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omg I can't believe someone would have the gall to disagree with anything I've ever said
I have now.
The point of it seems to boil down to "don't be a prick". I understand that certain topics could be very sensitive to some people so you need to be respectful in that way that they are discussed. or that someone may have had to defend a position they hold time and again when they really shouldn't have to and that can be tiring etc.
but I don't think there's essentially anything wrong with asking someone to defend a position they hold on anything at all. this article seems to suggest there are certain opinions that shouldn't be challenged. without knowing what her viewpoints are on the elliot rodger thing or people making claims about false rape accusations, I would guess that I probably agree with her. what I don't agree with is that you shouldn't have to be challenged on those views.
but again I understand why it feels redundant to be arguing for (or just stating) something that is patently obvious.
I don't think anyone's arguing that there's some sort of moral right to not ever have your views challenged if you claim to be taking any kind of emancipatory/anti-sexism position. I think it's more that yeah people can 'challenge' these really basic and widely accepted feminist arguments but any claim that to do so is in any way pro-feminist is laughable.
but do people really do this?
I think there's interesting stuff to say about how this sort of thing shifts discourse but this maybe isn't it
in answer to your question, yeah, loads
I'd like to restate my support for it, though it didn't go exactly where I thought it was going to
Not necessarily the practice itself, but there's something satisfying about it as a phrase
But, also, I've never 100% understood it either.
One person would argue for the canonisation of whoever it was they were considering canonising, and someone else would take the skeptical perspective and dissect the reasons that person wasn't appropriate for sainthood.
Has a kind of Miltonian feel to it, and I'm a sucker for that shit.
But yes that makes sense. Bit cumbersome for everyday use in essence isn't it but, as you say, it DOES have a nice ring to it...
which is basically when you're problem solving in a group. And even then some people take it way too far.
Most other times, it strikes me a bit of a twattish thing to do.
the more I think it's absolutely spot on. Don't think I've wilfully been `one of those people` at any point, mind you, but still food for thought regarding future conduct etc.
Not of playing devil's advocate/winding up with super-serious subjects, but just with dull, mundane stuff in general.
I probably shouldn't really. Bit of a waste of time.
and then it was all a dream
literally the worst
I don't believe it's necessarily a bad thing. On most issues (moving away from concentrating purely on feminism), having your views challenged can be a positive experience.
"Some might challenge that I am shutting myself off to new ideas and censoring important opportunities for growth. But these ideas you are forcing me to consider are not new. They stem from centuries of inequality and your desperate desire to keep them relevant is based in the fact that you benefit from their existence. Let it go. You did NOT come up with these racist, misogynistic theories. We’ve heard them before and we are f*cking tired of being asked to consider them, just one. more. time."
wasn't one to do with racism/misogyny?
"You are that white guy in an Ethnic Studies class who’s exploring the idea that poor people might have babies to stay on welfare"
That isn't necessarily to do with mysogyny/race.
but I guess classism would also be a context where it could be harmful.
I might be missing your point?
'ethnic studies class' - the context is an academic discussion about the nature of social inequalities including racialised and gendered inequalities.
'might have babies to stay on welfare' - this is a political question about the choices people (women) make about their lives.
might not be automatically racist or sexist to suggest that 'poor people might have babies to stay on welfare' but given that there are already quite powerful discourses of welfare dependency which are heavily racialised and gendered, I don't really think you could argue it's not about 'race' or gender.
Disconfirmation is the most robust way to 'prove' a position's credibility. The issue the article addresses is the (broadly) feminist position is well past the point of having its credibility proven.
that seems like a good way of putting it: "well past the point of having its credibility proven"
I don't think that should mean that things can never ever be challenged though
but I guess the issue is with disingenuous, close-minded challenging and the sheer volume of it. Accepting your experience is that of privilege and not the baseline isn't necessarily as difficult as not having privilege at all (I'd not seek to make any comparison of them at all) but it is a dissonance that is difficult to overcome. Genuine, honest, attentive and open-minded probing seems a healthy way to get there. idk.
I'd definitely say that Devil's Advocate is useful in more abstract moral arguments (versus specific 'issues'). More for justifying a "code of conduct" or way of living than helpful for arguments for/against specific things that happen.
Yeah I did, but I skimmed it.
Seeing/reading people play Devil's advocate and having their views shredded apart coherently is one of the things that has served to change my views on a number of topics- especially surrounding a lot of feminist issues. I appreciate that it's not pleasurable having to defend your views over and over again, but there's often an audience to an argument/discussion and I'm a firm believer that the only way you can change someone's opinion is by challenging their views directly. Though, as I said, this doesn't stop someone doing it from being a dick.
