Author Topic: The Machine, Stockholm Syndrome, and marginalization – feminist edition  (Read 2548 times)

Juana Go?

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Re: The Machine, Stockholm Syndrome, and marginalization – feminist edition
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2012, 05:05:21 pm »
No, it's not. Why would men get to decide what feminism means?

Well, let's review:

WE may have an opinion, YOU dictate.

That's not egilatarianism...I want nothing to do with it.  You dictate all you like, I'm going to decide what feminism means to me.  If that's offensive or something, too fucking bad, because my definition of feminism applies to all genders, and boils down to "YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME". 

So, yeah, I refuse to acknowledge your authority on this subject.
I wasn't trying to be antagonistic. Sorry if it came off that way. I clarified and ceded in my previous post.

The one and only thing men are not allowed to do is dictate what feminism means.

Is there someone who is allowed to do that?
Women, as a group.

You know when you were asking for examples of when it seemed like you were alienating men?

We've already agreed that people who have not experienced institutional sexism haven't experienced how that feels, and shouldn't tell those who have what they should be feeling. But to say that men can't have a say in something that was once defined on this forum as "the idea that women and me should be treated equally" really feels exclusionary to me.
Thank you for pointing that out. I did clarify and cede that there were things I hadn't thought about before (thanks, PD!).


Is anyone going to say anything about the OP or is this now the official thread about men having a say in feminism?
Sorry. :lulz: Next post.
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Juana Go?

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Re: The Machine, Stockholm Syndrome, and marginalization – feminist edition
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2012, 05:08:08 pm »
Just a quick thought I've been having on the backdrop of our recent discussions of feminism etc.

Before I start, let me note that I will be making some generalizations about people, people whose experience I have barely a glimpse of, and I feel kind of uncomfortable doing so. Hence, a lot of attempts at e-prime. And I'm eager to hear the take of people who are more intimately familiar with what I'm talking about, meaning mainly anyone who's not a cis male. (It's not that my opinion is a-priori invalid, it's that I don't have some crucially relevant perspectives.)

It seems that with patriarchy, as with any other form of oppression (or, any other part of The MachineTM), the dominant group and the memes that justify its dominance have an ally in something probably related to Stockholm Syndrome (you know, the thing where people who are kidnapped start identifying with their captor and feeling positive and dependent about them.)

Sticking to the feminist issue, what I have in mind is this: women, as part of a (relatively) oppressed group, are basically forced to choose, consciously or otherwise, between two lame options. Either they conform with the wishes of their oppressors (not all men, but an abstract The Man), in which case they are giving up on some potential individuality in favor of the comfort of being agreeable to the people in charge; or they refuse to conform, refuse to look and act the way they're expected to, and as a result can maintain individuality, but are both likelier to suffer abuse (from oppressors and conformists alike) and are likely to be stamped off as crazy/weird/bitter/ugly/etc., enabling oppressors and conformists to easily disregard their perspective. "You're just angry because guys don't want you", "don't listen to her, she's just crazy", etc.

This seems to be a pattern so prevalent that it might be useful to think of it as the essence of oppression. Either conform, or be marginalized. The more you conform, the less easy you are to marginalize. But this is where the Stockholmy stuff comes into play. It seems almost obvious, but it's worth pointing out that conformists tend to be the least likely people to realize they are taking part in oppression. I don't know what direction the causality goes in, but everywhere I look, I see conformists who are fine with things as they are and get angry when someone suggests they're part of oppression, and non-conformists who see the oppression and are fucking pissed off for being marginalized by it.

Women who conform to patriarchy, who constantly make huge efforts to be perfect decoration and "playmates" for the men around them, seem to actually want the kind of validation the patriarchy offers them, and look down on women who do not conform as much. And women who are conscious of the patriarchy tend to refuse to conform, at least in some ways, and to look down on women who do conform.

Because patriarchy is still a dominant part of The Machine – which implies that most people carry a bunch of patriarchal memes – and because of the principle that communication can only take place between equals, a majority of society looks down on those individuals who are aware and critical of the patriarchy. Because they look down on them (us), communication is impossible. And so The Machine lives on, and like any attempt to change it, feminism can at most hope to slowly shift the balance away from patriarchy, but never to dismantle The Machine as a whole.
This is pretty much spot on, I think!
“Call me sentimental, but there’s no-one in the world that I’d like to see get dysentery more than you.” — David Nicholls (One Day)

Nigel

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Re: The Machine, Stockholm Syndrome, and marginalization – feminist edition
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2012, 05:09:13 pm »
Your OP makes a lot of really good points and I don't have much to say about it other than that I agree with it.

In the end, I don't think the Machine CAN be dismantled; it can, however, be rebuild to function differently, by replacing a cog here and a wheel there.
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“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
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Re: The Machine, Stockholm Syndrome, and marginalization – feminist edition
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2012, 05:15:42 pm »
Hey, if I'm not qualified to have an opinion on feminism then neither are you. So you just take your penis and SHUT UP.
This is really, really tired, ECH. The one and only thing men are not allowed to do is dictate what feminism means. That does not forbid you from having opinions or ideas about the subject.

