Archive for the ‘feminism’ Category

(I’m reading Introduction to Modern Mathematics right now. It’s very entertaining)

Anyway, in 1967 children were learning too:

The little girl, showing in her domestic play the overriding absorption in personal relationships through which she will later fulfill her role of wife, mother and “expressive leader” of the family (Parsons & Bales, 1956), learns language early in order to communicate. The kind of communication in which she is chiefly interested at this stage concerns the nurturant routines which are the stuff of family life. Sharing and talking about them as she copies and “helps” her mother about the house must enhance the mutual identification of mother and child, which in turn, as Mowrer (1952) and McCarthy (1953) suggest, will reinforce imitation of the mother’s speech and promote further acquisition of language, at first oriented toward domestic and interpersonal affairs but later adapted to other uses as well. Her intellectual performance is relatively predictable because it is rooted in thi early communication, which enables her (environment permitting) to display her inherited potential at an early age.

The same thing happens in boys, but to a lesser extent because they cannot so easily share their interests. Their preoccupation with the working of mechanical things is less interesting to most mothers, and fathers are much less available. Probably too, effective communication about cause and effect presupposes a later stage of mental development than does communication about household routines. The small boy may be storing a great many observations, but his conversation tends to be limited to such remarks as Train stop until he is mature enough to ask Why is the train stopping? … His language, less fluent and personal and later to appear than the girl’s, develops along more analytic lines and may, in favourable circumstances, provide the groundwork for the later intellectual achievement which could not have been foreseen in his first few years.

(Moore 1967, pp. 100-101, cited in Macaulay 1978, p. 360, cited in Eckert, McConnell-Ginet, Language and Gender, 2003)

One has to mention that while extremely creepy, biased and unquestioningly supportive of the extant social order, this sort of pseudoscientific attitude is by no means gone. One only has to smirk derisively at The Female Brain, and lo, its brainless savanna-dwelling adherents come out of the woodwork, mumbling incoherent things about “savanna ancestors”, “hunting and gathering” and “men needing to rape because evolution and also science”, desperately trying to defend the pseudoscience that validates their biases, bigotry and prejudice.

(Incidentally, having read Mark Liberman’s deconstruction of The Female Brain — and other poorly done/described neuroscience research — one has to come to the conclusion that Louann Brizendine is a fraud and a kook. There are only so many end notes that give references to research that doesn’t support her most important claims — or in many cases has nothing to do with her claims at all —  one can read without suspecting foul play(1). Or possibly, she didn’t understand a word of what she hopefully *did* read.)

(Also, there are rumours that there’s a neat deconstruction of Brizendine in Cordelia Fine‘s Delusions of Gender, which I haven’t yet read, and which was recommended on PZ Myers’ blog earlier today. The comment section of that post is, predictably, filled with angry ape-descended savanna-dwellers. For them, I have a message: guise, penis enlargement stuff can be found in the “spam” folder of your mailbox. Have fun!)

(1) Liberman never says it, repeatedly assuming Brizendine’s good will. This is because he’s a nice and also a serious person.

I am neither.

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In 1884 J.W. Burgon says about the radical idea that women should be admited to universities:

Will none of you have the generosity of the candour to tell [Woman] what a very disagreeable creature, in Man’s account, she will inevitably become? If she is to compete successfully with men for ‘honours’, you must needs put the classic writers of antiquity unreservedly in her hands – in order words, must introduce her to the obscenities of Greek and Roman literature. Can you seriously intend it? … I take leave of the subject with a short Allocution addressed to the other sex … Inferior to us God made you: and our inferiors to the end of time you will remain.”

(Quoted in Manguel, A History of Reading, after Jan Morris, ed., The Oxford Book of Oxford)

126 years later, if there’s one thing I can vouch for, it’s that I have become the disagreeable creature — so disagreeable in fact that she demands to be called “human”, not “creature” — Burgon seemed to be so afraid of; and also, it was not Suetonius’ fault.

Not even Cicero’s, or Caesar’s.

I’ll take the whole responsibility for that. Disagreeably. Hah.

You haven’t misread. Indeed, it is Vox Day who indeed pontificates the benefits  the society can gain if it embraces the feminist ideology. I can’t blame you if you twitch a bit, and ask yourself quietly whether this Vox Day, the defender of feminism and women’s rights, can really be the same person who wrote this:

Consider the two great laments of the modern American woman. For the unmarried woman, it is the reality that she must marry later in life than ever before, if she is able to marry at all. For the married woman, it is that unlike generations of women before her, she cannot afford to stay home with her children unless she is fortunate enough to have married to a man of the financial elite.

