Saturday, October 22, 2011

Jane Caro Contacted Me

And since we all know that I have nothing to do in life, and that I'm not working on any projects right now, I thought that I'd finally put something on my plate!  I'm going to labor under the premise that this is actually Jane Caro (I'm in the process of trying to verify that right now).

Assuming it is she, she has mentioned that she is, in fact, interested in and available for (no information on specifics - also something I'm working on learning) speaking/debating/whatevering she does best at events in the states.

Incidentally, the way Jane Caro came across me is my article reviewing her debate on IQ squared; a debate I might add in which she-quite appropriately rudely-spent a full nine minutes slapping around her opposition with that petty matter of facts. She was googling (shamelessly as she said) herself.

It is a real shame that she the top return in google for 'jane caro debate' is my youtube video of that debate. The same for other variations on that theme. The lowest my youtube video of that which I found either 4th or 5th. Constantly I am met with the bewilderment of the PZ stripe of atheists who are constantly bemoaning the lack of diversity in the movement. Why aren't there more women in atheism?

A fairly straightforward solution to my mind is that instead of finding the ones who have capacity to be good examples of smart, driven, educated, articulate and serious humans who are ignored, we're too busy recruiting the perky dilettantes we tirelessly see being paraded around as strong advocates of atheism - let alone, women in atheism.  Consider for a moment a mere matter of style, to say nothing of substance.

We have choices, and since the time available for speakers at events is limited, some of the choices are mutually exclusive. To invite group a of speakers, means that you simply cannot have group b speaking. Thus, we should hope organizers are making group a as robust as possible.

You're a member attending some conference, anywhere, USA, on the issue of skepticism, atheism, and communicating the same.  Two speakers are slotted for the same billet and you have to choose between them.

Speaker a begins opens with some variation on the following concept:  "I'm still drunk", "So, I was in a bar last night with the event organizers"

Speaker b opens with: "the prima facie evidence that all gods are man made is, of course, their treatment of women."

As a mere issue of style, it would seem that we have two very different approaches.

Speaker b in this case is Jane Caro, and speaker A is Rebecca Watson.  Their educational backgrounds are similar. The difference between them then is not a result of that. The difference is in capacity, drive, and desire. Whatever the differences between, one simply has more capacity, and yet is almost unheard of here in the states - though she's amenable to working the circuit here. She runs a successful business in marketing, is an author and invited panelist on Q&A, in addition to being an invited debater at an IQ2 debate. In short, she's not a slacktevist. She does the online thing, twitter, but she also debates, attends public discussions, travels in the business world and so on. She's also witty and well read - a clever wordsmith who's expert in bringing to bear her background in communications and marketing, she's a force to be taken seriously. Where is she in the states? Where is she at our events? Why is a woman of her capacity mostly highly ranked in google for my crap blog and youtube channel?

Why oh fucking why don't we have more women in atheism?! Why is so hard to get women speakers?!  Well, it can't be that we don't want them - listen to all the Watsonistas - they love women. Sure, there's the caveat that they have to agree with Watson, but it's slim pickings out there. There just aren't any women who exist who can compete with Greta, Watson, Benson, and PZ - the four horsewomen. Except that there are: just no one who's organizing meetings/events is asking them.

What about substance?  Well, Watson has released a video excoriating the "Church" for executing Galileo, decides to spend part of a keynote speech lambasting a conference attendee, wasted her time on a panel with Dawkins (on communicating atheism) to read us her e-mail and youtube comments, and to call down Paula Kirby for being too old, blind and successful to see that sexism exists.

Let's see if this slacktevism bit can be used for good. Let's get Jane Caro invited as a paid, key-note speaker at a convention here in the states.  With all of the 'No." meme silliness running around, I'll be modifying that and instead of signing 'No." from here on out, I'll end it with "JaneCaro." I certainly hope others help get this message out.

