Meta Stuff

A Change in Focus

Over the years, Skepchick has covered science and skepticism from a distinctly female perspective. This plan has seen varying levels of success, but in the past year it’s been increasingly difficult to address the issues that are important to us when the vast majority of skeptics simply aren’t interested. We’ve seen your feedback: “Women’s reproductive health isn’t science!” “Where are my Bigfoot updates?” And most commonly: “What about the men?”

We want you to know that we take that feedback seriously, and as such, starting tomorrow we will make a concerted effort to focus more on men’s issues which we had previously ignored. Topics like the efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine used for impotence, football superstitions, the rights of men to financially abort children, and the exact size of Bigfoot’s penis.

This wasn’t a singular, top-down decision that I made, I assure you. All the Skepchicks have agreed that this is the best course of action.

“I have decided that my artwork has been too gender specific and will be releasing a line of multicolor truck-nut Surlies in early spring,” said Surly Amy. She also pointed out that Mad Art Lab will follow Skepchick‘s lead, and if female artists will not focus on life drawing (read: nude paintings) as art they will be asked to reduce their posting privileges to commenter.

Maria also had some time to reflect on her past anti-male writings. “For me, the epiphany came when I stopped focusing so much on Bella in the Twilight movies and really started looking more deeply at the characters that mattered, i.e. the ones with penises. The reality is that Bella’s blank, vacuous personality is an ideal support structure for the men in her life, which is really what people want to read about anyway. I mean, she’s pretty. And that’s what matters.”

“I give up,” said Elyse. “If babies are too stupid to get themselves vaccinated then that’s their own damn problem. I really want to see more men in positions of power and more male role models portrayed in the media. Why should women have all the power and attention?”

Obviously this is a part of the extended, neverending fallout from “Elevatorgate,” a term that, along with “Rebecunt Twatson,” I’ve come to find actually quite witty and not at all tired and/or misogynistic. In fact, part of our restructuring includes extending an invitation to the unknown alpha male who asked me to come to his hotel room for coffee at 4am. Note that I no longer refer to this as a “proposition,” as I’ve finally come to realize that he probably really did just want me alone in his hotel room to sip coffee, and even if he wanted to have sex with me I should have just been flattered because I’m hideous.

I’m sure there are a few uppity feminazis who will find this change to be distressing. To them I say, “Hey, you’re probably just on your period. Have some chocolate!” Thanks to those men out there who have worked tirelessly to help me understand that jokes like that are super funny. Make me a sandwich! Ha ha.

Happy April, everyone!

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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  1. April 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm —

    Awesome!  I knew you all would eventually see reason!  Happy April to you all also!

  2. April 1, 2012 at 12:14 pm —

    This was fun to read.  Thanks, and well done.  :-)

  3. April 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm —

    Rebecca Watson,
    On a more serious note, I hope that "Elevatorgate" doesn't haunt you for the rest of your life.

  4. April 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm —

    Hahahahahaha! Happy April Fools day. That just made my day. 

  5. April 1, 2012 at 12:31 pm —

    …So, I take it that @pissyskepticman is going to be the new lead poster?

  6. April 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm —

    Nah, this has to be a joke. You're women, you're not smart enough to see the truth of this. On the other hand, women can't be funny…
    You've all secretly been men all along!

  7. April 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm —

    I was hoping for more cat videos…

  8. April 1, 2012 at 1:10 pm —

    I'm so happy to see the change in Focus.  Now we can start getting some men's voices in to write about important issues such as "female privelege in getting laid", "why child support is bullshit", and "God damnit bitch, I am NOT sexist, so shut your bitch mouth."
    Woohoo!!!!  *BROFIST*

  9. April 1, 2012 at 1:20 pm —

    Yay!  Men's issues, a topic that is woefully underaddressed on the Internet, will finally get the attention they deserve.

  10. April 1, 2012 at 1:29 pm —

    About damned time… now someone make me a sammich. :)

  11. April 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm —

    I am ashamed to admit I got all the way to the Surly-ramic truck nuts before I realized it was a joke.

