Thursday, April 02, 2009

Derailing for Dummies!!




It's So Easy! Just Add Assholery And Stir!

(found via helen-bop, dilettante, Ren Ev)

I had often pondered attempting something as erm multi-purpose as this. Closest I got was here, I think. This is way better.

My favorite bits:

You're Arguing With Opinions Not Fact

If you really want to excel as a Privileged Person® you need to learn to value data, statistics, research studies and empirical evidence above all things, but especially above Lived Experience©.

You can pretend you are oblivious to the fact most studies have been carried out by Privileged People® and therefore carry inherent biases, and insist that the Marginalised Person™ produce “Evidence” of what they‘re claiming.

Their Lived Experience© does not count as evidence, for it is subjective and therefore worthless.


and

A In B Situation Is Not Equivalent To X In Y Situation

Your Marginalised Person™ may put in a last-ditch effort to be patient and reasonable by using an analogy. If you are yourself a member of a Marginalised Community™ exercising privilege over the group you’re arguing with, the Marginalised Person™ may use an example of discrimination towards your community and how there are parallels in discrimination towards theirs. This will be to try and appeal to your basic humanity and provide you with an experience you can relate to, hoping you will use that relation to apply compassion.

Don’t worry! You can still get out of this one!

Simply become indignant and be very sure to emphasise that your experience is absolutely and one hundred per cent unique and there are no similarities whatsoever between the two situations. Be sure that you are very derisive of their experience, thereby indicating you believe it unworthy of consideration. You must also behave insulted, so as to indicate their issues are so worthless that it's deeply offensive your own would be compared to them!

Of course, the Marginalised Person™ was not trying to equate the two, simply trying to provide grounds for commonality. It’s very important not to give an inch, however, so feign utter ignorance of this at all costs.

Remember: you want them to feel they really are less than human. It weakens their position and that’s important if you want to win.


and

You Have A False Consciousness

In conversation, there are few things as degrading, enraging and hurtful than to tell someone their experiences are false, or that their perception of them is.

The idea behind this one is usually that oppressed people are simply too oppressed to know they’re oppressed and therefore Privileged People® have to share their wisdom and insight with them.

This one crops up a lot in issues that affect women: women who enjoy dressing in conventionally feminine ways (they’re engrained in the patriarchal construct of femininity and therefore are incapable of making a choice), women who are kinky, regardless of the gender of the person they play with (they’re engrained in the patriarchal construct of gender roles and therefore are incapable of making a choice) and sex workers who claim to enjoy their work and/or practice it with autonomy (they’re engrained in the patriarchal construct of female sexuality and therefore are incapable of making a choice).

But this also affects People with Disabilities who are routinely told they simply don’t understand what is best for them and need a Privileged Person® to make decisions for them. People with Disabilities are not able to make any decisions for their own protection. Remember to stress that: it’s for your own protection.

With the trans community, you must routinely deny their gender identity by equating their experiences as having happened to someone of the gender they were designated at birth. For example, denying the reality of gender dysmorphia means you can tell a trans woman her childhood experiences happened to a little boy, because that's how she was being raised, and so communicate your belief her reality as a little girl was false, thoroughly undermining it.

In arguments about race, it takes a slightly different form, generally in white people telling People of Colour that they’re “seeing race where none exists”. You, on the other hand, are “colour blind” and we live in “post-racial” times. It’s them who are making everything about race and their experience of racism in their daily lives is simply imagined. If only they could let it go, the whole world would live in post-racial harmony!

You really want to ignore any claims the Marginalised Person™ may make about having done thorough research, deconstructing and unpacking of these issues. You also really want to deny their autonomy. There are few things so infuriating as infantilising an adult and telling them they’re delusional about their own reality. But they need to understand that, no matter what, you know better.

40 comments:

Lucy said...

I love "You Have a False Consciousness" particularly. But maybe that's just because I see it used so often by a certain group of people. *cough* radfems *cough*

Mandos said...

