Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Page 1 of 3 1, 2, 3  Next

Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by Mel on Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:45 am

This is a subject I've been pondering a lot over the last several months, based on various discussions on DNL prime, and a comment in the "Male tears" thread made me think maybe it's worth discussing directly. I realize this is a potentially sensitive subject and apologize in advance if I phrase anything badly.

Basically, I've sometimes found myself having difficulty understanding the perspective of some male commenters when they argue against or express discomfort with particular issues relating to women's rights. (Not the ones of the trollish or overtly MRA variety, obviously, but those who do care how they're coming across and are trying to be supportive at least to some extent.) I try to put myself in the same perspective by drawing a parallel to an area where I'm the one in the more privileged position--say, how I would feel about/respond to a person of color making a similar statement in regards to race, or someone who's not straight in regards to sexuality--and... I often find myself thinking, actually, I wouldn't feel defensive about that, at least not so much that I couldn't also see they had a point and that the issue was more important than my discomfort. Which puts me back in the position of just not getting it. But I want to get it, both because I generally want to understand where people who disagree with ideas I believe in are coming from and because it's easier to get someone else to understand your own perspective if you know where they're coming from.

So what I've been pondering is, is there something that makes gender relations distinctly different from race relations, LGBT issues, etc.? And I've come to the conclusion that there are at least a couple of complicating factors:

-Straight men (which means, based on current stats, the majority of men) have a need or at least a very strong want to interact with women. A white person who has difficulty dealing with hearing PoC talk about race issues can simply not be friends with PoC and avoid getting into conversations with them and this impacts their life relatively little, for example. But a straight guy who wants to date women can't simply avoid interacting with women. And a straight guy who wants to be a good, respectful partner to women is going to seek out information on what women consider appealing and/or respectful behavior. And said guy can't just shrug off information that makes him uncomfortable or that conflicts with his perspective in ways he can't reconcile, because he has a vested interest in accepting that information.

To use the race as an example again, I have gone out looking for information from writers of color on how to respectfully portray characters of color in my books, because it's important to me to reflect the diversity around me in my work and to do so well. But I've never had to worry that if I didn't get that information, or disagreed with a suggestion I heard and didn't follow it, or whatever, that I would not be able to get any books published. So that's not really an equal parallel to a guy who may very well be worried that if he doesn't listen to feminists or other info on women's rights, or follow particular parts of that discourse, that he might not be able to find romantic and/or sexual companionship, which is at least as important to many/most people as their careers.

-A second complicating factor that I was aware of but that only completely solidified as relevant in this context while I was reading the "Male tears" thread (hence making this post now) is that men do face some inequities because of current gender relations. Not to the extent that women do, but there's the obvious side effects like seeing women as lesser = men who act more "feminine" (going into female-coded jobs, behaving in more passive or emotional ways, etc.) are also lesser, children are women's responsibility = motherhood is more important than fatherhood, etc. Which is also a different dynamic from most other social justice areas I can think of... I am not aware of any ways that, as a white straight person, I am directly disadvantaged by prejudices against PoC or LGBT folks, other than in the comparatively incredibly minor way of losing out on hearing as many voices and perspectives as I might want to and benefit from. So it's pretty easy for me to accept that, yes, I need to just shut up and listen; this is not about my issues. I can see that would be more difficult when you're feeling direct effects of the same inequity, and thus feel you should have some place in tackling it.

Thoughts? I'm curious if this rings true for guys who've been grappling with feminism and other women's rights talk, if there are other complicated factors I haven't considered, if anyone has opinions about whether gender relations need to be approached somewhat differently from other social justice concerns because of this and if so how, and just generally what we all make of this.
Mel
Mel
Roving Moderator

Posts : 317
Reputation : 182
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by Guest on Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:51 am

I don't have anything to useful to contribute to this, but I'll note that I've seen the same thing and add a specific request: if there are any WOC who would be willing to comment on the difference between dealing with white women on race issues and men of color on feminist issues, I would be really, really grateful, because that's a perspective I've wondered about and cannot (as a white woman) access myself.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by Enail on Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:51 am

I think you might be onto something there, Mel, although I will say I've felt defensive in a "omg, are they saying I'm racist? I'm not racist!" way.  

