In honor of the fact that Philosophical Meanderings placed second last behind Monthly Mixes in my constituency poll, here's a philosophical meandering for you.
A while back, I was talking to a lesbian friend of mine (actually, she is my favorite lesbian including celebrity lesbians if you care to know), and we had a conversation that went sort-of like this:
Her: I exclude you from this question I'm about to ask, Dave, no offense meant to you personally.
Her: So, as far as I know, every girl I know has physically been taken advantage of by men in some way. For example, I would have no concern at all for a girl that passed out drunk in the company of other women, but I would be gravely concerned for a girl who passed out drunk in the company of men. Can you tell me why I should have anything at all to do with men with this being the case?
Me: Well, even if what you say is true that doesn't mean every man is a potential assaulter, right?
Her: Are you trying to say that it is only the actions of a very few men that account for these sorts of things being played out on every single girl I know?
Me: Well, here's my counterexample. Every adult man here [gesturing around at the crowded venue we were in] probably has either been propositioned by a prostitute, or else has been to a strip club, or has in some other way been exposed to female lasciviousness, right?
Her: Yes, probably. Right.
Me: Would it therefore be acceptable for a man to assume that all women he meets are therefore prostitutes or strippers? Because a man who assumed that based on the fact that at least one woman had revealed herself to be in that category would be following the same logical path that you're following now. Granted his following that logical path leads him to the kind of abhorrent behavior you're describing, whereas your following your logical path leads to no such thing, but I don't like the fact that either of you is applying the specific case back onto the general.
Her: I hadn't thought of it that way before, but I am not entirely convinced.
So. I think about this conversation from time to time, and think about whether my example is sound, and whether it made sense to her or even whether attempting to dissuade her from her logic is even something I would want to do. I did feel like she was asking me to defend my gender, and I'm not sure I did what I was supposed to there. Anyway, I thought this might spur some thought or comments from you, even though studies show 75% of you are not particularly interested in philosophical meanderings.
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