Example #1 of why you shouldn’t make sweeping generalizations based on your own personal experience

woman-hater
Does Charlotte get her honorary membership card now?

Shorter Charlotte Allen: I am a paste-eating moron, and so therefore all other women are as shockingly stupid as I am.

Char, we get it: You’re a little stupid. I’m sorry for that, I really am. But you’re at least smart enough to figure out that publicly bashing women is a highly profitable career path — so don’t be so hard on yourself.

Yes, Charlotte Allen runs the Independent Women’s Forum, an anti-feminist organization committed to using feminist language in order to keep women in their place. So I’m actually kind of glad that Allen has shown her true colors and finally just admitted that she thinks women are dumb. She at least proved that she’s not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed:

Here’s Agence France-Presse reporting on a rally for Sen. Barack Obama at the University of Maryland on Feb. 11: “He did not flinch when women screamed as he was in mid-sentence, and even broke off once to answer a female’s cry of ‘I love you, Obama!’ with a reassuring ‘I love you back.’ ” Women screamed? What was this, the Beatles tour of 1964? And when they weren’t screaming, the fair-sex Obama fans who dominated the rally of 16,000 were saying things like: “Every time I hear him speak, I become more hopeful.” Huh?

“Women ‘Falling for Obama,’ ” the story’s headline read. Elsewhere around the country, women were falling for the presidential candidate literally. Connecticut radio talk show host Jim Vicevich has counted five separate instances in which women fainted at Obama rallies since last September. And I thought such fainting was supposed to be a relic of the sexist past, when patriarchs forced their wives and daughters to lace themselves into corsets that cut off their oxygen.

Has Charlotte Allen ever been to a big political rally? People scream! The Republicans at CPAC practically cream themselves over George Bush and Mitt Romney, but no one calls it “swooning” because we reserve that word for women. Shouting, yelling, jumping up and down and otherwise getting excited at political events is pretty common — it’s not just women, and it’s not just Obama fans.

I can’t help it, but reading about such episodes of screaming, gushing and swooning makes me wonder whether women — I should say, “we women,” of course — aren’t the weaker sex after all. Or even the stupid sex, our brains permanently occluded by random emotions, psychosomatic flailings and distraction by the superficial. Women “are only children of a larger growth,” wrote the 18th-century Earl of Chesterfield. Could he have been right?

For someone so self-hating, she must have an awfully big ego. I’m not sure that most people who claim to be as aware of their intellectual inferiority as Charlotte is would also be under the impression that they should write an op/ed for the Washington Post.

And obviously men do dumb things, too, although my husband has perfectly good explanations for why he eats standing up at the stove (when I’m not around) or pulls down all the blinds so the house looks like a cave (also when I’m not around): It has to do with the aggressive male nature and an instinctive fear of danger from other aggressive men. When men do dumb things, though, they tend to be catastrophically dumb, such as blowing the paycheck on booze or much, much worse (think “postal”). Women’s foolishness is usually harmless. But it can be so . . . embarrassing.

Your husband pulls down the blinds out of his caveman instinctive fear of danger from other aggressive men? Really? Perhaps you should be writing an op/ed about how insanely stupid individuals gravitate towards each other and proceed to use evolutionary psychology to explain their remarkable stupidity.

Take Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign. By all measures, she has run one of the worst — and, yes, stupidest — presidential races in recent history, marred by every stereotypical flaw of the female sex. As far as I’m concerned, she has proved that she can’t debate — viz. her televised one-on-one against Obama last Tuesday, which consisted largely of complaining that she had to answer questions first and putting the audience to sleep with minutiae about her health-coverage mandate. She has whined (via her aides) like the teacher’s pet in grade school that the boys are ganging up on her when she’s bested by male rivals. She has wept on the campaign trail, even though everyone knows that tears are the last refuge of losers. And she is tellingly dependent on her husband.

For someone running one of the worst and stupidest presidential campaigns in recent history, Clinton doesn’t seem to be doing too badly. In fact, one would imagine that if a candidate ran one of the worst and stupidest campaigns ever, that candidate probably would be out of the race — and not a strong contender for the nomination in one of the closest and most contentious primary races in recent history. But hey, details.

What is it about us women? Why do we always fall for the hysterical, the superficial and the gooily sentimental? Take a look at the New York Times bestseller list. At the top of the paperback nonfiction chart and pitched to an exclusively female readership is Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love.” Here’s the book’s autobiographical plot: Gilbert gets bored with her perfectly okay husband, so she has an affair behind his back. Then, when that doesn’t pan out, she goes to Italy and gains 23 pounds forking pasta so she has to buy a whole new wardrobe, goes to India to meditate (that’s the snooze part), and finally, at an Indonesian beach, finds fulfillment by — get this — picking up a Latin lover!

This is the kind of literature that countless women soak up like biscotti in a latte cup: food, clothes, sex, “relationships” and gummy, feel-good “spirituality.” This female taste for first-person romantic nuttiness, spiced with a soup¿on of soft-core porn, has made for centuries of bestsellers — including Samuel Richardson’s 1740 novel “Pamela,” in which a handsome young lord tries to seduce a virtuous serving maid for hundreds of pages and then proposes, as well as Erica Jong’s 1973 “Fear of Flying.”

Not like the best-sellers that men read, of course. Today, the #1 hardcover fiction best-seller on the Times list is “The Appeal” by John Grisham. And nothing like those serious books that men read, none of which involve first-person romantic nuttiness and soft-core porn.

Then there’s the chick doctor television show “Grey’s Anatomy” (reportedly one of Hillary Clinton’s favorites). Want to be a surgeon? Here’s what your life will be like at the hospital, according to “Grey’s”: sex in the linen-supply room, catfights with your sister in front of the patients, sex in the on-call room, a “prom” in the recovery room so you can wear your strapless evening gown to work, and sex with the married attending physician in an office. Oh, and some surgery. When was the last time you were in a hospital and spotted two doctors going at it in an empty bed?

I’m not sure, but I think I did see it on ER once. I’ve also never seen a cop get it on with a DA, but I’m pretty sure that happened on the Very Serious and Manly show “The Wire” (Barack Obama’s favorite, btw).

