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Racism/Sexism

governments_kill
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12/1/2010 9:36:42 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I put in a comment on a debate that a good definition of "racism" was the upholding of white supremacy, while a good definition of "sexism" was the upholding of male supremacy, as a way to overcome someone's definition that cast holding distinctions between sexes/races was racist/sexist. Someone then quoted my definition with the comment facepalm. I'm curious as to why this is an insufficient definition. Clearly support for such complicated ideologies/institutions as racism and white supremacy entails a great deal of variations and permutations, but it gives us probably the best jumping off point for an intelligent conversation about racism and sexism.
LaissezFaire
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12/1/2010 9:42:12 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Why do you think it's only possible to be racist against minorities and sexist against women? That's generally the way it works, but not always, and it's hardly the definition of those terms.
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governments_kill
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12/1/2010 9:57:33 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/1/2010 9:42:12 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
Why do you think it's only possible to be racist against minorities and sexist against women? That's generally the way it works, but not always, and it's hardly the definition of those terms.

Because racism and sexism are systems, not ideas. It's possible to be prejudiced against white folks or men, but prejudice isn't the end of the story. Isms are systems, and systems are about power. Racism is a system that puts one racial group above another racial group and Sexism is a system that puts one sexual group over another. While in a thought experiment we can envision a world different from the one that we live in where People of color could oppress white people we don't live in that system and white folks are clearly on top. Not only in this country, but globally. If you want to get really crazy and talk about Zimbabwe, you need to keep in mind that Zimbabwe operates within the planet that we call earth and there is global white supremacy as well. So that's why it's not possible to be "racist" against people of color, or "sexist" against men on this planet, but it is possible to be prejudiced. But prejudice is personal and doesn't automatically matter. It's the systems that matter.
Danielle
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12/1/2010 10:17:13 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/1/2010 9:42:12 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
Why do you think it's only possible to be racist against minorities and sexist against women? That's generally the way it works, but not always, and it's hardly the definition of those terms.

Haha - this is what my b!tch ex-roommate wrote on her Facebook today (she's white but obsessed with racism and black rights) ... "I in no way condemn anyone for disliking the Caucasian race. If I were a minority, chances are I would as well." Hmm pot, kettle... pot, kettle...
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Danielle
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12/1/2010 10:20:26 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/1/2010 9:57:33 PM, governments_kill wrote:
Isms are systems, and systems are about power. Racism is a system that puts one racial group above another racial group and Sexism is a system that puts one sexual group over another.

This is true, but the terms actually refer to the idea that particular races or sexes are inherently more valuable and thus deserving of a power distinction. Historically it's been in favor of white males, but somebody was probably pointing out that the ideologies aren't limited to those demographics.
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bluesteel
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12/1/2010 10:24:24 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/1/2010 9:57:33 PM, governments_kill wrote:
white folks are clearly on top. Not only in this country, but globally.

Wow, racist....
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bluesteel
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12/1/2010 10:26:36 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Derrida says the only way to break apart the dichotomy white/black is to reverse it and consider blacks superior to whites. Well not exactly. But he would say that you have to start writing the dichotomy as black/white.

Why is most homophobia directed at gay men? Society generally seems to be okay with (or even encouraging of) lesbian relationships.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
darkkermit
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12/1/2010 10:29:36 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/1/2010 9:57:33 PM, governments_kill wrote:
At 12/1/2010 9:42:12 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
Why do you think it's only possible to be racist against minorities and sexist against women? That's generally the way it works, but not always, and it's hardly the definition of those terms.

Because racism and sexism are systems, not ideas. It's possible to be prejudiced against white folks or men, but prejudice isn't the end of the story. Isms are systems, and systems are about power. Racism is a system that puts one racial group above another racial group and Sexism is a system that puts one sexual group over another. While in a thought experiment we can envision a world different from the one that we live in where People of color could oppress white people we don't live in that system and white folks are clearly on top. Not only in this country, but globally. If you want to get really crazy and talk about Zimbabwe, you need to keep in mind that Zimbabwe operates within the planet that we call earth and there is global white supremacy as well. So that's why it's not possible to be "racist" against people of color, or "sexist" against men on this planet, but it is possible to be prejudiced. But prejudice is personal and doesn't automatically matter. It's the systems that matter.

