'Straight White Male' is the Real World's easiest difficulty setting

jdzappa wrote:
momgamer wrote:

Now I've read through the rest of the posts.

zappa, I'm sorry for your frustration, but I need you to understand that I feel the same way every single day. I have to struggle every day to simply be heard in both my personal and professional lives. My viewpoint is constantly devalued, my input ignored.

When I read posts like yours it feels like yet another attack. And I have to step away and try to stay reasonable.

@Momgamer - my goal was never to insult anyone and your experiences with the Air Force Academy make me extremely mad. You're the exact kind of candidate that should have been accepted.

I just want to ask a question - and I hope it doesn't come off the wrong way - can you tell me more about the situations where your coworkers bully or belittle you? Is there anyone in HR you can take these complaints to? I'm stating up front that maybe I'm naive but I always thought that in most modern companies outright sexist behavior is going to get slapped pretty hard.

I'm not sure where you got the notion that all sexist behavior is actionable. A very small, specific type of sexist behavior (unwanted sexual advances/language) will get you in trouble a small percentage of the time. Anything else is far more than fair game.

This is going to have to be deliberately vague, so I'm not sure it's going to convey the impact, but I'll try. We have an issue where a USB drive attached to one of our remote servers stopped responding yesterday. After a subtly insulting exchange of emails where we had to prove that it was actually unresponsive and not just that a previous reboot had changed the drive letter name or any one of several other Computer Science 101 complaints and me finally having to dig up three email threads where this has happened before with this particular drive, he finally agrees this is a known issue that's happened before and the solution is to physically bounce the power in the drive. He says he'll handle it in the morning.

This morning, he sends out an email message at 5am our time saying he needs to reboot the server and that my coworker who had an open session needed to log out. An exchange of messages ensue between him and one of my male colleagues on the machine asked what was the holdup, where he implies he's standing down in the CoLo waiting on her response. We don't come officially come online until 9am our time, but I lose my nerve and start calling her around 8am. She's violently ill, but finally gets to her machine and logs out a little before 9.

I call him to make sure he knows she's off the machine because I think he's away from his computer, and find out that a) he's sitting at his desk and going to do the reboot remotely, and b) the actual holdup is a guy on another team in another state who can't log out properly due to the fact that their network is down. He tells me if the reboot doesn't work he's going to go down there after his lunch hour. Except we both know that it frelling won't work.

As those previous experiences have shown, you have to power the USB itself up and down and even with me sending him the instructions he wrote himself last time he won't do it that way because he's decided I'm wrong. To make it even better, the entire email exchange this morning blames my female coworker for the delay and there's been nothing to refute that, and in another exchange he's implying the reason it's taking him so long to get the other site's network up is because of this delay and her not responding at oh dark hundred. No, I don't know what the heck else he's been doing for four hours.

How does he get away with this crap? Well, he's in another state, and his boss is in yet another. His boss thinks he hangs the moon and can do no wrong. But I lost four hours yesterday dealing with him and another charmer from that other site who I overheard referring to me as "the mouthy bitch from Seattle" while I was talking to someone else (he wanted to blame me for his click-thru rates being down last week), and we're going on losing three more here today.

Whoops. Just realized part of this got truncated.

This mess isn't anything worse than usual. I've gone through this every day at every job I've been at to one degree or another. When dealing with some of my colleagues, I am assumed to be stupid/wrong/incompetent just by virtue of my gender/age.

That said, I also work with some wonderful people who treat me with respect, who help me rather than hinder me, and together we do some amazing things.

Hypatian:

I've given your commentary long thought. The problems you've brought forward have been long in my thoughts and I felt it warranted additional consideration. There are several aspects to your reply. I cannot fathom an overall overarching theme, so I'll see about them according to each broad subtopic.

The point is that even if race could somehow be magically made into a non-issue, there are plenty of other things. So solving the problem of race does not solve the problem of prejudice. As a result, it is unreasonable to put forward the "everybody stop thinking about race and everything will be okay" solution when looking at general problems of prejudice. (For example, the "straight" and "male" parts of this thread's topic.) There's no good reason to call out race as being a special kind of label that's somehow more of a problem than any of these other labels.

