informal fallacies

So I got a curious about the meaning of “poisoned the well” in Getaway Car the other day, and was wondering if there was any other meaning than simply ruining the relationship, and when I did a google search for the phrase, the first result that came up was this. Seems pretty telling if you ask me:

Poisoning the well (or attempting to poison the well) is a type of informal logical fallacy where irrelevant adverse information about a target is preemptively presented to an audience, with the intention of discrediting or ridiculing everything that the target person is about to say.

so anyways “straight people aren’t gay/queer/LGBT+ (lol)” is an excellent example of a straw man argument

“A straw man is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent’s argument, while refuting an argument that was not advanced by that opponent.” (from wikipedia)

because, really, viewed on its own, as in many posts that I’ve seen that simply say “straight people arent lgbt,” it seems obvious. the lgbt community is defined, in some ways, as completely opposed to the idea of a “straight” person (here representing a cishet, non-intersex person. yknow, Straight.)

and it seems really stupid to argue against that particular point because like. That’s where the line has been drawn. Straight people are over there, we are over here.

But the thing is, that’s very very commonly used as a refutation of “asexual people belong in the queer community,” which is a very complex argument with a lot of different points and nuances. Some people reblogging these “straight people aren’t queer” probably don’t even know that that’s where the argument started. They may just look at the post and go “yeah, obviously.”

So people make these “straight people” posts because it’s such an OBVIOUS argument that NO ONE would ever argue against, and they’re equating that directly with the argument “ace and aro people are part of the lgbt+ community.” As if both of those arguments encapsulate ALL of the same points entirely.

Because if you manage to frame it as “straight people don’t belong,” and someone tries to argue with you on that point, then you’ve forced them, in some way, to admit to viewing ace/aro people as “straight,” which is a very large part of the argument that ends up being glossed over.

“Ace/aro people belong in the LGBT+ community.” “Straight people aren’t queer.” “That has nothing to do with this. Ace and aro people aren’t straight.”

I’ve seen this with multiple different things, as well. People stating an argument in such simple terms, and boiling it down to one point, as if that’s all there is. (Saying “if you’re not a feminist, you’re a bad person,” as if there aren’t some legitimate objections to feminism. Womanism is a good example of a group made by people (black woman) that have a very legitimate objection to feminism (very white-centric).)

Doing this is not an argument. It’s stating a point you already believe in and not allowing actual discussion of it.

It’s okay to state these things sometimes, I guess. But do not act like they are a good replacement for activism.

(P.S., there are many straight people that belong in the LGBT+ community, should they choose to identify that way. Trans people can be straight, as well as intersex people, and probably more I can’t think of right now.)

170419 Mr_吴亦凡工作室 Kris Wu Studio Statement

Official Statement

Recently, a certain live broadcasting platform’s broadcast has brought up content such as “commenting on other artistes” and “communicating with a female celebrity using suggestive text messages” and such related to Kris Wu, the content of which, are fabricated rumours of malicious slander, that instigates suspicion towards Kris Wu’s public image, personal reputation and dignity. After the aforementioned content was posted, it was profusely reposted and reported on by many netizens and media outlets who were unclear of the truth, and now has caused a negative societal consequence on Kris Wu’s reputation.

The Studio highly condemns such slander, and hereby releases this statement as follows:

1. In order to prevent the continued spread of such false news which may result in complications to the public, a warning is hereby issued to netizens and media outlets that have reposted such fallacious information, to take down all untruthful content related to Kris Wu with immediate effect. This is to prevent the poster from having to face lawful consequences upon the infringement of laws as a result of reposting such content.

2. To all respected media: While exhibiting eagerness to comply with performance duties, under the regulatory obligations of online service providers, do immediately cease all postings, broadcast and block all of such breachful content in a timely manner, and effectively manage the related online users, in order to prevent further violations and an increased level of repercussions.

Such actions of using false news and malicious slander of Kris Wu, are violations to his personal character. The Studio has entrusted Beijing Xingquan Law Firm to investigate and collect evidence concerning all related content. Through lawful methods, we will investigate till the end, the related persons or parties responsible.

The statement is hereby declared as such.

