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No doubt there'll be flak for this too. - Tactical Ninja

Nov. 11th, 2010

09:57 am - No doubt there'll be flak for this too.

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Got my results back. Another A+. Apparently I rock at Social Policy.

Also, Stuff arrived in the mail! Stuff that convinces me I am actually enrolled over the summer trimester and someone realises it. This course has three essays, none of which are due while I'm in Hong Kong, and an exam. The first essay is 500 words.

500 words? *gulp* Who can write anything in 500 words? Just as an example, this post is 1200 words. I'm fucked, basically.

I was also taken aback by the strict parameters around essay presentation - down to how wide the margins have to be, and where I can use italics. It's been a while since I did a 100-level course and I'd forgotten about that. Now I'm going "Arbitrary rules! And so MANY of them! Argh!"


rikan_feral wins at making my sounds go. I was pleased to see that while one problem was a simple fix that I feel a bit silly about, the other was enough to make him scratch his head and purse his lips disapprovingly. I take my hat off to him for not ranting at me about Windows. Anyway:

Sound card goes.
Speakers go.
Controller mapped.
Traktor working.
Master/cue sorted.
Some tracks mixed.

This counts as a huge win, as my frustration with this had been leading me to lose enthusiasm for djing (as you're aware my confidence at this isn't great anyway and feeling like a dunce with the setup was not increasing it) and consider sending the gear back and admitting defeat.

Luckily, now I don't have to. And asking for help is a skill I've learned in the last few years, mostly from you lot. So I'm kind of proud of myself for that. Even though I swore Mr Feral to secrecy about the silly thing. Because there is a limit. *nods*

The Kid is now in exam mode - he has two next week and one the following week, and then he's on holiday until February. I've gotta say, I don't remember having two and a half months off over summer in the 5th form. Seems like a long time, and I'm envious because I'd love to take 10 weeks off and still be sure I had food/shelter etc.

Maybe that's why summers seemed longer and cooler when I was a kid.

OK, there's been something on my mind lately, and yesterday's 5 minutes of infamy brought it back to me.

There's been a trend in certain feminist circles for women of colour to distance themselves from white women. This is because (amongst other reasons) traditional feminism was by white women for white women and the voices of other women tended to be ignored, silenced or worse, the white women would claim to speak for the other women and get it wrong. So, fair enough to distance themselves, speak for themselves and exclude white women from their spaces if they feel it necessary.

However, a more disturbing trend is one I've noticed where white women are not so much excluded, as scapegoated as examples of everything that's wrong with society. The derailing tactic in which the white person uses their privilege to imply their feelings are more important than the issues of the POC who is speaking and therefore the POC should cease and desist, is called White Women's Tears. Not White People's Tears, White Women's Tears. I can understand how this came about, since the concept emerged in feminist spaces dominated by women, and the people doing this would have by default been mainly women. However, the behaviour it describes is not one solely exhibited by white women.

And the trend lately in quite a few places seems to be to attribute 'white people behaviour' (I'm using this here as a catch-all for the things that are irritating to POC about unacknowledged white privilege) solely to white women. And I have a problem with that.

For a start, it's the same for white women as it is for everyone else - we are not a homogenous group, please stop talking about us as if we are. This should go without saying.

More importantly, there's this mythos being set up in which white women have this power that they unthinkingly abuse, they are hurtful and in some areas are even deliberately manipulative and evil. Sounding familiar yet? Isn't this almost word for word the way that lots of misogynistic men describe women?

And then you get to the bit where white women get called out on their unthinking evilness, and suddenly they become pathetic crybabies, bawww-ing all over the place about their hurt feelings and how they didn't get their way. White women's anger is never strong or valid, it's always butthurt, apparently.

Does that sound familiar?

And then when you start to think about the way in which women of colour are constructed as tough, angry, sassy, courageous and strong, and the way in which white women have been constructed historically as weak and in need of rescuing both from their own nature and from the big world that they can't protect themselves from, things become a bit clearer.

