Quickies: Conservative Game Show Hosts, Parasitic Wasps, and Mansplaining
On May 20, 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
- I Don’t Want to be Right – A New Yorker piece on why incorrect beliefs persist.
- The Last King of the American Middlebrow – “Who is Alex Trebek? For starters, he eats Snickers for breakfast and watches Fox News backstage.” I would not have guessed the Fox News thing, but I’m still a fan of his.
- Pat Sajak’s vicious climate change denial, and the world of conservative game show hosts – Well huh. At least this piece ends with, “In any event, we can only hope that ‘Billy on the Street’ host Billy Eichner doesn’t have any secretly-held beliefs about climate change.”
- USDA expanding use of wasp to fight citrus greening in California – Farmers are breeding tiny parasitic wasps to help fight a crop disease.
- “Men explaining things to me had been happening my whole life”: The author behind “mansplaining” on the origin of her famous term – An interview with Rebecca Solnit.
Alex Trebek might watch Fox but at least he has climate change correct.
I’m a one-day Jeopardy! champion (I played both my games on Election Day 2008, my winning game aired on New Year’s Eve, my non-winning game on New Year’s Day 2009). Trebek looks good in person – not like he’s had work done, but like he’s very well-tended-to. He called me “young lady” at one point – I was 45 years old at the time.
While not right-wing, they forgot the most ridiculous of all “game-show hosts” to spout utter nonsense; Jenny McCarthy. At least her former Singled Out co-host Chris Hardwick seems to be pretty grounded.
And anyway, why would anyone care what some blowhard who is given the answers thinks about anything? It’s almost like we think they are news anchors or something. Oh yeah, right. Maybe stand-ups are just better at thinking on their feet than those who get their answers handed to them no matter whether they sit behind a desk or stand behind a lectern.
“While not right-wing, they forgot the most ridiculous of all “game-show hosts” to spout utter nonsense; Jenny McCarthy. At least her former Singled Out co-host Chris Hardwick seems to be pretty grounded.”
From my perspective at least, she’s still speaking from white privilege, though. Yeah, even if vaccines do cause autism (and they don’t), a world without vaccines causes, um, death for those of us who haven’t had hundreds of years of overcrowding and poor hygiene to adapt to germs. From that perspective, Jenny, Billy, and Jimmy are all adorable.
The one problem I have with the term ‘mansplaining’ is when it’s misused. Like, it makes perfect sense when talking about a woman’s experiences. A man can’t know what it’s like to be a woman; I can certainly tell you of the time my five-year-old niece was told by this old white dude “Put on some clothes!” when she was at the beach in her yellow one-piece suit (Seriously, slut-shaming a toddler! What the actual fuck?), and I hope I understand why that’s horrible more than she does. (On the other hand, the Mansplanations Tumblr has some dodgy ones, like an epidemiology professor explaining Listeria to a woman whose parents own a raw-milk dairy.) And we’ve all encountered some variant of ‘splanation; hell, Sherman Alexie’s Indian Killer has a Ward Churchill expy who goes on to explain what being Indian is like to his student (a Spokane girl; it’s part of the same universe as the movie Smoke Signals), and he assigns books like The Education of Little Tree.
But a lot of terms get turned into word salad. On a gaming forum, our resident MRA (I think the mods keep him around for the lulz.) claimed the Men’s Rights movement was ‘intersectional’. Wait, wha? “Intersectional” isn’t “I’ve read To Kill a Mockingbird, therefore this upper-class white dude accused of raping his kids’ baby-sitter was clearly framed.” (Sorry, had to vent about that.)
“…the Mansplanations Tumblr has some dodgy ones, like an epidemiology professor explaining Listeria to a woman whose parents own a raw-milk dairy.”
Are you talking about this one? (It’s the only one I could find that remotely resembled your description.)
However, the mansplainer was an air traffic controller, not an epidemiology professor. And the woman actually worked for a raw-milk dairy, which she never got the chance to mention. Classic mansplaining.