As a minor detail, I do think straight people are disadvantaged by prejudice against lgbtq people in that it plays a not-insignificant role in enforcement of gender roles, so it tangles up more with the gender issue than with specific lgbtq rights issues. I'd say sexual people are probably also disadvantaged by prejudice against asexual people in that it contributes to pressure for everyone to feel/be sexual in particular ways.

And actually, I don't think either of those have the same defensive trigger in the same way that gender issues do, and I wonder if another reason might be that gender does not involve a clear minority/majority divide the way most other issues of this sort do. (race also does not in many cases, but I think a lot of the discourse on race in Europe and North America comes from places where white people are a majority or have been until recently). If the dynamic between gay people and straight people changes, say, it's not going to come up all that often for most people, b/c there just aren't that many gay people, whereas the dynamic between men and women is pretty pervasive in many aspects of life.
Enail
Enail
Admin

Posts : 3997
Reputation : 2214
Join date : 2014-09-22

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by celette482 on Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:01 pm

Personal theory: something along what Enail said. Normally when we're talking about "default" human, we also mean majority (note: globally, white people are a minority, and in the US it'll change soon. but this only supports my thesis because think about all the people up in arms about immigration)

But when it comes to gender, there is no majority (some census data suggests that it's actually women who have the majority). Power dynamics get particularly heated in areas where those with power and those who identify with those with power are outnumbered by those who are systemically without power. Jim Crow South, Apartheid- the outnumbered power holders (and those who look like power holders, not every White person in the South was given political clout but you bet they were recruited to defend against Black people) have to fight extra hard and go to extremes to keep the status quo.

The ratio isn't the same with genders, but you still have to have some serious gumption to think that man is default human when it's really 50/50 or even 51/49 woman. Leads to a more nasty defense of the status quo.
celette482
celette482

Posts : 168
Reputation : 138
Join date : 2014-10-22

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by Conreezy on Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:26 pm

I am not aware of any ways that, as a white straight person, I am directly disadvantaged by prejudices against PoC or LGBT folks, other than in the comparatively incredibly minor way of losing out on hearing as many voices and perspectives as I might want to and benefit from.

Growing up as white in parts of town that aren't can make for a lot of flak thrown your way.  You'll be perceived as physically weak, slow, uncoordinated.  

I'm half Hispanic, but read as pure white and have an American (well, German) last name.  It brought me a bunch of bad attention as a kid, usually until someone heard me speak Spanish (which some full-blooded kids couldn't do) and then I was suddenly cool.
Conreezy
Conreezy

Posts : 269
Reputation : 97
Join date : 2014-10-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by fakely mctest on Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:28 pm

I tend to think it also depends a lot on intersectionality. If you're on one axis of oppression it can be easier to extrapolate your experiences there to understand the experiences of others. Gender is also a hugely inclusive category that goes beyond biological sex and encompasses things like racial and sexual orientation-related stereotypes.

_________________
Please let it be an empty shoebox with a note saying “LOL Just kidding, I love cats, sorry I worried anyone. xoxox E. Schrödinger”
fakely mctest
fakely mctest
General Oversight Moderator

Posts : 298
Reputation : 74
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by Mel on Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:47 pm

Good points about the numbers balance--I can totally see how it's easier to recognize privilege, or to walk away from dealing with the discussion, if you're part of an obvious majority.

Conreezy wrote:Growing up as white in parts of town that aren't can make for a lot of flak thrown your way.  You'll be perceived as physically weak, slow, uncoordinated.  

I'm half Hispanic, but read as pure white and have an American (well, German) last name.  It brought me a bunch of bad attention as a kid, usually until someone heard me speak Spanish (which some full-blooded kids couldn't do) and then I was suddenly cool.

