Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 5.15

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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43 Comments

  1. The pink Ouija board is to make it simpler to summon Bloody Mary.

    Santa Clarita, well just look at it’s name, duh.

    Cheerios are a threshold drug, Frosted Cheerios are the hard stuff.

    Montauk monster….I once had some folks describe a squirrel as a bird. I pointed out that squirrels don’t have feathers but they seemed confused by that & unconvinced.

    Monkeys hate being cheated? Perry could have told you that.

  2. I find it interesting after 8 years of Bush the FDA is silent, and now they go after Cheerios? I guess it is a gateway drug….soon it’s doughnuts and then before you know it, pure sugar. Straight from the box.

  3. The entire pink issue kind of begs the question of where fault and/or responsibility lie:

    1. Is it with the retailer or manufacturer for promoting such sillyness by selling it?

    2. Is it with foolish (neo-con conservative?) moms (and perhaps dads) for encouraging and reinforcing such outdated sillyness?

    3. Is it with little girls who may in fact have a preference for the colour pink (just a hypothetical — I have no data one way or the other to confirm or deny such an idea)?

    4. Is it with the the manufacturer for pandering to the foolishness of moms, dads, and little girls?

    5. Is it with the manufacturer who, knowing they will sell tons of these silly things, is nonetheless legally obligated to make a profit and ensure increasing returns for shareholders regardless of the method?

    6. Which leads to, is it the fault of society for allowing corporations to exist in the first place — and many other such wide raning and seemingly disparate but nevertheless potentially relevant tangents.

    Ha, ha, ha. I laugh at myself. You know, you could really take this kind of thing to the ends of the earth to figure out wherein and how it’s wrong, if it is actually wrong in the first place. I mean, yes it’s silly, but is it damaging? Does it cause colour blindness, or social dysfunction, or something? Or is it just a harmless old Grandmother’s predeliction?

  4. Pink board games, if you look closely at the Monopoly you can see that they changed some pieces, you can see that they now have sunglasses, a cell phone, and I guess they kept the shoe, except for now it’s a designer boot. I wonder if they also kept the clothes iron? Prehaps they also added a tampons and a box of Midol as well?

    I can’t help but feel that feminism is moving forward, though it seems to do so by taking two steps forward and one step back. I suppose pink board games, bratz dolls, and Paris Hilton (the queen of Glam) are the one step back.

  5. @marilove:

    Quite right, quite right. And I never said otherwise. As you may note, I am pondering the question. I’m not offering answers one way or the other.

    Why don’t we post some evidence that clearly shows the damage done? That would be the skeptical way, and would show good, healthy, happy critical thinking. Yes? No?

    I am unfamiliar with specific social damage done by such foolishness as pink/blue stereotyping. But I do not for an instant dispute that it may exist.

    As for myself, and my thin opinion on the matter, I have never supported nor condemned such nonsense. I’ve always just tended to ignore it for the unimportant sillyness it is. In my opinion.

  6. I think the pink versions are ok. A board game is a board game, the color of the board doesn’t matter. I see making them pink is a way to help the adults who purchase such things for children to be not so hung up on appearances.

    If the box a game comes in is pink, then obviously it must be ok for feminine girls to play with and won’t turn them into hairy legged man-hating femi-nazi lesbians.

    What I think turns girls into hairy legged man-hating femi-nazi lesbians is being told (erroneously) that not conforming to the Stepford-girly-girl stereotype turns them into hairy legged man-hating femi-nazi lesbians (that and a not small amount of abuse over their non-conformance).

  7. Am I the only person in the world who thought that the FDA made the right decision here? Look, if General Mills wants to make fantastic medical claims about the cholesterol lowering power of Cheerios then the FDA has to hold them accountable. If you market something like a drug then they have no choice but to treat it like a drug.

  8. @SicPreFix: It’s not really unimportant sillyness, however. Enforcing “gender norms” is not really a good thing. It’s one reason (of many) that, say, women have a hard time in science and mathematics. Girls don’t like science and math, of course! The pink thing is just a small facet of that kind of thing, really.

    @daedalus2u: What, exactly, is wrong with a hairy-legged girl?

    See? That? Enforcing gender norms. Girls = must shave! If you don’t, you’re a “man-hating femi-nazi” (whatever that is). Maybe we can stop using the term “femi-nazi”? Then maybe girls and women wouldn’t be so afraid to identify as feminists?

  9. I have absolutely nothing against hairy legged women. I actually prefer that women not shave anywhere. I see no advantage; need or point to it, but it is so far down the list of what is important to me that it never even registers, and isn’t my business anyway.

    I think the man-hating is more a consequence of abuse by men and the femi-nazi as a consequence of abuse by the Kyriarchy. Sexual orientation is likely more innate, but like all human behaviors is complicated.

