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A question on sexism/misogyny

13468953

Posts

  • ButtlordButtlord Fornicus Lord of Bondage and PainRegistered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    I find it hilarious you are trying to deny the power of society to effect content creation in a thread specifically about doing so for the purpose of removing sexual objectification from our media.

    Buttlord wrote: »
    yo you really need to look up the definition of straw man if you think me saying "hey now this idea that critique leads to censorship is kinda dumb why don't you expound on some theoretical alternative for it if you think it's potentially dangerous, as evidenced by your belief that it can lead to censorship" is a straw man

    No, you need to read more carefully since I never said the bolded you silly goose. I said it can lead to something like it.

    Hilariously, you just used another strawman.

    i'm not denying it at all, i'm saying it's not censorship

    completely different things!

    4si81Yt.png
    http://comicschat.tumblr.com/ - Buttlord Chats about Comics
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    The issue of privilege extends beyond the individual to the societal frame and context that they exist within and so view as normal. Here's an example that I kind of like which might get the point across better:

    "It's so convenient that the post office is only closed on Sundays. That makes it easy for everyone!"

    Do you see it? (This is not in any way intended to be a koan, if not I can try and explain better.)

    I'm sorry. I'm not understanding the point behind that statement. Can you try to break it down or explain what that means?

    The idea of closing things on Sunday is an explicitly Christian concept that is hardwired into our society.

    Really? I thought it was just because people need to take a day of SOMETIME. I guess I'm just naive/stupid in some ways.

    People do need to take a day off sometimes.

    Why is that day Sunday though?

    Because Christianity.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Buttlord wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    I find it hilarious you are trying to deny the power of society to effect content creation in a thread specifically about doing so for the purpose of removing sexual objectification from our media.

    Buttlord wrote: »
    yo you really need to look up the definition of straw man if you think me saying "hey now this idea that critique leads to censorship is kinda dumb why don't you expound on some theoretical alternative for it if you think it's potentially dangerous, as evidenced by your belief that it can lead to censorship" is a straw man

    No, you need to read more carefully since I never said the bolded you silly goose. I said it can lead to something like it.

    Hilariously, you just used another strawman.

    i'm not denying it at all, i'm saying it's not censorship

    completely different things!

    No, about the same.

    Some subtle differences of course (hence why I keep saying something like censorship), but the result of restricting the content available is very similar.

    shryke on
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    also it's the reason you do 3 weeks on 1 week off birth control

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • Black_HeartBlack_Heart Registered User regular
    Grouch wrote: »
    But please forgive me, I failed to understand where he dealt with my criticism in the article and the comments section has over 800 posts on it. It would be very tedious to pick through all of them to see if concerns are expressed and addressed in a way I can grasp. Privilege to me, focuses on the differences between people instead of the ways they are alike. A straight white male may have vastly more options open to him and may be oblivious to the plight of those who aren't in the same situation, yet that is irrelevant because it is only a possibility, not a certainty. Everyone has differences, everyone has similarities. I don't understand the desire to bring attention to the differences to alienate one another.

    The point is not to alienate. The point is to encourage those people with more privilege to try to understand that those people with less privilege move through a different world, with a different set of challenges.

    Why is the word privilege brandished like a weapon then? "You can't understand me!" is a lot more condescending than "Please try to understand me."

    Also, who doesn't understand that everyone moves through a different world? I mean... one of the most apparent truths in existence is that everyone sees things differently. Not inherently knowing that, is like not being able to see. However once again, knowing it, and caring about it are separate things.

    One can be aware of something... and still choose to dismiss it.

    XBL/PSN Name - Jashinslayer
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/Jashinslayer
  • ButtlordButtlord Fornicus Lord of Bondage and PainRegistered User regular
    edited June 2012
    shryke wrote: »
    Buttlord wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    I find it hilarious you are trying to deny the power of society to effect content creation in a thread specifically about doing so for the purpose of removing sexual objectification from our media.

    Buttlord wrote: »
    yo you really need to look up the definition of straw man if you think me saying "hey now this idea that critique leads to censorship is kinda dumb why don't you expound on some theoretical alternative for it if you think it's potentially dangerous, as evidenced by your belief that it can lead to censorship" is a straw man

    No, you need to read more carefully since I never said the bolded you silly goose. I said it can lead to something like it.

    Hilariously, you just used another strawman.

    i'm not denying it at all, i'm saying it's not censorship

    completely different things!

    No, about the same.

    no, it's really not

    society deciding "nah we don't like these things, it's not cool to do this shit anymore" is hardly the same as the government deciding what is and isn't acceptable to be distributed as media

    one is society's ideals and values changing, and media changing to reflect that

    the other is censorship

    the entire "ugh if you say that a thing shows bad stuff nobody will make it anymore and that's BAD CENSORSHIP BAD" thing is dumb because nothing is stopping anyone from making anything at all

    human centipede got made! twice! and distributed! and made money!

    and that's ignoring that we have more avenues for independently financing and distributing content now, in 2012, than we have at any point in history
    One can be aware of something... and still choose to dismiss it.

    the greatest expression of privilege, right here

    not saying this is what you're doing, to be clear, just that the "i know, but i don't care" thing is basically the distilled essence of privilege

    Buttlord on
    4si81Yt.png
    http://comicschat.tumblr.com/ - Buttlord Chats about Comics
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    The issue of privilege extends beyond the individual to the societal frame and context that they exist within and so view as normal. Here's an example that I kind of like which might get the point across better:

    "It's so convenient that the post office is only closed on Sundays. That makes it easy for everyone!"

    Do you see it? (This is not in any way intended to be a koan, if not I can try and explain better.)

    I'm sorry. I'm not understanding the point behind that statement. Can you try to break it down or explain what that means?

    It's meant to demonstrate how a privileged frame can make what are conscious policy decisions seem like simply a fact of life. In this case the days of availability for the post office. Why is it only closed on Sundays rather than Saturday or Monday? It didn't just happen, somebody somewhere at some time had to decide on what the schedule would be and they decided on 6-day service with Sunday being the off day. That isn't that big a deal or all that inconvenient since you still have one typical non-working day to go and do any postal shenanigans without having to worry about rushing there after work...unless, that is, you're Jewish and keep the Sabbath. In that case the hours of the post office is rather inconvenient. Now, I'm not suggesting that the post office is anti-semitic, it's just an example of the dominant culture internalizing a policy decision (take Sundays off) as just being normal rather than an active choice that was made, and one which negatively impacts a group of people.

    You can fall down the rabbit hole with this stuff, which is counterproductive. It was just an attempt to make the idea 'click' in a way that a lot of dry papers don't tend to. It took me awhile to get the concept, and thought experiments like this helped.

    tea-1.jpg
  • Black_HeartBlack_Heart Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    The issue of privilege extends beyond the individual to the societal frame and context that they exist within and so view as normal. Here's an example that I kind of like which might get the point across better:

    "It's so convenient that the post office is only closed on Sundays. That makes it easy for everyone!"

    Do you see it? (This is not in any way intended to be a koan, if not I can try and explain better.)

    I'm sorry. I'm not understanding the point behind that statement. Can you try to break it down or explain what that means?

    The idea of closing things on Sunday is an explicitly Christian concept that is hardwired into our society.

    Really? I thought it was just because people need to take a day of SOMETIME. I guess I'm just naive/stupid in some ways.

    People do need to take a day off sometimes.

    Why is that day Sunday though?

    Because Christianity.

    Well why NOT Sunday?

    XBL/PSN Name - Jashinslayer
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/Jashinslayer
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Buttlord wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Buttlord wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    I find it hilarious you are trying to deny the power of society to effect content creation in a thread specifically about doing so for the purpose of removing sexual objectification from our media.

