Interlude: Friday, Time for a Shitty Quiz

Day 28. 110 pages, 50,335 words.

I was blessed – blessed, I tell you – to have this quiz friend-of-a-friend-dropped onto my Facebook news feed today. The quiz asked the important question, “How Privileged Are You?

The answer, of course, is “pretty God damn privileged, what, are you serious? Come on.” But according to this, I got away with a highly street-credworthy 43 out of 100.

NOT PRIVILEGED

NOT PRIVILEGED. There’s your proof, minorities! I’ve licked the silver spoon, drank from the golden cup, and smoked the finest green.

So that means I can feel free to go and spout off to my little liberal heart’s content without worrying that I’m making a tool of myself in front of people who actually have it rough in this world.

Only one tiny problem with that.

One teeny tiny problem.

Thank you, Captain.

Not only does this stupid quiz give me free rein to go stamping about yelling at people that I’m not privileged so stop telling me I had advantages, just accept my wisdom as a veteran of the school of hard knocks … not only that, but I’m willing to bet not a single one of my super-privileged friends will manage to score PRIVILEGED on this test. And I know I’m privileged, and I know my friends are privileged.

And the main problem with this is, there’s no point telling people they’re privileged anyway. So fucking what if they’re privileged? Good for them! Sure, you can use that as an excuse for rejecting their out-of-touch but well-meaning advice. You can use it as an excuse for rising above their hopelessly clueless criticisms. But what I mostly see this used as is a means of turning the tables. Turning the criticism and hate back on the perceived source, and saying “you don’t get to speak now, you have no idea of my situation so shut your dillweed mouth while those less fortunate finally find their voices.” It’s the prejudiced-against, taking the weapon of the enemy and using it for themselves.

And surprise, I see it that way because I’m privileged. And yes, it’s an interesting thought-experiment to turn the white cisgender male into a minority and disregard his opinion. It’s interesting to encourage him to think about how it must feel. Sure, it’s dependent on him having the sensitivity to do so rather than getting defensive – and that’s a big ask – but yeah, sometimes it might be worth doing. And it’s human nature. Just because you’re a minority surrounded by bigots, doesn’t mean you’re not human (despite what those bigots might say). So of course your response will be to get bigoted against the bigots – and everyone with similar racial or cultural or gender characteristics of said bigots. And oops. Welcome back to the human race, motherfucker.

But here’s the kicker: You want the white cisgender male on your side. The white cisgender male is so fucking powerful. Sure, it might be a vindication to throw his privilege in his face a few times, but that’s not going to help you get more privilege. This is a really hard thing for me to confront about myself, but this whole “privilege” thing makes me defensive and retaliatory. I have to force myself to still consider the points of the truly oppressed, in spite of these mean, shitty points they’re making.

And I like to think I’m a pretty nice white cisgender male. So if I’m having trouble listening to you scolding me for the way I was born and still coming down on your side, can you imagine how hard it’s going to be for the ones who really are douchebags?

Because that’s exactly what this is, make no mistake. I am as much a victim of my genetics, geography and upbringing as any minority. I’m just a way, way more comfortable victim. Yes, I’m super-privileged. And I want to use that privilege to help. I do.

Stop making me not want to help!

The other problem with the quiz is, there’s no fair way to do it. This quiz had enraging (but obvious) questions like “Are you white?” and “Are you a man?”. Of course, those are going to give you privilege points. They’re also going to make white men, particularly those who aren’t actually all that privileged, feel as though the deck is stacked against them right from the outset. And that’s a pretty familiar feeling, right?

There were other questions, about race and identity, that are entirely subjective. I’ve been called a terrorist, and questioned at airports. I have a beard and long hair. I occasionally look like a bit of a troublemaker, I suppose. I was discriminated against enormously for my nationality and accent when I lived in New Zealand. What is race? If you meant “skin colour”, you should have said it. But that’s not the only marker for racial discrimination. It’s all bullplop, but it’s all about how you answer – how you feel about yourself. And I’m willing to bet you, most white cisgender males can answer plenty of these with a firm check in the “unprivileged” box. Without even bending the truth.

I know, this is just a shitty Buzzfeed quiz and probably the whole point of it was to poke this sort of response out of social commentators in order to get clicks, shares, comments and attention. Mission accomplished. It was just that, for me, it really neatly highlighted something I’ve been seeing more and more regularly, and the blind stupidity of it was beginning to piss me off. So yeah, ranty time.

George Takei handles this crap with aplomb. He respects his “straight allies” and doesn’t fall into the Heffalump trap of discriminating against them. He freely acknowledges that his cause needs their support and that you can’t win acceptance through mutual hate. Uncle George is a wise man and he’s seen some shit. I’m also pretty sure he’d manage to get “MASSIVELY UNPRIVILEGED” on this test, although I’m not sure what I think about that. I mean … he’s pretty privileged in a lot of ways, right?

And that’s the thing. The only way you can decide if you’re privileged is if you yourself decide to admit that you are. And that line will be different for everybody. It all depends on what you decide is unprivileged. Anyone who isn’t an organ-bank slave in [insert third-world war-torn military dictatorship or fanatical theocracy here] is privileged. And if I can get “NOT PRIVILEGED” on this quiz, you’d better believe that anyone can. And if a privileged person can point to something like this and say, “I don’t have [white] [male] [cisgender] [etc.] privilege,” … well, brilliant. Nobody’s privileged. So why are some people starving and unemployed and spat on in the streets and completely unrepresented by the law?

Yes, I’m hugely privileged. I’m not sorry, because being privileged is awesome. Otherwise all the oppressed people wouldn’t be fighting to get a piece of it.

The trick is getting a privileged person to say this of his own free will, and then getting him to say “what can I do to help?”

Because now that I’ve proved I’m not privileged, I’ll be wanting the privileged ones to help me, right?

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72 Responses to Interlude: Friday, Time for a Shitty Quiz

  1. I’m so proud of you! You’re all grown up now! *smri*

    No but seriously, I’m sure you had most of this in your thoughts before I ever whinged about modern feminism, I don’t want to seem to take credit for getting here first. But, I agree with pretty much all you said here. All of it.

