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  #41  
Old 26 August 2016, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Blatherskite View Post
ETA: also, what kind of person dismisses a group calling for fairness and equality because of a few bad eggs? Who says 'I was with you about the systematic inequality of the justice system but then I overheard somebody make a disparaging remark about things white people do, so now I oppose what you stand for'?
It may not be that clear-cut. It may be more a case of how far along a metaphorical path you would go with a group. If some members of a group seem to have ridiculously exaggerated ideas then the more grounded ideas by members of that group might be more easily dismissed. I remember when some feminists were trying to change gendered words like "chairman". Other feminists (or the same ones) were also trying to change "woman" and "female" as (IMS) the fact that they were built from "man" and "male" made those words sexist too. It is possible that some people who dismissed both groups because of their views on the latter.

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Originally Posted by Sue View Post
I was told that the students who screamed profanities into the face of the Yale professor that they disagreed with were perfectly justified in this behavior and that it was only through actions like that that real change would ever be effected.
I disagree with the first part. As to the second part, that may be an eternal debate. How "polite" should protests be in order to obtain the maximum affects? Too polite and they are dismissed because a) if it was important they'd be more passionate about it and b) it is easy to ignore polite protests as they don't get media coverage. Too aggressive and they are dismissed as extremists.
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  #42  
Old 26 August 2016, 04:20 PM
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I could give you her name and phone number but I won't. If you are doubting my word I am not appreciating that. At all.
Alrighty, then. FOAF said it, and we all just accept that it has relevance. That makes a lot of sense.
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  #43  
Old 26 August 2016, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blatherskite View Post
ETA: also, what kind of person dismisses a group calling for fairness and equality because of a few bad eggs? Who says 'I was with you about the systematic inequality of the justice system but then I overheard somebody make a disparaging remark about things white people do, so now I oppose what you stand for'?
I think there's a fine line here. "You're not helping the cause by being overly abrasive and refusing to explain something to others" is different than "Since someone doing that said some things about social justice issues, it means those issues are no longer real issues."

I see people online behaving in the way Cervus describes them, including the infamous case of a woman driven to attempt suicide because of bullying over fanart and harrassing a show's real artist off twitter for supposedly promoting a ship. I don't think that any of the people who do this really care about the supposed issues in question, though - they just want to bully and feel superior, and "social justice" is just one of the things they can do that in. I don't doubt that many of them will go along to something else once they can.

General social justice/advocacy online does have issues worth addressing - little focus on class issues, America-centrism, but I think that can be worked on while still respecting others and not shouting them down. People can be generally ignorant and not know something.

A salon article that delves into this.

Sister "don't get me started on how much I hate 'educate yourself' especially if someone tells you to just google it" Ray
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  #44  
Old 26 August 2016, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Sue View Post
I could give you her name and phone number but I won't. If you are doubting my word I am not appreciating that. At all.
We snopesters are well known for just accepting "I heard this, but I can't say who from or how they would know" as a legitimate cite. In fact, the only more convincing cite I can think of is "I heard it from a guy in a bar".

After all, isn't that the whole thrust of this site?
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  #45  
Old 26 August 2016, 07:18 PM
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Sister "don't get me started on how much I hate 'educate yourself' especially if someone tells you to just google it" Ray
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Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
A social justice warrior does not seek to educate you about why you might be wrong. Instead, a frequent response is a dismissive "It's not my job to educate you." .
Experiences vary, of course. But the context in which I've seen 'it's not my job to educate you' or 'educate yourself' has been places in which people were trying to have a conversation on specific aspects of a subject, and/or on their specific experiences with a problem, and were having to contend with multiple other people who kept trying to break into the conversation and insist that it be about explaining to them basic information that the people on the site/already in the conversation were tired of going over, over and over again, while they were trying to talk about something else.

If people are discussing a subject in, say, a college-level physics course, they don't want to have to spend their time explaining basic mathematics, just because the conversation can't otherwise be understood by someone who doesn't know basic math.

