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An Open Letter to Scott Adams

Dear Scott Adams,

Recently, you made a blog post entitled Pegs and Holes, in which you claim that the natural instincts of men are being made shameful and criminal. These instincts, it appears from your blog post, are to rape and cheat and tweet. Oddly, it seems, a lot of people weren't offended by the idea that men find it shameful to tweet, but they did take offense from the idea that it is just natural for men to rape and cheat. Shocking, I know. As if the public backlash of this weren't enough, you invited women who disagreed with you to come and argue with you on your blog, the point of which I can't quite figure out, since you seem to be intent on belittling these writers for taking you to task for saying that society shames men for their sexually predator behaviour (which you claim is natural), while society rewards a female one.

The problem here, Scott Adams, is at your very base understanding of humanity. See, in your original post, you write, "If a lion and a zebra show up at the same watering hole, and the lion kills the zebra, whose fault is that? Maybe you say the lion is at fault for doing the killing. Maybe you say the zebra should have chosen a safer watering hole. But in the end, you probably conclude that both animals acted according to their natures, so no one is to blame." All very good, I suppose, except of course, being part of the human race, this analogy for gender difference is one that is a touch flawed. See, unlike the lion and the zebra, I am part of humanity, so when I show up to the water hole, the lion looks at me and slinks away. The zebra leaves in a gallop. It doesn't matter if I am male or female when I appear, because in the giant food chain, I, a human, sit at the top. I possess the ability to eat both these creatures while taking over the watering hole and building a shop there that sells lion and zebra burgers. This is because I, unlike the lion and the zebra, possess a higher intelligence that allows for the civilization I am part of to grow and build and change the world. Last I checked, the lions hadn't built an engine, and the zebras weren't growing crops. It's shocking, I know, but that is what separates us from the animal kingdom.

Furthermore, you made your post in response to the events surrounding Anthony Weiner, the US senator who took a shot of his dick, and then mistakenly tweeted it to thousands, rather than privately to a young woman. You also, given your response later, made the post in response to the rape allegations against IMF Director, Dominique Strauss Kahn. In reference to that, you wrote, "I don't think he first had an urge to do some violence and decided that his penis was the go-to weapon of choice." I'm a bit unsure if you're saying that he did rape the woman, or if you're saying something else. Regardless, this interest to defend two powerful men signifies an intellectual choice on your part, and speaks to your beliefs in regards to the kind of things that they did. That's your choice, of course, being a human being you're allowed to have whatever opinion you wish; that also means that many others can see such behaviour as completely and utterly unacceptable. I, as a fellow human being, think both men behaved unacceptably and did not, and do not, think either should be forgiven.

The reason for this is because I believe in respect for your fellow human beings. As I am capable of an evolved intellect, as I am part of an ever growing and evolving society, I can recognise that both these men have been disrespectful to women. That, mind you, is putting it politely, especially in the case of the IMF director, should he found guilty. But I am not here to argue their cases, but rather to refute yours, and my point is that your original post failed to show any respect firstly to women and secondly to men. By claiming that "society has evolved to keep males in a state of continuous unfulfilled urges, more commonly known as unhappiness," you have made the large sin of not giving the people who share your world, either known or unknown, any respect. It may be that you are unhappy. It may be that your urges are unfilled. It may be that you wish you were Hugh Hefner, which is about the only reason I can figure for you making any reference to him in this discussion, much less claiming that Hefner has had an unhappy life of relationships. But, ignoring that, either you may or may not be happy, you may or may not wish to tweet your balls across the web, and either way, you don't speak for me.

I am happy, as much as any individual in this complex and diverse culture of ours could be. I suspect that part of the reason I am happy is because in life, I ensure that I treat anyone, be they male or female, be they American, Chinese, or Spanish, or from anywhere else, with the respect that every living person deserves, and the respect that I demand people treat me with. In short, I try not to disrespect my fellow human beings.

Perhaps you ought to try it.

Yours.

Comments

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autopope
Jun. 23rd, 2011 09:52 am (UTC)
Scott Adams was funny in the early 1990s.

But I suspect he's spent so long examining the guts of the corporate world that he's inadvertently adopted the corporate outlook. Which is depraved and sociopathic.
benpeek
Jun. 23rd, 2011 10:01 am (UTC)
yeah, it could be, but man, those current posts are nothing but bad mojo. after a while you just got to say to the man that he's got a fucked up outlook on life.
autopope
Jun. 23rd, 2011 10:31 am (UTC)
Well, yes.

I'm not making excuses for him: I'm trying to understand what happened so that I don't accidentally follow him.
benpeek
Jun. 23rd, 2011 10:41 am (UTC)
middle aged, perhaps. some men buy fast cars. some men get hair transplants. some men keep blogs and claim that their natural instinct is to rape and pillage and society is robbing them of it.

just watch for that next blog post you do and ask yourself, 'will this result in career suicide and my justified beating next time i'm in a bar?'

if the answer is yes...
teratologist
Jun. 23rd, 2011 03:08 pm (UTC)
I find it particularly telling that his metaphor relies on assigning men and women to separate species.
benpeek
Jun. 24th, 2011 05:30 am (UTC)
perhaps a book entitled 'men are lions and women are zebras' is in the works...
ataxi
Jun. 23rd, 2011 05:08 pm (UTC)
Nice rant, needs an edit though. Phrases such as "I am capable of an evolved intellect" are way below par for ya.

Scott Adams has lost the plot, if he ever had it. That blog post was the worm castings of the mind of a man with a tenuous connection to reality. The lack of empiricism was astounding.

As he does with Dilbert, he's philosophising in a hermetically sealed sitcom scenario populated by cliches, where all interactions are to pattern, repetitious and inconsequential. For "the victims", there is no individuated timeline of existence, past or future. They are merely the handy, present-then-forgotten fuckdolls of his untrammelled manly desire as projected onto the famous penises of DSK and Wiener.
benpeek
Jun. 24th, 2011 05:31 am (UTC)
heh. a long time ago, i made the choice that blog posts don't get too much time devoted to the editing. dirty and quick, that's the way, otherwise i'd never post anything.

as for the sealed cubicle interactions, i suspect you're right. he hasn't stepped out into the world for a while, it seems.
fengi
Jun. 23rd, 2011 05:24 pm (UTC)
I was discussing Dave Sim with Chris Ware at a party and he said there was a disturbingly consistent trend of cartoonists losing it after a few decades in the business - Johnny Hart, Steve Ditko, Jack Cole, Al Capp. He ruefully concluded he had about a decade and a half before he started spouting reactionary statements and crackpot theories. We concluded the solitary repetitive work may have something to do with it.

Adams has three strikes against him, as he is a cartoonist, has an economics degree and worked in engineering.
benpeek
Jun. 24th, 2011 05:29 am (UTC)
ha! the entire time i was writing that post, i thought, man, this reminds me of dave sim...
kylaw
Jun. 23rd, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
One notes that people speaking about "natural" masculinity always refer to lions, bulls and suchlike heraldry. Never to, for example, bees or mantis.
treehouseman
Jun. 24th, 2011 12:26 am (UTC)
Or Anglerfish, where the male fish is absorbed under the female's skin ;-)
clairemckenna
Jun. 24th, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)
That was me - dang LJ account fail!
benpeek
Jun. 24th, 2011 05:28 am (UTC)
bees and mantis aren't for dudes, you know that. a dude is a dude, man.
transcendancing
Jun. 25th, 2011 12:21 pm (UTC)
Nice rant.
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