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August 02, 2006

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The Law Fairy

curtis,

I wasn't arguing that subjective should be the "only" way to argue, just that it should not automatically be discounted in favor of objective. I think the critique is a valid one -- what is it about objectivity that makes it superior? Universalizability is imprecise at best. Indeed, it involves inductive, rather than deductive, reasoning much of the time. So I'm not convinced that in every scenario it is the best way to go.

As for arguing on men's terms, I'm sorry, but I take issue with that statement. When men or society tell women (as they/it have done for centuries) that we must act a certain way, these commands and their rationale have never been laid out in subjective terms. Men don't come over to women's side to argue; why should women have to come over to men's side?

This is a rhetorical question, and it has an obvious answer: men are the ones with power in society. Obviously if we're going to ever have a blinking hope at equality we're going to have to do it in terms that will get through to men, or those with more "masculine" ways of seeing things. But this itself does not vouch for the independent validity of objectivity.

Frederick Hamilton

Granted, out of left field, but appropriate I believe: to wit, I just emailed Professor Sunstein,

"Dear Professor Sunstein,

I enjoy your law school blog. I have not seen any discussion of the legality or illegality of the new ABA accreditation standards regarding “diversity”. My reading of what is taking place suggests the ABA is indeed flouting the law. What say the University of Chicago Law School and is Univ of Chicago Law going to abide by the ABA diversity accreditation standards?

Any ideas guys and gals?

LAK

LF,

I have a hard time understanding how you can argue against universalizable truth, given you belief system.

And there is plenty deductive and inductive about such unviersalizable truths. That is the beauty of language and being able to verify that others experience the world much the same way as you do. Do you not believe all human beings need bsic nutrition and freedom from violence? Sen and Nussbaum give compelling arguments for the basics of universalizable human truths for issues like nutrition and the most fundamental political freedoms. I highly recommend them as I think you would be convinced.

That is not to say that much evil has not been done in the name of "objective truth" and white male hegemony, but that in itself does not make the notion of universalizable truth and argument for all humans any less viable.

The Law Fairy

"I have a hard time understanding how you can argue against universalizable truth, given you belief system."

First, that's not exactly what I said. After posting I realized that I didn't say quite as clearly what I meant to say. What I meant to say was that objectivity seeks to create boxes for people to fit into, thus "universalizing" a priori distinctions it makes about people, with little regard for those on the margins. It is "masculinist" in the sense that many of these a priori boxes that are constructed are based on a view of people that arguably stems from a male-oriented understanding. As an extremely random and somewhat light-hearted example, I recently watched an episode of Family Guy (fantastic show) in which Brian gets a job with the New Yorker. At one point he asks where the bathrooms are. The snooty reporter notes that they don't have bathrooms because no one at the New Yorker has an anus. Clever funny joke, etc. (And note here I'm not criticizing Seth MacFarland, who from his work seems to be a pretty progressive guy as far as women's rights go -- one viewing of the show makes it blatantly obvious how very sarcastic its setup is).

Here's how this demonstrates a priori constructions being universalized where they don't fit: there is also a female reporter shown in the episode. She would need a bathroom even if she did not have an anus, while a male would not need a bathroom, but merely a bush and some privacy. A priori construction: bodily functions operate in X manner. Universalization: we'll make a broadly applicable humorous comment based on the notion that bodily functions operate in X manner. There's no specification as to women, who as a group fall completely outside of this particular a priori box. Objectivity in many ways does not account for such differences, leading to the historic dichotomy between men as "average person" and woman as "other." I'm confident you're familiar with much of the work on this subject.

So, saying objectivity universalizes and that this is imprecise was itself a very shorthand and imprecise way of making my point, and I apologize for the imprecision. Obviously universalizing something, in and of itself, is not inherently problematic. It is the manner in which we universalize under an "objective" point of view that is problematic.

Second, I've made it clear to you I won't be discussing my religion any further with you until you can at least be respectful of it. Bringing it up in this context is irrelevant and antagonistic.