Mainly my post was on Devil's Advocate in a wider sense though. People questioning my views on say, immigration, have only served to strengthen the arguments I hold in favour of my views- though I accept there is a difference between discussion on immigration and discussions on things such as inequality that affect you directly (saying that as a disabled person).
doesn't necessarily mean what they believe in is wrong, it just means they're not as good at arguing as the other person...
(for the reasons you've said - and in the same way it's sometimes very productive for a politician or a celebrity to say something really awful because the dialogue it generates brings in new interest and points of discussion.)
I think the reason why this person wrote this article was because there still isn't agreement, even amongst people who would otherwise consider themselves to be 'progressive' or broadly sympathetic to e.g. feminist goals, that those boring twats who say JUST PLAYIN DEVILS ADVOVATE are being totally immature fannies and cannot really claim to have actual radical change in mind when they enter the discussion. the point is that playing devil's advocate is a totally disingenuous approach to bring to a discussion like this. certain things should just be common ground by now - treating these 'counter arguments' as if they're of equal value unless someone can refute them, is really counterproductive.
the whole thing also stinks of holding 'feminists' to a special standard of accountability. the writer mentions something about being objectified and othered as the 'neighbourhood feminist'. I think this highlights how these 'just playing devil's advocate' type wankers basically leave the work of actually tackling inequality to women (or disabled people, for example). it's not just devil's advocate wankers in fact - it's loads of people who would claim to be FULLY ON BOARD WITH FEMINIMSM (BUT...). ie. they never bother to do anything positive; just hang around waiting to offer what they probably think is constructive criticism to their Resident Feminist Friend or even just to prove how smart they are.
that incredibly unnerving feeling that these people see the entire issue of achieving equality as a curious conundrum/brainteaser or, worse, to use as a vehicle for ego.
Wish I'd read the article properly first before posting!
but as I'm getting older I'm becoming more convinced that it's not just a bit pointless, but in many cases can actually be quite harmful.
Obvs whether or not it's important / actually bad will depend massively on any case any point. Feel like I need / want to read more on this.
although, like one of the comments left under the article I do occasionally wonder if all comments made in this fashion aren't necessarily 'playing devils advocate', but perhaps advocating for a discussion that's not necessarily based on one particular kind of narrative or worse a sweeping generalization.
the comment I assume you're referring to said this: "However, when I have objected that social policies should not be driven by sweeping generalizations or simplistic dichotomies, I have been shouted down–literally shouted down–and called racist, sexist and other vile terms."
not sure anyone, anywhere, has argued that objecting "that social policies should not be driven by sweeping generalizations or simplistic dichotomies" is the same as claiming to be playing devil's advocate.
"simplistic dichotomies are not conducive to open, progressive discussions."
It's a tricky piece to engage with because I don't really know the kind of situations she's been in or what kind of discussions she has had, but based on the Elliot Rogers story the idea of people discussing issues other than misogyny in relation to the way he behaved isn't necessarily to rule out the idea of him being
"a product of a white supremacist and misogynistic society."
but perhaps aimed more at questioning why this particular case resulted in such a violent outcome.
Isn't that exactly what someone playing Devil's Advocate is doing though - taking up an opposing viewpoint, not because they want to provoke a discussion, but because they want to polarise debate into simplistic dichotomies?
but personally whenever I've taken a position which could be seen as playing Devil's Advocate it's largely to explore the original thought further.
in forming solid beliefs and the arguments you use to support them.
Doesn't mean that it's useful/needed all the time though.
Like instead of going to work everyone should spend one day a week just following the ground and lazing on interesting bits of scenery they find, and there'd be no such thing as private property boundaries for that day
It sounds like fun
but isn't the point of Devil's Advocate that you're raising a point you *don't* agree with for the sake of debate/exploring all options?
if it is, then yes, the author understands what DA is, and it'd help if you read the article
just that it isn't necessarily your own position. You may not have a position.
What it does imply though is a degree of separation from the issue being discussed, which is another reason devil's advocacy is specifically problematic when a man asks a women to prove that misogyny is a thing.
Privileged people believing themselves to have cracked the case based on the fact they've had a beer and read half an article on the tube on the way home, and getting insanely upset if they're told that acres of history, established theory and stats-led study has already refuted all of it.
but actually mean "this is my opinion, but if I say I'm doing this as an exercise in alternative ideas then I can basically say absolutely anything and get pissy if I'm told to fuck off."
