Weekly Feminist Reader

In In These Times this month, Kate Sheppard has a must-read, comprehensive look at McCain’s attitudes toward women: McSexist.
The HIV infection rate is 40 percent higher than previously estimated. For more on the changing face of HIV/AIDS in the U.S., read Kai Wright. (More at the AIDS Institute.)
There are some good signs for women and people of color in TV and radio news.
Angie Zapata, a transwoman from Greeley, Colorado, was murdered on July 17. A man has been arrested in the case, which is truly horrible in all its details. (Trigger warning.) Zapata’s killer actually referred to her as an “it.”
Massachusetts will now allow out-of-state couples (of all gender combinations) to marry!
Legislation was introduced last week that would allow tribal councils to address crimes that take place on their lands, with a goal, in part, to “reduce the prevalence of violent crime in tribal communities and to combat violence against Indian and Alaska Native women.” (Cecilia at Ojibway Migisi Bineshii has more.)
Le Loup-garou on maternal medicine access in the developing world.
A Russian judge ruled, “If we had no sexual harassment we would have no children.”
Turns out (shock!) that Barbie’s exclamation that “math is hard” for girls is… not true. Paging Larry Summers
Kara Jesella reports from BlogHer on the blogosphere’s glass ceiling.
Catholics in the Philippines oppose the church’s stance on contraception.
A liberal comic wasn’t allowed to discuss McCain’s use of the C-word on XM radio. (And she didn’t even say the whole word! She just said, “C-word.”)
Veronica at Viva La Feminista on the problem with the business of mommy-blogging.


Apparently there’s a guy who’s like Frank T.J. Mackey for web geeks. Ew.
The military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy disproportionately impacts women, because “women who spurn men’s advances risk false accusations while those who are cleared retain a stigma of suspicion.”
Bob Herbert on the Republican tactic of creating ads “featuring tacky, sexually provocative white women who have no connection whatsoever to the black male candidates.”
Cara has an update (Renee, too) on the Kyle Payne saga.
Former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack is on a statewide tour promoting sex-ed and birth control access. Awesome.
U.S. hospitals are taking it upon themselves to deport immigrants who go there seeking medical care.
Actions and Events
Kobra Najjar, an Iranian woman, is sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. Equality Now has info on how to take action.

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45 Comments

  1. Bee
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I think you mean McCain’s “alleged” use of the c-word. I highly doubt he ever actually said that.

  2. biancamarissa
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    “Highly doubt?”, really? Why do you “highly doubt” it?

  3. biancamarissa
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Bob Herbert is great, some of the commenters to the story on Zapata’s horrible murder and death need to read Whipping Girl, and that is really depressing about the status of women in Russia.

  4. Faminist1992
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    any male feminists on here?

  5. Naked Feminist
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Oh my god. Sexual harassment is okay because it might produce children? 100% of women in the workforce have been sexually harassed by their employer?! Jesus Christ…

  6. thebeatles11
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    That Russian judge can’t be serious. So I guess society needs sexual harassment in order to continue the human race. Disgusting.
    And that story on the murder of Angie Zapata was truly heartbreaking.

  7. Lainapox
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    The Russian judge is actually serious…
    Maybe that’s part of the reason my family fled the motherland. Guh.

