It was his turn to get expelled »« Traces of a Triassic Kraken?

Comments

  1. The Ys says

    Sorry to derail, but here’s another red pill moment:

    “The House is scheduled to vote this week on a new bill that would allow federally-funded hospitals that oppose abortions to refuse to perform the procedure, even in cases where a woman would die without it.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/11/protect-life-act-anti-abortion-bill_n_1005937.html?ref=tw

    I don’t even know what to say any more. How can anyone pretend this is an ethical or moral way to treat pregnant women?

    It wasn’t enough that they could strap pregnant women down and perform medical treatments on them against their wishes. It wasn’t enough to arrest pregnant women for daring to fall down. It wasn’t enough to start arresting women for having miscarriages.

    Now you can just go right ahead and die.

    Fuck you, Congress.

  2. Tethys says

    IM

    Thank you. Seems you were able to understand my question simply by making the effort.

    Actually, Louis was asking for clarification in order to attempt to communicate with you.

    Good going with dismissing every other poster who repeatedly asked you to clarify.

    You still sound like a pompous windbag who is trying to impress rather than someone who truly is trying to learn.

  3. says

    IM, I’ve come to the conclusion you’re here with no other intent than to troll.

    You have had individuals taking your points, such as they are, seriously and engaging in discussions.

    Rather than reply to those individuals, you’re carrying on with your whine about group this, group that, yada, yada, yada.

    Welcome to my killfile.

  4. Ichthyic says

    HAHAHAHAHAAHA *choke* Shit, that will teach to me read Pharyngula while drinking.

    same reaction I had when I read that.

    classic line.

    must… google…

    yeah, but is it NORMAL

  5. Mattir says

    IM, I actually spent some time explaining why I thought that the power imbalance and privilege models address different phenomena and that the latter is more useful for individuals. Amazingly, it has been decades since my last sociology class, and I’m not sure I learned the privilege model there anyway. Regardless, it’s what I find most useful in day-to-day life.

    Please explain how you use the power imbalance model in everyday life to change your behavior. Or is your individual behavior not influenced in any way by the same factors that give rise to power imbalances?

  6. Sally Strange, OM says

    Oh lordy, this is funny.

    1) How do we know (or even just do we know) that the privilege model of social inequality is superior to the power balance model?

    Yes.

    Observe: Mr. Me (truly, your name is an ode to truth in advertising) answers a how do we know question with yes.

    That is all.

  7. Ichthyic says

    Shorter IM:

    “I’m a VICTIM, DAMNIT!”

    yes, yes you are, cupcake.

    now that we have that established, your next move should be to attend a really good drama class.

    I recommend:

    Drama Queens 101

  8. Pteryxx says

    @Mattir, and thanks for the explanation and summary. I still want to see what, if anything, IM makes of it before I start asking you questions… it’s IM’s topic, after all.

    re:

    “The House is scheduled to vote this week on a new bill that would allow federally-funded hospitals that oppose abortions to refuse to perform the procedure, even in cases where a woman would die without it.”

    That reminds me of a definite Red Pill Moment I had reading “The only moral abortion is my abortion”. I had no idea hypocrisy + social pressure + cognitive dissonance could run so deep. It took me about a week just to process reading that.

  9. Indeterminate Me says

    Tethys, you could, of course, choose simply to respond to the substantive clarification I provided to Louis’ civil request.

    As could anyone else, assuming the claim to want substantive discussion, and the requests for clarification, were sincere.

  10. Mr. Fire says

    Serious TL;DR alert. Possibly the biggest TL;DR I will ever make.

    Below is the entire chapter of “Getting On The Hook” from the Privilege, Power, and Difference by Allan G. Johnson. Credit goes to strange gods, who originally brought my attention to it. I found it extremely useful, and I hope others do too.

    —————————————————————-

    Getting On The Hook

    One way to acknowledge the problem of privilege and oppression and get off the hook at the same time is to make use of an illusion we looked at earlier — that bad things happen in social life simply because of bad people. Since I can make a good case that I’m not a bad person, then the trouble couldn’t have anything to do with me.

    “Racism still exists,” I can say, “and it’s a shame there are still bigots around like the Klan and skinheads and neo-Nazis.” Or, “Unfortunately, some men still haven’t gotten used to women in the workplace.” Or, “People who haven’t worked through their homophobia make life difficult for gays and lesbians.”

    “And,” I can hasten to add, if only to myself, “I don’t belong to the Klan, I don’t see color, I like women, and I have no ‘problem’ with gays and lesbians as far as I know, and I never park in those handicapped spaces.”

    Having set myself up as a good person with good intentions, I can feel disapproval or even compassion for all those bad, flawed, or sick people who supposedly make trouble happen all by themselves in spite of people like me. And I can sympathize with people who suffer as a result. But the issue of just where I am in all of this drops out of sight. Apparently I’m on the outside looking in as a concerned observer. I might even have moments when I count myself as a victim, since I feel bad whenever I think about it.

    But the truth is that my silence, my inaction, and especially my passive acceptance of the everyday privilege that goes along with group membership are all it takes to make me a part of the problem.

    It’s a point that’s easy to miss, because we want people to see and judge us as individuals, not as members of a social category. But when we insist on that, we’re being naive if not somewhat false, for the fact is that we do want people to treat us as members of social categories whenever it works to our advantage. When I go into a store, for example, I want to be waited on right away and treated with respect even though the clerks don’t know a thing about me as an individual. I want them to accept my check or credit card and not treat me with suspicion and distrust. But all they know about me is the categories they think I belong to — a customer of a certain race, age, gender, disability status, and class — and all the things they think they know about people who belong to those categories. I want that to be enough. I don’t want to have to prove over and over again that I’m someone who deserves to be trusted and taken seriously. I want them to assume all that, and the only way they can do that is to perceive me as belonging to the “right” social categories.

    This is simply how social life works. By itself, it’s not a problem. What many people resist seeing, however, is that on the other side of the same social process are all the people who get put into the “wrong” categories and ignored or followed around or treated with suspicion and disrespect regardless of who they are as individuals.

    I can’t have it both ways. If I’m going to welcome the way social categories work to my advantage, I also have to consider that when those same categories are used against others through no fault of their own, it then becomes my business because through that process I am being privileged at their expense.

    In 1990, ABC News aired as a segment of Prime Time a documentary called True Colors that powerfully illustrates this dynamic. It focused on two men who were quite similar in every observable characteristic except race: one was black and one was white. The crew used hidden cameras and microphones to record what happened in various situations — applying for a job, accidentally locking oneself out of the car, trying to rent an apartment, shopping for shoes, buying a car, and so on. Over and over again the two men were treated differently. In one instance, for example, the white man wandered into a shoe store in a shopping mall. He was barely across the threshold when the white clerk approached him with a smile and an outstretched hand. He looked at some shoes and then went on his way. Minutes later his black partner entered the store and from the outset was utterly ignored by the clerk, who stood only a few feet away. Nothing the black man did seemed to make a difference. He picked up and looked at shoes, he walked up and down the display aisles, he gazed thoughtfully at a particular style. After what seemed an eternity, he left.

    When I show True Colors in my race class and at diversity training sessions, I ask whites if they identify with anyone in the video. Invariably they say no, because they don’t see themselves in the black man’s predicament or in the racist behavior of the whites. Somehow, the white partner who is on the receiving end of preferential treatment is invisible to them, and if I don’t mention him, he rarely comes up. In other words, they don’t say, “Yes, I see myself in the white guy receiving the benefits of white privilege.”

    The effect of this obliviousness is for them to become invisible as white people in everyday situations and unaware of how privilege happens to them, especially in relation to other whites. They don’t see themselves as being involved in situations in which privilege comes into play. They don’t see, for example, that simply being white puts them in a particular relationship with someone like the shoe store clerk (whom they readily identify as racist) or that this relationship affects the way customers of color are treated and the way they are treated as whites.

    The invisibility of whiteness illustrates how privilege can blind those who receive it to what’s going on. As Ruth Frankenberg writes about a white woman she interviewed, “Beth was much more sharply of racial oppression shaping Black experience than of race privilege shaping her own life. Thus, Beth could be alert to the realities of economic discrimination against Black communities while still conceptualizing her own life as racially neutral — nonracialized, nonpolitical.”

    A common form of blindness to privilege is that women and people of color are often described as being treated unequally, but men and whites are not. This, however, is logically impossible. Unequal simply means “not equal,” which describes both those who receive less than their fair share and those who receive more. But there can’t be a short end of the stick without a long end, because it’s the longness of the long end that makes the short end short. To pretend otherwise makes privilege and those who receive it invisible.

    So long as we participate in a society that transforms difference into privilege, there is no neutral ground on which to stand. If I’m in a meeting in which men pay more attention to what I and other men say than they do to women, for example, I’m on the receiving end of privilege. My mere acceptance of that privilege — whether conscious or not — is all that other men need from me to perpetuate it. Other men need my compliance for male privilege to work, even if my compliance is unconscious and passive. I know this because as soon as I resist that path by speaking out and merely calling attention to it, I can feel the defensive response rise up to meet me. In this sense, I don’t have to be consciously hostile toward women in order to play an integral role in maintaining male privilege as a pattern in this society.

    In the same way, for white privilege to work, whites need the compliance of other whites. If I look around my workplace and see no people of color, my silence on this issue sends the message to other whites that there is no issue. The shoe clerk’s racist behavior depends on his being able to assume that other whites don’t see a problem with preferential treatment for whites. That’s what makes this path of racial preference a path of least resistance. And every white person either supports or challenges that assumption in choosing which path to follow. It is in the nature of social life that people continually look to one another to confirm or deny what they experience as reality. Given that, other people will interpret my going along with them down this path as my acceptance of that path unless I do something to make them think otherwise. Whether we know it or not, when someone discriminates by treating me better simply because I’m white, we walk down a path of white privilege together.

    There is no such thing as doing nothing. There is no such thing as being neutral or uninvolved. At every moment, social life involves all of us.

    It’s not unusual for whites to comment on how sick and tired they are of hearing about race. “It’s always in your face,” they say. I ask how often is “always” and what does “it” consist of? They become a bit vague. “Oh, it’s in the news,” they say, “all the time.”

    “Every day?” I ask.

    “Well, it seems like it,” they say.

    “Every hour, every minute?”

    “No, of course not,” they say, and I can tell they’re starting to get a little irritated with me. I realize they aren’t trying to report an objective reality in the world. They’re describing the feeling of being annoyed by something, put upon. When you’re annoyed by something, it can seem as though it’s everywhere, as if there’s no escaping it. When it comes to the problem of privilege and oppression, privileged groups don’t want to hear about it at all because it disturbs the luxury of obliviousness that comes with privilege. This means you don’t have to bring it up often for them to feel put upon. “Always” turns out to be somewhere between never and every minute. In reality, “all the time” comes down to “enough to make me look at what I don’t want to look at, enough to make me uncomfortable.” And usually that doesn’t take much.

    A similar dynamic operates with most forms of privilege. The middle and upper classes say they’re sick and tired of hearing about welfare and poverty. Nondisabled people are sick and tired of hearing about disability issues. And it takes almost no criticism at all for members of dominant groups to feel “bashed,” as if it’s “open season on us.” In fact, just saying something like “male privilege” or “patriarchy” can start eyes rolling and evoke that exasperated sense of “Here we go again.”

    In fact, however, there is almost always utter silence in this society on the subject of male privilege. In a system that privileges maleness, the default is never to do anything that might make men feel challenged or uncomfortable as men. In the same way, because whiteness is privileged over color, the norm is to never call attention to whiteness itself in ways that make white people uncomfortable. It’s expected, of course, to routinely draw attention to male and white and nondisabled and heterosexual people, since our society is centered on and identified with those groups. But that differs from drawing attention to “male,” “heterosexual,” “nondisabled,” or “white” as social categories that are problematic.

    Another reason for the “sick and tired” complaint is that life is hard for everyone. “Don’t bring us your troubles,” privileged groups say to the rest, “we’ve got troubles of our own.” Many white men, for example, especially those who lack class privilege, spend a lot of time worrying about losing their jobs. So, why should they have to listen to women or people of color talk about problems with work, especially when the talk suggests that white men should be doing something more than they already are? When Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, says that it’s “utterly exhausting being black in America,” many white people barely miss a beat in responding that they’re tired, too.

    And of course, they are. They’re exhausted from the pace of life that a competitive capitalist society imposes on everyone, and it’s hard to hear about privilege and oppression. But it’s one thing to have to hear about such problems and another to have to live them every day. The quick white defensiveness runs right past the fact that whatever it is that exhausts white people, it isn’t the fact of being white. It may be exhausting to be a parent or a worker or a spouse or a student who works all day and studies all night, but it’s not exhausting to be a white person or, for that matter, a heterosexual or a man.

    By comparison, people in subordinate groups have to do all the things that also exhaust members of dominant groups, from raising families to earning a living to getting older. But on top of that, they must also struggle with the accumulation of fine grinding grit that oppression loads onto people’s lives simply because they’re in the “wrong” social category.

    “I’m sick and tired” is a defense that allows privileged groups to claim the protected status of victims. It reminds me of those times when people injure you in some way, and when you confront them about it, they get angry at you because you’ve made them feel guilty about what they did. “Look how bad you’ve made me feel,” they say, as if you’re supposed to apologize for bringing your injury to their attention. Children often use this defense because they’re so self-centered that the idea of taking responsibility for what they’ve done doesn’t occur to them. When confronted with their misbehavior they may sulk and glower and act hurt and put upon, as if someone has just laid a heavy and undeserved weight on their shoulders.

    Privilege similarly encourages people to be self-centered and unaccountable to others. It encourages whites and men and other advantaged groups to behave as less than adults. It makes avoiding responsibility for what they do and don’t do a path of least resistance. And yet, at the same time, these are the groups in charge of social institutions. People in those groups are the ones who occupy positions of responsible adult authority. It’s a combination guaranteed to keep privilege and oppression going unless the cycle of denial and defense is broken. The challenge for dominant groups is to see how privilege keeps them from growing up, how it diminishes everyone — including them — and blocks their potential to be part of the solution.

