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Privilege vs. Social Position?

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Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  lpetrich on Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:42 am

I'm saying that I don't find the concept of social privilege very useful. It seems to me to be a byproduct of other social features that I think are more readily apparent. Like

Dominance vs. submission
Prestige vs. lack of prestige
Normal vs. abnormal
Virtuous vs. wicked
Worthy vs. unworthy

Or more generally, about social position
High vs. low

Furthermore, these features are often relative to subgroups of society.

One may also talk about
Earned vs. unearned

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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  Atheist Dude on Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:30 am

You missed the most obvious of all, rich and poor. That's the one that makes the largest impact.

If you're submissive, abnormal, wicked, unworthy, lack prestige and rich, you're just eccentric!
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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  Plop on Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:55 am

I agree with Atheist Dude, not based on anything but my own experience, I would say that rich/poor is by far the biggest one.

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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  lpetrich on Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:59 am

Certainly, rich vs. poor is an important distinction - the richer you are, the more you can buy, including protection of oneself from trouble.

So instead of blanket dismissals of opinions as resulting from "privilege", I'd prefer some more pertinent criticisms, at least those that can be justified. Like too-limited experience or unjustified generalization from personal circumstance or not noticing various things.

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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  Fred on Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:03 am

I think well educated vs. poorly educated makes more of a difference than rich vs. poor.

I think a poor person, even with few resources, would be able to better themselves and their circumstances if they had a good education.

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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  Atheist Dude on Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:39 am

Fred wrote:I think well educated vs. poorly educated makes more of a difference than rich vs. poor.

I think a poor person, even with few resources, would be able to better themselves and their circumstances if they had a good education.


There are many well educated poor people.
Much of the purpose of getting an education is to earn more money.
How do you get a formal education without money?
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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  Fred on Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:10 am

I didn’t say anything about a formal education. I said 'well educated' which would imply a 'good' education. (I know, it’s terribly subjective) It is not impossible to get a good education without paying money, if the person is willing to use the resources that are available to them for this purpose. Notice , I didn’t say free either. The idea is sort of along the lines of teaching a person to fish vs. giving the person fish.

And I can agree that for some the main point of education is to make more money but what is the point of having more money? If the goal is to gain a higher quality of life, at least from my perspective, I would place the ability to know about things (and the potential that can be derived from that) head and shoulders above simply having more money.


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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  AliRadicali on Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:26 am

Fred wrote:I think well educated vs. poorly educated makes more of a difference than rich vs. poor.

I think a poor person, even with few resources, would be able to better themselves and their circumstances if they had a good education.
While education is a very important factor, parental wealth, by and large, is the single most important determinant for the level of education of a child.

Now sure, there probably are some wealthy fundamentalists who send their kids to jesus camp and christian science institutions to get professionally indoctrinated, but I don't think this is a significant demographic in the grand scale of things. The reason why you see fundies in the US railing against liberal colleges' "war on christianity" is that despite a conservative christian upbringing, you see many, many kids lose their faith when they leave the religious echo chamber and get an education.


So yeah, if everyone had access to higher level education regardless of wealth, you'd probably see a lot more non-rich atheists out there. As long as an education is something only those with "privilege" can acquire, you'll see mostly "privileged" atheists. After all, there's no point in thinking about theology when you're living hand-to mouth working 24/7.
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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  The Patrician on Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:58 pm

Socio-economic status is by far and away the thing that influences privilege the most. It doesn't matter which gender you are, all the other axis of privilege are dependant on your wealth. That's one of the things A+ has imported from FTB and skepchick, a belief that, being white and male is the ultimate privilege, regardless of any other factor. Perhaps it's because the atheist conventions are dominated by white males, i'm not sure, i've never been to one.

It's interesting to see what the first, epic of epic-ness, super duper (90's american teen drama catch phrase) post is,

http://atheismplus.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2521

A straw man of the thing they are all fighting against.

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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  Matthew Bailey on Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:04 pm

lpetrich wrote:I'm saying that I don't find the concept of social privilege very useful. It seems to me to be a byproduct of other social features that I think are more readily apparent. Like

Dominance vs. submission
Prestige vs. lack of prestige
Normal vs. abnormal
Virtuous vs. wicked
Worthy vs. unworthy

Or more generally, about social position
High vs. low

Furthermore, these features are often relative to subgroups of society.

