Brittney and Lindsey Ruin Feminism for the Rest of Us!

My absolute favorite thing about anti-feminists is how they think they’re so smart.  Let’s watch dsmith school Brittney and Lindsey over at Nashville is Talking.

Brittney comments favorably about a post Lindsey wrote about the ridiculousness of having hot chicks work as caddies even when said hot chicks know nothing about golf.

First, dsmith comes in with the Quotation Marks of Justice:

It amazes me why self described “feminists” (Brittany, I don’t know about Lindsey) always have to dump on women who don’t think “oogling” is the same as objectifying.

Both sets of quotation marks in this quote are supposed to alert the reader that both things in the quotation marks aren’t really things that need to be taken seriously.  What’s a little oogling between male golfer and hottie caddie?  What’s this feminism Brittney’s always going on about?  I love, too, how dsmith throws in the “self described.”  As if there’s some outside board who meets twice a year to decide who’s in the feminist club and who’s not.  Oh, Brittney and Lindsey, you poseurs!  You’re not real feminists; you just call yourselves that.

Then dsmith demands to have his or her questions answered.  “For me, please? I want to know what you have a problem with. Seriously, I’m interested.” and “What say you?”  As a rhetorical strategy, it’s akin to dsmith saying, “I determine what is right and wrong.  I hold and am used to wielding authority.  If I can’t see what your problem is, your saying that there’s a problem is never going to be enough for me to take your word for it.”  See, so not only must Brittney and Lindsey have a problem, they must convince the mighty dsmith that their problem is worthy of his or her consideration.

And then he or she again demands that the discussion be held on his or her terms–“I can’t rebut any further until you explain why you said this.”

And, in a genius flourish at the end, dsmith writes:


Do you believe in a woman’s right to choose?

Isn’t the essence of a “woman’s right to choose” is what she can and can’t do with her own body (as long as it hurts no one else)?

I think you so called “feminists” have done women a major disservice.

Either that, or you’re just a hypocrite on this issue.

Holy god, it’s beautiful.  No, just look at it.  There are the Quotation Marks of Justice letting the reader know what things dsmith doesn’t consider even valid.  Then there’s the deliberate misunderstanding of what a woman’s right to choose means, framing it as a general philosophy of life (Like the feminist movement is about turning all women into giant 14 year olds–” I can do whatever I want because I’m a woman and you’re not the boss of me!  You can’t tell me what to do.”) instead of a political stance about reproductive freedom.  Then there’s the insisting that Brittney and Lindsey have done women a major disservice.  And the name calling.

It’s practically a primer on how to argue like a jackass against feminists.

1.  Be sure that the feminists know you don’t take their perspective seriously.

2.  Demand that the conversation go forward on your terms, even though you are not an instigator of said conversation.

3.  Deliberately misunderstand the feminists.

4.  Condescend, condescend, condescend.

Bravo, dsmith.  Bravo.  Well played.

109 thoughts on “Brittney and Lindsey Ruin Feminism for the Rest of Us!

  1. 1. It’s so cute when you try to imitate your betters.2. If this discussion is going to continue, you must recognize the right of Michelle Wie and Natalie Gulbis to be total hotties.3. What has golf ever done to you?4. Maybe one day you will have the life experience to understand what I’m talking about.How’s that?

  2. Mr. Smartypants, of course you are a genius at this already.Brittney, really? Will she be giving up reading and writing at any point in the near future in order to really show us feminists that our victories are hollow?

  3. Yes, we’ve had victories–wide-spread literacy among women, ease of divorce, the Pill, bank accounts in our own names, orgasms, etc.I would argue that our liberation is directly related to the rise in popularity of the automobile, but the Professor yells at me when I attribute too much of my freedom to the Dodge in my driveway.

  4. This amuses me so. I always thought "feminism" was some form of equalization in society. Yeah, there’s those quotes of justice.It’s obvious you are either too young to understand feminism or you are too old to appreciate what a woman does or does not do with her own body as being her own business.When I say “do what you want with your own body”, I’m not setting up any criteria other than don’t hurt anyone else.The fact that you think you are oh-so-feminine and absolutely KNOW what a woman should do, proves to me you are no feminist.The entire idea started as a way to make women equal with men in the workplace, financially. It forced businesses to establish rules that allowed women to make as much money and hold the exact same positions as men, if they are qualified.Now, all of a sudden, there are these extra feminists, who choose to vilify women for choosing to work at such jobs as a chickcaddy. I bet you also think the Hooters women are stupid (your words, G-d forbid I wield my quotes of justice) and I bet strippers just need to off themselves for the good of the entire movement!How lame. How utterly weak, tired and lame.My opinion? The women nowadays are making out like bandits! It’s the men who are being sadly and mercilessly exploited.Yeah, it’s the women who are stupid.

  5. I’m sadly and mecilessly exploited? Who knew?BTW… Can you grab me a beer, Sugar, on your way to the golf cart? Thanks, Babe.

  6. Sorry, but I must cut in here.dsmith said: "The entire idea started as a way to make women equal with men in the workplace, financially. It forced businesses to establish rules that allowed women to make as much money and hold the exact same positions as men, if they are qualified."mmmm. No — it started long before that. A woman’s right to vote? a woman’s right to work period (outside of non-paid domestic labor)? Remember those days? And, the last time I checked, we (women) were still making 70 cents to a man’s 1.00 in the USA for equal work. So, the idea that we are "making out like bandits" is a little confusing to me.

