I Refute It Thus

Reality check. Samuel Johnson reference, by the bye. Also, this post's number (440(!)), said in Japanese, is the name of a famous Chinese-American cellist.
  • Has, uh anyone noticed what a load of anthropological Lysenkoism academic feminism is? Specifically, they simply take it as an article of faith that all societies, the world over, have totally different "gender" roles. Only, can you name a culture where "men kill, women cook" is not the system? Because I can't.

    Or take "patriarchy". Oh, yes, despite at least two decades of the word being the butt of jokes, I have with these the eyes of flesh seen people use it unironically. As in, this week. This despite "patriarchy", at least as they use the term, being about as good a description of real phenomena as "the international Jewish conspiracy".
  • Which reminds me, know the idea that men and women not fight each other? While it does have elements of chivalry in it, it probably predates, oh, Indo-European guest-obligations, as an ethical idea.

    You know that thing I'm always on about, about how our family structure derives from nuclear-family packs (because it does)? Yeah, well, one thing you get from most packs is that female intruders are fought off by the pack's females, and male ones by its males.
  • The number of issues in sociology that instantly resolve themselves when you realize that the base unit of humanity is neither society nor the individual, but the nuclear family conceived of as a pack, is mind-boggling. E.g. that the "social contract" is neither more nor less than a peace-treaty between packs, so they don't kill each other over territory.

    Or how about that the "extended" family, when not involving polygamy anyway, is basically an unusually complex version of the grown litters of the alpha pair helping them to raise later litters? It's just that human packs are the only ones in the animal kingdom where those grown litters may be made up of individuals who are themselves the alphas of other packs.
  • I was amused by there being a series of articles on io9—official tagline, "We hate science and science fiction, but we sure do love speculative fiction that advances our vision of the class-war"—attacking ideas in evolutionary psychology that happen to shore up "traditional" perspectives on sex-roles. (Yes, yes, "gender"—only, again, you only think "gender", a linguistic term, has to do with male and female because you are a Eurocentrist; in Asia the only gendered category is numbers, and occasionally also the existential expletive, which inflects by animacy.)

    One thing I thought was amusing was the idea so many of the commenters voiced (along with the rote-chanting of their quaint school-feminist formulae), that women's roles were due to women being seen as inferior. I don't wanna use the phrase "internalized oppression", but mammajammas' oppression be internalized. Anyone with half a brain in their head would notice that women's traditional roles are despised because women are; women are not despised because of their traditional role.

    Or am I wrong? Tell me how there's something intrinsically contemptible about preparing food, maintaining the livability of dwellings, or both creating and maintaining garments—except that those are the roles of a class the "dumb ape" part of our instincts treats like property. This aspect of so-called feminism is basically like an agrarian movement using "peasant" as an insult. (Oh, I know, some agrarian movements do use "peasant" as an insult. Have I told you lately how much your civilization deserves a Colony Drop, not to say orbital vitrification?)
  • I think I've encountered this phenomenon five or six times in the last month, mostly debating religion and politics online (yeah, I really need to stop doing that), but why do people complain when you use a technical term, if it's relevant to the discussion and used correctly? Don't they realize that complaining that someone used a big word just makes them look illiterate?

    Even better (or more annoying, depending on your mood when you encounter it) is when they complain that you used a big word, pompously tell you that you don't know what it means...then proceed to demonstrate that they not only don't understand the word in question, but didn't understand anything else you wrote, either.

    I'm pretty sure announcing that big words scare you and you can't be bothered to read for comprehension is not, generally, held to constitute one's "A-game".
  • On a significantly lighter note, not that that's hard, it is long past time everyone acknowledged that sports enthusiasts and car enthusiasts are, in actual fact, sports geeks and car geeks. Admittedly, this is just as much because the word "geek" has come to primarily encompass the "enthusiast" aspect of its referents (as "nerd" encompasses their academic achievements and "dork" their social ineptitude) as anything else, but if you have ever talked to a car enthusiast for any length of time you know why I say they are geeks.

    Incidentally, "geek", "nerd", and "dork" are not interchangeable: get out of the habit inculcated in you by those devil's catechisms called thesauruses, of treating synonyms as interchangeable. I am a geek, but I am not a nerd (I was a C student, because geeky things are so much more interesting than doing schoolwork), and I only dabble in dorkiness. My sisters, both of whom got full-ride scholarships in college, are geeks and nerds, but even less dorky than I am. And so on.
  • Which reminds me, anyone you care to call a "geek god" is likely to be a figure in whose name geekery divides into competing mujihadeen factions. George Lucas, for instance, or Gene Roddenberry, are not exactly uncontroversial; Joss Whedon is more of a geek bhagwan than a god—except, if anything, even more of a pseudo-intellectual pop-guru charlatan.

    Still worse is "geek goddess"; at least a trace of tokenism is virtually never absent when someone is identified by that phrase, and while it may be impolite to, as one writer did, call such a figure "a glorified booth babe" there is often a grain of truth to the epithet ("geek idol", with "idol" being given its Japanese sense, would be more accurate). Honestly the only woman I can think of who is fully equivalent to a so-called "geek god" is Lauren Faust, and if you think all geeks are bronies you plainly weren't paying attention to that last paragraph.

    Finally, not to proselytize or anything, but have you considered letting J. Michael Straczynski into your life?


Cal-J said...

I was taught that the various terms were actually *mixtures* of the three categories of intelligence, obsession, and social ineptitude.

Dork - Mixture of Obsession and Social Ineptitude.
Dweeb - Mixture of Intelligence and Social Ineptitude.
Geek - Mixture of Intelligence and Obsession.
Nerd - All Three.

Thanks again for the Medieval history recommendations.

Sophia's Favorite said...

Yeah, there's also the three-axis theory. Which term describes which kind is as fraught with peril as defining the subgenres of heavy metal.

Personally, if someone wants to dispute a specific definition with me, I don't have a problem; just so long as we all acknowledge that they aren't the same thing.

Anonymous said...

"Tell me how there's something intrinsically contemptible about preparing food, maintaining the livability of dwellings, or both creating and maintaining garments..."

As far as I know, two of those three have always been more-or-less respectable jobs, when done by men (food and clothing). Janitors don't always get the same respect, though, despite the fact that everyone knows we need them.

Sophia's Favorite said...

That was my point. There's nothing about "women's work" that's despised, it's women themselves, since the same work is valued when men do it.

Therefore, rather than trying to change what women's role is (and has been since the Paleolithic), we should be valuing the role they already have. Good luck explaining that to academic feminists, though.

Anonymous said...

Indeed. Also, trying to think of the actual most despised work around, there's no particular gender correlation - prostitutes are mostly women (but cf. rentboys), dustbin men mostly men; politicians, bankers, big business peeps are mostly men.

On another note, you occasionally mention this human/zled scifi series you're planning to publish - what's the status of that? Anything appearing in the near future? (I read through the stuff on deviantart, which is interesting but small, and am somewhat curious about the AI and whether his sense of total superiority to his creators is justifiable.)

Sophia's Favorite said...

There's been a few delays, but if nothing goes wrong I should be publishing sometime next year, hopefully in the first half.

As for the AIs' superiority, well, that one's just a jerk (most of my AIs are jerks); not even most of the AIs themselves really understand their true status, relative to humans. (It's not angels and it's not ghosts, though, nor any scifi-ified versions thereof, like mind-uploading.)

The secret of their creation is revealed in the first book—but the thing that's revealed just barely scratches the surface. Fair warning, purists who insist on having nothing "paranormal" in their science fiction will hate it (though the telepathy should've chased them off long before that).