2011年4月15日 星期五

Why should we help Men?

     One of the most common argument about giving more resources to women is that "women are weaker and more needy, and thus it is reasonable to give them more assistance". These people will then dismiss any argument which suggest that men may need some attention as well. After closer examination, I have noted that this argument has a hidden premise:

     People that are more needy deserves more help, and degree of "neediness" depends on their abilities to cope with their difficulties.

-I can figure out some problems with this premise. In the first place, men are of course physically stronger, but does this neccessarily means that they can cope with SOME situations as good as women do? For the reason of convenience, I will refer to this principle as the "needs rule" in the following section of this article.

-First let's talk about domestic violence. There is no doubt that men ARE actually less capable of coping with being abused by spouse than women. Many studies on domestic violence have found that women are no less capable than men of inflicting serious injury on their spouses, mainly because women can use weapons including knives, baseball bat and so on. Moreover, it is TYPICALLY the women who made the first move, yet they are provided with various services.
-Yes, men are overall more aggressive, but this DOESN'T mean that they are more aggressive in spousal relationship.
-Following the "needs rule", men deserve more help than women in issues related to domestic violence.

-Second let's talk about health a bit. Currently, 8 times more money are being spent on women's health than that of men. However, I am DAMN sure that men are no more capable of dealing with health problems on their own than women. Well, even if men have higher stamina and strength, they still cannot access medicines and chemotherapies without help. So, I seriously doubt if the "needs rule" would support the current un-balance in health fund.

-Finally, let's talk about education. Studies have found that there is no gender difference in exam grades among home-taught kids. This is a good reason to suggest that there are probably gender biases in the education system, of course it may not be apparent. Do you think individual boys (and even men) can deal with such systematic biases on their own, when the whole society are biased against them? I think not. The "needs rule" will then imply that we should provide more help to boys than to girls.

See http://www.angryharry.com/esWellDonetheGirls.htm?note


     The feminist argument based on the needs rule is nothing but absurd. This is because this rule will suggest that men are the one who deserve more help, not women. The illusion of women being needy is presumably due to the fact that they are MUCH better at pretending to be victims, compared to men (and statistically speaking of course), while men tend to hide all their suffering.

Was one of the genders oppressed?

     The majority of people believed that women were oppressed in the past, while some others suggest that men were the one being oppressed. Both of them have cited some points. Let's see what their arguments are:

1. Women were overpowered.
2. Women were being kept out of work place.
...so on

3. Men were sent to war to die in painful and gruesome ways, while women stayed in relatively safe and comfortable places for their whole lives.
4. Men's health were less protected, despite being more vulnerable to most diseases.
...so on

     Indeed, both sides had made some good points. Now the problem is, if we are to say that one of the genders were oppressed, we NEED to prove that one of the sets of points outweight the others. Say, to suggest that women were more oppressed, one have to prove that the total unhappiness caused by 1 and 2 is greater than that by 3 and 4, and the same goes for vice versa.
     Obviously, even if we derive some ingenius methods to measure "happiness", we can by no mean determine the amount of unhappiness experienced by either gender in the past. This implies that we have NO reasons to believe that one of the gender was more "oppressed". In other words, debating over the issue is not going to yield any meaningful answers. To put it bluntly, it is nothing but a waste of time and energy. I guess it would probably be more useful to focus on the present moment.
     As I have mentioned in one of my previous pieces, lack of objective measurement can be very dangerous since it would allow some people to interpret data in infinitely possible ways.


     All in all, I strongly believe that debating over which gender was more oppressed (and indeed, what classes of people, be it whites, blacks, heterosexuals, homosexuals, etc.) is totally, meaningless and silly thing to do. Instead, it would be more helpful for us if we concentrate on what is happening NOW.

2011年4月13日 星期三

How to respond to "This-is-not-my-ideology"

     I have recently noticed that when activity groups (be it feminists, gay activists and occasionally even masculists) are accused of creating inequalities or doing anything that is not desirable, their first reaction is to counterargue with the following argument, which I personally call "This-is-not-my-ideology" argument:

     "You have probably gotten it wrong. The [feminist/gay rights/...] ideology is not what you accused it to be, instead it is blah blah..."