  8. Jabes1966
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Actually Ms. Hyde’s research proves exactly what Larry Summers was saying.
    Check this link which breaks down Ms. Hyde’s research a little more in-depth than the NY Times article.
    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2008/07/30/larry-su
    mmers-gets-his-revenge-on-harvard.aspx
    Upon further review the National Post Editorial Board states that Ms. Hyde’s
    research PROVES What Larry Summers stated (and got fired for).
    Her research also falls in line with what other research has shown for the last
    25 years.
    When you compare male average math ability against female average math ability
    they are identical. The difference is that when you look away from the center
    average (towards math geniuses and math idiots) you see that females might only
    have a few HUNDREDTHS of 1% of the surveyed pool at those extremes, where males
    have a few TENTHS of 1% of the surveyed pool at those extremes.
    This falls in line perfectly with the fact that many more boys than girls are
    afflicted with genetic mental/ impairment diseases such as autism, dyslexia,
    ADD and ADHD.
    For some unknown reason there is just more “drift” among males towards the low
    end and the high end of innate math reasoning ability.
    In other words 4 of 5 people with genetic mental impairment diseases will be
    male, and 4 of 5 people math geniuses will be male.
    Simply because mother nature
    has seen fit to give males more genetic “drift” and afflicted males with a
    significantly greater quantity of dullards, just as it has blessed males with a
    significantly greater quantity of geniuses.
    As a visual example I have attached the link for the trailer of the movie “21″
    where a professor teaches MIT math students to count cards at casinos.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRzZX2aN3I0
    Most people able to do what this guy does at the beginning will be male, there
    is no fighting it.
    With 80% plus of math geniuses being male this means that students taking
    high-level master’s degrees in math and physics for aeronautics/aerospace,
    genetic engineering and bio-tech you are naturally (NOT due to discrimination)
    going to see many more males than females.
    Also, I think it’s interesting that liberals/feminists want to destroy the
    concept of gender differences when talking about an advantage for males in math
    but are TOTALLY SILENT on the decades long “declared” advantage for females in
    reading/writing.
    So feminists believe in gender differences………….if they prove women are
    superior (in one field), but feminists attack credible research when they prove
    men are superior (in one field).
    This is very telling as to what shenanigans feminists are truly up to. They
    believe in female superiority.
    Additionally this genetic “drift” in males in math also applies in general
    intelligence. Of people with 140 IQ two of three are male, of those with 160 IQ
    three of four are male.
    Flipping the coin over, two of three of those with 80 IQ’s will be male, etc..
    This shows that multi-million dollar “programs” to get more female engineers
    amount to little more than a dog-chasing it’s tail.
    Additionally stating that there are no gender differences is going to make women
    who fail to break into aerospace or other fields feel like A) failures, and B)
    feel like there’s discrimination (where none exists) when she sees her male
    colleagues “blow” through the material.
    Just as that dog will never catch it’s tail, so to will we never “catch” this
    illusionary “discrimination” and fill engineer classes/jobs with 50% females.
    And in the process we will likely make women feel undue pressure to be something
    they’re not, and infuse them with the false belief that they have been targeted
    by discrimination.
    All so we can do (what?) a holy crusade to “prove” men and women are
    interchangeable?
    Nobody (including Summers) has ever put forward the idea that “all girls were better than all boys”. But when you’re talking about people with doctorates in sciences that requires a keen ABILITY regarding math (essentially people with an ability of 1 in 5000) the fact that men are disproportionately outweigh women ( by 3-1 or more) is VERY IMPORTANT when you’re going to “declare” that women are being held back by discrimination and discrimination only!
    AND if everybody’s so hung up on A) equality of outcomes, B) destruction of the concept of gender differences (but not the girl reading power right?) and C) “declaring” any outcome (not weighted in girls favor) discrimination, then what about these fields which are 75% to 90% dominated by women?
    A) Elementary school teacher (90% female). Surely if building the next generation’s technology is important, but not nearly as important as building the next generations MINDS. And if liberals are going to argue that blacks are needed on campus for the differing views they bring w/diversity isn’t it about time to initiate some MORE million dollar programs to start bring men into teaching? Surely men have some insights to bring into the classrooms they’re teaching? If you’re going to deny the importance DIVERSITY of male elementary teachers, than how can you advocate the DIVERSITY of weighted applications for blacks on the same gospel?
    B) Social work, C) nursing D) dental hygienist
    And so forth. Why is a HUGE DISPARITY in these FEMALE dominated fields tolerated by saying “it’s free will”, but then women’s choices in math careers need to be “reformed”.
    The fact is if feminist leaders had an honest one among them, then you would also see them denouncing the girl reading advantage (but they’re not), and also advocating huge multi-million dollar campus programs to get men into these female dominated fields.
    But once again you don’t. Why is that I wonder?

  9. Jabes1966
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Sorry there was a broken link to the National Post page. You have to select all of the text copy and past it into you browser window.

  10. Anne627
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    I am so astounded to learn about McCain’s answer to a hypothetical question about his 15-yo daughter getting pregnant. From the Sheppard article:
    ‘“The final decision would be made by Meghan with our advice and counsel,” McCain said, referring to himself and his wife, Cindy. When reporters suggested that this view made him, in fact, pro-choice, McCain became irritated. “I don’t think it is the pro-choice position to say that my daughter and my wife and I will discuss something that is a family matter that we have to decide.” ‘
    HOLY SH*T. So you and your rich family should have the privilege of family planning, but nobody else? What. A. Mangy. DoucheHound. I am LIVID!!
    And shut up, Bee- Three reporters heard McCain say to his wife in 1992, “At least I don’t plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you c***.” The man is a Misogynist. Period.

