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Gender and Pronouns in feminism

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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Butterfly North » Sat Dec 24, 10:59 2011

I have nothing to do so I allowed myself to read your last post.

Daktoria wrote:Again, I'm really not sure why there's this stubbornness about gender.

Especially in an emotionally tolerant society where emotions come from physique, how would we refer to a person's sex without words such as he, she, him, and her?


My emotions do not emanate from my vagina. You can refer to my sex by saying 'she is female' and to other members of this board by 'he is female' and so on but I don't really know why you'd want to. As has already been explained to you (with a source provided) 'he' and 'she' are gender pronouns. I'm sorry if you speak some other language where they're not, but this is an English-speaking board in which they are. And EVEN IF we all spoke daktorish in which they were sexed pronouns I don't see how it's relevant because as far as I know Xin is a male man... if you'd used 'they' as a pronoun you'd have been fine even if you were speaking daktorish and the rest of us were speaking english.

Daktoria wrote:Can you prove that working class people say "s/he" often? I can tell you coming from a working class background that you would get made fun of like no tomorrow if you talked that awkwardly.


We're talking about the use of 'they'. Tookie said it was fine to use it in academia, you said it definitely wasn't, Sonic argued that it was, and that's where the conversation is at. S/he is a different discussion. I'm from a working class background too and people use 'they' and 'them' all the time to denote single people of unknown gender, there's no way you'd be misunderstood by anyone because of their class. Example: 'Someone crashed into my car. I didn't get a look at the driver but I bet they were drunk.' I use different registers when I'm at home with family and when I am engaged in academic discussion but the idea of 'they' being taken as referring exclusively to a plural set of people by either group is totally nonsensical to me. I don't really see why you think using it would cause anyone to 'suffer'.
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Daktoria » Sat Dec 24, 11:11 2011

Butterfly North wrote:My emotions do not emanate from my vagina. You can refer to my sex by saying 'she is female' and to other members of this board by 'he is female' and so on but I don't really know why you'd want to. As has already been explained to you (with a source provided) 'he' and 'she' are gender pronouns. I'm sorry if you speak some other language where they're not, but this is an English-speaking board in which they are. And EVEN IF we all spoke daktorish in which they were sexed pronouns I don't see how it's relevant because as far as I know Xin is a male man... if you'd used 'they' as a pronoun you'd have been fine even if you were speaking daktorish and the rest of us were speaking english.


You're going back to the singular/plural issue. People who weren't born into similar cultures wouldn't grasp common sense.

For example, if one culture had a task completed with one person, but another culture had a task completed with two or more people, saying "they" wouldn't help.

As for emotions themselves, it doesn't matter if you're masculine or feminine. The bottomline is your hormones, genes, neurology, etc. influence what you feel. These influences are physically specific.

Again, as a moral universalist, these emotions don't define who you are. By referring to maleness or femaleness, we're just identifying the burden people are allocated when born into the world.

Historically speaking, sexual and gender burden have been conflated. Even if we get rid of gender burden, sexual burden will still exist.

We're talking about the use of 'they'. Tookie said it was fine to use it in academia, you said it definitely wasn't, Sonic argued that it was, and that's where the conversation is at. S/he is a different discussion. I'm from a working class background too and people use 'they' and 'them' all the time to denote single people of unknown gender, there's no way you'd be misunderstood by anyone because of their class. Example: 'Someone crashed into my car. I didn't get a look at the driver but I bet they were drunk.' I use different registers when I'm at home with family and when I am engaged in academic discussion but the idea of 'they' being taken as referring exclusively to a plural set of people by either group is totally nonsensical to me. I don't really see why you think using it would cause anyone to 'suffer'.


OK, but still, you have the issue of how people know if one or more people were in the accident on the other side.

As for suffering, any form of vagueness can yield suffering. Again, note what I said about tasks above. If I say, "They'll do it," that doesn't tell you whether or not multiple people are going to do whatever it is.

This can be rather vital. For example, if a task can be completed shorter with more people than less people, you won't know what the expected schedule is for the task to be completed.

