Autumn approaches; the obnoxious university ‘Week of Welcome’ orientation drones are yelling insipid, yet inclusive, chants at each other; and of course, more stupid post mostly made of straw languidly emerge from the turbid depths of the wordpress “patriarchy” tag.  Like appreciating the subtle fireworks of the turning of the leaves, one can appreciate the flawed assumptions and ignorance on display over at A Reasonable Faith.  But Lo! The coming of Fall and the exudation of a steaming pile of Herp-Derp always leaves one gasping for breath at the enchanting majesty of nature in all her glory in the first case, and in wonderment at the raw-stupid on display in the other. (hurrah for awkward parallel sentence construction!)

Two concepts that will help us in our merry cavalcade of fail will be that of the (1.)Naturalistic Fallacy(with due consideration to Hume) and the concept of a (2.)Social Construct lets define them:

  1.  The Naturalistic Fallacy – […] the term is sometimes used loosely to describe arguments which claim to draw ethical conclusions from natural facts. Even more distantly, the term is used to describe arguments which claim to draw ethical conclusions from the fact that something is “natural” or “unnatural.”
  2. Social Construct –  A social construction, or social construct or a social concept is an invention or artifact of a particular culture or society which exists solely because people agree to behave as if it exists, or agree to follow certain conventional rules.

Most of the problems with the post I’m about to critique will default to a lack of understanding of these concepts and how they work in our society. I would be remiss to also point out that there is, of course, a generous helping of strawwoman arguments that serve to undermine the authors arguments and credibility.

So let loose the doges of war, and we shall have at it:

“If there’s one truth that would impact culture for good more than just about any other if it were more male-female-brainwidely believed, accepted, and embraced, it’s this: males and females are quite different from each other. We are. And not just anatomically but physiologically and emotionally”

Sounds good right?  Too bad its almost entirely bullocks.  Let’s take a peek at what people who study sex and gender differences have to say:

A 2005 analysis of 46 meta-analyses that were conducted during the last two decades of the 20th century underscores that men and women are basically alike in terms of personality, cognitive ability and leadership.

Hmm…it would seem that the some of the research directly contradicts your claim..but wait!!! There might be hope, there are differences!!!!

Only a few main differences appeared: Compared with women, men could throw farther, were more physically aggressive, masturbated more, and held more positive attitudes about sex in uncommitted relationships.

Whooops… you’re still wrong.

Hyde found that gender differences seem to depend on the context in which they were measured. In studies designed to eliminate gender norms, researchers demonstrated that gender roles and social context strongly determined a person’s actions. For example, after participants in one experiment were told that they would not be identified as male or female, nor did they wear any identification, none conformed to stereotypes about their sex when given the chance to be aggressive. In fact, they did the opposite of what would be expected – women were more aggressive and men were more passive.”

We could simply drop the mic here and be done with this piffle (flawed assumptions leading to flawed conclusions and all that), but where is the fun in that?

Let us soldier on brave readers! Bewarned and wary, forward we must go fellow  travellers(of the loquaciously impenitent persuasion), to further reconnoitre this curiously(willfully?) ignorant realm.

“The determination by some…mostly women…to willfully ignore or deny the differences contributes to a gender conflict that might broadly be described as Feminists versus “the Patriarchy,” with the so-called Patriarchy being attacked and blamed for everything from dress codes to limits on abortion.”

Errr…that is what the patriarchy is?  The institutions in society that implicitly and explicitly maintain, espouse, and replicate the subordination of women.  Dress codes make women somehow responsible for male sexy-time feelings.  Women are not objects to wank to, but rather full human beings and subjects that should be able to concretely author the direction of their lives, just as men do and have done since civilization happened.

The oppression of women on the basis of sex and reproductive capacity is hardly a murky feminist theory – but rather a observable historical fact.  The debate on abortion is really about whether or not women should have full control of their bodies, autonomy and human being status, like men have always had.  You don’t get to haughtily sniff at what is the bedrock of female oppression and not expect to be called on it.

” So you have groups like Stop Patriarchy fomenting unrest and anger by promoting an imaginary “war on women” and urging followers to “take patriarchy by storm!”

Let’s pause here and reflect on what you’re saying, you are saying that fomenting unrest and anger isn’t justified when dealing with issues like this? (screen caps from Stop Patriarchy)

patriarchy1

The misogyny that all women face in our society just isn’t worth rocking the boat, just a little bit?  Maybe a teensy-weensy bit?

patriachy2

Every 15 seconds a woman is beaten. 3-4 women are killed by their partners Every Single Day. 1 in 3 women in the US will be raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Women are half of humanity it is time to fight back.

So, nothing to be angry about then?  Funny, those things that we take for granted now – voting, working outside the home, not being legally raped by your husband did not come about because women said, “Please may I…”  These were actions were forced into being by organized militant women who were beaten, imprisoned, and murdered for daring to challenge the status-quo.  Nothing gets done in society without agitation – anger and unrest are the bare minimus required to change society.

“An example of this intentional disregard of the obvious is seen in this organization’s rallying cry that women are not “incubators” nor “breeders of children.” And that “forced motherhood is female enslavement.”

The idea that women should have body autonomy and be seen as fully human as opposed to a patriarchal proscribed role seems foreign to you.  Ignorance is no excuse though considering the recent cases of El Salvador and Ireland were women are incarcerated for having miscarraiges or are left to die because they cannot obtain the necessary reproductive healthcare, in Savita’s case an abortion, when they need it.

“Using the language of victimization, they lay all the responsibility for the creation of new life on the men, portraying women as merely disadvantaged participants in a sexual act who sometimes find themselves pregnant, as if they didn’t know that could happen.”

