Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Why I Can't Take this Seriously

I'm a coward, you see.  I know this because Brianx from Abbie's Blog told me so.  Apparently, I've stopped posting in any of the closed threads on Pharyngula; ergo, I can't hack it.  Yes, this is an indictment on my courage because typing on the internet requires so much of it in the first place.  And I stopped participating right after PZ closed all comments. I'm a pussy.

I have been pretty snarky for most of this nontroversy(tm).  Why? Because legitimate attempts to discuss it have not yet proven at all effective.  Well, maybe they have for some definition of effective. But I'm not convinced that "lol@retarded male privileged white guy rapist-in-waiting power" is a cogent argument; I may just fail to appreciate its nuance.

On Pharyngula, ERV, and a few other places I can't remember right now I've had essentially the same discussion.  It results in the same outcome regardless of my being snarky or sincere.  So, I'll just quote snippets from what I wrote last night to Brianx, and earlier to C0nc0rdance, as well as openly to anyone who happens to run across my comments. I'll make the offer available here as well.

So, here are the salient features of what seems to bring out the inner cowardice of the ones who claim they have the right answer:

The supposed elevator guy did what I consider to be the right thing: he took no for an answer and left it there. Not no means maybe. Not no means let's negotiate. No ended it. I fail to see what other outcome is even equal, let alone superior to that one. I have asked. Including on pharyngula. The answer I've gotten is Schroedinger's Rapist. Well, if that's a valid chain of reasoning then so too is Schroedinger's Fake Rape Victim, which I've made a video on. As well as others. None of them should be taken seriously because I quite frankly think that to give them the courtesy of a reasoned video pretends that the argument has merit. An emotional ploy to exploit people into thinking they should devalue their own existence is not convincing to me. The idea of equality is to pull everyone up to a shared and common equal status. It's not to have a roughly distributed system of situational oppression and self-loathing.
Where is the mistake in this? If Schroedinger's Rapist is a valid chain of reasoning, why then is Schroedinger's Fake Rape Victim not valid?  What is the distinguishing feature here that I fail to notice?  Why is one emotional exploit not just as valid as another? Is there some reason that demanding half of the species consider themselves rapists-in-waiting is superior to demanding that the other half consider themselves fake-rape-accusers-in-waiting? Is it because considering someone a liar is worse than considering someone a rapist?  What question is it that I'm not asking which would resolve my inability to differentiate one from the other?

Note: if you plan to take me on an emotional ride, inviting me to pack my bags for your guilt trip, you should also pack a lunch, a dinner and a breakfast for the foreseeable future; it's going to be an extremely long trip.  I don't sleep but about 3 or 4 hours a day, and I have an extremely long attention span.

I go on to say:

Or, if it is, then the system you're talking about is repugnant to me. If one has to devalue other people to achieve success in equality, one hasn't thought through the problem hard enough or carefully enough. Simply put, it's student work and it's not fucking good enough. Go back and work harder or you must fail this class.
There's nothing inherently wrong with student work; it's a step in a long process to understanding and education.  There are many excellent students in all fields of inquiry; many of them it's worth noting exceed the skill and knowledge of their teachers long before achieving a piece of paper saying they're smart.  Most, however, do not because most people are average, by definition. I don't think that it's too onerous a burden to expect someone who is advocating that half of the human race consider themselves oppressive to the other half to do better than normal student work in arguing that position. It is, after all, not a trivial issue; therefore, the burden for argumentation is equally not trivial.  This is an extraordinarily consequential claim; your reasons to think it's an imperative had better be quite solid.

So, I go on and note that PZ's followers are quite good at identifying possible situations:

If I'm in an elevator with a Rebecca Watson, am I required to leave? After all, she's already uncomfortable just because I'm male and present. Pharyngula is good on identifying perceived problems that I just don't understand. What isn't happening is a non-ridiculous solution to these supposed problems.
They seem remarkably incapable of divining even a putatively not-facially stupid solution. This is a feature that I note is a common thread across all of the blogs on this matter.

So, the invitation, or challenge if you please, is essentially this:

My email is if you don't want to have a public pissing contest, but actually want to state a case that will force me to assent to the proposition. You see, that's how good arguments go. Why does no one doubt that Earth revolves around the sun anymore? Because the sheer weight of the reasons to think it does indeed do it is so overwhelming that it is nearly impossible not to accept that it must be the case.
And the benefit of it is that you can make your point without distraction of the groupthink and mob mentality that you seem to think scares me off. And you can be as thoughtful and take as long to compose the argument as you like - no pressure at all from the comments going back and forth saying "what now, bitch?" 

Reasonable arguments are contagious. This is indeed why we don't have any such concept as "being too reasonable". It's not possible such as I understand the concept.

Further, as I extended to Brianx, anyone who thinks they've got the answer is cordially invited to convince me:

So, if you want to explain it to me and convince me that your ethic here is superior to my ethic, you have the option. If you want to be a comment-hero on a blog, you'll do much better back on pharyngula where justifying a conclusion is more important than developing a chain of reasoning.

For the record, Brianx's response to this invitation was:
I don't play that game with idiots. Have fun fuming.
Then I was accused of :
Blatant attempts at gerrymandering what is and is not "acceptable evidence" or "valid rhetoric" is profound now?
Yes, expecting someone to provide cogent arguments and keen reason is my rigging the discussion.  What it is about this novel concept of having good reasons for one's positions teasing out the inner pusillanimity in the "skeptical feminist" community is not immediately obvious to me. I have a hunch though that it's somehow related to their not having a cogent reason for the belief, and thus offense and victim-carding is all they have left. This reminds me of the religious in ways that aren't flattering.

Alas, I am amenable to being convinced. I'll end with:  all that remains between you and my assent to this proposition is air, opportunity and a good, cogent argument.

[edit]: unlike certain people who want to publicly weigh in on this, I do not moderate comments for anything other than spam.  Yes, I'm going to use my male privilege to be a big boy and listen to people who might write words I don't like.  Why? Because I hate people so much I'm willing to let everyone be equal in advocating their positions.
Comments here will be moderated as I see fit.  Do not even think of trying to mansplain this to me.

Dear Dickless:
Hundreds of millions of people in the world live without being able to share their thoughts without fear of being murdered for the great crime of talking.  You have no such concerns, but use your position as women who are accorded an equal station to speak in public to replicate the very oppression you claim you despise.  This is why you're not taken seriously.

For other reasoned discussion, please visit Miranda Celeste (no, she's not a street drug).


Anonymous said...

Friggin' blindingly brilliant! We (you know - the ragged post-hippie-apocvalyptic remnant of people who value THINKING) need more like you.

Justicar said...

Don't forget your Patchouli oil.

Jennifer said...

Thank goodness. I was beginning to think people had lost their collective minds.

Er, I mean... STFU, you bigot. How dare you suggest we not make massive assumptions about wide swaths of people?