That isn't exactly what I meant.  Obviously PoC can have negative ideas about white people and LGBT folks can have negative ideas about straight people and so on, but that isn't usually (I think) part of the same dynamic that harms them, beyond the very basic level of it often being a reaction to having prejudice aimed at them and being angry about that.  Men are seen as the less important parent because it's assumed all women should be motherly; men are teased for taking on "women's" jobs because those jobs are seen as less respectable since women are less respected.  I guess there's a very mild form, the "white men can't jump" idea (if black guys are great at basketball then therefore white guys must be inferior at basketball?), but it's really not pervasive the way the gender thing is.  I mean, I'm not aware that white guys get teased for playing basketball, as long as they can actually play it well, or discouraged from trying to go pro.  Certainly society in general doesn't seem to view white men as being generally physically weak and slow enough to limit their opportunities or subject them to ridicule the same way men doing "female" things have it.
Mel
Mel
Roving Moderator

Posts : 317
Reputation : 182
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by The Wisp on Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:58 pm

Well, I'm one of the guys who reacts in the way you described about gender issues. I would say those two reasons you gave are spot on. I find it frustrating that certain men's issues aren't taken as seriously as they should be, especially when the ways men are oppressed by these things hurts women, too. The repression of emotions, for instance, obviously hurts men (though I think this hurt is not taken nearly as seriously as it should be), but it also hurts women because some men become violent because they don't know how else to cope.

I do think your first point is the most important, though. I deal with a lot of anxiety and sadness and fear due to my loneliness and mental health issues. A big part of that loneliness comes from not finding myself dating women even though I really want to. So I cannot ignore women's issues. In fact, I often think about them more when I have limited emotional resources (which is often). Other social justice issues, on the other hand, are both easier to avoid and require less emotional energy because they don't have any immediate impact on my personal life or insecurities.

Also, because I am attracted to women, it does at least feel like they have significant power over me.

One pattern I've seen online is that the earnest non-MRAish men (who are attracted to women) who argue against or are uncomfortable with aspects of feminism tend to be men who either are or at one point were struggling with creating sexual and romantic relationships with women.

There is one other aspect to this, though I think it is often not conscious. That is that women have a lot power over children. Most men were primarily raised by women: their mother, the daycare workers, their elementary school teachers. If a man is angry about ways he was socialized when he was young, well, it was probably a woman who socialized him to be that way. Almost all my initial negative experiences with authorities were female authorities. There just were no influential adult men in my early life save for my father. It can be harder to sympathize with a group that had a lot of power over you. Now, I myself don't even consciously think that (usually), but I do think it is there in the background.
The Wisp
The Wisp

Posts : 896
Reputation : 198
Join date : 2014-10-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by nonA on Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:25 pm

I'm going to skip the main thrust of the question to avoid another thread where people get entrenched in their positions, but I do want to touch on this point both for Wisp specifically and for the general purpose of this site

I do think your first point is the most important, though. I deal with a lot of anxiety and sadness and fear due to my loneliness and mental health issues. A big part of that loneliness comes from not finding myself dating women even though I really want to. So I cannot ignore women's issues. In fact, I often think about them more when I have limited emotional resources (which is often). Other social justice issues, on the other hand, are both easier to avoid and require less emotional energy because they don't have any immediate impact on my personal life or insecurities.

Also, because I am attracted to women, it does at least feel like they have significant power over me.

This is one of my beefs with feminism, and it ties into the fact that women are people complete with human cognitive biases instead of purely rational vulcans. What people say they want and what they actually respond well to are often two distinctly different things.

Sometimes feminists inflate the importance of a specific issue because it's top of mind right now. Sometimes they universalize their personal preferences. Sometimes they expect ideals that mesh poorly with the real world, sometimes they say things because they feel it's politically expected instead of being upfront about what they actually like. And sometimes, they simply don't know themselves as well as they'd like to think they do.

