Skip to comments."Why do women always....?": Generalizations and the building blocks of reality
Posted on 10/01/2011 9:33:46 PM PDT by ReformationFan
Recently I wrote an article about women's tendency to support statist candidates. As my emails attest, it was met with quite a positive response. Yet, not surprisingly, there was also a very predictable one: complaints about generalizations. For instance, one respondent wrote that she was tired of the "all men are this and all women are that" tripe.
Of course, people only complain about generalizations when they hear one they don't like and, perhaps, are unable to refute. But you can rest assured that they generalize just like anyone else; in fact, generalizations are woven so seamlessly into our thinking and discourse that we often utter them unthinkingly as a matter of course. Just consider how often people say things such as "Why do men never ask directions?!" or "It drives me crazy when guys flip from one TV channel to another rapid-fire!" But do all men do these things? I always ask directions and hate the habit of using a remote control like a musical keyboard. Nevertheless, I'll be the first to admit that those generalizations are clearly valid.
The problem with blanket condemnations of generalizations is that they shut down debate. They are, in a way, akin to responding to someone who substantively criticizes Barack Obama or rap artists by accusing him of being a "racist." It doesn't address the particulars of the criticism, which may or may not be correct; it avoids them with the implication that, in principle, criticizing a black person is wrong because it reflects prejudice. Likewise, to respond to a group analysis by condemning generalization in principle allows one to avoid having to address it in the particular. Note that while this can be a very conscious ploy, it often isn't. Sometimes it's just an emotional reaction to an unpleasant truth and reflects
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Steal away! I consider it a high compliment.
No, I had the quote right. It’s a Sherlock Holmes/Conan Doyle.
Sorry, but you’re mistaken. Holmes might have said what you cite, but that isn’t the famous saying that would be referenced in these situations. Look it up if you don’t believe me; it’s well-known.
As for what Holmes might have said, it isn’t really relevant. You can find a source for anything, but it doesn’t cut any ice to reference something obscure simply because it contradicts a well-known truth.
“Feminism includes a lot of stuff people dont realize. Including the right to vote.”
And your point is?
Wouldn't it be simpler to push him down a flight of stairs or to hit him with a piece of lumber?
He did say it. http://quotations.amk.ca/sherlock-holmes/2.html It’s relevant to me. I wouldn’t call it obscure either. I agree with Doyle.
Other people generalize; I use inductive reasoning.
Are you really interested to know what ills come from feminism?
No, my point was that the “good” things it’s credited with aren’t really good. It should never have existed.
I never disputed that he did. And of course you agree with him. It’s what you want to believe. The difference is, however, that I provided you with logical reasoning. When you call something an “exception,” you’re acknowledging that there is a rule.
Anyway, be careful. You’re coming very close to conforming to a stereotype.
I am in 100% agreement with you, if not more so!
Ah, then I apologize. I misunderstood.
Thanks professor. Is the lecture over now?