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 Post subject: Social Justice General
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:21 am 
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Can we please not start socio-political discussion in this thread? It hardly seems the time or place.

Let's start some socio-political discussion in this thread.

Feels free to bring up any articles regarding social justice, political correctness, gender equality, intersectionality and other related things that come to mind. If nobody posts anything for a few days, then I can probably create a discussion topic.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:27 pm 
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I was hoping to have an interesting conversation on facebook the other day regarding the shut down of Trumps rally in Chicago. One discussion revolved around viewing the cancellation as an example of "fascism to defeat fascism" and calling the celebration of that "victory" as irony. We could talk about that...

or if you want the more controversial social justice warrior-y type...another friend almost simultaneously posted the attached meme, which I felt obligated to point out wasn't appropriate. He called me racist for thinking it was racist. I explained that the picture, at best, promotes the idea that the Black Lives Matter movement shut down the Trump rally since there is no context besides "angry black man". I understood he meant "liberals" as these people, but I doubt that's what the meme was really aiming for.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:26 pm 
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i saw the trump rally debacle on the news for 5 minutes whenever it happened and i think the core issue is in the nature of violent vs nonviolent

if a crowd of ten thousand people gather to nonviolently protest then that is okay but if a real threat of violence emerges from that gathering then things get complicated. If trump decided to cancel the rally because he was worried about violence then that is one thing, but if he decided to cancel the rally because he thought it would be bad press, then i can understand calling that a victory in nonviolent protest.

and realistically you can't get ten thousand nonviolent protestors together without violence emerging from them as a property of large groups of people which is a very complicated thing to deal with philosophically i think


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:52 am 
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That was basically my take on the situation. People didn't show up to start violence. They showed up and violence occurred between two groups that strongly dislike the others opinions. The rally was cancelled due to the risk of increased violence if the situation wasn't dissipated. It wasn't shut down out of fear that the protesters would attack, it was shut down because the continued interaction of the two groups would escalate.

Celebrating the shut down of the rally is a fairly hollow activity, because its sad that people can't express their differing opinions without coming to blows. But I don't think anyone was more wrong than anyone else in the scenario.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:53 am 
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Honestly, I don't know much about the presidential elections, especially Trump. All I'm told is that everyone hates him, yet he's doing really well, and he wants Mexicans to barricade themselves out of America. And then Hillary is corrupt and Sanders is a socialist and the rest are irrelevant.
This has been the perspective of a Norwegian.
My news outlets, if you can call them that, don't really cover the topic all that much.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:57 am 
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Thats a pretty accurate assessment. My facebook feed is filled with:
Republicans who equate the word "Socialism" with failure and absolutely no redeemable qualities...which means Sanders is Hitler.
Marines who scream endlessly about Benghazi...which means Clinton is Hitler.
Liberals who smugly call Republicans racist...which means Trump is Hitler.

So according to facebook, I can only elect Hitler as president this year.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:23 pm 
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Just because there's someone who says every candidate is Hitler doesn't mean none of the candidates are Hitler.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:08 pm 
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in a true democracy you can only elect hitler every year


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 6:23 pm 
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I check now and then on people from both camps, though I find myself gravitating toward the anti-SJ side. My problem is that there are just too many damn evangelicals on both sides.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 6:29 pm 
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"I find myself gravitating toward the anti-social justice side."


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 6:41 pm 
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neru wrote:
"I find myself gravitating toward the anti-social justice side."

Yes, that is definitely a thing I said.

To be specific, I'm talking about people like Sargon of Akaad, who find moments of news and point out the absurdity of the other side.

Also, if someone has an actual term for the opposite of an SJW, I'd be glad to use that, because I don't have one.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 7:08 pm 
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why is luna raven ahhhhhhhhh

I find myself on the social justice side because i think the general philosophy behind the beliefs is really important and something that has never before been so seriously appreciated in society. That said, the people on both sides and even the debate itself seem to be insufferable more often than not. There seems to be a startling lack of real communication in a debate about communication.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 7:14 pm 
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Shippo wrote:
why is luna raven ahhhhhhhhh

For the same basic reason you're razorborne, except that razorborne is also Raven so now there's three Ravens down in the M:EM talking amongst themselves and passing...

brb, gotta go make a pun.