Likewise, if you say, "They're over here," when we're looking for multiple people, that doesn't let me know if you've found everyone or not.
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Butterfly North » Sat Dec 24, 11:36 2011

'Someone crashed into my car. I didn't get a look at the driver but I bet they were two dwarves dressed as one person and they were drunk.'
No. It isn't ambiguous as to how many drivers there were. And it doesn't matter if there were others in the car with the driver, the sentence still refers to the driver and so 'they' is perfectly clear in its meaning as 'the person of indeterminate gender'.

Likewise, if you say, "They're over here," when we're looking for multiple people, that doesn't let me know if you've found everyone or not.


Detective: I want Jones and Smith to search for the thief.
Jones: What did they look like?
Detective: The only thing we know was they were wearing a red hoodie.
*2 hours later*
Smith: Hey Jones! I've found her!
Jones: The thief?
Smith: Yes.
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Daktoria » Sat Dec 24, 12:31 2011

You're generalizing every instant in life being a "one to one" relationship.

Some are "many to one", some are "one to many", some are "many to many".

Until we've experienced instances, we won't know in advance which instances are which relationships. That's why you need an ontological language.

For example, you can bake a pizza by yourself. You can also bake a pizza with others. (You can also bake many pizzas by yourself, and you can bake many pizzas with others).

"They" doesn't let you know whether someone's baking individually or collectively. If people don't care, they won't give you extra context.
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Sonic# » Sat Dec 24, 12:35 2011

I'm not really sure why you're making a quantitative judgment here. Something being small doesn't make it irrelevant.


"If it is relevant" should signal to you that I don't think it is relevant, not that I think it is "maybe a little relevant." You seem panicked that ambiguity could exist in language, though as the subsequent discussion shows, those supposed ambiguities aren't problems for comprehension, as you make them. "They" as a gender-neutral singular choice entails no added ambiguity. The only potential ambiguity traded is one of number for one of gender, but even in that case, that ambiguity seldom occurs.

Butterfly North makes the points I was trying to make, points which cannot be rebuffed by claims for an "ontological language." (I did type a bit more here, but I wish to keep on topic, rather than chasing the wild hare of "ontological language," a topic that sounds too artificial and particular to be applicable to this topic, though if the topic were on programming...)
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Daktoria » Sat Dec 24, 13:03 2011

Sonic, I know what relevance means. What you're saying about ambiguity and seldomness is actually almost offensive. Not only are you telling me my sample of life experience is inferior to your own, but you're also telling me that the times ambiguity does happen don't deserve to be respected.

Ontological language is not a wild hare (and your comparison to programming is actually applicable if you consider how when learning from experience, people have to be "programmed"). It's what's necessary to ensure that people don't get punished for being unlucky in learning from experience. It also allows us to abstractly communicate possibilities (and assess risk) which people are yet to experience.
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Aum » Sat Dec 24, 14:22 2011

^ I think you are too neurotic about language and that is the #1 thing preventing practical discussion with others.

You need to let it go.
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby monk » Sat Dec 24, 14:24 2011

I agree with that^ statement
Daktoria wrote: It's what's necessary to ensure that people don't get punished for being unlucky in learning from experience.


I am totally unqualified to comment on this language topic without much further study. So please forgive me for a minor sidetrack on this topic.

Why do we need to ensure that the unlucky don't get punished in learning from experience? I ask this because it seems to be a reoccurring theme is several of the topics you've commented on in this forum. You seem to find it important that the smallest minority who have not grasped cultural norms be assimilated and educated seemlessly and you bemoan their possible punishment or condemnation as justification for everyone to take great pains to accommodate them.

And what really confuses me is when possible solutions are offered you bemoan those to as being an "excessive burden", can you please elaborate on this dichotomy?

and for bonus points can you do it in under 1000 words with no wiki references?

terribly sorry for the interruption folks, please continue...
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Daktoria » Sat Dec 24, 14:46 2011

Why do we need to ensure that the unlucky don't get punished in learning from experience?


...because that kind of punishment is selfish. It takes good luck for granted in having the "right" feelings for knowing what context means.

