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Old 11th April 2019, 05:50 PM   #281
kellyb
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Originally Posted by pharphis View Post
I agree, any feminist I've ever hung out with (that I'm aware of) and the majority of feminists don't necessarily blame men.

But then when the radicals, and those with voices in politics or academia or the media speak it is quite obviously blaming men for everything (patriarchy theory - I understand you don't quite align with this but think we "lean patriarchal" iirc). Patriarchy theory frames gender issues as solely women's issues (or predominantly, if we're being generous) and perpetrated by men. Patriarchy theory is what all the non-coffee-shop feminists believe in. I've found many moderate feminists who I've had discussions with also accept the same premises even if they don't instinctively blame men ie they accept all the same dogma regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, "privilege", etc. I don't blame them, or even the average non-feminist (the majority of people) for 2 reasons.

1) We seem biased towards caring about female suffering in general, and even minimize female perpetrators (ex/ "what did he do to cause her to hit him", "he must have hurt her", "the vast majority of female-perpetrated domestic violence is self-defense")

2) There has been consistent pro-feminist propaganda on these fronts for decades. Even those that don't accept the extreme things seem to believe most of the watered down tenets. See how popular White Ribbon is, or general fear-mongering about women "walking alone at night" being uniquely at risk.

I hope that makes sense even if you disagree.

edit: I also generally see trad cons as against male interests. I'm not sure I'd say "conservatism" is a problem. It is sometimes. I think we need a mix of conservatives and progressives - forever, probably - to keep advancing but reel in the crazies.

I'm Canadian, and we have a feminist prime minister atm.
I think you'd blame conservatives more if you were in the US. Our conservatives are insanely evil.

Personally, I wouldn't call "general fear-mongering about women "walking alone at night" being uniquely at risk" "pro-feminist propaganda". I don't buy into the fearmongering myself. But my husband HATES it when I walk to the store by myself at night, and has basically begged me to stop doing that, so I stopped.

I believe in a watered down, science-modified version of "women's studies patriarchy theory". They get a lot of stuff wrong in women's studies from what I can tell. The worst, most anti-science elements of post-modernism really do seem to be alive and well in women's studies. It annoys and offends me, honestly, as a skeptic and as a secular humanist egalitarian. I don't know if you were around for the atheism plus nightmare, but I was the last skeptic standing over there, and it was challenging them on their revisionist history of the gender dynamics at the dawn of civilization that triggered them to finally flame me out. (They think we're a naturally matriarchal species, essentially, and that some conspiracy among men has made the world the way it is. And they have NO evidence for that belief. It just drives me up the wall. lol)

I DO understand men's legit problems with false assumptions about violence. While men are more violent in general, some women use that to get off scott free and play the victim when they're the abuser. I've known 2 such women who tried to pull that, myself. Fortunately, nobody fell for it.
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Old 12th April 2019, 03:02 AM   #282
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
"The causes are not problematic until they are SHOWN to be problematic. That's just how words work."?
Indeed. And that would be an argument that unjustified imbalances are just fine with you because nobody has shown there to be a problem to your satisfaction.

Words mean things. And actions are derived from the positions those words entail.

If you believe unjustified inequalities are not a problem then you don't support equality.
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Old 12th April 2019, 03:17 AM   #283
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Indeed. And that would be an argument that unjustified imbalances are just fine with you because nobody has shown there to be a problem to your satisfaction.
It would absolutely not. Stop trying to over-simplify things. If you have an issue with nuance, that's your problem, not mine.

Quote:
Words mean things. And actions are derived from the positions those words entail.

If you believe unjustified inequalities are not a problem then you don't support equality.
Amazing. I've just explained to you how you twisted words and phrases to support a predetermined conclusion and it flew right over your head.

And let's not forget that I've ALSO explained to you that the only way you can accuse me of not supporting equality is if you believe that equality and parity are the same thing, which you've denied. You want to have your cake and eat it, but you won't fool me. I support equality but don't necessarily strive for parity. If you think one should go with the other then you were mistaken in your denial. Again, which is it?

How about you stop trying to paint me as some sort of anti-equality villain for you to hand-wave and instead demonstrate that there's a problem? Remember, the lack of parity is not, in and of itself, a sufficient indicator. Do you or do you not have the ability to make this demonstration?

