Skepchick Quickies 1.29


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

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  1. Amanda,

    I’ve never even heard of the “partial match” technique before. Given the fact that its met with little success according to the New York Times, maybe its not that surprising. I would have thought that matching DNA to close relatives would have been a bit more effective.

  2. Amanda,

    I think that one of the biggest reasons for the persistence of the “female poisoner” myth maybe that most of the really infamous poisoners mentioned in history books and TV documentaries were women. I could be wrong through. However, I haven’t heard too much about men who use poison as a weapon, until now, although I always knew they existed.

  3. Re – The Imperfect Myth of the Female Poisoner
    People in the comments seems to be confused or tools. I thought point of Deborah Blum’s post was …yes women choose poison over other means to kill but men still use it more often (60.5 percent male and 39.5 percent female.). Therefore, just because someone is poisoned doesn’t mean it was a woman killer (so there Holmes and his “Poison is a woman’s weapon.” ). Am I misreading the article?

    1. But don’t you realize Theia? Stating facts that make men look in any way worse than women makes you an evil feminazi. That comment thread got horrendously sexist pretty fast. My favorite quote from the comments so far is below. According to this guy, men being over-represented among murderers indicates we’re the only ones that can get anything done.

      GT66: “…If anything, this feminist’s numbers show that like everything else they do, they pale in comparison to men’s ability to enact an outcome.”
      donkey_roxor: “Don’t discount the role of women in building society.”
      GT66: “I’ll do exactly that actually.”

      1. To clarify, the first part was a joke. The discussion below is something an actual person thought was acceptable to say.

      2. And this GT66 loser also said,

        “The phenomenon is called the p8ssy pass. Women are frequently given lighter sentences or let off completely for crimes that would see a male perpetrator doing decades in prison.”

        So does he think women cannot get anything done, or that women can get things done we just get away with it because society is soooooo unfair to men? gag

  4. The poison debate reminds me of something that was discussed back when I was in college. I was taking a European history course and when we got to Mary Tudor our professor talked to us about how she got the name Bloody Mary because of all the people she had killed, and went on to say that she (the professor) thought it was sexist because many of her contemporary monarchs killed equal numbers of people or more but you don’t hear anything about Bloody Charles for example.

    1. You do get Vlad the Impaler and Ivan the Terrible, to name two bloodthirsty male rulers off the top of my head. On the other hand, Mary’s successor, Elizabeth, was “Good Queen Bess.”

      In the end, I would suspect that Protestant religious fervor and anti-Spanish sentiment had a good deal to do with Mary’s less than sterling legacy. The number of female monarchs being as low as it is, especially in the medieval and Renaissance periods would make it hard to definitively show one way or another how they were perceived.

      This is, of course, given the fact that there were so few female rulers due to sexist ideas concerning primogeniture. Both Mary and Elizabeth ruled only after their significantly younger brother Edward. In the quest for a male heir, their father Henry had discarded both their mothers. That seems much more relevant than their nicknames. I’m sure there are many male rulers who would have loved the nickname “Bloody.”

      End tangent.

  5. This is a bit knit picky but the first article should be called myth of the female murderers.

    And the article on antiabortion activists doesn’t surprise me.

  6. Of all the poison victims 39.5% were killed by a woman. Men do significantly more poisoning.
    But men do 89.5% of the murdering. Men do an incredible amount more murdering.

    So if I look at any given poison victim, it was likely a man that did it. Sherlock Holmes is an idiot for suggesting otherwise.
    But if I look at both a female and a male murderer, it is far far more likely the woman used poison than the man did.

    That doesn’t seem to dismiss the idea that poison is a woman’s weapon to me. Quite the opposite. Though to be sure, it’s hardly a point in men’s favor since the only reason poison isn’t a man’s weapon is because we insist on butchering people with other weapons so zealously.

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