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Tue Feb 26, 2013, 07:10 PM

If you are the member of a privileged group AND call yourself progressive

Please have the courtesy of listening, and really trying to hear, what folks who aren't part of your privileged group have to say about their experience with attitudes and discrimination in our society.

Please DON'T call them 'thin skinned', 'unable to take a joke', 'overly sensitive', etc, etc - and expect to be considered a progressive member of this community.

Acknowledge that if you haven't had to experience the bigotry or social disadvantages that the person speaking has - that you are really in no position to tell them that they're 'overreacting' and so forth. Worse, that by doing so you're actually helping to maintain those injustices and your own personal privileged over other people's.

Please think about that the next time you're being dismissive to folks on DU who try to explain why a certain word isn't acceptable, why a certain joke isn't funny, why a certain attitude is hurtful. Please stop telling the targets of those words, jokes, and attitudes to just shut the fuck up.

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Arrow 279 replies Author Time Post
Reply If you are the member of a privileged group AND call yourself progressive (Original post)
Matariki Feb 2013 OP
LiberalLoner Feb 2013 #1
sadbear Feb 2013 #2
Lordquinton Feb 2013 #9
Jeff In Milwaukee Feb 2013 #12
merrily Feb 2013 #54
duhneece Feb 2013 #125
intaglio Feb 2013 #105
Jeff In Milwaukee Feb 2013 #133
intaglio Feb 2013 #177
Jeff In Milwaukee Feb 2013 #190
intaglio Feb 2013 #200
bettyellen Feb 2013 #222
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #234
intaglio Feb 2013 #254
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #261
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #266
Jeff In Milwaukee Feb 2013 #270
Jeff In Milwaukee Feb 2013 #248
intaglio Feb 2013 #255
Jeff In Milwaukee Feb 2013 #267
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #259
intaglio Feb 2013 #260
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #263
bettyellen Feb 2013 #221
LanternWaste Feb 2013 #276
snagglepuss Feb 2013 #195
Tsiyu Feb 2013 #206
Maraya1969 Feb 2013 #126
Jeff In Milwaukee Feb 2013 #130
Maraya1969 Feb 2013 #131
Jeff In Milwaukee Feb 2013 #136
Maraya1969 Feb 2013 #150
Jeff In Milwaukee Feb 2013 #163
iemitsu Feb 2013 #145
mac56 Feb 2013 #156
ancianita Feb 2013 #189
Matariki Feb 2013 #13
MellowDem Feb 2013 #14
Matariki Feb 2013 #16
MellowDem Feb 2013 #19
one_voice Feb 2013 #48
hfojvt Feb 2013 #64
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #66
hfojvt Feb 2013 #83
Number23 Feb 2013 #108
seaglass Feb 2013 #120
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #238
bread_and_roses Feb 2013 #123
Squinch Feb 2013 #134
NCTraveler Feb 2013 #139
hfojvt Feb 2013 #171
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #154
hfojvt Feb 2013 #169
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #174
hfojvt Feb 2013 #201
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #202
bettyellen Feb 2013 #224
merrily Feb 2013 #53
Jeff In Milwaukee Feb 2013 #146
gollygee Feb 2013 #147
Jeff In Milwaukee Feb 2013 #172
gollygee Feb 2013 #181
Jeff In Milwaukee Feb 2013 #186
gollygee Feb 2013 #204
Jeff In Milwaukee Feb 2013 #249
bettyellen Feb 2013 #225
Fla Dem Feb 2013 #149
Jeff In Milwaukee Feb 2013 #164
Fla Dem Feb 2013 #175
Jeff In Milwaukee Feb 2013 #188
rjj621 Feb 2013 #161
Major Nikon Feb 2013 #253
merrily Feb 2013 #52
dreamnightwind Feb 2013 #87
merrily Feb 2013 #90
dreamnightwind Feb 2013 #119
matwilson Feb 2013 #3
cally Feb 2013 #4
Matariki Feb 2013 #7
Jenoch Feb 2013 #57
sibelian Feb 2013 #100
tavalon Feb 2013 #137
Lordquinton Feb 2013 #187
sibelian Feb 2013 #262
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Common Sense Party Feb 2013 #205
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Confusious Feb 2013 #5
cate94 Feb 2013 #6
Texasgal Feb 2013 #8
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #10
Squinch Feb 2013 #11
texshelters Feb 2013 #15
dawg Feb 2013 #17
cliffordu Feb 2013 #18
Matariki Feb 2013 #20
cliffordu Feb 2013 #26
galileoreloaded Feb 2013 #32
cliffordu Feb 2013 #40
bettyellen Feb 2013 #71
Jamastiene Feb 2013 #86
bettyellen Feb 2013 #92
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #265
Matariki Feb 2013 #37
cliffordu Feb 2013 #39
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #61
cliffordu Feb 2013 #74
bettyellen Feb 2013 #69
cliffordu Feb 2013 #75
bettyellen Feb 2013 #77
cliffordu Feb 2013 #78
bettyellen Feb 2013 #80
cliffordu Feb 2013 #81
bettyellen Feb 2013 #88
cliffordu Feb 2013 #91
bettyellen Feb 2013 #93
cliffordu Feb 2013 #94
bettyellen Feb 2013 #99
cliffordu Feb 2013 #102
Jamastiene Feb 2013 #85
cliffordu Feb 2013 #89
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cliffordu Feb 2013 #101
bettyellen Feb 2013 #227
cliffordu Feb 2013 #228
intaglio Feb 2013 #111
cliffordu Feb 2013 #143
intaglio Feb 2013 #173
Squinch Feb 2013 #140
cliffordu Feb 2013 #144
Squinch Feb 2013 #159
Cary Feb 2013 #153
cliffordu Feb 2013 #155
Major Nikon Feb 2013 #256
snooper2 Feb 2013 #36
cliffordu Feb 2013 #41
patrice Feb 2013 #113
cliffordu Feb 2013 #152
Mnpaul Feb 2013 #21
1StrongBlackMan Feb 2013 #22
Matariki Feb 2013 #24
1StrongBlackMan Feb 2013 #25
Matariki Feb 2013 #30
white_wolf Feb 2013 #50
Jamastiene Feb 2013 #95
white_wolf Feb 2013 #96
1StrongBlackMan Feb 2013 #178
white_wolf Feb 2013 #277
1StrongBlackMan Feb 2013 #279
merrily Feb 2013 #55
Number23 Feb 2013 #82
Cali_Democrat Feb 2013 #106
Number23 Feb 2013 #107
gollygee Feb 2013 #118
MellowDem Feb 2013 #170
treestar Feb 2013 #23
Jasana Feb 2013 #27
ChaoticTrilby Feb 2013 #28
Demo_Chris Feb 2013 #29
ChaoticTrilby Feb 2013 #31
Matariki Feb 2013 #35
ChaoticTrilby Feb 2013 #43
hopemountain Feb 2013 #44
Demo_Chris Feb 2013 #47
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #68
ChaoticTrilby Feb 2013 #103
Confusious Feb 2013 #183
ChaoticTrilby Feb 2013 #214
Confusious Feb 2013 #216
ChaoticTrilby Feb 2013 #229
Confusious Feb 2013 #233
gollygee Feb 2013 #243
ChaoticTrilby Feb 2013 #244
Confusious Feb 2013 #79
ChaoticTrilby Feb 2013 #115
Confusious Feb 2013 #207
ChaoticTrilby Feb 2013 #226
Confusious Feb 2013 #239
ChaoticTrilby Feb 2013 #245
Number23 Feb 2013 #104
ChaoticTrilby Feb 2013 #112
Number23 Feb 2013 #192
ChaoticTrilby Feb 2013 #231
Number23 Feb 2013 #235
ChaoticTrilby Feb 2013 #246
Confusious Feb 2013 #176
gollygee Feb 2013 #184
Number23 Feb 2013 #191
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Number23 Feb 2013 #198
Confusious Feb 2013 #199
gollygee Feb 2013 #203
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Number23 Feb 2013 #213
Confusious Feb 2013 #217
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gollygee Feb 2013 #241
JackBeck Feb 2013 #219
Number23 Feb 2013 #220
Matariki Feb 2013 #33
MellowDem Feb 2013 #167
customerserviceguy Feb 2013 #34
boston bean Feb 2013 #38
redqueen Feb 2013 #45
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #70
October Feb 2013 #42
hopemountain Feb 2013 #46
patrice Feb 2013 #114
DeadEyeDyck Feb 2013 #49
NeeDeep Feb 2013 #51
merrily Feb 2013 #56
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #58
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MrModerate Feb 2013 #73
Cary Feb 2013 #138
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snagglepuss Feb 2013 #232
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HiPointDem Feb 2013 #264
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HiPointDem Feb 2013 #273
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HiPointDem Feb 2013 #275
KamaAina Feb 2013 #168
intaglio Feb 2013 #179
BainsBane Feb 2013 #193
WilliamPitt Feb 2013 #236
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AngryAmish Feb 2013 #197
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frazzled Feb 2013 #242
BlueCheese Feb 2013 #250
intaglio Feb 2013 #257
BlueCheese Feb 2013 #258
wickerwoman Feb 2013 #271
BlueCheese Feb 2013 #272
babylonsister Feb 2013 #251

Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 07:48 PM

1. Big K&R

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 07:53 PM

2. Can I take exception to the word 'privileged'?

No? Yeah, I didn't think so.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:03 PM

9. Agreed

Privilege is a term useful in academic discussion and I only ever see it as a blanket dismissive out of that context. It's a way to exclude someone who you think has it better than you, in any situation between two people one will be more "privileged" than the other.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:09 PM

12. I think we know what the OP meant

And I think that's a load of bullshit. It's playing the victim -- essentially saying that I should be allowed to hold a patently wrong-headed opinion because of my status as a victim.

If you can't defend your position with logic and the facts, I don't care if you've been previously burned at the fucking stake. You're still wrong.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:19 AM

54. Not being able to argue better than everyone else is not the same as being wrong.

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Response to merrily (Reply #54)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:26 AM

125. Such a simple concept

And one so often not realized. I've seen legal cases when I KNEW that the most centered, calm person was a slimy, lying pos while the more emotional person actually was right...but it didn't appear so.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:46 AM

105. Well, the OP claimed no "status as victim"

They only claimed that others are holders of a privileged position.

The only defense they made was that others who are not in the same position as the less privileged be allowed to make their case before being shouted down. In other words that their belief be defended with logic and reason before being dismissed out of hand by those who have no personal knowledge of the situation. You have indulged in dismissing the OP out of hand with exactly the ossified mindset and reliance on foul mouthed assertion of right rather than reason.

Then you use that interesting phrase "burned at the fucking stake" a charming and nonsensical choice of words with a whole history of bigotry behind it.

Firstly, someone burnt at a stake surely has prima facie evidence of victimisation.
Secondly, the most common image evoked by your insensitive choice of words is that of the witch; people who were victimised and who were, in the main, women.
Thirdly, what was the point of you using the f-bomb in this context except as a way of shouting down someone whose view holds yours to be archaic and illiberal - a case which, I believe could be defended.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #105)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:00 AM

133. In other words...

Last edited Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:29 PM - Edit history (1)

Other people are privileged (however subjectively that may be defined) and I am not, so my opinions should be evaluated differently than others. I should be given special consideration because of my self-declared status -- which I'm going to deny to everyone else.

Nice tangent on the "burned at the fucking stake" line, by the way. It allowed you so sound very nearly erudite while ignoring the point entirely.

What I'm dismissing out of hand is the notion that because you're not part of my in-group, you can't possibly understand and so my opinion is somehow superior to any facts and logic that you might bring to bear on the subject. My interpretation will always be right because I hold a status that you don't have -- and that I won't grant that status to you. That's damned near intellectual fascism.

I threw that last line in to give a chance to run off to Wikipedia and then post a much more nuanced definition of fascism that will probably be very impressive to some people who aren't me.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #133)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:40 PM

177. Did you write this word salad?

Your first paragraph does not make any sense and I am forced to assume that you are trying, in the most clumsy way possible, to say what you think is going on inside another (female) persons head. Have you ever thought of asking people what they think and why they think it? You should then actually try to see their point of view instead of going off on some wild flight of fantasy.

I'm sorry if you are so ignorant you cannot see that your metaphor was so inappropriate and insulting but that is your problem and not mine. What it does show is you have no empathy, no historical knowledge and does shine a light on how little anyone should value your opinions.

Your third is paragraph seems to go back to your failed attempt to read another's mind. In doing so you are just inserting the what you seem to believe into another person's mouth.

I don't use the word fascism in relation to dunces like you and have never done so. You are crass, ignorant, unable to use spell-check (privilege not priviledge), incapable of believing that you might be wrong and a whiny little MRA.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #177)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:28 PM

190. I can't help you...

Your first paragraph does not make any sense

Hey, I try to write at an eighth grade level, but if you can't understand it, have grown-up explain it to you. As to your extrapolations of what I mean (based on your self-proclaimed inability to understand what I've said), well I really can't help you there, either.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #190)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:15 PM

200. You do not even write at an fifth grade level

Last edited Thu Feb 28, 2013, 01:54 AM - Edit history (1)

Look at this twaddle;
Other people are privileged (however subjectively that may be defined) and I am not, so my opinions should be evaluated differently than others. I should be given special consideration because of my self-declared status -- which I'm going to deny to everyone else.
The first sentence lacks a subject: do you mean to say that you personally should have your opinions evaluated differently or are you saying I have this idea or do you attribute this to some other unidentified person or group?

What happens if the first sentence is reduced to its basics?
Other people are privileged... so my opinions should be evaluated differently.
This just means that people in a privileged class are judged differently to those in an unprivileged class which is true and uncontroversial. What you miss is that the OP is saying is that the same values should be used in judging statements of both privileged and unprivileged. As a consequence they propose that if you do not believe that, then you are not a progressive.

Now the second sentence.
I should be given special consideration ... which I'm going to deny to everyone else
Again, a named subject would be beneficial to comprehension for your statement is a complete, repeated for emphasis complete, mis-statement of the OPs actual opinion. That opinion is that everyone should be granted the same consideration and judged against the same values i.e. progressive values.

So far you have failed at structured writing, misrepresented, boasted, pretended to be Godwinned and used offensive language, what else are you going to come up with? Calling me a poopy pants would be as reasonable as your other words.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #200)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:31 PM

222. BAM. Well done.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #200)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:40 PM

234. About your points about grammar: you're wrong

"The first sentence lacks a subject"

No, it has 3 subjects, one for each phrase. "Other people", "I" and "my opinions" are the subjects of their phrases. The phrases are correctly joined by conjunctions, and a comma used at the correct point.

"a named subject would be beneficial to comprehension"

"I" is the subject. The only slightly non-standard part of the sentence is the '--'; most people would use a single dash, or perhaps a comma. However, compared to the grammatical train-wreck of "but you the statement is a complete, repeated for emphasis complete, mis-statement of the OPs actual opinion which is that everyone should be granted the same consideration and judged against the same values i.e. progressive values", it's a model of clarity and correctness. What is that "you" doing there? Surely some commas are needed to help comprehension, even if the reader decides to edit out that "you" as nonsensical?

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #234)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 01:58 AM

254. Technically correct, it's just that the subject, the "I", is indeterminate

Given context it seems that the author is attempting to quote the thoughts of a third party but it is horribly unclear. Putting the 2 paragraphs in the 1st person without any identifier is foolish.

On reflection I should have said "an identified subject,"

My error an edit gone wrong. Corrected and clarified
Again, a named subject would be beneficial to comprehension for your statement is a complete, repeated for emphasis complete, mis-statement of the OPs actual opinion. That opinion is that everyone should be granted the same consideration and judged against the same values i.e. progressive values.

The "for" is dubious as well but better left

BTW what is your opinion of Jeffs thoughts?

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Response to intaglio (Reply #254)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:17 AM

261. it's completely clear and in fact you understood it:

 

"Your first paragraph does not make any sense and I am forced to assume that you are trying, in the most clumsy way possible, to say what you think is going on inside another (female) persons head."