This false accusation of yours is nothing but a dodge.
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Old 12th April 2019, 06:36 AM   #284
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That's an interesting use of the word "unjustified". Where is the need for "justification"? Without such a need, calling something "unjustified" is so far from the truth it's not even relevant enough to be false either.
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Old 12th April 2019, 06:43 AM   #285
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Originally Posted by Georgio View Post
My God. The Duluth Model of domestic violence, which is directly based on feminist ideology, is the PRECISE REASON there are almost no shelters for male victims because this ideology reclassifies male victims as perpetrators.

Patriarchy theory, which is a central tenet of feminism, is the precise reason men's issues are ignored or ridiculed in society; men don't need help, they are privileged in society.

What on earth do you think feminism actually is? It is NOT egalitarianism; it is an offshoot of Marxism except the oppressor/oppressed groups are men and women rather than the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.

You do seem to be what Karen Straughan calls a 'Coffee Shop Feminist'; you mistakenly imagine feminism to be a synonym for egalitarianism. This is NOT the case; feminism is the doctrine that women as a group are oppressed by men as a group.

This is why so many feminists think MRAs are arguing that men are oppressed as a group. As one of my favourite MRA youtubers bane666au put it, 'Way too many feminists are addicted to the oppressor/oppressed dynamic so that when an MRA says that men have issues too, that is as well, they somehow hear it as 'only men have issues and are being oppressed by women'.

In the west, men are not oppressed as a group and women are not oppressed as a group. In some situations women have it worse and it some situations men have it worse. The latter is something that no feminist who has actually studied their subject and hasn't simply assumed it means 'treat everyone equally, amirite?' would agree with.

Of course nobody in their right mind would argue with your apparent definition of feminism (egalitarianism), but I'm afraid that definition is wrong. Utterly, utterly wrong. Feminism is a specific ideology of female oppression by men/patriarchy on a general, societal level.
You are willfully inflating the popularity and importance of radical feminism on the wider movement. To state that the broader, successful feminist movement is Marxist is absurd on its face. This is a severely distorted view of reality.

Mainstream feminism is well defined, well organized group that has been successful in advocating a series of meaningful, moderate reforms. Tarring these landmark legal reforms because people like Dworkin publish nutty screeds is taking a willfully distorted view of the broader movement. The accomplishments of mainstream feminism far eclipse whatever edgy nonsense is coming out of the fringe. Unlike much of the MRA movement, Youtube videos and internet memes aren't the foundational core of the feminist movement, which probably explains the difference in effectiveness of the two movements. Feminists have engaged in real organization and activism nationally and locally, which is much different than spamming the web with toxic trash.

The Duluth model, for its many faults, was an improvement over the previous approach to domestic violence, which was to do nothing until someone ended up murdered. Perhaps feminism was too eager to portray domestic violence as a women only issue, but they are not the reason there are no men's shelters. There were no shelters for men before Duluth. The feminist movement is the sole reason that domestic violence is treated as a serious issue today, rather than a private affair. The current state of affairs may be far from perfect, but it undoubtedly an improvement over the status quo at the time.

Simply put, feminism is the reason people even take domestic violence seriously as an issue. Any success on aiding men in these situations will be predicated on prior hard work done by feminists.
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Old 12th April 2019, 06:45 AM   #286
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
That's an interesting use of the word "unjustified". Where is the need for "justification"? Without such a need, calling something "unjustified" is so far from the truth it's not even relevant enough to be false either.
Well of course then we need to discuss the axioms that determine whether something is justified or not. But here are some examples:

If we determine that group X and group Y have different results because of discrimination, we may determine that this is an unjustified cause, and seek to correct it. But if we find that the difference stems from conscious choices by the members of the two groups, we may instead decide that it's entirely ok.
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Old 12th April 2019, 07:18 AM   #287
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Georgio listed some "mainstream" feminists, only one of whom I had heard of and she's radical.

pharphis told me that "White Ribbon" is so popular, and I had to google that to see what it was.

