2012-07-11

Gender Profiling

Popehat posted an blog on July 5th about the hyperbole and adverb-inflation in debates, All This Talk of Harassment Is Harassing Me! The author makes some general comments, but deals specifically with gender related discourse.
On the other hand, I am often astounded by the reaction to "feminism" (self-identified, or so identified by critics) or any discussion of sexual harassment. The reaction often seems wildly and disproportionately sensitive to criticism to a frankly disordered extent. I'm seeing that from both men and women in this debate over harassment at skeptic conventions. -- KenAll This Talk of Harassment Is Harassing Me! 
In his post, Ken describes a particular incident -- the reactions to a woman blogging about an interaction at a convention that she found creepy -- as over-the-top.
Portraying criticism — even wrong-headed or unfair criticism — as "bullying" and "totalitarian" — is a whine that is not worthy of our respect. It encourages ignorance about the fundamental nature of free speech and the marketplace of ideas. There is no generalized right to be free of offense. But there's also no right to be free of the words "that's offensive." Please. Even if you don't respect the people you disagree with, have some self-respect. -- KenAll This Talk of Harassment Is Harassing Me!
The commentary, which were shut down by Popehat, goes on to prove Ken's point. The issue at hand, how to have a conversation about gender without invoking nazism, is largely ignored, and instead the discussion zeros in on the particular incident. A lot of time is spent dismissing the woman's experience from a number of different angles. At some point the commentary becomes Gretchen vs three guys. She makes some point, they spent a lot of time and effort on dismissing it.

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