[A]gain and again I argue that – because of under-acknowledgment of social factors, spurious results, poor methodologies, and untested assumptions – the evidence scientists and commentators provide as support for essentialist claims is simply not as strong as they seem to think.I think Fine should be invited to speak at more skeptic events. (I don’t know her at all and have no idea if she’s interested or available to do so, but I think invitations should be offered.) Here she is at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney in 2010*:
It’s portraying those who challenge scientific claims about essentially different male and female minds as more interested in politics than science. Let’s say good-bye to that straw-feminist. And, while she’s leaving, let’s also close the door behind her antithesis, the value-free mouthpiece of scientific facts. These characterizations aren’t just inaccurate, they’re also unproductive. Progress will be faster if we move beyond stereotypes and start thinking about the relationship between science and politics in this debate in a more sophisticated way.
Cordelia Fine: Delusions of Gender from Australian Broadcasting Corporation on FORA.tv
I find her an engaging speaker, but more generally I think that the beliefs underlying sexism (and racism) haven’t been sufficiently subjected to critical analysis in the skeptical community, where they are commonly expressed and where the straw-feminist and straw-antiracist are frequent and annoying guests.
*At one point, she’s talking about the misuse and misleading presentation of brain-scans, which I was just mentioning in another context.