A Few Words About "Checking Privilege"

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT
 

Something Amyss:
If you think grouping people is that much of problem, don't do it. Or maybe understand that people are also doing what you're doing when they do.

I think I found the crux of our misunderstanding. I don't think grouping people is a problem, especially when it's based on factors they have control over (like political preference). It's when group characteristics are used to judge individuals that belong to the group that things start to get problematic.

Gethsemani:

Seth Carter:

I think that's what the article was getting at in the second half. Discussing Male privilege is well, discussing *MALE* privilege. Its moving the discussion from Womens Issues and Inequities, to Male Advantages, and listing those off rather then pursuing a dialogue of how to remedy the womens' issues. "Men are paid more then women" vs "Women are consistently underpaid".

The problem is that many women's issues are dictated by male privilege. Things like the glass ceiling, the wage gap, sexual harassment and many other things are contingent on men having the privilege to discriminate against women or just act like total dicks against women. That's why male privilege has to be discussed, because until it is address women can not be equal to men.

The wage gap doesn't exist. Once normalized the data shows a difference of less than 5% which is easily accounted for men being more aggressive in their attempts at promotion and wage increases.

ravenshrike:
The wage gap doesn't exist. Once normalized the data shows a difference of less than 5% which is easily accounted for men being more aggressive in their attempts at promotion and wage increases.

You're not the first person to quote me in this thread to claim that. So I made a quick google search using the search term "wage gap 2015". Here are some assorted links from googles first and second page:
The White House on the wage gap
CNN on some aspects of the wage gap
More CNN on the wage gap
The Guardian on the wage gap
Forbes on the wage gap
AAUW with a bunch of statistics on the wage gap
Pew Research on the wage gap
EuroStat on the wage gap

What do all these links have in common? They acknowledge that a pay gap exist, some say it is fairly large (Women earning 74% of what men earn), some say it is fairly small (93% of men's earnings among certain women), but they all acknowledge that it exists and is a thing. So how about we stop spreading this manospherian lie that the wage gap doesn't exist?

Gethsemani:

You're not the first person to quote me in this thread to claim that. So I made a quick google search using the search term "wage gap 2015". Here are some assorted links from googles first and second page:
The White House on the wage gap
CNN on some aspects of the wage gap
More CNN on the wage gap
The Guardian on the wage gap
Forbes on the wage gap
AAUW with a bunch of statistics on the wage gap
Pew Research on the wage gap
EuroStat on the wage gap

What do all these links have in common? They acknowledge that a pay gap exist, some say it is fairly large (Women earning 74% of what men earn), some say it is fairly small (93% of men's earnings among certain women), but they all acknowledge that it exists and is a thing. So how about we stop spreading this manospherian lie that the wage gap doesn't exist?

None of your sources contradict what the guy you're responding to says. What we call the wage gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of men and women, without accounting for why that difference exists. Once you do that (which has been done, but I can't be bothered to look it up right now) you'll see that it has nothing to do with sexism.

wasneeplus:

None of your sources contradict what the guy you're responding to says. What we call the wage gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of men and women, without accounting for why that difference exists. Once you do that (which has been done, but I can't be bothered to look it up right now) you'll see that it has nothing to do with sexism.

You mean apart from here he explicitly claimed "the wage gap doesn't exist"? Let me also point out that several of the links I posted points out that there exists a wage gap even after accounting for other variables. So yeah, my sources totally do contradict what he, and you, says.

Gethsemani:

ravenshrike:
The wage gap doesn't exist. Once normalized the data shows a difference of less than 5% which is easily accounted for men being more aggressive in their attempts at promotion and wage increases.

You're not the first person to quote me in this thread to claim that. So I made a quick google search using the search term "wage gap 2015". Here are some assorted links from googles first and second page:
The White House on the wage gap
CNN on some aspects of the wage gap
More CNN on the wage gap
The Guardian on the wage gap
Forbes on the wage gap
AAUW with a bunch of statistics on the wage gap
Pew Research on the wage gap
EuroStat on the wage gap

What do all these links have in common? They acknowledge that a pay gap exist, some say it is fairly large (Women earning 74% of what men earn), some say it is fairly small (93% of men's earnings among certain women), but they all acknowledge that it exists and is a thing. So how about we stop spreading this manospherian lie that the wage gap doesn't exist?

*sigh* What part of "once the data is normalized" is so very hard to understand? The 73% studies take straight up data without accounting for things like job type, time in position worked, amount of work without time off except approved vacation time, etc... etc... Once those factors are accounted for, the gap closes to 5%. Incidentally, this was over 10 years ago. In point of fact as of 5 years ago, single childless women are making 8% more than men.

http://content.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,2015274,00.html

ravenshrike:
*sigh* What part of "once the data is normalized" is so very hard to understand? The 73% studies take straight up data without accounting for things like job type, time in position worked, amount of work without time off except approved vacation time, etc... etc... Once those factors are accounted for, the gap closes to 5%. Incidentally, this was over 10 years ago. In point of fact as of 5 years ago, single childless women are making 8% more than men.

http://content.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,2015274,00.html

I quote recent sources, some who use and discuss normalized data, and your response is to feign weariness and link a single, five year old study that has also been contested? Classy. More pertinently, you'll note that some of the findings from the study you linked are proven false by several of my (more recent) studies, the white house report in particular.

EDIT: Let me help you by pulling the relevant section from the White House link: "Even when women and men are working side-by-side performing similar tasks, however, the pay gap does not fully disappear. Blau and Kahn decomposed the pay gap and concluded that differences in occupation and industry explain about 49 percent of the wage gap, but 41 percent of the wage gap is not explained by differences in educational attainment, experience, demographic characteristics, job type, or union status, using the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics. Using a similar approach, but newer data from the Current Population Survey, the Council of Economic Advisers finds that industry and occupation can explain about 20 percent of the wage gap, but about two-thirds of the gap is not explained by potential experience, age, race, education, industry, or occupation."