That's precisely what he was doing, and it wasn't particularly clumsy. It was *sarcasm*.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #254)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 06:24 AM

266. I actually disagree strongly with Jeff's position

I think he mischaracterised the OP. It's not whether 'logic and the facts' are on one side or another; it's about people not dismissing a minority member who complains about insults or discrimination as 'thin-skinned'. People who are regularly on the receiving end of discrimination, and who are also more likely to know others who are, really do have a better idea about it than those of us lucky enough to belong to majority (or powerful) groups.

The effect that language and the atmosphere have on a debate is not a matter of holding "patently wrong-headed opinions", as Jeff dismissed it. It's about empathy and respect. There isn't a hard-and-fast 'right and wrong' involved, but people's attitudes matter. And I don't like Jeff's, in this area.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #266)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:15 AM

270. In discussions downthread, I think the OP and I are probably pretty close in our opinion

I misunderstood the original intent of the OP. His/her brush was not as broad as I interpreted it.

My point, however, is that I have an issue with persons who claim some sort of unassailable "moral high ground" because of their self-declared status as a victim. If you're going to convince me of something, it's going to be based on the facts of the matter and persuasive logic.

For example, the testimonies that we've been hearing in recent weeks from the families of the children murdered in Newtown are both compelling and heartbreaking. But it shouldn't be the basis for creating laws in this country. Now before you start posting a variation on the "you heartless bastard" response, let me say that I'm fully sympathetic to their loss, although I can scarely imagine their pain. I whole-heartedly agree with them, and as a matter of hard-ball politics, hearing their testimony has value in moving this country toward a goal of allowing children to attend school without being shot during second period.

Am I lacking in empathy? Hardly. I have two kids, and I really can't imagine (and on some level, I really don't want to imagine) the agony these families have been through.

But this is a discussion board. I could literally concoct any back story I wanted to about my life and try to claim some sort of special status for my perspective. Were my handle more gender-neutral, I could claim to be a woman. I could claim to be black or gay or a veteran or a host of things that I am not. So in this rarified atmostphere, I tend to place a very high value on the facts of the matter, and not the subjective impressions of a person who may have NEVER actually had the experiences that they claim.

I don't mean to be disrespectful of any individual's life experience. While their stories can provide an illustrative example of a broader point, it's ultimately not convincing to me. And to suggest that my opinion is of lesser value because I am NOT a member of one group or another is to marginalize me.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #200)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:00 PM

248. You know how to tell when you're losing an argument?

When you resort to nit-picking the other person's grammar.

And in your case, you can't even do THAT right.

Pssst. It's called a subordinate clause -- look it up.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #248)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 02:26 AM

255. The subject is still undefined

and your opinions and judgments of others are still far from progressive. You still have made a complete hash of your post by not identifying the subject and leaving the 2 disputed paragraphs to read either as your personal opinion or the imaginary opinion of myself or the mis-stated opinions of a third party.

Identification of what you are talking about does not seem to be your thing - which "subordinate clause" are you talking about?

I've amended my post for clarity but left some errors.

Now back to the real subject, your post.
1) Your writing was not structured and remains unclear.
2) You grossly misrepresented the ideas of the OP.
3) Insinuated that I regarded you as a fascist.
4) You are still boastful - "Hey, I try to write at an eighth grade level,"

For clarity; I should add that your choice of words shows that you regard women who disagree with you to be witches.

If I am wrong about these issues please correct me.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #255)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 08:56 AM

267. Listen up, class

I can't believe I'm forced to diagram a sentence here on DU, but apparently it's necessary. Here's the first paragraph (I'm not going to do the second one because if I did, I'd have to start charging tuition).

Other people are privileged (however subjectively that may be defined) and I am not, so my opinions should be evaluated differently than others. I should be given special consideration because of my self-declared status -- which I'm going to deny to everyone else.


The first sentence is a compound sentence: three independent clauses joined by coordinating conjunctions. Subjects are in bold, verbs are italicized, and conjunctions are in CAPS.

Other people are privileged (however subjectively that may be defined) AND I am not, SO my opinions should be evaluated differently than others.

“However subjectively that may be defined” is a restricting clause modifying “privileged.”


If you're still having trouble with this general concept:

.

The second sentence is a simple declarative sentence.

I should be given special consideration because of my self-declared status -- which I'm going to deny to everyone else.

“because of my self-declared status” is a prepositional phrase modifying “given”
“which I’m going to deny to everyone else” is another restricting clause modifying “status.”


As to the rest or your drivel, I would like your next post to begin with the following two items:

1. The direct quote from me where I said that women who disagree with me are "witches."
2. The direct quote from me where I said that you think I'm a fascist.

And I can't help but be amused by your statement that I'm "boastful" for saying that I write at an 8th grade level. That's unintentional irony at its very finest.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #200)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:08 AM

259. wtf? massive fail on the writing analysis. the poster writes just fine, and the sentence has

 

a subject. jayzus, what a dumb attack.

ps: your own writing is actually more unclear than the other poster's.

Again, a named subject would be beneficial to comprehension for your statement is a complete, repeated for emphasis complete, mis-statement of the OPs actual opinion. That opinion is that everyone should be granted the same consideration and judged against the same values i.e. progressive values.



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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #259)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:16 AM

260. As observed in my response to Muriel

Yes, I should have said an identified subject.

Taken strictly as written the offending paragraphs are the opinion of the author or of a 3rd party who the author is attempting to denigrate. This was not just my own opinion but the opinion of 2 others to whom I showed the posts.

Now, what is your view of the ideas in the offending post?

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Response to intaglio (Reply #260)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:23 AM

263. It's completely clear that the poster was paraphrasing your argument (sarcastically), and that

 

the "I" = you.

"In other words...
Other people are privileged (however subjectively that may be defined) and I am not, so my opinions should be evaluated differently than others. I should be given special consideration because of my self-declared status -- which I'm going to deny to everyone else."

It's ridiculous to attack the poster on grammar and demand an 'identified subject'; it exposes your own weakness in that area, if indeed you were serious.

and it's stupid anyway to attack people on their grammar in a political argument. it's irrelevant, even if his grammar had been poor -- which it wasn't. but poor grammar doesn't have anything to do with a political argument, and it's kind of a class-based attack besides. ("you're ignorant and uneducated, so your opinions don't matter")

I don't think anything in particular about what the poster was saying, but i think 'privilege' is a discourse which is diversionary, unproductive, and basically a dead end for any real social justice.

as witness this stupid thread.


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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #190)


Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #190)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 06:16 PM

276. Suggestion: Keep trying.

"Hey, I try to write at an eighth grade level..."

Suggestion: Keep trying.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #133)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:57 PM

195. Lack of privilege confers privilege. Please get with the program.

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Response to snagglepuss (Reply #195)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:36 PM

206. So asking for some objectivity

is now considered the same as asking to be given "privileged status."

I always knew it, but thanks for clearing that up.





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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:37 AM

126. Can you give an example of what you are talking about because I have no idea from

the context of your text. To me you just sound like someone who is lacking in compassion. But I don't know the context so I may be wrong.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Reply #126)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:46 AM

130. You know perfectly well what was meant...

and your passive-aggressive "lacking in compassion" remark fools nobody.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #130)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:57 AM

131. I actually was thinking you had another idea besides hating on the poor or the transgendered

or others. But obviously I am wrong. So in fact you are lacking in compassion. I would also venture to guess you are lacking in happiness. Here is a link you should check out.

http://www.examiner.com/article/tibetan-monk-is-world-s-happiest-man-say-neuroscientists

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Response to Maraya1969 (Reply #131)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:03 AM

136. Nailed. First try.

I disagree with you and so clearly I have a neurological disorder.

You're a regular goddamned miracle worker, you are.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #136)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:22 AM

150. You obviously did not read the article. That makes sense. But don't try to blame your

hatred on a neurological disorder. It is your personality.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Reply #150)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:54 AM

163. I actually obviously DID read the article...

And I'm sure it's all about my personality. Not yours.

Couldn't possibly be about you. It's me.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Reply #126)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:26 AM

145. Context or perspective is really hte issue, not whether or not one's position

in society is higher on the social ladder or not.
Everyone sees the world through their own eyes and their own experiences. The OP is asking that those, whose lives are less of a struggle than other's, be sympathetic to the concerns of those who struggle.
Americans have been conditioned to blame victims for their own victimization: ie. rape victims got raped because they wore short skirts, poor people are poor because they made bad choices or are lazy, etc.
Its a familiar line and it is used to justify doing nothing to rectify real injustice, including even recognizing that injustice occurred.
The OP is right about one thing, those who defend belittling others, whose lives are more difficult than their own, look bad doing it. They parrot Ronald Reagan in their belief that enough has been done to equalize conditions in America so that all people have equal opportunity. This is justification for not wanting to or not having the will to help the less fortunate.
Those, whose lives go well and those with a bit extra, ought to extend a hand to help the less fortunate, not dismiss their concerns as immaterial. The nobility do have an obligation to care for those, whose labor supports the luxury that surrounds the rich.

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Response to iemitsu (Reply #145)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:05 AM

156. this

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Response to iemitsu (Reply #145)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:21 PM

189. I understood the OP in the struggle context, as well.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:30 PM

13. I meant it exactly in that relative sense.

A person can have societal privilege in one area and not in another.

While I'm very aware of what women go though in terms of gender bias I don't have first hand experience of what an African American experiences in terms of racism. When talking with people who experience racism in our culture, I LISTEN to what they have to say about it instead of talking over them and telling them that their observations are invalid or over-reactive. As a woman, I think men should offer the same courtesy to me and other women when we talk about sexism.

Privilege is usually invisible to the people who benefit from it.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:42 PM

14. I think everyone should listen....

to each other, whatever people percieve of each other's privilege.

I see women who disagree with what is defined as "sexism" by some other women get talked over and shut down as much as men. I see men get shut down on account of their gender, even if they are listening. Shutting down and talking over people because of assumed experiences or percieved privilege is just as bad. Many times, their reasoning/logic isn't even addressed, they are just attacked personally in ad hom fashion, which is "talking over" and "shutting down" instead of listening.

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Response to MellowDem (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:46 PM

16. Actual discussions about sexism or racism in our culture

would be preferrable to dismissive phrases like "playing the victim", "can't take a joke", "outrage brigade". Especially when those things come from someone who isn't affected by the social injustice being discussed. Wouldn't you agree?

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Response to Matariki (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:01 PM

19. I agree those are never prefereable...

but don't understand the "especially" part. That sort of dismissiveness is never preferrable, whether one is or isn't effected by the social injustice being discussed. And being effected by that social injustice shouldn't be an excuse for being dismissive of others, as I often see it being. If a woman is dismissive to another woman that way, is it preferable to a man being dismissive to a woman that way? I think they're equally not preferable. The reasons behind the dismissiveness may be different, but neither are more or less preferable.

I just saw a thread where the viewpoint that MacFarlane's skit was a parody was given, and responses that did not address this viewpoint at all, but rather dismissed the opinion as merely the product of a "good ol boy" system, for example. That's just talking over and not listening, and exacerbates the problem, regardless of who has what privilege.

Dismissiveness all around needs to stop, they just feed each other otherwise.

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Response to MellowDem (Reply #19)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:49 PM

48. Good post...

this and the one before it. I agree with both.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:01 AM

64. I would say that actual discussions about sexism and racism

would be preferable to offensive phrases like "privileged groups". because it is assumed that because of my gender and skin pigmentation that I have never experienced bigotry or social injustice "Acknowledge that if you haven't had to experience the bigotry or social disadvantages that the person speaking has -"

Is that an actual discussion if one participant assumes they know what the other participant has or has not experienced?

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #64)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:03 AM

66. Straight people should not lecture GLBTQ people on being overly

sensitive to homophobia, white people shouldn't lecture blacks on being over sensitive to racism, etc.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #66)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:05 AM

83. why not?

One day I was doing some sort of yard work in my front yard when this old black guy pulls up in a cadillac to pick up his grandchildren who lived across the street. Some song was playing on his car stereo and I was looking over there trying to pick up the tune and use that as a way to strike up a friendly conversation. Couldn't get the tune, but I could hear the old guy talking to himself about how he cannot even pick up his grandchildren without some racist white person looking at him all suspiciously.

I would say that that black guy was being overly sensitive to infer racism from just a look.. Every black person is not automatically correct when they cry 'racism'.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #83)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:55 AM

108. ...

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Response to Number23 (Reply #108)


Response to Number23 (Reply #108)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:54 PM

238. Love.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #83)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:14 AM

123. No, "incorrect" does not = "overly senstitive."

I'm not up to going into all the reasons why - have neither the time nor, really, the inclination. It should be obvious, for one thing.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #83)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:00 AM

134. So did you lecture him about the error of his ways? If not, you are proving the point.

I am going to guess that you didn't lecture him on how he was just too sensitive, and REALLY needed to get over himself, and was making a big deal out of nothing.

If I am right that you did not, was it because you had some respect for the experiences that the old black guy might have had in his lifetime that led him to his conclusion about you? Experiences that you don't share and that you can only imagine imperfectly?

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #83)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:09 AM

139. See, that should have been a learning lesson for you.

But it was not. Perfect story to add to this thread. Your thought process is exactly what the op is talking about.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #139)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:39 PM

171. to learn what?

and what about my thought process?

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #83)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:47 AM

154. But, you don't know what life experience he has.

Certainly, there was nothing racist in what you did.

But, for all you know, his life experience was for white people to stare at him wherever he went and to act afraid of him.

So, while not accurate, one can't immediately dismiss it as irrational.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #154)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:36 PM

169. of course, I do not know his experiences

His past experiences however, may contribute to him being over-sensitive and to assume that others are afraid of him or hostile to him when many of his past experiences might have been as false as the one I experienced with him. How many times has he assumed hostility existed?

Another alternative is that some of hostility he experienced could just be fairly ordinary xenophobia - fear or hatred of strangers, rather than racism. A white person could help them understand that, yes, white people also experience similar things. "People are strange, when you're a stranger."

Further, there probably was "something wrong" in what I did. As an aspie, I do no behave like a "normal" person does, because I do not know how to. So, this guy would not be the first to find my behaviour to be odd (although I sorta think talking out loud about other people is kinda odd too), but the oddness is not a result of my racism, but of my Asperger's. At least I felt no malice, not even xenophobia. Heck, why should I be suspicious of a guy whose car is worth about as much as my house?

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #169)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:12 PM

174. Just because a perception is incorrect doesn't make it irrational though.

If, unwittingly and without any kind of ill thought, your look did remind him of stares from racists he had received before, then he wasn't being oversensitive.

It's certainly possible he was oversensitive--don't get me wrong--but that we shouldn't presume that he was completely irrational and oversensitive without knowing why he formed that conclusion.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #174)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:17 PM

201. not sure why rationality needs to come into it

the point of over-sensitivity is that the person imagines something is there when it is not there. It is a spectrum of over-sensitive, sensitive and insensitive. The sensitive person sees things that the insensitive person does not, but the over-sensitive person imagines things which are really not there. They may have a reason or reasons for doing so, but those reasons don't make them any less wrong. Which is the point, maybe a white person can tell them they are wrong, being over-sensitive.

Let me try another example. For many years of my childhood, from the age of 5 through college, I suffered from iron deficiency anemia. Now, often in writing, people will use the word 'anemic' as a synonym for 'weak' or 'bad'. When I am reading along and I see that, it is a little bit like some nails being dragged across a chalkboard for me. My hackles get raised a little bit. Most people, not associating themselves with the word anemic, are gonna read right past that. They are insensitive to it.

However, in a way, I would be over-sensitive if I tried to make a huge issue out of this use of the word. It is not like there is a class of anemics who are discriminated against and suffer deprivations and need a champion to advocate for them. So although my hackles get raised, I never make an issue out of it.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #201)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:20 PM

202. But, to use the example you cited, he's not imagining anything.

He's comparing his perception of you to his prior life experience of people staring at him, and making an inference.