Women of colour DO tend to have tougher lives than white women. And the stereotypes (which admittedly are also damaging) attributed to them makes it so that to be loud, strong and angry is expected, rightly or wrongly. Contrast that with stereotypes about white women who are not taught to be assertive, who are taught that loud is unfeminine, angry is unfeminine, being disagreeable will make people not like you and you need people to like you because you are weak and in need of protection, what do you get?

You get a situation where "White Women's Tears" takes on a whole new meaning, a meaning that allows WOC anger at white people to be expressed in exactly the same misogynistic way that it has been since time immemorial - by picking on the women because they are supposedly weak and their problems are supposedly trivial.

I am not weak. I am not pathetic. I do not cry when I'm called on my privilege. I do not fit the stereotype that's being applied to me any more than you do. And it makes me FUCKING ANGRY to see other women calling me the same names that I've been called by men all my life and getting away with it, because it's somehow better to hear how trivial my problems are, how pathetic I am and how nobody cares about my issues based solely on my gender when it comes from another woman.

So next time you're thinking about white women and how pathetic they are, have a think about how they ended up being constructed that way, whether what you're seeing is transference of your own misogyny, and whether it'd be better to just stfu until you've thought about it some more and figured out whether you actually have a point about white people or you're just being a schoolyard bully because white women are easy to pick on.


*cough* Ok done now. That is very unpolished and I'm not sure it even makes sense, but it's been brewing for a while and it had to come out.

tl:dr Just because history has constructed white women as the weakest people in the world doesn't mean it's actually true and I'm tired of hearing it kthxbye.

Um.. about that local sports team?

Comments:

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From:rivet
Date:November 10th, 2010 09:07 pm (UTC)
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Hooray for making things go! I look forward to jamming to more tunes from DJ extremely minimal :)
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From:tatjna
Date:November 10th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
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I may have to change the name to DJ OMGsomanycables!
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From:t_c_da
Date:November 10th, 2010 11:51 pm (UTC)
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DJ OMGsomanycables!

And can someone please tell me why connection cables that need to be no more than 300mm long can only be purchased in lengths of 2000mm plus? This only adds to the clutter...
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From:tatjna
Date:November 11th, 2010 12:07 am (UTC)
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Oh, I know! And I am thankful for that. But I am still overwhelmed by cables, mostly because I just bought a bunch of them specifically for this (which I've never done before).
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From:edm
Date:November 10th, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC)

Scapegoated

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Oh the delicious irony. (I'm trying not to engage in schadenfraude here, but am mostly not succeeding. Sorry.)

Sadly what you're saying does sound familiar. And -- at the risk of committing exactly what's being pointed out -- the attempt to marginalise people for belonging to what is perceived as a privileged group (by those attempting to marginalise them) has been going on for a while. It seems a (IMHO most unfortunate) feature of Modern Feminism (tm). I find it ironic that it seems to have turned on White Women (for being White), when a century ago they were the ones pushing Feminism along.

Just because history has constructed white women as the weakest people in the world doesn't mean it's actually true and I'm tired of hearing it kthxbye.

Amen. (To me it feels distinctly unhelpful to all to work from such fake history.)

Good news on the sound front, though. And a gold star for rikan_feral.

Ewen

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From:anna_en_route
Date:November 10th, 2010 11:03 pm (UTC)

Re: Scapegoated

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So why exactly are you tempted to engage in schadenfraude?

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From:edm
Date:November 10th, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC)

Re: Scapegoated

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See my reply to tatjna; in brief that the very people involved in visiting such things on, eg, white men, and now on the receiving end -- and noticing it more. (And no, I'm not saying it's right to engage in schadenfraude here, just that it's very tempting in a "turnabout is fair play" sort of way.)

Ewen
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From:anna_en_route
Date:November 11th, 2010 12:05 am (UTC)

Re: Scapegoated

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So how exactly has it been "visited" on you?

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From:tatjna
Date:November 10th, 2010 11:04 pm (UTC)

Re: Scapegoated

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I'm not sure what you're feeling schadenfreude about - is it because as a man you feel picked on and therefore you're happy to see some of the perceived pickers getting 'a taste of their own medicine?'

Thing is, the construction I was talking about was not invented by the people who are now using it - it's been around a lot longer than that - and the bottom line of the whole post is that hating on women is still fair game, even amongst women.

