Clear Language, Clear Mind

August 26, 2016

Comments on Marty Nemko’s “12 Predictions for 2050”

A reader asked me to comment on the predictions/musings by Marty Nemko at his blog. I had never heard of him before, but he’s some kind of coach, radio host and columnist popular in the Bay Area.

The decline in good jobs. My optimistic side predicts that improved education and gene editing to improve intelligence will result in many innovative businesses that require many employees, just like electricity, the automobile, TV, computer, and Internet created millions of jobs. My pessimistic side predicts that ever more jobs will be automated, forcing most people to live on a lot less. The silver lining in that may be that more people will enjoy the pleasures that cost little: creative activity, relationships, voluntarism. On the other hand, work is so central to one’s sense of value, not to mention survival, that the decline in good jobs could incite not just isolated firebombings, but wars.

With regards to jobs, I think:

It’s hard to say how it will impact society. My guess is that it will continue what it has been doing, namely increase taxes so that the non-working fraction can live off the working fraction. The working fraction will get even smaller (also due to population aging). Human labor will move to areas that are hard to automate or which result in uncanny valley effects.

Increases in cognitive ability thru genetic engineering are about 20 years out in the future because that’s the time it takes to grow up or so, and we already have the technology to increase cognitive ability thru embryo selection. On the bright side, automation makes things cheaper meaning that lower incomes can buy comparatively more things. Business as usual.

Stubbornly ineffective education.  I’ve often written that despite the U.S. spending #1 per capita on education, it flounders near the achievement bottom among the world’s developed nations. By mid-century, we’ll finally accept that we’ve been just nibbling at the problem: that making kids sit through longer school days with the same teachers, no matter how high their expectations, will not begin to prepare most kids for the highly-advanced technical world they’ll need to be hirable in. By mid-century, I believe that most kids will take SuperCourses: touchable holographic representations of the world’s most transformational teachers guiding highly immersive, gamified, individualized classes. A live person will be in the classroom to provide the human touch, tutoring, and classroom discipline.

Education doesn’t work the way he thinks it does. PISA scores are mainly just the cognitive ability of the population. The US is lowish because it has many dull people. The demographics are changing in that direction with the mass immigration of Mexicans and Latin Americans.

On the other hand, personalized education will continue the way it has been doing. Online interactive courses will be the mainstream, but they won’t change much in inequality or mean performance. The reason most children or adults don’t learn more isn’t primarily the fault of the education system, it’s their own limitations in cognitive ability and in academic interest. It’s hard to blame them for the latter because most of the stuff one is supposed to learn in school is useless or nearly so. The Internet is here and anyone bright and interested enough can pursue whatever interest they have.

The gender war. I predict women will continue their gains in the gender war. Having largely taken control over society’s mind molders (the schools and media,) the belief will solidify that man is the inferior sex and thus the two sexes will be more polarized than ever. One result will be that the rate of heterosexual romantic cohabitation will decline while lesbian cohabitation will increase. I believe the trend to marginalize men to highly technical, very time-consuming, and/or dangerous occupations will continue.

Women take more education, more also more useless educations. From an individual perspective, they may be winning in the sense that they game the system more effectively (signaling better), but on the other hand: who is wasting time in school learning irrelevant or nonsensical things? The wage gap is still going strong because it’s not caused by differences in degrees. It’s mainly related to which sectors one works in/risk differences, how technical the job is and how much one works. I wouldn’t call this marginalizing (I work in a highly technical, very time-consuming job and I like it that way!). The cohabitation rate will presumably decline, but that’s because housing gets cheaper and so more people can afford to live alone.

Terrorism.  That will fade as its shock value decreases. The West will finally learn the lesson of the millennia from King Cyrus through Churchill in the Dardanelles through our recent debacles in Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, that its attempts to influence the Middle East will almost certainly fail. So except for providing medical research findings, humanitarian donations of food. water, medicine, etc., the West will largely stay out of Middle Eastern countries’ affairs. That will be made easier as the West reduces its dependence of oil, Middle Eastern and otherwise.

Terrorism is an ineffective method of politics. In general, terrorism will decline as other forms of violence do. Terrorism in Western countries will increase but it’s just because we are letting terrorism prone people move in.

Energy. While the evidence for the cost-benefit of attempting to cool the planet will remain unclear, we’ll err on the side of caution—even at great cost and inconvenience to humankind (Think gridlock) and we’ll move to far greater use of clean energy. But physics limitations will preclude solar and wind from being more than a minor contributor to the energy mix. Safe, compact nuclear energy will dominate—powering our homes, cars, and  businesses.

The optimistic prediction is that nuclear will get larger, but it’s hard to say. Nuclear is having a renaissance but mostly due to building in East Asia, and the Fukushima accident caused a lot of bad press, (and economic cost, but not human cost) which may reverse or slow this trend. Many western countries are wasting money trying to power their countries on solar and wind, and while these technologies can work in some places fairly well, they cannot work well for many countries without huge investments. Worse, some are even dismantling their working nuclear for political reasons (Germany, Sweden, USA).

Gene editing. Companies such as 23andMe in collaboration with universities and government will have identified gene clusters powerfully associated with major physical and mental diseases and will also give parents the option of enhancing average functioning to superior functioning: whether resistance to cancer, high intelligence, or abiding altruism.

Not so much editing, embryo selection. :) CRISPR is mostly useful for fixing stray errors (e.g. Huntington’s), not complex traits. Unless it can be done at a massive scale, direct editing will be useless for things like mental illness.

Medicine. We’ll know which preventatives make enough difference to be worth doing. Is vigorous versus moderate exercise worth it? How about veganism? Mindfulnessmeditation? The answers will be clear. And cures will be individualized. One-size-fits-all treatments will be replaced by customized ones based on the person’s genome and biochemical assays.

The answers won’t be clear because causal density/complexity is too high and science too inefficient or biased. Medicine is particularly bad as a science. There are powers trying to fix this, but it will take a long time. Doctors are very conservative and there are monetary interests from big pharma to keep it the way it is.

Transportation. At long last, we’ll get around in flying cars. That provides the freedom of the car without traffic jams—there will be thousands of percent more traffic lanes. Flying cars will be nuclear-solar hybrids. Of course, taxis, trucks, buses, trains, and planes will be driverless.

There will be no mass scale flying cars. Flying cars would be a safety hazard as well as being inefficient means of transportation. I wrote about the topic in Danish recently, but what will happen is this:

  • Services like Uber will push for driverless taxis: autotaxis.
  • Autotaxis will quickly become cheaper than the human driven ones and take over the market.
  • Autotaxis are also more efficient because they can coordinate routes automatically together with the other autotaxis.
  • The cheaper autotaxis become, the less people need to have their own cars. There will be a massive decrease in the number of cars people own. Transport will be a service one pays a monthly fee for, not something one owns equipment for.

Recreation. Most homes will have an immersion room: The walls are screens and a person can choose an environment (jungle, outer space, ancient Rome, whatever) and interact with holograms that feel like people and objects—they’ll befriend, have sex with, fight with, negotiate deals with, etc.  People will still have pets but they’ll have to fight animal rights organizations that will argue that pet ownership is speciesist and mass incarceration.

This seems inefficient to me. I think ordinary virtual reality is a more likely scenario.

September 23, 2013

Review: Making sense of heritability

Filed under: Differential psychology/psychometrics,Education,Feminism/equality,Science,Sociology — Tags: , — Emil O. W. Kirkegaard @ 13:26



This is a GREAT book, which goes down to the basics about heritability and the various claims people have made against it. Highly recommended. Best book of the 29 i have read this year.


The denial of genetically based psychological differences is the kind of sophisti-

cated error normally accessible only to persons having Ph.D. degrees.

David Lykken


Quote checks out.



I was introduced to the nature–nurture debate by reading Ned Block

and Gerald Dworkin’s well-known and widely cited anthology about

the IQ controversy (Block & Dworkin 1976a). This collection of arti-

cles has long been the main source of information about the heredity–

environment problem for a great number of scientists, philosophers, and

other academics. It is not an exaggeration to say that the book has been

the major influence on thinking about this question for many years. Like

most readers, I also left the book with a feeling that hereditarianism (the

view that IQ differences among individuals or groups are in substantial

part due to genetic differences) is facing insuperable objections that strike

at its very core.


There was something very satisfying, especially to philosophers, about

the way hereditarianism was criticized there. A strong emphasis was on

conceptual and methodological difficulties, and the central arguments

against hereditarianism appeared to have full destructive force indepen-

dently of empirical data, which are, as we know, both difficult to evaluate

and inherently unpredictable.


So this looked like a philosopher’s dream come true: a scientific issue

with potentially dangerous political implications was defused not through

an arduous exploration of themessy empiricalmaterial but by using a dis-

tinctly philosophical method of conceptual analysis and methodological

criticism. It was especially gratifying that the undermined position was

often associated with politically unacceptable views like racism, toler-

ation of social injustice, etc. Besides, the defeat of that doctrine had a

certain air of finality. It seemed to be the result of very general, a priori

considerations, which, if correct, could not be reversed by “unpleasant”

discoveries in the future.


But very soon I started having second thoughts about Block and

Dworkin’s collection. The reasons are worth explaining in some detail

I think, because the book is still having a considerable impact, especially

on discussions in philosophy of science.


First, some of the arguments against hereditarianism presented there

were just too successful. The refutations looked so utterly simple, elegant,

and conclusive that it made me wonder whether competent scientists

could have really defended a position that was somanifestly indefensible.

Something was very odd about the whole situation.



There is indeed something about this. This book is a premier case of what Weinberg called mentioned with his comment “…a knowledge of philosophy does not seem to be of use to physicists – always with the exception that the work of some philosophers helps us to avoid the errors of other philosophers.”





Of course,Bouchardwould be justified in notworrying toomuch about

these global methodological criticisms if the only people who made a

fuss over them were philosophers of science. Even with this unfriendly

stance becoming a consensus in philosophy of science, scientists might

still remain unimpressed because many of them would probably be sym-

pathetic to JamesWatson’s claim: “I do not like to suffer at all from what

I call the German disease, an interest in philosophy” (Watson 1986: 19).


Source is: Watson, J. D. 1986, “Biology: A Necessarily Limitless Vista,” in S. Rose and L.

Appignanesi (eds.), Science and Beyond, Oxford, Blackwell.



At this point I am afraid I may lose some of my scientific readers.

Remembering Steven Weinberg’s statement that the insights of philoso-

phers have occasionally benefited scientists, “but generally in a negative

fashion – by protecting them from the preconceptions of other philoso-

phers” (Weinberg 1993: 107), they might conclude that it is best just to

avoid reading any philosophy (including this book), and that in this way

they will neither contract preconceptions nor need protection fromthem.

But the problemis that the preconceptions discussed here do not originate

from a philosophical armchair. Scientists should be aware that to a great

extent these preconceptions come from some of their own. Philosophers

of science uncritically accepted these seductive but ultimately fallacious

arguments from scientists, repackaged them a little, and then fed them

back to the scientific community, which often took them very seriously.

Bad science was mistaken for good philosophy.


Sesardic clearly saw the same connection to Weinberg’s comments as i did. :)



It may seem surprising that Jones dismissed the views of the founder

of his own laboratory (Galton Laboratory, University College London)

in such amanner. But then again this should perhaps not be so surprising.

One can hardly be expected to study seriously the work of a man whom

one happens to call publicly “Victorian racist swine” – the way Jones

referred to Galton in an interview (Grove 1991). Also, in Jones’s book

Genetics for Beginners (Jones & Van Loon 1993: 169), Galton is pictured

in a Nazi uniform, with a swastika on his sleeve.


The virulent antinazism among these lefties is extraordinary. It targets everybody having the least to do with ideas the nazis also liked. It is a wonder no one attacks vegetarians or people who campaign against smoking for being nazis…



Arthur Jensen once said that “a heritability study may be regarded

as a Geiger counter with which one scans the territory in order to find

the spot one can most profitably begin to dig for ore” (Jensen 1972b:

243). That Jensen’s advice as to how to look upon heritability is merely

an application of a standard general procedure in causal reasoning is

confirmed by the following observation from an introduction to causal

analysis: “the decomposition of statistical associations represents a first

step. The results indicate which effects are important and which may be

safely ignored, that is, where we ought to start digging in order to uncover

the nature of the causal mechanisms producing association between our

variables” (Hellevik 1984: 149). High heritability of a trait (in a given

population) often signals that it may be worthwhile to dig further, in the

sense that an important geneticmechanismcontrolling differences in this

trait may thus be uncovered.8


Another great Jensen insight.


Citation is to: 1972b, “Discussion,” in L. Ehrman, G. S. Omenn, E. Caspari (eds.), Genetics,

Environment and Behavior, New York, Academic Press.



Second, even if a trait is shared by all organisms in a given population

it can still be heritable – if we take a broader perspective, and compare

that populationwith other populations. The critics of heritability are often

confused, and switch from one perspective to another without noticing it.

Consider the following “problem” for heritability:


the heritability of “walking on two legs” is zero.And yetwalking on two legs

is clearly a fundamental property of being human, and is one of the more

obvious biological differences between humans and other great apes such

as chimpanzees or gorillas. It obviously depends heavily on genes, despite

having a heritability of zero. (Bateson 2001b: 565; cf. Bateson 2001a: 150–

151; 2002: 2212)


When Bateson speaks about the differences between humans and other

great apes, the heritability of walking on two legs in that population

(consisting of humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas) is certainly not zero.

On the other hand, within the human species itself the heritability may

well be zero. So, if it is just made entirely clear which population is

being discussed, no puzzling element remains. In the narrower popula-

tion (humans), the question “Do genetic differences explain why some

people walk on two legs and some don’t?” has a negative answer because

there are no such genetic differences. In the broader population (humans,

chimpanzees, and gorillas) the question “Do genetic differences explain

why some organisms walk on two legs and some don’t?” has an affirma-

tive answer. All this neatly accords with the logic of heritability, and cre-

ates no problem whatsoever. The critics of hereditarianism like to repeat

that heritability is a population-relative statistic, but when they raise this

kind of objection it seems that they themselves forget this important



Things like the number of finger is also heritable within populations. There are rare genetic mutations that cause supernumerary body parts:


However, these are very rare, so to spot them, one needs a huge sample size. Surely the heritability of having 6 fingers is high, while the heritability of having 4 fingers is low, but not zero. Of the people who have 4 fingers, most of the casesare probably caused by unique environment (i.e. accidents), but some are caused by genetics.



(4) It is often said that in individual cases it is meaningless to compare

the importance of interacting causes: “If an event is the result of the joint

operation of a number of causative chains and if these causes ‘interact’

in any generally accepted meaning of the word, it becomes conceptually

impossible to assign quantitative values to the causes of that individual

event” (Lewontin 1976a: 181).But this is in fact not true.Take, for example,

the rectangle with width 2 and length 1 (from Figure 2.3). Its area is 2,

which is considerably below the average area for all rectangles (around

100). Why is that particular rectangle smaller than most others? Is its

width or its length more responsible for that? Actually, this question is

not absurd at all. It has a straightforward and perfectlymeaningful answer.

The rectangleswith thatwidth (2) have on average the area that is identical

to the mean area for all rectangles (100.66), so the explanation why the

area of that particular rectangle deviates so much from the mean value

cannot be in its width. It is its below-average length that is responsible.


Even the usually cautious David Lykken slips here by condemning

the measurement of causal influences in the individual case as inherently

absurd: “It is meaningless to ask whether Isaac Newton’s genius was due

more to his genes or his environment, as meaningless as asking whether

the area of a rectangle is due more to its length or its width” (Lykken

1998a: 24). Contrary to what he says, however, it makes perfect sense to

inquire whether Newton’s extraordinary contributions were more due to

his above-average inherited intellectual ability or to his being exposed

to an above-average stimulating intellectual environment (or to some

particular combination of the two). The Nuffield Council on Bioethics

makes a similar mistake in its report on genetics and human behavior:

“It is vital to understand that neither concept of heritability [broad or

narrow] allows us to conclude anything about the role of heredity in the

development of a characteristic in an individual” (Nuffield 2002: 40). On

the contrary, if the broad heritability of a trait is high, this does tell us

that any individual’s phenotypic divergence from the mean is probably

more caused by a non-standard genetic influence than by a non-typical

environment. For a characteristically clear explanation of why gauging

the contributions of heredity and environment is not meaningless even in

an individual case, see Sober 1994: 190–192.


This is a good point. The reason not to talk about the causes of a particular level of g in some person is not that it is a meaningless question, it is that it is difficult to know the answer. But in some cases, it is clearly possible, cf. my number of fingers scenario above.



Nesardic mentions two studies that fysical attractiveness is not correlated with intelligence. That goes against what i believe(d?). He cites:


Feingold, A. 1992, “Good-looking People Are NotWhatWe Think,” Psycholog-

ical Bulletin 111: 304–341.


Langlois, J. H., Kalakanis, L., Rubenstein, A. J., Larson, A., Hallam, M., and

Smoot, M. 2000, “Maxims or Myths of Beauty? A Meta-Analytic and Theo-

retical Review,” Psychological Bulletin 126: 390–423.


But i apparently dont have access to the first one. But the second one i do have. In it one can read:


According to this maxim, there is no necessary correspondence

between external appearance and the behavior or personality of an

individual (Ammer, 1992). Two meta-analyses have examined the

relation between attractiveness and some behaviors and traits

(Feingold, 1992b2; L. A. Jackson, Hunter, & Hodge, 1995). Fein-

gold (1992b) reported significant relations between attractiveness

and measures of mental health, social anxiety, popularity, and

sexual activity but nonsignificant relations between attractiveness

and sociability, internal locus of control, freedom from self-

absorption and manipulativeness, and sexual permissiveness in

adults. Feingold also found a nonsignificant relation between at-

tractiveness and intelligence (r = .04) for adults, whereas L. A.

Jackson et al. found a significant relation for both adults (d = .24

overall, d = .02 once selected studies were removed) and for

children (d = .41).


These meta-analyses suggest that there may be a relation be-

twe^n behavior and attractiveness, but the inconsistencies in re-

sults call for additional attention. Moreover, the vast majority of

dependent variables analyzed by Feingold (1992b) and L. A.

Jackson et al. (1995) assessed traits as defined by psychometric

tests (e.g., IQ) rather than behavior as defined by observations of

behaviors in actual interactions. Thus, to fully understand the

relations among appearance, behaviors, and traits, it is important to

broaden the conception of behavior beyond that used by Feingold

and L. A. Jackson et al. If beauty is only skin-deep, then a

comprehensive meta-analysis of the literature should find no sig-

nificant differences between attractive and unattractive people in

their behaviors, traits, or self-views.


So, maybe. It seems difficult that g and pa (phy. attract.) is NOT associated purely by effect of mating choices, since females prefer males with high SES and males prefer females with have pa. Then comes the mutational load hypothesis, and the fact that smarter people presumably are better at taking care of their bodies, which increases pa. I find it very difficult indeed to believe that they arent correlated.