That's how most people go through life--we make assumptions and inferences in the absence of complete information.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #201)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:42 PM

224. yes, let's compare being black with being iron deficient!

*facepalm*





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Response to MellowDem (Reply #14)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:12 AM

53. Talking over people can happen in conversation, but not on a message board.

Assuming that you are using the term literally.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #13)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:32 AM

146. Here's my frustration...

And I really do appreciate your follow-up on the subject.

Let me start by saying that I'm not exactly a fan of Seth MacFarlane. I've probably watched a dozen episodes of "Family Guy" and have never watched more than a few minutes of his other two shows -- I really just didn't care for them. I haven't seen "Ted" but I'll probably watch it on DVD -- some people whose tastes I trust have recommended it. But that's it.

I have no issue with the people who have posted here or elsewhere, "I don't think he's funny." No worries. No performer has 100% admiration. Some people hated the Beatles, for shit's sake. So if you think Seth MacFarlane is a hack, that's a perfectly legitimate opinion no matter who you are or what group you're in.

But when I see the posts that Seth MacFarlane is misogynistic or homophobic, it raises my hackles (Full Disclosure: I have no idea of what a "hackle" is or if I even have them). I thought that "We Saw Your Boobs" was a funny way of tweaking Hollywood's gratuitous use of T&A to sell movie tickets, and I gave him bonus points for using a time-honored Hollywood tradition (the song-and-dance number) as the vehicle for making his point. Is all use of female nudity in the movies gratuitous? No. There's a vast difference between the rape scene in "The Accused" and the shower scene in "Porkies" but comedy is all about exaggeration. Give the guy that much, as least.

If somebody doesn't get the joke, or simply doesn't like someone saying the word "boobs" on television, that's fine by me. But when you start slinging words like misogynist, then you're attacking the guy's character and not his comedic talents. People have posted that using the Las Angeles Gay Men's Chorus in the bit was homophobic, ignoring the fact that MacFarlane himself is quite passionate in his support of gay rights in general and gay marriage in particular. Don't judge the man's heart unless you KNOW his heart.

Finally, there's another thing that raises my hackles (seriously - what ARE they?) on this subject. When someone says, I'm a member of this group (let's say women) and so my opinions on the subject should be given different consideration, I can agree with that to a certain degree. Women should be the first line of consultation when talking about women's issues (Ann Romney not withstanding), because women do have life experiences that simply can't be replicated by any other group. But using one's status in that group to pass judgment on the motives of a person who is outside that group? That's where the ice gets a little thin.

I'm white. I understand pretty well what it's like to grow up white in America. Now if a black person -- from Chris Rock to Henry Louis Gates -- makes a criticism of white people, I can argue the point with him, but I should be damned careful before I presume to know what's lurking behind any statement they might make. Because now I'm NOT speaking from a place of "insider" knowledge. I'm speaking from ignorance of that outside culture. I'm trying to use the paradigm of my life to create a context that may bear no relation to that of the speaker.

As I said, if you think Seth MacFarlane is a talentless hack, that's a perfectly legitimate opinion. I just don't think we should be passing judgment on the man's character without better information.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #146)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:50 AM

147. If it had been just one person, I might agree with you

I'd think he was insensitive, and maybe couldn't see how many women would respond to it due to his privilege, but everyone is blind to their own privilege and most of us have privilege somewhere we're blind to, so I'd leave it at that. But the Academy Awards show is heavily produced. Lots of people saw and approved of that. And then it's not even just them, but our society as a whole where we routinely discredit or underplay women's experiences (and in this case work) and focus instead on their sexuality. When women respond to stuff like this, they responding from a place where they see this kind of thing happen again, and again, and again. And then when they complain that they want women's work to not be dismissed and instead for all focus to be on their sexuality, people call them "prudes." You have no idea how infuriating that is.

The women who are complaining notice these small things as part of a bigger picture. The beef is really with the bigger picture, not Seth MacFarlane. He's just the most recent example, and they are trying to show their perspective and experience to you by showing how they responded to this example.

(And I speak in the third person rather than from my own point of view because I didn't even see it - I haven't had much to say in threads about him because I didn't see it so I have no response to his specific performance. I understand why women respond to these kinds of jokes how they do, but I have no response to him or his performance at the Academy Awards.)

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Response to gollygee (Reply #147)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:45 PM

172. My point is this...

I can understand how a woman would see MacFarlane's bit as another example of a demeaning attitude toward women, but I really don't think that's what was intended. My take on this was that Hollywood has been peddling T & A (almost exclusively women's T & A) for decades, and while nudity can be tastefully and even be justified under certain conditions, it always seems like the women who are naked in the shower and not the men. If the car is going to drive away and yank off the clothing of the innocent person whose garments were caught in the car door -- that innocent person is a woman every time.

Hollywood has been juvenile and sophomoric about women's bodies, and they've made a lot of money at it. I didn't look on MacFarlane's bit as a "celebration" of juvenile and sophomoric nudity, rather an attempt to mock those attitudes. It's like he was saying, "You know how stupid this song sounds? Well that's what you've been sounding like for years."

Am I giving MacFarlane too much credit? Too much benefit of the doubt? Maybe. Maybe the bit needed a little more of a pointed edge to it, so that viewers understood explicitly that he wasn't just being puerile. But that's the balancing act with satire -- get too explicit and you lose the funny, stay too funny and you lose the point. Believe it or not, there WERE people in Jonathan Swift's day who thought he was being serious with "A Modest Proposal," so this sort of humor isn't as easy as it looks.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #172)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:45 PM

181. Well, attempting to be satirical doesn't give him a free pass

If he's making a joke at the expense of women, and a great number of women don't get the joke, it's still a problem. You can't go around offending a group of people and say they need to lighten up because they didn't get your joke. I didn't see it but I read a huge number of articles in legitimate news sources by a wide variety of women who were very offended, so while I personally don't know enough about the performance to judge it, I don't think it's right to dismiss so many women as being overly sensitive. They have the right to be sensitive about jokes made about their group, just like members of other groups have the right to be sensitive when their group is the butt of a joke.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #181)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:19 PM

186. Again, my point...

My point is that he wasn't making the joke at the expense of women. I believe he was attempt to satirize Hollywood's treatment of women, which is almost the exact opposite. There was no intent to make women the butt of his joke; it's just that the bit apparently mis-fired badly and people have taken it in a way that was never intended.

Now to people who think MacFarlane is untalented, this might be grist for the mill. If he were better at being satirical, maybe the bit wouldn't have gone so far off the mark.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #186)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:28 PM

204. OK. Again, my point . . .

Is that it WAS at the expense of women. Women were there who were trying to be acknowledged for their work, and they were reduced to a boob joke. The fact that he was trying to make a point about Hollywood at large doesn't change that. Whether he intended that or not is irrelevant. He did what he did. People with privilege DO this stuff by accident often, that's the whole point of trying to open people's eyes to privilege. The hope is that if your eyes are open you don't make women the butt of your joke accidentally.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #204)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:13 PM

249. OK...

I'll grant that the bit was poorly done -- clearly because we're having this conversation, it means that MacFarlane and whoever else was responsible for the bit didn't do a good job in directing the satire toward its intended target. I don't think the actresses themselves took offense (Charlize Theron did a pre-recorded bit, so she was in on the joke), but the fact remains that other people watching the bit clearly were NOT in on it and believed it to be mockery directed at the actresses and not the system. MacFarlane could have done better.

The only point I would like to make is that I honestly and truly don't believe Seth MacFarlane meant any disrespect to the actresses. The more I read about the guy (and I've learned more about him in the past four days than I ever dreamed possible), the more he looks like a decent enough guy with an extremely edgy sense of humor. He's not Bob Hope, that much you can be sure of. But Bob Hope was also a right wing tool, whereas MacFarlance seems to be pretty much on our side.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #172)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:54 PM

225. it was such a poor attempt at satire it was indisinguishable from frat boy "humor"

so, it's kind of hard to expect a different reaction to it. It's a schtick that was stale 30 years ago.
And there are surely a lot of guys who think it's funny on the frat boy level too, no irony.


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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #146)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:21 AM

149. Imho, Ted is a stupid movie. That is all. n/t

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Response to Fla Dem (Reply #149)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:55 AM

164. It might well be...

but I have a soft spot for stupid humor.

Full Disclosure: I liked "Howard the Duck." I actually own the DVD.

TMI?

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #164)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:35 PM

175. No, that's ok. Everyone has their unique taste in movies. I saw "ted" in the theater because...

I like Mark Wahlberg, the movie was filmed in Boston and featured Fenway Park. It actually should have been a movie I rented. Recently saw "Stolen Identity" with Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy and it was, imo, a outrageously funny movie.

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Response to Fla Dem (Reply #175)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:20 PM

188. Now, you see...

I love Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, but I've heard terrible things about "Stolen Identity." I'll have to watch it for myself, I guess.

Comedy is hard...

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #146)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:39 AM

161. Best post I've read in weeks

Very well said, I agree completely.

I read through one of the discussions about Seth's performance on the award show and I amazed. Many who enjoyed him were criticized and most jumped all over him because of the "boob" song and dance. One person said they were offended by the word "boob" and every term other than "breast" to describe them.

There will ALWAYS be someone offended by SOMETHING. I think there are a handful of people who are looking for reasons to be offended. No matter what we do or how 'progressive' society becomes, someone will ALWAYS be offended by SOMETHING.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 01:53 AM

253. I'm not sure what privilege has to do with it

As someone else pointed out, social privilege is a term that's useful in academic discussion involving social stratification and remedies. It's much less useful and even counterproductive in a discussion where one party tries to use claims of privilege as a tool to beat someone else over the head, or to claim one side's opinions are more or less valid due to privilege or lack thereof for the entire group.

I just don't believe being born with a different set of sexual organs should entitle someone to an opinion that's more relevant than someone else by virtue of that alone. I also don't believe the subject of sexism (which isn't exclusive to one gender to begin with), is beyond the scope of reason.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:08 AM

52. " It's a way to exclude someone who you think has it better than you" Better? Absolutely not.

That would be so only if you assume that someone who is wealthier and/or better connected than you is also better than you.


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Response to merrily (Reply #52)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:10 AM

87. ??? I think you misunderstood or misrepresented

The poster's use of "has it better" was synonymous with "more privileged". I don't see how it could be read otherwise. "Is better" has nothing to do with "has it better", just as, as you correctly pointed out, being wealthier and/or better connected has nothing to do with someone being better than you.

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Response to dreamnightwind (Reply #87)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:18 AM

90. I read his post too quickly. Wish you had left it at "misunderstood" though.

I am not sure what anyone would gain by even mentioning misrepresentation, unless you think I have a track record of deceptive posting.

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Response to merrily (Reply #90)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:58 AM

119. It looked like an unlikely mistake, that's all

People on this (and pretty much any) site often misrepresent what someone said so they can knock down the straw man, so that certainly seemed like a possibility.

I have no knowledge of your posting history, nothing personal intended, carry on.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)


Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:34 PM

4. thank you!

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Response to cally (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:42 PM

7. thank you.

I'm constantly baffled by threads on DU where men are telling women what is and isn't sexism or Caucasians telling African Americans what is or isn't racism.

That's not to say that the majority of people on DU don't 'get it' - I think most do. But there's a loud minority who, no matter what you say to them, no matter how you try to explain the issue - from experience, they're right back at you with 'outrage brigade', 'no sense of humor' etc. Like there's something stopping up their ears.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:32 AM

57. You seem to have something

specific in mind and are dancing around it. Do you have a link to a thread that brought this up?

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Response to Matariki (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:33 AM

100. I'm not baffled by it at all.


I, as a gay man, have no problem whatsoever with straight people telling me what is or isn't homophobia. I think it would incredibly peculiar to assume that they have less understanding of homosexuality than me just because I'm gay. They might be wrong, and I might know why, but it would have nothing to do with their sexul orientation. Also, I might just be wrong.

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Response to sibelian (Reply #100)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:07 AM

137. Or maybe your situation is different,

though if a person told you that you imagined workplace bigotry because of your sexual orientation or that people didn't still make jokes about your sexuality behind your back, I think you might rethink your position.

As a woman, I am well aware that there is cultural bias that isn't even noticed or recognized by the general culture of the U.S.

As an example and example only, when society wants to say that we are weaker than them, they call me a "pussy" and you a "fag". Both have become synonymous with weak and effeminate (which in and of itself has become a term that means weak). When we admire strength, we say things like "_________ really has steel balls". Heterosexual and male is the pinnacle to be striven for, if we follow societies dictates.

While both of our classes are getting less oppressed with each passing year, I don't think we've crossed the finish line, not by a long shot.

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Response to sibelian (Reply #100)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:19 PM

187. It's called "Argument from Authority"

when you claim to be right because you are X therefor you know everything about it, and someone who isn't X obviously doesn't know as much as you.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #187)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:17 AM

262. That's exactly how I see it.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:59 AM

132. Yeah, that!

I am both a member of some oppressed classes and also have certain privileges related to my color and class (class being a distinction that Americans are uniquely unable to fathom). I can't imagine telling other people who don't have my advantages that they don't know what they are talking about. I know they do merely by looking at the things I know about my areas of oppression. It's a no brainer.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:32 PM

205. I note that you did not say this, but I am curious:

Are women the only ones who are victims of or affected by sexism?

Are African Americans the only ones who are victims of or affected by racism? Are Caucasians ever affected by racism?

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Response to Matariki (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 08:38 PM

278. You make so much sense.

Thank you for your sensible post.

I am so tired of people telling me how I should feel about things that they have no concept of.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:38 PM

5. "It is what I say it is"

The last time I heard that I was a child and being beaten by my stepmother.

Thought it was bullshit then, think it's bullshit now.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:40 PM

6. Perfectly stated.

Thank you for your thoughtful post.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:45 PM

8. Amen!

Thank you for this. :hugs:

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:06 PM

10. K&R

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:09 PM

11. K&R

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:46 PM

15. And remember

the world is round.

You state the obvious as if those of use who are "privileged" never thought of this before.

You are speaking to an audience that already knows this. It's not new nor relevatory.

Perhaps you can bring this up at CPAC.

And yes, the intent if fine and if you read that and didn't know it already, why are you at DU?

PTxS

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:55 PM

17. Excellent post.

We need to listen to each other and respect each other. I have seen people on this board argue relentlessly in order to defend their "right" to make crude and insulting remarks about one group or another. I don't understand that attitude at all. We should be fighting about the issues on a board like this. But we shouldn't be saying things to offend each other. And if we slip up and do offend, we should apologize.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:56 PM

18. Describe 'privileged'

Please, carry on.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:06 PM

20. I'll pretend your question isn't disingenuous and answer it.

You experience a societal privilege when you are part of a group that has some form of social advantage. I don't mean each individual, but the group itself. All the obvious things - pay ratio of men to women. Being able to drive or walk in places without being targeted by the police because of your skin color. Not have your reproductive rights be someone's political battleground. Having most people in authority or where you work or hope to work look like you. The list goes on.

To point out privilege isn't an attack on you, it's just asking for a little awareness and courtesy toward those who have to deal with the negative consequences of not being in a particular socially privileged group when they talk about those disadvantages.

Like I said, privilege is usually invisible to those who benefit from it.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #20)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:23 PM

26. You mean like the privilege that demands

that I put myself in front of any assault of those less privileged, even if it means giving up my life to do so.

THAT'S the expectation in the patriarchy. (Which, in the context of the conversations here lately is EXACTLY what you are referring to)

I've actually done that. Stopped an assault on a woman. Viciously and violently.

I could have walked off, I could have ignored the assault.

As it was, I could have been killed.

Because I'm privileged. If I'd walked off I would be considered a coward within the patriarchy I was raised in.

Death would be easier than the guilt of not doing anything.

I wouldn't change a fucking thing that I did that night.

So: yes, I am privileged.

I can take a bullet or get stabbed, or have my ass put into a coma for those unprotected members of the society.

As a member of the privileged patriarchy, it is my primary job.

