I got into about one half of a conversation with a friend of mine recently where I presented arguments and evidence, and she simply replied, “No, you’re wrong,” and that was the end of the conversation. In most cases she’s a good skeptic and generally picks apart problems very well. The problem that I ran into this time, however, was her stance that men don’t need a “men’s day” because society already cares only about the problems men face, and ignores the problems women face.
I pointed out a long list of issues that society and government happily endorse in relation to women, but also a long list of men’s issues that they consider sexist for even talking about. The response was simply “I am NOT having this conversation with you.”
“I am NOT having this conversation with you.”
Therein, she sadly lost a bit of my respect. As a skeptic, one should be skeptical of everything in their life that they’ve been told, and question it to the core. Look at things from a rational perspective and consider whether it truly matches what you see in your own, every day life, and, if not, to ask where this disconnect comes from.
My skepticism led me to realize that the claim that society cares about men’s issues is a lie. If this were the case, prostate cancer would flat-out trounce breast cancer for funding and awareness on a plain, easy-to-see scale. Instead, we see the reverse; a 3.5:1 ratio (1) of funding for breast cancer over prostate cancer, where every man should be concerned about breast cancer, and it’s deemed sexist to even suggest we should care about prostate cancer.
This is a clear and present example, one out of many, which showcases that it clearly isn’t what we’ve been told: the issues men face don’t receive biased favor by society and government, otherwise situations like this wouldn’t be the norm.
The fact is, skepticism is about using cold, raw logic to look at problems you would rather consider emotionally. You have to look at the world through the concept that everything is wrong until proven otherwise. That she refused to even consider that she might be wrong, and ended the conversation by saying “You are wrong and I’m very sorry, but I am not willing to argue about it,” an actual quote, without any further evidence, showed me sadly that she was considering the situation based purely on emotion, not logic. She wanted it to be true, but wouldn’t even question the basics when presented with a pile of evidence. She wouldn’t even attempt to refute it with more than a “no” like a child, and this kind of hurt to witness.
Don’t get me wrong, she’s very intelligent and great conversation generally speaking, but this has showcased for me just how emotional the argument is, and that it can shut down even the most logical and rational people I know, to the point they refuse to even shine the light of logic upon their own arguments.
To return to the male problems society supposedly focuses upon more than women’s problems… what are they? Despite my best efforts, I honestly can’t think of any. What male-only issues are being considered seriously by society and government as a whole?
Wages? No, that’s women primarily. If it affects men, it’s a global issue like minimum wage which affects both men and women.
How about circumcision? No, there’s really no backing for that on a larger scale, and guys are generally told it’s not that big a deal so ignore it. If you told that to a woman about female genital mutilation, you’d be blasted for it, so clearly this isn’t the case either.
Maybe… the 1150% (2) increased rate of male deaths and injury in the workplace? No… actually there were laws passed specifically for increasing the safety of women, but not for men. Hrm.
Wait, what about… uh… that boys are now a minority in college attendance? No, the narrative is that there aren’t enough women in college, despite comprising 17% more of the population in relation to males (3).
I’m running out of ideas, here. Where are all these male issues that are being focused on with society and government backing these issues? Shouldn’t they be out in the open and clearly obvious?
I mean, we could look at “women’s issues” and it’s easy:
Wage gap, lack of women in higher positions of authority in companies, lack of women in politics, breast cancer, female genital mutilation, violence against women, domestic violence against women, rape against women, the list goes on and on. I could probably fill a few paragraphs easy just listing off examples of women’s issues which are taken seriously by society as a whole and given strong government backing but what we have so far is adequate enough for the purposes of this demonstration.
For someone to claim that men are the ones who have their issues looked at by society and women are not, you simply have to ignore all of this painfully obvious information to the contrary. I propose the opposite: you have to set aside your convictions and emotional beliefs, then ask yourself “What do the facts actually say?”
In the end, logic wins out. Women have their issues taken seriously by society, and an enormous focus on awareness and funding for such. Men only get considered when it harms women too, in most cases.
The skeptic in me tells me to question that which I thought to be true, to read up on the actual evidence, and view it from a logical perspective. This is why I no longer consider myself to be pro-feminist in ideology. I looked at what was claimed to be true, and found it wanting under the watchful gaze of scrutiny.
Skepticism isn’t just about religion; it’s about everything in life, and that includes all the “truths” you want to believe. It doesn’t mean that everything you’re skeptical about will be false, sometimes it really is true; but it has to provide evidence for that. Saying “No, you’re wrong” is not proof, no matter how much you want it to be, and it’s this truth that has led me to accept that society doesn’t focus solely upon the problems of men; if anything, it’s quite the opposite in practice.
1:USA Funding of cancers by type; UK Funding of cancers by type; Breast Cancer incidence and death rates; Prostate Cancer incidence and death rates
2: Bureau of Labor Statistics, USA, on Fatal Occupational Injuries; most recent statistical data compiled (2011)
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