  7. Oh, dsmith! I’m tickled that you’re here. I’ve got plenty of readers who consider themselves anti-feminist who could learn a thing or two from you (Exador, I’m especially thinking of you).Watch how she does it.1. Be sure that the feminists know you don’t take their perspective seriously.–"The fact that you think you are oh-so-feminine and absolutely KNOW what a woman should do, proves to me you are no feminist."2. Demand that the conversation go forward on your terms, even though you are not an instigator of said conversation.–"The entire idea started as a way to make women equal with men in the workplace, financially. It forced businesses to establish rules that allowed women to make as much money and hold the exact same positions as men, if they are qualified."3. Deliberately misunderstand the feminists.–"Now, all of a sudden, there are these extra feminists, who choose to vilify women for choosing to work at such jobs as a chickcaddy. I bet you also think the Hooters women are stupid (your words, G-d forbid I wield my quotes of justice) and I bet strippers just need to off themselves for the good of the entire movement!"4. Condescend, condescend, condescend.–"How lame. How utterly weak, tired and lame."But I’m not just about pointing out the genius of your argument at a meta-level. I’m also willing to engage your points.So, let’s do that, shall we?"It’s obvious you are either too young to understand feminism or you are too old to appreciate what a woman does or does not do with her own body as being her own business."Nice, so there’s no position from which I can speak that you will recognize as having authority. Oh, oops. I’m not supposed to be dwelling on your rhetorical strategy. Okay, engaging your points.I do think that what a woman does with her own body is her own business.But I also believe that women should have real opportunities. And, while I believe that sex work should be legal and well-regulated, I’m not going to sit here and pretend that it’s not degrading, in some way, to everyone involved–"I’m paying you to pretend to like me" coupled with "If you weren’t paying me, I wouldn’t give you the time of day, let alone pretend to like you" is a fucked up way to exchange money.Whether or not I approve of it, people are going to do it, so I’d rather have it safe and well-regulated. But that doesn’t mean that I’m obligated to see it as particularly feminist. Not only is it not feminist, it’s not, I don’t think, good for either gender.But I’m not out trying to stop it. I’m just not throwing my money at it."The fact that you think you are oh-so-feminine"–I’m sorry. I’m not sure why you think I should be insulted by you calling me feminine."The entire idea started as a way to make women equal with men in the workplace, financially."–That’s not true. The entire idea started in order to argue that women ought to be able to learn to read and write and go to school (see Montagu during the Enlightenment). The modern feminist movement started here in America in the 1800s in order to obtain for women full legal rights to be recognized as people. Wanting to make women equal with men in the workplace, financially, was a goal of second-wave feminists in the 1970s and 1980s, a century later.As for this nonsense–"Now, all of a sudden, there are these extra feminists, who choose to vilify women for choosing to work at such jobs as a chickcaddy. I bet you also think the Hooters women are stupid (your words, G-d forbid I wield my quotes of justice) and I bet strippers just need to off themselves for the good of the entire movement!"–since I never said any of that (you just made it up in order to have something to be further outraged about), I’m not going to bother defending myself against it.

  8. Yes, Sarcastro, every Christmas morning, we feminists masturbate to orgasm and then open new checking accounts.

  9. Katherine, yes, you are right, it did start back much further, obviously. But the gyst of my comments are still the same.Women can now become bankers, lawyers, strippers or caddychicks, thanks to feminism!

  10. "gyst"Looks like feminism should have tried harder when you were in "grammar school."

  11. Sarcastro, I’m not sure what you always boil down to. I would have assumed bone and gristle.

  12. When I read the heading for this post, I immediately thought, "yeah! Fucking Brittney Spears and Lindsay Lohan! Ruining feminism!"Can we still be friends?

  13. Of course. It probably would have been a better post if it had been about Spears and Lohan. More drugs involved anyway.

  14. I’d like to think I can be a fan of freedom, and still bemoan the choices people make with that freedom.If I start saying people should not be allowed to exercise that freedom in certain ways, at that point I think it’s fair to shout "hipocrisy!". Short of that, I’d say that shout is a misplaced attempt to stifle debate/criticism.I know of no reason why the fact that feminists (self- or otherwise proclaimed) believe women should have certain rights and freedoms, should lessen those feminists’ rights to publically disagree with how those rights and freedoms are used. A feminism so muted would be based on a kind of blind gender loyalty rather than principle. Some critics of feminism perhaps do think that this is the essence of modern feminism, but I don’t know any actual self-described feminists who do.

  15. dsmith: "Now, all of a sudden, there are these extra feminists, who choose to vilify women for choosing to work at such jobs as a chickcaddy."I must have seen a different post, because I don’t see Lindsay (or Aunt B) vilifying women, or some women, or any women at all. I see them vilifying men who claim to be helping women by getting them involved in playing golf, without actually getting women involved in playing golf at all. And I see them pointing out that this business is just another way to allow men to trivialize women by not treating them as seriously as they would treat men (Caddychicks? I believe that there are a number of real caddies out there who are women, and they call themselves "caddies", just as men do). I don’t see them insulting the women who choose to work that job, or speculating about those women’s motives.So I’m thinking that what dsmith primarily needs is not lessons in feminism, but a reminder to read more carefully.

  16. I guess all those feminist victories are the reason why we keep hearing how happy and fullfilled the average woman is.What good is a Sugar Momma if she doesn’t have a job or the Pill?"I’m sure Sarcastro has figured out a few beneficial contributions.dsmith, I don’t know you, but you sound hot.

  17. "the last time I checked, we (women) were still making 70 cents to a man’s 1.00 in the USA for equal work."Please, that number is based on the calculation that you take the average pay for all women compared to the average pay for all men, discounting all factors. Bunk.A 1993 study by economist June O’Neill, using data from the Department of Labor’s huge database (National Longitudinal Survey of Youth) and published in the Journal of Labor Economics, for instance, found that childless women age 27-33 earned 98 percent as much as their male counterparts.

  18. Oh please, great Penis of Wisdom and Authority, enlighten us as to what the definition of a "Sugar Momma" is, if not a woman with a bunch of money willing to spend it on you without repercussions?And then, great Penis of Wisdom and Authority, tell us when this magical time when women were happy was? And after that, great Penis of Wisdom and Authority, please tell us why you seem to be defining feminism as being about happiness and not justice.And last, dear Penis of Wisdom and Authority, I’m curious as to when y’all are ever going to be bothered by this bullshit that it’s only women who don’t have children who make the same as all men. Doesn’t it ever make you angry that the work world isn’t set up so that you can easily stay at home with your kids if you want to?

  19. Exador,I wanted to read the article you’re talking about, but "Why the Gender Gap in Wages Narrowed in the 1980s" doesn’t seem like the right one (b/c I don’t see the stats you provided). Do you have the citation?

  20. Well, there you go, SistaSmiff. You could be Sarcastro’s Nurse Ratched. Still, I’d recommend being sly about it. The Sugar Momma is small, but she’s tough. She’ll cut a person, if it comes down to that.

