The best example of “Privilege” I have seen in between 8:30 am and 11:40 am this morning

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Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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73 Responses

  1. Avatar j r
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    says:

    Is that privilege?

    Or is that just people being entitled d*cks?Report

  2. Avatar KatherineMW
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    says:

    Agree with j r – I think the word you’re searching for is “entitlement”, not “privilege”. Sounds like some people need to get over themselves.Report

    • Avatar veronica dire in reply to KatherineMW
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      says:

      @j-r @katherinemw — I agree. This definitely reeks of entitlement.

      Now, entitlement is usually an aspect of privilege. And I guess one could point out these people were middle-class (and up) and the movers are working-class.

      And example of privilege is when an middle-class (and up) person just assumes once can afford a posh moving company, or otherwise fails to understand the difficulty a poor person faces when moving.

      Here is an example of recognizing the function of privilege: I was once talking with another trans woman, who is a poor woman of color. She suggested I watch a particular movie. But first she asked, “Do you have access to a DVD player?”

      ’Cause you know, I might not.

      As a middle-class person, this is not something I would ever ask. Of course I do. I also have a big-giant TV to play it on.

      In my world, that is not a question I would ask. Because I have privilege.

      To my view, ranting about a moving van is just douchy.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        But my asking a poor (displaced) black woman if she has a cell phone, is an example of privilege. [assumption: poor older woman might not have new shiny device.]Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        There is also the stretching of a useful word/concept like privilege to include every sort of irritating/jerky/dim/offensive/poorly thought out thing a person can do to the point where the word doesn’t mean much. If privilege ends up meaning anything someone with some sort of societal advantage does that can be criticized then it is nothing but vague mush. Sort of like political correctness had a meaning in the 90’s and is now mostly a way of phrasing a complaint in a way to frame yourself as victimized and oppressed.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        If privilege ends up meaning anything someone with some sort of societal advantage does that can be criticized then it is nothing but vague mush.

        Huh.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        Its to early to write more clearly. Privilege is, i think, a useful concept. But if is becomes a generic complaint regarding anything a person with some sort of societal advantage does( there are many sorts of societal advantages) then it will be to vague to mean much. Sort of like “racism”. Racism is real and a problem. But every thing done be a white person that can be criticized isn’t racism.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        Poor people are the real privileged.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        Correct Mike. Staring with the formula More Money=More Problems, so Less Money= Less Problems. What greater privilege could there be then having No Money and therefor No Problems.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        Privilege is, i think, a useful concept. But …

        Yes to the first part. And given that, the second part (everything after the “but”) is important to to get clear on. Lots of folks seem to discount the concept of cultural privilege because they don’t understand it; or they think it’s invoked as a catch-all (and is therefore meaningless); or is used to unjustifiably attack perceived enemies, or … Everything after the “but” might be true for certain speakers in a context, but none of that means the concept itself isn’t useful, coherent, correctly applied in certain contexts, explanatory, descriptively accurate, etc, etc.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        It seems to me that that point has long been passed (and, indeed, passed more quickly than “PC” passed… though that might be age talking).

        At one point, “privilege” was used as an effective tool to end a conversation. First person to invoke it? Wham. The other person had an obligation to be quiet for the next duration. As folks saw the power of this tool in any given argument, it got used more and more and more until, indeed, it’s used in service of instantly “winning” the argument as often as it is to make an important point about the assumptions being made on the part of privileged folks.

        Which is too bad because it is an interesting concept that explains a great deal and allows a lot of interesting concepts to be explored.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        *yawn* PC was dead on arrival, as far as I remember.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        @kim — It’s complicated, right?

        Privileged (white, cis, male, etc.) people often want simple rules they can follow so they never get called-out. It ain’t like that.

        That said, I’ll give you a hint: being “colorblind” (or “genderblind” or any variation of this) is not addressing privilege. In fact, it is the opposite, and an important part of social justice work is to recognize how social structures create real inequity and how ignoring that reality is problematic also.

        So I won’t give you advise on how to treat a black woman regarding cell phones. In fact, I very much shouldn’t give you advise on that, since I am a privileged white woman and this is precisely an area where I know nothing.

