Arguing with anybody is hard. Being good at debating people is in fact an art, an ancient one, and it takes time and skills to master. The Greeks and the Romans considered it very important and it is, if you think of it as an evolutionary sign of human development, a step forward, because when there is rhetoric, it means conflicts are solved through dialogue rather than through physical violence.
If argument is an art which is hard to master, arguing with liberal is particularly frustrating and challenging, especially when the liberal opponent is a woman and I sympathize with all those who have tried it.
Some time ago I tried to engage in a conversation with a few liberal women and the experience was very disappointing and extremely frustrating. I will try to explain what happened and talk about how my opponents decided to deal with my comments.
The first time, I left a comment on a blog dedicated to the comparison between American English and British English by a female university professor. I used to find her posts interesting, but the one I had decided to reply to was different. It didn’t really have much to do with language, rather with… mansplaining. She said that she had left a sarcastic comment on a male professor’s blog and complained that the man hadn’t understood she was being sarcastic, so he explained (mansplained) again what he had written in the post. She thought he was being the “usual guy” who thinks the woman is stupid and feels the need to explain things to her. I found it disappointing that a professor, an intelligent, adult, well educated woman could be so irrational as to quickly assume that the man had explained himself (how dare he?) not because sarcasm doesn’t come across easily on the Internet, but because she’s a woman. So I told her about this in the comment and she replied in 2 ways: first, she did not believe I was a woman and said she regretted not activating the option that forces you to identify yourself if you want to post a comment and then she basically called the mob of her subscribers and directed them against me. Instead of addressing what I had said, she went for a personal attack, called for censorship, and went “collective mob” mode on me.
A few weeks later, a mom said her 4 year old boy was driving her family crazy with his bad behaviour and asked us other moms there if we could recommend a specialist. I decided to try again to join the conversation, so I replied to her that I didn’t recommend taking a little child to a specialist because a)it was probably a discipline problem that could have been fixed by using a different approach and b) nowadays specialists tend to put even little children on meds that ruin their lives and are therefore, in my opinion, a waste of time and money at best, very dangerous at worst. A conversation started, where this and other moms started “attacking” me. I added that before taking a little child to a specialist there were lots of options she could have tried. Back in the day, moms used to discipline their kids without any doctors or meds, and somehow, somehow!! they managed. I also said that in my experience, the dad does a better job at enforcing authority – moms don’t get taken seriously, whereas the dad does, and not because of spanking (I am not in favor of the initiation of force, unless if it’s for safe defence), just with the tone of his voice and the look on his face. The mom said she found my comment insulting, and that her husband wasn’t taken seriously at all by the child. I said it didn’t surprise me, because men nowadays don’t know how or don’t want to behave like Men, because if they did, their wives would call the cops on them or call them abusive monsters. The ladies didn’t like it. They said this made them cringe and it wasn’t all women’s fault (which I had never said). I went on trying to explain my point and some at least listened and seemed to understand, and when they stopped attacking me then went defensive: sometimes things go badly (my son had brain tumor! my kid is allergic to food coloring !!), they said, and cited extreme, rare cases in which a doctor is in fact needed or simply started defending women collectively, by saying sometimes the dad is not there, things happen, divorce happens, rape happens (???), we no longer have our grandparents’ support, blah blah. I said that things don’t just happen, everything is always a consequence of our choices and that victimhood takes responsibility away from you, brings you down as a human being because it removes agency and is simply an excuse. They didn’t like this either and instead of trying to understand what I was saying, they proceeded to insult me and isolate me.
I am surely not good at arguing either, but these ladies made me feel like a Greek philosopher compared to them! Even if this experience was very frustrating, I am not giving up on learning how to debate people: I want to improve and try really hard to stay rational and not go with feelings when I’m in a conversation, so I can think straight, because I find debating a valuable chance to potentially learn something new and I want to keep an open mind, but these ladies really tested my patience. Not to mention that they clearly didn’t read or listen to what I was saying, they were too busy feeling offended or listening to their feelings rather than to me, ignored the facts I was illustrating and used the victim card, then the guilt card (you’re a woman, you should be on our side) and resorted to slander and shaming. All this, with an emotional, irrational attitude plus an obnoxious or condescending tone, and of course virtue signalling and claiming the moral high ground.
So how do people do it? How do people debate liberal women? I surely have a lot to learn. And how did women become so intolerant to shaming? My grandparents’ generation was a lot more direct, used to be straight and sometimes say things and educate kids in a way that today would be considered bullying. But my parents’ generation instead gets triggered all the time and millennials are even worse. We surely need to do a better job with our children!