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Jun 18 2010

At Last! The End of Science Week

Quoth blamer Nails,

“I am sick of science vs intuition and the deep questions that it brings forth.

Alas, deep questions that make people sick are the bread and butter of a patriarchy-blaming blog. I have to admit, though, that this particular science vs intuition flap gave me a brain-wedgie. While I fully expect advanced blamers to join in the Fuck the Establishment Chorus, it sort of blew my lobe to contemplate that so many blamers would take it to the extent that they openly live hunch-based lives.

Ah well, chacun à son goût, as American bloggers who took high school French say.

Meanwhile, it appears that my position on Science needs clarifying, so that people will know whether or not to revile me as a turncoat brown-nosing patriarchy sympathizer. Here goes.

This spinster aunt continues to advocate feminist revolt, which revolt would necessarily include a total annihilation of the dude-based science industrial complex. I postulate that science, when performed outside of a paradigm of dominance and submission, could do nothing but enbiggen human enlightenment.

Once liberated from the obligation of proving the legitimacy of oppression (homosexuality is a disease, lobotomy cures mental illness, males are hardwired to require porn) and of improving methods of enforcing oppression (spyware, offshore drilling, mind-control brain-eating nanobots) science will exist only to advance the cause of human contentment and taco enjoyment.

But I vigorously agree that putting any faith whatsoever in current dude-dominated science cabals is not the path to feminist triumph.

I mean, cheeses, speaking of science justifiying oppression, just today, at Pharyngula, I read about some predatory butcher MD who roams the countryside surgically sculpting toddler clitorises according to their parents’ whim, and then, in the follow-up, he pervs out on’em with vibrators! Holy motherfucking shit! As one commenter remarked,

This went through the fucking peer review process, and in all of that no one who encountered it thought it was wrong. No one who reviewed it, edited it, printed it, or read it for the last three years stopped and thought about the fact that what those “sensitivity studies” [the vibrator sessions] amounted to was sexual assault on elementary school-aged girls year after year after year.

Despite the reasonableness of their response to female genital mutilation, if the gang over at PZ’s may be said to represent a self-selected sample of progressive science-thought, things do not necessarily bode well for the revolution. The other day over there I broached one of my pet subjects, the good old cyborg fetus incubator, and the response was bafflement. “Why would I want to do away with the one thing women are good for?” was more or less the theme. “Reproduction is women’s essence.” It apparently hadn’t occurred to anyone that freedom from the tyranny of reproduction is essential to women’s liberation.

In closing, I reiterate:

Fuck the establishment.

77 comments

  1. Barbara P

    Did you ask yourself how the katydid felt when you picked it up and experimented on it? Not that I actually worry about the katydid (I promise you, I don’t!) But did you consider that it was a kind of objectification to mess with it? Where’s the line for what would be inappropriate objectification (given that the example you cited here is far, far, over that line?)

  2. phio gistic

    I probably would not mind being inspected with a magnifying glass and prodded with a pencil eraser if it was a Spinster Aunt doing the inspecting and prodding in the name of science to determine how the heck I was making that remarkable racket. Tacos afterward would be nice.

  3. Jill

    Did you ask yourself how the katydid felt when you picked it up and experimented on it?

    Whaddya take me for? No katydids were harmed! I put’em in a jar and looked at’em. Then I released’em into the wild. I don’t consider it was objectification since my interest was in promoting cross-species peace love and understanding, rather than prurience.

  4. humanbein

    Science fortifies belief, which is why there is so much bad science – there are so many cock-assed beliefs that they are desperately trying to prove.

    I have no science to back up my Firestone-inspired belief that there would be no patriarchy if both men and women had to make babies. If copulating randomly resulted in one of either sex being knocked up and forced to go through the extremely difficult physical process of making and delivering a baby, the most significant distinction between the sexes would have never existed and we would have no patriarchy, because the idea of father and mother would have just been the idea of parent.

    Just think of it. No breast fetish. Rape would be so self-destructive as to be the domain of only the scientifically deranged, rather than the culturally deranged. Abortion would be a god-given right. When you think of how much it fixes everything, it boggles the mind. Homosexuality would be the only risk-free sex you could have, so it would be universally encouraged.

  5. Barbara P

    Well, there’s also the question of whether the process of inquiry may cause harm not just to the target of inquiry, but to others in the immediate area. In another comment I spoke of poking fire-ant hills. It may be a wonderful way to learn something fascinating, but before you start, it’s only fair to warn the other people at the picnic.

  6. PandanCat

    Science applied in pursuit of the ultimate taco! Who could be against that?

  7. hero

    humanbein! Hey! pre-Firestone by three years, U.K. LeGuin’s “Left Hand of Darkness” (which I am sure many blamers are aware of) is about a society of hermaphrodites; she wrote it not to explore that, although it does so pretty brilliantly for 1966, but as a thought-experiment wherein she asked herself, What would a world be like in which sentient beings made it all the way to technological/scientific possibilities of space travel, without ever having had a war? Warlessness but also technology fascinated her because so much dude-tech comes from dude-war (redundant). Her response to her own postulations of warlessness was genderlessness. So: Gethen, a planet of humans who only become sexed when in estrus, and do not know until estrus whether they will manifest as male or female.

