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Old 12-29-2011, 12:30 AM
seebs seebs is offline
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Default Privilege

Amusingly, my spouse finds the use of the word "privilege" in that context upsetting because that usage conflicts with other usages, and does not seem to precisely match. Since my spouse is autistic, I infer the existence of "people who can stand to see words used in a broad sense even though it's not really literally accurate privilege", and wish people would open their eyes...

... well, mostly joking, but it sort of bugs me too. I tend to suspect that one of the emotional barriers to recognizing a lot of "privilege" is that in many cases, the word has connotations which don't really match the situation. Not that I have a better word in mind.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:34 AM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

You're just trolling now.
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  #3  
Old 12-29-2011, 01:57 AM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

That's his privilege.
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:33 AM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea View Post
You're just trolling now.
Nope, spouse is genuinely upset by this because it's the wrong word. We had a discussion of it a while back, and after poking about, I established that Beloved Spouse does not at all dispute the factual claim, just objects to calling it "privilege".

Basically, the distinction is this: Privilege is when I am treated better-than-is-fair. Being treated fairly is not privilege. Being treated less-than-fairly is discrimination. But... Even if some people are being discriminated against, fair treatment isn't "privilege". It may be "lack of discrimination".

The distinction is: "Privilege" is something unfair. It's wrong. You should not have it. It is wrong for people to be treated specially like that. But if the way you're treated really is the way everyone should be treated, then framing it as "privilege" is misleading. I don't have "no one wants to kill me because of my gender identity" privilege. That's not an unfair preferential treatment; that's the baseline of human decency. The problem is not that people treat me that way, but that they don't treat everyone that way.

Note: This is a connotation question; I think the purely-literal definition doesn't contain that, but the consistent usage is that "privilege" is clearly negative. It's a Bad Thing. And calling it a bad thing for people to be treated with basic human decency is not helping; it's confusing the issue.

Now. The astute reader will notice that some of the things which are called "privilege" really are, even in the connotational sense. Say, consider the famous "school prayer" debate. Since it's unambiguous that the only kind of organized prayer under consideration is Christian prayer, that's "privilege" -- they're expecting preferential treatment that is inconsistent with the general rules that are established.

But "not being beaten up for your skin color" is not a privilege, it's a right. The problem isn't that some people receive this preferential treatment; the problem is that some people are denied this basic right.
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:44 AM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

Yeah no.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:28 AM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

Yeah, seebs that is not how privilege is defined in this type of analysis. The system that is described is a binary between two groups. There is the Privileged group that is considered the default and the Other which is defined as not being part of the privileged group.

Privilege describes the power structures between groups and how they exert dominance over their Others. It really isn't analyzed in terms of "fairness" as you are attempting to do.

We covered some of this in this thread.

I agree that it is a commonly misunderstood term and discussed it there:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demimonde View Post
I would say, yes she has cissexual privilege. "Privilege" can itself be a loaded word. IIRC it comes as a translation from French from the work of Derrida and is imprecise in our language. For that reason I prefer to use "Primacy" as that is a better term for what they are describing.

In any binary there will be a trait that has primacy/privilege and another that is defined by being not that trait. The one that is outside is Othered. For example, white in western culture has primacy, anything that is not white is the Other. In Feminist criticism, man has primacy and woman is that which is defined as not being a man. In your example, this woman is cissexual, and therefore has the primary trait and thus "enjoys privilege" (again annoyed at the loaded language.) I try to think of it in terms of symbolic logic, white vs. ~White, cissexual vs. ~cissexual.

So if she is white, she enjoys white privilege/primacy. A homosexual man also has the trait that makes him have male privilege/primacy. Does that make sense? I don't know the math language but it is like subsets in a way, maybe?
Every person has some kind of privilege and most have been Othered in some form. I have white privilege but lack male privilege. I have heterosexual privilege but lack Christian privilege.

