Episode 2.13


Beth, Jen and Tracie talk about more examples of sexism and harassment, as well as some abortion issues.

  • Rilian

    My aunt had 3 boys, then adopted a girl. I wouldn’t care about the sex of my kid. The only reason people care is because they are sexist and think that a boy has to play soccer and a girl has to do ballet.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:03 am
  • MH

    1) There is a group of deaf people, I think in Oregon, that wanted to make a child deaf to be like his/her parents. Is that child abuse? I think so. But if we say that, we are saying that being deaf is undesirable. For me, that is the line where we stop being sympathetic with what people want for their children.

    2) It would be interesting to apply your argument against making driving illegal to gun control. Cars don’t bring you to strip clubs; people drive cars to strip clubs. But they also do legal/tasteful/non-sexist things with cars. Does that go for guns too? (I am on the fence about gun control. I’m not trying to start a right-wing rant here. I’m just seeing if the same logical structure can apply across the board.)

    May 31, 2012 at 5:33 am
  • microbiologychick

    People do legal things with guns like hunt, target shoot, and defend themselves.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:58 am
  • Marcus

    Getting drunk is an excuse for poor behaviour? no. way.

    Jun 1, 2012 at 2:30 am
  • SG

    I thought it was ironic that after the long rant (a few episodes ago) against using the word “girls” to refer to women, Beth kicks off this episode by calling Lila Rose a “girl”.

    If there were a word I considered to be extremely offensive you certainly wouldn’t hear me casually using it to refer to people I disagree with. For example, I wouldn’t casually use the N-word to refer to Herman Cain when I mention that I don’t like his politics.

    @MH - Yes, being deaf is undesirable. Go ahead and say it. It doesn’t mean you think that deaf people are undesirable.

    PS - love the show

    Jun 1, 2012 at 9:32 am
  • Allison

    This is in regards to the question of the ethics of being able to guarantee against birth defects.

    I think I would make the same choice, if that was possible, but because that would in turn decrease the number of children born with defects, those that WERE born with defects (because their parents decided to leave it to nature, or whatever) would be even more heavily marginalized in society, don’t you think?

    I think it would be lovely to have that option, but I think that’s where a lot of the ethical questions lie.

    Jun 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm
  • microbiologychick


    I wasn’t the one who disagreed with using the word girl. I’ve always been pro-girl.


    Jun 1, 2012 at 5:17 pm
  • Kris

    After hearing you discuss snake handlers, a question occurred to me:

    Why is it OK for someone to be “the hand of god” or acting on behalf of god to oppose all sorts of things but it’s not ok to get medical help? Aren’t those people allowed to act on behalf of god? Or is it that the chosen few are the only ones able to designate who gets to act in god’s behalf? Apparently none of them are medical professionals.

    Jun 3, 2012 at 8:06 am
  • Nuytsia

    I also heard about deaf people not wanting children who could hear in the UK and it immediately came to mind during the discussion. This happened several years ago and as far as i recall they were rejecting the option to screen for a defective gene. This article talks about a couple who wanted to screen out a hearing child. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7287508.stm

    Jun 3, 2012 at 8:09 am
  • Anders Starmark

    Kris: There are instances in the Bible when a sick person goes to the doctors rather than to the LORD and they are punished for it. God does not like doctors.

    Also, did Tracie just do a Pascal’s wager on condoms? :)

    Good show as always. I lives me a good Tracie-rant.

    Jun 6, 2012 at 3:56 am
  • Walabio

    i have a simple solution to sex-selective abortion:

    ¡Ban letting parents know the sex of their babies before birth!

    For almost all of human history upto the last half century, parents did not know the sex of their babies before birth. Humans fared just fine.

    Besides, parents wanting to know what the sex is are upto something nefarious.

    Jun 8, 2012 at 3:38 am
  • microbiologychick


    Absolutely not! That doesn’t work and people have a right to that information.


    Jun 8, 2012 at 5:19 pm
  • Thomas True

    Just wanted to pas along that I have been listening to the podcasts from the first one.

    I just wanted to pass along some observations that I am hoping may help. [If I am correct in what I am hearing on the podcast.]

    1] the audio quality is really poor. That is to say there doesn’t seem to be a sound board where the levels of each person on a mic isn’t set where everyone sounds like on the same audio levels. Almost always there is one person that has an extremely high level and another person that is barely audible. This is not just from your podcast but from just about ever podcast put out by the secular movement.

