Discomfort with "Male Tears" and "Die, Cishet Scum!" Rhetoric

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Post by Suika on Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:36 pm

reboot wrote:Ummm.....as an outsider who has been dumped into the culture of others to "fix their problems all I can say is if you are not Muslim, not LGBTQ, etc. and talking to that group then STFU about your thoughts on a culture you are not a part of and can not fully grasp the nuances.

Talking to another outsider is different since you are both " foreigners " and  comparing "travel notes"

The difference lies between "fix a problem" and "offer a an alternate point of view". We are all human, after all, so it's easy to miss certain aspects of something. As a bisexual and vegetarian myself, I certainly don't think that "my own" movements as a whole are infallible. Obviously going to be harder to get a unique input after all the discussion that has been going on in all the groups, but if you have the right intent, the right means and the right knowledge, as well as avoiding all the cliché sayings, then you'd have a good chance of not sounding like a jerk.
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Post by Enail on Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:41 pm

Suika wrote:
The difference lies between "fix a problem" and "offer a an alternate point of view". We are all human, after all, so it's easy to miss certain aspects of something. As a bisexual and vegetarian myself, I certainly don't think that "my own" movements as a whole are infallible. Obviously going to be harder to get a unique input after all the discussion that has been going on in all the groups, but if you have the right intent, the right means and the right knowledge, as well as avoiding all the cliché sayings, then you'd have a good chance of not sounding like a jerk.

In theory, that sounds reasonable, but I think a big problem with this is that it's easy to feel that your intent, means and knowledge are right when they aren't necessarily. Humans tend to overestimate the freshness of their ideas and the purity of their intentions.
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Post by reboot on Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:45 pm

But you do not actually know enough to say anything that particular group has not heard a billion times before. Trust me on this, your (general) comments may seem totally "Ah ha!" to you but it will be boringly 101 at best to people from the community. Privilege is thinking everyone should care what you think and all that
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Post by Suika on Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:59 pm

Enail wrote:
Suika wrote:
The difference lies between "fix a problem" and "offer a an alternate point of view". We are all human, after all, so it's easy to miss certain aspects of something. As a bisexual and vegetarian myself, I certainly don't think that "my own" movements as a whole are infallible. Obviously going to be harder to get a unique input after all the discussion that has been going on in all the groups, but if you have the right intent, the right means and the right knowledge, as well as avoiding all the cliché sayings, then you'd have a good chance of not sounding like a jerk.

In theory, that sounds reasonable, but I think a big problem with this is that it's easy to feel that your intent, means and knowledge are right when they aren't necessarily. Humans tend to overestimate the freshness of their ideas and the purity of their intentions.

True enough. If I've had a nickel for every "well, why don't you just do x?" or "unless you do this or that then you can't complain!", I'd be a rich man.

reboot wrote:But you do not actually know enough to say anything that particular group has not heard a billion times before. Trust me on this, your (general) comments may seem totally "Ah ha!" to you but it will be boringly 101 at best to people from the community. Privilege is thinking everyone should care what you think and all that

Yes and no. It'd be a fallacy to claim that it's impossible to get a good grasp onto something else like that, or else we would never be able to criticize things like PUA, red pilling, capitalism or other various subjects. But if you haven't done the research, you would most certainly almost always fall into the trap of "that certain solution/opinion" or, since it's going to be based on mainstream beliefs from your own society/community. It also opens up to the discussion of how certain privileges compares to each other. My experiences are going to be starkly different from that of a extroverted bisexual, doesn't this mean that my opinions aren't going to be worth as much? Someones experiences as a religious person are going to differ from a person with the same religion in another country, how would their experiences match up?
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Post by Dan_Brodribb on Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:23 pm

Most of this discussion is going over my head, so I hope nobody feels singled out by this post or that I'm trying to take a side or criticize anybody for stating whatever position they currently happen to hold.

I feel uneasy when people start using the "That's 101 stuff" argument, because I've been alive long enough to see that a lot of things in a lot of different fields from religion to nutrition that were considered '101 stuff' later turned out to be Not Correct.

It's true that a lot of time the brilliant, insight that people think they're bringing to a problem is something that's been studied and answered a thousand times before.

It's also true that in some subjects 101 was hand-waving away criticisms that later turned out to be spot on. The reason everyone kept bringing it up was because it was a damn good question to which the experts had never been able to provide a convincing answer.

