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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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.

Women must stop telling boys there is something wrong with them.

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Another example of feminist narcissism abusing the self-conception of children.

The superficial sanctimonious rhetoric is this: “If we can stop boys growing into men that behave like jerks, we won’t have to teach our daughters how to deflect a man in power making a comment about her boobs – or much worse.”

The messaging cutting through that rhetoric is this: “Boys are intrinsically defective and need to be fixed. Girls are perfect just as they are.”

This is dangerously distorting the self-conception of BOTH boys and girls. And it’s being promoted by self-absorbed, narcissistic women more concerned with the gratification they feel from conforming to fashionable, ego-flattering ideological constructs than the psychological health of their children.

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! #13: ‘Your arguments are terrible’ vs ‘You’re a bad person’!

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P:
There have been studies that show female industries get paid less than males dominated ones. That pay goes down if an industry becomes more female dominated and up if it switches to being more males.
There is also this thing called unconscious bias. It’s very interesting you should look into it. Explains why even in cartoons a much larger percentage of speaking parts and characters are male which obviously equals less work for women which equals less money. Just as the stats reflect.

Going to Getugly:  P, your arguments are terrible. “Studies that show female industries get paid less than male dominated ones”. What studies? What industries? The entire point behind the premise that women get paid less than men is that they are doing the SAME job. Not that they are in completely different industries! The difference in potential earning across different industries is due to the value of the labour… not the gender of the employee. The fact that you are defaulting to these kinds of arguments betrays the disingenuous motives behind the perspective you are representing. Like many feminists, you’re not actually interested in ‘equality’. What you really appear to want is for reality to mirror your expectations and preferences at any given moment.

And in this instance, the reality that conflicts with your preferences is that there are multitudes of factors that account for why different people earn different levels of income that have nothing to do with men going out of their way to be mean to women for reasons that feminists never bother to explain.

P :  Going to Getugly, what do you actually stand for? All I can see on your page is that you hate a lot. You don’t seem to have any passion towards making the world a better place just hating on stuff. You seem worried about women becoming too equal – angry about any efforts that are made towards greater equality. If things are already perfectly equal why do you even care. Do you imagine women will start getting paid more than men. That men will be overlooked. That men perhaps need something they aren’t getting? Maybe you could focus on what you think is needed and get your own worthwhile cause.

Going To Getugly: Oh come on, P. You could answer the specific criticism and dispense with the moralising. Here’s the thing… When your entire response to criticism is to write several sentences in which you invent convenient, ridiculously self-confirming motivations for your critic but make no effort whatsoever to rationally address any aspect of his critique….. it is an indication that you have no answer to the criticism. In fact, it comes across as just venting frustration at not being able to defend your argument.

You ask what I stand for with my page. It’s this: I stand for drawing attention to the fact that a large swathe of the population seems to have abandoned the responsibility of exercising independent, autonomous critical thinking and instead relies on fashionable concepts and ideologies to do their thinking for them. And because these people appear to exercise no self-awareness, they indulge in the belief that merely parroting the generic slogans and talking points they’ve absorbed is as good as expressing genuine insight, knowledge or anything like an opinion that deserves to be taken seriously.

These people also indulge in the paradoxical belief that handing over responsibility for understanding the world to ideological group-think is actually an indication of their moral and intellectual exceptionalism! And that is how they inevitably come to interpret anything other than expressions of enthusiasm for conformity to their worldview as lacking  “passion towards making the world a better place” and “hating on stuff”.

Rather than giving me the schoolyard “You’re a big meanie!” response… how about reflecting on whether the criticism has merit? How about at least considering that if someone says ‘your argument is terrible’ and then points out specific problems with it…. that he isn’t expressing ‘hate’ but rather saying something valid about the way you construct your opinions?

 

Rebuttals of the Week#11: Why ‘progressives’ hate reality

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Poor old Tony Abbott just can’t catch a break it seems. He makes some completely benign, not uncommon, absolutely reasonable pro-marriage comment and all the tolerant, compassionate, accepting, non-judgemental, empathetic, morally righteous ‘progressives’ and feminists take it as an opportunity to unleash upon him any vile, cruel, dehumanizing accusation and epithet their corrupt little minds can generate.

Abbott’s comment inspired the above nasty, predictably anti-male and anti-Western civilization screed by Jenny Noyes in the radical feminist propaganda pamphlet The Age. As usual, this was an invitation to all the exemplars of virtue and goodness on the ‘progressive’/feminist Left among the general public to weigh in with their own wise and insightful observations in the comment section. In other words, there was a lot of this sort of thing:

Sharon F: “Cockhead”

Sezzy: “Being a woman myself, I feel like I need protection from idiots like him. Bloody ignorant fool!”

Bubba: “the irony is that marriage has not protected his missus or kids from having a complete dickhead as a husband and father.”

Stephen: “The man is just a delusional fool. I cannot wait to see the look on his hideous head when we finally receive true equality.”

Faye W: “Abbott you are a dickhead and an embarrassment.”

So a contributor to the comment section, Carl  L, tried to raise the quality of the discourse by injecting some factual evidence into the discussion:

Carl L: Children of divorced or never-married mothers are six to 30 times more likely to suffer from serious child abuse than are children raised by both biological parents in marriage.

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Mum’s boyfriend – the worst sexual risk to children

Which provoked quite a few responses like these from folks who won’t let truth get between them and their preferred version of reality:

Kirsten A: “So, not a peer reviewed piece of literature.”