There must be something funny or self-centred I can derail this thread with.

Mandos said...

Oh, here's one, I'm visiting where you live in a short few weeks and we should get coffee.

belledame222 said...

you're gonna be in SF, mandos?

Mandos said...

Yes, in less than 3 weeks, for about five action packed days.

Comrade PhysioProf said...

Those three are my favorites, too! I also love "You Are Damaging Your Cause By Being Angry".

Mandos said...

One thing I've noticed about the world is that there are people who can consciously choose to like or dislike things and are kind of astonished/disbelieving when they're confronted by people who can't.

And I find that kind of astonishing in itself.

belledame222 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
belledame222 said...

cool, shoot me an email per dates and location and stuff. belledame222 AT gmail.com

DaisyDeadhead said...

My last go-round on Feminist Critics was obviously using this as their playbook. I mean, they hit every single one of these.

The best part was when typhonblue said I was not really prevented from playing the drums as a girl, as I claimed, because the character of Elly Mae Clampett on the BEVERLY HILLBILLIES was so popular, this proves tomboys were actually greatly beloved in the 60s, not denigrated as I claimed. What this had to do with my own family not allowing me to play the drums, however, is anyone's guess... but then I SEE IT!:

Your Experience Is Not Representative Of Everyone

Even though typhonblue was talking about a TV character and not a real person, of course...

And this one:

Unless You Can Prove Your Experience Is Widespread I Won't Believe It

For the win! (No, I did not say every little girl was denied a drum kit, I said I was.)

I also pointed out that Donna Douglas, who played Elly Mae, had been Elvis' girlfriend and was likely not a REAL redneck tomboy, but... well, by then the derailing for dummies was in full swing!

I wish I'd had this to link to, so I'm very glad to have it now!

belledame222 said...

oh yeah, i know i always refer to "Beverly Hillbillies" for my guide to Real Life... /wtf

I gave up on FC ages ago. I have enough dents in my forehead already.

belledame222 said...

also, um, I dig Ellie Mae, but somehow I never associated her primary appeal as that of a "tomboy..."

DaisyDeadhead said...

Belle, I get my own thread over this over on FC... in fact, TWO THREADS, started today. (I got pissed over the Toy Soldier post on Little Light, vented, and that is the catalyst for these new ones.)

Yall come visit, at least for the trainwreck aspect.

Should I respond? Have not decided.

belledame222 said...

yeah, wrt FC I've been sort of mostly out of sight, out of mind, you know...

DaisyDeadhead said...

Oh yeah, and DERAILING FOR DUMMIES is clearly not cool over on Feminist Critics:

The site you referenced [Derailing for Dummies] adheres to this paradigm: Any person who is, or is deemed to be “privileged” who does not defer to the views of the “less privileged” person is guilty of derailment. One consequence of this is that the experiences of white heterosexual men are deemed less authoritative than anyone else’s - even when the experiences of white heterosexual men are being discussed.

So, there you go.

Now, don't you feel bad for doing that?

Lucy said...

One consequence of this is that the experiences of white heterosexual men are deemed less authoritative than anyone else’s - even when the experiences of white heterosexual men are being discussed.

Wow, way to fail at reading comprehension there, white straight dude. This would be why you won't find me over there. The stupid, it hurts.

belledame222 said...

yeah, I took one look at how Little Light's post at her own spot "wasn't about her, she was missing the point" and left, eyes crossing madly. they give my asscramps asscramps.

DaisyDeadhead said...

yeah, I took one look at how Little Light's post at her own spot "wasn't about her, she was missing the point" and left, eyes crossing madly. they give my asscramps asscramps.

LOL! Yeah, they say they aren't calling women liars... but you know, it just didn't happen the way we say it did... or it didn't mean what we thought it meant, or some damn thing.

(((fumes)))

BTW, here is my "reply" post to these threads they have addressed to me.

belledame222 said...

