Debunking Media Myths

Whew. So my panel is over and I can relax a little bit. (At least until tomorrow when I’m moderating a panel chock full of funny ladies, including Mikheala Reid.)
I’m at a panel run by the very cool Caryl Rivers on media myths like the “boy crisis.”
Another media narrative they’re discussing is the myth that professionally accomplished women make for bad wives, or have bad relationships. Well, shit…I’ve had my fair share of bad breakups but I’m pretty sure it didn’t have much to do with how well I was doing at work.
I love these ladies…they’re talking about how the Forbes debacle actually turned out okay for women. Women were so outraged by the article that they really had to eat their words and admit, well, that they were full of shit.
I really need to get this powerpoint, they also have a lot of fantastic info and stats debunking the male brain/female brain differences myths. (And boy are there a lot of them.)
My question is–yeah, so what do we do? I mean, we see these kind of bullshit stories all the time…but how do we call them out in a way that does more than piss off a couple of feminist bloggers.

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40 Comments

  1. Posted March 31, 2007 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    That Forbes story is just plain aggrevating. First and foremost, the entire article is a bunch of generalizations used to justify an even bigger generalization.
    Personally, I like women who are ambitious and career minded. Its nice to know that both people are earning money, and supporting the family – it reduses that all-too-common resenting or feeling of superiority by being the “breadwinner.”
    So 1) I reject the premise that all men find the same things attractive
    2) I reject the premise that all women who work have affairs and that all women who don’t work, aren’t having affairs in their free time at home, alone.
    3) Men have tons of affairs in the workplace, and nobody is talking about that.
    4) Noer’s comments about marriage being a “labor specialization” is nonsense. If it were a labor specialization, then EITHER the male or female could be the breadwinner depending on their comparative advantage in performing those roles.
    5) Then the article goes on to talk about divorce, alcoholism, and a bunch of other secondary and tertiary effects, supposedly, of women working. WHY IS IT, that when women work, it brings about the end of the world? How about citing statistics that show that developed countries in which women work have higher productivity and generally higher overall standards of living and lifespans relative to countries which have a strict “division of reproductive labor” such as Afghanistan. A lot of people consider women working to be a superior allocation of economic resources because it capitalizes on a lot of potential that could be lost. Imagine if buried in the mind of a woman living in Detroit is the next cure to Cancer, we’re going to tell her diaper duty is the ONLY path she can follow, even if she dreams of being something else?
    Listen, I hope I didn’t demean anything with that last comment, because I do respect reproductive labor, which often goes unappreciated, but I think it should be a choice, not a genetic requirement. Thats all.

  2. Mina
    Posted March 31, 2007 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    “Imagine if buried in the mind of a woman living in Detroit is the next cure to Cancer, we’re going to tell her diaper duty is the ONLY path she can follow, even if she dreams of being something else?”
    I heard that argument is sometimes more “having babies is the most important path you can follow, because one of those babies might grow up to cure cancer!”…then when her babies grow up, they’re told “having babies is the most important path you can follow, because one of those babies might grow up to cure cancer!”, then when their babies grow up, they’re told “having babies is the most important path you can follow, because one of those babies might grow up to cure cancer!”… o_O

  3. Alex
    Posted March 31, 2007 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    In my opinion, a man who is going to feel uncomfortable with the fact that his wife has a job is a man who nobody really needs to marry.

  4. Posted March 31, 2007 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    I think the first step is to point out the faulty and simplistic logic that these types of arguments are based on. The second step is to start to posit more complex, feminist theories that explain the same pheonomenon. And we need to continue to put forth feminist ideologies that aren’t so popular (yet), like the fact that not all women and men are looking to marry in the first place so where do they fall, in the larger scheme of things?

  5. Posted March 31, 2007 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    that’s a really good point, but then again this particular article didn’t argue that all people are seeking to get married, it argued that those who choose to get work are less desirable as married partners. Moreover, the logic behind women being “less marketable” once employed seems to apply to any kind of relationship with a working woman, so I think its important to rebut these claims as they applied to married women as well as unmarried women. This article is clearly directed at those women who choose to work and get married, as a means to scare them into submissive roles.
    Not to mention, the author raised issues, for example, like fidelity, which are of importance to any form of relationship, married or not.

  6. jerry
    Posted March 31, 2007 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    I hope you’ll expand further on media myths of the boy crisis. (Also just to be explicit, are you saying there is no boy crisis, or that the media’s portrayal of the boy crisis is skewed?)
    Thank you.

