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  #101  
Old 01-04-2012, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Privilege

Well seebs, we are talking about people here, not robots. When dealing with psychology and sociology you can have many, many real things with actual affects that are not testable or universally agreed upon.
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  #102  
Old 01-04-2012, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: Privilege

Yeah.

It seems really weird, though. I guess... I can accept real things that can't be completely established either way. It's annoying, but the universe is full of them.

It's just that the people I'm most likely to run into talking about this are so dogmatic, and yet they disagree, and they don't even seem to notice that they disagree.

It's a lot like something I noticed when debating with Christians back in the day on ChristianForums. A lot of the "conservatives" had conflicting beliefs, but they would identify each other as "both conservative" and then deny that they had conflicting beliefs, and insist that they were both reporting identically on matters of objective truth. Even though they continued to make mutually-exclusive claims.

I am encountering a similar pattern with some of the social justice crusaders; they don't actually listen to each other except to establish that they all agree that they are for social justice, so they'll close ranks against any criticism, even though they actually disagree. This is disconcerting to me.

Thinking about it... I think the thing that's happening is that people are making Yet Another Category, and making themselves "us" and everyone else "them". So you have people who have seriously thought about this issue and are trying to understand privilege and social dynamics, and who are trying to think about and be aware of their own privileges... and then you have other people who are just using it as a buzzword to identify team membership.

This is eerily familiar to me, as a person who is big on the Jesus stuff and horrified by modern American Christendom.

Thinking about it that way, actually, it suddenly makes sense. The real thing is one of those issues you have to wrestle with and you're pretty much stuck with the realization that you'll never fully understand it, and that people coming in later generations may think you're hopelessly backwards for not seeing more clearly, but that's just life, and you do your best. And then there's the social framework of people who identify as believers in the thing so they can have a social group to belong to and condemn outsiders.
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  #103  
Old 01-04-2012, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

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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 otherign as in "Check your privilege".
It may not have started as being about shaming, but it's absolutely used that way now. It's also a tool for shutting people up; I've repeatedly been told that I am not allowed to have an opinion on an issue due to "privilege".
This. This, this, this.

I can't recall a single instance of having the word "privilege" hurled at me in any context that wasn't an attempt to shut me up.

":gasp: You have white/male/cis/eats-chicken/drives-to-work-on-Tuesdays/etc Privilege!!!"
"Yeah, I'm evil...whatever...:blahblah:"
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  #104  
Old 01-04-2012, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: Privilege

Yeah. What I'm thinking, though, is that even though a lot of the people using the word are just using it like any other category of exclusion, there really is a thing there.

This is like encountering that teenager who just discovered that science works and his parents can't make him go to church, and concluding that science is stupid and annoying. Actually, it's not, but boy is that kid annoying. :)
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  #105  
Old 01-04-2012, 10:26 PM
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Default Re: Privilege

As I said earlier, when I bring up privilege I am not expecting a man to take responsibility for the patriarchy. Nor do I expect a white person to take responsibility for all the discrimination, prejudice, and genocide done for the sake of white supremacy. I just hope that they can be aware of it. To open their eyes to the broader social implications of what is going on.

That said, I was going to say that no, I don't bring it up to "shut" them up. But actually, yes, sometimes I do. Sometimes I want the person I am addressing to stop saying stupid shit. Because that stupid shit reinforces the hegemony and is part of what sustains it. It makes these horrible conversations uncomfortably painful for both parties and necessary to begin with.
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  #106  
Old 01-04-2012, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: Privilege

Yeah...I'm evil...I think I'll leave work early so that I can burn some crosses in randomly selected yards and try to deny women the right to vote. Oh, and I'll eat some kittens for dinner.

:yawn:
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  #107  
Old 01-04-2012, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: Privilege

Tell me exactly where I said that you- or anyone else- was evil, boy.
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  #108  
Old 01-04-2012, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: Privilege

I suppose it depends on what they're saying that people want them to shut up about.

