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Fred Thorp
(BFThorp) - F
Sexism? on 08/21/2012 09:48:24 MDT Print View

"Fred, I find your sexism regarding Lynn to be extremely out of line (not to mention offensive). I am somewhat sympathetic to your ideas, but your attitude and accusations threaten your ability to be heard well."




This one is a head scratcher. Curious where the sexism was detected? ETA: Attitude and accusations?

Edited by BFThorp on 08/21/2012 09:52:59 MDT.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Sexism? on 08/21/2012 10:17:26 MDT Print View

As someone who is almost hyper aware of sexism......I cannot figure this one out either.

Fred Thorp
(BFThorp) - F
Sexist? on 08/21/2012 11:08:38 MDT Print View

Maybe it was the Ford quote that did it? :-)

I swear. I'd love to use a Ron White quote now, but will elect to let it pass.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Sexism? on 08/21/2012 12:01:04 MDT Print View

Fred--here is where I see the sexism in your complaint about Lynn and liberals: The complaint that her arguments and those of many liberals are based primarily on emotion has a long history in the U.S. It buys into two particular binaries:

(1) Women are emotional and therefore irrational. Society (i.e., men in power) does not have to take their arguments seriously unless they become more rational--i.e., more masculine. (2) Liberals are effeminate and their arguments based on emotional appeals. This then taps into the sexism above. Any man who is a liberal is effete and weak, especially on issues of national security, the war on terrorism and Bush-era detention and torture, the military, etc. This was a widely popular characterization of Obama by the Republicans in 2008 (something I was grateful McCain mostly stayed out of, running instead on his own voting record and history).

I want to be careful to say that I do not think that your comments said or implied all of the above. However, I do think that they hooked into these deep cultural attitudes of sexism, and here's why: Lynn made several factual comments which you ignored, choosing instead to stereotype her and other liberals as emotional and irrational. Your comment itself is an emotional appeal because, strangely enough, people have emotional responses to the perception of rationality (there was and is very little rationality in the arguments of powerful men against women).

There is nothing wrong with emotional appeals (I teach students how to argue) so long as it is balanced with concrete facts. We as a society need to stop pretending that such appeals are (1) feminized and (2) irrational. Personally, I would appreciate hearing your responses, but I would prefer that you respond to arguments rather than stereotyping a person.

/*/ Edited for spelling /*/

Edited by GlacierRambler on 08/21/2012 12:02:11 MDT.

Michael Duke
(mpd1690) - F
Re: Re: Sexism? on 08/21/2012 12:35:10 MDT Print View

He said "I find it difficult to discuss or argue with most people on the left because their discourse is based on emotion rather than evidence of facts and history."

Drawing an assumption from that that he is being sexist is wrong. No form of woman was used in his argument. It was a generalization on partisanship, but it was certainly not sexist. Drawing the conclusion that Fred generalizing the left as emotional equates to being feminine is curious.

Edit:

I am pretty sure that Fred was not discrediting her because "Women are emotional and therefore irrational", but rather because the left (according to Fred) is "emotional and therefore irrational". There are no sexist ties to that assumption.

Edited by mpd1690 on 08/21/2012 12:40:54 MDT.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
G.O.P. Approves Strict Anti-Abortion Language in Party Platform on 08/21/2012 13:47:09 MDT Print View

"Republicans approved platform language on Tuesday calling for a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion with no explicit exceptions for cases of rape or incest."

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/21/g-o-p-approves-strict-anti-abortion-language-in-party-platform/


"Between 33-50% of perpetrators who sexually abuse girls are family members."

http://womensissues.about.com/od/girlsteensyoungwomen/a/10-Facts-About-Child-Sexual-Abuse-Statistics.htm

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Sexism? on 08/21/2012 15:19:29 MDT Print View

Thanks for the explanation but it still quite a stretch in my opinion. I have taken offense when posters have maintained the " emotional woman" argument, but I don't see this here.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Slangin' on 08/21/2012 16:38:20 MDT Print View

"Lynn... I find it difficult to discuss or argue with most people on the left because their discourse is based on emotion rather than evidence of facts and history. It seems that you've added a few rights to the list, which is fine, but to hold the UN up as a model is more than laughable. To slang the opposition with derogatory titles, is a little sad. Peace out."

