"Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites etc

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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby ericj » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:22 pm

transstingray wrote:Sexism (and other "-isms") = institutional oppression.
Discrimination against men =/= sexism.
Similarly discrimination against whites =/= racism.


+1

Without the "institutional" part, its just anger / bigotry / prejudice.

I'm kind of ashamed that within days of each other, both "Hey White Guys" and Dilahunty posted videos which confuse the terms.

Still need some good reference materials to point people to. A "What is Racism" or "Racism Defined" web page.
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby transstingray » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:25 pm

I think this blog might be useful (various topic links on the left)? http://racismschool.tumblr.com/

Agreed that we need more resources about various topics.

These probably are existing in the educational forum or should be?
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby ericj » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:29 pm

thx
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby Tinjoe » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:40 pm

ericj wrote:
transstingray wrote:Sexism (and other "-isms") = institutional oppression.
Discrimination against men =/= sexism.
Similarly discrimination against whites =/= racism.


+1

Without the "institutional" part, its just anger / bigotry / prejudice.

I'm kind of ashamed that within days of each other, both "Hey White Guys" and Dilahunty posted videos which confuse the terms.

Still need some good reference materials to point people to. A "What is Racism" or "Racism Defined" web page.


I disagree. I think those people are using the colloquial definition of the term. The confusion exists because of the newer narrowing of definition.
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby smhll » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:34 pm

Similarly discrimination against whites =/= racism.

I think it's valuable to unpack the single word "racism" into pairs of words. If a nonwhite person expresses a hatred or dislike of white people in general that's "racial hatred" (or some such). That exists. But it's not "racial oppression" against white people, which doesn't exist in my country. Most people who say "racism", when talking about civil rights, mean systematic racial oppression. Sometimes I call that capital "R" Racism. Something saying snippy to you about your race when you are the dominant race is more like little "r" racism. It's not nearly as big a deal, even though it isn't pleasant.

Affirmative action programs that admit an extra 2 or 5 percent of minorities into college (or elsewhere) are also orders of magnitudes smaller than the discrimination faced when most colleges admitted zero women and zero African Americans. I know most of you weren't alive then, but it's kind of amazing how well our unfairness detectors work when it's somewhat unfair to us, and how poorly they work when something is completely unfair to someone else.
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby Cipher » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:37 pm

I think those people are using the colloquial definition of the term.

You're right that they are, but I think the colloquial definition of the term is problematic and based in problematic ideas about oppression, and it perpetuates destructive lies about "discrimination" against oppressive groups being equivalent to oppression. I think that actually, narrowing the definition and spreading the narrowed definition is itself an activist, anti-oppression project, if a small one.
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby ischemgeek » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:08 am

Cipher wrote:
I think those people are using the colloquial definition of the term.

You're right that they are, but I think the colloquial definition of the term is problematic and based in problematic ideas about oppression, and it perpetuates destructive lies about "discrimination" against oppressive groups being equivalent to oppression. I think that actually, narrowing the definition and spreading the narrowed definition is itself an activist, anti-oppression project, if a small one.


^This. It's the same issue as with a lot of technical language (theory =/= wild-ass guess comes to mind here). It develops a colloquial meaning that becomes more and more divorced from its technical meaning until you may as well be saying "apples" to mean "oranges" for a colloquial meaning of "apples."

The answer is not to invent a new, more restrictive term (because that will just have the same problem over time), but rather, to increase education about the technical meaning of the word so that people know that, in the context of agriculture, "apples" refers to apples. Because people already accept that in different contexts, the same word can mean many different things (blue, for example, can refer to the name of a children's cartoon character, a color, a flavor of cheap ice treats, or an emotion).
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby unbelieveably_happy » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:30 am

smhll wrote:If a nonwhite person expresses a hatred or dislike of white people in general that's "racial hatred" (or some such). That exists. But it's not "racial oppression" against white people, which doesn't exist in my country.


This, for whatever reason, made a lot of other things click.

smhll wrote:I know most of you weren't alive then, but it's kind of amazing how well our unfairness detectors work when it's somewhat unfair to us, and how poorly they work when something is completely unfair to someone else.


Maybe you'd agree this detection gap tends to be a lot smaller on people who have experienced a great deal of injustice. And larger in people who have benefited from it, intentionally or not.

In general I wanted to say thanks for the responses about aged-based discrimination, and how useful this thread has been.
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby Nicko » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:41 am

smhll wrote:Similarly discrimination against whites =/= racism.

