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simple description of "privilege"

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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  Skavau on Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:22 am

fossil wrote:
AliRadicali wrote:If women want to be seen as agents trather than victims, it'd be nice if they could start acting a bit more tough and stoic instead of demanding men to change everything to suit women's preferences.

"If women want to be seen as humans, they need to act like Real Men."

Think about how ignorant you sound.
I think it sounds more ignorant to suggest that victimhood and weakness is exclusive to women and also to suggest that people are defined behaviourally by their sex.

You've inadvertently been sexist, by the standards of A+.
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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  devilsadvocate on Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:31 am

Since we're telling stories here, I thought I'd chip in with one. I'm not a writer like piginthecity, but I think this describes at least a few experiences on the "silly space", even if being a bit hyperbolic Surprised

Dog: Hey, lizard! I noticed it's a little warm in here, so do you mind if I turn the thermostat down a little? I have s...

Lizard: Check your fucking privilege!

Dog: What? But I just.. I don't understand.

Lizard: Holy fuck, you just don't get it, do you? Go read on cold-blooded animals and don't you fucking come back before you have.

Goldfish, that's been watching the discussion from the table: Can't believe that guy, What an inconsiderate douchebag. Learn some fucking manners, you privileged asshole.

Dog: Hold on a second.. I think it's you've that been rude to me! What is it that I've done wrong here?

Goldfish: Don't you fucking start tone-policing us! It's winter outside and we're cold-blooded. It's terrible for us, so go check your goddamn privilege, like right now!

Fly on the wall: Yeah! FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU!

Landlord steps in, "What's the commotion?"

Goldfish and Lizard together: This guys being inconsiderate asshole!

Fly on the wall: Yeah!

Landlord: Oh, I see. Trol.. I mean Dog, what do you want?

Dog: Well, I just thought we could save money in energy costs if we turned the thermostat down a little.

Landlord: Look now, these are cold-blooded animals and it's winter outside. You better get this through your thick warm-blooded skull. You're new here so I'm willing to consider your ignorance in good faith. Start groveling and apologizing and I wont kick your ass out of here.

Dog: Me? I'm the one to apologize at the threat of eviction, are you kidding? THEY were rude to ME, I was just making a suggestion.

Landlord: You, a privileged hetero warm-blooded mammal? You need to seriously think about what you've said here and who you have hurt with your inconsiderate pile of shit "suggestion". This is OUR house, do you get it: OUR. Get the fuck out of here, we've all heard enough of your drivel.

Fly on the wall: Yeah! FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU!

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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  AliRadicali on Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:12 am

fossil wrote:
AliRadicali wrote:If women want to be seen as agents rather than victims, it'd be nice if they could start acting a bit more tough and stoic instead of demanding men to change everything to suit women's preferences.

"If women want to be seen as humans, they need to act like Real Men."

Think about how ignorant you sound.
I love how insightful this little jab is into the underlying psyche.

First of all, the equivocation between "agent" and "real human being". Because victims aren't really human? Agency is a person's measure of humanity? The implication here is that feminists, who see themselves as victims of male oppression, apparently see themselves (or at the very least, the women who aren't doing anything to stop the "oppression") as less-than-human. Wow.
Secondly, "tough and stoic" = exclusively male attributes? Where did all that female empowerment stuff go? Beign seen as an agent isn't just about the perks, the power and authority, it's also about the costs: accountability, reponsibility. When a man fucks up, he is held accountable. If a man complains, he's told to toughen up and stop being a crybaby. It's part of being the agent instead of the helpless victim.

I don't understand the cognitive dissonance required to believe you're fighting for equality while you're promoting one group over the other, to believe that you're fighting traditional gender roles while you grab on to them at every turn when it suits your argument.
If gender roles are bullshit, why are men constantly painted as brutish oppressors, why are women painted as helpless victims, by the very charlatans and snakeoil saleswomen who are claiming that women are equal to (or better than) men?