She's on twitter @janecaro, where she frequently comments on @qanda (Q&A). Sometimes, she shows a wry wit:
Jane Caro gilding the lily, unfortunate phrase to use in a discussion of black and white relations.

And then there's Jane Caro. For contrast, here's a video of each:

Edit to add a list of debates with Jane:


John D said...

Jane is cool.  Thanks.

The Justicar said...

That she is. I hope people follow on and send in e-mails to event organizers to get her as a speaker. She's thoughtful and articulate. Her claims aren't simply pandering to what people already accept as true; she sets out a proposition and structures individual arguments as to why it's correct.

It's like she's competent or something.

ERV said...

OMG Thats so cool!

The Justicar said...

Indeed. Spread the word to get her hired here! (you have a bigger platform than do I, plus you're sought out to speak at places).  Plus, you know, the benefit of her speaking at an event improving the quality by consequence of having a smart person presenting something. =P

And, you know, she has a vagina so you can rub people's noses in that! (take the double entendre how you will).

Amy said...

There's a lot of women in the USA who aren't skepchicks. Why not write a blogpost identifying those women (along with the names of the women who were at Caro's Global Atheist Convention) so it's more evident as to who are the kinds of women who DON'T start their talks with "I'm still drunk" and "So, I was in a bar last night with the event organizers"? 
If you want to support female skeptics and atheists, be fair to all of those who get overlooked for whatever reason exists.

The Justicar said...

My larger point is that the stated goals of the event planners and organizers are not congruent with their actions. I have spoken at length here about various women (both in and out of the states - I'm not that provincial!) who would be awesome speakers. Nay, who are awesome speakers, but don't get invited to speak at the meetups.

Ask Abbie Smith - the one who is front and center of exposing the fraud of Judy Mikovits and the XMRV debacle, leading to Mikovits being ousted from the lab in disgrace.  She has an impact factor several orders of magnitude greater than mine and has made it known to the event organizers and community-at-large that she has a list of awesome women speakers. So, knowing that the event organizers are aware of this, how many of them do you suppose have asked Abbie to arrange a meeting, or who these women are?

Zero the last time I checked.

Why oh why aren't there more women at atheist events? The organizers don't want them - unless they're the right kind of women . . . if you catch my drift.

If we can get this *one* great speaker/thinker invited and paid from my urging on my shit blog, that'd be awesome. But I doubt it will happens since, as you can see, most people aren't interested in *doing* anything.

This post has had over 400 views since I put it up; yours is the third reply here. One happened at Abbie's place so far. If this takes off and Jane gets booked, I'll be all up in that shit. As it is, I doubt if 10 people will even be bothered to respond to this in anyway other than reading it, saying 'yeah', and then saying fuck-it as they close out the browser.

in short, there aren't more women in the movement because the movement isn't about diversity. It's not about freethinking and being exposed to new ideas, to rigorous analysis, to deeply uncomfortable realities involving the interplay between and among genders, peoples, nations, cultures and societies. It's about a weekend of hangin' out with people one already knows and is comfortable with.

Look at EG - the way the side opposite has been banging on about it is guaranteed to turn off many people from the movement. Follow that up with this week's PZ post taking on the "Chaplain" thing in Boston. If there's a way to let people know they're not quite atheist enough in exactly the right kind of way, that camp will make sure they're vilified.

Accommodationist to them doesn't mean supporting religion, it means not going out of one's way to be an utter dick. Whatever the reasons for these observations of mine, I'd be shocked if they were unrelated to why the organizers can't "find" the women.

Michael Gray said...

(A repeat of a post that I made at ERV, but has been held in moderation, for some strange reason. Perhaps we did break the inter-toobz.)

Also appearing on that sensible all female panel in 2010, (at the Global Atheist Convention 2010), were Maggie Millar, Lyn Allison, Leslie Cannold, Tanya Levin (and Jane Caro)
The event was hosted by Kylie Sturgess, and had the brave Taslima Nasrin as a main speaker, & Sue-Ann Post for comic relief.
Not one of them circumlocuted themselves! Not one of them strayed from the topic.
If one is going to invite Jane Caro, then one would do well to consider these others, and I'm sure than Jane would agree.

