Respectful Insolence

I saw this and was going to write about it, but it turns out that Abel Pharmboy at Terra Sigillata beat me to it. Basically, the makers of Airborne have been slapped down bigtime for false advertising:

WASHINGTON–The makers of Airborne–a multivitamin and herbal supplement whose labels and ads falsely claimed that the product cures and prevents colds–will refund money to consumers who bought the product, as part of a $23.3 million class action settlement agreement. The company will pay for ads in Better Homes & Gardens, Parade, People, Newsweek, and many other magazines and newspapers instructing consumers how to get refunds.

Concocted by second-grade teacher Victoria Knight McDowell and her screenwriter husband Thomas Rider McDowell, Airborne promised to “boost your immune system to help your body combat germs” and instructed users to “take it at the first sign of a cold symptom or before entering crowded, potentially germ-infested environments.” The company’s folksy “created by a school teacher!” slogan and insistence that the product be stocked with real cold, cough, and flu medicines instead of with dietary supplements, helped turn the company into an overnight success, as did an appearance by Victoria Knight McDowell on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

I wrote about what a scam Airborne was (and still is) quite a while ago, two years ago, in fact. I wrote about it again a couple of months later, when the schoolteacher who invented it, Victoria Knight-McDowell, was forced to admit that it didn’t work in decreasing the duration or severity of colds. At the time, the company claimed that it had done a double-blind, placebo-controlled study to test its product (a trial, that–surprise, surprise!–was never published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. The company that supposedly did the trial, GNG Pharmaceutical Services, turned out to be a just a couple of guys with no clinical trial experience who put together a company just to test Airborne. After this was revealed, Knight-McDowell and her company started backing away from the claims, but it was too late:

But in February 2006, ABC News revealed on Good Morning America that Airborne’s much-touted lone clinical trial was actually conducted without any doctors or scientists, just a “two-man operation started up just to do the Airborne study.” Soon after the plaintiff notified Airborne of his intent to file suit in March 2006, the company stopped mentioning the study and began toning down the overt cold-curing claims in favor of vague “immunity boosting” language. Next, in 2007, the Federal Trade Commission and a group of state attorneys general began investigating the various “cold busting” claims that Airborne has made since its launch in 1999. Those investigations are continuing, since the packages’ cartoony germs and suggestion for use in “school, playgrounds, airplanes” and other crowded spots still imply that Airborne is aimed at the common cold.

Airborne’s basic formula contains Vitamins A, C, and E, as well as other nutrients common in multivitamins; the amino acids glutamine and lysine, and an “herbal extract proprietary blend.” CSPI cautions that Airborne may provide too much vitamin A, since just two pills provide 10,000 IU–the maximum safe level for a day–and the package directs customers to take three per day. In addition to several flavors of the original formula, other Airborne products include “Power Pixies,” an artificially sweetened powder version for children; Airborne Seasonal, which is described as a “non-drowsy formula containing a nutritional blend which promotes normal histamine levels”; Airborne On-the-Go; and Airborne Nighttime.

“There’s no credible evidence that what’s in Airborne can prevent colds or protect you from a germy environment,” said CSPI senior nutritionist David Schardt, who reviewed Airborne’s claims. “Airborne is basically an overpriced, run-of-the-mill vitamin pill that’s been cleverly, but deceptively, marketed.”

The problem here, of course, is the same one that I and others have lamented about again and again, namely the double standard accorded to “supplements” under the law. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) severely limited the Food and Drug Administration’s ability to regulate dietary supplements and even allows manufacturers to make health claims for them, as long as the claims are not too specific (which is why meaningless claims to “boost the immune system” are so prevalent). What amazes me here is that, despite how blatant Airborne was about its specific health claims, it could still be marketed as a supplement and sold largely free of FDA regulation. What amazes me even more is that, even with such claims and with the company’s insistence that Airborne be kept on the same shelf with real cold remedies, a class action suit actually succeeded. The DSHEA is just that bad and emasculates the FDA just that much. It is a law that desperately needs to be changed; it’s not for nothing that I and others sometimes refer to it as the “Quackery Enabling Act of 1994.”

