Twinkies in Tight Tops and the Regime Illogiqué

One easy mistake to make in reasoning is called Affirming the Consequent. Suppose the initial axiom is “if P then Q.” The next statement is made, which is Q, and the conclusion is then drawn, which is “therefore P.”

There are times when this structure might seem plausible enough, at least at first glance. “If I study hard, I will get an A. I got an A. Therefore I must have studied hard.” No, actually there are other possibilities — bribing the teacher, blind luck, majoring in women’s studies, and so on.

There are other times when it is screamingly obvious that this kind of argument has to be a fallacy. “If it is a dog, then it has four legs. This animal has four legs. Therefore it is a dog.” No, sorry. That’s a cow.

I bring this up because of an exchange on Twitter about my post yesterday on Jen Wilkin’s post. I said this near the conclusion:

“And briefly, the last distinction we must have is the distinction between the wise and intelligent women who understood exactly what Wilkin was getting at, who have dealt with real instances of such a haunting, and who actually have had a bloviating pastor modulate into his “pastor voice” when answering a simple question, and the clueless women who blindly liked Wilkin’s article on Facebook, but who are themselves pushy broads, twinkies in tight tops, or waifs with manga eyes.”

Then this happened:

tim_fall  [email protected] demeans women as “pushy broads, twinkies in tight tops, or waifs with manga eyes”: http://t.co/n2HCFTiS3T He should stop that.

The_SergeMG  @tim_fall @douglaswils And who says “broads” in 2015 ??? Not because it’s sexist, but because it’s antiquated. Who is he: Jackie Mason?

tim_fall  @The_SergeMG Maybe @douglaswils was channeling his inner Sam Spade. #notagoodrolemodel

douglaswils  @tim_fall — Heh. Didn’t call women anything.

tim_fall  My mistake then, @douglaswils. I thought your phrase “pushy broads, twinkies in tight tops, or waifs with manga eyes” referred to women.

There was also this:

sololoner2 He doesn’t want 2 acknowledge there is problem w women being marginalized by Xtians b/c they R treated like harlots @tim_fall @douglaswils

Now it is not as though I am surprised by any of this. I know that it is going to happen, and I usually know when. All I have to do is pop some particular sin associated with some women, however qualified, and a certain kind of mind reads it as an attack on all women. If I say that one woman can sin with her breasts, I must be saying that all women are sinning with their breasts. If I say that one woman is being pushy, I am arguing that all women are pushy. If I say that one woman plays dumb, then I am supposed to be maintaining that all women are playing dumb.

Now that you know how this Regime Illogiqué works, I want you to watch me accuse all women of not having an intelligent thought in their pretty little heads. Here goes. Some women, no more than three percent of them, do not have an intelligent thought in their pretty little heads. Thunder! Lightning! Blue ruination!

I can even set a trap for them in the clear light of day, and they still take the bait. They can’t help it. This thing is like catnip. Notice in the quoted paragraph above, I drew a distinction between “wise and intelligent” women on the one hand, and “clueless” women on the other. Clearly I had it in for them. Why didn’t somebody tell them it was an ambush?

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BJ
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BJ

Doug,

You ought to be above the gutter snipes on Twitter, who are merely trolling you. Expecting them to use logic in their attacks while using French in your explanation is not fair to them. They have never heard of logic (ya know, public school and all) and think French is a coffee flavor. Maybe go easy on them next time.

Under His Mercy,
BJ

Johnny Simmons
Member

The Jackie Mason comment was kind of funny.

prayersofadoration
Member

Maybe they love the bait too much to care about the trap.

RFB
Guest
RFB

the instant paradigm usually ends with “…the one that yelps is the one that got hit.”

David
Guest
David

Concerning the French “Regime Illogiqué“…. why the accent aigu?

David
Guest
David

Continuing on the French… the word regime requires an accent over the first “e”… régime.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

Twitter?? I hope you don’t ever read YouTube comments.