  12. April 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm —

    Bravo! As a result of this new focus, I'm starting a new column on Mad Art Lab called "Which Man Should Be in Charge of Mad Art Lab instead of Amy's Uterus?"
    I will be asking our readers and commenters to post original artwork in the comments, highlighting the plight of the male in the Science/Art world. And we will be taking weekly suggestions on who should run Mad Art Lab instead of some damned skirt and her girl bits (It's a moot point really, as we have already chosen Ryan. His post on Sexy Pictures of Naked Females In Video Games brought down the whole network for fuck's sake! He deserves it).

    • April 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm —

      Your beard is pretty manly. Maybe even more than Ryan's boob armor skills. 

      • April 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm —

        Pipe down

        • April 3, 2012 at 8:19 am —

          Even the expression "pipe down" makes me think of a downward pointing flaccid tubular thing. Its a mans world alright.

  13. April 1, 2012 at 1:32 pm —

    the exact size of Bigfoot’s penis

    God, I was wondering how many more e-mails I was going to have to send about this. So glad you're finally going to be investigating.

  14. April 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm —

    FINALLY I can stop prentending to be a woman just so people will take my comments seriously.  Let this be the last time I ever have to read, 'Junk, or GTFO' on Skepchick.

  15. April 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm —

    Loved it.  Except I have a feeling that; We’ve seen your feedback: …most commonly “What about the men?” is probably true.
    But I must run right out and buy a truck to hang my new truck-nut Surlies on.

  16. April 1, 2012 at 2:45 pm —

    Well, I for one will miss the off hand bits of advice on how not to immediately scare off any women worth getting to know, but I suppose it's a small sacrifice in the interests of making men feel more comfortable in the skeptical circles and the intertubes at large. And I suppose while it may mean less vaginas at TAM in the long run, Las Vagas has legalized prostitution, right?

    • April 3, 2012 at 5:10 pm —

      "Las Vegas has legalized prostitution, right?"

      No, but other parts of of NV do;)

  17. April 1, 2012 at 3:45 pm —

    I get anxiety attacks about the unfairness of society towards wealthy white males. Thank goodness Skepchick will finally stand up for them and remember that we girls have our place washing dishes while they talk smack about well, stuff. Kudos, everyone.

  18. April 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm —

    Would blue truck nut Surlies look ok on a Prius?

    • April 2, 2012 at 12:45 pm —

      Dude.  It's a Prius.  Just hang an empty balloon and tell everybody they haven't dropped yet…

  19. April 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm —

    <blockquote>In fact, part of our restructuring includes extending an invitation to the unknown alpha male who asked me to come to his hotel room for coffee at 4am.</blockquote>
    Excellent! Since about half of FtB just decided to up and quit today, I've been looking for a more supportive environment, and will happily accept your invitation.
    And next time we're at a conference together, I hope you'll accept MY invitation to coffee (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) instead of going off on a long, tedious, vicious tirade on youtube, dragging me all up and down the internets, calling me filthy names and kicking me. Never have I been so crudely and brutally turned down as I was by your excessively harsh "don't do that". But all that's behind us now, and I know you'll never again tell a guy "don't do that."
    Can I start tomorrow? I've written a lovely article on pick-up lines I'm sure the audience here will appreciate.

    • April 1, 2012 at 9:50 pm —

      Oh, hey that’s awesome you’ve finally come clean on Elevatorgate PZ! Who could imagine so many words would be spilled over your caffeine deprived, squidly nocturnal peccadilloes?
      Also, with so many people leaving the FtB ship, have you thought about asking some more feminist writers like Tom Martin to blog there? :-)

  20. April 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm —

    April fool's? Does that mean you *won't* be speculating on the size of Big Foot's penis?  Surly Amy won't be sculpting souvenir Big Foot penises?  FML!