I don't necessarily agree with that either, though it's not a point I feel inclined to argue. But I was told yet again last night that my opinion isn't as valid since I have a penis.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 05:20:21 pm by East Coast Hustle »
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Re: The Machine, Stockholm Syndrome, and marginalization – feminist edition
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2012, 05:18:55 pm »
No, it's not. Why would men get to decide what feminism means?

Well, let's review:

WE may have an opinion, YOU dictate.

That's not egilatarianism...I want nothing to do with it.  You dictate all you like, I'm going to decide what feminism means to me.  If that's offensive or something, too fucking bad, because my definition of feminism applies to all genders, and boils down to "YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME". 

So, yeah, I refuse to acknowledge your authority on this subject.

This.

And..

Is anyone going to say anything about the OP or is this now the official thread about men having a say in feminism?

Sorry for letting my snarky one-liner jack the thread. I liked the OP, but I have to admit that I don't really have anything useful to add to it.
Rabid Colostomy Hole Jammer of the Coming Apocalypse™

The Devil is in the details; God is in the nuance.


Some yahoo yelled at me, saying 'GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH', and I thought, "I'm feeling generous today.  Why not BOTH?"

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: The Machine, Stockholm Syndrome, and marginalization – feminist edition
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2012, 05:59:26 pm »
Your OP makes a lot of really good points and I don't have much to say about it other than that I agree with it.

In the end, I don't think the Machine CAN be dismantled; it can, however, be rebuild to function differently, by replacing a cog here and a wheel there.

This is absolute fact.  NO part of the Machine can be dismantled, and even if it could, we'd just build another one, because that's what people DO.  What we CAN do is make changes to the existing Machine, as you pointed out.
"The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way, and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theatre."
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Re: The Machine, Stockholm Syndrome, and marginalization – feminist edition
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2012, 06:02:21 pm »
I will never accept a dictonomy. Ideology, to be truly accepted is not a spectator sport. Under this definition I will never be a feminist. Shame, I thought I was. I thought the discussions I had with my future wife about what it means would be enlightening. Guess I'll write that off now.
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Verbal Mike

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Re: The Machine, Stockholm Syndrome, and marginalization – feminist edition
« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2012, 06:17:02 pm »
Which dichotomy exactly are you talking about, Faust?
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Re: The Machine, Stockholm Syndrome, and marginalization – feminist edition
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2012, 06:21:08 pm »
Which dichotomy exactly are you talking about, Faust?
Sorry autocorrect dictation, of any ideology or philosophy.
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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: The Machine, Stockholm Syndrome, and marginalization – feminist edition
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2012, 06:26:22 pm »
Here's the fucking disconnect:  I am male.  I cannot possibly understand the problems females face, and vice-versa.  This does NOT mean that I cannot form my own definition for feminism, or that I can't be a "FULL MEMBER" of the feminist community.  The two things ("Being male" and "being a feminist") are two entirely separate things.

And if that means to you that I am saying "FUCK YOU FOR EXCLUDING ME", then you're not fucking paying attention because it's easier to simply respond with a pat phrase, so FUCK YOU.

"The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way, and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theatre."
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Nigel

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Re: The Machine, Stockholm Syndrome, and marginalization – feminist edition
« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2012, 06:42:21 pm »
Here's the fucking disconnect:  I am male.  I cannot possibly understand the problems females face, and vice-versa.  This does NOT mean that I cannot form my own definition for feminism, or that I can't be a "FULL MEMBER" of the feminist community.  The two things ("Being male" and "being a feminist") are two entirely separate things.

And if that means to you that I am saying "FUCK YOU FOR EXCLUDING ME", then you're not fucking paying attention because it's easier to simply respond with a pat phrase, so FUCK YOU.

It seems like somewhere along the line, these separate ideas got conflated.

1. In order to support people who are getting the shitty end of the stick, you have to listen to their experiences and not try to tell them what they are/should be experiencing or feeling, because no one knows their experiences as well as they know them and correcting/overriding them is not supportive or helpful.

2. Men can't be "in charge" of feminism any more than white people could be "in charge" of the Civil Rights movement, for reasons that I hope are obvious. If a movement has as a core value the empowerment of a disempowered group, it's critical that the movement reflect that internally, or it's useless. However, ultimately, all participants must benefit, or the movement is useless.

3. Every participant in a social movement defines that movement for themselves, and contributes their own perspective and experience to the movement as a whole.

4. 1 and 2 do not invalidate 3.
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“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
― Assata Shaku

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Re: The Machine, Stockholm Syndrome, and marginalization – feminist edition
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2012, 06:47:15 pm »
Here's the fucking disconnect:  I am male.  I cannot possibly understand the problems females face, and vice-versa.  This does NOT mean that I cannot form my own definition for feminism, or that I can't be a "FULL MEMBER" of the feminist community.  The two things ("Being male" and "being a feminist") are two entirely separate things.

