| FAQ  | Search | Login 
It is currently Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:11 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 1379 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ... 56  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:43 am 
Offline
Mispronounces Daiya
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:44 pm
Posts: 1448
Location: Jungles of America
Yeah that would seem important. If she's just borrowing your stapler at work that's not as bad as stealing your wallet.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:22 pm 
Offline
TOTALLY CRADICAL
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:42 am
Posts: 7570
Location: Smugville, CA
hoveringdog wrote:
Tofulish wrote:
Well, that is the nature of privilege, you know? You don't have to see what other people are dealing with because its not part of your experience in the world.

I like to mention height discrimination as an example in this context, not just because it affects me personally, but because it's both ubiquitous and seldom acknowledged. But it turns out there's a significant demonstrated correlation between height and one's chance of getting hired or promoted, chance of getting married or having children, lifetime income (the average income difference between someone my height and someone 6'2" over one's working lifetime comes out to about a quarter million). Studies have shown that people unconsciously associate short stature with immaturity, insecurity, and incompetence. It's reflected in our language, too: you "look up to" someone you respect, and "look down upon" someone you don't. To be confident is to "stand tall." A bitter person is "petty" or "small." There's a good summary in an article Jonathan Rauch wrote for the Economist a while back: http://www.jonathanrauch.com/jrauch_art ... nish_last/

I bring it up because when I've mentioned it even among (taller) liberal folk who I'd expect would know better, I've had it dismissed as insignificant, something you can just overcome with a positive attitude. So it's made me a lot more aware of when similarly dismissive things are said in the context of other forms of discrimination, and to be more aware of my own thought processes when I think those things myself.


This is a really interesting point, and thank you for bringing it up here. I have also heard about these studies that show taller people are significantly favored in certain positions in life and are even attributed with certain traits based solely on their height.

I know it's been true for certainly quite some time (perhaps all of written history?) for men, but I think with women it's a fairly recent turn. As a taller woman myself (not quite 6'), I can definitely say I've reaped benefits that I am aware of and certainly many more that I don't even give thought to. However, my mom, who is taller than I, experienced a lot of negativity around her size just one generation before. She often talks wistfully of the generational differences and how, if she had been born later (or at least in a more tolerant society/family), she would be more likely to be encouraged as a model or a pro basketball player (or whatever stereotypical things tall women supposedly do) rather than ridiculed and made to feel unattractive or unwomanly.

So... heightism sucks.

_________________
"I get people straight up declaring "This isn't vegan" probably because it's not made of kale and tears." ~vixki
Sews Before Bros
Norton's Movie Maps


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:00 pm 
Offline
***LIES!!!***
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 4905
The height thing also feeds into male privilege. The difference between having a conversation standing in the hallway with a mixed group of men and women and having the same conversation with everyone seated around a table is huge. Even though in the latter case women won't talk as much/men will talk over women/men will acknowledge a woman's speech less than a man's, in the former case the effect is much larger against the shorter people in the group (primarily women) in favor of the taller (primarily men). It'd be an interesting thing to study how very tall women fare in that kind of situation compared to shorter women.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:33 pm 
Offline
WRETCHED
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:54 pm
Posts: 11918
Location: Maryland/DC area
I thought of this thread when I read this letter from someone who has spent his adult life on death row and is about to be executed. He was involved in a violent crime, more than he states but that isn't the point. The point is that there is a lot of social injustice going on in our criminal system. Why are our jails filled with minorities that come from poverty? Why do blacks and hispanics get judged more harshly in the legal system? I think this long letter covers a lot of issues and brings up some good points.
http://gawker.com/a-letter-from-ray-jas ... 1536073598

_________________
You are all a disgrace to vegans. Go f*ck yourselves, especially linanil.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:52 am 
Offline
Should Spend More Time Helping the Animals
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:49 pm
Posts: 6208
Location: Toronto, ON
Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
I know it's been true for certainly quite some time (perhaps all of written history?) for men, but I think with women it's a fairly recent turn. As a taller woman myself (not quite 6'), I can definitely say I've reaped benefits that I am aware of and certainly many more that I don't even give thought to. However, my mom, who is taller than I, experienced a lot of negativity around her size just one generation before. She often talks wistfully of the generational differences and how, if she had been born later (or at least in a more tolerant society/family), she would be more likely to be encouraged as a model or a pro basketball player (or whatever stereotypical things tall women supposedly do) rather than ridiculed and made to feel unattractive or unwomanly.


