It’s time to take the Red Pill and change your mind

Are you afraid of changing your mind about a deeply held belief, about an emotionally strong conviction that you have? A few years ago, I changed – as an environmentalist – my mind about GMOs. Since then, and due to my contacts with the effective altruism movement, I changed my mind about many beliefs that I had:

In the political spectrum I consider myself as a progressive left liberal, meaning that I value social justice and I am against all kinds of unwanted arbitrariness such as discrimination (racism, sexism, speciesism,…). I am part of the left, criticizing the right. Criticizing the right is easy, because right wing ideologies contain a lot of irrationalities (such as unwanted arbitrariness that violate the moral golden rule) and pseudoscience (such as climate change denialism). However, I start to realize that also in my left wing camp there are a considerable amount of irrationalities (such as the opposition against GMOs amongst leftist environmentalists, the criticism against vaccines or the strategies used by some animal rights activists, social justice warriors or people from the so called regressive left). As a rational ethicist, I not only want right winged people to become more rational, but I also want to improve rationality amongst leftist people. Therefore I also criticize irrational beliefs amongst left-wingers.

It is unlikely that all your beliefs are true. Even the beliefs that you strongly, emotionally care about may be wrong. I can say this, because that is what I experienced in my own life. Ten years ago I would have underestimated the amount of false beliefs that I strongly believed. I would have underestimated the number of moral mistakes I made. Now I realize that I should not trust my convictions based on emotions and gut feelings. So now I try to become less emotionally attached to my beliefs. When I am confronted with new evidence that contradicts my belief and I feel a strong emotional reaction that attempts to defend my belief, I become more alert and I try to suppress that emotional response, because I’ve learned that those emotional responses are unreliable. They have deceived me so many times. I should not have trusted them. These emotions generate all kinds of cognitive biases such as confirmation bias and desirability bias. As a consequence of avoiding emotional reactions, I became much more flexible to update my beliefs in the light of new evidence, ideas and arguments. And as a consequence, I changed my mind about many things. This strongly improved my rationality and my effective altruism.

So I want to create a culture where changing one’s mind is socially accepted and admirable. A culture where we dare to change our minds, to become more rational (meaning accurate in our beliefs, effective in our means and consistent in our ends). If you believe that all your currently strongly held beliefs are true, you are most likely wrong. If you believe that your strong emotions do not generate cognitive biases, you probably have a cognitive bias: the bias blind spot. If you want to become more effective in doing good, you will probably have to experience changing your mind about beliefs that you hold dear. You will probably have to swallow the red pill (as in the movie The Matrix).

Speaking about the red pill: I recently saw a documentary that I highly recommend: The Red Pill by Cassie Jaye. It is about a feminist’s journey into the men’s rights movement. The documentary is interesting because of two facts: first it tells about interesting facts and arguments made by men’s rights activists. Second, it follows the director Cassie Jaye in her struggle to change her mind about feminism and the men’s rights movement. She started as a feminist being very critical about this new movement that in her eyes was highly misogynist. But interviewing those men’s rights activists, it eventually resulted in Cassie Jaye saying that she no longer calls herself a feminist, even though she off course still shares the leftist values of gender equality and antidiscrimination (antisexism). Cassie Jaye is a prime example of a leftist person with good moral values, but who dared to change her mind about a topic that she held dear. She interviews people like Warren Farrell and Erin Pizzey, two persons who were deeply involved in the feminist movement but changed their minds about men’s rights issues (which resulted in receiving threats by feminists). In the documentary, we see emotionally strong reactions by feminists protesting against men’s rights activists. In a similar way, the documentary itself became highly controversial after its release, resulting in boycotts and feminist protests against its screening.

So, the documentary also changed my mind about gender issues. First, I believe that the feminist movement’s reaction against men’s rights issues is irrational, with feminists misrepresenting a lot of men’s rights activists as rape apologists. Second, I now no longer believe in something like a patriarchal system that systematically privileges men and suppresses women (at least in some modern western societies). The existence of a patriarchal system is a core belief in many feminist theories, so in that sense I no longer call myself that kind of feminist. The documentary gives a lot of examples that indicate that if there were such a thing as a patriarchal system, then that system is highly inconsistent. It becomes reasonable to doubt the existence of such an inconsistent system. Here are some examples.