    Buttlord wrote: »
    yo you really need to look up the definition of straw man if you think me saying "hey now this idea that critique leads to censorship is kinda dumb why don't you expound on some theoretical alternative for it if you think it's potentially dangerous, as evidenced by your belief that it can lead to censorship" is a straw man

    No, you need to read more carefully since I never said the bolded you silly goose. I said it can lead to something like it.

    Hilariously, you just used another strawman.

    i'm not denying it at all, i'm saying it's not censorship

    completely different things!

    No, about the same.

    no, it's really not

    society deciding "nah we don't like these things, it's not cool to do this shit anymore" is hardly the same as the government deciding what is and isn't acceptable to be distributed as media

    one is society's ideals and values changing, and media changing to reflect that

    the other is censorship

    the entire "ugh if you say that a thing shows bad stuff nobody will make it anymore and that's BAD CENSORSHIP BAD" thing is dumb because nothing is stopping anyone from making anything at all

    human centipede got made! twice! and distributed! and made money!
    One can be aware of something... and still choose to dismiss it.

    the greatest expression of privilege, right here

    not saying this is what you're doing, to be clear, just that the "i know, but i don't care" thing is basically the distilled essence of privilege

    I thought networks censored stuff mainly

    you know like the MPAA

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • ButtlordButtlord Fornicus Lord of Bondage and PainRegistered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Paladin wrote: »
    Buttlord wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Buttlord wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    I find it hilarious you are trying to deny the power of society to effect content creation in a thread specifically about doing so for the purpose of removing sexual objectification from our media.

    Buttlord wrote: »
    yo you really need to look up the definition of straw man if you think me saying "hey now this idea that critique leads to censorship is kinda dumb why don't you expound on some theoretical alternative for it if you think it's potentially dangerous, as evidenced by your belief that it can lead to censorship" is a straw man

    No, you need to read more carefully since I never said the bolded you silly goose. I said it can lead to something like it.

    Hilariously, you just used another strawman.

    i'm not denying it at all, i'm saying it's not censorship

    completely different things!

    No, about the same.

    no, it's really not

    society deciding "nah we don't like these things, it's not cool to do this shit anymore" is hardly the same as the government deciding what is and isn't acceptable to be distributed as media

    one is society's ideals and values changing, and media changing to reflect that

    the other is censorship

    the entire "ugh if you say that a thing shows bad stuff nobody will make it anymore and that's BAD CENSORSHIP BAD" thing is dumb because nothing is stopping anyone from making anything at all

    human centipede got made! twice! and distributed! and made money!
    One can be aware of something... and still choose to dismiss it.

    the greatest expression of privilege, right here

    not saying this is what you're doing, to be clear, just that the "i know, but i don't care" thing is basically the distilled essence of privilege

    I thought networks censored stuff mainly

    you know like the MPAA

    the mpaa actually doesn't have any authority to tell anybody what goes in a movie

    they can say "we won't give it *rating* unless you cut out x y and z" but they can't physically force you to remove x y and z

    it's still up to the filmmakers whether or not to cut the "offending" (and i use quotes because whether or not x y and z are actually offending is a whole separate argument) footage

    Buttlord on
    4si81Yt.png
    http://comicschat.tumblr.com/ - Buttlord Chats about Comics
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Buttlord wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Buttlord wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Buttlord wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    I find it hilarious you are trying to deny the power of society to effect content creation in a thread specifically about doing so for the purpose of removing sexual objectification from our media.

    Buttlord wrote: »
    yo you really need to look up the definition of straw man if you think me saying "hey now this idea that critique leads to censorship is kinda dumb why don't you expound on some theoretical alternative for it if you think it's potentially dangerous, as evidenced by your belief that it can lead to censorship" is a straw man

    No, you need to read more carefully since I never said the bolded you silly goose. I said it can lead to something like it.

    Hilariously, you just used another strawman.

    i'm not denying it at all, i'm saying it's not censorship

    completely different things!

    No, about the same.

    no, it's really not

    society deciding "nah we don't like these things, it's not cool to do this shit anymore" is hardly the same as the government deciding what is and isn't acceptable to be distributed as media

    one is society's ideals and values changing, and media changing to reflect that

    the other is censorship

    the entire "ugh if you say that a thing shows bad stuff nobody will make it anymore and that's BAD CENSORSHIP BAD" thing is dumb because nothing is stopping anyone from making anything at all

    human centipede got made! twice! and distributed! and made money!
    One can be aware of something... and still choose to dismiss it.

    the greatest expression of privilege, right here

    not saying this is what you're doing, to be clear, just that the "i know, but i don't care" thing is basically the distilled essence of privilege

    I thought networks censored stuff mainly

    you know like the MPAA

    the mpaa actually doesn't have any authority to tell anybody what goes in a movie

    they can say "we won't give it *rating* unless you cut out x y and z" but they can't physically force you to remove x y and z

    it seems like it effectively does the same thing since Matt and Trey got their panties in a bunch over it

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    [ If everyone was influenced by and took material from all entertainment as legitimate courses of action for real life, our society couldn't function for obvious reasons. If no one was influenced by anything in entertainment at all, I think we would be at just as much of a loss.

    Well, here's the thing. It's not so much about any one piece of literature/art having a direct effect (although that DOES happen on occasion). Like, I feel like you're conceptualizing this as "the idea is if a guy watches one sexist movie he will go home and slap his girlfriend", and that's not really it.

    Imagine there is a mosaic made up of one small piece of tile. Except by definition that's not really a mosaic, is it? A mosaic has to make up a bigger picture, made from smaller things.

    But let's say five more tiny tiles are added to the mosaic. Then twenty more. A hundred. A thousand. Ten thousand. Now you have enough tiles to make a mosaic. Any one of those tiles is nothing more than a little bit of colored ceramic, and yet when you put them together you can form a definitive picture.

    That's what our society is like. That's what our ideas of "normality" and gender relations and race relations and heteronormativity are like. They are built out of a million tiny things. So maybe ONE video game featuring Syldanian Six-Boobed Slut Warriors or whatever will not have much effect on society. The thing is, there isn't just one video game like that, and that isn't the only place the idea that women are objectified. When people criticize Hillary Clinton's appearance (because male politicians are such hotties, right? Not bloated, liver-spotted, fat old men) . . . that is a little piece of tile. When a comic artist draws kidnapped male Justice League characters in tied up but non-sexy poses, while the kidnapped female Justice League characters are tied up like they're getting geared up for a video session of "Bondage Sluts III" . . . that is a little piece of tile. When someone tells a sexist joke . . . that's a little piece of tile. Look in the comments section of any online news story about a woman being raped and you will find more little bits of tile.

    And the defense is always "Well, MY piece of tile isn't at fault! It's Society!" It is indeed society that predefines the mosaic, based on the piece of tile that were placed by previous generations; but it's the individual pieces of gossip, art, expectations that fill in that mosaic. Unlike a real mosaic, old bits fall off quite frequently, forgotten by a new generation. Sometimes they are replaced by a new piece that is about the same as the old one; sometimes they are replaced by a new one. Sometimes there's a lot of new pieces at once, like in the 1960s when a bunch of activists took hammers, beat the crap out of that mosaic, and stuck a bunch of new pieces on to radically alter the picture. The point is, if no one starts changing those tiles, small as they may be, the overarching image will never change.

    Shadowen
  • ButtlordButtlord Fornicus Lord of Bondage and PainRegistered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Buttlord wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Buttlord wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Buttlord wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    I find it hilarious you are trying to deny the power of society to effect content creation in a thread specifically about doing so for the purpose of removing sexual objectification from our media.