    Plus, it gave her the unexpected delight of using the sentence “The King was pregnant.”

  8. Comrade PhysioProf

    Well, there’s also the question of whether the process of inquiry may cause harm not just to the target of inquiry, but to others in the immediate area.

    This is a very important point. It is the very nature of scientific inquiry that you don’t know what you’re gonna find out until after you’ve found it. And sometimes what you find out sucks total fucking ass, like that you can make thermonuclear bombs big enough to collectively kill every fucking human being on the face of the earth.

  9. Jeff

    I suggest, as nails said before, that we all chill out, engage whatever synthetic or organic relaxation agents you desire, and watch Cosmos.

  10. sargassosea

    Fuck the Establishment!

  11. otoc

    From my very scientuitive observations, science versus intuition in a cage-match-style fight to the death is stupid.

  12. yttik

    There is a debate within science as to whether science is objective or subjective, triggered by questions like, “has feminism changed science?” There is one camp that believes science is not influenced by culture, that it is the pure accumulation of knowledge that continues to build upon itself. Then there is the other camp that believes it is greatly influenced by culture, by the times we live in. I advocate the second version and believe that science is subjective and influenced by culture. I believe Truth does have a subjective bias.

    My point being, people should be patient with each other, because this part of the discussion is already a raging debate within science. So there is one conflict.

    The other conflict is that there has been a great deal of abuse directed towards people by the Institution of Science, so you hear people defending their right to use their brains, their intuition, and being quite wary of Science as an Authority. On the other hand, apparently we also have people harmed by “woo” which is a term used to dismiss any thing outside the realm of mainstream science.

    There is a middle ground on both of these ideas, and lots of shades of gray in between, but we live in the hierarchy that forces us into a framework of dominance and submission, as if there can be only one cut and dry answer. The problem is, when you are dealing with people and perceptions, this model doesn’t work.

    So anyway, I suggest we cut people some slack. It’s incredibly difficult to communicate on the internet with just a couple of paragraphs and we’re also facing the challenge of trying to discuss this outside of the standard framework with claims there can be only one dominant idea. And obviously, growing up under patriarchy has left us all with several scars, making it even more difficult not to personalize the entire discussion.

  13. Kelsey B.

    Thanks to the comments section from the linked article, I now am aware that yes, there are people out there that will defend cosmetic mutilation of a five-year-old’s genitals. Good to know.

  14. niki

    Please someone invent the cyborg fetus right now. It is surely the only way we womenites can become worthwhile beyond our super special and unique power to make more annoying dudes and oppressed women for the planet.

    Before the Nigel lovers attack I’d like to say if you don’t fuck up your kid, the rest of society will. Love, a teacher.

  15. nails

    I agree with Chomsky’s assesment of trying to apply science to things like clitoris sawing or backwards beliefs about society. Science breaks down really simple shit. Really. Human interaction and behavior is way beyond what it can explain right now (possibly ever). People who claim they can are lying, and what people like evolutionary psychologists use for proof just bolsters that point.

    Perhaps I am naive, but I do have faith that crap like that will be weeded out over time, because it has happened in the past and bullshit doesn’t stand up to this variety of scrutiny.

    Kelsey B.- I think that it has something to do with people imagining themselves with atypical genitals and freaking out about not being surgically altered.

    The real problem here is that kids are property instead of human beings with rights. I probably wouldn’t be able to do my unschool w/the step spawn if they weren’t legal property either though. Weighing that against clitoris sawing and those assholes who let their kids die (jehovas witnesses, anti vaccine parents, AIDS deniers, religious nutters who use prayer or homeopathy on cancer, etc), I would sacrifice my unschool to stop that shit any day of the week.

  16. B. Dagger Lee

    At their best, Science practitioners identify patterns; at their worst, they reiterate their own patterns.

    At their best, Intuition users draw from subconscious thinking shaped by years of experience and education in order to make a quick decision; at their worst, they confirm their ignorant biases, and act according to those biases.

    In any case, everything takes a very far back seat to domination and submission enforced by violence and the giant sucking flow upwards of profit into the hands of the few, the corrupt and powerful elite — and who do not, I intuit, frequent blogs like this, much less run them.

    Science versus intuition? Girlfriend, please. Every morning when I cast a jaundiced eye over the newspaper (trope wiped from the proprietor of Savage Death Island), it is clear that science and intuition both are among the dispossessed of this world.

    Now I’m going to swipe a joke and say science versus intuition is akin to two bald men fighting over a comb.

  17. Saphire

    Fuck the Establishment!

    I heard about Dr Poppas. He should be prosecuted with severe criminal charges. If that isn’t sexual assault?! He and the entirety of his bent staff need their genitals mutilated. I’m almost tearful this is allowed to happen in the name of medical science. I want this man DEAD and ROTTING.

    Mind you, at least the story is causing a fuss. The medical establishment has too much power over people, it gets away with what it wants to.

  18. Cthandhs

    Dudes who think pregnancy is God’s unique gift to women are douchenozzles. The Revolution needs Alien style impregnation spiders. When Dudes have chest-burster style babies erupting from their esophogus’, then we can talk about how special it is to be a mother.

