Rebuttals of the Week # 21: Using the term ‘mansplaining’ makes you look dumb. Stop it.

 

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There is a debating tactic favoured by all older sisters when they are around the age of 12 and which every younger sibling knows all too well. It would be deployed at times when the older girl was clearly in the wrong, in danger of losing an argument or simply wanted to indulge in some behavior that impacted negatively on her brother or sister. It was a particularly immature strategy which involved adopting a deliberately pompous, shamelessly arrogant and obnoxious tone and using purposefully condescending, insulting language towards her younger opponent. It would go something like this: “Oh, poor BABY! Is the widdle woo-woo gonna cwy about it? Let me kiss da booboo better!”  The intention was to humiliate, degrade and convey her utter, cold contempt for the feelings and interests of the other person. Not very edifying behaviour. But hey, we’re talking about 12 year old girls. What do you expect, right?

Well, one thing I expect is that such infantile, narcissistic self-indulgence would be long outgrown by the time those petulant little girls were old enough to be employed as professional writers for major media companies. I would expect such women to hold themselves to appropriate adult-level standards of journalism and rational thinking.

Judging from this column in the Age ( link: Men, hush now. Let us womansplain it to you) my expectations were misplaced.

Keep in mind that the following lines were written by a grown woman, Jacqueline Maley… a professional ‘journalist’… who evidently thought this was an appropriate manner with which to express serious ideas to sophisticated thinking adults in a major news publication:

“Men, hush now. Let us woman-splain it to you.” 

“Is there any way men can speak up about sexual harassment and the #metoo movement without sounding stupid, sexist and part of the problem?

“Man-actors, maybe it’s time for you to be quiet, dears. Look pretty, act in your action movies, dress up nicely on the red carpet, and for the moment, at least, leave the talking to the ladies.”

The fact that Jacqueline would not be embarrassed to represent the quality of her intellect with this level of rhetoric is sad. Very, very sad. That Fairfax Media would publish this juvenile tripe as legitimate, professional commentary is mind boggling.

But such is the era in which we now live. It’s why the public must come to terms with the fact that whatever social outrage the mainstream media happens to be pushing… whether it’s the now completely forgotten hysteria over Nazis popping out of the woodwork a couple of months ago or the current hysteria over sexual harassment…. the narrative is likely 1 percent related to something real and 99 percent ideologically derived, manufactured outrage driven by the media.

At least this terrible column provided the impetus for the somewhat heated exchanges below about the awful expression ‘mansplaining’… which culminated in what should be considered… in my humble opinion… the ultimate deconstruction of the shallowness of this self-infantilising, ludicrous expression.


The exchange starts with Pasha offering an excellent description of the inherent hypocrisy of using this recently invented phrase. Marcica quickly chimes in with some predictable circular reasoning to defend its use…. at which point I enter the fray in my usual demure manner. Kittie stumbles into the scene somewhat blindly… and ‘White Knight’ Campbell arrives on his steed to salvage her honour! He is quickly slapped off his saddle… at which point the main event begins with male feminist (Ughhhhh! I KNOW!) Paul’s attempt to set me straight. Enjoy!  :

Pasha : The concept of “Mansplaining” epitomises sexism: it dismisses an argument based on gender of the person making it. When open, all inclusive public deliberation is rejected, only violence remains.

Marcica: Wrong. Mansplaining is a patronising explanation not a difference of opinion.

  – Going to Getugly: Marcica, “mansplaining” is a silly, generic slogan used by under confident women who can’t tolerate having their sense of their own authority challenged. It’s self-infantilising. Calling it “a patronising explanation” reflects your sense of your own subordination in the dynamic.

Kittie: In your opinion.

  – Going to Getugly:  “In your opinion”? What kind of thinking adult’s response is that?

Campbell:  See that there? Textbook patronising.

  – Going to Getugly: No Campbell. ‘That there’ is a valid question in response to a childish rebuttal.

This is “textbook patronising”: “Oh no! I think he’s patronising someone! I’m going to signal my virtuousness and post a comment about it… as opposed to using reason like an adult to address the points he raised!”

Kittie: You raised no valid points….just more mansplaining.

  – Going to Getugly:  That’s a great example of what this silly ‘mansplaining’ slogan is really about. In this context, “You raised no valid points” means ” I don’t like what you’ve said but I have no rationally valid reason to take issue with it…. so, “mansplaining”.