Except for feeling guilty for saying bad words.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #26)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:05 PM

32. It's not your job though.

 

Your only moral obligation is to not do harm yourself.

The White Knighting is all on you. I don't do it, ever. Not anymore.

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Response to galileoreloaded (Reply #32)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:28 PM

40. Nice.

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Response to galileoreloaded (Reply #32)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:12 AM

71. yes, please... stop all this white knighting bullshit for everyone's sake

and try just being a decent human being, who does't expect a big award for doing same.

or... be a selfish asshole, and own it. but the white knight bathed in resentment has gotten fucking old.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #71)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:10 AM

86. Has there ever been a law on the books that anyone put themselves in harm's way?

The last time I checked, calling the police is a requirement, in some jurisdictions, but risking your own life has never been a law that I am aware of, unless you are police or military. The police and military both get paid to do that though. It is odd that someone would risk their life then have that much resentment for it even years later.

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Response to Jamastiene (Reply #86)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:19 AM

92. why pretend to be noble and seethe in resentment and claim special privileges for it?

I had an Aunt like that, and she was a sociopath... one little favor and she owned you for life.
I'm saying "No thanks!" right now.

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Response to Jamastiene (Reply #86)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:58 AM

265. because clearly culture is all codified in laws and something must be 'one's job' or it needn't be

 

done.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #26)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:16 PM

37. I'm sorry, I have no idea what you are talking about.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #37)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:27 PM

39. Well played...

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #26)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:55 AM

61. Oh, so you think being a man makes you the oppressed one? nt

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #61)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:18 AM

74. Again, parsing what's actually written

through your agenda.

I expect the name calling to start in 3, 2, 1.....

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #26)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:08 AM

69. is this stolen from Batman, LOL? hoping you forgot the sarcasm smiley....

or sober up maybe?

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #69)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:19 AM

75. Nope.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #75)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:36 AM

77. well someone sold you a bill of goods, you don't have a heavier burden than anyone on earth

of any sex or color. what you do is your choice, no one has enslaved you in any particular role, same as the rest of us. hope that helps!

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #77)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:37 AM

78. Your post is enlightening and a fine instruction.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #78)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:41 AM

80. free your mind, and your ass will follow!

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #80)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:52 AM

81. Dunno what you're talking about.

I live in my skin quite comfortably.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #81)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:17 AM

88. \you make *your choices* sound like a huge burden- yet say you are comfortable

with having this "demanded" of you? It does't sound that way.

the demands you speak of do not actually exist. that's all in your head. no one expects anyone to be a martyr or a white night. lots of other people do the right thing AND feel guilty when they act the ass. they don't think it earns them special treatment.

you do have a choice, as do the rest of us. free yourself of the false construct that your life is not your own. if you're a white hetero man in the USA, your choices are much wider than most.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #88)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:19 AM

91. Yep you are exactly right.

Again, your post instructs and enlightens.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #91)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:22 AM

93. Good- you needed that!

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #93)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:23 AM

94. Consider me sufficiently enlightened.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #94)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:32 AM

99. better enlightened than a white knight with a martyr complex.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #99)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:20 AM

102. That would be me.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #26)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:07 AM

85. Since when?

There is no law that you put yourself in harm's way. Call the cops next time and drop the resentment, ffs.

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Response to Jamastiene (Reply #85)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:17 AM

89. The cops can take an hour to show up.

Community demands more of us than a simple, simpering phone call.

As a solid member of the privileged patriarchy I have a duty to intervene.

I stuck my finger in a wound in a guy who was bleeding out once too.

That motherfucker was going to bleed out dead if someone hadn't intervened.

I just did what I was trained to do while becoming a killer in the army and had the spouse dial 911.

If you cannot take care of those in your community, you have no purpose.

Bad words notwithstanding.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #89)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:27 AM

97. Then, don't resent it.

It might be an actual good guy inside you coming out to do the good things. You shouldn't resent it. I, personally, would thank you if you saved my life, but I would feel terrible if you still resented it years later though.

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Response to Jamastiene (Reply #97)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:39 AM

101. I don't resent any of it,

But to be referred to as a member of a CLASS of people who oppress women and minorities and the GLBT community is broad brush in the extreme. (Not in this thread, but in the latest convulsions about the Patriarchy. I'm a white male. )

I'm just saying that back in the day, I was taught all people were to be respected, and, if you were a 'stand up guy' you wouldn't allow those more vulnerable than you to be attacked or beaten or raped.

Even if you had to risk your life to do it.

This blanket indictment of the "patriarchal oppression" neglects to speak to that.



Maybe some don't know about it



The talk about white knights is glib and worthless. I have had my ass saved by a couple of them and I'll say they have my undying fealty for what they did.

That's what community does for one another.

Or, we can just call the cops and drive home, smug and safe.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #101)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:04 PM

227. you seem to be blissfully unaware that just as many women and minorities

do good things for their community too. and plenty of white guys shirk the duty. as do people of all sexes and colors. I've stood up for others and risked my personal safety too, was first on the scene giving aid to a black woman in a car crash. Do I resent allowing black people to frame the conversations of racism? Or get angry because I personally helped a black person once or twice they ALL aren't nice enough to me? That is what it sounds like you are saying. Like you regret doing the right thing unless you gain special status for it.

That's fucking sad.
It has NOTHING to do with privilege. Mankind ain't handing out extra points for doing the right thing, stop expecting them.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #227)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:13 PM

228. Your post enlightens and instructs.

Thank you for your time.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #26)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:11 AM

111. Well what a load of self justifying and content light verbiage

Guess what, I have also put myself in the way of an assault on a woman and, yes, I stopped it. I was not vicious and violent and I have stopped not just one but 2 or 3 such assaults in my life.

I too could have walked off and ignored the assaults, but I didn't not because I was privileged but because I am a human being with certain moral and ethical standards. Having these standards does not make me any less a recipient of privilege.

I can have the pleasure of being included in any group because it is assumed that I share their views of women;
I can apply for jobs where the employer does not instantly assume I am too fragile for the work;
I can apply for jobs where it is assumed that I will be able to grasp the intricacies of mechanics because I am a man;
I can go into a computer store and talk about motherboards, chipsets and the other arcana without being talked down to;
I can walk into a bar without fear that someone there will rape me;
I can walk home at night without the fear that someone will rape me;
I can report assaults on myself to the police without them asking "but are you sure you didn't lead them on?" and without the police consigning the file to permanent pending because "it's so difficult to prove such cases,".

Take your pitiful whining off, I'm sure the Mens Group would welcome you and sooth your butt-hurt.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #111)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:15 AM

143. Golly gosh.

Your post enlightens and teaches.

Where, exactly did I EVER say none of what you listed is untrue?

I was simply making a point - never ever ever explored HERE, that living large on the right side of the patriarchy wasn't all roses and beer.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #143)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:50 PM

173. Who said it was roses and beer?

Being a feudal overlord was not all roses and beer but it was a far better life than the lives of the serfs, cottars and villeins

Where did I say anywhere that you are lying? Do you have any further words to put in my mouth? Read what was written not what you want to see.

You are not "special" because you intervened but you are an ethically bankrupt fool if you intervened because of a misplaced desire to prove yourself a man by the fact of your intervention.

I then wrote about the real privileges that men do enjoy as opposed to your fantasy of dangerous privilege and in that you read an accusation, funny how that goes; perhaps at the back of your mind you do not see these as privileges but as rights or irrevocable natural law.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #26)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:12 AM

140. So do I know as much as you do about the guilt feelings the patriarchy instills in men, or

should I seriously consider your point of view on that subject, and not assume you are playing the victim and really need to get over it?

And do you know as much as I do about being a woman woman facing down physical and emotional sexism daily, or should you seriously consider my point of view on that subject and not assume I am playing the victim and really need to get over it.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #140)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:24 AM

144. Neither.

All I said and all I will say on the subject is EXACTLY what I said:

That being on the male side of the patriarchy isn't all benefit.

I just love what's being read into what I actually wrote.

Your post instructs and educates.

Thank you for your help.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #144)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:17 AM

159. But you know that my post is just really restating the OP, right?

I think our points are the same.

Neither says that men should not express their point of view about being a male in our society. Both say that the person who has lived the condition being discussed gets to be considered the better informed on that condition.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #20)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:46 AM

153. I am Jewish.

My father grew up within a half a mile of a sign that read, in big bold letters, NO JEWS ALLOWED.

He had a real hard time finding a job after getting out of the Army. He served in the Korean War. He finally found a job with Remington Rand and he was able to work and finish college. It turned out he was successful but he was definitely discriminated against. He was able to put me through both college and law school.

Schools used to have Jewish quotas. Jews excel in academics for some reason so we have been misrepresented, in a positive way, in academia. A couple of extremely wealthy Jewish families here in Chicago approached the 2 most prominent universities and informed them that they could have extraordinarily large gifts if they would kindly remove their Jewish quotas, and so it went.

I, personally, have benefited from being Jewish. I have been hired specifically because I have a map of Jerusalem on my face but I'm sure I have been rejected for the same reason. I have definitely had people try to pick on me because of my ethnicity, once. They didn't make that mistake twice.

But even with this "privilege" everything I have, I can honestly say, is earned with my own sweat and blood.

Am I "privileged?" You bet I am.

And I also have encountered anti-Semitism that is directly related to the success of the Jewish community, generally.

I have a lot of problems with your opening post. I find it condescending and highly insulting. I do what I do because I believe it's right. One of my core values is to try my best to not be judgmental, as no one has a right to judge others. I find your opening post to be severely judgmental and prejudicial. It seems to me that rather than addressing your own issues here you are projecting.

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Response to Cary (Reply #153)


Response to Matariki (Reply #20)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 02:32 AM

256. Even when privilege is pointed out there are those here who ignore or dismiss it

So more so than invisible at some point it also becomes willful ignorance.

If you want to talk societal privilege as it relates to race, the subject is pretty easy to approach. There are virtually no societal privileges associated with being black, yet plenty exist for being white.

If you want to talk societal privilege as it relates to gender, the subject is not as cut and dried as you might think. Men and women are both privileged in different ways. That's why quite a few people here want to conflate white privilege with "male privilege" and generally refuse all attempts to approach the subject without such conflations. When men get the shit end of the stick on virtually all societal statistics, it's pretty hard to see where the societal privilege comes in.

Your definition of privilege isn't bad, but misses the mark on a few points. "Being able to walk in places" because of your race has everything to do with civil rights, and almost nothing to do with societal privilege. Privilege and outcomes also don't always equate very well. If two groups have the same advantages and disadvantages but diverge for other reasons, privilege has nothing to do with it. If men earn more than women because they work more hours, take more risks, and seek less non-monetary benefits, but otherwise have the same opportunities, this is not an example of privilege. Privilege means one side has an advantage not afforded to the other. If you look at outcomes as your only metric, you are fallaciously equating outcomes to opportunity.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:12 PM

36. someone who doesn't have to believe in a god in order to get through the daily routine of life?

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #36)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:29 PM

41. Thinking you might be right.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #18)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:44 AM

113. A privilege is ANYTHING that is taken by means of ANY advantage & not through any consensual

exchange.

Though all privileges, meeting these criteria, are privilege, not all privileges are identical, some are greater, some less.

There are a couple of important variables here:

- any advantage could vary from conventionally recognized cultural advantages, to more idiosyncratic situational advantages;
- anything taken can vary in value from less to great and can vary from the most concrete, like goods or possessions, to more ephemeral phenomena, like emotional balance, self concept, or even intellectual property.

The reason the specific variables in the two sets identified just above are important is because they determine, for want of a better term, the degree of a given privilege.

And the reason that's important is because it means that recognizing privilege can be difficult if no advantage is identified or if the advantage that is most relevant to the taking is identified in-validly and/or if nothing is identified as having been taken or if what is taken is invalidly identified.

I think a problem we are having in discussing the kind of topics in this thread is that there is an underlying assumption that all of this is the same for everyone, or ought to be, when, though there are commonalities, the variances I mention above can be just as individually significant.

I propose that the first step to dealing with the problems that arise from these faulty assumptions would be that if one claims the autonomous value of how these variable factors manifest in one's own experience, that claim cannot rationally exist as a singularity, because to do so is a contradiction of one's own claim, to say individual experience is the determiner here and then deny other individual experiences that vary "too much" in comparison exclusively to one's own criteria, negates the whole foundation for the discourse which is the putative objective of any claims.

Yes, there is a collectivity to claims about privilege, or lack thereof, but those collectivities, unless they are THE end in and of themselves, are comprised of individuals, who are making claims about the validity of their individual experiences of greater and lesser degrees of privilege in themselves and in others, so if the basis is the independent value of that individual fact, then unless that's ALL individuals it's a taking also and, therefore, a privilege.

This is one of the foundational principles of what is referred to as Diversity, which may be a missing concept here.

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Response to patrice (Reply #113)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:39 AM

152. I'm not ignoring you - I will respond to your post later as my day is turning out to be hectic.

It is an excellent post and gives me much to chew over.

Thank you for taking the time to write it.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:07 PM

21. I don't even like the term progressive

To me it means nothing. I'm a liberal and that defines my views. You can look at a political map left to right and see where I stand.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:09 PM

22. Error #1 ...

Coming to DU expecting that more than a few DUers will acknowledge being a member of a priviledged group ... because there are members of the non-priviledged group that have more.

Example: "I am not priviledged because Oprah or JayZ has more money than me." "I enjoy no priviledge because I am sure there is some woman out there with more position and/or money and/or power than I have."

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #22)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:15 PM

24. It's like fish thinking there's something wrong with other creatures drowning in water

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Response to Matariki (Reply #24)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:18 PM

25. I have used that exact analogy ...

when explaining some peoples' inability to see their priviledge.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:03 PM

30. It's woven into our very language

The way words for female are used interchangeably as synonyms for weak or cowardly. Or words for color values like 'light' and 'dark' are used interchangeably for 'good' and 'evil'.

It can be exasperating to try and explain the prevalence of this stuff and what growing up and living in it is like when you "don't breath that water".

Some people unfortunately take the mere discussion of this as an attempt to take something away from them. Instead of as a desire and demand for overall fairness and respect for everyone.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #30)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:59 PM

50. Just a minor nitpick. And it really is a nitpick.

The one about women being synonymous with being cowards or weak I completely agree with you on, but light being good and darkness being evil is an ancient concept that has been used in myths in nearly every culture. Darkness is connoted with evil because of the fear of the unknown. You can't see what's hiding in the dark and a thousands of years ago going alone into the night could have killed you. The Bible for instance uses it and it is a text from the Middle-East, not Europe. I don't think anyone uses it in the mindset of light=white and dark=black, or Arab or whatever. However, I get really pissed when I hear "girls" being used as an insult. That is sexist and harmful.

All of that being said if terms such as "light and dark" offend a large segment of the population or disempower them then perhaps we do need to consider changing them.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #50)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:24 AM

95. It is confusing to me on the dark=evil thing especially.

Growing up, I always heard "tall, dark, and handsome" was what a lot of women back then were looking for.

I always liked nighttime and the color black a lot too. So, I often got all sorts of accusations of Satanism thrown at me growing up too. It was the 80s, though. That whole "moral panic" thing with Satanism where everyone was sure Satanism taking over the country back then, thanks to Geraldo for that one. He was one of the biggest ones stoking the fires on that back then. The whole thing was creepy to me. It still is.

There have been some hate groups who have used the quotes in the Bible to insinuate that black people are cursed by God and other nonsense. It truly is offensive, imo.

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Response to Jamastiene (Reply #95)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:27 AM

96. I love the night too. I like it alot better than day actually.

I didn't really think of hate groups, but now that you mention it I do know what you mean.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #50)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:41 PM

178. But the ...

"Light" = "White", i.e., Caucasian, = "Good" extension is uniquely european ... and has spread in the world's lexicon from there.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #178)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 06:30 PM

277. Good point.

I didn't really think of it that way. I still don't think that is the way most people mean it, but I guess that is part of the problem. Things can have negative meanings that a lot of people don't realize if they aren't the ones being harmed.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #277)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:24 PM

279. How refreshing ...

an open mind!

