Thus Spake Zuska

So I’m cruising about Scienceblogs to catch up on my Sciblings and I come across this on Aetiology:

So, razib relates a recent observation of the apparently rare species hottus chicas scientificas at a local wine bar. Shelley’s ticked:

Not sure whether to be more irked that Razib suggests that smart women aren’t hot (and vice versa), that hot women don’t like sci fi, or than sci fi somehow denotes intelligence. Booooooooo.

While razib tells her to “focus on the science fiction part. not the intelligence,” I agree with Shelley’s later comment that who cares exactly whether he was talking about SciFi or intelligence–the idea that, because one is female and “hot,” one therefore cannot be a certain way or like a certain thing is just stupid.

Allow me to declare, officially, that razib has his head so far up his ass he can see his stomach.

According to the razib school of female biology, our innate womanly natures keep us pretty little things from being interested in such stuff as science fiction. You know, that’s just more than we can worry our pretty little heads about.

Unless, of course, we are ugly (according to razib’s standards), in which case we are intelligent, and able to appreciate the intricacies of science fiction.

This poses an interesting question: How do you look if you are actually intelligent enough to write top-notch science fiction, like, say, Ursula K. Le Guin? In the razib biological universe, does this mean you must never show your hideously malformed face in public?

What if you didn’t like science fiction in your teens, but acquired a taste for it in your twenties? Would you suddently become uglier?

If you answered “yes” to this latter question, then welcome to the world of adolescent male engineers. In Talking About Leaving, Seymour and Hewitt interviewed male engineering students about their attitudes toward their female classmates. The male engineers expressed the opinion that female engineering students were uglier than females who were not engineering students. They had several theories for why this was so.

  • They were just uglier – the uglier women are the ones who went into engineering.
  • They became uglier after they became engineers because they neglected their appearance.
  • They were lesbians. And we all know, lesbians are ugly.

Yes. It was just that bad. And razib is no better. These are the stupid kinds of stereotypes that contribute to keeping women out of science and engineering, making them feel like they are freaks or there is something wrong with them for having an interest in science and engineering, making other people think they are odd for such interests or making other people less likely to encourage and nurture such interests in them when they do express them. Promulgating the kind of tripe razib put out on his blog is poisonous because it feeds other people’s noxious stereotypes and contributes to making them think it’s okay to believe all the really terrible stereotypes about women that they hold – and act on.

Razib, your stupid-ass nonsensical ramblings about women and intelligence and beauty are so offensive, so juvenile, so incredibly stupid, that I can hardly believe they came out of a Scienceblogger’s mouth. I DON’T EXPECT TO HAVE TO DO DAILY MORON MANAGEMENT IN MY OWN BACKYARD!!!!!!!! I regret to inform you that when we finally meet in person, I will be obliged to puke heartily upon your shoes.

Comments

  1. #1 Chris
    December 15, 2006

    To be fair to Razib, he didn’t actually say anything about intelligence, and I doubt he thinks a.) women are less intelligent than men, or b.) intelligence is inversely related to attractiveness. I don’t mind “moron management,” but at least address what he said, rather than reading a books worth in between the lines. Or if you really believe that’s what he was saying, than work out the logic behind your assertion, because the only thing worse than moronic nonsense is moronic moron management.

  2. #2 Zuska
    December 15, 2006

    I think I’ve been about as fair to razib as he deserved. The intelligence link is implied. “How could she be reading science fiction and be so knowledgeable about if she’s attractive? Surely the beauty must get in the way of functioning brain cells!” Otherwise, what’s the problem with being beautiful?

    Also, it’s the “if you’re pretty, you can’t be a geek.” And what are geeks? They are the nerdy, intelligent boys. They aren’t the nerdy, stupid boys. The boys who read science fiction are stereotyped as being geeky, nerdy, intelligent, loners, poor social skills. These stereotypes are just as harmful as the stereotype that says a pretty girl could never be interested in science fiction because she isn’t those things – she can’t be nerdy, she can’t be intelligent. If she has social skills, she can’t be interested in science or science fiction or gaming or other geeky stuff.

    All these things are conflated in gender stereotypes. Geek + Intelligence gets coded onto Masculine and Pretty + Not Bright gets coded onto Feminine. Geek/Intelligence track together and Pretty/Not Bright track together. These are shared cultural assumptions that everyone understands without everyone having to say it all and explain it all all the time.

    If this weren’t all so and weren’t all so well understood and shared by everyone, then razib would not be so astounded by the sight of a beautiful woman interested in science fiction. What would he have to find odd about it if it did not defy negative cultural stereotypes? It doesn’t make you a bad person to be surprised by having a stereotype challenged – we are all surrounded by stereotypes and we all to some extent have them – but it is definitely not a good thing to go around writing blog posts that perpetuate them.

  3. #3 Zuska
    December 15, 2006

    I agree that it’s entirely possible that Razib does not think that women are less intelligent than men. I don’t necessarily think that he completely agrees that attractiveness has nothing to do with intelligence. He might say that he does but his actions imply a different attitude. Again, this is the kind of cultural stereotype that we all are surrounded with all the time – it’s a matter of how much you are aware of it and resist it, and whether or not you do/say things that feed into that stereotype.

    It’s very frustrating to do a textual analysis of Razib’s post and then have someone say “no, no, you can’t read between the lines”. Reading between the lines is what analyzing a text is all about.

  4. #4 Shelley
    December 15, 2006

    It doesn’t make you a bad person to be surprised by having a stereotype challenged – we are all surrounded by stereotypes and we all to some extent have them – but it is definitely not a good thing to go around writing blog posts that perpetuate them.

    Right on, this was I my point exactly. Which you said much more eloquently that I. Thanks for having my back Zuska.

  5. #5 Jason Malloy
    December 15, 2006

    The intelligence link is implied.

    This is erroneous. It was not implied that females were less intelligent. It was implied that extremely attractive females were less likely to engage in a specific, typically low-status male activity.

    According to the razib school of female biology, our innate womanly natures keep us pretty little things from being interested in such stuff as science fiction.

    This is erroneous. It was not implied that extremely attractive females were less likely to engage in a specific low status activity for a biological reason or any other.

    I don’t necessarily think that he completely agrees that attractiveness has nothing to do with intelligence.

    I suspect this is true. He may believe intelligent people are more attractive (as I do). Being a science fiction aficionado != intelligence.

    “if you’re pretty, you can’t be a geek.”