Formal Logic

LAK: But doesn't your book inform you they are called the "universal quantifier," or "for every" you remember the upsidedown A? and the "existential quantifier," you remember the backward E? that doesn't stand for "some" but rather "there is at least one?"

Let me handle the obvious points up top.

1."At least one" and "some" mean THE SAME THING. There is no disjunction or dichotomy between "some" and "at least one".

2. I am not Matthew Larsen. But thanks for your conspiracy theories.

3. The section of the book from which I quoted is entitled "Translating Ordinary Language into Categorical Propositions." The Symbolic Logic section is later in the book. The "quantifier" being referred to is of the grammatical sort. The book itself uses "all" and "some" in the section from which I quoted. Indeed, it does so in that very paragraph, which I truncated for brevity's sake, but include now to show what an idiot you are:

"In the first example it is very probable that "Dogs are carnivorous" refers to all dogs, and is to be translated as "All dogs are carnivores." In the second example, on the other hand, it is highly probable that only some children are referred to, and thus the standard-form trnaslation of "Children are present is "Some children are beings who are present.""

So, the technical usage you are ascribing to "quantifier" -- which is discussed in the SYMBOLIC LOGIC section 40 pages later, is irrelevant. We weren't talking about symbolic logic.

Grammar

I guess I did need to cite a grammar book.

curtisstrong

Law Fairy,

It sounds like we agree on the vast majority of things. Objectivity was simply one example of the critique I was making, but it could be applied to other things as well. Assuming that women (here I mean ANY women...to avoid confusion with some logic book and/or popular reading) want to argue from a subjective point of view, that's great...go for it. Like you said, however, a look at other points of view may be beneficial, not only to them, but probably for everyone (and this elusive feminine approach could probably be adopted by the whole of the authoritarian males in the world, with highly beneficial results).

As for men not arguing from a women's point of view. I think that at least in some instances that is not true. I offer a simple example, take it for what it's worth. My wife is due to have a baby in January. However, she hasn't finished her undergrad studies as of yet, and sometimes seems a bit apathetic to having a professional life. Now, I have talked with her about all this, and she seems to want to put all that off for the immediate future, at least until our child is in school. We'll see if that ever comes true or not. Now, I really wish that she would have a professional career, but she wanted to have a baby instead... a lot.

(This is not to say that my wife isn't incredibly intelligent, she is. She's done more than her share of research on raising a baby, and she gives everyone I've ever met a run for their money on any topic, but that's not necessarily the issue here.)

Anyway, given my own circumstances, it's not at all surprising to me that historically, men have argued that women should stay home and take care of children rather than doing things in society. Again, this hasn't been good for society in general, but I think in that particular argument plays TO women's proclivities, rather than AGAINST them.

Of course, not ALL women want to have a family or children. But I think the generalization would hold in many circumstances. This is not to say that women should be oppressed as a result, or that they shouldn't do whatever they want to do. It's simply an example of where female sensitivities are used by men to convince women of something, a situation you seemed to suggest doesn't happen all that often, or at all (of course, we could ask "grammar" or "formal logic" to clarify what you really meant, but I imagine you'll do that for yourself.)

The Law Fairy

curtis,

Fair enough. I agree that there are many women who opt for more stereoptypically feminine occupations, and you're correct that many men go with them, not because it's necessarily men's first choice. And, to be fair, (and I try to make this come out in my discussions re sex equality, but it is sometimes hard to make this point obvious or believable) I don't mean to paint men as "bad guys" or "perpetuators of oppression" or the like (indeed, I think that women do as much, if not more, to perpetuate our own oppression). Most men are simply living their lives, the only way they know how -- and surely no one can be faulted for that. With the exception of a few truly sexist pricks, most guys I think probably *try* to be decent.

