On the Problems with Communication, Discourse, and Social Justice


Off-Topic Discussions

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Hitdice wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:
But trans women, especially trans women of color, are murdered at higher rates than any other group of people in the U.S. It's not legal, sure, but the powers that be aren't exactly trying their hardest to stop it.

Not to get pedantic, but once the powers that be successfully do stop it, it moves from the murder column to the assault column. I'd suspect that's what going on there is that prostitution has a high fatality rate to murder, and it's also one of the few professions where being transgendered can increase your earnings potential.

. . .

That's a description, not an endorsement.

you passed pedantic a few miles back. Please check your gps.


KingOfAnything wrote:


This sentiment comes off very much as "It's hard so I don't want to even try." I understand that you have very real frustrations that inform this attitude, but you also have the choice whether or not to think about trans issues or take action to improve the well-being of individuals in your life or greater community.

I think I've interacted with two in my life. While gaming oddly enough. Its really not that common of a thing. You're asking for a very hard change in conscientiousness all the time for what MIGHT amount to a change in interaction with incredibly small segment of the population.

(And most likely will not, because I can't read peoples body language and other people read mine and go "DON"T HURT ME!")

This is, mind you, on the word of someone on the internet that I've never met, and doesn't know me. Whens the last time you re arranged your life and how you think and talk for someone?

Quote:
The trans folk in your community don't have that choice. They deal with these issues whether or not you think about them, and when you dismiss their concerns or choose not to monitor your speech or take steps to change your mental habits you make it even harder for each of them.

If they want some words "banned" thats one thing. If they want me to talk without pronouns because they reinforce the social construct of genders? No. A small group of people has individual rights but that does not extend to dictating how the entire population acts and thinks.

Quote:
I don't expect myself to be perfect, but I do expect myself to try and to learn when I misstep.

If an individual asks to me to use a specific pronoun I will try to remember it. (look up through this thread by the way) That change is small, specific, and tailored to the individual on that individuals say so. That is vastly different than having to ask EVERYONE i meet which pronoun they want used or not using them at all or accept a counterfactual thought process.

Community Manager

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Removed some posts and their responses. This is a touchy topic (clearly) and ripe with potential misunderstandings. Please keep in mind a few things: not everybody's experiences matches yours, and even the language and nomenclature we use is not universal. If this is going to be a thread with a positive direction, please keep an open mind and not make assumptions—ask for clarification, and be patient with others and with yourself.


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Freehold DM wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:
But trans women, especially trans women of color, are murdered at higher rates than any other group of people in the U.S. It's not legal, sure, but the powers that be aren't exactly trying their hardest to stop it.

Not to get pedantic, but once the powers that be successfully do stop it, it moves from the murder column to the assault column. I'd suspect that's what going on there is that prostitution has a high fatality rate to murder, and it's also one of the few professions where being transgendered can increase your earnings potential.

. . .

That's a description, not an endorsement.

you passed pedantic a few miles back. Please check your gps.

Y'know Freehold, your mention of GPS provokes me to think that YMMV is a much, much less confrontational way to phrase "check your privilege."

Anyhow, I can be pedantic sometimes, and I know that about myself; feel free to tell me when I'm doing it . :)


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The Raven Black wrote:


Actually, by making such generalizations, you are making cis people with no specific position on the topic feel unfairly accused of hateful behaviours such as transphobia which makes them far more likely to feel less empathy with trans people (and not more). As in "why should I care about people who insult me casually because of what I am (and cannot help being)" . Aka cis people have feelings too.

So this actually ends up with a result which is the exact opposite of the one you are looking for.

Quote:
Second, everyone does transphobic stuff, and it doesn't make you a bad person. But it's important to recognize when you're doing it, and try not to do it in the future, and listen when trans people point out transphobic behavior. I, as a trans person, do transphobic things. I occasionally misgender myself for goodness' sake.

Replace "transphobic" with "racist" (if you are white) or "homophobic" (if you are straight) and apply it to yourself. I think you will find the first part rather offensive and far from the truth (at least I believe so). Because I feel very distinctly that doing transphobic stuff (I am cis) or doing homophobic stuff (I am straight) or doing racist stuff (I am white) DOES make me a bad person. And I do not wish to be such a person, which is why I am happy to have it pointed out to me so that I can avoid hurting people. Obviously, this needs the pointing out to be made tactfully so that I can integrate it rather than have an automatic rejection of something that would sound too much like an ad hominem attack.

That said, the second part is perfectly right and what should be observed by all and any sides on such a debate. It is a matter of consideration / empathy for the other person.

Quote:
Second, everyone does racist stuff, and it doesn't make you a bad person. But it's important to recognize when you're doing it, and try not to do it in the future, and listen when people of other races point out racist behavior. I, as a white person, do racist things.