Kris Wu Studio
19 April 2017

translated by: @wu_yi_fan

They Are NOT Asatru

“Odin’s Chosen Wolves of Valhalla” is an Odinist hate group located in Southern Germany. We do not want to mince words when we say THEY ARE NOT ASATRU. Everything they believe is a perversion of the gods and the faith. They dishonor their ancestors and give modern Heathens a bad name.

The paragraph above is fairly common. To be perfectly honest we ourselves are guilty of falling in to that line of logic. It’s not hard understanding why. Humans are simple creatures. We are hard-wired with a gut instinct to have knee-jerk reactions at the slightest sensory input. It is a survival trait that served our ancestors well, however in the 21st century it is a trait that can sometimes lead us to incorrect conclusions.

“Odin’s Chosen Wolves of Valhalla” does not exist, at least not to the extent of my understanding. There are certainly groups in the world that fit the description but we’re addressing a broader concept here. The made-up text also acts as a snippet that will be seen and shared with the fight-or-flight gut reaction. There will be people who only see that text and share this believing they are spreading the word about yet another hate group, but that is not the case. In that way, we can see just how easily this instinct leads us to unknowingly spread false information in the modern age.

This isn’t a personal fault of any one individual but rather a shared trait. With information so readily available at our fingertips it’s all too easy to see the first lines of text in an article and feel that reaction and need to simply click a button to vent your frustration at the perceived idea of the information that article will contain. So, I beg you, if you have a friend who shared this article under that false pretense please do not hold it against them. Instead try to open a dialogue and discuss how easily our hearts trick our minds in to jumping to the wrong assumptions.

It is said that when we react to something our very first initial thought is our conditioning. We see an individual and it is simply in our nature to judge them. This goes back to those survival instincts. Our ancestors couldn’t afford to sit there staring at the shaking bush wondering if it was a tiger or their cousin back there. These reactions are based on instinct as well as information we are given throughout our lifetime. Someone with a visible disease is potentially dangerous, that individual stalking down the street is a potential threat, someone who stumbles over finding the right words to say is soft-minded. These are all snap judgments that it is entirely too easy for us to find ourselves making.

The logic then follows that the second thought we have in reaction to a person or an event defines who we are. On our deepest level, we are simple animals. But it is our ability to overcome these instincts that defines us. It’s not always easy but overcoming these impulses is integral to society. It is this ability that I ask you to exercise as I move on to the main point of this article. It’s a difficult pill to swallow but it is an important theological and philosophical exercise.

When we see Heathens behaving in a disgusting and/or dishonorable way we want to distance ourselves from them. We want to proclaim to the world that they do not represent us and we are not associated with them. However, this is known as the “No true Scotsman” fallacy. Defined by Wikipedia, “No true Scotsman” is a kind of informal fallacy in which one attempts to protect a universal generalization from counterexamples by changing the definition in an ad hoc fashion to exclude the counterexample.

For example, we could say “Heathens are not racist!” to which the counterpoint could be made “But those Heathens are.” And often the reaction to the counter example of our statement would be “Well they’re not REAL heathens!” This is the knee-jerk reaction that we have and again it is natural to wish to distance yourself from people exhibiting undesirable behavior.

But, perhaps unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that they ARE Heathens. They ARE Asatru. We share the bond to them through our gods the same way we are all connected in our humanity. Humans are a broad and diverse species which means that, by default, with a large sample size such as the general classification of Heathens there will always be outliers. This is true for all groups, not just Heathens. Almost by definition, every group will have members that the majority of the group do not like and do not wish to associate with.

This is a multi-faceted issue. From our perspective as members of the group in question we have to remember that the outliers may believe just as strongly or even more so that they belong in the group with us. From the outside, it is important to remember that the outliers do not represent the whole. No matter how unpleasant, noisy, or even violent they may be.

It is hard for us to admit but every human has the right to believe in any gods (or lack thereof) they wish. It is important to remember that behind the vitriol and negativity that can be displayed there is still a human being. A human being who you likely do not know with life experiences you can’t imagine. Our paths twist and turn throughout our lives to bring us to where we are and sometimes the negative and hateful people we interact with are in a bad place they may or may not escape eventually.

That isn’t to say you have to like them. You don’t even have to interact with them. But those people have domain over their own lives and are free to claim any god you can claim. It may make us feel good to denounce them and say, “they’re not a part of my group” but that doesn’t change the fact that they still identify as a member of the group. It is up to us to show compassion to these individuals. As I’ve stated many times it won’t be easy, but doing the right thing hardly ever is. We need to learn to refrain from reacting on our impulses and react with our heads.

