Thus Spake Zuska

Jun. 17, 2010 3:34 AM ET

SB COMMUNITY DEEMS FEMINISTS IRRELEVANT NOBODY MEAN GIRLS, OMNIPOTENT PRIVILEGED HELLIONS
Douchey McDoucherson, ScienceBlogs Writers
ANYWHERE (SB)

Just days after a remarkable dustup in the science blogosphere, ScienceBlogs community members gathered to render judgment on feminist science bloggers.


Noted commenter, blogger, and cress fancier B-DOH! said “PZ and Orac take out the clueless fuckwits of the world with penetrating criticism, incisive wit and clever put downs. Feminists science bloggers, with their aggressive snark, set a tone.”

Newly disclosed documents revealed the surprising information that no one reads feminist science bloggers, who have amassed astonishing amount of social power and privilege that they refuse to wield for the good of the planet.

A respected researcher in the field, Professor D’Viden Konker speculated that, in fact, feminist science bloggers are total liars who have made up everything they say about themselves and have no real power in the world. Professor Konker did not comment for this article on how her theory related to an earlier theory that anything feminist science bloggers say should be ignored on principle because they once worked as an administrator. However, B-DOH! was adamant that Konker was wrong, feminist science bloggers reek of power, and are misusing it to silence the unheard.

In the midst of the debate, a small cranky boy ran into the room and started shouting about how there already was one hot woman blogger and she never said anything about feminism and so we should just ignore them and not talk about this. Embarrassed for him, no one bothered to point out that he himself was, in fact, paying attention to the issue and engaging in the debate.

In a blog post at orestesd00d.blogspot.com summarizing the zeitgeist of the internet, OrestesD00d noted

Feminist science bloggers should not even be mentioned in the same breath as PZ and Orac, except to note that the FSbitchez should wield their awesome powers benevolently, in a nurturing manner, kind of like Carol Brady. Be like our manly heroes, especially with the in-group. Just google PZ and Chris Mooney if you are in need of an example of how to proceed.

FSBs are always trying to control the discourse of people on other blogs. People should be allowed to say whatever they want, even if it’s completely offensive to you. When you complain about what they say on your blog, it hurts peoples’ feelings, and stifles conversation. Run your own blog the way you want to, let other people run their blog the way they want to.

FSBs are always trying to control the discourse on their blogs. People should be allowed to say whatever they want, even if it’s completely offensive to you. When you complain about it on your blog, you sound like a pathetic whiner, and it stifles conversation. Run your own blog the way we want you to, let other people run your blog the way they want you to.

The internet replied, “Damn straight!”

Despite the overwhelming scientific consensus that female science bloggers are irrelevant nobody mean girl omnipotent privileged hellions, a vocal denialist contingent made itself heard earlier this week.

Lawmakers who were kept apprised of the scientists latest findings were stunned by this development and immediately decided to call a hearing. The 70’s, 80’s and 90’s were summoned to testify before the House Select Committee on Science, Technology, Feminism, and FWDAOTI. The 70’s, graying hair cropped close to her head, went on record as “admiring your awesome internet technology” but when asked to provide expert testimony on the important issue at hand, burst out laughing and had to be hauled out of chambers, hands clutching her sides, tears rolling down her cheeks, crying out “no seriously, you are fucking kidding me, right? Ahahahahahahaha!”

The 80’s, dressed in a power suit and carrying a briefcase, spoke directly into the microphone. “Of course we are powerful. We know how to get the corner office. But it’s not like anyone is going to listen to what we have to say, unless some man repeats it right after us in the staff meeting.” The 80’s then leaned back, and Mr. 80’s Man translated her unintelligible remarks for the committee.

The 90’s, two raffish young manboys from Silicon Valley, spoke together about how great life was in post-feminist utopia, where opportunities abound for one and all!

Then just before the committee was about to issue a summary statement of its findings, Lady Gaga burst into the hearing room, swilled some whiskey, groped herself, looked around, and said, “Dammit! This isn’t the Yankees clubhouse, is it?” and exited.

The committee, and the scientists, agreed to move on. There was important work to be done elsewhere. And nothing more to be done here except send in the cleaning ladies.

