Is gender a social construct?

Laura

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Thanks, WK, for this great commentary on Postmodernism. It really helped.

Windmill knight said:
2) It provides all sorts of excuses for one's own shortcomings. From political apathy to sexual deviations, it's all good as nothing really matters in the end. I suspect that those liberals who so fiercely fight for transgender rights - even more than the transgender people themselves - do so because they are preempting any eventual criticism against whatever they are hiding in their own closets.
I think this is the biggest draw for the "common man" and that includes tons of uni students and their parents. It occurred to me the other day that it is a perfect cover-up for the fact that the modern diet with its pollutants and screwed up science which has caused so many hormonal problems for literally everybody on the planet. All those kids slurping down gender-bender chemicals and getting "transgendered" that way, whose parents feel guilty as hell because they don't realize what has really happened, can be explained away with all this "trans gender" nonsense.

Men who may feel guilty because they think they have been an inadequate or bad father, resulting in sexual issues for their children, can hang onto these ideas for dear life so they can sleep at night. And what if it has almost nothing to do with any of the usual explanations, but really has everything to do with poisons in the food we eat???
 

whitecoast

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Mr. Premise said:
Laura said:
Mr. Premise said:
Interesting thread! Some thoughts:

I think some of the confusion can be traced to the fact that, on the one hand, there ARE or HAVE BEEN cultures with more than two genders. So clearly we cannot equate gender with sex. But it is also a fact that there are strong biological underpinnings to gender.
What cultures are those? And what are the "more than two genders"?

I am aware that many cultures throughout history have accepted gays and have had special terms for them that are often, but not always, pejorative, but none, so far as I am aware, actually consider them another "gender."
Well genders, I think, are cultural roles based on sex. So for some cultures it can be binary (male-female) but that can lead to mistreatment of homosexuals, for example.

Also, it is interesting that the older Indo-European languages had three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. Maybe because of rearing of livestock, where there are different terms for castrated male animals (bulls vs. steers, for example). And several historical cultures had eunuchs or castrati, which had different cultural expectations, which could be seen as gender. Plus, if there are two binary oppositions, they combine into four quadrants. So even in our culture, we might see four genders based on two binary oppositions: male-female, and attracted to males and attracted to females.

But being aware of different ways cultures deal with these things doesn't mean subscribing to proliferation of different pronouns and voluntary identification of personal idiosyncratic gender categories. I think there's a middle road here.


Color is an example. Some cultures didn't differentiate between blue and green, or red and orange. There is an underlying reality of wavelengths of light, but cultures can divide them up in different ways.
This was essentially the point of my original post, and that how you're describing it is essentially how "socially constructed" is defined. A lot of people have been paying attention to how to define gender, but less attention has been paid to defining social construct.

An example of social construction of gender can be found even within the binary gender system. Different cultures have different behavioral models and expectations for males and females. In a hunter-gatherer tribe New Guinea for example, being able to hunt was seen as essential to masculine behavior and identity. This has deep cultural roots, but today in the west people don't think less of men for not wanting or being able to hunt, or certainly not in the way they would have been condemned in a much earlier culture. This is something they would forgive a woman of, but not a man, because hunting is by and large a gendered activity. Let's also compare Egypt to the USA in the 50's or so. Men hug and kiss and hold hands all the time in the middle east, whereas that was exceptionally taboo in the USA at the time. In the USA a man like that was called a "sissy", which is male whose behavior is degenerate and not becoming at all for a man (here I'm equivocating "male" with sex and "man" with gender). Alternatively there was "tomboy" for girls in the 50's as well, who acted out the gendered behaviors of the manly gender instead of the womanly.

Which is weird IMO, because homosexuality is actually within the traditional male/female binary gender thing as far as I'm concerned. You have 2 genders, and sometimes you get MM and FF instead of MF.
Maybe that's how things are today in many circles. Sexual orientation is becoming decreasingly gender-segregated, much in the same way that house chores have been for the past 50 years or so. Many places still hold that men are supposed to like women and vice versa otherwise they're not really fulfilling their cultural role as men or women. Hence, culturally constructed expectations for a person based on their sex.

