Feminists' selective science phobia

Evolutionary psychology gets a lot of flack from both inside and outside science. And to be honest, a lot of it is well deserved criticism – too much of evolutionary psychology is arm chair philosophizing and overly optimistic adaptationism, rather than hard data.

But I still assert that’s no reason to write off the field as a whole. For one, there are plenty of good studies out there, and it’s often the media that warps results into broad conclusions, not the scientists themselves. Two, it’s a baby field that’s still learning quality control – give it another ten years to refine its standards and come up with improved ways to make measurements, such as advanced brain activity imaging technology. And three, it is completely unreasonable to insist that the brain is magically not under selective pressure like every other thing in nature.

Unless it doesn’t mesh with your philosophy, of course.

Sometimes I hate calling myself a feminist because of who it associates me with. For example, this latest example of feminist sciencephobia from Jill at I Blame The Patriarchy:

Evolutionary psychology rests on the shaky (often enpornulated) hypothesis that modern human social behaviors are actually species-preserving adaptations.

No, it rests on the very strong hypothesis that the brain evolves like any other organ.

Because evolutionary psychology, like all psuedoscience, is administered by jackasses who are heavily invested in patriarchy, the behaviors in question just happen to be the very same behaviors commonly observed to be beloved of patriarchyists. And also of sexists, misogynists, horndogs, militarists, straight people, politicians, consumers of pornography, consumers of “beauty,” racists, godbags, liberal men, Hollywoodists, homophobes, matrimonialists, and other cogs in the megatheocorporatocratic machine. Everybody who loves the current world order loves the romantic myth that it is the result of the random interaction of mindless genes, or biological “design.” Sadly, the world order is actually the result of something way more sinister: the completely arbitrary social construct of the culture of domination and submission.

I should have stopped reading here, but I was impressed. I didn’t think someone could fit so many straw men and ad hominems in a single paragraph! But I know Jill thinks this is her “snarky” “style,” so I kept reading to see her views on the science.

Annie Murphy Paul uses revelations facilitated by evolutionary psychology to make the (tired old) case that women are pretty much prisoners of biology, or, more specifically, of the menstrual cycle. Her apparent thesis: ovulating women are constrained by biological impulse to go to bars, wear tight dresses, and emit musical, magical laughter, whereupon they become attracted to male lantern-jawed superheroes. Non-ovulating women, on the other hand, are practically a different species. They are drab and dull and fail to effervesce or mate, and prefer pansy-ass dudes.

As an evolutionary biologist, I’ve yet to hear an evolutionary biologist who claims people are prisoners of biology. We are, however, not immune to our biology. It’s not insane to suggest that some of our behavior is innate – humans just have the special ability to consciously choose to overcome some of it. That may be difficult for behaviors that are really ingrained in us for evolutionary reasons.

For example, we’ve evolved to crave sugary food because thousands of years ago, that craving would have kept us alive. It’s subconscious – we don’t think, “Gee, I really want that cookie because I may not be able to eat for another week.” It explains why people are inclined to eat too much sugary food now that it’s abundant, but it by no means says we are prisoners to that behavior and that we must eat sugary food until we’re diabetic.

Many feminists would have no problem with that example, but they still proceed to freak out when the same thought process is applied to behavior between the sexes. Even if we did find some difference between the sexes, that doesn’t mean there’s a value difference between those behaviors, nor does it mean we even have to do them.

But no. Jill and feminists like her are just content imagining a world where Big Bad Male Scientists are out to get them:

Paul cites research conducted, unfortunately, by psychologists and “dating advisers,” since who else would know from this shit? One researcher dude juxtaposed menstrual cycle data with the nightly revenues of (a whopping) 18 lap dancers. Awesome.

Research dude: Hmm. I wonder where we could conduct some research on ovulating women?

Grad student dude: How about a strip club? We can totally multitask by working and abusing the sex class at the same time.

Research dude: It’s pure genius! I’ll take full credit.

In this case research dude concluded that not only do strip club clientele discern whether lap dancers are ovulating, but that pervs lavish more cash on ovulating lap dancers than they do on dull old non-ovulating ones. Paul calls this “one of the most arresting studies of male responses to female fertility cues.”

She goes on to miss the point so badly that I’m inclined to believe she’s misrepresenting Geoffrey Miller’s study on purpose to fulfill her paranoid fantasies. As someone who’s actually read the paper in question, allow me to correct Jill (or you know, you could be a good scientist and go read it yourself.):

Female fertility cues! Apparently women who work in strip clubs are not, contrary to what spinster aunts have maintained through the ages, just trying to make the best of their fucked-up sex class status by working themselves through law school or a drug habit or a musician boyfriend. These hotsy-totsy babes are in fact sending their slavering clients “female fertility cues.”

Jill tries to spin it so it seems like the study is saying women become strippers just to send “female fertility clues.” The study says no such thing about the motivation for becoming a stripper: It looks at women who already are strippers, and sees if there’s any differences in the tips they get depending on where they are during their menstrual cycle. They found that men are more likely to tip when women are ovulating. They don’t have a mechanism for the interaction, but speculate on what sort of cues could clue men in. Do the women behave differently? Is there some sort of physical difference men subconsciously notice? Is is a pheromone or other sort of chemical signal? They don’t make any conclusions.

Furthermore, strippers who take birth control pills are “’shooting [themselves] in the foot,’ since [they’ll] miss out on the bountiful tips garnered by women in estrus.” That’s right. Sexploitation isn’t about male domination, it’s about human reproduction. Human reproduction is natural. Natural is good. Therefore sexploitation is good.

They are shooting themselves in the foot in terms of making tips. Since they don’t ovulate, they don’t receive the boost in tips. The researchers by no means imply that making tips is obviously the most important thing and birth control isn’t important. Seriously
, where the fuck does she ev
en get the rest of that paragraph other than from an overactive imagination?

She goes on and on about how women can’t possibly have any sort of innate behaviors, or as she calls it, a “primal urge to exude pornulated dudefantasy.” Really, and we’re supposed to take you seriously?

I about lost it when I hit the most glaring Biology Fail of the piece:

But isn’t this just a reiteration of the hysterical women stereotype? Not at all, says one of the kindly dude researchers.

“The traditional and rather patronizing male view was that women are fickle, that their preferences are random and arbitrary. Now it turns out that what looks like fickleness is actually deeply adaptive and is shared with the females of most animal species.”

OK, let’s get this out of the way first: does Dude even realize that ‘most animal species’ are either arthropods or nematodes, depending on which geek you’re talking to? Together they number in the millions. Here at Spinster HQ we were unable to locate any research on, for example, the fickleness of female flatworms. Maybe they like to sport around in spandex when it’s that time of the month, but published studies omit to mention it. So this guy, in his attempt to science-ize an enormously detrimental sexist stereotype, grossly mischaracterizes the scope of the planet’s animalian diversity to further his own anthrocentric worldview.

And also, do not speak to me, dude, of “the rather patronizing male view.” How fucking patronizing is it to argue that ‘fickleness’ is a fucking adaptation shared by all females everywhere? That women’s behavior is, in fact, irrational, only now this irrationality has scientifically proven reasons? This dude is killin’ me!

Spinster HQ didn’t look very hard, nor did they read very closely. The “fickleness” this “dude researcher” is talking isn’t about irrationality, it’s about is Bateman’s principle, which is “the theory that females almost always invest more energy into producing offspring than males invest, and therefore in most species females are a limiting resource over which the other sex will compete.” It’s called that because this “dude researcher” named Bateman first found this trend in fruit flies. You know, arthropods. It’s been found across a wide range of taxa.

Also note how it says “almost.” There are plenty of counter examples of males being the choosy sex. And while there’s evidence going both ways in humans, the point is it doesn’t matter. If science did prove, without a doubt, that female humans invested more energy into reproduction and that caused them to evolve with a specialized set of behaviors, it doesn’t mean we are slaves to that behavior or that it justifies our actions, or the actions of others around us.

The cherry on top of the post was Jill’s bullet point that claims evolutionary psychology cannot explain homosexuality. Even though there are multiple competing hypotheses about the persistence of homosexual behavior. Even if you’re not familiar with evolutionary psychology, that was the second Google result. Way to do your research.

The a priori assumption that evolutionary psychologists are all evil dudes with an agenda to instill 50s era gender roles is frankly paranoid. Ironically, Jill wrote a great post about how feminists need to trust science more. Too bad she’s a hypocrite – this isn’t the first time I’ve called her out on it. “Supporting science” is not the same as “Supporting science only when it doesn’t make you uncomfortable about your world views.”

And you know what? Feminists get the “man hater” stereotype exactly because of posts like that*. I’m a feminist because I’m pro social equality for both sexes. Dismissing researchers because they’re male isn’t equality.

*I should clarify because of a comment below. Feminists will carry that stereotype no matter how rational our arguments are or polite we act just because feminism pisses a lot of people off, and they react harshly out of privilege. But there are too many people who basically are feminists except they still believe that stereotype, because there’s one rotten apple that’s particularly stinky and ruins the label.


  1. says

    And it’s posts like Jill’s that make me refuse to identify myself as feminist, even though I fully believe and support in full equality. Women can be just as difficult or easy to work with as men. Heck, my immediate superior in one of my current roles at work is a great person to deal with. We get along great, we work together to get things done, she listens to me and my concerns and I do the same for her. I have no problem with a female boss. All I care about is that they’re competent and willing to listen.Is that so hard for both sides of the argument to understand? Shouldn’t the same thing apply to scientific research?Oy!

  2. U_ne_korn says

    Yeah, this sort of thing is why I don’t bring up my masters research much (graduation on Tuesday hell YEAH!). I’m a feminist chick scientist, and I did evo-psych and human female secondary sexual characteristics. But having seen the ABOMINABLE press my supervisors and labmates always get, I try very hard not to publicise a piece of work that I’m actually very proud of. Which kinda sucks. Ok, sure, my stats had issues – but stats always do. In the absence of access to a brain scanner, I used a Likert scale. Perfect? No. But neither was it inherently encouraging women to become baby-making machines under the control of the patricarchy.

  3. LS says

    I am not remotely involved in the discourse of science, let alone something so specific as evolutionary biology, so those arguments in terms of feminism tend to go over my head, or I end up not taking them too much to heart for fear of being bamboozled by mere misunderstanding. However, I will say I am not surprised that this happens–many women have been so effed by the patriarchy within Western culture, that I believe a lot of the armchair philosophizing, as well as the highly informed academic discourses of professional feminists (my term for professors of Women’s studies and others highly read in formal feminist theory) are steeped in paranoia. Of course men want to screw us over, because they do it all the time. How many of us feminists have been surprised by a good friend–romantic partner, even–who makes a declaration of how women or men are “supposed” to be? Sexism is so inherent in daily life, that I think it has created a kind of mania (or hysteria?) that I can’t say isn’t appropriate. I understand your frustration as a scientist. But, I understand how someone could just be pissed that there is yet another way that brainwashed men or women are proving that women are a certain way because of some unstoppable reason. Being a woman is difficult, and not all of us, Ms. McCreight, are as self-assured as you.

  4. says

    EDIT: This was supposed to be a reply to K W Ramsey but *shakes a fist at Disqus*You have no idea how many women I know who refuse to identify with or advocate feminism or gender equality because of the rancor of the paranoid man-hating sect. There’s merit to the idea of challenging assumptions vigorously, such as pointing out instances of sexism in premises rather than conclusions, but there’s a point where that just becomes white noise and counterproductive. That’s usually when you inadvertently cross into unintentional self-parody.

  5. sidfaiwu says

    Well Done!A few bad apples like Jill can’t ruin the ‘feminist’ label for the rest of us. I know far more reasonable feminists than unreasonable ones. Of course that could just be selection bias – people like Jill would find themselves on the outside of my social circle pretty quickly. :)

  6. Mox says

    I found this blog while visiting others related to atheism, but I appreciate the perspective on feminism once in a while (and the perils of being a grad student…I know this firsthand!!)There is clearly a reason why feminists can get a bad rep, and you have shown exactly what that reason is. Emotional,irrational tripe like this makes it very easy for people to dismiss the feminist movement as a bunch of wack-jobs. It seems that the word “feminist” and the movement behind it needs a clearer definition and more defined goals. Hopefully you can help with that.

  7. LS says

    i see a lot of women bashing here and very little women trying to work together for an understanding. oh well. nothing feminists aren’t used to.

  8. says

    Finger-pointing at the “bad” feminists and complaining that they’re the reason that people stereotype feminism as the domain of man-hating crazies is bullshit. Feminism gets a “bad rep” because feminism is threatening to the patriarchal status-quo. Feminist theory and action, no matter how reasonable and rational, is going to PISS PEOPLE OFF. If it’s not, we’re doing it fucking wrong, because we’re not pushing hard enough to move forward into an anti-sexist culture. As such, feminists are going to get stereotyped as man-hating, irrational crazies no matter how level-headed we are, and trying to point the finger at our fellow feminists is going to do us nothing but harm. Shit, the history of feminism is FULL of brilliant, clear thinkers, people who’ve spent their lives cutting through bullshit in the most clear-headed, rational manner you can think of and yet the irrational crazy stereotypes persist. That should be a clue. For shame, people.And yet, I agree with this take-down of Jill’s post. Anti-scientific thinking in feminism does bother me and it is an issue we need to deal with. Calling Jill out as a “bad apple” who is responsible for anti-feminist stereotypes, though, is bullshit. It’s possible to both thoughts in your head at the same time.EDIT: I’m mostly calling out the commenters here, but also that final paragraph in Jen’s post – specifically, the one saying that feminists get the man-hater stereotype because of posts like that. Just wanted to be clear on what I’m criticizing, here.

  9. says

    Even though you raised some good points, I felt like this comment was being entirely dismissive of the experiences of survivors of abuse and rape. If a woman was abused by a man, a distrust of men is entirely understandable, even if it’s not “rational.”

  10. Dasunt says

    The problem with evolutionary psychology is that many people confuse genetics with destiny. DNA provides an excuse, real or imagined.Where, in the real world, humanity has included a cultural layer on top of genetics. We encode a lot of behavior, a lot of knowledge, and a lot of control into our culture. Since culture can change faster than DNA, I suspect that we have encoded behavior to counteract genetic predispositions that are harmful in modern society.Researchers who try to tease apart evolutionary explanations for behavior aren’t (probably) trying to justify the end result. For example (to use an example from Jen’s blog), a craving for sugar doesn’t justify obesity, it just explains how DNA is against us in making wise decisions.I really hope that our society evolves to a point where we (1) understand that DNA isn’t destiny and (2) aren’t afraid if science gives us answers we don’t like.

  11. says

    Are you seriously trying to suggest that Jill isn’t an irrational man-hating crazy? Or are you going further and trying to deny that irrational man-hating crazies even exist?

  12. cat says

    Yes, I’ll second all of that. Also, I would like to point out that criticizing human bias and ignorant privilege going on within a science setting is not per se anti-science. There is a long and storied history of bad science being used to oppress and discriminate. Jill’s critique here may be a bad one (and I would say that it is), but pretending like any criticism or caution about a science done by the privileged which, surprise, comes out with the exact result with reinforces said privilege is ‘man-hating’ (or, what ‘able-hating’, ‘heter-hating’, ‘white-hating?) is bullshit. Good science should welcome and be able to withstand good criticism. Jill’s criticism does not fall under ‘good criticism’, but criticism by the oppressed group about science done by the privileged group should not automatically be considered bad criticism simply because it contains accusations of bias.

  13. says

    Good point. I hadn’t even considered that. It wasn’t meant to be dismissive of rape/assault victims at all. I can totally sympathize with that, even if I won’t be able to fully understand it.

  14. says

    I certainly agree with you – even if we’re all completely rational we’d still get the label. But Jill certainly isn’t helping. Types like her make people who basically *are* feminists except for using that word think feminists are man-haters, because there people like Jill that end up representing the movement. I have every right to point out that she’s an extremist, but an unfortunately loud one.

  15. cat says

    “Tone down the rhetoric, radical feminists” Since when were rad fems the majority of feminists or feminist commentors? What are you living in the 70s (and even then there was plenty of robust critique).”As if there are certain stereotypes that must be met to be considered a real feminist.” There is a difference between a criteria and a stereotype. Is it stereotyping to say that Ken Ham is no scientist? Is it stereotyping to say that Obama is not a Nazi? No, because the words ‘scientist’ and ‘nazi’ have specific meanings and are linked with specific ideas/behaviors.”Be rational – not hysterical.” Yes, because accusing your opponents of hysteria is a totally non-sexist, non-personal attack, rational critque. As to all all of number 3, the “demonization of men” you describe in your sole examples is the result of patriarchy, not of feminism. This notion that women should not do certain things an the policing of women’s access to public spaces by threatening rape is no feminist ideal. I have only ever seen the notion of ‘going out late will get you raped’ used to police the behavior of women, never men, and I have seen it used to blame the minority of rape victims who are raped by strangers. Equivocating certain behaviors with asking to be raped does not come from feminism. As to the pedophilia thing, again, it is only men who interact with children in other than traditionally male ways that are demonized. Male daycare workers, for example, are treated as suspect, but male teachers, fathers, uncles, priests, and other aquaintances who typically molest girls are not. You don’t get to blame feminism when patriarichal gender roles hurt men.

  16. LadyAtheist says

    “Feminist” morons ruined my field when I was working on my Ph.D. coursework and by the time I was teaching part time and had sailed through my comps (*patting myself on the back*) the idiots had bullied their way onto the editorial boards of the top peer-reviewed journals in my field. Between my specialty being rather special and these bullies insisting that everything is gendered, othered, or in some way Marxist, I saw the writing on the wall and went back to my former profession where actual reality is revered.I was in the humanities but I’m a fan of science. Even with my limited knowledge I knew that the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle doesn’t mean that nothing can be known… ever… and it doesn’t justify “relativism” where everyone’s opinion is equal because they’re equal and we’re all different but our opinions have the same weight.That was in the 1990s and sanity is coming back to my field but the baloney marches on and the feminitwits and “queers” are still running the top journals and getting anything they whip together published. You don’t have to call yourself a “postmodernist” anymore because labels are so passé… and post-postmodernist sounds retarded even to them….not that I’m bitter.Anywho, soldier on, for the rest of us are cheering from the sidelines, and “scholars” are too fickle to remember stupid tripe for more than 5-10 years anyway. The female ones will go into menopause, thus becoming irrelevant, and the male ones will be too busy proving their heterosexual prowess by boning “co-eds” or outing dead people in self-congratulatory queer studies orgies, I mean, conferences.

  17. says

    pretending like any criticism or caution about a science done by the privileged which, surprise, comes out with the exact result with reinforces said privilege is ‘man-hating’ (or, what ‘able-hating’, ‘heter-hating’, ‘white-hating?) is bullshit. And if someone had done that here you’d have a point, but no-one did, and you don’t. Did Jen say that people shouldn’t criticise bad science? I don’t think so. Did she say that people shouldn’t make up crap about perfectly reasonable, proper evidence based science because they don’t like something that their own paranoia makes them read into it? And that if they do, they just look silly? I think she might have done. And if you want to argue against that, good luck. Otherwise I hope you and your straw man will be very happy together. Unless he’s a part of the evil grass patriarchy, I suppose.

  18. says

    Oh boy.. I’m way over my head here. I guess I’m not a very good feminist supporter. But the pedophilia reference is entirely valid imo, and it doesn’t really have anything to do with feminism or patriarchy to my mind. You can’t hardly even glance a a child without being accused of being a pedophile. If there was a lost, crying child in the streets… most of me would want to help him/her. But there is a part of me that would say “careful… don’t wanna get labeled a pedo!” That’s really disappointing.Fine! I admit it… I never really looked at feminism or ‘patriarchal gender roles’… mostly because I thought they didn’t really apply anyway. Things mostly seemed equal, and I thought I was pretty good about not being a dickhead. Maybe this is typical of guys? I don’t know, clearly though I’ve failed pretty badly here. But hey, in my defense, I’m *trying*, even willing to learn.

  19. says

    On the ev-psych side of this post, your point about its still coming of age is good to keep in mind. My first reaction whenever I read anything about it is to deride and maybe foam a tiny bit at the mouth. But it is based on that simple scientific fact and deserves the most basic scrutiny. That such a good point has to share screen space with Jill’s bullplop is unfortunate. Keep up the good analysis of the follies and merits of ev-psych! And keep shredding paranoid and idiotic articles like a puppy with a new pair of slippers! And the Bateman thing, that’s in Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation, which anyone with the slightest interest in anything, let alone someone like Jill blogging about science and sex, should read.

  20. WingedBeast says

    This isn’t something unique to feminism. Every scientific study has moral values attached to something for which the only moral value is that it doesn’t look into the moral value of something. It doesn’t judge anything, it just explains it.It’s the same thing that leads other (most likely very unfeminist) people to say that evolution says that we shouldn’t act any better than animals.

  21. blather says

    I don’t understand why, upon reading Jill’s post, you became ashamed to call yourself a feminist instead of angry at the people that DO, DEMONSTRABLY take any possible scientific data on difference between the sexes and use it to suggest that there IS a value difference between the behaviours and we SHOULD all do them. Ever heard of the blogger Roissy in DC? Or what about the countless misreporting in the mainstream media about these studies (which could include Psychology Today) to make them sound as heteronormative as possible? How about sociologists with a conservative viewpoint who deliberately cherry-pick these findings for use in justifying some racist/sexist bullshit? We didn’t invent these people.Maybe condemning the entire field of ev-psych and the honest scientists working within is going too far. But is it really- at least when it comes to findings about beauty, sex, gender etc? The problem is I just don’t see the practical use behind most of these studies. Beyond dating guides for people that encourage each other to adopt certain behaviours in courting, which end up normalizing such behaviours. It strikes me, at best, as knowledge that will harm rather than edify.If you’re going to be angry at someone, it should be the people that inspired Jill’s ire, which make up the majority of the most enthusiastic ev-psych purporters purely because they like the idea that it confirms their views. The idea of dismissing science due to political views goes both ways, and these people only pay attention to the bits that they think justify conservatism.And I don’t think there is anything wrong with being inherently suspiscious of the content and motives of an issue for reasons related to sexism when the cover has a headless woman in her skivvies on it, and the article is accompanied by the ridiculous picture Jill mentioned.

