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Janie Grace

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25 minutes ago, EmseB said:

The more apt analogy 

 

I strongly disagree with both of your examples. I'll try to come back later and say why. 

And I vehemently disagree that offering the Prince of Hell a cold drink is deferring to evil (good think I'm not easily offended, lawd). You've never been polite to someone in your home even though you think they are racist? You've never been polite to someone in your home even though you think their politics are not only wrong-headed but actively harmful? What do you do, what would you do, if someone showed up with such a guest to a casual gathering at your home? Being rude to people is not going to change their mind. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.

There's a joke in their somewhere about driving out thirst in the prince of darkness, but I don't have time to make it. 

 

 

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Just now, katilac said:

 

I strongly disagree with both of your examples. I'll try to come back later and say why. 

And I vehemently disagree that offering the Prince of Hell a cold drink is deferring to evil (good think I'm not easily offended, lawd). You've never been polite to someone in your home even though you think they are racist? You've never been polite to someone in your home even though you think their politics are not only wrong-headed but actively harmful? What do you do, what would you do, if someone showed up with such a guest to a casual gathering at your home? Being rude to people is not going to change their mind. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.

There's a joke in their somewhere about driving out thirst in the prince of darkness, but I don't have time to make it. 

 

 

Your examples here are entirely different than how I took you to mean having a known evil person over for tea. Well, I wouldn't invite someone in wearing a klan robe, no. I would ask them to leave my home if they showed up for a party. That would probably be impolite. No, I wouldn't invite Hitler into my house as a plus one or pretend as if I didn't care about his personal politics. I wouldn't offer Satan a drink of water in order to feign politeness.  That is what I thought you were getting at. Not, would I be around my backwards great uncle who still thinks eugenics is a good idea. When he talks about it, I do address the fact that he's wrong, so that's also probably impolite. There's a huuuuge chasm there for me that makes a lot of difference, so I think I probably didn't understand what you were trying to say. Here's an example: Ellen Degeneres said she would under no circumstances have a certain major political figure on her show. She would not invite him as a guest because she finds him to be abhorrent. She said this out loud on national TV. Pretty impolite, but I think fair for her to say she will not abide certain things and cannot pretend to have a fun talk show with someone around she finds to be antithetical to her beliefs in things like love and light. So is she trying to driving out darkness with darkness?

None of this is really the same as someone asking to be called something that one is not and then insisting that the person unwilling to do so (for whatever reason) is simply being willfully rude or impolite, so it's probably just muddying the waters.

I don't think it is rude to tell someone if I think they are actively harming themselves. I think it is actually evil to allow someone to persist in self-destruction (whatever form you or I might think that takes, I'm not talking specifically about pronouns or trans people here). The extent to which I would do anything about this depends on the situation, how close I am to a person, what they are demanding from me, etc. To bring it back to the OP, my reaction would be different if a store clerk corrected me if I misidentified their gender, "Oops, I am so sorry. That is really embarrassing for me." or if it was my sister demanding that I not "see" my 2yo niece's biological sex and fall in line at family gatherings. <---a heart to heart talk about why I, in good faith could not do what she was asking me to do and it's not because I hate her or my niece would ensue.


But fundamentally, I don't associate politeness with love or light or fighting evil in any real sense. It's usually a social convention that aims to avoid offense among people who don't know each other well at all. If you're using it as a coercion tactic to make people accept certain things they find to be fundamentally unacceptable it's just authoritarian.

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It reminds me of the calls for civility I've been seeing recently from both the left and the right (more from the right, I think, but it goes back and forth). Civility is grand, it's good to be polite and not aggressive or unkind or overly direct or whatever.

But the people who are asking me to speak civilly with them are doing and advocating what I consider in some cases wholesale evil.  Like, you want me to be polite while you (insert thing you find absolutely reprehensible here  - abortion (for me), repeal of Roe (for others), etc.)

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1 hour ago, poppy said:

 

You must not be in the US, if you think policy is driven by this. We are very much on a "stripping away protections" whirlwind tour.

 

Policy is absolutely being given by identity politics in the US, it's a significant factor in the rise in white nationalism - an identity group opposed of people that previously didn't think of themselves in identarian terms.  The move to stripping away itself is a reaction.  It's quite different from a landscape where the focus is more firmly on universal vales and experiences.

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1 hour ago, EmseB said:

I think this is an apples to oranges comparison. Race is a social construct. Biological sex is not.

And I agree, in some cases social pressure is good. In some cases it's not. We obviously disagree on whether it's okay or not in this case, maybe primarily because we disagree about what gender even means or is, but also if gender identity supplants biological sex when it comes to protected spaces and groups, and finally because I wonder if in the long term the idea of indulging body dysmorphia with pronoun use (especially for children and young people) is not harmful rather than a kindness. Interestingly, the newest research coming out showing any hint that the former might be true is considered anti-trans and thus bigoted and not worthy of consideration. This is the social pressure in academia currently. So all of us down at the laypeople level get kind of a feedback loop of what the "best" way to treat gender dysphoria is.

 

The idea of race as a social construct did not exist back when people were making arguments like " . But what if you're asking someone to go against what they fundamentally believe to be true about science, biology, what it means to be a man/woman, etc.? " about race.  The post-modernists pushing gender theory now were the same philosophical crew as is being torn apart here (Michel Foucault etc) for pushing that concept.  If identity is at least in part socially constructed, gender certainly may be one category, no?.

