Skepchick Quickies 10.18


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

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  1. I have a love-hate relationship with coffee. I LOVE IT, but it doesn’t really love me. And there’s no point to decaffinated (tastes funny, too). I had gotten into the habit of drinking it every morning during the week but I think I’m going to stop doing that. It’s so hard on my insides. I WANT COFFEEEEE :(

    (Thankfully, I don’t have an addiction to caffeine so at least I’m not feeling any pain that way. But every time someone walks by with a hot, steaming cup, I get jealous!)

    1. Wait. Is this still part of the analogy? ;) You used to drink every morning but it was hard on your insides? Not sure what “decaffeinated” refers to … But now you just WANT some coffee! :D

    2. I’ve a similar issue, though I don’t think it’s related to caffine, since I can handle other caffinated drinks just fine.

      Even stranger is that I didn’t start to have a reaction to coffee until last winter.
      Don’t know if it’s related to the oil content of the stuff or what.

    3. I love my morning coffee. I don’t drink very much coffee – just one (big) cup every morning. The fact that I only drink that one cup means I can go wild and buy some crazy expensive gourmet coffee – although it may cost over ten times what I’d pay for supermarket coffee, at just around a half pound of coffee beans a month, it’s still a very cheap luxury, even for an underpaid civil servant.

      So if you could drink just one extremely delicious cup a day, you could consider that. I find it a bit easier on my insides as well than the run-of-the-mill stuff, but that may be just an illusion. I’m presently drinking an El Salvador Cup of Excellence coffee and it’s very, very good.

      On decaf: Sitting in a hotel room in London recently, I started really feeling like a cup of coffee but it was quite late. But then I noticed there was some decaf instant coffee in my room and thought “How bad could it be?”
      As a service to others, I’d like to share the answer to that question: “Utterly staggeringly fucking awful.” Caffeine-induced insomnia would have been far preferable.

  2. I think the guys would say to the Coffee analogy “but how will I ever meet a woman if I can’t approach them?!!!”

    And to that I’d say there are a couple things to consider:
    1. Context/Setting: Is it the right context and setting to try and strike up a conversation with a woman you might fancy? Many times it’s not.

    2. Intent: If you’re interested in her, what are you interested in? Just taking her home as fast as possible? Or actually getting to know her and her getting to know you. Coming up to her and making the interaction a sexual interaction probably doesn’t have much value or appeal for her. If you approach her and talk to her like a human being in an appropriate setting, she’ll be much more likely to perceive you positively.

    3. Respecting her wishes: Do you intend to respect her wishes whatever they end up being, or are you going to persist and ruin her time? If she says she doesn’t want to talk or doesn’t want to have any physical interactions, then respect that.

    And I think many men will find that, WOW, talking to her respectfully like a human being in the right context while respecting her wishes will get them to meet many more women than they have with other approaches.

    1. Agreed. One wonders if they make all their contacts by randomly walking up to strangers they find physically attractive and putting people in akward coercive situations. Don’t they ever make friends with people through other means? Classes? Meetup groups? Local lectures? Volunteering? Through other friends? Oh wait. Maybe they don’t also want to be friends with women they are attracted to. In which case, there are plenty of other outlets for just hooking up, and there is nothing wrong with that.

      Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with striking up a normal conversation in a non-intrusive non-coercive way and shutting the hell up if the person doesn’t enthusiastically continue the conversation.

      1. I think that’s what a pick-up artist is: a person who doesn’t look at others as human beings – only as potential sexual conquests.
        Finding a mate, or sexual or intellectual compatibility, or genuine attraction, isn’t part of the operation.
        This is a game between you and a person who (callously! selfishly!) doesn’t want to have sex with you. Your goal is to “win” that game by finding a way – be it coercion of personality, drink or otherwise – to get that person in your bed.
        Awkwardness, in that case, is the pick-up artist’s friend. Social conditioning, that causes your targets to not tell you to fuck off, or not stand up for themselves, is your friend.
        It’s probably quite difficult to convey that to people who don’t feel socially conditioned to give in and “be courteous” to the opposite gender, but – listening as a man – that post is a pretty well written attempt to explain that feeling.

        1. Well prior to being married, I stopped having trouble meeting women and had more women romantically interested when I both lost my fear of women and lost my misconceptions about them and just started talking to them like normal people. Boy-oh-boy was that the best “PUA” tactic ever.

    2. Yeah, don’t read the comments on that post. Or, if you do, brace yourself for lots of those reactions and a few wonderful people sticking it out and explaining what you just did.