The concept of "benevolent sexism" is a perfect illustration of what is wrong with feminism. Even when they have to acknowledge certain benefits (*gasp*) to being a woman, they paint these benefits as rare, insubstantial, or part of the mechanism designed to subjugate women. When men are disproportionately affected by a negative consequence, it's "patriarchy hurts men too". Nothing can touch the basic premise of "patriarchy" because no matter how it affects the genders, it's always viewed through the lense of a suppressive misogynistic system, rather than a social construct with perks and costs to both parties. Instead of looking at the data and making an informed assessment, the presupposition of patriarchy is taken as axiomatic and all the data are rationalised to fit that paradigm of systematic female oppression.
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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  Westprog on Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:47 am

The point is that the advantages that women face are highly situational, rare, and often come with the huge cost of the flipside (i.e. a small percentage of women may benefit from being viewed as loving and nurturing by winning custody cases, but overall it means that women don't get managerial positions, are dissuaded from high paying careers like engineering, etc etc). With men, the disadvantages are rarely experienced and are heavily, heavily outweighed by the advantages they receive.

Samsa wrote:You're confusing situational advantage (assuming your interpretation is correct in that the woman is better off) with privilege. The woman's privilege in this situation is actually benevolent sexism - they are assumed to be the victim because women are "weak" and "nurturing" and would never be aggressive. This isn't a privilege in the same way that saying, "Wow, that shirt detracts attention from your fucked up looking face" isn't a compliment.
http://www.rationalskepticism.org/post1515480.html#p1515480[/quote]

This is something I've noticed in the discussion about male and female privilege. Firstly, the advantages women get in society are dismissed as "situational" and "rare". This is obviously not the case. Just under one hundred years ago, ditches were dug across Europe, filled up with people, and for four years, they were killed and mutilated, in the millions. All of those people were men. The same pattern has held in wars for thousands of years. Men continue to be far more likely to suffer from violence of almost all kinds, from crime to work related injuries to road accidents. These are substantive differences in the life experiences of being a man, and being a woman. They are every bit as real as the difficulties a woman might face in achieving success in a particular profession. As we can see from the above quotes (and I'm not trying to assign them to individuals, as the viewpoint is universal) these things are almost invisible. The people who discuss gender differences tend to do so from a feminist viewpoint, and use a feminist analysis that starts with the presupposition that women are disadvantaged, and that this is due to the exercise of male power, which creates a privileged position for men as an entire gender, and an unprivileged position for women as an entire gender. Then all countervailing evidence is placed in the "situational advantage" or "benevolent sexism" basket.

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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  uncrystal on Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:49 am

Oh hush, you're better off dead than caring for babies Razz

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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  dancer_rnb on Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:23 am

Skep tickle wrote:
rEvolutionist wrote:Hi. Can someone give me a real simple idiots guide description of how 'privilege' is used (and misused, if appropriate) in the feminist movement. I've read lots and lots of words on the issue for the past week or so, but find myself pretty confused now. I'd prefer a discussion about it here, rather than having to chase links. Cheers.
Dar wrote:wikipedia: Privilege (social inequality)

I think this link may be a decent starting point for the discussion. Even so, recent experience with this concept seems to suggest privilege is more of an ad hominen than a concept that should be taken seriously. That could simply be misuse of the concept though.
Laughing re the 2 lines I've bolded above.

First, rEvolutionist, thanks for starting this. That was one of my questions over there; it was one of several examples in which a word was being used in a different way than I learned it.

Second, I'll bring some info from links into the thread as seed for discussion. Here's some of the key stuff from the intro at that Wiki page (bolding added):
Privilege is a way of framing issues surrounding social inequality, focusing as much on the advantages that one group accrues from society as on the disadvantages that another group experiences.

...

Privilege differs from conditions of overt prejudice, in which a dominant group actively seeks to oppress or suppress another group for its own advantage. Instead, theories of privilege suggest that the privileged group views its social, cultural, and economic experiences as a norm that everyone should experience, rather than as an advantaged position that must be maintained at the expense of others.