In the end, you are only accountable for your own actions. Set a good example and some will follow. Be the counterexample to those who would paint us in a negative light and let THEM fall in to the logical fallacies of claiming that WE are not Asatruar. We know our gods and the deeds of others cannot take them from us. Remember the sentiment of the final line of Declaration 127.

“[They] are free to stand for whatever principles [they] see fit.
They are free to stand alone.”

anonymous asked:

I thought “ Poison the Well” lyric meant Taylor/CH’s RS was toxic but someone pointed out the dictionary meaning of “ Poison the Well” is a type of informal logical fallacy where irrelevant adverse information about a target is preemptively presented to an audience, with the intention of discrediting or ridiculing everything that the target person is about to say.

I’ve always thought it referenced her unprocessed/unresolved feelings regarding the past relationship. Basically the getaway car relationship was doomed from the start because she was lying to herself that she was in the right headspace to move on…she was still dealing with her feelings and emotions from the previous one. Basically the well that was poisoned was her heart and head.

I did see the post you are referring to though. Using that definition it could be about what he was saying/doing back then…the dust up when news broke…or if he was still trying to have some type of relationship with her still…so break wasn’t as clean???

But I’m not sure Taylor is looking up definitions so specifically when she is writing. The phrase is a well-known one…most people use it pretty commonly. In the context of the song and what is being said in the verse I just feel it’s relating to her…she is what was poisoned basically…and she was lying to herself thinking it wasn’t effecting her.

I think it can have various interpretations that work. It’s really more how you feel it in the song…I don’t know if it makes a very big difference which one you go with…you still get the idea and emotion she is going for I think.

So I spent much of yesterday reading through a corrections blog, and I think I learned something I hadn’t fully grasped before.

Everyone knows you have to be careful with the information you run into online, on tumblr as elsewhere. People can make mistakes, they can misremember, they can blow things out of proportion, and sometimes they just straight up lie.

That last one is the one I realize now that I didn’t actually believe. Like okay, politicians lie, people lie to protect themselves, nasty organizations like PETA or white supremacists lie to further their causes because the truth wouldn’t work. The rabid tumblr mob promotes pretty much any nasty accusation anyone can imagine about BNFs who draw or write the wrong thing. But – people just randomly lie, too. They’ll take a graph about one thing, remove the text, and say it’s about something completely different that proves their point about x. They’ll take a quote with vastly fallacious information and attribute it to a doctor who did not say that (because it’s extremely incorrect and I trust he knows better).

And I realize that being startled by this makes me, idk, naive or something, and everyone else knew this already, but. It’s really weird. I understand lying to protect yourself, and twisting or weighting the truth to make your side look better, I get that. But making things up out of whole cloth just… idk, at random, or to win an argument? How… how can you allow yourself to do that? How does it even work?

Any information I run into out there could be a lie because some people just do that, apparently. That’s why fact-checking and thinking about the source and so on and so forth is important. …How incredibly weird.

Heres one more thing about Getaway Car…

I’ve been thinking a lot about the lyrics, “he poisoned the well, I was lying to myself//he poisoned the well, every man for himself”:

So here’s the general definition of Poisoning the well - (also called the smear tactic), “it is a type of informal logical fallacy where irrelevant adverse information about a target is preemptively presented to an audience, with the intention of discrediting or ridiculing everything that the target person is about to say”

He, being the one she was looking for reasons to leave, literally went with the narrative that whatever Taylor did, however she left him, she was going to be seen as the heartbreaking, serial dater in the situation. And it really was every man for himself, because he knew she would take the brunt of their public break up and come off worse, so it suited him down to the ground to stay silent… whilst she had to find someone else to be her getaway car just to.. GET. AWAY. FROM. HIM.

The lyrical depths this woman drags us to is insane. She got me researching lyrics in a way I’ve never had to with other pop songs.


Rhetorical Devices

I found my notes from AP English Language (actually one of my favorite classes ever) and thought some people might benefit from the definitions in there. A few are common knowledge and a few are probably things you’ve never heard of. Examples included! The ordering isn’t completely logical, but here you go.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

When did you figure out you were a lolicon?