Or to take another type of analogy: if someone comes to me at farmers' market and wants to know why people start tomatoes from transplant in this climate but you're supposed to direct seed cilantro, I'm happy to answer that: it is, in a sense, part of my job, because I chose to be a direct marketer. But if I'm part of a growers' roundtable at a conference discussing tomato varieties that might be resistant to climate change, someone wanting basic information on how to grow tomatoes ought to take that question elsewhere; they're taking our time from discussing what we're trying to talk about. Suggesting that such a person go over to the beginner's workshop instead would be entirely reasonable.


In addition: quite a few of the people demanding 'you have to educate me!' aren't seriously after education. It's clear, if one tries reading these discussions, that people will come in to say this sort of thing when what they're actually trying to do is derail the discussion and attack the premise that the subject is worth discussing at all. To use the tomato-question analogy: if somebody comes into the meeting and insists that instead of discussing varieties adaptable to changing climate we need to instead admit that the climate isn't changing, people are going to get annoyed.

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Originally Posted by Sue View Post
People get very defensive when the topic of SJWs comes up, there's a reason for that. The overzealous wannabe activist types are not as rare as some might like to believe.
People also get defensive, not too surprisingly, when they're being attacked.

It's true that people may be defensive because of improper behavior of those more or less on their side. However, I suspect that most defensiveness on the subject comes from being attacked by those most definitely not on their side.
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  #46  
Old 26 August 2016, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
In addition: quite a few of the people demanding 'you have to educate me!' aren't seriously after education. It's clear, if one tries reading these discussions, that people will come in to say this sort of thing when what they're actually trying to do is derail the discussion and attack the premise that the subject is worth discussing at all. To use the tomato-question analogy: if somebody comes into the meeting and insists that instead of discussing varieties adaptable to changing climate we need to instead admit that the climate isn't changing, people are going to get annoyed.
The process is common enough that it's acquired a name: sea-lioning.
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  #47  
Old 26 August 2016, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
It may not be that clear-cut. It may be more a case of how far along a metaphorical path you would go with a group. If some members of a group seem to have ridiculously exaggerated ideas then the more grounded ideas by members of that group might be more easily dismissed. I remember when some feminists were trying to change gendered words like "chairman". Other feminists (or the same ones) were also trying to change "woman" and "female" as (IMS) the fact that they were built from "man" and "male" made those words sexist too. It is possible that some people who dismissed both groups because of their views on the latter.
I was exaggerating for (attempted) comic effect, but I stand by my point when it comes to your more realistic example too.

The rejection of gendered terms like 'chairman' is reasonable. It doesn't become less reasonable just because somebody else said something similar that was less reasonable.

I think if your support for a cause is that easily shaken then you can't have been that supportive to begin with. I've abandoned TV shows just because I didn't like one or two of the characters but I've never abandoned a belief for the same reason.
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  #48  
Old 26 August 2016, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
I'm confused, since you're over 30 are we supposed to dismiss the link to the blog you've posted?
I guess you're only just taking the mickey but this is a thing that annoys me, which is so common that it shows up in every one of these conversations. For example, someone says "You see how it's pretty much only white people who say that..." and someone will say "You mean white people can't be right?" or "But you're white so I guess we shouldn't listen to you!" Uh, no. The logical fallacy should be so obvious that no one has to even point it out.
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  #49  
Old 27 August 2016, 12:12 AM
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The huge difference being that a white person only knows white privileged whereas everyone over 30 has 29 years experience at being under 30.
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  #50  
Old 27 August 2016, 12:24 AM
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I can't say I've never seen it used to derail, and that is annoying, but I've seen it in general arguments as well. Not just for social justice issues, either: one time I asked someone for a cite about how sugar was more addictive than cocaine and was told something like "I'm not your teacher, google it."

