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Oh boy! Oh boy oh boy!

with 19 comments

Oh boy oh boy oh boy!

Drama! Horror! Delusion! Illogic!

Wait. Hang on.

I’ve seen that name before.

It’s the Chin Man!

Two things make me sad here. Okay, lots of things make me sad, because I ran out of antidepressants yesterday (which also explains why this post is low on polysyllables and high on exclamation marks), but here are two of them: first, that Michael Hawkins abandoned that long-ago discussion just when it almost seemed to be getting somewhere. And second, that he has clearly learned nothing whatsoever in the interim.

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Written by Learn Hexadecimal

March 21, 2010 at 11:49 pm

19 Responses

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  1. Any discussion has been sparse and largely one-sided, LH. Franks and friends tell people they are wrong and then complain when those people dare dispute them; they can’t claim to be having a discussion for themselves when it’s being done on a public forum and is about someone else.

    Michael Hawkins

    March 22, 2010 at 12:01 am

  2. By “that long-ago discussion” I meant the one in the last post I linked. You know, the one that happened long ago. In which you were talking to me. I assume I’m not included in the “they” you mention, because if I were, surely you would have said “you”.

    Learn Hexadecimal

    March 22, 2010 at 12:03 am

  3. Apologies. I should have read more carefully. I’ve been losing track of all these discussions.

    I promise to get around to that old thread soon.

    Michael Hawkins

    March 22, 2010 at 8:58 pm

  4. I’ve just read the last few posts. I feel I’ve discussed the main issue on my blog just recently. Namely, feminism is a theory of consequence that does not deal well with intention. But in addition to that, it also makes a lot of assumptions. For example, you mention that the very action of you responding to that post is probably sexist because you’re probably thinking the female blogger needs or wants your help. I can’t wrap myself around that one because I know I readily respond to any issue that interests me greatly enough; I don’t do it for the sake of helping someone out – I do it because it’s a point of interest for me.

    Michael Hawkins

    March 24, 2010 at 2:37 am

  5. Well, let me try to help you wrap your head around it. I went through that journey myself not so very long ago.

    Point one: Thanks to a budding interest in cognitive science, neuroscience, and psychology, I’m very aware that the reasons a person thinks they do something are just the tip of the cognitive iceberg. Unconscious processes have a huge effect on our thoughts and actions. So while we don’t consciously choose to act on sexist principles, the fact that our culture is saturated in sexist messages means that they’re going to influence us whether we like it or not.

    (There are some fun, by which I mean really disturbing, psychological studies about unconscious prejudice. Stuff like: ceteris paribus, a subject is more likely to refer to a conflict between two people as a “fight” if a black person was involved. I might be getting the details wrong because it’s been a while since I took that class, but still, euuuuuugh.)

    Point two: yes, it’s a theory of consequence. Everybody loves the physical harm analogy for this one, because it’s relevant and it explains the reasoning pretty damn well. Tell me, and this isn’t a rhetorical question: do you accept a theory of consequence when it comes to physical harm? That is, do you accept that if (to use the traditional casting of the analogy) you stand on my foot, intentionally or not, you are doing something wrong, and you continue to be doing something wrong until you have removed yourself from atop my bruised appendage and, hopefully, apologized? If you do not, why not? If you do, what differences do you perceive that prevent you from extending this principle in the direction of feminism?

    Learn Hexadecimal

    March 24, 2010 at 10:00 am

  6. Hawkins is a child playing at being an adult.

    Comrade PhysioProf

    March 28, 2010 at 1:01 am

  7. It matters whether I’m standing on your foot “intentionally or not”. If it isn’t intentional, it makes no sense to say I’ve done something wrong. It would be like saying that a sticking Toyota pedal that causes an accident is the fault of the driver. It isn’t.

    Michael Hawkins

    April 4, 2010 at 6:35 pm

  8. But if the driver has been informed of the stuck pedal, he can choose not to drive that particular car.

    I repeat:

    and you continue to be doing something wrong until you have removed yourself from atop my bruised appendage and, hopefully, apologized?

    Learn Hexadecimal

    April 4, 2010 at 7:13 pm

  9. You’re presuming, then, that the ‘driver’ agrees with you. In this case, not everyone agrees that effect trumps intention.

    One point of irony, though: feminists are well aware that their philosophy comes across as sexist; there are plenty of apologetics on the charge. It’s usually explained away as “Well, this isn’t really sexist” for X reason. If there was any consistency, then it would immediately be recognized that, at least to a feminist, it doesn’t matter whether something is really sexist or not. What matters is effect, is consequence. This conveniently gets ignored when it works against the feminist.

    Michael Hawkins

    April 5, 2010 at 1:05 am

  10. Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear.

    I am not currently asking you to believe that effect trumps intention. Currently, I am asking you to concede that if you are doing something that causes harm, and you have been informed of the harm it causes, you are doing wrong even by an intentional model—because, while the harm may not be the outcome you desire, you are making the choice not to prevent it.

    Now, you might argue that you don’t customarily believe people when they tell you your actions are harming them. I’ll even say it’s likely that you might argue it. But I really hope you don’t, because I’d like to think you’re not that callous.

    Learn Hexadecimal

    April 5, 2010 at 1:12 am

  11. Oh, and I haven’t answered your second paragraph because I know you’ve read a Feminism 101 post or two in your time and therefore that it would probably be futile to tell you to read them again, although clearly you need to.

    As I’ve said before, to other people: no. You’re wrong. That’s not what we’re thinking at all.

