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.
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.
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.