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  #26  
Old 12-29-2011, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

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Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post
I can't quite articulate this, I have been trying to for like 10 minutes so fuck it, I'll just throw out the idea and see if it leads to something.

Our (American or Western) society's default is landowning, voting, food secure, and comfortable. Historically the default is struggling, working class, peasantness, etc. Even in the broader global view, our baseline is way fucking high.

Even our others are privileged comparatively. I think we need to understand just how relative this term is, rather than treat it as absolute.
That's a really interesting point. The gaps between groups can expand or narrow, and at the same time the broader societal baseline can move.

This ties into a general observation, which is that best-and-worst experiences are often self-norming. I know someone who has basically all the traits you'd expect from someone who was systematically abused, but to the best of my knowledge, no one ever went beyond being disrespectful to her. But her family were sort of psycho in that the parents, so far as I can tell, never, not once, got angry in front of the kids... So their "merely disapproving" ended up having about the same effect on her that "beaten and burned" did on another friend of mine. Or possibly worse. Because everything was always maximally-bad.
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  #27  
Old 12-29-2011, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

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Originally Posted by seebs View Post
The problem is that when used outside of the strict academic model, it still carries those connotations.

So someone who's talking about the academic model, but talking to someone who hasn't studied that model, is unintentionally communicating an assertion that the "privileged" group is receiving unfair preferential treatment.
That is 100% accurate. They are receiving unfair preferential treatment. And yes, it sucks all around.

I think the issue arises in that some think that they are supposed to take responsibility for having that privilege. They can't, it is beyond their control. And yes, some do want others to feel guilt or shame for it, and that is in my opinion wrong.

All that I want is for them to recognize it. That is what I think the majority of people in these discussions want. It is a shitty facet of human interaction. Denying it makes it worse. Recognizing it can help prevent more harm being done.

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I worry a bit sometimes when people talk about how they've redefined words for "this kind of analysis". I have met people who feel comfortable stating that absolutely every male is, at all times, a rapist, and who insist that it is by definition impossible for them to be sexist because women can never be sexist. Why? Well, because the social theory she's talking about defines the terms that way.
Yeah, I feel qualified in saying that is a stupid person. She is also not here. She is also using a personal definition that is in no way accepted. Women can DEFINITELY be sexist. They partake in slut shaming, gas lighting, glass ceilings, internalizing the male gaze, etc. etc. etc. Which makes sense if you look at the actual research and analysis on how privilege works. The Other often accepts the hegemony presented to them.

So, yeah, stupid person and I am glad she isn't here.

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So, again: I know how the privilege/othering stuff is used, and I can use it that way and it doesn't really bug me that much. I do think that it would have been more effective for communication with people who haven't specifically studied it with a different choice of word instead of "privilege". As is, if someone hasn't specifically studied this, and you tell them they have "privilege", what exactly are they supposed to think?
For me, I try to explain it to them. I tell them my perspective. I don't use "privileged" as a pejorative. I hope that they are able to recognize the phenomenon and perhaps use that broadened perspective to mitigate hurting Others.

I do not expect them to take responsibility, feel shame or guilt.

Quote:
... Interestingly, this creates a situation where some people have "privilege/othering theory privilege", and people who don't are othered. :P
Academic/intellectual privilege is definitely a thing too. Thankfully, unlike most types of privilege it is not a physical one and is a mobile system. The non-intellectual can become educated at least.
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  #28  
Old 12-29-2011, 09:50 PM
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More word vomit. Bear with me or don't.

I keep thinking that those who are invisible statistically, because they are at the apex of a bell curve in most societal ways, actually have the most societal privilege because they are invisible. Exceedingly ordinary. The baseline for all comparisons. People have a hard time seeing this privilege in themselves for the same reason...invisibility.

Those who are visible are othered because of their extraordinariness. Oh, you are visible, while I am invisible, you are other. I think the people who are ashamed and or angry at being deemed privileged prolly don't understand the benefits of being invisible, or resent being invisible. I myself wouldn't mind being visible on the money curve or the intelligence curve, but I am not going to deny or rail against my own beneficial invisibility.

Or something like that maybe.
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  #29  
Old 12-29-2011, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

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I have met people who feel comfortable stating that absolutely every male is, at all times, a rapist, and who insist that it is by definition impossible for them to be sexist because women can never be sexist.
I doubt this.

I don't doubt that you've met people who have given you this impression without saying so in as many words.

It's even possible (though I'm sceptical) that someone had you on a bit, or went out of their way to be provocative, and said this straight out.

