Wah Wah, Where Is The Stuff For White Men?

A recent conversation with a friend reminded me of yet another of the "death by a thousand paper cuts**" craptastic things I used to hate dealing with in my days in the scientific workforce. You know what I'm talking about. Could be a retreat, a workshop, a seminar, a meeting, a program, maybe even just a discussion, but whatever it is, diversity is the subject, explicit or implicit. On one occasion it was a discussion about whether a tiny little space should be set aside for students of a certain group. On another it was a pizza party for women students. But ever and anon, at such occasions, you will hear the plaintive wail:
"Where is the [meeting/retreat/study room/pizza party/program] for white men?"
At K-State, where I was for a time director of the Women in Engineering and Science Program, I was asked not once but several times "Where is the program for men in engineering?" I had various answers. Sometimes, when I felt pissy, I would say, "That would be the whole College of Engineering." Sometimes when I felt polemical, I would say, "You know, that's a good question. It's good for us to think about why we need a program for women in engineering. Women can do engineering work, but engineering is not as successful in attracting and keeping them as it is with men. So in a sense, the program is more for the college of engineering than it is for the women." Sometimes, when I felt Socratic, I would say, "That's a good question. What do you think men need that they aren't getting, that a men in engineering program would provide?"
But all times, this is what I really wanted to say:
Jesus H. Christ! Every time I hear that "where is the whateverthefuck for white men" I want to say "seriously? Seriously? you think you are the first motherfucking white d00d in the whole motherfucking world to come up with that acid riposte in a diversity-related seminar/meeting/retreat/discussion? SERIOUSLY? Go away and come up with an ORIGINAL white d00d whine and we will think about giving you a diversity cookie. Until then, open up your motherfucking white d00d eyes and take a look around at how the whole entire world is plastered with signs that say 'White D00ds 'Specially Welcome Here!' 'K? Thx."
**(The) Knight Higher Education Collaborative (September 2001). Gender Intelligence. Policy Perspectives, 10(2), 1-9.

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  • Cherish says:

    Sometimes, when I felt pissy, I would say, "That would be the whole College of Engineering."
    When I was doing my undergrad at Caltech (which, at that time was 75-80% men), I worked at the Women's Center. We got these sorts of comments and questions all the time. "We need a men's center, too!" The director, when she was really torqued and knew no one else would hear, would turn to me and say, "That would be the whole damned school!" That was pretty much how it felt.

  • eatmycheesywedge says:

    If, as seems likely, 'pizza party' is some sort of slang for 'lesbian orgy', couldn't you have just explained to the men that it was physically impossible for them to have a 'pizza party', but that you'd be happy to lay on a 'sausage fest' for them?
    Sometimes, it's like you don't even TRY to see equitable solutions, Zuska.

  • Emily says:

    I like this. Good job! I mean, for a girl.

  • Dick says:

    Well, missy, clearly you aren't ever planning to work again. Because who would want to hire anyone who is so damn cranky when asked such a reasonable question? One of the cool things about privilege, surely, is how we're all equal - until activists kill the buzz. These "special" programs make the truly special feel less so, maybe even bad or left out and certainly not at the center as is normal and natural. Diversity hurts, Zuska.

  • Flora says:

    Eatmycheesywedge, can I have your baby? I don't mean "can I"--I may be a girl but even I realize it's not scientifically possible--I mean, "may I?".
    During my first stint in college years ago one of the frats was caught... doing some fratty thing, I can't even remember what. And a lot of frat boys (who, granted, were a minority at that school and didn't wield a lot of power) were whining about being oppressed because of their frat status. A line from an editorial in the school paper has stuck in my mind ever since. It was something like, well, you may feel oppressed now, but never fear, when you get out, "the world is your fraternity". That's the response that always comes to mind when I hear that particular whine.

  • Michelle says:

    I get so sick of this. Also, I get sick of hearing complaints about how, while there are many minority directed scholarships available for graduate students at my Uni, there are no scholarships for white men from affluent families. Seriously? What a ridiculous complaint!!!

  • Alex says:

    Yeah, but where is the kick-ass alter-ego blog for white men?

  • I recently had a similar conversation with a labmate. I had to explain about disadvantages due to privilege/power imbalances - to his credit he was actually quite receptive. It was clear that he just hadn't thought about it before. But then he wanted to know why there wasn't special educational assistance set aside for people like him since he was "educationally disadvantaged" since his family wasn't wealthy.
    Didn't you say you have student loans? Are they not need-based financial aid? Does this not address the specific disadvantage that you have experienced?
    Oh. Well, yeah I guess, but *anybody* can get those.

  • Ace says:

    (echo michelle)
    The first time I heard it, I honestly couldn't believe that someone would complain about scholarships designed to attract minorities and underprivileged people to university. Some people honestly seem to think that totally unqualified minority students are being brought into engineering at the cost of some poor, intelligent white man that lost his spot at university because of affirmative action. I've also met people who seem to think that every woman/minority gets a scholarship or free tuition. In every case, it's hard to formulate a polite response instead of a strangulation.

  • Dick says:

    But Ace! Is your diversity plane going to be based on Bernoulli's principle or are you going to make your airfoils flat out of principles of feminist equality so no point is higher than any other? We want just the best and brightest in engineering! Of course everyone wants to be nice to Others but what about standards? Most will agree it is good to have more Others in engineering and science - it is nice to have their pictures in your recruiting brochures, if nothing else - as long as nothing has to change.

  • Thegoodman says:

    As a white male that is an electrical engineer, I have to disagree with this post a bit.
    Zuska seems to be misunderstanding the tongue-in-cheek request that white males have for their own special function. The question is "If other genders/races/creeds get a special group/lunch/club/seating area/scholarship/funding, why I am not allowed the same privileges?"
    Just because engineering schools are mostly white men doesn't mean that everyone who IS NOT a white man should get things on a silver platter. While other groups have gatherings to discuss similarities and are regularly rewarded with scholarships, white males get pushed into the herd and are told to shut up and enjoy our supposed privileged position.
    Should anyone feel sorry for me? Absolutely not. But that doesn't mean we are not entitle to the same rights as other people. It does mean that we shouldn't feel sorry for anyone else either. Life sucks for the rich, the poor, the black, the white, the women, the men; and everyone in between. We all have to work hard to be successful and we all have our own set of challenges to deal with.
    The moronic rant at the end of your post perpetuates stereotypes.

  • petulant six year old says:

    Why there isn't a Kid's day like Mother's day and Father's day?

  • RyanR says:

    @11 "We all have to work hard to be successful and we all have our own set of challenges to deal with."
    The suggestion that everyone's challenges in life are equal strikes me as profoundly ignorant.

  • rodrigo says:

    Thank you, Thegoodman@11. As a lazy brown man I now understand how difficult life has been made for you by all the entitlements I've received. I'll go walk in some AZ town without my licence now, just to prove you right yet again.

  • Freemage says:

    Every time I even get close to lapsing and falling back into the trap of my privileged outlook, someone like Thegoodman comes along and shows me just how much of an asshole I used to be. I thus consider him to be performing a valuable service.

  • Kate from Iowa says:

    Love your responses, Zuska. When in a situation where people actually said the same kind of crap to me, my standard response was "You know, you've got a point. Maybe you and your friends should get together and do that." Made at leas 99% of them shut the hell up and go the hell away. They don't want to do it themselves, they want it handed to them. Gee, what does that tell us about them and the way they see the world?

  • Queef says:

    Oh yeah, I keep forgetting. White men are the devil in all cases. Okay, thanks for the refresher. I was worried that things be somewhat more complex than that old divide.

  • Queef says:

    Like the fact that not all white males have money or power.

  • skeptifem says:

    It is because they think that their experience is the same as the racism and sexism that oppressed groups face. The d00ds do not understand that instead of some rare and advantageous event, discrimination is, for minorities & women, a constant problem that fucks them over. It illustrates the fucking stupid idea that white dudes are on equal footing with everyone else discrimination-wise. It is like complaining about the lack of band aids for a paper cut to someone who has had their arm ripped off.

  • Kermit says:

    Queef - nobody here said that the White Man® was the devil in all cases. It is telling that you can't distinguish the difference between someone acting like a jerk and someone who isn't. I was told in high school to keep my grades up if I wanted to get into a good college. My wife was told that she shouldn't waste her time on math and chemistry. She was a girl, you see. (She got her degree anyway, in psychobiology.) Whenever I hear another white dude whine about his disadvantages, I cringe. Bad form! No, not all of us are the devil. But many of us, apparently, are spoiled wimps and never learned that Real Men don't cheat.

  • Zoasterboy says:

    Oh man this was the lulziest post ever.
    I totally agree, people need to just think for a moment and realize the conscious and unconscious biases minorities/women have to fight.
    They deserve a little help. I wish everyone was just helpful. People need to stop whining and go help somebody out. Planet's full of whiners.

  • Zoasterboy says:

    By the way, love the title of your blog.

  • Queef says:

    So the minority of white men who experience hardship, poverty, hatred, bigotry, and (markedly less so) sexism don't count because they're still white? Gotcha.

  • Zoasterboy says:

    @Queef
    All I have to say is, who curs. I hate wasting my energy on whining. I like building things. The only solution to everything is to educate the entire planet. That's the only thing I strive for.

  • skeptifem says:

    Just because engineering schools are mostly white men doesn't mean that everyone who IS NOT a white man should get things on a silver platter.

    That is the point d00d, if you aren't a white man you don't get things handed to you on a silver platter. The scholarships and groups are there to try and make up for that. I know you probably won't believe it (because you have the privilege to not have it happen to you all day), but there are daily challenges involved with not being a white guy. How nice that you can decide a scholarship + a lifetime of bullshit= "a silver platter". You have no clue, and I am guessing that you aren't going to go look for one either.

    While other groups have gatherings to discuss similarities and are regularly rewarded with scholarships, white males get pushed into the herd and are told to shut up and enjoy our supposed privileged position.

    They have their own groups and discussions because the mainstream of it is for the white dudes. Being part of the dominant culture means you do not have to put "white guys" in front of the name of things, it is implied. When people in your demographic make up the majority of the people in power their perspective is put into everything. You have made it clear that there *is* a white dude perspective (that you want to share but are told to shut up about), and since you know that you have to know that when they run most things their perspective doesn't disappear from what they create. Oppressed people already understand the white dude perspective, they are immersed in it constantly. You have to search for perspectives outside of that norm of white maleness. Non privileged people want their own place to discuss problems that you don't understand because you do not have to deal with it, and you never will.

    Should anyone feel sorry for me? Absolutely not. But that doesn't mean we are not entitle to the same rights as other people.It does mean that we shouldn't feel sorry for anyone else either. Life sucks for the rich, the poor, the black, the white, the women, the men; and everyone in between. We all have to work hard to be successful and we all have our own set of challenges to deal with.

    You wanna trade me, d00d? I will give you your club and scholarships and pizza and all that shit if I can have your privilege. Enjoy experiencing stereotype threat, lord knows I do!
    I was once like you, I had that "oh well we all struggle, there isn't anything unique about racism" thing going on. I got all pissy when people insisted that I could never understand racism. It eventually clicked that I just can't, and never will, and that when people of color tell me it isn't like other problems I should probably fucking listen. I do not have to accept racism or think about it because I do not actually have to deal with it. I could live a whole lifetime of only hearing dominant opinion on race, because I am privileged. I am in a position where I have the nice option to choose not to care or think about it, other people do not. It is what other people live every single day. Part of the reason why it isn't like other problems is that you can actually do something about it, like not make it harder for people by trivializing a problem you will never have and by asking for a 'fair' representation when you take more than your fair share of privilege every friggin day.

  • Beth says:

    @Queef #23
    Of course they count and if possible they should be helped; but unless the hardship, etc is directed at them specifically because they are a white male then it's a totally different issue than what we're talking about here. White men are not systematically discriminated against.

  • skeptifem says:

    So the minority of white men who experience hardship, poverty, hatred, bigotry, and (markedly less so) sexism don't count because they're still white? Gotcha.

    Wtf do you mean, "doesn't count"? It counts as something, not the SAME thing. I don't know why anyone would be so obsessed with making sure that their experiences are considered exactly equal with ones that they will never have. You don't know, and you can't. Deal with it.

  • Kierra says:

    So the minority of white men who experience hardship, poverty, hatred, bigotry, and (markedly less so) sexism don't count because they're still white? Gotcha.

    Let me make it easier for you. If the hardship, poverty, hatred, bigotry, and sexism experienced by said white male is less than he would experience than if he was instead female/black/hispanic/or in some other minority group (but with all else being equal), then YES he is getting priority treatment.
    Not all white men have money and power, but in almost all cases they have more money and power than the minorities that are in all other measures the same. As example, see pretty much any of the studies where the same resume was sent to companies with either male/female or black/white names on them.

  • JDA says:

    Oh hell yes. I'm a white d00d, as it were, and I want to punch people who use that line. Haven't quite decided whether I'd like to punch them in the face or in the nuts, but since I do not, as a rule, punch people at all the question is largely academic.

  • Chris says:

    B-b-but, we're white men! We're not allowed to be excluded from anything!

  • Brandon says:

    I love the joke somebody has to make every February, "When's white history month?" And then somebody has to respond, "Every month is white history month." Har har har.

  • Zeh says:

    "Our structural advantages are totally outweighed by your pizza party!" I'm with JDA in the "white dudes outraged by that line" camp.
    School I used to work at had a small cadre who insisted we need a Men's Resource Center to go with the Women's Resource Center. Their inability to articulate what exactly the Men's Resource Center was going to DO did not seem to dim their resolve.

  • Queef says:

    Is the most effective means of doing away with systemic discrimination name calling?

  • DerelictHat says:

    Queef, are the most effective means of arguing your point straw men and ignoring people's counter-arguments?

  • Katherine says:

    I'm getting a lot of that at the moment at work, as we are being taken over by a whited00dly company.

  • Queef says:

    Oh, I acknowledge the points. That's why I stopped talking about it. But, back to the question: is the most effective means of doing away with systemic discrimination name calling?

  • Michelle says:

    Queef,
    There are programs to help disadvantaged white men/women. At my Uni the primary minority graduate student scholarship program extends eligibility to people that have "Exceptional Financial Need (EFN) or family income as described by http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/trio/incomelevels.html," regardless of race.
    People are also eligible if they are "the first generation to attend college, educated in low-rated School District, [have a] commitment to community issues," etc.
    So, let me get this straight. You now want us all to change topic to discuss name-calling with someone who has chosen to call himself, "Queef."

  • My father, bless his heart, is always bringing up the question of why aren't there men's equivalents to women's resource centers, etc. I've also asked him what he'd like such centers to offer -- he has no clear idea. Maybe because there's no need for such a thing? Or perhaps simply because men aren't as passionate about creating supportive communities ... because again, there's less need of such a thing.
    The women's clinic on my campus was recently awarded Most Valuable Resource of the year. Women students volunteer to staff it, promote it, direct it, fund it, etc. As Kate from Iowa @16 said, if the men on campus want comparable services, why don't they put together a mission statement, a plan, recruit volunteers, and work to make their resource center a reality?

  • The worst part is that when you are the only "other" in the group, the white dudes make you the representative to the diversity shit so they can say that they are diverse. Then they still get their fucking cookies.

  • MPL says:

    "What do you think men need that they aren't getting, that a men in engineering program [could] provide?"
    Education about the advantages people who aren't white men don't have, and why helping women and minorities gain a foothold in the sciences shouldn't be threatening.

  • DuWayne says:

    But, back to the question: is the most effective means of doing away with systemic discrimination name calling?
    Not necessarily, but it certainly is cathartic. And when you are getting shit on or are a part of an outgroup that is regularly shit on, catharsis helps.
    It is really easy to be a white guy and feel like shit because of certain disadvantages that might be relevant to your particular situation. Trust me, I am a white guy with rather significant neurological issues that also translated themselves into rather serious substance abuse issues. So I am thirty-three, a year into college after eighteen years a high school dropout, separated from his kids by five hundred miles until I get enough credits to transfer. My life really kind of sucks, no question.
    But you know what? I have never been at work and had a scuzzy boss my parents age feel free to touch me. And not having been in that situation, I have never had to decide that I am going to put up with it, because I don't want to get a reputation for being one of "those" women - those troublemakers you really don't want to hire. Nor have I ever once had contractor after contractor laugh in my face when I wanted a job, because I have a vagina instead of a cock - never mind that the women I have had work for me were a hell of a lot better at detail work than anyone else I ever hired - one turning out to be a better with tile that I am. And I have never had someone refer to me as that black person in the office. Poor as I have been for much of my adult life, living in the shitty neighborhood I last lived in Portland, the gang taskforce flat fucking apologized to me for stopping me and asking questions when I got rather indignant. They did not stop harassing my neighbor who works three jobs to try to get his family out of our craphole of a neighborhood when he got indignant. They didn't apologize when he got outright angry - which he got, because they were repeatedly asking my neighbor who doesn't even drink, if they could search him for drugs - while his daughter watched from the balcony. He finally gave in when they were shouting at him and it was apparent they were not going to let it drop.
    Yeah, I have never had the humiliation of cops searching me in front of my children. Though my eldest decided that he wasn't sure just how much he should trust cops after they harassed his friends dad like that.
    The closest I have come to having any problems because I am white, was when a very nice gentlemen warned me that I had wandered into a neighborhood that tends to be real bad for the health of people with pale skin. A neighborhood in Chicago, that at the time the fucking cops refused to go into. Only I didn't get into problems, because a rather kind stranger with brown skin not only warned me off, but escorted me to an area I would be safe.
    And the only time I have been what might be considered sexually assaulted, was when I chick I had been fooling around with who was upset that I insisted on condoms decided to start having sex with me without one when I had mostly passed out drunk. Mind you, had she put a rubber on me first, this would not have qualified as sexual assault because I would not have cared in the least. But I have been assured that it does count given the circumstances.
    But I have never been held down and forced to have sex. That aforementioned situation is the only time someone has ever taken advantage of me and done something to me that I objected to while drunk. And honestly? I was really fucking pissed about that - but I didn't feel violated in the sense that women who get raped while drunk generally feel. The closest I came to that was a creepy asshat in the communal shower at the gym once, wanking while staring at me.
    Nor have I ever been assaulted (successfully) for my sexuality. And the couple of times I have gotten into altercations for being a queer, was because I happened to be wearing a skirt and people assumed I must be gay. Queer yes, gay - not so much. Only unlike some of my gay friends who have been assaulted (though certainly not all), I was a rather solid bundle of muscle and sinew. I was smallish, but I also roofed except when I was framing - where I often used a 34ounce hammer. Usually they would see the error of their way, when a punch to my gut hurt them a lot more than it hurt me. Sometimes they were drunk and I had to hurt them a bit to get them to leave me alone.
    The only times I got my ass kicked, was when I was foolish enough to take on more opponents than was particularly reasonable. Usually because they were trying to hurt someone who didn't deserve it - or because being a drunk white dude, I decided to take on more than was reasonable - or because I rather purposely walked into bars wearing a skirt, where I knew it would lead to a fight. Point being, when I got my ass kicked, I got it kicked based on choices I made - not inherent characteristics about me (except for a propensity to stick my nose into other people's abusive fucking bullshit).
    So yeah - as a member of the outgroups of the mentally ill and substance abusers, I have my shit to deal with. Having also spent most of my adult life in poverty or close to it - yup, life's a fucking bitch. But as a white dude, I have still come out of it with a hell of a lot of fucking privilege that a lot of people just don't have. I definitely have some rather nasty things to say about motherfucking shiteating bastards who perpetuate stigmas about the mentally ill and people with substance use disorders. Name calling is a fucking understatement. And motherfuckers who have the fucking nerve to claim that mental illness is making excuses or that medications are bunk - suffice to say that unless you want to be humiliated and berated in public, you don't suggest that kind of denialist fucking bullshit in front of me.
    So I am not going to begrudge people calling an ignorant fucking moron whatever they want. It's not meant to be productive dude - it just makes people feel better. Like when I can get everyone within several hundred feet to notice the fucking bastard who just told me that if I just got right with his god, I wouldn't need those stupid medication - I don't really care that some of them are appalled by me because I make sure most everyone who notes it will be far more appalled by the ignorant motherfucker in front of me.
    Here is my question to you; If these names don't apply to you, why do you care? If they bother you, don't you think it would behoove you to consider why they bother you? I am not trying to be a dick about this - trust me, I say and do things now and then that are based on biases and stereotypes that I wish I didn't have. We all do. What I also do though, is try to really pay attention to the shit that I say and do, by really paying attention to what I am thinking. This isn't something magical or even particularly difficult.
    Seek to recognize your biases and try to be a decent guy. Bright women - the sort worth having in one's life - really dig it...

  • Queef says:

    Yeah, I do. I have never intended my handle to be offensive. I can't say that the same is true of Zuska's language though.

  • bellisaurius says:

    Given that it's generally impossible to jump out of one's skin and experience other people's lives, it is inevitable that everyone feels there getting a raw deal. It is also inevitable that people will also comment on it, and as soon as the discussion is opened, the unfairness cannons open up, and people see whose is bigger.
    However, I think the kicker is that both sides tend to have a point, but that while both of them complain about it, little gets resolved. Everyone has to be willing to deal with their problems at the same time, or nothing gets resolved, and people continue to feel perturbed.

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    Queef has no interest in having a substantive discussion with anyone here, at least not that he's shown. He's just the resident troll who feels the need to make every discussion All About Him. Not about the issues, not responding to any substance, just making sure any discussion doesn't stray too far off the all-important topic of him and his 'nym.
    To what extent do you want to indulge that? I think some of the responses to his vacuousness have been really good, but just ignoring him, now that would probably make him crazy frustrated.
    Anyway, on topic, I do find it amazing how many people don't get the fact that support groups or programmes exist where there is a disparity of "normal" power between groups, in order to address that disparity of power. It doesn't seem like rocket science to me.

  • Christophe Thill says:

    "But, back to the question: is the most effective means of doing away with systemic discrimination name calling?"
    Well, in a way, yes : I mean, calling discrimination by its name.

  • I experienced a version of this in the form of (paraphrasing for brevity) "Why do black people need their own magazines?"
    Really? I'm not even originally FROM America and I understand why *sigh*.

  • skeptifem says:

    Given that it's generally impossible to jump out of one's skin and experience other people's lives, it is inevitable that everyone feels there getting a raw deal. It is also inevitable that people will also comment on it, and as soon as the discussion is opened, the unfairness cannons open up, and people see whose is bigger.

    If only there were statistics about things like poverty, violence, or professional representation! I guess I will just have to consider everyones plight equal now, lest I be accused of trying to be uh, macho.

    However, I think the kicker is that both sides tend to have a point, but that while both of them complain about it, little gets resolved. Everyone has to be willing to deal with their problems at the same time, or nothing gets resolved, and people continue to feel perturbed.

    Yeah, I will get right on top of not being sexually oppressed. Oh shit, that isn't something I can fucking do, that is something only the dudes can accomplish, and according to you telling them about it isn't "solving" anything. Should I shut the fuck up? Do you really think that oppression isn't anyones fault, or that being alerted to it isn't reason enough for people to stop being total assholes? The problems that oppressed people have are not mysterious in nature, it is the fault of many people collectively who refuse to do something about it. Talking about it like you do (as though you cannot help, or that it isn't worth talking about because everyone has problems) is part of what makes it so easy for things to continue. Cut that shit out. You can do something to help, and you should. Quit being so dismissive.

  • Bellisaurius, in this context, I'm wondering if your comment is a bit more relativisitic than is appropriate. Naturally, everyone has problems. But the issue that Zuska's pointing out is that privilege changes how people's problems manifest themselves, and give different people different advantages when dealing with said problems.
    There's no need to "get out unfairness cannons" and compare size. There is simply no systemic bias against white men. If a particular white man is facing systemic injustice, it's because he is part of some other group that faces such discrimination (the mentally ill, overweight, etc. etc.). It's never because he's white and male.
    The solution is to focus on eliminating as much systemic injustice as possible. That will help poor white men and women of color and little people and every other group that has been systematically devalued by Patriarchal society for the past several millenia. We've had thousands of years of affirmative action for white men.

  • FrauTech says:

    I recommend anyone who has a hard time conceptualizing racism or feminism read White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. It's about racism specifically, but it really makes you understand what it's LIKE to have privilege, because most of us DO have some amount and when I read that for the first time I really got it.
    I recommend you refer all those white dudes (I hope they're also part of the repressed Christian minority in this country) come work in my department. Because I'm pretty sure we're a Men's Engineering Center they just couldn't get a d00d to do the letterhead so it's not on the door. I have to listen to white dudes complain about how repressed they are, or how "easy" the minorities and wimminz have it, how as a woman I'll always be guaranteed a job in this industry so I should consider myself lucky.
    -I guess if the job I'm "guaranteed" is for 20% less than my male peers, for doing the same work or better, than I should just shut my mouth and be happy I'm not an underprivileged white dude who has to pay more in taxes than me
    -None of my male colleagues have ever been talked about in breakrooms or at the bar as having "slept their way" to their position
    -None of my male colleagues have been accused of getting a position/title because of their "good looks"
    -Nobody questions a (white)man getting a promotion into management so they can be the "token X" at that echelon
    -None of my male colleagues are mistaken for secretaries or admins
    -When a male colleague is about to be a father, he is not talked about as someone we are "about to lose" or when he is young and getting married it is not suggested that training dollars are not spent on him because he's "going to have kids and leave in a few years anyways"
    -I have never heard any of the male interns be asked, as I was and sometimes still am, what "technical capacity" i have or what "technical projects [I] work on in [my] spare time". Their technical abilities, aptitude and interest is assumed. Mine does not fit the box and so I have to prove it by having more technical knowledge and outside interest than any of my male peers.
    -When a male colleague works late he does not have to consider someone approaching him and raping him because he is alone in the office

  • Thegoodman says:

    I am an asshole because I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me and think everyone should feel the same way?
    I grew up in a shitty ass trailer, my parents divorced at a young age, I borrowed every cent spent on my education, I am in the process of paying every penny for my own wedding. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me, I am proud of what few accomplishments I've had and I am proud that I've had very little help doing it. I also get frustrated when I am stereotyped to have rich parents and a free ride in life. I don't want anything for free, as the American Indians how that works out for people.
    Equality, to me, means that everyone is treated equally. I think equality is paramount in every situation in life. Weather you are gay, black, jewish, or a handicapped; you should have the same rights/privileges/benefits as everyone else.
    Why would you want special privileges? Do you think you are NOT capable of something I am capable of doing? Do you feel like you need something special to succeed where others have done it on their own merits? People like all of you who are judging me perpetuate racism/sexism/discrimination. Saying that you NEED EXTRA HELP BECAUSE YOU ARE INCAPABLE OF DOING IT ON YOUR OWN diminishes you as a person. You don't need anything extra, you can do it because you are smart and will be successful because you work hard. Fuck that that other bullshit, prove some people wrong. Bitching about how its a white mans world won't get you anywhere.

  • Thegoodman says:

    "I have to listen to white dudes complain about how repressed they are, or how "easy" the minorities and wimminz have it, how as a woman I'll always be guaranteed a job in this industry so I should consider myself lucky."
    You work with morons and assholes. No one gets a free ride and like I said, we all have our own share of problems. The issue is that most everyone thinks THEIR problems are more serious than anyone's.
    If you worked with all black women you would hear the same thing. Complaining. Everyone complains and we all find shit to complain about weather it is legitimate or not. White dudes (like myself) are the scapegoat for problems because we are the majority. While I am sure it is much worse to be in the minority position, I don't feel sorry for you. I am proud of you as a human being for getting a good job and I am sure there are difficulties that go along with working amongst people you consider so different from yourself. They are not my difficulties, but trust me, we all have them.
    The good news is that you don't have to create situations that will allow you to stand out. You already stand out, all you have to do is keep pace to look like a champ. If you are better than the other engineers there, it is more likely that it will be noticed.

  • SKM says:

    Equality, to me, means that everyone is treated equally. I think equality is paramount in every situation in life. Weather you are gay, black, jewish, or a handicapped; you should have the same rights/privileges/benefits as everyone else.
    Exactly. What you don't seem to realize is that we are not there yet, not by a long shot. It's not "special privilege" if it's attempting to level a slanted playing field.

  • Beth says:

    Thegoodman-
    Actually, no. Just no.
    Look at figure 3 at this link, and tell me that women can be smart and successful just because they work hard, and that they'll be noticed and hired/promoted.
    http://web.mit.edu/fnl/volume/184/hopkins_fnl184.pdf
    Look at the Invisible Knapsack link above. Read the rest of FrauTech's post, not just the first lines. Read the things she has to deal with- that most women in her position have to deal with.
    You're right, everyone SHOULD be treated the same regardless of race, gender, etc. But the cold hard facts say it isn't true, and sticking our collective heads in the sand and hoping everyone in the world will wake up enlightened one day does jack shit to make that actually happen.

  • White men are the majority? Actually, no. White men are NOT the majority of the people in the world, yet white men* wield the majority of the world's power and wealth.
    Yes, everyone is equal. (/sarcasm)
    *Some white men experience less privilege than others, of course, because they are disadvantaged in some other way (like poverty). However, again, it is striking that there are far more PoC in the world, and there are approximately equal numbers of men and women, yet ultimately one group -- NOT the majority -- enjoys the majority of power.

