The critical thinking they supposedly love so much

Amanda Marcotte also wrote about the dud hoax, along with the fakenews story about the murder of Seth Rich.

The authors claimed in Skeptic that the publication of their fake and silly article demonstrated that the “echo-chamber of morally driven fashionable nonsense coming out of the postmodernist social ‘sciences’ in general, and gender studies departments in particular,” is damaging academia.

This is, as Phil Torres explained for Salon, also utter nonsense. Torres pointed out that the authors had their bogus paper rejected from a reputable, peer-reviewed journal and published instead in a pay-to-play one that isn’t even about gender studies. In fact, these two guys demonstrated only their inability to have their fake article accepted by a reputable publication — which is the opposite of what they were trying to prove. But, as was the case for the Seth Rich story, the lack of evidence did nothing to slow down the rapid spread of the hoax across the anti-feminist internet.

Both these stories were promulgated mainly through right-wing media. Fox News, especially host Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh have been pushing the Seth Rich story, no doubt as a bit of counterprogramming to the real news about Trump’s ties to Russia. The “conceptual penis” hoax was trumpeted mostly by right-wing clickbait sites like College Fix, Daily Caller and Breitbart.

But unlike a lot of other fake stories pushed by right-wing media, these two stories gained serious traction in supposedly liberal and even left-wing circles.

Or semi-liberal, or liberal-except-about-women.

[T]he “conceptual penis” story was trumpeted by a number of self-proclaimed rationalists, including scientist Richard Dawkins, author Sam Harris and scientist Steven Pinker. The editor of Skeptic, Michael Shermer, argued that the hoax was necessary to “rein in extremism” among feminist academics.

“[T]he hoax reveals not the ideological dogmatisms of gender studies, but the motivating prejudices of the authors and their mostly white, mostly male supporters against social justice,” suggested Torres in his Salon article. Or to put it in another way, in an effort to prove feminists are a bunch of dum-dums, these men abandoned the critical thinking they supposedly love so much.

This is not the first time we’ve seen them do that.

10 Responses to “The critical thinking they supposedly love so much”