  22. says

    At what point did I say that “crazies” did not exist? Every movement has its embarrassments.But I will go so far as to say that I don’t read I Blame The Patriarchy, I don’t know Jill and I’m not going to say, based on this one post, that she’s across the board irrational or crazy. I’m not familiar with her writing. I will also point out that some women have plenty of reasons to be pissed off and/or skeptical about such things, and that doesn’t necessarily make them irrational, even if they do overreact.But that’s beside the point I was actually making, which is that the negative stereotypes associated with feminism are not the fault of feminists, even the crazy ones, but of a culture that routinely marginalizes women and wants to hold on to that power.

  23. says

    Not helping? She can’t be doing much damage, either. What proportion of the women out there who are too nervous or otherwise reluctant to label themselves as feminist have ever read I Blame The Patriarchy, or ANY feminist blog or literature, for that matter? It goes way beyond that. That’s why I find that statement kind of over the top.And, yeah, you totally have the right to think that, and I’m not trying to shut you up or anything, I’m just saying that I disagree with it, that’s all.

  24. Lisa says

    What a fancy excuse to explain your bitterness at your failure to publish. I’m sure there couldn’t have actually been anything wrong with your scholarship. It’s all the feminists’ fault!

  25. says

    Demanding to know the “practical use” of each and every scientific study is treading on dangerous ground. First, because that’s the kind of thinking used by know-nothings to try and kill funding for undeniably useful scientific studies. Second, because it’s impossible to know for certain which basic research is going to pan out into practical applications. That goes both ways; think of all the funding and effort that has gone into stem cell research, yet there aren’t any therapies that have really emerged from that as yet. Does that mean that we shouldn’t have tried, and shouldn’t continue to try? Third, possibly most importantly, the position that every single piece of research have some immediately obvious practical benefit is essentially an anti-intellectual one. You might as well simply say “I don’t think that knowledge has value.” And if that’s not actually how you feel, I would reconsider before making that argument.More knowledge can only be a good thing. And good science (and I hope ev-psych continues to improve, not least of which in evolutionary psychologists actually learning something about evolution) has great potential to help in the work to eliminate sexism. Ignorance does us no favors in that regard.

  26. Craig says

    Great post. I consider myself a “male feminist” in the sense that feminism is defined as the radical notion that women are people and equal to men. I do not, however, believe that equal means identical in every way. Different doesn’t mean better, smarter, more rational, or any other value-based judgment. I won’t claim to understand the ways that males and females differ as a result of our evolution, but I will say that whatever those differences are, they imply nothing of either sex being better, more valuable, or anything else compared to the other.

  27. says

    Well, I think what needs to be discussed here is the meaning of the word “equality.” It seems to me that it means different things to different people. What does gender equality” mean?On a less related note, I followed the link to read the research paper on ovulatory cycle and human behavior. I was astonished by how much more a normal cycle stripper in a fertile phase makes than a pill using stripper in a fertile phase. It’s $150 per shift! Wow. Imagine what if there is a pill that can give a stripper appear and behave like she is in a fertile phase. How much more money will she earn compared to other strippers?

  28. U_ne_korn says

    I haven’t published yet, but my thesis is online :D If you’d like a squiz, I’ll email the link to you.

  29. says

    You don’t have to go back very far to find posts where I criticize the media for misrepresenting science. I agree, it’s definitely a major issue. If Jill was talking about that instead of demonizing all of evolutionary psychology, then I would agree with her. But yeah, she wasn’t.As for science needing a practical use…see the other reply.

  30. says

    I think that “feminist” blog posts in which this type of comment can be posted and then liked by three people probably sets the movement back much more than a radical feminist’s essay on problematic features of evolutionary psychology. Just saying. If you want to bitch about how other people do their feminism, you might want to tell dudes who think they’re being clever in your comments to stfu.

  31. says

    “it doesn’t mean we are slaves to that behavior or that it justifies our actions, or the actions of others around us.”I don’t have a problem with that, per se, because I recognize that. HOWEVER… if I had a dime for every time someone took something like that and tried to straightjacket me into the supposed “innate feminine behavior”, I’d own the fucking world. It’s a huge problem, how these sorts of studies play out in the public narrative. That’s not to say the studies shouldn’t be done, or that they are wrong, but managing the public perception of the results needs way more work.And to some extent, it would not at all surprise me to find individual instances of such assumptions in choosing what to study, how to study it and then how to interpret it. Some branches of behavioral sciences have been especially prone to that and so the suspicion that evolutionary based explanations of certain behaviors is going to have similar issues isn’t an unreasonable one.

  32. says

    Hear hear. That, to me, is precisely what feminism is. And frankly, I think most young people these days are feminists – most of us desire equality for all people regardless of sex, gender, race, or orientation. Jill’s essay is not feminism; it’s paranoid sexism. Besides, though I think it’s difficult to rationally deny that biological differences between the sexes have influenced prominent sociocultural norms, I always figured the whole point of feminism was saying, “You be whomever you choose to be, and we’ll love and respect you just the same.”

  33. says

    I apologize for impeding the feminist movement with my satire, but I just couldn’t take Jill seriously after that line about the “megatheocorporatocratic machine.”Now if you’ll excuse me, this porn ain’t gonna watch itself! p.s. – While Jill is busy complaining about liberals, scientists and straight people, women elsewhere in the world are forced to keep their heads covered, have their genitals mutilated, and live in servitude. Maybe instead of trying to label and marginalize one another, we ought to focus on our shared values.

  34. Travis says

    I’m one of those who tends to be pissed off my feminists. As a lower-middle-class white male, I get all the social stigma of racism and sexism heaped on me without reaping any of the alleged benefits. And my father even make a significant amount less than his female counterparts. He’s been passed over for raises because the average male salary in his department was too high. So the top level is mostly male, so the average is skewed, and people like me get fucked for it. And applying for scholarships was infuriating. “Women in tech”. “Minorities in journalism”. Us white guys have a much smaller piece of the pie to split when to comes to college funding. Cause no scholarship will exclude someone because they’re white, or male. That would be discrimination.This post was absolutely perfect. I can’t restate it better. This is exactly what frustrates me about so much of the debate about ‘sexism’.Another example is the tech industry. A lot of feminists cry foul because there are so few female tech CEOs, owners and entrepreneurs. But the dirty secret that angel investors will admit only off-the-record is that they’re actually more likely to give money to a female than a male. And conferences struggle to find female speakers because the few that are out there get books for so many speaking engagements. Every event wants them. The perception of sexism is actually creating an unbalanced playing field in favor of women. But for some reason, women don’t gravitate towards that area.You can debate why that is – societal pressures, education, adversity to risk – but it’s not the industry itself. Yet some guy with a great idea might get (or already got) passed over in favor of a women just because it’s a women. That’s a problem too.So I think a lot of feminists are just looking for problem, not solutions. And they tend to view ‘level’ as ‘biased towards women to make up for how bad the past has been’. And they also never bother to stop and take a look at the experience for the average american. Most of us have to bust our asses and earn our cut same as everyone.You said it perfectly. Feminism should be (and used to be) about equality.

  35. quantheory says

    I actually saw a few implications in Jill’s article that seemed to be substantially counter to the message that she probably wanted to send.One was the implication that male scientists who wanted to study strippers must be potential clients who want an excuse to hang around strip clubs. Strippers, being normal human beings, associate with other people outside of work, and talk about work with them. I actually had several strippers and “exotic dancers” in my social circle during college (including one roommate), and I actually never had an inclination to go see them work because of the awkwardness that would entail. But it could easily have given me the same idea as in the aforementioned study, if I’d been looking to study human sexual attraction. To say that the only way men and strippers can interact is if the men are clients is heteronormative (Who says only straight men can do studies involving female sexuality?) and plays into the stereotype of stripper-as-socially-outcast-victim (of course, some strippers do fit that stereotype, but even those who do surely have qualities other than simply not fitting into a patriarchal society). Second is this sort of moralistic fallacy, where one is compelled to try to refute any conclusion of any research that seems to support an unfortunate or bigoted conclusion. This is somewhat of a pomo thing where, if you believe that enough things are socially constructed, you can blame pretty much anything on society (or *ahem* the patriarchy). There’s two ways this can backfire. One is that, lacking any heuristic to distinguish between different possible explanations of something, there’s no way to distinguish between the substantial number of problems that really are a result of objectionable patriarchal practices, and problems that are caused by non-cultural events (nature, chance, whatever) or unexpected cultural influences. That which explains everything explains nothing, and so “blaming the patriarchy” gradually turns from a powerful and important tool to one which cannot say anything meaningful about reality. The other problem is that it sends the message “believing certain things about science goes hand and hand with equality”. Which, by implication, means “If science discovers certain things about sex, you might as well give up on this whole feminism thing.” Which is absolutely terrible; feminism shouldn’t be held hostage to any study that comes along that says “men and women have biologically based differences in personality”. That’s ludicrous.It’s legit to debunk such research when it’s clearly bad, but it’s not legit to say “That can’t be true because it would contradict the basis of my moral/political values, therefore I must assume from the start that you made a mistake.” It’s never legit to think like that. So you have to prepare to deal with it ahead of time. I don’t think sexual orientation can be changed, but if out of the blue someone figures out how to do it reliably next year, I already know what my position is going to be (Hint: it’s not “Oh good, everyone gets to be straight now!”). Similarly if someone finds that poor people are poor because they are just hereditarily dumber, or that women really do just not do as well with math as men. I don’t think either of those things now, and I’ll (very very) readily argue with someone who tries to assert them without very good evidence, but it’s not going to cripple my sense of social justice if some horribly biased idea turns out to be closer to reality than I thought.And of course there’s the bigger problem with the IBtP blog, which is that it dismisses the whole field evolutionary psychology out of hand because of some (both legit and ludicrous) objections to the implications for gender politics, apparently not aware that there’s a whole lot to it that isn’t even about sex.This is part of why I tend to be more fond of skeptical feminists (or, frankly, any social/political voice that’s also skeptical, in the actual rational sense rather than just the Bill Maher contrarian sense). Even in the most awesome or necessary movements you have people saying, doing, and believing counterproductive things, because the movement is such an important part of their identity that their cognitive biases are working in overdrive to promote it, not just to the moral high ground, but to dizzying moral heights. One very positive thing about skepticism is that it is directly opposed to being run away with in that fashion.There was one positive thing I got out of all this, however, which was the picture of the woman with the person in a fursuit. Due to a pre-existing inside joke (I have a good friend who is a fursuiter) I got quite a good laugh out of that image, unrelated to the context entirely.

  36. pode says

    Oh the poor persecuted white male majority. How do they cope in a world which is so stacked against them? If only you’d been born a female, or person of colour, imagine the privileges and benefits you could accrue? But the white mens, they has to go it alone, unprivileged and unsupported by society.Truly your plight is terrible. We should have a telethon or something.Or, more seriously, perhaps you could could get some damn perspective and stop being a asshat?

  37. quantheory says

    My mother, who started a job in Dallas a few years ago (health care, administration), was for the first year expected by her coworkers to be constantly checking in with her husband, and after that she was told by her boss that she needed to wear more makeup if she wanted to be taken seriously by the other higher-ups. Her career also got started rather late in the first place, partly because her parents told her that women shouldn’t go to college and that she needed to attract a well-paid man to support her (she ended up going anyway, but family pressured her to make some poor decisions that interfered with her finishing her first time through).Maybe there are some particularly bad policies that attempt to favor women, but you’re giving me no reason to believe that you actually know what kinds of problems women face when trying to climb from the position you’re in (problems that differ vastly by situation anyway). That they are in demand once they’ve already made it is not a very persuasive counterargument.

  38. Watchout5 says

    “I’m a feminist because I’m pro social equality for both sexes. “I will never understand what this feminism thing is. If that’s the definition, I’ve been a feminist all my life, but I’m really doubting that to be the truth. Why does it sound like it’s only a feminist thing to demand equality? Why can’t you just be, human, and demand equality? Help me understand what the difference is, and why feminism is different from being a better human being. You may not like it, but her view of, “oh my gawd I can’t believe male scientists still do work and expect me to accept it”, isn’t just a random one, and there’s more people out there like her who consider themselves feminists because of those thoughts.It doesn’t make it right, but maybe I can put it into an analogy that makes sense to me, and will probably be offensive to you. I get the impression that being a feminist is like what being a “tea party” member is, not in that there’s anything that directly links the 2 groups, but in that the movements are whatever you make it. Is that wrong? I’m not aware of any kind of feminist leadership structure, and it seems like each individual has their own interpretation of what the movement means to them, and like the tea party, within your ranks are a whole bunch of people who seriously don’t get it. I really must add that feminists have been around longer, and done more to advance their causes, and have been far more civil than any tea party, but if all someone has to do is say, “I’m a feminist” and then they’re automatically a feminist, it feels more like someone’s state of mind, rather than a movement based on equality. This kind of behavior should be expected if you let everyone loose to do their own thing. She doesn’t know any better, she’s flying solo and this should be seen as a cry for help, rather than an effort of feminists to change what the movement really is, whatever that is.

  39. quantheory says

    There have been many feminist movements (probably dozens at least), but your generic “feminism” label just refers to anyone who supports equal rights for women. You may very well have been one your whole life by the most generic definition; that’s not too exceptional. That label works the same way as with people calling themselves skeptics, or conservatives or progressives or Christians or atheists or any other self-label for which there’s no one central leadership. With such a group, you can’t exactly set strict membership requirements or make foolproof generalizations about everyone in it. But you can look at the associated movements, the average person willing to call themselves by that label, and the major voices, and still get a handle on things.To put it differently, being a feminist is both a state of mind and a movement (actually a set of movements), just as being a skeptic is a state of mind but also associated with skeptical movements and organizations.

  40. says

    Before I say anything else, I must say that I generally agree with your point. However…Your argument basically seems to lead to “it’s wrong [as in fallacious or misleading, not immoral] but it’s understandable”. This same argument can be applied to anyone, privileged class member or not, who behaves in a socially “normal” way and sees nothing wrong with it – they’ve been socialised into it. Now, do we leave these people to carry on in ignorance? Okay, by and large “yes”, because there’s no practical way to address it every time it comes up. However, we do seek to promote, overall, a better understanding of gender relations (or whatever privilege issue you care to focus on). Thus, by the same token, it’s appropriate to promote the same understanding of science. Similarly, where we are frustrated by misrepresentation of privilege issues (even if a misunderstanding is “understandable”), it’s reasonable to be frustrated by misrepresentation of science.Bottom line: understand, yes; ignore or tolerate, not necessarily – in all the cases above.

  41. says

    Feminism gets a bad rep with the people who agree with the essential points because of the ‘crazies’; it gets a bad rep with broader society because of its attempts to overturn a lot of society’s assumptions. As more and more people agree with the essential points, the first factor becomes more significant and the second less so. That doesn’t stop them both being true.The big difference between the two is that the first one is avoidable while still seeking a better (more equal, whatever) society. The second isn’t.

  42. says

    Doesn’t even have to be trolling – struck me as satire, which is what the author claims, apparently. One of the problems of textual media, especially isolated short comments, is that it’s hard to impart or detect a satirical tone. On radio or TV, it would be made obvious my an over-the-top deadpan or something, I imagine.Always assuming the author wasn’t being a dick and then trying to justify it, but I prefer to assume good faith without real evidence of the contrary.

  43. says

    You think it’s impossible that trends in a field, even political ones, can change the landscape and change the effective requirements to publish? You think it’s impossible that capable people choose to head in another direction for that reason? Or do you just think sour grapes are more likely and felt the need to attack people on those grounds?

  44. says

    Taking the more relevant and less painful-to-work-out-potential-consequences-of first point…When people try to take equal to mean “utterly equivalent and interchangeable”, much like mathematical identity (the ≡ relationship); I see it more as the = relationship, which can be made clear as “of equal value to”, however one might be defining value. Everyone is different, and taking the binary view of sex arguendo there are obvious differences, and subtle ones, between men and women. Some of them are pretty definitively not socialised, too, although most can be argued to be such (and I, personally, expect many of them are). Thus, claiming that an arbitrary man and an arbitrary woman are identical is insane. However, feminism is then taking a view that, except when dealing with obvious biological invariants (so long as they remain invariant), no particular social circumstance, behaviour, or activity should lead to a presumption of the gender of an individual – and of course vice-versa. Knowing someone is female (or male) should not lead to any presumption of behaviours, and knowing you need to hire for a particular trade or profession should not lead to any presumption of the gender of the person you will hire.That’s how I see it, anyway. Of course, that’s only the fundamentals, and a variety of flavours of feminist theory can be derived from such a basis, including the much-mentioned concept of the patriarchy. It’s “feminism” because, although both men and women are pre-judged, the prejudice generally awards far greater privilege to men. Yeah, an equal society will lead to gender-related improvements for men as well, but more increase in social status and freedom (particularly self-determination) for women.

  45. says

    So real supporters of feminism, or any equality, or any sane use of science, should be calling out the problems in the public narrative. Calling out spurious problems with the science doesn’t help, at least not as much as addressing the real problem would. All in my opinion, of course.

  46. sna says

    I realize this has little to do with your overall point (which is excellent), however I’m still going to point out that eating too much sugar does not cause diabetes. In particular, diet and sugar consumption are not related to a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune disease.

  47. Charon says

    “Sometimes I hate calling myself a feminist because of who it associates me with.”I certainly understand, and have known several women who wouldn’t call themselves feminists for exactly this reason. But this is why we need people like you to call themselves feminists. Sure, there are some people who will call all feminists “hysterical” or “bitches” no matter what, and sadly people will tend to pay more attention to crazy rants, but with examples of sensible, rational feminists to point to, we’re doing a lot better.

  48. Charon says

    I quibble with you arithmetic. At $0.10/attempted straightjacketing, and generously saying $1 trillion would let you own the world, you would require 500-1500 attempted straightjacketings every second. Oh, or this is hyperbole? ;)But seriously, managing public perception is almost entirely outside the control of the scientists. They do have some control, and yes, they should use it, but most public perception about science has just about nothing to do with what scientists want the public to think. This frustrates us scientists beyond belief.

  49. Gus Snarp says

    What the hell’s wrong with liberal men? I have to be an anarcho-syndicalist or I’m just a “cog in the megatheocorporatocratic machine”? Or am I automatically a cog just by being a straight male, even if I’m an anarcho-syndicalist?

  50. Gus Snarp says

    A fellow grad student in my department once told me she hated feminists. I was dumbfounded. “How can you hate feminists?” I asked her. “You are one.” “No I’m not.” she replied.

    Oh, but you are. You are in college getting a PhD in a male dominated field. You are focusing on statistical approaches and computer modeling, you use the hardest of science to demolish hypotheses once accepted as the status quo that were simply the grand theorizing of old male researchers used to having their ideas left unquestioned, the very fact that you do this without thinking twice about whether you, a woman, ought to be doing it makes you a feminist. And even if you don’t like the word and don’t want to apply it to yourself, the fact is that without feminists you wouldn’t even be here. You’d be at home cooking and cleaning and raising babies for the man you found to marry in undergrad. You should be thanking your lucky stars for feminists.

    She didn’t have much of an answer for that. I wondered later if she really meant feminists in a more scholarly way, a feminist epistemology that rejects “male” science in favor of, well the kind of stuff Jill writes about “megatheocorporatocratic machines”. But she didn’t argue with me that she wasn’t talking about general feminism and not a specific scholarly feminist epistemology, so I think I was on the money. I still don’t understand how, no matter what some feminists may say or do, women can fail to understand that their ability to choose their own future, free form judgment, persecution, or unequal treatment, is the very heart of feminism.

  51. LadyAtheist says

    They basically took over my field. My tiny niche still has some “positivist” holdouts and I could publish in a couple of specialty journals, but the people who would be deciding on tenure wouldn’t be impressed. You have to toe the line to get published, sadly. I just couldn’t stomach it. I’m much happier where I am. (and I did publish some stuff, btw)

  52. Gus Snarp says

    free from judgment, not form judgment. Damn it. Why can’t spell check figure out what I mean to say? Form is not a preposition. This algorithm can’t be that hard.

  53. LadyAtheist says

    “Women’s Studies” departments are echo chambers. They ramp up the hyperbole and cheer each other on until nobody else can stand them, in the rare cases where they’re intelligible. Then they congratulate themselves for being polemical, tell each other what victims they are, and demonize the “other” in the next round of “discourse.” They make it impossible for the rest of us to do sound research and publish valid if unpopular results. The feminist “extremists” are no different from fundamentalist Christians in many ways of thinking. It’s a pity.

  54. guest says

    Yeah, it’s totally the fault of marginal feminists like Jill that feminists “get a bad rep,” not because we live in a misogynist society.

  55. guest says

    In other words, you’re a privileged d00d who wants cookies you haven’t earned. Whine a little harder.

  56. guest says

    Actual satire undermines the status quo, rather than reinforces it. Dudebro and hipster “satire,” OTOH, parrots bigoted sentiments and pretends to be parodying them rather than reinforcing them.

