Skepchick Quickies 8.13


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

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  1. I think it’s about time “entitled to your opinion” should go. At a young age, the purpose of this is to boost confidence in speaking up about your opinion and allow those who feel they are in a minority with their opinion to feel safe in doing so. However, american society in general seems to be creating more children with an over inflated sense of self confidence. I have a 12 year old step son who is well aware of his “right to an opinion” and goes around spouting urban legends and conspiracy theories as fact. He dismisses my attempts to explain the rules of evidence and that “I’m just a nerd.” I’m not saying I don’t get along with him, it’s just disconcerting to deal with a family member who seems to hit every anti-intellectual stereotype even before high school.

    The right to speak your mind is one thing. So is the right to creatively think and come up with new ideas. But we’ve taken opinions too far socially and need to dial back our teaching.

  2. Kerr Avon from the science fiction show Blake’s 7 had an interesting responce to the “I’m entitled to my opinion” line:
    “It is your assumption that we are entitled to it as well that is irritating.”

  3. I always liked Harlan Ellison’s take:

    “We are not entitled to our opinions; we are entitled to our informed opinions. Without research, without background, without understanding, it’s nothing.”

    It’s been a long time since I was in management, but I figuratively bent over backwards to work with all schedule requests, staff or management. (If I did give preferential treatment to any, it was the women/girls on my staff.) Must be something wrong with me.

  4. The way I’ve always heard it (as attributed to Daniel Patrick Monyihan) is “Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.”

  5. When I was too young to know better, I stayed at a sucky job for a year. It was a small startup, and I was the only woman developer. Early on, I asked the president/founder if I could have flex time and he said no. My goal had been to rearrange my schedule so that I could tutor kids during the day instead of at night. Shortly after being told no, we had a status meeting where he explained that his friend was going to be working odd hours so that he could coach football.

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