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Jun 16 2010

The video the real feminists don’t want you to see

85 comments

1 ping

  1. Sylvie

    Funny but confusing – Jill, it’s not like you to play both ends against the middle – at least not so obviously.

  2. Notorious Ph.D.

    You had me at “the square of the hippopotamus.”

  3. Jill

    It is refreshing to be accused of obviousness. Usually it’s one of the other “obs”: “oblivious” or “obtuse” or “obfusctatory.”

  4. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    The credits are a hoot. So is the soundtrack.

    My feelings, when used for decision-making, are good for two things: a) good for shit; b) good for nothin’. Unless I want to land in a pile of deep doody.

  5. Sylvie

    One mischievous prod deserves another – off for some liquid refreshment of my own – always a pleasure you read your blog, never a chore.

  6. yttik

    How about obstinately? Obstreperously? Sorry Jill, but you’ll pry my herbs and my intuition out of my cold dead hands. Both are based on some pretty sound science developed over generations. The fact that the Institution of Science wishes to dismiss these skills is just another symptom of patriarchy.

    We can celebrate the beauty of PI all we want, but the patriarchy just goes right on making squares into circles.

  7. sargassosea

    A pencil poked through a Sharpie-doodled paper plate is indeed a powerful work flow tool!

  8. Stella

    This has higher production values and makes more sense than any Republican campaign ad I’ve ever seen.

  9. nails

    Science is a method, not an institution.

  10. JT

    Ewww, check out the suggested anti-feminist evo-psycho BS vidoes on the right. Apparently YouTube doesn’t get parody.

    You had me at “quarks”. I don’t know why, I love that word. Quarks, quarks, quarks.

  11. octopod

    Holy nuts, Jill, you are one weird hominid. The slightly off-kilter spiral was particularly painful.

    Science does not suggest any reason to throw away your herbs or your intuition. It’s just an alternative to simply making shit up as you go along.

  12. janicen

    Awesome production values!

  13. tinfoil hattie

    Where did “drugs” come from? From herbs, potions, vitamins, other substances occurring naturally. What triggers scientific thought? Hunches, inspiration, past scientific discovery – to name some sources.

    Are science and intuition truly incompatible? Is it either herbs OR “chemicals”? Either hypotheses OR “what-ifs”?

    This is a stupid argument we’re having here. Science as an institution (I disagree a bit, nails) has treated women like shit all along, same as every other man-run system under patriarchy. That doesn’t mean I think we should throw science out the window. Similarly, to discard non-mainstream scientific ideas (read: generally associated with womenfolk) because they don’t fit in with the male definition of “science” is unnecessary.

  14. Mayday

    This false dichotomy isn’t a #1 Science Fact!
    The opposite of logical is “illogical”, not “emotional”, and the opposite of emotional is just “unemotional”. Blaming for example can be rage-fueled, and yet chock-full o’ logic! Whereas Art History professors may drone illogical misogyny with no evidence of “feelings” or consciousness at all.

  15. Jezebella

    Mayday, as a frequent professor of Art History, I’ll thank you to leave us alone! Pick on the Philosophy Department or summat.

  16. barkbirch

    Feminist Blogger Posts Humourous Video in Bid to Highlight Tediousness of Endless “Science vs Voodoo Lady Intuition” Discussions

    -Tedious “Science vs Voodoo Lady Intuition” Discussion Follows

  17. Mayday

    D’aw, sorry Jezebella. I revise my statement to “ancient conservative male cracker humanities professors”.

  18. Alex

    These production values. Well, they make me want to do the butt-dance.

  19. rootlesscosmo

    Would any Blamers care to join a Buy a Theremin for Savage Death Island Fund?

  20. Medbh

    Damn, could we get a lingering shot on the bookcase?
    Blamers want to see the Spinster Aunt’s collection.

  21. Fliss

    Isn’t raging about herb users a bit of a waste of time when we have a patriarchy to worry about and this is the only place for it?

    Let’s come together on what we can, instead of arguing and picking on feminists (their credentials otherwise intact) who happen to be anti- science.

  22. Virginia S. Wood, Psy.D.

    I needed that.

  23. Barn Owl

    Did the Sharpie doodle spiral fall off the pencil at the end, or did the special effects technician tire of spinning it?

    Or is that a cinematographer’s secret?

  24. agasaya

    Again we don’t see agreement reached upon the basic premises of a topic. If the premise is wrong, so is the rest of the argument.

    Nails, you hit it with the ‘science is a method’ definition. It’s a process by which people reach conclusions about their observations which are logical yet parsimonious, accounting for the greatest number of phenomena. Add in profit and you get the institution of partiarchal science. In that institution resides industry ‘scientists’(often called science whores) where the only questions posed are those pertaining to product R&D.

    Our culture possesses little real science including many alternative, as well as allopathic, medical practices.

    Jill makes a cool successor to Rod Serling and there is no better geographic location for patriarchy than the Twilight Zone. When can we females move uptown to the Reality Zone?

  25. Cactus Sally

    It’s gonna be ok. I’m just going to push the plastic bowl of jello toward you with this broom and then slowly back away. There’s a rubber spork in there so it will be real easy to eat, ok? And look, it’s green! Your favorite flavor!

  26. MPMR

    rootlesscosmo:

    I can save your fund a lot of dough, because I can build a theremin (and would be happy to if the islanders want one).

    Using methods and materials developed by people doing *science*.

  27. Jill

    “any Blamers care to join a Buy a Theremin for Savage Death Island Fund?”

    Poor Rootlesscosmo! His delicate ear, confronted with my Star Trek lounge stylings, suggests to him that a Theremin would be an improvement!

    I can’t play the Theremin. It is my shame as a former indie rocker (not being able to sing was a bit of a boon, though).

  28. KJB

    This has cheered me right up.