Comments

  1. #1 Calli Arcale
    March 4, 2008

    I know people who swear by Airborne. They also swear by Zicam, the double-scam which is neither effective nor homeopathic yet bills itself as both because it is manufactured by shrewd marketers. Their current rhinovirus ad drives me bonkers; obviously the fines that the FDA slapped them with a while back didn’t set them back in the slightest. Unfortunately, I expect that even if the FDA intervened in the case of Airborne, the results would be much the same.

    Thank you SO much Bill Clinton, for signing DSHEA into law.

  2. #2 Prometheus
    March 4, 2008

    I always used to laugh when I heard that “boosts your immune system” canard. After all, most of the symptoms of the “common cold” (rhinovirus or not) are due to the response of your immune system. Let’s not even mention the numerous diseases that are the direct result of a “boosted” immune system, such as:

    [1] Rheumatoid arthritis
    [2] Anaphylaxis
    [3] Post-strep glomerulonephritis
    [4] “Hay fever”

    I say I used to laugh because one of my own graduate students repeated that canard in class a few weeks ago, along with that other quack standard – “Western medicine just covers up the symptoms”.

    Needless to say, I administered some “respectful insolence” (which I have learned at the feet of the master). I started off by asking the fellow which “Western medicines” were just covering up symptoms. He was at a bit of a loss, but eventually responded with “antihistamines for colds”.

    After a discussion of the value of “just treating symptoms” when the root cause was incurable (or where the “cure” was potentially more dangerous than the disease), I then asked him how “boosting the immune system” would protect him from a virus that he had not been previously exposed to.

    I also asked him what the likely consequences of “boosting” the immune response to a virus might be, suggesting that he read up on fulminant hepatic necrosis in response to hepatitis B infection.

    The problem, as I see it, is the unquestioning acceptance of any nonsense that seems to be a poke in the eye of either “mainstream medicine” or “mainstream science”. It is classic anti-establishment behavior (typical in teens and young adults) that is being shamelessly exploited by “Big CAM” to make a profit.

    Prometheus

  3. #3 IanR
    March 4, 2008

    Having never thought this through, it makes me wonder – since I tend to experience very mild colds (I feel badly for about a day or two when I do get colds), does that mean that I have an less active immune system?

  4. #4 mdphdstudent
    March 4, 2008

    wow great statement prometheus with “Big CAM,” i cant believe i havent thought of that…that is so true. if any company is truly evil, its not “big pharma” making money helping you, its “big CAM” making money deluding you.

  5. #5 Calli Arcale
    March 4, 2008

    Yes — and isn’t it strange how Big CAM seems to be nice, while Big Pharma is evil and only out for your money*?

    I think too few people realize that the “alternative medicine” business is every bit as big as regular medicine, and therefore prone to the exact same temptations that they decry in Big Pharma. The only difference, really, is that the alternative ones have less regulation and oversight. If more people realized that, they might start to apply the same skepticism that they aim at Big Pharma to the alties. Of course, I think a lot of folks resist doing so because it seems so gosh-darned cynical that way.

    *Some conspiracy theorists of course go further — Big Pharma actually does it for kicks, or sickens you so that you will have to spend money getting better, or invents diseases that it conveniently provides remedies for. Of course, Big CAM would *never* do that, now would it?

  6. #6 Ken Shabby
    March 4, 2008

    What about Dr. Frank’s Joint & Muscle Pain Relief Oral Spray? $20 for a bottle of water. Yes, it’s homeopathic.

  7. #7 Chemgeek
    March 4, 2008

    I think the people that bought Airborne should be fined for being stupid enough to fall for this “cure for the common cold” crap in the first place. Wow, are you really surprised it didn’t work?

    Big CAM is an industry fueled by ignorance and paranoia.

  8. #8 Sastra
    March 4, 2008

    Prometheus wrote:

    The problem, as I see it, is the unquestioning acceptance of any nonsense that seems to be a poke in the eye of either “mainstream medicine” or “mainstream science”. It is classic anti-establishment behavior (typical in teens and young adults) that is being shamelessly exploited by “Big CAM” to make a profit.

    Bingo. It also seems to be fueled by a strange kind of anti-establishment feminism of the Moms Know Best School of Home Remedies. Safe. Natural. Nurturing. Intuitive. Caring. Vitamins. Herbs. Shaman Medicine Woman of the Forest. Trust your instincts. Try it and make up your own mind.