  21. I’m still walking with a limp from the whole "You let my boyfriend take a picture of your boob freckle?! Die, bitch." incident. I had no idea you could really stab someone like that with car keys. And I wish I’d done more than just fall on the ground sobbing and begging for help.

  22. Well, if things go poorly, perhaps Exador could flirt with her some, just to put her in a better mood. He seems to like heaping compliments on cantankerous women.

  23. Well, it seems to me that all this has gotten us is that lesbians are out of the closet more since they can take care of themselves and their partners and not bow down to the male species of this world. I guess that’s called progress. Thanks to the feminists of the world.

  24. Cantankerous? The only reason I seem cantankerous is because I see you as an enemy to adult women who want to live their lives in peace. And I’m almost aghast at what I’m reading here! Apparently someone has to stand up for these women, because even their own gender seems to be against them. Which is awfully sad? Women should stick together, no matter what their job title is. I don’t care if you are a CEO or a Hooters girl, I will treat you with the same amount of respect you show me. Hence, our slightly bitter conversation. Speaking of bitter, I have some advice for you, Aunt B.You don’t want to be a caddy chick, and then just don’t be one.But please, spare us your moral superiority in that these women are being objectified by men. I can think of much more nasty ways of exchanging money, and most of them occurr between men, not women and men.They are of age, they aren’t hurting anyone and they sure as hell know the job they are signing up for.The women in the adult entertainment field make A LOT of money! But, apparently, that’s just not good enough. They need to get down to the city college and get thems some edjamacation cause they are too dumb to hold a "real" job, right?Apparently, the only jobs women should do are those sanctioned by you, and everyone else is just being used.I have news for ya. No matter what profession you are in, you are being used. For your brains, your body, your finances, your car, whatever.And I think if you live and let live, without losing sight to what really matters, you will be much happier.You might want to get laid, too.

  25. I just wanted to say that I have been married to a wonderful man for the past 25 years. We have two grown children, both boys are in undergraduate school now. My husband has provided for our family since the first day of our wonderful marriage. I have never signed my name on checks, I write Mrs. So and So. I am proud to have his name, relinquishing my own identity to him. I have no problems staying at home and being taken care of by him and I don’t have a problem with keeping our home clean for him, or cooking for him. A piece of advice for you younger girls – get you a good man and you will live in paradise.God bless you.

  26. dsmith: "I see you as an enemy to adult women who want to live their lives in peace."And I’m almost aghast at what I’m reading here! Apparently someone has to stand up for these women, because even their own gender seems to be against them. Which is awfully sad? <snip>"And I think if you live and let live, without losing sight to what really matters, you will be much happier."I keep looking for the place where Aunt B or Lindsay or anyone is telling other women what to do. I don’t see where dsmith is reading it, so I don’t see why she’s so aghast. Is she still missing the point that no one here except her is getting bossy? Maybe she ought to take her own "live and let live" advice?

  27. Are you hitting on me, dsmith? I, too, love cantankerous people–it’s what charms me about Exador, at least in part. So, sure. We’ll have to see how it goes once we get to know each other a little better, but I won’t rule out sleeping with you.

  28. "I would argue that our liberation is directly related to the rise in popularity of the automobile"I blame World War 2. With all the men gone all the women got to prove they could do the jobs and handle things on their own.

  29. The woman that took over my job makes about 90% of what I did when I had the job. That extra 10% I got isn’t because I’m bepenised. It’s because I got more edjamacation.In a few months she’ll still be making 90% while she’s at home with her new baby. I’ll be making 100% while I’m at work.

  30. We missed you while you were off fighting World War II, though.Do state employees get paternity leave?

  31. Woo-hoo! I missed a-NOTHER idiotic "feminism equals anything I want it to be, because I’m a woman…" screed. What dsmith sees as liberatory (freedom to be ogled) is known among feminists of a certain age as being a "sex object." I guess she’s too young to remember that part. Feminism is a lot of things, including a prolonged argument around key points. BUT there are also things it isn’t. Hooters? Not feminist. And their burgers are overpriced.

  32. I have to appreciate dsmith for standing up to us Hooters girls. We know what we are doing we sign a contract to do it. The men might ogle us, but we sure ogle back, and have a hell of a lot of fun doing it!Bridget, you should be ashamed. Need I turn in my feminisim card because I love being looked at and I don’t hate men?I belive I am MORE of a feminist than you are! Men and women are different, and I embrace those differences. I don’t want my boyfriend to treat me like another man. I want him to treat me like the lady I am!Should I work on cars to make ends meet? Should I go back to school for 4 more years to make less than what I’m making now?I love my job. I’m good at my job. And I can’t believe you don’t think I have any credibility because I am a Hooters girl.Whats wrong with you women? Are you old? Are you ugly? Are you jealous?It’s something!

  33. Erm, in the interest of steering this away from insults, I noticed in the South (where I grew up) that there was social pressure for girls to play a certain social role.Some liked that role. Some really didn’t. Those that didn’t resented being pressured to play along. Those that did like these traditional roles, didn’t see what the fuss was all about.I suspect some of the stuff flying around in this post is a reaction against the social pressure that women (both ‘traditional’ and less so) feel from both sides to be things they don’t want to be.Can’t we just all… oh, nevermind.Off to dinner! Later,. y’all.

  34. Oh my god, Candy Lynn. You figured it out. We are all old, ugly, jealous, unhappy women with no self-esteem. And now that you’ve outed us, we will never again eat at your restaraunt because, god damn it, you charge extra for fries. Oh, wait, we will never eat at your restaraunt again because it’s against feminism. Or whatever.Read this carefully new folks: You can do whatever the hell you want with your lives. You can call yourself a feminist while doing it. I am not the feminist police, so whatever personal choices you make are your business.When we’re talking here, no one’s sitting around thinking "how can I really insult that candy lynn girl who works at Hooters and let her know how much I think she sucks." because no one here thinks that you personally suck. You’ve found a way to make buttloads of money doing something you enjou. Good for you.However, that’s all the consideration you get. Unless you are being specifically addressed, no one is talking directly to you. So, if you or dsmith or whoever want to piss and moan because you took some shit way too personally, that’s really your problem.No one here is saying that women who work at Hooters suck. We’re saying it sucks that working at Hooters is the best option some women have. If you can’t understand that distinction, any time you spend here is going to be spent unhappily on your part.Also, if you poke around, you’ll see that we have some mean ass motherfuckers here, so really, if you want to hurt our feelings, you’re going to have to try a little harder than "Y’all are just jealous."When you have Bob Brooks’s job, then I’ll be jealous.