Please acknowledge female privilege

Um, let's not and say we did.

seriously, just mostly zzzZZZZzzz. everything's this tedious binary gendered pissing match over there. It's like they took the most aggravating aspects of the feminist blogosphere and decided standing them on their head would make for -really great conversations-. and then simply -can't understand- why they keep getting the same responses they do. "Hey, we've been frustrated over at Pandagon! (or wherever) Now YOU get to be frustrated! Neener." bored now.

I mean I have the same problem with them as I do with the wadfems only worse because I think their Theory Of Everything (such as it is) makes even less sense if possible. Is it therapy or is it a debate, or what? And--yeah, no, bored now.

belledame222 said...

I mean, if the question is WHAT ABOUT THE MEN??? then just frigging pose it as WHAT ABOUT THE MEN??? if feminism isn't working as a frame then frigging -don't use feminism.- jesus.

belledame222 said...

I mean, fine, women have something you don't think men have, okay. Ask -why- and -what do you want done about it-. Arm wrestling anyone who'll play the game wrt Oppression Olympics/Just Admit You Were Wrong is--*aggressively* boring.

Mandos said...

I think we're now at the point where a Venn diagram is called for.

you started it said...

Belle,

You say they should simply ask "WHAT ABOUT THE MEN?". Don't you realise that when feminists talk about "male privilege" thingie it's already about the men?

belledame222 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
belledame222 said...

Dear Person:

Thank you. That was a -beautiful- illustration of exactly what annoyed the tits off me over there. "You started it?" Are we six? Who is "you," and started -what-?

belledame222 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
belledame222 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
belledame222 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
belledame222 said...

Changed my mind yet again, because I wanted to say, this post? The concept/formulation, at least? I have no problem with. I am not wedded to the term/concept of "privilege," and I actually agree with a chunk of it. I do take exception to the piece women suffering less violence, because--well, what are we talking about exactly when we say "violence?"

If you mean, women aren't conscripted into combat, aren't expected to learn how to fight (this can be a disadvantage depending on where you're situated--i.e. just because you're not supposed to fight doesn't mean you won't be attacked), yeah, I see the point, but...first of all, -which- women get set up on pedestals, are fought for by white knights, etc., is very much connected to -which- women we're talking about: women who don't fit the paradigm of "lady in the house" due to race, class, and any number of other factors, are effectively "unwomaned" a lot of the time. And--yeah, there's a lot more to say about that, which I'm not up for at the mo'.

also you'd probably want a separate piece about sexual violence, which, yes, is an area that's underadressed when it comes to everyone, but male role expectation does mean that there's even less in the way of common knowledge and resources for male victims, I would be on board with that.

The part about clothes, though--absolutely, I can see how it cuts both ways that men's "uniform" might be freeing for some people who don't want to be bothered with fashion, but is absolutely stifling for those men who try to venture outside the uniform--the policing is quite vicious, much more so than for women, yes.

belledame222 said...

I also reserve the right to freeze this topic again at any point, on account of I'm a meen whimsical fuck and my main requirement for commenters is -don't bore me.-

belledame222 said...

some sloppy tautological writing in there wrt "which women"="which women" but eh fuck it.

belledame222 said...

I should also caveat that what I said about clothing is also very culturally and temporally bound: I would certainly not try to argue that women who are legally/physically as well as socially enforced to "cover up" have more freedom when it comes to clothing than the men in question.

but from where I'm situated: yeah, I can see it. mens' clothes are really drab. often better made and cheaper, but drab. and the taboo on femininity is a much bigger deal than it is for a woman to cut her hair short and wear pants/no makeup, -in general-. I'm sure there are plenty of women even in this culture, esp. depending on generation and background, who'd recite a very different experience.

Alon Levy said...

