WHO IS NICHOLAS KRISTOF: The Nike of pseudo-liberal journalism?

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2014

Part 2—Enabler and consort of hacks:
First question:

Do female professors sometimes confront unhelpful gender-based stereotypes?

Although we can’t really say that we know, we would assume that they do. We further assume that it’s the job of a serious journalist to clarify such matters.

Second question:

Do college students describe their female professors as “bossy” in their reviews at RateMyProfessors.com?

Basically, no—they do not! Unless you’re reading Nicholas Kristof, who seems less and less like a serious journalist, more and more like a self-serving international brand.

In our view, Kristof is rapidly becoming the Nike of pseudo-liberal pseudo-journalism. We’ll guess that this process is good for Kristof, bad for everyone else.

More on that as the week proceeds. For now, let's return to that question:

Do college students describe their female professors as “bossy?” As we noted in yesterday’s report, that’s an impression Kristof peddled in his most recent column.

Rather plainly, he seemed to be cutting-and-pasting this pleasing impression—copying off the papers of other pseudo-journalists, including those who are many years younger than he is.

To read Kristof's column, click here.

Yesterday, we were happy to give you the news—college students almost never describe their female professors as “bossy!” According to the (problematic) research tool Kristof cited, the term appears less than once in every million words of text when students review their female professors.

Whatever they think about these professors, they don’t seem to think they’re “bossy!” Unless you’re reading Our Own Billy Sunday, or the many other hacks who have been pushing this pleasing new line.

As is becoming the norm, Kristof’s column this Sunday was full of poorly-examined claims and impressions. Tomorrow, we'll note another example. For today, let’s treat ourselves to a third question:

How bad can the hackistry get in the rapidly growing world of pseudo-liberal pseudo-journalism?

The hackistry can get very bad! Consider what happened when Professor Bartlett, a female professor, beat Kristof to the recent foolishness about RateMyProfessors.com.

As we noted yesterday, the current foolishness got its start on or about February 6, with a hapless post on a New York Times blog. The copycats were soon out in force. By February 10, Professor Bartlett was checking in, at the new/improved site of the new New Republic.

Professor Bartlett is an associate professor in gender studies at the University of Western Australia. She too had been fiddling around with the (problematic) new research tool. This is part of what she had found:
BARTLETT (2/10/15): So we know what’s coming next. As this is a gender mapping, women professors are consistently more likely to be described as feisty, bossy, aggressive, shrill, condescending, rude. You get the picture. We are also ahead on that vanilla descriptor, nice.
Do female professors sometimes suffer from gender-based stereotypes? We would assume they do, although we can’t say we know.

In this instance, Professor Bartlett had been fiddling with the new research tool, and she had made some discoveries. Like the others who had preceded her, she said that female professors are “more likely to be described as bossy.”

Technically, that is accurate. Female professors are almost never described that way in the student reviews in question. But male professors seem to be described that way a tiny bit less often.

That said, Professor Bartlett forgot to tell you that this term is used in reviews of female professors less than one time in every million words of text. She also forgot to tell you this:

Male professors are much more likely than female professors to be described as “arrogant.” And this term is used about seventy times more often than “bossy” is!

Whatever! Reporting in from way down under, Professor Bartlett was on a roll. She seems to have tested a set of words which she finds stereotypically demeaning to women. She strung them out for us in that passage.

“You get the picture,” she said, and a lot of adepts presumably did. For ourselves, we got the picture of a pseudo-liberal hack who was making the liberal world dumber.

It’s true! The terms “feisty” and “shrill” are applied more often to female professors in the RateMyProfessor reviews. But the terms are almost never used in those student reviews.

Each term is used one time in roughly two million words of text! Female professors are almost never described in these ways.

Is the term “aggressive” disproportionately used in student reviews of women? Yes, it is. But the term is used almost as often in student reviews of male professors, and it appears less than five times in each million words of text.

(By the way, are “aggressive” and “feisty” necessarily terms of denigration? Not necessarily, no.)