We had someone in an IRC chat I was on a while back who started out with rage about alleged "slut-shaming". She then went on to claim that men cannot possibly have an opinion on any issue to do with shame or privilege that is worth hearing, because they are privileged and thus cannot have ever known discrimination. That, I think, was not an attempt to make people stop saying genuinely stupid things; it was an attempt to exclude other people from participation, and given that it was an MMO addon development channel, it was an attempt to exclude basically everyone else there from participation.

I consider the whole question a really interesting one; I have never seen why people would be jerks about it if other people have sex for money, but the only person I know who's done that seems to think it perfectly ordinary that she should be teased about it by her friends. But I think she'd get pissy if people showed any actual disrespect for it.

So I've definitely seen cases where it seemed to me that the goal was not to induce serious consideration of issues, or stop people from saying genuinely stupid things, but merely to assert dominance over others.

(On the other hand, the way several of the other participants responded to her was... well, I sure didn't think it was appropriate at all. She was being a jerk, they were way over the line.)
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  #109  
Old 01-04-2012, 10:35 PM
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Default Re: Privilege

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Tell me exactly where I said that you- or anyone else- was evil, boy.
And why should I answer you when you call me boy, bitch?

Well, :ff: sure hasn't changed...
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  #110  
Old 01-04-2012, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Privilege

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Tell me exactly where I said that you- or anyone else- was evil, boy.
You didn't, but other people have, and I think he's conflating the sets due to the justification of an action which is not obviously distinguishable from what they were doing. In my experience, Goliath tends to be a little quick to take offense at things here, but in his defense, his evaluations strike me as statistically justified when looking at the larger population; he just tends to forget that you're the person who had a Fluttershy avater for the last couple of weeks and are clearly incapable of malice.
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  #111  
Old 01-04-2012, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: Privilege

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Tell me exactly where I said that you- or anyone else- was evil, boy.
You didn't, but other people have, and I think he's conflating the sets due to the justification of an action which is not obviously distinguishable from what they were doing.
Almost correct. Technically, Demimonde hasn't yet spewed out any accusations of privilege at me. That may very well change shortly.

Quote:
In my experience, Goliath tends to be a little quick to take offense at things here
I thought I'd give this place a try again, but sadly, it appears that I may have wasted my time.

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but in his defense, his evaluations strike me as statistically justified when looking at the larger population;
:thankee:
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  #112  
Old 01-04-2012, 10:44 PM
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Default Re: Privilege

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Yeah. What I'm thinking, though, is that even though a lot of the people using the word are just using it like any other category of exclusion, there really is a thing there.
There probably is. I just wish there was a way to coherently discuss it.
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  #113  
Old 01-04-2012, 10:47 PM
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Default Re: Privilege

Goliath, I am incapable of "spewing" anything at you on an online forum. Also discussing privilege is not an "accusation" in the way I understand and use the concept.

You have been rather rude though, and do not appear to be someone I am very likely to enjoy discussing things with. So good luck to you.
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  #114  
Old 01-04-2012, 10:50 PM
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Goliath, I am incapable of "spewing" anything at you on an online forum.
Figure of speech, babycakes. Figure of speech.

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Also discussing privilege is not an "accusation" in the way I understand and use the concept.
How can a discussion of privilege occur in which accusations of having privilege are not made? I'm not being facetious here. I've never seen it happen.

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You have been rather rude though, and do not appear to be someone I am very likely to enjoy discussing things with.
Right back at ya.
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  #115  
Old 01-04-2012, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: Privilege

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I thought I'd give this place a try again, but sadly, it appears that I may have wasted my time.
Oh that's so sad considering how much work you have put into trying to make it work out this time. I'm sorry you wasted so much time and effort trying to give us a chance again.
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  #116  
Old 01-04-2012, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: Privilege

Goliath, I gotta be pedantic here.