  19. Gayle

    after hacking their clitorises, Poppas has the children come in for checkups in which he tests the sensitivity of their genitalia with a vibrator. I will admit, when I heard that at first, I thought it was a reasonable idea — if you’re doing an experiment in which you excise healthy and well-innervated tissue, it’s a good idea to carry out tests afterwards to assess your surgery, and to scientifically measure the extent of the reduction of nerve activity. It’s simple scientific curiosity.

    This is why I have a problem with “scientific curiosity.” What the good Doctor from Cornell was doing would not be any more ethical if a scientist was doing it for other reasons.

  20. Carpenter

    Most of science would be mind-numbingly boring to outsiders and much of it is completely harmless. No-one can really take issue with articles like:
    “All stationary axi-symmetric local solutions of topologically massive gravity ”

    However there are two places where science causes problems for humanity. One is that science is completely amoral. Its application has to be guided by the ethical determinations of society, and as we all know society sucks. This all related to good and evil applications of technology.

    The other problem is that people like to use science for social engineering, there is crap like sociobiology. This is usually where scientists fuck up using science. They either have a bunch of inherent biases they are unaware of which invalidates their scientific results, or they have biases which result in them only asking certain questions and not other which gives an incomplete picture of the universe. This is stuff Gould talked about in “The Mis-measure of Man”

    It is really the cultural bath which determines the uses of technology and the hidden social biases of scientists. These problem existed way before the scientific method was codified so blaming science is really unfair.

    I’m a little surprised about the tyrrany of reproduction statement though. I am all for fetus-machines. I don’t think we should have to grow a fetus inside us if we dont want to, and I certainly don’t think motherhood is our essence, however saying that pregnancy is the source of patriarchy seems to be naturalizing a social phenomenon. It makes the current patriarchy seem like an inevitable given any society with the current state of science.

  21. nails

    Pregnancy wouldn’t be so burdensome in an alternative social structure. If caring for children was a community responsibility, rather than and individual one, and if people did not have to work so much (so that having a life outside of it is impractical) I doubt that fetus machines would be needed at all. I don’t know how many women would turn down the fetus machines though, pregnancy can be dangerous and uncomfortable. It would be good if implemented post revolution.

  22. nails

    Hey Gayle- you skipped the next paragraph:

    “But wait — these kids aren’t part of a science experiment. They’re patients who are being treated. This is not a situation for tinkering and poking and playing strange subjective games with children’s genitalia — it should be entirely about making sure recovery has not taken any unpleasant terms. It’s not as if he can go in and repair the nerves if there is diminished sensitivity, and hey, if there is serious risk of nerve damage in a cosmetic surgery, don’t do it in the first place.”

    This was completely relevant. This is what we in the creationism debunking biz call “quote mining”. It is really dishonest.

  23. yttik

    Oh gawd, I’m laughing here. We just completed cuntinista-gate and science-gate and now Jill brings up “freedom from the tyranny of reproduction is essential to women’s liberation.”

    So, let Firestone-gate commence.

    Alas, I’ll not be banging the drum for cyborg uteruses and fetal machines. Every bit of me has spent a lifetime trying to convince people that women are the most qualified people to do (or not do) these things and should be granted full autonomy over the entire process. The last thing I want to see is women’s reproduction handed over to some Science Authority, especially under the guise of something like “equality.”

    Of course, what I want is pretty much irrelevant. We’re halfway there already. I believe it’s a grave mistake.

  24. slade

    What parents would want their daughters to endure this surgery? I am simply at a loss for words. WTF?

  25. Katy

    While I fully realize this blog is no democracy, I vote for an annual Science Week, which would be just like Shark Week but way, way, cooler. We could even have bus ads.

  26. Mujery Legs

    I heart Science Week. I question the opposition of intuition to science, as intuition is a subjective experience and science is a method. Oppressed individuals with all sorts of subjective experiences can and should coopt the terms and methods of the oppressor in order to fuck the system.

    Also, fuck the system.

  27. Gayle

    Nails,

    The paragraph you quoted doesn’t change his meaning one bit.

    He’s very specifically saying it would “make sense” if it were a scientific experiment, which is where I take issue with him. He then goes on to say it’s a problem BECAUSE it’s not an experiment– the doctor is suppose to be treating patients.

    Your quote mining accusation is baseless.

  28. Carpenter

    -I don’t know how many women would turn down the fetus machines though.

    Agreed completely, like bottles and those motorized baby swings they would sure as hell give everyone a break.

    It feels very unnecessary to frame the science-gate discussion as science vs. intuition. The other great human institution I would say is guilty of propagating base misogyny is Art. No one would frame that discussion as start an Art vs. (cant think of a goo term here) Absolute Iconoclasm(?) Art has done some really shitty thing, from propagating racist ideals about the perfect human form, to the absolutely anti-feminist Great American Novel,to horrible political propaganda. But as in science art reflects back and amplifies what is already in the cultural psyche.

  29. allhellsloose

    Fuck them indeed. I’m with you girl.

  30. Carpenter

    As to clit-guy, Jesus Christ! I can’t decide which thing is more likely to fuck up a woman’s sexual function more, removing part of her clitoris for no good reason or having some fucking creep stimulate her with a vibrator when she is in elementary school. Even if there was some good reason to need to check someone’s genital response (say they had cancer and needed some large part of something removed) who the fuck would do it that way?