  7. donna darko
    Posted March 31, 2007 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    here’s a great article about the “boy crisis” myth by one my favorite male feminists. it’s mostly about boys from lower-income families and boys of color but the media forgets to tell you this. then all the whiny middle-aged white men come out of the woodwork and whine about their lives.

  8. jerry
    Posted April 1, 2007 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the link. I wish that had been a footnoted article. He says some interesting things, but I think he leapt to some conclusions that I would have liked to follow up on.
    I don’t think it helps anyone for you to use the word whiny so much. I think we need to listen more to what others have to say about themselves and about us.

  9. donna darko
    Posted April 1, 2007 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    here’s a footnoted thread about the “boy crisis.” the very definition of whiny can be found on the same thread. several middle-aged, middle-class white men making a topic about lower income and black, Latino and Asian boys all about them. i wonder if you are a middle-class, middle-aged white guy who wants to make the “boy crisis” about yourself.

  10. Posted April 1, 2007 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    I understand who the article is aimed at and the point its trying to make, but I think a part of complicating the discussion is to include a feminist analysis of the assumptions made by the writers on these issues.

  11. donna darko
    Posted April 1, 2007 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    you can’t get more feminist than michael kimmel who deconstructs masculinity as a career. amp is extremely feminist and anti-racist on his thread, too.

  12. EdConrad
    Posted April 1, 2007 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Looks like some folks in education are out to lunch when it comes to supporting boys educational inititives, aye, Donna? Like the state of New Mexico, must be something in the water (or lack thereof) out there. Read the following from a report prepared for the state legislature: “Male students tend to be less proficient than females in reading and writing. On the 2005
    National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), female students outscored males in
    reading and writing at all grade levels and for all racial and ethnic groups. Males outscored
    females in mathematics, but by smaller margins.
    • Achievement gaps in reading are even more substantial when gender is combined with race
    and economic status. For example, on the 2005 4
    th
    grade NAEP reading test, white females
    scored 32 points higher than Hispanic males, 33 points higher than African-American males,
    and 37 points higher than Native American males.
    • Male students outnumber females in special education. United States Department of
    Education (USDE) data show that males comprise two-thirds of students in special
    education. More specifically, males comprise approximately 80 percent of all students
    diagnosed with emotional disturbances or autism and approximately 70 percent of those
    diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
    • Male elementary school students are more likely than females to be held back a grade,
    according to USDE, and racial and economic differences in grade retention widen this gap.
    • Male students are almost twice as likely as females to have been suspended from school at
    least once by the age of 17, according to a report from the US Department of Justice.
    • Male students are less likely to graduate from high school. A Manhattan Institute study of
    national dropout rates shows that, for the class of 2003, approximately 65 percent of male
    students graduated compared with 72 percent of female students, and the gender gap for
    minority students was greater than that for white and Asian students.
    • The number of students of both genders earning college degrees continues to grow, but it
    grows faster for female students than for male students.
    Males have earned fewer bachelor’s degrees than females every year since 1981-1982,
    according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). In 2003-2004, they
    earned approximately 43 percent of all bachelor’s degrees.
    Males have also earned fewer master’s degrees than females every year since 1985-1986,
    NCES data show; in 2003-2004, they earned approximately 41 percent of all master’s
    degrees.
    Male students earned slightly more than half of all doctorates in 2003-2004, but their
    share of the total declined from approximately 70 percent in 1979-1980.
    Male graduates no longer outnumber females in disciplines such as business, social
    sciences, and biological sciences. However, female students still earn a relatively small
    percentage of degrees in computer science and engineering.”
    Let me highlight something from the above: “female students outscored males in
    reading and writing at all grade levels and for all racial and ethnic groups.”
    Looks like they could use some of the incredibly valuable consulting services of Michael Kimmell, who deconstructs masculism as a career, and Donna Darko, who…well, you know, has an opinion. And Donna, before you start with the insulting, “You must be a middle class white male” comments, try to keep in mind that I don’t give a shit about your ethnic or gender profile, why do you care about mine? Stick to the facts, as hard as that might be for you.

  13. jerry
    Posted April 1, 2007 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Donna, thank you for the link to Amp.
    I have to say, I would like to learn more about the boy crisis and the girl crisis.
    But I see no reason not to object to bullies.
    Donna Darko, please stop your bullying.