Well, here's the thing. This thread is about racism and sexism, so it stands to reason that we will give those particular sorts of prejudice priority in this location. We are NOT looking at general problems of prejudice, but at a particular sort of prejudice - the sort that gives straight white males their privileged status.

A more general sort of discussion on prejudice could probably be tackled in a separate thread.

As for arguing from a rational position: Both arguments have merit rationally--on my side, I can argue that policies that enforce mixing people from different backgrounds may naturally erode prejudice, as people are put in a position of knowing individual members of classes they might otherwise be prejudiced against. It also has the direct effect of evening out some of the effects of prejudice, which could lead to a reduction in the inequity of economic power (and all the things that come from that) in successive generations.

I can see where mixing people from different backgrounds will lead to a more tolerant and cosmopolitan workplace and population. That can be a reason for hiring someone from an entirely different background specifically quite outside his or her competence. His or her contribution to company performance goes beyond just his or her own input professionally. But why judge based on race to begin with? This is not Affirmative Action (removing discriminatory practices) but specifically targeting recruits of particular backgrounds to bring those qualities into the workplace.

Likewise, you're conflating classism with racism. The benefits of wealth cannot be denied, but the desirable way to address that is not to conflate "black" with "poor and needs help" but to say that "You wealthy parents cannot do anything to use your wealth to help your offspring to a better life than the least of his peers."

Social mobility will address economic imbalances by itself presuming that your society isn't already gelling into something like a caste system; and if it is, that's its own problem, isn't it? That's worthy of being seriously addressed in and of itself.

The problem, again, is not that people identify themselves as being members of a certain group. It's that people identify the group as being somehow inferior to other groups.

And there you potentially have something that could be measured and used to form public policy. Does having a program like affirmative action promote the idea that members of targeted groups cannot succeed on their own? Does it promote that idea in the minds of members of the group? Does it promote that idea in the minds of others? How much of an impact does this effect have, compared to the impact of more diverse groups working together and breaking down barriers between groups? It's necessary to measure this to know.

But, again, this concern is about the effect of policy on people who already self-identify as members of certain groups. Consider that all of these concerns are equally valid for both race and gender: few of us believe that it is necessary to destroy the concept of gender in order to stamp out gender inequality. Why, then, should it be necessary to destroy the concept of race?

The way I see it, group identity dynamics broadly fall into two categories:

1. Empathy
2. Alienation and Persecution

I'm all for empathy. I am not for Alienation and Persecution.

Small backgrounder.

I'm Filipino as you well know. I'm given to believe, from personal interviews and site feedback from all over the globe that we are frequently described as "warm" and "accepting" people. This may be multifactorial, but what's considered "warm and welcoming" by others is just normal to us. Less than that is considered somewhat cold and distant.

I think this has to do with how our social network works. We are not inherently warmer or more welcoming - our social dynamic simply makes it appear that way. To cut to the chase, we generally use group identity to generate empathy and consensus. This seems to be common in Asian cultures, but our way of doing it is by using group identity. For reference, the Japanese way of doing it is by ordered social hierarchies and mandatory group social activity.

Thus, I'm "half-everything" because that is the way I build consensus and relate. If you happen to not belong to a group I identify with, then I do not identify you as "Other," rather I look for ways in which we can belong to the same group - we're both from the same barrio, attended the same college, workplace, social group, or seminar.

Ergo, once relation is established, you cease becoming "Mark, the white guy," but "Mark, my college colleague," or "Mark, my family member." That identify supersumes other traits, and especially Othering traits that block empathy and consensus. Your identity as "Maria's husband," supercedes your identity as "black" or "white."

This may be a common worldwide phenomenon. If so, then this is how group identity should work. We are fighting the Alienation side of group identity. Given that much of the population in the US is still "white" an Empathic sort of group dynamic would direct that greatly "white" population to seek commonality with "minorities." In this scheme, the child of a "black" man and a "white" man would become "essentially white," as part of seeking empathy and consensus, assuming that the POV is "white." Conversely, the same person would be viewed as "black" if the POV is "black." He is essentially both "black" and "white" depending on who's asking.

