Gender & Video Games

Many of us understand the current climate in video games. From the blatant examples of violence against one gender or another to the exploitation of that violence to either make a buck off of the actual product or make a buck off of claims of victimhood due to that product this bitter war rages on. There doesn’t appear to be an end game from either side of the debate. In fact there is only one promise and that is this nasty battle will only continue and desperation will only increase.

Credit is needed where credit is due. No such figure started more of this argument than one Anita Sarkeesian. It doesn’t matter if anyone agrees with her or not. This whole gendered debate on video games and the representation of certain genders in those video games didn’t start at the levels we are witnessing until Ms. Sarkeesian came along. Her Youtube channel known as Feminist Frequency pulled in large amounts of viewers, she made television appearances on media outlets and even satire shows such as the Colbert Report. No one has profited more off of the criticism of video games in such a short amount of time and at the same token none has gained as much backlash from that criticism.

Ms. Sarkeesian as well as others such as Brianna Wu refer to themselves as bloggers, pop culture critics and any of the usual titles that would avoid direct contributions to video games. That doesn’t change the fact that many gamers find them to be “problematic” if one can pardon the pun. Whether it is the omission of facts or the rather obvious ploy to “sick” the keyboard warriors on critics of their material there is no shortage of ammunition for war on either side of the debate.

There is a problem. Those like Anita Sarkeesian are starting to lose in some areas but are gaining ground in other areas. Take this for example:

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This is the infamous Dead or Alive Xtreme 3. This video game that was developed by Koei Tecmo is not going to see a Western release. Why? Please excuse the broken English. When asked about it on their facebook page this was the reply, “We do not bring DOAX3 to the west and won’t have any plan change in the future. Thank you for asking.” When pressed further on the issue, “Do you know many issues happening in video game industry with regard to how to treat female in video game industry? We do not want to talk those things here. But certainly we have gone through in last year or two to come to our decision. Thank you.”

Seems like an honest reply, right? Well there is more to the story. Apparently this was just one employee who posted this message but at the same time Koei Tecmo pretty much confirmed that the game would not receive a Western release. The biggest sales numbers for the game isn’t that great compared to other smash hit titles which this game certainly isn’t. At the same time why release the game in an area where the largest amount of your sales aren’t present? There has to be more to it than just not releasing the game for other reasons outside of the gender politics. That isn’t just causation looking towards a solution. No, it is clear that Japan and the West have clear differences in terms of sexuality, what is generally accepted in a video game and what is generally accepted in terms of cultural difference. Let us not sit here and be intellectually dishonest. If a company in Japan, given the differences between the idea of sexuality and exposure of body parts, won’t release a game in the West where the largest amount of sales are than that kind of has to spell out the problem.

Play Asia stepped in on the debate and gave their two cents. Play Asia is known to sell English versions of many games from the East to Western customers. Their statement caused a bit of a firestorm and was all the rage on social media and especially Youtube. They released quite the statement, “ will not be coming to the US due to nonsense. However, we will have the English Asia version available: http://par.bz/87f.” Now one will understand why this created the firestorm that it did. Play Asia was literally calling out the “SJW” or social justice warrior crowd. Many gamers have been outspoken critics of SJW and SJW tactics. So whether Play Asia had it right or wrong is irrelevant. They played their cards well and as a result the game will likely sell more copies than it would have. Many gamers are interpreting this as a way to fight back against games they are labeling as censored.

It doesn’t matter if someone believes Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 is sexist or not. That is not an argument. However if a company such as Koei Tecmo who has a long history of not caring what content they release suddenly changes plans in a market where a product sells the most only someone who is intellectually bankrupt would try to suggest they didn’t release the product because it didn’t make enough money. If even the smallest of dollars can be generated most companies aren’t going to care about how small the profits are so long as there is a profit to be made. That tends to be a winning strategy.

Many who would be labeled as social justice warriors and especially those in the feminist crowd called this a marketing stunt. Those words would have some validity if those same people weren’t criticizing games like Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 to give the calls of it being censored more credibility. You cannot in one breath say that potatoes are horrible, spread the word about your opinion and get so many to believe you but then cry victim or say someone is pulling a marketing stunt when potato salesman point the finger at you. It is dishonest and quite frankly not worthy of an opinion that should even be considered.

Anita Sarkeesian said it herself, “we’re not going to take your games away.” Well she can say that all she wants to. If games are not going to be released or are changed in any way that reflects her opinion that tends to pose a problem to her and those who agree or think like her. Because it can come off as a little suspicious and dishonest when the same people who claim that the views of a gender can change based off of representation but then those same people want something to change and when it does claim they had nothing to do with it. This is classical, “I’m offended but don’t dare blame me for something I may have caused or influenced because even though it can kinda be my fault it isn’t my fault.” But then you have to be wondering, “how did they change games?” It isn’t like games that have long stood the test of time are being modified, right? Wrong.

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Many of us gamers are aware of Street Fighter. This is one of the longest running video game franchises ever. Many of us are also aware of R. Mika and Cammy as characters. A lot of gamers adore those characters and for many of those video game enthusiasts it has little to do with breasts and rear ends. However Street Fighter 5 is still getting some changes. When Capcom changed the opening themes and promotional videos of R. Mika and Cammy outrage ensued.

There is a particular cut scene featuring R. Mika, a wrestler, slapping her butt. Some saw this as objectification. But remember many Japanese wrestlers, regardless of gender, perform this action. Also keep in mind that the same people criticizing this are pretending to be innocent bystanders when companies like Koei Tecmo refuse to release a product in the West due to criticism just like this. And whether Capcom wanted to admit it or not it is pretty clear as to why those changes were made. So far not many are denying that. Yet somehow we are supposed to believe that criticism of a game based off of how someone perceived a particular gender is represented isn’t one of the major reasons why some Japanese companies are wary of releasing games in the West.

This is just part one in a series of releases that will be done by Phalanx Blogs. To be clear video games are cool, fun and at minimum two-thirds of the population has played a video game or are gamers. That is quite a large crowd. This debate and this war has to see some sensible end game. Our games depend on it.

Sources:

Metro.co.uk

This Video Annoyed Me (Youtube Channel)

Event Hub

“I’m Offended And That Makes You Wrong”

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Many of us who frequent social media will have the dreadful “I’m offended” thrown at us at one point or another. But the question remains of how effective this tactic really is? To understand this we must first understand the various meanings and usages behind this tactic whether they are intentional or not.

What we find so often with the use of the offense taken sentence is that it normally comes when someone wants to go on the attack, someone wants to muster up a defense or when someone wants to do both at the same time. Rarely are these words utilized because someone is just offended and they leave it at that. After all being offended doesn’t mean someone is going to go on the defensive or offensive. At least not inherently anyways. Then that leaves the question of why do it at all if it is rarely used just to be offended?

To answer our above question we need to understand a few things about the people who use this line often. One, we should never misunderstand that being offended doesn’t generate an argument. Two, being offended doesn’t justify being more offensive than the very level of offense that a person is offended by. Three, these types tend to only be offended when it is convenient with a debate being a perfect example. Four, these types of people tend to be offended and use that to justify their world view as if their offended status is a true reflection of everyone else’s experience. And lastly the offended tend to flock in high numbers.

Let us go through each one of those points and see if we can spot the usual suspects:

  1. Christopher Hitchens said it best when he proclaimed that certain people shout, “I’m offended” as if that is an argument. In fact the sentence before this one is almost word for word what the man said. It is true. There are some people who believe that because they are offended that makes them right. Nothing could be further from the truth. One can be offended that the sun can cause blindness if one stares at it for too long. Does that change reality? One can be offended that black people are allowed to exist. Does that make that belief correct? No, it doesn’t and neither does being offended create a rational argument.
  2. Ever notice how a lot of the people who are perpetually offended by something turn around and justify or even engage in material that is far worse by objective comparison? For example there are those who would get offended if someone were to ask a woman to, “smile more.” But as witnessed by the author of this blog in that very same social media posting a person turned around the said that they would make a person lose teeth if they were asked to smile more. Do you see the lunacy in this? How can one be offended by something they deem offensive but then turn around and justify violence for a non-violent gesture? Another good example is how someone will complain about how someone sits on public transit due to rudeness but then turn around and advocate for laws for those people to be ticketed and even arrested for such a trivial offense. These are classic cases, but certainly not all of the cases, where being offended can become a weapon and even a justification for nonsense.
  3. This ties into point number one. Being offended can sometimes be an effective tool and a weapon in a debate. Someone taking offense to words and even statements can essentially erase rational arguments as if they didn’t even exist. Of course this doesn’t work most times because many of us can see right through this particular set of mental gymnastics. The idea is simple. One must be offended, declare it so, cast a label on the person making the statement and with that label comes outright refusal to hear the evidence. It is an effective tactic that is used in politics, social media and from person to person. For example if someone were to criticize a certain religious belief even if that belief has multiple racial identities participating it can be effective to call that person a racist even if it isn’t true or proof cannot be obtained. The reason why this can be effective is that it is a shaming and silencing tool. And believe this tool is standard issue for the perpetually offended.
  4. Finally, we have the, “I’m offended and you should be too” angle. This one is simple. It is not that hard to understand. This is essentially a person proclaiming that because they experienced something or don’t like something that everyone else should care. The problem with that word, “should” is that it is really an anger word. Yes everyone should be a nice person but there are no requirements to be that. Everyone should try not to litter but many of us do it. Should and reality do not mix. So while someone believes everyone should be offended at something that just won’t be the case most times and that is for any issue outside of rape, murder and other very serious crimes. For example if someone is offended at a certain word and don’t care to hear that word uttered by anyone that is that person’s opinion. In reality nobody has to listen or pay any attention to that person for being offended.