It's not something I think any of the women here should bother with in the course of general life, or something that women should be more mindful of in general. (If nothing else feminist guys exist, and have as much to do with gripes against the movement as the girls do.) But for guys like Wisp, it's worth occasionally reminding them that it's a broad movement where a lot of people try to push differing beliefs, and that trying to live up to all of them is not only unrealistic but also schizophrenic.

nonA

Posts : 72
Reputation : 28
Join date : 2014-10-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by Mel on Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:56 pm

nonA, I'm pretty sure detailing a "beef" with feminism is a lot more likely to cause people to get entrenched in opposing positions than the "main thrust" of my question, which I don't think and certainly didn't intend to be the sort to provoke people taking positions on different sides, and which doesn't appear to be happening so far. If you think something in my wording implied a value judgement on men for having difficulty, then you're welcome to point that out, because I would revise it. My goal is understanding, not making some sort of a point.

I was hoping I didn't have to explicitly say, "I don't want this to turn into a discussion about the value or benefits of/problems with feminism," but apparently that was necessary.  I don't want this to turn into a discussion about the value or benefits/problems with feminism.  I am specifically curious about why issues around feminism and gender relations in general seem to bring out a different dynamic than other areas, and I'd ask that we stick to that sort of comparative discussion.  I'd also like to make clear, since perhaps it's necessary too, that when I'm talking about "gender relations issues" I'd see dating advice as a rather small part of that compared to discussions around job and educational discrimination, representation in media, harassment and sexual violence, etc., all of which from what I've seen can cause rather fraught reactions.

If you want to talk about the intersection of feminism with dating advice, feel free to start your own thread.
Mel
Mel
Roving Moderator

Posts : 317
Reputation : 182
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by nonA on Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:03 pm

I was aiming my point at Wisp specifically, since dating advice for nerdy boys is a small part of both society and the movement. I'll pull it if you think it's counterproductive, though.

nonA

Posts : 72
Reputation : 28
Join date : 2014-10-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by reboot on Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:08 pm

I think other posters nailed it: gender issues can not be avoided by the group that has structural privilege, while ones around race, sexuality, etc. can, especially if people choose to not consider other racial groups, trans, bi, queer, miniority religious groups, those with disabilities etc. as dating/friendship options. It is quite easy to avoid the problems of minority groups by avoiding associating with minorities on anything other than a superficial level.
reboot
reboot
Moderator of "Other Relationships" and "Gender, Identity and Society"

Posts : 2514
Reputation : 1005
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by Mel on Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:17 pm

nonA wrote:I was aiming my point at Wisp specifically, since dating advice for nerdy boys is a small part of both society and the movement.  I'll pull it if you think it's counterproductive, though.

I'm not asking you to delete it, I'd just like the conversation not to continue along those lines.
Mel
Mel
Roving Moderator

Posts : 317
Reputation : 182
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by Mel on Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:25 pm

So we seem to agree that issues of gender relations tend to be confounded by these factors... Any thoughts on how that could be mitigated?

Obviously I'm not suggesting it's any given woman's job to figure out the best way to help men understand or some such, but when I'm talking to guys about an issue like women's representation in the media or harassment or whatever, I personally would appreciate strategies that might help me get a perspective across with fewer of those conflicting feelings being stirred up and getting in the way. I mean, if I'm going to be having the discussion, I'd prefer to do it as productively as possible. Happy to hear from men any approaches they've found are less likely to provoke dating-related anxiety or defensiveness around their own concerns, and from women if they've seen certain approaches seem to get a more positive response than others.
Mel
Mel
Roving Moderator

Posts : 317
Reputation : 182
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by Lemminkainen on Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:58 pm

