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More terrible MRA thoughts on Sally Ride

Sally Ride, not thinking about boys.

We’ve already heard from the so-called Thinking Housewife on the subject of Sally Ride. Meanwhile, over on The Spearhead, the regulars also have opinions about Ride. Regular commenter Keyster has this to say about Ride’s work in promoting science and technology education for girls:

She was supposed to have inspired a generation of girls to take science and math. While she may have inspired the “Grrl Esteem” movement, very few girls went on to get degrees in math and science as a result of Sally Ride … .

She was frustrated by the fact young girls were very interested in math and science initially, “…but for some reason we lose them around the age of 13.” MMmmm…I wonder why that would be. Because they discovered an interest in boys? Not surprisingly, Sally was able to keep her interest.

That’s right: girls are incapable of thinking about both math and boys. Lesbians are the only women who can sustain an interest in math, because their brains aren’t cluttered with thoughts of Justin Bieber. (Ok, bad example.)

In another comment, Keyster expresses his annoyance at the fact that Ride turned out to be capable of astronautery despite being a woman.

Sally Ride proved that a woman can have “the right stuff”, like Amelia Earheart proved a woman can fly long distances.

OK so now that we know she won’t become hysterical during her period while in outerspace and allow her used tampons to clog the toilet, what do we do with this information? Just because a woman accomplishes something normally associated with men, is this inspiring young girls to spontaneously excel en masse and compete against men in male dominated arenas? Or are women like Sally Ride the exceptions that prove the rule?

You know, “exceptions that prove the rule” aren’t actually a thing. The fact that Ride was a capable astronaut doesn’t actually “prove the rule” that women aren’t capable as astronauts, but instead suggests that this particular rule is not a real rule. You would think that Keyster, as a logical male, would understand this.

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9 years ago

I find it hilarious that this Keyster uses the saying “exception that proves the rule” wrong in the most common way it can be used wrong.

What is the rule that he is referring to? Is it “all women are incapable of being astronauts”? Or “only men are capable of being astronauts”? Or perhaps “astronauts are men”?

This exception of a woman astronaut disproves the two first ones (does not prove, but disproves), the third could be both an exception and disprove because I worded it ambiguously, leaving out “all”.

So by what logic does Sally Ride being female and astronaut prove what rule, pray tell?

Carmen Speer
Carmen Speer
9 years ago

This is VERY late to the game, and maybe has been said already, but nevertheless:

“The exception that proves the rule”=(in modern parlance) “The exception that tests the rule.”

The word “prove” comes from Latin and Germanic origins, interestingly (interesting to know in which language its root truly lies, as it is the same in Germanic languages, Scandinavian languages, and romance languages). In all of these languages its primary definition is “to test.”

Old English “prove” had a similar definition. Its evolution from “test” to “confirm” makes sense when you consider that the only way to confirm a hypothesis is by testing it. “Proof” is the noun, meaning “confirmation.” However, “proof” as a verb retains the original Old English meaning of “to test.”

So in answer to this MRA’s last question, “Or are women like Sally Ride the exceptions that prove the rule?”: “Yes.”

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