(That last bit doesn't really translate properly.)

Yeah. I'd say it still holds. I try not to, but I grew up in 20th century America and absorbed some of the stereotypes and prejudices that permeate our culture. How could I avoid it? I'm not saying I've joined the Klan or occasionally find myself burning crosses on black people's lawns or anything like that. It's far more bits of judging people based on stereotypes or making assumptions, things like that. I think they're bad to do and I try to compensate when I catch myself doing so, but I don't think it instantly and permanently shoves me into the "bad person" category.

I think that's where some of the miscommunication comes in. We live in a country where there still is a lot of racism, but a lot of it is pretty subtle. We also live in a country where many consider "Racism" to be a horrible accusation to throw at anyone. As far as I can tell the difference is that some people just don't see any of the small stuff, so they assume that any use of the word "racism" rises to the "hates black people" level. I saw this divide a lot in discussions of racism in the various recent police shootings: Where one side used racism in the sense of stereotypes of black men as violent dangerous thugs and thus the officers being more likely to respond with (deadly) force and the others heard "officers went out to kill black people for no reason".

It's also worth noting that American blacks also grew up immersed in American culture and often absorb a lot of the same prejudices and stereotypes. Some white folks like to talk about black racism against whites, but if you actually look into it, black racism against blacks is more of a problem. Again, not in the "I hate blacks and want to kill them" sense of the word, but in the subtler sense.

That's a derail into racism, but the basic pattern holds. In very similar ways for sexism, somewhat differently for homophobia, I'd guess, since that's changing so rapidly. Transphobia is still barely on most people's radar.


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thejeff wrote:
Transphobia is still barely on most people's radar.

If the way talk radio is railing about making basic concession to trans folks is any guide, I'd say it's on its way up. I have high hopes that the laws springing up recently about which bathrooms to use and such are the backlash that precedes the progress. It's unfortunate that in order for general awareness to happen it typically requires a temporary dip that could be described as "rock bottom".

For example, until the last year or so, I didn't know that trans people suffered a higher homicide rate than the general populace. If you asked me whether I thought it was likely I probably would have guessed that, but something that needs prompting is unlikely to get action.

mechaPoet, I'm somewhat removed from the details of this so I need to ask and hopefully it'll come across without too much baggage. Do you feel like TPTB don't care that trans women have a drastically higher murder rate than baseline or do you feel that they don't care about the murders themselves? My outsider's sense from other things I have read is the former, but if an insider's sense (which it seems is your perspective, but that's partially speculation) is that it's the latter, that's a much bigger deal. And closer to lynching than I like to think we get regularly in our society.

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Rynjin wrote:

Perhaps slightly off the topic of the thread, but not too far I think.

The thing about the whole "cis good or bad" debate that gets me all rustled is people like Lazar acting like turnabout is fair play there.

The term "cis scum" is fine to use because trans people have had slurs thrown at them for a long time...and somehow that makes it okay?

And this is what torques me off when Rynjin puts words in my mouth that I've NEVER spoken,either here nor elsewhere. Unless he's of the severely mistaken belief that calling someone "cis" is the exact same thing as using the term "scum" right afterward.

Calling you "cis" is no more a pejorative than referring to my spouse as "trans". Use of the term by non-cis is pretty much a demand to remove the inherent valuation that cis people have a greater right to "normality" than non-cis people do.

If that bothers anyone here, I make no apology for it.


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What I find REALLY amazing about this thread is that it CONTINUES to highlight the point that the original poster was raising, that of 'talking past each other'.

Here we are at page eight or nine of comments, and it *keeps* happening.


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Well, it's a fine line between talking to and talking past, right?

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


What I find REALLY amazing about this thread is that it CONTINUES to highlight the point that the original poster was raising, that of 'talking past each other'.

Here we are at page eight or nine of comments, and it *keeps* happening.

I'm sorry but what the heck would anyone expect? I've already had someone put words in my mouth that I never said. I challenge ANYONE to find a post where I've referred to someone as being "scum" or attached that word to someone's precious ideal of "normality".

I may not be the most polite, or nice person on the planet, I may be banned for things that I've said, but I'll be dammed before I let outright falsehoods slide.

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Berinor wrote:


For example, until the last year or so, I didn't know that trans people suffered a higher homicide rate than the general populace. If you asked me whether I thought it was likely I probably would have guessed that, but something that needs prompting is unlikely to get action.

Here's another thing you and many others may not know. LGBT is not a smooth happy family of outcasts in mutual support "against normal oppression".

Trans people still face in large part a good deal of the same kind of prejudice and discrimination from the Lesbian and Gay communities.. the L and the G folks, many of whom don't accept trans as a legitimate gender expression.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


What I find REALLY amazing about this thread is that it CONTINUES to highlight the point that the original poster was raising, that of 'talking past each other'.