Hehe, it certainly is easy to rile up you irrational right-wingers ;)

I did not see any sexism in Fred's statement, just a broad brush stoke against liberals, which seems fair given my broad brush stroke against conservatives. However, I did qualify my generalisations (based purely on family affiliations) with the speculation that that nealry half of all Americans can't be bad people, and I'm sure their are many right of centre Americans who do not fully support a far right attitude.

However, I will naturally argue that it strikes me, both emotionally and scientifically, that strongly conservative folks are the emotional/irrational ones. There is probably a good reason why scientists tend to be more liberal in their views than non-scientists, and why conservatives are less likely to even pursue higher education. With a broad enough view of the world, you can come to realise that an "us-versus-them" approach to governing is a poor one, where ultimately everyone loses. To begrudge someone a decent quality of life just because they are less fortunate is not rational IMHO, but obviously it is just an opinion.

Just yesterday, I was reading an interesting 'scientific' article on how our pre-agricultural societies were almost 100% egalitarian, with no property ownership and everything divided equally amongst the society's members, where every member was looked after even if their ability to contribute, through injury, sickness or age, was taken from them. It wasn't really until the advent of land ownership and inheritance practices that came along with it that our society rapidly moved to one of have's and have nots. This is not an emotional argument, purely rational. It is inequity and lack of compassion in our modern world that is, rationally, the source of so much unrest for everyone, even the very wealthy (though they can mitigate their exposure to this unrest because of their ability to throw money at the problem). This unrest cuts across genders, societies, religions and just about every other metric you may choose to measure the health of a society.

Edited by retropump on 08/21/2012 17:24:09 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Slangin' on 08/21/2012 17:09:58 MDT Print View

Lynn, that was a great post...huge +1

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Slangin' on 08/21/2012 17:15:08 MDT Print View

"Just yesterday, I was reading an interesting 'scientific' article on how or pre-agricultural societies were almost 100% egalitarian, with no property ownership and everything divided equally amongst the society's members, where every member was looked after even if their ability to contribute, through injury, sickness or age, was taken from them. It wasn't really until the advent of land ownership and inheritance practices that came along with it that our society rapidly moved to one of have's and have nots. This is not an emotional argument, purely rational. It is inequity and lack of compassion in our modern world that is, rationally, the source of so much unrest for everyone, even the very wealthy (though they can mitigate their exposure to this unrest because of their ability to throw money at the problem). This unrest cuts across genders, societies, religions and just about every other metric you may choose to measure the health of a society."

What a beautiful post, Lynn. Thank you for speaking on behalf of many of us "liberals".

What could be more rational, indeed?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Slangin' on 08/21/2012 17:37:12 MDT Print View

"but to hold the UN up as a model is more than laughable."

That you find it more than laughable is a sad commentary on how out of touch most Americans are with the values espoused by most of the rest of humanity. It is a prime reason we are steadily losing our moral credibility abroad and increasingly must resort to force to impose our will. Such a situation will not long endure.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Romney/Ryan 2012=The Official Guide to Legitimate Rape on 08/21/2012 17:49:16 MDT Print View

"by clarifying that only pregnancies resulting from "forcible rape" would qualify for federally funded abortions. The true meaning of "forcible rape" was never clearly defined"

Sounds a lot like the mentality in some of the more backward parts of the Muslim world. I stress here that I am by no means referring to all, or even most, Muslims, but, rather, some areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan in the first instance. This attitude here in the USA is one more reason I refer to a lot of far right religious types as beardless, turbanless Taliban. They have a lot in common, IMO.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Slangin' on 08/21/2012 17:53:33 MDT Print View

My main gripe with the UN is that is has no teeth. That is not it's fault, but the fault of the signatory members who are able to block resolutions with their power of threats. So, as usual, might becomes right.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: Slangin' on 08/21/2012 19:16:24 MDT Print View

Tom, I agree with you 100% A big +1

I love well thought out debate...and sometimes I wish that I could do that. Good on you all of you!

Harald Hope
(hhope) - M

Locale: East Bay
comical if it wasn't so downright tragic on 08/21/2012 20:26:00 MDT Print View

"I find it difficult to discuss or argue with most people on the left because their discourse is based on emotion rather than evidence of facts and history."