    Even Seth, “The Thinking Atheist” has some issues with the audio quality.

    2] It seems to me, that the preparation for the show is more or less gathering some topics and then just spotting off about them. Not to say your observations and points are not good. It just seems to be a rather unprepared show. It would be better, again in my view, if the show was shorter and more concise.

    Finally] I think otherwise I have really enjoyed the topics and discussion. I really don’t have anything to say about the topics. I think the selections have been good and general topical.

    FYI: I, of course, have no idea how you all prepare for a show. I have a feeling that Matt’s method is one that is trying to be copied. Matt’ has a certain skill to be able to talk of the top of his head and have logic and facts and well thought out ideas without a whole lot of preparation. I think that is due to his continually on going personality and study.

    MOST people are not able to do that, to summarize, it seems like your podcast, as many are that there are just a few people gathered together having a bull session.

    But of luck and I hope this is taken as a helpful critique as it has been meant.

    If something applies feel free if I am of base, very sorry.

    Thomas True

    Jun 13, 2012 at 7:11 pm
  • microbiologychick

    1. We use skype and our various personal equipment, so I don’t really know what to do about the sound.

    2. Both the Non-Prophets and the Atheist Experience (when it’s callers only) are unprepared shows too. People seem to like it. I don’t have time to prepare topics, and people can either take it or leave it. Unless y’all are paying the bills….you get what you get for free.


    Jun 15, 2012 at 6:00 pm
  • Walabio

    @ Thomas True, # 13:

    I did not want to criticize because I know that podcasting is hard, but I noticed the same thing. I have not tried this myself because I never podcasted, but the Skeptics’ Guide to the universe, also recorded over Skype, had terrible quality until Doctor Novella asked the others to record their audio locally and then send to him the audio.

    He equalizes the levels in Audacity, as well as cleans the audio. He then composites it in audacity with each voice alternating between left and right speaker so that the audience can better differentiate the speakers (all of the Novella–brothers have the same voice, speak with the same accent, and have similar speech–patterns.

    I hope that my second-hand knowledge helps.

    Jun 18, 2012 at 10:33 pm
  • David

    Tracey seems to me to have some strange dualistic ideas. Maybe I am just not understanding though so I will listen again.

    Jun 25, 2012 at 2:36 pm
  • Daemon6 (AKA John)

    I’m sitting here trying to find a way to articulate how I feel about something that Tracie said. I have a profound amount of respect for the women who do this podcast, and for the vast majority I’m in complete agreement.

    Typically I enjoy Tracie’s rants enormously; they’re usually very astute, and very articulate. However, the commentary regarding the hypothetical scenario where parents were given the ability to eliminate birth defects before birth were, as far as I’m concerned, incredibly bizarre.

    I’ll try to explain with an anecdote:

    My brother was born with a cleft palate.


    Throughout his life he’s gone through several surgeries to correct this defect. This defect, as you may, or may not know, is not life threatening; One can easily survive with no physical limitations after the initial procedures to correct the openings.

    Today my brother has, by his own account, a very good life. He has a wife of twelve years, many friends, a good job, a house, a car, he plays/writes music, he is writing a novel, and in general, he is living an active productive life. He also has a son that was born not four months ago. whom he loves profoundly.

    When he first told me the pregnancy he expressed how excited and happy he was, but he also expressed a deep apprehension. Why? Because he was worried about complications; Specifically, he didn’t want his son to go through what he went through.

    My distilled point (and why I find the way Mrs. Tracie’s framing of the hypothetical as an issue of prejudice as disconcerting, and frankly, a little disheartening) is that a parent’s desire to eliminate as much potential hardship for their child is >NOT

    Jun 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm
  • Daemon6 (AKA John)

    I dunno why it clipped my post…


    My distilled point (and why I find the way Mrs. Tracie’s framing of the hypothetical as an issue of prejudice as disconcerting, and frankly, a little disheartening) is that a parent’s desire to eliminate as much potential hardship for their child is >NOT

    Jun 26, 2012 at 7:39 pm
  • Daemon6 (AKA John)

    My distilled point (and why I find the way Mrs. Tracie’s framing of the hypothetical as an issue of prejudice as disconcerting, and frankly, a little disheartening) is that a parent’s desire to eliminate as much potential hardship for their child is >NOT

    Jun 26, 2012 at 7:41 pm
  • Daemon6 (AKA John)

    My distilled point (and why I find the way Mrs. Tracie’s framing of the hypothetical as an issue of prejudice as disconcerting, and frankly, a little disheartening) is that a parent’s desire to eliminate as much potential hardship for their child is *NOT* necessarily* a commentary on those who endure those hardships.