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1 hour ago, katilac said:

 

I try to be kind and respectful to the person standing in front of me. If someone introduces themself as Dr. Smith, I refer to them as such even if I think they got their PhD from a subpar institution that is harming the state of advanced education. If someone introduces themself as Daniel with she pronouns, I refer to them as such regardless of my stance on gender politics and the possibility that doing so might be used against my preferred politics one day. That's just manners to me. I was raised to be polite to the devil himself. If Satan was a guest in my home as somebody's plus one, I would say Hello, Mr. Satan, would you care for a cold beverage? Assuming that the devil identifies as a mister. I just can't map out my personal interactions on a political chessboard. 

And the pronoun question? So easy in a personal setting. If you don't want to use their preferred pronoun, used their dig-dugging name. 

 

 

Well, that is the traditional position, yes, that it is a question of manners, of etiquette.  Both of which are about being kind and also about minding your own business.  I've had people introduce themselves to me with names I knew were certainly false.  It wasn't useful or necessary for me to delve into that, so I didn't.  

But if this person had then gone on to say - look, this lady agrees that I am Mrs Smith, I want you people to give me access to Mrs Smith's bank account now please, that really changes the situation.  Or even if they decide to push the question of whether or not they are really Mrs Smith and I have to admit that no, they aren't, and am accused of some sort of rudeness or hypocrisy.

When that starts happening, the etiquette is likely to change pretty quickly.  And that is rather unfortunate because it affects the simpler and more innocent interactions as well.  

But I think that's where a lot of people are, and increasingly it's the direction I feel I might have to take, although I find it pretty viscerally uncomfortable.  But I am not going to basically sit out of what I think is a really important social issue that affects a lot of people, because of that.

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1 hour ago, poppy said:

 

Thank you for clarifying. I'm still not sure I get it -- I don't see manipulation so much as a pretty fundamental different worldview. And I haven't seen a decrease in willingness to be -- for lack of better term -- "pronoun flexible". But again, I am in the US, it may be different where you are.

 

I don't know if there is a decrease or not, but I think that may very well be the result in the end.  I do think the US as a whole is actually behind some other countries on how far this has gone into the public consciousness.  The UK seems farthest along, maybe because of the GRA and also some other issues that have brought the implications of these changes to the public attention.  Canada has just drunk the kool-aid.  In the US it's become sucked into the Trump/anti-Trump split with a lot of noise but without a lot of real examination.

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3 hours ago, EmseB said:

Well, yes, I doubt I could distill intersectionality down to two lines on a message board, but in any case, a direct result of intersectionality and its ideas has been that people that fall on certain axes are allowed to speak about such things, define terms, etc., and others are not. The axes determine who has the authority to speak about issues related to that group. If someone is more marginalized or victimized, they are allowed to speak on topics that others are not, or those others must listen and heed what more marginalized persons are saying.

Which is really what all of this is coming down to. Women are a marginalized group, but trans women are more marginalized, so women, regardless of their views on sex or gender, must acquiesce to what trans women say about themselves in defining themselves as women, biologically and in all other ways. It is a philosophy and set of standards that seems to be eating its own because in the end everyone must strive to be more and more marginalized than other groups in order to have any kind of authority on a subject or to have the power to be listened to in a meaningful way.

 

Not only what they say about themselves, but what they say about the world, society, women...

Case in point - UK labour politicians:

 

large-451540-img-20181024-122025.jpg

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25 minutes ago, poppy said:

 

The idea of race as a social construct did not exist back when people were making arguments like " . But what if you're asking someone to go against what they fundamentally believe to be true about science, biology, what it means to be a man/woman, etc.? " about race.  The post-modernists pushing gender theory now were the same philosophical crew as is being torn apart here (Michel Foucault etc) for pushing that concept.  If identity is at least in part socially constructed, gender certainly may be one category, no?.

 

Well, it did I think but was still more in the sciences rather than something the general public had knowledge about.  Race wasn't deconstructed by postmodernists, it was a scientific project to find a scientific basis for race.  Which they did not find.

That something is a social construct doesn't mean that it isn't real, or even based on more objective elements in some way.  Race obviously relates to ethnic background, for example.  But it also hold together a lot of other things.  As a concept, it's not scientifically valid in the way people who believed in classic eugenics, for example, thought. (In some ways that isn't really the point of anti-racism, even if it was valid, that doesn't mean that those racial theories were true or moral.) 

Gender by definition is socially constructed, at least until recently it was, but it was also understood to be a concept intrinsically related to sex.  THat's why it was developed as a concept, to describe how sex becomes encultured.  Sex however, is absolutely not constructed in the same way, it describes a material reality in as basic a way as scientific descriptions can.  In the race analogy, it's somewhat equivalent to the genetic element of ethnicity, although even more basic.

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7 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

Well, it did I think but was still more in the sciences rather than something the general public had knowledge about.  Race wasn't deconstructed by postmodernists, it was a scientific project to find a scientific basis for race.  Which they did not find.

That something is a social construct doesn't mean that it isn't real, or even based on more objective elements in some way.  Race obviously relates to ethnic background, for example.  But it also hold together a lot of other things.  As a concept, it's not scientifically valid in the way people who believed in classic eugenics, for example, thought. (In some ways that isn't really the point of anti-racism, even if it was valid, that doesn't mean that those racial theories were true or moral.) 

Gender by definition is socially constructed, at least until recently it was, but it was also understood to be a concept intrinsically related to sex.  THat's why it was developed as a concept, to describe how sex becomes encultured.  Sex however, is absolutely not constructed in the same way, it describes a material reality in as basic a way as scientific descriptions can.  In the race analogy, it's somewhat equivalent to the genetic element of ethnicity, although even more basic.

 

I wholeheartedly disagree that science is what got us to where we are in terms of race.  It was blood, sweat and tears of many activists.  It was an identity group self-advocating, finding allies, courting public opinion, fighting on multiple legal fronts, strategizing.   Not  a measured and fair scientific process. 