So we see where someone shouting that they are offended isn’t just something that is harmless. This is meant to either shut down discussion, shut down discourse, silence people or try to coerce others into being offended or joining a certain label. The tactic tends to work very well. Unlike other tactics if one were to look objectively almost any social group uses this and it is a major recruitment tool for many groups including religion, politics and what have you.

How far does the rabbit hole of horrors go? Let us take a peek into the nonsense and not to claw out our eyes in disgust. Here are a few examples:

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Remember this lovely story? Well it is about Tim Hunt who is a Noble Prize winner who was fired after supposed “sexist” comments. Someone got offended and because of that someone got fired. Notable people such as Richard Dawkins and Brian Cox came to Tim Hunt’s defense. As it turns out and despite major media and social media demonizing of Tim Hunt the whole sexism story started to have more holes poked in it than swish cheese being assaulted by an automatic machine gun. But the Twitterverse went to action as soon as the story made waves. People were “offended” even though it is clear that at least 99% of the offended were not even present to know if Tim Hunt committed the offense or not. Remember when I said the perpetually offended tend to flock like birds of a feather? What do you think happened here? This is where being offended can be used as a weapon.

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Remember this little gem? Matt Taylor did what many before him thought to be impossible. He landed a man made object on a space object traveling at speeds many of us will never witness even if E.T. landed on Earth tomorrow. The suggestion by this social media posting is that Matt Taylor is contributing to the relative lack of presence of women in STEM fields. So in other words some people got offended by a shirt (made by a woman by the way) and because of that offense attention was taken away from the monumental accomplish of this guy and placed on attire. What is hilariously hypocritical about all this is that the very ideology and social group attached to most of the outrage contain many people who’d say, “violence and crime is not justified by what someone wears.” Yet in a lesser degree they have no problem in reducing a man to tears on live national television because a few people don’t understand that someone has the right to wear what they want with or without their approval.

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Now this is where it gets interesting. Similarly to how an army may attack a supplier that may not have anything to do with the actual war this attack on a company is so similar that it is almost sickening to see. Because someone got offended and interpreted a game as “transmisogyny” this person has the nerve to tell someone else what they should or should not back based off of their level of being offended. If this doesn’t represent the greater problem nothing will. Someone being offended is one thing but someone being offended (if they really are or not and aren’t just doing it for attention) should have no bearing on everyone else if others will not be seriously harmed in the process. One really has the burden of proof on them to demonstrate that a video supposedly displaying “transmisogyny” (a term probably coined out of outrage) is going to harm anyone since we known video games have not caused violence or sexism in any conceivable way and we have studies that demonstrate this.

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Finally we have the easy way out of the offended and that is by being more offensive. How does one compare over a hundred people losing their lives in a single event to what happened on a college campus where nobody lost their life? Remember the black lives matter movement on the University of Missouri campus? Out of that protest came rap songs titled, “Fuck Paris.” Out of that protest came Asian journalists being harassed and assaulted for being a, “white supremacist” as if the KKK are suddenly taking Asian membership. Out of that protest came students being harassed and one female student in particular being referred to as a, “racist cunt” just for not wanting anything to do with a bunch of people bursting into a library and causing all sorts of ruckus. This is the offended on the attack. Remember when I mentioned how someone could use their offended status to go on the attack with a sword and then use a defense of being “marginalized” or “misunderstood” as a shield? There are few examples better than this.

Now we have a good picture of what shouting, “I’m offended” really means. It just means the person wants to be able to attack without you being able to defend yourself. It also means this person is out of intellectual ammunition and need you to the instigator of your own demise by labeling you something in order to have a weapon against you. Recognize these patterns and overcome this. In order for us to progress as a society in the West we need to recognize and defeat these tactics.

Sources:

IJ Review

Kung Fu Liu (WordPress Blogger)

Women Required To Register For Selective Service?

Women Required To Register For Selective Service?

By: Dion McNeil

For so long one of the hardest points that men’s rights activists have made that feminists have had a tough time deflecting is the male only draft. Sites like A Voice for Men have beaten that dead horse into the ground over and over again. Nothing about a male only selective service spells out equality. Not a thing about a male only selective service system that has penalties for males over the age of 18 who are not registered suggests a fair system. Of course feminism and women in general had nothing to do with selective service or the draft as it was likely men who imposed this. Yet at the same time if we are going to be honest not having to register for women is an advantage that isn’t to be taken lightly.

Some will say that we haven’t had a draft in the United States for quite some time. What does that matter? Go tell that to the 50 thousand plus dead Vietnam war veterans. In fact it wasn’t until 1973 that the United States converted to an all volunteer force and for that to be the standard until such a time where the draft is needed again. Truth be told the very notion that the US isn’t drafting people, namely men, in modern times is a relatively new phase. From the Vietnam war and above the United States always called on young men to do the fighting and while there were instances of women serving very rarely were that put in harm’s way versus men.

The men’s rights activists probably are shouting joy to the heavens when articles like those found on the Washington Post popped up concerning women and selective service. At least now the idea of having women register just like men have to is starting to get some traction. Gen. Robert B. Neller, the Marine Corps commandant, and Gen. Mark A. Milley, chief of staff of the Army testified in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee. A quote from the Washington Post article reveals some of the details:

““Senator, I think that all eligible and qualified men and women should register for the draft,” said Milley, echoing the remarks of Neller.

After the hearing, Neller added in an short interview that any young American as a rite of passage should have to register for Selective Service.

“Now that the restrictions that exempted women from [combat jobs] don’t exist, then you’re a citizen of a United States,” Neller said. “It doesn’t mean you’re going to serve, but you go register.””

Some who read this will shout, “no, get rid of the draft for everyone!” Where the heck were those people when young men had to go and sign up? Where were they? Now all of a sudden when women are subjected to the same thing that men are suddenly it is a problem? Well yes, it is a problem now. And we know this based off of the responses we are starting to see across the internet. All of a sudden there are voices that are decrying selective service that we didn’t hear from before concerning the subject.

Take the L.A. Times Editorial Board for example. If we look on the LA Times website we can’t find many other mentions of selective service or the draft but the second that women might be subjected to the same thing men had to be subjected to suddenly it is an issue. Observe for yourself:

“Why should the country require anyone — male or female — to register for a draft that’s purely hypothetical? Or this: Does it make sense to extend the Selective Service rule as a symbolic gesture of gender equality without first examining the rationality of maintaining a registry at all in the digital era?”

Take a look at what Elaine Donnelly, president of the center of Military Readiness, said. Keep in mind that as she is saying this men are still being subjected to having to sign up for selective service:

“Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, called the Pentagon’s decision “ill-advised.”  In part, she said, because it will affect “unsuspecting civilian women, who will face equal obligations to register for Selective Service when a future federal court rules in favor of litigation brought by the [American Civil Liberties Union] on behalf of men.””

Some people may ask, “why even care? There’s no penalties for not registering, right?” Listen hard and hear the crickets in the background. Of course there are penalties. All one needs to do is go over to the Selective Service website and see the list of penalties one can face. Take a look at the list:

“STUDENT FINANCIAL AID

Men, born after December 31, 1959, who aren’t registered with Selective Service won’t qualify for federal student loans or grant programs. This includes Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Direct Stafford Loans/Plus Loans, National Direct Student Loans, and College Work Study.


CITIZENSHIP

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) makes registration with Selective Service a condition for U.S. citizenship if the man first arrived in the U.S. before his 26th birthday.


FEDERAL JOB TRAINING

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) offers programs that can train young men seeking vocational employment or enhancing their career. This program is only open to those men who register with Selective Service. Only men born after December 31, 1959, are required to show proof of registration.


FEDERAL JOBS

A man must be registered to be eligible for jobs in the Executive Branch of the Federal Government and the U.S. Postal Service. Proof of registration is required only for men born after December 31, 1959.  

Security clearance background investigations will verify whether or not men are in compliance with federal law; thus, men who are required to be registered with the Selective Service System will be verified of their Selective Service registration status for security clearances, as well as for some contractors.

Penalties for Failing to Register
Failing to register or comply with the Military Selective Service Act is a felony punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 or a prison term of up to five years, or a combination of both. Also, a person who knowingly counsels, aids, or abets another to fail to comply with the Act is subject to the same penalties.