That said, the definition of what's "decent" or what women want is much murkier. I'm something of a subscriber to the Millian/Wollstonecraft(ian?) perspective that in many ways, women never have the chance to truly learn what they want. (One could also check out Susan Faludi's Backlash, which points out the negative reaction, I would argue socially rather than biologically ingrained, to much of feminism's successes. The current spate of young women becoming more man-obsessed than their grandmothers ever were is a good example of just how much this backlash has infiltrated our perspectives and goals). I think this is largely true in a lot of respects. I'll use myself as an example here. I was raised in an extremely conservative home and from childhood through college always had the expectation that I would somehow and some point become primarily responsible for child care, because that's the woman's job (and yes, my views were this blatantly gender-role-oriented). And I genuinely believed this was what I wanted, even though this created a lot of internal conflict for me as a bright, ambitious girl (I also wanted to become the first female president -- funny enough, something I'd never want now. But I digress). As I became older and my emotions were put through the ringer through both law school and various failed relationships, my desires changed a LOT. If I, like far too many of my high school friends, had gotten married at a young age, I likely never would have developed the personality I have now. And I do legitimately think that the things I want out of life today are a symbol of greater maturity than I possessed, say, five years ago.

One problem, however, is that the median age for first marriage remains fairly young for women -- 23 or 25 if I'm not mistaken. In my mind, this is a problem (not helped by puritanical views on birth control and premarital sex, it should be noted). Women aren't given the time to fully develop themselves as persons before they are married. Social and overly romanticized views about marriage (two people into "one," one person "completing" the other, etc.) cause many if not most women to lose, at least to some extent, their sense of self once they become married.

This is not to leave men out -- indeed, I'm sure that the social pressure to be coupled up and be the wife's "other half" is just as strong on men and that men find their individuality partly subsumed by the marriage as well. The difference is that men are socially encouraged/expected to be fully grown adults at the initiation of marriage. The reason for this, granted, stems from ridiculous social notions that the man somehow "owes" it to his future wife to provide her with a stable income, and thus tendency of men (bemoaned by many a single girl ISO male companionship) to put off serious relationships until they have an established career, own a home, etc.

And so. I went off on a bit of a tangent there, but it does relate to the point: (I say this as verrrrrrry reservedly as I possibly can) There is reason to believe that, in many cases, women's "wants" may be unduly influenced by social notions of what they "should" want. I'm not saying this isn't true for men either -- but I do believe that this disproportionately harms women, which is why more women than men speak out against it. And I'm not saying that we should now start double-guessing only what mommy-track women want. I believe there are many women, among whom I would count my dear mother, who legitimately and genuinely desire to be homemakers and raise children. In such a case, more power to them -- they in fact SHOULD be the ones raising the children, as they will not resent the toll on their personal time and space, etc. HOWEVER, to the extent that this may not be a woman's actual preference (many if not most women as a matter of fact have conflicting feelings about what they actually want), I'm not convinced that the woman's perspective is what is in fact being proferred.

And boy was that a brainful.

But, yes, you are correct that sometimes men seek to speak in "women's terms" where it serves some purpose (I took this to be your point, but please correct me if I misunderstood) -- I, too, suggested that where women want men's help may find it beneficial to speak in their terms.

I think we both agree that all would benefit from a greater appreciation for and use of multiple perspectives. Women would do better to occasionally work to exercise more logical and rational ways of approaching the world, and men would do well to sometimes recognize that logic and reason just aren't everything.

Kimball Corson

Law Fairy writes:

"Perhaps, Kimball, but this discounts the value brought to the table by feminists who criticize objectivity itself as androcentric. If seeing the world from an objective point of view causes objectification, then the "objective" disciplines like statistics have less value."

I respond: It is a nice adcademic exercise to apply the views of Dereda, Focault and others to the problems of feminism, but I don´t think it advances the ball of women much. Powers that be, which have to be delt with, view the world much more objectively and to argue with them feminists need to enter their arena. Good inferential (not descriptive) statistical and econometric capability would allow feminists to use men's own more sophisticated tools against the positions they take with are contrary to the interests of women. That is a much more effective way to deal with some of these problems than women sticking their heads into the French School, whose last real refuges are literature and feminism in America, and which has no real sway at all in the arena I discuss, rightly or wrongly.


Law Fairy writes: ". . . it's not quite right to approach the topic of feminism with the idea that "feminists should argue their points thusly." To do so is to discount the views of the "other," or to entrench the dominant, male-oriented worldview. By some accounts, then, taking statistics would be beside the point."