Depressing as it is, several of the supposed misogynist myths about female inferiority have been proven true. Women really are worse drivers than men, for example. A study published in 1998 by the Johns Hopkins schools of medicine and public health revealed that women clocked 5.7 auto accidents per million miles driven, in contrast to men’s 5.1, even though men drive about 74 percent more miles a year than women. The only good news was that women tended to take fewer driving risks than men, so their crashes were only a third as likely to be fatal. Those statistics were reinforced by a study released by the University of London in January showing that women and gay men perform more poorly than heterosexual men at tasks involving navigation and spatial awareness, both crucial to good driving.

You know Allen is reaching when the best thing she can come up with to prove female inferiority is “Women are crappy drivers.” And she can’t even prove that very well, since men are more likely to be recklessly bad drivers. Although my favorite line is this one: “A study published in 1998 by the Johns Hopkins schools of medicine and public health revealed that women clocked 5.7 auto accidents per million miles driven, in contrast to men’s 5.1, even though men drive about 74 percent more miles a year than women.” Except that the study evaluated the accident rate by millions of miles, so it doesn’t matter how many more miles per year men drive. And they big, misogynist results? A difference of .6 accidents per million miles. Someone repeal the 19th amendment, stat.

The theory that women are the dumber sex — or at least the sex that gets into more car accidents — is amply supported by neurological and standardized-testing evidence. Men’s and women’s brains not only look different, but men’s brains are bigger than women’s (even adjusting for men’s generally bigger body size). The important difference is in the parietal cortex, which is associated with space perception. Visuospatial skills, the capacity to rotate three-dimensional objects in the mind, at which men tend to excel over women, are in turn related to a capacity for abstract thinking and reasoning, the grounding for mathematics, science and philosophy. While the two sexes seem to have the same IQ on average (although even here, at least one recent study gives males a slight edge), there are proportionally more men than women at the extremes of very, very smart and very, very stupid.

Didn’t brain size comparisons get de-bunked about 100 years ago when they were used not only against women, but against Jews and people of color? Guess Charlotte missed the memo.

I am perfectly willing to admit that I myself am a classic case of female mental deficiencies. I can’t add 2 and 2 (well, I can, but then what?). I don’t even know how many pairs of shoes I own. I have coasted through life and academia on the basis of an excellent memory and superior verbal skills, two areas where, researchers agree, women consistently outpace men.

Shocking that an excellent memory and superior verbal skills would help you out in academia.

That’s where this logic gets screwy: If women are actually better at remembering things, at reading and at writing, where as men can add numbers together and spear dinosaurs, shouldn’t women be in positions of academic and political power? After all, the president doesn’t really need to know how to add 2 and 2, but she should be able to remember things, she should be able to speak well, and she should know how to deal with other people.

But Allen isn’t making a genuine argument — she’s promoting a very specific agenda, and using crappy science to back it up.

So I don’t understand why more women don’t relax, enjoy the innate abilities most of us possess (as well as the ones fewer of us possess) and revel in the things most important to life at which nearly all of us excel: tenderness toward children and men and the weak and the ability to make a house a home. (Even I, who inherited my interior-decorating skills from my Bronx Irish paternal grandmother, whose idea of upgrading the living-room sofa was to throw a blanket over it, can make a house a home.) Then we could shriek and swoon and gossip and read chick lit to our hearts’ content and not mind the fact that way down deep, we are . . . kind of dim.

If that’s all true, then I don’t understand why Allen doesn’t take her own damn advice and get back to the kitchen. If women are supposed to be at home baking things and raising babies, why is she running a major political organization and writing op/eds for the Post?



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88 comments for “Example #1 of why you shouldn’t make sweeping generalizations based on your own personal experience

  1. oatmealia
    March 2, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Uh, yeah. Men innately possess more visuospatial intelligence, therefore they are smart. Women innately possess better verbal and memory skills, therefore they are soft and lazy and get a free ticket in academia. Sounds fair. Plus, Hilary Clinton is a terrible candidate because she bores audiences with minutiae because she’s a girl. What?

  2. March 2, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Oh wow! I’m so glad Charlotte told me all about my inferior visuospatial skills. My mere 99th percentile score must be the great handicap that makes me such a lousy driver, with my zero accidents in 20 years.

    Hillary Clinton and women screaming at rallies do not make me embarrassed for womankind. Nor do light flaky bestselling books. Charlotte Allen, on the other hand, kind of does.

  3. Danakitty
    March 2, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    I can’t help it, but reading about such episodes of screaming, gushing and swooning makes me wonder whether women — I should say, “we women,” of course — aren’t the weaker sex after all.

    I… don’t think the psycho-obsessive celebrity fangroup count toward the general intelligence of a particular gender.

    Sorry, but… if a young, sexy woman were running opposite the charming Obama, there would be more psycho-obsessive celebrity fangroup men. (Might we witness the swooning gay men in the group fawning over Obama?)

    And … Not all women collect shoes … okay? If I were to compare all my possessions and see what I own the most … it would be books. Maybe that’s a representation of my good verbal skills. But I like to think my good verbal skills come from the intense reading I’ve done since the age of 4. Oh, and math? I tutored people math in college. I took organic chemistry in high school. I could have (and had planned on) going into science, but I chose to do what I loved rather than what I was good at.

    Call me a stupid female if you want, but I happen to like the direction my life has gone.

  4. March 2, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Hahaha, oh wow

    You actually took the time to make a wall of text that amounts to overcompensation.

  5. March 2, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Charlotte needs to come to my house on a autumn Sunday afternoon, when my husband is vacuuming and dusting and I’m watching football.

  6. March 2, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    That was close to an Onion piece.

  7. March 2, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    You actually took the time to make a wall of text that amounts to overcompensation.

    And you took the time to write an inane comment. Welcome.

  8. March 2, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    As usual, the question is not the rhetorical “Why do stupid people write stupid things?”, it’s “Why are stupid people like Joel Stein (LAT), Jonah Goldberg (LAT), Ann Althouse (NYT), and Charlotte Allen (WP) getting national newspaper space, some on a twice-weekly basis?” Are they so hungry for interest/input from readers with above-room-temperature IQs that they bait them this way?

  9. March 2, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Are they so hungry for interest/input from readers with above-room-temperature IQs that they bait them this way?

    Yes.

    Or they just want to drive up their readership in general, and this kind of crap will do it.

  10. March 2, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    Charlotte Allen has obviously claimed a space of acceptance for herself within a sorry camp of misogyny and very stunted intellectual capacity. I see the same thing on my co-ed sports teams–where many women express their competitive nature arrogantly, without care in many cases for the spirit of sport and performance, gaining “in” status from the uber- and semi-uber-males in doing so. Most all-women’s leagues are not like this.