Well, you might notice that acceptance of homosexuals in Western societies is at an all time high. It seems to me that those pushing the 'transgender' business are pushing too far and at the behest of very suspect groups and are therefore actually working against the continued acceptance of homosexuality in Western societies.
You might be surprised (or not) to learn that many "queer theorists" actually advocate eliminating the distinction between LGBT and just going with "queer" as a moniker. Which is odd because gay rights activists have fought hard for that distinction. I think they want to eliminate it again just because a blanket term would allow them to smuggle more psychologically aberrant and pathological behavior into the overton window.

Laura said:
Thanks, WK, for this great commentary on Postmodernism. It really helped.

Windmill knight said:
2) It provides all sorts of excuses for one's own shortcomings. From political apathy to sexual deviations, it's all good as nothing really matters in the end. I suspect that those liberals who so fiercely fight for transgender rights - even more than the transgender people themselves - do so because they are preempting any eventual criticism against whatever they are hiding in their own closets.
I think this is the biggest draw for the "common man" and that includes tons of uni students and their parents. It occurred to me the other day that it is a perfect cover-up for the fact that the modern diet with its pollutants and screwed up science which has caused so many hormonal problems for literally everybody on the planet. All those kids slurping down gender-bender chemicals and getting "transgendered" that way, whose parents feel guilty as hell because they don't realize what has really happened, can be explained away with all this "trans gender" nonsense.

Men who may feel guilty because they think they have been an inadequate or bad father, resulting in sexual issues for their children, can hang onto these ideas for dear life so they can sleep at night. And what if it has almost nothing to do with any of the usual explanations, but really has everything to do with poisons in the food we eat???
Totally. This is just part of the squeeze of seeing who can use and apply knowledge to further protect and enhance the species, or who will use intellectual systems to justify and internally consider, and place their self-image above the objective well-being of others.
 

ScioAgapeOmnis

The Living Force
I think people are confusing concepts and also redefining words because those words hold political power in the current postmodern politically-correct environment. So instead of saying "I am a chu-chu train" they say "I identify as a chu-chu rain" or "my gender is chu-chu train". The first statement is obviously a small child or a fully retarded adult, but the latter two, which are no different, forces people to pause because now you're talking about feelings and personal identity and a risk of discrimination or being bigoted if not acknowledged. But the first statement is also feelings/personal identity, but somehow those things are understood as "silly" or "very important" depending on how someone approaches their pathological declarations, it literally warps people's brains by forcing some kind of respect/acknowledgment to the same words that wouldn't be taken seriously if phrased just a bit differently. That's the pathological selection and substitution.

As for these 58 "genders", here's how ridiculous this is - I'll just put the real meaning after each one.

Ant22 said:
The following are the 58 gender options identified by ABC News:

Agender - Denial. I don't think I exist. I might be a chat program or a coffee mug.
Androgyne - I have a genetic deformity.
Androgynous - I have a genetic deformity.
Bigender - I have a genetic deformity.
Cis - Man or woman.
Cisgender - Man or woman.
Cis Female - Woman.
Cis Male - Man.
Cis Man - Man.
Cis Woman - Man.
Cisgender Female - Woman.
Cisgender Male - Man.
Cisgender Man - Man.
Cisgender Woman - Woman.
Female to Male - Born woman. Surgically changed to man bits.
FTM - Born woman. Surgically changed to man bits.
Gender Fluid - Obese man or woman with t-rex size hands and no mirrors. No way to verify. Send help.
Gender Nonconforming - Morbidly obese man or woman with T-Rex size hands and no mirrors. No way to verify. Send help.
Gender Questioning - Morbidly obese man or woman with T-Rex size hands and no mirrors. No way to verify. Send help.
Gender Variant - Morbidly obese man or woman with T-Rex size hands and no mirrors. No way to verify. Send help.
Genderqueer - Morbidly obese man or woman with T-Rex size hands and no mirrors. No way to verify. Send help.
Intersex - I have a genetic deformity.
Male to Female - Born man. Surgically changed to woman bits.
MTF - Born man. Surgically changed to woman bits.
Neither - Denial. I don't think I exist. I might be a chat program or a coffee mug.
Neutrois - Denial. I don't think I exist. I might be a chat program or a coffee mug.
Non-binary - Denial. I don't think I exist. I might be a chat program or a coffee mug.
Other - I am a hyperdimensional alien here for your loot. And bacon.
Pangender - Denial. I don't think I exist. I might be a chat program or a coffee mug.
Trans - Man, I feel like a woman!
Trans* - Man*, I feel like a woman*!
Trans Female - Man, I feel like a woman!
Trans* Female - Man*, I feel like a woman*!
Trans Male - Man, I feel like a woman!
Trans* Male - Man*, I feel like a woman*!
Trans Man - Man, I feel like a woman!
Trans* Man - Man*, I feel like a woman*!
Trans Person - Man, I feel like a woman!
Trans* Person - Man*, I feel like a woman*!
Trans Woman - Man, I feel like a woman!
Trans* Woman - Man, I feel like a woman!
Transfeminine - Man, I feel like a woman!
Transgender - Man, I feel like a woman!
Transgender Female - Man, I feel like a woman!
Transgender Male - Man, I feel like a woman!
Transgender Man - Man, I feel like a woman!
Transgender Person - Man, I feel like a woman!
Transgender Woman - Man, I feel like a woman!
Transmasculine - Man, I feel like a woman!
Transsexual - Man, I feel like a woman!
Transsexual Female - Man, I feel like a woman!
Transsexual Male - Man, I feel like a woman!
Transsexual Man - Man, I feel like a woman!
Transsexual Person - Man, I feel like a woman!
Transsexual Woman - Man, I feel like a woman!
Two-Spirit - Get an exorcist
Actually an exorcist for most of the above might do the trick..
 