    This was neither stated or implied. A very attractive person, I assume, can pick up some low status hobby just as easily as they can date a very ugly person. It’s just that they are significantly less likely to do so than average. (and when they do, it is generally noticed and/or discussed, like Z’s wine girl)

    If this weren’t all so and weren’t all so well understood and shared by everyone, then razib would not be so astounded by the sight of a beautiful woman interested in science fiction.

    Perhaps he was astounded because it is, in fact, rare, and a rare thing to see.

    What would he have to find odd about it if it did not defy negative cultural stereotypes?

    With or without “cultural stereotypes”, he would be astounded because it is, in fact, rare, and a rare thing to see.

    That most very pretty girls are not science fiction lovers is a positive “stereotype” in my mind – I dislike science fiction and regard it as a lowbrow activity, akin to a Nascar for the socially inept. I asked “the culture” and it tells me it feels this way as well. Do you believe “the culture” views reading science fiction as an estimable, attractive, or high status activity?

    we are all surrounded by stereotypes and we all to some extent have them – but it is definitely not a good thing to go around writing blog posts that perpetuate them.

    You freely stereotyped the attitudes of “adolescent male engineers” in the above post. The only “stereotypes” (however vaguely defined) in Zeeb’s post were light-hearted, innocuous and factual observations, while the “stereotypes” in your post were shrill, intended to demonize and, I suspect, probably even false. While Zeeb shows good humor, even in the face of hostility, you appear hateful and antisocial even in the face of generous disposition.

    By no means, moral or intellectual, have you shown any fault with Z’s post; but you have diminished your own moral and intellectual reputation with this one: a mass of quixotic incomprehension and awkward belligerence.

  6. #6 Chris
    December 15, 2006

    I don’t mean to be mean, Zuska, but if this is your representation of Razib’s post (or thought process):

    “How could she be reading science fiction and be so knowledgeable about if she’s attractive? Surely the beauty must get in the way of functioning brain cells!” Otherwise, what’s the problem with being beautiful?

    Then I suspect one of two things is true:

    1.) You didn’t read Razib’s post (as I’ve said elsewhere, it’s offensive in its own way, but you’re just pulling this shit out of your ass), or
    2.) You’re just being irrationally reactive.

    If you can’t express why you disagree with what Razib actually said, or you can’t actually take what Razib said and show how it implies your straw man version, then just leave it alone. Let people who can read the post without putting entire essays in between the lines criticize it. As it is, you just look reactive and silly, and the last thing the blogosphere needs is another reactive, silly feminist that the reactive, silly right wingers can use to represent all feminists (they’re already good at making rational feminists look reactive by parodying them, but this sort of post needs no parody — it’s its own parody).

    Now, Razib does have a stereotype: attractive women (and probably men) don’t read sci-fi, not because attractive women (or men) can’t be smart, but because sci-fi is usually associated with geekiness, and geekiness (not intelligence, but geekiness, which doesn’t always imply intelligence — the book Razib’s “hot chick” was reading was hardly intellectually-challenging literature) is generally associated with, well, ugliness. In fact, ugliness might be part of most people’s definition of geekiness (remember geek rock in the 90s? ugly guys with glasses singing pop songs, sometimes about sci-fi). I’m not saying that’s right (I think it’s quite wrong!), but again, it says nothing about the woman’s intelligence or attractive women’s intelligence in general.

  7. #7 honest abe
    December 15, 2006

    Zuska proves that ugly women can be unintelligent.

  8. #8 JW Tan
    December 15, 2006

    That was unfair. Zuska is eloquent, sharp, discerning, and hardly ugly. You may not agree, but she argues her case well.

  9. #9 Elf Eye
    December 15, 2006

    A fellow professor once told my daughter that it was all right that she was shy because “when you’re that pretty, you don’t need to talk.” If I had had a handsome son, that colleague would NEVER have said, “when you’re that handsome, you don’t need to talk.” You can parse Razib’s statements all you want, but this is not theoretical stuff, guys. If you have daughters, do you really want them coming up against the assumption encapsulated in Razib’s comments–which, by the by, are quite revealing because they are so offhand. If you don’t have daughters, imagine that you did. Would you be happy if your daughters were surrounded by people who assume that beauty makes it unnecessary (or even impossible!) to be articulate or intelligent? Because believe me, they would be so surrounded. I have been raising this child for seventeen years, and my colleague’s comment was by no means an isolated case.

  10. #10 jokerine
    December 15, 2006

    Ooh Zuska has to do some moron manegment right here in her own comments. I mean you Jason Maloy. There is no “light-hearted stereotypes” a stereotype is simply that, and disgusting to boot. Even assuming that he wasn’t equating science fiction with nerdy and nerdy with intelligent, he was assuming that a “hot chick” doesn’t read science fiction, which is just as moronic! And by the way we really don’t care wether a womans reading choice makes her more or less attractive to you. You are also stereotyping: woman who read sci fi= woman who’s properties are dislikable to myself. So there feel puked on your shoes (If I may, Zuska)

  11. #11 MissPrism
    December 15, 2006

    A friend of mine was one of about twelve women in an agricultural college of several hundred students. All the stooping and lack of make-up in the world couldn’t hide the fact that she was a six foot natural beauty, so she endured two years of utter hell – harrassment, rumour-spreading, name-calling, bets placed on her sex life, and far worse – before she dropped out, slowly bolted her sanity back together and became a surfing instructor.

    Her story sprang to mind on reading the comments threads on this family of posts, where quite a few men idly wonder why the women in their male dominated course/career/hobby are failing in their duty to look hot.

  12. #12 Dan S.
    December 15, 2006

    “honest abe”‘s response is classic, if uninteresting. His fragile sense of masculine superiority feels threatened, so he attacks: ‘I know, I’ll call her ugly! And unintelligent!’ If he’s above 13, he should feel really, really ashamed. But probably can’t.

  13. #13 Helen
    December 15, 2006

    Thanks for the link, Zuska — that was one funny post.

    Razib does a lovely job of demonstrating exactly why most male geeks never get anywhere with lovely and intelligent female geeks — they immediately betray their stupidity and bigotry. Women with an analytical bent tend to pick up on the moronitude pretty quickly.

    I found the findings from Talking About Leaving pretty funny too — it says more about the boys than about their female classmates. “Ugly” and “lesbian” used by adolescent boys tend to be codewords for “too smart to fall for my inane line of bullshit, how dare she not swoon over my subverbal grunting”. The boys aren’t saying the female students are “ugly” because they are any less pulchritudinous; the boys are saying it because they’re angry at a class of women they perceive as being harder to “get”.

