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My Thoughts on Arguing

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Aug 20 2013 · 1,618 views

Serious entry funny stuff later
So I guess there’s another blog war going on.  Oh boy.  But a few bits of it have annoyed me, and despite myself, I’m going to add in my words.  (And to be fair, I've only read a few entries on this issue, and I’m not going to pretend to be some sort of expert or anything.  Please hear me out before replying.)
 
So, to get to the bone of it, there’s a discussion over LGTBQA+ rights.  I should say something along the lines of “I’m a neutral party” but I’m just going to come out and say it.  I am in support of Princess Grr’s Gender Squad.  I do not like discrimination of any kind, and I think it’s an excellent idea to support those in the minority.  BUT that does not mean I approve of the way some people have been doing so.  (I’m not going to name names, and I’m not even sure if the people I have in mind are associated with Princess Grr.)
 
Anyway.  These people (I’m just gonna refer to them as Group A) fight fire with fire.  They see hatred and fight back with equally angry stances.  Now to step back.  This is not saying Group A doesn’t have a right to be angry.  This is not saying that they are completely overreacting.  But the people they are angry against (for scientific purposes, let’s label them Group B) are human too, and deserve to be treated with basic respect.  Again stepping back; this does not mean Group B is not in the wrong or that the issue should be ignored.  What I think is that this method of “discussion” is ineffective and should be gone about in a different way.
 
The way I see it is this; when Group A harshly puts down Group B for their actions, they are victimizing them.  Group A probably doesn’t see it this way, and their reasoning is probably legitimate.  But Group B won’t believe that legitimacy, no matter the facts.  They will feel victimized, and as such be less likely to listen to any further reasoning from Group A.  This doesn’t solve the conflict; if anything, it makes things worse.  Another analogy: Group B is acting like a bully.  Group A’s response is to bully them right back.  I don’t know what your elementary school education was like, but I was taught that this isn’t the way to solve conflicts.
 
Based off what Princess Grr wrote about, I thought the idea was to educate Group B about the issues of LGTBQA+ rights.  You don’t do this by villain-izing them right off the bat.  You open a reasonable discussion.  You calmly explain to them why their comments were hurtful or disrespectful.  I know I can’t say this for everybody, but I would like to think that most people aren’t actively trying to be down on LGTBQA+.  Perhaps they are ignorant of how their words and actions hurt others, and given a calm discussion, they will realize the errors of their ways. 
 
Yes, that’s an insanely optimistic way to put it, but why shouldn’t that be the first step.  This is a kids forum after all, and it wouldn’t surprise if people posting here don’t realize what their words are doing to people.  They’re likely to have a point of view based on their upbringing, and by outright telling them they are wrong and evil, they’re going to get defensive.  But if the first step... even if it’s just the first step... is to honestly tell them how you and others in Group A feel, then perhaps you will sow the seeds that will lead them to move past their outdated upbringing and become more progressive and opened to others who are different than they are.
 
Is this the only step?  Eventually, is verbal harassment the best solution for some people who won't change?  Here’s a quick story: one year in college, I got forced into a room with a guy and we ended up having several conflicting lifestyle preferences, such as when to turn the lights off and what temperature to keep the room.  We butted heads quite often, and I eventually went to my RA, who had us sit down and try to reach a settlement.  I was willing to make some sacrifices to match his, but he was utterly unwilling to admit that his ways were perfect and wouldn't budge until I did everything according to his methods.  Our sit-down went nowhere, and the eventual outcome was me paying to change rooms.
 
The moral of that story?  Some people are too stubborn or prideful to change their ways or beliefs.  No matter how much reasonable discussion is had, they won't yield to a new way of thinking.  In this case, more extreme measures might be appropriate.  I was really into the idea of hitting him hard on the head, for example.  (My RA advised me not to do that.)  In this case, said member might be asked to leave the community, if they are truly incapable of being open to others.  BUT such drastic measures are not the first step, and they should probably be avoided anyway.  The first step is to try and calmly talk it out.  That’s what my RA did, and that’s what they taught me about bullies in elementary school.  Want another metaphor?  Say that the problem is like a wound.  Clawing and scratching at it won’t make it better, and could actually make it worse.  Applying medicine will help it heal.
 
So let’s apply some medicine to this situation.  Let’s educate Group B about the LGTBQA+ community.  Let’s teach them to be friendlier and more open.  Let us not be like Malcolm X during the Civil Rights era, where we fight fire with fire.  Let us be more like Martin Luther King Jr.
 
We are all people.  Nobody’s perfect.  Some of us are wrong.  Some of us can be very wrong.  So help us correct the errors of our ways instead of shouting slander at us.  The shouting might be legitimized and make you feel better, but ultimately, it’s not going to solve the problem.
 
From what I read, Princess Grr’s Gender Squad is about using the metaphorical medicine to solve the problem, and I fully support that.  I hope that others in this argument can back down and start taking an approach like this.  Frankly I am disappointed that so many have taken the yelling approach instead.  Come on, we can be better than this!
 
I’m not saying this is the perfect solution.  I don’t know what the perfect solution is at all.  I just think that calm discussions are a better method than angry villain-ization, and I hope further discussions move away from the latter.
 
