Where are the EXJW Feminist Philosophers?

by Luther bertrand 90 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • bohm

    Talesin: There has recently been some high-profile cases where otherwise respected academics were exposed as having harasses their students. But the case in question (It is about nobel prize winner Tim Hunt) is as far as I know an example of a witch hunt and sensational journalism. Here is one writeup:


    n June 8, Hunt was in Seoul to give the opening lecture at the World Conference of Science Journalists. He was also invited to give an informal toast at a luncheon sponsored by the Korea Federation of Women’s Science and Technology Associations. It was this toast—or rather the way it was reported and reacted to—that led to his disgrace.

    Speaking for fewer than five minutes, Hunt praised female scientists with whom he has worked, and then he said this:

    It’s strange that a chauvinist monster like me has been asked to speak to women scientists. Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab: You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them, they cry. Perhaps we should make separate labs for boys and girls.

    It is not clear whether Hunt had already mentioned that he and his wife met and fell in love when they were working in his lab, or whether he assumed that everyone in the room was aware of this fact and therefore the context of the remark. Hunt continued: “Now seriously, I’m impressed by the economic development of Korea. And women scientists played, without doubt, an important role in it. Science needs women, and you should do science despite the obstacles and despite monsters like me!”

    A few hours after the lunch, a British science journalist named Connie St. Louis sent out a tweet to her followers that read:

    Nobel scientist Tim Hunt FRS says at Korean women lunch “I’m a chauvinist and keep ‘girls’ single lab.

    Beneath the tweet was a photograph of Hunt and more text by St. Louis: “lunch today sponsored by powerful role model Korean female scientists and engineers. Utterly ruined by sexist speaker Tim Hunt FRS.” (The FRS stands for “Fellow of the Royal Society.”) She went on to give an account of the “trouble with girls” speech that left out his “now seriously” verbal transition and praise of women in science and implied that Hunt was seriously advocating sex-segregated labs.

    Shared more than 600 times, the St. Louis tweet ignited a combined Internet, social-media, and then print-media firestorm with astonishing speed. Her observations were repeated in news bulletins across the world. But as has happened before when such Twitter posses gather,1 Hunt himself became aware of it only when the BBC called him as he was about to board a plane to London.

    While he was on the flight, the dean of life sciences at University College, London, telephoned his wife—herself a full professor at the school—to say that if Hunt did not immediately resign, he would be fired. No one at University College had even tried to get his side of the story or any independent confirmation of the incident described by Connie St. Louis. On the contrary, two of Hunt’s colleagues had started lobbying against him as soon as they saw the tweets. One of them, Dorothy Bishop, sent this message to the Dean on June 9: “Could we ask that he not be on any appointments or promotions committee given his views.” Another, David Colquhoun, started a Twitter hashtag called #Huntgate and called for Hunt to be expelled from the Royal Society as well as University College. And in short order Hunt was indeed made to resign from the Royal Society’s awards committee and the European Research Commission

  • talesin

    Bohm, thank you. I was curious, and shall read with interest, and an open mind.

    Edited to add: considering the source, I will seek unbiased confirmation of the details of the story.

    Since 1945, COMMENTARY has been, as our founder and first editor Elliot Cohen wrote at that time, “an act of affirmation.” It remains an expression of belief in the United States, perhaps most of all in America’s central role in the preservation and advance of Western civilization and, most immediately, the continuing existence of the Jewish people. COMMENTARY, in the words of Cohen, “is an act of faith in our possibilities in America.”
  • bohm

    talesin: I don't know the particular outlet, wikipedia contains the same information:


  • talesin

    Oops. This:

    “Now seriously,

    This demonstrates a specific technique of being critical and deprecating, then softening the blow with a disclaimer. It's called patronization. (and yes, that is the tone - slightly superior, and passive-aggressive, but I ddn't really mean it .. hahaha)

    It's akin to saying, 'you girls are ruled by your emotions, and inferior, BUT, I don't really mean it. How could I be like that (even though I'm a self-described, albeit sarcastically, 'chauvinist monster') when my wife adores me, and look at how accomplished she is.' And his wife may buy into it. She may be one of the very real women that Slim was talking about earlier, who enjoys the protection of a powerful, perhaps older (or perhaps not) man, and is happy with the status quo of man as protector / provider.

