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  1. #11
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Micro or macro, makes no difference. People are just exchanging their old prejudices and hatreds for new ones.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  2. #12
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    I have called out certain statements here online as misogynistic which is questionably helpful depending on how it is interpreted. I can appreciate guys who respond defensively at being called misogynistic because that indicates that they don't want to have that as part of their identity. What is important to explain is that saying/doing something misogynistic doesn't indicate that the person is horrible or intends to be harmful towards women. I have had to work to overcome misogynistic assumptions myself. From my perspective I think there are wonderfully kind and admirable people who commit these micro-aggressions.
    I hesitate to put labels on behaviors or comments. It is at best an oversimplification, and is rarely well-received. Instead I might ask whether someone would make the same remark to a man, or act the same way toward a white person; or even more neutrally, I will ask why they did what they did. We might actually have some reasonable discussion this way. I have many ways of highlighting and/or correcting sexist behavior, for instance, but none of them involve an accusation of sexism.

    Instead of "microagressions", we might just as well call these incidents acting on incorrect assumptions. They are all rooted in some assumption we are making about the other person based on race, gender, ethnicity, age, etc. which doesn't correspond with the reality of who they are. But assumptions are not all bad. We would be hard put to navigate life without them. We assume that the woman with the badge and uniform is a police officer, and that the old man with the cane would appreciate a seat on the bus. It's what happens when we are wrong that is important, and that must start with an understanding of how we are wrong.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  3. #13
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    Dealing with them:

    - point them out directly
    - don't jump to an assumption of what it means, ask them
    - if they write it off as something else, question them directly about that - could it be expressed in other ways without invoking certain behaviors?

    - in sum: create positive tension by questioning why it's necessary to tell someone they are weak by calling them "gay", or gender typing certain behaviors, or whatever. predictably the person doing it will say "but it just means this", but then the question is: why don't you just say that? if someone is being a coward, then call them a coward - why slander an entire group in the process?

    rinse and repeat.
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  4. #14
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    The first step is to realise that people are highly discriminatory animals in the first place and are socially conditioned to seek the acceptance of the group in power and to exlude others according to that groups dictates. This occurs on many basis even amoung a culturally and racially homogenous group. Acceptance without condition actually runs counter to social behaviour as we currently practice it. When people think we have progressed as a society, they are mistaken, all that has occurred is that the difference of focus has now become a term of acceptance of the group. But the basic dynamic of acceptance and exclusion is still there.

    As someone with an obstensively 'weird' personality I can assure you of first hand experience of how social conditioning seeks to exclude anyone considered aberrant to the desires of the popular majority. It does not matter that I look like everyone else, I don't act like them and that is sufficient grounds for exclusion.

  5. #15
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    Micro or macro, makes no difference. People are just exchanging their old prejudices and hatreds for new ones.
    That is one important point that came up when I was studying racism and the other "isms" in that course I mentioned. Even though there has been progress made in eliminating these issues, some of the overt oppression has been replaced by these micro-oppressions. Some think that the small prejudicial attacks have become more prevalent because they are still socially acceptable.


    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I hesitate to put labels on behaviors or comments. It is at best an oversimplification, and is rarely well-received. Instead I might ask whether someone would make the same remark to a man, or act the same way toward a white person; or even more neutrally, I will ask why they did what they did. We might actually have some reasonable discussion this way. I have many ways of highlighting and/or correcting sexist behavior, for instance, but none of them involve an accusation of sexism.

    Instead of "microagressions", we might just as well call these incidents acting on incorrect assumptions. They are all rooted in some assumption we are making about the other person based on race, gender, ethnicity, age, etc. which doesn't correspond with the reality of who they are. But assumptions are not all bad. We would be hard put to navigate life without them. We assume that the woman with the badge and uniform is a police officer, and that the old man with the cane would appreciate a seat on the bus. It's what happens when we are wrong that is important, and that must start with an understanding of how we are wrong.
    In formally studying the issue I see the importance of using the term "micro-aggression", but I do agree with you that on the individual, personal level it can destroy any hope of true communication. Certain terms make people feel defensive and judged too harshly. I certainly regret and apologize for times I have done this.