Maybe being an MRA-adjacent person makes you more aware of these things, and you start to think that they are mainstream? This is an anecdote, but I don't believe that I have ever heard anyone say the word "patriarchy" outside of an internet forum.
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Old 12th April 2019, 07:29 AM   #288
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
This discussion is pointless. Plenty of people who call themselves "feminist" are radicals who espouse the ideology you described. Plenty of them don't. So how about you give Kelly some slack and accept that she's the type of feminist she claims to be?
I absolutely do accept that and I hope I haven't given the impression that I think kellyb is lying about genuinely being an egalitarian (I don't), but the fact is that under that definition I am a feminist, and I spend a huge amount of effort advocating against feminism and feminist ideology!

That is surely significant to this discussion - someone who is absolutely, profoundly, utterly against modern feminist ideology can accurately be described as a feminist under the dictionary definition!

Again, I completely accept that she (and Dr. Keith) are indeed that 'type of feminist'; it's just that it's the 'type of feminist' that doesn't have anything to do with mainstream feminist ideology and actively opposes it. I just find that clinging to the label of 'feminist' under these circumstances to be a bit ridiculous, that's all.

If we've all agreed that feminism begins and ends with that dictionary definition then I'm more than happy to call myself a loud and proud feminist.
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Old 12th April 2019, 07:36 AM   #289
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Simply put, feminism is the reason people even take domestic violence seriously as an issue. Any success on aiding men in these situations will be predicated on prior hard work done by feminists.
Erin Pizzey would like a word with you.

Interview:

Part one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irVB8b0zhQI
Part two: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkVH7cG8lLM

Please, please, please watch that - you are misinformed. You have accepted propaganda.
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Old 12th April 2019, 07:37 AM   #290
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Well of course then we need to discuss the axioms that determine whether something is justified or not. But here are some examples:

If we determine that group X and group Y have different results because of discrimination, we may determine that this is an unjustified cause, and seek to correct it. But if we find that the difference stems from conscious choices by the members of the two groups, we may instead decide that it's entirely ok.
While I agree with you in principle, in practice such a determination is almost never possible. We have to go on what we can measure, and that's disparity. Disparity and inequality aren't the same thing, but they are commonly intertwined, to the point where if you see disparity you're justified leaving the burden of evidence on equality to show that this time it's an exception.

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Old 12th April 2019, 07:38 AM   #291
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Georgio listed some "mainstream" feminists, only one of whom I had heard of and she's radical.

pharphis told me that "White Ribbon" is so popular, and I had to google that to see what it was.

Maybe being an MRA-adjacent person makes you more aware of these things, and you start to think that they are mainstream? This is an anecdote, but I don't believe that I have ever heard anyone say the word "patriarchy" outside of an internet forum.
I took a Women's Studies class in 2018 to fulfill a sociology requirement. (It was the only thing available.) "Patriarchy" was mentioned as a feminism-related vocabulary word, but it was NOT focused on as a central concept. The class mostly just taught about the history of women's rights (medical stuff, voting, owning property, etc.), and a brief summation of the different types of feminism. The class was taught by an old white man. I definitely didn't feel indoctrinated at any point. It was more like a history class with a sprinkling of sociology terms.

My university is not exactly known for being liberal, so maybe they used a different curriculum than other places do. But I thought it was pretty good. I hadn't really wanted to take the class and expected it to be annoying, political, and polarizing when I went in. In the end, it was not any of those things. The class discussions never erupted into passionate discussions either, like the college stereotypes you see on TV.

I think it really depends on where you are.
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Old 12th April 2019, 07:40 AM   #292
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Georgio listed some "mainstream" feminists, only one of whom I had heard of and she's radical.

pharphis told me that "White Ribbon" is so popular, and I had to google that to see what it was.

Maybe being an MRA-adjacent person makes you more aware of these things, and you start to think that they are mainstream? This is an anecdote, but I don't believe that I have ever heard anyone say the word "patriarchy" outside of an internet forum.
Jessica Valenti is a columnist for a national newspaper in America, Jess Phillips is a well known English politician, Julie Birchill writes for a national newspaper in England, Clementine Ford is big in Australia as is White Ribbon. Maybe the problem is your location?