One may also talk about
Earned vs. unearned

The concept of Privilege is a part of the Identity Politics and Post-Modernists of the 1970s, and as such, is a tremendously problematic concept.

The official name of the concept is Epistemic Privilege.

And it is tremendously problematic, because it leads to either contradiction or tautology.

If a person is not able to understand another due to their "Privilege" then the only way to provide evidence of this is with information (evidence) that is accessible to both parties, which the concept of privilege says does not exist.

Or, the concept simply says that some people have the ability to indulge aspects of their lives that others are not capable, which is a tautology.

This does not mean that power-differentials do not exist.

It simply means that attempting to directly attack these differentials is doomed. What needs to be attacked are the foundations that prevent many from equalizing those differentials.

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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  Cuduggan2K2 on Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:36 pm

You seem to be using avrious definitions of privilege which are not the same as the one used, by and large, over at the other forum, I think this is what is causing the problem of communication in a lot of cases, people assuming they're on the same definitions.

Your tautology is not a tautology and your contradiction is not a contradiction.

Prvilege is the difference between two parties that means one party does not have to worry about a set of problems the other party has to worry about and therefore does not instinctively experience the same reaction to those problems.

this helped me nail the concept.

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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  AliRadicali on Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:41 pm

The Patrician wrote:Socio-economic status is by far and away the thing that influences privilege the most. It doesn't matter which gender you are, all the other axis of privilege are dependant on your wealth. That's one of the things A+ has imported from FTB and skepchick, a belief that, being white and male is the ultimate privilege, regardless of any other factor. Perhaps it's because the atheist conventions are dominated by white males, i'm not sure, i've never been to one.


It's why all this hubbub about injustices visited upon Rebecca Watson, Greta Christina, Jen McRight and the rest of the well-to-do professional blogger crowd is so off-putting. It really does make it hard to take these injustices seriously when you know the person writing about suffering from them is someone who makes a comfortable living working from home, getting paid to fly over the world to give talks. It really does stress the "first world problems" aspect, especially when you know the majority of the women in the same country, let alone the rest of the world, have it worse. When Ayaan Hirsi-Ali fights female opression in islam, distasteful though I find her generalisations and her politicisation of this battle, at least I know she's suffered actual harm, and she's fighting to prevent other people from suffering it. Richard Dawkins, for all his wealth and whitecisgendered male privilege, is at least spending his time and effort fighting the good fight, educating the world and spending the income on charitable causes.

It's the "omigosh I have it so bad (me me me)" mentality that I find incredibly vexing and irksome.
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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  Matthew Bailey on Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:33 pm

Cuduggan2K2 wrote:You seem to be using avrious definitions of privilege which are not the same as the one used, by and large, over at the other forum, I think this is what is causing the problem of communication in a lot of cases, people assuming they're on the same definitions.

Your tautology is not a tautology and your contradiction is not a contradiction.

Prvilege is the difference between two parties that means one party does not have to worry about a set of problems the other party has to worry about and therefore does not instinctively experience the same reaction to those problems.

this helped me nail the concept.

I understand this concept, and it tends to lead to Epistemic Privilege.

And, as you have described it, it is the tautological part of the problem with using Privilege as a means to distinguish people.

I am less worried about the fact that a rich person is not going to have to worry about Insurance than I am about a rich person not having to worry about insurance prohibiting me from getting Insurance.

And that has little to do with their experience of wealth.

They might be ignorant about me not being able to get Insurance.

They might even be ignorant of the fact that their beliefs are encouraging policies that effectively bar me from obtaining Insurance.

But to put the responsibility for that ignorance on their "Privilege" is to load a lot of other epistemic problems that are carried with the term as well.

I would rather address their ignorance, than their "Privilege" of wealth (which the term Privilege also turns into a Pejorative).

And I am less concerned about whether a person has suffered actual harm than I am that they have a good reason for their position, and that their arguments due not lead to potentially fatal problems philosophically (or, if they do lead to those problems, that they acknowledge those problems - and state "This is a problem, and I am actively looking for a solution to it, and will modify my views if needed").

To state that a person must have suffered harm in order to understand the suffering of another is identical with the Epistemic Privilege definition, and is identical to the Identity Politics as practiced since the 1970s (which have been fairly throughly discredited).