Those of us on one side of this "debate" (not saying you are on the opposite side) are not asking for agreement ... just consideration of, and acceptence, that that is our perspective.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #22)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:27 AM

55. Being more privileged than someone else is not the same as being unable to listen or emphathize.

You are describing a privileged, greedy asshole, which is not every privileged person, either.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #22)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:02 AM

82. Nailed. It.



And there was once a time when I would have thought your "I am not privileged because Oprah/Obama/Beyonce etc. make more money than me" was just you fooling around.

And then I saw the posts. The real posts. And the people saying it WEREN'T joking.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #82)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:46 AM

106. But...but...but....we have a black president now

So you see, there are no more privileged groups.

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #106)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:50 AM

107. I know, right??!



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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #22)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:16 AM

118. I call that The Beyonce Defense

White men do not have privilege because Beyonce makes a lot of money. Sometimes it's Michelle Obama, or Oprah. And yeah, not always women, so then it's President Obama or Jay-Z or someone.

The underlying theory is that if any individual woman or person of color has more money than any white man, there is no such thing as privilege. What it feels like that means is that every single white man SHOULD make more money than every single woman and person of color in order for things to be normal.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #22)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:37 PM

170. That's not the issue quite a few people have with the post...

It's the black and white framing and defining of "privilege" and the patronizing/condescending tone.

Everyone is part of a privileged group of some sort, so to say that "members of a privileged group" (the implication is obvious here) shouldn't do such and such seems to ignore this basic reality and pretend that there are "privileged" and "non-privileged" groups, and you belong to one or the other, but not both. That's why people are asking the OP to define privilege, because it includes everyone, but the tone of the post was clearly not aimed at everyone.

Then to go on and lecture this now implied group not to be dismissive is condescending and implies that people without privilege in a certain context never or rarely are dismissive or even that it's alright if they're dismissive, because they're not privileged, which makes no sense.

The idea that a person shouldn't be dismissive of other's opinions is extremely obvious. It's like saying, "don't be an asshole". So if I were to tell a defined group, "don't be an asshole", the implication is that they already are assholes, or have more assholes relative to others, and that other groups are not or even cannot be such, or that if they are, it's really not a problem worth addressing in their case because it's so few.

If the OP thought some DUers were being dismissive of other's opinions, this was entirely the wrong way to go about it. If the OP thought that being privileged in a subject makes you more likely to be dismissive, or something to that effect, they should have said so. The way they wrote it was incredibly poor. DUers of all sorts, belonging to all kinds of privileged and non-privileged groups, are dismissive all the time. I see it all the time. I'm dismissive of certain opinions at times, which probably isn't right, but it does depend on the context. When it comes to certain right-wing talking points I've seen over and over, for example, and that have been debunked over and over, I can be dismissive. It's an emotional reaction, and it should be addressed, but to single out a group as the main offender is a pretty poor way to go about it.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:11 PM

23. I agree, though there may be a limit somewhere

Some people will press that advantage. The one group I am not privileged to be is female, so I can use that as an example. Sometimes I see it carried so far that it loses any punch. This likely belongs in Meta. Not everyone agrees when the line is crossed. I can let a few words pass rather than make a big deal out of them.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:24 PM

27. Matariki, they get it. They really do...

They just can't understand why a woman wouldn't want to go to a union meeting and hear the joke, "Dad, what's the difference between a vagina and a *unt. Son, vagina is a woman's sexual organ. *unt just describes the rest of the bitch."

They just can't understand why that 15,897th boob joke I heard bored me to shit and made me want to flush joke teller down the toilet.

I could go on but why bother? They already get it.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:32 PM

28. K&R

Very tired of men trying to explain to, or dismiss, women about the sexism that women have experienced for centuries. What? Do they think we're too stupid and air-headed to figure it out when we've experienced it first-hand? Utterly intolerable. I'm reminded of that short story about the Yellow Wallpaper, and how that lady felt being "explained"-down by the most well-meaning, bull-headed, men. Ugh.

And that goes for every sort of privilege-lording that I've ever seen from the outside. It just bothers me on a very innate level because, even though I'm not part of any racial minorities, I feel the flames of rage lick at my eyes when someone else of my "group" tries to "educate" racial minorities about discrimination. They don't need people to. They've known it all too well, all their lives. To act as if they don't strikes me as profoundly disrespectful and condescending.

As disrespectful as it is for me, an asexual, to be told by random hetero-/homo-/bi-/etc.-sexuals that I'm "just going through a phase" or "just sexually repressed."



With that off my chest, thank you very much for posting this. You've said everything I've been screaming at my computer monitor (albeit in a much less eloquent manner) for years now. Thank you.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:36 PM

29. Look at these priviliged tykes

 

I sure hope they feel fucking guilty for all that privilege. I think we should make it a point to tell them every day how lucky they are.



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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #29)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:04 PM

31. It is possible to be part of a privileged group while being part of a non-privileged group.

They're white. They are also poor. If you've ever read To Kill a Mockingbird, you know what I'm going to say next. Between a poor white boy and a poor black/Hispanic/other minority boy in the United States, the former has white privilege over the latter. But then, a wealthy person of any race has class privilege over both.

Furthermore, the fact that you're posting this pathos-laden appeal in this thread just screams that you either missed the point completely or you're trying to erase the difficulties that people of racial minority groups go for in favor of an "everyone has it rough, so let's just focus on people who are lower class" attitude. Speaking as a white, working class, lady, how very nice for you. Just go ahead and keep plugging your ears about the difficulties that racial discrimination enforces. I'm sure it'll work out for you.

However, if you want to get a clue-bat to the head, here you go: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is/

Also, acknowledging one's own privilege doesn't mean you have to feel guilty about it. That would just be silly. However, you should feel guilty if you try to dismiss others' lack of privilege or speak to them in a way that could be interpreted as condescending. That is what the OP is trying to dissuade others from doing.

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Response to ChaoticTrilby (Reply #31)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:11 PM

35. Thank you.

That was exactly the point of my post. Thank you.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #35)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:35 PM

43. No problem.

Let's keep up the good fight.

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Response to ChaoticTrilby (Reply #31)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:36 PM

44. thank you for your excellent post

to matariki's excellent thread.

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Response to ChaoticTrilby (Reply #31)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:46 PM

47. I missed nothing, nor do I desire to erase anything

 

There are those who are privileged and those who are not.

It's not divided by race or sex or religion, it's defined by wealth and power. If you want to have intelligent rational discussions of race or sex relations that's great, I read almost all of them and they usually give me something to think about and learn, but we don't need three new threads a day full of sexist or racist bullshit -- and that's what this is.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #47)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:07 AM

68. So, rich black people don't get pulled over for DWB?

Rich lesbians don't have to worry about homophobia or sexism?

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #47)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:37 AM

103. You are over-simplifying the matter.

Wealth and power are by no means the only privileges that people are born with in society. I'll echo and expand on geek tragedy's point; Heterosexuals, in the U.S., are born with the privilege in all states to be able to marry whomever they love. Gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, in states where same-sex marriage is not allowed, do not have that same privilege simply because of how they were born. A good number of police are known for treating racial minorities differently, as do some employers. For that matter, a lot of employers have been shown to discriminate against women, or those who were born non-heteronormative. This makes it more difficult to acquire wealth/power for these groups of people. Thus, a lack of privilege that white, heteronormative, men do not have to worry about. Class is still part of it, but it is most certainly not the only thing to consider.

As for your last remark, it pretty much defies all logic. This thread is specifically asking DU'ers to be mindful of sexism and racism inherent in trying to "explain away" such discrimination (verbal or otherwise) to victims of it. It's presumptuous and condescending to do so, and the OP is calling people out for it. Perhaps that should go into Meta, but it is not at all sexist or racist. Could you perhaps explain your point of view on that a little better? I really don't see where you're coming from in that regard.

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Response to ChaoticTrilby (Reply #103)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:48 PM

183. You just lumped all white people, all straight people, and all men together

and he's oversimplifying things.

Class is still part of it, but it is most certainly not the only thing to consider.


If you took class and/or anything else, it would be 1 million(or however much you're worth) points to 1.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #183)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:00 PM

214. What?

How in the world did I do that? I simply was saying that there are employers who discriminate based on sexuality, sex, and race. Straight white men do not usually have to worry about that type of discrimination, and that is their privilege. And, if you think I'm lumping white/straight/males as the employers and police officers in my post above, I kept things vague to purposefully avoid that. There are female white officers who discriminate against racial minorities as there are black male employers who discriminate based on sexuality/sex. In all these cases, privilege comes into effect.

It's a complicated matter and I could go into more detail, but it most certainly isn't as simple as "wealth/power = privilege." Even though class does result in huge privilege, it isn't all we should take into account.

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Response to ChaoticTrilby (Reply #214)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:08 PM

216. So the white male hetrosexual bum

has the same or more privilege then then the black middle class person.

is that right?

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Response to Confusious (Reply #216)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:22 PM

229. No. I don't think so.

As I see it, privilege isn't something that can be measured as a "quantity" and privileges cannot be tallied up. A white male heterosexual poor person (who we'll call Person A for convenience) has white, male, and heterosexual privilege. However, he also lacks money/class privilege. A black middle class person (Person B) has class privilege over the aforementioned poor person, but lacks white (and possibly male, depending on gender) privilege.

What this means for them both varies in society, depending on time and place. In a modern context, in a racially tolerant area, the lack of money/class would likely make things much more difficult for Person A to find a job/not deal with police discrimination/etc. than it would for Person B, who would still face difficulties but of a more psychological sort as a result of historical racism. In an area where racism runs rampant, this situation would naturally change and Person B would even meet more difficulties. If we go back to the 1950's, you could expect Person B to have to deal with an even greater number of difficulties as well as the fact that he/she would have to live in fear of being lynched while Person A would not. Compounding that issue would be the fact that, in earlier times, it would have been even easier for Person A to find employment than for Person B to do so (assuming he/she either had to move away from their middle-class family or lost the occupation that kept them in the middle-class.) In other words, it's very complicated, and comparing privilege is not really the point here.

The privilege is always there, and it's important to acknowledge it, but it's often risky to try and say that one person has "more privilege" than another. Especially when it comes to hypothetical speaking. What we can agree on is that the most privileged person in the U.S. is the white, male, hetero-normative, rich person in a state of power. Quite a few former presidents, in other words. Interesting.

As much as I love the idea of a society in which one's skin color/ethnicity/sex/sexuality lends no privilege, we're still getting there. The most anyone can do is just acknowledge it and figure out how to fix the problem. For that, we need discussion. Calling someone thin-skinned for reacting to a slur is counter-productive in that sense, which is what the OP is calling out.

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Response to ChaoticTrilby (Reply #229)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:35 PM

233. Well, you see herein lies the problem

The idea of "privilege" is so amorphic, without rules or guidelines, that people are using it any way they want, as a point to say all white people have more privileges then those of color, as a bludgeon to shut others up, as a point system to see who has more "non-privilege" then others so they win the "I get to tell anyone to shut the fuck up prize."

It seems more like a nail to drive people apart then to bring them together. (Going into Meta is a perfect example of the above paragraph)

I think someone said:

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

"privilege" pointing, it seems to me, is all about pointing out the color of skin, sex and handicaps of others. (At least, in some areas of the web, that's what is has become)

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Response to Confusious (Reply #233)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:23 PM

244. Hmm...I see what you are getting at.

Last edited Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:56 PM - Edit history (1)

I agree that privilege is used in very vague ways, and it does bother me on occasion. As I see it, privilege should be used exclusively as a noun, not a descriptor. By that, I mean that "whiteness" is a privilege, but being white doesn't simply mean that I am privileged overall. I'm not - shifting from working class to full-on poor throughout my life really freaking sucks and I get just as vitriolic trying to explain to people why the massive accumulative costs of school supplies (particularly science calculators) can and do put a bind of peoples' funds as I do when trying to get people to just listen to each other about experiences of racial/sexual/etc. discrimination.

That was a mini-rant, I'll admit. But my main point was that it is perfectly possible to hold some privileges while being deprived of others. I understand that, so I try to listen to others about what it's like to lack this or that privilege. I think that that was what the OP was mostly aiming for.

I sometimes forget how loaded the word "privilege" can sound, and I apologize for that. Sometimes, I feel like we all just lack the right words to come across properly. As for that comment regarding MLK's quote, I again understand what you mean. However, people do still judge each other by skin color, which is the source of discrimination. When I "point out" privilege, I'm mostly trying to keep in mind the fact that racism/sexism/able-ism still exists and can make things very difficult for people, and that we should try to acknowledge this by actively fighting against it and listening to each other when we're discussing our experiences. While I dislike bringing up the same book multiple times, I'm reminded of a discussion my high school class had about whether or not To Kill a Mockingbird should be a required read in schools as it "had racism in it." My stance was that it should, because forgetting about racism wouldn't make it go away - we should have to face, and discuss, it.

The OP was going for a stance of fighting against "privileged thinking" by acknowledging it and listening to each other, I believe, but I can see how the word choice might have gotten in the way for some DU'ers. Understandable.

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Response to ChaoticTrilby (Reply #31)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:38 AM

79. Sure it is

Privilege checking as sport.

http://offbeatempire.com/2012/10/liberal-bullying

A little social justice fail

http://socialjusticefail.tumblr.com

Sure you guys aren't just off the boat from tumblr?

PS. It used to be called "don't be an asshole," until some nut bag decided it would be nice to have something to act morally superior about, and now it's called "privilege."

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Response to Confusious (Reply #79)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:55 AM

115. It's still called "don't be an ass hole."

But, back when that was all it was called, it was apparently too vague and we ended up with a large number of well-meaning dolts who told/used sexist/racist/able-ist/etc. jokes/language and then got offended when people found them offensive because, after all, they didn't intend to be ass holes. When it comes to able-ism, I hold no illusions on that matter - I used to use such language myself and thus became one such well-meaning dolt. In reality, those who partook in all this only worked to perpetuate an atmosphere of discrimination. Or, at least, ass-holery. Yes, even if they didn't intend to and would probably have gone after most of the Limbaugh/O'Reilly crowd.

Thus, there had to be a way to expand upon the "don't be an ass hole" rule. So, a few went ahead and added an addendum: "don't ignore the fact that you might not know everything about what some victims of certain sorts of discrimination have to go through, if you don't happen to be a part of those groups yourself, and try not to be utterly insensitive by calling them 'thin-skinned' when they call you out for being an ass-hole."

As for your first link, it was a little vague and those three criteria (focus on public complaints, lack of interest in dialogue, lack of consideration for context/intent) are criticized in somewhat problematic ways - particularly the second two. As for the first, I don't see why it's a negative. Why is it wrong to discuss sexist/homophobic/racist/etc. language in the context of discussing privilege publicly? It's a valid discussion topic, so I'll just assume that this is a "neutral" requirement, meant to be taken in the context of the other two, and move on.
The second issue is a little bit odd. It seems that harsh words and scoldings are fine (at least around fellow liberals) when people go around preaching blatantly sexist/racist/homophobic views, and yet these are somehow wrong when people use jokes/language that at least passively perpetuates such views in the public consciousness? I don't really understand how anyone can expect people (especially those in groups routinely mocked) to be able to keep from leaking vitriol when they have to explain for the umpteenth time why this word or that joke is offensive in some way - only to be called "overly-sensitive" for doing so, even in a calm manner. I can only assume that the irritation at harsh words used in this context is a direct result of blaming the victim (of the offensive behavior in question.)
As for the final point, context can make a difference, but it certainly isn't all that matters. We frame topics using language in ways that affect how we and others see them. "Pro-Life," versus "Anti-Choice," for example. Were I to read a cogent rant that I agreed with, I would still take offense if someone used a homophobic slur to insult some rotten person being ranted about. Even in context, this would simply go towards promoting a homophobic atmosphere. Well-meaning, or not. Context and intent can never fix this problem. Thus, I would call the writer out while simultaneously praising the rest of his/her essay. Because this is a problem, and it needs to be fixed, whether it would make the hypothetical essay-writer feel guilty about it or not.