Anyway, if you do see some error in my reasoning, please politely let me know.  I’m willing to admit when I make a mistake, even if I don’t like doing so.  It’s strange to write this, because I am clearly a pessimist, but I think you should look for the good in people first before you judge them harshly.  My motto is to respect everybody equally, until they have proven that they do not deserve my respect.  Even if Group B is being disrespectful, try to help them change for the better before putting them under some sort of evil label.
 
Those are my thoughts for tonight.  Thank you for reading, and peace out.  :)
 

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This is exactly what I was thinking while reading the most recent thing. You said it way better than I would have.
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This is frankly sounding pretty victim-blamey.

 

And again, as I said before:

It is not the PLACE or the RIGHT of the oppressors to tell the oppressed to behave. And finally, criticizing people for actions that are bigoted and wrong does not victimize them. I am confused as to how such a conclusion could be reached.

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Princess Grr
Aug 21 2013 12:31 AM

Jason, I know you have the best of intentions with this.  But Canama is right  - the situations are not equivalent.  Now, I'm not encouraging dehumanizing of ANYONE, but there's a MAJOR difference between angrily calling someone out and "victimizing."

 

Your heart is in the right place, Jason.  But some of what you've said here unintentionally feeds the problem.  I'm far too exhausted right now to enumerate all the reasons why - but tomorrow when I have time I'll write up a proper, full response to this.  I appreciate what you're trying to do and I hope I can clear some things up when I have a little more energy.

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This is frankly sounding pretty victim-blamey.

 

And again, as I said before:

It is not the PLACE or the RIGHT of the oppressors to tell the oppressed to behave. And finally, criticizing people for actions that are bigoted and wrong does not victimize them. I am confused as to how such a conclusion could be reached.

 

 

The way I see it is this; when Group A harshly puts down Group B for their actions, they are victimizing them. Group A probably doesn’t see it this way, and their reasoning is probably legitimate. But Group B won’t believe that legitimacy, no matter the facts. They will feel victimized, and as such be less likely to listen to any further reasoning from Group A.

 

There's how it is, and there's how they'll feel about it.  It doesn't matter if their feelings are wrong; they will most likely not react kindly to you afterwards.  If your purpose is just to yell at them and make them feel bad, okay, mission successful.  If your purpose is to bring about awareness to the oppressed and help change the minds of those doing the oppressing, then I think you're going about it the wrong way.  Perhaps I am misunderstanding your intent?

 

Princess Grr, I do not want to be misunderstood that I think they are the victims and should be treated with pity.  I am merely trying to see things from their perspective.  They are probably misguided and self-centered and don't realize that they are feeling a fraction of the pain that they cause with their own words.  But such methods puts them on the victim list in their eyes.  They aren't victims by any worth of fact, but they'll act like they are, and as such they will be unlikely to listen to reasoning from the other side.  It's fighting fire with fire, and certainly there are better ways?

 

And, of course, I realize this doesn't apply to everybody.  The little kid who made an off-comment that was offensive.  Yeah, go easy on him.  The uncool-dude who's been slandering others despite warnings to stop; he might deserve a harsher judgment first.  My experience with my roommate showed me that some people just don't submit to reason, no matter how utterly wrong they are.  I just personally feel that some of the harsher methods have been used against people who may not have fully deserved them.  I can't speak for every situation and I understand that sometimes you have to say that, but lately I think that it may be too much.

 

Anyway, I look forward to your further arguments later tomorrow.  Have a good night.

 

 

:music:

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I agree with you, xccj. Righteous anger has a place, but getting upset at kids over the internet isn't going to win any hearts.

Now people that are being intentionally and knowingly hurtful, as some people on here are (I realize not everyone here is a kid that's still learning how things work), should definitely be shot down with all speed.
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(I realize not everyone here is a kid that's still learning how things work)

 

 

pretty much everyone in the whole argument is 14+, and thats just the lowest I'm willing to guess. They're not kids, they're at best teenagers.

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Look.

 

I know that one of the major goals of this is reeducating people. It's why I signed on. I want the world to be a better place, and if I can just change one person's mind in for the better in my life then I will consider myself successful.

 

But that does not mean I should have to tolerate intolerance, even if the intolerance is unintentional. It does not mean I should have to put up with being dehumanized, even if the dehumanization is unintentional. It does not mean I should have to put up with being demeaned, even if the demeaning is unintentional.

 

And you know what? I won't. I refuse to. I'm done.

 

And you think I've got issues, I have gone through nothing compared to some of the nice folks in our little squad. (For instance, did you know that the author of Attak on Bionicles, one of the comics in the current contest, was attacked offsite with transphobic slurs for having the audacity of being in the lead? Did you know she had a literal, honest-to-God HATE CRIME committed against her?) I can scoot by in life in a position of privilege, more or less. But some of the people whose struggles you are (however unintentionally) belittling live their lives in fear. And you have the nerve, the audacity to tell them they should remain calm about it.

 

I want you to consider, really truly consider, the implications of what you are saying.

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Yolanda Squarble Fried #1
Aug 21 2013 01:20 AM

I think xccj has hit the nail on the head here.