“A loaded question or complex question fallacy is a question that contains a controversial or unjustified assumption (e.g., a presumption of guilt).[1]Aside from being an informal fallacy depending on usage, such questions may be used as a rhetorical tool: the question attempts to limit direct replies to be those that serve the questioner’s agenda.[2] The traditional example is the question “Have you stopped beating your wife?” Whether the respondent answers yes or no, he will admit to having a wife and having beaten her at some time in the past. Thus, these facts are presupposed by the question, and in this case an entrapment, because it narrows the respondent to a single answer, and the fallacy of many questions has been committed.[2] The fallacy relies upon context for its effect: the fact that a question presupposes something does not in itself make the question fallacious. Only when some of these presuppositions are not necessarily agreed to by the person who is asked the question does the argument containing them become fallacious.[2] Hence the same question may be loaded in one context, but not in the other. For example, the previous question would not be loaded if it were asked during a trial in which the defendant had already admitted to beating his wife.[2]This fallacy should be distinguished from that of begging the question (not to be confused with raising the question),[3] which offers a premise whose plausibility depends on the truth of the proposition asked about, and which is often an implicit restatement of the proposition.[4]”

Relationship Competence, Part 1

Read any number of forum posts or reddit submissions and you’ll see people asking “why does polyamory have to be so hard?” or “why is monogamy so hard?”

The hard truth of the matter is that polyamory and monogamy are both difficult because relationships are difficult. And the reason why relationships are difficult is because being able to have a relationship is a form of skill, talent, or ability, and most people have different levels of skill or ability which can take many different forms.

Stages of Competence

We can look at this concept through many different lenses. Today, let’s look at the four stages of competence, where we can find some correlation to how people approach relationships.  Here are a few examples of behavior for each stage:

  • Unconscious Incompetence - practices assumptive behavior; poor or no communication; no emotional ownership; general shitty/selfish behavior; lack of awareness of one’s own weaknesses and thus being unable to change them; potential to blame others for one’s own weaknesses.

    Key words: naivete, ignorance, grandstanding

  • Conscious Incompetence - realizes that they make mistakes but doesn’t know how to prevent or correct them yet; apologies for being awkward; wants to be better; open to criticism but not always accepting of it; sometimes will use their incompetence as a crutch or selling point.

    Key words: awkwardness, ambition, recklessness

  • Conscious Competence - understands and employs effective strategies; vocalizes and/or is explicit about desires, needs, and insecurities; strives for consistency in ethical attitudes regardless of the type of relationship (sexual, romantic, platonic, business, familial, etc.), even if the level of importance or investment is not consistent; open to constructive criticism; practices self-critique; uses scheduling techniques for time management.

    Key words: timidity, expertise, malice

  • Unconscious Competence - communication, self-critiquing, time management, and consistent application become autonomic in nature; can be assumptive in that everything they are doing works correctly in all cases.

    Key words: instinct, talent, arrogance

Avoiding the Competence Trap

A lot of the images that one could search for about the four stages of competence show a hierarchy or progression, where one goes from Unconscious Incompetence to Unconscious Competence. This may do well for building technical, artistic, financial, language or culinary skills, but the skill in Managing a Relationship between Chris and Pat could be as different from skill in Managing a Relationship between Chris and Taylor as learning French is to learning how to trade stocks.

If one reads the first description of Unconscious Competence, it sounds like the ideal destination of skill or ability. While this may be true for something routine, it eschews dynamism and can lead to stagnation. For example, one can be an unconsciously competent artist and do nothing but draw caricatures or business logos every day for the rest of their life, but never become a better artist because the work they perform isn’t challenging them.

Imagine a individual who has several long-term partners of varying degrees of affection and entanglement. Suddenly this person meets someone new. They may automatically apply what is already working in their existing relationships to this new relationship. If this new person in their life doesn’t respond the same way as the other partners do, the results could be disastrous. Thus, Unconscious Competence could become Unconscious Incompetence in a matter of a few awkward moments of miscommunication or unintentional expectations.

As is often mentioned in other articles, the (often unconscious, sometimes conscious) negotiations between two people at the early stage of a relationship can determine what previously learned skills can apply to this new relationship, and which deficiencies or new requirements have to be addressed in order for a relationship to grow.  This starts the beginning of a feedback loop which will continue during the entire length of the relationship as it adjusts and mutates with interaction and experiences.

