Unfair argumentation methods VII: Swedish example
We now move on to the post that provided the original triggere for expanding the one article on racism to an article series:
A woman wrote a post complaining that an online test by Swedish paper SvD had identified her as having a match in opinion with the “wrong” parties. The telling title in translation “SvD lies about me (SD is not a center party)”.
(For more information on SD/Sverigedemokraterna and related cases, see Unfair treatment of Sverigedemokraterna.)
I suggested that she should not jump to the conclusion that the test was faulty (let alone lying), but that the opinions of the parties might have drifted over time, that she might simple not be aware of the current opinions of various parties (notably, my own image of the parties is still heavily influenced by what they were when I first informed myself as a teenager; further, it is not uncommon that the opinions of parties are misrepresented by their opponents), and that she, in particular, viewed Sverigedemokraterna through the flawed one-issue lens of immigration.
She (aided by a similar minded debater) went through several iterations of decreasing rationality—and ended in complete idiocy. In fact, her idiocy was such that I have to admit that my annoyance partially got the better of me when I answered. Most notably, she repeatedly misrepresented the stated opinions of Sverigedemokraterna. However, she also ended up wanting to brand me as a supporter of that party, attacking me for allegedly wanting to ban gender-feminism/-theory (while I, in actuality, have the very different wish of removing the artificial support it is given and making sure that its distorted world-view is not uncritically repeated by naive journalists, politicians, whatnot), and starting a tirade about how much worse women have it than men.
The latter, in a Swedish context, proves that she was clueless (and, notably, her CV is heavy in gender-studies, which are well-known for gross misrepresentation and reality distortion). Specifically, she re-iterated a number of oft-repeated feminist myths:
Women still have lower pay for the same work:
This is not true when we actually look at the same work, the same qualifications, the same experience, etc. A Swedish source (details in the comments)e has made the comparison—as have other sources in other countries, e.g. Marilyn vos Savante. In the end, obviously, the claim is nonsensical already because market forces would make organisations hire more of the (allegedly) cheaper women, pressing their pay upwards and the men’s downward—unless, obviously, we assume that they very deliberately try to oppress women…
Women are abused and murdered by their men more often than vice versa:
Modern research shows the exact opposite, cf. e.g. http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htme.
Women are raped, exploited, and forced to sex infinitely (“oändligt”) more often than men:
This statement is obviously very hard to check in any detail, because of matters of definition, lack of statistics, etc. I note, however:
That while more women than men are raped in everyday life, rape is a very rare occurrence even among women: A clear majority of all women will never be raped—and common feminist “statistics” like “One in four women are raped in college.” have no connection with reality (cf. What campus rape crisis?e).
In at least the US, the number of raped men within the prison system is very high. So high, in fact, that some speculate that the numbers for the population as a whole show more men than women being raped.
Men are forced to sex by women quite often: It is true that these instances seldom involve physical violence (or threat thereof), but overall I would not be surprised if men are forced more often in other ways—many of which would qualify as rape in the extremely over-extended meaning sometimes applied by gender-feminists. See also e.g discussions of
the likelihood of men being coercede and men’s reactions to coercione.
Under no circumstance is the formulation “infinitely more often” justifiable.
Women are worse off in terms of physical and mental well-being:
A highly dubious claim, considering e.g. that women live longer and men’s suicide rates are higher—however, above all, an irrelevant claim: Unless it can be made plausible that these factors are rooted in mistreatment of women, they are irrelevant for the topic at hand.
In particular, in my impression, women are more prone than men to create problems for themselves, e.g. by doing some form of inverted CBTw.
Women do “djävligt” (one of the nastiest expletives in Swedish) more unpaid house-work than men.
Firstly, highly dubious in Sweden, were the rates of house-work are comparatively close. Secondly, this does not take into consideration that men spend more time earning money for the household than women do—nor that the work done by men is often more strenuous or dangerous than house-work. Thirdly, it overlooks that women voluntarily do much house-work that men simply consider superfluous or pre-mature, e.g. washing, vacuuming, whatnot, twice or thrice a week, when once would suffice perfectly—if women create unnecessary work for themselves, they have only themselves to blame. (In fact, I have repeatedly heard joking statements along the lines of “How come the house-work went from a few hours a week to a full-time job when my girlfriend moved in?”—where one would actually expect the per capita house-work to decline when moving to a two-person household.)
Women have noticeably fewer positions of influence in politics, business, and government:
The part about politics is, in Sweden, highly dubious: The 2006 proportion of women in the Swedish parliament is 47 % (according to the parliament’s homepagee). Sweden’s largest party and the extremely powerful Central Labor Union both have a female leader. The number of male and female ministers are roughly the same. Several parties have more women than men in important positions.
According to official statisticse women actually dominate among public service bosses, with 58 % to 42 % for men.
In business, there is a significant dominance of men, but this should be seen in the light of different levels of experience, dedication, numbers of male and female applicants, and similar. Only after correcting for such factors, would a comparison make sense—and the chances stand very good that the numbers are roughly fair (or even to the women’s advantage) after such corrections.
(Those who read my website will know that I consider incorrect promotions to be a major problem; however, in the cases I have seen, there has been no indication that women would be disadvantaged—if anything, the opposite.)
In addition to this, it is noteworthy that cherry-picking allows more or less any “truth” to be presented, and that a far more holistic approach must be taken than just claiming “Women are disadvantaged wrt X; ergo, women have it worse than men.”: Any fair discussion would also include all the areas where men are disadvantaged, including e.g. criminal and family courts, divorces, workplace risks, suicide risks, the current school system, mandatory military service, …
Indeed, while writing this article, I encountered a Swedish blog post discussing an equality indexe that attempts to give a true measure of equality (whereas those cited by feminists tend to focus on areas where men have, or traditionally have had, advantages). The results included that Swedish women have 54 % more power and 72 % more privileges than Swedish men. If this index (which I have not had the time to investigate) is even remotely reliable, then the gender-feminists’ case can be summarily dismissed. Certainly, the outcome is in the general direction that I and many others have anticipated—in fact, noticeably further down the road than I thought.
In the wake of suspicions against this woman for being one of the accusers of Julian Assange, the blog has been made private.