When I wrote my blog about women drivers, feminists went into attack mode. It ranged from attacking me on Twitter to complaining to my boss. I made some generalizations about females, but no one bothered to ask whether it was about one woman, all women, a few or could the behavior also relate to men?
In truth, I didn't mind the fuss because controversy gets read. I always think about Mick Jagger stating that you get noticed by being a bad boy and by destroying that hotel room (or something like that). After all, blogs are all about generalizations. Otherwise we’d call them news stories. How people react to a blog will determine its success.
What it boils down to though, is someone reads that generalization and makes a determination about it and its author. This usually means not bothering to do much more than making a quick read. Skimming it. Not investigating the point made nor read more about the person who wrote it. In other words, the reader makes a jump. Jumps to a conclusion.
We all do it.
For example, I often use pictures of scantily clad females in my blogs. So when this happens I get a number of females letting me know that I'm a sexist pig and that I objectify women. I've blogged before along these lines, that many women don't know the difference between sexism and sexuality.
That I am attracted to a woman in a bikini doesn't mean I think she's incapable of being a lawyer, a doctor, etc. It's just easier to jump to the conclusion that I'm a pig then to look deeper. I often point out to the offended female that if a women drools to her BFF about Justin Timberlake, it's not sexism, it's just that she's expressing her inner feelings and innate sexuality.
Anyway, there are a lot of incidents we commonly encounter of people jumping.
All men know that women will fall over themselves to meet that guy driving the Corvette, even though he's a scumbag (if they were to really get to know him). While the guy driving a used VW bug just isn't worth the time, no matter that he's the type who devotes himself to just one woman. They jump thinking that money/wealth equals quality.
Along the same line, if a guy sees a hot female he immediately jumps to the conclusion that she will not only be hot in bed, but also a great lifelong companion. This even though she may really be the woman who jumps to a new guy every time a new car rolls by, or has a gigantic collection of Raggedy Ann dolls at home (and normally dresses that way too). In other words, the guy jumps that external beauty also extends to the internal too.
Very similar to the car situation, is that if a woman meets a male who has a prestigious or professional career, he's a good find. So the plastic surgeon will attract a big female following, while the electrician in the dirty blue jeans and T-shirt is a loser.
A jump by men similar to the beauty queen syndrome above, is if a guy encounters a woman in provocative clothing. A woman in a halter and tight pants is the woman of a man's dreams (or at least fantasies) and would make a worthy companion at all social gatherings. A woman in a T-shirt and blue jeans won't get a second glance when near the former, even though she might be the most provocative and exciting woman the guy might ever meet. It's too late. The guy has made the jump and hasn't bothered to look a little further.
Let me jump in here and promote my recent book, SEX and the AMERICAN MALE. When I first began promoting it on Facebook, a number of crazy feminists who had been electronically stalking me on FB and Twitter immediately began blasting to their cohorts on my evilness.
They believed I had attempted to expose my students to raunchy stories about lurid sex acts. They jumped to the conclusion that my book was all about illicit sex by a debauched male sex fiend. Of course, SEX and the AMERICAN MALE (still just $2) is NOT about SEX at all—although the main character does wish he had it now and then with his girlfriend. The book is a social satire about American society.
Along those lines, a large number of the folks who have "liked" the SAM FaceBook page do so thinking it's about sex. I know this because if I look at their “likes” and they all seem to be about sex. Such as "Hot Sex Singers," "Sexy Women," "Wild Sex Nights," well, you get the idea.
Some more common jumps we see include women who think that single men have messy houses. Likewise, men often jump that all women will have a clean house. Men who see a woman sporting really short hair will believe the female to be a lesbian. Similar, a woman who sees a skinny guy with short hair and a mustache jumps that he's gay. I have been told by many people that when they first noticed my Van Dyke they assumed I was evil/mean. Of course, I'm actually a pretty laid-back, goofy guy. Trust me.
Sure, many people think that jumping to conclusions is the same as stereotyping. However, I think the latter is more of an ingrained, long-term character flaw, while the former is just lazy thinking.
Both men and women jump. It's normal (not necessarily right). Who does it the most could be debated, as could which jump is more devious.
So in the future you may continue to jump to conclusions about something I’ve blogged about or some picture I’ve tucked into the piece, but keep in mind that it might give me more fuel for a future blog as well as enable me to write a few more snide tweets about people like you.
(My editor and I writing another evil blog/Tweet)