You have to 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.
“If it’s not right,Go Your Own Way!”
“Meanwhile, as long as there’s one honest woman living at the temple atop Mount NAWALT in Tibet…” — White Knight