  29. Jill

    It’s gonna be ok. I’m just going to push the plastic bowl of jello toward you with this broom and then slowly back away. There’s a rubber spork in there so it will be real easy to eat, ok? And look, it’s green! Your favorite flavor!

    Ha! That’s a funny comment!

  30. Jill

    Fliss, tomorrow I will come together and unite with the cause and fight the power as One. But now is the time for divisiveness and unilateral jingoism. I poke-a zee fun. It is all outrageous and very maddening.

    It may interest you to know that there are at least 12 different herbs growin in the Spinster HQ Kitchen Garden. Also, I feed my female horses raspberry leaves to alleviate their seasonal personality issues. My sidekick Stingray puts pH in her water. It’s all good, bra.

  31. Fliss

    ‘Science does not suggest any reason to throw away your herbs or your intuition. It’s just an alternative to simply making shit up as you go along.’

    Science isn’t fact or knowledge, or a subsitute for meaning. It doesn’t help us talk about the patriarchy. It’s highly educated privileged people of class getting their research published and having the resources to do so. The ‘made up shit’ you talk about (our radfem ranting if you like), is what those lower down in the hierarchy contend with, who lack the scientific resources. You don’t get to do any science without privilege. If you do, you don’t get that science accepted. Privilege and science – the two are inexorably interlinked.

    If it is just a method, that’s all that needs to be said about it. Why the flame wars? Oh that’s right – all discussion of the patriarchy must take place in a goddamn Twighlight Zone.

    If you want to get rid of the patriarchy get out of the Twilight Zone, like Agasaya suggests, and into the Reality Zone. Stop arguing all the time, it’s not hard. Unless you’re loving your victim status a bit too much. You don’t want things to get better, you don’t want the feminist support from every possible corner. Ripping into your dedicated followers – when as radfems you’re all hated by most of society, makes every bit of sense! Keep at it.

    For the record I don’t believe in God/ Gods/ herbs. I just call elitism, bullying and nonsense when I see it.

  32. Alexa

    ‘. But now is the time for divisiveness and unilateral jingoism. I poke-a zee fun.’

    I’m sure long time blamers like kiuku and hedgepig really appreciate the ‘fun poking’ – if they haven’t left already :/

  33. phio gistic

    Isaac Asimov is rumored to have said, “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not “Eureka!” but “That’s funny…” ”

    That movie is pretty freakin’ funny!

  34. thebewilderness

    Fliss, sometimes we like to laugh at ourselves.
    You need not join in the silliness.

    Spitting MRA talking points at us is a bit over the line.

  35. tinfoil hattie

    Also, I feed my female horses raspberry leaves to alleviate their seasonal personality issues. My sidekick Stingray puts pH in her water. It’s all good, bra.

    HA! See? Jill hates science, Jill hates science, nyaaah nyaaahhhh

  36. Lady K

    I blame myself for your descent into madness, as its beginning can be traced very clearly back to that butt-dance video I sent in.

    If only I had trusted my Women’s Intuition™ like Oprah told me to!

  37. octopod

    Stingray puts what in her water, now? Don’tcha know that shit’s dangerous?

    And Fliss, I wasn’t talking about Big Science. I was talking about scientific reasoning as a way of figuring shit out, as nails and agasaya said above. Anyone can do that; it’s free.

    MPMR, you have built theremins? You are super awesome.

  38. Jill

    Dedicated followers! Yegads. I don’t think I have any of those, but just in case: If anybody is “following” me, just cut it the heck out right now.

    On a related note, I’d like to think that the future of feminism doesn’t rest on the likeability of eccentric spinster aunts. Like I always tell the antifeminist tools who threaten me helpfully that my being unlikeable will drive the faithful away from the feminist cause: either it’s wrong to oppress women, or it isn’t; using my personal personality and/or character flaws as an argument against radical feminist theory is a seriously limp-ass cop-out.

    I’m not everybody’s cup of tea.

  39. Laughingrat

    Spot-on, Mayday. The arbitrary designation of emotion as “illogical” (or bad, or stupid, etc.) is pretty patriarchal as it is. There’s a fine old tradition of designating the “lower orders” (that is, any group of marginalized folks) as exceptionally emotional. That way, it’s easier to dismiss the emotional damage oppression delivers to the oppressed, and to dismiss our protests because they are full of those icky, stupid “feelings”–you know, feelings like rage, sorrow, and frustration, all feelings that are perfectly reasonable to have in the face of oppression. The oppressor classes are, of course, just as emotional as anyone else, but their emotions–arrogance, smugness, hatred, and greed–are normalized, and therefore considered totally okay. It’s only the messy, sloppy feelings of us lower orders that are so problematic. The truth of the matter is that emotion and reason aren’t separate, that each exists within every human, and that they must temper each other in order for us to live well and make good decisions.

    Naturally, having questioned the long-cherished, arbitrary, and (ironically) patriarchal assertion that feelings are weak and stupid, chances are I will now be accused of being both anti-feminist and anti-intellectual by commenters who have built their sense of self-worth in part on the idea that if they can be “tough” and “unfeeling,” they will finally have proven their superiority. Like the love of oppressive social hierarchy, this is one of those bedrock beliefs of patriarchy that even radfems frequently won’t question. Not having the energy to fight against straw arguments, however, I shall instead wander off to have a rum cocktail. It’s the only logical choice.

  40. Ashley

    Yeah, I disagree as well. Science is the patriarchy. Unfortunately, everything that’s not nature is the patriarchy. Including a disdain for women’s primary method of communication, nonverbal. Otherwise mocked as “intuition.” If you’re not familiar, on some level you’re a token. Fact, womens.

    But otherwise I love you, Jill!

  41. Gertrude Strine

    The bickering in here is a nice example of why feminism has made a big mistake following the model of progressive movements in general.
    The Blametariat sucks at humour mostly.
    Which itself can be a wonderful humour resource, dontcha know.