"Of Dogs and Lizards: A Parable of Privilege" is linked in various 101 threads over at A+safe; I found it to be interesting & fairly useful in describing the concept, though not in the nearly constant admonishment to "check your privilege" (apparently meaning, "check it at the door", not "check it to see whether it's an issue in this conversation"). This is the page that I'd seen linked, & it links to the parable (& discussion) here. The parable is about a gecko & big furry dog who live together in house in a cold climate; the gecko, which is cold-blooded of course, can't get warm, but can't operate the thermostat. The dog feels plenty warm and keeps turning the thermostat down further. From the middle of the page at the second link:
So one day, [the gecko] sees the dog messing with the A/C again, and she says, “hey. Dog. Listen, it makes me really cold when you do that.”

The dog kind of looks at her, and shrugs, and keeps turning the dial.

This is not because the dog is a jerk.

This is because the dog has no fucking clue what the lizard even just said.

Consider: he’s a nordic dog in a temperate climate. The word “cold” is completely meaningless to him. He’s never been cold in his entire life. He lives in an environment that is perfectly suited to him, completely aligned with his comfort level, a world he grew up with the tools to survive and control, built right in to the way he was born.

So the lizard tries to explain it to him.

... [But] he doesn’t get what she’s saying to him, and keeps hurting her.

Most privilege is like this.

A straight cisgendered male American, because of who he is and the culture he lives in, does not and cannot feel the stress, creepiness, and outright threat behind a catcall the way a woman can. His upbringing has given him fur and paws big enough to turn the dials and plopped him down in temperate Ohio. When she says “you don’t have to put up with being leered at,” what she means is, “you don’t ever have to be wary of sexual interest.” That’s male privilege. Not so much that something doesn’t happen to men, but that it will never carry the same weight, even if it does.

So what does this mean? And what are we asking you to do, when we say “check your privilege” or “your privilege is showing”?

Well, quite simply, we want you to understand when you have fur. And, by extension, when that means you should listen. See, the dog’s not an asshole just for turning down the temperature. As far as he knows, that’s fine, right? He genuinely cannot feel the pain it causes, he doesn’t even know about it. No one thinks he’s a bad person for totally accidentally doing harm.

Here’s where he becomes an asshole: the minute the gecko says, “look, you’re hurting me,” and he says, “what? No, I’m not. This ‘cold’ stuff doesn’t even exist, I should know, I’ve never felt it. You’re imagining it. It’s not there. It’s fine because of fur, because of paws, because look, you can curl up around this lamp, because sometimes my water dish is too tepid and I just shut up and cope, obviously temperature isn’t this big deal you make it, and you’ve never had to deal with mange anyway, my life is just as hard.”

And then the dog just ignores it. Because he can. That’s the privilege that comes with having fur, with being a dog in Ohio. He doesn’t have to think about it. He doesn’t have to live daily with the cold. He has no idea what he’s talking about, and he will never, ever be forced to learn.

So, as (presumably) an example, in the Schrodinger's Rapist discussion, when men say "women are over-reacting, there's no way the actual level of threat warrants that degree of vigilance", yet (a) they've never themselves experienced being a woman and facing unwanted advances on a relatively frequent basis as many women indeed feel they do, and (b) perhaps many of the men wouldn't find it threatening if the same degree of 'interest' were shown to them. (Not rape, but interest or advances.)

This then would presumably be an example in which the "SR-deniers" are "letting their privilege show" and a person so inclined might say they "should check their privilege" and instead listen to the concern being expressed, without judging it, so that they can better understand that the concern does exist and is very real and in fact pervasive for the gecko, or in this case for many women.

Editing to add the links, somehow they fell out; first is the one I'd seen at A+safe & opens with an intro to privilege; 2nd one opens with the parable:
https://sindeloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/37/
http://redheadbouquet.tumblr.com/post/7477579641/on-the-difference-between-good-dogs-and-dogs-that-need

Some of the Schrodinger's Rapists advocates (in other places, granted) didn't seem to like mention being made of white views of black men in the past. White privilege at work?

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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  Eldin Alvere on Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:35 pm

Skep tickle wrote:
So, as (presumably) an example, in the Schrodinger's Rapist discussion, when men say "women are over-reacting, there's no way the actual level of threat warrants that degree of vigilance", yet (a) they've never themselves experienced being a woman and facing unwanted advances on a relatively frequent basis as many women indeed feel they do, and (b) perhaps many of the men wouldn't find it threatening if the same degree of 'interest' were shown to them. (Not rape, but interest or advances.)