What's coming through to me from your statement suggests that you are getting some satisfaction from seeing a group of women be given grief in the same way they've been given grief througout history.

I sincerely hope that's not what you're trying to say.
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From:edm
Date:November 10th, 2010 11:17 pm (UTC)

Re: Scapegoated

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From my point of view, the bottom line of the post is that "hating on women" is again fair game (even amongst women), providing the women being hated upon are perceived to be in a privileged group. It seems to me that there was a period of a few decades (approximately in the 1960s-1980s) where that wasn't the case -- that "hating on women", irrespective of who they were, was frowned upon (especially by women). (And no, I'm not saying it was all wonderful for that period of time -- just that people got called out for it, much more, then.)

The schadenfraude comes from the fact that for the last few years it has seemed to me that my point of view, experiences, etc on such topics have been dismissed because of my privilege (white, non-poor, male, etc). And now some of the very people involved with doing that appear to be experiencing much the same thing.

FWIW, I think the world would be a much better place without all the "hating on" people just because they (are perceived to) fall into some group. Irrespective of whether that group is perceived as privileged or not. I'm not sure we'll get there in my life time. Alas.

Ewen
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From:tatjna
Date:November 10th, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC)

Re: Scapegoated

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I do not recall a point in history where men were ever perceived to be weak or their problems to be trivial. Pretty much the whole world has historically been geared towards men having strength and power and men's problems being held important.

So while I understand that you have felt marginalised by the activities and rhetoric of the women's movements and that your privilege has been held against you, I very much doubt that the stereotypes that are applied to you (that you are strong and issues relating to your maleness are important) are particularly relevant in any marginalisation you feel.
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From:edm
Date:November 10th, 2010 11:58 pm (UTC)

Re: Scapegoated

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(Lightly edited)

"There's been a trend in certain feminist circles for women to distance themselves from men. This is because (amongst other reasons) traditional society was by men for men and the voices of women tended to be ignored, silenced or worse, the men would claim to speak for the women and get it wrong. So, fair enough to distance themselves, speak for themselves and exclude men from their spaces if they feel it necessary.

"However, a more disturbing trend is one I've noticed where men are not so much excluded, as scapegoated as examples of everything that's wrong with society. [...] However, the behaviour it describes is not one solely exhibited by men.

"And the trend lately in quite a few places seems to be to attribute 'male behaviour' (I'm using this here as a catch-all for the things that are irritating to women about unacknowledged male privilege) solely to men. And I have a problem with that.

"For a start, it's the same for men as it is for everyone else - we are not a homogenous group, please stop talking about us as if we are. This should go without saying.

"More importantly, there's this mythos being set up in which men have this power that they unthinkingly abuse, they are hurtful and in some areas are even deliberately manipulative and evil. Sounding familiar yet? [...]

"And then you get to the bit where men get called out on their unthinking evilness, and suddenly they become pathetic crybabies, bawww-ing all over the place about their hurt feelings and how they didn't get their way. Men's anger is never strong or valid, it's always butthurt, apparently.

Does that sound familiar?"

(A reply in my own words to follow shortly.)

Ewen
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From:tatjna
Date:November 11th, 2010 12:06 am (UTC)

Re: Scapegoated

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Are you not grasping here that my post is about gender-specific applications of racial stereotypes? If not, allow me:

"And the trend lately in quite a few places seems to be to attribute 'male behaviour' (I'm using this here as a catch-all for the things that are irritating to women about unacknowledged male privilege) solely to men. And I have a problem with that.

Attributing male behaviour to men is reasonable in a discussion of gender issues.

What I wrote:

"And the trend lately in quite a few places seems to be to attribute 'white people behaviour' (I'm using this here as a catch-all for the things that are irritating to POC about unacknowledged white privilege) solely to white women. And I have a problem with that.

Attributing manifestations of white privilege solely to women in discussions of racial issues is not reasonable.

Never mind that when men are accused of being pathetic crybabies, it is not going along with a stereotype that's been applied to them and used to oppress them throughout history. In addition, the power that men have traditionally had, attributable solely to their gender is not a mythos.