    Developed by a school teacher.

    And she gets a big, fat, F. Good.

  9. #9 George Smiley
    March 4, 2008

    What Sastra said, but this garbage seems to cut cleanly across feminism, religion, and politics. It’s completely orthogonal — I know far-right evangelicals who are utterly convinced by this stuff. The only thing that is consistent is a consistently foolish, and foolishly consistent, mistrust of authority, particularly scientific authority.

  10. #10 HP
    March 4, 2008

    I’m a musician (and a regular ScienceBlogs reader) and one time I was rehearsing for a jazz quartet gig. The drummer on the gig turned out to be a habitually credulous New Age kind of guy. And at one rehearsal, he started going on and on about how great Airborne was: “It was created by a schoolteacher, so you know it’s good.”

    Unfortunately for him, the bass player on the gig just happened to be one of America’s leading computational biochemists. I still gig regularly with Tom, but I’ve yet to do another gig with that drummer since the shit went down.

    I’ll see Tom next week. Can’t wait to tell him what happened.

  11. #11 Gerry L
    March 4, 2008

    I admit it. I use Zicam. I know there is no science behind it, and I can’t do a double-blind study on myself, but Zicam has relieved my symptoms. Sometimes dramatically. Sometimes not so much. I don’t get colds very often. Had one this winter and got through it with no cold meds; just Zicam.

  12. #12 isles
    March 4, 2008

    Hooray for the Schoolteacher Slapdown! Disgorge those profits, baby!

  13. #13 DrFrank
    March 5, 2008

    What about Dr. Frank’s Joint & Muscle Pain Relief Oral Spray? $20 for a bottle of water. Yes, it’s homeopathic.
    There’s a homeopathic spray with my name on it? I feel dirty.

  14. #14 anne
    March 5, 2008

    I admit it. I use tea. I know there is no science behind it, and I can’t do a double-blind study on myself, but strong, hot English tea w/milk (no sugar) has relieved my symptoms. Sometimes dramatically. Sometimes not so much. I don’t get colds very often. Had one this winter and got through it with no cold meds; just tea.

  15. #15 Freddy the Pig
    March 5, 2008

    “Big Pharma” and “Big CAM” are becoming one and the same as Pharmaceutical companies are buying up supplement manufacturers since they recognize a diversification opportunity when they see one.

  16. #16 Laser Potato
    March 5, 2008

    I admit it. I use WRESTLING LIVE HYENAS. I know there is no science behind it, and I can’t do a double-blind study on myself, but WRESTLING LIVE HYENAS. has relieved my symptoms. Sometimes dramatically. Sometimes not so much. I don’t get colds very often. Had one this winter and got through it with no cold meds; just WRESTLING LIVE HYENAS.

  17. #17 little CAM
    March 5, 2008

    Callie said

    “I think too few people realize that the “alternative medicine” business is every bit as big as regular medicine” which is a bit inaccurate, you know.

    As I understand it, Big Pharma is rated only just behind the arms industry in financial terms, which is why they can afford to buy up small CAM firms.

    I don’t like inaccurate advertising and get thoroughly fed up with the latest panacea, but really most of this “quackbusting” looks to me a useful smokescreen for the failings of big pharma.

    I find elderberry wine works well for colds and flu, but maybe I just like the taste…….. Mind you there actually is research that suggests it shortens durations, if you want references, google it and check pubmed, I’m self employed so don’t have the luxury of spending hours on the computer at somebody else’s expense…….

    xoxox

  18. #18 Genuinely Doug
    March 5, 2008

    I would love to see a snake oil salesman with one of those folding tables hawking these modern day herbal supplements and homeopathic products. Instead of a shill attesting to the efficacy of the product, the shill would be asking skeptical questions such as what does it mean to boost ones immune system? The product is sold in a pharmacy, doesn’t that mean its effective? What is a double blind study?

    People seem to think those days of hawking elixirs to an unsuspecting and naive public are behind us. Not at all. They’re still with us cloaked using the superficial hallmarks of legitimate enterprises.