This then would presumably be an example in which the "SR-deniers" are "letting their privilege show" and a person so inclined might say they "should check their privilege" and instead listen to the concern being expressed, without judging it, so that they can better understand that the concern does exist and is very real and in fact pervasive for the gecko, or in this case for many women.

Uh, how do you know men aren't being hit on all the time? While it is generally true that men tend to be the aggressor, that's not my experience. I remember one time I was in Hong Kong and a woman walked up and tried to flirt with me. I said "sorry I'm married" and her response was simply "she's not here". She wouldn't leave me alone until I left. Another time in San Diego, I was simply walking by a club and a woman waiting outside grabbed my junk and wouldn't let go. Her friends thought thought it was hilarious.

Also, women are less likely to take no for an answer. Go to a club and watch the women who hit on other guys. See how god damned persistent they tend to be. Also, women can be just as obsessive as men and are just as sexually predatory as men. The primary difference between sexual assaults simply comes down to gender perceptions and physical dominance.

We are all people and we all have different experiences. Yes, some women may not enjoy being hit on; some women do enjoy being hit on. For many women, it depends on their initial perceptions of the man that is hitting on them. For instance, if I was to go to a club and hit on a fat ugly girl that every guy is ignoring, I am fairly confident that she would be thrilled and wouldn't leave me alone for the rest of the night. However, being an average looking guy, I would likely just be summarily dismissed if I was to approach a knock out (my wife's initial response to my trying to strike up a conversation was "go find some one else".)

To attempt to simplify gender interactions, courting, etc. as if we all have the same expectations, experiences, desires, etc. is erroneous. For instance, if elevatorguy had looked like Brad Pitt, RW's response definitely would not have been to be creeped out.

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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  Kurt H on Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:37 am

uncrystal wrote:In the parable if the dog can literally not comprehend the meaning of the word cold then the two of them can never have a discussion about the temperature.

Does this comparison deeply disturb anyone?

If you read it that way, sure. But the parable is not saying the dog can never understand the concept, just that the dog doesn't understand it right away. The point is that your own position of privilege can be invisible to you.

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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  uncrystal on Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:58 am

Kurt H wrote:
uncrystal wrote:In the parable if the dog can literally not comprehend the meaning of the word cold then the two of them can never have a discussion about the temperature.

Does this comparison deeply disturb anyone?

If you read it that way, sure. But the parable is not saying the dog can never understand the concept, just that the dog doesn't understand it right away. The point is that your own position of privilege can be invisible to you.

Okay.. but

Consider: he’s a nordic dog in a temperate climate. The word “cold” is completely meaningless to him. He’s never been cold in his entire life. He lives in an environment that is perfectly suited to him, completely aligned with his comfort level, a world he grew up with the tools to survive and control, built right in to the way he was born.

The word "cold" is "completely meaningless" to the dog. Whereas.. people of any gender, race, sexuality, socioeconomic background etc all speak the same "language". We all know what pain and fear are and feel like.

Just as a general note, I tend to think people feel their experiences and emotions are more "unique" (for lack of a better word) than they actually are.

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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  Kurt H on Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:10 pm

uncrystal wrote:The word "cold" is "completely meaningless" to the dog. Whereas.. people of any gender, race, sexuality, socioeconomic background etc all speak the same "language". We all know what pain and fear are and feel like.

Yes, but it's a parable -- the point is to help explain how a privileged person could fail to be empathetic with the circumstances of someone who lacks privilege. The dog has never, themselves, felt cold. The situation can be described to the dog, or analogized to something the dog has experienced but at the moment that the gecko raises the objection, that objection doesn't make sense. The dog will be confused because temperature doesn't impact the dog as much as it does the gecko.

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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  rEvolutionist on Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:38 pm

Kurt H wrote:
uncrystal wrote:The word "cold" is "completely meaningless" to the dog. Whereas.. people of any gender, race, sexuality, socioeconomic background etc all speak the same "language". We all know what pain and fear are and feel like.

