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Old 24th March 2006, 10:43 PM   #81
Suezoled
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Originally Posted by Kochanski View Post
I think you will find quite a few Skepchicks around here. TAM 4 had a good female presence, too.
*sighs* There are also some skeptics who happen to be female, but are not Skepchicks.
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Old 25th March 2006, 10:15 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Ririon View Post
Very few women have wives, so of you do mention your wife, you should NOT be surprised if people assume you are male... Obvious?
Well, sure. But I don't mention her often, and certainly never among my early posts in any given forum. The leap people make about me is usually "technical person = male". Numerically that's the way to bet (groups I work with routinely have 6-8x more males than females) but it's not always true.
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Old 25th March 2006, 01:18 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by princesspoppy View Post

There were a few men there who believed in fairies and blah........that was even more disturbing to me than the women who believed it....maybe thats just my own deep rooted prejudice of how men should be, but even though I am dumb founded at anyone believing ridiculous ne age notions, I was less astonished at women having them......hmmmmmm
I believe in fairies.

I'm always getting chatted up by them
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Old 25th March 2006, 02:51 PM   #84
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Another female skeptic here. I've had the name FortyTwo or Forty-Two on several message boards, and since it's an homage to Douglas Adams, I couldn't possibly abandon it when registering for this board. It's gender-neutral, though, so people usually do refer to me as "he," but as a newlywed I tend to mention my husband in every other post, which is a big tip-off.

As to why there seem to be more male skeptics than female skeptics -- I'd say that the perception has less to do with the makeup of the skeptic community and more to do with the makeup of the online community. There are many, many women who practice critical thinking skills but aren't interested in discussing them online. I stopped posting here for over a year before I started back up again, but I was no less of a skeptic during my absence.

On the subject of "skepchick" -- I don't really like the term. Part of my dislike stems from the implication that skeptics are assumed to be male, but really I dislike it because gender has nothing to do with whether or not you're skeptical.

The best analogy I can think of right now is in my own profession, music. It'd be ridiculous if there were a special terms for female trombonists or male violists. Gender has nothing to do with the sound an instrumentalist can produce, so why bother differentiating?
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Old 25th March 2006, 03:41 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Suezoled View Post
*sighs* There are also some skeptics who happen to be female, but are not Skepchicks.
Initially I had a problem with the term "skepchick." I thought, "chick" what an demeaning and insulting term - I'm much more than a chick! But as I thought more about it, I had less and less of a problem with it. It's sort of nice in a way as it embraces both my skeptical approach to life and my female identity. It removes the impression that skeptics are dried-up, cynical, older white males. It embraces diversity and points out that you can be a skeptic and yet still have a healthy appreciation of life, your gender, and your sexuality. And though I'm long pass the age where I might be considered a "chick" in our society, I've decided that I'm proud to be a skepchick - I'm proud to be a woman who can approach all the nonsense in this world in a thoughtful, critical manner.
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Old 25th March 2006, 06:34 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by ;1522751
Originally Posted by Mojo :
And, of course, the belief that they can beat the bookie.


I'm telling you, I have this fool-proof system...

Huntsman
(the words every bookie/casino owner loves to hear)

)

97% of them are losers. However it is false to suppose that no-one can beat the bookie.
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Old 25th March 2006, 06:44 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Interesting Ian View Post
97% of them are losers. However it is false to suppose that no-one can beat the bookie.
Thank you, Captain Obvious. Now, if you'd kindly like to explain why that had anything whatsoever to do with my post (I'm sure your collosal intellect can manage this), then I might actually listen to your meaningless drivel.
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Old 25th March 2006, 07:10 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Huntsman View Post
Thank you, Captain Obvious. Now, if you'd kindly like to explain why that had anything whatsoever to do with my post (I'm sure your collosal intellect can manage this), then I might actually listen to your meaningless drivel.

You implied that, over a sufficiently long period of time, it is not possible to win more than you lose at the bookies. I was simply pointing out that this is false.

Last edited by Interesting Ian; 25th March 2006 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 25th March 2006, 07:28 PM   #89
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as a female and former woo...I think more women believe crap for two reasons:

1. They are more trusting than men. It doesn't quite occur to them that authority figures may be deluded, deceptive, and manipulative. For both children and women, there is a survival advantageous in trusting those who have power over you.

2. Also, women never get that testosterone push that makes them confront authority. Testosterone seems to be vital in determining hierarchal position throughout the animal kingdom. Women (on average) seem to achieve more by placating those in power rather than confronting them.

4. Women are more fearful of those who can inflict cruetly upon them--If you are told you have a soul...and that some overlord will make your sould suffer eternally for not believing the right thing--you've got a pretty good reason not to question this overlord. I think the idea that "faith leads to truth" is a notion more women take to heart. Religion certainly has been a comfort to those who lose children or who have a difficult existence. It allows you to be subjugated and manipulated, because you believe the rewards will come later.

