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.