I think that gender-oppression is different from other kinds of oppression, but other kinds of oppression are different from each other as well. This is because structures of oppression can vary pretty dramatically. I'll use an example from my own marginalization, sexuality. One thing that makes the oppression of gay and bisexual people distinct from the oppression of women or say, black Americans who can't pass for white is that sexuality is invisible unless you declare it or mark it somehow. On one hand, this concealment gives queer people ways to avoid persecution, violence, harassment, and discrimination-- other people don't have to know about it. But at the same time, the invisibility of sexuality means that we experience a lot of microaggressions (since people who don't know our sexuality don't self-police around us) and societal erasure (out of sight, out of mind, out of media). This erasure is even worse for bisexual people-- if you marry a person of the opposite sex, people will just assume you're straight, and your distinction is gone. Hiding your sexuality also seems to come with some negative psychological consequences, and it makes it really hard to find people to have sex with (which already isn't easy for monosexual gay people). These parts of gay people's oppression are pretty distinctive-- although I imagine that you could compare aspects of it to what passing black people experience.

Something that splits gender and sexuality from race is family and access to social networks. Women and gay people can have close family connections to people who are otherwise privileged, who can help them out a lot. But if you're black, your family is also black, and in the same boat as you. Conversely, people who have male or heterosexual privilege are much more likely to have women or gay people in their family or immediate community than white people are to have black family or immediate community members.

Class is like race in some ways (at first, you share the status with your immediate family) but like sexuality in other ways (if you're careful, you can conceal it). It also comes with basically all of the worst material consequences of other kinds of marginalization. (Impoverishment, being a victim of violence and sexual violence from the police and from members of your community, social exclusion, etc)-- which brings another group of possible comparisons and caveats*

I'm probably going on too long here, but I guess that my basic point is that structures of oppression are diverse and complicated, and that dealing with cases where they intersect adds even more chaos to mix.** We really should be careful when we make comparisons between all kinds between oppressions-- they're often different in kind. But I don't think that comparisons are always invalid, or that gender is exceptional in every way (ie: it's different because all marginalizations are different, not because it's a "special" kind of marginalization).


*Slight tangent: it seems kind of weird to me that social justice-y internet people talk very little about class and the privilege which comes with wealth (I don't think I've ever read somebody write "rich privilege," which seems kind of shocking, since being rich is a bigger social advantage than basically anything) even though these seem like crushingly real phenomena. This might be worthy of another thread, but why do you think that is?

**Ie: being a reasonably well-off white dude and living in an urban area mitigates most of the negative side effects of being non-straight for me, but if I was black, poor, or lived out in the boonies, being queer might make my life a lot worse.

Lemminkainen

Posts : 143
Reputation : 58
Join date : 2014-10-02

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by Enail on Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:03 am

Lemminkainen wrote:
*Slight tangent: it seems kind of weird to me that social justice-y internet people talk very little about class and the privilege which comes with wealth (I don't think I've ever read somebody write "rich privilege," which seems kind of shocking, since being rich is a bigger social advantage than basically anything) even though these seem like crushingly real phenomena.  This might be worthy of another thread, but why do you think that is?

I'd assume it's because there's an alternative focus for social justice concerns around class issues - reducing the material inequality rather than reducing the impact of that inequality.
Enail
Enail
Admin

Posts : 3997
Reputation : 2214
Join date : 2014-09-22

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by reboot on Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:22 am

In the US at least, class is something that usually only gets talked about in the context of race or (occasionally) single parenthood. I do not think people who are white and not rich feel particularly welcome to join the conversation. It is tricky and something I bump into a lot when I am back home.

EDIT: In the place I grew up there is a narrative that other people (e.g. not white, not male) "stole" the prosperity and opportunity and ruined everything, with a dash of protectionism and anti globalization (but somehow globalization made immigrants come which resulted in jobs going overseas.... makes not a lot of sense to me either). You can not really have the conversation if the people affected do not join, but they do not want to join because social justice is considered the cause of the problem.

And do you wonder why I find going home frustrating?
reboot
reboot
Moderator of "Other Relationships" and "Gender, Identity and Society"

Posts : 2514
Reputation : 1005
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by The Wisp on Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:51 am

Enail wrote:
Lemminkainen wrote:
*Slight tangent: it seems kind of weird to me that social justice-y internet people talk very little about class and the privilege which comes with wealth (I don't think I've ever read somebody write "rich privilege," which seems kind of shocking, since being rich is a bigger social advantage than basically anything) even though these seem like crushingly real phenomena.  This might be worthy of another thread, but why do you think that is?

