About Rationally Speaking

Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Skepchicks International

No, this isn't a sexist post on my part. There really is a group of women who call themselves Skepchics, Intl., and they are really cool. The word "chick" is demeaning, of course, only if used by a man (and even then, it depends on the context), and these women are most certainly not into politically correct nonsense.

Indeed, they have put out a calendar of tastefully done artistic photos of themselves to raise money for the cause of critical thinking for girls and women of all ages and backgrounds. And if you think a calendar has nothing to do with skepticism, as the organizer of the group wrote in a recent e-article for Skeptic magazine, when was the last time you asked a cancer research foundation what ribbons or marathons have to do with medical care?

Besides, as the banner of the Skepchicks web site proudly says, "smart is sexy." Now, do your part for rational thinking and buy a calendar!


  1. I saw the article about the Skepchicks in one of the online newsletters I receive. I put in for my purchase so that I can give it to my skeptical daughter as she moves into her first apartment.

  2. Even tho some individuals don't wish to come across as sexist, men are in fact psychologically more likely to lead, invent, and or are more inclined to take risks first. And that is not just conditioning. I think it is hardwired by nature into each gender.

    And does this way of thinking about gender actually demean women? Why should it? Do we really have to be that thin-skinned as females and throw gender differences into the middle of an issue just to prove a point? I mean, really. If such a fearful posture doesn't prove actual inferiority, nothing ever will!

    In nature male birds are often more brilliant in coloring then females, and so on. And in the end, that certainly has its advantages for female birds. So when does anyone ever complain about the fact that a male being out in front and more colorful, just makes him more likely to be killed first?

    Women should be skeptical of persons who DON'T choose to see nature the way that it is and try to make it something unnatural.


  3. As tasteful and artistic as the poses may be, I don't think my employer will let me hang the calendar in my cube. However, I have checked out the Skepchick Forum and found some interesting discussions going on.

    btw cal, I was surprised to see you say "I think it is hardwired by *nature* into each gender". I thought God made us the way we are.

  4. "btw cal, I was surprised to see you say "I think it is hardwired by *nature* into each gender". I thought God made us the way we are."

    What is the difference between the last part of your comment and my suggestion?

    If it is a matter of distinguising the propeties of genetic info, it seems alright to use this. Do think I am replacing "God" with Nature?

    "Hardwired", in the technical sense, is commonly thought to

    Refers to elements of a program or device that cannot be changed. Originally, the term was used to describe functionality that was built into the circuitry (i.e., the wires) of a device. Nowadays, however, the term is also used to describe constants built into software."



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.