    Buttlord wrote: »
    yo you really need to look up the definition of straw man if you think me saying "hey now this idea that critique leads to censorship is kinda dumb why don't you expound on some theoretical alternative for it if you think it's potentially dangerous, as evidenced by your belief that it can lead to censorship" is a straw man

    No, you need to read more carefully since I never said the bolded you silly goose. I said it can lead to something like it.

    Hilariously, you just used another strawman.

    i'm not denying it at all, i'm saying it's not censorship

    completely different things!

    No, about the same.

    no, it's really not

    society deciding "nah we don't like these things, it's not cool to do this shit anymore" is hardly the same as the government deciding what is and isn't acceptable to be distributed as media

    one is society's ideals and values changing, and media changing to reflect that

    the other is censorship

    the entire "ugh if you say that a thing shows bad stuff nobody will make it anymore and that's BAD CENSORSHIP BAD" thing is dumb because nothing is stopping anyone from making anything at all

    human centipede got made! twice! and distributed! and made money!
    One can be aware of something... and still choose to dismiss it.

    the greatest expression of privilege, right here

    not saying this is what you're doing, to be clear, just that the "i know, but i don't care" thing is basically the distilled essence of privilege

    I thought networks censored stuff mainly

    you know like the MPAA

    the mpaa actually doesn't have any authority to tell anybody what goes in a movie

    they can say "we won't give it *rating* unless you cut out x y and z" but they can't physically force you to remove x y and z

    it seems like it effectively does the same thing since Matt and Trey got their panties in a bunch over it

    matt and trey are also privileged assholes who spout mindless drivel and pretend it's pure enlightenment

    listening to them about anything is a bad idea

    4si81Yt.png
    http://comicschat.tumblr.com/ - Buttlord Chats about Comics
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    Buttlord wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Buttlord wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Buttlord wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    I find it hilarious you are trying to deny the power of society to effect content creation in a thread specifically about doing so for the purpose of removing sexual objectification from our media.

    Buttlord wrote: »
    yo you really need to look up the definition of straw man if you think me saying "hey now this idea that critique leads to censorship is kinda dumb why don't you expound on some theoretical alternative for it if you think it's potentially dangerous, as evidenced by your belief that it can lead to censorship" is a straw man

    No, you need to read more carefully since I never said the bolded you silly goose. I said it can lead to something like it.

    Hilariously, you just used another strawman.

    i'm not denying it at all, i'm saying it's not censorship

    completely different things!

    No, about the same.

    no, it's really not

    society deciding "nah we don't like these things, it's not cool to do this shit anymore" is hardly the same as the government deciding what is and isn't acceptable to be distributed as media

    one is society's ideals and values changing, and media changing to reflect that

    the other is censorship

    the entire "ugh if you say that a thing shows bad stuff nobody will make it anymore and that's BAD CENSORSHIP BAD" thing is dumb because nothing is stopping anyone from making anything at all

    human centipede got made! twice! and distributed! and made money!
    One can be aware of something... and still choose to dismiss it.

    the greatest expression of privilege, right here

    not saying this is what you're doing, to be clear, just that the "i know, but i don't care" thing is basically the distilled essence of privilege

    I thought networks censored stuff mainly

    you know like the MPAA

    the mpaa actually doesn't have any authority to tell anybody what goes in a movie

    they can say "we won't give it *rating* unless you cut out x y and z" but they can't physically force you to remove x y and z

    No, they'll just effectively impoverish you for not doing it.

    tea-1.jpg
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Buttlord wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Buttlord wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Buttlord wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Buttlord wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    I find it hilarious you are trying to deny the power of society to effect content creation in a thread specifically about doing so for the purpose of removing sexual objectification from our media.

    Buttlord wrote: »
    yo you really need to look up the definition of straw man if you think me saying "hey now this idea that critique leads to censorship is kinda dumb why don't you expound on some theoretical alternative for it if you think it's potentially dangerous, as evidenced by your belief that it can lead to censorship" is a straw man

    No, you need to read more carefully since I never said the bolded you silly goose. I said it can lead to something like it.

    Hilariously, you just used another strawman.

    i'm not denying it at all, i'm saying it's not censorship

    completely different things!

    No, about the same.

    no, it's really not

    society deciding "nah we don't like these things, it's not cool to do this shit anymore" is hardly the same as the government deciding what is and isn't acceptable to be distributed as media

    one is society's ideals and values changing, and media changing to reflect that

    the other is censorship

    the entire "ugh if you say that a thing shows bad stuff nobody will make it anymore and that's BAD CENSORSHIP BAD" thing is dumb because nothing is stopping anyone from making anything at all

    human centipede got made! twice! and distributed! and made money!
    One can be aware of something... and still choose to dismiss it.

    the greatest expression of privilege, right here

    not saying this is what you're doing, to be clear, just that the "i know, but i don't care" thing is basically the distilled essence of privilege

    I thought networks censored stuff mainly

    you know like the MPAA

    the mpaa actually doesn't have any authority to tell anybody what goes in a movie

    they can say "we won't give it *rating* unless you cut out x y and z" but they can't physically force you to remove x y and z

    it seems like it effectively does the same thing since Matt and Trey got their panties in a bunch over it

    matt and trey are also privileged assholes who spout mindless drivel and pretend it's pure enlightenment

    listening to them about anything is a bad idea

    you could say the same about the MPAA


    you could say the same about everybody

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular
    LadyM wrote: »
    I'm trying really hard to bite back all the sarcastic responses sizzling up from my subconscious, but you are making this difficult. So you are saying . . . that when men de facto control the multi-billion dollar movie, comics, and video game industries and women have fanfiction, they have equal means of representation.
    To use some numbers I posted earlier in the thread, romance novels are worth over a billion dollars a year in America. Science fiction and fantasy are worth substantially less than half of that, and the urban fantasy sub-genre is effectively as much of a sub-genre of the romance genre. They're genres utterly dominated by women. Women are responsible for the three biggest recent intellectual properties for young adults, Twilight, The Hunger Games, and Harry Potter. If you go browse the young adult section of a bookstore, you'll primarily find novels written by women, with female main characters. Eleven of the fifteen novels currently showing on top of the New York Times bestseller list are written or co-written by women. Adele, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga are women who are some of the most successful artists currently active in music, and artists like Justin Bieber are successful entirely because of female audience. There are female directors, actors, writers and producers in Hollywood and elsewhere, some of whom have won the biggest awards that Hollywood offers. There are women with significant amounts of money in this world, who can finance films. While creating a AAA game takes some backing, creating games isn't something that requires a massive apparatus.

    Are women still behind in terms of number of executives and old boys club connections? Definitely. I'm not disputing that. Straight white males still have a cultural advantage. That is something that needs to change, and will be the work of decades.

    But: the fact is that women have had and are having a massive effect on the entertainment industry, from books to movies to music. They're having the effect both as content creators and as content consumers. To put it bluntly, the making of Sex and the City, the Vampire Diaries, Desperate Housewives, What To Expect When You're Expecting, etc is not to appeal to a male demographic. You can choose to hate the preferences of others of your gender. You can critique things, inform them why they're wrong, but they're there, they exist, and they drive Hollywood just the same as male-targeted items.

    And yes, thanks to the Internet you yourself can bypass the entire male executive establishment and find a publisher for your own content if you so choose. It worked for E. L. James.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    The issue of privilege extends beyond the individual to the societal frame and context that they exist within and so view as normal. Here's an example that I kind of like which might get the point across better:

    "It's so convenient that the post office is only closed on Sundays. That makes it easy for everyone!"