I'd assume it's because there's an alternative focus for social justice concerns around class issues - reducing the material inequality rather than reducing the impact of that inequality.

Well, income inequality is pretty much a part of mainstream politics. You have mainstream pundits and columnists who talk about it all the time, so maybe social justice activists feel they'd better spend their time on other issues.
The Wisp
The Wisp

Posts : 896
Reputation : 198
Join date : 2014-10-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:11 am

Mel wrote:So we seem to agree that issues of gender relations tend to be confounded by these factors... Any thoughts on how that could be mitigated?

Obviously I'm not suggesting it's any given woman's job to figure out the best way to help men understand or some such, but when I'm talking to guys about an issue like women's representation in the media or harassment or whatever, I personally would appreciate strategies that might help me get a perspective across with fewer of those conflicting feelings being stirred up and getting in the way. I mean, if I'm going to be having the discussion, I'd prefer to do it as productively as possible.  Happy to hear from men any approaches they've found are less likely to provoke dating-related anxiety or defensiveness around their own concerns, and from women if they've seen certain approaches seem to get a more positive response than others.

Which people belong to the oppressed group may not be an "out of sight, out of mind" problem (except when it is—trans* issues) but the social pathology of the problem certainly often is. Comparing salaries with coworkers is a social taboo. So is questioning the integrity of the academic authorities who can influence how far a person's education can go. Underrepresentation in media is not as obvious as you would think unless you are looking for it: especially in the continental US, a lot of people still think a show is ethnically diverse if 20% of the cast is black and the rest is white; they don't notice how few black characters that actually is, or the fact that Middle-Eastern, East Asian, South Asian, Pacific, Latin American, etc. peoples are completely ignored, until you ask them to name a single character matching that description. Harassment and domestic violence occur almost exclusively in places where the perpetrators won't be witnessed doing it, and there's not a lot of overlap between the people willing to engage in harassment and the people willing to listen to you about it, even with limits on that.

So essentially, you have a diverse set of problems, each of which is invisible to the outgroup for a superficially different reason. It's no wonder you get frustrated trying to explain them all in one breath.

And when you try to add a personal element to it, to make us care about some specific story you've got that you feel epitomizes how unhappy the current imbalance makes you, we're still missing the larger context it took place in; to an outsider, it sounds like you are talking about this one time this one thing happened. Or we miss the point about why it made you unhappy, which is often different from the reason a very similar thing we might have experienced would have made us unhappy.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but I think explaining the larger overall context that you perceive before either the data or the list of anecdotes comes into play might prove more fruitful. It might be more work, of course, because identifying said overall context requires introspection and hindsight-analysis you probably wouldn't have done until after you thought of the anecdote. You're also flying blind in some ways, because in a sense you'd be trying to explain how your baseline experience differs from that of somebody whose baseline experience you don't actually know about. On the positive side, I think most people taking a good-faith position would be willing to sit through that kind of summary. And I think you can offset the oppression-measuring elements by comparing your experiences to those of a privileged third party instead of associating the listener with that group—let them figure out whether or not they're in that set. I think this is an area where taking care to use expressions like "most x" actually does have some effect, and unfortunately the tendency is to use "you" as a shorthand.

This is, I'll admit, not a tactic I've field-tested much myself, but I intend to try it at some point. I do know that I've gotten frustrated (chronically, but also in very recent memory) when I tried to explain what certain things are like for me as an asexual or as a Japanese-American using anecdotes and research findings and just hoped other people would fill in the gaps or do some research on their own or at the very least not question why I think x is relevant to y.

