Nov 11 2009

Hugs, Twisty: Blaming now a recognized science

I Blame the Patriarchy has won an award!

Dear Blog Owner,

Our website Science.org is a informational databases and online news publication for anything and everything related to science and technology. We recently ran a poll asking our website users regarding what online informational resources they use to keep up to date or even to simply find great information. It seems many of our users have labeled your blog as an excellent source of Science information. We have reviewed your blog and must say, we absolutely love the information you have made available to the public and would love to make your blog a part of our top science blogs. After browsing your blog, our research team has decided to award you a Top science Blogs award banner.

It is a distinction we offer to the blogs that our team feels is ahead of the curve in terms of content.

Thanks again for the great information and we look forward to the great responses your blog will receive from our site. Your blog presence will be very effective for our users (top science blogs).

We have put great efforts in making this decision to give deserving with award acknowledgment. For listing please reply to request banner.


William Lee
Research team
1 international blvd
Mahwah NJ USA – 07430
201 247 8553

Dear William Lee,

Gosh. Thanks for the honor. I was unable to locate on your site the poll that resulted in your decision to bestow this award, but I am certain that if you applied the same exacting standards to the other winners, I am in some pretty estimable company. Not that it won’t be hard to live up to the kind of unforgettable writing showcased on your website (e.g. “Reading science articles will provide useful and informative information that can usually be applied or implemented to some degree.”)! That Admin guy’s work is très formidable!

This award couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve been reading Stenger’s book on the New Atheism, from which informational resource I have learned that to be taken seriously as an atheist these days you have to be either a smug dude scientist or Christopher Hitchens. I’m not soused enough to be Hitchens (and unlike Hitch, I am an actual horseman) but I’ve got smug in spades. And now that I am receiving Internetian (rhymes with Venetian) acclaim for being ahead of the curve in my work in the field of great Science information, there can be no doubt that I am a scientist, despite my almost total lack of PhDs. So maybe — thanks to your award — I can finally glom onto some of that serious atheist action and get into that club. Only, you might need to hook me up with a pair of balls along with that Top science Blogs award banner. Also, how much do you pay?

Blog Owner


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  1. Comrade PhysioProf

    Now that you are ahead of the curve, you better start thinking outside the box!

  2. TheBellWitch

    Of course you’re a scientist! William Lee of Science.org is no doubt referring to your groundbreaking work defining the function and structure of the obstreperal lobe. Without your careful observations, the internet community wouldn’t be unable to apply or implement – to some degree – your useful and informative information on this little-known brain region.

  3. Laughingrat

    And being proactive, too, CPP.

    Jill, it’s about time your blog was recognized for its scientificulary excellence. I Blame the Patriarchy is the best multipurpose blog out there: it’ll deconstruct oppression while helping you with your chemistry homework!

    What will you be spending your first Science.org paycheck on?

  4. TheBellWitch

    Ugh, “wouldn’t be unable?” Make that “wouldn’t be able.” Perhaps I should get a job writing for Science.org.

  5. birkwearingblamer


    That poorly written quote needs red pen treatment.

  6. Alex

    Comrade PhysioProf: why does it have to be a box in the first place? Let’s dialogue about this offline. Also? Someone moved my cheese.

  7. nails

    I wish patriarchy blamers would get into science more. Science is cool. Departing from knobjective science would be pretty nice for humanity too.

    Christopher Hitchens, however, is not cool. He is one of the most annoying and angering brand of sexists, the kind who will only call out sexism in order to criticize religion and ignore it the rest of the time.

  8. Felicity

    Woo! Well done.

  9. Stella

    Nice try, but, as everyone knows, women aren’t funny.

  10. Gwen

    Maybe a pair of Neuticles will get you into the Cool Atheist Guy club?


  11. schatze

    You have made Blaming into an art form but into a science is good, too. I hope Nobel prizes are in the offing.

