About the Falsehood of ignoring the full picture

Warning, sort of: If you do not know The Big Bang Theory, this post will be lost on you.

I was always skeptical about the american habit of playing pranks on your buddies. Most examples I found on youtube seemed mainly mean-spirited and occasionally downright dangerous, like placing metal buckets of whitewash on an almost closed door.

I got to reconsider after watching the episode “The Prestidigitation Approximation” (s04e18) of TBBT. Howard invents a magic trick with an absurdly simple solution of the kind that Sheldon will never guess. And then he nudges Sheldon into the challenge to find out the trick.
One reason this prank works is that it is inherently linked to Sheldon’s arrogant and at the same time quite limited personality. If he wasn’t convinced he was God’s greatest gift to humanity it would not be funny. But, also, it would not work.

Why does this change anything about my feelings about pranks?

Is this prank mean? Yes, absolutely.
Would I object if someone told me about the prank like this: “Two ‘friends’ goad a person into wasting an enormous amount of time and even get into trouble with the law, so they can snicker behind his back”?
Yes, of course.
And that description is not wrong per se.

But.
It misses some important points.
For one Sheldon regularly is an enormous pain in the derriere to his friends due to exactly those traits that make him fall for the prank. The prank to some degree is well earned revenge.

And the harm is done by Sheldon himself to 100%. The minute he’d stop being unbearably arrogant the prank would be over.

What has this to do with this blog?

Just this: occasionally the correct reaction to “They are mean to another person” is “Oh, good.” or “Yeah. So?” and not “#outrage!”

Remember this the next time you have a discussion with a feminist, those champions of not painting the entire picture.

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“Why I need feminism” … really?

I have wondered for years why people adopt ideologies. What is the charm, the motivation?
This is a new attempt of mine to get to grips with it, by taking a look at the reasons people give for their ideology on http://whoneedsfeminism.tumblr.com.

Victims

I need feminism because my voice as a survivor should be empowered not silenced”

What she wants: “I want my story to be heard”

Understandable.

What she ignores: Her story may well destroy the life of another person. Nobody except her knows if her story is a lie. Too many people lie about stories like hers. It is not a good idea to destroy a person’s life over something that is not true. Nobody but her knows if her story is true. Everyone else needs to be careful.

What other people think

I need feminism so I can get tattoos in places that are considered ‘for tramps.’ Like my hips, breasts, and lower back. My body should be mine to ink as I please.”

What she wants: “I want to do whatever I want (as long as it does not harm others)”

What she ignores: Her body is hers to ink as she pleases. Nobody is preventing her.
On the other hand it is everyone else’s freedom to think what they want. It is not her right to prescribe reactions.

What she probably means: “Do not judge me negatively”

What she ignores: Chosen surfaces are important. When you get tattoos you tell something to the world. That something may be misunderstood and possibly will be disapproved by some.
Free speech comes with free disagreement. There is no other way.

—–

I need feminism because, upon telling people my career plans and that I specialise in felinology, I have been told that I shouldn’t be doing a zoology degree if all I plan to do with it is become a ‘crazy cat lady’. I find it insulting that people feel they can overlook everything I have just said and reduce my worth and passion in my chosen career to an archaic female stereotype.”

What she wants: a) “I don’t want others to make fun of me, even when I am saying something unusual.” or b) “I want female stereotypes to vanish.” or c) “I want a world in which I can get by without a sense of humour.”

Probably a mixture of all three.

What she ignores:
If the reported reaction was indeed not a joke, the other person was an idiot. I do not know how she wants to rid the world of idiots. Euthanasia, perhaps?
If, on the other hand, it was a joke, her entire hopes lies with c). She’s backing the right horse, there. Feminism is working hard to rid the world of humour.
If it is b) the joke question doesn’t enter into it. The open question is if the human mind can actually work without stereotypes.

—–

I need feminism because when I confronted a guy that shamed me for rejecting him, he was praised by both genders, while I was called names and a drama starter.”

Difficult to say, having only her side of the story…

What she wants: “I am never wrong, I never overreact, so I want people to be always on my side.”

What she ignores: Was that really what happened?

