As many of you know by now I had an extremely important exam last Thursday, for which I studied a lot. If I didn’t pass the exam, I wouldn’t be able to start with my Bachelor thesis, which would mean I’d have to wait half a year A) to do the course again and B) before I would be allowed to do the thesis.
Good news though, I passed. I was so psyched! In September I’m going to start my thesis for my Clinical and Health Psychology Bachelor. That means that I will graduate around February! After that, there’s still half a year before I can start my Master’s, but during that time I’m probably (hopefully) going to do an internship somewhere that fits with the Master’s I want to do: Global Criminology.
A Major Blog Fail
Wednesday, I was linked to an article on the Daily News (UK) website by a friend of mine. She’s an American lawyer who’s lived in The Netherlands for ~15 years and she didn’t recognize anything the article suggested. After having read the article, I was absolutely furious.
You can read it here: The land that feminism forgot: They wouldn’t dream of working full-time, spend three hours a day drinking coffee and their men pay for everything – have Dutch women found the secret to happiness? (a ridiculously long title, don’t you think?)
Basically, after conducting an interview with three women of relatively high status, the writer of this article generalized that (among other things) all Dutch women don’t work full-time, all Dutch women let their men pay for everything and don’t care, and what’s worse, she thinks that feminism equals working full-time in an office and that your work is your identity.
As you can probably tell, I don’t agree to these statements at all.
There are many women in The Netherlands that work themselves to the point where they burn out (who doesn’t know someone, male or female, like that), men, too, sometimes work part-time (and why not?). There are many women that want to be able to provide for themselves (and their children), and some have to because their (ex)-husband doesn’t help at all. The writer of the article generalized an entire population of a country after having interviewed three women who were lucky enough to be able to afford not having to work a full-time job.
I was particularly aggravated by the writer of this article that she thought she could generalize so easily because I KNOW how hard it is for researchers to conduct research to make generalizations. The exam I had on Thursday was on Statistics. This course teaches us exactly that we need hundreds, sometimes even thousands of people in our sample to be able to generalize. Then, an insane amount of testing follows. You have to make sure the error variances are independent, you need to make sure the residuals are normally distributed and so on. If not, your research is for nothing: you will be allowed to make conclusions about that sample, but you will not be allowed to make conclusions about the general population.
I followed the comments section closely. I tried to post something myself, basically saying what I just said, but I don’t know what happened to it – it was never published (did they filter the comment or does their comment plugin suck, who knows?). However, many other people’s comments were published. There were the Dutch defending themselves and other women, you had the Brits (and people of other nationalities I would assume) that did not believe the article, but you also had the folks that just believed the article and said things akin to “I’m moving to The Netherlands”, or “I wish I had a life like that”.
The point of this story is: never just believe anything that is written on the Internet. Always stay skeptical. Make sure you know the person who wrote the article makes their conclusion based on solid evidence.
Most importantly: never EVER believe something about another culture with which you’re not familiar, if the writer of the article/book does not use proper material to base their arguments on.
I post a lot of information about our brains, behavior, and psyche. I’m not always right either: I try to base my arguments and conclusions on recent literature, but you’ll never know what future research will falsify my past statements, and that counts for every article on the web.
Also, am I wrong to think that feminism is just about “being able to make your own choices” as a woman, and not at all about work?
Social Media & Writing
Blogging and Maintaining Our Sanity–Part One @ Kristen Lamb
The Apple Guide to Copywriting Magic @ Pushing Social
10 ways writers can get the most out of Twitter @ WordCount
7 Don’t-Miss Sites for Online Marketing @ There Are No Rules
Five Misconceptions That Might Just be Stopping You Getting Published (And How To Fix Them) @ BubbleCow
Fascinating Informative Blogs
America’s First Serial Killer-H.H. Holmes @ Peter Saint Clair
#1 Rule on Twitter @ C.M. Stewart – great food for thought… Are we following the “social media gurus” too blindly?
Haven’t had too much time to read blogs this last weeks, guess I’ll read more again now I’m free from Statistics FOREVER :p
And as always… Server Attention Span @ Xkcd.com
Have a great week!