  11. Posted August 3, 2008 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    “This is very telling as to what shenanigans feminists are truly up to. They believe in female superiority.”
    Yup. You caught us. It isn’t like we argue how gender stereotypes hurt men as well as women. Oh, wait. We *do* argue that! Wow.
    Seriously, Jabe1966, feminists in general argue for a lack of gender discrimination; we want men to feel comfortable in traditionally “girly” professions, and we want equal access without harassment to traditionally “male” professions. Math and hard sciences are an issue because, hey, they are generally more seriously considered and pay better.
    Meanwhile, if you look into the history of the thing, literature, history, and other social sciences were considered until recently to be too complex for the female brain to adequately grasp. It could literally *hurt* us if we became too enveloped in it. Read The Yellow Wallpaper. Or just read this about how women still aren’t adequately represented in philosophy:
    http://community.feministing.com/2008/08/women-in-philosophy.html
    The truth of the matter is, women have consistently been told their aptitude rests in the land of what men deem less important. For years, it was sewing, knitting, etc. But with the space program and technology, it has become reading and writing. It is a travesty that men’s accomplishments in writing and sewing and child care aren’t adequately represented as well, but that is also due to the *patriarchy* deciding what men are good at and what women are good at. After all, once women cornered communication, men had to give up Steinbeck and Hemingway and Tolstoy for the greener pastures of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and Neil Armstrong.
    So, feminists -in their fight for gender equality- do fight for a break down in both ends of the gender barrier. Because as long as a man being feminine is unacceptable, being female is still seen as “less”. In the meantime, if you have such a problem with men being less than adequately represented in those fields, why don’t you start fighting for that side of gender-equality yourself?
    Instead of blaming us for what we do or do not cover, go out there and fight for men’s rights to be kindergarden teachers, nurses, social workers, etc. without derision or discrimination. And while you do that, fight for better pay in those industries, because they sure do deserve it. In other words, if you see a problem, do something about it without trying to use it as a reason feminists suck. There are A LOT of issues to cover. And hey, as a movement feminism is incredibly diverse. Instead of complaining what isn’t covered *here* and *right now*, Google for feminist blogs/organizations that cover the topics YOU feel are important. I bet you’ll come up with quite a lot.
    So, thanks for playing the blame game! Hope you learned something by stopping by!

  12. Bee
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Three reporters who never came forward in 1992 to say that, if they indeed heard him. The source is not really reliable here. No need to get nasty here. Shut up? That was uncalled for and doesn’t really contribute to a good, substantive discussion.
    And why are people giving McCain crap for his answer to that question? He might be irritated that the reporters were assuming he would advise his daughter to have a abortion.

  13. Posted August 3, 2008 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    “And why are people giving McCain crap for his answer to that question? He might be irritated that the reporters were assuming he would advise his daughter to have a abortion.”
    I don’t think the reporters assumed McCain would advise his daughter to have an abortion; just that if the family got together to discuss options, the option of abortion may be brought up and debated as to whether or not it would be the best thing for his daughter at that point in time. And that is pro-choice, no matter what decision would be in that hypothetical situation. Even if the choice ultimately would be to carry the child to term, McCain said that there would be a dialogue.
    “Three reporters who never came forward in 1992 to say that, if they indeed heard him. The source is not really reliable here.”
    I agree. That said, I think there is more than ample evidence that McCain is against women’s rights that whether or not he called his wife a name doesn’t tip the scale. I’m also not convinced that if he did say it, he didn’t mean it as a joke -like how other men (and women) feel free to call their friends and family members “bitch” or “slut”. I find it to be incredibly negative, but it doesn’t mean McCain meant to it to be demeaning.
    I’m much more concerned with his response to “How are we going to beat the bitch?” (“Excellent question”) and his Gorilla-rape joke, things we have definitive evidence about. Those show a complete disregard for women, and a cavalier attitude toward rape I find beyond alarming.

  14. aniri
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    In regards to the Russian sexual harassment case…I am not surprised at all. I grew up in Russia and moved to the States in ’95. There seems to be a very Victorian dynamic happening there. On the one hand women are to be loved, cherished, and protected, on the other hand they are constantly harassed and treated like second class citizens. Sexism in Russia is in some way acceptable and expected; it’s been normalized. Honestly, I don’t have much optimism for change because the problem hasn’t been acknowledged.

  15. HillGirl
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    First, you do not need to be a math genius to get a degree in engineering. I have a one and would never consider myself to be a ‘math genius’ although I did graduate with a high GPA. Nor would I consider most of the men who were around me to be math geniuses either.

  16. puckalish
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    any male feminists on here?
    yup.

  17. Tofu
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    If only math geniuses could be engineers…then we wouldn’t have as many engineers as we have now.
    Most engineers require a variety of skills, among them are the ability to work well on a team, the ability to communicate well with others, etc. So I’m not sure how just being a math genius would automatically make someone a good engineer, either.
    It’s sexist to assume that differences in the distribution of intelligence is why women are underrepresented in certain fields…the vast majority of math, engineering and science fields do not require *geniuses*, but instead require highly educated, hard working, and innovative individuals (and yeah, that includes higher level studies in bio-tech, genetic engineering, aerospace engineering, etc.).
    If you had to be a genius to be an engineer, they’d require an IQ test before admission into any University’s Engineering department. Seeing as that’s not a requirement, there are obviously some other qualities besides IQ that are equally important, if not more important, than the ability to do math better than 99.99% of your peers.

