Serious Answers to Sloppy Questions, Part 1

Photo of about a dozen and a half questions marks stenciled onto black pavement in white paint. Alternating right-side up and upside down in three rows.
Crop of “What?” by Véronique Debord-Lazaro, CC BY-SA 2.0

Niki transcribed the latest video of “unanswerable” gotcha questions. No, this isn’t another one aimed at atheists by Christians, though it’s about as effective and as grounded in real attempts to understand another person’s position. This one is aimed at social justice warriors by the status quo warriors.

Niki’s answers were mostly snark. I love them. You should read them. But it’s also worthwhile to have a few people answer even questions like these seriously, so I’m going to take a stab at that. I’m technically a social justice assassin, so not all the warriors want to admit I’m in the guild, but whatever.

It’s going to be long and tedious, since there are plenty of assumptions to unpack along with the questions themselves and the list itself is long and repetitive. But if we’re going to adopt this kind of tactic from the Christians, we might as well gallop while we’re at it, right? In order to keep it from getting unreadable, I’ll break it into thirds.

  • Do you realize that your war on language through political correctness has made you bedfellows with true rape culture? In other words, Islam, the world’s most misogynistic ideology.

Let’s start with your assumptions. First, what is this “war on language through political correctness”? It is (1) an acknowledgement that free speech is not the same thing as speech without consequences and (2) putting varying degrees of pressure on people to change speech that harms others. We agree on (1), since you’re here making a video about my speech. We also agree on (2), since you’re using this video to shame me for speech you think aids Islam. So, whatever this war is, we don’t disagree on the principles. We disagree on the speech targeted. I expect you to start referring to all these videos as “political correctness”.

You claim Islam is “true rape culture”. Here’s a decently well-accepted definition of rape culture:

Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture.  Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety.

Do Muslim cultures count as rape cultures? Generally, yes. Are they the only or “true” rape cultures? Ha! No. Not even close. Even if you only want to count the most extreme rape cultures as true, how do you feel about the FLDS? How do you feel about Evangelical modesty culture? Are they not “true” rape cultures?

The biggest differences between those cultures and Islam is the amount of governmental and social power they hold. They’re both so sodden with misogyny that arguing which is the most misogynist would be a subjective wankfest. Even when we’re talking about power, though, do you really want to try to tell me that Evangelical modesty culture isn’t a major factor in U.S. life? Because that’s an argument worth having. Mostly because it’s really easy to settle.

Is there a connection between political correctness and Islam? This is as close as you get to a real problem in this question. There are quite a few people who are still trying to figure out how talk about oppression under Islam without inciting violence and oppression against Muslims and not doing it well. On the other hand, there are still plenty of people like you who can’t figure out how to admit that if misogyny is a problem under Islam, that’s because it’s a problem everywhere it pops up.

The people I’ve seen working to balance both concerns all seem to be people who get labeled “SJWs”, though. So I’m going to go ahead and say the solution to this broad problem is going to come from progessives. It doesn’t sound from your question as though you’re working on the problem, but let me know if you’re doing anything to get that straightened out among white guys.

  • Why do you claim to speak for LGBT people, women, ethnic minorities, but when LGBT people, women, ethnic minorities disagree, you harass them?

I don’t claim to speak for anyone. Perhaps what you mean is that I boost the words and the messages of people in all those groups and advocacy organizations for those groups? Sometimes I even collect them. That’s a far different thing, though. So is saying that I agree with those words and messages. So is countering bad arguments I get when I boost those messages or providing research that demonstrates a point.

As for what happens when a woman disagrees with me, for example, about sexual harassment at cons, you can see for yourself. If that’s harassment, we’re going to have a long discussion of what’s happened to me when I’ve advocated for myself.

Do people get harassed over having minority opinions about things? They do. Some of these issues are life and death for the people involved. Sometimes the disagreement comes with a big old bonus for the person selling people out. Sometimes even people who proclaim for social justice are shitty or react badly.

Again, though, this isn’t an issue tied to any one ideology, and the people I see working on it are all SJWs. What are the white men you represent doing to fix the problem of people being harassed over their opinions?

  • Do you want women to be equal or do you want women to be a protected class? You can’t have both. If you expect society to treat women as equal with men, why don’t women have to take responsibility for their own safety?

This question assumes that wanting people to be equal makes them equal. That’s a very strange assumption. I can’t think of another kind of issue where people would argue on an atheist channel that wishing makes something so.

Nope, it takes work to get from wanting to reality. In this case, as in many others, the designation of a protected class is a recognition that there are forces working to make people unequal. Thus, the group is legally protected from some of the worst of those forces as a step toward equality in reality instead of just in our dreams.

As for why women don’t “have to take responsibility for their own safety”, I assume this is a question about rape and the pushback against victim blaming. Again, however, the question has some very strange assumptions. It only makes sense to target women to stop rape when women are the people responsible for rape. According to the data we have on the most widely agreed-upon definition of rape, the people responsible for rape are overwhelmingly men. Therefore, targeting women to prevent rape is a waste of resources. Also rather insulting.

  • What do you think will happen if you leave your safe space?

I think I’ll run into people who have such a strong emotional reactions to my political opinions that they’ll waste a ton of my time trying to shut me up. This isn’t conjecture. It’s experience. Being an “SJW” means spending a lot of time in advocacy. You might be unaware of this based on your audience, but you don’t actually do advocacy among people who agree with you.

  • How can you possibly justify the idea that it’s somehow racist to disagree with Black Lives Matter and yet it’s not racist when a black person tweets something like “Kill all white people”?

Here’s where we talk about lexical conflation. What you’re doing is looking at a discussion in which “racism” is being used as a technical term, meaning “prejudice and/or bigotry backed up by institutional power” and hearing it as the lay version of “racism” that simply means “prejudice”. It’s like when creationists hear “theory” meaning “an overarching explanation of a significant body of scientific results” and think evolution is just a “theory” meaning “hypothesis”.

When you know that’s the problem, it’s really not hard to see the distinction between your two scenarios. When someone says black lives don’t matter, they are agreeing with the justice system that is killing black people disproportionately and letting itself off the hook for it. When someone says white people should die, they are disagreeing with a justice system that just used a bomb on a robot to obliterate the last person who tried to implement the policy, despite the fact that he was already pinned down. One has institutional power behind their words when they’re put into action. The other one dies.

  • Are you aware that the present is not the past? I’m not kidding. Are you familiar with the concept of linear time? Because you seem incredibly comfortable travelling back through to time to talk about how bad things were for women or black people or whoever and then by using some form of SJW magic you claim or imply that those problems in the past exist today? Are you aware that this trick that you’re doing is not working? Why do you think that would work?