If a man fails to register, or provides Selective Service with evidence that he is exempt from the registration requirement, after receiving Selective Service reminder and/or compliance mailings, his name is referred to the Department of Justice for possible investigation and prosecution for his failure to register as required by the Act. For clarification, if a man is exempt from registering with the Selective Service System, his name is not forwarded to the Department of Justice. The federal law stipulates that names are to be submitted to the Department of Justice annually.

The more immediate penalty is if a man fails to register before turning 26 years old, even if he is not tried or prosecuted, he may find that some doors are permanently closed.”

Did we read that correctly? Someone could lose their citizenship, not get a student loan, face a prison term, be fined a quarter of a million dollars and if someone were to try to help this man escape having to register for the draft they could face the same penalties? Yes, bring in the draft or get rid of it. Bottom line this is not gender equality and no matter how much someone says, “well men imposed it” is going to take away from the fact that it exists. If this is the level that men have to go to in order to maintain their citizenship then women should either be subjected to the exact same selective service or we need to eradicate and the scrap the whole thing and if there is a draft women should be drafted.

Why should women be drafted should there ever be a draft? Well, of course, some would say that women are not as physically strong as men or as made for combat. However there are some women who don’t fit that generalization. Imagine if a military unit had a team of Holly Holms running around. How many would really oppose the idea of Amazon-esque killing machines running around to cover their backs? But women should register because of a landmark court ruling.

One of the common strawman arguments that some in certain ideologies, feminists in particular, love to hurl at men is that men never fight for their own rights. That is a lie. There were men who did oppose men being forced to have to register for selective service and even the possibility of a male only draft. Rostker v. Goldberg, which was a case argued in front of the United States Supreme Court in March 1981, is proof that there was at least one group of men who tried to end this sexist standard placed on men. However, the attempt to get rid of one of the clear cut gender expectations not imposed on the opposing gender got shot down. Cornell University’s Law School documents it quite well:

“The question of registering women was extensively considered by Congress in hearings held in response to the President’s request for authorization to register women, and its decision to exempt women was not the accidental byproduct of a traditional way of thinking about women. Since Congress thoroughly reconsidered the question of exempting women from the Act in 1980, the Act’s constitutionality need not be considered solely on the basis of the views expressed by Congress in 1948, when the Act was first enacted in its modern form. Congress’ determination that any future draft would be characterized by a need for combat troops was sufficiently supported by testimony adduced at the hearings so that the courts are not free to make their own judgment on the question. And since women are excluded from combat service by statute or military policy, men and women are simply not similarly situated for purposes of a draft or registration for a draft, and Congress’ decision to authorize the registration of only men therefore does not violate the Due Process Clause. The testimony of executive and military officials before Congress showed that the argument for registering women was based on considerations of equity, but Congress was entitled, in the exercise of its constitutional powers, to focus on the question of military need, rather than “equity.” The District Court, undertaking an independent evaluation of the evidence, exceeded its authority in ignoring Congress’ conclusions that whatever the need for women for noncombat roles during mobilization, it could be met by volunteers, and that staffing noncombat positions with women during a mobilization would be positively detrimental to the important goal of military flexibility.”

Now, this is a clearly ridiculous ruling and especially considering that the ERA was supposed to protect men and women and was supposed to make it so that there was no legal form of gender discrimination but especially none supported by the United States government. But pay attention to the details outlined by Cornell University’s Law School. Pay attention to that one particular line that says, “And since women are excluded from combat service by statute or military policy, men and women are simply not similarly situated for purposes of a draft or registration for a draft, and Congress’ decision to authorize the registration of only men therefore does not violate the Due Process Clause.”

Can anyone spot the issue? Well, there is one issue. If this was the ruling then that automatically should mean that women should be forced to register for selective service considering that combat roles are now open for women. No, seriously, that was the ruling. Was it not? If it was good enough to deny that group of men their equal rights under the law and not be forced to sign up with selective service based off of women not being allowed to be in combat roles then it stands to reason that women should now be forced to register just like men are since combat roles are now open. The lesson that should be learned here is that certain feminists and certain people who go crazy with the equality arguments but want to protect women should be careful what they wish for. Those people wanted women in combat roles and now we have it but perhaps this is a true testament to the fact that not every part of being a man is great and glamorous.

We rest our case.

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Dion McNeil is a writer for the Soap Box Corner. Dion is a 29 year old stay at home dad who specializes in psychology and social issues. If you have questions leave a comment, share and/or discuss. You can contact Dion via email at phalanxmedia@mail.com and be sure to use that email as much as you like. As always be skeptical, question everything and seek the truth. Thanks for reading!

Sources:

Debate.org

Equal Rights Amendment

Military.com

Cornell University Law School

Washington Post

LA Times

About.com

Archive.gov

A Voice for Men

Logical Fallacy Series: “The False Cause and False Effect”

Logical Fallacy Series: “The False Cause and False Effect”

By: Dion McNeil

The false cause is a logical fallacy that sometimes some people invoke to explain something or to be intentionally misleading. Now of course there are other reasons but for the purpose of explaining this logical fallacy better we’ll just focus on those two lines of reasoning. To explain this logical fallacy better we’ll use simple explanations and simple conclusions based off of those explanations to hopefully leave the reader with a better idea, if a better idea didn’t already exist, about what this logical fallacy is and how to better identity the false cause when witnessed.

false-cause-failed-examSo what exactly is the false cause? The IEP or Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes the false cause as, “Improperly concluding that one thing is a cause of another. The Fallacy of Non Causa Pro Causa is another name for this fallacy. Its four principal kinds are the Post Hoc Fallacy, the Fallacy of Cum Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc, the Regression Fallacy, and the Fallacy of Reversing Causation.” In other words a person can be guilty of committing this logical fallacy by looking at something and determining one thing is the cause of that something. To put it simply it is a way of rushing to conclusions that has a name, can be explained and can be identified. Today we’ll explore some examples of this fallacy and see if you can spot where the false cause is.

Review this explanation and see if you spot the false cause:

“Jane goes to the supermarket. She likes to eat sample foods there. After going home and preparing dinner Jane weighs herself. She has gained weight. Jane only ate the sample food at the supermarket. Jane enjoys making only fatty foods. She concludes that the food she ate at the supermarket caused her to gain weight.”

Now could Jane be correct? Of course. But could she also be incorrect? Yes, she could also be incorrect. In this case she is. What is more likely to be the cause of her gaining weight? Remember the part that says, “Jane enjoys only making fatty foods”? Well it is more likely that the fatty foods she likes to cook is the cause behind her weight gain. She could also not exercise or have some sort of medical condition. But for her to conclude that the sample food at the supermarket is the sole cause of her weight gain is a fine example of the false cause. Jane didn’t bother to look at other causes and certainly made an incorrect assumption.

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Let’s look at a more sneaky example:

“Bill is bored one night and decides to go roller skating. Bill always loved going out when he is bored. When he arrives at the skating establishment he gets excited. He starts skating and feels joy. Bill declares that skating is what made him happy.”

Sounds reasonable enough, right? Think again. It is a sneaky example because at first glance some people might say that there is no logical fallacy here. Well just because he committed the logical fallacy doesn’t mean it is necessarily a bad thing. Remember that Bill loves to go out when he is bored. So is it really the skating that causes his happiness or is just the act of going out? It is going out because the only thing we know about Bill is that he likes to go out and that skating really doesn’t have much to do with his happiness. He could like skating but the skating in of itself didn’t dictate how happy he felt as he could have skated at home.

Now we need to look at a more real world example. We need something that will help us look at situations another way if we haven’t already. Sometimes the false cause can create a stereotype or a falsehood that can insult some people or put people into a box. Here is a pretty good example:

“So many black people have won track and field events! Black people are fast!”

Do you see the false cause here? The statement is generalizing and is indeed a false cause but it is also a racial stereotype. This implies that because there are many black people who have won track and field events that speed is inherently a black trait. Of course this statement is not only a logical fallacy but utter nonsense. Many have competed in track and field events who were not black people and many of those people are faster than the average person.

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Another example of this logical fallacy in action is the false cause that is turned into a weapon. Often times what we see is that the false cause tends to come in the form of stereotypes of the strawman and/or ad hominem logical fallacy course. When we witness this it isn’t a bad idea in some cases to call it like we see it. Take this example and see if you can spot the false cause:

“Those damn white people! Their ancestors enslaved and killed people! White people are evil!”

Do you see now how the false cause can be used as a weapon? This statement implies that because there were some white people, but certainly not all, who engaged in horrible acts that all white people must be evil. In fact the statement doesn’t just imply this but push this off as an absolute fact. Now of course this sort of statement can come in the form of an angry outburst or misinformation and maybe even perhaps some personal bias. The reason is irrelevant. All that matters is that we know this is a false cause and isn’t true as all white people are not inherently evil or enslaved and killed people.

Now we get to the juicy part. This is where the false cause can be utilized as a defense mechanism. Often times we see this false cause fallacy used in this case to try to deflect and cast a broad shadow on an issue or a person(s). Take a look at this example and see if you spot the false cause:

“It’s not you that I don’t like. Please don’t be offended. Men are always trying to hit on me! Men are nothing but horn dogs who just want to get in my pants! Men frighten me!”