Something Amyss:

Also, since I'm actually on the subject, allow me to point out that the whole "it's not a privilege, it's a right" thing is generally used like "all lives matter." It sounds theoretically good, but no matter how well-intentioned it still has the end result of marginalising people who (yes) should have such a "right."

They don't. And at that point, it is a privilege.

That seems to be it in a nutshell. It is a bizarre contraction in Marks piece that he points out it is a privilege to not be murdered by an anti-Jewish pogrom (even though human rights already say that shouldn't happen anyway), only to then later argue that if something is listed as a basic human right it can't count as a privilege. I am fortunate to not have to worry about sexual violence or racial discrimination, regardless of whether those things happen to be covered by legislature.

Hero in a half shell:

Interestingly, the one piece of privilege that never appears to be brought up in the progressive stack is money and earnings.

That's because money and earnings aren't privileges, but consequences of "privileges" and/or personal choices. The exception could arguable be wealth inheritance; but even so, bad choices can bring rich heirs pretty quickly into bankruptcy.

CaitSeith:

Hero in a half shell:

Interestingly, the one piece of privilege that never appears to be brought up in the progressive stack is money and earnings.

That's because money and earnings aren't privileges, but consequences of "privileges" and/or personal choices. The exception could arguable be wealth inheritance; but even so, bad choices can bring rich heirs pretty quickly into bankruptcy.

Money and earnings are not privileges but they do create privilege. The most abhorrent, I think, being "affluenza" accepted by judges as a legitimate defense.

wasneeplus:
Being an outsider to American culture, I can't say I share your impression of it. All I hear coming out of the US is how horrible black people are being treated.

And when my niece's paternal grandmother comes to visit her on Christmas, she tells my niece how much she loves and misses her; but the rest of the year she does not call her granddaughter on the phone, doesn't visit, doesn't go to her school basketball games.

If you are ever in a position where you have to choose between believing what people say and believing what they do, believe what they do. The lip service paid to the issues black people face, in most cases, is just that.

wasneeplus:
I have never seen anyone using it as a reactionary response.

And that's the only way I've ever seen it used, so.

wasneeplus:
Why would they [use "all lives matter" as a refutation]?

Why is it when there's a mass shooting in America, law-abiding gun owners start mounting defenses about how we're not allowed to blame them or punish them? It's because American culture is obsessed with blame, and the bodies that get racked up are distantly secondary to making sure everyone knows how morally pure and how innocent we are, even (especially) when we haven't been accused of anything.

wasneeplus:
I advise you not to put words in the mouths of people you don't understand and are clearly prejudiced against.

That is not putting words in their mouths. That is me judging the difference between their words ("All lives, which must therefore reasonably include black lives, matter") and their actions (taking steps to make certain we cannot have a discussion about the likelihood black people have of dying by homicide at the hands of the police), and deciding I think their words are lies. I am sure many of these people simply don't understand that their attempt to start an argument for equality is actively detracting from attempts to stop people from dying, but I don't care whether their intent is innocent or malicious. I care about the number of grave plots getting filled.

wasneeplus:
Also, if you really care that much about the movement, might I suggest you act a bit more diplomatic.

I do not believe that a person who will not entertain the idea that black people dying is more important than how white people feel unless I treat white people's feelings with kid gloves is someone who will ever do more than pay lip service to the idea, since the premise requires me to treat the body count as less important than their defensiveness.

Something Amyss:
I don't get the mentality, and I probably never will. I see black people dying in ridiculous numbers (in the States, their life expectancy and death rates resemble that of third-world nations), and I think "how horrible," not "why aren't they specifically naming me?"

I think it's about guilt, as I explained earlier in my post. We can't beat ourselves up for contributing to problems we don't know exist, so we make a choice not to know problems exist; to ignore the body count and only focus inward, on ourselves.

Gorrath:
Money and earnings are not privileges but they do create privilege. The most abhorrent, I think, being "affluenza" accepted by judges as a legitimate defense.

I will retract this statement if you know something I don't, but I don't believe the judge had any role to play in "accepting" the defense. It was surely a trial by jury, and the jury determined Mr. Couch's crime, which limits the penalties the judge may legally impose.

JimB:

Gorrath:
Money and earnings are not privileges but they do create privilege. The most abhorrent, I think, being "affluenza" accepted by judges as a legitimate defense.

I will retract this statement if you know something I don't, but I don't believe the judge had any role to play in "accepting" the defense. It was surely a trial by jury, and the jury determined Mr. Couch's crime, which limits the penalties the judge may legally impose.

There was no trial in the case I'm thinking of because the person in question (Ethan Couch, should you care to google it) pleaded guilty. The Judge in question (if the articles I have read are accurate in their portrayal) actually didn't even give him the minimum sentence demanded by law in the area. She was also later removed from the bench by a recall vote by the people.

Edit: Strike that last bit, there was a 33,000 signature petition for her removal but the Governor did not take action. She retired instead.

Gorrath:

JimB:

Gorrath:
Money and earnings are not privileges but they do create privilege. The most abhorrent, I think, being "affluenza" accepted by judges as a legitimate defense.

I will retract this statement if you know something I don't, but I don't believe the judge had any role to play in "accepting" the defense. It was surely a trial by jury, and the jury determined Mr. Couch's crime, which limits the penalties the judge may legally impose.

There was no trial in the case I'm thinking of because the person in question (Ethan Couch, should you care to Google it) pleaded guilty. The judge in question (if the articles I have read are accurate in their portrayal) actually didn't even give him the minimum sentence demanded by law in the area. She was also later removed from the bench by a recall vote by the people.

I retract my statement, then, with apologies for the diversion.

JimB:

Gorrath:

JimB:

I will retract this statement if you know something I don't, but I don't believe the judge had any role to play in "accepting" the defense. It was surely a trial by jury, and the jury determined Mr. Couch's crime, which limits the penalties the judge may legally impose.