Yes, but it's a parable -- the point is to help explain how a privileged person could fail to be empathetic with the circumstances of someone who lacks privilege. The dog has never, themselves, felt cold. The situation can be described to the dog, or analogized to something the dog has experienced but at the moment that the gecko raises the objection, that objection doesn't make sense. The dog will be confused because temperature doesn't impact the dog as much as it does the gecko.

The problem is in assuming that the objection automatically doesn't make sense. What's the basis for that assumption?

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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  Kurt H on Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:11 pm

rEvolutionist wrote:The problem is in assuming that the objection automatically doesn't make sense. What's the basis for that assumption?

It's not an "assumption." It's a necessary plot point in the parable. The idea is to describe how people can fail to be aware of their own privilege. The dog is intended to illustrate that. If the dog happened to "get it" there would be no parable and the story wouldn't make sense. In similar circumstances to the dog, you probably won't "get it" either. You might, but you probably won't.

I suppose the parable could have described a hundred geckos living with dogs where five of the dogs get it, but 95 of them don't and the five dogs who get it are mentioned in passing. But that would be a pointless waste of text, not to mention that it's a parable not a controlled study on hypothetical talking animals.

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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  AliRadicali on Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:44 pm

Kurt H wrote:
rEvolutionist wrote:The problem is in assuming that the objection automatically doesn't make sense. What's the basis for that assumption?

It's not an "assumption." It's a necessary plot point in the parable. The idea is to describe how people can fail to be aware of their own privilege. The dog is intended to illustrate that. If the dog happened to "get it" there would be no parable and the story wouldn't make sense. In similar circumstances to the dog, you probably won't "get it" either. You might, but you probably won't.

I suppose the parable could have described a hundred geckos living with dogs where five of the dogs get it, but 95 of them don't and the five dogs who get it are mentioned in passing. But that would be a pointless waste of text, not to mention that it's a parable not a controlled study on hypothetical talking animals.

The problem with the parable is that it's just a parable: I.E. a comparison/oversimplification that may or may not be analogous to the situation you're trying to describe.

The situation you're tring to describe is when one person makes a claim (usually in the form of a complaint), and the other person doesn't take that claim seriously. Now in the parable, the assumption is that the dog is really fucking stupid or a total asshole, and/or the gecko is an awful communicator. The dog may have never felt cold in his life, but if the gecko can tell him the cold makes him feel uncomfortable, the dog should be able to understand "uncomfortable". And if the gecko is willing and able to explain his physiological differences to the dog, the reasons why cold makes him feel bad, they might actually reach an understanding, unless the dog turns out to be a sociopath.


Taking this back to RL, if women could make a decent argument why we need to indulge in their rapeophobia, either with convincing statistics or by pointing to some interesting difference in mental processes, or something, we could maybe reach an understanding. Until then, what you've set up is a system where you get to ignore the other party because you've arbitrarily decided that the reason they disagree with you is that they're unreasonable/biased/ignorant/privileged. When you make use of this "privilege" paradigm is that you introduce an excuse to dismiss people out of hand. You're assuming that the "underprivileged" party must be right, and the privileged party must be wrong, due to privilege. It relies on unskeptical assumptions in order to validate people's victim mentality.


Last edited by AliRadicali on Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  rEvolutionist on Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:07 pm

Kurt H wrote:
rEvolutionist wrote:The problem is in assuming that the objection automatically doesn't make sense. What's the basis for that assumption?

It's not an "assumption." It's a necessary plot point in the parable. The idea is to describe how people can fail to be aware of their own privilege. The dog is intended to illustrate that. If the dog happened to "get it" there would be no parable and the story wouldn't make sense.

So if the parable doesn't reflect a real world issue, then what's the point of it? scratch


I suppose the parable could have described a hundred geckos living with dogs where five of the dogs get it, but 95 of them don't and the five dogs who get it are mentioned in passing. But that would be a pointless waste of text, not to mention that it's a parable not a controlled study on hypothetical talking animals.

