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The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct

(11 Posts)
AssignedMentalAtBirth Tue 27-Jun-17 14:34:18

www.skeptic.com/downloads/conceptual-penis/23311886.2017.1330439.pdf

It's a hoax paper that was accepted as real, peer reviewed etc. Here is the author's summary. It's pretty funny in all its ridiculousness but it is also very concerning that such utter hogwash is infiltrating academic circles

www.skeptic.com/reading_room/conceptual-penis-social-contruct-sokal-style-hoax-on-gender-studies/

SomeDyke Tue 27-Jun-17 15:24:44

Excellent! I particularly liked the authors summary where they said:
"No one knows what any of this means because it is complete nonsense. Anyone claiming to is pretending. Full stop."

I've kind of ALWAYS thought that when reading Judith Butler (after all, didn't she argue that although gender was performance, wasn't sex performance as well??? Although she does admit to at least being intentionally incomprehensible..................).

QuentinSummers Tue 27-Jun-17 15:34:00

Omg. That is terrible on so many levels. Although I love blaming the conceptual penis for climate change grin

QuentinSummers Tue 27-Jun-17 15:37:43

Actually it reads like something JAPAB would post on a trans thread grin

Saw this a while ago when it was posted by a couple of contacts on Facebook. The 'hoax' has been debunked however. It sounds like it was a pay-to-publish journal, which to me sounds like it lacked a rigorous peer review process. The bottom line is that although the aim was to show that gender studies is a lot of rubbish and academic publishing standards are low, it failed miserably to do so despite generating headlines.

AssignedMentalAtBirth Tue 27-Jun-17 16:04:18

That's really interesting Fifty. This area is like peeling an onion. Fascinating . I'm off to find some of it on twitter. Do you know the handle being used?

I did like the twitter quote at the end of the piece

"If you're out to disprove maleness is the source of all evil, acting like a couple of dicks isn't the way to do it." Brilliant

AssignedMentalAtBirth Good quote indeed! grin

Did a quick search on Twitter and I only found #conceptualpenis...

DJBaggySmalls Tue 27-Jun-17 16:26:13

Their twitter handles are in the Skeptic link; they're anti feminist.

SomeDyke Tue 27-Jun-17 16:27:36

It reads as if it is a pay once passed by peer review cos we can't guarantee open access any other way journal, which is SLIGHTLY different. In the old days, you only 'paid' if you wanted colour figures in journals, but all access (okay, really old days, only accessible on paper or the author got given a small number of paper pre-prints to give to best friends) had to be paid for, usually by a university library or similar paying vast amounts to get access to a whole bunch of stuff. now we have online access, university libraries pay again in the majority of cases.

And actually they address this issue of pay-to-publish journals at the end of their author summary if you read right to the end.

So, it is has not been 'debunked', the journal was suggested by Taylor and Francis, and says it does peer-review. I assume they have the reviews anyway, since some changes were made on the suggestions made by the reviewers.

So both pay-to-publish AND social sciences and post-modernism take hits with this one.

P.S. My university library happily links to it as a Taylor & Francis journal. And the reviewing editor for the paper seems to be a proper academic.

P.P.S. Says on the journal webpage that:
"Following the publication of a hoax article in Cogent Social Sciences on May 19th 2017, a number of editors – who were not involved in the peer review of this article – have resigned from the journal. Their names have been removed from the editorial board above. We would like to thank them for their contribution to the journal."
Although Jamie Halsall who was listed as reviewing editor is still listed as a Senior Editor. So NOT clear to me if some editors have resigned because they now think the journal and their peer-review processes have lost all credibility, so have asked to be removed????

Curiouser and curiouser................ :-)

AssignedMentalAtBirth Tue 27-Jun-17 16:28:43

Thanks Fifty

I take the point about how problematic pay-to-publish journals are. But the hoaxers were motivated by a very specific anti-feminist anti-SJW agenda and they haven't succeeded in proving that the whole field of gender studies is nonsense. The article got rejected from other reputable high-impact journals in the area.

"[It] is tantamount to a creationist writing a fake article about evolutionary biology, publishing it in an unknown pay-to-publish non-biology journal (whose editorial board includes no one with expertise in evolutionary biology), and then exclaiming, “See! The entire field of evolutionary biology is complete nonsense.”"

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