  14. #14 bob koepp
    December 15, 2006

    Razib’s sense of humor might benefit from a bit of consciousness raising. But uncharitable assumptions about what’s “between the lines” tells us more about the uncharitability of his “interpreters” than about where he’s actually coming from. Just saying…

  15. #15 Daniel Morgan
    December 15, 2006

    I would like to ask an empirical question — do you really think that statistics are on your side (Zuska) or Razib’s?

    If we simply did an XY correlation plot of y = “%SciFi books read out of total books read” and x = “hotness factor”, I am willing to bet that you would indeed see a correlation…in both sexes. Big deal. It doesn’t mean that it suddenly becomes logically impossible for a hot man or woman to enjoy SciFi, no more so than for them to enjoy Harlequinn Romances.

  16. #16 Roy
    December 15, 2006

    Bob, the “uncharitable assumptions” about what’s between the lines are valid criticisms of a position that was either poorly presented, or ignorant.

    His comment isn’t any different than if someone came up and said “Wow, I saw this really attractive woman driving, and she managed to parrelel park without hitting anything, and she did it well!” or “Holy cow- I’m sitting here, and this blonde woman is talking about science!” The fact that he happens to be talking about her taste in books doesn’t make the comment less ridiculous.

    Why does it surprise him, or anyone, that an attractive woman might enjoy science fiction? Pointing out “Well, most hot women don’t like science fiction” doesn’t explain it. I doubt that most women, in general, read science fiction. For that matter, I doubt that most men read science fiction. Would he have been as surprised to see an unattractive woman or a man of any kind in the same situation?
    I suspect not.
    And that’s why it’s a problem. He has an assumption- “attractive women don’t like science fiction”- in his head, and when that stereotype was challanged, he was surprised by it. That’s cool- it happens. I just think it’s an obnoxious stereotype to try to justify, and it’s culturally loaded. These kinds of stereotypes are hurtful. They carry consequences for people beyond some random guy’s checking someone out in a wine bar. And that is why people get up in arms about this kind of thing- it’s just one example of a much bigger problem. If you’re an attractive women (or a woman in general), there are many things that you’re not supposed to like, or you’re “freaky.”
    His word, by the way- “freaky.”

    Regarding

    ” I asked “the culture” and it tells me it feels this way as well. Do you believe “the culture” views reading science fiction as an estimable, attractive, or high status activity?”

    Are you sure you didn’t ask “the culture”‘s younger brother “my own personal experience”? Because, I don’t think that “the culture” has a definitive opinion on the matter, and I’d *love* to know, exactly, how you asked “the culture” anything. Last time I checked, authors like Asimov, Stephenson, Heinlein, Vonnegut, Gibson, Bradbury, Wells, etc. were considered pretty well respected, and being familiar with their works is estimable, attractive, or high status.

  17. #17 outeast
    December 15, 2006

    Yup, I thought this seemed like an over-reaction. It’s total bullshit to claim that Razib’s post says or implies half the things that are claimed here. 0/10, Zuzko. But whatever.

    Razib referred solely to the rarity of finding ‘hot chicas’ (OK, nix on the label – though I suspect that was supposed to be a sort of joke) who are seriously into sci fi. Perhaps if he were gay he’d be commenting on the infrequency with which one runs into a cute fag who’s into sci fi instead…

    In my experience, sci fi readership (as well as being male-dominated) generally correlates with fugliness, nerdiness, and/or social incompetence (usually with its roots in belonging to one or more of these groups in one’s teens). As such, sci fi readers who are simultaneously sex objects are relatively rare… Razib’s interest seems to me to stem from this:
    - This person belongs to the gender group which attracts him
    - She is physically attractive
    - She is interested in an esoteric subject in which Razib is himself interested
    The same might be deemed worthy of comment if the esoteric subject were something similarly esoteric and male-dominated – say, if the woman he saw was a pipe-smoker* (and so was Razib). I suspect the fact that Razib associoates sci fi with intelligence actually enhanced his interest: insofar as this plays any part, he’s not going ‘whooah! freakshow!’, he’s saying ‘cor, look at the brains on that one!’

  18. #18 Rob Knop
    December 15, 2006

    I defended Chad when Zuska dogpiled him — but, here, razib said something boneheadedly stupid when he should have known better. Razib deserves a little dogpiling if that will make him think twice next time before saying something stupid. Chad may have been wrong, but his comment deserved reasoned debate. Razib’s comment is so out there that mockery is really the appropriate response.

    I mean, yes, fine, be surprised. Stereotypes are powerful things that influence all of us. But the whole “women in science” thing is so in the forefront right now that there’s no excuse to be ignorant if you’re on scienceblogs.com. Just pay attention!

    But even if you do think that there may be some correlation between attractiveness and science/math ability (see Shelley’s blog for my own hypotheses as to why people think this, and why there may be one reason why it may be slightly true for both men and women), think about what you’ve just said. “I was really surprised to find an attractive woman interested in nerdy things!”

    Now put yourself in the shoes of one of the many female science bloggers. The message is either (a) you are unattractive, or (b) you can’t really be as intelligent/nerdy as us men.

    Even if you think there’s a real correlation, the way razib stated it was just downright rude, and directly insulting to specific individuals who aren’t hypothetical, but are real and present right here.

    As a Geek Guy, I have long cringed when I hear comments like “geek guys can’t attact women because they don’t bathe/they have no clue how to relate to women/they have no social ability/etc.” I’ve just been called a cretin when I hear that. Given that, it’s really not too hard to put myself in the parity-inverted shoes of a geek guy saying that geek women aren’t attractive. How rude!

    Razib deserves to be slapped around a bit just as assuredly as if he had walked in and directly insulted half of the science bloggers on this site.

    -Rob

  19. #19 Roy
    December 15, 2006

    If we simply did an XY correlation plot of y = “%SciFi books read out of total books read” and x = “hotness factor”, I am willing to bet that you would indeed see a correlation…in both sexes. Big deal. It doesn’t mean that it suddenly becomes logically impossible for a hot man or woman to enjoy SciFi, no more so than for them to enjoy Harlequinn Romances.

    1. I’d bet that we’d find that *most* people don’t read Sci-Fi, regardless of attractiveness. I’d suspect that “hotness” is incidental, and doesn’t really effect the result that much either way.

    2. If we did a study, I bet we’d find that most hot women haven’t been on a submarine, either. If I met someone who had, my reaction wouldn’t be “Woah- a hot woman who has been on a submarine!” It would be “Woah – a person who’s been on a submarine!”

  20. #20 outeast
    December 15, 2006

    It would be “Woah – a person who’s been on a submarine!”

