Sunday, February 27, 2011

Today's Deep Thought

I have been reading Slate's Doublex, something I usually avoid doing for all sorts of reasons, including the resident misogynists in the comments.

The site is an interesting attempt to cover women's issues by allowing all sorts of opinions on them. Of course, in practice that boils down to two sides, one arguing that women should be equally treated, the other arguing that women are wind-driven rubbish which should be kicked into the gutters if not already found there.

This is the real problem in the mainstream debates about women. The alternatives really are that women are OK or that women are pieces of s**t. That women might be the best thing since Wiener nougat is not an option that Doublex covers.

The absence of that option means that any "compromise" conclusions on the site would necessarily be somewhere in the middle of those two options. Perhaps that women are not equal to men though not quite the anti-family monsters the other side proposes.

And as many of my smart commentators have noticed, the same problem applies to ALL discussions about women's proper roles or about women's mental abilities. Either women are seen as having the right to do whatever men are doing or they are seen limited to the home, and either women are seen as roughly equally smart as men or they are seen as inferior to men. The third alternatives are missing from the public debates.

Perhaps none of this is news to you. But I found this explains my disinclination to visit Doublex, despite the many good articles posted there. The setup is biased from the beginning in a way which makes equality an extreme view rather than the view in the middle.