I am often sort of disgusted by how easily women seem to give away their power to hucksters...wheras; men seem to be the ones getting power, money, adoration, (and even more sex partners) from unverifiable promises and assorted supernatural claims. But I'm not exactly eager to make "little old ladies" face the music (especially when their heavenly rewards seem so imminent...). I think the key to getting more women involved in this empowering world of information and scientific advancement--is to start questioning the notion of "souls". The idea of a soul is what hooks people into believing "faith leads to truth". An everlasting soul creates a nagging fear that all questioning might be a ruse of satan etc.

I often think about how Andrea Yates believed that she was ensuring eternal bliss for her offspring by killing them before satan could tempt them...If life is all about passing a test that depends on a soul's eternity--then what she did seems to make sense. Asking about god gets a knee-jerk defensive reaction--but there are lots of ways to ask about souls and whether consciouness exists outside the brain that can lead women and men towards evidence based truths.
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Old 26th March 2006, 10:32 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by articulett View Post
I think the key to getting more women involved in this empowering world of information and scientific advancement--is to start questioning the notion of "souls". The idea of a soul is what hooks people into believing "faith leads to truth".
That's one approach, but the documented cruelty of the Christian God is another possibility. The thing that really got me questioning Christianity was that I could not add up the words of the bible to get a God that was both omnipotent and eternally loving. The same God who says 'Not a sparrow falls but I know about it' doesn't seem too inclined to do something about it, and either it means he can't or he won't.

Eventually I concluded that a god who seemed to ask for everything and promise some reward in this life and more later wasn't delivering in this life, and therefore couldn't be trusted about the later stuff.

Women (at least US women) are brought up to be more concerned about cruelty, fairness, happiness and so on, and the god of the old testament is a pretty unpleasant being to worship if you care about your fellow humans. The god of the new testament is something of an improvement, but since Christians insist on retaining the old testament in various forms and parts, the objection still applies.

Originally Posted by articulett View Post
I often think about how Andrea Yates believed that she was ensuring eternal bliss for her offspring by killing them before satan could tempt them...If life is all about passing a test that depends on a soul's eternity--then what she did seems to make sense.
Let's not confuse genuine mental illness with religion. Andrea Yates was a sick woman whose children were more than she could handle, and her religion just provided the stated framework for her wish to get rid of them. If she had been an atheist she would probably have simply had a dissociative moment in which she did the deed and didn't recall it.
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Old 27th March 2006, 07:06 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Interesting Ian View Post
You implied that, over a sufficiently long period of time, it is not possible to win more than you lose at the bookies. I was simply pointing out that this is false.
No.

I pointed out that the majority of income for bookies and casinos comes from those who "have a system".

You read into it what you wanted to, so you could snipe at me, because you're a wanker.

But we already knew that.
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Old 27th March 2006, 07:42 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by Huntsman View Post
No.

I pointed out that the majority of income for bookies and casinos comes from those who "have a system".

You read into it what you wanted to, so you could snipe at me, because you're a wanker.

But we already knew that.
Fair enough. I agree I misunderstood what you were saying, and I also agree that I deliberately tend to try and pick a fight with you.

Mind you I would have thought the majority of income would simply come from people who instinctively feel a certain outcome is likely and put their money on that outcome regardless of the odds offered.
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Old 27th March 2006, 09:56 AM   #93
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Ian, if you can't stay on topic, please go away.

I was a bit leery of the Skepchick term at first, too, but warmed to it quickly when I saw what it was about. Now I find it rather fun.
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Old 27th March 2006, 11:41 AM   #94
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You know, Kochanski, oddly, it never occurred to me that the term was derogatory. I suppose because it was the skepchicks themselves that came up with it (least to my knowledge..when I first noticed the term they were wearing it proudly). I took the meaning they gave it, without much thought.

Interesting, though, that even though it includes a term normally considered degrading (chick), I picked up the intent immediately upon hearing it used. Never thought about that until now. Maybe it's just because 'chick' is barely used in my generation, and if people go for derogatory remarks it's usually nowhere near so mild.
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Old 27th March 2006, 12:08 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Huntsman View Post
You know, Kochanski, oddly, it never occurred to me that the term was derogatory. I suppose because it was the skepchicks themselves that came up with it (least to my knowledge..when I first noticed the term they were wearing it proudly). I took the meaning they gave it, without much thought.

Interesting, though, that even though it includes a term normally considered degrading (chick), I picked up the intent immediately upon hearing it used. Never thought about that until now. Maybe it's just because 'chick' is barely used in my generation, and if people go for derogatory remarks it's usually nowhere near so mild.
You are correct, chick is not really that derogatory a term, there are far worse. It is somewhat disparaging with an implication of young, undeveloped, lacking experience and wisdom and therefore in need of protection from someone.