  57. guest says

    “Why are you focusing on X when Y is so much more important?” is a very common tactic used by antifeminists to derail feminist discussions. Google on “Derailing for Dummies” or “Antifeminist Bingo” for more.The kinds of “real” oppression you describe go on all over the world, including in the U.S., and are connected to that perpetuated by “liberals, scientists and straight people.”Finally, I don’t share any “values” with dudes who think that “make me a pie” jokes are the height of wit. Thanks for the mansplaining about how to “do” feminism correctly, anyway.

  58. guest says

    “Equal means identical in every way” is a strawfeminist. Feminists very seldom believe that. We do believe, however, that the differences between men and women are greatly overstated, and many studies back this up. They don’t get as much press time as the studies that validate people’s prejudices, however.

  59. guest says

    “Why does it sound like it’s only a feminist thing to demand equality? Why can’t you just be, human, and demand equality?”Because any focus on “human rights” always, always, ALWAYS ends up focusing primarily on teh menz, and women’s rights get ignored or even derided.Same reason so many trolls come into feminist spaces to whine, “What about teh menz????” It’s anathema to them to focus at all on women’s issues, even in a small corner of the internet, because they’re used to being the focus of society.

  60. Joseph Caine says

    What’s extremely frustrating is looking at the comments and contrasting them with the guidelines for commenting on IBtP. It’s ok to snark and make ad hominem as long as you’re agreeing, and it’s ok to tear down other women with personal attacks on their writing styles and call them a “collaborator” as long as they don’t support your ideological disagreement with a scientific paper.I hate how some comment sections on radical feminist sites start to resemble comment sections on AoA and HuffPo.

  61. says

    I think Mike D’s comment was so blatantly and unarguably silly (baking a pie being in no way directly related to the topic) that it undermined it, by illustrating how silly such an attitude is in contexts where it might seem relevant.PS (1 hour later): I realise that the whole pie-making thing is a bit of a trope of a certain flavour of anti-feminism. I just feel that the context and manner of delivery did not indicate sincerity, nor sympathy with such.

  62. says

    I don’t see it as a redirection… it was, to me, an illustration of the straw-man-ish-ness of complaining about “liberal males” and “straight people”.If it was meant to derail, then it wasn’t that good, but he should be ashamed of himself. Oh, and making a joke doesn’t imply that it’s the height of wit. Also, are you sure you want to claim that you share no values with such people? I’m betting that you’d probably agree that theft, murder, and so on are morally wrong, for instance. You’d probably also agree that women shouldn’t be expected to “make [men] a pie”.

  63. says

    Hang on, I just realised how really cracked your complaint here is… it’s not in the objection to Mike D’s comment, it’s not in any particular attitude to feminism… it’s in saying that the blog post to which the comment is made is a problem that sets back the movement. Because of Mike D’s comment, Jen’s original post becomes something that “probably sets the movement back”. Guilt by association, now? Jen should moderate out all comments that might be vaguely objectionable?If you really meant that the comment was the problem, then I can respect that view even where I disagree with it. Claiming it make Jen’s blog (or even just the post) a problem is… whoa.

  64. says

    The problem you describe is real, and I’ve even contributed to it before. However, deriding that attitude by implying that everyone with it speaks (or rather types) in a particular (moronic-seeming) way is unfair. It’s usually a lack of understanding, but that doesn’t make the people either stupid or malicious.Furthermore, I find it insulting to the people I know who work in the general field of human rights to suggest that it all focusses on things that affect men.

  65. LadyAtheist says

    I consider myself a feminist in the way you describe, plus I made a point in my scholarship of looking at works by and about women that had been dismissed by male scholars. Yet…. I wasn’t feminist *enough.* To be a true feminist I had to adopt the post-modernist lingo, Marxist ideology, and quote the *real* feminists in my field whenever possible. The old-fashioned spadework of researching women and actually being the kind of woman we strove to be in the 1970s just didn’t cut it.Calling oneself a “feminist” when you’re not an extremist is like self-identifying as a “Christian” when you’re not born-again.

  66. LadyAtheist says

    Nope, only in that they cause you to gain weight, and the weight creates insulin-resistance. Eating sugar per se does not cause diabetes. (Eggs don’t cause high cholesterol either, FWIW)

  67. says

    Regarding your last paragraph…I would phrase it more that “the negative stereotypes associated with feminism are MOSTLY not the fault of feminists..”It is true that there is a built in asymmetry/bias that works against feminism/equality for women in human society–a fact that is pretty apparent by the fact that we don’t seriously seen any “masculinism” movements arguing for men’s equality in this matriarchal society..etc etc.. Obviously–the stereotypes existed prior to the appearance of open feminism in our society and patriarchal attitudes are too fucking common… …but.. that does not mean that incidents like this totally obviate any blame for people making dumb, refutable statements. From Jen’s portrayal of these comments, it does appear that this “Jill” has said some ignorant and fallacious things–for which–if we are all about treating people equally–we should feel free to criticize her on…

  68. says

    But ‘form’ can be an adjective, though it admittedly would have to be hyphenated as in ‘free-form’. So, “(adjective)-form judgment could certainly be a valid construction. It might be non-sense, but a program to deterministically suggest or correct non-sense in addition to grammar and spelling would be cumbersome to say the least, especially in the context of a web browser plug-in module. For example, “I smelled a loud brick running across the lake” is grammatically correct, but complete non-sense. (except during that ‘shroom trip in ’83, when I still swear I smelled a loud brick running across the lake)

  69. says

    Jen,Nice blog post. The only point I would mention is that your statement of:”Sometimes I hate calling myself a feminist because of who it associates me with”–while an understandable feeling–really should be turned on its head.. Yes, it can be irritating to come across this, but I wonder whether you also have ever said”Sometimes I hate calling myself a scientist because of who it associates me with”when some scientist has made some stupid claim about a subject/field that they were not really an expert in.. Just because someone who calls them a feminist says something wrong doesn’t mean that feminism is wrong–any more than someone who called themselves a scientist and said something wrong makes all science wrong.. Own the name of “feminist” and own it proudly and fight to determine its meaning vs. people like Jill… because labels/names/categories have fluid meanings and disassociating yourself from a label because someone else is trying to determine its meaning usually means that you are giving up your power to help structure the discourse and the culture that pays attention to it.. Anyway.. happy end of semester work!

  70. Skeptifem says

    “No, it rests on the very strong hypothesis that the brain evolves like any other organ.”And that despite not having figured out the mechanism of behaviors and how they relate to the brain, its totally kosher to make conclusions based on the evidence of behavior studies that cannot control for cultural programming at all. Yeah, thats really fucking scientific. Forgive me for my skepticism. Forgive scientific american too, since they published scathing criticism of the field. You act like feminists should just shut up whenever someone calls something “science”, instead of fighting against being oppressed. Are you that ignorant of history? Do you know the origin of the word “hysteria”? Do you remember “functional psychology” classes? How about classes in eugenics? This kind of shit oppresses women. Ask female engineering students who have men explain to them why evolution makes their brains unable to do math- it causes things like stereotype threat. I have had this “you are a lady and incompetent because of science” thing at work before too, its a tool for secular dude bros to tell women they are stupid and incompetent. Oh yeah, and that they cannot help but rape us, don’t forget that whole issue. As for being too selective based on a philosophy- this is bullshit, too. Its like you are saying that the content of what is deemed science is less important than the name. Guess what? Creationists do “science” too! I suppose that we should all just be nice about it because we all don’t want to seem too selective based on the philosophy that the content is LAUGHABLE, right? What a joke this post is. I was a science fan long before I was a feminist, and the concrete logical problems with trying to study the evolution of the brain are very real concerns. The fact that such a craptastic field just happens to stay afloat via supporting sexism and racism is predictable enough. I am so sick of hearing that I just haven’t read the REAL evolutionary psychology- yeah, I have. I have hung out on the blogs of actual evolutionary psychologists from universities, and read their research blogging, and was seriously unimpressed. None of it was the racist sexist nonsense that feminist rail against, but it was equally as silly and didn’t really prove much of anything. Anyone with basic biology training should be shocked that this field exists at all, considering. How can anyone seriously say that they can prove the evolution of something that they don’t understand the mechanism of (and aren’t even CLOSE to being able to)???? Why should I not be angry that it oppresses women in addition to being ridiculous?

  71. says

    “I don’t share any “values” with dudes who think that “make me a pie” jokes are the height of wit.”Not even that genital mutilation, oppression of muslim women, and sexual slavery are bad things? Some fucking feminist you turned out to be. It was a joke, dumbass, get over it.

  72. jose says

    Did the lap dancers know they were part of a study? Did they know the researchers were looking for a difference in tips depending on ovulatory cycles? In that case, could the fact that they knew when they were supposed to receive more tips influence the outcome?

  73. Mmb2ba says

    I dont’ know much about evo psych, but I’m a biologist, and I’m not ashamed of it because it isn’t as “good” as other sciences. And it certainly has problems. From what I’ve read it seems to be a lot of hand-waving and “just so” stories, but I’m not sure it’s time to set the whole thing aside quite yet.It’s a young field. Do you think van Leewenhoek got everything right when he invented microbiology? Medicine was little more than alchemy until the end of the 19th century–until Lister, Koch, Pastuer, et al. Even Darwin missed some things in his views on theory. If the science is as bad as you claim it is, evo-psych will be as forgotten and ridiculed as homoeopathy or the so called “christian science” you reference.

  74. Mmb2ba says

    Probably. They had to willingly tell the researchers what their tips were, and where they were in their menstrual cycles. I don’t know if they KNEW when they were supposed to recieve more tips. It’s not like this was an double-blinded placebo controlled study–it’s just an observation. Plus, I’d be amazed if the researchers were dumb enough to actually TELL the women what the hypothesis was. That’s breaking the First Rule of Blinding. It’s possible, I suppose, that the women thought “I should get more tips today, because I’m at stage X of my cycle–I’ll dance extra well today!” But I like to think the researchers were able to control for that. I’ll have to read the paper first.

  75. says

    Oh right, the old “but lawl, it’s trolling” defense. Sorry, but “it’s trolling” isn’t an excuse to let it go down on your blog. It is *your* blog, no? You do have some semblance of control over what goes down on it’s comments section, yes? If it’s just trolling, why does it need to be here? If you’re trying to have a serious business discussion about who’s fucking up feminism, why is a troll’s comment necessary? Does it add to the conversation? Yes, I realize that many people keep comments even if they don’t agree with them because of the whole freedom of speech fair and balanced deal, but if it’s just trolling, there’s really no need to keep it around unless you actually think it’s funny or adds something to the conversation.You see the thing is, I didn’t actually reply to the troll. I replied to YOU. Now, unless you want to tell me that your whole post was just trollin’, well, you might want to come up with a legitimate justification for why you can’t manage your comments section in a manner that exhibits legitimate feminist principles rather than sheltering unfunny failtrolling while lambasting another woman who had the audacity to dislike and write a serious article about evo psych.

  76. says

    I think that what a person tolerates can be indicative of their attitude. The comment was problematic as was the toleration (and approval!) it received. I think that when someone is trying to make the argument that somebody else sucks at feminism, they might want to keep a look out for dudes who think they’re funny by making “ironic” sexist comments or who think they’re being edgy by “trolling” what should be a pretty serious conversation. As I’ve said before, if it’s just trolling, what place does it really have here?

  77. Mmb2ba says

    Furthermore: that a science is used to justify abhorrent behavior does not make the science wrong. A great example of this is evolution. Darwin posited that species change over time. Then Herbert Spencer heard about it and mutated it into “species always IMPROVE over time–whatever “improve” means–and whoever has power must, therefore, be the pinnacle of evolution.” That rhetoric was then used as support for any number of eugenics programs in the early 20th century. That doesn’t make the theory of evolution wrong, it means that it has been abused. I guess the take home is that science is amoral. The same discoveries or theories can be used to build bombs, or to build power plants. Antibiotics or biological weapons. Could evo-psych, if it does bear out, be used to justify sexism, racism, homophobia, ect? Of course it could! But the Oppressor is society, not Science (in the abstract. individual scientists certainly are not above prejudice or bias). Like I said, I’m not all that impressed with the evo-psych from what little I’ve seen of it. I agree that there are a lot of problems with trying to do experiments in human behavior–especially isolating innate behaviors from acquired behaviors. But I think it will improve over time.

  78. says

    Leaving aside the whole politics and ethics of comment moderation (too much opinion to muddy waters with here)…We might reasonably have assumed that your comment was in reply to the alleged troll (the border between satire and troll can be fuzzy), due to the “in reply to” that appeared above it. If your comment was intended to be read as a response to Jen in the context of that comment, then confusion might have been saved by putting a “Jen:” at the top or something to clarify the situation. You may not have realised how it appeared, of course, in which case consider this friendly advice.Moving on from that, I do think that exaggerating the tropes of idiots (pie-making statements, for example) to be ridiculous in context is a valid satire of such. The only way to make such an intention obvious would be to label it in advance as satire, which removes the satirical value. I simply prefer to presume good will in the absence of evidence to the contrary; the comment is only evidence to the contrary if you are already presuming ill will.

  79. says

    Jill, your bias and sexism is far more damaging than anything I’ve read on evolutionary psychology since it first interested me in the 90’s. What’s laughable is your attempt to conflate dis-proven stereo types (chicks can’t do math) with scientific fields of research meant to investigate such stereotypes and either thoroughly debunk them (as in the case of math) or offer biological explanations for their occurrence (like hormonal changes during estrus affecting behaviour).I’ll tell you what, it’s going to take more than a sexist ignorant misanthrope ranting on a blog with little more than a shitty attitude as her ‘evidence’ to convince me that a viable and interesting field of study is invalid becasue of her misguided perceptions. You hold little more credibility than a teabagger chanting ‘junk science’ over anthropogenic global warming because they had a couple days below freezing in florida.It’s a good thing people like you are restricted to the blogosphere rather than legitimate research institutions, otherwise we’d all be taught that noah used to saddle up a brontosaurus.

  80. says

    “Sorry, but “it’s trolling” isn’t an excuse to let it go down on your blog. It is *your* blog, no? You do have some semblance of control over what goes down on it’s comments section, yes?”Yeah, it’s her blog, not yours. If you don’t like it you don’t have to read it.

  81. says

    “Just saying. If you want to bitch about how other people do their feminism, you might want to tell dudes who think they’re being clever in your comments to stfu”What part of that sounded like I was actually speaking to the supposed troll?In any case, when you’re a dude who by virtue of dudeliness is already in a privileged societal position, your “satire” just comes off as being a manifestation of that privilege, not an undermining of it. I think that goes double on a feminist blog. I’m glad you think your preferences for presuming good will are better than the presumptions of ill will that you think I have and all, but I’m going to go ahead and not care. Then I’m going to continue to think that a dude whose entire contribution to the discussion has so far consisted of a comment about pie-baking and then a post that could have made numerous Privilege Denying Dude images is probably not the best source on feminist satire or feminist theory and practice in general. But hey, thanks for the advice man. I needed it or something.

  82. says

    What a person refuses to tolerate can also be indicative, in negative ways. Ad hominem attacks on those who disagree with you aren’t a sign of robust defence of a viewpoint, they’re a sign of intolerance of difference of opinion, and difference of opinion is something I certainly feel should not be difficult to tolerate.Further, while Jen seems to be criticising the feminism of the author somewhat, the main focus of the criticism is in terms of science reporting, to my mind. The major focusses of scorn are misleading aspects of the reporting, ad hominem attacks, stereotyping, and so on. These are things that can be criticised intellectually without reference to feminism; I just saw feminism as the context.I also feels that there’s no subject that is completely inappropriate to use humour with regards to, although there are some that are hard to treat humorously well, or indeed easy to do so badly. A person missing the mark (or hitting the wrong one) is no reason to pour scorn on them. A polite “some people probably won’t find that funny, and here’s why” is far more constructive. Changing opinions doesn’t have to be a matter of aggressive confrontation, or even any sort of confrontation, as long as everyone approaches the matter in an intellectually open way.There’s a wonderful quote from Britain Yearly Meeting’s* “Quaker Faith & Practice” which, while coming from a religious organisation, is of wonderful value to anyone (especially scientists of any stripe, including social) – “consider that you may be mistaken”. Everyone is fallible; it is only intellectually honest to approach every debate open to the idea that something might change your mind (although sometimes one has to admit it’s pretty unlikely). Without this possibility, your position is no longer truly reasoned, but instead held as a matter of dogma.* of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

  83. Gus Snarp says

    ” To minimize possible response biases through demand characteristics, we mentioned the ovulatory cycle only in recruitment and consent and we did not suggest that tip earnings would be examined specifically as a function of days since menstrual onset. We believe that this brief mention of possible cycle effects on tip earnings in the consent form did not bias participant responses in any particular direction”

  84. says

    I have no qualms at all about telling “feminists” who use words like “mansplaining” or lump straight people, married people and liberals in with an imaginary “megatheocorporatocratic machine” that they are doing feminism wrong. Actually, you’re not so much doing it wrong as you’re not even doing it at all. Man-hating ≠ feminism.

  85. says

    Right, instead of pointing out a problematic comment, I probably should have just said my piece about the article only and been done with it. It would have been so much easier for people who like big ass wood beams in their eyes while pointing out the hypocrisy of others and handing out feminist points.

  86. says

    You have no idea which, if any, privilege groups someone posting here falls into, with the exceptions of gender (if you can judge by name) and possibly race (if you can tell from a photo avatar). You have no way of knowing whether any person here has first-hand experience of being on the down-side of any privilege divide. Are you really suggesting that only women can possibly make valid satire regarding the issue? Can white comedians not satirise race issues, or only the disabled make comments of any value regarding the privilege issues there?In a complete paucity of evidence to judge any such issues, apart from the masculinity of name (well, or the quality of the possible-satire, as even if it is satire it’s really not very good), you presumed almost the worse possible. If you’re fine with that, then that’s cool. Just something to reflect on. I’m happy to consider that I might be mistaken about the intent, and Mike D might just have been trying to cover his tracks with a convenient claim of satire; my view on the evidence leans slightly in the other direction, but I admit the possibility, and it’s not even that remote a possibility.The real trolls around here tend to be a bit more extreme and blatant, to be honest, so I took the subtlety as a point in its favour.

  87. quantheory says

    “despite not having figured out the mechanism of behaviors and how they relate to the brain”We don’t understand anything about this, in any case? I don’t get it, are you asserting that we know nothing about this, that we don’t know “enough” by some standard (I don’t find obvious), or that we can’t say anything about the history of the brain until we know everything about how it works.”its totally kosher to make conclusions based on the evidence of behavior studies that cannot control for cultural programming at all”Are you saying that it is impossible to do studies which control for cultural influences?I guess what I’m getting at is: On what level do you think that evolutionary psychology is wrong? Would you reject, for example, that evolution has had an influence on parents’ attachment to their children? Or that the explanation for why people enjoy sugar above is wrong? When looking at the fact that human’s frontal lobes reach adult size at a comparatively late age, and that this correlates with impulsive behavior, is it unreasonable to suggest that this development process has been subject to selective pressure by evolution?When we note that people have specialized mechanisms to perceive and read faces, which can be damaged while leaving vision otherwise unchanged, is it unreasonable to think that this mechanism is rooted in biology and shaped by natural selection? How about studies based on non-human subjects, such as the recent comparisons showing that mammal brain size is correlated with social behavior? Is it unreasonable to think that the mechanism behind this correlation is driven by natural selection? Do you not think it possible that further studies could reveal how this comes about before we have an intimate understanding of exactly how each social behavior is instantiated in the brain?This is, I think the important distinction, between deploring the current state of a field, or common problems within it, and trying to undermine the basis for the field’s existence. Saying that there is a sexist bias in evolutionary psychology, or that there are some silly ideas in evolutionary psychology is reasonable. Saying:”Anyone with basic biology training should be shocked that this field exists at all, considering.”as though it were a priori obvious that evolution has nothing to say about psychology, is completely ridiculous.

  88. says

    To be honest, there seem to be two sides here, and not many people trying to see areas of agreement or trying to improve understanding. And that is a great shame. What I want to be clear on, though, is that there are people on both (all?) sides failing to reach out for understanding or common ground.

  89. says

    Not read the paper (nor likely to soon, for time and migraine reasons – migraine hangover’s a git), but thinking methodologically they could also minimise response bias by confounding participant expectations through measuring additional variables – get the participants to report a few other things. This would also allow for a little exploratory multivariate analysis to exclude (or not) other factors from throwing the results.

  90. Katherine says

    Male daycare workers, for example, are treated as suspect, but male teachers, fathers, uncles, priests, and other aquaintances who typically molest girls are not. You don’t get to blame feminism when patriarichal gender roles hurt men. This is just a false statement. I have had not one, but two men in my life get into difficult situations because of the rampant pedophilia suspicions in our society. The first was my father, who could not get a job as an elementary school teacher. It’s hard to prove that the reason was because of pedophilia-related paranoia, but even now he speaks sadly of how teachers aren’t even allowed to give their students hugs or hold their hands because of fear of inappropriate conduct. And one can’t help wondering if his inability to get a job as a elementary teacher (but ability to get one working in IT in school related fields) didn’t have something to do with his being male.The other person is my husband. My husband works as a software engineer, but does so at a community based learning center where they are tweens and teens, whom he interacts with on a regular basis. One week while holding a CCG playtest for a card game he is working on, a (female) librarian basically warned him that holding such an event with children without another adult as a witness in the room with him meant that if he was accused of something by the children, he was basically screwed. Although the librarian warning came in the form of advice, my husband suspects it had a suspicious air.You don’t get to blame feminism when patriarichal gender roles hurt men. Even if it is a patriarchal gender role that hurts men, I think it’s generally recognized that the crusade against pedophilia is headed primarily by women. (I don’t have any hard data to back this up, but let’s just say I would be pretty floored to find out that anything else was the case.) Whether that makes it “feminism” or not is a dicey issue, but it definitely makes it a matriarchal issue and it’s definitely tied in with our society’s implicit belief–often held and supported by women, not just men–that women are inherently better parents and more trustworthy around children and that men are not. Indeed, a common argument in custody battles (which men usually lose out in, incidentally) is that children “need their mothers” more than their fathers.