Mistaking Conscious Competence for Unconscious Competence

We marvel at the skills of professional athletes, chefs on television who make it look easy, and artists who generate masterpieces in short order. Some of us even think “well hell, I can do that” when they see it in practice.  What we don’t see, however, is the time, education, preparation, and exercise that went into honing and focusing that skill.

So when we see someone else able to accomplish something effortlessly, we tend to ignore the fact that every day, out of our view, they’re still practicing the fundamentals, working rough drafts, untraining bad habits, and experimenting with new techniques in an environment that allows them to fail and try again without it affecting their records or reputations.

For relationships, the equivalent of this practice or exercise is open, honest discussion with partners, friends, and other members of the community. And just like in other endeavors like sports, medicine, finance, or art, the consciously competent can spot the wannabe, poser or fraud by examining their practices (or lack thereof). They can also spot the individual who genuinely wants to be better and admit the skills they lack, and may choose to offer advice and encouragement.

Incompetence as a Virtue

Regarded as an informal logical fallacy, the idea that incompetence could be a virtue has some interesting implications. Not having any knowledge or expertise in an area could mean they are a clean slate, ready to learn whatever will help them improve. They could also learn bad behaviors as a result, depending on the conditions of their teaching.

It’s also sometimes seen to be desirable not to be tainted by experience or education. In some ways, this can lead to some incredible innovations, but usually it just leads to disappointment (as is the case with many politicians) or the Dunning-Kruger effect, where someone who doesn’t know how things work has more confidence in their (lack of) expertise than someone who is actually an expert.  Confidence can be very sexy if it helps one succeed, but resorting to luck or the skills of others isn’t always the best approach, especially when it comes to the inclusion of another person, such as is done with relationships. That incompetence becomes recklessness, and many individuals won’t put up with a person who treats their relationship like a practice session only for the benefit of themselves.

Competence as a Bludgeon

Competence can lead to abusive or unethical behavior as much as incompetence can, if improperly applied. Where an individual with unconscious incompetence is simply ignorant in what they’re doing wrong, a competent individual knows all the tricks and shortcuts of their skills, and can abuse, manipulate, gaslight and/or employ unethical behavior in their relationships. If consciously competent, this would be considered malicious intent; if unconsciously competent, arrogant know-it-all-ism.

There’s a meta-competence to be examined within competence, in self-critiquing. Instead of immediately brushing off a criticism as wrong, i.e. “That can’t be true, I’m competent!”, one would need to ask, “Could they be right? Could I have been doing it wrong this whole time?”

Competence as Privilege

It’s important to recognize that their are concerns of privilege when it comes to competence, particularly when it comes to relationships. The privileged are going to be more likely to have help in becoming competent, and certain disabilities or social inhibitors can interfere or prevent competence. A person who works three part-time jobs may have never have the time they need to grow or improve their relationship competence, because they barely have time for a relationship at all. A person with developmental or social disabilities may lack the capacity to become competent as well, depending on the patience of those they are in relationships with.

There’s a fine line here. The competent individual should not look down upon an underprivileged person for their incompetence, but neither should they assume that a person is incompetent because they are underprivileged.


Being in a relationship is not a small or easy thing. One should never take it for granted or assume that all relationships fit into the same box. As you engage in your relationship with another person, regardless of the details of that relationship:

  • strive to understand your strengths and weakness
  • open a dialogue with your partners about how you can do better in the relationship (and encourage them to look for areas of improvement)
  • be explicit in your desires, needs, and insecurities
  • be a good example to others, without setting expectations
  • challenge yourself to grow beyond your current state of being
  • respect others as they try to grow beyond their current states
  • recognize and call out undesirable, manipulative, or abusive behaviors, especially if you see them in yourself

anonymous asked:

(1/2) The previous anon actually has a point. Naruto himself has said that he doesn't "swing that way". It's not erasing bisexuality. It means that Naruto believed that he was straight. Naruto fully believed that Sasuke was his friend and that was why he wanted to ensure his safety, but even Sasuke was skeptical as to what Naruto meant by "friend" at the end of the manga. Naruto didn't consider himself to be gay or bisexual, most likely, but honestly thought himself to be straight.