  18. AliCat
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    The Russian judge’s comments come as no surprise. Such attitudes are not restricted to Russia. I live in a modern, western country, but I can remember judges debating some years back whether rape was possible in marriage, in other words, did marriage take away a woman’s right to own her own body? It was eventually decided that rape was possible in marriage as a result of huge public pressure. I also remember another case when a man was successfully convicted of raping a prostitute, but when sentencing, the judge gave him a lesser sentence because in his view, the impact on the victim would have been less than if the same crime had been committed on a “chaste” woman. There was public outcry about this one too, and the sentence was reviewed as a result. Linking in with the Catholic church’s stance on sexuality, I remember a statement made by a Pope a few Popes back, which said that a husband looking at his wife lustfully was committing a sin! This was yet another example of the church’s attempts to reduce sexual behaviour to no more than procreation. Here we had the church saying that sex for enjoyment, even within marriage, was a sin, and that conception should always be a possible outcome of having sex. Of course, no mention was made of the possibility of a wife regarding her husband with lust, as we all know that women are not supposed to enjoy sex, so it was not considered. He later retracted this statement. While we continue to live in patriarchal societies, dominated by mainly male judiciaries, and religions which are hellbent on controlling every aspect of female behaviour (not just their sexuality, we just have to keep chipping away at the injustices and hypocrisies as they occur. And to Angie Zapata, RIP.

  19. Jabes1966
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Pet pluto:
    First, I wasn’t talking about gender roles, I was talking about the willful or “rush-to-judgement” misrepresentation (by newspapers) and Ms. Hyde herself.
    Her own research shows that in the 99th percentile of math testing boys outweighed girls 2 to 1.
    The fact that (due to more genetic drift in the Y chromosome) there will be more males in the very top tiers of math ability is VERY PERTINENT when you’re talking about women in high-caliber math degrees/careers. If we’re going to have an honest discussion of women being held back, then we need to have an honest discussion of aptitude–plain and simple.
    As far as fighting for men becoming teachers, shouldn’t feminists be fighting for this if they’re stating “there are no gender differences?”
    Feminists fight tooth and nail to the bloody grisly end against the big boogey-man specter that “some boys might be better at math” (eeeeeek!), but totally embrace the concept of a girl reading advantage (because boys and girls are just different-but only when we approve! duh!).
    It’s not a blame game, it’s properly calling: “Bullshit!” when I see it.

  20. Jabes1966
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Additionally, regardless of the years of dickhead scientists stating “women have smaller brains” etc.. the truth is still the truth. If you have to LIE to make your point or pass a million dollar campus outreach program for female math students, all you do is sully yourself.
    The truth is nobody’s enemy, and lies are nobody’s friend.
    Are you saying it’s too hurtful a message for girls/women to bear that when you’re talking about the top 10th of a percentile of math ability there will be a 2-1 or 3-1 advantage for males, so it should be lied about or buried? That’s progress?

  21. Sparkles
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Jabes, it is pretty evident that you’re taking some preconceived notions about feminism out on the feministing community. Really, not all–wait, most–feminist aren’t men-hating hypocrites. You would do well to make your points without villianizing the people you want to have this conversation with. It makes you look like you’re trying to start a childish flame war.
    And the fight isn’t over the fact that “some boys might be better at math.” The fight is over the idea that women are all bad at math, much worse than men, and we’re only good at “lesser” things, like writing and verbal communication, because as Petpluto has pointed out, when women were shown to excel at these things when given the chance, they were considered feminine and “lesser skills.” A female literary prodigy is considered much less intelligent than a male engineer of the same skill level at his chosen field. Why? Someone with prodigious skill at something is still a genius. But that’s the way our society treats these things.

  22. Jabes1966
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Tofu wrote:
    “If you had to be a genius to be an engineer, they’d require an IQ test before admission into any University’s Engineering department. Seeing as that’s not a requirement, there are obviously some other qualities besides IQ that are equally important, if not more important, than the ability to do math better than 99.99% of your peers.”
    I agree with you Tofu. But what I find interesting is that you are (in my mind) saying:”I agree with the genetic drift thing, buuuuuuut”
    What I’m going on about is that several newspapers and Ms. Hyde herself tried to misrepresent the findings by only talking about the plotting of the average of male vs average of female.
    Instead of talking about (exactly what Larry Summers point was) looking away from the center and at the tails of the bell curve. Males have fatter tails (more math dullards and math brain-childs).
    My point is this: this is pertinent information when you’re going to “presume” an under-representation of women in high-caliber math requiring fields. There ARE other skill sets needed, but #1 is an aptitude and enjoyment of math. If you don’t have those things then the job is going to be much MUCH harder, and a normal person would be much more tempted to drop out and choose a different field. Especially if you have an doctorate degree. If you can get paid 20% less but with half the workload and STILL make over $100k that would be very tempting indeed.
    My main point is: honesty (Ms. Hyde and those newspapers ain’t go it!).
    If you’re willing to lie (or at least obfuscate) for your cause what ELSE are you willing to do?