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50 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

Policy is absolutely being given by identity politics in the US, it's a significant factor in the rise in white nationalism - an identity group opposed of people that previously didn't think of themselves in identarian terms.  The move to stripping away itself is a reaction.  It's quite different from a landscape where the focus is more firmly on universal vales and experiences.

 

Again I want to bring up that identarian terms has made a great deal of positive progress in the US - see my previous post.

 "Universal values" are a social construct, IMO. 

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1 hour ago, moonflower said:

It reminds me of the calls for civility I've been seeing recently from both the left and the right (more from the right, I think, but it goes back and forth). Civility is grand, it's good to be polite and not aggressive or unkind or overly direct or whatever.

But the people who are asking me to speak civilly with them are doing and advocating what I consider in some cases wholesale evil.  Like, you want me to be polite while you (insert thing you find absolutely reprehensible here  - abortion (for me), repeal of Roe (for others), etc.)

Yeah, this is necessary to having an actual conversation, and has always been managed by at least some people who care enough to try.

I don't understand the argument that we simply cannot speak to people who disagree with us, regardless of the topic.

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20 minutes ago, LMD said:

 

Not only what they say about themselves, but what they say about the world, society, women...

Case in point - UK labour politicians:

 

large-451540-img-20181024-122025.jpgfi

Interesting.  I recall 3 decades ago when I realized that NOW would never speak to me because its main foci were abortion rights and gay rights.  The challenges faced by the vast majority of women are not remotely related to abortion or homosexuality.  I took issue with the name "National Organization for Women" because it wasn't "for" most women at all.

So in your quote, they are saying a person born male who identifies as a woman is a better speaker for women's concerns than a person born female who identifies as a woman?  And I suppose that if I disagree, I'm a deplorable hater.  Oh well.

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Yeah that's what they're saying. That there's 'very few issues' around having a female body. Hardly worth mentioning really. Especially when you're wanting to fill a Women's Officer role...

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17 minutes ago, poppy said:

 

I wholeheartedly disagree that science is what got us to where we are in terms of race.  It was blood, sweat and tears of many activists.  It was an identity group self-advocating, finding allies, courting public opinion, fighting on multiple legal fronts, strategizing.   Not  a measured and fair scientific process. 

 

You are changing the language. In terms of concluding that race is a social construct rather than a robust material category, that was a scientific project.  As far as people knew otherwise, including activists, it could have been.  

 

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14 minutes ago, SKL said:

Interesting.  I recall 3 decades ago when I realized that NOW would never speak to me because its main foci were abortion rights and gay rights.  The challenges faced by the vast majority of women are not remotely related to abortion or homosexuality.  I took issue with the name "National Organization for Women" because it wasn't "for" most women at all.

So in your quote, they are saying a person born male who identifies as a woman is a better speaker for women's concerns than a person born female who identifies as a woman?  And I suppose that if I disagree, I'm a deplorable hater.  Oh well.

 

Many of the big women's orgs have issues with being accessible to all women. It's not just abortion rights. My mum tried to join a big women's group here when I was a toddler, and they told her kids weren't welcome at meetings, and made her feel like an idiot for not having graduated highschool. Honestly, although there are some very good women in academia, there's a certain kind of liberal, middle class feminism that dominates academic spaces, and as a flow on, women's organisations.

One feminst conference I went to had a complete schism over something like this - an invited speaker does some really great work on sexualisation of children in advertisting, and pushing back against it. She's also personally pro life. 3/4 of the room wanted to walk out on her; 1/4 of the room were 'hey, pragmatics. This woman doesn't actively work against reproductive rights, she just has a personal opinion, and her actual activism is pro girl'. Guess who won out ?

And yes, in TRA discourse if you disagree with the above (especially if you are a woman and you disagree loudly, impolitely or more than once!) you are a deplorable hater. 

Edited by StellaM
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If gender theory is evidence based, my feeling is that it can be argued on its own merits without co-opting the Civil rights movement.

However, if we want to head down that path, from a feminist perspective, using a class based model of oppression, transgender male activists are more akin to All Lives Matter gatecrashing the Black Lives Matter movement. 

 

Edited by StellaM
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20 minutes ago, poppy said:

 

Again I want to bring up that identarian terms has made a great deal of positive progress in the US - see my previous post.

 "Universal values" are a social construct, IMO. 

 

That's pretty much a death toll for any kind of society then, if we can't even talk about some kind of universal value, like justice regardless of race or ethnicity.  Or if it's simply a constructed idea (very Nietzchean) what it means is that no one can actually make a moral argument for their values, it's simply a matter of who can better assert their will.  The strong are always the winners,.

It's quite possible to talk about sub-groups and still have a universal vision of justice or love.  All kinds of sub-groups do in fact exist.  When they become the focus of policy initiatives though, you no longer have a basis for a society, you have race and class and gender and religious wars, wether figuratively as each jockeys for position, or perhaps quite literally.  

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1 minute ago, StellaM said:

If gender theory is evidence based, my feeling is that it can be argued on its own merits without co-opting the Civil rights movement.

 

 

 

 

Yes, I would (always) prefer to see things argued on their own merit.  

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3 minutes ago, moonflower said:

 

 

Yes, I would (always) prefer to see things argued on their own merit.  

 

My experience is that genderist ideology is always argued on either the race analogy, which is a pretty poor one (see Bluegoat's posts) or on comparisons to homophobia. Or not argued at all, but just reliant on appeals to kindness.

I think the trouble for proponents is that there isn't a lot of hard evidence. And when evidence is presented, it's often on the basis of weak and unreplicated science, or on the basis of asserted yet unproven theory.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, SKL said:

Interesting.  I recall 3 decades ago when I realized that NOW would never speak to me because its main foci were abortion rights and gay rights.  The challenges faced by the vast majority of women are not remotely related to abortion or homosexuality.  I took issue with the name "National Organization for Women" because it wasn't "for" most women at all.