Paul: Someone please explain to this guy what mansplaining actually is

 – Going to Getugly: Paul, I’m sure you will get all the pats on the head from feminists that you’re clearly looking for by so randomly signalling your submissiveness to their childish concepts. Here’s an idea… instead of reasoning like a feminist and making snarky emotional comments…. why don’t you make an effort to demonstrate that you can think like a grown man? Why don’t you explain what “mansplaining” actually is? Wouldn’t that be simpler?

Paul: jeez m9[sic] settle petal. As was stated above, it’s explaining something to a woman because you think as a woman she doesn’t understand the concept even though she may be inherently more qualified than you (yeah I know right, women can be more qualified than men for a given task? Mind-blowing stuff) and what do you mean by ‘looking for feminists?’ I hope you’re not implying (like so many do) that I just say these things to ‘get laid’ because that is not a motivator for morality for me.

  – Going To Getugly:  Okay… so you are repeating the generic justification that women who use the ridiculous expression always use.

And according to your own definition, the premise of ‘mansplaining’ relies entirely on the woman attributing motives to a man who doesn’t agree with her or who fails to tell her she’s correct. The motive being attributed is that the man believes the woman doesn’t understand something based exclusively on the fact that she is a woman.

Tell me, how does the woman know that this is the man’s motive?

How does she objectively single out that one motive in particular from every other potential motive he could have for not agreeing with her? How does she know that he wouldn’t say the same thing to another man? How does she know that he doesn’t genuinely just think she is incorrect? What objective metrics is the woman employing that provides her with such an unobstructed view into the soul of another person that she can so definitively proclaim to know his deepest motivations in this situation?

Of course, the only motives that the woman is actually capable of knowing are her own. But that requires not only the capacity for self-awareness and honest self-critique… but also an active interest in knowing to what degree one’s own motivations are particularly virtuous.

Would it not be wise and far more mature for her to scrutinize her own motivations for how she is reacting before reflexively concerning herself with inventing motivations for the other person?

For instance, how certain is she that it’s not her own ego…. not his… that is too fragile to handle being challenged by the opposite sex? Perhaps she is simply having a negative emotional reaction to a man disagreeing with her and is indulging in pettiness by applying a convenient label to him to compensate for her own insecurity and wounded pride? Has she thought about that?

Has she given serious thought to the fact that attributing sinister motives as an explanation for someone disagreeing with you is a purely subjective, self-serving form of circular reasoning and is logically fallacious?

Has she reflected on the fact that she is a total hypocrite for trying to undermine the man’s point of view by using a demeaning phrase to dismiss it based entirely on his gender? Isn’t that what she is accusing him of doing and condemning him for it?

Frankly Paul, since it’s safe to say that none of this has ever occurred to the women who have latched onto this dumb slogan… I’m equally confident that none of that has occurred to you either.

Ultimately, this is a reflection of much bigger and pervasive problem: There are too many intellectually lazy people these days who uncritically and reflexively internalise fashionable, ideologically derived concepts which are propagated by the mass media… and who mistake that for being intellectually and ethically sophisticated.

In other words… If I believe what is popular to believe that makes me good.’

I would recommend cultivating an instinct for autonomous critical thinking as the antidote.

Finally, you write, “I hope you’re not implying (like so many do) that I just say these things to ‘get laid’ because that is not a motivator for morality for me.”

I have no idea what you do to ‘get laid’ nor is it a subject in which I have any interest.

I do believe however that you have acquiesced to conditioning that is telling men they are obliged to be submissive to women in general and feminist ideology in particular if they want to consider themselves ‘moral’.


Oh yeah… and Paul did in fact get the pat on the head he was looking for:

Vee: Paul , lovely to hear a voice of reason in amongst the twerps. Thanks

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Rebuttal of the Week # 20: How genuine issues of sexual harassment become just another media-induced fashion.

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Here’s the background to this ‘incident’. Six months ago, a male Canadian MP for the Conservative Party, James Bezan,  was in a photo-op with a female MP from the governing Liberal Party,  Sherry Romanado, and another unnamed person. As the picture was being taken, Bezan made the off-the-cuff quip, “This isn’t my idea of a threesome” –  which Bezan intended as a joke about being in a photo with a Liberal member of caucus.

Har har, right? Well, no. Not in this day and age. We live in an era in which ‘progressive’, Leftist, politically correct feminism has brought society full circle to the point we find ourselves increasingly governed by a repressive prudishness that the average Victorian  would have regarded as ridiculously prissy. Believe it or not, Romanado filed an official complaint with the chief human resources officer. Bezan, responding as a typical spineless, submissive male Canadian politician, immediately offered to enter into mediation so that he could apologize.