The term “condescending” appears disproportionately in reviews of female professors; the margin is roughly 45 uses to 35 uses per million words of text. That said, the words “understanding” and “helpful” also appear more often in reviews of female professors, and those words are used many times more often than “condescending.”

Crackers, can we talk? The term “helpful” appears disproportionately in reviews of female professors. In those reviews, the flattering term appears about 1500 times per million words of text.

Although these data are problematic, college students seem to regard their female professors as helpful. But so what? Hacks like Bartlett prefer to zero in on terms which are almost never used by these students—words which help them paint a troubling, preconceived portrait.

It’s hard to avoid a basic conclusion here. Perhaps due to an unconscious bias, Professor Bartlett seemed to have her thumb on the scale as she penned her piece in the New Republic. She seemed to have hunted around, looking for words which would produce a preferred preconceived conclusion.

Was the professor picking and choosing her terms? This seems especially clear in her treatment of the dueling words “rude” and “nice.”

It’s true! The term “rude” is used more often in reviews of female professors. The term appears about 200 times per million words of text in reviews of female professors, only about 150 times per million words in reviews of their male counterparts.

Professor Bartlett wanted us to be upset about that. She then derided the fact that the word “nice” appears more often in students' reviews of their female professors.

The word “nice” appears roughly 1400 times per million words in reviews of female professors. The word “helpful” appears roughly 1500 times.

In each case, the words are used much more often than the word “rude.” In each case, the flattering terms appear more often in reviews of the female professors.

Professor Bartlett offers a derisive reaction to that fact. We’re supposed to get upset when female professors are described as “rude.” But when they’re disproportionately described as “helpful” or “nice,” we are supposed to roll our eyes.

“Nice” is such a tapioca term! A wag might even call it Vanilla Nice!

Can we talk? This research tool is highly problematic. It can tell us which words appear in the student reviews. It can provide rough ratios concerning the frequency with which the words are used in reviews of female professors, as opposed to the review of their male counterparts.

It can’t provide the contexts in which these words are used. The word “nice” can be used this way, for instance:

“Professor Jane Smith isn’t very nice to her students.”

Here’s an extremely significant point—this research tool is completely useless if partisans like Bartlett and Kristof completely ignore the frequency with which various words appear.

As the research tool makes clear, the term “bossy” is almost never used when students review their professors! But Bartlett blew right past this fact, as did the copy-cat Kristof.

In fact, we’ve seen no one make use of this type of information as a parade of pseudo-liberals have spread the latest gospel around. Here’s what happened instead:

Our tribunes created the latest horror story for pseudo-liberal consumption. They shrieked and yelled and tore their hair about the disproportionate use of words like “bossy” and “feisty.”

They failed to say that these words are almost never used in these student reviews. Meanwhile, they ignored an array of flattering terms which are disproportionately used in reviews of women—words which, in some cases, are used hundreds of times more often than the terms which have our tribunes upset.

In this way, we pseudo-liberals get even dumber and even more pseudo than we were before. Eventually, along comes Kristof! Rather plainly, he copied the work of his predecessors in this latest pseudo parade.

Increasingly, we think Kristof is an anti-journalistic joke. We see him as an international brand, as the founder of Kristof Inc.

Whatever he’s doing, it doesn’t much seem to be journalism. We’ll guess what he’s doing is good for him, bad for everyone else.

Tomorrow: Sipping drinks with a star on a sun-splashed terrace, Kristof does Port-au-Prince

65 comments:

  1. Warning to casual readers of this blog: These comments are unmoderated. They are infested by one or more trolls who routinely attack the blog author in a variety of ways, rarely substantive. Such attacks are not an indicator of the level of interest of other readers, the validity of the content posted nor of the esteem in which the blog author is held by others.

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    1. Does a casual reader of a blog click on a link required to open up a new page in order to read the comments?

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  2. I'm not surprised to learn that this idiocy comes from a Professor of Gender Studies. IMHO Gender Studies is not a real academic subject. Thus work in that "field" tends to be nonsense and people in that field tend to be hacks.