There was no trial in the case I'm thinking of because the person in question (Ethan Couch, should you care to Google it) pleaded guilty. The judge in question (if the articles I have read are accurate in their portrayal) actually didn't even give him the minimum sentence demanded by law in the area. She was also later removed from the bench by a recall vote by the people.

I retract my statement, then, with apologies for the diversion.

No worries, I'm glad you brought that up so clarification could be made. I should have cited exactly which case I was talking about in my original post.

Edit: My reading comprehension took a nose dive too it seems, you mentioned the person by name in your original response to me. Blah, anyway. regardless of this individual case I think it's fair to say that money is certainly a big factor in privilege.

Gethsemani:

EDIT: Let me help you by pulling the relevant section from the White House link: "Even when women and men are working side-by-side performing similar tasks, however, the pay gap does not fully disappear. Blau and Kahn decomposed the pay gap and concluded that differences in occupation and industry explain about 49 percent of the wage gap, but 41 percent of the wage gap is not explained by differences in educational attainment, experience, demographic characteristics, job type, or union status, using the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics. Using a similar approach, but newer data from the Current Population Survey, the Council of Economic Advisers finds that industry and occupation can explain about 20 percent of the wage gap, but about two-thirds of the gap is not explained by potential experience, age, race, education, industry, or occupation."

Thank you for quoting those words. I looked this up a while back when the 74% statistic came out. Ever since then, it seems like people are yelling at each other about how it's 100% true or 100% false. The truth is, when you look at the actual studies (I looked through the labor statistics report that was out at the time), that it's somewhere in between. There is definitely a wage gap that can't be explained by other factors, although it is not as large as 74 cents on the dollar. It also depends on what industry you're working in. In most cases, there's a gap working in men's favor. In a few industries, women make the same as men (if not slightly more-I think the gap in nursing favors females). I think everyone should look it up for the industry they work in so they can negotiate better. Any wage gap is unacceptable. It's not okay just because it's not as big as the average number shows. I wish they had been able to find a better way to express the gap so that others couldn't hand-wave it away without looking at the numbers in more detail.

OT: I think there is nothing at all wrong with checking your own privilege. It can help give perspective. It's not a good tool to use in an argument. At that point, you've run out of legitimate points, or the conversation has already started to deteriorate. "Checking your privilege" is some thing one should do consciously on his/her own time; it's not something you smugly order someone else to do on the spot to try to make a point. That fuels resentment and discourages the practice.

That being said, I've never heard the phrase uttered by anyone in my life. I've only seen it show up on the internet.

JimB:
I do not believe that a person who will not entertain the idea that black people dying is more important than how white people feel unless I treat white people's feelings with kid gloves is someone who will ever do more than pay lip service to the idea, since the premise requires me to treat the body count as less important than their defensiveness.

Are you talking about yourself here? I for one care deeply about people dying, but then again I'm the kind of softy who sheds tears with some regularity over people who are killed thousands of kilometers away (one of the reasons I'm petitioning my government to take in more refugees). How much do you care though? Being diplomatic will do the movement far more good than ill, yet you and most in it scoff at the idea that you should take your opponents feelings into account. What does it matter if doing that saves lives?

I have a lot more things to respond to, but I'm tired now. See you all tomorrow.

wasneeplus:
Are you talking about yourself here?

I am talking about exactly whom I said I'm talking about.

wasneeplus:
I for one care deeply about people dying, but then again I'm the kind of softy who sheds tears with some regularity over people who are killed thousands of kilometers away (one of the reasons I'm petitioning my government to take in more refugees).

Okay.

wasneeplus:
How much do you care, though? Being diplomatic will do the movement far more good than ill, yet you and most in it scoff at the idea that you should take your opponents' feelings into account.

Yes, I do. I'm normally of the "antagonism doesn't work" mindframe, but not in this instance. Not when the argument being presented is, "If you want selfish people to stop prioritizing their feelings over others' lives, then you have to prioritize their feelings over others' lives, which will...make them stop prioritizing their feelings over others' lives."

Gorrath:

CaitSeith:

Hero in a half shell:

Interestingly, the one piece of privilege that never appears to be brought up in the progressive stack is money and earnings.

That's because money and earnings aren't privileges, but consequences of "privileges" and/or personal choices. The exception could arguable be wealth inheritance; but even so, bad choices can bring rich heirs pretty quickly into bankruptcy.

Money and earnings are not privileges but they do create privilege. The most abhorrent, I think, being "affluenza" accepted by judges as a legitimate defense.

If you're talking about bribery and corruption, be straightforward. Calling those "privileges" is misleading and obscures the problem.

CaitSeith:

Gorrath:

CaitSeith:

That's because money and earnings aren't privileges, but consequences of "privileges" and/or personal choices. The exception could arguable be wealth inheritance; but even so, bad choices can bring rich heirs pretty quickly into bankruptcy.

Money and earnings are not privileges but they do create privilege. The most abhorrent, I think, being "affluenza" accepted by judges as a legitimate defense.

If you're talking about bribery and corruption, be straightforward. Calling those "privileges" is misleading and obscures the problem.

I'm not, I'm talking about how affluenza, as it's called, causes judges to give far more lenient sentences to rich than to poor. This has nothing to do with corruption or bribery. While one of the most talked about examples is Couch the notions of how wealth affects every part of the justice system is backed up by lots of tales of the rich getting off with slaps on the wrist for everything from light crimes to very serious ones. Hell, just where I live the daughter of a well to do man rammed her car into several police cruisers as she tried to escape arrest from driving like a maniac while intoxicated. She was sentenced to six freaking weeks in a rehab facility that has "equine therapy" and an all organic food menu. Try being some nobody, get high on PCP and ram a couple of cop cars and see if you get sentenced to six weeks of horse rides and soy milk. Just as a side note, this is something like the seventh time she's been arrested for various crimes while intoxicated. I'm well aware of her because she gets high and terrorizes the retail employees where my wife works. She's been arrested there twice alone. No way she gets this kind of treatment if the family's not rich.

