critical race theory misogynoir misogyny oppressed white men racism the wayward press

The real victim in the Simone Biles controversy is this white dude talking shit about her who got criticized for being a white dude talking shit about her

You don’t need a PhD in Critical Race Theory to notice that a lot of the knuckleheads talking shit about Simone Biles for dropping out of the Olympics are white dudes who couldn’t do a single cartwheel to save their lives. Piers Morgan. Charlie Kirk. Ben Shapiro.

Oh, and this dude, Doug Gottlieb of Fox Sports, who seems mad that Biles’ mental health isn’t bad enough to keep her from sports altogether.

“Let’s not mislabel a mental health episode, where you don’t perform well because of the immense amount of pressure over being judged as the greatest of all time,” he declared, “and a true mental health issue where you shouldn’t be competing in sports.”

Alas, CNN’s Brianna Keilar happened to notice this trend of “ignorant white dudes talking shit about a black woman who survived sexual abuse at the hands of former team doctor Larry Nassar and went on to become the greatest gymnast ever.” In a segment on the network she tore into Morgan, Kirk, and Gottlieb for their terrible takes, noting that all of them could learn “a thing or two … about mental toughness” from Biles.

The CNN chyron read: “White male talking heads question courage of Simone Biles.” Which seems like a pretty accurate description of what was going on.

But Gottlieb is having a little fit over it.

I dunno, dude. Perhaps they used that chyron because “white male assholes question courage of Simone Biles” wouldn’t have made it past the network censors.

Note: If you decide that for some reason you need to criticize Simone Biles, this clever little decision tree on McSweeny’s will let you know if you can.

H/T — Thanks to Mediaite for covering this controversy so fully.

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135 replies on “The real victim in the Simone Biles controversy is this white dude talking shit about her who got criticized for being a white dude talking shit about her”

Dalillama wrote:

… the only holdup is getting hold of a building.

Well, that’s where an authoritarian world government comes in handy….

Alan Robertshaw wrote:

There’s an Asimov short story called No Connection.

I’ve never read that one; I’ll have to check it out; thanks!

Also, that’s really interesting about Neolithic work habits; I’ll have to check that out, too.

*waves to Scildfreja*

Things are OK over here; just got the 2nd vaccine Monday. My boyfriend is going away for an academic project and that’s kind of hitting me hard now, but in the fall I’m going back to school full time, hopefully to finish my linguistics degree by 2023. And working on a novel.

As for the housing discussion: the co-op/collective kind can be a great idea, and I think a contract for what’s expected of everyone can prevent some conflicts.

I’ve got an agreement with my parents now to do 5 hours per week of chores* rather than the $450/mo rent while I’m staying here, since I’ll have less work; we didn’t make up a written contract but I’m writing the time spent on a calendar, and that seems to work well so far – except when anxiety problems made me lose focus earlier this week.

So a contract should have some built-in flexibility and still make sure people don’t take advantage of others by doing nothing when they’re capable of working. It’s a balancing act, I guess.

*by chores I mean things that benefit everyone, like gardening, making food, cleaning, etc., not counting going to the store or doing my own laundry, etc.

This is the only place I’ve ever been where they send up a (person) signal, it works right away, and we get a pony!

Hi! Been too long!

Trouble there is that authoritarian governments pretty much never do anything useful without fucking it up with authoritarian bullshit.

Not only is Scildfreja back, but also Sinkable John and Brony? Yay!

I’d be sad at missing a fun new troll, but sadly, he wasn’t really any fun

A bit late on this but

I wasn’t following that close. It was the backup who got gold?

Two gymnasts per country can qualify to the all around final, so Suni Lee was going to be there regardless. It’s Jade Carey who’d been 2 per country’d and got in because Simone Biles scratched.

But Suni did have a lot pressure on her to maintain the streak of Americans winning AA gold that’s been going since 2004 and did so great. Totally called it with her and Rebeca Andrade medaling! I’ve been a fan of both of them for awhile so I had lots of feelings about it.

For once I’m more of an expert on something than the other Mammotheers!

We couldn’t ignore the smell of seagull on the wind 😉

I’m glad to see y’all.

@ gaebolga

Neolithic work habits

That’s a topic that fascinates me. It’s a rapidly evolving subject, and to an extent, full of contradictions.

New research, especially in experimental archeology, have revised a lot of time estimates for the big stone projects downwards. The current thinking is that Stonehenge 3ii (the bit people think of as Stonehenge) may have been completed in as little as three years.

But at the same time a lot of Neolithic tasks seem to have been deliberately inefficient.

Take Grimes Graves for example. That’s a famous flint mine. People were digging down 30 feet or more using antler picks and tallow for lighting. Yet there’s an abundance of identical quality flint right on the surface. Was it a ritual thing? Or was this an early example of Veblen Goods?

This is a pretty cool example of someone being very efficient though.