Demi pointed out that she sometimes intends to shut people up -- that doesn't mean she always intends that.

Imagine that you were to go to Alabama, and there you met a black Christian. It should be fairly obvious that each of you would enjoy some societal privileges compared to the other in that cultural environment. This isn't a reason for anyone to shut up, intrinsically. But if you started claiming that the black guy should stop whining about the police doing their jobs and stopping people to frisk them all the time, or he were to tell you to stop trying to oppress Christians by preventing them from leading all the kids in organized Christian prayer in schools, then it would make sense to ask the privileged person to STFU.
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  #117  
Old 01-04-2012, 11:26 PM
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Default Re: Privilege

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I suppose it depends on what they're saying that people want them to shut up about.
I have wanted men to shut up about how I should or shouldn't feel about various aspects of menstruation and the female side of reproduction. To my recollection I have never talked about privilege specifically though, just things like "You don't have a vagina so shut up"
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  #118  
Old 01-04-2012, 11:29 PM
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Goliath, I gotta be pedantic here.

Demi pointed out that she sometimes intends to shut people up -- that doesn't mean she always intends that.
True, and I never said otherwise. However, I've never had accusations of privilege hurled at me that were anything other than attempts to shut me up. Demimonde has yet to hurl any accusations or privilege at me.
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  #119  
Old 01-04-2012, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: Privilege

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How can a discussion of privilege occur in which accusations of having privilege are not made? I'm not being facetious here. I've never seen it happen.
This very thread has been a discussion of privilege without making accusations of privilege against each other.

Do you agree that privilege exists and is a real thing, or do you disagree?
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  #120  
Old 01-04-2012, 11:35 PM
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Default Re: Privilege

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How can a discussion of privilege occur in which accusations of having privilege are not made? I'm not being facetious here. I've never seen it happen.
This very thread has been a discussion of privilege without making accusations of privilege against each other.
No, accusations started as early as post #10:

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So you have the privilege of not acknowledging your own privilege and not suffering for it.
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  #121  
Old 01-04-2012, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: Privilege

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I suppose it depends on what they're saying that people want them to shut up about.
I have wanted men to shut up about how I should or shouldn't feel about various aspects of menstruation and the female side of reproduction.
I have had conversations like that. Tragically, my proposal of "don't think of it as your period, think of it as blowjob week" was not well-received.

That said, among the women I know who have had upsetting conversations about how they should think about their side of the reproductive thing, most have involved other women telling them they should be super happy with the process because it is Magical.
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  #122  
Old 01-05-2012, 02:44 AM
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Default Re: Privilege

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How can a discussion of privilege occur in which accusations of having privilege are not made? I'm not being facetious here. I've never seen it happen.
This very thread has been a discussion of privilege without making accusations of privilege against each other.
No, accusations started as early as post #10:

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Originally Posted by lisarea (to seebs) View Post
So you have the privilege of not acknowledging your own privilege and not suffering for it.
In context it was a generalized you, not a specific you.

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Originally Posted by lisarea
It will call racial minorities 'they,' it will assume that you have a penis and have or want a wife or girlfriend, that you have specific types of life experiences and resources, and a whole host of other things that, unless you train yourself to look for them, you probably never even notice as a privileged person. So you have the privilege of not acknowledging your own privilege and not suffering for it.
Yes, some people use "privilege" as an insult just as some hurl "pc" around the same way. That doesn't mean there isn't a discussion to be had about the use of language as in pc or privilege in the context of interacting with other humans
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  #123  
Old 01-05-2012, 04:03 AM
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I suppose it depends on what they're saying that people want them to shut up about.

We had someone in an IRC chat I was on a while back who started out with rage about alleged "slut-shaming". She then went on to claim that men cannot possibly have an opinion on any issue to do with shame or privilege that is worth hearing, because they are privileged and thus cannot have ever known discrimination.
There is a perception about these kinds of discussions that is really persistant. This has come up a few times now in your examples, seebs, so I want to try and address it.