Both of these developments can be traced directly to women’s rights. Men’s increasing unwillingness to marry stems primarily from two causes — the feminized family court system that transformed marriage from a mutually beneficial contract into a financial and emotional liability, and the removal of paternal responsibility for the sexual behavior of young women. Ergo, the need for marriage has been eliminated while its liabilities have increased. As Blue America and de-Christianizing Europe increasingly show, in the absence of religion there is now very little impetus for marriage. (source)

or that:

I have said before that calling a feminist a feminazi is an insult to National Socialism. Now, it is clear that even Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot are second-rate killers in comparison with Ms. Sanger, Ms. Friedan and Ms. Steinem. (source)

or even this:

Since only the woman who is not entertaining the possibility of sex with a man and is subsequently raped can truly be considered a wholly innocent victim under this ethic, it is no wonder that women who insist that internal consent is the sole determining factor of a woman’s victimization find traditional Western morality to be inherently distasteful. (source)

And yet! In Why women have to vote? Vox Day points out several important reasons for why they should:

1. Although he starts his initial argument very uncertainly, by cautiously mentioning that there is very little conclusive research done on how the women’s suffrage positively influence societies, he soon gives a long list of examples where women’s suffrage and women’s rights movement did influence societies positively. In any case, we think that Vox Day, not being an expert on feminism and sociology, as painfully  evinced by the above quotations, would benefit from studying the relevant literature a bit more closely.

2. Vox Day’s subsequently indicates that countries whose governments focus on the support of the capitalist system at the cost of personal freedom of their citizens often tend to have severe restrictions on voting and political representation, also of women.

3. In his next argument, Vox Day points out that the increased liberalisation, which often follows the recognition of women as full citizens by the state, has many a time lead to a sudden change of priorities for the better, such as more restrictive gun laws in Switzerland introduced 22 years after women’s receiving suffrage, in recognition of the obvious fact that one’s right not to be more likely to be shot is more important that one’s right to own a boom stick. This was accomplished at a relatively swift pace despite Switzerland’s long tradition of private militia.

4.  To quote this short passage in its stunning perceptiveness:

The opponents of women’s suffrage have been proven correct with regards to their predictions of a) increased divorce, b) increased abortion, c) sexual promiscuity, d) increased paganism.

This means that despite many pessimistic predictions, various women’s movements throughout the last two centuries did manage to fulfill many of those movements’ demands, and that we are, despite everything, progressing towards equality for everyone, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, race, religion and class.

(I would also prefer Vox Day not to forget that lesbians and trans* women also are and have been part of the women’s movement in a way, although I don’t want to erase their, or rather our *own* accomplishments)

It’s always very heart-warming to see the efforts of many generations of women around the world recognised by a, hopefully, former opponent.

5.  Next, Vox Day quotes John Lott (unfortunately, his website is now defunct. I’m certain I’m not the only feminist who would have liked to see his brilliant analysis of our, let’s face it, epic win):

“The two consistent results were: allowing female suffrage resulted in a more liberal tilt in congressional voting for both houses, and the extent of that shift was mirrored by the increase in turnout due to female suffrage. The effects are quite large.”

The above words refer to the US situation, so the correct re-interpretation for Europe would be “social-democratic tilt in parliament voting”; this of course means that women were smart enough to recognise that anti-feminist political parties, such as the most conservative ones, are least likely to represent their interests effectively, and voted accordingly.

6. Finally, in the last attempt at hipster irony, a stylistic choice of Vox Day I tend not to value very highly, he amusingly mentions that:

Perhaps not all women are fascists at heart, but without their votes, few fascists would ever be elected.

Some readers who are less well-read than Vox Day may misunderstand his sophisticated irony, so I’ll try to explain: Vox Day is wittily alluding to the fact that under the fascist regime in Italy women were not allowed to vote;  they receive suffrage only in 1946.

Thank you, Vox Day.

(Link to the Vox Day post was found in the comments of this post.)

1. If at 14 you believe you’re ready to have children, you are of course wrong.

However, if ten or even twenty years later you persist in your delusion  belief  that you were ready to have children at 14? You are totes not ready to have children still.

Hilary Mantel thinks you should be popping out children at 14, which is, like, absolutely not influenced by her being infertile and unhappy about it. Oh, I do realise it must be a terrible tragedy for her, but for some people? Getting pregnant at the age 14 is, too.

(Pity she’s such a douche, her books seem like something I could pick up when my brain needs several days in a semi-enjoyable stand-by mode)

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2. How (Not) to Write About Africa. (Un?)surprisingly some of those boring, offensive, ridiculous, dehumanizing tropes still persist. Also, an audiovisual aid for those less willing to read (there’re no Morning Musume in there, I promise!):

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3. NHK website about hikikomori (wiki on hikikomori). I just want to say, at first I snickered at the irony of NHK of all places having a website about hikikomori stuff, then I got sucked in and spent about two hours reading through the FAQ (STATISTICS!!!!!!!!11!1!!).

It’s in Japanese, though.

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4. Shakesville post about rape culture. I just want to say, I’m sooooooo happy I don’t have to write it.