Not only is this statement is broad generalization, not representative of reality for all men or really logical but this is also used in concert with a potential appeal to emotion logical fallacy. The person here is trying to manipulate another person into believing that it isn’t them they don’t like but it’s just men in general and the “please don’t be offended” part is just icing on the cake. Is it really true that every man on Earth wants to try to have sex with this person? Is it really true that all men are nothing but horny beasts or that every man this person has come across has tried to make a pass at them? Of course not.

In conclusion being guilty of this logical fallacy isn’t inherently bad. However being guilty of this fallacy while using it as a sword or a shield is questionable behavior. Try not to be the false cause devil.

Thanks for reading!

dionsbc

 

Dion McNeil is a writer for the Soap Box Corner. Dion is a 29 year old stay at home dad who specializes in psychology and social issues. If you want to contact Dion please do so at phalanxmedia@mail.com or feel free to comment, discuss and share. As always please be skeptical, question everything and always be rational.

 

Sources:

Glogster

False Cause and Effect

Truly Fallacious

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The Inconvenient Truth About Batteries

The Inconvenient Truth About Batteries

By: Dion McNeil

 Many of us power up our cell phones, use our devices in general and rev up our smart cars. These products are convenient. Lots of people love to indulge in these modern miracles. But very few take the time to ask a simple question, “how innocent is this product?” In this piece we’ll explore just how much human suffering with child labor in particular being a focus goes into providing power for our favorite devices. Perhaps this will make one think twice before going to social media and complaining about human suffering when the very device they’re using to do so could have had a hand in a mining death or two. It’s easy to point fingers at others for buying “blood” products but it isn’t so easy to be honest enough, do the research and see that many of us are apart of the problem in human suffering.

Ever go into a shopping mall or a Walmart to see that convenient Eco-ATM machine? This machine takes in used tablets, music players, cellular devices and so on in exchange for cash. The minuscule amount of money given in exchange for such expensive products isn’t what we need to focus on. Let’s say your product isn’t worthy anything the ATM machine will give a vocal response you can hear that goes a little something like, “you can choose to donate your device to *insert charity here* and many of the devices have precious metals inside of them that can be recycled.” Now that is as vague as one can get. What does Eco-ATM mean by precious metals and where do these metals come from? We think we may have a few answers.

Let’s look at the Democratic Republic of Congo. A huge part of this country’s economy comes directly from back breaking labor. This country is known to harbor precious metals and all sorts of riches which is why, like many African countries, the DRC is continuously exploited. For the purpose of this article we need to locate just how much of this country’s economy is dependent on such back breaking work. If we were to review the United States Department of Labor’s website we find some pretty sickening details. Take a look for yourself:

“In 2014, the Democratic Republic of the Congo made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Government took steps to implement a UN-backed action plan to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers, including by convening national and provincial working groups, appointing a presidential adviser on sexual violence and child recruitment, and arresting several individuals on charges of recruiting and using child soldiers. However, children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continue to engage in child labor, including in domestic work, and in the worst forms of child labor, including in the forced mining of gold, cassiterite (tin ore), coltan (tantalum ore), and wolframite (tungsten ore). The Government failed to prosecute or convict any individual of child labor violations, and the prescribed penalties for forced or compulsory labor remain low and do not serve as a deterrent. There are few social programs to assist child laborers, and laws and regulations mandating free primary education are not enforced.”

So what we have in this country alone is a government that doesn’t appear to be ultimately effective against child labor and exploitation. But how far does it go? Well we known from what the US Department of Labor tells us that this is a prime source of those lovely metals and products that go into our devices. When the inmates run the asylum and when a government fails to enact meaningful countermeasures to thwart child labor it isn’t any wonder why the wolves would become predators here. The worst part about this is that due to the inaction of adults it is the children that will suffer the most as the children of the DRC are by far the easiest to exploit and use for hard labor.

There may be someone asking, “yes, we know what they mine but how do we know those items go into our products?” Good question. Let us take a look at tin ore. If we were to review this lovely piece by The Guardian we start to see it isn’t just the DRC who has issues with this horrific trade:

“There is a chain here: Bangka and Belitung produce 90% of Indonesia’s tin, and Indonesia is the world’s second-largest exporter of the metal. A recentBusinessweek investigation into tin mining in Bangka found that Indonesia’s national tin corporation, PT Timah, supplies companies such as Samsung directly, as well as solder makers Chernan and Shenmao, which in turn supply Foxconn (which manufactures many Apple products). Chernan has also supplied Samsung, Sony and LG. So it is highly likely that the smartphone or tablet you use has Bangkanese tin in it, perhaps mined by Suge or one of the many tens of thousands of men like him, most of whom earn around £5 a day in a local industry that fetches roughly £42m of revenue for Indonesia every year.”

Still think your smart phone is innocent? Of course it isn’t. In just a few paragraphs we went from Africa to Asia and if we looked hard enough there are all sorts of horror stories everywhere. We tried hard to be fair about the issue to see if there was another side but facts are facts. This trade is a direct exploitation of others so that some of us who live in the west can live comfortably. The “Suge” person mentioned from the snippet located in the Guardian piece is an Indonesian man who puts his life on the line everyday to provide tin ore to the world since Indonesia is in fact the world’s second largest exporter of metal just as the Guardian says. The really telling part is that the Indonesian government aren’t a bunch of bumbling idiots who are unaware of this trade. If we were to look at the Indo Metal website we see that not only is the government aware of what is going on but when the trade is so profitable and as long as the demand is so high what is the motivation for change? Don’t say, “because it’s the right thing to do” as we all know the politicians and powers that be in Indonesia have long sold their souls in exchange for lined pockets of money.

Still not feeling the human suffering part as we only exposed one type of metal? Don’t worry. You’ll be feeling bad soon enough as we go on to the next metal in tantalum ore. If we were to look at this IPS News piece featuring the words of Jean-Bertin, a 34 year old man who acts as a Congolese activist we begin to see the true scope of the problem. “It’s possible that two children died so that you could have that mobile phone,” Jean-Bertin said. What is even more troubling is the idea that the DRC government already tries to penalize such exploitation of child labor but isn’t doing enough. Not only is the DRC government not doing enough to protect these children but according to the Child Soldiers website it wasn’t too long ago that the DRC didn’t explicitly outlaw children being used as soldiers until 2012 when the DRC government and the UN signed an action plan to end such practices. With that in mind who the hell would honestly believe this government gives a damn about children being exploited for darn near slave labor? One would have to require a serious mental health evaluation to actually believe the DRC government actually gives a damn given their history as recent as only four years ago.

Let us go to the final metal mentioned for the US Department of Labor report which is tungsten ore. We find tungsten in all sorts of products from electronics to jewelry. Many of us know what blood diamonds are as even celebrities like Kanye West, no matter if you like him or not, have pointed this out. But Tungsten can be excavated much easier than a diamond, the trade flies under the radar quite often and even if the trade is discovered places like the DRC will do little to nothing to stop it or do anything meaningful beyond saving face. How bad is the problem? Let us consult some sources to see if we can spot some issues here.

See the picture to the left with the men who are digging through mud? Well that picture comes from News Week as we see this problem is very serious. Look at this snippet from that article:

“Experts note the widespread smuggling of ore across porous borders in areas racked by conflict, with scarce paper trails for ore mined by villagers in small artisanal mines in countries where warlords control exports. Moreover, audit procedures at smelters in China and Russia are opaque and vulnerable to corruption. “We’re concerned that the audit procedures are not as transparent as they should be,” says Sasha Lezhnev, who oversees DRC conflict minerals issues at the Enough Project, part of the Center for American Progress think tank.

The disclosure by Apple, which just reported the largest quarterly profit of any company in corporate history, was unusual in that it went beyond a new regulation passed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2012 under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulation act. That new rule requires U.S. publicly traded companies to audit their supply chains and disclose any use of conflict minerals—but not the names of smelters, as Apple did.”

What do we notice about all of this? Apple is one of the most technologically advanced companies on the planet and even they couldn’t spot human suffering in their products until they actually went beyond the legal requirements. Do we really expect all companies will do this? Kudos to Apple for at least trying. But if they, like other companies, are not legally required to name smelters then how do we really track where these materials come from? Everyone who knows anything about metals would know that a smelter is required for such a wide area of trade with such wild profit margins. But it appears that the United States government hasn’t gone far enough, namely, requiring companies to not only audit their supply chains and reveal minerals that may be of the conflict variety but to do everything possible to reveal where those materials came from and who is responsible, if they are conflict minerals, to name the individual(s) responsible. This isn’t an appeal to emotion. There are quite literally lives on the line here.

