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Friday, September 27, 2019


If you treat people unequally, or differently, based on certain characteristics, then you will produce differences in their experiences and capabilities. For example, if you taught all the boys, and none of the girls, Latin, then men would be the Latinate sex. This difference would purely the product of inequality in treatment. This is why I believe that "difference" feminism is anti-feminism by another name. You cannot base feminism on the positive value of discriminatory treatments. It is inequality that produces "difference" in the first place, after all.  

By the same token, the ideology of difference takes any real difference, and makes it into a metaphysical principle rather than a simple variation between populations. If you measured and tested men and women on certain axes, then you might come up with the tall sex, the musical sex, the verbal sex, the mathematical sex. Banal and sometimes minor differences, then, could be justify further acts of discrimination, acts that made these differences even greater.

 Suppose the average girl showed slightly more aptitude for Latin than the average boy; then we could reverse ourselves and offer Latin to all the girls and none of the boys.  Brilliant!  Girls are "better at Latin," so wouldn't that be logical? Only following an ideology that takes trivial differences between populations as absolutes, rather than overlapping bell curves they really are. 

Note that for my argument it doesn't matter if there are actual differences. Take height: we can establish that the bell curve for height does differ by gender. It's a difference, but it doesn't really have an effect on issues unrelated to height. Being a woman taller than the average man has no relevance to gender identity at all. 

It is quite striking how many people get this wrong. They either have to prove that the bell curves are non-overlapping, when they clearly are, or denounce any hint of difference as heresy.

1 comment:

Thomas said...

There's the title of a book it would take some gumption to write: The Bell Curves.