I’m quite aware of linear time. That you’d think I’m not is rather odd. I’m also aware of the concept of history and a firm proponent of the idea that being aware of it is required in order not to repeat its mistakes. Plus, I know that historical decisions and policies have had effects on the state of today’s world and that understanding the roots of our problems makes it far easier to solve them. As far as I know, these are pretty mainstream concepts. I don’t see anything in the question that would challenge them directly.

The next time you see people talking about the past as though it’s relevant for today, keep all this in mind. If you still don’t see how they’re connected, maybe try asking for a more in-depth explanation. There probably is one, since you’re not even close to the only person who believes in linear time.

  • Do you really think you can spend your entire life in a state of perpetual emotional immaturity? Do you actually imagine that you will be able to stretch out your adolescence for your entire existence?

Yet another bizarre assumption. How were these questions chosen?

I’ve had significant adult responsibilities, including emotional ones, for several decades at this point. I didn’t enjoy adolescence particularly and did my best to get out there and get independent as soon as I possibly could. These days, people call me things like “effective” as compliments. It isn’t exciting, but it’s certainly adult.

But maybe we have different definitions of emotional maturity. Mine involves taking responsibility for the welfare of the world in which I live and being aware and thoughtful of my effects on the people around me, rather than living in a perpetual Randian dream of independent ubermensch whose needs are met by invisible, magical infrastructure. What’s yours?

  • There are 13% more women in college right now than men. So if the whole goal of feminism is equality, shouldn’t we have some men-only scholarships in order to equal it out?

This is a decent question. Congratulations.

In order to answer it, we need to understand why there are fewer men than women in college. I’m a bit behind on answers, but last I looked, there were three factors being talked about. The problem is new enough that we don’t really know how any contribute overall, but they all affect significant populations and should be fixed for those reasons.

The first is an intolerance of fidgeting and inattention in earlier schooling that leaves boys disaffected with education. We have definitely seen a decrease in recess and other active time in schools. We are placing more demands on children’s attention earlier in their lives. We have good reason to think boys are not socialized well to deal with either of these changes. We have no reason to think this is good for children generally and several reasons to think it may be bad. It’s also terrible for kids with ADD. We can and should build in better active breaks in early education.

The second is incarceration. This is a problem that disproportionately affects young men and people of color (some of the gender differences may be reduced in people of color). People are locked up, often on flimsy pretexts, when they should be getting an education. We need to stop providing incentives to lock more people up and work for better solutions.

The third is the pay gap. At every level of education, women are paid less than men. They’re required to demonstrate their accomplishments rather than just their potential when being hired for jobs. Women are going to college to put them on an even footing with less educated men for both these reasons, as well as because going into the well-paying union trades often means encountering a hostile work environment. We need to strengthen the protections on this as well as encouraging employers to review their own hiring, promoting, and pay practices.

There may be other factors, but these solutions should go a long way toward making college enrollment more even. Again, however, the people who are working on these issues generally seem to be SJWs.

  • If feminism and egalitarianism are both for equal rights, then why does one start with a gendered prefix and the other is entirely gender neutral?

This is a basic set-subset problem. Feminism is a subset of egalitarianism. Hence the more-specific name.

This is also why people find it strange when someone insists that they’re not a feminist; they’re an egalitarian! Since feminism is a subset of egalitarianism, someone who is an egalitarian should also be a feminist. Now, not being a feminist doesn’t necessarily mean a person isn’t an egalitarian. People are good at compartmentalizing in illogical ways. It does, however, suggest they’re not very good or consistent egalitarians.

More answers soon! [ETA: Part 2 is ready for your perusal. And now Part 3.]

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Serious Answers to Sloppy Questions, Part 1
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41 thoughts on “Serious Answers to Sloppy Questions, Part 1

  1. 1

    The assholes who put that video together think they’ve pulled a fast one on social justice advocates, but they’ve inadvertently done a great service for it by giving you and others a chance to set the record straight. Thanks a lot for answering their asinine “questions” seriously, illustrating how little they know of social justice. Seriously, this is now one of my very favorite articles on The Orbit.

  2. 3

    LOL at the “social justice assassin” quip! Great job, Stephanie!

    I think my favorite part of how you answered these questions is raising the very legitimacy of the questions themselves. Like pointing out that they’re based on bad assumptions or unstated major premises. The different between you and them is you are coming to the discussion in good faith, they are not. Especially in regards to the last question about boys in education, if they continue to make the claim that social justice advocates do NOT care about issues that affect men and boys in particular, they are being intellectually dishonest. Any person coming in good faith would say, “Whoa, an area we can potentially find agreement on! Let’s explore that further!” ………but I’m not holding my breath. -_-

  3. 4

    Since feminism is a subset of egalitarianism, someone who is an egalitarian should also be a feminist.

    Got that one backwards (or perhaps sideways), Madam. Near to home since I was reading this (quite good) essay while taking a break from my set-theory homework.

    A subset a of set b is defined as “if and only if all members of set a are members of set b, set a is a subset of set b.” Which isn’t what you’re trying to say. Actually, I don’t think set theory works very well in this case [1] — there’s a breadth vs. focus issue involved, and of course it’s one thing to be an egalitarian in a general sense and another to be aware that the general principles of egalitarianism apply to some particular issue, even excluding justifications/rationalizations for exceptions such as minors, which in many cultures are applied to women or other groups where we find the rationales dubious at best.

    Best wishes, and looking forward to the next installment.

    [1] I think you might mean “instance” rather than “subset.” Certainly feminism is an application of broader egalitarian principles to the specific question of sex (and by extension gender.)

  4. 7

    OMG you made my day. Thank you for your responses. I enjoyed reading and you made me think about the questions with you. Awesome.

  5. 8

    Oh, don’t worry about me, Stephen. I already have a job creating media that influences the hearts and minds of the secular movement. Plus, I get paid for writing: https://www.patreon.com/StephanieZvan

    That’s only for the longer stuff that constitutes real work, though. These questions just aren’t that hard to answer. They don’t require that much time, at least for me.

  6. 9

    I’m still gonna call a black person who is racist to white people a racist and a woman who is sexist to men a sexist. The “prejudice + power” argument to me at least does not hold water. It just seems like an attempt from people in those movements to avoid responsibility for their words. They can say racist and sexist things but it’s okay because they CAN’T be racist or sexist. Whether it’s black people or white people or men or women being told to die and that they don’t matter or being objectified or ridiculed I’d say it’s equally wrong.

  7. 10

    What do you think will happen if you leave your safe space?

    i will keep drinking my coffee and maybe shoot the occasional icy glare at the group of young professionals making fun of fat/disabled/old people at the table next to me; or the fratbros at the gym discussing the horribleness of women who find said fratbros sexually appealing; or the old grumpy conservative christians at the grocery store discussing the moral rot of kids these days; or whatever.

    Are you familiar with the concept of linear time?

    right back at you. last i checked, the concept of linear time contains the idea that causes come before effects, meaning very generally that the past is the cause and the present it its effect.