        I can tell you that, as a trans woman, it is a difficult balance. Good communication skills are a huge plus. The ability to say, “I’m sorry if this question is problematic, but I don’t want to make assumptions…”

        Then ask your thing.

        This won’t always work, but at least you are acknowledging your privilege and giving a person a chance to speak for themselves.

        Of course, on other days I just wish folks would treat me exactly as any other woman.

        And that’s fucked up and deeply painful and welcome to my life. I wish social injustice didn’t exist.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        My recollection of PC was that it lasted a good long while because, yes, it contained an important insight. From what I recall, the term originated on the left as a way to tease itself when it phrased something poorly about a tough topic. Something was true but there were better and worse ways to frame it and jokes were made about certain phrasings not being “politically correct”.

        Rush, of course, jumped on that like a right-wing radio host on painkillers. So every single truth that required any spin at all became one that we weren’t allowed to talk about because it wasn’t “politically correct”.

        Dude, this lasted *YEARS*.

        RTod: Sorry. I was on a plane that day.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        I honestly don’t know the history, but in my experience anyone these days who uses the term “PC” is about to say something completely shitty.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        It seems likely to me that, in 20 years, someone will say similar about “privilege”.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        I repeat a challenge I often make: has the term “privilege” ever actually worked in silencing someone? ’Cause in my experience when I use it the other person keeps jabbering away.

        I know that folks have used it on me, from time to time — I’m a middle-class white woman who operates in queer, social justice circles, so yeah it comes up — and when they have I’ve stopped, thought, and listened, which seems a positive good.

        Stopping, thinking, and listening are amazing things. Really.

        Sometimes I came to agree with them. Other times I didn’t. But in no case did I feel my voice wasn’t being heard.

        So where exactly does this happen, where the bold social-justice-warrior utters the magic phrase “privilege,” and then the hapless white cishet dude is rendered speechless?

        ’Cause I totally want that power. And while were at it can I have invisibility and laser vision also?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        It seems likely to me that, in 20 years, someone will say similar about “privilege”.

        Dude, you’re a someone, and you said pretty much the same thing about 20 minutes ago. 🙂

        And lots of other someones are already saying it regularly. Do you recall Vikram’s post about the concept of privilege? Heck, some of those “someones” your talking about said it 6 months ago. (And I think you were one of them.)Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        v,
        it’s always complicated. in this case, my question was based on stupid assumptions. (and, yeah, maybe this is me trying to beat myself up about not
        knowing everything in the world — but when you know someone who nearly does, yeah, pretty much)Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        “Privilege” works to derail a conversation more than it works to silence it, I guess.

        “I think that poor people should do more to emulate middle class values.”
        “Check your privilege, you cis-het white male!”
        “What in the flying fuck does my cisness or my hetness have the do with what we’re talking about???”

        And the conversation goes off thataway rather than thisaway.

        So, as Stillwater pointed out, I need to rephrase what I said “I imagine that folks on the left will say something like I honestly don’t know the history, but in my experience anyone these days who uses the term “privilege” is about to say something completely shitty. in 20 years.”Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        has the term “privilege” ever actually worked in silencing someone?

        Inferring from times I’ve had students tell me they were afraid to speak up in some professors’ classes, I’d make a big wager that it has in the classroom.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        But again, if someone tells you to check your privilege, perhaps you should. Saying, “Well that makes a lot of people angry” is perhaps about them. The fact that the phrase derails the conversation is perhaps not a problem with the concept of privilege, nor insisting that we foreground it in conversation, but simply that privileged people don’t actually want to stop doing what they are doing, which is the big issue.

        Yes, this is circular. So what.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        @jm3z-aitch — That makes sense. My experience of the term is always conversational, and mostly online discussions. (Mostly. I have used it face to face.)

        I didn’t attend university, and for me high school is a haze of drugs and gender confusion, so this is an area where I am ignorant.

        That said, when a person in power (the professor) uses “privilege” to silence a person with less power (the student), I think they might be missing something important in the concept.