“The one problem I have with the term ‘mansplaining’ is when it’s misused”
No doubt there are cases where (women) misuse the term. I haven’t actually seen it (at least, according to my understanding of the term.) I have seen loads of cases where men complain that the term “mansplaining” is sexist, or explain (mansplain? :-) ) how the poor little wimmenz just don’t understand what “mansplaining” really means. And just about every day, I see men mansplaining on women-centered online fora.
Yeah, the irony isn’t lost on me. Jon: “Mansplaining exists! But only if it’s a “women’s experience!” Don’t you know that, ladies? I totally accept that mansplaining exists…except and unless blah blah blah. Oh, and how is a male traffic controller telling a woman dairy farmer about her job mansplaining?! Her being a dairy farmer is not a “real” woman’s experience! So it’s not really mansplaining. He’s a professor! I mean she just grew up on a farm, so obviously this male professor totally knows more than her, you know? Ladies, ladies. It can only be mansplaining if it’s a “woman’s experience” … so if it’s not about your period, it’s not mansplaining.”
Yes, Jon, I think we women know what mansplaining is by now. No need to tell us why we’re wrong or why “sometimes women are totally lying about being mansplained to! Totally. Women misuse it, and that’s totally not okay. Women should only use it when it fit’s my narrow view of what “woman’s experience” is!”
Edited: He wasn’t a professor…he was an air traffic controller. Sigh.
Because white people are never condescending to Indians.
Number of times I’ve been told Indians would be extinct if not for the speaker’s favorite variant of “white people playing Indian” passed 1000 a couple weeks ago.
But I can tell you: I know a former tribal president whose Facebook page is basically one post by him every couple days, buried in the woo du jour posted by white people because he hasn’t figured out how to ignore users or change settings so only friends can post to your wall.
“And the woman actually worked for a raw-milk dairy, which she never got the chance to mention.”
Yes she did – that is how the conversation got started.
Which makes it even worse, of course.
I find it amazing that the 3 of us read the same simple story and yet our comprehension of the key points seems to vary so much.
It’s also curious that his description of it is REALLY REALLY vague, and he doesn’t even bother to provide a link. He’s going off on his MEMORY. Which means he read the story (skimmed it, most likely), and figured he had this red herring to prove to us that some women misuse the term and therefore if it’s not about a “women’s experience” then maybe we should just not talk about it.
This dude works for a tobacco company, several oil companies, and a coal company.
But what it reminded me of when I saw it was, Indians get tied to woo all the time. Not of our own doing, mind. But just, white people who claim to speak for us happen to believe in woo, they speak for us, and they support their woo at the time.
I have a problem with that link: raw milk is vile and dangerous. The CDC lists it as one of the most dangerous foods we consume today, and it comes up in a link of a topic very important to us skeptics:
CDC link: http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/rawmilk/raw-milk-index.html
I’d feel a little more sympathy for her if she weren’t making statements like: “the raw milk I distribute is safe and healthful.”
This is a skeptical website – we don’t let people get a pass for spouting pseudoscience.
“Like, it makes perfect sense when talking about a woman’s experiences.”
What do you consider a “woman’s experiences”? Surely a “woman’s experience” includes just about everything we, as women, do and experience in this world. A “woman’s experiences” are much more than what you probably consider what a “woman’s experiences” are.
You seem to be making the argument that mansplaining isn’t as likely when it’s outside of that “women’s experiences”.
From what I gather, you don’t seem to consider it to be a “woman’s experiences” when that experience is a woman working at a raw-milk dairy, so of course it’s totally okay for a male TRAFFIC CONTROLLER to explain to her why she is wrong about her OWN FUCKING LINE OF WORK.
You have a narrow, incorrect and damaging view of “woman’s experiences”.
