Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How To Get A 24-Hour Migraine With Frequent Vomiting

Easy-peasy! First spend several hours on the Psychology Today site, where you find the misogynist Satoshi Kanazawa preaching us on the evils of feminism and how Barbie is an evolutionary construct! No-one there argues back to his ideas. He doesn't allow comments and there's no other blog written by someone critical of his ideas.

And no-one there appears to know (or care) that the study his recent book (Why Beatiful People Have More Daughters) is named for was completely faulty: We don't actually know why beautiful people have more daughters because most likely they do not.

You could stop at this point, naturally, if you weren't obsessive-compulsive or something. But that would have been too easy, so you slip-and-side onto a Men's Rights site, because of a quotation you find where someone says that Kanazawa has proven, completely and finally, how men MUST be the bosses of wimminz.

The Men's Rights sites vary a lot, from truly ghastly (kill-all-women) to pretty ghastly (menz-do-everything-better). This one (which I'm not going to link to) is interesting because it has a whole lot of articles which you can read to find the theoretical underpinnings of what they are to believe. Those articles, for instance, tell us that the gender gap in wages doesn't exist at all. In fact, women earn more than men for the same work! Eat that, you silly feminist economist.

As an aside, that's one of the major problems of the Internetization of all these debates. People now accept different studies as the troof, and hence the debate has become pretty much impossible. How could I debate those MRA guys when they already believe that a) women earn more than men, b) the problem with rape is mostly false accusations and c) feminists are in power in this country? If I give them studies which disprove those things they won't find them in their short list of Approved Sources. The end of the story.

But this particular site wasn't just about those common topics. I followed one long thread from the beginning to the end, because it consisted of lots of visitors who actually tried to talk with the local denizens.

The odd thing is that I started with much empathy for some of those denizens: They were clearly men who had been horribly hurt by something in their lives and who had chosen to generalize from that hurt to all women. Even some of the nasty comments seemed to be based on hurt. It seemed as if they believed that white heterosexual men truly were the oppressed in this country! At any moment a PC policewoman could walk in and take them to jail for rapes they didn't commit.

But as the discussion continued, something odd turned up: Yes, they argue that women are in power in the United States, and that is wrong. But the desirable state is not equality. Nope. It is men who should be in power, because Satoshi Kanazawa and Steven Pinker have proved that to be the only possible arrangement. In short: what these Men's Rights Activists thought men's rights consist of is the right to dominate women.

My empathy had disappeared into a puff of bad air by this time. Then the migraine and the vomiting.