    Do you see it? (This is not in any way intended to be a koan, if not I can try and explain better.)

    I'm sorry. I'm not understanding the point behind that statement. Can you try to break it down or explain what that means?

    The idea of closing things on Sunday is an explicitly Christian concept that is hardwired into our society.

    Really? I thought it was just because people need to take a day of SOMETIME. I guess I'm just naive/stupid in some ways.

    People do need to take a day off sometimes.

    Why is that day Sunday though?

    Because Christianity.

    Well why NOT Sunday?

    Because not everyone is Christian.

    tea-1.jpg
  • CambiataCambiata Social Justice Vanguard of Your Destruction Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    The issue of privilege extends beyond the individual to the societal frame and context that they exist within and so view as normal. Here's an example that I kind of like which might get the point across better:

    "It's so convenient that the post office is only closed on Sundays. That makes it easy for everyone!"

    Do you see it? (This is not in any way intended to be a koan, if not I can try and explain better.)

    I'm sorry. I'm not understanding the point behind that statement. Can you try to break it down or explain what that means?

    The idea of closing things on Sunday is an explicitly Christian concept that is hardwired into our society.

    Really? I thought it was just because people need to take a day of SOMETIME. I guess I'm just naive/stupid in some ways.

    People do need to take a day off sometimes.

    Why is that day Sunday though?

    Because Christianity.

    Well why NOT Sunday?

    Why not Saturday for Jews? Why not Friday for Muslims? Why not Wednesday for Germanic paganists?

    Dude, what? The only "character plot" in ME2 that would involve fucking a lizard is A) entirely optional, and B) entirely about fucking a lizard. If you don't want to do that plot, do a different one and just be the lizard's friend instead.

    Steam
    Origin ID: jazzmess
    Wishlist
  • Black_HeartBlack_Heart Registered User regular
    LadyM wrote: »
    [ If everyone was influenced by and took material from all entertainment as legitimate courses of action for real life, our society couldn't function for obvious reasons. If no one was influenced by anything in entertainment at all, I think we would be at just as much of a loss.

    Well, here's the thing. It's not so much about any one piece of literature/art having a direct effect (although that DOES happen on occasion). Like, I feel like you're conceptualizing this as "the idea is if a guy watches one sexist movie he will go home and slap his girlfriend", and that's not really it.

    Imagine there is a mosaic made up of one small piece of tile. Except by definition that's not really a mosaic, is it? A mosaic has to make up a bigger picture, made from smaller things.

    But let's say five more tiny tiles are added to the mosaic. Then twenty more. A hundred. A thousand. Ten thousand. Now you have enough tiles to make a mosaic. Any one of those tiles is nothing more than a little bit of colored ceramic, and yet when you put them together you can form a definitive picture.

    That's what our society is like. That's what our ideas of "normality" and gender relations and race relations and heteronormativity are like. They are built out of a million tiny things. So maybe ONE video game featuring Syldanian Six-Boobed Slut Warriors or whatever will not have much effect on society. The thing is, there isn't just one video game like that, and that isn't the only place the idea that women are objectified. When people criticize Hillary Clinton's appearance (because male politicians are such hotties, right? Not bloated, liver-spotted, fat old men) . . . that is a little piece of tile. When a comic artist draws kidnapped male Justice League characters in tied up but non-sexy poses, while the kidnapped female Justice League characters are tied up like they're getting geared up for a video session of "Bondage Sluts III" . . . that is a little piece of tile. When someone tells a sexist joke . . . that's a little piece of tile. Look in the comments section of any online news story about a woman being raped and you will find more little bits of tile.

    And the defense is always "Well, MY piece of tile isn't at fault! It's Society!" It is indeed society that predefines the mosaic, based on the piece of tile that were placed by previous generations; but it's the individual pieces of gossip, art, expectations that fill in that mosaic. Unlike a real mosaic, old bits fall off quite frequently, forgotten by a new generation. Sometimes they are replaced by a new piece that is about the same as the old one; sometimes they are replaced by a new one. Sometimes there's a lot of new pieces at once, like in the 1960s when a bunch of activists took hammers, beat the crap out of that mosaic, and stuck a bunch of new pieces on to radically alter the picture. The point is, if no one starts changing those tiles, small as they may be, the overarching image will never change.

    Thanks! Thats a very good way of putting it that I think a lot of people would easily understand. I also understand what you're saying and the concept behind it. "If sexism is everywhere, how can we combat it if no one takes responsibility because its so widespread."

    Criticize things that are sexist, spread awareness about it, make it an issue people think about. Those are all good things.

    However... I NEVER want to tell someone "You can't do that" or "You shouldn't do that" because I support people being able to make whatever they want. Once again, I'm not saying anyone here is doing this. I'm saying I support making as many things which AREN'T sexist so we have diversity, so we have freedom. I'm a black guy, so if someone makes a comic or movie where a black guy gets lynched or beaten or treated like a stupid slave on every page or every minute of the film. I probably wouldn't like it, I'll probably criticize it and insult it. But I won't try and fight to get it banned or tell the creator he can't make things like that.

    If that movie becomes insanely popular and its everywhere on television and the internet. That doesn't change my position on it.

    If everyone around me starts saying they loved that movie and start perpetuating scenes from it towards me and being horribly racist against me. That still doesn't change my position on it.

    I will continue to be who I am and involve myself in the things I DO like, and try to help create things I DO like.

    XBL/PSN Name - Jashinslayer
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/Jashinslayer
  • Black_HeartBlack_Heart Registered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    The issue of privilege extends beyond the individual to the societal frame and context that they exist within and so view as normal. Here's an example that I kind of like which might get the point across better:

    "It's so convenient that the post office is only closed on Sundays. That makes it easy for everyone!"

    Do you see it? (This is not in any way intended to be a koan, if not I can try and explain better.)

    I'm sorry. I'm not understanding the point behind that statement. Can you try to break it down or explain what that means?

    The idea of closing things on Sunday is an explicitly Christian concept that is hardwired into our society.

    Really? I thought it was just because people need to take a day of SOMETIME. I guess I'm just naive/stupid in some ways.

    People do need to take a day off sometimes.

    Why is that day Sunday though?

    Because Christianity.

    Well why NOT Sunday?

    Why not Saturday for Jews? Why not Friday for Muslims? Why not Wednesday for Germanic paganists?

    Now you're talking! However.... if the post office is closed all those days. Then WHEN would it be open?

    We have to decide on a system so that we can get anything done. So lets go with the system that benefits the majority (whoever that may be) since that is the most logical.

    XBL/PSN Name - Jashinslayer
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/Jashinslayer
  • ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular
    I will continue to be who I am and involve myself in the things I DO like, and try to help create things I DO like.

    IMO, that is the healthiest statement that anyone in the thread has made tonight.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    The issue of privilege extends beyond the individual to the societal frame and context that they exist within and so view as normal. Here's an example that I kind of like which might get the point across better:

    "It's so convenient that the post office is only closed on Sundays. That makes it easy for everyone!"

    Do you see it? (This is not in any way intended to be a koan, if not I can try and explain better.)

    I'm sorry. I'm not understanding the point behind that statement. Can you try to break it down or explain what that means?

    The idea of closing things on Sunday is an explicitly Christian concept that is hardwired into our society.

    Really? I thought it was just because people need to take a day of SOMETIME. I guess I'm just naive/stupid in some ways.

    People do need to take a day off sometimes.

    Why is that day Sunday though?

    Because Christianity.

    Well why NOT Sunday?

    Why not Saturday for Jews? Why not Friday for Muslims? Why not Wednesday for Germanic paganists?

