Skepchick Quickies 6.8


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. My favorite in the backlash against Anita was “Comment Removed / Author withheld.” How vile do you have to be in this crowd for YouTube to single you out for moderation?!

  2. OK, I may be just stupid, but how was she livetweeting form the flight? I can’t usually get Internet access on the flights. (Though I noticed that an Airbus I was on last week had an Ethernet port on the arm rest).

    Do some flights offer fast-enough access these days? I had heard they were considering it a while back but maybe I missed the announcement when it went through.

    (This in no way takes away from the fact that the tweets were funny as hell. Removing the wedding ring? Seriously? He didn’t even say he was separated or divorced? Come. On.)

    And I never hated Black Widow (the character) tho I haven’t seen the movie versions yet. In the comics — at least as I remember them — she was really interesting, catsuit notwithstanding. I’m afraid of what the movie version might be like in that respect. For instance, the X-Men movies managed in some cases to make characters less interesting and 3-dimensional. (Though I suppose there wasn’t much you could do with the sometimes retrograde race/sexual politics in many cases — the character of Storm, for instance, is particularly problematic in that regard). I’ll see the movie first, tho, before I judge.

    1. There are airlines that have wifi on their flights. I’ve never used it because I usually just read and it’s not free to use it.

      And I haven’t read the Avengers comics, but I loved Black Widow in the movie for all the reasons listed in the article. If she’s been made less 3D, I think it would be due to a lack of time more than anything.

      1. I have neither read the comic nor seen the movie, but I’ll pontificate anyway. (Yay for Dunning-Kruger!)

        I suspect the source of some of the complaints are really due to Smurfette Syndrome: since Black Widow is the only woman in the Avengers, she is thus standing in for All Women. When you have more female characters, they can be more flawed and three-dimensional, but unless you give them all the same flaws or more flaws than male characters, it will likely come across as characterization, not sexism.

        1. There is actually another prominent female character, Maria Hill I believe is her name. Not based on any comic character I’m familiar with but she’s got a good amount of lines, is pretty bad ass and works as Nick Fury’s right hand lady.

          Black Widow was the only gal on the team in the movie though. There are a lot of other women who have been on the Avenger’s teams in the comics though.

          1. Maria Hill was director and deputy director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and is currently heading up one of the Avengers teams. I liked her in the movie, but I think they mention her by name once in the entire thing.

            I’m still bummed there was no Wasp or Ant Man in the movie.

  3. All the dickish hate inspired me to throw a few symbolic bucks at the Kickstarter. Not much since it was already well funded.

  4. I don’t get black widow’s hate either. Specially because Hawk Eye is by far the least useful avenger in the movie. Anything barely cool he does is when he is enslaved by Loki. I mean, really.

  5. The internet may be full of idiots, but I love it for its intrinsic laws. I really hope The Streissand effect makes the kickstarter harassers’ effort backfire terribly.

  6. I love the “Thank guys but I got this one” Zelda sticker. That is inspiring, and all too context appropriate. I’ve often wondered why the series was titled after a character who is neither the protagonist nor typically plays any definitive role. Some of the newer Zelda games have gradually moved away from the “captive princess” role for her, but none have yet taken the critical step of making Zelda a playable character.

  7. “Not that anti-abortion, anti-birth control, anti-sex people pay attention to science.”

    Well, they do so only to the extent as it helps them spread their propaganda. Perhaps the most significant fact to bring up in that context is that the concept that ensoulment happens at conception was introduced in the 1980s. This is not some age-old traditional idea; it was a reaction to Roe v. Wade in 1973.

    Recommended reading:



    What all of this clearly means is that it doesn’t matter if the morning-after pill can be definitively shown not to prevent implantation. It was never about the arbitrary line itself; the line was drawn as a post-hoc rationalization in a largely successful attempt to dominate the narrative and distract from the actual moral issues at hand. Among those, a woman’s right to control what happens in her body (as any man takes as practically an absolute), the development nature of personhood, and whether life alone has any meaning in the absence of quality of life.

  8. Obviously, Mr. Presley denies that he said what she said he said. She should have recorded it with her iPhone or iPad. Easy to do.

    I’m wondering, though, if he was bothering her so much, then why is the only picture she has of him sleeping? http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/06/07/article-2155961-137F0E7C000005DC-260_634x467.jpg

    Their conversation, even as recounted by Ms. Stetton, does not sound even close to adultery. She doesn’t say he even asked her for a date, or even a phone number. It sounds like he was just talking to her and saying silly stuff. If he, indeed, pretended not to be married, that’s dishonest, but if he never asked her out or sought any means to contact her afterward, exactly where do we get the adultery here?

      1. Of course! She probably tried to dig his used condom out of the trash, too. You know those silly wimminz, always trying to impregnate themselves!