    That’s because you’re not especially interested in submarines. When I meet a hot woman who shares common interests with me – especially if those are relatively uncommon, group-marker interests, and even more so if they are interests I believe to be indexed to worthwhile qualities such as intelligence – you better believe I notice it. It’s the nature of the beast. (Actually, being bi the same thing is true when I meet a hot guy. Which is the same story, except foor Razib it probably wou;ldn’t be coz I think he’s straight.)

  21. #21 bsci
    December 15, 2006

    First I’ll say that Razib’s comments do play to bad stereotypes and a shoe puking could definitely be considered in order.

    Still, let’s do the hypothetical numbers of the Zuksa point of view: Female hotness and science fiction reading are completely independent.
    10% of women would self identify as science ficiton readers (a made up number)
    Looking at Razib’s picture, it’s clear that no more than 5% of women could possibly fit the lofty criteria of being considered hot by Razib.
    That means 1 in 200 women would be a hot science fiction lover. That is fairly rare.

  22. #22 razib
    December 15, 2006

    The message is either (a) you are unattractive, or (b) you can’t really be as intelligent/nerdy as us men.

    i didn’t say anything about intelligence. did you read my post, or are you a believer in psychic powers a well rob?

  23. #23 Vitis01
    December 15, 2006

    OK you didn’t say “intelligent” you just said (in a response to me) that there was empirical evidence “which shows that science fiction readers are a) very liberal and b) very educated.” and then correlated that with a lack of what you perceive as beauty.

  24. #24 Vitis01
    December 15, 2006

    razib is clearly blind to his sickness. He continues to talk about this woman as “9ish. a top 2%er” and fails to see the ugly objectification this represents.

    But it is not the only thing he is blind to… tell me razib, how did you miss the ACME Anvil of Irony that must have fallen out of the sky when you told me that I was off base for “generalizing about (your) character from a little data using a stereotype as a theoretical framework”.

    Jeebus…

  25. #25 Roy
    December 15, 2006

    That’s because you’re not especially interested in submarines. When I meet a hot woman who shares common interests with me – especially if those are relatively uncommon, group-marker interests, and even more so if they are interests I believe to be indexed to worthwhile qualities such as intelligence – you better believe I notice it. It’s the nature of the beast. (Actually, being bi the same thing is true when I meet a hot guy. Which is the same story, except foor Razib it probably wou;ldn’t be coz I think he’s straight.)

    I should think that most of us take notice when we meet someone that we find attractive who also happens to share similar interests. I certainly notice, for example, when I meet an attractive girl who is into Gundam. I happen to be a big fan, and I rarely meet other people with that interest.
    The difference, to me, is in how we react to that. I don’t think it’s “freaky” for an attractive woman to be interested in Gundam. I don’t think that the fact that I happen to find a woman attractive has any role in whether or not she has an interest in Gundam. I don’t see that whether you have a penis or a vagina and whether a particular person finds you attractive have any relationship to whether you have an interest in giant mecha. Maybe he meant to come across as appreciative, but saying that it was “freaky” or that it was like “the Twilight Zone” just come across as insulting, as does continually reiterating “Well, she was *really* hot. Really. Like a nine.” My reaction upon finding that someone I find attractive shares similar interests isn’t to act incredulous that an attractive woman would share those qualities.
    Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that’s the attitude that’s bothering some people- he comes across like “Wow. A woman who’s interested in sci-fi, and isn’t ‘oogly’? Unheard of!”
    And that is insulting.

  26. #26 periphrasis
    December 15, 2006

    You know, Razib, just because you don’t specifically mention intelligence doesn’t mean that’s not the message that people get from it.

    I’m female. I’ve been told I’m reasonably attractive, though I’m certainly not going to prove that here. I’m heavily into Science Fiction. Most of the people I know and talk to are at least moderately into Science Fiction. Even if you don’t consider the ‘into sci-fi -> geeky/nerdy ->intelligent’ link to be very strong, you pretty much just sort of pointed and laughed at me, and everyone like me.

    Sure, it may have been in a relatively complimentary way (“Wow, isn’t that cool!”), but the tone of your post still makes me feel kind of like a dancing bear. “Whoa! You shouldn’t (be able to) do that!” Do you see how that could hurt?

    I get that you probably weren’t trying to be mean. You may think all sorts of neutral or complimentary things about women, scientists, people who read science fiction, and so on. You are probably a perfectly swell person in reality. But you can be a nice, wonderful person who thinks nice, wonderful things and still act in ways that are harmful to others, and when you do, you should be able to process that you did, indeed, hurt someone. Even if you said something in a joking manner, if it’s pointed out to you that it is hurtful, even if you didn’t mean it that way and you don’t think it should be hurtful, you should still acknowledge that someone got hurt, and try to keep that in mind for the future.

    I’m at risk for sounding ‘soft’ here, but I want to point out that this doesn’t mean that you have to bend over backwards and change your innermost self. I’m not asking you to be a slave to PC, or to censor yourslf or your sense of humor. I’m asking you to act like a grown up and think about the impact of your actions. I’m asking you to accept that other people might not think the same way that you do, and that your words and deeds may have real consequences, not limited to mere offense.

  27. #27 Jon
    December 15, 2006

    This whole argument seems very high school to me. HS was the last time I remember defining people (and being defined) according to taste in lit, movies, etc. Even the categories being used here like geek and hottie are mostly used tongue-in-cheek by grownups.

    When I went back to read Razib’s post, I couldn’t take it as seriously as Zuska and others commenting here.

  28. #28 razib
    December 15, 2006

    tell me razib, how did you miss the ACME Anvil of Irony that must have fallen out of the sky when you told me that I was off base for “generalizing about (your) character from a little data using a stereotype as a theoretical framework”.

    heh. dude, i was joking. you weren’t offbase. stereotypes work, yours did. i’m conservative.

  29. #29 Abel
    December 15, 2006

    Sci-fi is generally not the most sophisticated literature, and hence the sci-fi appreciation < -> intelligence correlation is clearly not valid. (And there are an abundance of stupid sci-fi fans.) The sci-fi < ->poor social skills / lonliness correlation is more intuitve though…and female attractiveness and lonliness are obviously correlated (negatively) as well. Pretty girls and athletic guys generally don’t *need* sci-fi as much as the ugly and geeky. This may be interesting, this may be a cliche (and in need of verification) but why is this controversial?

  30. #30 Periphrasis
    December 15, 2006

    There is a lot of good, sophisticated science fiction out there too. Simply because what is at the surface is shallow doesn’t mean that the entire set is. If one were to speak of film fans based on the big blockbusters, that would be silly. If one were to speak of fans of another literary genre, say poetry, and use the standard of: “well, a lot of people like the things printed in the Chicken Soup for the Soul books,” that would be equally silly.