 

Education starts with understanding, and no one is going to want to understand someone who calls them names. I am in no way demeaning the struggles that many people have gone through; I know there are people here who have been bullied and hurt because of who they are, and that is not acceptable. But, like xccj has said, fighting fire with fire will not encourage understanding.

 

Let's say that someone makes a homophobic comment. Whether or not they did so purposefully is, for the moment, irrelevant. Let's just say it happens. If our first response is to call them a "bigot" and accuse them of hate crimes, it's unlikely they'll come to a place of understanding. All it will do is rile up emotions and pit people against each other.

 

If, instead, the first response was to calmly state that the comment was offensive and why it was offensive, without directly attacking the person who said it, the commenter will be much more likely to come to a place of understanding. They don't feel threatened; they realize that they were making others feel threatened.

 

Let me bring in an example from my own life. A friend of mine used to use the word gay in a derogatory way. If something didn't go his way, he'd say "That's so gay!" or something equivalent. When I mustered up the courage to talk to him about it, he was surprised. He had never realized how derogatory it was; it was just a word that he had grown up hearing his family using, and he'd copied them. When he learned it wasn't okay, he did his best to stop using the word in a derogatory context.

 

But if I had attacked him, calling him a bigot and telling him he was a terrible person, how would he have responded? I don't know, but I doubt it would have turned out the way it did. Being attacked would have made him feel like he was the victim, giving him an excuse to justify his behaviour.

 

Granted, there are some people who deliberately hurt others, and those people deserve to be punished. But from what I can tell, most people have no idea of the power of their words. When someone tells them they are being homophobic, they are often genuinely surprised.

 

Confronting their behaviour makes them realize it's not okay. Confronting them, however, makes them feel like they're being attacked, and that puts them on the defensive, and they start trying to justify themselves, which is what leads to arguments. Calling someone's words bigoted is very different from calling the person a bigot.

 

Very often I have seen comments that I agree with, but the way they are presented makes me feel uncomfortable agreeing with them. Someone can be totally in the right, but the way they present their opinion can make them sound completely wrong.

 

Again, I'm not trying to minimize the issue here. I understand many people have been hurt and bullied by homophobic people, and it is not okay. I'm not saying that the victims are the problem: you're not. This is not your fault, and you fully have the right to be angry and hurt because of how people have treated you. Don't misunderstand me here. I have friends whose lives have been ruined because of hateful speech and actions; just thinking about it makes me angry. But if we want this to stop once and for all, we need to start with making them understand. And that can only happen if everybody lets down their defences.

 

It's late, and I have a feeling I missed something and everyone's going to jump all over me for something I said. I'll just say that I agree with xccj, and props to Princess Grr and the Gender Squad for what they're doing.

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What Eyru [a self-referential name] said, which is what I was thinking in better writting.  :)

 

:music:

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I think xccj has hit the nail on the head here.

 

Education starts with understanding, and no one is going to want to understand someone who calls them names. I am in no way demeaning the struggles that many people have gone through; I know there are people here who have been bullied and hurt because of who they are, and that is not acceptable. But, like xccj has said, fighting fire with fire will not encourage understanding.

 

Let's say that someone makes a homophobic comment. Whether or not they did so purposefully is, for the moment, irrelevant. Let's just say it happens. If our first response is to call them a "bigot" and accuse them of hate crimes, it's unlikely they'll come to a place of understanding. All it will do is rile up emotions and pit people against each other.

 

If, instead, the first response was to calmly state that the comment was offensive and why it was offensive, without directly attacking the person who said it, the commenter will be much more likely to come to a place of understanding. They don't feel threatened; they realize that they were making others feel threatened.

 

Let me bring in an example from my own life. A friend of mine used to use the word gay in a derogatory way. If something didn't go his way, he'd say "That's so gay!" or something equivalent. When I mustered up the courage to talk to him about it, he was surprised. He had never realized how derogatory it was; it was just a word that he had grown up hearing his family using, and he'd copied them. When he learned it wasn't okay, he did his best to stop using the word in a derogatory context.

 

But if I had attacked him, calling him a bigot and telling him he was a terrible person, how would he have responded? I don't know, but I doubt it would have turned out the way it did. Being attacked would have made him feel like he was the victim, giving him an excuse to justify his behaviour.

 

Granted, there are some people who deliberately hurt others, and those people deserve to be punished. But from what I can tell, most people have no idea of the power of their words. When someone tells them they are being homophobic, they are often genuinely surprised.

 

Confronting their behaviour makes them realize it's not okay. Confronting them, however, makes them feel like they're being attacked, and that puts them on the defensive, and they start trying to justify themselves, which is what leads to arguments. Calling someone's words bigoted is very different from calling the person a bigot.

 

Very often I have seen comments that I agree with, but the way they are presented makes me feel uncomfortable agreeing with them. Someone can be totally in the right, but the way they present their opinion can make them sound completely wrong.

 

Again, I'm not trying to minimize the issue here. I understand many people have been hurt and bullied by homophobic people, and it is not okay. I'm not saying that the victims are the problem: you're not. This is not your fault, and you fully have the right to be angry and hurt because of how people have treated you. Don't misunderstand me here. I have friends whose lives have been ruined because of hateful speech and actions; just thinking about it makes me angry. But if we want this to stop once and for all, we need to start with making them understand. And that can only happen if everybody lets down their defences.

