We, the People of the United States of America are well-known for not abiding by the dictates of- nor granting the largess of respect to the clerisy of academia, especially those of the pseudo-intellectual fields of gender studies and sociology. And because of this we are ridiculed, lampooned, and dismissed by the Liberal and Progressive “elites’ for rejecting their magisterium.
That is what’s makes it so enjoyable and so hilarious when the quasi- or pseudo-akratic idiots are hoist on their own petard of confirmation bias and dogmatism. Having it blow up in their own faces if frankly and unashamedly hilarious.
Yes! Peter Boghossian, EdD and James Lindsay, PhD, writing under the pseudonyms of Peter Boyle, EdD and Kamie Lindsay, PhD, successfully committed a Sokal-style hoax by penning a fake research paper entitled “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct,” which was actually published in a peer-review journal, Cogent Social Sciences.
Abstract: Anatomical penises may exist, but as pre-operative transgendered women also have anatomical penises, the penis vis-à-vis maleness is an incoherent construct. We argue that the conceptual penis is better understood not as an anatomical organ but as a social construct isomorphic to performative toxic masculinity. Through detailed poststructuralist discursive criticism and the example of climate change, this paper will challenge the prevailing and damaging social trope that penises are best understood as the male sexual organ and reassign it a more fitting role as a type of masculine performance.
By their own “admission,” the paper wasn’t even well written enough to be published even if it hadn’t been total bullshit from beginning to end.
We didn’t try to make the paper coherent; instead, we stuffed it full of jargon (like “discursive” and “isomorphism”), nonsense (like arguing that hypermasculine men are both inside and outside of certain discourses at the same time), red-flag phrases (like “pre-post-patriarchal society”), lewd references to slang terms for the penis, insulting phrasing regarding men (including referring to some men who choose not to have children as being “unable to coerce a mate”), and allusions to rape (we stated that “manspreading,” a complaint levied against men for sitting with their legs spread wide, is “akin to raping the empty space around him”). After completing the paper, we read it carefully to ensure it didn’t say anything meaningful, and as neither one of us could determine what it is actually about, we deemed it a success.
Personally, I like best the fact that they managed to fit Climate Change into it, while “blaming” – and, by extrapolation, most or all ecological damage – it upon masculinity.
Here’s a paragraph from the conclusion, which was held in high regard by both reviewers:
We conclude that penises are not best understood as the male sexual organ, or as a male reproductive organ, but instead as an enacted social construct that is both damaging and problematic for society and future generations. The conceptual penis presents significant problems for gender identity and reproductive identity within social and family dynamics, is exclusionary to disenfranchised communities based upon gender or reproductive identity, is an enduring source of abuse for women and other gender-marginalized groups and individuals, is the universal performative source of rape, and is the conceptual driver behind much of climate change.
You read that right. We argued that climate change is “conceptually” caused by penises. How do we defend that assertion? Like this:
Destructive, unsustainable hegemonically male approaches to pressing environmental policy and action are the predictable results of a raping of nature by a male-dominated mindset. This mindset is best captured by recognizing the role of [sic] the conceptual penis holds over masculine psychology. When it is applied to our natural environment, especially virgin environments that can be cheaply despoiled for their material resources and left dilapidated and diminished when our patriarchal approaches to economic gain have stolen their inherent worth, the extrapolation of the rape culture inherent in the conceptual penis becomes clear.
And like this, which we claim follows from the above by means of an algorithmically generated nonsense quotation from a fictitious paper, which we referenced and cited explicitly in the paper:
Toxic hypermasculinity derives its significance directly from the conceptual penis and applies itself to supporting neocapitalist materialism, which is a fundamental driver of climate change, especially in the rampant use of carbon-emitting fossil fuel technologies and careless domination of virgin natural environments. We need not delve deeply into criticisms of dialectic objectivism, or their relationships with masculine tropes like the conceptual penis to make effective criticism of (exclusionary) dialectic objectivism. All perspectives matter.
Yeah, I’m laughing my ass off at the Gender Studies crowd, most of whom are working for minimum wage. 😆 I’m also laughing at useful idiots and apologists at Reason, who are so hell-bent to deride the impact of this hoax upon that “field of study.”
Of course, I’m also facepalming because of the simple of sad truth that Boghossian and Lindsay seem to have either missed or ignored the fact that nothing they wrote, despite it being little but jargon-laden gobbledygook, was particularly at variance with the content and position of actual scholarly papers and books on Feminist theory or with actual international policy statements.
- In The Viagra Ad Venture: Masculinity, Media, and the Performance of Sexual Health (which references many previous works), The Fall, and A Mind of Its Own: A Cultural History of the Penis the penis is referred to as a tool for social oppression, not just as an anatomical organ. And we shouldn’t forget Loving to Survive: Sexual Terror, Men’s Violence, and Women’s Lives which takes that position even further.
- Manspreading, both physical an virtual, being referred to or linked to rape, directly or indirectly, is a common feminist position, as can be seen in Everyday Feminism, Gender Focus, and FEM Magazine. And yes, there’s even a published scholarly paper on it on Sage Journals
- As for the penis causing, being linked to, or exacerbating Climate Change, that can be found in Promundo Global, the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and “A Stranger Silence Still: The Need for Feminist Social Research on Climate Change”
So yeah, I’m laughing at the Gender Studies crowd being hoist on the own petard, but I’m also crying because, as hoaxes go, this wasn’t as bad of one as its perpetrators seem to have thought.