I take your point though.
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Old 12th April 2019, 07:43 AM   #293
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
While I agree with you in principle, in practice such a determination is almost never possible. We have to go on what we can measure, and that's disparity. Disparity and inequality aren't the same thing, but they are commonly intertwined, to the point where if you see disparity you're justified leaving the burden of evidence on equality to show that this time it's an exception.
Well of course you can identify some of the likely causes, but once you've made the effort to eliminate them, at what point do you say "well the remaining disparity is probably due to some other factors that might not be problematic."? Otherwise, we're right back to assuming that _any_ disparity is, ipso facto, problematic.
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Old 12th April 2019, 07:46 AM   #294
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Originally Posted by Georgio View Post
Jessica Valenti is a columnist for a national newspaper in America, Jess Phillips is a well known English politician, Julie Birchill writes for a national newspaper in England, Clementine Ford is big in Australia as is White Ribbon. Maybe the problem is your location?

I take your point though.
Jess Philips isn't particularly well known.
Julie Burchill is an insane crackpot contrarian whose only allegiance is to Julie Burchill.

Don't know too much about Jessica Valenti or the rest.
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Old 12th April 2019, 07:49 AM   #295
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Remember, the lack of parity is not, in and of itself, a sufficient indicator.
And as I have said again and again it is an indicator. How else would you imagine we measure things? The lack of parity may well have justifiable or immutable causes, but you would need to investigate and do the work to show that.

You want someone else to do the work for you to prove that there is a problem before you care. That's fine. But don't pretend that you actually care about equality when you are sitting there saying that you don't.
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Old 12th April 2019, 07:51 AM   #296
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
I think it really depends on where you are.
I think that's true. I'm very glad the course you did was just historical and focusing on issues that affect/affected women. That's, of course, what it ought to be like and I personally can't see anything wrong with such courses provided we can also have such courses for men's issues.

I gather the problem areas for this kind of indoctrination with radical feminism masquerading as women's studies are mainly in Canada for some reason.
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Old 12th April 2019, 07:52 AM   #297
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
That's an interesting use of the word "unjustified". Where is the need for "justification"?
Because we agreed earlier that we would expect parity of outcome absent good reasons why there wouldn't be. So if there is a disparity that is not caused by bad reasons we should be able to point to what those good reasons are.

Again, you don't need justification to accept the status quo but if you do so don't pretend to be a friend of equality.
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Old 12th April 2019, 07:56 AM   #298
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Originally Posted by Georgio View Post
I absolutely do accept that and I hope I haven't given the impression that I think kellyb is lying about genuinely being an egalitarian (I don't), but the fact is that under that definition I am a feminist, and I spend a huge amount of effort advocating against feminism and feminist ideology!

That is surely significant to this discussion - someone who is absolutely, profoundly, utterly against modern feminist ideology can accurately be described as a feminist under the dictionary definition!

Again, I completely accept that she (and Dr. Keith) are indeed that 'type of feminist'; it's just that it's the 'type of feminist' that doesn't have anything to do with mainstream feminist ideology and actively opposes it. I just find that clinging to the label of 'feminist' under these circumstances to be a bit ridiculous, that's all.

If we've all agreed that feminism begins and ends with that dictionary definition then I'm more than happy to call myself a loud and proud feminist.
I used to be anti-feminist, too, until I realized there was a different way of being a feminist (my best friend showed me what that looks like.) My opinions haven't changed; I just realize now that I actually am a feminist.

In some senses I guess I'm an MRA, as well. I'm currently working with local gov to create a city-run men's emergency homeless shelter. (There are zero free shelters for men in my city). So....
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Old 12th April 2019, 07:57 AM   #299
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Originally Posted by Georgio View Post
Jessica Valenti is a columnist for a national newspaper in America, Jess Phillips is a well known English politician, Julie Birchill writes for a national newspaper in England, Clementine Ford is big in Australia as is White Ribbon. Maybe the problem is your location?

I take your point though.
The Guardian is not really a "national newspaper in America" Georgio. And according to wikipedia Julie Birchill describes herself as a "militant feminist." She sounds like a real train wreck to me.

Just so I understand where you are coming from - I think that you're saying that these fringe figures are really mainstream? Like people claim to be feminist, but they don't know how extreme the mainstream of feminism really is? If so, maybe you're right. I don't know enough to say either way. Getting back to how all this started, I suspect that fringe "MRA types" probably aren't mainstream either.

