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I will be giving a talk at Northwestern on Monday on the Mythology of the Friend Zone

The exquisite pain of the Friend Zone.
The exquisite pain of the Friend Zone.

Hey, Chicago readers: If you can make it up to Evanston this Monday, I’ll be giving a talk titled “Escape from the Planet of the Friend Zone,” exploring some of the mythology of this dreaded place. The talk, like my talk two years ago, will be part of Northwestern’s Annual Sex Week, sponsored by the College Feminists. (The talk itself is cosponsored by NU’s Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault.)

It’s at 7 PM in Kresge Hall 4365, which is on the Southern end of campus, near “the rock.” (Here’s a map.) If you’re taking the el, get off at the Foster stop and head east; then a little ways south when you hit campus. I’ll check about parking for non-students and provide details later.

The last time I gave a talk during Northwestern’s Sex Week, some MRAs got a little overexcited and started making up things about what they assumed my talk was about. (They were wrong.) So, just to make clear: I will not be teaching impressionable college students “how to have good sex,” except insofar as I will be talking about how sexist and self-defeating the concept of the Friend Zone is, which means it’s possible that some dude could attend the lecture and decide to stop whining about getting stuck in the Friend Zone, and thus improve his romantic and sexual prospects with that one simple step.

I haven’t finished writing the talk yet, so if any of you have any thoughts on the Friend Zone — or the closely related topic of the “nice guy” — let me know in the comments below.

I’m also curious about what role the concept of the Friend Zone plays in your everyday lives, so I’m going to spit out a bunch of questions that I may address in the talk and may ask the students as well. I’d be interested in your answers.

Have you ever been put in a situation that you or other people might describe as the Friend Zone? Whose fault do you think it was? Have you ever been accused of putting someone else in the Friend Zone? Did you find this insulting? Has someone else, through their own obsequiousness, put themselves in the Friend Zone with you?

Is the Friend Zone a male thing or are there a significant number of women and girls who find themselves friendzoned as well?

Does the notion of the Friend Zone grow out of male entitlement? Is it a fundamentally manipulative to try to pressure a woman into romance and sex? Or does it grow out of male awkwardness — the inherently difficult situation of shy or perhaps socially awkward guys who are still nonetheless expected to be the ones who pursue women rather than the other way around, as MRA types might argue?

When did the term start getting used? The concept is certainly not new, but I don’t think the term is that old. When did you all first start hearing it?

How can guys (or gals) get out of the Friend Zone?

Can a Friend Zone situation — by which I mean one in which one person is romantically interested and the other isn’t — be transformed into a real friendship, or will the different feelings/expectations of the two people make this impossible?

Alternately, can a Friend Zone situation turn into a real romance?

Is the Friend Zone really a useful concept at all? There are very few relationships — platonic, romantic or purely sexual — in which each partner feels the exact same way about the other. There are mismatches all the time. Shouldn’t we just learn to roll with it? Maybe the answer to the old When Harry Met Sally question — can a man be friends with a woman he’s attracted to? — is, “why the hell not?”

 

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NewJim
NewJim
6 years ago

So I am ready to weigh back in here. I appreciate that I am being given detailed readings.

Let’s everyone suppose that my friends are indeed real. And that I am being genuine. And I’ll admit that it has happened once to me to, and I was later apologized to, in the sense I had originally described. And there are more examples from once and twice removed people as well. Plus, the example that was mentioned in the news/newspaper here in Canada. It happens and it is not that rare. But I am not a statistician and I do not know what levels should be applied to what words. But I stumbled upon the original request for explanations or/ideas and I felt like the argument needed to be tempered with what a lot of guys see.

@titanblue: I do not think anyone here is overly sensitive or overly prejudice. I think we all think with some level of bias. My own awareness is why I keep coming back for more. And I think that awareness equals some responsibility on everyone’s part.

And because I am a glutton for punishment, I am once again going to try and qualify my favorite original statement. “.But I think women are far more interested in knowingly surrounding themselves with possible suitors and not having sex than men are.”