    Natalie Angier’s essay “Biologically Correct” is a great read on a real female-inclusive state of evolutionary psychology. She postures that “Woman, like any female primate, has two core desires. First, access to resources, which means food, shelter, and–ever since we were so rudely and coldly depilated–clothing, for herself and her young. Second, control over her sex life and her reproduction. What are a man’s core desires? He, too, wants access to resources and control over the means of reproduction, which, in the absence of male parthenogenesis, means control over women. . . . What the inherent dialectic of the sexes does mean is that men and women may have differing definitions of freedom. Evo psychos, opining from their standard masculinist perspective, emphazise the clash between a man’s “restlessness” and a woman’s desire for “commitment,” as exemplified by . . . the assumption that men need freedom and women do not. But if you take a more female-primate point of view, you see that quite often it is the woman who wants her freedom, and the man, or men collectively, who are determined to circumscribe her.”

    She goes on to talk about how women have never needed men to stick around much beyond needing their sperm to become impregnated, because the very nature of women’s social structures is to help each other raise young and provide resources, physical and emotional, for each other. It is only very recently that women have been bound to rely on men for their income or resources.

    And it is a female human, alone of all other primate species, that does not have the freedom to walk down her own neighborhood street without needing protection from her own species. Women want freedom from this, inherently we want freedom from men, not the other way around.

  11. March 2, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Charlotte Allen has obviously claimed a space of acceptance for herself within a sorry camp of misogyny and very stunted intellectual capacity. I see the same thing on my co-ed sports teams–where many women express their competitive nature arrogantly, without care in many cases for the spirit of sport and performance, gaining “in” status from the uber- and semi-uber-males in doing so. Most all-women’s leagues are not like this.

    Natalie Angier’s essay “Biologically Correct” is a great read on a real female-inclusive state of evolutionary psychology. She postures that “Woman, like any female primate, has two core desires. First, access to resources, which means food, shelter, and–ever since we were so rudely and coldly depilated–clothing, for herself and her young. Second, control over her sex life and her reproduction. What are a man’s core desires? He, too, wants access to resources and control over the means of reproduction, which, in the absence of male parthenogenesis, means control over women. . . . What the inherent dialectic of the sexes does mean is that men and women may have differing definitions of freedom. Evo psychos, opining from their standard masculinist perspective, emphazise the clash between a man’s “restlessness” and a woman’s desire for “commitment,” as exemplified by . . . the assumption that men need freedom and women do not. But if you take a more female-primate point of view, you see that quite often it is the woman who wants her freedom, and the man, or men collectively, who are determined to circumscribe her.”

    She goes on to talk about how women have never needed men to stick around much beyond needing their sperm to become impregnated, because the very nature of women’s social structures is to help each other raise young and provide resources, physical and emotional, for each other. It is only very recently that women have been bound to rely on men for their income or resources.

    And it is a female human, alone of all other primate species, that does not have the freedom to walk down her own neighborhood street without needing protection from male humans. Women want freedom from this, inherently we want freedom from men, not the other way around. She says further, “Whether they take the tag or spurn it, [women] are born feminists. Woemn, like men, want the freedom to roam, explore, experiment–all desires to be expected in a highly intelligent, inquisitive, shrewd, opportunistic, social species. It’s not ‘out of sync’ with our ‘nature’ to want autonomy. The individual is the reproductive unit. Through the fantastic effors of eons of evolution, the individual is born to like its particular genome, to want to get as much of that genome into the population as possible. The individual does not like being pushed around, deprived of choice, enslaved. The individual tends to chafe against excessive oppression. this is not ‘political correctness.’ This is common sense, Darwinian sense; our past, present, and future sense.

    Sorry to quote extensively, but it’s a cunning argument. One that actually could be argued to make Charlotte Allen seem pretty naturally female–for being so abitious and driven towards gaining acceptance in the misogynist sphere.

  12. Regina
    March 2, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    If I wrote an article about how rewarding Multivariate Calculus is, what it is like to revolve 3 and 4 D objects around in your head and get graded on it, it would never get published. So why can this person’s personal experience allegedly prove anything about men, women, or people in general and mine cannot?

    It’s hard enough trying to show the men that you can be a kickass engineer, a single woman, a political leader, without other women popping up and saying “oh, no we can’t!”

  13. Roxie
    March 2, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    And obviously men do dumb things, too, although my husband has perfectly good explanations for why he eats standing up at the stove (when I’m not around) or pulls down all the blinds so the house looks like a cave (also when I’m not around): It has to do with the aggressive male nature and an instinctive fear of danger from other aggressive men. When men do dumb things, though, they tend to be catastrophically dumb, such as blowing the paycheck on booze or much, much worse (think “postal”). Women’s foolishness is usually harmless. But it can be so . . . embarrassing.

    The only one embarrassing women is you.

  14. zuzu
    March 2, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    (Even I, who inherited my interior-decorating skills from my Bronx Irish paternal grandmother, whose idea of upgrading the living-room sofa was to throw a blanket over it, can make a house a home.)

    Maybe Bronx Irish grandmother threw a blanket over the sofa because she was too poor to buy another one when the fancy struck her.

    Just a thought.

  15. March 2, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    I tried to read that, but when I got to the bit about how women do stupid things and so do men, and men’s stupid things are more destructive but women’s are worse because women are stupider, I could feel the brain cells dying off at a frightening rate.

  16. Nazrafel
    March 2, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    A whale brain is larger than a human brain; maybe we should elect a blue whale to the presidency since obviously, based on Charlotte’s argument, they are the most intelligent beings on earth. (Well, Charlotte aside, at least more intelligent than what’s in the White House at the moment).

    It’s like Charlotte asked the world “is it just me or are women dumber than sh!t?”

    No honey, I’m sorry, it’s just you.

  17. oatmealia
    March 2, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    I feel you, Regina. Being a living, breathing counterexample doesn’t seem to earn you much cred. According to Allen, we are just merely adequate and somewhat anomalous. To be honest, I really don’t understand the argument that women are dumber than men based on the fact that not as many women are doctors or accountants or what have you. Some are, therefore they can do it. Numbers grow and shrink. The generalization clearly is not as demonstrative as one might like. And the extremes-against-the-averages thing is annoying. Every female mathematician is not Carl Friedrich Gauss! Ergo, women can’t do math! QED! Case closed!