  21. April 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm —

    It sounds like we’re all in agreement that we need Skepchicles dangling off the backs of our vehicles.

  22. April 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm —

    Can I put in a preorder for 10,000 multicolor truck-nut Surlies?

  23. April 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm —

    There's a thing about the whole elevator thing that only occurred to me now. It's not especially relevant to anything but I'm going to post it anyway.
    It's this:
    A hotel room is surely a terrible place to go for a cup of coffee! In every hotel I've stayed at in the UK, the coffee in  my room has been some kind of Nescafé clone, which is the second worst coffe in the world. (The worst is the cup of coffee I once had on a KLM flight to Saõ Paulo – that was unbelievably awful). If it's 4 in the AM, you can still go to a 7-11, and while that won't be great coffee, it'll at least be tolerable. But cheap instant? Really?
    Saying "I know you specifically said you really didn't want to be propositioned, but I just thought I'd ask you anyway if you'd be up for a quickie in my room?" would almost have been better – that would at least indicate he'd listened. :-P
    Seriously, does anybody actually drink that rubbish instant coffee in the hotel rooms?

    • April 1, 2012 at 10:16 pm —

      Well, some of us never travel without a french press and a hand operated grinder. There are precious few indignities that I wouldn't be willing to suffer for a decent cup of coffee in a hotel, in the middle of the night, in a foreign country. So… maybe elevator guy really did have something going for him after all and we're just missing some context…

    • April 1, 2012 at 10:28 pm —

      It's damn well about time someone brought up the most important aspect of Elevatorgate – the coffee.  There are so many unanswered questions.  Fresh-brewed or instant?  Mass market or specialty?  African, Asian, South American, Central American or Hawaiian? Shade-grown?  Fair trade?  We don't even know caf or decaf, for FSM's sake!

      • April 1, 2012 at 10:41 pm —

        I, for one, can't call myself a skeptic until I have all the facts.
        I'm astonished at the number of supposed free thinkers who jump to conclusions. It could have been an innocent invitation to sample some civet coffee. We can't read minds.

    • April 4, 2012 at 11:23 pm —

      Ha, not only do I always drink the coffee, but I also often ask the front desk for extras.  Because I'm cheap and I like free caffeine beverages.  :)

  24. April 1, 2012 at 4:34 pm —

    Itz about time, you almost lost a MOST POWER ALLY

  25. April 1, 2012 at 4:39 pm —

    Do you think that some good old fashioned tie-dye on truck nut Surlies for a Smart Car would be too much? Just want to show my support for tea-bagging the free-love liberal movement.

  26. April 1, 2012 at 4:44 pm —

    But no sports please, pretty please!!

  27. April 1, 2012 at 6:03 pm —

    After an absence of many years, I am finally returning to this blog, thanks to your recognition of the importance of these vital topics.

    I eagerly await your next post on the penis sizes of Bigfoot, Chewbacca, and Little Fuzzy.

  28. April 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm —

    The truth finally comes out!

  29. April 1, 2012 at 7:27 pm —

    Considering the post on "Atheist mysogeny" on March 30th, this April fool's day joke is a bit ironic, but unsurprising.
    Glad to see the guy who invited Rebecca for coffee still gets to take responsibility for every bad name she's been called since, because he is surely to blame.

    • April 1, 2012 at 7:42 pm —

      Fuck yeah!  Poor guy!  We gotta stand up for our rights bro!

    • April 1, 2012 at 10:11 pm —

      I know, right? The poor bloke, being anonymously mentioned in an ironic joke about the shitstorm the event he was involved in threw up. He must feel endlessly persecuted. I'll bet he can't even make a single innocuous post on the internet anymore without without a handful of lunatics ranting about what an insensitive clod he is, and how he should probably be raped for his own good.

  30. April 1, 2012 at 8:39 pm —

    Oh Noes, not Bigfoot! I already have enough insecurities!

  31. April 1, 2012 at 9:20 pm —

    I love the new direction. I was getting tired of these chicks and their non-stop whining.