If in my observation I have observered this to be true, which I have, regardless of my authenticity, I implore you to tell me why this needs to be read “as all women are far more interested in knowingly surrounding themselves….,” rather than “as group, women as group have far more individuals who knowingly surround themselves with possible suitors and not having sex than men are.” I genuinely feel this to be true and I am certain that I can find various similar counterparts elsewhere in this thread/blog that have been overlooked. That is where I imply that some prejudice comes in. And wait – far more does not mean the majority, I have a mother and a sister and aunt and cousins too.

And if I said “and if” friend zoning happens to women in some sense, it is because I could not comment on that because I have not heard about it or experienced it. And if anyone objects to the “in some sense,” I said it because I only know what I know and I leave it open to other people to present their examples before an all-encompassing verdict is yielded.

And benefits of early courtship as I perceive them are for the most part exactly what @titanblue said. And I wholesale agree with Kootiepatra. Look at me I’m #5.
I also believe that this is not entirely a framing problem. The vagaries of the term that Kootiepatra so aptly outlined apply to different functional states.

So please, take me task on my logical fallacies. If I can get my shit to float here, I can do it anywhere. I might just stick around. I’ve had to google all kinds of new terms. E.g. social justice, sexual agency, ableist. Its rather interesting. I don’t even know why saying women who knowingly string along women exist makes me a jerk.

Fibinachi
6 years ago

I should note, it is in fact possible for the blind to enjoy paintings. Interesting stuff with experiencing the layers of paint through other senses (and further, it is entirely possible for the blind to paint. My go to example is Eşref Armağan who seemingly taught himself perspective, despite being being without sight)

The joke was that it takes a lot more effort than you’d think and that, really, it’s not going to be all that illuminating when you grasp only the basic gist.

It’s sort of poorly made though, and I apologize for that. I mean to infer that simon is taking bits of evolutionary psychology, putting it in a pile and declaring it’s a skyscraper.

kittehserf
6 years ago

For crying out aloud … NewJim, that generalisation talks about women as a group – 3.5 billion people – when you’re talking about a few people. It’s bullshit anecdata.

Guess what, I’m a woman, I loathe the idea of suitors, plural, or anything of the sort, and want sex with the ONE man in my life. Your anecdata is no more representative than mine – less so because I am, y’know, a woman.

It’s not saying “there are people who knowingly string others along” that makes you a jerk. It’s playing into the FriendZone misogynist bullshit, which boils down to “men and women can’t be friends and women owe men sex”, and making sweeping sexist generalisations about women, that makes you a jerk.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Fibi, that was like your second epic comment in 24 hours. <3

Why is it so hard for NewJim to see women as individuals? Is it connected to the inability to see us as people?

Shiraz
Shiraz
6 years ago

NewJim, you didn’t mean to write this, right?:

” I don’t even know why saying women who knowingly string along women exist makes me a jerk.”

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Let’s everyone suppose that my friends are indeed real. And that I am being genuine.

Now why would we do a laughably naive thing like that?

Shiraz
Shiraz
6 years ago

Gosh, and how many times have trolls tried to pull the old — “You’re getting too emotional! You can’t logically debate this issue,” derail. NewJim takes the opposite approach when he posts this:
“I genuinely feel this to be true…”

You feel women owe men sex? You went there, bro.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Let’s everyone suppose that my superpowers* are indeed real. And that I am being genuine.

*I can change the color of any object by winking at it, and when I walk under streetlights during Winter they flicker and go out

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Jim is kind of a sad-sack. I genuinely feel this to be true.

Shiraz
Shiraz
6 years ago

🙂

cloudiah
6 years ago

Actually, that 2nd superpower is true, but it’s only one streetlight and it’s really weird.It doesn’t happen every time, but probably 2/3 of the time. And I’ve never seen it do that when other people walk under it.

I’m trying to figure out how to leverage that into a blockbuster movie.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

I don’t even know why saying women who knowingly string along women exist makes me a jerk.

