DEV Community

Discussion on: Why I'm Not One of the Guys

jwhenry3 profile image
Justin Henry

It is correlation, not causation.

When you say firefighter and "videogame enthusiast", you think of what is statistically more likely, not because it is male-default, it is because it is male-dominant. Likelihood of a firefighter being male is way more higher, therefore that is what you initially think about.

Language is a reflection of the society, not the cause of the society. It is a chicken and egg problem, of course, as it is hard to see what would be the actual cause of the other. Hunter-Gatherer society existed before language did, and thus language was influenced by it. Yes it is traditional and outdated, and probably could use some tweaking, but to say language is the problem would be misplacing the blame.

Fix the actions first, then worry about the words later. Banning usage of words will not fix the problem because the problem would exist regardless of the word.

There are words today that are culturally banned from certain peoples because of the offense they cause, yet it does not eliminate the connotation or actions that result from the hatred they express.

This is why I say that people are sensitive about the language and are misplacing their efforts to correct societal fallacies that language just so happens to expose.

If you were bleeding internally, do you stop the bleeding without knowing why it's bleeding, or do you do your due diligence to try to find out why it happened in the first place? This is what it is like when you try to fix the language without addressing the actions that give said words the power that causes the negative reception of them.

Thread Thread
samuelfaure profile image
Samuel FAURE

"Language is a reflection of the society, not the cause of the society."

It is both.

"If you were bleeding internally, do you stop the bleeding without knowing why it's bleeding, or do you do your due diligence to try to find out why it happened in the first place?"

A better analogy would be: If you were bleeding because of a bullet wound, would you stop the bleeding before removing the bullet? Of course not, or problems will still arise. You need to tackle causes and consequences at the same time.

Thread Thread
nfrankel profile image
Nicolas Frankel

Your reasoning is wrong on so many levels... but at least I'll try to correct you on linguistics.

Equating the gender of a word with the sexual gender fuels your narrative but doesn't have any solid foundation. Here are a couple of counter-examples that makes your point moot:

  • The Turkish language has no gender. With your reasoning, Turkish society should be much more gender-equal than French society or German society. I hope that you can agree that it's not the case
  • Butter can have different genders depending on the part of Germany you live in. With your reasoning, it means that people would view butter differently depending on the gender involved. Really?
  • You mention Kanji to prove your point. You confuse how Kanjis were formed with how people interpret them: it's a holistic process, quite similar to how we read words. You learn to decipher words letter by letter but after a while, you recognize them instantly.
  • etc.
Thread Thread
samuelfaure profile image
Samuel FAURE • Edited

So basically you're turning what I say into an absolute so you can play the absurdist card?

It's quite a dishonest approach. It's like if I said that using your phone while driving is dangerous, but you can find examples where people did it and had no accidents, then you conclude what I say must be completely wrong.

It should be obvious that language doesnt determine gender equality by itself.

Im not confused about kanjis, thank you very much. Language works the same way, we dont consciously think about how we talk. Psychology proved many times that it still affects our way of thinking.

Etc.

Thread Thread
nfrankel profile image
Nicolas Frankel • Edited

It's quite a dishonest approach. It's like if I said that using your phone while driving is dangerous, but you can find examples where people did it and had no accidents, then you conclude what I say must be completely wrong.

I assumed you had enough scientific education to know that when you form an hypothesis, and there are counter-examples, then the hypothesis doesn't hold anymore.

It's you who make claims, so you're the one to prove them.

It should be obvious that language doesnt determine gender equality by itself.

Only to you. But I didn't expect any good faith thinking on your side. I'm just fed up with strawman arguments... Consider this my latest contribution to this thread.

Thread Thread
samuelfaure profile image
Samuel FAURE • Edited

I happen to have an engineering degree in chemistry and microbiology and worked as an actual research engineer, and your approach to the scientific method is completely wrong.

When there are multiple factors as causes for a given consequence, the lack of a direct linear correlation for one of the factors on some data points doesnt invalidate the correlation. That's statistics 101. Frankly I'm shocked that a developer could do such a basic logic mistake.

You need to learn a bit more about psychology, sociology and apparently mathematics.

Thread Thread
pjotre86 profile image
pjotre86

Nice response. I think he knows he's wrong, don't feed the troll 😉

Thread Thread
webbureaucrat profile image
webbureaucrat

I assumed you had enough scientific education to know that when you form an hypothesis, and there are counter-examples, then the hypothesis doesn't hold anymore.

Yep. Some people say that smoking causes cancer, but there are counterexamples where people who smoke do not get cancer, therefore smoking does not cause cancer. This is science.

/s