Woo from Dr. Oz and Everyday Feminism

Dr. Mehmet Oz was launched into public celebrity via promotions by Oprah Winfrey and Larry King. He still has a daily television show on Fox, “The Dr. Oz Show,” which I blessedly haven’t seen. But I have read about his various promotions of pseudoscience, including weight loss nostrums, alternative medicine, and even “reparative therapy” designed to turn gay people straight. He’s been called out for this many times, but now his wooish-ness has expanded, as the man is now into astrology and how it relates to your health.

Grania sent me one of Dr. Oz’s tweets yesterday, which was here, but somehow it’s mysteriously disappeared, maybe because Dr. Oz is taking a lot of flak for it. Fortunately, the Internet is forever, and there are screenshots online:

About our health? How can it be that the date and time on which we’re born gives us a propensity to this or that disease? Well, of course it wouldn’t, but that hasn’t stopped Dr. Oz, who has posted the article below on his t.v. show website. I’ve captured a screenshot in case he takes that down and linked it to the original site:

The “slideshow” goes through all the astrological signs one by one, so you can see how your stars affect your health. Here’s mine (I’m a Capricorn):

Well, I haven’t noticed any buckling or weakness in the knees, though I’m goal oriented (I’m sure many Capricorns are not). If you’re an Aries, you’re prone to migraines, the Taurus is liable to get a stiff neck, and Virgos can have gastrointestinal issues. Is there any research supporting these correlations? If there is, I’m not aware of it, and apparently neither is Dr. Oz or his astrologer factotum Rebecca Gordon.

The man is a fraud, and his show should be taken off the air. Sadly, many Americans like the kind of pablum he sells, so there’s no hope of that. All we can do is embarrass the hell out of him, as I will soon do on Twitter, and hope that he relents, as he has in part here. To call the man a quack is an insult to ducks.

UPDATE: I just heard from Grania that Dr. Oz has revised his astrology tweet, but it isn’t much better. There’s a video in it, too.

*********

The ad below appeared on the execrable website Everyday Feminism, whose motto should be “Making you feel bad about yourself—24 hours a day.” You can find the full description of the course here. Thanks to reader Su, who added:

“As EvFem shows its true calling… making $.”

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, feminism has now incorporated the woo of tarot as a way of fighting the Patriarchy, and it will cost you a mere $35 to unlock your inner magic. Here’s some of the blurb from the website; the bolding is theirs.

As women, we’re often taught at an early age to ignore our intuition and to trust the wisdom of others. We’re told that we’re being too sensitive, emotional, illogical or dramatic when we operate off our intuition.

But intuition is an innate skill that’s accessible to everyone. Like a muscle, it can only be strengthened when used, but never lost. It’s the art of gaining knowledge without using any conscious understanding on how you got that information.

Tapping deeper into this ability and practicing daily, can help us to remove what blocks our abundance and success, clarify the energy that is going on around and within us, and bring an overall greater state of ease.

We’re naturally embedded with our own “gps” that shifts us toward where we need to be and how to best act, so that we can thrive and serve from a space of truth and integrity. We seldom trust our intuition because we’re used to thinking of it as figment of our imagination and quite often, our intuition speaks so softly that we ignore it.

Tarot cards are a phenomenal way to gain insight, guidance and clarity over feelings, actions and decisions to be. It serves as a tool to enhance self-awareness, intuitive/psychic abilities and self-trust.

Reading the Tarot and accessing your intuition is actually quite easy. You don’t have to rely on other spiritual guides for that information. With my help, after this webinar, you should be able to interpret energy and get those answers yourself.

What a shame that a good cause—women’s equality—has to be yoked to this kind of nonsense. But there’s always been a wing of feminism that touts the idea that women have “different ways of knowing” or even, as does postmodernism, claims that “objective truth” is a myth, sometimes perpetuated by white males. We’ll be talking about a new paper on the “female ways of knowing” canard in the next few days.