ScioAgapeOmnis

The Living Force
I think once you stray from objective reality you can't help but be inundated with hypocrisies and contradictions. Here are some funny ones already mentioned, because cognitive dissonance is a bitch.

I identity as a woman today! So I act like women act! So women act a certain way? Oh wait.. well, crap.

We should be tolerant of everyone's feelings. Except those who think there are 2 genders or otherwise disagree with me!

Racism is wrong! As a privileged CIS white male you should be ashamed and are inferior and bad!

Down with fascism! Free speech! Throw everyone who disagrees into a camp and burn their house!

Wanting to change your sex is beautiful and should be encouraged at the slightest hint of that urge! Being autistic and depressed and schizophrenic and bipolar are mental conditions that should be treated!

There is no truth or objective reality! Believe me, that's the truth!

Morals are relative and subjective. It's immoral to insist otherwise!

The past doesn't work! We should change the old stale ways of our society! We can do this using the tried and true method of rioting and using proven COINTELPRO tactics that have always worked so well in the past!

... I'm sure there's tons more, but I think the mental atrophy is readily apparent with these guys.
 

luc

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Windmill knight said:
That's a great example. I spent a few years in university dealing with all sorts of flavours of postmodernism in social sciences, and one thing that struck me was how contradictory some could be, even if they were based on similar premises. So different feminists, for example, could reach diametrically opposite conclusions.
Thanks for sharing, Windmill knight. I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment that postmodernism takes away all responsibility and allows for laziness. On many levels, too - in personal life, in academic life (I can just ruminate and pretend it's science) and as a teacher (witness the perverse incidences in 'gender studies' where lesbians show dildos and all that). A total absorption of the sex center by the intellectual center without any checks in place comes to mind as well.

To echo what you said from my own experience at university (studying philosophy): I haven't had too much contact with postmodernist thought per se (thankfully), but some, especially in sociology. I remember how I kind of oscillated between fascination/getting caught up in postmodernist thought and being appalled by it. But I remember the specific 'draw' of this postmodernist line of thought, it was like a Siren call in a way: hell yeah, I can throw everything out, be a wild revolutionary, do whatever I want, oh how good that feels! It really spoke to the worst parts of my being (which at the time often were dominant) - postmodernist thought was promising because it would allow me to be totally lazy and self-absorbed. To relieve me of making the effort of studying logic, statistics, science and really dig deep. I could just let my intellect run wild into lala-land, unrestrained.

I think what Laura wrote above about men without male role models and people generally messed up by toxins etc. is spot-on as well. I was a classic case in a way and this lowered my defense mechanism to this poisonous ideology that celebrates being messed up instead of trying to fix it.

One of the things that 'saved' me back then I guess was that I had a few professors whom I admired who were very anti-postmodernism, hard-working and brilliant. I guess those become rarer and rarer in the humanities and social sciences, so postmodernism can poison the minds unchecked...