  • Thegoodman says:

    I agree that discrimination exists and I also agree that it sucks and it is unfair.
    I am not saying that anyone should stick their head in the sand either. Raising hell about it is a great idea and if there is a line in the sand, I am on your side.
    That being said, claiming that you need assistance programs, scholarships, and affirmative action in order to be successful is detrimental to your claims. Hell, it even supports the claims of the discriminators. Minorities are discriminated against because crusty ass old white dudes think they are less capable. Then some of you, like Zuska, claim that you need special assistance to get to the same place as the white guy. Can't you see how this is a bad thing?
    I am a huge Martin Luther King, Jr. fan and his speeches move me every time I listen to them. I don't feel like the current message being portrayed by minorities would make him happy. The civil rights movement was terrific for our country and there is still work to do. I'd prefer that the efforts not be wasted on handouts that support the ideals of the discriminatory majority; but rather spent on educating EVERYONE about how we should be working together to be more successful.

  • Thegoodman says:

    @Comrade Svilova
    You act like there is an annual White Guys meeting where we discuss how we can continue oppressing all of you less intelligent beings.
    Whatever these advantages are that you all see, please educate me. I'd love to start using them as frequently as possible so I can at least take advantage of this position of power I am sitting in since I appear to be oblivious.

  • SKM says:

    please educate me.
    Please educate yourself. Links have been provided.
    Again, the things you say only make sense in a world where there is not ACTIVE discrimination. We do not yet live in that world. I know it's tough--there's much to learn and it's nobody's job to spoon-feed you. Get started reading and listening--that's what the rest of us have done.

  • MK says:

    "Pleeeeze educate me wimmins! Why oh why won't anyone explaaaain themselves to meeeee in a way I understaaaaand?"
    This impersonation brought to you by yet another woman who can't believe that some of the menz who comment here are really that fucking clueless.

  • @Thegoodman
    I don't have to educate you, because the answers to your questions are easily accessible online, like the very useful "Unpacking the Knapsack" which was already referenced above. If you need a little more help in starting your self-education:
    What is Male Privilege?
    A Primer on Privilege
    That's as much help as you're going to get from me. Unlike so many men I know who are constantly asking for "handouts" of information, I went out and educated myself on feminism, privilege, and related theories. I didn't go around demanding that people who were already adept at feminist analysis fill me in on Feminism 101. I have the confidence that you can employ similar initiative and energy as you seek the answers to your questions.
    In general...
    For me, what stands out most about the discussion that Zuska initiated is the implication that "special" services for the disadvantaged are handouts, when they are often things that disadvantaged groups have had to work very hard to create and maintain. I was the recipient of an award this past year that is given to female documentary makers in honor of a pioneering woman who did incredible work in the 1970s (when it was actually less difficult for a woman to find a place in the film industry than it is now!). Her family gives this award in her name to encourage women to continue to work in a very misogynist industry. It's not a "handout" that some anonymous group confers upon women in discrimination against men; it's the result of years and years of effort this woman put into her own career and into helping other women. This is similar to the women's clinic I described above. Men complain that they don't have their own clinic, but so far none of the complainers have wanted to put in the hours and hours of labor to create such a resource. Any "special" services for historically disadvantaged groups are the result of years of effort on the part of those groups as they fight for a somewhat more level playing field.
    Another example is so-called "gay marriage," which is often called a "special right" by opponents of marriage equality. In fact, it's not a "handout" of "special" privileges; it's actually correcting the persistent historical inequality of valuing heterosexual relationships over homosexual relationships for thousands of years. And if it ever becomes a reality nation-wide, marriage equality will not be a "handout" conferred upon homosexuals by a beneficent authority; it will be the result of years of incredible efforts by activists (homosexuals and straight allies).
    The "handout" language effectively erases the efforts made by underprivileged groups who are trying to make the world better for themselves and for those to come. Instead, it gives agency to "authority," and of course in our society, "authority" is assumed to be primarily white, male, wealthy, able-bodied, etc. etc. It's another way of marginalizing the already-marginalized. Any progress that a marginalized group makes is attributed to the generosity of the powerful rather than to the efforts of the groups in question.

  • DuWayne says:

    Thegoodman -
    You want to talk advantages? Hows this for advantage? I am a white guy who is in his mid thirties - a high school dropout until I started college classes little more than a year ago. I have neurological problems and a long history of substance abuse (under control now).
    I have a hell of a lot of very excellent opportunities to look forward to. There are mentors at a couple of tier one institutions who would love to have we study and work under them. Less than two years into my undergrad at a community college and I have the respect of a number of professionals in the field that I am heading into, because I have had the privilege of being able to network to go along with being rather especially clever.
    Never mind that I failed utterly a year and a half ago. Never mind that up until a year and a half ago I was working construction and then something much worse. I am not going to claim that it all just fell into my lap - I have worked hard and spent time making connections. But my pasty beige skin and the fact that I have a cock have played a very significant role in my opportunities.
    But being a white guy who has apparently never bothered to really think about it, you wouldn't notice your fucking privilege. Pay attention - read the links - actually bother to develop intimate relationships with people who don't have your privilege and talk to them about it. I didn't just decide all of a sudden that my hovering about the poverty line, mentally ill drug abusing white ass was privileged. I bothered to pay attention and developed a lot of intimate relationships with the members of several outgroups. I also payed some attention to my own experience as a member of the mentally ill drug users and how that impacted the perception others had of me.
    I worked all that shit together - noting the difference between the way I was treated and the way people with the wrong color skin who were like me or even better people than myself were treated and figured it out. I am privileged. I was privileged when I was unmedicated, using whatever - mostly pot towards the end. I am privileged now. You have always been privileged too, in comparison to people of color and/or uterus in your socioeconomic situation.

  • becca says:

    @Thegoodman- I do feel sorry for you. Not because of the trailer or anything like that. Simply because, like everyone, you have good people in your life that have helped you. Some of those in power are more likely to help you simply because you 'look like them'- and you aren't even aware enough to be a decently appreciative human being about it. "I do MYSELF!!!" is a very understandable attitude... in a 2 year old. In a grown adult, it makes you seem astonishingly churlish and nasty.
    I feel bad for you because you don't take *enough* pride in your accomplishments, that you are comfortable giving other people any of their fair share of the credit.
    What "privilege" is, ultimately, is people giving you credit for you hard work. People who don't judge you as an out of control lunatic for speaking your mind. People who don't write you off immediately for speaking out of turn about things which you know nothing about. In an ideal world, perhaps we would all be afforded the same benefits of the doubt you are (it is perfectly valid, when somebody points out a "privilege" you have, to respond "but that's how everyone should be treated!"- because many times, that's true. However, if you think that just because you ARE treated a certain way, and other people SHOULD be treated that way, EVERYONE IS ACTUALLY treated that way, you are very sadly deluded).
    Furthermore, you wanna see privilege? You just demonstrated that you are being cut a hell of a lot of slack, right here on this very blog. There are plenty of blogs I could go onto, and if I positioned myself as someone to give career advice by telling them they worked with "morons and assholes"- they'd consider me crazy- insanely full of myself to assume so much about the best way to view somebody's coworkers whom I've never met. And yet, nobody called you on that!
    Truthfully, I'm not at all sure my bothering to address you at all, instead of ignoring you, isn't treating you with respect you wouldn't treat someone else. You seem awfully dismissive of everyone else's perspective. That too, is a form of privilege. You *ought* to be thanking everyone here for the opportunity to learn.

  • Michelle says:

    well said, becca.
    "Saying that you NEED EXTRA HELP BECAUSE YOU ARE INCAPABLE OF DOING IT ON YOUR OWN diminishes you as a person."
    No. Knowing when you need help and asking the right people does NOT diminish you as a person. It's wise. Look at that statement from the opposite perspective for a minute and ask yourself if you feel the same way: when someone asks you for help do you look down at them? Do you think of them as less of a person? If so, then SHAME on you.
    There were probably opportunities in which you could have received help - from grants (which I suspect you were eligible for based on the description you gave of your less-privelaged life) or scholarships. If you refused to take these opportunities so that you could "do it yourself," then that's fine, but that does not put you in a position where you can unkindly judge those who DO choose to pursue help paying for college (for example).
    "The good news is that you don't have to create situations that will allow you to stand out. You already stand out, all you have to do is keep pace to look like a champ."
    What? You have no idea what you're talking about.
    You are very proud of yourself for paying for your college and wedding and getting a good job. This is valid, just don't get so caught up in your pride that you can't consider other people's situations or perspectives. That is not something to be proud of.

  • Beth says:

    @Thegoodman:
    Did you actually look at the link that I posted at comment 54? You should actually read the whole thing, but what it basically shows is that hiring committees (and this also extends to editorial boards, grant reviewers, etc- there's a whole literature out there about this) in the absence of any external impetus or pressure tend to hire people they perceive as more like themselves. While the academic culture is mostly white men, this means mostly white men get hired unless other groups are specifically recruited. Most of these men are not bad people; they're not running around in black hats thinking of ways to keep the women down, it's that they're not thinking about the problem at all. So yes, minorities and women may need extra recruitment, not because they ARE inferior, but because at worst they're thought to be inferior and at best they're entirely overlooked. Until you actually believe that, there's really nothing else to talk about. Again, there's a whole literature out there.

  • SKM says:

    Looks like it's time for a trip in the Zuskateer Wayback Machine to a great comment by Mark C. Chu-Carroll on the post Explaining (Away) Women Geeks. A selection:
    The story I constantly repeat about this comes from an experience at a former job, where when I was in charge of summer intern hiring, we did a small affirmative action program. What we did was allow anyone to hire a summer intern - anyone they wanted. Once the budget was used up, we had extra money that could be used for hiring women or minorities. I had multiple people rant and rave at me about how we were discriminating against the most qualified applicants - basically the same line of shit that you're peddling.
    But they really wanted to hire summer students. So they went back to the applicant pool. Two of them showed up in my office with new candidates saying, basically, "Wow, I found someone *even better* than the guy I originally wanted to hire!".
    So why didn't they find them at first? Because they automatically discarded the resume when they saw a womans name. The didn't even *look* at the resumes for people who they believed were women. It didn't matter how good, how qualified, how experienced, how skilled the women were. Their resumes were automatically discarded without a second glance. Only the men - or the women whose names weren't obviously female - got a careful look.
    The guys hadn't even registered the existence of resumes with female-sounding names--they just went straight into the slush pile without any evil plan to exclude anyone. That's how it often happens, folks--thoughtlessly. The lack of ill intent does not make it any less harmful.

  • Cara says:

    The moronic rant at the end of your post perpetuates stereotypes.
    The moronic rant that constitutes your post reinforces Zuska's point.

  • Cara says:

    I am an asshole because I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me and think everyone should feel the same way?
    Which is why you followed up with a boo-hoo tearjerker about living in a trailer?
    You're an asshole because you characterize a (meager) attempt to level the playing field against systematic oppression as "feeling sorry for" the oppressed. And you're all but BEGGING for pity from the posters here.

  • skeptifem says:

    Whatever these advantages are that you all see, please educate me. I'd love to start using them as frequently as possible so I can at least take advantage of this position of power I am sitting in since I appear to be oblivious.
    It isn't really my job, but I guess I don't mind, just this once.
    People did not think you were stupid because of your race or sex. You are what people picture when they think of someone who is a manager or an engineer or scientist or doctor, so it is easier for the people who hire you to imagine you doing things like that. It was easier for you to imagine yourself that way because you saw examples of people like you doing important jobs like that, and other people did not dismiss your goals simply because of what you are for the same reason. You didn't have to wonder (maybe) why there weren't any white guy doctors on tv. It is easier for you to get a job, and you get paid more when you get a job. You don't wonder if you really *are* incapable of learning math/science/whatever because of your sex or race while you take a test or a class in college. When you have trouble with a concept you don't experience fear that you are inherently incapable and stupid. The distraction of that sort isn't there. You don't have to deal with the anxiety of defending yourself against rape, or if you would get fired or blacklisted for reporting your boss for sexually harassing you. You don't have to get groped or cat called on the street, which fucks up an entire day because it is scary. You don't have to deal with police harassment on the basis of skin color. You don't have to deal with people mistaking you for the help or the cleaning crew. You don't have to worry about finding the fine line between "doormat" and "bitch" in your work place behavior. You do not have to worry about your boss, or a judge at your trial, or a police officer, or your doctor, or your lawyer, being sexist or racist and fucking up your life as a result. You don't have to worry about people blaming your clothes for their violent behavior towards you. You are more likely to receive organs and blood at hospitals, and you are more likely to have your diseases recognized because most medical research is based on men (heart attack is a notorious example of this). When you have a problem that upsets you, you are not deemed hysterical as a result. You don't have to do a bunch of ridiculous shit to yourself every single day to be considered professional looking. You don't have to worry about how having a career reflects on you as a human being, instead of staying at home to raise children. You don't have to worry about being labeled a slut or a prude for your dress/how you talk/the way you look/who you fuck. You do not have to worry about your mistakes being used as proof that other people of your race/sex are incompetent in the same way. You don't have to deal with people saying your problems are not really problems. You don't have to work for free raising kids and doing housework. You don't have to worry about being the only white guy in the room or at your job (usually). You don't have to worry about finding a political candidate, doctor, lawyer, etc the same race and sex as you so that you know they don't discriminate. You don't have to worry about how having a family will fuck up your career and get you fired/not hired, or that not having a family will fuck up your social life. You don't have to avoid sounding white on the phone. If you write a book or send out resumes, you don't have to worry that your name will get you tossed in the reject pile immediately. You don't have to worry about your white maleness being apparent when you try to rent an apartment, buy a house, or apply for a loan.
    So that list took about 15 minutes to make, and I am sure I left out a bunch of shit. I am white so I am sure I left out a lot of racial stuff, but I did the best I could. I hope someone who knows more than me adds. And yes, worrying about this shit all the time takes a fucking toll, and we worry because it happens to us or to our friends and family, if not to us personally. There is a starting point. Before picking through it to try and support your original ideas, realize that you would be telling me that my experiences are incorrect, when no one has the authority to tell me what my life experiences consist of. This is what it is, and if you need a shit ton of women and people of color to confirm it for you the evidence is out there for you to find.

  • skeptifem says:

    Oh yeah, what you ARE isn't an insult either. The word "woman" is used as an insult in day to day life. I have heard it at my job, about how "sure that gun is big, if you're a woman!" har har. I would fill out those stupid little sexual harassment forms every fucking day if I could be sure that I wouldn't be fired for it (well not officially for that, but you know what I mean). I have had to pick my battles.

  • jsb says:

    Can a distinction between systematic and personal discrimination be made? Not being allowed to serve in combat units (on account of being a woman) or in the military at all (on account of being openly homosexual) would be systematic.
    Being told you're not good at maths because of your sex/race/culture is probably personal (unless its a REALLY bad education system, which it might be).
    Discrimination in hiring is probably a mixing of the two (bosses are personally biased against female engineers etc., and companies are systematically slack at stopping this).
    Is there less scope to complain about personal discrimination than systematic? Which would people rather experience? (I'd prefer personal, personally - people are easy to avoid/reason with, whole systems less so). Definitely NOT saying you shouldn't complain about both, but which, if you HAD to have one, would you rather put up with?
    What are women's rooms at universities an example of? Avoiding personal or systemic discrimination?

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    Being told you're not good at maths because of your sex/race/culture is probably personal (unless its a REALLY bad education system, which it might be).
    Nope.
    Honestly, I've been on the receiving end of this. The exact point at which I finally gave up on maths in high school (after years of battles that trust me you don't want to hear about) was in an Algebra II class (ironically taught by a woman). That day I had sat for the entire period with my hand up, because for the first time I had trouble understanding something -- matrices, actually -- and couldn't work it out for myself. I was ignored completely, while all around me the boys were being called on and were having things worked out on the blackboard for them. Finally, after class bell rang, I approached the teacher and tried to simply ask her, because this was important to me.
    "Oh, honey," she said, "you don't have to worry about that. You're going to pass the class anyway, but it doesn't matter if you understand this bit or not, only engineers or scientists are ever going to use it, you won't ever need it."
    'Cuz being a girl and all, no chance I was going to be one of those, right.
    My friend Robin had a harder fight of it that I did -- she was explicitly and openly aiming to be an aeronautics engineer, but that was only because the Air Force explicitly disallowed female fighter pilots at the time. But she was "strongly discouraged" from "wasting her time" taking AP Physics in our school as well, since the teachers apparently thought that as soon as she hit college and discovered how "hard" engineering actually was, she would drop that and go on to do something more "sensible." You think the boys faced that?
    ...You're trying to tell me that was the first was just personal, and not systematic, and the second was just systematic, and Robin's fight to get the classes she needed in our high school to get into an engineering program in college weren't personal as well as systematic? What exactly is the distinction you make, here?

  • Thegoodman says:

    @Skeptifem
    "No one has the authority to tell me what my life experiences consist of" I agree, I am speaking from my own experiences only as well.
    I clearly have a very different perspective on this issue then most of you who are berating me. I had a single mother who was the first female police officer in my home town. My favorite math professor from college is a lesbian. My first engineering boss was a woman. My wife is a M.D. and was in the top 1% of our college class as well as her graduating medical class.
    Never for 1 moment in my life have I thought less of a woman for simply being a woman and the entire idea of it is completely foreign to me. None of the above woman have ever complained to me about their supposed disadvantage for being a woman in a man's world. They worked hard and excelled and were respected for their work and had achieved success.
    Racial issues I admit I am foreign to. Where I grew up is about as not racially diverse as anywhere in the country. I know just a handful of non-whites and I cannot say that I have any opinion, good or bad, about any other race/cread/nationality. I was taught to respect all people and I do; but I cannot apologize on behalf of white men who do not.
    The story about the people dismissing resumes simply because they are women or not white is just ridiculous. I am sure it is true, but any socially aware company would likely fire any individual that admitted to such blatant racism/sexism. I know that if I had a subordinate that displayed these characteristics I would have him dismissed.
    Do I accept free stuff? Absolutely. My point is that every assistance program I have ever received was not because I was a white male. I received it because I was poor or because I am simply a person. Every race/gender/ethnicity has these same advantages; as they should. My point is that it shameful to ask for MORE simply because you are less capable. If I were a minority, I would be upset that white people think I need these programs to be successful.
    Its also a bit ironic how quickly my views are dismissed and my perspective is assumed to be understood while people are telling me to try and consider things from another point of view. I have quickly been thrown into the racist/sexist typical white guy category that so many of you blindly blame for your own misfortunes. I didn't do any of these things to you and I am ashamed to be in the same category as the men who did wrong you.

  • Ruth says:

    "Never for 1 moment in my life have I thought less of a woman for simply being a woman and the entire idea of it is completely foreign to me."
    Then I suggest you must go around mimicking all three wise monkeys.
    "None of the above woman have ever complained to me about their supposed disadvantage for being a woman in a man's world."
    Are you trying to insinuate that none of them experienced any disadvantage? Have you asked any of them whether or not they did?
    "I was taught to respect all people and I do; but I cannot apologize on behalf of white men who do not."
    Has anuone asked you to apologise for what other people do/do not do?
    In fact, in the sense of 'apologetics' rather than in the sense of 'saying sorry', you actually ARE 'apologising' for the people who practice discrimination of all kinds, by excusing and minimising it.

  • Ruth says:

    "The story about the people dismissing resumes simply because they are women or not white is just ridiculous. I am sure it is true,"
    Well if it's true, it is hardly 'ridiculous', is it?
    " but any socially aware company would likely fire any individual that admitted to such blatant racism/sexism."
    Ermm... I think the operative word here is 'admitted'.
    " I know that if I had a subordinate that displayed these characteristics I would have him dismissed."
    Do you observe and statistically analyse your subordinates' behaviour towards women and minorities in order to discover whether they behave in a discriminating way? Or do you just take their word for it when they swear that they don't?
    There have been plenty of psychology studies which have shown that people rate CVs/Essays/Paintings more highly when they have a male name attached than when they have a female name attached. Do you think that the people in those studies were doing it consciously?

  • FrauTech says:

    Thegoodman- I've never taken a scholarship, period, for women, for poor people, for whatever. And trust me I've tried. So it's not like they hand them out to every single woman who walks across the line. That's the problem is you are viewing this as a zero-sum game. You seem to think if there are MORE scholarships for women, there will be LESS for men. But you said yourself you got assistance programs for being poor. There aren't any for being rich, so why aren't you complaining about that? Don't you realize the injustice to all those rich people who don't have assistance programs?
    And your consistent ability to bring up specific instances of how you've suffered (I paid my way through school and continue to do so while working, and paid for my own wedding as well, where's my cookie?) or all these women you respect ("I don't see race!") or how you respect MLKj but don't respect modern civil rights movements ("My best friend is black!") are obvious signs you are in denial. You'd rather sit here, type out posts, and argue rather than go read one of the links posted. Rather than consider all the unconscious bias and implicit assumptions made about women and minorities on a daily basis. Do white men experience discrimination? Of course. No one's denying that your life isn't difficult, ok? The fact that you'd put forth effort to prevent programs that would bring women and minorities up to an equal level with white men is troubling(say where the ONLY kind of discrimination they experience is because they are poor, or their religion, or their political views, rather than an inherent physical trait they can not change that immediately gets them pegged with a particular personality trait). Honest, it's not a zero-sum game. All the wimminz and minorities are not going to come in here and take all YOUR jobs and YOUR programs, ok? Getting a workplace/college/anything to be more diverse is good for everyone. Getting these places to treat everyone equally based on ability rather than physical characteristics is good for everyone.

  • @Thegoodman
    This is simply not about you and your personal experience. It is about institutions, society, and culture. Good for you for respecting people of all races and genders. As you admit, not everyone does. But again, this thread was never about your individual experience as a white man. And those other people who systematically discriminate against underprivileged groups -- or who simply overlook them -- are out there and they are powerful. The statistics on gender and racial distribution in Fortune 500 companies, politics, academia, science, and industry are clear. It's not possible to deny that there is an imbalance in representation; if you don't believe that institutional discrimination is the reason, what is your explanation? Since white, wealthy, men are better represented than any other group in all those areas, is that because they are innately more capable or is it because society is constructed so that it is easier for people with light skin, lots of money, and male genitalia to succeed?
    If you don't understand the difference between your personal experiences/opinions and the way privilege functions in society at large and in general, read up on it. Links have been provided.

  • Thegoodman says:

    All people should take advantages of opportunities that exist for them. Minority or not, there is nothing wrong with that.
    I understand that white men represent too large a percentage of CEOs, faculty, etc. This has been changing over the past 30 year and will continue to change, but its obviously isn't going to happen over night.
    I am not in denial that discrimination exists as FrauTech claims I am. I know it exists and I know it sucks. My point has nothing to do with the existence of discrimination. My point is that saying that minorities need specially assistance to be equal to white men fuels discrimination. I do not support programs that teach people they are not equal to white men, that teach them they need a special place to study or that they need extra money for school. In my opinion, saying that assistance programs for minorities are essential is insulting to the minorities. You are basically saying that they cannot do it on their own and they are actually not good enough, and I don't support that.

  • DuWayne says:

    Every race/gender/ethnicity has these same advantages; as they should.
    This is quite simply not true, not even close to true.
    It is like the fallacy that affirmative action somehow gave minorities an advantage for getting accepted to college. The reality is that the way the point system works (grades are unfortunately only part of the story) automatically gives a huge point advantage to people who were lucky enough (or who had parents wealthy enough) to go to schools that provide such things as AP courses and gifted student programs. Understand that the student being considered doesn't need to have actually been involved in those programs - just have gone to a school that has them. Actually taking such courses adds more points. If they went to a school that offered art classes, including music, there are more points doled out.
    By the time these points are considered, a student from a poor school has no way to catch up. There are points given for being from a poor school, more for living within a certain range of the poverty level, but they don't come close. And a minority student can't take both the points for AA and points for poverty. Thus why schools then turned around and in some cases volunteered, in others were required to take in a certain percentage of minority students.
    The notion that minorities need some extra help is not insulting to minorities, it merely recognizes that they are often at an inherent disadvantage coming out of the gate. That they simply do not have the same opportunities out of the gate that you or I have. That they do not get the same foundational education in a lot of places, that you and I had. It is not insulting to anyone to level the fucking playing field.
    To give you an idea of how un-level that field is, I will relate just one of the myriad experiences my partner dealt with (because I am reasonably confident that she won't mind). When she was in middle school, she was recommended to a talented and gifted science program (suffice to say that my bias has nothing to do with her absolute brilliance). But the racist asshole who determined who got into wouldn't let her in because "black girls just can't manage in that atmosphere." Mind you, her high school had to develop a special indy study math class for her, because elementary calc was incredibly boring to her.
    That is just one small example of the privilege that you and I have, that the programs we are talking about help to compensate for. Another example would be a black male friend of mine who ended up going from a 4.+ in high school, to graduating with a 2.5. He and his sister ended up homeless for a short time and then his sister had to struggle to keep it together and just ensure that he made it through college, when their mother had a breakdown and abandoned them - they got absolutely nothing in the way of support from their dad. Were it not for the united negro college fund (coupled with serious petitioning by a couple of his teachers) he would never have made it into college. As it was, he barely managed with the help available minority students.
    Please read my last comment and seriously consider what I am saying. It is really easy to take the attitude you are taking, until you actually face the reality of being a woman and/or minority trying to achieve what we are talking about here. This is something that neither of us can ever fully comprehend because we can't suddenly have a different skin color and assuming you aren't transgendered either, we can't suddenly live life in a woman's skin. But we can and should most certainly try to understand to the very best of our abilities.

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    @Thegoodman -- if people could just "do it all on their own", then it would be done by now. There wouldn't BE any disparity between numbers of male & female CEOs, or black & white scientists.
    Special assistance and mentoring programmes are about providing extra paths through barriers which do not exist for other groups. It's about making the first inroads. It's about the extremely well-documented tendency of people to hire and support people like them which works to keep certain demographics in positions of power and certain demographics excluded. If anyone in the support programmes were saying "you black people/hispanics/women/whatever need help because you aren't as good or as talented as the white men so we need to support you more" then you would have a valid argument, but you seem fantastically fucking oblivious to all the people pointing out to you, that is not what it is or what it's about or what it says. It's about making sure that people are not artificially excluded from opportunity because of genetic group membership -- why do you find this so hard to understand????

  • Cara says:

    My point is that every assistance program I have ever received was not because I was a white male. I received it because I was poor or because I am simply a person. Every race/gender/ethnicity has these same advantages; as they should. My point is that it shameful to ask for MORE simply because you are less capable. If I were a minority, I would be upset that white people think I need these programs to be successful.
    So, what YOU got is just due you as a "person", but what anyone else gets is too much and they should be ashamed?
    Talk about a walking, talking ball of privileged attitude, ye gods.
    I'm not even going to bother to try to explain how "person" means "white male" as the default, because there are others who have the patience. I don't. I call troll.

  • Thegoodman says:

    @Luna_the_cat
    I understand what the point of these programs are. Just as you said, they provide a path through the barriers that exist simply because they are in the minority. This is great, I wish this was what they accomplished. What the programs are meant to do and how the majority views the programs is drastically different.
    What I don't think you understand is how the majority views these paths. I am simply saying that they are often counter productive and provide a source of sourness in the majority and helps influence how the majority views the minority. "They cannot do it based on their own merits." and I feel like this attitude is prevalent among the majority. I have seen countless white men say almost this exact same thing, and while I argue with them that it is not true, I cannot change how they view the programs. I have to say I agree that this is how the programs APPEAR. I don't think it is true, but many people do think it is true, thus fueling their discrimination.
    @DuWayne
    The high school problem you are describing is 100% economic. It has nothing to do with minorities. Many terrific high schools have women and minorities that attend them and get into great schools. While its unfair that good students often attend crappy high schools, this problem isn't unique to minorities by any stretch. Many midwestern rural areas (aka white people) have terrible funding, high rates of dropouts, and high rates of teen pregnancy (which often leads to a drop out). Its definitely a problem, but not a problem that can be fixed by telling these students they are not capable of success without help.
    Many of you seem oblivious to WHY the majority is oppressive. My goal is to offer you that viewpoint. The majority is oppressive because they think that minorities are not capable. How do the minorities respond? By asking for special assistance to be equal. I understand this isn't what the minorities intend, but it is how it looks and it is why it continues to be a problem in our culture.
    I am told I am oblivious and told that minorities need these special programs to even the playing field. I am simply saying that the field will never be even. It is a dog eat dog world and we can't coddle people to guarantee their success. Truly qualified people make themselves into successful people. It is unfair that some are given more opportunity than others, but life is rarely fair.
    Everyone on here has a story about how they were discriminated against or some sort of disadvantage you had. What did you do about it? You rose above it. You were successful DESPITE the person who as holding you down. Good for you. Encourage others to do the same and teach people how to be successful despite being in the minority. What we shouldn't do is tell them not to worry about it because the playing field will be evened out. It won't ever be even. Human nature is to gravitate toward people who are like you, that will never change and white men will always be the majority here so deal with it.

  • Beth says:

    My point is that saying that minorities need specially assistance to be equal to white men fuels discrimination. I do not support programs that teach people they are not equal to white men
    No, no, no, no, NO, FSM-damnit!
    They are not because people think that minorities are less capable than white men. They are not teaching anyone who remotely pays attention that minorities are less capable than white men. They are saying that the deck is stacked very highly in favor of white men so that mediocre white men quite often get preference over more capable minorities, so maybe let's just take an extra look at those minority candidates and make sure our unconscious biases aren't screwing over people who deserve this (scholarship/job/acceptance) as much or more than the rest of the pool.
    Why is this such a difficult concept?