    The thing about the scientific method vs so-called alternative science is that they can both equally be subverted for dominance agendas.
    This video comment about woo, on the other hand, is art. It says so on the label.
    Art can also be subverted for agendas.
    As can blogs.
    What’s the use of developing a readership if you can’t flog your own art to it?

    I don’t know much about art. I don’t even know what I like, but this thread is very funny.

  42. JetGirl

    The creepy facial expression/vortex combo is priceless!

  43. Summerspeaker

    Mayday and Laughingrat have the right of it. I’ll quote Voltairine de Cleyre on the advantages emotion can have over reason:

    Now my feelings have ever revolted against repression in all forms, even when my intellect, instructed by my conservative teachers, told me repression was right. Even when my thinking part declared it was nobody’s fault that one man had so much he could neither swallow it down nor wear it out, while another had so little he must die of cold and hunger, my feelings would not be satisfied. They raised an unending protest against the heavenly administration that managed earth so badly. They could never be reconciled to the idea that any human being could be in existence merely through the benevolent toleration of another human being.

    The mention of conservative teachers, of course, is key.

  44. mir

    With a nod to those feeling put off (or picked on, or mocked) we all know it’s not either/or. I love me some science, or the results thereof- birth control, the combustion engine, canned cheese- and I simultaneously believe in ghosts and also that I probably made a lady crash her car once with just the power of my mind.

    Both/and, man.

  45. rootlesscosmo

    a Theremin would be an improvement!

    Say not so! An enhancement, perhaps. MPMR, you can build one? Far out. Watching Clara Rockmore playing one in the documentary is magnificent.

  46. vinoveritas

    If a post feminist-revolution world doesn’t contain science, you can count me the fuck right out.

  47. nicolien

    I see a general confusion of science with academia. I propose the following highly scientific formula:

    Academia = science + patriarchy

    Falsify?

  48. Rice

    Love the video!

    The science/alternative medicine/intuition debate is over my head. None are mutually exclusive in my understanding (so perhaps I’m missing something crucial?). Alternative meds have worked for many, Western science has failed for many; I highly value intuition, but I wouldn’t hold it higher than a well thought out and tested understanding. Post-revolution we can keep these methods (as nails described science, and I do agree), and minus the patriarchy. Rejecting science as a feminist measure is something I can’t agree with – not because I particularly value science as this intrinsic part of human understanding, but because I can’t see reason for abandoning it. So, I guess, again, I may just be missing something crucial in this debate.

  49. VinaigretteGril

    As someone who is doing basic electrophoresis in the broom cupboard at home for fun I’m not joining a revolution that defines me as privileged or anti-feminist for doing so because “science” is a shorthand term for dudeliness in all its evil forms. There are years of happy research in bioinorganic chemistry ahead for anyone who wants to do it when finding out what makes some ‘erbs work for some folk and not for others, or just what makes *anything* tick. Knowledge doesn’t necessarily require big bucks if what you want is knowledge.

    Nor am I keen on any assertions that my primary form of communication is non-verbal because I’m a woman when nonverbal communication goes on all the frickin’ time between all humans, involuntarily.

    Love the cinematic artwork, Twisty. Hugs. [coughs HERE, gets coat]

  50. Hedgepig

    Ah, Alexa, my internet skin was thickened early, when some twelve years ago I hung around on a site that was run by the late great Douglas Adams, who was already great but, obviously, not yet late at the time.
    It was set up as a support site for hapless folk attempting to play his computer puzzle game, the elegantly nutty “Starship Titanic.” It sort of morphed into a general fansite, and he found himself reluctantly obliged to interact with his fans. This was my first experience of the contempt with which some writers hold some of their readers. Let’s face it, if you like someone’s writing you want to like them, but it doesn’t follow that the writer is going to like you back. In short, Douglas didn’t seem to like any of us much. He was a big fan of science, incidentally. Not that that has anything to do with anything. Hence my choice of the word ‘incidentally’, I suppose.
    Now I’ve sat here for ages trying to talk myself out of responding to vinoveritas’s remark at 11:40pm but I find I cannot contain myself. Apart from the idiocy of the idea that any feminist revolution would demand the elimination of science, it smacks of the kind of attitude that’s put some of our backs up. If you’d prefer to see the continuation of the oppression of half the human population than sacrifice the wonder that is science, vinoveritas, it does call into question whether you really give a fuck about patriarchal oppression.

  51. Cee

    Just when I think the white privilege has done run me off these parts for good, you post something that is SO this colored bitch’s brew one just has to stick around for seconds – EGADS (that’s funny)!

    Science is not inherently Dudely any more than it is inherently White. Stick that in your collective pipe.

  52. Helen

    So science is “elitist” now. No wonder the US is in the shape it’s in. Listen, in the Olden Days just any dude or even dude-ess could Do Science without going to university, but these days, I’m sorry but you do kind of have to have a degree or two and follow some fairly tedious methods of experimentation and peer review and generally just not making shit up. BUT. the people who “just did” science in those Olden Days were invariably middle – to -upper-class, even nobility – Ada Lovelace, Charles Darwin, & so on – they had to have some leisure, their own resources, and social contacts. Whereas while scientific study may not be available to EVERY kid out of school these days – you still have to, you know, study – the chances of a poor or lower-middle kid growing up to be a prominent scientist are pretty much better these days than they were then.

  53. Helen

    I forgot what I came here to comment for. Twisty, Y*uT*be is evilly subverting you. There are little popups appearing just after your clip with the most horrible stuff e.g. an antiabortion “movie” by a Mr Ray Boltz. I wonder if the complex Powerful Tool you’re studying in the previous thread is something which can smack down unwanted linked vids.

  54. Jill

    Y*uT*be is evilly subverting you. There are little popups appearing just after your clip with the most horrible stuff e.g. an antiabortion “movie” by a Mr Ray Boltz. I wonder if the complex Powerful Tool you’re studying in the previous thread is something which can smack down unwanted linked vids.