        But more said, I would hope a good professor would try to get students to examine their own privilege, how they are situated and how their knowledge, insight, and judgement come from their social status, and how others know things they do not.

        Seems a good lesson. Teaching it can be difficult. (Or at least I suppose it could be difficult. I’ve never taught a class.)Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        has the term “privilege” ever actually worked in silencing someone?

        Inferring from times I’ve had students tell me they were afraid to speak up in some professors’ classes, I’d make a big wager that it has in the classroom.

        Meaning that the professors were using the term a lot, which made students afraid? Or that privilege itself in the classroom made some afraid to speak up?Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        @stillwater No, I don’t think invoking the word privilege silences anyone, any more than invoking “statist” does. Rather, I do see a growing trend that it is invoked as a way to avoid addressing an argument — even (and maybe especially) in one’s own head.

        Part of the issue, I think, is that like statist (or PC, or coercion, or socialist), privilege can be an observation that is both accurate and mostly or completely irrelevant. For example, Burt can give his professional opinion about a particular law in a post and someone can point out that since Burt is white, male, educated and successful his view of how that law works is privileged. That observation would be correct; it would also not be a particularly relevant argument for why his option was wrong. It might therefore be an interesting side topic to explore (is a society whose laws must be reviewed by a select few somehow less democratic?) but it doesn’t actually have anything to do with a disagreement you might have about how to interpret that law.

        I think PC is the best counter-example for a liberal. An admonishment of Rush Limbaugh for calling Sandra Fluke a slut who should do free porn was indeed PC; it was very well deserved. Calling those who criticized him “PC” police didn’t silence Rush’s critics; it mere gave his supporters an excuse not to address the issue at hand.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        Anybody pick up a Politically Incorrect and Proud of It bumper sticker at CPAC this weekend.
        @stillwater Well the part after the “but” is usually either bs or the important part. Part of the problem when people use terms like privilege is they don’t explain what the privilege they are point to is. There is a big difference between “that was privileged dude” and “That shows your privilege because you have never been persecuted for your sexuality and you assume the way you are is the Normal way. Since you assume everybody is like you , you don’t understand how others feel and the harm they are suffering.” The second version might be the start of a conversation.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        From what I recall, the term [PC] originated on the left.

        Many times, I’ve heard various pundits say that “geye-go” is a common expression in computer science that’s short for Garbage In, Garbage Out. I’m been working with computers longer than some of you have been alive. I’ve never heard anyone say that. Not even once.Report

      • Avatar Mo in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        Actually, 83% of people below the poverty line own a DVD and 81% own a cell phone. Assuming that someone owns a DVD player is no more about privilege than assuming a dentist that you just met recommends sugar-free gum.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        @veronica-dire well, I have to confess I don’t even know what that means. In fact, I have always heard it as a dismissal and an insult,not a request.

        Otherwise, what exactly does checking my privilege at the door even mean, other than “it’s time for you to shut up and agree with me?”Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        @tod-kelly — I agree with that. Burt is clearly privileged. He is also actually a lawyer, so this is an area where he speaks with expertise.

        One of my personal themes regarding privilege — you might call it my personal bugbear — is smart, privileged, geeky guys: the Y Combinator set. These guys, as a class, annoy the crap out of me. I mean, they are often quite smart. They are often very knowledgeable of many topics.

        But thing is, they think they are the smarted dudes in the room, all the time, and it’s infuriating because they ain’t. Not even close.

        For example, on gender stuff they think they just know it all, ’cause they read a wiki page and thought about it for ten seconds. Then they pontificate and argue and dig deep and become the “Someone is wrong on the Internet” guy from XKCD. But they don’t know shit and they won’t listen ’cause they already know and heck have you seen the dictionary definition of whatever.

        Barf!

        It drives me batty, so much I can’t really hang out on sites like Reddit and Y Combinator. But neither can I avoid it entirely ’cause I work in tech. These dudes are in my world. (Full disclosure: in some sense I used to be one of them, before gender kicked my ass.)

        So, yeah, dudely nerdbro privilege — it’s a thing.

