Sexism, Part 1

Dr Jenna Moccia returns with special hosts Jarrah Hodge and Deanna Ogle for a particularly hysterical look at sexism. Part 1 of 2.

Music: “Sobbin’ Women” by Howard Keel et al

Charity O’ The Week: International Planned Parenthood Federation




36 Responses

  1. After 10 minutes of listening to this episode I just closed down the media player.
    Cant stand listening to women speaking. Annoying as hell that you replaced the original crew.

    terveisin. disappointed gay male

      1. The entire topic is a frustratingly difficult one to even approach because men who speak about it get discredited because they’re not women, and women get discredited because they are.

        Kudos on You guys for tackling it head on.

      2. *can’t tell if serious or parodical* ಠ_ಠ *unsure how sexual preference factors in for listening preference* ಠ_ಠ I do think the mics needed some sibilant-mitigation, but that’s less an issue of “EWW WIMMINS TALKING” than “need to adjust mic position and distance for sibilance control.”

        1. Have to agree with Amanda – If there is any chance that someone in the studio could re-master and re-issue this episode and somehow trim the sibilance? You forget how common the “s” sound is until you try to get through a long ‘cast, and its a bit grating.

          Otherwise great – fan since year 1 and I have no issues with the casting change.

      3. I normally don’t read comments anywhere, even for something I love as much as Caustic Soda. But after 10 minutes of listening to the podcast I had to see how many people immediately discredited this episode for 1) replacing the cast with women and 2) for being about sexism. I suppose I wasn’t let down.

        I am incredibly pleased with how this episode was handled so far. For men to talk about a topic like sexism (especially when those who live the reality of it are available) as if they have any authority–or any right to claim they have said authority in the first place–is condescending as all hell. Your podcast is incredible, and this cemented for me how well you handle the topics so many others won’t touch in an incredible way. Keep it up.

    1. Pekka, just because you’re a gay male you allow yourself the liberty to be sexist and make a derogatory comment about women discussing the very thing you are obviously a practitioner of??!!

      Almost laughable if it wasn’t so obviously embarrassing for you.

      Great work ladies (please read people!!) on the podcast was nice to have a change of tempo and perspective! Men doing a podcast on sexism is ridiculous because we (hardly/never) are the recipients of it. Humanity has a massive amount of work to bridge this gap, unfortunately. As you can tell by some of the thoughtless comments…. Sorry for and from my gender collectively.

  2. Great episode! I thought the stand in hosts were great and really kept the feel of the podcast going. Funny and interesting!

  3. “Fetuses need playdates too.” God, I laughed so hard. Thank you for leaving that in!

  4. Being raised in a very liberal, modern environment, I don’t think I’ve ever had a personal run-in with sexism, so it was really interesting to hear the stats on how prevalent it still is elsewhere – not just elsewhere in the world, but even in certain job sectors or locales in our own Western culture. Thanks gals! I do have to disagree on the reverse sexism bit, though. A company should hire people based on their abilities and experience, not on their race or sex; if it happens that they receive more qualified male applicants than female ones, they should be able to hire the more qualified people. I’m seeing a lot of derisive comments these days along the lines of “oh, that’s just the minority hire”, and to me, being hired to fill a quota of political correctness is *not* equality.

  5. I really enjoyed the guest hosts this week. Great idea to have them take them helm for this one. Since the guys are all feminists I would like to hear their perspective at some point. Clearly, as indicated in the comments, some of your listeners only want the male perspective, so maybe they will only listen to them. Although it does surprise me that you have sexist idiots as listeners. You don’t pander to those losers.
    Looking forward to part 2.

    1. I disagree with you on people only wanting a male perspective. Something that I enjoy about caustic soda is that 3 people are taking the time to research a topic that they are not knowledgable in and then have a discussion with an expert(sometimes) to direct/correct the conversation.

      A really good example of.this was the slavery episode where everyone was surprised about the rampent slavery still going on on Florida. Even though the guys had never experienced slavery they still presented an informative and entertaining show.