    I only used the term as the opposite of the stereotypical Stepford-girly-girl, and only to rationalize why some adults might be more comfortable giving a girl a pink version of something. It is about the adult doing the purchasing, not the child doing the playing.

  10. I looked and couldn’t find a pink version of Risk. I think that the corporate world isn’t ready yet for the idea of a female version of world domination, even as a stereotyped toy board game.

  11. Ok I get why they are going after General Mills on the Cheerio thing but seriously.

    I can just think about so many things they could better spend their time on… like the entire supplements industry, which has basically been running around making plenty of false claims with shoddy research and the FDA only ever steps in when people start dying.

    It just feels like some Kellogg’s lobbyist started pulling offers out.

  12. I recently did online shopping for a digital watch with lots of cool functions. I am small-boned so the watches designed for men are too big for me.

    Finally located one designed for women, only available in pink. Didn’t buy it.

  13. @marilove:

    For the record — ha, ha, I love using that meaningless phrase (please excuse my playfulness) — I do not actually disagree with you.

    But I do seriously question where the reinforcement and acceptance of such ultimately meaningless stereotypes comes from (the stereotype, not the result is meaningless).

    You know, what degree of responsibility do moms have for encouraging their daughters to go pink? And to what degree are those moms complicit (or innocent of) knowing better but buying into the fantasy anyway.

    And I want to assure you, marilove, I am absolutely not picking on moms. I’m ony using moms as an example. You could substitute dads, grandparents, teachers, Hasbro, Walt Disney, Nike, G.W. Bush, etc, and to the nth degree.

    I always question the status quo assumption that individuals hold little or no complicit and active or conscious responsibility in the brainwashing they adhrere to. And isn’t it all about dgree anyway?

    I haven’t said that as well as I might, so I will probably have to explain it again. But I’ll let it stand for now.

    @khan:

    I’m a small-boned man and I quite like small watches — I utterly detest the current trend for men and women to wear these macho, plate sized multi-duplex yahoo function chronometers. But boyo, do I get a hard time from sales slerks when I try to buy a small (read, Women’s) watch: “No no sir, you can’t buy that; that’s for women only!”

    Etc., etc., etc.

  14. I realize that I’m looking too deeply into this. But if I was rational and just shrugged it off then I won’t have anything to bitch about. Then what would I do!

    Technically I find nothing wrong with the color pink, or big, bug-eyed sunglasses.

    What I take issue with is the insinuation by these games, is that if your a girl, you need to love fashion and glamour, (the scrabble game has scrabble letters spelling out “FASHION” , with the tag line on the box, “where every word is a winner”) technically, I have nothing against fashion either. What I have a problem with is the culture of fashion and glamour which every true girl should be a part of. This is a culture where money is no object and status symbols are more important then quality of product. I know too many women (and one gay man) who are way over their heads in debt because being fiscally responsible and sticking to a budget isn’t chic. There outfits need to be in season, new, purchased at full price from the store that exists specifically to sell them. The values of the culture? Just look at Paris Hilton, or any of the other celebrate fashionistas: education, career, financial stability, relationships, all unimportant, so long as you look great! They purposely talk in a way (half code, half retarded) to advertise how little understanding they have for the English language, that being uneducated is “hot”.

    Anyway I could go on but to sum up the rest. Get those damn kids off my lawn!

  15. I glad that the FDA went after Cherrios. They were making specific health related claims that weren’t backed up by the science. I can only hope that this is the beginning and that they will go after others who are making health claims that have no basis in science. I see that repulicans and libertarians are calling this big brother tactics. This is foolish. The government is the only one who can stop companies from lying to the public.

  16. @marilove: I though psyco joe made them wear pink to cut down on the amount of undies that got stolen when someone finished up their sentence and left. Fewer undies stolen fewer undies bought to replace them. At least that was the explanation I saw in the paper.

  17. @marilove:

    What, exactly, is wrong with a hairy-legged girl?

    Well, it’s gross. I wish it was the social norm for guys to shave the legs and body hair. I have heard that with the under 30 set it is becoming coming for guys to shave their legs but I don’t know if I was having my leg pulled or not. Hair on the head can be quite attractive. That’s it, we all look better naked if we don’t look like we are trying out for the part of a monkey man in 2001: A Space Odyessy.

  18. @SicPreFix:

    I always question the status quo assumption that individuals hold little or no complicit and active or conscious responsibility in the brainwashing they adhrere to. And isn’t it all about dgree anyway?

    For the record (haha, had to do it!), I do agree with you. Still, it doesn’t help that huge corporations just continue to feed into it. And Sheriff Joe.

    Look at this new Dell website for women: Della.

