Sometimes, men really suck. Amanda horrifies me with this wife-beating video: a horrible little man browbeats, strikes, and briefly chokes his wife while having their children videotape the whole thing. I guess he felt that she deserved it.
I couldn’t help but noticed that the wretched Y-chromosome-bearing thug was also prominently wearing a bright, sparkly cross around his neck the whole time.
As if one shaming wasn’t enough, Amanda also had to flaunt another example of male stupidity, a ghastly speech arguing that gender differences justify inequities — it goes on at length about the tiresome argument that the statistical distributions skew with men having more outliers at both ends than women. Here’s a good argument against that:
His first attempt to argue that men are smarter than women is the strange “men are at more extremes of the IQ spectrum than women”. As Violet notes, this is a pretty weak argument, since the extremes of the range are statistically insignificant and not really the drivers of society. And since women are in fact as smart as men, the initial “men are on top because they’re just smarter LARRYSUMMERSWASAVICTIM” argument falls apart pretty quickly.
If there’s one lesson we should have learned from the Bush years, it is that the best and brightest do not necessarily rise to the top, so it’s awfully silly to argue that there is a meritocracy in operation that is merely rewarding the slender tail at the far right of the distribution.
There’s also an unwarranted assumption there. Why assume that the dregs to the left of the distribution must be compensated for by paragons to the right? We already know that women experience a cultural wall that limits their ability to excel at the most remunerative endeavors — it seems to me that it’s just as reasonable to estimate that female performance at the high end of the scale might be equivalent to male’s; I can see where hemizygosity might lead to a greater frequency of aberrant pathologies, but not where it would lead to particular advantages in this situation.
But most of all what bugs me about the stupid speech is that it begins by deploring the idea of a “battle of the sexes”, and then justifies many of its excuses with evolution, as if men and women are separately evolving species. It’s absurd. Over half my genes come from my mother, and a slightly fewer come from my father. We evolve together, with an obligate mingling of alleles from both sexes at every generation. We both have equal potential, because it is the same potential — the only question is whether we’re going to let bogus apologetics for inequities continue to limit the possibilities for half of us.