Weekend Navel Gazing: Old Boys Clubs


Murali did his undergraduate degree in molecular biology with a minor in biophysics from the National University of Singapore (NUS). He then changed direction and did his Masters in Philosophy also at NUS. Now, he is currently pursuing a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Warwick.

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93 Responses

  1. E.D. Kain says:

    J.L. Wall is Jewish (unless I am very much mistaken.)

    For some reason we can’t get girls to write here. I would gladly change the name of the site to The League of Ordinary Ladies and Gentlemen if we could get a few female writers on board.Report

    • E.D. Kain in reply to E.D. Kain says:

      Also, Daniel is Jewish. I honestly don’t know the religious/ethnic make-up of everyone here. We are a bunch of dudes, though, so that’s something.

      If any girls want to write here they should email me.Report

      • wardsmith in reply to E.D. Kain says:

        When Patrick asked me to contribute an essay on immigration for the lower section, I asked Joni Hersch at Vanderbilt through my nom de guerre here. Naturally she didn’t respond, probably thinking I’m just another Internet nutcase. She has some interesting stuff like like this that I think would be worth the “gentlemen” treatment.

        Perhaps if someone like Jason or Erik invited her directly?

        BTW Erik, this wasn’t the email I sent to, I used the one that is spam protected on the “Contact” page. In fact web trawlers have likely already snagged the mailto: you have above and you’re getting offers to rescue Nigerian millions as I write this. 🙂Report

      • J.L. Wall in reply to E.D. Kain says:

        “Jewish with a goyische name” may be more accurate, so I don’t take offense.Report

      • Franz Liszt in reply to E.D. Kain says:

        Okay ED, here is a brainteaser for you: I am not Jewish–pretty much split right down between Irish/German, but have been tested for “Jewishness”. Now how is that possible? No, this is not some deranged Hitler Youth Eugenics, Shockley craziness–this was Harvard Medical School.

        Now, what in the world am I talking about?Report

    • Rufus F. in reply to E.D. Kain says:

      Calling it the League of Ordinary Ladies and Gentlemen will look silly if the female contributors stiff us. Since this is the Internet, a good many contributors will stiff us. At least half have so far.Report

  2. E.D. Kain says:

    Also, I think ktward was simply asking if I’d be more open to expressing slightly more radical views outside the fairly libertarian sites I typically write for…which, as I said, would not be the case.Report

  3. James K says:

    I’m a white male atheist, so I fit the stereotype unquestionably.

    As to what to do about this, I suppose the only way to know is to ask the women who comment or lurk here. Would you like to contribute. Is there something we could do to make it more comfortable for you?Report

    • Kimmi in reply to James K says:

      well, I’ve got a post that I’m working on… I don’t actually intend it to be antagonistic, but I’m playing off of one of Patrick’s responses to me…Report

  4. Jakecollins says:

    Few women possess the sociopathic narcissism to be a libertarian?Report

  5. Johanna says:

    the obvious – the name of this blog.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Johanna says:

      I told them that we should be “Gentlepeeps” but my pleas fell on deaf ears.Report

      • Johanna in reply to Jaybird says:

        Heh. I only got here via the spouse – To be honest this blog has been around long enough sans regular female perspectives it seems to be silly to be bothered by it now – or I could say again (this point has been brought up before yes?). Mostly – like Rufus said just not particularly interested.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Johanna says:

          I will say one of those things that I say all the time:

          If you’ve a hankering to see a female perspective: WRITE AN ESSAY! Dude. We will post it.

          I cannot provide a female perspective on stuff. Only you can. (Well, there are others who can, of course, but I’m not a member of that set.)Report

          • Johanna in reply to Jaybird says:

            yeah well the things I find interesting wouldn’t necessarily draw what League regulars seem to love to debate on so I’ll pass. I agree with Rufus. Why would I want to write for the sake of adding a female perspective for a bunch of guys who don’t need and don’t regularly ask for it. Hell, I don’t think of this blog as exclusionary so I don’t see the big deal. Seems like over-sensitivity to me.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Johanna says:

              the things I find interesting wouldn’t necessarily draw what League regulars seem to love to debate on

              Try us.

              We’re not *ALL* perpetual adolescents who argue stuff from a perspective of being steeped in cultural privilege! Some of us returned to adolescence after a period of adulthood!Report

            • Tod Kelly in reply to Johanna says:

              May I be a dissenting voice here?

              As I said above, this isn’t a libertarian site any longer. And people post on everything from politics to education to food & wine to books, tv & movies to personal essays about their lives.