  8. 12

    Okay, JustADude, so you’ll keep doing that. Whatever. However, now that you know that what’s going on is confusion between definitions, pretending like your definition is the only definition that exists is basic intellectual dishonesty. So we’ll know what you’re doing and will treat you accordingly.

    Also, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone say prejudice is okay. Have you? Can you find an example? Also, I’m a little bit confused as to why you think a system in which prejudice has consequences is equally as wrong as one in which it doesn’t. Can you explain how that works? Do the consequences not matter to you for some reason?

  9. 13

    I don’t pretend my definition is the only one. I follow the dictionary definition.
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sexism
    My point is that it would seem that feminists are intentionally trying to change that definition. I can only assume that it’s because it’s easier to go on saying prejudice and sexist things about men without being called out as hypocrites. That we should just ignore or even sympathize with hatred as long as it’s coming from the right place to the right race or sex.

    I can see no other reason to do so. Such as the Justin Bieber penis thing when feminists were objectifying the hell out of that boy. “Oh but it’s okay because we’re women and only we get body shamed or feel bad when someone reduces us to a physical object to be gawked at and have our body discussed” Those were the same people who were up in arms when the fappening happened. THAT is why I cannot take this shit seriously. Because they seem to only want consequences to the “privileged” class. As if I don’t get worried when I walk alone at night. Or get people saying shit about me I didn’t ask them to and therefore somehow deserve more consequences. It’s inconsistent and if you want me to believe you’re arguing for equality then follow the golden rule.

    But I’m getting off topic. I don’t buy the addition of power as a necessity to make something sexist. And by the way I NEVER said that prejudice is okay or that a system where it has consequences is wrong. All I’m arguing for is that those consequences be consistent. A person of color or a women gets the same retribution for being a racist or a sexist as a white man would. Either it’s okay or it isn’t. I say it isn’t. All I’m saying is that it’s just as bad across the board.

  10. 14

    Is it necessary to have two definitions of racism? We know that racism isn’t a good belief. We know that the effects of a bad belief will naturally be worse if the person or institution subscribing to that belief holds significant power. But the source isn’t power, it’s the ideology behind it. Power isn’t inherently good or evil.

    And given that the problem is the belief itself, is it possible that defining racism as “prejudice+power” creates a dichotomy where there shouldn’t be one? Does it not run the risk of legitimizing some forms of what is a fundamentally poisonous ideology?

  11. 15

    JustADude, you say this: “I’m still gonna call a black person who is racist to white people a racist and a woman who is sexist to men a sexist. The “prejudice + power” argument to me at least does not hold water. It just seems like an attempt from people in those movements to avoid responsibility for their words. They can say racist and sexist things but it’s okay because they CAN’T be racist or sexist. ”

    You know what? I call a person who doesn’t like another group of people for a stereotypical reason a bigot. Want to call Ms. IHateMen an anti-male bigot? As far as I’m concerned, go right ahead. But saying that “it’s all sexist” or “it’s all racist” removes a very useful power distinction; the ability to say “It’s bigoted, and because of the power imbalance, can do serious damage” vs. “It’s bigoted, and because the person saying it is way down on the power scale, the risk of damage, especially in a societal sense, is greatly reduced”.

    Because: ” Whether it’s black people or white people or men or women being told to die and that they don’t matter or being objectified or ridiculed I’d say it’s equally wrong.”

    If one side is capable of turning its bigotries into law, with criminal or legal consequences, and the other is not, it may be equally “intellectually” wrong, but it certainly isn’t equal in terms of the damage it can do.

  12. 16

    JustaDude, dictionaries follow mainstream usage. They don’t set it. They change all the time as everyday usage changes. I’m not particularly interested in your thoughts about why people really, truly want to use science-informed definitions to discuss important topics. I’m quite happy to state outright that if we’re going to talk about anything important, it should be informed by the best science we have. If you don’t want to put in the effort to be appropriately informed, perhaps you should just sit out the discussion. Your guesses and intuitions aren’t going to add much.

    I have no sweet clue what you’re talking with about Justin Bieber, by the way. I Googled “feminism Justin Bieber penis”. There were nine pages of results. I looked at all of them. There was nothing that fit your description, not even people complaining about feminists having done or said something. Whatever feminists did there, they apparently forced Google not to index any of it or anything that refers to it. (This is sarcasm.)

    Your last paragraph is entirely missing that when power stands behind prejudice, the consequences of the prejudice fall on the targets of that prejudice, not on the people who are prejudiced. I’d explain in more detail, but I don’t really think you’re trying to understand. You don’t like the definition, so you’re not willing to see its implications.

  13. 17

    Daniel, it isn’t necessary to have multiple definitions of “theory” either, but they exist. Language works that way sometimes. And yes, we do need to be able to distinguish belief with power from belief without. That’s why the word “theocracy” exists and why we find ourselves using it a lot.

  14. 18

    Just because a person is white and male does not automatically mean that they have any control over the legal system beyond the same vote you and I have. If the president of the united states said something stupid or racist then I’d buy your points(even though the current president is in fact a white man and the following president will in all likelihood not be a man). If you want to point out the dangers of a bigot with power then by all means do so. But we men don’t all gather together and work to oppress women just as I’m sure all white people aren’t gathering to oppress black people.

    And by the way Stephanie, if the discussion is decided by social definitions rather than empirical ones then I’d say that it’s more important that I stand as a voice of dissent when I object to it. I see a problem with trying to say women can’t be sexist or that only white people can be racist. Only men can rape(according to the FBI, and the legal definition was only recently changed in 2013 if I’m correct). I see real issue with trying to absolve a big ass group of black people running down the streets shouting “kill all cops” of responsibility for their words and actions. Yet because it does not neatly tie into your opinions I should stay out of it?
    “Your last paragraph is entirely missing that when power stands behind prejudice, the consequences of the prejudice fall on the targets of that prejudice, not on the people who are prejudiced.”

    I don’t “miss it” I just do not agree with it. It sounds like tribe mentality. That white people “protect their own” when in power so when a white person is a racist piece of shit or a man is a sexist piece of shit they will be protected or that they, by virtue of being white or male, have the power to do more damage and therefore it’s more effective. Meanwhile Hillary plays the “first female president” card knowing some people are going to vote for her solely for that reason. Really, explain it to me. Continue to do it in a condescending manner even though I’ve tried to be respectful to you but go ahead. I’ll listen.

  15. 19

    I agree, but the new definition of racism (prejudice+power) didn’t just appear because language works that way. It’s a fairly recent construct from social justice academia, not a reflection of common parlance. I think that it’s fair to debate whether it’s helpful or necessary based on its merit as an idea, not just the mere fact that it exists.

