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OddBall

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About OddBall

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  • Birthday 10/05/1986

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    Dont worry 'bout it...
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    your girlfriend's room...
  1. This is not a devil's advocate thread. I am actually opposed to school uniforms. Although originally I was going to pretend to be in favor to get a good debate going, after reviewing the evidence I found that it was untenable.
  2. Hey JD, Im sure you'll love my next devil's adovcate about why religious jews deserved the holocaust ( Oh, and I am Jewish )....
  3. (1) I do not think it matters how we define "moral repugnancy", so long as we both agree on a particular definition for the sake of consistency. Rhetorique said - (2) I do see sexism and racism as intersecting but I disagree with your assumption that they are neccessarily intertwined. The fact is that a woman can be descriminated against because of her gender, and a black can be descriminated against soley on the grounds of race. Surely not all such cases of bigotry are infact multidimensional, and I believe asserting that they must be is the flaw in your reasoning. Racism and sexism are two seperate issues which infact coincide in certain situations and experiences, but which ultimately derive from different sources. I agree with you that to overlook the ways in which the two forces interact and reinforce one another would be a grave mistake, and this is not my intention, but the conclusion that they are fundamentally integrated is not warranted. What leads you to this conclusion, aside from pointing out the specific examples where they do indeed affect one another? What makes you think racism allways implies sexism and vice a versa? And if you are not saying this, then how can you suggest that the two cannot or should not be examined in juxstaposition? Rhetorique said - (3) So what you have done here is redefine the discussion eliminating the assumption that gender-typing is ligitimate. This is a very strong theoretical argument in certain respects because it is relies on the valid assumption that arbitrary systems may be arbitrarily redefined. For instance, if I set up a body of rules because "I felt like it", you may conclude fairly that these rules are alterable because "you felt like it". The problem I see with the gender-less society argument is two-fold. Firstly, the assumption that gender itself is purley social fabrication is not warranted with actual research. Secondly, supposing it were, many other social constructions are similarly highly arbitrary. For instance, our moral doctrine as a society is particularly peculiar and idiosynchratic. Another example would be our adherence to class structures, which theoretically, might be entirely eliminated in a communist style society. Should all of these sorts of systematic patterns of social behavior and attitudes be reorganized to solve a specific problem of inequality or oppresion? Perhaps the answer is yes. If you believe that gender ought to be eliminated inorder to avoid sexism, then perhaps class should be entirely eliminated to avoid classism, and perhaps moral values should not be socialized in youth to avoid brainwashing. Another point is that gender has been with our species for millions of years. So far as I am aware, it exists in every close genetic relative of ours, and we can conclude that gender-typing is a biologically ingrained structure of human societies. The problem is, should we go against this natural inclination because of the moral connundrum that it poses? I am not quite sure how to answer that yet. Rhetorique - (4) I may have a number of misconceptions, but you yourself are no exception to this rule. I take sides on the feminist issue in forms which may not be consistent with your assumptions about my character. For instance, I am not opposed to female promiscuity, and neither am I against female-male dominance in work place situations or in government. Curious isn't it? Your whole-hearted comittment to feminism is what troubles me. I personally, find radical feminism both threatening and annoying. It seems you find my position of moderation to be similar. It bothers me that many feminists blame men for all of women's problems without presenting solid evidence. It bothers me that issues are placed on pedastols simply because they involve women. The reality is that rape of women is considered so egregious, I believe, because it is women who are being raped. However, rape of men is largley ignored because our society does not have the same set of protectionist moral values which compell us to protect men from devirginization. The fact that it is not as common place I think is merely a cover used to disguise the underlying driving forces of these