Check Your Victimhood

One of my friends posted a result of a Facebook quiz about “your privilege.” He did it with acerbic comments – even though he’s a much nicer person than I – because he’s not stupid or a pudding head and the quiz made him almost as foamy at the mouth as I got. BUT—

I couldn’t resist taking it. First of all, it will surprise you that I got a 24 which makes me extremely under privileged and definitely in victimhood territory. I answered the questions honestly, btw. I just don’t think I answered them as the writer of the quiz intended.

For instance, I’m fairly sure when she (okay, might be an he, but if I had to bet. And I hate “they” as a singular pronoun. Yes, I know Elizabethans used it, but NOT for politically correct reasons) wrote the test and asked “Have you ever been derided and called names for your religion” what she was thinking of was some poor huddled Muslim female being called names by stereotypical white menTM, not an European high school student in the magnet school and the selective “advanced” form being called things because she refused to say she didn’t believe in G-d. Or, when she said “Did you ever have to hide your orientation” she probably didn’t mean at the Broad Universe tea at a convention. Or when she said “did you ever get called names because of your sexual orientation” she probably wasn’t thinking of “Breeder!” hurled from passing car as I pushed a baby carriage down the road. Nor… and this I’m absolutely sure of, did this precious flower ever think that “Did you ever have to hide who you are” could refer to my ten years of hiding my political beliefs, so I could earn a living in a liberal-dominated field.

In fact, what this very bizarre “quiz” revealed more than anything else was the quiz writers assumptions. I have no idea how someone could come by such an odd set of them, except that I think it’s a group thing – I think where she lives everyone repeats this, so, “if everyone believes it must be right.” And also, I think this person has never looked outside her position of extreme privilege, and therefore thinks that everyone’s lives must be BETTER than hers, because, surely, she can’t be privileged. I mean, she’s female. (And possibly gay or of color.)

I wanted to give her the wisdom I acquired circa ten “other people look carefree because they’re not me. Everyone has burdens.” I acquired this wisdom by finding that someone I thought was a precious snow flake was actually deathly ill – she just didn’t show it.

How do I intuit this from the quiz? Well, it’s the questions she didn’t know she was asking. Like… I don’t know ANYONE – not even atheists – who have never been derided for their religious opinions. The only way not to get that, is never to leave the echo chamber. BUT she thought that she was aiming it at a specific religious group, and that no one else EVER gets bullied for their fate or lack thereof. Thereby revealing that she DOES live in an echo chamber, and a protected one at that.

What makes me think she was aiming it at a religious group in particularly? Well, two lines down was “Have you ever been called a terrorist because of your beliefs?” This of course made me hit my head on the desk since the DHS thinks constitutionalists ARE terrorists. But this poor woman never heard of it.

And the line about “are you something other than white and male” was again jaw-droppingly solipsistic. At a guess, from terms used like cismale, the creature who wrote this was very well educated, and from some of the assumptions, well off. BUT she (if she’s a she) thinks someone growing up hungry somewhere in the Midwest, with parents barely scraping by has “privilege” because he tans with more difficulty and has a penis. Oh, please. This is like the old P.J. O’Rourke joke “will trade Moscow State Apartment for sleeping bag on the streets of NYC” – I bet most of us would rather be a person of vaginitude born with a silver spoon in her mouth and the connections to get decent jobs, than the son of a drug-addled couple somewhere in a remote area of West Virginia. No? I would. You know, in terms of going through life on an easy setting. Never mind that even the kid in the middle of West Virginia, with the meth cooking parents has a better shot at the big time than if he were born anywhere else in the world. AND that shot is much, much – infinitely – better if the child is black. Yes, we’re a better place to be black than most places in Africa.

In fact, what that entire quiz told me, from the beginning, was that this person lives in a rarified world, where she’s never met with the slightest set back, and yet she imagines other people must have it easier. She imagines this because by reasons of gender, orientation or race, she has been told her whole life that other people have privilege. And considering how good she has it, then those bastages out there must be living gold plated lives. How dare they?

And this is how we end up with people who have never had to sleep rough, have never had to patch their clothes so as not to go to school half naked, have never had to eat whatever there was, because it was all there was and the meat was starting to turn green, lecturing others about “checking their privilege” and imagining that they are downtrodden.

This is how we get the nonsense about “micro-aggressions” because someone looked at them – or they imagined they looked at them. Let’s not forget how the statue of the sleep walker threatened them – cross eyed.

They have been told all their lives they’re victims. Therefore they must be victims. And if nothing ever happens that can make them justifiably “bullied” or “victimized” they just turn up the gain on the receptor, so they can imagine themselves as heroic victims of terrible oppression.

And if they can’t even find that, then they lecture us on behalf of all of the oppressed.

Sometimes I think that everyone whining about “privilege” is in fact declaring their privilege. And the answer to it should be my mom’s answer when I cried for no reason “I’ll give you something to cry for.” Not that I’m threatening to hit them, of course, but I think they’d all be better for some real problems and, particularly, some real empathy, some understanding that in the world, in living, there are very few easy settings. Theirs is probably the easiest, and look what they do to it, creating all sorts of interesting guilt, neurosis and projection. (Can I revise my choice and be the boy with no opportunities somewhere in West Virginia? He has a better chance of being sane.)

Look, half the times when I was answering it was in circumstances this person couldn’t imagine.

And how does it feel to be “underpriviledged”? Darned if I know. Yes, I’ve been mocked for my accent. Yes, I’ve been denied a job for my gender (long ago; far away. Translator job. They were convinced I’d quit when I got pregnant. Weirdly, unknown to me, they were right. Eh.) I’ve been afraid of being out at night alone because of my gender But to be fair, I’d have been afraid because of my size if I were a small male. Look, it’s not prejudice that makes women more defenseless. It’s body mass and strength. Someone who doesn’t know that, has watched too many “kick ass girls” and is not aware it’s a fantasy. BTW the cure for that is concealed carry. (And sheesh, yes, will work towards a permit as soon as immediate situation lets up a little.) The point is that even assuming what makes a woman afraid to be out at night alone is PREJUDICE opens a whole can of crazy. I mean, does she think muggers only attack women? Does she think this is the organized “keeping women in their place” shock troop of the male conspiracy TM? There is no telling.

Again, it’s like the person who wrote this is Bubble Girl (or boy) and has never lived anywhere in the real world.

Which is probably true. This person has probably grown up in a world built by our media, our entertainment and our politicians’ cynical assumption of divide-and-conquer tactics.

Pray really hard that she/he/it/precious unicorn never has to face reality and find out how he/she/it has been privileged all along.

Meanwhile, when told to “check your privilege” tell them to “check your victimhood.” Contrary to advertisement, the only superpower it confers is the super-whine. And they don’t even give you crackers with that.

UPDATE:  New cover and free on Amazon.  Note, it’s a Kit Marlowe mystery, not musketeers.  You’ve been warned.
http://www.amazon.com/Juggler-Marlowe-Mysteries-Sarah-DAlmeida-ebook/dp/B006SOEPVC

491 responses to “Check Your Victimhood

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    That person reminds me of somebody in a discussion on gay marriage who made a “check your bigotry” post. While he had valid points about bigotry (ie things like bigots don’t think of themselves as bigots), the assumption was the people who weren’t for gay marriage were bigots. Never mind that some pro-gay marriage folks come across as bigots. [Frown]

    • Never mind that some pro-gay marriage folks come across as bigots.

      Now, you know that’s not possible because Victim! 😉

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Hey!

      I am certain that I’m a bigot in a certain narrow area.

      I really dislike recreational drug use. Emotionally, I have trouble understanding it as a decision a human can make. Much less an informed, mentally competent adult.

      • depends on your definition of “mentally competent.” A lot of it IS self-medicating in one form or another, consciously or not — certainly for the harder drugs.

        • Also of adult, I’ve known very few who qualify as both adult and mentally competent.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          All medicines are poisons.

          Where psychiatric conditions are concerned, I’d sooner self medicate with a pistol. I am very much not suicidal.

          Stuff with enough of the right sort of efficacy to be a psychiatric drug tends to be very potent. There is no such thing as a harmless panacea. Without an independent outside perspective that knows what to look for, it is so easy to accidentally make oneself worse that it is almost certain. I can’t see it as anything other than folly.

          That fraction of users that can be described as both ‘self-medication’ and ‘recreational’ are fools many times over.

          • William O. B'Livion

            So basically you’re saying you’d rather put a bullet in your head than take a little extra B6 to mitigate memory problems or mild depression because your body doesn’t handle it as well?

            All molecules are poison at the right dose. Which is the trick.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              Dear Sir,
              Is B6 a prescription only substance primarily used to treat psychiatric substances like Bipolar? Do you normally legally get your hands on it under the supervision of a psychiatrist?

              Suppose I had something like a very severe mood disorder. Something where the crippling effects can often be well managed using one of a number substances that have been used over the past sixty seventy years or so. Something where the individual variation in mechanism means that some of the choices are far more effective than others. Something where quite a number of the drugs of choice have some really nasty side effects that would not be tolerated treating anything less lethal.

              If I had such a condition, I would see about having it treated competently.

              I would not try to be my own psychiatrist, pharmacist, or medicinal chemist. I don’t have the background on the one hand. On the other, I am not so good at tracking my own condition that I could do a competent job, while suffering a condition that screwed with my judgement, and while taking something that further screwed with my judgement in other ways.

              • William O. B'Livion

                Memory problems are of the brain/mind, and my wife has been instructed by a doctor (which is a prescription, even if it’s not one where you need a signed prescription to purchase it) to take it after doing blood work showing her deficient.

                Your *exact* statement is that

                Where psychiatric conditions are concerned, I’d sooner self medicate with a pistol. I am very much not suicidal.

                I took you at exactly what you’d written.

                If you said:

                Self-medicating for psychiatric conditions is pretty dangerous because @reasons I’d rather shoot myself

                You would have gotten a very different response.

                But that really isn’t the sort of self-medication that our hostess was talking about. Many people reach for booze, pot and harder drugs as a way of dealing with things that really can’t be helped by those types of molecules. If you’re manic depressive lithium will almost certainly be better than ethanol, THC or opiates. Which is what “self-medication” usually means.

                With many of our modern brain/mind disfunctions (ADHD specifically comes to mind, but I haven’t paid much attention in recent years so they could have invented others) there is no specific blood test, so what (at least in the 90s) doctors would do is to give you the target med and see if you felt better.

                If one is relatively self-aware one can track one’s mental and physical states and can apply corrective methods using a variety of behavioral and chemical means. Feeling a bit more depressed than the current political and social milieu indicates (which in itself suggestive of heavy meds)? More time in with your skin exposed to the sun, amp up your exercise a little. Avoid certain foods (simple carbs) eat more cold-water fish and nuts. Eat more dark chocolate. These are things known to increase serotonin (or at least strongly suspected of it), some of them through chemical means.

                The notion that “all medicines are poisons” is magical thinking. Poison is as much in the dose as the molecule.

                • William O. B'Livion

                  sorry, poor editing.

                • He was in a conversation about the use of illegal drugs to self-medicate, making it perfectly clear what he was talking about to anybody not trying to tweak his nose.

                • The notion that “all medicines are poisons” is magical thinking.

                  No, it’s not. You just don’t understand the saying, since you follow it by:
                  Poison is as much in the dose as the molecule.

                  That is what the phrase MEANS. It’s anti-magical consideration of medicine, drawing attention to what will help in this dose and situation will poison in another.

                  It’s also a perfectly rational response to the notion of “self medicating” for serious medical conditions– if it’s strong enough to help, it’s strong enough to hurt.