If it wasn’t for bad logic, some folks wouldn’t have any logic at all.

Mark Hanson
Guest
Mark Hanson

How does the actual fallacy shown by the commentators – mistaking part for whole – morph into the different fallacy of affirming the consequent?

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

There is a reason that facebook doesn’t have a “dislike” button, all affirmation all the time.

Julie Anne
Guest

Mr. Wilson, do you use equally insulting names for some men?

Matt Massingill
Guest
Matt Massingill

All those who are itching to be offended will find a way. Now, lest anyone conclude that I am painting *all* victimization types with a broad brush, let me clarify that indeed, I am. I’m not stereotyping, I’m profiling. Now, doesn’t that make yall feel better?

Dee Parsons
Guest
Dee Parsons

BJ

Tim Fall is a respected judge who serves on the Superior Court of Yolo County in California. He is neither a gutter snip or a troll. He certainly understands logic and probably drinks his coffee from a French press.

Perhaps Pastor Wilson does not always clearly communicate his ideas as you think he does.

TedR
Guest
TedR

Julie Anne: I got a good laugh there, although I am not sure that is what you intended. Equally? If a police officer arrested 10 men one day and they were deserving of the arrest, would anyone expect that tomorrow they will arrest only women, in order to be equal? Could it be that the kind of women Doug is referring to might be deserving of the criticism? But to answer the question anyway, having addressed the issue of the unnecessary egalitarian equation balancing, have you read read any of Doug’s books concerning manhood? Thunder puppies, blockheads, lazy – just… Read more »

BJ
Guest
BJ

@Dee

I think Pastor Wilson is quite clear, but in this case he did not make clear who these people were or why he was responding to their (what appeared to be) trolling Twitter swipes at him. Thanks for the clarification on the judge, but it seems to me (one who avoids most social media) to be an illogical swipe at his word choice for click traffic and not for a real interaction with his thoughts.

Under His Mercy,
BJ

Walton
Guest
Walton

Mark.

There is a close correlation between affirming the consequent and bad set theory. I think Doug was saying the subset of women who are like __ is a subset of women. And it was wrongly interpreted as the set of women is a subset of people like __.

I kinda got the same disconnect, but the errors are still quite similar.

Rachael Starke
Guest

So sorry – Which click trafficky word choices are being illogically swiped at? I ask merely for information.

Mark B. Hanson
Guest
Mark B. Hanson

Julie Anne,

He certainly does. Read the original post “Waifs With Manga Eyes” for, for example, his characterization of some leaders as “bloviating pastors” (which in much of the Reformed world are some men).

Michelle Walker
Member
Michelle Walker

Let’s clarify:
“1. The Usurper” (Wilkins) = “pushy broads” (Wilson)
“2. The Temptress” (Wilkins) = “twinkies in tight tops” (Wilson)
“3. The Child” (Wilkins) = “waifs with manga eyes” (Wilson)
Get it? Synonymous descriptions for a subset of women.

As for a pastor meeting a female parishioner for the first time saying, “You’ve been hiding from me!” and then draping her in a friendly hug–I’d be more concerned about that than ghosts. Would much rather have a wise pastor who doesn’t flatter egos and who keeps an appropriate distance with a friendly handshake, which the woman initiates, any day.

Bert Perry
Guest

Regarding the kind of language that our gracious host uses, I’ve come to understand that the Scriptures are pretty earthy at times. “Twinkies in tight tops” is pretty mild compared to “whitewashed tombs” or “brood of vipers”, after all.

valerieab
Member

TedR — Don’t forget my personal favorite: “A man who does not take particular and tender care of his wife, and who then expects her to be fruitful and lovely, is not being a true husband at all; he is a dolt — the Greek word for this is probably meathead.” –from Reforming Marriage I bet if we did a literary analysis of The Collected Works of Douglas Wilson, Unabridged, the list of insulting terms applied to various males of the species would dwarf his unflattering female-focused verbiage many times over. And then some whiny wench would wail that Wilson… Read more »

Katecho
Member

One possible implementation of Affirming the Consequent would be:

“If someone thinks all woman have strong character deficiencies (P), then that person will occasionally make reference to women with strong character deficiencies (Q).”
“Doug Wilson made reference to women with strong character deficiencies (Q affirmed).”
“Therefore, Doug Wilson thinks that all women have strong character deficiencies (Therefore P).”