I grew up in a rural area and I had an experience very similar to that of your mom, and this was in the late 90's/early 2000's. I'm just slightly taller than the average male (in Canada) and so people were kind of mean in high school. I'm more or less over it now, but to this day, I still have times where I feel like an unattractive giant that towers over everyone.

_________________
I like my bagels like I like my men - big and covered with earth balance & nooch. - Bunniee

http://veganforthewin.wordpress.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:36 am 
Offline
Mispronounces Daiya
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:09 am
Posts: 1489
Location: Denver
Tigon wrote:
Yeah that would seem important. If she's just borrowing your stapler at work that's not as bad as stealing your wallet.

So, I might be the one who's misreading, and if that's the case forgive me, but I don't think the person in question is stealing physical objects, rather they're defending the practice of cultural appropriation.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:01 pm 
Offline
Wears Durian Helmet
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:06 pm
Posts: 852
I think the stealing example is an analogy. Raising the idea, possibly, that there is a continuum for appropriation whereby some cases are perhaps less offensive. This is my interpretation of the comments. Appropriation is a topic that has come up quite a bit for me recently, so I'm interested to hear more on this.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:23 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 22108
Location: Cliffbar NJ
Yes, I agree that Tigon was using it as analogy.

I was also interested in learning more about what appropriation was being discussed. Its like our discussion on twerking - at what point are certain cultural things appropriation versus just crossing over into mainstream culture naturally? When is something being borrowed without giving anything back to the community and disregarding the originators and when does it also benefit the originating community.

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.

THROW A forking YAM IN THE OVEN ITS forking CHRISTMAS - LisaPunk


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:25 pm 
Offline
Mispronounces Daiya
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:09 am
Posts: 1489
Location: Denver
Oh, tone on the internet, sometimes I miss you.

A while ago, my coworker and I were talking about appropriation (re: Miley and also fashion). He was not familiar with the term, but came up with a pretty good analysis. To paraphrase: if you are privileged relative to another group/person it is not ok to rip off what they have created in their struggle (eg. Bounce in NOLA), take credit and profit from it. If something is culturally important to another group, it is not cool to borrow it without invitation and understanding, just because you think it is cool.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:27 pm 
Offline
Mispronounces Daiya
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:44 pm
Posts: 1448
Location: Jungles of America
You guys give me too much credit. The original use of appropriation was so vague I thought it meant literal theft. I read a lot more stories on economics than culture.

I don't have an answer for this more nuanced use of the term. It certainly seems like it would depend greatly on the situation.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:32 pm 
Offline
Wears Durian Helmet
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:06 pm
Posts: 852
Olives wrote:
Oh, tone on the internet, sometimes I miss you.

A while ago, my coworker and I were talking about appropriation (re: Miley and also fashion). He was not familiar with the term, but came up with a pretty good analysis. To paraphrase: if you are privileged relative to another group/person it is not ok to rip off what they have created in their struggle (eg. Bounce in NOLA), take credit and profit from it. If something is culturally important to another group, it is not cool to borrow it without invitation and understanding, just because you think it is cool.

what if you don't profit from it, but just enjoy it? what if some members of a group invite you to use/take part, but others don't, and find it offensive? (not specifically bounce, but any cultural thing).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:42 pm 
Offline
Mispronounces Daiya
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:09 am
Posts: 1489
Location: Denver
Yeah, obvs. that's an analysis that only works in terms of commercial stuff.

It's tricky, of course. I don't think that being invited to participate in/use culturally significant stuff by a few members of a group gives you a right to that thing. For example, I have friends who host Passover seders. While I am not Jewish or even spiritual, I enjoy participating when I am invited. It's a great holiday, I enjoy the community reflection (and food and wine!) and it is something culturally important my friends want to share. But I'm not going to host my own seder, because that would feel really inappropriate. It's not my tradition, I don't have a rich understanding of it, and it is (to my understanding) an important holiday for Jewish people.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:46 pm 
Offline
Mispronounces Daiya
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:09 am
Posts: 1489
Location: Denver
Also, for the same reasons I am not going to record myself singing a hip-hop remix of Dayenu. (Also because I am an awful singer.)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:30 pm 
Offline
Married to the wolfman
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:49 pm
Posts: 6256
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
In my life I have moved between socio-economic spheres pretty dramatically. I grew up in poverty, now I'm upper middle class. A lot of things happened in between obviously. I like to think I don't forget the privilege that comes along with my move, because I see it everywhere. It shows up in seemingly small and unimportant places. Like I can go to the grocery store and if I stand in the cereal aisle for ten minutes trying to decide whether or not I want to shell out $5 for a box of cereal that is going to be gone so forking fast... Nobody harasses me. Store staff does not show up and try to move me along or suggest that I am possibly shoplifting. That is amazing to me still.