Child custody: if the judicial system is dominated by patriarchal, male judges, then why are children so often assigned to the mothers in cases of divorce, even when the fathers clearly state that they strongly prefer custody over the children? (It reminds me of the movie Mrs. Doubtfire that I recently saw.)

Criminal sentencing: if the judicial system is dominated by patriarchal, male judges, then why do men receive 60% higher sentences than women for equal crimes? Arrested women are more likely to avoid convictions and are twice as likely to avoid incarceration if convicted. This is confirmed by other studies (and these studies were done by women, so no male privilege bias here). The latter research by Sigrid von Wingerden in the Netherlands indicates that when a woman kills a man the sentence is 1.6 years lower than when a man kills a man. And if a man kills a woman, the man gets a longer prison sentence than when a man kills a man. So when a man is murdered, it is apparently not as bad as when a woman is murdered, and if a man is the perpetrator, it is apparently worse than when a woman is the perpetrator. The gender bias for harsher punishments of men is also supported by psychological lab experiments on moral typecasting that favors women.

Health research: if the scientific research and health systems are dominated by patriarchal, male researchers, and if the burden of disease, in terms of loss of healthy life years (DALY), premature deaths (mortality) and loss of health (morbidity), both globally and in the rich, western countries, is higher for men than for women, then why do female cancers (breast, ovarian and cervical cancer) receive three times as much funding for research than male diseases (prostate cancer)? (This statistic can be misleading, because the difference between the male and female burden of disease is not explained by cancers but is mostly explained by higher rates of smoking, alcohol use, suicides, occupational risks, road injuries and violence for men. Female cancers have a 3 times higher health impact than male cancers in the US. Still, if men were the boss and were male centric, one would expect other research priorities.)

Health outcomes: if the health system is patriarchal, then why do men diagnosed with breast cancer have 19% higher mortality rates than women diagnosed with breast cancer? One hypothesis is that (perhaps due to social stigma) men with breast cancer do not get the same attention that women get, and those men could be undertreated compared to women. A second hypothesis is that men are often excluded from clinical trials for new breast cancer treatments, which result in fewer treatments for men. Furthermore, in some regions in the recent past, men with breast cancer were not entitled to reimbursement of medicines, whereas women were. Also, although smaller breast sizes of males allow for earlier detection of lesions, lack of awareness (also among male doctors) may postpone treatment of male breast cancer patients, which means the more advanced breast cancer becomes more difficult to treat.

Mental health: if the female suicide rate would have been 3 to 4 times higher than the male suicide rate, feminists would have highlighted it, so why is it not highlighted in a patriarchal society that in the western world, the male suicide rate is 3 to 4 times higher than the female suicide rate?

Happiness: if we live in a patriarchal society that suppresses women, then why do women on average state that they are as happy or slightly happier than men, the past few decades?

Military: if the military is dominated by patriarchal males, then why are men drafted? Why would those privileged men send men to die at the front? More than 95% of soldiers that die in war are men.

Rescue operations: if there was a patriarchal system that privileges men, then why “women and children first” in case of a sinking ship?

Dangers: if the man is in charge in the house, then why would the man risk his life to go downstairs at night when there is a burglar in the house? Why send men on dangerous exploration missions?

Dangerous work: if the economy is dominated by patriarchal men, then why are more men doing the dangerous jobs? The death rate on the job is 11 times higher for men than for women. It is as if men are more expendable.

Dirty, low-paid work: if the economy is dominated by patriarchal men, then why are more men doing most of the low-paid, dirty jobs? In many of the dirtiest jobs (sewer cleaner, garbage collector, miner), more men than women are employed. For example, 95% of garbage collectors are men, earning an average hourly wage of $15, lower than some jobs mostly done by women, such as nanny ($19, 93% women), nurse ($30, 86% women) and teacher ($23, 73% women).

Unemployment: if the economies of all countries were dominated by patriarchal men, then why are the male unemployment rates in many countries (e.g. Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, UK and US in 2017) higher than the female unemployment rates?

Retirement: if the social security system was patriarchal, then why is the retirement age for women lower than for men in more than 30 countries (e.g. Austria) and nowhere higher, even if women live longer on average?

Parental leave: if a patriarchal system privileges men, then why do all countries (with the notable exception of Sweden) have longer maternity leaves than paternity leaves and higher payment rates for women than men on parental leave? Parental leave is an employee benefit, a legally protected time for childcare. After childbirth, women have more options than men: women can choose to go back to work, or they can choose to stay an amount of time on parental leave (often keeping their income). Men often do not have this second choice, or if they do, they can only choose between staying at work versus a short, often unpaid time on parental leave. At least some men do prefer taking care of their children above work. If men have fewer legal options to choose than women, men are disprivileged.