(2/2) Given that Naruto didn’t have parents or any friends or anyone to rely on for years… He probably didn’t even know that he could have been bi! And that’s really sad.

Was the scene with Sai not just a filler? I’m sorry, I can’t recall said words from the original manga.

Anon did erase the option of him being bisexual because they created a false dichotomy, which is a type of informal fallacy that involves a situation in which only limited alternatives are considered, although there is at least one additional option. That is, however, not the case in our situation since chances are pretty high that Naruto might be bisexual, pansexual, or polysexual. Dismissing these possibilities is, in fact, the erasure of bisexuality. 

Maybe Naruto knows that he isn’t straight, but tries to hide it? Such behaviour isn’t always a result of latent homosexuality. Naruto was clearly embarrassed when he was naked in front of Sai, which was undoubtedly unusual for him. It’s not a sign of unrecognised potential interest in homosexual relationships, but of him being fully aware of his homoerotic feelings.

My problem with the previous Anon is that they imply it’s not realistic to assume Naruto is non-hetero because of their heteronormative world view. They are used to the unwritten rule to expect every person on the planet to be heterosexual—unless they behave differently, or they out themselves.

Your explanation isn’t unrealistic; however, following your logic, it’s perfectly fine to call him bisexual. Furthermore, why do you state Naruto believed that Sasuke was nothing more than a friend to him?

Towards the end, Sasuke wanted to know what Naruto meant when he said they are friends. Suddenly, Naruto wasn’t sure anymore how to answer his question because the feelings he has for Sasuke are too great and deep. We, as the readers, can notice subtle changes. Are they brothers? Friends? Lovers? They aren’t brothers, Naruto denied this. And it can’t be a normal friendship, Sasuke questioned this.

So you want to leave an argumentative comment on my text post.

Here are some things you need to understand before I even consider writing a serious response.

1. The purpose of anecdata.

Often I’ll use anecdata in a text post only to have some Supersleuth swan in to say that anecdata doesn’t prove anything. But when I use anecdata I am usually illustrating a concept, not proving the existence of a trend. So when I write about an instance of workplace discrimination I am not trying to prove that workplace discrimination is a pervasive problem (although it is); I’m giving one example of how that discrimination can manifest. Alternatively, I may use anecdata as justification for my own feelings and worries, e.g. how my firsthand experiences with sexual assault increase my sensitivity to certain types of boundary violating, but in those cases anecdata is sufficient support for the point.

2. There’s almost never a reason to whine “citation neeeeeeded.”

I don’t need a citation when writing about personal experience; I myself am a citation. I also don’t need a citation when referencing common knowledge, because this discourse community is my citation. Statistics, studies—those may need citations depending on the intended audience, but please remember that this is a blogging platform which encourages short text posts and ongoing conversations among people with shared knowledge and understanding. If I’m writing, say, an argument geared toward people who fundamentally disagree with my view, I may very well need citations—but if I fail to provide one then either provide one yourself or shut up. If you know the fact is incorrect I can only assume you have the sources to back it up, so by all means share. Otherwise you’re just lazy and hypocritical.

3. Not every conversation is an intro lecture, and that’s just fine.

I’m never going to get anything done if I spend every damn second catering to the least educated audience. Introductory sources exist, so go find them and stop trying to hijack posts that were never intended for you. You don’t personally have to understand something for it to be worthwhile and productive. I should not have to explain this.

4. Informal fallacies have limited usefulness.

Part of the problem here is that the people who shout the names of informal fallacies in arguments rarely understand them. “Your argument included an insult against your opponent(s). GET OFF THE TRAIN, YOU’VE REACHED AD HOM CITY.” The other problem is that it’s usually a lazy approach to argumentation that doesn’t look at the argument holistically and tries to discredit the entire thing by identifying a problematic part. Plus it’s obnoxious. I’ve taught undergrads, I know they love learning informal fallacies, and I know it’s because they see them as shortcuts to automatic wins. But they’re wrong.


If you don’t know what my terminology means, ask. If you use those terms differently, define and justify your use. This is my territory, so you need to either accept my terms or provide a good reason for deviating.

6. Don’t make assumptions about my meaning.

Again: If you’re not sure what I mean by something, ask. Otherwise I’ll doubt your interest and sincerity, and you’ll look like a willfully ignorant jackass.