  12. The Nerd

    As an atheist, I am outraged! I’m tired of being told that we “don’t need feminism when we have humanism” and that “I joined ‘Atheist Nexus’, not ‘Feminist Nexus'”. I don’t give a flying rats ass how “endearing” Hitchens’ alcoholism is, that doesn’t mean we should give him a free pass on his sexism just because he scores points for atheism.

    Atheists love to whine and wail at how oppressed they are by Christian privilege in the US. But then those same men will turn around and marginalize women within the atheist community, which leads me to conclude that their Irony Meters must be FUBAR.

  13. Cheryl

    This is why it’s smart to put a sciency-looking frog on your masthead. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go get me some of that “informative information” over at Science.org.

  14. Aaron Boyden

    How can someone have an “almost total lack of PhDs?” None of them seems like it would be a total lack, while one is enough to make it seem inappropriate to speak of any lack at all. I also didn’t think that PhDs came in fractions, which would seem to be the last remaining option.

  15. K.A.

    I hate how men act like they’re sooo oppressed by Christians that they might have to endure the dehumanizing process of perhaps not bringing up their atheism when running for office! It’s JUST like the oppression women and blacks endure for being having said characteristics when they try to exist publicly, after all.


    Eat me, Dawkins fanboys.

  16. K.A.

    *atheist men, *-having

    P.S. I hate Christopher Hitchens with the passion of ten thousand cramping uteri.

  17. ew_nc

    “We have put great efforts in making this decision to give deserving with award acknowledgment. For listing please reply to request banner.”

    Those two sentences should win an award for The Most Confounding.

  18. Hedgepig

    Richard Dawkins is a sexist liberal atheist dude, too. I hope they’re the first against the wall when the revolution comes. Unlike sexist right-wing religious dudes, they’ve got no excuse.

  19. Stella

    Can you point me to sexist comments by Dawkins? Seriously – I would like to see them.

    I can’t help be gleefully entertained by Hitchens’ devastatingly erudite anti-theistic rantings, although I certainly consider him a misogynist (see my above link for a crystallization), but I haven’t read anything from Dawkins that made me angry (and I’ve read a lot of Dawkins and am generally very quick to get angry!).

  20. Miranda

    “I hate Christopher Hitchens with the passion of ten thousand cramping uteri.”- Ha! Ten minutes later and I’m still cracking up. Thanks K.A.!

  21. hero

    Sadly, Christopher Hitchens has himself an audience. Did anyone but me click on the link above, about the unfunniness of women and the essentialist mommy-source of said x-chromosome-linked douritude? Wherein he uses not only a bizarre and seemingly intuited reasoning based on our inescapable and guaranteed destiny of momnambulance, but Rudyard Freaking KIPling as supports for his flabby and irresponsible thesis? And mentions how not even MEN have good jokes about episiotomies? Right after making the point that it is powerlessness that leads to funniness (since, you know, women have this IMMENSE power over men in all things) and WITHIN that observation, episiotomies would be the exclusive province OF female humor–and in fact are thus? Damn if he wouldn’t have to toss that thesis if he’d been in the labor room with me; I was cracking the whole medical staff up with my jabs about the Process–sorry, anecdotal, but relevant to this: Christopher Hitchens is wrong about a few things, yeah verily he shall be found wrong about many things.

  22. Hedgepig

    “I am distressed to find that some women friends (fortunately not many) treat the use of the impersonal masculine pronoun as if it showed intention to exclude them. If there were any excluding to be done (happily there isn’t) I think I would sooner exclude men, but when I once tentatively tried referring to my abstract reader as ‘she’, a feminist denounced me for patronizing condescension: I ought to say ‘he-or-she’, and ‘his-or-her’. That is easy to do if you don’t care about language, but then if you don’t care about language you don’t deserve readers of either sex. Here, I have returned to the normal conventions of English pronouns. I may refer to the ‘reader’ as ‘he’, but I no more think of my readers as specifically male than a French speaker thinks of a table as female. As a matter of fact I believe I do, more often than not, think of my readers as female, but that is my personal affair and I’d hate to think that such considerations impinged on how I use my native language.”