———
ScienceBlogs writer Douchey McDoucherson contributed to this report.

Comments

  1. #1 skeptifem
    June 24, 2010

    Hey thanks for the link!

    And also for having the patience to read through everything in those god awful threads. I couldn’t make it.

  2. #2 Cara
    June 24, 2010

    Newly disclosed documents revealed the surprising information that no one reads feminist science bloggers, who have amassed astonishing amount of social power and privilege that they refuse to wield for the good of the planet.

    Pffffft.

    See, no one reads you, Zuska. :( That’s where your vast powah lies. You’re sneaking into people’s heads to be mean to them.

  3. #3 "GrrlScientist"
    June 25, 2010

    heyyyy, isn’t it enough to disagree with someone? why all the name-calling and pejoratives? does it somehow make your points more valid to add some cultural insults too? how do any of these words add strength to your argument?

  4. #4 Cara
    June 25, 2010

    See? Magic.

  5. #5 skeptifem
    June 25, 2010

    Well GrrlScientist, the things Zuska is referencing are “disagreements” about her character. Mostly, that she should really be nicer or that she is irrelevant.

  6. #6 Dick
    June 25, 2010

    Was there an argument being made anywhere here? All I heard was some aggressive snark and tone setting.

  7. #7 Pavlov's Cat
    June 25, 2010

    I love how some people confuse being able to say whatever you like with nobody else being able to argue with it (and hence say whatever they like) right up until somebody says something they themselves disagree with.

    I also love their ability to believe so many contradictory things all at once without even realizing they’re contradictory.

  8. #8 William Scott Scherk
    June 25, 2010

    The best short comment that I read about the awful skerry mess surrounding Zuska and the Other Mean Gurl was that both of them were acting like pricks.

    Not that there is anything wrong with being a prick.

    That said, the worst outcome of the skerry mess is that Zuska and the other mean girl come off as a couple of pricks with no self-control. In other words, if they get a little blowback from being Prickish and Stern and Mandatory, it just makes them more Prickish, Stern and Mandatory, with the added gloss of Can’t Shut Up About It.

    Me, I now read the Mean Gurlz for entertainment: will their heads explode from the unfair mansplaining and assorted Derision from Mansplainers? Or what?

    I think both Gurlz should get back to chastizing everyone who Doesn’t Get It, with the maximum amount of hectoring and bombast. We will know we have hit the wall of doom when some Mansplainer sez the magick word Hysteria. Then the Mean Gurlz will really get mad.

    Seriously, it is sad that such spirited writers, such a pair of really fine writers, a pair of bright and witty and compelling voices are now (in the post above) reduced to caricature. Sad. Entertaining. Sad.

    A former Fan.

  9. #9 Helen Huntingdon
    June 25, 2010

    I love the toddleresque reasoning these goofballs come up with: “Calling out members of the tribe is wrong. And by members of the tribe, I mean me. Waaaaaaahhhhhh!” What’s next, holding their breath to get something they want?

  10. #10 Dunc
    June 25, 2010

    What’s next, holding their breath to get something they want?

    We can but hope. It’s hard to whine incessantly when you’re holding your breath…

  11. #11 Comrade Svilova
    June 25, 2010

    I think JGG is still sore that you and Isis criticized his porn post. And it seems he still sees his post as totally (or mostly) harmless — not as the offensive screed it appeared to be to others. But did Isis, you and the feminist commenters say that he shouldn’t post it because he was being mean? No, his evidence and methodology were examined, logical arguments were made to support an alternative position, amid actual and violent harassment from trolls.

    In general, the internet is too combative, there’s too little respect for others, etc. Holding up the two outspoken women as particular examples of the problem is a little … deja vu. Ah, the ennui!

  12. #12 Sargassosea
    June 25, 2010

    And then The 70s hopped in her Volkswagon Thing, popped the Moody Blues into the 8-track, sparked a fattie and regained her mellow. Well, until the next time some chucklenuts said something like this:

    “I am quite dismayed by what I perceive to be Zuska and skeptifem’s reactionary and antiquated notions about pornography and sex work.” – #1 @ the linked PalMD post

    Looks like Prof. D. Konker has a whole friggin’ army at her disposal.