ETA: Just as several of you have mentioned feeling like being considerate of other people's feelings is a female-coded role, I feel like being the rational problem-solver and level-headed explainer-of-hard-things is sort of a male-coded role (varying degrees of problematic depiction of feminine traits as inferior apply). As is refusing to lash out under any circumstances: I may not be obligated to go out of my way to make people feel better, but I'm supposed to do everything I can not to hurt them out of malice, no matter what they do. Which is to say, I have my own reasons for sometimes being annoyed that I have to do "101" for people to get them to listen, and as with so many male-coded frustrations, there is no appropriate outlet for this.
nearly_takuan
nearly_takuan

Posts : 1069
Reputation : 456
Join date : 2014-10-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by Mel on Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:30 am

Lemminkainen, I definitely did not mean to imply that gender alone is distinct from all other types of power/privilege dynamics, the rest of which are the same.  You're totally right that every type of privilege/lack thereof comes with its own unique... "features".  The "features" of dealing with the gender dynamic were particularly on my mind because a) that's the area that by far most directly affects me (I also am on the "disadvantaged" side when it comes to mental health, but I find those biases impact on my life in much smaller ways than gender biases) and b) it comes up far more than any other dynamic here and on DNL prime since the primary focus is men interacting with women, so I'm seeing how it plays out differently a lot and I'm wanting to adjust so I can talk about it more effectively based on those differences.

Re: class, in addition to what people have said about that, I think it also tends to be focused on less because it's seen as relatively mutable compared to other aspects of one's life, particularly in capitalist societies.  I mean, obviously the economic situation one grew up in is out of one's control as a child, but that economic situation can change (e.g., a child can experience being both middle class or even upper class and then lower class if the family experiences a financial crisis), and a person can (as in, it is within the realm of possibility, not as in, it is easy to) change their economic class several times throughout their life depending on what they do and what happens to them.  Whereas a cis guy can never be a cis woman and vice versa; there's a little more variability in race because of "passing" and potentially finding out about ancestry you didn't know about that affects your self image, but it's still comparatively static; sexuality may shift but nothing you actually do can force your feelings of attraction to change, generally speaking; etc.  Which doesn't mean class isn't important or that it isn't difficult to change, but I think that "feature" means people often view it separately.  If that makes sense?
Mel
Mel
Roving Moderator

Posts : 317
Reputation : 182
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by fakely mctest on Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:15 am

Mel wrote:Re: class, in addition to what people have said about that, I think it also tends to be focused on less because it's seen as relatively mutable compared to other aspects of one's life, particularly in capitalist societies.  I mean, obviously the economic situation one grew up in is out of one's control as a child, but that economic situation can change (e.g., a child can experience being both middle class or even upper class and then lower class if the family experiences a financial crisis), and a person can (as in, it is within the realm of possibility, not as in, it is easy to) change their economic class several times throughout their life depending on what they do and what happens to them.  Whereas a cis guy can never be a cis woman and vice versa; there's a little more variability in race because of "passing" and potentially finding out about ancestry you didn't know about that affects your self image, but it's still comparatively static; sexuality may shift but nothing you actually do can force your feelings of attraction to change, generally speaking; etc.  Which doesn't mean class isn't important or that it isn't difficult to change, but I think that "feature" means people often view it separately.  If that makes sense?

I think, at least in the US, that there's such a strong narrative of class mobility woven through our conception of America as a country that it's hard to have a frank conversation about it as well. I'd also say that the Red Scare casts an annoyingly long shadow and that makes it difficult to have any sort of in-depth discussion about what the government should do to help correct existing inequalities. So you end up with this awkward public conversation where the participants MAYBE don't 100% believe what you're discussing is a Thing and everyone's afraid to advocate too hard for anything with a whiff of socialism because socialism and communism are totes the same.

Class is also something that's intrinsic to discussions of some systemic disadvantages. Most notably income inequalities between whites and non-whites as well as men and women.

