No, it’s not my job to teach you

“It’s your job to teach me about feminism. Now do it.” is a square on the sexist-bingo card, and it’s a trope that pops up in just about any other subject of the culture wars, be it racism or evolution (think of all the e-mails PZ and other famous atheists get that basically demand that the whole universe be explained to the writers of the emails, personally)or any number of other topics. When being a n00b, the attitude of feminists/atheists/etc of linking to previous discussions, suggesting reading material, or just flat-out refusing to get into the discussion can be frustrating*, and look very arrogant, cowardly, and generally off-putting. But it is a necessary tactic, since one’s free time is a limited resource, and having the same conversations over and over, for the benefit of just one individual, is neither an enjoyable nor an efficient use of one’s time.

For that reason alone, places like Pharyngula are so very precious and important. It might be the culture of valuing evidence-based discussion, or the knowledge that the discussion there is read by many people (so that any argument can inform more than just that one individual being adressed), or something else entirely, but a place where many knowledgeable people are willing to share their knowledge in personal discussion, and where these discussions are archived for posterity, is a very valuable resource. Similarly, places like the feminism101 blog, or the TalkOrigins Archive make it possible to shortcut many conversations by simply referring the person to already existing, laboriously collected, answers to their n00b questions.

What I really wish we had were similar repositories for links to, and summaries of, various scientific papers that support many of the feminist points (the name-on-resume study, various scholastic achievement studies, etc.). I used to have a vast collection of links to such studies, but I misplaced a lot of them, and sometimes finding them again is impossible, or at least very time-consuming. A nicely alphabetically sorted archive of feminist causes and the science to explain/support them would be epically useful, and linking to the whole archive would be a nice little “I’ve got science, what have YOU got” Fuck You to those who insist that feminists argue from emotion alone.

- – - – - – - – - -
*I admit freely to feeling that frustration as well. For example, I would not be opposed at all if SC just stopped doing anything else and taught me everything she knows. But unfortunately, I’ll have to do it myself, and just be grateful for the book suggestions :-)

71 comments on “No, it’s not my job to teach you

  1. Kausik Datta says:

    And what prompted this particular train of thought, if I may be so bold as to ask?

  2. Mattir says:

    It’s not so much the request for education that bugs me, it’s the whiny entitled and the refusal to do any actual work by either googling or reading things recommended. Request for education is best accompanied by humility and gratitude, especially when there’s no prior relationship between learner and teacher.

    I’ve requested a lot of education over the years, but I do endeavor not to be a jerk about it.

  3. Jadehawk says:

    And what prompted this particular train of thought, if I may be so bold as to ask?

    well, it’s kind of been building up. Up until recently, I really enjoyed such debates because it forced me to critically evaluate my point, but recently it’s started to get too repetitive. Having to constantly encounter people in conversation who have no clue about the most basic things just gets boring. Add to this that in the past David M. would comment that the science on some point existed, and that I had the links (when I no longer did), and top it off with Walton’s conservative-ish facebook friends (two of whom I had the “pleasure” of talking to in the last couple days), and this post happens. :-p

  4. Jadehawk says:

    I should add that SIWOTI Syndrome still propels me to argue things said in public, because others might be reading it and I wouldn’t want to leave misinformation just standing there without a response. but requests for moving the conversation to a private medium just elicit a “you’re not that special” reaction from me now :-p

  5. jemand says:

    awwww… I starred this in my google reader without coming and reading the comments thoroughly! I was hoping for some more links already here, like that resume-name study, or the study about how girl’s math scores go up in concert with higher values of women’s equality in a society (at the same time, total children’s scores go up– girls score equally with boys in the societies where women are more free… at the same time BOYS in those societies score significantly HIGHER than boys in societies where women’s freedoms are constrained. But look at me, still just summarizing a study I no longer have access too.)

    But I’ll link to this: http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/

    Good summary and links to a number of studies of the behavior or rapists, their methods of attack, and how they go unnoticed in their social networks.

    I’ll try to link some more good ones when I find them (again…)

  6. Jadehawk says:

    over the weekend, i’ll track down as many of them as i can and dump them in here. the same reason i’m losing patience with n00bs also keeps me from being able and willing to chase down all these links right now, hence the wish for an archive, so that i’d only need to find them once, and then they’d be permanently catalogued and instantly recoverable

  7. Leigh Williams says:

    Another one we need . . . the symphony orchestra study that found women musicians were selected as often as men, but only when the musician was hidden from the jury. I’ll look for that one.