      2. It’s not what “women” do, but it is what some “people” do. Moreover, I didn’t suggest she was lying. I stated in part that if we look at what she actually typed into her tweets, he never propositioned her. So, my question was “how do we get to adultery?”

        Also, if we don’t accept his story, then are we saying that he’s lying because it’s what men do?

        If he didn’t ask for a way to contact her, or ask her out, then is chatting up a hot model on a plane now considered “adultery?”

        The woman’s beef was that he was dishonest about being married. But, the conversation was only for a few minutes of a red-eye flight which is generally like 6-8 hours, and he went to sleep and never propositioned her.

  9. I’ve taken Plan B, twice, several years ago. It was incredibly uneventful, but I tend to react very well to hormonal birth control in general.

    1. My wife calls herself pro-Life. I’m pro-Choice. I think plan B is the greatest invention, and I support any form of efficient and effective birth control. My wife, on the other hand, thinks Plan B is abortion and she thinks abortion is wrong in all circumstances except if the mother’s life is in danger (and even then I’m not sure).

      I’m fine with it, because it’s her body and if she gets pregnant, having the baby is her business. But, if ever it came down to a problem pregnancy where her health was in jeopardy. There is no way the fetus gets dibs on life.

      1. “But, if ever it came down to a problem pregnancy where her health was in jeopardy. There is no way the fetus gets dibs on life.”

        The thing is, you don’t have a say. If she were to become pregnant and that pregnancy risked her life, she has the final say. Even if she does consider herself “pro-life” as someone who is 100% pro-choice, I could never, ever force someone to have an abortion. Even if it meant their life was in danger

        And ultimately, even though she is her wife, you have to respect her choice.

        1. There, I don’t agree with you at all. There are certain choices that my love for her would override, if I had the capacity to do so.

          Things like suicide, for example. I support every person’s right to commit suicide, and she has that right. But if she was suicidal, and wanted to kill herself, I would stop her if I could. I would in no way respect that choice, and I feel perfectly fine in saying that.

          Similarly, I may never have a say in whether she gives birth, but if there was a complication and she was not conscious or had no capacity to decide, then I would decide for her in consultation with the doctors. I think someone would have to be very heartless to be able to let their spouse die instead of aborting a fetus.

          For me not to authorize the abortion while she was unable to make a rational decision would be like respecting her wishes to only allow faith healing.

          I’d rather she be alive, and pissed off at me — even leave me — than dead with respected wishes.

        2. And, yes, she has the final say. But, like everything else, if she loses competence or becomes unconscious and/or in an emergency situation, they have to consult a spouse or family member. In that case, my judgment would prevail. Obviously, if it was not that situation, there would be nothing I could do but try to persuade her to save her own life, which I would stop at almost nothing to do.

  10. Gotta say, first, that I just don’t really care, BUT!

    I have a feeling this all started when he lied about his wedding ring. WHY would you lie about your wedding ring unless you are trying to get laid?

    1. Guys like to flirt with good looking women.

      If he did want to commit adultery with her, why did he never ask for her phone number? Why did he never ask her for a date?

      It seems like such a stupid lie – “I’m not really married” when he knows that one google search would give him away. He’s a public figure. He can’t hide the fact that he’s married.

      I was drawn to the article mainly because of the way it was presented on the front page. Something like “delicious delicious schadenfreude” and “let this be a lesson to you if you ever try to commit adultery…”

      I mean — first of all — since when is this website moralistic about sexual mores? If people cheat, that’s their business. Sometimes people have open relationships. Men cheat – women cheat — it’s not like “adultery” is some sort of male-dominated field.

      Even if the guy was lying and was trying to get laid, isn’t that between them? And, since he did not actually do anything — didn’t even ask her out or get a contact number – then is threatening to ruin his life, destroy his marriage, and possibly his relationship with his son, really something that fits the crime here?

      Presley describes it as a 10 minute conversation, he got some food, and he went to sleep. From the timeline that can be deduced from the timing of the tweets, Presley is not far off there, if not dead on. It was not a long conversation. Yet it was on a long “redeye” flight in which he went to sleep, as evidenced by the photo Ms. Stetton took. Given the distinctly non-sexual nature of the conversation as reported by Stetton, can it even be safely said that he was looking for adultery?

      And, if we’re going to use religious-based terms like “adultery” — maybe we could, instead of eating up delicious schadenfreude, ask ourselves whether it should be he or she who is without sin that casts the first stone. I’m not Christian, I’m an atheist, but it seems to me that there aren’t many people who haven’t done something stupid in a committed relationship at one time or another. On the scale of “cheating”, I don’t think Mr. Presley ranks that high here.