      Although entertaining it felt like a weak episode to me but I’ll certainly listen next week.

      1. super disappointing this time. i’ll probably listen to part 2 just to see how it rounds out, but this will likely be the last episode i listen to you guys. ii have listened to and enjoyed all of your episodes (except maybe “turtles”)

        1. sethwarncke, could you please expand on what was disappointing? Constructive criticism being helpful and all that.

  6. First time the podcast is given away to people who didn’t build the podcast, it’s given to three people who insist that they want to be treated the same as everybody else.

    Imagine if the mormonism or scientology podcast were given to three unfunny mormons or scientologists, who claim that they want to be treated the same as everyone else.

    To some, anybody who isn’t on board with “women are more qualified to speak!” is a sexist, or a mens rights advocate, or whatever. But, how about we just *actually* treat everyone equally, and trust (actually funny… ) people like Tauren, Joe, and Kevin to speak about the subject in part 2.

  7. I was a bit surprised that Toren, Joe and Kevin weren’t involved in this episode. While I recognise that perhaps the decision to have an all female panel may have been a deliberate commentary on male dominated society, it’s a shame that this couldn’t have been more of a balanced conversation involving representatives of both genders. Episodes in the past have demonstrated that the three regular hosts are entirely capable of dealing with issues in a mature and appropriate fashion and dare I say it strikes me as a somewhat sexist attitude that the topic of sexism should only be addressed by women (although this may be deliberately ironic!). I absolutely love the show and am really pleased topics like this are being addressed, I’m just not sure this was the best way to execute this episode was at the exclusion of the regular panel. The involvement of all six of you might have been better.

    1. That’s a good question. With the all the topics the guys have covered over the years why was this one different. Are there going to be other topics that the Toren, Kevin and Joe don’t think its appropriate for them to cover.

  8. How disappointing that even in this little corner of the internet the comments section includes ridiculous blather.

  9. I think a fun game for Pekka, legopirate, and JDC to play would be to question why this episode makes you feel uncomfortable and/or angry. Why exactly would it be *better* if three men were talking about sexism? Would it be easier for you to hear? Why exactly do men need to be included in this podcast? Is it threatening to you in some way to hear only three women for the entirety of 55 minutes? Would adding men make it easier to hear? Easier to believe? If either of those are true, lets all pause for a moment of reflection.

    1. As the guy said in the depression (psychosis?) episode some of the topics would be those that they wouldn’t want to cover. Was this one of them? I’m just curious why this topic required a change to the norm. Also I said the episode was entertaining but weak a far cry from being uncomfortable listening to it. The acids episode was also weak along with a couple of the follow up episodes. As I said I’m still going to listen next week but if Toren, Joe and Kevin can’t do a podcast on sexism to the level it deserves why do they think they can do any other topic justice. Sexism is a tough but to crack and slightly leaning one way or the other around the subject can get you thrown to extreme.

    2. Hi Amanda, thanks for your reply. While it would neither be fair or appropriate for me to defend comments made by the other people you have specified here, I would like to address the points you’ve raised. I would also invite you to elaborate on what exactly about my comment offended you.

      “Why this episode makes you feel uncomfortable and/or angry”: I feel neither of those emotions. I remarked upon my surprise that this is the first Caustic Soda Podcast episode not to feature the three presenters (not to mention founders) of Caustic Soda. I also expanded on a theory of why that might be.

      “Why exactly would it be *better* if three men were talking about sexism?”: Well, as a (hopefully) short answer, sexism is a form of social discrimination and as society is made up of a roughly equal number of men and women, any commentary made on a societal concern would (in my mind) benefit from a representative panel of that society. Please note that I specified I would have liked to see all six (3 x women and 3 x men) as members of one panel to facilitate contributions from a wider range of perspectives. I feel this would have offered even greater insight into how pervasive sexism is in our society. Sexism is not a social concern experienced by only half the populous, so why restrict commentary to a single gender?

      “Would it be easier for you to hear?”: No, this was just as easy to listen to as any other episode of Caustic Soda.