—–

I need feminism because when I went to the pharmacy alone to get a pregnancy test, the lady asked me where the baby’s father was. I should not have to feel ashamed to buy a pregnancy test. Ever. ”

What she wants: “Nobody is allowed to give me the impression I was doing something wrong that has to do with sexuality.”

What she ignores: The father of a child is important, indeed. And if having that pointed out shames you, maybe part of you thinks so, too.

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I need feminism because I am plus sized and want to be seen as a beautiful individual in the ‘eyes’ of our society!”

What she wants: “I want society to change so I don’t have to.”

What she ignores: Most of the biology of attraction.

—–

I need feminism because… I want to be complimented on my work ETHIC, not my work ATTIRE”

What she ignores: People, women too, are mostly complimented on what is remarkable about them. Maybe her attire is more remarkable than her ethic? Who am I to know.

Gender roles

I need FEMINISM because when I was 7 years old I wanted to go play outside with my shirt off like the boys were doing, but I was stopped because “THAT ISN’T WHAT GIRLS DO”. I didn’t look any different to them at that age…”

What she wants: either a) “Stop treating female sexuality different than male sexuality.” or b) “Stop treating children as if they had a sexuality.”

Since I don’t see what b) has to do with feminism, I’ll assume a)

What she ignores: Heterosexual (i.e. most) men and women DO have quite different sexualities and ways to react to the bodies of the opposite gender. There is plenty of evidence that this is not learned but biologically given.
People who do not learn about these differences or learn too late, run a risk of getting hurt or hurting others.

—–

I need feminism because my friend’s daughter is being called a slut for “having too many boyfriends” throughout the year. SHE’S 11.”

Same as above.

—–

I need feminism because the first time I met my friend’s parents, I was SURPRISED and CONFUSED that her dad stayed at home and her mom is an executive with a six-figure salary.
I was raised in a relatively traditional family—dad works, mom stays at home (though she has a job teaching now)—but this shouldn’t be startling to anyone.”

What she wants: a) “I want things that rarely happen to stop being surprising” or b) “I want that at least every third woman likes to work hard full time (at least 40 hours) on her job and is attracted to a man who runs the home”

Again, only b) has anything to do with feminism.

What she ignores: Working full time to feed your family that you do not see very much because you are working is quite hard. Why would at least every third woman want to do that?

What she hopes for: When women work full time, that means working about 32 hours a week and still earning enough for four.

What she ignores: This is quite unrealistic.

—–

I need feminism because I shouldn’t be told by a six year old that I act like a boy because I don’t like wearing dresses or skirts.”

Same as the tattoo-girl, really.

What she ignores: Acting like a boy is a good thing. 🙂

—–

I need feminism because my gender identity and my gender expression are mine and no one else’s. So no one should be able to say that I am a man if I don’t want them to. I am neither a man, nor a woman, and I don’t care about gender roles!”

What it ignores: How are others to know that it has decided to have no gender? Should we abandon the words “man”, “woman”, “he”, “she” that almost all people identify with just so some small minority has to perform slightly less mental arithmetic?

Bad influences

I need feminism because a local online shop run by a girl sells “Cool Story, Babe” sweaters and hoodies for girls. ”

What she wants: “I want to censor what others are allowed to do.”

What she ignores: Free speech and free thought is good. Censorship isn’t. Even if that means that some people do or say stuff that you do not approve of.

————————-

I’m bored now

All of these have a terribly naive view of the world, see no connections but only their own small gripes.
And somehow The Chosen One or Religion or Ideology X will solve all their problems for them so they don’t have to themselves.

But then: Anyone willing to hold up a sign “why I need ..” to the internet would also be willing to have her picture taken with a monkey on one arm and an oversized cheque in the other.
And that says a lot…
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Who cares about men?

No one

The rape of men | Society | The Observer.

How feminism hurts almost everyone

Male abuse victims marginalised | Herald Scotland.

When does a human being begin?

The discussion on abortion has as far as I can tell two aspects that are practically always overlooked in almost all discussions.

The first is that during the time of conception and the time of birth the relationship between mother and child is unique. There is no other situation where one human is life-dependently attached to another person like this, altering the latter’s life completely. This alone makes killing a fetus to something quite different from killing an independently alive person, in a moral as well as a criminal sense. It’s somewhere between murder and self-defense but actually neither.
But that is not mine to discuss here.