That Identity Politics has been discredited does by no means mean that the ideas of Social Justice have been discredited in any way. It just means that looking at them through the lens of Identity Politics is not likely to lead to any solutions (in the same way that trying to play Football on a Basketball court is going to work - You might be able to have some semblance of Football taking place, but it is entirely the wrong tool to be using).

True Equality is not achievable, but equality of opportunity, and equality of access to opportunity is achievable to a great degree.

We will never be able to create a world in which all people have exactly the same "stuff."

But we can create a world in which poverty is not the reasons for the inequalities that do exist, and we can make sure that the inequalities that do exist do not lead to a decrease in human dignity and an increase in suffering.

Most people would have little problem with there being a billion-fold difference between themselves and the "wealthy" if they were living in lavish surroundings and they had/have no need of any basic necessities, and were not prohibited from meeting more extravagant needs due to having to be tied to a job as a wage-slave.

And concentration upon privilege distracts from the issues of what is the most effective means to address poverty and discrimination. Addressing ignorance is probably a more effective means to that end.

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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  Cuduggan2K2 on Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:56 pm

And that has little to do with their experience of wealth.
And everything to do with their lack of experience of poverty, their privilege is not their wealth, it is their lack of experience of poverty.

But to put the responsibility for that ignorance on their "Privilege" is to load a lot of other epistemic problems that are carried with the term as well.
Privilege is not responsible for their ignorance, their ignorance and their privilege are synonymous. You are not using the same definition of privilege as everyone else.

And I am less concerned about whether a person has suffered actual harm than I am that they have a good reason for their position, and that their arguments due not lead to potentially fatal problems philosophically (or, if they do lead to those problems, that they acknowledge those problems - and state "This is a problem, and I am actively looking for a solution to it, and will modify my views if needed").
And the entire privilege argument is that there are harms which peoples positions cause which they will not be aware of, they have the privilege of not needing to be aware of those problems

To state that a person must have suffered harm in order to understand the suffering of another is identical with the Epistemic Privilege definition, and is identical to the Identity Politics as practiced since the 1970s (which have been fairly throughly discredited).
And that is not what is being stated, it’s that some TYPES of harm are not instinctive to understand by the privileged group because they have no comparable harm to compare it to.

But we can create a world in which poverty is not the reasons for the inequalities that do exist, and we can make sure that the inequalities that do exist do not lead to a decrease in human dignity and an increase in suffering.
Poverty is not the cause of most of the social injustice which A+ is looking at resolving, it is the effect of some of it.

Here you are focussing on a difference of wealth, which really isn’t the point. A person of minority ethnicity suffers harms which a person of majority ethnicity has no analogue for, the point in calling out someone’s privilege is to alert them that these harms that they are unaware of exist and they cannot instinctively empathise with them and need to hear out the minority person’s views to try and understand their position, I really do recommend the parable of the gecko and the husky which I think I linked above.

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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  Matthew Bailey on Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:52 pm

Cuduggan2K2 wrote:
And that has little to do with their experience of wealth.
And everything to do with their lack of experience of poverty, their privilege is not their wealth, it is their lack of experience of poverty.

But to put the responsibility for that ignorance on their "Privilege" is to load a lot of other epistemic problems that are carried with the term as well.
Privilege is not responsible for their ignorance, their ignorance and their privilege are synonymous. You are not using the same definition of privilege as everyone else.

And I am less concerned about whether a person has suffered actual harm than I am that they have a good reason for their position, and that their arguments due not lead to potentially fatal problems philosophically (or, if they do lead to those problems, that they acknowledge those problems - and state "This is a problem, and I am actively looking for a solution to it, and will modify my views if needed").
And the entire privilege argument is that there are harms which peoples positions cause which they will not be aware of, they have the privilege of not needing to be aware of those problems

To state that a person must have suffered harm in order to understand the suffering of another is identical with the Epistemic Privilege definition, and is identical to the Identity Politics as practiced since the 1970s (which have been fairly throughly discredited).
And that is not what is being stated, it’s that some TYPES of harm are not instinctive to understand by the privileged group because they have no comparable harm to compare it to.

But we can create a world in which poverty is not the reasons for the inequalities that do exist, and we can make sure that the inequalities that do exist do not lead to a decrease in human dignity and an increase in suffering.
Poverty is not the cause of most of the social injustice which A+ is looking at resolving, it is the effect of some of it.