Is this bad? Is this too impossible of a goal to start now?

OG_Slinger:

Using anti-poverty programs that are race neutral does absolutely nothing to address white America's perceptions of blacks. Nor would race neutral programs address the institutional racism that would keep all but the most exceptional black candidates out of college. That means that very few blacks would get the college degree needed to get a good job, get a house, ensure that their children have a very good chance at doing better than they did, and, most importantly, help to change the perception that blacks are all the things I listed above.

It's harder for white people to think that being black means bad things when their manager at work is black, their neighbor in their subdivision is black, and when they get sick they get treated by a black doctor. That's the intent of affirmative action programs.

Apologies. I've only now read up on the history of Affirmative Action. My colloquial knowledge of the movement was only based on incidents and complaints where lower thresholds and quotas were being used to select out minority individuals for preferred treatment.

Broadly, I support Affirmative Action in its principle of voiding discriminatory practices against groups of people. The principle of disparate impact is sound and is a way to get around employers who are devious in their implementation of their brand of hatred and prejudice.

I'm not supportive of race-specific actions such as quotas and lower thresholds, as those are racist as well; it would be better to institute a race-neutral criterion for entry, should that be desirable, based on the principle of disparate impact.

I don't know that a widespread change on gross American perceptions on what "blacks" are would change anything. They are viewed negatively because "white" people hate them, not because they are who they are in the situation that they find themselves. If they were industrious, superior, settled, law-abiding, temperate individuals, they would still find themselves cast in negative ways (single-minded, self-satisfied, hide-bound, boring). It's the spin and the group alienation that's affecting the negative perception, not any outward characteristic. A person or group of person determined to hate "blacks" will do so regardless of how they are doing.

Thus, I do not believe that it would be harder for "white" folks to find fault in "blacks" even if they have "black" co-workers, doctors, and superiors. In fact, Affirmative Action only adds to their list of grievances! In order to create equality, we must start with equality. "Equal but different" applies no more to race relations than they do to gender relations. "Equal but different" usually still ends up with inequality. It's just more straight privilege - straight people telling themselves that what they're doing is right and justifiable.

It might be a generation or two until we break that cycle. But even then, there's still the legacy of racism and previous attempts by the government to address black poverty (like urban housing) that will help create new racists in future generations.

True. As Malor and I say, the only way to deal with it definitively is to abolish and persecute the concept of racism and racists in general. There must be legal and social sanctions on a widespread and deep level. Even identifying as any race in all seriousness must at least warrant a small amount of social sanction.

I think that this is the point at which abolition of race concept applies. You've dealt with the grosser parts of discrimination - people don't get to rape and kill "black" folks with almost complete sanction from society at large; it is no longer acceptable to make slaves out of people based on the color of their skin. The egregious parts being more or less dealt with, it is time to attack the movement at its heart - the social concept itself.

Blacks shouldn't be classifying themselves as "black" anyway, from a purely genetic standpoint. Any child of a pure African "black" and a pure European "white" isn't black - he or she is "half-black" and "half-white," just as a Half Elf isn't a full Elf, either. Some "blacks" could very well classify as "white" from a genetic standpoint, assuming 80%+ heritage is sufficient. Strict application of such genetic and lineage markers can serve equally well to dispel "whiteness" and "blackness," since the science itself doesn't lie. It belies the very notion of either "race."

LarryC wrote:

Blacks shouldn't be classifying themselves as "black" anyway, from a purely genetic standpoint. Any child of a pure African "black" and a pure European "white" isn't black - he or she is "half-black" and "half-white," just as a Half Elf isn't a full Elf, either. Some "blacks" could very well classify as "white" from a genetic standpoint, assuming 80%+ heritage is sufficient. Strict application of such genetic and lineage markers can serve equally well to dispel "whiteness" and "blackness," since the science itself doesn't lie. It belies the very notion of either "race."

