Comments on: An apology A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: y2kurtus Thu, 21 Feb 2013 11:47:35 +0000 @ Felix, Don’t beat your self up too much… nothing in the original post or the apology even caught my eye.

I’d be very interested in knowing the male female breakdown of your readership. My guess is 90/10 male. Any info on that?

By: phrog Wed, 20 Feb 2013 05:58:39 +0000 The assertion that blogging as a woman is more fraught with criticism than it is for men is every bit as unsubstantiated as Felix’s observation. There really is sexism and racism and many other -isms, but there are also a lot of not very nice people as well. There are some venues where a thick skin is required, and the online world has certainly proven it’s one of them. In my own (equally unsubstantiated opinion) sometimes there is actual sexism occurring, but sometimes an ad hominem attack that could happen on any blog becomes interpreted as sexism, and not what it actually is, a personal attack.

By: Plymouth Wed, 20 Feb 2013 02:17:18 +0000 FifthDecade – And my parents gave me both toy cars and dolls as a kid and guess what I did with them? I played with both in roughly equal measure and grew up to be an engineer who loves cars! As a kid, yeah, I did love pink for a while. And then lime green. And then black. The black stuck – my parents were convinced that was just a phase but in my mid-30s I’m still a goth.

Anyway, I, for one, applaud Felix Salmon for his apology. I think he gets it about as well as it can be got.

By: FifthDecade Wed, 20 Feb 2013 01:49:25 +0000 I’ve always tried to give my daughters boy toys as I don’t see why you have to only have dolls if you’re a girl, and only boys get train sets, radio controlled cars etc. So they got all this stuff I had as a kid, and guess what? They played mostly with their Barbies and wanted everything in pink.

Scientifically though, the XX v XY chromosome difference does cause phenotypical differences between women and men. I think what is not fair in today’s society though is the equality of opportunities, I think too many people get bogged down in worrying about making everything equal and ignoring differences, when what they really mean is that women should be entitled to the same job opportunities as men get – and they should certainly get the same pay for the same work. But we should use the differences for the benefit of society, not try to negate them at the cost of demotivating boys in education, say.

By: CaptnCrunch Tue, 19 Feb 2013 23:50:30 +0000 Frankly Felix you used more weasel words in the apology than in the original theoretical faux pas. You can’t please us all brother.

Be loud, be proud, and short of thermonuclear mistakes. blogging should mean never having to say you’re sorry.

By: Auros Tue, 19 Feb 2013 21:54:34 +0000 And the reason this topic is fraught is precisely that there are many of us who have been subject to discrimination, and even violence, based on our failure to conform to gender stereotypes, in small or large ways. Institutional sexism persists, and must not be tolerated. (See, for instance, the history of blind auditions for major orchestras. Before they were instituted, many more men were accepted than women. As soon as reviewers had a screen put up between them and the people being evaluated, suddenly the top marks started going to a 50/50 mix of men and women. None of the reviewers would ever have admitted being sexist, but clearly their underlying expectation that men would be better than women was altering their perceptions and evaluations.)

By: Auros Tue, 19 Feb 2013 21:51:55 +0000 QCIC: Men and women are NOT as different as most people think they are. In reality, when you bother to study any kind of personality or mental aptitude trait, what you generally find is that the difference between the two averages is swamped by the variance. Like this: 833644896/

Given the high social cost of non-conformity, I strongly suspect that in the absence of the pressure of gender stereotypes enforced by ostracism and violence, the sexes would be even more variable / less differentiated. 3/02/06/men_and_women_are_basically_the_ same_new_study_says_our_personality_trai ts.html

By: QCIC Tue, 19 Feb 2013 19:12:33 +0000 I am confused how we as a society have gotten to the point where making simple generalizations about the sexes is verboten.

People make generalizations of this sort hundreds of times a day to get by in life and be effective human beings. Generalization/(pattern recognition) is one of our most powerful mental tools. Picking out a few spheres of life and pretending to turn it off is just ridiculous.

Felix makes all sorts of unsupported arguments based on his personal opinion and experience on this blog. This was another one of those. There is nothing wrong with his belief that women bloggers and generally different in X or Y respect than female bloggers.

New flash. Men and women are different! There are so many ways, that everyone is familiar with that it isn’t even worth listing them. Pretending otherwise is just wanton ignorance masquerading as progressiveness. Yes there is a spectrum of traits, and any individual woman might be say more interested in sports than any individual man, but when speaking of men and women in aggregate it is perfectly appropriate and accurate to say men are more interested in sports than women. And no amount of Title IX or forced socialization, or PC speech is going to change that. It is a brute fact about men and women.

The type of person who goes all fire alarm fire angry at the mere mention of possible differences between men and women in X or Y way is the type of person who is still trapped in the world of gender stereotypes and gender roles they claim to so desperately want to escape.

No one would bat an eye if Felix said “I don’t like Toyotas I had two Toyotas and they both gave me tons of problems” except crazy Toyota partisans.

Perhaps a few rational people would point out that as a matter of fact he is wrong in this case and Toyotas are in fact generally reliable, but no one would begrudge him the opinion base don his experience.

By: moorehn Tue, 19 Feb 2013 18:49:24 +0000 I’m sorry to say there is a lot of fact as well as sincerity lacking in this apology.

Initially, Felix wrote that Maria Popova was making an enormous sum – about $500,000 – based on numbers he partially made up and partially took from a previously published blog on Tumblr. Despite the implausibility of this eye-popping sum, he published it without checking it or calling Ms. Popova. She later wrote in to say that his estimates were off by at least 90% – that is, that she is not making even a tenth of the numbers he published on

Then, in “correcting” this, he threw off this risible comment about women or bloggers – either way, however you read his understanding of it, two categories that are entirely too vast to summarize. Yet he did so, condescendingly. Several prominent female writers, including me, Xeni Jardin, Kate Aurthur, and Irin Carmon told him in no uncertain terms that he was off base. Kate, in particular, said this was the “stupidest generalization of 2013,” which I agreed with.

Felix’s reply to me, and me alone: “@moorehn If you think I was generalizing about female bloggers, you’re an idiot.”

This, I suppose, is the kind of “nasty pushback” that Felix writes about here without acknowledging that he is guilty of it. This is severely disappointing behavior.

He may brag about Yale Law School podcasts, but with unprofessional, dismissive and misogynistic comments attributed to him of late, one must question whether he deserves the prominence he so enjoys bragging about.
-Heidi Moore

By: MrRFox Tue, 19 Feb 2013 17:32:45 +0000 Last December your revealed what was taken by most observers to be a somewhat disappointing side of yourself, in that HSBC thing you dumped on everyone. That didn’t help comment-traffic on your blog, did it? Now in February you’ve multi-tasked your way head-long into a gender-episode.
Hmmm … maybe ‘multi-tasking’ your posts (and your life)isn’t ‘your thing’?