I respond: If the goal is to change minds that matter and control, then I would argue such views need to take a back seat to more objectifiable ones. You should know this as a lawyer dealing with judges. That is not to say you cannot argue a decentered viewpoint, but it is to say that objectivity, even from that vantage point is difficult to abandon effectively. I don't really approach the topic of feminism per se, more the problem of women in a world controlled by men. I believe feminism is most effective where it can make useful sugggestions and changes within that framework because that is where the problems of most women reside.

Kimball Corson

Is Law Fairy really against judging men by the contents of their shorts. I know several women who feal differently.

The Law Fairy

Kimball -- I've already addressed the value of objective reasoning in other comments here. The point isn't about usefulness. Also, I'm surprised to find you taking issue with an academic approach simply because it may not be as practical as other approaches... you've certainly done it yourself for causes you believe in.

I'm not sure about the comment about me judging men by the content of their shorts. I know people are currently judged thusly, and I assure you I'm very much opposed to it, on ALL levels.

curtisstrong

Law Fairy,

You wrote, "many if not most women as a matter of fact have conflicting feelings about what they actually want." Yes, I think any married man will agree with you on that.

Sorry; all jokes aside, I do agree with what you're saying. I think the foregoing quote is actually what makes the issue difficult. But again, we run into the irrefutable, untouchable "feminine." How could anyone possibly argue from a woman's viewpoint, if there is no viewpoint to argue from? Or if there is a viewpoint, that the viewpoint could change at any moment?

Certainly, men do this too. We learn more, we change our assumptions, we grow...etc. However, that itself points to a human characteristic that is universal and objective, not just something deeply rooted in the feminine psyche.

Furthermore, it makes things very difficult when arguments are put forth, as in your post above, that suggests that women THEMSELVES don't even know what they want until they have grown up (presumably to some time later than 23-25). It seems like this argument is, in essence, saying:

"Trust us. We are feminists. You don't know what you want, until you are past 23-25. Until then, we'll tell you. But don't trust men; they'll oppress you."

I guess it could be argued that feminists could be trusted with fragile, young girls' minds better than men. But in our society where we value the freedom to choose nearly everything for ourselves, I don't think this argument flies well, because these minds should be deciding things for themselves.

yes.

savages. hypocrites. murderers. unfortunately now i cant even look at a chinese person and not think of how digusting they possibly are towards animals. they are still humans and it doesn't make a difference how poor their country is. humans are to be higher forms of life and all are created equal. if one can stoop as low as to commit a barbaric act of bludgeoning another life to death with a club they lose their human priveleges. and dont compare dogs to pigs or rats now. dogs are "more" than rats. they have a higher complexity.. just lilke humans are supposedly "better and worth more than dogs." in the end we are all mammals but for some reason no one goes clubbing to death people with AIDS. (they should in china.at least the ones who took any part in that massacre-they are no more than animals)

The Law Fairy

curtis,

I think you're pointing out precisely the conundrum faced by feminism. I'm not at all arguing that feminism should tell women what they want -- I hope I'm making a subtler point than that. That is, we need to adjust expectations and lead by example. Young girls need to see *happy*, successful women who may or may not be married, but for whom marriage is not the end-all and be-all of existence (not to disparrage marriage -- but since we were speaking in the context of getting married too young, in broad terms, I think it's relevant). That's simply not the image society puts out there. Even feminists I admire like Maureen Dowd write articles about how hard it is for professional women to "find a man." I myself have struggled with this problem, and only recently realized why it seems such a problem: in spite of all my leaps and bounds in understanding how equality can operate, I've missed the forest for the trees. Women need to learn to become individuals, and to be themselves apart from men. That doesn't mean men are bad, it doesn't mean men are worthless, it doesn't mean relationships are bad. BUT the over-focus on relationships, which hits particularly hard for women, hinders development.