Oh, that doesn’t make you a jerk. In this wide, wonderfully varied world of ours, I’m sure there are both women AND men who knowingly “string along” people of all genders for various selfish and nefarious purposes. Saying this is what makes you a jerk:

“.But I think women are far more interested in knowingly surrounding themselves with possible suitors and not having sex than men are.”

And this:

If in my observation I have observered this to be true, which I have, regardless of my authenticity, I implore you to tell me why this needs to be read “as all women are far more interested in knowingly surrounding themselves….,” rather than “as group, women as group have far more individuals who knowingly surround themselves with possible suitors and not having sex than men are.” I genuinely feel this to be true and I am certain that I can find various similar counterparts elsewhere in this thread/blog that have been overlooked. That is where I imply that some prejudice comes in. And wait – far more does not mean the majority, I have a mother and a sister and aunt and cousins too.

Because, see, whether you word it as “women are far more interested in” or “women as a group have far more individuals who knowingly surround themselves with possible suitors and not having sex than men are,” you are essentially saying the same thing. And that is, that women, more than men, will knowingly and maliciously “friend-zone” men. And you are saying this with absolutely no proof. See, there are these things called “science” and “peer-reviewed research.” If your going to go around declaring that women are more likely to do X, you’d better have some damn good peer-reviewed research to back up your claim, because otherwise, you’re just talking out your ass.

Shiraz
Shiraz
6 years ago

Who would play you in the movie, cloudiah?

Kim
Kim
6 years ago

The term you are looking for NewJim is “of the people that I know, there are more woman that do X than men who do X”. It does not imply your experience to be universal, and it does not imply that it is the norm for women or men. If you are more careful with the scope of your arguments, you will get far less pushback.

That said, if you claim X and a large number of people claim X is not their experience, that is when you examine your own data for confounding variables. Is there some selection bias in your sample? Confirmation bias? Something else the women have in common besides being women that is more likely to be a causal factor? Or some variable that explains why you can’t extrapolate your data to women as a whole.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

And all the applause for Fibinachi.

cloudiah
6 years ago

@Shiraz, A young Sissy Spacek I think.

Shiraz
Shiraz
6 years ago

Good one, cloudiah. If she can play a pyro, she can certainly play a woman who can influence streetlamps some of the time.

contrapangloss
6 years ago

NewJim, I’m going to pretend you’re being legit, here, and not trolling. I’m pretty sure it’s useless optimism, but I’ll try it.

I’m glad that you realize the stuff you are saying is indeed excrement of the foulest, kind. However, it does not float.

We’ll start with your first assumption. So, for the sake of argument, you experienced unrequited love coupled with a manipulative person who was legitimately manipulative. However, your ‘anecdata’ or anecdotal evidence, doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

You want to qualify the following statement:

I think women are far more interested in knowingly surrounding themselves with possile suitors and not having sex than men are.

You reinterpret this as:

Women have far more individuals who knowingly surround themselves with possible suitors and not having sex than men are.

The problem with these statements is multifaceted.

First, we’d have to define possible suitors. If you define possible suitors as ‘all members of the opposite gender’ then the statement is pretty ridiculous. We have a roughly 50-50 population split, and encounter a bunch of people every day. If we define possible suitors as ‘people who are romantically interested in the subject’ then we’d have to assume either that ‘All individuals will be up-front about wanting to be in the potential suitors pool’ or that ‘Women/Men can read minds, and know exactly who all potential suitors are’. This second one is totally unfair, since most of us aren’t mind readers.

After defining our terms, we’d have to define what the population we’re dealing with is. Are we talking US, world wide, a college campus? We also have to define the groups. Since you are trying to draw a comparison between men and women, we’ll define group one as men, and group two as women. For kicks, we’ll narrow it down to single men, and single women, between the ages of 18-50, in the ‘Western World’.

Then, we have to define what qualifies as ‘collecting suitors without having sex’. Does this mean casual interactions, one hour a week of interaction, two hours, three?

So, pretend we finally manage to hash out exactly what potential suitors are for the two groups of interest, we manage to define the population (and define what exactly the ‘Western World’ is, which is a bit challenging), and collecting suitors. Now we have another problem, which is avoiding drawing our premise from kittehserf’s ‘anecdata’.