There will be more articles about this in the future but this is just a first round exposure. If you are using electronic devices then it is the duty of bloggers, writers, journalists and just the everyday person to try to expose the truth. The solutions are simple. Contact your congressman, any politician, write about this, talk about this, go to social media and raise hell. Sure it seems tough to care when our devices make our lives so much more convenient but think about those who are dying as a result. It is not impossible to enjoy your Samsung Galaxy and demand that human rights be respected at the same time. We should all strive for a world where the demand of a product does not demand the blood of our brothers and sisters.

Thanks for reading!

dionsbc

Dion is a writer for the Soap Box Corner. Dion is a 29 year old stay at home dad who specializes in social issues and psychology. If you’d like to contact Dion do so at phalanxmedia@mail.com or comment here. Please comment, share and discuss the topics. As always we hope you enjoyed reading this piece and encourage you to be skeptical, question everything and above all else seek the truth.

Sources:

ECO-ATM

News Week

IRIS

Child Soldiers

Kanye West

IPS News

The United States Department of Labor

West Valley Library

Indo Metal

The Guardian

BBC

Serious Start Ups

“Problematic:” Racism in Feminism’s Past

“Problematic”: Racism in Feminism’s Past”

By: Dion McNeil

One of the things that many of us may notice is how some people can view heterosexual “cis-gendered” white men as problematic based off of history. Now while it may be true that many people who happened to be straight white men did some rather horrible things it appears that there is an outright denial of atrocities committed by those who don’t fit that description. Of course it is almost too easy to spot the nonsense suggestions made by the very same people who make these claims. That is low hanging fruit. A more fruitful endeavor is discovering just how “problematic” certain ideologies are when it comes to being guilty of the same labels and accusations made at straight white men.

Racism is an “ism” thrown at people and sometimes it appears that label of racist is put out at random. Funny thing is that when it comes to some people, especially those who subscribe to modern day feminism, a little bit of educating is required to show the utter despicable racist ideals and actions perpetuated by those who did or would have easily integrated into that movement. For this idea we’ll be focusing on one of feminism’s earliest trail blazers in Susan B. Anthony. It’s not a secret that Susan was guilty of racist words. In fact, according to women’s history over at About.com we find that Susan B. Anthony was described as such:

“She sometimes argued that educated white women would be better voters than “ignorant” black men or immigrant men.

In the late 1860s she even portrayed the vote of freedmen as threatening the safety of white women. George Francis Train, whose capital helped launch Anthony and Stanton’s Revolution newspaper, was a noted racist.”

Someone could easily say, “well, that was a reflection of the times and lots of people were racist then!” Oh, we see that you’re willing to make an exception for Susan B. Anthony but hold the racist cloud over the heads of all white straight men? Do we need to discuss what a double standard is? But you see we aren’t done with Susan yet. Honestly if all she did was say some racist things that’d be one issue but she took insult to injury with some of her other actions. One action in particular is something she is partially responsible for and something that many in the minority community still feel the effects of.

To those saying that what Susan was doing was just a reflection of the times really needs to “educate” themselves as so many feminists love to tell others to do. Because according to Encyclopedia Susan B. Anthony and even Elizabeth Cody Stanton performed some rather despicable acts. For example:

“Some women’s rights activists, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, turned to the Democratic Party, portions of which supported white woman suffrage in order to stop black men from securing the vote.”

How are those who would act as apologists for this particular brand of feminism going to explain that one away? The outright demonizing of men of color, black men in particular, is disgusting. Quite frankly this wasn’t just a belief that was held during that time but something that brandished deep conviction. Even if someone wanted to argue that they were simply taking those actions because black men would get the right to vote over white women that defense would make no sense. One doesn’t solve a problem with equality by upholding a standard of inequality and one would have to engage in some heavy duty mental gymnastics to suggest that black people, male or female, had more privileges than white women at that time or any time for that matter.

In a book written by  M. J. Cosson entitled, “Affirmative Action” there is a description of the word, “minority” as it applies to affirmative action can become “problematic.” This is from Chapter 6 in the book:

“The term ‘minority’ in regard to race means many things. In general, it applies to anyone who is not Caucasian. For example, a person could be all or part African American, Native American, or Asian American and still be considered a minority.”

Doesn’t sound that bad, right? Well the same part of this paragraph should spark some serious questions. Take a look:

“It is becoming more difficult to use race as a factor in determining who qualifies to be a recipient of affirmative action.”

Let’s not pick on Susan B. Anthony so much. Her running mate in Elizabeth Cady Stanton also made some pretty asinine statements. If we were to glance over Phillip H. Rubio’s book entitled, “A History of Affirmative Action” we’ll find this following statement from Elizabeth Cody Stanton:

“Prejudice against color, of which we hear so much, is not stronger than that of sex.”

If that doesn’t demonstrate just how delusional some of these first wave feminists could be nothing will. Mind you, according to Mr. Rubio’s book and according to all available sources at least 4 million black men, women and children were slaves at the time that she made this statement. That isn’t to suggest that some of their ideas weren’t good ones and some of their actions weren’t justified. But for some people to sit around and suggest that there isn’t a serious problem of historical and even current racism located within the feminist movement is absolutely ridiculous. Some of the suggestions and even direct statements made by these feminists were far worse than what some straight white men would have said. It’s almost as if the suggestion is that we are supposed to ignore all these clearly racist ideas and focus only on the ones certain feminists want us to develop tunnel vision upon.

That can’t be right. Affirmative Action, in every meaning, was meant to be originally for those who were slaves (namely African Americans) to reverse the damage that Jim Crow laws and slavery inflicted. After all it was drafted shortly after very troubling times in the United States. So then how did women (as a specific group) end up being qualified for affirmative action if those women may have been Caucasian? We know there were white female slave owners. We know there were white women who said some pretty nasty things about African American men with Susan B. Anthony being a shining example of this. We know that there were plenty of white women who participated in the violence against, marginalization of and general misery directed towards people of color. So then how in the world did we end up in a situation where women were added when minority people in general, be they man or woman, would have sufficed in the definition?

We know how we ended up there. According to Terry H. Anderson’s book entitled, “The Pursuit of Fairness: A History of Affirmative Action” we learn how we ended up in such a situation. We all know it was John F. Kennedy who put affirmative action into play but rarely do we get to see some of the decisions that led up to gender being apart of affirmative action. In Terry Anderson’s book we learn that in the U.S. House of Representatives Martha Griffiths made the following statement:

“You are going to have white men in one bracket, you are going to try to take colored men and colored women and give them equal employment rights, and down at the bottom of the list is going to be white women with no rights at all.”

Shortly after one of the most powerful act of law would change the landscape of the country. But analyze the above statement. Again, it was “white men”, “colored women”, “colored men” and then “white women.” It is almost as if not only did this person hold white men as the most powerful but at the same time it is as if they were suggesting that if people of color actually got rights that would somehow lessen the rights of white women who were by far more advantaged than what any black person could historically claim at that time. So, if it was clear that was the case just why did she want gender added? Could it be that she sensed that this would later benefit white women more than minorities in general? We can’t say for sure.

Piggy backing off of the above paragraph while we can’t say for sure what was the aim we certainly have the results of today. According to Sally Kohn’s piece over at Time Magazine affirmative action disproportionately benefits white women than any demographic of people of color. That may be some distressing news to hear considering that piece of legislation and eventual executive order by President Kennedy was intended for those who had a legacy of being slaves and were marginalized in ways white women could never attest to in the United States. If we want to be exact affirmative action benefits white women at a 6% higher clip than any minority group including minority women. That doesn’t sound that high until you consider just how many white women are in the United States.

Now that we have explored some of the ridiculous racism located in feminism’s history we’ll leave you with a wonderful list created by Toast. Enjoy! Click here for the Toast’s list.

Sources:

A History of Affirmation Action (Phillip Rubio)

About.com (Women’s History)

Time Magazine

Affirmative Action by M.J. Cosson

The Toast

dionsbc

Dion McNeil is a writer for the Soap Box Corner. If anyone wants to be featured in the SBC Perspective series or have stories that should be covered by the Soap Box Corner email us at SBCPerspectives@yahoo.com. Thank you for reading!

“Problematic:” The Curious Case of Lena Dunham

“Problematic”: The Curious Case of Lena Dunham

By: Dion McNeil

Few people have gotten a firestorm of criticism and a high amount of excusing of her words than Lena Dunham. This woman was the genius behind the hit show “Girls” that got awards, a wave of approval and a viewer total to boot. However despite all of her success 2014 was not a particularly kind year to Lena Dunham. In her rather bizarre book entitled, “Not That Kind of Girl” she details elements of her life that are questionable, quite disturbing to many and appears to paint her as more of a sexual predator of a child, namely her sister, than a woman who simply started from the bottom and rose to the top. We should reserve judgment because we aren’t fully aware of these details are true or not. But there is power in an admission of guilt. After all that is the one piece of solid evidence that made the likes of Bill Cosby appear ultimately guilty of his crimes. Should we not then hold Lena Dunham to the same standard?

In the book Lena Dunham gave an account of situations that were eye brow archers to some readers. In a piece written by Melanie Blow for the Stop Abuse Campaign sums up one situation pretty well:

“In Lena’s case, the alarming element is that a  17-year-old would normally be uncomfortable masturbating in bed with her eleven-year-old sister.”