  • Thegoodman says:

    @Cara
    I don't understand what you are saying. Like I said before, no one should decline free stuff. There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of your situation. Even if that means there is a scholarship for the "Black Jews that grew up in montana and have a club foot" program. Lucky you, you are the only black jew in montana with a club foot so you win a full ride scholarship. I mean it when I say, that is perfectly fine and good for you.
    You seem to be mistaking getting something free with ASKING for something free. People only ask for free stuff if they think they are incapable of attaining it on their own or if they have no pride. In this case I think it is a situation of thinking you are incapable of attaining it on your own.
    There is a big difference between taking advantage of programs and asking for more programs. I am sorry you think that society thinks anyone who is not a white male is not a person (I think this is what you are saying). I don't feel that way at all and I clearly don't see why you think this.

  • Beth says:

    Human nature is to gravitate toward people who are like you, that will never change and white men will always be the majority here so deal with it.
    So let's give up ladies- grab those aprons and kick off your shoes and go make Thegoodman a sammich!
    We know that's how the programs are perceived, and yes there will always be some racist/sexist/homophobic jerks who will never believe there are barriers, but to say that we shouldn't even try to fix those misconceptions is really stupid, not to mention pretty fatalistic of you. We're reaching out to the moderate center, or at least trying to drag people into the moderate center, and if that is threatening to you somehow then too. Fucking. Bad.

  • becca says:

    @thegoodman has it ever occurred to you to wonder how much your mother made, and whether this impacted whether she could help pay for your education? She may have been fortunate, and made just much as all the male police officers (Indeed, often government jobs payscales are set up so formally women can do quite well)... or she may not have been.
    I'm honestly glad you have many kickin ass and takin names type women in your life. I hope you are inspired by them and can learn from them. But you do have to *ask* them about different challenges they faced that were influenced by their gender. You will learn a bit more about the people around you, which is intrinsically a good thing. I doubt any of them will say "oh I could have achieved so much more, if only I weren't a woman!" (seriously, I don't know anyone who thinks like that)... but I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't all have some stories of "well there was this one time this dickface *thought* I couldn't do X because I'm a woman... but I sure showed him!" While these type of stories do indicate their own personal kick-ass-ness, they *also* reflect that the society we live in does present them with challenges you don't have to worry about. If you only have to face men who believe you can't once in a while, it can be a bit fun to show them up. If you have to face it all the frickin time, it eats up energy that could otherwise have been better spent.
    "You are basically saying that they cannot do it on their own and they are actually not good enough, and I don't support that."
    No. I am basically saying that people will *assume* they cannot do it on their own more than for white men, and they actually need aid to balance that out. Until you *don't* have people rating "women" CVs as inferior to "men" CVs, you'll need that.

  • Thegoodman says:

    Beth,
    I understand the concept of the programs. I am trying to help you understand how they are perceived. I am a white guy who works with all white guys and went to school with all white guys. I know how they discuss these things and I know how they are perceived. Their concept is meaningless if the majority perceives them to be different. From my limited perspective, it isn't "some" who perceive the programs this way, it is "most".
    I am not threatened by successful women or minorities at all. I completely support any person who wishes to be successful and I will help them where I can. My wife is a doctor and will soon enough be bringing home the bacon. I had a single mother who had 3 jobs. Working builds characters and its great for every person to have a job, minority, women, or whatever.
    Again, you miss my point. Just because those barriers will ALWAYS be there, it doesn't mean you should give up. No one should ever give up. I am saying that hardships should strength your resolve, not discourage you. This is the message that we need young people to understand. We've all had barriers to overcome and they are unique to each person who overcomes them.

  • Thegoodman says:

    "No. I am basically saying that people will *assume* they cannot do it on their own more than for white men, and they actually need aid to balance that out."
    I happen to think that white men assume this BECAUSE the aid exists. Their logic is this "If minorities were capable of success on their own, why do they need assistance programs and scholarships?"
    I am just trying to explain to all of you how white men view these programs. Most of them put far less thought into this situation than you or I and quickly dismiss the minorities as less capable because they are aware of the programs that exist to make them "more-capable".
    This is why I don't think these programs achieve their true goal. They actually hinder the progress toward the ultimate goal of equality.

  • life is rarely fair
    Thanks, dude. I'm just going to quit working to make the world better STAT.
    I am a white guy who works with all white guys and went to school with all white guys. I know how they discuss these things and I know how they are perceived.
    Do you honestly think we would never understand white male perspective if it weren't for helpful people like you?
    Thegoodman has completely derailed what could have been a great thread by re-enacting the problem that was the point of the original post, mansplaining, refusing to engage with the topic at hand, refusing to read and contemplate the sources that posters provided when he asked to be educated, and generally being a privileged jerk. TROLL.

  • Beth says:

    @Theogoodman
    I wonder if you realize how ridiculous you sound when you think that no one else on this blog understands the way the majority thinks. Not 10 comments ago you stated YOUR PERSONAL OPINION was "saying that assistance programs for minorities are essential is insulting to the minorities. You are basically saying that they cannot do it on their own and they are actually not good enough". How dare we assume that you actually believed what you said. Trust me, we get it, we know all the incorrect information that's out there- what in the hell is so wrong with trying to correct it? It may be corrected one person at a time in a world of 6 billion, but it's better than nothing.
    I love how you assume that affirmative action is "asking for free stuff", and then to top it off imply that all we whiners need is some good hard work to build character and then we can succeed like your mom did or like you do. Fuck off. I'm a woman who was first in her class in high school, got a full academic scholarship to college and was first in her class there, and is now in one of the top three graduate programs in the country for what she wants to do. I don't need your pity, and I don't need you to teach me how I should work hard for what I want. I'm doing just fine, thanks.
    What I DO need is a world that when my hypothetical daughter goes off to college, she doesn't ever have to think about whether or not she deserves to be there or belongs there. I need a world where she won't be asked at her honors thesis defense why she didn't show up in a short skirt and fishnets.
    I need a world where seeing men get $5 for the same job I do, it's not perceived as demeaning to myself to ask, "hey, can you at least round my $3.50 up to $4? And then maybe talk about a raise?"

  • maxh says:

    Shorter Thegoodman: Put up and shut up.

  • DuWayne says:

    The problems I was describing weren't about the economics of a situation. In the case of my partner, were talking about a woman who not only had a middle class upbringing, but was also a military brat in DOD schools. And with a dad who was (still is) a ranking officer, she had some status among other students.
    But she also ran into racism that actively worked against her best interests. It ignored the fact that she was a consistently top student and in one case kept her out of a program she was more qualified for than most of the kids who did get in.
    As for my friend who barely managed to get the help he needed to get into school...He was in a situation that is not dissimilar to the situation of a lot of black and Latino kids. It was economics of a sort that put him there, but it was also a situation that happens to be very prevalent. He also had to fight through a peer group that was actively striving to keep him down and in the same boat they are in. Unfortunately a lot of low income black and some Latinos really don't like to see others like them become "white" people - or "Uncle Toms" or any number of very nasty accusations.
    His problems were a direct result of the culture in which not only he was raised, but in which his parents were raised. He had the brains to make something of himself and desperately wanted to. He did and has excelled in school, putting him on a road to a highly successful career in medicine. The only reason he has had the opportunity to do so, is because of the united negro college fund. Not only because they helped cover the cost of his undergrad, but because they were able to advocate on his behalf to convince the school to waive grade requirements for admission, taking into account the reason he didn't keep that 4.+ through graduation.
    I am told I am oblivious and told that minorities need these special programs to even the playing field. I am simply saying that the field will never be even.
    And we are saying that the field can be made a little more even. We are saying that there is nothing wrong and a lot right about fostering programs that help make it happen.
    It is a dog eat dog world and we can't coddle people to guarantee their success.
    I see, so it is "coddling" to help someone who has every possibility of being successful, but who has innate characteristics that actively work against that success? Gotcha. I am beginning to believe that you really are just an entitled asshole who has no interest in actually understanding what we are talking about. And before you go ranting about your poor past, I had just as shitty an experience and still recognize my privilege.
    Truly qualified people make themselves into successful people.
    Bullshit. There are truly qualified people who cannot make themselves successful, because they are never given the opportunity. You seem to have the impression that because of the programs that are out there, anyone who is a minority or a woman is guaranteed help. Nothing could be further from the truth.
    Human nature is to gravitate toward people who are like you, that will never change and white men will always be the majority here so deal with it.
    As a white dude, all I can say is fuck you and the miserable fucking cur you rode in on. The entire point of these programs is to change the paradigm and shift into a direction where white men aren't so privileged. A paradigm shift that I support absolutely, because it is fucking ridiculous to accept that it should be that way.
    And before you start whining, this isn't about pissing on white guys and putting us down. It is about equalizing other groups up. Not giving under or unqualified people positions they don't deserve. Rather giving everyone the opportunity that you and I have to get there.
    Also, please don't try pushing me to see your point of view. I am a white midwesterner from a lower middle class family. I grew up with this shit and until I started really paying attention and learning the reality of the situation, I shared your ignorant point of view.

  • SKM says:

    I am trying to help you understand how they are perceived. I am a white guy who works with all white guys and went to school with all white guys. I know how they discuss these things
    We already know how white men see things. That is because white males are considered the default in our society. We have heard their perspective all our lives.
    You don't seem to realize this. Seriously--you are very, very far behind the class.
    You would do very well to read Johnson's The Gender Knot. Like, yesterday.
    I suspect that you are just messing with the commenters here though, as you have shown no interest in the reading provided, so I'm out.

  • Quietmarc says:

    "Human nature is to gravitate toward people who are like you, that will never change and white men will always be the majority here so deal with it."
    To me (a white D00d), this sentence invalidates all the other stuff you said about believing in equality and liking MLKj, etc, etc. I wish you'd started with this and saved me the time of wading through the discussion.

  • Thegoodman says:

    Well, if it makes a few of you feel any better, I am seriously considering that I could be completely wrong.
    I'll put some serious thought into my positions on the subject and reconsider. I have clearly misrepresented myself to all of you and I am now paying the price for it. I suppose it is difficult to see the advantages you have had that you did not know about that I am obviously guilty of not seeing.
    I would love to see absolute equality and anything that truly helps create this situation I will support completely.

  • becca says:

    "I happen to think that white men assume this BECAUSE the aid exists."
    Post hoc != propter hoc, but if not post hoc, not propter hoc.
    Wouldn't that imply that discrimination is new, and has only exited since affirmative action programs have been put into place?
    Yeah, that whole *not allowing* women or black people to vote back in the 19th century? That's obviously the direct result of college scholarships to minorities in the late 20th century. It's those timetraveling oppressive white males...
    Their logic is this "If minorities were capable of success on their own, why do they need assistance programs and scholarships?"
    It is true that this thinking is out there. However, plenty of people also believe that if minorities were capable of success on their own, there would already be e.g. a proportional number of minority CEOs. Both statements depend on people assuming that all discrimination is gone and doesn't exist anymore. This is a demonstrably invalid claim (that's what things like those tightly controlled "ridiculous" resume studies show- it's the same damn CV, just with a different name attached. How does that have anything to do with anything other than bias?). Since it is predicated on a false assumption, we tend to dismiss this argument.
    Yes, things like affirmative action programs will attract criticism. But the truth is, there is frequent criticism of women and minorities in colleges and jobs and the like, irrespective of whether affirmative action had anything to do with how they got there. What does that tell you?

  • Thegoodman says:

    Wouldn't that imply that discrimination is new, and has only exited since affirmative action programs have been put into place?
    I am only 27 yrs old. For my entire educational and adult life, women and minorities have been considered my equal. I've always been told this, this is what I have seen, and this is what I have thought. Clearly all of you have passion about this so it isn't true, but I am saying that for me and what I believe to be my generation, we are equals. Discrimination isn't new, but the continuation of programs like affirmative action give people in my age bracket something to grab onto if/when we decide to be discriminatory. Before I knew about affirmative action, I had no reason to be discriminatory in the workplace (I am currently not, but I do know men who are and for that sole reason). Most agree that the AA program has good and bad points, but the good outweigh the bad. I am saying that in a few short years, my generation will be in managerial positions and that scale will tip. The bad will outweigh the good.
    But the truth is, there is frequent criticism of women and minorities in colleges and jobs and the like, irrespective of whether affirmative action had anything to do with how they got there. What does that tell you?
    I am not sure what it tells me. Why are they being criticized? What did they do (or not do) wrong? I think this is a case by case basis.
    I intend on reading The Gender Knot to clear my thinking a bit on this topic. I am sure I will learn something worthwhile. I am definitely open to new/different view points.

  • DK says:

    It is almost impossible for white males to see the true picture unless it is shown to them in the flesh. I am a white male that grew up in a moderately socially liberal family. Racism, to me, was when white people called minorities names, when people were fired for being minorities, etc. When someone who was racist did something nasty to a minority, that was racism. I hated all that, had no problem with black people, the usual young liberal uninformed ideas.
    In college I took a summer class called "Diversity in Education" for some general education requirement. I took it because I knew it would be very easy. The class consisted mostly of black students who were there through affirmative action or sports.
    That class introduced me to the notion of "privilege", and to Tim Wise. I did not really understand until the end of the semester. I was an honors student, and to make this class into an honors class I did a mini-thesis. It was about affirmative action. I did an okay job, I didn't really care all that much about the class as it was so easy.
    The wake up call came when I presented the paper to the class. I got about ten minutes into it. One of the black students raised their hand and asked "what's affirmative action?" I was stunned. I looked around. None of them had any idea what I was talking about. The basic building blocks, the things I though people learned just through living their lives, were totally foreign to them. They knew nothing about anything. Their experience was something I had not realized the existence of.
    I was more equipped to handle the world at 20 than these people ever will be. They will have to work to learn everything I'd learned just by being around. That is privilege.

  • Cara says:

    I am saying that hardships should strength your resolve, not discourage you.
    YOU, and default human beings who think like you, are discouraging. The fact that you're here bloviating about what people who are not you (and who have been UNFAIRLY and BLATANTLY discriminated against, consciously and unconsciously, in ways you have not been) should do and think and feel is discouraging; not unexpected, but discouraging. However, our resolve is strengthened, no thanks to you.
    This is the message that we need young people to understand. We've all had barriers to overcome and they are unique to each person who overcomes them.
    Wrong-o, dude. They are NOT UNIQUE. They are systematic injustices and privileges, and that's why there are measures to HELP counter them SOMEWHAT. MAYBE.
    Your inability (or unwillingness) to see your privilege doesn't mean it's not there. And, no, we're NOT going to "educate you" because you're oh-so-confused. You're good at pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. If you really want to understand, follow the links and get after it.
    But I don't believe you do. I think you're trolling in hopes of derailing the discussion. (Fortunately, your behavior illustrates the post brilliantly, so you're not wreaking the havoc you hoped to).

  • Becci says:

    NOT going to get involved in an argument--just stopping by to say that I loved this freakin' article.
    Oh, and...
    "We already know how white men see things. That is because white males are considered the default in our society. We have heard their perspective all our lives. "
    Great point, SKM.

  • Cara says:

    Oh, good grief.
    I am trying to help you understand how they are perceived.
    Of course you are. How useful to have this heretofore completely secret knowledge. It's not like it's in the fucking water or anything.
    I am a white guy who works with all white guys and went to school with all white guys.
    Again, duh.
    I know how they discuss these things and I know how they are perceived.
    But we dumb broads and non-whities can't even guess. We NEED to be told directly because it's not like this shit is our LIVES or anything.
    Their concept is meaningless if the majority perceives them to be different. From my limited perspective, it isn't "some" who perceive the programs this way, it is "most".
    Most, meaning "the majority", who are white d00ds. Ten-four. And, again, fucking DUH. Which is why the programs exist in the first place, to fight Teh Fucking Duh (perpetuated by the dominant Duh).

  • Thegoodman says:

    @Cara
    Why are you so hostile? I am going to educate myself and read up on gender and racial issues. I clearly have a skewed perspective on the issues and seem a bit out of my league here.
    The discussion wasn't derailed, it just shifted to a different but similar topic. Despite all of the harsh words thrown my way, I've really enjoyed and I've learned a lot and would like to learn more. I am not trolling at all and everything I've said are my true opinions and they have definitely changed throughout the discussion.
    I am honestly disturbed by the opinion that a few of you have of me and how quickly I've been labeled. Is there a way I can abdicate this image? Like I said, I feel misrepresented by my own words and would like to set the record straight.
    Also, do any of you see how this is ironic.
    "We already know how white men see things. That is because white males are considered the default in our society. We have heard their perspective all our lives. "? On one hand I am berated for acting like I have an inkling of an idea of what minorities and women go through. Meanwhile, you praise each other for doing the exact same thing.
    By saying something so ignorant you draw a line in the sand in front of my feet and make it you vs. white men. I don't want that line to be there and I wish you would not paint this picture.

  • Thegoodman says:

    Ok, now who is trolling? You pick out a few sentences from my post and respond with "duh".
    I am confused as to why you are here if you already fucking know everything. I think your blanket statements that represent your clear disdain for white men is racist in itself. Is this the point you are making?
    Most, meaning "the majority", who are white d00ds. Ten-four. And, again, fucking DUH. Which is why the programs exist in the first place, to fight Teh Fucking Duh (perpetuated by the dominant Duh).
    This is incoherent. And like previous posts, you are too infuriated or possibly your eyes are itching from the burning bra smoke, but you didn't read my post yet. Do you not see my point?
    Affirmative action pisses off white guys more than it helps minorities get jobs. Is that worth it? It causes every single woman and minority to be questioned if they belong or not. It causes every white man to wonder if they might be more qualified than the woman/minority next to them. It good for the minorities and women who get the jobs, but it is bad for the progression of equality. How can a minority or woman say they are truly equal when there are laws that say they are not?

  • bellacoker says:

    I find that it helps to look at these issues from the other side, for several hundred years in America rich white men did not have to compete with minorities or women or the poor for the jobs that they found most fulfilling. The advancement of people who were not well-off, white, and men was artificially capped so they did not have to compete. The lack of female doctors or black lawyers or people from the lowest classes of society rising to become engineers was not seen as a problem, but proof that those people lacked the characteristics necessary to succeed.
    Once we as a society began to address these issues, which was not very long ago at all, the formerly oppressed could not just jump into CEO positions or become President of the USA, they were still dealing with many forms of oppression which were not addressed, they were still living on the paycheck they got from their artificially repressed position, and more than that, they were not welcome and most people don't want to live everyday in a world that does not want them to be there. So we formerly *more* discriminated against people have to progress up the ladder in stages, that is why my great-grandmother didn't finish high school and worked on a farm, my grandmother finished high school and worked in a factory, my mother went to junior college and worked in an office, so today I can have multiple degrees and be a librarian. What is being addressed here isn't: Where would I be if I hadn't been born female? or Where would you be, thegoodman, if you hadn't been born poor? But where would we be if our poor female and poor male ancestors had been given a fair shake?

  • DuWayne says:

    Is there a way I can abdicate this image?
    Yes, and since certain people aren't here to say it; Shut the fuck up, quit arguing with people about privilege and actually read some of the things that have been suggested. Pay attention to what the people who are actually have a uterus and/or non-beige skintone have to say. Edumucate yourself. There are a great many options out there for the learning - including, but not limited to books.

  • DK says:

    I'm sorry, I can't let this one pass up.
    "Affirmative action pisses off white guys more than it helps minorities get jobs. Is that worth it? It causes every single woman and minority to be questioned if they belong or not."
    Reread this statement. Please. It is arguing from an inherently privileged position. There is the tacit assumption that these white male opinions *matter*. Because they do. Because white men run the show. It is such a base assumption that "what white males think" = "what people think" that they are interchangeable.
    When has the opinion of black people towards white people ever mattered? Maybe when they make white people feel guilty.
    Part of being a disadvantaged group is worrying about pissing off white males.

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    @Thegoodman #95
    For my entire educational and adult life, women and minorities have been considered my equal. I've always been told this, this is what I have seen, and this is what I have thought.
    This might be what you were told and what you thought, but it isn't true. What happened is that the blatant racism and sexism became less acceptable, so it went underground and got quieter. What happened is that you were never the actual target of the more subtly discriminatory differences of attitude and action, and so you had absolutely no reason to ever perceive them. It isn't gone, though, even as the blatant type of nastiness, and when it's not blatant, it clothes itself as things like people who think "The Bell Curve" makes a lot of sense (but who have never heard of the expectation effect) and who might decide not to give someone with a "black" name an interview even though they look good on paper because it would be "a waste of time", and people who automatically remove CVs with a female name out of a stack of applicants for a technical job, without ever thinking about it, because they want "someone qualified." It's people like one of my brothers (we'll call him Bubba, for now) who lifted my little nephew onto a fire truck at the station and said "There you go, a fireman!", then lifted my little niece onto a desk and said, "and you can be the secretary!" -- or do you think that 3-year-olds and 6-year-olds don't absorb role messages? It's the fact that I know I will personally have to publish more papers in higher caliber journals than my male colleagues in order to be regarded as being at the same level, but even getting that publication level is harder if I leave my [female] name on the paper. Even when I write fiction I'll face assumptions about what I can and can't write if I stick with my full [female] name. Sure, none of the people responsible for this are walking around calling women bitches and demanding they stay barefoot & pregnant & in the kitchen; does the fact that these are simply unconscious actions from people who are sure they like and respect women make it less sexist? Do you think it doesn't present a barrier of idiocy that men don't have to work through?
    #101 Affirmative action pisses off white guys more than it helps minorities get jobs. Is that worth it? It causes every single woman and minority to be questioned if they belong or not.
    Bullshit. The assumption that women & minorities are not really qualified for these jobs WAY predates affirmative action; are you seriously trying to claim that if there weren't affirmative action, that people would be so much more accepting of women and minorities in these jobs?
    No. That's not how it works. If there were no affirmative action, not only would there be fewer qualified women and minorities in the jobs, but the ones who were there would still be getting the sideways looks and comments about how they slept or bribed their way there. We had a few decades of that.
    As for why Cara is hostile: simply put, you are telling people that what we have lived and breathed all our lives is not valid experience, and because it has taken you close to 100 posts to start to act like you have started to realise that you don't know everything; and more to the point, because you are the several-hundredth white guy to come in saying exactly this kind of thing that most of us have encountered. If you were the first, I bet you would find a bit more patience. If you were the fifth or the sixth or the tenth, I bet you would find a bit more patience. If you were the fiftieth, you would probably find marginally more patience. But by about number 479 of white guys saying "that's just the way life is, you women/PoC don't face any more real problems than anyone else, just work hard and you'll succeed", most people just want to throw things and scream at the moron until he goes away. Think biologist explaining things to number 40,709 creationist, maybe you will understand this.

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    Oh, and beside that -- what DK just said, oh yes. "People" == "white males", and women and PoC have to worry about what "people" think. ++1.

  • Cara says:

    Why are you so hostile?
    YAY! I win! Hardly worth it, though, the pots are so small from being emptied so often.
    So, fine, "goodman", educate yourself. You have my blessing. Vaya con Dios.

  • DK says:

    @Thegoodman
    I usually do not post comments on blogs. I sensed that you are really trying now which is why I am replying. I will try to reach anyone with an open mind.
    I read through your earlier comments. I am also an electrical engineer and I'm about your age. It sounds like you had a tough lot in life, much tougher than mine, and I applaud your accomplishments. How many of your friends in similar situations did as well as you? You are smart, motivated, and had some decent role models. What if you were just average?
    Blacks, for example, are much more likely to come from a background similar to yours than to mine. My family mostly works on Wall St. and my parents make about $200K on a really shitty year (as in now). Black people our age with my background are so few I've probably come across two or three in my life. For your average black person, the dream of becoming a banker like my father is like my father's dream of being Warren Buffet. It's shooting for the moon. My father is what the average drunken fratboy school of management brah at my college was shooting for.

  • jsb says:

    @70
    Hello Luna_the_cat,
    It's exciting to have someone respond, as that was my first post to this blog! XKCD is great isn't it? I really like it, and that comic = a good point, well argued.
    My thoughts were that if something has rules about it, if it is enforced by an institution, can we call it systematic? By this, I mean that it is a system itself, not individuals implementing it. Perhaps ‘institutional’ or ‘formal’ discrimination would be a better term. And maybe ‘informal’, ‘casual’ or ‘private’ would be a better term than ‘personal’, as some of us might read that as meaning ‘personal’ discrimination isn’t widespread, or a problem.
    Can I give another example? The anti-miscegenation laws of the previous century are systematic or institutional discrimination; if I was a celebrant living in those conditions, even if I wanted to marry an interracial couple, I couldn’t –I’m being forced to discriminate.
    I just looked up the Wikipedia entry on anti-miscegenation, and it gives an instance of what I’d regard as personal discrimination. Celebrant Keith Bardwell refused to marry an interracial couple in 2009. Mr. Bardwell could have (there were not any institutional laws against it) – he just chose not to.
    In your maths class, obviously I’m not there, so your opinion has more subjective weight than mine. But let me ask you this: were you being discriminated against (through being ignored) because of school rules? When/if you’d gone to the school authorities and lodged a complaint (and I’m not saying you should have, if you didn’t; this might not have been a reasonable action for you to take in your environment), would official school guidelines have supported your teacher? Or was your teacher being discriminatory all on her own? In either case, please believe me when I say that I do see your problem! I do think your friend Robin was facing both personal and systematic discrimination, since she wasn’t allowed to be a pilot (systematic?) and was discouraged from taking maths classes (personal?).
    I don’t want to claim that both kinds aren’t a problem, or that personal discrimination isn’t wide spread (actually, I think we might find it is more widespread than systematic discrimination today). But speaking solely for myself, I’d prefer to face personal discrimination.
    Is this a fair distinction to make?

  • Queef says:

    I really like DuWayne. I found his first response to be the most compelling.

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    @jsb --
    Welcome, hope you hav a thick skin. ;-)
    Now, the real problem leading to a misunderstanding, here, is that you are using terms ("institutional" and "systematic") which are already in use, but don't mean what you're using them for. What you are talking about is definitely formal discrimination, but also legally supported and overt. However, systematic or institutional racism or sexism doesn't have to be, and in fact generally isn't these days, since OVERT racism and sexism is not legally supported to a large extent. It IS, however, racism or sexism that occurs at an institutional level, and which is simply based on "common practice." I'm going to refer you back to Wikipedia again: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institutional_racism .
    If I had bothered to complain to the school, I would have simply been told to quit making a fuss about it, it was not a big deal. (We are also talking about a school where any girl who took the weight training class for gym got an automatic F, simply because the coach who taught it thought that weightlifting was a boys' thing and girls just shouldn't be there.) This was not either legally supported or mandated, but it was institutional, since it was a pervasive culture of discrimination which was common practice at the level of the school. See definition above.
    Although individual agents are always directly responsible for their actions and attitudes, the context in which they work often guides and informs those actions and attitudes, and when it is more than a single or small number of individuals -- when prejudice occurs at the level of institutional decision-making -- then it is institutional prejudice.
    The problem IS that we have widespread systematic discrimination today, for example in the inequity of who speaks and how in the classroom, or in the hiring practices which favour men over women because of subconscious beliefs about aptitude, such as is amply illustrated above -- but these practices generally AREN'T formal, they are simply based on belief and common practice and often do not operate at the level of conscious choice, which makes it a great deal harder to pin down.
    So, I don't think you have a valid distinction, there, really.

  • Brandon says:

    I have a legitimate question.
    Is there a scientific study that discusses racial representation in college that adjusts for income bracket and location? I'm curious if a black kid and a white kid grow up in upper-middle class homes in the same neighborhood, the probability of each getting into college.

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    @Brandon -- I would be very surprised if there were not such a study. Are you at a university? Visit the library and look for the social sciences index database, and have a play with constructing queries.
    In the mean time, although these are not exactly that study, they are relevant and I have them immediately to hand:
    Laurie Hart Reyes and George M. A. Stanic, "Race, Sex, Socioeconomic Status, and Mathematics" Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, Vol. 19, No. 1 (Jan., 1988), pp. 26-43
    [note that this was in 1988, and there are a large number of studies which update this -- Google Scholar Is Your Friend, just start with this paper title]
    "Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns"
    Report of a Task Force established by the Board of Scientific Affairs of the American Psychological Association
    Released August 7, 1995

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    Brandon, I have a place for you to start, unfortunately it is hung in moderation because I'm posting too many links.

  • Thegoodman says:

    Thanks everyone for the information and the explanations, no one has to explain anything and I appreciate your interest thus far.
    I went home and asked my wife about her challenges. She is an M.D. She graduated high school and college with a 3.99 GPA (out of 4, no weighted classes) and finished medical school with an Honors grade in about 90% of her classes. She is going into a predominantly male field (radiation oncology) that is also very prestigious. I asked her very pointedly "Have you faced any challenges or discrimination in your life simply because you are a woman." Her answer:"No." I asked her to elaborate and she had nothing else to offer, she really never faced any situation that was uncomfortable or unprofessional because she is a female.
    Are we in some sort of mystical bubble here where she is somehow been the luckiest person on earth? The more likely scenario is that she is smart as hell and she works her ass off and people notice it because she is good at what she does. That fact that she has a vagina is irrelevant.
    @DK
    You asked "What if you were just average?" I would be like every other guy I went to high school with. A college dropout with 2 kids and working at Wal-mart. Where I come from, average people are losers compared to the rest of the world. I was the first person in my entire family to travel out of the country and still currently the only "professional" in my entire family. I never felt like I had some sort of special privilege. If I hadn't worked hard I would be what I consider a loser. I do not have a single friend from high school I hang out with because most of them do drugs or are broke as shit and complain about being broke all the time. When discussing this with my wife she asked what privileges I had, because she didn't see any of them.
    My point is that I didn't have a yellow brick road to success and I don't feel like I had a lot of the opportunities many of you are saying I had. Not only that, my wife who is an extreme successful woman didn't have any of the challenges so many of you say ALL women have.
    She also said to me "Why do you argue with these people? Its scary that some of them actually believe what they are saying. It makes me sad for humanity."
    Sounds like we are 2 peas in a pod :)

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    @Thegoodman -- actually, could you point to where we said ALL women, no exception, face the same challenges? Because I am not seeing this. What I *am* seeing is someone who is unwilling or unable to listen to or make a good-faith attempt to understand people who say that they face challenges he hasn't perceived.
    The other thing I'll note is that your wife is apparently just starting her career? I've seen a number of bright-eyed graduates who are convinced they have never run across institutionalised gender-based inequities, and I genuinely wish I could believe that were universally the case. In some cases, though, it seems like some gender disparities are never perceived because they are simply too much part of the culture, and accepted as normal and unexceptional behaviour -- which makes your wife not so much blessed as a little too well acculturated, if she hasn't noticed. In other cases, yes, they simply haven't encountered things that smack them upside the head with the inequity of it, yet. But I think it would be worthwhile revisiting the issue in 10 years to see if she has the same attitude and experience.
    What you DON'T get to do, however, is look at all the large number of women pointing out their experiences, pointing to studies and documentation of how these individual experiences fit into a discernable cultural bias, and go "well, me and my wife have never seen anything like this, therefore it isn't real and it's sad that you believe this stuff." FU sideways with a broomstick, too.

