Hey Fox News, here’s some ‘anti-science’ feminism for you

Right after director/ rapist Roman Polanski publicly blames the pill for masculinizing women, the guys at Fox News express related terror about the future of America. A new Pew study reveals that women are now breadwinners in 40% of households.

Jezebel reports:

Fox News contributor Erick Erickson, not one to be outdone, explained that women are naturally submissive because of “biology”:

“I’m so used to liberals telling conservatives that they’re anti-science…When you look at biology, when you look at the natural world, the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it’s not antithesis, or it’s not competing, it’s a complementary role.

I cracked up when I watched the video because I was just about to post on Reel Girl this title: “Scientific” studies on gender turn out to be biased, who knew? More on that soon.

If there’s one thing that drives me crazy, it’s trendy evolutionary psychologists and social Darwinists going off incessantly for the last twenty-five years about how everything is the way it is– sexism, racism, white privilege, standards of beauty and on and on– because our biology makes it so.

Bullshit. You can call me anti-science, Fox News Dudes, but evolutionary psychologists went way too far in pinkwashing childhood, inadvertently exposing the roots of ridiculousness buried deep in biogender theory. A few months ago, Elizabeth Sweet wrote a great piece in the New York Times summarizing:

Moreover, expert opinion — including research by developmental and evolutionary psychologists — has fueled the development and marketing of gender-based toys. Over the past 20 years, there has been a growth of “brain science” research, which uses neuroimaging technology to try to explain how biological sex differences cause social phenomena like gendered toy preference.

That’s ridiculous, of course: it’s impossible to neatly disentangle the biological from the social, given that children are born into a culture laden with gender messages. But that hasn’t deterred marketers from embracing such research and even mimicking it with their own well-funded studies.

Sweet goes on to describe the aggressive gender-marketing aimed at children, marketing which starts, by the way, before the baby even exits the womb. When people speak to boy babies in strong voices and female babies in lilting voices, when so much of what we we do and how we act– including parents, teachers, and doctors— is based on cultural expectations of how girls and boys are supposed to be, how can we pretend to be beyond bias?

And then, of course, children grow up. Last week, the New York Times published a lengthy magazine article on female desire which argues previous  “scientific” studies on sex drive show a cultural bias. Turns out women may not be “naturally” monogamous.

A meta-analysis done by the psychologists Janet Hyde and Jennifer L. Petersen at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, incorporates more than 800 studies conducted between 1993 and 2007. It suggests that the very statistics evolutionary psychologists use to prove innate difference — like number of sexual partners or rates of masturbation — are heavily influenced by culture.

Does new science debunk old science? Looks like evidence is showing evolutionary psychologists weren’t so scientific after all.

Can we at least agree on this: we live in a culture that, for thousands of years, has punished women for expressing sexuality while rewarding men. How can we possibly, objectively measure sex drive?

Hypothetically, say men ruled the world, and say that men were also incapable of giving birth. Would it be so surprising for the group in charge to come up with this theory: Every time women have sex with us, they fall in desperately in love. They want to marry us, be with us forever and ever. In fact, getting married is the happiest day of a woman’s life. Naturally monogamous, women will never stray.

Sounds like a pipe dream to me.

2 thoughts on “Hey Fox News, here’s some ‘anti-science’ feminism for you

  1. I don’t think Erickson was referring to “evolutionary psychologists” when he made his idiotic remarks. He was referring to the “male animals in the natural world,” whomever they might be, as being biologically superior and dominant to females.
    Erickson, like the majority of wingnut “reporters,” does not have the education nor even a general knowledge of science to say ANYTHING AT ALL regarding the biological scientific facts regarding gender roles.
    He also forgot about black widow spiders, bears, lions, etc., and several species of birds. The female “in the natural world,” is a fierce and indomitable being.
    He is simply repeating his pathetic misogynistic views, which as usual will never change. Basically, Erickson and others of his ilk, are repeating the same tired mythology out of their habitual use of fear, and their constant attempts to demonize equality for women. His screed did more harm than good, based on twitter outrage. Apparently, he even pissed off Megyn Kelly.


    • Hi Linda,

      I love Kelly’s response. Comparing the social habits/ gender roles of humans to animals as adaptive, in order to be “successful” is social darwinism, evolutionary psychology, though I don’t disagree Erickson may not have a clue what the term is or means. I do think the dominance of social darwinsim/ evolutionary psychology in intellectual circles filtered down to mainstream culture.


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