  18. March 2, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    Apparently, the “women are worse drivers” thing disappears when you take older women—women who haven’t driven much because of dependence on men—out of the equation. It’s true that forcing someone into dependence probably diminishes her skills at certain things because she doesn’t practice. I wouldn’t expect your average man who’s never cooked a meal in his life to pick it up right away either.

  19. Arthurkc
    March 2, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Perhaps Allen is upset that among the various voting blocs in the Democratic nomination cnntest, only women are not voting as a bloc — as she probably predicted and had pre-written in her mind some screed attacking women for herding for a sister instead of discriminating on issues and policies. When women disappointed Allen’s prejudice, showing how poorly thought through was Allen’s analysis, her only refuge was a Rovian attack on their very strength, illuminating her personal weakness.

  20. March 2, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    It made me utterly furious.

    The fact that it’s in a major newspaper instead of some goofy right-wing website, is the shock.

  21. SoE
    March 2, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    I tried to read that, but when I got to the bit about how women do stupid things and so do men, and men’s stupid things are more destructive but women’s are worse because women are stupider, I could feel the brain cells dying off at a frightening rate.

    Me too. It still hurts.

  22. March 2, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    That was just grotesque.

    Revel in the things most important to life at which nearly all of us excel: tenderness toward children and men and the weak and the ability to make a house a home. . .

    Generalize much? I don’t hate children and I abhor their exploitation, but I don’t think that’s because I’m a woman. I don’t plan on having any of my own so I guess I’m a bad woman.

    And what about lesbians who feel the sort of “tenderness” she describes towards female partners? Are they not women either?

    Making a house a home? Is it 1950 again? Yes, I enjoy cooking and keeping things organized in the linen closet (and I’m good at it), but news flash: it doesn’t define me as a woman, or a human, for that matter.

  23. Poetry
    March 2, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Those statistics were reinforced by a study released by the University of London in January showing that women and gay men perform more poorly than heterosexual men at tasks involving navigation and spatial awareness, both crucial to good driving.

    Good job, Charlotte. You just managed to insult gay men along with women, in an article that wasn’t even about gay-bashing in the first place. Double the insult for the price of one. It must have taken you several weeks to come up with that one, since you’re a stupid, stupid woman.

  24. March 2, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Dear Jill,

    you rock.

    thanks. I could only stand to read this crap if it was punctuated by humor and intelligence. plus, now I don’t have to click over to the Post and actually give them another click on their stat counter.

    Perhaps that’s why they do it–it gets so many online hits immediately because bloggers all link to it. Then they can up their rate base for online ads.

  25. wiggles
    March 2, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    What does her husband eating his dinner over the stove have to do with his fear of attacks by roving cave-dwellers, exactly?

  26. March 2, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Worst drivers are those in minivans, cars with white ribbons on the antenna and cars with fish symbols.

    Gosh, put mysogynist(sic) editors in place, only publish stories they aprove, and see what happens. Even in blogs, people try to spin the direction of discourse to suit their prejudices. If money is involved, I expect a writer to feel even more pressure.

    Go to work tomorrow, tell your boss something about yourself that will set them off, and then come here and whine. Oh, you won’t. Neither will I. Once dated a person of different complexion. My boss was a racist. Didn’t share that with him at all.

  27. jamesPi
    March 2, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    These kinds of articles just bore me, they come out like clockwork. Good posts in this thread and it seems most of you are far beyond me in understanding evolutionary biology theory and the measuring of intelligence so I’d like to ask a question. Several articles and reports I’ve read in the past few months say that with intelligence, as far as it can be measured, the spread of men’s scores is much wider than women’s, meaning you have more males at the bottom, more at the top and not as many in the middle. Could this be one, of the admittedly many, reasons why the perception of men being smarter has persisted for so long?

  28. wiggles
    March 2, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    James:

    Ev Psych is B.S. Women and girls have historically scored lower on tests, to simplify, because they’re not generally encouraged to excel academically as boys and men are. Knowing stuff isn’t ladylike. It was only a scant few decades ago people were ringing their hands about “masculinizing” women by letting them attend college.

  29. Poetry
    March 2, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    These kinds of articles just bore me, they come out like clockwork. Good posts in this thread and it seems most of you are far beyond me in understanding evolutionary biology theory and the measuring of intelligence so I’d like to ask a question. Several articles and reports I’ve read in the past few months say that with intelligence, as far as it can be measured, the spread of men’s scores is much wider than women’s, meaning you have more males at the bottom, more at the top and not as many in the middle. Could this be one, of the admittedly many, reasons why the perception of men being smarter has persisted for so long?

    One of the theories I’ve read for why this spread of intelligence is the case is that many of the genes relating to neural and brain development are on the X chromosome. Since men have only one X, mutations in these brain function genes are more likely to be expressed, causing their increased likelihood of being at the extremes.

  30. jamesPi
    March 2, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    wiggles, though I’m no expert by any means I do not believe evolutionary biology as whole is “B.S.”. sure people will take anything they can find that they feel will help them make an argument and twist it to meet their own agenda but that doesn’t necessarily mean the concept as a whole is completely flawed. perhaps ev bio as applied to intelligence and creativity is bs but from what I’ve read and from what I’ve learned from one friend in a related field, the best ev bio scientists are the ones who openly admit its an ongoing process and a lot of what they report shouldn’t be taken as completely valid in all cases. it was also a few scant decades ago that we got access to the brain and we are refining that research every day. I do wonder why whenver anyone brings up spatial anything in regard to perhaps men as a group having a slight edge there is an uproar but we hear far less when it is said that women are innately better at language. In a perfect world that shouldn’t matter, we should work at continuing the research and doing what we can to use it while also attacking people who would use that research to pursue an anti-equality agenda.

    We need to get the nutjobs out of the picture.

  31. March 2, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    Great showcasing of just how stupid the article was — except the potshot at The Wire — I’m hurt :)

    It was hard to browse through the original — it just seemed like a parody — I could hardly believe someone could be writing as a serious piece.

  32. March 2, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    C’mon, Jill, don’t insult paste-eating morons by comparing them with Bad Charlotte here. They have no control over their drive to consume paste. This particular humanoid, OTOH, has the equipment to know better and simply refuses to utilize it.

    Since stories like this are obvious bait, maybe it would be a good idea if, when linking to them, you also identify the other advertisers on the site, so we have an opportunity to let these people know what we think of advertisers who allow themselves to be associated with this garbage. (Same goes for the print edition if anyone happens to have it on hand.) When it starts getting expensive for them to run these stories, then maybe they’ll stop.