  19. #19 pv
    March 5, 2008

    I admit it. I use Zicam. I know there is no science behind it, and I can’t do a double-blind study on myself, but Zicam has relieved my symptoms. Sometimes dramatically. Sometimes not so much. I don’t get colds very often. Had one this winter and got through it with no cold meds; just Zicam.

    That is so funny – “Zicam has relived my symptoms”. One can assume that without the Zicam the symptoms would persist for ever, except that experience tells us that one automatically recovers from a common cold by doing nothing. We make ourselves as comfortable as possible, according to the severity of the cold, and we do nothing… and the syptoms diminish and the cold goes away.
    I am indebted to a BadScience forum member for the analogy of swearing at traffic lights in order to make them change from red to green. It works you know, every time, if I say the right word in the right way the lights change to green. Sometimes I need a different word and a different tone of voice, and sometimes it takes a bit longer, but after a bit of trial and error it always works.

  20. #20 Dianne
    March 5, 2008

    X relieves my symptoms…If I don’t take X the symptoms last 7 days, but with X they disappear in just one week.

    Actually, IIRC, adrenalin can decrease some cold/allergy type symptoms, so wrestling wild hyenas might be temporarily effective. The side effects, though…

  21. #21 Samantha Vimes
    March 5, 2008

    I admit it. I use my own, unboosted immune system. After all, if 9/10th of the time it can’t keep itself busy enough and has to overreact to any little irritant in the air causing me to use asthma medicines year around, it can handle a little rhinovirus.

    Amusingly, my asthma does actually lighten up when I have a cold. I think I’m the only person who look forward to getting them

  22. #22 Calli Arcale
    March 5, 2008

    As I understand it, Big Pharma is rated only just behind the arms industry in financial terms, which is why they can afford to buy up small CAM firms.

    I don’t like inaccurate advertising and get thoroughly fed up with the latest panacea, but really most of this “quackbusting” looks to me a useful smokescreen for the failings of big pharma.

    If you replace “arms industry” with “defense contracting”, that’s probably about right. Not all defense contractors make weapons, and not all weapons makers are defense contractors. But the really big ones certainly are. ANd the analogy gets better — there are small business who do defense contracting, just as there are small business who sell alternative remedies of various kinds. Pharmaceuticals, whether FDA approved or “herbal”, are really big business, and anytime there is a a really big business like that, you’ll get predatory corporations. It attracts them like flies to honey.

    The “quackbusters” around here are well aware of that. There have been posts critical of Big Pharma. If anything, stuff like this Airborne suit demonstrate why the FDA is so important, and why FDA-approved remedies should generally be preferred over “alternative” remedies — not because Big Pharma is better, but because there is a regulatory body there to keep their worst excesses in check. The FDA is far from perfect, especially since DSHEA, but it’s a lot better than nothing.

  23. #23 Calli Arcale
    March 5, 2008

    Whoops — misplaced italic tag above. The second paragraph should also be italicized, as I am quoting user little CAM.

  24. #24 Dangerous Bacon
    March 5, 2008

    “I don’t like inaccurate advertising and get thoroughly fed up with the latest panacea, but really most of this “quackbusting” looks to me a useful smokescreen for the failings of big pharma.”

    The way I see it, responding to unrelated criticism with a poke at Big Pharma looks like a smokescreen to cover up the failings of alt med.

    Truly, it is possible to criticize both.

  25. #25 little CAM
    March 5, 2008

    Dangerous Bacon you are correct.

    I wait with eager anticipation for a “skeptic” blog which addresses both equally.

    In the interests of safety though, I’m not holding my breath

  26. #26 Rick Cooper
    March 5, 2008

    For those who need to get rid of a cold in a week, or ten days, may I recommend FairDeal Homeopathy? (www.fdhom.co.uk) A company who sell truthful homeopathic remedies. I quote from their website:

    What conditions can FairDeal Homeopathy treat**?

    FairDeal Homeopathy can be used to treat any self-limiting condition. Examples include non-specific aches and pains, mild headache, unlikely allergies and intolerances, implausible phobias, vague nausea, surprising bruises, UDIs and most other conditions for which your GP may find difficult to give you an instant cure.