This is not about men. Please stop trying to make it be about men.



Edited at 2010-11-11 12:08 am (UTC)
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From:edm
Date:November 11th, 2010 12:46 am (UTC)

Re: Scapegoated

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This is not about men. Please stop trying to make it be about men.

I was asked (by you and anna_en_route) to explain the "schadenfraude" parenthetical comment, which related to the "irony" comment I started with. I've attempted to do so, by trying to point out how similar what you are saying is to the way that I (as man) feel about the way things are generically attributed to men. Lightly editing portions of your post was intended to illustrate that virtually the same words were applicable in other situations -- indeed I think with similar light editing they'd be applicable in many other situations of people being ostracised due to perceived privilege.

So, no, it's not about men. And I'm not trying to make it about men. (Although I do find it extra ironic to have been accused of trying to make it about men.) But it is, IMHO, a manifestation of a much more generic issue, viz attempting to exclude people based on stereotypes. The variations on the theme are, IMHO, playground tactics of attacking whatever the weak spot is. (FTR, as I've already noted, it'd be a better world if that didn't happen in any of those situations.)

Ewen

PS: FWIW, I suspect you'll find that observations about men having been marginalised through history comes up approximately as often as statements to the effect that men have always been powerful. Obviously it's a trigger for me (and perhaps others). But I'll try to avoid mentioning it again. Since your blog, your rules.

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From:tatjna
Date:November 11th, 2010 01:18 am (UTC)

And those 'other situations' just happened to be about men, right?

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I like to think of my blog as a place where open discussion can happen. I am not a feminist who is into disregarding men, and as you know I've made plenty of posts discussing issues as they relate directly to men. What you are doing, and have been doing for a while, is addressed here. Please read it, it might help you understand why your comments are being responded to the way they are.

I'm sorry but I cannot equate your schadenfreude at the misogynistic scapegoating of white women (translation: joy at other people's suffering) with your statements that it'd be a better world if that kind of thing didn't happen. What I see is you going "Ha! Now you know what it feels like!" You more or less said as much yourself in your comment to anna_en_route

Except that implies that you think I don't already know what it feels like to be automatically considered to be weak and fickle, and to have any emotion I show to be considered a sign of that weakness that reinforces a belief that I'm incompetent, and to have that belief that I'm incompetent based solely on my gender used to dismiss me, silence me, deny me work, deny me opportunities to learn, and to enforce actions on my body that I do not consent to.

These things have happened to me most of my life. Not so much nowadays, because I no longer move in circles where that behaviour is acceptable, and because I've learned to assert myself against my training to be pliable, agreeable and not rock the boat.

And to see you take pleasure in the idea that it's not just 'society' (that amorphous thing) doing it to me, it's also other women? Nah, not rapt eh? And then to imply that this is similar to your experience simply demeans what I'm talking about and makes it about you and how you feel, dismissing what I said. This does not endear me to you.

And nowhere have you actually discussed the topic - probably because you're not familiar with it.

So yeah, probably best you keep your feelings about gender stereotypes and how they affect men to posts I make that are actually about men. That way we can still get along.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:November 11th, 2010 01:33 am (UTC)

Re: Scapegoated

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But it sucks if you're put in a group that has certain stereotypes and then, regardless of your personal behaviour or argument, the individuals in the group making the stereotypes invalidate your idea by calling it X-splaining (where X is the stereotyped group in question).

It doesn't matter if the stereotype consists or things considered positive or negative. Being forced into the stereotype even if it doesn't match, and then having everything you say invalidated because of it is rude whether you're a women or a man.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 11th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)

Re: Scapegoated

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Being invalidated hurts no matter who you are.

Being invalidated using stereotypes that don't really apply to you hurts no matter who you are.

Being invalidated using negative stereotypes that don't really apply to you but have been used against you your whole life anyway, by people who are supposed to understand how those stereotypes have been used against you and be anti the use of them?

Hurts no matter who you are.