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5. How to sell your snake oil thing, or any kind of woo, really. Should be read together with any of Orac’s excellent posts about woomeisters always blaming the patient.

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6. I’ll freely and nonchalantly admit I only discovered it about a week ago: English without non-Germanic words, aka Uncleftish Beholding. I will also admit that my brain tells me to visualise “uncleftish” every time I hear/see the (non) word.

Suffering ensues.

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7. An interesting article about the cancer that is killing vampire fiction like you could kill the cancer that is vampire fiction with a different cancer hurr durr Twilight and cultural appropriation. What it lacks is a mention of the problematic portrayal of Quileute in the books (ahahahahaha, BOOKS AHAHAHAHA) in the first place, but this can be easily found with the help of Google and some resourceful typing.

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8. The crazy terrorist anti-tax guy who crashed into an IRS office is being white-washed by his daughter thus:

Asked whether she considered her father a hero, Stack’s adult daughter, Samantha Dawn Bell, said during a telephone interview broadcast Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America”: “Yes. Because now maybe people will listen.” But she stressed that his actions were “inappropriate.”

The catch: the daughter lives in Norway. NORWAY! One would think a greedy sociopath tax protester could find a better place to live than Norway:

– The basic tax rate is 28 % of the net income. The social security contribution is 7,8 % of the gross income. Therefore, the total tax rate rarely exceeds 36 %. However, on gross income exceeding NOK 456.400 (relevant as of salary grade 60) a surtax (toppskatt) of 9 % is levied. On gross income exceeding NOK 741.700 (relevant as of salary grade 82) a surtax of 12 % is levied. (source)

Seriously.

(Btw, the income tax is not all the tax that an individual has to pay in Norway. There’s also the so-called wealth tax, so in many cases you’d have to pay much moar)

(Mmmm, taxes  <3)

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9. I discovered Vox Day(1), the most odious person and at the same time the most pretentious cretin on the internets. Seriously. I expect to have time to make fun of him properly soon.

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In other news, I’ve been hearing rumours about late (as in, in June) spring in Poland this year. I might have to reconsider my spring break plans.

Also, wisdom tooth is a whore.

(1) Bad pun is  bad, especially as “dei” is totes not pronounced like that.

It seems a bill that will make ~*MISCARRIAGE A CRIME*~(1) is a signature away from being actual real law in Utah.

Wow. And they said Handmaid’s Tale was, like, feminist dystopian fiction.

(1) This actually needs a glittery background.

From the previous discussion; commenter(1) 10 shares his/her insights about atheism and gender with the rest of the internets:

I don’t think there are as many sexual advantages for women to say they are atheists.

Hurr hurr, “sexual advantages”? I know of no scientific studies dealing specifically with the sexual prowess of atheists as compared to theists. If any of you guys do, please let me know. I’d be very interested in the results.

(A conjecture though: a strong correlation of atheism with more progressive and science-based  views on human sexuality could mean that atheists do indeed have better sex lives, or, to put it bluntly, it’s moar fun to have oral sex when you don’t have to think about a bearded yet invisible omniscient deity with voyerism kink)

For a man, staking a claim in defiance of God and society can turn heads. For women, it’s just bitchy. Sad, but true.

Atheism is by no means “defiance to Dog”. You can’t defy something in which you don’t  believe it exists, because there is no proof that it does.

Also, that “it’s bitchy” is, sadly, the commenter’s opinion projected on the society in which he or she lives. Again, I know of no actual scientific study reviewing the attitudes of public opinion towards female and male atheists.  The commenter probably doesn’t know of such a study either.

Did she/he had a great time pulling anecdata from his/her arse? We will never know.

PERSONALLY, I’d think that for women the clear and obvious advantage of not having a powerful organisation policing our sexuality and our gender roles, and rationalising it with a swift yet effective “DOG SAID SO QED”  would be an awesome enough.

Frankly, I don’t understand how a woman could prefer to be oppressed by another sexist religious organisation at all.

(1) I know, I know; looking for stupid comments on the internets is like trying to nuke a fish in a barrel, but seriously. I JUST CAN’T RESIST.

Because if it’s men, it’s only going to be funny, like calling white people “whities”, heterosexual people “heteros”, and so on.

Meanwhile, the “slut”, or, to translate the patriarchal lingo to contemporary standard  English, “a woman who has and/or enjoys sex”  is  a word that exists in a certain historical, political and social context. The context should be rather easy to understand: a woman who has and/or enjoys sex is a slut. This means she should be punished, because she “doesn’t respect herself”. If something happens to her, she was asking for it. If a man hurt her, she provoked him. She’s worthless. She’s a homewrecker in the making. No man will ever want an easy woman.

And so on.

(Cut for triggering content, mentions of sexual assault, bullying, and suicide, and also LENGHT)

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