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So I'm glad were having this discussion. First, a few statements of facts as I see them: Bald Move is not a hub of discussion for social justice. Bald Move agrees with and supports the goals of social justice, specifically equality for everyone. Bald Move is also two middle aged white guys with a pretty bro-y veneer.
That latter is essentially our honey pot in which we attract other young to middle aged men, lure them in, and attempt re-education. However, I've often noted there is friction where these boundaries collide.
It is common place in social justice circles to make sweeping blanket statements like "all white people are racist" when what they really mean is "all white people benefit from systemic racism, and to the extent they are unaware or apathetic, directly support this system of oppression." This is a social justice 300-level statement, especially since the average white person walks around with a working definition of racism being burning crosses in yards and using the n-word. The 300-level statement requires 1) an understanding of systemic racism, 2) how systemic racism manifests itself in society, 3) an understanding of how our own participation in society perpetuates that, 4) buying into all of these concepts once understood, and if you're a white person, 5) fairly thick skin. Maybe not as thick as a person of color's skin. But pretty thick. If you want to see perceived levels of thinnedskinedness on display, watch what happens in an online feminist space when a black woman challenges her white sisters on their privilege. Or how even fairly inter-sectional spaces deal with able-ist critiques. Nobody who sees themselves as a good person is born receptive to the idea that they might actually be the baddies. No one's knee jerk reaction is to see nuance and how they aren't necessarily being called out or evaluate the relative merits of the call out.
The utility of statements like "all white people are racists" is manifest. It's a shorthand to sum up three paragraphs worth of assumptions to then build on a pre-existing understanding rather than manufacture one from whole cloth each time you want to discuss race. It's useful to vent. It expresses anger and hurt and triggers others in the group to soothe and heal, which is a vital human bonding exercise.
However, I feel the best use of myself as an ally is trying to pitch social justice to my peer group at a 100-level, because it's a currently under served group in much need of education. I have an accurate awareness of how I have shifted my views from an ignorant fundamentalist reactionary white guy to where I am now, which is mostly together, I suppose? But I know things that aided my understanding and things that set my understanding back, and my goal is to deliver as much of the boons and as few of setbacks as I can in my discourse with this community.
White fragility is a real thing. So is male fragility. What it actually is; human fragility. Men, specifically white men, are at the top of the heap in this point in space time. But I refuse to believe if the balls bounced differently and the world happened to be run by, say, Asian women, that it would be a perfect paradise. The oppression would have a difference in targets and character, but there would absolutely still be oppression. Everyone fears rejection from a group they identify with. That group could be gamers, or it could be feminists, it could be Star Wars fans, or it could be "the set of decent people in the world." There is this odd dichotomy I see in social justice spaces that simultaneously decry men's detachment from empathy but then say "toughen up! suck it up!" when they have what are quite natural reactions to criticism. I understand why this is. You can't have men from the 100-classes wasting people's time and being offensive to people in the 300-level classes. It's why /r/gamerghazi, a pop-culture / gaming social justice community I spend a lot of time in has a thread called "Concerning White Fragility" pinned to the top of it's discussion. It weeds out a lot of people who aren't ready to engage with the material at this level.
I fully endorse everything that posted top level comment says. But I realize a lot of otherwise decent people are not going to make it past the first paragraph without going "fuck this." I don't want Bald Move forums to be that kind of place. Any new understanding takes a progression. A couch to 5k program is not a paper that says, "You're fat and out of shape. Go out and run, fatass." It's a program that gradually develops your muscles, cardio, and endurance to be able to eventually run a 5k. I've said on past threads that I think human progress is a pendulum, that there are corrections, over corrections, balance, and then more corrections and over corrections as we bump along towards progress. On a macro level, I absolutely believe this to be true. But within circles of friends I'd hope we can agree that the best policy is to try to smooth those permutations out as best we can and offer hands up the pyramid of progress rather than a boot to the face and with a "die, shitlord!"
I'm not going to make rules about what people can and cannot say. I'd always err on siding with people who are oppressed over people who have privilege. But I guess I'm asking for us who know and do better to always assume good faith and avoid using language that will stumble someone who is at an early level of their understanding. Hearing women talk about their lived experiences is incredibly valuable. But I don't know that this is the appropriate space to "vent". People who are venting say shit that is unfair and hurtful. And there are certainly plenty of spaces and outlets for venting that are safe and understanding.