Someone behaving badly in the supposed cause of social justice, or really for anything else, doesn't invalidate the issues, and shouldn't, but at the same time bad behavior needs to be addressed, as well.

Sister "unfortunately this sort of thing doesn't have an easy answer" Ray
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  #51  
Old 27 August 2016, 01:45 AM
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I'm not going to deny that there are idiots and blowhards in the Social Justice movement--there are idiots and blowhards in any movement--but the SJW "insult"* is one of those phrases where if I see it, I automatically deduct points from the User's assumed IQ** for every usage. Because when I see it used, it's usually in contexts like this.

Feminist: um...It would actually be nice to see more women headlining entertainment, kicking ass and taking names.

Dudebro: OMG!!!!1111!!!! U H8 MEN!1

Feminist: Uh, no I don't. I just think it would benefit both boys and girls to see girls kicking ass and taking names.

Dudebro: FEMINAZI!!!111 MISANDRY!!!!111

Then the Dudebro and his friends proceed to fill social media pages with death and rape threats, maybe doxxing the critic for good measure, forcing them to have to seek police protection. Because apparently the target of a hate campaign is supposed to find threats to rape and kill her (and not necessary in that order), to be hilarious. It even adds to the comedy when you post photos of her address for the world to see.

Yeah, for all the talk about how whiny SJWs are and how trigger warnings are ruining everything, it seems to be whiny white guys who have the hardest time handling and accepting that others' have viewpoints that differ from them. Just remember the collective hissy thrown when Michelle Obama (correctly) stated that the White House was built by slaves.

Fun fact: Even though women and PoC are able to relate to protagonist of any color or gender, it's too much to ask white boys to do the same. Their delicate sensibilities just can't handle hearing about characters who don't have a penis.

*Insult in quotes because I don't consider SJW to be an insult.

**Despite my cynicism, I try to be charitable. I assign everyone a fairly reasonable number and only start mentally deducting points, once they prove otherwise. Other phrases I deduct points for: Big Pharma, Special Snowflake, Sheeple, False Flag
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  #52  
Old 27 August 2016, 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
The huge difference being that a white person only knows white privileged whereas everyone over 30 has 29 years experience at being under 30.
That has zero to do with the logical fallacy I'm talking about.
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  #53  
Old 27 August 2016, 04:10 AM
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I had never heard the term sea-lioning before and was about to ask where it came from, but I did that thing where I Googled it and now I can't stop laughing. Also, TL, I love your analogy. I feel like I have those kinds of conversations with clients a lot, where they pretend to want legal advice but really they just want to argue with me because they think they know the law better.

On the subject of the OP, I thought this article made some good points.
Quote:
Thatís the specter that arguments like this conjure up: The greatest threat to genuine academic freedom comes from within. Coddled students who are used to getting trophies for everything donít want to engage with stuff they donít like, so they wrap themselves in entitlement and demand trigger warnings to protect their feelz. Or they want safe spaces to hide from the big, bad world. Or they want the university to cancel a lecture because the speaker is from the wrong demographic. And if universities donít make a stand against this foolishness, Western Civilization itself will collapse.

Thatís a comforting narrative to the academic elite who feel like theyíre faced with an existential crisis. Rather than seeing themselves as clinging to the last vestiges of the 1950s, they get to paint themselves as staunch advocates of all that is good and worthy. And thereís an audience for this fiction ó people still read Allan Bloom. But as critiques of inequality have shown time and again, when youíre accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression. I donít think itís a coincidence that the backlash against so-called "political correctness" in higher education has intensified in direct variation with the diversification of the academy, areas of scholarship, and ó most significantly ó the student population.