In my opinion, this kind of deliberate misrepresentation in attacks on

hereditarianism is less frequent than sheer ignorance. But why is it that a

number of peoplewho publicly attack “Jensenism” are so poorly informed

about Jensen’s real views? Given the magnitude of their distortions and

the ease with which these misinterpretations spread, one is alerted to

the possibility that at least some of these anti-hereditarians did not get

their information about hereditarianismfirst hand, fromprimary sources,

but only indirectly, from the texts of unsympathetic and sometimes quite

biased critics.8In this connection, it is interesting to note that several

authors who strongly disagree with Jensen (Longino 1990; Bowler 1989;

Allen 1990; Billings et al. 1992; McInerney 1996; Beckwith 1993; Kassim

2002) refer to his classic paper from 1969 by citing the volume of the

Harvard Educational Review incorrectly as “33” (instead of “39”). What

makes this mis-citation noteworthy is that the very same mistake is to

be found in Gould’s Mismeasure of Man (in both editions). Now the

fact that Gould’s idiosyncratic lapsus calami gets repeated in the later

sources is either an extremely unlikely coincidence or else it reveals that

these authors’ references to Jensen’s paper actually originate from their

contact with Gould’s text, not Jensen’s.


Gotcha. A nice illustrating case of the thing map makers used to use to prove plagiarism.


Incidentally, in this case it ended up having another use! :)



Nesardic quotes:


In December 1986 our newly-born daughter was diagnosed to be suffering

from a genetically caused disease called Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa

(EB). This is a disease in which the skin of the sufferer is lacking in certain

essential fibers. As a result, any contact with her skin caused large blisters

to form, which subsequently burst leaving raw open skin that healed only

slowly and left terrible scarring. As EB is a genetically caused disease it

is incurable and the form that our daughter suffered from usually causes

death within the first sixmonths of life . . .Our daughter died after a painful

and short life at the age of only 12 weeks. (quoted in Glover 2001: 431 –

italics added)


from: Glover, J. 2001, “Future People, Disability, and Screening,” in J. Harris (ed.),

Bioethics, Oxford, Oxford University Press.


Nasty disease indeed. Only eugenics can avoid such atrocities.



On the contrary, empirical evidence suggests that for many important

psychological traits (particularly IQ), the environmental influences that

account for phenotypic variation among adults largely belong to the non-

shared variety. In particular, adoption studies of genetically unrelated

children raised in the same family show that for many traits the adult

phenotypic correlation among these children is very close to zero (Plomin

et al. 2001: 299–300). This very surprising but consistent result points

to the conclusion that we may have greatly overestimated the impact

of variation in shared environmental influences.6The fact that variation

within a normal range does not have much effect was dramatized in the

following way by neuroscientist Steve Petersen:


At a minimum, development really wants to happen. It takes very impov-

erished environments to interfere with development because the biological

system has evolved so that the environment alone stimulates development.

What does this mean? Don’t raise your children in a closet, starve them, or

hit them in the head with a frying pan. (Quoted in Bruer 1999: 188)


But if social reforms are mainly directed at eliminating precisely these

between-family inequalities (economic, social, and educational), and if

these differences are not so consequential as we thought, then egalitar-

ianism will find a point of resistance not just in genes but also in the

non-heritable domain, i.e., in those uncontrollable and chaotically emerg-

ing environmental differences that by their very nature cannot be an easy

object for social manipulation.


All this shows that it is irresponsible to disregard constraints on mal-

leability and fan false hopes about what social or educational reforms can

do. As David Rowe said:


As social scientists, we should be wary of promisingmore than we are likely

to deliver. Physicists do not greet every new perpetual motion machine,

created by a basement inventor, with shouts of joy and claims of an endless

source of electrical or mechanical power; no, they know the laws of physics

would prevent it. (Rowe 1997: 154)


I will end this chapter with another qualification.Although heritability

puts constraints on malleability it is, strictly speaking, incorrect to say

that the heritable part of phenotypic variance cannot be decreased by

environmentalmanipulation. It is true that if heritability is, say, 80 percent

then at most 20 percent of the variation can be eliminated by equalizing

environments. But if we consider redistributing environments, without

necessarily equalizing them, a larger portion of variance than 20 percent

can be removed.


Table 5.5 gives an illustration how this might work.

In this examplewith just two genotypes and two environments (equally

distributed in the population), themain effect of the genotype on the vari-

ation in the trait (say, IQ) is obviously stronger than the environmental

effect. Going from G2 to G1 increases IQ 20 points, while going from the

less favorable environment (E2) to the more favorable one (E1) leads

to an increase of only 10 points. Heritability is 80 percent, the genetic

variance being 100 and the environmental variance being 25. Now if we

expose everyone to the more favorable environment (E1) we will com-

pletely remove the environmental variance (25), and the variance in the

new population will be 100. The genetic variance survives environmental

manipulation unscathed.




But there is a way to make an incursion into the “genetic territory.”

Suppose we expose all those endowed with G1 to the less favorable

environment (E2) and those with G2 to the more favorable environment

(E1). In this way we would get rid of the highest and lowest score, and

we would be left only with scores of 95 and 105. In terms of variance, we

would have succeeded in eliminating 80 percent of variance by manipu-

lating environment, despite heritability being 80 percent.


How is this possible? The answer is in the formula for calculating vari-

ance in chapter 1 (see p. 21). One component of variance is genotype–

environment correlation, which can have a negative numerical value.

This is what has happened in our example. The phenotype-increasing

genotype was paired with the phenotype-decreasing environment, and

the phenotype-decreasing genotype was paired with the phenotype-

increasing environment. This move introduced the negative G–E corre-

lation and neutralized the main effects, bringing about a drastic drop in



The strategy calls to mind the famous Kurt Vonnegut story “Harrison

Bergeron,” where the society intervenes very early and suppresses the

mere expression of superior innate abilities by imposing artificial obsta-

cles on gifted individuals. Here is just one short passage from Vonnegut:


And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little

mental-handicap radio in his ear – he was required by law to wear it at all

times. It was tuned to a government transmitter and, every twenty seconds

or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like

George from taking unfair advantage of their brains. (Vonnegut 1970: 7)


We all get a chill from the nightmare world of “Harrison Bergeron.” But

in its milder forms the idea that if the less talented cannot be brought

up to the level of those better endowed, the latter should then be held

back in their development for the sake of equality, is not entirely with-

out adherents. In one of the most carefully argued sociological studies

on inequality there is an interesting proposal in that direction, about

how to reduce differences in cognitive abilities that are caused by genetic



Asociety committed to achieving full cognitive equality would, for example,

probably have to exclude genetically advantaged children from school. It

might also have to impose other handicaps on them, like denying them

access to books and television. Virtually no one thinks cognitive equality

worth such a price.Certainlywe do not.But if our goalwere simply to reduce

cognitive inequality to, say, half its present level, instead of eliminating it

entirely, the pricemight bemuch lower. (Jencks et al. 1972: 75–76 – emphasis



So although Jencks and his associates concede that excluding geneti-

cally advantaged children from school and denying them access to books

may be too drastic, they appear to think that the price of equality could

become acceptable if the goalwas lowered andmeasuresmademoremod-

erate. Are they suggesting that George keeps the little mental-handicap

radio in his ear but that the noise volume should be set only at half



I wonder if someone cud make a good video based on this… Oh that’s right…



David Lykken had a good comment on this tendency of some

Darwinians (he had John Tooby and Leda Cosmides in mind) to pub-

licly dissociate themselves from behavior genetics, in the hope that this

move would make their own research less vulnerable to political criti-

cisms: “Are these folks just being politic, just claiming only the minimum

they need to pursue their own agenda while leaving the behavior geneti-

cists to contend with the main armies of political correctness?” (Lykken



There are some obvious, and other less obvious, consequences of polit-

ically inspired, vituperative attacks on a given hypothesisH.On the obvi-

ous side, many scientists who believe that H is true will be reluctant to

say so, many will publicly condemn it in order to eliminate suspicion that

they might support it, anonymous polls of scientists’ opinions will give

a different picture from the most vocal and most frequent public pro-

nouncements (Snyderman & Rothman 1988), it will be difficult to get

funding for research on “sensitive” topics,19the whole research area will

be avoided by many because one could not be sure to end up with the

“right” conclusion,20texts insufficiently critical of “condemned” views

will not be accepted for publication,21etc.


On the less obvious side, a nasty campaign against H could have the

unintended effect of strengthening H epistemically, and making the criti-

cism of H look less convincing. Simply, if you happen to believe that H is

true and if you also know that opponents of H will be strongly tempted

to “play dirty,” that they will be eager to seize upon your smallest mis-

take, blow it out of all proportion, and label you with Dennett’s “good

epithets,” with a number of personal attacks thrown in for good measure,

then if you still want to advocate H, you will surely take extreme care to

present your argument in the strongest possible form. In the inhospitable

environment for your views, you will be aware that any major error is a

liability that you can hardly afford, because it willmore likely be regarded

as a reflection of your sinister political intentions than as a sign of your

fallibility. The last thing onewants in this situation is the disastrous combi-

nation of being politically denounced (say, as a “racist”) and being proved

to be seriously wrong about science. Therefore, in the attempt to make

themselves as little vulnerable as possible to attacks they can expect from

their uncharitable and strident critics, those who defendHwill tread very

cautiously and try to build a very solid case before committing themselves

publicly. As a result, the quality of their argument will tend to rise, if the

subject matter allows it.22


Interesting effects of the unpopularity of the views.



First of all, the issue about heritability is obviously a purely empirical

and factual one. So there is a strong case for denying that it can affect

our normative beliefs. But it is worth noting that the idea that a certain

heritability value could have political implications was not only criticized

for violatingHume’s law, but also for being politically dangerous. Bluntly,

if the high heritability of IQ differences between races really has racist

implications then it would seem that, after all, science could actually dis-

cover that racism is true.


The dangerwas clearly recognized byDavidHorowitz in his comments

on a statement on race that the Genetics Society of America (GSA)

wanted to issue in 1975. A committee preparing the statement took the

line that racism is best fought by demonstrating that racists’ belief in the

heritability of the black–white difference in IQ is disproved by science.

Horowitz objected:


The proposed statement is weak morally, for the following reason: Racists

assert that blacks are genetically inferior in I.Q. and therefore need not

be treated as equals. The proposed statement disputes the premise of the

assertion, but not the logic of the conclusion. It does not perceive that the

premise, while it may be mistaken, is not by itself racist: it is the conclusion

drawn (wrongly) from it that is racist. Even if the premise were correct, the

conclusion would not be justified …Yetthe proposed statement directs its

main fire at the premise, and by so doing seems to accept the racist logic.

It places itself in a morally vulnerable position, for if, at some future time,

that the premise is correct, then the whole GSA case collapses, together

with its case for equal opportunity. (Quoted in Provine 1986: 880)


The same argument was made by others:


To rest the case for equal treatment of national or racial minorities on

the assertion that they do not differ from other men is implicitly to admit

that factual inequality would justify unequal treatment. (Hayek 1960:


But to fear research on genetic racial differences, or the possible existence

of a biological basis for differences in abilities, is, in a sense, to grant the

racist’s assumption: that if it should be established beyond reasonable doubt

that there are biological or genetically conditioned differences in mental

abilities among individuals or groups, then we are justified in oppressing

or exploiting those who are most limited in genetic endowment. This is, of

course, a complete non sequitur. (Jensen 1972a: 329)

If someone defends racial discrimination on the grounds of genetic differ-

ences between races, it is more prudent to attack the logic of his argument

than to accept the argument and deny any differences. The latter stance can

leave one in an extremely awkward position if such a difference is subse-

quently shown to exist. (Loehlin et al. 1975: 240)

But it is a dangerousmistake to premise themoral equality of human beings

on biological similarity because dissimilarity, once revealed, then becomes

an argument for moral inequality. (Edwards 2003: 801)


Good point indeed.

September 3, 2013

Review: Who Stole Feminism? (Christina Sommers)

Filed under: Education,Education,Feminism/equality — Tags: , , — Emil O. W. Kirkegaard @ 11:18

Downloaded from here:



I came across Sommers years ago when i read her interview here:


It had this bit:


MS. PAGLIA: Well, one of the things that got me pilloried from coast to coast was when I wrote a piece on date rape for Newsday in January of 1991. It got picked up by the wire services, and the torrent of abuse that poured in. I want women to fend for themselves. That essay that I wrote on rape begins with the line “Rape is an outrage that cannot be tolerated in civilized society.” I absolutely abhor this broadening of the idea of rape, which is an atrocity, to those things that go wrong on a date –acquaintances, you know, little things, miscommunications — on pampered elite college campuses.

MS. SOMMERS: I interviewed a young women at the University of Pennsylvania who came in in a short skirt and she was in the Women’s Center, and I think she thought I was one of the sisterhood. And she said, “Oh, I just suffered a mini-rape.” And I said, “What happened?” And she said, “A boy walked by me and said, `Nice legs’.” You know? And that — and this young woman considers this a form of rape!




after having concentrated on studying the scientific side of things:


I started reading more on the polemic and political side of things:


and now the time has come to give feminism itself a closer view. i cant say this was a pleasurable read, it was mostly disturbing. Worse, its from 1994 so who knows how bad it has become since then?! I had to give this 5 out of 5 for opening my eyes to the insanity that goes on in feminist circles. If feminism has indeed been stolen, it is time to denounce it entirely. After all, no one really wants to take away women’s civil rights anyway (except muslims and radical xtians), so there is no need for explicit equity feminism anymore.




In Revolution from Within, Gloria Steinem informs her readers that “in

this country alone . . . about 150,000 females die of anorexia each year.”1

That is mor e than three times the annual numbe r of fatalities from car

accidents for the total population. Steinem refers readers to anothe r fem­

inist best-seller, Naomi Wolf s The Beauty Myth. And in Ms. Wolf s boo k

one again finds the statistic, along with the author’ s outrage. “How, ” she

asks, “would America react to the mass self-immolation by hunge r of its

favorite sons?”2 Although “nothing justifies comparison with the Holo­

caust,” she cannot refrain from making one anyway. “When confronted

with a vast numbe r of emaciated bodies starved not by nature but by

men, one mus t notice a certain resemblance.”3


Where did Ms. Wolf get her figures? Her source is Fasting Girls: The

Emergence of Anorexia Nervosa as a Modern Disease* by Joan Brumberg, a

historian and former director of women’ s studies at Cornel l University.

Brumberg, too, is fully aware of the political significance of the startling

statistic. She point s out that the wome n wh o study eating problems “seek

to demonstrate that these disorders are an inevitable consequence of a

misogynistic society that demeans women.. . by objectifying their bodies.”5

Professor Brumberg, in turn, attributes the figure to the American Anorexia

and Bulimia Association.


I called the American Anorexia and Bulimia Association and spoke to

Dr. Diane Mickley, its president . “We were misquoted,” she said. In a

1985 newsletter the association had referred to 150,000 to 200,000 suf­

ferers (not fatalities) of anorexia nervosa.


What is the correct morbidity rate? Most experts are reluctant to give

exact figures. On e clinician told me that of 1,400 patients she had treated

in ten years, four had died—al l through suicide. The National Center for

Health Statistics reported 101 deaths from anorexia nervosa in 1983 and

67 deaths in 1988.6 Thoma s Dun n of the Division of Vital Statistics at the

National Center for Health Statistics reports that in 1991 there were 54

deaths from anorexia nervosa and no deaths from bulimia. The deaths of

these young wome n are a tragedy, certainly, but in a country of one

hundre d million adul t females, such number s are hardly evidence of a



Yet now the false figure, supporting the view that our “sexist society”

demeans wome n by objectifying their bodies, is widely accepted as true.

Ann Landers repeated it in her syndicated column in Apri l 1992: “Every

year, 150,000 American wome n die from complications associated with

anorexia and bulimia.”7


I sent Naomi Wol f a letter pointing out that Dr. Mickley had said she

was mistaken. Wol f sent me word on February 3, 1993, that she intends

to revise he r figures on anorexia in a later edition of The Beauty Myth.8

Will she actually state that the correct figure is less than one hundred per

year? And wil l she correct the implications she drew from the false report?

For example, wil l she revise her thesis that masses of young women are

being “starved not by nature but by men” and her declaration that

“women mus t claim anorexia as political damage done to us by a social

order that considers our destruction insignificant.. . as Jews identify the

death camps”?9


This is the OPENING of the book. What the fuck. No wonder feminists are batshit insane if they read this and think its true.



Virginia Held, a philosophy professor at the City University of New

York, reported on the feminist conviction that feminist philosopher s are

the initiators of an intellectual revolution comparable to those of “Coper ­

nicus, Darwin, and Freud.”1 9 Indeed, as Held points out , “some feminists

think the latest revolution will be even mor e profound.” According to

Held, the sex/gender system is the controlling insight of this feminist

revolution. Ms. Held tells us of the impact that the discovery of the sex/

gender system has had on feminist theory: “Now that the sex/gender

system has become visible to us , we can see it everywhere.”2 0


One if reminded of the crackpot index:


“40 points for comparing yourself to Galileo, suggesting that a modern-day Inquisition is hard at work on your case, and so on. “



Anyone reading contemporary feminist literature will find a genre of

writing concerned with personal outrage. Professor Kathryn Allen Ra-

buzzi of Syracuse University opens her book Motherself by recounting this

incident :


As I was walking down a sleazy section of Second Avenue in New

York City a few years ago, a voice suddenly intruded on my con­

sciousness: “Hey Mama, spare change?” The words outraged me. . . .

Although I had by then been a mothe r for many years, never till that

momen t had I seen myself as “Mama” in such an impersonal , exter-

nal context . In the man’ s speaking I beheld myself anew. “1 ” disap­

peared, as though turned inside out , and “Mama” took my place.2 1


Ms. Rabuzzi informs us that the panhandler’ s term caused in her a

“shocking dislocation of self.” Similarly, University of Illinois feminist

theorist Sandra Lee Bartky recounts:


It is a fine spring day, and with an utter lack of self-consciousness,

I am bouncing down the street . Suddenly . . . catcalls and whistles

fill the air. These noises are clearly sexual in intent and they are

meant for me; they come from across the street . I freeze. As Sartre

would say, I have been petrified by the gaze of the Other . My face

flushes and my motions become stiff and self-conscious. The body

which only a momen t before I inhabited with such ease now floods

my consciousness. I have been made into an object. . . . Blissfully

unaware, breasts bouncing, eyes on the birds in the trees, I could

have passed by without having been turned to stone. But I mus t be

made to know that I am a “nice piece of ass”: I mus t be made to see

myself as they see me. There is an element of compulsion in . . . this

being-made-to-be-aware of one’s own flesh: like being made to

apologize, it is humiliating. . . . Wha t I describe seems less the spon­

taneous expression of a healthy eroticism than a ritual of subjuga­

tion.2 2


Marilyn French, the author of The War Against Women, finds herself

vulnerable in museums :


Artists appropriate the female body as their subject , thei r possession

. . . assaulting female reality and autonomy. . . . Visiting galleries

and museums (especially the Pompidou Center in Paris) I feel as­

saulted by twentieth-century abstract sculpture that resembles ex­

aggerated female body parts, mainly breasts.2 3


wtf am i reading


the sick part: THESE ARE PROFESSORS!!!


the ultrasick part: THIS WAS BEFORE 1994! ITS WORSE TODAY



This, for example, is wha t Professor Susan McClary, a musicologist at

the University of Minnesota, tells us to listen for in Beethoven’s Ninth

Symphony: “The point of recapitulation in the first movement of the

Ninth is one of the mos t horrifying moment s in music, as the carefully

prepared cadence is frustrated, damming u p energy which finally ex­

plodes in the throttling, murderous rage of a rapist incapable of attaining

release.”2 5 McClary also directs us to be alert to themes of male mastur ­

bation in the music of Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler.



