Ignorance is FAR from Bliss…

April 7, 2009

I’m going to share a secret with you all that perhaps some of my classmates (ahem—thebeerphilosopher) may have already discovered. I consider myself to be a feminist. I take great pride in this, and I truly enjoy a good debate about the topic with a worthy opponent. I find that in order to be able to argue you’re stance in a situation like this one, you need to have a stance in which you firmly believe in, abide by and can back up. I am NOT looking to open any debates up here, I just want to let it be known that I believe I posses such a stance. When I debate my point with any opponent, I do not waver from my beliefs, however, I am always willing to acknowledge when a challenger has made a valid point. If I were to deliberate with, oh say thebeerphilosopher right now, I would give him, as well as his argument, my upmost respect. In return, I would expect that he listen to my points with the same respect and do me the same curtsey.

Earlier this evening, a good (male) friend of mine mistakenly launched a sparring match with me on the topic of women’s equality in the work place. After several minutes of back and forth banter, his best point was “women should be paid half as much as men because they all get knocked up and become stay at home moms”. Well friend, that’s just not true. Despite being grossly over exaggerated, that’s hardly a reason for paying all women 50% less than men (philosopher, before you even comment I KNOW this is not the actual figure for men to women pay rate, I’m simply going with the figure my friend is suggesting). After I made this point, as well as several others, my friend began to get aggravated. His solution to this was to respond “I’m not debating this with you anymore because you’re completely ignorant.” Excuse me?! I may be many things (including stubborn, short tempered, and a little out spoken), but one thing I am NOT is ignorant.

The definition of ignorance according to Webster is “lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned; unaware; uninformed.” I consider this to be a tremendous insult, and an unnecessary personal assault on my character. You may believe I am over reacting, but to be called ignorant on a subject I hold so dearly to my heart is literally to attack the very fiber of my being. What right does one have to refer to someone as ignorant simply because one has no better retort? I have never agreed with the statement “ignorance is bliss”, however I firmly believe in the phrase “knowledge is power”. I have armed myself with knowledge, I am not unaware, nor am I uninformed. Although I have no formal training in the subject, I would say living as a female in a male dominated society has given me some insight. To me the term ignorant refers to a person who is uneducated and therefore, inferior. I regard this term to be the ultimate insult. I urge others to be cautious of the way they sometimes carelessly use this term.

As for the young man who made the mistake of using this term to describe me…I’m told there is an 80% chance he’ll make a full recovery.

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4 Responses to “Ignorance is FAR from Bliss…”

  1. thebeerphilosopher said

    Now Lenny, I would never argue that women should be payed anything less than what a man in a similar position earns. But Christmas bonuses should be determined in indirect proportion to the amount of clothing they wear at the office. Is that so much to ask?

    ::Ducks::

    Sounds like you’ve got a classic case of beating the middle-school bully in a shouting match. He just ended the conversation with, “Oh yeah? Well… YOU’RE stupid!”

    Which, for the record, you’re not. I enjoy our back-and-forths. Didn’t we talk about anger as a healthy emotion yesterday?

    That means that like beer, I make you healthier.

  2. guswinn said

    Hi Lenny,

    I understand COMPLETELY why you would be so worked up over what your “good” friend had said to you. But I also don’t think that you should let it upset you as much as you are letting it. You and I both know that women are just as capable as men, both physically and mentally. And you are right. Those who have your friend’s point of view are ignorant. If you firmly stand by your belief, and you trust in your belief, than what ever an uneducated person might say is irrelevant and doesn’t matter.

    Throw it in the mental waste basket!

    I just also don’t want to see you have a heart attack (I can sense it through the blog!).

    • Notelrac said

      Stating “women are just as capable as men, both physically and mentally” does not make it so, and your claim that the original poster shares this with you is unfounded by the original text. If by “women” and “men” you mean statistically significant large groupings, there are biological differences which lead to differences in capabilities. For example, if you ignore individual variations, men tend to have greater upper body strength. Women tend to have higher pain tolerance thresholds.

      The original post was about equal pay for equal work, which is ethically just. Your comment slides into an ignorant claim that everyone is as capable as everyone else.

      And what uneducated people might say is relevant; they vote in presidential elections.

  3. Notelrac said

    It appears from your description that the male you were arguing with was ignorant of the definition of “ignorant.” On the other hand, he did appear to know what debating techniques to use in order to move the topoi from rational discourse to emotional outrage, and thence to force majeure.

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