    It's disappointing, but not surprising, that a New York Times columnist would get his material from a left wing magazine. It's lazy, as Bob observes. This practice is one reason why the Times op-ed page is relatively weak and biased.

    Prof. Bartlett notes in amazement that, "Even things like pronouns are used quite differently by gender." Right. No doubt, the pronouns "she" and "her" are used more often in reviews of female professors. :)

    BTW these evaluations of teaching ability have little or no impact on careers. Academic promotions tend to be based on research, publications and grants, rather than teaching. "Publish or perish" is academic reality.

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    1. Your opinion about gender studies is ignorant. Whatever humility you might possess (IMHO) doesn't prevent you from making idiotic comments.

      If you knew anything at all about gender studies, you would understand that the pronoun "He" is used to include women but rarely vice versa. This happens when describing situations where gender is unknown or mixed. When good traits are discussed, the pronoun he is more likely to be used, creating stereotypes that good traits go with males.

      You are also wrong about how promotions occur. It is true that RateMyProfessor is not used in career decisions, but student evaluations are. Only at R1 (research) institutions is teaching ignored. Everywhere else, teaching evaluations matter a lot, so a disadvantage hurts women. Most universities emphasize teaching over research. Yes, you have to publish, but times have changed and bad student evals can hurt one's career.

      But don't let me confuse you with the facts. You write authoritatively but you are pulling this stuff out of your ass.

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    2. David, try browsing the website "Inside Higher Ed" to get a picture of what current academic jobs are like and what administrators think about.

      https://www.insidehighered.com/

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    3. "The competent professor is never bossy. He addresses his class with confidence but ever arrogance, treating each student with respect. When a student asks a question, he takes time to answer it thoughtfully and clearly."

      See how this works, David? This paragraph is not about any specific professor. In such a situation, "he" is used as the preferred pronoun, unless you are talking about elementary school teachers.

      "The less competent professor is shrill and disorganized. She arrives late and seems flustered by student confusion. She responds to questions defensively and seems resentful of interruptions."

      Choice of pronouns matters.

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    4. Choice of pronouns matters very little. The practice of policing language for politically incorrect pronoun use or any other perceived transgression matters more.

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    5. If you knew anything at all about gender studies, you would understand that the pronoun "He" is used to include women but rarely vice versa. This happens when describing situations where gender is unknown or mixed.

      Anon 11:47 -- they say if you have to explain a joke... Anyhow, when evaluating a specific professor, the student obviously knows the professor's gender. Thus the student's evaluation will refer to a male professor as "him" and "he" and to a female professor "her" and "she". So, the use of different pronouns is isn't shocking; it's automatic.

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    6. Could you be more offensive, please? No academic discipline is a "joke." Many are obscure to the uneducated public (e.g., you). You cannot know how the pronouns were being used, but clearly you can make up a situation that fits your ignorant opinion.

      People who confidently assert that pronouns don't matter are ignoring a scientific literature that says they do. These aren't matters of opinion, any more than global warming is or evolution. There is data showing that pronouns matter, that they bias thought and affect judgment, and that they can and should be used differently by anyone serious about gender equity. It takes little effort to use pronouns more inclusively and those who refuse signal to everyone else that they are backward or hostile (take your pick).

      David, when you persist in disparaging gender studies, you sound like Sheldon Cooper when he disparages engineering. It is funny when he does it because we all know how important engineering is. You don't know how important gender studies is because you are male, have social privilege and don't encounter the problems that motivates study of gender in our society. You clearly don't care about what other people experience, so this is all a big joke to you. Keep laughing and when the election comes around and women won't vote for Republican candidates, scratch your head and wonder why.

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    7. I'm unimpressed by people who count pronouns while real, substantial discrimination is going on. Here are a few examples:
      1. When I was a grad student at UC Berkeley, the Math Dept refused to hire women. The only female in this large department was Julia Robinson, the wife of an eminent professor.

      2. There is extreme discrimination by race and ethnicity in college admissions. A Princeton University study showed that African Americans received a “bonus” of 230 SAT points, Hispanics received a "bonus" of 185 points, and
      Asian Americans are penalized by 50 points.