arguments. The fact that many feminists apparently do not understand how their sex-negative and anti-male attitudes are infact reinforcements of patriarchal social structures is not only bewildering, but infuriating. It seems to me like the ultimate hyprocacy. I would love to be mistaken, so perhaps you can enlighten me and show me that I am in error. At anyrate I am interested to see what you think about my ideas. (5) We can indeed treat classism and sexism as seperate issues in the same fashion that researchers identify multiple variables to measure in their studies, though these variables are infact correlated. You see the problem is that you assume because there is significant area of interaction, that these issues are dependent on one another and they simply are not. If sexism disappeared tomorrow classism would still exist. Its imaterial that they are linked in the ways which you mentioned if your intention is to examine the theoretical operation of each force in juxstaposition to the other. Now, if you mean to say that these social forces are indeed interconnected and must be considered in unison inorder to solve them, you are still mistaken. Either can be solved without solving the other. You have provided no evidence that this cannot be done, so I wonder why you believe that all forces which exhibit an interaction affect neccessarily combine into one common dynamic. I certainly do not believe this is true. And anyay, imagine the implications, it means that many if not most of these problems we are identifying are infact aspects of some larger problem, and this means we should examine them all together rather than seperately. That just seems rediculous to me. Can you explain why this makes sense? Rhetorique said - (6)This is very interesting, and I must admit I feel an impulse to agree with you outright. I certainly do not like domination of any form, but I am sceptical that all power structures are equally bad. Is unnessesary domination in the work place as bad as racism in the courtroom or sexism in the classroom? I simply do not think they are equal, but you may be correct that there is no true qualitative difference and hence they should be treated as aspects of the same negative dynamic. Could you elaborate on why you think the fundamental behavior of domination is the problem we should focus on? (7) The reason that I believe that various forms of domination are inequal in severity is as follows. The emotional response of the victim depends on the way they perceive the experience, and that depends on the form of power being applied. Secondly, different power structure dynamics are associated with different historical trajectories and social problems. Racism leads to genocide, slavery and war, sexism to wife-beating, "house-wifing", honor killings, and so on, and classism leads to mass poverty, poor education, and entrapment. These are not the same kinds of experiences no matter how you look at it. Perhaps the association of each power structure with its historical consequences biases the way I ( and others ) view it. On the other hand, perhaps there is some relevance to the consequences of each system of abuse. (8) Combining sexism and racism into a united front is a political meneauver engineered by suffrage and black rights advocates during the 19th century. It amounts to power jockying because its express aim is to create a powerful movement which can acheive the interests of each involved party. In reality these forces might just as well be looked at seperately. (9) You consistently bring up the fact that you personally dont feel its constructive to examine a phenomenon in a given light or to make a certain hypothetical argument which lacks real relevance to the world, in your opinion. The fact is, its not important what you feel about it, because other people may have a different opinion. I find it annoying that you impose your own perspective over mine because it implies some innate superiority in your position. I dont care if its constructive or not, and its utility is not the basis for discussing the matter. There is never going to be a gender-less society no matter how much you wish there were, but that according to your logic, would invalidate the discussion of such a hypothetical reality. You see this is the flaw, just because something is not truly relevant in a physical sense does not mean it should be ignored, or that its value in debate is eliminated. Please, if you do not like the topic, just ignore it. Otherwise, stop complaining about it because its really annoying, and it takes away from the very interesting, articulated, and succinct points which you often raise.
  4. Well the fact of the matter is, school uniforms have been shown not to be effective in improving the behavior of children according to any of the criteria proposed by uniform advocates. They simply do not work, and this is not a good reason to implement them.