Again, that person is not here and so she can't defend what she meant, but if your paraphrase is accurate, she a non factor in the discussion.

Think of it in terms of any other issue. If one was discussing tipping in restaurants and someone made the claim that only those who have worked as servers have any right to have an opinion in acceptable amounts of tipping, then that person is expressing a personal opinion that has nothing to do with the actual subject matter. It is just her opinion. The issue has not been clarified in any way by her expressing that opinion. It adds nothing to the discussion. In fact, I think it hampers discussion and I am glad that she isn't part of this discussion.

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That, I think, was not an attempt to make people stop saying genuinely stupid things; it was an attempt to exclude other people from participation, and given that it was an MMO addon development channel, it was an attempt to exclude basically everyone else there from participation.
In my opinion, I think it may be more basic than that. Typically, those who have been marginalized or looked down upon tend to want to be heard. I think that sometimes, when people have not been enfranchised into the discussion they can try to tear down the other's perspective in an attempt to make their own more important. But that is just rhetoric, not the subject matter. It happens in most discussions. It is interesting though that in the context of this issue it is suddenly a major issue. I think there is a reason for that.

Quote:
So I've definitely seen cases where it seemed to me that the goal was not to induce serious consideration of issues, or stop people from saying genuinely stupid things, but merely to assert dominance over others.
It is important to note though that in this particular dynamic, you are dealing with people that have historically been dominated. It is afterall, a discussion on the power structures between in and out groups. If the in group has the advantage of being the status quo then the Othered person, in simply trying to get their perspective out there, is attempting to gain some power for themselves.

I do find it funny though, when the empowered group sees this attempt as a grab for dominance. In actuality quite often it is just an attempt to level the playing field and try to be heard with the same acceptance as the privileged group. An attempt to become empowered is not necessarily a grab for dominance. Though if the binary is defined by that othered group it can sure feel threatening to the privileged one.

Again, not saying that in this case, that the person posting was above board in this. I don't know frankly. But going back to the original post that this thread spun off of, SkepChick has had some very rational and reasonable blogs demonized in this fashion.

Statistically, it is the case that those in the out group get dominated FAR more than those in the in group who are just maintaining the status quo. By definition actually.

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I suppose it depends on what they're saying that people want them to shut up about.
I have wanted men to shut up about how I should or shouldn't feel about various aspects of menstruation and the female side of reproduction.
I have had conversations like that. Tragically, my proposal of "don't think of it as your period, think of it as blowjob week" was not well-received.

That said, among the women I know who have had upsetting conversations about how they should think about their side of the reproductive thing, most have involved other women telling them they should be super happy with the process because it is Magical.
That is the hegemony in action. That is why, in my opinion, it is not worthwhile to place blame on either the in group (men) or the out group (women) in these matters. The social structure is to blame. Period. Individuals can either help tear down that structure or help perpetuate it.

The gender sterotype of woman as breeder is prevalent. I have had more women than men pressure me on that gender norm as a matter of fact. In my opinion, whether or not I undertake the Magical journey of Motherhood is none of their business. But our culture is packed with that stuff. There is a baby boom going on in my family and circle of friends, I can't socialize without someone making the lame joke of "Yoooooou're next!" It is as though our culture dictates that it must be said. I can't blame them for that. But I ask myself, why are these comments directed to me and not Contra? Because according to culture, I am the baby maker not him. Last time I checked it took two to tango. :shrug:

Woman as an object of pleasure is another one that persists, and I must say, your above post perpetuates that in my opinion. It suggests that the male orgasm is all that matters and that a woman's job is to service that pleasure. If your level of intimacy with that person is strong enough, or your tone ironic and aware, she may not have taken offense. I can't blame you for that joke either. You aren't responsible for coming up with that idea, you are mirroring what our culture tells you.