  8. Paul says:

    Is this something that could have a section on rationalwiki or a similar website? I was going to offer to buy a suitable domain name and host something on my dreamhost account (probably something with a wiki format so that people could add analysis or simple explanations/summaries while referencing the relevant scientific articles) as I think it would be able to deal with the traffic expected, but then figured something already existing and familiar to people might be more useful.

  9. Feynmaniac says:

    I have trouble accepting that some of Walton’s friends are actually attending Oxford.

  10. Walton says:

    I have trouble accepting that some of Walton’s friends are actually attending Oxford.

    Not all of them are. (Though obviously I’m not going to give details about specific people on here.)

  11. Paul says:

    I have trouble accepting that some of Walton’s friends are actually attending Oxford.

    I don’t see why you’d assume they are. He’s mentioned before that he’s been active supporting Conservative politicians, so some could simply be England’s version of dittoheads — not to mention that some could simply be family friends.

  12. Jadehawk says:

    Paul, I’m not too familiar with how rationalwiki works, but you’re right that that would probably be the best location for such a collection. I shall have to ponder that suggestion :-)

  13. Paul says:

    I’m more than willing to host something if for some reason it doesn’t look like rationalwiki or another location will suit your needs. It definitely sounds like something that should be out there. You should have my email, you can contact me there.

  14. maureen brian says:

    Just passing this on to add to the pile and in case you miss it.

    http://www.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/news/display/?id=5180

    (Brownian, comment 11, belgian archbishop thread, pharyngula)

  15. Feynmaniac says:

    I know not all of Walton’s FB friends are going to Oxford. However, many indicate that they are on their FB page. Those were the ones I was talking about.

  16. Leigh Williams says:

    Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of “Blind” Auditions on Female Musicians
    http://www.faculty.diversity.ucla.edu/search/searchtoolkit/docs/articles/Orchestrating_Impartiality.pdf

    Blind orchestra auditions better for women, study finds
    http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/A94/90/73G00/index.xml

  17. David Marjanović says:

    I admit freely to feeling that frustration as well. For example, I would not be opposed at all if SC just stopped doing anything else and taught me everything she knows.

    Reminds me of how yesterday evening I gave the Mattir family most of the talk about my thesis topic that I had just given at the conference (plus extra explanations of course). :-) It was late enough at night that we had to stop because everyone zoned out. :-)

    Awesome people, BTW.* Confusingly, they seem to think the same of me. :-]

    * You would not… well, you people here would believe what books DaughterSpawn has on her large bookshelf. It’s impressive. And yes, she gives every indication of having actually read them all with pleasure!

    It’s not so much the request for education that bugs me, it’s the whiny entitled and the refusal to do any actual work by either googling or reading things recommended.

    Corollary to the Dunning-Kruger effect: some people apparently just don’t get it that when they don’t understand anything about a topic they just can’t talk about it in an even slightly constructive way. When that is pointed out to them, they assume the knowledge they lack can be expressed in a sentence or two and tell us to spew it forth already.

    in the past David M. would comment that the science on some point existed, and that I had the links (when I no longer did)

    Please accept my profuse apologies! I’ll try to google for them myself next time. — In fact, I think I have 2 or 3 in my bookmarks now, but I don’t have time to look for them tonight. (I have way too many bookmarks.)

    I should add that SIWOTI Syndrome still propels me to argue things said in public, because others might be reading it and I wouldn’t want to leave misinformation just standing there without a response. but requests for moving the conversation to a private medium just elicit a “you’re not that special” reaction from me now :-p

    :-)

    Is this something that could have a section on rationalwiki

    Sounds good to me.

    ======================

    Walton, you shouldn’t be here. You should be at the doctor. Seriously, DaughterSpawn showed me your Facebook photo, and it looks scary. I am not exaggerating.

  18. David Marjanović says:

    Sometimes I hate having the last word. Did I kill this thread?

  19. Jadehawk says:

    No David, you didn’t kill the thread, I just don’t have quite as large a readership as you imagine (especially after the extended hiatus).

    Plus, the intermittently shitty internet access prevents me from doing the search for the studies I wanted to add here.