Whatís really behind the hand-wringing: the gatekeepers want to remain in place

Underlying much of the hand-wringing about the state of the academy is a simple desire to have the gatekeepers remain in place. The perception of the threat is entirely out of alignment with the reality on the ground. For every ginned-up hypothetical scenario of spoiled brats having a sit-in to protest too many white guys in the lit course, there are very real cases where trigger warnings or safe spaces arenít absurdities, but pedagogical imperatives.
I hope I'm not quoting too much, but there's so much good stuff here.
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  #54  
Old 27 August 2016, 06:04 AM
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Oh, that reminds me. There were some good articles on the subject that I'd saved the URLs for.

https://theconversation.com/no-youre...r-opinion-9978

http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-ways-o...ining-america/

http://www.thetattooedprof.com/archives/572

http://sevenscribes.com/straw-freshm...e-is-bullshit/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...are/?tid=sm_fb

Haven't read any of them in a while and don't have time to review them in detail right now, but I remember that they were pretty good.
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  #55  
Old 28 August 2016, 12:06 AM
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Here are my thoughts:

Someone up thread gave us their definition that safe spaces should be places free from harassment and where harassment is not tolerated (I'm paraphrasing here). And that was concurred by another saying that this should be all workplaces. I agree that all workplaces need to be free from harassment. But that is not what safe spaces are. That is not what is being addressed in the OP. That is not controversial. Bringing personal definitions into it and expecting to debate, especially on a very hot topic, is not going to push the narrative forward at all.


The notion of a safe space where someone can recover from an incident is noble. If there are people who suffer from PTSD (and I know very many) and they start to suffer an incident (not all incidents are major), then the idea of having a safe space is excellent. It needs to have access to mental health resources and the privacy to allow someone to decompress, recover, and get back into their life for the short term. With the right resources, it could also lead to linking the person to the right people to seek professional assistance.

That being said, it need not be a designated spot. It surely cannot be an entire campus. However, if a designated spot is identified (nothing wrong with it) then it needs to be used effectively.

The notion that many articles I have read (and seen on television when "Safe Spaces" were introduced in my city's university) is that safe spaces are places where one can retreat when one is faced with issues considered offensive. This is a poorly defined area, and this is where many people are having difficulty discussing it. Offensive is so vague, ambiguous and up to personal interpretation. For someone whose family has suffered ethnic cleansing in recent history, sitting through a class that deals with the WWII Holocaust may very well seem offensive. And this student, despite not being diagnosed with PTSD, may very well need a safe space for dealing with "offensive" material. This is why the sites should exist. However, it is quite different for an atheist student taking a political science class** being offended at the notion that several western democracies have established state religions and their codes do reflect a religious tone. This is where challenging the student trumps the student's need to not face that information.

As for trigger warnings, I'm against them outright. I can't expect educators to try to anticipate any and every possible trigger their class might have. My phone number in Israel was 666 3177. Should I offer a trigger warning before I put that up for my students in case someone sees malevolence in there? Now saying that, if the class is going to be dealing with obviously troubling material that day (Holocaust survivor coming to speak to the class is one example from recent events) then a courtesy to the students the day before or even the day of may be warranted. Mandated, I suspect not. But not forbidden either.

One thing I've seen in this thread, though, is a personal attack that bothers me. I tell plenty of anecdotes, and rarely do I get challenged to provide the identity of the person about whom I am speaking. In this thread, one poster put up an anecdote and someone blew her off as telling a "FOAF" story and another poster jumped in mocking the original poster claiming that the only thing worse is "a guy in a bar story". I have to say: this is a public web page. I know I am identifiable by what I have posted. I've been sent an email at my work after someone read stuff on this board. I do try to be cautious about what I post, but we do post a lot. If a poster does not want to identify another personal friend, I am willing to accept the story at face value. I won't give it more weight, nor will I give it less. Privacy and identity protection trump finding a story.

So the notion of blowing off a long time poster here because that poster won't reveal their source is bizarre. Perhaps they have a different point of view. But mocking their contribution solely because they won't reveal their source is so beyond the pale. Disagree with the point of view, challenge it, support it, attack it, defend it. That is all good. Giving the proverbial finger to the poster is just bad form.