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    Exactly. The mechanism by which a medicine can help in one dosage/situation is exactly the same as how it can hurt in another dosage situation.

                    Not all poisons are medicines.

                    For a medicine not to be a poison, it would pretty much have to be just about impossible to adsorb a harmful dose and also alter the body’s chemistry very weakly.

                    Since chemicals work via a finite number of mechanisms, they cannot be a panacea, a cure for all ills.

                    So if a problem is driven by messed up internal chemistry, my weak grounding in the life sciences is not going to help me find the ideal corrective substance and dosage.

                    (Well, excluding things like ‘I have forgotten to eat and/or drink today’. Food and water are not controlled substances, I do not need a doctor and a pharmacist to get my hands on them legally. While people enjoy good food, it is not a matter of getting jollies from messing with brain chemistry the way, say, cocaine works.)

                    Someone who is selecting from a list of substances they think are fun would likely do a worse job of correctly identifying corrective measures. Especially if they are even more ignorant than I.

                  • Many medications kill you in the process of healing you, as well. Many of the medications for severe asthma either destroy your heart or shut down your adrenal gland.

                    Having major organs fail when you are in your 60-70’s still beats chocking to death on lung taffy in your 20’s, but its still there, and you are still trading life at one end for life at the other.

                • “Feeling a bit more depressed than the current political and social milieu indicates (which in itself suggestive of heavy meds)?”

                  My current heavy med of choice would all too likely be an axe of some form. (Hey, now – a sufficient number of Tomahawks “surgically” applied, with sufficient repetitions as needed, would be *A* form of axe. Ya know?)

                  Looks like it’s time for me to go spend some quality experiential duration with the woodpile and compost heap….

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  There are two bits in what you quote, where your alternate wording does not work for me.

                  Context tells me that you are using a wider understanding of ‘psychiatric conditions’ than what I intended.

                  Let’s compare with the heart. There are different things that can have positive or preventive value, with different risks, and requirements in terms of knowledge and work. At the one end, diet, exercise, and measuring pulse and blood pressure. At the other, heart surgery.

                  Now, someone who is smart, proactive, and interested in minimizing their medical costs will pay attention to the condition of their heart, and to things that correlate with heart health. If they are young, they may be able to avoid needing official medical attention for the heart.

                  However, if they have something serious come up, an EMT, a GP, a cardiologist or a heart surgeon may be in order. There are enough fools and lazy men in the world that the careful medical practitioner may check to see if diet and exercise will work before going to more extreme measures. Problems that can be handled oneself, those one takes to ‘the doctor’, those that one takes to ‘the cardiologist’, and heart surgery do not necessarily overlap.

                  Doing open heart surgery on oneself is to my knowledge, a fantasy, beyond the state of the art.

                  Getting back to psychiatric conditions, I take it for granted that one does the things cognate to diet and exercise, including diet, exercise, and attempts to maintain good sleep habits, without going to the doctor. That if one might be prone to developing a severe condition, one tries to minimize risk factors, in the hopes of prevention, so that one would not need to go to a psychiatrist. Your mention of your wife, in this context, sounds like ‘the cardiologist said to get more exercise’, and I am trying to talk about something that seems at least as risky as ‘heart pills’.

                  I thought the mention of potency in the paragraph below the one you quote served to establish some of that context. That I was talking of substances where the therapeutic dose could be very close to the toxic dose. Where regular bloodwork might be needed to walk the line between not being therapeutic and being lethal.

                  As opposed to bloodwork that is useful for saying that B12 or Folic Acid or whatever is low, which might be substituted instead with experimentation and an outside observer.

                  If I don’t have a condition that would require that I have the services of a Psychiatrist, I prefer to avoid using doctors of that specialty.

                  Secondly, in the context I was trying to establish, I was also trying to express contempt for the concept of self medication. It is very easy to put bits of metal into one’s own heart. This does not mean that even the best heart surgeon in the world can or should perform open heart surgery on themself. Someone who does a belly flop onto a wrought iron fence is as much self medicating for heart trouble as using certain substances recreationally is for mental conditions. I also disagree with certain popular concepts of harm minimization, and of folding certain things into the practice of medicine that ought not be. Suggesting that one could go to one’s pharmacist to fill a script for 9 mil FMJ is a pithy way of making that point.

                  When a person bleeds out on the table, or the ticker just plain stops working at all, it is easy to see that it is so. The brain is also a delicate thing, but extreme dysfunction can be more subtle. Conflating categories of treatment may by implication conflate risks, and hence damages. This may have been part of why I was so furious.

              • The exact medications for the disorder you specifically described (which I have) worry me in general. They don’t know exactly how they work in some cases (lithium) and will flat out tell you that. You have to alert your pdoc if you change your diet because dietary changes (changing your salt intake, especially) can mess up your lithium levels. Taking it with inadequate food in your stomach can make you ill. Taking it in general can actually do permanent damage to your digestive system.

                But yep it will put you on an even keel. Very, very even. The term ‘over-stabilized’ comes to mind.

                • oh, and a two word follow up to my own response: “lithium toxicity”

                  If any of you are prescribed it, or your kids are, be *very* careful.

                  • Lithium is supposed to be a drug of last resort, nowadays, because of those facts. In fact, that was the case when I took Abnormal Psychology 30 years ago. If your doctor prescribes that first, you may want to get a second opinion.

                    • A lot of docs still default to it. Of course, under the current economic climate, a lot of docs will also default to it rather than more effective, more expensive drugs when both they and the patient are buried in the Medi/Medi system.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      In fairness, there is apparently a lot of variation in how instances of bipolar respond to different drugs. I also don’t think I’ve ever heard of an effective bipolar medication that is particularly nice.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              I certainly would be very unlikely to go, ‘I have problems, boohoo, I’m going to go drink myself to death.’ That is something I think might rather burn alive than do. Especially as riled as I am now, I am inclined to see burning alive as the cleaner, more painless death.

              I do think a bullet in the neck would be less harmful than a lot of what passes for ‘self-medication’, or even some of the cases where the idiots have gotten the medical practitioners to play along.

              I rarely drink tea because because I cannot be bothered to keep the dosing consistent, and caffeine causes problems with regular inconsistent doses.

              So, certain classes of substances only at the explicit instructions of someone with the background and legal authority, if and only if the consequences of otherwise are sufficient. That said, I am not advocating refusing meds.

              • Few people actually set out to drink themselves to death. Most drinkers take a more accidental route. They drink. They think that they feel better, and they may for that moment. They drink again, maybe increasing their intake. They do not take warning signs seriously when they arise. They form friendships (I use the term guardedly in this circumstance) with others who are doing much the same. They reinforce each other’s bad habits. And then, in face of better influences, they start singing along with George Thorogood And The Destroyers:

                • If one drink makes me feel this good, ten drinks should make me feel ten times as good.

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  I’ve known at least some of my risk factors since I was very young. I know my own weakness, and the troubles I might want to just not think about. If I were to change into a person who would choose to touch the stuff at all, I can’t see why I would stop at a reasonable amount. (It is possible that I have never even been around someone drinking responsibly.)

                  These are all part of why I frame it to myself that way.

                  I also suppose it might be a bad idea to weaken my hold on my temper.

  2. Wow! A Facebook game /survey/quiz I haven’t seen, yet. I thought I’d been sent them all.
    (Note to World: This is NOT an invitation to increase delivery)

  3. THANK YOU.

    Sometimes, I think the best response to “check your privilege” is to just repeat it ad verbatim at the original speaker. I accept the phrase has merit in certain situations, but it’s WAY overused nowadays.

  4. It sounds like the quiz itself counts as an act of micro-aggression, though in terms of class and not race or gender.

    Jane Austen also used “they” once as a singular pronoun. I can’t remember where.

    • Oops, I checked out the quiz. It does have some stuff about class. However, it doesn’t spend much time on it. There are plenty of things I could have added to it, like being taunted for not wearing Gant shirts or for buying 45s instead of LPs when I was young.

      By the way, what are “social disabilities?” I couldn’t find a definition anywhere. Does being shy and never quite knowing what to say count?

      • No — the class was implied in this particular quiz, because of what she assumed makes you non-privileged.
        I THINK it’s like Aspergers and stuff, but I could be wrong. Maybe she just means you don’t know how to move in certain society. All of us in SF, pretty much, fit then.

      • William O. B'Livion

        What about the shrimp dicks that want to make fun of people who buy 9mm instead of .45?

        • Given I don’t have a penis at all, shouldn’t I be buying .50 Beowulf instead of .22 WMR, then to try to compensate?

          • I find it hard to believe you have a place you are buying 22 mag from recently, regardless of what you are trying to compensate for.

          • William O. B'Livion

            Do you feel the need to compensate?

            And where are you buying .22WMR?

            Yesterday .22LR was going for more than .223.

            • You only need to compensate if the stock is wrong for your shooting or the cartridge is to heavy for your shoulder. Other than that a compensator is just an ugly ray-gun looking thing at the end of the barrel.
              Wait, I’ll take that back. Compensation can also keep you on target if you are doing a quick string.

  5. …Micro-aggression? What the bleeping bleepety-bleep is that now? (The bleeps aren’t censoring myself. That was actually what I thought.) Wasn’t ‘passive aggressive’ enough? Also, ‘ableist’… New terms that have me raising my eyebrow so much, I’m somewhat afraid it’ll stay that way.

    Y’know, it’s starting to feel like this lack of glasses limiting the amount of time I can read things online

    Look, it’s not prejudice that makes women more defenseless. It’s body mass and strength. Someone who doesn’t know that, has watched too many “kick ass girls” and is not aware it’s a fantasy. BTW the cure for that is concealed carry.

    Interestingly enough, an anime series hubby and I recently watched addressed this fact. Didn’t matter at all that the girl talking was described as having a black belt in karate, and shown to have triggers that, if pushed, can have her breaking tables or trying to beat people into the ground. She herself realized that a man could overpower her, simply becuse she was smaller, lighter and not as physically strong. (Kokoro Connect, for the curious.) Somewhat unnervingly, this bore out in real life with someone I know – she wasn’t assaulted, but something happened to her that made her aware of that reality, and it didn’t matter that she’s a black belt in karate either. Scared her quite a bit.

    Alas, conceal carry is allowed only in the US from what I’m aware…

    • Martin L. Shoemaker

      Micro-aggression is an excuse to keep lobbying for victim spoils even though no actual aggression has occurred.

      Alternatively, a micro-aggression is 1*10^-6 of an aggression. In that case, talk to me when you experience a million of them. Until then, I’m micro-concerned.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Yep. Micro-aggression exists mainly in the mind of the “victim”.

        One hypothetical example might be I’m having a very bad day and while riding a bus/train I’m ignoring my fellow passengers.

        Other whites might believe that “I’m having a bad day or I have a lot on my mind”.

        But a Black, who’s looking for “evidence” of bigotry might believe that “I’m ignoring him because I’m a bigot”.

        • My ex-husband was goofing off with my son, called him a ‘little monkey’ as the little man was climbing all over him, and a nearby black woman came *screaming* over at them, accusing him of having called HER a monkey. He didn’t even know she was there, and she terrified my kids. That, in a nutshell, is what nonsense like this is leading to.

        • Martin L. Shoemaker

          Sticks and stones
          May break my bones,
          But names will make me shut down the campus until they spend more money on diversity.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            It’s not even “name calling” at times. You don’t have to say anything to be called a bigot. [Frown]

        • One of the few things I’ve heard about the guy who played Sisko on Deep Space Nine that upset me– he was taking an elevator and a woman didn’t get in with him.

