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.


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