  13. #13 Endor
    June 25, 2010

    I wonder if they know that absolutely none of us are surprised by their inability to grasp the point, their reliance on cowardly privilege to avoid even considering another point of view and their outbursts of sexism and misogyny to make themselves feel like big brave boys.

    They’re absolutely cowards. Like Billyboy above, the none to subtle “girls are never supposed to rock the boat. Be nice, be quiet, be sexxxxaaY” thing is flaccid and spineless.

    That they would rather run away to pull each other’s weewees instead of dealing with reality makes me pity them. In between my bouts of braying laughter at their callow asses.

  14. #14 Helen Huntingdon
    June 25, 2010

    Good grief. I just started reading Jason G’s “bullying” post (he defines bullying as anything that has hurt him, of course, so calling him out on how he is doing harm equals bullying), and I can hardly get through it the self-involved self-pity is so thick.

    I hope he has a fainting couch handy for when he gets negative journal-submission reviews. I can’t imagine how such a fragile spirit would survive anywhere in science.

  15. #15 Helen Huntingdon
    June 25, 2010

    *facepalm* I finished reading Jason G’s, er, collection of words. I can’t imagine the sheer humiliation of someone actually publishing that as an example of how they think.

  16. #16 BLG
    June 25, 2010

    Zuska, I was just thinking that sometimes you blog makes my life worth living. This is one of those times.

  17. #17 Greg Laden
    June 25, 2010

    I just realized this whole conversation is like soccer. (Hey, the best mansplaining uses sports metaphors!!) A lot of running around kicking and head banging. Then, someone misses the point. This (missing the point) causes several instant replays and a lot of excited yelling. Score remains zero-zero.

  18. #18 Zuska
    June 25, 2010

    So wrong, G-Lad! Douchey McDoucherson totally scored after filing this report!

  19. #19 Endor
    June 25, 2010

    “Douchey McDoucherson totally scored after filing this report!”

    So, being a Douchey McDoucherson is like being a republican. Just declare victory (no matter how badly you stunk) and you win!!

  20. #20 Cara
    June 25, 2010

    I just realized this whole conversation is like soccer. (Hey, the best mansplaining uses sports metaphors!!) A lot of running around kicking and head banging. Then, someone misses the point. This (missing the point) causes several instant replays and a lot of excited yelling. Score remains zero-zero.

    You’re so right! The best mansplaining does use sports metaphors–especially the “score” part in conjunction with the word “conversation”.

  21. #21 Janice in Toronto
    June 25, 2010

    Gosh, that left me feeling completely confused.

    Perhaps someone could mansplain it to me…

    Or not.

  22. #22 rob
    June 25, 2010

    didn’t Lennon say “FSBs should be obscene and not heard?”

  23. #23 Zuska
    June 25, 2010

    heyyyy, isn’t it enough to disagree with someone? why all the name-calling and pejoratives? does it somehow make your points more valid to add some cultural insults too? how do any of these words add strength to your argument?

    GrrlScientist, by name-calling do you mean making up a name for a character in a brief bloggy roman à clef?

    I assure you, commenters on other blogs and on my own have created worse character names for me in their own commenty roman à clef visions of what they think my blog is about, including my favorite – for its complete lack of relevance to anything having to do with this blog and topics within, but totally expressing the amazing level of disgust and fear of contamination the author must feel when contemplating the Other – is Zuskaids.

    Sticks and stones, etc.

  24. #24 becca
    June 25, 2010

    Dear Zuska-
    I had a conversation yesterday that ate my soul, but the fact that you have sketched out the same phenomenon so frighteningly accurately helps every so slightly.

    Will somebody please call 2010 and tell her that the 90s want their cliche back?

    (it’s like, so great to be part of women in science organizations that like, don’t need to like, fix anything, since everything is equal now! *headdeskheaddeskheaddesk*)
    /tangent

  25. #25 "GrrlScientist"
    June 25, 2010

    wow. interesting philosophy. i’ve got plenty of thoughts about that, but i’ll spare you my insights since i am married to a person whom you discount and attack so freely for merely having an opinion that is different from your own. i am sure that i’ve got nothing to say that might possibly interest you.