But all in all, I think the person you describe is the snark -- often hunted, never found. They are the roommate of the feminist who really does want heterosexual married women to leave their husbands, practice witchcraft, become lesbian, and have recreational abortions.
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  #30  
Old 12-29-2011, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

That's odd. I could have sworn I heard someone in here talking. I come in and I don't see anyone.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

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The problem is that when used outside of the strict academic model, it still carries those connotations.

So someone who's talking about the academic model, but talking to someone who hasn't studied that model, is unintentionally communicating an assertion that the "privileged" group is receiving unfair preferential treatment.
That is 100% accurate. They are receiving unfair preferential treatment. And yes, it sucks all around.
Hmm. I guess I have run into a connotation thing again.

I tend to view "unfair" as being to some extent "relative to what is reasonable or just". So "not being beaten up" isn't unfair treatment, even if other people are beaten up, because "not being beaten up" is the way everyone should be treated.

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I think the issue arises in that some think that they are supposed to take responsibility for having that privilege. They can't, it is beyond their control. And yes, some do want others to feel guilt or shame for it, and that is in my opinion wrong.

All that I want is for them to recognize it. That is what I think the majority of people in these discussions want. It is a shitty facet of human interaction. Denying it makes it worse. Recognizing it can help prevent more harm being done.
Yeah. I think the word "privilege" outside of this particular field has a connotation, especially among otherwise-egalitarian people, of a shameful thing that people have taken advantage of. The old boys network, etcetera. And then we end up with a sort of clash of connotations.

I guess that's the thing: It's good for people to recognize that not everyone can take this treatment for granted. It's not necessarily good to imply or assert that they should not be treated that way, though. It may be that the right solution is for everyone to be treated that way...

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Women can DEFINITELY be sexist. They partake in slut shaming, gas lighting, glass ceilings, internalizing the male gaze, etc. etc. etc. Which makes sense if you look at the actual research and analysis on how privilege works. The Other often accepts the hegemony presented to them.
Ahh, I meant specifically sexist against men. Which is a different category of thing. I guess... One of the ways of reacting to the Privilege/Other thing is to try to invert it; preserve the structure, changing only who's on top. This strikes me as just as bad.

Quote:
For me, I try to explain it to them. I tell them my perspective. I don't use "privileged" as a pejorative. I hope that they are able to recognize the phenomenon and perhaps use that broadened perspective to mitigate hurting Others.

I do not expect them to take responsibility, feel shame or guilt.
This seems sensible.

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Academic/intellectual privilege is definitely a thing too. Thankfully, unlike most types of privilege it is not a physical one and is a mobile system. The non-intellectual can become educated at least.
Usually, yeah.

Hmm.

See, now that I have a better grasp of where the language comes from, it seems to me that it would be useful to try to explain this more effectively to people. But I am not sure how. In particular... I feel that a lot of harm is done by over-enthusiastic attempts to shame people for their "privilege". The usual counter is of course to deny that such a thing exists or whatever...

I now theorize that, apart from the usual cognitive biases, part of the problem is that people are not using the term in the same way; people are being accused of being the default and tending to take that for granted, and are denying that they are systematically trying to oppress others.

It seems to me that it would be super useful to have a way to correct those misunderstandings.
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  #32  
Old 12-29-2011, 10:07 PM
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It's even possible (though I'm sceptical) that someone had you on a bit, or went out of their way to be provocative, and said this straight out.
The claim that there is absolutely, by definition, no such thing as women being sexist against men, was an exact literal claim. The claim about rape was the slightly less direct "men always, always, always, refuse to take no for an answer".

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But all in all, I think the person you describe is the snark -- often hunted, never found. They are the roommate of the feminist who really does want heterosexual married women to leave their husbands, practice witchcraft, become lesbian, and have recreational abortions.
I thought so too. Now I am obliged to grant that a single person I know who snapped under extreme stress appears to have turned into one.
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  #33  
Old 12-29-2011, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post
More word vomit. Bear with me or don't.

I keep thinking that those who are invisible statistically, because they are at the apex of a bell curve in most societal ways, actually have the most societal privilege because they are invisible. Exceedingly ordinary. The baseline for all comparisons. People have a hard time seeing this privilege in themselves for the same reason...invisibility.

Those who are visible are othered because of their extraordinariness. Oh, you are visible, while I am invisible, you are other. I think the people who are ashamed and or angry at being deemed privileged prolly don't understand the benefits of being invisible, or resent being invisible. I myself wouldn't mind being visible on the money curve or the intelligence curve, but I am not going to deny or rail against my own beneficial invisibility.