    Richard Dawkins
    Preface to The Blind Watchmaker, 1986

    I was only a proto-blamer when I read this, and it was one of the first instances of privileged liberal dude-ism I remember noticing. I haven’t looked at this for years, but I find I have written in pencil after it “You sanctimonious sophist”. Now I would probably write, “You pompous patriarchal prat”, or maybe, quoting Jill, “Fuck you”.

  23. Craroline

    RE: Dawkins quote:
    “…happily, there isn’t.”

    Thanks for the reassurance, smart old white guy!

    However, “…if you don’t care about language you don’t deserve readers of either sex,” makes me happy to read.

  24. Hedgepig

    His equating “caring about language” with “insisting on his right to use sexist expressions because it’s a tiny bit inconvenient not to” is what makes me want to bop him.

  25. Jonathan

    @Richard Dawkins:

    “Blah blah blah ‘he’ is not being exclusive blah blah blah”

    From my S.O:

    “If a room full of crew-cut stock pickers in identical black suits, identical heights and identical Aryan builds can be bothered to add the words “or she” when they are talking about hypothetical portfolio managers and hypothetical CEOs, then the Atheists can also figure out how to do it. Otherwise, I am converting from Atheism to Capitalism.”

  26. nails

    hedgepig- He uses feminist activism changing the way language is thought of an used as an example of something to aspire to. He champions this constantly. I am underwhelmed by what you posted.

  27. Dauphine

    Hey, I live one town over from Mahwah.

  28. yttik

    Science is “the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.”

    It’s about time somebody recognized blaming as a science. Patriarchy is much easier to deal with if you are simply observing and coming up with theoretical explanations. Just be sure to take all the necessary safety precautions, like wearing a hazard suit so you don’t contaminate yourself.

  29. Hedgepig

    nails, maybe he’s reformed since the 80s. If so, great!

  30. Cathy

    Possibly it isn’t the informative Blaming information that won you this prestigious award of Top Science. It could be all that Heartwarming Nature Crap – bugs, animals, properly identified fungi and such.

  31. Annie May

    I was thinking it had to be for the account of the bug-on-boot glue trap dance. I just know that’s science, somehow.

  32. Pantsuit Sally

    Yes, it definitely must be all the heartwarming nature crap. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I find pictures of badass snakes and mushrooms to be “informative information”. Also, your posts about the realities of breast cancer are very science-y.

  33. Stella

    Yeah, what nails said.

    Also, I think, from what I have seen both in print and in filmed interviews, Dawkins is willing to admit when he’s wrong and is always looking to expand his understanding. I daresay if you pointed to that excerpt from The Blind Watchmaker and stated these objections, he would indeed disavow the potentially offensive opinions of 20+ years ago. Perhaps I should email him to this effect. I am also a lurker on the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science forum, and he often comments in those threads, responding to all kinds of questions and comments, often of a personal nature.

  34. Cathy

    The glue trap dance was phenomenal. We should call Twisty, “Dances with Centipedes.”

  35. thebeardedlady

    Stella, I’d be intrigued as to how Dawkins would respond to an invitation to renounce past sexism. I am appalled by the quote above. What a knob. Any further information you can get would be of interest – stick to the informative kind of information, though.

    Also, Aaron? Oh, forget it. Life’s too short.

  36. Stella

    I haven’t received an official response yet, but I have been informed that in his recently published book outlining the “case” for evolution, The Greatest Show on Earth, he makes liberal (though not exclusive) use of the female pronoun as the default pronoun.

  37. K.A.

    Thanks, Miranda! I do what I can.