Lisa B: “Source is more than 5 years old lol”

My rebuttal, directed primarily at Lisa, is a breakdown of an extremely common thinking pattern which a lot of bad thinkers default to when they are confronted with evidence and argument that refutes their self-confirming, subjective beliefs. It’s the “Truth or Concept Pattern”. It highlights the distinction between people who have an attachment to a belief or concept which they find personally gratifying in some way,  and those who have an attachment to truth. When you become aware of the pattern, you’ll see it all of the time…. particularly when debating ‘progressives’, feminists, Leftists etc..


Going to Getugly: “Source is more than 5 years old lol”. Just like Kirsten Alys above. I’ll tell you how your mind is working here Lisa so you can improve your reasoning in the future:

Lisa’s mind: “I have a specific perception of this issue and  I’m really attached to it because  it’s very satisfying to my ego.  And I’ve never bothered to look into it because I just assume I’m right if a particular belief appeals to me.

Now I’m presented with credible information that completely invalidates my preferred assumptions and which gives me insight into actual, objective truth.

But I’m not interested in objective TRUTH! MY priority is preserving my preferred but false perception… because the satisfaction I derive from believing it is WAY more important to me than having an authentic appreciation of reality.

Problem: I refuse to update my understanding of this issue based on this new information (like a mature thinker would do)…. but I need some excuse that appears to justify my irrational denial of reality.

Solution: Oh, look! This was published in 2012.  I’ll assert that because the study was published FIVE WHOLE YEARS ago… that makes it invalid somehow! Sure, that makes no sense…. it’s a completely arbitrary proclamation…. and if I’m asked to explain why that invalidates it I’ll have to make something else up on the spot. But it’s all I’ve got! Oh yeah…. and I’ll put a condescending ‘lol’ at the end (even though that’s the sort of thing 14 year olds do) to convey that I’m so much more ‘aware’ and ‘clever’ than the dummy who provided the information.”

Do you see how transparent this flawed thinking process is, Lisa? Hopefully now that it’s been pointed out, you and Kirsten… as well as a lot of other women posting here…. will catch yourselves before you default to this pattern of inadequate reasoning in the future.

 

 

Rebuttals of the week #10: Dear all feminists… The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t happening to you.

It seems the new TV version of Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood’s book The Handmaid’s Tale  is severing what remaining threads once linked ‘progressives’ and feminists in Australia to reality.

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Emma : To all the men thinking the story is far fetched; it isn’t. Women have not had rights for that long a period of time, we are still fighting for equal rights. In a lot of countries still women are oppressed. It is scary to us women, for if the government really wanted they could take – and are trying to take away the rights to our own bodies – our rights any time they want. Men would not understand that fear.

Going to Getugly: Emma, what do you mean “Women have not had rights for that long a period of time”? Do you think they were kept in cages or something until just before you were born? If you actually believe that in this era of gender equity quotas, calls for laws requiring gender parity in boardrooms, an era in which condemning men collectively for their ‘male privilege’ is common and acceptable, an era in which dozens of people on this thread alone don’t hesitate to parrot the fashionable slogan ‘old white men’ as a pejorative because it’s perfectly acceptable in our society to single out people based on their race and gender for collective denunciation and social shunning as long a they belong to this one category….

Sharon K: How unusual that a middle aged white Man doesn’t understand female repression. I’m stunned!

Joe McD: It looks so sad to see old white men insisting that women aren’t in danger of being oppressed. I’m guessing you’re not much of a student of history or politics in your spare time.

Kim Ro: Another white middle aged male mansplaining to women what/how the should feel/experience so predictable.

Nicolette A: But hey, freely tell me about how it sucks for white men because trans people are using the toilet they identify with

… If in an era where all of that is commonplace and in which mainstream politicians are terrified of appearing to be out of step with fashionable identity politics… if you can still believe that governments are targeting women to remove their rights and doing so strictly for the sheer malevolent pleasure of it …. then you have bought into an extraordinarily irrational delusion.


 

 

Justin C: If we keep voting for politicians who put the super-wealthy elite before ordinary citizens, a scenario as dark as The Handmaid’s Tale is inevitable. Probably in our lifetime.

Jewel D: It’s already happening- instead of hanging people (as per The Handmaids Tale) , the pollies in the “Land of Oz”, “Murica” and “Yeh Olde England” are offing the poor/elderly/disabled/ugly etc etc by cutting off any form of social security and treating any of those who dare squawk “please sir may I have more” in a manner that befits Dickensian times. 😒

Justin C: Like the bath that gets hotter & hotter until we suddenly realise we’re cooked.

Going to Getugly: Are you guys joking? Look around you! We live in a time in which the political class are terrified of appearing not to be pandering sufficiently to any real or imagined grievance claimed by any minority, racial group, feminists, subjectively conceived gender identity group, social justice activist etc. etc. Even mild, reasoned questioning of their claims, assertions and demands will get you labelled racist, misogynist or accused of indulging in any number of irrational phobias.

This is one of the bizarre traits of those on the  ‘progressive’-Left: The more they are pandered to… the more power and influence they achieve… the more attention is paid to their ideologically derived claims and grievances…. the more wild and hysterical their claims of ‘oppression’ and ‘marginalization’ becomes.


Mary Mc: I remember reading the Handmaids Tale when it was first published and have read every Atwood book since then. The TV screening is brilliant – I’m watching it with my daughter and its totally gripping. Oryx & Crake is another prescient Atwood novel … Atwood is a scientist as much as a writer so plenty of evidence and logic influence her writing – that’s what makes it – for me – so chilling at times. Obviously not everyone is going to relate to it in the same way – but I’ll resist calling them delusional…

Going to Getugly: It’s not the people who know this fantasy isn’t “prescient” who are delusional. And since when is Atwood a “scientist”?