Here you are focussing on a difference of wealth, which really isn’t the point. A person of minority ethnicity suffers harms which a person of majority ethnicity has no analogue for, the point in calling out someone’s privilege is to alert them that these harms that they are unaware of exist and they cannot instinctively empathise with them and need to hear out the minority person’s views to try and understand their position, I really do recommend the parable of the gecko and the husky which I think I linked above.

The points I have highlighted above, illustrate that this is still talking about Epistemic Privilege.

It is saying that a person's privilege gives them either knowledge, or lack of knowledge, about another person.

The use of the words "Understand," "Know," "Empathize with" all indicate that privilege is referring to knowledge about the world.

I know the definition people think they are using. I had to write several papers over the last several years for classes that dealt with these issues.

The example of wealth was just one example of the dimensions along which people claim "Privilege" to illustrate that their use of the word "Privilege" and the connotations and baggage that the word carries with it is the same definition that I am using - They just have not examined the word in this fashion.

And the [url="http://footstepsonconcrete.com/2011/07/10/this-is-the-single-most-brilliant-explanation-of-privilege-i-have-ever-seen/"Tale of the Husky and Gecko[/url] is a perfect example of Identity Politics (and a tragic example to try to compare to Humans, due to the fact that the Gecko and Husky's differences are due to unchangeable physiological differences).

There is absolutely nothing that can be done about the differences in their condition. Either the Gecko must accommodate the Husky, and they must deal with their differences, or the Husky must accommodate the Gecko.

Concentrating upon differences that are physiologically set is the wrong thing to do in this circumstance. It is focusing upon a tautology (That a difference between Huskies and Geckos exist).

They they are ignorant of the other's condition is far more important, and calling it "privilege" carries with it assumptions and baggage that are destructive to the needs that must be addressed.

[url="http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2012/2/10/theres-this-slovenian-saying/"]Slavoj Žižek[/url] has a criticism of the idea of Privilege as well, and how dangerous it is to real understanding and teaching:

Slavoj Žižek wrote:What is crucial and also I think—especially today, when we have some kind of re-emergence of at least some kind of practical spirit, protest, and so on—one of the dangers I see amongst some radical academia circles is this mistrust in theory, you know, saying, “Who needs fat books on Hegel and logic? My god, they have to act!”

No, I think quite on the contrary. More than ever, today it’s crucial to emphasize that on the one hand, yes, every empirical example undermines theory. There are no full examples. But, point two, this does not mean that we should turn the examples against theory. At the same time, there is no exception. There are no examples outside theories. Every example of a theory is an indication of the inner split dynamics of the theory itself, and here dialectics begins, and so on....

Don’t fall into the trap of feeling guilty, especially if you have the luck of studying in such a rich place. All this bullshit like, “Somalian children are starving....” No! Somalian children are not starving because you have a good time here. There are others who are much more guilty. Rather, use the opportunity. Society will need more and more intellectual work. It’s this topic of intellectuals being privileged—this is typical petty-bourgeois manipulation to make you feel guilty. You know who told me the best story? The British Marxist, Terry Eagleton. He told me that 20 or 30 years ago he saw a big British Marxist figure, Eric Hobsbawm, the historian, giving a talk to ordinary workers in a factory. Hobsbawm wanted to appear popular, not elitist, so he started by saying to the workers, “Listen, I’m not here to teach you. I am here to exchange experiences. I will probably learn more from you than you will from me.” Then he got the answer of a lifetime. One ordinary worker interrupted him and said, “Fuck off! You are privileged to study, to know. You are here to teach us! Yes, we should learn from you! Don’t give us this bullshit, ‘We all know the same.’ You are elite in the sense that you were privileged to learn and to know a lot. So of course we should learn from you. Don’t play this false egalitarianism.”

The idea of Privilege not only leads to Tautologies or Contradictions, but it creates a sense of false egalitarianism.

True, Žižek's examination of Privilege is complex, and he doesn't shy from using the word (nor do I). The way that many people are using the term is more than just an illustration of a division between people's status, but rather as something to be attacked and destroyed..

That there exists a distinction between people's experience is tautological.

Those distinctions are often very important (as in the case of a Professor who is privileged to be able to learn and understand the world is more capable of teaching others this material than someone who must work as a mechanic or a janitor).

And that they create differences in people's experience is also tautological.

Pointing these differences out achieves what?

How about instead providing the knowledge that is necessary to educate others to experiences which they have no immediate experience?

