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And another thing, Baba Brinkman!

by | Nov 1, 2013 | Review | 0 comments

Baba Brinkman, The Rap Guide to Evolution

Baba Brinkman claims to have science on his side, but does he?

If you’ve read my review of Baba Brinkman’s The Rap Guide to Evolution on, you’ll know that I didn’t like the show. But I’ve got more to say. 

The guy us clearly very smart but, in my view, his script is maddeningly reductive, especially when it comes to gender.

Brinkman understands things in terms of stable categories of male and female. Although I  understand that biology plays a role in gendered behaviours, I’m much more of a social constructivist: my experience has taught me that society is a huge factor in shaping identity and behaviour.

That’s why I was so pissed off with Brinkman’s dismissal of social constructivism. He evokes his sister, a social constructivist. She cites an African tribe in which the gender roles we accept as normative are reversed. But she cant remember the name of the tribe, she only knows the information must be true because she read about it “in a women’s studies textbook”. By presenting his sister’s argument as ridiculous, Brinkman gets a laugh from the audience—and dismisses both social constructivism and women’s studies. Then he presents his argument—kind of. He says, with great authority, that all sorts of studies that support his few of fixed gender roles. The catch is that he doesn’t tell us anything about those studies, he just projects a wall full of impressive-looking charts. So we’re just supposed to accept his viewpoint as gospel. How condescending—how lazy—is that?



  1. Interview with Baba Brinkman on the occasion of his Rap Guide to Evolution performance in Vancouver, November 2013 edition | FrogHeart - [...] Thomas who in an Oct. 30, 2013 review for the Georgia Straight which was further elucidated in a Nov.…

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