  91. Katherine says

    Kjell came here with an open mind and was willing to listen to what people on this board had to say, and this is how you respond? Fun facts: Attacking people who are trying to be thoughtful = not a way to win friends to your movement. Yes, he says “at least I’m trying” but I think that’s a pretty far cry from “asking for cookies” in the sense that you mean. To me, it just sounds like he’s asking not to be attacked, not that he’s asking for praise.

  92. Blahblahblah says

    Jen lambasted an idiot who utterly deserved it. Why on earth would anybody be polite, or even _talk_ to a sexist pig like the one who wrote the original article? If I discovered that somebody in my circle of friends shared this Jill’s beliefs, I would immediately cut off all contact with them and never speak to them again. I’m not obligated to be nice to people who despise me.

  93. Guest says

    It can’t possibly be because many feminist’s on the internet treat men about as well as a jewish person would be treated at Stormfront.

  94. says

    Sorry, but anyone who thinks things “mostly seem equal” is missing a lot, in every country or society I’m aware of. Have things gotten better, gender equality-wise, in ‘western’ societies? Sure. Are they anywhere near “right”? Oh, boy, no. Read some of the better “privilege lists” – they can be really eye-opening for member of privileged groups who haven’t noticed the privilege.That said, not noticing the privilege doesn’t make people idiots or dicks, to my mind, because it’s pretty easy to miss. I’ve known white, female feminists who’ve been pretty right-on on racial issues (as well as I, or racial minority friends of mine, could judge) who were really clueless about disability issues. To their credit, most of those cases learned about it voluntarily and quickly once they realised they were clueless. Which might be the clue as to what you should do on realising that you’ve been privilege-blind :)

  95. Katherine says

    It’s so sad that this is absolutely true. :C Having gotten my own BA in English Lit. Check out the book “Higher Supersition”.

  96. says

    I actually didn’t consider it trolling, and I only deemed it that after Jen tried to do so. I considered it a bad, unfunny, shitty attempt at being “edgy” or being some kind of post-feminist progressive bullshit that is never as effective as people who do it think it is. So it failed on all accounts: It wasn’t funny, it wasn’t feminist, it wasn’t productive, and it wasn’t progressive. It served no positive purpose, yet numerous people liked it and it stays untouched by the author of a blog post that’s taking away the feminist points of others.

  97. says

    I’m going to agree with you here – while I might disagree with some of your points and positions, I certainly don’t think they were a mile from the topic. Never mind the fact that if something is really objectionable, it’s responsible to call people out on it.

  98. 12345678 says

    You should go find yourself a nice submissive man that wants you to humiliate him sexually so that you don’t feel the need to take out your frustration on those people who are your allies in the world. Oh wait. I forgot. That’s not hetero-normative sexuality and it is therefore a sign of psychological damage.

  99. says

    The field has nothing left between heavily-politicised feminist/marxist/whatever epistemologies and outlooks and positivist ones? That hurts. I’m moving from “hard” sciences (all very positivist) to social ones (the plan is to be an interdisciplinary researcher), and I’m leaning towards a mixed epistemology, leading to mixed methods. I can’t accept that qualitative methods have no value other than initial exploration; nor can I accept that of quantitative methods. One of my lecturers pointed me at an article in the Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research on clashing epistemologies, by Guba I think, and it sounds like it might be of interest to you, too. Not dug out a copy from the uni library yet, though.

  100. says

    Surely, if one is to criticize mainstream media (or any particular interest group) misrepresentation of science, as Jenn has, that has to be applied to other area of interest, or even without interest, to be fair. Yeah, chauvinistic misrepresentation of science should be called out, but so should feminist misrepresentation of science.

  101. says

    True. It is at least good that sense is gaining ground in this regard, with gradually more attention paid to studies that challenge the socially conventional view of gender differences – and even that socially conventional view is changing, oh too gradually. It’s also right to say that this speed isn’t good enough, and push for it to go faster.As a general point, an aside if you like, that doesn’t mean decrying all studies that do support the socially conventional view. There are quite possibly ways in which the socially conventional view is correct, we just don’t have enough scientific evidence in any direction yet to say which is which definitively.

  102. says

    The problem I have is that Jen seems bent on making sure people don’t take Jill’s feminism seriously, saying that she is (at least partially) the reason why feminism gets a bad wrap. That’s ridiculous. If she wants to take down the scientific aspect of Jill’s argument, sure. If she wants to take down the ad hominem portion of Jill’s writing, sure. but to say that Jill is feminisming wrong is just kind of lame.

  103. says

    You completely ruined a reasonable context to talk about the (few) aspects of either the traditional view or the current institutional/social situations that men get a (vaguely) raw deal out of by going for stereotypical whinges. Sorry.

  104. says

    No, actually. I’m equating your logic with the logic of dumbasses who think that dissent means you just shouldn’t be where what you’re disagreeing with is happening. I think that was obvious.

  105. says

    “Calling oneself a “feminist” when you’re not an extremist is like self-identifying as a “Christian” when you’re not born-again.”That comparison makes it, to me, something that one ought to do, loudly, and insistently, and call out those who say you’re not. Which really does apply in both cases. However, for any particular individual it may not be worth it. We’re not all in a position to devote our lives to activism, or maybe an individual would rather spend their activism on some other issue.Nevertheless, my overall feeling in both the case of feminism and Christianity is that one way to improve the situation is to increase the visibility of the term used by moderates about themselves.

  106. says

    I identify with what I think is the message of your statement. Science and learning are great except where being academic is more trendy than uncovering actual facts and testing accumulated knowledge and such. I dropped out of a masters course when I took a class taught by a permanent student, the kind of guy who had never worked outside of the education system and advanced straight from his undergrad through grad and on into his doctorate.I love education. I envy people with higher stats than I’ve accomplished. But the education I really love is fascinating, thought provoking, being torn apart by critics and peers, and meaningful to people outside of the ivory towers or something like that. The same thing is true of science. There’s the science I intend to glorify because of its rigors and its power to accumulate knowledge and then there’s the politicized, tenured kind (such as the science department at Liberty). My field wasn’t science or education; it’s software engineering.

  107. says

    Darwin had no idea about the actual biological mechanisms of evolution. Natural selection (and other mechanisms he discussed) are very high-level. There was very little idea how new characteristics occurred or were selected for at a low level. Did that make his science wrong?There’s a reasonable premise that behaviours are informed by biological aspects. Hormones (not just sex ones) have huge effects on behaviour, and there is evidence to suggest that brain structures do as well. Thus it is reasonable to hypothesise that behaviour may have biologically heritable factors.This leaving aside the idea of “social evolution”, which I’ve seen some great feminist approaches to. One of the feminist concerns I’ve heard voiced in relation to the “free to wear makeup if we want to” attitude is the quite reasonable concern that the very feeling of wanting to wear makeup is socialised into young women by the patriarchal society – and I agree that this is likely. This, however, is also an evolutionary matter. My criticism of a lot of behavioural evolution stuff is that it tends to look at things as purely biological, while social approaches treat it as purely social.

  108. says

    “I considered it a bad, unfunny, shitty attempt at being “edgy” or being some kind of post-feminist progressive bullshit that is never as effective as people who do it think it is.”Ah, so now you’re the arbiter of all humor, parody, and commentary on other peoples blogs?”So it failed on all accounts: It wasn’t funny”Yes it was, you’re just an angry misanthrope” it wasn’t feminist”it wasn’t meant to be, why did you assume it was?” it wasn’t productive”Actually it was, it’s elicited more commentary here than anything but the OP.”and it wasn’t progressive”Who are you to say comments on someone elses blog have to fit into a certain structure of your approval?”It served no positive purpose”It was sarcasm, which has a positive purpose – humor. That you didn’t get it is your problem.”yet numerous people liked it”But, since you’re the ‘unrefudiated’ judge of proper blog commentary, it has no purpose and should be deleted so no one else has the opportunity to decide for themselves. And you consider that to be a free and open exchange of ideas?” and it stays untouched by the author of a blog post that’s taking away the feminist points of others.”No one is taking away your point of view. If anything, Jen’s willingness to allow unmoderated commentary is a guarantee that your points will be presented and preserved. So far, you haven’t really presented any point except that you think people shouldn’t be allowed to express ideas that you disagree with. Your problem is your insistence that she censure her blog to _your_ standards. And you wonder where the term ‘feminazi’ comes from?

  109. says

    Yeah, it is true that Jen’s argument approaches a “no true Scotsman” position. Then, so do arguments from folks like Jill. Perhaps it would be better to say, for example, that “elements of the approach are counter-productive to feminist goals, in one’s opinion”. I’m not saying that, it’s a suggested wording – I wouldn’t settle on a firm opinion in that regard. All I’d say is that it’s not the approach I feel most comfortable with. I don’t entirely have to justify what I feel comfortable with, but I would feel that I’d have to justify a view that something is counter-productive.The real crux is that every approach is probably counter-productive in some way. The dynamic effects of a whole range of approaches might even be necessary to get an optimum effect on society, however unpleasant the tension and conflict between the approaches might be.

  110. jose says

    Well, sure they don’t believe that. Otherwise, the study wouldn’t have been made. The question is, did it happen? I’d like to see one of those consent forms.Apart from that, I’d also like to know where this thing Jen said about our liking sugary food and its evolutionary reason came from. Plainly put, it sounds a bit like a just-so story.

  111. says

    At least then you might have elicited some substantial debate, rather than simply attempting to enforce your version of feminist censure-ship on others. Bullying people on other peoples blogs isn’t going to earn you any respect except from the few narrow minded misanthropes you associate with.

  112. says

    (actually responding to this whole little exchange between zen and FeministtotheRescue)It’s a fallacious comparison, but an interesting one… ultimately, Jen hasn’t shown any preference between the comment that lead to this (very interesting) side debate and FttR’s criticism of it. This is a private forum (legally speaking), so Jenn’s word is law in terms of what is to be permitted (pretty much). You can’t be kicked out of the US for not liking what’s happening, because there’s legal protections for that; those protections don’t apply to private forums. On the other hand, leaving the US because you don’t like what’s happening could be a voluntary thing, and there’s an argument that you shouldn’t because by staying you can fight it and make it a better place – which anyone does is their own call.

  113. says

    To be fair, terms like “mansplaining” can seem more offensive than they are intended to be. Terms like “megatheocorporatocratic”, on the other hand, are just… hard to decide how to approach, and hard to take seriously. Especially when it’s something that one apparently supports by simple dint of being a “liberal male” or “straight person”. Maybe we can separate the terms we’re uncomfortable with, and deal with them separately.

  114. says

    That’s fair enough… I disagree, but not that much. Most of it is, but there’s some points that are bad in other ways ;) and some that aren’t too bad, all told, in my opinion. I think if we tried to take it apart and explore all of the elements, it’d get a bit detailed for a medium such as this, though :)

  115. says

    I suggested that if you didn’t like the tone of discussion you weren’t obligated to stay and read it. You all but demanded jen remove a comment you found offensive by calling her feminist credentials into question if she didn’t. Funny, the only person I’m reading here trying to suppress dialog is you.Get it, dumbass?

  116. says

    People evolved to crave certain flavors as a survival mechanism.You get thirsty when you’re low on water, fats taste good because they contain the highest amount of calories per gram, and sugars taste good because they contain a much more readily available source of energy. Dont’ misread that paragraph. you need to look at it from a survival perspective. As humans evolved the ones that survived were the ones that ate foods that were healthy. Humans ate food that tasted good to them, and as we evolved the people who enjoyed eating the healthier foods survived the most. The comment about diabetes was aimed at this evolutionary characteristic. Humans that survived earlier on generally enjoyed the taste of sugars which were not as plentiful as they are today, and our systems have not evolved as quickly as our society has progressed. So, our evolutionary predisposition is to eat sugars and fats, based on a model where such things where not plentiful. Now that they are, people don’t limit their intake of those items, which both lead to obesity and possibly diabetes.

  117. says

    Which is why fttrs comment about leaving the country was completely out of whack. If I went to her blog and complained about the way she ran it she’d be the first one to tell me to shut the fuck up. What she doesn’t get is that she has every right to do that, but she doesn’t have the right to demand others do the same. Philosophically, the US belongs to its citizens (corporate fascism notwithstanding), and constitutionally we have a right to express our opinions. As far as blogs and comments are concerned however, the constitution does not apply. I moderate comments on my blog, and I’m very clear on the comment form that it’s my blog and if I don’t like it I’ll delete it. Jen has that right if she wishes to excercise it, but fttr has no right to demand jen do so.Be that as it may, fttr has a privileged to express her concern over what she perceives to be offensive speech (not a right). No one is under any obligation to accomdate her complaint however, regardless of how she applies her own version of ‘no true scotsman’ to jen.

  118. jose says

    Yeah, that’s the just-so story I was talking about. It sounds perfectly reasonable, but what is the evidence for it? That’s what I mean when I say I’d like to know where that explanation comes from. Not to mention the assumptions it makes–for example, that people generally like sugary foods (I don’t. Maybe I’m the exception here, I don’t know); that tastes are genetically determined; that people who ate more sugary foods had a better chance of survival than people who ate less of sugar and more of other kinds of foods (meat, fish, nuts, etc.)… that’s why I’m asking what this theory is based on.

  119. says

    Yes, because feminism only exists on the internet, and not in social activism or creative outlets or scientific research or any other venue. Naw.

  120. blather says

    I don’t think it has value in and of itself. It’s a means to an end. If there’s no ends, I don’t see why the pursuit of knowledge is desirable. We know almost nothing about the universe as it stands, and have a limited amount of resources in our quest to learn more. I don’t think it is “anti-intellectual” to state that some scientific pursuits have more use than others, or at least could do with being pushed to the forefront at this time. Studies that suggest prehistoric precedents for what’s seen as beautiful today are not one of them. Or at least you’d think science and academia could give it a rest on that subject when the entire Western world is already obsessed with it.I study history at the moment. I don’t exactly “enjoy” it. History is a parade of horrible people doing horrible things to one another, with the odd exception trying to do something great and then inevitably failing (call it pessimism if you like, I call it realism). Honestly, if I were ignorant of it, I’d be a much happier person. The only reason I carry on is out of a hope, probably vain, to change the future so it barely resembles our history so far. So it’s something better. I respect scientific research in its similar march to improve life on earth, but it won’t do this if its most inglorious fields keep churning out what amounts to nothing more than ammo for bastards.

  121. says

    While that’s a valid criticism of Blahblahblah’s phrasing, there are feminists in non-internet venues, including some activist groups (and even, to a lesser extent, academic departments) who behave similarly. Like most antisocial behaviour, it’s more extreme on the internet, though. It’s also more noticeable on the internet, because everyone jumps and points at the most outlandish stuff they can find (in every context, not just feminism)…

  122. says

    I suspect that LadyAtheist is probably speaking from personal (bad) experiences. I’m aware of good Women’s Studies departments that don’t meet those criticisms… some even that wanted to change their name to something more general about gender, but decided not to because they’d not necessarily get included when people list, discuss, or so forth, such departments.

  123. says

    I’ve been sitting here sputtering over a response to this, and getting more and more frustrated. I’ve heard this about feminism, I’ve heard it about Affirmative Action, I’ve heard it about, of all things, the Americans with Disabilities Act. It’s unfortunate, really. Do your realize that, essentially, what you’re saying is that because you and other male members of your family haven’t personally gotten ahead because you have less melanin and a penis, clearly everything is stacked against your demographic altogether?You’ve got an advantage over the POC or woman, in that when it comes down to it, if the choice is between you and that other individual, you’ve already got a leg up on that him or her. That person you’re vying with for that position has to work harder than you do just to get the same consideration. There is countless data across the internet that supports this. If you don’t want to hear it from me, a white woman, go read some of Tim Wise’s work – he’s a middle class white man who is the first to admit how much of his advantage is because of his skin tone and anatomy. Unfortunately, my experience has been that attitudes like yours generally stem from people who believe this trope so deeply, nothing anyone can say is going to change your mind.

  124. says

    The difference between when Jill does it and when Jen does it is that Jill makes no effort to act as though she doesn’t throw people out of the feminist arena if they start making patriarchy-supporting comments, etc. Jill makes it clear that you better know your shit or shut the fuck up. Here, we have dudes joking about Jill making them pies and going to watch porn as if it’s ridiculously progressive. I’m much more likely to approve of someone voting people off of the feminist island if they vocally and unequivocally state that they have high feministing standards, but not when they’re tolerating bullshit dudes thinking they’re being cute by making sexist comments “as a joke”. And yeah, I guess it helps that I also think evo psych is bullshit science.

  125. says

    The point, as can be illustrated with so much science in at least the last 150 years, is that you never know where research will lead. Sometimes you have a really clear potential application, and sometimes not. Einstein can’t have known all the applications that would come from relativity, and quantum physics even more so. I’m certain that examples exist in other sciences as well, including the social ones, I just know physics better.There’s less such justification in arts and humanities, except that they all inform the human condition at the very least, and enrich the experience of the human race. Times of great advances in the arts have often coincided with great advances in science and technology.

  126. says

    I didn’t demand anything. I pointed out hypocrisy. I’m allowed to do that. However, by doing so, you told me if I didn’t like it, I should leave. Well, I don’t like it, but I’m not going to leave. I’m going to point it out. That’s what dissenters in Murika do, too, whenever folks tell them that if they don’t like it then they can leave the good ol’ red, white, and blue. Until the owner of said private forum bans me, I have the right to complain. You saying that I should leave instead of doing that is ridiculous, thus the comparison to the equally ridiculous “If you don’t approve of everything Americans do, leave” attitude.Btw, I didn’t kick her out of the feminist club. I just pointed out that she shouldn’t appoint herself as gatekeeper of feminism or the person who gets to decide what’s holding the movement back is she’s going to tolerate anti-feminist trolling on her blog comments.

  127. says

    Going in reverse order… evo psych is a new science, meaning it can’t have established itself as truly good, so we give it a chance. If it really is “true” that some of my behaviours (or anyone’s behaviours) are evolutionarily “programmed”, then that’s knowledge worth having, both for society and for the individual. Just because a behaviour is ‘innate’, much as if it’s socialised, I don’t believe that means it’s trapping us and we can’t avoid it. Knowing it’s either of those makes it easier, in my view, to avoid it, knowing where it comes from, and that it isn’t necessarily part of your individual identity, what makes “you” you.In terms of standards and declaring people “not feminists” in your view, I’ve never seen Jen claim someone isn’t a feminist, just that certain things aren’t “good” feminism. Whether “bad” feminism is better or worse than no feminism is an open question. However, specifying that one set of standards are “high” suggests that they are right – would a better, or more neutral, term be “strict”? In any case, Jen’s own contributions to comments are relatively infrequent, and I’ve rarely seen her voice disagreement in these threads, of either “post-feminist” stuff (that some feminists don’t object to, even when not tongue-in-cheek) or of “radical” feminism. Firstly, I don’t think one should deny someone the label in anything but the most extreme cases; secondly, Jen appears to allow very free debate here, which is her call. She doesn’t have to, but nor is it not her choice to do so.If we took everything Jen “allowed” to be expressed here to be reflective of her own opinions, we’d have to conclude that she’s schizoid.

  128. says

    I’ve taken way too many women’s studies classes, and it never ceases to amaze me (although I wish it would), to not see how this goes: Science or Sociology supports my perspective? Awesome, see, I’m validated. Science or Sociology opposes my position? AHHGHH! THE EVIL KYRIARCHY FORCES THIS DOWN OUR THROATS AS A WAY TO OPPRESS US! I find the stripper article interesting as a starting point for a way to look at, “gee, is there a scientific basis for why things happen the way they do?” What I can’t stand as when people take one study, done for whatever reason, and decide that an entire field of inquiry needs to be shut down because obviously it’s just a tool of the oppressor. Gah. I need more coffee. Finals has drained me. Way to keep up the explosive discussion, Jen!

  129. cat says

    “You think it’s impossible that trends in a field, even political ones, can change the landscape and change the effective requirements to publish? ” No, but I do think it is impossible for any rational person to be surrounded by Marxists and post-modernists and not notice the often brutal fighting between these groups. They are, in fact, mutually exclusive and vastly different in terms of epistemology, something that people who actually deal with queer theory (and yes, not all queer theorist are post-modernists and not all queer identified people are either post-modernist or Marxist) would pick up pretty damned fast. It is also pretty damned clear you have never actually been involved in disscussions of queer theory. Your entire post comes off as nothing more than being whiny because no one wants to publish your work. There is nothing of substance, only an ignorant bashing of queer people and feminists.

  130. says

    Yeah, I get that, but saying that women’s studies departments are echo chambers unfairly writes off the many departments that do useful work in all fields. Just because you disagree with the popular theoretical approach at the time isn’t reason enough, for me, to say to hell with them all. Cycles in theory aren’t new.