 

It's late, and I have a feeling I missed something and everyone's going to jump all over me for something I said. I'll just say that I agree with xccj, and props to Princess Grr and the Gender Squad for what they're doing.

 

What Eyru [a self-referential name] said, which is what I was thinking in better writting.  :)

 

:music:

 

I am curious: Did either of you read what I said at all?

 

If you did, both of you missed the point. Reread it.

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Canama, I would almost ask the same of you.  Have you read our entirely-too-long blocks of text?  This is the same argument I’ve been seeing every time somebody even remotely tries to defend the accused.  I don’t know how you read that I was saying you need to tolerate those who demean you.  I’m saying you should try to educate them, but you yourself said that, while you support education, it’s not worth it on even those who unintentionally demean you.

 

I am NOT saying you should not be angry.  I am NOT saying that they are right and should continue to get away with it.  I am saying that name calling WON’T SOLVE THE PROBLEM.  It will escalate it, to the point where both sides feel insulted and angry and hurt.  If it makes you happier that they now feel an ounce of your pain, then good for you.  But if it was me, I would be frustrated because the problem wouldn’t be over.  They would continue with their name calling.  You would’ve made them feel bad for a short time without really addressing the root of the problem and explaining to them why they were wrong.

 

As I’ve said, fighting fire with fire doesn’t work.  You start to sink to their level.  Do you really want to be anything like the scum who think the best way to speak with people different than themselves is to resort to nasty name calling?  That has never worked for me in life, and I haven’t faced nearly the same kind of issues as you and others.  Again, I would compare Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.  The former resorted to violence, the latter to peaceful discussions, in a nutshell.  Look back at history and see who was more successful.

 

So let me reiterate in all caps.

 

YOU ARE IN THE RIGHT.

 

THEY ARE IN THE WRONG FOR INSULTING YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE.

 

BUT CONTINUING THE NAME CALLING WON’T SOLVE THE OVERALL ISSUE.

 

You say that you got in this to educate, so is everybody who disagrees with you already unworthy to learn from you?  Maybe that’s not what you meant, but that’s how it comes across to me.  I apologize if I’m “putting words in your mouth.”  Please don’t put any in mine either.

 

And for the record, the issue with comics contest was completely despicable.

 

Anyway, on another note, I’ll be gone for a couple of days on a trip, and I’m sorry that my discussion was met with so much hate.  Feel free to continue to refute me, but please do so in a respectable manner.  If this turns nasty, I won’t hesitate to lock it all and delete offending posts.  Is that my abusing the power of my blog?  Maybe, but you’ve been given fair warning, and I won’t do it because of your content, but rather if your tone turns nasty.

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Yolanda Squarble Fried #1
Aug 21 2013 02:44 AM

I am curious: Did either of you read what I said at all?

 

I actually did not; you posted while I was posting. So I'll make a brief reply.

 

You first say that you "should not have to tolerate intolerance." Neither xccj or myself have said that. In fact, both of us have said exactly the opposite. We both agree that intolerance and bigotry are terrible, terrible things, and should not be tolerated. Both should be immediately dealt with.

 

What we did say was that the response to bigotry and homophobic speech should be motivated by a desire to educate the other party, because people are not always aware of the power of their words. Attacking them in return only makes them believe they are the victim, which closes them off to any reasonable points the real victims might make. Harsh words do not open ears.

 

You also say that I have the "audacity to tell them they should remain calm about it." And I will be fair here: yes, it is audacious of me to ask people to let go of their anger and hurt and respond in a calm manner. I do have a nerve to ask people, when attacked, to respond in love, and attempt to educate the people who, knowingly or not, are hurting them. Because that is the only way this is ever going to end. Understanding needs to take place, and for that to happen, we can't be firing shots at one another.

 

Finally, you also say that I am (however unintentionally) belittling the struggles of people who go through these things. Let me respond with a story.

 

I was elected valedictorian of my graduating class. On the day of the ceremony, I stood up, gave my speech, and graduated with my classmates. The day after, I found that, throughout the ceremony, a couple of my classmates had been tweeting vicious things about me. They called me unprintable names, and made every attempt to demean my character and who I was. And this wasn't the first time. These people had pushed me around for years. For years, I avoided them out of fear. For years, thanks to them, I was a social outcast, afraid to talk to anyone because of what they might say to me.

 

So, the next week, at school, I met the guy behind it, looked him in the eye, and told him what he did was hurtful and mean and wrong, but that I forgave him. For everything.

 

I'm not trying to make myself out to be saint, but I know what it feels like to go through these kinds of struggles. I've been bullied. I've been picked on. I won't bother listing the names I've been called because the word filter won't let them go through. Don't you dare say I don't know what it's like to be looked down on just because of who I am, because I do. I know it all too well.

 

But every time a marked change has been made in the war against inequality, it has been done through an attempt to let go of past wrongs and make people understand. I'm not saying we pretend it's okay for people to say intolerant things out of ignorance; I'm saying we need to attack their ignorance, not them. Calling them a bigot won't fix anything; it only leads to everyone putting up their defences and refusing to listen. All xccj and I are saying is that we need to stop returning fire and start trying to make people understand.