  32. April 1, 2012 at 9:44 pm —

    I have only one complaint about Watson's post.
    1. Why is it that men never get to….
    wait.. make that two complaints.
    1. Why do women always..
    hang on, make that three
    I have only three or four complaints about Watson….
    OK Five ..I only have FIVE complaints…  dammit !!!!
    I need more choices. Give me that map!!!

    • April 1, 2012 at 10:31 pm —

      "Amongst our complaints are such diverse whines as …"

      • April 2, 2012 at 10:39 am —

        There really aren't enough Python references on this site. I guess we can blame the women for that too.

  33. April 1, 2012 at 10:33 pm —

    I hope in view of the new direction of this blog, we will no longer have to suffer Bug Girl's posts about matriarchal bee colonies, and that from now on, she will concentrate on the drones' perspective.

    • April 1, 2012 at 10:37 pm —

      Yes, let's hear more about the poor oppresed drones who exist only to serve the sexual desires of the queen, and are thrown out with the trash when they're no longer usefull.
      Free the drones.

      • April 2, 2012 at 1:24 am —

        Boy, that last post brought back a memory…maybe this isn't the right place, but it is April Fools Day.
        Every July 4th weekend I volunteer for the bighorn sheep census in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.  Basically, while everyone else is celebrating, you hike out in the 115 to 120F heat and count the sheep as they come down to waterholes. 
        A few years back I was assigned Cougar Canyon with a partner I'll call Bob.  The area is very scenic, but waaaay out there, and it was just the two of us. 
        Come evening, Bob would start drinking and discussing his philosophys of life.  The one I still remember was about marriage.  You see mariage is an artificial institution forced upon men by women.  The natural way, the way it is "for all other mammals", is for the woman to take in and support the man until she gets pregnant.  She would then then drive the man out and raise the child alone.  The man is then free to find another young female looking to become pregnant to care for him.
        It was a very long weekend.

        • April 2, 2012 at 4:14 am —

          Are there _any_ mammals that do it that way? Including humans?

          • April 2, 2012 at 10:37 pm

            Some mammals only hook up to mate.  Bears, for instance.
            But no, I don't know of any mammals where the mating ritual consists of the female bringing the male food, designer clothes, and a large scrren TV. 

  34. April 2, 2012 at 5:09 am —

    Oh thank god, now I can focus on what is truly important – finding myself a man.

  35. April 2, 2012 at 9:28 am —

    I'm glad to see the new direction, but, really, there is no need to abandon women's issues entirely. For example:
    – Cooking and cleaning tips for when you are in the kitchen
    – Why barefoot is better (especially when you step in that glop your baby dropped).
    – How to make your Man happy when you are in the bedroom (why should Cosmo readers have all the fun?)
    – How to make the other women he brings home feel welcome (I mean, you need a break now and then, amirite?)

  36. April 2, 2012 at 9:32 am —

    Great post. But I think you may have created an unexpected demand for Surlyramics truck nuts.

  37. April 2, 2012 at 9:47 am —

    Excellent! Now we can talk about real MRA/Red Pill issues here! Like how the Illuminati is using feminism to destroy western society and prepare for the New World Order! Chuck Norris!

  38. April 2, 2012 at 10:51 am —

    Bigfoot's penis size? I get e-mail with that information every day.
    What we really need is inside gossip on how women control the world. I mean, for example, it took 10 whole years (1993 to 2003) before Take Our Daughters To Work Day got renamed Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day (though boys got included before 2003) but only 132 years (1788 to 1920) for women to get the vote. WHO WILL THINK ABOUT THE MENZ???

  39. April 2, 2012 at 11:15 am —

    This morning my husband signed my permission slip to continue writing for Skepchick. I'm very excited that I'm allowed to be a part of this manly rollout.

  40. April 2, 2012 at 12:32 pm —

    Thank you for your recent interest in Surly-Ramics Truck-Nuts™. I have asked permission from my husband and my next door neighbor. Both men say it's cool so production is underway. Please expect delivery in 8 to 12 months. 