  • Dedj says:

    Wow, I think it's a great thing that your wife has worked in medicine yet has never been perved on, 'touched' during patient handling, mistaken for a nurse, mistaken for a secretary, that she avoided the classical challenges of being female all the way through grade school, high school and college, that she has never been judged on her femininity or sexual appearance, that she has never been hit on whilst out with friends by random strangers, that she has never been wolf-whistled at, that none of her teachers ever doubted her career choice because she was female, that she was fully included in all the social events at uni, and that no one ever doubted that she might be too emotional or empathetic to survive in her job.
    It's great that no one in any of the selection processes she has gone through has ever used her gender as a factor in thier decision, even though this is still a statistically common phenomenon, even in academia and professional arenas. It's great that no one with ever doubt her abilities because she is a woman, and none of her clients will ever have less confidence in her just because she's a woman.
    It sounds like you are both so far removed from the experience of the average normal person that any rational reasonable observer will have serious trouble taking your lack of experiences and understanding as a valid counterpoint to the numerous biographical and academic references that say otherwise.
    But it was entertaining watching you get totally schooled. Shame you had to be such a dick in your last post. You even pulled the old 'well I know a woman/gay man/black guy/person in a wheelchair and they say you're wrong so there!' gambit. It's so sad that you wont allow yourself to see just how stupid it was to ask your clearly non-typical (and possibly fictional) wife about her personal experience and then extrapolate that out to women in general.
    As one man to another, I must ask you one favour: please stop making us all look bad.
    Oh, and stop mistaking endemic and systemic for universal. They don't mean the same thing.

  • Thegoodman says:

    I am not denying the existence of any of the issues that many of you are so passionate about. They certainly exist and I have been exposed to a lot of ideas and and situations I hadn't previously considered, and will not consider moving forward. So many of you have accomplished at least part of your goal of enlightening me to the real world and the hardships people face; many I was not aware of.
    That being said, you need to realize that most of you are on the far side of this argument. A nearly extremist stance that from my perspective, tend to think that racial and sexual discrimination are prominent in every area of the working world and that white men are privileged and given a lot of free things that the women/minorities are not privy to. I have a much more moderate view of things. While I do recognize racism/sexism as a problem and I know that it exists and should be done away with, I also feel like many of you are making it out to be a much worse situation than I feel it really is.
    I am sure I could find some studies that show the exact opposite information as the studies you have linked me. Studies are done every day that support a persons argument. This doesn't make them invalid, but it does mean they should be taken for what they are. They prove a point but are not the be-all end-all of a situation as dynamic as sexism or racism. If it could all be summed up in a couple of links, I am sure it would have been done away with long ago. It persists because it is far more complex than that.
    Dedj,
    My wife has certainly been the victim of being a woman. Guys hit on her regularly, they bother her, she was hit on during an interview once by a man who was wearing a wedding ring. My point is that this didn't offend her. It didn't hold her back in any way. Its just an inconvenience that she is equipped to fend off and brush off without letting it bother her. That is evolution. Men want to sleep with women, and women have evolved to be the one who decides who they sleep with. This can be bad at times, but it can be advantageous in others. To act like the women always have a harder time than men isn't just unfair, its simply wrong. Women don't have the pressure of supporting a family. No one expects a woman to make the money to pay for a house/care/kids. They are free to choose to work, stay at home, do whatever they want. Men on the other hand are expected to work. Stay-at-home dads are looked down upon. I am not mad at this situation, I just accept it for what it is. You take the good with the bad and if you don't like it, you make yourself into an exception. My wife is an exception, I am not. This works for us and we are happy with our lives. We don't blame anyone or anything for our misfortunes, we define who we are and we decide what we do with our lives. If someone tries to hold us back because I was poor or because she is a women, we simply won't allow them to do that.
    I've remained amicable throughout this discussion despite being told to fuck off, go fuck myself, and the like. I think I am being reasonable and open but I won't apologize for not accepting all of your points immediately. I am not making anyone look bad. I have only said things that differ from the opinion of most/all of you and I've been open to learning more about the topic, and I have learned a lot. I intend on learning more and I am open to completely changing my views on the topic so please don't label me as something I am not.
    If you only enjoy discussing things with people who have the exact same viewpoint as you then don't participate.

  • Ev-Psych for the win! My bingo card is all full.
    I'm about to go into my final review in a program where I have the highest GPA in my class. I've also been consistently harassed, discriminated against, devalued, and sexually harassed just because I'm a woman. It didn't keep me from doing well, but it's been hell to go through. I hope that in the future, young women will not have to put up with this kind of treatment while ALSO working harder than their male peers for good grades, recognition, etc.
    I have the best academic record in my class, and I've achieved that while also dealing with institutional sexism. Why in the world should the bar be so much f*cking higher for women than for men? Why can't we have a world in which the professor and students who sexually harassed me and constantly disrespected me would actually face some kind of penalty? Why couldn't I just focus on my academics at school, rather than also having to navigate persistent and, again, institutional, misogyny?
    Because I'm a woman. Damn.

  • Kierra says:

    I am sure I could find some studies that show the exact opposite information as the studies you have linked me.

    Just saying that you are sure they exist isn't particularly convincing.

    If it could all be summed up in a couple of links, I am sure it would have been done away with long ago. It persists because it is far more complex than that.

    Actually, it's more likely that it persists because people are not aware of the studies and are further not aware of their own inherent bias. Someone may see the study but think "well I don't discriminate, so it's not my problem" without realizing that they also have these unconscious biases to favor people that look like them.

    No one expects a woman to make the money to pay for a house/care/kids. They are free to choose to work, stay at home, do whatever they want.

    This is a problem. It is a biased world view that means you can justify in your own mind paying a woman less than a man even if they are doing the same job. Because you assume that the man is providing for a family while the woman is just at work for the fun of it. This is not always true (there is no universal law that the man in a relationship will be more career-driven than his spouse) and further, it is none of their employer's business. If a woman does as much work as the other employees, then she should be paid as much as them regardless of who is or isn't supporting families.

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    Damn. Cara, if you had just hung on -- I'm playing both antifeminist bingo cards, and I'm about two squares away from house on each.
    @"thegoodman", are you seriously this clueless? Seriously?? Or are you now being a troll deliberately?
    ...you need to realize that most of you are on the far side of this argument. ... While I do recognize racism/sexism as a problem and I know that it exists and should be done away with, I also feel like many of you are making it out to be a much worse situation than I feel it really is.
    Right, because your feelings, as someone who is not and has never been one of the targets of this kind of discrimination, is just totally exactly the best guage of the extent of the problem. What we can present just totally doesn't count against it, because your own personal experience trumps that, and hey, you have a WIFE who backs you up so that totally trumps the experience of multiple other women! Like, totally! And when people tell you that you are personally speaking from a position of privilege and that there is probably a lot missing in the understanding of what your wife lives (from you and her both, maybe), that just totally is just an extremist position. Because, let's not forget that your experience (and white guys in general) is totes the arbiter of reality, after all. ::headdesk::
    I am sure I could find some studies that show the exact opposite information as the studies you have linked me.
    Well, then, why don't you fucking DO THAT. You've been given links, papers, evidence, and all we're getting is just vague & airy handwaving about how you're "sure" there is equal evidence to contrary?? No. Defend your assertions, or admit that all you have is personal prejudice. Put up or shut up.
    If it could all be summed up in a couple of links, I am sure it would have been done away with long ago. It persists because it is far more complex than that.
    No, it persists because a bunch of privileged fuckers who don't credit anyone else's experience are unwilling to listen to groups who say "there's a lot you're missing." It also persists because there are people like you who say "well, that's just the way it is, it's natural, it's not a big problem, what are you all making such a fuss about."
    Women don't have the pressure of supporting a family. No one expects a woman to make the money to pay for a house/care/kids.
    Oh, you DIDN'T just fucking say that, you ignorant little douchebag.
    Right, because teh wimminz is all for being taken care of by teh MENZ. We're not EXPECTED to support a family....
    Let's just ignore all the women who are the primary breadwinners AND caretakers for their families, out of both choice and out of necessity, yes, ignore those demographic millions. Let's just ignore the historical fact that men used to be confirmed as the primary breadwinners simply because women couldn't get and wouldn't be given equitable salaries, regardless of their desire for a career. No, just pass that over; women just TOTALLY have a choice, and they just aren't EXPECTED do MEN'S work, and MEN are totally looked down on for being in a woman's "traditional position" and that is just completely natural and not part of the problem AT ALL. Nope, fuck women's experience, attitudes, desires, and discussion of the problem; fuck the documentation. Traditional attitudes got it NAILED, amirite?
    I've remained amicable throughout this discussion despite being told to fuck off, go fuck myself, and the like. I think I am being reasonable and open...
    Yeah, YOU might think this. This goes back to the thing you haven't quite grasped yet, which is that your personal feelings are not the arbiter of the physical reality apparent to the rest of us. You are being told to fuck off a lot not because we're so mean&horrible to such a REASONABLE, AMICABLE person, but because you're a smug privileged git who has, intentionally or not, come in here being completely dismissive of and insulting the people who are not agreeing with you in your Ultimate Wisdom About The Nature Of The World, regardless of whether you cuss. You claim you are learning -- have to say, you aren't giving a lot of evidence of this; rather, every time you come back with more traditional-gender-role-why-are-you-women-making-such-a-fuss-you-don't-have-anything-real-to-complain-about patronising bullshit.

  • DK says:

    @Thegoodman
    "she was hit on during an interview once by a man who was wearing a wedding ring. My point is that this didn't offend her."
    This really invalidates a lot of your points. You are basically admitting that all the bias is there, but there's nothing we can or should do about it and "winning" for the victim consists of sucking it up and not letting it piss you off.
    Your wife has obviously experienced plenty of sexism. But she's also smarter than probably 99.99% of the population. She has been able to use her skills to insulate herself, which is a good thing to do. But the vast majority of people are just not as good at life as her. She is an extreme outlier.

  • Thegoodman says:

    I wasn't aware this was a factually based scientific study we are doing here. I thought most of us we posting our own opinions on matters and they didn't require a scientific study to justify them.
    How in the fuck am I supposed to base my personal opinions on anything other than my own personal experiences. You've had a hard time being a woman. The fuck that has to do with me? From my own personal experience, this isn't true and it isn't true from the women in my life. You have an enormous fucking problem and clearly can't deal with life. I suspect if you were swinging a dick you would still be a whiny pompous bitch. Don't blame me for your fucking problems and don't blame anyone else. We all have problems and the problems I have are my own and I deal with them myself.
    While many of you spew your all-knowing wisdom toward me like I am some privileged sheltered white kid who doesn't know his asymptote from a hole in the graph, you continually fail to understand what I am saying and I don't need a fucking scientific study to justify my personal opinions.
    Also, yes I did say that women are in a convenient position to not deal with the social pressure of supporting their families. If a guy has no job he is labeled as a fucking bum. If a woman has no job she is a homemaker. Your opinion of this situation is irrelevant, its the fucking truth. The pressure to provide for your family sucks ass, don't act like its some sort of privilege to have people expect you to be successful and judge you if you don't make enough money. Fuck you and your anti-male views. ITS NOT MY FUCKING FAULT YOU DON'T HAVE A DICK. You are so fucking jealous of men its ridiculous. You have nothing to be jealous of. We both have struggles, we both have hardships, we both have advantages and disadvantages to our positions. Men and women are different and it doesn't matter how many flannel shirts you wear, we will always be different. This doesn't have to be a bad thing. Your attitude fuels the fire that is sexism and you are too fucking stupid to see that. Just like many radicals before you, your message fails because it doesn't reach the mind of reasonable people.
    With the amount of respect you have shown mean, its no wonder you get treated like shit. News Flash: people treat you like a crazy bitch because you are, its not because you are a woman.

  • DK says:

    Just to add, my wife was high school valedictorian and has a masters biochem. I totally screwed off in high school. Did nothing. Screwed off for the first part of college, basically failed out. Got my shit together, came back and graduated with a 3.85 double majoring in math and electrical engineering. My wife and I are both research assistants now, although at quite different jobs. I make twice as much as her. It took her a number of interviews to get a job when I graduated and we moved (she had graduated a while ago and had been working at a lab at school for a year or so). I have been offered every single I've applied to after graduation.
    Do my experiences invalidate yours? No, but if you look around you'll find that you're a lot more unique than I am.

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    Right, I think that about gets all the REST of the antifeminist myths and stereotypes. I had just about despaired of the whole "penis envy" thing showing up, but it finally did. Hey, wimminz, get it now? We're just bitter whiny bitchez because we aren't MEN, but we're just too stupid to know how good we've got it and we'd be failures as MEN too!!1!!eleventy-one!!! And we should RESPECT MEN MOAR 'cuz the fact we're MEAN is why we have so many problems!!!
    "Thegoodman", thanks for removing any doubt -- you are, in fact, as clueless and bigoted as you first appeared. It's telling that when you are called on to support your claims about the world you throw a complete wobbly and toss your pacifier out of the pram, but hey, you feel totally free to diss everyone else's experiences even when we can document them.

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    Oh, and by "diss everyone else's experiences", let me just clarify -- sure, you said things like "I am not denying the existence of any of the issues that many of you are so passionate about. They certainly exist and I have been exposed to a lot of ideas and and situations I hadn't previously considered". But then you go on to things like "many of you are making it out to be a much worse situation than I feel it really is." and how links to studies don't actually prove anything, and How "'Its scary that some of [us] actually believe what they are saying.'"
    Yeah, if that is not arrogantly dismissive of other people's experiences and perspectives, then nothing is.
    Oh, and you see how you just completely lost it, there, because we weren't taking your precious personal perspective seriously? Welcome to OUR world -- a lot of minority groups and women get that from the white male majority ALL. THE FUCKING. TIME. But according to you, the fact that we're angry about it just makes us whiny bitches, whereas you're angry that your experience is dismissed because THAT anger is totally justified. Right?

  • Thegoodman says:

    Luna
    Are you on any medications?
    "I had just about despaired of the whole "penis envy" thing showing up, but it finally did."
    You tell me how good I've got it and how terrible your blight is. You also dismiss me as a chauvinistic pig instantly without considering my points. You've seen them all before right? Why bother listening to just another piece of shit that comes along? Great attitude. It's cool you are so open minded.
    "[Luna] just bitter whiny bitchez.." Yes, you are totally this. I am not sure which men have wronged you so terribly in your life but it would behoove you to try and heal this rift in your obvious hatred of men.
    "..because we aren't MEN.." Again, blaming your own disposition on the fact that you are a woman validates my points. I don't think there is anything wrong with you because you are woman at all. I think there is something wrong with you because you are stupid. When a man says you suck at something, he is probably saying you suck at it because you do actually suck at it. When you instantly jump to the conclusion that it is because you are a woman you create an illusion for yourself that hinders your growth as a person and as a professional. Sexism totally exists and I wish it didn't, but you are letting it control far too much of your life and it influences far too many of your opinions. I am not sexist at all. I KNOW women are capable academically and professionally of anything a man is capable of. I've seen it and I live it and there isn't an ounce of bias in me that favors a man over a woman for anything. I said you are a bitch not because you are a feminist, you are a bitch because you have treated me like shit for attempting to discuss gender issues with you.
    "...but we're just too stupid to know how good we've got it and we'd be failures as MEN too!!1!!eleventy-one!!! And we should RESPECT MEN MOAR"
    Everyone deserves the same level of respect. You don't have it so great, and neither do I. Life is a hard road for almost everyone and everyone should be held to the same standard. Men with your attitude are in the same boat as women with your attitude, whiny bitches.
    "'cuz the fact we're MEAN is why we have so many problems!!!"
    You have problems because you are blaming something that is out of your control for the misfortunes in your life. If you think you are so fucking intelligent and capable, why have so many women succeeded where you have not? Whats your problem? Perhaps its because you are not really all that smart. There are things I wish I could have done that I didn't do because I wasn't smart enough. I don't blame not getting jobs on the fact that the interviewer was a feminist or I have a large scar on my face that makes me look like a thug (it was a car accident when I was a child). I didn't get those jobs because someone else was more qualified. If I get paid less than someone its because I suck at negotiating a deal.
    We all think your terrible writing and spelling is amusing and it really exemplifies how mature and intelligent of a feminist you are and really helps nail your points home. For the record, I have nothing against feminists. I have something against people like Luna, who is insane.

  • Michelle says:

    Thegoodman, just let it go and move on. You're just making yourself look worse. You almost had us all believing that you were really considering a different perspective and now you've completely destroyed that illusion and showed us your true colors. You sound more ignorant than when you started.
    Humble yourself, sir.

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    Interesting, too, that you should assume, due to my not falling in line with your "points" about the world, that I am not successful and have not succeeded "where so many women have." Hee!
    Dude, you seem to seriously be dodging having to engage the actual content of what has been written.

  • skeptifem says:

    Meldown....complete.
    Hey goodman- Luna makes sense to me. Sure does suck to figure out that you have been speaking to people like a jackass when you are used to everyone else saying that the way you talk to us is normal or polite, even. Don't take out your hurt feelings on Luna. You are really mad at you and took the cowards way out; there are a million ready made ways for you to ignore what we are all saying, and that is the route you took. You decided that we all must be angry penis envy havin crazies vs you being wrong about this (and therefore unable to know everything about things you don't experience). I wish you would figure out that you live in a sexist culture that makes it very difficult not to be sexist instead of trying to tell women what sexism IS, and that you could not possibly engage in it without intending to. Beliefs like yours are convenient because you don't actually have to fucking *do* anything, like give a shit about other people or work to change the world for the better.
    And this is why it is such a waste of fucking time to try and explain things to white d00ds who are invested in their own egotistical ideas about how totally not racist/sexist they are, and how much harder they worked than everyone else to get where they did (I mean if they make all this money they must have worked harder than the people do don't, right??????). There is too much available to support them in the delusion, to dismiss other points of view completely. Perhaps we should all book mark this thread next time someone on here goes "educate me!!!11", to show what happens when we all really do try. Having it devolve into "It isn't my fault you don't have a dick" is hard to top in terms of fail.

  • Thegoodman says:

    My points about the envy were directed toward Luna and Luna alone. Her personal attack on my was responded to in kind. I made many points that would definitely be interpreted as chauvinistic if they were global statements, instead they were direct statements aimed at Luna. I do not think she is envious of me in any way. I think she hates that she is a woman. Luna and people like her that I have spoken with do more to exemplify negative stereotypes than they do to dispel them. Shame on all of you for acting like she is logical or supportive. I am certainly not free of any blame in instigating here, but where my true colors have been shown, so have hers.
    I still intend on reading more about this subject and I am still very interested in the entire topic. I may or may not come to the same conclusion as most of you. I get the impression that many of you think it is fact that our society is completely sexist and white men are the sole source of this problem. At this time I disagree with this opinion and think it is a combination of many things and not just the oppressive white male tyrants that are calling the shots.
    Thank you all for the information and the points of view.
    Its also disturbing how much venom so many of you have for me. I am not exaggerating at all when I say this, I am by far the most liberal person in my office. I am more liberal, accepting, and more tolerant than any of my fellow employees or college friends. This must be terrifying for you if this is how incapable of communicating you are with a moderate/liberal.

  • Thegoodman says:

    Also Luna,
    If you do not consider yourself a failure, that is great. Why then are you so angry about this situation? If it has worked out well for you, what is driving your passionate hatred for our patriarch society?
    Like many gender discussions/arguments, your approach has made me feel guilty for being a man. This doesn't accomplish anything positive since I soon get defensive because I cannot help it that I am a man and I shouldn't feel guilty about just as you shouldn't feel guilty for being a woman.

  • Ace says:

    (jumps on the bandwagon)
    You have problems because you are blaming something that is out of your control for the misfortunes in your life. ,
    So, tell me, who should I have blamed when I had an interviewer insist that he wouldn't hire me for an engineering position because I was a woman? Who should I have blamed when I found out that I had been getting paid $2/hr less than two less experienced men hired for the exact same position, at the same time, at a retail chain? In case you're wondering, both of these experiences happened within the last 4 years. Would you expect your wife to have just brushed off a sexist interview for a position she was highly qualified for, if it meant that she wouldn't have a job or an income that she really needed for a few months?
    While this might come to a surprise to you, most women have average judgement and have a reasonable ability to distinguish events that they are in control of from ones they are not. The same ability as "everyone else", you could say. There isn't some invisible slide switch inside of us set to "blame the whole world then kick back and make men do all the work for us".
    I'd also like to disagree with the following statement:
    " I get the impression that many of you think it is fact that our society is completely sexist and white men are the sole source of this problem."
    Women can, and do also perpetuate sexism upon other women. Saying that white men have a lot of privilege in Western society is not saying that white men are the only source of the problem. But they sure are irritating sometimes...

  • Michelle says:

    You should not feel guilty for being a man. You should feel guilty for telling Luna that her outrage at your refusal to look at things from another perspective, etc is really just a side effect from her penis-envying, man-hating, self-victimization. You are being sexist. You have become the man you don't believe exists.

  • Beth says:

    Thegoodman's version of rational discussion:
    T:You guys are wrong and are making the problem worse.
    5 different people: No, the problem is bad either way but at least this way makes it known there is a problem
    T:Says who? I've never seen it.
    5 different people: Says all of these studies and our own experiences.
    T: Well so what, my experience is different.
    5 people: That's why we showed the studies, did you read the studies.
    T: You're just making the problem worse. Don't you get that?
    5 different people: Well fine then, if you're just going to make the same argument over and over again and if you don't want to learn, fuck off. We've heard it before, we don't need to hear it again.
    T: OMGz your meanness has showed me that maybe I'm off base, I'll try to go learn
    5 different people: Good, go learn some stuff and come back
    T: Ohai, I talked to my wife and she backs me up so you are all totes wrong
    5 different people: Your wife =/= studies
    T: Well, actually, she HAS experienced discrimination but she just puts up with it and doesn't want to fix it, besides I'm sure that there are studies that prove you wrong
    5 different people: Links or GTFO
    T: Wah, penis envy, wah, strident, wah you hate me because I'm a man and you haven't listened to any of my points. I'm being SO rational with all of my anecdata, why won't you just LISTEN?
    We have listened to your points, and THAT'S why we consider you a chauvinist, not because you are a privileged white dude. There have been many other white guys in this thread who a) have told you so b) have not been called chauvinists.

  • Thegoodman says:

    Ace,
    The blatant sexism in your recent interviews is disturbing. It seems so outrageous to me that I am skeptical that it even went down like that. If its true, I do feel very sorry for you, that must be awful.
    I am well aware that most women have a reasonable stance on this topic. I've known a number of feminist women and while I don't always agree with all of their points, there is a mutual respect. I respect anyone that is passionate about anything, even if I disagree with it.
    I have looked at things from Luna's perspective. I just disagree with her opinion about them. Why is this so hard to accept? Calling me an "ignorant little douche bag" is very constructive. I can see why I should step into her shoes to better understand her. Feminist like Luna give you all a bad name and put me in a position to use her lunacy to judge you all. I'll try not to let it completely cloud my opinions.
    Skeptifem, I'll be checking out your blog. I'll also try to stay out of your business unless I have something constructive to contribute. :)

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    I'll try to keep this simple, in the hopes that you understand something:
    Why does pervasive sexism piss me off, if I'm not worried about my own success?
    Because for some of us, "I've got mine, screw other people, they should have it just as hard" is not an acceptable place to be.
    Because of the fact that people with your attitudes actually consider themselves "moderate, liberal and tolerant", and it reminds me just a bit too much of how the "moderate, liberal and tolerant" people 50 years ago really didn't see a problem with Jim Crow laws and teaching girls how to cook and sew while the boys got math & physics classes...
    and because this ISN'T inevitable or set in stone or natural and biological and all the other cultural bullshit which is used to excuse it.
    Because the only fairness in the world is what people push to make, and because it is a lot more fair now than it was 50 years ago precisely because women and PoC started getting obnoxious and up in "reasonable" people's faces about what was going on, even though "moderate, reasonable people" thought they were overreacting and "hurting their cause", and they made it change.
    Because I would be failing in my duty as a human being if I didn't continue that trend.
    And, lastly, because you totally don't get what's going on, you are persistently unable or unwilling to credit what people are telling you and showing you, and you really don't seem to be able to take in what a complete ass you sound like when you're being all "liberal" and "tolerant" and sincere.

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    You know, it occurred to me you probably need this repeated a bit more clearly.
    I called you an ignorant douchebag precisely for saying this:
    Women don't have the pressure of supporting a family. No one expects a woman to make the money to pay for a house/care/kids.
    I did so because you have no clue how untrue and insulting this is, and you have no clue how untrue and insulting this is because you have apparently never checked your assumptions and don't care to do so now. But it's just plain damn idiotic, and a slap in the face to every woman out there (and there are many) who are primary wage-earners and caregivers.
    It is also a complete slap in the face for everyone who is forced to "balance their careers and families" in ways that men are not, because even where and when women are the top wage earner for the household and/or have jobs which require serious commitment, it is still a basal assumption that they are responsible for the bulk of child and elder care; that's "not the men's job."
    And it is precisely this kind of unthinking and unquestioning assumption about gender roles which perpetuates difficulties for women in the workplace, e.g. "women shouldn't be taking jobs away from men, who need to support their families" and "it would be better not to hire a woman who will probably have to take time out to look after her kids a lot, and besides, women deal better than men with not having a full-time job" and all the other trite gender bs used to justify the very system of inequity that it springs from. And it is a further slap in the face to claim that women have a choice in this system, and that we have it so much easier than the poor, poor put-upon guys who are just expected to work.
    Argh.

  • Michelle says:

    "I am skeptical that it even went down like that. If it's true..." This has been your attitude from the beginning to everyone that has said anything about their experiences.
    I am starting to be skeptical that you were ever poor, that you even have a degree, that you have a Dr wife, etc. How's that feel?

  • Thegoodman says:

    Luna
    Those are definitely good points. I was thinking of the "I got mine, screw everyone else" when I was typing that. I seem to have mistaken your passion for outright anger. To me these are very different things and it would serve your purpose well to not portray them in the same light. I know you are probably thinking "Fuck you, you men don't tell me how to represent myself!" I am just saying your message might have been heard by me much sooner if you hadn't acted like a psychotic bitch for a while there.
    What have I persistently denied? I haven't said anyone here is lying or that any of their claims are false. I have only said that some of their PERSONAL OPINIONS are different than my own.
    I also think that your continuing of the trend of loud obnoxious feminist is counterproductive at this time. Those original civil rights persons who were obnoxious had to be because there were laws that allowed discrimination. There are now specific laws to prevent discrimination, as there should be. It is now a time for healing the rift between the 2 sides of the argument. Discrimination is now an individual issue rather than a legal issue and the only way to get the bigots to understand the problem is to play nice. "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar"
    I am not saying "shut up and play nice!" I am saying keep talking and continue making valid points, but be more amicable about it. Driving people away only worsens the problem. Telling me I have walked a life of privilege while you have been beaten down by the white man every step of the way doesn't make me sympathetic to your cause. It makes me resent you for undermining the hard work I have done to be successful. I don't want a fucking cookie and I don't want any more respect from you than I deserve and I want to give you the same amount of respect you deserve (which is an equal amount btw).

  • Thegoodman says:

    Michelle
    Being skeptical of me is perfectly reasonable. I am always skeptical of everything; especially a story that seems outrageous to me. For a man to say to a woman "I cannot hire you because you are a woman" seems crazy to me. Anyone who is in a position to hire people, even if he thinks this, is smart enough to word it different. It could very well be true, or it could be false to prove Ace's point; either way, I am skeptical but like I said, I'll assume its true for arguments sake. Of course none of us have to believe what anyone else is saying, so I believe Ace so that others will believe me.
    It doesn't upset me if people don't believe me. I know the things I say are true and are my opinions, if you choose not to believe them I cannot help that.

  • SKM says:

    Thegoodman, you have tipped your hand. This thread is burned for you. Best to move on.
    On the blog I moderate, I would have banned you back when you used gendered and disablist insults and then tried to claim that "crazy bitch" is gender neutral. But it's not my blog, so here you are, getting batted about by folks who are way smarter than you give them credit for.
    Oh well.

  • SKM says:

    Correction: "whiny bitch", not "crazy bitch". I momentarily mis-parsed the massive walls of text full of misogynist insults. My bad.