Furthermore, that article indicates that privilege-hunting for sport requires that no dialogue be had. It would appear that much of this thread is dialogue about privilege, so I fail to see how you can use both links to accuse myself and others of derailing the discussion. It's a discussion about privilege that the OP presented. So, we are discussing the matter in a mostly civil manner. At least, I'd thought so. If I am coming off as smug or elitest/jerkish, let me know. I can sometimes slip up and sound more sarcastic/mean than I intend to be. This is the Internet after all, and tone can be difficult to pinpoint.

As for the tumblr link, I agree with the general purpose intended. However, you don't explain why my comments would be mocked there, so I can't address it beyond that.

And finally, I like those last four questions in that first link. In some sense, I often ask myself some distilled form of them before I type a post. Other times, I just ask myself, "What is my opinion on this matter?" So, thank you for directing me to that. I'm happy that I got something out of it.

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Response to ChaoticTrilby (Reply #115)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:37 PM

207. You hit all the social justice warrior buzzwords

And missed the entire context of the article.

As for your first point:

You basically say that some people couldn't understand the phrase "don't be an asshole." So what's the next logical step so that they will understand? MAKE IT MORE COMPLICATED!

Social Justice ACHIEVED!

I think you are a perfect case for the third point: "lack of context"

Focus on very public complaints:

She is talking about people complaining about a word used on the site, and instead of talking to the site directly about the word, they immediately go to the forum to complain.

It's a little hunt, and whoever can get the most points wins. The hunt is for "bad" language, and the prize is being the top social justice warrior.

but, Social Justice ACHIEVED!

Lack of interest in a dialogue:

"educate yourself" "It's not my job to educate you" What are you trying to do then? Just be an asshole handing out snark looking down on people? Great way to win allies.

but, Social Justice ACHIEVED!

Lack of consideration for the context or intent:

Someone using the word "fag." Great crying and gnashing of teeth ensues. The person is a homophobe, they should be hung by their fingernails from the tallest building around, at the very least ostracized.

Except, the person is British and the word "fag" is slang for cigarette in Britain.

but, Social Justice ACHIEVED!

Really, did they achieve anything?


for those reasons, and the amount of logical fallacies and Hypocrisy and general nastiness that spews from most social justice warriors is a reason I am wary.

additionally, it all depends on a person who is saying "it is what I say it is, and you have no say" (whether it's racism, sexism, etc...) Kinda like a dictator saying "the law is what I say it is, and you have no say" Open for abuse, and abused it has been.


There's a whole meme.

http://fuckyeahsocialjusticesally.tumblr.com/

http://socialjusticefail.tumblr.com/

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Response to Confusious (Reply #207)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:59 PM

226. Social justice warrior buzzwords?

Perhaps, you ought to send me a dictionary, so that I can be a little more careful then. Wouldn't want to offend anyone with improper word choice. In any case...

First point: My explanation was complicated? Really, it was expanded upon in the original post: calling people "thin-skinned" for calling others out on language/jokes that they've been the butt of all their lives, while the joke-makers haven't been, is ass-holish. Listening to them, and trying to understand where they're coming from, is better. How was that?

Focus on very public complaints:

I got that motive behind it, but was trying to apply it to this situation specifically, as you seemed to be directing the article at me. I've never gone to a site's forum and complained about the site's language myself as I do see that as rather passive-aggressive/ineffective. I try to limit such complaints to forum threads explicitly meant for discussion, especially since I know that those who post such threads do not always want to be personally messaged complaints and might actually prefer to just deal with comments. And even then, I do this very rarely, and only in especially egregious cases.

So, overall, I agree that such tactics are rather weak and reek of ulterior motives.

Lack of interest in dialogue:

I have never used that phrasing, thankfully. I believe that we should all try to educate each other on various matters. We can all learn from each other, as I see it, so I do get a little irritated with the "educate yourself" ammo. Social Justice Warrior Buzzwords: Avoided!

On that note however, you have to expect at least a little irritation from those who have gotten used to being called "thin-skinned" even for politely asking that others not use some sort of hurtful language. It's easy to become jaded after a while. Maybe it would be good to take their vitriol in context too?

Lack of consideration for context or intent:

Of course, that sort of context ought to be taken into account. It would probably be obvious in such an instance that the word "fag" would refer to a cigarette (or bundle of sticks.) I think it's only understandable to become angry when the word is explicitly used as an insult - whether the rest of the essay/article/etc. is otherwise well-written and progressive. That was what I meant when I said that it would be bad for a writer to use a homophobic slur - which the word "fag" is not, in certain contexts - as synonymous with "jerk." That would contribute to a homophobic atmosphere, while simply using the word itself for cigarette would not. And it would usually be cleared up, with apologies made on the ostracizers' side, after some quick explanation. At least, I would hope so.

As for that last point, I can understand the reasoning behind that logic, but I also understand the defensiveness in the "it is what it is" attitude because it often springs from the position of a woman/racial minority/etc. feeling as if someone who has not had to deal with the related discrimination is trying to wave away the experiences of that person (or, perhaps, that person's friends/family members/etc.) I'll admit that I occasionally fall into the "it is what it is" pothole, but I just as often have to deal with people who have an "it is what it is" attitude about the idea that "words are words and we shouldn't fear them because that just gives them power." This, to me, just sounds like one of many justifications for speaking like an ass hole. So, when two stubborn forces go at each other, well...nothing happens. I'll admit, both sides tend to be partially responsible for this. I know I can sound obstinate at times, though I don't mean to, but that's the case for most people - and for just about any position in an argument. It isn't exclusive to "Social Justice Warriors" and responding with one's own stubbornness/defensiveness doesn't help the situation.

Finally, yes, there's a meme. I get it. This is funny. It seems to mostly revolve around hypocrisy though. If you're calling me a hypocrite, please explain why. Don't expect Tumblr to do it for you, because that is actually pretty passive-aggressive.

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Response to ChaoticTrilby (Reply #226)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:54 PM

239. No, I'm not calling you a hypocrite

You seem rather reasonable, as compared to some others around here.

Thanks for the response, I'm glad to see you got the clarification on the points.

As for being offended,

"It's now very common to hear people say, 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fucking what." - Stephen Fry

There are the obvious things of course, no racial slurs, don't be a asshole, don't talk over other people. All common courtesy I learned at 5 years old. It seems some people want to expand that to pretty much everything ( PC )

You don't know me from adam, or eve as the case may be, and I can't expect you to know every little thing that will upset me (not that there's a whole lot). It's not anyone else's responsibility except mine.

But people running around thinking everyone should know all about them and know every little things that they are offended by, I'm sorry, I have my own life to worry about. Imposing that on me is just arrogant.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #239)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:44 PM

245. Okay, good. I was just a little uncertain because most of the Tumblr meme focused on hypocrisy.

And I am rather wary of such things. I've noticed that it's shockingly easy to sound hypocritical at times.

Ah, Stephen Fry. Always very quote-able, and not just because of that voice. While I agree that saying "that's offensive" can come off as whiny, I understand the reasoning behind it - when offensive statements about marginalized groups aren't called out for what they are, people (including yours truly, I'll admit) worry that such behavior will become even more ingrained into the public consciousness. This was why people have demonized "the n-word" and other such slurs - they were acceptable in a time when racism was also acceptable. The idea that such words are no longer allowed in polite company is meant to indicate that we have moved on, to some extent.

We haven't entirely, but it's nice to act like we have.

In any case, that's the major reason behind the Super-PC attitudes that float about on and offline. It's often assumed that, if nobody points out that the words are wrong (Politically Incorrect, anyway,) then the behaviors (which are always) wrong) will follow. Thoughts lead to words, words to actions, actions to habits, habits to destiny, and all that. And then, we'll go backwards. So, you can see why we have the PC-Police around. In an odd sort of way, we kind've need them, if only so that discussion is stirred up on the matter.

To be perfectly honest, I'm not big on putting "trigger warnings" for everything. If I were, my posts would be half trigger warnings, half actual content. Trigger warnings for rape and other traumatic experiences are generally what I stick to. So, I definitely understand not knowing what will upset everyone and mostly trying to just stick to not being a jerk-face. It's nearly impossible to keep from offending anyone, so I can't blame you for just doing your best with what you can - in fact, I thank you for doing so. Some people really don't even try and just throw out slurs and ass-hole statements like they're confetti at a Birthday party (ala Limbaugh.)

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Response to ChaoticTrilby (Reply #31)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:45 AM

104. Nice post. But it's important to remember, that even those poor white kids

Could go in the front door of stores. And to any school or university they wanted to (provided they had the money). The children of black millionaires would have still been unable to get into a public university, let alone Yale. And the lingering effects of this systemic discrimination are still here and won't be gone for at least a few more generations.

Even being poor, they would still have been allowed into a country club faster than the son of a wealthy black doctor. Or allowed to marry the governor's daughter. Or received government assistance faster. Being poor does not negate the privilege that being white confers.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #104)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:43 AM

112. I wasn't sure when those pictures were taken, so I was mostly speaking in a more modern context.

But thank you for pointing all of that out. It is important to take this into account. However, what I actually meant was that, black or white, power/wealth are still their own sort of privilege - one which could be held above the heads of those with any race. Even in times where discrimination was enforced by law, a wealthy black person (rare as he/she may have been) would be better able to acquire better food/clothes than a poor white person. Even if they couldn't go through the front door. But, of course, they still ran the higher risk of being lynched (and therefore losing all their money/power) during those times.

So, when it comes right down to it, privileges interlock and overlap in complex ways. But you're right - they do not negate each other. I hope my post didn't sound like that. I meant to say that wealthy privilege can be held above the poor of all sorts, but of course this only holds true in certain regards. Good on you for pointing it out.

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Response to ChaoticTrilby (Reply #112)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:54 PM

192. No, I don't think your post negated anything.

I thought it was very well said and just wanted to add my little 2 cents to it.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #192)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:30 PM

231. Your 2 cents are appreciated.

This is a big complicated subject after all. I like the extra help in fleshing out this point of view.

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Response to ChaoticTrilby (Reply #231)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:46 PM

235. It's my pleasure. I appreciate your efforts to educate. And judging by the poster you are

currently engaging in your attempts to educate, you are up for an absolutely HERCULEAN task. Hope you've taken your vitamins! You're going to need them.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #235)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:01 PM

246. I always take my vitamins!

Nowadays, anyway.
Aside from a minor sinus head-ache, I seem to be doing all right so far. No need to worry about how things are going for me. You keep up your efforts too.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #104)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:40 PM

176. African Americans have been graduating from Yale since the 1840's

http://www.yale.edu/yaaa/pioneers.html

So, yea, a black millionaire could get into Yale, or any University in the north for that matter.

Segregation was the law in the south, not the north.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #176)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:50 PM

184. Oh my God. No, really?

You find a handful of black people who graduated from Yale and think that shows that they had equal access and opportunity.

Also, as someone from the north, allow me to assure you that segregation was and is in the north. Including schools. I don't even know where you're getting that. The Detroit area is about a segregated as it can be. And there were school districts in the north that had to be forced to desegregate by the SCOTUS. And google "sundown towns." There were tons of those in the north.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #176)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:52 PM

191. Good gravy.

How can three sentences contain so much wrong?

Your own link belies your point. There were no "black millionaires" graduating from Yale. There were a couple of black sharecroppers, a few who begged their way in and a few more who were the kids of Yale employees. Astonishing that you feel a grand total of seven black graduates who came in under entirely different circumstances from the vastly white majority of their white classmates makes your point. And my point still remains that it would have been a hell of alot easier for those poor white kids to have gotten into Yale or any other university than the son of a black millionaire.

And segregation was the law of the United States and that includes the North. Don't they teach anything in schools anymore?

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Response to Number23 (Reply #191)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:57 PM

194. Moving the goalposts

You said:

The children of black millionaires would have still been unable to get into a public university, let alone Yale.


I showed people who have gone to Yale. Those were firsts, by no means inclusive of the entire body of African Americans who graduated from Yale.

This is why I don't take you Social Justice Warriors seriously. Logic fallacies within Logical fallacies pilled on top of Logical fallacies, with logical fallacy sprinkles on top.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy

Here's the entire list. Maybe you can make a full sweep.

"privilege" hits the first one.

Fallacy of accident or sweeping generalization

Argument: Cutting people is a crime. Surgeons cut people, therefore, surgeons commit a crime.
Problem: Cutting people is not a crime in certain situations.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #194)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:02 PM

198. Segregation and racial discrimination would have precluded the vast majority of blacks from attendin

any university. Public universities did not allow blacks. Your seven from Yale over a 100 year period may be enough for you, but to any thinking person, that would be evidence of the type of systemic discrimination faced by blacks.

And you said that segregation didn't even exist in the North which is probably one of the saddest, dumbest things I've ever seen here. See, this is why I don't take you "White Privilege Doesn't Exist" people seriously. You have no concept of history, not to mention logic.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #198)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:11 PM

199. Still moving the goalposts

I said "by law"

blacks could still get into universities, and by the end of the 30's most of the north had integrated.

And you said that segregation didn't even exist in the North which is probably one of the saddest, dumbest things I've ever seen here. See, this is why I don't take you "White Privilege Doesn't Exist" people seriously. You have no concept of history, not to mention logic.


That would be the straw man argument. You're wracking them up. Either that, or you didn't understand what "by law" meant. But I don't think you really care, either way. Just gotta get that hate on. Whether justified or not.

saddest, dumbest things I've ever seen here. You have no concept of history, not to mention logic.


"You're a doo-doo head" and "I'm rubber you're glue" really isn't a logical fallacy, just childish.

This website catalogs a whole bunch of people who think the same way you do:

http://fucknosocialjusticewarriors.tumblr.com

(it's not a compliment. You may THINK you win an argument, but you really loose every battle with your attitude.)

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Response to Confusious (Reply #199)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:25 PM

203. No, "most of the north" had not integrated by the 30s

Most is still not integrated. I live in the north. There are, almost entirely, "black school districts" and "white school districts." You have no idea what you're talking about. And the Supreme Court had to force school districts in the north to desegregate in the late 1960s/early 1970s just like in the south.

You're one to talk about fallacies. You're just making stuff up. And suggesting that a very small number of black people graduated from Yale over a 100 years proves white privilege is not real?

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Response to gollygee (Reply #203)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:40 PM

212. That one has his head buried in the sand and a bulldozer couldn't get it out

I've never seen such idiotic posts with no basis in history. Accusing him of "making stuff up" is being far too kind.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #199)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:43 PM

213. Five edits for that foolishness?

But I don't think you really care, either way. Just gotta get that hate on.

Not only do you not know what segregation is, or what "law" is, what "white privilege" is (though Lord knows you've proved it with your posts), or what a "straw man" is, you apparently don't even know what hate is.

ETA: And the fact that you never said "by law blacks could get into universities" is yet another point that would go whooshing over your head. The one argument that comes close to making sense (even though it's not true) is the one argument you never made even though you're trying to act as though you did. Go waste someone else's time.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #213)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:11 PM

217. Wow, you are the model social justice warrior

every part of that was an insult, a straw man, a fallacy, an inane nonconsequential point, or just plain wrong.

Social Justice Achieved!

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Response to Confusious (Reply #217)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:18 PM

218. The fact that you are working so hard to condemn people who are concerned about social justice

combined with your utter and complete lack of knowledge of everything you have attempted to argue, puts the period at the end of this conversation.

Edited out possibly unnecessary but totally warranted and astute personal attack.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #218)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:26 PM

230. Par for the course

Last edited Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:01 PM - Edit history (1)

you still don't seem to get it do you?

It's not the social justice part. It's your bad behavior. Pointing out someone's bad behavior doesn't mean they are automatically against everything you "seem" to stand for. Unfortunately, it seems there are so many that do this, you've become a meme.

http://fuckyeahsocialjusticesally.tumblr.com/

Congratulations!