  131. says

    If you don’t want to ease up on personal attacks, at least double check where they’re going… I’m not the one who was “being whiny”. I was just suggesting that your reaction to the one who you alleged as being such was possibly a bit blunt, simplistic, and bore a bit much of the character of a personal attack. Fitting the theme of “calling out objectionable behaviour” above, I guess… if you think LadyAtheist’s point was objectionable, call it out, just be less unpleasant about it. That’s my polite suggestion, anyway.

  132. says

    zen:”Ah, so now you’re the arbiter of all humor, parody, and commentary on other peoples blogs?”Nope, never said that. I’m just a commenter with an opinion I’ m allowed to espouse.”Yes it was, you’re just an angry misanthrope”Excuse me? Ad hominem police? Over here, please! PS – WOW, YOU SURE SHOWED ME WITH THIS ARGUMENT.”it wasn’t meant to be, why did you assume it was?”It was on a blog that seems to be written from a generally feminist perspective on a post specifically about feminism and it’s relation to evolutionary psychology and who and who is not holding the movement back. Those are all valid reasons, kiddo.”Actually it was, it’s elicited more commentary here than anything but the OP.”Garnering comments doesn’t mean it was productive. “Who are you to say comments on someone elses blog have to fit into a certain structure of your approval?”Well, if someone is giving out feminist points, they need to check their own status. You seem to think that I believe I have some sort of power. All I’m doing is commenting. I’m allowed to do that until I get banned.”It was sarcasm, which has a positive purpose – humor. That you didn’t get it is your problem.”Oh no, I got it. That’s why I didn’t think it was funny.”But, since you’re the ‘unrefudiated’ judge of proper blog commentary, it has no purpose and should be deleted so no one else has the opportunity to decide for themselves. And you consider that to be a free and open exchange of ideas?”Nope. Never said it was a free and open exchange of ideas. But generally when a blogger considers a comment “trolling”, they delete it. So, something isn’t connecting here. Either it wasn’t trolling and should be offered up for comment, both supportive or dissenting (i.e. stfu about my thinking it was lame or you’re a hypocrite), or it was trolling and should probably be deleted. “No one is taking away your point of view.”Didn’t say that. Stop misunderstanding if you can possibly help it. She has stated that Jill is part of the reason why feminism is not openly accepted. That is taking away the feminist points of others.”If anything, Jen’s willingness to allow unmoderated commentary is a guarantee that your points will be presented and preserved. So far, you haven’t really presented any point except that you think people shouldn’t be allowed to express ideas that you disagree with.”Really? Because I haven’t said anything like that. You’d be hard pressed to find a quote of me saying something like that. In fact, I believe it was you who told me that if I didn’t like it, I could leave.”Your problem is your insistence that she censure her blog to _your_ standards. And you wonder where the term ‘feminazi’ comes from?”Haha, no, since I have a good grasp of feminist theory and history, I know “feminazi” comes from conservative efforts to demonize and discredit feminism. It doesn’t actually come from feminist efforts. It comes from dudes being scared out of their mind of women who won’t eat their shit. But hey, if you’d like to use it and associate yourself with the likes of Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the he-man womanphobic brigade, be my guest. I haven’t told her she has to conform to my standards. In fact, I’ve been encouraging her to remain true to her own.

  133. says

    Sam, you say Jen comments infrequently, yet when she did, it was not the “troll” she took to task, but the person who pointed out that her tolerance of comments like that is hypocritical. So, had she wanted to address that then, she would have. She chose not to. That’s a problem, and it’s more than just allowing free commentary. In any case, you’re right. “Strict” would have been a much better word. I was not trying to assess value to either person’s feministing standards.

  134. says

    Whoever smelt it dealt it. Peeps who say that feminist are man haters, obviously are the haters themselves. As far as evo-psyc, I’m thinking about majoring in that because it is relatively new, and that is exciting. Great post again ‘J’. We are coming to the end of the year again soz you know what that means: 1. PZ will win all the year end polls and 2. it is up to the atheist blogosphere to come up with it’s own Female Atheist Best of Lists. awesomeness.Kriss

  135. Azkyroth says

    No, it rests on the very strong hypothesis that the brain evolves like any other organ.

    My big issue with Evo-Psych as practiced is that pretty much everyone who tries to lean on it refuses to accept that whatever specific specific claim they’re making does NOT simply follow from the fact that “brains evolve” and so they endlessly belabor that point or accuse their opponents of believing in a “blank slate” rather than provide evidence for their specific hypothesis.(Well one of my big issues).

  136. Tony says

    I think Jen just values free expression more than you do. I’d bet she thinks were all adults here, excepting the occasional precocious minor, and we can handle a little inappropriate humor. I think that allowing the comment is a WAY better decision than removing it. It lead to this discussion, which I think is valuable.

  137. LadyAtheist says

    I went to a conference in my former field recently and it was refreshing how much old-fashioned pre-post-modernist work got read. 10 years earlier only one paper in my specialty could make it onto the national docket in a period of about 5 years, and it was outing some long-dead person as being gay, which was somewhat interesting but irrelevant to his life’s work. It’s too late for me, but maybe new researchers will be able to let the evidence tell the story and not merely find 1,000 ways to say “blame the Man” while letting more interesting and compelling research go unheard.

  138. LadyAtheist says

    Not homophobic in the least. I would rather let the evidence tell the story and not worry about sexuality unless the evidence points that way. Believe it or not, oftentimes people who do interesting things are not gay, nor are they homophobic, nor are they struggling with any inner demons whatsoever. Sometimes they’re just creative people with interesting ideas. And sometimes it isn’t really necessary to write about how sexist the world used to be (and sometimes still is). Most of us kind of already knew that.

  139. Guest says

    How do you know you haven’t reaped the benefits? You don’t know how many job applications were shoved to the bottom of the pile while yours rose to the top, or who got pulled over for driving the exact same speed you drove without a ticket, or got ignored in a meeting while your opinion was heard. “Privilege” is often invisible to the people who have it. You only notice it when it’s gone.

  140. says

    I can’t believe I’m going to do this… but I’m going to EXPLAIN THE JOKE. I was mocking the absurdity of Jill’s ignorance-laced, logically incoherent hate-rant with an absurd comment that gave me (and 12 others, apparently) a chuckle. Of course I don’t actually think that women ought to be pie-baking housewives unless they fucking want to be. Did I miss something? I though feminism was about equal rights and, as Jen herself said in her last feminist-related post, letting women do what they want and celebrating – rather than stigmatizing – alternative lifestyle choices.I also knew that the only people who would make a fuss about the joke are misanthropic neo-feminists whose judgment is so clouded by their persecution complex that they really honestly believe that sarcasm mocking such lunacy sets women back more than the lunacy itself. And man, was I right on the money!I applaud Jen for a reasoned, relatively calm and unquestionably thorough rebuttal to Jill’s nonsensical blathering. Personally, I wouldn’t have bothered – to my mind, views such as Jill’s ought to be mocked and marginalized as the ignorant, sexist delusions that they are.

  141. says

    Addressing the comment would have been fine with me. She didn’t necessarily need to remove it. I mean, it’s cool that you’d like to berate a strawfeminist who’s out to censor your bad, sexist humor, but what that has to do with me, I don’t know.

  142. says

    Neo-feminists? lol, really? Reeeally? Neo-feminists? Oh my. I’m dying to know where you got that term. You didn’t have to explain the joke (or mansplain it, since it was kind of obvious that everyone got the meaning and it was just the lack of hilarity that was in question). The meaning was lost on no one. It was merely the humor of a dude saying that in response to an argument made by a woman in earnest that’s lost on some folks. That’s it. You really don’t have to show off your superior intellect by deigning to explain your amazing wit to the folks that don’t think you have a dazzling sense of humor. That, dude, is mansplaining, and I can see that the concept is entirely lost on you, because you’re a dude and you know all about feminism. The fact of the matter is, saying that her rant failed to bake you a pie (i.e. the supposed absurdity) doesn’t bring to light that you believe Jill’s post is absurd. It just makes you look like a privileged dick, sarcasm or no. It’s super easy to be sarcastic about something that really, in the larger scheme of things, doesn’t phase you either way, innit? And it’s really cool and privilegey that you had years of sexist comments to draw upon when you decided to be sarcastic and hilarious. Hey man, next time a black person creates a post you don’t like and think is absurd, ironically call them the n-word. I bet it’ll be HILARIOUS.

  143. says

    Showing off my superior intellect? I thought I was dumbing it down for sexist clods like you. And now you’re equating normative gender roles to overt racism? Thanks for substantiating my second paragraph there, dude.

  144. says

    For all your feminist theory, apparently you never read The Feminine Mystique, you know, that book that (even though Betty Friedan had some iffy stances) was a huge breakthrough in describing the oppressive nature of normative gender roles, specifically those attributed to women. Try it some time. Maybe it’ll help you to be better at using those terms you’re throwing around. It’s not sexist or misanthropic to compare racism to sexism in terms of how they’re manifested. Also, by purporting that you HAD to dumb it down, you are attempting to show a superior intellect. You seem to think you have a dazzling wit that those plagued with the sexist notion that maybe dudes should think more before posting dismissals of women using (ironic!) sexist language just don’t get. As I’ve said before: I get it. It’s still not funny, edgy, or original. It’s not sexist to tell you that. That’s just silly.I’m still waiting to here where you picked up the term “neo-feminist”, because that’s pretty much the only hilarious thing you’ve said so far.

  145. says

    I didn’t say it was sexist or misanthropic to compare racism to sexism in terms of how they’re manifested. I said it was stupid to compare normative gender roles to the overt racism of calling someone the n-word. I’m sorry you can’t appreciate the use of irony for the purpose of mockery. And of course you didn’t think it was funny – you’re too busy basking in your persecution complex to have a sense of humor about sexism. But twelve people (plus me) though it was funny, so there. p.s. – “neo-feminist” isn’t a term I made up, but it has numerous colloquially accepted definitions that a quick Google search can reveal. I thought it apt to describe those (like, say, you and Jill) who have distorted a movement founded on equality into a vitriolic celebration of ignorance, bitterness and hypocrisy. Guess what dude? You are doing it wrong. The feminist movement is lucky to have people like Jen who have the smarts and the tenacity to lay the smackdown on the loony fringe with which you so proudly associate.

  146. Guest says

    “I said it was stupid to compare normative gender roles to the overt racism of calling someone the n-word.”As a feminist who found your “uppity bitches need to shut up and feed me” offensive, I am probably too stupid to understand why comments extolling oppressive normative gender roles aren’t overt sexism. The only reason those gender roles are normative is because of sexism. Telling a woman to shut her mouth and bake you a pie is intended to have the same silencing effect as using the n-word in response to a black person’s comment. I.e., don’t bother listening to Jill, because she fails at being a normative woman. How the fuck is that not overt sexism?

  147. ethanol AKA grad student dude says

    Great post Jen! Because I don’t really do a lot of reading of feminist blogs aside from this one, this is actually the first time I’ve noticed the tendency of some (select few) feminists to use the terms “dude” or “bro” almost exclusively as male descriptors. Leaving aside Jill’s quite amazing practice of appending “dude” to any title held by a male, a couple commenters on this post show the same tendency. Feministotherescue, for instance uses “dude” nine times in her posts (aside from references to the privelage-denying dude) and the more traditional term “man” once (“he-man” doesn’t count). Interesting…

  148. Guest says

    Yes, science is amoral. Data is amoral. But science doesn’t manifest itself. Science is done by scientists, who are not amoral, and are oftentimes only conducting science in order to prove whatever biases or stereotypes they already possess – or such is much of the history of psychology anyway. The data collected is affected by the design of the experiment, the questions asked of participants, the patterns of behavior that scientists are (even unknowingly) expecting to see (cognitive psychology is helpful in explaining this, notably when subjects are unable to see the literal gorilla in the room after being told to focus on something else), the way the data is interpreted and written about (even in a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal article), all sully the actual science that is going on. Especially in evo-psych, where the questions being asked in the first place are only asked in an attempt to prove the value and legitimacy of evo-psych. And if your baseline presumption is that male=hunter and female=gatherer, because that’s how our forebears on the ancestral plains behaved (which is itself a fallacy), that’s going to mess the science up, since you are only looking for behaviors that reinforce the presumption that we evolved from that kind of society, so can only now have behaviors that would adapt to that kind of society.That, or the argument that because male ducks have been observed to force themselves upon female ducks, that’s why human men rape. “No, no, we’re not justifying rape, it’s just science, guys. That’s all.” Which is another point. Even if scientists were amoral, and were only doing science to get to truth, they must know that they do not act in a vacuum, that they do act in a society that will take science and bend it to nefarious purposes (eugenics, The Bell Curve, measuring the facial structures of Rwandans to determine which ethnic group was most likely descendant of biblical figures, and thereby worthy of dealing with the colonists – demarcations which led to centuries of political and social inequity before it boiled over into genocide). Scientists shouldn’t get a pass just because they wore a lab coat when writing a paper that they know will be used to justify that kind of purpose. They should not be blind to the potentially disastrous ramifications of the interpretation they gave their research – even before it enters the mass media wind tunnel. Scientists shouldn’t be held to a lower standard of decency than artists and filmmakers (or just regular people), just because their medium of expression is different, if the effects of that expression are the same.

  149. mj says

    I am totally pornulating my matrimonial slave later. This new vocabulary I am being exposed to is awesome!

  150. Guest says

    No, you said, “Jill’s rant utterly failed to bake me a pie.” I’m sorry for paraphrasing – but the paraphrasing was necessary because you don’t seem to see how that line of thinking (written alone, with no explanation that it was not a sincere comment) is problematic. To me, the comment has to say, to someone steeped in the tradition of “woman are to be seen (in the kitchen, barefoot, and pregnant) and not heard” as most feminists are, that Jill should be dismissed (which is the same as ignored, which is the same as silenced, which is the same as “shut up”) because she failed at baking a pie (which is the same as not fulfilling her normative gender role)? If women hadn’t been told this by men for eons, you may have a point. But given that history, it’s not unreasonable to read the original comment as just as bad as using the n-word to criticize a black poster. As berating a woman who deigned to criticize a field that other psychologists (including men, but that should be irrelevant – though, sadly, isn’t) have criticized for exactly the same reasons, because she is a woman and shouldn’t have opinions, at least not until she bakes you a delicious pie. I guess I don’t understand why even pretending that women should be baking pies instead of having opinions is funny.I am not saying you actually hold that view. However, when presented in that comment, with no editorializing, that’s how that comment is perceived, especially to women who have been told again and again the equivalent to “computer lab is for boys, wouldn’t you rather go over to home ec and bake a pie?” [Though I am not claiming to speak for all women – I am just a little perplexed that you can’t see what was wrong with the original comment, even if you meant it facetiously. For someone reading it, there’s no way to tell that it’s facetious; and even if it were, the comment makes light of systematic pressures that the patriarchy places only on women who don’t “know their place.”]

  151. mj says

    heheheSkeptifem vs SkeptifemSkeptifem: “The fact that such a craptastic field just happens to stay afloat via supporting sexism and racism is predictable enough. “Skeptifem: “I have hung out on the blogs of actual evolutionary psychologists from universities, and read their research blogging… None of it was the racist sexist nonsense that feminist rail against”what a mook.

  152. says

    “Guest”, for some reason it won’t let me reply to you, so I’m replying to myself here. – I never told anyone to shut up.- I never said we shouldn’t listen to Jill. In fact, it’s only after listening to her that I found her to be sorely misguided.- I certainly never said that we should reject Jill’s criticism because she’s a woman. I wholly endorsed Jen’s excellent critique, and last I checked she’s a woman.- My comment was: “Jill’s rant utterly failed to bake me a pie.” That’s why it was a silly, sarcastic comment. Because a rant cannot bake a pie. Which sucks, because I enjoy both rants and pie.Look. If I had said something like, “Shouldn’t Jill be baking me a pie?” I can totally agree that would have been crass, pointless, insensitive and totally assholish. But that’s not what I did. I wasn’t mocking Jill. I mocked Jill’s ideas.

  153. Guest says

    “Jill’s rant utterly failed to bake me a pie.” “We should reject Jill’s criticism because she’s a woman.”These are the same sentence. Even if you didn’t intend it that way, that’s what both say.[And I was originally, and am mostly still, objecting to what appears to be your belief that normative gender roles aren’t inherently sexist. Regardless of pies, you did say that espousing normative gender roles is not the same as overt racism. Given that normative gender roles only exist because of, and are in fact the embodiment of, overt sexism, I fail to see the distinction. Or is overt sexism not as bad as overt racism?]In my opinion, mocking someone’s ideas is mocking them. “I didn’t say you were stupid, I said your ideas were stupid.” Well, I think, therefore I am. My ideas are me. If they’re stupid (because I am the one who willed them into being, and they are an extension of me), so am I.And no, you didn’t explicitly tell anyone to shut up. Please don’t tell me I have to go into an in-depth explanation of how making derogatory and sexist comments can have a silencing effect on speech. And when you did dismiss the “rant,” you didn’t dismiss it because you found it sorely misguided (at least, you didn’t say that initially), your comment dismissed it because it didn’t behave like a woman should, and bake you a pie (or make you a sandwich, or grab you a beer, etc.). Maybe you thought it was silly and absurd. But that doesn’t erase the fact that someone can read the “joke” and find the use of these tired, stereotypical, so-called normative gender roles as fodder for light repartee offensive, and to take the comment seriously.

  154. says

    These are the same sentence. Even if you didn’t intend it that way, that’s what both say.What? What contorted excuse for logic are you using here?I was originally, and am mostly still, objecting to what appears to be your belief that normative gender roles aren’t inherently sexistThat’s a whole other conversation, as is your fallacious contention that normative gender roles are the embodiment of “overt” sexism. In my opinion, mocking someone’s ideas is mocking them.In my opinion, that’s ridiculous. If you can’t make the distinction between critiquing a person and critiquing a person’s ideas, you have no hope of having rational, productive discussions with those who disagree with you. Please don’t tell me I have to go into an in-depth explanation of how making derogatory and sexist comments can have a silencing effect on speech.If I’d actually made a derogatory and sexist remark, you might have a point.you didn’t dismiss it because you found it sorely misguided (at least, you didn’t say that initially), your comment dismissed it because it didn’t behave like a woman should, and bake you a pieFor a second there, I thought you were a reasonable person – I apologize for that lapse in judgment.

  155. James Fish says

    I think the marginal feminists punch above their weight. I’m not sure what the situation is in the States, but in the UK pretty much every degree that isn’t a hard science contains a theory module, and the theory modules seem to be the exclusive precinct of postmodernists. Each year, in my otherwise fairly sensible archaeology department, I’d watch intelligent young women who were, if you like, de facto feminists, but who’d had no formal exposure to feminist ideas before, getting doused in anti-scientific horseshit in the name of feminism. After a few weeks of this there didn’t seem to be many girls left on the course who had a positive view of feminism at all. People I’ve spoken to, who’ve studied different subjects at different universities, seem to have had similar experiences. When I worry why so many clever women seem to think feminism is flaky nonsense, of course I can’t rule out the very substantial role of the informal campaign of misinformation we seem to be exposed to, but I think the insidious role of “theory” in the academy is rather more significant than might seem superficially plausible.

  156. Tony says

    “In my opinion, mocking someone’s ideas is mocking them.”Ridiculous beliefs deserve ridicule. It’s what the word means. Your opinion is stupid.

  157. Ntsc says

    “I think it’s generally recognized that the crusade against pedophilia is headed primarily by women.”not if you’re the father of a boy a pedophile tried to molest.

  158. says

    Now, I think both “sides” here are being a little crazy and missing the point a little, but I think getting either “side” to agree would be more bother than it’s worth at this time and in this place. However, to address one specific point:That’s a whole other conversation, as is your fallacious contention that normative gender roles are the embodiment of “overt” sexism. Well, the existence of normative gender roles is a result of societal sexism; promotion or espousing of those gender roles is overt sexism; fulfilling of those roles is neither, although it may be a result of more-or-less overt sexism – it can also be a free choice (in as much as any choice is free).

  159. says

    My second-hand experience of English Lit is that the feminism was walled off in a separate module (at least it was 10 years ago)… but fine points of personal experience aside…Postmodernism isn’t the same thing as feminism; in most arts/humanities theories, feminist theory is considered a postmodernist theory, for obvious reasons (obvious if you’ve looked at the theory much at all). The whole “postmodern” thing doesn’t seem to hit social sciences as much, in my experience. In the department in which I am currently a student (Educational Research at Lancaster), MA students get wonderfully large doses of epistemology and related areas, which is equivalent to theory in arts/humanities; we use the term “theory” to apply to actual, for example, theories of learning, which are related to epistemologies, but not terribly tightly. Postmodernism turns up refreshingly rarely, as a term, although all non-positivist approaches are arguably somewhat postmodern. There isn’t a terribly well-defined area of feminism currently at work in the field, and the department reflects this by the nearest module being “Engendered Education”, which is interested in gender differences in education (both in discerning differences in how males and females learn, or function as learners, and differences in how they are treated, and the causes and results of such).

  160. says

    I think you’re missing the meaning of “pornulate” slightly… I understand it means more towards brainwashing women into behaving in a porn-like manner. That’s assuming you weren’t planning to brainwash your wife, of course…

  161. says

    It’s a subculture language situation, just like internet terms we probably all use, like “troll”, or the language of African-American subculture (or almost any other subculture, I was just picking ones people are likely to be aware of). Some are inoffensive, some seem offensive when they aren’t really when you understand what’s meant by them, and some are actually offensive. Not many in the last category, though.At least in this case folks aren’t mixing it with l33t-speak. I’ve read feminist blogging where the term is “d00d”. And others that indicate anti-feminists (even those who don’t think that’s what they are) as DICKS. Yes, in block caps. I’ve never quite got that one, although my mind is open to an explanation.