So in your quote, they are saying a person born male who identifies as a woman is a better speaker for women's concerns than a person born female who identifies as a woman?  And I suppose that if I disagree, I'm a deplorable hater.  Oh well.

 

Yes, and the reasoning is interesting - it is because they think most problems or issues relating specifically to women have nothing to do with their reproductive role.

Now - women's officers in the Labour party were instituted because they were having a hard time getting women candidates to run.  They wanted to run women, but they just weren't offering themselves for the job.  Why - well probably a few reasons, but a huge one is that the lifestyle of politics, like a lot of high-stress long hours jobs, is more difficult for people who are mothers to work in.  The idea was that having women's officers could help the party find ways to work around these different problems, and it was fairly effective in increasing the number of women running.

And this constituency in particular is working class with a lot of problems with women in domestic abuse situations, prostitution, drugs.

It is really hard to conceive of how blinkered people have to be to imagine that reproductive organs are only a minor part of women's policy issues. 

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5 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

My experience is that it is always argued on either the race analogy, which is a pretty poor one (see Bluegoat's posts) or on comparisons to homophobia. 

 

They kind of learned from the gay rights movement there, which inevitably seemed to compare anyone who disputed their position by comparing them to racists.  But it's not particularly clear that having same sex partners is very similar kind of thing to being of a particular socio-ethnic background.

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6 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

They kind of learned from the gay rights movement there, which inevitably seemed to compare anyone who disputed their position by comparing them to racists.  But it's not particularly clear that having same sex partners is very similar kind of thing to being of a particular socio-ethnic background.

 

Yeah, that's true. I don't think I personally ever argued that IRL; my argument was more along the lines that if the State was involved with legitimising relationships, it had no business discriminating between opposite sex and same sex relationships (I wish I'd actually argued my actual postions, which is that the State should get out of marriage altogether, leave it to the Churches as a sacrament, and introduce secular civil partnerships for all - sorry, rabbit trail)

But you are right in that the tactics were largely shame based, along with threats of self harm and suicide from vulnerable populations. And I guess it works. 

 

 

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On 10/25/2018 at 1:51 PM, Janie Grace said:

Do you know anyone raising a child without assigning it a gender? I have a sibling who is doing this. Sibling is gay and lives in a very progressive part of the country. The child has female genitalia but my sibling and partner gave the child a name that could be either gender. They dress the child so that you wouldn't know she's a girl and keep her hair very short. They have been referring to the kid as "she" and "her" but suddenly have decided to use "they" (child just turned 3). The family is coming to visit soon and I'm sure we are all going to forget and offend them by using "she" because that's what we have been doing for 3 years. But we will try our best.

I'm trying to state this all as impassively as I can because I want to be sensitive. But I am really struggling. I agree that we shouldn't push kids into gender stereotypes, that there are lots of ways to be a boy or a girl, and that if a child persistently experiences being in the wrong body, I agree with lovingly facilitating transition. But to not even allow a child a pronoun like everyone else? This kid is in a preschool of boys and girls and isn't allowed to be either? How is that good? (Although given the demographic, maybe there are other "they"s.) My sibling thinks that by age 4 or 5, the child will tell the parents what gender they are. Can a young child really just "pick"? This feels like a weird social experiment. 

I am sorry if this offends you. I am really just wrestling through this. I love my niece more that I can say (I guess I am supposed to use "nibling" now, not niece) and I just fear for what the fallout of this will be. I'm frustrated with what feels like pushing extreme beliefs on a child, and I am worried that the kid will grow up confused and isolated. ?

ETA: I am evaluating my feelings more and I think part of my struggle is sadness at how this makes us feel all the more divergent in our thinking/choices/world views. I love this sibling so much but each year that goes by makes me feel like we are from different planets. And yet we get closer in some ways. I guess I'm afraid this "they not she" thing will drive a wedge because I won't remember and don't understand. Of course I would never argue it with my sibling; their family, their rules. It just makes me sad the way that seeing extreme legalism (girls may not go to college) on the other side of the family does. But I know we are all trying our best... 

 

Honestly, I would ask your sibling's child, young as they are, what pronouns they prefer to use. If the kid says "she/her/I'm a girl" then go with that. If the kid says "I don't care" then stop worrying about it and call the kid whatever seems right in the moment. If the kid says "they/them" then go with that. If they change their minds, go with the flow as best you can.

Yes, a young child really can just pick. Some transgender children speak up that young. Whatever your sibling may try to do to control the environment, that kid is constantly being bombarded with messages about gender--from TV, from books, from peers unless they are completely isolated in a gender-neutral social bubble. 99% of the time, they're going to pick the gender that corresponds to their biological sex.

When I was a new parent, I tried to steer away from too much hyper-gendered stuff for DD, but by the time she was 3.5, it was PINK PINK GIRL PINK PRINCESS SPARKLE just about nonstop. She doesn't get it from me! ?

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51 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

That's pretty much a death toll for any kind of society then, if we can't even talk about some kind of universal value, like justice regardless of race or ethnicity.  Or if it's simply a constructed idea (very Nietzchean) what it means is that no one can actually make a moral argument for their values, it's simply a matter of who can better assert their will.  The strong are always the winners,.

It's quite possible to talk about sub-groups and still have a universal vision of justice or love.  All kinds of sub-groups do in fact exist.  When they become the focus of policy initiatives though, you no longer have a basis for a society, you have race and class and gender and religious wars, wether figuratively as each jockeys for position, or perhaps quite literally.  

 

No, it's not the death toll at all, we have a delightful society. 