Are you at all familiar with concepts like "passing" and the history of mixed-race people in this country? The notion of "one drop"? Or are you simply arguing against racial identifiers from a scientific standpoint?

Frankly, i'll stop classifying myself as a "black american" when the dominant society ceases identifying me as "black", or people as "looking too ethnic/having too ethnic hair". I know I identify as an American, yes, but also as a Black American, because each of those words speaks to a unique experience. Being an American means my life and experience and privileges are different than any distant, distant family I might have somewhere in Africa. Being a Black American is part of my experience living in a culture where I am simultaneously accepted and othered, surrounded by family members who walked a hard road for me to enjoy the racial status I enjoy today. I identify in part because when I walk out the door and into the world, I am a young, black male, and will be seen/perceived as such.

Key & Peele are two comedians over here who recently got their own show. Both of them have a black father, and a white mother. Both are considered by at-a-glance society at large, black. Now, thankfully, there is a small, but growing population of mixed-race people in this nation who are bucking against that brand of cheap, reactionary categorization.

I'd argue that by self-identifying as "black," you are ceding victory to the racists who are othering you and persecuting you. You can't change them, you can only change yourself; but giving them the power of defining who you are allows them to perpetuate the cycle of alienation and persecution.

Your entire nation is genetically diverse. I think that even Seth will concede that "white" is no more "pure" than anything else, since that designation could conceivably broken down into more groups. In that a "white" person could be German/Polish and a "black" person could be Nigerian/Kenyan or Hutu/Tutsi, you're all mixed.

My take is, if you want to fight, take the fight to the heart of the movement. Do not allow them to categorize you as black. You are not. You're "mixed," just like everyone else is. Do not check that "black" box in an oppressive "Race" category in a form. When available, always choose "Other: Mixed."

LarryC wrote:

This thread is about racism and sexism, so it stands to reason that we will give those particular sorts of prejudice priority in this location. We are NOT looking at general problems of prejudice, but at a particular sort of prejudice - the sort that gives straight white males their privileged status.

Lets not forget issues around heteronormativity.

DanB:

Indeed not! I confess that I find it easier to resolve issues around heteronormativity than basic male/female issues within myself. There's not a lot of fundamental differences between a gay man and a straight man; it's largely sexual preference. Treating them largely the same way should not present an issue except in cases of sexual orientation. Males and females are more fundamentally different.

That said, in the current milieu, there's at least an equal amount of persecution of gay males. What's the -ism for favoring straight?

LarryC wrote:

DanB:

Indeed not! I confess that I find it easier to resolve issues around heteronormativity than basic male/female issues within myself. There's not a lot of fundamental differences between a gay man and a straight man; it's largely sexual preference. Treating them largely the same way should not present an issue except in cases of sexual orientation. Males and females are more fundamentally different.

That said, in the current milieu, there's at least an equal amount of persecution of gay males. What's the -ism for favoring straight?

Privilege issues around heteronormativity extend way past the gay-straight dichotomy. Reducing it to just that dyad is an example of the kind of reflexive thinking that drives problems around normative privilege. We do all often think of issues in terms of opposing pairs; blacks and white, gay and straight, men and women. Afterall, pairs are easy and they do show up all over the place. But when a system actually has many more poles (such as as in issues around heteronormativity) such reflexive thinking renders invisible the voices and rights of the overlooked. In this case lesbian, queer, transsexual and asexual people.

True. I was using gay as shorthand. Perhaps it has a more straightforward meaning in your language game. It's common for me to encounter lesbians and transsexuals as well; I've mistakenly translated the entire issue in the "gay" term. The problem is actually exactly that. What's the -ism that maps to heteronormativity?

LarryC wrote:

Your entire nation is genetically diverse. I think that even Seth will concede that "white" is no more "pure" than anything else, since that designation could conceivably broken down into more groups. In that a "white" person could be German/Polish and a "black" person could be Nigerian/Kenyan or Hutu/Tutsi, you're all mixed.

While Hypatian and DanB are doing a great job of elucidating my point of view, I suppose I should point out I'm uncomfortable using words like "pure" when talking about race. Just like with dog breeds, even purebred akc registered dogs are essentially mixes of different types of wolf variants.

