Skepticism

Drinking Skepchickally, Atlanta, featuring Boy Skepchick Wonder, Sam!

Come one, come all, to see the wondrous MALE SKEPCHICK!

Our own Sam Ogden is coming to visit from far-off lands. Ok, actually from Texas, but still…

When: December 4, 2009 7:30 PM

Where:
Thinking Man Tavern
537 W Howard Ave
Decatur, GA 30030
(404) 370-1717

Let’s show him a nice Georgia welcome! If you can make it, please RSVP at Meetup!

Masala Skeptic

Maria Walters (a.k.a. Masala Skeptic) has spent a lot of time in ‘furrin parts,’ including Hong Kong, Trinidad, and Pittsburgh. Although her passport is from India, she’s spent most of her adult life in the United States. She currently lives in Atlanta and has an unhealthy affection for science fiction, Neil Gaiman and all things Muppet.

Related Articles

29 Comments

  1. Why not just have a blog about skepticism, and then you wouldn’t have to highlight the fact that he’s a “male skepchick” all the time? Are your genitalia really that important? I can’t imagine a skeptic’s blog that was created with the intent of being written by males being successful because, frankly, that’s sexist. Surprise! The same applies here: this is just as sexist.

    I hope you can take criticism.

  2. @Rebecca: Sorry, it just bothers me that this blog is written “exclusively” by females (or, at least, that was the intent), just like a blog where the intent was for it to be written by males or whites or blacks would be. It’s discriminatory because you’re treating people as groups rather than as individuals.

  3. Yeah, why can’t we have a blog somewhere to discuss general skepticism? Apart from the 32,000 already out there, I mean.

    I mean, since women are so keenly encouraged from the moment they are born to go into the sciences and critical thinking is praised. A blog to encourage skepticism in women’s issues is totally redundant.

    It is a shame that alexc3 is forced to read it, too.

  4. @alexc3: I’m sorry you’re offended. Let me be clear – we don’t identify Sam because he’s the only male skepchick any more than we identify Jill as the only Canadian, or me as the only brown one. But that is one of the things that makes Sam unique as one of the pantheon of Skepchick bloggers. He’s also smart, interesting and cooler than most.

    Many people are confused as to why Sam writes for us at all. To me, THEY are the ones with the problem… to say that men can’t write about skepticism as it relates to women and women’s issues is just plain silly. Which is why we have Sam involved in the first place!

  5. @phlebas: “It is a shame that alexc3 is forced to read it, too.”

    Oh yes, I should totally just never read anything that I disagree with. And if I do read something I disagree with, I should never, ever dare to criticize it. After all, the only reason it would be okay to criticize something is if someone is forcing me to see it, right?

    @Masala Skeptic: I’m not offended, I just didn’t understand the reason for “Skepchick” rather than something inclusive to all people who share similar views. I can understand a blog dealing with skepticism and women-specific issues written by a group of people who are interested, regardless of their sex, but I think it’s important people identify less with their sex, race, age, etc., and more as individuals who just happen to have certain physical attributes.

    Thanks for clarifying Masala, I appreciate that you actually gave a rational response to my concerns. :)

  6. Skepchick is a group of women (and one deserving guy) who write about science, skepticism, and pseudoscience. With intelligence, curiosity, and occasional snark, the group tackles diverse topics from astronomy to astrology, psychics to psychology. Find out more by clicking below.

    Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say it’s a group of people who write about skepticism and women’s issues rather than a group of women (and one guy) who write about skepticism, in that case?

  7. @Alex: I think you’re making a bigger deal about Sam being male than we are :)

    There is an important message though: we don’t consider men and women to be the same. They simply aren’t. We revel in our differences, physical, race, gender and cultural. We point them out, we discuss them, we argue, we laugh and we learn. We are not afraid to point out that we are different, that we do have different views, perspectives and reasoning.

    It’s who we are. Spend some time, look around, read our posts and the comments therein. You might like it. Don’t get hung up with how we define ourselves. We don’t.

  8. @Masala Skeptic: Women and men, are, of course different. However, I don’t think people should identify with their differences, unless those differences actually are a part of who they are. I’m different from most in that I’m above average height and I’m male. I don’t identify with being male any more than I identify with being 6’0”. It would be silly to, just as it’s silly to identify with one’s skin pigmentation. I might be white, but why should I care about the color of my skin? It’s not significant to who I am as an individual, even if it can affect my perspective.

    “I think you’re making a bigger deal about Sam being male than we are”
    Well, I do think it’s a big deal that you guys decided not to exclude him from contributing because of his sex, which isn’t something he exactly has control over. It made me wonder why this blog is described as being written by women about science rather than as a blog being written by people about women’s issues and science, if that makes sense. There’s a small, but important, difference there.