  35. Christ almighty. Did she really say "You might want to get laid, too." Now THAT is an intellectual argument if ever I heard one.*rolls eyes*Rock on, Aunt B.

  36. Sarcastro’s Nurse Ratched….kinda has a certain ring to it. The person that said something about "Find a good man and you’ll have Paradise" or some such nonsense….HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!!! That’s a good one.I bought into the idea that a woman has to have a man to be complete. This is why I made the brilliant move and got married when I was 20. My poor mother was brought up in the era that that’s what you did. She didn’t teach me any different. (Actually, she taught me nothing about man pickin’). The attitude she had/has is you get married and you make your family your life and you give up your total identity to be part of their lives. I’m here to say that’s a crock ‘o ka ka. I love my children and think those three are about the best thing I’ve ever done, but, boy howdy, I look at these young 20 somethings I work with, who have gotten degrees, are enjoying these neat careers, doing cool things and think, when I was their age, I was wearing the "Mommy Uniform" of sweats, having panic attacks and watching that first season of "The Real World" thinking I should’ve been doing that kinda thing at that point in my life… We make our choices and go forth but am I encouraging my daughter to go to college just long enough until she finds that Good Man, get married by 21 and start churning out babies? NO WAY.

  37. Candy, I hate to break it to you, but whoever gave you that feminism card was putting you on. I know someone who believes he’s the King of Prussia. That doesn’t make him so. What we think we are or wish we were is often not in actuality what we are. Likewise, I have fun watching baseball. Having fun doesn’t make it feminist, right? Feminism is a political theory about human equality, not personal satisfaction. That you personally happen to get off on tight t-shirts and tooth whitener is fine. You might be really good at brokering your sexuality so that the house can sell a lot of watered-down well drinks and overpriced hamburgers. However, this doesn’t make your job a contribution to the liberation of women as a class of people, does it? No. And you know this, because you dismiss women who don’t agree with you as ugly and old and jealous — because you know that your temporary employability depends on you being pretty and young and desirable (and other women being less so). You understand the whole power system you’re complicit in…but right now, you happen to be enjoying a temporary blip of privilege within an otherwise oppressive system. I suggest you save your tips; there’s no such thing as an old Hooters Girl.Call yourself a lollipop or a speckled trout if it gets you through. Get one or six or sixteen sugar daddies — or be someone’s sugar momma on that bodacious waitress salary of yours. You can have a totally satisfied life and not be a feminist and it sounds like you’re fine with what you’ve got and how you’re getting it. You don’t need to be defensive about your choices. But you also don’t need to expect everyone to agree with you about your delusional interpretations and weak-ass arguments. (Maybe a little more college wouldn’t be such a bad idea.)

  38. I believe that the whole thing boils down to being able to make decisions without being influenced by a male (or female if that’s your thing) and being able to live with your decisions. The movement was about public equality but more importanly, personal equality. Decisions that you make in your life, you need to make them without input from someone else, you don’t need anyone guiding you, influencing you. Your decisions are yours and the point, I think, is to make decisions that you can live with. Not someone else deciding on what you will be doing. I also think that the whole feminist thing is in degrees so take a part of it – once you are comfortable with that – take another part. I remember my mother saying you can be whatever you want to be. That’s the whole thing in a nutshell. Of course, there are women who will lay around and do nothing to promote themselves. They have no pride in their own existence so you know that they have no problem bringing down the female species. As strong, intelligent women, why are you even bothering with them? Just a thought . . .

  39. <i>I have to appreciate dsmith for standing up to us Hooters girls.</i>dsmith wasn’t standing up to the Hooters girls, but I will. Care to take this outside? There, I stood up to you. haaahahahaha!

  40. Awesome thread and comments – congrats, Aunt B. Somehow or another just about every last position, opinion, and whatnot has ended up commenting, and I still think no one’s come over to the other side’s way of thinking.Just playing to my moniker, of course, but really – seems to me everyone has attacked and defended or both, and yet it’s right where it started. Some folks are righteous, some are outraged, some are flippant, some are adamant, etc. How ever do you do it?Me, I’m staying out of this one. No Rottweilers to be seen although there’s been a lot of snarling and snipping all around.Everyone thinks they’ve won the argument, though, and is on the correct side. Heh. :)

  41. Yeah, I must apologize for trying to avert a "nah-nah-I’m-not-listening" flame war earlier. It’s much more entertaining listening to the old, ugly, sexually-frustrated ball-busters catfight with the naive, sell-out, undereducated bimbos.(ducks)

  42. While we’re at it, Forbes Magazine has an article by a guy that was "on the board of directors for the National Organization for Women in New York City during the 1970s". research show that women MAKE MORE THAN MEN."when a male and a female civil engineer both stay with their respective companies for ten years, travel and relocate equally and take the same career risks, the woman ends up making more. And among workers who have never been married and never had children, women earn 117% of what men do. (This factors in education, hours worked and age.)"Sorry, W.

  43. This has really been the best comment thread ever on Tiny Cat Pants. It’s like watching an extremely well-executed professional wrestling match. Everything is fake and a little cartoonish, but it takes a lot of skill.

