I sometimes wonder where the argument “you can’t generalize” comes from.
Isn’t this the most idiotic idea in the world?
And it escapes from people’s lips without even a thought of what they are doing or saying.
Of course you can generalize. In fact, you must generalize. To fail to generalize is to demand that all things must only be regarded in terms of the lowest common denominator. The lowest common denominator doesn’t particularly lead to the highest pinnacles we can achieve, does it?
The “you can’t generalize” zealots don’t seem to have really thought things through very well. They are thinking one-dimensionally. A more complex, and more proper way of thinking is that “there are individual groups and there are individuals within those groups.”
For example, saying something like “women have larger breasts than men” is a sweeping generalization. But, it is a true one – even though some women have smaller breasts than some men. In the collective group of “women” there will be some individual women who have small breasts, while in the collective group of “men” there will be some porky men sporting a set of man-boobs. But only an idiot would try to cherry pick a flat chested woman and stand her next to a man-boobed male and claim that this is in any way a reflection of human intellectualism, therefore, we should not say that “women have larger breasts than men” anymore. It is lunacy! The only thing we might be able to learn then is that “both men and women have nipples.” Wow! Stop everything right there! The Tower of Babel is already reaching into the heavens! What more could we possibly learn?
Generalizations are absolutely necessary in order to learn anything.
Of course, what one cannot do is take one individual and generalize that the entire group resembles that individual. Take Marc Lepine, for example. Feminists have been screeching for over two decades now that Marc Lepine is “proof” of the murderous hatred men harbour for women. Now that is pure lunacy. The actions of one man is in no way a reflection of the mentality of the 15,000,000 other men who live in Canada. That is a wrong generalization.
But, to say that men are taller or heavier than women? Yes, this is a proper generalization, because the majority of men are taller and heavier than the majority of women – even though in some individual cases, you will be able to see a taller or heavier woman than a man.
We generalize that “birds fly.” But oh my gosh! You can’t generalize like that! Don’t you know that Emus, Ostriches, Kiwis and Penguins don’t fly? This is such a lame argument, and it ought to be obvious even to the simplest of simpletons that any biologist worth his salt must necessarily generalize that “birds fly.” Look up, grasshopper… not down!
Many of the arguments that get put forward in regard to sensitive issues (like the War of the Sexes) automatically get dismissed with the intellectually retarded retort, “you can’t generalize like that.”
In fact, no-one is going to figure out one damn thing about anything if they fail to generalize. Ignoring the similar actions/traits/situations in 80% of the cases because 20% of the cases do not coincide… well… how is that gonna make you smarter? Huh?
The thing to keep in mind is that there are individual groups (ie. men and women), and there are individuals within those groups.
The way to learn something is to recognize that the trait of the group follows in “this” direction, even though there are individual exceptions which follow “that” direction.
It’s time to stop looking for the lowest common denominator.
Tell people who use the “generalizing argument” to shut the hell up. In general, those people don’t have two brain cells to rub together and aren’t worth listening to anyways.
There are individual groups, and there are individuals within those groups.
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"Meanwhile, as long as there's one honest woman living at the temple atop Mount NAWALT in Tibet..." -- White Knight
Mathieu of Boulogne (1295) on NAWALT
From “The Lamentations of Matheolus”
Yet one might disagree with me, criticize my conclusion. and, putting forward the opposite point of view, suggest that my words are completely untrue. For, if some women are evil and perverse and abnormal, it does not necessarily follow that all of them are so cruel and wicked; nor should all of them be lumped together in this general reproach. A speech is badly composed if one's general conclusion is only partly valid. Logic hates this type of argumentation. Nevertheless, this present work, which expresses the pain in my heart, wishes me to exclude nothing, but commands me to push my argument to its logical, if extreme, conclusion, which is that no good woman exists. Solomon, in his works, makes an amazing comment, which supports my case, for he exclaims, "Who could find a virtuous woman?" The implication here is, of course, that this would be impossible. Since he says this, who am I to disagree? Why should I be shocked? What's more, he says that a base and broken man is worth more than a woman when she's doing good. Thus there is no woman worth anything at all; I don't need to look for further proof. That's enough logical demonstration.
My exposition is clearly valid, for woman has - and there is ample evidence of this - deceived all the greatest men in the world; I shall be basing myself on rational argument. If the greatest are deceived, then the lesser naturally fall. In the street where I live they say that what applies to the greatest amongst us applies even more to lesser mortals. Who were the greatest lords? Who has ever heard of greater men than Solomon or Aristotle? Yet good sense, riches and reason were not worth a dung-beetle to them; all were made to look as if they had gone out of fashion; these men were both outmanoeuvred by women, deceived, vanquished, and tamed.
Belfort Bax on NAWALT
It seems not much has changed in a century, but this is a beautiful reply (Notice how he only responds to male feminists? Lol!):
The Fraud of Feminism - Belfort Bax, 1913 pp24-26
At the time of writing, the normal person who has no axe to grind in maintaining the contrary, declares the sun to be shining brightly, but should it answer the purpose of anyone to deny this obvious fact, and declare that the day is gloomy and overcast, there is no power of argument by which I can prove that I am right and he is wrong. I may point to the sun, but if he chooses to affirm that he doesn't see it I can't prove that he does. This is, of course, an extreme case, scarcely likely to occur in actual life. But it is in essence similar to those cases of persons (and they are not seldom met with) who, when they find facts hopelessly destructive of a certain theoretical position adopted by them, do not hesitate to cut the knot of controversy in their own favour by boldly denying the inconvenient facts.
One often has experience of this trick of controversy in discussing the question of the notorious characteristics of the female sex. The Feminist driven into a corner endeavours to save his face by flatly denying matters open to common observation and admitted as obvious by all who are not Feminists. Such facts are the pathological mental condition peculiar to the female sex, commonly connoted by the term hysteria; the absence, or at best the extremely imperfect development of the logical faculty in most women; the inability of the average woman in her judgment of things to rise above personal considerations; and, what is largely a consequence of this, the lack of a sense of abstract justice and fair play among women in general.
The afore said peculiarities of women, as women, are, I contend, matters of common observation and are only dis-puted by those persons--to wit Feminists--to whose theoretical views and practical demands their admission would be inconvenient if not fatal. Of course these characterisations refer to averages, and they do not exclude partial or even occasionally striking exceptions. It is possible, therefore, although perhaps not very probable, that indi-vidual experience may in the case of certain individuals play a part in falsifying their general outlook; it is possible--although, as I before said not perhaps very probable--that any given man's experience of the other sex has been limited to a few quite exceptional women and that hence his particular experience contradicts that of the general run of mankind. In this case, of course, his refusal to admit what to others are self-evident facts would be perfectly bona fide.
The above highly improbable contingency is the only refuge for those who would contend for sincerity in the Feminist's denials. In this matter I only deal with the male Feminist. The female Feminist is usually too biassed a witness in this particular question.
Bonecrcker #71 – Not All Women Are Like That (NAWALT)
Bonecrcker #151 – The Woman Who Is The Exception Phenomena