Wiki- Privilege

ETA: For another example that may be easier for you, most likely you have felt Othered due to your autism. It is not considered the default condition and thus ~norm.
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:02 PM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

I like this piece on privilege.
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

This went right over my head AB.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

Yeah me too. Either that was not the link you wanted to post, AB, or I need you to explain what it says about privilege.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by seebs View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea View Post
You're just trolling now.
Nope, spouse is genuinely upset by this because it's the wrong word. We had a discussion of it a while back, and after poking about, I established that Beloved Spouse does not at all dispute the factual claim, just objects to calling it "privilege".
Spouse is making some strange assumptions. That's not a symptom of autism, it's a symptom of nitpicking and unwarranted linguistic prescriptivism. High functioning people on the autism spectrum are perfectly capable of examining their assumptions, and adapting their positions based on new information.

I don't like it when people call any small device that attaches to a computer a 'dongle,' call trivia 'factoids,' or call annihilation 'decimation.' Those are just peeves. I am a grownup and know that I have to pick my battles; and none of these peeves regularly interferes with my ability to understand what people are talking about. Refusing to do so is not some uniquely or inherently autistic trait, and excusing it as such is pretty offensive, as it implies that people with autism are incapable of communicating or adapting, which is not true.

In addition to the prescriptivism, there's the assumption that 'privilege' in that context is not, fundamentally, special and better-than-fair treatment. It is.

At the heart of 'privilege' is the assumption that your demographic is the default, the likely competent adult, the commentator. In the US, if you're white, male, heteronormative, neurotypical, Christian, etc., you can be assured that general interest media will almost always be addressed to you, often even if it's written by someone outside of that demographic.

It will call racial minorities 'they,' it will assume that you have a penis and have or want a wife or girlfriend, that you have specific types of life experiences and resources, and a whole host of other things that, unless you train yourself to look for them, you probably never even notice as a privileged person. So you have the privilege of not acknowledging your own privilege and not suffering for it.

There is nothing objectively 'fair' about that. It is very much a positive benefit, and it's at the heart of most of the negative discrimination against those outside your demographic. Exclusion and othering is a very direct result of default inclusion and 'us'ing.

This is why, when some special treatment is taken away or made more inclusive of others, privileged people think they're being discriminated against. Look at Christians complaining about the government either not officially recognizing their own religion, or including other religions. Men complaining about sexual harassment rules in their workplace, heterosexuals complaining about the idea that marriage might include others, English speakers complaining about having to press 1 for English, and just about anyone anywhere complaining about 'political correctness.'

That sort of entitlement, which is at the core of social privilege, is very much being treated better-than-is-fair.
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  #11  
Old 12-29-2011, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

This conversation reminds me of my confucianism class wherein the professor talked about how a particular confucian said that other confucians were not really chinese but instead were horrible buddhists.

He then said something like, if only there was a word for that.

I raised my hand and suggested othering, which he promptly decided that the word was just some pc bullshit and people don't really use that word outside of academia leftists and implied that I was brainwashed.

I am not an 18 to 21 year old child so I stood my ground and said hey that is how the word is used, it is a perfect example of othering.

He actually acquiesced which surprised me given he is pretty strongly opinionated and runs his class pretty tightly.
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

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Originally Posted by Demimonde View Post
Yeah, seebs that is not how privilege is defined in this type of analysis. The system that is described is a binary between two groups. There is the Privileged group that is considered the default and the Other which is defined as not being part of the privileged group.

Privilege describes the power structures between groups and how they exert dominance over their Others. It really isn't analyzed in terms of "fairness" as you are attempting to do.
Right.

Okay, apparently even with several paragraphs attempting to explain this, I didn't succeed.

I know that this is a term of art with a new definition.

The problem is that when used outside of the strict academic model, it still carries those connotations.

So someone who's talking about the academic model, but talking to someone who hasn't studied that model, is unintentionally communicating an assertion that the "privileged" group is receiving unfair preferential treatment.

Quote:
ETA: For another example that may be easier for you, most likely you have felt Othered due to your autism. It is not considered the default condition and thus ~norm.
Yes. And that was sort of the point I was making: The choice of the term of art here creates a situation where my spouse (also autistic) gets upset because the word being used has a strong connotation which is not in fact intended, and this feels like USing The Wrong Word. People who have an easier time swapping a word's normal usage out completely when using a term of art have Not Autistic Privilege. :P

I worry a bit sometimes when people talk about how they've redefined words for "this kind of analysis". I have met people who feel comfortable stating that absolutely every male is, at all times, a rapist, and who insist that it is by definition impossible for them to be sexist because women can never be sexist. Why? Well, because the social theory she's talking about defines the terms that way.