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Old 12th April 2019, 07:58 AM   #300
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
And as I have said again and again it is an indicator. How else would you imagine we measure things?
If the first indicator is insufficient? With additional indicators.

Quote:
The lack of parity may well have justifiable or immutable causes, but you would need to investigate and do the work to show that.
Indeed. But since you're the one saying that there's an underlying problem, have you?

Quote:
You want someone else to do the work for you to prove that there is a problem before you care. That's fine. But don't pretend that you actually care about equality when you are sitting there saying that you don't.
Would you please stop lying about my position? YOU are the one who is introducing the word "care" in the first sentence. Caring has nothing to do with it. What I said is that I want evidence that action is needed before we act. Not care. Act. Or do you think that we should act regardless of whether action will lead to better results just because we need to show that we care, a sort of gigantically stupid virtue signaling?

You must really be bummed out by the weakness of your argument for you to so desperately seek to deflect attention away from it and onto me. Unfortunately for you "you're a big meanie!" is not much of an alternative point.
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Old 12th April 2019, 07:58 AM   #301
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Well of course you can identify some of the likely causes, but once you've made the effort to eliminate them, at what point do you say "well the remaining disparity is probably due to some other factors that might not be problematic."? Otherwise, we're right back to assuming that _any_ disparity is, ipso facto, problematic.
this is where we started and I already explained. You would reach a point where practical and reasonable efforts to shift the disparity appeared to have no effect and you couldn't think of any other practical and reasonable efforts to employ further.

This is simply the way real life works.

For example, the burden is on employers to be able to demonstrate that their recruitment processes take reasonable steps not to be discriminatory if challenged.

I honestly can't tell now if you are asking 'how do we calculate the right percentage of minority X in employment Y?' (answer: you can't) or 'why should I care that minority X is under-represented in employment Y?' (answer: that's really up to you, if you don't care you don't care, but others do)
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Old 12th April 2019, 07:59 AM   #302
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Originally Posted by Georgio View Post
Erin Pizzey would like a word with you.

Interview:

Part one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irVB8b0zhQI
Part two: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkVH7cG8lLM

Please, please, please watch that - you are misinformed. You have accepted propaganda.
1) "argument by youtube" is considered weaksauce here
2) you cannot seriously expect us to spend 45 minutes of our lives watching "red pill files"

State your case in text, with appropriate documentation from reliable sources.
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Old 12th April 2019, 07:59 AM   #303
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
this is where we started and I already explained. You would reach a point where practical and reasonable efforts to shift the disparity appeared to have no effect and you couldn't think of any other practical and reasonable efforts to employ further.

This is simply the way real life works.

For example, the burden is on employers to be able to demonstrate that their recruitment processes take reasonable steps not to be discriminatory if challenged.

I honestly can't tell now if you are asking 'how do we calculate the right percentage of minority X in employment Y?' (answer: you can't) or 'why should I care that minority X is under-represented in employment Y?' (answer: that's really up to you, if you don't care you don't care, but others do)
Neither.

You clearly have great difficulty following arguments.
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Old 12th April 2019, 08:01 AM   #304
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Originally Posted by Georgio View Post
Jessica Valenti is a columnist for a national newspaper in America, Jess Phillips is a well known English politician, Julie Birchill writes for a national newspaper in England, Clementine Ford is big in Australia as is White Ribbon. Maybe the problem is your location?

I take your point though.
I've never heard of any of them. I'm in the US.
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Old 12th April 2019, 08:06 AM   #305
Archie Gemmill Goal
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Would you please stop lying about my position? YOU are the one who is introducing the word "care" in the first sentence. Caring has nothing to do with it. What I said is that I want evidence that action is needed before we act. Not care. Act. Or do you think that we should act regardless of whether action will lead to better results just because we need to show that we care, a sort of gigantically stupid virtue signaling?
Jesus. The only way you are going to know if there are ways to increase the participation rates is to act and see if they work! People didn't get more women into STEM by sitting around studying biology and trying to work out the precisely correct participation rates they got off their asses and did things to promote the topic amongst women. And hallelujah it turns out that can help!

And yes we should act because we don't know if action is going to lead to better results unless we try it! FFS.

The alternative is that we don't act. And promoting inaction is the epitome of not caring. Sorry if you don't like it, but if the cap fits...