              Why not submit something on something you find really cool? Would I find something that strove to be in a female’s voice interesting? Maybe, maybe not. But I’d be pretty stoked to hear something in Johanna’s voice.Report

    • Scott in reply to Johanna says:


      Will a name change to a more gender neutral name make you feel better? Maybe that and a cup of warm milk, since these days the only thing that matters is catering to peoples feelings and their self esteem.Report

      • Rufus F. in reply to Scott says:

        You probably missed her saying that anyone worrying about these things, “Seems like over-sensitivity to me.”Report

        • Johanna in reply to Rufus F. says:

          Rufus – Exactly. The title is merely the first thing you see and a first impression. Attractive to women in a marketing sense? Nope. My initial comment was my drive by attempt at humor obviously taken far more sensitively than I imagined. If you find an interesting commentor that happens to fit the personality of this site is and is also female, I don’t imagine any hesitation for adding her into the blogroll. Sorry, but the invites to me feel more like when my guy friends in high school wanted me to play Dungeons and Dragons – I’m just not into that. I honestly wouldn’t be a good fit. I don’t have much to add to the types of conversations which are the mainstay of this site, hence I prefer to lurk. But really, to this female, I’m neither offended by the title, the subject matter, or the fact that this is primarily a boys club. Go forth and quit worrying.Report

      • Murali in reply to Scott says:

        Also, diversity of perspectives is good in that it keeps all lines of enquiry open. Its also good to balance out the non-epistemic factors which may go towards shaping our beliefs just so that the epistemic factors dominate.Report

  6. Rufus F. says:

    1. Maybe the name. Also, plenty of people find the things we talk about a bit boring. I can’t usually get my friends to read it. My wife hardly ever reads it.

    2. Not unless we’re obliviously discussing “what women really want” in every other thread.

    3. Maybe an open call for female contributors would help. Since most of the readers are males, probably not a lot though.

    4. Bear it in mind when gender issues come up here. Try not to piss of Tiger Beatdown again. Be polite.Report

  7. Scott says:

    This is navel gazing, so why bother?Report

  8. MFarmer says:

    It would be easier to ban ktward.Report

  9. Plinko says:

    Is Gawker averse to letting it’s writers post on other sites? io9 has several writers who happen to be female and interested in writing on subjects that seem to be of interest. Other than Alyssa, who seems to have a pretty good gig where she could post anything she would write here at, no one comes to mind as a natural fit, but I also read a pretty tight circle of blogs.Report

  10. Kolohe says:

    Wasn’t there a woman that had byline privileges a few months ago? What ever happened to her? (I can’t think of her name, though)Report

  11. Kolohe says:

    open thread question – is there a way to find old ‘Off the Cuff’ posts after they’ve scrolled off the sidebar?Report

  12. A blogger-friend of mine wrote an interesting essay that relates to this topic somewhat: http://dyske.com/paper/765Report

  13. ktward says:

    One of a few reasons I continue to read here: y’all have a spectacularly entertaining talent for transforming molehills located in one hemisphere into mountains planted in the other hemisphere.

    On occasion, I’m compelled to qualify an arguably imprecise comment. But this one comes as a curious surprise.

    The League is absolutely a Boys Club, and I wouldn’t at all see that changed. Just because gals aren’t regularly front-paging or frequently commenting doesn’t mean we aren’t reading and genuinely appreciating. Myself, I love the familial dynamics between the smart guys here. It’s like spying on a smokey cigared poker game between Aristotle and Plato and Nietzsche and … well, you get my meaning.

    80% of the time, were I to inject my non-Club persona and female sensibilities into the mix I might screw up the thread and miss the very insights I’ve come to value.

    So really, E.D. Don’t change a thing.Report

  14. I am an atheist with a predominantly Jewish heritage, social democratic young, white dude. I also have had a lot of people ask me why I blog here, but I used to tell them it’s a pretty liberaltarian type of place — and lately with the additions of Tod and Shawn and Erik’s continual evolutions, ideologically, I don’t think I would even grant the “tarian” description anymore. I’d say this place is best described as an earnest, somewhat high-brow but not wonk-y place that could use more females (and perhaps a little more gonzo); but that is basically just a place for polisci nerds and fellow travelers to yak it up.

    The lurk-y, drive-by readership does appear to be much more right-wing than the actual masthead, though, which I think is interesting and curious and have always wondered about.Report

  15. Char says:

    Gentlemen, I enjoy this site as a reader.  I am a mid-30’s white female corporate-type married mom with diverse interests (tech to public policy to economics; cooking, food, and wine; books, movies, and t.v.) and a capitalist libertarian.  This group tends to be intelligent, thoughtful, and truly interesting.  I don’t think you need to spend much time navel gazing on this one.  Just be who you are.

    In another time I would love to weigh in regularly.  I certainly have no shortage of strong, well-thought opinions, but my employer currently gets the majority of such efforts.  For now, the demands I have permit me the indulgence of reading only.  I suspect I’m not the only one who enjoys reading but doesn’t typically comment.  Please do keep up the thoughtful discourse so the rest of us can enjoy it!