Being mocked for being hurt about it using the very same stereotypes? Hmm...
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:November 11th, 2010 02:53 am (UTC)

Re: Scapegoated

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Yeah - I can understand that'd hurt too ;-(
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From:edm
Date:November 11th, 2010 12:21 am (UTC)

Re: Scapegoated

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Men's problems have frequently been considered trivial. Throughout history. And they've been expected to "be a man" about it, and not complain. No, these men with the problems are not the powerful men in important positions (whose problems, indeed, have always been held important). They're the unspoken ones without the same power. More recently Modern Feminism seems to look upon men's problems as trivialities due to All That Male Power.

The key thing that seems to have been overlooked in the last few decades is that men "are not a homogenous group", all imbued with equal amounts of power at birth. Some of them are powerful. Some not so much. The assumption that men are, ipso facto (by the fact of being men), all powerful is flawed. And leads to the wrong conclusions (and incorrect assumptions about why things happen). (And yes, I perfectly accept that on average men are more powerful than women and various other historical trends. And that that should change. My point is that people are not averages.)

I'm going to stop digging at this point. However one final parting observation: the stereotype (and expectation) that one is (always) strong is, in itself, problematic. In ways that society still hasn't really explored yet.

Ewen
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From:tatjna
Date:November 11th, 2010 12:31 am (UTC)

Re: Scapegoated

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Two things:

1. Isn't it funny* how my post about my anger at having POC frustration with white people's expressions of privilege aimed only at white women, has turned into a discussion of how men have been marginalised by history?

2. The 'strong' stereotype is indeed problematic, but the way it plays out for the people subject to it does not have the same implications either historically or currently as the 'weak' one, and is a completely separate discussion. Which, if you feel strongly about, you are free to start in your own blog, where I will happily discuss it on your terms.

* Where 'funny' actually means 'this happens every time and I'm getting kind of annoyed with it.'
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From:anna_en_route
Date:November 11th, 2010 02:27 am (UTC)
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For me this plays in to the whole thin privelege vs being ok with calling someone anorexic thing and come to think of it the same reason I object to people implying that Ann Coulter is either a slut or transgender.

No matter how priveleged (or horrible) someone is, if you're using their gender identity, race or size as a means of insulting them then I believe that you're in the wrong.

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From:tatjna
Date:November 11th, 2010 02:41 am (UTC)
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I agree.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:November 11th, 2010 02:56 am (UTC)
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Fantastically awesome - A+ and sound, double whammy of achievement!
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From:tatjna
Date:November 11th, 2010 02:59 am (UTC)
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I feel quite accomplished, even though the sound had little to do with me really.

(i bought the cables, made cups of tea and twiddle knobs)
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From:pythia
Date:November 11th, 2010 03:25 am (UTC)
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Urgh, I agree entirely.
So much of what goes on in feminist circles, particularly regarding POC and white women, seems more like "Hah! We've been oppressed for years, now it's your turn!" It seems more about revenge and making white people feel guilty than it actually does about changing the world and society into a place where no one is seen as unequal because of their skin colour, gender, physical appearance, whatever.
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From:anna_en_route
Date:November 11th, 2010 03:36 am (UTC)
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I don't know about that, I mean I'm mostly hanging out at the handmirror but I've seen a lot more constructive (if not exactly perfectly harmonius) conversations show up there than anything else.
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From:pythia
Date:November 11th, 2010 07:34 am (UTC)
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Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that it's all like that, or even most of it. I guess it's more that a lot of the more vocal members seems to have the mindset.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 11th, 2010 04:02 am (UTC)
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I have no issue with acknowledging white privilege, but I am increasingly disturbed by the way white privilege based insults are focused almost exclusively on women and the way those insults play to the stereotypes originally placed on all women. So we suck cos we're white but we suck more because we're white women.

Fuck that for a game of soldiers.
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From:pythia
Date:November 11th, 2010 07:42 am (UTC)
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Pretty much. I have no issue with acknowledging white privilege either, but the idea that white women are somehow more culpable than white men is...ridiculous and somewhat distressing.

I hate the term 'White Woman's Tears' as well, and how so many of the discussions about white privilege are applied mostly to white women. Feels a bit like intersectionality fail, and that implication is kind of that because we have white privilege, we can't also be negatively affected by male privilege.
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