And if that means to you that I am saying "FUCK YOU FOR EXCLUDING ME", then you're not fucking paying attention because it's easier to simply respond with a pat phrase, so FUCK YOU.

It seems like somewhere along the line, these separate ideas got conflated.

1. In order to support people who are getting the shitty end of the stick, you have to listen to their experiences and not try to tell them what they are/should be experiencing or feeling, because no one knows their experiences as well as they know them and correcting/overriding them is not supportive or helpful.

2. Men can't be "in charge" of feminism any more than white people could be "in charge" of the Civil Rights movement, for reasons that I hope are obvious. If a movement has as a core value the empowerment of a disempowered group, it's critical that the movement reflect that internally, or it's useless.

3. Every participant in a social movement defines that movement for themselves, and contributes their own perspective and experience to the movement as a whole.

4. 1 and 2 do not invalidate 3.

I see no problem with the above.  I don't want ANYONE to be in charge.  I am only in charge of what *I* do.  Same goes for Garbo, you, anyone.  I am responsible for the part that I am in charge of (my own actions or inactions) and nothing else.  Same with you.  You are responsible for what all the Nigels do, not for stupid shit Susan Brownmiller said.  This is the part that the general public doesn't understand, and the part that the reactionary element (Pat Robertson, etc) capitalize on.

I was just excising a boil...I've been a little hot under the collar since SP posted the "FUCK YOU FOR EXCLUDING ME" thing, though I'm not sure she was the first one that said it.  I wasn't sure WHY at the time, but now I've figured it out.
"The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way, and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theatre."
- Frank Zappa

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Re: The Machine, Stockholm Syndrome, and marginalization – feminist edition
« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2012, 06:50:42 pm »
Quote
In order to support people who are getting the shitty end of the stick, you have to listen to their experiences and not try to tell them what they are/should be experiencing or feeling, because no one knows their experiences as well as they know them and correcting/overriding them is not supportive or helpful.

This is a far better way of framing it.

For instance, I would not say it is impossible for a male to understand what a female is going through.  Many men are subject to arbitrary and discriminatory systems of control too...as such, they can understand why this is such an important and heated topic.  While they may never have themselves suffered from the particulars of the situations women have, and so cannot discuss particular situations in the way you outlined in your post, men can certainly empathize with the overall feminist position from their own experiences of discrimination.

Because, really, I would say only a very few people have never suffered some kind of discrimination, injustice or basic unfairness which is at the heart of what feminism is trying to combat.  Certainly they may have suffered less, and certainly different kinds of discrimination, but I think it is perfectly possible for someone with even a half-decent imagination and some basic life experiences to empathize with the feminist position, if it is framed correctly to them.

Nigel

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Re: The Machine, Stockholm Syndrome, and marginalization – feminist edition
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2012, 06:58:13 pm »
Quote
In order to support people who are getting the shitty end of the stick, you have to listen to their experiences and not try to tell them what they are/should be experiencing or feeling, because no one knows their experiences as well as they know them and correcting/overriding them is not supportive or helpful.

This is a far better way of framing it.

For instance, I would not say it is impossible for a male to understand what a female is going through.  Many men are subject to arbitrary and discriminatory systems of control too...as such, they can understand why this is such an important and heated topic.  While they may never have themselves suffered from the particulars of the situations women have, and so cannot discuss particular situations in the way you outlined in your post, men can certainly empathize with the overall feminist position from their own experiences of discrimination.

Because, really, I would say only a very few people have never suffered some kind of discrimination, injustice or basic unfairness which is at the heart of what feminism is trying to combat.  Certainly they may have suffered less, and certainly different kinds of discrimination, but I think it is perfectly possible for someone with even a half-decent imagination and some basic life experiences to empathize with the feminist position, if it is framed correctly to them.

Yes, I think that's true. At the same time, rarely is a story of a totally commonplace shitty encounter told without someone (and usually several people) trying to minimize or override it, which tells me that there are a lot of people out there who believe that if an experience doesn't have an analog in their own lives, then it must be exaggerated, made-up, or an exception.

Look at all the white people in the South (or better yet, those who have merely visited) who don't think racism is much of a problem because they rarely see it, despite what black people in the South have to say about their experiences.

So there's this problem when people who haven't seen or experienced a particular scenario look the people who have experienced it right in the face, and deny that it happens. That creates a lot of resentment, and usually conflict, and the conflict often escalates until it's not even accurately reflecting the original point anymore.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 06:59:53 pm by A Very Hairy Monkey In An Ill-Fitting Tunic »
Tiny and Terrible Strap-On Fuckhorde of Tonight's Wrong Turn.

“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
― Assata Shaku

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Re: The Machine, Stockholm Syndrome, and marginalization – feminist edition
« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2012, 07:01:53 pm »
I agree with Cain and all the Nigels.
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