Today I took a shit. You took a shit today, too, I’m sure! And yet, as a woman, I still experienced taking a shit. Just because taking a shit is something both men and woman can experience, it doesn’t suddenly not make my taking a shit a “non-woman’s experience” nor does it mean that my taking a shit can’t be mansplained.
Seriously, though. As a lady who uses the restroom and who uses more toilet paper than the average dude, I HAVE BEEN MANSPLAINED ABOUT MY BATHROOM HABITS. “Why do you use so much toilet paper? I only go through one roll a month!” – true quote from a dude.
I wanted to try mansplaining his mansplaining of mansplaining to you… but then I got a headache and couldn’t go through with it. It looks like he’s been doing a lot of “hey but what about this!” posting today, in cases where a list was never intended to be exhaustive, or where what he “adds” WAS MENTIONED IN THE ARTICLE.
Jon Brewer sometimes has good points, but I’ve noticed he does do that a lot. It may not be intentional. He probably thinks he’s brilliant and he just MUST share with us his brilliance, on all manners of subjects. Plus, sometimes this sort of thing can be subtle. But this isn’t the first time he’s made me roll my eyes because he’s just … well, explained to us shit that’s already obvious or, as you say, has already been mentioned (but maybe if we don’t have Jon to explain it to us, we won’t understand what has already been mentioned! Oh dear!).
Oh, but I don’t want to “misuse” the term mansplaining. Oh, heaven’s, no. Then I might have to deal with Jon explaining to me about how I am misusing the term mansplaining after he has SO thoughtfully explained to us about how it’s only really mansplaining if the subject matter is a “woman’s experience”, whatever the fuck that means – curiously, he didn’t even consider to define that phrase! Should a “woman’s experience” be that obvious? Maybe I’m too stupid to figure it out on my own…
Maybe I should ask what JON thinks a “woman’s experience” is so he can explain to me, a woman, what my experiences are! I mean, clearly, if we women stay within what JON thinks a “woman’s experience” is then we won’t risk women misusing the term! Women can’t be condescended to and talked down to about subjects they are clearly familiar with, obviously, I mean, well, except, as JON says, unless it’s a “women’s experience”. So maybe if it’s about periods or something we can talk about being mansplained to. All other subjects, though?? We must not DARE mention when we’re mansplained to, because we may be misusing the term without realizing it! Ask Jon, first. He’ll be able to explain to you fully if you’re actually being mansplained to or not, since obviously we women just aren’t bright enough to figure it out on our own unless it’s about our periods.
Maybe I should also ask Jon:
So what’s on your approved list of “women’s experiences”? Please explain to me what appropriate experiences you will admit can be “mansplained”, thanks! I, a woman, am just so unable to recognize when I’m being mansplained to when it’s not about a subject matter pertaining to my ladybits! Please educate me, oh smart man!
Yes, marilove, Indians never experience any sort of condescending attitudes from white people. We also never experience racism, any sort of systemic legal discrimination, and hell, we get free gas.
(Seriously, you’d be surprised how many white people think Indians never experience racism.)
Here’s part 3 in a series on mansplanation (and part 53 in a series on Let’s Play Baldur’s Gate).
If you don’t feel like watching, the tl;dr version is that mansplanation can be and is done when the man is actually an expert in his field. It’s not required for the man to be ignorant and lecturing to a learned woman, although that is the classical presentation of the phenomenon. The essence of mansplanation is that the man is not fucking listening to the person he’s with and not engaging in a conversation at all, but simply lecturing.
Pat Sajak says he was just joking on the climate change thing………….
I caught myself mansplaining once (over a decade before the word was invented.) I was visiting my aunt, and she mentioned she was thinking of running some extension speakers from her stereo into another room. I, with my physics background, started to explain how for best results, when you split the speaker wire into two, you should add some resisters to balance the impedance…
at which point I brought myself up short. “Hang on, you run a research audiology lab. You know this stuff, don’t you?”
“Yes” replies my bemused aunt.
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