Anti-woke spoof censored in Psychology Today

Yesterday at Psychology Today, a website that can be pretty dire, Lee Jussim, a professor and social psychologist who happens to be chair of the Psychology Department at Rutgers, published an “Orwelexicon”:  a spoof of a genuine Woke Lexicon published by another journal. For spoofing wokeness, Jussim had his piece taken down by the Psychology Today.

First, though, we should note that Jussim has street cred in social psychology. According to Wikipedia,

He has published and spoken extensively on scientific integrity and distortions in science motivated by politics, stereotype accuracy, prejudice, bias, self-fulfilling prophecy, and social constructionism. His works have won professional awards: his 2012 book Social Perception and Social Reality: Why Accuracy Dominates Bias and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy won an American Association of Publishers’ Prize for best book in psychology, and his 1991 book Social Belief and Social Reality: A Reflection-Construction Model received the Gordon Allport Prize for Research in Intergroup Relations. During his recent 2013–2014 sabbatical, he worked with colleagues at Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in the Behavioral Sciences and co-founded Stanford’s Best Practices in Science group.

Jussim’s piece was meant as a response to a woke and humorless lexicon published a year ago in BMJ, the new name for the former British Medical Journal. That piece resides behind a paywall, but you can see a run-on transcript here, or a judicious request might yield you a pdf:

Here are some of the neologisms created by Choo, DeMayo, and “Glaumoflecken” (obviously a coward who won’t reveal his/her/hir name). They’re neither clever nor funny, they can be perceived as somewhat misandristic in that they single out white males for special criticism (they could never do this with other groups which, of course, are perfect compared to white males), and this kind of woke stuff doesn’t belong in a medical journal, which is simply flaunting its virtue.

(I do like “Ovalooked, though!)

Well, if you think this kind of mockery is suitable for a scientific journal, more power to you. But apparently it rubbed Jussim (as it rubs me) the wrong way, and he responded by putting up his own “Orwelexicon” mocking the woke mentality that produced the BMJ glossary. You could have seen Jussim’s piece yesterday if you clicked on the screenshot, but what you get if you do that now is the second screenshot:

The article has disappeared!

Jussim is angry about this, as his Orwelexicon (a clever name) was a spoof. The journal simply removed it:

But you can still see it! You can see it at the Imgur link here, and I also have a transcript and screenshot. Here’s Jussim’s introduction and a few terms he coined:

In an article published in BMJ, a major biomedical journal, Drs Choo & Mayo presented a “Lexicon for Gender Bias in Academia and Medicine.”  They argued that “mansplaining” was just the “tip of the iceberg” and so they coined terms such as:

Himpediment: Man who stands in the way of progress of women.

and

Misteria: Irrational fear that advancing women means catastrophic lack of opportunity for men.

This Orwelexicon is offered in a similar spirit of capturing biases, albeit quite different ones, that pervade academia.  It is also a bit different, at least sometimes, because these words often capture the Orwellian disingenuousness with which some terms are used in academia.

A few examples of neologisms—psychological syndromes—from Jussim’s original Orwelexicon:

If you want to see all Jussim’s examples, go to the Imgur site above.

Well, we all know that every venue of mainstream or liberal journalism (at least those I read) is becoming more woke, so it’s not that surprising that Psychology Today would take down this post mocking Wokeness at the same time that BMJ publishes an article that mocks male behavior. Granted, men in academic situations often behave in a peremptory, sexist, or domineering way, but the medical lexicon is grating and cringeworthy, as well as being a form of racism/sexism that would not be tolerated if directed at any other group—unless all other groups behave perfectly and in a non-tribalistic way.

And, at any rate, Jussim’s spoof is not directed at any ethnic or gender group in particular, but at the pathologies of Wokeness itself. It didn’t deserve to be censored, as it does make fun of things that need to be mocked.

We’ll see if Psychology Today puts it up. Jussim is hopeful; I’m not. For if they reinstate the piece, the Woke will hound the journal to death, calling for the editors’ resignations, and probably for Jussim’s as well. So it goes.

30 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    I think I like “emotional imperialism” best.

    • Posted January 18, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • A C Harper
      Posted January 19, 2020 at 3:39 am | Permalink

      I liked ‘Emotional Imperialism’ too… we all do it to some extent by forming expectations of other peoples’ actions and beliefs, but insisting that they conform to our expectations, that’s the Imperialism bit.

  2. Richard Sanderson🤴
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    There are a number of (now disgraced and discredited) people who used to refer to themselves as “skeptics”, who have bought into all this woke flat-earther nonsense.

    PZ Myers, Rebecca Watson, ReGreta Christina, David Gorski, Adam Lee, Dan “The Zionists” Arel, Peter “Humanisticus” Ferguson, and a bunch of other abusive regressive grifters, are some of them.

    Keep on keep mocking these anti-science, anti-liberal goons.

    • mvanbellinghen
      Posted January 18, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      The only one I know and sometimes look up is David Gorski. What exactly is wrong with him according to you? I do not read all of his comments regarding medicine, but anyway I never noticed anything warranting calling him disgraced and discredited, an abusive regressive grifter and an anti-science, anti-liberal goon. What did he do or say to deserve your wrath?

      • pablo
        Posted January 18, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        I don’t remember the details but a few years ago he threw a colleague(a fellow MD who blogged with him)under the bus because he was trying to make nice with the young women at Skeptchick. Said colleague wrote about it and she was pissed. If anyone remembers who she is, let me know. I couldn’t find it in my Google searches.