Seneca Falls focused on specific injustices of the kind that social policy

could repair by making the laws equitable. In thinking about that first

women’ s conference, it is helpful to remembe r the state of the average

American woma n in the mid-nineteent h century. Consider the story of

Hester Vaughan. In 1869, at the age of twenty, she had been deserted by

her husband. She found work in a wealthy Philadelphia home wher e the

man of the house seduced her and, when she became pregnant , fired her .

In a state of terrible indigence, she gave birth alone in an unheated rented

room, collapsing minutes afterward. By the time she was discovered, the

baby had died. She was charged with murder . No lawyer represented her

at her trial, and she was not permitted to testify. An all-male jury found

her guilty, and the judge sentenced her to death.


Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony learned of her plight

and organized a campaign to help her. On e protest meeting drew nearly

a thousand women. Here is how the historian Elisabeth Griffith describes

it: “They demanded a pardon for Vaughan, an end to the double standard

of morality, the right of wome n to serve as jurors , and the admission of

women to law schools. . . . According to Stanton, Vaughan’s trial by a

jury of men . . . illustrated the indignity and injustice of women’ s legal

status.”3 6 Vaughan was pardoned. More crucially, her champions and thei r suc­

cessors went on to win for American wome n in general full equality before

the law, including the right to vote, the right to hold property even in

marriage, the right to divorce, and the right to equal education.


The aims of the Seneca Falls activists were clearly stated, finite, and

practicable. They would eventually be realized because they were

grounded in principles—recognized constitutional principles—tha t were

squarely in the tradition of equity, fairness, and individual liberty. Stan­

ton’s reliance on the Declaration of Independenc e was not a ploy; it was

a direct expression of her own sincere creed, and it was the creed of the

assembled men and women. Indeed, it is worth remembering that Seneca

Falls was organized by both me n and wome n and that me n actively

participated in it and were welcomed.3 7 Misandrism (hostility to men, the

counterpar t to misogyny) was not a notable feature of the women’ s move ­

ment unti l our own times.


dafuq, but good it got changed!



Recently several male student s at Vassar were falsely accused of date

rape. After thei r innocence was established, the assistant dean of students ,

Catherine Comins , said of thei r ordeal : “They have a lot of pain, but it is

not a pain that I would necessarily have spared them. I think it ideally

initiates a process of self-exploration. ‘How do I see women?’ ‘If I did not

violate her , could I have?’ ‘Do I have the potential to do to her what they

say I did?’ These are good questions.”8 Dean Comins clearly feels justified

in trumping the commo n law principle “presumed innocent unti l proven

guilty” by a new feminist principle, “guilty even if proven innocent.”

Indeed, she believes that the student s are not really innocent after all.

How so? Because, being male and being brought u p in the patriarchal

culture, they could easily have done wha t they were falsely accused of

having done , even though they didn’ t actually do it. Wher e men are

concerned, Comins quite sincerely believes in collective guilt. Moreover,

she feels she can rely on her audience to be in general agreement with

her on this.





Does it matter that academic feminists speak of replacing seminars

with “ovulars,” history with “herstory,” and theology with “thealogy”?

Should it concern us that mos t teachers of women’ s studies think of

knowledge as a “patriarchal construction”? It should, because twenty

years ago the nation’s academies offered fewer than twenty courses in

women’ s studies; today such courses numbe r in the tens of thousands .

Such rapid growth, which even now shows little signs of abating, is un­

precedented in the annal s of higher education. The feminist coloniza-

tion of the American academy warrants study. Wha t is driving it? Is it a

good thing?


u know, i thought it was a parody when critics said “herstory”. But it wanst!



The misplaced efforts to avoid slighting women lead quickly to exten­

sive “re-visionings” of history, art , and the sciences. The Center for the

Study of Social and Political Change at Smith College did a critical study

of three of the mos t widely used new high school American history

textbooks. Because of state mandates for gender equality, the author s of

the new textbooks had to go out of their way to give wome n prominence.

The Smith researchers were not happy with the results:


There is one major problem .. . in writing nonsexist history text­

books . Most of America’s history is male-dominated, in par t because

in mos t states wome n were not allowed to vote in federal elections

or hold office unti l the twentieth century. This may be regrettable,

but it is still a fact. What , then, is a nonsexist writer of the American

history textbook to do? The answer is filler feminism.1 9


Filler feminism pads history with its own “facts” designed to drive

home the lessons feminists wish to impart . The following passage from

one of the mos t widely used high school American history texts, American

Voices, is a good example of the sort of “feel good” feminist spin that has

become the norm in our nation’s textbooks:


A typical [Indian] family thus consisted of an old woman, her

daughter s with thei r husbands and children, and her unmarried

granddaughter s and grandsons . . . . Politically, women’ s roles and

status varied from culture to culture. Wome n were mor e likely to

assume leadership roles among the agricultural peoples than among

nomadi c hunters . In addition, in many cases in which women did

not become village chiefs, they still exercised substantial political

power . For example, in Iroquois villages, when selected men sat in

a circle to discuss and make decisions, the senior women of the

village stood behind them, lobbying and instructing the men. In

addition, the elder wome n named the male village chiefs to their

positions.2 0


Though some of the information about the Iroquois is vaguely correct ,

the paragraph is blatantly designed to give high school student s the

impression that mos t Native American societies tended to be politically

matriarchal . Since that is not true, the textbook “covers” itself by the

formal disclaimer that “in many cases .. . the wome n did not become

village chiefs.” (In how many cases? A smal l minority? A large majority?)

This is patronizing to both Indians and women , and there is no basis for

it. There are mor e than 350 recognized Indian tribes—one can n o mor e

generalize about them than one can about “humanity. ” Here is wha t

Gilbert Sewall of the American Textbook Counci l says about this passage:

“Female-headed households? Bad old history may cede to bad new his­

tory. The presentist spin on Indian society found in the American Voices

passage is less versed in evidence than aligned to contemporary feminist

politics and perspectives.”2 1



I think the EU recently tried something like this as well, but i cant find the ref.



The problem of “filler feminism” will get worse. Transformationists are

wel l organized, and thei r influence is growing apace. Because of transfor­

mationist pressures , the law in some states now actually mandates “gen­

der-fair” history. The California State Department of Education has issued

guidelines called “Standards for Evaluation of Instructional Materials with

Respect to Social Content. ” According to Education Code section

60040(a) and 60044(a) , “Whenever an instructional material presents

development s in history or current events, or achievements in art, science,

or any other field, the contributions of wome n and men should be rep­

resented in approximately equal number.”2 6 In effect, this law demands

that the historian be mor e attentive to the demands of “equal representa­

tion” than to the historical facts. Needless to say, histories and social

studies presented in this “fair” but factually skewed manne r constitute an

unworthy and dishones t approach to learning.

In the history of the high arts the absence of wome n is deplorable but

largely irreparable. Few wome n in the past were allowed to train and

work in the major arts. Because of this, me n have wrought mos t of the

works that are commonly recognized as masterpieces. But here, espe­

cially, the temptation to redress past wrongs through “reconceptualiza-

tion” has proved irresistible.



In their critique of the imperial male culture, the transformationist

feminists do not confine themselves to impugning the history, art , an d

literature of the past . They also regard logic and rationality as “phallocen-

tric.” Elizabeth Minnich traces the cultural tradition to a “few privileged

males . . . wh o are usually called ‘The Greeks. ‘ “3 4 In common with many

other transformationists, Minnich believes that the conceptions of ratio­

nality and intelligence are white, male creations: “At present . . . not only

are student s taught ‘phallocentric’ and ‘colonial ‘ notions of reason as the

forms of rational expression, but the full possible range of expression of

huma n intelligence also tends to be forced into a severely shrunken no –

tion of intelligence.”3 5 Note the reference to a “colonial” rationality with

its implication of deliberate subjugation. It is now commo n practice to

use scare quotes to indicate the feminist suspicion of a “reality” peculiar

to male ways of knowing. For example, the feminist philosopher Joyce

Trebilcot speaks of “the apparatuses of ‘truth, ‘ ‘knowledge, ‘ ‘science, ‘ ”

that men use to “project their personalities as reality.”3 6


The attack on traditional culture has thus escalated to an attack on the

rational standards and methods that have been the hallmark of scientific

progress. The New Jersey Project for reforming the public schools circu­

lates a document entitled “Feminist Scholarship Guidelines.” The first

guideline is unexceptionable: “Feminist scholars seek to recover the lost

work and thought of wome n in all areas of huma n endeavor.”3 7 But after

that , the guidelines unravel : “Feminist scholarship begins with an aware­

ness that muc h previous scholarship has offered a white, male, Eurocen­

tric, heterosexist , and elite view of’reality. ‘ ”


The guidelines elaborate on the attitude toward masculinist scholarship

and methods by quoting the feminist theorist Elizabeth Fee: “Knowledge

was created as an act of aggression—a passive nature had to be interro­

gated, unclothed, penetrated, and compelled by ma n to reveal her se­

crets.” Fee’s resentment and suspicion of male “ways of knowing” follows

a path wel l trodden by such feminist thinkers as Mary Ellman, Catharine

MacKinnon, and Sandra Harding, whose views of patriarchal knowledge

and science have quickly become central gender feminist doctrine. Play­

ing on the biblical double meaning of knowing to refer both to intercourse

and to cognition, Ellman and MacKinnon claim that men approach nature

as rapists approach a woman , taking joy in violating “her,” in “penetrat ­

ing” her secrets. Feminists, says MacKinnon, have finally realized that for

men, “to know has meant to fuck.”3 8 In a similar mood, Sandra Harding

suggests that Newton’ s Principles of Mechanics could jus t as aptly be

called “Newton’ s Rape Manual.”





Male scholars specializing in their masculinist academic disciplines

(from chemistry to philosophy) are known to transformationists as “sep­

arate knowers. ” The author s of Women’s Ways oj Knowing, a text muc h

cited by transformationists, define “separate knowing” as “the game of

impersonal reason,” a game that has “belonged traditionally to boys.”4 0

“Separate knower s are tough-minded. They are like doormen at exclusive

clubs. They do not want to let anything in unless they are pretty sure it is

good. . . . Presented with a proposition, separate knower s immediately

look for something wrong—a loophole, a factual error, a logical contra­

diction, the omission of contrary evidence.”4 1


Separate knowers—mainly men—pla y the “doubting game. ” The au­

thors of Women’s Ways of Knowing contrast separate knowing with a

higher state of “connected knowing” that they view as the mor e feminine.

In place of the “doubting game,” connected knower s play the “believing

game.” This is more congenial for wome n because “many women find it

easier to believe than to doubt.”4 2


not science!



Linda Gardiner , editor of the Women’s Review of Books, which is housed

in the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women , wonder s

whether Western philosophy speaks for wome n at all. “We might begin

to question the impor t of Descartes’ stress on logic and mathematics as

the ideal types of rationality, in a society in which only a tiny percentage

of people could realistically spend time developing skills in those fields,”

she writes.5 9 Noting that the philosophical elite is biased in favor of the

abstract , methodical , and universal , Gardiner suggests that a feminist

philosophy would be mor e concrete and mor e suspicious of logic and

method. “What would a female logic be like?” she asks, and answer s that

this would be like asking wha t female astronomy or particle physics

would be like. “We cannot imagine wha t it would mean to have a ‘female

version’ of them.”6 0 For that , says Ms. Gardiner , we should first need to

develop different epistemologies. Reading Gardiner’s spirited argument s

for the thesis that classical philosophy is essentially and inveterately male

biased, one cannot avoid the impression that the feminist critic is mor e

ingenious at finding male bias in a field than in proposing an intelligible

alternative way to deal with its subject matter .


Reminds me of:


“You can buy any number of books on ‘quantum healing’, not to mention quantum psychology, quantum responsibility, quantum morality, quantum aesthetics, quantum immortality and quantum theology. I haven’t found a book on quantum feminism, quantum financial management or Afro-quantum theory, but give it time.”
– Richard Dawkins, A Devil’s Chaplain (Page 147)


Just replace “quantum” by ”feminist” and u apparently can get “feminist particle physics” “feminist astronomy” and “feminist logic”.


What the fuck am i reading



Feminist critics have looked at the metaphor s of “male science” and

found them sexist. I recently heard a feminist astronomer interviewed on

CNN say in all seriousness that sexist terminology like “the Big Bang

Theory” is “off-putting to young women ” wh o might otherwise be inter­

ested in pursuing careers in her field.64 It is hard to believe that anyone

with an intelligent interest in astronomy would be pu t off by a graphic

description of a cosmic event . Othe r critiques of science as masculinist

are equally fatuous and scientifically fruitless. After asserting that “the

warlike terminology of immunology which focuses on ‘competition, ‘ ‘in­

hibition, ‘ and ‘invasion’ as major theories of how cells interact reflects a

militaristic view of the world, ” Sue Rosser, wh o offers workshops on how

to transform the biology curriculum, concedes that “a feminist critique

has not yet produced theoretical changes in the area of cell biology.”6 5

She does not tell us how the “feminist critique” could lead to advances in

biology, but she considers it obvious that it must : “It becomes evident

that the inclusion of a feminist perspective leads to changes in models,

experimental subjects, and interpretations of the data. These changes

entai l mor e inclusive, enriched theories compared to the traditional , re­

strictive, unicausal theories.”6 6



Yet although the transformationists have every reason to celebrate thei r

many successes, they have recently experienced a setback from an unex­

pected quarter . Whe n Mcintosh, Minnich, and thei r followers demande d

that the oppressive European, white, male culture being taught in the

schools be radically transformed, they had not imagined that anyone

could look upo n them as oppressors. The transformationist leaders are

not men, but they are white, they are “European,” they are middle-class.

Minority wome n have begun to deny that the leaders of the women’ s

movement have any right to speak for them. Most member s of the wome n

of color caucus boycotted the 1992 Austin National Women’ s Studies

Conference I attended for its failure to recognize and respect their political

identity. The slighted group sent the conferees an African-American wom­

en’s quil t made from dashiki fabrics, as both a reprimand and a “healing

gesture.” The assembled white feminists sat before it in resentful but

guilty silence. In the game of moral one-upmanship that gender feminists

are so good at, they had been outquilted, as it were, by a mor e marginal ­

ized constituency. Clearly any number of minority groups can play the

victimology game, and almost all could play it far mor e plausibly than

the socially well-positioned Heilbruns, Mclntoshes, and Minniches.


Hahahahaha! Pwned at their own game.



Women: A Feminist Perspective is said to be the best-selling women’ s

studies textbook of all time. The first selection, “Sexual Terrorism” by

Carole J. Sheffield, is a good example of how the feminist classroom can

“infuse” anxiety and rage. Ms. Sheffield describes an “ordinary” event that

took place early one evening whe n she was alone in a Laundromat : “The

laundroma t was brightly lit; and my car was the only one in the lot.

Anyone passing by could readily see that I was alone and isolated. Know­

ing that rape is a crime of opportunity, I became terrified.” Ms. Sheffield

left her laundry in the washer and dashed back to her car, sitting in it

with the door s locked and the windows up. “When the wash was com­

pleted, I dashed in, threw the clothes into the drier, and ran back out to

my car. Whe n the clothes were dry, I tossed them recklessly into the

basket and hurriedly drove away to fold them in the security of my home.

Although I was not victimized in a direct , physical way or by objective or

measurable standards , I felt victimized. It was, for me, a terrifying expe­

rience.” At home , her terror subsides and turns to anger: “Mostly I was

angry at being unfree: a hostage of a culture that , for the mos t part ,

encourages violence against females, instructs men in the methodology of

sexual violence, and provides them with ready justification for their vio­

lence. . . . Following my experience at the Laundromat , I talked with my

student s about terrorization.”





For the pas t few years I have reviewed hundreds of syllabi from wom­

en’s studies courses, attended mor e feminist conferences than I care to

remember , studied the new “feminist pedagogy,” reviewed dozens of

texts, journals , newsletters, and done a lot of late-into-the-night reading

of e-mai l letters that thousands of “networked” women’ s studies teachers

send to one another . I have taught feminist theory. I have debated gender

feminists on college campuses around the country, and on national tele­

vision an d radio. My experience with academic feminism and my immer ­

sion in the ever-growing gender feminist literature have served to deepen

my conviction that the majority of women’ s studies classes and other

classes that teach a “reconceptualized” subject matter are unscholarly,

intolerant of dissent , and full of gimmicks. In other words , they are a

waste of time. And although they attract female student s because of their

social ambience, they attract almost no men. They divert the energies of

students—especially young women—wh o sorely need to be learning

how to live in a world that demand s of them applicable talents and skills,

not feminist fervor or ideological rectitude.


In other words, a feminist argument for why feminism as a field is bad.



The feminist classroom does little to prepare student s to cope in the

world of work and culture. It is an embarrassing scandal that , in the name

of feminism, young wome n in our colleges and universities are taking

courses in feminist classrooms that subject them to a lot of bad prose,

psychobabble, and “new age” nonsense. Wha t has real feminism to do

with sitting around in circles and talking about our feelings on menstrua­

tion? To use a phrase muc h used by resenter feminists, the feminist

classroom shortchanges wome n students . It wastes their time and gives

them bad intellectual habits. It isolates them, socially and academically.

While male student s are off studying such “vertical” subjects as engineer ­

ing and biology, wome n in feminist classrooms are sitting around being

“safe” and “honoring” feelings. In this way, gender feminist pedagogy

plays into old sexist stereotypes that extol women’ s capacity for intuition,

emotion, and empathy while denigrating their capacity to think objec­

tively and systematically in the way me n can.


A parent should think very carefully before sending a daughter to one

of the mor e gender-feminized colleges. Any school has the freedom to

transform itself into a feminist bastion, but because the effect on the

students is so powerful it ought to be hones t about its attitude. I would

like to see Wellesley College, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Mills, and the

University of Minnesota—among the mor e extreme examples—print the

following announcement on the first page of their bulletins:


We wil l help your daughter discover the extent to which she has

been in complicity with the patriarchy. We will encourage her to

reconstruct herself through dialogue with us. She may become en­

raged and chronically offended. She will very likely reject the reli­

gious and moral codes you raised her with. She may wel l distance

herself from family and friends. She may change her appearance,

and even her sexual orientation. She may end u p hating you (her

father) and pitying you (her mother) . After she has completed her

reeducation with us , you will certainly be out tens of thousands of

dollars and very possibly be out one daughter as well .