I've learned over time that it isn't always possible to know which of those things is the case in any given situation, and that's forced me to learn not to hold too tightly to my own opinions. I've seen mine and other people's beliefs change enough over the years that I've started to realize that these sorts of discussions aren't written in stone; they're a moment in time.

On the subject of 101...

For myself, I slowly come to believe that 101 isn't the thing I get out of the way so you I move on to the good stuff. 101 IS the good stuff. It is the foundation upon which everything else is built. The fundamentals are what I come back to when everything else gets muddled and confused, so whether I'm a critic or supporter of a given thing, it's the 101 stuff that I most need to be constantly deepening my understanding of.

I don't believe this means anybody owes anybody else an explanation--the responsibility of education falls on the student. I hope I'm not coming off as saying otherwise.

What I find for myself though is that the process of questioning my assumptions, forcing myself to look at criticisms, examining new angles and new ways of explaining old concepts in new ways helps ME. Not only does it deepen my understanding of the subject, it deepens my relationship with the subject, if that makes sense.It also helps me understand WHAT about a given thing--comedy, religion, politics--is important to me, and knowing that helps me understand where I need to apply it in my life, how far I'm willing to go, and what battles I'm willing to fight.

I also find constantly re-exploring the basics--whether it's something I'm criticizing or defending--lends itself to developing a certain humility because I start to realize how little I know about even things I consider myself an expert on.

I've found that  helps in these sorts of discussions because understanding my own ignorance opens me up to learning from people I disagree with whether we come around to each other's way of thinking or not. It's also helped me because getting into the habit of clarifying the basic building blocks of a given concept has helped me learn that just because people are using the same words as each other doesn't mean they are necessarily talking about the same thing. Things go a lot easier when we find these things out before rather than after things get heated.

ETA - tl/dr version: For the people reading and participating in this thread. If someone were to say, 'I don't have time to read this thread, but it's obviously popular. What, to you, is the most basic, fundamental Important Thing this thread is about?'

How would you respond?

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Post by Randomly Rolled on Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:01 pm

Sorry to intrude. Thanks for asking the question Dan. I spent the time to read the thread. I'm interested in the social justice issue, but am admittedly in need of 101. I feel like I'm not qualified to make a very accurate statement, but this is what I got from it, on the fundamental level.

That people need to respect the boundaries and spaces of other people and groups, without complaint. And to educate themselves about the issues those people face, so that they can be respectful in their interactions, and make informed decisions when it becomes relevant for them to do so.

I may be way off there, but it was an interesting read. If anyone wanted to start a 101 question err thread...I have a lot of questions.


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Post by Enail on Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:41 pm

Randomly Rolled wrote:I may be way off there, but it was an interesting read. If anyone wanted to start a 101 question I have a lot of questions.

Please feel free to start one, I'm sure people will be happy to chime in! Smile
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Post by fakely mctest on Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:49 pm

Dan_Brodribb wrote:It's also true that in some subjects 101 was hand-waving away criticisms that later turned out to be spot on. The reason everyone kept bringing it up was because it was a damn good question to which the experts had never been able to provide a convincing answer.

I've learned over time that it isn't always possible to know which of those things is the case in any given situation, and that's forced me to learn not to hold too tightly to my own opinions. I've seen mine and other people's beliefs change enough over the years that I've started to realize that these sorts of discussions aren't written in stone; they're a moment in time.

On the subject of 101...

For myself, I slowly come to believe that 101 isn't the thing I get out of the way so you I move on to the good stuff. 101 IS the good stuff. It is the foundation upon which everything else is built. The fundamentals are what I come back to when everything else gets muddled and confused, so whether I'm a critic or supporter of a given thing, it's the 101 stuff that I most need to be constantly deepening my understanding of.

I don't believe this means anybody owes anybody else an explanation--the responsibility of education falls on the student. I hope I'm not coming off as saying otherwise.

So this is where I think the 101/201/whatever comparison falls down when it comes to some issues, especially issues surrounding unchangeable characteristics that put people at a disadvantage in society.  When someone says 101, it's an easy way to communicate that something is at an introductory level, but I also think it puts people in that academic mindset where we're just going to vomit up the Socratic method all over people's lived experiences.  A lot of the time that spirals into a bunch of "tu quoque" and "no true Scotsman" arguments.  The fact is that there are always going to be people who are more knowledgeable because they have the firsthand experience of living in a particular body.  That doesn't mean they can't be wrong, but it does mean that people with a larger amount of societal privilege should be really damn careful before opening their mouths and really really think through which words they're choosing to use.