Its use by the Skepchicks is quite wonderful though. When you can take a term used by someone else and give it the opposite meaning, it is powerful.
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Old 27th March 2006, 02:08 PM   #96
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The power of "skepchick" lies in the rhyme with "skeptic". Take the opposite word "skepdude" and see how it falls flat!
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Old 27th March 2006, 02:14 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
The power of "skepchick" lies in the rhyme with "skeptic". Take the opposite word "skepdude" and see how it falls flat!
There is an alternate to "stepdude" that scans very close to "skeptic", but I'm far too well mannered to say it.
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Old 27th March 2006, 02:25 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by Complexity View Post
There is an alternate to "stepdude" that scans very close to "skeptic", but I'm far too well mannered to say it.
I thought it was just a rumour
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Old 1st April 2006, 12:19 PM   #99
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Quote:
*sighs* There are also some skeptics who happen to be female, but are not Skepchicks.
Yes, I do recognize that there are several women who like, love, embrace the term Skepchick.

I like, love, and embrace several of these women socially and intellectually. I don't embrace Skepchick.

Quote:
It removes the impression that skeptics are dried-up, cynical, older white males.
There was an impression like that? Really?
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Old 1st April 2006, 02:46 PM   #100
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Interesting thread.

I think one of the problems that the term 'skepchick' has involves the fact that skeptical women (and I prefer the term 'skeptical women' because as Suezoled says, it is not fair to label women skepchicks if they don't want to be... would one label a person (urgh...) with-a-term-that-is-usually-very-offensive-for-black-people-because-it-has-passed-into-the-mainstream-due-to-certain-cultural-acceptance-like-rap-music just because 'well, PDiddy sings of it, therefore it must be okay for me to call you it'.

I have, sadly, in recent experiences felt that the term 'skepchick' is still being used to 'cutesy-fy' skeptical women. There are some people who don't take skepchicks seriously. And I know that I'll be misinterpreted and leapt upon by people who will take this entirely the wrong way (hey, why prevent the trend that has already happened this year) - but there is still no James Randi/Bad Astronomer/Michael Shermer who is a female equivilent


There is still not a mainstream female skeptical icon who has a Science background - someone who is a James Randi.
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Old 1st April 2006, 02:52 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by Kiless View Post

There is still not a mainstream female skeptical icon who has a Science background - someone who is a James Randi.
I nominate Rebecca, Rolfe, Monica Pignotti, and Harriet Hall! For starters only. Now write some more books guys! We already have some websites.

Not asking for much, nope
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Old 1st April 2006, 03:28 PM   #102
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I am sorry, Eos, I hit enter before I was totally finished!

Despite your suggestions - I'd like to counter them by finishing my post....

Ahem.

Interesting thread.

I think one of the problems that the term 'skepchick' has involves the fact that it labels skeptical women with what can be easily interpreted as a 'cute-sy' term. Not by those who work so damned hard to make it not so, I assure you! But by those I've encountered who represent skepticism in the main who will and always will, look at the fishnets and the party girls and not really beyond.

And I think it's because we don't have enough serious Science background women who have the opportunity to allow themselves to be promoted like some others. Perhaps they don't have the time. The talent. The energy. But there's a gap there and perhaps it boils down to the fact that they are also a minority. Hell, all of the skeptical women are still a minority, what can one expect.

I personally prefer the term 'skeptical women' because as Suezoled says, it is not fair to label women skepchicks if they don't want to be... would one label a person (urgh...) with-a-term-that-is-usually-very-offensive-for-black-people-because-it-has-passed-into-the-mainstream-due-to-certain-cultural-acceptance-like-rap-music just because 'well, PDiddy sings of it, therefore it must be okay for me to call you it'?

I have, sadly, in recent experiences felt that the term 'skepchick' is still being used to 'cutesy-fy' skeptical women. By men who work in the skeptical world. And who can blame them? I am certain there'll have to be something to counter that (and I'm certain there is something in the works) in terms of getting Scientific women into the main and being a 'Shermer' or 'Randi' and speaking with real experience, education and background over a number of years into skeptical issues... but until then, it's still fishnets, chocolate and nude calendars. Something will have to be done more than just a site!

There are some people who don't take skepchicks seriously and probably never will.

And I know that I'll be misinterpreted and leapt upon by people who will take this entirely the wrong way (hey, why prevent the trend that has already happened this year) - but there is still no James Randi/Bad Astronomer/Michael Shermer who is a female equivalent who has written books, has a science degree or significant experience in being a magician (like a real innovator of the likes of P&T) and is internationally known.

Hell, perhaps women as a gender will never be taken seriously!

I think that there will be a female 'Shermer/Randi', but it will take time.

But the 'cute-sy' aspect will probably still maintain with 'skepchicks' until women with significant background experiences in Science speak up more. And perhaps there are already avenues out there for skeptical women of that ilk to take control and let their voice to be heard in the main. I just do not see, yet, a woman Physicist or Biologist or the like who is able to yet devote her time to promoting herself as the female Michael Shermer.

Maybe we did have one here once. Girl 6. Who is not/is exercising her right to not access one of the most popular sites for getting yourself heard in the name of skepticsm... and no I don't agree with that situation and I have not forgotten. Some things are bigger than a misapplied rule, but that is for another forum.

As Brecht had Galileo say '... and yet it moves.'

