Tag Archives: kind of a drag

Skepticism, Sexism, and the Party Line

On the Skeptical Movement
Last week I stepped out of character and got involved in an Internet drama, or ruckus, or brouhaha, or morass, or cluster, or whatever word you want to use to describe it. On an episode I haven’t heard (#211, from August 4, link opens a Quicktime page/file) of a podcast I listen to (The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe), the panel of Skeptical Rogues (which includes one woman, Rebecca Watson) interviewed a woman, Carrie Iwan, who is a co-author of a blog I don’t read (Skepchick)–for no particular reason; I just don’t really read blogs as a rule–about her impressions of a skeptical event I didn’t attend: The Amazing Meeting #7, presented by the James Randi Educational Foundation. A rough transcript of the interview (with commentary and editorializing), should you not want to listen to the whole podcast or even download it, can be found here.

On Sexism in the Skeptical Movement
So this interview happens that I don’t even know about for a while, because I didn’t go to The Amazing Meeting and thanks to still having a lost iPod I am behind on my podcasts. But I’ve been a faithful and reliable participant in the SGU forums, and eventually a conversation that started in the thread about Episode #211 was splintered off to address the more general topic of Sexism in the Skeptical Movement. You can read those links at your peril; I’m not really going to refer to them, but wanted to link to them for context. They are very long, and a mess of topics on which different people stay focused to varying degrees.

Long story short, the average listener/participant/TAM attendee is shocked and outraged that anyone–particularly a woman–would suggest that the skeptical community is sexist to any degree, and then they turn around and say that women who suggest it are looking for problems and are fracturing the community and distracting it from its larger purposes.

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