Yeah, this is a lie. Discussion implies an openness and willingness to consider the other person's point of view. What these dudes want is to either guilt you into an argument, or (more likely) to discredit you and make themselves look like the "winner" by pretending they're calm and that being calm means they've won. They're all "look at how reasonable and intellectual I am, I just want to discuss this issue because I'm Professor Rational of the School of Open Minded Debate" when really they're sitting there in their fedora with their list of MRA talking points ready. And the minute they realize you've got them beat, out come the misogynistic slurs.
Anyway, Psychology of Women Quarterly published a study that looked at the online comments to articles talking about studies that prove their MRA talking points wrong. Do they reasonably and rationally change their minds in the face of new evidence?
Here's what the study found, according to Feministing (which I won't link to because they kind of suck):
- 9.5% of the comments argued that sexism does not exist; 68% of these were from men.
- 67.4% of the comments agreed that gender bias exists; 29% of these were from men.
- 22% of all of the comments justified the existence of gender bias; between 79% and 88% of these were from men.
- Of the comments justifying gender bias, 59.8% did so using biological explanations, 29.6% used non-biological explanations, and 10.6% justified it stating that women perpetrate it by discriminating against other women.
- 7.6% of the comments argued that sexism targets men more than women; 65% of these commenters were men.
- 100% of the comments expressing gratitude for the study were made by women.
- 11.2% of the comments expressed a call for social change; 46% of these were made by men.
That second to last one is just fantastic.
This study shows exactly what I've experienced. The kind of guys who run into the comment sections of articles about sexism (including plenty of dudes who have graced this blog) don't come for the reasonable discussions. You can tell by the way that as soon as you prove their ideas wrong with the scientific evidence they value so highly, they go straight to explaining why sexism is necessary and great. This is after spending so much time explaining that they're toooootally not sexist.
"Biological explanations," by the way, are all based in what can only be described as pop evolutionary psychology. Which is hilarious, because if you try to use legitimate psychology to explain why they're wrong, they dismiss you based on 50-year-old ideas about psychology and how it's not legitimate because it's a "soft science," showing that they don't understand the very term they're using.
Yeah, I've spent a lot of time on this lost cause.
To be fair (lmao), I'm sure that these results would be different if the average man bothered to comment on articles about sexism. Which they might do if they gave a shit.