_________________
Please let it be an empty shoebox with a note saying “LOL Just kidding, I love cats, sorry I worried anyone. xoxox E. Schrödinger”
fakely mctest
fakely mctest
General Oversight Moderator

Posts : 298
Reputation : 74
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by UristMcBunny on Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:52 am

I think another thing about class is that it can vary a lot based on the culture you're from. Like, here in the UK we seem to have a very different understanding of the class system to the US. We have underclass, working class, lower middle class, middle class, upper middle class and upper class, and while social mobility exists, some of these classes are distinguished by not just wealth/income but by a range of factors, and people often identify with the class of their parents or the class they were raised in even if that changes later in life.

Class privilege is definitely A Thing, but it can be difficult to talk about in meaningful ways, when what marks class privilege differs so much. I mean, while there are variations in all privileges across the globe, I think on a macro level we can all picture what racial discrimination looks like and get a similar idea. But my idea of classism is probably going to look different to yours.

_________________
Some of you will know me as Bunny from the old forums.
UristMcBunny
UristMcBunny
Moderator of "Romantic and Sexual Relationships"

Posts : 371
Reputation : 116
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile http://uristmcdorf.tumblr.com/

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by Kaz on Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:16 am

Re: the current class discussion - I wonder if part of it might not be that the way social justice discussion and talk about privilege, marginalisation, etc. is framed and phrased and the way it's done is in a very upper/middle-class academic-coded way. And that e.g. working class people are less likely to be able to engage in that and are also likely to take it as a sign that they're not welcome here because all the implicit "this is for people of $CLASS only" markers are flying high. And ofc the only way social justice discussions about a given marginalisation really *work* is if there are a lot of people marginalised in that way participating - if it's just privileged folk it will go badly. I'm not sure if that made sense...

Re: men, from where I'm sitting I do think that gender is one of the if not *the* social inequality which hurts the privileged group the most. Sexuality is also quite far up there to my mind, but for instance I cannot actually think of any way in which I am disadvantaged or hurt by being white (I remember someone brought up feeling of connection to your heritage and belonging to a culture once, but if that works at all it definitely doesn't outside of the US), and although there are a few ways I have an advantage over nondisabled people or cis people they're not nearly as big and wide-reaching as gender.

(Although if people disagree with that assessment I'd be really interested to hear it!)

Anyway, anecdote time: I was getting involved in online feminism when my brother and his then girlfriend had a daughter, broke up, and she then attempted to completely cut off his access to their kid. That and the following court proceedings were really eye-opening, because it was so obvious how different things were for him because he was the father and not the mother, how various people didn't take his grief at not having seen his daughter in months seriously because he was a guy (I believe someone basically told him "well, why don't you just have another kid" - !!!), how even if he got the court to enforce his rights there was just absolutely no way he'd be able to be a primary parent/caregiver the way he wanted to be...

It really made me realise how "patriarchy hurts men too!" was used to shut down discussion in the feminist communities I was part of without people really addressing what this meant, and how I'd still had a huge amount of sexism in my view of fathers and single mothers and the like that had never been addressed. It also made me realise that there was just no way I was going to be able to talk to my brother about feminism for a while, because right then telling him that he was advantaged over women was just never going to go well.

Kaz

Posts : 26
Reputation : 26
Join date : 2014-10-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by nolorn on Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:33 am

I think that the biological differences between most men and women play a part.
We are physically and in some cases inwardly, more different than similar- I'll never know what it is like to have a period and women will never know what it is like to have a beard

these differeneces make it harder to have empathy for each other

nolorn

Posts : 40
Reputation : 1
Join date : 2014-10-03

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by nonA on Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:24 am

The second does not follow from the first. The whole point of empathy is the ability to understand the experiences of someone different.

You also wouldn't have feminist men and various women against feminism groups if it were a simple matter of biology. The way that both sides digging in is so similar to the way people talk about god or country likely gets closer to the heart of the issue.

nonA

Posts : 72
Reputation : 28
Join date : 2014-10-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Gender relations vs. other social justice movements Empty Re: Gender relations vs. other social justice movements

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 3 1, 2, 3  Next

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum