Yesterday, when listing to an episode of the DarkHorse podcast, I heard Heather Heying discuss her observation regarding how some people have modified the meaning of science. It’s worth noting that Heather once expressed, “Through second-wave feminism, I’m totally onboard.”
When telling a story about a conference she once attended, reportedly promoted as a “feminist science” event, Heather stated, “And I said, ‘Nope. Can’t go there, won’t go there, because that’s not a thing.”
Though there may be feminist perspectives on science, one doubts the credibility of feminist science, similar to the distrust Heather expressed. As one source states, “There is not masculinist and feminist science, just good and bad science.”
I did still think of myself as a feminist at that point but that’s separate from being a scientist. And you can’t modify scientist with “feminist,” because feminism is an ideological position. And if that is informing, if that is modifying—linguistically, scientist—then your science is suspect. And your science is flawed. And you aren’t holding the scientific process as the thing that is most important. Because if you’re doing science, and you ask a question that comes up with an answer that… you come up with an answer that you don’t like, you’re not expecting, you wish weren’t true; it’s still the answer. And if you are informing your science with some ideology which is likely to have you push some answers and deep six others, then you’re not really doing science.
While there are various branches of science (i.e., natural, formal, and social), and various subfields (i.e., physical, earth, life) with various categories (i.e., physics, geology, biology, etc.), there is no conclusive element related to feminist science. The practice of science doesn’t need an ideological qualifier.
I state the obvious, because I continually observe other social scientists within the field of mental health espousing nonfactual rhetoric that serves as the antithesis of the scientific process. Many of my colleagues apparently believe rather than seeking to know what they’re talking about.
While I accept that people will routinely champion pseudo-scientific rhetoric, I attempt to refrain from doing so. However, if some position I currently maintain turns out to be inaccurate, as determined by additional valid data, I’m pleased to change my mind.
Are so-called feminist scientists prepared to do the same?
If you’re looking for a provider who won’t attempt to indoctrinate or condition you by way of spurious “science” claims, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.
As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.
At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!
Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW
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Crasnow, S. (2020, November 24). Feminist perspectives on science. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminist-science/
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Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer
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Longino, H. E. (1987). Can there be a feminist science? Feminism & Science. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/3810122
Shephard, S. (2015, October 7). The science of feminism: 9 studies of gender (in)equality) [Image]. WhatCulture. Retrieved from https://whatculture.com/offbeat/the-science-of-feminism-9-studies-of-gender-inequality
Weinstein, B. (2023, January 7). Bret and Heather 156th DarkHorse podcast livestream: Who lost the plot? [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/od5jq3f_u08
Weinstein, B. (n.d.). The DarkHorse podcast. Retrieved from https://www.bretweinstein.net/darkhorse-podcast
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Heather Heying. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heather_Heying