  162. says

    Whether that makes it “feminism” or not is a dicey issue, but it definitely makes it a matriarchal issue and it’s definitely tied in with our society’s implicit belief–often held and supported by women, not just men–that women are inherently better parents and more trustworthy around children and that men are not.Well, not exactly, because that attitude is a patriarchal attitude, supporting heteronormative gender roles. Men are being hurt by the patriarchy. Patriarchy doesn’t mean that it’s directed by the men, but that it is supportive of the social norms that lead to our patriarchal society. To put it simply, “women are better parents and more trustworthy around children” is a patriarchal attitude.a common argument in custody battles (which men usually lose out in, incidentally) is that children “need their mothers” more than their fathersAnd that’s men getting screwed by the patriarchy too.

  163. James Fish says

    Yes, the theory module was, I guess, supposed to give you a broad introduction to all relevant theoretical approaches, but since the classes were run by postmodernists (not that they identified as such, but the reek of epistemic relativism was inescapable), the particular species of feminism that undergrads were exposed to, when it was feminism that was under discussion, was of the postmodern tendency. Weeks of discussions of feminist epistemology (based on intuition and empathy, apparently, rather than evidence and reason) and harrumphing about the arrogance of the self-styled scientific approaches.

  164. says

    It may be the correlation from your own experience, but it should be noted that epistemic relativism is neither inherent in feminism, nor is it limited to feminism.That said, I think that promoting an approach to any science, including social science, based entirely on “intuition and empathy” rather than scientific methods (including qualitative methods) is very wrong. However, people feeling that qualitative methods, easy to see as more “touchy-feely”, are not scientific are also wrong. It is equally plausible that such a misperception is the fault of teaching as it is a failure on the part of a student, however.

  165. Julie says

    This post (and a few others) slide you dangerously close to the “I’m not a feminist, but…. ” generation. You isolate some very bizarre examples that are truly not the norm. Feminism has such a wide scope and ambiguous definition — people interpret it in a variety of ways (some being more questionable than others). I think it is important to remember the goal that *MOST* feminists have, which is to create a world where women have equal rights under the law, and where social issues affected by current standards of femininity and masculinity (such as violence, rape, etc.) will be diminished. You have a distinct pattern of being extremely critical of feminism. While there are things to be critical about, it a dangerous pattern that honestly comes off as a bit anti-feminist. Unless you are against the movement entirely, I would keep this in mind. Confirmatory hypothesis bias is common in all fields, by all people. (Including scientific studies!) While it is important to make people aware of when this bias is occurring, I think it is a bit harsh to say you are ashamed to associate with anyone who has used this bias.

  166. says

    So there? Did you stamp your feet when you typed that? Man, you’re like a Grade A PDD.Mike D, dude, I never said you made it up. Read for comprehension, please. I asked you where you got it from. Also, google searches came up with places like “theguycode.com” saying that Jessica Valenti is a “neo-feminist” who hates men. Jessica Valenti is in my man-hating, sexist, persecution complex ranks, too? Glad to be here, then. I’m so upset that “theguycode” doesn’t like us. D-:In any case, relying on old tropes of feminists not having a sense of humor won’t make you more right. It’s still sexist, and your flabbergasted response to having someone tell you it is makes it even more obvious that you dislike it when women don’t take your word for the gospel. As for comparing normative gender roles to overt racism, you weren’t just mentioning overt gender roles, you were using them as a mode of dismissal. But hey, it’s ok that you treat racism with seriousness (you should) but sexism like it’s your own personal pair of lollerskates. PS, you might think you’re as talented as the writers at The Onion, but unfortunately, you’re not. The article you linked to wasn’t a comment brushing off the argument of a woman with whom you actually disagree. It seems to me the only feminists you like are the ones who agree with you, which is convenient for your dudeliness. I’m so glad us ladies have men like you around to tell us how to liberate ourselves. What would we ever have done without you?

  167. crowone voice says

    Reading this post was saddening and then sickening. The sciences categorize themselves as either “hard” or “soft”. (I’m sure your readers can make the leap as to why.) Psychology, in all its permutations is considered a “soft” science. As such, psychologies of all stripes, strive to achieve a high stand of rigor in critical thought, analysis, theory, application and practice. As a scientist yourself, who straddles both the “hard” and “soft” sciences, it would seem logical that you would be dedicated to advancing this standard in regard to psychology and especially to evolutionary psychology. However, your post displays that rather than critiquing either the Psychology Today article’s portrayal of evolutionary psychology, or critiquing the substance of I Blame the Patriarchy’s critique of that article, you sink into personal attack. This type of lazy thinking and sloppy practice does nothing to add the field of evolutionary psychology. You would actually help the field if you responded with a sound, well-documented rejoinder that addressed the scientific faults in the Psychology Today article and if you had stuck to pointing out the scientific flaws you saw in the I Blame the Patriarch post. Your rant and personal attack only damages the science you hold dear.And if you ever have the chops. try offering a sound, well-reasoned response to any of the critiques of evolutionary psychology that Pulitizer-Prize science journalist Natalie Angier has offered through the years. Her critiques still stand (after 12 years!) One more tip, when you are trying to bolster the sciences, please refrain from curling your lips into a sneer and showing your clear disdain for the humanities (of which Women’s Studies is part). It just further diminishes your credibility as both a savvy analyst and as a feminist.

  168. tinfoil hattie says

    You should read the archives at I Blame the Patriarchy. You might be pleasantly surprised.And, evo-psych is total sexist bullshit.

  169. Ethereal says

    I would like to advance the idea that the increase in tips might be due to pheromones. An aroused woman smells much like a menstruating woman, (you can identify either by scent if you have a good enough sense of smell), and that illusion of the woman responding to the man, though he may not consciously realize it, may be what motivates the greater tip volume.

  170. Ethereal says

    That is Jen’s goal as well. She is simply criticizing an example of bad feminism, that incorporates a terrible and flawed understanding of science with a flagrantly wrong interpretation of the data at hand. And it is the loudest feminists who get noticed, especially the ones who say dumb things, just like politicians or anything else the media sticks its nose into. So her thinking is that, if you’re going to get noticed, you should at least be right and not act like a moron, giving the entire feminist movement a bad name. I know many women who want social equality but refuse to identify by the term feminist exactly because of the bad name the sort of stupidity and sexism embodied in the article gives it.She is only critical of the parts of feminism that are either sexist towards men or set the movement as a whole back by further tarnishing its public reputation. Man people are already against it, so spouting flagrant stupidity, as the article she criticizes does, really shoots the movement as a whole in the foot.Everyone should be ashamed of confirmatory bias. It’s something that should be kept on the forefront of someone’s mind whenever they look at a scientific study, and many people still subscribe to it, which is just appalling to anyone who recognizes it. Also, Jen seems to be just a little bit irked by the article, rightly so, so her language may have been a bit strong.

  171. Ethereal says

    That problem is that just enough women who go by the title “feminist” are, in fact, man-haters, and that gives all the rest of feminism, a great movement with admirable goals, a terrible and undeserved reputation.

  172. Ethereal says

    I’m afraid you are the exception, quite a massive one, in fact. The candy/junk/snack food industry is one of the largest sub-sections of the entire food industry, raking in billions a year, and you can’t exactly do that without massive demand.It doesn’t make the assumption so much as it advances the idea. We don’t know for sure yet, but it seems pretty likely, but in the meantime, let’s conduct more science! (More science is always better!)It’s not a case of consuming direct sugar. Meat, fish, nuts, and all those other things are all things that are good for us, and are thusly able to be evolutionarily selected for. We die or get sick on an all-pure-sugar diet, and those foods you mention contain sugars. Not direct white cane or corn sugar, but things that are chemically sugars nonetheless. Our cells run directly on converted sugars. All food humans like contains sugar–that’s how we get energy from it–and thusly is something that tastes good. Our definition of sugary food is candy. The evolutionary definition is eating that cow over there instead of dirt. The words have a different meaning in this context.

  173. James Fish says

    I’m not sure if you’re correcting me or sounding a note of general caution, but, as a self-described feminist I’m aware that epistemic relativism isn’t inherent to feminism. My point is, rather, that having, again and again, seen the young ‘uns gain their first non-superficial experience of feminism at the hands of dogmatic relativists (in practice so much more sanctimonious than the supposedly arrogant empiricists), it’s understandable, even if it’s frustrating, that the students take this to be representative of feminism per se.

  174. says

    Way to confuse the issue…The occurence of sugars in foods is irrelevant to the question. Firstly, there really isn’t that much sugar in a lot of foods, as it’s converted to starch in many plants, and there’s just not much in the way of energy in meats. Starch ends up as sugar when we eat it (try chewing a piece of bread for a couple of minutes), but it isn’t a sugar. That, however, is besides the point.Your final paragraph is utterly irrelevant to the idea that evolution might have selected for a preference towards sweet (meaning sugary, in nature) foods. The inaccuracies, including my points above, are just extra there.

  175. ethanol says

    This makes sense. It was the almost exclusive use of “dude” that led me to interpret it as a indiscriminate replacement term rather than a distinguishing term, but in retrospect, they don’t seem to really seem to spend much time mentioning guys whom they don’t consider to be anti-feminist.

  176. Jeanette says

    Jen regularly announces her feminism all over the place. I’m sorry, but if being a part of the feminist movement requires not ever criticizing certain parts of it, it’s going to lose a LOT of members. And yeah, I’m ashamed to associate myself with organizations that are as blind to confirmation bias as blog posts like the one Jen linked to.

  177. Ivo says

    This is so true. As opposed to applied science — where a “practical and useful” goal is usually clear from the start — *basic* science can only aim at increasing our knowledge. Improved understanding in some basic domain (pure maths, theoretical physics, etc) gradually cascades down through many levels, in complicated ways, informing and enriching them, before yielding concrete benefits of the sort that blather may endorse. Thus blather’s comment”I don’t think [knowledge] has value in and of itself. It’s a means to an end. If there’s no ends, I don’t see why the pursuit of knowledge is desirable.”just bluntly ignores how the purer and the more applied sides of scientific research interact.My favorite example is computers. The whole information revolution, which has changed our world forever in such a short time, wouldn’t have been possible if not for the efforts of a few mathematicians (starting somewhere in the second half of the 19th century) to formalize and better understand logics, i.e., *philosophical* logics [Boole, Morgan, Frege,Peano,Russell…], you know, the “useless” kind. It helped that, around the turn of the century, a deep crisis swept through pure mathematics, with paradoxes starting to pop up everywhere. So a whole generation of talented mathematicians set out to try and put maths (*pure* maths, I insist) on more solid feet [Hilbert,Post,Turing,… far too many to cite here!], by creating formal axiomatic systems on which to base arithmetics, geometry and so on. The rigorous study of the formal manipulation of finite strings of symbols — as when deriving proofs of mathematical statements, or when following an algorithm for computing the value of some function — formed the theoretical background from which programmable computers eventually appeared [Turing, von Neumann,…]. The story is actually far more complex, but the point is that the practical applications were almost never what motivated these researchers, until the very end: it was a quest for pure knowledge if ever there was one. Of course, if would have been easier if Benjamin Franklin woke up one day with a plan for building a MacBook, but that’s not how it works. It’a very long and winding way, from basic research all the way down to applied engineering, and nobody can predict which directions in basic research will prove most useful, until after the fact: it’s in the very nature of things, if you think about it.

  178. chicagodyke says

    Jill is one of the few people in the world who may legitimately be termed “man hating feminist.” maybe; i won’t make an argument one way or the other. but one of the reasons Jill is angry is because of notions like “there are so many man hating feminists out there, and they’re ruining it for the rest of us!” you’ll find in truth, it’s much harder to actually find a large group of “man haters” with a proven record of saying “i hate all men” than is generally assumed in public discourse on feminism. radical feminist “anger” stems from the fact that those are memes too many people uncritically accept, without actually having read the work feminists being derided as man haters have actually written. Jill has a long body of work and i doubt most people know it all. it’s the same deal with MacKinnon or Dworkin. it’s not that one should always agree with what they argue, but it’s always helpful to actually read a paper or a book, all the way thru, before applying such a polemical term. most people just read a review or an inflammatory (often taken deliberately out of context by critics) except. again, i’m not saying Jen is doing that or that her scientific critique of the piece is invalid. i’m a long way from my ev-bio days, but i have to confess: a lot of the theory back then struck me as… suspect. i sincerely hope that’s changed; it’s the fun part about science that science does change, and seeks to improve itself. you’ve got to take a step back, Jen, altho i appreciate why you’re angry. it’s not that what people like you do is unscientific; it’s how your conclusions are misused and misrepresented by sexists outside the scientific community. i’m sure you can agree that happens. a research abstract reads “X shown to happen in Y, with 80% probability in highly controlled conditions” and lazy, science education-lacking reporters and writers turn it into “all women love to suck cock and will die without it.” that happens with disturbing and regular frequency, in our media.

  179. Tony says

    Some combination of general crankiness, having a bad week and the fact that it is seriously fucking difficult for me to understand easily offended people, and they sorta piss me off. This surely isn’t helped by my straight, white dudery, but I think it’s caused by growing up with catholic parents who were always trying to keep me from “offensive” material. The argument that a person’s beliefs and opinions are to be respected simply because they are held is a major peeve of mine. Which, combined with the above, is a recipe for instant asshole.

  180. Karmakin says

    I’ve read a lot of criticism of Evo-Psych, and this history of it isn’t just that they find evidence that anti-feminist things are evolutionary evolved. It’s that people find evidence that the anti-feminist things are evolutionary evolved and then proclaim “Isn’t that awesome?!?!. Go make me a sandwich.” It’s that it’s so often used as a weapon that it’s created a lot of hostility. FWIW I think it’s very difficult to separate things that are evolutionary evolved from things that are basically derived memes and tropes, and as such I think that disciplines such as Evo-Pysch need to be kinda careful to put their findings in the proper perspective. To be fair, I feel the same thing about disciplines such as Economics and Sociology. I actually think this is an overreaction in this case. I actually think it’s a very interesting study, and I don’t really think it’s anti-feminist at all. I don’t know about the data and details of the study, and something in there might have me change my mind, but the idea that there might be pheromones that affect the way that we act is interesting. The dividing point, where it would become anti-feminist, would be the point where the study says that because of this, well, men are not in control of ourselves so if we harass or even sexually assault you, it’s not our fault. More or less.I guess what I’m saying is that the dividing line here, is between thinking that we are slaves to our evolved brains or thinking that we need to be aware to further evolve and control our ways of thinking.

  181. katalina says

    I identify as a feminist (a man-loving sex-positive feminist), but my boyfriend gets freaked out every time I say it because he mainly thinks of the angry man-hating, “all-sex-is-a-power-struggle-so-therefore-akin-to-rape” sect of feminism. It’s frustrating because I definitely do not fit in with that group, but I very definitely am a feminist.

  182. mj says

    I know what it means. Just a little sarcasm. I don’t plan on treating my wife in a slave-like manner, either.

  183. katalina says

    This is a lot of hypersensitivity. Mike D’s comment was silly-funny. When I first read it, I giggled and was about to click “Like” but then I got caught up in the overreaction to it. If we can’t laugh at something over the top, like Jill’s insistence on belittling, rather than just criticizing, an evolutionary psychology study and by extension, the entire field of evo psych, how can we possibly hope to spend even one day of our lives not being completely offended and unhappy?And in all honesty, I had never seen the word “mansplaining” before this thread, and I found it offensive. Just like Jill’s insistence on calling all the researchers “dudes.” I don’t think a little civility ever hurt anyone’s cause…

  184. says

    I’d never say that things are equal, I was speaking to a perception – absolutely bisaed because I am a young man. I didn’t really get into the whole civil rights/liberal/equality for everyone thing until relatively recently. It just wasn’t something I thought about. But… the atheism thing was a launching pad into all that. Made me think more about racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. And… Jen got Pharyngulated, and I liked the article a lot. So I’ve been a mostly lurking reader for a while now. But anyway, I’d just like to understand more about feminism. I like to think that I’m not a patriarchal dickhead, or at least I try not to be. I guess feminism is the last bastion of -ism’s for me, if that makes sense. Seems to be a place men fear to go. But if I had to phrase my main query, the main thing that I don’t understand (but would like to!), it would be something like, “Ok, men and women – should have equal rights, sexism is bad, women deserve to be as sexually free and liberated as men (while not being stigmatized for it), and all the good stuff with fairies and whipped cream too. But, considering that men and women are different in biology and physiology, doesn’t it make even a little sense that things won’t… maybe necessarily EVER be perfectly, exactly the same?”Like the whole pheromone/ovulation thing. I mean… scientifically, doesn’t it make sense, regardless of whether or not it was done on strippers? Would it be a big deal if it was done on non-strippers? (Now that’s a term I’ve never used before… non-strippers)But anyway… my previous comments probably are a bit ill-conceived, admittedly. But like I said, I’m listening/reading/trying. It’s just that as a guy, talking about/posting about feminism threads is a bit daunting…. Always half-afraid I’m either going to come across like a jackass, or miss the point completely.

  185. says

    I’d say that a lot of women are behind the pedophile thing – typically, mothers. BUUUT… there are a lot of men who are fathers… they also hate pedophiles. It’s pretty equal from both sides in all probability. We pretty much just backed ourselves into a corner, and now guys in general are suffering I guess. Maybe we can agree to just blame the Vatican? =P

  186. says

    To test Jill’s hypothesis that the economic state of the sex industry is not caused by biology, but by the “social construct of the culture of domination and submission,” I went down to some strip clubs to “enpornulate” female sexuality by giving more money to ovulating strippers, thus incentivizing the integration of submission and reproduction.But every time I asked the strippers whether they were ovulating, I got thrown out. Asking bouncers and bartenders produced similar but more extreme results, causing them to assault me physically. I could bribe them and they wouldn’t hurt me, but even then they said they didn’t know.Conclusion: Social mechanisms failed to reproduce the disparity in tipping between ovulating and non-ovulating strippers. The violence of the males may be explained by their competitiveness over females due to the scarcity of reproductive capabilities (see Bateman’s Principle), and is known to the internets as “white knighting.”

  187. Azkyroth says

    Unless you’re one of the Ireallyfuckinghopeit’saminority who use it as a generic term for ANY statement that contradicts or second-guesses one of your assertions regardless of the gender of the speaker or the reasons given for dissenting. (*cough*Zuska*cough*)

  188. Azkyroth says

    “Mansplaining” is legitimate if used correctly – the phenomenon of usually male commenters showing up on threads dealing with feminist issues, briefly appraising the gist of the feminists’ position (this step being optional) and then smugly telling everyone how it ACTUALLY is without even bothering to engage the feminists’ arguments or read through the post or comments to note that the specific “corrections” he’s purporting to make have already BEEN considered and responded to, is well-documented.The problem comes when you start using it for ANY statement that contradicts ANY assertion a self-proclaimed “feminist” has made. Which an Ireallyfuckinghopeit’sa minority have taken to, unfortunately.

  189. Azkyroth says

    I think describing them as “man-haters” is misleading. The ones who seem to hate all men also seem to hate all women who aren’t exactly like them.

  190. says

    The funniest part for me is, I totally misunderstood what this comment was getting at. I thought the joke was based on the Greasemonkey “pie filter” – that’s a script that replaces comments by people you select with inanities about pie. You use it so you don’t have to read long trollish screeds, spam, or comments that otherwise annoy you.I thought the joke was Mike D saying that he had Jill in his pie filter (never mind that it doesn’t work for blog posts, just comments) and assumed everyone was totally missing the point, until Mike D chimed in, and then I realized that *I* was the one missing the point.All that said, I really do like pie. :-)

  191. Joseph Caine says

    Firstly, you reduced both evo-psych and scientific research on rape to straw man arguments. No one is saying that duck rape = human rape, and evo-psych is not as simple as men = hunters and women = gatherers.Secondly, that’s ridiculous. If scientists didn’t do or publish research because of the negative repercussions, we’d still be in the dark ages. Einstein’s work contributed to the eventual creation atomic bomb, but that’s not a justification to say he shouldn’t have People will always take things and bend them to nefarious purposes. Not just science – religion, ideology, even feminism.

  192. quantheory says

    Concurring. The most common sweet foods in pre-agricultural societies would seem to be fruits. That we have the ability to taste sweetness so well in the first place is good evidence that it has at some point had some evolutionary benefit, though not for what it might be.It can be difficult to develop an evolutionary explanation of any single, specific psychological feature without an apparent just-so story (this is so with any science which is more historical than experimental, including the evolution of many non-psychological traits, where we may not always be sure for what reason those traits were selected for, or if they were selected for at all). I think the value of evolutionary psychology, as for evolutionary explanations in general, comes largely from its ability to explain certain things in a unified way. For example, as far as food preferences go, we find that those with a lot of extractable calories tend to be more delicious because they taste sweeter or more meaty, and those which can make people sick tend to be bitter or smell bad. So I think the appropriate testable things to be looking at are stuff like “If we like sugar because sugar helps with X, is that consistent with our enjoyment of other things that help with X.” If the sensation of sweetness evolved to identify high-calorie foods, we’d expect other pleasant sensations to go with other calorie foods (this is somewhat born out by the common love of meaty/fatty foods). If the sensation of sweetness evolved to get us to eat certain types of fruit, we’d expect that other sensations elicited by those fruits to be found favorable by the majority of people cross-culturally (and that those fruits should be among the very sweetest available fruits in the environment we evolved in). I can’t say what the evidence is on this question, but I thought I’d contribute, in the context of this thread, that there are definitely some ways it seems possible to provide further support (this is not such a bad speculation as to be untestable).

