I should probably state for the record that I don’t actually hold people’s basic human psychology against them. We’re wired to make generalizations as a basic safety measure. We get bitten by a snake, and our brain generalizes that we should probably be cautious around snakes. Our brain didn’t evolve to operate on large scales, or to take statistics into account. We can’t help the involuntary physiological or psychological effects of a fear — whether that fear is “rational” or not. And to expect an individual to just suck it up and live with the intense discomfort of anxiety is pretty ridiculous.
There’s a big difference between holding people’s basic human psychology against them and identifying the results of that psychology as problematic. Having those types of knee-jerk reactions doesn’t make someone a bad person, but it also doesn’t make the resulting bigotry any more acceptable.
This kind of involuntary generalization only becomes a problem when it causes harm to others. But I don’t think most of the men who complain that women (their generalization, not mine) are afraid of them are doing so because it causes them genuine harm, such as affecting their ability to find a job, or puts their family in danger of violent reprisals. It’s to do with how it affects them on an interpersonal level: that is, individual women might not want to be alone with them if they’re only acquaintances, or may not accept a lift from them. Most of the “bigotry” (some) women engage in as a result of mistrusting men as a group has to do with regulating her own behavior, such as what she chooses to wear or whether or not she’ll walk alone.
Perhaps this is bigotry in the strictest sense of the word, but it’s not comparable to bigotry that actually causes people unfair disadvantages, or puts people at risk of violence. So why does it make some men (and women) so angry?
Bigotry itself is objectionable, regardless of the actions taken based on it. Even if we do take those actions into account, though, there is still a very big difference between “less bad” and “not bad.” You also seem to be vastly underestimating the wider ramifications of the “harmless” generalizations you’re justifying, particularly the degree to which they end up driving law and public policy. While the connection may not be obvious at a glance, those generalizations do create unfair disadvantages for men and play a significant role in the additional risk of violence that men as a gender face.
As for people’s reactions, most people don’t like being treated with distrust and suspicion purely based on something they didn’t choose and cannot change. As a society, we’ve collectively agreed that such treatment is particularly inexcusable when it’s related to demographic characteristics like sex, gender, race, age, religion or sexuality. Is it really such a surprise, then, that people tend to take offense?
It’s literally getting angry at people for regulating their anxiety in a way that causes no precipitous harm to anyone. And that is so bizarre to me. I honestly can’t wrap my head around it.
Honest question: if we reformulated your entire post to refer to another group, say, black people, would you still be okay with the views being portrayed? If so, you’re both logically consistent (yay!) and about to be smacked upside the head by the rest of the Tumblr SJW community (less yay).
Few people would be comfortable with someone who displayed the type of mistrust towards any racial minority that you excuse when displayed towards men. Equally few would be comfortable with someone who displayed that type of mistrust towards women, even in cases where that mistrust is the result of severe personal victimization.
You find it difficult to wrap your head around this particular instance, but it seems like you’re doing a pretty good job with all the rest.