Shippo wrote:
I find myself on the social justice side because i think the general philosophy behind the beliefs is really important and something that has never before been so seriously appreciated in society. That said, the people on both sides and even the debate itself seem to be insufferable more often than not. There seems to be a startling lack of real communication in a debate about communication.

I would like to make clear that I don't dismiss the ideals of the SJW side. As with most things, it's the people that I can't stand.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:46 pm 
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I find the SJ side problematically hypocritical at times. Like, they will talk about respect and openness, but often what more vocal members seem to want is censorship, and I'm not okay with that. They talk about acceptance, but from my college days on I've spent far, far too much time hearing that cishet white men (which I happen to be) are the devil, responsible for all our ills, forces of cruelty keeping everything else down -- enough to make me almsot want, when I've been low for other reasons, to be the bad guy. It's FAR from everyone interested in Social Justice who does it, but there are enough and they're loud enough that you can't not hear it, and unfortunately it poisons the foundations for those who really do want to do good and who I really wish the best. Honestly, part of why I've loved this community is that we're hugely diverse and some of us are deep into social justice as a goal, yet I've never really seen the worst of it manifest here.

You're LGBTQ, or whatever label you want to apply to yourself? Fine. You don't like labels? Fine. And I agree that the government should accord you the same rights it accords to all human beings provided that you don't break any laws -- that is, that your identity/attraction/feelings do not directly cause harm to another human being or the property thereof. That's all good. It's a sad thing that in this day and age getting equal treatment for all humans (I would say sapient beings but that gets into fuzzy lines and animal rights issues which is a whole nother kettle of fish), even simply under the law, is still a work in progress.

Where I conflict with the Social Justice types is on expression and media.

1) I live in the USA, and in my opinion freedom of speech is our most basic and vital constitutional freedom. I may not agree with what certain people have to say, but I will fight for their right to say it. Take the ACLU (in multiple cases) defending the KKK. The KKK is an obnoxious, hateful group and we'd be in a better place as a society if we were past the point where they could find new members to join their ranks but they have the same rights to peaceful demonstration that any group does (and, of course, everyone else has a right to peaceful COUNTER demonstration). I see all too often SJW-factioners who seem to believe that only "correct" opinions should be able to be voiced publicly because someone might be offended or scared by a bigot being stupid, and to me that seems perilously close to the kind of censorship that certain other nations apply to speech that doesn't fall within their canon of "correct" opinions. I'd explain more on this, but The ACLU said it better than I can. (Warning, PDF. And the pages are in the wrong order.)

2) I believe that fiction needs to be able to encompass the whole of the human experience (and beyond, thanks to speculative fiction). While certain treatments of certain topics can range from troubling to odious to disastrous, no topic or occurrence can be totally off limits. Rape can happen. Children can be hurt. People can be cruel emotionally and physically. Female characters can die, and it's not necessarily a statement of misogyny for one to do so -- anyone can die. (Except the Nameless One, and even he's down for the count if you mess with the Lady of Pain or a couple other entities...)

3) I do not believe representation is an inherent good. I have nothing against nonstandard characters. I'd have nothing against writing them if not for the minefield of rage and hate I'd be tapdancing through by doing so as a cishet caucasian male myself. What I oppose is representing for the sole purpose of representing. What you do with a character's design should make sense for the character and the story you're telling. Make your character a rounded character, not a box checked for the diversity chart. Not every work (ESPECIALLY not ones with smaller casts) needs to have everyone in there... and to some extent I don't understand the wish. As dull as I am, I'd enjoy not reading about me. I think I could connect well enough to a story where the major, sympathetic characters are nothing like me and wonder at a feeling of needing a "me" to be in something. I have more to say on this, but I'll consign it to a sblock.

Diversity Cost

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:24 pm 
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Yikes...Tevish posted a long one in the midst...I havent read it yet...

I've spent a good amount of time trying to find something that is funny and not offensive to some group. I've yet to find anything.

