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Old 05-15-2019, 02:08 AM
ITR champion is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Indiana
Posts: 10,370
Originally Posted by monstro View Post
How steeped are you in the social sciences? Your statement strikes me as very ill-informed, but maybe you are an expert in feminist theory and actually have a good reason to believe what you do. Would you consider yourself to be someone who has been immersed in the discourse well enough to know how much intellectual rigor goes into feminist theory? Or are you just another person who is basing their opinion based on stereotypes and what they've "heard" from others? I mean, skepticism is fine, but requiring proof before you believe that men get told different things than women isn't just being skeptical. It's deliberate obtuseness.
I have tried reading some articles in women's studies and related journals. I can't recall ever completing any of those articles, because the main takeaway from the first few pages is invariably that what I'm reading falls woefully short of the standards for academic writing in the fields that I pay more attention to. (Mainly physics, computer science, biology, and psychology.) When I get to a sentence like "Spaces where actual pumpkins reside differ from spaces in which metaphorical pumpkins are segregated in the social landscape of modern U.S. cultures", I just find it difficult to convince myself that reading the entire paper is worth my time. I participated in a recent thread about a case where three pranksters submitted laughable papers to gender studies journals and got some of those papers published. I looked at some of the other papers from the same journals and noted that it was hard to discern a difference in quality between the prank papers and the "real ones". We know the difference between a real and phony paper in a physics or biology journal--it's determined by whether experimental results can be replicated. But what's the difference between a real and phony feminist theory paper?

The common response when I or anyone says such things is along these lines: "Yes, there's a lot of meaningless crap and phony research out there, but it's unfair to dismiss the entire fields based on a few useless or laughable papers." But I've never had anyone point me to any women's studies or feminist theory papers that they would consider to be good stuff that contrasts with the bad stuff.