Windmill knight said:
But of course it had to be that way, cause it's nothing short of cheating and contradictory to declare that everything is a social construct and then proceed to make your own social constructs and demand that everyone should stick to them if they don't want to be considered oppressive!
Actually, in their twisted logic it makes sense: everything is a social construct, so language is only a game played to gain power, it has nothing to do with finding the truth, because that's impossible. The postmodernists make no qualms about the fact that they themselves use language as 'rhetoric' and as a weapon to further their agenda. And good at that game they are: what better way to corner, dominate and manipulate people than calling them names (nazi, oppressor etc.), redefining language and lumping them together with the worst groups they can think of? It works like a charm.
 

Approaching Infinity

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Joe said:
But that is now how some of these people use the term gender, to them it is effectively a 'third' (or fourth or fifth) "biological sex", including the non-descript "neither male nor female". The 'gender fluidity' business in general seems to be defined by MASSIVE subjectivity, validation of which is to be forced on the general population. The question then is: 'can we ALL have our most subjective imaginings validated in the same way?' But wait, apparently the majority of the population would never want anyone to indulge them in such an extreme and, frankly inappropriate, way.
I think that's it in a nutshell. They want to force their pathology on everyone else, just like all other pathological ideologues. The irony is that if anything, their "non-binary gender" is what is socially constructed: it's a collective delusion they have accepted for themselves and come to identify with. Then, with pathological persistence, they try to convince everyone else that their own pathology is universal. "ALL gender is socially (subjectively) constructed."

Not only that, it's even implied that gender fluidity is the more "pure" or "unadulterated" state, because "gender fluid" people haven't "succumbed" to the social construction of a "traditional" gender. "Cis-gendered" people are the oppressors and somehow even inferior on the basis of their gender. But in reality, it seems to me that these extreme cases are more an example of personal psychopathology "filled in" by socially-constructed postmodern ideology!

I looked up some definitions in my computer dictionary. This is what it says for gender:
1 the state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones): traditional concepts of gender | [ as modifier ] : gender roles.
• the members of one or other sex: differences between the genders are encouraged from an early age.

usage: The word gender has been used since the 14th century as a grammatical term, referring to classes of noun designated as masculine, feminine, or neuter in some languages. The sense ‘the state of being male or female’ has also been used since the 14th century, but this did not become common until the mid 20th century. Although the words gender and sex both have the sense ‘the state of being male or female,’ they are typically used in slightly different ways: sex tends to refer to biological differences, while gender refers to cultural or social ones.
Which makes me think that these latest "gender" developments should have been predictable. The contemporary usage of "gender" itself had its origins in the very fields most affected by postmodern philosophy: sociology, cultural studies. It's a bogus concept to begin with. We should be fine with "sex" and "sex roles". But by trying to make abstract 'gender' a real, concrete thing, they then take it to fantastical and absurd extremes.

It's really kind of sad. Many people still can't comprehend that people don't "choose" to be homosexual. The idea that a man really can't help but feel like a woman is even weirder and more difficult to comprehend. But to then go in the direction of "gender fluidity" and multiple, non-binary genders is just absurd.

But then, that's the essence of postmodernism, as Gellner wrote: taking a common-sense observation and turning it into an absurdity. In the case of postmodern in general, the common-sense observation was that "meanings" are used to maintain power. D'uh. But to then take that to the extreme that ALL meanings are ONLY power-maintaining weapons is ridiculous.

In the case of "gender", the common-sense observation is that not all people conform to traditional sex roles to the same degree. Also, that a tiny minority of people truly feel like they are not in the right bodies. But to take that to the extreme that there are multiple, non-binary "sexes", and everything about sex and sex roles is socially constructed, is just as ridiculous.

I can't help but think that the people most energetically pushing this agenda do have pathological, ulterior motives. Just like Lobaczewski observed, pathocrats deny biology. And they try to "universalize" pathological viewpoints. Problem is, like Lobaczewski also observes, they're never able to convince as many people as they think. So if they're shooting for acceptance of pedophilia, it won't happen. In which case, their last resort is totalitarian control.
 

LQB

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Laura said:
And what if it has almost nothing to do with any of the usual explanations, but really has everything to do with poisons in the food we eat???
Absolutely - I think there is a big concurrent role here in the chemicals. Sometime last year, Jan Irvin did a podcast interview with a researcher devoted to understanding the effects and dosages of gender bending/hormone disrupting chemicals in so many products, wrappers, food, etc. He listed so many, I was floored. He also talked to many animal/human studies that showed heavy gender bending effects. One of his points was that folks just don't realize how much these gender issues among our youth would be non-existent without these poisons.

The podcast was last year sometime and is archived - unfortunately paid membership is required to access it.
 

