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Why Am I Not a Woman?

Started by Christopher Kubasik, May 07, 2004, 04:54:05 PM

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Christopher Kubasik

Hi Ben,

Thanks for the excellent reply.

For the record, yeah.... your line of reasoning, at least seems, to depend on a picking two coordinates on a line of logic, and then extending it to infinity.

And thanks for finally recoginizing that my concern (my "problem"?) wasn't with statstics. I had been saying that from the first post. I'm glad we finally cleared that up.

I'd say, in closing, that this issue isn't just my issue. The issue of induction seems to be a tricky one for many of the assertations and assumptions made on these boards whenever the issue of male and female behavior are mixed with RPGs -- whether for the players or the PCs.
"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield

Lance D. Allen

Heady topic. Recalls me back to my Psych class, which has a particular focus on stereotypes and cultural differences.

While Ravien's discourse on stereotypes did strike a resonance in my mind, and I was vehemently nodding along with Chris's assertions that stereotypes are tools and should be used with a good amount of observation and care, I think it was this comment:

QuoteThe goal is to accentuate and make clear the difference from the norm. That's how a likeness is formed. That's how a distinctive character is created. He's memorable for *not* being the average.

..that I will really be carrying away with me.

Personally, when I come to any decision point where my choice is to follow the "typical" path, or choose to be different, my automatic tendencies are to be different. I'm a bit of a nonconformist, or more rightly, I despise conformity to norms, roles and stereotypes simply for the purpose of conforming. When I often do choose the path of conformity, it is because I have a good reason to do so much more often than because I don't wish to be different.

If I were to have the question of this thread put to me, "Why are you not a woman?" It would be a simple reply, within the context of this discussion; Because I choose not to be.. or alternately, because I have chosen to be.
~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls


Hoo boy.

Quote from: Christopher KubasikThe basic split seems to be people who say, "Statistical analysis is destiny, and if you're not willing to see how we must clearly differentiate arbritrary elements of player charcter definition according to the statistically average abilities of the two sexes, you're living with blinders."

And I'm say, "Look. No one is a statistical average, so trying to nudge anyone, a real person or a character, toward the avereage (or presumed average, at best) is living with blinders."

There's a gap here.

Quote from: Ben (Ravien)The disconnect in logic you are seeing stems from the fact you are not acknowledging that statistical averages are generated by individuals. Without this acknowledgement, the assumption that no statistics can be superimposed on any individual undermines the foundation of statistics. Without statistics, we would know nothing about anybody but ourselves.

See, stereotypes get a lot of bad rap for No Good Reason. People hear "stereotypes" and think "racism" and "sexism" because this is what popular media has fed them. But stereotypes are a psychological construct used to handle the incredibly vast amount of data we must process. Our minds are finite, and so any expectation that we deal with absolutely everyone as a complete individual without making any assumptions is both impractical and problematic in that it implies we can't ever predict behaviour.

I could say a lot here, but I'll really really try to be brief.

Suffice it to say that my personal experiences and observations of players match Christopher's pretty well.

In reply to Ben's comments about stereotypes, and their usefulness and 'bad rap', I would refer all and sundry to the following:

The Fallacy of the Hasty Generalization

The Fallacy of the Unrepresentative Sample

The Fallacy of Exclusion

The Fallacy of Complex Cause

I would suggest that in the case of gender differences, those who argue in favor of them are engaging in one or more of the above logical fallacies.

Statistics is a wonderful tool for certain things.  But arguing from the general to the specific in any sort of absolute way denies and/or denigrates the exceptional, the unusual, and the atypical.

People have a lot of differences.  Gender is rarely a sufficient causal factor for most of the differences attributed to it.  It may be part of the picture, but it's not the only part.  And it's probably not even the most important part, most of the time.  In my experience men and women are far more similar than they are different.
Dana Johnson
Note that I'm heavily medicated and something of a flake.  Please take anything I say with a grain of salt.

Ben O'Neal

Thanks Dana, but you forgot:


Prujudicial Language

Attacking the Person

The Converse Accident

QuoteI would suggest that in the case of gender differences, those who argue in favor of them are engaging in one or more of the above logical fallacies.
I would suggest that that claim is insubstantiated, and the burden of proof lies with the claimant.