Winds me up a treat, very cowardly.
they listen to whatever response they're given? You can't expect people to read up on decades of history. If that's the standard, nothing ever changes.
she's not arguing that no-one should have to engage or explain anything at all. She's arguing against being harried by people who don't even *believe in* (or at least, per xylo, claim not to) the repugno position they're putting forward, just for a bit of a ruck.
I guess I was buying into the idea of devil's advocate by the same definition you gave above, where it's a front for a genuine view, or at least a view the person would like clarity on. If you're just saying something you don't believe to get people to justify their position then yeah, that's twatty.
Privilege isn't a roundtable conspiracy. It's a mercilessly survivalist, absolute world view. You don't choose to act privileged because you are privileged. You simply behave as you are. Do many people choose to be argumentative for a ruck, or is it because doing anything else would cause painful dissonance and the mind has assembled defences that not only protect against that but inhibit the ability to know it exists?
I reckon mooooooooooost people who consciously state they're playing DA *are* looking for a ruck; that's the point of the whole thing, right? Then there's this other chunk of behaviour that people might label DA which is much more like arguing from privilege, as you have above. It's a spectrum maybe?
Oh god that's such a para of waffle.
Guess at the heart of it I'd just say I'm wary of assigning concerted agency to villainous privileged behaviour because that makes it very ease to make privilege an 'other' that we can look down on, while avoiding examination of and reflection on ourselves.
All my posts on here and are a long-winded way of saying I hate myself and I want to have not existed in the first place.
it must be a letter for me!
there does need to be a culture of people feeling comfortable asking questions, or even sharing their prejudices, so they can be discussed. This can be fucking tiring to deal with. I can only speak from my own experience, but yeah, it is irritating to answer the same questions about my sexuality over and over again sometimes, but every time someone actually engages with me and talks about it (and crucially listens to what I say back), even if they're coming at it from a pretty fucked up position, or what they're saying is offensive and stupid, I'm much happier with that than watching people sitting silently with their prejudice, which I see quite often.
Ultimately, that's how attitudes change. And it can be a bit annoying feeling like you have to carry that burden around, when it's really not your issue, but that's part of changing things. So I do think there is value in promoting a culture where people can discuss these things openly, even from a position of ignorance, rather than making people feel like they'd rather not discuss things for fear of causing offence.
it's not about answering questions from curious people. It's about people who play devil's advocate to test the other person from what is likely an automatic position of cynicism/trying to show up the other's opinion.
But from the article...
"To be fair, there are many privileged devil’s advocates out there who are truly trying to figure things out. I know people who think best out loud, throwing ideas at me to see which sticks to their “friendly neighborhood feminist.” Your kind like to come at a concept from every angle before deciding what you think. You ask those of us who are knowledgeable on the subject to explain it to you again and again because in this world it is harder for you to believe that maybe the deck is stacked in your favor than to think of us as lazy, whining, or liars."
I'd rather that person, who is truly trying to figure things out, does that than just retain their prejudices. For some people, that's how they learn. By throwing out hypotheticals. Obviously, it would be better for everyone if they approached things differently, but I'd hate a by-product of the article to be that those people just don't approach those things at all.
due to the very nature of privilege, that article will not affect those people. They will not change the way they approach things, and they don't understand why they should. Approaching things differently is an alien concept.
The writer of the article of course knows this, but I think is more speaking to those in the audience who might think that a general dismissal of that line of questioning is unreasonable or mean.
but I think it's often unhelpful.
to people who are slyly implying that they might be "lazy, whining, or liars."
Meeting confrontational language with compassionate language is a very powerful tool in situations like that.
are my truly closest friends trying to make me consider something that my at-the-time state of sadness/anger is blocking me from considering.
In terms of general debate and discussion, the person who brings that line of questioning to the table is usually essentially wielding it as a shield to throw out counters without being accountable for them.