There’s a really, really good reason to avoid anecdata. That reason boils down to a fundamental fact of sampling.

The groups of individuals that any given person knows is non-random.

This means that the groups of people you meet are extremely unlikely to be representative of the whole population. For instance, if you hang out in bars, you tend to meet other people who hang out in bars, and tend to not meet the people who don’t hang out in bars.

So, it’s possible that you’ve just encountered lots of jerk-y women, because you tend to hang out in areas with jerk-y women.

What this means is that to show that significantly more of these jerk-ladies exist than jerk-guys, and that friend-zoning isn’t just unrequited love with a jerkish entitlement complex, we’d need to look at a truly random sample from the population of interest.

Then, we’d have to collect data from the sample.

We can’t do this just by walking up and asking people if they lead others on, because that would ‘lead’ the respondents. We’re trying to get an honest measure. So, we don’t want knee-jerk responses of ‘hell no’. Nor do we want individuals to feel pressured into answering ‘yes’ just to get the data collector to get the hell away from them, as Simon’s little data collection story seemed to imply happened.

Pretend we manage all of that, and get results. Good or bad, we don’t really care at this point.

That is what researchers do. Even then, the results have to be looked at by others to check to see if the premises were good, data was collected in a blind or double-blind manner, so on, so forth.

By now, it should be freaking obvious why your statement is baloney. You lack the proof required. Studies are done to get that type of ‘proof’, but they are long, and complex. We don’t get to just pretend anecdotes work.

If that was too much reading, it boils down to “You don’t know enough women or enough men from a random sampling of the population to be able to say anything about the behavior of all women”.

I don’t, either.

What we can both say is that ‘there exist some men and some women who are manipulative jerks.’

If you had said that, we’d be cool. But you don’t get to make sweeping generalizations until you get the data.

If you know a disproportionate number of jerk-y ladies, than perhaps you should reconsider the groups you hang out with. Or, reconsider your perceptions. Do they all actually know the guys they’re hanging out with are actually interested? Or, are they oblivious?

Women don’t read minds, and are easily just as capable of social obliviousness as men.

To generalize about ‘all women’ or ‘all men’ is just uncool and a jerk move, Jim. If you confine yourself to ‘some’ instead of ‘more’, then your observations wouldn’t be jerky… so long as you acknowledge that ‘some’ applies to all people, not just one gender.

The other troublesome thing, and thing that we jump on as jerkish is the notion that people ‘owe’ suitors sex.

Men and women can be friends without anyone being a suitor. Even if someone is a suitor, and hangs out with you, you don’t owe sex.

That notion is just… ew.

Sorry for the wall o’ text for everyone else.

Kim
Kim
6 years ago

Sometimes I think guys like Jim legitimately believe what they are saying is true based on their personal experience. But the simple fact that men who believe women do unpleasant thing X are much more likely to have female friends who do X because women who don’t do X are repelled by men like that. So yes, serious selection bias.

While it’s valid to be wary of women doing X when you surround yourself with women who do X, a more optimistic and productive strategy might be to make some new, ethical friends.

Shiraz
Shiraz
6 years ago

NewJim obviously feels that he was friend zoned at some point in his life. But maybe it was because he used weirdly old fashioned terms like “courtship,” and believes women still have “suitors” instead of actual boyfriends and like, male firends. It’s kind of like being out of touch.

House Mouse Queen
6 years ago

Wow Fibinachi,

That was awesome!

katz
6 years ago

Jim seems boring. New topic: I bought a jar of cherry jam and it had pits. Not like one or two pits, but every cherry in the jam had a pit. Why would jam have pits?

kittehserf
6 years ago

I’ve heard of crunchy peanut butter, but crunchy jam?

Eww.

simon
simon
6 years ago

Thank you for noticing fib. You must be a very nice person and not hateful like some of the other posters. I did not know the arrow thing meant dick head. I’m going to ignore the comment about slurs…insane for instance is gender neutral and I use will use it as I please.