      3. Many university departments are overwhelmingly liberal It's quite difficult for a conservative to get hired by many academic departments.

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    8. 2:39, no, Gender Studies isn't very important and should not be a major area of studies for more than a dozen people each year.

      Pronouns are not important. They might contribute to bias in a negligible way, but your policing the language with that focus is worse. I read a lecture like yours and know I don't want any part of your way of thinking or living. It's like someone standing over you with a rolling pin and hurts your ostensible cause more than it will ever help.

      Women can make gains in society through performance, and they have. Policing language, jokes, etc. only slows it no matter how good it makes you feel about yourself or how much misplaced anger it relieves. And it probably doesn't relieve any, just reinforces whatever anger motivates it.

      Nobody cares about signaling to your type that they are backward or hostile, because we believe you are a 70's relic, hostile, plus ridiculous, flaky, and an all around pain in the ass to all decent folks.

      Get outside more.

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    9. @2:39, if your comment was satire, my apologize. I really can't tell.

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    10. This entire discussion is offensively cisnormative and microagressive. There's not even a trigger warning. Government should regulate the internet for this kind of hate speech in the name of the greater good.

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    11. This kind of response would not be tolerated if it were about race instead of gender. This is why discrimination against women is more intransigent than racial discrimination. You really should be ashamed to be posting these kinds of comments.

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    12. I feel privileged that you shared your insights 6:31-43.

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    13. While you pretended to check your privilege, 1:36, you failed to expressly attribute it to your whiteness and maleness. That constitutes yet another microaggression, and a violent one at that.

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  3. OK, if the issue is how to count words in descriptions of professors, here are some points: (1) the total number of words used is not the best way to measure the rate of occurrence because most of the words are "the," "and," "it" and "I"; (2) dividing by the number of adjectives and adverbs may make more sense; (3) even if such descriptors as "bossy" or "aggressive" are used infrequently in the total corpus, it does mean something if they are applied twice as often to women. This latter point is true because the objections raised by Somerby about context apply equally to male and female professors.

    It is bad science to pre-select certain terms and then check their occurrence to confirm whether stereotypes exist. Ideally one should examine the body of adjectives to see which are the most frequent descriptors for males and females. However, if one posits a hypothesis that women will be described as bossy more often than men, it is fair to test it by examining how often the word is used for each gender. Twice as often may be random or may not be -- that is what statistics are for. Claiming that the words appear infrequently because they are only 1 or 2 in a million is incorrect. We don't know their frequency among all adjectives applied to professors.

    A larger problem is that RateMyProfessor is not a snapshot of all student opinion. The people who post there tend to be disproportionately disgruntled. Professors never read it. Instead, they get feedback directly from their students in a variety of better ways. Studies of those measures show consistent bias against female professors. That is perhaps the source of Professor Bartlett's "agenda." Thus, the existence of bias against female professors is not at issue -- just the validity of this analysis of a website's comments (note that RateMyProfessor also includes ratings and that no comparison of ratings is being discussed).

    Somerby's most valid point is the cutting-and-pasting without critical evaluation being done by several liberal sites. I think that is lazy journalism and it sets up a situation in which men can dismiss the existence of bias against women in academia because of this one specious result. That does a disservice to those of us who would like to see women treated more fairly in the workplace.

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    1. Somerby's least valid point is ignoring the much more valid evidence contained in Kristof's column and the other work Somerby derides. I believe the term Somerby would and does frequently use to describe this practice is "disappearing facts."

      Now, if you want to talk "science" go back to the amount of discussion Somerby devoted to the work of Hart and Risely with their "30 million word gap." These capable academicians studied all of 42 families. Hey, and six were on welfare!

      Funny how often we focus on that which support our beliefs, harp on others for doing the same, disappear that which doesn't fit our script and how studiously we avert our eyes when its roving gaze reaches the mirror.

      Uh, oh! Liberals are just as human as everybody else. They must be better!

      What a genius that Bob Somerby is. Alas, there I go using that damn "g" bomb for a man again.