Neil

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Approaching Infinity said:
I looked up some definitions in my computer dictionary. This is what it says for gender:
1 the state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones): traditional concepts of gender | [ as modifier ] : gender roles.
• the members of one or other sex: differences between the genders are encouraged from an early age.

usage: The word gender has been used since the 14th century as a grammatical term, referring to classes of noun designated as masculine, feminine, or neuter in some languages. The sense ‘the state of being male or female’ has also been used since the 14th century, but this did not become common until the mid 20th century. Although the words gender and sex both have the sense ‘the state of being male or female,’ they are typically used in slightly different ways: sex tends to refer to biological differences, while gender refers to cultural or social ones.
Is this distinction really necessary, i.e. does it really clarify anything? I still think this sex vs gender debate is nothing more than a needless level of abstraction that opens the door to all kinds of BS. I've had to fill out forms for medical purposes and other things and some ask for sex and some ask for gender. I've never had anything ask me for my sex and my gender. Ever. This is how I internalized the notion growing up that sex and gender are the same thing. I've read a little bit about Laura studying etymologies and so forth and how words often come to mean the opposite of what they originally stood for and I'm wondering if this is what's at stake here. How many pre-2000 dictionaries support this distinction? Maybe I'm just "uneducated" from growing up in a conservative county :rolleyes:

If someone "feels" like a woman and decides to cross dress or paint their nails or whatever, they are adopting typical female roles or behavior; it has nothing to do with the underlying gender. Hence, a guy describing himself as a femme guy, he's still a guy but has feminine traits or behavior. It is a state of mind. I have encountered a couple of people who described themselves thusly. I think if we allow gender to be defined along the lines of "the subjective experience of one's sex" then we have to concede that they are absolutely right; gender fluidity is a thing and they are whatever they say they are in the moment. They have been discriminated against because we don't have words to appropriately address their unique gendered state and we should use their pronouns. (But we already have a plentiful vocabulary to describe psychological states and behaviors) At that point the only criticism I could rationally offer to the whole gender fluidity "movement" is that they do not have the right to be so totalitarian or prejudicial towards me for being "cis gendered."

Therefore, in my reality sex=gender and that puts the whole convoluted thing of meaningless distinctions to rest. Does that make me as solipsistic and odious as the "libtards"?
 

hlat

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Neil said:
I've had to fill out forms for medical purposes and other things and some ask for sex and some ask for gender. I've never had anything ask me for my sex and my gender. Ever.
Those medical forms are now present and I've answered both questions for sex and gender side by side on the same form.

MSM TV shows have a mom with penus and a dad with vagina and dad being pregnant and giving birth.
 

Neil

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hlat said:
MSM TV shows have a mom with penus and a dad with vagina and dad being pregnant and giving birth.
That's a slightly different situation than one having an "identity crisis" and just making up some pronoun to call themselves based on essentially nothing, but not that much. As was stated earlier in this thread, if someone decides to change their sexual equipment to be a different sex than they were born and goes through all of the surgeries, then I don't really have a problem calling them whatever they are; sex=gender. When I was in high school, which wasn't that long ago, there were lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transsexuals; asexual and intersexual were out there, but they were kind of obscure. Note that all of these except the last one are sexual orientations, with that one being a description of hermaphroditism, and they all have some tangible objective existence. I can see where someone who is currently undergoing a surgical transition to change their sex may want to identify as trans- something. Transgendered=transsexual; it really is that simple. The only place where there is a little fuzziness is intersexed people, and usually they undergo surgery to become one or the other anyway, so we're back to male/female.
hlat said:
Those medical forms are now present and I've answered both questions for sex and gender side by side on the same form
Well, I'm not surprised, but it must be a recent invention.

I'm just amazed that the whole premise underlying this particular movement was conjured out of thin air based on legalistically nitpicking some arcane phantasmagoric difference between sex and gender that really doesn't exist in the first place, and that it is getting so much attention.
 

Laura

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Neil said:
I'm just amazed that the whole premise underlying this particular movement was conjured out of thin air based on legalistically nitpicking some arcane phantasmagoric difference between sex and gender that really doesn't exist in the first place, and that it is getting so much attention.
Me too. The inmates are running the asylum and people need to be aware lest they be dragged into the insanity.
 

Woodsman

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I was just thinking back on a number of conversations I’d had over the last twenty years with friends and acquaintances who had attended university.