But then things happen like today which make me realize just how far removed I am from that life now. I went to lunch (same one as the vegan pet peeves, and let me say, these people aren't as horrible as they must sound excerpted on the internet) and at one point the conversation turned to public school vs private school. One woman pretty much said "well some parents just don't CARE where their kids go to school, I mean you can let them enroll in different school districts and they're still just going to send their kids to whatever is down the street!!" Like all parents can realistically decide to send their kids anywhere BUT the place that's down the street. When you have just got off third shift and can stay awake long enough to get your older kids on the bus and hope to god they actually then enter the high school instead of forking off to wherever... Yeah no, you aren't thinking about which forking school district little precious is going to and whether or not it is best facilitating and nurturing her special talents.

The conversation progressed from here to pretty much talking about how everyone in the group likes to keep their older kids away from poor kids and "latchkey kids whose parents can't be there because they're providing for their families and I mean, good for them" (that is a quote) and ugh ugh ugh.

And I was thinking about it afterwards and thinking to myself, who the shiitake would say these kind of things in mixed company, in front of people whose backgrounds you don't know and whom you haven't met before?

And then I thought, that is one kernel of what privilege is: being secure enough in your position and its correctness that you don't have to stop and think "maybe I shouldn't talk about this in front of other people."

(Sorry if this made no sense. I am a bit upset and rambling.)

_________________
"Hummus; a gentleman's vice." -- Mars


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:20 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 22108
Location: Cliffbar NJ
Ugh, I hear you C&S!

I feel like everyone complains about being poor, even the middle class, so they don't really get what poverty is. A friend of mine was complaining that kindergarten is SO expensive and they need financial aid to send their second child blahblahblah and its just so hard when you don't have enough money. Um you are going to get financial aid to send 2 children to kindergarten for $60,000 (combined) a year, rather than send them to the public kindergarten in your very swanky upper middle class town. I get that its frustrating, but that doesn't make you poor.

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.

THROW A forking YAM IN THE OVEN ITS forking CHRISTMAS - LisaPunk


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:54 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 22108
Location: Cliffbar NJ
Oh, and my former boss made $5 million a year and still bitched about how incredibly expensive it was to send your children to private school. And he said he needed to send them there because otherwise they'd never get into a good school, conveniently forgetting that everyone in his family had gone to Harvard and they were all going to be legacies anyway.

I feel like we always look up at the people making more than us and feel poor, but the poor are so invisible that we don't want to see them, and we don't need to see them unless we make an effort.

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.

THROW A forking YAM IN THE OVEN ITS forking CHRISTMAS - LisaPunk


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:01 pm 
Offline
Married to the wolfman
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:49 pm
Posts: 6256
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Well, and I think the thing that frustrates and horrifies me more than just the "oh I'm sooooo pooooor, I have to work part time to afford to send my three kids to private school!" angle is just the lack of understanding or empathy for people on the other side. If it feels like a financial burden to you to make the CHOICE to send your kids to a particular school, well okay, that is your experience.

But the assumption that other people HAVE a choice is just... Mind blowing. One of the primary traits of poverty, one of the reasons that being poor y'know, sucks, is that it really strips you of choice. Or limits your choice so far that the only choices you have are shitty ones.

_________________
"Hummus; a gentleman's vice." -- Mars


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:14 pm 
Offline
Nooch of Earl
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:18 pm
Posts: 3794
Location: Bella Napoli
As someone who enjoys many forms of privilege but like anyone wants the best I can provide for my child(ren), I find the whole school issue among the trickiest to navigate. It's something we'll be facing in a much more real way once we get back to the US, and it seems like a real tragedy of the commons problem. It seems like the best thing for public schools is for exactly the kinds of people able and willing to pursue alternatives to stay, but I'm not convinced as a parent that this is the best thing for my daughter in some of the school systems we might be moving to. I know it is something that a lot of my friends genuinely agonize over. Might be worth a playground thread! (And yes I too have facebook friends in a surprising range of incomes who are always complaining about being broke..like, gee, could the private school tuition and four mortgages have anything to do with that?)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:34 pm 
Offline
WRETCHED
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:54 pm
Posts: 11918
Location: Maryland/DC area
I think part of it is that people really have no concept of what poverty feels like so of course if struggle to buy the same things as people in your social class buy, then you feel poor. They don't understand the real threats of not having food in the house, having your utilities cut off, figuring how you are going to pay the rent, working 60-80 hours per week just to make ends meet, etc. I don't know how to get them perspective though.