Also, I didn’t mean to say grammar does not have a place…but it is mostly just a red herring used to detract from actual substance. Please note that as a physics major I am very busy and do not have time to proof read…I mostly write my posts from the bathroom. I did not mean that sex is a risk only to women, but to men as well, but for obviously different reasons. If that was not clear I do not apologize…you shouldn’t try to define my reality.
When I called attention to lower functions I was referring to a recognized list. For example a friend of mine has an iq of 150 if that number matters and his grammar is terrible. But he is smarter than most people and can think laterally better than most.
Another point: just because I mentioned educated sources does not mean I am calling into question anyones education. I do tend towards those with ivy league education. Now, I am assuming that the median level of education anywhere is somewhere below ivy league. So don’t be so threatened.
As to citations…I don’t remember the location of everything I’ve ever seen because I see a lot. And honestly…this is more like a very very small hobby…because a friend wanted to prove something to me. In fact rather than hunt down the damn thing I decided to go with first hand accounts.
Contrapangloss…I said the two gifts were not mutually exlusive. You also missed the part where I provided an account based on first hand experience to back myself up. You also missed the part where I’m not taking this seriously.
I am well aquainted with academia and the format, style and grammar required, which I possess. But I treat the internet as though I am speaking. English changes and grows and I believe it should be more natural. The man oops I meant person who is fixated on the small things rather than the larger issues is called a failure by the way.
If you wish to see the article I am willing to bet you can type a phrase into YouTube to get it but it is not my responsibility to spoon feed it to you. Again I decided to go with the first hand experience rather than waste my time.
Interestingly enough most proffessional advances are attributed to favouratism…when the promotee is asked how he got there he will say it is friend ship which has a much more positive conatation than favouritism. The converse is also true. A lower rung person asked about the promotee will call it favouritism.
All people take advantage of others…the question is whether or not they have the courage to admit it. The current line of internal morality seems to say: if I do x its not really what it is but is something other and if someone else does it then it is abhorent. Perhaps a fair person admits the fault and recognizes the real world implications of such actions.
Anyone who has ever been a manager has taken advantage of someone. Anyone who has ever been the boss has taken advantage of someone. When you mention my admission I almost feel like you are being sexist. Like if I did it myself it would be ok or not as bad but because I did it through a woman it’s evil. There seems to be some sexism there.
I did not use the word executive to sound smart. It is an actual classification of functioning…as an adhd I’m well versed in certain terms. As I struggle to find the over reaching truth of this reality, this illusion of wonder, my grammar does not always fall into line…as my prefrontal cortex recieves quite a spanking from the rest of my brain. In order to write perfectly I would have to not be in a rush and or on the toilet.
Bear in mind also that social philosophy does not take up much of my thought process…so if I’m slow to acclamate I’m sorry.
I noticed while skimming someone linked a review of brizindines book and I just wanted to say that one or even several bad reviews cannot discredit the validity of a work. Did anyone ever once stop to consider the truth of the studies listed? Is there a total dismissal of scientific studies happening?
We live in a world of intermediate reality defined by a greater line of awareness that keeps everyone grounded. A human thought can collapse a wave function for example but not a building there is a line against which we are placed and science should determine that line…and then determine our thoughts…why do we rage against the inevitable. Why are we locked in futile struggles? If the studies happened isn’t it best to reinterpret rather than selectively filter existing data. It seems somewhat…I don’t know.

Wait….we can use splainy-ness but complain about other stuff? What? and that wink was me being nice. A lot of you don’t have so many stellar structures either you know. I forget who gave me the edifying list but he or she sounded wicked snarky. It wasn’t edifying but it was useful. That was a tangent but this was fun to write.

simon
simon
6 years ago

Nuts! I forgot I want to go on the record and say that I as a man am ok with being generalized…because I’m not threatened as a person by generalizations and so long as the generalization is factual there isn’t any reason to disagree. and also because generalizations are useful when engaging in meaningful communication. I’m also a minority group in a white town and I don’t care about racism either. Seems kind of like being overly sensitive to me. And guess what: real men don’t sweat that stuff.