I was replying to your claim: " Policy is absolutely being given by identity politics in the US, it's a significant factor in the rise in white nationalism - an identity group opposed of people that previously didn't think of themselves in identarian terms.  The move to stripping away itself is a reaction.  It's quite different from a landscape where the focus is more firmly on universal vales and experiences.' 

The ONLY way things change is when a small group of people  -- and most definitely not the strongest or richest -- convince others.  There is no world where people universally  decide to expand rights without the work on the ground from activists.  For example: expanding suffrage to women was identity politics at work. At least in the US. As I've admitted, I am not as familiar with history in other parts of the world.

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26 minutes ago, Ravin said:

When I was a new parent, I tried to steer away from too much hyper-gendered stuff for DD, but by the time she was 3.5, it was PINK PINK GIRL PINK PRINCESS SPARKLE just about nonstop. She doesn't get it from me! ?

It's funny isn't it; my oldest was a lot like me--I remember taking her to a birthday party at about age 3 and all the little girls were dressing up as princesses; my dd picked out the firefighter outfit for herself.

My second girl was sparkly princess all the way at that age ?

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7 minutes ago, poppy said:

 

No, it's not the death toll at all, we have a delightful society. 

I was replying to your claim: " Policy is absolutely being given by identity politics in the US, it's a significant factor in the rise in white nationalism - an identity group opposed of people that previously didn't think of themselves in identarian terms.  The move to stripping away itself is a reaction.  It's quite different from a landscape where the focus is more firmly on universal vales and experiences.' 

The ONLY way things change is when a small group of people  -- and most definitely not the strongest or richest -- convince others.  There is no world where people universally  decide to expand rights without the work on the ground from activists.  For example: expanding suffrage to women was identity politics at work. At least in the US. As I've admitted, I am not as familiar with history in other parts of the world.

 

No it wasn't. Women we're not denied the vote because they *identified* as female. It's not like you could stroll up to the poll wearing britches and be like, "it's ok y'all. I identify as male." And they'd let you vote. Get real. 

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57 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

My experience is that genderist ideology is always argued on either the race analogy, which is a pretty poor one (see Bluegoat's posts) or on comparisons to homophobia. Or not argued at all, but just reliant on appeals to kindness.

I think the trouble for proponents is that there isn't a lot of hard evidence. And when evidence is presented, it's often on the basis of weak and unreplicated science, or on the basis of asserted yet unproven theory.

 

 

 

Can you untangle this for me?
Science says race doesnt' exist; it's just a social construct.  Which does exist..  But gender is a social construct too.  But there is not hard evidence that it exists?
What "hard evidence" are you seeking to confirm the existence of an social construct? 

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2 minutes ago, OKBud said:

 

No it wasn't. Women we're not denied the vote because they *identified* as female. It's not like you could stroll up to the poll wearing britches and be like, "it's ok y'all. I identify as male." And they'd let you vote. Get real. 

 

Women gained the vote because the they banded together and advocated for their group. That is the actual definition of identity politics.

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29 minutes ago, Ravin said:

 

Honestly, I would ask your sibling's child, young as they are, what pronouns they prefer to use. If the kid says "she/her/I'm a girl" then go with that. If the kid says "I don't care" then stop worrying about it and call the kid whatever seems right in the moment. If the kid says "they/them" then go with that. If they change their minds, go with the flow as best you can.

Yes, a young child really can just pick. Some transgender children speak up that young. Whatever your sibling may try to do to control the environment, that kid is constantly being bombarded with messages about gender--from TV, from books, from peers unless they are completely isolated in a gender-neutral social bubble. 99% of the time, they're going to pick the gender that corresponds to their biological sex.

When I was a new parent, I tried to steer away from too much hyper-gendered stuff for DD, but by the time she was 3.5, it was PINK PINK GIRL PINK PRINCESS SPARKLE just about nonstop. She doesn't get it from me! ?

Except, I can promise that not a single one of my minor children would have a clue what I was asking.  My 6 yr old doesn’t know what pronouns are and would just as soon have you call gime TRex as call him “him”. My 8 yr old, with the ASD diagnosis, couldn’t give an answer because she still struggles with figuring out what they all mean. 

 

My nealy 10 yr old might get it in the grammatical sense but she would look at me, roll her eyes and go “ mom, I am an her” and have absolutely no idea why I would be asking and it wouldn’t occur to her that a different answer was possible. 

And DD10 is NOT MY “pink, girl, princess” kid.  She is my “space, dogs, space, dogs cooking dogs dogs”kid.  

 

IOW, I struggle how to understand how a toddler/preschooler could be asked such a question and be trusted to give an answer that indicates true understanding of self.   

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6 minutes ago, poppy said:

 

Women gained the vote because the they banded together and advocated for their group. That is the actual definition of identity politics.

Oh, and what constitutes a woman? That would have needed to band together to advocate for themselves? When men(?) Wouldn't let them vote since the beginning of America?

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2 minutes ago, OKBud said:

Oh, and what constitutes a woman? That would have needed to band together to advocate for themselves? When men(?) Wouldn't let them vote since the beginning of America?

 

I'm super confused.  What is your definition of identity politics? Only applies to identities that do not exist?

Loads of people couldn't vote in the beginning of America.  Less than 10% of the population, in the beginning.

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20 minutes ago, poppy said:

 

No, it's not the death toll at all, we have a delightful society. 

I was replying to your claim: " Policy is absolutely being given by identity politics in the US, it's a significant factor in the rise in white nationalism - an identity group opposed of people that previously didn't think of themselves in identarian terms.  The move to stripping away itself is a reaction.  It's quite different from a landscape where the focus is more firmly on universal vales and experiences.' 

