It doesn't matter if you're black or white

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thoreau
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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by thoreau » 02 Mar 2017, 14:51

Gender isn't binary but it's close to binary in many cases. It's close enough to binary that the concept of "I'm really this other thing, definitely not what people thought I was" at least approaches sensible. However socially constructed and arbitrary masculinity and femininity might be, I at least get what it means to reject one of them. Whether it means that one is "really" the opposite one is a question that I could get myself into trouble for working on too deeply, but at least I get how somebody might reject one of them and try the other. There's a distinction, however fuzzy it might be at the edges.

Race and ethnicity are so fluid, so contextual, that I don't know what it means to say that somebody is "really" whatever race, or what it means to say that somebody is definitely not whatever race. Between mixed races, the vast cultural variation within races, the completely fuzzy boundaries of races (I mean, where is the line between "White Europeans" and "Brown Middle Easterners" and then between "Dark Middle Eastern/North African" and "Black African"?), the umpteen million ways cultures appropriate from each other, and everything else, it's impossible to say that somebody is "really" one race in their mind and definitely not another. I mean, what's the line between Eminem and a transracial person?

Ironically, people who argue against cultural appropriation are the ones drawing the lines that could actually give legitimacy to Dolezal's notion of identity (if we accepted those lines).
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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 02 Mar 2017, 15:22

People can identify with whatever the fuck they want. I'm thinking no matter how much I might want to be a rabbi, not being Jewish would probably pose a problem.

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Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by Jennifer » 02 Mar 2017, 15:26

nicole wrote:
Warren wrote:
nicole wrote:
Hugh Akston wrote:I've seen some buzz around the internet admonishing people not to compare Dolezal to Caitlyn Jenner. At first I was like "yeah that's not cool guys." But then I was all "Actually that may be a more apt comparison than I first imagined." I mean who's to say whether she intended to defraud her way into a position of authority or whether she was just expressing her inner black identity.
The longer the Dolezal thread goes on, the more confused I am about why transrace and transgender aren't the same.
Because there are real psychological differences between the genders. "Gender is a social construct" is objectively false. There are differences you can point to in race, but if you take an infant of any race and raise them in a community of another race, they will identify with the race they were raised in, not the race that they are. Boys will be boys.
So...if you take a white infant and raise it among black people, it will identify as black...
People tend to be highly influenced by the subcultures in which they're raised, yes. Even Teena Marie likely would not have had the career and attitudes she did, had she not been raised in a heavily integrated neighborhood back when such neighborhoods were still relatively rare in America.

In the Roman Empire, skin-color racism as we know it wasn't really a thing (given the land masses where they actually ruled, that wouldn't have been possible), but there was "racism" against certain hair colors -- specifically, blond hair was considered barbaric, to the point where women who worked as prostitutes (willingly or otherwise) were legally obligated to color their hair yellow. If you imagine an alt-history where Rome did not collapse, but stuck around long enough to develop modern American-style ideals of human rights (read: most people pay lip service to "all people are created equal," but despite this official ideal there's still a lot of lingering bigotry which hasn't been expunged), people now would be saying "Hair color is a social construct" --which does not mean "Different shades of hair don't exist," but "The idea that blonds are inherently barbaric and uncivilized, compared to darker-haired people" is a man-made invention.
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Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by Warren » 02 Mar 2017, 20:24

Jennifer wrote:
nicole wrote:
Warren wrote:
nicole wrote:
Hugh Akston wrote:I've seen some buzz around the internet admonishing people not to compare Dolezal to Caitlyn Jenner. At first I was like "yeah that's not cool guys." But then I was all "Actually that may be a more apt comparison than I first imagined." I mean who's to say whether she intended to defraud her way into a position of authority or whether she was just expressing her inner black identity.
The longer the Dolezal thread goes on, the more confused I am about why transrace and transgender aren't the same.
Because there are real psychological differences between the genders. "Gender is a social construct" is objectively false. There are differences you can point to in race, but if you take an infant of any race and raise them in a community of another race, they will identify with the race they were raised in, not the race that they are. Boys will be boys.
So...if you take a white infant and raise it among black people, it will identify as black...
People tend to be highly influenced by the subcultures in which they're raised, yes. Even Teena Marie likely would not have had the career and attitudes she did, had she not been raised in a heavily integrated neighborhood back when such neighborhoods were still relatively rare in America.

