seriously I’m so fucking grumpy about that Aero bullshit.

do you ever get so pissed at someone being an utter shit that you’ve gotta start collecting a massive pile of research to empirically prove that they’re a hypocritical asshole? I do. But I try to refrain from doing it more than once a month or getting dragged into additional discourse about it.

That’s not quite as bad as taking SIXTEEN FUCKING PAGES to explain that The Canterbury tales presents a conflict between individual humans and religious orders they were subject to but it’s not a healthy impulse either way.

Fuck, this has come to vagueing about Chaucer.

The Cook’s Tale is the fucking best, if you wanna have a good old laugh go read the first Fragment of The Canterbury Tales, ending that on The Cook’s Tale is high fucking comedy.

[if you don’t have the time or inclination the deal is that you go through the general prologue and the knight’s tale and the miller’s tale and the reeve’s tale and they’re clever and funny and beautifully written and lovely; then you get to the cook’s tale and he’s drunk telling it and basically it’s “Once I knew this girl and she fucked for money and it was great” and it’s just this great collapse from the carefully crafted dick jokes and ribald stories and honorable knights just crashing head-on into a blunt, 80-line story from a drunk dude; “the shitfaced guy at the end of the bar who isn’t as funny as he thinks he is” has existed for at least 700 years and I think that’s beautiful. Also Chaucer is fucking hilarious, fight me.]

Ugh. I was supposed to draw more spock but instead I had to go be angry about someone who was wrong on the internet. I should get that XKCD panel tattooed on my wrist so that I just back away from the keyboard every time I get the impulse to make a bibliography to explain why someone is wrong and bad and should feel bad.


You can literally just point to The Summoner’s Tale and The Pardoner’s Tale. You can point to the general prologue!

Spending sixteen pages arguing about the most basic, simple, first-week Chaucer 101 shit is fucking ridiculous coming from someone who claims the humanities are wishy-washy bullshit that will accept any old thing.

Maybe it’s not academia as a whole, maybe these people are just shitty, shitty academics.

Also, funfact about me: My laptop spends 90% of its time sitting on top of my copy of The Riverside Chaucer and I’m not kidding I will meet you in the fucking pit about how fucking kick-ass Chaucer is.

Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck I intentionally hadn’t clicked on Pluckrose’s evopsych interpretation of Othello because I knew that wouldn’t end well and holy shit she uses evopsych to argue that racial categorization was not a feature of the ancestral environment. Her argument as a whole is that Othello has almost nothing to do with race and is instead about resource competition for attractive mates; which on the one hand all interpretations of literature are in some way valid UwU and yeah, everyone wants to fuck Desdemona but on the other hand that’s overlooking a hell of a lot of references to purity and whiteness that are totally intentionally contrasted with blackness and vulgarity.

Ohmygodohmygod, Iago is apparently an antisocial strategist and women are attracted to his dark triad traits.

Just waiting to find out that Rodrigo is an incel.

She’s got like nineteen sources and fourteen of them are Evopsych and eight of them are from the same evopsych/literary criticism book and three are from historical/literary historical sources to back up her claims about racism not important and the last source is the play.

How? Did that get past a professor?

Also you’re claiming that Gender Studies isn’t empirical enough when you are making arguments in favor of EVOPSYCH? You’re arguing that 50k years isn’t enough time to develop racial categorizations but you think 10K years is enough time to develop lactose tolerance?

What the actual fuck.

Are you


reading the same things I am?

How? Did that get past a professor?

Also you’re claiming that Gender Studies isn’t empirical enough when you are making arguments in favor of EVOPSYCH?

It got past a professor because gender Studies isn’t empirical enough, and you can tell it isn’t empirical enough because it allows arguments from evopsych?

Or are you reading one of the papers that wasn’t part of the Sokal v2 project?

No, that’s one of the author’s MA papers, which has substantially less support than the papers they apparently managed to get published through making up fake interviews and data. She seems to have spent her grad studies doing all that she could to make evopsych exactly as ridiculous as it deserves to be by attempting to treat it as a critical theory the same way that marxist, feminist, deconstructionist, and queer theories are critical theories.

Which is also a bit different because in lit anything that is textually supported can and does go. That’s not the case in a lot of gender/cultural studies fields.

But yeah, I’d love to see her professor’s comments on that Othello paper the same way I’d love to see *all* of the comments on the articles they submitted instead of just the few they selected to make the journals seem as bad as possible. Also “compelling! really interested to read more! what a fresh perspective!” kinds of comments are frequently academic words for “you got anything to back up this bullshit?” that show up on early submissions; several of the reviewer comments Aero posted read as big red X marks to me but they’re using them as an example of how accepting and gullable the journals were – even the ones that rejected them!


