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  1. #1
    Senior Member Chiharu's Avatar
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    Default The dangers of "privilege".

    I read a lot of liberal blogs. I like doing that. They have some rad notions about body image and accepting people.


    That being said, there is no word more odious to me right now that "privilege", i.e. "You're coming from a position of x-privilege so your opinion is invalid."


    There's nothing wrong with pointing out discrimination exists and even calling out people who do not suffer from it but claim it doesn't exist. There's nothing wrong with educating, say, a white woman, about the difficulties faced by many black men in America.


    There is, however, something very wrong with throwing around terms like "x-privilege" or "y-privilege".


    I mean, is it fair for a rich, white, heterosexual woman to say that a poor, black, gay man is benefitting from male-privilege? At what point do your privileges cancel out? Do biracial children of black and white parents have partial white-privilege? If one sibling has lighter skin than another, is that sibling more privileged? If the one with more white-privilege is female and the other is male, are they even now? IT'S RIDICULOUS.


    Let's not even discuss "thin-privilege".


    How is any of this possibly conducive to bringing people together? Gender stereotypes suck. Racism sucks. Discrimination and prejudice suck. FOR EVERYONE of every race, gender, and sexual orientation.
    Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness." ― Kurt Vonnegut

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  2. #2
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    just because it looks nice and comfy, doesn't mean it is. I mean it's so easy to be an outsider and go oh that person is so perfect there's nothing wrong with them, when in reality we don't know shit about them. and know why we don't know shit? because we're too wrapped up in our problems to even consider that someone who looks well off might be miserable. I mean looking at me you'd think i was smart, but i was developmentally delayed, to the point that when i was around 18 months the doctor told my parents i would never function pass the level of a 4 year old. Clearly that didn't happen, but I was in special ed for a learning disability. And though those things don't define me they do shape part of who i am. What I'm trying to say "privilege" doesn't actually exist, everyone has shit to deal with.I don't agree with my last sentence. I mean privilage does exist but there's a reason for the saying "the grass isn't always greener"

    don't take anything i say too seriously right now, i've only got 4 1/2 hours of sleep last night so i might be delrious

  3. #3
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    That being said, there is no word more odious to me right now that "privilege", i.e. "You're coming from a position of x-privilege so your opinion is invalid."
    qft
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    A man builds. A parasite asks 'Where is my share?'
    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
    A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God... '


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  4. #4

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    You discovered the liberalism is ridiculous. Well done. Welcome to adulthood.

  5. #5
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chiharu View Post
    That being said, there is no word more odious to me right now that "privilege", i.e. "You're coming from a position of x-privilege so your opinion is invalid."
    The problem with this has nothing to do with the word privilege and everything to do with saying that someone who is X has an invalid opinion. It doesn't matter what X is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chiharu View Post
    I mean, is it fair for a rich, white, heterosexual woman to say that a poor, black, gay man is benefitting from male-privilege?
    He probably is, in a sense, but it is being drowned out by everything else. To say that he is in general privileged over the rich, white, heterosexual woman would be false, I think. But understanding this does not in any way require one to do away with the concept of privilege, it simply involves understanding that there are multiple forms of privilege which are cumulative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chiharu View Post
    At what point do your privileges cancel out? Do biracial children of black and white parents have partial white-privilege?
    That requires some sociology. In 1850s Mexico, they are treated as white and get white privilege. In 1850 USA, they are treated as black and get black oppression. The current USA has complex views on race which ultimate result in, I think, mixed children being worse off than "pure" whites, but having more of a chance of "passing" than "pure" blacks, and also receive a host of problems unique to them to do current identity politics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chiharu View Post
    If one sibling has lighter skin than another, is that sibling more privileged?
    Observe the vast variation in skin tone amongst so-called blacks and you will see this is mostly trivial. There is an community identity that determines the privilege.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chiharu View Post
    If the one with more white-privilege is female and the other is male, are they even now? IT'S RIDICULOUS.
    See above.