    If being on the hook for privilege and oppression means being perpetually vulnerable to guilt and blame, then we shouldn’t be surprised that people do whatever they can to get off it. But according to my dictionary, on the hook also means being “committed,” “obliged,” and “involved.”

    In this sense, being on the hook is one of those things that distinguish adults from children — adults are and children aren’t. When I’m on the hook, I feel called on to use my power and authority as an adult to take responsibility, to act, to make things happen. Being “involved” makes me part of something larger, and I can’t stand alone as an isolated individual. Being “obliged” means more than just being burdened, because it also connects me to people and makes me aware of how I affect them. And being “committed” to something focuses my potential to make a difference and bonds me to those who feel the same way.

    Off the hook, I’m like a piece of wood floating with the current. On the hook, I have forward motion and a rudder to steer by. Off the hook, I live in isolation and denial, as if I can choose whether to be involved in the life of our society and the consequences it produces. But involvement is something that comes with being alive in the world as a human being. On the hook is where I can live fully in the world as it really is.

    Trying to live off the hook puts members of privileged groups inside a tight little circle that cuts them off from much of what it means to be alive. They have to work to distance themselves from most of humanity, because they can’t get close to other people without touching the trouble that surrounds privilege and oppression. Men living off the hook distance and insulate themselves from women, whites from people of color, heterosexuals from lesbians and gay men, the nondisabled from those with disabilities, the middle and upper classes from the working and lower classes. And the more diverse and interconnected the world becomes, the harder it is to sustain the illusion and denial day ater day,the more it takes to maintain the distance and deny the connection. The result of illusion and denial is to become like the person who loses the ability to feel pain and risks bleeding to death from a thousand tiny cuts that go unnoticed, untreated, and unhealed.

    Sooner or later, dominant groups must embrace this hook they’re on, not as some terrible affliction or occasion for guilt and shame but as a challenge and an opportunity.

    —————————————————————-

  11. Indeterminate Me says

    Sally, Louis asked me, in civil manner, to let him know if his concise rephrasing of my questions was correct. Hence the yes.

    You could chose to respond substantively to those questions.

    Or, you can choose to continue to misread, carelessly misinterpret in ways that reinforce your prejudice, and make a mockery of your pretense to be interested in a substantive discussion.

  12. hotshoe says

    2) Pharyngula isn’t the whole world. When I talk about how privilege is misused as a weapon, or how its practice often seems disconnected with its theory, you don’t need to get all defensive about it. I am not necessarily talking about you (certainly not all of you). I am talking about what I see in the world.

    Fuck off, asshole. For all your apparent intelligence and facility with words, you’ve just proven yourself too stupid to tolerate. If you’ve got a problem with how persons are “misusing privilege as a weapon” then go fucking ask the persons you think are the problem. Don’t ask a completely unrelated group who DON’T have the problem and don’t have any clue whether some other persons even have the problem to begin with, much less why they have the problem IF they do have it.

    And skip the worthless evasions about how you’re “not necessarily talking about” us. Fuck, you’re either talking about us – in which case you’re flat out wrong about us “misusing privilege as a weapon” – or you’re not talking about us. In which case, I say again, take your complaint to the source of the complaint – the people who you think are misbehaving – because they’re the only people who can possible fix whatever it is that you incoherently think needs to be fixed.

    If you should have learned anything in your supposed life as an activist, it’s to not piss off people you want to help you (that would be us, who you want to have listen and help you with your questions). You’re a rude sack of shit and you’re stupid, pissing off people for no gain.

    Go away. Go home. Whatever, just go. Take a break from Pharyngula, or at the very least shut up and lurk. If you’ve still got a burning problem with “privilege” a week from now, maybe the week of silence on your part will earn you a tolerable reception when you post again.

  13. Pteryxx says

    @Mr. Fire, awesome, thanks.

    Now all we need is a similar coherent chapter on what the power model is and what it accomplishes, and we can actually start a discussion!

  14. Tethys says

    IM

    I responded to you several times. You still haven’t responded to my question, or made a worthwhile contribution to the discussion.

    Instead you prefer to spout POMO nonsense, and inform the horde how we should behave while slinging insults.

    Thus…pompous windbag.

  15. The Laughing Coyote says

    I really don’t think I.M. really gets the concept of privilege. I don’t get the ‘separate but equal’ crap he keeps bringing up as if it’s the inevitable result of the ‘privilege model’.

    I can maybe get the idea that some immature people don’t get the concept properly and just parrot it in order to shut people up, yeah, but that’s not what’s going on here. At least not as I see it. That’s not what we’re doing, I.M.

    What, if anything, makes this ‘privilege model’ in any way functionally separate from a ‘power model’? Why do you act like they’re somehow mutually incompatible? Privilege and Power are very much intertwined, one feeding the other, or at least the way I understand it.

    I admit, it’s hard for me to want to comb your drivel for any other point you might have. My entire life experience has taught me in general that people who use way more words than they need and make big long speeches are generally disguising the fact that they have little to nothing to really say. Jabber jabber jabber away, and you make yourself sound smart- to the easily impressed, yeah. I’m not very easily impressed.

  16. Sally Strange, OM says

    No. I see the way privilege is often used, particularly by younger people, as somehow undermining, etc. and instead leading to some sort of “separate but equal” etc.

    Translation: Young whippersnappers don’t respect me no more! FUck you and your newfangled privilege! Git off mah lawn.

    I know a woman who has been a feminist activist for over 30 years. She was out protesting Phyllis Schlafly before it was cool. I have a great deal of respect for her. But when she tries to justify denying trans woman the label “woman” that they wish to claim, I don’t agree with her. Her arguments don’t hold up. I mean, at least I have respect for her, because she stands by her beliefs, knows what they are and makes a solid effort to justify them. You, well, nobody can quite pin you down to the most basic first step of defining terms. And you want us to believe that you’re just here for a friendly intellectual debate, that YOU are the true skeptic? Please. You haven’t applied the skeptical lens to your own beliefs. You have a number of false ones.

    Primarily, you say we have groupthink. You say we’re unskeptical of X, Y, and Z. All right, said I, tell me about X, Y, and Z. I’m all ears. And you haven’t really told me anything about it. You know, I and several others ask you to explain key terms and you can’t. We ask you to give us a link to someone else explaining what you’re talking about and you can’t. What is this power imbalance theory? Is it a formal theory, with academic studies to back it up, or is it just something you made up yourself? There’s no shame if it’s the latter, but you should just say so if that’s the case. Otherwise, don’t keep us hanging! It’s really impolite. See, you probably don’t grasp that it’s impolite.

    Is this sort of thing all new to you or what? What did you think was going to happen? Clearly you’re just basing this on your hurt feelings, being a bit, er, testerical if I may be so cheeky, and failing to take a step back from your ego as Dhorvath suggested. Certainly there are flaws in the social privilege theory. There are flaws in ALL theories! That’s the beauty of the process. We’re asking you to add to it, but you’re not up to the challenge. I’m sure if I thought about it, I could identify some weaknesses in the theory myself. If you weren’t so paranoid, maybe we could be having that discussion right now. But you’ve got your self-fulfilling prophesies (“You people are going to be SO HOSTILE, I can just tell! Well, FUCK YOU TOO! Hey, why are you looking annoyed all of a sudden?”) and so that scenario was averted. Pity.

    Best of luck with your theory. Consider getting a college education. If you manage to find a good school–and it can be done–you’ll learn valuable skills like how to construct a persuasive argument, define terms, introduce concepts, and things like that. Did anybody ever try to teach you that? You know, like, “how to write an essay?” Because you’re clearly intelligent, you’re just… unstructured. And I say this as a very unstructured person myself.

  17. Indeterminate Me says

    Mattir,

    Your argument reduces to “I’m not doing it wrong, so, no problem”. Kind of an ironic echo of privileged arguments.

    In my experience, it is very often done wrong, with counter-productive results.

    Now, I can predict, based on past results, that several poor thinkers here will read that as somehow me arguing against the privilege model. Of course, it is nothing of the sort.

    Since folks here seem to love analogies, I’ll try one to clarify the point:

    During the civil rights movement in the 50′s and 60′s, there were civil rights leaders who were members of the black church who rejected Bayard Rustin because he was a homosexual atheist (and a Communist to boot). Despite the fact that he was the chief organizer of the March on Washington, he was excluded from the podium, from photo ops, and his contribution devalued.

    MLK Jr., on the other hand, insisted on his being given the prominent organizing role he had, had Rustin (along with Asa Philip Randolph, an atheist who had originally conceived of the March, organized it along with Rustin, and convinced an initially reluctant MLK. Jr., to participate and eventually lead the event).

    Rustin and Randolph, in turn, championed the participation of Josephine Baker, the sole woman speaker at the event. Most of the black religious leaders, and many of the secular leaders of the March, wished to relegate women to the back bench. MLK Jr., to his credit, embraced her participation (after a bit of cajoling) as enthusiastically and openly as he embraced the participation of secular humanists and white labor leaders (a majority of the March’s organizing committee were freethinkers, incidentally, something you don’t learn in today’s history books).

    To point out the fact that quite a few prominent leaders in the civil rights movement were sexist homophobic atheophobes is neither to a) suggest that thee civil rights movement was illegitimate or based on fallacy, nor b) to attack its merit.

    It is simply a constructive critique. those who openly critiqued it in the 60′s, rather than just going with the consensus flow, helped to produce tangible change.

    Similarly, noting how prevalent the use of “privilege” is as a weapon and a justification for prejudice is neither a denial of the reality of privilege nor an attack on the theory of privilege. It is noting a flawed reality, and trying to understand its causes and how to address it.

  18. Sally Strange, OM says

    Sally, Louis asked me, in civil manner, to let him know if his concise rephrasing of my questions was correct. Hence the yes.

    Ah well, my bad then! How silly of me not to remember Louis’ question.

    You really do expect people to read your mind, don’t you.

    Narcissist. Do you know what that means?

    Defining terms. Have you ever done it before?

    You wanted to challenge the consensus at Pharyngula, right? But you never figured out how, first, you just knew you were right somehow. So you just plunged in. Well, better luck next time.

  19. Indeterminate Me says

    I’ll note that the entire group-think cadre is utterly ignoring the substantive re-statement by Louis (with my adjustments), continuing to accuse me of not clarifying or responding, and preferring instead the childish defensive pile-on.

    As predicted. A lot of claims of being interested in substance, but, when presented, nothing but personal insults and whining about how I am not specific. Louis helped to make is specific.

    I am, frankly, not at all impressed with the caliber of thinking in here.

    Contrast this shit-fest with the substantive, even civil way PZ and commenters rebutted the fantastic claim by a paleontologic that he’d found an artistic self-portrait of an ancient giant Kraken who supposedly arranged Ichyosaurus vertebrae in a way to resemble Chulthu suckers.

    All I see here is privileged self-righteous indignation, irrational dogmatic thinking and, with a few notable exceptions, utter failure to practice any of what is preached.

  20. Sally Strange, OM says

    Yes, indeed, when you have no evidence to back up your opinions, and when you are incapable of coherently offering an alternative theory, it is extremely predictable that your quest to challenge the orthodoxy would fail.

  21. Pteryxx says

    Similarly, noting how prevalent the use of “privilege” is as a weapon and a justification for prejudice is neither a denial of the reality of privilege nor an attack on the theory of privilege. It is noting a flawed reality, and trying to understand its causes and how to address it.

    That’s a valid (if unsupported) claim, but that isn’t what you said. You’ve claimed the privilege model (whatever that is) a) fosters dissent and b) interferes with actual social change by somehow working against the power model (whatever THAT is.) So, while technically you’re not attacking the theory of privilege, you want it to stay politely in the theory box and not get applied to real life.

  22. Indeterminate Me says

    Sally, incapable of simply apologizing and taking responsibility for serial careless misreading. A noted example of the high caliber of discourse by the “commentariat”.

    Louis helped me restate my questions, so, at this point, any complaints about lack of clarify or specificity are bullshit, since no one is actually addressing my questions.

    Which is fine, no one is obliged to. This ridiculous, almost desperate resorting to “yo mama” level insults, however, while doggedly refusing to respond to content, has gone from pathetic to amusing.

    Funny how you can dish it out, but you just can’t take it.

  23. Mattir says

    Nowhere in my post did I say that the things I did in response to my observations of privilege were the Right Things to Do™. They may in fact be harmful. Because I try to employ skepticism in my life, I try to learn about what responses will be helpful and what harmful. I try to change how I behave in response to evidence.

    And for what it’s worth, I loathe people who will dismiss significant contributions of a historical figure because that same figure did things that were (from today’s standards, at least) immoral or abhorrent.

    You can fuck off now. You’re trolling.

  24. Indeterminate Me says

    Pteryxx,

    You’ve claimed the privilege model (whatever that is) a) fosters dissent and b) interferes with actual social change by somehow working against the power model (whatever THAT is.)

    Citation needed.

    I find it generally useful to respond to what people actually write, and to ask for clarification if needed, rather than to restate their actual arguments in terms more suited to the straw man of my choice.

  25. Tethys says

    noting how prevalent the use of “privilege” is as a weapon and a justification for prejudice

    Citation desperately needed.

    We aren’t prejudiced, so who the hell are you referring to?

  26. Indeterminate Me says

    Apologies, did not use preview as I should, my bad, here is that comment again, properly formatted:

    Pteryxx,

    You’ve claimed the privilege model (whatever that is) a) fosters dissent and b) interferes with actual social change by somehow working against the power model (whatever THAT is.)

    Citation needed.

    I find it generally useful to respond to what people actually write, and to ask for clarification if needed, rather than to restate their actual arguments in terms more suited to the straw man of my choice.

  27. Ichthyic says

    Which is fine, no one is obliged to.