If the parable is trying to teach us something about society, then it would have been better if it was phrased that way. As it isn't, it doesn't really reflect the real world, and as such, I'm having trouble understanding what the point of it was then.

eta: And further, it actually does make the assumption that one dog somewhere out there is necessarily incapable of understanding the objection. What is the basis for this assumption? I accept that there's more than likely some people on the Autism spectrum who might not initially parse the objection, but we aren't talking about people/dogs with autism.

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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  Kurt H on Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:38 pm

rEvolutionist wrote:
Kurt H wrote:
rEvolutionist wrote:The problem is in assuming that the objection automatically doesn't make sense. What's the basis for that assumption?

It's not an "assumption." It's a necessary plot point in the parable. The idea is to describe how people can fail to be aware of their own privilege. The dog is intended to illustrate that. If the dog happened to "get it" there would be no parable and the story wouldn't make sense.

So if the parable doesn't reflect a real world issue, then what's the point of it? scratch

It does reflect a real world issue. Most people in the position of the dog in the parable will fail to understand the gecko's objection. Why is this so confusing?

rEvolutionist wrote:And further, it actually does make the assumption that one dog somewhere out there is necessarily incapable of understanding the objection. What is the basis for this assumption?

Because the story doesn't give a shit about dogs that are aware of privilege. Those dogs aren't a problem. Duh.

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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  rEvolutionist on Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:01 pm

Kurt H wrote:
rEvolutionist wrote:
Kurt H wrote:
rEvolutionist wrote:The problem is in assuming that the objection automatically doesn't make sense. What's the basis for that assumption?

It's not an "assumption." It's a necessary plot point in the parable. The idea is to describe how people can fail to be aware of their own privilege. The dog is intended to illustrate that. If the dog happened to "get it" there would be no parable and the story wouldn't make sense.

So if the parable doesn't reflect a real world issue, then what's the point of it? scratch

It does reflect a real world issue. Most people in the position of the dog in the parable will fail to understand the gecko's objection. Why is this so confusing?

Not being aware of one's own "privilege" is not the same as being necessarily incapable of understanding an objection from a non-privileged person. THIS is the point we keep trying to make to you. Our point is that any person can understand an objection. Some might take a lot more work in that regard than others, but treating men as if they could NEVER understand a women's objection on an issue of marginalisation is totally unsupported by anything you have said.


rEvolutionist wrote:And further, it actually does make the assumption that one dog somewhere out there is necessarily incapable of understanding the objection. What is the basis for this assumption?

Because the story doesn't give a shit about dogs that are aware of privilege. Those dogs aren't a problem. Duh.

You're not going to have a happy time if you want to try to imply that I lack the intelligence to understand this (or any other issue). Save your fucking condescending Duh's for arguing with your irrational idiot folk over at the other forum. So once again, I will say it: What basis do you have for making the assertion that someone lacking privilege in some issue can NEVER, by necessity, understand an objection from a person in a position of marginalisation?

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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  Kurt H on Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:52 pm

rEvolutionist wrote:Not being aware of one's own "privilege" is not the same as being necessarily incapable of understanding an objection from a non-privileged person. THIS is the point we keep trying to make to you.

Yes, but no one argued that privileged persons are incapable of understanding these objections (straw man alert). Rather the point of the parable is to illustrate how completely understandable it is that most privileged persons don't get it.

rEvolutionist wrote:So once again, I will say it: What basis do you have for making the assertion that someone lacking privilege in some issue can NEVER, by necessity, understand an objection from a person in a position of marginalisation?

I am not arguing that, and neither is the parable. Obviously if no one could ever understand then what would be the point of talking about privilege? The members of privileged groups would be hopeless. You have missed the point.








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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  rEvolutionist on Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:01 pm

Kurt H wrote:
rEvolutionist wrote:Not being aware of one's own "privilege" is not the same as being necessarily incapable of understanding an objection from a non-privileged person. THIS is the point we keep trying to make to you.

Yes, but no one argued that privileged persons are incapable of understanding these objections (straw man alert). Rather the point of the parable is to illustrate how completely understandable it is that most privileged persons don't get it.

rEvolutionist wrote:So once again, I will say it: What basis do you have for making the assertion that someone lacking privilege in some issue can NEVER, by necessity, understand an objection from a person in a position of marginalisation?