Here we are at page eight or nine of comments, and it *keeps* happening.

Self referencing example is self referencing?


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How many people do not belong to any minority?

Seriously.

What percentage of the population are white men, not disabled, cis, heterosexual, young or middle-aged adults, with no particularly different sexual tastes, no mental disabilities, no ethnic background in a minority, not belonging to a minority religion? (I could go further, but...)

Sex and age bring it down to around 25%. Race depends on which population, but say it gets us down to 20%. Each other qualifier loses a few more percents. So, perhaps 10%?

Three questions:

Are these 10% the people who are conspiring to keep everyone else down (the patriarchy)?

What percentage of these people is wealthy?

Is it really privilege that is the reason for the discrepancy? If it is so few people that do not end up in the various discriminated groups, might it be we are really looking at some other metric that hurts people? Just because they bully you for wearing an ugly shirt doesn't mean that the shirt was the reason they chose to bully you.


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LazarX wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Perhaps slightly off the topic of the thread, but not too far I think.

The thing about the whole "cis good or bad" debate that gets me all rustled is people like Lazar acting like turnabout is fair play there.

The term "cis scum" is fine to use because trans people have had slurs thrown at them for a long time...and somehow that makes it okay?

And this is what torques me off when Rynjin puts words in my mouth that I've NEVER spoken,either here nor elsewhere. Unless he's of the severely mistaken belief that calling someone "cis" is the exact same thing as using the term "scum" right afterward.

This is where your habit of letting your eyes glaze over when reading bites you.

You'll notice I specifically said the term "cis scum" was the problematic (to borrow another over-used SJW word) phrase.

Your previous thoughts on the matter.

LazarX wrote:

Consider getting that chip off your soldier. Cis and Cis Scum are two very different terms, the latter generally used by LGBT folks who have just been spat on or worse by homophobic bashers. (who may or may not be CIS themselves)

Whether you want to admit it or not, you have lived in the privileged position of not only being considered the gender "norm" but of the preferred gender and ethnic class in this country. We are entering a period of transition where being white and male is becoming less of a privileged status. (You still have plenty of advantage over someone who is female or of another ethnic background, whether you wish to admit to that or not.)

You're essentially starting to get some of the same treatment every other group has had to endure at your hands.... which includes being looked at from outside.

I bolded the relevant bits, which by all readings boil down to "It's okay to say 'cis scum' because trans people have it bad" but dressed up all nice.


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Sissyl wrote:

How many people do not belong to any minority?

Seriously.

What percentage of the population are white men, not disabled, cis, heterosexual, young or middle-aged adults, with no particularly different sexual tastes,

Damn. I was totally there up until that last one.

<.<
>.>


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Yeah, well, you are also a talking skull with rubies for teeth, so...


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HEY!
Check your privilege.


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I am. It is a privilege not to be a talking skull. :-)

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Sissyl wrote:

How many people do not belong to any minority?

Seriously.

What percentage of the population are white men, not disabled, cis, heterosexual, young or middle-aged adults, with no particularly different sexual tastes, no mental disabilities, no ethnic background in a minority, not belonging to a minority religion? (I could go further, but...)

Sex and age bring it down to around 25%. Race depends on which population, but say it gets us down to 20%. Each other qualifier loses a few more percents. So, perhaps 10%?

Three questions:

Are these 10% the people who are conspiring to keep everyone else down (the patriarchy)?

What percentage of these people is wealthy?

Is it really privilege that is the reason for the discrepancy? If it is so few people that do not end up in the various discriminated groups, might it be we are really looking at some other metric that hurts people? Just because they bully you for wearing an ugly shirt doesn't mean that the shirt was the reason they chose to bully you.

Be aware that your definition of minority actually reflects the situation and demographics of the US. And are somewhat representative of the other western countries. But it can be very different in other countries.

I was a kid and teen in the west indies and there, as a white kid, I was in the minority, though the better-off one. Which still did not protect me from racist acts.

As a young adult, I lived and worked in Japan, and there I was in the scorned and distrusted minority of gaijin.

And yet, here in France, and likely in the US by your description, I am in that famous "not-minority", which does not exactly a majority make as you mentioned.

That said, the answer to your point is pretty easy IMO : each axis used for discrimination parts the population in two groups : white vs non-white, male vs female, cis vs trans, straight vs gay.

But each discrimination is exclusive of the others. Being cis does not mean you are white or black, or male or female, or gay or straight. Same for each of the criteria.

And being the victim of one discrimination does not make you immune from discriminating against other people based on another axis. You could be gay and racist, or female and transphobic.