The ONLY way things change is when a small group of people  -- and most definitely not the strongest or richest -- convince others.  There is no world where people universally  decide to expand rights without the work on the ground from activists.  For example: expanding suffrage to women was identity politics at work. At least in the US. As I've admitted, I am not as familiar with history in other parts of the world.

 

Te suffragettes made their argument on the basis of universal values, and humanity as a universal category, as did the civil rights movement.  This is a focus that doesn't obliterate smaller groups of similar people or people with related interests, but it does give them value with regard to their relationship to the universal, and so in a sense subsumes them.   There's also a relation to how our brain works - we can't help but see and evaluate, enumerate categories we've been trained to see - it's how the brain works.   What this means is that as long as we are trained to notice an identity, it is at risk to become a negative focus when conditions are right.  

In particular with the increased emphasis on identity over the last 20 years, you can see that groups which previously had not thought of themselves in those terms, have beginning to.  People who thought of themselves as "just regular people" were moved to action when it looked like others were being barred from that because they had a particular group membership.  But increasingly even those people are thinking of themselves in terms of their own identity markers, and that creates a really different atmosphere. Especially when identity politics are pretty clearly being used as a way for the political elite to continue to oppress them economically.   

As far as it not being a death toll - without a concept of universal values and an ontological, universal basis for human value, there is no way to have a society that has these "delightful" characteristics you want.  It doesn't even have to be that people agree about them all - but if people hdo not believe that there is such a thing as justice, what does that society look like?  It certainly is not going to be one that will argue for expanding rights.  Why would it?

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22 minutes ago, poppy said:

 

I'm super confused.  What is your definition of identity politics? Only applies to identities that do not exist?

Loads of people couldn't vote in the beginning of America.  Less than 10% of the population, in the beginning.

 

I think she is asking you what that particular group had in common, and how/why it meant they were unable to vote.

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50 minutes ago, poppy said:

 

Can you untangle this for me?
Science says race doesnt' exist; it's just a social construct.  Which does exist..  But gender is a social construct too.  But there is not hard evidence that it exists?
What "hard evidence" are you seeking to confirm the existence of an social construct? 

 

Gender exists as a social construct.

It is, at the same time, not thoroughly analgalous to race, though I race is also a social construct. 

Though gender-critical people disagree amongst themselves about the veracity of the possible origins of gender, the social construct, that does not change the fact that it is, indeed, distinct from sex. As "race"  is distinct from ethnicity. 

You keep snagging on what is being said because you're using sex and gender interchangably.

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

Interesting.  I recall 3 decades ago when I realized that NOW would never speak to me because its main foci were abortion rights and gay rights.  The challenges faced by the vast majority of women are not remotely related to abortion or homosexuality.  I took issue with the name "National Organization for Women" because it wasn't "for" most women at all.

So in your quote, they are saying a person born male who identifies as a woman is a better speaker for women's concerns than a person born female who identifies as a woman?  And I suppose that if I disagree, I'm a deplorable hater.  Oh well.

 

Right?  Because obviously the best way to be a woman is to have or have had a penis, aka be or have been a man.

And if we say a hearty hell no to what should be obvious irrationality that a man can explain the female identity or experience better than a woman? Oh we must be haters.

Yes, it should be insulting to every woman to see a man win woman of the year. And if we are going to compare it to racism - fine.  It's not one bit different than a white guy winning black man of the year by showing up in black face.  Even if he swears he is a black man in a white man's body, even if he had really great cosmetic surgery, it still wouldn't be considered anything but insulting.  (Tho there's a comedian who points out in his skit that this would be a true test of insanity bc no one in their right mind would choose to be a black man these days.)

But women? Pfft.  It's so unladylike to point out these things.

 

 

 

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Yeah, genderists love to compare gender to race until some white person shows up saying they are really, in their heart, black or Filipino. .

Can't have it all ways. 

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36 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

Te suffragettes made their argument on the basis of universal values, and humanity as a universal category, as did the civil rights movement.  This is a focus that doesn't obliterate smaller groups of similar people or people with related interests, but it does give them value with regard to their relationship to the universal, and so in a sense subsumes them.   There's also a relation to how our brain works - we can't help but see and evaluate, enumerate categories we've been trained to see - it's how the brain works.   What this means is that as long as we are trained to notice an identity, it is at risk to become a negative focus when conditions are right.  

In particular with the increased emphasis on identity over the last 20 years, you can see that groups which previously had not thought of themselves in those terms, have beginning to.  People who thought of themselves as "just regular people" were moved to action when it looked like others were being barred from that because they had a particular group membership.  But increasingly even those people are thinking of themselves in terms of their own identity markers, and that creates a really different atmosphere. Especially when identity politics are pretty clearly being used as a way for the political elite to continue to oppress them economically.   

As far as it not being a death toll - without a concept of universal values and an ontological, universal basis for human value, there is no way to have a society that has these "delightful" characteristics you want.  It doesn't even have to be that people agree about them all - but if people hdo not believe that there is such a thing as justice, what does that society look like?  It certainly is not going to be one that will argue for expanding rights.  Why would it?

 

What is it you think activitist today are working towards  People fighting white supremacy are not fighting for BLACK supremacy. They are fighting for a better world for all. 
For inclusion.  No one is obliterated in a just world.

 

 

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Just now, OKBud said:

Yeah, genderists love to compare gender to race until some white person shows up saying they are really, in their heart, black or Filipino. .

Can't have it all ways. 

 

I think a lot of this may stem from a general confusion about how we form identity, and think it must be some kind of essential brain thing - or at least that is how they think about it with gender.  I mean, I think it would be unusual for a person to make that kind of claim, though there have been cases.  But I don't think it's difficult to imagine that someone white, brought up in a Filipino family in another country might have a really different sense of identity.  Or, we could even look at something like sexual identity and sexuality - the idea of being gay or homosexual as an identity is nowhere near universal in cultures, including ones where plenty of people are having same-sex sexual encounters.  Yet for us, many people feel it's really an essential and inborn part of their identity.  In the one case the person might "feel" Filipino but obviously isn't, in terms of ancestry.  In the other a person may have whatever biological characteristics lie behind being attracted to people of the same sex, but they don't "feel" gay.  