It's odd to keep reading this nonsense, I remember hearing Limbaugh sell this point some 20 years ago, and finding it just as absurd a claim then as it is now. Well, even more now. It just goes to show, the right does their homework better than the center right (aka Democrats), remember the formula, keep the message simple, keep it short, and keep repeating it. Worked for the Germans, and it works here, today, because you see the short talking points get regurgitated without any attempt at critical thought at all. I wish the dems would get a bit more cynical and ruthless so they could actually compete in terms of getting core messages acros, but it's just not their style, sad to say, something about being generally well educated makes using hardcore propaganda techniques just not that appealing emotionally. Or intellectually.

There's been a slew of books published by conservatives noting the ahistorical and totally irrational direction of the modern neo-con movement, John Dean's 'Conservatives without conscience' comes to mind as a particularly well researched one, but there are many others.

It's somewhat odd to find former Reaganites from his inner circle, as well, publishing books expressing extreme concern about the near fascist direction the current neo-conservative faction is taking. That term, 'fascist', is something John Dean discussed at great length, even going to the degree of properly analyzing the roots of the authoritarean personality, something that was of course of some concern to the world post WWII. He avoided the actual word, preferring to call it: the authoritarean personality, a term derived from some research done post WWII, but it's just a polite term we use to avoid calling a spade a spade.

One key takeaway from that particular book is that if you do an actual, rational, fact based analysis of the conservative position, you learn something very interesting, it's not based on anything factual, it's a primarily emotional response.

Now, I could read every book coming out from freaked out old time right wingers, but really, what happens is pretty simple, they get older, they think about stuff, and then they see just how bad the current crop is getting. And I give them a lot of credit for that, that's what an open mind looks like, whether it's on the left or right.

Anytime someone uses that magic boogy man word 'liberal' in current US political discourse, in a derogatory manner, I know that person is not thinking their own thoughts. Those are opinions based on injections of ideology into the uncritical mind.

Nothing wrong with genuine political differences based on something other than watching fox news or listening to right wing polemicists, but there's a whole lot wrong with uncritically aping views that are being generated by highly cynical corporatists whose only dream is to get rid of any and all controls over their actions, ie, deregulation.

Now, if I could meet either a cool old time conservative, who, as a conservative, would find the modern neo-cons to be extremist radicals, having nothing to do with any actual conservative view or position, great. They are around, here and there. No idea why they keep supporting the neocons though, I know a few who in the last election actually voted for Obama because Bush had messed stuff up so badly that they just couldn't allow that to continue.

Just to clarify, there is no left or liberal political faction in the United States beyond a few isolated congress people and maybe one senator. There's a sort of center right group, of whom Obama is a member, that panders blatantly to the financial sector, and other components of the corporate system, not as blatantly as the right would do, but pretty blatantly.

When the poster above noted the other 'Intelligent' countries, she's talking about empirically verifiable statements, for example, math ability, reading levels per age group. The USA is dropping lower and lower in all these. Simple examples are when you see someone noting that someone is being 'rational', when what they mean is: you agree with my biased views, derived mostly from corporate for profit media sources pandering to the corporate system. Kant would roll over in his grave at such an abuse of the term 'reason' or 'rational'.

I'd also totally respect really honest right wingers who just admit that they hate democracy, and want the right to rule things. You can't argue with honest views, you can disagree, but you can't argue.

Personally, I find it surreal to see this discussion here, I mean, we use national parks, wilderness areas, etc, all things that if hardcore rightists would have their ways, would be sold off and privatized and destroyed. Or did I miss the environtalist/nature respecting side of the neo-con platform? Maybe someone can point me to it, must be somewhere.

Or is it just that amazing thing, where the right mouths certain superficial things that trigger certain emotional responses, abortion, anti g ay, whatever, while they cynically plunder and loot our future, all the while getting people to consistently vote against their long term best interests?

I'd love to see an actual alternate party, even better, a real democratic system, parliamentary ideally, so that minority parties could be represented, make deals with other groups who need it for a majority, but as it is, what we have is a focused roughly 5% extremist right sector that the republicans cannot win without, who are more and more ruining the possibility of moderate political compromise. Just look at Romney, he had positions either agreeing with Obama, or to the left of him before he flipflopped to pander to that far right section of the population.

But I have to really laugh when I read words like 'history', or 'rational' coming from people here on the right.

