July
28th 2008
Monday Morning Roundup: troll patrol edition

Posted under: Gender, jobs, wankers, weirdness

Historiann spent the last weekend riding Old Paint around the Sonoma and Napa Valleys and attending the birthday luncheon of dear friends here.  (Beautiful setting, incredible wine and food, but short on hitching posts, amazingly enough.)  Happy birthday to JPZ and RJM!

So herewith is a feminist academic news roundup, the bad news/good news/bad news edition:

  • Here’s the latest example of a sectarian university shedding women and feminist scholars like they have cooties:  Rosemary Radford Ruether, a married woman in her seventies, was apparently too terrifyingly radical to hold the one-year visiting appointment as the Monsignor John R. Portman Chair in Roman Catholic Theology at the University of San Diego.  You can see Professor Ruether’s frighteningly accomplished record here, if you want, or you can just go along with the church’s judgment that women are closer to animals and are therefore incapable of serious theology and unworthy of ordination.  And how’s that working out for you in Western Europe, Canada, and the U.S., boys? 
  • This story about girls’ and boys’ math equality was reported everywhere in the world, but I saw it first in the Denver Post, print edition.  That’s the good news–or, should I say, the “duh” news?–portion of our roundup.
  • Mary Hatcher-Skeers has a thoughtful commentary on the “brain drain” of women in science.  Go read the comments to her article–is it any wonder so many talented and smart women run screaming away from jobs where they may have to work with “Robert,” “Frank,” and “Assistant Professor?”  Nice work, a$$holes.  Arguing like that will prove once and for all that women face no barriers to careers in science!  Kinda like the little troll infestation at this blog, when I posted on the problem of antifeminist commenters on women’s blogs.  P.S. to all trolls:  please master the rules of effective sock puppetry!  When you post under different names but from the same IP address, you pretty much give away your little secret.  Putting on dressup clothes and talking in a funny voice when you post under a different name doesn’t really do it!  Also, special note to the banned commenter, who keeps trying to post stalkerish and obsessive comments:  guess what?  You’re still banned–consider it a life sentence, and just go away.  Or do you think you get to play by insurance company rules here?  (H/t to Susie at Suburban Guerrilla.)

12 Comments »

12 Responses to “Monday Morning Roundup: troll patrol edition”

  1. servetus on 28 Jul 2008 at 8:27 am #

    You are on the border to being a troll here yourself. Stick to the issue: that it is inappropriate for them to rescind the invitation. This: “church’s judgment that women are closer to animals” is hyperbole and borders on anti-Catholicism.

  2. ej on 28 Jul 2008 at 9:01 am #

    Why do I feel that admitting to being stunned by the decision of USD would only reveal my naivete?

    I’m not surprised that certain groups would oppose her work, but USD is a public institution, and should in theory be committed to fee speech.

    I’m certain that any academic who happened to support pro-Vatican positions in their work would never be targeted this way.

    La plus ca change…

  3. Historiann on 28 Jul 2008 at 9:13 am #

    ej–USD is a private, Catholic institution. UCSD is what you must be thinking about.

    And, ej, or any other reasonable person: do you have any idea as to how I might possibly be a troll on my own blog?

  4. mary on 28 Jul 2008 at 9:24 am #

    Well, historiann, like you said in last week’s posting, some people just don’t get satire.

    And there are plenty of Catholics out there that agree that the Catholis Church’s continued refusal to ordinate women is totally out of line. My very Catholic extended family took an informal poll on this issue last year, and all but one person, thought that it was high time that women were included in the clergy—and the objector was not the Catholuc priest of nearly 40 years, but a woman who felt that such a decision would create a church schism.

  5. Historiann on 28 Jul 2008 at 9:35 am #

    Mary: Sadly, I’m sure your anti-ordination relative is right. After all, have you seen and heard about what’s going on with the Anglicans? The anti-gay faction is clearly still very exercised about the decision to ordain women thirty-some years ago, and the continuing flap over ordaining and promoting openly gay priests is just another go-round in the same fight. It’s all of a piece with discomfort about traditional sex/gender roles, and the tradition of religious authoritarianism that relies on the women and the gays knowing “their place.” Tiresome–but still very much an ideological reality for primitive thinkers!

  6. ej on 28 Jul 2008 at 10:08 am #

    My bad, Historiann. Thanks for the correction.

    I do believe that the last time they visited the idea of female ordination, the bottom line was that women couldn’t be priests because Jesus was a man.

    Infallible logic.

  7. GayProf on 28 Jul 2008 at 10:09 am #

    I have to say, the blogosphere feels a lot less friendly these days.

  8. Historiann on 28 Jul 2008 at 10:40 am #

    Another reason to stick with blogs and websites written by real people you trust! (I was sorry to hear about your recent experience.) And, definitely, another reson to stick to the salon model, not the bar fight model, for blog hosts and commenters. Aside from being (in my view) unpleasant and churlish, I don’t think discourtesy accomplishes anything but minds closing and defenses going up even faster.

  9. servetus on 28 Jul 2008 at 3:52 pm #

    Point taken. If we object to cruel satires of the church, we’re not feminist enough. I’ve heard it before. I just find it untenable. Don’t worry, I am going, bye.

  10. Susie from Philly on 28 Jul 2008 at 7:27 pm #

    All the apostles were men, so only men can be priests.

    All the apostles were Jews, so only Jews can be priests.

    Logical, yes?

  11. hysperia on 28 Jul 2008 at 10:18 pm #

    Ah, Rosemary Reuther. Anyone who gives her up deserves what they get.

    And as for the notion that Catholics think women aren’t much more than animals, I don’t think that’s either hyperbole or anti-Catholicism. To believe that the only moral reason for sexual intercourse is for procreation is to absolutely deny that we have evolved beyond the level of animals. Even that assumes that no animal has ever engaged in sex for pleasure and I’ve no idea if that’s even true. Since it’s women who bear the cost of sexual intercourse without contraception, it actually is women who are doomed, by the Church, to be treated as nothing more than breeding animals.

    There are lots of other reasons that I’d agree with your statement Historiann. This is just one.

  12. Historiann on 29 Jul 2008 at 8:26 am #

    Hi, hysperia. There apparently remains much confusion over the definition of “satire,” both here and at the New Yorker and Vanity Fair. My comments in this post weren’t a satire, but rather comic hyperbole that wasn’t far off the mark, as you note.

    And, as ej and Susie note: taken to extremes, requiring all priests to conform to Jesus’ identity is silly. Why is ethnicity fungible, but sex is not? No reason, other than it serves the interests of those who control the church and its vast resources, riches that derive in large part from the uncompensated labor of poor and enslaved men, and the labor of women of all classes.

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