  44. Ok, numbers. We are living in an empirical world and I am an empirical girl.According to the latest in-depth NSF study, women represent over half of the national population and 46% of the national workforce. However, women comprise only 24% of those working in science and engineering (combined, at any level, doing anything). More to the point, they are only 10% of the engineering workforce, at any level, of any sort. This despite the fact that women have now managed to get a full 20% of the bachelor degrees offered in engineering programs…yeah, a whole 20%. (NSF, 2000) It’s clear from about twenty years of research on the subject that women face formidable threshold barriers to entry into the profession and most will continue to face harassment, derision, and a toxic sexist work environment. (Cf our commenters above.)Before we get the hackneyed "girls wash out because they don’t do math" crap, let me point out that the women admitted into engineering have, on average, higher math and science GPAS going in than their male counterparts AND they still have them if they choose to leave the programs mid-stream. (Campbell et al, 2000) It appears that the sexism of engineering programs is dumbing the profession down by driving out its brightest students…which might explain some things right there.Even conceding that a small group of highly educated women somewhere in a hugely male-dominated profession make more than their male peers, you surely see that it’s still a miniscule handful of women living unusually socially attenuated lives. Dare I say that this number would be statistically insignificant when one considers the economic condition of American women as a class? One British woman is the Queen of England. All British women are not, therefore, queens. See how that works? (For a science minded person, you are not much of a logician.)

  45. Do you have anything empirical to back up your assertion of "women face formidable threshold barriers to entry into the profession and most will continue to face harassment, derision, and a toxic sexist work environment."?Or is that another example of your skills as a logician?Your point is taken, regarding girls making better grades. However, in 1999, for example, 1611 girls in the country scored 800 on the math section of the SAT; 4815 boys did. Verbal? Girls, 2828; boys, 3087. The male average on the math SATs was 531. The female was 495. That’s not a trivial difference. Verbal scores? Males 509, females 502. The latter difference is slight and probably attributable the larger numbers of girls taking the test. The difference in math scores isn’t..

  46. Sar, I know you’re just trying to rile people up with the "girls aren’t good with math" thing. I just wanted to point out that girls are still being actively discouraged from being good at math, in support of bridgett’s point above. Yes, I acknowledge that this is a single example from my own experience, and that I went on with what I wanted to do in any case. I went to a liberal, private college somewhere north of here (I know, you’re falling over with shock), where nontraditional takes on life are encouraged. Should be the kind of place where women are encouraged to do whatever they want. My advisor at the time tried very hard to discourage me from taking an upper level calc course that I was no doubt qualified for, insisting that I should take an easier course to meet the requirements because he thought I didn’t need math so much as I needed to take classes that would help me be a good conversationalist at parties. Admittedly, that’s not my strong suit, but not what I was in a then-$30K+/year (in the mid/late 90s) college for. When I let him know that I had made an A on my first exam, he insisted that if I had enrolled in the lower level minimum requirement class, it would have been an A+, and that I had still made the wrong decision. I switched advisors. The point being, girls good at math can find themselves in unnecessarily unsupportive environments. It was my responsibility to find a way to do my thing anyway, but girls with less fortitude probably would have given up on fitting into a BS system.

  47. "It’s clear from about twenty years of research on the subject that women face formidable threshold barriers to entry into the profession and most will continue to face harassment, derision, and a toxic sexist work environment."What a load of crap, and I base that on 6 years of college, followed by 15 years in the engineering industry in both small startup companies and giant multinationals.The Physics and Engineering programs I went through BEGGED for more women.Every company I’ve worked for walked on eggshells in regard to "hostile work environments".Not that it ever happened, but it was made clear that harrassment of any kind would be dealt with severely.

  48. Why, yes, I do have data to back up my assertions, funded by the National Science Foundation and National Research Council, peer-reviewed, and developing over time.Let’s start in the 1980s:The NRC released a series of reports identifying the problems I describe and suggesting solutions. You can read them in titles such as *Women Scientists in Industry and Government: How Much Progress in the 1970’s?* (1980), *Career Outcomes in a Matched Sample of Men and Women Ph.D.s: An Analytical Report* (1981), and *Climbing the Ladder: An Update on the Status of Doctoral Women Scientists and Engineers* (1983).In the early 1990s, the National Science Foundation funded this research, suggesting that while some gains were being made, programs and employers themselves were still markedly and structurally hostile to women: 2003, here’s the work that was done as a special report for the NSF, focused on academia rather than the private sector: here’s the current research (click on descriptions of the projects currently funded and their findings): can also google "science gender equity National Science Foundation" and find hundreds of scholarly articles and policy papers on the subject. It’s a well-researched area and S&E programs nationally agree that there’s a big problem in attracting, retaining, and promoting women. While your personal experiences are interesting and explain where you’re coming from, they don’t carry the same water as a buttload of hard data gathered over the last twenty-five years in a variety of settings all over the nation. You’re going to have to do better than "it’s not like that where I am, so it just isn’t so."

  49. First link only studies women in academia.Second link again academia, no real world study of women in the corporate world.Third link yet again the study of women’s struggles in academia.If your argument is that grad-student-fucking male professors are shitty and dismissive of their female colleagues, then well done.If your argument is that women don’t ask for what they are worth due to low self-esteem, and therefore don’t make as much as their male counterparts in the university setting, more power to you.If your argument is that women as a whole, outside of the ivory tower, suffer under "harassment, derision, and a toxic sexist work environment.", then you might want to go back to school.

  50. All right, gentlemen. That’s enough. I have some questions for you.First up, Mr. Wayward Boy Scout.1. Why were you so kind to that stripper?2. Why did you go to such great lengths to make sure I felt safe and at ease around you?And you, Mr. Smarty Pants1. Why are you willing, at a moment’s notice, to drive me home from work or beat up some jerk who needs it or just show up some place and look tough for me?Becuase, both you fuckers well know that this world is not the same kind of safe for women that it is for you. Both of you already go out of your way to compensate for the behavior of asshole men, becuase you know there are asshole men in the world. In fact, when you come on here to push people’s buttons, are you not in fact pushing buttons you know are buttons because you understand that the way things are set up is fundimentally unfair to women?Yes you are.So, don’t you two be moving through the world in such a way that recognizes that women have to put up with shit that men don’t and that sometimes women need men to stand up for them because other men will listen to men when they will not listen to women and then come around here arguing that, with the exception of academia, everything between the sexes is fine.Because either you’re lying or you’re being obtuse, because your fingers type one thing and your actions continually show you to believe something else.Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for that. But I’m flabberghasted that you would both be the ways you are in the world and try to claim that there aren’t any problems between men and women.