The chief human resources officer launched a review of the incident. That review apparently concluded that the complaint “did not support a claim of sexual harassment”.

Despite this, Bezan prostrated himself even further before the guardians of other people’s feelings and willingly submitted to Orwellian government re-education programming… otherwise known as “sensitivity training”…  offered by the House of Commons.

In a final act of self-abasement, presumably designed to demonstrate the profundity of his willingness to appease the Goddesses of political correctness and spare himself their wrath , Bezan made another grovelling apology on Monday in the House of Commons:

“Earlier this year I made an inappropriate and insensitive comment in the presence of the member for Longueuil—Charles—LeMoyne. I have nothing but the greatest respect for this member, for this institution, and I sincerely apologize.”

But again, in this day and age, a grown man holding high office voluntarily relieving himself in public of any shred of dignity or self esteem isn’t good enough for the insatiable self-righteousness of a female colleague who recognises an advantage has been presented to her to  indulge her ample ego. So Romanado… who is actually paid by hard working taxpayers for this… rose in the Commons to announce her sense of her own victimisation:

“In May, the member from Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman publicly made inappropriate, humiliating and unwanted comments to me that were sexual in nature. These comments have caused me great stress and have negatively affected my work environment.”

Yes folks, this is the quality of people whom we have elected to govern us. It’s basically  high school but with gold-plated retirement packages.

But as the comments from Liz, below, demonstrate… the real problem is that too many people in the public at large are currently endorsing this societal shift towards privileging the indulgence of  individual subjective sensitivities over objectivity,  reason and principles that cause us to transcend the impulse to indulge our self-serving, narcissistic drives and motivations.


Liz: It may have made her feel uncomfortable and offended her we have no right to criticize her feelings. But I will take this opportunity to discuss how disgusted and offended I AM by the way Trudeau has his lips and arms all over everyone like it’s his backyard Bbq. We should not be able.to pick and choose who we point the finger at when the example is blatantly set at the top.

Going to Getugly: “we have no right to criticize her feelings”. That… right there… is precisely the current problem. This insipid notion that if someone ‘feels’ something we are obliged to validate it. If an adult is displaying the emotional maturity of an infant… particularly if that adult is in a position of responsibility… and even more particularly if the indulgence of that person’s subjective emotional reactivity threatens the profession and reputation of another person… we have EVERY right to “criticize her feelings”.

In a few short years we have transformed from a society which privileged character, maturity and reason… to one that seems to operate by the maudlin values of your average kindergarten teacher: “James… you’ve upset little Sherry! I want you to apologize and then go sit in the corner of the House of Commons and think about what you’ve done!”

Rebuttals of the Week #19: Your sense of self-righteousness doesn’t mean people who don’t agree are evil.

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Rob P: The advances that have been made in this area over the past decade are heartwarming – the prejudices so many people had being removed through education. Unfortunately there are still a few (such as Lyle Shelton of the Australian Christian Lobby) who spread lies and misinformation, and campaign against the health and well-being of trans* people.

The deliberate ignorance of such people clearly demonstrates the harm they wish on others they see as “different” or not confirming to their narrow interpretation of what people should be, and how they should live their lives.

Going to Getugly : “The deliberate ignorance of such people clearly demonstrates the harm they wish on others they see as “different” or not confirming to their narrow interpretation of what people should be”.

So you mean exactly what you are expressing by labeling everyone who doesn’t conform to your interpretation as ‘ignorant’ and desiring to inflict ‘harm’ on people?

Rob P:  I’m guessing comprehension isn’t your strong point?

Being deliberately ignorant on gender dysphoria, ignoring the actual medical science in this area, and propagating debunked faux (religious based) “science” IS harming vulnerable people – particularly younger trans* identifying people.

It’s not a matter of “conforming” – it’s a matter of spreading lies and misinformation based on deliberate ignorance. Trans* people exist, gender dysphoria exists – that is scientific and medical reality and beyond dispute, unless you choose to ignore the evidence.

Rebuttals of the Week! #17: Feminist bigotry and logical fallacies.

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Kerry S: Cue all the men explaining why the gender pay gap isn’t a thing

Going to Getugly: Kerry, care to provide some kind of rational explanation for why men replying is a problem for you?

Kerry S: Ok. I’ll bite. Men replying is not a problem, per se. It’s just that soooo many of them spout the same old line despite the longitudinal evidence proving otherwise. I didn’t answer you because clearly you are spoiling for a fight and it is clear to me that rational argument would be wasted. You have made up your mind.