Quote:
You must really be bummed out by the weakness of your argument for you to so desperately seek to deflect attention away from it and onto me. Unfortunately for you "you're a big meanie!" is not much of an alternative point.
Sorry I am busy now. I am calling all the pharma companies to tell them we need to stop researching medicines because we don't KNOW if they are going to be successful a priori. Can you do me a favour and get round all the theoretical physicists and explain to them why they need to stop too?
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Old 12th April 2019, 08:17 AM   #306
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
The only way you are going to know if there are ways to increase the participation rates is to act and see if they work!
You're missing a step, there. See below.

Quote:
The alternative is that we don't act. And promoting inaction is the epitome of not caring.
It's absolutely not true that suggesting a lack of action means you're not caring. In fact, sometimes if you care the best thing you can do is not act. What you just said certainly supports my "virtue signaling" interpretation. You need to show that you care, everything else be damned.

Quote:
Sorry I am busy now. I am calling all the pharma companies to tell them we need to stop researching medicines because we don't KNOW if they are going to be successful a priori.
Would you cut it out with the strawmen? No one's saying that we shouldn't study the issue. In fact that's precisely what I'm arguing for. What I'm arguing against is taking actions to change things when we haven't even made this study to find out the causes of the imbalance.

Wouldn't you rather know before you start making laws and stuff? For all you know, whatever actions you have in mind would just make things worse. To use your pharma analogy, even before the double-blind tests you'd want to know if your pill is poison before giving it to a test group.
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Old 12th April 2019, 08:19 AM   #307
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The whole idea of naming individual names to point to as the mainstream of feminism is fundamentally wrong. The mainstream is what we experience in our daily lives, not the author of some book or article that neither we nor anybody we've ever met actually read. For example, just in the last couple of days, a couple of friends of mine shared a deliberately misleading image giving one woman most of the credit for work done by a large team... to which somebody else I don't know responded by sharing an equally misleading counter-image giving one man most of the credit that had been stolen for the woman in the original image... which I only found out about because I saw one of the sharers of the original arguing against the counter-image (while still ignoring the problems with the original).

No feminist author you would ever name created that original image. No masculinist author you would ever name created the response. No feminist author you would ever name wrote the response to the response. But these are the ideas that I saw actually getting passed around in my real experience.
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Old 12th April 2019, 08:28 AM   #308
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An opinion I've expressed in threads before is that the term 'feminism' has come to be similar to 'jazz music' - the differences in what you mean when using either term are so wide and varied that it's almost useless to use the terms absent qualifiers and detail.

When you say you want to hear jazz, do you mean Benny Goodman or Spyro Gyra? Cab Calloway or Kenny G?

Andrea Dworkin has been mentioned up-thread. I actually love using her paired with either Camille Paglia or Christina Hoff Sommers whenever there's the assumption that 'feminism' means only one specific thing 90% of the time, the rest being some fringe.

And it reminds more than a little bit of the great dictionary wars in alt.atheism in the 90s: rather than engaging with the details of what people actually believed there were the constant arguments along the lines of 'well if you say you're an atheist you MUST believe <x>' and the like. Too much focus is spent on quibbles over the One True Definition of the term as opposed to the actual beliefs and opinions underlying said term.

I absolutely adore linguistic precision. I think people using the word "literally" in a figurative sense should be fined. But for whatever reason(s) 'feminism' as a term has so many valid potential meanings that structuring discussion with an assumption of what the One True Definition is rather than the actual issues it touches upon is folly.

All the above said as a male victim of domestic violence who used to call himself a feminist and now just says he's a dude what believes in equality and not being dickish to people if it isn't necessary.
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Old 12th April 2019, 08:30 AM   #309
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Well of course then we need to discuss the axioms that determine whether something is justified or not. But here are some examples:

If we determine that group X and group Y have different results because of discrimination, we may determine that this is an unjustified cause, and seek to correct it. But if we find that the difference stems from conscious choices by the members of the two groups, we may instead decide that it's entirely ok.
If Bob and Tom make different amounts of money, I'm fairly ready to accept that can be traced back to decisions each of them made and not need to look further.

