Skepchick Quickies, 7.2

I’m going to say right off the bat that I haven’t been around much lately due to a family emergency, and so I haven’t been keeping as close tabs on the Quickies as usual – therefore, if I repeat a link or two, well, enjoy it all over again!


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. Same with movies: Gattica [sic] before Blade Runner. Graphic novels: Sandman, not V for Vendetta. You get the idea.

    Oddly enough, I only saw the V for Vendetta movie because a young woman wanted to go. And both Sandman and Transmetropolitan were introduced to me by female creatures of extraordinary beauty.

    I’m not sure what that means.

  2. Ok, first – I’m always bugged by this: there’s no such word as craftworker. The word is craftsman. Yes, the rest of the opening bit quoted is horrible, and condescending, but really, that particular bit is like getting upset about a man-hole cover.

    Second, yet another reason to love Firefly – that’s how I got my Dove into sci-fi. She loved Wash so much, I almost couldn’t bear to show her the movie.

    Third, on the subject of gender-inclusiveness, I got attacked pretty viciously (verbally) this morning over something I said, which I couldn’t imagine how it could be sexist, but I was wondering if maybe I’m just blind to it in this case. Would offend anyone here if I had the authority to make policy, and my policy was” Don’t be a dick”? Is that in some way offensive to women?

  3. Rystefn, I say things like that all the time, so I don’t think so. In fact, I kind of love using “dick” as an insult, for a few reasons: one, because people use “pussy” all the time as an insult, and if my genitalia can be used as a put-down than I think it’s only fair to use a guy’s as well; and two, because it just sounds great. Just saying the word makes me smile a little.

  4. Although, to be perfectly clear, and to answer your question, I don’t generally nitpick about these things, and therefore I don’t yell at people who say “dick.” There’s a lot of assumptions in using words for genitalia as insults, though. “Dick” means jerk, and “pussy” means wimp. It’s really sexist to both men and women. But 95% of the times the words are used, I don’t think the intent is that deep.

  5. Would offend anyone here if I had the authority to make policy, and my policy was “Don’t be a dick”? Is that in some way offensive to women?

    If anything, it sounds like it’s denigrating men. Right? I’m never very sure how and what I should be getting offended about.

  6. Jen, I didn’t get that. I got the impression that it was being forwarded as an already existing gender-neutral replacement. Which I would still disagree with just as much as person-hole cover. We’re all perfectly comfortable applying the technically-masculine word “doctor” to women without looking for a gender-neutral replacement. Why? Well mostly ignorance, probably, but partly because it sounds right, and the feminine sounds awkward.

    What we are used to hearing aside, some words are smoother and easier on the ears and tongue than others. “Craftsman” has a flow to it. “Craftworker” does not. It’s chunky and awkward. Maybe the word “craftsman” is offensive to some women, in fact, I’m sure it is, but I can’t see that it’s subconsciously sexist. It can very much be used to intentionally exclude women, but honestly, when I hear the word, the mental image I get is not of a male person, but of a tool, and I can’t be alone in that.

    Also, I did try to point out that it was a slur against men (i.e. the penis is the part of a person that makes them treat others badly), but it didn’t seem to do any good.

  7. Rystefn, I totally see your point. The interesting thing is that going with a feminine version of a noun can be seen as even more sexist. For example, actress instead of actor. Authoress instead of author. They both sound less important or accomplished as the latter does.

    “Craftsman” edges into a territory where it’s more difficult to determine the real intent because, unlike doctor, it actually contains the word “man.” But, then again, so does “woman,” doesn’t it :)

    If I heard someone using this word, I probably wouldn’t think much of it. But, if I absolutely have to make a judgment on it, I’d say: why not change it to make sure the intent isn’t misunderstood? I have been on the other side of feeling excluded by terminology, and it’s not a pleasant feeling.

  8. Of all the things wrong with the world, the use of the impersonal pronoun in English, in relation to the status of women is on the list?

    Surely there are hundreds of things more vital equality than using “Craftsperson” in place of “Craftsman”

    Heck, in German the definate article has a gender as do all of the words (Masculine, Feminine and neutral)

  9. Oh, come now.

    Science fiction can be appealing to women. Star Trek had loads of feminist themes in it. They were originally going to make the first officer of the Enterprise a female, after all.

  10. Huh. Well, I’m female and I work with leather, jewelry,stuff like that.Craft stuff (not scrapbooking or anything.) I wouldn’t think of referring to myself or any other woman as a craftsman, but yeah, it’s because it has (ok, I know I’m hu-man) “man”in it and just sounds weird. “Crasftsman” is kind of weird, though. Why couldn’t they have called the cave painter an artist? Or just hominid with some earthen pigment?

    “Craftsman” is pretty vague anyway. I think it belongs on power tools.

  11. First you call yourselves “power” tools to exert your dominance over women, then you go by the name “Craftsman” just to rub it in that much further! Well, that tears it! I’m calling you out, sexist power tools!

  12. Jen wrote,

    Blake – I think it means you have excellent taste, and that the author of that article doesn’t have any idea what she’s talking about.

    And, as it happens, I recently introduced another beautiful young woman to Preacher, who enjoyed the series greatly. I’m like a successful STD of comic-book geekery.

    If that makes sense.

  13. on the page from that vermont naturopathy link, there were a few links about how homeopathic surgeons killed people by performing non-homeopathic surgery.

    that’s crazy.

    thats all.

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