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Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

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Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

Post  Atheist Dude on Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:50 am

On the other forum it's frequently stated that the oppressed person is the authority on the oppression/marginalization/disease...etc that they are living with and anyone discussing the issue should defer to their authority.

I acknowledge that a person living with depression is an authority on the depression that they experience, but I don't think that makes them an authority on depression in general.




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Re: Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

Post  nullnvoid on Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:08 am

I agree. It's a common problem from the study of history and the court system. First person accounts are generally problematic.

That said, I still want to hear about the experiences of people who are going through some form of oppression. Their experiences add to the pool of knowledge and are often unrepresented in the discussion.

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Re: Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

Post  uncrystal on Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:15 pm

It depends on the oppression/marginalization/disease, the specific person, and what kind of information you want to obtain.

If I have a question about what it feels like to be discriminated against absolutely I will ask someone who has been discriminated against. If I'm curious about what it is like to suffer from depression or a medical condition I will ask someone who is living with depression or the condition.

If I have medical questions or am curious about statical data regarding oppression/marginalization/disease I wouldn't, necessarily, take the suffer/victim as an authority (although they may be because of other factors obviously).

For example, my mother had a kidney transplant nearly ten years ago. She can, of course, tell you what it is like to deal with kidney failure and a transplant. She can tell you the basics of her surgery, what medications she takes, and a brief synopses of each medication etc. She cannot tell you exactly how the transplant was preformed or precisely how each medication interacts with her body because she is not a medical professional and no amount of being patient would make that so.

My skepticism is raised when a (self described) victim/survivor spouts off facts about marginalization and oppression on a large scale because it is often difficult to be rational and unbiased about things that impact you on a personal level.


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Re: Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

Post  mood2 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:43 pm

'Authorities' isn't the right word, but people experiencing oppression/marginalisation/illness/disability will offer a different perspective, which may well include lots of stuff which isn't immediately apparent from the 'outside'. And it would be stupid not to listen when making policy and practical plans, or simply trying to get a fuller understanding.

That's why, for example, if the government is drafting legislation designed to remedy some problem which impacts a particular group they will have a consultation period and talk to representatives of that group to see if the 'expert's' plans are workable and address the important issues in a practicable way. Or if say there was a shake up in mental health service provision Health Service management would be idiots if they didn't consult mental health groups like MIND first.

So while no one person is an authority simply by dint of their own personal experience (and if they think they are then they're being the idiot), that person may well have insights not available to an 'outsider', be all too aware of problems not even on the radar of someone not in that situation. (And may not take kindly to statements like 'If I were you I'd do this or that cos that's the logical way to solve this prob'). And the pooled experience of a particular group can certainly produce a type of expertise which may not be available to those just looking at the facts and figures, or trying to imagine themselves walking in those shoes.




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Re: Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

Post  arpie on Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:01 am

For me the greatest irony is the way even those at A+ who claim to have direct experience with oppression, depression, w/e, suddenly lose their authority if they disagree with any of the in-crowd there. Seems some folks experiential 'authority' is less valid than that of others? Rolling Eyes

These are deep waters. Justice can be viewed and defined in many different ways. What continues to intrigue me is the certitude so many display about their interpretations of truth and justice. Yet despite my acute awareness of this phenomena, I too fall into the same trap. Some of my beliefs on politics and the economy seem so convincing to me I can't help but sense they are true in some near absolute dimension, even while knowing there are no such tablets at the far end of the universe where my take on reality is substantiated. Sad

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Re: Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

Post  JustinLong on Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:50 pm

I have dealt with my own share (albeit small) of homophobia...but being queer in no way makes me any kind of lgbt expert. I just learned about harvey Milk just last year... Shocked
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Re: Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

Post  scott1328 on Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:07 pm

JustinLong wrote:I have dealt with my own share (albeit small) of homophobia...but being queer in no way makes me any kind of lgbt expert. I just learned about harvey Milk just last year... Shocked

But I bet you have a good idea on what constitutes homophobia and how you were marginalized by that homophobia.

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Re: Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

Post  JustinLong on Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:01 am

scott1328 wrote:
JustinLong wrote:I have dealt with my own share (albeit small) of homophobia...but being queer in no way makes me any kind of lgbt expert. I just learned about harvey Milk just last year... Shocked

But I bet you have a good idea on what constitutes homophobia and how you were marginalized by that homophobia.

Yes...but I would not try to shut up a straight person that was able to relate to the feeling of being marginalized simply because they weren't gay exactly like me. And while I understand homophobia, I cannot relate the same as someone who was bullied all through highschool and/or kicked out of their house for being gay.
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Re: Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

Post  scott1328 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:17 am

Too often when dealing with marginalized groups, those that are not marginalized fail to grok the extent of the marginalization and fail to recognize marginalization when it happens. If the marginalized speak up about it, they are often met with denial "I don't do that" and "I don't know anyone who would do that" or minimalization "It's not that bad" or "It's just a joke, why are you so sensitive" or defensiveness "that's not what I meant", or deflection "what about that marginalized group", or finally dismissiveness "why are you stirring up drama"

I have no desire to silence the non-marginalized, but I do wish they would take the time to listen and believe it when a marginalized person describes their experience.

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Re: Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

Post  mood2 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:56 am

I agree with that Scott. Tho I also agree with the A+ people about how frustrating and draining it can be to continually have to explain this stuff to people in terms they can relate to. So, pick your battles is the answer I suppose.

Which is where this auto offence/hurt/anger at every little thing which could be construed as a slight or ism is counter-productive imo. Even worse, if people are continually being bashed on the head over every little thing, it turns them off from listening when the big stuff comes up. Something like 'check your privilege' has been so over-used and effectively degraded in some circles that the only response it's likely to get from a whole bunch of people who've seen that happening is a dismissive eye-roll.