"due to the very nature of privilege, that article will not affect those people. They will not change the way they approach things, and they don't understand why they should. Approaching things differently is an alien concept."
really? that seems beyond just a sweeping statement
i'm not saying they cannot change ever. i'm saying an opinion piece on a blog is not going to be enough to cause the jarring reappraisal of opinion that's necessary for some to, yes, check their privilege.
e.g. defending Mumford And Sons
Great haircuts, sing in iambic pentameter sometimes how clever is that innit, and they're so quintessentially BRITISH they're a great export for the country let the world know how good we are at music like and they're so cute in their lil waistcoats great bunch of lads
It’s a fundamental misunderstanding of what function a ‘devil’s advocate’ is supposed to fulfil. Playing devil’s advocate is a key part of any rational attempt to weigh up all the evidence/varying viewpoints, in order to work out a position that allows the maximum amount of fairness for everyone. It’s basically saying “let’s consider the potential merits of argument B before we plough ahead with argument A, and possibly make the world a worse place as a result”. It really isn’t something that anyone should feel ashamed about doing. Without the ‘devil’s advocate’ mindset, we’re little more than an angry mob.
The world doesn’t need less awareness of nuance, for God’s sake! I would go as far as to say ‘what the world needs now is nuance, sweet nuance’. In fact, Feminsting strikes me as just the type of echo chamber that could do with a greater number of devil’s advocates (That’s not me having a pop at feminists, by the way. I think most ideologies have these echo chambers, especially online).
you... don't think feminists have *enough* people playing devil's advocate towards them right now?
There are multiple ways of looking at most issues, and there are countless strands of feminism. If you believe strongly in something, be ready to argue to argue for it. Don’t try to shut people down by rebranding standard debating techniques as somehow taboo.
For instance, I don’t like the idea of American drone strikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but I’m aware that many people see drones as a comparatively humane alternative to all-out war across that region. I don’t want to silence that view. On the contrary, I want to hear it out, and learn to argue back stronger than before (or even change my views, if neccesary).
Well I thought I had a good-natured debate about the ethics of drone strikes with a friend of mine a few weeks ago. But, uh, yeah, thanks for letting me know that IT NEVER HAPPENED.
with a friend of mine a few weeks ago. But, uh, yeah, thanks for letting me know that IT NEVER HAPPENED.
Previous statement retracted.
hasn't got you very far in life
that you thought that it was just one unified view...
did a devil's advocate argument about whether the abolition of slavery was really such a good thing. everyone basically told him to shut the fuck up, probably because they were trapped in their close-minded echo chamber, ploughing ahead with their nuance-free anti-slavery arguments like an irrational angry mob
some arguments should already be settled, give it up, you're probably not being as clever as you think you are, there is no inherent value to contrarianism, and so on
It doesn't surprise me she gets a lot of people playing devil's advocate with her. Because while what she says isn't wrong, it's coming from a place of good/evil dichotomy that doesn't actually exist in the real world. She seems to think her opinions are a foregone conclusion ('We’ve heard them before and we are f*cking tired of being asked to consider them, just one. more. time.') and even seems to cast the people she's talking about agents of the devil itself rather than just leavign it as a turn of phrase ('The devil doesn’t need any more advocates. He’s got plenty of power without you helping him.') Newsflash: feminism isn't the default position of a human being on planet Earth in the year 2014. It should be, of course, but some of us just aren't willing to nod along as you try cast the majority of the world's population as stupid, uneducated or just plain evil for daring to suggest there are clear shades of grey in every single issue you're bringing up. Playing devil's advocate doesn't change anyone's mind - you know that when you're doing it, it's just about letting people know that there will always be people around who disagree with you and their voice is no less able to be splashed across a blog site for the world to see than yours, as it should be.
That's borderline the same line of thinking as "i'm just saying that feminists aren't TRULY into equality because they don't consider the MAN's point of view."
I think for true equality to be achieved men, women and anything in between or outside that have to cast off the societal constructs that keep them in their place, and for that to happen they'll need the help of the other groups. That requires a dialog, and yes, respecting the other group's point of view.
Also, if the other groups are not on an even keel at the beginning of the dialogue it must be noted - the sort of privileged devil's advocate the article is talking about does much to disrupt such honest dialogues.
If you want honest dialogue, that's got to be taken into account, even if that means dealing with angry men who feel emasculated by this kind of thing. There's no getting around it.
But they're not devil's advocates, they sincerely believe their opinions. That's part of why feminist organizations exist, to debate and educate those groups.
Unless they are just afraid of having unpopular opinions etc so disguise it behind feigned devil's advocacy, which is unhelpful for everyone since there's no progress being made, their 'official' position is hypothetical.
you think feminism *should* be everyone's default position, but what's *really* important to you is to stop those nasty feminists silencing the poor people who suggest there as some sort of "shades of grey" in issues (not sure where this is happening?) and are trying to silence all opposing voices to theirs?