    Well said. I’m torn about taking the quiz, because BuzzFeed is such shite. But I suppose I will, and post results in a mo. Ta!

  2. WHOA WHOA WHOA “I have never lied about my sexuality” and later “I have never tried to hide my sexuality”. So Cis get double-privilege points on that one? And, “I have never been told I am attractive ‘for my race'” ropes me in because I’ve never been told I am attractive! T.T

    Ok well not me, obviously, but it would rope in any fat, poor, white slob and call him privileged for NEVER BEING CALLED ATTRACTIVE!

    Ok I lied: “I make more money than my professional counterparts of a different gender” *urge to kill rising….rising….*

    And lolz I’m not going to check that I was never told my sexuality was “just a phase”. I’m not manly enough for some on the internet and I have been told JUST that, more or less. So ;P

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/regajha/how-privileged-are-you#.jrz5bXz5V

    48% oh yeah baby, time to lecture some black people! XD

    • stchucky says:

      I knew you’d be as unprivileged as fuck.

      *grin*

      But yeah, I have been told I’m good-looking “for an Australian”, so bam. Points. Or, you know, anti-points. Or something.

      WHOA WHOA WHOA “I have never lied about my sexuality” and later “I have never tried to hide my sexuality”. So Cis get double-privilege points on that one?

      Well duh. Of course.

    • thelinza says:

      The making less money than professional counterparts of a different gender actually happens. I’m at a company that does that right now. The practice is that every department gets a percent raise based on departmental performance, then each employee has to argue for their piece of the remaining pie. This requires a certain cutthroat I-want-it-more-than-you-deserve-it sort of attitude, which is not shared by most of the women in our organization. I’m not sure why, but suspect it has something to do with the way women are raised in the deep south.

      But now Linza is here, and shit’s about to get real.

  3. thelinza says:

    You’re actually the first white man friend of mine that -hasn’t- scored Privileged or Very Privileged on that test. I guess because you’re an immigrant and have had your digestive tract’s exit relocated?

    I scored not privileged because of gender, religion, and because people keep mistaking me for a dude.

    • stchucky says:

      Being an immigrant, and spending a teenage year in New Zealand (and the rest of my teenage years in an all-boys’ school) had a lot of impact on my score, yeah. Weirdly, the fact that my butthole’s around the front didn’t. But that’s discrimination for you. They always forget about us.

      • thelinza says:

        I’m really annoyed that there wasn’t more acknowledgement of discrimination based on age, body trauma, and mental illnesses other than anxiety/depression.

    • Alas we are not technically friends or else I could be your first white male American friend who didn’t turn out as privileged…barely. LOL

      I think it wasn’t the BuzzFeed, this time, that was telling privileged people to fuck off. Rather I think it’s the general movement that uses terms like “privilege” that has many characters that tell white Cisgender males to fuck off. Perhaps that’s what Hatboy is recalling.

      • stchucky says:

        True enough. When my opinion is disregarded simply because it comes from a position of privilege, I take it as being told to fuck off. Usually.

        And then – usually – I do fuck off.

      • I’m wondering if linza is not aware of the many instances of white men being told to fuck off, by…well I won’t name the movement, I’m sure we all know it. I can provide. It has reached the absurd where some have actually told white males to shut up because our thoughts actually don’t matter.

        I thought equality was the point. That means your thoughts don’t matter either, right? If mine don’t?

      • thelinza says:

        I’m not even certain the general movement is doing that, so much as a few loud assholes. But I do know what you’re talking about which means it is a problem.

      • stchucky says:

        All I’m sayin’. In my usual meant-to-be-endearing shouty way.

      • thelinza says:

        But I’m sure aaronthepatriot can enlighten me on the subject, since I obviously don’t pay enough attention to people being angry on the interwebs. 😛

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        I doubt I could enlighten you on much ;P LOL barely have time to enlighten myself, which is sorely needed.

        Let me condense my thoughts into just this: the twitter hate-mob life-impacts (doxxing-into-death-threats, job loss) has GOT to stop. That’s all I’m worried about…IDC about stupid opinions beyond that, have them all one wants.

        Now, perhaps this will happen naturally as we desensitize to “OH MY GOD {THIS} HAPPENED ON TWITTER” (insert nude pic or 1,000 anti-posts or whatever). I hope so. But until that time, these impacts are wrong and a big deal.

      • stchucky says:

        Let me condense my thoughts into just this: the twitter hate-mob life-impacts (doxxing-into-death-threats, job loss) has GOT to stop.

        I agree.

        However, how do we all feel about truly, unarguably toxic hatemongers, and the actually violent, being undone by social media? How do we feel about Bill Cosby being safe by law for his crimes, but still able to be punished? There’s a line for everyone on this, but at least when each village still had a set of stocks in the village square, the shaming was over at the end of the ordeal.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        “However, how do we all feel about truly, unarguably toxic hatemongers, [1] and the actually violent[2], being undone by social media? How do we feel about Bill Cosby being safe by law for his crimes, but still able to be punished? There’s a line for everyone on this, but at least when each village still had a set of stocks in the village square, the shaming was over at the end of the ordeal.”

        [1] Free speech[3]

        [2] Crimes deserve punishment so that one, yeah.

        [3] But you asked about feelings, so yeah I still enjoy it. Never claimed to be an angel.

        Like your Cosby example, he got away with rape, there’s no criminal way to get him now, so the social justice is all we have.

        Good point about the stocks. Again I can hope for desensitization to turn these into less life-ruining moments.

      • stchucky says:

        Exactly, you’re right. These people do have the right to vocalise their toxic worldviews. A case can be made for social improvement by the steady eradication of the people who hold said views, but that – again – is all about where you draw the line. It is, after all, what the SJWs all think they’re doing already.

        So. Do we quietly enjoy it when a hate-filled bag of shit is made world-shamous (my word, patent pending) because his or her noxious tirade was caught on a smartphone? Absolutely. Do we agree that it is right, morally or legally? Enh, on balance, probably not. But we do enjoy it so.