The other aspect is actually the first to consider: “When, exactly, does human life begin?” When could we theoretically (ignoring the other aspect) even speak of murder? For a murder to take place there must be a person. You can’t murder a centipede.

When you look at this image, where would you draw the line, “Now this is a human being”?

when_man

I think that anyone who claims to have a simple and decisive and objectively correct answer to this question is an ideologically blind moron.

At one end A) sex hasn’t happened yet. Semen and egg are still in different persons. I can think of no argument whatsoever that could call this a human being.

B) is in the middle of the sexual act. But the pair is using birth control (indicated by a condom)˛ so the semen never actually touches the egg. Only hardcore idiots who take the story of Onan too literally would call this murder, right? So, still no human being in sight.

C) is the moment immediately before the semen hits the egg. Nothing has happened yet, but it is practically certain that conception will happen. Anyone claiming that in this state we have a “person” that can be “murdered” is off his rocker.

D) is the moment of conception. Some claim, as far as I can make out, that this is the moment of “Hey presto: human being”. There isn’t even a cell yet. Practically nothing has changed compared to C).

In the first week F) we have a few cells. This is as different from a human as an oyster.

In the fifth week H) the human form starts to be distinguishable.

In the 16th week J) the human is on its way. Far from finished but decidedly human-y

After birth M) we have a baby. Breathes on its own and interacts with people. Still not able to live on its own for quite some time to come, but quite decidedly human.
(Some treat even this human as if it where the possession of the mother, which would make it not-quite-human, but that is another sidetrack altogether)

So. Somewhere between C) and M) the human being begins. Life as such begins with E) (at the latest), but where is the point that we can speak of a person that can be murdered? E) is ludicrously early as far as I’m concerned and M) is far too late.

But when? What would you say? And more importantly: why?

For what it’s worth: In Germany abortions are allowed in the first three months. In other words, German Law says, a human starts with J). I can agree with that.

What would it take to get girls to want to do that?

This is an amazing demonstration:

These machines have been built by six guys and their prof.

Of course they are male.

Feminists would claim the reason for this is that girls are discouraged or even actively hindered to achieve something like this.

Let’s for the sake of argument assume that on a level needed for a project like this you could in theory find as many girls as boys with the needed mathematical, physical and logical capabilities.

But is this, the number of people with the theoretical capability, all there is to it?

Consider this: These guys spent hundreds, more likely thousands of hours to build and perfect something with no immediately apparent use.
None.
It’s just cool.

To achieve brilliance in science and technology you do not only need mental capability. You also need attitude. The attitude that lets you waste zillions of hours on something just because it’s cool.
And occasionally you hit gold.

How many girls do you, personally, know who are willing to do that? Who are not bored very soon by this kind of useless plaything?
I, personally, do not know a single one. Plenty of boys. Not one girl.

This kind of play begins very early. It begins with the first piece of Lego you put on top of another. It doesn’t need expensive grants or a lot of encouragement to develop. No girl is actively hindered to play with Lego. It just needs the attitude to prefer building things to interacting with people.

Find a way to let girls appreciate the beauty of tinkering (instead of socialising) and you’ll have gender-parity in the sciences in about two generations.

Everything else, every political scheme to get equal outcome, is wasted effort.

Did you ever wonder why a growing number of people hate feminism?

Maybe, just maybe, because there are quite a lot of feminists who talk like this:

Mothers who breastfeed boy babies need to stop. We need to empower more females in this world and by breastfeeding them we are giving them a good start in life which they deserve over a baby boy [sic] which are already physically stronger than baby girls. I have feminist views and I am not ashamed to admit that. No baby boy will ever be fed from my breasts if I am unfortunate enough to have a son. Formula for him and circumcision to take away sexual pleasure from him when he grows up.

The Now Show is still funny :)

Recently the Now Show had an increasing number of feminist guests and I thought “There goes another good format”.

In happy ignorance of the new ideological, politically correct alignment the Sep 27th show contains this little nugget.

Good comedy never dies.
Except for sinfest… sometimes comedy gets maimed pretty badly into an unrecognizable form.