And in the second, equates having them as siding with some amorphous evil. Inarguably wrong. But they're not. Some women do have kids to claim benefits. Some women do make fake rape claims. And she can't truly know Elliott Rodgers' true motivation for comitting mass murder. All things with varying importance and impact, but nothing you can definitively say 'this does/did not happen' on the subject of. That's the shades of grey I'm talking about. If she's so convinced of her correctness in these matters, then that makes her a lot more closed-minded than the people she's complaining about in the article.
and just barking out the usual dross after reading about four sentences
nothing you have said above is in any way relevant to her point, or really anything at all?
wasn't your schtick meant to be that you were DAing your whole character, anyway? are you just carrying on with it or what?
I'm engaging with the article. I'm literally talking about passages from the article. Perhaps you could tell me exactly what I'm supposed to take from it, without taking the increasingly tedious tack of 'If you've read it, there's no way you can possibly disagree'?
were in no way relevant to the thrust of her article. that's it.
So, are you still doing the whole Devil's Advocate thing yourself? Curious.
is that she doesn't like people (purposefully) disagreeing with her on contentious issues she feels she has more of a stake in (due to relative privelege) than them. Sure - no-one really does, and she does probably have a more informed opinion than most on feminist issues. I just don't like the implication that it automatically makes her correct, or that anyone else deserves less of an opinion. Here you have someone saying 'don't bother offering any alternative opinions to what I hold true' and you're expecting me to respect that. Sorry but nah. I know some feminist bloggers like to think they've found some infallible logic to deflect any dissenting opinion that comes their way, but it really doesn't exist, and if you didn't feel you had to share four articles of this ilk every week to show your face in Wollstonecraft's Pop-Up Burgers you might be able to see this one as a bit misdirected.
and don't even seem to have grasped what "playing devil's advocate" means, idk.
And you've done it from your usual pov of some baffling terror of some imaginary feminist junta who are somehow trying to oppress you or whatever.
And you still haven't let us know if your whole account was a persona saying things you don't really believe in, or if that was just for the election threads.
Didn't agree with the article, don't 'get' the article, equal rights utopia or oppressive feminist junta. More black and white, one-or-the-other, polarised bollocks.
Persona, what? I've been here five years.
We're in a priveleged position in this country to be able to talk about them without fear of reprisal and with a fledgling history of feminist literature art, and political movements to draw inspiration from. A man from a country where women are considered inferior or subservient, no matter how comparatively respectful that man is to the women in his life, is by the standards of this article an awful cunt. You can't just break out of centuries of social programming and I'll be the first person to stick my hand in the air and say 'but'.
but taking the Devil's Advocate thing only really works if it's something that people might have missed due to everyone being in too similar circumstances, which evidently doesn't apply when discussing feminism.
It kinda works for political views: whilst I don't actually think Britain should be out of the EU, I'm happy to try and put it from another perspective.
So yeah, I agree with this article - most people playing 'Devil's advocate' over this are probably just men being arses.
Have I totally missed the point?
arguments can become somewhat constructive.
just wanted to say that, really.
where it's relevant?
the majority of posts made on the website have no relevance.
Can someone who knows this stuff delineate the bounds of "privilege" for me? Is it a combination of wealth, race and gender? Or something else entirely?
If a non-white person in Ethnic Studies class was exploring the idea that poor people might have babies to stay on welfare would that bother the author of the article?
Although it's interesting to note that Jewishness is considered more privileged than Christianity. Seems a bit odd.
...would be considered a more privileged position than being Christian.
Which for Jewish people in the states is noticeably higher than Christians.
scoring privilege in terms of plus and minus points in order to locate yourself on a privilege scale: congrats, you've missed the point of intersectionality
I posted it to show what things contribute to privilege, as that was the question asked.
I didn't say anything about the scale at the bottom.
that would be a lot more useful in answering the question (i'm not gonna though cos i'm busy SORRY)
which is all about income.
What if you earn between 30k and 45k, chart?
is that being a policeman or a scientist gives you minus points. er.
in the US, for an individual. At least, compared to the other professions that give you positive points.
is an exceptionally privileged position in comparison to most of the things that would come under the category 'none/other' tbh tbf
but the fact that the non-professional classes do not exist in this chart is probably an apt encapsulation of why it's a pretty daft chart
unless you want a quick, easily understandable chart that lists every single job in the world.
to completely ignore the existence of all jobs that are not middle-class professions? the chart is quite stupid to start with (see above) but if you were gonna do it properly you could put it in terms of 'professional/managerial/menial/service' categories or something. privilege is a useful concept in many contexts, but this is a pretty good example of a certain tumblr-centric american liberal understanding of privilege that doesn't really seem to grasp class politics or economic exploitation
why don't you just marry it?