  • Ace says:

    The blatant sexism in your recent interviews is disturbing. It seems so outrageous to me that I am skeptical that it even went down like that. If its true, I do feel very sorry for you, that must be awful
    While I completely understand skepticism at statements posted semi-anonymously on the internet, I'd like to explain how my real-world experience with this is even more frustrating. Yes, this actually happened, and yes, I was *explicitly* told that I could not work at this job because I was a woman. Do you know what happened when I brought it up with HR at the company, to the other applicants (all male) for the job, or to just about anyone in general? They all told me that I was overreacting, that it couldn't possibly have happened, that I must have misinterpreted his statements, or the like. I was pressed for more and more details as people desperately looked for an excuse, any excuse, to say that this didn't really happen to me. Even though none of them were present for the actual event, they all decided that they were better at knowing what happened during my job interview than I was.
    Can you see how aggravating that could be? Yet this is the attitude that many of us have to deal with every day, and every time that something stupid happens to us. It gets quite irritating to be repeatedly told to question your own judgement or to brush it off and repress your own feelings.
    In your opening statements, you repeatedly mention how you don't want anyone to be sorry for you and your hardships. Yet all you have to say is sorry? How the fuck is that supposed to help!?!?
    Hopefully you can understand that when we say we're looking for support and assistance, we aren't looking for a free ride or for government handouts. I dare say that we're working towards changing the system so that other women and men don't have to face the same shit, or even trivial irritations, that we did because of gender based discrimination. If you prefer to let other people suffer needlessly just because you had to struggle, instead of doing something to help them out, that's your choice. Personally, I don't think that's the most effective way of working towards a better society.

  • Ace says:

    Just to indulge, I've linked to my original rant about that particular job interview, from January 2008. Not like I should really have to prove for the sake of any conversation that something discriminatory did really happen, but at least it (hopefully) settles the speculation.

  • MK says:

    It just gets worse and worse as he goes along.
    "loud, obnoxious feminist" "make valid points" "be amicable about it" and my favorite: "I know the things I say are true *and* are my opinions" (woo woo!)
    What's it like to have the sun rising and setting in the crack of your ass, thegoodman? Isn't there some site where d00ds like you can sit around patting yourself on your "liberal" backs about why is it that nice guys (like you, of course) always finish last? The whole rest of the internets welcomes you!
    In other words: You've lost. Quit shitting on here.

  • becca says:

    thegoodman:
    "Also, yes I did say that women are in a convenient position to not deal with the social pressure of supporting their families. If a guy has no job he is labeled as a fucking bum. If a woman has no job she is a homemaker. Your opinion of this situation is irrelevant, its the fucking truth."
    This is what you said that is spectacularly sexist and offensive.
    Wait.
    Stop.
    Think.
    ...
    ...
    ...
    I can be patient.
    It's the internet. Take some time. It's ok.
    ...
    Thinking faster just to get mad isn't productive.
    Stop.
    Think slowly.
    Think again.
    WHY was what you said sexist?
    WHY was what you said offensive?
    Ok, now. Before you read my take, try to imagine what bugged me.
    It's ok, I'll still wait.
    ...
    ...
    ...
    ...
    Ok. Ready.
    Get a piece of chocolate and try to take deep breaths.
    Ok. Here goes...
    A#1) I'm an unmarried working mother. How DARE you make assumptions about what is convenient for me? It is necessary for me to support my child. Full stop.
    B#2) My father was a homemaker. Your opinion of him being a fucking bum has NO bearing on reality. He was a good man and a good father and I was lucky to be raised by him.
    YOUR opinion of women who stay home and men who work is irrelevant. Its not "fucking truth"- it's outdated and pernicious stereotyping that makes you a certifiable asshole. (also: how DARE someone like you, with your 1950s gender stereotyping, pretend to represent MY generation?)
    News Flash: when people here call you a jerk, it's not because you are a man. It's because you are acting like a jerk who thinks his opinion is the only one that matters.
    Now wait. People on this very blog have said pretty much exactly what you've said about whether you'd 'catch more flies with honey'. Many times. A great many times. We've all heard it. We've heard that our strategy isn't optimal. But this is not your blog, thegoodman. It is a blog 'for everyone and no one'. Perhaps it is a blog for righteous indignation. Perhaps it is a blog for calling out asshats. I'm pretty sure that it is a blog for sharing experiences so we can go on about our business in real life and ignore shit we shouldn't have to deal with.
    This is not just a blog for educating you. It is not just a blog for having reasonable dialog. It is not just a blog for helping people to look at things from multiple perspectives so they don't feel so hurt and angry. I, personally, think it is ok if some of those things happen. But it is dangerous to assume any of them is The Central Purpose of this blog.
    You have come to our space (if I may appropriate Zuska's blog with an "our"- she has routinely made me feel welcome and I hope I do not presume too much). You have told us our experiences "suck"... "if they really happened". By taking this stance, you have repeatedly treated us as untrustworthy. You have disrespected us.
    I understand why this has happened. I like to be skeptical of people by default, myself. Moreover, if the world is as bad as this blog painted it, it would be a very ugly place indeed. A place none of us want to live in. When you describe yourself as "tolerant" and "liberal" I believe that you don't want to live in a nasty world where women and minorities aren't treated fairly. But your *wanting* discrimination to not exist, and your personal unfamiliarity with it, does not make it *poof* out of existence (and, as far as it goes, I think it's too bad that you're wishing discrimination away doesn't make it go away, or this would be a much shorter and less tiresome thread).
    Bad Shit Happens. Listen. Think about it. Try to stop it. Anything else is a waste.

  • Samia says:

    Zuska, brill as always. I encountered this but-what-about-the-white-guys sentiment a lot at school (and sometimes at various jobs) from some of the more elderly professors. They really don't see inequalities. They really think it's all fixed now. And they'll tell me this quite candidly in our conversations (I have this um, teacher's pet problem where people tend to like me and tell me EVERYTHING that is on their minds).
    Of course, what they don't know is how much problematic, hurtful shit comes out of their mouths (in the classroom and office) that I can't comfortably comment on because of the power imbalance between us. When I'm relying on someone for rec letters, networking opportunities, or general career advice and support, I have to decide whether or not I want to risk a beneficial professional relationship. And when I'm like, 30-40 years junior to some of these guys, I'm gonna tend to let some of the fuckedupness slide. It sucks because we have to let SOME things slide to get ahead, but then the people who fuck with us get to keep thinking they're Totally Progressive, Y'all! and hold us up as little token examples. *sigh*
    But I'm always thinking pretty much exactly what you wrote here. It's like damn, y'all want MORE?
    Anyway. Thanks for vocalizing something I've been thinking and feeling for a while now. I found this post cathartic and validating. As for the wonderfully entertaining comment thread here, I think Luna_the_cat hit the nail on the head:
    "if people could just "do it all on their own", then it would be done by now."
    It's interesting how people who claim all oppressions are identical will then imply that *ahem* SOME people are too lazy to help themselves. Illuminating...

  • skeptifem says:

    Wtf, homemakers "don't have jobs"? They do too, they just don't get valued or paid for it. The unpaid labor of mothers keeps society together. Children who are not cared for do not grow up happy and well adjusted, and live in society with the rest of us, where we all interact and have to get along together. The job of moms is taken for granted regardless of if she has a paying job; she is expected to take care of others, and does it because no one else will do it and it needs to be done for the good of the world. Society would be totally fucked if women refused to do the countless hours of unpaid labor that they do now. An uneducated single mother works way fucking harder than many of the well off IT dudes I have met, she just happens to live in a society that values work in a totally backward ass way.

  • skeptifem says:

    if people could just "do it all on their own", then it would be done by now."
    It's interesting how people who claim all oppressions are identical will then imply that *ahem* SOME people are too lazy to help themselves. Illuminating...

    Yeah seriously. Unless there is something wrong with PoC/women I don't know why they aren't ahead by now. If there isn't discrimination (either blatant or de facto) I can't come up with another explanation for the disparity outside of inferiority of women/PoC.

  • bellacoker says:

    Ah, poor thegoodman, completely unable to control the reactions of other people, and yet still trying ...

  • Cara says:

    My point is that this didn't offend her. It didn't hold her back in any way. Its just an inconvenience that she is equipped to fend off and brush off without letting it bother her. That is evolution.
    That is bullshit.
    ALL of it.
    It holds her back, all right. The fact that the asshole felt free to do that holds her back. It's no "inconvenience". It's systematic and pervasive and it hurts everyone, not only women, not only the specific woman it happens to, it hurts men, too.
    If it doesn't bother her (which I doubt, since I doubt you're married at all), then it's because she's bought the idea that all men are just pigs because it's "evolution". And that is a much sadder notion than the truth could ever be.

  • Cara says:

    @"thegoodman", are you seriously this clueless? Seriously?? Or are you now being a troll deliberately?
    Troll. Nobody's that dumb. Nobody who's sincere keeps insisting they want to learn and then refusing to do it.

  • Cara says:

    Feminist like Luna give you all a bad name and put me in a position to use her lunacy to judge you all. I'll try not to let it completely cloud my opinions.
    BINGO!!! I win again...oh. I guess it's not a win.
    Nobody cares about your "opinions", ya little twerp. Bug off.

  • Cara says:

    Women don't have the pressure of supporting a family. No one expects a woman to make the money to pay for a house/care/kids.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Ha. *wipes eyes* Oh, dear. Oh, that was good, you little douchebag. Hee.

  • Cara says:

    How in the fuck am I supposed to base my personal opinions on anything other than my own personal experiences. You've had a hard time being a woman. The fuck that has to do with me? From my own personal experience, this isn't true and it isn't true from the women in my life.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! More comedy gold. Oh, fuck. STOP! I'm getting a sideache. "I don't know anything but I know what you say is untrue". MARVELOUS. This one goes on "Privileged Douchebags' Greatest Hits" for sure. Right after the bitching about how his parents got divorced so they had to live in a crappy trailer (oh, wah), he's sure that HIS MOTHER'S LIFE WAS A BED OF ROSES, AND HER BEING A WOMAN HAD NO CONNECTION TO THEIR BEING IN THE CRAPPY TRAILER. Or being broke after divorce.
    Ha. Just too funny altogether, or would be if Scooter weren't completely in earnest. The inability to engage in rational thought is just too adorable (and by adorable I mean nauseating).

  • Queef says:

    When rational discussion is difficult, be sure to act childish by either: a) calling names, b) telling the other person to stop talking, or c) directly insulting their gender and/or sexuality.
    That's how feminism is discussed 'round hurr.

  • joy says:

    Queef, you're an asshole. Stop talking.
    Not sure where you get the "directly insulting gender or sexuality" thing. Where did anyone say "you're gay" or "you're a woman" as an insult?
    Or ... wait. I'm assuming that you're defending "thegoodman," not referring to "thegoodman."
    Also, I like DuWayne too, from what he's written here -- but what he's written is not so different from what many women here have written. So why do you like him? Why are you giving HIM a cookie for being a sane human being?
    Oh, I know. It rhymes with "ween."
    My experience isn't much different than DuWayne's, in fact. But I am a female. If I had posted what he had posted, you would have commented on how delusional and mean I was, before insinuating that I was lazy and stupid.

  • joy says:

    Also, becca, life IS like what has been written about here. Otherwise people would not write about it.
    Your saying that it's not like that at all, no, definitely ... well, isn't that invalidating other peoples' experiences?
    "No one would want to live in a world like that." Well, for some of us, the world IS like that.
    And most of us don't want to live in it.
    For example, I don't want to live in this world. I'm a female who was raised in an abusive, dignified-but-still-impoverished rural family; I was molested repeatedly by various relatives as well as beaten, shouted at, and emotionally neglected. I performed very well at academia all throughout school and high school, but was forced to drop out of college after I realized I couldn't afford it AND the constant sexual harassment coupled with a date-rape triggered my PTSD, plummeting my GPA from 4.5 to 1.5 because I was too horrified to leave my room.
    I became a traveling punk, but found no respite from rape and sexism there either. So now I'm a freelance writer living below the poverty level. I'm talented and have a high IQ. I love doing things with my talent, although like luna I have no socially accepted goals or ambitions.
    I'm also a queer (as in, non-gender-identifying, "bisexual") female person who is neither of color nor white, and have been a lifelong welfare recipient. So I really doubt I am ever going to make more than twelve grand a year, and it's through no fault of my own. Though I'm fine with myself and what I'm doing, society is not, and in a really big way. Mostly I don't care, on a personal level, and I live with a lot of joy (it is, after all, my given first name) ... but that doesn't mitigate the fact that I'm so angered and depressed at the injustice in our world that I sometimes want to commit suicide.
    So, yeah, becca, the world IS like this, and we DO have a right to be angry.

  • joy says:

    Also, re, luna and "thegoodman" (what a hilarious name) --
    When you can't invalidate her for being female, go for the mental illness card! That one always works.
    He makes me feel sick. Also, he reminds me of my father.

  • SKM says:

    That's how feminism is discussed 'round hurr
    "'round hurr?"
    Is "hurr" an attempt at an imagined dialect, like when people say "''Murrikans" to indicate uneducated (often Southern) working-class people?
    Because that would be appallingly classist.

  • captainahags says:

    Excuse me, but I'm a young white male from a top 5% income home, where's my support group? Oh that's right, I have all kinds of support groups, like the Honor Roll, Principal's List, etc and all of their associated groups and functions that I was able to get into and, here's the key, the part that separates me from the ignorant idiots, I recognize that the fact that I was able to get into these things was largely based on the fact that I grew up in a household that was able to provide me with the materials and the time for my enrichment without fear of discrimination or anything like that.
    I don't understand what's so hard about admitting that yes, I had an advantage in life, and yes, maybe the playing field should be leveled. It's almost as though some believe that, by admitting that they were privileged, either directly and noticeably through affluence, or indirectly through being white/male, they somehow diminish their own accomplishments. You can be advantaged and brilliant, and being advantaged in no way lessens your brilliance, but recognize the fact that perhaps others could be just as brilliant if they had the same advantages you did.

  • skeptifem says:

    You can be advantaged and brilliant, and being advantaged in no way lessens your brilliance, but recognize the fact that perhaps others could be just as brilliant if they had the same advantages you did.

    I have made myself very sad by thinking about how much brilliance is chucked into the garbage by society when things are so unfair. I wonder how many PoC or female newtons or einsteins could have been. We are screwing ourselves over as humans when inequality is allowed to continue.

  • At least if anyone was thinking of questioning the validity of Zuska's original point, we've had a full 5 act drama of "Wah, Wah, What About The White Man" acted out here. All my bingo cards are full. And I mean all of them.
    Oh, if only "Understanding Your Privilege 101" was a required class in High School!

  • joy says:

    "but recognize the fact that perhaps others could be just as brilliant if they had the same advantages you did."
    You're just going to have to take my word for it, but ...
    I've been told by former friends of Alan Ginsburg (with whom I had the pleasure of staying for a while when I was vagabonding) that my novel is better than probably any of Jack Kerouac's (which ... honestly aren't that good, and his daughter's novels were also better, but she died in obscurity and he's still held up as the pinnacle of offbeat literature) ...
    except that I'm never going to get published because I can't afford it and publishers don't take me seriously due to my gender/class/etc.
    That is not me whining; that is me stating my actual lived experience.
    I'm just one example, and I don't even try that hard. If one weird Cajun girl can create a work that trumps part of the literary canon, without even trying ... but will doubtlessly die in obscurity through no lack of effort ... well, I think it says less about me than it does about the system we live in, because I for damn sure am not the only one, nor the best.
    Imagine how many genius people are stuck working in kitchens, their own or others', or cleaning up after other people as janitors, maids, nannies, nurses, mothers (not to devalue these things, but a lot of people don't choose them 'cause it sounds like fun). Imagine how many brilliant novels are never going to be written, or were written and are now lost. Imagine how many science experiments, inventions, anything you can imagine. How many brilliant politicians. The list is endless.

  • Samia says:

    SKM: Dude, I say hurr. I also live in the South and have a tendency to lapse into a drawl at moments. Hmm. But you do have a point, a perceived feigned dialect can be interpreted as classist...thanks for the reminder. :) I guess where I live, people who say "Murrikans" are the rich ones...lol

  • Thegoodman says:

    @Cara
    You are trolling and offering nothing.
    @Becca-146
    Let me get this straight.
    The advantages that men have are inherent privileges we are oblivious to and the result of our oppressive sexism.
    The advantages women have are actually sexism manifesting itself, and thus disadvantages.
    The disadvantages that men have, you want but do not have because we (white men) are sexist.
    The disadvantages you have are the result of sexism.
    This logic is flawed. Men are not the same as women. Women are not the same as men. That doesn't mean that one is better than the other, it simply means we are different. Both genders have their own set of advantages and disadvantages that will always exist, like you said, there is nothing we can do about it.
    I feel like a few of you are attempting to paint me into some sort of monster that I am not. Perhaps I unconsciously make sexist comments at times. While this may be a problem with our society, I mean no harm by it. I do not judge women with a sexist eye and I consider them equals in all levels. What else do you expect?
    It seems like your goals are for me to acknowledge that you have specifically been the victim of sexism. Ok, I believe you. While my opinions are quickly dismissed and my considered childish or uneducated, you spring your opinions upon me as if they were divine guidance. How are you more qualified to form these opinions than I am? Because you are a woman! That's sexist!
    I said a few hateful things toward Luna. They were a direct response to her being hateful toward me. I used the mental illness situation because I truly believe she is disturbed. Cara is as well. My feelings about them have nothing to do with their vaginas and it has everything to do with what is between their ears.
    I have not complained about a single thing. Also, I showed DK respect because he appears to be the only sane person that has responded to me. He read what I typed and responded to it. My opinion is different from his but he clearly knows how to get a point across where so many of you have failed.

  • joy says:

    Cara, if a troll calls you a troll, are you a metatroll? I feel that would be an admirable thing to be, in fact.
    Also, if a troll whines incessantly and purposefully misses the point on a blog post where everyone else has already agreed he is missing the point, are we expected to still care?

  • joy says:

    Thegoodman, I think you are disturbed. That doesn't make it true. In fact, more accurately I think you are at best incredibly if not willfully stupid, but that is probably true.
    Calling a woman crazy or hysterical does not make her so. It is a dismissive, silencing technique employed by the truly uncreative.
    I am not going to engage you because you refuse to learn. It's that simple.

  • Yes, as Joy says, let's not feed the trolls!
    Also, Joy, as you pointed out so well, part of the tragedy of institutional discrimination is how many voices are silenced and how many talents will never be exercised. Society as a whole is weaker for it.

  • becca says:

    "The advantages that men have are inherent privileges we are oblivious to and the result of our oppressive sexism."
    Nope. The advantages that men have are privileges that many of them, including you, tend to be oblivious to and are the result of a patriarchical system. A system that we all participate in, and that is perpetuated by those that defend the status quo, be they female, male or other (in other words, if you don't make an effort to be part of the solution, you're going to be part of the problem. even if you *do* make an effort, it can be a challenge).
    The "advantages" that you claimed women have, we don't. It's that simple. I'm not saying women have no advantages (see below), but if you honestly think we're free to procreate and not support the resulting offspring, you've got evolution as well as society entirely backwards. You couldn't be more wrong.
    Being wrong isn't what provoked my wrath though. It is the fact that your incorrect view of the nature of gender roles and parental responsibilities led you to say some things which are profoundly insulting to men who are homemakers (and the women who care about them) as well as women who are responsible for supporting their families.
    Now, most of the advantages women actually have (for example, being more able to talk back to a cop without being perceived as a threat), come with corresponding disadvantages that men like you tend to ignore (for example, not being taken seriously in a much wider variety of situations).
    There is no physical law of conservation of disadvantages. It is simply not true that men and women, as groups, have equal challenges. This is a place for discussing the challenges women face.
    My goal has nothing to do with my experiences of sexism, which are, in the grand scheme of things, mostly papercut type issues (extremely acutely irritating but little lasting damage). If I had a goal, it would be to get you to *listen* to what women here are telling you and to admit that yes, sexism is (still) a problem. And to go out looking for ways to make it better.
    joy- my apologies if it came off as though I was minimizing or dismissive. For my own part, there are plenty of *good* experiences I've had of seeing sexism quashed, but they are much less likely to come up on this blog. What I talk about here isn't the entirety of my life. It is far more of my life than it should be, but it is not by any means all of it. For this reason, I know that this blog is not an accurate reflection of all parts of life. That in no way makes the sucky parts people do bring up less real. It *is* adjusting the frame of reference a bit, but some of us need to remember the good to have enough energy left to fight for a better, less discriminatory world that we all want to live in.

  • @Becca
    Just chiming in on how important it is to remember that things aren't entirely bad. At the same time, what we're talking about is so pervasive that it's difficult to get away from it. In a way, I almost find myself envying people who are still able to be oblivious to patriarchal social structures. However, now that I'm more aware (hurrah consciousness raising!) I can actually understand and explain why so many things bothered me (for some indefinable reason) back in the day.

  • Isabel says:

    "Excuse me, but I'm a young white male from a top 5% income home, where's my support group? Oh that's right, I have all kinds of support groups, like the Honor Roll, Principal's List, etc ..." ?? "... perhaps others could be just as brilliant if they had the same advantages you did."
    If you had your choice, in 2010 in the US of A, would you rather be a young white male from the bottom 10% income, or a young white female from the top 10%? What about a white male from the bottom 50% vs a white female from the top 5%?
    btw, you pile-on-ers need to get over your idea that poor white males see themselves portrayed in a positive light in the media, see people like themselves in positions of power and influence, were encouraged to go to college, never worry about sounding (upper middle class) white on the phone, and could never, in any way, understand what it's like to be treated as second rate citizens.

  • Isabel says:

    I meant second class citizens, though I think 'second rate' gets the point across.

  • Kierra says:

    If you had your choice, in 2010 in the US of A, would you rather be a young white male from the bottom 10% income, or a young white female from the top 10%? What about a white male from the bottom 50% vs a white female from the top 5%?

    I'm pretty sure most of us agree that society is much better about equality than it used to be. Once upon a time, it might have been a tossup between those groups (back when teacher/nurse/secretary were the only jobs women could do but only until they got pregnant and construction/manufacturing jobs for men were a good ticket to the middle class). But such extreme discrimination has been eliminated. We're trying to point out that there is still a substantial difference between being a female vs male in (for instance) the bottom 5%.

  • captainahags says:

    @Isabel,
    The point I was trying to make was not so much that poor white males have all the same advantages that I am able to enjoy, it was more just to point out that white males, especially those who end up going to college, already HAVE support groups. Although I will admit that if I were to choose between a woman in top 10% and a man in bottom 10%, it would be difficult, because while the man does have some advantages in that men tend to be more accepted, he would most likely be on at least some form of welfare and face the very real stigma that many people attach to it, while the woman would obviously get a much better education but still be subjected to all kinds of stereotypes no matter how well she did.

  • Thegoodman says:

    "If I had a goal, it would be to get you to *listen* to what women here are telling you and to admit that yes, sexism is (still) a problem."
    I have done this on probably 40 different posts. I absolutely agree that sexism is still a problem today. But as Kierra pointed out, it is much much much less of a problem today than it was 40 yrs ago. And it is still less of a problem today than it was 10 years ago. We are making progress and things are in place to advance that progress toward the ultimate goal of equality.
    "And to go out looking for ways to make it better."
    Like...reading a feminism blog? Posting on that blog and learning a few different perspectives and gathering some reading material to be more aware of the problem? Check. I am not sexist in any way. I may act sexist inadvertently at times because I am repeating things I have heard or making a joke that is common in our society, but my deep seeded feelings about women are that they are equal. Society is changing and much of the hard work has already been done and we are headed in the right directions.
    I am not innocent of being sexist just like no one else here is. Many of the women of this blog have been completely sexist toward me by jumping to conclusions and making assumptions about me. I am not hurt by this nor is it a problem. That's just the way it is. So as long as we all believe that we are equal and truly treat each other that way, our sexist jabs have no real lasting effects.

  • Dedj says:

    My word, he's still at it. Does he really not get it?
    "Many of the women of this blog have been completely sexist toward me by jumping to conclusions and making assumptions about me."
    Which, to be fair, was entirely supported by everything from your choice of topics, your phrasing, your choice of words and your shocked reaction. Everything, even including your conversation with your (possibly fictional) wife, and how you presented your backstory and your hilariously illogical opposition to Equality laws, has done nought but conformed to this presentation.
    You came across as a 100% sexist douchebag. Each and every single one of your arguements was right out of the archetypal sexist douchebag guidebook to derailing pro-equality arguements, right from your attempts to misdescribe equality arguements , right up to your defense of the status quo. Everything since then as looked like the frantic backpeddaling of a 100% sexist douchebag.
    If - despite the ample evidence you have provided that you are a sexist douchebag or are supportive of a sexist system - you honestly believe you have been misrepresented, then perhaps you should take some responsibility for how you present and stop trying to blame it on others.
    It would be best for you to just leave. No one is going to take you seriously now, and, as had been pointed out to you, many blogs would have banned you by now.

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    I dunno. I think that thegoodman's response to me at #139 is quite instructive, in a "what's wrong with this picture" kind of way, when deconstructed.
    Let's take "thegoodman" at face value just for a moment in that he really believes he is not being sexist and he's totally all about women being equal.
    He starts, I seem to have mistaken your passion for outright anger. To me these are very different things and it would serve your purpose well to not portray them in the same light.
    So, anger is not acceptable or attractive, "passion" is ok. Wow, how magnanimous; I am to be allowed an emotion! Still not ok to respond the way I want to or to have certain feelings, but he's ok with "passion"! Lovely; so here we have (1) judgements passed on what emotions someone should be expressing, and (2) the assumption that this is a legitimate judgement for him to make pronouncements on, both rather loaded given that we are talking about historic inequities of power and current inequities of power in the interactions of men and women. The best way to discuss them, obviously, is to try to provide a living example of the unconscious assumption that one person has a legitimate right to dictate the acceptability of feelings in the less dominant person.
    Then we move on to I know you are probably thinking "Fuck you, you men don't tell me how to represent myself!" I am just saying your message might have been heard by me much sooner if you hadn't acted like a psychotic bitch for a while there.
    Right, so first he tells me what I'm thinking (mildly obnoxious in and of itself), he appears to KNOW that it is going to be poorly received, and he follows it up with a good ol' traditional gender-stereotype insult. But wait! There's more! Having done this, he eventually gets around to I am not saying "shut up and play nice!" I am saying keep talking and continue making valid points, but be more amicable about it. -- Not even phrased as a request or a suggestion; yup, this is pure imperative -- I have been given an order. Because, obviously, the way to improve communication and rapport with someone is to insult them and then give them an order. He'll listen much better if only he gets to insult me freely and tell me what to do. ::headdesk::
    But this is really the gift that keeps on giving.
    I also think that your continuing of the trend of loud obnoxious feminist is counterproductive at this time. Ok, let's insult feminists again. And it is more than a little ironic, given that thegoodman's very first comment here ended up with slamming Zuska's "moronic rant at the end", a lovely example of how he assumes the privilege to pass judgement on what people say and feel without it being "loud" or "obnoxious" at all, ohmyno!. But let's move on to the reasoning, which is obviously "Because he and people like him, which we have all encountered hundreds if not thousands of times, have all demonstrated that they listen and learn so well when people speak reasonably and politely and attempt to explain" -- like in post 28 by Kierra, which I thought was polite, succinct, and absolutely spot-on. Oh, and which seemed to have been ignored. Hm.
    Those original civil rights persons who were obnoxious had to be because there were laws that allowed discrimination. There are now specific laws to prevent discrimination, as there should be.
    Right, it's all fixed now, so we shouldn't be obnoxious any more. A guy says so, so it must be true! The very experiences we have discussed at length here, which illustrate how sexism is still pervasive, is meaningless in the face of the fact that there are laws, and...
    It is now a time for healing the rift between the 2 sides of the argument. Discrimination is now an individual issue rather than a legal issue and the only way to get the bigots to understand the problem is to play nice. "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar"
    Gee, does anyone feel we are being ordered what to do again? Again, this isn't even framed as a suggestion, as problematic as even the suggestion would be; this is a simple declaration with an attached imperative. Because it's obviously up to guys to tell women how to be feminist; when we women do it, we obviously are just getting it wrong. And then there is the easy, unquestioned assumption that HIS opinion of what it the current issues are, and what level they exist at, are more valid than any of our perceptions. I mean, gee, why wouldn't it be? ...We still seem to be missing the whole "you aren't living this, we are" making any sort of connection in his brain. He's supposedly a nice, feminist guy, but god forbid he should ever put his own opinion or experience subordinate to the opinions and experiences of women who disagree with him, even when they can document reasons extensively.
    There may be some issues about "respect" and "autonomy" that "thegoodman" here also doesn't get. Of course, he also says I don't want a fucking cookie and I don't want any more respect from you than I deserve and I want to give you the same amount of respect you deserve (which is an equal amount btw). -- but anyone can make this kind of statement. What MATTERS is whether this kind of statement is consistent with all the other statements, with actions and with attitudes which become apparent indirectly, which in this case it isn't.
    What's especially instructive, though, are concepts which have been directly presented to him a number of times, and in plain language, and which he STILL does not grasp, in subtle but profoundly important ways -- for example, let's nip back to What have I persistently denied? I haven't said anyone here is lying or that any of their claims are false. I have only said that some of their PERSONAL OPINIONS are different than my own.
    Because here the extensive documentation which has been provided of pervasive cultural sexism and the chilling effect that it has on many women thus amounts to no more than "personal opinion", which his opinion obviously balances out, and the entire issue of "documented effect" is downplayed. This is something that I first encountered in the arena of rape issues, sadly -- there were (and even more sadly, still are) a number of men who genuinely argued that being raped wasn't that traumatic for women, they 'had to claim that it was' but 'women wanted it really.' Story after story and study after study of the traumatic effects of rape were dismissed as merely "personal anecdote", each kept carefully individual so that it could be downplayed. Historically, it was only when people (mostly women) collated massive studies across wide demographics of women who had remarkably similar stories was it even legally accepted as "real" and cultural attitudes even started to shift. "Not saying you're lying about it, but it's just your opinion" IS a silencing tactic -- it's a way of saying "my opinion is just as telling as yours, so when I say there isn't a problem, it doesn't matter what you say, there isn't." [I know that the regular commenters here know this; I just thought I'd lay it out explicitly, for once.]
    But last, I'd like to go back to the only statements in thegoodman's post, there, which have to do with him and his reasoning.
    Driving people away only worsens the problem. Telling me I have walked a life of privilege while you have been beaten down by the white man every step of the way doesn't make me sympathetic to your cause. It makes me resent you for undermining the hard work I have done to be successful.
    This seems valid. It took me a little while of thinking to pin down what bothered me about it.
    Consistently, thegoodman has been harping on the theme of "personal responsibility." That it is up to each individual to just deal with shit, and not let it bother him or her. He worked his OWN way up, other people can too, and it's all about not blaming someone else for problems. And yet...consistently, also, he has been angry at people here for not listening to his points, for not giving him credit for what a great guy he really is, for his liberality and tolerance (side note: WTF? What are you tolerating??) and openness! In other words, it is the responsibility of people listening to not be hostile. And yet, here, he is putting the onus squarely on me, the speaker, for "making" him resentful and angry. It's not his responsibility to listen in good faith.
    Note to thegoodman: Either it is the responsibility of the writer/speaker for the effect that they produce in listeners/readers, in which case you should really start examining what it is that you're doing which is so consistently producing resentment, hostility, and sheer disbelief in the other people on this forum, or it is the responsibility of the listener/reader to work through things that make them angry to try to understand the actual point. Either way, since you are so big on personal responsibility, it is time for you step up and OWN YOUR SHIT.
    Also, of course, when someone in a dominant group makes the tone that interactions take the consistent responsibility of the non-dominant individuals, while at the same time ignoring the disparity of cultural and interactional power, this is a manifestation of what we call "privilege."
    I think that about covers it.

