tisiphone: (random velma)
One of the reasons I'm hesitant about LJ these days:

Privilege-checking as Internet sport.

Date: 2012-12-03 05:07 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] bellinghman.livejournal.com
Ah yes.

It's not limited to LJ either (if only it was in only one place!), I've seen the edges of some pretty nasty stuff on Twitter too in the last year.

It's not new either of course, as the First Judean People's Front would be quick to tell you.

Larry Niven said "There is no cause so right that one cannot find a fool following it." I think that needs updating to change 'fool' to 'arsehole'. Or 'asshole' should you prefer your native.

Date: 2012-12-03 06:54 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] innostrantsa.livejournal.com
Um, I think you meant "The People's Front of Judea."


/runs away

Date: 2012-12-03 08:16 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] tisiphone.livejournal.com
No, I'm pretty sure he meant the Judean People's Front.

Date: 2012-12-04 09:35 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] innostrantsa.livejournal.com
I just couldn't help myself.

Date: 2012-12-04 09:37 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] tisiphone.livejournal.com
Heh. And here I was trying to incite more argument.

Date: 2012-12-03 06:40 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] mangosteen
mangosteen: (Default)
Thanks for the link. That article has hit on a few things that I've been trying to articulate for quite some time, now.

Date: 2012-12-03 06:53 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] innostrantsa.livejournal.com
Oh yes. It's everywhere, and it makes 'social networking' taste just that little bit nastier.

Date: 2012-12-03 07:17 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] zinnea.livejournal.com
I have such mixed feelings.

On the one hand, as someone who has been an on and off member of SF_D since its inception, I've seen more than my fair share of bullying and bullshit disguised as "calling out privilege".

On the other hand, the people I see complaining the most about privilege checking (obviously, not you, and probably not this writer) are without much exception white middle class cis gendered straight (or "totally bi, not that I will ever even think about getting involved with a member of the same sex unless I am a girl and kissing another girl at a party will get some boy's attention") college educated or soon to be with no serious health issues people who basically think it's your own damn fault if life treats you harshly because you're black or need a wheelchair or grew up poor, etc. etc. etc. I mean, really, THEY had the good sense to be born white and middle class, why didn't you, and HDU hurt their feelings by suggesting they might be racist/classist/sexist/or any sort of -ist because we all know it's way way way worse to call someone a racist than to be a racist.

So, IDK. I don't have a conclusion on this, other than "people sure can be shitty in a broad variety of ways". I generally don't have a lot of discussions about socio-political topics outside a carefully selected group, anyway, because I find that MOST people's opinions annoy me, even when we ostensibly agree with one another.
Edited Date: 2012-12-03 07:17 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-12-03 08:15 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] tisiphone.livejournal.com
I have somewhat mixed feelings about it too, though those aren't really related to the privilege status of the posters compared to the commenters. Plenty of serial privilege-checkers are white, middle-class, straight, cis, able-bodied, educated, and so on, and plenty of those they check are black, poor, queer, trans, handicapped, and so on. Ultimately, I don't think it's a bad idea to go "hey, maybe you should consider your viewpoint," but an sf-drama style shriekfest every time someone strays from the ever more complicated path of the righteous doesn't help either. Yes, yes, tone argument blah blah blah, but ultimately? If you want to communicate, you need to say something in a way you're going to be heard. This makes me suspect that the goal in aggressive privilege-checking isn't communication.

Date: 2012-12-03 08:44 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] zinnea.livejournal.com
yeah, I agree with you on this. Particularly with the "tone argument blah blah blah" because, seriously? I realize that it's not the job of person X to educate person Y at any random moment but if you are attempting to have an actual discussion, a conversation, a dialogue then, yeah, a shriekfest is counter productive.

Date: 2012-12-03 08:46 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] tisiphone.livejournal.com
To clarify, I don't think using a tone argument over expressions of anger is ever appropriate, but at the same time, if you're going to open a conversation about something, lobbing angry-bombs isn't going to do what you want. Meh.

Date: 2012-12-03 11:51 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] zinnea.livejournal.com
Well, I think it's a "time and place" kind of issue, basically.

When I've just had a fight with my (hypothetical) boyfriend and I'm pissed off at my brother and my co-worker has just left me in the lurch AGAIN and I exclaim in frustration, "OH MY GOD, WHY ARE MEN SUCH JERKS ALL THE TIME?"...that's really not the time to give me some lecture about my anti-male bias, you know what I mean? When my friend who is a WOC snaps, "What the hell is WRONG with white people?" because she's just YET AGAIN had to put up with some racist jerkface, I am SO not going to pant like a puppy about how I'm not like that, you know?

Bur if I"m trying to talk about, say, the underrepresentation of women in sci fi with the intention of explaining why this is a bad thing and what I think needs to be done to correct this, then responding to "Well, I don't pay attention to that sort of thing, I don't see the point at all" by blasting both barrels at the speaker doesn't typically do me much good. People rarely move from their incorrect positions without outside pressure but there is a meaningful difference between a tap on the shoulder and a KO punch and I think it behooves people who want to be educators to master that difference.

Date: 2012-12-03 10:23 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] tylik.livejournal.com
I've seen such a mix of privilege checking which is pretty passive aggressive and weird... and really good privilege checking, at least imo.

Date: 2012-12-03 08:44 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] elynne.livejournal.com
I've noticed that the people who are the loudest and nastiest about using privilege-checking as a form of public display tend to be people who have those exact privileges. Whether they do it because of misplaced white-knighting, overzealous attempts to earn "ally cookies," attempting to compensate for or hide feelings of guilt, or just taking up the latest, loudest form of trolling is impossible to say. On the other hand, I have seen actual marginalized people occasionally saying "I'm too angry/tired to deal with this particular annoying thing, why don't some of you with privileges go say something instead."

Date: 2012-12-03 08:47 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] tisiphone.livejournal.com
Sure. And that totally makes sense. But some of them, well. No one ever asked them to.

Date: 2012-12-03 09:04 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] elynne.livejournal.com
Some of which doing what? The privileged doing the checking? Some of them are asked to do it, sometimes, as I've seen. Most of the time, they're doing it on their own recognizance.

I have much more sympathy for privileged-checking (see what I did there?) when they're new converts, because then they're usually a combination of awkwardly overenthusiastic and uninformed about the history of what they're wading into. If one looks at it from a more optimistic perspective, it's great that there's so many new people getting interested and educated about social justice, and hopefully as they continue to learn they'll figure out more useful ways of interacting with people they disagree with and also some context about the issues they're trying to argue about. Less optimistically, I frequently wonder how many of these seeming "newbies" are veterans who've never learned moderation, or just trolls who've learned a new, more internet-socially acceptable way of mocking and insulting other people.

Date: 2012-12-03 11:57 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] zinnea.livejournal.com
or just trolls who've learned a new, more internet-socially acceptable way of mocking and insulting other people

I think this happens quite a bit more often than many people recognize or would even like to admit. Pretending be the aggrieved party or speaking for the aggrieved party is a COMMON "real life" bullying tactic and when you get on the internet where people don't have to look someone in the eye as they do it, well...I think it just becomes more and more magnified.

I think you have a good point, too, about some of them being recent converts with the usual overezealousness of the newbie.

Date: 2012-12-04 01:38 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] cheshire23.livejournal.com
There's a reason I have a "social justice recovery" tag now. Yes, there is. *sigh* (And this is part of why I went all quiet too, in addition to the health-fu.)

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