Sexism vs. Truth
Aug 16, 1997 10:16 AM
by Bart Lidofsky
Tom Robertson wrote:
> That's because their definition of sexism, as yours appears to be, is
> anything that thinks anything negatively of women. Men can be thought
> of as negatively as possible, with no charge of sexism, as April Joy's
> posts, listing 40 or so criticisms of men, and the non-responses to
> them made obvious. Truth doesn't matter to such sexist people with
> that view of sexism, and I don't care if I offend such people, since I
> would have to be dishonest not to.
That is the key problem with "political correctness", in that certain
statements are either permissable or impermissable, depending on whether
they refer to a group perceived as being "in power", or a group
perceived as being "victims".
However, there are two important keys to recognizing facts about
1) Is the fact based on biology, or is based on culture? For example,
men being generally physically able to lift more weight than women is
almost definitely biological, while women generally showing emotion in
public more than men may very well be cultural.
2) JUST BECAUSE ONE GROUP HAS A DIFFERENCE IN GENERAL WITH ANOTHER
GROUP DOES NOT MEAN THAT ANY GIVEN INDIVIDUAL FROM ONE GROUP HAS THAT
DIFFERENCE FROM ANY GIVEN INDIVIDUAL FROM THE OTHER GROUP. While you can
give probabilities, you cannot say for certain if you take a woman out
of a crowd and a man out of the same crowd, if the woman can or cannot
lift more than the man. With more subtle differences, even the
probabilities get skewed.
The problem that many people had with your early posts here was that,
regardless of your meaning, you were saying that we SHOULD judge
individuals based on generalities. Specifically, you were saying that
women were generally more submissive than men, and therefore women
should not be in positions of political authority. And that is judging
individuals by generalities, and at that a generality which is not even
And that is where the accusations of sexism came in.
As I mentioned at the time, even among the Lubavitcher Hasidic Jews,
not a group noted for equal treatment of the sexes, their rabbi,
Menachem Schneersohn, stated that you must treat women as individuals,
and if a woman is better suited to be a doctor rather than a homemaker,
than that woman should be a doctor. He also said that if a woman is
better suited to being a homemaker than being a doctor, even if she is
capable of being a doctor, she should not be forced into an occupation
for which she is not better suited.
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