    But I will, maybe a bit today and maybe a bit more early next week. Plus, eventually what I’ll do is I’ll create a post specifically with these links that will be updated whenever I stumble upon another good study and that will be linked permanently in the sidebar for easy access. And once it grows to a sizable library, I’ll look for a more popular host for the collection :-)

  20. Jadehawk says:

    ok, here’s what I’ve been able to find today

    study on make-up and attractiveness: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_6894/is_1_10/ai_n28518814/

    also, this might be interesting, but I don’t have access to the full articles:
    http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a758775524
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/sce.3730760204/abstract
    http://das.sagepub.com/content/14/2/191.short

    also, if someone has Cerberus’ e-mail, maybe she could contribute some stuff, as well.

  21. Mattir says:

    Jadehawk – I will spend some time in the next week doing some psychology literature searches for your archive – let me know if you have a particular topic you want studies on, but otherwise I’ll just fool around with my weird curiosity…

    David – yes, we did think you were great. And we (or at least DaughterSpawn and I) enjoyed your presentation a lot, and by the second time, actually understood most of it. And yes, she’s actually read most of the weird books in her room. I’m very very fortunate to have her as a kid, and she’s expressed her glee at having a Pharynguncle™.

  22. David Marjanović says:

    Your readership is actually larger than I thought. 13 comments (not counting your own) within 2 days after publication of a new post, and that not long after a very extended hiatus, is rather impressive. :-)

    I’ll download stuff next time I’ll be in the university, though that probably isn’t going to be soon.

  23. Sven DiMilo says:

    “I’ve got science, what have YOU got” Fuck You to those who insist that feminists argue from emotion alone.

    Another straw-chauvinist-pig slain.
    Just a thought:
    In my experience, many of the people who argue feminist points of view on the Internet cannot themselves tell the difference between science and rhetoric*. And in an important way, you’ve already given away the store by intending to archive only studies that support your already entrenched ideological viewpoint. (This isn’t explicit, but your expressed intention is to be able to point to the depository as an argument.)

    *e.g., a trade book by Cordelia Fine? The latter.

  24. Jadehawk says:

    Sven you moron, this is for internet arguments of COURSE it’s rhetoric. Do you fucking thing talkorigins is anything other than rhetoric?

    Go read the goddamned frat thread to see what the archive is supposed to be for. I want this archive as a timesaving device, and to show clueless morons that there’s much they don’t know and need to know before they can have an informed discussion.

    Seriously, don’t comment on non-biology threads. ever. it just makes you look like a clueless arrogant douche.

  25. Leigh Williams says:

    Beat me to it, J-H! I was mid-comment myself. But here it is anyway:

    No, Sven. Jadehawk says that *Pharyngula* is valuable for archiving the arguments. What she wants, as she explicitly states, are “similar repositories for links to, and summaries of, various scientific papers that support many of the feminist points (the name-on-resume study, various scholastic achievement studies, etc.)”.

    So, not giving away the store. Rather, stocking up the armory. The evidence is the ammunition we need to make the argument.

    We don’t need to arm the other side. Let them find their own damn studies and make their own damn argument supported by evidence . . . if they can.

  26. David Marjanović says:

    Sven, you’re right in a highly abstract way.

    Which is to say…

    If you have links to studies that find evidence against feminist talking points, and that haven’t been debunked so far, please do bring them on. Assuming there are any.

    The Index to Creationist Claims is rhetoric. Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

  27. Jadehawk says:

    stuff I got from Cerberus:

    http://www.aauw.org/learn/research/upload/whysofew.pdf (haven’t finished reading it yet, it’s 134 pages long :-p )

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/f24057vm20023n56/

    and something non-sciency, but a good essay (I’ll have to remember to maybe make a separate section for the actual science articles, and another separate sections for good essays and books on feminism):

    http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html

  28. David Marjanović says:

    phantom penises in transsexuals

    “Remarkably, over 60% of female-to-male transsexuals also reported phantom penises.”