  31. Jill

    Yipes, Carpenter, don’t get me started on art.

    Wait! Maybe we should do Art Week next! We can start with Simone de Beauvoir’s remark about art and evil. What was that again?

    But don’t worry, Yttik, I’m not in the mood to booster for the cyborg uterus, today, anyway. As someone pointed out upthread, it’s an idea that could only work post-revolution. If it got tried prior to the dismantlement of patriarchy, there’d be all kinds of horrors. I predict, for instance, a hierarchy of motherhood, with the “natural” self-sacrificing fetus incubating mothers at the top of the pile, and evil selfish bitches who use the baby machine so they can have careers and public lives at the bottom. And with dudes still in charge of everything, I shudder to think what else.

  32. Carpenter

    Yay! I vote for Art Week.

  33. tinfoil hattie

    Alternet also featured a write-up on the butchers who slice up little girls’ clitorises (and then justify it by applying vibrators to their surgically altered tissue to prove the little girls can still feel). Naturally, the first comment out of the gate there was about CIRCUMCISION. I commented snidely that gee, don’t forget about BOYS AND MEN when we are discussing a horror that happens to little girls.

    I must have accidentally checked “e-mail me when people respond to my comment,” because all day long my phone has been beeping at me to let me know that yet another hate-filled dude-screed has been written in reply to my comment.

    I just. fucking. hate. them. HATE.

  34. simone

    Dr. Dix Poppas, who whacks clits down to a “ladylike” size and then checking them for sensitivity? That’s almost as bad as the “Seaman Stains” character from The Magic Roundabout. I had to check it out to see if it was really true. And, holy shit, it really is. Journal of Urology 2007;178(4):1598-1601.

    To be fair, though, the issue of what to do with these supposedly horrifying large, gender-bending and panic-inducing clitorises has been an issue in pediatric urology for some time now. Until relatively recently, they used to simply cut them off. “What good is a clitoris, anyway?”, many of these (usually male) surgeons may have asked, in moments of candor. So the head-sparing surgery has been billed as an “advance.”

    This, despite the nagging questions asked by a small number of activist types wondering just how “nerve-sparing” these surgeries really are.

    Unfortunately, surgeons don’t often seem to consider seriously the notion of keeping their hands and instruments to themselves and leaving the “enlarged” clitoris as it is.

  35. Jill

    “I just. fucking. hate. them. HATE.”

    Don’t hold back, T.F. Hattie, you’re among friends.

  36. Strigophilia

    And thus, my maiden posting here at IBTP. Hiya.

    When I was doing the background research for my current project, I came across a “minor” factoid that nonetheless blew my feministical socks off. When discussing pain management, a large proportion (on opioids anyway, and it’s no stretch to think much of the rest of it) blithely says things like “well, we think there are sex differences in drug efficacy, so for this study we only looked at males.” Haven’t found one yet that says “we only looked at females.” Did find one that said, oh so scientifically, hey assholes, we’re looking at both. So among other things, that’s one thing my project is gonna assess, because you know what? I want to fucking know if my patients are less likely to be treated humanely by the dosing regimen used. So do most veterinarians I know. But somehow it’s never discussed. We acknowledge, and discuss, individual variation in drug efficacy, but I’ve never discussed sex differences, because no one knows it’s important. Fuck me.

    IBTP.

  37. niki

    The idea of children being raised by communities instead of individuals is all well and good for harried mothers, but doesn’t appeal to folks who consciously choose not to have children.

    Unless there are the tequila n tacqueau islands of no-child, separate from the communities of children & their voluntary watchguards. Then I know where I’m researching real estate.

  38. Ashley

    It’s not saying you live a hunch based life to point out that you fundamentally value the original, natural way of the universe. To say that doesn’t negate the fact that you have to use patriarchal processes (science, logic) to deal with the patriarchy every day. As feminists I think we both live on both levels. As far as my comments were concerned, I was just asserting the primacy of female intuition over this dude-based bullshit. However, everyone has to acknowledge that science and dude based shit is necessary to navigate a dude created world.

  39. hero

    Art Week! Art Week! Art Week!!

    Art is my LIFE (as it is Jill’s, I know.)

  40. Gertrude Strine

    de Beauvoir?
    l’art est une tentative d’intégrer le mal
    Written in the book where de Beauvoir also writes about what she did with Nelson Algren.
    Is Les Mandarins art?
    Is it a cyst growing around the foreign body of The Patriarchy’s manifestations?

    If anybody wants a current flavour of what the sisterhood does when members mix and match their mothering methods with help from both others and technology – have a look at what les dames are roiling over because a mate of de Beauvoir’s just published a caution about prescriptions such as lactating for your own parasite and having the bebe always on your hip.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/feb/12/france-feminism-elisabeth-badinter

  41. Earnest O'Nest

    I’d venture to go further than that: “Mutilate the fucking establishment. Mutilate them into believing competition is not the best thing that befalls us on earth.”

    Or in other words: “Love! Peace!”