        Do I quietly enjoy it when a stuffy scientist makes sexist remarks and is destroyed for it (for assorted values of the concept of “destroyed”)? Enh, I’m of two minds. But I sure as shit enjoyed #distractinglysexy.

        Do I enjoy it when SJWs turn humanity’s probe-landing on a comet into a fiasco about a fucking shirt? Hell no I don’t, on any level. Fuck those guys.

        See? Lines.

      • stchucky says:

        Darn. Like “mantrum”, I see Urban Dictionary has already gotten to “shamous” ahead of me.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Yeah, and to be fair, I kinda secretly wished he was socially more clever than to make those comments. I mean, let me give you a perfect example. Recall my mugging.

        So, I avoid those circumstances. Combination of who, when, and where, and by “who” I mean more than skin color, I mean overall presentation of whatever person…well dressed or seedy-looking, for example.

        Still, I can say it out loud and it sounds awful. But it’s based on experience and is a path to my success. To my not getting mugged.

        I think he was just explaining his pathway to not getting the science interfered with. But it’s not the best solution and I think he confirmed he KNOWS IT’S NOT. That’s how I interpreted some of his comments about not holding women back.

        So, it was just a bad way to express sentiment, not policy. So I give a cringing pass. Lines, I agree! Society will improve even if we don’t fix every sexist thought in every old school head.

      • stchucky says:

        Exactly. If you were a celebrated public figure in the field of transportation, for example, and you went on the record saying that people should travel to and from work using this-and-that road and avoiding places where these-and-those types of people hang out, it would be entirely based on experience and facts. Heck, we all know there are bad neighbourhoods. But depending on how you said it, it would be social suicide.

        Of course, then turning around and saying it was a joke would make it all better…

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        “Of course, then turning around and saying it was a joke would make it all better…”

        Was that a joke?

      • stchucky says:

        Based in real opinion, which is the only way to make a joke funny. I learned from the best.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        you’re darn tootin!

      • thelinza says:

        Agreed. I doubt the hate-mob has anything to do with a gawker quiz, though. Sounds more like anti-4chan, which is just as bad as regular 4chan. The internet has haters on it, and if we had adults in the 90s who had been able to say “we need to be as careful with the shit we allow online as we are with the shit we allow in real life,” we wouldn’t have to deal with this now. As I was 10 when consumer use of the internet became a thing, I had zero control or influence or knowledge of what it was to become.

        But instead of dealing with the ethical problems of unlimited “free speech” without an enforcement mechanism for public expression tort, we had 60 Minutes doing specials on internet bullying.

  4. thelinza says:

    I think the ‘you’ve traveled internationally’ questions were very Ameri-centric, since it’s easier, cheaper, and more common to do so in Europe. It also doesn’t allow for people who move for things like marriage, work, and full-time studies, and seems to address merely tourism and single-semester study abroad programs.

    “Sure, you can use that as an excuse for rejecting their out-of-touch but well-meaning advice.”

    I’m sure you saw where a white man told me on facebook that the fees to get my certifications translated (from English to English) are “just $600” and surely I can “whittle it down some” and get that money in a couple months. It’s not an excuse, it’s a valid reason. If someone can appeal to their own authority and say “I know because I experienced it,” then it’s just as valid to say “You don’t know because you didn’t experience it.”

    “This quiz had enraging (but obvious) questions like “Are you white?” and “Are you a man?”. Of course, those are going to give you privilege points. They’re also going to make white men, particularly those who aren’t actually all that privileged, feel as though the deck is stacked against them right from the outset. And that’s a pretty familiar feeling, right?”

    Yes, but not for white men, which may be why it’s enraging for you to read those. Would you have preferred the questions to be “Are you black?” “Are you Hispanic?” “Are you Asian?” “Are you female?” “Are you a non-traditional gender identity?” For brevity’s sake, I think we can all cowboy up and take the two questions as they are. That said,white men are more likely to be privileged. The other questions take care of the things that make unprivileged white men unprivileged – religion, sexuality, socioeconomic class, et cetera.

    “If you meant “skin colour”, you should have said it. But that’s not the only marker for racial discrimination.”

    That’s why they didn’t say skin color. Because it’s not the only marker for discrimination based on race. 😛

    I’m confused as to why you seem upset to be told that you’re not privileged, and then seem to dislike the quiz for all the reasons that it gave you privilege points. Yes, on the global scale, you are privileged. On the 1st world, developed nation scale, society could be doing more to protect your dignity and recognize your worth as a human. You yourself are part of a movement to raise awareness about people who have had similar surgeries as yours. You’re a foreigner in a country that doesn’t exactly love foreigners. You’re a work-from-the-home-office dad, which is not traditional.

    I guess I don’t really understand all of what you’re angry about.

    • stchucky says:

      I think the ‘you’ve traveled internationally’ questions were very Ameri-centric, since it’s easier, cheaper, and more common to do so in Europe. It also doesn’t allow for people who move for things like marriage, work, and full-time studies, and seems to address merely tourism and single-semester study abroad programs.

      Agreed.

      “Sure, you can use that as an excuse for rejecting their out-of-touch but well-meaning advice.”

      I’m sure you saw where a white man told me on facebook that the fees to get my certifications translated (from English to English) are “just $600” and surely I can “whittle it down some” and get that money in a couple months. It’s not an excuse, it’s a valid reason. If someone can appeal to their own authority and say “I know because I experienced it,” then it’s just as valid to say “You don’t know because you didn’t experience it.”

      Okay, so first of all, yeah – I say “excuse” here, where I could just as easily have said “reason” or “explanation”. It all depends on the situation. The tone of the advice. The nature of the problem. The tone of the rejection of said advice. And so on. Duly noted.

      As to whether “I know from experience” is as valid as “you don’t know because you lack experience” … I feel really uncomfortable agreeing with that. Yes, experience is a great teacher. Yes, lack of experience can be a good indication of ignorance or lack of value in the issue in question. But it’s pretty obvious that neither point is going to be valid all the time. In a lot of cases, they’re going to be entirely invalid all the time. And the validity of one does not automatically ensure the validity of the other.

      And when it comes to having experienced (or not experienced) oppression, which is what this quiz was trying to award validity-points to – that’s even less comfortable, and that’s what I was “angry” about.