So it's not necessarily an "age" thing so much as a basic human development thing. There are some women who are mostly all developed, mentally and emotionally, at 21. There are others who still have lots of developing to do at 40. My point is just that we need to have ways of reflecting the same priorities and goals for men and women. There's no reason we shouldn't be taught to expect the same things out of life. This doesn't mean that people who want something different should be told "don't want that" -- that's precisely the sort of thinking/acting that feminism emerged to counter. The idea is that we shouldn't project an image to children that men and women *should* be so very different by virtue of their sex. Obviously individuals should be free to make their own choices. But as far as education and socialization go, we ought not to force people into roles simply by virtue of biology.

curtisstrong

yes,

I imagine you're going to be hit from all sides with this bigotted statement you've made, but let me be the first.

To begin, the word "savages" makes you sound like a 17th century white man trying to steal lands from the Native Americans, or British nationalists who wanted to subject the entire world to the crown. Not a class of people you want to be in, by the way, because many of those people actually were "murderers."

Second, how many Chinese people have you met? Have you ever met a Chinese government official who said that it was against their beliefs to kill dogs? I highly doubt it, as everyone that I've talked to about this situation the last few days doesn't really care tremendously. They think that if it was to save people, it's okay. That doesn't make it right, but it does preclude your second innacuracy: "hypocrites." No Chinese person that I've met has ever said that they were a progressive nation as far as animal rights go.

Next, killing animals makes you guilty of a crime, but not the crime of "murder." If you ever see anyone get the death penalty for the murder of an animal, then you get right back on this blog and let me know about it, okay?

The next sentence I think qualifies you as a racist. Reasonable people may disagree, but I think the evidence cuts in that direction. Let's take a look. Just because some certain people half-way around the world killed a lot of dogs, does NOT mean that every Chinese person is that way. Nor does it mean the majority of Chinese people are that way. Nor does it mean that ANY Chinese people are that way, except for the very people who were responsible for it. Perhaps Chinese people are less-inclined to care about animal rights. Assuming that's true, it still does not put every one of them into an inhumane category. I've lived in China now for nearly a year and a half, and I've never seen anyone be cruel to animals. I'm sure it happens, but not even necessarily more than what goes on by the psychos in the U.S. who kick their dogs, put their cigarrettes out on them...etc. I'm not prepared to make any sort of statistical quantification of the rate of animal abuse in either country, and I doubt your are either. So don't make those kind of statements. If you aren't "disgusted" by us all, then the statement would qualify you as a racist, as I have said.

Let's look at examples. Are you prepared to say that just because the United States has a fairly high murder rate, that you are "disgusted" to "even look at" an American? Are you "disgusted" to "even look at" everyone in the military because of Abu Ghraib? Are you "disgusted" to "even look at" black people because of the civil wars that never seem to end in Africa? Are you "disgusted" to "even look at" people from the Middle East because of the Israel/Palestinean conflict? The list can go on and on and on and on. You can't and shouldn't judge everyone based on what a few people have done. If that's the case, then you should be "disgusted" to "even look at" every human being in the world. But that wouldn't solve many problems, would it? It would just make you a hermit, that's all.

Now, let's look at your statement that a person "loses their human priveleges" because of their "bludgeoning" of animals. You shouldn't say things like this that illustrate your ignorance; it embarasses you. "Bludgeoning" has never, and never will be a bright line rule that results in people losing their "human priveleges" (by the way, it should be spelled "privileges"). Human privileges, I assume, includes the right to life. So, unless you're going to argue that everyone who has ever bludgeoned others (and I'm just talking about people here, I'm not even reaching animals) to death should be killed, then you're just inanely ranting on.

Again, an example may suffice. You've heard of manslaughter, I assume, from some movie somewhere. Manslaughter is a way for a defendant to partially justify his or her acts based on (to use the MPC) "extreme emotional disturbance." There are many "bludgeoning" cases that have fallen under this rule over the history of the United States, and for good reason. Bludgeoning isn't the bright line rule, and could hardly be a basis for taking away human privileges unless justified by something else.