  • joy says:

    "being more able to talk back to a cop without being perceived as a threat"
    Well, becca, I'm five foot five, maybe 125 pounds at the time, mostly pass for white, and look very neat and tidy if not 100% "patriarchy compliant", but I've had cops draw their guns on me, threaten me with nightsticks, and even restrain me against my will (when I fainted and had a seizure out of fright from them pulling their guns on me, natch).
    Oh, and then they groped my breasts and said they could rape me while I was restrained! Sweeet!
    So I'm not really sure there's an advantage here.
    Your argument sounds way too much like "you women sure look for things to get pissed about," which is not the case.
    Like I said, I like my life all right. I like getting up in the morning, having breakfast, looking at the sunshine, all that lovely stuff. I like kittens and I like my "job" (writing). Often I even like going outside. I just DON'T like the fact that if I do go outside, and I get raped (which the threat is always there; I average about five days a week when I get harassed in some way on the street; and acquaintance rape is far more likely anyway) that not only will I have to deal with the psychological fallout, but the perpetrator will never come to justice and I will also have to shoulder the blame for being raped in the first place.
    Among other things. That's just the first thing I thought of.
    Yes, I do have PTSD. However, I am completely lucid. These are not delusional thought patterns; trust me, I asked the psychologist. She told me that no, unfortunately, I am not crazy -- these are real threats to my personal safety and to other women's. I just have to figure out how to live with them in the way that is most beneficial to me.
    So there you go. Someone can be pretty happy and still want to cry every night. There isn't some kind of dichotomy where either I'm all sunny and cheery OR I want to crush the patriarchy with all of my angry might. That isn't what you said, but I hope it's also not what you believe.

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    Oh, and, not even going to start on #166 or the rest of them. Don't really need to.
    =====
    On a side note, @joy #158
    although like luna I have no socially accepted goals or ambitions.
    I honestly don't mean to sound snarky, but I thought that women in programming was actually socially acceptable these days. Or is there a social stigma attached to programming & bioinformatics that I was unaware of?

  • joy says:

    Luna, you are far better at this than I could hope to be. His bullshit just made me shut down and listen to my brain-gears going "whirrrrrr."
    I wish I could reach through the screen and punch him.
    Do you ever go to Nine Deuce's blog? There are tons of radical, articulate feminists over there; if "The Goodman" ever showed up, he'd get his ballsack served to him on a platter by about thirty "psychotic bitches."
    And no one (of the regular readers) would ever call you a "psychotic bitch."

  • joy says:

    "I honestly don't mean to sound snarky, but I thought that women in programming was actually socially acceptable these days. Or is there a social stigma attached to programming & bioinformatics that I was unaware of?"
    That is really my bad. I was addressing it to thegoodman, who said something like "it's cool if YOU'RE okay with YOUR own failure, luna."
    In other words, it was my snark and flippancy as well.
    I want to be a writer and a traveling musician, in fact there is no "want to be" involved, I already am -- so I'm actually much further down the social-acceptability ladder.

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    @joy #179
    Yeah, fwiw, I get what you're saying, and I don't think becca thinks that....but it's an enlightening comment, anyway. Yeah, I don't think that there are many men who live with the same kind of fears all the time.
    Also fwiw, why wouldn't your job (writing) not be a "socially accepted goal or ambition", harkening back to your earlier post? Yes, I do write fiction as well (I just don't get it published much. >_

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    hah, that was supposed to be a squinchy face at the end. >_

  • joy says:

    Well, and again I blame patriarchy, we live in a culture wherein the arts have been devalued below business.
    This seems counterintuitive to me (no offense meant to female CEOs and businesspeople; obviously your ambitions are legitimate and you don't need me to tell you that, I'm just a radical critic of capitalism as well as of sexism etc.), but it's true, and it really hit home for me the day that my father (an architect, who I didn't meet until I was eighteen because he abandoned my mother to the chore of raising me) said, "Well, it's all fine and good that you've done all these interesting things and met all these interesting people ... and it's lovely that you're writing ... but don't you want to DO something with your life?"
    That sums up my male roommates' attitudes as well, and in fact I stopped speaking to a girl I dated when she pulled it too -- "Yeah, okay, Joy, nice novel ... but when are you going to get a REAL job?"
    Naturally, missing the main point AND all the other points (race, sex, gender, class, etc) as usual.
    This society devalues "women's work" too, by which I mean "any work that is done by a woman." In the public mindset, anyway -- Hillary Clinton wasn't a good presidential candidate because she was a woman. Zelda Fitzgerald, Joan and Jan Kerouac (Jack's wife and daughter) were not good writers because they were women. I was not a good blacksmith or carpenter because I'm a woman. You may find that people think you're not a good programmer because you're a woman.
    It doesn't matter if HRC's diplomacy is great, Zelda's and Jan's work can move me to tears, my baseboards were always even and my horseshoes were nice enough to go onto top show horses, and your code is impeccable. Nope. Women. Not good enough. Get a REAL job, sweetheart. Like mothering. Or teaching. Why don't you just get MARRIED (and shut up).
    So, again, we're fucked coming and going.
    It doesn't mean I've quit, although anyone else's quittage is their prerogative. I'm still plugging away over here, and oh, there's a lilac tree outside even though I'm in the middle of Bedford-Stuyvesant. So my life is pretty good. I bet yours is too. But these are the things we live with every day.
    As so eloquently, I mean pukishly, repeated ad nauseum (haha, I made a play on words! on the spur of the moment! even though I've got a ladyskull! I must have ripped it off of something I read by Rimbaud or another man) by "thegoodman."

  • joy says:

    Oh, and I'm a folk/Americana blues singer with a banjolele, and I write neo-noir hyperrealist prose poetry. Not a huge market for either of those things, even without the extra variables described.
    When people find out I'm authentically from the country (as opposed to the suburbs, where most of the current Americana indie musicians are from), they either stop using big words and start patronizing me, or they're like, "Ohmygod, really?! Can I touch your hair?"
    (That's a joke, no one has ever really said that, except for someone who wanted to use me as a hair model at cosmetology school. But you get the picture. A lot of othering and devaluement. Add to it the fact that I've lived in a caravan, for real, and want to do so again because it was the most at peace I ever felt as long as the cops weren't fucking with me -- and you've got the perfect storm of a human being that no one really knows what to do with.)
    I didn't think you were bothered by the insults, either. You debunked them so snarkily, it was beautiful. I just like to pass on the news of safe spaces for other people who enjoy rollin' their sleeves up on some patriarchy.

  • DuWayne says:

    Queef -
    I really like DuWayne. I found his first response to be the most compelling.
    I see. Sporting a vagina = not going to listen, argue instead. White person sporting a cock = compelling.
    Hmmm. How very special...

  • joy says:

    DuWayne, we are of like minds -- see comment 157.
    You do, however, have an outstanding ovation from me. It's partially because you're a dude, yeah, because most dudes are just so overwhelmingly clueless.
    So while it's a sad state of affairs that you stand out from the pack, you do.
    Queef is hilarious in his thick-headedness, but sad in the typicality of his position. Not like "thegoodman", who is just infuriating.

  • MonkeyPox says:

    I do believe that some people are so unable to see their own privilege that they may be beyond teaching. It seems nearly impossible for some to realize that the default in everything is the white d00d perspective.

  • Isabel says:

    "he would most likely be on at least some form of welfare and face the very real stigma that many people attach to it"
    Really that's it? That's the whole struggle? Otherwise he would have all the upper class white male opportunities at his feet and once he simply got a scholarship (which is practically a given since he's smart, right?) all would be well? And he would fit right in?
    And it's all about the education right? All the years of travel, nice clothes, lack of pressure to take shit jobs, family connections, etc count for nothing?
    " But such extreme discrimination has been eliminated. We're trying to point out that there is still a substantial difference between being a female vs male in (for instance) the bottom 5%.
    @ Kierra: Ah, so you admit class trumps gender.
    And btw which females have traditionally been helped most by feminism and by things like special scholarships? Those at the top or those at the bottom?
    People who live in glass houses....;)

  • joy says:

    Isabel, you're obnoxious.
    Read the experiences of people like me and DuWayne who've written here.
    Him -- a poor white male who owns up to his male privilege
    Me -- a poor semi-white female who's been raped, beaten, marginalized
    I'm a poor female. I'd rather be a poor white male ANY DAY. Yes, even a poor male.
    So no, class does not trump gender. Go back to the manarchists, they might give you a pretend cookie for selling out your sex (if you are, in fact, female).

  • skeptifem says:

    I think I found a new job for thegoodman
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/man-finally-put-in-charge-of-struggling-feminist-m,2338/

    "All the feminist movement needed to do was bring on someone who had the balls to do something about this glass ceiling business," said McGowan, who quickly closed the 23.5 percent gender wage gap by "making a few calls to the big boys upstairs." "In the world of gender identity and empowered female sexuality, it's all about who you know."

  • skeptifem says:

    I honestly don't mean to sound snarky, but I thought that women in programming was actually socially acceptable these days. Or is there a social stigma attached to programming & bioinformatics that I was unaware of?

    Acceptable? Sure, but programmers are so overwhelmingly male that women face extra bullshit when they do that job. I have heard evo psych shit about how female brains just can't be good for programming uncontroversially passed around between dudely programmers more than once.

  • jc says:

    My research work used standard equipment, which of course, was engineered and constructed by men, for men. Everything, from the latches around my shoes to the straps around my head, was too big, by a mile. The hand holds and grips took 2 of my hands compared to 1 man hand. The latches for the thumbs were so far apart from the hand grips that I couldn’t reach them without letting go. The bolts had to be undone by a turning and pulling motion, but my small hands couldn’t fit around the massive wrench to twist and pull at the same time. The cranks were made to fit the forearm lengths of men so even though I could reach certain parts, my elbow was in the wrong place to open doors and I didn’t have the hand strength to brute force yank on it. Being the only woman, the men would ask “what’s taking her so long?” “is she still there?”, and I could hear them pissing about as I was struggling. They told me to strengthen my hands with the hand exercisers, but my hands are too small for those! I need two hands to grip one exerciser shut! After being fed up one day, a long day of struggling to no avail, I looked into getting equipment for me that can be used with the shared equipment. I called an international company, sent them my dimensions (all my body measurements, including traces of my hands and feet), and they called me back saying they don’t have anything for women (who need boob space around fasteners and hip space around belts), and certainly not anything for people under 140 lbs. Rinse, repeat for every company I talked to. I got forwarded to an engineering group who makes similar equipment for Chinese workers, so I sent my dimensions and while they had stuff that was smaller in dimension, I still couldn’t reach the thumb latches and the grips were too big. The engineering group offered to make me my own equipment, for a price of course. When I started using my new shiny stuff around the guys, and being able to do things easier and without much struggle, the guys told me THEY WANTED THEIR OWN GEAR TOO. Well, of course they did! It’s not enough that everything was already built FOR THEM. My “special equipment” allowed me to keep up but I had to pay a price to level the field. If the field had more options in the first place, I wouldn’t have needed “special” stuff constructed for non-male humans. I know why women before me walked away from the work, it wasn't because they couldn't hack it. It was because women were set up to fail and stumble the whole way. If I didn't have the money to pay for my own set, I probably would have given up struggling and left.

  • Queef says:

    SKM, I was (unfortunately) born and raised in the south and I'm currently nowhere near middle or upper-class. Yes, how classist of me.

  • Queef says:

    Joy, I just said it to see your reaction. Thanks.

  • joy says:

    Well, that's mature.
    Maybe when Daddy, aka DuWayne, comes home you'll listen to him.
    Oh, wait, he already weighed in, and you conveniently ignored him.
    Also, there is no way that poor people can ever be classist! Our bad.
    You are not worth our time or effort. Why do you bother?

  • Queef says:

    Oh, and as for sexist preferencing: sure, I enjoy DuWayne's story the most because I identified with parts, but it's not like I didn't read and acknowledge the plights of all of the other female commentators.
    Except for joy, actually, she's even more attention-seeking than I am.

  • joy says:

    Shorter Queef -
    Shut up, little lady, and go home. Your experiences are not important and no one wants to listen to you.
    Heard that before. All women have. If we don't stay at home with babies, then we're seeking attention. Even then, sometimes we are. And god knows, it's only men who ever deserve attention.
    Seriously, though, Zuska or other females, sorry for my serial posting. Dumb d00dz get my shit riled up. If you tell me to can it, I will, and no hurt feelings.

  • Isabel says:

    Joy,
    You're illogical!
    "I'm a poor female. I'd rather be a poor white male ANY DAY. Yes, even a poor male.
    So no, class does not trump gender."

  • joy says:

    Why is that illogical?
    I don't understand.

  • Isabel says:

    "If you tell me to can it, I will, and no hurt feelings."
    Can it.

  • Queef says:

    No, actually joy, I wasn't talking about all women. Just you.

  • joy says:

    Okay, let me explain -- I would rather be poor and male than poor and female.
    Thus, class is not the issue for me. Gender is. I would swap out my situation (poor female on public welfare) for "poor male on public welfare." Even "poor male on public welfare, with a drug problem" (and yes, I know poor males on welfare with drug problems; I was common-law married to one for a year).
    Because if I were a man, if I had a male body, I wouldn't feel so frightened in my own skin. Have you ever heard of or experienced rape? Yeah. It's uncool.
    So why is stating that preference "illogical"? This is what I do not understand.

  • Queef says:

    But, don't worry. I wasn't asking you to shut up. Go on with it. Maybe we can make this post hit 500 comments.

  • Cara says:

    Quit trolling, "Isabel". You show up on every "White Boy Whine Club" post with the rest of the MRA crew and get your ass handed to you. You and Queef should just start your own joint blog.

  • joy says:

    Isabel, you don't count as a female because I think you are a dude.
    I mean females whose opinions I respect. ie, Zuska.

  • Cara says:

    My “special equipment” allowed me to keep up but I had to pay a price to level the field. If the field had more options in the first place, I wouldn’t have needed “special” stuff constructed for non-male humans. I know why women before me walked away from the work, it wasn't because they couldn't hack it. It was because women were set up to fail and stumble the whole way. If I didn't have the money to pay for my own set, I probably would have given up struggling and left.
    What jc said. As if it would be so outrageous to just say, "Oh. We never thought of that. By all means, let's find a way to make this easier." Oh, no. It's not like they're ENGINEERS or anything.

  • Cara says:

    Driving people away only worsens the problem. Telling me I have walked a life of privilege while you have been beaten down by the white man every step of the way doesn't make me sympathetic to your cause. It makes me resent you for undermining the hard work I have done to be successful.
    I won't yell "BINGO" because there's only a nickel left in the pot.
    Also, the irony of this piece of performance art is rising over the top of my hip waders.
    Since Little Prince Poopoo doesn't want to be told he didn't work hard, I'll merely bring up the fact that it's really very bad form to show up in someone's living room and essentially take a huge dump on the carpet in the first place. I mean, really. "Excuse me, little ladies" *pfffffft* "but I've never been here before, and I just want to tell you you're all wrong." *braaaaap* "What do you mean you have it rough? I want the 'hard life overcome' cookie. It's MINE! MINE!! There can be only one!"
    Who DOES that? I've never understood the dynamic. I've yet to biff off over to 4chan and start telling them they're a bunch of douchebags. Who do these little pissants think they are, demanding to be taken seriously with their 5th grade debate skills and emotional maturity? It's really hilarious.

  • Funky Fresh says:

    Trollabel returns!!!!

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    @skeptifem #193 -- oh, I do know that. I mean, when I first started getting some training in programming, I had a guy in the same class ask me -- first day, and in complete baffled seriousness -- "Why do you want to learn programming, anyway? I mean, that's like, math and logic and stuff, and you're a girl."*
    Fortunately, unlike where and when I started, where I am now has quite a few women -- none in my current team, but I haven't gotten any [real] grief or hassle from anyone I work with, either.** I've had trouble with one man, not in the same group, but I pushed back and the other people who worked with him managed to quell him when I made it clear that I *would* put in a sexual harassment complaint to HR. Not an ideal answer in many ways -- it would have been nice if they had acted to stomp on him before I made it clear that I would drag the department into a morass of HR scrutiny if pushed -- but at least it worked. And he is not an immediate co-worker.
    But anyway, my comment was more to address that there seemed to be some perception that I had abandoned trying for the usual type of "successful career", and I wanted to get to the root of that.
    On a side note, again, it's nice that Queef wants to support Zuska by making sure she has page traffic. It's kind of a shame that he can't figure out how to do it without being a troll. Oh, well, I guess every forum needs a troll just for interest.
    Isabel just weirds me out a bit. Yes, it seems like on every single thread which discusses problems that women or minority groups face, she shows up as an apologist saying how there are groups of white males with problems just as bad. And never any intention of dealing with the fact that, yes, we all know there are groups of white males which have had it traditionally rough, and yet, the women of these groups had it rougher yet! And there is often a qualitatively different scale of harassment and marginalisation that "different looking" minorities face, not just historically but also in the present. Reasons have been explained, but she's got this bug about how there is no difference. I just don't see that ever changing. But what can you do?
    ---------
    *These are his actual words. I'm not paraphrasing. I remember it quite vividly, for the incredible clarity of perception that the desire to push him into traffic invoked in me for a few moments.
    **I get the usual kinds of good-natured play shit, but that is entirely different, it doesn't constitute sexual harassment, it goes both ways equally and I'm fine with it. It makes life fun.

  • Isabel says:

    Joy,
    You have not introduced class into the equation when you are comparing poor women to poor men in your statement. So I have no idea how to respond to your conclusion that "class does not trump gender."
    Kierra, on the other hand, admitted that she would rather be an upper-class white female than a lower-class white male.
    And Joy, I think sexism exists and it is a very bad thing.

  • joy says:

    One woman says she'd rather be an upper-class woman than a lower-class man. ONE woman.
    I am another woman. I say I'd rather be any man than any woman. My experiences are different. Why is my opinion invalid? Because it doesn't support your theory that classism is worse than sexism for everyone?
    And how dare you assume I haven't thought about class! Have you even read what I wrote? About how I'm on welfare, and was married (out of threat of violence, but still married) to a man on welfare for a year? I've seen both sides of that coin, and his lot in life was STILL better than mine.
    Hence, I'd even trade my poor female coin for his poor male unmedicated schizophrenic junkie coin, because then I wouldn't be forced to marry an unmedicated schizophrenic junkie for fear he'd slit my throat while the cops did nothing (which is what he tried to do). I also wouldn't get raped and I'd have a (slightly) easier time getting a job -- in construction or labor, which I am good at.

  • Isabel says:

    "there are groups of white males with problems just as bad."
    Where did I compare levels of "badness"? Please cite an actual comment I made.
    "the women of these groups had it rougher yet!"
    And so they did. Who the hell is arguing with you?

  • Isabel says:

    Joy,
    I didn't say for "everyone", that question was restricted to whites in the US of A. I am suggesting that most people would choose to be first of all a rich white person of either sex. This does not conflict with the suggestion you are making, which is probably true, that when all other factors are the same more than half might choose to be male, or that in some societies people might tend to feel differently.
    But in the USA, in today's economy, an upper-middle-class white female is probably better off, over-all, than a working-class white male.
    I don't really agree with the poster here,* but I also don't agree that his views are mainstream and heard all the time, like you are implying. He seems to be saying he accepts that prejudice will occur and that the best strategy is to act as if it does not exist, to brush it off and plow ahead and help create the change you want to see. I sort of get what he is saying, and how from HIS point of view, it can be a negative distraction to think too much about all the barriers.
    Why do you all feel you must reform this person right here on the spot? Shouldn't the response to real "trolls" be to ignore them? You are the ones making most of the noise, with about seven posts for every one of his.
    * for example, even a rich woman will have a difficult time achieving her goals if she is in politics and may not be able to. This may be an area we can all agree needs special attention, the sooner the better. We need equal political representation!

  • joy says:

    Good point about feeding the trolls. I do it because otherwise I feel like he is getting away with it.
    What is wrong with women making noise?
    And why do you assume, yet again, that I don't know about women in politics, haven't thought of that before, etc? Especially after I WROTE ABOUT IT upthread?
    Do you think that because I am poor, I am uneducated, ignorant, and incapable of critical thinking? Just asking, as it wouldn't be the first time I've been treated like a stupid child because of my class (or race, or sex).

  • peter says:

    There have been a few other moment in my life when some idea crystalizes and the world, as I know it, has changed into something new in a deep and subtle way. This is one of those time, and it happened while I was reading through all the comments in this thread.
    So, I don't have anything to add to the content of the conversation, but I just wanted to extend a very heartfelt thank-you to all the patient posters. Really. I think, for the very first time, I actually *get* it, and I didn't for years and years and years.
    I think I see now, that in addition to all the other bullshit that exists-- some quite blatant, some quite disgusting-- but most of it quite obvious; that there is another form of discrimination-- a pervasive, systemic bias founded in an unconscious favoritism that arises when a person tends to favor "those like me". It's not the easily recognized "I think poorly of you" sort of discrimination, but more of the "I like this dude better than you" variety.
    It's a revelation. And no, I'm not looking for a cookie-- you already gave me one and I'm currently digesting it. I just wanted to say thanks... thanks.

  • Anne Nonymous says:

    I know this thread's old news and Cherish's comment is right at the top, so nobody who reads it is even going to see me commenting way down here at the bottom. But I do still feel the need to set the record straight about Caltech. I was an undergraduate at Caltech for five years, which overlapped with Cherish's time there. (I remember her, although she probably does not remember me, because she became infamous for her, to put it delicately, controversial views on the prevalence of sexism in Caltech society.)
    I was a female undergraduate, mind you, in the physics program. And, while I don't deny the reality of sexism, and even the reality of sexism at Caltech, at no point during my time there did I feel like the whole school was the men's center, as Cherish suggests. Instead, my experience was that the whole school was a place for nerds like me to be nerds together. Yes, some people at Tech were sexist, just as some people are sexist in pretty much any society. But if anything, I think it was the least sexist place I've ever been, and one of the best places in the world to be a nerdy woman. I felt that my peers judged me primarily based on how intelligent and interesting I could be, and that my gender was almost entirely irrelevant. I would go back there again in a heartbeat, and never think twice about leaving behind the more gender-balanced and more sexist environments I've encountered since.
    This comment should not be construed as having any bearing whatsoever on the larger issue of the value of Women's Centers or Women In Engineering programs or anything else of that nature. I think such things have the potential to be useful if done well and useless or even damaging if done badly, so I am uncomfortable analyzing the concept in general, as opposed to addressing specific implementations. But Cherish's portrayal of Caltech is so contrary to my experience there that I could not bring myself to let it stand unchallenged. I apologize for the tangent, but I hope this at least provides others with a different perspective on a place with which I remain proud to have been associated.

  • Beth says:

    @Peter,
    I'm very glad that this was helpful to you. It's a difficult issue, one that I'm only really starting to confront myself as well- even a couple of years ago I really didn't understand it. It's good to see that all of our explanations, which were clearly lost on thegoodman, have possibly helped you examine the situation in a different way. More than anything, changing hearts and minds is the most important thing we need to do, so thank you for keeping yours open.

  • Cara says:

    Why do you all feel you must reform this person right here on the spot? Shouldn't the response to real "trolls" be to ignore them? You are the ones making most of the noise, with about seven posts for every one of his.
    1) Who's trying to reform him?
    2) What's wrong with making noise? (Especially since that's kind of what Zuska's post is about in the first place--saying what you'd really like to say when the bullshit crops up for the bajillionth time).
    3) I think that the best education an entitled little turd can get is to encounter women who aren't overcome with joy because he deigned to strut into the henhouse and crow. It's a long overdue lesson that women really are actual people, instead of the automatic regard dispensers we're socialized to be.

  • Cara says:

    More than anything, changing hearts and minds is the most important thing we need to do, so thank you for keeping yours open.
    What Beth said. ;)

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    Isabel, if I've misinterpreted you I'm sorry, but when you make comments like #172
    btw, you pile-on-ers need to get over your idea that poor white males see themselves portrayed in a positive light in the media, see people like themselves in positions of power and influence, were encouraged to go to college, never worry about sounding (upper middle class) white on the phone, and could never, in any way, understand what it's like to be treated as second rate citizens.
    ...It really is hard to see you as other than apologist; it does end up giving the impression of "poor white males got it just as bad", whether or not that is the impression that it is meant to convey.
    I don't think that anyone denies that classism exists -- just ask me about the whole "spots at top universities reserved for the idiot children of the rich" sometime, as an issue of hidden "affirmative action" -- but sexism permeates this, too, and besides, sexism is what we were originally talking about here.
    @Peter - I'll make an additional suggestion, if you want to learn a lot about unconscious privilege. The conversation was over a year in the past, so it's just a bit of reading (ok, actually a LOT of reading, and link-following) -- but Google "LiveJournal racefail", or alternatively start at http://rydra-wong.livejournal.com/146697.html . This extensive and wide-ranging and at times extremely angry discussion was largely by and about SF/F authors, publishers and editors and dealt with cultural appropriation and implicit rather than explicit racism, but it gives some excellent examples of issues or patterns that are at work in racism and sexism both, especially to deal with "allies" who explicitly regard themselves as non-racist (or non-sexist) but who haven't quite got the whole "privilege" bit yet and thus end up perpetuating some of the problems. After a bit of reading of the "fail" posts, I bet you start to see some of the patterns -- I sure did.

  • SKM says:

    @Peter and everyone reading along but not commenting,
    This is one reason why responding reasonably to trolls can sometimes be worth it. There are a lot of comments here, but rest assured that most readers don't comment. They do read though, and sometimes the light clicks on. I'm one of a number of moderators for a blog that gets 17,000 page views a day, but only about 1000 comments (roughly of course). Most people lurk, and comments are for the lurkers as well.
    The struggle to recognize various forms of privilege is an ongoing one for all of us who try, but it's an effort worth making.

  • joy says:

    There is something to be said for making noise.
    We are expected to be demure, quiet. Good Girls who "win flies with honey" and reasonable discourse.
    But after the two hundred thousandth time, sometimes you just want to say, "No. I am not coddling you. Get off my teat. The resources are there for you to learn without my having to hold your hand and CONVINCE you.
    And why do you need to be CONVINCED that women and brown people are human beings anyway? What is WRONG with you? Go learn it yourself, and don't speak to me again unless you can speak the same way you'd speak to another white man, or to yourself in the mirror."
    There is NOTHING wrong with that.
    Which is why I'm still unsure of why my story so offended people. It's not that much different than DuWayne's. Why was it so threatening that I came to a place on the internet and SPOKE? Albeit in a way that was not all "sugar and spice, plus everything nice."
    Screw being nice. That was what was meant by "Well-behaved women seldom make history," you know.

