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The Problem with Privilege

It’s about time I make a master post for the Problem With Privilege series, given that I’ve already written eight such posts. The series covers the Dublin incident involving Rebecca Watson being hit on in an elevator and later vlogging about it having been creepy, and all the attendant death spiral that occurred after she dared make such a statement.

From blacklava.net. Buy one today! (If you're privileged.)

The Problem with Privilege (or: you got sexism in my skepticism!)

She didn’t accuse this man of rape, she didn’t call for an end to all sexual behaviour, she said his particular behaviour made her uncomfortable.

The Problem with Privilege (or: no, you’re not a racist misogynist ass, calm down)

Not only do the marginalized people get explicitly marginalized, there are some creeping and insidious ways that the privileged group gets advantages that they themselves might not be aware of.

The Problem with Privilege (or: missing the point, sometimes spectacularly)

Even with all these hypotheticals, the salient points are still that she was alone, slightly tipsy, in a foreign country, at 4 in the morning, in a hotel during which time most of the activity was winding down for the night, and a stranger got on the elevator with her and the first contact she’d ever had with this guy was for him to offer her coffee in his room so they could “talk”. Because he found her “interesting”.

The Problem with Privilege (or: after this, can we get back to the actual issues?)

There is a concept in the business world known as the elevator pitch. The idea is simple — when you step onto an elevator with one of the business world’s movers and shakers, you have between thirty and sixty seconds during which you might be able to sell your business to them. Because they can’t get away, they have to listen.

The Problem with Privilege: Manifesto for Change

Jennifer Ouellette writes about the chilling effect of privilege prejudices on diversity in the skeptical/atheist movement, and I couldn’t agree more.

The Problem with Privilege (or: cheap shots, epithets and baseless accusations for everyone!)

The epithets have flown from both sides, fast and thick.

The Problem with Privilege: some correct assertions, with caveats

There are a number of arguments in this whole privilege debacle surrounding the so-called Elevatorgate that, while not actually rebutting the issues in question, are in themselves valid and correct. Here’s a few of them, and why they don’t address the problem at hand.

The Problem with Privilege (or: Evidential Skepticism)

I posit that the abovementioned groups are victims of a runaway skepticism of the sort that produces AGW denialists, Birthers, the Tea Party, 9/11 Truthers, New World Order conspiracy nutjobs, and just about anyone else who says something about “the establishment keeping the truth suppressed”.

The Problem with Privilege (or: Predatory Behaviour)

The term “predatory behaviour” covers a spectrum of actions that society generally frowns upon, because it involves taking advantage of imbalances of power between two or more entities.

Future entries will be added to this list, and will link back in the comments as pingbacks in case you’d like to subscribe to this series.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Additionally, acting as a damping mechanism is the fear of escalation of the selfsame campaign of vitriol and smear, where people who are so obsessed as Hoggle has become might see any attempt to out him as a personal attack. He has already decried the “smear tactics” of forcing him to own his actions in real life as well as on the internet. Certainly his defenders consider us as engaging in a personal attack. Some have expressed fear that it is when an obsessed person loses everything — and pseudonymity is pretty easily construed as a valuable thing to lose, and could very well be the last thing Hoggle has, aside from his sycophants — that they will “go nuclear” and lash out in a potentially very violent manner. We of course cannot act as psychologists based only on the ASCII characters he’s spewed forth onto his screen at great volume, but when faced with a potentially very bad situation like that, it’s only natural to want to protect one’s self from the worst-case scenario. Delusional, perhaps, but self-defense is hard-wired, and nothing we should under any circumstances abrogate (especially if I wish to remain consistent with my opinions about Rebecca Watson and Elevator Guy). […]

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