    Once again, women are made into “the other” — and once again, the focus is on CLOTHING AND FASHION (on a site for LAPTOPS).

    http://content.dell.com/us/en/home/della-featured-artist.aspx

    Clothing has fuck-all to do with laptops, but there it is! Because clearly, women only care about how they look. Laptops are only a fashion statement for women, of course!

    http://content.dell.com/us/en/home/della-wired-life.aspx

    And the “tech tips” are just sad. Being able to track your fitness is a “tech tip” now? REALLY, Dell? It’s patronizing and ridiculous!

  19. @Gabrielbrawley: And why do you think they are less likely to be stolen? Because they are pink and therefore feminine and therefore men surely won’t steal them! It’s two fold. Also, remember that Sheriff Joe likes to humiliate and de-humanize his inmates. It fits with his MO.

  20. So Tropicana orange juice can’t claim it health prevent scurvy? Doesn’t it though? Does this make OJ a drug or is it that it has naturally occurring vitamin C that does the work. Is everything that has positive side effects a drug, or is the FDA just strong arming to get General Mills to change the language a bit.

    OOOOH wait a minute! Maybe Cheerios can claim to be a suppliment then they can make whatever claims they want. Increased penis size?

  21. The reason the FDA went after GM is more complicated. It wasn’t that there was no data supporting the idea that eating oat cereal would reduce cholesterol; there is clinical data to that effect. Those claims are backed up by science. What they are not backed up by is a “new drug application”.

    All “drugs” must conform to the FDA regulations regarding “drugs”. That means filing a new drug application (which costs a bundle) and jumping through all the hoops that the FDA puts out there (which costs 10 bundles). It has nothing to do with scientific evidence; it has to do with the legal definition of drug and the hoops (and fees) that the FDA says you must jump through (and pay).

    A “supplement” can have the same active ingredient as a “drug”, but a “supplement” is regulated as a non-drug, as a “supplement”. Cheerios is a functional food containing soluble fiber. As such it is allowed to use the generic claims that soluble fiber has certain effects on cholesterol as part of a diet low in saturated fat and other things. It is not allowed to make claims that appear that Cheerios has drug-like properties in reducing cholesterol unless Cheerios has gone through all the hoops that drugs need to go through.

    GM could file a NDA to use Cheerios as a drug. It would likely cost them several millions of dollars, and they would have to revamp their Cheerios manufacturing facility from a food manufacturing facility into a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. That would drive the cost of Cheerios up several fold because they would need to test and validate every part of the Cheerios manufacturing process as if it was a drug.

    GM is not going to do it.

  22. Just to clarify, I have nothing against stereotypical Stepford-girly girls either. What I object to is a society that imposes stereotypical behavior of any type on anyone, especially when that behavior is adopted to avoid or mitigate the effects of abuse.

    I don’t object to women shaving their legs, I do object to them (or anyone) objectifying women (or men) who do not by calling it “gross”. It isn’t “gross”, it is just the human body in its natural state. If you find human bodies in their natural state “gross”, you clearly have some issues that have been socialized into you.

    There is nothing “natural” about finding the human body in its natural state gross. That can only be due to some sort of aversion treatment that has been sufficient to overwhelm the natural acceptance of the human body in its natural state.

    I suspect the fetish with the removal of hair has to do with trying to infantilize your partner by making them appear pre-pubescent. Why anyone would want to do that is not something that I understand. I have always wanted my partners to be, and to appear to be mature adult women.

  23. @daedalus2u: I agree with you for most of it, except tihs:

    I suspect the fetish with the removal of hair has to do with trying to infantilize your partner by making them appear pre-pubescent.

    This isn’t really true. The whole “MUST SHAVE!” thing started happening in porn. It looked “cleaner” and you could see things clearer. Basically, hair is “dirty”.

    It REALLY bothers me when people compare shaving to wanting to look like a young child. Sometimes I DO shave everything — I believe it is a 100% personal choice, and it can be fun and new, and it IS true it makes everything “clearer” and the sensations are totally different. That doesn’t mean I want to be a child, or look like a child, and it certainly does NOT MEAN my partner at the time (male or female) is attracted to children, or thinks of me as a child, just because he or she enjoys it when I shave.

    I wouldn’t be with someone who required me to shave, but it is a fun thing to do on occasion. And some men and women like to be completely bare — and that is okay, and comparing those people to children or to pedophiles is, in my opinion, way off base, and pretty offensive. I am not a child, even if I shave! I am a 28 year old woman, and my partner is not a pedophile!

    That said, hair isn’t dirty or gross. It’s just hair. I’m inclined to agree that someone who actually thinks it’s gross (as apposed to “being shaven is fun! I can see everything!”) does have some underlying issues.

  24. Daydreaming Brains Afire!! Yes, I have been exonerated!
    Now I can proudly say that when I am staring off into space I can say I am using my higher executive brain functions and not having semi-pornographic thoughts of the cute chick that just walked past.

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