    Now you're talking! However.... if the post office is closed all those days. Then WHEN would it be open?

    We have to decide on a system so that we can get anything done. So lets go with the system that benefits the majority (whoever that may be) since that is the most logical.

    The issue isn't whether or not it is a good decision, but recognizing that it is a decision being made rather than a natural end state. Had you ever really thought about the fact that the post office kind of screws orthodox jews? Or did you just think that it was a normal thing? The post office is closed on Sundays because it's always been closed on Sundays. That blindness is a privilege that your status as part of the social mainstream (in this instance) allows. Hell, the built environment is more or less designed under the assumption that you are a middle class, english literate, ~5'-7", 20-50 something, in good shape or at least relatively good mobility. The ADA has helped with this somewhat, but not as much as you'd hope. A lot of crosswalk timers are too short if you're handicapped or a little old lady. A significant number of signs use text instead of international standard pictographs. Why?

    Like I said, you can fall down the rabbit hole of this sort of thing. It's an impossibly complex web where you can be the benefactor of privilege in one area and negatively impacted by others in another. The point isn't to play oppression olympics; simply to recognize your own assumptions and the blind spots they create in order to try and shrink them as much as you can.

    tea-1.jpg
  • CambiataCambiata Social Justice Vanguard of Your Destruction Registered User regular
    While I do think that Black_Heart has a very healthy attitude over all, I also think everything that LadyM has said is pretty darn healthy, as well as eloquent. :^:

    Dude, what? The only "character plot" in ME2 that would involve fucking a lizard is A) entirely optional, and B) entirely about fucking a lizard. If you don't want to do that plot, do a different one and just be the lizard's friend instead.

    Steam
    Origin ID: jazzmess
    Wishlist
  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Cambiata wrote: »
    While I do think that Black_Heart has a very healthy attitude over all, I also think everything that LadyM has said is pretty darn healthy, as well as eloquent. :^:

    Awwww . . . I thank you for that. :) This has been a very interesting discussion and more productive than a lot I've seen on this topic. I will take this as my cue to slip away, as I have a paper I've been procrastinating on all day.

    Good night, all.

    LadyM on
  • GrouchGrouch Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Grouch wrote: »
    But please forgive me, I failed to understand where he dealt with my criticism in the article and the comments section has over 800 posts on it. It would be very tedious to pick through all of them to see if concerns are expressed and addressed in a way I can grasp. Privilege to me, focuses on the differences between people instead of the ways they are alike. A straight white male may have vastly more options open to him and may be oblivious to the plight of those who aren't in the same situation, yet that is irrelevant because it is only a possibility, not a certainty. Everyone has differences, everyone has similarities. I don't understand the desire to bring attention to the differences to alienate one another.

    The point is not to alienate. The point is to encourage those people with more privilege to try to understand that those people with less privilege move through a different world, with a different set of challenges.

    Why is the word privilege brandished like a weapon then? "You can't understand me!" is a lot more condescending than "Please try to understand me."
    That is not the message inherent to the concept of privilege at all. What makes you think the word is "brandished like a weapon"?

    Also, who doesn't understand that everyone moves through a different world? I mean... one of the most apparent truths in existence is that everyone sees things differently. Not inherently knowing that, is like not being able to see. However once again, knowing it, and caring about it are separate things.

    One can be aware of something... and still choose to dismiss it.
    A different world, with a different set of challenges. That last bit is important.

    Grouch on
  • Black_HeartBlack_Heart Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    Cambiata wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    The issue of privilege extends beyond the individual to the societal frame and context that they exist within and so view as normal. Here's an example that I kind of like which might get the point across better:

    "It's so convenient that the post office is only closed on Sundays. That makes it easy for everyone!"

    Do you see it? (This is not in any way intended to be a koan, if not I can try and explain better.)

    I'm sorry. I'm not understanding the point behind that statement. Can you try to break it down or explain what that means?

    The idea of closing things on Sunday is an explicitly Christian concept that is hardwired into our society.

    Really? I thought it was just because people need to take a day of SOMETIME. I guess I'm just naive/stupid in some ways.

    People do need to take a day off sometimes.

    Why is that day Sunday though?

    Because Christianity.

    Well why NOT Sunday?

    Why not Saturday for Jews? Why not Friday for Muslims? Why not Wednesday for Germanic paganists?

    Now you're talking! However.... if the post office is closed all those days. Then WHEN would it be open?

    We have to decide on a system so that we can get anything done. So lets go with the system that benefits the majority (whoever that may be) since that is the most logical.

    The issue isn't whether or not it is a good decision, but recognizing that it is a decision being made rather than a natural end state. Had you ever really thought about the fact that the post office kind of screws orthodox jews? Or did you just think that it was a normal thing? The post office is closed on Sundays because it's always been closed on Sundays. That blindness is a privilege that your status as part of the social mainstream (in this instance) allows. Hell, the built environment is more or less designed under the assumption that you are a middle class, english literate, ~5'-7", 20-50 something, in good shape or at least relatively good mobility. The ADA has helped with this somewhat, but not as much as you'd hope. A lot of crosswalk timers are too short if you're handicapped or a little old lady. A significant number of signs use text instead of international standard pictographs. Why?

    Like I said, you can fall down the rabbit hole of this sort of thing. It's an impossibly complex web where you can be the benefactor of privilege in one area and negatively impacted by others in another. The point isn't to play oppression olympics; simply to recognize your own assumptions and the blind spots they create in order to try and shrink them as much as you can.

    I've never given the post office much thought at all. I have no real opinion on it, but I guess that isn't the point.

    That still seems kind if illogical to me, because it assumes that people who are affected by something can't be blind to it too. Do all orthodox jews know or care about the post office being closed? If they don't does that mean they are privileged? I understand the concept of being oblivious to the plight of others, but privilege implies that it is intrinsic or always applies, when I can't see how it does. Its an ability, not a trait.

    XBL/PSN Name - Jashinslayer
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/Jashinslayer
  • Black_HeartBlack_Heart Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Grouch wrote: »
    That is not the message inherent to the concept of privilege at all. What makes you think the word is "brandished like a weapon"?

    The language and usage of it by people around the internet. "There is white privilege written all over this." "You smell of male privilege." "I don't think you're aware of your own privilege.".

    It comes off as condescending.

    Grouch wrote: »
    Also, who doesn't understand that everyone moves through a different world? I mean... one of the most apparent truths in existence is that everyone sees things differently. Not inherently knowing that, is like not being able to see. However once again, knowing it, and caring about it are separate things.

    One can be aware of something... and still choose to dismiss it.
    A different world, with a different set of challenges. That last bit is important.

    I thought that went without saying. My apologies.

    However it is kind of disingenuous to assume things about other people's lives.

    Black_Heart on
    XBL/PSN Name - Jashinslayer
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/Jashinslayer
  • ShivahnShivahn Eastern coastal temptressRegistered User regular
    LadyM wrote: »
    And the defense is always "Well, MY piece of tile isn't at fault! It's Society!" It is indeed society that predefines the mosaic, based on the piece of tile that were placed by previous generations; but it's the individual pieces of gossip, art, expectations that fill in that mosaic. Unlike a real mosaic, old bits fall off quite frequently, forgotten by a new generation. Sometimes they are replaced by a new piece that is about the same as the old one; sometimes they are replaced by a new one. Sometimes there's a lot of new pieces at once, like in the 1960s when a bunch of activists took hammers, beat the crap out of that mosaic, and stuck a bunch of new pieces on to radically alter the picture. The point is, if no one starts changing those tiles, small as they may be, the overarching image will never change.