So, again: I know how the privilege/othering stuff is used, and I can use it that way and it doesn't really bug me that much. I do think that it would have been more effective for communication with people who haven't specifically studied it with a different choice of word instead of "privilege". As is, if someone hasn't specifically studied this, and you tell them they have "privilege", what exactly are they supposed to think?

... Interestingly, this creates a situation where some people have "privilege/othering theory privilege", and people who don't are othered. :P
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  #13  
Old 12-29-2011, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by seebs View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea View Post
You're just trolling now.
Nope, spouse is genuinely upset by this because it's the wrong word. We had a discussion of it a while back, and after poking about, I established that Beloved Spouse does not at all dispute the factual claim, just objects to calling it "privilege".
Spouse is making some strange assumptions. That's not a symptom of autism, it's a symptom of nitpicking and unwarranted linguistic prescriptivism. High functioning people on the autism spectrum are perfectly capable of examining their assumptions, and adapting their positions based on new information.
But we often have a hard time when words get redefined. Especially if the people using the word haven't explicitly stated that they are using the word in a new way which is different from the default usage.

Quote:
I don't like it when people call any small device that attaches to a computer a 'dongle,' call trivia 'factoids,' or call annihilation 'decimation.' Those are just peeves. I am a grownup and know that I have to pick my battles; and none of these peeves regularly interferes with my ability to understand what people are talking about. Refusing to do so is not some uniquely or inherently autistic trait, and excusing it as such is pretty offensive, as it implies that people with autism are incapable of communicating or adapting, which is not true.
Okay, you see Demi's post? That is the first time, ever, that I've seen someone using the term this way actually go through and explain it. I had figured out that it was a term of art, but I had not correctly figured out what it meant. Because no one would fucking explain it. They'd just assume that whatever meaning they had in mind, you naturally knew.

FWIW, I know a fair number of autistic people, and several of them get very upset when someone redefines a term. I have unusually high tolerance for it. Yes, I can learn multiple meanings for words, but if I don't know one is coming, it's pretty freaky.

You know what I think is offensive? Having other people tell me what I and other autistic people ought to find offensive.

Quote:
In addition to the prescriptivism, there's the assumption that 'privilege' in that context is not, fundamentally, special and better-than-fair treatment. It is.
And here we see the big, big, problem:

Your paragraph here seems to contradict what Demi just told me.

Quote:
At the heart of 'privilege' is the assumption that your demographic is the default, the likely competent adult, the commentator.
Does that include local-default? Say I'm hanging around with several autistic friends. If we make the assumption that autistic traits are "default" in this context, have we switched from other to privileged?

Quote:
There is nothing objectively 'fair' about that. It is very much a positive benefit, and it's at the heart of most of the negative discrimination against those outside your demographic.
I am not sure this scales. Look, imagine that we are talking about magazines and books about pregnancy. Obviously, they are nearly all directed at women. However, thanks to modern science, at least one man has been pregnant. Is the thing where all the pregnancy books assume that the pregnant person is female an example of privilege?

(Note: Given your and Demi's definitions, I have no idea.)

Quote:
That sort of entitlement, which is at the core of social privilege, is very much being treated better-than-is-fair.
Okay, there's two separate things here.

One is the actual way you're treated.
The other is the expectation of being treated that way.

It sounds to me like what you're telling me is that being treated a given way might be fair and not special privilege, but the expectation of being treated that way might be privilege.

Do there need to be people who aren't treated that way for it to be privilege?
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  #14  
Old 12-29-2011, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by livius drusus View Post
Yeah no.
Is there some conceivable circumstance under which this post could lead to me better understanding whatever it is that I'm missing?

'cuz frankly, this seems like a jerk move. It's dismissive, derisive, insulting, and completely unhelpful.