Gethsemani:

You're not the first person to quote me in this thread to claim that. So I made a quick google search using the search term "wage gap 2015". Here are some assorted links from googles first and second page:
The White House on the wage gap
CNN on some aspects of the wage gap
More CNN on the wage gap
The Guardian on the wage gap
Forbes on the wage gap
AAUW with a bunch of statistics on the wage gap
Pew Research on the wage gap
EuroStat on the wage gap

What do all these links have in common? They acknowledge that a pay gap exist, some say it is fairly large (Women earning 74% of what men earn), some say it is fairly small (93% of men's earnings among certain women), but they all acknowledge that it exists and is a thing. So how about we stop spreading this manospherian lie that the wage gap doesn't exist?

The thing all those links have in common is they misrepresent the data they got and instead of accounting for the reasons the data is as such they are trying to blame nonexistent boogeyman, because politics. What the data shows is that the average earnings of a woman are on average lower than that of man. What these links nicely ommit is that this is because of:

1) different professions
2) different experience/seniority
3) different work hours
4) different overtime, extra work
5) different life choices, such as maternity leave.

Just because women CHOOOSE to work less and work in professions that are paid less does not mean that there is a wage gap. If wage gap was real, everyone would want to employ as much women as they could. after all, who does not want cheaper workers that do the same job? Its not real though, the pay is lower because the job is not the same. For example the job of Teaching is almost exclusively female profession at the moment. it is also one of the least paid professions both in US and elsewhere. had half of teachers were men, the average wage of men would decrease significantly.

Wage gap not existing is a fact, no amount of false representation is going to change that, nor will calling people liers.

Strazdas:

The thing all those links have in common is they misrepresent the data they got and instead of accounting for the reasons the data is as such they are trying to blame nonexistent boogeyman, because politics. What the data shows is that the average earnings of a woman are on average lower than that of man. What these links nicely ommit is that this is because of:

1) different professions
2) different experience/seniority
3) different work hours
4) different overtime, extra work
5) different life choices, such as maternity leave.

Just because women CHOOOSE to work less and work in professions that are paid less does not mean that there is a wage gap. If wage gap was real, everyone would want to employ as much women as they could. after all, who does not want cheaper workers that do the same job? Its not real though, the pay is lower because the job is not the same. For example the job of Teaching is almost exclusively female profession at the moment. it is also one of the least paid professions both in US and elsewhere. had half of teachers were men, the average wage of men would decrease significantly.

Wage gap not existing is a fact, no amount of false representation is going to change that, nor will calling people liers.

You know, it helps your case if you actually read the sources before dismissing them and then read the rest of the thread to see if there's been a discussion about the points you want to make. Let me quote a latter post of mine, that totally deflates your entire argument:

Gethsemani:
Let me help you by pulling the relevant section from the White House link: "Even when women and men are working side-by-side performing similar tasks, however, the pay gap does not fully disappear. Blau and Kahn decomposed the pay gap and concluded that differences in occupation and industry explain about 49 percent of the wage gap, but 41 percent of the wage gap is not explained by differences in educational attainment, experience, demographic characteristics, job type, or union status, using the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics. Using a similar approach, but newer data from the Current Population Survey, the Council of Economic Advisers finds that industry and occupation can explain about 20 percent of the wage gap, but about two-thirds of the gap is not explained by potential experience, age, race, education, industry, or occupation."

So you've no leg to stand on. Even if we assume that your debunked argument had merit, has it never occurred to you that "different life choices" is a part of privilege? That if one group in society consistently has better life/career outcomes then another group, despite both groups nominally having the same opportunities, that is, in itself, a good indication that one of the groups has some privilege that the other group lacks.

Gethsemani:
You mean apart from here he explicitly claimed "the wage gap doesn't exist"? Let me also point out that several of the links I posted points out that there exists a wage gap even after accounting for other variables. So yeah, my sources totally do contradict what he, and you, says.

Well let me first say I greatly appreciate you providing evidence for the wage gap rather than just calling me hyper sceptical and dismissing anything I have to say. There were also some interesting reads among them.

It does seem like you're quite new to this discussion though. Let me be clear: When someone from this side of the fence say "the wage gap doesn't exist" they usually mean "there is an earnings gap, not a discrimination based wage gap". Now, I don't want to put words in the mouth of Ravenshrike, I'm just saying that's what I understood it to mean.

Now for your sources. I find it interesting that they all say something different. I hope this explains why I'm so sceptical about any claims made on this subject. As your sources show, there is a lot of misinformation out there. The passage you quoted for instance only links to the 49 percent figure, a figure which seems a lot more likely to me since a)it more closely matches the often cited CONSAD report and b) I can actually check their methodology. The difference in age of the data shouldn't be that significant since, as the report notes, the wage gap has been stable since 2001. The CONSAD report, being the most comprehensive study ever done on the subject, found an unexplained wage gap of between 4,8 and 7,1 percent, and their conclusions were faily consistant with studies done in other countries. But even they, though they took overtime into account which none of your sources do, admitted that there were some factors they didn't consider, like dynamic rewards.

A trend that definitely emerges from all these sources is this: the more things you account for, the smaller the wage gap becomes. There seems to be not a single area in which women manage to outperform men earnings wise. It therefore doesn't seem far fetched to suggest that if you just keep adjusting for every possible little thing the gap will approach zero. Another thing to note is that any possible discrimination of women doesn't appear to be universal. Young, single, childless women do outearn their male counterparts. The report you cited hints at that to, seeing how the IRA balance of those women (that is those of ALL women under 30) is higher than that of men of the same age. This suggests that it's the factors that come into play during people's careers (choosing to have children, career choices) that are dominant in lifetime earnings.

One final thing to note is that, like one of your sources states, there isn't a single country in the world where women earn as much as men. Even countries with very strict regulation, like Norway, don't manage it. In light of this it seems pointless to try and regulate the market such that the wage gap will disappear. I'm not dismissive of the idea that there is some part of the wage gap that's due to discrimination, that may well be. But taking everything above into consideration I think it would be a better idea to make it easier to enforce existing laws. Let's not forget that pay discrimination is already illegal in every western country. If there is discrimination going on, it's due to people not standing up for their rights. Giving assistance in lawsuits against employers, to name an example, would be time better spent than passing new legislation, in my opinion.