    You may laugh when I tell you that the Powerful Tool I sought, but only sort of partially found, was a way to superimpose my disembodied Photoshop head on the FlipVideo Twilight Zone swirl in the above vid without using a green screen, in Final Cut Pro, a large and daunting program I am forcing myself to learn. All the Powerful Tools I did find were very effective in obfuscating my goal.

    YouTube. Pah. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, as my late (Republican) paternal unit used to say about every five minutes.

  55. Jodie

    Long ago, I spent considerable time with (OK, was married to) a person who always had to be right. When it came to problem solving, I more often (way more often) had a good solution…but because my answers usually just come to me, often on awakening), he’d totally dismiss it out of hand. After awhile, I learned to backtrack my steps so I could defend my solution. (Not that it really mattered in the end — he HAD to win every argument, no matter what.)

    Intuition isn’t a magic solution pulled out of a hat, even though it feels like it sometimes. It’s a leap from learned or observed phenomena to solve a problem, and given time, you can figure out how you got there (that gets easier the more you do it). And it’s helpful, too, because every now and then, those leaps will be based on a wrong bit of information, and if you’re wrong even once, some people will never let you forget it (nor trust you again).

    Having to think about how I got to my solutions really has increased my problem solving ability, and made me realize that it is not all “woo woo” voodoo. Made it easier to get things implemented at work, too; being able to back up my assertions always helps (I work in a science field, actually), although often now, no one even asks how I get there.

    My point is that I think most “intuition” is probably like mine. It’s not something confined to one gender, and it’s probably a subconscious following of the scientific method. The more you know, and the more you solve problems, the less likely you are to bend all your brain power into linear thought to solve those problems; instead, the information comes from all sides and synthesizes into a solution.

    Being women, and having more problems from an earlier age (because we’re subjected to more rules), I think we start our problem solving early and start to internalize that before we start school and learn to think in a linear way.

    At least, that’s my (untested) theory.

  56. Jill

    But Hedgepig, I do like you!

  57. lawbitch

    Very funny! Jill said “bra,” too! Giggling now.

    Knowledge is not elitist unless you live in Dubyaville.

  58. nails

    A word about herbs- you know where a shit load of supplements are made? Here, in Utah. There is a reason for it as well.

    Back in the day our evil utlra conservative mormon honky dude senator Orrin Hatch made a bill that let supplement companies basically do whatever they want. There is no one accounting for the safety, effectiveness, or ingredients of supplements (obviously including herbal supplements). The supplement industry grew hugely during that time.

    Orrin Hatch likes people to remain ignorant about science because of this. The companies that paid him to pull that public-endangering shit make a lot more money when they can do what snake oil salesmen did so long ago. It is the same reason people like him (who represent states full of coal and oil) like that people here are too ignorant to understand global warming. He can sell them whatever feels most comfortable and get votes for proclaiming ignorance a virtue. He can tell us sex ed causes pregnancies because people don’t know how to think worth a shit about these issues. He can sit next to people who think the earth being more than 6000 years old is a serious debate. People here can think that oil in the gulf coast is “part of nature, and nature will fix it”. For most people, their entire education has been composed of repeating what they were told in school, and solving problems only to the degree that it makes them an effective low wage worker. Learning was dictated to most of us instead of performed or driven by our own normal thirst for knowledge. Examining issues in order to gain masterful knowledge of them is prohibited on purpose. Reclaiming this knowledge is key to protecting yourself from being taken in by predatory scammers and politicians.

    This isn’t to say that all herbs or worthless or something. There are herbs that actually do things, but we know through research that is designed well and has results that are repeatable. This is the most effective way to find out what works and what doesn’t.

    Science is just something everyone should know, and that is what old school anarchists and radicals believed. It takes decades of ignorance for us to get to this point. Reading “ignorance” isn’t fun when directed towards you, but it is nearly impossible to emerge from a basic education in this country without being shamefully ignorant of science. I knew a lot of biology because of my own interest in it outside of school, but since reading about chemistry I have realized what a travesty it is that I knew absolutely nothing about chemistry coming out of high school, and I didn’t have to. Indeed, most people don’t know if an electron is bigger than a proton. Most people do not know what lasers are. I mean, christ. This is like people graduating without knowing how to do long division. It takes effort to overcome this imposed ignorance, but it is very worth it.

    Tinfoil Hattie:

    “Are science and intuition truly incompatible? Is it either herbs OR “chemicals”? Either hypotheses OR “what-ifs”?”

    Herbs ARE chemicals. Everything is. Hypothesis isn’t opposing ‘what ifs’ at all. Effective experiments are set up to isolate a single question as best as possible.

    “This is a stupid argument we’re having here. Science as an institution (I disagree a bit, nails) has treated women like shit all along, same as every other man-run system under patriarchy. ”

    Yep, like every other man made system. However, I still trust that 5-4=1, despite the assholish nature of many mathematicians throughout history. Science works the exact same way. There is a knowledge value to the information imparted on us via the scientific method, and the truth of what is involved exists completely independent of who found it or in what context. The effectiveness of the scientific method is not dependent on the history of those who were allowed to us it.

    “That doesn’t mean I think we should throw science out the window. Similarly, to discard non-mainstream scientific ideas (read: generally associated with womenfolk) because they don’t fit in with the male definition of “science” is unnecessary.”

    Non mainstream scientific ideas should be tested, and they are. Those ideas are associated with women not because the ideas are superior, but because they are not as effective as a method for discovering truth.

    Science is not male defined. If we could rearrange the past to be completely egalitarian, and scientists of all races/classes/genders were allowed to participate, it would not change how true the discoveries of our male dominated past are. Gravity exists, species evolve, genes are doing all kinds of crazy shit, etc. These things are happening, and science is the only real method for being reasonably sure of it. It could not have less to do with the sex of the participants, really.