    **”Treat” in no way implies “cure”.

  27. #27 Rick Cooper
    March 5, 2008

    For those who need to get rid of a cold in a week, or ten days, may I recommend FairDeal Homeopathy? (www.fdhom.co.uk) A company who sell truthful homeopathic remedies. I quote from their website:

    What conditions can FairDeal Homeopathy treat**?

    FairDeal Homeopathy can be used to treat any self-limiting condition. Examples include non-specific aches and pains, mild headache, unlikely allergies and intolerances, implausible phobias, vague nausea, surprising bruises, UDIs and most other conditions for which your GP may find difficult to give you an instant cure.

    **”Treat” in no way implies “cure”.

  28. #28 Lilly de Lure
    March 5, 2008

    Sastra said:

    Bingo. It also seems to be fueled by a strange kind of anti-establishment feminism of the Moms Know Best School of Home Remedies. Safe. Natural. Nurturing. Intuitive. Caring. Vitamins. Herbs. Shaman Medicine Woman of the Forest. Trust your instincts. Try it and make up your own mind.

    And, if you actually have anything serious end up dead. But naturally, of course and with a powerful woman hovering over you so that’s all OK.

    I know exactly what you mean and they’re the feminists who make me want to borrow Orac’s paper bag. I remember all too well the fun I had an Universty with these types of feminists who seemed to think that a woman thinking logically and taking a *gasp* science degree was in itself a betrayal of women and “our special ways of knowing”.

    And now one of them’s going bust for her pains. Sod the sisterhood – YIPPEEEE!

  29. #29 notmercury
    March 5, 2008

    The Airborne Trilogy
    (The AirBorne Identity / The AirBorne Supremacy / The AirBorne Ultimatum)

  30. #30 Oldfart
    March 5, 2008

    We oldsters from New York know the truth! Chicken Soup! will make you feel better. Except for the fat. Make sure it is low in fat. Chicken Soup with saltines is even better. After your cold is over, you can go without salt for a month or two so your body can slip back to normalcy………..

  31. #31 DonZilla
    March 5, 2008

    I admit it. I use single malt scotch. I know there is no science behind it, and I can’t do a double-blind study on myself, but single malt scotch has relieved my symptoms. Sometimes dramatically. Sometimes not so much. I don’t get colds very often. Had one this winter and got through it with no cold meds; just single malt scotch.

  32. #32 Greta Christina
    March 5, 2008

    I admit it. I use sitting on the sofa wrapped in a blanket with a hot water bottle, feeling sorry for myself and watching “Project Runway” reruns. I know there is no science behind it… oh, you know the rest.

    Laser Potato has the best one, though. I’m gonna have to try that live hyena thing.

  33. #33 Greta Christina
    March 5, 2008

    P.S. I totally love the “It was created by a schoolteacher, so you know it’s good” story. Let’s apply that thinking to some other fields of endeavor.

    This washing machine was created by a landscape designer, so you know it’s good.

    This opera was created by a software engineer, so you know it’s good.

    This apartment building was created by a microbiologist, so you know it’s good.

    Schoolteachers are smart and talented people, for the most part. But that doesn’t make them qualified to create preventatives and treatments for medical conditions.

    Sheesh. I need one of those single malt scotches now. Preferably served by a live hyena.

  34. #34 Azkyroth
    March 5, 2008

    I remember all too well the fun I had an Universty with these types of feminists who seemed to think that a woman thinking logically and taking a *gasp* science degree was in itself a betrayal of women and “our special ways of knowing”.

    Unless she meant “knowing” in the Biblical sense, that’s an utter load of bullshit. O.o

    I haven’t encountered it in that strength, but there certainly does seem to be a destructive tendency in some self-proclaimed “feminist” circles to internalize cultural stereotypes about gender roles and interpretations but reverse the value judgements stemming from them. :/

    As for AirBorne, I’ve forwarded that information to the sister-in-law who recommended it to my wife initially. She has yet to respond, tellingly.

  35. #35 Ryan
    March 5, 2008

    I don’t know what it means, but I find it interesting that the teacher’s middle name is “Knight” and her husband’s middle name is “Rider.” They should have used a robot car in the marketing campaign.