_________________
You are all a disgrace to vegans. Go f*ck yourselves, especially linanil.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:45 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 22108
Location: Cliffbar NJ
I think its easy to get perspective and be an ally if you want to - it all starts with listening to people who are poor (even if that means reading blogs like this http://poorasfolk.wordpress.com/) or otherwise marginalized.

The problem is that if someone doesn't want to actively seek that out, then its not going to be part of their experience, and that is the nature of being privileged - you see your world reflected everywhere, and you assume that everyone else lives that life too. You don't turn on the television or open up a magazine and see people who are marginalized.

I love what Junot Diaz says about privilege:
Quote:
"If you want to make a human being a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all. I was like, ‘Yo, is something wrong with me?’ That the whole society seems to think that people like me don’t exist? And part of what inspired me was this deep desire, that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors, so that kids like me might see themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it."


http://www.nj.com/entertainment/arts/in ... irror.html

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.

THROW A forking YAM IN THE OVEN ITS forking CHRISTMAS - LisaPunk


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:23 pm 
Offline
Heeeerrrrree's JACKY!
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:39 pm
Posts: 5108
Location: the Eug
Tofulish wrote:
Yes, I agree that Tigon was using it as analogy.

I was also interested in learning more about what appropriation was being discussed. Its like our discussion on twerking - at what point are certain cultural things appropriation versus just crossing over into mainstream culture naturally? When is something being borrowed without giving anything back to the community and disregarding the originators and when does it also benefit the originating community.


I was not ignoring this conversation.. I am just finally back in town.

She (in this case a white woman) was talking about belly dancing. And referencing the article http://www.salon.com/2014/03/04/why_i_cant_stand_white_belly_dancers/. A number of other white women spoke up say that the author was whining and then posted a number of other things to offer this woman of color author a (And I do quote here) "proper education".

I was a belly dancer for a while. And I love it. But if anyone tells me that they feel my doing so, say publicly, or in certain settings is problematic, I will listen.

So it does fall into the twerking sort of category I think. However their response to a criticism is absolutely vomit worthy. And they certainly aren't giving back to the community in this circumstance. They are not wanting to listen to the other side of the coin.

_________________
Don't mind my breasts and vagina, I'm a gay man.---Idatetatooedguys.

"Tots: the universal food band-aid... better than a mother's kiss. Healin' wounds since 1954." Meggs


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:44 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 22108
Location: Cliffbar NJ
Thanks for sharing the article and your experience. I made the mistake of reading the comments.

I thought this was a great article differentiating between appropriation and inspiration. http://jezebel.com/5959698/a-much-neede ... ropriation And it features Cultural Appropriation Bingo!
Image

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.

THROW A forking YAM IN THE OVEN ITS forking CHRISTMAS - LisaPunk


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:49 am 
Offline
WRETCHED
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:54 pm
Posts: 11918
Location: Maryland/DC area
Tofulish wrote:
I think its easy to get perspective and be an ally if you want to - it all starts with listening to people who are poor (even if that means reading blogs like this http://poorasfolk.wordpress.com/) or otherwise marginalized.

The problem is that if someone doesn't want to actively seek that out, then its not going to be part of their experience, and that is the nature of being privileged - you see your world reflected everywhere, and you assume that everyone else lives that life too. You don't turn on the television or open up a magazine and see people who are marginalized.

I love what Junot Diaz says about privilege:
Quote:
"If you want to make a human being a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all. I was like, ‘Yo, is something wrong with me?’ That the whole society seems to think that people like me don’t exist? And part of what inspired me was this deep desire, that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors, so that kids like me might see themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it."


http://www.nj.com/entertainment/arts/in ... irror.html


I'm a little bit more skeptical on the perspective aspect. I think people can read blogs, books, news articles all day long but really it is providing prospective from a safe distance. I think it is better than nothing and can be a start for many people who may delve deeper. I think unless you've seen it first hand, either as an outsider or someone who has lived it, then it is hard to really understand what poverty does to people.