  193. quantheory says

    Unfortunately, between pomo stuff and simple polemic, there is a lot of feminism out there that doesn’t mesh with science. I would far rather see criticism of those ideas come from people who *do* have a feminist bent and recognize that it’s compatible with good science, than those who would like to label all feminists as man-hating loons. I think that Jen qualifies; even in pieces like this, her outrage seems motivated in part by genuine desire not to see the feminist label tarnished by, I won’t say extremists (such a poor word), but people who look like they are concerned more with ideology than with reality.

  194. guest says

    So you know a lot of women who’d rather work against their own interests than take on a label that’s been tainted by mainly Rush Limbaugh types and, to a much smaller extent, extremists like Jill, who are a small minority among feminists. How nice. I’m sure that you feel more comfortable with such women, and if teh menz aren’t discomfited, that’s the important thing, isn’t it?

  195. guest says

    So you draw a binary between feminism and science, as if there aren’t scientists who are feminists. PZ Myers is one. Zuska is another. Isis is a third.

  196. guest says

    Criticizing Jill, who is frequently full of shit, is perfectly valid.Using her as “the reason women don’t want to become feminists” is ridiculous. Every group, whether they’re a social-justice movement or part of “the establishment,” has members who are toxic for one reason or another.

  197. guest says

    Oooh, give me some more “tone argument.” Tell me more about how I have to be a polite, smiling, non-man-threatening li’l feminist so that the d00ds will condescend to take me seriously and pat me on the head.As for “open mind,” maybe he ought to fill that mind with some information on feminism, rape, and the like before just spouting off. I don’t come onto science blogs and spew nonsense when I don’t know enough about the subject.

  198. guest says

    Yeah, you totally get cookies for being against things that most people are against, which entitles you to defend lesser forms of sexism. Fuck you, and look in the mirror before you call anyone else a “dumbass.”

  199. guest says

    Bawwww, menz who know nothing about feminism and don’t care to learn are offended by the term “mansplaining.” And I should give a shit, why? Oh, right, I shouldn’t be alienating my so-called “allies,” who demand that I spend a big chunk of my precious time stroking their dewicate widdle egos.

  200. guest says

    Aw, Katalina. I’m sure you get lots of pats on the heads from the d00dz for giggling like a cute li’l girly-girl at their sexist jokes and being “offended” when they’re called out on their shit. I hope the crumbs from their table are tasty….

  201. guest says

    I’m so glad Sam is here to moderate this discussion with his d00dly wisdom and make sure that all the feminists aren’t being too emotional or too insulting or too humorless. Without your big manly brain to sort this issue out, how would us ladeez cope?

  202. guest says

    Because I couldn’t reply to your comment above, I’ll reply here: People who run productive websites do, indeed, delete comments that are not conducive to good conversation. It’s called being a good moderator.BTW, “censorship” is something the government does, not something a private individual does. The owner of a blog doesn’t owe anybody a platform for their views.

  203. guest says

    Now, I think both “sides” here are being a little crazy and missing the point a little…And, again, Sam positions himself as Mr. Rational, who’s going to bridge the gap between the privilege-denying dudes — who have a point, he believes, except that they’re just being impolite — and the humorless feminists, whom of course Sam supports but he wishes they’d just be more rational and logical…Man, you’re pompous.

  204. guest says

    Aw, are you getting a li’l testerical? Perhaps you need a nice cup of warm tea and a nap. There, there. Don’t get your pretty li’l head upset.

  205. guest says

    If you don’t want people to snap at you, perhaps you ought to not insert yourself as self-appointed moderator, especially when you know precisely jack and shit about the topic.

  206. guest says

    I’m totally with you w/r/t ev-psy and using Jill as an excuse to feminist-bash, but, really, if there’s no immediate and obvious benefit, research shouldn’t be done? Perhaps you ought to read up on all the terrestrial benefits that the space program serendipitously produced.As for history, it’s more than “a parade of horrible people doing horrible things to one another.” It’s a fascinating look into cultures that are forever lost to us. It’s the study of how our world was built. It’s not just war and torture and rape; it’s art and music and agriculture and science.

  207. guest says

    Hey, Sam? I don’t really care if some men feel insulted because women’s position in the world is far, far below what that of men is. You aren’t the fucking thread cop. You are a pompous windbag with delusions of neutrality and rationality.

  208. guest says

    LOL, because women are privileged relative to men the way whites of Anglo or Germanic descent are privileged relative to Jews. Fail.

  209. guest says

    There are different kinds of feminism. That’s why feminists speak of “feminisms.”As for “the kind of woman we strove to be in the 1970s” — Second Wavers are, and were, pretty damned ignorant, often willfully, of any oppression other than that of women. The racism and transphobia coming out of those quarters is still pretty disgusting. And if you have a bug up your butt about “man-haters,” I hate to tell you, but most separatists are Second Wavers.My fellow Third Wavers might be too eager to romanticize mommyhood and ignore certain economic and labor issues, but thank FSM that intersectionality is finally getting more than just lip service.

  210. guest says

    Awesome comment.Christ, am I tired of women in the sciences who don’t acquaint themselves with the history of how science has been abused to oppress people, then act all baffled that people in social-justice movements have serious issues with much of what goes on in modern science.

  211. says

    I just usually get the impression that most people would prefer not to offend people. It would appear that you think offending of some people is a good thing in and of itself – that’s up to you.

  212. guest says

    When women are actually socially equal to men, I’ll worry about “female-on-male sexism.” Until then, I’ll rightly dismiss it as whining from privilege-denying d00ds.Also, Skeptifem isn’t Jill.

  213. guest says

    Our “allies” don’t scold us for being angry and tell us that all our problems are psychological. You’re not my ally, asshole. You’re another privileged douchebag on the internet.

  214. guest says

    Please to be learning the difference between “hating men” and “refusing to hold men’s hands and stroke their egos and do everything possible to avoid discomforting them one little bit.”

  215. says

    I don’t think I’ve ever suggested that there’s any point in privilege-denying. It is true that there are negative aspects for men in the heteronormative expectations of society; it’s also true that they’re negligible compared to the negative aspects of such for women. Also never suggested that anyone, never mind a whole class of people, was humourless.I often wish everyone would be more rational, in specific situations at specific times, including myself. I don’t deride emotionalism, and in fact an awareness and sensitivity to emotion is necessary to rational handling of a lot of situations.I’m not clear on what about my behaviour seems pompous… I’d be grateful to learn.I’m also not clear on what there is a response to my comment, which was agreeing that normative gender roles were an issue of sexism, and trying to help the few people who seemed to have trouble with that idea to understand it.

  216. says

    I think there’s a general agreement here that people should call out sexism and insensitivity (and so forth) when they see it, because it’s objectionable and calling it out is the most direct way to change it.I feel the same about rudeness, particularly misdirected rudeness. I realise that it’s pointless for me to point out any such behaviour on our part, at this point.

  217. says

    Let me just check your logic here… the general position of women in the world is far below that of men. Yup, no disagreement here, that’s completely true. As some sort of corollary, you therefore suggest that it doesn’t matter if any men feel insulted. Not following you there… we’re all people, and hurting people isn’t a good thing. Sometimes it can be justified, but what exactly is gained by smearing those human rights workers who, while working in human rights in general, are perfectly attentive to issues specifically affecting both genders?

  218. Smithbe says

    I think the definition of feminism that you and Mike D below lay out explains the difficulty that a lot of people here seem to have with Jill’s article, and with her understanding of feminism in general. For her, and for myself (another aspiring-feminist male) as well, feminism is not simply the hope that women should not suffer any legal disabilities for being women, should be treated justly, and have their choices respected. Rather, it’s the idea that what prevents women from living in a world without fear of male violence, physical and psychological, is a whole series of unconscious attitudes, held by both men and women, which, collectively, we can patriarchy. Patriarchy, while often evidently manifested in such things as handicaps on women’s civil rights, is also implicitly and invisibly present in many of our day-to-day activities. Feminist consciousness-raising has as its task to make this latter form of patriarchy visible and a target of, if nothing else, indignation and “blaming.” One of the most pervasive instances of patriarchy is the ways in which sex differences are understood as being immutably tied to a whole range of behaviors, or even personality types, gendered as male and female. Many feminists believe that investigations, scientific or otherwise, into “sex differences” nearly always carry a heavy risk of affirming the patriarchy-laden division of humanity into two genders, one made to serve the other. These feminist suspicions are put on guard by silly, self-evident sexist popular representations of (perhaps legitimately) scientific work on sex differences, and still more so by denunciations of their suspicions as hysterical and anti-rational. Jill noted her suspicions in her characteristically off-hand, funny way, and her tone does not (especially when considered against the body of her work, in which she says clearly that science is not inherently patriarchal and aligns feminism with the project of liberating science from such embarrassing and unscientific presentations as the PT piece in question) merit accusations that she is sexist.

  219. says

    Absolutely.One bit of hand-holding we could do with, and sometimes have a hard time getting, is when we really want to understand something better. Instead of guidance, sometimes we get scorn. Whether any individual wanting to learn more (about feminism, privilege, or any of those things) gets hand-holding (by which I only mean some degree of explanation, followed if necessary by suggested reading or similar; I think we should educate ourselves rather than be spoon-fed, otherwise those who do understand would have no time to do anything else except that) or scorn, or sees more hand-holding or scorn, just depends on where they are.My personal theory is that the reputation for everyone being man-hating gets exaggerated by two main processes: the tendency of society towards inertia leading to resistance to any ideas that would lead to change, as seen in the abolition movement, for instance; the tendency for a lot of men who want to learn more, but are utterly clueless, to demand personal explanations of every little point, and then treat a reasonable annoyance at this as hostility. Each man may not have earned the annoyance themselves (a matter for debate, perhaps), but understanding the whole environment it is impossible to criticise those who are annoyed.I freely admit that I’ve made this latter error, although I was lucky that someone contacted me privately to explain that one error and give me some pointers where to get better acquainted with the issues. I quickly saw the frank idiocy of requesting direct explanations to everything, did not attribute the incident to hostility, and went and did some reading (though not as much as I’d’ve liked).(and now my MA-course brain is wondering if anyone’s done any work on men’s entry to feminism from the perspective of situated learning/communities of practice… I can see an argument that men might have difficulty finding legitimate peripheral participation (through no-one’s fault by society-as-a-whole) – might have to do some literature searching, maybe email one of the gender folks in my department)

  220. says

    Absolutely; the discrimination in our society (against all sorts of groups) is not just legal or institutional. It’s societal, it’s pervasive.There’s then a huge degree of opinion and interpretation that goes into any judgement as to exactly what’s objectionable (though all agree on most of it, the discourse ends up disproportionately covering the areas of disagreement, naturally). So, different people (or groups) who agree on so much end up in conflict and that conflict is all a lot of people see. Which is lamentable, really, but there’s not that much that can be done about it.

  221. James Fish says

    You managed to misunderstand me fairly epically. My point was that undergrads, on the theory module of their chosen degree, tend to get exposed a form of feminism that is anti-scientific, couched within a broader context of anti-scientific postmodernism, and that, frustrating though it may be, we can hardly be surprised when they jump to the conclusion that this anti-scientific, jargon laden crap is all that feminism is. They are wrong of course, but understandably so. I don’t see any binary between feminism and science, being as much of a scientist as an archaeologist can be, and, I hope, a feminist.

  222. Fatpie42 says

    IAWTCThe thing is that while evolutionary psychology might not be inevitably awful, it is misused an awful lot. I would be interested to hear what Jen has to say about the other side of things i.e. the ways evopsych is used against feminists. Having seen a poor criticism, it’d now be nice to see Jen do a more reasoned consideration of the issue (even if time contraints mean it is limited in scope. I do realise that doing an article on the pros and cons of the entire field of evolutionary psychology is a bit of a daunting request).One of the most horrible (and memorable) examples I have seen of evolutionary psychology being used to undermine feminism came, oddly enough, from a female atheist blogger. (Then again, I think I generally stay away from places where this stuff is more likely and it was memorable precisely because it took me by surprise.) Daftest of the arguments she printed was the assertion that “sexual harassment is not sexist”. The argument failed to note that sexual harassment can be against male workers as well as female. It also failed to note than in either case sexism would have to be involved in some way to warrant the use of the term “sexual” prior to the word “harassment”.Here’s the link:rationalresponders.com/politic…

  223. says

    Is there any way I could get a peek at it as well? I’m just in undergrad, right now, but well-done research is always great to see in this field…

  224. says

    Indeed; there are sentences that hang together, but very little overall sense on the whole thing. I’m not saying that the argument makes no sense or is wrong – I just can’t tell what the argument is.I will say one thing – the division of sciences into “hard” and “soft” is simplistic and fallacious. Speaking as someone who has formally studied, at (significant) undergraduate level or higher, mathematics, physics, computer science, , and education/educational research, I can see a lot of overlap, and a lot of areas in which “hard” scientists could do with a better social outlook, and social scientists could do with a more traditionally scientific outlook.

  225. says

    Perhaps you shouldn’t be making sweeping condemnations without giving any evidence. Evo-psych, while rife with the problems the rest of psych is plagued with, is still a field worthy of consideration.

  226. U_ne_korn says

    Yeah, fling me your email – my email is the name I’m posting under @hotmail.com and I’ll send you the link. I’m extra paranoid about associating my RL name with anything online, trying to keep off Google :D

  227. says

    Perhaps you could condescend to take a guy seriously from time to time regardless of that Y chromosome he’s got. I don’t think anyone’s saying that you need to wear a sundress and simper at males, but a little common courtesy would be nice.If you can’t manage that, maybe you could try attacking someone’s arguments, rather than writing them off because they happen to be male (or straight, or white, or whatever privileged class you’re mad at at the time).

  228. tinfoil hattie says

    Ha ha ha ha haaaa – no, thanks. Any “science” which conveniently conflates “evolution” and biologic determinism with the most sexist, fratboy views of the ideal woman is not science.

  229. says

    Fine! I admit it… I never really looked at feminism or ‘patriarchal gender roles’… mostly because I thought they didn’t really apply anyway. Things mostly seemed equal, and I thought I was pretty good about not being a dickhead. Maybe this is typical of guys? I don’t know, clearly though I’ve failed pretty badly here. But hey, in my defense, I’m *trying*, even willing to learn.I meant to mention this before – I’m glad you’re trying to learn. If you’re genuinely interested, I recommend http://finallyfeminism101.word…. It’s got a lot of stuff that will get you started. Even though you made what may have been a bit of a blunder there, being willing to accept that you screwed up and educate yourself a little harder means there might just be hope for you yet. ;)

  230. Jeric_synergy says

    hahahahahah. Like anyone who doesn’t kowtow doesn’t get kicked out. But frankly, I don’t remember.That you, “Praxis”? Show yer face…

  231. says

    To jump in on that last tidbit, I’m a grad student in both American Lit and Women’s Studies (go interdisciplinary degrees!), and I can’t say that I’ve ever heard tale of a study like that being conducted. There are some outdated studies, of course, and still more that address the various sites of resistance to feminism’s tenets. In general, most of the work in feminism is still centered around the women, especially since the disapora has exploded within the last 10 years to include fat acceptance, disability feminism, postcolonial feminism, and many other “new” branches. I will say, however, that plenty of good research is being done *by* men (my school being a particular example as many of the male professors do work in Women’s Studies).

  232. says

    If you want to ‘fill my head with information’, perhaps you could offer some, instead of shooting first and asking questions later? I’m only here out of personal curiosity/interest, after all. Why the fuck do you think I’m reading Jen’s blog, and a couple others like it? Out of spite? So I can just laugh and then drink a beer while I make my pregnant wife bake a cake? No, I’m here because 1) Jen writes about atheism, and is awesome, and 2) to learn and probably stumble my way through the metaphorical dark, while slowly lighting some candles til I can see the whole room. Some guys are actually trying to learn about feminism… you should hope it’s a trend. Do you want an apology for being an idiot? Sorry. Apologize for ignorance on the topic at hand? Sorry. How about patting you on the head? Sor…I didn’t do that anyway. How about an apology for being a sexist, misogynistic man-pig? I’m reasonably sure I’m not a pig, or misogynistic…. unwitting sexist? Ok, I’ll apologize for that too, I suppose I had it coming anyway. Can’t apologize for that Y chromosome though, it’s in there pretty deep.

  233. Steve says

    And yes, Tipper, let’s have standards of decency for science, so that, like film, the envelope-pushing, edgy visionaries are pushed out of the marketplace in favor of the retreaded vanilla family fare; or are at least forced to censor themselves.Because after all, someone might get offended.

  234. Steve says

    On the issue of make-up, I once made a comment to a friend in the gym about how I, as an actor, had to learn to do my own stage make-up. He started to ridicule me, but only until I asked him what he thought the camo paint he used while hunting was. He did not have a clear answer. The notion of anyone other than a female wearing make-up was quite appalling to him. I wonder what effect these ideas will have on his children someday.

  235. says

    As someone showed some interest…There’s a major theory in education referred to as “communities of practice”, an aspect of “situated learning”. These communities are often associated with practices, terminology, and an identity (among other things), with classic examples including 12-step programmes and tailors. Feminism strikes me as another example, showing many of the characteristics.Another aspect of them is introduction via what’s called “legitimate peripheral participation”, the classic example of which is apprenticeship, whereby the would-be practitioner gains a right (with the acceptance of the community) to the identity, at least in part (e.g. “apprentice tailor” as a form of identity as a “tailor”), and access to practices and discourse so as to learn them. Understandably, the barriers to legitimate peripheral participation in feminism are lower for women than men; however, it seems an interesting hypothesis to examine that the barriers are higher than necessary for men in many cases, and it would be interesting to analyse whether the level of these barriers for men serve a purpose (well, obviously they do) and whether those purposes are being best served, or whether it might be “better” to provide some easier avenue to legitimate participation for men.

  236. Weis Mantle says

    Kjell: Try reading feminist blogs for two weeks and you’d be annoyed at you too. Your cheerful “teach me” attitude is a permanent fixture that refuses to go away. Jill’s blog keeps riff-raff like you low by refusing to cater to spoon-feed. I’d advise you to cut off your penis, read books for a few years, and try again.

  237. Weis Mantle says

    Jill is one of the sharpest, funniest, most poignant writers I’ve read on the net. Read a little of her and you’ll see that she and Jen are not even close to being intellectual equals. By no fault of hers or Jen’s, Jill is both smarter and right-er.

  238. jimmyboy99 says

    Sam – I am absolutely with you. While not overjoyed with all that is the very public side of feminism, I know that it is mostly public because a misogynist press likes to publish the extremes – it sells more papers (in the UK, that means the likes of the Daily Mail, the most appallingly anti-women shite that has ever craved respectability). That doesn’t really define feminism any more than trying to understand all Christians by chatting to a Fundie Evo or a Catholic would. I’ve described myself as a feminist for a while – though I don’t have a particularly deep knowledge of the different theories – but really because it just needs lots of people (and perhaps professional men in particular) to be feminist publicly to make the point that the work is not “done”, that there are still massive deply entrenched inequalities.Picking up on the ‘mansplaining’ comment earlier: I find the term deeply offensive at an instinctive level. But unfortunately it’s only offensive because it touches a nerve. It does describe pretty well what happens in many threads on feminism and not while entirely sure how to avoid being guilty of it, I have to hold my hand up to it too. It does get abused sometimes, but far less often than the occurence of the offense.

  239. MarcusBailius says

    Possibly related, I suggest, is an article I read a while back by a female doctor who had testosterone treatment for some issue… She said, afterwards, she felt very sorry for male teenagers who were flooded with the stuff. “How do they cope”, she wrote, “thinking about sex ALL THE TIME?” Well, it’s not quite all the time…!It is indeed however an issue males have to cope with – to remain in control of their emotions when those emotions are SO dominated by the effects of the testosterone in their systems. Now that’s obviously not the same as out-and-out sexism but it is a factor, and education has a role to play here in helping males figure out the limits.Sorry, I’ve had a look, but I can’t find a link to the report… The internet is simply too full of web-pages devoted to testosterone, one way or another! It’s like trying to find links to the Monte Carlo radiation transport code called CASINO without finding gambling sites…

  240. says

    At what point did I say that “crazies” did not exist? Every movement has its embarrassments.You didn’t. You did seem to be suggesting that there was something wrong with the idea of criticizing the crazies for being crazy though, and there seem to be two possible rationales for that:- “Stop saying there are crazies, they don’t really exist.”- “Stop pointing out the crazies, I don’t like admitting they exist.”You also went on to say that “Calling Jill out as a “bad apple” who is responsible for anti-feminist stereotypes, though, is bullshit” without apparently backing that up with any sort of reasoned argument. It’s common, if not inevitable, for the general perception of any self-identifying group to be influenced by its most extreme, and loudest, members. I see no reason why feminism should be any different – there are crazies in feminism, and if the non-crazies don’t, at least occasionally, slap their insanity down, it looks like they’re fine with it.Jen’s blogged in the past about how sexist behaviour by a few men can taint a whole group if no-one else thinks it’s worth countering, and there’s no reason to let such unpleasant, aggressive, sexism slide just because it comes from a woman.

  241. says

    Just because something you dislike (and which, to be honest, is a problem) has been done within a field doesn’t mean that you should dismiss the field outright. Some, or even many, things are wrong here, sure. But that doesn’t mean that evo-psych can’t produce useful research.