      “Why exactly do men need to be included in this podcast?”: See my earlier answer.

      “Is it threatening to you in some way to hear only three women for the entirety of 55 minutes?”: No. I consider this insinuation offensive.

      “Would adding men make it easier to hear?”: This is a repeat of your previous question. Again, no.

      “Easier to believe?”: No. This show felt as well researched and presented as any other. I could easily believe what was being said.

      I would like to take this moment to also say that I do not enjoy being referred back to in such a condescending manner. I had hoped that the tone of my comment reflected my desire to have an adult conversation on this topic. I suspect that I am accurate in my belief that the inversion of panelist gender is a commentary on the male dominated society in which we live. This culture, where women have been systematically restricted in rights and opportunities is one which deserved discussion and demands change. I hoped to emphasise that the responsibility for making those changes lies with both men and women, hence the absence of a male voice could (unwillingly, I’m sure) be interpreted as a dismissal of sexism as ‘not a concern’ for men. This is pretty far from my own values, so personally it was disappointing not to have a male representative on the panel.

  10. Whoops, forgot NotImpressed in my above comment. Please play along, as you seem to be the most irritated (and anonymously (read, cowardly) rude).

  11. Hi Dr Jenna and two new guest-perts &&/|| hosts. Is there going to be a Caustic Soda podcast-off in the future with these hosts vs the original hosts? I’m having trouble thinking up a subject, so I’m thinking a followups episode. Hopefully a live episode. Who will win in a pun-off? Who will generate more groans? Music is obvious, but if I remember correctly has already been used (Anything you can do I can do better).

    Oh, and Trekkie Feminist my favorite captain is Sisko and I once went to a Star Trek themed Halloween party as a bastard child of Kirk and a rock monster he banged. I got the idea from how he eyed every man, woman, and rock monster like he was going to have sex with them, or at least that’s the impression I got watching Star Trek TOS a couple of years ago.

  12. I like this episode; good hosts, thorough research, interesting topic.

    I have two (minor) gripes.

    My first gripe would be that it was so astoundingly unilateral. Empathy is not a zero-sum game; sexism against women is more common, so it deserves more financial investment, but sexism against men certainly isn’t uncommon and, where the two exist, they are equally serious. Both are societal ills, and it is strange that the approach taken in this podcast is the default one. Is cancer more common than gangrene? Certainly. It would be remiss if a larger proportion of the material effort were not expended eradicating the former. But it would be insulting and obtuse if, in a discussion of disease, someone were to say that, because cancer exists, gangrene isn’t a serious issue and gangrene sufferers should shut up. Or, worse, that in mentioning their gangrene they are somehow being rude and attempting to trivialize the very real suffering of those with cancer.

    For example, men are far more likely to be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder than histrionic personality disorder, even if the same symptoms are given but the names switched. Since an APD diagnosis is a much more serious issue criminally, that’s a problem. Women are more likely to get custody of children. Until recently, the definition of rape legally explicitly only included women- and while the idea of a man raping a woman is (rightfully) treated as disgraceful, the idea of a woman raping a man is almost never treated as anything other than a joke. Which isn’t to say that I actually have a problem with jokes about serious issues such as rape, simply that it is indicative of a serious problem when any serious topic is only discussed through comedy.

    My second gripe would be that, in the majority of informal discussions, the tacit assumption (sometimes explicitly stated) is made that the large number of (sometimes quite drastic) physiological and biological differences between males and females cannot possibly manifest themselves societally in ways that we either do not already fully understand, or in different distributions across career paths.

    Should men and women have the same legal rights and protections? Certainly.
    Should we all be respected equally as sentient humans? Of course.
    Should we all have an equal say in government? With a few notable exceptions (the severly mentally disabled, convicted felons, non-citizens, and a few other exceptions I’m probably forgetting), yes.