  51. You’re right that my focus is on academia. That’s where the bulk of the research is done. That’s where the engineers are trained and socialized into their field. That’s where the post-graduate degrees that translate into money are handed out. It’s reasonable, therefore, to concentrate on the corrosive effects of sexism at the threshold point *and* in the workplace. The last time I checked, academia was still a workplace. HOWEVER, if you had actually read the materials I gave you carefully and in their entirety or had you exerted yourself to go and explore the literature on your own (I told you how to find it so that you could continue to educate yourself), you would have discovered that the sources I cited — and hundreds that I did not — actually do discuss in detail the placement and advancement of women in the private sector.But if you still don’t believe me, you can read any of these, which are readily available in the Vandy library:Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering and Technology Development. 2000. Land of Plenty: Diversity as America’s Competitive Edge in Science, Engineering and Technology. Washington, D.C.: National Science Foundation.Wulf, W. 1998. “Diveristy in Engineering”. The Bridge. 28:1-11.Catalyst, Women Scientists in Industry: A Winning Formula for Companies Women in Technology International, Business Impact by Women in Science and Technology (2002)National Science Foundation, Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 1998.If this is a topic that interests you further, then hit the NSF site and look for its copious collection of statistics on women in the field. Or ask a reference librarian.

  52. B, are you saying that men and women aren’t equal, yet deserve equal pay?Bridge, are you saying I should sit and read more than just those three links?

  53. Woo hoo! My point was so awesome all you could do to refute it is to deliberately misread me!! I’m doing a little gloating dance as I type.

  54. I don’t think Aunt B. was saying women and men aren’t equal, we are. She is saying that because some people don’t treat us as equal that they are more likely to listen when their equal or better, meaning a man, tells them how it should be. That’s how I interpreted it anyway. Correcy me if I’m wrong B.

  55. No, you’re right. And he knows that’s what I’m saying. He just has no way to refute it other than to pretend to misread me. Hence my dance of joy.

  56. Damn, it took forever to read all this arguing. Here’s all I’ve got to say:1. Women fight with women way too much over what feminism is and what it accomplishes. Men just don’t think that much about it(see comments above). Justpassingby sums it up pretty well.2. I made a lot of money in college writing papers for Engineering and Math majors who couldn’t spell or put together a grammatically correct sentence to save their lives. They did my math take home tests for me. I guaranteed them an A, they got me an A. Sometimes I had to put in deliberate mistakes so their English teachers wouldn’t suspect anything. Gender was not an issue.3. As a female in a traditionally male profession, it is a different atmosphere. I work hard to fit in and work with the big boys, but some days it is a delicate balance and negotiation. I use my gender as a strength when I can, but I also have to know when it is a disadvantage and work with that too. I have to be prepared to take some shit if I want to wear a girly skirt to work, but also prepared to say no if it is suggested that a low cut shirt would get me a better deal. Sometimes Feminism is the confidence to call BullShit on a situation and Equality is the fact that someone will listen when you say it.4.If you think sitting around waiting for someone else to take care of you to take most of the reponsibility of everyday life for you and to make all the big decisions for you is a positive decision—I hope you are prepared for your sudden and involuntary independence when your overstressed life partner leaves you for a new 2 seater sports car and a much younger version (insert gender of choice, this works both ways).Good grief, that was way too much. Moving on.

  57. "The last time I checked, academia was still a workplace."Only to those IN academia.If you think the Vandy library has any reflection on the real business world, then there’s no reaching you.If you think I’m going to disregard 20 years of personal experience because of reports from the NSF.GOV, you’re dreaming. I have my doubts about any federal department, especially when their funding is based on their finding problems that need solving.For that matter, can I be the first one to come out and say that NOW, any federal EEOC branch, any womens’ studies department, are all dependent on the idea that women are victims of discrimination and that institutionalized sexism is JUST as bad, or worse, than it’s always been.Talk about a conflict of interest.

  58. I am compelled to agree with saraclark. Engineering and Math types can’t spell or write for shit. I have to ask, when you made the intentional errors, was one of them to put an "h" in the word "flabbergast"?B, I’m not deliberately misreading you, I’m intentionally misrepresenting you. Big difference.Bridgett, I am taking your excellent advice. Here are the books I’m going to try:Why Men Earn More by Warren Farrell.The War Against Boys:How Misguided Feminism is Harming our Young Men by Christina Hoff Sommers.Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women, Ibid.Or, you could read my book, Just Wait Until We Get Rid of The Goddamn Baby Boomers: How Your Parents and Grandparents Have Fucked It Up For The Rest of Us.

  59. "If you think the Vandy library has any reflection on the real business world, then there’s no reaching you."What does that even mean? She wasn’t saying the Vandy library was some microcosm of the state of male and female pay in the workplace. She was saying that if you’re interested in basing your opinions on more than a few sources, there’s a local library that can help you with that. I would agree with you that using just sources from the NSF is not the best strategy for understanding the issue, although my objection is more about being well-rounded in research and reading than a particular distate for the agency. If you happen to work at Vanderbilt, the staff could get you copies of everything she mentioned, everything Sar mentioned, or whatever you would like. Libraries are no longer bound by their physical locations, so we can pretty much get you a copy of whatever your heart desires, whether we have it on the shelves at the moment or not. Ask a reference librarian! (Note: I’m a medical librarian. We frown on exclusively using decades of personal experience filtered through personal biases instead of incorporating some evidence. That’s how small-town doctors who don’t keep up with changes in the field make patient care mistakes.)

  60. Sarcastro, I’m pretty sure you need to follow your title with a colon, followed by the "Greatest Generation My Ass." Hee.