Education: if men want to have power over others, why would men allow more women to be in charge of education, risking their own children being indoctrinated with feminist ideas? There are more female school teachers. Wouldn’t it be better for men if men did the education part and women did the dangerous jobs?

Higher education: if higher education is still dominated by patriarchal sexist men who privilege men, then why do more women than men earn a college degree? (The same goes for the Netherlands and Belgium)

Media: if the news media is dominated by patriarchal male journalists, then why did the abduction of about 200 girls by Boko Haram in Nigeria receive more attention than the kidnapping and killing of thousands of boys by Boko Haram?

Cultural norms: if society is determined by men, then why is it easier for women to do activities that are typically considered male (e.g. kickboxing), than for men to do activities considered female (e.g. ballet)? Why is it easier for women to wear clothes typically considered male (e.g. pants) than for men to wear clothes considered female (e.g. dresses)?

Homelessness: if men are in charge of the social security system, then why are there about 4 times more men than women homeless?

Genital mutilation: if a patriarchal system privileges men, then why is non-therapeutic, unanesthetized neonatal male circumcision legal in most countries, whereas all kinds of female genital mutilation are banned in many countries?

Interpersonal violence: if men create a patriarchal system, then why are more men than women victim of interpersonal violence (in terms of deaths and loss of healthy life years, both globally and in rich, Western countries)?

Domestic violence: if politics is dominated by patriarchal male politicians, then why are there 2000 times more women shelters than men shelters in the US, for victims who want to escape from situations of domestic violence, even if domestic violence is close to gender symmetric? There are almost as much male victims and female perpetrators of non-reciprocal (no self defense) domestic violence. If the police were dominated by patriarchal male policemen, then why are women who assault their male partners more likely to avoid arrest than men who attack their female partners? When a woman calls the police to report domestic violence, the man is often arrested or ordered to leave the house, but if a man calls, the woman is almost never arrested or ordered out of the house, and even worse: the man who calls has a more than 10% probability of being arrested himself. Why would a man call the police if he risks being arrested himself? (Addendum: there is still much controversy around gender (a)symmetry of domestic violance. One review indicates that “women and men perpetrate equivalent levels of physical and psychological aggression”, “men perpetrate sexual abuse, coercive control, and stalking more frequently than women”, “women also are much more frequently injured during domestic violence incidents”, “in relationships in which serious and very violent “intimate terrorism” occurs, men are much more likely to be perpetrators and women victims”, “women’s physical violence is more likely than men’s violence to be motivated by self-defense and fear, whereas men’s physical violence is more likely than women’s to be driven by control motives”. Another, larger review presents more gender symmetric conclusions. The point is: the gender asymmetry is most likely less than 2000 to 1 and does not justify e.g. arresting the man who calls the police.)

Household resource sharing: in Dutch households, women spend more money on personal products (assignable private consumption), have more leisure time (time not committed to paid work) and may have a higher valuation of household public goods (goods bought by households that are valued by all household members and cannot be assigned to the private consumption of a household member). Taking together assignable private consumption, household public good consumption and leisure in a household sharing rule, couples have an unequal resource sharing mainly in favor of women and disadvantageous for men. In brief: men spend the most time earning money, and women spend most of that money. (See work by Cherchye e.a. here and here).

Refugees: in many EU countries (e.g. UK, France, Austria) for many years, women are more likely than men to be granted asylum and humanitarian protection, more likely to receive recognition as refugee, and more likely to win a court appeal for asylum.

All of this doesn’t make any sense in a patriarchal system that systematically privileges men. There are too many weird inconsistencies. And worse: if feminists target a patriarchal system, if the problem (patriarchy) is framed as being caused by men and the solution (feminism and women’s rights) refers to women, it might harm men even when those men are not the real problem. The real problems are gender roles and sexism that systematically disadvantage women in some ways and men in other ways. We should avoid a simplistic black-white male-female dichotomy where men are the privileged evil-doers. We should simply focus on eliminating all kinds of sexism and gender discrimination, of both men and women. And feminists should acknowledge that the men’s rights movement does not need to be silenced and that a lot of men’s rights activists raise valid concerns and are not rape apologists who hate women. Some but not all men’s rights activists hate women, but also some but not all women’s rights activists hate men.

