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trinker
Dec. 29th, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC)
Re: definitions?
Undermining the ability to *have* the discussion by tossing out the language serves to reinforce the existing inequities of the status quo.
ashbet
Dec. 29th, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
Re: definitions?
Agreed -- even though breaking out the word "privilege" makes me twitch a little (because I have seen it used in an accusatory fashion), it's a word with a defined meaning and it enables all of us to have a discussion while using commonly-recognized terms. If I called it *foo* instead of "privilege", the people I'm engaging with aren't necessarily going to have any idea what I'm talking about.

Privilege exists, intersectionality exists, and the kyriarchy exists, and we have to acknowledge that.

But, yes -- while I believe that you didn't mean it that way, agent139, complaining about the language used is a REALLY common derailing tactic when people want to change the subject and turn the discussion away from something they're uncomfortable with, usually examining/unpacking/acknowledging the areas in which they have privilege.

It doesn't have to be accusatory at all -- but it is something that is important to be aware of, and there's no shame in admitting that you have certain kinds of societal privileges which may advantage you in some ways over others.

F'rex, here are a few that describe me -- the first word is the category that applies to me:

Female < Male > Transgender
Invisibly Disabled > Disabled < Able-bodied
Caucasian-appearing > People of Color
Native English Speaker > ESL

So, as you can see, I have some advantages and some disadvantages, but there's nothing for me to apologize for -- however, I do need to be aware of these things and mindfully tailor my behavior so that my actions don't result in being crappy towards other people I share this world with.

Make sense?

-- A <3
agent139
Dec. 29th, 2010 06:31 pm (UTC)
Re: definitions?
Or demands the use of a term that doesn't have the same emotional baggage.

Which is what would be suggested in any philosophical investigation, certainly. And if you think the use of the word "entitlement" is without such connotations, take a survey of a couple thousand people at random in terms of what they think the word means, and what their reaction to it is.

But whatever, we could all stand to lighten up a bit too. As, at the same time, the insistence on an air of "high seriousness" in many discussions of topics like this tend to make me want to start squirting people with water pistols. (An act I was kicked out of Quaker church for at age 4- permanently. Why So Serious? ;p)
trinker
Dec. 29th, 2010 07:09 pm (UTC)
Re: definitions?
You're right, *YOU* should get to decide for others that they should be laughing.

Not privileged at all.
agent139
Dec. 29th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC)
Re: definitions?
See? This is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. :P
trinker
Dec. 29th, 2010 07:15 pm (UTC)
Re: definitions?
How is "why so serious?" not dismissive?
agent139
Dec. 29th, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC)
Re: definitions?
I was including myself in the "we," saying I, too, might be trying to explore this in such abstract terms that a dose if grounding might be called for. Before I launch into the rant on signified & signifier I had ready to go, yknow?

Laughter is good for banishment, and when that doesn't work, it usually shows the underlying elements at play.

trinker
Dec. 29th, 2010 07:22 pm (UTC)
Re: definitions?
Whether you include yourself in the *we* or not, *I* don't want to be included in the *we* that you're exhorting to "not take this privilege stuff seriously".

Shrugging it off is not equivalent to the issue not existing.
agent139
Dec. 29th, 2010 07:31 pm (UTC)
Re: definitions?
Thats not quite what I am saying, anyhow.

I'm saying that I think the terms being used are problematic to create the type of open discourse they are trying to engender, and this discussion is an example of that.

But I'm also saying, rather than take THAT so seriously that we both waste an afternoon arguing about it on the Internet, maybe we could all use to not take ourselves so seriously. And if that offends you, well I guess you can chalk it up to whatever form of privilege you like. But just consider for a moment that writing me or anyone off with that takes away from an actual encounter with a complete person who happens to have beliefs slightly different from your own. I think the term is problematic; if you want to write me off with it you've just proven my point. (Which is what in meant by "this is exactly what I meant.")

There's a rule about arguing on the Internet. I'm going to try to follow that so we don't both sign up for the special olympics. I'm just procrastinating from working on a scene in this boon that's been giving me trouble anyhow. ;)

Best--
trinker
Dec. 29th, 2010 07:44 pm (UTC)
Re: definitions?
I'd be happy to use other terms, but I have found over time that it usually is just another form of the tone argument.

Willingness to discuss usually surmounts issues of terminology, IME.

Best of luck with the scene.