gmonkey42: Spock looking like "WTF?" (douchebaggery)
Today's Dr. Phil show is about "Secret Regrets." One guest was a 21-year-old who had an abortion about a year ago. Her shitty, cheating boyfriend pressured her to abort when she had an unplanned pregnancy and then broke up with her a month later and she regrets having had the abortion.

Dr. Phil said some sensible stuff but he concluded by saying she could deal with her guilt by working for a crisis pregnancy center or otherwise going around telling people that nobody should be allowed to have an abortion because this one person regrets having had one.

But let's consider what the alternative would have been: this immature 20-year-old would have had a baby with her shitty, cheating boyfriend who would have left her anyway. Is that better?? Her whole story just screams to me that it's a very good thing she didn't have a baby. And maybe the fact that she feels like her boyfriend, who treated her like shit all along, made her do something she wasn't comfortable with, maybe that has more to do with her regret than the fact that she had an abortion.
gmonkey42: Spock looking like "WTF?" (douchebaggery)
Someone posted yet another anti-Uhura post on [livejournal.com profile] kirkspock. Then someone else commented that they don't like "Nazi-feminism." I'm done. It's not like there's even good fic on there, 99% of it is crap. I'm still following Secret Vulcan Mating Rituals and Leave No Soul Behind but I'll just have to check them periodically for updates myself.

On a tangent, nobody used the word "uppity" on this post (they did call her "overbearing") but I've seen people unironically use that word to describe Uhura in other K/S anti-Uhura posts. Do they have no idea how fucking offensive that is?
gmonkey42: Spock looking like "WTF?" (douchebaggery)
Why does an otherwise lovely party post have to have this body-hate shit?

Someone posted that she doesn't like how people pick on her for having small breasts. That sucks and she deserves our sympathy. But instead of just being supportive, more than half of the replies said something about how large breasts are bad. FAIL.

Facts:
- I can run and jump just fine, actually. It's called a sports bra.
- I have never had any back problems at all. Many people have back problems, and many people have large breasts; I think people are seeing a correlation that's not actually all that strong.
- Yes, it is hard for me to find clothes that fit my proportions because I'm not typical. Apparently I deserve this?
- Breasts don't have particularly a lot of sweat glands, certainly not compared with the hands, feet, groin and armpits. I don't even know where they got this one. OK, there are some concentrated around the nipples but we all have nipples. I can't help thinking there's some fat hate tangled up in here somewhere.
- I don't like to sleep on my stomach because it means keeping my head turned at a 90% angle so I can, y'know, breathe. I can, however, lie on my stomach without any difficulty, and in fact often do lie on my stomach when I'm doing yoga.

SO QUIT SNEERING ABOUT HOW IT'S GREAT NOT HAVING A BODY LIKE MINE, ASSHOLES.

ETA: Also this type of discrimination against women with large breasts and these accusations that we're inappropriate no matter what we wear are quite typical.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Judge Turpin)
I don't know why I do this to myself: read comments on Pharyngula. PZ Meyers may be feminist-friendly but the comments section is definitely not a safe space. It would be nice if there were more overlap between the "atheist/skeptic" and "not a douchebag" categories.

What brought this on? This post here, about a Christian version of the Mystery Method. The video is pretty funny. The comments section on the Pharyngula post is not so entertaining. The majority of people seems to get it - especially everyone laying the well-deserved smackdown on OMS! - but the ones who don't are making my blood boil.

Two types that are especially sticking in my craw today:long post is long )
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
Here's a very informative blog post about parental notification laws and why they're such an awful idea. I think a lot of reasonable, mostly-pro-choice people would say "well, the parents have a right to know!" This post explains the problems with that.

What really struck me was how parental notification laws make getting an abortion a whole lot harder than getting any other medical procedure for patients under 18. Any time someone under 18 needs medical treatment, someone over 18 has to sign for them but in other cases, there aren't all these strict requirements for IDs and birth certificates and it has to be two parents, even if one has been absent or dead for years. I was against parental notification to begin with, because abortion shouldn't be treated as something special and different from other medical procedures, but I didn't even realize the extent to which they effectively deny access to a lot of people.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Do you think parents have a right to know if their teenager is taking birth control pills?
NO

What are the potential consequences of requiring parental consent?
BAD THINGS

If parents put a teenager in the position of her not being able to talk to them about birth control, something is very wrong. Her right to control her own reproduction outweighs their right to... what? I don't even really know how this has anything to do with the parents' rights. What rights are they supposed to have here? Having ownership over her body, I guess. The underlying idea with parental notification is that girls and women are incapable of having agency; the assumption is if the girl's parents(father) don't have control over her then the evil, money-grubbing abortion doctors will.