  26. #26 Zuska
    June 25, 2010

    I would certainly welcome you to share your thoughts here, or, if you don’t feel like doing so, write your own blog post laying out your point of view. I have a very liberal comments policy and anyone is welcome to post just about anything, as I am sure you know if you are at all familiar with this blog.

    By “attack freely” do you mean link to and partially rephrase comments that have been said about me and other feminist science bloggers? Linked comments containing content that is, in many cases, fairly disparaging to said FSBs, and not just “merely having an opinion different” from theirs?

  27. #27 Zuska
    June 25, 2010

    Another question for you, Grrl: when someone writes something about me like this:

    [Zuska's] post is little more than aggressive snark. She set the tone with the post, so it’s no surprise if people felt they could respond in kind.

    are they “attacking me freely”? Or are they expressing an opinion?

    I think what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

    But I am interested to hear how I have attacked people freely by quoting their words back at them and putting them in a context that highlights certain recursive issues.

    Another thing to think about is this Carly Simon song. I humbly submit for your consideration that this post has a far bigger project than making your main squeeze feel bad.

  28. #28 Anon
    June 25, 2010

    Partially paraphrase? Your paraphrase, “PZ and Orac take out the clueless fuckwits of the world with penetrating criticism, incisive wit and clever put downs.” is a far cry from the actual content of the comment you link to, which actually says “anti-vaxxers, creationists, etc. are in the ‘out’ group, so it’s seen as OK [for PZ and Orac] to be aggressive and insulting towards them”

    If you’re equating “penetrating criticism” and “incisive wit” with “aggressive and insulting” then how is “aggressive snark” not the same thing?

    Don’t get me wrong, I found the OP entertaining and a fine piece of rhetoric, but it could have been just as good without its deficiencies in the honesty department.

  29. #29 Zuska
    June 25, 2010

    As Margaret Atwood said in The Handmaid’s Tale, “Context is all.”

  30. #30 skeptifem
    June 25, 2010

    Wow greg, that is so brilliant that you might want to edit your commenters words without their permission to repeat it over and over. That is how you non-bullies roll, right?

  31. #31 Dick
    June 26, 2010

    Anon @28, you really have a point to ponder there.

    “PZed and Orac…aim their worst rhetoric at people outside of science…so it’s seen as OK to be aggressive and insulting towards [certified out-groupers]”

    and

    “[Zuska's] post is little more than aggressive snark. She set the tone with the post, so it’s no surprise if people felt they could respond in kind”

    do sound awfully similar. I believe you are absolutely correct in assuming that the use of the word “aggressive” in both of these comments means that the same value judgment is being applied in both cases. All the other words around the one key word, aggressive, should not distract us from this important conclusion.

    If Zuska thinks otherwise she’s just being a willfully obtuse whiny bitch. I suppose now that I’ve posted this, we’ll be subjected to more of that famous aggressive snark.

  32. #32 skeptifem
    June 26, 2010

    I believe you are absolutely correct in assuming that the use of the word “aggressive” in both of these comments means that the same value judgment is being applied in both cases. All the other words around the one key word, aggressive, should not distract us from this important conclusion.

    If Zuska thinks otherwise she’s just being a willfully obtuse whiny bitch. I suppose now that I’ve posted this, we’ll be subjected to more of that famous aggressive snark.

    So, you are saying that you apply the same value judgment based on the word ‘aggresive’, and then go on to use a sexist slur that is used to shame women for their unfeminine aggression. You are the one being willfully obtuse, dude.

    I laughed out loud at how you stating your point = an “important conclusion” that I “cannot ignore”. Usually people provide REASONS for their conclusions- honest people certainly don’t declare their conclusions to be important without some sort of support. You are just declaring it to be so.

  33. #33 Zuska
    June 27, 2010

    Skeptifem, I think Dick is illustrating an important point here. Namely, that it is okay to be aggressive, unless you are being aggressive. Then, when you are called out for being aggressive, and object to it, everyone can say “whut? we said it was okay to be aggressive!”

