Re: Let Me Set The Record Straight

Damn, I love this post. I just read a post titled Let me set the record straight and it’s pure gold.

Anyhow, this writer recently left the blog, The Coalition of the Brave, and she decided to write this post addressing her detractors on her own site.

As you might expect, it starts off by fostering an atmosphere of open and free discussion:

I’m really sick of dealing with other’s people’s shit. I’ve tried to be nice and clearly that’s not working.

Damn. Did anyone else feel the temperature drop?

Multiple times I’ve had people write passive aggressive blog posts about me because they didn’t like something that I said or because they didn’t “understand” my post.

Yes. I’m sure it never has anything to do with how you present your argument or about your subject matter or anything else that might have to do with you.

It’s always everyone else. Meanies.

Well, I’m going to clear every thing up right now. Apparently, the only way for me to do that is to stoop to their level and also write a post about them…so be it.

Okay…get on with it already!

Wait. Hold that thought.

My dog is eyeing me as I type this. I think he might force my dumb ass to stoop to picking up his dog shit in a few seconds. That should do wonders for my mood.

I’ll be right back.

First of all, if you are a white man you don’t get to tell me how to feel or respond to racism or sexism. Why? Because you don’t fucking know what it’s like.

Alright, I’m back and you have my full attention. I skipped the next paragraph because it was basically whining about how she left because no one understood her and so on. They’re assholes…blah, blah, blah.

But this bit just blows your mind.

How would you know whether a white man has suffered racism or sexism? You’ve talked to all of them? Are you saying there is no scenario where a white person could suffer from racism or a man from sexism?

Being a man and/or white doesn’t mean anything. No one chose to be born with their skin color or sex. It’s an arbitrary trait and says nothing about the person they are. Your opinion is just as valid as a man’s. Neither your sex or his says anything about your character or the validity of your opinion or argument.

If something bad happens to white people somewhere, I don’t care that they’re white. I care if they’re people being treated unjustly.

But to your point, no one can ‘tell’ someone else how to respond to legitimate racism or sexism, but they can hold an opinion on it, and last time I looked we still live in free countries where people can voice that opinion.

I don’t give a fuck if you think you have all the answers. You don’t.

But you do, right?

What you really need to do is shut the fuck up and check your goddamn privilege.

I think you need to check yours, because you’re the one who feels privileged enough to tell others to shut the fuck up.

The fact that you don’t understand this concept is why we keep coming back to this same place.

Speaking for myself, I understand the concept. What you don’t seem to fully grasp is that I disagree with it.

I might not have much, but I worked hard to get where I am. You don’t know me from a hole in the wall, yet you feel entitled enough to brand me as privileged because of my skin color.

Fuck that.

Yes, I brought up privilege. Oh I bet that’ll piss some people off. Are you tired of hearing about it because you don’t actually think it exists. Of course you are….I wonder why that is?

Of course it pisses people off. You’re diminishing their individual achievements.

Yet, somehow you still don’t understand anything that minorities tell you if it doesn’t “directly apply to you” *hint hint* that’s privilege.

You don’t seem to understand that we’re all individuals with different stories, backgrounds, socioeconomic backgrounds, life experiences, history etc.

The fact that you want to label anyone with a particular skin color as being privileged is *hint hint* your privilege speaking.

I’m all for discussions, even a good debate.

Yeah, you’re so warm and inviting.

If you don’t know what feminism is or what it’s about then educate yourself. Don’t start an argument with me just because you don’t like that word. I don’t care.

You seem to think that if someone disagrees with you, they just don’t understand the concept. That’s such a condescending stance to take.

Here’s a thought – maybe they do understand but disagree with it for various reasons.

And if you disagree with my feminism that basically tells me that you’re a shitty person because I believe in equality.

What the hell!?

You can believe in equality and not be a feminist. It’s not like feminism has a lock on the concept of equality.

And no, not being a feminist doesn’t make you a shitty person. The majority of people don’t identify as feminists, and by using your own logic, that means the majority of people are shitty.

If you actually knew me, then you would know that I’m not the kind of person that “creates echo chambers” I am very capable of having great discussions and helping people understand certain situations by explaining to them what they can’t see.

Look at the last bit of that sentence. Do you not realize that you’ve already made up your mind that you’re right, and any discussion you have is about getting people to see ‘what they can’t see’?

Oh, and as long as they aren’t white males. Those white males are so uppity with their idea that their opinions are just as valid as yours. They’re just dripping with privilege and should definitely shut the fuck up.