At least this isn't something inane about ghosts like the usual Writer's Block questions.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (pcloadletter)
I never watched whole episodes of Attack of The Show but I've seen clips and I saw her on this Daily Show episode. Her delivery just sucks. Her only line that made me laugh was, somewhat ironically, "I don't know what those words mean." Also there have been accusations that her geek persona on G4 was fake; that she doesn't know much about tech and video games and she was just reading the cue cards, whereas the other hosts were actually interested in and knowledgeable about the subject matter. The problem we have with her is not so much that she uses her looks to get her foot in the door. It's that once she's inside, it becomes clear that she didn't have anything else going for her. Stuff like this demonstrates that hotness is not only necessary and sufficient, having other qualities - like humor or talent - is actually a disadvantage.

Something clicked for me today: women who are clever and funny are automatically read as less attractive. See: Tina Fey. I suspect if there had been two finalists for the Daily Show job and the other one was equally attractive but better at doing comedy, they would have preferred Olivia. For example, Erin Gibson, the new Sarah Haskins with her Current TV show Modern Lady, is both very funny and very attractive. Why don't we see more people like her getting wider exposure? And every single joke about Liz Lemon centers around the premise that she's unattractive. Why does that work? Partly because Tina Fey is such a gifted comedic performer that she makes it work. But I suspect it wouldn't work as well with an attractive male actor playing a character that's supposed to be that physically unappealing (unless they do styling to make him look a lot more unappealing than usual, which is also partly how they make it work on 30 Rock).

Read more... )
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
A particularly trenchant and hilarious post by Sady of Tiger Beatdown:

'Hence, the Menaissance: From "Men," meaning dudes, and "aissance," meaning "making asses out of themselves."'

Maybe this explains why I don't particularly care for Mad Men.

Except I actually do like the taste of scotch, if it's nice and smooth. Once again, pop culture determines that I am a man. Crap.
gmonkey42: Spock looking like "WTF?" (douchebaggery)
Yet again, homophobic bullshit directed at Zachary Quinto from his so-called fans on [livejournal.com profile] ontd_startrek

It doesn't help that the majority of commenters there are children. I'm not exaggerating, they're under 18. So a lot of them genuinely don't know any better, and grew up in the age of Will and Grace where it's OK for gay people to exist as long as we're non-threatening and sexless and the butt of jokes.

I responded to some of the comments - a lot of them are defending it on the grounds of "we didn't mean it that way! It's just a joke!" No. This Shakesville post explains why not (well, the post is about sexism but the same argument applies to homophobia):

There's a very common misperception that sexism is subjective—that any given incident identified by one person as sexist could be identified by another as not sexist, and either both of them are right, because the whole thing is just a matter of opinion anyway, or the latter is right, because if it's not equally obvious to everyone, it can't be sexist. It's this conventional wisdom about the subjectivity of sexism that underlies the ubiquitous "I don't see it" rejoinder, particularly recurrent in discussions of expressed sexism against women, on which this post will be focused.

If a LGBT person says something is homophobic and a straight person says "it's just a harmless joke, get over it" who's right? Hint: not the one who belongs to the privileged group that systematically oppresses the other group!
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
This:
http://smadin.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/i-dont-care-if-youre-offended/
is a good post, about why "offensive" isn't the same as "harmful."

Heroes post coming soon!
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
As seen on Pharyngula:
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/12/the_powerlessness_of_pink.php#comments

Toys R Us ad featuring microscopes that come in two versions: "standard" and "girl." The fact that they think the only way girls will want science toys is by making them pink is not the stupid part. The stupid part is that THE PINK ONES ARE LESS POWERFUL. The black microscope goes up to 1200X, the red one 900X and the pink one 600X (the store also has other color options for the less-powerful ones, which is beside the point). I am very glad that when I was a kid, the microscope I had only came in blue, so I didn't get stuck with a shitty pink version that didn't really magnify things. (It came with a bunch of prepared slides and also blank slides so you could make your own, it was so awesome.) AND the black ones look more like the real instruments that grownups use whereas the pink ones are designed to look like toys for little children.