The Justicar said...

There are tons of people who are qualified for this. I'm a small-time blogger; I'll do a small-time operation: get one person invited. Then my master plan to get other smart people invited will take off!

Today: quadratics
Tomorrow: Jane Caro

Yes, it's a novel concept that whole saying what you think thing, and not trying to just fill space with words for an hour to make it seem like you've done something. It's, oh, I don't know, practically a god-given miracle.

I too have a comment in moderation at Abbie's (about every other one is being moderated automatically now; she's getting annoyed with it, as are we - I think we have almost finally broken the internet!).  In it, I talk about this video with Jane Caro in it I'm watching right now: the Juanita Nielson Memorial Lecture.

Unlike what Twatson calls a lecture (talking about being drunk and douching isn't quite a lecture), Caro's in this is properly a lecture. It's analytic, funny in bursts, serious in bursts, poetic at some points, matter-of-fact in others. Fuck, one might call it a 'good' lecture in that way - particularly since it has those pesky little facts and figures and research and analysis and a point.

Oh, and it's a topic she didn't want to speak on, but it's what she was invited to speak on and the topic she was given. So guess what she did instead? Read her e-mail for an hour. WAIT WRONG PERSON. She talked about the topic she was invited to, and did a fine job I dare say. (Or is doing; I haven't finished it yet. She might screw it up in the end, but I doubt it.)

Now, NO ONE TELL PEEZUS that I am speaking well of a woman. I worked hard for my misogyny label - it literally took me like seconds to type out the 'not following you here - coffee, rape, how do these belong in the same conversation?' that got it for me.

0verlord said...

Well because *you're* promoting her and she didn't automatically write you off as scum-of-the-earth must mean she's a gender traitor or something.  I mean come on -- she didn't KNOW you're on the blacklist??  That list is transmitted telepathically to all *real* feminists!

The Justicar said...

I did send her an e-mail sketching the respective ground. Short version: Justicar + anyone's name = PeeZus et ass labeling said other as an irredeemable shit.

Mike Fisher said...

It's ironic really because YOU are doing feminism here. Well done.

Michael Gray said...

Aspie question here: Why is that "ironic"?
(If it helps you, imagine Sheldon from "The Big Bang Theory" asking that honest question.)

Spence said...

I did not watch the IQ2 debate when you linked it in the last post - I was in a place where I couldn't turn the sound on, and didn't have headphones.  I made a mental note to return at a more convenient time and didn't, much to my own embarrassment.

Having watched it this time, I agree with your assessment of Jane.  Confident, clear, engaging, on topic, and with a strong message.

I wonder what the root cause of not seeking out new female speakers could be?  Are those four really powerful enough to control who gets called to speak where?  It seems unlikely to me, although if they have enough friends in the right places it might be plausible.  Could it just be laziness on the part of the organisers?  Sort of "hey, this crowd worked last time, I don't want to risk changing the formula"?  This perhaps seems more likely to me, and if true would mean that the sort of campaign Justicar is engaging in here (awareness raising) could be effective.

I'm just speculating, because I haven't got any evidence or experience on this matter.  Happy to be corrected.

Jane Caro said...

If I wasn't an atheist, I'd say god bless you, justicar. Whether I ever get to speak in the US or not (and I have not been invited to speak at next year's Global Atheist Conference in Australia either. Apparently my 10 minutes last year on the women's panel (I kid you not- I did ask whether they were also having a men's panel - rather ghastly hush in response) was more than enough) you have  given me real encouragement by your response - which means, literally, the passing on of courage. And that, in itself, is enough.
Mind you, would drop everything to come to the States.....

Michael Gray said...

