Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
245 Posts
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [10] | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Everything Else » Religion, Sex, and Politics

Subject: The symmetry myth rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Chad Ellis
United States
Brookline
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Every now and then something is called racist or sexist or otherwise prejudiced on the grounds that it would be if you reversed the race/gender/orientation/whatever involved. For example, a recent poster said that it's clearly racist if a black person is more likely to vote for a black candidate and a number of people (none here that I know of) expressed indignation at the recent "Black Girls Rock" television awards, generating the trending tag #whitegirlsrock to point out how outrageous the show was.

I disagree. There isn't an automatic symmetry whereby something that benefits or promotes a disadvantaged or marginalized group is the same as something that benefits or promotes an advantaged or mainstream group. Nor is there a double standard; you just have to recognize that the standard isn't "offer special help people if they're black/GLBT/female" but rather, "offer special help to people if they're disadvantaged or marginalized or have some other particular need".

Olivia Cole summed it up pretty well (although her emphasis on beauty/fashion is perhaps unfortunate):

Quote:
Let me emphasize that last part. "Women of color who are otherwise unseen in American media." We need Black Girls Rock! because black girls and women are almost invisible in American media. Because if you were a black girl growing up in this country, watching TV and movies and reading magazines like every other kid, looking for some representation of yourself as something beautiful or heroic, you would be sorely disappointed.

Black Girls Rock! is necessary because when you Google "beautiful women," this is what you see.

Because when you look at the covers of Vogue, this is what you see.

Because when Vanity Fair printed their Hollywood issue, they put the black actresses on the back cover.

Because when a dark-skinned woman is put on the cover of a magazine, this is what is done to her.

Because Pixar has never made a movie featuring a black cartoon character.

Because a black actress has never won a drama series Lead Actress Emmy. (Although Kerry Washington will change that, I am certain.)

Because in 39 years, only three black women have been part of the cast of SNL.

Because, until Scandal, the only real place you could find black women in leading roles on television was The Real Housewives of _______.

Because the "first black Disney Princess" was a frog for 95 percent of the movie.

I could go on. But I think you get the gist. What it comes down to is that black girls are missing representations of themselves in positive contexts. When they turn on the TV, they are missing. When they are looking at the cover of magazines like Vogue and Elle, they are missing. When they go to the movie theater, they are missing. For black women's faces to appear in mainstream films, it seems they must be either wearing a maid's apron or chains.


I didn't add in the Google links, but you can see for yourselves if you have any doubts.

I don't vote for someone because he or she is GLBT. But it's still a plus, like having agreement on a policy issue, for two reasons. First, it gives me reason to think that he or she will have insights into GLBT experience that might otherwise be lacking -- not unlike the reason I support the campaign of a conservative in Brookline's Town Meeting. Second, having elected GLBT people helps with the process of normalizing and increasing acceptance of GLBT people more broadly. Straight people don't need to have their lives normalized or accepted; they already are.

Same thing for black people who vote for Obama (or Devall Patrick or someone else) in part because of race. They have a reasonable inference that those candidates will better represent them because they understand part of their experience and they have a direct interest in having their kids (and mine, for that matter) see more prominent black people.



15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul W
United States
Eugene
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
I disagree, at least to the extent I've often seen identity used in politics. In the examples you've raised, it seems like just a nice add-on to someone you were going to vote for anyway. I've definitely seen, however, plenty of cases where identity was the defining issue for voters. I think it's a problem when voters see that one candidate shares an identity with them and then have their mind made up, and I think it's pretty naive to believe that that doesn't happen with a lot of voters.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
"that's a smith and wesson, and you've had your six"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree with all of those point, yet strangely, I'm not sure why most of those points are a reality. I believe that there is a media bias, but I am not certain why the media bias exists. Looking at my personal tastes in media, I would certainly enjoy a black funny actress on SNL as anyone else.

I am wondering if it has less to do with the audience, and more to do with who runs Hollywood and the media who are preventing it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chad Ellis
United States
Brookline
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
fizzmore wrote:
I disagree, at least to the extent I've often seen identity used in politics. In the examples you've raised, it seems like just a nice add-on to someone you were going to vote for anyway. I've definitely seen, however, plenty of cases where identity was the defining issue for voters. I think it's a problem when voters see that one candidate shares an identity with them and then have their mind made up, and I think it's pretty naive to believe that that doesn't happen with a lot of voters.