  61. The Vandy library is a library where you can find research that will tell you what is actually (as opposed to hypothetically) going on in that "real world" you talk about. I can’t help it that you are torn between being an anti-intellectual on the one hand and on the other demanding citations and research produced by those intellectuals you scorn. You have to know what you’re dismissing before you dismiss it; that’s the difference between being an obtuse bastard and a clever bastard.I’ve actually read both of the books you cite. (Yep, I read stuff I don’t agree with to find out if I’m wrong and I even change my own mind sometimes. That’s what kind of hopelessly narrow-minded fuck I am.) I’vealso looked closely at the data that they offer. There’s no original research in either of them, which was a little surprising to me. While I am persuaded that for a very limited group of women, the economic barriers are falling, neither author really speaks to what’s happening with the vast majority of women in America — who do not have advanced degrees, who do not work in the highest echelons of industry, and who are less privileged in all sorts of ways.They are not persuasive at all on threshold issues and they demonstrate a shockingly shallow engagement with the huge body of literature that disagrees with their position. So, I’ve read yours. Go read mine.Then’s there’s the authority question. Wayne Farrell is a political scientist. He’s writing on the sociology of science. Sommers is a philosopher writing pop gender studies. They have no training in the fields they write about, which may explain why their work doesn’t address in a substantive way any criticisms of their method, theory, or findings. Finally, as you both persuasively note, there’s the issue of who funds the research. Farrell makes most of his money hucking books and working as an expert witness for corporate America — he makes a HUGE living doing so. (He’s also the father of the "positive incest" movement, but hey…what a guy does with his daughter in private is his own business, right?) Speaking of research bias, Sommers routinely pulls down huge grants from the Olin, Carthage, and Bradley Foundation (most signally for the book you cite). To apply your analysis here, Farrell and Sommers are making a buttload of cash finding solutions for ideologically driven groups that have discovered a "problem" that needs solving. What is it that makes their research bias acceptable to you?

  62. "So, a sub-subtitle?" – Yep. You could simultaneously mock people and the current overuse of subtitles. Who can resist that?

  63. "that’s the difference between being an obtuse bastard and a clever bastard."I’d have to vote my conscience and say Sarcastro is a clever bastard, but then again, I’m biased.Gee whiz, I guess making fun of libraries gets the librarians all riled up, which is bad, except when they take off their glasses and shake out their hair. I LOVE that.

  64. Exador – we librarians are only physically capable of the dramatic and sexy ripping off of our glasses and emancipation of our lovely, touchable hair when we’re not busy explaining what libraries and librarians do. You’ll have to choose your priorities carefully. :)

  65. Ok, sure, I make fun because I just love you gals and your obsolete arguments.Mrs Schwartz has worked as a technical recuiter, in the engineering, software, IT industry for the past 20 years. She has worked in human resources for big four firms, startups, the oldest employment agency EVER, which is a multinational.I’ve told her about this thread and her response is as follows:The worst part of working in today’s protected environment is that every Tina, Dana and Hillary can use their protected status as a woman/minority. Everybody in the free world knows that they can play that card, and they do. They can screw up so big without consequence because they are protected. You can do whatever you want, including being underqualified, and you’re protected. As a woman, if you see or hear something that upsets you, you don’t even talk to that person. You go to human resources and they fire that person. Being the employment contractor, I have personally walked engineers out of the building for infractions like that.Everyone is so afraid to say anything in the office.There are TONS of women in engineering. The ratio is maybe 2-to-1 for Americans. The women are just as qualified as the men. Companies are ONLY interested in their skills/qualifications.When you consider women from other countries, especially India and China, the ratio is close, but not quite, 1-to-1.Base on my experience, they (meaning Bridget and Rachel) have no idea what they are talking about.

  66. "Base[sic] on my experience, they (meaning Bridget and Rachel) have no idea what they are talking about." Holy intentional misrepresentation, Batman! Did you happen to notice that I did not in fact enter into the true/false aspect of the wages discussion, except to provide a personal anecdote, which was representative of the educational, pre-professional (not office politics/HR) side of the equation, and acknowledged it to be just one thing that happened to me (and therefore not necessarily transferable to the experiences of all women)? I’ve deliberately not made an argument here on women’s wages, because I haven’t had time to read the research on the topic. However, if you would like to read the research, a librarian can help you find it whether it’s at Vandy or not, which is all I was saying.See, now my hair is going to be in a bun all day. Look what you’ve done.

  67. B would agree, I’m either obtusely clever or cleverly obtuse. The bastard part is a given.When in doubt, always bring up the legitimacy and authority of the people who’s opinion’s differ or contradict your own. Claims that they aren’t qualified to interpret the unoriginal data (like it’s a K-Tel record)because they haven’t had some unspecified "training" is an added plus.If that fails, demonize the source as being "the father of the positive incest movement" without providing any, oh what’s that thing called again, source or proof. Because only a sick fuck who clearly can’t be right about anything would commit incest. You know, like Darwin and Einstein.

  68. Rachel,I apologize unreservedly. It was I, that unintentionally threw you into the fray.Please please please shake out your hair.Exador

  69. Aw, Sarcastro, you’ve been spoiling me all weekend. First you had to misconstrue me in order to refute me and now you’re spreading my wisdom about you when I’m not around to see it.Thanks.

  70. Again, I can’t help it if you are in need of proof about everything but are too lazy to look anything up yourself. Or read it when it’s handed to you. Or know anything about the histories of the authors you cite approvingly. Farrell published his major pro-incest research throughout the late 1970s and regularly lectured on the subject throughout the 1980s. He really IS the intellectual founder of the "positive incest" movement. Until he became the darling of aggrieved men such as yourself, he made a handsome living as an expert exculpatory witness for male defendants in incest trials. This was how he got interested in the (even more lucrative) issue of child custody and fathers’ rights. If you’re interested in Farrell’s pro-incest research, you should ask a reference librarian (and then go home to prepare yourself for a visit from Children’s Services).

  71. So, librarians are stool pigeons for the feds. I knew it.Does this research have a name, snitchie?Farrell’s incest work was never published. But don’t let the facts get in the way of your agenda.

  72. "So, librarians are stool pigeons for the feds. I knew it." No way. Librarians have been some of the most active against library record seizure provisions of the USA PATRIOT ACT.

  73. Once, Secret Service folks turned up at my library, and everybody’s first thought was, "Oh ****, we got a PATRIOT ACT request." Turns out they were just scouting for a visit from Bush Jr. A few days later, we were instructed not to go near the windows on a certain side of the building, because if we accidentally moved the blinds, it might "excite the snipers" on the neighboring roof. I had thought snipers (uh, excuse me, "sharpshooters") were supposed to be among the least excitable of people. Oh well… We spent the day of the event nervously using the stairwells where the agents were stationed.

