In my spare time, I enjoy learning about logical fallacies—common errors in reasoning which undermine the logic of an argument. To understand more about the system of principles underlying belief systems, I invite you to read Logic and Reason.
Recently, I heard of “apex fallacy.” Per one source, “Apex fallacy seems to be a subtype of Composition Fallacy. Unfortunately the Wikipedia page was deleted by feminist factions claiming it is a neologism created by Men’s right activists to counter feminist ideas of misogyny.”
In this regard, the fallacy of composition is represented by the following logical form:
A is part of B.
A has property X.
Therefore, B has property X.
To provide a concrete example, consider the following:
Men are part of the patriarchy.
Men have sexist perspectives about women.
Therefore, the patriarchy has sexist perspectives about women.
Concerning the apex fallacy in particular, one source states, “The apex fallacy is when someone erroneously assumes men at the bottom of social stratification are just as privileged as men at the top of social stratification.” Here’s how the logic unfolds:
All men are privileged in regards to women.
Incels (involuntarily celebrates) are men.
Consequently, incels are privileged in regards to women.
In this example, the argument proffered by an individual evoking the apex fallacy would suggest that not all men are equal and nor are all women. As well, some men maintain less status than even some women.
As an example, male fast food worker John Doe has arguably less status and privilege than male bank executive Jim Dough. Likewise, female politician Jane D’oh has more status and privilege than John Doe.
Therefore, it is logically erroneous to state that “all men are privileged in regards to women,” or even in relation to other men. In specific, because some men are more charismatic, better looking, stronger, wealthier, and more intelligent, the stratum for all men is not equal.
That is to say that the level or class to which men are assigned according to their social status, education, income, and other attributes is different. One struggles to understand how this is a controversial declaration.
Forgive me an anecdote. When attending military police (MP) training in ’97, I met a fellow Marine who I will refer to as “D.” He and I were also subsequently stationed in Okinawa (“Oki”), Japan from ’97 to ’99.
Though significantly shorter than me, I looked up to D, because he was quite muscular and conventionally attractive. His uniform was always squared away, he was well liked by our colleagues and higher-ups, and D was a Marine’s Marine—a prototypical badass.
Not once was I able to beat D’s physical fitness test (PFT) score, because his upper body strength afforded him the opportunity to excel beyond my ability. About this, I wasn’t upset. I was motivated to improve my performance.
I wasn’t ignorant of the fact that my Puerto Rican brother in arms was smarter, stronger, more charming, and friendlier than me. D was widely considered a water-walker—a Marine perceived to be perfect and fast-tracked for promotion.
In short, D and I weren’t equally privileged. He was what some people would categorize as a stereotypical alpha or apex male and I simply wasn’t on his level.
Also in Oki, I met a female MP who I will refer to as “SD.” Though she and I were subject to equal standards of fitness, her PFT score was higher than mine. As well, she out-ranked me.
SD was kind, though not a pushover. She was intelligent, though not boastful. She was held in high regard by members of our command, though she remained relatable to those males and females of lesser status and privilege.
After exiting Oki, SD joined the Air Force and served with security police—now known as security forces. There, she attained the honor of becoming a member of a special weapons and tactics-style team.
I had no illusion that my sister in arms of Italian heritage was similarly situated, because she was more intelligent, poised, and compassionate than me. As a Marine, SD was understood to be tougher than woodpecker lips—someone with whom one is not to trifle.
Simply put, SD and I weren’t equally privileged. Although she wasn’t a male, SD was what some people would consider a stereotypical alpha or apex of her own right and I truly wasn’t on her level.
Given the examples of D and SD—fellow Marines with whom I served—I’m uncertain as to whether myopic and divisive claims about male versus female privilege are fitting within the United States. Some men and some women retain privilege over other men and women.
Then again, what do I know? I was an average Marine at the height of my service and a subpar military member in the end. Perhaps my consideration of the apex fallacy is impacted by the biased sample fallacy.
How about you, dear reader, what are your thoughts? Are you searching for a behavioral health provider who uses logic and reason to help work through your issues?
If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.
As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.
At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!
Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW
Bennett, B. (2017, October 16). Apex fallacy. What is it? Wiki page deleted. Logically Fallacious. Retrieved from https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/cgi-bin/uy/qa.cgi?ns_questions+D2RZISrj
Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer
Hollings, D. (2023, February 9). Feminism. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/feminism
Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/
Hollings, D. (2023, August 19). Life in plastic, it’s fantastic. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-in-plastic-its-fantastic
Hollings, D. (2023, January 8). Logic and reason. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/logic-and-reason
Incels Wiki. (n.d.). Apex fallacy. Retrieved from https://incels.wiki/w/Apex_fallacy
Logically Fallacious. (n.d.). Biased sample fallacy. Retrieved from https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/cgi-bin/uy/webpages.cgi?/logicalfallacies/Biased-Sample-Fallacy
Logically Fallacious. (n.d.). Fallacy of composition. Retrieved from https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/cgi-bin/uy/webpages.cgi?/logicalfallacies/Fallacy-of-Composition