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  1. #91
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I don't really know how you can deny that a lot of the privilege white females experience really is about race, though- you even state yourself that it really only applies to white women. Black women are not similarly afforded the benefit of the doubt in crime situations. Case in point: the black woman in Florida who fired warning shots from her own home and went to jail without the benefit of the "stand your ground" law that has benefitted plenty of non-black men in the state.

    But your definition of privilege is good- burdens you don't have to deal with, things you don't have to think about every day that others do. "The Invisible Backpack" is a pretty good demonstration of this idea.

    http://boingboing.net/2012/01/16/unp...le-knapsa.html

    And, as the author of this article remarks, it's important to note that "people who are privileged in some respects can be un-privileged in others, and vice versa."

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by LION4!5 View Post
    Her rebuttal of his points is good, but I think her overall argument is pitifully unsubstantiated.

    If, as she says, there are all these kinds of privilege intersecting, let me add a few more.

    The privilege of being good looking instead of ugly, the privilege of being non-descript instead of good looking so you don't attract hostility and (if a woman) objectification from co-workers, the privilege of being good-looking instead of non-descript when it comes to marital prospects.

    The privilege of being born athletic instead of average or non-athletic. The privilege of being born smart and of average athleticism in Texas instead of being born smart and highly athletic because the highly athletic kid faces distraction by highschool football and doesn't learn as much and doesn't get as far in life.

    The privilege of being born without genetic diseases.

    The privilege of being a native English speaker in an English-speaking country.

    The privilege of being a person of color who emigrated to America from England when he/she was sixteen, and thus who has an urbane sounding RP accent that changes perceptions.

    When going to Princeton, the privilege of being from a non-religious family (and thus more likely non-religious) instead of from a fundamentalist Christian or Islamic family (and thus more likely to hold unpopular views and to be snubbed as ignorant).

    I could go on and on. There is no meaningful definition to 'white privilege' if we can't measure what effect it has. If the effect is real, we should be able to study it, block for factors like the above that interfere with our study, and figure exactly what it is compared to all the other factors. None of this vague stuff about how people feel; we can study this and get actual numbers . . .

    Since in any given individual case there are a ton of different factors going on and interacting, we don't know the mean, the median, or the standard deviation of the benefit, if any, gained by being white and male for someone born within the last twenty years. We don't know what the distribution looks like.

    There is a numerical value to this which can be found out. We don't need to speculate or assume what the impact is. It could be huge, it could conceivably actually not be statistically significant once the other factors are blocked for. I'm tired of all the assumptions and speculation about something which hasn't been properly studied at all.

    Unless I'm unaware of valid studies. If someone knows of one, let me know! I'll believe in white privilege, male privilege, and all the other kinds of privilege once I see convincing studies that show exactly for who these factors prove a benefit. I don't think we can be expected to just assume it because 'everybody knows that'.

    For example, maybe being white and male is a huge, tremendous benefit if you grow up in the top 1% of the population, but anywhere else it is a net negative. I'm not saying that is likely, but we don't know until we see statistically significant correlations, together with a strong argument for causation.


    I don't think you'll find this conclusive in terms of overarching social/political privileges, but it's something to think about.

  3. #93
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    Wow...

    This thread apparently blew up...

    I want to make an important distinction here: I do not side with Discobiscuit on the empathy side of things.

    I feel significant empathy for all beings, especially those who, for no reason other than birthright, have been given less opportunity in life than have others. And, every day, just about, it seems, I receive some kind of hate from people presumably in this group, presumably for my perceived position and privilege in life. But I understand the root causes for this hate, so, while I don't accept their hatred or reasoning, I don't let it turn me discompassionate toward them, or others, who have been born into less privileged circumstances than myself.

  4. #94
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I don't really know how you can deny that a lot of the privilege white females experience really is about race, though- you even state yourself that it really only applies to white women. Black women are not similarly afforded the benefit of the doubt in crime situations. Case in point: the black woman in Florida who fired warning shots from her own home and went to jail without the benefit of the "stand your ground" law that has benefitted plenty of non-black men in the state.
    Forgive me for nitpicking, but I just want to mention that it was the time given (20 years) that was unfair and outrageous and not the application of the law itself. The facts of her case did not entitle her to a stand your ground defense since she left the confrontation and returned with a gun immediately. She's undergoing a retrial right now and hopefully she'll get a far more just result.

  5. #95
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by momental View Post
    There's even empathy in this song.

    keep your hands up
    Get em in the sky
    For the homies that didn't make it
    And my folks locked down

  6. #96
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I've told my husband I should be running drugs or something. I'm a middle aged white woman with the face of a martyred saint and I drive a mini-van.
    “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

  7. #97
    Senior Member Robopop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I don't really know how you can deny that a lot of the privilege white females experience really is about race, though- you even state yourself that it really only applies to white women. Black women are not similarly afforded the benefit of the doubt in crime situations. Case in point: the black woman in Florida who fired warning shots from her own home and went to jail without the benefit of the "stand your ground" law that has benefitted plenty of non-black men in the state.

    But your definition of privilege is good- burdens you don't have to deal with, things you don't have to think about every day that others do. "The Invisible Backpack" is a pretty good demonstration of this idea.

    http://boingboing.net/2012/01/16/unp...le-knapsa.html

    And, as the author of this article remarks, it's important to note that "people who are privileged in some respects can be un-privileged in others, and vice versa."
    Black women are not afforded the benefit of the doubt because they are perceived as more masculine, black women are literally gendered differently from white women. Black women have occupied a de-feminized androgynous gender role so they will share some common "disadvantages" with the men folk. Black males are stigmatized the worst when it comes to assumed guilty until proven innocent because black males are stereotyped as hyper-masculine and are therefore perceived as inherently more threatening, violent, and sexually predatory.

    I agree that privilege is very multifaceted and it depends when what you're comparing it to, I think I look at privilege as burdens you don't have to deal with because it doesn't detract from a person's individual accomplishments, I think the guy who wrote the essay had the most beef with that assumption.
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  8. #98
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robopop View Post
    Black women are not afforded the benefit of the doubt because they are perceived as more masculine, black women are literally gendered differently from white women. Black women have occupied a de-feminized androgynous gender role so they will share some common "disadvantages" with the men folk. Black males are stigmatized the worst when it comes to assumed guilty until proven innocent because black males are stereotyped as hyper-masculine and are therefore perceived as inherently more threatening, violent, and sexually predatory.

    I agree that privilege is very multifaceted and it depends when what you're comparing it to, I think I look at privilege as burdens you don't have to deal with because it doesn't detract from a person's individual accomplishments, I think the guy who wrote the essay had the most beef with that assumption.
    You look at it that way because that's what it is- the Invisible Knapsack defines it pretty much exactly like that, and that's pretty much the defining text about privilege. I don't believe it was ever meant to detract from a person's individual accomplishments, only humble us a little when we start thinking that we achieved those things in a vacuum and achieving them means we're better than someone who hasn't achieved them.

  9. #99
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Also, good points about black women being masculinized and that contributing to the female privilege regarding crime being largely unaccessible to them. I would also say they are hypersexualized (along with black men) and assumed to be more animalistic.

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by momental View Post
    Lol.

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