To be more succinct, it implies divine right. Those who were fortunately endowed would be entitled to communicate over those without.
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Aum » Sat Dec 24, 15:14 2011

^ Well now we're getting into spiritual questions. I don't think the difference between luck and unlock implies entitlement at all - it's just one way of explaining how people getting into good or bad circumstance. I don't believe in luck. I believe everywhere is exactly where they're supposed to be.

Speaking of entitlement, your hangups are your own and continuing to try and bulldoze through discussions with your universalist mentality is not serving you. Your views are just as subjective as anyone else's. Trying to feign universality just makes you yourself seem divinely entitled.
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Daktoria » Sat Dec 24, 15:18 2011

Xin, you might as well say people are supposed to fail, suffer, be ostracized, go to jail, etc.

Everything in life is not in our control. Elements beyond our control are what we call luck.

Feelings are included in this. We don't choose the physical anatomy we're born into the world with, nor do we choose where in the world we're born.

Those feelings incline us to participate in certain experiences to learn from context over others. They also incline us to interpret context in certain ways.

Only ontology can get around this because only ontology allows us to understand reality independently of our feelings.
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Aum » Sat Dec 24, 16:00 2011

Daktoria wrote:Xin, you might as well say people are supposed to fail, suffer, be ostracized, go to jail, etc.

Everything in life is not in our control. Elements beyond our control are what we call luck.


Did you completely ignore what I just wrote? That's not what I believe. My belief is that all elements are out of our control. Only ego thinks that this reality can be controlled.

Daktoria wrote:Feelings are included in this. We don't choose the physical anatomy we're born into the world with, nor do we choose where in the world we're born.


I believe we choose this life and design it to be the spiritual lesson we are seeking, so my views are the opposite of yours. Obviously I don't know for sure but I do feel strongly about it.

Daktoria wrote:Those feelings incline us to participate in certain experiences to learn from context over others. They also incline us to interpret context in certain ways.


Now you're getting back into your weird language subjectivism. I don't think language defines this reality whatsoever, as there is no reality. Language is in the realm of the mental ego, and the ego cannot grasp Emptiness or Oneness.

Daktoria wrote:Only ontology can get around this because only ontology allows us to understand reality independently of our feelings.


I disagree. Only transcending ego can get around this, because doing so transcends language. All of the words you play around with are just mental masturbation. Beneath everything, even the person you think is "you", is a subtle force that has remained the same since you were born. It is like the super observer (not to be confused with super ego). It knows the truth and there is nothing you have to do to be "better" or understand more. You're already perfect. It uses the language of silence in order to know. It does not have words. It accepts what is. This is where true universalism lies, as it is where there is no distinction between "you" and "me". It is just Oneness.

Anytime you act out at the outside world, you're grasping at illusion. The source is within you.

I like this quote by Byron Katie, it summarizes the experience quite well:

"Since the beginning of time, people have been trying to change the world so that they can be happy. This hasn’t ever worked, because it approaches the problem backward. What The Work gives us is a way to change the projector—mind—rather than the projected. It’s like when there’s a piece of lint on a projector’s lens. We think there’s a flaw on the screen, and we try to change this person and that person, whomever the flaw appears on next. But it’s futile to try to change the projected images. Once we realize where the lint is, we can clear the lens itself. This is the end of suffering, and the beginning of a little joy in paradise."

— Byron Katie
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Butterfly North » Sat Dec 24, 16:06 2011

^Ok cool well I have no idea about any of that because I'm an atheist and I don't believe in paradise, I just believe in cause and effect. So this is a very separate argument to the above! I'm a bit mystified by your idea of 'rights'.

Those who were fortunately endowed would be entitled to communicate over those without.


Those who get a job would be entitled to buy more ice cream than those who don't (because they have the money). Those who are tall would be entitled to pick up dirty magazines from the top shelf over those who are short. Those who are born in France would be entitled to vote in French elections over those who are born in Argentina. These are all examples of inequality of freedom/capability that are not objectionable and cannot sensibly be considered as a disparity in rights. If I am better at tennis than you are because my mum paid for lessons when I was a kid that isn't an affront to your rights any more than me being better at communicating because of my upbringing. Neither is it a statement about me being more entitled to win tennis matches than you are. It's just a bit unfair, like life unavoidably is.