In fact, belonging to one of the mainstream groups along a discrimination axis can be seen as a way to fit in and make other people forget that you too are different from them in other ways.


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Well, no surprise about the demographics. I was trying to reflect the US situation. I doubt anyone would say race issues are the same in the US, Nigeria, China, Brazil and Vietnam.

But again, what percentage of those with "maximum privilege", i.e. No minority staus whatsoever, are wealthy? If by wealthy, we mean top 10% income? Certainly, it is probably going to be a bigger percentage than in the groups outside "maximum privilege", but not likely by much. Is being a member of various minority groups then the issue that determines wealth, or is the entire group-based rights a sidetrack? Money has a tendency to protect you, in a variety of ways, and mistreating others is easier to do if they can't protect themselves...


Sissyl wrote:

How many people do not belong to any minority?

Seriously.

What percentage of the population are white men, not disabled, cis, heterosexual, young or middle-aged adults, with no particularly different sexual tastes, no mental disabilities, no ethnic background in a minority, not belonging to a minority religion? (I could go further, but...)

Sex and age bring it down to around 25%. Race depends on which population, but say it gets us down to 20%. Each other qualifier loses a few more percents. So, perhaps 10%?

Three questions:

Are these 10% the people who are conspiring to keep everyone else down (the patriarchy)?

What percentage of these people is wealthy?

Is it really privilege that is the reason for the discrepancy? If it is so few people that do not end up in the various discriminated groups, might it be we are really looking at some other metric that hurts people? Just because they bully you for wearing an ugly shirt doesn't mean that the shirt was the reason they chose to bully you.

Yes the age old "it can't really exist, can it?"


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America and England social justice. Two peoples divided by a common language.


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Or you could look at poverty rates rather than the top:

Wiki wrote:

The US Census declared that in 2010 15.1% of the general population lived in poverty:

9.9% of all white persons
12.1% of all Asian persons
26.6% of all Hispanic persons (of any race)
28.4% of all black persons.

That's a bit more of an overrepresentation, I'd say.

But the question still isn't what Chris should have done differently. This isn't Chris's fault. He hasn't done anything wrong. He just got lucky enough to have a bunch of opportunities that weren't open to everyone - and quite likely the brains and work ethic to take advantage of them. That's the whole point of privilege.

The only place he goes wrong is when he starts talking about how he reached his place in life due to his own hard work and how no one gave him anything and how anyone could have done it and we need to stop giving handouts to them. Because he's not seeing that it isn't true.


Well, the "underlying cause" is human nature. Most likely we all experienced it most acutely and overtly in some way during our adolescent years, where conformity and individuality are highly juxtaposed and used to enforce a certain social pecking order. People are persecuted for being different, unless that difference makes them "cool". Personally as I get older, I find it still exists, but people (sometimes) get subtler about it. Though some are still quite overt.

But if you examine it on this level, it's hard to get past solutions like "well, maybe everyone should just treat each other nice", which is a nice platitude, but doesn't actually solve anything. The question isn't "should people be nice to each other?" the question needs to be "how can people be nicer to each other?"

Doing things like being aware of how our language is constructed during centuries of discrimination and outright oppression and that we should change it is one such step. Being aware that words don't just reflect how we think, but actually change how we think is important. Instead of rehashing my two examples from the previous thread, here's a third:

The experiment requires a simple connection of two ideas. Any two will work, but we will compare it to a control group, which are rats. Rats work because they don't have language, and you can actually replicate this with any animal, including humans (before they have language such as small children).

Put the rats in a rectangular box. There is an opaque box in every corner. You put a bit of food in a box, let the rat see you do this, then disorient the rat (turn them around a couple times). They can remember which type of corner you put it in, eliminating 2 boxes, so they guess which of the remaining 2 has the food 50% of the time.

Rats can see color (other experiments have proven this). So we change one wall to the color blue. These means instead of two identical pairs of corners, there are now 4 unique corners. Redo the same test, but the rats still get it right 50% of the time.

If you conduct a similar test with a human, they get it right 95% of the time. But, if you knock out the speech center of the brain, their success rate drops to 50%. The speech center can be occupied with a simple activity, have the person listen to speech on headphones while reciting what they hear as they hear it.

Basically, the speech center of the brain is also how we connect multiple pieces of information together. Knowing the prize is in a long-corner-short position (versus short-corner-long) is one piece of information. Knowing it's by the blue wall is a second piece. Connecting the two pieces of information requires a verbal brain.

Also, at the age of 4-1/2 to 5, children score in the 50% category. At the age of 5-1/2 to 6, they score in the human category. It's at this age that they develop the ability to string together sentences with more than one idea.

I'm sure someday someone will come up with an implementation that will solve all of these cultural wide issues of discrimination. Until then, the lack of such a solution is no reason to completely disregard smaller solutions that at least make the world better, bit by bit.