I've mistakenly translated the entire issue in the "gay" term.

Maybe. Talking from my western perspective: My feeling is that gay was a term for homosexual that has come to increasingly refer to male homosexuals, which is why we often see the phrase "Gay & Lesbian". One reaction to that transformation in meaning and the notion that straight, gay and lesbian are the only 3 sexualities is the rise of the term "queer" to embrace a spectrum of behaviours and practices that don't fit with those 3. My interpretation of queer is that it is used in the sense of "non-normative", not sure if others would agree.

LarryC wrote:

What's the -ism that maps to heteronormativity?

I don't know that there is one. And I also think many people in the world of gender studies and queer analysis/practice would probably oppose establishing one. The push from that side is to keep the voices distinct and make them heard not to conflate the community into an amorphous whole which is defined through a single -ism. But that is a tough one, gay rights movements worked because there is large "amorphous gay identity" that guys could/did/do marshal round.

@ Momgamer - sorry it took so long to respond but since you live in Washington state, you should be protected under hostile workplace laws. Also, you mentioned Computer Science 101 - do you work at a university? If so, I know from my time at the UW that most colleges and universities take age and sex discrimination pretty seriously. I'm not sure how far you can (or want to) escalate the incident where the guy called you a bitch, but at the very least I think you have every right to tell him that was highly unprofessional and that in this economy it's probably a bad idea to be pulling that sh*t since there are a lot of IT professionals out there who can easily replace him.

BTW, I'm not meaning my post as a blow-off or to minimize your problems. I've had to go over some of this with my wife who has a somewhat misogynistic and clueless boss. Fortunately, she went up the chain far enough that he was told from on high to cut it out. I recognize it might not be worth the effort, but you might want to consider documenting every case and getting a lawyer.

Ok, I'm tracking now - sorry for the confusion. However, how much of this is direct sexism, and how much is simply douchebaggery? I've had my share of a-hole engineers who blow me off because I work as a technical writer. I've also worked as a contractor at a major software company where it's considered an ok practice to stab your co-workers in the back, as long as you either don't get caught or can justify such nastiness as "cost-saving measures."

Finally, I wasn't trying to play the white knight saving the helpless damsel. I just recognize that from being picked on severely as a kid, as an adult I have no problem getting up in people's faces. If a guy cuts me off in traffic and gives me the finger, I'm more than happy to return the favor. If I get horrible service at a store, I'll escalate to the manager or call corporate if I need to. I just see a lot of people getting pushed around because they won't stand up for themselves. But if you threaten to take a lot of these bullies to the mat, they'll usually back down and apologize.

jdzappa wrote:

But if you threaten to take a lot of these bullies to the mat, they'll usually back down and apologize.

To you, a straight, white man. The issue is that they're more likely to think they can take you if you're a woman or non-straight and getting up in their face.

You're asking questions about momgamer's situation I can't answer.

I will say that I have seen similar sexism in almost every place I've worked. A previous boss, who is one of the most aggressively competent people I've worked with, faced constant sexism and assumptions of incompetence. I was on more than one conference call where she would put forward the correct solution, be ignored or dismissed out-of-hand. When I would repeat her suggestion, it would be tried and found to be correct. Oddly, every time I pointed out that I'd only repeated her suggestion, my words got shunted to the same sensory-filter that got her solution ignored in the first place.

I am still in awe of the fact that my boss didn't beat down the guy who suggested she "not get all emotional" when she had the gall to calmly point out (on her own) that the solution we'd just made to resolve an emergency problem for a major client was the same one she'd suggested a full 30 minutes earlier.

jdzappa wrote:

where it's considered an ok practice to stab your co-workers in the back, as long as you either don't get caught

And that's the key, as Dimmerswitch detailed. The idea that "men are better at this stuff than women" means that: a) some people are actively sexist and more likely to target women for this sort of backstabbing, and b) other people are more likely to let them get away with it because that idea is sitting in their sub-conscious. And that second reinforces the behavior of the first camp and makes life that much more hellish for the targets.

