Apex fallacy

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The apex fallacy is an informal fallacy in which people judge a group by its most visible and successful members. Many feminists object to men dominating in politics or among the richest and most powerful people. They rarely if ever mention that men dominate among the incarcerated and homeless as well.

Example of the Apex Fallacy:

Most powerful people are men so all men are powerful.

The term apex fallacy was coined by Dr Helen Smith.[1]

The apex fallacy is somewhat similar to the earlier frontman fallacy.

While proponents of the apex fallacy may not be acting sincerely, it is possible to sincerely arrive at the apex fallacy as a result of an observer bias. Wealthy powerful men are significantly more visible than the poor men or men who undertook high risk activities such as building a business but failed.


The apex fallacy is applicable to other areas, such as the tweets below in which Charlotte Proudman lists several famous and powerful men that have been falsely accused and then extrapolates to all men that have been falsely accused.

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The RationalWiki describes the apex fallacy as MRAs use the term like this:

This statement is true: The existence of powerful groups of men does not prove that the average man is more powerful than the average woman.
Unfortunately, this position is a strawman against feminism. Feminists often point to systematic sexism (eg, the gender wage gap), rather than merely saying "hey look, the wealthiest/most-powerful people are men". Thus, they don't fall prey to the apex fallacy — because they aren't just looking at the apex, but rather the rest of the pyramid, too. Ultimately, this abuse of the apex fallacy denies the relative privilege of males over females.

Given that the majority of homeless people are also men, and given that the wage gap is a myth (without forgetting all the other areas where men are disadvantaged), the statement looks less like a strawman than what RationalWiki would like us to think. Moreover, it is often the woman in the family that chooses how the money is spent, so despite the man earning it, does he, in this context, have more or less power than the woman?

See Also