I guess the question is how you tell whether that's racism or simply that the person in question places a higher value on the legitimate interests I mentioned than they do on particular policies. Don't get me wrong -- I have a hard time understanding how someone would only care about identity, but as a white guy I suspect that my perspective on that may downplay its significance in a way that it may not for someone else. (This seems particularly likely when I think about GLBT candidates -- I don't vote for someone purely on that basis but it means a lot to me when out candidates get elected to major public office.)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chad Ellis
United States
Brookline
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MWChapel wrote:
I agree with all of those point, yet strangely, I'm not sure why most of those points are a reality. I believe that there is a media bias, but I am not certain why the media bias exists. Looking at my personal tastes in media, I would certainly enjoy a black funny actress on SNL as anyone else.

I am wondering if it has less to do with the audience, and more to do with who runs Hollywood and the media who are preventing it.


On some level I don't know that it matters. If I had a black child my main concern would be how few prominent black people he or she would be seeing rather than what the root cause was, especially if something like Black Girls Rock could push back at it regardless of the cause.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Andersen
United States
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MWChapel wrote:


I am wondering if it has less to do with the audience, and more to do with who runs Hollywood and the media who are preventing it.


Bingo.

Most people in the US have a "live and let live" attitude. The politicians, Hollywoodites and the media are so insulated in their own little fantasy world that they will never see this reality.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The issue that I see is that too many people treat the advantaged and disadvantaged groups as being static rather than situationally dependent. For example, I grew up in a town where only my family was not Hispanic and only a few others were not natively Spanish-speaking. In that community, I was very much of a disadvantages group locally even though I was "white".

Yet at the same time as soon as one expanded the focus to include Texas or the US more broadly, even then I as of an advantaged group. In TV shows of the era, the "good guys" were simply always white and so on.

EDIT:
Since someone off-line asked, yes, there was disadvantage like being excluded or having random people try to beat me up for being the wrong ethnic type.
2 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walker
United States
Birmingham
Alabama
flag msg tools
"The significance of a person's life is determined by the story they believe themselves to be in." - Wendell Berry "If nothing lies beyond the pale of death, then nothing of value lies before it." - SMBC
badge
Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song, the joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue. Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last, has won my affection and bound my soul fast.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There is certainly a place for voting in people who share life experiences with you. It's about representation, after all, and if you think a particular life experience will help someone represent you better that may be a point in their favor. The bad part, I think, comes when such experiences make up more of the voter's decision making process than is there due- but that's true for any issue. We have single issue voters on other issues than just this. I don't know exactly how much shared experiences are worth, only that they are worth something but not everything.

There may not be a line between the two so much as a direction. Believing someone is the best candidate for a job is one thing. Emphasis on any single aspect of them to the exclusion of others can be problematic.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave G
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
El Chupacabratwurst
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think you're conflating two very different things, Chad. The arguments people make about "Black Girls Rock" and similar things (anyone want to get Gary going on "Women in Gaming" again?) are ridiculous, as they do rely on a false symmetry.

Voting for a candidate for office based solely on some shared minority status is stupid and inexcusable, though. I don't think that falls into the same category as "Why is there a BET but no white entertainment television, huh?" arguments.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
United States
Vancouver
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Ami. Geek.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ah yes. The old "good racism" vs. "bad racism" argument. This is what leads to stinkers such as affirmative action, diversity quotas, extra points on college entrance exams and throwing out objective test results as "clearly racist" because minorities didn't do well.

It's much more nuanced than you're giving it credit for, Chad. Treating someone differently because of their race is still racism. Sure, you could argue that one is flavor is more damaging than another, but in the end I consider all racism to be damaging. So while I think it's totally reasonable to make a distinction, I don't think it's reasonable to pass off "good racism" as not having a negative impact over the long term. It's still based on the incorrect principle that one is different because of one's race.