Monica Pignotti, Eos? Is she speaking at TAM? And Harriet Hall? So far at TAMs we've had a few female speakers like *swoons* Julia Sweeney but where are the Science women? Is there a female Penn and Teller, truly? Someone who like Michael Shermer has significant educational experience in studying skepticism and not just reading for fun? Or has actually worked towards producing an educational program for young people like Girl 6 was doing? This needs to be someone who has the time, the support - and yet is not going to alienate people by getting the 'cute' tag so easily attached to them - by coming from a discipline that has respect by the Science community. And that takes study. Not just the ability to use HTML.

There's only so long you can write 'on the surface' about skepticism without serious study, IMHO. I myself, with an unfinished Science degree but a D/M in Philosophy and Literature and a finished (by the end of the year, if the world doesn't have its way) MEd in special needs education IN NO WAY think that I could do it justice the same way that some have tried and certainly in no way in the league that Shermer does. I also, due to the fact that I work for the Uniting Church, distance myself somewhat from certain activities that may irk them. But that's another tale, for another day.

Where is the real authoritative women in Science Eos?

I mean someone who can actually talk beyond 'growing towards skepticism'? Anyone with no qualifications can do that. It's not the 'I grew towards' but 'Here's some real strategies and informed study that I base upon significant experience and scholarship in the field'!

Who actually has real grounding in a discipline and has the time, the support, the overarching acceptance amongst the skeptical community?

And yes, I know that I'll have all of this misinterpreted again - why the hell not, some of you have already put the boot... as Emily Post may have said, let the evidence for that stand and illustrate to the world what sort of person you really are underneath it all, rather than gain my comment on it...

But I seriously and with great concern ask:

you really think that there'll be in the short term a honest-to-god woman who will not be derided on a variety of 'cute-sy' excuses that nay-sayers come up with like 'party girl' and 'attention whoring' and 'chocolate scoffing socialite' and 'fishnet floosy' ( ), who will have a true respected standing in the Scientific community that they have contributed to (because say it as you like, that's what is putting women back in the face of society in general - the lack of women in Science let alone the attitudes of men who will not take you seriously until you can challenge with that behind you) - and has the promotional spirit?

I think as a group, sure.

And also, I am not so certain that there really needs to be - because LOOK AT WHAT WE HAVE NOW in the case of Shermer/Randi/P&T/the BA, et al! - just ONE figurehead, anyway. There should NEVER be just 'one'. Never one voice that 'speaks for all'. It already puts people off-side when the term is seen as 'cute-sy', what when it's seen to be embraced by one figurehead and what if that figurehead is not universally seen to represent all the skeptical women?

Which is why I'd like to see more skeptical women, even those who do not like the term 'skepchick' - getting out there and getting support.

Because when you put just the one on a pedestal, you're going to discover clay feet.

And one clay foot is - no scholarly background in Science or real skeptical investigation over a long term.
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Old 1st April 2006, 03:39 PM   #103
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Hey, no apologies, and I completely understand where you are coming from. Who has the time and background?

Not many. Harriet Hall does have the background (she even bikes, as I've heard Shermer does as well) http://www.quackwatch.org/11Ind/perricone.html (just google quackwatch and Harriet Hall), and so does Rolfe to a great degree. Even Truthseeker has good credentials.

I have only 2 years in biology myself, and no time or money to complete my education.

So I feel there are many scientific women out there, but who of them has the time and feel the confidence to become a Shermer or Randi?

Really great questions in your posting Kiless, and I look forward to feedback on them.
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Old 1st April 2006, 03:51 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Eos of the Eons View Post
Hey, no apologies, and I completely understand where you are coming from. Who has the time and background?

Not many. Harriet Hall does have the background, and so does Rolfe to a great degree. Even Truthseeker has great credentials.

I have only 2 years in biology myself, and no time or money to complete my education.

So I feel there are many scientific women out there, but who of them has the time and feel the confidence to become a Shermer or Randi?

Really great questions in your posting Kiless, and I look forward to feedback on them.
Oh geeze. That's another factor that I didn't really emphasise enough -the economic factor!

We really need more funding for women to finish those Science degrees! I'm certain that there's more than one Eos out there, due to the circumstances of being a woman with a family and various issues of being unable to get support, who are denied a degree in Science.

It could have been Eos - getting a foreword to her latest book by Michael Shermer, debating on the panel about 'deists in skepticism', locking herself in a milkcrate and throwing herself into the Canadian side of the Niagara falls and escaping to beat Randi's record... uh. Okay, I'm being silly now.

Perhaps we should see what's happening NOW as a 'first wave' of women in skepticism, to get promotion for it and perhaps funding for those who can get a Science degree? That would probably be better. I certainly don't want to seem a total nay-sayer about what is going on, but I think that there are key issues that need to be resolved - and perhaps the major factors are indeed time, exposure (for MANY!), funding and scholastic integrity.

Maybe what is happening now can address a few of them so the rest can be gained later? Gah, I want everything NOW! Now now now!
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Old 1st April 2006, 03:55 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by Kiless View Post
There is still not a mainstream female skeptical icon who has a Science background - someone who is a James Randi.
Are you saying Randi has a science background?
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Old 1st April 2006, 03:56 PM   #106
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Niagra! I would be willing!