I think the way identity is built in an individual is far more complicated than a lot of people think, because they take their own so much for granted.

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11 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

 

Right?  Because obviously the best way to be a woman is to have or have had a penis, aka be or have been a man.

And if we say a hearty hell no to what should be obvious irrationality that a man can explain the female identity or experience better than a woman? Oh we must be haters.

Yes, it should be insulting to every woman to see a man win woman of the year. And if we are going to compare it to racism - fine.  It's not one bit different than a white guy winning black man of the year by showing up in black face.  Even if he swears he is a black man in a white man's body, even if he had really great cosmetic surgery, it still wouldn't be considered anything but insulting.  (Tho there's a comedian who points out in his skit that this would be a true test of insanity bc no one in their right mind would choose to be a black man these days.)

But women? Pfft.  It's so unladylike to point out these things.

 

 

 

 

Unladylike is entirely your words.  I keep seeing this straw man over and over. Women aren't allowed to have opinions / women aren't allowed to speak up..... and I see zero evidence of that on these boards, or really in general, I  have no  idea why it is the go-to argument.


I get you are raging against Caitlin Jenner here and I have no opinion about that  person. Magazine awards are given to generate publicity, and are not objective. There is no human on earth who thinks Blake Shelton is actually the Sexist Man Alive. The more out-there the suggestion is, the more the magazines win.

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14 hours ago, poppy said:

 

Unladylike is entirely your words.  I keep seeing this straw man over and over. Women aren't allowed to have opinions / women aren't allowed to speak up..... and I see zero evidence of that on these boards, or really in general, I  have no  idea why it is the go-to argument.


I get you are raging against Caitlin Jenner here and I have no opinion about that  person. Magazine awards are given to generate publicity, and are not objective. There is no human on earth who thinks Blake Shelton is actually the Sexist Man Alive. The more out-there the suggestion is, the more the magazines win.

 

But it is not just that.  It's men trying to compete in the women's category in sports and in other areas too.  It's not just magazines, but media absolutely does shape society.

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12 minutes ago, OKBud said:

Yeah, genderists love to compare gender to race until some white person shows up saying they are really, in their heart, black or Filipino. .

Can't have it all ways. 

 

I am a feminist, not a genderist, so I am not the best ever person to speak to this point. But it's obvious to me that comparing the struggles of various marginalized groups is logical.  I won't be scorned out  of comparing the histories and struggles and --- yes, intersections -- between race, sex, sexual orientation, class, gender, disability, age, religion. There are reasonable analogies to be drawn between different categories.   Saying "it's not a 1:1 perfect fit so throw it all out!" is nonsense.

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

Except, I can promise that not a single one of my minor children would have a clue what I was asking.  My 6 yr old doesn’t know what pronouns are and would just as soon have you call gime TRex as call him “him”. My 8 yr old, with the ASD diagnosis, couldn’t give an answer because she still struggles with figuring out what they all mean. 

 

My nealy 10 yr old might get it in the grammatical sense but she would look at me, roll her eyes and go “ mom, I am an her” and have absolutely no idea why I would be asking and it wouldn’t occur to her that a different answer was possible. 

And DD10 is NOT MY “pink, girl, princess” kid.  She is my “space, dogs, space, dogs cooking dogs dogs”kid.  

 

IOW, I struggle how to understand how a toddler/preschooler could be asked such a question and be trusted to give an answer that indicates true understanding of self.   

I wouldn't necessarily phrase it "what pronouns do you prefer." I'd ask the kid, "So, are you a boy, or a girl, or do you know? and see what the kid says. Or, if you use a pronoun the kid doesn't like, given how the parents are doing this, the kid is likely to call you on it. 

To clarify the pink thing--there is more to gender than color and toy preferences, and gender nonconforming preferences along those lines do not accurately predict a child is not cisgender. I merely mentioned it to illustrate that kids get their own ideas about these things very young. They are little sponges, soaking up plenty we think they pay no mind to--and then they go and get opinions, often as early as they can speak on a topic.

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1 minute ago, Murphy101 said:

 

But it is not just that.  It's men trying to compete in the women's category in sports and in never other areas too.  It's not just magazines, but media absolutely does shape society.

 

I'd argue more it reflects it than shapes it, but I'm sure it is a little of both.

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1 minute ago, poppy said:

 

What is it you think activitist today are working towards  People fighting white supremacy are not fighting for BLACK supremacy. They are fighting for a better world for all. 
For inclusion.  No one is obliterated in a just world.

 

 

 

By focusing on identity politics, it's possible for those who support and gain by our economic system to avoid confronting it's problems.  That is, it is inherent in that system that it creates a class of capital owners who control the economy and also politics, and workers who are dependent on them.  It will necessarily be oppressive if it works without significant modification, and that is on the basis of the relation of those in control, whatever their identity, to those who are dependent, whatever theirs.  

They can do this, and are happy to, because promoting identity politics in no way endangers that system.  The system itself is the main vehicle for oppressing many disenfranchised identity groups, so dismantling or modifying it would in fact have the effect of helping many of those people, and also clarifying what effects are mainly economic rather than related to their other characteristics.  

But if, instead, you simply allow members of that group to become distributed among the capital owners, in the same proportion they exist in the population, you can claim that is fair and you have justice and equality, while maintaining the economic system which benefits you.  And you can claim the moral high ground as well, call yourself progressive, and people will believe it.  

