1. That the discussion on this site is male-dominated.How do we answer this? In one sense, it is easy. Logicians are concerned about the validity of arguments alone, and the complaints by the commenters here were about exactly that. Pamela's arguments simply weren't valid. Now even if it is correct that the men's comments were motivated by positioning and status, in order to establish themselves as 'superior thinkers and logicians', that hardly invalidates their position. If an argument is invalid, it is invalid, whatever my motivation in affirming its invalidity. The reply to Pamela seems clear: her first argument was invalid, and so was her reply to critics, which was a form of ad hominem (addressing the person, not the reasoning).
2. That research (such as by sociolinguist Deborah Tannen) shows that male conversation typically serves a different purpose than female, leading to misunderstanding.
3. Male discussion is characterised by jockeying for position and establishment of status, which is different from how women tend to approach discussion.
4. Likewise, discussion on this site is about commenters asserting their own status as superior thinkers and logicians and not about fruitful intellectual inquiry.
In another sense it is more difficult. I am sure Pamela will reply that my objection remains stuck on the rails of 'male logic'. Calling ad hominem is just another move in the game of patriarchal domination. Why, after all, is it called 'ad hominem' (to the man)? There is a nice observation by Robin Turner along this line.
If women reject logic and rely solely on feelings, they are left in the weak position of having to argue with feelings. Feeling that something is true does not make it true, and it will not convince anyone else that it is true either. You can say, "I feel X", but the person you are arguing with can just as well reply, "Well I don't." The result is that the argument usually goes nowhere. This is particularly damaging in arguments between men and women, since both sides are likely to go away with their prejudices strengthened; the men think women are subjective, emotional and illogical, and the women think men are impersonal, cold and over-intellectual.
To justify their feelings of hurt at being "beaten" in an argument, the women concerned may go further and dismiss the whole thing as "male logic", as though there were two types of logic, on for men and another for women. This then places the men in an impossible position, since if they attempt to be reasonable, they are accused again of using "male logic", in the same way that if a woman gets upset in an argument, it is taken as proof that she is overly emotional, and hence irrational. This does not only lead to a lack of communication between the sexes, it leads to a lack of communication in which women come off worse, since policy is generally made as the result of argument, not sharing feelings. [link]