  5. Rhetorique said - The same argument can be made about pornography.
  6. Hello, this is a discussion with Rhetorique that I would like to give propper attention. I think a debate setting would be incorrect, as I am interested in discusisng the topic with her rather than simply prove that I have the superior position. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Rhetorique said - Originally Posted by OddBall Okay, how does one determine moral repugnancy? What factors do you use to determine that? Originally Posted by OddBall To put it succinctly, no. You say that there is no implied mutual exclusivity, but it is the fact that you don't see racism and sexism as intertwined that is the problem. When you pit the two phenomena against each other in an attempt to evaluate which is worse, you imply (and even state) that they can be separated and evaluated individually. The idea that while sexism and racism have similar structure and points of commonality, but that they are ultimately unrelated things that may coincide in certain people's lives, you ignore the places where the dual presence of racism and sexism changes the form and severity of each form of oppression. When you overlook the ways racism and sexism reinforce each other, you are doing what I'm criticizing. The thesis of what I'm saying can be simplified to this: When racism and sexism coincide, the severity of the oppression is greater and more complex than just adding x amount of racism to y amount of sexism. They work together to divide people and strengthen each other. One example of this is the statistical disparity of the hiring of black women, even in businesses that hire demographically appropriate numbers of women (white women) and blacks (black men). Another is the set of stereotypes that are applied only to black women, and not women or blacks as a whole. Black women are stereotyped as "welfare queens," unstable sluts who have kids with lots of fathers, bad mothers, and uncontrollably hysterical. These stereotypes have led to government programs that forcibly sterilize black women, coerce them into having fewer children (the welfare child-cap), force them to undergo C-sections or abortions, not to mention even older laws about slave women. These are all issues for black women, and also for poor women, which is another intersection that I discuss below. The disjointed racial politics of the feminist movement is also a uniquely "black woman" issue. White feminists during slavery and the period immediately following often sold out the black rights movement in order to get gains for women, and vice versa with the black movements. White women were often far more comfortable with black male abolitionists and even refused to work with black women. Feminism has also ignored black women in its treatment of "the nature of women." The "women are peaceful earth mothers" characterization" ignored the tough black women who had to fight to protect themselves and their children in a racist and/or slave-owning society. On the other side of things, black men discounted black women in the same way. The black nationalist movement was arguably a sexist movement in and of itself, and black abolitionists routinely sold out womens rights and ignored the de facto slavery of all women under patriarchy. But I can't even begin to explain this to you, because there is way too much to be explicated in a cross-x post. Read some bell hooks; she explains it far better than I am capable of. (I recommend Ain't I a Woman?: Black Women and Feminism.) Originally Posted by OddBall My definition argument was the second paragraph, not what you quoted in number three. For the record, I would like to use this definition: "sexism" most nearly means "the conception of rigid sex/gender categories, especially the when used to coerce people into certain social positions and/or when used to discriminate against a group based on sex or gender* (*sex is anatomy, gender is identity)." That definition is non-standard (I'm willing to bet it's not in any of the standard dictionaries you can pick up at your average public library), but I think it focuses the debate on the most rich and relevant ground. What you do quote in number three is my offer to engage you on what sexism, perhaps sexism as it relates to women in particular. I'm making the assumption that if you think things like "Rape is not as bad as we think it is" and "Sexism is not as bad as racism," you lack an understanding of what sexism manifests as in today's world, particularly how it manifests to women. Your impulse to take sides against feminism is somewhat troubling to me, and I would like to discuss sexism and feminism with you to see if I'm misconstruing you and/or correct any misconceptions you may have (because surely everyone has some). Originally Posted by OddBall We shouldn't. Sexism and classism are also pretty intricately linked. Here are a couple of the ways that they are linked (but again, I can't even begin to articulate every connection, so I have recommended books that might help if you are interested in pursuing this line of questioning): 1) Both are tied very