Instead of speaking about one patriarchal system, I think we can better describe current western society as a complex set of many hierarchical systems. This avoids the idea that there is one root cause behind all expressions of sexism, and it better allows for the recognition of male victims of discrimination.

If we focus on the small group of most privileged, dominant people at the top, their gender is mostly male. But if we focus on the other, less or non-privileged people, we see both genders. We also see more men than women at the bottom who are homeless, are victims of extreme violence, commit suicide, are not allowed to see their kids, or cannot go to a shelter. For those men, it is unfair to point at their gender as the culprit. Speaking about ‘male privilege’ risks insinuating that those non-privileged men are privileged as well. In general, men seem to have a wider distribution on behaviors and characteristics than women. Looking at IQ, cooperation, risk-seeking behavior, trust, altruism, fairness, violence, number of houses in possession, job success,… more men than women are at the high-end as well as the low-end extremes.

We can make a distinction between perpetrator-focused and victim-focused feminism. Perpetrator-focused feminism is the feminism that targets a patriarchal system and criticizes male privilege. We have to reject this kind of feminism because it might unjustly harm some men who are not privileged. Victim-focused feminism on the other hand is the feminism that promotes women’s rights and wants to improve the position of women in the areas where they are disadvantaged against men.

The ideas of women’s rights and victim-focused feminism are valid. Taking these ideas seriously means focusing on the victims and the non-privileged, instead of the perpetrators and privileged. However, if we focus on the victims and non-privileged, we should also focus on the men who are victims and non-privileged. This means the idea of men’s rights – improving the position of men in the areas where they are disadvantaged against women – is equally valid.

Calling myself a feminist risks being associated with the perpetrator-focused feminism. Calling myself a women’s rights activist risks being perceived as one-sided and neglecting the disadvantages of men. Similarly calling myself a men’s rights activist is too one-sided. So instead of calling myself a feminist, a women’s rights activist or a men’s rights activist, I prefer to call myself an antisexist and an equal rights activist.

PS: if you think the above implies that I minimize the problem of women rights violations, you have a moral gravity bias. The above should not be interpreted as an endorsement of suppression of women, because that would be a logical fallacy.

PS: the arguments only apply to our modern, western society. They do not always apply to our past (e.g. when women did not have the right to vote) or to non-western countries (e.g. muslim countries where women have fewer rights, poor countries where poverty is sexist and women do not have equal access to education, land, credit and legacies).

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12 reacties op It’s time to take the Red Pill and change your mind

  1. eva zegt:

    all those examples are in fact a proof of patriarchal believes/gender-roles: women should take care of children, men should do the most dangerous jobs, girls are more shown as victimes, “men are strong, women are weak”, men should not be shown as weak or sensitive or sick (on their prostate even less),

    • stijnbruers zegt:

      I agree, except that I would just call it gender roles, not patriarchal beliefs. Both genders suffer from those gender roles, so it is not necessary to point the finger to men by refering to the root of the problem in male terms such as patriarchy. The root of the problem is not sided with one gender, but it is gender roles.

      • eva zegt:

        you’re saying that a patriarchal system doesnt exist but these gender roles are the proof of it. and its not about pointing to a gender. i hope there as much men who are unhappy about the patriarchy.

  2. eva zegt:

    i think its a really weird thing to say as a scientist/ i assume you know the numbers about women getting paid less than men for the same job, till this very day. not so long ago women werent able to vote etc etc, the list is endless. its very obvious which gender is opressed by the other in the ‘patriarchal society’ and fighting for its freedom. women dont have equal rights in this society, i cant be topless you can. you may find that (naked breasts) weird now but probably only as weird as some found naked (womens-) knees a few years ago. and its not about being treated the same, men and women are different, its about being female, being a woman, in all its facets, that is not valued in society. its like humans treating animals bad. its not that all humans treat all animals bad, its just embedded in society. just as all the false (and unconscious) patriarchal bullshit. like menstruation for example. what are your believes about it? you will have to acknowledge that they are greatly affected by the patriarchal socieyt. even you with your rational mind who most likely know what menstruation means scientifically. i mean, imagine, it was the opposite, imagine matriarchy would ve been perversed and put out of context and so on in society. i wouldnt be happy with it either. altough i dont believe it wouldve happened like that. women are just so much nicer 😀