    That people assume a preference for a type of fiction automatically includes them in some sort of vast category of lonely, ugly, socially inept people is a huge contributor to the fact that those of us who aren’t representative of such categories may not say much about it. Which makes commentary like that which sparked this debate even more annoying. Even the people who think they’re being helpful sit around tossing insults about; “Oh, I’m sorry, I know you’re not ugly/stupid/inept/awkward/doomed to die alone, you were just doing something that everybody knows ugly/stupid/inept/awkward/doomed people do. Don’t be offended, just be glad you’re not one of them!”

  31. #31 Jason Malloy
    December 15, 2006

    Would you be happy if your daughters were surrounded by people who assume that beauty makes it unnecessary (or even impossible!) to be articulate or intelligent?

    This has nothing to do with Razib’s post. Jesus you people are a dense breed of ideologue. Do you really believe you are helping society or any worthwhile cause by piling on innocent people for words and ideas they never expressed?

    There is no “light-hearted stereotypes” a stereotype is simply that, and disgusting to boot

    Is a “stereotype” any statistical fact? How is that “disgusting”? This very post alludes to the fact that women are underrepresented in science and engineering. Is Zuska therefore using “disgusting” “stereotypes”? No, it is a fact, just as it is a fact that attractive women are underrepresented as scifi fans, D&D players, World of Warcraft obsessives and other low status male pastimes. As I’m sure they are noncontroversially underrepresented among myriad other low status male activities (e.g. attendance at neo-Nazi hate rallies)

    It was ‘lighthearted’ as in normatively lax and amicable. Zeeb was pleased to see what might be an emerging trend. Compare that with Zuska’s “stereotype” suggesting that all/most male engineering students think their female classmates are “ugly dykes”. That “stereotype” is clearly intended to turn attitudes against a class of people, while Zeeb was essentially toasting the continuing, and puzzling, rise of geek chiche.

    And by the way we really don’t care wether a womans reading choice makes her more or less attractive to you.

    Glad to hear it, as I didn’t express anything like this here. Though I’m sure if I did mention that I am less attracted to e.g. country music fans or some such, the crowd here would find some incoherent, pseudo-feminist way to be outraged over it.

    You are also stereotyping: woman who read sci fi= woman who’s properties are dislikable to myself.

    You are on the moon here. I said I dislike and look down on a specific hobby, as I do many others, and as you do as well. That is all. I have many friends, Like Z, who do like scifi, and I don’t care one way or the other.

    I also find it hard to believe that you think it’s wrong – “stereotyping” – to judge people based on their own interests, beliefs, or actions. What properties should one use to evaluate people?

    Razib does a lovely job of demonstrating exactly why most male geeks never get anywhere with lovely and intelligent female geeks — they immediately betray their stupidity and bigotry.

    Razib has a pretty girlfriend. Is the (false) stereotype that “most male geeks” are bigots (!!) less pernicious than the (true) stereotype that attractive women are underrepresented in many low status male activities like WoW and Scifi?

    No.

    His comment isn’t any different than if someone came up and said “Wow, I saw this really attractive woman driving, and she managed to parrelel park without hitting anything, and she did it well!”

    Actually it is. Your scenario involves abilities, and his scenario involves interests. Your scenario is, in fact, common, while his scenario is, in fact, rare.

    Now put yourself in the shoes of one of the many female science bloggers. The message is either (a) you are unattractive, or (b) you can’t really be as intelligent/nerdy as us men.

    No, if you are really extremely attractive (and not merely above average) the message is simply that you are rare, or different than average. The horror!

    You know, Razib, just because you don’t specifically mention intelligence doesn’t mean that’s not the message that people get from it.

    People with poor reading comprehension or critical thinking skills. Not his problem.

    but the tone of your post still makes me feel kind of like a dancing bear. “Whoa! You shouldn’t (be able to) do that!” Do you see how that could hurt?

    No. Not abilities, interests. The tone is “Whoa! That is a unique sight.” Do you see why that shouldn’t hurt?

  32. #32 Zuska
    December 15, 2006

    Jason, if we’re such a dense breed of ideologue what are you doing here reading what we have to say? Go play somewhere else as you are clearly unwilling and/or unable to learn from what anyone here has to say. Your stubborn resistance to the reality of gender stereotypes and their harmfulness is pathetic. I wish I could say I find it freaky but alas, it’s all too common among men.

    Thanks to the OTHER men on this conversation who do understand why Razib’s comments are harmful and hurtful. I wish Razib were as willing as some of you are to listen to what women have to say about their experiences, and to learn from what the commenters here are trying to tell him about why his post was a bad, bad idea. However, then he’d have to confront his objectification of women, which the more he says, the more he reveals it to be worse than I initially thought. So I’m guessing he’s not going to listen and think and try to learn from anyone here.

    But who knows, maybe he’ll surprise me.

  33. #33 ilikeathechemicals
    December 15, 2006

    Sigh.

    Will there ever be a day when women can be immune from the stereotype of, “Wow! A hot chick who’s into (insert sci/tech work or interest here)”.

    Is this really so groundbreaking anymore, Razib et al? Because I’ve been a woman in science my whole adult life, and now that I’m seeing more women in the places I work, we seem to represent a fairly typical spectrum. All shapes, sizes, looks etc. Maybe if this seems so new to you, you don’t get out enough professionally.

    PS: Razib, with a juvenile reaction like that one, your odds of getting it on with said barmaid are about ZERO. Because it’s wasn’t like you thought, “wow, someone I’m finding really attractive is also into SciFi like me!”. No, you were like, “whoa, can you believe the hot chick who knows sci fi??”. Good luck, buddy. We can smell that a mile off.

  34. #34 Tyler DiPietro
    December 15, 2006

    “And what are geeks? They are the nerdy, intelligent boys. They aren’t the nerdy, stupid boys. The boys who read science fiction are stereotyped as being geeky, nerdy, intelligent, loners, poor social skills. These stereotypes are just as harmful as the stereotype that says a pretty girl could never be interested in science fiction because she isn’t those things – she can’t be nerdy, she can’t be intelligent.”

    I’m going against my better judgment in getting involved here, but Zuska, this is really silly. First off, as someone who hung out with the outcast crowd and was involved in tabletop gaming and anime clubs in high school I have direct experience with these stereotypes, with one caveat: it’s hardly an indication of intelligence. In fact, most of the kids involved in these activities did worse overall in school and only one (according to memory) had what could be considered the external indicators of any kind of higher intelligence (better language skills, etc.). The main reason they were considered nerdy was because they were less physically attractive and thus had a harder time getting into the higher tiers their peers belonged to.