    • April 2, 2012 at 7:27 pm —

      Truck nuts Schmuck nuts.  

    • April 2, 2012 at 9:44 pm —

      Now that I think about it, there really needs to be a female equivalent to Truck Nuts.  Something like "Volkswagon VaJay-Jays", or some such.

  41. April 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm —

    Seriously though, I do want Surly Truck Nuts.

  42. April 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm —

    This is an increibly crass post, very disappointing and yet not surprising.
    And I thought that it was Ophelia Benson that coined Rebecunt Twatson?

    • April 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm —

      I know you must be kidding but for real I can't understand what you're trying to say.

      • April 3, 2012 at 4:46 pm —

        Haha, yes joking… it's hard to tell these days isn't it!
        And my mistake, it was Rebitchka that Ophelia invented, not Rebecunt.

  43. April 2, 2012 at 4:07 pm —

    Hey, everyonoe knows big foot = big penis and truck nuts = small penis. But what I really want to know is how a vampire with no blood pressure is able to achieve, let alone maintain, an erection. Marie?  

    • April 2, 2012 at 4:52 pm —

      That differs between different authors, but I think it's roughly divided into: A) Vampires need to suck blood to get a blood pressure, so can only get erect right after feeding, and B) Vampires are magic! You can accept they're _alive_ without having a heartbeat, but you can't accept they get boners?

      • April 2, 2012 at 5:16 pm —

        After all these years, it looks like we've finally found Jacob's Flying Snowman.

        • April 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm —

          Thanks Brian, I'll have to remember that! And it reminded me of one of my least memorable movie moments in "Contact" when that flying snow man landed on the beach right in front of Jody Foster and she mistook Frosty for an advanced alien entity masquerading as her father.

          • April 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm

            Jacob, stand still. I'm trying to download your memories. I've been doing it this way for thousands of years.

      • April 2, 2012 at 10:42 pm —

        Trust me.  It all sounds really romantic, and she has that sexy accent and a smooth line of talk, but when you sweep her up in your arms and she's as cold as the grave……bbbrrrrr.

  44. April 2, 2012 at 7:44 pm —

    I know this topic is tongue in cheek fun, but on a more serious note I want to share how Skepchick have influenced me. 
    When I first came across the site I was looking for articles on skepticism.  At first blush, the site was what I was looking for.  However, I soon became annoyed by all the feminist themes.  I wasn’t looking for a feminism site; I wanted skepticism.   One would think I would just leave the site and never come back, but unbeknownst to me, you had me hooked.
    I kept coming back for more.  I still read the site 3-4 days a week.  Over time your message has sunk in.   I was never misogynistic (I don’t think), I was more, hmmm… “oblivious” is the word I am searching for. 
    Your work has educated me on the issues, and I am a better person for it.  I still have to scratch my head from time to time to understand some of the more subtle points of view, but I usually get it and agree.
    Thanks for helping open my eyes to the issues; keep up the good work.

  45. April 3, 2012 at 4:45 am —

    Haha, you rock, love you!

  46. April 3, 2012 at 10:39 am —

    Ha! Love it. I am curious what percetnage of the audince will miss the hillarious satrire. I assume it ios a small number, but sadly I dount it's zero. 

  47. April 15, 2012 at 5:55 pm —

    I remember a time when I first started reading about sexism in geek culture and skepticism – my knee jerk reaction was along the lines of "No way 'we' are not like that!" I would look at those close to me (primarily that is what geek culture meant to me), read blogs and watch vlogs thinking “See, we are totally the good guys on this!”
    Then one day something terrible happened – I started reading comments.
    I realized that on all of the vlogs I watched I could not scroll down more than three lines before reading some rating of any  female  authors hot-or-notness. Needless to say this does not occur when  men post.
    Sure, they both get the lackwits and revolting trolls, but the volume and direction slapped on females is unmistakable…
    WTF world?

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