Oh, my! Sinkable John and Scildfreja back in the same thread?? Hi, great to see you both again!

It is truly a good day in the Mammothsphere!

Aaaand I’m back. Busy weekend kept me from replying beforehand, so,

@Tovius, so happy to be back! Thank you!

@Banananananana dakry, <3

@epitome of incomrepehensibility, ever so glad you’ve gotten Vax 2, and I’m thrilled at the thought that you’re writing a novel! I’d love to know the details. It’s such a huge effort, isn’t it? I hope you’re getting your daily words in okay!

@WWTH, happy to be back <3 Thank you

@hambeast, thank you, I’m glad to be back! I hope the good days extends into the horizon

@Alan, maybe they were digging to see if they could get some flint seeds?

@ Alan

Well, shoot, wouldn’t there be marks of their pivot points then? Unless they used something soft like wood or the stones have been weathered too much I suppose…

Edit: Also, could the flint thing be because the flint on the surface actually wasn’t on the surface for them at that time? (Clearly I love spitballing with no knowledge of the subject or even so much as a Google search. Maybe I should look into a gig at Fox News.)

@ .45

wouldn’t there be marks of their pivot points then?

The stones have been laser scanned at incredibly high resolution. That’s revealed all sorts of amazing things. I haven’t seen any reference to pivot point marks though.

That might not be unexpected though. The stones were ‘dressed’ after being erected. That is to say the surfaces were hammered down and polished with stone mawls. That might have obliterated any evidence of construction marks I guess.

There is evidence for the pivot method in the shape of the pits used though. They have an unusual profile; and experiments have shown it’s consistent with the counter balanced pivot approach.

One of the many fascinating things about Stonehenge is that it appears that it was specifically made to be looked at from one particular viewpoint (the Avenue). The ‘best’ stones are at the front and they only bothered polishing the bits you can see from there.

My favourite Stonehenge fact though is that it isn’t a Henge.

Also @ .45

could the flint thing be because the flint on the surface actually wasn’t on the surface for them at that time?

You got me thinking there. That’s something that crops up a lot with archeology here (Cornwall). Sea level changes, erosion and sedimentation have really shifted the landscape. I totally got in the way of met some archaeologists doing a dig on what was once the shoreline but now about 500 yards away from the sea.

But a check on Grimes Graves shows the surface level was pretty much as it is today.

This is what it looks like down one of those pits. As one pit was exhausted, they would backfill it with the spoil from a new one. And all done with antler picks!

But to get back to our original point; this does not look like the activity of a culture that was short for time and desperately working all hours on survival.

@ scildfreja

 you old doggerlander

To my dying day! They can take my EU citizenship; but they’ll never take our freedom! affinity for soggy landscapes.

As it happens there’s a new exhibit on Doggerland. The video is well worth a watch. Also, relevant to here, mentions Mammoths.

I do feel a weird connection with Doggerland though. When I was a kid we used to visit a place called Atwick. Due to erosion, the exact spot we stayed is now quite a way out to sea. So to me it’s like the sinking of Doggerland is an ongoing process. But that makes it more real. I can actually remember when at least part of it was above land. I walked there. So I can easily imagine our ancestors doing just that on the rest of it.

Guess being a white male makes you an expert in everything, including mental health. Who needs all those years of study to be a psychiatrist when your race and gender suffice?

Alan Robertshaw
When I got my degree in Economics, I took an economic anthropology course. I was failing it, until after 3 months of struggling, I had a click moment & saw the human production & exchange of goods in a whole new way (how economies functioned before markets & money). Light bulb moments are the most exciting thing in learning.
One of the books we used was “Stone Age Economics” Edited by Marshall Sahlins. It’s about the economics of Hunter-Gatherer societies. Its been 30 years since I read it, but IIRC, the major premise was that people only worked a few hours a day in H-G societies. It’s been said by many economists & anthropologists that the introduction of farming increased our work day several fold.

@Scildfreja – Oh, thanks! It’s a drama-comedy about a young teenager who goes to a new school, gets in all sorts of trouble, discovers she’s bi, is forced to write her first essay… At the beginning, she says when she was thirteen she had a crush on Osama bin Laden; it was at that point someone in my writing group asked if it was autobiographical. 😛

Yeah, partly. But not that part. The closest thing I had to a celebrity crush at that age was Britney Spears, not that I’d admit it then. 🙂

Alas, nowhere near a good writing schedule. Too much stuff going on. But I have got almost 1/3 of it done.

@Alan – Does the whole thing about folks in hunter-gatherer societies having decent amounts of free time go against earlier speculations? Because I remember hearing that people then spent most of their time getting food.

…Maybe meaning that would occupy more time than other activities, not that people spent literally most of their waking hours foraging/hunting/preparing food. And maybe that’s not right either.

@ epitome of incomrepehensibility

having decent amounts of free time go against earlier speculations?