 

Yes, I have considered the implications of what I'm saying. The Gender Squad is on the right track: if we educate instead of call names, even though it's not easy, we'll be that much closer to equality.

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Again: the fact that you are comparing bullying to systemic discrimination like they're equivalent is rude and demeaning. Cut it out. OK? I got bullied bad, believe me. A lot of my issues with depression and anxiety stem from it. But that is not the same as being someone who is hated by a large number of people for the "crime" of existing; who gets no respite. We leave school, and the bullying ends. You can't leave sexism or racism or homophobia or transphobia, because they pervade everything.

 

Second, I refuse to make a concession to someone who refuses to see myself or people I care about as human beings. I'm sure you would agree that a black person would be justified in being angry at the Ku Klux Klan. Well, you're asking us to make peace with the Klan. You're asking us to treat the Klan like a rational entity. Do you see how absurd this is? I'm sure you'd agree that calling a Klansman a "bigot" is a statement of fact; well, so too is calling a homophobe or transphobe a "bigot".

 

Finally, I'm gonna repeat this three times, in hopes that you finally get it. I'll even put it in all-caps to make it stand out. Here goes:

IT IS NOT THE PLACE OF THE PRIVILEGED TO TELL THE OPPRESSED HOW TO ACT

 

IT IS NOT THE PLACE OF THE PRIVILEGED TO TELL THE OPPRESSED HOW TO ACT

 

IT IS NOT THE PLACE OF THE PRIVILEGED TO TELL THE OPPRESSED HOW TO ACT

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Let's say that someone makes a homophobic comment. Whether or not they did so purposefully is, for the moment, irrelevant. Let's just say it happens. If our first response is to call them a "bigot" and accuse them of hate crimes, it's unlikely they'll come to a place of understanding. All it will do is rile up emotions and pit people against each other.


I sort of wanted to touch on this particular statement.

When someone posts something discriminatory against a group of people, that individual -- whether they like it or not -- is acting like a bigot. Sometimes these people are bigots and it's relatively obvious to tell the difference between the two. Calling someone a bigot is not an "insult" it's a correct term applied to a person acting in such a manner. If they wish not to be called a bigot, or equated to them, then they ought to heed the posts telling them off and actively apologize and try to make right with those wronged. If they don't do this and just complain that they're being insulted when, in actuality, they are not... then they wouldn't attempt to learn even if they were approached without the term.

Calling someone a "bigot" is definitely not even close to the scale of even just regular insults, barring hate-speech and slurs. It's a real, real, real term used to describe a particular mindset and behavior. It's -not- an insult. If you think it is an insult and someone calls you it, then figure out how to correct your behavior so the label is no longer accurate to describe your behavior, mindset, or outlook.

"Sexist" is not an insult, either. It's another term applied to describe a behavior, mindset and outlook displayed by a person. People can be, and are, sexist. Just like there are those who are bigots.

These terms are accurate terms to describe a behavior, outlook and mindset. If these people are upset by being accurately described, then they really should figure out what they need to do to make it so it's no longer accurate (You know, by not being sexist/bigoted) and not complain about someone applying an accurate label to their behavior.

I am sorry, but those two terms are absolutely not on the level of the standard insult, and are leagues upon leagues away from even being close to some of the slurs and statements I have seen members here make on these very boards, and off of them. While I am totally for education, calling these particular terms "insults", in the end, makes it harder to actually educate.
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Let's say that someone makes a homophobic comment. Whether or not they did so purposefully is, for the moment, irrelevant. Let's just say it happens. If our first response is to call them a "bigot" and accuse them of hate crimes, it's unlikely they'll come to a place of understanding. All it will do is rile up emotions and pit people against each other.


I sort of wanted to touch on this particular statement.

When someone posts something discriminatory against a group of people, that individual -- whether they like it or not -- is acting like a bigot. Sometimes these people are bigots and it's relatively obvious to tell the difference between the two. Calling someone a bigot is not an "insult" it's a correct term applied to a person acting in such a manner. If they wish not to be called a bigot, or equated to them, then they ought to heed the posts telling them off and actively apologize and try to make right with those wronged. If they don't do this and just complain that they're being insulted when, in actuality, they are not... then they wouldn't attempt to learn even if they were approached without the term.

Calling someone a "bigot" is definitely not even close to the scale of even just regular insults, barring hate-speech and slurs. It's a real, real, real term used to describe a particular mindset and behavior. It's -not- an insult. If you think it is an insult and someone calls you it, then figure out how to correct your behavior so the label is no longer accurate to describe your behavior, mindset, or outlook.

"Sexist" is not an insult, either. It's another term applied to describe a behavior, mindset and outlook displayed by a person. People can be, and are, sexist. Just like there are those who are bigots.

These terms are accurate terms to describe a behavior, outlook and mindset. If these people are upset by being accurately described, then they really should figure out what they need to do to make it so it's no longer accurate (You know, by not being sexist/bigoted) and not complain about someone applying an accurate label to their behavior.

I am sorry, but those two terms are absolutely not on the level of the standard insult, and are leagues upon leagues away from even being close to some of the slurs and statements I have seen members here make on these very boards, and off of them. While I am totally for education, calling these particular terms "insults", in the end, makes it harder to actually educate.