These don't have to be really big blatant things for them to have an impact. Smaller things are easier to let pass but as the trend keeps on over time, it's a horrible weight on the targets.

And when you consider a vocation which is dominated by men in the first place, even if it happens rarely, it's going to target those same women over and over again. Even if you swat down that behavior in one guy, the next year there's going to be some other guy doing it... and even though it's a different guy, it'll be the same woman, because there just aren't that many women around.

If you don't swat it down, well... some people get the idea that this kind of behavior is okay, and you get really objectionable stuff done straight-up in places like technical conferences. Or that ASUS ad thing, or... Yeah.

Stengah wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

But if you threaten to take a lot of these bullies to the mat, they'll usually back down and apologize.

To you, a straight, white man. The issue is that they're more likely to think they can take you if you're a woman or non-straight and getting up in their face.

Which is a privilege I am perfectly okay with abusing, and look forward to the day it's not the case.

Seriously, I see this kind of thing all the time, as well. There's been a large handful of times people bring (me, a contractor) in because they don't trust the female person who suggested the solution. I've been slightly fortunate in that I have been able to swing getting due credit applied a few times... but not nearly often enough.

And, let's be perfectly honest here. When was the last time you saw a female IT subcontractor? It's not for lack of interest, nor lack of qualifications.

momgamer's certainly capable of addressing things, but I know her plate is a little full-to-overflowing with more important stuff than P&C at the moment.

The point, as I read it, of that anecdote is that chronic sexism of varying degrees is common, and that much of it is not actionable (the "mouthy bitch" comment notwithstanding). The "Computer Science 101" comment was pointing out how little consideration momgamer's (correct) analysis of the problem was given, so that instead of making the real fix in a timely fashion, her co-worker insisted on asking her remedial-level ("Computer Science 101") troubleshooting questions, culminating in a situation where momgamer had to roust a violently-ill female colleague before normal work hours, only to have her male colleague insist on using the remote protocol which momgamer had already established wouldn't work.

Then, when the remote protocol didn't work, this male colleague threw the violently-ill (female) colleague under the bus, rather than the other guy who was actually the last to log out.

And he gets away with it, in part, because the pervasive assumption is that the straight white male is the competent employee.

For me, that's a key part of the problem of privilege: as a straight white male, the default assumption in many situations is that I'm competent / respectable / law-abiding. Now, I strive to be all those things, but am keenly aware that I benefit on a regular basis from the assumptions people make about myself and others, based on our gender / race / perceived orientation. For example, I've had several contacts with police in my life, and don't doubt for a moment that if I was not a straight white male that I would have a criminal record right now.

[Edit: removed extraneous "there"]

LarryC wrote:

That said, in the current milieu, there's at least an equal amount of persecution of gay males. What's the -ism for favoring straight?

I don't think it's an "ism" but such discrimination is usually referred to as homophobia. Medically incorrect, but it's a matter of common usage.

You could also say "hetero-normative" which means acting as though preferring opposite-sex partners is normal and preferring same-sex partners is weird and deviant. It really just means assuming everyone is straight without considering other possibilities.

jdzappa wrote:

@ Momgamer - sorry it took so long to respond but since you live in Washington state, you should be protected under hostile workplace laws. Also, you mentioned Computer Science 101 - do you work at a university? If so, I know from my time at the UW that most colleges and universities take age and sex discrimination pretty seriously. I'm not sure how far you can (or want to) escalate the incident where the guy called you a bitch, but at the very least I think you have every right to tell him that was highly unprofessional and that in this economy it's probably a bad idea to be pulling that sh*t since there are a lot of IT professionals out there who can easily replace him.

BTW, I'm not meaning my post as a blow-off or to minimize your problems. I've had to go over some of this with my wife who has a somewhat misogynistic and clueless boss. Fortunately, she went up the chain far enough that he was told from on high to cut it out. I recognize it might not be worth the effort, but you might want to consider documenting every case and getting a lawyer.