If you want to get real technical, one can argue that we live in a world where women and minorities rule, since affirmitve action tends to favor women and minorities. Sexual harrasment policies tend to favor women. Women have may de facto rights that men do not have (ex: men pay for dates, men can't wear low cut skirts and skin tight pants like girls without ridicule). Women ultimately have the final say for an abortion, and if the girl keeps it, the guy gets to pay child support.
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Danielle
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12/1/2010 10:45:43 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/1/2010 10:26:36 PM, bluesteel wrote:
Derrida says the only way to break apart the dichotomy white/black is to reverse it and consider blacks superior to whites. Well not exactly. But he would say that you have to start writing the dichotomy as black/white.

Racism is about class distinction, so I dunno if you're being serious or not but this is silly :p

Why is most homophobia directed at gay men? Society generally seems to be okay with (or even encouraging of) lesbian relationships.

I could actually write you an entire thesis in response to this lol but the short answer is that gay men are feminized, and in our society femininity is always lesser than masculinity in terms of respect. Believe me people are plenty homophobic about lesbians too -- it's just that lesbians are seen as desiring masculine qualities (toughness, aggression, strength, bravery, assertiveness, etc.) which is acceptable, whereas gay men are emasculated and generally associated only with frivolous 'girly' attributes.
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popculturepooka
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12/1/2010 10:50:35 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/1/2010 10:29:36 PM, darkkermit wrote:

If you want to get real technical, one can argue that we live in a world where women and minorities rule...

You can argue that but you'd be wrong.
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bluesteel
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12/1/2010 10:52:26 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/1/2010 10:45:43 PM, theLwerd wrote:
At 12/1/2010 10:26:36 PM, bluesteel wrote:
Derrida says the only way to break apart the dichotomy white/black is to reverse it and consider blacks superior to whites. Well not exactly. But he would say that you have to start writing the dichotomy as black/white.

Racism is about class distinction, so I dunno if you're being serious or not but this is silly :p

Haha, I'm usually not being serious on the forums. But I agree. I wouldn't cross the street if a big black guy in a suit were walking right behind me, only if a poor big black guy in a puffy jacket were walking too close to me.


Why is most homophobia directed at gay men? Society generally seems to be okay with (or even encouraging of) lesbian relationships.

I could actually write you an entire thesis in response to this lol but the short answer is that gay men are feminized, and in our society femininity is always lesser than masculinity in terms of respect. Believe me people are plenty homophobic about lesbians too -- it's just that lesbians are seen as desiring masculine qualities (toughness, aggression, strength, bravery, assertiveness, etc.) which is acceptable, whereas gay men are emasculated and generally associated only with frivolous 'girly' attributes.

That's interesting. I have my own theories. I think straight men, in particular, don't have a problem with lesbians because they're sexualized/fetishized, but gay men obviously aren't sexual symbols. I dunno, I 100% support gay rights, but I still find myself having a natural gut reaction/revulsion to seeing two men make out. But then again, same goes to watching two ugly fat straight people going at it.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
Danielle
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12/1/2010 10:53:18 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/1/2010 10:29:36 PM, darkkermit wrote:
If you want to get real technical, one can argue that we live in a world where women and minorities rule, since affirmitve action tends to favor women and minorities.

Affirmative Action only exists because clearly women and minorities are not "ruling" :P

Sexual harrasment policies tend to favor women.

Women are 20x more likely to be sexually assaulted, raped, etc.

Women have may de facto rights that men do not have (ex: men pay for dates,

Not a right...

men can't wear low cut skirts and skin tight pants like girls without ridicule).

Men don't have to wear shirts; a topless girl is fined.

Women ultimately have the final say for an abortion,

Women have to endure the parasitic pregnancy in all cases...

and if the girl keeps it, the guy gets to pay child support.

As does she.
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bluesteel
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12/1/2010 10:58:01 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/1/2010 10:53:18 PM, theLwerd wrote:
a topless girl is fined.

lol, not if she's hot and the cop is male. Actually, she doesn't even need to be hot. She's more likely to receive a royalty check from Girls Gone Wild: Mardi Gras than get fined.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
Danielle
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12/1/2010 11:08:34 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/1/2010 10:52:26 PM, bluesteel wrote:
I wouldn't cross the street if a big black guy in a suit were walking right behind me, only if a poor big black guy in a puffy jacket were walking too close to me.

Well, I could throw a whole lot of PC jargon at you but I appreciate your honesty too much to lecture. It's an unfortunate truth that I don't necessarily support but definitely understand.

That's interesting. I have my own theories. I think straight men, in particular, don't have a problem with lesbians because they're sexualized/fetishized, but gay men obviously aren't sexual symbols.