    And your misinterpretations distress the hell out of me.

    Learn Hexadecimal

    April 5, 2010 at 1:15 am

  12. It isn’t so easy to say something is wrong because I know it will cause an ill-effect. What about Double Effect? There’s more nuance here.

    I still don’t see why it’s okay for feminism to argue that consequence matters so much when it then ignores the consequence of its own actions. Honestly, the defense given is you aren’t “thinking it at all” – that’s precisely the argument that gets derailed when others hold it up against feminism.

    And that linked post wants to make everything so black and white. No, rape isn’t usually done for the primary sake of sex. That doesn’t magically mean there are no sexually deviant individuals who suffer/are subject to conditions which compel sexual acts that have nothing to do with power.

    Michael Hawkins

    April 5, 2010 at 4:31 am

  13. Please read the folllowing very carefully:

    When I say “that’s not what we’re thinking at all”, what I mean is that you have made gross errors in interpreting our position. In other words, you are talking nonsense precisely when you accuse us of ignoring consequence when it “works against” us.

    The things that we define in terms of consequence do not include “Michael Hawkins’s bizarre misconceptions”.

    Learn Hexadecimal

    April 5, 2010 at 9:41 am

  14. This is so useless. And so predictable. Every time someone calls out you fucking crazy caricatures, it’s all the same: “YOU DON’T GET IT YOU DON’T GET IT! GO READ THIS!” Now that someone has actually read your horseshit it seems you only have half your mantra – “YOU DON’T GET IT YOU DON’T GET IT” on which to rely.

    It’s pathetic. Don’t call me back to ancient threads if you aren’t going to even try mustering a defense.

    Michael Hawkins

    April 6, 2010 at 2:56 am

  15. The reason why the conversation so often and so quickly devolves into assertions that you don’t get it is because you do not, in fact, get it. Please tell me you at least recognize this as a theoretical possibility.

    I’ll be more specific, however:

    You tell us that we’re ignoring consequence when it works against us. Well, that’s not how it works. Speaking in terms of consequence in one context does not constrain us to speak in terms of consequence in all contexts at all times forever everywhere.

    When a feminist of the type you refer to as a caricature (aptly so, since you’re certainly engaging in caricature when you attempt to describe us) talks about something being sexist, we are discussing its effect on the world and its place in the larger context of sexism in our society. In that case, we are making claims about consequence.

    When you talk about feminists and our alleged hypocrisies, you are discussing our views and beliefs—our thoughts. In that case, you are making claims about intention, and they are wrong claims. You’re pointing out inconsistencies that only exist under bizarre and arbitrary standards that you seem to have invented for the purposes of this discussion.

    Learn Hexadecimal

    April 6, 2010 at 9:45 am

  16. To elaborate further:

    You, Michael Hawkins, do tend to talk about intention when you are excusing sexist acts and then turn around and talk about consequence when you are pointing out the flaws you perceive in the feminist argument. Am I going to hound you for this discrepancy? No. Why not? Because to do so would be fucking ludicrous.

    Do you see what I’m getting at there?

    Learn Hexadecimal

    April 6, 2010 at 12:39 pm

  17. I talk about intention and consequence because I’m not on an ideological bent. I’m not sitting here claiming to be a libertarian or a utilitarian or a natural law adherent or a feminist. I’m not defending ideology; you are. I’m okay with intention and consequence both being important. I’m okay with pointing out that plenty of things are sexist, but I’m not willing to heap blame and accusations of sexism on others merely for consequence.

    The exceptions you’re making for when consequence apparently doesn’t matter is very particular to feminists. Other times the exception is when the sexism is directed at men rather than women; no one is claiming men face more hardships than women, but sexism is sexism is sexism. Simply because there is one version of it which has a systematic basis does not mean that that is the only version.

    Michael Hawkins

    April 7, 2010 at 10:55 pm

  18. You claim to have acquainted yourself with our material, and yet you persist in ignoring our definitions. Imagine if you were trying to talk to someone about the weather, and every time you said “wind”, he heard “farts”—and continued to do so even after you had explained to him what you meant. I doubt the discussion would go well.

    You are assigning strictures to our ideology that are not there. You have made them up. The idea that, somehow, applying different schemata to different contexts is only wrong when feminists do it is purest nonsense.

    I’ll say it again. We’re not saying “consequence matters here, but not there”. We’re saying “when we talk about sexism, we’re talking about consequence”. Implied, but not outright stated, because we don’t often run into the kind of numbskull who needs it spelled out: when we talk about other things, we may or may not be talking about consequence, and that is okay because we are in fact human beings and not poorly programmed robots.

    When you say “sexism is sexism is sexism”, you’re missing the point. Sexism as defined by feminists is precisely those forms of discrimination based on sex which are backed by the institution commonly known as the patriarchy. You can argue with this definition if you want, but to ignore it out of hand after claiming you’ve done your homework is disingenuous as fuck.

    Similarly, you can argue about the extent of that institution’s influence, but to assume it has little to none and then proceed as though you’re capable of meaningful discussion with feminists on our terms is lunacy. Recognize that the source of your disagreement with us is more basic than your arcane quibbles about the hither-and-thither of consequence. We believe there is a social structure in place that distorts the balance of power between the sexes so violently as to render any talk of by-women-against-men sexism almost meaningless, and you obviously don’t. It’s actually possible to talk about this, and it will be a lot more productive than continuing to shout at the straw-stuffed figments of your imagination about how inconsistent they are.

    Learn Hexadecimal

    April 8, 2010 at 12:18 am


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