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It's damn hard to quantify luck or opportunity.


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Freehold DM wrote:
It's damn hard to quantify luck or opportunity.

Looks an awful lot like a bank account.

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Freehold DM wrote:
It's damn hard to quantify luck or opportunity.

It is called statistics. And it is not that hard really.

I have some beef with the privilege word because in France it is a very strong concept that was at the heart of our Revolution. I think what we are trying to describe should rather be called equal rights and equal opportunities. Note that those include, whereas "privilege" divides.

And "privilege" as I see it used on these boards is always based on what you are and cannot control.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
It's damn hard to quantify luck or opportunity.
Looks an awful lot like a bank account.

Or, having the right skin tone, religious belief, gender expression, body structure, and/or orientation.

No matter how wealthy, a person who doesn't meet one or more of those will have less opportunity. I know you don't like learning new words, but intersectionality is a good one. The interplay of the various factors of a person's life all affect them. A person isn't just a rich person, and as rich people who have been harassed by police or denied membership into social clubs for reasons of race can attest, other factors still have an impact.


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Scythia wrote:
No matter how wealthy

There is a certain level of wealth that provides privilege which supersedes/obscures any other consideration.


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BigDTBone wrote:
Scythia wrote:
No matter how wealthy
There is a certain level of wealth that provides privilege which supersedes/obscures any other consideration.

Maybe?

I suppose once you're at the level where you're always surrounded by an entourage and your own security.

Even below that, it certainly helps.

But there are still plenty of examples of wealthy black people for example being harassed because they obviously don't belong in the expensive store or driving the nice car or in their own well-off neighborhood.

You still lack privilege in many of the same ways, but the privilege from wealth can mitigate it.


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thejeff wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
Scythia wrote:
No matter how wealthy
There is a certain level of wealth that provides privilege which supersedes/obscures any other consideration.

Maybe?

I suppose once you're at the level where you're always surrounded by an entourage and your own security.

Even below that, it certainly helps.

But there are still plenty of examples of wealthy black people for example being harassed because they obviously don't belong in the expensive store or driving the nice car or in their own well-off neighborhood.

You still lack privilege in many of the same ways, but the privilege from wealth can mitigate it.

That is certainly true. I was objecting to Scythia's choice of words. The emphatic absolute that "no matter how wealthy" a person may be that their characteristics would limit their opportunities. I assure you that there exists a level of wealth which can and does obscure any other disadvantage a person might have.


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Scythia wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
It's damn hard to quantify luck or opportunity.
Looks an awful lot like a bank account.

Or, having the right skin tone, religious belief, gender expression, body structure, and/or orientation.

No matter how wealthy, a person who doesn't meet one or more of those will have less opportunity. I know you don't like learning new words, but intersectionality is a good one. The interplay of the various factors of a person's life all affect them. A person isn't just a rich person, and as rich people who have been harassed by police or denied membership into social clubs for reasons of race can attest, other factors still have an impact.

agreed. There's more here than just money.


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thejeff wrote:
The only place he goes wrong is when he starts talking about how he reached his place in life due to his own hard work and how no one gave him anything and how anyone could have done it and we need to stop giving handouts to them. Because he's not seeing that it isn't true.

What is interesting here is that Chris has quite likely had to work his butt off for several years, including taking financial risks. The best schools have surplus intake, which means a significant portion of the students don't get through the education, leaving them with no job and heavy student debts. While I agree that his advantages made this easier for him than it would have been for others, your post still smacks of denying him credit for his own work, because the ONLY reason he got there was that he was lucky with the circumstances of his birth. While this is certainly a comforting thought to people who did not reach there, that doesn't make it true.

It also seems to me that you claim that only those dependent on social welfare should be allowed to have an opinion on how taxation and economy should be constructed, is that so?

Having gone through a full university education, I have a good number of examples of people I used to know, who all had the grades and economic situation to go through the same, who did not choose to do so for various reasons (more fun to freelance in advertising, I can't be bothered to do that much studying, better to get a job instead to get more money, I don't want student debt, etc etc etc), who now complain that their expected salary curve looks rather weak. And you know what they all say today? Having money and getting the chance at better things than wage slavery is ALL due to "favourable circumstances".


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Sissyl wrote:
thejeff wrote:
The only place he goes wrong is when he starts talking about how he reached his place in life due to his own hard work and how no one gave him anything and how anyone could have done it and we need to stop giving handouts to them. Because he's not seeing that it isn't true.