    • Deodand
      Posted January 18, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      I’m a regular reader of Gorski’s material, and he is nothing like Watson, Myers or the others, who’ve totally forgotten that to persuade others you have to talk TO them, not AT them.

      Which is of course why I cannot stand the Woke.

    • Tom B
      Posted January 18, 2020 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

      You missed with Dr. Gorski (alias Orac).
      No idea what your beef is with him but he goes after antivaccination folks and people who peddle faux cancer treatments. Both save lives.
      How does that make him an abusive grifter?
      He does what he does as a public service and gets attacked for it by the real grifters (Mike Adams, the “Health Ranger” for instance).

  3. Posted January 18, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    If something hurts just one person, and is not necessary, why do it, even for humor? This world has enough hurt already, and there are so many other wonderful things to discover and point out.

    • Florent
      Posted January 18, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Maybe for the sake of uplifting one’s mind about these things ? “Even” for humor is a good reason already, but there *will* always be at least *one* person hurt by *something*…

    • Posted January 18, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      The first error here is “not necessary”. Perhaps Jussim considered it necessary to satirize woke culture to make people realize its excesses. The same could be true for religion, which I consider a necessary task.

      And in case you don’t realize, in both cases people will claim that they’re hurt.

      My answer, “Too bad.”

    • KD
      Posted January 18, 2020 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      Because if we don’t put gay, second generation immigrants in the hospital, the fascists win. . .

  4. rickflick
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Publishers are either running scared, or cashing in. Probably both.

  5. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm, I’m suspicious that the first piece may have been a spoof too. “Glaucoma” being an eye disease, commonly leading to total blindness ; “Choo” being a toilet (in Kiswahili) ; and DeMayo being what some people consider an important component of a sandwich.
    Which is giving the subject rather more attention than it is worth.

    • Posted January 18, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it’s hard to read the first pieces as anything other than a parody.

      GCM

    • dd
      Posted January 18, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Esther K Choo….sounds like Esther “ketchup”

      and there is the “DeMayo”

      So, the article was written by ketchup and mayonnaise.

      “Glaucomflecken” Well, “flecken” is German word for stain. Glaucoma stains?

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 20, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        We’re a suspicious bunch, aren’t we?

    • Seth
      Posted January 19, 2020 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Choo and DeMayo are real people, as a quick Google search shows.

      It’s not a hoax or spoof. Rather, it’s a humor piece of a particular genre, wordplay based on a premise. The set-up is using “woke” background, but humor is subjective.

      Maybe this is the flip side of the charge that “political correctness is ruining comedy”.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 20, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        I seem to remember Les Dawson complaining about being strangled by Political Correctness way back in the era “BT” – as opposed to the “Years of the Iron Lady”.
        And yet again, people forgot to include a Year Zero.
        Say what you like about the Khmer Rouge, but they got that right at least!

  6. DrBrydon
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t adminomania just the same as socialism? There are some good ones on there, though.

  7. Jenny Haniver
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s brilliant satire and by no means a puerile derogation of the woke.

    Lee Jussim announced on his twitter page that he’s now working on “Occam’s Intersectional Tool Box.”

    “Contributions Welcome!”

  8. Posted January 18, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    In the original lexicon there is “hersuitism” which seems strangely similar to “hirsuitism”, meaning excessive body hair. Not sure if that was intended.

  9. despierta
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Don’t these people realize how pathetic they look letting themselves be pushed around by mobs of anonymous zeroes?

  10. mvanbellinghen
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    The BMJ always publishes satirical stuff in their Xmas publication. As you can read on the bmj website: We publish a special two-week issue of The BMJ over Christmas and New Year. (…) The soul of the Christmas issue is originality. We don’t want to publish anything that resembles anything we’ve published before. While we welcome light-hearted fare and satire, we do not publish spoofs, hoaxes, or fabricated studies.

  11. Deodand
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Obviously the spoof failed to pass the ‘Sensitivity Readers’ (Censorship Officers).

    More to the point, with the Woke it’s impossible to tell what is satire or not, they have no sense of humor.

  12. eric
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    This makes me laugh more than get angry. The naivete of these folks. Yes, new vernacular terms enter our living language. But not by anyone’s declaration. It goes popular use -> formal definition, not formal definition -> popular use.

    Shakespeare gave us ‘amazement.’ Twain gave us ‘bugged out’. But publish all the neologisms you want Profs. Choo and DemMayo, you’re no Shakespeare and Twain.

  13. pablo
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Misteria: Irrational fear that advancing women means catastrophic lack of opportunity for men.”
    It’s been my experience that it is more often SJWS who believe that equality is a zero sum game and that marginalized people can’t progress until straight white males are taken down a few pegs.

    • rickflick
      Posted January 18, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      That sounds reasonable. Hopefully, just youthful exuberance.

  14. chrism
    Posted January 19, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    The BMJ always does silly stuff for the Christmas edition. An ER doc named after a sneeze? Glaucomflecken are spots left in the eye after an episode of raised intra-ocular pressure. Maybe I’d get the DeMayo reference if it were Robert C DeMayo. The whole article is a joke and understood as such. It’s not meant seriously! In fact, I’m surprised the BMJ thought it a fit subject for humour in these days of wokeness, but good for them that they did. Now the question is this – did Jussim get taken in by it and decide to spoof it, then on discovering it was itself a parody have his own Orwelexicon taken down, or did he think it funny, decide to do his own version, and it was Psychology Today who decided they had no sense of humour? I suspect the latter.

  15. Posted January 20, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    The _Philosopher’s Lexicon_ consists of silly versions of philosopher’s *names*, and is not exactly friendly to folks sometimes. All living philosophers in it approved their entry, though.


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