    Secondly, these stereotypes do exist, but I don’t see any empirical data in your posts to suggests that they are not generally true (that is, on a collective level, not an individual one). If you aren’t basing your argument on that then you’re simply engaging in Orwellian thought policing.

  35. #35 Tyler DiPietro
    December 15, 2006

    Addendum: In the second paragraph the stereotypes I’m referring to are the nerdy stereotypes minus the intelligent part. In part, Razib’s suggestion makes anecdotal sense in regard to the subject of my first paragraph, which is that “geekiness” may be a stereotype of higher intelligent as much as it is a stereotype of general inferiority.

  36. #36 Chris
    December 15, 2006

    I wrote a long comment, but had to delete it, because I find this post and the resulting comment thread so frustrating. The saddest thing, perhaps, is that the problems with Razib’s post have, so far, gone completely unaddressed, because people have been too busy debating Zuska’s nonsensical interpretation of a post it’s not clear she even read. Seriously, Zuska, if you’re going to randomly impute bias into posts based on your own pet issues, you’re going to get a lot of readers, but you’re never going to change a damn thing. The stereotype you describe in this post is pervasive, but it doesn’t exist in Razib’s post. What does exist in Razib’s post includes stereotypes about the attractiveness of sci readers, (by implication) stereotypes about the tastes of attractive people, (perhaps) stereotypes about the gender of sci fi readers. Then, of course, there’s the clear objectification of the two women in question (they’re differentiated by their attractiveness, for example, and tongue and cheek or not, he calls the attractive one a “chick”). What does not exist in his post is a damn thing about intelligence. Seriously, Zuska, if you think that adolescent science fiction books are associated with intelligence, that’s your own damn irrational stereotype, not Razib’s.

  37. #37 p-ter
    December 15, 2006

    If we simply did an XY correlation plot of y = “%SciFi books read out of total books read” and x = “hotness factor”, I am willing to bet that you would indeed see a correlation…in both sexes. Big deal. It doesn’t mean that it suddenly becomes logically impossible for a hot man or woman to enjoy SciFi, no more so than for them to enjoy Harlequinn Romances.

    statistics have a well-known mysogynist bias.

  38. #38 p-ter
    December 15, 2006

    mysogynist= misogynist

  39. #39 Chris
    December 15, 2006

    Zuska, if you doubt the veracity of my claim (that you’re doing more harm than good, inspiring nothing but nonsense, and certainly not change), just look at the comments you’re inspiring. Daniel Morgan comment that “p-ter” quoted is an excellent case in point. What on Earth makes Daniel think that Razib believes that it is impossible for attractive men or women to enjoy SciFi? If I’m surprised to find someone from Germany listening to country music, does that mean I think it’s impossible for someone from Germany to enjoy country music, or just that my stereotype of country music fans doesn’t include Germans? That doesn’t mean that my country music fan stereotype is fair, but it doesn’t mean that people who aren’t included in it can’t enjoy country music either.

  40. #40 chet snicker
    December 16, 2006

    …brown.

  41. #41 Kiera Davey
    December 16, 2006

    I don’t care if anyone believes there is a correlation between attractiveness and geekiness or not. What does irk me is the propensity for “oogly” losers to judge members of the female persuasion. You will often see a fugly guy remarking on the ass and tits of an unsuspecting girl, simply walking by. This is not acceptable.

    Razib is a “2ish” in my book. Not only do I find his objectifcation of women ugly, but I find him (physically) pretty ugly as well! I find the method and manner in which he does this quite surprising; huh, I guess it’s okay for an oooglie dude to comment on the attractiveness of various females!! I’m surprised that his (brown) girlfriend doesn’t mind his constant ogling of various blonde women, as evidenced by his site. Maybe she doesn’t know… and if she does…. damn-it woman, get some self-esteem. I’m sure she can find a much hotter and kinder gentleman.

    I see this comment as fair game, after what I’ve read in his postings!!!

  42. #42 Frauenhasser
    December 16, 2006

    You would think someone whose blog is titled “THUS SPAKE ZUSKA: A Blog For All and No One” (cute, if pretentious) would have a little thicker skin when it comes to comments on women.

    In the future, Razib, you might want to consider these passages from Thus Spake…

    “Much hath Zarathustra spoken also to us women, but never spake he
    unto us concerning woman.”
    And I answered her: “Concerning woman, one should only talk unto
    men.”

    Let man fear woman when she hateth: for man in his innermost soul is
    merely evil; woman, however, is mean.

    and of course…

    Give me, woman, thy little truth!” said I. And thus spake the old
    woman:
    “Thou goest to women? Do not forget thy whip!”-

    Thus spake Zarathustra, indeed!

    Come to think of it, the only thing rarer than a hot chica who loves Dick is one who loves that madman.

    So she can overlook parts of Nietzsche or give him the best possible interpretation, but won’t cut Razib a little slack?

  43. #43 etbnc
    December 16, 2006

    A few words, edgewise:

    I’ve found a lot of value in Peter Senge’s writing about learning organizations, mental models, roles, and escalating feedback. The book, The Fifth Discipline, seems best known as the reference source, but there’s some good material online and in other other books. The Systems Thinking Playbook (Meadows and Sweeney) has some good stuff, for example.

    (I’d put in lots o’ links, but I think the comment spam detector would balk.)

    Anyway, after the dust settles or when readers want to take a break, those are some resources that might be of interest. I feel my participation in public conversation has been somewhat more pleasant and more effective since delving into the learning organization concepts.

    Cheers

  44. #44 Nicole
    December 16, 2006

    Chris – thank you for again bringing up the issue that really bothered me about Razib’s post: the objectification of women in general, and the 2 women in the bar. I don’t give a crap about stereotypes about sci-fi readers being unattractive. I don’t see how that hurts people’s chances at getting a job, being respected at said job, and I don’t have an interest is getting more kids to read sci-fi, etc. So that stereotype can live on as far as I’m concerned.

    I give a crap that the most noticeable thing about women is their physical attractiveness, and some people think nothing of talking about it blatantly. And everyone is so used to it that they argue about how “no, these women aren’t ugly, don’t say that”, like it matters. The only thing that matters is that people still think this kind of objectification is okay.

    My very unclever method to get back at men like this is to talk blatantly about men’s unattractiveness, for example, if a movie comes up say “Tom Cruise looks so old, yuck. And he’s gotten fat.” It can be fun. Some men get really defensive. I hope they realize what’s going on and then all of it will stop, but I’m okay with it if they don’t figure it out and get paranoid about their appearance. Suckers.