Kim
Kim
6 years ago

Simon, we aren’t talking about intelligence level or anything else other than ability to communicate when we complain about your writing style. That you, in theory, are trying to communicate with us is what makes writing style important. That you seem to be making no effort to write clearly leads us to believe that you, in actuality, have no desire to communicate with us and just enjoy mansplaining at us.

That boring misogynist arseholes might be upset by it, is not something that I consider when I choose not to make horrible generalisations about men. It’s that sweeping generalisations are worthless and that there are plenty of good men I know who I don’t want to insult.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Now, I am assuming that the median level of education anywhere is somewhere below ivy league. So don’t be so threatened.

Yes, because we’re so threatened by someone who thinks the US is the world.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Oh, people actually read that wall of blah?

historophilia
historophilia
6 years ago

You know what is really uncomfortable making? When guys have crushes on you and you don’t return it and they keep doing things for you?

I have a boyfriend, but another man who does the same martial art as us has a big crush on me and keeps doing things like carrying my bags for me without my asking, randomly buying me sweets after I had mentioned that such and such a kind were my favourite and other things like that.

And he is a very sweet guy and I like him a lot but a) I have a boyfriend and b) even if I wasn’t with my boyfriend I wouldn’t want to date him because I am not attracted to him and he is several years younger than me and my junior within the Dojo so power inbalances are a thing as well.

And technically I am benefiting from this because suddenly three bags of jelly babies and stuff like that but I don’t want him to be buying me stuff and it makes me uncomfortable especially as he doesn’t need to do stuff for me to make me want to be his friend.

And if he doesn’t get over this soon I’m going to have to take him aside and tell him that he doesn’t need to do things for me and I like him as a person regardless and hope that he gets the message.

So stick that in your pipe and smoke it Jim.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Cassandra – skimmed it, that bit of idiocy about the Ivy League stuck out. The rest, zzzzzzzzzz.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

@Simon

I mostly write my posts from the bathroom.

And Simon confirms what we all already knew – he is crapping on this thread.

Please note that as a physics major I am very busy and do not have time to proof read

Yeh, being in STEM doesn’t mean that you get to not check your grammar, imply you’re far too important to proof read and then try and shame us for pointing out your errors.

I’ve a PhD in Mathematical Logic, sweetie. And the only time I pull that out of my pocket and waive it around on here is when some arrogant ass-wipe atarts behaving like you. Because that PhD (and my degree in Mathematics from Oxford – yes, that Oxford) don’t make me superior to anyone. They make me over educated and give me the right to tell you that you are an utter failure at humanity101 with all the creativity of a paperclip.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

@simon

All people take advantage of others…the question is whether or not they have the courage to admit it. The current line of internal morality seems to say: if I do x its not really what it is but is something other and if someone else does it then it is abhorent. Perhaps a fair person admits the fault and recognizes the real world implications of such actions.

No. I cannot say this enough. No, no, no ,no ,no!

You are a manipulative abuser who takes advantage of other people. You think that you are being super extra special because you actually admit to this, openly.

Here’s a clue. Not everyone is like you. A whole hell of a lot of us (male, female, genderqueer or genderfluid) actually have ethics and morals and empathy with the rest of the human race and do not take advantage of other people.

Taking advantage of people and admitting it? You are still a shitty person. Try joining the human race instead of trying to justify your shittiness by saying “Everyone else does it”. Clue: they don’t.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

You know what is really uncomfortable making? When guys have crushes on you and you don’t return it and they keep doing things for you?

Too right. Because by doing this, they are forcing you into a form of debt that you have no way of repaying. In The Gift of Fear it talks about how this is used by predators. even when it’s innocently done, it is still putting you in a very awkward position.

Sorry you’re experiencing this, historophilia.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

Ooops, blockquote fail ^

*mutters: all hail, the blcokquote monster!

Fibinachi
6 years ago

I noticed while skimming someone linked a review of brizindines book and I just wanted to say that one or even several bad reviews cannot discredit the validity of a work. Did anyone ever once stop to consider the truth of the studies listed? Is there a total dismissal of scientific studies happening?