    As a side note, I have noticed that in some cases people who take a stronger stance pushing back against these issues have faced "macro-aggressions" (like that term Mal+) and so feel more urgency in taking the veil off of these still acceptable forms. I can feel that urgency because my sense is that there are naive people who use these "micro-aggressions" (to still use the formal term) and they don't realize the nature of the system of oppression they are contributing to sustaining. I find these function like the foundation of a pyramid of oppression. It takes a whole society of assumptions to produce the more extreme forms of violation. It is good, well-intentioned people who naively participate in supporting the system as whole. Like I said, I don't consider myself above it, since I've looked inside and seen the problems with my own assumptions. It can take a lifetime to undo the internal damage that these externally imposed assumptions of oppression cause.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
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    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  6. #16
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I wish people weren't so defensive about their own racism, however small it manifests itself. We are all part of the racist system/culture so we are all going to express it in smaller or larger ways, depending on how much self-reflection/inspection we do. Taking the direction without becoming defensive is kind of the only way we're ever going to make any progress.

    One thing I used to do before I had it pointed out to me (gently but firmly, which I appreciated) was asking members of a minority to speak for everyone in their demographic. "How do black people feel about X?" "Uh, I can tell you how *I* feel, but don't ask me to speak for all black people everywhere, please." I appreciate these wake-up calls.

  7. #17
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I wish people weren't so defensive about their own racism, however small it manifests itself. We are all part of the racist system/culture so we are all going to express it in smaller or larger ways, depending on how much self-reflection/inspection we do. Taking the direction without becoming defensive is kind of the only way we're ever going to make any progress.

    One thing I used to do before I had it pointed out to me (gently but firmly, which I appreciated) was asking members of a minority to speak for everyone in their demographic. "How do black people feel about X?" "Uh, I can tell you how *I* feel, but don't ask me to speak for all black people everywhere, please." I appreciate these wake-up calls.
    I try to catch myself, like one illusion i had was only black people smoked newports, because before treatment I never saw any other race smoke a newport, than i get to treatment and tons of white people smoked newports, who knew??
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  8. #18
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    One thing I used to do before I had it pointed out to me (gently but firmly, which I appreciated) was asking members of a minority to speak for everyone in their demographic. "How do black people feel about X?" "Uh, I can tell you how *I* feel, but don't ask me to speak for all black people everywhere, please." I appreciate these wake-up calls.
    This hasn't been a problem for me. What I tend to watch for is questions directed preferentially at one gender. Women, for instance, are more often asked about family while men are more often asked about their jobs. Women who have jobs and families especially are asked things like, "what does your family do when you have to travel?", or "are you going back to work after your baby is born?". I hardly ever hear these questions addressed to men - except when I do so myself. (Actually, I ask expectant parents of both genders whether they will get much time off.)

    A very public version of the question imbalance can be seen in politics, especially campaigns involving women candidates. There is a group called Name It, Change It that has even published a guide on gender neutrality for the media. Good advice for the rest of us as well.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  9. #19
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    This hasn't been a problem for me. What I tend to watch for is questions directed preferentially at one gender. Women, for instance, are more often asked about family while men are more often asked about their jobs. Women who have jobs and families especially are asked things like, "what does your family do when you have to travel?", or "are you going back to work after your baby is born?". I hardly ever hear these questions addressed to men - except when I do so myself. (Actually, I ask expectant parents of both genders whether they will get much time off.)

    A very public version of the question imbalance can be seen in politics, especially campaigns involving women candidates. There is a group called Name It, Change It that has even published a guide on gender neutrality for the media. Good advice for the rest of us as well.
    That answer is too generic. It treats everybody as equivalent.

    If a male asks you about your family (and I know of one who prefers to talk about family), then that points you in the direction of conversation for that individual.

    This has more to do with his being a Feeler than being a male.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  10. #20
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarelle View Post
    I mean, of course we want racism to be taboo, but I think we all need to realize that most of us probably engage in some sort of racist behavior
    Yeah.... I think there's this perception is racism is something that only KKK or neo-nazi members have, but I think racism (and sexism, or anything else like that) exists in different degrees. I look at racism as a cognitive bias.

    @Coriolis said it very well. I think the important thing with the more subtle racism is to try and catch ourselves when we do it. I suppose I'll out myself here... A good example of this is that I was frustrated and trying to drive Center City, and I found myself thinking "Why do black people never cross at intersections?" I went to Center City, and sure enough, I saw plenty of white people exhibiting the exact same behavior... running across the middle of the street instead of crossing at the intersection.

    I think as humans, we have a tendency to treat behavior we don't like differently depending on whether or not a person is a member of the group we don't belong to. If I'm a white male, and there's a person who is a white male who is acting like a jackass, I'm going to say "that person is just being a jackass". I'm not going to attribute it to him being white or him being male. If someone seems superficially different from me, there's a tendency to perceive it as somehow emerging out of his differentness. It's very easy to do, but that doesn't change the fact that it can have negative consequences.

    Something that seems to help is getting to know people better who are different from yourself.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


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