  14. donna darko
    Posted April 1, 2007 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    jerry, why are you asking about the “boy crisis” on a feminist blog? have you ever hearda of google, wikipedia or technorati? the reason white males are brought up so much is because they seem to be in the most denial of both sexism and racism and it tiresome to deal with white males constantly on women’s and poc blogs who want to make everything about them.

  15. donna darko
    Posted April 1, 2007 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    I hope you’ll expand further on media myths of the boy crisis. (Also just to be explicit, are you saying there is no boy crisis, or that the media’s portrayal of the boy crisis is skewed?)

    Thanks for the link. I wish that had been a footnoted article. He says some interesting things, but I think he leapt to some conclusions that I would have liked to follow up on.
    I don’t think it helps anyone for you to use the word whiny so much. I think we need to listen more to what others have to say about themselves and about us.
    see, you questioned the legitimacy of the post which said the boy crisis is a myth then you made it about yourself without taking the trouble to google or investigate yourself. you and ed can easily discuss this with other men on men’s blogs.

  16. Posted April 1, 2007 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    wow… there’s a lot of unnecessary attacks going on here.
    Donna – I think you’re funny, keep it up.
    Jerry – Like your critical attitude, but don’t complain about bullying, just defend yourself
    Ed – Those are useful statistics, but in isolation statistics are very misleading and rarely paint a fully picture. 10% of people know that.
    Feminist Review – You’re one smart individual. Like where your head is at (to quote Wedding Crashers… i know i know.. but its funny).

  17. donna darko
    Posted April 1, 2007 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    i aim to entertain (and inform).

  18. Posted April 1, 2007 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    you do both quite well!
    It’s really refreshing to stumble onto a website like feministing and see such a strong progressive community.
    Our country is in shambles… we need more strong Progressives to pick up the cause and fix our country… one injustice and corrupt politician at a time!

  19. donna darko
    Posted April 1, 2007 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    can u give me a job? (jk i’m in school).

  20. donna darko
    Posted April 1, 2007 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    i miss law fairy and tom. ot.

  21. jerry
    Posted April 1, 2007 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Huh? Why did I bring it up here? Because Jessica said and in bold too, “I’m at a panel run by the very cool Caryl Rivers on media myths like the “boy crisis.”
    I didn’t question the legitimacy of anything or anyone! I said that I hoped Jessica would expand on what she heard. And I think media myths is ambiguous. “Media myths” seems to say that what the media says about the boy crisis is wrong, not that there is anything wrong with the notion of “the boy crisis” itself.
    It seems that Michael Kimmel doesn’t think there are “media myths” per se, so much as there are problems with the notion itself!
    And why would I ask about this on a men’s forum? Are they likely to direct me to Michael Kimmel or Amp?
    I never questioned anthing or anyone’s legitimacy. In contrast, you questioned my legitimacy from your first post!
    Yeah, I am a middle-aged white guy. And I am involved in the teaching of kids. Is there some reason I should not be interested in this topic?
    Am I allowed to think about it and form my own opinions, or do I need to take everything on face value?
    Why if I ask about it, do you imply I must be whining because I am a middle-aged man?
    What is that called when someone has preconceived notions of another based on age, or sex, or color?
    It’s tiresome to deal with middle-aged white men? I am sorry for that, but doesn’t every advocacy group have to deal with legitimate questions from people that aren’t yet a part of that group?
    Don’t we want the Israelis to listen to the Palestinians and vice-versa?
    I don’t know what to say, I came here, saw something that seemed relevant, asked a question about it, and you got all abusive to me.
    That sort of abuse makes it hard for me to want to speak up in the future, or frankly, to even want to read posts about things like “media myths of a boy crisis.”
    I try not to treat others that way.