Kiless, your post is both inspiring and full of great insights. More funding and more incentive to get women in science. Right now, there seems to be a trend to get everyone out of science, even men.

I found biology fascinating, and didn't do so well in the more mathematical side of things with chemistry. I had an imapassioned Biology 30 teacher, a woman, and an equally passionate grade 3 teacher who was a woman. My grade 3 teacher took apart fish and chickens for us in class, and brought in her "Mad Scientist" boyfriend who did a bunch of funny and interesting series of science experiments for us.

For sure, more funding, more interest, more incentive to get women in science. We need those kind of heros. Instead we have ghost whisperer and that Pigasus award winner depicted in medium.

Sigh.

I love that show Bones though. That woman is my hero! Kathy Reichs. Maybe we can nominate her to become part of our awareness initiative.

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Old 1st April 2006, 03:59 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by T'ai Chi View Post
Are you saying Randi has a science background?
No, I said that I hit enter accidently before I had the chance to finish my entire post! I know full well Randi's credentials, but thanks.
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Old 1st April 2006, 04:16 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by Eos of the Eons View Post
Niagra! I would be willing!

Kiless, your post is both inspiring and full of great insights. More funding and more incentive to get women in science. Right now, there seems to be a trend to get everyone out of science, even men.
You are a sweetie. But yes, as you say - lack of funding even disuades men from getting into the field. We are still seen as 'nerds' for having an interest and that social stigma is awful. So, you can easily argue again - that the 'skepchick phenomena' is helping to address that....

... but still, you don't get Science depts getting guys to buff up and pose in calendars to to encourage more science funding. (gosh... maybe not such a bad idea... )

Which is why I'd suggest more on the side of getting serious scholastic contributions from women who have respected credentials and experience in either the Science or skeptical investigation fields profiled more. This isn't about 'skeptic girls gone wild', let's face it!

But again, that's time, money... which may have to just rely on calendars and the like in the short term... which then turns around and get what otherwise would have been a scientist willing to talk to a fellow scientist on a serious issue asking to get her butt shot in the calendar signed instead... Could he do both? Sure. Would he do both? We are talking about people and we do look at the butt not the brain, first... and a reputation can proceed us at times, not for the best.

I question what we sacrifice sometimes, just to get there. I wonder if we give too much credit for the brain over the sex-drive when we use 'feminine appeal' to hook supporters in and then wonder (like I do, hey, maybe it's just me!) how come it's difficult to be taken seriously... and then turn around and see what DO we have to back it up beyond that? Where are you, Emily Noether, class of 2006? Mary Sommerville, class of 2006? Michelle Shermer? Joanne Randi? Penny Jillette & Tallula? The Busty Astronomer? (er, okay, maybe not...)

Perhaps just time and support of scholarship, again. The story of all women, I guess.
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Old 1st April 2006, 04:31 PM   #109
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Yeah, how to get taken seriously when you have a cute butt AND an awesome brain?

Are we going about this right way?

How much can we "nobodys" do anyway?

All things I have worried but not actually thought about in great detail, being bogged down by my own children, work, hubby, etc.

Hey, Reichs has books, has a TV show, looks great, and is one of the best critical thinkers. Nobody really equates her with skepticism though. Her character on TV is an atheist, so I assume she is too.

Quote:
My website offers a small insight into my world, a mixture of forensic science, international publishing, and a compassion for excellence in writing which expands my world into yours.
Who gets all the attention? The pop stars with a wiggle and nude pics. That's who. How do you make smart sexy? Does smart need to be sexy?

I don't know. I don't know.

There are great female skeptics out there, but can we name them? Do they even realize it? Maybe we just need to acknowledge them somehow.

Like I said, all awesome questions you raise. We care, so what do we do?
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Old 1st April 2006, 04:49 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Numenaster View Post
Let's not confuse genuine mental illness with religion. Andrea Yates was a sick woman whose children were more than she could handle, and her religion just provided the stated framework for her wish to get rid of them. If she had been an atheist she would probably have simply had a dissociative moment in which she did the deed and didn't recall it.
I'm not saying that Andrea Yates was not mentally ill. But mental illness is often exacerbated by religious teachings (shizophrenics think they are god, prophets, etc.) OCD manifests in relgious compulsiveness, etc. By All accounts and observations of those close to her, Andrea Yates loved her kids. She homeschooled them and continued to have childen believing that "god wouldn't give her more than she could handle" despite post partum depression. She took a scriptual notion about parents being responsible for their kids "souls" very literally and came to the conclusion that her kids were "undisciplined" because she was a bad mother. To her, and to many other christians, poor mothering could make a kid an easy target for satan (afterall, Andrea Yates beloved the devil had already gotten to her--many other people believe they or thier kids or their mentally ill relatives are "possessed"). She believed that this world was a test and that a "soul's" eternity depended on passing this test. (A common thought in most religions). She believed that if kids died before a certain age that they'd be considered "innocent" and go automatically to heaven to experience eternal bliss. (Another common religious notion). She believed that she wa already going to spend eternity in hell (another common religious belief more often suffered by women than men)--So she killed her kids to ensure they didn't suffer the same fate. She killed her kids so that they would be ensured a blissful eternity. A christian person would say, "yes--Andrea Yates children are in heaven where they are living their blissful eternity"--they should also concur with the thought "had the children lived, it is possible that they could be influenced by satan and suffer eternal damnation"--therefore, through a Christian lens, Andrea Yates did the very kindest thing of all for her children--sure they suffered--but not as long as Jesus on the cross (killed by his father I might add)--and what's a few minutes of suffering in exchange for an early start on an ensured blissful eternity. I'm not justifying what Andrea Yates did. I don't believe her childen exist in any form at all. I'm just saying, if I was indoctrinated with Andrea Yates' beliefs, her actions would make "sense". If I believed a life I created could suffer eternal damnation--I wouldn't make a life (have a child). The people who loved those kids the most and who suffered the loss the most--are Andrea Yates and her husband.

