Hey, I don't want to be hugely discouraging, but I'm a pessimist and I think you may be headed into a quagmire. (Possibly the Big Muddy, if you know that song.)
Have you read some of what was written about Civility over at Camels with Hammers back around last August ? I wouldn't try to get you to read all of the posts on that topic, which are lengthy and not light reading, but you might want to sample the comment threads. Some great points were made there. Short version - Less privileged people wrestling with more privileged people may feel like they are rolling a boulder uphill. And it hurts. Discussing consequential things with people who find them inconsequential really sucks.
[TW: talking about rape apologism]
Also, if you aren't following the discussion Michael Nugent has been having for the last week or so at his blog, you may find it interesting to check that out. Some good back and forth has been creeping in. (People who used to be on one side of the slur argument seem to be on the other now.) On the topic of sexual assault, I was heartened to see someone on "my side" (the position that I believe to be true) come forward with patience (which I am out of) and evidence to discuss what feminists think about sexual assault prevention and whether feminists have done enough to help male victims on this issue. The one poster in particular provided many valuable pieces of information. I admire this work.
It is daunting and disheartening that they just had to have a conversation devoted to rape prevention tips on Nugent's blog. And now I'm going to yell. (Not at you.) It is fucking insensitive to follow women all around the internet waving one's 'deep thoughts' about rape prevention in their faces. Guys who love debate seem to be happy to refight this fight every three weeks, or even more often. How many times do they suppose that rape survivors and friends of rape survivors really want to open up this topic?!! Especially to discuss it with people whose 'expertise' on the issue is limited to thinking about it idly from time to time. I read most all of the sexual assault prevention discussion on Nugent's blog last week and the guys who were talking about prevention were (nearly) 100% relying on 'common sense' and opinionated guesses. They were completely unfactual and unskeptical. They didn't even have real anecdotes, they were opining about fictional probabilities. This type of converstation is UTTERLY USELESS and painful for some of the participants, especially those with experience or strong empathy. I suggest that it needs to stay off in side conversations behind marked doors to let assault and abuse survivors of any gender (and their loved ones) steer clear of it if that is their preference. [Also, a horrible defense mechanism may be arising on one side where they choose to dismiss and disbelieve anything they find too painful to mesh with their 'just world' ideas. This can lead to distortion and a decrease in understanding, instead of an increase.]
To get back to you. I wish you well in fighting to increase understanding and working to get people to make substantive contributions to the topic.
I'm concerned how you will deal with: misrepresentation, allegations of misrepresentation, victim blaming, and strongly held opinions that aren't backed up with facts.
I encourage you to take one small issue at a time and get as firm definitions of terms as you possibly can. Lots of conversations seem to go around in circles because of different definitions of words or different emotional weight given to words.
I'm way to exhausted to explain stuff like "how slurs work" to people who are willfully obtuse or (charitably) really think differently than I do. (Which I uncharitably think is due to them not thinking very hard...)
[It's a sunny Sunday here and I have things to do. Chores and fun things. I kind of regret spending 25 minutes thinking, writing and editing on an unpleasant topic.]
Um, yeah, posters who read just the blog headline and then barf their comments into the comment section. Do you have a good strategy for that? I encourage you to start with a small group, as well as a small topic, and don't let newcomers in except at the start of a semester. I wish you luck, or energy, or patience. Whatever will help.
I really enjoy this because providing moral support with my actions makes me feel good.
After a while you see patterns. Patterns that make you realize that the common denominator of logical fallacies is one thing only. Make your opponents point go away at any cost and substitute it with your own.
*They avoid answering your questions, no matter how many of theirs you answer
*They take more complicated issues and run off on incorrect tangents and pretend it is your subject to confuse readers
*They load their paragraphs with assertions offered as fact and resist all attempts to link them to reality
*When they do give you a link to reality it is usually more opinion! No actual primary sources!
*When they describe the content of the position of another you discover that what is represented as paraphrase is dishonest hyperbole at best. You are made into an exaggeration.
*They engage in projection over and over and over. What they do, they attempt to place on you while they obfuscate.
*They strike the abused victim stand themselves and try to scream louder than the real victim while offering no evidence that they have been victimized
And I feel good when I get some support for 'my side' of an argument. You contributed good support on Nugent's blog. I like that.
I'm pretty tired of all of this debate. I think there's disagreement at the bottom about non testable things, or at least things that are quite hard to test. I'm just burning out and am ready to leave the internet for a good long time. (Would if I had any sense. Apparently am addicted.)
I think having the argument about how slurs work would be completely pointless. I'd be banging my head against a very stubborn wall there.
ETA: I followed your link to Stephanie's blog. This stuff you posted is great.
"...how slurs work..." to
Scientific journals, May trigger some people!http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=verbal+abuse+brain
Scientific journals, May trigger some people!http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=visual+abuse+brain
or (charitably)...really think differently than I do. (Which I uncharitably think is due to them not thinking very hard...)...
SubMor wrote:If I'm reading you right, what you're pushing for is a kind of organized (amateur?) peer review group of some sort. Could be good. Would take a lot of work to set up, but I could see it being a very helpful exercise for some people. Not sure calling it "assassination" is such a good idea, though.
ceepolk wrote:Keep talking. I'm not all the way sold, but I want to keep listening. That's all I've got.
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