  22. EdConrad
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    “Ed – Those are useful statistics, but in isolation statistics are very misleading and rarely paint a fully picture. 10% of people know that.” I hope that’s a joke. Where does your 10% number come from? And it sure as heck doesn’t appear that the statistics mentioned are being considered in isolation – they’re being considered by an entire state power structure! And since we like bashing white guys since it’s just so damn much fun, here’s another statistic for you to consider “in isolation.”
    “ 56% of arrestees for rape in 1995 were white, 42% were black, and 2% were of other races.� From: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/soo.pdf
    Kind of interesting that black guys aren’t too far behind white guys in rape arrests, and yet the black guys are a significantly smaller proportion of the overall population. Let me know if you can find a more current cite detailing the ethnic background of rapists. And just one more statistic “in isolation” to think about that relates to the comments a while back about the photo of the girl with the extended middle finger and the message to “Fuck the man!” :“I don’t really know how to take your “false rape accusation” straw man. It almost never happens, and being raped is worse than being falsely accused of rape. The Law Fairyâ€?
    FYI, a cut and paste from internet research: “In 1994, Dr. Eugene J. Kanin of Purdue University investigated the incidences in one small metropolitan community of false rape allegations made to the police between 1978 and 1987. The falseness of the allegations was not decided by the police, or by Dr. Kanin; they were “… declared false only because the complainant admitted they are false.” The number of false rape allegations in the studied period was 45; this was 41% of the 109 total complaints filed in this period. In Dr. Kanin’s research, the complainants who made false allegations did so (by their own statements during recantation) for three major reasons: providing an alibi, a means of gaining revenge, and/or a platform for seeking attention/sympathy. Dr. Kanin’s small study is widely reported and quoted.â€? 41% were definitely false, and we don’t know how many others were false as well. And I’m sure you can easily find the current story about the husband in Texas who shot a man he caught with his wife. To hide her dalliance the wife claimed the man was raping her, and the husband shot him at the scene. Turns out she was just another cheater, and now she is the one facing criminal charges. Please, bring on whatever statistics you care to discuss. I’m more than capable of tearing apart bad data and bad analysis. I read this site and don’t comment much because I’m here to learn, and I don’t find it offensive to learn from others who know more and/or don’t share my opinions.

  23. donna darko
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!
    jerry, google. wikipedia. technorati.

  24. jerry
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    I am not sure how Jessica’s impressions or Caryl River’s slides will somehow magically make it over to google, but nevertheless, I accept your apology then.
    But you may wish to work on that, I doubt if bullying people and refusing to acknowledge your bad behavior will be very successful for you in the long run.

  25. jerry
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    Jessica, I really would appreciate it if you could expand on what Caryl River’s said….
    Thank you

  26. donna darko
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    guess what comes up first when you google “boys crisis?” none other than caryl rivers article in the washington post debunking the boys crisis! and wadduyaknow, it says exactly what me, kimmel and amp said! you’re not going to make me LINK it because you’re too fucking lazy to google are you?
    The boy crisis we’re hearing about is largely a manufactured one, the product of both a backlash against the women’s movement and the media’s penchant for continuously churning out news about the latest dire threat to the nation. The subject got a big boost last year when first lady Laura Bush announced that she was going to turn her attention to the problems of boys.
    But those problems are hardly so widespread. The alarming statistics on which the notion of a crisis is based are rarely broken out by race or class. When they are, the whole picture changes. It becomes clear that if there is a crisis, it’s among inner-city and rural boys. White suburban boys aren’t significantly touched by it. On average, they are not dropping out of school, avoiding college or lacking in verbal skills. Although we have been hearing that boys are virtually disappearing from college classrooms, the truth is that among whites, the gender composition of colleges is pretty balanced: 51 percent female and 49 percent male, according to the National Education Association. In Ivy League colleges, men still outnumber women.
    One group of studies found that although poor and working-class boys lag behind girls in reading when they get to middle school, boys in the wealthiest schools do not fall behind, either in middle school or in high school. University of Michigan education professor Valerie Lee reports that gender differences in academic performance are “small to moderate.”
    When it comes to academic achievement, race and class completely swamp gender. The Urban Institute reports that 76 percent of students who live in middle- to higher-income areas are likely to graduate from high school, while only 56 percent of students who live in lower-income areas are likely to do so. Among whites in Boston public schools, for every 100 males who graduate, 104 females do. A tiny gap.

  27. donna darko
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    so far, i’ve given you THREE article on the “boy’s crisis.”
    YOU’RE FUCKING WELCOME.
    now go the fuck away to a men’s blog.

  28. donna darko
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    one more time:
    When it comes to academic achievement, race and class completely swamp gender.
    YOU’RE TOTALLY FUCKING WELCOME