Not sure about the scoring though... if I lost my sight then
a) I'd still count myself as privileged on account of living in a society where (through technology) I would be able to live a similar life to my previous one;
b) my "non-privilege" would not in anyway act as mitigation if I was, for instance, a misogynist.
might struggle to read the chart though
decided to publish in a non-accessible format. If it'd been done as a table or svg then a screen reader should be able parse it.
you certainly wouldn't be able to live a similar life to your current one. It would be affected less than were you not to be living in this society, but you'd still see a reduction in the privileges awards to you.
The point is that, actually, most people in the world are in a position of non-privilege, for one or more reasons. The whole point of getting a handle (or 'checking') your privilege is not to offer mitigation, but to remember that your world view and opinions have been filtered through your own life experience, which is quite likely to be unrepresentative of those you might be discussing or affecting.
I wouldn't lose my wife, family, friends or job (I would hope). Obviously my life would be affected.
The point is that, actually, an overly simplistic model like this is unhelpful. Additionally, the article is entitled "an open letter to privileged people who play devil's advocate," thus implying (possibly unintentionally) that lack of privilege is an excuse.
are more likely to bang on using DA positions to attack, say, feminist positions given that they haven't suffered disadvantages quoa being women and all that.
there's a lot of interesting stuff to say about axes of privilege / oppression but this subthread has turned into such a clusterfuck I'm a bit CBA, like
You're better at explaining things than marckee :)
yeah, I think one thread like this a day is more than enough. Save the 'axes of privilege' thread for another day
Look at the fucking options for disability...
unless you want a quick, easily understandable chart that lists every single disability possible.
The chart is clearly a nonsense but it does illuminate that there are so many varied factors that determine whether someone is privileged or not. As such, talking about "privileged people" as a homogenous group who must not play devil's advocate on a range of very different issues is clearly absolutely ridiculous.
The author of the article used the example of a white person in Ethnic Studies class was exploring the idea that poor people might have babies to stay on welfare. What about a non-white person? Or what about a gay white person? Could they raise the idea without falling foul of the privilege/devil's advocate trap? And if so, why would the simple fact of being gay make someone's opinion on welfare any more or less useful?
I think she's saying ppl w/certain kinds of privilege are in her experience more likely to play Devil's Advocate, as they haven't suffered under whatever oppressions they're devilishly defending?
But maybe that's what she means.
She doesn't distinguish between different types of privilege at all.
there's no need to derail the whole thing by demanding a 101-level "But what if some WOMEN are SEXIST???" row over privilege, really.
I have no idea what your comment about some women being sexist is about. It's not what I was getting at and I wasn't "demanding" anything.
All I was saying is that the article glosses over any distinctions about different types of privilege and how different types of privilege might relate to the argument in question (whether that be an argument about race, poverty, gender or whatever).
that she is talking about people who are privileged in terms of the particular oppression under discussion at any given time, who are therefore less personally invested in the experience of oppression and more likely to posture as rational and detached - so white people in a discussion of race, men in a discussion of feminism, etc. obviously, a woman might play devil's advocate about false rape accusations or whatever and that would still be a shitty thing to do, but generally it's less common and also maybe somewhat less actively oppressive, in the sense that there isn't the same power differential and implied detachment from the issue at hand
Reading between the lines, that might be what she means and, if it is, I would broadly agree with the thrust of it.
However, if that is what she means, she shouldn't have made her opening gambit about a white guy exploring the idea that poor people might have babies to stay on welfare. This conflates two different types of privilege (being white and being rich).
pretty sure in the US the whole 'welfare queens' narrative is almost exclusively a racist thing (which would be reinforced by the reference to an 'ethnic studies' class), which doesn't really translate to a UK context
i think it's pretty abundantly obvious. it'd be either incredibly dim or incredibly uncharitable to read it as 'people with any degree of privilege in any context' because that would just be literally everyone and therefore a fairly redundant use of the word.
I didn't read it as "people with any degree of privilege in any context". I read it simply as it is in the article - "privileged people", undefined and without any discussion of how privilege varies from context to context. Which is why I initially asked if anyone knew what "privileged people" meant in the context of the article. The answer, obviously, is "it depends". I don't think the article pays any heed to that; you do and on that point of interpretation we disagree.