    You mean, you won’t be threatening us with flouncing if we don’t answer you?

    thank fuck for that.

    after your pages long drama queen act, it amazes me anyone is still even bothering to try.

    you should be FUCKING THANKING THEM, you narcissistic wanker.

  28. Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments says

    I’ll note that the entire group-think cadre is utterly ignoring the substantive re-statement by Louis (with my adjustments), continuing to accuse me of not clarifying or responding, and preferring instead the childish defensive pile-on.

    If you were on the street and I knew who you were, I would cross the street so that I did not have to listen to your blathering. I am sure that many other people, commentators and lurkers feel the same way.

    Tedious fucking bore. Louis and SallyStrange are treating you with a respect that you do not deserve.

  29. hotshoe says

    All I see here is privileged self-righteous indignation, irrational dogmatic thinking and, with a few notable exceptions, utter failure to practice any of what is preached.

    I’m sure you can hardly wait to leave this wretched hive of scum and villainy, and now that you’ve set us straight in no uncertain terms, your work here is done.

    What a relief for you ! You’re done, you’re free to leave ! Go, go on, scoot. Don’t worry about us, we’ll suffer from losing your clear thinking leadership, of course, but we’ll manage to struggle on somehow. You can console yourself with knowing you did your best, and if you couldn’t manage to lead us out of our sinful ways, then nobody could.

    Naturally, we would never expect to see you grace us with your presence again. We wouldn’t deserve it. No, not deserve it one little bit.

  30. Sally Strange, OM says

    Sally, incapable of simply apologizing and taking responsibility for serial careless misreading

    Yes, I’m having a terrible blond attack, IM. I just don’t get it! Maybe you can explain it really slowly to me. Like I’m a child. Your theory should be explainable to a child, right?

    Like here’s how I’d explain privilege to a child:

    People are different from each other. There are different genders, different skin colors, different ways of falling in love, and so forth. And we all have needs, some the same and some different. The thing is, the world is kind of set up to make it easy for some groups of people and it pretty much ignores other kinds of people. So things are harder for them. They’re less likely to go to a good school, to have a stable family, to get into college. For some people, getting into college is easy. Then, at work, they might get paid less. Why? Because people are silly and think that being different from this sort of standard model human being (pale-skinned, male) means that you’re worth less. So they have this belief, and they act on it in small ways, every day. And it’s the collective actions of all of us that create these advantages and disadvantages. So we can change it, but only if a lot of us agree that it’s the right thing to do. Just like any cultural change. There’s no separate but equal, it’s something we have to create together.

    I think what IM hears as divisive is really calls for privileged groups to stop steamrolling other minorities. Yeah, when women of color criticize SlutWalk, it hurts, but dammit, it was necessary. I, as a white woman who’s made some racially insensitive remarks myself, before, and apologized, don’t feel divided from anybody when women of color point out the blind spots that come with being white.

    IM does, though. That’s his mistake.

    –Sally

    P.S. Oh yeah, and I totally did apologize (not to you of course), right here in this thread, so now you’re exposed as either an illiterate or a liar. Not saying you can’t be both.

  31. Mattir says

    Why am I awaiting Indeterminate MeMeMe to break into a lecture about our total lack of theology and geometry?

    Would that Fortuna spin her wheel and rotate this fool out of here already, on to brighter pastures for his remarkable insightspencil-scrawled incoherent bullshit.

  32. Tethys says

    Two of us asked for a citation to support your claim.

    Its called fucking logic 101.

    Back up your claims with facts, or eat your words.

    You don’t get to inform the commentariat that you are so above us all that it isn’t necessary and expect anything but insults cupcake.

  33. Indeterminate Me says

    Tethys,

    I am referring to the real world out there. I provided quotations with links, to others making the same observation. It is hard to believe that anyone who spends time with today’s activists does not encounter this on a fairly regular basis.

    It happened the other day when there were vehement objections to the inclusion of the labor unions by folks who argued that as predominantly white men they were part of the problem, not the solution.

    It happened when someone who, by her own admission, did not participate in OWS before or after here appearance there, blocked the declaration in general assembly because she objected to it stating that “we are all one human race”. Her argument was based on the privilege model, on the claim that this was somehow denying the reality of racism (hard to see how traditional activists, who fought so hard for affirmative action, Title IX, and other forms of redress for historical injustice are guilty of denying the reality of privilege, but logic and reason have not been at the forefront of the widespread, eager, dogmatic adoption of “privilege” as the Theory of Everything). Rather than evaluate her argument on its objective merits, there was pressure in the GA to “give her the benefit of the doubt” and assume her POV was correct. She then left OWS.

    In her blog, by the way, she claimed she was surrounded exclusively by white men during the discussion. One of them commented that, in fact, he was Native America, another was South American, yet another mixed Asian-Irish, another African- American, and that, in point of fact, only two of the 20 people she called “White males” were caucasian. And there were several woman in the group, although definitely a minority. In fact, she was revealing her own racial assumptions – but, because she used “privilege” as a weapon, rather than an enlightenment tool, she guilted everyone into going along.

    Often, in one challenges such behavior on objective grounds, one is automatically labeled either a “privileged white male”, or a “race/gender traitor”. once labeled and dismissed, no critical thinking is necessary.

    It is the same argument I have encountered on many progressive blogs, where PoMo folks repudiate MLK Jr as a kind of Uncle Tom accommodationist (incidentally, that was Malcom X’s charge at the time of the March, a March he rejected and repudiated) and use “color-blind” as an epithet along with “privileged white male”.

    The phenomenon is not some kind of “reverse privilege”, incidentally; it is far more a product of the lack of critical thinking training and the hostility toward “Western” science and reason so prevalent in certain sociology and social justice circles these days.

    Incidentally, I find it interesting how unquestioningly people here accept anecdotal experience as valid when it confirms their bias, and how hastily they reject it as invalid when it challenges their beliefs.

    Oh, and those who say, “it’s not my problem, or it’s not Pharangula’s problem, so who cares, fuck off”, are demonstrating the truism that ranting about a cause is one thing, acting on it is another.

  34. crissakentavr says

    I think worse than a ‘red pill’ moment is the moment you realize you missed a chance.

    For instance, I knew about sexism, I knew it hurt everyone. I saw this first hand as a teen with the tourist-joints that wouldn’t hire boys except for dishwashing and girls except for servers. If you wanted to do the opposite, you’d better be pretty well connected. The top two PSAT scores in our school got to work at the local law office (yes, we only had one, it was only a town of 1100). The girl got to make coffee and copies – the boy got to pull weeds outside. Good thing the boy’s favorite hobby was horticulture, eh?

    Anyhow…

    I feel really let-down that the media refused to ever explain why someone would need a partial-birth abortion. That whole controversy happened when I was right out of highschool. I had no idea that dilation and extraction was the safest way for a woman to escape a doomed pregnancy. Had I known that, I would’ve fought harder against the ignorance. But no one ever seemed to mention that.

    I guess that’s my blue-pill moment. Realizing my eyes weren’t open enough.

  35. Sally Strange, OM says

    Often, in one challenges such behavior on objective grounds, one is automatically labeled either a “privileged white male”, or a “race/gender traitor”. once labeled and dismissed, no critical thinking is necessary.

    That really is the crux of your argument, isn’t it? Tell me if it’s not, and, if it’s not, please tell me, in one paragraph of no more than 200 words, what the crux of your argument really is. Can you do that?

  36. Indeterminate Me says

    @Sally,

    People are different from each other. There are different genders, different skin colors, different ways of falling in love, and so forth. And we all have needs, some the same and some different. The thing is, the world is kind of set up to make it easy for some groups of people and it pretty much ignores other kinds of people. So things are harder for them. They’re less likely to go to a good school, to have a stable family, to get into college. For some people, getting into college is easy. Then, at work, they might get paid less. Why? Because people are silly and think that being different from this sort of standard model human being (pale-skinned, male) means that you’re worth less. So they have this belief, and they act on it in small ways, every day. And it’s the collective actions of all of us that create these advantages and disadvantages. So we can change it, but only if a lot of us agree that it’s the right thing to do. Just like any cultural change. There’s no separate but equal, it’s something we have to create together

    Agree with you 100%. Nothing I have written contradicts any of that. Nor have I questioned that. Please read my actual questions.

    I think what IM hears as divisive is really calls for privileged groups to stop steamrolling other minorities. Yeah, when women of color criticize SlutWalk, it hurts, but dammit, it was necessary. I, as a white woman who’s made some racially insensitive remarks myself, before, and apologized, don’t feel divided from anybody when women of color point out the blind spots that come with being white.

    Nope. Straw men galore. Perhaps, rather than imagining what others are hearing, you should just listen to what they actually say.

    IM does, though. That’s his mistake.

    Nope. Wrong again. More careless reading.

  37. Indeterminate Me says

    That really is the crux of your argument, isn’t it? Tell me if it’s not, and, if it’s not, please tell me, in one paragraph of no more than 200 words, what the crux of your argument really is. Can you do that?

    nope, not even close.

    Not an argument, as desperate as you are to twist it into a familiar MRA trope.

    With Louis’ help, I stated my questions. Not going to keep restating them just because you choose to ignore them.

  38. Sally Strange, OM says

    Nope. Wrong again. More careless reading.

    If that were true, you’d be pulling the relevant quotes from what you wrote, and juxtaposing them against my characterization of what you wrote.

    But you can’t, can you? Because you suck SO HARD at writing. Too bad.

  39. Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments says

    With Louis’ help, I stated my questions. Not going to keep restating them just because you choose to ignore them.

    I do not give a flying fuck what you think, you condescending assclam.

    ME! ME! ME! It is all about ME!

  40. Mattir says

    @Sally – I think the other part of IM’s argument is that people who use the privilege model as a heuristic are often flawed and do it wrong and cause harm. Therefore we need to throw it out in favor of some undefined framework that will allow everyone to become perfect and bring on a world of unicorn farts and glitter.

    Or he’s just trolling.

  41. Indeterminate Me says

    Yet you choose to continue to assume I care what you think, Inane Janine, and you continue to gratuitously pile on while contributing nothing productive to this discussion. Sounds like you care all too much, or you’d simply ignore me. I’m not here for your approval so buzz off.

  42. Sally Strange, OM says

    Not an argument, as desperate as you are to twist it into a familiar MRA trope.

    Compare and contrast:

    Often, in one challenges such behavior on objective grounds, one is automatically labeled either a “privileged white male”, or a “race/gender traitor”. once labeled and dismissed, no critical thinking is necessary. –IM

    That really is the crux of your argument, isn’t it? Tell me if it’s not, and, if it’s not, please tell me, in one paragraph of no more than 200 words, what the crux of your argument really is. Can you do that? –Me

    Did I in any way twist your words? No. That was a direct quote. Copy and paste.

    Did I say anything about MRA tropes? No. I said that this is crux of your argument. Because it’s the first thing you ever mentioned when you brought up your issues with privilege theory, like weeks ago, and it’s the thing that keeps coming back up.

    So why did you say that this was an MRA trope?

    My guess is: Because you know that it looks exactly like one.

    Hey, dude. You said it, not me.

  43. Mattir says

    Dare I wonder whether Louis’ gender had anything to do with IM’s fanboi crush on how helpful he’s been and his blathering that the rest of us bad privilege-wielding-feminists can’t understand his Deep Thoughts™ and ought to shut up?

    Flounce already, dammit.

  44. crissakentavr says

    PS, Indeterminate Me @ 191 pretty much answered what’s been asked in every post since. Took me awhile to find it, tho.

    I’m pretty sure he’s talking about the way that people tend to use beating up on others as a means to make themselves feel better; and this happens among feminists as it happens among everyone.

    There’s good reasons I no longer try to involve myself in some moderated communities – the moderators get off on being right, and picking upon small divisiveness, to make themselves more popular in the in-crowd.

    You see this behavior with some here, as I pointed out in the previous page. I’m sure the behavior is not related to privilege, per se, just uses it as one of many handy blunt instruments. And I’m sure many people who do this – and the tools they use – may be unintentional. But it’s all about social pecking order, where the pecking is more literal tiny insults and one-uping.

  45. Indeterminate Me says

    @Mattir,

    I think the other part of IM’s argument is that people who use the privilege model as a heuristic are often flawed and do it wrong and cause harm. Therefore we need to throw it out

    You know better than to introduce the same old tired straw man yet again.

    When something is not being used in the field as predicted, it is useful to examine why. Throwing out the baby with the bathwater is not the only alternative, any more than throwing out old but proven effective models is the answer.

    Rather lazy binary thinking, not worthy of my “betters”.

  46. Indeterminate Me says

    Sally,

    I said that this is crux of your argument.

    That is where you restated my questions to turn them into a simplistic straw man argument more comfortable for you to dismiss. Try to keep up.

  47. crissakentavr says

    …And I see this behavior totally here as the conversation is totally the local trolls vs a foreign one. Each trying to get their pecks in and preen in front of their little audience.

  48. Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments says

    Yet you choose to continue to assume I care what you think, Inane Janine, and you continue to gratuitously pile on while contributing nothing productive to this discussion.

    Wrong. I also do not give a flying fuck what you think of me. As for contributing nothing productive, you get what you give.

    Now fucking go away to that special place where the regular sees and appreciates your genius.

  49. Tethys says

    Interminably tiresoME

    Your posts merely make me want to get out my red pen and edit them into some sort of sense.

    The margins would be filled with comments like; too wordy, unsupported conclusion, false premise, and citation needed.

    You are incapable of listening cupcake. It’s a hallmark of many unpleasant privileged assholes.

  50. Sally Strange, OM says

    That is where you restated my questions to turn them into a simplistic straw man argument more comfortable for you to dismiss. Try to keep up.

    You are, indeed, dizzying in your flights of logic.

  51. Indeterminate Me says

    @250 crissakentavr

    Hit the nail on the head. That is one of the three observations, which were phrased as three inquisitive questions (Louis broke them into more than three for clarity).

    Surely it is legitimate to ask if such behavior, in the context of using “privilege” as a rhetorical tool, might be counter-productive – and to wonder how be can address this problem. Surely, we can do better than “that’s the way it is, we’re perfect in here, now fuck off, asshole”.