Despair not.
There are many folk "on your side", as it were.

The Justicar said...

Well, as I've said, my impact factor is quite small, as you can see. I will do what I can, but that's almost like saying I'll get next to nothing done.

I look at 'mens' or 'womens' panels much the same as I do when I see 'Obama, first black president'.  Do you know why no one talks about, say, women exercising their rights to suffrage anymore? Because, it's normative now.  I think panels on why aren't we progressive enough an indication that we aren't progressive enough because the people asking the questions are too worried about looking like being progressive instead of actually being progressive. I'm starting to hate that word. Why is equality a progressive value?

How about if we call, oh, I don't know, minimalissive? It's a sad indictment that people think recognizing half of the species as being full members is 'progress'. We should so be past that now.

Besides, if we let men an women be fully equal, then we'll have to argue about gay marriage - and who wants that? And then after we solve these non-issues, we might realize that our education systems are under attack, the climate is royally fucked up, Islam is NOT the religion of the peace (neither is Christianity), and, well, I've gone too far. I simply must find myself a panel first.

If I ever get invited to sit on a gay panel, I'm so going to go to embarrass the organizers for inviting me to speak because I finally sucked just the right amount of dick to get noticed.

The Justicar said...

I highly doubt you'll object to an Aussie get together being described as yet another occasion to have a few drinks with pals. =P

Yes, that part is provincial on purpose; I am trying to get some Aussies hired here in the states that we might have a better frame of reference of what a good speaker sounds like. (accent notwithstanding).

Jane, I note, spoke of the people from the funny sounding states. I hail from the south, but as one notices I lack the accent (private schooling, not funded by the state for even a dime one notes).

Besides, whenever I'm talking about a country completely failing to be a model of equality, it's generally the US or other already theocracies, or theocracies-in-waiting, how regal.

I am fully aware that among western countries, my native land is a one off.

Chris said...

From Shakespeare's King John, 1595:SALISBURY: Therefore, to be possess'd with double pomp, To guard a title that was rich before, To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, To throw a perfume on the violet, To smooth the ice, or add another hue Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.

The Justicar said...

The genetic fallacy: a non-sequitur whereby a conclusion of modern import is dismissed in favor of arguing that the origin of the thing under consideration is what is relevant - that modern use is irrelevant, and thereby forfeit in favor of the origins of something.

To the gild the lily:
1.) to paint or a coat with a thin layer of gold
2.) to deceptively improve the appearance of a thing

Lily, as in the lily-white movement.

However, even if one wants to remain positively Shakespearean about this, why in a discussion on black and white relations should we take it as a not-unfortunate turn of phrase to use the concept of painting over something to improve its appearance? What is wrong with the current model that would require that fresh coat of paint to gussy it up?

If the underlying structure of the model is good, or at least sufficiently workably good, one is hard-pressed to imagine why it would need adornment. No one, for instance, needs to gussy the parity between men and women with respect to voting or education rights. It is perfectly fine that both genders are treated equally in that regard, and thus no longer needs to be sold in western countries as a good idea. It's almost universally accepted as normative.

We don't need to guild the lily for things that are properly balanced, workable and equally fair to all people without respect to who the person is.

It is, even at best, an unfortunate turn of phrase - even if one doesn't want to take note of the racist implications it might have to a student of history. For instance, the forced relocation of indigineous peoples throughout the world as a direct consequence of white power and expansion with respect to an expansionist Crown from England.

I don't think anyone who's educated misses the fact that it's an expression used by Shakespeare. Most of us also don't miss the necessary baggage attending the phrase which has in the past 400 years been accrued on its semantic account.

0verlord said...