Ms. Blow made a great point. Now of course a 17 year old masturbating next to an eleven year old isn’t inherently a sign that one is a sexual predator. However one of the things that convinced some people that Michael Jackson was a sexual predator of children was the fact that he would routinely sleep in bed with other children. There was no solid evidence that he masturbated next to those children. No, he just slept next to them. It just seems that reason and logic would call for us to hold Lena Dunham to same exact standard despite her being 17. The question we need to ask ourselves is that if Lena were a male and masturbated next to his eleven year sister in bed, coupled with all the other questionable things that happened between those two, would we quickly deem that man a pedophile?

An even more distressing idea is that there are people actually defending such actions and such depictions. After all in the book Lena even pointed to finding peddles and rocks in her sister’s vagina when her sister was only a year old. Someone would have to demonstrate that the average, or even a smaller portion, of one year old girls are running around placing objects into their vagina given the size of the vagina and given the general ignorance of the area at that age. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to believe that it was Lena who did such things to her own sister. Where is the proof for the reasonable assumption that it was Lena who did this to her sister? Lena never says this directly but read this piece that is also from the Stop Abuse Campaign:

“The most disturbing of the three allegations is the one most innocuous on the surface. There is nothing disturbing, at all, about a little girl kissing her little sister. That’s the stuff of beloved family pictures. But what is disturbing is that Lena wanted to kiss her sister more than her sister wanted to be kissed, and she wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. What’s even more disturbing is that she bribed her sister with candy- that’s manipulative.”

Let us be honest here for a second. Are we really to believe that, if her sister had pebbles and rocks in her vagina, and given the amount of questionable and bizarre behavior described in Lena Dunham’s own book written by herself that it is out of the realm of possibility that it was Lena that put those objects into her sister’s body like that? Of course it isn’t. The argument here is that the only reason why more people don’t hold Lena to the label of child predator is specifically because she is a woman. After all there are men who are held as child predators for lesser offenses and Michael Jackson is a prime example. Even Michael didn’t have the nerve to write a book detailing events that are anywhere near the level of egregious behavior located in Lena Dunham’s book. This isn’t written to try to absolve some of the questionable behavior of Mr. Jackson. The purpose is to ask for a little bit of consistency.

Strangely enough when there are men who are accused of sex crimes, and even if the supposed victims are grown women, there appears to be lynch mobs in some of those situations. Yet we don’t see the same thing with Lena Dunham. The question is why? Well some clues appear when we consider which ideology Lena Dunham subscribes to which is feminism. If you are apart of an ideology with so many in the rank and file who have no problem excusing the #killallmen and #dieciswhitescum then it isn’t all that shocking that one can excuse Lena’s rather disturbing book. Of course someone can just say that no proof has been presented of rash amounts of feminists excused this behavior. That is a lie. We know there was a lot of feminist condemnation but also a lot of feminist support.

Where is this support? Thanks to this piece written by Jessica Bennett over at Time Magazine we have some clues. Look no further than Tumblr with a group named, “Those Kinds of Girls.” In that group we see all sorts of stories about sexual exploration as youth. That group has all sorts of feminist presences and that much is irrefutable. Okay, so a Tumblr group isn’t that serious because Tumblr is known for having a large feminist presence regardless of how legitimate or how ridiculous the issue is. But when we get Roxanne Gray, Jimmy Kimmel, writers for the Washington Post, Katha Pollitt, a huge Tumblr and Twitter base of defenders and certainly feminists who stepped in to defend this woman it does demonstrate some degree of reasonable assumption of defenders. This situation can cause a person to wonder about the morals of these defenders and apologists of Lena Dunham. When there were men being accused of similar labels such as child molester and child predator without a book detailing such events were these same people present to defend that man?

One of the most telling angles that some people used to defend this woman does cause the other eyebrow to raise. Now we have a complete face of shock with both eyebrows erected. When a woman does something wrong and if there is any room to defend her sometimes we see people use the, “you wouldn’t be saying this if she were a woman” dodge. We also tend to see the whole, “well when men were doing it they didn’t get as much criticism.” Jessica Bennett wrote that piece for Time and she is a contributor to the Lean In campaign spearheaded by feminists and in that piece she added that some mentioned that even Bill Cosby didn’t get as much criticism. Let’s be honest. That is an utter and ridiculous lie. The man lost business opportunities, shows aren’t even shown for the most part, series cancelled, tours cancelled and he did have his defenders but we know how the general public viewed him. Meanwhile Lena Dunham hasn’t seen any significant loss of money, her show still airs and people till this day defend her. If Mr. Cosby got this same treatment I’m sure he’d prefer what Lena Dunham got over his current situation.

We can be sure if Bill Cosby wrote a book detailing sexual abuse or at least what some perceived as a admission of such that he wouldn’t get the benefit of the doubt that Lena Dunham has been getting. Think about how Cosby would have been perceived from the start if he wrote a passage like this in a book about his younger sister:

“Basically anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl I was trying.”

So what gives? This woman clearly has some issues and many people reading her book figured that much out. However that isn’t enough for some people. Instead of the question being would she get as much criticism if she were a man the question should be did she get less criticism and defenders because she is a woman?

Sources:

Melanie Blow (Stop Abuse Campaign)

Maya Rhodan (Time Magazine)

Jessica Bennett (Time Magazine)

dionsbc

Dion McNeil is a writer for the Soap Box Corner. If anyone wants to be featured in the SBC Perspective series or have stories that should be covered by the Soap Box Corner email us at SBCPerspectives@yahoo.com. Thank you for reading!

“Problematic”: The Safe Space

“Problematic”: The Safe Space”

By: Dion McNeil

Unless someone has been living under a rock or simply choose to view the current situation on college campuses a different way there would appear to be a noticeable increase on these demands for safe spaces. The idea is to create a space, both metaphorically and literally, for people who believe that they need that space. Of course this runs against the very idea of college where intellectual thought, debate and general education is supposed to be the rulers of this plane. However we see more and more than safe spaces and the idea that certain people should never invade those spaces being spouting up left and right. This idea alone may not seem all that troubling but the damage is being done.

Safe spaces isn’t a new idea. Of course one could easily link this to the idea that some people require personal space from others who may not agree with their positions, beliefs or generally just want to exist in the same space. There are historical references and those are too many in number but the current forms are the most troubling. Consider that a young eighteen year old is going to college where some of their ideas about the world could be turned upside by a college professor. Now couple that with that same teenager believing that because their professor says something that they don’t agree with that perhaps this teen needs a space away from that professor’s teachings. Sounds far’fetched? No, that idea isn’t outrageous. This actually happened. We will discuss that later but first we need to get to some of the more recent head scratchers.

Few battlegrounds got as bitter and as nasty as the safe space demanding, new course suggesting and outright protest of a movement started on the campus of Claremont McKenna College (CMC). There were students protesting with demands from all sorts of student organizations. One of the most telling statements made by a student, according to Hannah Oh of the Claremont Independent went a little something like, “We want a center that supports marginalized students first and foremost.” If that doesn’t reveal the level of narcissism that some of these students had nothing will ever shine a light on that dark tunnel. The CMC situation only appears to be worse when there is a glance through the official letter sent by some of the protesters.

One doesn’t need to look far in that letter to see the problems. Take the below suggestion alone and one can see an issue:

Expose students to systemic oppression through FWS and FHS-this includes but is not limited to issues on race, sexuality, gender, class and ability. The need for such programs to educate the student body is evidenced by numerous microaggressions felt by students of color. The cultural insensitivity on campus is further highlighted by race themed party proposals, such as an Indian Wedding Party and Colonial Bros, Pilgrims, and Navajos themed TNC.”

In other words the demand here is that CMC is supposed to expose students to oppression. But then the obvious question becomes who is oppressed and who isn’t? If one were to look at the situation objectively many people can say that they are oppressed by the same standard no matter the race, sexuality, gender or any other factor that person happens to be affected by. If one were to read through that entire letter not a single shred of evidence is presented. Even if a recent event helped motivate the writing and mailing of this letter to the college president it is standard practice to at least reference a situation. Yet all we are left with is a claim, a sweeping demand that is desired to be implemented across campus and the demonizing of parties. Even if someone is insensitive, and that is debatable in this situation, that doesn’t mean a college has to spend loads of money to forcefully implement structures and impose standards on everyone.

CMC wasn’t the only victim of the safe space attack mob. In a piece written by  for the New York Times we learn that even Brown University has seen demands for safe spaces and a weapon form of this concept. Wendy McElroy went to Brown to speak about rape culture and have a debate with known feminist Jessica Valenti. Protesters to Wendy McElroy at the university successfully managed to obtain safe spaces in the event that the speaker said something that might “trigger” someone. The strange part about all of this were the statements that Jessica Valenti made. Now if someone is claiming they needed a safe space due to the words of Wendy McElroy why wasn’t there a safe space established for the people who may find that Jessica Valenti was almost on the verge on excusing violence and vigilante justice? After all lots of people lost their lives that way and there are numerous citations, buildings have been vandalized such as the UVA rape story where fraternity members feared for their lives.