Take the Olivia thread...the idea of the card showing a giant erection is hilarious. Not because transsexual people should be mocked, but because I severely doubt it was supposed to be demonstrating a giant erection. Additionally, the absurd size of the erection makes me laugh, because I'm not sure its possible to have one that large.

Yes, making the jokes may make a transsexual person feel bad, but I feel like that's kind of a stretch. Its like saying you shouldn't critique art because an artist that uses the same style might feel bad about their ability to make art. No one was going on a crusade against transsexualism or arguing that Wizards went too far in bringing the social justice topic of transsexualism into their art.

The only comment that comes close is Fenix's original, which Fenix later clarified was more about being tired of hearing dick jokes than about being offended by transsexual people.

Which I think demonstrates a few major conflicts of social warrior arguments:
1) Communication is difficult and often misinterpreted. I'm not sure there's even a way to fix this.
2) Challenging peoples beliefs is a way to grow and holding an opinion is not wrong. For instance: There is a difference between having an aesthetic preference in body type and body shaming.
3) No one is 100% right.

And before someone dismisses my entire post because "I don't get it" and tries to educate me: I understand the idea that oppressed persons face discomfort in society more often than non-oppressed persons and the absurdity of people complaining that its uncomfortable to change their behavior just to make an oppressed person more comfortable. I wasn't making the argument above that "transsexual people should be able to deal with jokes" I was making the argument that when opinion is expressed, some people will be offended. There is literally no way to discuss the old Olivia artwork without potentially making transsexual persons feel bad unless your belief is the artwork was purposefully drawn that way and its great to finally have transsexual persons represented in mtg. (although even that is probably offensive because, if that was their goal, there are classier ways to go about it...like Alesha...)

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:31 pm 
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i don't think words can censor other words except perhaps in the instance of threats

to me, when you speak out against certain kinds of language socially, you're not trying to censor that language, you're trying to change society in such a way that the language doesn't exist anymore. I don't think hate speech should be against the law, but I think that as a socially we should try to create a society where hate speech does not exist.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:53 pm 
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That stays in the "iffy" zone though. Beyond the fact that society is easily manipulated, things get more complicated the more you dissect them. Take the following statements for instance:

"White people are better than black people."
"White culture is better than black culture."
"While white culture has its flaws, it is a better starting point to achieve a unified stable society than black culture."

The first two I would label as hate speech. The last one is a bit harder to label as hate speech, but some people would absolutely want it labeled as hate speech. What do you do? Especially because the people who would say the second statement, could very easily disguise their true feelings within the third statement.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:16 am 
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the inability to precisely measure the nature or impact of language is another good reason these sorts of things are not dealt with legally.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:13 am 
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@ Tevish: you're opening lines there are why I find myself repelled by the social justice side. A lot of them seem to advocate censorship and barring people without trial, both of which I think are backwards and contradictory.

On the other hand, though, most of the people on the other side, especially the casual gamers who complain about "SJWs ruining their games" completely miss the point of why the social justice side are complaining. Most recently, I saw someone trying to refute the sexualized forms of Widowmaker and Tracer from the game Overwatch by pointing at the decidedly non-sexualized Junkrat and Roadhog.

Of course, then you have the people who completely miss the point for the other side, like those who criticised the Undertale Prime concept* by saying "I'm insulted that you're insulting fandom". There were so many better ways to defend Undertale and so many better ways to poke holes in the original concept that most of the people who were responding demonstrated to me how they didn't get the issue at hand, either.

Then you have the kind of people who "have a friend who happens to be black" and such, as if that excuses them from racist/sexist/whatever-ist comments. I find that particular brand of anti-SJ sentiment insulting, because it's easy for people to be fooled by that rhetoric. I think some of the people who use that stance aren't even aware of their own prejudices, and legitimately think that they're okay for saying what they say.

*Undertale Prime in a nutshell: like a coma theory, Undertale is interpreted as if it was a fandom interpretation of an original game which was played straight.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:12 pm 
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Calling someone out on their opinions is just as much free speech as expressing those opinions in the first place.

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