BD: I view the idea of female privilege as some sort of reverse consciousness raising - that is, a bunch of frustrated men getting together and ranting to each other about how oppressed they are, never mind that all evidence suggests they're not. Yes, my girlfriend can wear skirts as well as pants, and I can only wear pants. So what? I don't even get why skirts are that attractive an option; the things that do annoy me are issues like, "Why is the subway so unreliable?", "Will I have a job when I graduate?", and "Why is it so hard to get fresh food for reasonable prices?". All of these are political to some extent; all of these are far more salient than whatever your garden-variety MRA thinks oppresses men.

Somewhat ironically, I also tend to discount personal anecdotes because of my experience with over-diagnosing oppression. The specific examples mainly come from atheist activists, who believe sincerely that atheists are very oppressed in the US. Most of those feelings come from communities dominated by people who come from the most conservative or fundamentalist backgrounds. For example, at a Center for Inquiry summit I went to the summer before last, there were about 50 Americans, of whom 40 were from red states. These opinion leaders share horror stories, and then come out convinced that mainstream America hates atheists more than blacks, women, GLBT people, or Hispanics.

belledame222 said...

yeah. Well--I think that the general policing of staying within masculine parameters is one of those things that one's not gonna be as bothered with depending on how strong one's natural (for want of a better word) leanings are toward -not- adhering toward them.

I also think that there's some generational shift even within the past decade or so, and depending on where one's situated as well--you can get away with a lot more in San Francisco than in some other places, let's say.

But I mean, I do think it's more than fashion, yeah (i.e. the hippie dude decides to forgo the skirt and puts his hair sensibly back when he goes to work); it's part of a whole spectrum of stuff, some subtle, some gross, that makes up a lot of what goes into transphobia as well as homophobia and misogyny too, for that matter. Call it "femmephobia" if you want to distill it, but--yeah, I've always seen it as all heavily intertwined, at least.

I just remember like in high school, say, the degree of policing even to the point of--boy shows up in a lavender shirt, he comes in for some ribbing from the teacher as well as his classmates. Boy dresses in drag for Halloween and the unpleasant mockery continues for the rest of the -year-, no shit. Boy makes the wrong gesture or drops a ball or takes dance class or any one of a thousand things, and yeah, even in the midst of my own high school misery I was aware of the degree to which that shit went on, for whatever reason. And while I didn't consciously connect it then to the slut-bashing and the fat-and-shaving-etc policing of girls and the "bitch" comments I got when I spoke up too much--yeah, I think there were reasons why I was attuned to that shit, you know?

That said, if your overall point is that FC and similar sites, as with their wadfem counterparts, have a -lot- of over-politicizing of "I'm just clinging to this vague and poorly-defined 'frame' to explain Everything That Goes Bad For Me Ever, My Personal Is The Political, I'm Going To Use Some Crap Pseudo Ev-Psych, Selective Stats, And A Lot Of Fallacies And Whining To Make My Case And I'm Not Interested In Anything Or Anyone Else, then I'd heartily concur.

belledame222 said...

I mean, I take the point wrt "the plural of 'anecdote' is not 'data'" when it comes to the statistical crap, i.e. Men Have It As Bad Or Worse Than Women (when it comes to various forms of abuse, etc).

the trouble with invoking that for stuff like experiences with the subtler (if it's that) forms of gender policing is that it -is- so subjective. I mean there's no way to talk about that shit and -not- have it be anecdotal to some degree, I don't think.

belledame222 said...

p.s. so, to the person who was searching my blog for the keywords "male privilege:" find what you were looking for, hm?

Anonymous said...

addressed Take a piece of me

www.avila-3d.com said...

In my view one and all may read this.

Anonymous said...

This entire thing is riddled with logical fallacies. Most of all the ad hominem "YOU'RE WHITE AND MALE SO YOU'RE AUTOMATICALLY BIASED".

We will not tolerate antirationality. As long as you act like fucking idiots we will continue to oppress you.

sports handicapping software said...

one of the strangest sites I've seen do not understand the point you want to get