In the meantime, if you’re not game for tarot, you can always sign up for this social justice seminar.  Everyday Feminism is clearly hurting for money, as it’s announced several times before.

67 Comments

  1. Posted June 7, 2018 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    He is probably confusing you with a fainting goat! Just google that for those who do not …

    Pass the crystal spread the tarot
    In illusion comfort lies
    The safest way the straight and narrow
    No confusion no surprise

    Alice by Sisters of Mercy

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 7, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Look here, brother
      Who you jivin’ with that cosmik debris?

      — Frank Zappa

    • Mark R.
      Posted June 7, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Eldritch wrote some cool lyrics back in the day.

  2. Posted June 7, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    It’s all about money. People devise all sorts of ways to separate fools from their cash. Hence we have Dr Oz, astrologers and Everyday Feminism.

  3. GBJames
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Somehow I thought when I got older people would stop being idiots. I was wrong.

    • Robert Bray
      Posted June 8, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      As my sainted mother used to say, ‘People don’t change as they age, they just become more themselves.’

  4. Posted June 7, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    “As women, we’re often taught at an early age to ignore our intuition and to trust the wisdom of others. We’re told that we’re being too sensitive, emotional, illogical etc etc ”

    If you added ‘gullible’ to that last sentence that would improve it. That reminds of an old cartoon I used to see on a profs office door. A gypsy is looking into a crystal ball with a client sitting opposite and saying something along the lines of ” I see you have a poor sense of coincidence, causation and statistics..”

  5. notsecurelyanchored
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Re: Practical Decolonization Webinar — is that colon as in colonoscopy, colon cleansing? I was afraid to click through!

  6. Posted June 7, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    “How can it be that the date and time on which we’re born gives us a propensity to this or that disease?”

    Weather, temperature, light and customs change across the year. Eating differently during a pregnancy in Summer than in Winter, more or less light, being more or less active in some season than another and so on, might be an influence. Embryonic development may be affected by such influences. Young infants spending more time outdoors in some season and so on might conceivably lead to different propensities later on. The general idea doesn’t sound outlandish to me.

    I hasten to add that this has of course nothing to do with the constellation of stars, or planets.

    • Posted June 7, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      These are good points and may account for a portion of the development of this kind of magical thinking back when seasons had a much bigger impact on human survival than they do today.

      • Simon Hayward
        Posted June 7, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        So, if true, this should be testable, since the seasons are reversed in the southern hemisphere, we could test date of birth against the season of birth for a range of clinical outcomes. The northern and southern temperate populations are big enough to make a couple of huge cohorts for epidemiologists to go to town on…..or not

        • Posted June 7, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

          Well, I doubt seasons play much of a role in human survival today.

          • Mark R.
            Posted June 7, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

            Seasons play a huge role in human survival.

            Winters bring the onset of flu, pneumonia, tuberculosis and many other infectious diseases. The elderly and infants can die of the common cold.

            Severe storms and snow and ice cause more accidents (a couple years ago someone I know died of a heart attack while shoveling snow) and car fatalities increase. In the Summer you get hurricanes. In the Spring you get more floods. Summer heat waves kill hundreds every year…that’s bound to get worse.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted June 7, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

              Also, if you live where there are snow ploughs, you become increasingly homicidal as the snow plough fills your driveway with snow after you just dug it out.

              • GBJames
                Posted June 7, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

                That sure is true.

              • Mark R.
                Posted June 7, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

                Yup, plough-rage is fierce in the Northern climes. 🙂

            • Posted June 7, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

              Before anybody thinks that there might be some truth in these claims, please go read the diseases that are associated with astrological signs.

              Did anybody read them, or are they just trying to buttress Dr. Oz with irrelevant claims?

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted June 7, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Anybody remember Biorhythms? (Does that date me?)

      They suddenly became popular when the spread of cheap computing made it possible to calculate them easily. They sort of faded, though. Couldn’t compete with the weight of woo in astrology.