heavily to the industrial revolution. In an agrarian civilization, the focus of the economic system is making ends meet, not on making money. This system, while it was patriarchal and forced women into specialized jobs, valued the work of women because women's work was integral to survival. When we shifted from feudalism to capitalism, women's work was relegated to the unpaid private sphere, and devalued because it didn't make money. At the same time, women had the opportunity to maintain their own households on their own income, absent the patriarchal structure. In the end, the Industrial Revolution was both good and bad for women, but both the good and the bad were economic as well as social issues. For better explanation of the implications of the industrial revolution on women, from the point of view of a feminist who is overtly concerned with classism, check out For Her Own Good: 150 Years of the Experts' Advice to Women, by Barbara Ehrenreich and Dierdre English. Some quotes can be found here and here (read the introduction by clicking on the picture of the book). 2) Disparate payment in the workplace and disparate salaries in careers that are typically held by women (secretaries, hair stylists, other "pink collar" jobs) are both class and sex issues. The plight of sex workers ("prostitutes") under contemporary US laws is both an economic and a feminist concern, especially in the light of police exploitation of sex workers and the disproportionate punishments for prostitutes compared to their pimps, is both a class and a sex issue. 3) The treatment of poor women by government poverty relief programs is another point of intersection, because the government policies almost always attach strings to women's sexuality. Whether it's by the sanctions on having too many kids or the declaration of what women can do with their homes, children, and bodies, it's a sex/class issue. 5) Firing LGBTs (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Trans) because of their sexual orientation or gender is a question of both social and economic policy. Allowing the firing of LGBTs is economically harmful and may cause them to lose their home and belongings, making it a class issue; it's clearly heterosexist as well. A more subtle version of this same heterosexism is when businesses refuse to hire someone who is obviously LGBT, but deny the application by citing other factors, making it hard for LGBTs to find work in the first place. With all of these links, not to mention others I didn't have the time or drive to write out, how can we treat sexism and classism as separate issues? How can we compare the severity of sexism and classism vis a vis each other when they overlap in so many places? We cannot answer the question, "Which is worse, sexism or classism?" because they are interrelated phenomena. Classism is sexist because it is one of the methods used to keep women (and other groups that suffer sexist oppression) down. Sexism is classist because it is used as a justification for class inequality. For further reading material on the intersections between class and sex, check out the vast array of anarchist, communist, and socialist feminists out there. I can provide authors upon request, but I'm not sure how much interest you have in this issue, because I think it was supposed to be a comical counterexample, not a genuine proposition. Originally Posted by OddBall I think this is a very interesting point, because I haven't really thought of religion in the context of race before. Upon thinking about it, though, I find that there are probably useful and unuseful ways to compare race and religion. For instance, antisemitism really is as much a racial prejudice as it is a religious one. Hitler exterminated the Jews because they were an "inferior race"; the Muslims and the Jews are fighting in the Middle East because of (primarily or at least in large part) over theology. The presence of both factors in antisemitism throws into question the general perception of genocide as a racial phenomena. I think there is utility in analyzing the roles that religious factors and racial factors play in the making of a holocaust or ethno-religious conflict. The black Muslims example is also interesting, because there is clearly an intersection of racial politics and religion in that movement as well. I think any scholar studying the black Muslim movement, particularly during the civil rights era, would be amiss in excluding either race or religion as a point of analysis... You could probably also have an interesting conversation about whiteness and Catholicism, or Latino/a Catholicism vis a vis White Catholicism, or hispanic background and Catholicism, or maybe even race as it relates to the whole Northern Ireland issue. However, I don't think things like whiteness and Catholicism are as intimately connected or useful to discuss in tandem, because of the vast number of whites that aren't Catholic, and the vast number of non-whites that are Catholic. And in the United States, there is no mass oppression of either whites OR Catholics. That said, I think there is a difference in that you choose