anyone discussing chivalry? It describes a highly romanticized Western Christianized ideal that covered (at best) a few hundred years, was practiced by the ruling elite (i.e. land owners), and affected very few men or women.

    Sensu stricto you’re right.

    As an enforcing force of patriarchy, it’s live and kicking. Partly as a real thing (as real as any social process). It’s the idea that men should hold doors, buy drinks(and then women should provide said men with sex of course), “women and children first” and a myriad of other ways where women’s agency are trod on under the pretence of comme-il-faut and “honour”.

    To add insult to injury, it is a major MRA talking point as well. “When we are supposed to buy women drinks (to get the sex that is our birthright), why should we respect them as humans.”