  23. Jabes1966
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Sparkles:
    Yeah, okay. I guess I was on hyper-overdrive rant mode. Buuuut, I have seen a lot of that from the other “camp” on this sight too.
    But the “honesty” issue still comes up regarding the issues with Ms. Hyde and the fawning ever-gullible newspapers (so much for fact-checking).
    As far as feminists being hypocrites, hey leave your comments!
    I’d love to see where everybody stands on the boy math advantage (although it’s not really an advantage per se) and the girl reading advantage.
    I would consider it educational!
    btw: Larry Summers wasn’t saying there are approved roles for men & women, or that women were good at “lesser things”.
    He was making a very valid point about aptitude possibly (“possibly” is all he said) being one of the causes of the female under-representation.
    Now the faculty’s reaction to Summer’s comment WAS an out of control witch-hunt. As far as I’m concerned all Summers did was speak the truth.

  24. Posted August 4, 2008 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    “If you’re willing to lie (or at least obfuscate) for your cause what ELSE are you willing to do?”
    Castigate men and eat their brains to supplement our own puny intellect, obviously.
    And I don’t think we are lying.
    “As far as fighting for men becoming teachers, shouldn’t feminists be fighting for this if they’re stating “there are no gender differences?”"
    Did you miss the part where I said there are feminist *groups* that are fighting for this in particular? Did you miss the part where I said feminists as a whole fight against gender discrimination, and that benefits *both* sexes?
    “The fact that (due to more genetic drift in the Y chromosome) there will be more males in the very top tiers of math ability is VERY PERTINENT when you’re talking about women in high-caliber math degrees/careers.”
    One, given that the vast, vast majority of people working within those high-caliber math degrees/careers are NOT in the 99th percentile, why do we need to have an in-depth discussion about aptitude? If women are as good as men at math across the board, then why bother?
    Two, given the amount of time and studies and variables in these tests, I am not willing to say that the whole 99th percentile thing is right on the money as well. Why? Because too many times throughout history women have been told that same sort of line. And hey, maybe it is true this time -in which case buy yourself a beer and crow that although men and women are technically equal and can do the same work, there are more men in the uppermost echelons of math genius than there are women; not that there aren’t women up there, there are just more men. Meanwhile, I think I’ve earned the historical right to be a *little* cautious, if not completely jaded.
    And I think Sparkles covered the rest.

  25. puckalish
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Feminists fight tooth and nail to the bloody grisly end against the big boogey-man specter that “some boys might be better at math” (eeeeeek!), but totally embrace the concept of a girl reading advantage (because boys and girls are just different-but only when we approve! duh!).
    where do you get this from? it seems like you’re the only one towing the line that girls are smarter than boys. and, as a grown-up boy, i’m a little bit pissed at you for it. while i’m more of a visual artist-type, i pride myself of my verbal acuity.
    you know what, though… bottom line is, no one really cares what you think feminists should be doing, because you hate feminists. if someone disliked me so much, i wouldn’t feel any need to answer them as to why i live my life and work my plan the way i do.
    if you do want to make an issue of it, though, i’ll tell you that i know plenty of feminists who are actively engaged in getting men (and women) involved in education and making education more of a professional priority. in fact, i used to work at an organization that actively recruited men as teachers and i currently have several friends (who identify as feminists) here in NY who are constantly trying to get me (a guy) and other men involved in work with youth due to our scarceness in such work.
    may your understanding grow as large as your ego.

  26. Tofu
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Jabes, it’s important to plot the male average vs. female average. Why? Because there are still far too many people who believe the myth that “the average boy will be better at math than the average girl”. This simply isn’t true, and I’m glad that it’s being publicized. Teachers, parents and mentors who believe this myth treat males and females disparately when it comes to math, and that’s why it’s so important to put this information out there. Every child deserves equal treatment in their education.
    And yeah, I am saying “I agree with the genetic drift thing, BUT”. It’s a big effing BUT. Genetic drift and the number of men at the far end of the spectrum STILL can’t explain why the fields of math, engineering, and science are SO vastly male dominated. The level of math required for the majority of science and engineering fields is NOT something that is unattainable by all those but the 99th percentile. Science fields that require little to no math are still dominated by men. Doctoral programs for engineering degrees that only require an average level of higher math skills are still dominated by men. And many of fields still have men outnumbering women in far greater numbers than a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio. How can you even begin to explain that with “math aptitude”?
    I also know many engineers (and engineering professors) who would disagree with your conclusion that math aptitude is the #1 important skill that engineering students need to become successful.

