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Member since: Sat Aug 7, 2004, 10:55 PM
Number of posts: 4,187

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The length of the press conference was strange.

I don't think it suggests he was telling the truth. Quite the contrary.

Put yourself in the position he was claiming to be in. You're governor of NJ. One day, out of the blue, you find out that some of your closest allies have lied to you and been vindictive toward a mayor in your state for not endorsing you, putting your state's safety at risk in the process. Would you give a two-hour-long press conference about how sad you feel? I don't think so. In his place, I would have made a short statement, saying, "Everyone, I'm as shocked by this as you are. We are now investigating exactly how extensive this outrageous act of retribution was. Rest assured that we will get to the bottom of it and hold all responsible parties accountable." I would then excuse myself to work on getting to the bottom of the problem.

The two-hour-long press conference, and the way Christie handled it, is too suggestive of someone doing "damage control." It was too political. That's why I think he wasn't telling the truth.

P.S. On top of that, if he really were innocent, he would surely have investigated this weeks or months ago, when the first reports surfaced.

I'm not sure.

I'm not sure that racism and sexism will end at the same time. I think sexism is much more deeply entrenched. Many people these days can accept that skin color is superficial and that we are all the same underneath our skin. Extremely few people, on the other hand, truly think the differences between men and women are superficial. So I think sexism will be around much longer than racism, although I suspect neither will be gone within our lifetime. Very few people, for example, would not make generalizations about women's supposed maternal instinct, and believe that women's ability to bear children makes them more suited for certain tasks and less suited for other tasks.

Having said that, let me also say that I think racism is currently doing much more harm than sexism. Women are being held back, but not as badly as black people are held back. So, personally, while I'm a white feminist, I'm currently more active in my attempts to fight racism than sexism.

In my view, fighting for race equality goes hand in hand with fighting for gender equality. Both racism and sexism are ugly and abhorrent. I think black people and women need to join forces in this battle.

Take a look at this article for other examples of retribution.


In 2010, John F. McKeon, a New Jersey assemblyman, made what he thought was a mild comment on a radio program: Some of the public employees that Gov. Chris Christie was then vilifying had been some of the governor’s biggest supporters.

He was surprised to receive a handwritten note from Mr. Christie, telling him that he had heard the comments, and that he didn’t like them.

“I thought it was a joke,” Mr. McKeon recalled. “What governor would take the time to write a personal note over a relatively innocuous comment?”

But the gesture would come to seem genteel compared with the fate suffered by others in disagreements with Mr. Christie: a former governor who was stripped of police security at public events; a Rutgers professor who lost state financing for cherished programs; a state senator whose candidate for a judgeship suddenly stalled; another senator who was disinvited from an event with the governor in his own district.

I understand how you feel.

It bothers me, too.

Ages ago, when I was a grad student in a male-dominated field, I felt this way and always wore conservative clothing (not too tight and form-revealing, no low-cut necks, etc.). I thought I would be taken seriously that way. The result, unfortunately, was that I became a non-person. I wasn't a man, and I wasn't a woman, either. I began to resent that my male colleagues felt free to look sexy (in short sleeves that revealed their muscular arms, tight T-shirts that revealed their form, etc.) and were still taken seriously. So I stopped wearing clothes to hide myself. If someone can't take me seriously as a person, that's his problem. There is nothing I can do to change it.

My point is that wearing conservative clothes is not the answer. We need to change society so that more men see women as people first. And it's only men who can do this. If a man sees another man talk about a woman as a sex object, he should say something. But based on some of the responses to your OP (responses from people who are now on my ignore list, as I am not interested in the opinions of people who are so insensitive as to scold someone who merely stated how she feels about something), I am not hopeful that this will happen any time soon. Men benefit from this system, so they feel no incentive to change it.

A decent model?!!!

Clearly, you haven't even taken an undergraduate-level course in quantum mechanics. It's an outrageous understatement to say that quantum mechanics "allows us to explain and extend (sic) phenomena that otherwise doesn't (sic) seem to have a good explanation." Moreover, it is not true that "we don't fully understand" quantum mechanics. You may not understand it, but that doesn't mean we don't understand it.

The current problem in theoretical physics is that whereas three out of the four fundamental forces (the electromagnetic, weak, and strong forces) can be understood quantum mechanically, the fourth force (gravity) currently is not. The goal of the best theoretical physicists in the world today is to come up with a quantum mechanical model of gravity. So it's completely nutty to claim that quantum mechanics is what is unsatisfactory in physics.