And yes, tv doesn't help. Even among shows that try to show normal working class people, the people tend to live in good neighborhoods with large houses. That is not a reality when many people can't afford to buy homes and often live in smaller, multi-generational homes (or apartments) where kids don't get their own rooms.

_________________
You are all a disgrace to vegans. Go f*ck yourselves, especially linanil.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:05 pm 
Offline
TOTALLY CRADICAL
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:42 am
Posts: 7570
Location: Smugville, CA
kfad wrote:
Tofulish wrote:
Yes, I agree that Tigon was using it as analogy.

I was also interested in learning more about what appropriation was being discussed. Its like our discussion on twerking - at what point are certain cultural things appropriation versus just crossing over into mainstream culture naturally? When is something being borrowed without giving anything back to the community and disregarding the originators and when does it also benefit the originating community.


I was not ignoring this conversation.. I am just finally back in town.

She (in this case a white woman) was talking about belly dancing. And referencing the article http://www.salon.com/2014/03/04/why_i_cant_stand_white_belly_dancers/. A number of other white women spoke up say that the author was whining and then posted a number of other things to offer this woman of color author a (And I do quote here) "proper education".

I was a belly dancer for a while. And I love it. But if anyone tells me that they feel my doing so, say publicly, or in certain settings is problematic, I will listen.

So it does fall into the twerking sort of category I think. However their response to a criticism is absolutely vomit worthy. And they certainly aren't giving back to the community in this circumstance. They are not wanting to listen to the other side of the coin.


I was really interested to hear what my boyfriend, born in Lebanon and raised in the U.S., thought of this article. He got as far as the first paragraph before he got too angry to read further. He called the author a segregationist and said "she doesn't speak for all Arabs."

I can certainly sympathize and to a certain extent agree with her objections to non-Arab women dressing up in harem costumes, smearing kohl on their faces, or even adopting an Arabic stage name. But if someone of any race takes a genuine interest in an art form and learns it, practices it, and dedicates their time to it, I think that should count for something. The author didn't make the point that belly dancing is religious, sacred, or part of some arcane, exclusive society that non-Arabs will never hope to understand or join- she simply seems to be saying "you can't have it because it's ours," which is an opening point for dialogue, certainly, but not a justification in and of itself. It's a wide world out there that's growing smaller every day, and melding cultures are going to be inevitable, just as they always have been. I think laying down this kind of exclusionary edict rather than working to educate people will lead to more appropriation rather than respectful observance.

Ultimately I think it boils down to the fact that she doesn't- and can't- speak for all Arab women, just as nobody can be the self-appointed spokesperson for any one particular group. My boyfriend told me after discussing this that his mom, who used to dance herself in restaurants, was thrilled to no end whenever she saw a white belly dancer, would ask them eagerly if they spoke Arabic, and when they inevitably didn't, she thanked them anyway for bringing some of her culture to her new country.

_________________
"I get people straight up declaring "This isn't vegan" probably because it's not made of kale and tears." ~vixki
Sews Before Bros
Norton's Movie Maps


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Understanding Privilege
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:23 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 22108
Location: Cliffbar NJ
Well, I agree that she doesn't speak for all Arab women or all bellydancers, but that doesn't mean that her story or her opinion lack validity or merit, right? And neither your boyfriend nor his mother speaks for all Arabs either.

I think there is a danger that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, and assume that that person is speaking for everyone, then we end up with a critical misunderstanding about the person or country, but at the same time, just because others may not agree doesn't invalidate the points or opinions of the person, you know? I think being an ally means listening to a lot of voices from the community. I liked this piece on the value of having many voices : http://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adi ... ngle_story

I have been wrestling with how to deal with people who say "Well my black friend says" as a way to dismiss another black person's story or experience, so I've been thinking a lot about this issue. I don't think it helps a minority community for us to be unwilling to listen to one person's experience because it doesn't reflect the experience of the whole community, because hey, even in the majority, there isn't one person who speaks for everyone, so why should we demand that from a minority group, and condition our willingness to listen to one person's opinion on them being the spokesperson for their group?

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.

THROW A forking YAM IN THE OVEN ITS forking CHRISTMAS - LisaPunk


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 1379 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ... 56  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Template made by DEVPPL/ThatBigForum and fancied up by What Cheer