    We could easily go from here, into a discussion of male and female archetypes, and how by understanding them, we can get a deeper insight into why we think and feel the way we do. It's important to address the issues of gender inequality (and bias) across the spectrum.

    Edited to add: he also mentions his reputation ... hmmm. Perhaps he just has chronic 'foot-in-mouth disease' and is totally harmless. We shall never know for sure.

  • TD

    Oh yes. Also try being a woman on some of these threads and say something interesting only to be ignored. Then watch one of the men steal what you've said and repeat it almost word for word and see some of the other men join in and tell him what a great guy he is to raise that valuable point.

    Don't mistake silence for not being heard. Your comment is most appreciated. I'm still ruminating on what you said though. :-)

  • Diogenesister

    In my experience the only women who " preferred " the patriarchal system of the JW's were strong women with reasonable husbands living out the fantasy of the temporary, imperfect structure only instituted as a buffer against the chaos of a wicked system. "Never intended by Jehovah "is the mantra of many intelligent JW women who obediently " endures all things" as she awaits paradise and the perfect equality women and men were intended to have. Except, of course, she endures nothing at all, wearing the pants at home as she does, she wears her skirts with her Godly devotion at the Kingdom Hall.

    Funnily enough you never hear the put upon, bullied wives of men who enforce their spiritual " headship"voice their intention to take refuge in Jehovah's loving arrangement. They bite their lip and lower their eyes when the talk at the lecturn praises the " arrangement" as the loving port in a " worldly storm".

    Has anyone seen " Elizabethan farm"? Historians live and work as the name suggests " in character" for a year. Its a novelty, no doubt, as the headship thing is for converts - until they are in too deep and Armageddon hasn't arrived when it becomes just another aspect of JWism that isn't pleasant to dwell on too much.

    I think we need to allow for the experience that some women do genuinely prefer a patriarchal system. They don't just appear to they actually do (although I even doubt the usefulness of such a distinction) Patriarchy has benefits for women as well as drawbacks. It provides clear rules and roles whereas equality can be more chaotic and uncertain. It can provide security whereas equality can involve precariousness. Some women as well as men are always going to be attracted to that, just as fascism holds an appeal for some people especially in uncertain times.
  • LisaRose
    We could easily go from here, into a discussion of male and female archetypes, and how by understanding them, we can get a deeper insight into why we think and feel the way we do. It's important to address the issues of gender inequality (and bias) across the spectrum.

    Please do. I am not that familiar with the modern feminist movement. I have no doubt there are some extreme factions in it, as there are in any movement, but does that invalidate the whole movement? And I would have to see what people consider so extreme. Of course feminists were once considered extremists for wanting to vote and have equal rights, and I am so glad they didn't let that stop them.

  • TD


    I am not that familiar with the modern feminist movement.I have no doubt there are some extreme factions in it, as there are in any movement, but does that invalidate the whole movement?

    I think a lot depends upon how the terms, "Feminism" and "Feminist" are defined. There are many millions of women out there who self-identify as feminists because they are for equality and against oppression. This is sometimes referred to as normative feminism and most fair minded people, regardless of gender would probably fall into this category.

    People do disagree today on the degree to which injustice and oppression against women still persist. Descriptive feminism includes the idea that it is still very pervasive and prevalent and this is where you can find some extreme views. Unfortunately, every movement has its share of unbalanced individuals.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    Isn't a person who is "fed up with the modern system of equality" pretty much a bigot by definition?

    Does this apply to fed-up women as much as fed-up men?

    And should people lose their jobs because of expressing bigoted opinions?

  • LoveUniHateExams

    I am not that familiar with the modern feminist movement ... I would have to see what people consider so extreme

    "Germaine Greer once argued that attempts to outlaw genital mutilation amounted to "an attack on cultural identity" (http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/apr/21/casualty-was-right-female-genital-mutilation).

    That's seems to be extreme, no?

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