Also from that Nature article (which I linked incorrectly, it is at: http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/YoungBalabanBrizendine.pdf)

… Yet, despite the author’s extensive academic credentials, the Female Brain disappointingly fails to meet even the most basic standards of scientific accuracy and balance. The book is riddled with scientific errors and is misleading about the process of brain development, the neuroendrocrine system, and the nature of sex differences in general. At the ‘big picture’ level, three errors stand out. First, human sex differences are elavated almost to the point of creating different species, yet virtually all differences in brain structure, and most differences in behaviour, are characterized by small average differences and a great deal of male-female overlap at the individual level…

The New York Times, at http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/10/books/review/Henig.t.html?_r=2&amp;, had this to say:

f you want data to support some of Brizendine’s more controversial claims, you have to work hard to find it. Take, for instance, the statement that “studies indicate that girls are motivated — on a molecular and a neurological level — to ease and even prevent social conflict.” The endnote lists nine scholarly articles, with no further explanation given. From the titles (which the reader has to look for in the bibliography), we can surmise that one study was on female mice, one on male and female rats, one (apparently) on female rhesus monkeys, and the other six on humans. But only one of those human studies explicitly mentions “sex differences” in the title. What about the others? And are the studies based on M.R.I.’s, electroencephalograms, conjecture?

Here’s a bit from Langaugehat, on the 2006 Becky Award (Given to that book for “grossly misleading linguistic facts”)

Except that, duh!, it isn’t true. It turns out that the figures Brizendine reported had been taken from a book by a self-help guru who had simply pulled them out of the air. And the studies that have been done generally show either that men talk slightly more than women or that the two sexes talk about the same amount.

—————

Did anyone ever once stop to consider the truth of the studies listed? Is there a total dismissal of scientific studies happening?

So:
Yes, people did.
No, there is no dismissal.

—————

We live in a world of intermediate reality defined by a greater line of awareness that keeps everyone grounded. A human thought can collapse a wave function for example but not a building there is a line against which we are placed and science should determine that line…and then determine our thoughts…why do we rage against the inevitable. Why are we locked in futile struggles? If the studies happened isn’t it best to reinterpret rather than selectively filter existing data. It seems somewhat…I don’t know.

I love science. I love physics. I love biology. I don’t work in those fields, and my education is a harrowing tale of self-taken online courses and odd schools, but I love reading about the wonders of the universe, and I firmly do believe that empiricism and careful work can reveal great, big, interesting things about the world we all live in.

But I don’t like people using those grand ideals to cloak their stuff in badly made up almost-true facts than are really just rewording old tired cliches about men and women.

Awesome that you have a physics degree though, and good luck with working on piercing “a wonderful illusion”. But try to be a little less “Eh, everyone is cruel and out to get you!” about it.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

titianblue:

Taking advantage of people and admitting it? You are still a shitty person.

Seconding!

simon: Only predatory, manipulative assholes take advantage of other people.

And only arrogant, stupid assholes proclaim their theories to be scientifically accurate without actually providing any kind of evidence to back them up other than personal anecdotes and discredited pop-science.

You’ve been told about the ableism. Only a complete asshole keeps using slurs when asked not to.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

LOL at “as a college student I am far too important to proofread my comments”.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Taking advantage of humans (blatantly or covertly) is only admirable in the Furrinati. Because overlords. And CUTE.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

That’s not taking advantage, Kittehs, that’s just claiming your natural rights. 😉

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

I’m going to ignore the comment about slurs…insane for instance is gender neutral and I use will use it as I please.

Yep, and we’re going to think you an arrogant piss-pot for doing that.

I made the mistake of going back and reading Simon’s wank-fest again. I missed the finer points of his arrogant screed. Apparently, we should all be ok with sexism and racism (and, I guess, ableism) because he’s a Real Man. And Real Men are above worrying about petty things like boigotry.

I think we’re supposed to be swept away with the impressive brilliance and superior masculinity of Simon. Rather than puking with disgust.