      1. The comments make me sad because a lot of that line of thinking simply stems from ignorance. A lot of them have never been enlightened about women, their struggles, and what equality really means, and that by being better to them and treating women with the same respect and demeanor you’d treat any guy you know that yes, they will probably stop having trouble meeting women.

        I’d like to hold a class or something about this in the future.

    1. While this is an interesting piece of information, and one that should be kept in mind, we don’t exactly like when we are held to old ideas that we once had (The Skepchick calendar for instance). I’m not saying we should automatically forget past behavior, but we might want to forgive if current behavior shows a helpful change of heart.

      I made that mistake myself a short while ago when it came to a previous association of Michael Payton’s when he wrote for Amy’s series. It was part of the reason I took a step back from the community for a while and I realized that I was too willing to poison the well when it was not called for. I have done things in my past that I wouldn’t want to be judged by now.

      1. He’s never apologized for it, and that’s hardly the only misogynist thing he’s ever written.

        Nobody’s entitled to have their slate wiped clean without at least an apology, and preferably some demonstration that they’ve moved beyond their previous assholery a little bit. What’s past is prologue, and if I didn’t know the Sleazy Weasel, I’d be grateful for others pointing out his track record to me. My safety >>> the menz’ “right” to rehabilitate their reputations.

      2. Also, there are plenty of women out there who are awesome feminist voices and have been for years. But suddenly some dude breaks into feminist commentary, and people can’t coo over him loudly enough or give him enough cookies.

        1. Well, I’m probably going to catch some flack here. I didn’t know anything about The Ferrett before suggesting this post and I still think it is an appropriate analogy.

          I take my allies where I can find them. I don’t expect them to be perfect. And I certainly am not going to reject them because they are men.

          I just read the final post for the Open-Source Boob Project and it sounds pretty apologetic to me:

          “Women should feel safe.
          And the chances that the Project would get fucked up, making con spaces more amenable to hordes of stalkers and mouthbreathers who will grope and maul women, are pretty damn big. Hell, it’s already made women feel less safe by me mentioning it, and that makes me feel like shit. As it should…
          “The Con Anti-Harassment Project is a project dedicated to making people feel safe at conventions. You should support them in that, and their friends…
          “…if I embarrassed or humiliated anyone at either con, then I do apologize personally to you. As I apologize to anyone who now feels less safe going to cons, for whatever that is now worth…
          “Stupidity made flesh. Which would be me.”

          Here’s the original: http://theferrett.livejournal.com/1087686.html

          If you have better examples of his misogyny, I am open to links to them.

          1. I take my allies where I can find them.

            Hugo Schwyzer calls himself an “ally,” too.

            And I certainly am not going to reject them because they are men.

            Nice strawman; does it keep the crows away from your corn? I’m talking about giving men attention for saying the same things women have been saying for years. Especially white men.

            Here’s another example of Ferrett’s misogyny (discussed here). He locked his later post about how he should be able to go up to trans women and tell if they’re “real” by grabbing their crotch, but it’s discussed here.

      3. @Ms. Daisy Cutter

        I didn’t actually say any of the things you referred to. Has it really gotten to the point where it is ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ to such an extent that not phrasing your thoughts in the exact way someone would like to hear puts you firmly in the ‘them’ column?

        This is just the type of intolerant bullshit that made me step away and I don’t have the time or patience for it. If that makes me part of ‘them’ so be it, I won’t defend myself again spurious arguments.

        And before you say I’m overreacting just know that I am not mad, just tired of the tribe mentality.

        1. When it’s someone who has repeatedly shown that he is not an ally of any sort to women, I think it’s not even a little bit “tribal” (which sure is an interesting term itself) to write the creep off. No, women don’t need to forgive and forget, I’d prefer to have allies I don’t have to keep an eye on, thanks.

          1. So you have written him off completely, that’s your decision and I am not telling you that you can’t make it.

            Is the mere suggestion that someone may have changed his mind and possibly his behavior strange enough to warrant dismissal of the claim as well as the person making the suggestion? Is it that out of the realm of possibility?

            Just wondering?

          2. Yes, Becca, it’s so ~~tribal~~ for women and women-appearing people to want to protect themselves from men who have shown predatorial tendencies.

            “Tribal” is apparently the new “divisive.”

          3. No, I’m not exactly impressed by a man who has a nasty history of being a pig happily waltzing onto the scene again and explaining feminism. I don’t think that’s ever a position for a dude, and especially not a dude with a history like that.

            Why does feminism need to centre the feelings and ~moral development~ of dudes at the expense of women’s comfort and safety? Why do feminists need to bend over backward to make sure that men who’ve hurt them are coddled and made to feel welcome? Think long and hard, dude.