your religion but you don't choose your race, so treating them as entirely equal is perhaps somewhat amiss. That appears to be a qualitative difference between the two, whereas I don't find an equivalent in the comparison between sexism and racism. The only thing that comes close is the issue of numbers and the intrinsic necessity of females to the continuation of the species (wheras the homo sapiens species would not cease to exist upon the elimination of blacks), but I don't think either of those factors suggest a hierarchy of sexism vis a vis racism. Originally Posted by OddBall To say that these issues should not be evaluated seperatly would be a disservice and illogical. No, I'm not saying that any of these issues can't be evaluated absent discussion of the other issues. I'm just saying that they shouldn't be treated as if they are unrelated social forces and that they should not be diametrically opposed. Obviously you can focus on a specific aspect of oppression if that's useful (ie, "let's pass a law against slavery!" or "women should have the right to vote"). Originally Posted by OddBall I think there is merit to a political movement that is against a politics of domination as a whole, which is why I find the communist-anarchist-feminist approach taken by some revolutionaries to be very interesting. I am personally against domination and oppression as a category and not just in specific instances. That said, I think the current American political apparatus and American public are sometimes ill-equipped to handle such a nuanced and inclusive movement without breaking it down into easier-to-understand pieces. So I do think that it is good to maintain some specific, targeted advocacy groups, to some extend. I think the compromise is when liberal advocacy groups get more inclusive. For instance, I think it's great that the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) has extended its reach beyond fighting antisemitism. I attended one workshop with them that tackled issues of race, class, sex (inclusive of discrimination against women and the transgendered), and sexual orientation with extreme finesse. I think there should be more workshops like that, because we tend to get caught in our own little bubbles of "I'm a woman, I'm for women's rights!" or "I'm gay, I'm for gay rights!" Originally Posted by OddBall It's not clear to me. Would you explain how they are not equal? Originally Posted by OddBall How is it power-jockying? I think, as a final note, that it's important to realize that I'm not trying to say that every discussion about oppression has to talk about every other related kind of oppression. I just don't think there's anything to be gained from pitting them against each other or treating them as unrelated. I think the debate you set up ("Is sexism worse than racism?") is counterproductive because of the lack of an intersectional perspective.
  7. HEHEHEHEHE this debate is so entertaining.
  8. RedLeader said - "so does bush, with 29% approval ratings, have "strong support?" Reply - Yes, he does, however he has even stronger opposition. Just curious, are you familiar with the concept of tugg-of-war?
  9. MSTR said - (1) ... do you really know anything about, say David Ortiz (I'm from Boston) other than the fact that he is a phenomenal baseball player? Or, better yet, care about him at all other than when he is playing a baseball game? Same with porn... (2) I agree with you there, my point was not that it was okay simply because they were paid, it was because it was a conscious choice they made. If the women in the industry believe that they are not being objectified, I would have to agree with them more than you. Even if they do believe they are being objectified, they still believe that collecting a paycheck is more important than not being objectified, and that decision is there's; not ours. (3) Wait, I'm confused. So men and women are objectified by porn? So are all humans objects? Rebuttal - (1) It is true that I would not care about a given athlete except for the entertainment he or she provided, but the difference is that while an athelete is viewed as a "sports" object on the field, off the field he or she is regarded a social equal. In the case of porn, men learn to regard women as inferiors, and though you may not do this, other men treat women in this fashion even off of the porn set. (2) It may be their decision to make, but how do you justify illegalizing prostitution then? What about the age of consent? What about hard-core drug users right to self determination? What about a minor who smokes cigarettes knowing full well the consequences? And the consequences of porn extend to other women who did not participate, thus making them unintentional victims. Thats why porn is even more unacceptable than the behaviors I mentioned, which at least extend only to the participating parties. (3) Yes, both men and woman can be harmed by pornography.
  10. But I do say, how knoweth ye of these attrocious abominations against god and country? What say you man? Are you not in league with the devil and his retchid works on our belov'd marry youth?
