Femmostroppo Reader February 13, 2011

Items of interest come across recently in my feed-reader. What did I miss? Leave your own interesting links in comments.
n.b. Comments threads have not necessarily been read. Some may be NSFW or triggering, so please report back any problems you encounter so the post can be marked.

  • Let’s say good-bye to the straw-feminist | PLoS Blogs Network
  • – Cordelia Fine: “Nor does my book (which has been unappealingly described as “relentlessly methodological” in its “striving for scientific correctness”) “ignore” the supposedly compelling evidence for the neurological and hormonal origins of essential differences in male and female minds. Rather, again and again I argue that – because of under-acknowledgment of social factors, spurious results, poor methodologies, and untested assumptions – the evidence scientists and commentators provide as support for essentialist claims is simply not as strong as they seem to think.”

  • In Which We Establish Bradshaw’s Law
  • – “If you are trying to make your point by referring to SATC—a show which, by the way, ran its last episode nearly ten years ago—you’re just flashing your own ignorance.”

  • House Republicans Heroically Propose to Cut the Budget by a Teeny Tiny Bit
  • – “This is an ongoing problem for political conservatives. Cutting spending is a useful sound bite, but when asked what they actually want to cut — you know, a plan to actually balance the budget without raising taxes or while cutting them — they typically flounder.”

  • The Invisible R Word
  • – “The media’s refusal to name the act permits this cultural disjunction, where rape is wrong but nothing is ever rape, to flourish.”

Disclaimer/SotBO: a link here is not necessarily an endorsement of all opinions of the post author(s) either in the particular post or of their writing in general.

Categories: ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, linkfest

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6 replies

  1. +(a million) for the first one, it’s a brilliant piece. I often find myself pointing out that science generally requires a control group of some sort, and unless someone has a magical way of removing or accounting for decades of social conditioning, it’s not scientific.
    A few years ago Ben Goldacre wrote a great dissection of one particular ev-psych story which I keep in my list of “101” links.

  2. And weird how it’s only ever “political” when criticising the “men just happen to be better at everything valuable, it’s SCIENCE!” position.

  3. Commenter Dena on the “Invisible R Word” post made a great point – while journalists seem increasingly unwilling to use the word “rape” where it’s clearly called for, there is a commensurate increase in people using the word to describe more and more trivial matters – being beaten in a computer game, being called out on something, etc.

  4. I think it was Anne Summers way back in 1975 or so, in Damned Whores and God’s Police who first wrote: “Rape is the worst of all crimes, and it never happens.” I don’t know why we talk of that book so little these days, in comparison with other seminal feminist works.
    Where I thought Cordelia Fine was about to go in her post (and just how frustrating must it be to be her?), but didn’t quite, was to talk about “standpoint theory”, which is a personal hobby horse of mine, and a methodology I use in my own work. It basically states that you are likely to get a more complete and instructive perspective on data of you assume a viewpoint outside the dominant one. It makes me fume to see people like Baron-Cohen present themselves as not imposing a political agenda on their analysis, when they simply reek of it.

  5. while journalists seem increasingly unwilling to use the word “rape” where it’s clearly called for
    They’re keen as mustard to use it when it looks like they can paint an accusation as a false one.

  6. Yay for Bradshaw’s law, i only ever saw one episode all the way through, so it shouldn’t be too hard for me to stick to it. Isn’t SATC a bit like The Bible, almost anything can be asserted by reference to it?
    I’m not a subscriber, so i haven’t seen the full piece, but this abstract from Tina Fey had me laughing, sorry, lol.

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