What Is The Woozle Effect?

VennerRoad By VennerRoad, 16th Apr 2018 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Culture>General

Even if you haven’t heard of the woozle effect, you have certainly heard examples of it.

What Is The Woozle Effect? (1)

The odd sounding name of this phenomenon comes from a character in the 1926 children’s book Winnie-The-Pooh. The character/animal concerned, did not actually exist, although the woozle effect does. Also known as evidence by citation, the woozle effect is extremely common in the social sciences, or perhaps that should be the socialist sciences.

Evidence by citation is of course valid, but it has its limits. For example, the claim that Henry VIII came to the throne in 1509 can be supported by a citation from an accredited historian; the world’s leading authority on our tyrant king is David Starkey, but in lieu of him, a Wikipedia page or even a YouTube video will suffice. But many other subjects are nothing like as clear-cut, especially when we turn to statistics. Although there is a lot more to the woozle effect, we will stay with statistics in this dissertation.

Statistics are often thrown around like confetti in support of a particular point of view, ideology or belief. Without context they are often meaningless or even misleading. To take an obvious example, in 2016, Anna Midgeley became Britain’s youngest Crown Court judge (in reality a recorder) at just 33. Would any intelligent person claim this was proof that the judiciary is biased against the young? Why isn’t there a 23 year old Crown Court judge, or a teenager?

While that question is too silly to require answering, other apparent statistical imbalances and anomalies are often not so obvious, and this flawed perception is often exploited for political and similar purposes; the mythical gender pay gap is one such area, and any related subject discussed by or more often preached by Laura Bates.

In addition to ignoring the context of statistics, many people like Laura simply make them up, or throw them around recklessly. For example, in the long defunct feminist magazine Spare Rib, No. 209 FEBRUARY 1990, page 41, it was claimed:

“Women make up a large percentage of people who are homeless. We are less likely to have rights to a council tenancy. If there is a breakdown in a relationship, whether with family, or with a partner or husband, women are more likely to be the ones who are forced to move out.”

What does a large percentage mean in this context? Obviously 49% is a large percentage, or even 30%, but if one excludes the young and the tiny number of transgenders, the homeless are men and women, so obviously a large percentage will be one or the other, or both. The implication of the article is though that most of the homeless are women. The reality is that as far as it is possible to count the homeless, the majority are men, certainly the overwhelming majority of actual rough sleepers are men.

With regard to breakdowns in relationships, long before 1990, society (including the courts) protected the young, and it is mostly mothers who have custody, so this claim is simply incorrect.

What Is The Woozle Effect? (2)

Here is a statistic of a similar kind taken from Are Women Human? by the man-hating Catherine MacKinnon:

“Women do two-thirds of the world’s work, earn one-tenth of the world’s income, and own less than one-hundredth of the world’s property”.

These ludicrous statistics are not hers. but the sentiment behind this quote is:

“Women are more likely to be property than to own any”.

The evidence of our senses tells us that neither of these claims is true, that they are in fact absurd. The figures about women and work have been cited by many authors including the feminist philosopher Carissa Véliz, who unlike MacKinnon is gullible rather than toxic. According to Christina Hoff Sommers, they were simply conjured up out of thin air:

“The figure was made up by someone working at the UN because it seemed to her to represent the scale of gender-based inequality at the time.”

It is not necessary to demean women in order to see that while “A woman’s work is never done”, every building you are likely to inhabit, visit or see was built by men, ditto every path you walk, every road you ride, every boat or ship in which you sail, but putting a quote in a footnote and attributing it to the United Nations confers on it a veneer of credibility. After all, is it not an official citation?

As for women being property, does that apply to female politicians like the leaders of Great Britain (Mrs May and Mrs Windsor), the Presidents of Estonia or Taiwan? What about the wives of billionaires: Melinda Gates, Priscilla Chan, or female billionaires in their own right, like Oprah Winfrey?

Kat Banyard uses the women’s income quote in her book THE EQUALITY ILLUSION: The Truth About Women And Men Today citing Global Problems And The Culture Of Capitalism, 1999, page 354. The woozle effect works overtime in this book because the statistics she uses are laughable, as are her leaps of logic, such as this one at page 58:

“because girls don’t think they’re good at maths, they underperform on tests”

(The quotes used here are from the 2010 paperback edition).

Presumably if girls thought they were good at mathematics, they wouldn’t underperform, or could it simply be that most girls don’t have the same aptitude for this discipline as boys?

Page 37: she links the rise in eating disorders to the so-called objectification of women’s bodies. The fat acceptance movement might have something to do with that!

Page 63: “Sporting success is how boys gain popularity, but not girls.”

While it is true that few people in the UK could name a prominent woman soccer player, even though the women’s team has outshone the men’s in recent years, the names of women tennis players and athletes literally trip off the tongue. Some of them have even come out as lesbians, but the public doesn’t care.

Her chapter on the sex industry goes way over the top, on page 157, she cites some examples of what appear really disgusting and depraved pornographic videos, and says one study found 55.9% of pornography scenes featured anal sex. Indeed? Feminist lies and nonsense about the sex industry were discussed in a previous article, though it will suffice to point out that it is doubtful if even 55.9% of homosexual pornography features anal sex, but she compounds her nonsense with the claim that 41% of these include what she describes as ATM. If you don’t know what that acronym means, don’t look it up unless you have a strong stomach. This kind of pornography is not only extreme and depraved, but thankfully, untypical.

Race hustlers abuse statistics the same way as feminists, as do politicians of all shades to bolster claims of discrimination or unfairness, and to push their own agendas, usually for state funding or special laws to favour their own particular, special interest. This was discussed in a previous article about lobbying. At the end of the day, these things come down mostly to money, or to giving one group of people special treatment at the expense of everyone else. All in the name of equality, of course, so beware of the woozles!


Catherine Mackinnon, Feminism, Kat Banyard, Laura Bates, Manipulated Statistics, Statistics, Woozle Effect

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author avatar VennerRoad
Independent researcher based in South East London.

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author avatar Lesa Cote
18th Sep 2018 (#)

Thank you for sharing an interesting blog.

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