Feminism | Posted by EHevey94 on 03/1/2011

Rebuttals to Sexist Arguments

No more sexist comments, okay?!

"No more sexist comments, okay?!"

I have this friend who’s in the year below me who insists that certain sexist institutions within society should be tolerated based on the fact that a couple million years ago there was a biological basis for it. He says that that’s why women shouldn’t be included in the draft and also uses it as a front for some scary homophobia and gender role enforcing (he said that a man shouldn’t be able to wear a dress and be considered straight.) When I pointed out to him, on the dress comment, that it wasn’t a biological reason, as he said, that men started wearing pants, but merely a helpful observation that wearing kilts/tunics didn’t really mix well with riding horses, the kid totally disregarded my comment.

We then launched into a spirited debate over the draft. My argument was that getting a good recruit is a fifty-fifty chance so there’s really no reason for women to be excluded from the draft, especially because war is so much more about technology nowadays. He was waxing on and on about how biologically men are meant to be warriors, so women shouldn’t be. I tried to explain to him that it seemed like he was operating under the assumption that biology is still the sole function of human society, which could have been debated pretty much even thousands of years ago, and that biology should stay stagnant. I tried to explain to him that not pushing the envelope when it comes to “biology” (if you could call it) would leave humans unadapted and therefore unprepared, if one used his theory. He just said, “You’re wrong,” and walked away.

He’s the sort to demand sources; even when I was explaining that bra burning didn’t happen the way most think it did, he wanted me to document sources. I’d have to carry around a twenty pound folder to be able to document even a quarter of the things I know. I was wondering if anybody had any sources or good arguments to use so I could prove him wrong.

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  • allie @ at 12:01 pm, March 1st, 2011

    here you go a list of warrior women who kicked ass just as hard as men
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_women_warriors_in_folklore
    i remember reading a book about it when i was growing up. and lets not forget about the amazons who were a race of warrior women who fought fiercely. also that women use to dress as men and fight. that can be historically found too!

  • CClio333 @ at 12:47 pm, March 1st, 2011

    On the clothing issue, you might point out that in many parts of the world men wear long robes and women wear loose trousers (Japan, Middle East, etc). This set up is much more logical, since women do not have to deal with the “hang left or hang right” issue that men deal with in pants. Robes let them swing freely!

    As a social studies instructor I’ve heard tons of arguments against women in the military, and most can be defeated based on logic more than any need for hard evidence.

    1) “Women are not physically strong enough to be soldiers” – Few people in the military are just a soldier. The military has quartermasters, translators, weapons experts, and lots of other positions within it – none of which require charging down a field, broadsword in hand. Lots of men are rejected from the draft because they are not physically fit enough. Some women surely will also be not fit enough, but you can’t brand a whole gender as 4F.
    2) “Women can get pregnant, and their periods require too many supplies to tote.” Periods do NOT require tons of supplies, and the possibility of getting your uniform dirty should not be the driving concern here. For the pregnancy issue – get a shot once a year or an IUD. Problem solved.
    3) “Women can get raped and that would be traumatic for the men in the rest of the unit. Oh yeah and for the woman.” Men can get raped too, and do. Rape is just one kind of torture that a captured soldier might be subjected to. If you get capture, it is going to suck for many many reasons other than rape. Plus, I can get raped here at home at any time, any day, and if anything military training should make me MORE safe from rape.
    4) “We can’t stop the men in the military from assaulting female recruits.” Oh, I think we can. Racial integration of the military wasn’t an overnight success either.
    5) “A women in the military goes against gender roles, demeaning her gender and the gender of the men serving along side of her.” This is the hardest one to argue against because it is based on faith rather than logic. If people play the “women are to be protected and treasured” card there is really nothing you can say to them, other than you may think you are putting us on a pedestal, but really you are degrading us. Reminds me of that poor boy in Iowa who threw an excellent season rather than wrestle a girl. All you can do is pity these people and walk away.

  • Mood Maker @ at 3:38 pm, March 1st, 2011

    Hopefully you planted some seeds into his closed mind. Maybe one day he’ll think back and laugh about how sexist his views used to be.

  • NWOslave @ at 4:34 pm, March 1st, 2011

    I’ll bet you think the reason why men have invented, created and built all art, music, sculpture, architecture, construction, technology…well, pretty much everything, is because women were oppressed. Here’s a couple link’s to the differences in the brain’s of men and women. It seem’s biology was the oppressor all along.

    http://medicaleducationonline.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=46&Itemid=69

    http://www.boysadrift.com/2007Giedd.pdf

  • ehevey94 @ at 4:50 pm, March 1st, 2011

    hopefully I did. I think I will try and use some of these arguments with him, because I think he is the kind of person who would bow to superior logic. It’s kind of made interacting with him awkward, so hopefully this will help.

