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help me argue against my dad!

(25 Posts)
globalmouse Sat 17-Sep-11 10:13:07

My dad and I regularly engage in political. We both enjoy it, and he has even come round to my way for thinking before (he used to be a massive tory, but isn't anymore). BUT he is a massive misogynist! And no matter how I argue feminism with him, he comes up with counter arguments based on anecdotal evidence.

Can you help me come up with some good facts to tell him?

So, he argues against positive discrimination, saying that he has seen women do a terrible job and have been promoted because they are female, that in his line of work he has seen women do jobs part-time that shouldn't be part-time jobs, that women are entitled to flexible working at his work and men aren't, that female pensions at his work are higher than mens.

He even argued that there was a black <job title> group, a womens <job title> group and a gay <job title group>, yet the people who are overlooked in his line of work are white men, and so there should be a 'white straight male' <job title> group ?! I tried arguing about years of discrimination against these minorities, so the groups being needed to redress the balance, the wages gap between female and male (and black and white) etc, but he just cites examples of shoddy female workers and how minority groups are positively discriminated for promotions when they arent the best for the job. And he argues that women chose to work part-time, so of course they should have lack of prospects etc.


I KNOW he will never come round to my way of thinking, but I need some cold hard FACTS about the glass ceiling etc to give him!

globalmouse Sat 17-Sep-11 10:13:39

Argh, that should say 'engage in political debate'

UsingMainlySpoons Sat 17-Sep-11 10:16:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tethersend Sat 17-Sep-11 10:27:39

For every part-time working mother sacrificing a career, there is usually a full time-working father whose career has not been affected by him having children. Women have allowed/are allowing men to be 'better at their jobs' by ensuring that they are unencumbered by other responsibilities.

wicketkeeper Sat 17-Sep-11 11:02:36

Although I'm a feminist, I don't agree with the concept of positive discrimination. If I need a professional to do a job for me, I only care that the job is done properly, I don't care about the ratio of one group or another employed in that sector. And if I get a job/promotion, I would rather get it on merit and not because I'm a woman. And yes, I think women are just as capable of doing a crap job as men are - so up to a point I'm agreeing with your father.

LRDTheFeministDragon Sat 17-Sep-11 12:09:00

One thing to say is - he's arguing from his experience. This will not give him or you anything statisfically significant. The plural of anecdote is not data.

TheRealTillyMinto Sat 17-Sep-11 13:22:42

its that 'confirmation bias' again: many rubbish people promoted, take the pee pee at work. if they are man, its just them or stupid management, if they are female & you are a misogynist, its about women getting a easier ride etc.

LesserOfTwoWeevils Sat 17-Sep-11 14:11:54

The point of positive discrimination isn't to benefit people who are less good at a job, it's to counteract the obstacles that are put in their way regardless of their ability to do it, ie to level the playing field.

garlicnutty Sat 17-Sep-11 15:18:58

I think I'd point out to him that nobody's stopping him creating a "white" or "mens" group. In fact, if he plays golf football rugby cricket darts snooker pool dominoes, I think he'll find there already is one for white straight males.

garlicnutty Sat 17-Sep-11 15:24:06

Hmm, scrub dominoes (wrong culture) and add lapdancing clubs, the Masons and boxing.

PenguinArmy Sat 17-Sep-11 15:25:30

most people believe that positive discrimination is about elevating a less suitable candidate over a more suitable/experienced one, rather than if all things being equal then selecting the one belonging to a minority group. A bit like health and safety getting blamed for everything other than people using it wrongly. Don't have any suggestions however, I get all kinds of unstuck when people question me about the point of feminism (even supposedly very educated people where I thought it would be different) mainly because I never seem able to remember all the facts. I guess that's portrayed as a more feminine characteristic: not knowing something 100% and therefore less likely to argue rather than carrying on regardless safe in the knowledge that you must be right.

garlicnutty Sat 17-Sep-11 15:40:18

Penguin, have you looked at The Fawcett Society? Loads of info bites in there smile

PenguinArmy Sat 17-Sep-11 16:07:31

it just never stays in (I do genuinely have a memory problem)

I do however need to read more anyway, then it might sink in better. I'm stealing my DMs kindle to read while BF when DC2 makes a appearance. Any free or cheap recommendations gladly taken. Now I'm not working I can face reading more. Do they have good feminist stuff in the libraries over here?

<sorry for hijack>

globalmouse Sat 17-Sep-11 19:17:47

Thanks for your ideas. I actually sent him an annotated tuc report on gender inequality in the workplace! Data showing women are underrepresented, under paid and their work undervalued. I also said the bit about for every part time mother there is a full time father. I thought, you can't argue with data.
But of course he says it's not real as it disagrees with his personal experience.
I replied lots of anecdotes do not total data (stolen from someone on this thread I think). That this is not personal experience but real stats based on real data. I argued that if you wont believe what real data say then there is no point in arguing.
He will disagree with the data again. He probably doesn't agree with evolution despite the evidence. I'm surprised he believes in gravity. wink

joaninha Sat 17-Sep-11 19:43:05

I think you should give up on trying to change his mind. My Dad is a bit like that too. I could reason with him till I am blue in the face but he will always believe what he believes because he is old school and sees no reason to change now.

For your own health and sanity give up trying to convince him!

SinicalSal Sat 17-Sep-11 19:43:34

I feel for you, I'm a rubbish arguer.

It's very frustrating to know you are right but you're not doing your cause any favours.

I don'y know if there's much you can do with someone who thinks their own personal experiences trump actual real research. Maybe ask him WHY he thinks that.

tethersend Sat 17-Sep-11 20:57:43

"I feel for you, I'm a rubbish arguer."

No you're not.

garlicnutty Sat 17-Sep-11 22:54:45

WHY he thinks that

- At a quick guess: Because he gets most of the privileges, is used to it, and pissed off that some people think they should have 'em too?

- Just sayin', like.

BobBanana Sun 18-Sep-11 10:15:24

Message withdrawn

SinicalSal Sun 18-Sep-11 10:23:31

Oh, ok Tethers, you're right


SinicalSal Sun 18-Sep-11 10:27:50

Bob has a good point, if your Dad is determined to personalise it maybe you should approach it from that angle.
I think I'd be backing off personally, but I suppose the fact that you have 'won' in the past keeps you going. Like those experiments where the rat pulls a lever and the grain comes randomly - they never give up becaause they can never predict the reward.

Not that i'm calling you a rat, obv blush

joaninha Sun 18-Sep-11 11:07:48

Yes to bob's idea. And you might want to make it even more personal by asking him how he thinks it makes YOU feel when he says stuff like that, you know seeing as you have a vagina and all!

Then when you're done you can come and sort my dad out!

garlicnutty Sun 18-Sep-11 13:54:03

Very good plan, Bob.

BobBanana Sun 18-Sep-11 20:12:09

Message withdrawn

globalmouse Mon 19-Sep-11 22:58:01

Thanks for your excellent ideas. I like the idea of putting him in the position, then making it about me.
Though I think I need to drop it with him - his job has made him quite arrogant at times, and he is very 'I'm right' - I will keep whittling away when it comes up in discussion. I may have my work cut out though...

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