    Take that Dick, you whiney douche.

  34. #34 FrauTech
    June 28, 2010

    Oh my god. Who let these wimmin have OPINIONS. I ranted a little if anyone’s interested and wants to stop by my blog (self promotion much? clearly i envy the POWER Zuska and Isis wield):

    http://frautech.blogspot.com/2010/06/now-what-did-you-say.html

  35. #35 Soque Pupet
    June 28, 2010

    heh. heh. heheheheHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAH!!!!!

    Some douche:

    This is no more bullying than an isolated incident of the most popular kids at school gloating at the least popular kid when it turns out that all the friends he claimed to have are made up.

    If they go on an on about it and hound him all over the place and never let him forget it, that could approach bullying, but only then.

    Otherwise it is nothing more than a reaction to finding out that someone you don’t like who has been criticising you is a liar and a hypocrite. Just because Greg and Myers are popular doesn’t mean they can’t gloat a little.

  36. #36 Soque Pupet
    June 28, 2010

    Damn blockquote.

    That whole thing at the end was a direct quote from some ditchweed.

  37. #37 Zuska
    June 28, 2010

    Fixed yer html for ya, Soque Pupet!

  38. #38 Zuska
    June 28, 2010

    Popular kids are allowed to gloat and bring down the unpopular ones on the internet, doncha know! As long as they do it carefully and take precautions. You know – do it while male. And preferably, white.

  39. #39 DK
    June 29, 2010

    “No, his evidence and methodology were examined, logical arguments were made to support an alternative position, amid actual and violent harassment from trolls.”

    Did this happen in some strange parallel universe where there were reasonable and rational responses to the porn post?

    I’ve just had a look back, and in this universe Zuska’s only contribution to JGG’s thread was one bit of snarky, sarcastic trolling. A knee-jerk response to the topic that didn’t address anything.

    The post here consisted of personal insults and an attempt to tell JGG off for supposedly “asking the wrong question”; even though that was the very question raised by the papers he was discussing. There was no attempt to actually address what the papers claimed, or provide evidence for the claims made here about rape and trafficking in porn.

    Where was the evidence? Where were the logical arguments? If they existed then they were drowned out by all the petty personal attacks.

  40. #40 Comrade Svilova
    June 29, 2010

    And perhaps one reason the reasonable, logical arguments disappeared under an avalanche of petty personal attacks was because so many of JGG’s supporters never responded to the most reasonable posts, preferring to respond to the ones that were easier to mock.

    The papers he was discussing did ask whether or not porn negatively affects the consumer. However, as several posters pointed out, that question doesn’t address the concerns of the anti-porn feminist group JGG was trying to criticize. He was saying “these feminists say porn is bad, let’s see if it is?” but he was taking the conversation in a direction that ignored half (if not more) of the problems that many feminists see in porn. So yes, if he did want to critique the feminist group he identified, he was asking the wrong questions.

    Finally, the studies he chose were — he admitted — cherry-picked and not at all comprehensive. I think it’s fair to ask that bloggers and commenters keep in mind how unscientific JGG’s survey of the literature was when reading and responding. That’s the aspect of his methodology that bothered me — that he would admit that he sources weren’t the best or necessarily comprehensive, but that he would still draw seemingly definitive conclusions from said sources. And that, of course, many commenters were happy to immediately agree with him.

    If the question is “is there any negative aspect to porn?” he WAS asking the wrong questions (he was only asking about the consumption end, and not production; he was ignoring studies that suggest that there are problems on the consumption end). If he acknowledges that there are negative aspects to porn, why criticize a group that is identifying and trying to address said problems? If he feels that the feminists’ approach is not going to be effective, then he would need to offer research on what kinds of approaches are effective, rather than studies that show that guys self-report little harm to themselves from consuming porn.

  41. #41 cyborgsuzy
    July 7, 2010

    And it’s because of this whole thing that I discovered Zuska, added her to my blogroll and now read her regularly.

    So, here’s one more brainless, lemming-peon added to your power trip groupie whatever.

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