  33. March 2, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Great showcasing of just how stupid the article was — except the potshot at The Wire — I’m hurt :)

    Ha. Totally wasn’t trying to take a pot-shot — I love The Wire too. I just think it’s interesting that she thinks people having sex on TV is somehow a staple of “girly” shows and not also part of the most “serious” dramas.

  34. March 2, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    (And by “you,” I mean anyone who has clicked over there. Doesn’t have to be Jill.)

  35. evil fizz
    March 2, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    though I’m no expert by any means I do not believe evolutionary biology as whole is “B.S.”.

    Evolutionary *biology* is not B.S. Evolutionary *psychology* however, is a different beast entirely.

  36. jamesPi
    March 2, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    thanks fizz, thats what I meant, not sure why I mixed up the words.

  37. LEIGH
    March 2, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Awesome posts everyone.

    I’m not familiar with Allen specifically but its strange how so many conservatives I know of support this area of science( ie the work of Lynn, Jensen, Ruston, and even Pinker) but are also diehard creationists(ie Ann Coulter and Dinish D’Souza).

    In a way, Allen’s rant does have its silver lining. I really hate it when anti-feminist conservatives hide behind the “menandwomenaredifferent” line. Allen and Co. allow no room for watered down interpretations for the less politically sophisticated American.

    I just wish others were as open in their opinion of women as Charolette Allen/IWF are.

  38. wiggles
    March 2, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    I do wonder why whenver anyone brings up spatial anything in regard to perhaps men as a group having a slight edge there is an uproar but we hear far less when it is said that women are innately better at language.

    Women don’t have “innately” stronger verbal skills. Girls are more encouraged in language-based fields of education because literary pursuits are (wrongly) considered to be suitably subjective and flowery for girly-soft, irrational minds.
    I personally cringe at any assertion that either sex is more or less innately “hard-wired” for anything. I don’t get up in arms about people saying women are better at verbal skills because it’s one of the rare cases where people at least acknowledge that women and girls can do something.

  39. Midnight Louise
    March 2, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    I’ve been thinking a lot about female misogynists lately, I don’t know why. I suppose it was because I finally figured it out, although I bet other feminists have figured it out long before me.

    Female misogynists tend to be shallow, impatient people who, above all, love power. They see — or are taught to see — women as weak. Having no use for the weak, and therefore no use for women, they gravitate away from other women at an early age, and dedicate themselves to being useful and needful for men. It works as long as they’re attached to some husband, brother, son, or male power structure. But a woman who gets discarded by that structure when she has nothing left to trade on — well, too bad for her.

    Charlotte Allen is no paste-eating moron. She’s playing an ancient, brutal high-stakes game, and I hope she’s putting by some of her winnings.

  40. leah
    March 3, 2008 at 12:30 am

    Funnily enough, while men do have larger brain sizes on average, they actually have FEWER active neurons, and have a peculiar neural cluster near the amygdala whose only discovered purpose is to SILENCE other neurons.

    Upshot: women have more functioning brain cells than men.

    But Char was probably too dumb to look that factoid up. Good thing there are women PhD’s like me around to point these things out to her.

  41. LEIGH
    March 3, 2008 at 1:31 am

    Driving stereotypes and spatial skill is interesting. Supposedly east Asians have superior spatial IQ in comparison to whites but are characterized as awful drivers. Would it be far then to call men worse drivers because of car accident stats despite supposed (weakly even if true) superior spatial skills? Or are driving stereotypes reserved only for women and minorities regardless of the situation?

  42. ellenbrenna
    March 3, 2008 at 1:38 am

    No one ever lost column inches underestimating the misogyny of the American newspaper editor.

    Between her and Caitlin Flanagan I think I have read enough “don’t worry your pretty little heads and let the men take care of it” for one lifetime.

  43. Dianne
    March 3, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Men’s and women’s brains not only look different, but men’s brains are bigger than women’s (even adjusting for men’s generally bigger body size).

    Wrong on at least two levels. First, although men’s brains are slightly bigger on average, their brain to body ratio (thought to be more indicative of intelligence than absolute brain size) is slightly lower than women’s. Second, there is no evidence that brain size is equated with intelligence within the species of H sapiens. Yes, this was considered, proven false, and abandoned in the 19th century. But the meme just won’t die.

  44. March 3, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Men used to be better drivers because they had more practice.

    Perhaps our girls develop earlier than boys? 16 year old girls are nominally adult while most of the boys are still catching up. Middle school girls are the ones with the language issues. Boys seem to hit this stage around high school. Yes it is generalizing.

  45. Medicine Man
    March 3, 2008 at 9:52 am

    I’m glad newspapers are dying out. Articles like that are just unbearably stupid.

  46. March 3, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Ev Psych is B.S.

    – Wiggles

    Oh dear. Got out of bed the wrong side?

    There are differences between the genders/sexes/races. Fact. There’s also a lot of overlap. Fact. The extremes are important but only represent a few per cent of the sample. Fact.
    What’s dangerous is when we misuse statistics. Are men or women more intelligent? On an overall scale it would be so close as to be insignificant. If we look at MENSA then that represents the top 2% and also states if you are top 1%.

    But even this is not extreme enough to see the elite intelligence (IQ 170+) that so many men have in comparison to the absolute number of women. But is in any case a very small relative per cent of the overall populus.

    Going back to Evolutionary Pyschology as BS. Well OK, evolution is all nonsense. Nothing about evolution is correct. Woud you agree with that?

    If you eat a poisonous mushroom you won’t die, as evolution did not happen. You can beat a lion in a fight as lions are not stronger than us. Maybe you just mean that evolution does not shape behaviour?
    So why do Emperor penguins huddle and shuffle?
    Why do lions after taking over a pride kill the young?
    Why do mothers reject babies that aren’t their own in nearly every species?
    Why do human babies look more like the dad than the mum when born?
    Why do women who co-habit share a common menstrual cycle?

    I think it is fairly clear that evolution is a fact. That evolutionary pyschology is fact too. So why cherry pick facts to suit a political point of view?

    Oh and Charlotte Allen is probably doing more good for equality than you may imagine. In the 1970s in the UK there was a comedy character called Alf Garnett. He played a loathsome man who was sexist, racist, etc. Of course, some people bought the character and misunderstood the intention – which was to show just how stupid these beliefs were.

    The only problem is, I hear Americans don’t do irony!