  27. Jabes1966
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    And there are female fields dominated by 90% or more by women. If you’re going to reform any of it, let’s have an honest discussion and reform all of it.
    But, once again when (and only) women get the short stick in anything, it has to be rectified.
    When men get the short stick in anything (like dying 7-10 years sooner, being 80% of all suicides, 80% the targets of all violent crimes, 90% of all the homeless) they just have to keep taking the short stick.
    Maybe crime against women will go down when we have a better breed of men. Maybe we’ll have a better breed of men, when we (as a society) give a damn when men are suffering.
    But, you know most people still laugh at men getting hit in the balls as in this commercial (which won TBS’s funniest commercial of 2006):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lhpevdl2Sng
    The simple fact is men’s issues aren’t getting addressed even by men who should be concerned about them.
    If anything this shows men’s greater gender role indoctrination (which often times is much more insidious and invisible than women’s).
    The kicker is that I would state that these are matriarchal gender roles for men.
    After all if we lived in a patriarchal society as many claim, the above stats certainly wouldn’t be true. Until feminists start realizing that society is BOTH matriarchal and patriarchal and that a great many men have a life as hard (or harder) than women, I think (while successfully getting their laws passed) they’re really gong to be spinning their wheels.

  28. Jabes1966
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    Puckalish wrote:
    you know what, though… bottom line is, no one really cares what you think feminists should be doing, because you hate feminists.
    Actually you’re dead wrong. I don’t hate feminists at all.
    I do however think that (most of them that I’ve ever met online or off) are: misguided and arrogant.
    I think they’re misguided, because the only information they get fed is snippets like on this site: “men as enemy” articles. And (it seems to me) that’s what they start believing.
    Secondly, I think they’re arrogant, because they believe that their view point is the only true and proper one to better society.
    (most that I’ve come across) think that if you’re not a feminist you MUST be for the destruction and worse-treatment of women….they can’t fathom that you might be a non-feminist (or anti-feminist) and still have a vision for the better good for all.
    I simply want a fair-shake, equal opportunity (not to be confused with equal outcome), and equality before the law for everybody, and to see the trampling of men’s constitutional rights (for screaming hysterical mantra’s: “it’s for the children!” or “it’s for the women!”) end.
    Petpluto wrote:
    “If you’re willing to lie (or at least obfuscate) for your cause what ELSE are you willing to do?”
    Castigate men and eat their brains to supplement our own puny intellect, obviously.
    And I don’t think we are lying.
    ——————————————–
    Well, I don’t think YOU’RE lying. But I definitely think that Ms. Hyde was (at the least) obfuscating when she boldly declares there is no difference between boys and girls.
    And in any event there is plenty of evidence to be shown that feminist leaders have been lying in a lot of their “studies” for quite a long time.
    I would think that if you’re going to pick a person/figure/cause to admire and work for the first trait you should be looking for is honesty.

  29. wintermute
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    And there are female fields dominated by 90% or more by women. If you’re going to reform any of it, let’s have an honest discussion and reform all of it.
    But, once again when (and only) women get the short stick in anything, it has to be rectified.

    Is it tricky to keep posting comments here without reading anything anyone else says? It seems like it must take a lot of discipline to avoid accidentally reading a reply someone makes to you…

  30. wintermute
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    (most that I’ve come across) think that if you’re not a feminist you MUST be for the destruction and worse-treatment of women….they can’t fathom that you might be a non-feminist (or anti-feminist) and still have a vision for the better good for all.
    I’d be interested to know what kind of “vision for the better good for all” doesn’t include the idea that women should be treated the same as men. Obviously, there are gender differences that account for minor variations – women tend to be shorter than men, and are therefore less likely to play basketball at the highest level, for example – but if your best claim so far is that pure maths PhDs should be male-dominated by 3:1 instead of the current 10:1, then I don’t really see what your issue is…
    And what’s the difference between a non-feminist and an anti-feminist? One thinks that women are inferior to men, and the other thinks that women are evil and must be killed? I really don’t understand the distinction you’re trying to make.