    • stijnbruers zegt:

      I am saying that a consistent patriarchal system does not exist, i.e. a system that systematically privileges most men and suppresses most women. How would you define patriarchy? Of course we can define it (like some feminists do, cfr as an unjust social system that enforces gender roles and is oppressive to both men and women. In that case it clearly exists and gender roles are by definition a proof of it. But this new definition is gender symmetric, so it is weird to give it a name that refers to one gender. I would rather call it an oppressive system. And if on some levels men are more disadvantaged and on other levels women are more disadvantaged, I would call it sexism.
      The problem with definitions of patrarichy is that they refer to men and women, without clarifying whether it is about all, most or some men or women.
      It also depends on your focus: the people in power or the victims. Most people in the highest powers are male, so in that sense there is a patriarchy. But focussing at the victims, both men and women are victims, so in this sense there is no longer a clear gender asymmetry. Looking at the victims, I am not able to say which gender is most oppressed or disadvantaged in our society. You can give an example where women are disadvantaged, like men having the permission to be topless, but then I can give an example where men are disadvantaged, and then you can give another example of disadvantaged women, and so on. And we don’t have a good metric to add all our examples up and calculate who is the most disadvantaged overall.
      What do you mean with my beliefs about menstruation?

  3. eva zegt:

    “I am not able to say which gender is most oppressed or disadvantaged in our society”
    you can not be serious. you must be stupid if you cant say that. look around. this is the same as a white person telling he/she cant say which race is more opressed, black or white people, or saying the holocaust didnt happen. it is really weird that you say that. and even weirder that you dont realise the weirdness of it.

  4. H. G. zegt:

    You have an extremely simplistic idea of what feminism is if you think it has ever argued that sexism consistently hurts women and helps men. Have you never heard the feminist saying, “Patriarchy hurts men, too”? The patriarchy is not about hurting women and helping men; it’s about controlling women and their sexuality. It has always suppressed women by labeling them as either good (the chaste mother figure who is not concerned with controlling men but accepts her inferior status and focuses on bearing and raising children and serving the men in her life) or evil (the independent woman who dares to have an opinion and chooses to control her sexuality — the prostitute, the witch, the femme fatale, the “man-hater”). Occasionally, in this system, women get a few breadcrumbs, but when they do, the breadcrumbs always reinforce their role as second-class citizens. The hypothetical woman in your examples who stays home and takes care of children or works at a safe but boring job while men go off to war or do dangerous work may be staying alive, but she is not in a position of real power: she is not making large amounts of money; she is not commanding troops; she is not making law; she is not conducting research; she is not even controlling her own sexuality and life path.

    Incidentally, the “women and children first” idea is a myth; data show that women and children have almost always had the lowest survival rates in shipwrecks. While prostate cancer kills more men than breast cancer kills women, breast cancer can be much more aggressive and tends to kill at a much younger age. And did you even bother to read the Wikipedia article you linked about domestic violence against men? If you had, you would have found out that “male violence tends to inflict more damage than female violence”, and that women are much more likely to be killed as a result of domestic violence than men.

    Your article shows one thing and one thing only: how little you know about feminism. Before you make grand statements about how feminists are misguided, have some humility and do your research. Read some feminist texts: “The Feminine Mystique”, “The Mismeasure of Woman”, “Backlash”, “The Frailty Myth”. Or read a radical-feminist text written by a man: “The End of Patriarchy”.

    • stijnbruers zegt:

      If you agree that sexism does not consistently hurt women and help men, then why would we denote the problem with a word (patriarchy) that refers to men and the solution with a word (feminism) that refers to women? And why would those feminists criticize the men’s rights movement (judging the activists as rape apologists)?

      The soldiers who are dying in war and the workers who are dying at dangerous jobs have less real power than women and cannot make law nor conduct research when they are dead. The majority of soldiers are not commanding troops. The women on the other hand, have real power over future generations, because they are in charge of educating the children.

      Even if male domestic violence inflicts more damage, it is difficult to argue that male violence is some orders of magnitude (a factor 1000) worse or bigger than female domestic violence. So it remains difficult to explain why a patriarchal society would have some orders of magnitude more women shelters than men shelters. And why are women who assault their male partners more likely to avoid arrest than men who attack their female partners? When a woman calls the police to report domestic violence, the man is often arrested or ordered to leave the house, but if a man calls, the woman is almost never arrested or ordered out of the house. And why would the man who calls the police to report domestic violence have a more than 10% probability of being arrested himself?