      (I think there probably are natural body cycles that are detectable, possibly even with 23, 28 and 33-day periods. The idea that they are time-locked like a quartz clock to your moment of birth decades ago – which was the idea behind the biorhythm apps – seems ludicrous to me.)

      cr

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted June 8, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

          I’m not in the least doubting that the time of year of birth could have an immediate effect, maybe even a lasting one. I wasn’t commenting on that.

          Biorhythms are (allegedly) medium-term cycles of activity with (allegedly) precise periods (23, 28, 33 days IIRC) which recur with such clock-like precision that, even after 50 years from birth, they are still calculable to the nearest day. I flatly doubt that. All that a cycle would have to do would be to slip say 10 days in 50 years for the relevant ‘biorhythm’ to be having the precise opposite effect to that calculated.

          cr

  7. DrBrydon
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    From The Big Bang Theory:

    Penny: Okay, I’m a Sagittarius, which probably tells you way more than you need to know.

    Sheldon: Yes, it tells us that you participate in the mass cultural delusion that the Sun’s apparent position relative to arbitrarily defined constellations at the time of your birth somehow affects your personality.

  8. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I think Fox is the perfect place for OZ. Hell, it is the land of oz, the best match.

  9. BJ
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    I think the second tw**t is even worse than the first, as it’s pretending that Dr. Oz has brought in some kind of expert to tell the people about this AMAZING NEW THING!

    With regard to Everyday Feminism: I have been lamenting for the last couple years how good, left-ish causes have become corporatized, and how the fight for equality and justice has become a fight to have corporations recognize and promote cliched messages instead.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 7, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Donovan complained about “beatniks out to make it rich” way back in ’65.

      (That’s an 18-year-old, pre-Zepplin, pre-Yardbirds even, Jimmy Page hittin’ those guitar licks.)

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted June 7, 2018 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Tried playing ‘buzzword bingo’ with those two webinar advertisements? The buzzword ratio is off the clock!

      cr

  10. Diana MacPherson
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I read that quickly and thought it said “Decolonization water”. A beverage to rid your body of colonization.

    • Posted June 7, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      But I don’t want to get rid of my symbionts!

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted June 7, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      I like my colon just where it is, thank you.

      And I really don’t think indigenizing my movements* would help my general well-being.

      cr

      (* whatever that means. ‘Go crap on a native’? Nah.)

      cr

  11. Historian
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Vox has an article that blasts Dr. Oz for his pseudo-scientific crap. Oz, Trump, and evangelical TV preachers have learned how easy it is to con tens of millions of people out of their money. It appears that at least in this respect human progress over the past few centuries has been limited. The vast degree of human gullibility is unlikely to disappear anytime soon because all too many people will accept bizarre notions if psychologically they provide psychic relief to the burdens of living. Dr. Oz’s success is but another example of how “truth” means little to people when nonsense is so much more emotionally satisfying.

    https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/6/6/17435848/dr-oz-astrology-trump-adviser

  12. John Laughlin
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    ok

    >

  13. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    “For centuries, we have used astrological signs to better understand elements of our personality …”

    BFD. For millennia mankind thought the world was flat and disease emanated from miasma. There keen life lessons to be gleaned there, too?

  14. Posted June 7, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    A lot of pomo hostility to science (including pomo “feminism”) seems to be because of pet pseudosciences. Astrology is one …

  15. W.T. Effingham
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    “(Intuition is) the art of gaining knowledge without any conscious understanding of how you gained that knowledge.” Consider the source, maybe?

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted June 7, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Gained that information…😬

  16. Posted June 7, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    /@

    • Posted June 7, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      ….and this often quoted line,
      The doctor or whoever helped deliver you from the womb exerted more influence than any star or planet at your birth.
      I just read a report the moon is moving away from earth at about
      1.5 inches (3.82 centimeters) per year,  slowing the rotation of earth down. This must be upsetting as the influence of the moon decreases, should i expect to go to the toilet less often, will my bladder shrivel?
      Will i live longer as the days get longer?