 

 

That's what I was getting at with the bit about the KKK, though you worded it much better than me.

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Thank you for the clarification, Spink.  Perhaps I have been generalizing too much with the terms “insults” and “name calling.”  I still think that people will react negatively to being called such, and instead of trying to find a solution to remove the relevancy of the term to themselves, they will instead lash out again.  It would depend on the tone of the post, I suppose.  I’m not saying that those terms should not be used (or to rephrase the double negative, I think those terms are perfectly fine to use).  I might be afraid of those terms being misused against undeserving people, but I don’t have any example of such a thing happening yet, so it’s just a hypothetical concern.  Thanks again for your insight.

 

I suppose what I would like better is to not rely entirely on the “bigot” to self reflect and apologize, but rather have a less-than-harsh comment, as Eyru suggested, voicing concerns over their behavior and guiding them to self reflection and self improvement.  Maybe I’m thinking of a dream world that will never be a reality.  (And of note, this approach clearly won’t work with everyone, but would it be that hard to try out when the situation calls for it?)

 

Canama, I essentially agree with you, and you pretty much accused me of siding with the KKK.  I just don’t know how to respond to this.  I’m sorry that we don’t see eye to eye, but please keep the discussion civil.

 

Thank you and goodnight.

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Exit Sign Fuses
Aug 21 2013 05:41 AM

Jumping right into this head first.  Everyone says that we should be respectful, calm, and logical.  We should try to reason.  We should try to explain why the other party (e.g. the transphobic/homophobic etc. etc.) is wrong.  We should try to educate.  We should teach.  I would not endeavor to demean those who advocate this approach, but there is some harsh reality to consider.  Education, teaching, and guidance do have their place.  They are a central approach to the gender squad that Princess Grr has set up, and I will do my best to follow the example she has set.
  However there is a problem.

 

I do not mean to stroke my ego, but I have been the epic center of several major controversies in the BZP blogs in the past year. My entries have caused a spark that set of a wild fire of controversy and brought out many BZP members who were both in support and against who I am as a person.   I am speaking about my blog entries about my sexuality.  I am sure that many people in this current debate remember them.  For those who are unaware of what I am talking about, please read this and this for further information.  They are central to the points I am going to make in this comment.

 

I am a firm advocate of the power of logic.  There is no tool more powerful or potent in my arsenal than my reason.  I am a disciple of the old ways.  I do not focus on the power of emotion to sway a crowd, but rather the authoritativeness of my words to sway those who disagree with me.  Emotion clouds reason, and if I could I would purge myself of such troublesome features of my mind.  I must be logical.  I must be methodological if I am to convince people.  This isn't me trying to tell people that "Wrestling is a legitimate sport." or "Crono Trigger is the greatest RPG of all time."  This is me trying to get people to accept me.  This is me trying to get people to stop hating me for who I am.  This is me trying to get them to view me as a human being.

 

I endeavored to do so in the two entries I posted.  I broke things down as best as I could.  I took them step by step through my logic.  I explained to them why they were wrong, and how their hate was demeaning to me as a person.  If anyone, and I do mean anyone, has any problem with how I conducted myself in those entries please tell me.  I think I was at my very best there.  My patience was immense.  My pain was unexplainable.  I am always open to criticism and improvement.  Let me know if I erred.

 

But despite my endeavors, it was not enough.  I viewed it as a personal failure.  I thought I had messed up.  If only I had done better.  If only I had explained the pain that I felt in a better manner I would have succeeded.  They would no longer be homophobic.  They would have recanted.  If I had been better, I would feel like a normal human being for once.

 

I now realize I was wrong.

 

Some people cannot be convinced by words alone.  Some people cannot be convinced by logic.  Some people will not listen to reason. It is not my fault that people continue to be homophobic despite my endeavors. I am not saying that not all people are like this.  I have said it once.  I will say it again.  Kakaru is the lone exception to this rule. At one point he made some metaphors that were hurtful to me as a human being.  I explained to him why he was wrong, and he listened.  Kakaru gives me hope that one day people will accept me for who I am.  Kakaru is one who I consider one of my greatest allies in my endeavors, and he gives me hope that one day I will feel normal.

 

But he is the lone exception.    He is the one encounter out of the myriads that give me hope.  To prove my point, allow me to go through my linked entries and pull out  every single example of homophobia despite my attempts to change their mind.

 

1.  Tilius: The reactions of homophobes are humorous and not hurtful.

2. Cinnamon Grochi: Homophobia is a joke.  It should be laughed at.  I would disagree.  Jokes should not be tragic.  Laughter should be saved for truly humorous things.  Not things that cause others pain.

3. The Otter: It is possible to disagree with homosexuality, but it is still possible to love them and support them.  This is an inherent contradiction, and if need be I can link to entries and posts that explain why.  I do not see any reason to speak what has been said on numerous occasions.

4. The Otter: All viewpoints are equal.  My viewpoint that homosexuality is a-ok is just as valid as homophobia.

5. Velox: Anti-homosexuality is not the same as homophobia.  His comment was deleted by staff, but the fact that he PM'd it to me so that there was no way I could miss it makes it just as valid in my mind. 

