Philosopher Sarah Richardson has a great piece in Slate this week detailing how a Nature article about the discovery of twelve genes on the Y chromosome that fill the same function as similar genes on the X chromosome quickly morphed into reports in major media outlets about “a major new finding of sex difference.”
The New York Times reported that scientists had discovered 12 genes on the Y chromosome that play “high-level roles in controlling the state of the genome and the activation of other genes.” They “may represent a fundamental difference in how the cells in men’s and women’s bodies read off the information in their genomes.” TheHuffington Post quoted one of the studies’ authors as saying that these “special” genes “may play a large role in differences between males and females.”
Yet what the Nature articles actually show is the exact opposite. The 12 genes residing on the Y…
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What a neat idea! Travesti is a new play that takes verbatim women’s “stories about unruly body hair, being groped on public transport, and experiences of sexual violence” and puts them in the mouths of an all-male cast. Here’s what its creators have to say about it:
By putting these stories in men’s mouths, we wanted to highlight the absurdities of typically ‘female’ behaviours – why are women expected to wear make up and men aren’t? Why are we expected to shave our body hair and men aren’t? Why are we expected to consider our safety at night in ways that men don’t have to? Happily, as a result, it also opens up interesting discussion about the social roles enforced on men, for example how male rape is something that is not discussed in the same way as female rape. Our intention was to make a feminist theatre piece that…
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Christina Sommers, who works out of the American Enterprise Institute (along with Brad Wilcox and Charles Murray), thinks the Centers for Disease Control, President Obama, and the feminist establishment are exaggerating how much rape there is. I’m not an expert on measuring rape – and neither is she – but I’ve looked into it enough to say her debunking is basically bunk.
Then: What happens when we go beyond her argument?
Lifetime experience of rape
In a video put out for the American Enterprise Institute, under the misnom de guerre “Factual Feminist,” Sommers quotes Obama as saying, “one in five women will be a victim of rape in their lifetime.” I’m mostly going to focus on this empirical claim.
Obama gets that statistic from the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, conducted by the CDC (he says it like it’s a projection, but it’s…
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Two weeks ago, 234 girls were abducted from a school in northeastern Nigeria. They were loaded into trucks at gunpoint and taken into the forest. We know what happened because of about 30 girls who managed to escape.
This is assumed to be the work of Boko Haram, a sect of Muslim extremists whose very name means “Western education is sinful.” They want to institute an Islamic state ruled by Sharia law. They use child soldiers and there’s evidence to suggest they’ve abducted girls in the past to serve as sex slaves. In February they murdered 59 students.
The local Muslim population is unsupportive of Boko Haram, to the point that the group has even assassinated Muslim clerics for criticizing it.
The best weapon we have against groups like Boko Haram is education, and they know it. That’s why they’ve waged war on it. Those girls were…
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Paula Deen: Role model for MRAs?
Is this going to become a new slogan for the Men’s Rights movement? It certainly seems to be popular amongst Men’s Rights Redditors, sporting a couple of dozen upvotes and no criticism (at least at the time I wrote this) from other MRAs. (There were a few critical comments from opponents of the Men’s Rights movement, however.)
Bear in mind that the Men’s Rights subreddit is 86% white, which is a good deal whiter than the United States as a whole, and only 1.5% black, which is way less black, according to a recent survey of its members. I’m pretty sure none of the white dudes upvoting this little…
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