  47. Hector B.
    March 3, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Over the weekend, I was reminded that my fellow men have their own special brand of stupidity, invincible ignorance. First, a factory rep insisted to me that a product I have owned for over 20 years was never built with the features that mine had. I was tempted to go home, get it, and bop him in the head with it, but I figured that that wouldn’t be satisfying in the long run. Second, while having a beer in a bar at the end of the day, I was treated to a guy in his 50s insisting that the FDA prohibited the retail sale of rabbit meat, because they considered rabbits to be rodents, and thus not fit for human consumption. I considered inviting him home for hasenpfeffer, but again, that was not worth the effort.

    In contrast, one thing I have really liked about the women I’ve worked for is that their egos let them reevaluate situations and change their minds. Unlike these men, they don’t “have to be right” all the time, even when they’re wrong. This is particularly helpful to salespeople who should care if they’re pissing off a customer.

  48. March 3, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    And it is a female human, alone of all other primate species, that does not have the freedom to walk down her own neighborhood street without needing protection from her own species.

    Though I agree with your larger point, you may want to read up on orangutans and chimpanzees a bit because, unfortunately, this part is not correct.

  49. March 3, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Going back to Evolutionary Pyschology as BS. Well OK, evolution is all nonsense. Nothing about evolution is correct. Woud you agree with that?

    You may want to take a Logic 101 class, because this makes about as much sense as declaring that since both cows and sheep give milk, they’re the same animal.

    Just because you put “evolutionary” in front of a word doesn’t mean it actually has anything to do with the science of evolution.

  50. Dianne
    March 3, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    There are differences between the genders/sexes/races. Fact.

    Fact: Putting the word “Fact” after a statement doesn’t make it so. There are observed average differences between the sexes and between different races. However, it has also been demonstrated fairly rigorously that people treat people of different genders differently starting in infancy. Given that level of confounder I don’t know how we can even begin to find which of the observed differences (if any) are based on biology and which are artifacts created by bias in the way people are treated.

    There’s also a lot of overlap. Fact.

    I won’t disagree with this statement.

    The extremes are important but only represent a few per cent of the sample. Fact.

    It’s not clear to me how important the extremes are. If more men that women have IQs of 170+ so what? What does that matter? It’s not even clear that normal versus super-normal IQ has any meaning, muchless that a person with an IQ of 170 is more likely to be successful (by any measure of “success” other than “better grades in school”) than someone with an IQ of 150 or 120 or 100. Other factors come into play and are far more important than IQ number per se. Even if it were important, it is not clear that the high end differences are genetically based. (The low end probably are because many of the truly disasterous causes of mental retardation are X linked and therefore affect men almost exclusively.) Perhaps women rarely do extremely well on IQ tests because of stereotype threat: every IQ test I’ve ever taken asks for your gender before you start the test. What mechanism do you suggest to account for a proported “inherent” difference between the percentage of men and women who obtain very high IQ scores? (IIRC, the person with the highest recorded IQ is a woman. She hasn’t done anything spectacularly useful with the extra intelligence.)

  51. Betty Boondoggle
    March 3, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    There are differences between the genders/sexes/races.

    Oh, dear. I can’t think of a single way that assertion is going to bear out well.

  52. Moi
    March 3, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    As of yesterday, the following companies advertised on the Charlotte Allen Op-Ed page – the University of Phoenix, T-Mobile and Embassy Suites. Feel free to let these, and any other advertisers know how you feel about this.

  53. ellenbrenna
    March 3, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    I would like to point out that it is highly unlikely that every man at the top of managerial, political, scientific, mathematical, academic and administrative fields is in fact in the top percentage of intelligence. To begin with if every intelligent man was as accomplished as his test scores there would be good deal fewer bitter nerds.

    I myself have known a couple of idiotic managers whose achievement of their position, supervising highly intelligent and accomplished women, can in no way be attributed to the superiority of male brains.

    The tail ends are constantly used as a justification to keep a whole lot of mediocre men in power. Tiresome, really. Especially, as another commenter pointed out above, when children are perceived and treated differently from infancy, girls are constantly discouraged to think for themselves and take pride in their accomplishments as opposed to their loveabilty and female workers and bosses are judged differently based on the same behavior as men. Nobel prize winners do not disprove sexism any more than they prove it to be pervasive. Pervasive sexism proves pervasive sexism.

  54. Sniper
    March 3, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Fact: Putting the word “Fact” after a statement doesn’t make it so.

    Also, it totally makes you sound like Dwight Schrute.

  55. March 3, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Dianne:

    The low end probably are because many of the truly disasterous causes of mental retardation are X linked and therefore affect men almost exclusively

    Wow, pure anti-man sexism. By the same token, it is the same logic that suggests men are more likely to be at the other extreme too.

    Fact: Putting the word “Fact” after a statement doesn’t make it so. There are observed average differences between the sexes and between different races. However, it has also been demonstrated fairly rigorously that people treat people of different genders differently starting in infancy.

    Why immediately contradict yourself? You admit there are differences. That is all I said. I was talking purely from nature not from nurture. Stop bringing nurture and your perceived injustices into it.

    Mnemosyne:

    Just because you put “evolutionary” in front of a word doesn’t mean it actually has anything to do with the science of evolution.

    You are incorrect. There is a large part of evolutionary science dedicated to animal behaviour.

    Betty Boondoggle:

    I can’t think of a single way that assertion is going to bear out well.

    People assume if you mention differences it is saying about superiority. Well it isn’t. For instance, my brother and I share the same two parents and most of our genes and have a similar upbringing. Yet we are different. And my brother and I are both different to our sisters.

    Let’s face facts, if I say “women live longer than men” – noone would dispute the claim. Nor consider it offensive, sexist, etc. However, the only real issue woud be: Why? And strangely enough there is a theoretical evolutionary idea to why we have old women. Though it doesnt explain why women live longer than men.

  56. March 3, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    ellenbrenna: I concur, I wasn’t arguing that. I would agree that often success is based on mediocrity, especially in blue chip companies. (An article that suggests that generalism rather than specialism/ability may be the key to getting ahead: http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2008/03/against-ambitio.html)
    OTH Google, Yahoo, Apple, Microsoft etc… were all founded on intelligence. And by men with high IQs. Obviously a lot of people with high IQs achieve little. There’s other personality attributes that matter.