I think it's valuable to unpack the single word "racism" into pairs of words. If a nonwhite person expresses a hatred or dislike of white people in general that's "racial hatred" (or some such). That exists. But it's not "racial oppression" against white people, which doesn't exist in my country. Most people who say "racism", when talking about civil rights, mean systematic racial oppression. Sometimes I call that capital "R" Racism. Something saying snippy to you about your race when you are the dominant race is more like little "r" racism. It's not nearly as big a deal, even though it isn't pleasant.


Racism is racism. Perpetuating a stereotype is perpetuating a stereotype.

But you are quite right to distinguish between "racial hatred" (which can be committed by anyone) and "racial oppression" (which, by it's nature, can only be committed by a member of a dominant group) as two forms of racism. If you mean something specific, use the specific term.

Affirmative action programs that admit an extra 2 or 5 percent of minorities into college (or elsewhere) are also orders of magnitudes smaller than the discrimination faced when most colleges admitted zero women and zero African Americans. I know most of you weren't alive then, but it's kind of amazing how well our unfairness detectors work when it's somewhat unfair to us, and how poorly they work when something is completely unfair to someone else.


The thing is, affirmative action is not discriminatory. If affirmative action programmes admitted members of "minorities" who were less qualified than "majority" applicants, this would be both discriminatory and fucking stupid. Never mind the unfairness, you would be asking organisations to commit suicide. But that is not affirmative action. Affirmative action is the policy that when a "minority" applicant is equally qualified as a "majority" applicant, you pick the "minority" applicant.
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby Robby B » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:19 am

Nicko wrote:Racism is racism. Perpetuating a stereotype is perpetuating a stereotype.

But you are quite right to distinguish between "racial hatred" (which can be committed by anyone) and "racial oppression" (which, by it's nature, can only be committed by a member of a dominant group) as two forms of racism. If you mean something specific, use the specific term.

Interesting distinction. It's worth noting, though, that you don't have to be a man to oppress women for being women. In addition to conscious misogyny internalized by women, we can note that a large number of woman-harming gender biases are equally common among men and women in the general population. Perhaps a better way to put it is that racial oppression can only be committed against a non-dominant group.
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby Tinjoe » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:27 am

Just to say I didn't read you replies and then fuck off. I'm trying to read more about this viewpoint but I won't raise my questions here.
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby transstingray » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:32 am

ischemgeek wrote:
Cipher wrote:
I think those people are using the colloquial definition of the term.

You're right that they are, but I think the colloquial definition of the term is problematic and based in problematic ideas about oppression, and it perpetuates destructive lies about "discrimination" against oppressive groups being equivalent to oppression. I think that actually, narrowing the definition and spreading the narrowed definition is itself an activist, anti-oppression project, if a small one.


^This. It's the same issue as with a lot of technical language (theory =/= wild-ass guess comes to mind here). It develops a colloquial meaning that becomes more and more divorced from its technical meaning until you may as well be saying "apples" to mean "oranges" for a colloquial meaning of "apples."

The answer is not to invent a new, more restrictive term (because that will just have the same problem over time), but rather, to increase education about the technical meaning of the word so that people know that, in the context of agriculture, "apples" refers to apples. Because people already accept that in different contexts, the same word can mean many different things (blue, for example, can refer to the name of a children's cartoon character, a color, a flavor of cheap ice treats, or an emotion).


Pretty much the actual people that study the thing should be given more weight than the dictionary.
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby surreptitious57 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:42 am

Nicko wrote:
The thing is, affirmative action is not discriminatory. If affirmative action programmes admitted members of minorities who were less qualified than majority applicants, this would be both discriminatory and fucking stupid. Never mind the unfairness, you would be asking organisations to commit suicide. But that is not affirmative action. Affirmative action is the policy that when a minority applicant is equally qualified as a majority applicant, you pick the minority applicant.

Over here in the United Kingdom, it is known as positive discrimination. Leaving aside the oxymoron there, it just does not work because in reality it is unfair to others. The fact that those others may be privileged is irrelevant as two wrongs do not make a right no matter how well intentioned one is. The way round this is to treat everyone as equal and discriminate against no one. Period.

An example: sometimes we have all female candidates when selection for elections takes place every four or five years. The intention is to guarantee a female being selected for Parliament by their respective party. This is because females are underrepresented in Parliament as a percentage of the adult population. But the criteria should be ability, and not gender. Bypass half measures and start treating everyone equally now. There is no need for it as it against the law to discriminate on grounds of gender, anyway. I am fully aware of the historical legacy of misogyny, but giving females unfair advantage, is no more acceptable than giving it to males.