Going to Getugly: We could go on with the battling snarky comments… but I’d rather attempt a genuine conversation. Let me do a quick review of what has occurred and get your response:

The Age has posted an article.

– People have responded to the article by expressing their perspective in the comment section.

– You have started off this little thread… not by addressing anything raised in the article or responding to criticism or concerns raised by commentators… but by expressing generalised condescension towards anyone of a particular gender who may express disagreement with the article’s premise.

– Another commentator, Kelly, joined in on the generalised condescension towards people based solely on their gender and not their arguments:

Kelly :  “I’m just here to laugh at their bitter tears and tantrums”

– You replied in agreement with her and complained about the number of people of that gender expressing their perspective here:

Kerry S: “Kelly Anne yup. Skimming across the replies. Nearly all men…”

I think you have to agree that what I have described above is completely accurate and factual.

Now, my understanding of credible adult-level reasoned discussion and debate has always been that attacking anything other than the argument of the other person reflects incompetent reasoning. It’s fallacious. It signals someone who has a fixed conclusion to which they are very attached and are determined to protect… but which they can’t rationally and objectively support or justify. That’s why they deflect to complaining about anything OTHER than the arguments… things like the gender, race or age of the person who doesn’t share their convictions. Other deflection tactics include things like declaring themselves too far above the level of the other person to deign to engage them in rational debate.

It seems clear that you don’t share that understanding of what qualifies as credible reasoned discussion and debate. I’m curious, on what basis do you justify rejecting these basic, well established and essentially universally acknowledged standards? And why would you believe that demonstrating your rejection of those standards is not open to valid criticism and doesn’t disqualify you as being regarded as an informed and serious thinker?


Guess what… Kerry S never responded. I wonder why?

 

 

Rebuttals of the Week #16: ‘Progressive’-Left thinking = incompetent reasoning skills.

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(Link to the article: Equal outcomes have replaced equality of opportunity )

Tracy H:  Who says diversity and excellence are mutually exclusive?

Going to Getugly: Tracy… you are the third person I’ve seen here who has indulged in the very same, unbelievably banal straw man:

Liam SO: Why do you think that diversity of thought or intellect is mutually exclusive to racial, gender, ethnic and sexual diversity???

Leslie M:  The article confuses different issues; excellence and diversity are not mutually exclusive

To me, this is an example of the incapacitating effect that being captured by a generic, all-consuming ideology has on an individual’s ability to think: You reflexively go to preconceived ideological categories in your head to tell you how to interpret what you are looking at rather than identifying the genuine characteristics of the ‘thing’ you are (supposedly) trying to understand.

Nowhere in Wente’s column does she say “diversity and excellence are mutually exclusive”. Neither does she make that argument.

And yet you and at least two others here have asserted that she directly or indirectly made that claim.

So if it didn’t come from Wente…. how did it get in your head? The only answer to that question is that it got in your head because YOU put it there. Not her.

When you say she said “diversity and excellence are mutually exclusive”… you are not describing Wente! You are describing YOU! Only you can’t tell the difference between what you make up in your mind and the ‘thing’ out there in the world that you believe you are describing.

And in my experience… this is the foundational characteristic of people who are on the ‘progressive’-Left. And as far as I’m concerned, it’s a demonstrable justification for equating ‘progressivism’ with incompetent reasoning skills.

Rebuttals of the Week #15 Part 2: Lefty says Left-wing bigotry is okay because it doesn’t hurt anybody.

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Here’s a quick follow up to my exchange with James from Rebuttals of the Week # 15: Lefty tries desperately to believe racism okay if his side does it.

As is usual when you critique the position of someone captured by Left-wing ideology, James responded by ignoring the issues I raised in my argument and simply restated the same thing he’d said originally but with slightly different words (see below). Rather than supporting that position with facts, evidence or reasoned argument… notice how he offers only subjective expressions of the superior moral stature of his own opinion.

You see this over and over again when debating people on the Left. What James is revealing here, I believe, is the key to understanding what motivates people to identify with Leftist,  ‘progressive’ ideology: They are driven by an impulse for moral and social validation.

In short, they adopt opinions to fulfill ego-needs…. not to know something true about the objective world. And their use of language is a reflection of that.

This goes a long way to explaining why reason, argument and evidence that challenges or refutes their position rarely if ever influences their fixed opinion on these issues. They didn’t arrive at their conclusions as the result of an interest in what is ‘real’ to begin with. They settled on those conclusions because they find them personally satisfying. So it is rare that someone who focuses on ego-gratification by nature will suddenly exercise the willpower to make that sense of personal satisfaction subordinate to the pursuit of truth.