  29. jerry
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    Donna, I thanked you for the link. After googling, Caryl Rivers has an interesting background. Googling I found a wonderful quote,
    “One of the great inventions of the twentieth century was the studied, methodical engineering of myth for political endsâ€?
    But I also found that she seems only to have a background as a journalist, not as a sociologist, or psychologist, or physician…
    “Professor Rivers is the author of many books, including Slick Spins and Fractured Facts: How Cultural Myths Distort the News; Indecent Behavior; a collaboration with Rosalind Barnett on She Works, He Works: How Two Income Families are Happy, Healthy and Thriving, and her latest book, Camelot, a novel set in the Kennedy admistration. Her television drama A Matter of Principal won a Gabriel Award as one of the best television dramas of the year. Professor Rivers contributes regularly to the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Newsday, and other major U.S. newspapers. She is a frequent public affairs panelist on Boston television stations and is considered an expert on the Kennedy family.”
    Pretty wide ranging journalist, and congrats to her. Apparently Barnett is the one that brings the science to the duo.
    And I think we all agree that what we want is good strong science.
    Here is what a CJR review had to say about Caryl Rivers:
    “uly/August 1996 | Contents
    Short Takes
    Attitude Problems
    reviewed by Rebecca Pepper Sinkler
    Slick Spins and Fractured Facts by Caryl Rivers.

    But Rivers is guilty of the same sins as those she condemns: by choosing and shaping the facts to fit her theory she undermines the complexity of her important subject, and by seeing disaster lurking in every corner, she risks buying into that most gothic of stances — helplessness.”
    On the otherhand, listen to some of the really cool things google tells me about her latest book, the one authored with a scientist.
    Myth…Girls face an inevitable plunge in self-esteem at adolescence. Recent research finds no evidence of this. Yet parents, teachers, and girls themselves lower their expectations and balk at challenges, because of this pervasive belief.
    Myth…Boys and girls learn differently. Teaching styles that emphasize different tactics for boys and girls are more often rooted in stereotypes than research or hard science, and can lead to a poorer-quality education for girls. Still, public funds are squandered on special curricula aimed at “female learning styles.”
    Myth…Men and women speak “different languages”-they “Just Don’t Understand” each other. Wrong. Women talk “male” in the boardroom, and men easily master “motherese.”
    Myth…Female leadership is kinder and gentler. Not so. Position is the key to behavior: female managers are not more democratic than males, though many of us might like to think so.

    Of course, most of these myths are behind what is known as the “girl crisis” and it is good to see Ms. Rivers demolish those myths.
    So you are correct, google is our friend, but I am still not sure why I should not be interested to learn what Jessica has found that Ms. Rivers has found since her newspaper article (as opposed to the research it is based on) was written.
    I still don’t get your bullying, but if it makes you feel better about yourself, go for it.

  30. Voila
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    Ed, here’s an example of what some of the other posters are saying. The following is one of the example statistics YOU posted.
    ҉ۢ Achievement gaps in reading are even more substantial when gender is combined with race
    and economic status. For example, on the 2005 4
    th
    grade NAEP reading test, white females
    scored 32 points higher than Hispanic males, 33 points higher than African-American males,
    and 37 points higher than Native American males.”
    Notice that it doesn’t compare white males or Hispanic, African-American or Native American females? It also doesn’t take into account students’ economic backgrounds, where these minority students are more likely to go to schools that receive the least amount of funding-per-student. You can post all the statistics you want, but they certainly don’t tell the whole story. I certainly have my own interpretations of many of the stats you have posted.
    Also, I would personally appreciate it if next time, you would please post rape statistics on a more appropriate thread. Particularly statistics intent on discrediting rape victims and discouraging women from reporting rape. Yes, you can come here to intelligently discuss issues, but the way you threw those stats on here is highly offensive to me, as a rape victim. I’m sure you can understand why it is a sensitive issue and be more conscientious in the future.

  31. Posted April 2, 2007 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    Voila 1, Rest of the World 0
    At least by my count!

  32. Daniel Lee
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    I too would like if Jessica or someone on the staff could clarify on what was meant by “media myths like the “boy crisis” that was so nicely put in bold, dark text.
    Feministing.com is smart and sensitive enough to know that boys do have problems too. Many posts from the pasts prove this. Perhaps what they meant to say is that it’s misrepresented in the media.
    Either way, can someone on the feministing staff clarify before this discussion thread gets any worse?

