Re: To Stephen Springette from Edryce

Aaron Lynch (
Tue, 01 Sep 1998 11:33:19 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 01 Sep 1998 11:33:19 -0500
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: Re: To Stephen Springette from Edryce
In-Reply-To: <>

At 08:57 PM 9/1/98 +0800, Stephen Springette wrote:
>At 09:54 PM 8/31/98 -0500, Aaron Lynch wrote:
>>Memetics is not about bashing feminists, nor exploiting women, as I was
>>pointing out before.
>Memetics is certainly not about exploiting or bashing women. For me,
>memetics is about understanding truths about our existence - and if that
>means bashing the purveyors of supremacist lies (whether they be communists,
>nazis or feminists), then so be it.
>>It occurs to me that my earlier comment about the gender supremacist
>>aspects of the "speed seduction" scam might be totally misread. By "gender
>>supremacist," I specifically meant male supremacist. The program has a
>>pseudoscientific male-supremacist tone to it, suggesting that women can be
>>easily wrapped around men's fingers. It purports to be a quick formula for
>>men to seduce and then control women. Its author goes around the net
>>talking about diapers and excrement, and suggests that men who don't buy
>>his products have no sex life. (Hard to imagine what sort of women actually
>>like this guy, but he has registered a good domain name for his business.)
>>Unfortunately, the seduction program has been promoted in 3 issues of a
>>certain "Meme Update" newsletter--but hopefully not again. Neither the
>>newsletter nor the "seduction" program are in any way central to memetics.
>>Those who are central to memetics show respect for the field as science,
>>and not just as a mutual marketing opportunity.
>Aaron, you were worried about your earlier comment being totally misread,
>and now you've made another comment that is just as likely to be misread.
>Lest there be any doubt, I am not the neanderthal referred to by Aaron.


My apologies for writing so vaguely that you could interpret my comments as
identifying you with "speed seduction." Allegations are not permitted, and
I have been censured previously for alleging fraud--hence my vagueness
yesterday. The purveyor of "speed seduction" tapes is Ross Jeffries, who
has publicly described himself as a "buddy" of Richard Brodie. The author
of the "Meme Update" newsletter that promoted them (numbers 7, 16, and 18)
is Richard Brodie. Number 7 discusses how Jeffries placed a bulk order of
Brodie's book "Virus of the Mind" for purposes of conducting a "top level
week-long seminar" on speed seduction in the Bahamas. I will not here
allege fraud on the part of either Brodie or Jeffries. I will just say that
the information they present is extremely doubtful, and triggers immune
reactions against memetics. I will also say that it is just a small speck
in a broad pattern of highly suspect promotional information. It is against
the memetics list policy to say that any individual or individuals are
frauds, but we are still permitted to dispute the "memetics" information
provided by individuals.

Richard Dawkins did not put the bulk of his efforts into defending
memetics, and indeed had long lasting doubts about the concept. (He has
moved past those doubts in the past 2 years, however.) The earlier power
vacuum left by Dawkins's self-doubts may have attracted some people intent
on taking over the word "meme" as a buzzword for marketing purposes. This
does a disservice to the science, as does declaring the URL's for such
material "central" to memetics. Building networks of mutual promotion
arrangements that spread fraudulent information can damage the reputation
of memetics as science, even if it improves the sale of a few particular
books and tapes.

>had supported feminism in the past because of the dominance of these types
>of men and because I had been gullible enough to believe feminists when they
>whined about being helpless, innocent victims. And, I reject feminism now
>for two main reasons:
> 1) It absolves women from taking responsibility for their choices
>and their role in the creation of the types of men that oppress us all;
> 2) It oppresses women. It ignores the very real way in which women
>hurt women. The worst of women are getting away with murder. Women create
>the norms against which women compare themselves and each other, judge each
>other, and exclude those women that dare to be different. Women as mothers,
>women as girl-friends and women as role-models create the maternal and
>peer-group pressures that provide all women with by far their greatest
>sources of oppression.

Your problem seems to be that you are criticizing "feminists" rather than
specific beliefs or scientific assertions. "Feminism" does not mean just
one thing. So rather than attempting to analyze "feminism," I suggest
analyzing specific ideas. For instance:

"Women should have the right to vote."

"Female genital mutilation should be abolished."

"Marital rape should be outlawed."

"Women should get equal pay for equal work."

"All oppression comes from the patriarchy."

"We need to establish a matriarchal world devoid of males."

..... etc.

These beliefs have different prevalences in society at large and among
those calling themselves feminists. They can also be analyzed in terms of
their specific transmission mechanisms. You may also find yourself
believing in some of these assertions while disbelieving others. If you
talk about "feminism," you might be talking about one set of ideas and your
discussion partners may be talking about a completely different set of
ideas. Clarity would be best served by discussing specific memes, and by
defining meme complexes in terms of their component memes.

--Aaron Lynch

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