If you have a problem understanding the sort of language most people would understand perfectly well there probably was some underlying factor at play during your childhood which was a) beyond your control and b) to your detriment. That does suck. You should have the right to be nurtured during childhood, the right to education, and so on. However that is not the same as saying that me and my uncle and my uncle's favourite tv chef all have the responsibility to spend efforts in compensating you for that injustice. You do not get more rights by virtue of earlier having your rights violated.
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Aum » Sat Dec 24, 16:10 2011

Butterfly North wrote:^Ok cool well I have no idea about any of that because I'm an atheist and I don't believe in paradise, I just believe in cause and effect. So this is a very separate argument to the above! I'm a bit mystified by your idea of 'rights'.


I'm atheist also, and I am not talking about paradise as an outside place. Paradise is within.

Rights are just an egoic construct that humans fight over. There has been some modern progress about accepting some rights as inalienable, but the institutions that make these rights are still caught in too many dualities to see that their legal lingo is just adding to the problem. Rights are only rights because there are physical powers that enforce them - that is all. Beyond our thinly veiled human systems lies chaos.

If societies cultivated compassion first and foremost, legal force to represent rights would not be necessary as everyone would be continuously dealing with their projections, and unconditionally loving others.

"Rights" are needed because people fight, and people fight because they are caught in illusion.
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Daktoria » Sat Dec 24, 16:40 2011

Xinzang wrote:Did you completely ignore what I just wrote? That's not what I believe. My belief is that all elements are out of our control. Only ego thinks that this reality can be controlled.


I was afraid you would say this, so I gave you the benefit of the doubt of not meaning it..

Not believing in luck can imply that life is predetermined or that we're in control of our own futures.

I believe we choose this life and design it to be the spiritual lesson we are seeking, so my views are the opposite of yours. Obviously I don't know for sure but I do feel strongly about it.


Why do you believe this? There's no evidence anyone chooses to be born. We also don't have eternally backtracked memories.

Now you're getting back into your weird language subjectivism. I don't think language defines this reality whatsoever, as there is no reality.


I'm not really sure why this would deserve a response. If there's no reality, this conversation isn't real.

What I'm saying here isn't subjective because I'm resorting to ontology. What you're saying about ego and transcendence is rather similar.

Language is in the realm of the mental ego, and the ego cannot grasp Emptiness or Oneness.

I disagree. Only transcending ego can get around this, because doing so transcends language. All of the words you play around with are just mental masturbation. Beneath everything, even the person you think is "you", is a subtle force that has remained the same since you were born. It is like the super observer (not to be confused with super ego). It knows the truth and there is nothing you have to do to be "better" or understand more. You're already perfect. It uses the language of silence in order to know. It does not have words. It accepts what is. This is where true universalism lies, as it is where there is no distinction between "you" and "me". It is just Oneness.

Anytime you act out at the outside world, you're grasping at illusion. The source is within you.

I like this quote by Byron Katie, it summarizes the experience quite well:

"Since the beginning of time, people have been trying to change the world so that they can be happy. This hasn’t ever worked, because it approaches the problem backward. What The Work gives us is a way to change the projector—mind—rather than the projected. It’s like when there’s a piece of lint on a projector’s lens. We think there’s a flaw on the screen, and we try to change this person and that person, whomever the flaw appears on next. But it’s futile to try to change the projected images. Once we realize where the lint is, we can clear the lens itself. This is the end of suffering, and the beginning of a little joy in paradise."

— Byron Katie


To be simple, I agree intuitively with what you're saying. I might create a thread elaborating about this later, but put simply, ontology is the application of imagination over time. The categorical imperative is based on this perfect imagination before it's corrupted by particular events in reality.

Again, to be simple, Imagination is that "force" you're talking about, and that "force" is accessible in all subjects. It might be accessible in objects as well, but this is impossible to falsify since objects just follow inertia. Furthermore, our continued existence depends upon the extraction, refinement, and consumption of objects, so we aren't obligated to preserve the integrity of objects, especially since we didn't create them.