Plus, to get back to my original point, I think it's wrong in principle to restrict government focus with regards to discrimination to one demographic. If you decide to help victims of discrimination, help them all. Even if the vast majority of people in need of help are women or minorities, that is no reason to disregard the few people who aren't.

JimB:
If you are ever in a position where you have to choose between believing what people say and believing what they do, believe what they do.

You missed the point of what I was saying. You said there was no media coverage of black people dying. I said you were wrong.

JimB:
That is not putting words in their mouths. That is me judging the difference between their words ("All lives, which must therefore reasonably include black lives, matter") and their actions (taking steps to make certain we cannot have a discussion about the likelihood black people have of dying by homicide at the hands of the police), and deciding I think their words are lies. I am sure many of these people simply don't understand that their attempt to start an argument for equality is actively detracting from attempts to stop people from dying, but I don't care whether their intent is innocent or malicious. I care about the number of grave plots getting filled.

But the people you are talking about aren't against ending racism and police brutality. They don't take "steps to make certain we cannot have a discussion about the likelihood black people have of dying by homicide at the hands of the police" they just want to have that conversation on different terms. The only thing they usually object to is having to share responsibility for something someone with a similar skin colour to them has done, and rightly so.

JimB:
Yes, I do. I'm normally of the "antagonism doesn't work" mindframe, but not in this instance. Not when the argument being presented is, "If you want selfish people to stop prioritizing their feelings over others' lives, then you have to prioritize their feelings over others' lives, which will...make them stop prioritizing their feelings over others' lives."

Then I hope most in the BLM movement are smarter than you, or the it will surely fail. You say you care about people dying, yet you seem so unwilling to do what is necessary to stop it. If we're talking about the difference between one's actions and one's words, you are a prime example.

I think part of the problem is your insistence on attributing malicious motives to your opponents, though you've said several times you wouldn't do that. Let me be clear, I've seen quite some people use the all lives matter phrase who were not doing so out of selfishness. I know because their reasons are my reasons: they do it because they are egalitarians and because it's this principle that lends legitimacy to the ideas of the BLM movement, as far as ending discrimination goes. It is true that many liberals and egalitarians have become very cynical over the years dominated by identity politics, but that is all the more reason for BLM to try and convince them by being diplomatic. Yet you keep clinging to this preconceived notion that all that moves them is their selfishness and desire for comfort. That is just prejudice, plain and simple.

wasneeplus:
You missed the point of what I was saying. You said there was no media coverage of black people dying. I said you were wrong.

First, you are misrepresenting what I said. I said there was "little to no media coverage." I did not include the "little to" bit in order to pad out my word count; I included it because it's relevant. Second, you have failed to take that sentence into context. If you will read the entirety of the paragraph, you will see I was discussing the events that led to Black Lives Matter's formation in the year 2013. Trayvon Martin had been dead for a month before news reached my local outlets, and he'd been dead for nearly four months before an investigation into his death was conducted; the time frame is similar for Michael Brown. This may be a local failure--I live in the state of Missouri, which is...not enlightened in regards to its treatment of black people--but it certainly informs my understanding of the way my people treat black people.

I have doubtlessly derailed the thread beyond recall by even mentioning those two names, as people are likely to burst in here demanding that I accept the court's decisions in those cases and how dare I demand greater criminal penalties for men found innocent by juries of their peers, but let me at least try to head that off by pointing out I haven't said a damned word about the outcomes of the trials, only the delays in even launching investigations. Okay, everyone? Good, glad we got that settled. Let's move on.

wasneeplus:
But the people you are talking about aren't against ending racism and police brutality.

If they will not permit black people to express themselves and the changes they need in order to end a problem that disproportionately affects black people, then whether they think they are opposed to it or not makes not one lick of difference to me. The outcome of their actions is the same as if they are opposed to it, so they are opposed to it.

wasneeplus:
The only thing they usually object to is having to share responsibility for something someone with a similar skin colour to them has done, and rightly so.

That white people need a defense against black people blaming us unfairly for the crimes of our race is a sentiment I hear often, but I have never once been asked by a black person, either face to face or by the media, to bear responsibility for the actions of others. I have been asked to acknowledge that my position in life is privileged and based off a foundation first of slave labor, then of a decreasingly conscious but still pervasive racism in my nation that cannot and will not ever affect me personally because of the color of my skin; and I will admit to that without pause because it is true. If I have not directly taken action to oppress black people, or if I have taken action unknowingly, well, who cares? Does that improve anything for, say, Michael Brown's parents?

wasneeplus:
If we're talking about the difference between one's actions and one's words, you are a prime example.

Yes, yes, everyone is rubber and I'm glue. I really can't think of another way to tell you how self-defeating I find it to try to stop people from changing the conversation to a selfish one by changing the conversation to the selfish topic myself, so we'll just have to disagree on that one.

wasneeplus:
I think part of the problem is your insistence on attributing malicious motives to your opponents, though you've said several times you wouldn't do that.

And I have not done. That you choose not to believe me is your own business. Have fun with that.

wasneeplus:
I've seen quite some people use the "all lives matter" phrase who were not doing so out of selfishness.

I am sure at least some of them believe that they are not being selfish, but they are nevertheless trying to paint a problem that predominantly affects black people, a problem that is by its very nature racist in source, as a colorblind issue. You can't take the race of the victims off the table when discussing racially motivated offenses.

wasneeplus:
Yet you keep clinging to this preconceived notion that all that moves them is their selfishness and desire for comfort. That is just prejudice, plain and simple.

I take it you don't perceive the irony in the fact that I complain about having to discuss how white people feel rather than how black people die as a result of police attention, and your response is to say how mean of me it is to not talk about how white people feel instead of how black people die as a result of police attention.

wasneeplus:
It's when group characteristics are used to judge individuals that belong to the group that things start to get problematic.