    Thanks for quoting that stupid sexist apologism from Dawkins, Hedgepig, which disgusted me before. He is also generally supportive of the lovely branch of evolutionary “thought” that runs something like this: rape is biologically inevitable, as is war, male-perpetrated femicide, and infanticide. (Newly learned fun fact: “femicide” is absent in the Spell Check dictionary, while “cunt” is not.) That is not to say that those social ills are good, sayeth Lord of the Dudebrains–just inevitable.

    Perhaps I’m conflating too much of those contentions with Robert Trivers’ research, an important evolutionary anthropologist who influenced Dawkins tremendously. Trivers, in all seriousness, did human studies based on his theory that he’d find that fathers abandon their female children more often than male children because he “can’t change the attractiveness of the girls,” but he can invest in a better male. Because, you know, women’s inferiority is inherent and not an invented status mandated by patriarchal oppression, one misogynist hate crime after another. And wouldn’t you know it, he couldn’t find any evidence to support his megamisogynist theory! The sociopathic males of our species actually abandon their families regardless of how many worthless decorative fuckbags he spawned. These scientists are totally revered, and it blows my mind. Screw you, worthless male pedestalized sexist animals!

    Men should worship actual intellectualism, but then they couldn’t get an ego boost out of it, which is their real motivation. Pathetic. Ay, going to go calm down now.

  38. Hattie

    One tenet of a certain brand of male athiest is that all women are stupid. And, as Hitchins points out, of course we have no sense of humor. Why? Humor, as we know, is mostly about how stupid women are.
    I just think religion is uninteresting. But such an attitude does not get people worked up, and it doesn’t sell books.

  39. ivyleaves

    This award seems to be the internet version of a “who’s who” book. Fill out our form, pay us some money, and we will put your name in a book and send it to you so you can feel important.

    Dawkin’s rude dismissal of those who disagree with sweeping generalities always rub me the wrong way.

  40. ivyleaves

    My above comment was very poorly worded. In the interest of clarity, what I meant was that “Dawkin’s use of sweeping generalities in rude dismissals of those who disagree with him always rub me the wrong way.”

  41. MarianK

    From Stella’s Christopher Hitchens link above:

    ‘If you can stimulate her to laughter — I am talking about that real, out-loud, head-back, mouth-open-to-expose-the-full-horseshoe-of-lovely-teeth, involuntary, full, and deep-throated mirth; the kind that is accompanied by a shocked surprise and a slight (no, make that a loud) peal of delight—well, then, you have at least caused her to loosen up and to change her expression.’

    ‘And if [women] did not operate on the humor wavelength, there would be scant point in half killing oneself in the attempt to make them writhe and scream (uproariously).’

    Apart from Hitch’s utterly vomitous effort to equate female laughter with female orgasm, this guy is revealing some serious control issues. Humour, like sex, is a shared contribution – not a one-sided act of supreme power over a woman, as he seems to think it is.

  42. wendyann

    I know this is going to get me into trouble… I am somewhat in agreement with those who postulate that men behave in certain ways because of evolutionary development – things like violence, dominance, etc. My solution to the problem these experts show us is not to excuse men as blameless for their hard-wired anti-social behaviors, but what we do when males of other species are difficult to live with because of their inherent maleness: neuter them! It works wonders for those aggressive, wandering, marking-their territory, dominance asserting members of our canine packs. As I tell people I place puppies with, “a neutered male is a happy male!”

    And yes, my tongue is planted firmly in my cheek. I’m not as talented of a writer as Jonathan Swift, but I think my Modest Proposal is a good starting point.

  43. agasaya

    As I tell people I place puppies with, “a neutered male is a happy male!”

    And turn them all into ‘choirboys’?

  44. nails

    “Thanks for quoting that stupid sexist apologism from Dawkins, Hedgepig, which disgusted me before. He is also generally supportive of the lovely branch of evolutionary “thought” that runs something like this: rape is biologically inevitable, as is war, male-perpetrated femicide, and infanticide.”

