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Why aren't "Skeptics" sceptical about the ability to "change sex"

(44 Posts)
2rebecca Fri 31-Aug-18 00:09:51

Saw the skeptic movement mentioned on another thread. I'd not heard of them until my son went to Glasgow and went to some of their meetings.
They sounded an interesting movement and as a scientist and feminist I watched to see them display some scepticism towards gender ideology.
It never happened and he's now been there 4 years.
All they are sceptical about is religion and woo.
They either way are afraid of discussing gender theory or are lot very sceptical at all but just another group of woke blokes pretending to engage their critical faculties

2rebecca Fri 31-Aug-18 00:11:23

Sorry missed some autocorrect crap

thebewilderness Fri 31-Aug-18 02:13:51

They appear to have created an atheist religion that they call Skeptics. I used to read Skeptichick and some of the other self styled skeptic blogs but they aren't actually skeptics. They just have a different belief system they promote.

oatmealrats Fri 31-Aug-18 02:25:48

I've wondered this myself about skeptics before....or rather the voices that were oh so critical of religion for not being rooted in reality, yet say nothing about transactivism. Last I heard even the Richard Dawkings foundation was in support of the whole trans women are women nonsense. I feel that a lot of the anti-religious/skeptic community was just full of anti-feminist/mra, misogynistic men who just liked to feel smarter than someone else. So, I'm not really surprised they don't care about what is happening to women.

lydiamajora Fri 31-Aug-18 02:30:36

The "sceptic" movement as a whole is sceptical about health and religious woo, but not at all sceptical about gender woo. Check out RationalWiki wrt radfems and transgenderism, and prepare to rage.

LadybirdsAreBirds Fri 31-Aug-18 05:48:40

It's like when people say they believe in equality for women but then don't want to let them have opinions...

Also I can't bear it when people choose wacky spellings, so I was immediately sceptical.

fedupfreda Fri 31-Aug-18 06:44:32

There are some supportive sceptics out there :try Andy Lewis @lecanardnoir

bluescreen Fri 31-Aug-18 06:58:39

See also Ophelia Benson at Butterflies and Wheels, co-author of Does God Hate Women?

bluescreen Fri 31-Aug-18 07:07:06

Benson is commitedly gender critical - her latest post on the subject is here: Et tu Brown?

Cooroo Fri 31-Aug-18 07:11:51

I listened to a recent Sam Harris podcast on 'Navigating Sex and Gender' and he didn't really challenge the (female) interviewee's opinions on multi genders at all. Disappointed.

EntropicTupperwareDrawer Fri 31-Aug-18 07:14:03

Very much agree.

I dip a toe in those waters too, and atheism/secularism/humanism are very, very unreceptive to feminism generally, yet fall over themselves to get on board with trans issues. Presumably because of the overlap in the demographic - the atheist movement (the more vocal end), has always skewed to young, white male internet dwelling lefty, as does the demographic most vocally embracing the gender spectrum.

I have gently pointed out that it is completely inconsistent to reject a belief in the soul, and to reject the concept that non believers should ever be compelled to believe in a soul, but then do exactly the opposite with a gender identity.

But apparently that makes me a hateful bigot confused

Much like a lot of other "progressive" movements, when it comes to issues affecting women, the lack of actual progressive thought surfaces pretty quickly. Sadly.

EntropicTupperwareDrawer Fri 31-Aug-18 07:17:17

I really like a lot of what Sam Harris does, but he is woeful on gender. He simply can't accept that he's clueless either, or seem to see that his podcast guests being 90% male might mean anything.

I stopped listening after he was so gleefully fucking awful to feminists off the back of that Penis as Concept piece. It's a pity - I like the way he thinks, but I struggle to get over this glaring blind spot.

bluescreen Fri 31-Aug-18 07:20:04

I'm racking my brains here but I'm sure there must be some gender critical male sceptics out there.



Hmm, wonder why that might be.

Anlaf Fri 31-Aug-18 07:20:23

Following with interest. I had a lot of woo/religion/health stuff around me as a child and Ben Goldacre's Bad Science and his website/forum were like a delightful cold breath of fresh air.

Maria Maclachlan is a skeptic and has written on her blog on this very issue. Maria was the woman assaulted by Tanis Wood when she was on her way to a talk on gender, at Speakers Corner.

Anlaf Fri 31-Aug-18 07:23:22

And please read this thread:

Anlaf Fri 31-Aug-18 07:26:06

One more- didn't Coventry skeptics invite Rebecca Reilly Cooper to talk on gender? And there was much complaint, with Aimee Challoner at the forefront? (This is where I need R0wan's ability to cross reference!)

EntropicTupperwareDrawer Fri 31-Aug-18 08:10:35

Yes, Sceptics in the pub had RRC doing a fantastic presentation a couple of years back. So it's not all doom and gloom!

ifonlyus Fri 31-Aug-18 08:27:10

I'm racking my brains here but I'm sure there must be some gender critical male sceptics out there.

There is one I have stumbled across on Twitter. I'll go look and see if I can find them.

ifonlyus Fri 31-Aug-18 08:29:23

Andy Lewis @lecanardnoir

Charliethefeminist Fri 31-Aug-18 08:35:07

Also I rate Andy Lewis, he has taken time, dwelt on this and is unafraid to share his view.

Ben Goldacre recently liked one of Aimee Challenor's whinging tweets and also is not respectful towards parents, so no, not worth bothering with.

Charliethefeminist Fri 31-Aug-18 08:37:36

Prof Kathleen Stock, if she counts as a sceptic: though not in that 'join a club and be a smartass all over the Internet kind of way'.

bluescreen Fri 31-Aug-18 08:42:58

Thanks for the tip re Andy Lewis - he looks great. So disappointing about Ben Goldacre, who is otherwise excellent.

FermatsTheorem Fri 31-Aug-18 08:44:38

There is a strong faction within the sceptic movement who are deeply misogynistic, particularly in the American sceptic movement (there was an appalling case of sexual harrassment in an elevator at an American atheist conference a few years back, where the victim blaming and on-line attacks on the woman who complained were just off the scale; I believe there are also some trans people who are prominent in the American atheist/sceptic movement, e.g. D. Muscato).

Misogynists in general love trans activism with its belief in pink brains, and misogynist sceptics are no exception. I think misogynist sceptics thought process goes: "ah, but of course there are pink brains, that's just evidence based, innit, I mean, where's the female Einstein or Rembrandt? Woo hoo, a get out of jail card to be offensive to feminists. Win-win," while of course assuming that thought process is perfectly rational and not at all coloured by their own preconceptions and irrational prejudices because, hey, they possess the testicles of rationality and objectivity (one of each, which clunk together unless you're careful which side you dress).

bluescreen Fri 31-Aug-18 08:53:51

testicles of rationality


CesiraAndEnrico Fri 31-Aug-18 08:59:12

I'm racking my brains here but I'm sure there must be some gender critical male sceptics out there

Andy from the Quackometer is.

I always liked him. He never seemed to be as into his own elevated status/fame as some of them did. And I found him to be the most persuasive when I was in thrall to the woo-meisters back in the day. It doesn't shock me that he is one of the few stand outs who didn't drop the principal of naming snake oil merchants for what they are, as soon as it got uncomfortable to do so.

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