How else does one describe women dying because they cannot access medical care?  This has nothing to do with men and everything to do with women and their status as partial or full rights bearing members of society.

“And to further support their contention that restrictions on abortion are merely attempts by the Patriarchy to subjugate them and force them to be breeding machines, they make claims like this, that a fetus “is not a human being until it is born, and takes its first breath.”

One of the common events in transition from fetus to baby is birth.  Nothing particularly shocking there.

“I could write a whole post on why that’s such a bald-faced and ridiculous lie, and maybe I will, but what I want to highlight in this post is the tendency of radical feminists to ignore or gloss over gender differences in their struggle for sexual equality.”

I look forward to your evidence based argument against abortion and the rights of women.

“Women have a uterus. Men do not. Women are VIPs in the very important plan of reproduction. We carry and feed the child in the womb, and are specially designed to feed the child after it is born. Men do not and are not. The fact that the woman has the responsibility of caring for every newly created human being makes her the object of some attention and legislation not directed at men.’

As long as legislation does not restrict her autonomy or status as a human being, there are no problems to be had.  Restricted access to reproductive health care does infringe on women’s rights.

“Men are, generally speaking, physically stronger than women and innately wired with a need and desire to be the protector of and provider for their families.”

Bullshit.  First instance of the naturalistic fallacy in action – innate wiring is code for ‘what you think the social roles of men are supposed to be’.   We’ll touch on this again to further prove the point in paragraph or two.

” Though I totally support equal pay for equal work, ideologies that seek to elevate women by discounting or denying this very real motivation in men do more harm than good when the result is a frustrated and confused male populace who feel like their natural instincts are unappreciated and even misguided.”

Which ideologies seek to do this – please cite a source other than yourself that says this.  I’m fairly well versed in radical feminist literature, and I have yet to see anyone that says this.

“Women and men are different in the relational and emotional support and guidance they provide to children. Children need a mother and a father. It is unfair and gravely inconsiderate and selfish to intentionally deny them one or the other.”

These different roles are social constructs, not biology.  Social constructs change overtime and differ from society to society.

“Men and teenage boys are naturally, and helplessly, stimulated by the sight of the female body, certain parts in particular.”

Really?  And rational thought is trumped in a heartbeat because penis?  Bullshit again.  And here is the reference point I was talking about.  How does this square with your previous statement:

[Men] are innately wired with a need and desire to be the protector of and provider for their families.

So men are protecting their families only when don’t have raging boners that turn their brains to jelly?  You seem to have a very low opinion of men and their faculties.

“The reverse is not the rule for women and girls. “

Wrong.  Women have just as many and as intense feeling as Men.  They might not act on, see masturbating as the study says, but it does no way imply that the feelings don’t exist.

“Expecting those boys, whose peak testosterone levels can easily make the sight of a female classmate in a low-cut top turn their brains to jelly and other parts to something quite the opposite, to just deal with it and not expect the girls to do their part by not dressing seductively is, frankly, sexist.”

Oh so men can behave irresponsibly because Testosterone?  How incompetent and foolish do you think men are?  But that is beside the point – the real issue here is the following –  The clothes women wear does not make them responsible for the actions male take.  Or do you think that rape victims are asking for it based on how they dress?

“Denying high school girls carte blanche in their choice of school apparel for the purpose of providing a learning environment with minimum distractions is not unreasonable or unjust.”

Bullshit again.  We will let thinkprogress.org respond to your assertion.

“When most Americans think about “rape culture,” they may think about the Steubenville boys’ defense arguing that an unconscious girl consented to her sexual assault because she “didn’t say no,” the school administrators who choose to protect their star athletes over those boys’ rape victims, or the bullying that led multiple victims of sexual assault to take their own lives. While those incidences of victim-blaming are certainly symptoms of a deeply-rooted rape culture in this country, they’re not the only examples of this dynamic at play. Rape culture is also evident in the attitudes that lead school administrators to treat young girls’ bodies as inherently “distracting” to the boys who simply can’t control themselves. That approach to gender roles simply encourages our youth to assume that sexual crimes must have something to do with women’s “suggestive” clothes or behavior, rather than teaching them that every individual is responsible for respecting others’ bodily autonomy.”

So yah, let’s have a little more focus on the reality of the situation shall we – or do you want to discuss how being responsible for respecting others *isn’t* a good idea?

“Though we are of equal worth, the sexes are different. I pray I will not be misunderstood as promoting an Islamic-like society of subjugated women in full hijab. What I am promoting instead is an appreciation and celebration of our gender-specific qualities.”

The author of the meta-analysis of gender differences (similarities) is says that celebrating the non factual ‘gender-specific’ qualities is harmful for women:

“She continues, “Even when differences are found, we cannot conclude that they are immutable because the continuous interplay of biological and environmental influences can change the size and direction of the effects some time in the future.”

The differences that are supported by the evidence cause concern, she believes, because they are sometimes used to support prejudicial beliefs and discriminatory actions against girls and women.

And your assertions fall squarely into that harmful category.

” I’m all for women being respected and encouraged to reach their full potential. Heck…I’m a woman. But I’m also for encouraging men to reach theirs, and for recognizing and embracing the truth that men and women….we are not the same.”

Yet one class of people has shaped society, made the rules and runs society according to their preference and their benefit.  So men have been ‘reaching their potential’ pretty much since civilization started.  So using specious ‘gender-differences’ as an excuse women to be treated as less than human (reproductive rights) or as a justification for men’s lack of respect of women as people (dress codes) is just plain wrong.

Not only wrong, but wrong with ill-effects as propagating these falsehoods has been shown to potentially harm women and girls.  Please stop with the harmful bullshit, because maximum derp is bad for everyone’s health.

corgiderp

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