Skepticism

Skepchick Quickies, 8.18

Jen

Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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5 Comments

  1. I love that Shakesville post. And Phil’s of course. And Salman Rushdie continues to kick ass.

    And the coffee article makes me enjoy my morning joe just that much more.

    So yeah, great links. :)

  2. Coffee, and caffeine in general, are one of those weird things; Every once in a while, the popular press will glum onto one of the latest studies to come out, touting either risk or benefit, sometimes both. And then a while later, a new study will come out that might either support, or contradict previous studies. The average Joe, reading the morning paper while drinking coffee won’t know what to believe.

    I guess it’s just one of those examples where you can’t trust the popular press if you want to keep your facts straight. This is one of the challenges science has to face in the public arena. Lack of general access to pier-reviewed articles, science writers watering it down for public consumption, editors pulping stories in favour of more interesting or sensational stories, not to mention general lack of interest… it’s no wonder there’s poor understanding of science, and coffee, in the public sphere.

  3. I only want to talk about women in movies for a second. Melissa over on Shakesville seems to have very specific and strict standards on what is an acceptable (i.e. positive) role for a female character. While I agree that we need more female leads, I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with “token strong woman who’s segregated from other equally strong women” like Ripley (one of my favorite movie heroes/heroines of all time, period), Sarah Conner, and Eowyn. Being heroic and strong isn’t a male trait, and having heroic and strong female characters only goes wrong when you point out that it’s somehow novel or exceptional that a women is acting this way.

    Also, I don’t think showing a female character behaving badly should be forbidden either. Some women actually do stupid things, and my skeptic sense tingles when I see infallible female characters, because I know there’s no such thing. This goes wrong if somehow you imply that women are either more prone to foolish behavior, or incapable from learning from it. Female characters can make mistakes and learn from them, and I think that’s a good lesson.

    Finally, I think it’s a stretch to say that Superbad advocates rape. I saw the movie, and while 90% of the humor was stupid and over-the-top, both of the main male and female leads made mistakes and learned from them. Unless you consider a drunk girl consenting to sex to be rape, it didn’t happen, and it wasn’t encouraged.

    Pretty much everything else, I agreed with :)

  4. Dread, I don’t think any feminist would have as much of a problem with some of the female roles like you pointed out if there were plenty of other good roles to go around. But there really isn’t, and there’s still a huge inequality in the quality of roles for men and for women in mainstream film. I agree with you that none of these roles are strictly bad, but I think Melissa is frustrated, as am I, when these less-than-perfect female roles are largely the only thing we get to see women doing on screen.

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