Mike Kueber's Blog

October 12, 2015

Getting my chain pulled on Facebook

Filed under: Culture,Facebook — Mike Kueber @ 1:41 am
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Several of my liberal friends on Facebook regularly post pictures with some infuriating statement, like “shut up about abortion unless you have a vagina.” Other times they post a poster with an assertion based on facts that seem too good to be true. Usually they post these pictures or posters without comment, which reminds me of the old guidance about keeping your mouth shut and have them think you are an idiot or open your mouth and remove all doubt.

This morning I was confronted in my Facebook newsfeed with a picture titled, “Working moms have more successful daughters and more caring sons, Harvard Business School Study say.” Although my Facebook friend, a liberal former district judge, failed to comment on the study, I decided that, as a defender of working moms, I should examine the article to determine the accuracy of the title.

The article was not in any reputable news site, but rather on something called Quartz or qz.com, and I quickly determined that the evidence in support of the title was flimsy. Because the posting former judge is strong-minded and married to a good friend of mine, I returned to the judge’s Facebook page and cautiously challenged the article:

  • As I read the article, it seemed the author was not fairly reporting on the study, but rather advocating for working moms with cherry-picked statistics. The only statistic related to the sons of working moms was that they “are likely to spend more time caring for family members and doing household chores than are the sons of stay-at-home mothers.” That is the sole basis for the headline, “caring sons.” Surely the study contained other info relating to these sons, such as their success in life, but it appears that other info didn’t fit the narrative of the reporter or the Harvard professor.  (The link to the underlying “working paper” no longer worked.)

The judge responded:

  • Judge – Well Mike Kueber I didn’t have time to read the article I’m too busy working and raising successful daughters and caring sons.  (Wink.)

I would have been pissed about her posting something without reading it, but her concluding wink precluded that. So I meekly said:

  • “And I spend too much time responding to provocative posters produced not by real journalists, but rather by advocates.”

Another friend of the judge added – “You are correct [judge]. I didn’t have to read it either. We live it.”

So I gently chided her – “I’m as bad as anyone when it comes to confirmation bias.”

A second friend of the judge opined:

  • “I didn’t bother to read the article. I have always believed that moms working or not should help each other out and not keep trying to prove one is better than the other. I was always there to help out the mothers of Nicole’s friends. I have not been gainfully employed for over 18 years and I believe I have a very successful daughter. She is about to be published with her summer research group in a paleo-botanical journal.”

At this point, the judge decided to shift into her politically-correct thinking:

  • Judge:  You are right Tisha it takes a village!

I didn’t think Tisha was making any Hillary-esque comment about village-raising, so I attempted to clarify:

  • “Tisha, I agree with your sentiment that studies like this seem to be divisive. But then again I am quick to point to studies that show kids are much more likely to flourish if they are lucky enough to have both a mom and a dad in the house.”

Meanwhile, the judge loved her village-raising non sequitur so much that she edited into her initial posting as follows:

  • “Truth is it takes a village. Whether you work hard at home or in an office or do both!”

That reads like Biden-esque plagiarism on Hillary-esque pablum.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Be more judicious in expending effort to expose fraudulent Facebook posters when the friend doing the posting hasn’t bothered to comment on the poster.
  2. Don’t overlook the big picture of the poster, which is to suggest that feminists are raising their daughters to succeed in business and their sons to be care-givers.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.
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