  42. tinfoil hattie

    The idiot commenters at Pharyngula aren’t much better. Calling the clitoris “the man in the boat.” High-fiving one another because hell, just move past a big ol’ clit on down to the good stuff! A big ol’ clit never stopped ME from gettin’ my fuckin’! Spending the last 40 comments arguing back and forth with some dude from India about his medical credentials.

    And of course, the usual “BUT MALE CIRCUMCISION IS AWFUL! HOW CAN YOU NOT TALK ABOUT THAT!”

    Still hating.

  43. Gayle

    tinfoil hattie,

    I’m fairly convinced men bring up circumcision in FGM threads simply to get us to STFU.

    If men really wanted to stop circumcision in the US, they could and fairly quickly. Yet there’s precious little actual activism going on.

    The only time I even notice men discussing it is when they jump onto feminist threads to troll.

  44. SKM

    The idiot commenters at Pharyngula aren’t much better.

    tinfoil hattie, the commenters at Pharyngula are by and large unbearable. I stopped reading back at the “crucified Rachel Welch is hawt, dur hur hur” post and thread.

    Also, I concur with gayle about the male circumcision interjections being mostly just a silencing tactic. The circumcision rate for boy babies has fallen a lot, but it’s not because of men’s activism.

  45. Shabnam

    Really Ashley, logic is a ‘patriarchal process’ and intuition is not just intuition, but ‘female intuition’?! You uphold such beliefs and still purport to be a feminist?

    Logic is simply logic, what is patriarchal is when you say that only men are capable of it and are inherently much better at it, and women are emotional creatures who are more suited to intuit. What is patriarchal is when boys are encouraged from childhood to develop their skills at logic through play (being bought stimulating toys, such as chemistry sets, mechanical toys) and formal training (teach your son but not your daughter to play chess, mend cars). Eventually, due to their upbringing more boys than girls will opt for careers in the sciences and engineering and thus perpetuate myth that women are simply not up to it. In the past women were simply forbidden from entering these professions, now they are being kept out through cultural means – the ‘pinkification’ of girls has increased during my lifetime (I was born in 1979, during/just after Second Wave feminism). As a female mathematician, when teaching service courses to engineers it is horrifying depressing to see classes of over 50 budding engineering students 10 years younger than you being all male.

    Science is another treasure to which women are being systematically excluded. By declaring logic ‘patriarchal’ you are colluding with the patriarchal system in the most fundamental way possible – you are stating that any alternative to patriarchy cannot even be argued for! And that, Ashley, I find truly abhorrent.

  46. Helen Huntingdon

    *facepalm* There’s *still* unicorn-spit commenters going at it? Science and logic are the antidote and the opposite to dudely bullshit. (Ever check out the motto of the Royal Society? It translates as “By the word of no man.” Ok, so the members have a history of not following that very well.) Claims of knowing how the universe really works by some sort of special perception is the opposite of science and pretty much the defining characteristic of dudely bullshit, even if you slap the label “feminine” on it.

  47. yttik

    When people say logic is a patriarchal process it’s a reflection of what they see under patriarchy. When men “think” it’s called logic and reasoning. When women do the exact same thing, it’s called being emotional, intuitive, non-objective. Men are viewed in our culture as being rational no matter how bizarre they act, women are viewed as being on the verge of hysteria.

    Rather than accepting this false premise and promoting the concept of male defined “logic” as being superior and therefore something we must all strive for, some of us would like to embrace the alleged “inferior” feminine way of doing things. Women develop skills as side effects of the culture we are trapped in and they are important and valuable skills that could greatly improve science if they were embraced. They allow people to think outside the box and see things that others may not have been looking for. Jane Goodall is an example.

    I don’t think anybody is advocating dumping logic. We’re trying to say, stop attacking and dismissing things simply because they’ve been labeled female. Female does not mean irrational and illogical, that’s a false premise. Look at the color pink, they’ve stolen a whole color right out of the spectrum! It’s not a bad color, it’s just a color. The fact that they’ve pinkified it and given it negative(female)connotations, doesn’t make it innately evil. When men start liking pink it will again become the most supreme, wonderful color in the whole universe. We used to dress our boys in pink because it was viewed as being a “bold and fierce color.” Now that it’s viewed as a girly color, everybody wants to reject it, including girls.

    The way out of this trap is to start valuing things that they attempt to dismiss as “female.”

  48. Alexa

    No, Helen, there’s not. Ashley pretty much said people are entitled to their own beliefs. Deal with that because atm you sound like a kid being potty trained. ‘Waa science is du world’. The mature here have had this discussion. Wonder if you call the famous male philosophers who are anti- science unicorn lovers? Thought not. A little part of you is insulting us cos we’re women. God bless you for working alongside dudes doing science – but it is a privilege and there’s no mistake your tone has been dismissive. No one mentioned unicorns. The Science Supreme crowd is coming across as an authority. So fuck the establishment and fuck…

  49. lawbitch

    BDL, I’ve missed your wisdom and wit. Thanks for the laugh.

    When you get to art, please consider the severed penis art hanging in the Boulder library. Some dude stole them. Good times.

    http://media.www.spectatornews.com/media/storage/paper218/news/2002/02/14/Editorialopinion/PenisArt.Stealing.patriot.Has.It.All.Wrong-183398.shtml

  50. Alexa

    Just about the ‘men have clits that get cut up too/ get circumsiced’ from hanging chads. A definite silencing tactic and so aggravating you wana punch them through the screen. Chads are dumb, lame and vile pedophiles and rapists.