Then don't do that. You didn't change anything, you just made a more specific claim you yourself were doing.

maninahat:

That seems to be it in a nutshell. It is a bizarre contraction in Marks piece that he points out it is a privilege to not be murdered by an anti-Jewish pogrom (even though human rights already say that shouldn't happen anyway), only to then later argue that if something is listed as a basic human right it can't count as a privilege. I am fortunate to not have to worry about sexual violence or racial discrimination, regardless of whether those things happen to be covered by legislature.

Basically, yes. Though it doesn't matter if laws exist so much either, since things like discrimination are often illegal and happen anyway.

JimB:

I think it's about guilt, as I explained earlier in my post. We can't beat ourselves up for contributing to problems we don't know exist, so we make a choice not to know problems exist; to ignore the body count and only focus inward, on ourselves.

I don't know, I think it may have to do more with privilege in and of itself. Not being exposed to, or having to think about this sort of hrdship is in itself a privilege.

A lot of the responses to such isues seem to revolve more around "you're making me sad, stop doing that."

JimB:
so we'll just have to disagree on that one.

Fine, your loss, and of the BLM movement.

JimB:
And I have not done.

I would call saying they act out of selfishness attributing malicious motives. Wouldn't you agree?

JimB:
If they will not permit black people to express themselves and the changes they need in order to end a problem that disproportionately affects black people

They don't do that. You do know where the "all lives matter" phase originally came from, right?

JimB:
You can't take the race of the victims off the table when discussing racially motivated offenses.

You can, and you absolutely should. I'll be happy to explain why, but only if you're interested.

JimB:
That white people need a defense against black people blaming us unfairly for the crimes of our race is a sentiment I hear often, but I have never once been asked by a black person, either face to face or by the media, to bear responsibility for the actions of others. I have been asked to acknowledge that my position in life is privileged and based off a foundation first of slave labor, then of a decreasingly conscious but still pervasive racism in my nation that cannot and will not ever affect me personally because of the color of my skin; and I will admit to that without pause because it is true. If I have not directly taken action to oppress black people, or if I have taken action unknowingly, well, who cares? Does that improve anything for, say, Michael Brown's parents?

JimB:
I take it you don't perceive the irony in the fact that I complain about having to discuss how white people feel rather than how black people die as a result of police attention, and your response is to say how mean of me it is to not talk about how white people feel instead of how black people die as a result of police attention.

...Well, this is a thread about telling people to check their privilege, so it shouldn't surprise you we're focussing on that rather than stopping police brutality. If you want to talk about it we can do that too of course. I don't know how much I could contribute to that conversation though, apart from the advice I already desperately tried to instil in you.

But going back to the concept of privilege for a moment. I'm almost certain you're aware of the fact that in recent times white people have been asked to resign from certain positions, been barred from certain places, especially in university campuses, and have been asked to remain silent on certain issues and only let people of certain minorities speak on the subject. And then there is of course the infamous progressive stack of the occupy movement. In each of these cases there was no merit based foundation for the treatment of these individuals, it was pure racism. It was racism justified by the deeds of their (presumable) ancestors. So while I'm glad you never had to face treatment like that, that is, unfortunately, not the reality of a lot of other white people.

Just the other day I was talking with someone who blames all modern day Europeans for what happened in the Congo, and insisted that we are responsible for the most horrible atrocities in history. That is of course just an incident, but it is, I believe, illustrative of something that is festering under the surface. This kind of thing can get severely out of hand, and in some places it already has. So I would say white people in this day and age are indeed forced to defend themselves to a certain degree. That is the consequence of making this kind of thing all about race. You say you will not ever be affected by racism (something you can't possibly know), but I wouldn't be surprised if you already have been and don't even realise it.

As for your own privilege, I would like to ask you how you personally have benefited from slave labour? This is something by the way that me and my fellow countrymen (I'm Dutch) get accused of a lot these days as well. Even though there hasn't been any slavery on Dutch soil for almost a thousand years (not counting colonies) and even though only Zeeland participated in the slave trade. It is simply not an honest or fair claim to make that our prosperity was build on slavery. And while that may be a little more credible in the US, it goes for both countries that our modern day prosperity benefits everyone, descendant of slaves included.

This whole idea of white privilege frankly baffles me. Say I have some sort of privilege based on my skin colour. If I do, than so does almost everyone else around here. What exactly is my white privilege worth then? It doesn't help me in any way if almost everyone else has it too. I know the original intention was to try and make people empathize with others less fortunate than them, but by now it should be clear that's not going to work. It's incredibly hard to do that (just look at my failed attempt to make you consider someone else's perspective), so it would be a better idea to point to things people can actually feel the effects from (their health, wealth, education etc) rather than their skin colour.

Anyway, I hope this gives some fuel for an interesting continuation of our discussion.

Something Amyss:
Then don't do that. You didn't change anything, you just made a more specific claim you yourself were doing.

Where exactly I did I do that? Did I judge anyone here, or anywhere else for that matter, by their political affiliation?

I've encountered similar frustrations as I've had the odd chance to directly experience a wide breadth of social environments and standings in my life and it's much easier for me to tell when someone is minimizing their own good fortune to preserve their perceived dignity. When I see it happening I always try to gently tell them that they need to be aware of the impact their good fortune has had on their life not because it cheapens their achievements but because it genuinely makes those same achievements harder for others.

Those conversations can tell a lot about someone. If they've never made a genuine life mistake, or faced honest hardship, they will take offense. If they have truly suffered in life and made bad decisions they have to live with, they will often humble themselves quite quickly and take time to mull things over and talk it out. Whichever way it swings, though, it is important to approach the situation with compassion and tenderness. The overwhelming majority of people simply do not understand, and shutting them down, or belittling them for 'flaunting their privilege' will not help them come to greater understanding of themselves or those around them.