Sorry it's taken me so long to get back. The gang here pretty much said what I was going to say, much better than I probably would at this point. I'll try to euclidate on some things, but I haven't been to bed for a few days.

The guy who was calling me that name wasn't an IT guy, he's a marketing/SEO guy who referred to me that way to the developer I was on the phone with, not realizing that I could hear him. It would be he said/she said and there is no way the dev I was talking to could back me up. I wouldn't even ask; he's contract and already on thin ice because he finished the project he was working on and they have a habit of cleaning house rather than pay for technical staff when they're in maintenance mode. I really can't go into details here, but suffice it to say that guy is a known issue and had already been stepped on for this. That's why he did it when he thought he could get away with it.

I do stand up to them. That's why that guy refers to me that way. They don't step back and apologize. They escalate on their own, and I have to fight them to detente instead of spending my energy on getting something like my job done. I've listed out some of my battles in other | threads | like this. I don't know how to explain how this looks from my angle in such a way that you can understand why I've made the choices I have.

It's really not worth the effort to try to take this to court. They'd have to do something much more measurable to me and even then odds are it wouldn't matter. I've been through that before. It was crap like this that sent me away from MS, and I did try that route there and it didn't make any difference except to teach me to get the heck out of project management while the kids were still at home and set me on a much more sustainable course.

This company has been a haven to me until three years ago, when they bought and merged with three other companies. These problems I have stem from the staff that came in from there, not the people I've worked with for many years. I'm not going to say I didn't have any conflicts, but they didn't have anything to do with gender. Those problems came from outside.

I could leave, and end up going through the same crap in another company. I could change to another career, but without going to school the only real path I can see now is games writing and that has it's own list of very public problems on this level. I've been thinking hard about this for the last six months or so. With the kids out of the house I need to figure out what I want to do when I grow up.

So there's been a bit of discussion in other threads about the destruction of the American middle class and the unfairness of shipping good-paying jobs overseas. I just wanted to briefly play devil's advocate and ask, if you accept the existence of white privilege, why that's necessarily a bad thing? The places where these jobs are going have traditionally been exploited by colonial powers. If an Indian or Chinese worker is willing to work harder than a white American worker for far less money, isn't it prejudice to demonize companies for relocating those jobs?

And furthermore, the whole point of privilege is the displaced American workers will quickly land on their feet.

jdzappa wrote:

And furthermore, the whole point of privilege is the displaced American workers will quickly land on their feet.

On paper, privilege seems like a simple concept to me, but statements like this that show you (and countless others, you're just an example) still don't get it.

edit: this seems douchey, so I'll elaborate: white privilege is not a superpower. It's not a silver bullet card that people can play to get out of bad stuff like missing a promotion or getting a speeding ticket. It's more like a state of being, especially in America.

This might be a bad analogy (it just popped into my head so I haven't thought about it critically) but privilege is like cancer. Just because you work out, eat right, and don't smoke doesn't mean you're bullet proof against it.

This, on the other hand, is pretty insightful:

So there's been a bit of discussion in other threads about the destruction of the American middle class and the unfairness of shipping good-paying jobs overseas. I just wanted to briefly play devil's advocate and ask, if you accept the existence of white American privilege, why that's necessarily a bad thing? The places where these jobs are going have traditionally been exploited by colonial powers. If an Indian or Chinese worker is willing to work harder than a white American worker for far less money, isn't it prejudice to demonize companies for relocating those jobs?

This would be a good example of American privilege, not white privilege. American forces - unions specifically - have done a good job inventing a middle class here, which hasn't happened yet in developing worlds. Thinking that an American family deserves to send their kids to college more than a Chinese family deserves to eat is inherently a mark of privilege.

bahaha. What a perfect video. Thanks for sharing!

That is fantastic.

Awesome.

Yellek wrote:

Awesome.

Shh! You're not a white guy!

LarryC wrote:

What's the -ism that maps to heteronormativity?

Some people have used heterosexism in various circles, though I find myself avoiding the term whenever possible these days (constantly reevaluating my language and not preferring its use).

This Onion piece made me laugh
http://www.theonion.com/articles/wei...