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Re: Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

Post  hugorune on Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:02 am

One thing I struggle with in the A+ forum is the way that they seem to dogpile on some posters who have clearly made an unintentional mistake. It's one thing to point out a mistake and give them an opportunity to apologise but it doesn't need half a dozen aggressive posts to get the point across.

Also the "no tone policing rule" seems to come across as " you have to be careful what you say but we are allowed to bully you".

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Re: Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

Post  Atheist Dude on Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:42 am

hugorune wrote:One thing I struggle with in the A+ forum is the way that they seem to dogpile on some posters who have clearly made an unintentional mistake. It's one thing to point out a mistake and give them an opportunity to apologise but it doesn't need half a dozen aggressive posts to get the point across.

Also the "no tone policing rule" seems to come across as " you have to be careful what you say but we are allowed to bully you".

I think those rate near the top of the list on the hit parade. Right behind "what do you want"? and "check your privilege"

You won't hear that here, other than in jest!
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Re: Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

Post  Cuduggan2K2 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:00 am

scott1328 wrote:Too often when dealing with marginalized groups, those that are not marginalized fail to grok the extent of the marginalization and fail to recognize marginalization when it happens. If the marginalized speak up about it, they are often met with denial "I don't do that" and "I don't know anyone who would do that" or minimalization "It's not that bad" or "It's just a joke, why are you so sensitive" or defensiveness "that's not what I meant", or deflection "what about that marginalized group", or finally dismissiveness "why are you stirring up drama"

I have no desire to silence the non-marginalized, but I do wish they would take the time to listen and believe it when a marginalized person describes their experience.

I get that, although (and I may start a thread on this) I feel that there are times where "You're being oversensitive/overreacting" is an appropriate response. When people have been conditioned/conditioned themselves to feel really hurt at every conceivable sleight they, and the rest of us, would benefit from looking at whether or not they are over reacting to some negative.

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Re: Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

Post  scott1328 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:39 am

Cuduggan2K2 wrote:
scott1328 wrote:Too often when dealing with marginalized groups, those that are not marginalized fail to grok the extent of the marginalization and fail to recognize marginalization when it happens. If the marginalized speak up about it, they are often met with denial "I don't do that" and "I don't know anyone who would do that" or minimalization "It's not that bad" or "It's just a joke, why are you so sensitive" or defensiveness "that's not what I meant", or deflection "what about that marginalized group", or finally dismissiveness "why are you stirring up drama"

I have no desire to silence the non-marginalized, but I do wish they would take the time to listen and believe it when a marginalized person describes their experience.

I get that, although (and I may start a thread on this) I feel that there are times where "You're being oversensitive/overreacting" is an appropriate response. When people have been conditioned/conditioned themselves to feel really hurt at every conceivable sleight they, and the rest of us, would benefit from looking at whether or not they are over reacting to some negative.

You are, of course, correct. To have a dialog communication must be two-way, and there are ways to facilitate dialog and ways to shut it down. And words and tone matter. They are ways and ways to convey to someone that they are overreacting that diffuses and allays a defensive response and that show the interlocutors have understood each other. The other forum FAILS at this in SPADES.

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Re: Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

Post  arpie on Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:44 am

What I think many fail to realize is that we are all oppressors and oppressed in turn. Some who are gay are also racists, and some victims of racism are homophobes. I think it is rare individual indeed who does not harbor some irrational biases. pale The challenge is to become aware of them.

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Re: Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

Post  JustinLong on Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:04 am

arpie wrote:What I think many fail to realize is that we are all oppressors and oppressed in turn. Some who are gay are also racists, and some victims of racism are homophobes. I think it is rare individual indeed who does not harbor some irrational biases. pale The challenge is to become aware of them.

Agreed.
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Re: Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

Post  arpie on Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:38 am

Hey Justin. Welcome aboard btw, if I haven't already said so. Considering the percentage of gays we now know are among us, I sometimes think back to what a horror show high school was for so many unbeknownst to me. For that goes back to the '50's when there was 0 sympathy or understanding.

For most of my youth I had a very positive if totally self-centered attitude toward gay men, and always wished there were more of them. Never understood all the hostility. They were generally seen as being better than average looking and dressed and danced well, so if you were a totally hetero male like me it was such a win/win. Ten percent or more of the top tier of competition eliminated by default. WTF was not to like??

Naturally I had a different attitude toward lesbianism, and never understood why some ostensibly hetero males found it alluring instead of threatening. I still wonder if they were all just innumerate. Cool

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Re: Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

Post  JustinLong on Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:33 am

arpie wrote:Hey Justin. Welcome aboard btw, if I haven't already said so.

Your Chaplain thanks you! tongue
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Re: Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

Post  arpie on Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:11 am

Yo Justin. Your one of those I enjoy missing online as at your age there is so much more on offer. Glad to see you've been spending less time online. In some strange way we're part of the same karass. Keep your vibes in the positive range and avoid getting sucked into some of the pile-on's at TR. You're at your best being an ombudsman of good will. Smile

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Re: Are people that live with oppression/marginalized authorities?

Post  JustinLong on Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:09 am

arpie wrote:Yo Justin. Your one of those I enjoy missing online as at your age there is so much more on offer. Glad to see you've been spending less time online. In some strange way we're part of the same karass. Keep your vibes in the positive range and avoid getting sucked into some of the pile-on's at TR. You're at your best being an ombudsman of good will. Smile

Thanks arpie! I try to keep it good Very Happy But yeah...this is my month off from modding at TR so I am not really around much...this might be a new trend though Cool
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