Mookychick Messageboard  
Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Chatbox
Please log in to join the chat!
Post Info TOPIC: Our Own Privilege and Involuntary Opression of Others


Mookish Deity Most High

Status: Offline
Posts: 1137
Date:
Our Own Privilege and Involuntary Opression of Others


I started thinking about this recently after reading upon racism and realizing my own privilege as a white person finding myself guilty of much "involutary racism" (when you reproduce it witout meaning to because you've been so indoctrinated by the norms of society that you subconsciously act on racist values you didn't even know you had. Ever heard someone say that you can't decide for yourself whether you're a sexist/racist/homophobe/etc, that's for others to decide by judging your actions? That's true. But I'm sure you all knew all this already.)

That gave me an idea. I'm thinking it might even become an article, perhaps.

Ways for people in privileged groups to realize their own privilege, and how not to be guilty of involuntary sexism/racism/homophobia/etc.

 

For instance, when inquiring about somebody's relationship status, one shouldn't ask women if they have boyfriends and men if they have girlfriends; instead, just ask if they're in a relationship.

When meeting an androgynous person whose gender identity isn't apparent, ask which pronoun they prefer rather than just guessing.

Don't be guilty of cultural appropriation.

If you're male and among women, ake sure to properly listen to them and make sure you're not taking up more space and attention than all of the women together. Just because they're letting you, doesn't mean that they really want to.

If you're white, don't try and touch non-white people's hair.

And never talk of anything that makes their race diferent fom yours as "weird". (When I was dating Monkey, who is Indian, I used to play with his pubic hair, telling him how strange, almost unnatural it seemed to me that anyone could have black pubic hair. He'd eventually get annoyed and tell me that he found my blonde pubes weird. I just laughed, safe in the comfort of the entire white norm and eurocentric beauty ideals agreeing with me and not him. Very racist. Of course not on purpose, but I didn't realize that until much later.)

 

That's just a few off the top of my head. But I'd love to hear what others think of this, have you ever caught yourself exhibiting opressive behaviour towards others? How do you think of your own privileges? In which situations have you noticed them? And what shall people think of to avoid being the cause of involuntary opression?

 

 

 



__________________


Mookish Deity Most High

Status: Offline
Posts: 1663
Date:

One thing that helped me realise how subconscious my own racial privelege is was taking an implicit associations test. There's many tests you can take and it's often quite surprising as to the results. Almost everyone (including people of colour) are biased against black people, except during the olympics, weirdly.

The only other tips I can give is that don't say statements like "You're pretty x for a y" or "You're not like other ________". You might think that you are paying a compliment, when in fact you are asserting that the group of people this individual belongs to is somehow substandard, and in communities like the trans* community you might even be talking about individuals this person knows (example: "You look really good for a transwoman. I know this girl Louise and she just looks like a man in drag."). This also suggests that your opinion as a priveleged person is something that even matters. It probably doesn't.

On that note- YOUR OPINION DOESN'T MATTER. If you are a cis-person, don't tell trans* people how they should dress, live their lives, organise themselves politically, whatever. It is none of your business. Do not tell people of colour how they should feel about their background, how they should "get back in touch with their roots" or whatever. It is none of your business. And my personal hatred, STOP TELLING DISABLED PEOPLE THAT THEY ARE AN INSPIRATION. THEY ARE GETTING ON WITH THEIR LIVES. THIS IS THEIR BUSINESS, AND THEY SURE AS HELL DIDN'T DO IT TO INSPIRE YOU.



__________________

too weak to labor on the farm

too indolent to do any exercise

too stupid for the bar

and

too immoral for the pulpit



Mookish Deity Most High

Status: Offline
Posts: 1026
Date:

I don't know if this is any way useful, but one of my ex-lovers, whose pseudonym is Saīd, is half Algerian, on his mother's side, half French. From his (real) name, one would assume he was white and French. I drew him once for an art project, titling it with his name, and one of my friends, who had never met him, said, "You've made him look black."

All of my friends who ever met him said to me afterwards they thought he was white, and were surprised to find out he wasn't. One day, when I was out in town with him, one of my friends asked if she could join us. When she arrived, she said, "Oh! I thought you were with [Saīd]. Who's this?"

I didn't realise until many years later how much he struggled with his identity, and I know now that were definitely things I could and should have done differently.

I'll come back and edit later if I can think of any specific examples.

__________________


Mookish Deity Most High

Status: Offline
Posts: 3438
Date:

" Your data suggest little to no automatic preference between African American children and European American children."

*proud face*

__________________


Mookish Deity Most High

Status: Offline
Posts: 2256
Date:

I'm far too tired to think about this properly (I'll do it tomorrow) but I'd like to talk about pubes for a moment. What you described must be a Scandinavian thing, not a European/white people thing. Where I live, blonde eyebrows, eyelashes and pubes are considered very, very weird and brown or black body hair is the norm. People don't believe me when I tell them that blonde body hair exists. Weird.

__________________

"Wilfred Allsop was sitting up, his face pale, his eyes glassy, his hair disordered. He looked like the poet Shelley after a big night out with Lord Byron." - P. G. Wodehouse

Mooky's Decadent Victorian Aesthete





Mookish Deity Most High

Status: Offline
Posts: 1137
Date:

^
It wasn't so much about the hair itself, but more the fact that the majority of people would probably find a complexion light enough to provide blonde body hair over Monkey's dark brown skin and black body hair. Due to the eurocentric beauty ideals. Shit, all the ways in which people alter their appearace to try and be a white as possible almost deserves a list of its own...