I’ve seen no sign of your willingness to have a good discussion. You berate people based on the color of their skin and sex, you say anyone who doesn’t agree with you on feminism is a shitty person, and you consistently talk down to people and tell them they just don’t understand.

That’s just in this one post alone. And you wonder why some people take exception to your posts?

None of those qualities contributes to an atmosphere of sharing ideas.

Your lack of maturity and inability to have a conversation isn’t my problem, so do not waste my time with your bullshit.

I rest my case.

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48 Comments

  1. Of course you missed the point (as you always do) and generalized all of my statements to apply to everyone of a certain identity.
    This is what I was talking about, but I’m not going to bother trying to explain anything to you because we both know that you’ll keep doing what you always do

  2. You misunderstood her main point: “if you are a white man you don’t get to tell me how to feel or respond to racism or sexism.”

    You then ask, “How would you know whether a white man has suffered racism or sexism?”

    This is not what she’s saying. She is saying you don’t get to tell her how to feel or respond. You’re basically saying you do… by not recognizing her point first and then substituting your own in its place – one that charges the person with being racist and sexist for talking about racism and misogyny – as if this problem was of her own making then criticizing her for doing so.

    You do this a lot, GC, and you also really do build a blog post on a straw man version of another person’s point.

    Is there widespread white male privilege and if so how might we know?

    Well, nothing I’ve read by you indicates you are even remotely interested in answering this question openly, honestly, or fairly. Yet you do write a fair bit with the assumption that there is no problem with the topic subject – white and male privilege – but that there is a racist and sexist problem being created by those who raise it.

    Why might the author criticize you for not ‘understanding’ her point and criticize you for demonstrate your willingness – perhaps a compulsion – to make a lot of misguided comments that really do attack the character of the writer (after all, according to your line of reasoning, anyone who raises my earlier question is the one acting racist, acting sexist) Maybe, just maybe, the author is actually raising a very good criticism… but one you’ve already rejected by assumption.

    • Hi Tildeb.

      “This is not what she’s saying. She is saying you don’t get to tell her how to feel or respond.”

      I thought I answered that. Here’s what I said:

      “But to your point, no one can ‘tell’ someone else how to respond to legitimate racism or sexism, but they can hold an opinion on it, and last time I looked we still live in free countries where people can voice that opinion.”

      I asked that question (how does she know white people or males don’t suffer racism and sexism) because she directly said: “white man you don’t get to tell me how to feel or respond to racism or sexism. Why? Because you don’t fucking know what it’s like.”

      Which seems clear to me that she’s answering her own question and saying white men don’t know what it’s like to suffer racism or sexism.

      “This is not what she’s saying. She is saying you don’t get to tell her how to feel or respond. You’re basically saying you do…”

      No. I thought I was clear that you can’t tell anyone anything. You can hold an opinion and voice it. And of course no one can tell someone how to feel. Not sure where I said otherwise.

      ” by not recognizing her point first and then substituting your own in its place – one that charges the person with being racist and sexist for talking about racism and misogyny”

      Where did I say she was a racist or misogynist? In fact, where did you pull misogynist out of? Where in her post does she criticize women?

      Talking about strawmen. One just appeared.

      “Is there widespread white male privilege and if so how might we know?”

      Sounds like a separate blog post to me or a strawman being built.

      “Well, nothing I’ve read by you indicates you are even remotely interested in answering this question openly, honestly, or fairly.”

      Yup. Strawman erected!

      Because I’ve never actually written one, although that would be an interesting topic for another post.

      ” perhaps a compulsion – to make a lot of misguided comments that really do attack the character of the writer (after all, according to your line of reasoning, anyone who raises my earlier question is the one acting racist, acting sexist)”

      Actually, I said that’s a good question. So that’s three strawmen in a row, because nowhere did I say that’s a racist question.

      You also do this quite a bit, Tildeb. You find one thing you disagree with in an entire post and then discount the rest based on that, while erecting numerous strawmen along the way.

      Out of curiosity, are you in the camp that believes if you’re not a feminist you’re a shitty person?

      • Because I write entire thoughts, it’s not the least unusual for people to claim I’m erecting straw men arguments along the way. This is how you’ve parsed my comment.

        Read my comment as an entire thought first and then go back to see if the premises I’ve raised to reach my conclusion are indeed incorrect. Remember, they are premises I’ve erected (and quite willingly admit to erecting them) and not conclusions as you’ve treated them here.