    Now, if we were to ask if a black man or a white woman was more privileged (with all other details undisclosed) I'd say it's quite dependent on which circumstance the two people are in because the discrimination against the two groups are expressed sometimes in different ways. I think for our purposes it is most constructive to just call them equal, otherwise you get inane crap like the things people said during the Clinton-Obama Democratic primaries in 2008.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chiharu View Post
    How is any of this possibly conducive to bringing people together? Gender stereotypes suck. Racism sucks. Discrimination and prejudice suck. FOR EVERYONE of every race, gender, and sexual orientation.
    The answer to these problems is not always finding the framing that makes everyone seem to be in the same boat. Look at some things Martin Luther King said, and you find him talking about how he discussed removing oppression from blacks as a benefit to all freedom loving people. He did include everyone by arguing it was in everyone's interest, but it required him to acknowledge that there was a serious privilege gap to be fixed.

    If you can't point out that a man has a privilege, then you can't point out that a woman is deprived of something the man gets, which means you can not even acknowledge the problem to address it in the first place. I don't see a way to acknowledge the plight of minorities without being able to assign the title of privilege to certain demographics.

    Being discriminated against for any reason is terrible, but you are not likely to be discriminated against equally for any reason. Here are four facts about me; I am an atheist, my favorite color is black, I grew up in a poor family and still only have modest means, and I have a convexed rib cage. Of those four qualities, do you think all four are equally likely to bring me discrimination or bring equal severity of discrimination? Of course not. The entire issue about, say, black vs white, is that while being discriminated for either reason is terrible, a black person will presumably face far more discrimination than a white in this society. That is the privilege.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  6. #6
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    So we want to not be made aware of our privilege? I'm generally not aware of my thin white woman who-can-pass-for-middle-class-if-she-works-at-it privilege until someone brings it to my attention. Sometimes it does not feel good, but it's still something I should know and want to know. I want to understand what things are like for other people and I don't want to do or say stupid stuff out of ignorance. People that are ignorant of their privilege are freaking obnoxious and I don't want to be that person.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I think the concept of privilege is a useful one, but is often misapplied. There truly are things that I do not have to be aware of by virtue of being white in the US in the 21st century, and that is a privilege that helps me get through society in some invisible ways. It doesn't mean my life is automatically awesome or I can't suffer hardship or oppression otherwise. I don't think it makes my opinion invalid, but it does mean I don't have the insider view, and I try to defer to people who do when it comes to their experiences. Lather, rinse, repeat for any discriminatory criteria (race, gender, socioeconomic status, and yes, I think body type is included). But attempting to use it as a metric of "who has it worse" is a misapplication of the concept, IMO. It's not math.

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    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chiharu View Post
    I mean, is it fair for a rich, white, heterosexual woman to say that a poor, black, gay man is benefitting from male-privilege?
    It's not. For an upper middle class woman who graduated from a top liberal arts college to claim that a black man from North Philly has "privilege" over her is in such shockingly poor taste I'm shocked that anyone think that way and claim to be socially conscious.

    I mean, I actually think privilege is a valid concept, but a lot of people use it in really stupid ways that want me to post pictures of Captain Picard.
    [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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  9. #9
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I tend to think the concept is more useful when it's about what we are each trained to see by our daily experiences, than who is better or worse off. Central to the concept is the phrase "when all else is equal..."

    And yeah, money kind of trumps everything in our culture. Except then you still get other rich people insinuating that you only have money because you married it or because of affirmative action or whatever, so even then, privilege is in play when all else is equal.

  10. #10
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I tend to think the concept is more useful when it's about what we are each trained to see by our daily experiences, than who is better or worse off. Central to the concept is the phrase "when all else is equal..."
    Pretty much. I think of privilege with stuff like how I can take late night walks and not really worry about someone either raping me, or shooting me for being a criminal.

    It's the "we have it wooooorrse" debates that I find cringe-worthy. Suppose everyone agrees that your group has it worse. So what? Does that even make anything better for anyone? It's so pointlessly divisive. It's obvious to me that more harm comes from those kinds of arguments than good, and I don't know why more people can't see that.

    And yeah, money kind of trumps everything in our culture. Except then you still get other rich people insinuating that you only have money because you married it or because of affirmative action or whatever, so even then, privilege is in play when all else is equal.
    True.
    [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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