    What part of science is male defined, according to you?

  59. yttik

    Jill is funny, she has 3 or 4 lobes, and endless supply of coffee, and an assistant named Phil. It’s hard to top that.

    I don’t think there is real disagreement here, just a lot of misunderstanding. There was recently a thread celebrating the fact that chimps don’t exchange meat for sex. Most of us already “knew” that. Call it intuition, common sense, a bullshit detector, whatever. Until a few weeks ago, science was not Number One on that issue. And yes, pointing out that the chimp/prostitution link was flimsy will get you labeled emotional, flaky, dancing naked in the moonlight, and anti-science. Too bad,I support this kind of “knowing.” anyway.

    The reason science winds up with the elitist label, is because it’s being presented under a dominance/submission model. Science must be Number One, On Top. If you dare to question science or focus on anything but science you are anti-science. Science has a big fragile ego and must be dominant at all times. That’s not science some of us are smelling, that’s patriarchy.

    The basic premise, that feminists are anti-science, is flawed an unsubstantiated. It’s simply an accusation, another piece of abuse thrown our way in an attempt to dismiss us. Women are science and they always have been. We certainly get to see biology up close and personal. There is chemistry in the kitchens, there are crash courses in psychology as a matter of survival. Women live their lives in science, we don’t have to defend ourselves against anti- science accusations by stroking science’s ego and calling it Number One.

  60. nails

    SummerSpeaker-

    For every person who felt repression was wrong, there was at least one who really did *feel* it was right. Are they both correct then, or not? It is possible for two people with directly opposing views to both be correct?

  61. nails

    “Most of us already “knew” that. Call it intuition, common sense, a bullshit detector, whatever. Until a few weeks ago, science was not Number One on that issue.”

    What the hell are you talking about? The reason that people kept testing the idea out is that they don’t just automatically accept it as The Truth without a BUNCH of study. It doesn’t become Science because it was published one time (where the hell was the original study published anyway? Was it published via peer review in the first place?). SCIENCE IS A METHOD. When the idea was found to be bs, the idea was scrapped. This is about one million times better than any other human organization when it comes to being wrong. Most cling to their wrong ideas until they are unable to anymore. This is how most PEOPLE act. You, once again, are using the genuine search for truth as a reason to say science is crap. You think that they should have all the answers now, and any ambiguity means it is useless.

    It is like you expect people to know everything without investigating. If it is so easy for you to know then you should be able to demonstrate the truth of it. The most effective way of doing so is the scientific method. I doubt that you could demonstrate it to me or anyone else.

    You have complained about science SO MUCH, and despite my repeatedly asking, you have NOT EVER come up with so much as ONE SUGGESTION as to how you could improve the search for truth or what they are doing WRONG. Not once, yttik. It is beyond annoying for you to try and pick apart science when you have no real criticisms of outside of “wow, they didn’t do things perfectly/quickly enough for my personal liking”. I cannot imagine a more immature attitude to have about this subject. If you can do it better, tell me how. Saying you “just know” doesn’t work, because a million people have intuition pointing a million different directions and all their bs detectors and intuition suggest completely opposing ideas. How is your intuition better than the flat earth proponents?

  62. yttik

    Nails, nowhere did I say, “science is crap.” And anytime somebody accuses me of being immature, flaky, emotional, or dancing naked in the moonlight, I smell patriarchy, not science.

    You should ask yourself why one little internet feminist speaking in defense of women’s intuition and the hard earned skills of those denied access to science for so many generations, must be smacked down so that science can maintain it’s dominance. What is it about my advocacy for women’s voices that poses such a threat to science?

    Ultimately, when Science becomes something that is heresy to criticize, we’ve left the realm of science and entered the realm of religion. I’m not going to start bowing to the Authority of Science because science without humility isn’t science at all.

    You want to know how to make science better? Stop treating it as a dominant ideology that is entitled to exclude the experiences and observations of about two thirds of the human race. Stop using science as an excuse to dismiss me, as a weapon. And for gawd’s sakes, stop calling me a flat earther. While science was busy arguing flat earth theories, my ancestors were sailing around the world, probably in chains down in the bilge, but that’s beside the point.

  63. Alexa

    Yea i smell patriarchy here too – the ‘science is no.1′ crowd are paraphrasing dude arguments and expressions.

  64. Helen

    You should ask yourself why one little internet feminist speaking in defense of women’s intuition and the hard earned skills of those denied access to science for so many generations, must be smacked down so that science can maintain it’s dominance. What is it about my advocacy for women’s voices that poses such a threat to science?

    Just that in your country (I’m assuming you’re a US commenter), a huge percentage (can’t be bothered to look it up ATM, very unscientific of me) of people believe in young-earth creationism and the incidence of parents refusing to vaccinate their children because their critical skills aren’t up to the task of countering the woo-woo anti vaxers. This phenomenon is not confined to the US, it’s unfortunately present in Australia as well. A lot of science bloggers are providing a wonderful public service against this sort of thing and many of them are feminists, or people I read, rightly or wrongly, as feminist-y. I salute them.

    It’s interesting you see science as “dominant” where here it’s very underfunded and not the first choice for privileged smartasrses who prefer to go into finance or marketing. Real scientists, the good ones, use intuition and gut feelings as tools of trade but as Nails pointed out, they must go on to test the hypotheses. I don’t think it’s productive to code science as “male” and therefore “dominant”, as if to say “science is for men”. I refuse to marginalise myself like that. Saying “people perceive science wrongly as not including intuition or gut feeling” might be more productive?

  65. nails

    Hey Alexa- I guess I better not say that masculinity is toxic in our culture, or else I might be paraphrasing Jackson Katz (a bepenised human)! Do you smell patriarchy when that is paraphrased?