          He’s something like six four, built very athletically, had his head shaved and that kick-ass beard from the later seasons. I wouldn’t have gotten in the elevator even if I recognized him because that’s pretty dang intimidating, forget about the skin!

          Or some seven day’s wonder a while back where a guy thought his son was being discriminated against… because when he was on the bus, people would not set next to him unless there was no option.
          Husband’s reaction was “and I suppose it’s racism that if he’s at the urinal at the far left, I don’t take the one right next to him?”

          • I’ve heard better than that. Nathan McCall, of Makes Me Wanna Holler, was indignant once because a woman was avoiding him. Racism!

            He’s on the front cover of the book, in which he admits to (or possibly makes up) being a repeated rapist.

        • I was thinking about the phrase earlier, shaking my head, and thought ‘Tiniest violin in the world?’ I thought then that they want to make the thing sound more impressive.

      • “Micro-concerned”? (Laughing out loud, snorting coffee onto keyboard. Eeew.) (fight the fight against “text/internet speak”).

        Excellent! Could you provide a formula for “mildly amused”? (Just curious, and I’ve got time — I’ve a keyboard to clean!).

      • “Alternatively, a micro-aggression is 1*10^-6 of an aggression. In that case, talk to me when you experience a million of them. Until then, I’m micro-concerned.”

        Yes, exactly! I’m memorizing this one! Thanks, Martin.

      • Meh, why play their game? ‘Petty bullshit’ calls it what it is, because I’m kinda fond of the calling a spade a spade method of describing stuff.

      • As their sensitivities increase we will undoubtedly be confronted with the intolerable trauma of pico-aggression*. I would refer to the H. C. Andersen’s tale of the Princess & the Pea but doing so risks being deemed guilty of a wide range of aggressions against too many categories to count.

        I suggest we face the facts of those so much more sensitive than we Neanderthal Right-Wingers and project the Sensitives’ reaching 10^-24 level and complaining about yocto-aggressions. We will never be sensitive enough to meet their standards, and rather than evidence of their absurd standards it constitutes proof of our intolerable insensitivity.

        To which I can only reply, quote: “Stellaaaaaaaa!”

        *Yes, pico-aggression is the root of the phrase: “Picky-picky-picky.”

      • Thanks for that. Here at Windward our internship program that was started by a Dartmouth refugee, and is currently being run by a similar escapee from Brown, young women who were determined to find a way to escape the bubble. Most of them arrive as vegans and over the course of the internship, move on to where they’re able to butcher a hog and turn it into sausage. Others get excited because we have six different types of welders.

        Hanson does a great job of describing the situation; I’m just delighted to be able to note that we’d had the pleasure of getting to work with some remarkable exceptions. Admittedly their parents weren’t amused that they were “wasting” their education digging in the dirt and milking goats, but what’s the point of privilege if one can’t use it to do fun things?

        http://www.windward.org/2.0/get_involved/apprenticeship_internship.php

      • Oh. So it’s basically the little petty bull that they feel makes up the entirety of their life. High school dragged out of high school. The thousand and one little slights that adults never notice and they are upset that aren’t given ‘enough’ attention to. The waaaahmublance.

        Micro-aggression. A problem so minuscule, it takes a very very small-hearted, self-obsessed idiot imagining it as a life-changing, debilitating disease on the order of small-cell lung cancer.

        …Actually, that does make sense. They’re upset that ‘nobody is paying as much attention to them’ as they would someone who is dying of incurable diseases, lost limbs, and actual hardship… so they make up their own ‘drama’ without actually hurting or being damaged in some way.

        My son, at the age of one, has more spine. We’d lit candles outside and around the walkway for a lovely atmosphere for a porch-setting dinner one night. V, being an infant, reached out and tried to grab the dancing candle flame. Flame doing what it was, he got singed, but not burned. His response was to yelp, yank the injured hand back, grab a handful of dirt from the newly planted potted rose, and threaten the candle with it. Glaring all the while. The effect of his threat was greatly diminished by the fact that my son at that age looked like a Renaissance cherub, curly hair and all.

        No yelling for mommy or daddy, no crying.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      I hear “micro-agression” and I picture someone getting attacked by little plastic army men.

      • I thought “very aggravating little annoying niggardly things.” That bite. Like the ghost ants around the house.

        Asked hubby this morning: “have you ever heard of the term ‘micro-aggression?”

        His response: “… no. It sounds like a made up term.”

        • I thought “very aggravating little annoying niggardly things.”

          Racist!

          • But according to the progs, I can’t be racist! /eyeroll

            Oh wait, Asian. Therefore, the ‘honorary white group’, amirite?

            My eyes are going to pull muscles from rolling like this.

            • “Model Minority” said with a sneer is the term this Season.

              (They change terms periodically so they can pat themselves on the back for being up to date and look down on anyone using last season’s euphemism.)

              (Crippled>Handicapped>Disabled>Differently Abled. And when you say the guy in the wheelchair can’t work the pallet jack, you’re “Ableist.”)

              • Got in an argument online once because I mentioned that I loathe the term, “Disabled”, since it implies being unable to function. “Handicapped”, which basically means, “has a more difficult time doing things,” better describes the condition of anyone who has more capacity than a turnip, but this one apparently needed a “trigger warning”.

                • Which is why we have differently-abled now.
                  :-I

                  I’m with you, handicapped is a better clinical description than all this other — carp.

                • Disabled, I would think, would be more like lacking an ability.

                  The term with real punch is “crippled.” You know, some cripples actually prefer it?

            • the guys riveted mine on for me 🙂

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          Your hubby is a wise man. 🙂

      • Patrick Chester

        …if only I hadn’t given away my LEGO sets to my nephew.

    • I’ve walked up to a woman who thought she was an ass-kicker, wrapped one arm around her body and both arms, got my hip under her butt, and hoisted her into the air. By tilting so that she was leaning backwards, there was nothing she could do to me. Well, she could head-butt me, but I was watching for that, and I have a hard head.

      • I should point out that I knew this woman, and that she realized I was just making a point, or else when I put her down, she would have quite righteously kicked my ass, because I could do that without the element of surprise.

    • A woman who doesn’t realize that men are generally stronger than her is a woman who has no brothers and no father.

      Of course, this is the background that society these days is trying to provide for all women, so you can see how this kind of misconception might arise.

    • Wasn’t ‘passive aggressive’ enough?

      Passive aggressive is a real thing– just, like social justice, got picked up by folks who wanted to abuse it. (Startled the heck out of me when I started looking at actual social justice theory– it’s about making a social system where justice is served. You get paid, don’t get harmed, your property is protected, you aren’t going to starve in the gutter just because of bad luck… pretty much exactly what any decent society already does.) Kind of like how all the bullies from high school are now on the “anti bullying” bandwagon.

      Passive aggressive stuff annoys me because people use it when they want to attack but don’t want to defend, so they say something that all but directly accuses a person of a thing, and then deny that they were doing any such thing if the person objects. Indirect attack.

  6. Martin L. Shoemaker

    I saw an article yesterday where an author bemoaned his own privilege, thus enabling him to lecture Brad on how evil privilege is.

    Here were examples of his privilege, or as he also called it, being lucky:

    * He didn’t get married young.

    * He didn’t have kids young.

    * He went to school to learn a skill that would enable him to work at a job that didn’t involve physical labor.

    He calls those luck and privilege. I call them choices and consequences. And someone who makes different choices resulting in different consequences is not suffering from a lack of privilege. They’re experiencing the results of their choices.

    • yes. This is part of “everything you do just happens to you.”

    • You know, I did two out of three of those. Blew it on the last one though.

      I guess I’m only kind of privileged?

    • “He went to school to learn a skill that would enable him to work at a job that didn’t involve physical labor.”
      And bigotry steps in. So it’s bad to do physical labour, is it?

      • No, I have to defend him there. His point was not that physical labor was in any way inferior; it was that physical labor would have left him tired, and so made it less likely that he would have finished his novel.

        On the one hand, I think that’s silly, because there are plenty of counter examples. On the other hand, I know I have a hard time writing when I’ve worked to exhaustion.

        • Ah, then I misunderstood. I thought he meant he was privileged for getting an office job and not one requiring physical labour which by implication meant he considered the latter inferior. But even in context it makes not that much sense. Maybe I’m missing something.

          Thanks for clarifying, though.

  7. Between things like micro-aggressions (which are apparently aggressive acts determined solely by the person receiving said aggression), my “privilege”, and whatnot, I just can’t understand why I’m struggling so hard now.

    I mean, Scalzi says I’m going through life on the “easy” setting, but if that’s the case, there’s no freaking way someone going through it on the hard setting should accomplish a damn thing. My business has essentially collapsed. I’m having trouble finding a decent job. My dreams lie in the wake of my shattered life. The only constant has been my family, who are sticking around despite my failures.

    So this is the easy setting? Really? I guess being a white business owner in a town that’s over 60 percent black means I really should have had it easy. For get someone actually telling one of my sales people (who was black) that the black community shouldn’t support my business, but should support black owned businesses. Well, my wife and two kids really appreciated their social conscious while we’re trying to figure out how to buy groceries that week.

    I’m so completely sick of being told how easy I have it, when I see nothing but the tattered remains of my life’s dream.

    Sorry…but the whole “privilege” thing bugs the ever loving crap out of me.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Agree. While I’m “lucky” compared to a third worlder, I can’t see me living life on the “easy setting”.

      Oh Tom, take care.

      I’ve had an “interesting” week but it sounds like things have been more “interesting” for you.

    • Tell me about it. If my husband has the easy setting don’t let me see the hard.

    • This “easy setting” thing is so much bullshit being slung by people who never have to exist outside of their academic bubble (in my opinion). My husband works for one of those “evil” financial corporations that has done its fair share of quota hiring and let me tell you, being a white male is the hardest setting there is. If you are female, black or homosexual (especially a combo of the three) you cannot be fired from this company because they know you are a lawsuit walking. I have seen it happen. There was one woman (homosexual) who was caught on camera stealing from her co-workers and *nothing* was done about it.

      There was a lot of cheering when that particular person left for another company. Not that anyone would dare say anything out loud for fear of being sued by anyone who overheard and righteously offended.

      • John Scalzi is who I first read the phrase from, as his pathetic attempt at trying to explain how privilege worked. I understand his thinking, but he’s full of it.

        Privilege seems to be more of a case of someone looking to blame another for their tough life. If you ask me, it looks more like Oprah had the “easy” setting than I did. Looking at where she started out, how she got where she did, all of that stuff, it just looks like she did it the easy way.

        She didn’t. She worked hard and earned where she is now. While I disagree with her on a pile of stuff, I can still respect the accomplishment. However, there is no “easy” setting. For anyone.

        • Patrick Chester

          Privilege seems to be more of a case of someone looking to blame another for their tough life.

          My impression when my “white privilege” was explained to me was something like: “Why does it sound less like some privilege I have and is instead a reason for why everything that goes wrong with a non-white male’s life is somehow my fault?”

          • That’s exactly it.

            It’s all based on the meme that non-whites are to be commended for their successes (which I agree with), but aren’t to blame for their failures or something. Now, I’ve failed. Spectacularly. I’d love to be able to blame it on other people. Hell, I’ve tried it. It’s all bullshit though. *I* am the one who screwed up, ultimately.

            So, why is it that I am to accept responsibilities for my failures, but the non-white down the street should be able to blame me for his? I mean, I’ve got enough responsibility over failure as it is. I don’t need anyone else’s.