Well I guess like a lot of sciences there was a particular viewpoint that sort of slipped into the general consciousness. But there had always been people challenging that view. One can perhaps understand why, bearing in mind the times, the earlier view of ‘cavemen’ was that life was nasty brutish and short (and the Oxford comma hadn’t been invented). That sort of fit with the, lay, idea that evolution was a trajectory of continual ‘upwards’ progress.

But, in keeping with this site, take mammoth hunting for example.

We have the traditional view…

It’s man against beast and a survival rate like an 80s alien movie. But we know from the archeological evidence (mass slaughter, only harvesting the best bits, extinction rates) that hunting mammoth and other large fauna can’t have been particularly arduous or desperate. More like traps, herding off cliffs, use of fire etc.*gB6xK6XFdDQEzODWT77_Vg.jpeg

That’s not to say it didn’t occupy a lot of time. There’s traps to be set, tracking the animals etc (our long distance walking abilities really paying off there). But we know that contemporary hunter gatherers may well be out all day; but the hunting and gathering bit certainly doesn’t take up all the time. Some anthropologists went out hunting with the Xhosa. The Xhosa literally took a card table with them. Then they sat around for a few days until the animals got used to them and wondered into the camp. Then they just shot a few with bows and arrows from about 5 feet (and in one case clobbered one with a bottle as it strolled past). Similarly gathering appears to be a nice community walk and catching up on gossip whilst occasionally plucking berries. No reason to think people were any different back then.

People did get injured of course. We know that from remains with healed injuries. Which itself shows that these were not communities on the edge of extinction. Someone looked after the wounded until they were mobile again. People with severe congenital disabilities, were clearly cared for from birth until relatively old age. Now some people suggest that may have been because they saw such people as ‘blessed’ or sacred in some way. Personally though I just apply Occam’s Razor. I think it’s much more likely they just cared for each other.

But when we look at the mega projects, the investment of time and effort in artwork, the evidence of ritual and ceremonies, these do not seem to be people who were spending 24/7 on subsistence living. Just google ‘neolithic art’ for examples.

Heck, if your only thought is basic survival, then when do you find time to make this; and why?


My favourite Stonehenge fact though is that it isn’t a Henge.

Because the ancient chieftain who had it built didn’t use certified hengemen?

Regarding working in stone age societies, my strong suspicion would be that food preparation and other household chores (clothes maintenance, childcare, collection of water and firewood, building of tools and traps) might not be properly counted as “work” and they might take up quite a lot of women’s time in particular, compared to the actual food collection of farming.

@ lumipuna

Because the ancient chieftain who had it built didn’t use certified hengemen?

Funny you should say that. There is some evidence, from similarity of construction, that there may have been three or more ‘gangs’ of stone circle builders operating in Cornwall. Who erected circles to order; or at least there were three sets of ‘architects’ who supervised multiple builds.

(Although it’s actually because it has an external ditch and thus falls outside the definition; even though all henges are named after Stonehenge. Archeology eh?)

compared to the actual food collection of farming.

Ooh, gathering vs farming. Now there’s a topic. It’s fascinating. I could bang on for hours. But let’s just say that distinction between the two is becoming a lot less binary in modern archeology. Our neolithic friends were pretty hipster early adopters of ‘re-wilding’ it seems.

I’m especially fascinated by Göbekli Tepe. That’s really thrown the cat amongst the pigeons as to how the transition occurred. It’s an amazing place generally though. Just so anachronistic. Like digging a medieval castle and finding it’s built on top of an airport.

Although it’s actually because it has an external ditch and thus falls outside the definition; even though all henges are named after Stonehenge.

Thanks for this tidbit. So it’s technically a moathenge.

Also, thanks for the Guardian link and the exhibition video link about Doggerland. I too find Doggerland fascinating. The Dutch must feel some spiritual connection to ancient Doggerland people, considering how their country is under threat of being inundated.

Ah, I’m late as usual.

It’s so good to see you around again, I missed you!

@ lumipuna

The Dutch must feel some spiritual connection to ancient Doggerland

They could end up with a more literal connection. I mentioned above about the severe erosion on the Yorkshire coast. Well, there was a lot of work done to stop that. Big sea walls, groynes and all that. And it worked. Unfortunately it caused massive problems for the Dutch. The material that eroded ended up crossing the North Sea and reinforcing the dykes in Holland (No sniggering at the back Jes!). Without the erosion bolstering them, the dykes began to fail. So a deal was done where we dismantled all the sea defences. Now we’ve Brexitted I wonder if that still applies? Bit of a supervillain blackmail opportunity there I guess. And you can never have enough tulips.

No. It isn’t a henge.

It is THE henge. All others are mere shadows. 😛

(Mpumalanga makes Stonehenge a mere infant. Been sat in it’s valley for the last 20,000 years or so just watching the centuries go by, but local pride will always win out!)

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