        (This article seems on point: http://the-toast.net/2013/11/04/gal-science-mansplaining-physics/)Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        Privileged (white, cis, male, etc.) people often want simple rules they can follow so they never get called-out. It ain’t like that.

        Or they want some simple rules so they can avoid inadvertently offending someone, and simple rules are one hell of a lot easier to follow than complex rules.

        The ability to say, “I’m sorry if this question is problematic, but I don’t want to make assumptions…” Of course, on other days I just wish folks would treat me exactly as any other woman.

        Call my position privileged if you want, but as a guy whose particular interest is how rules shape behavior I’ll tell you flat out, you either have to give people workable, non-contradictory, rules or you have to give them a lot of leeway.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        @veronica-dire – I didn’t attend university, and for me high school is a haze of drugs

        So, you just went the Advanced Placement route then…;-)Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        @tod-kelly — An answer to this:

        ‘Otherwise, what exactly does checking my privilege at the door even mean, other than “it’s time for you to shut up and agree with me?” ’

        Well, I think that is a very unfair way of putting it. I would rather say, “This is an area that, due to my lived experience, I have much knowledge and you have little, and this is also an area where privileged people often speak over people like me, and where our voices are seldom heard, and where the dominant social narrative is both wrong and hurtful, and where you are reinforcing that dominant social narrative, talking over me, and I’m so tired of this and maybe you should shut up and listen to how we experience the world and them maybe you can shift from the ‘part of the problem’ column to the other side. Maybe. This is old. Stop saying what every other ignorant-ass (choose among) white/cis/straight/male/whatever says about this topic and I heard this shit yesterday, today, and I’ll hear it tomorrow and it was wrong then and still wrong now and nothing I say seems to matter.”

        It’s more like that. For realz.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        The second version might be the start of a conversation.

        This is really it, isn’t it? The relevant question is whether someone is using the term privilege to start a conversation or to end a conversation. Also, trying to start a conversation in which the outcome is rigged by the definition of the terms is pretty much the same as ending a conversation. As I’ve said before, my problem with the term is that is has a bit of the taint of original sin. And original sin is a somewhat interesting and meaningful concept even to those who don’t buy into the theology, but it has a completely different level of impact in the hands of a devout Catholic.

        PS – Political correctness was a real thing; although these days its mostly reactionary status signaling. However, there was a point when saying the wrong thing, even a harmless thing, might cost you your job. For instance, there were several instances in the 90s of teachers and professors facing disciplinary action for using the word niggardly.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        @veronica-dire I agree, and I see a lot of this especially on the internet.

        I’ll say upfront and unironically that this opinion comes from a place of privilege, but I think the biggest problem we have with all this stuff isn’t privilege, or statism, or whatever, but simply a lack of empathy. I really do believe greater empathy all around would help us solve problems more quickly, and get to better places overall.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        @veronica-dire I also agree with your second point. That thought that I might come of sounding like I’m telling you what being trans is REALLY like makes me cringe.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        @jm3z-aitch — You’re totally right about the leeway thing. I mean, yes!

        It’s hard though, ’cause those on my side are often dealing with much emotional pain, and sometimes we can’t deal. So there is that.

        Which is why safe spaces matter.

        Yesterday a bellhop called me “sir,” and usually I just ignore that and go on. But yesterday I wasn’t in the mood for “sir,” so I corrected him. I said, “Actually I’m a ma’am.”

        He said, “Okay, whatever.”

        I said, “No, not whatever. It’s really important to me.” ’Cause, you know, it is.

        Then he got really apologetic and kept apologizing and wouldn’t let it go. Which was annoying and unnecessary.

        (In case you’re wondering, I had already tipped him. And this would not have affected his tip because I don’t punish working-class people.)

        But see, this is a thing I have to deal with. And I have learned a strategy, a go-to joke for the occasion. I said, “Don’t worry about getting it wrong. I got it wrong for {mumble-mumble} years.”

        He laughed. We got on with our lives.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to veronica dire
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        I really do believe greater empathy all around would help us solve problems more quickly, and get to better places overall.

