Friday, December 22, 2006

More On The Proud Sexist Article

This refers to the post right below and consists of an appendix, if you like, of all the things that I thought after pressing the Publish-button on that one. Most of those things have to do with what is flawed in the arguments of Grabar's initial column. Looking at those may be beneficial.

First, Grabar applies a very negative stereotype to the group "women" without providing any valid evidence to support it. Anecdotal evidence does not count, because it is not objectively verifiable and because anecdotal evidence can only be used to disprove some general ("all people" are xyz) argument, not prove it.

Second, Grabar applies a completely different but positive stereotype to the group "men" by assuming that all men are logical, rational and unfrivolous. She doesn't offer any non-anecdotal evidence for this stereotype, either.

Third, the article makes hidden value assumptions in a deeper sense: Emotional intelligence is viewed as stupidity, narrowly defined cold rationality is esteemed, and then these attributes are made gendered. Once again, no real evidence is offered on why certain characteristics are "good" and others "bad".

Fourth, despite the frivolity and illogicality of women the article, and especially the comments to it, implicitly assume that these flawed creatures are the ones who should educate the next generation. Thus, either these wingnuts really don't believe what they are saying about women or they really don't care about the well-being of children or both. Dishonesty, thy name is...wingnut.

Fifth, the solutions Grabar offers to the "problem" she has defined are punitive in nature. Men must be the managers and warders of these half-crazed creatures called women. Supppose, for a wild bizarre moment, that her arguments were correct. Why then wouldn't she consider a wider menu of policies to improve women's understanding and behavior? Education, say? It is in the immediate choice of the punitive solution that Grabar's misogyny is most obvious. (Not to mention the fact that on average men are not more logical than women. Women and men score on average equally in tests of logic.)

There are probably more points I could add to this list, but my time is valuable and my bed beckons. But isn't it funny how very similar the wingnuts' views on women are to those of bin Laden's supporters? Brothers under the skin.