What is interesting here is that Chris has quite likely had to work his butt off for several years, including taking financial risks. The best schools have surplus intake, which means a significant portion of the students don't get through the education, leaving them with no job and heavy student debts. While I agree that his advantages made this easier for him than it would have been for others, your post still smacks of denying him credit for his own work, because the ONLY reason he got there was that he was lucky with the circumstances of his birth. While this is certainly a comforting thought to people who did not reach there, that doesn't make it true.

It also seems to me that you claim that only those dependent on social welfare should be allowed to have an opinion on how taxation and economy should be constructed, is that so?

As for "allowed", I don't think I've said anything about being allowed to have an opinion. I just think you're an a@$*&*% if your opinion is that you made it completely on your own (when you actually didn't) and screw anyone who can't do the same (even though it's harder for them).

"Born on third base and thinks he hit a triple."


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It is almost as if... you would need both a bit (or a lot) of luck AND smarts, and work, and willingness to take risks, AND choosing to do so, to get anywhere. How odd.


Actual political stuff:
Cis can be used as an insult; 'cis scum' exists and is used.

(I recently went to search from it the two of the forums where I have personally had it launched at me, when I was not in a conversation about anything involving Transgender issues or anyone withing the Transgender community, however in both of those cases, as well as in several others, the moderators have kindly removed all instances - including of the posts themselves.)

Learned behavior can also be discrimination.

In other words, mistrusting a whole group for the sake of some (even the majority) of those assigned to that group is, by definition, discrimination, even if it is learned behavior.

That said, there is nothing wrong with having learned behavior (or, in fact, "discrimination" in thought), so long as you are aware of it, and work at being open-minded enough to not apply it where it doesn't belong. That is, if you have a general discrimination (an emotional reaction that may honestly have been well-earned), but do not actively apply it and seek to understand individuals beyond and outside of that (which is being open-minded) you are not a bad person.

In fact, it is not possible for people not to have some amount of discrimination as part of learned behavior - it is a part of humans being humans in all facets of life. There is a point at which the "evidence" (that which we have been exposed to) is simply too large to accept any other possibility as a general rule.

However, acting on that discrimination without also pausing to understand or represent individual merits, or the merits of that discrimination can make you a bad person.

Also, as noted up-thread, it is entirely possible for any person of any ethnicity, gender, sexuality, gender, religion, creed, or anything else, to discriminate against anyone else, regardless of any sort of social dynamic or power. To quote the link I created earlier,

Quote:
Discrimination is treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing is perceived to belong to rather than on individual merit.

All people may end up doing this, for any reasons whatsoever, toward anyone under any circumstances.

This is what discrimination is.

Some discrimination is certainly greater or more egregious or more violent or has a different power-dynamic. But stating that discrimination does not exist is a falsehood and does nothing for a cause - instead, actively undermining it, by way of forcefully stating something that fails in the face of casual observation.

That people have done horrible acts to one another is, in fact, horrible. There is no excuse for doing bad things to innocent people.

But that in no way indicates that all who are part of a biological group (barring extremely specific "naturally"-occurring neural systems, which would be a huuuuuuuuuuuge and exceedingly different can of worms, and none like that have been proven to be the default among any "group" at all, to my knowledge) should be treated as the same - learned behavior may tend toward this, but there must be an ability to hold each individual "innocent until proven guilty" or else there can be no conversation at all, because the default is "they're all always bad unless this one proves otherwise - good luck with that" which... isn't a good thing.

mechaPoet wrote:

I'll never argue that there aren't people involved in social justice, especially in online spaces, who are toxic and inflammatory in ways that seem like they're just trying to pounce on "gotcha" moments to scold people. You know disapproves of that behavior, besides the rational-logical crowd? Other social justice people, who understand that learning to be an ally to the oppressed involves unlearning a lot of oppressive behaviors that are normalized within their society. So I guess what I'm saying is, there are SJWs who just want to call out people, but there are also plenty that point out when people do crappy things and explain why they're crappy so you don't do them again. Because everyone in a society with oppression picks up behaviors and language that comes from and reinforces the normalcy of that oppression, and learning to act against it is a long and difficult process.

tl;dr: some SJWs are jerks and some aren't and they have disagreements, almost like they're individual people and not an internet hive mind

The other thing I'll say is that I find it pretty hard to take someone seriously if they call arguments they dislike "emotional" and arguments they do like "logical." It stands to reason that if your argument holds on its own, you don't need to specifically point out how logical it is except to reinforce your own ego and conception of yourself as a person who values logic. It seems to me that the emotion versus logic dichotomy (which is a false dichotomy) is a tool for dismissing people's opinions rather than examining, deconstructing, and/or critiquing them.

Yes.

BigDTBone wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I'm pretty sure I'm in the privileged category no matter what the metric, but I've never felt the negative connotations that others clearly do when they hear the word. However, I've clearly missed most of the background conversation which makes this an issue (this conversation seems decidedly over-heated, to me).