7. “Sure, that happened” is almost never a useful response.

If I was like, “In 1547, David Bowie invented Cheetos and distributed them to impoverished children throughout Paris,” maybe “Sure, that happened” would be appropriate. It’s a claim that you can refute with a basic understanding of history and biology. But if I’m all, “Yesterday I was walking down the street and this yucky dude asked me to sit on his face,” it would not be an appropriate response, and more importantly, it accomplishes nothing. You can’t prove that I’m lying, and unless I have video I can’t prove I’m not. We’re just wasting words, and that’s terrible.

8. Your interpretation of my post should have textual support.

Don’t accuse me of saying something shitty unless you have evidence. Duh.

That’s all for now, but I’ll update as I think of more.

“Their music sucks. The singer’s racist.”

“That book sucks. The author’s a misogynist.”

“He’s an idiot for being homophobic. Therefore, we shouldn’t take him seriously on any matter, even if he’s making sense.”

^ These are called “ad hominems.” These, specifically, are attacking the person and concluding that their work/argument is no good because of some irrelevant fact about the person. One can easily spot such arguments if one of the premises is insulting the person. Ad hominems are illogical forms of argumentation, and I see a lot of them on tumblr. Some of them have more than one premise attacking the person, unlike the examples I gave above. If I see any arguments that are set up like these, I don’t care if you’re arguing against a supporter of White Supremacy, Pro-Life, Conservatism, Liberalism, Veganism, Meat-eating, etcetera. If you make arguments like these, I’m not going to take what you’re saying seriously. Of course, if you fix your arguments such that they make sense, i.e. are logically structured, then of course I’d take what you’re saying into consideration.

“But those aren’t real feminists!”
Yes. Yes they are.
Allow me to present the dictionary definition that is so often spoken of on tumblr:

the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

Huh. That’s weird. It looks like the definition is not “literally equality”. I’ve been lied to! But I digress. Anyway, if that’s what defines a feminist, then anyone who advocates women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men is a feminist. That’s it. That’s the only requirement. Being concerned for men’s rights really isn’t a necessity for being a feminist. You just need to seek equality with men, whatever that would mean for you.

Now I have a few problems with that, the biggest one being the fact that acknowledging men’s needs or fighting for men’s rights simply is not included in the definition of feminism. In fact, seeking equality with men assumes that men have all the rights they could ever possibly want and thus need no one to fight for them. Feminism does not, at its core, fight for men. Now if only there was some sort of ideology that fought for all genders equally. Something that fought for people in general rather than needing to specify gender and subsequently make another gender seem as though they had all their rights taken care of… Something like… Hmmmm… Oh!

Advocacy of the equality of all people, especially in political, social, and economic life.

There we go. There is a word for “literally equality” and it’s egalitarianism, not feminism. The definition of egalitarianism necessitates fighting for all rights, the definition of feminism does not.

Now you may be saying “Hey! Feminists fight for men’s rights too!” And you’d be right, at least partially. Some people who identify as feminists do fight for men’s rights, but that is the perfect segue into my discussion about the No true Scotsman fallacy.

From a Wikipedia summary:

“No true Scotsman is an informal fallacy, an ad hoc attempt to retain an unreasoned assertion. When faced with a counterexample to a universal claim (“no Scotsman would do such a thing”), rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original universal claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule (“no true Scotsman would do such a thing”).”

This is why you can’t just shrug your shoulders at “crazy feminists” who don’t fight for men’s rights by saying they aren’t “real feminists” or “true” feminists if you will. As long as they fulfill that rather short list of requirements listed above, they are true feminists, even if you don’t like or agree with them. Fighting for men’s rights simply isn’t part of the necessary equation.

Meanwhile, egalitarianism *is* by definition the advocacy of rights for all. Do you not like the term egalitarianism because somebody who called themselves egalitarian wasn’t fair to women? Well it can be truly said that they were not true egalitarians, since they don’t adhere to the very definition of the word which does, unlike feminism, require equal advocacy.

So when somebody tells you they’re an egalitarian rather than a feminist, don’t act so shocked and offended and try to shoot them down by saying that feminism “literally means equality” and that the people they’ve had bad experiences with “aren’t real feminists” because they are, whether you like it or not.