    :-o

  29. veovis says:

    Here is a FAQ, written in the form of an essay from the AACU about the very topic of scientific studies as applied to feminism. [ http://www.aacu.org/publications/pdfs/faq1.pdf ] It mentions a few studies specifically, but only by title and author – no urls are provided. It might serve as a another resource to mine in the search for the studies themselves, if nothing more. I’m still reading through it atm, but here is an excerpt from near the top:

    “Until the 1990s, very few women’s studies programs included science in their curriculum. This has begun to change. Because there are now more women in science, more women teaching science, more feminist scholarship about science, and more and more of it produced by scientists, feminism and the sciences have recently embarked on an exciting period of cross-fertilization.
    An example of one of the benefits of this exchange is the rich investigation into the meaning and nature of biological sex differences (female or male) and the socially constructed definitions of gender (femininity and masculinity) that vary widely across time, place, income, and race. For example, in “The Egg and the Sperm: How Science Has Constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles” (1991), Emily Martin shows how scientists have superimposed cultural sex stereotypes inappropriately onto the process of fertilization, resulting in inaccurate descriptions of cell and molecular interactions, faulty understandings of the physiology of fertilization, and skewed research priorities.”

    I hope this was at least remotely useful. I would think the Works Cited section must contain a few examples of what you’re seeking. Oh, and greets from a Pharyngulite lurker who was fortunate enough to find his way here.

    vis

  30. David Marjanović says:

    Sorry. I thought I had references in my bookmarks, but all I can find is Evolutionary Psychology Bingo, which is funny, but not a reference, and I may well have got it from you in the first place.

  31. David Marjanović says:

    Jadehawk, concerning your comment 21, check your other e-mail address.

  32. Jadehawk says:

    welcome to my blog, veovis, and thanks for the link. I’m busy right now, but i’ll check it out as soon as possible

    and David, all my e-mail goes to the same account, no matter which address you use :-)

  33. David Marjanović says:

    There are no women on the Internet. Except Nerd of Redhead.

  34. jemand says:

    (My summary) Supposed “communication differences” between sexes not actually such, but rather include understanding and indifference to a woman’s position. Couched as misunderstandings, social attitudes require women to mediate the “dispute.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/oct/02/gender.familyandrelationships

  35. Jadehawk says:

    thanks jemand, those are great :-)

  36. Jadehawk says:

    this is beginning to get quite quite long. I might have to start thinking about sorting these things somehow :-/

  37. Jadehawk says:

    Women in Management: Delusions of Progress (about the glass ceiling)

    Why Men Still Get More Promotions Than Women(about differences in mentoring in companies for men and women)

  38. David Marjanović says:

    Gender gap in math disappearing, completely gone in some countries, “males have greater variance” hypothesis disproved, and the greater gender equality is in a country, the better scores do girls and boys get in math – patriarchy hurts men, too:
    http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2012/01/surprise_surprise_gender_equal.php

  39. David Marjanović says:

    That’s an interesting one.

  40. Jadehawk says:

    Written descriptions of orgasm: A study of sex differences:The judges could not correctly identify the sex of the person describing an orgasm. [...] These findings suggest that the experience of orgasm for males and females is essentially the same.

  41. Jadehawk says:

    Marriage Structure and Resistance to the Gender Revolution in the Workplace: men in “traditional” marriages with SAHWs are more sexist towards women in the workforce

  42. Wow, this is an amazing amount of links, bookmarked and thank you for doing this.

  43. With Jadehawk’s permission I’ve been collating and organizing all these links to make it easier to find specific information/research/whatever.

    I just finished adding all the links on this page to the collection which is currently hanging out at http://scienceandfeminism.wordpress.com

    Links are sorted by category (I did my best….there’s a ton of overlap), date published, and whether or not full-text is available for free.

    Hope this is helpful to people — thanks so much for collecting all these amazing links!!!!

  44. Paul says:

    I recommend either getting wayback machine links as possible, or finding another way of archiving these independently of the source links. This being the interweb, things disappear for many reasons.

  45. Jadehawk says:

    Paul, most of the ones that are papers (rather than chapters in books, for example), I have as pdf’s on my computer. There’s always the option of asking me for them in e-mail. I don’t know that I’d be legally allowed to upload the pd’fs anywhere publicly, though…

  46. maureen.brian says:

    Hi, Jadehawk! Do you want to add this one to the pile?

    http://vaw.sagepub.com/content/16/12/1318.full.pdf+html

  47. Jadehawk says:

    The influence of a defendant’s body weight on perceptions of guilt –> basically, men were more likely to find obese women (but not obese men) more likely to be guilty of crime, and more likely to become a repeat offender

  48. Jadehawk says:

    no such thing as “women and children first”: http://ideas.repec.org/p/hhs/iuiwop/0913.html

    on the wage gap: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d0435.pdf
    money quote: “When we account for differences between male and female work patterns as well as other key factors, women earned, on average, 80 percent of what men earned in 2000.”

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