5. The Otter: Homosexuality is a sin.  It is wrong.

6. Velox:  According to him, me talking about my sexuality and me logically arguing against him and his homophobia was hateful.  I ask him to point out where I had been hateful and I would apologize.  He never did.

7. Velox: We should simply agree to disagree.  About my sexuality.  About who I am as a person.  I should simply agree that his viewpoint that I am less than human is just another viewpoint and should be respected.  I should respect his viewpoint that is against the very fabric of my being.  It is an attempt to shut me down, put me back in the closet, and disregard every single point I had made.  I think these points are evident, but if not please let me know and I will break it down piece by piece and explain it.

8. Kahi: Religious preference and choice is just as equally valid as the very make up of my being.  His hatred of my very being is just as valid as who I am as a person.  His hatred should not be muted.

9. Grantaire: My sexuality is not who I am as a person.  It's a subtle thing, but it is delegating my sexuality to a choice.  I chose to be this way.  I chose to be hated by my parents.  I chose to be unloved.  Lunacy.

10.Tekulo the WindWriter: I should try to coexist with those who hate me.

11. [please do not mention banned members - HH]: It is possible to disapprove of homosexuality, yet still treat them with the respect and dignity of a human being. (Spoilers: It's impossible.)

12. [banned]: It is possible to respectfully disagree with the very fabric that makes up a human being.

13. Graintaire: Comparing my sexuality to hair dye.

14. [banned]: People who get upset at someones homophobia has mental issues.

15. [banned]: You can disagree with someone's sexuality but still accept them.

 

Look at that list.  Look at it.  All those instances of homophobia and hate came from me trying to reason out why they were wrong.  Look at all that hate.  Look at all that intolerance.  That just came from me using logic to explain why they were wrong.  I'm sure I missed several other posts in my skim.  That list could be longer.  I could go back and break down every single post and find more examples of hate.  I could go to other blog entries and comments.  I could come up with hundreds of points where logic has failed in the face of hate.

 

This is why I am angry.  This is why I am fed up.  Logic has failed.  Reason has failed.  My prime tools.  My principle methods.  They mean nothing to these people.  Listen, and understand.  They are out there.  They can't be bargained with.  They can't be reasoned with.  They do not feel pity, remorse, or fear.  They simply do not care.  They do not care about who I am.  They do not care about the pain I feel.  They do not care that when I read their comments I suffer.  They do not care about mental anguish.  They do not care that I want to kill myself because I am bisexual. 

 

And yeah I threw that out there.  It's time to face facts.  These things are real.  These things hurt me.  They cause me anguish.  They make me want to kill myself.  I'm not saying this to garner pity or whatever.  This me lashing out because of the pain I feel.  This is me acting on the suffering caused by homophobia, the posts on this site, and the things I hear every day.  Yesterday I wanted to slice my own ###### throat open because of a homophobic a customer said to me at work. This is the reality I live with every day.  This is my life.  This is the pain I suffer.

 

And you?  This entry?  This is a part of the problem.  This so called co-existence.  This so called acceptance.  I should respect others.  I should reason with them.  I should try to make them understand.  Live and let live.  Let it be.  Don't worry about it.  Don't listen to them.  Logic will convince them.  They will understand eventually.

 

I'm tired of it.  I'm sick and tired of it.  I don't want to wait for change.  I don't want to wait for love.  I don't want to wait for understanding.  I don't want to wait for them to realize the error of their ways.  I'm tired of this pain.  I'm tired of this hurt.  I am tired of not feeling normal. I am tired of reading these kinds of entries.  I am tired of being put on the same level of homophobic people.  I am tired of BZP.  I am tired of this 'bastion of safety and security where I should not fear being attacked for who I am' being nothing more than a lie.  A ruse.  A grand illusion.  I am tired of not having a safe space. 

 

I am tired of Princess Grr's shoulder being the only shoulder I have to cry on when I am hurt about these things.  My other roommate?  The one who shares more interests with me than Princess?  The one who I can say "This is good, isn't it?"  "She was a true patriot." "This is the point where he kills us."  "Go home and be a family man."  He gets those things.  He should be my ideal friend.  But he isn't.  He uses the term '######' casually.  When I call him out on his homophobia he shrugs it off and says "I didn't mean it like that."  He blows me off.  He doesn't understand the pain I feel.

 

I am fed up.  I am tired.  I will not stand for it anymore.  I am tired of what I read on this site.  I am tired of reading these contrived arguments.  I am tired   I AM TIRED OF NOT FEELING LOVED.

 

You keep mentioning MLK and Malcom X.  You clearly know nothing about the civil rights movement because you would understand what we're going through.  While their were some radicalized elements and it was never uniform, it would be folly to say that MLK was not a significant person and force in the civil rights movement.  It wouldn't even be a misnomer to say that for awhile he was the civil rights movement.  He was a guiding force, and the changes he achieved was monumental.

 

But you know what happened?  African Americans were still killed.  There were post cards being sent across the united states with black lynchings.  Postcards.  With dead African Americans hanging from trees and KKK members plastered right on the front for everyone to see.  African Americans were still being killed despite MLK's efforts.  His pacifist efforts were not enough.  While the African American community had gained some rights, they were still being killed brutally and horrifically.