  51. Dr. Sarah Tonin

    The science v. intuition argument, for dudes: http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=231

  52. kate

    have i told everybody here lately how much i ADORE y’all!!!!! (Jill – especially YOU!)
    just saying’ – keeps me sane.

  53. humanbein

    In my life I have seen men use what they call logic as a weapon against women. The fact is that men who do so often use flawed reasoning as they profess that they are being logical. This can traumatize women who believed suchlike dudes when they told them that they weren’t being logical in arguments against them, and I can easily see how you can take this bullshit label that you come to think of as “logic” and reject it, without ever stopping to consider that if you knew more about logic, you could just as easily out think any man who ever lived using his own favorite tool.

    The sense that you are right when men claim to be using logic against you but are actually using crappy logical-sounding bullshit is correct, and could be called intuition. What is far better than defending intuition is learning the elegant principles of logic, especially the highly-illuminating common logical flaws. It is incredibly difficult, but extremely satisfying to refute an idiot claiming to be logical because he is using any one of the major logical fallacies.

    The intensity of hatred for reasoning, science and logic on the part of some blamers is something I can safely blame on the traumatic exposure to smug motherfuckers all over the world sitting on their privileged thrones and telling us what to think, just like the beauty mandate, or any other symptom of oppression you can name. The solution to this hatred is the same: stop using the ideas that you have taken from the oppressor about what these abstract tools for thinking are and start using the tools to enlighten yourself instead.

  54. nails

    Pharyngula is not unbearable. PZ called out dudes on this shit the last time he posted about FGM, and the vast majority of the people commenting agreed.

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/05/for_the_boys_with_boo-boos.php

    Also, I got a real kick out of being called a communist because of my views on child care. Thanks for the laughs.

  55. Jonathan

    Cyborg wombs aren’t the way to go. About a decade ago, I remember a report about a Japanese group that managed to keep a 2/3 gestated lamb fetus alive in an artificial womb for 14 days and that was considered a stunning success.

    A much better option are chimera. During development, there is a period where your immune system learns to recognize your own cells. If you insert foreign cells during this period, your immune system won’t recognize them as foreign. If the inserted cells are from a species that is a relatively relative, the inserted cells can function in organs. This technology has been used to create sheep with lungs and livers that are 98% human. If you were to grow human wombs in a sheep, cow, or pig they could function as surrogate wombs. As a benefit, since sheep and cows have larger hips, they could fit the large human head through easily.

  56. Jeff

    Yeah, that’s just what we need in the world, another industry based on mass exploitation of animals.

  57. Rugosa

    B. Dagger says “Intuition users draw from subconscious thinking shaped by years of experience and education . . . ” How is this any different from “science practioners identify[ing] patterns”? That is how our ape-brains work – we identify patterns and try to make accurate judgements about our world with them.

    Scientists do indeed use intuition when forming hypotheses, drawing on experience and a very specialized education. The difference is that they make use of the collective experience and education of science that is published in Journals, talked about in seminars, and explained to them by their mentors, as well their own. Where they depart from intuitivity is in performing experiments to find out if their hunches are true.

    Disclaimer: this is an oversimplified, and hence idealized, description of the scientific method.

  58. yttik

    Humanbein makes a good comment. The only problem is this, “if you knew more about logic, you could just as easily out think any man who ever lived using his own favorite tool.”

    Many women already know more about logic and are quite capable of out thinking men, but see, that’s the problem with patriarchy. You can’t reason with it and win. Oppressors aren’t real good at having sudden epiphanies and declaring, “by golly, you have presented your case in a logical way, so I can no longer rationally act like a jackass.”

  59. shopstewardess

    For those who can get BBC radio programmes on the iplayer, there is a programme about reconciling the mythos (story-telling) and logos (knowledge) ways of seeing the world at this link -

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00sqkfk/Something_Understood_Mythos_and_Logos/

    It’s part of a “spiritual” strand of programming, but not specifically religious.

  60. Comrade PhysioProf

    Disclaimer: this is an oversimplified, and hence idealized, description of the scientific method.

    Nevertheless, it’s pretty accurate.

  61. tinfoil hattie

    I found pharyngula’s commenters unbearable. Too dudely by far. I don’t care if papa PZ jumped in and spanked the commentariat before. The commenters are still largely assholes.

  62. Shabnam

    Quoting yttik:
    “Many women already know more about logic and are quite capable of out thinking men, but see, that’s the problem with patriarchy. You can’t reason with it and win. Oppressors aren’t real good at having sudden epiphanies and declaring, “by golly, you have presented your case in a logical way, so I can no longer rationally act like a jackass.””

    I completely agree. The oppressors are the ones who are being illogical. Logic itself, however, is not a ‘patriarchal process’. The problem is that society perceives, using intuition that was shaped by years of patriarchal brainwashing, men to be more logical than women, even when they are spouting nonsense. It is simply a manifestation of the way women’s voices, thoughts, ideas are routinely dismissed, regardless of whether they logical arguments or interesting ideas/speculation.