    If we need to be able to distinguish belief with power from belief without, we probably shouldn’t use the same word to describe both, right? Especially when doing so legitimizes some forms of racism (by the traditional definition). And I’m sure we can agree that racism against any race is wrong, not just because it’s unfair, but also because it’s an incorrect way of viewing the world.

    Thanks for the response.

  16. 21

    Oh, JustaDude, you’re so far out on this one. Let me break it out for you.

    Just because a person is white and male does not automatically mean that they have any control over the legal system beyond the same vote you and I have.

    They don’t need to have control over the legal system directly when it acts in their favor in disputes marked by race. They don’t have to ask for it. They just have to fit the “good guy” stereotypes held by the people in power.

    If the president of the united states said something stupid or racist then I’d buy your points(even though the current president is in fact a white man and the following president will in all likelihood not be a man). If you want to point out the dangers of a bigot with power then by all means do so.

    I’ll assume there was supposed to be a “not” in there. This is completely tangential to the definition of “racism”, but you do know that the president is not a dictator, right? Are you really going to try to tell me there are no bigots in power? Also, congratulations on learning to use the new vocabulary. It isn’t very hard, is it? But it is quite clear on these issues, which is one of the advantages of using it.

    But we men don’t all gather together and work to oppress women just as I’m sure all white people aren’t gathering to oppress black people.

    How many does it take? How hard do they have to work for it to count? More to the point, do you really think that when people who have prejudices against a group have power over that group–any power, not just being the executive of the country–that prejudice doesn’t affect how that power is used unless they work hard to make sure it doesn’t? Do you think everyone with prejudice is aware of it and comfortable admitting that to themselves so they can counteract the problem?

    It doesn’t require arched eyebrows and petting fluffy white cats to do harm. It just requires power, even small power. The power to set grades that reflect any subjectivity. The power to call the cops on some kids playing but not others. The power to decide who to call in for a job interview. The power to make decisions on “instinct” in borderline lending situations. The power to decide who’s a good “culture fit” in an office.

    And by the way Stephanie, if the discussion is decided by social definitions rather than empirical ones then I’d say that it’s more important that I stand as a voice of dissent when I object to it.

    And it’s just as important that people ignore your opinions when they discover that you prefer your definitions not to be informed by science.

    I see a problem with trying to say women can’t be sexist or that only white people can be racist.

    You really haven’t managed to articulate that problem. You just keep repeating that you have it. The closest you’ve come is in suggesting that if we recognize prejudice as a lesser problem than racism, we can’t treat it like any kind of problem at all. That, of course, is blatantly false.

    Only men can rape(according to the FBI, and the legal definition was only recently changed in 2013 if I’m correct).

    You may not have noticed, but feminists used appeals to huge heaps of data to have that changed. We did that the same way we’re appealing to data here to educate people on the distinction between racism and prejudice.

    I see real issue with trying to absolve a big ass group of black people running down the streets shouting “kill all cops” of responsibility for their words and actions. Yet because it does not neatly tie into your opinions I should stay out of it?

    Ah, yes. That mythical mob. I’ll worry about it when this actually happens. I have no problem saying we can work on multiple problems even when they’re not the same size. I’m not going to waste my time on things that aren’t real.

    “Your last paragraph is entirely missing that when power stands behind prejudice, the consequences of the prejudice fall on the targets of that prejudice, not on the people who are prejudiced.”

    I don’t “miss it” I just do not agree with it. It sounds like tribe mentality.

    I don’t care whether or not you agree with it. It’s true, and your opinions don’t affect that truth in the tiniest little bit.

    That white people “protect their own” when in power so when a white person is a racist piece of shit or a man is a sexist piece of shit they will be protected or that they, by virtue of being white or male, have the power to do more damage and therefore it’s more effective. Meanwhile Hillary plays the “first female president” card knowing some people are going to vote for her solely for that reason. Really, explain it to me. Continue to do it in a condescending manner even though I’ve tried to be respectful to you but go ahead. I’ll listen.

    You don’t need me to explain anything. You explained it just fine in your first sentence in that quote, if a bit hyperbolically. When you already know what I’m going to say and you’re going to refuse to believe any of it because you don’t like it, there is absolutely no point in me wasting any more of my time on you.

  17. 22

    Daniel, it’s not that new a concept. It’s just been being resisted as common usage for as long as it’s been around. And I’m all for using different words. I use “prejudice” or “bigotry” and “racism” to mean different things. If I’m going to discuss something this important, I’m going to use the most precise words I can.

  18. 23

    Conversely, If you still feel I add nothing to this conversation and should not be here…well it is not in my nature to stay when I’m not wanted. I mean if an echo chamber full of people saying things that you already agree with and pretending that anyone who disagrees with you just doesn’t understand. You say “this group of people are privileged and therefore have power and them abusing this power is dangerous”. But if I fundamentally disagree with the notion that simply being born white/male/etc. absent any context makes you privileged and gives you power then it follows that the rest of your argument makes no sense to me. Since it is predicated in an assumption I refuse to make. We are people, plain and simple. Discrimination and bigotry in all of it’s forms is wrong. If someone in power happens to abuse that power because they are bigoted that’s fucks up. But women and minorities do it too.

  19. 25

    1970 right? I think that, in the interest of being precise, using the new definition of racism should be something limited to specific academic circles. There seems to be a deep misunderstanding about this definition. Whenever I’ve seen it brought up in public discourse, it has always been to defend prejudice, as if that, because a person isn’t being racist (prejudice+power), it’s perfectly acceptable for them to make comments that would be racist according to the traditional definition (see how confusing this is?).

    It would probably be easier to just refer to racism that’s backed up by institutional racism as “institutional racism.”

  20. 27

    Okay first off:
    “How many does it take? How hard do they have to work for it to count? More to the point, do you really think that when people who have prejudices against a group have power over that group–any power, not just being the executive of the country–that prejudice doesn’t affect how that power is used unless they work hard to make sure it doesn’t? Do you think everyone with prejudice is aware of it and comfortable admitting that to themselves so they can counteract the problem?
    It doesn’t require arched eyebrows and petting fluffy white cats to do harm. It just requires power, even small power. The power to set grades that reflect any subjectivity. The power to call the cops on some kids playing but not others. The power to decide who to call in for a job interview. The power to make decisions on “instinct” in borderline lending situations. The power to decide who’s a good “culture fit” in an office.”

    and
    “Ah, yes. That mythical mob. I’ll worry about it when this actually happens. I have no problem saying we can work on multiple problems even when they’re not the same size. I’m not going to waste my time on things that aren’t real.”