That is not to argue that the Chinese fall under the "extreme emotional disturbance" category, but it does refute the bludgeoning foolishness. Again, the Chinese who were involved are morally culpable, but not to the point of condeming THEM to an unconstitutional punishment (per your quote, "they should in china...they are no more than animals"). Nice. In fact, that you want to subject these people to the same type of treatment places you back in antiquity as far as legal punishment goes, and doesn't show much advanced thinking or improved moral quality. Truthfully, it puts you on par with those people. Think about that the next time you write something as assanine as this.

curtisstrong

Just a note to everyone,

The dog issue HAS gotten a lot of media attention here, and has been widely criticized. I want to make that clear. As I read back over my post to "yes," it made it sound like no one cares about it AT ALL. That's not the case. Individual people aren't necessarily outraged about it, but it has received attention and criticism. However, Chinese people having seen that criticism, believe that they don't need to feel angry or upset about it, because their views have already been voiced by the media. In fact, sunstein admits that the stories come both from Shanghai newspapers and local newspapers.

Just wanted to make that clear before any more Chinese haters try to condemn the entire billion and a half people who live in this country, based on the actions of a few violent, crazy officials.

LAK

LF,

You say:

"Here's how this demonstrates a priori constructions being universalized where they don't fit: there is also a female reporter shown in the episode. She would need a bathroom even if she did not have an anus, while a male would not need a bathroom, but merely a bush and some privacy. A priori construction: bodily functions operate in X manner. Universalization: we'll make a broadly applicable humorous comment based on the notion that bodily functions operate in X manner. There's no specification as to women, who as a group fall completely outside of this particular a priori box. Objectivity in many ways does not account for such differences, leading to the historic dichotomy between men as "average person" and woman as "other." I'm confident you're familiar with much of the work on this subject."


LF, if I have any concern for you, it is not your religion, it is your profoundly bloated sense of victimhood for being a woman. You need to work on your imbalanced sense of sexisim, becasue the whole gender thing is so burned into your consciusness you seem unable to transcend and transform it, only identify and criticize it.

Believe it or not, all women need to pee is a bush and some privacy too. Have you ever been camping? And my guess is the whole Phish or Dead tour thing was an impossibiilty given your age and lifstyle. Maybe this was just a poor example of what you were trying to illustrate. But the women I hang out with, strong and fearless, have never had a problem poppoing a squat in the bushes, privacy or not.


The Law Fairy

"You need to work on your imbalanced sense of sexisim, becasue the whole gender thing is so burned into your consciusness you seem unable to transcend and transform it, only identify and criticize it."

All this does is prove your profound ignorance and willingness to jump to conclusions about me, Yet Again. What, because I'm a woman I'm not allowed to make vocal points about sexism? Give me a break. Come down from your high horse once in a while. The real world can be an okay place to live, every once in a while.

LAK

No, see you are just proving my point. I'm all for identifying sexism and gender bias and gendered social norms taken as objective universal truth. You are just not supposed to make vocal points about sexism that doesn't exist anywhere but in your head.

Or do you dispute that women can pee in bushes too?

Stop with the whole victimehood thing. It undermines your high intelligence. I'm not on a high horse here. I'm just pointing out how absurd your example was, and how it was indicative of YOUR inability to transcend the influence of gender on you. If I was on a high horse I'd tell you to stop using "a priori" so casually and incorrectly. But I'm not.

LAK

And LF,

Can you not see how one of my fearless strong female friends might call your analysis deeply sexist, gendered and flawed? You were appealing to flawed gender norms about peeing to paint a joke as being fundamentally sexist, when it was not.

The Law Fairy

No, LAK, what I'm doing is not pretending that there are absolutely no biological differences whatsoever between men and women. I would not think that your fearless strong female friends would either. The fact that something *can* be done with extra effort and great difficulty is not an excuse for saying to people: do it this way anyway. The problem is that society is built on expectations that make men's way of life inherently easier. There's nothing un-feminist about pointing out that presumptions based on the male body are the result of social sexist bias. It is the presentation of male as "normal" and female as "other." If women have to crouch, well, that's their problem. This cavalier attitude towards approaches to life that make life harder for women is precisely the problem. Why should women have to struggly to fit into a man's world? Why can't the world belong to both equally? The fact that as a woman I *can* do things that men can, does not mean I should be expected to do them in the same way. Who says men's ways are better? I've certainly never seen a legitimate argument for this.