    Intuition is simply just another thought process – indeed, as Rugosa mentions above, it is the way people come up with new ideas in science (or indeed in any discipline). However, hunches have to be backed up and argued for in the sciences.

  63. Comrade Svilova

    You can’t reason with it [the P] and win. Oppressors aren’t real good at having sudden epiphanies and declaring, “by golly, you have presented your case in a logical way, so I can no longer rationally act like a jackass.”

    So, so, SO very true.

  64. Sally Sputnik

    H.bein: “if you knew more about logic, you could just as easily out think any man who ever lived using his own favorite tool.

    What! You can’t be suggesting that women aren’t logical (in the modern Spockian sense of “logic,” i.e. the art of reasoning; like all humans who aren’t stupid, women are adept at this), so I can only assume that when you say “logic” you mean formal logic, as in academic logic, with the premises and proofs and math and symbols and shit. But you can’t be suggesting that, either, because most dudes don’t know jack about formal logic, as is evidenced by the proliferation among douchebags of the phrase “begs the question” when what they mean is “raise the question.” So what are you suggesting?

  65. nails

    George Orwell wrote essays about the political power of perverting the language, and it was a strong theme in Animal Farm and 1984. The end of 1984 is so mind blowing because of the “logic” of the party, of “doublethink”. There were all these ideological systems and phrases and institutions in place to explain this stuff, but it doesn’t make sense when said plainly. Dudes saying they are imploring logic does not mean that they are, and there are a lot of long winded dishonest ways to try and justify atrocity. Women are just as logical as men, and logic is a good thing.

  66. nails

    Maybe I have posted enough at Pharyngula to recognize that the regulars are cool (and it seems to me like most posters are regulars), and that the jerks are an ever changing series of trolls. PZ bans people who become tedious or annoying after they have their run. The arguments are very much for the lurkers who may or may not be jerks in the same way the trolls are.

  67. Shelby

    “Alas, I’ll not be banging the drum for cyborg uteruses and fetal machines.”

    Word. Why reinvent the wheel? It works. It’s efficient. Not only that, but it can be a wonderful, pleasurable life experience surpassing even a long weekend of tacos and tequila. It might not be everybody’s desire, but it also doesn’t preclude a life in pursuit of other interests. The only fucking thing wrong with it at the moment is that it carries absolutely no value under P.

  68. Jill

    a wonderful, pleasurable life experience surpassing even a long weekend of tacos and tequila

    Incubate away, Shelby old pal. Incubate away. But when feminist revolt fails to bring about the permanent dissolution of patriarchy on accounta women have not liberated themselves from the tyranny of wonderful, pleasurable biology, don’t come cryin’ to me!

  69. yttik

    Ha! I am cryin’ to just about anybody who will listen because I figure I’m owed about 250 grand, 4 times over, plus interest.

  70. mearl

    Does anyone else hear Dworkin and MacKinnon echoing in their head while reading about a doctor who mutilates the clitorises of female children for money and whose “follow-up” includes using vibrators on same? Is it really all that off the mark to think the guy is more than likely a sick sadistic fuck who likes diddling children and has found a way to legitimise and get away with both hobbies with his status and credentials? I can’t tell you how physically ill the thought of what those girls were (and forever will be) forced to go through made me.

    I know it’s been said about a hundred times already, but intuition is pretty much the brain’s ability to take information the conscious mind is not registering or is rejecting, and process it at lightning speed. As for scientific method: Rugosa bangs it on the head. The scientific method and the process of logic both came out of the self-same human brains that employ intuition all day every day. It’s just a formalised, externalised way of trying to prove your hunches.

    Any dude who tries to pull the “You’re illogical, men are more rational, your lady-brain isn’t wired for logic” shite on me has always had the privilege of experiencing the joy of losing several theoretical arguments to my silly lady-brain before he runs away in shame. Problem is, the next move (as is expected) is that the dude gets mad at being emasculated and refuses to admit that women can do logic better than he can. Hurt pride = heel-digging. I become the scary bitch, am summarily dismissed, and off goes the dude to get his ego shored up by someone who doesn’t have the chops to win his little power-game plays. That is, of course, until the next female someone gets less naive. Amazing how so many irrational women without formal education and dudely training can still argue perfectly logical points to a blithering, red-faced “logical” dude.

    I’d say that one of the major reasons men seem to think women aren’t capable of rational thinking is that they tend to avoid women who are good at it. Or they bark over top of the women they’re arguing with as if they’re on “Politically Incorrect.” Because they hate losing arguments. Sort of like how men claim that females “naturally” look a certain way and that’s why they find heteronormative/femininity-adherent/under-25 females so attractive. All the while it’s basically just that men don’t pay attention to the millions of women who don’t conform to their socialised and acculturated standard of what “female” looks like.

    Almost every day I read or hear something that makes me just want to give up doing anything else and walk around saying, “Duuuuhhhhhhhh.” So I come to read this blog and the comments of the Blametariet. This blog always stops me from reaching for my housecoat and my gun.

  71. Jezebella

    Indeed, Jeff, using animals to incubate human fetii would be a deplorable development.

    And Niki, amen! As a person who has chosen not to make another human being inside my own personal uterus, I don’t particularly want to given child-care duties on account of someone *else* has decided to make one, or ten, or nineteen.