    To that I give you this
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqQXmnMr_w8
    “What do we want? DEAD COPS” The mob isn’t mythical just because you don’t go looking for them. So I’ll ask you the same thing you asked me. How many racist black people would it take before you admitted black people could be racist?
    Would you like me to demonstrate a case of a member of BLM actually killing a cop? Would that help? I’m well aware that there are bigots in power. Just as you should be aware that white people and men are not the only ones who hold power even in the western world.
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/fallout-from-campus-sexual-assault-hysteria-college-men-now-suspicious-of-women/article/2552346
    And that practices implemented by those in power, regardless of which group they target have consequences. But to point out, no I still do not believe the power to actually hurt the person has to be there in order for the act to be racist or sexist. It certainly is more damaging but the degree of damage does not justify the act. So if I’m being racist or sexist to someone it’s wrong even if I just said something then walked away went home and ate a sandwich. My problem when people try to change the definition to include power is that they conveniently claim to be the oppressed group without it.

    And if you want me to go into more detail as to why I have a problem with it then sure, why not… If a woman is lobbying for a sexist practice to be integrated into her university for example. One that would unfairly and disproportionately affect the men. But we say it isn’t sexist because she’s a women/the practice does not hurt women then that, to me, seems like an easy out to a valid criticism. Or when a girl on twitter says that men should die and I have to tell my 7 year old cousin “some people in this world are just hateful”. When a woman cuts off a man’s penis or abuses him and the crowd of women cackle and laugh “but it’s okay he’s a man” then I have a problem. That definition creates power because it enables people. I’m not sexist because X so I’m allowed to do Y which would normally be sexist but it’s okay because X.
    Which is why that the word, policy or act is sexist to me no matter who says it. I do not like the fact that people can and have used it to act with impunity by absolving themselves of any blame. Disrupting the peace, shouting in strangers faces, trying to change rules without thinking/caring how it affects groups other than their own. And just being dicks. I do not like how you propose that if I criticize a woman for saying something sexist against men, it can be disregarded as not sexist because she’s a woman.

    “And it’s just as important that people ignore your opinions when they discover that you prefer your definitions not to be informed by science.”
    What science? You have yet to give me anything other than conjecture. I am sorry but I do not take you at your word that you’re right and my definition is wrong just because you say it is. racism is prejudice and hatred on the basis of race. Why do you have such a problem with that definition? Why can you not simply say a racist or sexist with power is worse than a racist or sexist without?

    ” don’t care whether or not you agree with it. It’s true, and your opinions don’t affect that truth in the tiniest little bit.”

    What truth? Show me evidence. Show me recent proof of the big boys club protecting their own. Name one legal right I have as a man that you as a woman do not. Show me the systematic oppression and why it is systematic. Rape culture didn’t stop Tyler Kost from going to jail based on no evidence but the word of a few girls with a bone to pick. or the boys at Duke from being prematurely labeled as a den of rapists. The divorce courts sure as shit didn’t side with the men in these forums:
    http://sometimesdaddiescry.blogspot.com/

    And I sure as shit didn’t see this supposed men’s club step up for Earl Silverman
    http://womenspost.ca/owner-of-shelter-for-abused-men-and-children-commits-suicide-after-financial-ruin-ridicule/

    I did not ONCE argue that prejudice + power is not a problem. But power comes in all forms even in the things we say and anyone can have power. But racism is a type of prejudice. Sure problems occur when a racist has power but that does not mean a racist without power is all good. I define it differently than you. And honestly it’s a bit bothersome that you assume I argue purely because I don’t like what you have to say.

    Do you think everyone with prejudice is aware of it and comfortable admitting that to themselves so they can counteract the problem?
    On that we can agree.

  21. 28

    I said I disagree with you. I can change my mind. You just have not given me a valid reason to. All you’ve done is basically say I’m ignorant and wrong and should just accept that without any proof or anything to back it up.

  22. 29

    @justadude
    >”Conversely, If you still feel I add nothing to this conversation and should not be here…well it is not in my nature to stay when I’m not wanted.”

    I didn’t see anyone tell you to go away.

    >”I mean if an echo chamber full of people saying things that you already agree with and pretending that anyone who disagrees with you just doesn’t understand.”
    1) You seem to be missing some words. Can you please put them in?
    2) I’ve seen people say why they think a certain way. Applying the pejorative “echo chamber” requires a little work on your part to demonstrate that the reasons behind why they disagree are not rational. For example why is it not rational for the net effects of racism/sexism to taken into account at group level? You idea of an “echo chamber” uses similar ideas.

    >”You say “this group of people are privileged and therefore have power and them abusing this power is dangerous”. But if I fundamentally disagree with the notion that simply being born white/male/etc. absent any context makes you privileged and gives you power then it follows that the rest of your argument makes no sense to me.”

    Disagreement does not come into it. There is real evidence. One example being resumes bearing black sounding names being chosen less often compared to identical ones with white sounding names. It’s accurate to say that there are privilige to having a white sounding name. The fact that you disagree does not mean much because it’s mere opinion.

    >”Since it is predicated in an assumption I refuse to make. We are people, plain and simple.

    The word “assumption” is incorrect.

    >”Discrimination and bigotry in all of it’s forms is wrong. If someone in power happens to abuse that power because they are bigoted that’s fucks up. But women and minorities do it too.”

    …and it’s still worth paying attention to the greater effect that white people and male people have with respect to bigotry, and it’s rational to give that bigotry a different name because of the dominant group effect that extends back in time.

  23. 30

    @BSJC
    First off, though she did not directly say to go away, she did say
    ” If you don’t want to put in the effort to be appropriately informed, perhaps you should just sit out the discussion.”

    Forgive me for being unclear. I find it hard to think someone who has not backed up a thing she’s said yet accuses me of guesswork for not believing it is credible. So when I’m told to sit out for not agreeing it does come off as just an attempt to shut me up. But to be fair I have yet to see any evidence from her as to why I should believe what she has to say. Her argument seems to insist upon itself. It’s true because it’s true. I do not accept that.

    2. An echo chamber in itself is a dangerous thing. Even if you believe something as fact, you should be willing to question and reevaluate it. If you are asked to defend something then rather than assume the other party will not listen, defend it. Show why you believe what you believe. I find it irrational to diversify racism and sexism at certain groups when we place value on them. Because then you are saying that the same racism at a different group is somehow more deserving of attention. And I find it funny how you are the only person who has yet to give me a provable instance of genuine discrimination which I still needed to go out and verify. And this problem also affects white people with exotic names so it isn’t even just on the basis of race. It’s because people are lazy. If I name my child Sunnymuffin then that might be fine to me but that will make it hard for them to find a job. Discrimination? Yes. Racism? Iffy.

    At least from what I’ve seen, the pooling of problems faced by groups into one cesspool is problematic. It creates situations where people start trying to compete to see who has it worse(I.e. who deserves more attention). This is especially troubling when I see things like men gather together to discuss men’s issues and simply by virtue of believing women are the oppressed ones people gather to spite them, try to shut it down, get in peoples faces and call the participants rapists for doing so without listening to a thing they have to say. As if the mere act of giving attention to a different issue is somehow problematic. Even if they were wrong, dissenting opinions reinforce your own beliefs when you are forced to defend them. On that note I will thank you for forcing me to have to defend why I believe what I believe.

