Evolutionary Psychology and Feminism

Have you ever suspected that evolutionary psychology – or at least some of its practitioners – are resolutely battling on the behalf of what they see as a status  quo that privileges men?  If so, Satoshi Kanazawa’s piece in his Psychology Today blog provides some confirming evidence.  Entitled “Why modern feminism is illogical, unnecessary, and evil,”  it might be meant  tongue-in-cheek,  but I don’t think so. 

So what to do?  Waste one’s time taking it apart?  Well, it might just be enough to juxtapose a passage from SK’s piece with something from Bob Herbert  of the NY Times.  Doing that might make the differences in the quality of thought behind the pieces fairly easy to discern:

From SK:

Another fallacy on which modern feminism is based is that men have more power than women.  Among mammals, the female always has more power than the male, and humans are no exception.  It is true that, in all human societies, men largely control all the money, politics, and prestige.  They do, because they have to, in order to impress women.  Women don’t control these resources, because they don’t have to.  What do women control?  Men.  As I mention in an earlier post, any reasonably attractive young woman exercises as much power over men as the male ruler of the world does over women.

Bob Herbert:

According to police accounts, Sodini walked into a dance-aerobics class of about 30 women who were being led by a pregnant instructor. He turned out the lights and opened fire. The instructor was among the wounded.

We have become so accustomed to living in a society saturated with misogyny that the barbaric treatment of women and girls has come to be more or less expected.

We profess to being shocked at one or another of these outlandish crimes, but the shock wears off quickly in an environment in which the rape, murder and humiliation of females is not only a staple of the news, but an important cornerstone of the nation’s entertainment.

The mainstream culture is filled with the most gruesome forms of misogyny, and pornography is now a multibillion-dollar industry — much of it controlled by mainstream U.S. corporations.

Life in the United States is mind-bogglingly violent. But we should take particular notice of the staggering amounts of violence brought down on the nation’s women and girls each and every day for no other reason than who they are. They are attacked because they are female.

Indeed.  Against the backdrop of this reality, SK’s views are just a bit weird.

How scary is health care reform?

 Health Care Reform is not scary, but the actions and words of its conservative opponents certainly are.  In two different ways:

1.  Not only are conservative activists attempting to disrupt the town hall meetings that our elected officials are trying to hold, but also there are calls that seem clearly calls to violence, and, arguably, assasination:



2.  The conservatives are filling the public space with lies.  The elderly will be pushed toward euthanasia, which they will want  since advance medical care will be  denied to them.  Or, as I have heard  it put, “Obama won’t let them have it; he wants  them to take a pill instead.”



So far the democrats  do not seem to have found a way to cope effectively with the disruptions.  It is much easier to destroy civil discussion than to have it.

But some people are at work answering the false charges being made.  I’m attaching a copy of a conservative letter that  purports to find all sorts of awful stuff in the house bill,along with a step by step refutation.  If you are going to be talking to conservatives(e.g., students) at some point soon, you may find the documents useful.

a.  Republican perspective

b.  Response to Republican Claims

Thanks to CVille Dem at TPM.