Because the term "Privilege" refers to something, as I keep saying, which is loaded with all manner of other, highly problematic baggage.

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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  lpetrich on Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:14 am

AliRadicali wrote:It's why all this hubbub about injustices visited upon Rebecca Watson, Greta Christina, Jen McRight and the rest of the well-to-do professional blogger crowd is so off-putting. It really does make it hard to take these injustices seriously when you know the person writing about suffering from them is someone who makes a comfortable living working from home, getting paid to fly over the world to give talks. It really does stress the "first world problems" aspect, especially when you know the majority of the women in the same country, let alone the rest of the world, have it worse.
AliRadicali, what would they have to suffer before you get outraged? Seriously.

Is what they've gone through something that you consent to suffer for yourself? People who are supposedly on your side vilifying you and attacking you and talking about how you ought to be rear-end-raped or murdered, with some of them threatening to do so.

Also, AliRadicali, if you were living in the British North American Colonies in the 1770's, would you have sided with King George III on the ground that the American revolutionaries are a bunch of crybaby spoiled brats from the upper crust of society?

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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  Dar on Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:26 am

I don't think that its fair to dismiss the problems that some popular female bloggers have had with rude comments just because they have it better than many others. Then again, I don't think its fair to dismiss the problems of wealthy white men just because they have it better than many others either.

If you want to have a rule that says you can't use the example of those who have it worse to trivialize someone's concerns, you have to apply it universally unless you like acting as a hypocrite. This is something the atheismplus.com forum doesn't seem to get. I have frequently seen them accusing people who bring up the worse off as attempting to dismiss and trivialize their concerns, while they simultaneously dismiss and trivialize the concerns of those they perceive as 'privileged'.

I think this discussion about the concept of privilege has been excellent. Cuduggan2K2 and Mathew Bailey have both brought up some excellent points. Here are a few of my own thoughts.

A few years ago while standing at a bus stop, two black people were discussing how wary of law enforcement you had to be in neighboring states and counties. Being white myself, I had never even thought of such a thing. I guess that could be characterized as learning about my privilege. Then again, it could also be characterized as learning about, thus dispelling some ignorance of, concerns that others have that I do not.

I won't deny that the notion of privilege does help clarify certain things.

I find myself inclined to agree with Mathew Bailey that privilege, at least as it seems to be used in feminist circles, carries a great deal of problematic baggage. In my short exposure to its use in this manner, (particularly at atheismplus.com forum) it has been used more to label, stereotype, accuse, divide, and hate than it has been used to point out, inform, reveal, bring together, and enlighten.

I think a lot depends upon the conceptual framework we are working in. Many things are context sensitive.


Last edited by Dar on Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:27 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : minor edit for clarity.)

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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  Matthew Bailey on Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:54 am

Dar wrote:I don't think that its fair to dismiss the problems that some popular female bloggers have had with rude comments just because they have it better than many others. Then again, I don't think its fair to dismiss the problems of wealthy white men just because they have it better than many others either.

If you want to have a rule that says you can't use the example of those who have it worse to trivialize someone's concerns, you have to apply it universally unless you like acting as a hypocrite. This is something the atheismplus.com forum doesn't seem to get. I have frequently seen them accusing people who bring up the worse off as attempting to dismiss and trivialize their concerns, while they simultaneously dismiss and trivialize the concerns of those they perceive as 'privileged'.

I think this discussion about the concept of privilege has been excellent. Cuduggan2K2 and Mathew Bailey have both brought up some excellent points. Here are a few of my own thoughts.

A few years ago while standing at a bus stop, two black people were discussing how wary of law enforcement you had to be in neighboring states and counties. Being white myself, I had never even thought of such a thing. I guess that could be characterized as learning about my privilege. Then again, it could also be characterized as learning about, thus dispelling some ignorance of, concerns that others have that I do not.

I won't deny that the notion of privilege does help clarify certain things.

I find myself inclined to agree with Mathew Bailey that privilege, at least as it seems to be used in feminist circles, carries a great deal of problematic baggage. In my short exposure to its use in this manner, (particularly at atheismplus.com forum) it has been used more to label, stereotype, accuse, divide, and hate than it has been used to point out, inform, reveal, bring together, and enlighten.

I think a lot depends upon the conceptual framework we are working in. Many things are context sensitive.