Or something like that maybe.
That is a really interesting thought. I wonder if there is in general a flaw in the assumption that each privilege/other thing is a dichotomy.

Say you pick "white/minority". What about mixed-race people? While life's a bit better now, they were frequently treated particularly badly by both groups. Similarly, I've known a handful of bi people who ended up being closeted from the GL?T community because the GL part would give them crap about it. Again, less bad now, but...

So in some cases, it may be that measuring each dichotomy separately does not give an accurate picture of the overall social interactions. Consider the position of trans people in the male/female dichotomy...
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  #34  
Old 12-29-2011, 10:13 PM
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I wonder if there is in general a flaw in the assumption that each privilege/other thing is a dichotomy
Well I certainly don't consider any of them a dichotomy, so I personally would call that a faulty assumption. I couldn't decide between spectrum or bell curve in my previous post, so chose bell curve randomly, but privileged/other didn't really occur to me.

Shit, maybe I have been using it differently than everyone else.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:15 PM
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I wonder if there is in general a flaw in the assumption that each privilege/other thing is a dichotomy
Well I certainly don't consider any of them a dichotomy, so I personally would call that a faulty assumption. I couldn't decide between spectrum or bell curve in my previous post, so chose bell curve randomly.

Shit, maybe I have been using it differently than everyone else.
I don't know! Some people use it in ways that seem to me to have logical implications that it's a dichotomy; you're either X or ~X. But I can't tell whether that's intentional.

It could also be overlap. There's male/~male, and there's unambiguously-gendered/~unambiguously-gendered.
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  #36  
Old 12-29-2011, 10:19 PM
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Other/not other would impart the same kind of thing I was trying to represent with my bell curve. But not privileged/other

Hopefully this is making a lick of sense. I am struggling.
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  #37  
Old 12-29-2011, 10:31 PM
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Other/not other would impart the same kind of thing I was trying to represent with my bell curve. But not privileged/other

Hopefully this is making a lick of sense. I am struggling.
Hmm.

Okay, kept running into examples like intelligence or wealth where there's substantial purely-intrinsic advantages.

Let's consider, instead, height.

Consider two dichotomies:
1. Average-or-taller/short.
2. Average/short-or-tall.

In each case, the former group has "privilege". In case 2, for instance, people in the first category can (probably) assume that they can go to any old store and buy clothes, people in the second can't. But in case 1, people in the first category can assume they can reach the shelves and use the kitchen normally, but people in the second can't. So "tall" people have some categories where they share privilege with people of average height, and other categories where they don't.

But in general, yes, it does seem that a whole lot of stuff is done aimed at "normal" people. So in some cases, an advantage can still leave you "other".
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:39 PM
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Well yeah, those with extraordinary advantages are also other in my model. They are statistically visible. Like geniuses and the beautiful and the billionaires. Socially they are definitely othered...maybe not as harmfully as disadvantaged others, but they are not as free to move about without getting attention and scrutiny.
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  #39  
Old 12-29-2011, 10:46 PM
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Well yeah, those with extraordinary advantages are also other in my model. They are statistically visible. Like geniuses and the beautiful and the billionaires. Socially they are definitely othered...maybe not as harmfully as disadvantaged others, but they are not as free to move about without getting attention and scrutiny.
I suspect that just about everyone is at least sometimes other. But yeah; that's a good way of looking at things sometimes, and it can matter.

It also seems like this could be a really useful insight when trying to explain about the concept of privilege to people who are for the most part "on top" in just about everything, and thus likely to lack empathic response to the issue. If you can find a way in which they feel "other" or excluded, you might be able to use that to get them to think about the other cases as well.
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:50 PM
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I finally remembered what this all reminds me of:

Fafblog! the whole world's only source for Fafblog.
Jacques Derrida died yesterday. We threw a Deathday Party to undermine the hegemonic life/death binary but for some reason everybody was still kinda sad.
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  #41  
Old 12-29-2011, 11:52 PM
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I have met people who feel comfortable stating that absolutely every male is, at all times, a rapist, and who insist that it is by definition impossible for them to be sexist because women can never be sexist.
I doubt this.

I don't doubt that you've met people who have given you this impression without saying so in as many words.

It's even possible (though I'm sceptical) that someone had you on a bit, or went out of their way to be provocative, and said this straight out.