      • ” There was one woman (homosexual) who was caught on camera stealing from her co-workers and *nothing* was done about it. ”

        And then they complain about vigilantism, this was why that Shepherd guy was beat to death, not because he was gay, but because he tried to screw over the wrong people.

      • Returning back to the Philippines after living in Europe most of my childhood, I asked someone (someone who’d never left, an older neighbor), why I tended to see the local gays working in beauty salons, or not as commonly, sales. The immediate response I got was “because they tend to steal from other employers.” I asked more than one person this (all older) and got variations of the same answer, because there’s no way that could be right, right? Didn’t believe that there might be something to it till the school nurse’s assistant, a gay guy, was fired – for stealing money. The nurse was particularly angry, ‘try to do something nice for them, and they prove the rumors right,’ as I recall her muttering.

        • Do they not steal at those jobs because they are working commission, or what? My experience has been that a thief is a thief, if they’ll steal from one employer they’ll steal from every employer.

          • No idea. A thief, as you say, is a thief, and if a group displays a lot of that behavior, they’ll be seen as thieves and mistrusted as a group, not because people are meansies to them, but because there were enough instances of it to add to their shorthand group ID to other people.

            • This is the problem with the activists. They’re grafting a lot of behavior on the group identity, and the rest are going to suffer for it. Thus perpetuating the activist’s grievance claims…

              This and the tendency to call out dissenters with the “you’re not a real random modifier, you’re a targeted belittling term” are going to have real, and I fear devastating, consequences.

              • This is the problem with the activists. They’re grafting a lot of behavior on the group identity, and the rest are going to suffer for it.

                Sadly the thing is, if there is a negative stereotype/expected behavior stapled onto the group ID, and that’s seen from outside, the ones who enforce the negative stereotype are the ones who are at fault for making the group image worse… not the ones who are perceiving the behavior-which-enforces-stereotype.

                It sucks for the ones who aren’t behaving in the expected stereotypical behavior, and yes, will have real, devastating consequences in the long run if there are more and more people who do the negative ones… especially for the persons who hasn’t fulfilled the negative stereotypes which turn people against the group.

                • This is becoming an issue with female-written SF. Men particularly expect it to be a long slog of beating them to death and making them into cartoons.
                  I fight this every day and I won’t say I haven’t considered a male name. I have.
                  The thing is the stereotype was grafted on not by the traditionalists but by the activists.

                • One way to avoid the stereotype is to willfully break initial expectations– so, I make sure to have at least one geeky toy for the kids. (Fuzzy Link gets a lot of use, as do the pink and green Yoshis. Yoshii? Yoshen?) Helps signal “Yes, minivan, notice the “daka daka daka” on the side and the geeky toys, they do not have a high school sports career to appeal to, and probably aren’t interested in Girl Scouts; also unlikely to join the Women Who Gave Birth Six Months Ago And Are Back To Size Zero exercise group.” (Actually, I lettered… in Knowledge Bowl. And object to Girl Scouts because it’s politically soaked, not because it’s outside. And my objection to the exercise group is because they’re obsessed about appearance at the expense of the babies.. But it still signals stuff.)

                  • I lettered in Rifle Team, three years on Varsity. I wonder how many schools still have that now?

                    • Older son lettered in Science Olympiad… 😛

                    • Not a lot but I saw an article recently about a large rise in high school trap shooting.

                    • I don’t know about Rifle Team as such – marching/drilling or competitive shooting? Drill Team / WinterGuard / etc. are all possible, I believe, depending upon school and local norms. Just less than 40 years ago, I double-lettered: Color Guard and Academics (HS Class of ’76). First at my HS to double-letter without one being in athletics in nearly twenty years at the time… but to be fair, the Academic letter program had been abandoned somewhere in that time.

                      They had to change the point system after my class – that Academic letter I earned came with 6 hash-bars…

                  • You know, the thing that stood out to me that really, really saddened me is that the Girl Scouts are now politically soaked. Scouting’s awesome, and one of the fonder memories I have of when I was physically healthy enough to go hiking and walking around for miles and miles…

        • No. I don’t think they’re any worse at theft than anyone else, sorry. I think however that if the cultural stereotype exists, weak people might fall into it.
          It MUST be a Philippines thing. Never heard it in Europe or South Africa or here. I mean, one case does not a stereotype make.

          • No, I don’t think so either, because in my experience they’re no worse at thievery, and my own observation was they utterly adored gossip to the point that the gays in the Philippines make whole careers about it. But the stereotype exists, or at least, I hear about it. I did find interesting that the nurse was angry at the betrayal, and that she muttered about the stereotype.

        • Could be a bit of self-fulfilling prophecy, there, though. I once worked for a guy who was truly a racist, though not as extreme as the stereotypes would indicate. He believed that blacks couldn’t be trusted, but he hired one. Then it turned out that the guy he hired went and drank his lunch to the point that he practically staggered back to work afterwards, and I’m sure he knew that at some level before he hired the guy, thereby setting up a reinforcement of the prejudice.

          • Could be. To me it sucks that the racist guy was proven right in his distrust.

            I mean, really with stereotypes and expectations, there are only two ways to go there – either they’re fulfilled, or not fulfilled.

            I kinda thought we’re supposed to try not fulfill the negative ones, y’know…?

            • Ah, but the people who believe the stereotypes seek reinforcement, rather than disproof.

              • People who stereotype will notice those behaviors that reinforce their stereotype because they expect to see that behavior. The people they meet who do not, well, are explained away, because they don’t fit in their view of reality. It can be that they think the difference is because the non-stereotypical persons are ‘the exception that proves the rule’, or maybe they just believe that they just weren’t there when the stereotypical behavior occurred. It can be very difficult to change a person’s perception of reality once it has been set.

                And, the fact is that there are some cultural behaviors that do show up in various groups. One group of my ancestors were taught not to be loud in public or put on displays of emotion where outsiders can see them, which contributes to the view that they are cold. The fact that we don’t weep and wail loudly at a funeral does not mean that we don’t feel the loss of a family member. It simply is what it is.

                • There are cultures that condone theft, thing is this is a cultural thing, not genetic, AKA racial, and what it shows more than anything in America is a failure of those groups to acculturate.

                  • That’s the thesis of Thomas Sowell’s essay, _Black Rednecks, White Liberals_ (the first chapter of the book of the same name). Black slaves adopted the mores of the Scots/Irish borderer culture that surrounded them in the Old South, and the modern Left trumpets that (violent, misogynistic, anti-educational) culture as “authentic black”. So they’re *kinda* right about the “legacy of slavery”, just not the way they think they are.

    • I want my easy setting damn it.

  8. Just was in an online discussion of Obamacare enlivened by a bigot who kept responding to every criticism of it by retorting that we needed to get over Obama’s being black.

    Was in denial about his bigotry. Even though he was the only one bringing up race. Went so far as to dig up that old racist definition of racism that prattles about having traditionally had power to mean that only whites can be racist.

    • CombatMissionary

      I love dealing with people like that. “You’re assuming I hate Obama because I’m White! Quit painting all conservatives with such a broad prejudicial brush, you racist bigot!”

    • I’ve gotten over his being black. It’s his being a mucking incompetent that I’m having trouble getting past.

      • How do you know it is the black half I’m prejudiced against, and not the white half? If we were going by genetics I have even less respect for his white parent than his black one, so why would you automatically assume it is the black half I am prejudiced against?

        • Because it’s not racism to be prejudiced against his white half, and all conservatives are racist, therefore you must be prejudiced against his black half. QED.

          Ow. That made my brain hurt. I’m going to go drink now.

          • Pour me one. My brain hurts, too.

            • You know, the other day I had to crawl into a submarine bilge (think large man into a series of small holes, none of which are particularly aligned with one another). It required fewer contortions and less pain than writing that.

      • I confess I always had an issue with his being RED.

        • Potato, potato. (You know, that saying doesn’t work so well in text.) If he were competent, he wouldn’t be red.

          • Well, no. if he were SANE he wouldn’t be a true believing Red. T here are competent (and even more evil) reds.

          • The saying works when written IF the pronunciation is specified (via alternative spelling, scholarly diacritical mark-up, or whatever).

            I’m currently working on the kernel of a story idea where pronunciation is CRITICAL to the concept being (mis-)used. Whole thing falls apart if I can’t convey that a particular statement was made in an unexpected dialect. Who expects a Carribean fairy godfather in a European-style royal court these days, anyway? (Well, as long as they aren’t over-stimulated on Disney flicks, that is…)

        • Somewhat tangentially related, a friend of mine was mentioning the blog of an Egyptian woman studying in Britain, and she blogged something I thought I’d find interesting/enjoy. Hope you don’t mind me sharing the quote:

          the professor coordinating this series of seminars & the seminar presenter were very interested, and the latter actually gave me her email to arrange for a meeting.. but I didn’t email her.. I just don’t want this to be another chore & I sure don’t want my supervisors reading these translations, thank you very much! ALSO: I don’t want to make an “impact” in life! IMPACT, mind you! Not a difference or change or raise awareness! IMPACT!! Whatever is that supposed to mean!!! I really hate the superficial grandiosity of academia 😦 that’s why I worry if I’ll ever be a “professional researcher”! I’m a literature student & I don’t understand why I’m supposed to read more of Marx! Well, I don’t like Marx! (after all, I’m an Aqqadian at heart! it’s a shame he’s not translated!) I was only exposed to these ideas here in the west! & I find them absurd! “class consciousness”??? I come from a family that was living in abject poverty less than 30 years ago! If they “identified with their class”, they would have remained “victims” for the rest of their life!!!! You can’t attribute every step forward that people take to theories & philosophies! There’s such a thing called Human Will!! Women in my country made a HUGE step forward & there was no feminist movement there! I’m not a racist (it IS racist to hate on white people, you know!) but seriously expecting me to see everything through the lens of Western thought history is so Eurocentric

          Funny (in the eye-roll sort of way) how the professors are pushing Marx on her, and I chortled at her reaction to ‘class consciousness.’

          But geez. The ‘glory days of yore’ in Marxism didn’t really exist in anyone but their own minds. Equally disturbing is what’s going on now in the Ukraine and the Jews there. I read that and I thought “…doesn’t anyone study history in that region? I hope the Jews GTFO, now!”

          • So were you right, did you find it interesting/enjoy?

          • I like the concluding phrase of the statement:

            but seriously expecting me to see everything through the lens of Western thought history is so Eurocentric

            But remember, there is an argument that logic is a tool of the DWEM used to suppress the masses.

            Oh and on further thought this must liberate those white males who are not from Europe. No wonder fantasies about vampires are so in fashion. Otherwise who would be wielding the tool of logic? But you tell me that vampires are now sympathetic characters. sense…

            I might, unashamedly, add that, like using the pronoun he as the general singular pronoun and the subjunctive for that which cannot be, logic remains a habit of living Hoyt Huns.

            Now I will go sing to myself:

            • It’s… midnight on my side of the planet. I will go with *headtilt* “…huh?” *puzzled expression*

              • There has been in certain academic circles in the USof A an argument that logic is not to be desired or nurtured, but is to be treated with suspicion or discarded as outdated because it is an instrument of Dead White European Males, long utilized to suppress women and the other peoples of the world.

                (This makes no sense to me, but, then, neither does Marxism. My favorite books growing up was written by one of the DWEM: Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, AKA Lewis Carroll, a mathematics, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer. So I guess this means that I must be suppressed and that is why I cannot except this new wisdom.)

                • The illogic made my head hurt even more. Rejecting the concept of logic because it’s used by … Oi vey. Nope, not going to try twist my brain into a pretzel trying to understand. And… for the record, I’ve never run into that idea of small to negative merit.

