Public Sociology: The Home Game!
The thing is, though, what exactly do we mean by public sociology? Is it limited to cutesy names for our conferences? Are we doing public sociology when we go on blogs and write to other sociologists? How about how Judith Blau has been reserving space in Social Forces for works of public sociology? I would say that none of these things really fulfill the spirit of public sociology. Even the blog that I would think is dedicated to public sociology has more or less dropped the ball. (And if you think that by bringing those guys up so much lately, I'm kicking them while they're down, let me just remind you that the best time to kick someone is when they're down.) If we are going to pretend to do public sociology, which presumably means communicating with the public, then we had better come up with some way to actually do it.
All is not negative, however, as it is apparent that our blogs aren't just reaching other sociologists. Sometimes, a non-sociologist wanders in from the cold and offers their views, as happened recently over on Pub Sociology. Now, Tina did a very nice job of responding to this comment, but it was Brayden's addendum that set me to thinking.
The world that commenter Adam depicts is one in which women are dramatically priviledged over men. It is a world that we in social science do not recognize as our own because it does not mesh with what our research tells us. However, it is wrong of us to simply dismiss it as laughable- not because it is in any way a correct view of the world, but because it is most assuredly not laughable. As our own W.I. Thomas said "If a man believes the situation to be real, it is real in its consequences." In other words, if we do not correct fallacies when we encounter them, we shall have to grapple with the reality shaped by those who subscribe to such fallacies.
Tina's response to Adam was, indeed, useful, but we need to be more proactive in providing such refutations. We need to find fallacies and contradict them, rather than simply wait for them to find us. On this blog, I have done this on several occasions. In particular, I challenged the "No Marriage" website that sees women in essentially the same light as Adam, and the website of our good friends the masculists. (By the way, Tom Smith, I'm still waiting for that rebuttal you promised me via e-mail. As always, I will post it unaltered whenever you send it along. I'm not bringing this up in the hopes of provoking a response, but please know that I'm making that clucking sound that middle-school age boys use to goad their friends into remarkably stupid behavior.) There is, however, far more work to be done.
So, I think it is time for us to flex our blogological muscles and really see what we can do. Below, I am going to post links to two websites that in certain ways reflect the ideology of Adam and the Masculists. I invite my fellow sociolgy bloggers to read over these sites, and then offer rebuttals or supporting pieces as you see fit. I will post links to them here, featuring these links prominently, as they come in. If you don't have a blog of your own, I'd be more than happy to post your work here on Total Drek, assuming that it isn't a crime against English grammar. I ask only that these pieces focus more on empirical data and research, rather than theory. The individuals operating these websites probably don't much care about the theory of Patricia Hill Collins, just as most sociologists aren't particularly moved by the theory in Mein Kampf. I also invite non-sociologists to post their own work, to which I will also provide links or furnish with space here. I also, however, ask that you feature facts, or at least things pretending to be facts, rather than simply argumentation. If public sociology is supposed to be about a dialogue with the public, then let's have a dialogue with the public, not just talk about it, or to the segment of the public who actually agrees with us. If we think sociology has something to add to public debate, then let's be about it.
What do you get for participating in this? Well, aside from the joy of being mentioned on Total Drek (Which may, come to think of it, be a deterrent to participation) I will grant each person who provides a qualifying response one "blog wish" redeemable for a post by yours truly on a subject of their choosing. Ever wanted to see a blog post about my ex-girlfriends? Here's your chance. How about my bizarre sexual dysfunctions? You have a golden opportunity right now! What about Slag's genital warts? Okay, that's just sick. You should be ashamed of yourself! Just be warned that, should you ask for something stupid like, "Blog about your real name," I will in all likelihood simply make shit up.
Everyone clear? Okay then, without further ado, the two websites for your tender attentions are:
National Coalition of Free Men Ever wonder what the male-equivalent of Feminism is? Well, this ain't it, really, but it's fairly close in certain respects. This also qualifies as the better-reasoned version of the Masculists. As a matter of honesty, these folks do have a number of laudable goals, but some of the others may be vulnerable to contradition by modern social science. For example, on the "philosophy" page: "[Free men have freedom] From the notion that as a class they oppress women any more than women as a class oppress them, or than society in general oppresses both sexes through stereotyping." While on the philosophy page, particularly note the charming lightning-bolt animated gifs. Classy.
And, for folks who want an easier, less coherent debating partner. Or, alternatively, a greater challenge to defend:
NiceGuy's Women/Ameriskanks (mostly) SUCK Page! So-called "NiceGuy" unloads on the internet about the drawbacks of modern American/Western women- in the process sounding quite a bit like a refugee from the "NoMarriage" site I lampooned earlier. For a particularly good example of his work, see the post Back in Ameriskankland where our NiceGuy remarks, "I've got the truth on my side. But that doesn't matter. It completely does not matter. For American females do not have to bother with facts when they want to be right. Never. She's right since SHE'S GOT A VAGINA God-dammit and don't you ever forget it! Hah!" (Emphasis original). In his defense, his sister (who he is referring to in the above) does sound a little immune to reason and common decency but... um... "Hi, kettle? This is the pot, you're black!"
So, have-at, have fun, and let me know if you decide to take either a supporting or contradicting point of view on either site.