That said, I am incredibly dim.
...I'm not aware of the US "welfare queens" narrative. If it is a predominantly racist thing then her analogy was fair enough.
The use of retarded is damn offensive.
Most job application forms get it alright and they don't have much room. For anyone between "paralyzed" and "able-bodied" there's no option.
It reads like someone had arbitrarily ranked disability. In terms of "privilege", there's a compelling argument that someone who is blind is more privileged than a deaf person, at least in terms as to how society reacts.
In terms of disability, it basically represents everything people like you claim you abhor when people talk about class, gender or race.
Read what I've posted.
ntwbf wanted to know what kind of things people mean by privilege. That chart has a quick list of the kind of categories involved. It's simplified, basic, US-originated (where the phrase 'mental retardation' was still commonly used in medical assessments until only last year), and not comprehensive.
I genuinely did not expect people to start trying to assess themselves on that - it was a quick response to someone who seemed incapable of googling an answer himself.
And seriously, fuck off with the phrase 'people like you claim you abhor' That's low. Very very low.
"yeah, you're right, it is a bit shit actually".
It's not the fact that it's not comprehensive that I have a problem with it, it's that it's pretty offensive. As tiramisu says, its a "good example of a certain tumblr-centric american liberal understanding of privilege".
like the feminists I follow on tumblr (and twitter!) are super-intersectional and highly critical of the sort of thing I think we're on about here. It's like the new "hipster" or something, so confusing.
someone on my course is doing her dissertation on tumblr feminism. tru story.
That sounds genuinely interesting!
it's pretty unfair that literally her entire dissertation research consists of 'spending loads of time on the internet', though. that shouldn't count as work! should've done mine about DiS.
but OTHER types are on there as well. It confuse
not ALL tumblrs!
i don't think it's very fair or kind or you not to give him his dues really
is not just that it's a bit silly and simplistic (and yeah offensive - good lord don't try to rationalise the casual use of retarded, in this of all discussions...); it's that it represents an actively harmful way of conceptualising privilege and intersectionality, by framing privilege as a thing that you can have a certain quantity of, whereby the pluses and minuses balance out to place you somewhere on a sliding scale so your privilege as a white person is balanced out by your oppression as a woman (or whatever). that's the opposite of intersectionality. the whole point is that those things don't add up to some kind of final 'privilege count', they coexist and intersect so that privilege is experienced in different ways along different axes (a poor white straight woman is not measurably more or less privileged than a rich black gay man; they are privileged and oppressed in different and specific ways). and this matters because it propagates a fairly common misunderstanding of 'privilege' that is then obsessively latched onto by people trying to discredit its use in contexts like these (for instance, when ntwbf says 'what about a gay white person?', as if the white privilege under discussion is balanced out by homophobic oppression)
you're never gonna just give up and admit the chart is shite, are you
I was really hoping it was this :D
(other than the bit where you imply that I was "obsessively latching" and "trying to discredit", of course)
I just think that this nuance is missing from the original article.
haven't read the thread, but would like to display my disdain for feminists.
Could do with some editing...
Some people do IRL trolling. Sometimes in the more traditional sense of word, sometimes in a tabloid way. Sometimes it ends up being very hurtful. Sometimes not. Sometimes knowingly. Sometimes not.
and saying ‘consider the potential of X, even if it seems kind of deplorable, before you commit fully to Y’. Maybe that’s the key fault of this article.
You either haven't read the article or you haven't understood it.
I did read the article (The basic gist; ‘Please abandon the dialectic method of debate favoured since Plato’s day, as it hurts my feelings when you present me with opinions I might disagree with’) but I didn’t read this thread before I posted, and I momentarily forgot I was on DiS, where I’d actually have to justify my belief that devil’s advocate is necessary.
Author: "can a group of people who haven't lived my experience as a woman stop pretending to believe reprehensible things to have a scrap over things we do actually agree on, and harry me, it's very wearing and unecessary"
MSS: ALL OF WESTERN FREE THOUGHT IS THREATENED! OUR VERY METHODS OF DIALOGUE ARE BEING OPPRESSED! I AM LITERALLY UNABLE TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING ASKED NOT TO BE A BIT OF A JERK AND HAVING FREEDOM OF SPEECH TAKEN AWAY FROM ME! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH
her argument is massively confused. If she was saying ‘don’t troll me when I’m talking about something which is obviously a cause celebre of mine’, then I suppose that’s valid. But she conflates ‘trolling’ with being ‘devil’s advocate’. Her implication is that everyone who plays devils advocate is a troll. And I’m saying that’s not true.
are doing so from a position of inconsiderate privilege. And the fact that you're defending this is a bit, well, defensive. You, and some of the other points being raised in this thread, are a fairly spot-on example of that not-all-men trope.