In the Roman Empire, skin-color racism as we know it wasn't really a thing (given the land masses where they actually ruled, that wouldn't have been possible), but there was "racism" against certain hair colors -- specifically, blond hair was considered barbaric, to the point where women who worked as prostitutes (willingly or otherwise) were legally obligated to color their hair yellow. If you imagine an alt-history where Rome did not collapse, but stuck around long enough to develop modern American-style ideals of human rights (read: most people pay lip service to "all people are created equal," but despite this official ideal there's still a lot of lingering bigotry which hasn't been expunged), people now would be saying "Hair color is a social construct" --which does not mean "Different shades of hair don't exist," but "The idea that blonds are inherently barbaric and uncivilized, compared to darker-haired people" is a man-made invention.
Right. And my hypothetical was actually too restrictive. You can take a fully grown adult of pale complexion and ancestry, raised amongst like people, and transport them into a community of different people and they can transition.




Gender is not like that.
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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by Jennifer » 02 Mar 2017, 21:29

Right. And my hypothetical was actually too restrictive. You can take a fully grown adult of pale complexion and ancestry, raised amongst like people, and transport them into a community of different people and they can transition.
And if I moved to bluegrass country I'd likely develop a fondness for country music and other genres in which I currently have no interest. "Country" music, "goth" music, "prog" music, "black" music -- these are all cultural preferences, not anything innate to people's brains. A fondness for wearing dashikis over jeans and pullovers or vice-versa is also cultural, not innate. But if I viewed such things the way Dolezal did, then presumably if I did like country and bluegrass music, I'd also feel some weird compulsion to lie about my upbringing -- no, I didn't spend the first 20 or so years of my life living in cities or suburbs in easy commuting distance to large Navy bases, I lived in an off-grid Appalachian poverty shack like the one Dolly Parton grew up in. And then I wouldn't understand why people got so offended to discover that, despite my earlier claims, I always grew up in houses with electricity and running water, and wore off-the-rack clothes rather than Little House on the Prairie dresses Ma made out of old gunnysacks. There's nothing wrong with being raised in ordinary middle-class comfort...but there is something wrong with being raised that way and then spending your entire adult career collecting victimhood points for abysmal poverty you never actually experienced.

Incidentally, a new story broke today about still more bullshit lies Dolezal told in the day.

TRIGGER WARNING: management assumes no responsibility if you facepalm yourself into a concussion. The sympathy I expressed for her yesterday is now at significantly lower levels.

http://www.theroot.com/this-rachel-dole ... 1792903639

Highlights: she gave shit to actually black women whom she deemed "not black enough," such as a woman who married a white man. And she compared herself to Martin Luther King -- or, as she called it, "Rachel Luther Queen."

Jesus wept, and I did too.
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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by thoreau » 27 Mar 2017, 10:05

She wrote a book. Here's an interesting review: http://www.quillette.com/2017/03/27/the ... l-dolezal/

Sent from a phone so their may be speling errors and autocorrect snafu's.
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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by nicole » 01 May 2017, 10:59

Feminist philosophy journal Hypatia publishes an article considering the validity of transracialism, people freak out.
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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by fyodor » 01 May 2017, 11:19

I think a distinction should be made between gender or race meaning what a person is, on one hand, and the stereotypes or expectations or tendencies (just to be open regarding where these things come from) that tend to be associated with them on the other.

One thing I see race being about that makes it different from gender is that it's putatively based on lineage.

That is, you are what your parents are. If you're parents aren't the same (if their parents weren't the same), then you're a mixture.

Now, how this gets distilled into public/social perception is of course very entangled with social norms and ideas, in a zillion ways.

