Wednesday, October 22, 2014

This Week In Birding: "The Omnipresent Threat Of Male Birders To Women"

Please make the jump to lightspeed and check out Assertiveness Training for Women Birders. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT, regardless of gender, especially if you like ABA drama.

Ladies, I expect next time I see you in the field you will know I will regard your presence and participation with hostility. Dudes, I feel sorry for those of you who lack the physical equipment of alpha males, but at least you have successfully colluded with optics companies to have compensatory enormous binoculars.

Obviously there are grains of truth underlying her argument here...but this is some really next-level stuff. Just read it.

24 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. That chick really doesn't like dudes.

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  3. I don't know. It seems more like she's making a mockery of a mockery... Entertaining read, too bad the old boys dumped it.

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    1. I considered this, but knowing the tendency of birders to be weird and crazy instead of humorous and self-aware, I eliminated this possibility.

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    2. It would have been a better read if there was some self-deprecation involved in their emphatic response. But its just crazy instead.

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    3. I highly doubt it was ever accept for publication by the ABA. That rings about as true as her theories on 10x binos..

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    4. I'm with Jen, I thought is was satirical, no?

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    5. @Lynda, I honestly believe it is not. If you look in her "collected writings" section (which is vast) you get a sense of her personal politics...and this is not in the "humor" category.

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  4. Well, as long as the women ALWAYS walk behind me when I am birding, they can do whatever they want with their pitiful lil' ol' binoculars.

    I just hope they don't confuse pishing with pmsing amiright??

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    1. Like all male birders, this is a major concern for me that I think about a lot

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    2. Also, no birds are rare apparently? Or it isn't possible to see rare birds?
      Or men never see rare birds? (penises in the way).

      I didn't quite follow that part.

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  5. Caution - if not satyrical, then the person may be unbalanced. Anyone who starts with the premise "Looking at the strongly skewed ratio of male to female birders, it becomes clear that there must be special hazards and risks that discourage women from participating in this popular sport," and thinks their essay may actually get published ain't right in the noggin.

    But then, what do I know, I'm obviously diametrically opposed to having fun, learning about the ecology of birds, seeing interesting habitat and appreciating nature.

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    1. Well I'm glad you can admit what I've always suspected RT. When I first read your blog the four things I thought were "this dude is diametrically opposed to having fun, learning about the ecology of birds, seeing interesting habitat and appreciating nature".

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    2. If only she hadn't used the word "popular" it would have been ok. And maybe added a section about the "phallacies" of big lenses and spotting scopes and their roots back to that well-known misogynist Galileo.

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  6. Wow, look at the Old Boys' Network in Training coming out in defense of their own! Well done, gentlemen.

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    1. Please expound upon this Drew. If you don't, the B3 will put out a contract on you.

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    2. Yes, I suppose they'll track me down via eBird. Little do they know how cold that trail is.

      Please allow me to mansplain. Regardless of the merits/flaws of the piece, which reads to me like a satire/polemic in need of an editor, it's inevitable that reactions to it are on some level reactions to her main point--that misogyny is pervasive among birders as it is most everywhere else. Don't take my word for it; ASK A WOMAN.

      Clearly Salzman is an activist, and was writing to bring attention to an issue. The more you ridicule it, the more you prove her point.

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    3. And any time someone says Goshawks do not dwell in downtown Tucson, someone is proving Dr. Briefer's point that many birders are prejudiced against his ideas and close-minded to the very idea.
      AT I don't see how her point is being proved to anyone but herself, if the attention being brought to her is ridicule. This is not, I think, an "any press is good press" situation.

      Birders tend towards conservation and environmentalism already. There are plenty of initiatives about birder diversity, funds for inner-city birding, etc. Plenty of people have pointed out the male-dominance in competitive birding (which is also true in just about any competitive enterprise). She stated a commonly known dynamic, but used hyperbole, non sequitors, and her own personal conflations to argue it.
      She and Dr. Briefer would get on fabulously.

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    4. @Andrew sorry for the delayed response. Real life has been calling. Anyhow, when you say that "misogyny is pervasive among birders as it is most everywhere else", I don't think anyone is disagreeing with that sentiment....at least, I'm not. But when you say "the more you ridicule it, the more you prove her point", that logic is inherently flawed. That piece is rife with ridiculous fiction and grandiosity (which is why you and others suspect it is actually satire)...so why should anyone give it respect? I mean, she is claiming there are no rare birds...I will gladly ridicule that idea, no matter where it comes from. So I think your statement there is reaching.

      There is a fine line in responding to this kind of thing where the boundaries of respect and political correctness can be crossed, granted...but this is just poorly executed. Brooke's article on the same topic (which actually did get put out by ABA a couple years ago) did a outstanding job in getting the same point across without seeming completely bizarre and out of left field. At any rate, just because this writing is based on a very touchy subject does not mean it is immune to criticism or commands automatic respect, and just because most birders of both genders can laugh at this does not mean they don't think it is a valid topic. That said....this is really funny, and does not advance her cause (again, a worthy one) in any positive way. Ask a woman.

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    1. That's what Veterans Day is for....right?

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