      1. Oookay, tl;dr … seriously, I DID say I didn’t really give a fuck.

        That said, I did notice this:

        “Guys like to flirt with good looking women”

        He’s married. Maybe he shouldn’t be flirting with every woman he runs across? Also, women — good looking or otherwise — don’t exist just to be flirted with.

        I suspect he wasn’t really trying *actively* to get laid, but something tells me he wouldn’t say no if she had asked him if he wanted to join the mile high club. You are probably not just being innocent if you are wearing a wedding ring and being an obvious flirt with other women. That just sets off A LOT of red flags.

        Anyway, my eyes glossed over with the rest of your comment.

        I get the feeling she gets a LOT of attention like this — guys thinking she’s just some hot piece of ass that they have all the right in the world to flirt with — and she just decided to have a little fun with it, especially seeing as he was wearing a wedding ring.


        It was funny. He handled it a bit cluelessley. Which is why I don’t think he was *actively* trying to get laid, but rather think that he saw “HOT GIRL! Hot girl on plane! Must flirt with! Don’t care who she is! Just that she’s hot!”

        Better, I guess, but still doesn’t make him a stellar guy.

        1. Oh, and full disclaimer: I have cheated before. Monogamy and I aren’t exactly good friends. I kinda suck at it.

          I see a lot of red flags in his behavior. IF what she claims happened, happened as it did. His “Who, me?! But I am so innocent!” response to the whole thing isn’t helping, either.

          THAT SAID, no harm was really done. I had no fucking idea who EITHER of these people were.

          I suspect he’s not all that unhappy with the random press. :)

          1. No harm was really done to the tweeting model, obviously.

            It’s not so clear that no harm was done as a result of the tweets. The guy’s wife and family get to read all about it now.

        2. We don’t know if he flirts with every woman he runs across. And, the comments that the woman posted were hardly even flirtatious. It sounded more like bragging and chit chat.

          I also never said women are there just to be flirted with. My view is that women are people, and people often like to flirt with each other. Sometimes one person is into it, and the other isn’t. Generally, it’s not improper to try to strike up a conversation, nor is it a crime to be inept or clueless in conversation.

          Had the situation been reversed, and a woman struck up a similar conversation with a man, and he mocked her on twitter, publicly, to 30,000 people, even if it was “flirty” while she was married, would folks really be gleeful about having her thrown under the bus like that, with the possible consequences to her marriage and relationship with children?

          Yes, that model probably gets a lot of attention. Although I have heard many models say that they don’t get hit on much, because men are too intimidated to do so. I could understand that.

          When I’m sitting next to someone on a plane and they try to talk to me, if I am not inclined to do so I will politely state that I am tired and I don’t mean to be rude but I would prefer to sit quietly. Almost everyone will oblige.

      2. Also, do you honestly think he would have started up a random conversation if she had been some burly dude wearing flannel? Because that’s silly. Of course, this is all speculation. We don’t REALLY know. But I suspect, considering she’s probably quite a gorgeous woman, she gets this sort of attention a lot, and I imagine it gets obnoxious after a while.

        1. It isn’t uncommon to strike up random conversations with people sitting next to one on a plane. I have done it. I have had some good conversations. I’ve had women strike up conversations with me.

          I’ve even had women who knew I was married initiate sexually suggestive and flirtatious conversations. Ought I have tweeted it to 30,000 people? Wedding rings are like magnets to SOME women.

          It also isn’t unheard of to have pleasant conversations with people of the same sex, even if it wasn’t going anywhere, as well as people of the opposite sex. The assumption that someone always wants something “more” is very often wrong. I love to chat with women and smile and laugh and have a good time, especially when on a plane for a long time. It’s fun. I like people. Doesn’t mean I want to have sex with all women, or even if I wanted to that I would cheat on my wife.

  11. Going through these links one-by-one obviously, lol.

    I really liked Black Widow’s character. And, I agree with someone from above: Hawkeye was the worst character (even though he was pretty to look at). I totally forgot about him, actually.

    I have always really liked Scarlette Johansson, though. I don’t get the hate when it comes to her. She’s gorgeous, and has had some really great roles. AND she looks great in red lipstick. I have rather thin lips so I’ve always been very jealous of women with full lips who can pull off very red lipstick. JEALOUS.

    1. There are Scarlett Johannsen haters? How can there be? She’s phenomenally beautiful. She has that classic actress from the 1940s look — which is my favorite era — Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable, Hedy Lamar, Susan Hayward, Lana Turner, Rita Haywarth….Scarlett could hang with all the old greats… She’s a modern day Veronica Lake.

      And, you’re right about the full lips. Women fill their lips up with injections of various stuff to get her lips.

      She seems like a nice person too. You know how some actors seem like jerks, and others seem nice? She seems like one of the nice ones — like Brad Pitt, Matthew McCaughnehey (sp), Jennifer Aniston ,and Sarah Silverman. Just all come across as the nicest people.