  • Manuela @ at 7:08 pm, March 1st, 2011

    You’ve already proven him wrong by the fact that he could not continue engaging in a constructive discussion and had to resort to fallacious conversation-stoppers like asking you to document sources. This is a typical way of derailing the discussion, just as saying ‘you’re wrong’ and then walking away allows his ego the illusion that he ‘won’ when all he’s done is leave because he felt threatened. Of course you cannot carry around documents to prove everything you say, so asking you for that is a refusal to engage with the argument.

    Have a look at this site http://www.derailingfordummies.com/ for info on other such typical strategies. In the end I think it is up to you if you find it worth it to spend your energies in such arguments. Definitely do not waste even one second of your energy wondering how to convince a dude who says ‘you’re wrong’ and leaves. Not worth it!

  • Natalia @ at 8:24 pm, March 1st, 2011

    Because of those stupid sexist assholes, the stereotype of the “angry feminist” arose. They make me so angry so can I not that fit that stupid stereotype sometimes? uuggh so frustrating.

  • Kristen @ at 9:08 pm, March 1st, 2011

    John, cool story bro, do you tell that one at parties too?

    Also, my recommendation in response to sexist comments and arguments is to frost them over. If they want to call you stupid/a bitch/a whore/ugly/etc in response, just know you’ve already won and don’t lower yourself to their level. Works in all arguments.

  • NWOslave @ at 10:36 am, March 2nd, 2011

    @Kristen…Just stating facts Kristan, by the way have you watched the film “the money masters” yet? Are you now informed on how money is created and how you’re controlled under a false monetary system? Or are you still basing your assumption’s on feeling’s?

  • CClio333 @ at 1:11 pm, March 2nd, 2011

    @NWOslave – Do you have any better sources? The medicaleducation.org site is for anonymous posters. I don’t have a lot of faith in an author known only as princess_ami, and the citation style is pretty unprofessional too. The other reference you provided, the pdf file, is irrelevant to this discussion. The fact that male and female brains develop differently during puberty has nothing to do with the topic at hand, which is the capabilities of mature adults. At any rate, no one is denying that there biological differences between men and women exist. What we are arguing is that the differences that exist are very slight, too slight to warrant gender segregation.

  • NWOslave @ at 4:15 pm, March 2nd, 2011

    @CClio333…I threw the first site because it WAS written by princess_ami. I assumed since a woman wrote it a bias by the dreaded patriarchy wouldn’t be a foregone conclusion.

    The second site, being the most comprehensive study done to date on brain differences is the best I can do.

    How you can come to the conclusion…”What we are arguing is that the differences that exist are very slight, too slight to warrant gender segregation.” is beyond me. The differences are massive and clearly explain how biology is the only contributing factor for men’s inventivness. As in, the evil, wretched patriarchy has never conspired to oppress women’s creativity.

  • Kristen @ at 5:52 pm, March 2nd, 2011

    John, I really don’t see why you brought that documentary up in the first place. Your party stories don’t really relate to a false monetary system.

  • Annie D @ at 6:43 pm, March 2nd, 2011

    This conversation seems to have been derailed into a case study of such a conversation as you complain of.

    Something I find generally effective is to try to turn the tables on who is interrogating whom. I regularly argue about feminism with my sister and in one recent argument I thought to ask how she backed up her arguments. Although the bra burning is a common misconception and no sign that he has not done his research, I would try to be in the situation of justifying feminism as one might justify the belief that the earth is flat.

  • Annie D @ at 7:52 pm, March 2nd, 2011

    *try not to be in the position of justifying feminism as one might justify the belief that the earth is flat.

  • ehevey94 @ at 10:27 pm, March 2nd, 2011

    Annie D,
    I was slightly worried that I was just casting more doubt my arguments by getting more confrontational. It’s a fine line to walk.

  • MPC @ at 3:58 am, March 3rd, 2011

    Are we then advocating that women may be drafted into the Armed Forces and serve as equals in the defense of their country’s interests?

    Then of course be sent off to conquer oil rich countries to acquire cheap energy to subsidize vapid materialistic lifestyles, by killing Muslim men, women, and children?

    You are now advocating for women to become barbarians and murderers then?

  • Simim @ at 1:48 am, March 23rd, 2011

    I agree with Kristen. If all else fails, “cool story, bro” him and then walk away.

    Even if he doesn’t know what it means, sooner or later(especially with repeat situations) he’ll either look it up or someone who knows will overhear.

    And it always blows an invalid argument away.

    Them: “Blah blah blah blah I think I’m right blah blah.”
    You: “Cool story, bro.” *walk away*
    Them: FFFFUUUU *rage quit*

    4chan is occasionally wise.

  • Ariella @ at 7:21 am, June 17th, 2012

    Just ask him if he’s opposed to aeroplanes or space travel – after all, they oppose human biology. Ask him if we should do away with farming and supermarkets, so he can go kill rabbits with rocks and eat them raw as we are “meant” to do.

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