The US deficit spiked under all Republican presidents, Bush helped push, via deregulation, the entire housing and high tech bubbles, and got out just as it was crashing down.

What we need to do is start dealing with material reality, not sit on web forums squawking tired cliches that we don't even know the source of. And material reality shows growth slowing globally, oil production peaking globally, about to go into decline. Capitalist economic systems do not do well in non growth scenarios, nor do they do well in resource restricted scenarios, and trying to generate growth via deficit spending is a bad plan at this particular historical juncture. Unfortunately, when both parties are essentially run by and for the economic system that is floundering, it's pretty unlikely we'll see actually 'rational' policies come from either one, but what is dead certain is that the right will push us to the brink so fast it will make your head spin. That's one reason that some people on the left, what exists of it, actually at times promoting the right, it will get us to the abyss a lot more quickly. History certainly shows that is the case.

The problems we are facing are happening all over the world, one sad sign of American's relative cluelessness is that they think these events are somehow regional, they aren't. The problems can be handled, but not if you let the very entities who are creating them and profiting from them dictate the policies both right and center right parties here advocate.

People in Europe tend to be totally amazed at how relatively uneducated and uncultured Americans are, and it really is amazing. Something about raising a few generations on tv I suspect has a lot to do with it, as well as one of the worst diets in the world, you are, remember, what you eat. I had a logic professor in college, I asked him if he'd seen a decline in his student's ability to do critical reasoning and logic, he was older, had seen the 60s/70s era, the first real tv generation, that is, come in, and he said, yes, without any question. Latest research confirms this overall trend. Not to mention the current epidemic levels of obesity in this country, caused by the bad diets, corporate food junk, and so on. And the level of legal drug addiction in this country, pharmaceuticals, particularly mood altering ones. Can't blame people for getting depressed, I mean, really, they aren't wrong.

Let's see, the current US right is: pro coal, pro deregulation, anti environment, well, really, what they are is whatever the far right think tanks funded by big commodity extraction entities, like coal companies, oil companies, and so on, tell them to be. Used to be that the right had people with actual principles in office here and there, still are a few, but they seem to be getting older now, retiring, which is a real drag.

Edited by hhope on 08/21/2012 21:01:27 MDT.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: comical if it wasn't so downright tragic on 08/21/2012 21:10:19 MDT Print View

Harold, that was a very nice rant. Though I mostly agree with what you wrote, I take one exception:

"When the poster above noted the other 'Intelligent' countries, she's talking about empirically verifiable statements, for example, math ability, reading levels per age group."

I don't consider this intelligence, just educated. Big difference. But also, the citizens of many other countries seem to have a better "social intelligence", something that is sadly not taught as part of the three Rs. I notice some schools (can't speak for America) are also teaching "emotional intelligence", or so they call it. Both the social and emotional curricula seem to take a lot of material from Buddhist teachings (I note that I still consider this education, rather than true intelligence, but it does make kids more resilient and open-minded).

But I agree how little choice there really seems to be in American politics in this day and age. You can have middle right, or far right. If you don't fall into either of these categories then, in the current political system, there really IS no point in voting. Nothing democratic going on there!

Harald Hope
(hhope) - M

Locale: East Bay
agree and disagree on 08/21/2012 21:23:17 MDT Print View

Lynn, agreed that education is not intelligence, but spending your childhood watching tv as your primary socializing activity, or now, also, computer gaming and that stuff, is very bad for the development of reason and critical thinking. Also, apparently, for empathy and other important socializing things. Some might suggest it's fatal. Talking about this, or our diet, as these highly damaging factors influence and shape our brains at young ages, is almost a taboo now in this country. These are facts, hours spent before screens rather than the real world, the way that alters the brain, not talked about much, if you notice?

That wasn't a rant, by the way, heh, it's just so surreal to see people on a backpacking forum promoting a political party that is against everything natural, anti environment, anti regulation, anti everything that makes nature a great place to go to. But that's a sign of the lack of reasoning I believe, simply not being able to connect dots, falling for emotion rather than thinking things through critically.

Critical thinking is, however, I'd argue, a sign of intelligence, along with some other things. And critical thinking is in increasingly short supply in our political discourse. I tend to differentiate shrewdness from critical thinking, some of the far right guys are pretty shrewd, and they know how to press emotional buttons that will make voters totally ignore facts, like supporting outsourcing and job loss, and so on, while aggressively promoting anti g ay positions, well, promoting them before they get caught in the men's room with a young boy, I should say.