  36. #36 Lord of the Kriss
    March 5, 2008

    The active ingredient in all herbal ‘medications’ is water and time.

    K.

  37. #37 Gerry L
    March 5, 2008

    Yes. Yes. I get it. There is no science behind zicam (or tea or wrestling hyenas). But if something quickly makes my congestion clear up, and I stay uncongested for several hours without having to knock myself out with heavy-duty cold medicine, I’ll probably keep using it. And Anne, when I go the tea route, I often add a teaspoon of dark rum. Doesn’t help the congestion, but it tastes good.

  38. #38 Nemo
    March 6, 2008

    I wait with eager anticipation for a “skeptic” blog which addresses both equally.

    But they don’t deserve to be addressed “equally”, because “Big Pharma” is already regulated by the FDA, so a lot less crap gets through.

    Not that I’m sanguine about Big Pharma. I think that allowing prescription drugs to be advertised to the general public is a travesty. Not that the drugs don’t work (for, sometimes, a loose definition of “work”), unlike CAM; but the ads result in a lot of people getting treatment that they don’t need.

  39. #39 Edward Ingram
    March 6, 2008

    What is your opinion of Zicam? My wife lnows people who get over colds in about half the time. (4-5 days) If this is true, it comes very close to a cure for the common cold, and thus raises hope for cures for other viruses.

  40. #40 Laser Potato
    March 6, 2008

    “? My wife lnows people who get over colds in about half the time. (4-5 days)”
    Name names, buddy. FAST.

  41. #41 Prometheus
    March 6, 2008

    As I understand it, Big Pharma is rated only just behind the arms industry in financial terms, which is why they can afford to buy up small CAM firms.

    And why is it that “Big Pharma” is buying up “Big CAM”? Because CAM is much more profitable than real pharmaceuticals.

    After all, with real drugs, you have to spend all that time and money getting FDA approval, and there’s always the very real possibility that the drug doesn’t work, in which case you’ve spent all that time and money for nothing.

    With CAM, on the other hand, you don’t have to prove anything – efficacy or safety – and the “research” costs are whatever your Internet provider charges.

    Since everybody knows that “Big Pharma” is motivated solely by profit, it should be a big red flag that they’re snapping up “Big CAM”.

    Follow the money.

    Prometheus

  42. #42 lydia
    March 6, 2008

    Has the zinc gluconate stuff (cold-eeze) been retested and found wanting? I remember being wowed by their packaging in the ’90s because they actually cited a published study ON THE BOX.

  43. #43 Rob
    March 6, 2008

    Okay, 4-5 days? That’s the normal amount of time for a cold as far as most people are concerned! Think about it, how often have you had an actual cold that lasted longer than a week without an accompanying infection? The reason people here are skeptical about these “treatments” is that the people who sell them can’t provide a reasonable amount of evidence as to why they work. In fact, half the time they seem to be proud of how it just seems to “magically” work and bad old modern medicine doesn’t know why. Face it, most of the time the reason you get better quicker is because you’re paying attention to your health when you take these placebos. It’s kind of like how sugar pills can work as well as antidepressants in clinical trials. Surprise, surprise, the depressed people are getting attention while their in the trial, and the researchers are really happy with them when they feel better! Frankly, the reason I trust Big Pharma (well, I trust their drugs, frankly the businessmen can all go sit on the small end of a pool cue) is because we can explain why they work. If one guy says his cure is magic and the other has proof grounded in biological science, end of story.

  44. #44 Valueaddedwater
    March 6, 2008

    “I remember all too well the fun I had an Universty with these types of feminists who seemed to think that a woman thinking logically and taking a *gasp* science degree was in itself a betrayal of women and “our special ways of knowing”.

    And are these the same feminists who then shout in horror and say that its a phallocentric conspiracy that Women are under-represented in the sciences?

    And as for cold cures, I recommend a good bottle of Whisky.
    It doesn’t cure the cold, but after half a bottle I sure as hell feel better!

    Fundementalist can be split up into serveral words, proving that sometimes the parts are more than the whole.
    These are Dement, mentalist, and the fun is poking them with an allorgorical stick!

  45. #45 Lilly de Lure
    March 7, 2008

    And are these the same feminists who then shout in horror and say that its a phallocentric conspiracy that Women are under-represented in the sciences?

