I just got caught up on the recent controversial blog post made by “Dilbert” creator and geek icon Scott Adams and the resulting Internet fallout. For catching-up purposes of your own, here are some handy links:
In summary, Adams wrote a humor piece that purported to side with men’s rights activitists, only to pull the rug out from under them by telling them to stop whining. Okay, fair enough, I suppose. It’s not the most original or interesting joke in the world, but hey, it’s a blog post, not a masterpiece.
I’m not going to dwell on the outrage brought on by the terminology Adams uses, which doesn’t exactly compare women to children and/or the mentally disabled — it just says that women should be dealt with like children and/or the mentally disabled. I do think his “What? You’re upset?” response is disingenuous when such language seems designed to cause a stir. After all, if I quoted some statistics about how much more likely men are to batter their wives than vice versa, and then said that men should be dealt with like rabid dogs, I imagine that would spark some controversy. (And for the record, I don’t think that — I’m just using an comparable outrageous example for illustrative purposes.)
But the most irritating part of the brouhaha, to me, is Adams’ “get over it” approach to the issues he’s discussing — issues that are important to both men and women. In his self-defense post, he states that he thinks readers “benefit by exposure to ideas that are different from whatever they are hearing” and that he was trying to “add diversity to your portfolio of thoughts.” But at the same time, he’s shutting down all discussion of the issues in question by telling men — and by extension, ostensibly women, too — to give up and shut down.
[To read the rest of Ellen Henderson’s post on the Scott Adams brouhaha, go to GeekMom.]