            • Well, of course vileprogs are sympathetic to vampires — for the same reason sharks don’t eat lawyers.

          • Impact? Steve Brodie, that’s a guy who had impact!

    • Patrick Chester

      Well, once you reflect upon the admonition to judge people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin…. it becomes sadly obvious why the progs keep bringing up Obama’s skin color.

      That “you have to have power” lie probably has increased the number of racists in various groups declared “oppressed” by progs. Like a candy-coating that makes the poison easier to swallow.

      • Obama has done more to advance the cause of racism in the last six years, than Martin Luther King did to advance equality in his whole life.

      • Oh yes. This character has eventually pronounced himself “supremely decent.”

  9. Larry Patterson

    Wonder how many thousands of student loan dollars this person has to pay back, just to learn cis man or whatever the terminology was she was using.

    BTW, I also hate ‘they’ as a singular pronoun. And answering Portuguese teens learning English why people use such.

  10. I grew up on “they” as a pronoun… easier for the he/she/its –just clump them together. 😉

    Anyway– if this is the easy setting, I don’t want it to be hard. I knew a woman married to a black man, but the black women in bootcamp called her racists because she wouldn’t put up with their “sh*t.” I have been called many things including racist just because I was white, blonde, and blue-eyed. You’d think it was my fault that I had that coloring.

    I have learned a long time ago to accept people on their merits. If I don’t like them, it is something about them and not about their “victimhood.” Plus when we think of ourselves as victims instead of survivors and eventually normal– we are doing ourselves and those around us a disservice. So how did this person get out of any challenges? She or he should be thanking g-d, stars, or luck for her good fortune.

    • Yep, I grew up using they as a pronoun also, it is the catchall pronoun for when you don’t know the gender or whether they* are singular or multiple.

      And I reckon I’ve been around here long enough for most of you to agree I ain’t overly PC.

      *I actually used they here without realizing it, because it is natural to me.

      • Yep– I have to recheck certain essays to make sure I use the right pronoun. lol

      • Yes, but it was considered grammatically incorrect. “He” is the assumption pronoun, not because you think that the person can’t be a woman, but because indo European languages work like that. Men are plain, women are special is a way to look at it — but not as feminists look at it.
        If I’d written “If one doesn’t know what to do, they should use “they”” in an English test I’d have got zero on that. BUT in the last ten years, it’s been pushed as a politically correct alternative to the odious he/she/it which no one was using. My manuscripts actually get edited that way.
        The other thing that got eliminated that makes me scream is the subjunctive — which is used to denote “impossible ifs”. We learned it to “if I were a rich man.” Tevia is clearly not, so it’s impossible. (As opposed to the conditional which is possible if not actual “if I was in the other room, I could see the cats.”
        Copyeditors are changing all my weres to was. So you get “If I was taller”. As someone trained to TEACH English, I can’t see this without thinking “illiterate”. They can have my subjunctive when they pry it out of my cold dead fingers.
        BTW the change is made “because no one uses it now.” — well, yes, which you bastards are reinforcing.
        Sometimes I wonder about eliminating the idea that there are “impossible ifs” like “if I were taller” from the language, and whether it’s part of a plan. It might seem crazy, but the thing is these people are crazy ideologues, and they’ve penetrated and molded education.

        • I agree with the subjunctive loss– it makes the language less rich — They want us all to think one way– now– and under their thumbs. (I used they in this case because there are so many of them.)

        • Thank you for this explanation, it explains something that bothered me about the first line in Witchfinder – you used ‘he’ where I would have used ‘they.’

          I only made it through the first couple of chapters last night, but, so far, I am enjoying it.

          • Eventually I’ll be dragged kicking and screaming to “they” because people start thinking “he” is wrong. they’ve never seen it– but I don’t have to like it. It’s sloppy, for various reasons, including the blurring of individual/plural.
            And I’m glad you’re enjoying it!

            • Indefinite neutral use of “they” is kind of a Germanic thing, so it’s not surprising that it doesn’t feel natural to someone raised in a language where you’ve got more pronouns of different genders to aid agreement, and a definite rule that is to be followed. And it’s fun to be a grammar curmudgeon, and to pick at the politically correct.

              However… even though at this point you count as a native speaker of English for most purposes… I have to say that it probably works better for you to stick to academic English rules of grammar, as opposed to colloquial English latent rules. Because if you use anything that’s not academic in your narrative speech or writing — well, the stupid people may think it is something you _don’t know_, which would be annoying to you. Whereas if it’s me, people just assume I’m white trash or something. 🙂

            • Larry Patterson

              Eventually I’ll be dragged kicking and screaming to “they” because people start thinking “he” is wrong. they’ve never seen it– but I don’t have to like it.

              You should do what David Weber did in his Honor Harrington series. When a male character is speaking, he uses ‘he.’ If a female, she uses ‘she.’ One of the many things I loved in that series.

              • Took me a while to get used to, and irritated the heck out of me in the meantime. It came across as PC feminist BS, to me.

                • Larry Patterson

                  Me, too. But way better than “If that Havanite doesn’t strike their wedge…”

                  • See that looks completely natural to me, the ship is gender neutral (well ships are actually traditionally female, but spaceships can be gender neutral) and it is full of a whole crew of people, I find ‘they’ the logical pronoun in both instances.

                • I don’t like it because it removes information– “he” sets a nice baseline, and if you’re preparing for a single individual it’ll work perfectly. “She” gives specific information that will greatly impact the situation if it’s wrong. (Give a guy pink undies and you’ve got issues; give a gal boxers and it’s odd, but workable. Ditto for, oh, pink shirts vs blue ones.)

                  • They make boxers for chicks. I bought a set by accident. VERY weird. I mean, really odd feel and bunched under things, on the legs.

                    • Much agreed, but it’s not, er, making a statement. Giving a guy in a pair of my mom’s lacy riding unders would be making a statement.

                      Don’t get me started on “boy shorts.” (“low rise” underwear that has half-hearted legs, so that it looks kind of like a censor bar across the important bits) Who designs these things, Naughty Nighties folks who never bother to talk to non-models wearing them?!?! I’m sure there’s SOMEONE they don’t roll on, but it’s not really something that comes up in random conversation.

                      Some of the gals on the ship wore boxers with their coveralls, just because it was cooler.

                    • I have had girls tell me they wear their men’s boxers at a certain time of the month because they are more comfortable (and no I don’t know why they felt the need to share this with me, but I have had multiple women tell me that) since I find regular boxers* uncomfortable myself I don’t see how this is so, on the other hand they are no doubt more comfortable than the butt-floss some women seem to prefer.

                      *Boxer briefs are comfortable, but loose boxers just bunch and wrinkle under pants.

                    • er.. that is incredibly stupid and strange. Pads wouldn’t attach. Sorry for the TMI, but there it is.

                    • The probably don’t use pads. I know some women find the pads irritating, and prefer the other option, so the lack of contact would be a plus.

                      You wouldn’t believe how many times I had to go over that to try to make it as non-icky as possible.

                      I don’t even like skirts because they feel so un-secure– not sure I’d be able to handle “naked but has a drape” as an underwear option.

        • We aren’t supposed to use the subjunctive anymore?

          In spite of claims that we have made such great advancements we are now using a significantly curtailed vocabulary when compared to that of a common Victorian. Now they are limiting it even more? Sigh.

          • language is the way to program people– 😉

          • Only heteronormative white cismales are limited to a curtailed vocabulary, if you’re a speshul victim class you can make it up as you go along.

          • Were I to forego the subjunctive it would only be because of the dirt piled atop my grave.

            “Nobody uses it any more”??? I ain’t nobody and who are you to say otherwise. Sigh. Wm Safire is surely spinning in his grave.

        • Dammit. Now I’m gonna be walking around all day singing Yidle didle…. You are an EEEEEEEEEVIL woman Sarah.

        • I also grew up learning ‘he’ as the assumption pronoun, ‘they’ was valid only if discussing more than one unknown person.

          Copyeditors are changing all my weres to was. So you get “If I was taller”. As someone trained to TEACH English, I can’t see this without thinking “illiterate”. They can have my subjunctive when they pry it out of my cold dead fingers.

          WHAT?! I thought ‘were’ was the correct I always thought that ‘I was” and “I were” are both valid, but… “We was going to the park’ is still WRONG, because, plurals. Are they idiots?!

          My husband snarked: “In the past, we was better at the English language.” (Complete with Old Paperboy English Accent, and breathy end tone.)

          BTW the change is made “because no one uses it now.” — well, yes, which you bastards are reinforcing. This irritates me greatly as well.

          • I may not always be positive on which one is right, but I know was and were are different and one of them is right. Heck even Word’s spellcheck corrects “was” to “were”.*

            *on second thought this fact can be used to validate their argument.

            • Many times the changes aren’t right either. I have looked at a little green line under some of my sentences and say what the heck… they want me to put a comma after a phrase that doesn’t need a comma. ARG

          • No, not the plurals — yet — but they change If I were a shark to If I was a shark thereby removing the “impossible conditional load. Also, it sounds illiterate.

            • Ma’am, with respect, I have never heard of any English grammarian who specified ‘impossible conditionals’ as the distinguishing feature in the use of the subjunctive. The general practice in this language has been to use the subjunctive for counterfactuals, without any distinction between possible and impossible cases, and to use the indicative mood for conditionals where the facts are simply unknown. Thus:

              ‘If I were a woman’ (impossible case, since a person meeting that condition would not be I), ‘this beard would look even worse on me than it does.’

              ‘If I were the boss’ (possible case, since I could get promoted, or somehow acquire ownership of the business in question), ‘you would have been fired a long time ago.’

              But:

              ‘If the magic MacGuffin was stolen’ (we don’t know whether it was stolen or merely mislaid), ‘the thief did a good job of hiding his trail.’

              • “Impossible conditional” is a way of saying Counterfactual in my case. that’s how I taught it to us. I didn’t mean it’s standard terminology. It was used in ESL classes, though.
                The songs we used for it were “If I were a rich man” — me might be in the future, but he isn’t NOW, so impossible. And “If I was in London” — which doesn’t make much sense, since you obviously aren’t now, but there is a much greater chance I guess of catching a plane than amassing a fortune.
                Hey, it made sense when explained in Portuguese!

                • ‘If I were in London’ is correct, if you are not in London but proposing it as an alternative to your present state.

                  ‘If I was in London’ is correct only if you are talking about a point in the past at which you may or may not have been in London. (If you’re talking about the present, you will then say ‘If I am in London’.)

                  Again, possible or impossible has nothing to do with it.

                  • “If I was in London” is never correct. Past tense requires you say “If I had been in London.” “When I was in London” would be correct, as would be “Were I in London.”

                    • I’m going with what I was told, but I think what Tom means is “if I was in London last year, then you have to prove it, copper.”

                    • Good example, Ma’am. That’s exactly the kind of thing I mean. Not a counterfactual, but incomplete information that requires the use of ‘if’.

                    • Tom, for all I know, the song might have been that — it’s been (mumble) years since I studied English. And 11 since I taught. I know when to use it, d*mn it. I know that the possible/impossible explanation is what my teacher gave us, but that was in Portugal, and she might also have been nuts.

                    • It sounds like your English teacher wasn’t actually nuts, but just incompletely informed; which puts her above the majority of English teachers in the English-speaking countries, who were taught to actively disdain grammar, and wouldn’t know the subjunctive if it were to bite them on the nose.

            • If I were a shark …“? Ma’am, do ye nae read yuir ane books??? Lions and panthers and dragons, oh my!

