Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 5.24

Amanda

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

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12 Comments

  1. As a straight man myself, I’ve found all the issues with misogyny at atheist meetings a bit of a turn off. I’ve not yet attended any meetings, and the more I read about these kinds of things happening, the less I want to.

  2. In my opinion, the Lisa Lampenelli donation is pretty tasteless. First there are the people that are receiving the donation. I am sure they don’t want to be ‘in on the joke’ while trying to actually do something to help people with Aids. The donation in the name of the Westboro Baptist Church will do nothing to change the minds of those in the church and in fact, I would think this would be more of a polarizing move for those inside the church. It just doesn’t ring funny for me.

    1. I think you mistake the Westboro folks for being somewhat like any other fundamentalist evangelical organization. It’s not. It’s essentially Fred Phelps little money-making cult of his family and one other, trying to troll as much as possible for the purpose of bringing lawsuits against anyone who infringe on their rights and making some cash while expounding their views. “More” polarizing doesn’t equate, because you’re right…they’re likely not going to change their minds because it’s not about winning anyone over with them. As it stands, Lampanelli did one of the most useful things in response to Phelps: laughed him off and gave publicity to a worthy cause rather than confrontation with that real-world troll.

      1. You are right, I had absolutely mistaken ‘the Westboro folks for being somewhat like any other fundamentalist evangelical organization’. From what I have read this afternoon, it is in fact mostly his family. From my reading, Fred has had a long history starting in the 1970’s of humiliating and badgering people he thinks are wrong in his eyes. So I suppose, once entering the public arena, he should expect some public flogging of his misguided/hateful beliefs. Although, I don’t agree with trying to goad people that believe differently than me, no matter how fringe they are with their beliefs, I would agree that he has entered the public arena and is in a tasteless way himself expounding his beliefs. I don’t know what Lisa’s motives are for the donation in his name. My thoughts were to draw attention to herself and her comedy. I don’t know if one of my military friends were to die at war and Lisa were to donate in the churches name, how receptive their families would be. But comedy is subjective. :)

  3. I thought Sasha’s guide to mysoginy was pretty good; well thought out and practical. However, “Straight men are a privileged group. Seriously. Stop bullshiting yourself and read about male privilege and do some soul searching if you don’t already realize this” is not at all so true as it once was.
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    While it is somewhat true at its core, I think there needs to be an awareness that using it as some kind of beatdown against all straight men is actually as damaging to egalitarian feminism as it is to the socio-political skeptic’s view of the reality of our times, for the simple fact that with the ever-increasing numbers of really poor people in North America a growing percentage of so-called privleged straight men are, in fact, no longer so — at least, not by any meaningful or rational definition.
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    Yes, straight men are to some degree privileged, but wealthy people, male and female, are both far more privileged than are poor straight men and women. I think it skews the argument to so consistently overlook this reality.
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    I’m worried I am not stating this as clearly as I would like to, and hence it may seem to be one of those dreaded “Oh there goes another straight male saying its all about the mens”, when that is quite definitely not what I am saying. My argument, as always, is toward true egalitarian society.
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    I guess it’s all about degree. Straight men are priveleged; straight white men are more so; wealthy straight white men are even more so, and so on. And some women, such as Heather Reisman, for an exceptional example, are way more privileged (and taking full fascistic advantage of it) than all of the preceding.
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    If you think a 55 year old unemployed white male living in Vancouver BC is in any way privileged, then you are deluding yourself. And there are more and more such men (and, yes, of course, women too) in that situation every week. I think it’s important to somewhat overlook the fading issue of “all straight men are privileged” and focus more vigourously on the class issue.
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    I mean how low should we go on the bar? An unemployed straight white male living in Vancouver BC may be more privileged than an unemployed straight First Nations native living in Vancouver BC, but that isn’t saying very much. They are both broke, hungry, unemployed and marginalized, and not always but surprisingly often if the unemployed straight white male asks for help he is told to get his privileged straight white male ass in line behind the unemployed straight white female, who is in line behind the unemployed straight First Nations female who is in line behind the unemployed straight First Nations male, and so on.

    1. Hm, I disagree.

      Asking someone to recognize that they do have privilege that other people lack that might blind them to problems that they face is not intended as a beatdown; it’s intended as a (sometimes even polite) indication that that person ought step back and let the people with direct experience of oppression describe the situation.

      I agree that there are massive problems with class and wealth inequality, but disagree that one can (or ought) focus on these issues in isolation, or that they’re orders of magnitude larger than the gender disparity; if one of the subsets of society being oppressed is 50% of the population, there is a serious problem there.

      (I think that the word you’re reaching for, talking about degrees of privilege, might be “kyriarchy” – we all have different privilege in different contexts, whether we’re black, female, wealthy, etc.)

  4. Regarding the Sasha post, part of becoming a mature heterosexual male adult is learning that your penis is constantly sending your brain a stream of misinformation about the women you encounter in your day to day life (I can’t speak for homosexual men, but I suspect there are strong parallels).

    Examples:

    PENIS: Brain, your boss is totally hot. I know she feels the same way about you. You should tell her how hot she looks.

    BRAIN: Penis, what if your wrong? I could put my job in jeopardy and open myself up to a harassment lawsuit. At the very least it will poison our working relationship. Besides she is married.

    PENIS: I am not wrong, Brain. I am never wrong. I am sure she is just waiting for you to make a move so she can leave her husband for you. All you have to do is walk up to her and say “your ass looks really hot today” and my “happily ever after” plan will fall into place.

    BRAIN: Penis, that is eerily similar to what you told me about the crack whore I passed on the way home from work yesterday. You told me that if I asked her for oral sex that she would be immediately compelled to go into drug treatment, get clean, and then get a PHD in astrobiology – all in short order. You also told me that the odds that she had an STD were very low.

    PENIS: And I was right, Brain. If you would have just listened to me and pulled over to greet her, you’d be having the time of your life right now. Instead you went home, ate potato chips, and watched NCIS. You are such a buzz kill, Brain.

    BRAIN: Penis, I think you have poor judgment and are given to impulsivity. Last week you kept nagging me to watch that group sex porno on “Porno Tube” as if it were the best movie since “Lawrence of Arabia”. When I finally gave into what you really wanted, your response was “this movie is stupid and gross, your a sick bastard”.

    PENIS: Brain, that movie is stupid and gross. Can we watch it again?

    BRAIN: No, Penis, not now, I am at work in a conference room full of colleagues.

    PENIS: They won’t mind you watching it now.

    BRAIN: Penis, leave me alone, I need to concentrate on work right now. Do I need to call in Lorena?

    PENIS: Brain, no not the Bobbit women. Please don’t think about her. I promise not to bother you until after work.

  5. Since no one has commented on the Poe, it is well worth 3 minutes of your life, just for the cool animation technique. I’ve seen plenty of things where they paste moving lips on still photograph, which is sometimes strangely compelling in a deeply disturbing way, but this had Poe’s whole forehead moving in sync with his jaw and lips.
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    Slightly more important than the 3 minutes of visual fun is the fact that it discusses what sounds to me like an important advance in cancer research.

  6. Amanda,

    I feel sorry for that poor women arrested in Saudi Arabia for driving. Women have so bad in that country. Off course I wouldn’t want to be a man living in Saudi Arabia as well.

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