I am not arguing that, and neither is the parable. Obviously if no one could ever understand then what would be the point of talking about privilege? The members of privileged groups would be hopeless. You have missed the point.
[/quote]

I'm willing to concede I may have. I'm going to reread the thread and have a look.


Last edited by rEvolutionist on Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:19 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  rEvolutionist on Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:18 pm

Ok, i've had a bit of a look back and I reckon this post of mine (and the one it was quoting) probably best sums up my thoughts on this. I was probably wrong to imply that it was explicitly stated in the parable or thread, but I still believe it is implicitly stated in it. There's one section in the parable that says that the dog can never be forced to learn to understand the position of the gecko. So what's the point of the parable, then? Those dogs/humans are outside of the scope of anything that parable can tell them. If the parable is really aimed at privileged guys who through enough rational reasoning can be convinced that the marginalised person's concern is valid, then it should do away with references to dog "never" being able to understand or feel or learn. It just seems far too inflammatory to me.

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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  Kurt H on Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:31 pm

rEvolutionist wrote:Ok, i've had a bit of a look back and I reckon this post of mine (and the one it was quoting) probably best sums up my thoughts on this. I was probably wrong to imply that it was explicitly stated in the parable or thread, but I still believe it is implicitly stated in it.

Can you quote the particular section that seems to implicitly state that?

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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  rEvolutionist on Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:56 pm

It's in the link I provided (the word "this" is the link). The 'never able to be forced to learn' bit is in the parable itself.

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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  Kurt H on Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:15 pm

rEvolutionist wrote:It's in the link I provided (the word "this" is the link). The 'never able to be forced to learn' bit is in the parable itself.

I just searched the article for that phrase and several variations of it. I found nothing. What am I asking is can you quote, say, a paragraph of it and describe how that section implies that understanding is impossible. Because, at the end of the story, the author implores people to not act like the dog (i.e. to be aware of their privilege). That would seem to imply that the author does believe that understanding is possible. Otherwise, why include a suggested course of action for privileged persons?

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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  Skep tickle on Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:23 pm

Kurt H wrote:
rEvolutionist wrote:It's in the link I provided (the word "this" is the link). The 'never able to be forced to learn' bit is in the parable itself.

I just searched the article for that phrase and several variations of it. I found nothing. What am I asking is can you quote, say, a paragraph of it and describe how that section implies that understanding is impossible. Because, at the end of the story, the author implores people to not act like the dog (i.e. to be aware of their privilege). That would seem to imply that the author does believe that understanding is possible. Otherwise, why include a suggested course of action for privileged persons?
The post rEvolutionist linked (at "this" in his prior post) is this one: http://secularsocialjustice.4rumer.com/t55p15-simple-description-of-privilege#448


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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  rEvolutionist on Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:03 pm

From the parable itself:
A straight cisgendered male American, because of who he is and the culture he lives in, does not and cannot feel the stress, creepiness, and outright threat behind a catcall the way a woman can.

Maybe they actually can. Maybe it's the same stress and creepiness and outright threat behind another guy calling out to you "What the fuck are you looking at?".

He genuinely cannot feel the pain it causes, he doesn’t even know about it.

Bullshit (without any reasoning or evidence to back it up).

He has no idea what he’s talking about, and he will never, ever be forced to learn.

So, for the nth time, who is this parable directed to if you don't have any hope of getting the people it is apparently directed at to learn anything from it?


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Re: simple description of "privilege"

Post  Skep tickle on Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:39 pm

If somebody shaved the dog, he might learn.

In fact, the dog could shave all his fur off and the gecko could use the fur to make a warm coat or blanket. Then the dog might feel too cold and the gecko might find out what it's like to feel too warm.

Then there's always the solution of the gecko moving south, finding a place to live with a Mexican* hairless* in a climate that's more to her liking.

Of course, the big furry dog is the one that's really hosed, in the end, what with climate change...

Wink

*I'm not creating a perjorative term; that's the name of the breed.

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Re: simple description of "privilege"

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