  45. #45 Nicole
    December 16, 2006

    Oh, I forgot, here’s my parting comment because I loved Razib’s comment so much,

    I already gotz me a smokin’ hot beefcake!

  46. #46 p-ter
    December 16, 2006

    I give a crap that the most noticeable thing about women is their physical attractiveness, and some people think nothing of talking about it blatantly

    why? maybe I’m missing something, but the most noticable thing about *any* person is initially how they look, right? If people walked around with a sticker with their IQ on it, would it bother you that people talked about it? Sure, looks aren’t everything (nor is IQ, for that matter), but they’re certainly something.

  47. #47 Frauenhasser
    December 16, 2006

    Chris – Then, of course, there’s the clear objectification of the two women in question (they’re differentiated by their attractiveness, for example, and tongue and cheek or not, he calls the attractive one a “chick”).

    Nicole- I give a crap that the most noticeable thing about women is their physical attractiveness, and some people think nothing of talking about it blatantly.

    I believe burkhas solve this problem.

    And American women don’t dress in a way that brings attention to them physically? And they don’t spend billions every year on cosmetics, etc.? I know that’s all about “doing it for yourself”, but regardless of your intentions, it has the effect of drastically increasing our awareness of you physically.

    You all go into hysterics when a young unmarried male who is the product of billions of years of natural selection living in a sex-obsessed American celebrity culture whimsically comments on the attractiveness of a couple women in a bar?

    Never mind that a personal attack like that of “Thus Spake Zuska” or the one directly above my original post is far more vicious than any stereotype. You owe Razib an apology.

    -”Thou goest to women? Do not forget thy whip!” – Thus Spake Zarathustra – Nietzsche

  48. #48 racaille
    December 16, 2006

    I’m surprised that his (brown) girlfriend doesn’t mind his constant ogling of various blonde women, as evidenced by his site.

    are you implying that brown people must date among their “kind”? That is, that because Razib is “brown” he is incapable of entering the holy temple of white-ness whose doors you guard with asinine assertions like this? I’m not sure you’re aware of the status which white skin privilege confers in our culture, not of the damage that hate speech like this can cause.

  49. #49 Bliss
    December 16, 2006

    “Razib is a “2ish” in my book. Not only do I find his objectifcation of women ugly, but I find him (physically) pretty ugly as well! I find the method and manner in which he does this quite surprising; huh, I guess it’s okay for an oooglie dude to comment on the attractiveness of various females!!”

    About time someone said the obvious. LOL.

  50. #50 amazon
    December 16, 2006

    I’m surprised that his (brown) girlfriend doesn’t mind his constant ogling of various blonde women

    I believe he finds women of his own (indic) race too fugly. He has a white/blonde fetish, like so many american blacks.

  51. #51 Jason Malloy
    December 17, 2006

    Jason, if we’re such a dense breed of ideologue what are you doing here reading what we have to say?

    Like pretty much every sentence you’ve ejaculated here, this lacks logical coherence. You rudely and childishly libeled a friend of mine in a crowded forum (SEED blogs). Of course it makes sense to not let such misrepresentations go unchallenged. Now if someone finds this through Google, they are given greater incentive to match up your and your readers’ characterizations with Razib’s precise words.

    Go play somewhere else as you are clearly unwilling and/or unable to learn from what anyone here has to say. Your stubborn resistance to the reality of gender stereotypes and their harmfulness is pathetic. I wish I could say I find it freaky but alas, it’s all too common among men.

    Bwah ha! Could you possibly descend even further into outlandish self-parody?

    Anyway, I am only unable and/or unwilling to “learn” that Razib said the things you and your readers are attributing to him. He didn’t. He did not say or imply that women/attractive-folk are less intelligent. He did not say or imply that women/attractive-folk are unable to or shouldn’t like science fiction. He did imply that women/attractive-folk are less likely to be science fiction aficionados. This is an empirical issue, not a moral one, and I have yet to see anyone convincingly suggest the reality of sci-fi demographics is otherwise.

    What is a moral issue, is if it was “wrong” for Razib to publicly express surprise or amusement at witnessing an outlier in the demographic tendency. I think it was not, but if this concern is legitimate it should be able to stand on its own without endless misrepresentations padding the outrage over it.

    The fact that you did employ just such a sleight of hand, suggests to me that you are massively (and rather pathetically) insecure in your own hard ethical stances. Rather than articulating why you felt it was morally wrong for Razib to express amusement at an outlier (a hard argument to win/sell), you chose to simply misrepresent what he said, so that he could be convincingly condemned on the cheap. (an easy argument to win/sell) Hence all the balderdash about “intelligence”, “innateness”, and so forth, that are in no way found or implied in Razib’s post.

  52. #52 Nicole
    December 17, 2006

    to p-ter: No, the most noticeable thing about a person is not their physical attractiveness. It may surprise you to hear that I do not immediately notice whether or not a person is attractive when I see them. Most of the time I am not thinking remotely in that direction. If you ask to me to tell you if I find a random person I see physically attractive, I would have to think for at least a few seconds. Thankfully so, I would hate to go through my day thinking “3, 5, 1, 1, 9!, 5, 2, …”

    to WomenHater: Your argument is the classic “blame the victim” argument. Women are judged on their appearance to a far greater degree than men, being sentient they realize that their worth and power hinges on their appearance so they try to increase their value, and then you conclude that because they try to make themselves look better they want to be judged based on their appearance. Poppycock. Stop reacting so emotionally to my objection to the objectification of women, you would think more clearly if you did.

    I am thankful that people all over the world take a reasonable amount of time to make themselves more physically attractive, it makes the world a more pleasant place to be in. And if they make a reasonable effort (making sure they bathe, all personal hygiene is attended to, clothing is clean, mended, and fits well) then I judge them on their other qualities. Just to be absolutely clear, my first thought when I meet a man is not whether or not he is hot. It seems as though some of you (p-ter in particular) are claiming that this is what “people in general” notice first about other people. If this is the general case, then our society is far worse off than I thought.

  53. #53 p-ter
    December 17, 2006

    It may surprise you to hear that I do not immediately notice whether or not a person is attractive when I see them.

    do you, like Stephen Colbert, not see race either?

    You may be an outlier here, but studies show over and over again that the first thing we notice about a person is their attractiveness.
    http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/article.php?id=899

  54. #54 etbnc
    December 17, 2006

     
    It seems to me that what people notice is separate from what people do.
     

  55. #55 p-ter
    December 17, 2006

    Thankfully so, I would hate to go through my day thinking “3, 5, 1, 1, 9!, 5, 2, …”

    to be clear, this is obviously not what I’m implying people do. just that (whether you know it or not) you are processing whether a face is attractive and basing your initial judgements of said person based on that.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/n46368218247u52j/
    “Results suggest that perception of differential attractiveness occurs automatically with the initial encoding of sensory data.”