  52. Sally Strange, OM says

    Each trying to get their pecks in and preen in front of their little audience.

    Totally meta.

  53. hotshoe says

    Indeterminate:

    Oh, and those who say, “it’s not my problem, or it’s not Pharangula’s problem, so who cares, fuck off”, are demonstrating the truism that ranting about a cause is one thing, acting on it is another.

    If you’ve got something to say about me, address it TO me, you weasel.

    You’re a scuzz. You’re a deliberately dishonest troll. You deserve all the crap you see addressed to you because you brought it on with your own bad behavior to begin with.

    There, see how it’s done ? I address you directly, because you’re the source of the problem. None of this dishonest sideways insults of yours. I’m not just “ranting”, I’m acting on my cause, which right now is to rid the world of master trolls like you. And my chosen course of action in service of that cause is to feed the troll until it explodes.

    Now fuck off and die.

  54. Indeterminate Me says

    #253,crissakentavr and then undermined. Sigh.

    What makes me a troll? That I responded to a request for clarification, and insist on being judged on what I actually wrote, rather than a bunch of childish straw men and other logically fallacious accusations?

    And who exactly is my “audience”? It would have been far easier, and far safer, to simply have been properly obsequious and deferential to my alleged “betters”. I don’t see any supportive audience coming out from the wings.

    I have simply asked questions, relevant to the topic of this post and expecting a relatively intelligent, rational and skeptical community to share in intelligent discussion leading to potential increase in understanding all around, and then refused to let them be twisted to suit someone’s narrow-minded agenda.

    What is trollish about that? Seriously, was that just a knee jerk false equivalency? I responded civilly and respectfully when I was asked that way. I added substance to Louis’ generally insightful restating of my argument.

    I have been met exclusively with insults and tone/style-trolling, childish insults and amateur straw men.

    The term “troll” is used way too freely around here. It has become a euphemism for “disagrees with me or doesn’t adequately stroke me”.

  55. Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments says

    …amateur straw men.

    How come no one ever told me about the professional straw men?

  56. Sally Strange, OM says

    I responded civilly and respectfully when I was asked that way.

    Civil, eh? You have an odd definition of “civil.”

    Outside, in the real world, we call it “having a life”. Try it some time, it might give you some perspective.

    This comment is addressed to grownups interested in rational discussions sparked by PZ’s posts – with other adults who are capable of engaging in substantive discussion without resorting to the kind of childish name-calling one finds on theist and right-wing blogs.

    Frankly, the “commentariat” here needs to check its own privilege. It practices in here many of the chauvinistic behaviors it claims to object to out in the real world — and suffers from the same, privileged tone-deafness with regard to the impact of its behavior on other people.

    This comment is also not an appeal for acceptance or passing some “commentariat” test. Only privileged, insular groups think their judgment of the worth of others actually matters, or that it has any bearing on the substance of their commentary .

    Do you *really*, *honestly* believe that the childish insults here are some kind of virtuous gauntlet to weed out the MRAs and weak-kneed in some kind of survival of the fittest test? Or, are you honest enough to admit that it is peurile masturbatory schoolyard bully pleasure at holding someone down and spitting on their face to show superiority?

    It goes on and on.

    You have been shown far more respect than you deserve.

  57. Sally Strange, OM says

    Or, are you honest enough to admit that it is peurile masturbatory schoolyard bully pleasure at holding someone down and spitting on their face to show superiority?

    I will admit, there is a bit of pleasure in being able to outthink someone so easily, even while slightly drunk. It does make me feel slightly superior. Not gonna lie, it is a pretty good feeling. What’s your excuse? Masochist?

  58. hotshoe says

    What is trollish about that? Seriously, was that just a knee jerk false equivalency? I responded civilly and respectfully when I was asked that way. I added substance to Louis’ generally insightful restating of my argument.

    I have been met exclusively with insults and tone/style-trolling, childish insults and amateur straw men.

    You’re a liar.

    Your lie is right there in your two back-to-back sentences contradicting yourself without even one pause for breath.

    But you’re going to insist on not getting it, aren’t you ?

    Just FOAD already. Jeez, is it too much to ask you to go, since you hate it here anyways ? What the fuck is the matter with you ?

  59. Sally Strange, OM says

    All my straw men are professional. See, there’s IM being insulting again. If you’re going to attack the quality of my straw men, you better have the evidence to back it up.

  60. hotshoe says

    Or, are you honest enough to admit that it is peurile masturbatory schoolyard bully pleasure at holding someone down and spitting on their face to show superiority?

    I will admit, there is a bit of pleasure in being able to outthink someone so easily, even while slightly drunk. It does make me feel slightly superior. Not gonna lie, it is a pretty good feeling. What’s your excuse? Masochist?

    Heehee. Good guess.

  61. Tethys says

    Hmm, I wonder if IM gets called on his privilege a lot in real life?

    It would explain the giant chip on his shoulder.

  62. Indeterminate Me says

    Clearly, there is pathological avoidance of actually addressing the questions Louis helped me present.

    @crissakentavr,

    Do you know of anywhere on the Net where these kind of questions are discussed seriously?

    They were at least tolerated on the dog and gecko page, but not really addressed, plus that’s a very old post and there is little ongoing discussion there.

    Everywhere else seems divided into enemy camps with no productive dialog and no room for anything but either unquestioned dogmatic zeal or dismissal of the whole thing as puerile PoMo bullshit.

    It seemed like this might be a place, with all the ongoing discussion about privilege and a blog dedicated to reason and science and skepticism, that there might be an opening to discuss some real issues.

    Instead, it’s just the same ol’ same ol’.

    Do you know of *any place* that the privilege model can be discussed with neither unquestioned zealotry or blithe dismissal?

  63. The Laughing Coyote says

    Do you know of *any place* that the privilege model can be discussed with neither unquestioned zealotry or blithe dismissal?

    Is this… could it be…. is I.M. Finally gonna do the flounce?

  64. Pteryxx says

    Restating in response to IM @230:

    (IM:)Citation needed.

    I find it generally useful to respond to what people actually write, and to ask for clarification if needed, rather than to restate their actual arguments in terms more suited to the straw man of my choice.

    *shrug* Fine, if you’re going to be a pedant about it.

    (IM:) Similarly, noting how prevalent the use of “privilege” is as a weapon and a justification for prejudice is neither a denial of the reality of privilege nor an attack on the theory of privilege. It is noting a flawed reality, and trying to understand its causes and how to address it.

    (Pteryxx:) That’s a valid (if unsupported) claim, but that isn’t what you said. You’ve claimed the privilege model (whatever that is) a) fosters dissent* and b) interferes with actual social change by somehow working against the power model** (whatever THAT is.) So, while technically you’re not attacking the theory of privilege, you want it to stay politely in the theory box and not get applied to real life.***

    *ref:

    b) why is the privilege model so commonly abused, is there a way to address this abuse and misunderstanding of the nature of privilege so that it becomes a more effective and less contention model (based as it is on evident real phenomena), and why does embracing it seem to foster a hostile, confrontational, rejectionist attitude among its adherents, rather than the accepting, welcoming, teaching model it theoretically entails? (quoting IM, emphasis mine)

    It’s disingenuous to claim the theory isn’t the problem, but embracing the theory is. What good is the theory if it’s rejected or ignored instead of embraced? Or did you mean something other than what you wrote?

    **ref:

    The approach (in practice, if not in theory) of adopting a privilege model as the sole, overriding view of the world – believing that power flows from inherent privilege, rather than the power-based view that privilege is a consequence of power – has real-world implications. Inherent privilege requires different ameliorative approaches than power imbalance, which is not inherent in physiology but rather circumstantial.

    Changing circumstances to correct power imbalances is a *very* different approach to social justice work than accepting privilege and seeking to compensate for it. (quoting IM, emphasis mine)

    Sets up the power model vs. privilege model as opposites, followed by emphasizing difference in actual approaches.

    Followed by:

    (Note that, in a power model, it is perfectly useful to tactically address privilege, for example by employing affirmative action quotas. However, such action is seen as temporary, unfortunate but necessary, with the goal being a society where “children are judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin”; whereas, it seems to me that the privilege model – again, as actually practiced – seems to argue for a “separate but equal” approach.) (quoting IM, emphasis mine)

    Gives an example of a direct contradiction between the approaches ascribed to the power model versus the privilege model, with the implication that the privilege model approach (“separate but equal”) is less valid by association with a discredited legal doctrine.

    Additionally:

    (Louis:) 3) You see the privilege model as somehow undermining a demonstrably successful power balance model and instead advocating some sort of “separate but equal” route to reducing social inequalities. Privilege as a concept is also somehow linked to postmodernism.

    (IM:) No. I see the way privilege is often used, particularly by younger people, as somehow undermining, etc. and instead leading to some sort of “separate but equal” etc. (emphasis mine)

    You agreed that Louis’s rephrasing of your comment – undermining, “separate but equal” and all – was accurate, except for replacing “the privilege model” with “the way privilege is often used”. For why I think this distinction is disingenuous, see point * above.

    ***ref:

    And, I see divisive arguments over privilege, and its misuse as a divisive rhetorical weapon, and a dogmatic hostility to dissent or even questions, despite the lack of evidence of its efficacy in producing measurable, lasting social change. (quoting IM, emphasis mine)

    Claiming a theory has no evidence to support it constitutes an attack w/ regard to its application to real life, yes. Especially since the application of the theory has been one of your repeatedly stated concerns.

    And finally,

    ****ref:

    What makes me a troll? That I responded to a request for clarification, and insist on being judged on what I actually wrote, rather than a bunch of childish straw men and other logically fallacious accusations? (quoting IM)

    Since clarity is necessary for substantive discussion, and you insist that any misinterpretation of your own words is evidence of bad faith (see: the premise of this post) while misrepresenting other commentors’ statements as fallacies****, I can only conclude that clarity, and thus discussion, are not your goals except as a means to engage in a pedantry-based Gish gallop.

    Good day, sir.

  65. Ichthyic says

    Clearly, there is pathological avoidance

    of you.

    because you’re a narcissist wanker.

    at this point, if you were actually interested in debating anything, you probably should flounce out of this thread and try again, WITHOUT THE FUCKING PRETENSIONS, in a different thread on a different day.

    because you are a wanker though, and a liar (I cite in evidence you telling us that we shouldn’t feel obligated to respond to you), you instead will keep on whinging about how you’re the victim in all this, and nobody ever addresses your REALLY COOL AND COGENT ARGUMENT ™, and… blah blah blah fucking blah.

    fucking cry me a river already.

    get lost, and come back another day when you can start over again.

    happens to all of us.

    If you aren’t a complete git, you will understand this.

  66. Pteryxx says

    Is this… could it be…. is I.M. Finally gonna do the flounce?

    Hm. My apologies, TLC, if I encouraged IM to stick around with my last response. I thought it rather an interesting exercise.

  67. The Laughing Coyote says

    No Pteryxx, it was an interesting exercise and I don’t see what you have to be sorry for.

  68. julian says

    IM, would it kill you to relax for ten seconds? I can tell you have a lot of issues with how some people use privilege. And that’s fine. I doubt anyone here is blasting you because of that. In fact, I think some would agree that abusing the ‘privilege model’ (as you call it) is something we should watch out for.

    What’s probably grating most people is how you seem to be here for the sole purpose of venting your frustrations with ‘privilge’ as opposed to actually discussing its shortcomings.

    That and you derailed a perfectly fine conversation everyone was enjoying. That was an incredibly obnoxious thing to.

  69. Tethys says

    Pteryxx

    Excellent point by point refutation. So clear, so concise.

    IM doesn’t really seem to want to learn at all. The fact that he used Rebecca Watsons reply to Dawkins as an example of “the abuse of the privilege model” is just assinine.

  70. Pteryxx says

    Thanks TLC. What I meant, though, was I found it an interesting experience just to go through the process of citing and proofing all those quotes, so I’d have some idea of what it would actually take to respond in that level of detail. I didn’t think at all whether anyone else would care to read it, or whether IM would have gone on and flounced by then.

    So, if IM comes back and posts a 10-page screed in response to mine? …Yeah, I’ll be sorry. ~;>

  71. Gen, The Longest Tealdeer Around. says

    WARNING: LOOK AT THE NAME AND BE WARNED. ALSO, AM MANIC, MAY RAMBLE.

    @IM

    The lulz I experience in regarding your insulting manner towards everyone else while bemoaning the slightest of insults levied at yourself aside, I’m going to try to address what I perceive to be your concerns, since I’ve been wanting to clarify some things regarding privilege to myself for a while.

    I may be mistaken about what those concerns of yours are, so please stop me if I’m off track. I’m going to try to separate what I see as different concerns into different post, for ease of engagement.

    a.)

    This does not mean the the underlying notion – that privilege exists, is inherent, and produces injustice – is being argued against.

    Here I am, arguing against the italicized part of what you said.

    There seems to be a misunderstanding on your part regarding privilege being somehow inherent. It’s not.

    Privilege is entirely socially constructed.

    That’s what the concept of privilege MEANS. It’s socially constructed. FFS, its use comes from SOCIOLOGY.

    That privilege is socially constructed is true even if we take a purely inherent physical characteristic and look at how society could have come to structure itself in such a way that possessing this inherent trait gives us an advantage in the world today.

    (Although I just want to make clear: this is not “privilege” as used in the sociological sense. At all. Just making that clear. It’s just a description used to illustrate a concept of how some things may have BECOME a privilege initially.)

    E.g: For the sake of argument, assume the following three statements are true.

    1.)I am shorter than “average”.
    2.)You are taller than “average”.
    3.) “Average” exists as a concept in the society we live.

    You may have an easier time in some things than me, and I might have an easier time in some things than you, but the way society is constructed caters to some kind of “average” that’s at best, just a construct.

    What may have once been an evolutionary benefit and/or necessity may have, with the resources we have today, become no longer necessary for survival, yet society/institutions still function AS IF that trait is still of evolutionary necessity.