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    2. Conclusions in science (such as that parents who talk to their kids equip their kids with better verbal skills) don't stand or fall on just one study. They are usually confirmed, expanded, supported by many studies, often hundreds or even thousands. Picking out one study to criticize doesn't invalidate the overall point. However, it is usually one study that reaches the public because someone has just published a paper and put out a press release about it. Studying 42 families would be a lot if intensive effort were devoted to following and recording behavior in each family. Each family may have provided many observations of interaction over the time they were studied. I'm not sure why it matters how many were on welfare.

      But, your purpose in bringing this up is to knock Somerby, not to discuss how science is done. That makes you a troll.

      Your least valid point is that Somerby ought to discuss the entirety of Kristof's article when he is only interested in one part of it.

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    3. How total is your devotion to Uncle Howler?

      "Your least valid point is that Somerby ought to discuss the entirety of Kristof's article."

      I didn't say what Somerby "ought to discuss." I said he ignored the more valid evidence Kristof presented in his column. And he has done it two posts running.

      Try browsing what Kristof had to say instead of repeating Bob Somerby's version of it.

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    4. "Krisof's really great. You just have to ignore the obvious hackery that Somerby's pointed out. There's other stuff that's just swell!!"

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    5. I read the article. Kristof is an even bigger horse's ass than I would have originally thought. Here's a guy in a prestige high society position raking in a salary, probably well into six-figures, from phoning in a couple of self-glorifying musings a week, lecturing the "privileged" and clueless "white man". Talk about a full on lack of self-awareness.

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    6. The "obvious hackery" says a loyal commenter, being a copycat of Somerby in a post where Somerby accuses someone else of being a copycat and uses variations of the word "hack" four times in his own repetitious style. It is not suprising that Somerby's defenders exhibit the exact same hypocrisy as Somerby when his flaws are called out.

      Nobody said Kristof was great. I will borrow some of Somerby's own words taken from the last two posts to tell you exactly what I was saying.

      "Here are a couple of things" SOMERBY "didn’t tell you."

      "That said, BLOGGER SOMERBY forgot to tell you...."

      "HE also forgot to tell you this:"

      Did we ever say Kristof is great? No. We never called him our Dimmesdale, then our Mr. Collins, then Our Billy Sunday, nor a hack, a copycat, or a creep. Those are things Bob Somerby said.

      We simply said Bob Somerby disappeared a number of studies, four to be exact, Kristof used to make his point in a column about bias.

      Crackers, can we talk? Why is that important? Maybe it isn't. Bob Somerby sure thought it was once:

      "All along, we’ve made a basic point about the reporting of these events. On a simple journalistic basis, you can’t throw away basic facts." TDH 2/6/14

      Please, don't fail next time to call me a troll you "dumb, tribal, lazy, copycat hack" to borrow a phrase from somebody some readers hold in quiet esteem.

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    7. Anonymopus @ 2:30 wrote:

      "Your least valid point is that Somerby ought to discuss the entirety of Kristof's article when he is only interested in one part of it.:

      Actually it was Somerby, on Monday, who wrote:

      "Tomorrow, we’ll resume at this point. We’ll look at other parts of Kristof’s new column, whose basic premises may well be perfectly right."

      Unfortunately, as is becoming more and more the case as time passes. Somerby forgot he said that and failed to do it.

      In this post he promises that tomorrow he will discuss something he said he would get to before Valentine's Day.

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  4. Hey, everyone -- You can try out words here:
    http://benschmidt.org/profGender/

    I'm actually having trouble finding negative descriptive words that are used with less frequency than "bossy"

    Even flat-out insults like "jerk" are used much more frequently, and heavily male. Note, I did find that "a**hole" and "b*tch" are used less frequently (apparently a**holes are exclusively male, but there are both female and male b*tches). "dick" is more frequent, and obviously mostly (but not exclusively) male.

    Yes, this is immature. But it's a database containing a lot of submissions from angry, possibly drunk, college students. That doesn't produce good scientific data.

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    1. Great work! You must have missed yesterday's comment box.

