Since I’m in college now, I’ve had the “opportunity” to learn about a whole bunch of issues I never really worried much about before. These include “safe spaces” (apparently the library or your house is insufficient) and “gender pronouns.”
What’s interesting about them to me is not the concepts themselves but more the controversy surrounding them. I have friends and family on all sides of the political spectrum (can I call it that? Perhaps it would prefer to be called a “non-conforming linear structure” or perhaps “a circle” because they want in on circle privilege…). Because of this, I get all sorts of different takes.
I’ll get my opinion on gender identity out of the way…I don’t care. It’s pretty much the same attitude I have towards homosexuality, vegetarianism, foot fetishes, Star Trek fandom, and what sports team you’re willing to kill for. If you identify as a different gender from your biological sex, or you’re “agender”, or intersex, or whatever, it’s not really any of my concern nor my business.
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So one of my good friends recently inspired me to write a post on feminism because he was drunk and Joss Whedon is awesome. It makes sense, I promise. Ok, maybe not that much. He gets it.
So, what about feminism? First of all, let’s define feminism, because it’s one of those special words that have multiple meanings and connotations depending on who you are and what you believe, like “gay,” “black,” “retarded,” or “communism” (don’t read too much into that grouping of words, although it’s a great example of combined connotations).
As an aside, I have a habit of defining terms before I discuss them, and it’s a habit I will probably do a lot. There’s a reason for this, and it has to do partly with my personality and partly due to the medium in which I am discussing topics. For the psychology fans out there (in case you didn’t already figure it out) my personality type strongly tests towards INTP. One of the key elements of that personality type is a tendency to be drawn towards complex systems and an obsession with being completely correct in thought and word. Granted, I’m not always successful, but it means I tend to try and establish a baseline of understanding before continuing towards any sort of analysis.
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I recently read an interesting article by John Metta over at Those People. I highly recommend reading it before reading my post as this is designed as a response and discussion and will not make as much sense unless you have read it first.
Overall, I liked the article. It was thought-provoking, well-written, and discusses a worldwide issue that absolutely needs to be addressed. That being said, most of what follows is going to be criticism of what I felt are weaknesses in the author’s approach. Also, keep in mind that I am a white male, so ensure your biases are in the correct place before continuing (rim shot).
We’ll start with some of the good. The author boldly addresses a specific facet of racism that many people don’t like to discuss, specifically people who believe racism doesn’t exist or is an issue that was “fixed” years ago. I’ll be even more direct…if you believe that racism does not exist in every area of society at this very moment you are willfully ignorant. Likewise, if you believe that it isn’t your problem, because you aren’t the one being discriminated against, you are provably wrong.
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So far I’ve talked about a couple of hot topics, but they can really be boiled down to a simple source…bigotry. The dictionary definition
assuming dictionaries exist anymore of bigotry is “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.” Of course, the way it’s more commonly used is in the sense of a strong negative bias towards something, not necessarily everyone who holds a different opinion, and that is more of the sense when I’m using it.
I’m not a big fan of bigotry. I hold strong opinions, but one of those opinions is that I am always potentially wrong, and many things do not have one right answer. I’ve heard people argue this position with math, saying 2+2 always equals 4, but then I would respond that 2+2 actually equals 8/2, and I would be making a true statement.
That being said, no one is immune to bias, least of all myself. I find it is much more useful to recognize your biases rather than deny them. The former gives you a much greater chance of seeing past them, sort of like admitting to alcoholism is better than pretending that drinking three beers during breakfast is just to help take the edge of your hangover.Read More »
So, since the WordPress editor has a giant rainbow staring me in the face, let’s talk about rainbows! Of course, we need to address the elephant in the room, which is the fact that our government is adding chemicals to our water to create impossible rainbows. That is what all the controversy is about, right?
No? It’s the Supreme Court of the United States decision (SCOTUS, an unfortunate acronym which always makes me add an ‘R’ and think of the Latin first conjugation rather than the third)? Oh, well, that’s a whole different issue.Read More »