Valenti wanted the safe spaces and even spoke about how it was a good idea. The noted feminist even said at the start of her soliloquy that she hoped to not trigger anyone as talking about rape could be triggering. But the idea of believing in safe spaces isn’t harmful in of itself it’s just when those ideas are turned into a weapon that is more concerning. According to the Brown Daily Herald Valenti said, “While I can’t officially suggest that you vandalize school property, I’m not against radical action.” That statement was in response to people writing names of accused rapists, or believed rapists, on school property at Columbia and Barnard College. So in one breath Jessica Valenti doesn’t seem to mind safe spaces but also apparently doesn’t believe in someone having a safe space from an accusation and a safe space from potential slander and defamation of character.

The practical implications of safe spaces and the consequences may not be immediately visible to some people. What we are creating is a generation that believes once someone shouts, “I’m offended” or “I need a space from you” that somehow the world is going to comply or be sensitive to this. It seems like humans are the only creatures on this planet who have members of the rank and file that will follow or even consider this brand of nonsense. Of course not many rational people are going to advocate someone do something overtly offensive just for the sake of doing it but at the same time one must understand the slippery slope attached. The idea is change the world and change speech. Speech will never be changed so long as there is a will to keep things the way they are. Another angle is to change hearts and minds but not in a good way. Peaceful cooperation has served to be the best way to convince another person of being peaceful. If someone shouts, demonizes, protests and call for resignations from someone’s job then maybe, just maybe, that isn’t the best way to go about bringing true change to the world.

One of the most vile ideas that comes out of those safe spaces to some is the very idea of the concept. A safe space is an environment where someone can come, not be questioned, not be made to feel uncomfortable and mostly importantly this is a place where someone’s feelings rules over everything else. Now a person who comes to college to have their positions challenged, actually learn something and actually wants a differing opinion even if a challenge isn’t desired the obvious problem should be visible. How does one learn anything without being challenged? A person who burns their hand as a child learns something from that experience. Would that person who burned their hand demand a safe space from stoves? The very idea of nature and survival is making it past challenges. Evolution, national selection and adaptation demand that each difference was simply a response to a challenge from one’s own species, other species or the environment uncomfortable and you may be non-violent but I need a space because I don’t want to feel uncomfortable.” To those people who think this way then a little wake up call is in order. Institutions of higher education and the ideas presented there in terms of safe spaces don’t translate all that well to the rest of the world. After all, how many times is someone going to go to their boss and tell that boss that they demand a safe space at their work place? No, it won’t work because the world doesn’t work this way. Being challenged is essential for job growth, learning, parenting, problem solving and living. Being offended or made to feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean someone cannot be challenged.

There are a lot of double standards in this idea of safe spaces. One of those double standards is the idea that one needs a safe space due to micro-aggressions and responding to those supposed aggression with outright aggression or demands. Calling for someone’s job and their position to be given to someone deemed to be marginalized calls into question the ethics of such demands. Demonizing someone based on racial identity and gender or the classical straight white male as the oppressor idea makes one wonder if some of these people know what a double standard is. One of the strangest ideas is that on one end many of these safe space protesters and demands of those advocating for these spaces call for safe spaces for the marginalized and yet even if a demographic isn’t deemed marginalized but some members of that demographic actually are marginalized then no exception is made. It is one thing to demand something of society because most of us will ignore this but it is another thing to demand a safe space but also not demanding a safe space from you.

Sources:

Hannah Oh (Claremont Independent)

Rhea Stark (Brown Daily Herald)

Letter to CMC President Chodosh

Judith Shulevitz (New York Times)

Micro-Aggressions

Rape Culture (Marshall University)

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Dion McNeil is a writer for the Soap Box Corner. If anyone wants to be featured in the SBC Perspective series or have stories that should be covered by the Soap Box Corner email us at SBCPerspectives@yahoo.com. Thank you for reading!

Incompatibilities: Germany’s New Rape Problem

“Incompatibilities”: Germany’s New Rape Problem”

Rape+of+cologne

By: Dion McNeil

Many of us are aware of the new issue concerning some migrants to Europe but Germany in particular. Some of us are aware of the outright cover up or at least an appeared cover up of so called, “rape gangs” that targeted women during New Years eve in Cologne. Women were targeted by many who were migrant men. These women were essentially herded like sheep, separated from the main crowds and proceeded to gang rape these women. According to Germany there were more than 500 reports of criminal activity with at least 40% of those reports being sexual in nature. This means that if there were, for example, 500 reports of crime and 40% of those reports were sexual in nature that would mean that in one night there were at least 200 of those reports were descriptions of sex crimes.

According to both Germany and CNN information the men who are alleged to have participated in these rape gangs were men of Arab and African descent. Now of course these reports are just allegations. However to get so many reports in just one night does bring a degree of credibility. Sure someone could easily say that people lie but this many people lying about the exact same situation, similar description of alleged attackers and all in the same night in much of the same area doesn’t scream “coincidence” to the rational thinker. One of the suggestions thrown out into the wild world of the internet is that these men were migrants which some of the victims in their descriptions of vocal accents and physical description such as skin color would appear to support. But of course in the world of political correctness these descriptions might not fit the bill of someone who is guilty of gang rape.

Many of us remember the gang rape story at the University of Virginia (UVA). Sometimes people, especially victims of such a crime, are not believed when they do come forward. Stories such as the UVA scandal explains this to some degree. However as bogus as some of the details in that case were hardly anyone can deny the level of validity in this particular situation. Women across European countries have experienced rape but many of those rapes were in fact committed by migrants and/or asylum seekers.

Here is some simple points of evidence to keep in mind:

  • In a piece written by Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard we learn that in 2012 there was a brutal gang rape of a 30 year old mother by 8 men who were all asylum seekers that were from some pretty gender regressive areas such as Afghanistan. Now this is just one case, right? Well it was bad enough for Sweden’s top public prosecutor at that time to call it the worst sex crime in Sweden’s history.
  • Sweden, Germany and other parts of Europe have witnessed sharp increases in rapes once certain individuals arrive to their countries from places that have regressive attitudes towards women. Certain countries in the African continent and many countries in the Middle East have generally oppressive governments that treat the women in those countries like second class citizens. So when some of those men come over to countries that generally have different attitudes from their own home countries problems will almost certainly come at least from some of those men.
  • We know that the attacks in Germany weren’t the only time European countries have reported a noticeable increase in rape and sexual crimes when migrant men showed up to their doorsteps. Of course this doesn’t mean every person from a certain country is a rapist but it does mean that some ideologies and some views in a country are not compatible with Western countries values.
  • Why stop? If one can rape and be defended by those who subscribe to political correctness and defend any action so long as that person is “not the true Scotsman” why would it matter? Would any of you care what someone thought if any action you took could be defended and even if that action is rape? Think about it. If you had a book like the Quran which is known to contain all sorts of regressive ideas about women and how women are to be treated, your countries are known to have governments and laws that oppress women and yet people will call others racist for criticizing, not your racial identity, but your ideology why would you not be a morally bankrupt monster? Even now after the situation in Germany many of Germany’s own citizens and some in the German media accused the German government of a cover up.
  • As many of us are fully aware these men who come from these countries who oppress women are probably not going to respect women just because they left their home countries. Think about it. If you grew up in a country where a woman could actually be put in jail when she was the one who was raped then it makes perfect sense that you would engage in a mob rape of German women.

801220e0bd491c9e4c089e2be4e5a017So who is to blame for all of this? Well of course the perpetrators in these European countries. Some of the citizens in these European countries are asking why more isn’t being done or even said about all of this. The obvious answer is political correctness. Just criticizing Islam in any way or criticizing someone who happens to be a Muslim can get someone branded as a racist. Of course Islam is just an ideology and is in no way translatable into a race. That doesn’t matter to those who subscribe to political correctness. It needs to stop. This is the cost of silencing people, shouting them down and/or daring them to question someone that another person or “professional victim” deems to be a marginalized group. It doesn’t matter if someone is marginalized or not. Rape is wrong. Those responsible for rape are wrong and any ideology that has books that spell out that rape is justified needs to be held to the highest level of scrutiny.

All too often whenever someone questions Islam it always becomes a battle of who can call who a racist the fastest. Let’s get one thing straight. No, you are not a racist for questioning Islam. Anyone, and yes this means anyone, who thinks otherwise knows nothing about Islamic demographics and should refrain from engaging in a conversation they know little to nothing about. First, examine the Cologne attackers. Remember the mentioning of Arab and men of African descent? That alone tells anyone that there appears to be different looks, different places of origin and even different racial identities for Muslims. So anyone telling another person that they are wrong for criticizing Islam or questioning why so many Muslim men feel like rape is okay that they are racist for doing so then that person doesn’t appear to know that Islam covers a lot of racial identities. A lot of people criticize Islam. Are they all racist? Even the ones who were once Muslim themselves?