But perhaps I should do some pubic hair-pulling next time I leave Northern Europe, and see the reaction l get then? XD



__________________


Mookish Deity Most High

Status: Offline
Posts: 3438
Date:

It's even better in Celtic areas where you get GINGER PUBES!!!

I realise I'm adding absolutely nothing to this conversation right now but I'm too tired to be sensible right now.

__________________


Mookish Deity Most High

Status: Offline
Posts: 1556
Date:

^haha! I've not got anything to say right now, but this thread is awesome and very thought provoking. I will definitely have a ponder and return!

__________________

"You're a tough cookie, but all cookies are crumbly sometimes, that however, makes them no less of a cookie, and they're just as good as any other cookie." ~Indiana Jones

 

 

 



Mookish Deity Most High

Status: Offline
Posts: 1137
Date:

Spikeyfaerie wrote:

It's even better in Celtic areas where you get GINGER PUBES!!!


 Bison has that! But then again, she's part british/irish. Since she and I were the only girls in our class who actually showered in the dressing rooms during puberty in grade school, I thought those pubes were way more common than they actually are, for a long time.



__________________


Regular Crew

Status: Offline
Posts: 30
Date:

I think subconsciously stereotyped (or even more pernicious) associations are a problem that would ideally be less frequently equated to the semantic and philosophical nuances of its implications in social psychology than people seem to want it to be. While our initial (and perhaps our most delicate) tendencies toward demographically categorizing people begin with verbal or visual associations and other, comparably simplistic aspects of our perceptual perspectives, I think it is a bit unhealthy to assume full responsibility for our involuntary mental flaws without taking their ultimate manifestations into account. If you see an unfamiliar black person at say, your university, and perfunctorily assume that they aren't a student or professor, but immediately realize how inane, ignorant, and highly improbable that would be, immediately afterward, I don't think you should have to hate yourself for it. If, on the other hand, you make a passing comment to someone else about them that expresses suspicion, you are very much a racist, because, for all you know, the person you spoke to might tell someone else, and someone down the line may end up harassing that innocent student or professor (see: security or even real cops) just because you or someone else in your position had to say something out of pure ignorance. Therefore, being able to identify and manage your potentially virulent subconscious processes is extremely important, but only when applied to the very real consequences that may arise from them, even if they aren't nearly as direct as they were in my example. Ascribing inordinate levels of inherent value to our congenital cognitive susceptibility to virtually all extrinsic adversity undermines the paramount role of our capacity to deal with them appropriately, especially in differentiating those of us who choose to contribute to the subversion of prejudice from the most indefensible of bigots.



-- Edited by Lucas Prassas on Monday 16th of September 2013 08:10:16 PM

__________________


Runic Mook of the North (mod)

Status: Offline
Posts: 2641
Date:

little charlie wrote:

One thing that helped me realise how subconscious my own racial privelege is was taking an implicit associations test. There's many tests you can take and it's often quite surprising as to the results. Almost everyone (including people of colour) are biased against black people, except during the olympics, weirdly.

 


I didn't manage to complete that race test. The questions were fine, but then you are supposed to memorize a lot of faces and what "race" group they belong to. It says that all it require is the ability to distinguish between "black" and "white" faces, but the faces are all grey so how can you tell? Are there supposed to be any facial features that can distinguish between "black" and "white" people? That does not quite fit reality, does it? Facial features are so varied in the human race that they are quite useless in order to label people as "black" or "white"?

And the damn thing is stopping if you are making too many mistakes. I suck at memorizing faces so I eventually just gave up :( 



__________________

"So what you are saying is -I shouldn't play with fire" she said at last. "Of course you should" said One-Eye gently. "But don't be surprised if the fire play back." -Joanne Harris



Regular Crew

Status: Offline
Posts: 30
Date:

yeah that test didn't seem particularly well-implemented. I may have been doing it wrong by going a tiny bit slower than I think they were suggesting, but I didn't get any 'X's until late in each test, at which point my mistakes seemed pretty much random. also, i have no idea why they would pick 'e' and 'i'... were they trying to break my fingers?

__________________


Runic Mook of the North (mod)

Status: Offline
Posts: 2641
Date:

I think the point is that you should use both hands on the keyboard.

Anyway, I did another of the tests, the sexuality one, and there at least they had recognisable symbols so you do not have to rely just on memory. But I'd still say that this test relies too much on memory rather than true association despite my politically correct result :p

 

Editing instead of double posting:

I'll give that test page kudos for one thing though: It several tests for other prejudices too, highlighting that awareness about your privileges are important in more than cases of being white and/or male. And some of them are maybe not as highlighted as they should. For example:

Privilege of being young.

Privilege of being able-bodied. 

Privilege of being thin.



-- Edited by Irilar on Tuesday 17th of September 2013 02:12:57 PM

__________________

"So what you are saying is -I shouldn't play with fire" she said at last. "Of course you should" said One-Eye gently. "But don't be surprised if the fire play back." -Joanne Harris

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us