  17. Posted June 7, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    You just know that Oz knows this is nonsense, but he peddles it anyway, with its potential for harm, and laughs all the way to the bank.

    • Curt Nelson
      Posted June 7, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I don’t know why such people aren’t treated as con men. There ought to be a law.

  18. J. Quinton
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    It seems fitting that a women’s site (Everyday Feminism) should cater to women: It’s pretty well known that, besides religion, women are more into other forms of woo like astrology and tarot cards than men.

  19. darrelle
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Dr. Oz pisses me off.

  20. Jane
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    “Can you access a broader intelligence and gain quick information without having to use your logical mind?”

    Because who needs logic when you’re a wooman?

  21. Richard Sanderson
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    “Unlock your inner tarot magic”

    “Practical decolonisation webinar”.

    Lol. Everyday Woo, more like. You can’t tell me SJW feminists are pro-science, pro-rational people. Magical thinking is very much part of cult mentality.

    • XC
      Posted June 7, 2018 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      But they sell “Science is Cool” Jewelry at Atheist seminars. At least they used to, til all those mean Anti feminists ruined it for everybody lol

      • XCellKen
        Posted June 7, 2018 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        I can’t even get my own name right LOL

  22. Liz
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    This is awful.

    When people play with my hair, ears, neck, or face, it drives me crazy. That’s just a coincidence, though. I once got a haircut and then went directly to a different salon to get it cut again just so they could play with my hair. I’m an Aries.

    • E.A. Blair
      Posted June 12, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      My favorite part of a haircut is the wash. It’s a free scalp massage thrown in to the routine.

  23. Posted June 7, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  24. Posted June 7, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    IIRC, studies show that birth date affects your chance of attaining a sporting career. If you’re born just too late to enrol for school in 2018, you will be among the oldest enrolling in 2019 and more likely than average to be among the strongest and best coordinated in your school class, and selected for teams and coaching.

    As for Everyday Feminism, I thought they’d hit bottom with “9 questions atheists find insulting”, on which I commented here: Bollocks. https://paulbraterman.wordpress.com/2016/09/03/9-questions-atheists-find-insulting-bollocks/

    I was wrong

    • Posted June 7, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      “No one is going to learn anything from anybody if one side lays down rules about what the other side is allowed to say, before the discussion even starts.”

      Well, ¡that! seems ever more relevant. Sadly.

      /@

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted June 7, 2018 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      I read your article. Liked it.

      But dammit, you linked to Greta Christina’s article on Everyday Feminism. (So I ‘had’ to follow it. I expect Google has tracked me and I will now be bombarded with ads about decolonising my privilege, or something). Her ‘answers’ seemed okay, too, if much more long-winded. But her ‘why you shouldn’t ask it’ – nah. Jeez, any atheist can handle those old questions. As you imply.

      cr

  25. Posted June 7, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    “We’re naturally embedded with our own “gps” that shifts us toward where we need to be and how to best act, so that we can thrive and serve from a space of truth and integrity.”

    My own “gps” is a total failure. My husband used to remark on my ability to almost always take the opposite direction from where I intended to go. I mostly navigate by physical landmarks rather than E/W/N/S or street signs. My compass seems to be nonfunctional.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted June 7, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Well yours is a more literal interpretation of ‘gps’ than the totally metaphorical one in the article.

      I like to think I have a good ‘bump of direction’ (to use a term that was popular in phrenological days). I’ve always liked maps and frequently consult them, and I seem to have a good subconscious memory for places. This is probably the real reason I can ‘navigate’ pretty well. HOWEVER, I have found from a couple of experiences how easy it is to get disoriented and end up heading in the exact opposite direction from what I think I’m taking.

      cr

  26. Posted June 7, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    “But there’s always been a wing of feminism that touts the idea that women have “different ways of knowing” or even, as does postmodernism, claims that “objective truth” is a myth, sometimes perpetuated by white males.”