Of course, you don't see it, and neither do others, as the jury proved.

"It's OK, because you were provoked", as a juror said. (I disagree, as I'm not the one throwing insults and straw men around)

Kinda the "stand your ground" of DU. If they don't agree, and even if they are polite about not agreeing, it's OK to insult because they don't agree.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #230)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:59 PM

241. OK. Why nobody can see it.

You aren't refuting anything she says. You keep pointing to a humor website as if that has anything to do with this thread. She has things to say and you dismiss her over and over again with that stupid and irrelevant website. Hint: it doesn't make you look smart.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #213)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:18 PM

219. Jury results:

ALERTER'S COMMENTS:

post says the person is "far too stupid" to talk with. Very rude and a personal attack.

You served on a randomly-selected Jury of DU members which reviewed this post. The review was completed at Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:12 PM, and the Jury voted 2-4 to LEAVE IT.

Juror #1 voted to HIDE IT and said: Rude and pathetic. WTH? Is that hard to not response to people you feel are beneath you?
Juror #2 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: Slightly rude but I will let this one pass given the reason for the response
Juror #3 voted to HIDE IT and said: Unfortunately, to follow DUs rules this should be hidden...it was a rude, personal attack...however, there was some provocation to the statement. Wish the poster was a tad more politically correct.
Juror #4 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: I think Number23 is spot on with their assessment.
Juror #5 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #6 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: Looking back through the entire thread, to the exchange between Confusious and Number23, Confusious seems to be either deliberately obtuse, or argumentative for the sake of being argumentative. Any reasonable person would have become exasperated with Confusious in that exchange.

Thank you very much for participating in our Jury system, and we hope you will be able to participate again in the future.

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Response to JackBeck (Reply #219)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:23 PM

220. Thanks, Jack. I tried, you know. I edited, but the sentiment most certainly remains

Juror #6 in particular nails it. My feelings to a T. Though I do appreciate #4's comment as well.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #29)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:09 PM

33. Why do some people act like pointing out societal priviledge is just a ploy to make them feel guilty

Or take something from them?

When what it is actually about is creating fairness for everyone. Particularly groups that have been denied that fairness and are still engaged in the struggle for equality.

And yes, that includes the class inequity illustrated in your photos. Which isn't what I think you were intending. I'm guessing you posted that to prove that whites don't have things better than minorities?

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Response to Matariki (Reply #33)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:18 PM

167. You weren't pointing out societal privilege...

you were defining an (implied) group as "privileged" and lecturing them and only them for being dismissive of opinions in a very condescending and patronizing manner, telling them what they thought and even what they supposedly said (shut the fuck up) to "less privileged" people, which is about as dismissive as it gets. The obvious point is that, whether you are a member of a privileged group or not, you should never be dismissive, but your post implies that having less privilege means you are always right and can even be dismissive of those with more privilege, or doesn't even aknowledge that anyone can be (and has been) dismissive regardless of their privilege at some point. That somehow, only if you are a member of a privileged group will you be dismissive of others.

Not to mention, everyone is a member of a privileged group of some sort or other. Some people just have more privilege than others. The way you worded your post was very unfortunate, very black and white with no nuance. It was accusatory and condescending in tone, and divisive in the way you defined groups in absolute terms, and your implications were pretty clear.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:09 PM

34. Point well taken

I will endeavor to feel more guilty about being a white heterosexual male. Thanks for the tip.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:18 PM

38. I dare you to post this in meta and see the response you get. LOL

It is there where people feel more free to give their good ole honest opinion on this subject. And it's usually pretty roundly rejected.

I'm not asking you to... just making a broader point.

You are right on with your post. Thanks for posting it! I agree!

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Response to boston bean (Reply #38)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:43 PM

45. +1

K&R

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Response to redqueen (Reply #45)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:08 AM

70. Or TMG. Nt

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:31 PM

42. Well stated.

I am fascinated by the deafening cries of persecution here at DU whenever a female starts a thread about rape, insults, discrimination, and on and on.

The irony escapes them.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:46 PM

46. r-e-s-p-e-c-t

can be offered by all - and generously - no matter one's station in life.

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Response to hopemountain (Reply #46)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:54 AM

114. Yes! I tried to sketch the rational basis for why respect is absolutely essential to this

kind of discussion, above in my post #113.

What OP is trying to talk about is not possible without respect between peers anything less than that destroys the objective of even attempting this kind of discussion by negating it in the act of discussing it.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:55 PM

49. Some would regard me as under privileged for being

bi racial but many would see me as privileged.
I am German born with a black Army father. I was largely educated in English schools and have a post graduate degree from Emory.
I am wondering why you feel the need to protect the unwashed masses. We do alright, you know, without you.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:01 AM

51. Matariki, I want to thank you

 

I always see perseverance as the acknowledgement of the human conscience, holding on to a greater good. We must allow this to happen, we who may criticize, are not the enemy, I hope you realize this. If you and I were caught in a fox-hole, a dire situation, I know I could count on you, no matter what. What would be the best for the cause would be all that matters, in your eyes. I see all that you have contributed here at DU, I salute you. As a woman, it is epically gratifying you have so much to offer in view of the other side who only seems to offer ways to take, and who offer up manipulation as some type of sacrament. Be assured we are on your side, in this fight.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:29 AM

56. I would have expected that OP to be uncontroversial among Democrats. Silly me.

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Response to merrily (Reply #56)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:47 AM

58. Part of privilege means being able to pretend privilege doesn't exist. nt

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #58)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:52 AM

59. I would think that's part of being an asshole, not part of being a privileged Democrat.

ETA: All the OP requested was for people to listen to people who had experienced things they hadn't.

In light of what the OP asked, some of the responses are ludicrous, IMO.

But, as I said, "silly me."

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Response to merrily (Reply #59)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:53 AM

60. The ability is different than the propensity.

As a white straight male, I have the luxury of pretending I'm not privileged, one that I choose not to exercise.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #60)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:57 AM

62. Yes, but I would expect that of most Democratic males.

Again, "silly me."

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Response to merrily (Reply #62)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:59 AM

63. People like to think of themselves as the underdog. nt

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #63)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:02 AM

65. But, also as winners and also as reality based, rather than delusional

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Response to merrily (Reply #65)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:04 AM

67. Well, yeah, they're a winner for what they've done, not the advantages they have! Nt

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #67)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:26 AM

76. I would have thought that my post 56 was not terribly controversial, either.

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Response to merrily (Reply #56)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:05 PM

215. Welcome to DU

In every sense of the word.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:14 AM

72. I Reject the Framing

These are rights, not privileges. The fact that they are frequently denied to large numbers of people does not change that fact.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:18 AM

73. A pretty silly and somewhat obnoxious post.

First you shove words into people's mouths and then rip them out like fishhooks, all the while complaining that they don't feel your pain.

We all have lifetimes (however long we've lived) and that qualifies us -- up to the limit of our individual capacity -- to understand our fellow human beings. You have no special insight into the hearts and minds of mostly-anonymous Internet posters.

No one died and made you master of the universe to decide who is and isn't 'progressive.' I'd be the last one to tell you to shut up, but you might spend a moment or two in quiet reflection. By which I mean, looking in a mirror.

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Response to MrModerate (Reply #73)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:07 AM

138. Agreed but also I find the OP to be rather odd.

We have more differences between us than we have commonality which man's that it is a lot easier to find those differences than the common ground.

This OP reaches to find a rather odd pretext for condescension.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:07 AM

84. My favorite quote

Everyone has privilege; it's a matter of what and how much. Finding where oneself is on that continuum goes a long way toward understanding Economic and social (constructed) hierarchies, and should be part of the social responsibility of progressive politics, IMO. Pretending privilege don't exist through racism, sexism, classism and heteronormative standards is disingenuous at best and profoundly, dangerously ignorant at worst.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #84)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:06 AM

117. I tried to break down some of the problems in recognizing this in my post #113 above.

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Response to patrice (Reply #117)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:02 AM

135. I see that

It's hard to discuss these things in depth on-line, at least I think so. All in all, I'm surprised this thread is going as well as it is, and I'm glad it's on the greatest page.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #135)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:10 AM

157. There is so much that is about process, how to_____ ,everything else can be affected by that. nt

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:29 AM

98. It is also important for the "disinfranchised" AND progressive to remember...

...not everyone is at the same knowledge level. Not all members of the "non-privileged" group are going to be of the same mind set. Just because someone is a part of the "non-privileged" group means they are automatically correct and their voice should be the only one heard. It is also important to remember that many a member of said "non-privileged" groups can be "un-progressive" themselves. Also, just because one isn't a member of said "non-privileged" group , doesn't mean they can't understand or can't have ideas that are reflective and informative.

Understanding is important, but it has to go both ways.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #98)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:14 AM

141. That is very important.

However, people who try to point it out aren't doing the wrong thing.

Those criticizing the person pointing it out are wrong.

If more people would focus on the issue versus those pointing it out, we might get somewhere.

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Response to boston bean (Reply #141)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:07 PM

165. "If more people would focus on the issue versus those pointing it out, we might get somewhere."

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Response to boston bean (Reply #141)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:43 PM

180. +1

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:04 AM

109. trust the person making the claim

We should trust anyone claiming an experience of bigotry, rape, sexual harrassment or any other sort of victimization. If a woman claims the use of a particular word or phrase is sexist- take the claim at face value and agrre to do what you can to actualize healing and understanding. If a person claims racist undertones or intentions are being utilized, the first response should not be an attempt to construe the offending action, word or deed as in-offensive jokes or figures of speech.
We should always do our best to listen to victims of abuse and systemized injustice. We should listen to the stories of injustice and unfairness coming from those that are in the "priviledged" groups as well; these notions of the existence of priviledged groups of Americans that aren't wealthy seem to fly in the face of what we know about the behaviour of power. Why would priviledged status be coveyed to a white male of no economic or political status? There are degrees of priviledge, available in a sliding scale that weighs heavily towards money. Being born into a body that has the skin color and family back ground of groups that have historically been the recipients of priviledge does not gaurantee that the priviledge continues. Even white males are subject to rape and violence from women- and thier stories deserve to be heard with the same amount of respect and sense of outrage. Even for so-called sons of priviledge.
It'd be nice if everyone would stop blaming the victim and listening to thier stories and respecting thier feelings about the cultural structures that enable the continued abuse. No matter what the demographic group to which they belong, everyone's story counts.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:04 AM

110. From my experience with this subject

I find that it is the word choice used that causes so much conflict thereby erasing any positives that might be gleaned from such a discussion.

"Privileged" is a rather loaded and confrontational word. Immediately, one finds themselves on the defensive. Well, yes, I am white but I am poor. Well yes, I am a man but I have not had a job for two years but my wife has. It assumes that all members of the class of 'privileged' are somehow equal in that privilege. If I am white and you are white then we have that privilege and others do not. You may not intend it to be interpreted in that way, however, that is still how it comes across.

Instead, look at Role Theory and the use of the concept of 'rank' as a substitution for privilege. Role Theory recognizes that all relationships involve roles and their symbolic meaning is viewed within the context of the situation at hand. Rank describes a member in a particular role at a particular time and within a particular context who holds a degree of 'power' or 'privilege' but the rank or role is not the person or the situation itself and the power or privilege is not absolute or constant.

Your OP is speaking in absolutes where privilege is a constant simply because it is that it is. I am white therefore I am privileged as an absolute. I am male therefore I am privileged as an absolute. The corollary, of course, is that I am female therefore, I lack privilege. I am Hispanic, therefore I lack privilege. I may be a female and not think something stated was 'sexist'. You, on the other hand, do feel it is sexist and you have an emotional reaction to it. I, as a bi-racial man (which in reality I am), may not be offended by the use of certain words which would lock my post if stated, but you may be offended. It is about context, role, and situation. I and many others are much more willing to be open to dialog when those are taken into account. But the moment that privilege and other buzz words are thrown about, communication that is effective ends.

I read your OP and I instantly feel a tension in my stomach and a desire to 'defend'. It is not because I feel you have called me out on my 'privilege' as that is contextual based upon my rank and role in various situations. It is not because I feel that you are right & I am wrong and therefore can't allow for that truth. No, it is because you are being as dismissive as those you are being critical of. You are speaking in absolutes such that you are the final arbiter of who has privilege or not and who is progressive or not.

Please instead, share with me the situation and context. Share with me your personal feelings alone instead of speaking for all others not really present. Let me know how something communicated here or elsewhere has hurt or bothered you personally and why. Give myself and others the chance to be compassionate and respectful before you have already prejudged us as having privileges we may not actually have, ideas and tastes different than your own that are somehow 'wrong', and that we are not progressive in our thinking and acting with all because you think so. You might be surprised how others respond if approached in a different way and using different forms of communication.

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Response to TM99 (Reply #110)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:35 AM

121. Your response to the OP

is interesting, as are some of the others. For the life of me I can't figure out these defensive responses to a post that asks people to just LISTEN to the experiences of others BEFORE dismissing those people as thin-skinned or with no sense of humor!! I don't know why that would bring out a defensive reponse in anyone. Obviously, though, the OP has experienced, just as most of us have, the dismissiveness of our viewpoints by others. Empathetic individuals know how that feels and try to avoid inflicting that experience on others.

Women, especially, no matter their color, have concrete examples of institutionalized discrimination and I doubt there is one who cannot give you multiple examples of it. We all know these things exist. It doesn't make most of us feel like victims, but it can certainly piss us off.

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Response to FlaGranny (Reply #121)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:50 AM

162. As I said,

I think it simply comes down to communication.

Most individuals are empathetic, only a very few are not hardwired to feel for others. Everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, status, etc. has experienced discrimination and suffering at some point in their lives. It is a part of life.

Message boards are very tricky. They are not 'real' in the sense that most of us have no idea who the other person truly is on the other side of that screen. I do not know truly how much you may or may not have suffered nor can you know about how much I may or may not have suffered either. This isn't real time communication either where I can show that I am or am not listening to you or you to me.

Would you not agree that if dismissiveness and one set of assumptions are poor communication that absolutist arbitration of what is and is not ok for all and another set of assumptions are equally poor communication even if the OP or any poster here is rightly hurt or pissed?

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Response to FlaGranny (Reply #121)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:45 PM

182. There's a saying ...

"Chuck a rock ... The dog that yelps, be the dog hit."

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #182)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:52 PM

237. Oh I DO like that.

Never heard it before but I will remember that one and use it. Thanks.

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Response to TM99 (Reply #110)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:51 PM

185. As is the norm ...

on this topic ...

Many here are saying, in sum ...

Your recounting your exerience is of equal (if not of lesser) value to the discussion of your exerience as my opinion of your experience.


It's actually a shame!

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #185)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:45 PM

208. That is a very good phrasing of the problem!

You've summed up what the OP wants to get rid of very well. Your recounting your exerience is of equal (if not of lesser) value to the discussion of your experience as my opinion of your experience.

I know, for example, that I am extremely privileged, being born in the right time, in the right place, with the "right" skin color, and being able-bodied, but still, I do know that had I been born with the "right" gender, there are hurdles I wouldn't have had to cross. I know that very well, as I have a twin brother, so I've seen the privileges afforded to him that I didn't get, and he is very well aware of the privilege I have of being able-bodied, as he is not (he has a not-very-noticeable-by-strangers disability, so he can "pass" for able-bodied in general situations.) That means that I would never presume to think that I have anything beyond academic knowledge of experiencing racism in the US - because I am white, and most of my time in the US is spent in Oregon, which is very white indeed. I can talk about experiencing sexism, tho', and probably have a better idea about that than most men.

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Response to KitSileya (Reply #208)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:57 PM

210. I, initially, had added ...



It amazes me ...

How much credence would we, any of us, give to someone giving their opinion disputing what it is like to swim, when the opinion giver has never swam? They may have taken a shower, or a bath; they may have even waded neck deep into the water, but with them having never actually swam, we would immediately dismiss (if not, only listen politely to) their opinion before walking away.

Why is this topic any different?