At the Austin conference, my sister and I attended a packed worksho p

called “White Male Hostility in the Feminist Classroom,” led by two

female assistant professors from the State University of New York at

Plattsburgh. What to do about young me n wh o refuse to use gender –

neutral pronouns? Most agreed that the instructor should grade them

down. One of the Plattsburghers told us about a male student wh o had

“baited her” whe n she had defended a fifteen-year-old’s right to have an

abortion without parental consent . The student had asked, “What about

a 15-year-old that wanted to marry a 30-year-old?” She referred to this as

a “trap.” In philosophy, it is known as a legitimate counterexample to be

treated seriously and deal t with by counterargument . But she wanted to

know wha t advice we had to offer.


Haha, well played! If 15 year olds are to have the freedom to get abortions, why shud they not likewise get the freedom to date much older men? Which is the more dangerous?



The claim that all teaching is a form of indoctrination, usually in the

service of those wh o are politically dominant , helps to justify the peda­

gogy of the feminist classroom. Feminist academics often say that apar t

from the enclave of women’ s studies, the university curriculum consists

of “men’ s studies.” They mean by this that mos t of what student s normally

learn is designed to maintain and reinforce the existing patriarchy. To

anyone wh o actually believes this, combatting the standard indoctrination

with a feminist “counter-indoctrination” seems only fair and sensible.


The British philosopher Roger Scruton, aided by two colleagues at the

Education Research Center in England, has pointed to several prominent

features that distinguish indoctrination from normal education.1 8 In a

competent , well-designed course, student s learn methods for weighing

evidence and critical methods for evaluating argument s for soundness .

They learn how to arrive at reasoned conclusions from the best evidence

at hand. By contrast , in cases of indoctrination, the conclusions are as­

sumed beforehand. Scruton calls this feature of indoctrination the “Fore­

gone Conclusion.” According to Scruton, the adoption of a foregone

conclusion is the mos t salient feature of indoctrination. In the case of

gender feminism, the “foregone conclusion” is that American men strive

to keep wome n subjugated.



In December 1989 I received a phon e call from a ma n wh o told me he

was a graduate student at the University of Minnesota. He asked me to

look into some “frightening” things campus feminists were u p to. He

mentioned the Scandinavian studies department . He told me he did not

want to give me his name because he felt he would be hurt : “They are

powerful , they are organized, and they are vindictive.”



Having heard “both sides” of the feminist question at Minnesota, I felt

ready to tackle the mystery of the Scandinavian studies department . It

turned out not to be a mystery at all—only a disturbing example of

extreme feminist vigilance.


On Apri l 12, 1989, four female graduate student s filed sexual harass­

men t charges against all six tenured member s of the Scandinavian studies

department (five me n and one woman) . The professors were called to

Dean Fred Lukerman’ s office, notified of the charges and, according to

the accused, told they’d better get themselves lawyers.


In a letter sent to Professor William Mischler of Scandinavian studies,

Ms. Patricia Mullen, the university officer for sexual harassment , informed

Mischler that he had been accused of sexual harassment and would be

reported to the provos t unless he responded within ten days. Similar

letters were sent to the other five professors. Mischler’s letters contained

no specific facts that could be remotely considered to describe sexual

harassment . Whe n Mischler made further inquiries, he discovered he had

been accused of giving a narrow and “patriarchal” interpretation of Isaak

Dinesen’s work, of not having read a novel a student deemed important ,

and of having greeted a student in a less than friendly manner . Two of

Mischler’s colleagues were accused of harassing the plaintiffs by not hav­

ing given them higher grades.


The plaintiffs had drawn u p a list of punitive demands , among them:

1. the denial of meri t pay for a period of not less than five years;

2. monthly sexual harassment workshops for all Scandinavian core

faculty for at least twelve months ; and

3. annual sexual harassment workshops for all Scandinavian core fac­

ulty, adjunct faculty, visiting faculty, graduate assistants, reader –

graders, and graduate students .


Lacking any suppor t from the administration whatsoever , the profes­

sors were forced to seek legal counsel . On October 13, six month s later,

all charges against four of the accused were dropped. No explanation was

offered. A few month s later, the charges against the remaining two were

dropped, again without explanation. All of them are still shaken from

what they describe as a Kafkaesque ordeal . “When I saw the charges,”

says Professor Allen Simpson, “I panicked. It’s the mos t terrifying

thing . . . they want me fired. It cost me two thousand dollars to have my

response drafted. I can’ t afford justice.”


Professor Mischler requested that the contents of the complaint s be

made public to the Minnesota community. But, according to the Minne­

sota Daily, Patricia Mullen opposed disclosure on the grounds that “it

would dampe n people from coming forward.”4 5


My efforts to reach someone wh o could give me the administration’s

side of the story were not successful. Ms. Mullen declined to speak with

me. Fred Lukerman, wh o was dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the

time, also proved to be inaccessible. I finally did talk to a dean wh o

assured me he was very supportive of feminist causes on campus , but that

he believed the Scandinavian studies affair was indeed a “witch hunt. ”

“But please do not use my name, ” he implored.



In math, at least, it appear s that the vaunted correlation between self-

esteem and achievement does not hold. Instead of a bill called “Gender

Equity in Education,” we need a bill called “Commo n Sense in Educa­

tion,” which would oversee the way the government spends money on

phony education issues. The measure would not need a very big budget ,

but it could save millions by cutting out unneeded projects like the ones

proposed for raising self-esteem and force us instead to address directly

the very real problems we mus t solve if we are to give our student s the

academic competence they need and to which they are entitled.



Paglia’s dismissal of date rape hype infuriates campus feminists, for

whom the rape crisis is very real. On mos t campuses, date-rape groups

hold meetings, marches , rallies. Victims are “survivors,” and their friends

are “co-survivors” wh o also suffer and need counseling.4 1 At some rape

awareness meetings , wome n wh o have not yet been date raped are re­

ferred to as “potential survivors.” Thei r male classmates are “potential

rapists.”4 2





In The Morning After, Katie Roiphe describes the elaborate measures

taken to prevent sexual assaults at Princeton. Blue lights have been in­

stalled around the campus , freshman wome n are issued whistles at ori­

entation. There are marches , rape counseling sessions, emergency

telephones. But as Roiphe tells it, Princeton is a very safe town, and

whenever she walked across a deserted golf course to get to classes, she

was mor e afraid of the wild geese than of a rapist . Roiphe reports that

between 1982 and 1993 only two rapes were reported to the campus

police. And, whe n it comes to violent attacks in general , male student s

are actually mor e likely to be the victims. Roiphe sees the campus rape

crisis movement as a phenomeno n of privilege: these young wome n have

had it all, and whe n they find out that the world can be dangerous and

unpredictable, they are outraged:



Othe r critics, such as Camille Paglia and Berkeley professor of social

welfare Nei l Gilbert , have been targeted for demonstrations, boycotts, and

denunciations . Gilbert began to publish his critical analyses of the Ms./

Koss study in 1990.5 7 Many feminist activists did not look kindly on

Gilbert’s challenge to thei r “one in four” figure. A date rape clearinghouse

in San Francisco devotes itself to “refuting” Gilbert ; it sends out masses

of literature attacking him. It advertises at feminist conferences with green

and orange fliers bearing the headline STOP IT, BITCH! The words are not

Gilbert’s, but the tactic is an effective way of drawing attention to his

work. At one demonstration against Gilbert on the Berkeley campus ,

student s chanted, “Cut it out or cut it off,” and carried signs that read,

KILL NEIL GILBERT! 5 8 Sheila Kuehl , the director of the California Women’ s

Law Center , confided to readers of the Los Angeles Daily Journal, “I found

myself wishing that Gilbert , himself, might be raped and .. . be told, to

his face, it had never happened.”


That’s so extreme it probably was illegal.



Betty Friedan once told Simone de Beauvoir that she believed women

should have the choice to stay home to raise their children if that is what

they wish to do. Beauvoir answered: “No, we don’ t believe that any

woma n should have this choice. No woma n should be authorized to stay

at home to raise her children. Society should be totally different. Wome n

should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice,

too many wome n will make that one.”4


The totalitarianism shines thru once again.



I can’ t help being amused by how upset the New Feminists get over

the vicarious pleasure wome n take in Scarlett’s transports. All that incor­

rect swooning! How are we ever going to get wome n to see how wrong it

is? Nevertheless, the gender feminists seem to believe that thirty years

from now, with the academy transformed and the feminist consciousness

of the population raised, there will be a new Zeitgeist. Wome n who

interpret sexual domination as pleasurable will then be few and far be­

tween, and Scarlett, alas, will be out of style.


Is this scenario out of the question? I think it is. Sexuality has always

been par t of our natures , and there is no one right way. Men like Rhet t

Butler wil l continue to fascinate many women. Nor will the doctrine that

this demeans them have muc h of an effect. How many women who like

Rhet t Butler-type s are in search of suppor t groups to help them change?

Such wome n are not grateful to the gender feminists for going to war

against male lust . They may even be offended at the suggestion that they

themselves are being degraded and humiliated; for that treats their enjoy­

ment as pathological .



So far, the efforts to get wome n to overhaul their fantasies and desires

have been noncoercive, but they do not seem to have been particularly

effective. To get the results they want , the gender feminists have turned

thei r attention to ar t and literature, wher e fantasies are manufactured and

reinforced. Ms. Friedman calls our attention to Angela Carter’s feminist

rewrite of the “morning after” scene in Gone with the Wind: “Scarlett lies

in bed smiling the next morning because she broke Rhett’s kneecaps the

night before. And the reason that he disappeared before she awoke was

to go off to Europe to visit a good kneecap specialist.”3 0


This is meant to be amusing, but of course the point is serious. For the

gender feminist believes that Margaret Mitchel l got it wrong. If Mitchell

had understood better how to make a true heroine of Scarlett, she would

have mad e her different. Scarlett would then have been the kind of person

wh o would plainly see that Rhet t mus t be severely punished for what he

had inflicted on he r the night before. More generally, the gender feminist

believes she mus t rebut and replace the fiction that glorifies dominant

males and the wome n wh o find them attractive. This popular literature,

which “eroticizes” male dominance , mus t be opposed and, if possible,

eradicated. Furthermore , the feminist establishment mus t seek ways to

foster the popularity of a new genre of romantic film and fiction that

sends a mor e edifying message to the wome n and men of America. A

widely used textbook gives us a fair idea of what that message should be:


Plots for nonsexist films could include wome n in traditionally male

jobs (e.g. , long-distance truck driver). . . . For example, a high-

ranking female Army officer, treated with respect by men and

wome n alike, could be shown not only in various sexual encounters

with other people but also carrying out her job in a human e manner .

Or perhaps the main character could be a female urologist . She

could interact with nurses and other medical personnel , diagnose

illnesses brilliantly, and treat patients with great sympathy as wel l

as have sex with them. Whe n the Army officer or the urologist

engage in sexual activities, they will treat their partners and be

treated by them in some of the considerate ways described above.3 1


The truck driver and the urologist are meant to be serious role models

for the free feminist woman , humane , forthrightly sexual , but not discrim­

inating against either gender in her preferences for partners, so consider­

ate that all wil l respect her . These model s are projected in the hope that

someday films and novels with such themes and heroines will be pre ­

ferred, replacing the currently popula r “incorrect” romances with a mor e

acceptable ideal .


It seems a futile hope . Perhaps the best way to see wha t the gender

feminists are u p against is to compare their version of romance with that

embodied in contemporary romance fiction that sells in the millions. Here

is a typical example:


Townsfolk called him devil. For dark and enigmatic Julian, Earl of

Ravenwood, was a ma n with a legendary temper and a first wife

whose mysterious death would not be forgotten. . . . Now country-

bred Sophy Dorring is about to become Ravenwood’s new bride.

Drawn to his masculine strength and the glitter of desire that burned

in his emerald eyes, the tawny-haired lass had her own reasons for

agreeing to a marriage of convenience. . . . Sophy Dorring intended

to teach the devi l to love.3 2


Romance novels amoun t to almost 4 0 percent of all mass-market pa­

perback sales. Harlequin Enterprises alone has sales of close to 200 mil ­

lion books worldwide. They appear in many languages, including

Japanese, Swedish, and Greek, and they are now beginning to appear in

Eastern Europe. The readership is almost exclusively women.3 3 The chal­

lenge this present s to gender feminist ideologues is mos t formidable since

almost every hero in this fictional genre is an “alpha male” like Rhet t

Butler or the Earl of Ravenwood. It was therefore to be expected that the

New Feminists would make a concerted attempt to correct this literature

and to replace it by a new one.



January 5, 2013

Paper: Evolutionary Psychology and Feminism (David Michael Buss & David P. Schmitt)

Filed under: Evolutionary biology,Evolutionary Psychology,Feminism/equality — Tags: — Emil O. W. Kirkegaard @ 10:50

Evolutionary Psychology and Feminism 2011


Abstract This article provides a historical context of

evolutionary psychology and feminism, and evaluates the

contributions to this special issue of Sex Roles within that

context. We briefly outline the basic tenets of evolutionary

psychology and articulate its meta-theory of the origins of

gender similarities and differences. The article then evaluates

the specific contributions: Sexual Strategies Theory and the

desire for sexual variety; evolved standards of beauty;

hypothesized adaptations to ovulation; the appeal of risk

taking in human mating; understanding the causes of sexual

victimization; and the role of studies of lesbian mate

preferences in evaluating the framework of evolutionary

psychology. Discussion focuses on the importance of social

and cultural context, human behavioral flexibility, and the

evidentiary status of specific evolutionary psychological

hypotheses. We conclude by examining the potential role of

evolutionary psychology in addressing social problems

identified by feminist agendas.

Keywords Evolutionary psychology . Feminism . Sexual

strategies . Gender differences


I came across this study while reading this article, which i think i will comment on later.



The fact that physical attractiveness is so highly valued

by men in mate selection, and contrary to conventional

social science wisdom is not arbitrarily socially constructed,

does not imply that the emphasis placed on it is not

destructive to women—a point about which many feminists

and evolutionary psychologists agree (e.g., Buss 1996;

Wolf 1991; Vandermassen 2005). Many feminist scholars,

evolutionary psychologists, and evolutionary feminists

concur that the value people place on female beauty is

likely a key cause of eating disorders, body image

problems, and potentially dangerous cosmetic surgery. As

Singh and Singh (2011) and others point out, it can lead to

the objectification of women as sex objects to the relative

neglect of other dimensions along which women vary, such

as talents, abilities, and personality characteristics. Finally,

in the modern environment, it seems clear that men’s

evolved standards of female beauty have contributed to a

kind of destructive run-away female-female competition in

the modern environment to embody the qualities men desire

(Buss, 2003; Schmitt and Buss 1996).


In our view, the key point is that feminist stances on the

destructiveness of the importance people place on female

attractiveness need not, and should not, rest on the faulty

assumption that standards of attractiveness are arbitrary

social constructions. Societal change, where change is

desired, is best accomplished by an accurate scientific

understanding of causes. The evolutionary psychological

foundations of attractiveness must be a starting point for

this analysis.


indeed, as is (nearly?) always the case: if one wants to change some state of affairs, then actually understanding WHY it is the way it is to begin with is of paramount importance.



Adaptations to Ovulation

Ovulation attains special status within women’s reproduc-

tive biology because it provides the very brief window

(roughly 12–24 h) during women’s menstrual cycle during

which conception is possible. Conventional wisdom in the

field of human sexuality over the past century has been that

ovulation is cryptic or concealed, even from women

themselves (e.g., Symons 1979). Evolutionary psycholo-

gists over the past decade have begun to challenge this

conventional wisdom. The challenges have come in two

forms—hypothesized adaptations in men to detect ovula-

tion and hypothesized adaptations in women to adjust their

mating behavior around ovulation.


Ancestral men, in principle, could have benefited (in

reproductive currencies) if they could detect when women

ovulated. An ovulation-detection ability would afford men

the ability to selectively direct their sexual overtures toward

women when they are ovulating, as male chimpanzees do.

And already mated men might increase their mate-guarding

efforts when their partners are ovulating. Both strategies, in

principle, could have evolved in men. The key question is:

Did they?More than 20 years ago, Symons (1987) concluded

that such male adaptations to ovulation had not evolved:

“The most straightforward prediction I could have made,

based on simple reproductive logic and the study of

nonhuman animals, would have been that . . . men will be

able to detect when women are ovulating and will find

ovulating women most sexually attractive. Such adaptations

have been looked for in the human male and have never

been found . . .” (p. 133).


it seems to me that the authors need to learn more logic. the above case seems to be an example of an argument from ignorance, altho in a nonstraightforward way. heres how i interpret it:


1) Symons wrote that there is no evidence of such adaptations in humans.

2) thus, Symons thought that there is no evidence of such adaptations in humans.

3) thus, Symons thought that there are no such adaptations in humans.


(2) follows given normal conditions, that is, that he wasnt lying etc. it has a hidden premise stating that the conditions are normal, in a kind of default reasoning way.

(3) however attributes an argument from ignorance inference to Symons, which is not warranted. it may be that the adaptations are difficult to find and that science had per 1987 just missed them.


Symons might not have held the view the authors attribute to him.



[…] And no other framework suggests that adaptations to

ovulation might have evolved. Whatever the eventual

evidentiary status of the competing hypotheses, it is

reasonable to conclude that the search for adaptations to

ovulation has been a fertile one, yielding fascinating

empirical findings.


dat pun



The positive outcome for everyone is that evolutionary

psychological hypotheses, sex role/biosocial theory hy-

potheses, and gender-similarity hypotheses all share the

scientific virtue of making specific empirical predictions.

In this sense, we see this special issue of Sex Roles an

exceptionally positive sign that the discourse is beginning

to move beyond purely ideological stances and toward an

increasingly accurate scientific understanding of gender



since evo psychs dont hav any ideological stance, this description is exceptionally nice to them. the only ones who need to move past any ideology are the marxist feminists.




August 22, 2012

Asimov, anti-intellectualism (more Wiki quotes)

Filed under: Feminism/equality — Emil O. W. Kirkegaard @ 18:17


So, the picture made me go on a Wikipedia reading frency (as it so happens).

Anti-intellectualism is hostility towards and mistrust of intellect, intellectuals, and intellectual pursuits, usually expressed as the derision of education, philosophy, literature, art, and science, as impractical and contemptible. Alternatively, self-described intellectuals who are alleged to fail to adhere to rigorous standards of scholarship may be described as anti-intellectuals although psuedo-intellectualism is a more commonly, and perhaps more accurately, used description for this phenomenon.

In public discourse, anti-intellectuals usually perceive and publicly present themselves as champions of the common folk — populists against political elitism and academic elitism — proposing that the educated are a social class detached from the everyday concerns of the majority, and that they dominate political discourse and higher education.