I mention this because this is probably the first time in the last ten years or so that I've seen you do something that struck me as a jerk move.
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

Went and talked with spouse a bit; the information that this is a translation helped immensely. (There is a category for Translated Terms Of Art.)

Here's the thing. Making people aware that they are taking the world for granted seems pretty useful. A lot of the actual communication that happens, though, involves trying to shame them, and at this point we run into a problem: If you bundle all these things together at once, you end up telling people they should be ashamed of things that are completely outside their control. It might be useful to have a clearer distinction between the fact that a given person can take things for granted in their experience (which they don't have any control over, and have no reason to try to do anything about), and the fact that they tend to take for granted that everyone else can take those things for granted too (which they do have control over, and which they would improve the world by changing).
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

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Originally Posted by seebs View Post
But we often have a hard time when words get redefined. Especially if the people using the word haven't explicitly stated that they are using the word in a new way which is different from the default usage.
This very astute observation expresses an undeniable scientific and mathematical truth.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:54 PM
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A lot of the actual communication that happens, though, involves trying to shame them, and at this point we run into a problem: If you bundle all these things together at once, you end up telling people they should be ashamed of things that are completely outside their control.
It's not about shaming though, it's about recognition so as to avoid othering as in "Check your privilege".

For example, I am aware of my privileges. I am middle class, white, average sized, have average features, have above average intelligence, am healthy, employed, housed and fed, have a healthy average kid, etc. etc. etc. I am not ashamed of those things, but I do know that those things afford me...benefits? Perks? not sure the exact word but I enjoy a level of freedom to move about society without raising any eyebrows or suspicions or harsh judgments, and I am given the benefit of the doubt by those in authority (whether law enforcement or Kiddo's school officials), and really most people in general, because they simply expect someone "like" me to conform to societal mores and/or think quite a bit like they themselves do. I am not an other in most everyday situations.

I am an other in some ways, in that I am female, an atheist, infertile. an adoptive parent, and some other minor things, but they don't really come close to the privileged station I enjoy. So, I try to be cognizant of that, and look at it objectively, so as not to assume that I somehow earned that station ( like the lolbertarian kids who seem to think being born white and middle class with health insurance and food security is something they bootstrapped up themselves.)

I don't know of a secular counterpart, but the phrase "There but for the grace of god go I" goes through my mind sometimes.

Last edited by LadyShea; 12-29-2011 at 07:06 PM.
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  #18  
Old 12-29-2011, 07:06 PM
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A lot of the actual communication that happens, though, involves trying to shame them, and at this point we run into a problem: If you bundle all these things together at once, you end up telling people they should be ashamed of things that are completely outside their control.
It's not about shaming though, it's about recognition so as to avoid otherign as in "Check your privilege".
It may not have started as being about shaming, but it's absolutely used that way now. It's also a tool for shutting people up; I've repeatedly been told that I am not allowed to have an opinion on an issue due to "privilege".

The problem, of course, is that there is more than one person, and as such, more than one set of usages. Some people appear to use the word consistently in a fairly neutral sense, which would go well with Demi's alternative translation as "primacy". Other people use it with connotations of willful abuse of power. Some equivocate, using the more neutral sense to establish that the thing exists, then using the connotations of willful abuse to attack people.

I am all for awareness of the various benefits of Being The Default, but I have seen the "privilege" language used as a tool for shutting people up, too.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:07 PM
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Okay, since I got a nasty PM about this:

I am not saying that all autistic people have exactly the same problems and responses to language. Of the people I know who are autistic, about half have a lot of trouble when words are used with conflicting definitions, and the others seem to handle it pretty smoothly. It's a "spectrum" disorder. Some cars not for use with some sets, etcetera.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
It may not have started as being about shaming, but it's absolutely used that way now. It's also a tool for shutting people up; I've repeatedly been told that I am not allowed to have an opinion on an issue due to "privilege".
I am sure it is used as a weapon by some people, as most subjective descriptors and relative circumstances can be. That's not a fault of the concept or the word itself though.

