Rep. Terry England compares women to cows, pigs and chickens

Rep. Terry England compares women to cows, pigs and chickens.

The Switched Analogy Fallacy is a fresh-roasted blend of Appeal to Emotion and Context Dropping fallacies. It is most commonly manifested when someone attempts to demonstrate how two relationships correlate to each other, and the dissenting interlocutor draws attention not to the relationships being compared, but rather the particular entities that form the relationships being compared. This fallacy was first described on the blog site "The Mischievous Unknown"

The Fallacy in Logical TermsEdit

Two existents A and B are given, and the relationship between A and B is R(1).

Two other existents X and Y are given, and the relationship between X and Y R(2).

The individual offering the analogy demonstrates that R(1) and R(2) are similar in principle.

The dissenter then then scolds the protagonist loudly for comparing B to Y in an attempt to invoke an emotional response. However it was never the intent to compare B to Y, the intent was to compare R(1) to R(2).


Examples of this tactic are found all throughout the comments sections of Pharyngula and FTB at large. Examples from actual blog posts are also found frequently, such as in this post, where PZ dishonestly characterized a pro-lifers argument .

"His argument is this: he’s worked on a farm, and cows and pigs don’t get the benefit of a medical procedure to remove dead calves and piglets — the mares and sows just have to buck up and deliver it. It’s a life experience, don’t you know. And what is a human woman but a breeder sow, hey?"

The actual statement from the pro-lifer had to do with the fact that he, being from rural Georgia, had personally delivered many stillborn animals, and how he and those like him who had done the same felt when delivering stillborn creatures. 

The pro-lifer was comparing the feelings of sadness he felt when delivering a dead animal to the (presumably stronger) feelings of sadness he feels when delibering stillborn humans. To compare his feelings in one instance to his feelings in another instance is a legitimate analogy. Feelings corelate to feelings. 

The heading of the original article "Rep. Terry England compares women to cows, pigs, and chickens" is a textbook example of the Switched Analogy Fallacy.

Another example is the exchange below, from the comments section of the ironically named "Brute Reason " site from FTB. The discussion centerer around whether all PUA advice is tantamount to manipulation :

"I am a guitar player. Although I enjoy playing guitar for its own sake, I want people to enjoy listening to me play – that’s pretty important to me. If I were to go to another guitar player and get lessons from him – in essence taking a shortcut to learning this instrument – in order to play better and sound better… and I begin to experience success… have I manipulated my audience into liking my music better?" If so… is that a bad thing? If not, how would this be distinguished from manipulation?"

The intended analogy was a comparison between gaining a skill-set in one area, and gaining a skill-set in another area. The response was classic Analogy-Switching :

"To compare guitar-playing to putting women down and emotionally abusing them to get them to sleep with you seems rather glib to me."

See AlsoEdit

Just about any comment thread at FTB.