Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Idiots on the internet.


I need to learn how to let go. In real life and online, I have a tendency to dig my heels in and argue until I'm blue in the face when I am sure I am right.

To that end, I've been arguing with an idiot over the internet about ovulation and a recent article by a Fox News Sexpert on popular sex myths. The issue:

"5. Myth: You Can't Get Pregnant if You Aren't Ovulating

She’s not ovulating so she can’t get pregnant — Not!

Fact: While pregnancy is likeliest to occur during the six days leading up to, and including, ovulation, a female can get pregnant at any point in her menstrual cycle. This includes the week of her period.Even if couples want to take a chance and avoid unprotected sex around day 14 of her menstrual cycle (when she is most fertile), the fact that many women have irregular cycles makes this a dicey decision. Even women who have regular menstrual cycles may not ovulate on the same day each month."

First and foremost, the intent of the myth is accurate - a woman can indeed get pregnant at any point in a cycle, as a woman can ovulate at any point in a cycle, and not just on cd14 as so many people are wrongfully taught.

My issue with this was two-fold. Her statements seem to indicate that a woman can get pregnant when she is not ovulating (that is in fact the title of the myth). Obviously, basic biology dictates that to be false. A woman can only get pregnant if she is ovulating. The author also states that a woman is most fertile around cd 14, which again, is false.

The fact of the matter is this: Ovulation occurs once a cycle. It can occur at any point - very early, very late, and even during a 'period' which is really anovulatory bleeding. I point that out. I agree that the message is good and everyone should use birth control. One of my readers here engages with me in a debate about semantics - which is what I'm really arguing, after all - and we leave it at that.

Another poster, who is male, btw (not that I think that automatically makes him unqualified to participate, but without deliberately studying women's cycles, I'm already raising an eyebrow at him) comes in to tell me I am factually wrong. This man insists that ovulation doesn't have to occur for an egg to be present. He also insists that eggs can be fertilized at any point. He says my reading comprehension skills are low and that I am completely misunderstanding the accurate article.

Only - I understand the menstrual cycle. I get how it works. He doesn't. If the idea that eggs just sit around forever waiting to be fertilized isn't bad enough, he actually told me that an egg could be present without ovulation occuring.

I asked him if he knew what ovulation was.

In the end, he continues to say that I am saying the same thing as the article (partially true) and that I am an idiot. Except - all my information is accurate and verified and the whole point was that I was disgusted with this woman for not giving out accurate information. I literally sat and fumed at his dismissive words and completely inaccurate statements. Especially because it was so condescending. This guy doesn't have the basic biology they teach in 9th grade down and he has the gall to call me an idiot?

In the end, I let it go. I don't know if he will respond to my final statement (which, incidentally, was 'NONE of my information has been inaccurate. You are utterly ridiculous.'). I'm not going to look. I'm not gaining anything by arguing further with him. He refuses to acknowledge that my information is factual (backed up by linked sources, no less), and chooses to take issue with something that wasn't even my argument. I can't make him understand. I can't change his wilful ignorance.

But damned if it isn't crazy hard for me to do. I will admit if I'm wrong (eventually, anyway), but I have a hard time walking away when I know I'm right. Sometimes though, it's just necessary for your own sanity.


Elaine said...

Ooh, that would make my blood boil too. I can understand how it would be hard to let that argument go. But just remember he is the idiot and you are right.

share the experience said...

It is crazy hard to let it go - but there are some people out there who you will never be able to convince that what they believe to be true is incorrect. I'm sure you presented your facts properly and straight and it is those people who were arguing with you who have low reading comprehension!