Yeah I did not dive back into their old papers, that seemed like a recipe for pure frustration.

Sad to hear their declaration of lack of rigour was plagued by a lack of rigour though.

To be 100% fair and charitable they do say in their article that they did NOT find that serious journals would publish just any old thing. To be honest I think there’s a problem with fact checking in academia because of pressure to publish and small pools of peer reviewers and taking advantage of that by creating some false-but-plausible research and submitting it to a theoretical journal is just kind of shitty, and saying that it’s proof of corruption in academia is intellectually dishonest.

In the notes there’s a link to the reviewers’ comments on all of the submissions as well as the text of the papers.

The authors of the Aero article are clear in their belief that postmodernist thought and a lack of empiricism are huge problems in Gender Studies, and that Gender Studies rags will publish you if you’re anti-male enough. I’d like to present to you some of the comments from the initial pass Sex Roles

I am willing to take the next step (i.e., a major revision) because (1) I would like to have a high quality ethnography (I can find none in Sex Roles) because I do think it is an increasingly sophisticated methodology; (2) I agree with Reviewer 2 who notes that we usually see this research in terms of women’s objectification, not men’s masculinity; and (3) I do think we give masculinity short shrift in Sex Roles compared to feminist issues focused on women.


However, my enthusiasm for the manuscript was dampened by the overall writing quality and concerns about the rigor of the data analysis.

While the author clearly has a solid grasp of the relevant research and scholarly works related to breastaurants and male subcultures where traditional forms of masculinity are embraced and promoted, it is not presented in a way that is easy to follow and understand. The use of jargon and words which are rarely used in conversational English makes it difficult to read, decreases accessibility to a larger scientific and lay readership, and ultimately reduces the potential impact that study may have.

Some examples of this are “a unique form of local pastiche hegemony,” “a wholly homosocial male persevere”, “who provide heterosexual aesthetic labor to the patrons, primarily in the form of ersatz sexual availability,” “these form a biology ideology that enjoy a quasi-scientific veneer,” “as mere breast-bearing cogs in a neoliberal-patriarcho-capitalist machined,” and “obviating the need for a robust development of the concept here.” I literally had to have my dictionary to help me get through this piece. Relatedly, terms are used but not defined. For example, what are “identity resources’? What are “neo-liberal agendas”?

Claims are made that are not backed up with evidence to support them. For example, “under the constraints of late-modern life, traditional metanarratives of masculinity accessible to men—greater physical size, strength, capability, aggression, violence, and physical domination—have eroded.” What is the evidence showing that traditional forms of masculinity are “lost”? As another example, Hooters Girls are referred to as “American’s working class sorority” and that they likely “feature a different masculine demographic” but no evidence is provided that the waitresses who work at breastaruants are largely working class and it is unclear what the masculine demographic at these restaurants are.[…]

I have questions about the rigor of the data analyses. More information is needed about the strategy and procedures used. For example, how were quotes chosen? were they the most typical? most sensational? Were they the ones most closely related to interactions with female servers? Given the study occurred over a two year period and all conversations were taped, the author clearly has a huge amount of data and I wanted more description of the procedures used in data analysis. I also worry about the use of one analyst who knew all these men. While on one hand it can be a plus in
giving an insiders view, it also increases the chance for potential biases. I suggest the use of an additional analyst or two to more fully analyze the data and keep potential biases in check.

Also they submitted to two different journals and were rejected from Men & Masculinities; they surmise that the rejection was based on the second reviewer wanting them to write a different paper and that’s kind of true – the second reviewer points out that their ethnography data is questionable, they disregard half of the population of their corrected data, and that their writing is full of vague generalizations.

These authors are claiming that their work could get accepted even if it was ludicrous if it was anti-male enough and there are six reviewers/editors here talking about how important a male perspective on this is, how exciting a study about men discussing these issues would be, and how it’s a good start but literally everyone wants to see more rigor and less impenetrably jargony bullshit.

The fucking *spin* Aero put on this story is mind boggling.

I feel, if you’re gonna go for a good Sokal’ing, you have to limit yourself to discuss the papers that actually got accepted.

Yeah the reviewer might write all kinds of things to you that you think verify your point of view, but have you considered: The reviewer might be thinking "you’re an idiot, how best to write that back to you without being called out on it? Ah yes: ‘That’s a special idea but it needs more work’.” After that, you don’t get to say “The reviewer took my idea seriously and called it ‘special’.”

Well you can, but then you come off as a jackass.

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