    3. By that notion, if I point out the struggles men face when becoming teachers or that women are not nearly as shamed as men into getting a career. A man who wants to be a stay at home dad is ridiculed. He’s the man, how dare he make her work. Yes, some people are born with advantages by virtue of race or gender. But these advantages are not just handed out to white men. I could give you a list of advantages of being born a woman in the US. Would not make their suffering or anyone else’s less significant. The same works the other way around. At least to me.

    Different groups have different privileges. So I still do not see it as right or fair to say that white men are THE privileged class. But fair enough. I looked into it and you’re right on the job thing. Let’s make it standard practice that the person hiring you sees your qualifications alone whilst someone independent does the background check. That way you’d be hired on merit alone.

    4. “The word “assumption” is incorrect.”

    Prove it, show me how the mere act of being a white male automatically gives you power.

    5. “and it’s still worth paying attention to the greater effect that white people and male people have with respect to bigotry, and it’s rational to give that bigotry a different name because of the dominant group effect that extends back in time.”

    And we come to the crux of my issue with this. A few things
    > I still have yet to get a shred of proof that white people and men(As in all white people and men, not just the democratically voted in people of power who happen to be white/male) being bigots intrinsically is any more dangerous than a minority or a woman doing it.
    >That is back in time. I am sick to death of people claiming men of the present need be made to feel guilty for acts of their ancestors. I get that we have to learn from the past so that we can move beyond it. But we cannot move beyond it if people still act like men as a whole are just like that. Hell, even men of the past were still punished for beating their wives…and also when their wives beat them if you didn’t know. Should we as a society hold up signs that say “Teach little girls not to beat people”?
    > Even if I accepted your premise of bigotry and racism from white people and men somehow being worse simply because they are white and male, and I do not, I would still say it is irrational to try and change the existing definition of racism to that. Why? Because, as I stated earlier, it gives a pass on every other person being racist to no longer be considered racists. It’s making the term exclusionary and I don’t see a rational reason to do that. You could just as easily say that “racism + power= much worse consequences than racism without”
    And as for why I have a problem with it…again as I said earlier, it is because I already see people of all shapes sizes and colors being racist bigots and hiding behind the shield of “I can’t be racist” as if what they are doing is okay just because they don’t have a gun to their heads when they do it. It strikes me as a way for people to absolve themselves of the label without changing their actions.

  24. 31

    *By that notion…career then I could easily argue women are the privileged ones.

    Sorry, I’m getting sleepy. I’ll respond in the morning

  25. 32

    Wow, this was really well written and I’m glad someone took the opportunity to answer the questions seriously, as I was really hoping to hear the answers. I do have a few concerns though.

    > “We also agree on (2), since you’re using this video to shame me for speech you think aids Islam.”

    I don’t think “we” agree on (2). You’re assuming that the video is meant to shame you and you believe that it is ok to put pressure on others to change their speech. However, what this video is about IDEAS, not speech. There’s a subtle difference there. While SJWs want to pressure people to change what they say, that’s not the same as trying to get someone to change their perspective.

    > “Nope, it takes work to get from wanting to reality. In this case, as in many others, the designation of a protected class is a recognition that there are forces working to make people unequal. Thus, the group is legally protected from some of the worst of those forces as a step toward equality in reality instead of just in our dreams.”

    We agree that it takes work to get from wanting to reality, but we disagree on the steps that need to be taken to get there. Making women a protected class, giving them any sort of extra protection or anything, makes them UNequal to men. It does not abolish “forces working to make people unequal.” It cements them.

    > “It only makes sense to target women to stop rape when women are the people responsible for rape. According to the data we have on the most widely agreed-upon definition of rape, the people responsible for rape are overwhelmingly men. Therefore, targeting women to prevent rape is a waste of resources. Also rather insulting.”

    The people responsible for rape are rapists. Men are not responsible for rape; people responsible for rape are men. Targeting all men to prevent the actions of a few is just as much a waste of resources. Just because you’re not responsible for an event doesn’t mean you can’t prevent it. And yes, it is rather insulting to men, too.

    > “I think I’ll run into people who have such a strong emotional reactions to my political opinions that they’ll waste a ton of my time trying to shut me up. This isn’t conjecture. It’s experience.”

    Wait, are you trying to tell me that the second you leave your “safe space” (I don’t even think I know what that is) you won’t be able to control the political rants that flow from your mouth? Like, if all it’s safe from is political opposition, why do people need it? Why don’t they just stop spreading their political gospel? If the only thing worth having your safe space for is repeating your political beliefs back and forth, then it sounds quite like a church service.

    > “When someone says white people should die, they are disagreeing with a justice system that just used a bomb on a robot to obliterate the last person who tried to implement the policy, despite the fact that he was already pinned down.”

    So if I’m understanding you correctly, you’re not saying that saying “Kill all white people” isn’t wrong. Do you think it’s wrong? If it’s wrong but it’s not racism, why is it wrong?

    > “Feminism is a subset of egalitarianism.”

    I thought feminism is supposed to be intersectional to the point of including everyone. How is that different from and a subset of egalitarianism?

    > Again, however, the people who are working on these issues generally seem to be SJWs.

    I think that’s because only SJWs see them as problems to begin with. You want to call out these guys for accusing SJWs of overlooking problems while they themselves do nothing, and it’s true that they do nothing, but that’s because they see it as a non-issue, more of a potential inconsistency in your views than a point that these guys are trying to have fixed. I just thought I’d point that out, because it seems weird that you keep trying to call them out on not fixing problems they don’t really believe in.

  26. 33

    Huh. Daniel, I fail to see entirely how any lexical conflation would contribute to those arguments. They don’t rely in any way on confusing the two meanings. In fact, they require that the definitions be separated in order for those arguments to make any sense.

  27. 34

    Shorter JustaDude @27: Cops = white people, you must be saying that prejudice is fine if it isn’t racism or sexism, and laws can’t be implemented in ways informed by prejudice. Here, let me give you an example of how custody laws are prejudiced against men in their implementation.

    You’re dull, and you argue very badly. Go away.

  28. 35

    JustaDude @30:

    I find it hard to think someone who has not backed up a thing she’s said yet accuses me of guesswork for not believing it is credible.

    I have given you several examples of power held disproportionately by white people. Your response was to tell me you don’t believe in privilege. Normally at this point of the conversation, I’d have you tell me what you needed for proof to admit it exists. But I’m bored with your bluster, your inability to put together an argument that is responsive and not self-contradictory, and your inability to ask nicely when you want something.

    Go away. And learn basic HTML.

  29. 36

    Daryl @32:

    However, what this video is about IDEAS, not speech.