Because “anti-intellectual” can be pejorative, defining specific cases of anti-intellectualism can be troublesome; one can object to specific facets of intellectualism or the application thereof without being dismissive of intellectual pursuits in general. Moreover, allegations of anti-intellectualism can constitute an appeal to authority or an appeal to ridicule that attempts to discredit an opponent rather than specifically addressing his or her arguments.[1]

Anti-intellectualism is a common facet of totalitarian dictatorships to oppress political dissent. The Nazi party’s populist rhetoric featured anti-intellectual rants as a common motif, including Adolf Hitler‘s political polemic, Mein Kampf. Perhaps its most extreme political form was during the 1970s in Cambodia under the rule of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, when people were killed for being academics or even for merely wearing eyeglasses (as it suggested literacy) in the Killing Fields.[2]

Dictators, and their dictatorship supporters, use anti-intellectualism to gain popular support, by accusing intellectuals of being a socially detached, politically dangerous class who question the extant social norms, who dissent from established opinion, and who reject nationalism, hence they are unpatriotic, and thus subversive of the nation. Violent anti-intellectualism is common to the rise and rule of authoritarian political movements, such as Italian Fascism, Stalinism in Russia, Nazism in Germany, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and Iranian theocracy.[citation needed]


In the English-speaking world, especially in the US, critics like David Horowitz (viz. the David Horowitz Freedom Center), William Bennett, an ex-US secretary of education, and paleoconservative activist Patrick Buchanan, criticize schools and universities as ‘intellectualist‘[citation needed]

In his book The Campus Wars[15] about the widespread student protests of the late 1960s, philosopher John Searle wrote:

the two most salient traits of the radical movement are its anti-intellectualism and its hostility to the university as an institution. […] Intellectuals by definition are people who take ideas seriously for their own sake. Whether or not a theory is true or false is important to them independently of any practical applications it may have. [Intellectuals] have, as Richard Hofstadter has pointed out, an attitude to ideas that is at once playful and pious. But in the radical movement, the intellectual ideal of knowledge for its own sake is rejected. Knowledge is seen as valuable only as a basis for action, and it is not even very valuable there. Far more important than what one knows is how one feels.

In 1972, sociologist Stanislav Andreski[16] warned readers of academic works to be wary of appeals to authority when academics make questionable claims, writing, “do not be impressed by the imprint of a famous publishing house or the volume of an author’s publications. […] Remember that the publishers want to keep the printing presses busy and do not object to nonsense if it can be sold.”

Critics have alleged that much of the prevailing philosophy in American academia (i.e., postmodernism, poststructuralism, relativism) are anti-intellectual: “The displacement of the idea that facts and evidence matter by the idea that everything boils down to subjective interests and perspectives is — second only to American political campaigns — the most prominent and pernicious manifestation of anti-intellectualism in our time.”[17]

In the notorious Sokal Hoax of the 1990s, physicist Alan Sokal submitted a deliberately preposterous paper to Duke University’s Social Texts journal to test if, as he later wrote, a leading “culture studies” periodical would “publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors’ ideological preconceptions.”[18] Social Texts published the paper, seemingly without noting any of the paper’s abundant mathematical and scientific errors, leading Sokal to declare that “my little experiment demonstrate[s], at the very least, that some fashionable sectors of the American academic Left have been getting intellectually lazy.”

In a 1995 interview, social critic Camille Paglia[19] described academics (including herself) as “a parasitic class,” arguing that during widespread social disruption “the only thing holding this culture together will be masculine men of the working class. The cultural elite–women and men–will be pleading for the plumbers and the construction workers.”

Surely Paglia is right about that.

Soviet Union

In the first decade after the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks suspected the Tsarist intelligentsia as potentially traitorous of the proletariat, thus, the initial Soviet government comprised men and women without much formal education. Lenin derided the old intelligentsia with the expression (roughly translated): ‘We ain’t completed no academies’ (мы академиев не кончали).[48] Moreover, the deposed propertied classes were termed Lishentsy (‘the disenfranchised’), whose children were excluded from education; eventually, some 200 Tsarist intellectuals were deported to Germany on Philosophers’ ships in 1922; others were deported to Latvia and to Turkey in 1923.

During the revolutionary period, the pragmatic Bolsheviks employed ‘bourgeois experts’ to manage the economy, industry, and agriculture, and so learn from them. After the Russian Civil War (1917–23), to achieve socialism, the USSR (1922–91) emphasised literacy and education in service to modernising the country via an educated working class intelligentsia, rather than an Ivory Tower intelligentsia. During the 1930s and the 1950s, Joseph Stalin replaced Lenin’s intelligentsia with a “communist” intelligentsia, loyal to him and with a specifically Soviet world view, thereby producing the most egregious examples of Soviet anti-intellectualism — the pseudoscientific theories of Lysenkoism and Japhetic theory, most damaging to biology and linguistics in that country, by subordinating science to a dogmatic interpretation of Marxism.

Deliberate brain drain? That must be a new low.

Equality of outcome, equality of condition, or equality of results is a controversial political concept.[1] Although it is not always clearly defined, it usually describes a state in which people have approximately the same material wealth or, more generally, in which the general economic conditions of their lives are similar. Achieving this requires reducing or eliminating material inequalities between individuals or households in a society. This could involve a transfer of income and/or wealth from wealthier to poorer individuals, or adopting other institutions designed to promote equality of condition from the start. The concept is central to some political ideologies and is used regularly in political discourse, often in contrast to the term equality of opportunity. A related way of defining equality of outcome is to think of it as “equality in the central and valuable things in life.”[2]

Comparisons with related concepts

Equality of outcome is often compared to related concepts of equality. Generally, the concept is most often contrasted with the concept of equality of opportunity, but there are other concepts as well. The term has been seen differently from differing political perspectives, but of all of the terms relating to equality, equality of outcome is the most “controversial” or “contentious”.[1]

  • Equality of opportunity. This conception generally describes fair competition for important jobs and positions such that contenders have equal chances to win such positions,[3] and applicants are not judged or hampered by unfair or arbitrary discrimination.[4][5][6][7] It entails the “elimination of arbitrary discrimination in the process of selection.”[8] The term is usually applied in workplace situations but has been applied in other areas as well such as housing, lending, and voting rights.[9] The essence is that job seekers have “an equal chance to compete within the framework of goals and the structure of rules established,” according to one view.[10] It is generally seen as a procedural value of fair treatment by the rules.[11]

Political philosophy

In political philosophy, there are differing views whether equal outcomes are beneficial or not. One view is that there is a moral basis for equality of outcome, but that means to achieve such an outcome can be malevolent. Equality of outcome can be a good thing after it has been achieved since it reflects the natural “interdependence of citizens in a highly organized economy” and provides a “basis for social policies” which foster harmony and good will, including social cohesion and reduced jealousy. One writer suggested greater socioeconomic equality was “indispensable if we want to realise our shared commonsense values of societal fairness.”[17] Analyst Kenneth Cauthen in his 1987 book The Passion for Equality suggested that there were moral underpinnings for having equal outcomes because there is a common good––which people both contribute to and receive benefits from––and therefore should be enjoyed in common; Cauthen argued that this was a fundamental basis for both equality of opportunity as well as equality of outcome.[18] Analyst George Packer, writing in the journal Foreign Affairs, argued that “inequality undermines democracy” in the United States partially because it “hardens society into a class system, imprisoning people in the circumstances of their birth.”[19] Packer elaborated that inequality “corrodes trust among fellow citizens” and compared it to an “odorless gas which pervades every corner” of the nation.[19]

An opposing view is that equality of outcomes is not beneficial overall for society since it dampens motivation necessary for humans to achieve great things, such as new inventions, intellectual discoveries, and artistic breakthroughs. According to this view, wealth and income is a reward needed to spur such activity, and with this reward removed, then achievements which would benefit everybody may not happen.

If equality of outcomes is seen as beneficial for society, and if people have differing levels of material wealth in the present, then methods to transform a society towards one with greater equality of outcomes is problematic. A mainstream view is that mechanisms to achieve equal outcomes––to take a society and with unequal wealth and force it to equal outcomes––are fraught with moral as well as practical problems since they often involve force to compel the transfer.[18]

And there is general agreement that outcomes matter. In one report in Britain, unequal outcomes in terms of personal wealth had a strong impact on average life expectancy, such that wealthier people tended to live seven years longer than poorer people, and that egalitarian nations tended to have fewer problems with societal issues such as mental illness, violence, teenage pregnancy, and other social problems.[20] Authors of the book The Spirit Level contended that “more equal societies almost always do better” on other measures, and as a result, striving for equal outcomes can have overall beneficial effects for everybody.[20]

Philosopher John Rawls, in his A Theory of Justice (1971), developed a “second principle of justice” that economic and social inequalities can only be justified if they benefit the most disadvantaged members of society. Further, Rawls claims that all economically and socially privileged positions must be open to all people equally. Rawls argues that the inequality between a doctor’s salary and a grocery clerk’s is only acceptable if this is the only way to encourage the training of sufficient numbers of doctors, preventing an unacceptable decline in the availability of medical care (which would therefore disadvantage everyone). Analyst Paul Krugman writing in The New York Times agreed with Rawls’ position in which both equality of opportunity and equality of outcome were linked, and suggested that “we should try to create the society each of us would want if we didn’t know in advance who we’d be.”[21] Krugman favored a society in which hard-working and talented people can get rewarded for their efforts but in which there was a “social safety net” created by taxes to help the less fortunate.[21]

Krugman’s view is pretty similar to mine. Some equivality of outcome is good (cf. Spirit Level above), but too much is bad.

Comparing equalities: outcome vs opportunity

Both equality of outcome and equality of opportunity have been contrasted to a great extent. When evaluated in a simple context, the more preferred term in contemporary political discourse is equality of opportunity which the public, as well as individual commentators, see as the nicer or more “well-mannered”[14] of the two terms.[22] And the term equality of outcome is seen as more controversial which connotes socialism or possibly communism and is viewed skeptically. A mainstream political view is that the comparison of the two terms is valid, but that they are somewhat mutually exclusive in the sense that striving for either type of equality would require sacrificing the other to an extent, and that achieving equality of opportunity necessarily brings about “certain inequalities of outcome.”[8][23] For example, striving for equal outcomes might require discriminating between groups to achieve these outcomes; or striving for equal opportunities in some types of treatment might lead to unequal results.[23] Policies that seek an equality of outcome often require a deviation from the strict application of concepts such as meritocracy, and legal notions of equality before the law for all citizens.[citation needed] ‘Equality seeking’ policies may also have a redistributive focus.

One newspaper account criticized discussion by politicians on the subject of equality as “weasely”, and thought that terms using the word were politically correct and bland. Nevertheless, when comparing equality of opportunity with equality of outcome, the sense was that the latter type was “worse” for society.[25] Equality of outcome may be incorporated into a philosophy that ultimately seeks equality of opportunity. Moving towards a higher equality of outcome (albeit not perfectly equal) can lead to an environment more adept at providing equality of opportunity by eliminating conditions that restrict the possibility for members of society to fulfill their potential. For example, a child born in a poor, dangerous neighborhood with poor schools and little access to healthcare may be significantly disadvantaged in his attempts to maximize use of talents, no matter his work ethic. Thus, even proponents of meritocracy may promote some level of equality of outcome in order to create a society capable of truly providing equality of opportunity.

While outcomes can usually be measured with a great degree of precision, it is much more difficult to measure the intangible nature of opportunities. That is one reason why many proponents of equal opportunity use measures of equality of outcome to judge success. Analyst Anne Phillips argued that the proper way to assess the effectiveness of the hard-to-measure concept of equality of opportunity is by the extent of the actual and easier-to-measure equality of outcome.[14] Nevertheless, she described single criteria to measure equality of outcome as problematic: the metric of “preference satisfaction” was “ideologically loaded” while other measures such as income or wealth were insufficient, according to her view, and she advocated an approach which combined data about resources, occupations, and roles.[14]

When i think of equality of opportunities, i think of free access to education.


Greater equality of outcome is likely to reduce relative poverty, purportedly leading to a more cohesive society. However, if taken to an extreme it may lead to greater absolute poverty if it negatively affects a country’s GDP by damaging workers’ sense of work ethic by destroying incentives to work harder. Critics of equality of outcome believe that it is more important to raise the standard of living of the poorest in absolute terms[citation needed]. Some critics additionally disagree with the concept of equality of outcome on philosophical grounds[citation needed] .


The term dumbing down describes the deliberate diminishment of the intellectual level of the content of literature, film, schooling and education, news, and other aspects of culture. Conceptually, the term “dumb down” originated (c. 1933) as movie-business slang, used by screenplay writers, to mean “revise so as to appeal to those of little education or intelligence”.[1] The occurrences of dumbing down vary in nature, but usually involve the oversimplification of critical thought to the degree of undermining the concept of intellectual standards — of language and learning — whereby are justified the trivialization of cultural, artistic, and academic standards of cultural works, as in popular culture. Nonetheless, the term “dumbing down” is subjective, because what someone considers as “dumbed down” usually depends upon the taste (value judgement) of the reader, the listener, and the viewer. Sociologically, Pierre Bourdieu proposes that, in a society, the cultural practices of dominant social classes are made legitimate culture to the social disadvantage of subordinate social classes and cultural groups.

Mickey Mouse degrees is the dysphemism built from the common usage of the term “Mickey Mouse” as a pejorative. It came to prominence in the UK after use by the national tabloids of the United Kingdom to label certain university degree courses worthless or irrelevant.


The term was used by education minister Margaret Hodge, during a discussion on higher education expansion.[1] Hodge defined a Mickey Mouse course as “one where the content is perhaps not as rigorous as one would expect and where the degree itself may not have huge relevance in the labour market”; and that, furthermore, “simply stacking up numbers on Mickey Mouse courses is not acceptable”. This opinion is often raised in the summer when exam results are released and new university courses revealed. The phrase took off in the late 1990s, as the Labour government created the target of having 50% of students in higher education by 2010.[2]


In 2000, Staffordshire University was mocked as providing ‘David Beckham Studies’ because it provided a module on the sociological importance of football to students taking sociology, sports science or media studies.[3] A professor for the department stressed that the course would not focus on Beckham, and that the module examines “the rise of football from its folk origins in the 17th century, to the power it’s become and the central place it occupies in British culture, and indeed world culture, today.”[3] Similarly, Durham University designed a module centred around Harry Potter to examine “prejudice, citizenship and bullying in modern society” as a part of a BA degree in Education Studies.[4]

Other degrees deemed ‘Mickey Mouse’ include golf management and surf science.[5] One thing these courses share is that they are vocational, which are perceived to be less intellectually rigorous than the traditional academic degrees.[5] Perception has not been helped in the United Kingdom by the conversion of polytechnics to New Universities.[5] These universities then have trouble competing with the more established institutions instead of being judged as polytechnic universities (though some Polytechnics have been around since 1838 – London Polytechnic) and have been offering bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees in academically challenging subjects such as engineering, physics and mathematics and natural sciences since the early 1900s.

Defenders of these courses object that the derogatory comments made in the media rely on the low symbolic capital of new subjects and rarely discuss course contents beyond the titles.[1] Another factor is the correct or incorrect perception that the take up of these subjects, and the decline of more traditional academic subjects like science, engineering, mathematics,[6] is causing the predictable annual grade rise in the United Kingdom.

Although it is perceived as a recent phenomenon, accusations of “dumbing down” have historical roots. In 1828, University College London was criticised for teaching English literature, a subject which has now become relatively prestigious.[7]

A-level subjects and “soft options”

The A-level in General Studies is seen as a Mickey Mouse subject,[5] as well as A-level Critical Thinking, with many universities not accepting it as part of the requirements for an offer.

Additionally, although not considered Mickey Mouse subjects as such, some qualifications are not preferred by top universities and are regarded as “soft options“.[8] A 2007 report stated that the sciences were more challenging than subjects such as English, which might be taken by students to get higher grades for university applications.[9] An American example is a degree in physical education. These have been issued to members of the college’s athletics teams, to make them eligible to play; otherwise they would fail to pass traditional subjects.[10]

Academic inflation is the process of inflation of the minimum job requirement, resulting in an excess of college-educated individuals with lower degrees (associate and bachelor’s degrees) competing for too few jobs that require these degrees and even higher, preferred qualifications (master’s or doctorate degrees). This condition causes an intensified race for higher qualification and education in a society where a bachelor’s degree today is no longer sufficient to gain employment in the same jobs that may have only required a two- or four-year degree in former years. [1] Inflation has occurred in the minimum degree requirements for jobs, to the level of master’s degrees, Ph.D.s, and post-doctoral, even where advanced degree knowledge is not absolutely necessary to perform the required job.

Elitism is the belief or attitude that some individuals, who form an elite — a select group of people with a certain ancestry, intrinsic quality or worth, higher intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are those whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously or carry the most weight; whose views and/or actions are most likely to be constructive to society as a whole; or whose extraordinary skills, abilities or wisdom render them especially fit to govern.[1]

Alternatively, the term elitism may be used to describe a situation in which power is concentrated in the hands of a limited number of people. Oppositions of elitism include anti-elitism, egalitarianism, populism and political theory of pluralism. Elite theory is the sociological or political science analysis of elite influence in society – elite theorists regard pluralism as a utopian ideal. Elitism also refers to situations in which an individual assumes special privileges and responsibilities in the hope that this arrangement will benefit humanity or themselves. At times, elitism is closely related to social class and what sociologists call social stratification. Members of the upper classes are sometimes known as the social elite. The term elitism is also sometimes used to denote situations in which a group of people claiming to possess high abilities or simply an in-group or cadre grant themselves extra privileges at the expense of others. This form of elitism may be described as discrimination.


Attributes that identify an elite vary; personal achievement may not be essential. As a term “Elite” usually describes a person or group of people who are members of the uppermost class of society and wealth can contribute to that class determination. Personal attributes commonly purported by elitist theorists to be characteristic of the elite include: rigorous study of, or great accomplishment within, a particular field; a long track record of competence in a demanding field; an extensive history of dedication and effort in service to a specific discipline (e.g., medicine or law) or a high degree of accomplishment, training or wisdom within a given field. Elitists tend to favor systems such as meritocracy, technocracy and plutocracy as opposed to radical democracy, political egalitarianism and populism.

Some synonyms for “elite” might be “upper-class,” “aristocratic,” or “big-headed” indicating that the individual in question has a relatively large degree of control over a society’s means of production. This includes those who gain this position due to socioeconomic means and not personal achievement. However, these terms are misleading when discussing elitism as a political theory, because they are often associated with negative “class” connotations and fail to appreciate a more unbiased exploration of the philosophy.

Academic elitism is the criticism that academia or academicians are prone to elitism, or that certain experts or intellectuals propose ideas based more on support from academic colleagues than on real world experience. The term “ivory tower” often carries with it an implicit critique of academic elitism.