Quantum mechanics is a mathematical theory. You can't claim to understand it or know anything about it based on a few lay-person books or movies. Such books and movies generally aim to demonstrate how "cool" quantum mechanics is. They are not intended to give you the impression that quantum-mechanics is not a rock-solid part of physics.

What would you say about quantum mechanics, again?

Do I understand you correctly to be claiming that quantum mechanics is somehow woo-woo or new age? If so, you're wrong. Quantum mechanics is one of the most mathematical, most rigorous, and most successful areas of physics. You use it whenever you check your phone, microwave your food, or get an MRI. You see evidence of it whenever you look at a fluorescent lamp through a diffraction grating. Just because some of its mathematical conclusions appear unintuitive doesn't mean it's woo-woo or new-age.

One incident is not enough to conclude anything.

Based on one, self-made observation of acupuncture apparently working, you can't conclude that "sometimes natural things work."

Your observation was almost certainly the placebo effect. A reliable scientific study has to have the following checks:
1. It should be controlled. In other words, one group of people should receive placebo, while the other receives the actual drug.
2. The experiment should be double-blind. Neither the administrator nor the patient should know whether the patient is receiving the placebo or the drug. This will ensure that the study group isn't getting better care than the placebo group.
3. The sample size should be large to separate out fluctuation.

For these reasons, a single personal anecdote is not the equivalent of proper scientific research.

P.S. It may at first seem difficult to design a placebo for a study of acupuncture, but it's certainly possible. For example, one group of patients can get "real" acupuncture, in the supposedly correct spots, whereas the placebo group can get "fake" acupuncture, in random spots and using incorrect technique. My guess is that there wouldn't be any statistically significant difference in outcome between the two groups, if such an experiment were done.

This is a symptom of something much more general.

Over the past decade or so, we've lost a lot of ground. More and more, women are seen and treated like sex objects. Even my favorite shows on TV (e.g., Life) objectify and sexualize women. If a show has a female lead, she has to be shown bending over to reveal cleavage several times each episode. I can't go to the grocery store without seeing soft porn all over women's and men's magazines alike at the checkout. The general attitude is that if you're a woman and have a problem with the objectification of women, there is something wrong with you. And unfortunately, the vast majority of women seem to be fine with this state of affairs.

DU, in general, is male-dominated. If your handle is obviously feminine, that seems to be an open invitation for many DU men to bully you and argue with you (unless your post was acceptably feminine and indicated that you accept your place as a second-class human). The problem is that our society accepts such behavior in men. A man does not suffer in any way because he's a misogynist. On the contrary, some women flock to such men.

We feminists need to do much more consciousness-raising about this. I don't see anyone talking or writing about these issues any more. I'd like to know whether this is just my impression or whether other people feel the same way. Has activism on these issues died down, or have I just not been keeping up? I'd really like other feminists' opinions on this.

Feminism has nothing to do with whether one is male or female.

Feminism is the idea that people are equal regardless of their gender. The reason feminism is needed is that we all live in a world that views women as less than men: less intelligent, less capable, less valuable, less important. Our society still sees women's fundamental role as raising and nurturing children, and men's fundamental role as fighting, inventing, and leading. We all inevitably absorb this message, regardless of our gender. Even the most feminist women among us have sexist tendencies. Our society simply does not put women and men on an equal footing. The unfortunate result is that both women and men are repressed, held back from pursuing their dreams freely, and we all suffer collectively because of this.

If you are a woman, don't think that you are a feminist by definition. Chances are you are sexist like the rest of us, but the only way to change that is by keeping an open mind about the possibility that you might be sexist.

If you are a man, don't think that a feminist writing or talking about feminism is in any way accusing you personally of sexism. Chances are you are sexist like the rest of us, but the only way to change that is by keeping an open mind about the possibility that you might be sexist.

The only hope against any kind of discriminatory tendency is an open mind that isn't afraid to question itself.

It's depressing that most people can recognize the following:
1. It is better for colored and non-colored people alike if racism is eradicated from our society;
2. It is better for LGBT and non-LGBT people alike if anti-LGBT discrimination is eradicated from our society;
but have a problem with this:
3. It is better for women and men alike if sexism and misogyny are eradicated from our society.
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