Friday, February 29, 2008

I must be bad or privileged or something

First, apologies for any typos or other incoherence - sleep is still a dim memory with a one-week old and a two-year old. Maybe that's why I'm also being the way I'm being in this thread.

I want to be clear that I don't particularly care who anyone else votes for who is reading this or that other thread. I don't think the numbers would make any difference. And everyone should vote their conscience. That doesn't mean I won't discuss the relative merits of voting each way, or the consequences of doing so either way. If you can't discuss that, you might as well never talk about politics.

As I've said here many times, I myself have often been disgusted with what the Democrats do (or refuse to do) and would threaten to vote GOP just to spite them and to get them to pay attention (not that it would work). So I can certainly understand not wanting to vote for a candidate you don't think will do you any good, regardless of how bad the other candidate is.

That said, those who seem to think you'll get about equivalent sexism from Obama or McCain I think are smoking something pretty strong (and probably illegal, not that it should be). You have people openly saying that a woman is not qualified to be president as McCain's supporters and then you have Obama, a liberal, who might have said some sexist things (if you get out the decoder ring) on the campaign trail. But I never see anything about actual POLICY. I somehow doubt Obama is going to be creating anti-woman policies. If he has said he will, I wish someone would point them out to me. Thus far, nada, but a few vague statements about tea parties, which to me mean nothing because it is just the campaign noise that I generally ignore as meaningless.

Now, I admit being somewhat obnoxious in the thread at Shakers, probably because I'm so punchy from lack of sleep, but I was thinking about doing a post about some of this before anyway. As I'm sure anyone who has read me a while knows, I think the concept of "privilege" is overblown and used more as a bludgeon to shut people up than it is a useful concept. Not that people can have advantages and disadvantages for various reasons - of course they can. But when someone sees a person post in a thread, for instance, and immediately the response is something about "privilege" rather than addressing the issue at hand, then it is clear that the "privilege" concept in that context is bullshit. If you can address the point at hand, then address it. If all you can do is throw "you're privileged" out, then it just tells me (1) you have nothing substantive to say and (2) you're a world-class asshat. I can be the most "privileged" person in the world and you can be the must underprivileged, pathetic person to walk the planet, and yet still I can be right about a particular point and you can be wrong. "Privilege" means diddly and should not be part of the conversation. And yet on so many "progressive" blogs it is brought up as if it is some sort of "trump" card - when really, it just is an indicator of someone who ought to be kill-filed. Sure, if the discussion is ABOUT privilege, then talk about it, but if it is about something else, yelling "you're privileged" and pointing at one of the participants in the conversation like a little schoolchild tattling doesn't add anything to the conversation and just shows (1) and (2) above. I'm almost to the point now where I want to just ignore everything a person dumb enough to do that says because they've already demonstrated it'd be a waste of my time to read it. Get a clue, people.

And so obviously some of my comments are mocking those who have done exactly that in aforementioned thread - I had to stop myself from laughing out loud when one of the participants said that I deserved to be mocked for what I was saying in the thread - apparently she was too clueless to realize who it was who was being mocked. But then she often seems to think foul language and insults is evidence of wit, and she's not the only one there who thinks that (though most people there are generally pretty reasonable and thoughtful).

Maybe I just have no more patience because of fatigue. That probably is the case. I said in the thread and I repeat it now that I really just want the stupid election to be over so I can see who won.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll feel all apologetic about this once I've gotten some sleep, but right now, I have no patience, I'm very irritable, and so I have a low threshhold for bullshit. That said, I'm still very happy to be a daddy for the second time. I'll happily cop to being "privileged" on that point.


konagod said...

Maybe I just have no more patience because of fatigue.

I doubt it because that doesn't explain my lack of it.

With all due respect to the egos at work here (and that includes all of us), this discussion--which has now gone on for a week or two across multiple threads -- is splitting hairs in the grand scheme of things.

Take for example the dog-whistle slur against women vs. the foghorn (my new term) of the open letter to the LGBTQs.

In one instance we have a dig at a women candidate in a heated debate which many women in general take as a sign of disrepect against all women. I can understand that. But in my opinion it is a leap to a conclusion. Do I really think the man believes women should be treated like 2nd class citizens or did he just fuck up in the heat of debate?

Now, were he to issue an open letter to women and feminists in particular to address their concerns and forthrightly say that he personally believes something along the lines of "wait your turn" or "back of the bus bitchez" then yeah, we have a problem.

But that's exactly what he said to the LGBTQ community -- I "personally" believe in separate but equal (even if it isn't) and states can deal with this.

But of course, I'm filtering all this through my white male of privilege -- a guy who technically was afoul of Texas law until earlier this decade because of my sexual relationship with my partner of 17 going on 18 years.

So pardon me if I get a little hot under my white collar when I'm just another male prick with a desire to control women. It's kind of hard to throw someone under the bus when you're ON the bus, and quite frankly have one less fundamental right than a heterosexual woman.

If I bring up Roe v Wade, and I have, it's not to dangle that over anyone's heads as the ultimate price to pay for refusing to play this game the way I plan to; it's because *I* happen to care about it, and a whole host of other issues too numerous to mention.

And sometimes I wonder why I bother. I just know I have made the decision to move beyond the "Don't Blame Me, I Voted for [blank] -- or worse, Didn't Vote At All.

Because I am concerned about the country at large right now, even moreso than I am about my own equality. And that is saying quite a lot. It has basically taken me 25 years politically to get to this point, only to have it dismissed in any number of condescending ways by someone who was what, 4 years old at the time, and still behaves as such, and then proudly does a high-five in a thread with her cohorts to celebrate the triumph.

konagod said...

a guy who technically was afoul of Texas law until earlier this decade because of my sexual relationship with my partner of 17 going on 18 years.

I just want to clarify this -- it could be confusing. I have been in a same-sex relationship for 17+ years, not that my partner was 17 years old waiting to turn 18. That's a different law! :lol:

E said...

I don't know how you even have the patience to sit though all that crap, DBB. I don't think you're really, truly going to change anyone's mind over there, and they always resort to the less-than-rock-solid rhetorical strategies of name-calling and taking things out of context, in other words, the same things they accuse people of using who do not agree with them. But I guess it must be nice to always be right. Maybe if you brought up the EXACT same arguments with a handle like "Jane," your point might well hit home, but since you're a man, I guess you're automatically wrong. (We get to do that to pay you back for centuries of patriarchal oppression, you know.)
Anyway, I'm just not brave enough to post this over there, in case I get accused of being a bad feminist, too.

DBB said...

E - I think I might have an addiction to reading blogs like that or something.

You hit the nail on the head - name calling and taking things out of context - that is a very succinct way to describe the way some people there and elsewhere respond to someone who doesn't agree 100.00% to everything they say.

I have a post on that which I'll do once I'm awake...

I do still always hold out hope that at least someone's mind is open enough to change a little bit - I try to keep mine open, even as I argue like a lawyer...

Sweating Through fog said...


I see you are on to their "privilege" game. As I wrote about here and here, to leftists in general and feminists in particular, assertions of privilege are a rhetorical technique used to marginalize differing views. To leftists, privilege means you are blind to the world and unable to understand suffering - hence anything you say lacks credibility. Lack of privilege is the mark of nobility and insight, and a more realistic perception of the injustices in the world.