However, I strongly disagree with Byron Katie because suffering can happen from others trying to change us rather than us trying to change them.
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Rainbow Dolphins » Sat Dec 24, 16:48 2011

I am an athiest also, but I agree with many of the things Xinxang said. You cannot control anything in the world except your own being. You can certainly chalk up emotions to various internal biological functions (which I incidentally do, since I don't beleive in any "self" beyond the physical) but just because they are biological functions, rather than some kind of outside spiritual functions, doesn't necessarily make them outside of your control. (And it doesn't necessarily make them correlate to sex.) I can still control my emotions to an extent, BECAUSE I control my body. In fact, my body is the ONLY thing I can control. Things like meditation and positive thinking are ALL about controlling your emotional reactions. You don't have to settle for what is being DONE to you, you can have power over yourself.

I, too, feel like I was not brought up to understand social norms, and outside of this forum I have a very hard time finding anyone who understand the way I think and feel. That doesn't mean I can't learn to function in society- I can and do. But sometimes it wears on me. But the idea that happiness is something inside of me and not something anyone else has control over helps me deal with it. I want to be clear that I'm not trying to offend anyone who has suffered from depression or other emotional disorders... I mean, those things are inside of you too, they're a product of your body and not always something you have control over, because sometimes your body's chemicals work against you. I've experienced those things, too, and I know you can't just snap your fingers and be happy again. I'm just expressing my belief that just because your emotions and yourself are a product of your physical body doesn't mean they're entirely outside of you... quite the contrary. You ARE your body. Our society creates a false division between "body" and "self," and I think it encourages the helplessness we sometimes feel.
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Aum » Sat Dec 24, 17:02 2011

Daktoria wrote:However, I strongly disagree with Byron Katie because suffering can happen from others trying to change us rather than us trying to change them.


Then why are you trying to change others?
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Daktoria » Sat Dec 24, 17:07 2011

Butterfly North wrote:Those who get a job would be entitled to buy more ice cream than those who don't (because they have the money). Those who are tall would be entitled to pick up dirty magazines from the top shelf over those who are short. Those who are born in France would be entitled to vote in French elections over those who are born in Argentina. These are all examples of inequality of freedom/capability that are not objectionable and cannot sensibly be considered as a disparity in rights. If I am better at tennis than you are because my mum paid for lessons when I was a kid that isn't an affront to your rights any more than me being better at communicating because of my upbringing. Neither is it a statement about me being more entitled to win tennis matches than you are. It's just a bit unfair, like life unavoidably is.


I'm not talking about agency here. If you're employed, yes, you're entitled to the income which comes from it. If you're born somewhere, yes, you're entitled to participation in that jurisdiction. If you're physically endowed, yes, you're entitled to physical ability.

However, being physically endowed does NOT entitle you to social hierarchy. Society is predicated upon personal relationships, and the only characteristic which makes personhood valuable is self-forming action. Personhood does not come about through how strong that self-forming action is because strength can be also found in nature.

In turn, all people are entitled to know what the boundaries of appropriate self-forming action is. Otherwise, it would be impossible to claim everyone relates to society. How can someone relate without self-forming action? How can society relate if it does not have self-forming action? How can people relate with society if both sides do not have equitable self-forming action?

If you have a problem understanding the sort of language most people would understand perfectly well there probably was some underlying factor at play during your childhood which was a) beyond your control and b) to your detriment. That does suck. You should have the right to be nurtured during childhood, the right to education, and so on. However that is not the same as saying that me and my uncle and my uncle's favourite tv chef all have the responsibility to spend efforts in compensating you for that injustice. You do not get more rights by virtue of earlier having your rights violated.


This doesn't make sense. How can you believe in injustice without believing in remuneration?

All people are entitled to dignity, but when context is not communicated properly, that dignity does not become identified. In turn, others who identify dignity receive an imbalanced social advantage in knowing the line between social assertion and social coercion which makes it impossible to claim a relationship with society. In this case, it would be over the definition of "they". All people must receive a social understanding of how "they" is meant because otherwise, they're at risk for being alienated such that there's no real relationship with society.