    I have little to contribute right now, as I'm tired and probably a bit incoherent, but I have to remark on the fact that you have the most amazing metaphors.
    Grouch wrote: »
    That is not the message inherent to the concept of privilege at all. What makes you think the word is "brandished like a weapon"?

    The language and usage of it by people around the internet. "There is white privilege written all over this." "You smell of male privilege." "I don't think you're aware of your own privilege.".

    It comes off as condescending.

    It can be, and that's really frustrating. I do see it used on occasion as a silencing tactic - "you have too much privilege and thus cannot contribute." And I think that's a harmful thing. But at the same time, I often see it used very benignly - along the lines of "Hey, this thought is very privileged." And that is not actually an attack! At least, not on a person. It's an honest appraisal of a deficiency in a train of thought. Now, we, as people, often get emotionally invested in what we say, and treat debate as jockeying for social position at times, so it's hard to disentangle attacks on thoughts from attacks on us.

    And, yes, people talking about privilege of others can come off as condescending. But I don't think there's really a way around it - the entire point is that there are some things that people take for granted without realizing that other people don't have access to it, and the suggestion of it has implications for our entire view of the world as a fair place. It's really a concept that threatens the core of many people's philosophies, so it's important to see that many discussions of privilege seem aggressive because at their core they question ideals we hold dear, rather than actually being used as aggressive rhetoric or in bad faith.

    It's something that's really hard to grasp, and honestly, quite painful. I'm gonna be honest here and say that the best way for me to understand my privilege is by understanding the ways in which I'm underprivileged. I imagine it's much harder for someone who doesn't have a portion of the deck stacked against them to see how it's stacked for them. The ways in which society treats me unfairly due to the circumstances of my birth aid me in seeing how much I can get away with because of other circumstances.

  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Shadowhope wrote: »
    I will continue to be who I am and involve myself in the things I DO like, and try to help create things I DO like.

    IMO, that is the healthiest statement that anyone in the thread has made tonight.

    It can be, if one realizes the "I" is made up partly (or mostly) of societal factors, and, consequently, that that "I" that does the things it does and creates the things it does will influence other "I"'s in the world. At face value, that statement is potentially devastating to any minority group because it's underlying assumption is that a person is an island. That is dangerous.

    Lilnoobs on
  • GrouchGrouch Registered User regular
    Grouch wrote: »
    That is not the message inherent to the concept of privilege at all. What makes you think the word is "brandished like a weapon"?

    The language and usage of it by people around the internet. "There is white privilege written all over this." "You smell of male privilege." "I don't think you're aware of your own privilege.".

    It comes off as condescending.
    Your tone argument is condescending.

    Grouch wrote: »
    Also, who doesn't understand that everyone moves through a different world? I mean... one of the most apparent truths in existence is that everyone sees things differently. Not inherently knowing that, is like not being able to see. However once again, knowing it, and caring about it are separate things.

    One can be aware of something... and still choose to dismiss it.
    A different world, with a different set of challenges. That last bit is important.

    I thought that went without saying. My apologies.

    However it is kind of disingenuous to assume things about other people's lives.
    Who is assuming what now? It seems like you have this idea that recognizing privilege involves saying something like, "all young black men have a fraught relationship with the police force in their area." That's not what it's about. It's about listening to a particular young black man describe his fraught relationship with the police force in his area, and not assuming that the problem was his insufficiently deferential attitude. Recognizing privilege is not about saying, "all women are subject to street harassment that ruins their days." It's about listening to a woman talk about her experiences with street harassment and not assuming she's irrational or overly emotional "because I'd love it if random women shouted compliments about my appearance."

  • Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus Right here in River CityRegistered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Grouch wrote: »

    It comes off as condescending.
    Your tone argument is condescending.
    That was condescending. And Black_Heart's right (and NOT condescending), too often people use it to shut down someone else's argument or as an insult. And it shouldn't be an insult.

    However it is kind of disingenuous to assume things about other people's lives.
    Grouch wrote:
    Who is assuming what now? It seems like you have this idea that recognizing privilege involves saying something like, "all young black men have a fraught relationship with the police force in their area." That's not what it's about. It's about listening to a particular young black man describe his fraught relationship with the police force in his area, and not assuming that the problem was his insufficiently deferential attitude. Recognizing privilege is not about saying, "all women are subject to street harassment that ruins their days." It's about listening to a woman talk about her experiences with street harassment and not assuming she's irrational or overly emotional "because I'd love it if random women shouted compliments about my appearance."

    Aren't those things not being racist/sexist/stereotypical? He's saying it's disingenuous because it's bad to assume things about other people. You might look at a young white guy going to a good university and sneer "he's had it made; he's white" but maybe he was sold into sexual slavery by a relative and has been through hell to get where he is today. It's bad to assume because a, it promotes stereotypes, and b, you know nothing about the other person and what they've been through.

    Captain Marcus on
    Remember the Maine, Plymouth Rock, and the Golden Rule!
  • Black_HeartBlack_Heart Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Shivahn wrote: »
    LadyM wrote: »
    And the defense is always "Well, MY piece of tile isn't at fault! It's Society!" It is indeed society that predefines the mosaic, based on the piece of tile that were placed by previous generations; but it's the individual pieces of gossip, art, expectations that fill in that mosaic. Unlike a real mosaic, old bits fall off quite frequently, forgotten by a new generation. Sometimes they are replaced by a new piece that is about the same as the old one; sometimes they are replaced by a new one. Sometimes there's a lot of new pieces at once, like in the 1960s when a bunch of activists took hammers, beat the crap out of that mosaic, and stuck a bunch of new pieces on to radically alter the picture. The point is, if no one starts changing those tiles, small as they may be, the overarching image will never change.

    I have little to contribute right now, as I'm tired and probably a bit incoherent, but I have to remark on the fact that you have the most amazing metaphors.
    Grouch wrote: »
    That is not the message inherent to the concept of privilege at all. What makes you think the word is "brandished like a weapon"?

    The language and usage of it by people around the internet. "There is white privilege written all over this." "You smell of male privilege." "I don't think you're aware of your own privilege.".

    It comes off as condescending.

    It can be, and that's really frustrating. I do see it used on occasion as a silencing tactic - "you have too much privilege and thus cannot contribute." And I think that's a harmful thing. But at the same time, I often see it used very benignly - along the lines of "Hey, this thought is very privileged." And that is not actually an attack! At least, not on a person. It's an honest appraisal of a deficiency in a train of thought. Now, we, as people, often get emotionally invested in what we say, and treat debate as jockeying for social position at times, so it's hard to disentangle attacks on thoughts from attacks on us.

    And, yes, people talking about privilege of others can come off as condescending. But I don't think there's really a way around it - the entire point is that there are some things that people take for granted without realizing that other people don't have access to it, and the suggestion of it has implications for our entire view of the world as a fair place. It's really a concept that threatens the core of many people's philosophies, so it's important to see that many discussions of privilege seem aggressive because at their core they question ideals we hold dear, rather than actually being used as aggressive rhetoric or in bad faith.

    It's something that's really hard to grasp, and honestly, quite painful. I'm gonna be honest here and say that the best way for me to understand my privilege is by understanding the ways in which I'm underprivileged. I imagine it's much harder for someone who doesn't have a portion of the deck stacked against them to see how it's stacked for them. The ways in which society treats me unfairly due to the circumstances of my birth aid me in seeing how much I can get away with because of other circumstances.

    Thanks for the great post. I also agree with you in that its hard not to take it as an attack because of what it implies.