    It may be a construct that came through adaptation and evolution, like the (FICTIONAL, PLEASE, for illustrative and hypothetical purposes ONLY!) example of height I used. It may be that society evolved to cater more towards those of average height because of earlier likelyhood of fitness and survival etc.

    However, we are in a thus far unique position in history where we do not have to be constrained by traits that maximize “fitness” and “survival”.

    So, keeping to this (FICTIONAL, PLEASE, for illustrative and hypothetical purposes ONLY!) example, while it may ONCE have been true that your likelihood of survival increased the closer you got to the mean for “average”, we are no longer constrained by that physicality and can overcome it.

    It follows that since this constraint is no longer actually influential but society is still founded in part upon this constraint’s evolutionary benefit (which no longer applies), society can change this constraint without impacting its overall fitness or survival.

    It won’t be easy and it won’t be fast, but it is possible.

    Is it desirable? In my ridiculous height analogy, I’d say “probably not in my mind right now the most pressing social justice issue of our time”, but I’m open to argument on that.

    (Once again, apologies for my very simple, very shallow example, but I’m actually supposed to be working).

    So that’s just on a purely physical level. Now, what exactly did “society” deem to be the “normal”, the “average”?

    There are many, many facets to this (see INTERSECTIONALITY). Keeping to the topic of this specific thread, when we look at gender in particular, we can see a clear trend that men have been allocated as the “average” or the “default” and that women have been allocated as the “Other” or the “Alien”.

    Now there is nothing inherent in having a penis, Y chromosome or otherwise male gender to justify this allocation in modern society, yet we still observe it occuring.

    TL;DR: Privilege is NOT in any way inherent. It’s socially constructed by its very definition and as such, it can be challenged and changed.

  72. hotshoe says

    I found it an interesting experience just to go through the process of citing and proofing all those quotes, so I’d have some idea of what it would actually take to respond in that level of detail. I didn’t think at all whether anyone else would care to read it…

    You’re wonderful; your post was a perfect lesson in how to write cogently at two levels simultaneously: that is, the pedagogical level of showing how to reference the specific bits of discourse, and the responsive level of discussing the implications of those bits, which the author had ignored. I read in admiration and pleasure at the success of your efforts.
    Thanks, and adieu for now.

  73. Gen, The Longest Tealdeer Around. says

    Okay, I’ll save you the rest since Pteryxx posted such a fantastic and much more coherent response.

    What I’d like to add is the following:

    a.) “Privilege Theory” (which I feel is misnomer, as is “Power theory”, as these are more “concepts” than “theories”, but whatevs) in no way assumes that privilege comes before power. The two concepts are intertwined, informing and forming parts of a greater sociological theories like Patriachy and Kyriarchy.

    There is also no talk of “Privilege Theory” replacing or dominating or in any other way being more important/more used than “Power theory”. Like I said, they are intertwined descriptions of social phenomena that each relies heavily on the other and are used as ingredients to make up larger societal theories.

    b.) Do some people abuse the concept of privilege? Of course, because you get asshats everywhere. Some people also abuse the theories of evolution (not talking creationists here) to suit their needs, patriarchy, group dynamics and all other theories, including but not limited to religious theories.

    Is that abuse a problem? Of course. It *can* be used as a silencing tool. Like anything else, including “Power Theory”.

    How can we address that problem? More difficult, since one cannot be everywhere and everywhen, policing everyone’s every thought and word and making sure that everyone who uses any term related to any theory actually understands the academic underpinnings of said words and theory. See also: pop psychology and evo psych.

    If you feel someone had been doing that, I’d be happy to analyze it with you/talk about it with you. So please present your specific instance together with your argument as to why it was abuse, instead of just throwing out quotations, and we can talk about it.

  74. Indeterminate Me says

    @Gen,

    Would love to respond to your thoughtful post, but if I do, will be attacked for length of post and for responding point by point (even though that is precisely what you and others do).

    Waaay, back, Caine posted:

    We’ve had a whole lot of terribly concerned peoples lately, all saying the same thing. I keep telling them, make your points, in any tone you want, no one cares, but nooooooooo, they can’t manage that.

    In point of fact, that was not the case. I made my points, only response was complaining about my tone, my style, and attributing bad intent by willfully turning my points into an MRA screed.

    Every time one of you treats this like an actual discussion, and I or anyone else in this frequent situation is lured into trying to respond in kind, the same pattern happens – the gang piles on with irrelevant taunts and attempts to bait with deliberate straw men and childish insults, and no progress is possible.

    Someone like Pteryxx posts a bunch of mostly bullshit speckled with a few legitimate points – but then closes off all conversation at the end, and crows like a child playing a video game about how he pwned the stupid noob.

    There is no serious intent to let this issue be discussed, only a game of bait and swat.

  75. Sally Strange, OM says

    Gen, you’re messing up the game.

    You’re supposed to abuse Indeterminate Me, hold him down and spit on him, or any of the other fantasies he’s rendered in such loving detail for us.

    Otherwise, how can he get his jollies?

  76. Gen, The Longest Tealdeer Around. says

    Moving on from IM, I’d like to sincerely thank everyone who shared their “red pill” moments. I enjoyed reading through these comments so much and I really feel that my life was enriched because of it. So thanks.

  77. Indeterminate Me says

    @julian,

    What do you recommend?

    If I respond substantively, the substance will be ignored.

    If I ignore, I will be baited.

    If I respond to straw men and mischaracterizations of my remarks, I will be attacked as a whiner.

    If my standards of writing don’t meet the “betters” here, I will be barraged with tone/style-trolling comments.

    The one thing that seems lacking is a willingness to dialog.

    Everytime someone like Gen or Louis comes along and seems interested in engaging – even though I respond to them substantively and respectfully – any hope of discussion is derailed by a childish gang of thugs (who, in any other community, would be considered the real trolls), who are determined to prevent anything but the game of “us vs the frenemy MRAs” around here.

    The only new folks who can talk here are those who support the gang’s consensus, and the only discussions that are tolerated are one’s that either start from the gang’s premises, or are clear MRA trolls.

    Don’t tell me I should just not respond to baiting and post substantively. Tried that. It was just more food for trolls.

    I’d love to just ignore the shmucks and respond to you or Louis or Gen. But you know that is not going to be tolerated.

    Other than “fuck off”, which I’ve heard already here, and I’m not inclined to submit to bullies, thank you, what do you suggest?

  78. Sally Strange, OM says

    I’d love to just ignore the shmucks and respond to you or Louis or Gen.

    Oh stop lying. You know you want it. You love it. You fantasize about it in nearly every post you write. If we stopped giving it to you, you’d be begging for it.

  79. hotshoe says

    Gen, you’re messing up the game.

    You’re supposed to abuse Indeterminate Me, hold him down and spit on him, or any of the other fantasies he’s rendered in such loving detail for us.

    Otherwise, how can he get his jollies?

    Teehee.

    How can you be really mean to a masochist ?
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Say “No” when he asks you to hurt him.

  80. Gen, The Longest Tealdeer Around. says

    Would love to respond to your thoughtful post, but if I do, will be attacked for length of post and for responding point by point (even though that is precisely what you and others do).

    Do it anyway, and start by engaging with what’s being said NOW, and also only what was said BY THE PERSON YOU ARE ADDRESSING SPECIFICALLY.

  81. Indeterminate Me says

    So, Gen, no recommendations?

    I’d sincerely like to respond to your thoughtful and respectful post. Substantively and thoroughly.

    How should I do so in a way that will not anger the tone/style/brevity police? Serious question.

  82. Indeterminate Me says

    Ah, crossed posts.

    Thank for the response, Gen, I will do as you suggest. Tomorrow, as it is already 1:00am.

    Thanks.

  83. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Indeterminate:

    @Gen,

    Would love to respond to your thoughtful post, but if I do, will be attacked for length of post and for responding point by point (even though that is precisely what you and others do).

    Even if you were, so bloody what?

    (Your passive–aggressive cowardly evasiveness is noted, O delicate and helpless flower)

  84. Sally Strange, OM says

    Do it anyway, and start by engaging with what’s being said NOW, and also only what was said BY THE PERSON YOU ARE ADDRESSING SPECIFICALLY.

    He doesn’t want to.

    He’s not really playing the “let’s have an intellectual discussion” game.

    He’s playing out some sort of psychodrama wherein he is unjustly persecuted by his more-educated but less intelligent “betters,” and he is surrounded by a confederacy of dunces, and nobody recognizes his true genius. The depth of his genius is revealed by the abuse to which he is subjected, thus, the more abuse the better, because it makes his little fantasy that much richer and more detailed. Makes it last longer, I suppose. That’s why he can’t let a single post go by without waxing rhapsodical about the depths of cruelty and ignorance to which “the commentariat” has descended. The “commenteriat” is composed of his “betters” (in scare quotes, he’s mentioned them twice already) who try to intimidate him with fancy words and lord their college degrees over him, but really they’re clueless and embarrassed that he’s smarter than them and they’re trying to cover it up by silencing him. You know, with those abuses of privilege “theory” and everything. People are constantly trying to silence him by responding to him and asking him to clarify what he’s talking about. But he is brave! He refuses to clarify! If they don’t understand it’s because they are stupid. The more they ask him to clarify, the more he knows he is smarter than them.

    It’s almost cute.

  85. Ichthyic says

    If I respond substantively, the substance will be ignored.

    If I ignore, I will be baited.

    If I respond to straw men and mischaracterizations of my remarks, I will be attacked as a whiner.

    DRAMA

    QUEEN

  86. Louis says

    Hi IM (I hope you don’t mind me shortening your ‘nym),

    Ok, I’m probably in a different timezone from you, I’m in the UK, so forgive me for sleeping last night!

    None of what I am trying to do is a “ha ha got you” of any type. I genuinely want to understand your points and indeed this topic. I’m hoping that by discussing things with you and other my understanding will grow. I have my own problems with the “privilege model”. However, I will point out that a) I am a physical scientist by profession, not a social scientist, and b) that any problems I have are very minor and incredibly likely based on my own awesome ignorance of the relevant social science. I’ve tried to inform myself, but like anyone out of their field, I am a novice and will make novice mistakes.

  87. Louis says

    Arse! I was not meant to post that yet, give me a few minutes to make the rest of my post!

    Louis

  88. Louis says

    Here’s the revised summary:

    1) How do we know (or even just do we know) that the privilege model of social inequality is superior to the power balance model? [Agreed to]

    2) Why is the privilege concept so abused in common usage? This is a serious problem because ideas whose theory is not put into practise are useless. [Agreed to with revision?]

    3) The way privilege is used (particularly by young people) in practise (as opposed to theory) is somehow undermining a demonstrably successful power balance model and this therefore leads to some sort of “separate but equal” route to reducing social inequalities.

    3a) Privilege as a concept is also somehow taught as part of a postmodernist themed sociology. [Agreed to with revision?]

    4) In your experience “privilege” is mostly used as a tool to stifle debate. This use “in practice” differs from how it is constructed theoretically, and thus how it should be used. The privilege model would therefore benefit from greater rational examination and peer review.[Agreed to with revision?]

    5) The power balance model has a demonstrable track record of effecting social change. [Agreed to]

    Better?

    Again, apologies for accidentally splitting my posts. I am trying to understand your points/question because in any debate/discussion getting a good handle on where someone is vital. Especially on hot button topics where misunderstanding is so rife.

    Now as I post this, I will make one admission: I have yet to read the rest of the thread. I am going to do this now and see how things have developed. Much of the conversation might have moved on, so I’ll see if there are clarifications/amendments that become clearer.

    Louis

  89. Louis says

    Following the thread 1.

    Mattir #249,

    Oh fuck I hope not. I truly hope not.

    I’m not saying no one else is not trying to understand where IM is coming from. Far from it, I think given his demonstrable level of tone trolling and silliness* everyone has been exceptionally tolerant and understanding.

    I genuinely am a total novice at this social science/understanding feminism/privilege stuff. IM’s concerns echo some of my former concerns I had, and I definitely still have my own (probably more minor and academic) quibbles. As I said above these are far more likely to be based on my ignorance and naivety than anything else. Some of the stuff he/she posted made me think there might be an opportunity for personal growth and learning here. Granted that’s a selfish motive, but I think it might work out as positive for everyone too. If it doesn’t, I’m pretty sure it won’t be due to lack of effort on your or any one regular Hordy’s part.

    Louis

    *Aside: sorry IM, you really are being very silly about all that stuff. It’s easy to stop, just, erm, stop. I stopped mocking you after all. I even managed to apologise and try to understand your points/questions. Seriously, just wipe the slate clean and get on with a clear exposition of your ideas.

  90. Therrin says

    Indeterminate Me,

    I’m still lost over the power model and how it relates to the privilege model. Maybe you could explain how the situation you described in 237 (as evidence against the use of the privilege model) would look if the power model were used instead? It sounded more like an individual person (the woman that didn’t participate in OWS) that was misapplying the privilege model in making their argument (which then wouldn’t be an argument against it, her having started from incorrect assumptions).

    I don’t see the privilege model as being abused and undermining progress to reduce social inequalities like your questions imply. Granted, I first learned of it’s existence in this forum, and have not had much opportunity (yet) in my life to effect significant change. Still, it appears that the problem you’re painting with privilege theory is that it is being misused, not that it is wrong. That isn’t enough of a reason to discard it, when it works quite well to make disparate situations visible, as Mr. Fire’s citation illustrates. If a tool is being misused, the solution isn’t to throw it away. Rather, it is to teach how to use the tool effectively.

    In any case, you don’t have to worry about me being part of the horde here yet (I haven’t even posted a formal letter of introduction (at least, I don’t recall having done so)). I do, however, have quite a bit of respect for them, and that respect came as a result of individual posts on many separate threads. That they all may have the same opinion on a given topic discounts the fact that they reached their conclusions separately. Think of it as a real-life application of the scientific model.

