Unwarranted Assumptions

... You know, it's kind of a shame. I really do like Dilbert. What I can't stand anymore is the strip's creator.

Yes, Scott Adams, champion of men's rights, is at it yet again. Let's be clear: that is not a new blog post. It's been up for just over a week now, detailing how much it sucks to be a man in today's world. Apparently society takes us round-peg men and forces us to try and fit into square holes all our lives. And apparently our natural instincts are shameful and criminal on top of that, thus forcing us into a state of repressed urges and unhappiness.

I mean, I could detail all the reasons why this is just beyond ridiculous, but there are far more capable blogs that have done this already. I trust that anything I could say on the subject would just be rehashing things said on one of those three sites. (And I'm sure there are more people that have discussed the subject; that's not a comprehensive list.)

So what I'll take issue with instead is Scott Adams's chosen response to the criticism. You see, he argued that he's just been misunderstood, and challenged several websites to a debate on the matter. He got responses, which are worth reading in their entirety if only to see all the fails coming from a (admittedly self-proclaimed) "certified genius". Although perhaps he's right and I am just misunderstanding him. Well, go draw your own conclusions, right?

First, from the Jezebel debate...
"I think we can skip the question of whether I offended men, since that is not what is bothering Jezebel or Salon, just to name two. And most men correctly interpreted the post as saying that male sexual urges manifest differently in different men."
Um, I'm almost dead certain that's not what you actually said, which was something about the "natural instincts of men are shameful and criminal" in today's society. I would imagine you're trying to bank off of the one comment in the original post: "To be fair, if a man meets and marries the right woman, and she fulfills his needs, he might have no desire to tweet his meat to strangers. Everyone is different."

There's only one problem with that: that still assumes that all men have a desire for sex with women, and that women have to fulfill that supposedly natural instinct which all men share. I'm sure all of those men that have no desire for sex at all, or desire sex with other men, will thank you for that ridiculous assertion. Moving on...
"I have a higher opinion of women than you do, in the sense that I think men are genetically more prone to bad behavior."
Thanks ever so, I'll log your beliefs regarding my tendencies to bad behavior in the file. As it happens, I have a higher opinion of humanity than you do, in that I think that no one is "genetically" prone to bad behavior. Can you honestly show me proof otherwise?

Anyway, moving on to the (longer) Salon debate.
"I'm referring to the fact that men (gross generality alert) have hearts that want a relationship with one person and penises that want a thousand different women."
Rather than addressing (again!) the blatant assumption, I'll ask this instead: didn't the time it take you to type out "gross generality alert" clue you in to the fact that you were writing something a little questionable?

Making blanket assumptions like that is exactly the problem in the first place, and here we are, at it again. (Keeping in mind the fact that this is my interpretation of the matter; I speak for myself alone!) The point of progressivism in general is to leave those assumptions behind, in the past where they belong. The point of trying to establish a different society is to create one where people are people, each with their own identity and personality, rather than throwing everyone into one of two boxes, "men" and "women", and calling that useful. To create a society where "man" and "woman" can be aspects of identity rather than broad categories that justify such ridiculous assumptions about "natural instincts."

And hey, it'd be a society where we don't have to fit any round pegs into square holes. It'd be a world where we'd have round holes and square holes and star-shaped ones and ovals and so on and so forth to fit every possible meaning of the words "human being", in all its variable glory. If you prefer the society we have now, by all means keep reinforcing the narratives that preserve it.

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