    A defect is called a defect because it of its effects, not because of the person who has it. A person with a defect is still a person, and in some cases can (and do) live a relatively normal, healthy, happy life. However, those defects, by their very nature, are defects, and those people who live with them, while still human beings, have to deal with hardships that most others don’t. For example, a person born without one arm can live a relatively normal life, but that person is still unavoidably limited by that defect, or a person born with a cleft palate can live a very good life, but still had to deal with all of the issues involved in growing up with such a defect.

    In my opinion, a parent who did not do everything in their power to reduce as much of the potential hardship that their child might face is being negligent. And the idea that the potential for offense that a sub-set of society may or may not feel as a result of said effort is irrelevant.

    As an aside, I apologize if I’ve come across as a bit vociferous. I actively recognize that this is a hypothetical, but the way the conversation played out “struck a nerve”.

    As another aside, and wholly unrelated to my original point: As I was reading the commentaries I saw the one about the deaf family who wanted to make their child deaf. If you’ve read the main body of my text you can probably assume how I feel about that, but I’ll just say it out-right. Any parent that intentionally inflicts a hardship on their child for inherently selfish reasons is a monster, and should not only have their child taken away and given to someone who actually cares about the child, but also the be thrown in jail (Only if the act was committed, of course. Thought crimes are not crimes.).

    Jun 26, 2012 at 7:42 pm
  • Daemon6 (AKA John)

    I apologize for the messed up posts. I’d have deleted them, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to do that :\..

    Jun 26, 2012 at 7:43 pm
  • Daemon6 (AKA John)

    As I was reading over my posts in order to make sure I got across what I wanted to get across, it occurred to me that there’s a potential (however slight) for a misinterpretation.

    So, for the sake of clarity:

    1) The last “aside” was directed at those who would inflict *birth defects* as defined by medical terminology of their (or anyones for that matter) children. I do not, would not, and will not, consider gender a defect in any circumstance.

    2) I agree completely with the BG cast (and hopefully every rational, sane person) that gender-selection abortion is repugnant, wrong, and wholly unnecessary.

    Jun 26, 2012 at 8:02 pm
  • Daemon6 (AKA John)

    :\ I wish there was an edit function, or at least a delete function. That way I could remove all the mistake posts, and clean up all of the embarrassing typos and grammar mistakes that I made. :P

    Jun 26, 2012 at 9:16 pm
  • JacobfromLost

    Regarding Tracie’s point about mindlessly following leaders…

    It’s been many years since my psychology classes, but I seem to remember that people who know about these phenomena are less likely to fall victim to them. So perhaps a rule designed to avoid the trap would be less effective than simply educating people.

    On a related note, there was an article in the ny times a few weeks back about a study that showed doctors would lessen the aggressiveness of their treatment of a hypothetical patient based on race (when shown a picture of a black patient, the treatments were milder than if shown a picture of a white patient or if not shown a picture at all). *However*, some doctors who were shown a picture of a black patient guessed that the study may have been focused on this exact thing, considered their prejudices, and ended up recommending treatments that were just as aggressive as the group of doctors who were shown no picture or a white patient.

    It seems that once you understand the problems in human psychology, you can understand the problems in your own psychology and compensate for them.

    Jul 19, 2012 at 12:47 pm
  • Shmeetes

    I do not agree with Beth who says the nurse was innocent. In general she is correct in saying that the abortion is not the problem, it’s the sexism. And in order to keep this sexism under check the clinic should REFUSE to abort the child if a woman expresses that she wants to undergo the abortion after knowing the sex of the child. Otherwise, the clinic is assisting someone in making a decision based on sexism, and such nasty forms of discrimination should not be tolerated in society.

    Aug 1, 2012 at 2:58 am
  • wet

    Well, abortion for me will always depend on the situation. The partner should talk about it but as much as possible they should avoid it. I’m against the sexual harassment or anything against the will of a human being. These criminals should be punished by law.

    Oct 16, 2012 at 10:07 pm

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