"All white people are racist" or "all men are sexist" is a perfectly accurate statement to make, but I'm not sure it's an appropriate statement to make in this space. You can express that sentiment, but at a 100-class level where you explain the concepts and terms and with awareness of how people may react as they're being flushed from their The Matrix pods. It hurts their eyes because they've never used them, etc. Negatively comparing any group of human beings to animals, is offensive on the face of it. If you're doing that, I'd make sure the target of the comparison is truly and universally vile, or you explain how the target can exempt themselves from being lumped into the comparison. The follow up commentary by Dee and Angie above in response to the dogs comparison is a good example of what I feel should have been the first level of expression.
Yes, this is exhausting. This is also why I call on all men of Bald Move with their heads at least half way pulled out of their asses to be proactive in helping other men, including on this forum, understand these issues so that the burden of work is not exclusively carried out by the women. Let us productively challenge each other, support each other, and save the weeding out for people who are clearly acting in bad faith and sowing discord.
I'm now going to shut up and see what you all have to say about this over the weekend. I appreciate any critiques or viewpoints, as I have much to learn as well.
@Anubus21, I have appreciated your support over the years. However, I would like to point out the hypocrisy in simultaneously decrying the oppression of your supposed loss of free speech while encouraging members who share your views to boycott Bald Move. Also, this flouncing business is expressly forbidden under Rule #10. But anyway, if we lose a few bucks taking stands for sides we believe in, that's a deal we'll always make. I mean, you do realize you're talking to two men who threw away their entire friends and family circles because we became convinced that one side was right and the other was wrong and we're not going to play it safe and put our heads in the sand, right?and 13 others.
I find it sad that you can sift through my public speech on the subject and decide that I think all Trump voters are racist, and has trouble with my "dangerous, blanket statements" on that subject, but with all of Trump's public speech and policy we get this "Oh sure, the President can be racially tone deaf at times but calling him an out and out racist... I don't know, that's a bridge too far, fellas," bullshit. It's not a good look, man, and I have to feel like deep down you know this.
And you're not even being banned for contorting yourself into logical pretzels to overlook the sheer odiousness of Trump. You're banned because you can't shut up about it. Minorities in this country swallow tons of shit on a daily basis but the line you draw is a podcast host demanding people acknowledge that Trump is a racist? That's got you to the barricades?
I'm an atheist. When I'm sitting at a Christian table and they say grace, I bow my head. I do not loudly proclaim that "I'm an atheist and you all are deluded with your invisible sky god". I could state that as politely as I'd like, and with an absolute conviction that I'm correct, and I'd still be at the very least, a massive asshole. Every discussion with you and the few who are like you around here can never advance beyond first principles. It can never advance beyond the kind of network cable screaming heads crap that no one cares about. It's always going to be like this, forever. You're /r/thewalkingdead in complete denial about how shitty the show has become, and the rest of us want to move on to more interesting topics. I'm so sick of the carefully constructed arguments framing fundamentally offensive ideas trying to tip toe around our rules. I'm so sick of bad faith topics being introduced like "Will this one woman who sexually harassed a dude be the end of #metoo?", which I note with gratification that the Bald Move community always, always handles beautifully. Which you must find frustrating, because you want to prove that we're the real racists, or we're the real sexists, or that we can't possibly have a consistent world view because yours is such a roiling contradiction of what you see as heroic and good but continually proves to be corrupt and bankrupt. It's just so boring and tired. And you just show how far behind you are on the real conversations around these topics.
I suspect many of the people that are leaving Bald Move because of this stance are going to be feeling really stupid a few years from now. If so, please feel free to come back and tell us of your journey. Jim and I have shaped and curated a community that we feel proud of. We'll continue to do so. But we've also been deeply wrong and ignorant on so many things that we'll always be glad to welcome someone back when you see the light on the road to Damascus.
#metoo is as much about male victims as female. Look at the shameful way Hollywood is handling Terry Crews. There is a thought that says women don't sexually harass and assault men at the same rate that men sexually harass and assault women, which I personally think is true, but I also think that female to male sexual harassment and assault is as least as unreported as the opposite, maybe more so. To say nothing of male to male sexual harassment.and 2 others.
I've been sexually harassed and assaulted by both genders over the course of my lifetime, and I have not reported any of the them. Mostly at the time, I didn't even consider them as harassment and assault because I didn't feel physically threatened in either occasion, and dismissed it as "she was drunk" or "was just fooling around", and I could have physically forced them to stop any time I wanted, so, maybe I was doing something to lead them on or encourage them? I know many men who would just laugh at me if I confided that it was embarrassing or humiliating or damaged my professional reputation, etc.
Regardless of how much of a problem it is in context of the female side of #metoo, it's not hard to see how badly sexism hurts everyone, which is why I firmly believe all men should be feminists as well. http://reddit.com/r/menslib is a great resource for the masculine side of the struggle towards equality.