But that's what the idea is about, in its inception. (And ethnicity too.)

This, of course, has nothing to do with gender.

(Apologies if this was ever addressed on this thread, just got here and haven't read the whole thang!)
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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by nicole » 08 May 2017, 15:04

nicole wrote:Feminist philosophy journal Hypatia publishes an article considering the validity of transracialism, people freak out.
The Hypatia thing has continued to gain steam, getting attention last week from Jesse Singal. Now, one of Tuvel's PhD advisors claims that not only has there been significant private support for Tuvel, some of it has even come from those who are bashing her publicly! http://thephilosophicalsalon.com/if-thi ... ht-police/

The "other side" of the argument seems to believe that analytic philosophy is a fundamentally immoral activity. A non-academic representative: https://www.patreon.com/posts/on-tuvel-and-and-10058831
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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by thoreau » 08 May 2017, 15:09

What actually frustrates me the most about the Tuvel affair is not even the illiberalism or elevation of feelings over all else--I frankly expect nothing less at this point. Rather, what gets me is that if we really took the lessons of the Tuvel affair to heart then caution dictates that just about everybody in academia would never say another word about race, gender, or other aspects of identity, leading to constant whines about "Why is nobody talking about identity?!?!?!?"
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by nicole » 08 May 2017, 15:11

thoreau wrote:What actually frustrates me the most about the Tuvel affair is not even the illiberalism or elevation of feelings over all else--I frankly expect nothing less at this point. Rather, what gets me is that if we really took the lessons of the Tuvel affair to heart then caution dictates that just about everybody in academia would never say another word about race, gender, or other aspects of identity, leading to constant whines about "Why is nobody talking about identity?!?!?!?"
Or something like what Kelly Oliver describes as "a kind of academic Selfie culture where all we can do is take pictures of ourselves and never consider the lives of others."
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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 08 May 2017, 16:05

I was reminded of this shitstorm again watching a clip of a discussion among comics including Sandra Bernhard, who said the current PC rigidity reminded her of -- and from here I"m paraphrasing -- getting screamed at by a bunch of feminist lesbians twenty years ago in Seattle who were outraged because I was wearing a skirt. "Do you have any idea what you're doing to feminism?" they demanded. "Yes, bitches. Hopefully feminizing it."

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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by Sandy » 08 May 2017, 16:59

nicole wrote:
thoreau wrote:What actually frustrates me the most about the Tuvel affair is not even the illiberalism or elevation of feelings over all else--I frankly expect nothing less at this point. Rather, what gets me is that if we really took the lessons of the Tuvel affair to heart then caution dictates that just about everybody in academia would never say another word about race, gender, or other aspects of identity, leading to constant whines about "Why is nobody talking about identity?!?!?!?"
Or something like what Kelly Oliver describes as "a kind of academic Selfie culture where all we can do is take pictures of ourselves and never consider the lives of others."
I believe those are called "autoethnographies."
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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by thoreau » 08 May 2017, 18:06

Sandy wrote:
Or something like what Kelly Oliver describes as "a kind of academic Selfie culture where all we can do is take pictures of ourselves and never consider the lives of others."
I believe those are called "autoethnographies."
tl;dr masturbation

Anyway, Crooked Timber has picked up on the Tuvel article. An excerpt from a guest post and then a choice comment:

From the guest post:
Something bad happened recently. Here’s what I thought it was: a member of a marginalized group within our profession (a pre-tenure woman) published a paper; a group of philosophers were angry about the paper; those same philosophers signed an open letter to Hypatia calling for retraction of the paper; Hypatia issued an apology for publishing the paper; another group of philosophers rallied in defence of paper’s author, against both the journal and the group of philosophers who were angry about the paper in the first place. This would be bad, because the way we deal with disagreement in our profession―both about form and about substance―is not to demand retractions but to write replies. Also, we generally try to encourage and support junior and marginalized scholars, not pile on in attacking them when they make mistakes.