  5. Artikels zoals deze helpen de dieren niet. Geweld tegen vrouwen minimaliseren helpt dieren niet. Het verhoogt het seksisme in de dierenbeweging. Het verhoogt de kans op problemen binnen de beweging. Alle onderdrukkingen zijn aan elkaar gelinkt. Als je het woord patriarchaat eruit haalt dan negeer je de huidige grote ongelijkheden, dan neem je de mogelijkheid weg om het te concept te gebruiken.

    Hoe kan je nu het patriarchaat ontkennen?
    Als rationele en ethische intellectueel verlies je al geloofwaardigheid. Lees eerst Carol Adams ” The pornography of meat”
    De voorbeelden dat je geeft zijn soms zo grof dat ik me afvraag of je serieus bent of niet.
    Het doet me denken aan de argumenten van een vleeseter tegen een vegan: absolute non-sens, maar weet je cognitieve dissonantie…je kent dat wel
    Ik wil toch ingaan op uw voorbeelden : het gerechtelijk systeem is zoals de rest gedomineerd door het patriarchaat. De kinderen gaan vaak naar de moeder in meer dan 50 percent omdat beide ouders het zo willen, mannen zijn meestal tevreden dat ze niet voor de kinderen moeten zorgen.
    Het gerechtelijk systeem straft vrouwen veel harder dan mannen: Mannen krijgen een gemiddeld gevangenisstraf van 2 à 6 jaar voor het vermoorden van hun vrouw, vrouwen krijgen daarentegen een gemiddelde van 15 jaar straf voor het moorden van hun man, meestal na jaren geweld en misbruik.

    De militaire wereld is overduidelijk mannelijk, het zijn mannen die oorlog organiseren. Dat 95 percent van de soldaten die sterven mannen zijn is normaal aangezien de meeste soldaten mannen zijn.
    ​H​et verhaal van het ​”sinking ship” is een mythe. In de praktijk ziet men dat als een schip zinkt, de zwakkere er eerst uitvliegen
    De economie is in handen van mannen,de beslissingen worden door mannen genomen voor andere (armere) mannen.
    De opvoeding: vrouwen hebben seksisme geïntegreerd, dat is een manier om te overleven in deze samenleving,. daarbij ze voedt de kinderen op zoals het van haar verwacht wordt en vergeet niet dat de media en de omgeving samen met de moeder het kind opvoeden. Lees maar over hoe feministische vrouwen hun zonen opvoeden. Ik zou ook eens willen zien hoe er op school zou gereageerd worden moesten vrouwen proberen over feminisme te spreken.

    Wat je schrijft over huishoudelijk geweld is een zo harde klap in het gezicht van vele vrouwen waaronder ik dat het moeilijk zal worden om hierbij kalm te blijven. Hoe durf je uw conclusies baseren op de enige studie die concludeert aan even veel geweld van beide kanten? Ik weet over welke studie dit gaat,en daar zijn verbaal en lichamelijk geweld door elkaar gehaald.
    Er sterven elke dag vrouwen en ook mannen door het mannelijke geweld, (in Frankrijk sterf een vrouw om de 2,5 dagen door mannelijk geweld) waar zijn de mannelijke slachtoffers van vrouwelijke geweld?
    Waar haal je het dat als een vrouw de politie belt in verband met huishoudelijk geweld de politie die man arresteert? Dat is gewoon niet waar.

    Het gaat hier over een systeem dat patriarchaat heet , waarin ALLE mannen een minimum aan voordelen hebben en ALLE vrouwen een minimum aan nadelen hebben.
    Denk aan de dieren, hoe kunnen we samen vechten voor een betere wereld als je die onderdrukking ontkent?

    • stijnbruers zegt:

      Uit het artikel dat ik schreef kan je niet afleiden dat het geweld tegen vrouwen wordt geminimaliseerd of onderschat. Dat zou een onderschattingsdenkfout (moral gravity bias) zijn. Zie
      Van seksisme is ook geen sprake, want nergens wordt er een waardeoordeel gegeven aan een bepaald geslacht. In het artikel staat letterlijk: “We should simply focus on eliminating all kinds of sexism and gender discrimination, of both men and women.” Dus ik zie niet in hoe zoiets het seksisme in de dierenbeweging kan verhogen.