So all the commenters going off about how it's not wrong to like pink are deliberately and willfully missing the point and are assholes.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Judge Turpin)
I briefly put this as an edited-to-add in the first post but people already read and commented there so here's a new post.

PDF of the actual paper! WHAT? They ran an ANOVA on a discrete variable. FAIL. And they reported M-values, not p-values. What the crap is an M-value? At least the variance they found was pretty small, which justifies a small sample size but ANOVA is the wrong analysis to use when there are only seven possible values of the dependent variable! And how big can your variance get when there are only seven possible values?

The second part of the study is better, though it still has the problem of using discrete variables in an analysis that's intended for continuous variables.

Also it sounds like the students who participated in the study were involved with the psychology department somehow; they got course credit for it and psych students would be much more aware of this and more inclined to participate than students in other departments. So basically the conclusions can only be applied to undergrads who at least took a psych class, or possibly are psych majors. This is potentially a huge source of bias.

Anyway, their methods are a little screwey but I don't doubt that women who aren't inclined to be geeky would find geek stuff more off-putting than non-geeky men would, because of the widespread perception (spread by the MSM articles about this paper, for example) that geek stuff is only for boys. It's not just the MSM misinterpreting the paper, though: from the paper's discussion section on the first part of the study:

This study suggests that a student’s choice of classes or a major can be shaped by simply the appearance of classrooms, hallways, and offices—therefore, providing compelling evidence for the power of environments in signaling who belongs.
The authors of the study are claiming that it's the posters etc. themselves that are the problem. No, it's that these objects signal to people that it's more likely to be an anti-woman environment than the neutral one, due to stereotypes about geek culture - I mean, it's not as if a non-geeky workplace never discriminates against women. The underlying problem is the discrimination. It bothers me that this paper is going to be used as evidence that we can just put up some different posters and then when that doesn't result in equal representation, just blame it on our ladybrains or "opting out" or whatever other bullshit they come up with that allows the patriarchy to keep steamrolling along.

I think it's reasonable to expect some people will read the articles about this paper and institute a "no geek stuff" policy in schools and workplaces in an effort to make women feel more comfortable. That would be stupid. The only effects would be:

1. to make men resent women in the workplace more, because it would be seen as special treatment
2. to piss off the geeks
3. to really really piss off the geeks who are also female
4. to totally fail to address any of the real sexism that the geek stuff symbolizes to some women

What would be a much better solution is to educate everyone about how they might discriminate or create a hostile environment without realizing it, for example by commenting on people's appearance, giving a man credit for work a woman did, expecting women to clean up after everyone, and expecting women in technical jobs to take care of secretarial tasks. ALL of this has happened to me in molecular biology jobs in academia and industry. And it was not cool. And forbidding me from putting Star Trek crap on my desk wouldn't have changed any of it.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (snapesmack)
Some asshole psychologist did this study claiming that Environment May Be Why Women Don't Like Computer Science.

I LOVE computer science. I would have majored in it or engineering if it weren't for the rampant sexism and my tendency to fly into an apoplectic rage when I encounter rampant sexism. The reason I didn't go into computer science was because I knew I would face nothing but negative stereotypes about women and outright discrimination and I can't tolerate being in that kind of environment. Women are not "shying away," we're being driven away, not by Star Trek posters, but by people who think women care more about decorations than we do about equal pay and access to good projects and promotions.

This article is a slap in the face to all female geeks. I would love to work in an environment with more geek stuff. I have a Despair, Inc. calendar and a copy of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition on my desk. I contemplated bringing in my 6-foot cardboard Spock but there isn't really a good place to put it and I don't want it to get damaged by people tripping over it.

Also the experimental design seems to have a serious flaw in only using people who aren't into computer science. Why are they trying to draw conclusions about one set of women by examining a separate set of women? These are college students, the individuals in the study have already decided they don't want to be computer scientists. Maybe they're more likely to be negatively influenced by Star Trek posters than their peers who are in computer science? Is that so hard to believe?
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Judge Turpin)


You've probably seen the ad before: it has an animation of a cartoon woman getting thinner. It's an ad for some ripoff diet program.

And I didn't put an arrow pointing to the banner at the top but notice it also uses an image of a woman in a bikini to sell something for the beauty industry.

This calls for a new tag!

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