    Yep, thems the ones – right at the same time as they champion Luce Irigary’s “E=MC2 is sexist” idiocy and then complain when everybody points and laughs. Like I said, the ones that make sensible feminists (i.e. the ones who talk about inequalities and human rights issues that are actually statistically and scientifically demonstrable) reach for Orac’s paper bag.

  46. #46 ???
    March 7, 2008

    “And are these the same feminists who then shout in horror and say that its a phallocentric conspiracy that Women are under-represented in the sciences?”
    Because, don’t you know, there’s no more discrimination against women in the scientific comminity. Also, the male scientists became a minority when no one was looking and are now OPRESSED by the draconian feminazis!!! *rolleyes*
    “Luce Irigary’s “E=MC2 is sexist”
    Never heard of this. Cites, sources, proof?

  47. #47 ???
    March 7, 2008

    “And, if you actually have anything serious end up dead. But naturally, of course and with a powerful woman hovering over you so that’s all OK.
    I know exactly what you mean and they’re the feminists who make me want to borrow Orac’s paper bag. I remember all too well the fun I had an Universty with these types of feminists who seemed to think that a woman thinking logically and taking a *gasp* science degree was in itself a betrayal of women and “our special ways of knowing”.
    And now one of them’s going bust for her pains. Sod the sisterhood – YIPPEEEE!”

    Eeegh, there’s enough enough straw in that to defoilate New Zealand ten times over. Reality check-MOST FEMINISTS AREN’T WOOS. That’s a tired old stereotype of feminism foist upon us by the mass media, right next to the bra-burning and the hairy legs. I’m becoming more and more convinced that you’re pulling this stuff out of thin air.

  48. #48 Lilly de Lure
    March 7, 2008

    Reality check-MOST FEMINISTS AREN’T WOOS.

    I never said they were – I was addressing my remarks to those who are and who use feminist sounding language as an excuse to shield said woo from scientific scrutiny.

    “Luce Irigary’s “E=MC2 is sexist”
    Never heard of this. Cites, sources, proof?

    Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont (1998) – “Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science”, (published as “intellectual Impostures in the UK), or for a quick summary see the below link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fashionable_Nonsense

    Luce Irigaray is criticised heavily by Sokal and Bricmont for describing E=MC2 as a “sexed equation” as it “it privileges the speed of light over other speeds that are vitally necessary to us”.

  49. #49 ???
    March 7, 2008

    OK, then. I guess I’m just jaded by people who troll feminist blogs, trying to convince people that women do not deserve to be in the scientific establisment. Oh, and once again…
    “And are these the same feminists who then shout in horror and say that its a phallocentric conspiracy that Women are under-represented in the sciences?”
    Because, don’t you know, there’s no more discrimination against women in the scientific comminity. Also, the male scientists became a minority when no one was looking and are now OPRESSED by the draconian feminazis!!! *rolleyes*

    Were you banned by Ginmar or Twisty, by any chance? >:D

  50. #50 Wanker
    March 8, 2008

    I admit it. I beat off. I know there is no science behind it, and I can’t do a double-blind study on myself, but beating off has relieved my symptoms. Sometimes dramatically. Sometimes not so much.

    Oh…were we taling colds? Never mind!

  51. #51 GD
    March 8, 2008

    “beat off” … “double-blind”

    hehe

  52. #52 Freddy the Pig
    March 9, 2008

    Since female hyenas are bigger and meaner than male hyenas, what gender of hyenas should post modern feminsts wrestle? Just wondering.

  53. #53 Laser Potato
    March 9, 2008

    “Post-Modern Feminism” in a nutshell, via Ginmar: “they want to be the purveyers of a kinder, gentler, male-oriented feminism that makes them popular and doesn’t hurt the menz feelings. Sheesh.”
    So yeah, that sort of femism is the exact OPPOSITE of being helpful.
    “Being called a filthy whore or worthless c*nt is liberating if you want your lover to call you that! OOOHHH, I’m such a rebel!” Thanks for nothing, SparklePony feminists. And people wonder why I like Ginmar so much.

The site is undergoing maintenance presently. Commenting has been disabled. Please check back later!