Just ran across this (synchronicity!), which I think sums things up nicely: In conflicts, evoking the narrative of "both sides" when there is equilibrium is understandable. Doing so when there is no parity between parties only serves the more powerful and creates a false perception of equality when there is none.

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Post by Dan_Brodribb on Sat Nov 01, 2014 8:05 pm

fakely mctest wrote:

So this is where I think the 101/201/whatever comparison falls down when it comes to some issues, especially issues surrounding unchangeable characteristics that put people at a disadvantage in society.  When someone says 101, it's an easy way to communicate that something is at an introductory level, but I also think it puts people in that academic mindset where we're just going to vomit up the Socratic method all over people's lived experiences.

This has certainly got me thinking, fakely. I think for me 101 IS people's lived experiences. The people I most admire in different fields are able to connect what they're doing to their lives. So even if it's academic or theoretical, it's still grounded in their values...how they best thing they can reach their own potential and make a difference in the world and for the people around them. They do what they do because they understand how and why it's important to them.

I think where I'm getting lost in this specific thread is I'm feeling that a lot of the WHAT arguments and WHY arguments are getting blurred. I'll try to give an example that's somewhat relevant to the topic.

A traditional family values relative from an older generation once told me something to the effect of: "Part of being a man is protecting women. That includes protecting them from the burden of your own worries."

I heard from a libertarian PUA that you don't dump emotional information on women because talking about feelings with women is what friends do and if you do that, you're going into the friend zone.

A feminist woman told me that it isn't fair to expect women to do the emotional heavy lifting for men. Men have dominated the conversation for too long; it's time for them to shut up and listen and stop expecting to have their feelings catered to.

Those are some different world views. I'm betting if they were on this things would get heated quickly. I doubt they'd be able to come to consensus on the definition of the word 'man,' let alone what his responsibilities are towards women.

At the same time, even though their reasons why and their explanations are different, they seem agreed on their main point: THAT IT IS OF VALUE FOR MEN TO LEARN TO MANAGE THEIR OWN EMOTIONS INSTEAD OF LOOKING FOR WOMEN TO DO IT FOR THEM.

They're agreed on the 'what' but not the 'why.' I'm starting to think one of the things we do when we're being told sound advice we don't want to hear is to pick a fight with the 'why' part of the argument. Because we can argue with 'why's all day long. 'Whats' are direct lived experiences and those are a lot scarier to face when we don't want to accept them because its harder to argue with reality.

I hope that makes some sort of sense. I'm working a lot of it out as I go because I'm often torn between moments of 'wow, I can't believe how universal the human experience is. We really ARE all alike' and moments of 'wow, People are so different I can't even understand the people I'm closest to. What hope do I have of understanding folks of different gender, creed, politics, etc.'

I'm interested in hearing what people have to say.




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Post by kleenestar on Sun Nov 02, 2014 1:17 pm

I am entirely in favor of 101, teaching, introductory spaces, etc. But I have a huge problem with how it generally plays out in practice. The person asking for the education often does not do so with the respect they'd show a teacher in any other area of their life, and they don't think about how to compensate the person teaching them (either financially, emotionally, pragmatically, etc.). Plus there's often an implicit dismissal of credentials and expertise.

Speaking personally I am a gifted and enthusiastic teacher. I really love to help people understand things they don't already know. But because of dishonest* requests for education, I have had to come up with a firm policy for who gets my limited time and energy. If you aren't a) someone I have a pre-existing relationship with, b) someone I think is important to influence, or c) paying me, then I had better be enjoying the experience of educating you or I just won't do it. Claiming that you want to be educated isn't enough to give you a right to my time.

* The dishonesty is sometimes conscious, but at least some of the time is the person deluding themselves. They want to feel like they've educated themselves so they can keep on doing / thinking / feeling exactly what they were doing / thinking / feeling before but not feel bad about it.
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Post by Mel on Sun Nov 02, 2014 2:11 pm

Dan_Brodribb wrote:A traditional family values relative from an older generation once told me something to the effect of: "Part of being a man is protecting women. That includes protecting them from the burden of your own worries."

