Deconstructing Sexist Fallacies & Soundbites

hathaway quote jpegI’ve heard a lot stupid shit lately. And I do mean of epic stupid proportions. It is disconcerting how many seemingly intelligent people are susceptible to bad statistics, propaganda, and soundbites. Social media makes it possible for circulation of bad ideas and incorrect “facts” in the ether of the virtual world. This proverbial double-edged sword is the good/bad dichotomy of the internet. A good thing about the internet is the ability to correct the incorrect. Examples of fallacious arguments, beliefs/conventional wisdom, and soundbites debunked:

  • Hypocrisy, Appeal to Hypocrisy:  It’s annoying when someone, say someone in a position of authority, says women need to speak up and list our strengths. But when you actually do say:  “Hey, I’m quite good at that…” or, “I can do this!”, they act like you’re being presumptuous. This is especially damaging when it’s another woman. More than once have I had a woman, an older woman, “advise” me to list my strengths and beef up my resume only to ignore or belittle my efforts. What happened to the girl power attitude of these often self-proclaimed feminists? Did they suddenly realize they might not be the only ones to “break the glass ceiling” so they reconstructed it over younger/lower totem pole girls and women? Until women, namely Boomer women, realize their hen-pecking order is the very social construct that’s keeping women from mentoring women, these glass-ceiling breakers are hypocrites, as well as female patriarchs.
  • The Double Standard, Genetic Fallacy, Ad Hominem:  When a man asks for a raise, he’s being assertive. When a woman asks for a raise, she’s being a bitch. An explanation of the wage gap is the bias of employers in regards to sex, as well as the lack of socializing girls how to assertively navigate and negotiate their careers. Boys are told they can be astronauts; girls are encouraged to plan their wedding. Sex bias is evident in the wage gap.

According to the White House, full-time working women earn 77% of what their male counterparts earn. This means that women have to work approximately 60 extra days, or about three months, to earn what men did by the end of the previous year. However, our own estimate, which is based on hourly earnings of both full- and part-time workers, finds women earn 84 percent of what men earn. Based on our estimate, it would take approximately 40 days, or until the end of February, for women to earn what men had by the end of last year.

(http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/04/14/on-equal-pay-day-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-gender-pay-gap/)

  • Hypocrisy, Appeal to Emotion, Bandwagon:  When men stand up for other men, they’re lauded. When women stand up for women, they’re ridiculed, ignored, and called crazy. People want to believe you’re crazy for speaking up in the face of injustices. The crazies are the very ones ignoring, making light of, and assisting injustice. Everybody knows this. Anne Frank knew this. Your mama knows this. If you remain silent or “neutral” in the face of injustice, you take the side of the perpetrator by default.
  • Non Sequitur, Appeal to Emotion, Bandwagon, False Dilemma:  Men die of violent crimes more than women, including combat. This is the current soundbite used to excuse, belittle the issue of – even justify – domestic violence, which is an issue that primary affects women. About one out of every four women in America will be physically assaulted or raped by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. In fact, American women are more likely to be assaulted, injured, raped or killed by a male partner than by any other type of assailant. (http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/womenshealth/factsheets/dv.htm) Of course men die of violence at a higher rate: Men commit the vast majority of violent crimes. Their main hormone is testosterone, which makes them prone to violence, as well as psychopathy. If the violent segment of men stop behaving like Neanderthals, they could solve their self-inflicted problem: male on male violence. Men are not disenfranchised and/or oppressed because of their sex or gender. Thus, they are not the victim of gender/sex based crimes. But when a movement or cause exists to assist and free girls and women from gender/sex specific atrocities, unscrupulous bigots obfuscate different issues into a competition of woes, committing non sequitur fallacies. Decreasing the percent of fatalities due to combat/war involves changing our foreign policy and voting out war-mongering politicians. The solution isn’t to even the numbers by throwing girls in the military. (What decent man wants to put a woman in harm’s way? And so when are men gonna start having periods and birthing babies?) The solution is ending the money-making business of unjust wars and defunding the military industrial complex. Instead of striving to be a victim, affect change in the world by making this planet a better place for all sentient life.

Increased testosterone relative to cortisol may reduce the communication between the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex, meaning that there is less emotional input from the amygdala to guide decision-making in the orbitofrontal cortex. This may result in the key components of Facet 2 of psychopathy – callousness, lack of empathy, and relatedly, increased instrumental aggression (Facet 4). Conversely, the cortical regions that are important in emotion regulation and inhibition are less able to regulate input from sub-cortical regions, including impulsive, reward-seeking, and aggressive urges (i.e. related to Facets 3 and 4). In sum, a high testosterone/cortisol ratio may enhance sensitivity to reward relative to punishment, promote approach rather than avoidance reactions, and reduce the emotional input from the amygdala to the orbitofrontal cortex that is critical for empathy and recognizing cues that a decision may be risky or harmful. It may also impair the ability to regulate emotion and aggression.

(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166523/)

  • Ambiguity, Composition/Division, No True Scotmans:  What does “egalitarian” exactly mean, especially when neo-misogynists and feminists alike pimp out this term? The ambiguity of the label “egalitarian feminist” has been thrown around by both embittered men and separatist feminists. Does egalitarian mean that you’re for sending women into war? That we must blindly accept all “gender studies” semantics hijacking scientific nomenclature? I’m not a “real feminist” because I wear make-up? Women and men are not equal biologically – it’s just science. Men excel at upper body strength. Women excel at physical flexibility. Human anatomy and biology isn’t fair. Therefore, we have to strive to insure everybody has equal access to education, healthcare, wages, life, liberty, and happiness. This is egalitarian and democratic socialism. Giving women really big guns and pretending they have penises is not egalitarian. Neither is pretending a man can become a biological woman. You can’t just grow or transplant a uterus.
  • Ambiguity, Straw Man, Appeal to Emotion:  Dismissing questions, issues, and concerns that affect girls and women as “gender studies” nonsense is illogical and just dumb. Gender studies is not the same thing as women studies. Gender studies is hitched to the very recent transgender movement. And many transgenders actually despise girls and women – real females, meaning people born with a uterus. Women studies consists of classes from various departments focusing on previously overlooked issues or suppressed history regarding women, such as women’s literature. Claiming that addressing an issue that involves primarily women is unimportant and silly because it’s “just” women and/or gender studies is ignorant, uneducated, and sexist.
  • Ad Hominem, Straw Man, Hypocrisy:  Women undermining and dismissing the experiences of other women, supporting misogyny, and identifying as some sort of self-righteous anti-feminist, “meninist”, or post-feminist commit these specific fallacies to appeal to the boys’ club. Such a woman fancies behaving “masculine” and brusque will make her truly equal to men and better than other women. Usually highly competitive and superficial, these types are just another form of chauvinist pig. Quoting Taylor Swift:  “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” And, yes, we know that this quote is commonly attributed to originating with Madeleine Albright. This quote is now technically an adage, as it has been invoked by more than one celebrity. (http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/03/brief-history-of-taylor-swifts-hell-quote.html)

Curious about logical fallacies? Check out one of my favorite sources:  https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/

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