Category Archives: Skepticism

Debunking rumours: Chinese MMO's anti-genderbending policy

Doubtless many of you have heard (from Kotaku or other sources) about Shanda Entertainment, a Chinese MMO publisher, requiring photographic proof of a person’s sex in order to allow them to play a female avatar. This information is most likely … Continue reading

Posted in China, Gender issues, Queer Issues, Skepticism, Video Games | 1 Comment

Embracing Your Inner Skeptic

I am a big fan of science. Studies, statistics, innovations in technology, you name it. Probably because I grew up in a family interested in debate and discussion and opinions only get you so far in those instances. In recent years, my mother in particular has embraced her Inner Skeptic and has encouraged me to do the same.

And, really, I think it’s high time for me to share the love of the Inner Skeptic with the world. Yes, that’s right. I am sharing the love. Sharing it. With you. So you’d better read on to see how this love will be shared. Continue reading

Posted in Gender essentialism, Skepticism, Studies | 15 Comments

Glamour: The new lies about women's health (No, really?)

In a move that is surprisingly good, Glamour has published an extensive and well written article that covers the governmental assault on women’s health. From the FDA to government funded abstinence only ed, the article is a long read, but … Continue reading

Posted in Media and journalism, Reproductive Rights, Science, Sexual Health, Skepticism, USA | 2 Comments

Bonding Through Video Games

PBS has a cool website up called The Video Game Revolution with a lot of fun and informative sections on video games. I especially like Henry Jenkins’ (any relation to Leeroy? Ha. Ha.) article Reality Bytes: Eight Myths About Video … Continue reading

Posted in Skepticism, Video Games | 3 Comments

Trading one set of chains for another

More ranting via midlife mama. Libby critiqued an article from the American Prospect Online and asked for opinions. I was foolish enough to think that I could contain my opinion in one little comment. I know, I know, I should be used to the Attack of the 50-line Comment by now. So, I decided to turn my rant/fisk into its own post.

First off, I’m going to steal Libby’s summary of the article:

It’s an article in American Prospect Online that takes all those “opt out” articles seriously. The author, Linda R. Hirshman, a feminist professor, is working on a book about “marriage after feminism.” She interviewed 30 some-odd women whose weddings were announced in the Sunday NY Times over three Sundays in 1996. Most of them, she says, were staying home with their kids 7 or 8 years later. (Actually, 50% were no longer working for pay, and a third were working part time.) : Conservatives contend that the dropouts prove that feminism “failed” because it was too radical, because women didn’t want what feminism had to offer. In fact, if half or more of feminism’s heirs (85 percent of the women in my Times sample), are not working seriously, it’s because feminism wasn’t radical enough: It changed the workplace but it didn’t change men, and, more importantly, it didn’t fundamentally change how women related to men.

Just because I can, I’m going to use the same style of breakdowns as Hirshman uses in her article. Well, also I want to mock her section heads. And we all know I love mocking people and things. Also, all further quotes (unless otherwise noted) come from the article itself. Continue reading

Posted in Eradicating Divisive Discourse, Feminism, Gender Caste, Media and journalism, Skepticism, The Evil -ism's | 7 Comments

On Being An Oversensitive, Man-Hating, Embarassing Feminist/Progressive/Whatever

If you told me several years ago that I would be accused of being an “oversensitive feminist”, an “embarrassing liberal”, a “lesbian man-hater”, or “self-righteous” to the point of ignoring dissenting viewpoints, all simply because I unapologetically stand up for what I see as right and wrong, I would have laughed at you. Of course, back then I thought all people, except for ones who wanted to hurt others, were feminists and believed in equality of the sexes. What can I say? I was, and still am to a large extent, a naive idealist.

Sure, I can be sanctimonious. Sure, I’m self-righteous. But when did it become a crime to passionately believe in ideals? Why does my criticizing an organization, idea or belief, or espousing my own personal view on the matter translate into me telling everyone that they must believe as I do or die? Why is it okay for other people to dehumanize a group I belong to, such as the GLBT crowd, but ridicule me when I ask them to give me some consideration because the pejoratives make me uncomfortable? And why, oh why, do people feel the need to engage in a divisive discourse simply because they personally think the arguments are extreme? I’m not telling you what to do with your time, bodies, minds, or anything else, people! I’m just asking you to respect mine. Continue reading

Posted in Eradicating Divisive Discourse, Personal, Politics, Skepticism, The Evil -ism's | 3 Comments

The Gender Similarities Hypothesis

Janet Shibley Hyde is my hero. No, seriously. You may have read about her in the BBC, The Times, or The Guardian. I did (via Mind the Gap) and, for once, the coverage didn’t make me want to beat my head against the wall. But, pop-science is pop-science, no matter how good the reporting may be; if I’m ever in doubt of that all I need to do is read the uninformed opinion espoused by David Schmitt that The Times thought was worthy of printing. Suffice it to say, in order to learn about the article I had to go to the source.

What follows is part summary of Hyde’s paper, part critique of the pop-science articles. I hope to give a better understanding of Hyde’s work while showing how inadequate even good reporting can be when conveying complex ideas such as the gender similarities hypothesis. Unless otherwise noted, all quotations come from Hyde (2005)1. Continue reading

Posted in Gender Democracy, Gender issues, Pop-science, Skepticism, Studies | 3 Comments

"He's a man", "she's a woman"… So what?

While I’m on my mental vacation I’d just like to point ya’ll to a post by alley rat entitled Why Do Women Cheat?. It’s a critique on a pop-science article that uses essentialism, bad evolutionary science, and a big dose … Continue reading

Posted in Feminism, Gender Caste, Pop-science, Skepticism | 6 Comments