    I guess my take on it is that "privilege" can pretty much be swapped out with "unempathetic" but more severe. It is an invisible lack of empathy to the point where you can't even comprehend the other person's world and you might not even be aware of it. That to me, is more accurate. Not that I'm going to say people should stop using the word privilege, just that is a better way for me to frame it in my mind and sum it up simply.

    Black_Heart on
    XBL/PSN Name - Jashinslayer
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/Jashinslayer
  • CambiataCambiata Social Justice Vanguard of Your Destruction Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Shivahn wrote: »
    LadyM wrote: »
    And the defense is always "Well, MY piece of tile isn't at fault! It's Society!" It is indeed society that predefines the mosaic, based on the piece of tile that were placed by previous generations; but it's the individual pieces of gossip, art, expectations that fill in that mosaic. Unlike a real mosaic, old bits fall off quite frequently, forgotten by a new generation. Sometimes they are replaced by a new piece that is about the same as the old one; sometimes they are replaced by a new one. Sometimes there's a lot of new pieces at once, like in the 1960s when a bunch of activists took hammers, beat the crap out of that mosaic, and stuck a bunch of new pieces on to radically alter the picture. The point is, if no one starts changing those tiles, small as they may be, the overarching image will never change.

    I have little to contribute right now, as I'm tired and probably a bit incoherent, but I have to remark on the fact that you have the most amazing metaphors.
    Grouch wrote: »
    That is not the message inherent to the concept of privilege at all. What makes you think the word is "brandished like a weapon"?

    The language and usage of it by people around the internet. "There is white privilege written all over this." "You smell of male privilege." "I don't think you're aware of your own privilege.".

    It comes off as condescending.

    It can be, and that's really frustrating. I do see it used on occasion as a silencing tactic - "you have too much privilege and thus cannot contribute." And I think that's a harmful thing. But at the same time, I often see it used very benignly - along the lines of "Hey, this thought is very privileged." And that is not actually an attack! At least, not on a person. It's an honest appraisal of a deficiency in a train of thought. Now, we, as people, often get emotionally invested in what we say, and treat debate as jockeying for social position at times, so it's hard to disentangle attacks on thoughts from attacks on us.

    And, yes, people talking about privilege of others can come off as condescending. But I don't think there's really a way around it - the entire point is that there are some things that people take for granted without realizing that other people don't have access to it, and the suggestion of it has implications for our entire view of the world as a fair place. It's really a concept that threatens the core of many people's philosophies, so it's important to see that many discussions of privilege seem aggressive because at their core they question ideals we hold dear, rather than actually being used as aggressive rhetoric or in bad faith.

    It's something that's really hard to grasp, and honestly, quite painful. I'm gonna be honest here and say that the best way for me to understand my privilege is by understanding the ways in which I'm underprivileged. I imagine it's much harder for someone who doesn't have a portion of the deck stacked against them to see how it's stacked for them. The ways in which society treats me unfairly due to the circumstances of my birth aid me in seeing how much I can get away with because of other circumstances.

    I really think that the people who shut out someone from a discussion, on the basis that they are privileged, do terrible damage to the learning process of those they have a vested interest in teaching. I was unable to understand, for a long time, that being privileged was a thing, or how sexism was so terribly rampant and destructive, because any time I raised these questions with the people who were mentioning them, those people basically told me to shut up.

    The place I eventually started learning about privilege was, of all places, in a book about modesty. Because the person writing it was conservative, and deeply religious (orthodox jew), so she was writing about things I agreed with. Then when she raised the idea of sexism, that traditionalists are far too ready to say "Oh, boys will be boys" when it comes to the objectification of women, it was easier for me to consider her point than it had ever been in talking with people who (I felt) were hostile towards me. That author planted a seed, and it allowed me to open my mind to learning more.

    Cambiata on
    Dude, what? The only "character plot" in ME2 that would involve fucking a lizard is A) entirely optional, and B) entirely about fucking a lizard. If you don't want to do that plot, do a different one and just be the lizard's friend instead.

    Steam
    Origin ID: jazzmess
    Wishlist
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    Cambiata wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    The issue of privilege extends beyond the individual to the societal frame and context that they exist within and so view as normal. Here's an example that I kind of like which might get the point across better:

    "It's so convenient that the post office is only closed on Sundays. That makes it easy for everyone!"

    Do you see it? (This is not in any way intended to be a koan, if not I can try and explain better.)

    I'm sorry. I'm not understanding the point behind that statement. Can you try to break it down or explain what that means?

    The idea of closing things on Sunday is an explicitly Christian concept that is hardwired into our society.

    Really? I thought it was just because people need to take a day of SOMETIME. I guess I'm just naive/stupid in some ways.

    People do need to take a day off sometimes.

    Why is that day Sunday though?

    Because Christianity.

    Well why NOT Sunday?

    Why not Saturday for Jews? Why not Friday for Muslims? Why not Wednesday for Germanic paganists?

    Now you're talking! However.... if the post office is closed all those days. Then WHEN would it be open?

    We have to decide on a system so that we can get anything done. So lets go with the system that benefits the majority (whoever that may be) since that is the most logical.

    The issue isn't whether or not it is a good decision, but recognizing that it is a decision being made rather than a natural end state. Had you ever really thought about the fact that the post office kind of screws orthodox jews? Or did you just think that it was a normal thing? The post office is closed on Sundays because it's always been closed on Sundays. That blindness is a privilege that your status as part of the social mainstream (in this instance) allows. Hell, the built environment is more or less designed under the assumption that you are a middle class, english literate, ~5'-7", 20-50 something, in good shape or at least relatively good mobility. The ADA has helped with this somewhat, but not as much as you'd hope. A lot of crosswalk timers are too short if you're handicapped or a little old lady. A significant number of signs use text instead of international standard pictographs. Why?

    Like I said, you can fall down the rabbit hole of this sort of thing. It's an impossibly complex web where you can be the benefactor of privilege in one area and negatively impacted by others in another. The point isn't to play oppression olympics; simply to recognize your own assumptions and the blind spots they create in order to try and shrink them as much as you can.

    I've never given the post office much thought at all. I have no real opinion on it, but I guess that isn't the point.

    That still seems kind if illogical to me, because it assumes that people who are affected by something can't be blind to it too. Do all orthodox jews know or care about the post office being closed? If they don't does that mean they are privileged? I understand the concept of being oblivious to the plight of others, but privilege implies that it is intrinsic or always applies, when I can't see how it does. Its an ability, not a trait.

    I think you're getting a bit thick into the weeds here. Let me quote the original line that I was going with.

    "It's so convenient that the post office is only closed on Sundays. That makes it easy for everyone!"

    What makes this sentiment privileged is the rather simple fact that only being closed on Sunday, rather than on Friday or Saturday or Monday, doesn't make it easy for everyone. It only makes it easy for people who don't give a shit about Saturdays. An entire group of people are simply ignored as though they don't exist.

    If you prefer we can leave that example behind and go to something else. A traffic engineer deciding to put up a sign that just plain says "Slow Children At Play" rather than one that has a picture of children on it as well. The built in assumption here is that everyone passing by will be able to read English. That is, again, privilege. Recent immigrants to the city may only read Chinese, but they're still going to need to be able to drive around without hitting little Billy. Maybe that's not going to be an issue and it'll still be a good sign that works, but it's still projecting your expectation of english literacy on everyone who passes by the sign. A projection that isn't necessarily fair.

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  • Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus Right here in River CityRegistered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    If you prefer we can leave that example behind and go to something else. A traffic engineer deciding to put up a sign that just plain says "Slow Children At Play" rather than one that has a picture of children on it as well. The built in assumption here is that everyone passing by will be able to read English. That is, again, privilege. Recent immigrants to the city may only read Chinese, but they're still going to need to be able to drive around without hitting little Billy. Maybe that's not going to be an issue and it'll still be a good sign that works, but it's still projecting your expectation of english literacy on everyone who passes by the sign. A projection that isn't necessarily fair.