So much of humor deals with these issues, because humor too is a social construct. I do think, overall, such gender norms of woman as baby machine or woman as pleasure machine are damaging to the culture in general. Personally, I am a fan of humor that subverts those constructs rather than reinforces them.

How do you subvert it and still be funny? That is tricky. I don't even have a good example with sleep-deprived new mothers making the lame socially dictated "Next!" joke. I am not sure there even is one. But I do know what my brilliant man did that made me just about die laughing.

I never thought about it in these terms, but once in response to finding out i would be on my period during a holliday, he drew a face on his hand Seņor Wences style and introduced me to "Fistina" who would be taking care of his needs for the time being. "She" said insulting things in a falsetto voice like your above comment and he argued with "her" and admonished "her" until they got into a full on brawl with self slapping and strangulation. I laughed till I cried. He is a brilliant, sexy man.
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  #124  
Old 01-05-2012, 04:18 AM
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Default Re: Privilege

I can't decide if Goliath's behavior in the thread is a good example of privilege or if he's just a whiner. More data is needed, and he should definitely continue posting so the question can be resolved.
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:00 AM
seebs seebs is offline
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Default Re: Privilege

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Originally Posted by Demimonde View Post
There is a perception about these kinds of discussions that is really persistant. This has come up a few times now in your examples, seebs, so I want to try and address it.

Again, that person is not here and so she can't defend what she meant, but if your paraphrase is accurate, she a non factor in the discussion.

Think of it in terms of any other issue. If one was discussing tipping in restaurants and someone made the claim that only those who have worked as servers have any right to have an opinion in acceptable amounts of tipping, then that person is expressing a personal opinion that has nothing to do with the actual subject matter. It is just her opinion. The issue has not been clarified in any way by her expressing that opinion. It adds nothing to the discussion. In fact, I think it hampers discussion and I am glad that she isn't part of this discussion.
It is, however, directly relevant to the question of why people are so quick to form negative opinions of the semantic content of the word "privilege" -- because encounters like that make it seem like it's a fancy way of saying "only we get to have opinions".

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I do find it funny though, when the empowered group sees this attempt as a grab for dominance. In actuality quite often it is just an attempt to level the playing field and try to be heard with the same acceptance as the privileged group. An attempt to become empowered is not necessarily a grab for dominance. Though if the binary is defined by that othered group it can sure feel threatening to the privileged one.
An attempt to obtain exclusive power is pretty much by definition a grab for dominance.

I have noticed that, in many categories, a lot of people react to power structures by asserting that we absolutely need a power structure with some people on top, it should just be other people.

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Statistically, it is the case that those in the out group get dominated FAR more than those in the in group who are just maintaining the status quo. By definition actually.
This gets fuzzy for me once you start including contextual dominance. Observant Jews in the US are obviously an out group, but once you get into the social group of a given temple of mostly observant Jews, suddenly you have a new out group...

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In my opinion, whether or not I undertake the Magical journey of Motherhood is none of their business. But our culture is packed with that stuff.
I am curious as to whether there's ever been a culture that wasn't.

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Woman as an object of pleasure is another one that persists, and I must say, your above post perpetuates that in my opinion. It suggests that the male orgasm is all that matters and that a woman's job is to service that pleasure. If your level of intimacy with that person is strong enough, or your tone ironic and aware, she may not have taken offense. I can't blame you for that joke either. You aren't responsible for coming up with that idea, you are mirroring what our culture tells you.
Oh, it was definitely ironic, and was taken as such. It was mostly intended as commentary on the social norm, which we both think is funny.

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So much of humor deals with these issues, because humor too is a social construct. I do think, overall, such gender norms of woman as baby machine or woman as pleasure machine are damaging to the culture in general. Personally, I am a fan of humor that subverts those constructs rather than reinforces them.
I agree with this. One thing I've noticed is that some humor can be subversive to aware people, while reinforcing for non-aware people, because they hear totally different jokes.
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Thanks, from:
maddog (03-07-2012)
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