That's definitely part of it, but it's also the reason lesbians are NOT embraced by society or rather not taken seriously. Think about how lesbians are portrayed in the media. Consider movies like Kissing Jessica Stein, Gigli, Chasing Amy, etc. What do all these movies have in common? They star female "lesbian" characters who all wind up with men. It's pretty upsetting. Don't even get me started on TV. If a feminine woman says she's gay, nobody believes or takes her seriously - so there's definitely a price to pay for all of that sexualization. There's also knowing that to someone else you're just a fetish to be conquered (I've had this problem with many guy friends in the past). However if a guy tells you he's gay, it's never questioned. You never see the homosexual man in any movie suddenly realize he's straight, amirite?

Also notice that females tend to embrace gay males much more than males (this is where my femininity argument becomes more applicable). Another thing to keep in mind is the association of gay men with AIDS, which most people are still freaked about. Like I said I could write a thesis on this subject lol but yeah lesbians are sexy and gay men are gross. Unless of course one of the women is not pretty -- then of course their gay relationship becomes just as gross because it doesn't make men happy.

I dunno, I 100% support gay rights, but I still find myself having a natural gut reaction/revulsion to seeing two men make out.

Don't worry, I think it's pretty gross too :P
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popculturepooka
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12/1/2010 11:11:24 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/1/2010 9:36:42 PM, governments_kill wrote:
I put in a comment on a debate that a good definition of "racism" was the upholding of white supremacy...

So, how do you account for "prejudice" of, say, many Japanese against Zainichi Koreans and Chinese living in Japan. I would certainly call that racism but there doesn't seem to be much white supremacy involved there.
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Danielle
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12/1/2010 11:13:26 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/1/2010 11:11:24 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
So, how do you account for "prejudice" of, say, many Japanese against Zainichi Koreans and Chinese living in Japan. I would certainly call that racism

Not nationalism?
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bluesteel
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12/1/2010 11:37:28 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/1/2010 11:08:34 PM, theLwerd wrote:
At 12/1/2010 10:52:26 PM, bluesteel wrote:
I wouldn't cross the street if a big black guy in a suit were walking right behind me, only if a poor big black guy in a puffy jacket were walking too close to me.

Well, I could throw a whole lot of PC jargon at you but I appreciate your honesty too much to lecture. It's an unfortunate truth that I don't necessarily support but definitely understand.

Lol, thanks for the appreciation. I'm more afraid of the puffy jacket through, than the man under it (wouldn't matter if he was Vietnamese). It's the subculture that glorifies guns and gang activity that I'm more afraid of. I've lived far too close to Oakland for my comfort.

That's interesting. I have my own theories. I think straight men, in particular, don't have a problem with lesbians because they're sexualized/fetishized, but gay men obviously aren't sexual symbols.

That's definitely part of it, but it's also the reason lesbians are NOT embraced by society or rather not taken seriously. Think about how lesbians are portrayed in the media. Consider movies like Kissing Jessica Stein, Gigli, Chasing Amy, etc. What do all these movies have in common? They star female "lesbian" characters who all wind up with men. It's pretty upsetting. Don't even get me started on TV. If a feminine woman says she's gay, nobody believes or takes her seriously - so there's definitely a price to pay for all of that sexualization.

Yeah, that's true. I was going to say something about the belief men have that they can "turn" gay women back, but I never realized how pervasive it is in pop culture until you mentioned it.

There's also knowing that to someone else you're just a fetish to be conquered (I've had this problem with many guy friends in the past). However if a guy tells you he's gay, it's never questioned.

I can see how that would be lame :/ Although, you seem cute, I'd probably flirt with you if we were friends in RL. But I'm flirtatious with female friends who are in relationships with guys as well. I don't want to steal/turn them. It's just harmless fun.

You never see the homosexual man in any movie suddenly realize he's straight, amirite?

Can't name the specific movies off the top of my head, but there are definitely movies where a girl makes a pass at a gay male friend. But you're right, he always shoots her down, at least to my recollection. But proves that women can see gay men as conquests as well; the fairer gender isn't always more respectful.

Also notice that females tend to embrace gay males much more than males (this is where my femininity argument becomes more applicable).

Falls in line with sexuality theory as well. According to a study cited in the book Bonk, women are physically turned on by seeing men kiss men (based on measurements of blood flow "down there"), even though it may not always register mentally, whereas men are not. So women don't experience revulsion to the thought of man love.

And you don't count. Lesbians' brains tend to resemble those of straight men.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
bluesteel
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12/1/2010 11:39:45 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
lol, reminds me - new TV show "Girls who like boys who like boys"

hilarious name
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
Ragnar_Rahl
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12/1/2010 11:56:25 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Racism is not a system. Segregation is a system, as is genocide. The two are different systems, yet both are advocated by varying racists. Other racists might advocate different, conflicting systems. Racism is, indeed, an idea.
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Puck
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12/2/2010 12:20:05 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/1/2010 9:57:33 PM, governments_kill wrote:
At 12/1/2010 9:42:12 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
Why do you think it's only possible to be racist against minorities and sexist against women? That's generally the way it works, but not always, and it's hardly the definition of those terms.