        I cannot imagine feeling that way.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        @veronica-dire

        when a person in power (the professor) uses “privilege” to silence a person with less power (the student), I think they might be missing something important in the concept.

        Yes. It can also be used by students who are a majority in the classroom to silence someone who is in the minority. The big error, from my perspective, is that if the discussion (in the classroom) starts and stops with “that’s just your privilege,” nothing is learned by anyone. The (allegedly) privileged student doesn’t really learn in what way s/he was speaking from privilege, and the other students don’t really have to address whether was was said came from a perspective of privilege or a perspective that has some legitimate basis that ought to be considered.

        That is, the phrase too quickly becomes mere symbolic trope, not a precursor to thoughtful engagement. For a non-privilege example, I just graded a midterm where a student writing about globalization used phrases such as “masked oppression” and “the concept of the Nuclear Family–one whose sexist roots are fundamentally oppressive. Now a good analytical argument can be written based on those ideas, but they’re just tossed into the middle of the argument without any development. They’re treated as standing alone, as self-sufficient terminology; they’re not actually applied in the analysis. What the “masked oppression” is, that’s not made clear.

        She’s my student, and my job is to get her beyond using those phrases just as tropes, and to use them as analytical starting points. But what frustrates me is that I know damn well that in other classes she gets rewarded for just using them as tropes, and that actually works to limit, rather than expand, her understanding and her analytical abilities.

        But more said, I would hope a good professor would try to get students to examine their own privilege, how they are situated and how their knowledge, insight, and judgement come from their social status, and how others know things they do not.

        Yes. My experience is that it’s best done by coming at them indirectly. If you charge straight in with “privilege!” you’re attacking their identity and the whole structure of their world view, and they’ll just get defensive and won’t actually hear. That may be true outside the classroom, too, but I’m only speaking to the classroom.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        @veronica-dire
        It’s hard though, ’cause those on my side are often dealing with much emotional pain, and sometimes we can’t deal. So there is that.

        I hear that. I’d just say that whenever the pain’s not too overwhelming–which I’m sure sometimes it is–try to keep in mind that it’s a learning curve for us cis folks. Some are assholes, of course, but others are well-intended, but just a bit slow.

        And I think that joke is awesome. It both gives the other party a bit of breathing space to feel like you’re not just attacking them, but also–it seems to me–lets them in just enough that they could find the question “huh, so what would it be like to ‘get it wrong’ for years before figuring it out” niggling at the back of their mind and making them a little more aware. I hope it’s not one that makes you grit your teeth to say (I can see how it would), because I think it’s a–as Todd put it–really empathetic approach.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        trying to start a conversation in which the outcome is rigged by the definition of the terms is pretty much the same as ending a conversation

        I once had a conversation with a feminist* about “feminist” and “masculinist” where we were going ’round and ’round, until I figured out that for her, any thing, person, concept, action that was labeled “feminist” was necessarily good, and anything, etc. labeled “masculinist” was automatically bad. So anything and everything that was traditionally associated with men/masculinity was delegitimated from the start, incapable of having any positive attributes, and anything and everything that was traditionally associated with women/femininity was incapable of having any negative attributes.

        It’s hard to have a conversation that way, and the fact that she was very masculinist in her treatment of others just made the whole thing extra bizarro world.
        ______________________________________
        *I’m a feminist, mind, but a second-wave feminist. Which means in the eyes of many contemporary feminists I’m totally retrograde and anti-feminist.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        @jm3z-aitch — I’m always interested in strategy and how to reach people.

        That said, I don’t have infinite patience and sometimes these things are hurting me. When this happens, I really kinda do want that other person to shut up.

        And sure, I can close my browser window and go do something else. But then, that means I get the privilege of leaving the forum while the ignorant-ass joker keep blathering. Thus I am the one silenced. And now whose voice gets heard?

        And this happens a lot. In fact, it’s systemic and self-reinforcing. It happens a lot.

        Believe me, I wish the term “privilege” actually worked the way people think it works. I wish, I wish, I wish.

        I also wish I was a beautiful cis woman with a slender body and deep blue eyes. I wish for all sorts of things.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        That said, I don’t have infinite patience and sometimes these things are hurting me.

