Saturday, March 14, 2015

Alice Dreger's Straight Talk (Ahem) on Sex and Gender


Tom Bartlett, in the Chronicle of Higher Ed, reviews Alice Dreger's recent book on the desultory effects of political correctness in the sciences. And Barron Lerner does likewise at Forbes. 

For background, here is an article in the Pacific Standard from 2014 by Alice Dreger in which she says interesting things about sex and gender (not just the usual yada, yada, yada). (Short version: sex and gender are partially socially constructed, but not entirely, and social justice warriors ignore this at their peril. I should note that Dreger does not use the politically loaded / emotionally charged term 'social justice warrior', but this is my 'short version' of her article, so I feel some creative license on my part is permissible. Gosh darn it; this explanatory note has now effectively rendered the adjective 'short version' false, or at least highly misleading, which gives me reason to rewrite the initial sentence so it no longer includes the politically loaded catchphrase 'SJW' in my description of Dreger's thesis. But I lack the motivation to do so. Sigh. Political debates are draining, dispiriting, and lead to a deep-seated psychospiritual ennui, beneath the superficial adrenaline rush of engaging in an in-group/out-group conflict. But what is to be done? You can take the primate out of the savanna, but you can't take the savanna out of the primate. Because the primate is not socially constructed like that. At least not entirely.)
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