    If you go and *READ* the how and why of what science has amounted to you cannot call the resulting knowledge patriarchy. The dudes running experiments? Sure. Not the information though. The results of controlled experiments do not changed when women repeat them later, and they do, all the time. If science is male defined so is math. I don’t think that when I get a bank statement that the NUMBERS have co-opted or dominated my reality or any other bullshit, they are correctly representing a measurable reality. This has just gotten to the point of complete silliness. This smacks of battling creationists- just replace “women’s intuition” with “God did it” and we are having the exact same conversation. Whenever science doesn’t fully and instantly explain something they say that is where God is and give some half witted explanation of why Jesus and the Bible is so much better than science. It is the same flippin’ argument. I was sick to death of reading creationists get their asses handed to them on pharyngula years ago, and I think my level of tolerance for this specific debate is just about gone.

  66. Jeff

    There’s a difference between the scientific method and scientific institutions. One has historically been chock full of anti-feminist douchebags, the other is the absolute best method we have for determining the causes of the effects we witness in the world around us.

    “It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas. If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you. You never learn anything new. You become a crotchety old person convinced that nonsense is ruling the world. (There is, of course, much data to support you.) On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish the useful ideas from the worthless ones. If all ideas have equal validity then you are lost, because then, it seems to me, no ideas have any validity at all.” – Carl Sagan

  67. Compcat

    “women’s primary method of communication, nonverbal. Otherwise mocked as “intuition.”

    I’m a woman, and I hypothesize that my primary method of communication is flapping my jaws and emitting sounds shaped by my tongue and vocal cord.

    Sometimes I type things, even. I might try charades tomorrow at work as a test of the hypothesis, but I’m pretty sure that there are already papers published that show that while nonverbal communication (non-language body gestures and such like) is an extremely important part of communication, humans are in fact a verbal species.

    There are also studies that show that the lower you are on the social totem pole, the better you are at reading the body language of those who outrank you. It’s not that women are better at men at reading body language, it’s that men are more likely to perceive themselves as outranking women, and therefore, ignore women’s body language.

    Intuition (from Latin “to contemplate”) is, loosely, from it’s Websters dictionary definition, defined as a way of knowing, not a way of communicating.

  68. MPMR

    yttik, the problem is that people want to apply intuition/common sense/bullshit detection as if it’s a truth. Or as if they know what the other outcome would have been had they gone against their intuition. For example, I planted brussels sprouts a few weeks back, and I had to choose whether to plant them on the north end of the garden, or the south. My gut said, “North.” And north they are planted. And I hope that these brussels sprouts will tower over my neighbor’s ugly garage and give me the best veggies ever grown. And maybe you feel some deep dark part of my DNA gives me an ability to choose correctly where to plant stuff.

    But I would never tell anyone that it’s *actually* better to plant them where I did, because I have no evidence for it. I could use science, and plant some north and some south, see which end does better, and then say either, “Ha! I was right! North!”, or “Oops. I was wrong.”

    I’m all for trusting your gut when it tells you that something is fishy about the guy offering to walk you home or about the person telling you you’ve won the Nigerian lottery. But unfortunately, many people’s intuition tells them, “Barack Obama is a Muslim sleeper agent,” or “I can just feel it that I’m going to roll a 6 next,” or “The Earth is *so* big that little old humans can’t have any effect,” or “That Native American I’m talking to is lying.” And then some groups (including women) treat it as a fact or something to rely on, when instead, a lot of the time, intuition is just a thought conforming with your preconceptions.

    And occasionally it’s right, but often it’s wrong, (see Vol. 66 No. 5 of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, or Vol. 27 No 1. of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, or lots of others). But lots of people don’t remember all the times it’s wrong, and develop an unjustified faith in their intuition. Mir once wanted that lady to crash her car, and then the lady did, and that is imprinted heavily in Mir’s memory. What about all the times Mir wished for other things to happen that didn’t? (Of course, Mir wasn’t talking about intuition here, but instead was talking about telekinesis or something, but the principle of what we remember is the same.)

    Why do we insist that science is better than intuition?

    1) I use intuition very often in my science (I’m a mathematician.) I’m playing around with some awesome mathematical idea, and I’ll say, “Hey, I bet ____ is true.” Then I go TEST that idea, and that determines whether I keep or discard the idea. Far more often than not, my intuition is wrong, but I find it a useful tool, even though I spend time chasing dead ends. Without intuition, my work would be worse. But without science, my work would be impossible.

    2) Science gives a way to resolve debates. If two women have opposing hypotheses about Brussels sprout locations that they test with science, the debate can be resolved. If two women have opposing intuitions on the Brussels sprout planting location, how do they resolve it? How do you settle debates using only intuition?

    3) Science WORKS. Especially mathematics. When I’m driving over a suspension bridge, I want the engineer who calculated the load, not the engineer who intuited the load. When I’m using shampoo, I want the shampoo that’s been scientifically tested to not give me cancer, not the shampoo that the manufacturer has a really strong feeling won’t give me cancer.

  69. Dr. Sarah Tonin

    Is valuing some ideas and some methods more highly than others always an act that props up the P? Is having a mental hierarchy of that kind something that is “male”?

  70. Jill

    “Dr Sarah Tonin” Ha! I just got it! I am super dum b

  71. Mare_Island

    For Medbh, reading left to right:

    “The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Magister’s Pox,” by Stephen Jay Gould

    “A Brief History of Time,” by Stephen Hawking

    [something too dark to read] by Stephen Hawking. Perhaps “Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays”?

    “The Structure of Evolutionary Theory” by Stephen Jay Gould

    [Queen of Savage Death Island's puss]

    “Astronomy Today” by Chaisson/McMillan (horizontal).

    “Gray’s Anatomy”

    “The Stuff of Thought” by Steven Pinker

    The rest is too dark. I’m guessing Dawkins and Gardner are in there as well? –Hang on, what’s this? “Beethoven’s Hair: An Extraordinary Historical Odyssey and a Scientific Mystery Solved” by Russell Martin. That looks like fun!