Q.E.D. and X.Y.Z.

dchammers
Member

Walerie, Wery, wery fun alliteration!

TedR
Guest
TedR

Valerie: THAT was funny, good stuff. I’m a dolt for forgetting meathead.

TedR
Guest
TedR

I love Chickadees, in fact, they are one of my favorite birds but I am not certain as to why one appears in my avatar. Prettier than my mug so I’ll let it ride.

jeers1215
Guest
jeers1215

What bothers these women (and would-be men) is not that they percieve Pastor Wilson to be calling them tramps and harridans. What bothers them is that he is presuming to be the one to tell the difference. Gynocentrism says that women alone are allowed to tell the difference, and then to inform men. Gynocentrism says that men ought to feel shame for having bumbled into a women’s issue. The double standard of safe spaces and whatnot. The correct frame of moral authority has been inverted. Every woman IS a possible harlot. Failing to acknowledge this obvious fact is perhaps the… Read more »

Tom
Guest
Tom

Every man a possible seducer, every woman a possible seductress.
Really, though, let’s be plain: Every person, theoretically, is capable of committing any sin.
If more people remembered this, churches would be better able to stand against any sin.

Curtis Sheidler
Guest
Curtis Sheidler

I really thought “Tim Fall is a respected judge on the Superior Court of Yolo County, California” (from Dee Parsons’ comment) was a really hilarious joke at first. Nope, turns out Yolo County is, in fact, a real thing.

And yet, it’s *STILL* hilarious!!!

But then, California’s awfully good at writing jokes about itself anyway, right?

Richard c.
Guest
Richard c.

People, including Christians have become so thin-skinned. Pretty much anything posted on Twitter that includes any criticism of anybody or an anti- thesis of anything will lead to Cyber-martyrs.

RB3
Guest
RB3

Pastor Wilson, Some of these twitter comments may be carelessly reading you and committing the fallacy of mistaking the part for the whole–but it’s also possible that they’re not. What Tim Fall said is that you “demean women as ‘pushy broads, twinkies in tight tops, or waifs with manga eyes.'” While you’re focusing on the fact that he said you “demean women” and interpret that to mean “demean [all] women” by assuming that they’re all pushy broads, etc., I think there’s a good chance he is expressing what I felt upon reading that sentence in your original post: that you… Read more »

Mark B. Hanson
Guest
Mark B. Hanson

RB3, Two comments. 1. I am quite sure that anyone “offended” by Pr. Wilson’s “demeaning” words would never count themselves among those he has demeaned – they are taking offense on someone else’s (most likely theoretical) account. And yet most of us know women who fit those descriptions (and men that fit his masculine insults as well). Even so, those women and men would virtually always read Wilson’s words and say “not me!” 2. Jesus himself was not above using such language when appropriate: “whited sepulchres” for example. Maybe Jesus didn’t think the Pharisees were created in the image of… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

“And briefly, the last distinction we must have is the distinction between the wise and intelligent women who understood exactly what Wilkin was getting at, who have dealt with real instances of such a haunting, and who actually have had a bloviating pastor modulate into his “pastor voice” when answering a simple question, and the clueless women who blindly liked Wilkin’s article on Facebook, but who are themselves pushy broads, twinkies in tight tops, or waifs with manga eyes.”

If the latter group greatly outnumber the former, then doesn’t your defense here basically fall apart?

