Feminism in Social Research

Authored by: Marianne Janack

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  December  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138825758
eBook ISBN: 9781315410098
Adobe ISBN: 9781315410081


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In season three of the show Portlandia, Candace’s son Bob (played by Bobby Moynihan) comes to the feminist bookstore where Candace (played by Fred Armisen) and Toni (played by Carrie Brownstein) try to sell him a vagina pillow. He objects that he has too many of them already, and asks Candace to watch the baby while he shops in another store for a gift for his partner. In this exchange, Toni and Candace tell Bob that they don’t want to know the gender or sex of the baby. Then Toni tells Bob this about gender: Toni

I don’t know your gender. I don’t know Candace’s. I don’t know mine.


You don’t know my gender?


I don’t.


Do I look like a woman?


I don’t know what a woman looks like.


Do you?


I just feel like I’m good at recognizing a woman when I see one.

Later, when Bob complains about how confusing his gender upbringing has been, Candace comments that lots of brilliant people were confused, including Einstein. Toni asks: “Was Einstein a man or a woman?” Candace replies, “He turned out to be a man—because of the mustache. That was a big giveaway. Even a woman could not have a mustache that … thick.”

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