Pretty much everything that you have observed here falls under the rubric of "Identity Politics," from which the term "Privilege" arose (and which is how the people at the other Atheism+ forums use the word).

The term is fairly useless when you go to try and define it in a way that will do any actual work.

It is better to look at the actual function and problems that arise from any differences, and what solutions will help to address any problems that are present in a person's or group's life(lives).

Pathological usage of terminology, especially pathological terminology, does not help anyone.

It is funny that I am being censored on another forum because I am trying to address this specific issue.

I wonder if they realize how ironic it is for a social-justice forum to advocate censorship for what is (on my part) a very civil discussion of what they mean by specific terms, and how their usage of them leads to problems.

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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  AliRadicali on Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:27 am

lpetrich wrote:
AliRadicali wrote:It's why all this hubbub about injustices visited upon Rebecca Watson, Greta Christina, Jen McRight and the rest of the well-to-do professional blogger crowd is so off-putting. It really does make it hard to take these injustices seriously when you know the person writing about suffering from them is someone who makes a comfortable living working from home, getting paid to fly over the world to give talks. It really does stress the "first world problems" aspect, especially when you know the majority of the women in the same country, let alone the rest of the world, have it worse.
AliRadicali, what would they have to suffer before you get outraged? Seriously.
Something more than emotional distress at an imagined threat. I'm sorry if I don't prioritise RW's failure to understand how internet trolling works, or her inability to report groping to the authirites over, say, (fe)male genital mutilation .


Is what they've gone through something that you consent to suffer for yourself? People who are supposedly on your side vilifying you and attacking you and talking about how you ought to be rear-end-raped or murdered, with some of them threatening to do so.
Being on the side of reason and gender equality is not the same as siding with the first person who gets his/her feefees hurt.
In case I wasn't clear enough, I think (legal) discrimination against homosexuals, a bigoted legal system which persecutes black people, hispanics and (gasp) men more often and more severely than women, and a political-religious movement that seeks to subjugate women are all FAR MORE pressing concerns than the feminist attention seeking of women who have been the "victims" of having their feelings hurt and not feeling safe.

Also, AliRadicali, if you were living in the British North American Colonies in the 1770's, would you have sided with King George III on the ground that the American revolutionaries are a bunch of crybaby spoiled brats from the upper crust of society?

Look, I understand that it's not a zero sum game, and that an injustice isn't negated by a bigger injustice. At the same time, I do feel that when you're a group promoting "social justice", not "social justice for feminists", it would help if they focused on big injustices, not little quibbles.

I think actual harassment is something which should be dealt with. I just happen to have a completely different view on what is and isn't harassment ("Would you like to have cofee with me?" is not harassment, no not even in an elevator). Furthermore, I have a lot of trouble accepting the evidence that there IS a real problem, since the only ones capable of seeing it are the FTB people and A+, and all we have for evidence is testimonials and internet trollposts. Somehow this grave injustice has eluded the majority of the atheist movement, even the women there.
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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  lpetrich on Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:44 am

AliRadicali wrote:
lpetrich wrote:
AliRadicali wrote:It's why all this hubbub about injustices visited upon Rebecca Watson, Greta Christina, Jen McRight and the rest of the well-to-do professional blogger crowd is so off-putting. It really does make it hard to take these injustices seriously when you know the person writing about suffering from them is someone who makes a comfortable living working from home, getting paid to fly over the world to give talks. It really does stress the "first world problems" aspect, especially when you know the majority of the women in the same country, let alone the rest of the world, have it worse.
AliRadicali, what would they have to suffer before you get outraged? Seriously.
Something more than emotional distress at an imagined threat. I'm sorry if I don't prioritise RW's failure to understand how internet trolling works, or her inability to report groping to the authirites over, say, (fe)male genital mutilation .
So trolling is OK with you? Especially if it's you being trolled by people who are supposedly on your side.