Rick Davis
Guest

This makes me wonder what would happen if Martin Luther were alive today and had a Twitter feed. Pastor Wilson seems exceedingly tame by comparison.

Kamilla
Guest
Kamilla

The comments are almost better than the piece! Evidently Julia Ann didn’t read the whole piece
Or she wouldn’t have needed to ask the question. And Dee? Well, imma take a screenshot of that comment and tweet it every time I see you go after the alleged sins of an otherwise respected pastor/leader. Priceless!

Tom
Guest
Tom

matt: Well, it might, but that presupposes that the first part of the sentence is true. Which neither you nor I nor Wilson knows.

Pat
Guest
Pat

The problem in communicating was not that your critics are guilty of a logical fallacy. The main problem is that you used such unkind language to describe those who are “less intelligent” women.

Jane
Member

Pat — were you similarly upset by usurper, temptress, and child? None of those is very flattering, either.

RB3
Guest
RB3

Jane D.: See my comment a little bit upthread. It discusses at more length the problem that I believe Pat is getting at. Mark B. Hanson: Yes, the “Jesus called the Pharisees ‘whited sepulchres'” defense always seems to be trotted out whenever anyone raises the point that Pastor Wilson’s harsh and ridiculing rhetoric might be harming his message. But help me understand: who, exactly, are the Pharisees in this scenario?? Wilson is not responding to any Pharisaical behavior on the part of women here, nor indeed any specific behavior or women at all: the sentence in question is a completely… Read more »

Jane
Member

RB3 — It should not surprise you that I had already read your comments before posting mine, since you had already written them before I wrote mine. My question to Pat stands. If “demeaning language” is by definition wrong, then all negative language is wrong, since negative language is never meant to create a positive impression of the object. The line between “demeaning” and non-demeaning but negative seems to be based in who has a putative right to say what, regardless of the truth of what’s being said, rather than in the actual content of the language.

Bert Perry
Guest

I think that the technical name for Pat’s argument is “Squirrel!”. That is, caught in a clear logical fallacy, it is incumbent on those hoisted on their own petard to use a diversionary tactic to distract attention from what they’ve just done. Hence, the battle cry of “stop picking on us, you meanies!” is used. Which is, of course, another logical fallacy as well as a Biblical fallacy. In which case right-thinkers need to throw their hats on the ice, don’t you think? And an octopus, since they used the wrong net. Or is it too early to be thinking… Read more »

Keith Bkankenship
Guest
Keith Bkankenship

I only know him from the internet, but Tim Fall seems like a very nice person. He is courteous enough to participate in his own blog by responding in the comments section.

Does Mr. Wilson do the same?

Jane
Member

Yes, although he does not respond to all comments individually.

Bert Perry
Guest

Keith, actually whether or not Tim is a nice guy has nothing to do with this. The question is whether he, in his online persona, actually uses the logical training he received in law school and perhaps elsewhere. In this case, my opinion is that his enthusiasm for his cause overrode the logical training, and he stepped in it.

A Wheelr
Guest

If the aforementioned “insult” of women has caused such a stir, I wonder what one does when they read Proverbs before they get to chapter 31. It uses some pretty harsh language both for male and female.

Yes, people are made in the image of God and worth speaking Truth to but there are those who need correction, admonition, rebuking. Is it not wisdom to be able to see danger? But, you cannot call it such?

RB3
Guest
RB3

A Wheelr et al: Because it doesn’t seem as though any of the commenters here have engaged with my points, which provide an alternative explanation for the negative reactions to Pastor Wilson’s “twinkies” language besides the assumed “logical fallacy/stupid people who can’t handle strong language like the Bible uses” explanation, I’ll repeat myself here: Yes, the “Jesus called the Pharisees ‘whited sepulchres’” defense always seems to be trotted out whenever anyone raises the point that Pastor Wilson’s harsh and ridiculing rhetoric might be harming his message. But help me understand: who, exactly, are the Pharisees in this scenario?? Wilson is… Read more »