    I’m don’t participate in “woo”, but I question human ability to form or perceive “objective truth” about many (if not all) aspects of knowledge. I can’t imagine even major segments of humanity agreeing on what their individual set of senses have perceived and what their brains have processed without awareness, only later to make conscious, what all “knowledge” or “reality” to share with others. Scientific method and rationality greatly improve what we know, but consensus is not reached except by a comparative few.

    I could be totally wrong about this as I obviously am not a scientist. But, nor, do I function exclusively on intuition. I will not hold my breath for a uniform perception of
    “objective truth”.

    • Posted June 7, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Wish I’d do a better job of editing. Sorry.

    • Posted June 11, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Truth independent of the knower.

      (“Sodium reacts with water at STP”, for example, seems to be more or less true.)

  27. rjdownard
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Ah, the never-ending woo that percolates into popular culture, especially in nervous professions like acting, where astrology is a way of making their uncertain futures seem more manageable. I couldn’t help but wince though at the tarot reference, since I collect historic playing cards and am aware of how tarot fortune telling lore is a very recent invention, corrupting what was (and still is) just a card game (originating in the 15th century, its where where we get the practice of trump suits, adopted eventually in non-tarot games like pinochle and bridge). The forms of occult tarot being used today mainly stem from a 1910 British occultist redesign, while much of the current notions about what the cards “mean” only developed in the 1960s New Age.

  28. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Using Tarot cards to unlock your intuition! I had never thought of that. Here I was using my intuition to never even touch those stupid cards.

  29. Posted June 7, 2018 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    I think every real feminist and feminist-allied person understands that Everyday Feminism is full of absolute bullshit.

    For instance EF supports the idea that lesbians need to have sex with straight men who, contrary to all evidence, assert they are women.

    EF also supports the idea that gender-role nonconformity in children is so dire and dangerous that it requires treatment with dangerous drugs and surgical mutilation.

    EF is a haven for liberal homophobes. Promoting woo is the least of their problems

  30. Roo
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Wait, Dr. Oz tries to make gay people straight?! Really?! I had no idea. Not like I’m a big Dr. Oz fan but just the fact that he has such a big following and does this makes me Sad About Everything.

    Regarding “women’s intuition” (I am female, btw), I am actually a tentative believer in the idea, although I think snake oil salesmen (wait, sorry… salespeople) cash in on an unnecessary dichotomy around the topic in cases like this. I don’t think it’s controversial to propose that the subconscious brain does a lot of work that we are not aware of at a conscious level, and even that there are statistical gender differences there. Women may well be better at sussing out particular answers without knowing exactly how they arrived at them – sensing friction in the air, guessing when something is amiss, what someone is thinking, and so on. But when that’s not framed as “You may well be picking up on cues that don’t register consciously, and so should note your intuitions but find evidence before believing them”, and instead is framed as “This is either some sort of supernatural power or it doesn’t exist at all!”, then I think women who know they *do have uncanny intuitions some of the time are like “Well, I guess if I *have to pick one or the other, maybe it’s the woo one then?”.

  31. Neil Wolfe
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    “Think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are stupider than that.” George Carlin

    I think Dr. Oz is for people who aren’t smart enough to be impressed by Deepak Chopra’s word salads. They just want straight, uncut, purified bullshit from a guy in a white coat. In a better world all of Dr. Oz’s recommendations would cause diminished fertility.

  32. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Carl Sagan said the best refutation of astrology would be statistical analysis of its predictions. Here is good fodder for that project.
    (Thought I posted this before, but seems to have not made it in.)

  33. Posted June 7, 2018 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    TFW Everyday Feminism sounds that much more like InfoWars.

  34. nicky
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    I think Dr Oz should be stricken from the roll. He apparently used to be a good cardiovascular surgeon, but now he definitely brings the medical profession into disrepute.
    He is also undoing years of struggle by the medical profession for evidence based medicine and against quackery & snake oil.

  35. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 12, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    “You don’t want to miss it.”

    That part is true – I don’t want to _miss_ it. That would suggest I’m intrigued by it.


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