  56. #56 linus
    December 17, 2006

    As much as Zuska’s comment about having head up his ass is well justified, I’ll actually love to be able to do that myself -without bodily harming myself. What can I say, I am just curious exactly what I am on the inside. No, no i am not looking for inner beauty or anything, I am just curious after seeing all those videos on Gootube with pests, worms in people’s bodies. What kind of strange coevolutionary universe is out there.. within me. Maybe someday different people like Aetiology/Pharyngula take up on this meme and expound?

  57. #57 racaille
    December 17, 2006

    Bwah ha! Could you possibly descend even further into outlandish self-parody?

    bringing attention to logical flaws or hypocrisy in an argument is a cheap rhetorical trick, typical of tools of the patriarchy like yourself, jason malloy. I propose a collective vomiting upon your shoes. let me be the first to register my disgust…blech! blech!

  58. #58 outeast
    December 18, 2006

    a cheap rhetorical trick, typical of tools of the patriarchy like yourself

    Is this supposed to be satire?

  59. #59 Barry
    December 18, 2006

    I haven’t followed the GNXP blog much, so please forgive me if the guys have moved on, but wasn’t the GNXP guy a ‘Bell Curve’ whackjob?

    If so, his opinions about women, beauty and intelligence should be accorded less respect than a random drunk in a bar.

  60. #60 Frauenhasser
    December 18, 2006

    Nicole – Your argument is the classic “blame the victim” argument. Women are judged on their appearance to a far greater degree than men, being sentient they realize that their worth and power hinges on their appearance so they try to increase their value, and then you conclude that because they try to make themselves look better they want to be judged based on their appearance. Poppycock.

    If you and other women honestly do think that your worth hinges on your appearance, then I can understand why you’re upset; however, I don’t believe that is the case at all and I would discourage you from thinking that way.

    Your comment fought a position I never argued. I never said women want to be judged. And yes, sometimes victims deserve part of the blame. Don’t be the hero by pretending that’s not true. You thought I was talking about hygiene? I assigned the true blame elsewhere in my comment anyways.

    If you want to argue victims, I can see a case being made that men are victims of their biology and the women who exploit it.

    Or we could talk about Razib – the only real and living victim of this nonsense.

    OK – maybe Zuska is a victim now too.

  61. #61 Kiera
    December 18, 2006

    “”I’m surprised that his (brown) girlfriend doesn’t mind his constant ogling of various blonde women, as evidenced by his site.”

    are you implying that brown people must date among their “kind”? That is, that because Razib is “brown” he is incapable of entering the holy temple of white-ness whose doors you guard with asinine assertions like this? I’m not sure you’re aware of the status which white skin privilege confers in our culture, not of the damage that hate speech like this can cause.”

    Duh. Hate speech?!? No I am not implying this AT ALL. I’m sure this point was obvious to most, but just for you racaille, I will clarify: I think race and color festishes are downright creepy, whether it’s an asian fetish, blonde fetish, black fetish, etcetera. It implies that the person with the fetish cannot see women as human beings. It’s completely separate than simply finding a certain look attractive (such as a Victoria Secret model), or dating within your own cultural background because you have similar beliefs and ideas. The person with the fetish often feels a person of whatever “race” embodies certain stereotypical qualities…. I’m sure you can fill in the blanks with said stereotypes.

    Razib suffers from a blonde fetish*, yet he dates, from what he’s written, a pretty brown girl. If I were that girl, I would say “get out of my bed, assclown – if you want a blonde, go get one and leave me the F&#$ alone” and I wouldn’t look back. Why date a brown girl if you like blonde girls? What kind of woman would take that kind of crap talk all day (no offense to his women – maybe she doesn’t know)?? I would be insulted and figure he was only with me because he has not met (or cannot meet) the woman he TRULY desires. Then proceed with kicking him out of my bed. Personally, I don’t need to be second best to the one person that matters, and no self-respecting person would. Sure we can’t all be the most beautiful, blah blah blah, but we can be held in high regard by our partners, and respecting our partners in return.

    *I don’t give a crap why he has this fetish (maybe he grew up in the blonde 80′s)- he can figure that out with his therapist.

    With that said, I am in favor of mixing between races so long as there is an actual understanding of your partner, beyond the purely superfical and physical (fetish). That goes for everone, mixed race couple or not.

    No assclown has the right to judge a women on her looks, much less give her a rating of 9, while calling her friend “ooglie”. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: look in the mirror, buddy! Alot of men (thanks to our f’d up media) and some women are so pompous to think they are above judgement because someone lied to them and told them their shit smells like roses… and they were stupid enough to believe it.

    Out.

  62. #62 SFG
    December 20, 2006

    I think a lot of science fiction fans both male and female are pretty ugly. I don’t think Razib, being a heterosexual man, cares about how ugly his competition is; rather he’s obsessed with that nerd holy grail, the Cute Nerd Chick. Just the way lots of normal men are obsessed with cute women, but cute nerd chicks are much rarer and male nerds aren’t good about approaching women in general, hence the mythology.

    As for being objectified: it’s pretty common. The one thing I’ve realized over my brief lifespan is that the world isn’t changing. If I want to move ahead in my career I have to be able to drink and pretend I like it, and follow those odious sports, and men are sexist pigs and not all the engineering in the world short of genetic manipulation is going to change that. (Yes, I hate the alpha males as much as you do, albeit for different reasons altogether.) Men love to talk about the appearance of women. There are a few enlightened men who don’t, of course, but nerds in particular tend to be quite resentful for obvious reasons and to objectify *anything*, female or otherwise. There is something irresistible to our minds about sticking a number on top of anything. If it makes you feel better, we tend to regard intelligence as a plus. But I doubt it.

  63. #63 Mickle
    January 9, 2007

    “Now put yourself in the shoes of one of the many female science bloggers. The message is either (a) you are unattractive, or (b) you can’t really be as intelligent/nerdy as us men.

    Even if you think there’s a real correlation, the way razib stated it was just downright rude, and directly insulting to specific individuals who aren’t hypothetical, but are real and present right here.”

    No shit.

    and re: probablilities, since I can’t think of a single female scifi fan that I know of (hot or not) who would give Razib the time of day after reading that post (unless and until he sincerely apologizes) I’m not so sure all you who are taking his side are really the best one’s to be estimating how likely it is that a “girl” (dude! she’s serving drinks) that hot would be talking about Ender’s Game to a co-worker.

    Just sayin’