  242. jimmyboy99 says

    I have some sympathy with those feminists who get represented as man-hating (I’ve not met many who really do) – even though they might be pretty intimidating to me (as a bloke): after all their reactions and views are informed by a pretty serious situation that the world is in denial about. If a woman spends much time fighting that she gets to be represented as ‘strident’, ‘angry’, ‘lesbian’ (as an insult), ‘ugly’ and the like without any reference to the facts. It’s just easy to throw those accusations when they are commonly held to be true.And the media really does love to over do this – and to split the feminist voice, when in fact, it probably isn’t as split as might be commonly thought perhaps?So sure – there is some real anti-science in some streams of feminism. But misrepresentation of feminists and feminist theories is just massive and epidemic – a way bigger phenomenon I think.

  243. says

    To put it simply, “women are better parents and more trustworthy around children” is a patriarchal attitude.Er, no. That’s just argument by redefinition. The word ‘patriarchy’ is pretty clearly used to refer specifically to a system of dominance of, and by, men. On the occasions where a sexist attitude is advanced by women, and favours women, it is not ‘patriarchal’. It’s still sexist, it’s still wrong, but patriarchy it is not.

  244. says

    Until then, I’ll rightly dismiss it as whining from privilege-denying d00ds.Then you’re as much a sexist arse as anyone. It’s quite possible to be against sexism, from wherever it comes, and whoever it favours, and there’s no reason not to be. It’s also possible to favour and promote equality generally and speak and act against unfair discrimination against people based on their gender, their race, their sexual orientation, or whatever else.Of course, acknowledging that it’s a general problem rather than one that just affects you might impact on your cosy feeling of victimhood.

  245. says

    Nope… I’m going to have to disagree on two levels.Firstly, words have subtly (or not so subtly) different meaning in different areas of discourse. For instance, there’s an immense difference in fine detail of meaning of the word “reification” in computer science and educational theory. In the case of the word “patriarchy”, it’s often used in the context of feminism to refer to the overall state of society coming from the male-dominated background of said society. This is particular in the phrase “the Patriarchy”. I sincerely doubt that many people interpret that in an everyday sense, which would imply some sort of male council ruling the world. In fact, for such a meaning to make sense, this council would also have to be basing their decisions on what is best for, or desired by, men. If that were what was being asserted, your objection would be fine.Also, the reason that society as a whole views women as the preferred “main parent” is, arguably, that male-dominated society forced that role onto women. Thus, the view of women as the main parent is an attitude that is patriarchal in origin.In either case, whether considering specifics of feminist meanings of the word or not, “patriarchy” refers to male-dominated society (originally meaning “rule by fathers”), not to whether the enforcement of that societal view comes from men or women, nor who benefits from it.

  246. says

    Coulda been worse… could’ve written it as “teh menz” ;)(explanatory note: I have a visceral dislike of that sort of writing, whether it comes from inability to type or some sort of ironic intent – except when it’s for a lolcat, of course… but the manner of delivery is certainly not as important as the actual message, generally, in my opinion. In other words, this was mostly a joke, hence the winky)

  247. says

    Sure, an individual event or act can be sexist in either direction; similarly with racism, other aspects of gender and sexuality, and so on.However, none of these are necessarily or always related to societal prejudice. You can be the most liberal, enlightened person on the planet and you will have some prejudiced attitudes that you may not be aware of. I doubt anyone will ever rid themselves of them completely in the foreseeable future. Just somehow ridding society of all outwardly discernible prejudiced behaviour will not rid the world of gender, class, race, or any other such privilege. That’s why just making everyone equal in law, and outlawing such behaviours, isn’t enough, even if the law were satisfactorily enforced.One of the reasons to keep thinking about and talking about all of these issues is to help yourself continue to identify and address attitudes and behaviours in yourself that sexist, racist, homophobic, disablist, nationalist, and so on.PS: this isn’t to say I disagree with or object to everything you’ve said; it just seemed to fit what was worth addressing.

  248. Paisley says

    As a biologist, I think that the study that you link to absolutely warrants some criticism. They only have 18 subjects and they were only providing self-report data for 2 menstrual cycles. Really, 18 subjects and only 2 months… Furthermore, of the 18 subjects only those normally cycling showed this ‘higher tip during fertile phase’ correlation…which means only 11 women. 11 women is even less. With a 95% confidence interval, those error bars on figure 2 are huge. and considering that this is only 11 women over 2 months the spike could be due to factors other than their cycle. do those 11 women work at the same club? was their some event that occurred that may have caused the women to try harder for tips (like a bachelor party, a birthday, one day where some really generous men came in?…and this event just happened to fall on a ‘fertile’ time for the dancers). It almost seems like the researchers should have contacted the club in order to do some sort of adjustment of the tips in relation to how much total money was made that day. Pretty sloppy. If this is one of those good studies out there in evo-psych, then I do have major concerns about the field. And it is very unfortunate that research like this, which isn’t very strong, does gets reported as fact and with a some sort of sexist headline.

  249. says

    I’m familiar with CoP studies that have been done in linguistics that pertain to language and gender issues (but only centered on the women of a particular area), and I’m also familiar with the latter concept, though my professors refer to it more generally as ethnography since they’re often doing research on language and identity. (Even as a literature student, I’ve been dabbling in sociolinguistics for years now.) I think a study approaching men who are feminist allies would be interesting if done from that perspective; I just haven’t ever heard of one being conducted that way! If only I was a dude! — kidding, kidding.

  250. says

    If you spent half the energy you devote to conjuring up derisive hyperbole into constructing a coherent deductive argument, you might have, in all your vitriolic ranting, said a thing or two worthwhile. The problem is not that you don’t think it’s funny (I have no reason to value your comedic opinion over the 21 people who liked it); rather, the problem is your inability to discern subtext, coupled with your inability to form a coherent argument that rises above the level of hyperbolic assertions laced with hypocrisy. That said, the hyperbole is nothing if not entertaining. Jen writes a lucid critique of a terribly written/reasoned article, and you accuse her of positioning herself as the “gatekeeper of feminism”. I make a goofy crack, and suddenly I think it’s the “height of wit” and that I’m more talented than the writers at the Onion. And when I dismiss your (and Jill’s) opinions because they’re little more that incoherent misanthropic vitriol transparently posturing as incisive counter-culture, you say I don’t take sexism seriously, that I only like women who agree with me, etc. I take equality very seriously, “dude” – I just don’t take misguided hypocrites like you seriously.

  251. says

    Well, ethnography isn’t usually entirely legitimate peripheral participation, as most ethnographers don’t truly participate, they just observe, and they don’t have a legitimate claim to the identity of the CoP. The first exposure to ethnography I had was in Computer Science, where we were told about it as a systems engineering tool (for requirements engineering, and understanding the practices of users, and so on); the example in question was an observation of the old pre-computerised Air Traffic Control centres here in the UK. While the ethnographer was accepted by the ATC folks, they didn’t actually get involved with the work, and they weren’t an Air Traffic Controller. As an aspiring Educational Researcher, I’ve learned about ethnography as a class of data-gathering methods.That digression into clarifying details aside ;) I think it does sound interesting, and could be a wonderful opportunity for a collaborative study by Women’s Studies folks and EdRes folks. So many aspects one could look at – formality/informality of the learning experience is a good one obvious on the education side. Shame I’m just a masters student and I’m targeting my career in a slightly different direction, at least until it’s established.Oh, and you don’t have to be a guy to study guys experiences :p though it might help with the interviews, in all seriousness. :)

  252. says

    Just somehow ridding society of all outwardly discernible prejudiced behaviour will not rid the world of gender, class, race, or any other such privilege.I think I agree with everything else you’ve just said, but not that bit. The overall privileges that exist (male, straight, white….) are made up entirely of individuals making lots of little prejudiced decisions. If you could ever get to the point where no-one did, then there’d be no privilege left. You’re quite right that legislating doesn’t make it so, of course, but if you could actually get rid of, rather than just outlaw, all discernible prejudiced behaviour you’d have eliminated the privilege.I think I’d go further though, and suggest that you don’t need to eliminate all prejudiced decisions to eliminate privilege; it would be enough to equalise the chances of prejudice in each direction. At the moment some sexist decisions favour women, but for more favour men, so overall you’re going to be better off being a man. If you had situation instead where some people were rabidly anti-women, some people were rabidly anti-men, and there was an exactly balanced normal distribution of people holding attitudes in between the two, there’d be no overall advantage or disadvantage to being either sex, and so there’d be no one privileged group.

  253. says

    In the case of the word “patriarchy”, it’s often used in the context of feminism to refer to the overall state of society coming from the male-dominated background of said society.I completely agree that specialist subject areas can use terminology in specialised ways, however, I do think that the everyday meaning of the words tends to colour people’s understanding of them. We’ve seen other posters in this thread advance the idea that ‘The Patriarchy’ is entirely a problem of oppression of women by ‘the menz’, and that the effects of sexist expectations on men are categorically different things, and not worth considering. That would be a much harder case to make if the terms used were not themselves inherently gender biased.

  254. says

    I forgot the place where I demanded spoon-feeding. I might ask for patience, or possibly clarification, even suggestions on material to read. Though I do read all sorts of books, perhaps just not the books you’d wish I read. I can sympathize with that, to a degree. But your advice? That’s stupid, as if cutting off genitalia would change… what? My naked appearance? I might cry for a while, but I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t really help me learn anything. It certainly wouldn’t change who I am. Maybe cutting your genitals changed something for you, but I’d prefer my genitalia to remain the way they are, thanks. Finally, all I’m saying is that maybe people should be more ok with cheerful ‘teach-me’ attitudes in general. Working with someone who has a willingness to learn, and natural curiosity about, a subject is much better than doing the best to cram it down their throats if they are ambivalent towards, aren’t receptive to, or openly hostile to a given subject. Like math – I hate my math courses, it’s not particularly interesting to me, and I don’t have a natural curiosity towards it. I’ll attend, and do the work to get an A, but don’t expect a single iota of effort beyond that. But my Poli-Sci/Geography/History/(whatever else I really enjoy) classes? Love it, I’d spend all day in some of them if I could. Between interest in, curiosity about, and genuine want to know about a subject, anyone would get more out of it, and probably have a higher quality of work – not to mention a willingness to do extra credit/intern work/etc.Would you rather have someone actually interested, and ‘cheerful’, or some hostile fucker on here, spewing all sorts of random flames? Not that there isn’t plenty of that below… but that’s a story for another night. Take your pick, I guess.

  255. says

    You would be more right if your post reflected that you comprehended any of what I said. I didn’t say you thought you were more talented than the writers at “The Onion”, but that you were even as talented as most of them are. You refuse to address the actual issue that I bring up with the joke while still stammering that I have no sense of humor and am a misanthropist. It’s convenient to say people are things without actually proving it, unfortunately, it doesn’t make for convincing arguments. And actually, it was Jen’s assertion that people like Jill are the reason why feminism gets a bad wrap that caused me to say that about her, but you can gloss over things you don’t want to address if it makes it easier for you. I’m glad you’re finally saying that you were, in fact, writing a dismissal with your joke. It does strengthen my argument that the “joke” was in fact dudely privilege you decided to put forth as hilarity. Also, how have I been hypocritical? You know, it’s a common practice to include examples with your arguments.

  256. says

    “I haven’t told her she has to conform to my standards.”*ahem*”or it was trolling and should probably be deleted. “”If you want to bitch about how other people do their feminism, you might want to tell dudes who think they’re being clever in your comments to stfu”Care to rethink either of those positions?Also….”I know “feminazi” comes from conservative efforts to demonize and discredit feminism. It doesn’t actually come from feminist efforts.”It comes from conservative efforts to discredit feminism as a result of the paranoid misanthropic rantings of people like you and jill. Everyone with a dick is not out to get you fttr. Some of us actually would like to see gender equity and humanistic respect regardless of gender. However, insulting and denigrating every piece of research that identifies and attempts to explain biological differences between the genders is no way to do that. The sooner people like you learn to accept there there are certain differences between the genders that need to be accepted as biological imperatives, the better.

  257. says

    “I didn’t demand anything”*ahem*”or it was trolling and should probably be deleted. “”If you want to bitch about how other people do their feminism, you might want to tell dudes who think they’re being clever in your comments to stfu”on to:”I don’t like it, but I’m not going to leave. I’m going to point it out. That’s what dissenters in Murika do, too, whenever folks tell them that if they don’t like it then they can leave the good ol’ red, white, and blue.”Dissenters in murika are speaking out against government oppression, not what was written on a private blog. You seem to keep forgetting here that this is not a free speech zone – rather, you seem to be demanding it for yourself while insisting that voices _you_ don’t deem productive are suppressed. Look up ‘hypocrisy’, kiddo.”I didn’t kick her out of the feminist club”I didn’t say you did, I said you questioned her credentials.”I just pointed out that she shouldn’t appoint herself as gatekeeper of feminism or the person who gets to decide what’s holding the movement back”hmmm, what was that you said about Dissent earlier? So, Jen isn’t allowed to voice her dissent if she allows voices of dissent on her blog, but the voice of dissent is ok as long as it expresses a dissent you agree with.You’re not making a whole helluvalot of sense here….

  258. says

    Hey, you’re the one who said you had ‘nothing in common’. Now you say you do? Btw, I see your ‘fuck you’ and raise you “fuck you you fucking fuck”

  259. says

    “”Jill’s rant utterly failed to bake me a pie.” “We should reject Jill’s criticism because she’s a woman.”You are so completely full of shit.

  260. says

    So, you’re saying it’s okay for you to behave as a sexist becasue you see it from others? Way to raise the bar , kiddo….

  261. Amanda says

    Oh god, did you just pull out the sense of humor card?Some of this whole discussion has been a bit inflammatory for my taste, but please understand that sexist jokes are anti-feminist, even if you quietly giggle at them. This is not a case of I Have Humor And You Don’t If You Don’t Laugh At Pie/Sandwich jokes. This is the ability to understand that it came off to many has an off-color, sexist joke, and that laughing at it doesn’t make you a bad person; however, you may benefit from not trying to tell others why they were wrong if they didn’t laugh as well.

  262. says

    zen, I’m replying to your above comment here.If you really think conservative blowhards discredit feminism because of anything the people that identify themselves with the movement actually say, well. . .that’s pretty effin’ ridiculous. I think it just goes to show that you have very little actual knowledge of how social justice movements work. PS – when words like “might” and “probably” are included in sentences, that usually means they’re more suggestive rather than demanding. Try again, dude.

  263. says

    zen, again, replying here:”Dissenters in murika are speaking out against government oppression, not what was written on a private blog. You seem to keep forgetting here that this is not a free speech zone – rather, you seem to be demanding it for yourself while insisting that voices _you_ don’t deem productive are suppressed. Look up ‘hypocrisy’, kiddo.”You first, doll. I find it hilarious that you think I’m so demanding when really all I’ve said is that people should take the beam out of their own eyes before pointing them out in others. I don’t care if Jen lets ten thousand dudely trolls come in here and bloviate about how hilarious their “ironic” sexism is all day. However, if she does that, it’s probably not wise to talk about how you don’t like being associated with feminism because of what others do, as if you’re somehow like a wayyy totally more awesome feminist than them. “I didn’t kick her out of the feminist club””I didn’t say you did, I said you questioned her credentials.”I’m allowed to do that, especially if she’s doing it to others. I hate to keep sounding all biblical, but let she who is without sin cast the first “you broke feminism” stone. If Jen is the harbinger of free speech like most people on this thread seem to think she is, I don’t actually think she should have a problem with it. Why do you?”hmmm, what was that you said about Dissent earlier? So, Jen isn’t allowed to voice her dissent if she allows voices of dissent on her blog, but the voice of dissent is ok as long as it expresses a dissent you agree with.”Golly, you really don’t understand how dialogues work, do you? “You’re not making a whole helluvalot of sense here…. “Considering the necessity for my above inquiry, that doesn’t surprise me.

  264. quantheory says

    Oh look, someone who’s helping destroy feminism by turning into an echo chamber where not only opponents, but even just honestly uncertain newcomers are demonized. When encountering the massive number of cliches and stereotypes invoked against feminism, of course it’s important to give some pushback, even “rudely”. But responding to honest curiosity with “hey, go mutilate yourself” is pretty much insane. Regarding even the most well-meaning amateurs, not just as nuisances, but as “riff-raff” who have to be cut down, is pretty much insane. Congratulations, you’re so drunk on your own persecution complex that you aren’t even living in the real world any more. I guess that’s OK if you’re interested in having the same sort of impact as the Westboro Baptist Church.EVERYONE has to go through a clueless phase; being self-aware about it is about a million times better than being clueless and arrogant. You want to go form your own little cult somewhere, you’re free to do that, but don’t expect anyone else to take you seriously.

  265. says

    >Look up ‘hypocrisy’, kiddo.”” You first, doll. “No need, studly, I’m not the one here ‘pushing’ to have a comment removed that I don’t agree with and questioning feminist credentials over a blog entry while championing the voices of dissent. That ball is in your court.”If you really think conservative blowhards discredit feminism because of anything the people that identify themselves with the movement actually say, well. . .that’s pretty effin’ ridiculous.” Which goes to show you don’t pay enough attention to the ‘dialog’. Granted some people instantly demean anything from a certain quarter simply becasue they don’t like what that quarter represents (like jill excoriating evo psych), but in _most_ cases it’s a response to a certain set of statements or actions. The political left is no different than the political right in that regard and bloviating feminists are no less guilty than shrill teabaggers.”I think it just goes to show that you have very little actual knowledge of how social justice movements work. “Considering that your version of social justices consists of attacking people with goals similar to yours, I think it’s more of a reflection of you than me.”when words like “might” and “probably” are included in sentences, that usually means they’re more suggestive rather than demanding. Try again, dude”ok. “but if it’s just trolling, there’s really no need to keep it around”and”it stays untouched by the author of a blog post”So there are at least 4 instances where you *ahem* “suggested” that it be removed. It seems you didn’t get it after the first time, yet you kept hammering away at it. Another point that is more than a little irritating with militant allegedly anti-sexist zealots is their propensity to use gender specific labels in a pejorative context, like ‘doll’ and ‘dude’. But nooooooo, you’re no hypocrite, as long as everyone else agrees with you, that is…..

  266. says

    FttR, yeah, you did. You told her 4 times in different ways to remove the comment and attempted to belittle her feminist credentials unless she acquiesced. You made no comment about the salient points of Jens entry, and only employed feminist bully tactics to force her to do something she didn’t agree with. That makes you a bully and a hypocrite. Couple that with your condescending remarks to ‘chris’ on your own blog on the subject, and we have a narcissistic misanthropic bully hypocritically championing the cause of equality and free speech.If you really think your attitude and tactics are going to elicit any sort of beneficial change, you’re more hopeless than I originally thought.

  267. says

    zen, dude, glad you read the blog. In any case, “Chris” was being snarky, so he received snark in return. Rupaul-themed snark, actually, which I thought made it more awesome. In any case, if one is going to question the feminist credentials of others, they should be open to having their own questioned. I haven’t written an entire post detailing why some other gal makes me want to denounce feminism. I did say, however, that if you want to start handing out feminist points, you probably need to have a pretty good handle on feminism to do it, and having dudes making sexist comments and not addressing it is kind of a bad way to go about being really good at feminism. That’s my opinion. I don’t even have any power to enforce it, so this whole “suppressing speech” pearl-clutching is all kinds of ridiculous.

  268. Acorn says

    +1 to the “think evo psych is a pseudoscience, read article, still do” group. Doing a sentence-by-sentence takedown of an IBTP article is an overused and lazy way to “refute” an entire class of feminist arguments, because (a) Jill is a poor representative of most feminists, (b) Jill’s writings on a given topic are usually a poor representative of the arguments of most feminists — even when they reach roughly the same conclusions, and (c) like it or not, Jill does not write arguments to convince those who agree with her, but rants to rally those who already agree. This is fairly apparent from a brief reading of her blog. Writing a takedown of an IBTP post basically only demonstrates either that you’ve completely missed the point of the “article” you are critiquing, or are intentionally misunderstanding in order to misrepresent it as *the* feminist argument against thing-you-are-defending. What *would* have been interesting/convincing would be to explain exactly what the “good” evo psychologists were doing right, because the vast majority of people outside the field are not seeing that. What we are seeing is people writing just-so stories that reinforce bigotry, and these stories are often not even fact-checked to ensure that they don’t conflict with other cultures or even Western cultures at earlier time periods. The formula seems to be: take some backwards practice/belief that’s going on right now in the English-speaking world, assume it must be genetic, write some easily-falsifiable prehistoric fiction, publish. At best, we get “research” based on an absurdly-tiny sample of people, all from one tiny subsection of our species in terms of location, culture, time period, age, race, socioeconomic status, etc., where the massive amounts of shared culture between the participants (and between the participants & researchers) is at best treated as a footnote. The idea that evolution has had some impact on our brain seems sound to me, but those studies? Not science. If evo psych wants to be treated as more than pseudoscience it needs to start acting that way, especially since it claims to examine how people are and why. The standards for fields of this nature have always been higher, for obvious reasons — a few decades of shitty research on computer science isn’t going to have a negative impact on our culture and lives.

  269. Acorn says

    Oh god, this comment is so typical of evo psych hypotheses I could cry. Menstruation is not ovulation, and they don’t occur anywhere near the same time. Actually, they happen about as far apart from each other as possible (on average, 2 weeks over a 4 week cycle). Your hypothesis is so easily-falsifia

  270. Acorn says

    …ble using just basic knowledge of the subject… but you didn’t even bother to check that you had that knowledge before you started talking.

  271. Ol_G says

    Why dont just ditch feminism and go for equal rights instead? Thats were it should all be at.

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