        The point I think you’re missing is that those who experience systemic racism (we’re not talking about overt racism) in our society understand far better than you – a white male who cannot have experienced the systemic aspect of racism (we’re not talking about overt sexism) what that feels like, what that looks like, how it affects people on an individual basis. These are important voices to hear and if we listen we can learn a shitload and do our individual part to mitigate its pernicious effect – effects we ourselves unwittingly perform and sustain. And we know this is the case when we we find we have been blind, deaf, and dumb to its presence, to its real world effects.

        There is a way to realize the scope of our privilege… by looking at aggregate rates and frequencies that are clearly demarcated by certain unchangeable features… features such as race, ethnicity, gender, sex, and so on. There is absolutely no question that in our society, we have significant disparate rates of all kinds based on race. That you fail to appreciate this reality that people like BC live every day but to which you remain deaf, dumb, and blind indicates the extent of your privilege. And its HUGE.

        • “Because I write entire thoughts, it’s not the least unusual for people to claim I’m erecting straw men arguments along the way.

          That’s because you did and you do on a regular basis.

          “Read my comment as an entire thought first and then go back to see if the premises I’ve raised to reach my conclusion are indeed incorrect. ”

          I did. Doesn’t change the conclusion.

          “These are important voices to hear and if we listen we can learn a shitload and do our individual part to mitigate its pernicious effect – effects we ourselves unwittingly perform and sustain. And we know this is the case when we we find we have been blind, deaf, and dumb to its presence, to its real world effects.”

          I agree that listening is good. It’s a two-way street though. Telling people to shut the fuck up based on skin color doesn’t foster listening or discussion.

          If you come here and leave a comment and I say shut the fuck up (insert skin color or arbitrary trait here) are you going to listen to anything I have to say and are you going to feel like your comment was given any consideration whatsoever?

          Come on.

          “There is a way to realize the scope of our privilege… by looking at aggregate ”

          Great. Not really what this post is about though. You’re addressing things I didn’t say and had no intention of addressing.

          “That you fail to appreciate this reality that people like BC live every day but to which you remain deaf, dumb, and blind indicates the extent of your privilege. ”

          So you’re basically saying that all PoC are worse off than all white people based on the color of their skin?

          You don’t know anything about either of us, yet you feel entitled to tell me how privileged I am based on skin color?

          The only thing HUGE about that is your ego if you think you know my life story and think you can safely determine what privilege level I’m at compared to someone else you don’t know.

          This is your problem and why we clash on these topics – you think in collectives and I think in individuals. You think it’s okay to classify people into groups and label them and I don’t.

          • See? You’re doing it again, sticking with your incorrect straw man, when you substitute what BC actually said (“if you are a white man you don’t get to tell me how to feel or respond to racism or sexism. Why? Because you don’t fucking know what it’s like.”) with “Telling people to shut the fuck up based on skin color doesn’t foster listening or discussion.”

            She’s not telling you to shut the fuck up because you’re white and male; she’s telling you to shut the fuck up telling her how to feel and respond to a life lived in a racist society.

            Yes, you say you don’t do this and then turn right around and do it. Perhaps surprising to only you, the former does not negate the latter. I’m pointing out the latter. You’re going with the former and then denying committing the latter. You’re wrong.

            Now, saying you want to individualize racism and sexism and so on (“think in individuals”) changes the topic BC is raising, that because you are marinated in privilege to the extent that you are deaf, dumb, and blind to its pernicious presence, you can’t speak of or to the ‘underprivileged’ and how they should feel and respond. Of course, because you reject the aggregate evidence with your preference to deal with the overt (the individual exercising racism) – something you’re pretty sure you’re not guilty of doing and so feel justified telling the underprivileged they are imagining your privilege and creating themselves to be victims of a victim-less society and that you think they are just as privileged as you – you can continue on your merry way pretending there is no problem to respond to, no problem from which to experience feelings of being underprivileged… in effect, telling BC what to feel and respond to!

            See how that works, GC? You are denying BC her feelings are justified, denying her the right to respond to the real by arbitrarily telling her it’s all in her head and so she shouldn’t feel victimized! You are doing what she claims you’re doing. And then, to make matters worse, you claim those who raise this specter are the ones guilty of fostering racism and sexism and so on so in effect you’re really telling her to shut the fuck the up because she’s the one creating the real problem. And then you marvel that she could be so offended by your reversed framing.