Who cares if I've been camping. I have, and I hate it. So?

LAK

"No, LAK, what I'm doing is not pretending that there are absolutely no biological differences whatsoever between men and women."

Did I imply that you were? No. You were appealing to very flawed and easily dismissed gender norms about peeing in public and in bushes, that you obviously have not transcended or transformed for yourself.

"The fact that something *can* be done with extra effort and great difficulty is not an excuse for saying to people: do it this way anyway."

First of all, women being able to pee in bushes does not require "great diffiuclty or extra effort"

"The problem is that society is built on expectations that make men's way of life inherently easier."

We agree on this. But what you were doing in your very flawed example was basing a critique on nothing more than scoiety's expectations that make women's lives inherently more difficult, i.e. the bizzare norm that it is OK for Men to pee in bushes but it is unlady-like for women to pop a squat when they need to.

"It is the presentation of male as "normal" and female as "other." If women have to crouch, well, that's their problem."

You are completely guilty of playing into ths with your example. you are saying women peeing not in a toilet is abnormal or wrong when it is not.

"This cavalier attitude towards approaches to life that make life harder for women is precisely the problem. "

Right, and embracing false gender norms to make life needlessly more difficult for women, just so you can complain about male gender bias only reifies these norms further.

"Why should women have to struggly to fit into a man's world? Why can't the world belong to both equally? The fact that as a woman I *can* do things that men can, does not mean I should be expected to do them in the same way."

Women shouldn't. But you are embracing the very gender norms that keep women from fitting into the world. It simply isn't a struggle for a girl to pee outside. It is just as easy if you get over the sexist shame that our culture has wrongfully attributed to women peeing in public.

"The fact that as a woman I *can* do things that men can, does not mean I should be expected to do them in the same way."

Agreed. But in certain circumstances, those "differences" are nothing other than sexism, which you reify in your thinking women can't pee outside.

"Who says men's ways are better?"

Certainly not me. I think women are usually "better" insofar as on average women are more emotionally intelligent, sensitive, caring, comassionate, loving, non-violent and communicative.

I can tell you would hate camping because the fact that women can pee and should pee in bushes as unapologetically as men is lost on you.

The Law Fairy

"First of all, women being able to pee in bushes does not require "great diffiuclty or extra effort""

And you know this... how?

I don't know where you got the idea that I was talking about peeing in public, or that doing this is somehow abnormal... now you're putting words into my mouth. Your comment is just bizarre. I read it as another silly attempt to make me look like I'm saying ridiculous things, just because I used a random example to illustrate what's actually a very good point. Yes, yes, let's get caught up on something stupid and miss the forest for the trees.

The point wasn't that women "shouldn't" pee in public, and that you took that from my comment is, again, just bizarre. I have no particular problem with women, or men for that matter, walking naked down the street if they want to. Crouching to pee, without getting urine on your clothing and feet, is actually pretty difficult. You've never had to try this, but I have and it's hard. My point is that men don't have to think about this, so thank you for proving that beautifully.

Oh brother.

LAK

How? Becasue I know lots of women who do it. Because I go camping quite a bit. Becasue I spent many months on tour. Anyway, I am with you in principle, I just thought the example you used was terribly flawed and more indicative of your embrace of certain destructive gender norms that you and others willingly submit to, rather than am appropirte example of what you were trying to get at. Yes this is a silly argument, I just thought it was telling of your embrace of your gendered girlishness and inability to do anything but blame men for those destructive norms you have internalized. We already agree on the forest. It's this tree that was the problem.

Kimball Corson

In high school I wrote and a friend pasted on the girl's room door,

A boy can stand
With penis in hand
And pee where he wants
In the sea or on land.
But a girl must squat
And prefers a pot
Or at least a pile of sand.

Keeping pee off a girls's shoes ocurred to me early in life. That is why it is important to play doctor when very young.

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