But all in all, I think the person you describe is the snark -- often hunted, never found. They are the roommate of the feminist who really does want heterosexual married women to leave their husbands, practice witchcraft, become lesbian, and have recreational abortions.
I once met a Black man who said only White people can be racist. You don't have to take my word for it, because he said it on American television in the first season of The Real World. His name is Kevin Powell and while there isn't a clip of it on Youtube that I can find, it was mentioned in many of his bios when he came to speak at the library. Someone in the audience here asked him if he still stood by that remark and he did.
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  #42  
Old 12-30-2011, 12:00 AM
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Well, wouldn't it be awesome if he were right? Think how much better relations between China and Japan would be.
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:39 AM
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I am still wedded to the binary. It is a really useful tool for this kind of analysis. Individuals exist in a spectrum, but in order to usefully apply this to the group dynamic the in and out group is required for understanding. There is a great deal of relativity though in its application.When an out group is created they are after all a group themselves. The same processes that effect the larger group are at play in their group dynamics.

Take for example the biracial individual. The lack white privilege in the culture because they are ~white. However, within the frame of black culture they are also considered ~black. So they are caught in a situation in which they cannot experience the privilege of being within either "in" group. Which sucks. They are in a unique situation. Now if there was a culture of bi-racial individuals I would bet hard money that they would find some other quality with which to Other. That is just how groups act. Which sucks. I am reminded of this video:


Revisiting an experiment on race by Kenneth and Mamie Clark involving children and dolls. In the original experiment the black children overwhelmingly chose the white doll as the "good" "pretty" or "smart" doll. I was happy to see in this version many black children were embracing the black doll as having these qualities which is awesome. It shows that in many ways we have come a long way in empowering the black community.

It is worth noting that the girls had a harder time with notions of beauty than did the boys, but most telling to me was the reaction of the biracial child at 3:40. She identifies the white doll as prettier and the black as uglier, and when asked which one looks like her she chooses the black doll. I was totally crushed for her when I saw it. What is even crazier is that they begin the piece by talking about our biracial president and then avoid that throughout the piece. They also ignore the implications with girls but it is a stupid, feel-good, morning show piece so what can you expect?

Light skin is considered beautiful by the broader culture, including many African Americans. Within the black community, black is beautiful has become stronger and acts as the default, so being very dark skinned can be considered good within that community. Biracial individuals though are betwixt-between. Which sucks.

In the situation of women being sexist against men, it is again relative. If you take a female dominated group, men can become the other. Shea gave a great example once of her husband. Child rearing is traditionally a female dominated issue. Her husband was treated as a no-nothing despite the fact that he is very knowledgeable in parenting. Traditionally, this is in the feminine sphere and as such women are considered the default. This is more complex in that there are wider hegemonic issues with why that is the case, but yeah, that is an example IMO of women othering men. Contra BTW faces this a bit too as male teacher. It is gender stereotyping and sexist in my opinion.

I do think that in a broader sense though, it is an example of the Patriarchy hurting both genders because it is that broader social dynamic that made it this way. It would however be stupid to tell Shea's hubby or Contra to STFU about what they deal with because as men they have some sort of culpability in the Patriarchy.
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  #44  
Old 12-30-2011, 12:44 AM
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I think it makes sense to use the binary for analysis, but to remember that more than one grouping can be involved at a time. So you can have a situation where two people are interacting, and each of them is Other for at least one relevant grouping. (A rabbi and a priest walk into a bar...)

Somewhere out there, a black car mechanic is mansplaining something to a woman who's ignoring him because she thinks blacks are uneducated.

Come to think of it, I'd guess that dynamics like that are probably more common that you might otherwise think, just because people will tend to shift to a way of thinking in which they're comfortable.
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  #45  
Old 12-30-2011, 02:09 AM
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I have met people who feel comfortable stating that absolutely every male is, at all times, a rapist, and who insist that it is by definition impossible for them to be sexist because women can never be sexist.
I doubt this.

I don't doubt that you've met people who have given you this impression without saying so in as many words.

It's even possible (though I'm sceptical) that someone had you on a bit, or went out of their way to be provocative, and said this straight out.

But all in all, I think the person you describe is the snark -- often hunted, never found. They are the roommate of the feminist who really does want heterosexual married women to leave their husbands, practice witchcraft, become lesbian, and have recreational abortions.
I once met a Black man who said only White people can be racist. You don't have to take my word for it, because he said it on American television in the first season of The Real World. His name is Kevin Powell and while there isn't a clip of it on Youtube that I can find, it was mentioned in many of his bios when he came to speak at the library. Someone in the audience here asked him if he still stood by that remark and he did.
Yes, that's pretty rare. Call the probability of knowing a Kevin Powell n. I think n is very small. But the probability of someone who says both that only White people can be racist and (say) that every White person is at all times literally a lynch mob member is... not quite n2, because the probabilities of holding weird and loosely related views aren't quite independent. But it's much smaller again than n itself. Whereas the propensity to oversimplify and sharpen one's description of people's weird views is pretty strong. Hence my doubt -- which was, as it turned out, well-founded.
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:25 AM
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Huh. I don't know; it doesn't seem to me that my description is particularly inaccurate. A person who says that, in absolutely all cases, with no exceptions ever, men refuse to take no for an answer, is saying something that's pretty much logically equivalent to "all men are rapists". (Certainly, it's a claim that they would be under fairly common circumstances.)