     For example, I have seen a feminist arguing that feminism is not about women grabbing the goodies that men has and shrugging off the burdens that come with them, when someone accuse them of doing so. I have done some readings on feminist ideology and I admit at least part of it are not guilty. However, does what you idealize neccessarily translate into what you do?

     I think not.

     When translating thoughts into behaviors, a very complicated process is involved. An example includes a behavioral model of goal seeking:


     For an ideology to work as it expects, firstly the one promoting it MUST truly be motivated to seek the goals, and he or she must makes as less errors as possible during execution. One of the processes involved in goal seeking is the thinking process, which has proven to be subject to A HELL LOT of errors (e.g. I am too lazy to do reference, but I am certain that you can find such evidence by typing "thinking" and "bias" in google scholar).
     Moreover, we all know that what a person says doesn't means that he or she is truly motivated to do the things he or she claims to be doing.
     However, the "This-is-not-my-ideology" Argument works ONLY IF what the person is doing is in agreement with his or her ideology, but we all know that this is NOT always true (and probably sadly, often false). Therefore, it would follows that the argument is not valid, and of course unsound.


     I have briefly analyzed an argument often used by activists (be it feminists, gay activists or any other activity groups) to counter when accused of doing something that is not desirable or acceptable. I believe this is quite a good response to it, by pointing out the fact that it is completely absurd. Anyone have figure out some other ways to deal with this argument?

2011年4月9日 星期六

Problems of Emotional Tactics

     I have just seen a TV programme which depicts children in rural villages of China leading a horrendously difficult life and therefore, deserve help. To put it frankly, these TV programmes make me sick, a lot. I am not saying that these children don't need help. The problem is, they would prompt people to donate a HELL lot of money to them.

     Now that's the problem, we know that there are many people who are also in need but are unable or unwilling to seek help in such TV programmes. If these promotions keep running and draw MOST of the money to these children, the ratio of resources devoted to these children and "those-who-need-help-but-don't-know-how-to-do-promotion" will gradually rise and eventually become disproportionate. This, of course, would be unfair to them, and it CAN cause problems.
     One of the most important rules to administer help to people in need is that we should give more help to people who are more badly in need. However, according to the above analysis, we find that using emotinal tactics to draw resources run counter to this principle.

(Indeed, we may have good reasons to think that people who can't seek help in such TV shows are actually more in need)


     TV programmes who attempt to use emotional tactics to draw resources to "minority groups" sickens me a lot. I admit everyone in our society need help, but I believe using statistics to allocate resources would be preferable to emotional tactics. I am still trying to figure out why being emotional seems to be associated so strongly with poor decision making.

2011年4月7日 星期四

Insanity and Gay Laws, Part 1

     Discrimination has been a behavior widely condemned by various groups, especially gay activists. One of the most insane things they have done is to make "stirring up hatred against homosexuals" illegal. Okay, I admit there are problems IF someone deliberately create emotional states in the public to attack certain groups of people, be it men, women, heterosexuals, homosexuals and so on. However, gay activists seem to define the term quite differently:

Firemen demoted and fined for shining torch on gay foursome in the bushes

     This is by no mean stirring up hatred. Instead, I guess the firemen would have done the same if the perpetuators were heterosexual. This implies that gay activists don't seem to use my definition. Their version seem to be "anything that displeases homosexuals should be illegal, EVEN IF those things make perfect senses". Of course they won't admit this publicly, but judging from WHAT THEY ACTUALLY DO, it seems to be.
     This would be VERY problematic, because this would make rational criticism of homosexuals illegitimate. And read some history and you will know that letting a group (no matter it is a religion or anything else) hold such power can be very disastrous.


     All in all, I have to stress that I am NOT anti-gay, but it remains a fact that gay activists are doing a lot of absurd things, which, in my opinion, are nothing but unfair for heterosexuals. I admit, homosexuals are also people, but I don't think we should give them benefit at the expense of others.

2011年4月6日 星期三

Homosexaulity: Choices or What?

     One of the most common controversy in issues about homosexuality is regarding whether the gays "choose" to be gay. Anti-gay suggested that sexual orientation is a choice and is therefore changeable. Let's investigate their arguments a bit, shall we?

Argument 1

     Sexual Orientation is only 20% genetic in origin, so it is a choice.