    Nope. They’re literally trying to tell me I should change how I use pronouns. It doesn’t get much more speech-centered than that.

    Making women a protected class, giving them any sort of extra protection or anything, makes them UNequal to men.

    Hiring discrimination, pay discrimination, admissions discrimination, rental discrimination, loan discrimination, harassment up to and including assault, lower allocation of resources–these are all things that make women and other groups that have been designated protected classes unequal. Making these groups protected classes is not some sort of coddling. It is literally saying that people and institutions may not do these to people based on whether they are or aren’t in these groups. That’s it. And fun fact: Men are exactly as legally protected from discrimination based on gender as women are.

    Targeting all men to prevent the actions of a few is just as much a waste of resources.

    Nope. It literally cuts the pool of people on which you’re spending those resources in half. Now, if you have some reliable way to differentiate that subset of men who need to be targeted for prevention from the others that doesn’t involve invading their privacy, I’d love to hear it. Last I knew, though, most people, feminists included, resisted testing men for the sexist attitudes that best predict rape.

    Just because you’re not responsible for an event doesn’t mean you can’t prevent it.

    Nope. If you don’t determine whether it happens, you can’t prevent it. At best, you can make sure it happens to someone else instead of you, and the anti-rape “advice” aimed at women doesn’t even do that effectively.

    Wait, are you trying to tell me that the second you leave your “safe space” (I don’t even think I know what that is) you won’t be able to control the political rants that flow from your mouth? Like, if all it’s safe from is political opposition, why do people need it?

    Nope. That’s not what I’m saying at all. No, you don’t know what safe spaces are, and that surprises me not in the least, any more than it surprises me you don’t know that people don’t actually spend much time in safe spaces. Safe spaces are places to rest and sometimes to get work done without interruption. That’s all.

    Why don’t they just stop spreading their political gospel?

    Because politics isn’t some dorm-room debate over Ayn Rand. It has real effects on people lives and deaths. Also, hey, look, somebody’s here to tell me to shut up. I told you this wasn’t conjectural.

    So if I’m understanding you correctly, you’re not saying that saying “Kill all white people” isn’t wrong.

    What the fuck is it with people who hear the word “prejudice” and think “Oh, that’s all right then!”? Is it the same thing that makes people say, “If I see you focusing on a different problem, one that is actually killing people at the moment, it’s totally obvious to me that you don’t care about any other problem”?

    I thought feminism is supposed to be intersectional to the point of including everyone.

    That’s not actually what intersectionality is. Intersectionality is, to oversimplify, the study of how multiple modes of discrimination interact.

    I just thought I’d point that out, because it seems weird that you keep trying to call them out on not fixing problems they don’t really believe in.

    Nope. What’s weird is using things they don’t actually believe in as talking points against “SJWs”. For values of “weird” that equal “intellectually dishonest”.

  30. 37

    Thanks for the reply Stephanie! I don’t agree with your position, but I appreciate the time you took to reply. While we could go back and forth on a lot of things, but I’m not sure that’d be helpful for either of us, but I do want to touch on a couple things.

    First, I apologize if I sounded like I was trying to “tell you to shut up.” That was not my intent. I just didn’t understand what you were saying.

    On the topic of prejudice vs racism, the issue is that SJWs are FAR more vocal to racism than prejudice, which I guess makes sense from your perspective/definition. The real concern though, is that most of us never see SJWs condemning “prejudice.” They’re quick to jump on “racism” though. So to try to answer your question (Is it the same thing that makes people say, “If I see you focusing on a different problem, one that is actually killing people at the moment, it’s totally obvious to me that you don’t care about any other problem”?) it’s totally obvious to me that you don’t care about the problems of prejudice because I never see you call other SJWs out on it.

    And the reason they use problems they don’t believe in as talking points is because these are issues that SJWs SHOULD address but most of us never seem them address, although you claim that they do.

    Thanks again for the polite reply!

  31. 38

    Meh. I’m not much interested in people who make it harder to fight racism and sexism trying to tell me I should put my energy into fighting prejudice. There’s never any way that’s going to come across as anything but a statement with an implied “instead” on the end.

  32. 39

    @Justadude
    >”First off, though she did not directly say to go away, she did say
    ” If you don’t want to put in the effort to be appropriately informed, perhaps you should just sit out the discussion.””

    Fair enough.

    >”Forgive me for being unclear. I find it hard to think someone who has not backed up a thing she’s said yet accuses me of guesswork for not believing it is credible. So when I’m told to sit out for not agreeing it does come off as just an attempt to shut me up. But to be fair I have yet to see any evidence from her as to why I should believe what she has to say. Her argument seems to insist upon itself. It’s true because it’s true. I do not accept that.”

    She said that she accepted the definition of sexism/racism that includes the power dynamic and said that she was disinterested in teaching you the material that you did not know. It’s trivial to go and google that definition and the justifications for it and come back to participate. Her argument uses a definition that is widely supported in studies of bigotry and xenophobia, you might feel that she is saying “it’s true because it’s true”, but you are not supported by her words which are best interpreted as “I’m not going to waste time derailing from this topic to teach you 101 level stuff”.
    Additionally she told you that that she did not want to spend time on you because she does not think that you want to understand because you don’t like the definition.
    Additionally I think that definition makes sense even without the supporting research. There are extra effects when people with power discriminate and prejudge. As I mentioned the idea of an “echo chamber” implicitly uses that because it suggests a group of people with power acting as if they all believe something. The holocaust was possible because the people with prejudice had power, if they did not they would have been unable to take actions based on that prejudice. People do use “tribe mentality”, in an abstract sense we all engage in group social behavior using shared characteristics. It’s in part why we have political parties that function as separate groups trying to achieve goals shared by the members, and work to undermine efforts by rivals.

    >”2. An echo chamber in itself is a dangerous thing. Even if you believe something as fact, you should be willing to question and reevaluate it. If you are asked to defend something then rather than assume the other party will not listen, defend it. Show why you believe what you believe. ”

    You ignored what I said. YOU CAME HERE, YOU SHOW THAT IT’S A PROBLEM. Keep in mind, you don’t even have a reason to say anyone is wrong because you have not looked at the reasons for the scientifically supported definition, you just don’t like it on the surface of it which is a form of prejudice. You were told that someone did not want to waste time on you and they don’t have to. You believe this is an echo chamber, but until you show that this is not strategic group cohesion based on shared beliefs you are only engaging in name-calling. You don’t get to demand someone spends their time on what you want when you came here making assertions about things.

    >”I find it irrational to diversify racism and sexism at certain groups when we place value on them. Because then you are saying that the same racism at a different group is somehow more deserving of attention. And I find it funny how you are the only person who has yet to give me a provable instance of genuine discrimination which I still needed to go out and verify.”