    2. I’d have to say that Black Widow was one of my favorite characters in the movie and her introductory scene with the Russian general was very entertaining. I’m baffled about the complaints.

  12. So, to clarify: Does Plan B do anything in cases where fertilization has already occurred? If a woman already had a viable egg in play before she had sex, is taking Plan B the next morning likely to prevent a pregnancy, or will fertilization have most likely already taken place by then?

    Black Widow does have the difficulty of being a spy/secret agent in a movie about powered superheroes. For the first, I dunno, two thirds of the movie there is espionage and intelligence gathering to be done, but in the final battle she and Captain America do look out of place trying to fight on the ground with conventional firearms while a spaceships & rayguns firefight goes on overhead. Someone remarked that after the movie was over, she heard a little girl in the row ahead of her say that “it was too bad the girl was the only one who didn’t have any superpowers”.

    Black Widow needs a movie where she can do more “conventional” sneaky special-ops stuff; pairing her with Captain America could be interesting, as he has no talent for stealth, subtlety, or deception but could probably appreciate the need for such in some situations.

    1. From what I understand, Plan B is really just a bigger dose of hormonal birth control. So, no, if you’re pregnant … you’re pregnant, and Plan B won’t give you an abortion. THAT SAID, I imagine there is always a chance that any amount of hormonal birth control *could* cause the pregnancy to end, but I don’t have any numbers on that, and I suspect it’s pretty rare. Especially considering how women are on birth control and then OOPS!

      1. Emergency contraception taken at therapeutic dosages does not effect implantation or any of the other mechanisms of early pregnancy:


        So, yes, possibly, overdosing on any drug could possibly affect a pregnancy, but not emergency contraception taken at therapeutic dosages.

    2. Oh! And I agree that pairing her with Captain America would be a good idea. They balance each other well. They both also aren’t “god-like super heroes” like, say, Thor, which also works well together, I think.

  13. I don’t think it’s that people hate Black Widow, but they rather not be bitten and be in pain or have flesh rotting from the inside…oh, not THAT Black Widow? :D

    Given that I’m probably one of the few people left in the U.S who hasn’t seen “The Avengers”, I really can’t make a call on this issue with the character.
    She seemed pretty cool in “Iron Man 2”, so I can only imagine what she was like in “The Avengers”.

    The article on the contraceptive pills is very informative. Now the anti-sex people have one less item to have legitimate complaints against.
    Not that they’ll stop with their stupidity…..

  14. The weirdest thing about the harassment on the poor Kickstarter woman’s video is the strangely quaint slurs related to her being Jewish. It’s like all these old men from the McCarthy era came out to comment, with references to Bolsheviks and her being a “Jewess” and phenotypes and Emma Goldman. I don’t know if those are trolls by hipsters who just took a history class or what, but it’s odd.

    It strikes me as very sad that this kind of behavior is what passes for “cool” on the Internet these days. The only thing that keeps me sane are the many young people I have met who are the exact opposite of this. While we have some really extreme problems with behavior, especially in online contexts, we also have a lot of really high achieves and compassionate people who are too busy to be posting hate on the web.

  15. There’s a little bias there with the adultery thing: how can someone tweet while having a conversation… on a plane? Without the guy noticing? As a skeptic, i kinda doubt that everything someone says on twitter is the absolute truth.

    1. Some people are always on their cell phone, texting or facebooking or whatever. Especially when you’re just sitting around. Or when you’re 16. Haha.

      1. I don’t see the relevance for this website anyway. What does it have to do with skepticism or feminism? Is it ok for someone to tweet a personal conversation? And not telling the other person what she was doing?

        1. Who said all the quickies had to be related to skepticism and feminism? Sounds like you’re just looking for something to complain about…

          1. Yeah, maybe you’re right, but something’s bothering me about that situation and i don’t exactly know what. Maybe the idea that this could happen to me? I’m not married, but what if my (awkward) conversation with a girl ends up on the internet for everyone to make fun of?

          2. If that happens, Blakut, we’ll be sure to link it from Skepchick. =P

            You might want to consider not acting like a total ass towards women. Then you won’t have to worry about it appearing on the internet! Ta-dah!

    1. There’s a difference between being nervous and awkward and being a stupid, pushy liar who treats women like he’s at a strip club or bar and feels entitled to their time and attention. It’s not hard to tell the difference.

      At least she got some entertainment out of it.

      1. Although, we can’t really know which one of those choices Mr. Presley was on, without making certain assumptions about the characters of each person involved. If you start with the assumption that she couldn’t be up to no good, and that he must have been, then it’s easy to conclude that he was acting like that pushy ass who wasn’t treating the woman right.

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