      “This quiz had enraging (but obvious) questions like “Are you white?” and “Are you a man?”. Of course, those are going to give you privilege points. They’re also going to make white men, particularly those who aren’t actually all that privileged, feel as though the deck is stacked against them right from the outset. And that’s a pretty familiar feeling, right?”

      Yes, but not for white men, which may be why it’s enraging for you to read those.

      Exactly, which is what I said a couple of paragraphs prior to this point, in the original post: “This is a really hard thing for me to confront about myself, but this whole “privilege” thing makes me defensive and retaliatory. I have to force myself to still consider the points of the truly oppressed, in spite of these mean, shitty points they’re making.”

      It was perhaps one of the most interesting and valid elements of the whole quiz idea. It forces a privileged person to see their benefits as shortcomings. But I still hold that this isn’t the approach the unprivileged want to take. It might work to make the nice privileged (like me) stop and think about their shit, but it’s not going to work for the rest.

      “If you meant “skin colour”, you should have said it. But that’s not the only marker for racial discrimination.”

      That’s why they didn’t say skin color. Because it’s not the only marker for discrimination based on race. 😛

      Yep, and that’s why I got unprivileged-points for white-on-white bigotry.

      I’m confused as to why you seem upset to be told that you’re not privileged, and then seem to dislike the quiz for all the reasons that it gave you privilege points. Yes, on the global scale, you are privileged. On the 1st world, developed nation scale, society could be doing more to protect your dignity and recognize your worth as a human. You yourself are part of a movement to raise awareness about people who have had similar surgeries as yours. You’re a foreigner in a country that doesn’t exactly love foreigners. You’re a work-from-the-home-office dad, which is not traditional.

      I guess I don’t really understand all of what you’re angry about.

      Two main reasons.

      One, this quiz makes it far too easy for privileged people to believe they’re part of the great oppressed mass, and therefore relinquish any obligation to attempt to use the privilege they do really have in order to help people. As I said, I like to think this isn’t the case for me or for my privileged friends, but it is going to be the case for a lot of people. That’s not helping.

      Two, this quiz falls into the classic human trap of saying “this group is oppressed, are you part of the group or are you part of the other group who should be doing something about it?” and then awards or detracts validity points based on a lot of social and genetic and cultural traits a person really hasn’t got much control over, putting them in a position of trying to squirm for points so as to avoid being branded as one of the Ones To Blame For All This. It’s tribalist factionalism at its finest, tagging the group that could probably be of the greatest help, and telling them to fuck off because they don’t know shit because they haven’t been there.

      I don’t care if the quiz said I’m not privileged. I know I am. I know basically everyone I know is privileged. There is, somewhere in the world, someone so catastrophically and woefully oppressed that all seven billion of us are privileged in comparison. It’s pointless.

      But that’s Buzzfeed for you.

      • thelinza says:

        I didn’t see anything telling privileged people to fuck off. I haven’t looked at it in a few days, though.

      • stchucky says:

        Oh, it didn’t. But then you don’t often see people with white cisgender male privilege telling people to fuck off, either.

      • thelinza says:

        So, you’re the origin of the ‘fuck off’ statement?

      • stchucky says:

        Uh, yes? I didn’t put it in quotes, if that’s what you mean. It came with an implied “not in so many words”, but as mentioned, it is pretty close to the attitude I’ve seen in a few cases – and as I said, white cisgender males don’t literally tell the oppressed to fuck off either. It’s just a lazy caricature for the purposes of colourful demonstration.

    • The “have you experienced it” question is an interesting one that cuts both ways, I think. You are well aware you are talking to liberal, concerned, empathetic persons here on this blog. So when one of us (ok both of us) objects in spite of that, there’s probably something there.

      For example, clearly you can understand something you haven’t experienced…I used the word empathetic already…and you can fail to understand something you *have* experienced. Also, experience lends a first-hand, sometimes exaggerating, effect to experiences. The situation where no one involved in a particular incident, on either side, comes out with a factually accurate depiction of what happened. Police encounter this all the time in investigations.

      So your statement ‘ If someone can appeal to their own authority and say “I know because I experienced it,” then it’s just as valid to say “You don’t know because you didn’t experience it.”’ is often applicable, but not always, and probably not when talking to empathetic persons like Hatboy and, yes, myself. And Timo. Hopefully he’s going to storm on to the scene shortly, LOL. Like a wrecking ball…. Wait, that’s projection on my part. Disregard.

      And as I question the first assertion, “I know because I experienced it” for the very same issues that this quiz is based upon. Your experience may not translate to me. As a woman, and I think an intelligent and charming one from what I can tell, would you say your experience with traffic stops from cops translates to mine? I can almost guarantee not.

      So that guy telling you how it should be for your certificates was, perhaps, trying to be helpful, but it was not helpful that he assumed your experience would be exactly the same, and your money-gathering-ability would be the same as his, too. I mean, we’re all liberals here, we know asking someone to scrape together $1,000 is vastly different based on that person’s current salary and cost of living.

      I understand the desire/need to generalize these results, especially for BuzzFeed, but that’s why we’re yelling at BuzzFeed. LOL.

      And I specifically got dinged twice, as did Hatboy, for not lying/hiding our sexuality. WTH, over?

      • *”effect to experience” should have been “effect to memories”

      • stchucky says:

        And I specifically got dinged twice, as did Hatboy, for not lying/hiding our sexuality. WTH, over?

        I can just about see that hiding your sexuality is not the same as out-and-out lying about it, even if they are both questions designed to ping the heterosexual and cost them a point (or two).

        Since I’ve told a fuggo woman at a nightclub that I was gay so that she would fuck off, I got pinged on neither of those points.

        See? I’m just illustrating how easily this dumb quiz can be twisted to make the über-privileged pass for oppressed.

        Now as to Mr. dreameling coming in like a wrecking ball, oh how I wish you had hidden that element of your sexuality. Go oppress yourself, you bad person.

      • Excellent point, man…hilarious that you lied, you lying liar, to avoid a fuggo.