The issue comes into play when someone is using the academic-born, social justice definition of privilege (which is essentially "being able to climb a mountain starting at sea level, versus having to climb out of a chasm to get to sea level just to start climbing the mountain") try's to discuss the topic with someone who has only ever used the common definition of privilege (helicopter tour of the summit and a photo op with the plebs who schlepped up the mountain.)

People take offense at the idea that "privilege" is credited for their hard work, because even though the speaker means "you got to start at sea-level in stead of climbing out of the chasm first," the listener hears, "your lazy ass just rode to the top in a helicopter."

Basically, "privilege" as it is used in the academic sense means, "not starting in the hole," where as in common usage it means, "getting a head start." Functionally they both mean the same thing, but the connotations are vastly different.

Yes.

Bigotry and prejudice can be synonyms within certain linguistic references or origins.

This is part of what I meant about people speaking two different languages - in some areas they are starkly different. In others, they are synonymous.

Chris Lambertz wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:
tl;dr: some SJWs are jerks and some aren't and they have disagreements, almost like they're individual people and not an internet hive mind
Just a non-specific agreement with the general sentiment here. Folks, it may be more appropriate to reframe some of the arguments we're seeing as "I don't like seeing this specific behavior" rather than "all the folks who believe X do things I don't like" (paraphrasing here). This turns the discussion around to be less "finger-pointy" (and less likely to implode into something we'll have to start removing posts for and potentially locking) and back to a discussion on the specific behaviors brought up in the original/first posts of the thread.

This is one of the main reasons I started this thread.

Irontruth wrote:

I think this largely ignores the primary factor though.

Cis is not an insult. Cis scum is an insult. The consistent word in both of those is "cis". How did it change from not an insult into an insult?

No, actually, it doesn't. In fact, I addressed that very issue. I'd ask you to reread the post again - not because I do not believe you read it, or dismissed what you read, but because I believe you made an interpretation about what I was focusing on that was incorrect, and I know you missed the point I was trying to make (probably because I made it poorly).

The method by which "cis" was transformed into an insult was "association" - in fact, many (if not most) folk who use and understand "cis" probably do not use it as an insult. That's fine and accepted. The problem is the method by which it was introduced or reinforced.

This is not a problem for all people.

Irontruth wrote:
I think your focus on the word "police" in that is misguided. It misses the point. Calling someone scum is an insult, pretty much regardless of what word or adjective precedes it. Cis isn't some special case where it is ONLY found in front of the word scum.

Again, I actually addressed this within the post. The only place I focused on the word "police" was where it explicitly failed as a metaphor that you set it up as - in fact, it functions in all other cases, if you do as suggested in said post, remove the word "police" and install any other word created by one group to apply to another.

In all other cases, I explicitly used it in the same sense that you did - as a handy reference for a stand-in for a non-insult word that could be taken as an insult.

The term "police" was never important - it was irrelevant. Any notations I added specific to police were there because, had I not added them, they would have been large holes in the conversation that anyone could have pointed out to poke holes in anyone else's arguments by way of distracting from the point. In other words they were addressed, only because to leave them un-addressed was to open the conversation to a derailment.

Allow me to give several examples.

Example 1:
This is a good point, with interesting insight.

However it misses some vital additional elements of language and social interaction: if the first time the whites were ever called whites was "white scum" than, naturally, they will be deeply suspicious of anyone calling them "white" - what's more, if the majority or, even, just enough of the time (the exact number of "enough" is going to vary) the whites are addressed as "white" is in the context of "white scum" (or, at least, with that implication, if the word "scum" is excised by force)... than said people are going to be very wary of such a term, yes.

It does not matter that the term was derived by people wishing to distinguish themselves as "not white" who had no anger or malice toward them. These "not white" who had no anger or malice created the term, but the whites were first introduced to it in a hostile context by (presumably) radicals on the fringe - therefore, it is strongly associated with those "radicals" on the fringe (or, perhaps, just the deeply impassioned or young or misled) by those who are identified by the non-radicals as "whites"... perfect fodder for the emotional baggage and a sharp divide in communication.

Those few who embrace it under that paradigm are being, frankly, weird. Good and kind and are working hard to see past the radicals to the people who are reasonable, using said term... but weird, because they're embracing cognitive dissonance.

Now, there are other "whites" who were, all along, working with non-whites, and were introduced to the term "white" by those luminaries who created and intended it for the purpose of defining the whites as themselves, while allowing others to be "non-whites" - and to them, it is normal and natural to hold the use of the term as non-offensive and non-aggressive.

Because that's how people - and languages - work.