Some of economist Thomas Sowell‘s writings (Intellectuals and Society) suggest that academicians and intellectuals have an undeserved “halo effect” and face fewer disincentives than other professions against speaking outside their expertise. Sowell cites Bertrand Russell, Noam Chomsky and Edmund Wilson as paradigmatic examples of this phenomenon. Though respected for their contributions to various academic disciplines (respectively mathematics, linguistics, and literature), the three men became known to the general public only by making often-controversial and disputed pronouncements on politics and public policy that would not be regarded as noteworthy if offered by a medical doctor or skilled tradesman.[1]

Critics of academic elitism argue that highly-educated people tend to form an isolated social group whose views tend to be overrepresented amongst journalists, professors, and other members of the intelligentsia who often draw their salary and funding from taxpayers. Economist Dan Klein shows that the worldwide top-35 economics departments pull 76 percent of their faculty from their own graduates. He argues that the academic culture is pyramidal, not polycentric, and resembles a closed and genteel social circle. Meanwhile, academia draws on resources from taxpayers, foundations, endowments, and tuition payers, and it judges the social service delivered. The result is a self-organizing and self-validating circle.[2]

Another criticism is that universities tend more to pseudo-intellectualism than intellectualism per se; for example, to protect their positions and prestige, academicians may over-complicate problems and express them in obscure language (e.g., the Sokal affair, a hoax by physicist Alan Sokal attempting to show that American humanities professors invoke complicated, pseudoscientific jargon to support their political positions.) Some observers [Camille Paglia] argue that, while academicians often perceive themselves as members of an elite, their influence is mostly imaginary: “Professors of humanities, with all their leftist fantasies, have little direct knowledge of American life and no impact whatever on public policy.”[3]

Academic elitism suggests that in highly competitive academic environments only those individuals who have engaged in scholarship are deemed to have anything worthwhile to say, or do. It suggests that individuals who have not engaged in such scholarship are cranks. Steven Zhang of the Cornell Daily Sun has described the graduates of elite schools, especially those in the Ivy League, of having a “smug sense of success” because they believe “gaining entrance into the Ivy League is an accomplishment unto itself.”[citation needed]

I wonder what pronouncements of Russell and Chomsky Sowell was referring to. I don’t recall reading anything bad by Russell, and Chomsky’s ideas about politics are not that bad. I’m not familiar with the last example.

Paglia again made some nice remarks.

In one of the articles quoted above, there is a ref to an interview with Camille Paglia.

It is rather funny. :D Here is a pdf, and some quotes from it.

Stripping is “a sacred dance of pagan origins” and the money men stuff into G-strings is a

“ritual offering.” “The more a woman takes off her clothes, the more power she has ” and

feminists hate strippers because “modern professional women cannot stand the thought that

their hardwon achievements can be outweighed in an instant by a young hussy flashing a

little tits and ass.”

She was asked to resign from Bennington after she kicked one student and got into a

fistfight with another A lawyer helped her stay on for two more years. She left to begin a

successful teaching career at the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, which is now the

University of the Arts, where she remains.

PLAYBOY: Are you a feminist?

PAGLIA: I’m absolutely a feminist. The reason other feminists don’t like me is that I

criticize the movement, explaining that it needs a correction. Feminism has betrayed women,

alienated men and women, replaced dialogue with political correctness. PC feminism has

boxed women in. The idea that feminism–that liberation from domestic prison–is going to

bring happiness is just wrong. Women have advanced a great deal, but they are no happier.

The happiest women I know are not those who are balancing their careers and families, like

a lot of my friends are. The happiest people I know are the women–like my cousins–who

have a high school education, got married immediately graduating and never went to

college. They are very religious and they never question their Catholicism. They do not

regard the house as a prison.

I seem to recall that women’s happiness are declining as they get more free. Perhaps that’s the data she is refering to. I did a quick Google and found this.

PLAYBOY: Do you support the men’s movement?

PAGLIA: I think it’s absolutely necessary. It’s no coincidence that Tim Allen’s book is vying

with the Pope’s for the top of the best-seller lists. He is one of the voices of men who are

looking to define masculinity in this age. Robert Bly does this, too. We have allowed the

sexual debate to be defined by women, and that’s not right. Men must speak, and speak in

their own voices, not voices coerced by feminist moralists. Warren Farrell, in The Myth of

Male Power, points out how much propaganda has infiltrated the culture. For example, he

says that the assertion that women earn so much less than men is bullshit. The reason

women earn less than men is that women don’t want the dirty jobs. They aren’t picking up

the garbage, taking the janitorial jobs and so on. They aren’t taking the sales commission

jobs that require you to work all night and on weekends. Most women like clean, safe

offices, which is why they are still secretaries. They don’t want to get too dirty. Also, women

want offices to be nice, happy places. What bullshit. The women’s movement is rooted in the

belief that we don’t even need men. All it will take is one natural disaster to prove how

wrong that is. Then, the only thing holding this culture together will be masculine men of the

working class. The cultural elite–women and men–will be pleading for the plumbers and

the construction workers. We are such a parasitic class.

I began to realize this in the Seventies when I thought women could do it on their own. But

then something would go wrong with my car and I’d have to go to the men. Men would stop,

men would lift up the hood, more men would come with a truck and take the car to a place

where there were other men who would call other men who would arrive with parts. I saw

how feminism was completely removed from this reality.

I also learned something from the men at the garage. At Bennington, I would go to a faculty

meeting and be aware that everyone hated me. The men were appalled by a strong, loud

woman. But I went to this auto shop and the men there thought I was cute. “Oh, there’s that

Professor Paglia from the college.” The real men, men who work on cars, find me cute. They

are not frightened by me, no matter how loud I am. But the men at the college were terrified

because they are eunuchs, and I threatened every goddamned one of them.


PLAYBOY: Do you think that feminism is antisexual?

PAGLIA: The problem with America is that there’s too little sex, not too much. The more

our instincts are repressed, the more we need sex, pornography and all that. The problem is

that feminists have taken over with their attempts to inhibit sex. We have a serious

testosterone problem in this country.

PLAYBOY: Caused by what?

PAGLIA: It’s a mess out there. Men are suspicious of women’s intentions. Feminism has

crippled them. They don’t know when to make a pass. If they do make a pass, they don’t

know if they’re going to end up in court.

PLAYBOY: Is that why you’ve been so critical about the growing number 6f sexual

harassment cases?

PAGLIA: Yes, though I believe in moderate sexual harassment guidelines. But you can’t the

Stalinist situation we have in America right now, where any neurotic woman can make any

stupid charge and destroy a man’s reputation. If there is evidence of false accusation, the

accuser should be expelled. Similarly, a woman who falsely accuses a man of rape should be

sent to jail. My definition of sexual harassment is specific. It is only sexual harassment–by a

man or a woman–if it is quid pro quo. That is, if someone says, “You must do this or I’m going to do that”–for instance, fire you. And whereas touching is sexual harassment, speech

is not. I am militant on this. Words must remain free. The solution to speech is that women

must signal the level of their tolerance–women are all different. Some are very bawdy.

PLAYBOY: What, about women who are easily offended and too scared or intimidated to

speak up?

PAGLIA: Too bad. You must develop the verbal tools to counter offensive language. That s

life. Feminism has created a privileged, white middle class of girls who claim they’re victims

because they want to preserve their bourgeois decorum and passivity.

Amen. Recall Sweden’s rape laws?

Sweden has one of the toughest laws on sexual crime in the world – lawyers sometimes joke that men need written permission first.

… (these quotes are from BBC)

Under Swedish law, there are legal gradations of the definition of rape.

There is the most serious kind, involving major violence.

But below that there is the concept of ‘regular rape’, still involving violence but not violence of the utmost horror.

And below that there is the idea of ‘unlawful coercion’. Talking generally, and not about the Assange case, this might involve putting emotional pressure on someone.

The three categories involve prison sentences of 10, six and four years respectively.

Putting emotional pressure on someone? wtf

The case may turn on if or when consensual sex turned into non-consensual sex – is a male decision not to use a condom a case of that, for example?

Under Swedish law, Mr Assange has not been formally charged. He has merely been accused and told he has questions to answer.

The process is for the prosecutor to question him to see if a formal criminal accusation should then be laid before a court.

There would then be a hearing in front of some lay people to see if that formal charge should go to a formal trial.

The attitude towards rape in Sweden – informed by a strong sense of women’s rights – means that it is more likely to be reported to police.

Some 53 rape offences are reported per 100,000 people, the highest rate in Europe.

The figures may reflect a higher number of actual rapes committed but it seems more likely that tough attitudes and a broader definition of the crime are more significant factors.

… (back to Paglia interview)

PLAYBOY: You once said that you look through the eyes of a rapist. What did you mean?

PAGLIA: I have lesbian impulses, so I understand how a man looks at a woman.

PLAYBOY: Why did you say a rapist rather than a man?

PAGLIA: Men do look at women as rapists. When I was growing up, it wasn’t possible for

me to do anything about my attraction to women. Lesbianism didn’t exist in that time, as far

as I knew. If I were young today, when everyone is experimenting-bisexuality is in with a lot

of young women–it would have been different. But I always felt frustrated and excluded,

looking in from a distance. As a woman, I couldn’t rape–it’s not possible–but if I had been a

man with similar feelings, who knows? I developed a stalking thing.PLAYBOY: When does that kind of lust become rape?

PAGLIA: There may have been cases when I would have gone over the line. I understand

when men complain about women giving mixed messages, because women have given me a

lot of mixed messages. I understand the rage that this can cause.

PLAYBOY: Give us an example.

PAGLIA: A woman I’m talking with at some event says, “Let’s leave here and go to this bar,”

which is a lesbian bar. We go to the bar and we’re talking and then she says, “Let’s go have

coffee,” and we go to this coffee shop and end up, at three in the morning, half a block from

her apartment. Finally, she says, “All right, well, goodnight.” She’s ready to go home alone

and I look at her, like, “What do you mean? Aren’t we going to go back to your apartment?”

“No.” “What?” And she says, “Do you think I was leading you on?” Un-fucking-believable. I

can’t tell you the rage. I am, at that point, looking at her and…. All I can say is, if I had been

an 18-year-old street kid instead of a 45-year-old woman, I would have stabbed her. I was

completely humiliated and furious. If I had been a guy with a hard-on, I would have hit her.

PLAYBOY: Would you have been justified in hitting her?

PAGLIA: That’s not the point. The point is that I would have. Women must be aware of the

signals they send out, aware that, at three in the morning, with that flirting, they have created

expectations. If they fail to fulfill those expectations, they can be in trouble. They could be

out with a Ted Bundy or a Jeffrey Dahmer. A woman cannot go on a date, have a bunch of

drinks and go back to some guy’s dorm room or apartment and then, when he jumps on her,

cry date rape. Most people aren’t sure what’s going to happen on a first date. Given that

ambiguity, every woman must be totally aware at every moment that she is responsible for

every choice she makes.

PLAYBOY: Is there a certain personality type that becomes obsessed?

PAGLIA: I collected 599 pictures of Elizabeth Taylor–some people find that obsessive. I

collected 599. Not 600, but 599. I feel that genius and obsession be the same thing. It is rare when a woman is driven by obsession. Similarly, it is rare when a woman is a genius. That’s

why I said one of my most notorious sentences, that there is no woman Mozart because there

is no woman Jack the Ripper. Men are more prone to obsession because they are fleeing

domination by women. They flee to a chess game or to a computer or to fixing a car, or

whatever, to attempt to complete their identities, because they always feel incomplete.

PLAYBOY: Why do cars or computers complete our identities?

PAGLIA: Because they are separate from the emotion that is fixated on women. Very

masculine men are not at home in the world of emotion, which requires judgments that are

not cause and effect. Heterosexuals have a kind of tunnel vision, which is a virtue, in my

opinion. It allows them to make the great breakthroughs in music or science. The feminist

line is that there are no women Mozarts because we have been trained to believe that we

can’t succeed in that field or we were never given the opportunity to excel because we were

being groomed to be wives. I don’t think that anymore. It’s hormones.

PLAYBOY: You have said that you disagree with Germaine Greer’s contrary opinion–that

the greatest artists are not women because “you cannot get great art from mutilated egos.”

PAGLIA: The fact is, you get great art only from mutilated egos. Only mutilated egos are

obsessive enough. When I entered graduate school in 1968, 1 thought women were going to

have all these enormous achievements, that they would redo everything. Then I saw every

one of my female friends–these great minds who were going to transform the world–get

married, move because their husbands moved and have babies. I screamed at them: What are

you doing? Finish your great book! But they all read me the riot act. They said, “Camille, we

are not you.” They said, “We want life. We want love. We want happiness. We are not

happy–like you are–just living off ideas.” I am weird. I am more like Dahmer was or

Hinckley. I’m like one of those obsessives. Or Dante.

August 20, 2012

Wikipedia on contraception, abortion, and everything in between!

Filed under: Feminism/equality,Medicine — Tags: — Emil O. W. Kirkegaard @ 17:37

I really just was curious to know how whores in older times avoided getting pregnant… but it turned into a longer read. Here are some excerpts. Enjoy :)

The history of condoms goes back at least several centuries, and perhaps beyond. For most of their history, condoms have been used both as a method of birth control, and as a protective measure against sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms have been made from a variety of materials; prior to the 19th century, chemically treated linen and animal tissue (intestine or bladder) are the best documented varieties. Rubber condoms gained popularity in the mid-19th century, and in the early 20th century major advances were made in manufacturing techniques. Prior to the introduction of the combined oral contraceptive pill, condoms were the most popular birth control method in the Western world. In the second half of the 20th century, the low cost of condoms contributed to their importance in family planning programs throughout the developing world. Condoms have also become increasingly important in efforts to fight the AIDS pandemic.

Distribution of condoms in the United States was limited by passage of the Comstock laws, which included a federal act banning the mailing of contraceptive information (passed in 1873) as well as State laws that banned the manufacture and sale of condoms in thirty states.[1]:144,193 In Ireland the 1889 Indecent Advertisements Act made it illegal to advertise condoms, although their manufacture and sale remained legal.[1]:163-4,168 Contraceptives were illegal in 19th century Italy and Germany, but condoms were allowed for disease prevention.[1]:169-70 Despite legal obstacles, condoms continued to be readily available in both Europe and America, widely advertised under euphemisms such as male shield and rubber good.[1]:146-7 In late 19th century England, condoms were known as “a little something for the weekend”.[1]:165 Only in the Republic of Ireland were condoms effectively outlawed. There, their sale and manufacture remained illegal until the 1970s.[1]:171

In the 1960s and 1970s quality regulations tightened,[1]:267,285 and legal barriers to condom use were removed. In 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court case Griswold v. Connecticut struck down one of the remaining Comstock laws, the bans of contraception in Connecticut and Massachusetts. France repealed its anti-birth control laws in 1967. Similar laws in Italy were declared unconstitutional in 1971. Captain Beate Uhse in Germany founded a birth control business, and fought a series of legal battles continue her sales.[1]:276-9 In Ireland, legal condom sales (only to people over 18, and only in clinics and pharmacies) were allowed for the first time in 1978. (All restrictions on Irish condom sales were lifted in 1993.)[1]:329-30

The first New York Times story on acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was published on July 3, 1981.[1]:294 In 1982 it was first suggested that the disease was sexually transmitted.[10] In response to these findings, and to fight the spread of AIDS, the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop supported condom promotion programs. However, President Ronald Reagan preferred an approach of concentrating only on abstinence programs. Some opponents of condom programs stated that AIDS was a disease of homosexuals and illicit drug users, who were just getting what they deserved. In 1990 North Carolina senator Jesse Helms argued that the best way to fight AIDS would be to enforce state sodomy laws.[1]:296-7

Their claims about AIDS and homosexuals reminds me of

Gay-related immune deficiency (GRID) (sometimes informally called the gay plague) was the 1982 name first proposed to describe an “unexpected cluster of cases”[1] of what is now known as AIDS,[2] after public health scientists noticed clusters of Kaposi’s sarcoma and pneumocystis pneumonia among gay males in Southern California and New York City.[1]

Birth control, contraception, family planning or fertility control[1] refers to the usage of methods or devices intended to control the incidence of a pregnancy.[2][3] Some include the termination of pregnancy in the definition.[4]

There are a number of ways that a female can engage in sexual activity while reducing or otherwise controlling the risk of becoming pregnant. Available contraception methods include barrier methods, such as condoms and diaphragms; hormonal contraception including oral pills, patches and vaginal rings, injectable contraceptives, and intrauterine devices.[5] Birth control options shortly after sex includes emergency contraceptives.[6] Permanent methods include sterilization. Some people regard abstinence as a contraception method as well as engaging in sexual activity which does not involve penile-vaginal penetration.

While methods of birth control have been used since ancient times, effective and safe methods only become avaliable in the 20th century.[5] For some people, birth control involves moral issues, and many countries limit access to contraception due to the moral and political issues involved.[5] Some argue, for example, that the availability of contraception increases the level of sexual activity within society.

In modern Europe, knowledge of herbal abortifacients and contraceptives to regulate fertility has largely been lost.[41]Historian John M. Riddle found that this remarkable loss of basic knowledge can be attributed to attempts of the early modern European states to “repopulate” Europe after dramatic losses following the plague epidemics that started in 1348.[41] According to Riddle, one of the policies implemented by the church and supported by feudal lords to destroy the knowledge of birth control included the initiation of witch hunts againstmidwives, who had knowledge of herbal abortifacients and contraceptives.[41][42][43]

On December 5, 1484, Pope Innocent VIII issued the Summis desiderantes affectibus, a papal bull in which he recognized the existence of witches and gave full papal approval for the Inquisition to proceed “correcting, imprisoning, punishing and chastising” witches “according to their deserts.” In the bull, which is sometimes referred to as the “Witch-Bull of 1484”, the witches were explicitly accused of having “slain infants yet in the mother’s womb” (abortion) and of “hindering men from performing the sexual act and women from conceiving” (contraception).[44] Famous texts that served to guide the witch hunt and instruct magistrates on how to find and convict so-called “witches” include the Malleus Maleficarum, and Jean Bodin‘s De la demonomanie des sorciers.[45] The Malleus Maleficarum was written by the priest J. Sprenger (born in Rheinfelden, today Switzerland), who was appointed by Pope Innocent VIII as the General Inquisitor for Germany around 1475, and H. Institoris, who at the time was inquisitor for Tyrol, Salzburg, Bohemia and Moravia. The authors accused witches, among other things, of infanticide and having the power to steal men’s penises.[46]

Barrier methods such as the condom have been around much longer, but were seen primarily as a means of preventingsexually transmitted diseases, not pregnancy. Casanova in the 18th century was one of the first reported using “assurance caps” to prevent impregnating his mistresses.[47]

The Comstock Act, 17 Stat. 598, enacted March 3, 1873, was a United States federal law which amended the Post Office Act[1] and made it illegal to send any “obscene, lewd, and/or lascivious” materials through the mail, including contraceptive devices and information. In addition to banning contraceptives, this act also banned the distribution of information on abortion for educational purposes. Twenty-four states passed similar prohibitions on materials distributed within the states.[2] These state and federal restrictions are collectively known as the Comstock laws.