If, in a population of hundreds of millions, the average salary of all the people named Bob is significantly less than the average salary of all the people named Tom, then there needs to be an explanation beyond individual choice. Individual choice that isn't driven strongly by other factors should even out over large numbers. To take us one metaphor deeper, if I flip a coin 20 times and they're mostly heads, that's fine. If I flip a coin a million times and it isn't close to 50/50, then the coin is definitely asymmetrical.

So once you've determined that SOMETHING must be driving disparity, we have to look for what that something is and decide if it's something we can accept.

In terms of demographic disparity, there are two broad causes. Biological and social (and of course, the weird combinations and interplay between the two).

The long history of demographic differences between men and women has been that they were presumed to be mostly rooted in biology, or at least reasonable social responses to biology. Over the past couple hundred years, as social restrictions lifted, we found those disparities narrowing, which, in addition to other evidence, leads to a conclusion that they were not as firmly rooted in biology as earlier societies thought. The whole dance of it has a bit of the following feel.

A: Women can't do x! It's biology! And even if they could, they don't truly want to!
(restrictions in society are lifted and women start doing x)
A: Well, okay, but they can't do Y! And even if they could, they don't truly want to!
(restrictions in society are lifted and women start doing y)
A: Well, okay, but they can't do z! And even if they could, they don't truly want to!

etc.

So now, when we find ourselves with disparities and we want to decide if it's a problem, there are two ways that disparity could NOT be a problem.

1) Have we hit the biological floor or close to it such that these disparities are directly biologically driven?

2) Are the differences such that they can't be seen to harm anyone.


#1 I view instinctively warily because it's been the incorrect default for so long. So I require significant positive evidence before I would accept it. I'm happy to concede that there are biological reasons women are not beating men in marathon running, but I'm not ready to say the same for tech jobs.

#2 I think is also a tough bar to cross, because separate is so rarely equal. And as I discussed in my post on the gender of teachers, the negative fallout from the disparities we have now is not hard to locate.

Given the history we've had, I think the default should be that disparities are a problem unless we have very good reasons to think otherwise.
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Old 12th April 2019, 08:57 AM   #310
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
If Bob and Tom make different amounts of money, I'm fairly ready to accept that can be traced back to decisions each of them made and not need to look further.

If, in a population of hundreds of millions, the average salary of all the people named Bob is significantly less than the average salary of all the people named Tom, then there needs to be an explanation beyond individual choice. Individual choice that isn't driven strongly by other factors should even out over large numbers. To take us one metaphor deeper, if I flip a coin 20 times and they're mostly heads, that's fine. If I flip a coin a million times and it isn't close to 50/50, then the coin is definitely asymmetrical.
If group A and group B had a random distribution you could assume that. However, group A and group B are made up of individuals with a pretty obvious difference: sex. And with that comes biology, physiology, chemistry, psychology, social pressures, upbringing, gender roles, etc. So although it's entirely possible that those also even out in a larger mass, I wouldn't be surprised if they're actually exacerbated.

Quote:
So once you've determined that SOMETHING must be driving disparity, we have to look for what that something is and decide if it's something we can accept.
To be clear: I'm not disagreeing with that. It's entirely expected and normal to check what's driving the difference. Where Archie and I part ways is that I disagree with assuming that there's a problem, and trying different solutions before you make that determination. You might end up doing far more harm than good.

Quote:
The long history of demographic differences between men and women has been that they were presumed to be mostly rooted in biology, or at least reasonable social responses to biology.
I think both play a very large role, but I wouldn't venture to guess to what proportions.
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Old 12th April 2019, 10:18 AM   #311
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
If group A and group B had a random distribution you could assume that. However, group A and group B are made up of individuals with a pretty obvious difference: sex. And with that comes biology, physiology, chemistry, psychology, social pressures, upbringing, gender roles, etc. So although it's entirely possible that those also even out in a larger mass, I wouldn't be surprised if they're actually exacerbated.
I apologize if I was unclear. This doesn't disagree with what I was trying to convey. I simply said that a disparity needs an explanation, and farther down, I specified the types of explanations possible which was more or less a simplified version of your list here.