  57. Bo
    March 3, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    “I think it is fairly clear that evolution is a fact. That evolutionary psychology is fact too. So why cherry pick facts to suit a political point of view?”
    -Geoffrey

    Evolution can be thought of as both fact and theory. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_as_theory_and_fact
    1) A fact in science is an observation. The”fact of evolution” is the observed changes in populations of organisms over time.
    2) A theory describes the coherent framework into which observable data fit. A “theory of evolution” is the scientific explanation of how those changes came about. Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection by modern science, and it is known as the current accepted theory is known as the modern evolutionary synthesis.

  58. Bo
    March 3, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    “I think it is fairly clear that evolution is a fact. That evolutionary psychology is fact too. So why cherry pick facts to suit a political point of view?”
    -Geoffrey

    Evolution can be thought of as both fact and theory. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_as_theory_and_fact
    1) A fact in science is an observation. The “fact of evolution” is the observed changes in populations of organisms over time.
    2) A theory describes the coherent framework into which observable data fit. A “theory of evolution” is the scientific explanation of how those changes came about. Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection has been modified, and the current accepted scientific theory for evolution is known as the modern evolutionary synthesis.

  59. March 3, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    “Let’s face facts, if I say “women live longer than men” – noone would dispute the claim. ”

    Yes we would. Women have average lifespans which are longer than men’s in certain places in the world and at certain times in history. Which points to a more complex explanation than sex in and of itself.

    White people in the US currently have longer average lifespans than African Americans, but I hope no one here would suggest it’s an innate characteristic based only on race.

    “People assume if you mention differences it is saying about superiority. Well it isn’t. For instance, my brother and I share the same two parents and most of our genes and have a similar upbringing. Yet we are different. And my brother and I are both different to our sisters.”

    Wow, human beings are all different! Who would have thought? Not much good can come from generalizing those differences as uniquely male or female. Most often, those differences come from sexist beliefs: Men bond, women gossip is one easy example.

  60. March 3, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    In the 1970s in the UK there was a comedy character called Alf Garnett. He played a loathsome man who was sexist, racist, etc. Of course, some people bought the character and misunderstood the intention – which was to show just how stupid these beliefs were.

    Bad example. I think it was Meera Syal who said in an interview that the racist things said by that character got repeated to her by racist bullies. Having explicit racism on a popular TV show made it more acceptable to be racist, not less.

  61. Aeryl
    March 3, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Geoffrey:

    What Mnemosyne said.

    And yes, we had Archie Bunker, too. We do irony very well thank you very much. Allen is not being ironic, like Bunker and the UK version, she is being dead serious, makes moola off of this misogyny, and too many women and men, buy into this B.S. Which is why it must be refuted at ever opportunity. Jill may be preaching to the choir here, but all of us have social lives outside the blogosphere, and I for one carry many of the examples of misogyny to my women co-workers and friends, b/c they just don’t understand how the cards are stacked against as women, some times.

  62. Medicine Man
    March 3, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    A rebuttal to a piece of utter rubbish turns into an interesting discussion. Again I’m reminded of why I visit here regularly. Anyhow, it seems evident to me that there are physical and mental differences between men and women. The question that presents, to me, is to what extent are those differences based on socialization?

  63. Medicine Man
    March 3, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Bad example. I think it was Meera Syal who said in an interview that the racist things said by that character got repeated to her by racist bullies. Having explicit racism on a popular TV show made it more acceptable to be racist, not less.

    I’ve been told the same dynamic applies to Dave Chapelle and his humor.

  64. trishka
    March 3, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    i would like to make a comment on evolutionary psychology. my understanding is that it is something that is considered a valid phenomenon in humans, but not in the way it typically gets bandied about on internet sites to validate restrictive gender roles.

    the simple way of putting it is this: many people today in modern society exhibit phobias of things like snakes and spiders, even thought the number of people who actually die from being bitten by poisonous snakes and/or spiders is miniscule to the point of being negligible. especially when compared to the number of people who, for example, die from being eloctrocuted or from car accidents. yet we don’t see a significant number of people with phobias of electricity or automobiles.

    that is because electricity and cars, while more dangerous than snakes and spiders, are a manifestation of modern industrialized life and there has been no evolutionary advantage to avoiding them. not like there arguably has been, over tens of thousands of years, a slight advantaget to staying away from snakes and spiders. that inherited fear is what is meant by “evolutionary psychology”.

    the misuse of the term in applying it to modern day gender rules is, however, completely unsubstantiated by any sound scientific theory. there simply are not enough measurable differences between men & women to demonstrate anything of the sort.

  65. Betty Boondoggle
    March 3, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    People assume if you mention differences it is saying about superiority. Well it isn’t.

    Not always, no. But more often than not – by a large margin – it is exactly about superiority.

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  67. Medicine Man
    March 3, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    not like there arguably has been, over tens of thousands of years, a slight advantaget to staying away from snakes and spiders. that inherited fear is what is meant by “evolutionary psychology”.

    Interesting you should point that out, Trishka, because I’ve heard it argued that an evolutionary aversion to snakes is the reason why certain animal species make a hissing noise when warning potential foes. They’re mimicking a common predator / threat, something that evokes a degree of antipathy. I don’t know if there is any truth to this, but it makes a kind of sense.

    Not always, no. But more often than not – by a large margin – it is exactly about superiority.

    I agree, this is pretty reliably the case. At least when I try to assert that women have a greater inherit endurance and tolerance to pain than men, I get a lot of argument from my mates.

  68. ellenbrenna
    March 3, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Differing treatment from birth means that your cold hard facts about nature are not necessarily about nature at all.

  69. Betty Boondoggle
    March 3, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Differing treatment from birth means that your cold hard facts about nature are not necessarily about nature at all.

    Prezactly.

    This reminds me of the study done that showed that being reminded of your (supposed) inferiority (or superiority) prior to a test skewed the results of the test.

    Perhaps, after a lifetime of being told girls are not good at math, 3-D object flipping, etc and then filling in the little “F” bubble on at the start of the test, skews results?

  70. Dianne
    March 3, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Wow, pure anti-man sexism. By the same token, it is the same logic that suggests men are more likely to be at the other extreme too.

    Sorry, I giggled at this one. It’s anti-man sexism to say that men have only one X chromosome? HUH? And by what “logic” does pointing out that men are much more vulnerable to X-linked causes of severe mental retardation suggest that men would be more likely to be on the high end of the IQ spectrum as well? We don’t know what causes “supernormal” intelligence (or even if high scores on IQ tests mark it). We know SOME causes of mental retardation, but, at least AFAIK, there are no genetic markers associated with higher IQs. X-linked or otherwise. So on what are you basing your claim?