I have shut people up when they tried to tell me how I should feel about certain things, like being infertile, or if they criticized my handling of situations they could never be in. Because really, STFU. They usually don't STFU, though.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post
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It may not have started as being about shaming, but it's absolutely used that way now. It's also a tool for shutting people up; I've repeatedly been told that I am not allowed to have an opinion on an issue due to "privilege".
I am sure it is used as a weapon by some people, as most subjective descriptors and relative circumstances can be. That's not a fault of the concept or the word itself though.
Hmm. I am not sure I am convinced. If you pick a word that has strong connotations of unfairness and/or abuse, I think the use of that word to attack people is pretty much a given. Imagine that the word picked had been something without those connotations; "defaultness", maybe. There would be no connotation of misbehavior or wrong action in saying that someone had defaultness, but there is a connotation of that to the word "privilege".

I think the choice of word has contributed to the misunderstanding. Certainly, I've seen a lot of people get angry about being accused of "privilege", but if I avoid that word and talk to them about taking things for granted, they agree that they do that, and they can, and they hadn't thought about how other people can't.

So it seems to me that in multiple real cases, I have seen people fail to accept the claim because of the word that was used for it, when they were ready to accept it when avoiding that word's connotations.
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  #22  
Old 12-29-2011, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

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Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post
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A lot of the actual communication that happens, though, involves trying to shame them, and at this point we run into a problem: If you bundle all these things together at once, you end up telling people they should be ashamed of things that are completely outside their control.
It's not about shaming though, it's about recognition so as to avoid othering as in "Check your privilege".

For example, I am aware of my privileges. I am middle class, white, average sized, have average features, have above average intelligence, am healthy, employed, housed and fed, have a healthy average kid, etc. etc. etc. I am not ashamed of those things, but I do know that those things afford me...benefits? Perks? not sure the exact word but I enjoy a level of freedom to move about society without raising any eyebrows or suspicions or harsh judgments, and I am given the benefit of the doubt by those in authority (whether law enforcement or Kiddo's school officials), and really most people in general, because they simply expect someone "like" me to conform to societal mores and/or think quite a bit like they themselves do. I am not an other in most everyday situations.

I am an other in some ways, in that I am female, an atheist, infertile. an adoptive parent, and some other minor things, but they don't really come close to the privileged station I enjoy. So, I try to be cognizant of that, and look at it objectively, so as not to assume that I somehow earned that station ( like the lolbertarian kids who seem to think being born white and middle class with health insurance and food security is something they bootstrapped up themselves.)

I don't know of a secular counterpart, but the phrase "There but for the grace of god go I" goes through my mind sometimes.
Shea, you are brilliant. I was attempting to put together a post that would unpack this a bit and here you are encapsulating it perfectly.

I am gonna post my junk regardless though, because that is what Demi do. :giggle:

The thing is there are two kinds of discrimination. There is active discrimination and passive discrimination (privilege). The example of "not being beaten up because of skin color" is the counter part of active discrimination, targeting an individual and dominating them because of their race is not a symptom of privilege- it is a hate crime. Not being the victim of a particular hate crime is not privilege it is another part of the social injustice dynamic.

seebs, giant bolded letters aside, perhaps you did not notice that in my post I did qualify that the language is loaded and offered an alternative? You made the statement that privilege is the "wrong" word and that it is "bad" but I disagree. It is perfectly consistent with its historic usage. I think the issue arises in that the concept of privilege in social justice is a new concept, it is a product of the twentieth century and many are not used to the term being used in this way even though it is accurate.

I think the issue arises in that when speaking of privilege we are not speaking at the personal level but at the group level. When I say I have white privilege, I am acknowledging that I am part of a group which has historically been given dominance, power, control, and yes an unfair advantage over other groups. However, when you take it to the personal level some are very bothered by the fact that they are part of this dynamic and find it both distasteful and beyond their control. Connotation wise it is a loaded phrase that people do not want to be identified with, no matter how accurate. Something something ... white guilt goes here.