As an aside, in this scenario, if the word manages to hang on long enough to become ubiquitous, and it persists long enough to engage in the public consciousness, while continuing to be heavily used by anti-white folk, then, inevitably, there will either be a strong push to either "reclaim" the term by the now-generally-accepted "whites" or to squash the use of said term in public discourse, relegating it to only a term used by the gauche or "-ist" people that are no longer in vogue. Presupposing whites are even legally allowed to be white at that time, which is where this analogy suddenly goes "Aw, crap" because police is such a different and weird term.

Now, please select any term created by one group of people ("group A") to label a different group of people ("group B") (or by members of group B who were strongly enough associated with group A until it's indistinguishable in origin), and replace "whites" with that. Barring, of course, the last half of the last sentence in the ooc aside, above, as that would not apply to just about anything other than "police" as a term.

"White" generally gets a pass because the term was created with the ethnicity - or has been around for so long that it doesn't really matter any more which was created first.

On the other hand, I would strongly recommend not going up to an officer and calling them "cops" or "coppers" or "pig" - at best you'll get a weird look, but far more likely you'll be treated more suspiciously, despite the fact that two out of three of those are no longer direct insults, if they ever were (and the second has fallen out of use, to the best of my knowledge).

Example 2:
This is a good point, with interesting insight.

However it misses some vital additional elements of language and social interaction: if the first time the males were ever called males was "male scum" than, naturally, they will be deeply suspicious of anyone calling them "male" - what's more, if the majority or, even, just enough of the time (the exact number of "enough" is going to vary) the males are addressed as "male" is in the context of "male scum" (or, at least, with that implication, if the word "scum" is excised by force)... than said people are going to be very wary of such a term, yes.

It does not matter that the term was derived by people wishing to distinguish themselves as "not male" who had no anger or malice toward them. These "not male" who had no anger or malice created the term, but the males were first introduced to it in a hostile context by (presumably) radicals on the fringe - therefore, it is strongly associated with those "radicals" on the fringe (or, perhaps, just the deeply impassioned or young or misled) by those who are identified by the non-radicals as "males"... perfect fodder for the emotional baggage and a sharp divide in communication.

Those few who embrace it under that paradigm are being, frankly, weird. Good and kind and are working hard to see past the radicals to the people who are reasonable, using said term... but weird, because they're embracing cognitive dissonance.

Now, there are other "males" who were, all along, working with non-males, and were introduced to the term "male" by those luminaries who created and intended it for the purpose of defining the males as themselves, while allowing others to be "non-males" - and to them, it is normal and natural to hold the use of the term as non-offensive and non-aggressive.

Because that's how people - and languages - work.

As an aside, in this scenario, if the word manages to hang on long enough to become ubiquitous, and it persists long enough to engage in the public consciousness, while continuing to be heavily used by anti-male folk, then, inevitably, there will either be a strong push to either "reclaim" the term by the now-generally-accepted "males" or to squash the use of said term in public discourse, relegating it to only a term used by the gauche or "-ist" people that are no longer in vogue. Presupposing males are even legally allowed to be male at that time, which is where this analogy suddenly goes "Aw, crap" because police is such a different and weird term.

Now, please select any term created by one group of people ("group A") to label a different group of people ("group B") (or by members of group B who were strongly enough associated with group A until it's indistinguishable in origin), and replace "males" with that. Barring, of course, the last half of the last sentence in the ooc aside, above, as that would not apply to just about anything other than "police" as a term.

"Male" generally gets a pass because the term was created with the gender - or has been around for so long that it doesn't really matter any more which was created first.

On the other hand, I would strongly recommend not going up to an officer and calling them "cops" or "coppers" or "pig" - at best you'll get a weird look, but far more likely you'll be treated more suspiciously, despite the fact that two out of three of those are no longer direct insults, if they ever were (and the second has fallen out of use, to the best of my knowledge).

I was going to make a third one, but I think the idea is in-place: simply replace "police" with most any other thing. Also, it's late and my wife wants me to go to bed.

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

What I find REALLY amazing about this thread is that it CONTINUES to highlight the point that the original poster was raising, that of 'talking past each other'.

Here we are at page eight or nine of comments, and it *keeps* happening.

More or less. One of the reasons I wanted to open this dialogue was because I hoped that, instead of talking political stuff, we could focus on the way we talk about it.

It seems that the two are deeply intertwined, however, which does make a good deal of sense.

Anyway, caught up on the thread, and now that I'm going to be away for a bit (probably) I can start from here, later. Yay!


Clarification of the above: there is no problem inherent to the word fix, or privilege, or any such thing.

Problems are twofold: the failure to recognize the reasoning behind and properly empathize with those who are leery of them; and the failure to recognize them as non-insults and those who use them as non-aggressive.

Basically both sides failing to communicate the proper emotion and empathy, regardless of politics, despite trying.

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