Here’s what actually happened: a member of a marginalized group within our profession, but of a privileged group relative to much of the population (being both white and university-employed) published a paper; a few philosophers together with a great many more non-philosophers from marginalized groups within society at large were angry about the paper and expressed this in online venues; Hypatia’s initial response was dismissive; as a result of Hypatia’s unsatisfactory response an open letter to Hypatia was written, calling for retraction of the paper, and attracting more than 500 signatures; finally Hypatia issued an apology for publishing the paper; and then many philosophers rallied in defence of the paper’s author. (A lot depends on the differences between these two cases, because protecting the vulnerable means different things in each of them.) Let me note that I am taking others’ words for it on the demographics of those initially angry and the open letter’s signatories. But assuming they are correct, then this is not really the latest in a long line of scandals in the profession, and there is no particular need to rally in defence of our professional norms (i.e., to debate whether retractions could ever be warranted in response to a paper’s causing offence).
A choice comment:
The defense begins with the cant that is now typical of so much (il)liberal discourse, namely, establishing just where the relevant party stands in the hierarchy of marginalized groups. (pre-tenure woman in philosophy: good!; but pre-tenure white woman in the world at large: bad!). No real reason is given for this exercise, other than “protecting the vulnerable means different things” in different circumstances. As if defenders of Tuvel are suggesting otherwise.
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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by nicole » 12 Jun 2017, 10:48

The new wokeness: white people should not go see Black Panther on opening night

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DCIBrbLXYAA3qD7.jpg
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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by JasonL » 12 Jun 2017, 11:18

:roll:

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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by Warren » 12 Jun 2017, 12:30

Hey, I'm just happy I'm not required to buy the opening night ticket and give it to a black person that wants to see the movie before I can see it at a later date.

In truth I live too far from decent movie theaters to see opening night movies.
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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by dhex » 12 Jun 2017, 13:00

wait doesn't not going opening weekend hurt the film?
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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by thoreau » 12 Jun 2017, 13:13

I'm so woke that not only will I boycott opening weekend, I won't even go see it in the same theater as black people, lest I spoil their fun. And if a few of them happen to be in my theater, I will make sure that we use different bathrooms.

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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by Painboy » 12 Jun 2017, 13:29

nicole wrote:The new wokeness: white people should not go see Black Panther on opening night

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DCIBrbLXYAA3qD7.jpg
I sometimes wonder if people who say these things realize how counterproductive it is to their stated cause.

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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 12 Jun 2017, 14:38

Painboy wrote:
nicole wrote:The new wokeness: white people should not go see Black Panther on opening night

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DCIBrbLXYAA3qD7.jpg
I sometimes wonder if people who say these things realize how counterproductive it is to their stated cause.
Do people realize tariffs harm the economy and end up losing jobs? Do they realize the president has very little actual control over the economy and what he has lies largely in his ability to harm it? Do they have any idea how small the chance of being a victim of a terrorist attack is? How much immigrants contribute to society? Why significantly higher minimum wages will lead to fewer entry level jobs? Why the U.S. Rustbelt will never return to its days of union shop glory?

Need I go on?

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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by Sandy » 12 Jun 2017, 14:51

The answer to all those questions is, "No."
Hindu is the cricket of religions. You can observe it for years, you can have enthusiasts try to explain it to you, and it's still baffling. - Warren

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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by Jason » 12 Jun 2017, 16:30

D. A. Ridgely wrote:Why the U.S. Rustbelt will never return to its days of union shop glory?
Nah, we could recreated the conditions of the 1950s… if we recreate the events of the 1940s that lead to them.
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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by Aresen » 12 Jun 2017, 16:45

nicole wrote:The new wokeness: white people should not go see Black Panther on opening night

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DCIBrbLXYAA3qD7.jpg
Since I hate crowds, there is no chance I will see it on opening night. (I usually wait 2 - 3 weeks and go on cheap tuesday.)
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Re: It doesn't matter if you're black or white

Post by nicole » 02 Aug 2017, 09:18

I'm pretty sure this is just an argument against all annotation http://reallifemag.com/poetic-license/
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