But like most words, it is the largely accepted term thanks to Mr. Derrida, and the best we have. (That is a lie, I prefer "primacy" as I stated, but no one else uses that word as I do so it fails as communication.) There are a huge number of words though that change their meaning greatly depending upon what field you are discussing. I love the crap out of this meta-engine I found, Onelook.com for this reason. Today's word is mantle and it has very different meanings based on the field you are discussing, science, art, etc.
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Last edited by Demimonde; 12-29-2011 at 08:21 PM. Reason: I put brackets on something something and it did a coding language thing that ated it. Not my language. ;/
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  #23  
Old 12-29-2011, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

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Originally Posted by seebs View Post
Okay, since I got a nasty PM about this:

I am not saying that all autistic people have exactly the same problems and responses to language. Of the people I know who are autistic, about half have a lot of trouble when words are used with conflicting definitions, and the others seem to handle it pretty smoothly. It's a "spectrum" disorder. Some cars not for use with some sets, etcetera.
I am sorry that you got a nasty PM.

Seriously, folks. Let's check our own privilege here. MI-splaining exists too you know. (Foucault) People shouldn't feel qualified to tell seebs what his own perspective and experiences are. That is just crappy and counterproductive.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

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Originally Posted by Demimonde View Post
The thing is there are two kinds of discrimination. There is active discrimination and passive discrimination (privilege). The example of "not being beaten up because of skin color" is the counter part of active discrimination, targeting an individual and dominating them because of their race is not a symptom of privilege- it is a hate crime. Not being the victim of a particular hate crime is not privilege it is another part of the social injustice dynamic.
Okay, so. I've now been told once that not being the victim of hate crimes is a kind of privilege, and once that it isn't.

Can someone help me understand why I am getting, from credible sources, what appear to me to be contradictory information?

Quote:
seebs, giant bolded letters aside, perhaps you did not notice that in my post I did qualify that the language is loaded and offered an alternative? You made the statement that privilege is the "wrong" word and that it is "bad" but I disagree. It is perfectly consistent with its historic usage. I think the issue arises in that the concept of privilege in social justice is a new concept, it is a product of the twentieth century and many are not used to the term being used in this way even though it is accurate.
Yes!

And I will pass on: I told Jesse that "privilege" was a translation, and that "primacy" was a possible alternative someone suggested, and that helped immensely.

I think the thing is... That historic usage has tended, in the US in general and especially among people who are Big On Social Justice, to be eclipsed by a stronger negative connotation. We thus end up with teenagers who are crusading for social justice and who have ended up with the formal notion of what "privilege" is, and yet who are applying their sense that it is a Bad Thing associated with Bad Abusive People.

I am not sure that this is an outcome which could have been predicted when the relevant choices were being made, although it's an outcome that seems pretty predictable now.

Quote:
I think the issue arises in that when speaking of privilege we are not speaking at the personal level but at the group level. When I say I have white privilege, I am acknowledging that I am part of a group which has historically been given dominance, power, control, and yes an unfair advantage over other groups. However, when you take it to the personal level some are very bothered by the fact that they are part of this dynamic and find it both distasteful and beyond their control. Connotation wise it is a loaded phrase that people do not want to be identified with, no matter how accurate. Something something <<<white guilt goes here>>>.
I am not even sure that guilt about things you can't control is a useful response.

Quote:
But like most words, it is the largely accepted term thanks to Mr. Derrida, and the best we have. (That is a lie, I prefer "primacy" as I stated, but no one else uses that word as I do so it fails as communication.) There are a huge number of words though that change their meaning greatly depending upon what field you are discussing. I love the crap out of this meta-engine I found, Onelook.com for this reason. Today's word is mantle and it has very different meanings based on the field you are discussing, science, art, etc.
Yeah. The thing is, right now, empirically it is the case that the use of "privilege" is also frequently failing as communication, and I am not sure how this could be fixed.

This is one of those things where we have inherited a set of words with connotations such that we Can't Win. (It's like pronouns; you simply can't win in English because we don't have a pronoun for people-of-unknown-gender.)
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  #25  
Old 12-29-2011, 07:50 PM
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I can't quite articulate this, I have been trying to for like 10 minutes so fuck it, I'll just throw out the idea and see if it leads to something.

Our (American or Western) society's default is landowning, voting, food secure, and comfortable. Historically the default is struggling, working class, peasantness, etc. Even in the broader global view, our baseline is way fucking high.

Even our others are privileged comparatively. I think we need to understand just how relative this term is, rather than treat it as absolute.
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