"Check your privilege," is, or has become rather, nothing but a short, derisive statement meant to cut someone off. In that respect I wholeheartedly agree with the article. However:

Robert B. Marks:
(And, perhaps it's just me, but has anybody else noticed that all the talk about "white privilege" seems to be sidelining what is happening to African Americans in the discussion, in effect making the conversation all about white people?)

Though well intentioned, is misguided. The conversation cannot be about blacks vs whites, race vs race, if you want to break down barriers it must become about people, not demographics. All of the racial turnabouts I see with statements like the above or the time tested 'reverse racism' argument are defensively racist. The person using it is afraid of being racist so they make a racist statement in the other direction in an effort, conscious or otherwise, to balance the scales, so to speak. It is often forgotten that humanity is a SINGLE race, not many. Everything that happens to humanity, good and bad, happens to humans, not a race of humans, just humans. What is more heinous than the fact that we so willingly isolate ourselves based on complexion is the fact that we isolate ourselves at all. The fact that we can call someone 'black' or 'white' and everyone knows exactly what they mean is the direct root of the very problems we are using such titles to discuss.

Gethsemani:

You know, it helps your case if you actually read the sources before dismissing them and then read the rest of the thread to see if there's been a discussion about the points you want to make. Let me quote a latter post of mine, that totally deflates your entire argument:

Gethsemani:
Let me help you by pulling the relevant section from the White House link: "Even when women and men are working side-by-side performing similar tasks, however, the pay gap does not fully disappear. Blau and Kahn decomposed the pay gap and concluded that differences in occupation and industry explain about 49 percent of the wage gap, but 41 percent of the wage gap is not explained by differences in educational attainment, experience, demographic characteristics, job type, or union status, using the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics. Using a similar approach, but newer data from the Current Population Survey, the Council of Economic Advisers finds that industry and occupation can explain about 20 percent of the wage gap, but about two-thirds of the gap is not explained by potential experience, age, race, education, industry, or occupation."

So you've no leg to stand on. Even if we assume that your debunked argument had merit, has it never occurred to you that "different life choices" is a part of privilege? That if one group in society consistently has better life/career outcomes then another group, despite both groups nominally having the same opportunities, that is, in itself, a good indication that one of the groups has some privilege that the other group lacks.

It would have helped if you read mine as well. these people never accounted for many factors that they did not mention that influence payment, for example negotiation during hiring. Its no secret that Women negotiate less.

And no, different life choices are not part of priviledge. they are part of choices people make. For example the university hiring process is Biased towards women and even then less women CHOOSE to go to these fields. Or are you arguing that women are somehow inferior for their choices and thus we mush punish the men to "get down to their level"?

In this case, no group has consistently better life or career outcomes. You are aware that a lot of families have problems with men working too much (overtime) and resulting in having no time for their family? Id say the woman has a far better life in this case, at least she gets to see her kids grow up. to me thats far more important than earning 10% more. apperently im in a minority, though.

Or alternatively if both groups have equal opportunities but one group ends up with higher results that may mean that the other group is in fact simply worse. If you have two people with exact same opportunity but one of them does the job better, then he is better at the job.

Do you know what sucks?
Counting hours and minutes from the last time you ate. Being so hungry that you can feel gas moving around your intestines and it keeping you awake at night, because it hurts so much.

Have you tried being lonely for years on end? Without anyone to love you or care about you in any way?
Do you have any idea how that feels, when your very essence is to be useful to others?

How about not being able to get a job, because workplaces would rather hire a fresh out of college "minority" or a woman, rather than someone with experience who happens to be male?

Have you ever come to the conclusion that suicide is the only logical choice and that it's the best contribution to the world you could ever hope to make?

Whining about "privilege" or "power" is the equivalent to doing just fine.
Basic human decency is to seek understanding, but the phrase "check your privilege" is not about that, it's a demeaning and horrible accusation designed to shame others.

I can easily empathize with "issues", such as being judged on appearance or being "othered" and it has nothing to do with my skin color, gender or sexuality. It is precisely because I empathize with these things that I deem them unimportant, because in comparison to what I've experienced, they are nothing more than small nuisances.

More than that, I've realized that the "fight" of feminism, the very core of it reminds me of the worst sides of myself - The one that's selfish and puts my own needs in front of others. This is why I detest feminist rhetoric.
I understand the ball of hate that you hold on to, because it's easier than being a good person. If you can pretend to do it for others, so much the better - You benefitting from it is just a bonus, right?

If you can't rely on your own merit and being the best possible person you can, you can always fall back on blaming everyone else, which should be the slogan of current day "progressives".

The only way to combat this mentality is not to provide evidence, be logical or sympathetic, it is to treat it for what it's worth; By ignoring it completely. Anything else will only fuel it.

People generally tend to universalise their own experiences, we understand the world through the way we live in it.

If someone is privileged by society in any way, they will experience certain things very differently from people who are not, often to the extent of not realising that it's different for other people. Especially if they are not aware of their privilege. Telling someone to check their privilege is reminding them that the way the world works for them is not necessarily the way it does for everyone else. Something that is "fine" because it's fine for them might not be "fine" because it's not fine for others.

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:

crimson5pheonix:
No, I don't think cleaning the parking lot is part of a retail job. Neither do I think moving the fridge is a part of the office job. And men DO catch crap if they don't give 110% or whatever, it's not endemic to women.

Depends on the retail job, since parking lots are private property, generally it that falls on either the property owner, or the tenant, to clean the parking lot, more usually the tennant. Either way, it depends on the size of the retail business, for example when a friend of mine worked at a game stop, he had to sweep the walkway, spread deicing salts during the winter months and make sure the walkway in front of the store was clear and safe. He also had to sweep the parking lot in front of the store, the store was responsible for the two trash cans in front of it, so he had to empty them and put new bags in them every day. Thing is: He was specifically told that these things were part of his responsibilities working at that store, the day he got the job.

