Skepchick Quickies, 10.3


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. Hrm. This is going to harm my future plans for raising goats if this whole science thing doesn’t work out.

  2. Dammit. I really wanted to like the “It’s a duck” comic, but it has an unintended meaning. The disbeliever is a woman. I know women tend to be religious, I’m not disputing that. And of course, it’s the man who wants to find the truth. I wish they hadn’t specified any gender at all. It just reinforces the harmful stereotype of women as religious, and men as scientists. :/

  3. They didn’t specify gender. Perhaps both are male and one likes to wear dresses, or vice versa. ;)

    1. So is the comic sexist for having the woman be the gullible one, or is BlackCat sexist for assuming it’s a girl just because it’s wearing a dress? I guess we’ll never know.

  4. I loved the duck comic and assumed it was about creationists. Then I thought it could apply to a lot of types of believers. I asked my sisters to ask their kids what they thought it’s about, without the benefit of context. Here’s one transcript:

    ME: What’s the story about?
    SARAH: Twoooo bunnies.
    M: Is there a point to the story?
    M: What did you learn from the story?
    S: That the picture wasn’t a duck.
    M: So what did you learn from that?
    S: Mmmmm.
    M: What did that story tell you?
    S: That girls are smarter than boys.
    M: Why do say that?
    S: Because the girl figured out that it wasn’t a duck first.
    M: Is there anything you would do or not do after having read that?
    S: I would pick a different puzzle because that one was way more kid-ish. What? I’m seven! Can’t I say that?

    I think this may be meta-ironic somehow. Since the dialog bubbles don’t point at the characters, she took the liberty of assigning the “smart” dialog to the “girl” bunny!

    1. Also, the skeptical lines are in blue and the true believer’s lines are in pink, thus proving that the boy bunny is the smart one. :-) :-)

      When my friends’ daughter was very small, one of her favorite children’s book characters was Little Critter, who she insisted was a girl, despite obviously being a boy to me. Although a quick survey of Amazon reviews and the Wikipedia article generally assume he’s a boy, a close reading of the text (as remembered from almost 20 years ago) and the official web site don’t actually specify Little Critter’s gender. He likes typically “boyish” pursuits (baseball, football, fishing and camping), but I’ve known lots of girls who like those things too.

      In the end both her parents and I were convinced by her arguments and ran with it.

  5. It’s amazing what they can do with tilt-shift photography these days. Did you know that those little bunnies in the comic are actually 50 feet tall? Amazing.

    1. You can do a lot with foreshortening and visual illusions. When I was in college many years ago, we did a stage production of The Wizard of Oz and one of the Munchkins was 6’5″. It worked because Dorothy was 5’9″ and was standing on a platform about 8″ higher during the Munchkin scene.

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