What we are seeing is the perfect exemplar of priviledge ... being able to deny it exists; while admitting it exists ... only just not for them.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:02 AM

116. I note that 90 people have Rec'd this, not 6

As we're often told it's only a half dozen people who hold this viewpoint. And that we're organizing our perpetual outrage harping on stuff in some mythical other place.

Add me to the K&Rs.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:50 AM

122. I have a good illustration....

I am in a privileged group. About 8 years ago, I saw a nice purple convertible being driven by an African American Woman. It was cold, so our windows were up. We made eye contact and I said "nice car," she mistook that for me saying the N word. I guess I did not have a smiling face or otherwise gave any helpful non verbal cues. She rolled her window down flipped me off and yelled at me. I quickly realized that "nice car" could be lip read offensively. I explained that I said nice car, and that I felt lousy that given the way things are, she could have interpreted it that way. We got out, shook hands and went on our separate ways....

Anyway, had I been in a crappy mood, maybe it would have been different, but you gotta understand the day to day crap folks can go through if they aren't part of one of the favored groups.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:19 AM

124. Progressive is a DLC term

When I found out that the DLC captured the term 'Progressive', I ceased to use it, except in rare circumstances such as this.


Are you a Liberal or a Conservative? Don't sit on the fence, being wishy-washy and vague about where you stand.

Which side are you on?

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Response to formercia (Reply #124)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:44 AM

129. The reason I say 'progressive'

I've been in dire situations and found that people claiming to be liberal were no more helpful than people claiming to be conservative, but I find Democrats are better at running government because they are progressive

Liberal to me implies a lofty status that bestows generosity upon others, or rights in the case of law making. Since I'm not of any lofty status, I'm trying to make the world better from the ground level as a progressive. I don't have enough money to be liberal with my money, for instance, so it is hard for me to suggest that I am liberal when in fact I'm asking others to do so.

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Response to formercia (Reply #124)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:20 AM

160. but do "progressives" exist?

For example the nanny state debate, Bloomberg or someone like him say's no softdrinks this size. One response is, bullsh*t stop telling us what we can and cannot consume, the other is good going, people cannot be relied upon to make wise choices so the government needs to dictate the choice. Which one is "liberal", which one is "progressive"? Just asking, for myself I associate progressive with statists and liberals with classic liberalism, get out of my life, my bedroom, my stomach, my crotch.

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Response to formercia (Reply #124)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:00 PM

196. liberal assumes a commitment

to the notion of free markets. I don't believe that free markets are natural or inherently efficient, therefore I do not call myself a liberal.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:39 AM

127. This thread has earned the Ron Obvious Award. nt

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:40 AM

128. And precisely who...

... appointed YOU arbitrator of who is "privileged" and who isn't?

Pot meet kettle.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #128)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:51 PM

209. I cannot see one instance in the OP where who is privileged and who is not is pointed out.

The OP simply asks people with privilege to be willing to listen to those who don't have it, without defining that privilege further. The OP doesn't mention race, gender, sexual orientation or class, or any other groups it is usual think of, and certainly doesn't claim to be any kind of arbitrator.

In other words, a second reading of the OP might be in order, so that you can participate in the discussion of the actual OP.

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Response to KitSileya (Reply #209)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:20 PM

211. The implication is quite clear.

As is your implied insult to my reading comprehension. I understand precisely what the OP was driving at and who it was aimed at. I'll say it again.

Pot meet kettle.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:15 AM

142. Isn't it only privileged people who call themselves "progressive"?

I'm not entirely sure when the word became completely meaningless, but I knew for certain that it had by the 2008 primary.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:52 AM

148. I posted in Meta about something similar

Some people don't WANT to get your point, because it's a game to them. It's just hard-headedness.

I think for the most part, frequent DU posters understand this, and try to be courteous. There are some, however, that LOVE to push boundaries and take pride in doing so.

Those quibbling with your post and your particular way of expressing your desire to see us as a community that is kind to one another really should take a step back and ask themselves what kind of a community they want to take part in. If it is an antagonistic one, maybe they would be better served somewhere else.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:27 AM

151. the concept of "offending" or "offensive" have been dumbed down

If someone calls Obama an n-word, that's racism/bigotry/racist (whatever term you want to use). If someone says they disagree with Obama's economic policies, that's not racism. But I've seen LOTS of times where someone is using words that only deal with economics but they are called racists. Maybe their intent is racist, but they aren't displaying it, so don't use the label. Either ignore them or have a discussion about the topic.

And not just racism. There are lots of potentially useful conversations that can't get started because someone immediately declares that the other side is using code words, or being insensitive, or being cruel. Those claims have lost a lot of meaning since many well-intentioned peopled have been incorrectly labeled rather than joined in a rational debate. They assume the label is wrong for them so likely wrong in other instances it's used and don't get concerned when they hear it happening.

You're talking mostly about jokes, but it does all tie together.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:16 AM

158. Yes. But it cuts both ways. Don't put up a wall and call it a door.

If you really want dialogue rather than just an expression of outrage, trying to engage and really understand is the only way.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:10 PM

166. Being a white male has made life so goddamn easy for me, I tell you.

 

I remember my father digging in the couch for change to buy bread.

If I weren't white, that change would've been more difficult to find.

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #166)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:33 PM

223. A good 50 or 60% of the developing world

would consider themselves fortunate to have a couch, change or bread.

And the point is that life just is harder for some people because of their skin colour, gender or sexual orientation, not that everyone with a certain set of characteristics has life easy.

Your family had it tough. Everything else being equal, your family would have had it tougher if you had been black. Your life would have been tougher if you had been female or gay. Sorry but that's a fact. Refusing to acknowledge that fact and still calling yourself a progressive is willfull ignorance.

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Response to wickerwoman (Reply #223)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:31 PM

232. The problem with the privilege meme is that, like your post,

only certain groups are seen to be "victims" (for lack of a better term) and it completely breaks down when rampant racism and sexism exists within and between these groups. Hostility that exists between these groups deemed less privileged is dismissed.

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Response to snagglepuss (Reply #232)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:04 PM

247. In the context of this discussion,

I don't see that it breaks down at all.

The OP's point is that if you don't belong to a minority group, you don't get to tell members of that minority group what is or isn't offensive to them.

If you're a black woman, you still don't get to tell gay people when it is or is not OK to use the word "fag".

If you're not Jewish, you don't get to make the call on whether or not a Holocaust joke is really funny or offensive even if you are Hispanic or disabled.

I actually find it somewhat mindboggling that this needs to be explained to grown-ups and doubly so on a "progressive" message board.

Most people have levels of privilege. They're actually pretty easy to identify. Ask yourself honestly if you would want to trade identities with another person and if the answer is "no, I don't want to face prejudice at job interviews/home searchs/bank loans/encounters with police" or "no, I don't want to be called slurs" or "no, I don't want the shit kicked out of me by random strangers" then ding, ding, ding, you have identified an area of privilege. You may not be privileged in other ways, but you probably are privileged in some. And pretending you're not, that it's all a level playing field and that you've never in your entire life been given any unfair advantages in anything, is self-delusional bullshit at best.

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Response to wickerwoman (Reply #223)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:35 AM

264. yes, and their lives are no doubt harder than yours as well. now what? with that revelation

 

(which is actually pretty mundane), what is one supposed to do? where does it lead?

basically nowhere.

it's an empty game, this game of who is 'privileged' and who isn't, when it means things like having a couch.

woohoo! i have a couch!!!

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #264)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:06 AM

268. See the OP.

It leads to having respect for other people when they tell you that their experience is different from yours and when they ask for sensitivity around that difference.

I agree that it is a mundane observation. What is shocking is that it apparently needs to be explained to a number of people on this thread who seem to believe that any disadvantage in their own life is in excuse to ignore or dismiss the disadvantages that others face.

And there's a spectrum of privilege that everyone falls along. It's not an either/or. I'm privileged in that I'm white, straight, not disabled, from a wealthy first-world country, etc. I'm not privileged in that I'm female and from a working class family. Acknowledging the privilege that I do enjoy helps me to be less of an asshole when I'm talking to people who aren't white, straight, not disabled, etc.

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Response to wickerwoman (Reply #268)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:25 PM

273. kind of circular. accepting your privilege leads to respect when other people tell you they're

 

less privileged.

in other words, it leads to no material or social change whatsoever.

but it sure pisses a lot of people off who are basically on your side.

and gives bullets to those who aren't.

kind of a useless meme, imo.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #273)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 04:24 PM

274. It leads to social change in the sense that

you're less likely to piss other people off for no real gain to yourself. And it's the starting point of empathy which is the only way that diverse groups can eventually come and work together.

It's the very basic recognition that my right to a cheap laugh doesn't come before your right not to feel pain or disrespect.

Without that recognition, how can we possible work together on material or social change? Failure to recognize that hierarchy of rights tells me that someone has absolutely no respect for me as a person and therefore is not someone that I can trust or negotiate with (or even have a very meaningful conversation with).

And someone who complains about political correctness meaning they can't call people retards or bitches or the double standard of black and gay people being able to use slurs amongst each other while they can't (i.e. a white person who feels that not being able to call people niggers represents a tangible loss of quality of life for them), fundamentally aren't on the progressive side to begin with. I'm not so desperate to beat the GOP (who are doing a pretty damn good job of beating themselves by alienating minority groups) that I feel the need to compromise on issues of basic human respect.

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Response to wickerwoman (Reply #274)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 06:06 PM

275. if people don't know better than to call each other racists and bitches, i doubt telling them

 

they're privileged is going to help them see it. ditto with whites who want to call blacks n*****.

if people don't get that it's wrong to pick on people who are weaker than themselves, ditto.

if i am privileged as a white person, does that means it's some kind of noblesse oblige to treat my "inferiors" respectfully?

you don't need to look at people in terms of 'privilege' and 'lack of privilege' to accept the principle that others should be treated respectfully. or to understand that others are disadvantaged in ways that you're not.

calling it a 'privilege' to be able to walk down the street without being harrassed seems to assume that being harrassed is 'normal' & anything better is privilege.

it seems a useless meme to me.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:23 PM

168. I had no idea that "Aunt Nancy" was the LGBT equivalent of "Uncle Tom"

until it was pointed out to me while serving on a DU jury.

(Naturally, the post was LEFT ALONE. )

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:42 PM

179. You seem to have brought the MRAs out in force

I just hope some of them commit banning offenses.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #179)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:55 PM

193. sexism

is not a banning offense. Rather, some here treat it as a sacred constitutional right.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #179)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:51 PM

236. MRAs?

Sorry. New terms grow on DU faster than I can keep up.

Thanks.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #236)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 01:38 AM

252. Mens Rights Activists

Because men have so few rights and what rights they have are being lost.

There are now monitoring sites for these similar to the way "Freeper Madness" monitors Free Republic. I quite like "Man Boobz"

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Response to intaglio (Reply #252)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:07 AM

269. Thanks

and

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:01 PM

197. I just wish the privileged would acknowledge it and SHUT UP FOR ONCE

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:58 PM

240. Notice the members of privileged groups in this very thread who took offense with your OP...

..and proceeded to ignore your suggestions that they try to listen more, and not be so damn defensive.

Remarkable, really.

K&R

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:08 PM

242. Re: the concept of privileged

If you have a white face, you are privileged (with respect to those who don't).
If you furthermore have male parts, you are privileged (with respect to those who don't).
If you furthermore are heterosexual, you are privileged (with respect to those who aren't).
The concept is relational.

This is a simple concept I was taught as a child, and it has stuck in my mind for many years. I remember once after Sunday school we were having a Purim Party (how apt, considering the news of the other day about the creep who showed up in black face). Our rabbi came to talk to us. He'd just returned from marching in Selma, with Dr. King, and since the story of Purim has to do with discrimination against a people, he thought it apt to talk about it. He spoke about, yes, how Jews had endured discrimination; it wasn't a remote topic for many of us in that era: friends of our parents had concentration camp numbers tattooed on their forearms; some of our fathers had been denied jobs because Jews weren't hired in certain places; redlining was still a practice in many neighborhoods. But despite all that, he told us how privileged we were: we were a new generation, and our faces were white; we could fit in—we could pass. He asked us to think about what it would be like to have a black face, which you could not change. Before anyone knew anything about you, about who you were as a person, they would know you were black, and would judge you because of that. It made a heck of an impression on me. It struck home.

What the OP is saying is that you should listen to people's experiences carefully, realizing that you have not had to face those issues. You need to imagine, like I did as a kid, what it would be like to be that color, that gender, that orientation. And you should respect what people have to say about their lives.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:49 PM

250. Okay, but what if you've listened to the opinion, and considered it, and thought about it.

... and you still disagree with it? (Serious question.)

I agree you should never resort to name-calling (thin-skinned, etc.) in this or any circumstances. But what if you think Seth MacFarlane (the obvious subtext of this post) was simply being satirical? Someone is saying that people who disagree with her or him is necessarily sexist or (worse) misogynist, and you still don't. Then what?

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Response to BlueCheese (Reply #250)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 02:55 AM

257. Your first point is interesting

Imagine that it is a troll producing the opinion, you would work to get the troll banned.

If you think that an opinion within the progressive spectrum is wrong then perhaps you should examine your views closely to see how it is you can disagree with that opinion.

Perhaps you think the concept that you cannot accept does not belong within the progressive spectrum, then perhaps you would think of the originator as a troll. But you have to examine why so many within a progressive group can hold an opinion outside the range you find acceptable and what limits your acceptance.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #257)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:04 AM

258. I guess what I see here is a lot of disagreement.

Regarding MacFarlane, many people, women and men, here and elsewhere think he was inoffensive or perhaps at worst failing at being satirical. Many people, women and men, think he was offensive. I don't see a consensus opinion to agree or disagree with.

I would never tell someone to "lighten up" or say he or she lacks a sense of humor, and I understand our perspectives might be different because of our race or gender or some other difference. But I think in this case it is possible for people to have differing opinions without it being attributable to such distinctions.

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Response to BlueCheese (Reply #250)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:29 AM

271. You might choose not to have an opinion about it

or accept that people with direct experience of the situation should have more weight given to their opinion.

After all, what are the stakes really when you're arguing over whether a borderline joke is funny or not? You're not going to argue someone into thinking something is funny when they don't think it is. If you think it is funny, you can think that without insisting that others share that view.

I just think it's presumptuous (not to mention an exercise of privilege) to think you are in a position to tell other people when they should or should not find things funny about an experience or identity that they have that you don't. The best you can probably do is to argue that any offense was unintentional or the result of ignorance not that someone is wrong to be offended in the first place.

I'm simply not a position to be an arbiter on whether or not a Holocaust joke is funny because I am not Jewish. It may be funny to me, but I don't get to judge that it is funny for everyone else and sure as hell, I don't get to insist to Jewish people that it is funny when they tell me that it isn't.

Obviously two women can have different opinions about the boobs songs and then it can be argued out on other facts like the context of the song (at an awards show meant to honor artistic merit or the fact that some of those boobs shots came from rape scenes, etc.) But what's not appropriate is for men to tell women to lighten up or to try to insist that something is funny when it is contrary to their experience.

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Response to wickerwoman (Reply #271)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:46 PM

272. I think we agree more than we disagree.

While I wouldn't tell someone to lighten up, I guess I'm uncomfortable of someone being labeled sexist or misogynist for having what seems to be a valid different opinion, one shared by many people of the less privileged group.

As for this particular instance, I think the disagreement isn't so much about the content of the song, but the context and intent of it. I think it was meant as satire, given that it was introduced as something a hypothetical host might have done to ruin the show. It was more of a "here's what a juvenile, frat-boy minded host might do to the Oscars (given that was the fear a lot of people had about Seth MacFarlane)". In other words, MacFarlane was playing a character during that song.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:56 PM

251. I'm nothing except me.

I express myself, might be dismissive of people I don't agree with politically, but try never to belittle anyone.
If I have, I apologize.
I have grown on DU; I used to enjoy confrontations, not so much anymore. I just like you guys and gals, don't feel the need to add my opinion for the most part...except when I do.

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