My personal take on intelligence is that it reflects the amount of data you need to absorb before arriving at a reasonably coherent and correct conclusion. The less you need, the smarter you are. Poorly trained reason, of course, doesn't tend to arrive at a correct conclusion, unless it's dealing with strictly empirical things, based on actual first hand experience, then you can see the process, a good contractor might have the most ridiculous political views, but be really smart at what he actually touches and works with. Ideally one knows when one has left the region of skill and experience, but that ideal isn't achieved much now.

I also suspect there's a few other important triggers at early ages, learning more than one language, for example, seems to do things to the brain that is pretty positive.

But I don't believe any actual data can be found to support a claim that americans are getting smart or smarter, and a lot can be found that negates that claim. So to point that out, should be a ground for concern. Rote learning systems like 'no child left behind', of course, do nothing to help humans get smarter or achieve wisdom or anything else.

What I have to disagree with is the notion of when faced with a very bad party, against everything most people here should allegedly be in favor of, and a less bad, but still quite bad, party, you should hand the election to the very bad one. That's a dangerous strategy, it worked well in Germany in the 30s you may recall, well, it worked well if you were on the far right, that is. Remember, the authoritarian personality needs a bad guy, if we don't have communists anymore, well, then, adapt and update, now we have 'liberals'. Doesn't quite have the same zip to it, I mean, liberals were responsible for creating huge parts of this country's infrastructure, doesn't quite work as well to get that evil thing going.

I do admit though, when I read some guys posting here verbatim repetitions of fox and limbaugh and other talking points as if it were reasoning, yes, I find that sort of sad. I'm sure that, if you get them offguard, in person, a few drinks, maybe they will actually say what they feel more honestly, and then you can have a discussion worth having. That's what I've found when dealing with reasonably sharp and not too stupid right leaning types.

Edited by hhope on 08/21/2012 21:35:44 MDT.

Harald Hope
(hhope) - M

Locale: East Bay
and that's that on 08/21/2012 21:52:32 MDT Print View

I like the Plain's Indian's practice when having debates, you state your case, in the best way you can, and then you sit down.

Plus, this is Chaff, and has no point in any greater scheme of things, and these threads fade into the ethersphere, wasted bytes carried over wires.

One thing I do find, however, after years of working online, is that in most cases, anyone who engages in 'connect the quote' type rebuttals generally actually has nothing to to say. See the 'carbon flame war' thread for a great example of that problem. Or they are promoting some agenda or ideology, or, in worst cases, are actually shills for some interest group. Not the case here in this thread, thank heaven, but it happens a lot.

In other words, put your case as clearly and coherently as you can, and do make an effort to ask yourself where you got your views. Are they based on real research, study, reading, ongoing? Or is it something that seeped into your brain while watching tv or listening to the radio? The art of critical thinking and reasoning is learning how to tell real stuff apart from fluff and lies and misdirections. Where did you get your ideas from, where did your brain get trained in critical thinking and reasoning? It doesn't happen magically, in most cases. If you don't know, then why do you believe you possess these skills? That's the general 'you', as in, 'one'. Ego isn't an answer.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
The REAL Purpose of Chaff on 08/21/2012 22:01:48 MDT Print View

"Plus, this is Chaff, and has no point in any greater scheme of things, and these threads fade into the ethersphere, wasted bytes carried over wires."

Quite wrong, my friend. Quite wrong. You've missed the point entirely.

The true purpose of Chaff is to help one weed out who gets an invite for a group trip and who doesn't.

Harald Hope
(hhope) - M

Locale: East Bay
darn it on 08/21/2012 22:29:18 MDT Print View

You are right, it is a good filter, there are a few people here I'd like to run across on a trail, you can spot them pretty easily, since they are thoughtful and tend to have a deep reverence for nature, and even in some cases appear to have found something very much resembling wisdom at some point out there. Not many, I'll admit, but just enough to make it worth reading a bit more.

Given that primary role of Chaff, if my goal is to go solo in most cases, as, oddly, is the goal of the people I'd most like to meet on the trail, hmmm... food for thought. However you're right to note that actual communication is rarely the actual point of posting things online. Sometimes, but not very often.