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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  AliRadicali on Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:08 am

lpetrich wrote:
AliRadicali wrote:
lpetrich wrote:
AliRadicali wrote:It's why all this hubbub about injustices visited upon Rebecca Watson, Greta Christina, Jen McRight and the rest of the well-to-do professional blogger crowd is so off-putting. It really does make it hard to take these injustices seriously when you know the person writing about suffering from them is someone who makes a comfortable living working from home, getting paid to fly over the world to give talks. It really does stress the "first world problems" aspect, especially when you know the majority of the women in the same country, let alone the rest of the world, have it worse.
AliRadicali, what would they have to suffer before you get outraged? Seriously.
Something more than emotional distress at an imagined threat. I'm sorry if I don't prioritise RW's failure to understand how internet trolling works, or her inability to report groping to the authirites over, say, (fe)male genital mutilation .
So trolling is OK with you? Especially if it's you being trolled by people who are supposedly on your side.
Define trolling. The term has become so diluted by misuse that I don't know what you mean. Is playing the devil's advocate trolling? Is disagreeing with feminism when you claim to be supportive of social justice issues "trolling"?
Or are you talking about people who deliberately piss people off for attention?

I have a high tolerance for assholes and idiots, as long as I get to call them such. Engaging them and proving them to be ignorant and bad at logic is a lot more productive and satisfying than trying to lock them out while you cower under the bed.
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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  Westprog on Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:27 am

lpetrich wrote:Also, AliRadicali, if you were living in the British North American Colonies in the 1770's, would you have sided with King George III on the ground that the American revolutionaries are a bunch of crybaby spoiled brats from the upper crust of society?

That's an interesting analogy. What happens when you prioritise the concerns of an elite minority over everybody else? In this example, slavery and genocide.

It's not unreasonable for people to be concerned with issues that involve them directly. However, if one wishes to focus on such problems, it's not surprising when some other people are primarily concerned with issues that effect them, and other people are more interested in issues that they consider more significant. If you insist that harassment experienced by well-off white women is an important issue, then don't be surprised when somebody else raises issues important to well-off white men. To a rape victim in the Balkans, or somebody starving in Africa, or someone imprisoned for voicing opinions in China, it's unlikely that one problem looks more important than the other.

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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  lpetrich on Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:12 am

AliRadicali wrote:
lpetrich wrote:
AliRadicali wrote:I'm sorry if I don't prioritise RW's failure to understand how internet trolling works, or her inability to report groping to the authirites over, say, (fe)male genital mutilation .
So trolling is OK with you? Especially if it's you being trolled by people who are supposedly on your side.
Define trolling.
After you. You were the one who referred to trolling first.
I have a high tolerance for assholes and idiots, as long as I get to call them such. Engaging them and proving them to be ignorant and bad at logic is a lot more productive and satisfying than trying to lock them out while you cower under the bed.
But sometimes it's better to keep them from cluttering up discussions with their troublemaking.

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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  lpetrich on Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:21 am

Westprog wrote:It's not unreasonable for people to be concerned with issues that involve them directly. However, if one wishes to focus on such problems, it's not surprising when some other people are primarily concerned with issues that effect them, and other people are more interested in issues that they consider more significant. If you insist that harassment experienced by well-off white women is an important issue, then don't be surprised when somebody else raises issues important to well-off white men. To a rape victim in the Balkans, or somebody starving in Africa, or someone imprisoned for voicing opinions in China, it's unlikely that one problem looks more important than the other.
I'm not impressed with this attempt at divisiveness. One concern does not exclude another concern.

I think that a Third World feminist might get let down if she learns of issues like what Rebecca Watson has had to go through. An advanced country and still plenty of obnoxious sexists and feminism-haters?

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Re: Privilege vs. Social Position?

Post  uncrystal on Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:29 am

lpetrich wrote:
Westprog wrote:It's not unreasonable for people to be concerned with issues that involve them directly. However, if one wishes to focus on such problems, it's not surprising when some other people are primarily concerned with issues that effect them, and other people are more interested in issues that they consider more significant. If you insist that harassment experienced by well-off white women is an important issue, then don't be surprised when somebody else raises issues important to well-off white men. To a rape victim in the Balkans, or somebody starving in Africa, or someone imprisoned for voicing opinions in China, it's unlikely that one problem looks more important than the other.
I'm not impressed with this attempt at divisiveness. One concern does not exclude another concern.

I think that a "Third World feminist might get let down if she learns of issues like what Rebecca Watson has had to go through. An advanced country and still plenty of obnoxious sexists and feminism-haters?

I highly doubt a "third world feminist" (who maybe can't vote, leave the house with a male family member, get an education, have absolutely any reproductive rights even the right to prevent reproduction by saying no to sex etc) would be concerned about or be "let down" by RW overreacting to being hit on in an elevator and then most people pointing out that she was overreacting.

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