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  5. Anonymous at 11:35 conveniently didn't mention "arrogant" or "conceited."

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    1. If you hypothesize that men and women show the same classroom behaviors with the same frequency, then the greater occurrence of the labels arrogant and conceited for men while using different terms for women is all part of the same package, the same phenomenon. That's why I pointed out that the rating scales are being ignored. The labels in the comments are much less important than the ratings -- which are consistently lower for women. (I am @11:35). Arguing that there is no bias because women get called nice more often and men are more frequently called arrogant ignores that women are rated lower and that the lower ratings hurt them during job decisions.

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    2. What if you hypothesize that women are rated lower because them perform worse?

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    3. You would need some evidence supporting that assumption.

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    4. My evidence:

      "Professors... get feedback directly from their students in a variety of better ways. Studies of those measures show.... that women are rated lower."

      Source: Commenter in TDH @ 11:35 and 2:46

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    5. Ratings are not evidence of teaching excellence. That is the whole point of the discussion about their use in job decisions. They are useless, as has been shown repeatedly in a variety of studies. Students reflect the biases of their culture but that has no relationship to other measures of teaching effectiveness, such as how much students learn.

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  6. So if Kristof is becoming the Nike of pseudo-journalism, would it be fair to call Somerby the Crocs of repetitious-bloggerism?

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    1. "They shrieked and yelled and tore their hair about the disproportionate use of words like “bossy” and “feisty.”

      Given that Somerby has devoted two posts to this topic
      (which he only noted after those younger women led an older
      man to the web post) I would say the shrieking, yelling and hair tearing are better descriptors of the oldest and most recent male to touch on the topic.

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    2. Since Somerby never before covered Kristof's article regarding college ratings, you made no sense and embarrassed yourself by calling him "repetitious".

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    3. I am indeed embarrassed. I should have posted this comment in response to Somerby's post on this Kristof column yesterday.

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  7. But what did they do to Gore in 1999 and 2000?

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  8. The Anonymous who cites lower ratings for women,
    1) Did not tell us what the ratings are
    2) Did not tell us whether the difference is SIGNIFICANT.
    3) Made no sense when he referred to ratings as "consistently" lower for women. There is no such thing as a "consistent" average. The average is one and only one number.

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    1. Consistent across studies.

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  9. Here's a tricky one for the pseudo-liberal trolls and the Gender-Studies professor: How did WOMEN rate their male vs. female professors?

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    1. It is tricky. When did they compete?

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  10. I am sorry that I am hurling too many tricky questions against man-hating liberal trolls. It's just that I keep stumbling into them?
    Women prefer male bosses over female bosses: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/11/11/gallup_poll_americans_prefer_male_bosses_to_female_ones_although_by_a_smaller.html

    Obamabot/liberal man-hating trolls are hereby encouraged to analyze why women dislike women so much.

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    1. Why would women be less affected by social stereotypes and bias than men? They live in the same culture.

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  11. Your constant stumbling and hurling are OK since you seem to lack female companionship. Men understand that type of behavior.

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    1. Anonymous at 4:36 forgot to address:
      -The Gallup poll
      - The question of how women rated women.

      Talk about proving the trickiness of my questions. The more trolls dodge, the trickier my questions are.

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    2. Actually you may not have stumbled through your hurl into why nobody has answered you last tricky question.

      "Obamabot/liberal man-hating trolls are hereby encouraged to analyze why....."

      It is kind of hard to be a man-bot and a man-hater at the same time. As the winky wonder of your tribe's dreams might say, it would take a lot of that hopey, changey thing to produce your type of analyst. Maybe Somerby has one he can spare.

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    3. But don't you pseudo-liberals claim that Republicans hate black people while at the same time loving Clarence Thomas?

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    4. Mr. P. does that mean you accept that pseudo-liberal premise?