        First and foremost, you’re human like the rest of us. That, at least, I can understand. There are things I don’t like to talk about because they hurt, but I’m fortunate that nobody can pick up on them visually.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        To me the definition of privilege is that guy who wrote an editorial entitled “If I Were a Poor Black Kid”. Because, being a rich white adult, he knew precisely nothing about being a poor black kid, yet assumed he had something insightful to say on the subject without even attempting to learn about the lives and experiences of people who were, or had been, poor black kids.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        veronica –

        The “physics mansplaining” article doesn’t sound like privilege or mansplaining to me at all. It sound like people talking about an area of science that they find interesting and only have a moderate knowledge of, and overestimating how well they understand it. People of every class, race, and gender enjoy talking about things where they’re not experts (and overestimating their knowledge and understanding) all the time.

        Complaining about that is kind of like a nerd guy complaining that people who haven’t read every comic book ever published have the temerity to watch, enjoy, and discuss The Avengers.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to veronica dire
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        says:

        Because, being a rich white adult, he knew precisely nothing about being a poor black kid

        What a Jerk.

        In fact, he sounds like a typical bastard.Report

  3. Avatar Stillwater
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    says:

    Moving is something “other people” do.Report

  4. Avatar James Hanley
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    says:

    Wait, isn’t that the script you’re submitting for an episode of Portlandia?

    You need to make it more tongue-in-cheek if you want them to buy it.Report

  5. Avatar Michael Drew
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    says:

    Seriously, though, what’s their problem? It can’t really be the looking-out the-window thing. Can it?Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Michael Drew
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      says:

      Yes, it can. People act really strangely with regard to moving trucks, even when they are not actually causing a problem.

      We self-load and have had the moving truck in our driveway and have gotten complaints. We’re actually pretty sure there is actually a place with a “No self-moving allowed” ordinance in place somewhere on account of us.

      It’s actually a really odd threat to make, when you think about it. “How dare you do this? We’re going to pass an ordinance to put an end to this!”… well, okay, but in case you haven’t noticed, we’re movingReport

  6. Avatar NewDealer
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    says:

    I am guessing she is at OHSU, right?

    I often hear more stories about this happening than I have ever seen as an eye-witness and I am not sure what to make of this. This goes for all variety of privilege/entitlement stories including but not limited to: your example, people complaining about other people’s children acting like hellions in public places (to be sure I’ve heard plenty of small children crying in public places but that is what small children do), people complaining about the parenting techniques of other people, etc.

    So I am either oblivious or have a rather higher bar for what is privilege/entitlement or people just like to complain a lot and we are a nation of Andy Rooney’s especially on the Internet.

    I sometimes space out every now and then. One time this was at the supermarket butcher counter and I was being help by a black woman. When she handed me my stuff, I just sort of stood in a slight daze until she said thank you very loudly. I mumbled thank you back and walked away quickly. Now I am sure to her I was just another privileged white person instead of a guy who spaces out and gets caught in my own head every now and then and I felt bad about my spaciness happening during that time.Report

  7. Avatar LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    This seems more like NIMBYism on steroids.Report

  8. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    For full BSDI effect, you need to add some bad behavior by people living in run-down apartments.Report

  9. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    “You’d think all their own furniture and possessions had just organically grown in their homes, and that they themselves had never had movers come to the condo.”

    Not only did it grow organically, but it was free range. And gluten free.Report

  10. Avatar notme
    Ignored
    says:

    I find it hard to believe that such loutish folks live in Portland.Report

  11. Avatar Damon
    Ignored
    says:

    “Sometimes people suck.”?

    Try all the time, especially if there is enough of them, then someone in a group is going to be “on” at any given time. This sounds more like east coast behavior. The Portland of my memories-back in the early 80s, wasn’t like this, that I recall.

    I hope you told the complainers to “go piss up a rope”. BTW, make sure your friend is rigerous in picking out a place to live if she’s decided to live in Baltimore city proper. It’s “changing” and even some previously safer neighboorhoods have had an uptick of crime.Report

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