  91. Louis says

    Following the thread 2.

    Crissakentavr and IM in #s 250, 253 and 257,

    No. Simply no.

    On this issue I can hardly claim to be one of the majority of posters here. I simply don’t know enough about it to be in that group. That’s not sucking up to them, it’s a recognition that I am late to the party and am relatively new to the topic, hence why I want clarification. Less heat, more light.

    Since this:

    “that’s the way it is, we’re perfect in here, now fuck off, asshole”.

    Seems to be the most succinct exposition of the claim being made in those posts I’ll use that.

    This claim is simply not true. No one here has claimed perfection, or indeed anything like it. I hate to say it but this is highly erroneous, unproductive production on your respective parts. Please stop it.

    What *is* being claimed (by others, I haven’t got there yet) is that the privilege model has some value and that thus far the issues you seem to have with it don’t appear to be very problematic or challenging. You might not *like* the replies you are getting, but you are mischaracterising people here.

    Louis

  92. Louis says

    Therrin,

    You are of course correct. Rightly or wrongly, IM came into this thread with a very poor opener. Like that or not IM, you did. That does not excuse anyone else’s poor responses, like my own for example, but it does go some way to explaining them. Just for example, not all opposition to anyone’s posts/claims indicates group think. It could indicate that those posts/claims are erroneous. And if IM thinks he/she has been poorly treated then he/she should see what I (as someone who knows a good bit of chemistry) do to homeopaths! And it’s not due to group think or self preservation, it’s because they are wrong and wrong in pernicious and demonstrable ways.

    My motivations for trying to calm my own responses and get something substantial out of IM are pretty clear. I want to explore this topic (as I am sure do others) and I want to know if I am wasting my time with IM (as many people have already decided they are). If it turns out I *am* wasting my time, well the best way to determine this is to give IM every opportunity for serious discussion and see how he/she responds.

    If IM wants a serious discussion, then I am offering him that chance, as indeed are many, MANY other people much better qualified on this topic than I am. It remains to be seen whether he/she can focus on that and not the rather unfortunate persecution complex he/she seems keen to foster.

    Louis

  93. says

    I don’t get the ‘separate but equal’ crap he keeps bringing up as if it’s the inevitable result of the ‘privilege model’.
    You mean the “seperate but equal*” crap xe keeps bringing up but hasn’t supported with a single argument or example and has been told to be incorrect several times?

    *note the use of a historically absolutely tainted Totschlagargument**

    **killer-phrase, and argument that automatically stops any discussion (if the person gets their way).

    Now, I can predict, based on past results, that several poor thinkers here will read that as somehow me arguing against the privilege model. Of course, it is nothing of the sort.

    Passive-agressive assholery is passive-agressive assholery.
    And you dare to complain about the tone.
    Ya know, the insults hurled out here are at least honest and straight to the face.
    Just because you wrap your shit in shiny paper doesn’t make it stink less.
    You’re welcome to do it, but you don’t get the high tone moral mole-hill.

    Mr. Fire
    Thanx for the excerpt

    crissakentavr
    Oh, look, the tone-troll has found xierself a little friend.

    Being a tomboy
    Me too, my knees are still totally scarred.
    What I hated was how this made people question my femininity.
    I never questioned it. I was a girl, simple and easy. I liked climbing on trees. I was good at it.
    There was “no boy lost on me”.
    Yep, part of a life-time’s worth of red pills.
    You did what you liked, what you were good at and people used it to question one of the fundamental aspects of your self.

  94. Louis says

    Ok I’ve read through now.

    IM,

    Assuming you agree with my modified summaries of your points could you expand on a couple of things for me please?

    1) What is your definition of the “privilege model” and the “power balance model”? Please be as concise as possible. I have no problem with length, but as a verbose person myself, let’s both fight our tendencies to thread bloat! Links would be fine.

    As mentioned I am a newbie at all this so I am curious as to what these things are as you are using them. To my knowledge there is no conflict of models, but as repeatedly admitted, this is more likely due to my own ignorance than anything else.

    2) Could you please explain how you think that the misuse of the “privilege model” leads to a “separate but equal” approach to correcting social inequalities. If this explanation includes how this undermines the (previously explained in 1) I hope) “power balance model”.

    3) How is the “privilege model” taught as part of, and related to, postmodernism in the sense so well combated by Sokal?

    If you could clarify/educate me about those, I;d be grateful. Thanks.

    I see several other people have asked you similar questions before me. Do me, and yourself a favour, and go back and reply to them also. It really will take a lot of heat out of a discussion that needs vastly more light.

    Louis

    P.S. It appears that in many posts I cannot haz English or spellllingz. Fuck it. On 3 hours sleep and Man Flu that would fell an ox, people are just going to have to forgive me or ask for clarification! ;-)

  95. Therrin says

    Louis,

    I hadn’t intended that to be a response to what you were saying (or even a comment on it, I hadn’t seen your 21099 when I clicked post). That it appears to bear some relation is mere groupthicoincidence.

    I was/am hoping for clarification on a particular point myself.

  96. Louis says

    Therrin,

    Oh I’m not worried about whether it was directed at me or not! I was just agreeing with you in my own inimitable way! :-)

    I’m also trying to be very clear and open with IM in the hope of getting something more productive from him/her. Tone trolling annoys the living piss out of me, and if we can steer away from the persecution complex and tone trolling I reckon there might be a discussion here.

    Of course I could be wrong, I have been before and will be again, but there’s one good way of finding out….

    Louis

  97. Louis says

    What’s the routine here Therrin? Do I have to say “Jinx you owe me a Coke” at some point? ;-)

    Louis

  98. Louis says

    Eurgh, self correction:

    303

    “If this explanation includes how this undermines the (previously explained in 1) I hope) “power balance model”. ” from 2) should be:

    “If this explanation includes how this undermines the (previously explained in 1) I hope) “power balance model” that would also help a lot. ”

    FFS. Want To Buy writing ability pl0x?

    Louis

  99. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The term “troll” is used way too freely around here. It has become a euphemism for “disagrees with me or doesn’t adequately stroke me”.

    No, the term troll also means narcissistic wanker who can’t define terms, can’t link to real evidence, but can’t shut the fuck up either. IM, you remind me of some obnoxious academics from my teaching days. Pompous windbags who want to be taken seriously, but never could never quite make their case as they couldn’t write clearly and succinctly, couldn’t talk clearly and succinctly, and couldn’t produce proper evidence to back up their claims. All they had was ill-informed opinion which they repeated ad nauseum as if it was fact. Just as you are doing.

    I’m still waiting for that serious discussion with you, but until you lose the tone trolling attitude, and present real third party evidence (your opinion is worthless) for your definitions, and to back up your assertions, you aren’t really discussing, you are obnoxiously pontificating like that failed academic I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

  100. Godless Heathen says

    I’m a bit late to the game (had to get some sleep last night and all that), but here goes…

    @157:

    What is the functional difference? With power comes privilege and with privilege comes the chance at grabbing more of that tasty power. Why does one ‘replace’ the other?

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

    I could not figure this out for the life of me. Privilege and power are so closely related that it really makes no sense to think that one precludes the other.

    Of course, I posted this immediately after reading #157, so I’m sure I missed further discussion, but still…

  101. Louis says

    Godless Heathen,

    Of course, I posted this immediately after reading #157, so I’m sure I missed further discussion, but still…

    I’ve been paying reasonable attention in my enfeebled state and, unless I’ve missed something, this is just one of the key clarifications we’re waiting for.

    Louis

  102. julian says

    @ Louis and Godless Heathen

    I don’t think IM has been arguing for one to replace the other. From what I understood, he’s arguing that we should focus on diminishing ‘power’ which is the more tangible aspects of privilege (laws discriminating against gays, for example) and has the ‘proven track record.’

    But, like you guys, I don’t understand how combating one precludes the other. Could just be because I don’t know, of course.

  103. Sally Strange, OM says

    I don’t think IM has been arguing for one to replace the other. From what I understood, he’s arguing that we should focus on diminishing ‘power’ which is the more tangible aspects of privilege (laws discriminating against gays, for example) and has the ‘proven track record.’

    That sounds vaguely plausible.

    If so, it’s the difference between fighting to change laws and fighting to change the culture.

    We need to do both. Perhaps IM is just really attached to certain aspects of the culture and doesn’t like it when people try to change it. Like when uppity women at OWS have the nerve to tell a bunch of dudes that they’re acting with privilege.

    I had some friends who went to NYS OWS and when they came back they said they witnessed OWS organizers and participants being misogynists. They spoke about it in a speech and asked them not to do it anymore. Because, they said, “this movement is too big to have room for misogyny.” Which sort of makes sense if you’re standing talking to a few hundred people on a human microphone. What they mean, I believe, is that OWS will be intersectional or it will be bullshit. A sentiment I support.

  104. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My 2 cents worth of psychology. IM wants to use the power model, and replace the privilege model, because with the power model, he can say the remedies (laws) are in place, and there is nothing more to do. With the privilege model, the problem is that he must keep examining his behavior, and that of those around him, to keep the playing field even. He, being a not-so-capable person, needs all the help he can get to advance. If privilege helps him do that, he is for it. And he doesn’t like to be called out for that, as it indicates he is a bit of a misogynist.

  105. Esteleth says

    Nerd @314

    With the privilege model, the problem is that he must keep examining his behavior, and that of those around him, to keep the playing field even. He, being a not-so-capable person, needs all the help he can get to advance. If privilege helps him do that, he is for it. And he doesn’t like to be called out for that, as it indicates he is a bit of a misogynist.

    I think you’re on to something here. It is far easier for him – anyone – to argue that while privilege is real, it’s (relatively) unimportant then actually work to disassemble the structure.

    I’ve seen this very tendency in many, many people, including myself. I’m certain that everyone here has been guilty of it at least once.

  106. Sally Strange, OM says

    I’ve seen this very tendency in many, many people, including myself. I’m certain that everyone here has been guilty of it at least once.

    Shhh. We’re supposed to pretend we’re perfect. If we don’t, that will interfere with IM’s persecution complex psychodrama.

  107. says

    Esteleth:

    I’ve seen this very tendency in many, many people, including myself. I’m certain that everyone here has been guilty of it at least once.

    Me too. It’s difficult to give up a systemic advantage, even when you’re aware that’s what it is. And then it’s doubly-hard when you’re not sure. Am I getting that promotion because I’m a better programmer than Julie, or because I’m a man? I have enough pride (some might call it arrogance) to believe I am the better programmer — but that’s because I like to think I’m one of the best programmers in all the world. Not as good as Dennis Ritchie (who died yesterday), but good.

    But that’s probably just Dunning/Kruger at work. It’s probably because I’m a man. Now do I take the self-interested route and accept the promotion, or do I insist it go to Julie instead?

    In that (entirely fictional) situation, I suspect most people would take the promotion and rationalize it somehow.

  108. Louis says

    Julian,

    That sounds like a reasonable proposition, and is along the lines of what others have said too.

    What I don’t get is how these things (improving the power balance and improving the awareness of privilege/combating the harmful expression of privilege) are at odds. If that is indeed what IM is so torn up about then sorry, but it doesn’t strike me as a zero sum game and I’d like to see some evidence that it is. Especially because if, as implied, the power model is aimed at changing laws and the privilege model is aimed at changing hearts and minds (so to speak) then…{deep breath}…[Lewis Black Voice] THEY’RE NOT EVEN DEALING WITH THE SAME FUCKING THING! [/Lewis Black Voice].

    If this turns out to be “WAH YOU’RE NOT DOING IT MY WAY” (see accomodationism “debate” for examples*) I am going to be moved to harsh language and possibly….sarcasm.

    Oh yeah. I’ll go there.

    Louis

    *Seriously, if this turns out to be another instance of ‘”atheister than thou”/”lefter than thou”/”activistier than thou”/”whateverer than thou” therefore do it my way’ then I am going to be remarkably unimpressed. The signs are there but I don’t want to believe them yet. This is why (for example) the whole accommodationism “debate” is just not a debate. No one, and I do mean no one, is advocating that people smack “Dying Religious Grandma On Deathbed” with rolled up copies of the God Delusion. The whole accommodationist position is predicated on a straw man (and pursed lips). Of course you accommodate people sometimes. Of course not every situation is appropriate for fire breathing atheism, or indeed ANY-ism, confrontation or challenge.

    But some are.

    The “new atheists” (gark, hack, vomit. Stupid term is stupid. We’re not fucking new) are no more advocating punching grandma on her deathbed than they are advocating My Little Pony as compulsory viewing. How hard is it to grasp that there are many ways to skin various cats? Sometimes flaying them alive works, sometimes finessing them out of their skin with a rub down and a bowl of Kitekat works. When did “one size does not fit all” become rocket surgery? And anyone, AN-Y-ONE, who quotes “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar” at me will receive a) my metaphorical size 12 (UK, 13 US) boot up their freshly puckering arsehole and b) the rejoinder that you catch even more flies with shit, so what’s your point?

    {Breathe} {Ranting} {Calm}

    Ok. I’m off to punch some kittens. Because if I’ve been played when I bothered to take someone on the internet seriously, I may become vexed.

    [Aside] Dear Sensitive Reader. During this post some hyperbole may have been used for comedy purposes. Please Gentle Reader, don’t weep, don’t be shocked, for it was merely a rhetorical device. We now return you to the soothing ocean sounds of waves breaking on the corpses of people WHO PISS ME OFF…oops.[/aside]

  109. Louis says

    Esteleth #315,

    Well of course you understand that whilst privilege exists, I am above that kind of thing.

    Just, for example, like I am entirely a self made man. Honestly, what do these atrocious little scroungers want from me? I drive to work on public roads, get medicine from state hospitals, was educated at schools with state trained teachers and then at universities funded by the state, and I benefit from the law and order maintained by the state, but of course all my achievements are entirely my own. Earned by my own merit in complete isolation from everyone else. Someone else wants a hand up? Increase my taxes? Level that playing field? Oh no no no. That would be unfair.

