Ok, so you may have heard that Scott Adams of Dilbert fame opened up his big old mouth, and slipped a foot into it. Essentially he said that arguing with women was like arguing with children or the mentally handicapped, but he TOTALLY isn’t comparing those groups, he just thinks you should treat them the same. Then he went over to a post on it at Feministe and informed everyone… Well, I’ll let his words stand for themselves:
“Is this an entire website dedicated to poor reading comprehension? I don’t think one of you understood the writing. You’re all hopping mad about your own misinterpretations.
“That’s the reason the original blog was pulled down. All writing is designed for specific readers. This piece was designed for regular readers of The Scott Adams blog. That group has an unusually high reading comprehension level.”
Yeah, apparently no one informed him that, “Nuh-uh! YOU’RE dumb!” is neither an award winning debate tactic, nor any way to win friends and influence people. And let us just set aside that the majority of his “specific readers” were the ones calling him on his bullshit in the first place, which is why he pulled the damn post down. Say what you will about the Penny Arcade guys, but at least they have the courage to let what they say stand, instead of trying to erase it.
So I was discussing this with a friend last night over drinks. I love her dearly, but I still think she’s wrong, but as we’d started drinking on empty stomachs I decided it was best to let it lie until I could figure out why I thought she was wrong. And then we got distracted by old Almost Live* clips on Youtube and “The Engineer’s Guide to Cats” and the “Ballad of GI Joe” among other things, and never revisited it. But it’s been bugging me and I think I’ve solidified it.
My friend said, “He just doesn’t get why that’s wrong.”
I call bullshit.
I really doubt it is possible to exist in society without knowing that equating other adults with children (we’ll leave aside the able-ism of his mentally handicapped comment) is ignorant, wrong and fucking rude, regardless of whether the adults you’re equating with children are of another gender or another race. And don’t give me, “He said he wasn’t comparing them!” No, he said that you should just treat them like children. Treat adult women like children.
Because that’s not regressive, obnoxious and fucking awful or anything. Or screamingly sexist.
*Almost Live is hilarious if you’re from or live in Seattle. Comedy Central tried to syndicate it, but the majority of the humor is far too local knowledge driven, like the Ballad Driving Academy or COPS in Redmond. When I first moved here I had no idea why people thought it was funny, but after about two years, I understood the jokes and laughed myself sick.