  31. Posted August 4, 2008 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    “And there are female fields dominated by 90% or more by women. If you’re going to reform any of it, let’s have an honest discussion and reform all of it.”
    I have to agree with puckalish and wintermute: you obviously are not fully reading what others have written. So, once again: *feminists* do work to reform *all* of these things. *Feminists* highlight how gender stereotypes ie: “boys aren’t supposed to be gentle”/”girls are bad at math” hurt both men and women. Feminists work to highlight how ridiculous it is to have fields labelled “men’s” and “women’s”. And what’s more, there are some feminist groups that actively work to turn the tide and help get men in those fields.
    But you know what? If a movement called “feminism” has websites and efforts that focus mainly on *women*, then I don’t see a problem with that at all. If *you* are concerned with men being less represented in those fields, then *you* can go do something about it instead of holding it up as a gold standard of hypocrisy among feminists. Because some feminists *do* work on specifically that and feminism in general works to reverse the gender discrimination that makes that disparity in jobs possible. And if you can’t be bothered to find out that the patriarchy is the thing keeping both men out of child care and women out of hard sciences, then you obviously care less about the issues and more about ranting against feminism.
    “Well, I don’t think YOU’RE lying. But I definitely think that Ms. Hyde was (at the least) obfuscating when she boldly declares there is no difference between boys and girls.”
    So… every headline should have read “boys and girls are equal on every level except that 99th percentile where boys continue to rock it”?

  32. SarahMC
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    The simple fact is men’s issues aren’t getting addressed even by men who should be concerned about them.

    And so obviously the best course of action is to attack feminist women who work to eradicate strict gender roles and gender-based discrimination. Makes sense.

  33. eve23
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Flirting in the workplace isn’t the only way two people come together to mate and possibly reproduce. This is beyond common sense for me, and hopefully for everyone else. Back in the very old days, so-called dating was merely a male suitor coming over to a woman’s house and visiting for awhile, in the presence of her family. I’m sure the lack of obvious suggestiveness didn’t necessarily stop the two from marrying and multiplying. There are environments when flirting is appropriate in certain welcoming circumstances, but such blatantly suggestive flirting is disgustingly inappropriate in the professional workplace.

  34. eve23
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Flirting in the workplace isn’t the only way two people come together to mate and possibly reproduce. This is beyond common sense for me, and hopefully for everyone else. Back in the very old days, so-called dating was merely a male suitor coming over to a woman’s house and visiting for awhile, in the presence of her family. I’m sure the lack of obvious suggestiveness didn’t necessarily stop the two from marrying and multiplying. There are environments when flirting is appropriate in certain welcoming circumstances, but such blatantly suggestive flirting is disgustingly inappropriate in the professional workplace.

  35. SarahMC
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    How does sexual harassment produce children, anyway? Babies aren’t made via suggestive emails, slaps on the ass, or demeaning sexist remarks whispered in cubicles.
    Is the judge under the impression that women find sexual harassment enticing, and will want to mate with men who demean them?
    Or is he basically condoning male rape of female co-workers?

  36. Mags
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    SarahMC, it’s because women never want or enjoy sex, so the only way they’ll ever have it is if men in some sort of position of power over them badger them into it.

  37. everybodyever
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Can I just second the request for a correction on McCain’s alleged use of the word “cunt” to his wife? Unlike Bee, I don’t terribly doubt that McCain said it — nor do I care, because there are more blatant and certainly more relevant acts of misogyny over which to indict him — but the claims are old and are hearsay. For the sake of journalistic standards, I too think an “alleged” is needed.

  38. puckalish
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Actually you’re dead wrong. I don’t hate feminists at all.
    I do however think that (most of them that I’ve ever met online or off) are: misguided and arrogant.

    hmnnnn… those seem like contradictory statements, dude. you walk into a situation believing folks to be misguided or arrogant and they’re so ungrateful when you seek to enlighten them. oh, my…
    oh, yeah, and feminists are responsible for john wayne bobbit’s pecker being sliced off, as you pointed out in a thread about PAY EQUITY (relevance?)…
    okay, so you think feminists are misguided, arrogant liars who rushed, with all their wealth and lawyers, to support fraudulent child support claims and a woman who cut her husband’s dick off…
    but you don’t hate feminists… you just want to shut us up… with love… shut us up with love.
    riiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

  39. LlesbianLlama
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Okay, so can someone actually explain to me what genetic differences there are in men that make them better in maths and science?
    I am hearing the phrase “genetic drift” and as I understand it from what Jabes has put forth in this thread, it means that there are supposedly more men on either end of the IQ or performance spectrum. Is this a correct understanding?
    What I want to know is in what ways this has been proven to be a GENETIC difference, rather than one of socialization or learned behaviors. Is there some reason I am supposed to believe that men are naturally geniuses more often in the areas that society has deemed the most prestigious and difficult to succeed in? It seems like the same tired song and dance that we’ve been privy to for the last few hundred years.
    Historically, what it amounts to is that a gold standard is set, a group of people is given access to and tools to excel in the gold standard area while another group is excluded. Certain tests to measure performance in this area are administered to everyone, and men, who notably have the position of power in creating the standard and extending it to only other men, and then crowing about how they do better. Now, while access to the particular gold standard area [math and science] has been opened up to theoretically include everyone, the second group to get to the show is still allegedly performing badly in the highest levels. Due to the historical reality of the situation, is it any surprise that I am absolutely skeptical of the reality of mens’ higher performance?
    I think it’s EXTREMELY important to note what sorts of measurements of performance are being used. We should all know at this point that knowledge and standards do not just objectively appear out of thin air. They are components in dynamics of power and power relations, and they serve to elevate certain groups over others by privileging certain types of and approaches to knowledge. I don’t know much about IQ tests, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the creation of the knowledge gained from an IQ test were orchestrated in such a way that it prized some approaches over others. There is nothing objective about a test that was DESIGNED by a group of people. This might be a bit scattered, but I hope that someone understands what I mean. :)