    It’s just the same as when I get served at the bar first, get scholarships and funding first, get paid more than my colleagues, don’t get sexually harassed all the time at my place of work, and can expect to be taken at least relatively seriously by my colleagues. All of that is completely down to my superb qualities as a human being.

    More than that, when on a dark road at night, a woman crosses the road to avoid me, well she’s just being silly. Can’t she see that a quality human being like myself is not a rapist? After all do I look like a rapist? Of course not.

    Silly people, allow me to look at myself quickly in the mirror before you all marvel at the wonder that is me. Don’t be envious, you could be nearly as good.

    Louis

    ;-)

  110. says

    Louis:

    No one, and I do mean no one, is advocating that people smack “Dying Religious Grandma On Deathbed” with rolled up copies of the God Delusion.

    Uhm, we’re not?

    Then I have some apologizin’ to do. Sorry about that, Meemaw.

  111. Louis says

    Nigel,

    Perhaps I should amend that to:

    “No one, and I do mean no one, is advocating that people smack “Dying Religious Grandma On Deathbed” with rolled up copies of the God Delusion…..very much”.

    Better?

    Louis

  112. Godless Heathen says

    Thanks for the explanations, Louis, Julian and Esteleth. I read/skimmed the 150 posts past #157 and saw that other people had my question, but no one had answers, so I don’t feel I missed much.

    Sally and Nerd: Thanks for putting into words the laws vs. culture thing. I think you’re both on to something there. Thinking about privilege causes people to think about both laws AND culture AND how they act on an individual basis.

    Of course thinking about culture and how one’s individual actions contribute to inequality is difficult (I know this from experience). But for anyone who is serious about achieving full equality for all people, self reflection is vital and oh so worth it.

    Taking the red pill is important. There is no excuse for taking the blue pill.

  113. Godless Heathen says

    Also, maybe this ship has sailed, but can we go back to makeup?

    Someone upthread was talking about using different colors of lipstick (e.g. blue) or eye shadow/liner or whatever.

    I don’t wear much face makeup because it generally annoys me (except mascara and lip gloss), but I love bold and brightly colored nail polish. In the mid-90s I wore green nail polish all the time and I’m so glad that these odd colors are back in style.

    In fact, I spent some time at work this morning painting my nails purple and green. I’m glad being an adult doesn’t preclude me from wearing purple and green nail polish.

  114. Ing says

    The term “troll” is used way too freely around here. It has become a euphemism for “disagrees with me or doesn’t adequately stroke me”.

    have you tried not being inherently hostile? Maybe if you don’t go around accusing and assuming people of being the big echo chamber the windmills will be nicer to you, Quixote

  115. Ing says

    Incidentally I was thinking of actually doing a blog comment on the old million dollar challenge from Dawkins. Does anyone know of any anthropological take down of the idea, because I sort of have latched onto that as a criticism of it.

  116. Mattir says

    Nerd nailed the diagnosis.

    I’m amused that my request for clarification of how one uses the power model to address personal behavior was met with silence, except for the “yeah, but what if you’re actually causing harm” suggestion in response to the example I provided of how I might address privilege when I see it.

    Louis, you definitely deserve a Molly for the work you’ve done on this thread.

  117. Sally Strange, OM says

    Also, maybe this ship has sailed, but can we go back to makeup?

    You’ll probably get more conversation if you ask on The Endless Thread. Link up an to your right, just below PZ’s picture, just above the “donate” button.

  118. says

    I’ve unfortunately been way too busy to keep up with this thread, so I’m reading it in fits and starts. But I do think that we’ve finally figured out what is apparently “wrong” with the privilege model, as others have now articulated. /hat tip to Nerd, Esteleth, Sally et al

    It is much harder to achieve progress toward parity in non-codified ways; IM’s power model focuses solely on these specifically enumerated laws, regulations and guidelines. Unfortunately cultural discrimination enforced through micro and macroaggression is where privilege recognition shines in effecting change.

    Looking here:

    This does not mean the the underlying notion – that privilege exists, is inherent, and produces injustice – is being argued against.

    It becomes clear that IM thinks he’s not disagreeing with our explanations of the privilege model, but very much is. @Gen has already covered that privilege is not inherent, but socially constructed, but there’s another element at work here.

    Privilege does not itself produce injustice, but simply makes it harder to see injustice against others less privileged.

    Putting everything back in context with the initial Matrix metaphor, IM would like us to just take the blue pill and make some changes to the matrix’s code. We want to work together to make systemic change in large and small ways that are often only visible after taking the red pill.

  119. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    On the Power-Imbalance vs. Privilege model

    I’ve had a lot of people try and tell me that the fact that we have a black President means that racism is no longer an issuein the US. This despite the fact that the Tea Party displays openly racist posters, that the birthers question his citizenship, members of Congress feel free to call him a liar during a speech to a joint session of Congress and the Senate Minority leader sees no problem or political liability in proclaiming his top priority to ensure that the first black President fails. It does not matter that the President is the single most powerful man in the country. His power merely exacerbates and intensifies the vitriol and hostility directed at him. Despite his power–or even because of it–his opponents insist on the privelege of destroying him.

    The power imbalance is the easy part.

  120. says

    Esteleth:

    I think you’re on to something here. It is far easier for him – anyone – to argue that while privilege is real, it’s (relatively) unimportant then actually work to disassemble the structure.

    I’ve seen this very tendency in many, many people, including myself. I’m certain that everyone here has been guilty of it at least once.

    It’s always easier to ignore one’s privilege. That doesn’t excuse doing so.

    As for the power model that IM is on about, changing laws aren’t easy. Getting new laws on the books, well…depends on the law, doesn’t it? Lately, (it seems to me), all we can do is fight like hell to prevent laws from passing. And it’s getting harder to do that. Look at the recent move with domestic abuse cases, look at the continued abortion restriction laws which keep getting introduced and passed so quickly that we’re lucky to hear about them.

    The best way to make changes within the existing power model is to make changes within the existing cultural and social model, which means working on things like consciousness raising and getting people to understand privilege.

  121. says

    Godless Heathen:

    In fact, I spent some time at work this morning painting my nails purple and green. I’m glad being an adult doesn’t preclude me from wearing purple and green nail polish.

    Back when I used to spend ages on my nails, my fave combination was red and black. I always had to paint my nails using one of my art brushes, I can’t do it with the built in brush.

  122. Godless Heathen says

    @Sally Strange:
    Ahh, thank you. I’m fairly new around here (well, definitely new at commenting and fairly new even just lurking) and I’ve avoided the endless thread because I didn’t get it.

    Guess I’ll just have to hold my breath and jump into the deep end…

  123. Pteryxx says

    Holy crap… a_ray’s comment reminded me of another Red Pill Moment I just had, not re feminism, but re racism.

    “Karate Kid” (the original from 1984) was on TV the other night, and I hadn’t seen it since I was little…. I had NO idea how much racism was a theme in that movie.

    (spoilers) (what, not everyone sees old 80′s flicks!)

    I knew Daniel was the new kid vs. clique, and the poor kid vs. rich, but I completely missed the brown-person vs. whiteness going on. How could I miss the restaurant, for petes sake? That scene was beautifully framed to highlight where brown people* were expected to be – in the kitchens. And I didn’t know back then about WWII-era Japanese-American internment camps. So, Mr. Miyagi and Daniel both suffered because of racism… racism that’s part of history, part of Miyagi’s actual life while it’s something out of textbooks to teenagers like Daniel and kids (and adults) like me. And yet racism’s still all around them, still in Daniel’s life, still in our lives.

    Also, while Daniel showed (profound) ignorance of Miyagi’s culture, I never got the feeling he was intolerant. He asked questions, accepted the answers, and was respectful without being obsequious about it. It’s practically an object lesson in the difference between ignorance and hostility.

    There’s even a nod towards gender roles, in that Ali moves from cheerleading to learning to play soccer, with Daniel’s encouragement (i.e. he doesn’t assume she can’t play, just as she doesn’t assume he’s not worth knowing).

    From IMDB trivia:

    During the scene where Mr. Miyagi is drunk and celebrating an “anniversary,” he reveals that he served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team of the United States Army, an Asian American unit composed of mostly Japanese Americans (many of whom had been in internment camps) who fought in Europe during the Second World War and soon became the most highly decorated unit in the history of the American military.

    And their motto was “Go for Broke”. *snif*

    (*Aaaand I JUST caught myself in another mistake. All this time, I assumed the character of Daniel Larusso was Hispanic, I guess from context/ignorance/personal background. He’s actually Italian. I didn’t notice until I saw on IMDB that his name was spelled with TWO S’s. *headdesk*)

  124. Godless Heathen says

    Caine:

    Back when I used to spend ages on my nails, my fave combination was red and black. I always had to paint my nails using one of my art brushes, I can’t do it with the built in brush.

    That might explain why I always have trouble-I use the built in brush. I never try to do anything fancy, just one color on each nail, but it always gets onto my fingers. Oh well.

  125. says

    Godless Heathen:

    That might explain why I always have trouble-I use the built in brush.

    My fingers are thin, so my nails are narrow. The built-in brush is made to spread very wide, so that’s my problem. I’m also accustomed to handling paint brushes, so the built-in ones feel awkward to me. You might want to pick up a few different sizes of small paintbrush (don’t get stingy and buy cheap ones, it’s a waste of money) and try them out. It’s easier to practice with them on your toes first. :)

  126. Pteryxx says

    *following up on myself:

    ARGH… and there was even privilege-based friction WITHIN the 442nd, between the Hawaiian-born Nisei (whose families were free) and the mainland American Nisei (whose families were still imprisoned in internment camps WHILE THEY WERE FIGHTING.)

    …Y’all have to read this.

    Back in Hawaii, the entire Japanese community was not interned (with the exception of about 1,000 suspects that the FBI arrested and incarcerated). So the Buddhaheads couldn’t understand the “whipped-dog” complex that the mainlanders had in relation to Caucasians.

    The Buddhaheads thought the mainlanders were sullen and snobby, and not confident and friendly. Soon misunderstandings, fueled by alcohol, turned into fistfights. In fact, that was how mainlanders got the name “Katonk.” It was the sound their heads made when they hit the floor. The Katonks were fairer skinned, and spoke perfect English. The Buddhaheads were darker skinned and spoke Pidgin – a strange mixture of Hawaiian, Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese and broken English.

    Money was another big divider between the groups. The Buddhaheads gambled heavily and spent freely using the cash sent by their generous parents who still worked in Hawaii. They thought the Katonks were cheap. They didn’t realize that the Katonks sent most of their meager Army pay to their families imprisoned in the camps. The Katonks didn’t talk about their painful incarceration.

    The friction between the two groups was so bad that the military high command considered disbanding the 442nd. They thought the men could never fight overseas as a unit.

    The Army decided to send a group of Buddhaheads to visit the camps in Arkansas. The men thought Camp Jerome and Camp Rowher were little towns with Japanese families. But when the trucks rolled past the barbed wire fence, past the guard towers armed with machine guns pointed at the camp residents, past the rough barracks where whole families crowded in small compartments with no privacy – suddenly the Buddhaheads understood. Word of the camps spread quickly, and the Buddhaheads gained a whole new respect for the Katonks. Immediately the men in the 442nd became united – like a clenched fist.

    Source

  127. The Ys says

    On makeup and nails, etc.:

    I’ve never understood the fascination with painted and/or long fingernails. I’ve tried them (tips, usually, or fake nails) and they make it nearly impossible to play guitar and do some of the crafts stuff I enjoy. I like some of the bright colours, but they all seem to chip and flake so easily that it just feels like a waste of money to use polish. That’s a very utilitarian stance, though, and I know other people (not just women!) love painted nails and enjoy them. To each their own. :)

    My skin is ridiculously sensitive, and most makeup either clogs my pores (yay, pimples!) or makes me break out. Mascara that’s supposed to be smudge-proof always smudges on me…and I really hate looking like a raccoon. (They’re cute and everything, but just so not my type.) I have a friend who does some amazing artistic things with eye shadow and such, and I love her work…but the thought of having all that stuff on my skin makes me cringe.

    I used to get into raging fights with guys who said women were ugly if they weren’t wearing makeup. I asked why I was supposed to cover up dark circles under my eyes and wear lipstick/mascara if men weren’t supposed to do it and look “presentable” too. Never got a clear answer on that one…lol.

  128. Dhorvath, OM says

    That makes my socks sticky…

    Well, I figured out they need to come off first. Latest colour was purple and I showed them off at the pool with my son in matching toe tone numerous times.

  129. says

    Dhorvath:

    Latest colour was purple and I showed them off at the pool with my son in matching toe tone numerous times.

    Nice. :) Purple doesn’t work for me some reason, where black and metallic burgundy do.

  130. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    I remember being told a long time ago that I’d have a decent shot at getting a certain position I was going for because one of the other qualified people likely to compete with me is of an ethnicity one of the search committee was prejudiced against. That was an awful feeling. To this day I don’t know if that person ended up applying, and I think I’d rather not know. I’m not sure I could handle suspecting I got the job for any reason other than my qualifications. At least I have the comfort of knowing that this place does take diversity seriously. My app was reviewed by Affirmative Action, and an HR rep sat in on the interview.

  131. Indeterminate Me says

    Louis, Gen, etc.,

    Not ignoring, just reading, thinking and trying to learn, and review other sources with various opinions on the topic. Also, unsure whether it makes sense to continue here or to wait for another post on the topic, or use the endless thread – but, if folks are willing, I’m happy to continue posting here, once I get my thoughts in order.

    Rightly or wrongly, IM came into this thread with a very poor opener. Like that or not IM, you did. That does not excuse anyone else’s poor responses, like my own for example, but it does go some way to explaining them.

    Yup, chip was firmly lodged on my shoulder. Not the chip I am being strawman’ed about, but a chip nonetheless.

    To be honest, I was quite surprised to look back and find that that had been, in fact, my first post in this thread. I had remembered it as being a frustrated response after a whole bunch of hostile exchanges – which did not, in fact, occur prior to my opener. Recent research tells us how tricksy memory can be. Sorry ’bout that.

