My Stereotypical Feminist Manhating Post
There is really nothing I hate more in this universe than seeing research being used to prove something it doesn’t actually prove. For all that I am an angry man hating feminist and I obviously spend a lot of time hating on men. (In fact just last night I went into a Feminist Bezerker Rage at a group of guys. If I wasn’t such an evil man hating bitch I would obviously be thrilled to listen to hours of conversations that amount to “Girls do this but not that and therefore ruin EVERYTHING.” but my rampant misandry prevents this. I would like to add that I did not look that word up.)
But really, the thing I hate more than all men evah is research being twisted to prove a point. Case in point is this recent article at Scientific American that has been making the rounds in a few spots.
The post itself is largely about the author throwing a hissy fit because someone said something he said was misogynist and he is upset. Blah blah blah, do not care about internet kerfluffle. I am not here to pass judgment on whether his previous statements regarding bodily fluids were sexist and whether the person who called him out was justified. NOT INTERESTED.
What I am interested in is how someone who is supposed to write for a science magazine can misuse research like this.
He cites a paper where researcher used Implicit Attitude Testing to evaluate hidden biases against feminist attitudes among college aged individuals. The paper just essentially confirms that stereotypes of women’s right’s activists that have existed in some form or another since women were fighting for the right to vote STILL in fact exist (I know, we are all shocked) even though they may not be overt.
However Bering seems to be making a different conclusion from this research than “Some populations still have a negative view of feminism.” Several times he implies that feminists themselves are the CAUSE of these negative views:
If you’ve ever wondered why some feminists have earned themselves such a bad name, and are at all curious about how some intriguing new experimental research demonstrates that this negative view of feminism is more than just my personal opinion and in fact runs very deep in the modern psyche, then read on.
Even worse, though, by all appearances the Nagoskis of this world—those radical, hot-headed, loudmouthed caricatures of blank slate feminism—are giving the feminist movement itself a bad name. A really bad name.
Jessica Jenen and her colleagues reported the results from the first Implicit Attitude Test (IAT) on feminist concepts, and what this study showed was that the most obnoxious, peevish and humorless feminists were sadly defining the movement in the minds of thoughtful onlookers.
The last quote above is perhaps the most egregious example of how Bering is mangling this research. As far as I can tell IAT study shows that these negative attitudes exist, not that these attitudes are in any way justified or based on any kind of experience with actual feminists.
This study does not prove what causes these negative attitudes, only that they still exist in the psyche of those who were studied. And yet this is an indictment of feminists everywhere.
Bering easily draws the conclusion that feminists ourselves are causing the negative attitudes against us without so much of a word as explanation. He provides no evidence for this besides an apparent twist of logic that if a negative attitude toward a non privileged group exists then it MUST be caused by the actions of that group.
I think the most misogynist thing about Bering’s article is his implication in this article that feminists should conduct themselves in a way that Mr. Bering and the rest of society finds appropriate in order to be taken seriously. We should never be radical or say anything that might cause offense to men, or we are perpetuating negative stereotypes and hurting their own cause. Feminism is apparently a great idea, as long as feminists are feminist in a way that everyone who is not a feminist finds appropriate.
After all we wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s precious fee fees while we try to achieve actual equality. I think our new motto should be “Feminists, never challenging your worldview or making you feel uncomfortable in any way since 1792.”