In the meantime, the people left behind who are still being economically exploited, become a rather dangerous group, and very inclined to become violent reactionaries.

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1 minute ago, poppy said:

 

I am a feminist, not a genderist, so I am not the best ever person to speak to this point. But it's obvious to me that comparing the struggles of various marginalized groups is logical.  I won't be scorned out  of comparing the histories and struggles and --- yes, intersections -- between race, sex, sexual orientation, class, gender, disability, age, religion. There are reasonable analogies to be drawn between different categories.   Saying "it's not a 1:1 perfect fit so throw it all out!" is nonsense.

Oh we don't "throw it out" because it's not 100%, we just keep going when we reach the logical ends of it, Poppy.

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5 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

By focusing on identity politics, it's possible for those who support and gain by our economic system to avoid confronting it's problems.  That is, it is inherent in that system that it creates a class of capital owners who control the economy and also politics, and workers who are dependent on them.  It will necessarily be oppressive if it works without significant modification, and that is on the basis of the relation of those in control, whatever their identity, to those who are dependent, whatever theirs.  

They can do this, and are happy to, because promoting identity politics in no way endangers that system.  The system itself is the main vehicle for oppressing many disenfranchised identity groups, so dismantling or modifying it would in fact have the effect of helping many of those people, and also clarifying what effects are mainly economic rather than related to their other characteristics.  

But if, instead, you simply allow members of that group to become distributed among the capital owners, in the same proportion they exist in the population, you can claim that is fair and you have justice and equality, while maintaining the economic system which benefits you.  And you can claim the moral high ground as well, call yourself progressive, and people will believe it.  

In the meantime, the people left behind who are still being economically exploited, become a rather dangerous group, and very inclined to become violent reactionaries.

 

Just about everyone I know who is transgender in real life is pretty poor. There's a minister who I think gets a good salary? But that's the exception.  The people who are fighting for them are (in my world) my church - as part of our social justice mission. So this doesn't resonate with me at all. I can tell it's something you are passionate about.    Is that how it is in your country? Trans people are generally wealthy men? Zero intersectionality? It's just so far from my lived experience. 

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11 minutes ago, OKBud said:

Oh we don't "throw it out" because it's not 100%, we just keep going when we reach the logical ends of it, Poppy.

 

Are you saying you believe that the logical end is that every trans person is basically Rachel Dolezal?

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9 minutes ago, poppy said:

 

Unladylike is entirely your words.  I keep seeing this straw man over and over. Women aren't allowed to have opinions / women aren't allowed to speak up..... and I see zero evidence of that on these boards, or really in general, I  have no  idea why it is the go-to argument.


I get you are raging against Caitlin Jenner here and I have no opinion about that  person. Magazine awards are given to generate publicity, and are not objective. There is no human on earth who thinks Blake Shelton is actually the Sexist Man Alive. The more out-there the suggestion is, the more the magazines win.

 

The issue is that the words that we use to talk about ourselves as women are being redefined without women actually agreeing to it.  And when they speak up, it's labeled as transphobic and they are called terfs.  

Even when this redefinition is happening legally in some places - Canada, the UK, Greece IIRC - when women want to meet together with other natal women in order to discuss the political and legal ramifications, this is being seen as transphobic, and in the UK these meetings have been broken up by violence, and the venues where the women try and meet are being inundated with complaints so they cancel the bookings.

There are political parties writing into their regulations that people who do not agree with the blanket statement that transwomen - which means anyone who self-Ids -  are women, with all the same legal rights as women, are not welcome - they are not allowed to even discuss the implications of these kinds of changes in either language or legislation within the party - it is the same as racism.

Women who speak up about these kinds of political and legislative -  questions are not only no-platformed, they are being fired, or just subject to terrible pile-ons on social media, or other harassment.  

People who want to do research into the issues are also unable to get funding unless it is the "right" research.  Looking at detransitioners - nope.  If you advocate a watch and wait approach, or think avoiding medicalizing people is better, you will not get funding and you may be fired.

That is all about stopping people from talking, especially women.  And once the catagory of "women" is officially changed, and disagreeing with that is an offence, there simply is no way for women to bring these kinds of questions to the fore.

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3 minutes ago, poppy said:

 

Just about everyone I know who is transgender in real life is pretty poor. There's a minister who I think gets a good salary? But that's the exception.  The people who are fighting for them are (in my world) my church - as part of our social justice mission. So this doesn't resonate with me at all. I can tell it's something you are passionate about.    Is that how it is in your country? Trans people are generally wealthy men? Zero intersectionality? It's just so far from my lived experience. 

 

Um, no.  That isn't what I said at all.

It's also the case that black, or First Nations Canadians, and Americans as well, are more likely to be in poverty.

But as a political party, as people in power, as Hillary Clinton, say, are you really looking to deal with, or change, the inherent nature of a capitalist economy, and make it fairer?  That would be great for all the poor, and it would likely deal with a lot of other problems related to inequality and prejudice by extension, or make them easier to deal with.  But, as the capitalist/corporatist  politician, where would that leave you and those you represent and work for?  

But it is absolutely no threat to your world if you talk about empowering women, or blacks, or any other group within the population, so they can get their bit of the pie and some of them can rise through the meritocracy to join you at the top.  All you need to do is make sure there is still a good sized pool of people to sit at the bottom of the pile.  Taking this approach makes some parts of the population feel hopeful and brings their votes; and it reduces the chances that they will be a problem, it's a form of pacification.  It makes wealthier people feel less stressed about the fact that they are involved, even if passively, in the exploitation of the poor - they can imagine that are progressives who care and want everyone to have an equal chance at the good life.  

And everyone is way too busy and self-congratulatory and just distracted to notice that you are still going on enriching and empowering the small group of people at the top.

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