The Comstock Laws were variously case tested, but courts struggled to establish definitive thinking about the laws. One of the most notable applications of Comstock was Roth v. United States, in which the Supreme Court affirmed Comstock, but set limits on what could be considered obscene. This landmark case represented one of the first notable revisions since the Hicklin test, and the evolving nature of the laws on which Comstock was conceived.

The sale and distribution of obscene materials had been prohibited prior to Comstock in most American states since the early 19th century, and by federal law since 1873. Federal anti-obscenity laws are currently still in effect and enforced,[3][4] though the definition of obscenity has changed much (now expressed in the Miller Test) and extensive debates on what is obscene continue.

The Comstock laws banned distribution of sex education information, based on the premise that it was obscene and led to promiscuous behavior[6] Mary Ware Dennett was fined $300 in 1928, for distributing a pamphlet containing sex education material. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), led by Morris Ernst, appealed her conviction and won a reversal, in which judge Learned Hand ruled that the pamphlet’s main purpose was to “promote understanding”.[6]

Publications addressing homosexuality were automatically deemed obscene under the Comstock Act until 1958.[7] In One, Inc. v. Olesen, as a follow-on to Roth v. United States, the Supreme Court granted free press rights around homosexuality.

In 1915, architect William Sanger was charged under the New York law against disseminating contraceptive information.[10] In 1918, his wife Margaret Sanger was similarly charged. On appeal, her conviction was reversed on the grounds that contraceptive devices could legally be promoted for the cure and prevention of disease.[11]

The prohibition of devices advertised for the explicit purpose of birth control was not overturned for another eighteen years. During World War I, U.S. Servicemen were the only members of the Allied forces sent overseas without condoms which led to more widespread STDs among U.S. troops. In 1932, Sanger arranged for a shipment of diaphragms to be mailed from Japan to a sympathetic doctor in New York City. When U.S. customs confiscated the package as illegal contraceptive devices, Sanger helped file a lawsuit. In 1936, a federal appeals court ruled in United States v. One Package of Japanese Pessaries that the federal government could not interfere with doctors providing contraception to their patients.[11]

In 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court case Griswold v. Connecticut struck down one of the remaining contraception Comstock laws in Connecticut and Massachusetts. However, Griswold only applied to marital relationships. Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972) extended its holding to unmarried persons as well.

The Miller test (also called the Three Prong Obscenity Test[1]), is the United States Supreme Court‘s test for determining whether speech or expression can be labeled obscene, in which case it is not protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and can be prohibited.

The Miller test was developed in the 1973 case Miller v. California.[2] It has three parts:

The work is considered obscene only if all three conditions are satisfied.

The first two prongs of the Miller test are held to the standards of the community, and the last prong is held to what is reasonable to a person of the United States as a whole. The national reasonable person standard of the third prong acts as a check on the community standard of the first two prongs, allowing protection for works that in a certain community might be considered obscene but on a national level might have redeeming value.

For legal scholars, several issues are important. One is that the test allows for community standards rather than a national standard. What offends the average person in Nacogdoches, Texas, may differ from what offends the average person in Chicago. The relevant community, however, is not defined.

Another important issue is that Miller asks for an interpretation of what the “average” person finds offensive, rather than what the more sensitive persons in the community are offended by, as obscenity was defined by the previous test, the Hicklin test, stemming from the English precedent.

In practice, pornography showing genitalia and sexual acts is not ipso facto obscene according to the Miller test. For instance, in 2000 a jury in Provo, Utah, took only a few minutes to clear Larry Peterman, owner of a Movie Buffs video store, in Utah County, Utah, a region which had often boasted of being one of the most conservative areas in the US. Researchers had shown that guests at the local Marriott Hotel were disproportionately large consumers of pay-per-view pornographic material, accessing far more material than the store was distributing.[4][5]

The combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP), often referred to as the birth-control pill or colloquially as “the Pill“, is a birth control method that includes a combination of an estrogen (oestrogen) and a progestin (progestogen). When taken by mouth every day, these pills inhibit female fertility. They were first approved for contraceptive use in the United States in 1960, and are a very popular form of birth control. They are currently used by more than 100 million women worldwide and by almost 12 million women in the United States.[6][7] Usage varies widely by country,[8] age, education, and marital status: one third of women[9] aged 16–49 in the United Kingdom currently use either the combined pill or a progestogen-only “minipill“,[10] compared to only 1% of women in Japan.[11]

The placebo pills allow the user to take a pill every day; remaining in the daily habit even during the week without hormones. Placebo pills may contain an iron supplement,[14][15] as iron requirements increase during menstruation.

Rather clever.

Less frequent placebos

Main article: Extended cycle combined oral contraceptive pill

If the pill formulation is monophasic, it is possible to skip withdrawal bleeding and still remain protected against conception by skipping the placebo pills and starting directly with the next packet. Attempting this with bi- or tri-phasic pill formulations carries an increased risk of breakthrough bleeding and may be undesirable. It will not, however, increase the risk of getting pregnant.

Starting in 2003, women have also been able to use a three-month version of the Pill.[17] Similar to the effect of using a constant-dosage formulation and skipping the placebo weeks for three months, Seasonale gives the benefit of less frequent periods, at the potential drawback of breakthrough bleeding. Seasonique is another version in which the placebo week every three months is replaced with a week of low-dose estrogen.

A version of the combined pill has also been packaged to completely eliminate placebo pills and withdrawal bleeds. Marketed as Anya or Lybrel, studies have shown that after seven months, 71% of users no longer had any breakthrough bleeding, the most common side effect of going longer periods of time without breaks from active pills.[18]


The same 1992 French review article noted that in the subgroup of adolescents 15–19 years of age in the 1982 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) who had stopped taking the Pill, 20–25% reported they stopped taking the Pill because of either acne or weight gain, and another 25% stopped because of fear of cancer.[26] A 1986 Hungarian study comparing two high-dose estrogen (both 50 µg ethinyl estradiol) pills found that women using a lower-dose biphasic levonorgestrel formulation (50 µg levonorgestrel x 10 days + 125 µg levonorgestrel x 11 days) reported a significantly lower incidence of weight gain compared to women using a higher-dose monophasic levonorgestrel formulation (250 µg levonorgestrel x 21 days).[42]

Many clinicians consider the public perception of weight gain on the Pill to be inaccurate and dangerous. A 2000 British review article concluded there is no evidence that modern low-dose pills cause weight gain, but that fear of weight gain contributed to poor compliance in taking the Pill and subsequent unintended pregnancy, especially among adolescents.[43]

More recently a Swedish study concluded that combined oral contraceptive use was not found to be a predictor for weight increase in the long term. Postal questionnaires regarding weight/height, and contraception were sent to random samples of 19-year-old women born in 1962 (n = 656) and 1972 (n = 780) in 1981 and 1991. The responders were followed longitudinally, and the same women were contacted again every fifth year from 1986–2006 and from 1996–2006, respectively. There was no significant difference in weight increase in the women grouped according to use or non-use of combined oral contraceptive or duration of combined oral contraceptive use. The two cohorts of women were grouped together in a longitudinal analysis and the following factors age, combined oral contraceptive use, children, smoking and exercise were included in the model. The only predictor for weight increase was age (P < 0.001), resulting in a gain of 0.45 kg/year. Smokers decreased (P < 0.001) their weight by 1.64 kg per 15 years.[44]


Overall, use of oral contraceptives appears to slightly reduce all-cause mortality, with a rate ratio for overall mortality of 0.87 (confidence interval: 0.79–0.96) when comparing ever-users of OCs with never-users.[58]

Environmental impact

A woman using COCPs excretes from her urine and feces natural estrogens, estrone (E1) and estradiol (E2), and synthetic estrogen ethinylestradiol (EE2).[129] These hormones can pass through water treatment plants and into rivers.[130] Other forms of contraception, such as the contraceptive patch, use the same synthetic estrogen (EE2) that is found in COCPs, and can add to the hormonal concentration in the water when flushed down the toilet.[131] This excretion is shown to play a role in causing endocrine disruption, which affects the sexual development and the reproduction, in wild fish populations in segments of streams contaminated by treated sewage effluents.[129][132] A study done in British rivers supported the hypothesis that the incidence and the severity of intersex wild fish populations were significantly correlated with the concentrations of the E1, E2, and EE2 in the rivers.[129]

A review of activated sludge plant performance found estrogen removal rates varied considerably but averaged 78% for estrone, 91% for estradiol, and 76% for ethinylestradiol (estriol effluent concentrations are between those of estrone and estradiol, but estriol is a much less potent endocrine disruptor to fish).[133] Effluent concentrations of ethinylestradiol are lower than estradiol which are lower than estrone, but ethinylestradiol is more potent than estradiol which is more potent than estrone in the induction of intersex fish and synthesis of vitellogenin in male fish.[134]


Extended cycle combined oral contraceptive pills are COCPs packaged to reduce or eliminate the withdrawal bleeding that occurs once every 28 days in traditionally packaged COCPs. Extended cycle use of COCPs may also be called menstrual suppression.[1]

Other combined hormonal contraceptives (those containing both an estrogen and a progestogen) may also be used in an extended or continuous cycle. For example, the NuvaRing vaginal ring[2] and the contraceptive patch[3] have been studied for extended cycle use, and the monthly combined injectable contraceptive may similarly eliminate bleeding.[4]

Before the advent of modern contraceptives, reproductive age women spent most of their time either pregnant or nursing. In modern western society women typically have about 450 periods during their lives, as compared to about 160 formerly.[5]

Other uses

Condoms excel as multipurpose containers because they are waterproof, elastic, durable, and will not arouse suspicion if found. Ongoing military utilization begun during World War II includes:

  • Tying a non-lubricated condom over the muzzle of the rifle barrel in order to prevent barrel fouling by keeping out detritus.[88]
  • The OSS used condoms for a plethora of applications, from storing corrosive fuel additives and wire garrotes (with the T-handles removed) to holding the acid component of a self-destructing film canister, to finding use in improvised explosives.[89]
  • Navy SEALs have used doubled condoms, sealed with neoprene cement, to protect non-electric firing assemblies for underwater demolitions—leading to the term “Dual Waterproof Firing Assemblies.”[90]

Other uses of condoms include:

  • Covers for endovaginal ultrasound probes.[91] Covering the probe with a condom reduces the amount of blood and vaginal fluids that the technician must clean off between patients.
  • Condoms can be used to hold water in emergency survival situations.[92]
  • Condoms have also been used to smuggle cocaine, heroin, and other drugs across borders and into prisons by filling the condom with drugs, tying it in a knot and then either swallowing it or inserting it into the rectum. These methods are very dangerous and potentially lethal; if the condom breaks, the drugs inside become absorbed into the bloodstream and can cause an overdose.[93]
  • In Soviet gulags, condoms were used to smuggle alcohol into the camps by prisoners who worked outside during daylight. While outside, the prisoner would ingest an empty condom attached to a thin piece of rubber tubing, the end of which was wedged between his teeth. The smuggler would then use a syringe to fill the tubing and condom with up to three liters of raw alcohol, which the prisoner would then smuggle back into the camp. When back in the barracks, the other prisoners would suspend him upside down until all the spirit had been drained out. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn records that the three liters of raw fluid would be diluted to make seven liters of crude vodka, and that although such prisoners risked an extremely painful and unpleasant death if the condom burst inside them, the rewards granted them by other prisoners encouraged them to run the risk.[94]
  • In his book entitled Last Chance to See, Douglas Adams reported having used a condom to protect a microphone he used to make an underwater recording. According to one of his traveling companions, this is standard BBC practice when a waterproof microphone is needed but cannot be procured.[95]
  • Condoms are used by engineers to keep soil samples dry during soil tests.[96]
  • Condoms are used in the field by engineers to initially protect sensors embedded in the steel or aluminum nose-cones of Cone Penetration Test (CPT) probes when entering the surface to conduct soil resistance tests to determine the bearing strength of soil.[97]
  • Condoms are used as a one-way valve by paramedics when performing a chest decompression in the field. The decompression needle is inserted through the condom, and inserted into the chest. The condom folds over the hub allowing air to exit the chest, but preventing it from entering.[98]


Four stage model of the sexual response

One of the most enduring and important aspects of their work has been the four stage model of sexual response, which they described as the human sexual response cycle. They defined the four stages of this cycle as:

This model shows no difference between Freud‘s purported “vaginal orgasm” and “clitoral orgasm“: the physiologic response was identical, even if the stimulation was in a different place.

Masters and Johnson’s findings also revealed that men undergo a refractory period following orgasm during which they are not able to ejaculate again, whereas there is no refractory period in women: this makes women capable of multiple orgasm. They also were the first to describe the phenomenon of the rhythmic contractions of orgasm in both sexes occurring initially in 0.8 second intervals and then gradually slowing in both speed and intensity.

Laboratory comparison of homosexual male versus female sex

Masters and Johnson randomly assigned gay men into couples and lesbians into couples and then observed them having sex in the laboratory, at the Masters and Johnson Institute. They provided their observations in Homosexuality in Perspective:

Assigned male homosexual study subjects A, B, and C…, interacting in the laboratory with previously unknown male partners, did discuss procedural matters with these partners, but quite briefly. Usually, the discussion consisted of just a question or a suggestion, but often it was limited to nonverbal communicative expressions such as eye contact or hand movement, any of which usually proved sufficient to establish the protocol of partner interaction. No coaching or suggestions were made by the research team.

—p. 55

According to Masters and Johnson, this pattern differed in the lesbian couples:

While initial stimulative activity tended to be on a mutual basis, in short order control of the specific sexual experience usually was assumed by one partner. The assumption of control was established without verbal communication and frequently with no obvious nonverbal direction, although on one occasion discussion as to procedural strategy continued even as the couple was interacting physically.

—p. 55

The practice of abortion, the termination of a pregnancy so that it does not result in birth, dates back to ancient times. Pregnancies were terminated through a number of methods, including the administration of abortifacient herbs, the use of sharpened implements, the application of abdominal pressure, and other techniques.

Abortion laws and their enforcement have fluctuated through various eras. In many western nations during the 20th century various women’s rights groups, doctors, and social reformers successfully worked to have abortion bans repealed. While abortion remains legal in most of the West, this legality is regularly challenged by pro-life groups.[2]

Natural abortifacients

Art from a 13th-century illuminated manuscript features a herbalist preparing a concotion containing pennyroyal for a woman.

Botanical preparations reputed to be abortifacient were common in classical literature and folk medicine. Such folk remedies, however, varied in effectiveness and were not without the risk of adverse effects. Some of the herbs used at times to terminate pregnancy are poisonous.

A list of plants which cause abortion was provided in De viribus herbarum, an 11th-century herbal written in the form of a poem, the authorship of which is incorrectly attributed to Aemilius Macer. Among them were rue, Italian catnip, savory, sage, soapwort, cyperus, white and black hellebore, and pennyroyal.[16]

King’s American Dispensatory of 1898 recommended a mixture of brewer’s yeast and pennyroyal tea as “a safe and certain abortive”.[37] Pennyroyal has been known to cause complications when used as an abortifacient. In 1978 a pregnant woman from Colorado died after consuming 2 tablespoonfuls of pennyroyal essential oil[38][39] which is known to be toxic.[40] In 1994 a pregnant woman, unaware of an ectopic pregnancy that needed immediate medical care, drank a tea containing pennyroyal extract to induce abortion without medical help. She later died as a result of the untreated ectopic pregnancy, mistaking the symptoms for the abortifacient working.[41]

Tansy has been used to terminate pregnancies since the Middle Ages.[42] It was first documented as an emmenagogue in St. Hildegard of Bingen’s De simplicis medicinae.[16]

A variety of juniper, known as savin, was mentioned frequently in European writings.[3] In one case in England, a rector from Essex was said to have procured it for a woman he had impregnated in 1574; in another, a man wishing to remove his girlfriend of like condition recommended to her that black hellebore and savin be boiled together and drunk in milk, or else that chopped madder be boiled in beer. Other substances reputed to have been used by the English include Spanish fly, opium, watercress seed, iron sulphate, and iron chloride. Another mixture, not abortifacient, but rather intended to relieve missed abortion, contained dittany, hyssop, and hot water.[34]

The root of worm fern, called “prostitute root” in the French, was used in France and Germany; it was also recommended by a Greek physician in the 1st century. In German folk medicine, there was also an abortifacient tea, which included marjoram, thyme, parsley, and lavender. Other preparations of unspecified origin included crushed ants, the saliva of camels, and the tail hairs of black-tailed deer dissolved in the fat of bears.[31]

19th century to present

“Admonition against abortion.” Late 19th-century Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock print.

19th century medicine saw advances in the fields of surgery, anaesthesia, and sanitation, in the same era that doctors with the American Medical Association lobbied for bans on abortion in the United States[44] and the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the Offences against the Person Act 1861.

Various methods of abortion were documented regionally in the 19th century and early 20th century. A paper published in 1870 on the abortion services to be found in Syracuse, New York, concluded that the method most often practiced there during this time was to flush inside of the uterus with injected water. The article’s author, Ely Van de Warkle, claimed this procedure was affordable even to a maid, as a man in town offered it for $10 on an installment plan.[45] Other prices which 19th-century abortion providers are reported to have charged were much more steep. In Great Britain, it could cost from 10 to 50 guineas, or 5% of the yearly income of a lower middle class household.[3]

In France during the latter half of the 19th century, social perceptions of abortion started to change. In the first half of the 19th century, abortion was viewed as the last resort for pregnant but unwed women. But as writers began to write about abortion in terms of family planning for married women, the practice of abortion was reconceptualized as a logical solution to unwanted pregnancies resulting from ineffectual contraceptives.[46] The formulation of abortion as a form of family planning for married women was made “thinkable” because both medical and non-medical practitioners agreed on the relative safety of the procedure.[46]

In the United States and England, the latter half of the 19th century saw abortion become increasingly punished. One writer justified this by claiming that the number of abortions among married women had increased markedly since 1840.[47] In the United States, these laws had a limited effect on middle and upper class women who could, though often with great expense and difficulty, still obtain access to abortion, while poor and young women had access only to the most dangerous and illegal methods.[48]

After a rash of unexplained miscarriages in Sheffield, England, were attributed to lead poisoning caused by the metal pipes which fed the city’s water supply, a woman confessed to having used diachylon — a lead-containing plaster — as an abortifacient in 1898.[3] Criminal investigation of an abortionist in Calgary, Alberta in 1894 revealed through chemical analysis that the concoction he had supplied to a man seeking an abortifacient contained Spanish fly.[49]

Women of Jewish descent in Lower East Side, Manhattan are said to have carried the ancient Indian practice of sitting over a pot of steam into the early 20th century.[31] Dr. Evelyn Fisher wrote of how women living in a mining town in Wales during the 1920s used candles intended for Roman Catholic ceremonies to dilate the cervix in an effort to self-induce abortion.[3] Similarly, the use of candles and other objects, such as glass rods, penholders, curling irons, spoons, sticks, knives, and catheters was reported during the 19th century in the United States.[50]

Abortion remained a dangerous procedure into the early 20th century; more dangerous than childbirth until about 1930.[51] Of the estimated 150,000 abortions that occurred annually in the US during the early 20th century, one in six resulted in the woman’s death.[52]

Another case where prohibition simply makes things worse?