    As to the topic at hand: I’m a feminist that approves of the scientific method. I’m pants at discourse, so I usually lurk, and delight in the posts and the comments.

  72. tinfoil hattie

    What part of science is male defined, according to you?

    The part that leaves out women – in research, as subjects – in meaningful ways. The part that closes its doors to women as does every other aspect of patriarchy.

    I don’t see why you’re picking an argument with me, when I agree with you. I think you’re playing “fun with semantics” now.

    As for herbs & vitamins v. chemicals: note that niacin was known for years to be a great aid in the battle against heart disease. But it wasn’t sanctioned. Now it’s prescribed by Big Pharma, so it’s got credibility. Same with fish oils.

  73. rootlesscosmo

    One definition of science is that it’s what scientists do, a set of practices and institutions and people, rather than a body of positive knowledge. Who’s a scientist, then? On this view, anybody who’s managed to get past the barriers to entry, which are, not surprisingly, higher for women and for people of color. Some of what scientists do isn’t science, or won’t be science next week (the cold fusion guys wre scientists), and some people who were scientists quite recently are dangerous crackpots now–hi there, William Shockley! Claims that were science at some time (the consensus of 19th century physicists was that the Earth was 400 million years old) in the past are now in the bin (the current consensus is 4 point something billion) but the people who advanced the earlier claim weren’t bullshitters; they were doing science, only they were missing some evidence and making mistakes. Likewise for traditional, outside-the-institutions knowledge that couldn’t get admitted until previously-excluded people insisted that it should. The slide rule engineer designs more reliable bridges than the crystal ball engineer, but check video of the Tacoma bridge that tore itself apart for evidence that the slide rule people can mess up, big time. And “what scientists do” is intertwined with patriarchy and the megatheocorporatocracy and war-making–hell, what isn’t? All scientists can do for sure is tell us what’s false while making testable claims that haven’t been falsified yet; if so, maybe a practice-based definition, or description, is the best we can manage. It’s why encyclopedias, on paper or Wiki-style, are subject to constant revision.

  74. Pinko Punko

    nails, are you from the state of Deseret???? Clink it, have to drink it- I done been grown up there- not born there, not “of” it, but you know.

    Also, one huge issue with terms like “intuition” as many seem to suggest is that it is something that means different things to different people, therefore anybody using it should define how they mean it, so the straw people can get some sleep.

  75. Summerspeaker

    For every person who felt repression was wrong, there was at least one who really did *feel* it was right. Are they both correct then, or not? It is possible for two people with directly opposing views to both be correct?

    From an objective perspective, neither are correct. Science and reason cannot tell us what is good. They can starkly illuminate contradictions in goals and value systems, but the heart of morality and desirability comes from another realm. For example, the concept of the patriarchy makes specific claims and predictions that can be falsified. You can rationally and methodically show how society oppresses women. Assuming your audiences values things like freedom and equality, this should convince them that the patriarchy is a bad thing. However, if they like male supremacy, authority, and domination for their own sake, there’s not much you can say to them. As such, any claims of how the world [i]should[/i] be are inherently subjective. Sometimes our emotional nature detects the contradictions in values before we can intellectually articulate why.

  76. Shoshie

    I find a lot of this discussion of science vs. intuition incredibly silly. I’m a chemist-in-training, and people have pretty much described the process of going through a PhD program in chem as developing your “chemical intuition.” You learn a bunch of facts, and over time you can sort of guess what’s going to happen. And that’s where your hypothesis comes from. And then you go through the scientific process and figure out whether your intuition was right or wrong. Which develops your intuition further. Science and intuition work together.

    As far as the Institution of Science, totally chock fulla patriarchy. Patriarchy informs everything from what questions are deemed valuable for study (and thus funding) to how data is presented and discussed. Though I do have to say that the process for applying for and completing a PhD in chem is a lot more open than many other disciplines, at least in the US. You get paid a living wage (usually) and it take ~5 years, vs. 10+ in some other disciplines that pay crap.

    But then, this is because Science is valued, probably because it has a long history of dude domination, and clearly dude-dominated fields are waaaay more important than woman-dominated ones.

    IBTP.

    P.S. to nails: The Institution of Science is in fact TERRIBLE with discarding bad theories. Throughout history and right now. It’s a really big problem.

  77. thewatchfuleye

    While I don’t have a particular side on this but I will admit that nails dogged defense of the purity of science gave me a chuckle.

    “If you go and *READ* the how and why of what science has amounted to you cannot call the resulting knowledge patriarchy. The dudes running experiments? Sure. Not the information though. The results of controlled experiments do not changed when women repeat them later, and they do, all the time.”

    Science told us for quite some time that homosexuality was a disease, but only intuition told us that it’s not. It’s clear that whatever funded those “studies” were built on biases, most likely religious and patriarchal ones. You say science is a method, a search for truth–but whose truth? Certainly not woman’s, who are being told in many studies that their body’s libido is not high enough and to take pills to “fix” what “wrong” with them. That science starts with the premise in many cases that what’s normal for men, is normal for women. I get it, 2 + 2= 4. Great, but everything that claims to be science is not basic or even advanced math. Although even those math calculations have been wrong causing deaths etc, as someone pointed out in the latest post.

    Further, forgetting intuition for a second it’s been questioned by others about the purity of science, and how scientists and the premises they start from can be flawed and skew the results. See here–>http://www.newsweek.com/2009/07/27/popular-science-beware-false-claims.html. The article then points to another article/study that suggests that most research findings are false, see here–
    >http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1182327/?tool=pmcentrez citing a number of reasons, one being yes—PREJUDICE–which is what–patriarchy!