You knwo that proof-reading you’re too busy to do, Simon? Maybe if you reread your comments before posting them, you might see how nauseating you are and stop waving your arse around in public.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Given that the one thing that jumped out at me was that he was commenting from the bathroom on his phone I just hope that nobody has to share lab equipment with him.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

@cassandrakiity, or borrows his phone. Euw.

kittehserf
6 years ago

That’s not taking advantage, Kittehs, that’s just claiming your natural rights. 😉

Truth!

If I was going to do the Real Man shit, my definition would be a man who isn’t racist, sexist or any other sort of bigot. Total opposite of all the MRAs, PUAs, MGTOW and so on and so forth.

Total opposite of little Simon Sez, in other words.

More interesting than any of Simon’s bog*-standard screeds: True Facts about the Octopus**!

http://youtu.be/st8-EY71K84

*especially apt if you use bog in the slang sense.

**with creature who we are told is dumb as hell, but is still not as dumb as Simon.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Random food thing that freaks me out – live octopus sushi. Not for the reasons you probably think, more because I’ve heard that if you’re not careful how you eat it the little suction cups attach firmly to the inside of your cheek and won’t let go.

kittehserf
6 years ago

I’ve never heard of live octopus sushi and I don’t want to know any more – because I don’t need to end the day on RAGE.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

Auggz, it contains the implication that everyone else is also a jerk but, unlike the speaker, is also a dishonest jerk. so, if you are arguing with someone who says that, they are basically calling you a lying jerk.

I never thought to see so clear a case of “everyone else is as awful as me, they’re just dishonest with it” as Simon. I have struggled to truly believe (rather than just accept, intellectually) the “you know who thinks all men are rapists? Rapists do”. Thank you, Simon, for giving me the gift of belief.

Kim
Kim
6 years ago

The alternative to proof reading Simon, is to learn how to write decently the first time. Commenting: really not that hard.

Octo
Octo
6 years ago

Coming in late, but oh well.

If in my observation I have observered this to be true, which I have, regardless of my authenticity,

That word salad is just one giant fail in trying to appear sophisticated. But it did make me chuckle.

I implore you to tell me why this needs to be read “as all women are far more interested in knowingly surrounding themselves….,” rather than “as group, women as group have far more individuals who knowingly surround themselves with possible suitors and not having sex than men are.” I genuinely feel this to be true and I am certain that I can find various similar counterparts elsewhere in this thread/blog that have been overlooked.

So you want to make this a point of statistics? Well, it would be a provable hypothesis, certainly. Unfortunately, your personal anecdotes don’t suffice as proof. And I really don’t think anybody has done any serious sociological studies on this so far, comparing the genders in that regard. So there is just nothing at all backing up your little hypothesis – and I’m generous in calling it that. In addition, even IF what you say were true, it would be meaningless. So, in this scenario, there is a statistical difference between men and women. So what? That says absolutely nothing about individual men or women. So why bother with that potential (and in reality unproven) statistical difference at all?

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

I’m going to ignore the comment about slurs…insane for instance is gender neutral and I use will use it as I please.

And we will continue to think you’re a gaping asshole. Isn’t life grand?

Simon typing his teal deers on the toilet is so perfect.

mildlymagnificent
6 years ago

Here’s a clue. Not everyone is like you. A whole hell of a lot of us (male, female, genderqueer or genderfluid) actually have ethics and morals and empathy with the rest of the human race and do not take advantage of other people.

Taking advantage of people and admitting it? You are still a shitty person. Try joining the human race instead of trying to justify your shittiness by saying “Everyone else does it”. Clue: they don’t.

QFT

All the truth.

I don’t do that. My husband doesn’t do that – despite the alarming fact that he’s got a science degree and a few others – so Simon’s wrong about male people with STEM qualifications. We don’t know anyone who does that, not those who do have science qualifications nor those who don’t.

Anyone who finds that all the people around them are trying to take advantage of them should find themselves some new friends. (Or rethink their own life and attitudes. The only people I have known who thought that about other people were themselves untrustworthy and not very nice in far too many respects.)