 

The movement radicalized.  MLK's methods were not achieving the results they desired.  People were still being murdered.  People were still suffering.  The Black Panthers?  The group so vilified for their 'black power' activities?  Demonized by the white majority who sought to crush any form of black civil rights movement they didn't agree with.  The Black Panther's original name?  The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.  They held survival programs. They hosted them out of churches. They gave out free breakfast for African American children because they were starving.  Free medical clinics. Drug and alcohol rehabitilation.  They made schools for those who were deemed too dumb by the white majority school system.  The civil rights movement 'radicalized' because the passive attempts of MLK had failed.

 

I'm not lashing out of hate.  I'm not being hateful.  I'm not angry.  I am hurt.  That is the wellspring of emotion that I am drawing from because my wellspring of logic is dry.  It has failed.  It is not enough.

 

Whether you admit it or realize it, XCCJ, you are a part of the problem.  Everyone who advocates your approach is a part of the problem.  So long as you say this you are standing directly in the way of progress.  You are halting the advance of my rights.  You are stopping me from feeling like a human being.  You are stopping me from feeling normal.  You are helping the homophobes who seek to hurt us.  You are elevating their opinion to the same level as ours.  You are putting us on equal footing.  You are legitimizing their hate.  You are saying that we should respect their opinions.  We should reason.  We should use logic.

 

And when we speak out?  When we lash out whether in anger or pain?  You chastise us.  You deny it, but you are telling the victims how to act.  You know what I say to that?  To ###### with you.  I am hurt.  I am suffering.  Don't you ###### dare tell me how to act.  Don't you even assume to tell me how to talk to the people who hate me.  I won't treat them with respect.  I won't treat them with dignity.  They hurt me.  They cause me pain.  I won't suffer it.  Not anymore.  I'm tired of this.  I'm done.

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I agree with xccj and Eyru, and thank them for taking the time to word their thoughts so well. Minds are not going to be changed if people are attacked any time they say something that is hurtful. Oftentimes the comments are unintentional, and I know this from talking to some members after punishing them for such comments. If we all rush to judgment, those people are never going to learn the right way to handle these situations.

Yes, there are certainly people where no amount of rational discussion will change their mind. If that happens on BZPower, that's where you report them and let the staff take care of it. If someone throws a brick at your head, with the intent to hurt you, do you throw it back? If you do, maybe you'll hurt them and they'll stop. But maybe you'll also get arrested. If, instead, you call the police, the person who threw the brick will get arrested instead. A crude analogy, to be sure, but that is how it should work on BZPower.
 

Again: the fact that you are comparing bullying to systemic discrimination like they're equivalent is rude and demeaning. Cut it out. OK? I got bullied bad, believe me. A lot of my issues with depression and anxiety stem from it. But that is not the same as being someone who is hated by a large number of people for the "crime" of existing; who gets no respite. We leave school, and the bullying ends. You can't leave sexism or racism or homophobia or transphobia, because they pervade everything.
 
Second, I refuse to make a concession to someone who refuses to see myself or people I care about as human beings. I'm sure you would agree that a black person would be justified in being angry at the Ku Klux Klan. Well, you're asking us to make peace with the Klan. You're asking us to treat the Klan like a rational entity. Do you see how absurd this is? I'm sure you'd agree that calling a Klansman a "bigot" is a statement of fact; well, so too is calling a homophobe or transphobe a "bigot".

Finally, I'm gonna repeat this three times, in hopes that you finally get it. I'll even put it in all-caps to make it stand out. Here goes:

IT IS NOT THE PLACE OF THE PRIVILEGED TO TELL THE OPPRESSED HOW TO ACT

IT IS NOT THE PLACE OF THE PRIVILEGED TO TELL THE OPPRESSED HOW TO ACT

IT IS NOT THE PLACE OF THE PRIVILEGED TO TELL THE OPPRESSED HOW TO ACT

Yes, I think it would be safe to say that most members of the Klan were racist. But your comment makes it sound like every single person who ever made a racist comment is a member of the Klan. That's simply absurd. No one is asking you to make peace with a group whose goals are to cause hate and violence. There are individuals, however, who may make hurtful or hateful comments and who can be educated to realize that this is wrong.

And frankly, I find your comparison very offensive. Do not compare anyone on this site to any hate groups. The rules of BZPower are to respect everyone. If someone is being disrespectful to you and you feel the only recourse is to get angry about it, go do that somewhere else and just report them here. The staff will take care of it. It is my privilege as owner of this site to tell everyone to act with respect and courtesy. If anyone disagrees with that, you are welcome to leave.

EDIT: Shane, I didn't refresh the page until after I replied, so I didn't see your post. I would say then to anyone who is done with treating people with respect, for whatever reason, that they keep it off this site. I can't tell you how to feel and would never dream of it, but I do make the rules for this little corner of the Internet. I want to keep things civil, and if someone does not feel they can do that here, then report and move on. I don't want to let intolerance stand, but I also don't want BZPower to be filled with people yelling at each other.
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Toa Nidhiki05
Aug 21 2013 10:11 AM

Great entry, I agree with you 100%.

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Jinkmeister
Aug 21 2013 10:21 AM

This is a far, far better way to present what I was trying to say in my entry last night. Agree completely with what xccj has been saying.

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