Never having been to university myself, I only really know the academic culture by proxy; through professors I know socially, students, and friends who have attended. In reflecting upon several of these relationships, something coalesced today which I had only vaguely been aware of but hadn't gotten around to properly naming...

While talking about a given topic, let’s say anthropology, (the hard sciences create an entirely different kind of effect, and generally happier people), I’d say something relating to human behavior which seemed obvious to me, and the person in question would get really squirrely. I'd find myself quite without warning in the midst of a peculiar, heated debate which seemed to spread in multiple directions at once.

I’d be taken aback and finally say, “Alright.., so you're telling me I'm wrong about that idea. How about ___?” Nope, wrong again. I’d soon realize that there were no answers which would be acceptable. Eventually, I’d just ask, “Well then, what is the right answer?” -And this would create the most evasive behavior of all. These folks had essentially been taught that every statement was false, nobody knew anything, and that the very act of seeking truth was punishable by… something scary. But even getting them to admit this resulted in evasion. -It seemed as though being cornered into making any kind of statement at all was akin to asking to be attacked.

That squirrely, hunted expression in their faces and body language reminded me of the look an abused dog might give you, who knows what a rolled up newspaper means. These university grads, even much later on in life, looked like that. I've run into this a few times over the years and always find it really weird.

I put together an informal theory which I didn’t know applies or not to every school, but in general states that some of these people I’m meeting have been put through a program where they were never allowed to win; where they were shown all the available answers tried over the years by people much smarter than themselves, and then taught why every last one of those answers was wrong. They were taught to mistrust reality itself, and along with it any hope of self-confidence.

Being from the outside and self-taught, having not been worn down by daily doses of this psychological regime, I find that am often able to point out some of the logical holes in the examples offered to me, and outright doubt the veracity of many of the provided axioms. Eventually, I came bit by bit to realize that Universities aren’t nearly as impressive as they seem from the outside, but instead offer a strange mix created in part from massive amounts of data, a host of very powerful minds, but all of it creating a massive quagmire serving too much at once to absorb and question effectively; a punishing and toxic learning environment leading to fundamentally broken minds who wind up not knowing if they are coming or going. -This is not true for everybody, but certainly for some.

I feel like I dodged a bullet in not attending. (Not to mention a financial debt load).

I’ve lost friends over this stuff. -Ostensibly due to other issues, but in truth over a basic incompatibility of frequencies. I move through the world as many here probably do, with the base understanding that there is such a thing as Objective Reality, (reading through the material in these forums really cements this for me; much of my language and word use has been shaped by the work done here over the last twenty years). This colors everything I do and think and say, and that very mode of existence serves as a friction or ‘trigger’ for the programming installed in others by these university systems.

It only strikes me now that this is post-modernism in its raw form.

-And it’s not, I think, the result of any one particular subject or department, (though the humanities are certainly thicker with it than the sciences). It seems to be baked into the “Defend Your Thesis” philosophy upon which the entirety of academia, and indeed, the legal system are built.


We are told that Truth is difficult to know, almost impossible, and it is right and proper that you should be attacked if you try to poke a flag in any bit of land and have the audacity to call it Real.


I’ve always held for years, a nameless vague dislike for this system of debate encouraged at every level of society. Placing the burden of proof on the person making a claim. It just annoys and aggravates at every turn, from the endlessly re-told TV court room drama, to where it is played out in any given forum on the internet. It's a system which resists all knowledge growth, encourages sneaky, disingenuous behavior among the lesser developed, (the use of crappy arguments and outright evasion, “I will not read your link or suggested book because of _____ reason, (but really, because I am terrified that it might actually prove your point)” -because to lose an argument is to lose your identity. It is to feel pain! The combative system of debate rewards the fortifying of ignorance at all cost.

I think post modernism might have very deep roots indeed!

(My preferred mode of collective learning is one where everybody is trying to build an idea together, where people don’t identify necessarily with the data, don’t feel the need to defend or to attack, but simply want to bring their various perspectives together into something which makes sense, creating a viable structure which works from all angles, to help resolve the objective reality of a situation as best they are able. This does not mean that false ideas aren't identified and replaced when discovered to be faulty, it’s not about respecting feelings and rewarding everybody equally for participation, not at all! But the work is done without a bloody king of the hill kind of mentality.)

Something where rolled-up-newspaper-expression isn’t an unfortunate effect of simply trying to learn.
 
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