Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Sex and Woo

No, this post isn't about some herbal Enzyte or whatever. This is about sexism in woo. Granted, I do have a stereotype about some female woos who worship Sylvia Browne and Oprah, who allegedly have some kind of superior "women's intuition" that trumps the scientific method because they say so, but I do my best to prevent that from influencing my arguments.

One thing that really sickens me in various threads, usually about female frauds claiming to be psychic or Oprah herself is that inevitably some woo, flailing desperately to find something to latch onto will sputter out an accusation from nowhere: "You're just bashing them because they're women!"

This sounds sexist to me for the same reason "You just voted for Obama because he's black!" is racist. When we complain about woos, we complain about their departure from the knowledge we've acquired through science, and the harm such an ivory tower attitude can bring. And then some troll comes along and tries to make the argument about who has what genitals, or what hue and value a commentator's skin is. That's what sexism and racism are: Ad hominem fallacies based on meaningless biological factors. In the real world, arguments rely on logical soundness.

I think from now on, if a troll comes along and makes that accusation, I'll call them sexist to their face and demand apologies for attempting to derail the thread.

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