  72. veganrampage

    Fuck the establishment!

    Speaking of Erik Blair, there are a group of sickfucks who give out a prize each year to “honor him.”

    It is called The Orwell Prize.

    How did these savage fucks manage to set up the funds for this prize? Part of the money was supplied by ripping off his long suffering widow, who starved to death with good ole George for most of his life, and they dare to brag about it on their site, under “History of the Orwell Prize.”

    From the Orwell Prize web site:

    “When George Orwell began, only in the very last years of his life, to make money for the first time, he was generous to hard-up friends, to needy writers, poor poets and to small good causes of the old Left – a habit that his second wife and widow, the late Sonia Orwell, did not continue in quite the same way. Nonetheless, after his death, she said that she tore up between three and five thousand pounds’ worth of IOUs.

    So when Bernard Crick entered into a contract with her and Secker & Warburg in 1974 to write a life of Orwell, he thought it only right and proper to make an irrevocable grant that year (unknown to her) in trust, via Birkbeck College, of the English hardback volume rights.”

    “Right and proper” to set up an irrevocable trust without the knowledge and/or consent of the principal heir? Fuck off and die Bernard Crick, fuck you and everybody that looks like you. I have a few different names for it; theft, fraud, grand larceny. You blamers can fill in the blanks where I was amiss.

    Great way to honor Orwell, right? Perfecto, becasue Orwell loved “The Man.”

    Fuck them all, every sickfuck one of them, including the FGM “doctor”, but dead and rotting in the grave is O, too good a fate by a factor of infinity.

    I suggest repeated near death stranglings, a popular torture method used by serial killers whose hobby is to impose maximum pain on women, before the requisite rape/kill/rape ending.

  73. Hedgepig

    veganrampage, I love it when you let rip.

    And isn’t it great Science Week is finally over. It felt like about a month.

  74. agasaya

    Jill,

    Isn’t the purpose of revolution to offer biological freedom to women? Apart from the fact that women choosing to raise kids get to educate them in gender equality issues (kids ‘produced’ or adopted by heterosexual women or lesbian/trans gender couples) . That’s revolutionary too.

    Choosing to have kids is choosing to have significant restrictions upon your lifestyle, not about sacrificing your life. Childless women are forced to sacrifice their lives to the P every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

    Of course, this lousy environment so profitable to the P produces millions of learning impaired kids (one in six) and kids with chronic health problems (one in four).

    The cure for lack of medical care (defective as it may be)? One group, IBIS, says we should make birth control pills non-prescription, OTC drugs. Why not mandate free reproductive health visits instead, just as kids can have free immunizations at local health departments around the country?

    Men can buy OTC hormone pills for girls and unwilling adult partners without unwanted pregnancies bringing those abused females to the attention of health care providers. But OTC pills mean big profits for the drug companies with women buying their products regardless of medical contraindications. And who’ll look for STDs which are a huge threat to health?

    Condoms are also OTC – now as a matter of fact.

    See this: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/22/opinion/22blanchard.html?th&emc=th

  75. SethraK

    Twisty, would you mind a link to the thread where you bring up cyborg incubators. It’s a topic I’m very interested in, although agree with above blamers who feel that in a pre-feminist revolution wqorld, it’s rife with problems.

    Thank you.

  76. Ma'Whis'Ki

    Only in the patriarchy is the size of a clitoris an issue, as in ‘only men may have genital protrusions’. This is part of the agenda that fuels the predations of (name the demon accurately) Sado-sexual Butcher Poppas, who is no healer, and who should have his license to practice ‘medicine’ revoked, tied to a railroad spike and rammed forcibly through his left temple. Once his ‘big head’ has been taken care of, his ‘little head’ (and his aptly-named ‘nuts’) should be removed with a labrys, nail-gunned to a piece of drywall and prominently displayed in honor of Art Week. People viewing the meat-collage would, of course, be invited to stimulate the remains with tazers to see if Butcher-Boy could feel anything.

    What I am doing here is a Spinster-Reversal: the little girls he mutilates and then molests are ‘nothing but meat’ to patriarchal necrophiliacs, and to answer a question posed in the Art Week thread, all the passive, naked femaleness so beloved of patriarchal art is on the order of pictures of steaks displayed in a restaurant menu. Patriarchy erases women by cutting them up into bits (Jack the Ripper and Butcher Poppas have loads in common) and eating them… This is my body, this is my blood.

    While life may occasionally give us lemons (which make tasty Lemon-Cake-Top Pudding, among other good things), all the patriarchy can give anyone is cannibalistic religious practices that always end in torture and death. The demons of patriarchy have no life-force of their own, which is why they want ours, and their sexual pleasures are poor and fleeting, which is why they begrudge us ours. The girls ‘doctored’ by Butcher Poppas are hated and tortured even as they are greedily castrated and consumed, but of course the dutifully zombified dead and properly patriarchal parents of the girls think that the issue *is* actually the size of a five-year-old girl’s clitoris…

    I recommend everyone re-read Gyn/Ecology by Mary Daly!!!

  77. liberality

    all the patriarchy can give anyone is cannibalistic religious practices that always end in torture and death

    Exactly!

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