          • I’m pretty sure the plural usage is still “were”. The thing Sarah was referring to was the singular usage of “were” as the subjunctive (though I admit, I’m not particularly familiar with grammar terminology and did not know what that meant until now).

    • “I have been called many things including racist just because I was white, blonde, and blue-eyed.”

      When I was in boot camp, a black guy in my company just said very matter of factly that he knew I was a racist. I asked him how he figured that, since I had done nothing to anyone. “Well, you’re from the South. Everyone knows white folks from the South are racist.”

      I don’t even remember the jackasses name, but I remember the comment perfectly clear, even after almost 21 years.

      The assumption that someone is a racist simply because they’re white is just as racist as assuming all black people are criminals.

  11. “are you something other than white and male”

    Hey look, a question I can answer no to. Probably the only one, but you didn’t provide us with a link 😦

    • yes, but the noes are the “privilege points.”

    • Nah, you can answer ‘yes,’ even to that one. You’re lots of things other than white and male.

      Which just reinforces Sarah’s point about the quiz author’s ideological isolation. Or, short form, idiocy.

    • Hah! It’s a logic test! I’m male, but I’m sort of olivey-tan colored, and the hair is going grey not white, so the ‘and’ makes me a “No!”

      • Logic fail. reread the question, the “and” makes you a yes. /juveniley sticks tongue out and leaves quickly/

      • Since “gender is a social construct” it follows that nobody is male but thinking makes it so. . (Tip o’ the hat to Avon’s Bard*.)

        *Best known, perhaps, for the famous “Ding-dong” phrase.

  12. I would to ask the questionnaire maker to consider the difficulties of human beings with permanent problems, ie. individuals with brain disorders, such as autism.

    A recent study was released of the brains of deceased autistic children against a control group (these were tragic deaths, and the parents permitted autopsy of their childrens’ remains to advance science).

    The study made this finding: Each of the 12 autistic children had disorganized cells in three areas of the brain. Only one of the 12 control children had such disorganization (probably high functioning autism).

    My adult autistic son has experienced thousands of “macro-aggressions” in his life, plus millions or billions of micro-aggressions – by people who really are just being cautious at his lack of voice inflection or facial affect. This is painful. He sees it. He just can’t change himself. I’ve watched him try in the mirror.

    Yet he has not once accused others of being “mean” or “unfair”. That is dignity and courage. The woman or man who made up this questionnaire is a pathetic human whiner and has no idea what real courage looks like.

    • I think — HOPE — that’s what they mean by social disabilities.
      One of the things, in the result is “You have multiple identities for multiple environments and don’t feel accepted fully in any environment.” they seemed to think this was a sign of lack of privilege. This puzzled me because in my life that’s called ‘being normal.” Because, you know, you don’t fart in church. You don’t run screaming through a hospital waiting room. You don’t do your crochet at dinner.
      At a higher level: you don’t argue politics with your boss; you don’t tell your grandma off-color jokes you might enjoy with a friend; you don’t discuss your worries about publishing with anonymous fans at a signing. These are all part of your way of being in the world, but they’re not appropriate for discussion everywhere.
      What I mean is, you can’t be “fully yourself” anywhere. That’s being human, right.

      • “You have multiple identities for multiple environments and don’t feel accepted fully in any environment.”

        I’m at a bit of a loss. The appropriate response is “well, of course!” right? The notion that any individual doesn’t have multiple levels of reserve and presentation dependent upon circumstances, audience and public/private sphere is remarkably — what’s appropriate? Naive? Insular? Oblivious?

        This is victimhood? Suffering? Pshaw.

        I suppose “don’t feel accepted fully in any environment” is supposed to be the significant modifier, but c’mon.

        I take this as an attempt to broaden and latch onto the trailing garments of folks with actual social interactivity/interface difficulties by utilizing the simple social construct of public interaction to justify status. Which means I take this as callow and self-involved. Surprising, I know.

        • “The notion that any individual doesn’t have multiple levels of reserve and presentation dependent upon circumstances, audience and public/private sphere is remarkably — what’s appropriate? Naive? Insular? Oblivious?”

          I’m trying to think of the proper term for such a person, I’m sure there is one*. Sociopath isn’t right, nor is psychopath, deranged fits but is really to broad to be useful.

          *In many societies the proper term would be, dead.

          • 1. Well, obviously in the afterlife you can be fully yourself, but not on earth. Somebody’s immanentizing the eschaton through socialism. Again.

            2. Someone totally without boundaries is usually someone who has suffered a lot of abuse and neglect. You know, like a dog who’s really clingy after being rescued, and you have to wait for him to feel confident enough to have reserve and poise.

          • Narcissist.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            ‘that guy’ for the guy who never gets close to and opens up with anybody.

            ‘that annoying guy’ who goes up to you, who may be a perfect stranger, and starts talking to you at length, regardless of whether you want to be hearing this stuff.

            Yes, some societies kill people who can’t learn to shut up from time to time.

            That said, in my experience, even folks who won’t shut up, have some level of mental impairment, and who would get killed in some societies have a little ability to control what they talk about.

            • I’ve found that “Why are you telling me this?” stuns many of them into silence.

              • “And I’m supposed to care, because…?”


                “That gaping fish look just doesn’t work for you.”

        • So if “You have multiple identities for multiple environments and don’t feel accepted fully in any environment.” and yet youare male and white, than you are cisnormal?

          Down with Normal Hegemony!

          Go TransNormalism!

        • Well, even disregarding that I act slightly differently among different groups, in my own life, “Jasini”, “Betsy”, and “Elizabeth” have slightly different personalities. “Liz” I just don’t respond to.

          On Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 11:39 AM, According To Hoyt wrote:

          > Eamon commented: ““You have multiple identities for multiple > environments and don’t feel accepted fully in any environment.” I’m at a > bit of a loss. The appropriate response is “well, of course!” right? The > notion that any individual doesn’t have multiple levels o” >

      • Birthday girl

        ” You don’t do your crochet at dinner.”

        You don’t? Oh my … so maybe that’s why … oh …

        • well, of course not, you might get cranberry sauce on it.

          Which is a waste of cranberry sauce.

      • William O. B'Livion

        At a higher level: you don’t argue politics with your boss;

        Oh.

        Uh. That explains a few things.

  13. The point is that even assuming what makes a woman afraid to be out at night alone is PREJUDICE opens a whole can of crazy. I mean, does she think muggers only attack women?

    Maybe it is because of the city I lived in, but what makes the questioner think that muggers and other such criminals only work after dark?

    Sometimes it is a problem of attitude. Yes, the smaller, the weaker, the who are obviously unprepared and the foolish who ignore realities are the ones more likely to be attacked in any circumstance. Yet sometimes society could use thinking outside the box when attacks occur. I have always enjoyed Golda Meir’s reaction to the suggestion that women be put under curfew because of a string of violent rapes: “But it is the men who are attacking the women. If there is to be a curfew, let the men stay at home.”

    • Yes, definitely. We had similar reactions when they tried to not let us out of the college because a flasher lurked in the bushes. We told them “get a grip. We’re not elementary school kids and don’t need to hold hands with our classmates.” OTOH in my case at least, I didn’t think a flasher was going to break me. I’d been to nude beaches. (My friend Estrela disposed of the threat, by — when being flashed — looking at the guy up and down, flicking ash from her cigarrete and saying “Is that all you’ve got?” I’ve been assured she shouldn’t have done that and she could have got killed and blah blah. You know what? What actually happened is he never did it again. I think this being Portugal he was in it for the blushes and screams (put on. No, seriously. I knew these people’s private lives. But never mind.)
      Anyway — yes, you shouldn’t punish the innocent. BUT anyone — innocent and guilty — should be aware of the dangers they run and behave accordingly.
      When the boys went to school in an urban school, I worried about younger son, not older. Older son had an awareness of his surroundings, while younger — being a genius — would just walk in between two guys about to have a fight and not notice. Or would say things like “These homeless people really smell” while walking past.
      Privilege? No. He has an IQ estimated in the 180s. He lives mostly inside his head, and sometimes it takes an effort to even SEE the outside…

      • Some guy tried that at Flat State. The girls’ field hockey team “just happened” to come around the corner on their way back from practice when he jumped up to do his thing. Think a Benny-Hill-style chase scene across campus and you get the picture. He never came back.

  14. My husband and his friends, of the immigrant to the USA from various parts of Africa set, have been known to occasionally accept an American-born black into their group. This tends to lead to such happenings as the American-born being informed that having his ancestors enslaved and brought to the USA was the best thing that could possibly have happened to him.

    • CombatMissionary

      I had to take a couple of those “White males are eeeeevil” classes in college. Once I got asked, “How many slaves did your ancestors own?” I scratched my head and said, “Well, the White ones were all sharecroppers and coal miners, so they didn’t own any. But I have Cherokee blood, so I guess THEY might have owned some…”
      Talk about fuses blowing in their pointed little PC heads!

      • I’m sure my Roman ancestors owned some of my Celtic ancestors. And some of my Moorish ancestors (400 years of occupation) owned some of my Christian ancestors. And vice versa. I’m not sure where the Jewish ancestors fit in but probably “yes”. Oh, and I’m sure too some of my white ancestors owned some of my black ancestors. Possibly the vice versa, but it’s hard to track in Africa. I guarantee some of my black ancestors owned other black ancestors, too.
        Anyway, what the crap am I supposed to do with all that? I’ve never owned anyone but cats. (And THAT’s debatable.)

        • This^^

          The notion that slavery only legitametly refers to the American institution, and it conveys particular and important status upon a specific subgroup of decendants is a simple reflection of the fact that most other cultures and most other times would ignore the bemoaning — as the best case. Americans are more willing to adopt responsibility.

          • The word “slave” comes from the word “Slav” — telling where slaves come from for much longer than they came from Africa.

            • … *bursts out laughing* That reminds me of something my youngest brother asked, when he was a small kid. “Are Slavs all slaves?” I think he was 6 or 7 at the time.

              • In William Manchester’s history of the Krupp family, The Arms of Krupp, he reports Nazi dismissal of the terrible treatment afforded the Russians with the quote “Slaven sind sklaven

                In fairness, under the Tsars and later the Soviets, the Russian people were viewed as property of the state.

                Not the only country to take that point of view. NOW with free health care!

                • Not the only country to take that point of view. NOW with free health care!

                  For some bizarre reason, and I will attribute that to lack of sleep, that line was followed with Also Sprach Zarahusta

                  Property of the state, yeah. And that quote is chilling.

                  • Larry Patterson

                    NOW with free health care!

                    A lawyer back in Austin once told a colleague “That stuff they give you for free isn’t worth the money you pay for it.”

          • and also, the concept that, apparently, only the colonies/the US had slaves at the time of the founding.

            • And no one else has practiced slavery since.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Or slavery hadn’t existed until *Europeans* thought of it. [Frown]

              Some people were surprised to learn that Africans practiced slavery before Europeans decided to purchase them from Africa.

            • One notes the first Africans sold in this country were sold as indentured servants. One Anthony Johnson sued to keep his black indentured servant on forever, being the first person in the Americas to be decreed an indentured servant for life without having committed a crime.

              Anthony Johnson was black.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        I’d love to say “my great-great died to free you. Guess it wasn’t worth it.” [Very Big Evil Grin]

        Note, I’m not aware of any ancestor who fought on either side of the ACW and I’m not aware of any ancestor who owned slaves.

        Mind you, if we go far enough back, all of us have ancestors who were slaves and were slave-owners.

        So What?