I heard from a libertarian PUA that you don't dump emotional information on women because talking about feelings with women is what friends do and if you do that, you're going into the friend zone.

A feminist woman told me that it isn't fair to expect women to do the emotional heavy lifting for men. Men have dominated the conversation for too long; it's time for them to shut up and listen and stop expecting to have their feelings catered to.

Those are some different world views. I'm betting if they were on this things would get heated quickly. I doubt they'd be able to come to consensus on the definition of the word 'man,' let alone what his responsibilities are towards women.

At the same time, even though their reasons why and their explanations are different, they seem agreed on their main point: THAT IT IS OF VALUE FOR MEN TO LEARN TO MANAGE THEIR OWN EMOTIONS INSTEAD OF LOOKING FOR WOMEN TO DO IT FOR THEM.

I don't entirely agree with your summary of what's going on there. For one, the WHAT of "talking about worries/feelings" is very different from "expecting to have their feelings catered to" or "looking for women to manage their emotions". Traditional/PUA views often suggest men shouldn't share emotional vulnerabilities with women at all. I think most feminist women would actually prefer that men talk about what they're feeling in most situations rather than bottle it up--they just want the men to also take ownership of those feelings and recognize that those feelings are their responsibility to handle constructively.

And also, there's a context piece. Your first example, I'd assume the guy means "all women, all the time." The second example, the guy presumably means "all women you're trying to date/sleep with, all the time." The third example, the woman means, "all women, specifically when they're talking about gender issues they struggle with." I've never seen a feminist say that men need to shut up and listen and never volunteer his own feelings in regards to every single thing a woman says about anything. It's specifically a statement of "don't divert what I'm say about my pain to make it about your pain," not "I don't ever want to hear about anything that pains you." The difference between that and "it's never okay to bring up your feelings with women" or "it's never okay to bring up your feelings with a woman if you want her to see you as more than a friend" is still a WHAT issue in my mind. Because the WHY for the feminist statement isn't even about gender--it's about privilege, and it's the exact parallel to a PoC saying that to a white person or any other less-privileged person saying it to a more-privileged person. WHAT the feminist is saying shouldn't happen is conversations about privilege being co-opted by the privileged parties. WHAT the traditionalist and the PUA are saying shouldn't happen is men showing any weakness to women.

If that makes sense?
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Post by SadisticToaster on Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:06 pm

reboot wrote:
Maybe because you are not American so have some distance from it, but you are a man so it feels more personal? And trust me, in the situations I ran into it "All Americans do/believe/hate X" really meant all Americans in the mind of the speakers.

Maybe, but I din't think so. I was in Egypt recently and saw a castle which had a sign saying words to the effect of "This place used to have a minaret, until the English Navy [sic] blew it up when they shelled the city" : no guilt from me.

I think I've worked it out : "Americans bombed my village" feels - to me - like they're refering to the American Goverment rather then any individual person.

Do "Death to America" style chants feel personal to you? An Iranian told me once that this sort of thing wasn't aimed at American people so much as the American goverment.

reboot wrote:I would call redneck mocking punching down if done by college elites (class privilege) and punching up if done by immigrant migrant workers.

Interesting. If someone new came along to this forum, and made a mean comment about Rednecks - and you didn't know anything about the person but what they'd just written - how would you know whether to support them, or call them out? There seems to be a touch of Schrödinger about this.

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Post by reboot on Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:46 pm

I would ask them why they felt that mocking a specific socioeconomic and racial group was necessary and take it from there.
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Post by Ron Ritzman on Sat Nov 08, 2014 1:30 pm

I didn't have time to read this entire thread but the whole "ironic misandry" thing reminds me of something that happened on Usenet back in the late 90s. There was a Usenet group dedicated to fighting email spam which was just starting to become a problem. Many spammers and spam supporters started trolling that group with "free speech" rants and one of the trolls posted a ridiculous conspiracy theory about how antispammers were all on the payroll of the lumber industry who oppose bulk electronic email because it doesn't require paper. Antispammers ran with that idea and started calling themselves the "lumber cartel" and told jokes about how much they loved clearcutting forests to make paper for all that junk postal mail. This meme went on for years.

"Ironic misandry" sounds like more or less the same thing. They're taking the ridiculous ideas of some antifeminists and sarcastically amplifying them to the point of absurdity.
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