Yes, she was mentally ill. No, I doubt her mental illness would result in her killing her children without the "souls live forever" belief. She had certain bible passages stuck in her head that caused her to kill her kids. (By the way, Baptism is actually called "drowing" in some parts of the bible).
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Old 1st April 2006, 04:58 PM   #111
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I have to agree. Would Yates have killed her children if she didn't believe they were going to "a better" place? If she knew in her heart that death was the end, and her children weren't going to be tainted by her "evil" would she have killed them? Would she have told someone that they needed to be cared by someone else while she got help until she was no longer feeling like she wasn't doing bad by her children if she felt there was hope for herself?

I have to wonder how she would have felt about her depression if she weren't convinced she was going to hell?

I have overcome depression myself, and wasn't hampered by that weird eternal damnation guilt. I didn't kill my children, and never would have considered it because I feel they have a right to this one life. I feel they would have been killed, not going to "a better place".

My husband and I had this conversation a year ago. He never considered this, as he didn't know the part religion played in it. He has a hard time wrapping his head around her reasoning. I can't help but feel an atheist would not have done what she did. We atheists know the end is the end, and would never consider robbing our children of their one chance to grow up and be who they will be. Death is not the answer, and not the gate to a "better place".
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Old 1st April 2006, 05:15 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Eos of the Eons View Post
Yeah, how to get taken seriously when you have a cute butt AND an awesome brain?

Are we going about this right way?

How much can we "nobodys" do anyway?

All things I have worried but not actually thought about in great detail, being bogged down by my own children, work, hubby, etc.

Hey, Reichs has books, has a TV show, looks great, and is one of the best critical thinkers. Nobody really equates her with skepticism though. Her character on TV is an atheist, so I assume she is too.

Who gets all the attention? The pop stars with a wiggle and nude pics. That's who. How do you make smart sexy? Does smart need to be sexy?

I don't know. I don't know.

There are great female skeptics out there, but can we name them? Do they even realize it? Maybe we just need to acknowledge them somehow.

Like I said, all awesome questions you raise. We care, so what do we do?
Well, the BA has a nice butt ( ), but no one just looks at him just for that!

He has a PhD. He's published. He has significant experience, he is active and when he blogs, he brings a wealth of experience in debunking, in speaking out in various forums (not just on the internet) and he networks. And let's not forget the importance of that promotional angle!

Not just amongst the big names that the general populace on this board knows, but with other highly respected scientists who will probably have the likes of me going 'who?' and then blushing when I get told that they helped build the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. He can talk with familiarity with these people on the same level because he is on the same level as them. He is one of many (I'd say again - for men in skepticism are never alone or just 'The Skeptical Man' - they cover a broad range and have many personalities and appeals!) whose contribution is vital... and sure, even if he didn't have a PhD, there's qualities that make him a great ally. He walks the walk. And there's skeptical women out there just like him, I'm sure.

But where is the skeptical woman's intellectual voice that comes from more than just a webpage or a forum? We limit ourselves by just being online! We place and should place an emphasis on the brain rather than the butt.

Okay - maybe we need some women (NOT just someone, I'd like to reiterate!) like that who can talk with familiarity and engage people in the charismatic fashion of skeptical women who are already putting themselves out there (the vaunted X factor) - but we also need the experience and the focus of a scholar, even if it is practical 'action research' experience like debunking and investigating. On a serious level that goes in depth.

And again, maybe our start is to help boost those scholars out there. That's what (urgh, Eos, we're not nobodies! No one is a nobody!! ) skeptical women can and should and are doing, to some extent.

Your question - does smart need to be sexy? I say no. And I regret that the signal seems to be lost in the noise sometimes. Because we do think with the sex drive. It's normal. But we have to raise the playing field more. And maybe we should do this sooner rather than later, IMHO. Because again, this is all just my opinion and one informed by what I see as a dangerous growing trend to be pedestal-making and alienating in favour of popular culture appeal - rather than serious contributions beyond a few webpages.

And I'm certain this will be addressed, as I said before. I once suggested a book of essays by skeptical women last year, for example, instead of a calendar for 2007. But that's not my business, what the skepchick.org site do, any more.