Because racism and sexism are systems, not ideas.

An 'ism' can denote a system, but it need not. It can also denote a principle itself, of which racism/sexism additionally falls under.
Puck
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12/2/2010 12:23:09 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/1/2010 11:13:26 PM, theLwerd wrote:
At 12/1/2010 11:11:24 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
So, how do you account for "prejudice" of, say, many Japanese against Zainichi Koreans and Chinese living in Japan. I would certainly call that racism

Not nationalism?

Nationalism which is in part founded upon and leads of expressions to? It need not be a dichotomy.
Danielle
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12/2/2010 9:52:55 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/2/2010 12:23:09 AM, Puck wrote:
At 12/1/2010 11:13:26 PM, theLwerd wrote:
At 12/1/2010 11:11:24 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
So, how do you account for "prejudice" of, say, many Japanese against Zainichi Koreans and Chinese living in Japan. I would certainly call that racism

Not nationalism?

Nationalism which is in part founded upon and leads of expressions to? It need not be a dichotomy.

No it doesn't, but assuming Asian constitutes a race (as a biological term, race denotes genetically divergent human populations that can be marked by common phenotypic traits) then all of those groups he mentioned are of the Asian race - meaning they're probably referring more to their nationality than their race when putting another down. But yeah they're one in the same. I imagine the only time it becomes a distinction is if it gets political, like say the nationalism that served as a catalyst for WWI. "My country is better than yours!" It can become about hating someone based on where they're from regardless of whether or not you share the same race.
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Cerebral_Narcissist
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12/2/2010 10:18:00 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
To me a racist or sexist statement assigns someone value as a human being based on race or gender. Claims that different races/genders have differing qualities, are not in of themselves racist or sexist, to assume that everyone is the same or to extraopolate from that a degree of worth is.

For example.
1: Blacks on average have lower IQ's than whites. Is not in of itself a racist statement.
2: Blacks on average have lower IQ's than whites. So I don't want to see a black doctor. That is a racist statement.
3: Blacks on average have lower IQ's than whites. Therefore blacks should live seperately and basically be serfs for their white overlords. Also a racist statement.
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lovelife
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12/2/2010 10:59:06 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/2/2010 10:18:00 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
To me a racist or sexist statement assigns someone value as a human being based on race or gender. Claims that different races/genders have differing qualities, are not in of themselves racist or sexist, to assume that everyone is the same or to extraopolate from that a degree of worth is.

For example.
1: Blacks on average have lower IQ's than whites. Is not in of itself a racist statement.
2: Blacks on average have lower IQ's than whites. So I don't want to see a black doctor. That is a racist statement.
3: Blacks on average have lower IQ's than whites. Therefore blacks should live seperately and basically be serfs for their white overlords. Also a racist statement.

Agree 100%.

Sexist

1) Women on average tend to be more emotional and caring. -not sexist
2) Women on average tend to be more emotional and caring. So women need to be the ones who care for kids and clean house. -sexist
3) Women on average tend to be physically weaker and more emotional and caring. Therefore she needs to stay at home care for kids cook and clean. -sexist

(could have made it better I know, but that was my entire point pretty much)
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bluesteel
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12/2/2010 11:05:17 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/2/2010 10:18:00 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
To me a racist or sexist statement assigns someone value as a human being based on race or gender. Claims that different races/genders have differing qualities, are not in of themselves racist or sexist, to assume that everyone is the same or to extraopolate from that a degree of worth is.

For example.
1: Blacks on average have lower IQ's than whites. Is not in of itself a racist statement.
2: Blacks on average have lower IQ's than whites. So I don't want to see a black doctor. That is a racist statement.
3: Blacks on average have lower IQ's than whites. Therefore blacks should live seperately and basically be serfs for their white overlords. Also a racist statement.

Affirmative action doctors kill - see Patrick Chavis. It's not called racist to not want to see an older black doctor - it's called playing the odds. Do you want a doctor that normally wouldn't have qualified for med school? Most people show preferences for Asian or Jewish doctors (again, playing the odds).

The dilemma is: doing it isn't racist, saying it out loud is.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
lovelife
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12/2/2010 11:17:23 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/2/2010 11:05:17 AM, bluesteel wrote:
At 12/2/2010 10:18:00 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
To me a racist or sexist statement assigns someone value as a human being based on race or gender. Claims that different races/genders have differing qualities, are not in of themselves racist or sexist, to assume that everyone is the same or to extraopolate from that a degree of worth is.