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  12. A profoundly dishonest post. Kristof used "bossy" once, echoing what others have said. It's frequency by itself is largely irrelevant, and saying you don't get the context of the comments is beyond stupid. It's a data tool, period. If you don't like someone's interpretation of the data, that's TDH's right. But when there are consistent differences for similar words -- "genius" and "brilliant" are particularly notable -- someone else has the right to interpret that data, too. Gender perceptions is a good starting point. What is Somerby's interpretation of the genius/brilliant difference? We don't get that, only ridicule for the people who make an effort.

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    1. What else is new?

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    2. Calling Kristof "Billy Sunday." Promising Haiti again, this time with cocktails.

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  13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ldsqw8lXfjY

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  14. Here is a fairly recent poll on the popularity of feminism conducted by the openly feminist Huffington Post.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/16/feminism-poll_n_3094917.html

    You will notice that while most people including, of course, women, support the principle of gender equality only 23% of women are actually willing to call themselves feminists. This is consistent with other polls which show that generally 25% of women accept the mantle. Some polls have significantly higher approval rates but they're all framed as questions such as, "If feminism means the equality of the genders do you consider yourself a feminists?" That is, they're phrased in such a way that women have to implicitly reject the notion of gender equality in order to reject the term feminist.

    Reading this comments section pretty much explains why.

    Honestly, if you bitches can't even hold your own self-proclaimed constituency, you're really doing something wrong.

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    1. I'm confused. Earlier someone said men can be bitches and there are insufficient pronouns to differentiate who you are talking to in this unpleasant rant. Given your ongoing mommy issues I'll guess your are trying to bully women again.

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    2. HB, we are glad you chose Bob Somerby's favorite publication, Salon, for your source of polling data. And we note their 2013 work was an online, opt-in poll. They state it has a margin of error of + or - 3.5%.

      Honestly, those bastards are dishonest. Here is what the American Association of Public Opinion Research says about that:

      "AAPOR recommends the following wording for use in online and other surveys conducted among self-selected individuals: Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have [volunteered to participate/registered to participate in (company name) online surveys and polls]. The data (have been/have not been) weighted to reflect the demographic composition of (target population). Because the sample is based on those who initially self-selected for participation [in the panel] rather than a probability sample, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated.

      That said, we can find no poll to support the common assumption that whether men use their dick for the intended purpose or think with it, size does matter. Your views, intentional or not, help reinforce that stereotype.

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    3. Anonymopus @ 2:30 wrote:

      "Your least valid point is that Somerby ought to discuss the entirety of Kristof's article when he is only interested in one part of it.:

      Actually it was Somerby, on Monday, who wrote:

      "Tomorrow, we’ll resume at this point. We’ll look at other parts of Kristof’s new column, whose basic premises may well be perfectly right."

      Unfortunately, as is becoming more and more the case as time passes. Somerby forgot he said that and failed to do it.

      In this post he promises that tomorrow he will discuss something he said he would get to before Valentine's Day.

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    4. This comment @ 10:36 was obviously put in the wrong place. It is way above HB's cup size.

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  15. Maddow is claiming this is Obama's first veto, in support of her narrative that there is a new, more combative Obama. She also claimed that Reid was being hostile when responding to a reporter who asked about his sun glasses but in the clip he just sounds polite. All so she can claim that Washington is full of fighting.

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    1. What are the wingnuts saying about it?

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    2. O'Reilly is not guilty.

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  16. "Yesterday, we were happy to give you the news—college students almost never describe their female professors as “bossy!”.... the term appears less than once in every million words of text when students review their female professors." B. Somerby

    Yesterday, we are happy to report, Bob Somerby, in his review of the work of female Professor Bartlett (we assume she has a first name but Somerby forgot to mention it so we can't really say for sure) broke gender stereotypes in describing her as a hack.

    Somerby used the term "hack" or its derivative "hackistry" 5 times in a 1,500 word piece. According to a useless online tool popular with hacks and pseudo-journalists, the term "hack" is most often used to describe male college professors, in some fields 4.5 times more than the word "bossy" is used to describe female professors, which, as Somerby has noted, is used less than 1 time per million words.

    Bob has used some form of "hack" at a rate of 33,333.33 times per million words. Clearly Professor Bartlett's first name must be Hack.

    Later: That said, creep and creepy.

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