            You are dangerously close to committing the most pernicious act by which the Regressive Left advances: thinking the criticism of your incorrect opinions (by someone who has experienced the reality you deny) is a greater crime (why, it’s racist!) than holding and promoting your incorrect opinions.

            • ” (“if you are a white man you don’t get to tell me how to feel or respond to racism or sexism. Why? Because you don’t fucking know what it’s like.”) with “Telling people to shut the fuck up based on skin color doesn’t foster listening or discussion.””

              Do you see how you have to leave the next part of that paragraph out to make your point seem plausible?

              “She’s not telling you to shut the fuck up because you’re white and male; she’s telling you to shut the fuck up telling her how to feel and respond to a life lived in a racist society.”

              Then why bring up ‘white’ at all?

              Are you that blind?

              “See how that works, GC? You are denying BC her feelings are justified, denying her the right to respond to the real by arbitrarily telling her it’s all in her head and so she shouldn’t feel victimized”

              Honestly, I have no idea what you’re talking about before this point, but here you again construct a strawman, because NOWHERE did I say she couldn’t or shouldn’t voice her opinion or that it was all in her head. You routinely put words in my mouth which is supremely frustrating.

              “you claim those who raise this specter are the ones guilty of fostering racism and sexism and so on so in effect you’re really telling her to shut the fuck the up because she’s the one creating the real problem. And then you marvel that she could be so offended by your reversed framing.”

              Wow, you are a master word bender.

              Let’s nip this in the bud. Next time you claim I say something, please quote it. I’m tired of playing games where you say I said or mean something I never said or meant and then bend that to suit your needs.

              Stop it.

              You do it again in the above quote. I did not say she is fostering racism or sexism.

              “thinking the criticism of your incorrect opinions (by someone who has experienced the reality you deny) is a greater crime (why, it’s racist!) than holding and promoting your incorrect opinions.”

              Yet you felt comfortable enough to tell me what my reality is based on skin color?

              Wow.

              That’s some masterful projection there, mate.

              And again, I didn’t say she was racist. That’s about the 3rd or fourth time you’ve charged me with saying that when I haven’t.

              Again, start addressing specific points. I don’t want to keep tearing your comments apart for strawmen and misrepresentations of my argument. You also seem stuck on that one part but have nothing to say about the rest.

  3. @GC

    Tim Wise has a good lecture on white privilege and denial of thus, it may be helpful in shedding light on where people are coming from when you engage them.

    I recommend watching the full lecture as well, but the above snippet seemed particularly relevant to the matters at hand.

  4. “We may disagree with you, and even amongst ourselves, but we do so without hostility. Here, we take a stand against ignorance and hate. We are all human beings, with far more in common than we realise. We let things that should not matter divide us – not here. Here, we are brave enough to talk to each other.”

    How’s that working out?

  5. I really, really hesitate jumping in on this, but here’s where I’m coming from …

    GC, contrary to what you, personally, think and feel about what BC writes, you need to accept she is coming from a place you will never experience. And it is from this place that her anger originates.

    Too many individuals (not pointing any fingers) think they can assess others from a neutral position. Not possible. We all have our biases, prejudices, and preconceptions. None of us are guiltless.

    It seems apparent to me that BC has frequently been criticized and attacked for her persuasions … and she’s simply reached a point where she’s “not going to take it anymore.” She has a right to believe and live whatever way she chooses.

    Whether you agree with who she is, what she is, or her style of expressing herself is your prerogative. But to publicly criticize her for her style of speaking out is unworthy of you.

    P.S. Hope we’re still friends. 😉

    • “Whether you agree with who she is, what she is, or her style of expressing herself is your prerogative. But to publicly criticize her for her style of speaking out is unworthy of you.”

      By the way, I vehemently disagree with you here.

      I would do the same if a Christian said that if you’re not a Christian you’re a piece of shit or if they had said if you’re not an atheist you’re a piece of shit, and I think you’d likely agree with me.

      Saying the same about people who don’t identify as a feminist is just as egregious and deserving of criticism.

      I don’t find that sort of talk unworthy of my attention. But that’s just me and you’re of course entitled to feel differently and I still consider us friends despite the differences in opinion.

      • To disagree with her stance is one thing and yes, you have full rights and privileges to do just that.

        My contention is that you didn’t just disagree with her position, but were actually critical of the way she expressed her anger by the way you extracted and commented on various statements.

        I suppose we all have our ways of “disagreeing.” Personally, I try to do it in a way that, hopefully, does not antagonize and provoke the other person. (Like what I’m doing right now.) 🙂

        Anyway, I’ve had my say. I’ll move on now. ❤

        • Nan I can’t agree with you on this.