And the claim that it is absolutely impossible for women to be sexist against men was flatly literal with no interpretation added by me.

"Men always, always, always refuse to take "no" at face value. It is endemic to our society. It is the core of rape culture."
[...]
"Also, women cannot be sexist in regards to men. An -ism requires power *and* prejudice. As a woman, I do not have institutional or social power over men, so therefore I cannot be sexist."

So I stand by the characterization as substantively accurate. There were many more paragraphs about this, but they all come to the same essential claim.
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:54 AM
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beyelzu beyelzu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post
Quote:
A lot of the actual communication that happens, though, involves trying to shame them, and at this point we run into a problem: If you bundle all these things together at once, you end up telling people they should be ashamed of things that are completely outside their control.
It's not about shaming though, it's about recognition so as to avoid othering as in "Check your privilege".

For example, I am aware of my privileges. I am middle class, white, average sized, have average features, have above average intelligence, am healthy, employed, housed and fed, have a healthy average kid, etc. etc. etc. I am not ashamed of those things, but I do know that those things afford me...benefits? Perks? not sure the exact word but I enjoy a level of freedom to move about society without raising any eyebrows or suspicions or harsh judgments, and I am given the benefit of the doubt by those in authority (whether law enforcement or Kiddo's school officials), and really most people in general, because they simply expect someone "like" me to conform to societal mores and/or think quite a bit like they themselves do. I am not an other in most everyday situations.

I am an other in some ways, in that I am female, an atheist, infertile. an adoptive parent, and some other minor things, but they don't really come close to the privileged station I enjoy. So, I try to be cognizant of that, and look at it objectively, so as not to assume that I somehow earned that station ( like the lolbertarian kids who seem to think being born white and middle class with health insurance and food security is something they bootstrapped up themselves.)

I don't know of a secular counterpart, but the phrase "There but for the grace of god go I" goes through my mind sometimes.
Have you considered how much more privileged you are in the south?



Privilege is being pulled over in your hobby truck by a cop as you drive home with no tail lights. After a brief conversation wherein the officer notes that you have no hazards either, the officer wishes you a safe trip and admonishes you to be careful on the ride home, also says your truck sounds great. You reply, "thanks, thats a 69 camaro 350 with a fairly aggressive street cam, headers and flowmasters."

And then drive home, with the pot sitting in your truck where it was the whole time. Why weren't you questioned, because you are white and well dressed and well spoken.

Ls,
I also very much try to be aware of how lucky I am. I inherited money to start my small business, and I have a brother who had the vision and the dedication to work at it.

and so on.
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  #48  
Old 12-30-2011, 08:09 AM
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Anastasia Beaverhausen Anastasia Beaverhausen is offline
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

:mutter: Stupid clipboard.. Here is the privilege list.
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  #49  
Old 12-30-2011, 09:03 AM
seebs seebs is offline
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That is a fascinating list.

Here's the thing that really struck me. I spent a year or so in China. In China, if you go through that list, it's a pretty mixed bag. Able to go places without being followed? Not particularly reliably. You could end up with a gaggle of schoolchildren following you around watching you. One of our friends went to a hospital where, get this, multiple doctors came by to look at the foreigner. They did stuff like flouroscope her so they could see whether there were any differences. (What. The. Fuck.) On the other hand, it was the foreigners, not the natives, who could confidently assume that the cops wouldn't fuck with them for no reason.

So there wasn't a single clear "privilege" group and a single clear "other" group. Rather, there was a sort of mixed bag of privileges and discriminations and everything else, all bundled together.

I am not entirely convinced by the assertion that people are taught not to see these things. People are blind enough without any special teaching that I am inclined to think that, in the absence of a written curriculum, Occam's Razor weighs against that.
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:22 AM
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Qingdai Qingdai is offline
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Living in a foreign culture is not comparable to in privileges with in the culture.

You are "other" when you are in a foreign culture, you are literally outside of the culture, so your privileges are a moot point in this case.
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