    But there is a world of difference between saying “everyone ought to be given the same opportunities in life” and saying “we are all identical, and should some proportion of us be disproportionately unrepresented in a given field of endeavor, that must be due to a flaw in the system, and not an inherent difference in aptitude”. Given that men and women aren’t even working with the same set of organs, men produce 20x the level of testosterone (and have, on average, 8 times as much in the bloodstream than the average woman), we differ markedly on average height, levels of aggression, rates of disease (for a large swathe of illnesses), and a variety of other traits, the proposition that there can’t possibly be significant neurological / psychological hardwired differences is preposterous.

    Which isn’t to say there necessarily *are*; simply to say that dismissing that possibility offhand when it’s a highly contested area of debate within psych is premature.

    I mean, I get it. People are reactive in nature; they tend toward extremes. When they want to come together, they embrace similarities and vociferously insist no differences exist. And when they want to divide, they embrace differences and claim no similarities exist.

    Fact of the matter is that in most ways men and women are alike, and in a smaller but quite significant subset of other ways we differ. Claiming otherwise- regardless of your perspective- undermines your position. Because if you’re trying to argue convincingly and you misrepresent or fabricate the premises of your argument, they the conclusion is unjustified by default.

    In the same way that if I say “2 + 3 = 5, because Bob told me so and Bob’s always right”, even if 2 + 3 = 5, if Bob isn’t always right then a person would be perfectly right to completely disregard that conclusion until further evidence came to light in support of that position.

  13. I was going to rant but I’ll leave it at most poorly researched sexist episode yet. I expected better.

  14. Great episode! I have to say it wasn’t quite the same level of witty banter/hilarity that the guys normally put out, but I don’t think that’s the fault of the guest hosts at all. Long time listeners know just how hilarious Dr. Jenna is, and she can keep up with the casutic-ness without question. It’s just such a difficult topic to cover in this format because unlike every other topic, this is something that is incredibly current, pervasive, and something that is actively being fought against. People aren’t actively fighting jellyfish in their every day lives. Half the global population isn’t being subjected to the torments of the Evil Dudes/Dames. Even something like the cancer episode can’t quite compare, because no one is defending cancer the way there are people who defend sexism. For such a weighty topic, I think they did a phenomenal job, even if it was a bit more depressing rather than funny….

  15. Goddammnit! Where is my all male panel on the discussion of sexism???!! I need to register my obviously very important opinion as one listener about my dissatisfaction with this one episode that just ruins everything for me! Why do you have to ruin everything for me? How dare the world not cater to my opinions!!!! How dare you change your format without first consulting me!!!! This is obviously a feminist conspiracy to permanently take over the caustic soda podcast with a section of the population that we all know can’t be funny. Down with mad max!

    1. Sir and or Madam you are entitled to your opinion on this matter but leave Mad Max out of this.
      Them’s fighting words!

  16. Well I for one enjoyed that.
    though the musical rendition of the rape of the sabine women had me faintly appalled.

    I was particularly intrigued by the image of Kathrine Switzer running the boston marathon and went looking for some more information about what the hell was going on as I had never heard of this historic event before.
    I was gratified to learn that the fellow on the left of the image is her couch Arnie (who fully supported her running the marathon) stepping in to try and calm the official down and the rather large guy turning back on the right is her boyfriend tom heading back to help out.
    I was even more gratified to come across a picture taken a few seconds later showing Tom body checking the official across the road (And yes I know that the boyfriend stepping in to defend her with violence is another form of sexism in that he assumed she could not handle the situation herself but It’s a less distasteful form than attacking women in the street)
    So there were at least a few men there who were showing a better side to our gender.

    The strangest thing is the official Jock.
    Apparently this was not the first time he had assaulted a runner in the marathon previously going after hippies, people in fancy dress and pretty much anyone he considered to not be taking the race seriously.
    Thank god she wasn’t running in a silly outfit or he would have been foaming at the mouth.

    I’m going to stray from sexism a moment to indulge in some raceism and say typical Glaswegian

  17. Not intending to inflame anything, but I, too, would have appreciated hearing a (single) male perspective in this episode, even if the discussion was still led by the female participants, just to see if they came up with similar questions that occurred to me while listening (and the subsequent answers). I hope you all continue to come back as guests in future episodes. 🙂