    I really don't want to derail the thread (it's interesting!) but how far do you go with that? To what extent do you take things? Is an assumption of basic literacy too high for our society, given that it's needed to purchase goods and services and use directions? As far as the post office goes, if we open it on Sunday doesn't that screw over all the Christian employees who were looking forward to a day off? Do you use atheist employees instead?

    At what point of inclusiveness can you stop? 75% of the population? 90%?

    Remember the Maine, Plymouth Rock, and the Golden Rule!
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Would you really want to have 1 out of 10 people screwed over?

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  • Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus Right here in River CityRegistered User regular
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Would you really want to have 1 out of 10 people screwed over?

    No, of course not! I'm just wondering how far do you take that kind of thing into consideration.

    Remember the Maine, Plymouth Rock, and the Golden Rule!
  • Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo FF69B4 Registered User, Moderator mod
    You're not a bad person for being privileged. It's not exactly a thing you can control. Try to keep that in mind.

    It just gets bad when you refuse to either acknowledge said privilege existing or act like it hasn't helped you in some way.

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  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    moniker wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Cambiata wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    The issue of privilege extends beyond the individual to the societal frame and context that they exist within and so view as normal. Here's an example that I kind of like which might get the point across better:

    "It's so convenient that the post office is only closed on Sundays. That makes it easy for everyone!"

    Do you see it? (This is not in any way intended to be a koan, if not I can try and explain better.)

    I'm sorry. I'm not understanding the point behind that statement. Can you try to break it down or explain what that means?

    The idea of closing things on Sunday is an explicitly Christian concept that is hardwired into our society.

    Really? I thought it was just because people need to take a day of SOMETIME. I guess I'm just naive/stupid in some ways.

    People do need to take a day off sometimes.

    Why is that day Sunday though?

    Because Christianity.

    Well why NOT Sunday?

    Why not Saturday for Jews? Why not Friday for Muslims? Why not Wednesday for Germanic paganists?

    Now you're talking! However.... if the post office is closed all those days. Then WHEN would it be open?

    We have to decide on a system so that we can get anything done. So lets go with the system that benefits the majority (whoever that may be) since that is the most logical.

    The issue isn't whether or not it is a good decision, but recognizing that it is a decision being made rather than a natural end state. Had you ever really thought about the fact that the post office kind of screws orthodox jews? Or did you just think that it was a normal thing? The post office is closed on Sundays because it's always been closed on Sundays. That blindness is a privilege that your status as part of the social mainstream (in this instance) allows. Hell, the built environment is more or less designed under the assumption that you are a middle class, english literate, ~5'-7", 20-50 something, in good shape or at least relatively good mobility. The ADA has helped with this somewhat, but not as much as you'd hope. A lot of crosswalk timers are too short if you're handicapped or a little old lady. A significant number of signs use text instead of international standard pictographs. Why?

    Like I said, you can fall down the rabbit hole of this sort of thing. It's an impossibly complex web where you can be the benefactor of privilege in one area and negatively impacted by others in another. The point isn't to play oppression olympics; simply to recognize your own assumptions and the blind spots they create in order to try and shrink them as much as you can.

    I've never given the post office much thought at all. I have no real opinion on it, but I guess that isn't the point.

    That still seems kind if illogical to me, because it assumes that people who are affected by something can't be blind to it too. Do all orthodox jews know or care about the post office being closed? If they don't does that mean they are privileged? I understand the concept of being oblivious to the plight of others, but privilege implies that it is intrinsic or always applies, when I can't see how it does. Its an ability, not a trait.

    I think you're getting a bit thick into the weeds here. Let me quote the original line that I was going with.

    "It's so convenient that the post office is only closed on Sundays. That makes it easy for everyone!"

    What makes this sentiment privileged is the rather simple fact that only being closed on Sunday, rather than on Friday or Saturday or Monday, doesn't make it easy for everyone. It only makes it easy for people who don't give a shit about Saturdays. An entire group of people are simply ignored as though they don't exist.

    If you prefer we can leave that example behind and go to something else. A traffic engineer deciding to put up a sign that just plain says "Slow Children At Play" rather than one that has a picture of children on it as well. The built in assumption here is that everyone passing by will be able to read English. That is, again, privilege. Recent immigrants to the city may only read Chinese, but they're still going to need to be able to drive around without hitting little Billy. Maybe that's not going to be an issue and it'll still be a good sign that works, but it's still projecting your expectation of english literacy on everyone who passes by the sign. A projection that isn't necessarily fair.

    I think your points are good, but that your use of the word privilege is technically true but too broad to be useful. Those things are symptomatic of privilege, but there's nothing to stop you from keeping going until every action of every human who is not the least worst off in the world is tainted with privilege. Your pictorial sign is no good for blind people. Your replacement with a recorded voice is no good for people who don't speak that language. Deaf people can't hear the recording. Iconography is culturally-dependent. And so on and so on.

    Those things are all true, and I don't want to ignore their importance, but personally I tend to reserve use of the word for when someone is being short-sighted or dismissive because of privilege. There's a big difference between a good person who doesn't see something and someone who refuses to see something no matter how often you explain.

    I don't think you should ever mention privilege at the start of the conversation. If someone hasn't noticed something (and that could well be me, since I have plenty of privilege despite how painfully right-on I try to be) then you tell them. Only if they do not respond to that explanation might I mention privilege, and perhaps I wouldn't even use the word. And even then that's no reason to end the conversation.

    poshniallo on
    I figure I could take a bear.
  • RhalloTonnyRhalloTonny Of the BrownlandsRegistered User regular
    edited June 2012
    @Black_Heart re: privilege.

    I'll have to look for the link, but I remember being shown a plain-english (not that there's anything wrong with complexity, but dealing with some of these concepts can require some specific terminology which can really alienate anyone (re: me) taking a first glance at some of this stuff) article about a feminist explaining privilege to her boyfriend.

    Essentially, his immediate reactions were defensive because no one likes to be told
    1. That they're doing something wrong
    2. That they're incapable of understanding
    3. That they're not allowed to have an opinion
    4. That a conversation isn't about them.

    I totally get what you're saying, in that it's almost as if people are restricting your opinion entirely while simultaneously thinking that you're incapable of ever being able to understand and therefore are irrelevant. And yeah, it can be used as shutdown tactic.

    I guess it really just depends on how it's used and how it's received. I know in my personal experience, I had a lot of kneejerk reactions to it that were related to some if not all of those, even when it was used as a general term and not as an attack. Especially if you're trying to come to something with an open mind, reading about all the awful things that you, as a man, have done, and immediately get defensive because, "Hey! I haven't done these things!"

    But at the same time, I know that I've never been afraid to walk down a street at night because I might get raped. So the concept of having and being relatively unaware of advantages isn't that far-fetched.

    Additionally, while this may be only somewhat related, you can kind of empathize, or at least understand why so many feminist bloggers, authors, and researchers have (what appears to an outsider) as a curt or dismissive (which can really turn off people genuinely looking to learn, but at the same time that goes into a whole other thing about expecting people to just drop everything and explain things) attitude, as they've probably had to deal with every bizarre, strawman-spawning, rape threatening, death threatening, you've-done-a-decade-of-research-and-I'm-just-hearing-about-this-through-reddit-but-I-feel-completely-qualified-to-debate-you-in-the-comment-section asshole that's ever roamed the internet.

    RhalloTonny on
    !
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