    At the very least many times science can be used to prove a variety of conflicting claims. Yes in a perfect world, the scientists wouldn’t skew results and money wouldn’t factor in to those results and in those cases the science would be irrefutable, but it’s not, therefore why would I trust for sure any and everything that comes out of it? And for an institution that’s so riddled with problems defending it’s pure–often non-existent–form that many don’t encounter is for me, odd.

    Scientists believe in what they can see and rationalize right? Well many if not most do not have the understanding or the resources to try to understand what the many forms of science are saying, and they have to go with their gut/intuition or whatever to actually believe what the scientists are saying. It’s actually a weird problem, and scientist who won’t believe anything without reasonable proof, trying to get others who don’t have the benefit of the years and years of study and research etc. to believe things they are saying and don’t understand with nothing more than some charts, numbers, and a smug “I’m smarter than you, believe what I say.”

    This phrase then coming from the same people who would say the patriarchy doesn’t exist. That racism and sexism is a complete thing of the past, that porn doesn’t hurt etc. etc. Why the hell would anyone immediately believe them? Because they’ve been proven right some times?
    Yeah, you may believe the numbers on your bank statement, but do you believe the engineers math that told you the “S-curve” on the new Bay Bridge is safe and that all the kinks are worked out, that the truck driver that careened off the bridge just drove too fast and all the accidents are just drivers going to fast? Or do you stay away from the S-curve and the bridge that already collapsed once. Regardless of sexism, science’s peer review and method is not infallible.

  78. madeleine

    About the scientific acceptance of proven new ideas/facts, it is enlightening to read The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Structure_of_Scientific_Revolutions

    From the synopsis:
    “Kuhn’s approach to the history and philosophy of science has been described as focusing on conceptual issues: what sorts of ideas were thinkable at a particular time? What sorts of intellectual options and strategies were available to people during a given period? What types of lexicons and terminology were known and employed during certain epochs? Stressing the importance of not attributing modern modes of thought to historical actors, Kuhn’s book argues that the evolution of scientific theory does not emerge from the straightforward accumulation of facts, but rather from a set of changing intellectual circumstances and possibilities. Such an approach is largely commensurate with the general historical school of non-linear history.”

    Especially the first question, “what sorts of ideas were thinkable at a particular time?” is relevant here.

  79. littlerobbergirl

    fliss says ‘You don’t get to do any science without privilege’.

    oh. so that’s my biochar experiments and the whole african permaculture network out of the window for a start. i think you are really saying that if its not privileged, it’s not called science. if you are not in a white coat not in a lab in a western university, you are not a scientist.

  80. Inverarity

    Science told us for quite some time that homosexuality was a disease, but only intuition told us that it’s not.

    Actually, the reverse. “Science” didn’t say any such thing, but intuition told doctors and psychologists that homosexuality was sick and perverse. That is still pretty much the argument used against homosexuality today, as well as against most feminist arguments — people just “know” what the natural order is supposed to be because it’s what feels right to them. Except when they actually start doing science to test those theories, they find there’s actually not any evidence for it. Since it goes against their intuition, they’re slow to accept it, but truth wins over time.

    Everyone insisting that their intuition told them things were true long before science agreed is forgetting that people arguing against things that turn out to be true were going on their intuition, too.

  81. rootlesscosmo

    Science told us for quite some time that homosexuality was a disease, but only intuition told us that it’s not.

    Actually, the reverse. “Science” didn’t say any such thing, but intuition told doctors and psychologists that homosexuality was sick and perverse.

    Another way to frame this: scientists–i.e. White Doods With Credentials–told us homosexuality was a disease, there were superior and inferior “races,” and oh so much other wonderful stuff. More recently, after fighting tooth and nail, some not-White, not-Dood people acquired those credentials and said, No, your data and methods are crap, here are our data and methods, and your testable claims (if any) have been tested and found to be false. (They were accepted anyway, because your credentials gave the megatheocorporatocracy a specious appearance of being “nature,” but that’s not how we falsified them.) “Science” doesn’t do much of anything; scientists do science, in historical context, over time.

  82. thewatchfuleye

    rootlesscosmo:

    Yes I think that is a better way of putting it. My point was that at a time that was what the scientists–”white dood with credentials” said. Psychoanalysts having done studies and tests on homosexuals and trying to change them called it a pathology. These tests were often done wrong not following completely scientific methods. Methods that at the time had been created and popularized. Including blind experiments popularized in the 1920′s by a scientist in the psychology field but still not used by the psychoanalysts studying homosexuals in the 50′s. –>http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_mental_health.html. Even researchers studying all of sexuality with a more accepting view of homosexuality (kinsey) weren’t able to keep their empirical studies from strong criticism of methodology and statistics.

    Whether or not intuition formed the idea at first is not relative to my point. My point was that it was science at a time that held those beliefs, and the methods used to bias, skew those results are present today. That intuition and science are intertwined, so saying that anyone can completely trust in all types of scientific results is saying trust in someone’s “proven” intuition–which is infallible and at certain times purposefully falsified (links in my first post). It’s irrational, to me anyway to believe that scientific results, given to most people by the media, having had to compete rigorously for funding, haven’t been exaggerated or worse in many cases, especially studies by people who have shown in the past to have shady practices and who aren’t trustworthy.

  83. thewatchfuleye

    sorry it should be “which is not infallible”

  84. vinoveritas

    Science is our way out of this mess. The continuation of human knowledge is what will pave the way to the end of sex-based oppression. I stand by my original assertion that if some kind of revolution will lead to a return to witchcraft and superstition, then I will not be a part of it. If your version of a feminist revolution denies me my dreams of travel to the stars, or the end of cancer and heart disease and AIDS, then fuck that dream. What we need more of is science. I’ll not return to the hideous superstition that brainwashed me as a child, whether it be cloaked in religion or in some neo-paganism crap.

  85. phio gistic

    I heard on NPR yesterday that the USA is next to last in belief in evolution, just above Turkey.

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