Frankly, it was a mistake to come back to DiS. I see that now.
If you can understand Plato than this article's a doddle. Not quite sure where the trouble is coming from.
Im a bit confused, because when I play the devils advocate, its to test a pov or opinion (possibly my own)
but I had to skim read some of it, it seemed to confuse me more
ignorance, or feigned ignorance, isn't an excuse. It's quite simple to find out.
I use it to test myself, or to help another person develop their argument, or see how it will be questioned by others in debate.
The article words itself to criticise devils advocacy, when it should be used to criticise particular uses of devils advocacy.
But after your post I have reread it a bit more.
I dislike all the types used in the first para, and after rereading I now see that the second para kind of does distinguish this type of DA from my type of DA
defend an oppression, it is often used to challenge a widely accepted idea (that you may hold yourself).
e.g. biting comedic political satire provides a pressure relief valve which prevents disaffected people from reaching breaking point where they feel they have to do something to change the system themselves.
or "Organised charity culture can be negative as it scratches an itch, which may otherwise persuade people that gov/taxes should fund something PROPERLY."
You're stood at a cash machine and it's one of those ones that's quite low in the wall. Noticing that someone in a wheelchair is waiting behind you to use it, you decide to ask them if they think it's right that the majority of society are inconvenienced by having to lean over quite far just so that a minority can reach up easier. You know, just playing devil's advocate.
Would anyone actually do that? Or defend someone that did?
thats just purile and shitty.
Oh course people have different ideas of what the devil is.
Some people think hes just all round shitty (and pety as well) like in bedazzled.
But I think that Lucifer was cast out because he questioned the established heirarchy, rather than just blindly following and accepting........thus my confusion over all of this, in my interpretation devils advocacy is often used positively to be novel........of course I do not have the day to day perspective of put upon people, who will be weary of having had to sometimes struggle seriously with predjudice and anti privilege, only to have some tedious twat try to be 'clever/funny' in a desperately unoriginal way......................to then have them claim devils advocacy is ludicrous, as this (to my mind (but admitedly with a different pov from many under privileged)) is doing the devils advocate an insult, as surely the devils advocate would be defending his client from questioning the heirarchy and absolute privilege of THE BIG MAN
but i have looked at the chart that marckee spent a lot of time making for us all (well done marckee, i can tell you put a lot of effort into it!!!).
'Trans (passable)'made me lol a bit, as did 'Can't add it up'
but i think, in a TOTALLY different context i think playing DA can be a good thing. Like in a philosophy seminar if there's a theory i couldn't grasp. I'd say something like 'wouldn't this line of thinking justify (certain horrific consequence)?' knowing full well that it doesn't. but that the professor can explain why it doesn't and that this would help me grasp it. Basically people can play devil's advocate either in the hope of getting a better grasp of concepts themselves, or of slowing down a discourse. the former's a good thing, the stuff she's talking about is clearly the latter, so yeah fuck'em
and posting whatever the first stuff is that comes into my head?
a note of creeping paranoia that your right to say any damn thing without ever in any way being criticised for it is being impinged, then yes, go ahead
And whatever you do, do not try to make me read a few hundred words of text. I simply refuse.
the worst chart that ever existed
but now I'm sad because marckee called me 'poor' :(
some great productive discussion, usual hilariously defensive hyperbollocks from Limbo and Shabubu, no-one noticed that I dropped the "open letter" from the title and Marckee proper shit the bed.
See you all tomorrow!
You know how you always think "well, they'll be different and probably just chilled and non-snarky in real life, right"?
i don't necessariyl agree with fidel on here but have shared a jar or two before, in the way past. Same with yourself. Moker too, who is a good guy.
Most people, really.
I was just wanting to further damage the f_c brand because, you know, it's fidel.
But you had to go and be all honest about it and stuff. Way to go, verbal >:-(
no need to catch the fish if he kkeeps jumping in the net [/cantona]
I still hate everyone though, so it's ok.
would very much like to. You still about this that london?
So unfit. I really need to play some sport.
No, hang on, scratch that. Kitchmo is the worst. Definitely Kitchmo.