  • Isabel says:

    "...It really is hard to see you as other than apologist; it does end up giving the impression of "poor white males got it just as bad", whether or not that is the impression that it is meant to convey. "
    That is because you are reading into my words. Both race and gender were being discussed (see title) as usual. And as usual race was (inaccurately) referring to both race and class. The two need to be separated in these discussions. My point is when you say "white men see themselves as people in power, blah bla they get such and such privileges, every month is white male history month" as WAS stated upthread (taken largely from that privilege essay you all like to quote) class was indeed left out and when you put it in it really changes the statement.
    And as someone who experiences all three systematic oppressions, I would say that class is in many ways "just as bad". The poster above was not a stranger to the experience of being a victim of prejudice and discrimination. The same wealth differential that we are appalled by between Americans and other westerners and poorer countries occurs right here, in America *within the white race itself* but in that case for some reason we are NOT appalled and we completely 'white-wash' it. All whites are on top, all the work is done by non-whites, etc.
    When pressed we grudgingly admit "sure some white people have it bad" but that's about as far as it goes. And we seize upon the fact that immigrants and thus those in crummy jobs tend to be non-white in recent years as proof positive of racism even though the immigration policy is now LESS racist (hence the non-white immigrants), and earlier white immigrants went through the same kinds of discrimination.
    This is my point, you SAY you consider class, but you don't really. It doesn't end up in the post titles, in the privilege essays, or in the general discussions here. It is only mentioned attached to race as if it is part and parcel of the race equation (rich whites, poor PoC), which is doubly frustrating for lower class whites. I really don't know why that is so hard to understand; that you could only read my words as those of an "apologist." But the truth is, people in general don't like discussing class. I guess it wouldn't bother me if they just discussed the weather, or the latest science, but when they insist on ignoring class in discussions of inequality I feel I need to speak up sometimes.
    Maybe all that poster you were attacking wanted was for some of the middle and upper-middle class feminists to acknowledge THEIR privileges in comparison to him, or else to do what he suggests, forge ahead together recognizing that most of us are oppressed. After all, my 'which would you rather be' question above (i.e. when race is held constant class does indeed trump gender for most people in the US at least), is one of those cases where it IS "just as bad", perhaps WORSE. So maybe you could cut the guy some slack, he even said he was thinking about the issues you brought up, and he keeps posting because he's under attack and being used as example for people like Peter; really, how condescending can you get??

  • Cara says:

    Maybe all that poster you were attacking wanted was for some of the middle and upper-middle class feminists to acknowledge THEIR privileges in comparison to him, or else to do what he suggests, forge ahead together recognizing that most of us are oppressed.
    Um, no. He wanted to be a turd. Thus demonstrated by his refusal to shut the hell up and do the reading he SAID he wanted to. FIRST demonstrated by strolling in and telling the wimmens they were just whining, and that affirmative action gave white men (which Freudian slip I won't parse at this point) the idea that all women and men of color really are inferior.
    Honestly. This horse has been beaten to a pulp. Quit sniveling about how rough the poor little white boy has it because he was raised in a trailer (if, indeed, there's the slightest bit of truth in that, which I doubt) and how meeeeeen we are to be sick to death of yet ANOTHER privileged voice nonchalantly spouting the party line.

  • joy says:

    Okay, yes, middle- and upper-class feminists need to acknowledge their privileges. That's true. That's great.
    But why are you still arguing that classism is worse than sexism?
    You sound like the anarchists I used to know who insisted over and over and over that classism was The Only Struggle, even when their partners and friends had been molested, had been raped, were still being raped, had been abused by male partners with no help from the community, had eating disorders, were consistently discriminated and put down, were not allowed to speak during meetings or at parties because the "manarchists" would shout them down ...
    We were told over and over and over and over that our problems, that POC's problems, were not as valid as "class" problems. Yes, class is a problem. But upper-class women get raped just like poor women get raped. Upper-class POC get discriminated against just like lower-class POC do (look at Barack fucking Obama if you need proof of that).
    So what gives you the right to tell us that classism is The One True Problem and that We Are Just Too Stupid To Understand Classism?
    I LIVE classism, you fucking prick. So do all of us. Please give us some more credit here.

  • joy says:

    Also, and sorry for serial posting as well -- sorry to other readers for use of "you fucking prick."
    I'm just tired of being told I'm stupid because I haven't listened to white guys enough. Waaah, waaaah, can they suck on my nipple for a while to feel better? Because I've just been so meeean and my ladybrain isn't smart enough to understand them and I haven't been NICE enough to them! They struggle TOO!
    Nope. I've thought about this already. For about ten years. And I know I'm not the only one. Please. Stop telling us that we haven't thought about and don't understand experiences that WE LIVE, every day of our lives.

  • Isabel says:

    What a wacky bunch you are! I know I shouldn't even be here, especially when I have so many papers to grade.
    "Okay, yes, middle- and upper-class feminists need to acknowledge their privileges. That's true. That's great."
    Okay, let's hear them do it. Also thanks for providing us with another classic example of grudging acknowledgment of class inequality.
    Joy, you are projecting your past experiences on to me and others. You are doing an incredible amount of projecting actually. I don't think anyone has said or even thought any of the things you are accusing them of here.
    I am not discounting sexism. I am a radical feminist. I am not discounting racism. I am not saying class is the one true problem. You are claiming I said that, and once again, helping me fill out my OWN bingo card here.
    YOU are discounting classism, perhaps because of your past experiences with "manarchists". Ignoring class, or only grudgingly including it, is no better than saying it's the only thing that matters, as you allege others have done.
    Did you call me a prick?? I demand an apology!

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    @Isabel, I find a certain irony in the fact that you say I am reading things into your original statement, and then spend the next four paragraphs pretty much explicitly confirming my interpretation.

  • joy says:

    Seconding what luna said.
    No apologies.

  • Isabel says:

    In reference to the OP, I don't know about all males, but maybe it IS unfair that working class (white) males do not have their own movement, and if they tried to form them there would be complaints for sure. There should be male working class groups perhaps, but would working class MoC join them if they already have their own groups? The problem is that lower class white males really are excluded when victims of inequality are getting together and are told to shut up and stop complaining. Working class women need to be more included as well.
    And Joy you bring up Obama's social class: I thought it was interesting how class signifiers were some of the reasons many liberals liked and identified with him.
    Also, I was joking about the apology - just thought it was funny how you apologized to the "other readers" -- chill out people:)

  • joy says:

    There is a working-class male movement.
    It's called the NFL.
    No, in all seriousness, have you ever been to a union meeting? I have.
    Ever been to a neighborhood watch in a bad neighborhood? I've been there too. They turn into planning sessions about police discrimination and how to get adequate welfare, child care, etc. for those who need it.
    Ever hung out with carpenters and contractors in upstate New York (and probably other progressive-er working class areas? That's what they talk about on their lunch break, and sometimes when they're working.
    Oh, and there is this thing called progressivism, another called grassroots, and one more called anarchism. Various strains of all of them.
    Point is, white men HAVE their own movements.
    Also, I'm SO GLAD you assume I had not already analyzed Barack's class image. The amount of intelligence you give me credit for is STAGGERING, and that's why I've assumed you were a man who does not deserve my respect.

  • Isabel says:

    Luna, what exactly am I an apologist for? Are you saying class inequality, oppression and discrimination does not exist? Perhaps the problem isn't that I am an apologist but that you are a denier;)
    Also, I'm curious, are you saying that in 2010, in the USA, you would rather be born male and poor than upper-class and female? For me it would be a toss-up only if I had political ambitions, otherwise I would chose upper-class female. Whether class or gender is a worse disadvantage could change with the situation; however, they are both serious disadvantages. BTW I may have mistakenly said I suffered from all 3 oppressions implying race discrimination and I have not, I meant both class and gender.
    Okay I am really turning off the computer and getting my grading done now: I'll let you get back to your pile-on.

  • joy says:

    Why does saying that sexism is a problem deny that classism is also a problem?
    That is what makes NO sense to me.
    There is such a thing as "intersectionality", and I'm pretty sure most of us know about it. Not just you, little precious special ... college professor?
    That would explain a lot.
    We aren't all just stupid little rich children in one of your college classes, and you don't need to talk down to us.

  • skeptifem says:

    Class isn't a separate issue. bell hooks writes a lot about "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" and does an awesome job of showing how connected it all is. The domination of others via class and the valuing of shit like military spending over social programs is directly related to institutionalized sexism and racism.
    I don't know why the lower class white dudes can't just do some labor organizing, that includes all sorts of people screwed over by classism. Lower class white guys are more likely to be hired for jobs, period. They are more likely to have a way out of poverty. That doesn't make poverty suck less, but it does illustrate that poverty isn't experienced the same for everyone, and that not being a white dude can make poverty harder.
    I have read through a lot of your rants isabel, and I still can't figure out what the hell you want exactly. It is like you don't want people to discuss any social issue without setting aside special time to list all the exceptions to white dudes having dominant social standing, as if any of us are so stupid that we are unaware of them. You know who gives a bunch of attention to the dudes you care so much about? The main stream media. All the pandering to joe six pack and hard working "real" americans and blah blah blah, article after article about how hard the "mancession" has been on white dudes, etc. Instead of organizing for better conditions most people in the demographic you are discussing seem to have opted for voting against their own interests and embracing racist bullshit.

  • skeptifem says:

    even though the immigration policy is now LESS racist (hence the non-white immigrants), and earlier white immigrants went through the same kinds of discrimination.

    I don't think you really understand current immigration or why it happened. America did a lot of meddling in the economies of various latin american countries in the 1980's, crushing a lot of the chances for economic growth and independence. In mexico, extremely upper class people helped stuff like NAFTA pass, and in other cases the CIA helped kill civilians who were organizing against oppressive governments who served us business interests (like in argentina). The effect of it all on that region is really terrible. SO then, people immigrate to our country, sometimes at the urging of companies who want cheap workers (yes, they advertise south of the border). These workers don't have any real rights, and can be taken back to certain poverty any time they want to be paid a fair wage or report the abuses they suffer. All of it is at the leisure of companies that own all this stuff. It is not surprising that the same companies support candidates and policies that are racist against hispanic people. The same people who had their jobs given to illegal immigrants are the same ones who are in favor of extremely racist immigration policy, it is all a big distraction and it is working. The folks who came from the immigrants you are describing are perfectly capable of creating the same fate for the current immigrants. Racist laws that blame individual immigrants for being here instead of the people at fault for giving them work and taking away the chance for honest work in their own countries are getting off scott free, while promoting racism towards the immigrants. I think that it is pretty unique, private power did not have this kind of concentration and global reach until very recently.

  • Cara says:

    You know who gives a bunch of attention to the dudes you care so much about? The main stream media.
    Precisely.

  • History Punk says:

    " in other cases the CIA helped kill civilians who were organizing against oppressive governments who served us business interests (like in argentina). The effect of it all on that region is really terrible."
    [[Citation Needed]]

  • MadScientist says:

    Ah, so reminiscent of complaints about people on welfare too. "Why does group X get all these handouts? I want some!" To which I say "Hey, you can have them too, you just have to get rid of everything you own, forget everything you might have learned at school, and wander the streets begging for money - then you'll qualify, and you won't even have to go through the phase of not being able to get a job because everyone around assumes you're nothing but a pox on society anyway."

  • joy says:

    "Hey, you can have them too, you just have to get rid of everything you own, forget everything you might have learned at school, and wander the streets begging for money - then you'll qualify, and you won't even have to go through the phase of not being able to get a job because everyone around assumes you're nothing but a pox on society anyway."
    Actually, that's a dumb thing to say. I'm not sure if you mean it like this, but seriously. I'm on public welfare, and I certainly don't wander around dirtily. And I'm also not ignorant, ie, have not "forgotten everything I learned".
    If you met me, or any of my friends (who are artists, painters, musicians, writers), you would not "guess" that we are on welfare. We look very tidy and well-put-together. You might stand in line with us at the grocery store, and you'd never know, unless you saw us pay with our EBT cards.
    So please don't pull that shit, okay?

  • bellacoker says:

    @peter:
    There is a term for what you are experiencing, you may have heard it, it is called set breaking and is what happens when your habitual thought processes break down and reform to accommodate new information. It feels really good, doesn't it?

  • Thegoodman says:

    The prodigal son returns.
    Clearly many of you will think what you want of me. I am a lost cause at this point and anything I say will be twisted to make me into more of an example than I have already become. I am not asking anyone to feel sorry for me, after all, I am a white male in a white male's world so things will be pretty easy going for me anyhow.
    I know sexism exists.
    I know it is a problem.
    I think we should all work together to fix this problem. I think women are my academic, professional, and intellectual equals.

  • Cara says:

    The moronic rant at the end of your post perpetuates stereotypes.
    So, goodman, how do you feel about this remark of yours now?
    Just curious.

  • Thegoodman says:

    Cara
    I still believe what I said. I think that rants lives up to every negative feminist stereotype there is. It shows her completely one-sided viewpoint on the topic and offers nothing constructive nor does it show that she understands both sides of the situation.
    To say that the "the whole entire world is plastered with signs that say 'White D00ds 'Specially Welcome Here!' 'K? Thx" is moronic and clearly represents the viewpoint of a militant feminist that hasn't considered what other factors might be effecting this guys life.
    She instantly sidesteps the topics of looks, social status, economics, intelligence. Poor, ugly, dumb, white males have a lot less privilege than rich, pretty, smart, white females. I am saying that it is not as simply as she is making it out to be. There are far more factors than only gender and race that come into play in this situation and to assume that all white males have an easy lot in life isn't fair to the white males that have had a tough draw.

  • Thegoodman says:

    To clarify:
    I think it is selfish to think that because you (females) have problems, white males do not have problems. I think that everyone has problems and some people have more problems than others. We all handle them differently. Women and minorities certainly face some problems that white males never have to deal with. Women and minorities certainly face more issues of prejudice than white males ever will and most (me) white males don't fully understand this prejudice.
    I was in a position similar to that of Zuska when I was younger. I was under the impression that rich people had everything figured out and had no problems where as us poor kids needed help with everything. After "crossing over" and no longer considering myself poor and doing rather well for myself, I feel differently. I feel different because I have lived on both sides of the equation and realize that both situations present their own set of issues.
    The problem with race and gender is that rarely does anyone have experience with both sides. I admit I am unaware of the trials that women and minorities face. I do not understand what it is like to be looked down upon because I am black or because I am a women.
    I do however know what it is like to be looked down upon because you are poor. I also know what it is like to be standing amongst people who are looking down on the poor. I often finding myself defending the poor to my wealthier friends and I don't approve of their comments made in that direction.
    Are these issues the same? Absolutely not. You can hide that fact that you are poor and you can become not-poor. But there are parallels to the situations and my experience with it has helped form a lot of the opinions I've come to when discussing gender and race. I am empathetic to anyone who suffers prejudice and abhor prejudice behavior.
    I also think it is important to teach kids to say "fuck it" when they are the victim of such behavior. Unfortunately is will always exist and they need to be prepared to handle it when it arises. I also think that laws and programs that prevent prejudice and raise awareness of prejudice is important.
    "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." MLK jr.
    When I said I liked MLK I was thinking specifically of this quote. I am a complete pacifist as well. I don't think a hateful militant attitude will ever accomplish anything positive. That being said, I would like to apologize to Luna for my hateful words toward her. I was reacting and should have put more thought into those words.

  • SKM says:

    I think it is selfish to think that because you (females) have problems, white males do not have problems.
    Whew--good thing nobody here said that, then!
    In fact, many here have specifically acknowledged that it isn't so.
    Calling "females" "selfish", though--couldn't pass that one up I guess.

  • Vicki says:

    The thing is, often a person can't just say "fuck it" to discrimination and abuse. We cannot end racist assaults by teaching the victims to say "fuck it" from their hospital beds or their graves. We cannot end rape by teaching the victims to say "fuck it" while they're being assaulted. We cannot end job discrimination by telling the victims to say "fuck it" as they look at an empty wallet and wonder what they're going to eat.
    Outlawing violence and discrimination shouldn't be the afterthought to telling the victims to shrug it off. That's not pacifism, that's enabling bullies.
    The closest the victims can come to saying "fuck it" is, in some cases, to refuse to socialize with people of the dominant group. And the same people who don't want women or blacks to attend their clubs or social gatherings, and keep them out of schools and jobs, often react badly if women or blacks say "Fine. We don't want you either" and start separate groups or projects, whether it's the sort that started this thread—whereupon people from the dominant group want to know where their half of what people are building to deal with exclusion is—or larger attempts at lesbian separatism or Black nationalism.
    We're a social species, and dismissing that sort of exclusion is not a trivial thing. That's even when it's "only" about socializing. But you're telling people to ignore both economic discrimination and violent assault.

  • Carl says:

    Shorter Thegoodman: I haven't learned a damn thing. Dude, stop talking.

  • Ace says:

    I still believe what I said. I think that rants lives up to every negative feminist stereotype there is. It shows her completely one-sided viewpoint on the topic and offers nothing constructive nor does it show that she understands both sides of the situation.
    Speaking of offering nothing constructive, I do believe I was telling you a story earlier (@145,146). All you said was that you were sorry. I found that rather ironic given that the last thing you seem to want is for people to treat you with pity or apologize to you. So, do you have anything productive to suggest or do you think that programs that support women/minorities/poor people might actually have a useful purpose?

  • Thegoodman says:

    "But you're telling people to ignore both economic discrimination and violent assault."
    This is not what I am saying at all. I am saying they need to be prepared to deal with it. Ignoring it is not dealing with it. Use it to your advantage, let it motivate you, use it as a way to differentiate yourself.
    Also, we are talking about completely opposite sides of the situation. You are focusing on prevention. That is great. I agree we should do what we can to prevent these atrocities. I am focusing on the recovery. We also need to be prepared to deal with these things if/when they happen. I don't think that going on a tirade does anything to diffuse the situation, it only makes it worse. Its difficult to tell someone how stupid they are, then attempt to teach them something.
    @Ace
    I don't have a solution to this issue anymore than you do. I also don't blog about it, I am merely commenting on a blog.
    @SKM
    I just took the liberty of reading between the lines of Zuska's post, like everyone has read between the lines of my comments. I do think that is what many women on here have said. Also, I didn't say females are selfish, I said females who pretend males have no problems with life are selfish.
    @Carl
    When I tell someone what to do I am a sexist pig. When people tell me what to do they are supposedly doing me a favor. I have inadvertently hijacked this thread and I am trying to respond to questions asked of me. Also, I have really enjoyed the discussion and despite what many of you believe, I have learned a lot.

  • Thegoodman says:

    @Ace
    I wasn't apologizing to you, I am saying I feel sorry for you. I can't imagine someone doing something so blatantly sexist in a job interview and it must have pissed you off something fierce. It sucks to be shit on like that and you truly got shit on. I wish things like this didn't happen.
    I don't see what I can do about it other than read the story, be aware of it, and not do it if I am put in that situation.
    My wife's graduating medical class was 50% female. I was happy to hear this but when awards were handed out, most went to males. This made me a little suspect of possible sexism by the primarily male doctors who give the awards. The good news is that if 50% of graduating doctors are females, the doctor work force will be 50% female soon enough.

  • Ace says:

    That's exactly my point, earlier you said that you don't want people feeling sorry for you (@11,@51). Yet we talk about our hardships and you say you feel sorry for us. And now you even say that you wish things like that didn't happen.
    I have news for you! The way to make sure this shit doesn't happen is to do something about it . And that's what most of these programs do! Make people aware of the issues, provide a forum for discussion, and work to provide opportunities for those who would have otherwise missed out due to some uncontrollable factor.
    I'd also like to address this statement:
    The good news is that if 50% of graduating doctors are females, the doctor work force will be 50% female soon enough.
    I don't know about medicine, but this is definitely false for engineering. The percentage of women leaving the profession at all stages of their career is much higher than men, especially as you climb the ladder, regardless if it's academia or industry.

  • Use it to your advantage, let it motivate you, use it as a way to differentiate yourself.
    Yup, I've always found that a positive spin can be put on rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. I use it to my advantage. To differentiate myself.

  • Thegoodman says:

    @Comrade Svilova
    You are just being ridiculous. Rape is violent sexual assault. It may fall under the umbrella of sexism, but I think it was clearly not what I was referring to.
    Also, how do you suggest rape victims deal with their tragedy? Should they become a recluse and spend the rest of their lives feeling sorry for themselves? Should they bottle up all of their feelings so they can one day maybe commit suicide?
    Any and all sexual assault is terrible. But the fact is that it happens. Unfortunately it happens all the time. I refuse to let you make me out to be some sort of monster because I think victims should attempt to deal with the issues that haunt them years after their incident.
    Never once did I say anyone shouldn't report ANY misconduct against them. Don't ignore it. To me, saying "fuck it" isn't the same as acting like it isn't there. Its saying fuck you to the person who did it (figuratively, not literally is not advisable in most professional situations), fuck the system for letting it happen to me, and fuck anyone who thinks it will hold me back.

  • Isabel says:

    skeptifem! aka Nails, isn't it? My old McCarthyite enemy. Your posts are hilarious!
    "most people in the demographic you are discussing"
    incidentally, what is your socioeconomic background?
    And if you understood class privilege, you would understand why it's offensive and somewhat non-sensical - and definitely counter-productive - when upper-middle-class white women whine about "white d00ds" and their privilege when most of those dudes are no more privileged over-all than the whiners are, maybe even less.
    It's tacky!

  • Isabel says:

    For example, there's a progressive radio station I listen to and they're always advertising for young applicants to their apprenticeship training program, and they specifically and explicitly target "young women, PoC, LGBT, " and go on and on to invite everybody except white males, even poor ones.
    So if a younger version of theGoodman happens to fall off the turnip truck in the big city with no money or connections or guidance he would NOT feel welcome as a trainee at that station, even if he wanted to be a progressive activist. And his inclusion would actually ADD diversity in that particular community.

  • Oops, sorry for being ridiculous. No one ever uses sexual violence or the threat of it to prevent women from succeeding in generally male-dominated fields.
    And if someone does use the threat of sexual violence (or actual sexual harassment) against me, I now know that all I have to do is say "fuck it" and not let it hold me back. (Hurrah! Thanks for the helpful tip.)
    Granted, my male peers are able to move forward with their careers without this additional hassle. But god forbid I ask that the playing field be a little more even or ask that the program work to actively support women who are doing well and working hard while also fighting an up hill battle against sexism and sexual harassment in this field.

  • Cara says:

    I still believe what I said. I think that rants lives up to every negative feminist stereotype there is. It shows her completely one-sided viewpoint on the topic and offers nothing constructive nor does it show that she understands both sides of the situation.
    Well, you're right about one thing--apparently nothing you say now will alter our view of you.
    And you can't whine that I was mean to you so this is why you say these things. This is alllll you.
    See, "Isabel" (et al)? This is your buddy, here. This is why we don't suck their dicks till their heads cave in, HOPING they'll praise us if we're nice enough. I mean, this one can't even read for comprehension, or understand proper etiquette. Not even an apology for insulting the hostess right out of the gate. How gauche.
    Plenty of men--even white guys--can get it after a little rational thought. Why court the favor of brainless assholes when there are genuinely good men out there?

  • Anon says:

    "I was in a position similar to that of Zuska when I was younger. I was under the impression that rich people had everything figured out and had no problems where as us poor kids needed help with everything. After "crossing over" and no longer considering myself poor and doing rather well for myself, I feel differently. I feel different because I have lived on both sides of the equation and realize that both situations present their own set of issues."
    I really, really doubt this.
    I was poor as a teenager. We're talking malnutrition poor, working two jobs in high school to put box mac-n-cheez on the table poor. Poor all the way through college and didn't have enough to eat until some years after graduation. Eventually became solidly middle-class though, through working my ass off and a few bits of good luck.
    The one huge, important thing that becomes painfully obvious to anyone who goes through that transition is how money might not buy happiness, but it does buy considerable peace of mind. You can afford to have control over your life, if you have money.
    -If my car breaks down now, it's a minor inconvenience to let my boss know I'm running late, call a tow truck and get a loaner from the dealership. I can pay for the repairs, and if the car is beyond repair, I will simply pull some money out of a rainy-day account for a down payment on a new one. I will not lose my job and be unable to get another, though.
    -My employment records are documented by the state, such that if I lose my job, I can get unemployment payments. My employer will most likely provide a severance payment, too.
    -If I need training to get a promotion or transition to a new career, I can afford to take night classes to get that extra education at a respected university.
    -If I were being abused by my partner, I could pack my bags and leave, or I could call the police and have him/her arrested.
    -I can buy good quality food that is nutritious or not, just as I like. I can go to restaurants if I worked a long day and don't feel up to cooking.
    -I can have pet dogs that make it less likely that I'll be attacked by rapists. I don't have a landlord telling me that I can't have a dog the size of a dire wolf.
    -I don't have to work a really terrible job in dangerous or exploitative conditions. I can get a different job, even if I am laid off or fired.
    -When I have to call the police to report something bad that has happened to me, no matter how minor, the police arrive promptly and take my complaint seriously. If my neighbor calls the police for any reason, I am immediately considered a *potential witness* rather than a *potential perpetrator*.
    -I don't have to worry about my personal safety when I go for a walk in the park. My neighborhood has very little violence. If I leave a door unlocked and go shopping for the afternoon, I can be fairly certain that the house will not have been burgled.
    -My house is structurally sound and not in imminent danger of burning down, flooding, or any other hazard. It is warm in winter and cool in summer. The electricity, phone lines, internet, water and sewage all function, all the time.
    -I can buy new clothing appropriate to my job whenever I like. I look like I belong in the company of my colleagues.
    -I can get regular health exams and preventative medicine, including eye exams with fashionable glasses, dental exams with cosmetic dentistry if I want, and medical care with up-to-date vaccinations. I can even afford cosmetic surgery, if I wanted it. When I received a cancer diagnosis, I got second opinions and had a good quality specialist treat me and provide follow-up care. My insurance paid for counseling to help me and my family deal with the stress of the diagnosis and treatment process.
    All this stuff was immediately, overwhelmingly obvious from the moment that I first walked into a grocery store after depositing my first real paycheck. That's not to say my life is trouble-free, but it IS saying that there's a world of fucking difference between living hand-to-mouth and worrying about whether you should buy the brown leather couch or the shabby chic sofa.

  • Cara says:

    You are just being ridiculous. Rape is violent sexual assault. It may fall under the umbrella of sexism, but I think it was clearly not what I was referring to.
    Also, how do you suggest rape victims deal with their tragedy? Should they become a recluse and spend the rest of their lives feeling sorry for themselves? Should they bottle up all of their feelings so they can one day maybe commit suicide?
    Any and all sexual assault is terrible. But the fact is that it happens. Unfortunately it happens all the time. I refuse to let you make me out to be some sort of monster because I think victims should attempt to deal with the issues that haunt them years after their incident.

    So, "goodman", how often have you been sexually assaulted? Again, just curious.
    (You little toad).

  • Cara says:

    Goddammit.
    THIS
    You are just being ridiculous. Rape is violent sexual assault. It may fall under the umbrella of sexism, but I think it was clearly not what I was referring to.
    Also, how do you suggest rape victims deal with their tragedy? Should they become a recluse and spend the rest of their lives feeling sorry for themselves? Should they bottle up all of their feelings so they can one day maybe commit suicide?
    Any and all sexual assault is terrible. But the fact is that it happens. Unfortunately it happens all the time. I refuse to let you make me out to be some sort of monster because I think victims should attempt to deal with the issues that haunt them years after their incident.
    was all "Goodman the Trolling Toad", Scene Duh, Act Blah.
    THIS
    "So, "goodman", how often have you been sexually assaulted? Again, just curious.
    (You little toad)."
    was me. I'd say FYWP but it's not WP.
    Anyway, I think goodman is Queef. Nobody could really say such an asinine thing. "I think rape victims, of which I am not one, need to fucking suck it up and deal". Pffft.

  • Cara says:

    Actually, I think "goodman" is "Isabel". Or one of his friends.

  • Jack says:

    I think I may have a solution for this whole messy business:
    Hey whiney d00ds, why not go to your local Head Of Department and ask for $60 to have your "all d00ds" pizza party? No minorities allowed. That way you can have your pizza, high five each other for having won your little battle, and then GET BACK TO WORK ON IMPORTANT THINGS, LIKE SCHOOL WORK.
    Lazy sons of beetches.

  • joy says:

    "Should they become a recluse and spend the rest of their lives feeling sorry for themselves? Should they bottle up all of their feelings so they can one day maybe commit suicide?"
    Actually, this is how I dealt with my multiple childhood molestations and repeated adulthood rapes (once it happens to you as a child, you often get into the habit of, I guess a dickhole like you would say, "letting it happen" again, and again, and again) ...
    but you say "feeling sorry for [myself]", and a psychological counselor would (and has, and still does) say "experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, which is a real and legitimate involuntary psychological response to rape trauma."
    It would be really, really helpful if I could just "suck it up and deal." I'm glad you suggested that. Wow. My life has now completely changed. I'll just go snort a Valium or something now* and get right on with pulling myself up by the bootstraps.
    * I don't snort Valium. But that's what it would probably take.
    Seconding that "Isabel" and "thegoodman" are one and the same. They even use the same phrasings.
    Queef is probably a secondary troll, though. One would have to look at the IP addresses to tell for sure.

  • Cara says:

    I have inadvertently hijacked this thread and I am trying to respond to questions asked of me. Also, I have really enjoyed the discussion and despite what many of you believe, I have learned a lot.
    It wasn't inadvertent; you haven't been involved in any discussion, just trolling; you're incapable of rational thought, so "learning" is far outside your scope of expertise. As for your enjoyment, I doubt that, unless pretending you have a wife who doesn't get punctures was fun for you.
    HTH.

  • Cara says:

    Calling "females" "selfish", though--couldn't pass that one up I guess.
    SKM, I doubt this one could even fight the green beans to a draw.