  74. So now you’ve moved from the position of proclaiming the determinative authority of Farrell’s work to the relatively weak position of saying that while he’s held pro-incest positions, he never published them? Dude. You’re disappointing me. The first rule is to ignore the indefensible. You know that. Farrell’s pro-incest work was published, though you are correct that it was not published in book form. Moreover, he stopped using the word "incest" because he felt it was too perjorative a term, though he continued to publish on the subject under a series of euphemisms in smaller, non-peer reviewed venues. No easy Googling this time.However, since "training" isn’t necessary to do research and analysis in a highly specialized field, I’m sure you’ll be able to find these articles as readily as I did.

  75. Try again.At no point have yous hown Farrell to have had a pro-incest position, or indicated that there is a "positive incest" movement anywhere except in your head.Again, do these euphemisms and smaller, non-peer revued venues have names? Are these just ghost stories that they tell around the fire at Feminist Indoctrination Camp?Here is Farrell’s statement regarding the indefensible half-truths that one clearly must have training in research and analysis in a "highly specialized" field to get that he is pro-incest."A few years ago I informed Liz Kates that the 1977 article in Penthouse about incest had misquoted me – that the word "generally" had beenmistranscribed as "genitally." Nevertheless, Kates and a woman named Trish Wilson continue to publicize the misquote. I am seeking legal action. They have been making similar accusations of many other men’s issues; their most pointed attacks are on men working on fathers’ issues ("they all just want to molest their children").If you’d like more detail, I’ll start with some highlights.I have never been pro-incest. (Obviously.) I did do a study about incest. I conducted it in the ’70s after Random House published my first book, The Liberated Man, a pro-feminist book based on my years on the Board of N.O.W. in New York City. I never published the findings on incest despitehaving a contract with Bantam books to do so in book form. As a result, the topic of incest is not the subject of any of my writing. All five ofmy books — as well as my experiential workshops — are attempts to get both sexes to understand the other. (The bad news is that this is notlikely to be achieved in my lifetime. The good news is I guess I’ll always be fully employed!) Their tables of contents are all available Incest is not a topic in any of them.Now, some more detail…I refrained from publishing the incest findings because I feared that what I found would be distorted and misused. (It’s a bit ironic that it still is, even though I did not publish it!) I allowed myself the one interview with Penthouse to get a sense of whether the message would be distorted in print, or after print, or both. When I saw that the answer was both, I gave up a multi-year research effort. Obviously this cost me considerably.You may wish to know my motivation for undertaking the incest study. It evolved from reading in Ms. and other sources in the early ’70s that incest was like terminal cancer. This attitude seemed to me to hold out nohope for a cure. I wondered whether therapists, by seeing the most difficult cases, were creating this conclusion in the same way we hadabout homosexuality being a disease by looking largely at a patient population that was unhappy. I felt that if a non-patient population had alarger variety of experiences, we might have information to better help people who were traumatized.So I put ads in papers soliciting anonymous over-the-phone intensive interviews from people experiencing any form of incest, from cousin-cousin and brother-sister to father-daughter and mother-son, asking them to rank their experience as positive, negative or mixed. I created lie detector tests that I built into the interviews. Some of the ads I placed solicited experiences perceived either as positive or negative; other ads solicitedonly positive (since the negative ones were obviously more easily attainable), until I attained enough people who perceived theirrelationship as positive to have numbers large enough to make comparisons to the negative.The focus of the book was broadening the base of therapeutic options for interventions that could reverse trauma. The Kinsey Institute ranked it as the best and most responsible study ever done on the subject. However, in the process of always being asked about the positive experiences, thedeeper purpose of the study often got lost. I saw this happen in the Penthouse interview, and sometimes I contributed to the process by notbeing media savvy enough. Bottom line, I felt that publishing the material might do more harm than good, so I did not publish it."Your turn.

  76. I figured the pro-gay marriage crowd would be OK with incest. You know, two consenting adults, and all that.By the way, doctors can now test for recessive genes to insure that the couple will not have banjo-players for kids.

  77. All right! Again I’m in here shouting ‘All right!’First, there will be no equating incest with gay marriage basing it on the demonstrably false premise that anyone is talking about incest between adults. That is an idiocy that will cause me to drive to Georgia and throw things at you.Second, what the fuck? Tiny Cat Pants has now become a far outpost in the Trish Wilson Vs. the MRAs war?! What a weird thread this is.Did Penthouse ever run a correction? Has Wilson ever actually been sued? My understanding, limited though it is, is that the answer to both of those questions is ‘no.’ Just saying.

  78. B — nope, Penthouse has never run a retraction because Farrell approved the interview before it was published. It’s unlikely that he was misquoted. As late as 1983, he still maintained (in print) that genital contact between parents and children could be a healthy and natural part of a child’s psycho-sexual development. Trish Wilson has not, to my knowledge, been sued. It’s unclear what she’d be sued for — it’s not libel to publish a direct quote, even if someone later finds his own utterances an embarassment. I guess that’s what he found out when he consulted his lawyer.S — Whatever Farrell avers, he did publish some of this research in smaller, non-peer-reviewed venues. He also lectured on it and worked as an expert witness based on his research. People lie about stuff that they find damaging and embarassing. They also reinvent their past — which is why he can claim that he dropped his research in 1977 as being too incendiary while still publishing in the area for another six years. More generously, perhaps he thinks that publication in a small non-peer-reviewed venue doesn’t count as real "publishing." Whatevs. Your energies would be better spent getting off Google and doing some library research. In trying to defend the guy, however, you’ve managed to make him sound like an utter perv (and a loon — "lie detector tests" built in over the phone? Didn’t your bullshit detector go off just a little?) With friends like you, he doesn’t need Trish Wilson.I’m done on this thread. See you upstream.

  79. Again, you provide nothing to back up your claims. We’ll just have to take your word for it,huh? I’m not defending the guy. That is his statement. The veracity of which is taken at face value until counter claims show otherwise. If you have facts that contradict his statement, cough ’em up, and prove your point.I just want to see if you had more than innuendo and insinuation to buttress your credibility.You don’t. See ya.

  80. Man, you leave the interwebs for a couple of days and this is what happens?Thanks for taking up the good fight, B. Both Bs — Brittney included. :)

  81. Man, I leave the interwebs for a couple of days and this is what happens?Thanks for taking up the good fight, B. Both Bs — Brittney included. :)

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