And I completely reject the notion of privilege too. What a wonderfully convenient mechanism for disregarding the opinions of others. No, sorry, but no one has more right than anyone else to freedom of speech. I am more than happy to listen to those, whose experience and knowledge on a particular issue, may be greater than mine. No problem with that whatsoever. But no one gets to dictate to anyone, that they cannot reference their view, because of nationality, gender, class, age . . that is discrimination by another name, and I totally reject it and it should be challenged absolutely and unequivocally. Treat everyone exactly the same, regardless. That is the way to proceed. I am not the least bit interested in the thought police telling me what to think or when to think or how to think . . you do not get to do that with me or with anyone else.
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby Cipher » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:50 am

And I completely reject the notion of privilege too. What a wonderfully convenient mechanism for disregarding the opinions of others. No, sorry, but no one has more right than anyone else to freedom of speech.


That's not what privilege means, and I think you know it.
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby Flewellyn » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:52 am

surreptitious57 wrote:And I completely reject the notion of privilege too. What a wonderfully convenient mechanism for disregarding the opinions of others. No, sorry, but no one has more right than anyone else to freedom of speech. I am more than happy to listen to those, whose experience and knowledge on a particular issue, may be greater than mine. No problem with that whatsoever. But no one gets to dictate to anyone, that they cannot reference their view, because of nationality, gender, class, age . . that is discrimination by another name, and I totally reject it and it should be challenged absolutely and unequivocally. Treat everyone exactly the same, regardless. That is the way to proceed. I am not the least bit interested in the thought police telling me what to think or when to think or how to think . . you do not get to do that with me or with anyone else.


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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby OneThousandNeedles » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:08 am

surreptitious57 wrote:And I completely reject the notion of privilege too.

This thread and the Main forum in which it is located are not the places to debate the existence of privilege. If you would like to do so, please head on over to the Education forum, where people are more welcome to discussions about basic concepts.

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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby surreptitious57 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:14 am

Cipher wrote:
surreptitious57 wrote:
And I completely reject the notion of privilege too. What a wonderfully convenient mechanism for disregarding the opinions of others. No, sorry, but no one has more right than anyone else to freedom of speech.

That's not what privilege means, and I think you know it.

No, I do not actually. I have never come across the expression before I joined this forum, in the context that it is used in. so you are wrong about that Cipher. I know it is well meaning, but the only thing that ultimately matters with referencing opinion, is whether it stands up to scrutiny. It matters not one jot who makes it now. This is the principle by which the Scientific Method is used and it can be extended to any idea beyond that discipline too, such as political or philosoophical or historical . . so no one gets given special status because of who they are. What matters is what they have to say. Nothing else. That is one universal that is not subject to change. It is absolutely democratic and egalitarian too, and as such should be accepted by all Atheist Plussers without question . . and the rest of us too, for that matter . .
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby OneThousandNeedles » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:22 am

Surreptitious57, have you read the Introduction to Privilege thread? I think you ought to before derailing this thread any further.
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby Tinjoe » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:25 am

I'll be taking my further questions to the Education forum because to continue as I was would be more and more derailing. But I'm still following the thread out of interest.

I disagree with surreptitious57. Because of the pervasiveness of sexism or racism you need someway to counteract the bias in selecting candidates for a job. Yes, the most qualified should get the position, but what if the narrowing down process is biased against women, or other races? Then you'll never know if you interviewed the best candidate or simply the best of a biased sample.

I was watching the Freakonomics documentary and in it they stated that people with "black" sounding names we're on the job market on average 15 weeks whereas people with "white" sounding names were on the job market on average 10 weeks. That's a huge difference. They also sent out identical resumes with the only the names being different and the "white" names received more callbacks.

Not everyone has the same starting point and we should strive to provide equality of opportunity which means correcting for our racist or sexist tendencies.
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby marinerachel » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:56 am

surreptitious57 wrote:And I completely reject the notion of privilege too. What a wonderfully convenient mechanism for disregarding the opinions of others. No, sorry, but no one has more right than anyone else to freedom of speech. I am more than happy to listen to those, whose experience and knowledge on a particular issue, may be greater than mine. No problem with that whatsoever. But no one gets to dictate to anyone, that they cannot reference their view, because of nationality, gender, class, age . . that is discrimination by another name, and I totally reject it and it should be challenged absolutely and unequivocally. Treat everyone exactly the same, regardless. That is the way to proceed. I am not the least bit interested in the thought police telling me what to think or when to think or how to think . . you do not get to do that with me or with anyone else.