  33. bettieclem
    Posted April 3, 2007 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    If you’ve been consuming media for the past 2-5 years, you should know what the “boy crisis” refers to. If not, I think our friend Donna has a great suggestion for ya. Hey, she even repeated the sage advice THREE TIMES. If only everyone would try to close the acheivment so agressively! ;-)

  34. donna darko
    Posted April 3, 2007 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    psst. all these privileged assholes had to do if they want to know what JESSICA THINKS about the boys crisis is type “boys crisis” in the search function ON FEMINISTING and find FEMINISTING’s post “WaPo: Study Casts Doubt On the ‘Boy Crisis’”. as you can see, jerry was questioning feministing’s stand on the boy crisis when he started posting on this thread, then he questioned the two articles i brought up GRATIS for him on the subject, he questioned MY OPINION on the subject because I’m female (trust me on this) and the authors of the two articles were men, and finally he was too lazy to google anything himself until i suggested it. then he asked jessica AGAIN for her opinion and was too lazy to use the search function on this very said which brings up a number of posts on the subject. this is all about male privilege and DEMANDING that women answer them even while they are question your views and legitimacy. for REAL feminists who want to know, here is feministing’s view on the subject
    The report points out that the real educational concerns are over race and class issues for both boys and girls
    [...]
    This whole thing is just a backlash to all the gains that women have made. Duh.
    Doesn’t this sound familiar? DUH.

  35. donna darko
    Posted April 3, 2007 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    jerry never would have commented on this thread if the post mentionned a “poor children’s crisis” or “minority children’s crisis”. the whiny, middle-aged, middle-class men come out of the woodwork to WHINE about POOR, MINORITY BOYS when they are neither POOR, MINORITY OR BOYS.

  36. Charity
    Posted April 3, 2007 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Donna, you rock.
    Curious that Rebecca Pepper Sinkler’s critique would somehow be given more weight than Rivers’ ideas, given jerry’s stated concern about Rivers’ lack of “scientific” credentials. Right, and that degree of Sinkler’s is in what again? and her graduate degree is an honorary degree? Oh right.
    Can there be a special category of concern troll (with a catchy name, ideally) that specifically does justice to the “I’m CONCERNED this XYZ study regarding XYZ disparity for women/girls is simply not good science! And we ALL want good science!” breed of commentor? Or is that what a concern troll is to begin with?

  37. donna darko
    Posted April 3, 2007 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    jerry is a concern troll too about my life like he ever cared about me and my views in the first place.
    You may wish to work on that, I doubt if bullying people and refusing to acknowledge your bad behavior will be very successful for you in the long run.
    let it be clear concern trolling is not just misplaced concern it has to be anti-feminist and against the goals of feminism. the “boys crisis” is racist, classist and, above all, sexist as jessica succintly wrote above
    This whole thing is just a backlash to all the gains that women have made. Duh.

  38. oenophile
    Posted April 3, 2007 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Jessica,
    Do you happen to know where I can get those powerpoints that debunk the male/female brain myths? I would absolutely love to see them… having been told my entire life that my little girl brain just isn’t made for that spacial science stuff I love so much.
    If you can’t actually send them, do you know what books or articles they cited?

  39. Posted April 5, 2007 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    To clarify, though I don’t speak for Feministing’s staff or editors, but as a research-based media critic who has been documenting such inaccurate media myths for more than a decade:
    the media-manufactured “boy’s crisis” isn’t one that legitimately educates and attempts to solve the legitimate problems acing boys in this culture. Instead, the term “boy’s crisis” has been largely manufactured by antifeminist right wingers to discredit feminist attempts to do work around girls empowerment and educational opportunity. Title IX encouraging girls in sports? Blame that for a “crisis” among sport-playing boys. Educational equity efforts to help close the gap for girls previously underserved in math and science course? Blame that for a “boys crisis” in schools. Women in uniform? Blame that for a crisis in the military…. it goes on and on, but the number and cultural trends don’t bear it out.
    I wrote extensively about this years back when I was directing the Women’s Desk at FAIR. Now, I run Women In Media & News, but back then, here’s my piece on the conservative right-wing anti-feminist use of media to manufacture a “boys crisis” – back in the late 90s:
    http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1475

  40. Posted April 5, 2007 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Coming into WAM, the CNW asked some of the projects that were already underway to bring something to the action brunch that will add sustainability to WAM. As part of that, my project (FairerScience.org) hit on the idea of a media action board, which we are constructing this very moment:
    This will be a place that people can visit to share examples of media misuse of gender, whether through articles that mislead, advertisements that use small-minded gender stereotypes, entertainment shows that play up to stupid myths or the line. The poster can include information on who to write to to complain, and people can use that to take action. We’ll also have it set up so once you’ve written a response, you can share that, too, so people can see what others are writing, crib ideas, etc.
    Our idea is, in essence, to make it easy to do something about this sort of thing. Anyway, stay tuned to the WAM listserve, where we’ll be posting the URL once it’s up and running.

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