Quote:
To be clear: I'm not disagreeing with that. It's entirely expected and normal to check what's driving the difference. Where Archie and I part ways is that I disagree with assuming that there's a problem...
And I made an argument for why it's prudent to make problem the default interpretation. My whole post was leading to that argument. Of course I can't compel you respond to it, but I have a suspicion that your not responding to it means that I didn't adequately convey that everything else in that post was background to address that particular disagreement.
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Old 12th April 2019, 10:46 AM   #312
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
I apologize if I was unclear. This doesn't disagree with what I was trying to convey. I simply said that a disparity needs an explanation, and farther down, I specified the types of explanations possible which was more or less a simplified version of your list here.
Well, I didn't disagree with you either!

Quote:
And I made an argument for why it's prudent to make problem the default interpretation.
And here's my problem with that argument: for how long? When does one say "well, we've largely solved the underlying problems; any remaining disparity is probably due to other, mostly harmless differences." (a simplification)? If you never do, then you're really going to drive towards a 50-50 distribution and in doing so you risk causing real harm to the group that would otherwise have a larger distribution.

For instance, should we make a perpetual effort to make sure men make up 50% of all hairdressers? That field is dominated by women, and always has been. Is that discrimination, or social pressure, or some other thing that we could work on improving, or is it at least in part due to simple inherent differences between men and women? If the latter is true, then once you've solved the other problems, further action might cause harm to women in the industry by favouring either a smaller number of men or by driving up the number of men through other means.

Not sure I'm explaining myself clearly there.
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Old 12th April 2019, 10:49 AM   #313
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
For instance, should we make a perpetual effort to make sure men make up 50% of all hairdressers? That field is dominated by women, and always has been. Is that discrimination, or social pressure, or some other thing that we could work on improving, or is it at least in part due to simple inherent differences between men and women?
And how many barbers are women?

C'mon, Belz. You know that's an unusual situation with hair thing.
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Old 12th April 2019, 10:52 AM   #314
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Part of the problem with this conversation is that nobody is specifying what sort of intervention is even being proposed, or for what. When everything is vague generalities, everyone is right, and everyone is wrong.
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Old 12th April 2019, 11:11 AM   #315
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
And how many barbers are women?

C'mon, Belz. You know that's an unusual situation with hair thing.
What do you mean "unusual"? In the sense that it's dominated by women rather than men? Not at all. Social workers, nurses, secretaries, teachers, etc. There's plenty of them. Also, you rarely hear calls for equal representation for coal workers and other hard or dangerous jobs.

Anyway, don't get distracted by the example. It's just one where one gender is overrepresented. The general point is what's important.
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Old 12th April 2019, 11:14 AM   #316
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
What do you mean "unusual"? In the sense that it's dominated by women rather than men? Not at all. Social workers, nurses, secretaries, teachers, etc. There's plenty of them. Also, you rarely hear calls for equal representation for coal workers and other hard or dangerous jobs.

Anyway, don't get distracted by the example. It's just one where one gender is overrepresented. The general point is what's important.
No, what I'm saying is that nobody thinks it's an imbalance that barbers (for men) are male and hairdressers (for women) are women.
That's completely unlike anything STEM.
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Old 12th April 2019, 11:16 AM   #317
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
No, what I'm saying is that nobody thinks it's an imbalance that barbers (for men) are male and hairdressers (for women) are women.
That's completely unlike anything STEM.
Well, why not? Why are we only talking about some jobs and not others?

I mean, I think I know why, but what's your take on it?
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Old 12th April 2019, 11:24 AM   #318
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Well, why not? Why are we only talking about some jobs and not others?

I mean, I think I know why, but what's your take on it?
I mean, money. Right? That's one of the main things.
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Old 12th April 2019, 11:30 AM   #319
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
I mean, money. Right? That's one of the main things.
There are both dirt cheap and really expensive barbers and hairdressers, alike.
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Old 12th April 2019, 11:52 AM   #320
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
There are both dirt cheap and really expensive barbers and hairdressers, alike.
Oh, I thought he meant the difference between jobs like STEM and jobs like teachers, social work, etc. (Or hairdressers, I suppose.) Like, why do we worry more about gender equality in one field than others. I assume it's because one has much higher earning potential. The key word being potential - obviously there are plenty of starving mathematicians and rich celebrity hairdressers. I'm just talking generalities.

I was reading too fast again, multi-tasking and such. My bad.
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