    So what if you find it irrational? What are your reasons for thinking it’s irrational? That’s a positive statement adding information to something. Justify it. Saying someone has not gone and demonstrated something they implicitly accept does not explain your feelings about it.
    I mentioned the research because I felt like it, I actually enjoy arguing and am content to stop if I am asked to, and I did not have to because you are the challenger here. You came in here and made a challenge. I don’t think any less of anyone here because they did not, they would rather talk about other things and they don’t really trust you. I can see why. If you feel something is irrational go and find out if it is true and come back.

    >”And this problem also affects white people with exotic names so it isn’t even just on the basis of race. It’s because people are lazy. If I name my child Sunnymuffin then that might be fine to me but that will make it hard for them to find a job. Discrimination? Yes. Racism? Iffy.”

    That makes no sense, especially because prejudice and laziness are compatible and complimentary. We are talking about letting a name irrationally affect the way a person judges the content of a resume.

    >”At least from what I’ve seen, the pooling of problems faced by groups into one cesspool is problematic. It creates situations where people start trying to compete to see who has it worse(I.e. who deserves more attention). This is especially troubling when I see things like men gather together to discuss men’s issues and simply by virtue of believing women are the oppressed ones people gather to spite them, try to shut it down, get in peoples faces and call the participants rapists for doing so without listening to a thing they have to say. As if the mere act of giving attention to a different issue is somehow problematic. Even if they were wrong, dissenting opinions reinforce your own beliefs when you are forced to defend them. On that note I will thank you for forcing me to have to defend why I believe what I believe.”

    1) Studies into racism and sexism are an exercise in separating people’s problems so that they can be studied and solved. Not an exercise in pooling problems.

    2) The way that people react to the expression of another person’s problems does not imply problems with the person expressing a problem. It does imply that someone might be using irrational means to try to get someone to stop talking about a problem and if no one is doing that here bringing it up is irrational.

    3) In my experience a lot of people with racist and sexist character like to claim that people calling them out on that behavior are doing so to “shut down discussion” when the reality is that they don’t want to fact the fact that they have done something racist or sexist.

    >”3. By that notion, if I point out the struggles men face when becoming teachers or that women are not nearly as shamed as men into getting a career. A man who wants to be a stay at home dad is ridiculed. He’s the man, how dare he make her work. Yes, some people are born with advantages by virtue of race or gender. But these advantages are not just handed out to white men. I could give you a list of advantages of being born a woman in the US. Would not make their suffering or anyone else’s less significant. The same works the other way around. At least to me.”

    1) No one said that those are things that cannot be studied, and in fact the scientific definition of sexism would be compatible with studying those things. Your point seems irrelevant.

    2) You are getting way out of the context of this thread, the list of questions by people who have a problem with people rationally focusing on the groups of people whose prejudice and discrimination have the most social power. A big reason no one want to take this stuff up with you is that once again someone is showing up to try to steer things towards men’s problems or white people’s problems in that thread that is emphasizing women’s problems and the problems of non-white people. You are doing the very thing you that you just complained about other people doing in your #2.

    >”Different groups have different privileges. So I still do not see it as right or fair to say that white men are THE privileged class. But fair enough. I looked into it and you’re right on the job thing. Let’s make it standard practice that the person hiring you sees your qualifications alone whilst someone independent does the background check. That way you’d be hired on merit alone.”

    Who said that “white men are THE privileged class”? We have the most privilege because we have historically had the most social power.

    >”Prove it, show me how the mere act of being a white male automatically gives you power.”

    I don’t have to. The point was that you said assumption when it’s a matter of not wanting to get into the reasons. You can believe it’s an assumption but that still contradicts what people here are actually saying. If you want to be honest you will say that they don’t want to discuss the reasons with you. Why should someone have a discussion with someone who characterizes people in ways that are not true?

    >And we come to the crux of my issue with this. A few things”

    Too bad about your issues. They don’t characterize the people they describe accurately anyway again showing that there is reason to not even want to bother with you.
    >” I still have yet to get a shred of proof that white people and men(As in all white people and men, not just the democratically voted in people of power who happen to be white/male) being bigots intrinsically is any more dangerous than a minority or a woman doing it”
    Go look at some of the research and come back to discuss the actual subject of the post. There have been articles written about it. Show that you are willing and able to actually engage with the material instead of simply act in a prejudiced manner towards it and feel bad about it because of a group connection. That is a reason why Stephanie said she did not want to get into it with you and the dishonest portrayals of other people and the way you are doing what you say you don’t like other people doing are more support.

    >”That is back in time. I am sick to death of people claiming men of the present need be made to feel guilty for acts of their ancestors. I get that we have to learn from the past so that we can move beyond it. But we cannot move beyond it if people still act like men as a whole are just like that. Hell, even men of the past were still punished for beating their wives…and also when their wives beat them if you didn’t know. Should we as a society hold up signs that say “Teach little girls not to beat people”?”
    It’s a matter of feeling guilty for things we are doing now and ignoring the parts of society created by the past. If you can’t get it right why should anyone waste time with you?

    >”Even if I accepted your premise of bigotry and racism from white people and men somehow being worse simply because they are white and male, and I do not, I would still say it is irrational to try and change the existing definition of racism to that. Why? Because, as I stated earlier, it gives a pass on every other person being racist to no longer be considered racists. It’s making the term exclusionary and I don’t see a rational reason to do that. You could just as easily say that “racism + power= much worse consequences than racism without””
    Why should I care about your distaste for how I choose use the word racism? You are challenging me and giving me no good reasons for why I should change anything. Why should I care if you don’t understand why I’m using the word the way I want to? You are asking me to change by behavior so you do the work of showing that I should not. It’s your burden of proof since you want me to do something differently.

    >”And as for why I have a problem with it…again as I said earlier, it is because I already see people of all shapes sizes and colors being racist bigots and hiding behind the shield of “I can’t be racist” as if what they are doing is okay just because they don’t have a gun to their heads when they do it. It strikes me as a way for people to absolve themselves of the label without changing their actions.”
    And what we are doing here does not prevent you from doing that.

  33. 40

    If I believe that the opinions of white people are less valid because they are white people, am I being racist, not racist, or both at the same time? In what context does the new definition apply? In what context does it not?

  34. 41

    Daniel, what you’re being is vague. I don’t know what you’re asking.

    What do you mean by “valid”? Informed? Reasonable? Treated as expert? Worth spending the time to listen to for the hundredth time just because someone wants to talk?

    Which opinions? All of them? Their opinions of groups they’re not part of and haven’t studied?

    Which white people? All of them as a group such that statistical descriptions can be made about the group? Every individual white person? One individual white person who’s already displayed ignorance on the topic at hand that falls along the lines of common misconceptions white people as a group tend to have?

    Which definition of “racism” are you using? Are you asking whether you’re being prejudiced or whether you have institutional power backing up your opinions of white people?

    I’m going to need you to be more specific here.

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