  40. puckalish
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    LlLl (god i love that name),
    i feel like there have been other extensive discussions of IQ and genetic drift on here… hope i can pull ‘em up before all of this gets buried…
    but, basically, IQ is a really rough estimation of aptitude. further, IQ scores, overall, have migrated over time… among other things, due to the fact that young people are more habituated to test scenarios than they were when IQ testing was initially established.
    at any rate, not only do you make sense, but you’re absolutely right. the IQ test was not designed to compare populations; it was designed to assist in diagnosing developmental patters with regards to individuals. even using IQ tests for tracking students is a misuse of the tool.
    on top of it all, no assessment tool exists which can give a really genuine result for the reasons you stated, among others… have you heard of s.j. gould’s “mismeasure of man”? i know, not a very feminist book title, but it’s a decent treatment of the issues at work in IQ, g and related matters.
    also, check out info on alfred binet, a guy who is credited with developing the foundational work for IQ… a guy who said, in 1905, The scale, properly speaking, does not permit the measure of intelligence, because intellectual qualities are not superposable, and therefore cannot be measured as linear surfaces are measured.
    bless.

  41. LlesbianLlama
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, puck! I would really appreciate some links to some more info on it. I’ve somehow managed to stay uninformed about it, and seeing all of the bullshit in this thread has definitely sparked me to be more aware in order to counter the ridiculous claims of people like Jabes, who, oddly enough, seems to have some ignorant comment or other to post on virtually every feministing post. I tire of him and the influx of other fairly blatant antis that seem to have hit feministing lately.
    Back to the topic at hand, though, I’m glad you understood what I was getting at. IQ tests remind me of other types of standardized tests, and more and more information out there exists to show that these very rough measures of aptitude don’t do much to anticipate someone’s performance in a given area. Just because you have a “genius level” IQ doesn’t mean you will be a successful engineer, for example, nor that you possess any of the other myriad of traits that are generally necessary in order to be successful in that field–drive, dedication, people skills, real-world problem-solving, etc. I assume the same goes for other professions. I, myself, have experiences with standardized tests making me look as if I am distinctly UN-intelligent, all the while performing marvelously in the areas that the test anticipated I would not. A lot of good the test was then. That gives me just a little bit of skepticism when anyone tries to claim that such tests are (a)objective in their assessment or (b)a predictor of intelligence or performance. They are what they are, and the quote from Binet really speaks to that reality. A little perspective might be warranted in light of that, eh?
    I studied Gould in a college-level geology class, and never thought of the things he put forth as applicable in this realm, so I am VERY interested in what you’ve said here. I really do see how that applies, so I hope to be able to revisit that sometime soon. I hadn’t heard of that book, which sounds like an awesome read; interesting as well as useful in this context.

  42. adminassistant
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear, it would appear that Jabes is back.
    “I simply want… to see the trampling of men’s constitutional rights…end.”
    The big bad feminists are coming to steal my constitutional rights! Cry me a river, ugh.

  43. keshmeshi
    Posted August 4, 2008 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Jabes is obviously an MRA.
    being 80% of all suicides, 80% the targets of all violent crimes
    Women attempt suicides more often, men complete suicides more often, but, you’re right, men are so oppressed.
    And the overwhelming majority of violent crimes are committed by men. If you’re so concerned about men, Jabes, it seems like you need to take it up with other men, not with women.

  44. puckalish
    Posted August 5, 2008 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    ugh. llesbianllama… first, i couldn’t find all the stuff i had gathered the last time i looked into it, then i tried to post some stuff i managed to get together and i was logged out and couldn’t log back in.
    bottom line, though, check out the following search terms:
    flynn effect (the generational upward drift in iqs, which really punch holes in the “innate ability” argument behind iq)
    alfred binet (particularly, check out his writings on how the metrics his work led to should not be used)
    wais & wisc (two popular iq tests, one for adults, the other for children)
    cool article, though:
    http://www.rso.cornell.edu/scitech/archive/95sum/bell.html

  45. puckalish
    Posted August 5, 2008 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    i’ll see if i can drum something up tonight, too… or tomorrow… we’ll see…

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