But it has to take more than one of us and if you do care, start doing something beyond mere identity-raising. Because we have an identity of a sort - what we need is weight behind it! Even if (hint? hint?) it means using some of that experience that you do have, Eos - because I've READ all your threads here on the JREF boards and I KNOW that you have something to say that is based on significant time and research even though you say you don't have a degree in it! - on autism and pseudoscience and foregrounding it!

You don't have to be in a calendar to write something! And even if it is on a webpage, it is a start, mind. And then from there at least you may inspire others or get someone (BIG BLOODY HINT READERS OF THIS THREAD!!) to give you financial support or point the way so you can benefit all with more weight behind you. You don't have to wait on the permission or acceptance or blessing of ANYONE else to do your own thing for what you know is right.

Let's all try doing what little we can that demonstrates that we have minds that need support rather than just letting others drive the machine and complaining about how the machine looks! How do WE look should be our focus! As Girl 6 said herself, I believe, in doubting that there ever truly is a 'skeptical movement' - whatever we might think about any 'skeptical movements', we can't point fingers until we've made ourselves more of an asset by doing what we can in the fields of Science and Critical Thinking.

And that's, like it or not, by doing it on the 'playing fields' of scholastic endeavor and practical applications of skepticism, out there in the real world. Because everything else runs the sad risk of looking like egotistical attention-whoring for the sake of whatever, in the face of the nay-sayers. (ahem, she says looking at her lengthy posts... maybe I should check out that attention-whore smiley...)

*gets off her own wobbly pedestal, climbs back into her clay-mucked boots and goes to mark Year 10 homework, because in order to get my class into supporting my skepticism project that will be the basis of my future studies... they'll want their work back on time!*

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Old 1st April 2006, 05:20 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by Eos of the Eons View Post
We atheists know the end is the end, and would never consider robbing our children of their one chance to grow up and be who they will be. Death is not the answer, and not the gate to a "better place".
Hmm. Good question. I recall Mercutio posting a title to a paper that linked self-mutilation to religious fanaticism, genital mutilation specifically I think. I don't know if anyone asks for religious beliefs on all people who do such things though and maybe it's foregrounded for some? Call me skeptical...
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Old 1st April 2006, 05:31 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by supercorgi View Post
I didn't choose my name because it was gender neutral -- I just chose it because it represented 2 of my favorite hobbies - dogs and dog agility. I too am assumed to be male. Sometimes I correct people, sometimes I don't bother.
Same here. I have 2 X chromosomes.

UrsulaV thanks for clarifying the paternity testing results. It can only be extrapolated to the point that 30% of people who feel uncertain enough to undergo a paternity test have their fears confirmed.

There are huge numbers of people who have no desire to question paternity because it is obvious. Tom Lykis perpetuated that 30% rumor.
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Old 1st April 2006, 05:34 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by Kiless View Post
And then from there at least you may inspire others or get someone to give you financial support or point the way so you can benefit all with more weight behind you. You don't have to wait on the permission or acceptance or blessing of ANYONE else to do your own thing for what you know is right.
I only have depressing news on this point. The more people find out about my opionions/knowledge/viewpoint, then the less support I get. I have to keep my head down or risk losing my job even.

For example, I know someone in a printing company that knows me from a previous job. At the previous job they found out my viewpoint because I printed web pages and such to counter some silly things they said about stuff covered on snopes. I became the notorious atheist, and ended up quitting because I got blamed for things that were essentially impossible, but it must have been me (getting a virus into their photocopier and causing it to stop working-even though nobody could prove the photocopier was even infected and not just in need of regular maintenance). Really kind of insane.

Consequences? I've called up one of their major suppliers for a quote, and a supplier that doesn't know me. The supplier that doesn't know me gave me a quote for a few hundred dollars. The supplier that knows me gave me a quote for THOUSANDS of dollars, about ten times the amount the other supplier gave us. The guy who gave me a quote for thousands of dollars said he would call up a god-faring man that might give us a break. Was this a huge hint?

I prefer, as a layperson without credentials, to lay low and keep it just online. I have a family to feed, and a job full of folks who are not only very religious, but rely on religious organizations and fellow religious folk who support the company for religious motivations. Heck, my boss just arranged a wellness fair with folks from Mannatech, a blood reader, herbalist, etc. I can't let them know how much I am not who they think I am. I cannot become a poster person for skepticism and not expect consequences that will be dire for my family.

If it was just me, and I could make a living the way Randi does, or Shermer does, then I would go for it full force. Alas, the real world I live in would only stamp me into the ground and spit in my face. I actually fear my passion. I actually live in fear that people will "find me out".

Am I mad, a scaredy cat, or just careful and aware? I don't know. I just wish it was easier.
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Old 1st April 2006, 05:48 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by Kiless View Post
Hmm. Good question. I recall Mercutio posting a title to a paper that linked self-mutilation to religious fanaticism, genital mutilation specifically I think. I don't know if anyone asks for religious beliefs on all people who do such things though and maybe it's foregrounded for some? Call me skeptical...
Well, female genital mutilation is said to religious based...women are unclean if they have unscathed genitals among the muslim world. Then there is male circumcision based on religion which spread to other folks viewing the procedure as necessary for whatever cleanliness (figuring there is more infections in the uncircumcised).