    It doesn’t seem like you have actually read much from him at all. Richard dawkins is not an evolutionary psychologist. The closest he has gotten to that is work like the selfish gene, where he argues that altruism and cooperative behavior are a benefit from the point of view of gene distribution. That was in the 1970’s. The god delusion is full of respect for women and feminists as well.

    He is a constant victim of quote mining and just plain making crap up from the creationist side of things as well. If you just heard he said something controversial I would encourage you to check it out, creationist websites/people are infamous for attributing a huge number of things to him (and darwin, and steven hawking for some reason) that were never said by them at all.

  45. kristyn

    MarianK, those are some scary scary quotes.

    It’s shocking that many men don’t understand why women don’t want to interact with them, when it’s so plain that our every interaction with them is centered around their pathological need to control and dominate us.

    -Making- us ”smile.” -Making- us laugh. -Making- us fuck them. -Making- us orgasm. -Making- us pregnant. And so on.

    We are removed from the equation, as if we had nothing to do with any of our actions. As if we are only passive objects they manipulate to please their frail, frail little egos, the frailty of which they continually blame on us.

  46. gozzibopli

    I’m with nails. Dawkins’s point in The Selfish Gene is that humans have genetically determined behaviors that are inextricably intertwined with learned behaviors but, unlike other animals, humans CAN and SHOULD have a lot of input into the ways we evolve — and we should choose not to suck. Understanding that biology informs our lives isn’t the same as genetic determinism. Check out his essay, “Our Genes are not Us” in the Devil’s Chaplain. Now, I blamed the patriarchy and cussed Dawkins a few times while I read The Selfish Gene. But I think he has evolved, for the reasons nails stated above. He’s still an arrogant, white, science dood. I don’t particularly care about defending HIM, just the ideas that he shares with this fine Science Blog.

  47. Kookaburra

    And turn them all into ‘choirboys’?

    You’re right, the neutering solution is looking better and better!

  48. katrina

    That Hitchens article was really creepy, wasn’t it. For those who can’t be bothered, it goes like this.
    When a woman laughs at my jokes I feel powerful and dominant. It’s like sex. I don’t like the thought of a woman feeling that way toward me. But women aren’t like that, really, are they? I mean, they’re not. I’m not being sexist! It’s just that women are more serious. That’s why they don’t laugh at my jokes.

  49. yttik

    Women have a sense of humor. One of the most common phrases you hear women say is, “are you fucking kidding me?”

    Some women also continue to marry men, which is definitely scientific evidence of having a well developed sense of humor.

  50. DaisyDeadhead

    You have to get one of them fancy-ass Scarlet A’s for atheism and slap it on your blog, or you can’t be in the club. (Although whenever I see one, I still recoil in fear and flash on Nathaniel Hawthorne. Old habits die hard!)

    Oh, and the balls, too, of course. Yes. (dunno where to download those.)

  51. DaisyDeadhead

    Hitchens’ famous putdown of Diana when she was campaigning against the landmines:

    Q: what does Princes Diana have in common with a minefield?

    A: Easy to lay, very difficult and dangerous and expensive to get rid of.

    Link to interview here. (Warning: nasty sexist Monica Lewinsky joke follows that one.)

  52. MarianK

    More on women, men and humour…

    According to a 2006 academic study: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/why-men-dont-fancy-funny-women-525001.html

    ‘Hundreds of men and women in their twenties were questioned. Asked if they found a sense of humour to be attractive in women, most men said yes. But when they were asked if they would want to be with a woman who cracked jokes herself, the answer was a resounding no.

    “When forced to choose between humour production and humour appreciation in potential partners, women valued humour production, whereas men valued receptivity to their own humour,” said Dr Martin.

    More than half the men who took part in the survey revealed that a witty woman was not what they were looking for in a partner. Dr Martin said the findings suggested that men see themselves as the ones who should be delivering the lines and feel threatened by humorous women.’

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