Liberals are continually startled to discover that conservatives consider them to be racist, because it doesn't compute for them that it's possible to be racist in favor of some minority group and that that could be a bad thing.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
No, it's not "good racism" vs. "bad racism"; it's "not actually racism" vs. "racism".
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
United States
Vancouver
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Ami. Geek.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
whac3 wrote:
No, it's not "good racism" vs. "bad racism"; it's "not actually racism" vs. "racism".


Treating someone differently because of their race is racism, Moshe. It is actually racism. Real racism.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
The Steak Fairy
United States
Columbia
South Carolina
flag msg tools
Games? People still play games??
badge
Specious arguments are not proof of trollish intent.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Orangemoose wrote:
MWChapel wrote:


I am wondering if it has less to do with the audience, and more to do with who runs Hollywood and the media who are preventing it.


Bingo.

Most people in the US have a "live and let live" attitude. The politicians, Hollywoodites and the media are so insulated in their own little fantasy world that they will never see this reality.


Congratulations on emitting what is perhaps the most ineffectual and blatantly stupid statement in all of RSP so far this week. I track these things very carefully, and though I knew you might be a front-runner some day soon, it never occurred to me that you'd squander the opportunity in such a trivial thread as this one.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave G
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
El Chupacabratwurst
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ejmowrer wrote:
whac3 wrote:
No, it's not "good racism" vs. "bad racism"; it's "not actually racism" vs. "racism".


Treating someone differently because of their race is racism, Moshe. It is actually racism. Real racism.


This semantic argument gets so fucking tired. Call it what you want, Eric, but you know exactly what the distinction is that Chad and Moshe are trying to draw, and the misleading application of the same term on a technicality undermines your argument by making it look trollish and needlessly provocative.
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John So-And-So
United States
Fresno
California
flag msg tools
badge
You and the Cap'n make it hap'n
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ejmowrer wrote:
whac3 wrote:
No, it's not "good racism" vs. "bad racism"; it's "not actually racism" vs. "racism".


Treating someone differently because of their race is racism, Moshe. It is actually racism. Real racism.


That's incorrect. Racism and prejudicial treatment are not the same thing. We can argue the merits of prejudicial treatment, but that doesn't mean it's racist.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
United States
Vancouver
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Ami. Geek.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
djgutierrez77 wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
whac3 wrote:
No, it's not "good racism" vs. "bad racism"; it's "not actually racism" vs. "racism".


Treating someone differently because of their race is racism, Moshe. It is actually racism. Real racism.


This semantic argument gets so fucking tired. Call it what you want, Eric, but you know exactly what the distinction is that Chad and Moshe are trying to draw, and the misleading application of the same term on a technicality undermines your argument by making it look trollish and needlessly provocative.


Read my full post, then, and not Moshe's knee-jerk reaction to it. I already granted that it's reasonable to make a distinction, just not reasonable to pretend that because they're different (and asymmetrical) that one isn't an issue. It is. There doesn't have to be symmetry to make it so.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
United States
Vancouver
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Ami. Geek.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
CapAp wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
whac3 wrote:
No, it's not "good racism" vs. "bad racism"; it's "not actually racism" vs. "racism".


Treating someone differently because of their race is racism, Moshe. It is actually racism. Real racism.


That's incorrect. Racism and prejudicial treatment are not the same thing. We can argue the merits of prejudicial treatment, but that doesn't mean it's racist.


Prejudicial treatment on the basis of race is racist.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
"that's a smith and wesson, and you've had your six"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I liked my Hollywood angle better.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
The Steak Fairy
United States
Columbia
South Carolina
flag msg tools
Games? People still play games??
badge
Specious arguments are not proof of trollish intent.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Why not just concede Eric's point to him, and be done with it? Of course treating someone differently because of their race is racism. Treating somebody preferentially in a manner commensurate with the injustice that they've been subjected to due to themselves having been treated differently because of their race? That is not, in fact, racism, and all but the most dyed-in-the-wool racists actually understand it.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
United States
Vancouver
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Ami. Geek.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MisterCranky wrote:
Why not just concede Eric's point to him, and be done with it? Of course treating someone differently because of their race is racism. Treating somebody preferentially in a manner commensurate with the injustice that they've been subjected to due to themselves having been treated differently because of their race? That is not, in fact, racism, and all but the most dyed-in-the-wool racists actually understand it.