It can be tough to know what the origins are of these notions, until you try to trace them back. Then you find it is a religion's practice, based on religious notions, or was a religious practice.

Other mutilation can be brought on by depression, and may or may not be religiously motivated. We hear people can be cleansed of their darkness by punishing oneself. Afterall, Jesus wore a thorn crown and a shirt made of hair.
Quote:
Psychoanalysts have shown how a sense of sexual guilt leads to the inturning of Thanatos, in an attempt to relieve the guilt by continual self punishment, while flagellation, specifically, which is a kind of assault, may be a substitute for sexual intercourse. It is therefore in no way surprising to find that the celibates often indulged in prodigies of masochism, and especially in flagellation, and we find cases of confessors making use of their power of absolution to force their female parishioners to beat them.
http://www.ourcivilisation.com/smart...nhst/chap2.htm

Sex is a sin. One must punish oneself. Mutilating oneself is a way to escape this tainting of sex. Guilt is used to prevent people from masturbation, and self mutilation is a way to save yourself from guilt.

If you don't care if you masturbate, and don't think of it as sin, then you don't end up wanting to escape from the threat of hairy palms, etc. I hope this makes sense!
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Old 1st April 2006, 05:50 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by Eos of the Eons View Post
If it was just me, and I could make a living the way Randi does, or Shermer does, then I would go for it full force. Alas, the real world I live in would only stamp me into the ground and spit in my face. I actually fear my passion. I actually live in fear that people will "find me out".

Am I mad, a scaredy cat, or just careful and aware? I don't know. I just wish it was easier.
You aren't a scaredy cat. I'm pretty much in a similar position to you. I have to watch myself now more than before and I hate it.

I think we have to remember the early feminists and how they went through similar experiences. And do what we can. And not limit the possibilities by just thinking that the 'war is won' or whatever. It never is. This has to be on several fronts and if it means being less of a figurehead but doing it your way which doesn't threaten your lifestyle too much or make you lose your job (like it would for mine, for example) and thus totally take any resources that you can use in doing something for skepticism - then so be it. You have to take care of yourself first too, as much as it pains you and pains others inadvertantly.

You're not a failure or anything like that! You're just a pioneer. And as we both know from our cultural histories, it sucks riding a painted wagon and eating berries and being shot at. But eventually you get civilisation. We just have to do the best we can - and learn from both genders' examples in how it can be done well.
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Old 1st April 2006, 05:54 PM   #118
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Kiless.... marry me.
You have said what I could not say, and in some instances, would not say.

As I would like to point out, not all skeptics are Brights, not all skeptics who are women happen to be skepchicks.

I do admit that I don't really notice if a women is at the forefront of a skeptical movement or not. James Randi and Michael Shermer are educators and skeptics; it means nothing to me if they are men; their qualities are what make them leaders, not the fact that they are men.
But on the whole, I for one would rather see quality and not quantity, regardless of sex type.
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Old 1st April 2006, 06:03 PM   #119
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Thanks Kiless. I'm always heartened by the women who can work on this and do wholeheartedly. I don't know if you know about agnostic mom? She is a stay at home mom, and doing her part.

http://www.humaniststudies.org/enews...=233&article=0
http://www.agnosticmom.com/

I just keep saying someday...
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Old 1st April 2006, 06:13 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by Suezoled View Post
Kiless.... marry me.
You have said what I could not say, and in some instances, would not say.

As I would like to point out, not all skeptics are Brights, not all skeptics who are women happen to be skepchicks.

I do admit that I don't really notice if a women is at the forefront of a skeptical movement or not. James Randi and Michael Shermer are educators and skeptics; it means nothing to me if they are men; their qualities are what make them leaders, not the fact that they are men.
But on the whole, I for one would rather see quality and not quantity, regardless of sex type.
That 'quality' is what is required. And yes, quantity is something I think about. A quality few would be acceptable. Quality, respected, informed, truly educated and/or experienced in the field and proactive few. But I want more! More more more! :P

Eh, why am I complaining about quantity when even James Randi, Shermer et al are only a small group when we count them all up. *sigh*

But I will say this - It really pisses me off, the fact that skeptical people of all people feel they have to say 'what I could not say and in some instances would not say'. God, that depressed me, Suezoled! Not to be mean, but gosh!

Our world is too sodding limited already by the masses telling us 'not to rock the boat; she likes astrology, what's your problem' and 'there's nothing wrong with trying something different 'cause doctors have been wrong in the past and Mr Homeopath is a nice man who is just making a living' and 'just say the damned prayer at your own wedding, you killjoy.'

Uh, sorry about the marriage thing - but it's a no 'cause I've already got a partner and I think LostAngeles would kick my antipodean arse for flirting with you.

I'm not flirting.

No. I don't see you as just a really cute butt. Ahem.

Sorry. No no thanks but no. I said no. See? No.

Oh god, is LA going to get me?
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