Sunday, August 7, 2011

Erratum, or, Message to Mr. Bum

I took some ad hominem material out of a previous post (Return of the Pink Poseur). I can see the ad hominem remarks could easily be miscontstrued as sexist- rather than being dismissive of someone I don't respect (who happens to be female), it might seem as though I hate females/feminists and am being dismissive for that reason (the snark is preserved for posterity in a comment on the post).

One comment I did not retract is that of 'professional victim'. In the infamous CFI talk, Skepchick said that her 'objectification' by EG and subsequent criticism by Stef McGraw would lead rape victims to avoid conferences. I used the term 'professional victim' to describe my unease with skepchick's way of using anecdotal evidence from her own life and painting herself as a victim as material for her talks.

So anyway, clarifications aside, this is my fourth post now written about skepchick/EG. And you may be wondering, am I obsessed? I'm pretty much stalking her online, right? Is it fair to assume males are put together that way- our criticism is a means of fulfilling destructive urges, or overcompensating?

To be honest I don't feel threatened by discussion in the area of gender/ feminism- in fact I find such discussions fascinating, and I am not afraid to represent my point of view. I don't consider my gender or any privileges that a bystander could presume I had to affect the validity of my arguments.

I feel angry about this issue because the consensus of the majority in the blogosphere is wrong, in my opinion, and that's not often the case. My frustration leads to the kind of dismissals that non-accomodationists would use on a regular basis.

Finally, Barefoot Bum, if you're reading, I would like to request a favour- re-visit my last post. Not to disallow my "Stupid, it burns" award, but to let me know what it was about my parallel construction exercise that was sexist. Allow me to elaborate on it a little...

My point was that we don't conciously scan statements like the one made by skepchick in her EG blog post for sexism. We just aren't expecting it. When we flip the gender roles in the example provided, it becomes more apparent that the original statement might have been sexist, in the sense that in the masculine we would call paternalistic.

I think a sexist statement coming from a gender expert can cause cognitive dissonance, which could have caused you to prematurely (!) dismiss this argument.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Return of the Pink Poseur

Is it worth writing more about a person who seems to be a professional victim? Why not one last try.

So, full disclosure, I had not noticed this person called skepchick (Rebecca Watson) til the EG incident was brought to my attention by Hemant. I was vaguely aware she did podcasts, but I don’t listen to things that aren’t awesome and excerpted on youtube- and I believe she doesn’t have anything of this nature. I just started paying attention when the whingeing and whining began.

The statement that began our winter of discontent:
A word to the wise, guys… don’t do that. I can’t begin to express to you how uncomfortable this makes me…don’t invite me back to your hotel room, right after I just finished explaining how this creeps me out and makes me uncomfortable when men sexualize me…

Ah, yes. Now, let’s use a parallel example provided by Dale Husband, writing in support of Watson. He writes of a situation where he was objectified by a woman:
Several years ago, I was at a gas station when I was approached by a woman I soon realized was a prostitute. She asked me if I wanted to go on “dates” with her and then asked for money. After figuring out that she was propositioning me for sex, I was so repulsed that I immediately went into station and told the employees about the woman, and the promised me that they would get rid of her, even as she was proceeding to hit on other men at the station!

Let’s say that had happened to me, and I blogged about it in this way:
A word to the wise, girls… don’t do that. I can’t begin to express to you how uncomfortable this makes me…don’t invite me back to your hotel room, right after I just finished paying for my gas, when you can see my platinum card…

LOL, I’m sure you’ll agree. I would rightly be called a misogynist for talking to my general audience as if they were all prostitutes.

But why is it different for Rebecca when she talks to males as if they were date-rapists? This is misandry, and sure, it isn’t a big problem in our society- but I’m the kind of person who will get pissed off by religions, just because they happen to be wrong, and her misandrous attitude pisses me off just the same.

Not to mention that Watson basically lumps the elevator guy in with rapists, that’s pretty mean when you consider that we live in a society where men conventionally make the first move (and often badly).

I think that Watson is a misandrist, and I think she would have limited success setting up a skeptic community among gender feminists (as we’re all familiar with their love of science).