**an example from my time at university 25 years ago
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  #56  
Old 28 August 2016, 12:22 AM
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I am not sure how my question got interpreted the way you and Sue have done. When I asked "told by whom?" I was assuming that someone on this board had said it and that seeing what the person said would provide context to Sue's statement, or that Sue might give a general context, NOT A NAME OR NUMBER, for the person who made the statement. I did not want a name and phone number and I was not doubting that someone, somewhere had said it. Anyone, anywhere, could say anything.

Let me just clarify that nothing I post, EVER, is a request for ANYONE'S personal contact information, and I don't understand how it could be interpreted that way. I was looking for context. There was no context provided, and it was, indeed, a FOAF statement, and there is no reason whatsoever that I should just assume that whoever Sue talked to has any particular expertise in this topic. I was just looking for context. That is all. I will back out of this thread and believe me, I wish I had not posted anything.
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  #57  
Old 28 August 2016, 12:24 AM
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I agree [edited to add: with UEL]. Plus it wasn't a FOAF story. It was "someone said X" to me.

Someone said something to me is direct testimony. Someone said something to someone else would be a FOAF story.
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  #58  
Old 28 August 2016, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
As for trigger warnings, I'm against them outright. I can't expect educators to try to anticipate any and every possible trigger their class might have.
I don't think that even people who are extremely in favor of trigger warnings expect triggers to be listed about everything. I think the three really big ones that are usually addressed are rape/sexual assault, child abuse, and graphic descriptions of violence. Most people who have more unusual triggers are not demanding that the entire world put a trigger warning on breakfast.

I don't think it's unreasonable to add to a class syllabus, "This class will be covering topics that include X, Y, and Z. If you anticipate these topics causing a problem for your mental health and emotional state, we recommend looking up summaries of the works covered on X Website prior to reading them so you can take whatever steps are necessary to prepare yourself for the discussion."

We already put content warnings on movies that explain the reason for the rating. Why are those considered fine and reasonable, but when you call them a trigger warning and ask for them online or in a classroom it's suddenly because you're a crybaby who can't handle the real world? (You didn't use those terms, UEL, but they are common ones in this discussion both here and elsewhere.)
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  #59  
Old 28 August 2016, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Aimee Evilpixie View Post
I don't think that even people who are extremely in favor of trigger warnings expect triggers to be listed about everything.
This goes to the point about what trigger warnings are being used for. I can live with a note in the syllabus, when dealing with your big three (which you use the word "usually"). However, as there is no solid definition of what a trigger warning is**. I don't think mandating trigger warnings is necessary, but I am definitely not against people providing them.

Quote:
(You didn't use those terms, UEL, but they are common ones in this discussion both here and elsewhere.)
I find the hyperbole on all sides ridiculous on subjects like this. Establish the common definitions and concepts so we all debate the same topic, and go from there. Going from hyperbolic "safe spaces everywhere, trigger warnings at all possible opportunities" to "screw the crybabies and their safe spaces, trigger warnings are for the true cowards and those who don't want to face the real world" with nothing in between does not tend to push the narrative forward one bit.

**Ottawa University student union wanted one prior to every class about the potential triggers in that class (not individual lectures, but the first class of the semester). Identifying all triggers, and stating that students that did not want to attend due to these triggers need not feel compelled to deal with the material. They would not be expected to be examined on it.
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Old 28 August 2016, 01:08 AM
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Here is one professor's explanation of why he uses content ("trigger") warnings.

Quote:
History is often ugly. History is often troubling. History is often heartbreaking. As a professor, I have an obligation to my students to raise those difficult subjects, but I also have an obligation to raise them in a way that provokes a productive reckoning with the material.

And that reckoning can only take place if my students know that I understand that this material is not merely academic, that they are coming to it as whole people with a wide range of experiences, and that the journey we’re going on together may at times be painful.

It’s not coddling them to acknowledge that. In fact, it’s just the opposite.
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