  71. Dianne
    March 3, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    You admit there are differences. That is all I said. I was talking purely from nature not from nurture. Stop bringing nurture and your perceived injustices into it.

    Yes, I know, shocking of me to bring injustice into it. As far as the rest of the statement, I can’t figure out what exactly you mean since first you state that you were simply making an observation then you state that you were talking “purely from nature”. There may be differences from “nature” between the intellectual abilities of “typical” men and women. There may not be. The data available to us are so confounded by social bias that there is no way of knowing.

  72. Dianne
    March 3, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Perhaps, after a lifetime of being told girls are not good at math, 3-D object flipping, etc and then filling in the little “F” bubble on at the start of the test, skews results?

    Absolutely unquestionably. Several very good studies have demonstrated this phenomenon. The key word is “stereotype threat”. If you remind women (or blacks or any other group that is supposed to be less “gifted” than white men in a given area) of their status as Untermensch, even indirectly (one test asked students whether they lived in a co-ed or single sex dorm) they’ll perform less well on tests than if you don’t remind them.

  73. Mnemosyne
    March 3, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    You are incorrect. There is a large part of evolutionary science dedicated to animal behaviour.

    Animal behavior and evolutionary psychology are not the same thing. However, since you don’t understand concepts as simple as how having two X chromosomes is protective against X-chromosome linked deficiencies and therefore insist that things like color blindness are proof of “anti-man sexism,” I kinda have a feeling you’re not very educated about evolution and genetics in general.

  74. Mnemosyne
    March 3, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    If you remind women (or blacks or any other group that is supposed to be less “gifted” than white men in a given area) of their status as Untermensch, even indirectly (one test asked students whether they lived in a co-ed or single sex dorm) they’ll perform less well on tests than if you don’t remind them.

    IIRC, it works the other way, too: if you tell white males that Asians are better at math right before a test, they will do worse on that test.

  75. March 3, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    No the sexism of stating that men are at the LOWER end due to only having one X is sexist, unless you admit that the instability of the XY also has the opposite affect. i.e many people with high IQs have things like autism/aspergers – which are predominately male. But the rub is that Dianne can only ever the Y as being a defect. Whereas in fact it creates more variance amongst men. As for colour blindness – again there’s an assumption that this is bad? Evolutionary it may have helped spot for camouflaged predators : colour-blind people were of great use in WWII for spotting camouflaged buildings for bombing raids.

    As for education and knowledge of genetics and evolution, well…

    Animal behavior and evolutionary psychology are not the same thing

    Interesting assertion there mate, but the defintion of pyschology is:
    study of human mind: the scientific study of the human mind and mental states, and of human and animal behaviour

    Seems pyschology and behaviour are the same. But that’s a dictionary. Maybe you have your own language?

  76. nyc_girl
    March 3, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    As someone who studies psychology, I want to add that many psychologists think evolutionary psychology is a lot of crap. Sure, some think it explains a lot of our behavior, but many more think that it’s nothing more than post-hoc theorizing about the causes of behavior that suits whatever the theorist would like to believe. Evolutionary psychology can never conduct a study that “proves” anything. You can only prove something if you can experimentally manipulate it, and you can’t manipulate evolution. Evolutionary psychology can only say that two things seem to co-occur, but that does not mean that they are causally related. It’s really all speculation. So, nothing about evolutionary psychology is “fact”.

  77. Mnemosyne
    March 3, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    Seems pyschology and behaviour are the same. But that’s a dictionary. Maybe you have your own language?

    You certainly seem to, if you think that if you ask to talk to a behaviorist and to a psychologist that you’ll get the same person. Since you’re fond of the dictionary, you may want to look up the definitions of “compose” and “comprise.”

    It’s pretty fun to watch you flail about, though. It’s not enough for you that we say that men and women are equal. No, we have to acknowledge the innate superiority of the human male because they’re autistic and colorblind at higher rates than women, so that proves that they’re superior to females!

  78. ahunt
    March 3, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    colour-blind people were of great use in WWII for spotting camouflaged buildings for bombing raids.

    Thirty years ago, my phys anth prof noted that the color-blind gene is virtually non-existant in modern H/G populations. Dunno if his assertion still stands, but I’m betting on it.

  79. LEIGH
    March 4, 2008 at 12:41 am

    Interesting comments on groups and intelligence(IQ).

    I know this may muddle the conversation a bit but I wanted to throw some links on race, gender, IQ and the Flynn effect because I think it has some relevancy to the topic.

    Hopefully people won’t set aside gender/race differences as ‘just so’ just yet. Perhaps Allen’s insistence on head size-intelligence correlation with go the way of Phrenology.

  80. AndiF
    March 4, 2008 at 8:25 am

    Leigh, thanks for the link to the presentation; it was fascinating.

    BTW, the link doesn’t work as is but if you copy the link and remove the period (.) at the end, it will work.

  81. Tyro
    March 4, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    For the life of me, I can’t figure out why eating standing up at the stove is considered “dumb” by Ms. Allen. Uncvilized, perhaps. But dumb?

  82. March 4, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Were the WaPo Outlook editors on vacation when that one got approved? And on the same day as the Linda Hirshman piece?? I hope they wanted to lose all their female demographics. Oh wait, maybe I’m just too dumb to figure out their logic??

  83. March 5, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    No, we have to acknowledge the innate superiority of the human male because they’re autistic and colorblind at higher rates than women, so that proves that they’re superior to females!

    err no. Who said men were superior. Not me. I was merely providing a genetic reason for the greater VARIANCE in men.
    And the colour blind genes may have been advantageous at some point in time. Hence allowing it to survive. This in no way means superiority as the environmental factors influencing human evolution have changed.

    Since you’re fond of the dictionary, you may want to look up the definitions of “compose” and “comprise.”

    Did I use them incorrectly?

    I want to add that many psychologists think evolutionary psychology is a lot of crap.

    – nyc_girl

    Yes. I dare say. For a start there’s many problems with it. Afterall how much is inherent and how much is learned. Plus anything that is inherent is essentially dangerous to admit – especially politically. But many scientists disagree on Darwinism, many still think Faraday was a crackpot and this electricity stuff is nonsense, as for Einstein – all his ideas were nonsense. And anyway Gravity was proven incorrect decades ago, so Newton was clearly an ejjit.

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