  11. Rhetorique said - (1) "I think that the only word you've actually needed to define in any of these threads is the one you've decided not to define: bad. When you say that sexism is "as bad" as racism, do you mean that sexism is equally prevalent? Equally severe? Causes equal psychological damage? Is equally hard to get rid of? What are we talking about here?" (2) Not to mention, what about the people at the intersections? Black women face, for instance, face discrimination not only as blacks and women, but also as "black women" as an identity category. You not only ignore this, but you buy into exactly the same ways of thinking that support the oppression of the category of "black women" when you pit racism and sexism against each other in a contest of whether blacks or women suffer more. Which side is the black woman to side with, the blacks? Or the women? (3) I will, however, refute your actual opinion if you choose to defend that, because I get the feeling that your understanding of what sexism is and how it functions in the world today is probably based on some faulty ideas.. Rebuttal - (1) I am talking about the moral repugnancy of sexism, the reality of which phenomenon causes more damage when put into effect is a different but related subject. (2) There is no implied mutual exclusivity between racism and sexism here. But because they are two different phenomena they can be juxtaposed and evaluated. When you claim that they are not seperate you prevent their fair evaluation. What is worse to a black woman, racism or sexism? (3) Or perhaps the narrower definion I am using is simply not adequate to the debate you would like to hold. The question is, what is the definition of sexism that you want to employ? Response - Why should we quibble about which is worse between sexism and classism? Clearly women, transgenders, men, bisexuals, and homosexuals are sometimes victims of both. For that matter, why quibble about the moral relativity of racism and religions hatred, when obviously many blacks are muslims, and many whites are Jews or catholics? To say that these issues should not be evaluated seperately would be a disservice and illogical. Perhaps all of these issues should be combined into a united front against oppression and intolerance without distinctions, is that what you are saying? That all forms of intolerance are the same and equal and should not be seen independently? This is clearly not the truth, and intolerance varies in severity depending on the form it takes. Arbitrarily lumping together two specific forms for political purposes amounts to little more than power-jockying.
  12. Nitram - Moral issues might be brough forth by the laws you mentioned, but the primary reason for their existence is health and safety... Rebuttal - Actually this is not the case. Morality is the cheif concern of prostitution laws and drug laws, as well as false advertising laws and a number of other laws. Health and safety are secondary issues. Pot, for instance, has been shown not to have substantive negative health effects and yet it is illegal. Prostitution regulation is associated with safe-sex and low std transmition rates, but it is illegal none-the-less. Pornography is a moral issue and should be regulated in the same fashion that other moral issues are treated.
  13. Hehe we shall see about that, won't we. But for now, I would rather see what is the best you guys can throw at this position.
  14. I don't really believe this position I am taking. It's Devil's Advocate. And there is absolutely no reason for hostile and insulting language. It only shows intellectual bankruptcy. However, I enjoyed your post. Good points. MSTR said - "(1) I have never ever seen a naked woman and instantly thought "oh my god she is totally sub human!!". This might just be me, but I don't really see how watching pornography turns people into objects. (2) Yes, people watching it might be focused more on their bodies, but the same holds true for athletes... (3) Also, there is no law stating whatsoever that women have to participate in pornographic art. It is their choice only, and more often then not models get well compensated for showing a little bit of skin. (4) What's more, its not only women in pornography. While it is women who are mainly involved, men are also in many videos and magazines (i.e. playgirl)." Rebuttal - See my definition of sexual objectification. Viewing women and atheletes in the specified contexts, constitutes different forms of objectification. But while athletes are percieved in this sense only so long as the game lasts, sexual objectification of women causes enduring perceptions of them as objects rather than as people, even outside of the context of porn. Just because women choose to participate in porn does not mean its acceptable for them to do so. It is acceptable for a woman to cheat on her husband? Is it acceptable for a woman to use drugs? It is not acceptable or a woman to degrade herself through pornography, particularly because in most cases she would only do so if she were brainwashed into believing it was okay. Its true that men are objectified to a lesser extent in certain forms of pornography. This is just as bad and should not be allowed either.
  15. Nitram said - "...Also, I don't really think that governments are supposed to enforce morality. At that point, the government is forced to make decisions that could potentially be disastrous, decisions that are supposed to be left up to the people." Rebuttal - Governments do enforce morality all the time. Drug laws, rape laws, slander laws, obscenity laws, prostitution laws, murder laws, advertising laws. Disastrous as it may be, legislating morality is a common in the law of the United States. P.S. - I don't really believe this position I am taking. It's Devil's Advocate.
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