Those who identify dignity when others do not MIGHT be guilty of alienation. It depends on whether their lifestyles actually contributed to the circumstances under which someone else was alienated. If there's no interaction, then there's no guilt. If they didn't receive attention which was supposed to go to someone else, then there's no guilt.

However, if they either directly pushed someone out of awareness and/or benefited from a mutual benefactor who paid attention with prejudice, then they're guilty. In turn, the guilty would be obligated to directly spend time, energy, and attention rehabilitating the alienated (similarly to community service). They received excess, so that excess needs to be returned to who's entitled to it.

If you need a similar example, say I contract you and someone else to be paid $100,000 a year for working for me. I pay the other person $150,000, but I only pay you $50,000.

According to you, YOU shouldn't be compensated.

According to me, the other person should be obligated to pay you $50,000 back (plus any dividends if that $50,000 was otherwise invested from the time it was wrongfully paid). I should also be obligated to pay you a nominal transaction fee depending upon the cost of how transactions are conducted in our society.

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Xinzang wrote:Then why are you trying to change others?


Others have, and are continuing, to change me. I'm trying to get them to stop.
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Aum » Sat Dec 24, 17:15 2011

Daktoria wrote:Others have, and are continuing, to change me. I'm trying to get them to stop.


No one can change you but you. No one can change them but them.

You're playing a futile game.
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Daktoria » Sat Dec 24, 17:19 2011

Xinzang wrote:No one can change you but you. No one can change them but them.

You're playing a futile game.


Should rape victims be content with letting themselves be raped?
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Aum » Sat Dec 24, 18:10 2011

Daktoria wrote:
Xinzang wrote:No one can change you but you. No one can change them but them.

You're playing a futile game.


Should rape victims be content with letting themselves be raped?


Are you being raped in this thread?
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Daktoria » Sat Dec 24, 18:21 2011

...

Rape victims have pasts. They don't want those pasts repeated, and they don't want others to suffer what they felt.

Rape victims also want to be engaged so they can get over their loss of sense of self and feel secure again.

Both of those deal with generating a general awareness.
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Rainbow Dolphins » Sat Dec 24, 21:44 2011

For god's sake, no one LETS themselves be raped. It's not a motherfucking choice. I don't know how many times everyone has said this.
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Butterfly North » Sun Dec 25, 18:12 2011

^Exactly.

Also, note, justice doesn't necessitate remuneration and I'm not sure where you've got that idea from. Your example with the contract isn't analogous to this situation because in the your case a) the person/people to blame for any injustices against you are not the same as those you are expecting compensation from (for example, me) and b) the thing that was taken from you is not something that can be directly transferred back in the manner of money anyway. All you're arguing is that those who were responsible for teaching you these things still hold that responsibility. I was never part of any such explicit or implicit contract with you. Your position is more analogous to someone who lost their lovely house due to the mistakes made by bankers in the financial crisis. If you're totally homeless society owes you some social housing to meet your right to shelter (just as it would owe any homeless person), but you do not have a right to the exact same beautiful house at the expense of totally random strangers even though you not having that house is the result of injustice. I can sympathise with you but I don't owe you anything above what I owe to other people.

If you don't get that then you are speaking a different language to me, so the conversation appears a bit pointless. In this case you could do some research on political theory which might bring you to a more mainstream understanding of rights.
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Re: Gender and Pronouns in feminism

Postby Aum » Sun Dec 25, 18:34 2011

Daktoria wrote:Rape victims have pasts. They don't want those pasts repeated, and they don't want others to suffer what they felt.


No one has control over whether or not they are raped. That's why it's rape.

Daktoria wrote:Rape victims also want to be engaged so they can get over their loss of sense of self and feel secure again.


Of course, but you can't do that by controling the words that people use to communicate. That is counter-productive to therapy.

Daktoria wrote:Both of those deal with generating a general awareness.


I've had many interactions with rape victims in my life. What you're doing is not generating awareness, but trolling the way people express themselves. You're not helping.
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