        2. Awww, cupcake, I’m so sorry some of us women (or non-binary peoples) don’t want to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” with skeezy menz. It hurts your feefees!!

          Take your tone trolling and shove it where the sun don’t shine. This is the same exact OMG FERGIIIIIIBNESS crap that Hugo Schwyzer’s BFFs tried to pull. The Sleazy Weasel may not have ever tried to murder someone, but based on his greatest hits, I’m more than happy not only to give him a wide berth but to bring attention to his past whenever possible. If it gives people like you a big ol’ butthurt (oops, can I still say that?), so much the better.

          1. Well, considering I din’t once imply that you hurt my feelings (just that you misrepresented what I actually said) I’m not sure where you are going with this, and I have no wish to stay around and play stupid-assed word games to find out.

            The Ferrett might not be a very good ally, I don’t know, but I do know that I was. But I do not have the patience to have abuse heap on me for simply suggesting that people not be fucking jerks to each other. I’ll just take my white penis somewhere where it won’t be kicked at for existing.

          2. MrMisconception has been posting here for a long time and he is not skeezy or a troll. He also was not tone-trolling; he was trying to engage you in conversation.

            You don’t know me either. My name is Nicole. I’m a feminist, a skeptic, a scientist and an atheist. I consider myself A+. I like to have stimulating conversations with people. But for some reason, you seem to have decided that I am an idiot. If we met face-to-face, I think this conversation would have gone much differently. I’ve learned a lot from the posters on Skepchick and I think I’ve contributed from time to time. We probably could have learned from each other.

            You obviously have some kind of history with The Ferrett that I do not, so we’ll just have to agree to disagree about him. I have no idea who the Sleazy Weasel, Hugo Schwyzer or his BFF are or what FERGIIIIIIBNESS means, and if that makes me a bad internet feminist, I’ll just have to live with that.

  3. Yes, but he was wearing a tank top and shorts in the middle of winter. He looked so cold. He was just asking for a nice, hot drink.


  4. FYI, the binder does not come packaged with women included. You need to have mad private equity funds to make that additional purchase. Then you can stow those binders away into departments you don’t find all that important to you.

  5. I’m happy to see this post from The Ferrett, as I’d previously written him off as “hopeless”… and it is nice to be wrong about such things. But I do reserve the right to consider his track record, and give him just a provisional thumbs-up. As others have said, some of his earlier writings went way above and beyond “normal” everyday sexism.

  6. Because threading here sucks:

    Glow-Orb: I provided links to Ferrett’s history of misogyny. I also pointed out that women’s safety should come before men’s “right” to rehabilitate their reputations. Even feminist, or purported feminist, groups have this problem of centering men’s voices. It should be called out.

    For that, I got a ton of whining, finger-wagging, and tone trolling. Then I got more tone-trolling for having the temerity not to be ~~polite~~ to Mr. Misconception in response to his massive pile of BAAAAWWWW.

    I didn’t call Mr. M “skeezy.” I called Ferrett “skeezy.” Just because Mr. M. has been posting here a long time doesn’t exempt him from being called out on his male privilege, and I don’t have to know either him or you to criticize your arguments, especially when they’re poor. I have been around long enough to know bullshit when I smell it, and I call bullshit on your defense of him as “trying to engage me in conversation.” No, actually, I call it gaslighting.

    Also, no, I have no personal history with Ferrett; I simply watched all the situations to which I linked go down in real time. But thank you for assuming that this is just “grudgewank,” as it’s called, rather than argument on principle. (Perhaps I’m a “woman scorned,” eh?) And thanks as well for the passive-aggressive “Well, I guess I’m a bad feminist,” because I never freaking called you one.

    Both of you really need some Feminist 101.

    1. Seconding all of this. I love that anyone who brings up that someone is actually pretty well-established to be no friend to feminists is totally a mean woman with a grudge and tribal and divisive and blah blah blah, but the person who suggested the creep’s link is merely “engaging in conversation” and totally not just being defensive. Same goes for the “oh, but he’s one of us!” BS. I don’t care. Right now, he’s fucking up royally in his suggestion that feminism needs to make more room for men with a history of shitty behaviour so they can explain concepts women have been explaining already.

      Glow orb, if you wanna keep learning stuff around here: siding with every dude you can find (Mr. M., Ferrett) against a woman who is claiming that the shit both are pulling is sexist, then pulling out the “oh, she must have a grudge”? That’s some quality feminism you got going there.

    2. For the record, and even though I’m late to the party, I agree 100% with you and Becca.

      I like mrmisconception, but he has a history of getting upset whenever women and feminists rightfully get ~mean~ toward sexist assholes.

      Oh dear. We’re being mean! OH NO!

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