James: Dear Going to Getugly, standing in a different spot briefly would not hurt anybody. It might make people think. We shouldn’t turn our radar for sources of outrage up too high. If people will think about something I can move 30 feet or whatever for a couple of minutes. Let’s not major on the minors.

Going to Getugly:

Here’s the thing: What you think other people should feel about being told where to stand based on their race is irrelevant. You’re blind to the outrageous narcissism and self-aggrandizement of believing everyone needs to conform to your ideological concepts and see the deliberate humiliation of people at this concert based on their race as an opportunity to “make people think” about how collectively guilty they all are.

Again… this is what people out here in the real world keep trying to get people who are captured by this ideology to recognize: The fact that a self-identified “leftwinger” has “Left-wing” justifications for the bigotry he wants imposed on certain people doesn’t make him different to other bigots!

It makes the “leftwinger” exactly the same as every other bigot who ever walked the Earth. EVERY bigot believes he is doing ‘the right thing for the right reasons’ and that his critics are just not as aware and enlightened as himself.

The problem with “leftwingers” is that they lack principles. Basic principles tell you that unethical, deplorable behaviour…. like treating people differently or poorly based solely on their race… is ALWAYS unethical and deplorable… regardless of who is doing it and to whom.  But  “leftwingers”  indulge in the narcissistic conviction that the very same unethical and deplorable behaviour magically and conveniently transmutes into noble and justified as soon as they engage in it.

After all,  “leftwingers” are only doing it to “make people” who are clearly inferior to themselves “think” and behave the right way! Right James? And that’s nothing like the kind of justifications real bigots tell themselves!

Rebuttals of the Week # 15: Lefty tries desperately to believe racism okay if his side does it.

 

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Article: Halifax music festival apologizes for ‘overt racism’ after volunteer refuses to give spot near stage to women of colour

Another fine example of the degenerate ethics and reasoning of the sanctimonious, allegedly ‘progressive’ Left. The reaction to this from James, below, is very interesting. He proudly self-identifies as a “leftwinger“. Yet his struggle to reconcile this unambiguously racist public incident with his conviction about the inherent moral excellence of the premise behind it is palpable.

This highlights precisely the threat posed by the cultural phenomenon of ‘progressivism’: The willingness to privilege ideological premises over self-evident, objective truth. 

Poor James is trying desperately to adhere to the standard “leftwinger” conception of  “teaching moments”… in which people who take the perfection of their own beliefs for granted impose their will on those they deem to be in need of their superior insight.

The problem for James is that unlike the majority of people who share his intellectual commitment to the ideology of  the ‘progressive’-Left , he hasn’t yet completely abandoned his capacity to recognise hypocrisy:

JamesHow is the volunteer racist? As a leftwinger, I confess that this baffles me if this article is accurate. Having white people move back as an exercise could be a teaching moment, but not with acceptable means unless you plan to, say, return people to their old spots after a few minutes.

Breaking equal-treatment rules isn’t acceptable. This is a grotesque caricature of the left that rightwing blogs constantly circulate (no, most leftwingers aren’t worried about dissenting opinions). Don’t ask people of one race to move back for people of another race for your concert.

Going to Getugly:

James, it’s anything BUT a “gross caricature of the left”. This is the Left in all of it’s irrational, hypocritical, circular reasoning glory! And your statement that this would be a “teaching moment” is a symptom of the same irrationality. You don’t subject people to the very thing you claim to so strongly oppose to fulfill your narcissistic belief in the righteousness of your own opinion.

Indulging in bigotry because you tell yourself it’s for ‘all the right reasons’ is not DIFFERENT to bigotry. It’s just bigotry! This is the blind spot of people such as yourself who self-identify as “a leftwinger” that folks who are not captured by ideology keep trying to get you guys to recognise! You are NOT better than the people you imagine yourselves to be superior to! The problem is that people on the Left… people like YOU… never bother to go through the process of examining YOURSELF before imagining that you occupy the lofty position to pass judgement on people who don’t conform to your ideology.

Another commentator, Nathan, inadvertently emphasises the truth about this impulse to privilege a commitment to prefabricated, ideological conceptualisations over independant thinking with this comment:

Nathan: I’m a liberal who spends more time confronting the stupidity of the type defined here than conservatives.

These aren’t isolated incidents. Head to any university in the country and you’ll find people that think making white people move is noble.

So I posed the obvious question:

Going to Getugly:

Nathan, why then do you persist in self-identifying with an ideology that you recognise is so flawed and corrupt?