-Okay, I can't think of any arguments that are more absurd than this one, not even feminist arguments. The point is, is the remaining 80% choices? No. Studies suggest that those are environmental factors, but we all know that a child has very little choices in his family environment, parents, siblings, education, and so on. Therefore, I seriously doubt if those 80% can be considered to be "choices".

Argument 2

     Sexual Orientation is not a choice, so we have to act on it.

-This is a pro-gay argument that is commonly heard of. It is nothing but absurdity. As mentioned in one of my previous articles, many criminals (yes, even murder and VERY violent crimes) have very little choices in committing crime, as studies have pointed out that many childhood and genetic factors are involved in inducing criminal behaviors. Does this make their behaviors justifiable? I think not.


     I have investigate the most common arguments, both pro- and anti- gay regarding choice theory. As you can see, the most basic levels of logics can completely reveal the absurdity of these arguments. I guess most people just can't be rational when it comes to gender-related issues.

2011年4月1日 星期五

Death Penalty Examined, Part 1

     Okay, feminist and gay rights issue draw a lot of attention. That's why so many absurd arguments are created. Today I would like to talk about some of the arguments regarding death penalty. Yes, I am asking is it justifiable to take someone's life for the crime they committed?

Common argument 1

     Death Penalty disallows rehabilitation.

-Well, what if rehabilitation is just impossible for some people? Criminologists have told us that SOME criminals are born that way and almost unchangeable. It would cost us a hell lot of time and effort if we attempt to rehabilitate them, with very limited success. Now that's the problem: in such cases, it would means that death penalty is not the culprit of impossibility of rehabilitation and of course, this argument would not be a valid reason to ban it.

Common argument 2

     Following death penalty, crime rates rise.

-It is a fact that some studies have indicated that violent crime become more likely to happen after publication of execution. Then some anti-death-penalty people suggest that death penalty actually cause more crimes and is therefore unjustifiable.
-I have thought of some problems with this argument. Firstly, those studies ONLY suggested that it is publication of execution that is causing the problem. Then we could just do executions without publication, since the "execution-cause-more-crime" effect is not intrinsic of death penalty itself. That's means they have no reason to favor "no-execution" over "execution-without-publication".
-I have even thought of a more serious problems. Those studies are mostly correlational. This implies that they say nothing about causation. Thus, it is possible that they are of the same causes. Usually death penalty is used to deal with very serious crimes. For example, it is imaginable that after hearing about a serious crime happening in the district, residents will be primed with aggression and violence. This means that execution is NOT the cause of increased violence.
-Lastly, those studies say nothing about the long-term effect of publication of execution.

     I have once again briefly examined some arguments that I find absurd. Of course these two are not the only arguments against death penalty. However, due to limitation of space, I would only briefly address these two here.

Problem of Equality: Measurement

     From time to time, we heard feminists and gay activists claiming that they are seeking equality, and that it is essential for a better society. However, I have came up with a question: How to measure equality?

     A common method used by feminists is statistics. If statistics shows that women are underrepresented in some areas, they would say that women are being oppressed. For instance, statistics show that women are still currently underrepresented in science, engineering and mathematics. Then feminists would shout that men are oppressing women by not allowing them to enter those careers.
    The problem with this is that it may be showing other difference (probably biological), rather than social structural factors. Taking the above examples, feminists would then take measure to ensure that same number of men and women are represented in those career. Now that's the question. If men ARE indeed innately better at these things, such measures would be problematic to them because this will means that men are structurally handicapped in order for women to enter those career. What is so fair about this?

     This method is based on the following premise:

     If there are statistical difference, it MUST be due to social factors.

     Can anyone tell me the logics behind this absurd statement?

     Lack of objective measurement is very dangerous, because it allows powerful groups (especially feminists as this is most commonly used by them) to interpret the data in infinitely possible ways. For example, with the case cited above, it can be explained by a hell lot of data: innate difference, stereotype, hormonal issues and so on. But, we can NEVER know if it is truly due to some kind of "oppression" or "social factors".

     Equality MAY BE a worthwhile cause, but I sincerely wish that any groups (no matter feminists or gay activists) who claim that they are seeking it should firstly tell everyone a good way to measure equality. Otherwise, it will become an endless and meaningless debate about "which factors are more important".