        And if it’s nude and swinging on a ball, I’ll take a gander. I’m sorry if that offends you. Remember, offense is always taken, not given. XD

      • Hey, if you got it, flaunt it. And that dude looks like a young Alan Rickman (didn’t he have facial hair like that in Robin Hood, Men in Tights? Or something?). So, instawin.

      • dreameling says:

        (Hatboy’s Hatstand Monitoring App reports 1 instance of “dreameling” and 1 instance of “Timo”. Recommended action: Check it out, it must be about you.)

        Privilege. Everything online seems to be about privilege these days. Or triggering. Nobody’s ever told me to check my privilege — or accused me of saying something triggering — so I guess I’ve lived a charmed life, online and off, but today this stuff seems so ubiquitous in discussions and parts of the blogosphere that even slightly touch on feminism, gender, sexuality, social justice, race, and so on, that I can empathize — with those poor bastards who get the brunt of it. Kinda pisses me off. When did I start to not empathize with the liberal point of view?

        It used to be the conservatives and reactionaries who wanted to censor what you could say and do, and the liberals fought them for freedom of expression and experience. But now it looks like it’s the liberals, especially of the social justice kind, that want to block your opinion or participation if it’s the wrong kind or if you’re the wrong type.

        What the actual fuck?

        All this is also giving a really bad rep for rational, level-headed, academically-informed feminism, which we still have and still need. Which just pisses me off even more.

        Man, I’ve turned into a cranky old man.

        But, hey, not saying this stuff ain’t important:

        Also, as requested:

        And what a dumbass quiz that was. Chucky’s “shitty” pretty much says it all, really. (I got 60 out of 100. That is so triggering for me right now.)

      • stchucky says:

        I’m not sure why I had to approve this comment before it appeared, you must have switched your ID around a bit.

        I’ll respond properly later, but in the meantime I just wanted to point out that as there are three unprivileged posters in this thread and only one privileged, you are totally a minority and now I don’t know what to think.

      • 60 out of 100? You goddamn, misogynist, privileged, white Cisgender male asshole! You can’t even make blog posts here anymore, away with you!

        And about the T***, sorry, in my time away I completely forgot handles, totally my bad.

        And about the rest you said, hell yeah. This is why you see me so negative about feminism. I deeply resent that now I’ve got a bunch of smart assholes all over the internet saying it’s the LEFT that’s authoritarian. Used to never be the case. I identify as a liberal because I despise authoritarians. Thanks, Obama! And by Obama, I mean SJWs.

      • stchucky says:

        I wrote a reply to this. It was fucking magic. Then I clicked something and it took me to another page without asking if I wanted to leave this one. When I came back, the reply was gone. So you will just have to pretend this is that reply.

        It was a great reply. In it, I talked about how I have a final station on the Supporting The Oppressed line. That station is somewhere around Shirtgate, and from there I will stand on the side of the tracks and watch the train tootle away into Crazy Town, and be ready to get back on board when it comes back.

        My reply also had a great line about “don’t get me started on triggering”. It was meta as fuck.

        In the end, though, I decided that this quiz, and this whole thing, has taught me to be – if anything – more supportive of the cause, and made me want to do more to help the actually-oppressed. I can’t let a small group of destructive morons ruin something that’s very important to a lot of people. I can’t let myself identify the larger group by that small crowd of noisy fringe idiots.

        Because that’s what bigots always do.

        My original reply also refused to acknowledge that horrible .jpg you posted. If I’d been able to see it on the approval page, I may have reconsidered my Unmoderated Wonderland policy.

      • dreameling says:

        (I used my WordPress account, same old, so I’m guessing it was the images.)

      • dreameling says:

        60 out of 100? You goddamn, misogynist, privileged, white Cisgender male asshole! You can’t even make blog posts here anymore, away with you!

        Haha! Eat dirt you underprivileged white-trash pleb! I laugh at your impotent commands from my place of power! And that’s not water raining down on you!

        But don’t worry, it’s not all bad for you:

        And about the T***, sorry, in my time away I completely forgot handles, totally my bad.

        I just plastered my face on top of a nude Miley Cyrus. I think being outed by my first name is the least of my worries. Dude, who cares.

        And about the rest you said, hell yeah. This is why you see me so negative about feminism. I deeply resent that now I’ve got a bunch of smart assholes all over the internet saying it’s the LEFT that’s authoritarian. Used to never be the case. I identify as a liberal because I despise authoritarians. Thanks, Obama! And by Obama, I mean SJWs.

        Yeah, I can imagine your environment gives you a more negative baseline. Again, I see these extremes mostly online, and mostly on American or British or otherwise English-speaking sites, so not really part of my RL. And yet I still get pissed off. Perhaps in anticipation of said extremes eventually making more of a splash in Finland as well? The few local feminists I know personally (offline and online) are all smart, reasonable people with balanced and nuanced views (about all manner of stuff). Or maybe I really do live in a bubble of privilege.

        Of course, it’s not like a piece of online ranting by someone you don’t know cannot seriously skew your perception of them…

      • dreameling says:

        I wrote a reply to this. It was fucking magic. Then I clicked something and it took me to another page without asking if I wanted to leave this one. When I came back, the reply was gone.

        The very reason I almost always copy my text to the clipboard before clicking anything that might take me away from a WordPress reply page. They really should code some session persistence or something into their reply fields.

        It was a great reply. In it, I talked about how I have a final station on the Supporting The Oppressed line. That station is somewhere around Shirtgate, and from there I will stand on the side of the tracks and watch the train tootle away into Crazy Town, and be ready to get back on board when it comes back.

        If I recall, I opted to get off at or close to that same station. That decision still stands.

        In the end, though, I decided that this quiz, and this whole thing, has taught me to be – if anything – more supportive of the cause, and made me want to do more to help the actually-oppressed. I can’t let a small group of destructive morons ruin something that’s very important to a lot of people. I can’t let myself identify the larger group by that small crowd of noisy fringe idiots.

