Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 8.17

Amanda

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

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24 Comments

  1. It’s sad that I’m already tired of explaining that, yeah, we can actually change the culture of the internet in general for the better if we engage and push back on unacceptable behaviour. I foresee a future where most of the internet is “polite society” and the jerks and assholes can still have their lulz at 4chan or its successors. This is something I’m actively working on on my high-traffic web sites with good comment policies and moderation.

    But there are plenty of people in the Gizmodo comments who haven’t gotten that memo yet.

    1. Gawker media sadly has a LOT of issues with their commentors. Kotaku tends to be the worst but Gizmodo often gives them a run for their money.

      Unfortunately the new commenting system they put into place hasn’t helped with this at all because other Gawker sites which used to be generally safe spaces for women and others (Jezebel) have been facing a flood of idiot comments that are slow to be moderated out of the discussion.

  2. I got something to share.
    Some time ago me and husband attended a sci-fi literature seminar. I was going to present a paper the next day so my name was on the roster – but only as G. PhD. At the mixer the evening before I was to speak some guy came up to us and shook my husband’s hand saying “Dr G, pleased to meet you” to which my man responded “Oh you got us confused, my wife’s The Doctor, I’m just the companion.”

    BTW, does Skepchik have a forum?

  3. Those eBay policies have incited more discussions of skepticism and the ethics of deception in the last 24 hours than I’ve had in the past year. For that alone, I love them.

    Plus, it gave me an excuse to update my parody commercial magic page on Etsy.

  4. “Real feminists don’t gaze at males”

    One of the awesome features of Skepchick is to educate and inform. I have learned more about feminism from this site than from anything else I’ve read. This site is excellent at dismantling many myths of feminism but especially the following (and it’s a biggy):

    Feminism is a rigid fenced in ideology that mandates unquestioning adherence to a canonized doctrine.

    Or put simply “Four legs goooood! Two legs baaaaad!”

    Feminism is not like Ingsoc, Christianity or any other religion. There are no rigid rules, fatwas or fixed lines in the sand. If anything, feminism is like atheism.

    I’ll go out on a limb here with the following. Feminists can respectfully lust after men/women, get horny, enjoy porn and simultaneously protest against sexual objectification. I think the key point is context and I would underscore “respectfully”.

  5. In regards to the “Sex and the Single Airline Passenger” (where the initial incident was caused by an airline which moved a man’s seat, since it had a policy that men aren’t allowed to sit next to unaccompanied minors), I noticed something when reading the comments: These are the exact same complaints you hear about the concept of Schrodinger’s Rapist. Comments say that it’s unjust to treat every man like a potential criminal just because a few are in both of these cases.

    Now, the difference I see is that one case applies to a business which has a written policy discriminating between men and women, and the other case features individual women who are more nervous around men than around women. So, one could argue that this difference is important, that it’s fine for individuals to make judgments about the trust they’ll extend to strangers, businesses shouldn’t be in the habit of deeming a class of people dangerous on the basis of their gender. I’m not entirely convinced of that argument, though. Every reported case of a child molester caught on an airplane has been an adult male. If this policy completely prevents these molestations from occurring, it might be worth it. But we should at least make sure it’s implemented in a way that doesn’t make the policy too public (assign seats before boarding, mask the request to move as “weight redistribution,” move the child, rather than the adult (to a place the crew can keep an eye on them, and perhaps also not next to any men)). Better options exist than the present state of affairs.

  6. I saw the original story of the man being asked to move a few weeks back. When I mentioned it to my mom she made another point I hadn’t even thought of: Do the airlines prefer women next to the un-attended children because of a reduced chance of molestation? Or because they expect them to be better babysitters?

    1. I think both are true. I also think that is one of the reasons that women are excluded from some organizations, the Catholic Church, and the Boy Scouts of America.

      I think that women are less likely to tolerate and not report the abuse of children by men and this may be a part of why they are excluded from “old boys” clubs.

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