  • Anon, again says:

    Oh, and one more thing, in case Mr Goodman wanted to assert that Hard Work reliably gets people to the top:
    Here's the bits of good luck that got me into the middle class:
    1. Partner willing to support me while I went to university and worked only 35 hours/week. It isn't actually possible any more to put yourself through college, tuition was much too high even in my day (late 80s/early 90s).
    2. Really great timing on a contract job--lucked into finding a recruiter who needed to fill a job by the end of the week, and he happened to be an outstanding negotiator, got me a salary comparable to a man's for that job. Contract job had a wonderful boss who got me hired in. Sheer luck that they were so urgently hiring for that particular position and that I had just been laid off.
    3. High turnover in one particular department of an otherwise successful company. Usually when companies are constantly hiring due to turnover, it's because they suck. In this one, it was just that department sucked, and my poverty-wage jobs ensured that I was inured to crappy working conditions. I was able to stick it out long enough to get a transfer to a better department.
    That's it. Really. Which of these things, exactly, do the upper classes imagine poor people can or should be gifted with to enable the bootstrapping process? Gainfully employed and loving partners? Awesome timing? I'm sure rich people would support the notion of tax write-offs for departments in large companies that burn through personnel, if they could rationalize that poor people were thereby getting respectable experience on their CVs...

  • Jinks says:

    Well, uh, just elbowing in here to express my gratitude for this article having been posted, as well as the sprawling discussion that follows. I read all of it, believe it or not.
    The word "feminism" was considered sort of dirty, throughout my childhood, perceived to be some sort of unnecessarily radical shrilling. Only after I heard a high school career counsellor say that because he had a daughter, he was a feminist, did I begin to consider that this might have all been in error. I have gradually come to realise that behind the fuss over the word "feminism" was a fundamental misconception over what was trying to be accomplished, and (speaking solely for myself) this article with its subsequent and useful clamour hit the last nail into that misconception's coffin.
    Speaking as a young woman who has grown up in situations where discrimination tends to be fairly subtle / non-physical / stamped so indelibly into the atmosphere that nobody quite notices, I think I have reached a new level of understanding — both in regards to how many times this kind of discrimination has been levelled against me without me even realising, as well as in regards to how fortunate I am that the worst I have experienced on account of being female has been groping and catcalling. Not to mention how sickening it is that that could be considered relatively fortunate.
    So: thank you, trolls and all. I believe I am, and have always been, a feminist. Good to know!

  • iola says:

    Ha, I had this discussion yet again only two days ago with my little brother and his best friend who was currently enrolled in (and torturing the class of) a mandatory Women's Study course. Of course they hit all the "bingo" squares. I started off my rebuttal with a variation of your "pissy" answer to inform them that "ALL of standard history, science, etc classes are currently the 'white male studies' courses."
    That led to the reply, "Well why don't they call it that?"
    In the end it was a decent discussion and I think they understood what I was saying (even starting to agree), but it's hard to sit in front of someone telling you you're being offensive and not be fairly embarrassed and defensive. It's even harder when you're a white guy so you don't have the bias thrown in your face everyday.
    It was still amazing how these guys all think exactly alike and use the same wrong arguments every time. Makes rebuttals amazingly easy, at least.

  • Cara says:

    Makes rebuttals amazingly easy, at least.
    True enough. It would be nice if they'd just pay attention the first hundred times, though.

  • Cara says:

    "I was in a position similar to that of Zuska when I was younger. I was under the impression that rich people had everything figured out and had no problems where as us poor kids needed help with everything. After "crossing over" and no longer considering myself poor and doing rather well for myself, I feel differently. I feel different because I have lived on both sides of the equation and realize that both situations present their own set of issues."
    Shorter goodman: My oppression is real, yours is imaginary. (Even Shorter Shorter: I got mine ALL BY MYSELF).
    Comedy. GOLD.

  • SKM says:

    I have gradually come to realise that behind the fuss over the word "feminism" was a fundamental misconception over what was trying to be accomplished, and (speaking solely for myself) this article with its subsequent and useful clamour hit the last nail into that misconception's coffin.
    Psst--hey, Jinks: you might like it over Shakesville's way (linked from my handle). You never know! You might, for example, find some kindred thoughts in the Feminism 101 section. Not that your level is 101; that's just what the section is called, to be clear. Check us out; we have lots of "hey, it turns out I've always been" feminists!

  • Jinks says:

    SKM: Why, danke! This looks like a fantastic index.
    One other thing for which I've found these topics personally useful is their ability to strip away meaningless rote that has latched onto belief systems and ways of living, to refine old perspectives that were originally good but have accumulated an overwhelming amount of harmful garbage over centuries of blind faith / non-thinking.

  • Queef says:

    Cara, I'm not goodman. I'm stupid, but I'm not *that* stupid.

  • @Jinks and SKM: That's definitely the position I was in a year or two ago. I just want to echo this:
    I realized how many times this kind of discrimination has been levelled against me without me even realising, as well as ... how fortunate I am that the worst I have experienced on account of being female has been groping and catcalling. Not to mention how sickening it is that that could be considered relatively fortunate.
    Excellent summing up.

  • joy says:

    @ Cara, #68
    Yes, it occured to me after the hopeless feeling of having been subjected to utter crazymaking lifted --
    "Oh -- she thinks women took Thegoodman to task - because they were biased against him for supposedly being poor -, not just because he was a troll who doesn't listen! Oh!"
    Let's do a little comparison, shall we?
    Thegoodman -- acts like a good old middle class white dood (is also supposedly married to a doctor now, so he IS a middle class white man). Gets taken to task for his failure to grasp the issues at hand.
    DuWayne -- contributes to the discourse, grasps the actual issues, is an actual working class man. Does not get looked down upon or taken to task.
    Women ARE smart enough to grasp the difference, you know. We don't ALL wear class blinders to which we are utterly oblivious. Our response to thegoodman has nothing, NOTHING to do with his supposed poverty and everything to do with his being an obtuse dick who refuses to listen. Those two things are linked in NO ONE's mind but Isabel's.
    People who aren't Isabel -- does that sound about right at all? Honestly, I've been puzzling about it for however many days this has been, because I really did just want to know what the POINT of this whole round-and-round could be.

  • joy says:

    Whoops, that ended up on the wrong thread. It was supposed to go under "Why Are You All So Angry?" but it wound up here. Sorry, Cara.

  • Yvonne says:

    @joy: it was worth the repeat.

  • Cara says:

    No worries, Joy. ;) But I think the only point was so Isabel could troll Zuska's blog. It happens every time Zuska dares to get annoyed with privileged d00d behavior.

  • joy says:

    That seems to be the case, but I'm truly trying to figure it out.
    I like trying to take down trolls, to perfect my discourse, but she's simply crazymaking at this point, and she is really into telling me I'M the crazy one for an especial reason that I'm still not clear about either.
    Was it just because I said I was good at something? Seriously. God knows a woman can never be THAT.

  • Cara says:

    she's simply crazymaking at this point, and she is really into telling me I'M the crazy one for an especial reason that I'm still not clear about either.
    I think it's just pigtail-pulling. They take a goofy stance on something, anything, and maintain it no matter what.

  • skeptifem says:

    @ History Punk #241
    Wow, you should really pick a different moniker. Does Operation Condor ring a bell?

  • MarkusR says:

    Late to the party, but based on my intro SOC class I as a general elective, there seemed to be a shortage of men in the class. Although the white/non-white was certainly an issue for both genders. SOC needs to promote itself more to men!

  • Ry says:

    incase anyone else stumbles on this a few months/years late...
    it's called 'social justice'. because certain races are more likely to be made fun of/treated badly/what have you, they "deserve" free money to go to school. tell me i'm wrong. it's not because they're poor, they have general "everyone" grants/loans for that. it's not because their skin makes them less likely to get a scholarship - talk to some basketball players about that. it's not because colleges are racist - not NOW anyways, and especially not with gubment mandates. it's because they were called a 'bad name' in life. it's because a female won't get as large a pay check in life, so this is the opportunity to 'stick it' to the white male, and get a leg up somewhere in the chain. i was taught 'two wrongs don't make a right', but we all know that no one follows that in the real world.

  • it's because a female won't get as large a pay check in life, so this is the opportunity to 'stick it' to the white male
    Ahem, are you suggesting that giving women the opportunity to attain a higher educational status which might make their pay disparity less than 70 cents on the dollar is some childish act of "sticking it" to the white man? Wage disparity is a very real problem, and it requires a real solution. Society is still sexist, so higher education is necessary for many women to even hope to slightly close the wage gap.
    it's not because colleges are racist - not NOW anyways, and especially not with gubment mandates. it's because they were called a 'bad name' in life.
    Many colleges are racist, and society most certainly is (see Stuff White People Do for some examples).
    Strawmen and offensive statements. Making it possible for more PoC to attain higher education isn't a "wrong" -- unless you think that white people having the majority of access to institutions of higher education is how it "should be."

  • Dedj says:

    Sorry, can someone explain how the historical disproportionately young black male holders of basketball scholarships* is supposed to have any bearing what-so-ever on whether or not non-young or female or non-sporting PoC do or do not face discrimination?
    Surely the fact that such an example sticks out is actual evidence against the idea that PoC have equal access to education?
    *I'm not in the US, but I was under the impression that such University sports are still disproportionately white males in comparison to the make-up of the professional leagues. It was certainly the case at mine, despite it having a large Chinese and African student base.

  • endor says:

    Shorter Ry: Why yes, I am a whiny privileged white male, how could you tell?

  • johnny33405 says:

    OMG!
    You ZUSKA and many others (and I DO WANT TO F%%%$$$ punch a couple white males right in the face that are backing you INGRATE chauvinsitic BROADS with their comments. But I am decent and of good enough character to not do such a thing if had the chance).
    You SUCK SO BAD. In COLLEGE/Universities/higher education, there are well over 60% females in school AND STILL acting AS IF! YOU LIE!!! Also the minority, ie real native born African American minority is ALWAYS shot down by ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND WHITE WOMEN claiming MINORITY status. ALL OF YOU ARE GUNNING FOR the WHITE MALE. THIS MAKES US the real minority. WHAT DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE causes EMASCULATION LADY?
    Emasculation is way more prevalent, as well as drug addiction and excessive drinking OUT OF FEAR AND FRUSTRATION, from WHITE MALE discrimination. ALSO, there are MORE WOMEN working today than MEN. A FACT!
    Most women DO NOT WORK TOUGH LABOR jobs MISSY ENGINEER AND NEVER EXPECTED TO!
    YOU WAH WAH ME AND I WILL CALL THE COPS ON YOU FOR INCITING A FIGHT YOU LAME BROAD CHAUVINIST!
    EAT THAT YOU LYING CHEET! This has been going on for well over a decade if not two decades as IF YOU DID NOT KNOW!

  • johnny33405 says:

    OMG!
    You ZUSKA and many others (and I DO WANT TO F%%%$$$ punch a couple white males right in the face that are backing you INGRATE chauvinsitic BROADS with their comments. But I am decent and of good enough character to not do such a thing if had the chance).
    You SUCK SO BAD. In COLLEGE/Universities/higher education, there are well over 60% females in school AND STILL acting AS IF! YOU LIE!!! Also the minority, ie real native born African American minority is ALWAYS shot down by ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND WHITE WOMEN claiming MINORITY status. ALL OF YOU ARE GUNNING FOR the WHITE MALE. THIS MAKES US the real minority. WHAT DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE causes EMASCULATION LADY?
    Emasculation is way more prevalent, as well as drug addiction and excessive drinking OUT OF FEAR AND FRUSTRATION, from WHITE MALE discrimination. ALSO, there are MORE WOMEN working today than MEN. A FACT!
    Most women DO NOT WORK TOUGH LABOR jobs MISSY ENGINEER AND NEVER EXPECTED TO!
    YOU WAH WAH ME AND I WILL CALL THE COPS ON YOU FOR INCITING A FIGHT YOU LAME BROAD CHAUVINIST!
    EAT THAT YOU LYING CHEET! This has been going on for well over a decade if not two decades as IF YOU DID NOT KNOW!

  • Cara says:

    WAH fucking WAH, by JohnnyWAH.
    Prologue: WAH.
    Introduction: WAH.
    Chapter 1-wah inclusive: WAH WAH I'm being picked on because women still get paid half what I do for doing twice the work and get treated like shit on top of it but oh, they don't really work unless they're making me a sammich WAH.
    Epilogue: WAH.
    Appendices A-Z: WAH.

  • Also, we're "gunning" for the White Man. Let me see, there was this crime recently where someone took a gun and shot a whole bunch of people just because their gender had supposedly been mean to the perpetrator. But actually, in that case (and all others like it) the perp was a man.
    Gender-based violence only goes one direction in the vast, vast majority of cases. Women who are angry or who work to change laws to make the world more just are not "gunning" for anyone, with the metaphorical violence that implies. They are proceeding in a civilized and non-violent manner to correct centuries of injustice.

  • Endor says:

    shorter Johnny: I don't get what I want the moment I saw I want it, so I'm OPPRESSED and a VICTIM of IMAGINARY DISCRIMINATION!!!!

  • Thegoodman says:

    "@Dedj
    "*I'm not in the US, but I was under the impression that such University sports are still disproportionately white males in comparison to the make-up of the professional leagues. It was certainly the case at mine, despite it having a large Chinese and African student base."
    This has a lot to do with sheer numbers. Even in a perfectly non-racist world (which we obviously do not live in); male athletics would be roughly 16:2:1 whites/blacks/asians. The disproportion is simply a result of the population demographic, not necessarily racism.
    Professional sports are a different story. College sports are mostly about participation and people who sign up, play. Blacks in North America were raised as livestock for the better part of 300 years and strong/athletic blacks were favored over smaller/weaker ones in the slave trade. As horrific as slavery was, the result has been a more athletic black culture in America/Caribbean. Athletic, 6'10" white men are not as prevalent as the same dimensions for black men. This is the same for people who can run a 4.1s 40 yrd dash.
    Not just the selective breeding during slavery, but also the geography/culture of Africa compared to that of Europe contributed significantly evolutionarily speaking to black vs. white athletic development. When Europeans were holed up in their cabins during a frigid winter, Africans were out doing sprints trying to capture tomorrows meal. A few thousand generations of this and you have a far more athletic black culture than a white culture, which still persists today. There are obviously exceptions to both situations, but professional athletes (especially basketball and football) are the top athletes of the world where the difference between the best and the worst is very small.
    USA Demographic from the CIA World Fact book -"white 79.96%, black 12.85%, Asian 4.43%..."

  • TheGoodMan:
    And your point is...? Good evolutionary psychology, though.

  • Dedj says:

    "The disproportion is simply a result of the population demographic, not necessarily racism."
    Sigh, even in the passage YOU JUST QOUTED, I indicated that the demographic of the general student base was not visibly replicated in the sports team demographic.
    The concern is that the proportions of PoC in sports at Uni is not in similar ratios to PoC in the general student base, or the professional arenas.
    Pointing out the proportions does not advance any arguement, but merely shows that you do not understand what the word 'disproportionate' means.
    Although you are correct that you cannot play unless you sign up, the factors you identified should have the effect of increasing the participation of PoC in Uni sports above and beyond that expected due to demographics alone.
    Although I self-admit to a sample size of 1, I have had little luck finding any sources that are contrary to my observations.
    Even so, none of this has anything to do with the initial observation that sports scholarships are a reliable indicator of a non-discrimination against PoC applying to, or at, educational institutions.
    I would regard it as both a dishonour and a form of spamming if you were to reply to me again.

  • Isabel says:

    Thegoodman you are crossing a line here - these are really offensive remarks ("...Not just the selective breeding during slavery, but also the geography/culture of Africa compared to that of Europe contributed significantly evolutionarily speaking to black vs. white athletic development...")! WHERE are you getting all this racist crap?
    And WHY are people still talking to this windbag? We've already established that he's being dishonest about his background, right?
    And it isn't "good EP" either. It's totally made-up racist bullshit.

  • Cara says:

    Aw, Isabel. Aren't you two friends anymore? You were defending his rubbish not too long ago.

  • Isabel says:

    Cara you are an idiot. Now you are supporting racism - great!
    As I said before, I sincerely hope you get the help you need.

  • It's good ev psych if it uses "Just So" stories to present racist/sexist/etc-ist explanations as fact, natural, and historicized. With the implication that they're acceptable since they're naturalized.
    Why am I still talking with TheGoodMan? For the lurkers here.

  • Endor says:

    She is neither supporting racism, nor is she an idiot. She's pointing out your complete lack of honesty and consistency.

  • Isabel says:

    What the fuck IS WRONG with you assholes? Endor YOU are an idiot and an asshole. I guess you support racism also.
    WTF are you talking about "consistency" I NEVER supported this jerk's views, and I stated he was probably lying and scolded him for being so dense weeks, or was it months ago.
    Hey skeptifem will find the links for you in a jiffy.
    "Complete lack of honesty?" WTF???????? I have never once been dishonest here, you lying scumbag. Where is your evidence? What the hell is wrong with you? You are obsessed with taking down a fellow feminist, because she thinks outside the box sometimes. Nice.
    Now STFU. Why on earth are people being such pricks?
    CS it is not "good EP" because it is not based on anything realistic. Most of his explanation is cultural.
    And that was some sick shit you wrote about me over at Jill's. Thanks, prick.

  • Isabel says:

    And I am really sick of all the lying going on around here. If you are going to respond forget about taking a swipe by COMPLETELY INVENTING SOMETHING I SAID OR DID.
    Actually find a quote.
    You will fail in this, of course.
    It's a really good idea if you are going to be obsessed with silencing someone, to actually pay attention to what they are saying.
    Think about it before running off at the mouth next time.
    Just STFU. Nobody needs to hear your lies and unfair attacks anymore. It's not helping anyone. It is sick behavior.

  • When was mainstream Ev Psych ever based on something "realistic," like, say, the scientific method? I refer everyone to CPP's takedown of Ev Psych for more detail.
    Most of his explanation is cultural.
    A la most Ev Psych purveyors.
    Finally, Isabel, this is the very same thread in which you repeatedly asked us to ignore TheGoodMan's misogyny because he's a member of an oppressed class. I'm sorry, I don't accept misogyny from anyone, lower-class, middle-class or upper-class. Similarly, I don't care for racism from anyone -- feminist or not. And I hate classism from anyone, whether they're female or a PoC or not. You're a feminist, great. That doesn't mean you won't ever say something offensive -- even unintentionally.
    I'd agree with some of your points about class if you hadn't been making them in this thread to specifically defend TheGoodMan's anti-feminist comments. We've tried to cut him so much slack here, explaining Feminism 101 a hundred times. Whatever intersecting oppressions he suffers from, he's still a misogynist troll who's cluttering up Zuska's blog.
    Poor white dudes don't have their own support groups, perhaps, but if a guy like TheGoodMan -- who pulled himself up by his bootstraps despite his initial economic hardships -- wants respect from feminists, we've got to see some respect for feminism and women first. He does not get a cookie for being from the working class. He won't even get a cookie for being a feminist ally from the working class, but if he turns into a feminist ally, he'll definitely get our respect.

  • Cara says:

    I guess you support racism also.
    Calling YOU out for YOUR inconsistency is exactly the same as supporting this twit.
    Riiiiiight. Nice logic fail, there.

  • Isabel says:

    Comrade S. you are making things up whole cloth again - there is no way I can even respond to such nonsense.
    AGAIN from my comment above "And I am really sick of all the lying going on around here. If you are going to respond forget about taking a swipe by COMPLETELY INVENTING SOMETHING I SAID OR DID.
    Actually find a quote."
    So you completely invented he following:
    "Finally, Isabel, this is the very same thread in which you repeatedly asked us to ignore TheGoodMan's misogyny because he's a member of an oppressed class."
    I NEVER SAID ANY SUCH THING.
    NEVER SAID ANYTHING CLOSE TO "IGNORE HIS MISOGYNY" FOR ANY REASON.
    FIND A FUCKING QUOTE.
    YOU WILL FAIL.
    THAT WAS NOT MY POINT AT ALL.
    WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? SERIOUSLY?
    Is that clearer?
    "he's still a misogynist troll who's cluttering up Zuska's blog. "
    Give me a fucking break. You love it and you even admit it! YOU are cluttering up Zuska's blog.

  • Isabel says:

    I commented on this thread on the GYOFBA blog, copied below. I sent a response to Jill and all the posters still talking about me on IBTP, but it was not posted of course. So I will post the banned response also somewhere soon. Probably not on my own blog, sorry.
    http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/2010/07/12/weve-all-done-it-but-maybe-its-time-to-cut-it-the-fuck-out/
    I am so sick of lying [deleted] like Nails-skeptifem and Jill Psmith. Fucking lying, stinking [deleted]! They are STILL spreading lies about me at IBTP and Jill refuses to publish my response. I cannot believe their lies, and Skeptifem’s refusal to take responsibility for how her lies adversely affected me. Even if she didn’t intend to lie she knows now that she was wrong and refuses to admit it, calls me weird for not completely forgetting I was banned, and for not conveniently disappearing from blogs we both hang out on, but meanwhile she’s still yammering about it, and in a forum I can read, but not respond to! Fucking manipulative [deleted]! As BioE agreed, the supposed offending comment Nails was tattle-taling about was not racist at all.
    But rich blog-owner Jill, nervous about my interest in unpacking class privilege from white privilege, decides to believe Nails and bans me and mocks me (as do others) for trying to defend myself! And now claims that I was making comments that came too close to white supremacy- WTF does that even mean??? Holy shit, man, what is going on with people? And she can’t really remember what happened even though it was recent – well of course, because nothing even happened on IBTP! It was nails’ now debunked tattle-taling! But now we are treated to a spectacularly false revising of history thanks to Jill, Nails, and Comrade S. Nice work ladies!

  • skeptifem says:

    shorter isabel:
    someone is wrong on the internet! They are saying things about me! ME! I am the only one right about me! ever! I better devote my life to fixing this huge injustice! Yes, that will prove to them that I am not unbalanced!

  • skeptifem says:

    Oh yeah, and no one cares about this but you. Really. It is not a big deal to the people you are freaking out over, it is casual conversation, like the kind they have about other people all the time. If people saying negative shit about me on the internet was a big deal I would never sleep or relax- it happens all the time. What are you trying to do, anyway? Get the last word in? Convince everyone that you are right? You must not have any self esteem to care so much about what strangers on the internet say. Trying to convince people that no ones opinions of your position has any merit but yours isn't a fight you are going to win. Give it up. I still that your focusing so much on lower class white dudes has an element of racism to it. Deal with it. No one should have this much control over your mood and actions simply by disagreeing with you.

  • WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? SERIOUSLY?
    Is that clearer?

    Yup, crystal.
    I keep asking myself what is wrong with me that I got involved in this blogdrama. Over and out, folks. I'll come back when Zuska's back or if TheGoodMan or History Punk offer more material for Feminism 101 tutorials. Or Queef! Where is that fella? Don't tell me he's abandoned us forever!

  • Isabel says:

    Nails,
    What, now in your deranged mind I am losing sleep over this? Yeah right keep deluding yourself- I find it shocking but my perspective is fine. I am having a great day.
    I don't give a shit what you or anyone on the internet says about me. Isn't that obvious? I have a much greater purpose in mind. I don't confuse this hell hole with my real life for a second, believe me (again with the projection?) What I care about is all the lying. Of course I care about my reputation. You are spreading lies! Don't you get why that is deeply offensive to the person you are spreading lies about? To the point that they might actually express that offense and frustration somewhere? Do you actually understand that your actions have consequences?
    Making this out to be a case of me whining or becoming undone is a cheap sexist ploy. And it's as sociopathic as the rest of your message above.
    And more lies! "Nobody cares" about this but me; but, they are still discussing it on IBTP! It's just that they have nothing better to do! And the gals here are still wrestling, 300 posts later, with this wacko dude. People apparently do care, Nails.
    "What are you trying to do, anyway?"
    How fucking stupid can you be?
    "I still that your focusing so much on lower class white dudes has an element of racism to it. Deal with it."
    I am not focusing on dudes you numskull. Grow up. And no one cares what you think because you are obviously wrong. Of course it is not racist to care about lower class white people!
    If you are going to go on a campaign against someone you need to learn to take some flak, and you should do your research. Or else just STFU!
    You are acting all bored and blase now, but it was you who singled me out left no less than three messages over there all about me complete with links that started all this.
    And now you say I am a stalker when I haven't dome anything remotely that weird.
    "No one should have this much control over your mood and actions simply by disagreeing with you. "
    The narcissist declares with absolutely no knowledge of my mood or actions. And real smooth (not) how you conflated 'led a campaign to have banned' and 'disagreed with'.
    Nails, shut up. Shut Up. SHUT UP.

  • Isabel says:

    Oh and now Ms Comrade Busybody knows she could ever back up her stupid statement so she is running off pretending to be bored. Bye asshole, good riddance to you!

  • Cara says:

    Isabel.
    You're capslocking all over the place.
    Step away from the blog.
    Go play in the sunshine.

  • Isabel says:

    Cara, shut up. Shut Up. SHUT UP.

  • Cara says:

    You're really starting to worry me.
    You have people IRL to talk to, right?

  • Endor says:

    LOL. Wow, she is a world class narcissist. Clearly, I *must* be a racist, because Cara is clearly neither stupid nor a racist. LOL. And she hasn't done anything weird - just lied a lot, went on psychotic tirades a lot, trolled every thread to talk about herself, constant persecution fantasies, pathetically trying to insult everyone and bully them into silence, stalking people across blogs to talk about herself some more.
    Nah. Nothing weird there. It's *EVERYONE ELSE* that's wrong.

  • Isabel says:

    One thing I haven't done is spent weeks obsessed with a situation that has nothing to do with me.
    Nor have I wasted anyone's time with content-free posts.
    Most importantly, unlike Nails, Jill, Endor, Cara or Comrade S., I haven't been abusive, I haven't joined any mobs, I haven't attacked any innocent people just for fun, and I haven't lied about anyone or anything.
    Imagine that.

  • Isabel says:

    "You're really starting to worry me."
    Liar. You are a prick who doesn't give a shit. Worse, you are a sadistic prick. SHUT UP.
    "Wow, she is a world class narcissist."
    Yes, Nails/Skeptifem is a real piece of work.
    "Clearly, I *must* be a racist""
    Yes, you clearly are SOMETHING horrible.
    "And she hasn't done anything weird - just lied a lot"
    Liar. Only nails, Jill and you have been lying. Asshole. Considering some of the things she has said here, and her sadistic obsessive posting, I wouldn't be surprised if Endor abuses children for fun. I am very worried about Endor! I hope Endor has someone to talk to in real life about her child abusing issues. Hey Zuska, I think Endor is a racist child-abuser and we don't need that shit around here! Ban her! Ban her!
    " constant persecution fantasies"
    Yes nails explained how lying and aggressively getting someone banned from a popular site that they enjoy and did nothing wrong on EVER, and then lying some more about what happened, is just normal internet behavior. it is really weird to actually care if this happens to you, and to imagine that the people who did it are sick assholes. They're just normal average netizens!
    "bully them into silence"
    Right. And NO ONE is trying to bully me into silence! That is all in my imagination.
    , stalking people across blogs"
    I have been hanging out here for over a year. I will not be a good little girl and pretend this never happened, and I'm not going anywhere. Grow up and deal with it. Nails' lying and manipulations were totally relevant to the discussion here, unlike anything you have ever posted, child-abusing, racist asswipe Endor. Oh, isn't this fun!

  • Isabel says:

    A message to Nails and the gang from Jill over at IBTP:
    I’m just saying, maybe you’re being a jerk to act all offended and self-righteous when your victims, weary of the constant prissy-ass doctrinairian hectoring, go a little postal.
    Nobody likes a rat-fink.

  • skeptifem says:

    So you honestly can't fathom a reason related to your behavior for your banning at IBTP?

  • Isabel says:

    I know why I was banned. It was because of your lies and attacks and Jill's nervousness about dealing with class issues in any kind of real way. I was there, asshole rat-fink (who nobody likes).
    I have never questioned why. I am not trying to argue with you. You are an asshole rat fink. My case is only the tip of the ice-berg, as I have already stated. try reading a few posts, lying rat-fink.
    Try following the conversation again. You will fail, because you are obviously a miserable sufferer of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. i feel sorry for you and I hope you get the help you need, for your family's sake.

  • Zuska says:

    Isabel, I have a really liberal comments policy on this blog, but I am getting bored out of my skull reading comments from you about an argument you had with someone else on someone else's blog. Could you please find something else to comment about, preferably something that relates to the topics of my blog posts, perchance? If you want to argue with people about a beef you have with them that doesn't relate to anything that happened on this blog, phone them up, email them, send them a letter, or start your own motherfucking blog. 'K? Thx.
    Maybe other commenters could refrain from engaging in this debate as well? Unless you are all amused and having a good time, then carry on.

  • Isabel says:

    Zuska, I do not want to argue with anyone. All my admittedly probably annoying comments are *responses* to these relentless jackals. But I am sick of it also, so okay whatever.
    But as far as my original reason for bringing it up, the parallels of what is being discussed here and at Jill's are striking, I am really surprised you think they are irrelevant. And skeptifem's internet cop behavior and the unfortunate results seem pretty relevant to recent events here too. I am just frustrated because no one seems to see that. It's like the stepford feminists or something.
    But fine, I'll stop.
    ps. Do you really find *everyone else's* posts on this thread scintillating (or interesting in any way) just askin' ;)
    oh wait I just noticed this
    "Maybe other commenters could refrain from engaging in this debate as well? Unless you are all amused and having a good time, then carry on. "
    Are you telling them to carry on if they want, but me to cease and desist? That makes no sense. Don't you realize without someone to reform or snipe at they are nothing?
    Whatever.

  • Cara says:

    "You're really starting to worry me."
    Liar. You are a prick who doesn't give a shit. Worse, you are a sadistic prick. SHUT UP.

    Sadistic. Asking if you have someone to talk to is sadistic.
    Okay. Wev.
    Zuska, I'll be happy to stop talking to Isabel. I was just a little worried because...well. You know.

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