Now how often does someone have to move a fridge? Almost never. When a fridge needs to be moved what happens? Someone gets asked to do that job! Oh so it's usually a guy who gets saddled with the task, but it's not a common thing that's expected in an office space. Most office spaces have a hand truck kicking around too, which means that anyone can move that fridge, even if stairs are involved. So it's a job that someone might encounter once in a freaking blue moon, if ever at all.

Now on the other hand, break rooms and office spaces get cluttered on a regular basis, so they have to get cleaned, this is usually the janitor's job. When an office or break room is cluttered during the work day, the guys of the office generally complain about it, expecting the women/femme-folk to do something because they complained, not because they asked nicely, but because they complained. How about during meetings, sometimes they need someone to take minutes of the meeting and notes, guess who they expect to do that? One of the women/femme-folk. How about buying a card for someone's retirement, or birthday, when said card is supposed to be from everyone? One of the women/femme-folk. How about office parties, where they need party supplies, drinks, and snacks? It's expected that the women/femme-folk of the office will do that too.

I say expected because of one thing. No one asks that these things be done, no one gets told to do these things, it's just expected and that's not an expectation that's directed at men. In the case of passing around a card, or organizing an office party, those things cost money... Do the men pay for it? No! They just expect it to magically appear. The real shit part is that these expectations are constant, and not responsibilities that were clearly laid out as part of the job.

Oh and before you mention it: Yes sometimes bosses will organize and cater office parties, sometimes. Most of the bosses I know about who've done that? 90% of them are women, all of them are just really unusually thoughtful bosses, most bosses aren't that thoughtful. Still it's more expected of a woman in the role of boss than a man in the same role. When a boss woman doesn't do it? She gets called a bitch. When a boss man doesn't? They assume he just forgot, or that it's not his responsibility.

This is hilarious, I have never met a man anywhere i have worked that gave two shits about office partys..... haha in fact most of us make an attempt to avoid them, but some still attend to avoid the passive aggressive drama that follows shunning such an affair.

For instance, i did not attend the.... cringe.... office baby shower that occurred prior to one of the clerks maternity leave. Got myself quite a few shifty looks and questions about how callous i must be.

thaluikhain:
People generally tend to universalise their own experiences, we understand the world through the way we live in it.

If someone is privileged by society in any way, they will experience certain things very differently from people who are not, often to the extent of not realising that it's different for other people. Especially if they are not aware of their privilege. Telling someone to check their privilege is reminding them that the way the world works for them is not necessarily the way it does for everyone else. Something that is "fine" because it's fine for them might not be "fine" because it's not fine for others.

This is a pretty useless concept. I could claim that white males are the most underprivileged class of them all and black women are the most privileged class, it's just that black women can't see how provileged they are because, as you say: privilege is often invisible to those who have it. Self contradictory.

I suspect that part of the problem is that being subject to others' disdain- as has been said of poverty- is not ennobling. One sees an awful lot of demands for empathy and action from those who appear to be manifestly incapable of showing empathy towards those they view as outside their "favored" groups, the ones somehow worthy of sympathy.

I was musing a while ago on an uncomfortable matter that I suspect is the truth: Hatred comes very naturally to us. All of us. To be an "enlightened" human being in a diverse setting is a balancing act, a constant re-assertion that the ways others are different is acceptable.

But we trip. And some of us, rather than admitting that we indulge in that hatred, choose instead to re-define it, to attempt to claim that our hatred is something else, something righteous- resistance to the status quo, backlash to an oppressor, rebellion against a tyrannical regime. "Afflicting the comfortable". "Punching up."

...Which is still punching. Hatred is hatred. And if you broaden things enough- and unless you watch carefully, you will- you will target someone unfairly. It says something to me that I see a lot of discussions that want to "move the goalposts" as far as what and who is acceptable now... but no one wants to remove the posts entirely. We want to reserve the right to hate those guys who really, really deserve it, to continue to act as judge, jury, and executioner.

And we're getting better and better at shutting out anyone who might not legitimize our particular brand of hatred. We've created a social media structure where 30,000 fans means no one dares disagree with you because one of those fans might make a dissenter's life into a living hell. And even if there are only a few hundred, that's plenty of "friends" to shout you down if you dare question the ineffable truth someone has thrown at their "wall".

We are in the process of using the greatest communication tool ever created to certify that "they" aren't worth communicating with.

We're still going to have to live with each other tomorrow if the revolution never comes. I wish we could just try not to assume the worst of one another once in a while.

one squirrel:

thaluikhain:
People generally tend to universalise their own experiences, we understand the world through the way we live in it.

If someone is privileged by society in any way, they will experience certain things very differently from people who are not, often to the extent of not realising that it's different for other people. Especially if they are not aware of their privilege. Telling someone to check their privilege is reminding them that the way the world works for them is not necessarily the way it does for everyone else. Something that is "fine" because it's fine for them might not be "fine" because it's not fine for others.

This is a pretty useless concept. I could claim that white males are the most underprivileged class of them all and black women are the most privileged class, it's just that black women can't see how provileged they are because, as you say: privilege is often invisible to those who have it. Self contradictory.

You could claim whatever you want, yes. Certain things you'll have difficulties backing up.

thaluikhain:

one squirrel:

thaluikhain:
People generally tend to universalise their own experiences, we understand the world through the way we live in it.

If someone is privileged by society in any way, they will experience certain things very differently from people who are not, often to the extent of not realising that it's different for other people. Especially if they are not aware of their privilege. Telling someone to check their privilege is reminding them that the way the world works for them is not necessarily the way it does for everyone else. Something that is "fine" because it's fine for them might not be "fine" because it's not fine for others.

This is a pretty useless concept. I could claim that white males are the most underprivileged class of them all and black women are the most privileged class, it's just that black women can't see how provileged they are because, as you say: privilege is often invisible to those who have it. Self contradictory.

You could claim whatever you want, yes. Certain things you'll have difficulties backing up.

The point is that logic which HAS been used sincerely, can pretty much excuse anything. You're taking a concept on faith, not evidence at that point.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here