Take the narrative of Justicar as constructed by the Watsonistas, who are self-proclaimed feminists: misogynist, pro-rape, vile piece of shit.  Now observe as he promotes Jane Caro as not only a woman in skepticism, but a genuinely interesting and intelligent person with quite a lot to contribute.  As a pro-rape misogynist piece of shit, we ought to expect Justicar would never do anything remotely feminist or humanist, and we ought to expect that the Watsonists -- as feminists -- would take the helm in finding new and interesting people like Jane Caro.  Instead, we see the opposite, and Justicar illustrates through his actions the folly of the Watsonistas.  Make sense, or did I just babble nonsense?

Michael Gray said...

Note to self: Must resolve word-wrap issues.
Priority: epsilon/pi.

Michael Gray said...

Here, the suspect characters are from the "Deep North", as one might expect from down-under! Tropical Queensland is a 'hot-bed' in more ways that one of superstitious lunacy, but mostly of the "control-'em with religion" type of political stand-over tactic.

And as for your impertinent crack: "I highly doubt you'll object to an Aussie get together being described as yet another occasion to have a few drinks with pals", too bloody right, mate! ;) I'll drink to that.

Michael Gray said...

Sorry, I did not see how that answered my enquiry.
I still do not understand in what way it was ironic.
I suspect the fault lies with my brain, and not yours.

Michael Gray said...

How is this "doubly' pompous interjection at all relevant to the topic at hand?
Your remark seems to be as entirely random as to be that of a software robot.

0verlord said...

Sorry I couldn't help.  Not good at that sort of thing.

ERV said...

Well, you can file this under 'Be careful what you wish for':

I asked the organizers of FreeOK about inviting Caro to our conference next summer.

They. Are. PUMPED!!  Currently pow-wow-ing about how to orchestrate it.

Oklahoma is not for the faint of heart!  But I bet she would have fun!  Dawkins sure did!

The Justicar said...

Oh Em Gee, that's awesome sausage! Thank you! (What am I? McWrong here - thank you for doing something for someone else who isn't me on their behalf?)

You know what I mean!

This might mean *I* might have to fly out to OK next summer then.  Gurrrl, I have some shitty green nail polish I've been DYEING (my hair badly) to try out. I guess I know when and where!

The Justicar said...

Gosh, the things you can find there in Oz we can't find here. Like bad cars! We too had the mother-in-law seat back in the day. Now, we find it's more efficient to buy them their own cars and a cell phone; it makes the henpecking far more optional. =P

Miranda Celeste Hale said...

Hi Jane! I just wanted to tell you that I was really impressed with your performance at the IQ2 debate. I hope that you'll be invited to speak at many more events in the future.

ERV said...

Im sure Caro will be over the moon :P

Caro: I just got invited to speak in the US!!!
Friends: OMG!!  Where are you going?? New York??  Seattle?? Boston??
Caro: No! OKLAHOMA!!!
Friends: *blink*
Caro: *blink*
Friends: *blink*

Caro: *blink*


No, for real, I think she would have fun here.  We are kinda an Evangelical Christian freak show that must be seen and interacted with to be *fully* appreciated.

The Justicar said...

I was in the middle of a dinner party when that hit my phone. I had to leave to write back to you - after telling the story to everyone!

The Justicar said...

I think the best way to orchestrate things is with a rusty trombone.

DaveDodo007 said...

Wow, great find Jane is some debater, I hope the Watson supporters aren't being lookist, that would never do.

Jane Caro said...

Greetings from just-getting-back-in-the-air Australia,
I will be doing a "Women, Power and Culture" panel this Saturday arvo (that is Aussie for afternoon) in Sydney and a "Dying with Dignity Forum" on Tuesday 15th. Don't know if either will be videoed but if they are will let you know when and where they can be found.
Still hoping re Oklahoma, which sounds extremely exotic to me.
Jane Caro
Also flying Qantas Thursday so -fingers crossed.

The Justicar said...

I strongly encourage people to make public their public activities - my blog is just a poor choice if you want anyone to read it. I like 10k views a month, and I'm convinced that despite having track my views disabled, most of those are mine!

For those 5s of people reading, support Jane Caro! (and other smart people)

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