  132. Mattir says

    IM, if you’re serious, then the best thing is to walk away. I’ve had arguments on Pharyngula that made me actually lightheaded with rage and led me to spend hours on the computer ranting at the Horde. Usually I concluded that I was wrong, either because it was a subject on which we weren’t going to agree or because I was actually wrong.

    Come back in another thread.

  133. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    IM, I would suggest drop the topic you have talked about here for a bit. Don’t bring it up at TET for a while (say at least a week). And if you do, put out your thesis like you would an academic paper, complete with footnotes, not a defensive “don’t be mean to me” passive-aggressive bullshitting attitude with nothing but opinion. If you want us to think about something, academic evidence via Google Scholar, not opinion, is the way to go.

  134. The Ys says

    Caine – I tried that once. Found an awesome coppery color and got my toenails done. I did like that splash of color against my sandals. :)

  135. ChasCPeterson says

    OK, agreed:
    This is the planet of the apes.
    And I’m a monkey.

    (also a fish, but first things first)

  136. Indeterminate Me says

    OK, I’ll drop it. Don’t want to be disrespectful to Louis, given the effort he has put in today, nor to Gen, to whom I promised to respond, so I’ll just promise to address the various points raised when I do revisit the topic.

  137. Louis says

    No worries IM. You gotta do what you gotta do! I’m not going to be upset (or feel disrespected) if you drop the subject for now.

    Louis

  138. says

    I see a tendency among the most vocal and avid proponents of the privilege model to dismiss systemic efforts to address power issues, and to disrespect the historical struggle to address systemic injustice.

    that makes no fucking sense: what do you imagine it means to challenge privilege, if not to ultimately gain the cooperation of the privileged in changing systemic injustice?

    who, for example, suspect labor because they are white males,

    you don’t know shit about the history of race and unions in this country, do you.

    that don’t seem to be scientifically questioned

    how many sociology journals do you read, to think you can actually make this claim?

    I have no idea what this privilege-versus-power supposed conflict even IS

    me neither, considering they’re either synonymous or mutually reinforcing, depending on the context.

    1) How do we know (or even just do we know) that the privilege model of social inequality is superior to the power balance model?

    considering that so far, they seem to be almost synonymous, I can’t even say if there is any effective difference between them. Possibly, there’s a question about legal vs. cultural change, and then obviously they’d both be true and thus which one fits better would be situational. The question is thus pretty meaningless.

    2) Why is the privilege concept so abused in common usage

    not actually demonstrated this to be the case. Thus, the question assumes things not in evidence.

    No. I see the way privilege is often used, particularly by younger people, as somehow undermining, etc. and instead leading to some sort of “separate but equal” etc.

    you’re going to have to demonstrate this to be the case.

    And, yes, privilege model language and methodology is largely taught as part of a postmodernist if not anti-modernist sociology

    you don’t have the faintest clue what sociology even is, do you. the sokal affair was about a non-peer-reviewed cultural studies (humanities) journal, not about sociology (social science)

    I am talking about what I see in the world.

    then provide examples from “the world” and explain how, if such misuse is occurring, it is the fault and/or responsibility of the social scientists working with it to change their models because of this, any more than Physicists are at fault/responsible for quantum woo.

    In my experience, it is very often done wrong, with counter-productive results.

    is that just your personal opinion, or can you actually demonstrate in any way that consciousness-raising actually produces more backlash than progress?

    a justification for prejudice

    oh, you better produce some evidence for this whopper.

    continuing to accuse me of not clarifying or responding

    might that be because you haven’t responded to them, yet?

    A lot of claims of being interested in substance, but, when presented, nothing but personal insults and whining about how I am not specific.

    bullshit. you’re not being any more specific than before, and you’ve still not answered a long list of questions posed to you, nor acknowledged in any meaningful way the corrections made to your statements, such as the stupid-ass claim of yours that “privilege” is somehow “inherent in physiology”.

    All I see here is privileged self-righteous indignation, irrational dogmatic thinking and, with a few notable exceptions, utter failure to practice any of what is preached.

    ah, finally: a demonstration of how the term “privilege” is being used as an insult. Hell, you should have said right away that you meant yourself when you claimed you see it misused all the time. [/sarcasm]

    Louis helped me restate my questions, so, at this point, any complaints about lack of clarify or specificity are bullshit, since no one is actually addressing my questions.

    bullshit. respond to the questions posed to you by people not louis, or stop whining about people pointing out that you’ve not responded yet.

    vehement objections to the inclusion of the labor unions by folks who argued that as predominantly white men they were part of the problem, not the solution.

    again: do you know anything at all about the history of race and unions in this country, or are you just rejecting this criticism out of hand, just because? Have you listened to the arguments made? Because, for example, Occupy Chicago has decided to not affiliate itself with any extraneous organizations to avoid “taking sides” and aligning itself with any traditionally existing groups, and thus remain open and accessible to everyone who makes up the 99%

    logic and reason have not been at the forefront of the widespread, eager, dogmatic adoption of “privilege” as the Theory of Everything

    such a pretty strawman…

    hostility toward “Western” science and reason so prevalent in certain sociology and social justice circles these days.

    even bigger, prettier strawman; you’ve not once in your life been so much as within sighting distance of a sociology class, have you.

    When something is not being used in the field as predicted, it is useful to examine why.

    again, you’re going to have to demonstrate that the backlash is greater than the progress, before any further examination even makes sense.

    Clearly, there is pathological avoidance of actually addressing the questions Louis helped me present.

    liar. especially since Luis did not substantively change them from your original long-ish post, which has been substantively responded to, which you’ve ignored so far.

    Would love to respond to your thoughtful post, but if I do, will be attacked for length of post and for responding point by point

    where have you been attacked simply for the length of your posts?

  139. says

    Jadehawk:

    where have you been attacked simply for the length of your posts?

    In fairness, the length of IM’s posts have been brought up a lot, especially as anything valid in them which was worth addressing was buried in paragraphs of whining about us, about Pharyngula, etc.

  140. Pteryxx says

    where have you been attacked simply for the length of your posts?

    *raises claw* I’ll volunteer for the active voice. “paid by the word” and “10% points 90% noise” were me. I’ll still stand by the critique itself; and own my snark.

  141. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    where have you been attacked simply for the length of your posts?

    I criticized the length of his posts, since he had about one-fifth real pseudointellectual content in his rants, and four-fifth tone trolling about us, and our “unskeptical” attitudes, which came since we didn’t swallow his bullshit whole and questioned it.

  142. Sally Strange, OM says

    I called IM “Inarticulate Me” in part because of his inability to be concise.

    I suppose you could call that attacking, if you were a whiny wanker with a persecution complex…

  143. The Laughing Coyote says

    I’m with Pteryxx, I do criticised the length of these posts, and like Pteryxx, I stand by it.

    On Pharyngula, I’m surrounded by people vastly more educated than me, who know much more than me, and yet I can still read through their posts and grasp the concepts they’re putting across with minimal pain and effort.

    Almost every one of I.M.’s posts has been a chore. Sorry, using as many words as possible and writing entire booklets as posts just looks like an attempt to convince me how smart and educated and wise you are. With the added implication that if I couldn’t get through your posts, it’s because my brain is just too small for all those big words, and not because you’re a piss poor writer. (Granted, that last one is speculative, I can’t be sure that’s really your intent.)

  144. says

    Mattir:

    I’ve had arguments on Pharyngula that made me actually lightheaded with rage and led me to spend hours on the computer ranting at the Horde.

    I remember those. It was a bad time. I think not just for you, but for the horde, as well. I was worried you’d go away for good.

    i’m glad you didn’t. This place wouldn’t be the same without you.

  145. says

    TLC:

    Sorry, using as many words as possible and writing entire booklets as posts just looks like an attempt to convince me how smart and educated and wise you are.

    One of my favorite English professors was fond of saying things like, “You used twenty-seven words to say something I could say in ten. Re-write this.”

    I learned so much from her.

    IM could, too.

  146. Ing says

    Sorry, using as many words as possible and writing entire booklets as posts just looks like an attempt to convince me how smart and educated and wise you are.

    “Everything should be made as simple as possible; no more, no less” Einstein.

  147. Pteryxx says

    For comparison, IM posted in the girls-games thread about Purple Moon founder Brenda Laurel:

    link to comment

    It looks like a good post and a good reference link (just haven’t read it all yet).

  148. Sally Strange, OM says

    Sorry, using as many words as possible and writing entire booklets as posts just looks like an attempt to convince me how smart and educated and wise you are.

    Well, IM has been telegraphing all along that he’s extremely resentful about not having a college education, and is insecure about interacting with people who have more education than he does. He feels very competitive about it, and tends to imagine that people are feeling superior to him when they are not. I admit I needled him a bit to get that, and that probably wasn’t very nice. But goddamn, he made it so obvious.

    He’s an intelligent person, and I think might do well in college. Certainly there are windbags just as pompous and marginally informed as he was on college campuses as well as off. He might meet a kindred spirit, and he might even learn how to write clearly and persuasively, marshal evidence, cite sources, and so on. Which are useful skills no matter where you go.

  149. Sally Strange, OM says

    With regards to brevity being the soul of wit–

    “I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English–it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don’t let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in.”

    –Mark Twain

    Didn’t he once tell his editors that they could have two pages in twenty days, or twenty pages in two days, one or the other? Something like that. Meaning that it takes effort and skill to write concisely. Whittling down one’s initial output is often more time-consuming than writing the whole mess in the first place.

  150. hotshoe says

    Meaning that it takes effort and skill to write concisely. Whittling down one’s initial output is often more time-consuming than writing the whole mess in the first place.

    Don’t I know it.
    You think I write long replies ? You should see them before I whittle out half the clauses and parenthetical statements, the ones I can stand to part with. I’m in love with words and I hate to kill any of them.

    Which is (one reason) why I don’t write professionally.

  151. says

    Sally:

    Well, IM has been telegraphing all along that he’s extremely resentful about not having a college education, and is insecure about interacting with people who have more education than he does.

    I understand the insecurity, but there’s really no need. Quite a lot of people here haven’t had a college education, Aquaria has certainly pointed that out time and time again (that she’s had no higher education than HS). She’s still ferociously intelligent and has never stopped learning. You don’t have to have college to learn.

    Hell, Mister never went to college and he’s one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever known in my life.

  152. Louis says

    I can’t remember the exact quote or even who said it, but when asked about why a writer wrote something very long and wordy he/she replied “Because I didn’t have time to make it shorter.”.

    I will confess that my own tendency to length is, in part, due to precisely that. I occasionally put some effort into a post/topic, but it genuinely takes a special effort (or talent, one I lack perhaps) to make insightful, concise, relevant prose.

    Louis

  153. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Louis, there’s nothing wrong with your discursive prolixity, when measured by the metric of cogency.

    (We each have our style; I’ve always liked yours)

  154. Louis says

    Oh John! You have me genuinely LOLing. Discursive prolixity when measured by the metric of cogency. Perfect, abso-fucking-lutely perfect. Please consider the highest honour I can bestow on those bons mots this: I’m am SO stealing that phrase and using it!

    Nice work. I wish to subscribe to your newsletter and so on and so forth. You, sir, win Over 9000 internets and assorted memes.

    Louis

  155. Louis says

    And the quote I was thinking of was from our old chum Blaise Pascal’s Provincial Letters, Letter XVI*:

    Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.

    Often translated to:

    I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time

    However, via rapid googling, it appears the general joke dates even further back to Cicero:

    In regard to the questions which you have asked me, I would like to have known what your own answers would have been; for thus I might have made my reply in fewer words, and might most easily confirm or correct your opinions, by approving or amending the answers which you had given. This I would have greatly preferred. But desiring to answer you at once, I think it better to write a long letter than incur loss of time…..

    Fun!

    Louis

    *Sorry, but the internet is WONDERFUL! I can find stuff out in minutes that would have taken a lifetime. I love being able to sit back and marvel at the work we humans do sometimes. To drift on currents of electrons to seas of thought I’d never imagined. Perhaps we’re not all bad. Although since the new Terry Pratchett book is out today and will shortly be in my sweaty grasp and before my greedy, beady eyes, perhaps I am excessively biased.

  156. John Morales says

    [very meta]

    Louis, those must be most excellent meds you’re on! ;)

    (They work at second remove!)

  157. Louis says

    It’s a proprietary blend of Night Nurse and ketamine. It does nothing for the symptoms but a three day nightmare featuring dancing spiders does at least offer some distraction.

    Louis

  158. Dhorvath, OM says

    So, I suspect this thread has pretty much toddered off to bed, but I wanted to note that editing is for me process of adding material, not subtracting. The more words I put out, the longer I spent on them. Relative brevity is my natural state, it’s the clarity that eludes.

  159. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    editing is for me process of adding material, not subtracting.

    For me it’s more about rearranging. Sentences seem to come out in a somewhat random order for some reason. It takes about three proofreadings to get most of them where they belong so that others can follow along.

  160. Dhorvath, OM says

    Erulora,
    Oh, I do that too, but it’s an additive process. Sentences move, then I need different bridges, and so on.

  161. John Morales says

    Dhorvath,

    So, I suspect this thread has pretty much toddered off to bed

    “That is not dead which can eternal lie”

  162. John Morales says

    “Will the tightrope reach the end,
    Will the final couplet rhyme?”

    (Please wake me)

  163. chigau () says

    bafflegab

    At the presentation, Milton Smith was asked to briefly define his word. It was, he said succinctly, “multiloquence characterized by consummate interfusion of circumlocution or periphrasis, inscrutability, and other familiar manifestations of abstruse expatiation commonly utilized for promulgations implementing Procrustean determinations by governmental bodies.” Just so.

    From here:
    http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-baf1.htm

  164. Dhorvath, OM says

    Cymbaline, eh? Yeah, I couldn’t pull that out of my head.
    “We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fishbowl, year after year.” Is more my Floyd.