Yep, that's me. Dyed in the wool racist.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walker
United States
Birmingham
Alabama
flag msg tools
"The significance of a person's life is determined by the story they believe themselves to be in." - Wendell Berry "If nothing lies beyond the pale of death, then nothing of value lies before it." - SMBC
badge
Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song, the joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue. Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last, has won my affection and bound my soul fast.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MWChapel wrote:
I liked my Hollywood angle better.


I think that Hollywood both reflects and alters our society with its depictions of race, gender, and similar issues. Reflects, because ultimately Hollywood is all about money, so they wouldn't make it that way if people weren't buying it. Alters, because once people get used to seeing certain things on the screen it can be terribly hard to show something else. Life imitates art, and art imitates life.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walker
United States
Birmingham
Alabama
flag msg tools
"The significance of a person's life is determined by the story they believe themselves to be in." - Wendell Berry "If nothing lies beyond the pale of death, then nothing of value lies before it." - SMBC
badge
Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song, the joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue. Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last, has won my affection and bound my soul fast.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MisterCranky wrote:
Why not just concede Eric's point to him, and be done with it? Of course treating someone differently because of their race is racism. Treating somebody preferentially in a manner commensurate with the injustice that they've been subjected to due to themselves having been treated differently because of their race? That is not, in fact, racism, and all but the most dyed-in-the-wool racists actually understand it.


That's a good point, but in practice there's some sticky bits where we try and decide exactly how much injustice this person has suffered and who gets to bear the cost of reimbursing them.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
R. Frazier
United States
West Sacramento
California
flag msg tools
A man learns little by little in battle. Take this battle experience and become a man who can’t be beaten
badge
This flag says we will fight until only our bones are left.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ejmowrer wrote:
whac3 wrote:
No, it's not "good racism" vs. "bad racism"; it's "not actually racism" vs. "racism".


Treating someone differently because of their race is racism, Moshe. It is actually racism. Real racism.


That's incorrect. You can believe that people of a certain race or ethnic background on average have had less advantages due to history than people of other races, or on average suffer ill-effects from prejudice which is prevalent in your culture and thus should be protected proactive from racism or provided with jobs or other advantages on a pro-active basis to counter what you believe are the effects of your existing culture without being in any way racist.

What you're missing is that racism is based on the belief that different races have different natural, inborn advantages. It's possible to believe that there should be quotas for hiring of black people without believing that black people have any natural advantages or disadvantages over whites, just that if you don't have race-based quotas, your society is so racist that a significant subset of employers will discriminate against black people, for example.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave G
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
El Chupacabratwurst
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ejmowrer wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
whac3 wrote:
No, it's not "good racism" vs. "bad racism"; it's "not actually racism" vs. "racism".


Treating someone differently because of their race is racism, Moshe. It is actually racism. Real racism.


This semantic argument gets so fucking tired. Call it what you want, Eric, but you know exactly what the distinction is that Chad and Moshe are trying to draw, and the misleading application of the same term on a technicality undermines your argument by making it look trollish and needlessly provocative.


Read my full post, then, and not Moshe's knee-jerk reaction to it. I already granted that it's reasonable to make a distinction, just not reasonable to pretend that because they're different that one isn't an issue. It is.


No, it isn't. That's the whole point about a "false symmetry" that Chad is trying to make. Using "racism" as you are to equate efforts to promote a minority group that has been historically disadvantaged by prejudice from the majority with that same systemic prejudice just cheapens the term. You may not use your convenient definition to perpetuate prejudiced behavior, but there are others (here in these forums, probably here in this thread by the time I'm done typing this) who will and do use this same false comparison to imply not only that racism is a "two-way street" but even go so far as to say that all "racism" is effectively equal and affirmative action is therefore just as bad as a century and a half of slavery.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shawn Fox
United States
Richardson
Texas
flag msg tools
Question everything
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think we should create some special awards for white people in the NBA and NFL since whites are a minority.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [10] | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.