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        How many tens or hundreds of thousands of years back do we go? What length of generations are we assuming? How do we count inbreeding? How exactly are we defining slavery? Do we get a time machine, and identical alternate timelines to do the measuring?

        How do they answer the ‘if guilt is heritable, why is slavery not just?’ problem? If guilt is heritable, will the guy complaining about things self-execute?

      • I know for a fact that I have ancestors who owned slaved in the American South pre-Civil War. I have the wills where they freed most of their slaved when they died.

        That means precisely jack for me. I had ancestors who ruled England. That doesn’t mean I get to go play with the Crown Jewels. Why should I also have to be punished for shit I didn’t do?

        • I have an ancestor who was one of the richest men in the world when he died, doesn’t mean i have anything to show for it (in fact, specifically the opposite)

          • One of my ancestors was Charlemagne.

            I’ve got dick to show for it. I feel ya. 🙂

            • Somehow my brain added the article “a” between the verb and its object in the first sentence of your second paragraph. The result REALLY confused me. I couldn’t see what Charlemagne had to do with your particular genitalia.

              (I’m sure this comment is some kind of micro-aggression. If not, I’ll try harder next time.)

            • Well, in this case, its because he specifically wrote his descendants out of the will, and his home is a museum.

              • True, but William the Conqueror is one of my ancestors too, and I’ve still got jack to show for it.

                Being descended from royalty is cool. Unfortunately, it doesn’t actually do anything for anyone. Hell, I still can’t find the “easy” setting for my life. :/

                • The thing is all of us are. Their kids lasted longer (more food, I guess) even wrong side of blanket ones. And they spread it on with a wide dispersion hose.
                  Says she who is descended from the less sane of the old Bourbons…

                  • I don’t know about all of us. My father has done a fair amount of genealogy on his side of my family, and nada.

                    Of course, the point was that if I don’t get to bask in the awesomeness of my ancestors, why do I have to deal with the sins of other ancestors?

                    I doubt I’ll get a lot of argument against that here, thankfully. 🙂

                    • It does help to know what you inherited (mentally, physically, etc) and my hubby was raised in foster care and never knew his family. There is a hole there, which is why he went looking for his family. I hear that it is a need in us. I don’t know– I have too many family– lol

                    • I’ve got a first cousin I don’t have any use for. He’s welcome to her…

                      …but I don’t think he’d want the spoiled brat.

                    • Also you don’t know what will hurt you.. I found that I have NA myopathy SNP– which did show up in my sister’s first child. We thought it came from her husband– now surprise– it comes from us.

                • Geez – I am also from royalty– one line through the old Dane line and the other through the Norwegian line. Yep, I am pretty sure the crazy came through the Dane line.

  15. Want to see real “micro-aggresion”, play small stakes cards with your friends.

  16. “Meanwhile, when told to “check your privilege” tell them to “check your victimhood.”

    Can I get a receipt?

  17. Hmm… I forgot that I have had to hide who or what I am. Of course I have! I’m an Odd!

  18. Christopher M. Chupik

    Micro-agression is just the latest way to find outrages where none exist. It’s the way they keep the Perpetual Outrage Machine going.

  19. The whole ‘privilege’ mechanism irritates me. I’ve found it most often used as a quick dismissal of cogent arguments. “That’s your privilege talking.” Blech.

    It’s in the same class as “it’s a random modifier thing, you wouldn’t understand.”* Really? Your whole class of people is so far divorced from humanity that simple empathy and intelligence are unable to bridge the gap? So what makes you think you have any understanding of the rest of us?

    *I’m guilty of a corollary to this, particularly in discussing military experience. Thing is, I don’t really believe it’s a matter of wouldn’t/couldn’t, but more typically, aren’t willing to adopt the necessary mindset. So I’m disinclined to discuss certain things lest the general-civs be shocked. But I’ve known any number of specific-civs who were quite capable of getting to empathetic and intellectual understanding. The thing I’m railing against above is the complete dismissal of any discussion/explanation/exploration/revelation on the grounds of the unbridgeable gap. Bull-bowel-evacuation.

    • There was a book I vaguely remember connecting this with postmodernism. I want to say Truth Decay by Groothuis. It’s a form of particularization of knowledge, the same lunacy destroying our universities. “Because you are not part of a subculture, it is impossible for you to understand that subculture, therefore any criticism you offer is invalid.” When you don’t have what it takes to respond rationally, that kind of facile dismissal offers an fast way to win an argument, even if you win by stifling further discussion. “Bull-bowel-evacuation” is a far too kind as an evaluation, because what a bull evacuates from his bowels at least has the virtue of nourishing the grass, whereas nothing redeems “It’s a ___-thing, you wouldn’t understand!”

    • C. S. Lewis called this “Bulverism”.

  20. I also saw that quiz. I think I scored a bit higher, but still got an “underprivledged” ranking.

    The assumptions behind the questions are laughable. Guess who ever wrote it didn’t consider that someone would be mocked for having a southern accent. Or that a girl who prefers slacks and short hair would be called a dyke, when in fact she is completely hetro.

    Any way, I saw it as a “make the wasps feel guilty” post and decided to not to comment on it in FB, since I didn’t want to increase the hit count. Nice job here. 😉

    • Yep. That’s why I didn’t link it. And yep, I’ve been called a dyke AND a breeder — different times and places. I’ve also had lesbian colleagues casually assume I must be one which makes me wonder what signals I give off? Eh. Don’t care. Husband likes me.

      • Ooh! I think I recently figured out one of the signals I give off! I walk by placing one foot directly in front of the other*, which causes my hips to sway. Whatever. Not going to change now.

        * Most people probably think they “put one foot in front of the other”, but it’s primarily women who do. Men, and very heavy people, tend to walk with their steps separated laterally by several inches to a foot or more. Women tend to walk with their steps closer together, unless they are very overweight.

        • Birthday girl

          ” … unless they are very overweight.”

          Or farmers. At least that’s what we called it, growing up in the world’s breadbasket … as in “she has farmer’s walk.”

          • My dairy farmer father-in-law assured me I had good dairy characteristics. I wasn’t sure I wanted to know what he meant.

            On Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 12:41 PM, According To Hoyt wrote:

            > Birthday girl commented: “” … unless they are very overweight.” Or > farmers. At least that’s what we called it, growing up in the world’s > breadbasket … as in “she has farmer’s walk.”” >

            • Best not to ask farmers for explanation unless you want very pragmatic and detailed point by points. Ranchers may be worse.

            • Birthday girl

              I’m pretty sure I know and you’d best save the question for your husband 😉

      • I was propositioned by several lesbians in college because they assumed that any woman who flew an airplane and worked as a mechanic must be a lesbian. *blink, blink* Um, nope, sorry, I just happen to be a pilot with two X chromosomes. {Pssst, ladies, you want to meet lots and lots of guys while safe and sober? Fly and restore airplanes. Trust me. Big selection, low competition environment.}

        • Dang!!! I thought becoming a pilot would be a good way to pick up chicks! Shot down AGAIN!!!!! 🙂

        • Many of the pioneer women of aviation were FREAKING BOY CRAZY. Seriously, I think it was a thing. And I know it was the Twenties, but holy crud, some of those women! You’d think they’d never been out of the house before!

          Of course, there were some people who apparently slept around with everybody, male or female, and plenty who were circumspect and led blameless lives or got married and stayed that way. But still, women in aviation were widely accused in the day of picking up every man on the airfield, and plenty of them did. I think it was the exercise and adrenaline.

          • A sub-population of them still do, at least in Naval Aviation. *looks ill* They seem to mostly end up in the working-directly-on-planes area, are NOT even a large sub-population, and target newcomers.

            Maybe it’s just a “some women are freaking insane” thing. The females in my husband’s office– two, a technical field– had a “hoe down” where they tried to “win” by sleeping with the highest number of grunt Marines possible. (The technicians didn’t have a very high turnover, but each time we got new ground Marines, it was a new batch. I think it had to do with where folks were actually stationed and the rotations.)

        • Alma, when my wife is asked by her single girlfriends for leads on meeting men, she tells them to have me take them to the range. Very few take her/me up on it.

          But the one that did go with me to a USPSA match ended up married in weeks. Literally.

          • That works too. Although the last time I went to the range, the guys were more interested in picking up my brass to reload than in picking ME up. *shrug*

            • You can blame Obama for that too, the guys are just grabbing the rarest commodity available.

            • Oooh, what were you shooting? 😛

              I’ve known guys like that. And yes, you are so very right about the building and restoring of airplanes. The number of offers I’ve gotten when people recognize me from fixing their headset / their airplane / their GPS… And trying to play down other people’s exaggeration by saying “No, really, I’m not that great. I can do just fine on rag and tube, but I’m still learning how to buck rivets for metal airplanes… does not discourage bush pilots AT ALL.

              • .22 LR and .38 wadcutters.

                The guys in the shop loved me because I can fit into the hell holes with a bucking bar/wrenches/swaging tools/multimeter. And I have small hands that can get to THAT bolt at the back of the engine. Yeah, you know that one, the one that must be safety wired and you have to be almost inverted, hand twisted backwards, to get to the thing.

                • I don’t wrench on planes, but I know that bolt! Unfortunately I don’t possess your attributes. I’ve frequently pondered the complete disassembly of whatever assembly in order to facilitate the removal/reattachment of that bolt. Or grenades. I consider grenades.

                  • Pry bar and ball peen hammer. Oh and I have never worked on a Toyota that has ever had the clutch replaced that is not missing one of ‘those two bolts’ on the top of the tranny. They only really need one to hold it in place, and could probably get away with none, kind of like how a six lug wheel will stay on just fine with only four lugnuts.

                    • Yeah, but I’m compulsive. Even doing the napkin engineering to demonstrate the functionality of the system without the bolts/tabs/whatever my brain says, “It was designed with those bolts, it needs those bolts, you must install those bolts. Install the bolts. Install the bolts. Install…”

                      Fellows wrenching/building/plumbing/etc. with me love that about me.
                      :-I

                    • Neighbors across the street were helping get a brittle plug wire out of my car and telling me about replacing the starter in their boss’s Toyota…see, the starter is *inside* the engine, and you have to take the head off to get at it easily…

                    • Hmm, I thought the remove the head to change the starter was a GM trick? (Ford has the remove the front driveline on four wheel drives and Honda Accords have the option of either pulling the front axle or unbolting the motor and lifting it up enough to pull the starter out).

                      I’ve always bragged on how easy it is to change Toyota starters, if you know how. Every pickup, four runner and the one old Corolla I did it to had an inspection plate in the firewall behind the passenger front tire. Four bolts removed the inspection plate, and whalla! there was the starter. Can’t say I have did anything on one newer than an ’05 though, so they could have changed things.

                    • yeah, the Lexus and Toyota V8s, you don’t actually have to take the head off, just everything else… http://www.lextreme.com/starter.html

                    • Idiots. I swear this is what happens when you move your manufacturing to the US. I despise working on any US made automobile newer than about 1980. I’m positive the engineers are all a bunch of sadists.

                • Try installing an elevator actuator on a 787. I don’t do that any more, but it’s a perfect example of the engineers seeing that something works perfectly well on the computer, but doesn’t allow clearance for the actual tools required to actually install it.

                  The perfect fix would have been to put the bolts in the opposite direction, but no, not allowed, even if they were just pinning a bushing into place.

                  (Oh yeah, add the fact that they were castellated nuts, with only a 10 inch-pound torque range, so if one wouldn’t line up, you’d have to take it out and try another. Went through 13 nuts on one bolt once. And then you had to do the cotter pin….)