        The problem with the internet is that you cannot tell how big a group actually is. You can always make the very reasonable assumption that those ranting the loudest and spewing the most extreme or hateful crap represent a fringe group. An extreme opinion should, by definition, be only held by a minority, after all. But what’s extreme is subjective. And online you mostly see the loud ones. Plus, it’s not like the quiet ones can’t also hold the same opinions as the loud. So, your mind skews towards seeing a (much) larger group than what you’re probably dealing with, because you just cannot tell. You can always bring in your offline environment as a kind of control group, but offline and online are different beasts, information filters differently to you and you have access to different things, obviously, so you cannot really compare them. So, you just cannot tell.

        It used to be easier for me to assume a minority behind the loud voices, but for some reason it’s not that uncomplicated anymore. Not sure why. And it wasn’t even that long ago. Maybe my brain’s just growing old.

        Another problem with the current online discourse on privilege and triggering and the rest is that it seems so stupidly simplistic and polarized. “Men are privileged and women are underprivileged”, for example, is one of the most inanely naive binaries I’ve seen, yet much of the discussion seems to be happening along black-and-white axes like that. It’s stupid, and it hurts the actual discussion about gender inequality. (Like you already said.)

        Here’s the thing, though: I’m not sure you can hope for anything better from the internet, especially its social media arena. Simple is easier than complex, easy sells the best, and people have only so much time and resources to invest. Everybody likes simple. Add to that that the internet is dehumanizing by nature, since you’re not getting the kind of human interaction our brains are best at dealing with. Other people aren’t fully people online, they’re text or other forms of media or a kind of fiction. Which changes your behavior. So you have a recipe for a perpetual communications disaster.

        I’m meandering but my points is: If we want to make the world a better place, internet is not where you do that. It’s great for storing and disseminating factual information and other data, and porn, but important discussions and debates belong offline.

        My original reply also refused to acknowledge that horrible .jpg you posted. If I’d been able to see it on the approval page, I may have reconsidered my Unmoderated Wonderland policy.

        Assuming you’re talking about the ball, you got off easy. I actually contemplated taking a proper nude photo of myself on a fitness ball (or whatever you call them), but my wife smartly pointed out that that would’ve been too much.

      • stchucky says:

        Then we all owe Mrs. dreameling a vote of thanks.

      • dreameling says:

        Pfft. You just haven’t seen me naked yet.

      • stchucky says:

        That “yet” tho.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Damn, I had a picture all cropped up since everyone else was doing it…well I couldn’t get the cut to be just my head, had to be a box even in free-form in Paint, but still I would have been happy to upload it. Damn.

        I have to say, since we’re talking about feminism, if I said Miley Cyrus has a great body do you think she’d hold it against me?

        As for trains and stations I got off a little earlier, as you know, at ButtGate. Referring to Spider Woman’s butt being sexist. There’s also JokeGate, where the Nobel Laureate made a “sexist joke” and lost his job thanks to the twitter hate mob, which I mention because it pertains to what you both are getting at in your last lengthy posts.

        I am glad we realize the extremists are getting noisy in this case, and I do agree that in number they may not be all THAT large. But it isn’t just numbers that matter, as can be seen in these examples we have given. When the twitter hate mob can make a scientist cry on the greatest day of his professional life, over a fucking t-shirt, it no longer matters how many extremists we have.

        When the twitter hate mob can make a Nobel Laureate lose his job because he joked about falling in love at work and then breaking up and then the women crying in the lab (ok it wasn’t the best joke, I still think most jokes need to be off limits), it doesn’t matter how many extremists we have.

        And yes, if we could all stop acting based on the volume of a twitter hate mob’s tweets, that would be nice. But until then, shit just got real.

        And this is not to mention your Zoe Quinns and Breanna Wus who doc drop any popular youtuber male who speaks out against their extreme feminism, so the other extremists can send death threats to the men and their families…yeah that, once again, means the number of extremists doesn’t matter. It only takes one. Look at the news…actually there’s a specific news story right now with a feminist attacking a man:

        There’s also the woman who tried to cut a sitting cop’s throat behind his back, it was a big story about a year ago. The jury let her go because of feminism, basically. It was CLEAR she was trying to kill that cop, but in the end, she got off.

        Back to the doc dropping, we had a situation where anti-gay bakery owners doc dropped the gay couple suing the bakery for not serving them, and the death threats the gay couple received played a large part in getting them $135,000 in settlement from a judge, due to psychological trauma. And that’s one where I side with the “feminists” or whatever against the guys I listen to on youtube. That shit is real, and it’s bullshit. You can’t be against doc dropping only where you like the person whose docs were dropped.

        And Chucky, yes, of course none of this spoils me to actual under-privilege, actual oppression. But women, in America, are not oppressed or under-privileged. That’s where I call bull. We each have our ways in which we are privileged, at this point. And we do have to resist all the Republican attempts to roll that back. There are states that, I feel, are violating the law from the Supreme Court on women’s right to privacy, and that shit has to be fixed. But feminists screaming at me because I have a neckbeard, or trying to cost me my job (don’t worry this isn’t happening, I’m just saying). is NOT going to change that.

        The extreme ones need to realize they are losing allies like rats off a sinking ship. And then they will get nowhere on the big issues.

      • dreameling says:

        (*would be too much)

      • thelinza says:

        My experience with traffic cops is that I’ve never met one, so…

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        “My experience with traffic cops is that I’ve never met one, so…”

        Damn. Checkmate, then. Well said.

      • thelinza says:

        Also, experience statement was meant to disqualify the first, not qualify the second.

      • stchucky says:

        Oh, now I get you. So when you said “If someone can appeal to their own authority and say “I know because I experienced it,” then it’s just as valid to say “You don’t know because you didn’t experience it.””, what you meant was “I know because I experienced it,” is no more valid than (or just as invalid as) “You don’t know because you didn’t experience it.”

        Like Tim Hunt, you have expressed an opinion in an unfortunate way and I will now start a hilarious Twitter campaign called #sexyinvalid.

        Actually I won’t, because now I see it written down I realise that’s awful.

      • thelinza says:

        Yeah, you need to express that in a different way, too.

  5. thelinza says:

    Did that guy lose his job? I hadn’t heard that. I do know that the twitter photos of women scientists with captions were hilarious though.