      Het werk van Carol Adams heb ik gelezen. In mijn boek Het Dierendebacle verwijs ik naar haar boek The Pornography of Meat. Aangezien ik in mijn oudere boeken (Universele Liefde, De Odyssee van Medeleven, Het Dierendebacle) heb geschreven over het feminisme en het patriarchaat, was de emotionele moeilijkheid om van mening te veranderen door The Red Pill eerder een cognitieve dissonantie.

      Over de voorbeelden
      -In The Red Pill komen mannenrechtenactivisten aan het woord die echt wel graag voor hun kinderen hadden willen zorgen, maar waarbij de kinderen naar de moeder moesten en de vaders er niets over te zeggen hadden. Ze konden zelfs niet een klein beetje, laat staan 50%, voor hun kinderen zorgen. Dat lijken me geen alleenstaande gevallen te zijn, want het is ook het thema in bv de film Mrs Doubtfire.
      -Over die gevangenisstraffen: naar welk onderzoek verwijs jij? Ik heb nog extra bronnen geraadpleegd over de gerechtelijke straffen van mannen en vrouwen, en kwam nog enkele andere studies tegen, van vrouwelijke criminologen, die het verhaal bevestigen dat mannen zwaardere straffen krijgen. Bv onderzoek van Sigrid van Wingerden: “‘Ook opvallend is dat als een vrouw een man vermoordt de straf 1,6 jaar lager uitvalt dan als een man een man vermoordt. Een man die een vrouw vermoordt, krijgt dan weer een langere gevangenisstraf.’” Dus als een man wordt vermoord is dat blijkbaar minder erg als wanneer een vrouw wordt vermoord, en als een man de dader is, is dat blijkbaar erger dan wanneer een vrouw de dader is.
      -Dat de economie in handen is van mannen, is duidelijk, maar dat wil nog niet zeggen dat vrouwen eerder slachtoffer zijn van de economie, gezien bv het feit dat er meer mannelijke daklozen zijn.
      -Dat huiselijk geweld bijna gendersymmetrisch is, is niet enkel gebaseerd op één studie die zegt dat het volledig symmetrisch is, maar wel op vele studies die zeggen dat het bijna symmetrisch is. Zie de wikipedia: Daarentegen is het aantal opvangplaatsen voor mannen en vrouwen die vluchten voor huiselijk geweld allesbehalve gendersymmetrisch. Het punt was dat dat wel erg irrationeel zou zijn in een patriarchale samenleving.
      -Dat van arrestaties staat ook op die wikipedia: “The 1985 U.S. National Family Violence Survey, carried out by Murray A. Straus and Richard J. Gelles on a nationally representative sample of 41 houses where 1 to 10 calls to the police had been made (24 female callers and 17 male callers), found that when a woman called the police to report IPV, the man was ordered out of the house in 41.4% of cases. However, when a man called, the woman was ordered out of the house in 0% of cases. When a woman called, the man was threatened with immediate arrest in 28.2% of cases; when a man called, the woman was threatened with arrest in 0% of cases. When a woman called, the man was threatened with arrest at a later date in 10.7% of cases; when a man called, the woman was threatened with arrest at a later date in 0% of cases. When a woman called, the man was arrested in 15.2% of cases; when a man called, the woman was arrested in 0% of cases. In fact, in 12.1% of cases when the man called, the man himself was arrested.”

      Na al die voorbeelden heb ik redelijke twijfels bij de stelling dat ALLE mannen een minimum aan voordelen hebben en ALLE vrouwen een minimum aan nadelen hebben. Ik zou wel durven zeggen dat een minderheid van mannen (aan de top) de voordelen hebben ten koste van andere mannen en vrouwen.
      Tot slot zie ik niet in hoe die aangehaalde voorbeelden en statistieken, mochten die al dan niet waar blijken te zijn, nefast zouden zijn voor de dieren. Mochten ze waar blijken te zijn, dan zie ik nog geen verband met de dierenrechtenschendingen. Mochten ze fout blijken te zijn, dan kun je er enkel uit concluderen dat ik verwees naar foute statistieken. Nu ja, in het verleden heb ik nog vaker verwezen naar foute gegevens, maar dat is nog geen reden om extra bezorgd te zijn voor de dieren. Het is wel een reden om te corrigeren voor het verspreiden van foute gegevens.

  6. Pingback: Discrimination biases | Stijn Bruers, the rational ethicist

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