Effects of legislation on population

Abortion has been banned or restricted throughout history in countries around the world. Multiple scholars have noticed a that in many cases, this has caused women to seek dangerous, illegal abortions underground or inspired trips abroad for “reproductive tourism”.[87][88][89] Half of the world’s current deaths due to unsafe abortions occur in Asia.[87]

Predictable. The same result as almost always happens (speed tickets being the only exception i know of) when one makes something illegal and the law is unenforceable, and there is popular demand for the thing.


See also: Abortion in India

India enforced the Indian Penal Code from 1860 to 1971, criminalizing abortion and punishing both the practitioners and the women who sought out the procedure.[89] As a result, countless women died in an attempt to obtain illegal abortions from unqualified midwives and “doctors”.[89] Abortion was made legal under specific circumstances in 1971, but as scholar S. Chandrasekhar notes, lower class women still find themselves at a greater risk of injury or death as a result of a botched abortion.[89]


August 8, 2012

Various quotes and comments

Filed under: Feminism/equality,Linguistics/language,Philosophy — Tags: — Emil O. W. Kirkegaard @ 19:21

In linguistics, inalienable possession refers to the linguistic properties of certain nouns or nominal morphemes based on the their always being possessed. The semantic underpinning is that entities like body parts and relatives do not exist apart from a possessor. For example, a hand implies (someone’s) hand, even if it is severed from the whole body. Likewise, a father implies (someone’s) father. Such entities are inalienably possessed. Other things, like most artifacts and objects in nature, may be possessed or not. When these latter types of entities are possessed, the possession is alienable. Generally speaking, alienable possession is used for tangible things which you might cease to own or possess at some point, such as trade (e.g., “my money”), whereas inalienable possession refers to a perpetual relationship which cannot be readily severed (e.g., “my mother”). Many languages reflect this distinction, although in different ways.[1]

This reminds me of the US declaration of independence with its “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”.

Also, about the hand example. What about Thing from The Addams Family?

An agglutinative language is a language that uses agglutination extensively: most words are formed by joining morphemes together. This term was introduced by Wilhelm von Humboldt in 1836 to classify languages from a morphological point of view.[1] It is derived from the Latin verb agglutinare, which means “to glue together”.[2]

In agglutinative languages, each affix typically represents one unit of meaning (such as “diminutive”, “past tense”, “plural”, etc.), and bound morphemes are expressed by affixes (and not by internal changes of the root of the word, or changes in stress or tone). Additionally, and most importantly, in an agglutinative language affixes do not become fused with others, and do not change form conditioned by others.

Synthetic languages that are not agglutinative are called fusional languages; they sometimes combine affixes by “squeezing” them together, often changing them drastically in the process, and joining several meanings in one affix (for example, in the Spanish word comí “I ate”, the suffix –í carries the meanings of indicative mood, active voice, past tense, first person singular subject and perfective aspect).

Agglutinative is sometimes used as a synonym for synthetic, although it technically is not. When used in this way, the word embraces fusional languages and inflected languages in general.

The distinction between an agglutinative and a fusional language is often not sharp. Rather, one should think of these as two ends of a continuum, with various languages falling more toward one end or the other. For example, Japanese is generally agglutinative, but expresses fusion in otōto (younger brother?), from oto+hito (originally oto+pito). In fact, a synthetic language may present agglutinative features in its open lexicon but not in its case system (e.g. German, Dutch, and Persian).

Agglutinative languages tend to have a high rate of affixes/morphemes per word, and to be very regular. For example, Japanese has only three irregular verbs, Ganda has only one (or two, depending on how “irregular” is defined), Turkish has only one and in the Quechua languages all the verbs are regular. Korean language has only ten irregular forms of conjugation. Georgian is an exception; not only is it highly agglutinative (there can be simultaneously up to 8 morphemes per word), but there are also a significant number of irregular verbs, varying in degrees of irregularity.

Also, what the fuck with -i in ES? O_o.

Uniformitarianism is the assumption that the same natural laws and processes that operate in the universe now, have always operated in the universe in the past and apply everywhere in the universe. It has included the gradualistic concept that “the present is the key to the past” and is functioning at the same rates. Uniformitarianism has been a key principle of geology and virtually all fields of science, but naturalism’s modern geologists, while accepting that geology has occurred across deep time, no longer hold to a strict gradualism.

Uniformitarianism was formulated by Scottish naturalists in the late 18th century, starting with the work of the geologist James Hutton, which was refined by John Playfair and popularised by Charles Lyell‘s Principles of Geology in 1830.[1] The term uniformitarianism was coined by William Whewell, who also coined the term catastrophism for the idea that the Earth was shaped by a series of sudden, short-lived, violent events.[2]

RAS syndrome (short for “redundant acronym syndrome syndrome”), also known as PNS syndrome (“PIN number syndrome syndrome”, which expands to “personal identification number number syndrome syndrome”) or RAP phrases (“redundant acronym phrase phrases”), refers to the use of one or more of the words that make up an acronym or initialism in conjunction with the abbreviated form, thus in effect repeating one or more words.

A person is humorously said to suffer from RAS syndrome when he or she redundantly uses one or more of the words that make up an acronym or initialism with the abbreviation itself. Usage commentators consider such redundant acronyms poor style and an error to be avoided in writing, though they are common in speech.[1] The degree to which there is a need to avoid pleonasms such as redundant acronyms depends on one’s balance point of prescriptivism (ideas about how language should be used) versus descriptivism (the realities of how natural language is used). For writing intended to persuade, impress, or avoid criticism, usage guides advise writers to avoid pleonasm as much as possible, even if not because such usage is always “wrong”, but rather because most of one’s audience may believe that it is always wrong.

The term RAS syndrome is itself intentionally redundant,[2][3] and thus is an example of self-referential humor.

I’m not arguing that teens should be given adult responsibilities as soon as they hit puberty; modern culture is too complex for that now.  But what I am saying is that Americans as a group suffer from the peculiar delusion that if a little of something is good, a LOT of it is better; if you believe that, how about a nice plate of salt for dinner?  Some restrictions on teens are helpful to them, but equating them with toddlers helps no one, neither the teens nor the parents who are held legally liable if they are somehow unable to control young people who may be just as competent, intelligent, resourceful and strong-willed as they are.  And nowhere is this more true than in the area of sex; it is the hormones of puberty that drive young people to have sex, not knowledge or culturally-induced “sexualization”, yet Americans are committed to the self-destructive delusion that if we keep teens in ignorance about sex they’ll stay “innocent” and never think of having it themselves (you know, in exactly the same way dogs, cats and other animals remain celibate for life unless humans teach them to have sex).


This isn’t a perfect world, and nobody is suggesting that any of these suggestions will create a Utopia in which no teen ever suffers or is exploited ever again.  The philosophy of harm reduction is that rejecting compromise solutions because they “send a bad message” sacrifices real human lives on the altar of an unattainable perfection, and that the greatest good we can hope for is to establish policies which reduce the harm from people’s own (perhaps unwise) actions, and eliminate the harm inflicted by the brutal and mindless enforcement of ill-considered and moralistic laws.

Yes! I keep getting such responses whenever i propose some reform to this or that. “But that wudnt solve x, y, and z.” Well, no. But that doesnt matter in itself. What matters is the overall consequences, is there a net benefit?


In May 2007, my husband and I were asked to assist an acquaintance in putting down a 14-year-old dog…the [owner’s] teenaged daughter…protested the plan vehemently…the day before the planned euthanasia, [police said] the girl had accused him of touching her…since [then] we’ve been fighting a legal system that, without notice, has curtailed our ability to travel, to obtain life insurance, even to petition for redress…police needed no corroboration for the charge; the accusation alone was sufficient, and jail time…was expected…a private investigator…proved the accuser wrong.  But…with a minor, it’s all inadmissible…the county [said it] would accept a no-contest plea, but that my husband would still be a registered sex offender for at least 10 years and possibly for the rest of his life.  If he didn’t take it, a court date would be set in five to six months, and some jail time would be expected.  We were given five minutes to decide.  My husband pleaded no contest…

Disgusting! vi

…Lauren Ferrari posted a photo on Facebook of her 5-year-old pretending to nurse her 2-year-old.  Within 24 hours, Facebook took the picture down…Stefanie Thomas of the Seattle Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children…[opined] that Ferrari’s decision to post the photo was “poor parenting” because it’s impossible to control where that photo might end up…it wasn’t the first time the site has deleted photos of young girls pretending to breastfeed…Last summer…[alarmists] were outraged [about a nursing doll they claimed]…sexualizes children…Tessa Blake…  [argues] it is natural for girls to mimic their moms.  ”My daughter has been lifting up her shirt and ‘nursing’ her babies for years.  Are you suggesting this is shameful?  What if she feeds her doll with a bottle?  Is she not being a kid then, or is it just the breast that’s the problem?” Blake asked…


In the UK as in the US, some porn is arbitrarily deemed illegal due to a vague and wavering line; in Britain it’s “extreme pornography”, defined as “grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character” or if it portrays “an act which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals”:

the Crown Prosecution Service…[argues] that images of fisting should be classified as “extreme pornography” with the risk to the defendant of three years in custody [and] inclusion on the sex offenders’ register…for [an] image…of [a legal] activity…the Prosecution must prove that the act of fisting is “likely to result in serious injury to a person’s anus”…Before being arrested and charged with these offences, Simon [Walsh] was a successful professional and politician…who, amongst other things, prosecuted police officers accused of disciplinary offences.  After being charged, Simon lost both professional and political positions, despite the fact that no pornography was found on any of his work…[or] home computers…the police had to “interrogate” Simon’s personal email account (server) in order to discover a few images they deemed questionable.  This…contaminated the only source of evidence; making it impossible to identify whether images attached to emails had in fact been opened and viewed…

It’s time yet again for me to answer reader questions; this time all three seem to have come from gentlemen with experience in hiring members of my profession.

Generally interesting.

In general, Everything Maggie McNeil writes is at least somewhat interesting, and much of it is very interesting. Thats pretty high praise from me! :)

Heres another one:

The story of her entry to whoredom (her choice of term).

And another…

I have said many times that sex is the only activity that it is legal to perform for free, but not for pay.  I must also point out that it is the only arrangement that is legal on a long-term basis but illegal on a short-term one. 

What is the basic definition of a whore?  A woman who agrees to have sex with a man for compensation.  But if he gives her money or gifts without any direct discussion of sex, indeed is not sure whether she will provide it or not, society does not call the act prostitution.  In other words, it is perfectly legal and perfectly acceptable for a woman to agree to date a man whom she knows will give her gifts, money or expensive entertainment, and perfectly legal for a man to court a woman whom he knows by reputation will “put out,” even if neither of them intends to continue the arrangement beyond a single date.  The only thing prohibited is the honest discussion of the arrangement.  Oh, she can “fish” for details prior to accepting the date; she can even wheedle specific gifts out of him if he is sufficiently generous.  But none of this is guarantee for the man that he will get what he wants.  In other words, it’s OK for her to demand compensation for the possibility of sex, but not for the certainty.

Now, I’m not saying that ALL dating is prostitution.  Maybe I’m somewhat naive on this subject, but I believe most people still use dating as courtship, with intent to find a mate.  That’s certainly not everyone, though, and there is no law against a man (even a married one) using dating simply as a way to get sex with absolutely NO intention of marriage, nor against a “party girl” using it as a way to enrich herself with equally non-marital intent.  The arrangement only becomes illegal when they are honest with one another.  I know it seems counterintuitive that honesty should ever be illegal, but there you are.

July 14, 2012

Interesting paper on The Swedish Model with regards to prostitution

Filed under: Feminism/equality — Emil O. W. Kirkegaard @ 22:28

I recently discovered an awesome blog about prostitution. It is run by a former prostitute, or “retired call girl” as she calls herself. The blog is called The Honest Courtesan and is very much worth reading. The author is clearly a clever person who rightly hates the modern feminists, or neofeminists as she calls them. Im ok with that term. Alternatives are gender feminists, third wave feminists.


Anyway, i was reading a couple of blog posts and stumbled upon this paper: The Swedish Sex Purchase Act: Claimed Success and Documented Effects (mirror)

There is no abstract, but the Introduction works as well:


Sweden’s criminalization of the purchase of sexual services in 1999 is said to be a unique
measure: to only punish those who buy sexual services, not those who sell them. However this
alleged uniqueness is questionable, and for several reasons. There are a number of other laws
and regulations against prostitution, which effectively make Swedish prostitution policy
similar to those countries in the world that attempt to reduce or eradicate prostitution with
legislative means. Another reason the claim to uniqueness is doubtful is that one must
examine more than the wording of a law or policy model (“it is only those who buy sex who
are being punished”) when analyzing it – one has to consider the actual consequences. For
instance, a law against the purchase of the services offered in massage therapy, psychotherapy
or sexual health counselling would obviously not only punish the buyers, but also carry
negative consequences for those who offer the services. Therefore, to only focus on one of
several prostitution laws, ignore its consequences and call this a “unique” policy model is
either ignorant or a deliberate deception.

But there are some aspects of the Sex Purchase Act that can be said to be unique. One such
aspect is the way it has been justified by policymakers.

The Sex Purchase Act was introduced by feminist policymakers who argued that prostitution
is a form of male violence against women, that it is physically and psychologically damaging
to sell sex and that there are no women who sell sex voluntarily. Furthermore, it was claimed
that if one wants to achieve a gender-equal society, then prostitution must cease to exist – not
only for the above-mentioned reasons, but also because all women in society are harmed as
long as men think they can “buy women’s bodies”.2
If the ban would have adverse effects for
individual women who sell sex, or if it violates their right to self-determination would not
matter. The gender-equal symbolic value of the Sex Purchase Act is more important.3
radical feminist-inspired view of prostitution has existed in the West since the 1970s, but has
not been applied at state level before. In Sweden, it was first embraced by the Social
Democratic government in 1998, and later by the Liberal Alliance Government in 2006.

Another unique aspect of the Sex Purchase Act is how persistently the ban, or the “Swedish
model”, has been marketed. One of the stated aims from the very outset was to export it to
other countries.4
Both governments, authorities, political actors and Non Governmental
Organizations (NGOs) have devoted time and money to market it internationally. Pamphlets,
websites, articles, books and movies have been produced and lobby activities have been
conducted towards the European Union (EU) and the rest of the world with the help of this
material and via workshops, seminars and debates.5
Countries considering changes in their
prostitution laws, have subsequently turned to Sweden for inspiration.

At the core of the marketing campaign has been the stated success of the Sex Purchase Act. It
is said to have reduced prostitution and trafficking for sexual purposes, to have had a deterrent
effect on clients, and to have changed societal attitudes towards prostitution – all this without
having any negative consequences. Most recently these claims were stated in the 2010 official
evaluation of the Sex Purchase Act, and repeated by Minister of Justice Beatrice Ask in an
article for CNN.6
The problem with these claims is that if they are carefully investigated they
do not appear to be supported by the available facts or research. As soon as the official
evaluation was published, it was also criticized from several directions.7
In the consultation
process following the publication of the evaluation, the critique was especially harsh from
those referral bodies who conduct prostitution research, and those working with health and
discrimination issues (when law amendments are proposed in an official inquiry the report is
circulated for consultation before it undergoes further preparation).8
The criticism has
primarily been focused on the evaluation’s lack of scientific rigor: it did not have an objective
starting point, since the terms of reference given were that the purchase of sex must continue
to be illegal; there was not a satisfying definition of prostitution; it did not take into account
ideology, method, sources and possible confounding factors; there were inconsistencies,
contradictions, haphazard referencing, irrelevant or flawed comparisons and conclusions were
made without factual backup and were at times of a speculative character. 9

In this report we will focus on the conflict between the stated success of the ban and the lack
of data that can back up these claims. Because, when reviewing the research and reports
available, it becomes clear that the Sex Purchase Act cannot be said to have decreased
prostitution, trafficking for sexual purposes, or had a deterrent effect on clients to the extent
claimed. Nor is it possible to claim that public attitudes towards prostitution have changed
significantly in the desired radical feminist direction or that there has been a similar increased
support of the ban. We have also found reports of serious adverse effects of the Sex Purchase
Act – especially concerning the health and well-being of sex workers – in spite of the fact that
the lawmakers stressed that the ban was not to have a detrimental effect on people in

The authors of this report have researched different aspects of the Swedish prostitution policy
over several years. One of us has also conducted field work among people who sell sex in
This particular report is based on research we have conducted in the context of a
larger project conducted through the University of Leiden, the Netherlands. It is written with
an international audience in mind, the reason being that there appears to be a large demand for
knowledge regarding the actual effects of the “Swedish model” – knowledge that is based on
Swedish research but not filtered through the official discourse. To our understanding, the
research presented here has not previously been compiled and translated into English.

We will begin this report by providing an overview of the laws and regulations surrounding
prostitution, move on to discuss the documented effects of the Sex Purchase Act and end with
a brief conclusion. “

May 10, 2012

Regarding ‘black studies’ and the academic left’s crazy political correctness

Filed under: Feminism/equality — Emil O. W. Kirkegaard @ 03:17

Just a collection of links. She was right about black studies.

Her point holds for feminism as well.

Follow-up from the writer:

She gets fired:

Comments on the affair:

April 23, 2012

Sweden’s crazy social experiment with gender

Filed under: Feminism/equality — Emil O. W. Kirkegaard @ 19:36

Read if u dare. These people are I also predict that this will not change sex-based stereotypes. Men and women are simply different due to genetics (and epigenetics etc.).

Altho, as a linguist, i like the idea of gender free pronouns even tho they reasons they want to introduce it are insane. The linguist mentioned in the article is right that the EN he/she, DA han/hun, SV han/hon clutters up sentences.

The free lifestyle magazine, Nöjesguiden, which is distributed in major Swedish cities and is similar to the Village Voice, recently released an issue using hen throughout. In his column, writer Kawa Zolfagari says, “It can be hard to handle the male ego sometimes. I myself tend to get a stinging feeling when a female friend has had it with sexism or has got hurt because of some guy and desperately blurts out some generalisation about men. Sometimes I think ‘Hen knows me, hen knows I am not an idiot, why does hen speak that way of all men?’ Nöjesguiden‘s editor, Margret Atladottir, said hen ought to be included in the dictionary of the Swedish Academy, the body that awards the Nobel Prize in literature.

Why is he not complaining that she is being sexist? Oh the double standards. It is fair to criticize men, but not women. Even men think like this, after all, women and children first is pretty much a built-in feature of men due to men’s disposability.

Generally, this women has alot of good videos about feminism.

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