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?