          When I read comments like:
          ‘if you disagree with my feminism that basically tells me that you’re a shitty person’ on BC’s post I see intolerance. She is saying that she knows what is correct and those who have a different opinion to her are bad people.

          • Peter, we all come at this from different places in life.

            I don’t know what prompted her tirade, but what I saw in her post was someone simply pushed to the edge and who needed to let off some steam. Certainly she could have been more “PC” with her language, but it’s her blog and, you know, there’s this thing about “free speech.” 😉

            One thing that has puzzled me is why GC felt the need to respond? Since she didn’t “name names,” there’s no indication that it was directed at him.

            • Same reason I respond to religious bigots who say if we don’t believe as they do then we are horrible human beings.

              I’m for free speech. It’s not a card that can be used to say anything and not be challenged on it.

              She literally said if you’re not a feminist you’re a piece of shit. That’s not okay to say about any group. I’ve been attacked by Christians who don’t like what I have to say, but I would never dream of saying all Christians are pieces of shit or that if you’re not an athiest you’re a piece of shit.

              I also don’t make excuses for people who say such things. That’s not just letting off steam or coming from a different place either.

              If I ever say if you’re not an atheist, Liberal etc you’re a piece of shit, I hope someone calls me on it so I can realize how harmful such behavior is. I certainly hope that people don’t empower that sort of behavior by making excuses for me.

              • You’re doing it again, GC. You substitute…

                “If you don’t know what feminism is or what it’s about then educate yourself. Don’t start an argument with me just because you don’t like that word. I don’t care. And if you disagree with my feminism that basically tells me that you’re a shitty person because I believe in equality.”

                … with

                “She literally said if you’re not a feminist you’re a piece of shit.”

                To help your reading comprehension, the format of the paragraph is a distinct section of a piece of writing, usually dealing with a single theme. It usually has a topic sentence and contain a series of thoughts leading to summation. When you add all the paragraphs together, you assemble a series of themes in the form of premises to a conclusion.

                I’ve suggested to you that you read my entire comment first in order to understand the differences between my themes presented as premises and my final conclusion before jumping on a sentence out of context and then substituting your own misunderstanding and then criticizing this straw man.

                This example is very typical.

                Go re-read the paragraph and see if the topic is as you’ve presented it: does she really say that if you’re not a feminist then you’re a piece of shit?

                No.

                She’s saying if you can’t be bothered to learn what feminism is or what it’s about then stop coming to her blog and arguing out of ignorance. She means quite clearly that her version of feminism is about equality and so if you disagree with that – the idea of EQUALITY – , then yes, you are a shitty person.

                To this point I would agree… and I suspect you would too…. if you bothered to FIRST comprehend her words as meant (and in context) and not continually go with your substitution (inevitably accompanied by your faux-rage against your straw man).

                Look how uncritically you promote others who agree with you but who also fail to comprehend the source material and who then all too willing go along with you to vilify a real person in real life for meanings he or she never meant. You continue to impose on others your beliefs and not reality in this matter (and is a very common criticism I raise against all kinds of belief in woo, causing all kinds of perniciousness that affects real people in real life). This reading comprehension tactic demonstrated by you is an intellectual failure on your part. You can correct this failure if and only if you first recognize why my criticism has merit – that you misrepresent the MEANING made by others by isolating small thematic bits to which you then substitute as if conclusions when they’re not … not because I say it but because you continue to demonstrate this tactic of misrepresentation and substitution.

                • *sigh* Shitty person then. You’re a shitty person. That’s your bone of contention. Are you kidding me?

                  In either case, it’s wrong and everything I said about piece of shit applies to shitty person because it amounts to the same thing.

                  And she says that about equality and as I pointed out, you don’t have to be a feminist to be about equality. I answered that point quite clearly in the post, which you ignored completely.

                  You do not need to be a feminist. Not being a feminist doesn’t mean you’re a shitty person even if you think feminism equals equality, because you don’t have to be a feminist to be for equality. To imply it does is wrong.

                  Now how are you going to twist this to defend your tribe?

                  By the way, just because people agree with me doesn’t mean they’re just going along. That could mean they read the same thing you did and came to a different conclusion.

                  I don’t care if you or she thinks being a feminist means rainbows and butterflies. Implying that if you don’t agree with your brand of feminism makes you a shitty person is still wrong.

                  Spin it any way you want it. It doesn’t change what she said.

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