  9. @alexc3:

    Don’t get huffy. You’re the one who said:

    it just bothers me that this blog is written “exclusively” by females

    This is one of the very few skeptical or science blogs written primarily by women. Speaking as a non-woman, I think it’s cool.

    There are comparatively few women in this arena. And you want to make a blog called “Skepchick” gender-neutral?

    Good luck, but I think you’re annoyed by the wrong thing.

  10. @Alex:

    I don’t identify with being male any more than I identify with being 6′0”. It would be silly to, just as it’s silly to identify with one’s skin pigmentation. I might be white, but why should I care about the color of my skin? It’s not significant to who I am as an individual, even if it can affect my perspective.

    You just said it right there. It *does* effect your perspective. A person’s gender and skin color do impact their perspective and their viewpoint. Why pretend it doesn’t? My physical attributes impact the way people respond to me and therefore the way that I respond to the world. It’s part of who I am and I don’t choose to set that aside and pretend that it’s not a factor.

    Skepchick is about women and the majority of the writers are women. Because women often have a pretty good perspective on what it is like to be women.

    Saying that doesn’t make us sexist. It makes us honest. And Rebecca asked Sam to be part of the group because we feel he has something to contribute to the conversation. In the same way that she felt I had something to contribute. She didn’t select me because I’m female. She selected me because I have a voice that she wants as part of the blog.

    Would I be offended, therefore, if I was referenced as ‘the only Indian Skepchick’? You say it’s a problem that we identify as women and one guy writing about science. I say, it’s a BIGGER deal if we hide who we are and don’t talk about it and categorize us as a generic ‘people.’

    Because one thing that is absolutely true about Skepchick. We are anything buy generic. :)

  11. @phlebas: I wouldn’t think twice if, say, Pharyngula was written by a woman, rather than a man. The content matters, not the sex of the person writing it.

    @Masala Skeptic: Oh no, I acknowledge it’s a factor in my behavior, but I don’t identify with it. It seems petty to identify with your physical attributes, even if those physical attributes do end up having some impact on you (positively or negatively). I can’t understand it; why do we identify with things we have little control over rather than solely those things we do have control over (our beliefs, values, etc.)?

  12. @Masala Skeptic: “It’s petty to think that gender is simply about whether you have dangly bits or not. ”
    I think that’s how it should be. Maybe your height can have an effect on your “beliefs, values and cultural outlook” as well (it most certainly does, though not necessarily to the same extent as one’s sex), but like I said, it shouldn’t. Even if it does against our better judgment, we shouldn’t identify with it. It’s completely irrational to do so, just as it’s irrational for someone who is a redhead to identify as one. It’s the freaking color of your hair, my god. But it does have an impact on you. My point is that these things shouldn’t be a part of who we are. People can choose to if they want, but I can’t understand a rational, thoughtful person doing so.

  13. @Alex:

    I wouldn’t think twice if, say, Pharyngula was written by a woman, rather than a man. The content matters, not the sex of the person writing it.

    If Pharyngula was a blog devoted to “male issues” in skepticism, and was written by a woman, it would be odd. People would wonder (and rightly so) where the author got her information and why anyone should trust her opinion on what it is to be a man in skepticism.

    You can cross your arms and make a frowny face and claim there should be no difference, and you might be right. But we don’t live in that utopia. Women and men are treated differently almost right out of the womb on a vast number of things, including how we are taught science and critical thinking. Why do you think the overwhelming majority of Oprah’s fans are women?

    And you seem dismissive of the notion that there are biological differences that inform attitudes about skepticism. I think there’s a lot of evidence to suggest you are wrong.

    In any case, there are legions of gender-neutral blogs out there. Skepchick is the only one I know of that is set up like this. If you don’t like it, fine. But I doubt you’ll get any traction arguing a point that is demonstrably untrue.

  14. @Alex: Why shouldn’t gender have an impact on my perspective? Why should I not admit and appreciate that there are differences between the sexes and that they mean we approach issues in different ways?

    I think you’re being a little idealistic. And, by the way, your ideal isn’t really my ideal. I have no desire for men and women to be the same. I like that we’re different. I don’t want equality. I want fairness, yes.

    But I won’t delude myself into thinking that the sexes are equal or that they should be. They’re different. Always will be. I’m not saying that these differences can’t be abused. But we should acknowledge them, understand them, learn about them and not be afraid to admit that they exist.

    And, by the way, that isn’t to say that there is an easy categorization that says ‘women act in this way’ and ‘men act in the other way.’ It’s all shades of grey.

  15. Clearly, the problem is that this blog needs a second male skepchick. I hereby volunteer myself for the position of #2 whipping boy …

    Then again, I don’t write a lot and I’m not nearly as funny as Sam.

Leave a Reply

You May Also Enjoy

Close
Close