What an extraordinary straw man.

It is a fact that some groups are more socially disadvantaged than others. Lacking a social disadvantage = a privilege. Reject it all you like. It won't change the facts.

It's also factual that people belonging to socially disadvantaged groups are more reliable sources with regards to the obstacles they face than those whose social disadvantages are few. Telling others they aren't socially disadvantaged from a position of ignorance is discouraged. No one is censored by their social advantage. They just aren't as well versed as those who are socially disadvantaged with regards to the matter so dictating to oppressed groups that they're not at all disadvantaged is really very patronising behaviour.
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby LeftSidePositive » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:37 am

Re: "sexism" referring to systemic oppression, I'm going to repost what I wrote on Lousy Canuck:

Yes, sexism is prejudice plus power. And evolution is a theory. Learning what words mean and how they apply in an academic context is an important part of education. The fact that someone doesn’t understand the use of words doesn’t mean the school of thought is wrong, it means the person needs to educate themselves some more.

Sexism is the SYSTEMIC attitudes that women are inferior to men, and involves the perpetuation of these attitudes among multiple levels of interaction. Sexism is not just one person being mean to another person on the basis of sex (any more than evolution is “just a theory”); sexism is supporting the notion that women as a class are less deserving of social, legal, and political equality, and it affects their ability to get elected to public office, to receive reproductive health care, to get fair pay in jobs, to have juries take seriously the circumstances under which they were raped, to have their competence be assessed free from assessments of their appearance, etc.

And individual can be prejudiced, or mean, or douchebaggy to another individual for another reason, but being racist or sexist is a reflection of supporting broader social processes. The random political lesbian separatist in some vegan bar in Seattle who hates men (I’m sure these creatures exist, but in very small numbers, and really the VAST majority of claims of hating men are the result of conflating criticizing socially-constructed male privilege with criticizing men themselves) may very well be an asshole, but is not creating any systemic oppression–she is not tapping into any narratives that prevent men as a class from being elected, from getting health care, from getting paid equally, etc. Now, just like “theory” can mean different things in different contexts, there will be some variation in how “sexist” is used in certain contexts, but in that case you can clarify the meaning in that particular context, instead of projecting what you think it means.
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby CFieldB » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:58 am

I'm not really on board with LeftSidePositive's definition because, well, I don't see any compelling reason to be. It's not the same thing as evolution because language is mutable; it isn't a fixed fact. In certain contexts, sure, LSP's right. In others, no.

But really in the end, I think that this discussion is mostly semantics and hot air, and serves to do nothing more than inflame people. If you think you've been discriminated against because you're a man, or white, or whatever, and you want to call that racism, or misandry, or etc, I'm not going to make a scene about it. That's fine. The problem arises when discussions about other things are constantly derailed by MRAs and assorted sympathizers in order to talk about their personal hobbyhorses. And that would be true whether or not "misandry" is a valid concept or not. So in the end, I don't really care.

Personally, I've got no problem with discussing men's issues, or even specifically anti-male attitudes, in designated spaces. It's just when it begins to dominate every single discussion about gender issues that it becomes a problem.
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby LeftSidePositive » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:15 am

CFieldB wrote:It's not the same thing as evolution because language is mutable; it isn't a fixed fact.


My point was that people failing to understand that "sexism" has a more precise academic definition are analogous to people who fail to understand what "theory" means in a scientific context.
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby CFieldB » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:30 am

Well, eh, okay, but I think the disagreement mostly stems from the false premise that it necessarily must be one or the other. The common academic definition is, in a linguistic sense, no more or less valid that the layman's definition, if we accept that they are both widely used. It's not the same thing as, say, evolution and creationism, where one is, you know, a fact. Because when you're talking about language, consensus does make right. That's what language is, a consensus. So again, it depends on the context. And again again, I still don't think it matters, as long as you aren't a selfish asshole with a need to redirect every conversation toward your own bugbear.
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Re: "Reverse -isms" - "Sexism" vs men, "Racism" vs whites et

Postby Liberallabrador » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:57 am

Any system where the children of Barach Obama or Bill Cosby are able to get áffirmative action'' advantage over the children of White Kentucky Miners is one obviously bereft of any fairness.
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