    • aaronthepatriot says:

      The guy with the sexist “women scientists in the lab” joke? Yes, lost his job.

    • stchucky says:

      Did that guy lose his job? I hadn’t heard that.

      At a glance:

      Hunt, a Nobel laureate, has already resigned from his position at the University College London, and apologized for his comments, saying, “I’m very sorry that what I thought were light hearted ironic remarks were taken so seriously, and I’m very sorry if people took offense. I certainly did not mean to demean women, but rather be honest about my own shortcomings.”

      So, I’m of two minds about the whole Hunt issue, and that’s a subject for another 50-post comment thread, but I tend to come down on “if he really was joking, how did he possibly present the joke so badly that it caused this much anger?”

      That’s either a joke with such a kernel of real opinion in it that it stops being funny, or an actual opinion that you claimed was a joke afterwards when people started calling you a douche.

      Yes, I know the SJWs get riled up and drag this shit through the mud (mud, incidentally, formed from mouth-foam and ground-up shoulder-chips), and I think maybe it was time for this guy to retire anyway. But this is what happened:

      Tim Hunt, an English biochemist who admitted that he has a reputation for being a “chauvinist”, said to the World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul, South Korea: “Let me tell you about my trouble with girls … three things happen when they are in the lab … You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they cry.”

      “Hunt said he was in favour of single-sex labs, adding that he didn’t want to “stand in the way of women”.

      So was all of that a joke?

      Shit joke, I agree. Did he deserve to be bum-rushed into retirement over it (not, technically, fired)? Enh, not really. There are lots of dumb ol’ chauvanists around. But if he retired and will now shut up, that’s wonderful.

      I do know that the twitter photos of women scientists with captions were hilarious though.

      On this, we are in complete agreement. #distractinglysexy was an absolutely perfect response and it was brilliant. I didn’t see any of them screaming for his professional head on a plate. What I saw there were actual jokes.

      • stchucky says:

        Follow-up:

        Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Wednesday, Hunt apologised for any offence, saying he meant the remarks to be humorous – but added he “did mean the part about having trouble with girls”.

        He said: “It is true … I have fallen in love with people in the lab and people in the lab have fallen in love with me and it’s very disruptive to the science because it’s terribly important that in a lab people are on a level playing field.

        “I found that these emotional entanglements made life very difficult. I’m really, really sorry I caused any offence, that’s awful. I certainly didn’t mean that. I just meant to be honest, actually.”

        In a statement, Hunt said: “I’m very sorry that what I thought were light hearted ironic remarks were taken so seriously, and I’m very sorry if people took offence. I certainly did not mean to demean women, but rather be honest about my own shortcomings.”

        So yeah. He really did actually believe that shit, and was trying to bring it as a comment on his own shortcomings, but phrased it catastrophically badly. And the ball was taken, and run with, and lo, Tim Hunt realised this was now a sport and he was a poindexter and poindexters have no place on the sporting field.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        “At a glance:
        Hunt, a Nobel laureate, has already resigned from his position at the University College London, and apologized for his comments, saying, “I’m very sorry that what I thought were light hearted ironic remarks were taken so seriously, and I’m very sorry if people took offense. I certainly did not mean to demean women, but rather be honest about my own shortcomings.””

        OK hang on, so are you claiming the article you found, which I’d like to see, is saying he ALREADY resigned before the fiasco? Or he resigned in front of being fired? Because resigning typically IS being fired, #realtalk.

        Did he resign, in other words (5 options): in lieu of being fired after the twitter storm, as the twitter storm began, right after making those comments, as a PART of making those comments, or before even making those comments? Obviously, that matters. At the very least, I’d be comforted if one “victim” of the twitter mob turned out NOT to be a victim of it, at least in part.

        “So, I’m of two minds about the whole Hunt issue, and that’s a subject for another 50-post comment thread, but I tend to come down on “if he really was joking, how did he possibly present the joke so badly that it caused this much anger?””

        Well of course there is joking with NO intersection of reality, which tends to not be funny as far as I know. And then there is joking WITH some intersection to reality, which I think is actually the key to just about any funny joke. And THEN, you have to get into “ok so he’s joking with a contact on reality, but does he BELIEVE IN HIS HEART the bad parts of the joke?” Iceberg ahead! Danger! How can you fricking know?

        And, just because you think it is bad to hold any part of said opinion, is it truly bad, or is that just another opinion? I’ll clarify below in your example, but basically: if it DOES in fact reflect some reality, is it a bad opinion? He doesn’t delve below the specific actions he’s witnessed, so I say no. I say it is an empirical opinion for him to have, and as a scientist, I’m completely un-surprised that he lives his life based on *evidence*. LOL

        Doesn’t mean I agree with him, but that’s a whole other massive post that ain’t gonna happen.

        “That’s either a joke with such a kernel of real opinion in it that it stops being funny, or an actual opinion that you claimed was a joke afterwards when people started calling you a douche.”

        I completely disagree that the real opinion makes it unfunny. Sorry, can’t board that train. Now, I don’t think it actually WAS even funny, but it wasn’t because it had too much #realtalk in it.

        “Yes, I know the SJWs get riled up and drag this shit through the mud (mud, incidentally, formed from mouth-foam and ground-up shoulder-chips), and I think maybe it was time for this guy to retire anyway.”

        Who can say.

        “But this is what happened:
        Tim Hunt, an English biochemist who admitted that he has a reputation for being a “chauvinist”, said to the World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul, South Korea: “Let me tell you about my trouble with girls … three things happen when they are in the lab … You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they cry.”
        “Hunt said he was in favour of single-sex labs, adding that he didn’t want to “stand in the way of women”.
        So was all of that a joke?”

        I don’t know if it actually matters. Do those three things happen or not? He didn’t say “always happen”. I dunno man, scientist talk. We’re terrible at saying things *the right way* in this minefield of a social construct we have today.

        “Shit joke, I agree. Did he deserve to be bum-rushed into retirement over it (not, technically, fired)? Enh, not really. There are lots of dumb ol’ chauvanists around. But if he retired and will now shut up, that’s wonderful.”