For example.
1: Blacks on average have lower IQ's than whites. Is not in of itself a racist statement.
2: Blacks on average have lower IQ's than whites. So I don't want to see a black doctor. That is a racist statement.
3: Blacks on average have lower IQ's than whites. Therefore blacks should live seperately and basically be serfs for their white overlords. Also a racist statement.

Affirmative action doctors kill - see Patrick Chavis. It's not called racist to not want to see an older black doctor - it's called playing the odds. Do you want a doctor that normally wouldn't have qualified for med school? Most people show preferences for Asian or Jewish doctors (again, playing the odds).

The dilemma is: doing it isn't racist, saying it out loud is.

I don't give a sh!t if I have a black doctor so long as [s/]he is qualified. I hate AA, because it puts people that might not be as qualified as others higher up just because they are a minority. Its something I cannot stand.
It has been needed tho because people used to not care how qualified a black doctor was they just wouldn't be hired. I think our society is mostly past this an so long as equal pay for equal work still exists (and ACTUALLY exists) then there shouldn't be a need to have a certain amount of black people. AA is racist (and sexist) and I don't think anyone here argues against that.
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Danielle
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12/2/2010 11:33:44 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/2/2010 11:17:23 AM, lovelife wrote:
I don't give a sh!t if I have a black doctor so long as [s/]he is qualified.

Saying you don't care if you have a black doctor doesn't really address his point... He was saying if blacks are less qualified on a statistical basis, then it's not racist to make a decision based on the odds alone regardless of which race is being condemned.
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lovelife
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12/2/2010 11:49:42 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/2/2010 11:33:44 AM, theLwerd wrote:
At 12/2/2010 11:17:23 AM, lovelife wrote:
I don't give a sh!t if I have a black doctor so long as [s/]he is qualified.

Saying you don't care if you have a black doctor doesn't really address his point... He was saying if blacks are less qualified on a statistical basis, then it's not racist to make a decision based on the odds alone regardless of which race is being condemned.

I suppose. The odds of winning the lottery aren't great either but obviously people don't care about that ;) lol
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governments_kill
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12/2/2010 2:03:30 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/1/2010 10:26:36 PM, bluesteel wrote:
Derrida says the only way to break apart the dichotomy white/black is to reverse it and consider blacks superior to whites. Well not exactly. But he would say that you have to start writing the dichotomy as black/white.

Bluesteel that can only be a name drop since it's not even remotely contributing to a productive conversation. Congrats you've read Derrida. We're not talking about dichotemies, language or any other useless nonsense that post modernists intellectually masturbate to. We're talking about actually existing social inequalities. Just because I can make a movie that puts black people on top or in the roles of the police doesn't change the fact that black people are disproportionately among the ranks of the incarcerated or the fact that they're quantifiably more likely to get assaulted by a police officer than my punk white bottom.

At 12/1/2010 10:45:43 PM, theLwerd wrote:
Racism is about class distinction, so I dunno if you're being serious or not but this is silly :p
This is the comment that I'm primarily concerned with. No. Racism isn't about class distinction it's about racial distinctions. Classism is about class distinctions. Class doesn't explain why white people with a criminal record are more likely to be called back for a job interview than a black person with no record. Classism doesn't explain why it takes on average 4 years more work experience or education for a black person to get a call back than a white person. And it doesn't explain why in a study that was conducted with perfectly equal resumes fake candidates with "black sounding names" were substantially less likely to get interview callbacks than whites. So no racism is racism and classism is classism. There's overlap, but don't conflate the two.

Why is most homophobia directed at gay men? Society generally seems to be okay with (or even encouraging of) lesbian relationships.

I could actually write you an entire thesis in response to this lol but the short answer is that gay men are feminized, and in our society femininity is always lesser than masculinity in terms of respect. Believe me people are plenty homophobic about lesbians too -- it's just that lesbians are seen as desiring masculine qualities (toughness, aggression, strength, bravery, assertiveness, etc.) which is acceptable, whereas gay men are emasculated and generally associated only with frivolous 'girly' attributes.

Nice reply. I'd only add that a substantial concern and a primary cause of specifically homophobic behavior as opposed to heteronormative behavior is the inversion of the male dominant role. Most straight men are used to being in the dominant position in relationships so it freaks them out when they think that they could become the object of lust. Women are supposed to be the lifeless objects of lust that fulfill our fantasy and desires. If men suddenly become lusted after objects it freaks us out.