There are some in the West who call our society a rape culture. No, this isn’t a rape culture. Well, at least it isn’t a rape culture currently anyways. We need to start questioning why has this rape epidemic went out of control, where the heck is the response from the people always calling the west a rape culture and why an entire government in Germany appear to have masses of their own citizens shouting about a cover up of gang rapes. We need to fight back against this tide of sex crimes and once and for all hold the ideologies, be they personal, mob mentality or religious, accountable. Shouting people down and labeling them with an “ism” is cowardly, unnecessary and, to be frank, had a hand in creating this.

It’s time we stop acting like certain ideologies are immune from criticism. No, there isn’t any part of telling someone, “that’s offensive” or “that’s racist” that is apart of intellectual thought or discussion. Conventional wisdom tells us that if it exists it can be criticized. There are those in Islam who would say that evolution never happened, that women are not as intelligent as men, that women are responsible for their own rapes, that men cannot control themselves as they are bloodthirsty monsters and none of that appears to get the same vitriolic response as someone simply questioning Islam and it’s rape enabling views. For too long have people shouted down others just for having an opinion and maybe if those opinions were heard we would be aware of the incompatibility of certain Muslims from certain countries.

Do we need to stop immigration? Of course not. Nobody seriously is suggesting that while not needing medication. But what is a good idea is simply questioning people on their views of society, women, men, children and other vital people, places and ideas to our Western democracies. If those people are found to violate any of our values they should be deported immediately and if the crime is a horrible one such as rape they should face a harsh punishment before deportation. We need to send a clear message. The only rape cultures are the ones located in the countries where some of these men came from. The rape culture suggestions are exaggerated here but the exaggerations will become reality so long as we shout down others just for having a question or an opinion. We should send a loud and clear message that we will not allow people who have incompatible views to create a rape culture here.

This stops here and now.

Sources:

CNN

Gatestone Institute

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Dion McNeil is a writer for the Soap Box Corner. If anyone wants to be featured in the SBC Perspective series or have stories that should be covered by the Soap Box Corner email us at SBCPerspectives@yahoo.com. Thank you for reading!

Demonizing a Rape Victim

“Demonizing A Rape Victim: Selena”

By: Dion McNeil

Rape is one of the worst crimes imaginable in our society. Then again rape is bad across the world and it really doesn’t matter if a country has regressive views and often ridiculous ideas about rape. Victims often live through hell. Perpetrators sometimes go free to rape others. This particular crime is so egregious that the mere mention of rape has the subject of discussion, violent conflict and sometimes brings back memories that victims can be traumatized by. Very few crimes affect so many and have such lasting effects.

It would make sense to not demonize someone coming forward. No, we shouldn’t just “listen and believe” a person making a claim but treating them with basic dignity and respect is a good way to go about it. What we should not do is call someone a racist, target them at their place of work and call them all sorts of names. It doesn’t matter if there are implications made about the accused. It shouldn’t matter who were accused. An investigation by law enforcement and the facts are all that should matter. This wasn’t the case for a young woman named Selena Waterman-Smith.

This young lady was gang raped in a car in Dubai. The details are pretty clear as she describes being at a hotel bar, having a few drinks, meeting the man who would go on to rape her and going out into the hotel’s parking lot. She was then forcefully put into a car by Ameen Quoz Najati and Younes Jaan Ali Jabri Quarashi and another unnamed man who proceeded to rape her. Selena reported the crime. Both Ameen Quoz Najati and Younes Jaan Ali Jabri Quarashi were caught and would get 10 years in prison which is a light sentence considering the crime. The third attacker went on the run and hasn’t been named thus far. Given the details and given the brutality involved of taking turns raping a woman one must wonder why the punishment wasn’t more severe.

At least someone went to prison as rape is often a difficult crime to prove and so many rapists go free. Rape being hard to prove isn’t the fault of any society but just the nature of the crime. However, when we do find reason to convict a rapist the book should be thrown at that person. This should be the case in this situation given some of the graphic details. In a Huffington Post article written by  Selena mentioned some pretty sick details:

“I was unconscious for a lot of it, which was a blessing.

“I remember waking in agony and wasn’t able to move or do anything.

“I couldn’t get a grip on reality, where I was or what I was doing. They were pinning me on the floor, laughing and taking photos.”

Honestly Selena doesn’t even have to mention have post traumatic stress disorder. That would appear to come with the territory after experiencing something so horrific. What is more horrific is the idea that anyone would take a proven case of rape, where there was justice served, where evidence was present, where the pictures were found and where a woman’s life was left in shattered pieces is the idea that anyone would use that as an opportunity to push a politically correct (but incorrect in this manner) opinion to try to demonize her. Some made the attempt to link her to Donald Trump because she appeared on his show and some of his regressive views of certain people and cultures. Some called her place of work with all sorts of ridiculous messages. She has been harassed via social media. The hate mobs that came for her obviously had no empathy for a woman who experienced one of the worst crimes that could be committed against another human being.

The Daily Reminder gives us some rather interesting actions taken by a few people who wanted to paint Selena as a racist:

“Someone posted a video containing a portion of her interview and suggesting all of the reports blaming Muslims for the Cologne sexual assaults were propaganda. Titles appear in the video which say, “Strange that Selina 1 day after this horror (3 days before this interview) on Insta still was happy.”

That’s apparently a reference to her Instagram account which the video creator found along with her Facebook page. The video not only suggests Selina is wrong about who attacked her but includes images of her full name and where she works from her Facebook page.”
If these claims have validity then this goes beyond just a simple disagreement. This goes beyond a misunderstanding. In fact this goes well beyond just someone trolling another person. Whomever is behind this form of harassment appears to be making an attempt to silence, demonize and derail Selena and her story. It’d be one thing if this were simply an accusation of rape and even then it isn’t morally or ethically right to make such statements and go as far as post a video about it on an alleged rape victim’s social media page. But this was a proven rape and even when proven there was someone who went out of their way to try to make this woman look bad.
The strange part about this is that there were people claiming she was lying, she was anti-Muslim and racist. It isn’t racist to get raped, report the rape and speak about the experience. It isn’t anti-Muslim to have Muslim men commit a rape and then the victim tells her story. She isn’t lying as there was a fair trial and even when convictions were given out the lack of a harsh punishment didn’t even fit the crime. This sort of disgusting display was perpetrated, more than likely, by people who subscribe to social justice. After all, even after the Germany mass rape reporting there are people out there willing to cover up that incident and calling others who call out the alleged migrant men who allegedly perpetrated this offense as nothing more than racists.
This is the cost of political correctness and using social justice as a weapon. We are now seeing where this dark tunnel is leading us to. When a rape victim cannot come forward, get convictions against the men she accused and still be vilified by people who are willing to brand her as a racist there is a problem. Nobody has presented undeniable proof that the West is a rape culture but it’ll soon become a rape culture if we keep marginalizing and demonizing victims for the sake of not taking a hard look at some of the people and ideologies who perpetrate these crimes. What is getting old really fast is the idea that if a Muslim commits a rape that by looking at some of these Islamic countries where some of men come from and Islam itself that this somehow translates to racism. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The only comedy in all of this (and there wasn’t much of it as rape is not funny at all) is that given the description of the harassment and the type of targeting done, defense of Islam, and many other factors we have a pretty good guess of who perpetrated this harassment. These would be the same people claiming that the West is a rape culture. We find the same people who do much of their so called “activism”  online. People like this would gladly mention how the West is a rape culture because rape victims cannot come forward without being demonized but for the sake of being the “PC police” they’ll gladly treat a proven victim of rape as nothing more than a privileged white woman who wants to make all men of color look bad. This is getting old. It is getting old fast. To those of you who are reading this action needs to be taken and we need to denounce the people who constantly shout down others to call them racist and step up to defend victims of rape.
We say your branding of racism will no longer convince those of us with a voice to speak out. We say it is you who are regressive. All of us have a mother. All of us have loved ones and friends. If people have no issue going after a person who is famous like Selena then we know what these people will do to someone who is not so famous and therefore not as capable of defending themselves or garnering a counter active criticism of those wishing to demonize people. We need to reach a day where it is no longer the case where we cannot objectively look at an ideology or a place of origin, customs, traditions and general climate of gender equality and not be able to criticize all of those factors without being brand as racists or Islamophoic for doing so.
We need to fight back, speak out and let it be known that labels will no longer rule the day. We do not need to be silent because these people aim to silence those who speak out even if that person happens to be a victim of a horrible crime like rape. That type of disgusting behavior needs to be called out, the perpetrators of such language need to be exposed and this sort of demonizing needs to be seen for what it is. There are those who wish people who do speak out a hellish rebuke. A unified response of hell no needs to be made as a response.

Sources:

The Sun (Natalie Edwards and Nick Parker)

Ashley Percival (Huffington Post)

The Daily Reminder

CNN

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Dion McNeil is a writer for the Soap Box Corner. If anyone wants to be featured in the SBC Perspective series or have stories that should be covered by the Soap Box Corner email us at SBCPerspectives@yahoo.com. Thank you for reading!