        Agree to disagree that he’s a chauvinist. I think we peer too far into each other’s hearts, sometimes.

        “I do know that the twitter photos of women scientists with captions were hilarious though.
        On this, we are in complete agreement. #distractinglysexy was an absolutely perfect response and it was brilliant. I didn’t see any of them screaming for his professional head on a plate. What I saw there were actual jokes.”

        Yeah, definitely, that was awesome. And sexist! *runs away*

        “Follow-up:
        Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Wednesday, Hunt apologised for any offence, saying he meant the remarks to be humorous – but added he “did mean the part about having trouble with girls”.”

        I’m sure he did. “So?” remains my point on that.

        “He said: “It is true … I have fallen in love with people in the lab and people in the lab have fallen in love with me and it’s very disruptive to the science because it’s terribly important that in a lab people are on a level playing field.”

        MONSTER!

        I mean seriously, how is that problematic to say?

        ““I found that these emotional entanglements made life very difficult. I’m really, really sorry I caused any offence, that’s awful. I certainly didn’t mean that. I just meant to be honest, actually.”
        In a statement, Hunt said: “I’m very sorry that what I thought were light hearted ironic remarks were taken so seriously, and I’m very sorry if people took offence. I certainly did not mean to demean women, but rather be honest about my own shortcomings.”

        So yeah. He really did actually believe that shit, ”

        Still not in agreement that it is “shit”. If it has been an issue, he can say it. Sex complicates work. This is why we have sexual harassment policies, among other reasons. Obvious scientist is obvious.

        “and was trying to bring it as a comment on his own shortcomings, but phrased it catastrophically badly. And the ball was taken, and run with, and lo, Tim Hunt realised this was now a sport and he was a poindexter and poindexters have no place on the sporting field.”

        Yeah that is definitely true. Kind of what I was saying above.

        “Oh, now I get you. So when you said “If someone can appeal to their own authority and say “I know because I experienced it,” then it’s just as valid to say “You don’t know because you didn’t experience it.””, what you meant was “I know because I experienced it,” is no more valid than (or just as invalid as) “You don’t know because you didn’t experience it.””

        Damn, I missed that too! OK, thanks for the clarification, linza!

        “Like Tim Hunt, you have expressed an opinion in an unfortunate way and I will now start a hilarious Twitter campaign called #sexyinvalid.
        Actually I won’t, because now I see it written down I realise that’s awful.”

        Well, that’s because it’s not really the right hashtag. I think #experienceneednotapply is much better and might be attention-getting, at least for a time.

      • stchucky says:

        OK hang on, so are you claiming the article you found, which I’d like to see, is saying he ALREADY resigned before the fiasco? Or he resigned in front of being fired? Because resigning typically IS being fired, #realtalk.

        Yes, I was clarifying for those uncertain that he did lose his job, and I’m pretty sure it was over this (that article was some time later, talking about the #distractinglysexy response, and just mentioned that he’d already retired).

        Now if you want to double-down and say he was fired (implying outside / official pressure) rather than encouraged socially to fall on his sword, that’s fine. But they are different things, because – as I say – one implies that the authorities in charge of his post bowed to this pressure and pushed him out. And saying he was encouraged to retire by the establishment is sheer supposition.

        And you’re quite safe without doubling down anyway, because you just said “lost his job thanks to the twitter hate mob”. Which I think is fair to say. So yeah, I’d recommend against doubling down.

        if it DOES in fact reflect some reality, is it a bad opinion?

        Hmm, let me think YEEEEEEEES.

        Of course it can be. Doesn’t mean an opinion with some factual or statistical basis is always going to be OK, and it certainly doesn’t mean it’s always going to be bad. Yes, there are some “opinions”, like “immunisations cause autism” and “Obama is a lizard person”, that are clearly way out there in terms of actual facts. And people with more fact-based you know what? No, I’m not doing this post again.

        I completely disagree that the real opinion makes it unfunny. Sorry, can’t board that train.

        It’s not the basis in real opinion that makes it unfunny – not automatically and every time. But can you actually see the difference between – I don’t know – you or me making an arguably bigoted joke, and a confederate-flag-wavin’ good ole boy saying the same words and then saying “it was a joke” when people boo him?

        In both cases it is probably a bad idea to make the joke, depending on who is there to hear it … but the redneck doing so is less funny. Or just plain less of a joke.

        It’s the difference between Hunt making a #distractinglysexy joke, and the female scientists doing it.

        “He said: “It is true … I have fallen in love with people in the lab and people in the lab have fallen in love with me and it’s very disruptive to the science because it’s terribly important that in a lab people are on a level playing field.”

        MONSTER!

        I mean seriously, how is that problematic to say?

        Maybe it would sound more amazingly out of touch if he suggested black and white segregated labs because sometimes he gots da jungle fever and also black scientists are always knocking shit over with their enormous dicks or big booties. And then said it was just a joke, but yeah, he really meant it about segregation, but only because of a flaw in himself, not the black scientists.

        So yeah, that’s fair. Segregation because he’s got a problem.

        Hm? No?

        Well, that’s because it’s not really the right hashtag. I think #experienceneednotapply is much better and might be attention-getting, at least for a time.

        You’re ruining my joke about sexy, sexy invalids. Guess I’d better resign.

      • thelinza says:

        He’s also really, really old. After a certain point, it becomes ok to just wait for people who disagree with your values to die of old age. On the other hand, now he has lots of time to spend in not-a-lab, which will probably make his family happy.

      • stchucky says:

        And have long discussions about the lab women he’s “fallen in love” with.

      • thelinza says:

        His wife oughta love that.

  6. aaronthepatriot says:

    Well, as I just can’t agree with the analogies (they are far more harsh and unfounded statements than his relaying his experience), I’ll just let you know I read what you wrote and that we’re probably done with this topic =D

  7. aaronthepatriot says:

    “He’s also really, really old. ”

    Holy shit, I’m 39, so you must have at least ONE of those really’s for me too T.T

    “After a certain point, it becomes ok to just wait for people who disagree with your values to die of old age.”

    Quite so. This is my philosophy as well, as long as they don’t make laws for our country. Or a few other situations.

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