            • Wrong range, shy guys, or all married.

            • Oooooo, brass….

        • An engineering degree program might serve as well—but.

          My female classmates at Cooper Union had an expression about the school: “The odds are good, but the goods are odd.”

      • Ditto on the being called a dyke (or a transexual) and a breeder (or world killer).

        Coupled with Wayne’s walking observation– it’s probably the same reason you couldn’t do jump rope.

        I know my footsteps have about an inch between them, when I’m expecting the surface to be fine, and wider when I’m expecting to slip. Even when I’m running.

        Also, I tend to step with the whole foot, heel to toe, even when running. Very good stability, as folks have figured out when I run on really bad surfaces– it’s just very hard on your body and doesn’t do much for speed. (Whoot, I’m an ATV!)

  21. The micro-aggression thing makes me want to vomit. (Yes, I’m aware that there is more micro-aggression discussion up-thread. This is only tangentially related and that part of the post is too long and garbled to find a good “in”.) Micro aggression simply put is as follows: You said something I can find a reason to be offended toward. Shut your mouth, apologize and don’t let me catch you being-un-asski…err.. un PC again. This is your final warning. In five seconds, we will be talking about how you “don’t deserve to be part of society.”

    In short, accusing someone of micro-aggression is a form of macro-aggression or, as it is more commonly known, aggression. Such an accusation is a way to silence those who do not toe the party line. Real racism is one thing but micro-aggression is another. Any accusation of micro-aggression should be met head-on with no apologies and no mercy. Yes, things have happened in the past. No, that doesn’t preclude my right to speak my mind now. Anyone caught THINKING the phrase micro aggression should be immediately called out as a small-minded bigot.

    Yes, the other side has the right to its opinions. But SO DO WE. Even if it’s something they disagree with. No, I’m not a bad person because of my skin. If anyone wants my opinion on privilege, see Sarah’s post at MGC today and my response. But the bottom line is that the other side sees the failure of whites to fall on our own swords as an act of micro aggression. That’s not going to happen. So, to all of you whining about micro aggression I’ve got two words for ya: (Oops, PG rated blog. Google “I’ve got two words for ya” and “Degeneration X” if you’re interested/don’t get the reference). I’m guessing you’ll see that response as an act of aggression in and of itself. That’s good. It was intended that way.

    • I found this a little while ago. People list the “micro aggressions” they’ve dealt with.

      http://www.buzzfeed.com/hnigatu/racial-microagressions-you-hear-on-a-daily-basis

      Now, some of these, I can kind of see. Some of them are just people being assholes, regardless of race/gender/whatever. They’re not “micro aggressions”, they’re just some people being dicks.

      One guy was alled Garcia instead of Rodriguez when introduced to speak. He counted it as a micro aggression because “not all Latinos have the last name of Garcia”. Um…did YOU ever stop to think he just screwed up? Why does it have to be a “micro aggression” when it could just be an honest mistake? A white guy named Jones being introduced as Smith isn’t a “micro aggression”. It’s a case of someone being an idiot.

      Micro aggression is a term that lets one assign evil to what may actually be a lack of sophistication or even a lack of give a damn. I’m sorry, but I’m done tip toeing around everyone.

      • Micro aggression is a term that lets one assign evil to what may actually be a lack of sophistication or even a lack of give a damn. I’m sorry, but I’m done tip toeing around everyone.

        Yep, you’re right. Big chunk of those are people being socially inept or awkward in their curiosity. Fair bit are simple dick behaviors. A number of them are variations on odd social questions I’ve been asked at one time or another.

        But when you’ve been told your ‘race’ or ‘skin color’ are your most significant attributes your entire life, I suppose you can’t process silly shyte without running it through a bigotry lens first. (Ow. Extraocular muscle cramp.)

        • Yep. Apparently, you’re not allowed to be ignorant or clueless anymore. Any cluelessness is now a micro aggression.

          It’s like saying all unwanted sexual advances are micro aggressions. Um, I often didn’t realize they were unwanted until after I made them. Now, pushing afterwards is a dick move, but since I couldn’t read a woman’s mind (and what man can?), I was committing “micro aggressions” out of pure cluelessness.

          These days, that’s just now allowed. We must know all from the womb onward. And, we’re supposed to care.

          Even when I know, I just can’t muster any give a damn. 🙂

          • Hard not to have a busted give-a-damn, these days.

          • Well, of course all unwanted sexual advances are aggression. So are all wanted sexual advances. How else can we proclaim from the housetops that 94%, or 137%, or 10,000% of all womyn are victims of sexual assault?

            • Silly me.

              Of course, I’ve also read some RadFem crap where they argue that all sexual intercourse between men and women is rape. I laughed my ass off and told my wife.

              She told me to quit reading that crap, come to bed, and do things RadFems would call rape to her. 😀

              • Yes, well, I was taught all that crap as an adolescent, shortly after being declared a permanent and irretrievable waste of oxygen by the local school board. So I never had anyone to tell me what your wife told you.

                I still can’t make any kind of sexual advances towards women. Hell, if I get falsely accused of it, I am overcome with mortification because, well, what did I do wrong to let anyone even think I was hitting on her?

                Sometimes I really wish everyone had to go through what I did – to actually live by their BS zero-tolerance standards, instead of paying lip service when they feel like it and cheerfully ignoring the rules the rest of the time. If they had succeeded, there would have been no children born in the last thirty years. But they wouldn’t have succeeded. If they actually tried to live by their rules, they would realize that it is impossible, and scrap the rules. Instead, they retain the rules as a handy stick to beat people like me with, so that they can feel self-righteous.

                • I’m really sorry to hear that you had such harsh treatment. I hope that the rest of your life has been better.

                  • Actually, the rest of my life has been pretty much determined by that stuff. For instance, I’ve never been able to get an adequate formal education because of the permanent black mark left by the board of education, and I’ve never been able to get a decent-paying job because the jobs I’m good at doing are, almost invariably, only open to university graduates.

                    I had a therapist a few years back who told me that I had got less out of life than anyone else he had ever met. Frankly, that scared me.

                    It doesn’t help that the only way I know of to deal with all this is to blame myself and hate myself, and go on doing it deliberately even when I know it’s irrational. If I ever allowed myself to blame anyone else, I’m afraid the magnitude of the released anger would cause me to stroke out and die.

                    • Dude. You need to move to a different State and/or City, or something. If you have the ability (time, money) to go back to school, I’d be willing to bet you could do it here in this area.

                    • This is a good idea. The husband of a relation of mine had a similar problem when he lived in France. He moved here, went to school and got a job and then a wife and kids. America is known as the land of second chances. If you move far enough away from where you are now, you can start over. In the Baby Bust that we’re in now, you can get into school. I would recommend that you don’t get into a lot of debt for school.

                      Good Luck!

                    • Mr. Blackburn,

                      I can’t afford to move; my rent money would be cut off if I did that, and I don’t have the money for moving expenses in any case. Also, I don’t know what area you’re talking about, but I pretty much have to stay in Canada. I’m not the sort of person other countries would want as an immigrant, and I can’t afford to pay for my own medical care. (Or for tuition, if it’s a matter of going back to school.) Until I figure out some way to increase my income tremendously, I pretty much have to stay put.

                    • For what it’s worth, you’ve got folks who care about you and would deeply miss you– just from your writing.

                      You’ve also given a word– superversive– for something that needs to be done.

                      Folks’ estimation of what one gets out of life will depend heavily on the measure they’re using.

                    • Ma’am, I am very glad to hear that some of my writing is helpful or amusing to other people. But that speaks more properly to what I am contributing in life, rather than what I am getting out of it, if you see what I mean. And the people who now have the power of judgement over me don’t value any contribution except money; and only money can deliver me out of their power. I shall need a much larger audience before I can accomplish that – given the inability of the experts to find me any other kind of remunerative work.

                    • Buy his books. Assuming you can afford to, of course. . . .

                      http://bondwine.com/2013/01/06/available-from-bondwine-books/

                • Forty years ago feminists said they wanted to eliminate all gender roles. Except that these remained intact. They just ignore them. I am sure if I were to ask a feminist if she could guess what the most important gender role in my life was, she would never guess that it was having to be the aggressor. (She would assume it was about being dominant or about being the breadwinner or something.) Let me also note that I once saw a lesbian hit on another lesbian who didn’t like it one bit, so it’s not some male thing. It’s just a matter who finds themselves stuck in this role. Heterosexual women are seldom in it, which provides them all kinds of ways to think of themselves as victims.

                  I hope it isn’t against the rules here, but I did write a book on this topic called “Begging for Sex,” available on Amazon.

                  • Not only isn’t it against the rules, but if you look on Saturday (or sometimes Sunday) you’ll find an email to send your stuff to so the Free Range Oyster (clam got promotion) can compile it for me to pimp on Saturdays.

                • I’m sorry you had to deal with all of that. I hope you can work past it someday and have a good life. 🙂

                  • Well, I haven’t given up trying yet. But now I have the added difficulty of being told that I’m too old for that stuff anymore.

                    • My grandfather was 63 when his youngest son was born.

                    • I earned my degree at the age of 39. I would have gone on to a Master’s degree, but sadly, illness. I have seen people getting degrees at the age of 60. I don’t know what schooling is like in Canada (I haven’t lived there since the early 1960s), but age shouldn’t be a problem imho.

                    • Ma’am, getting an education isn’t what I am being told I’m too old for.

                      And Sir, your grandfather may have been 63 when his youngest son was born, but unless he was a bit of a lad, he did not get married for the first time at 63. And that kind of thing was considered a lot more acceptable then than it is now. I find that I have already reached the stage of life where I am labelled a Creepy Old Man for even having sexual thoughts, let alone doing anything about them.

                    • Wow. I wish I had some decent suggestions for you, but while I’m familiar with not having enough money to move, I’m not familiar at all with Canada.

                      What skills do you have, even the ones that you currently aren’t able to use because of hiring restrictions?

                      Oh, and no, you’re right. That was his 10th child, but he didn’t marry until he was 40.

                    • Unfortunately, a lot of my skills are for tech jobs that don’t exist anymore. The only important skill I have that is still worth anything on the market is writing, and my present trouble is that I’m being pressured to give it up because it isn’t paying fast enough. Well, it isn’t paying because (1) it is by nature a slow-paying profession, and (2) I’ve been too sick to do much of it for about a year now. (Fell down icy stairs, concussion, post-concussion, whiplash, plus chronic depression, and lingering after-effects of a stroke; all complicated by the fact that my thyroid seems to have headed for the afterlife without me.)

                      I’ve been working with an employment agency for a couple of months, but they haven’t found anything for me yet. Part of the trouble is that I am not healthy enough to work full-time hours, but there are almost no part-time jobs up here except in retail and fast food (which I can’t hack for medical reasons). I thought I could get a part-time data entry job to help pay my bills while I recover my health, but it turns out that I can’t pass the speed test required. My right hand has slowed down just a little too much because of the stroke.

                    • Well geez Tom– I find it funny that Old Guys like Larry King can have children and not be considered creepy… It is a fine world (hypocritical in some ways) we live in– Plus one of our good friends (my hubby and I) is in his 60s and it doesn’t stop him from flirting with the women. 😉

                    • Post card / bumper-sticker wisdom to which my grandfather firmly adhered:

                      When you are through looking, you’re THROUGH

                    • Mrs. Bagley,

                      Larry King can do that because he’s rich. And since he’s a true and proper Leftist, he is forgiven for being rich.

                      There is a character in a Damon Runyon story of whom the narrator says, ‘There is nothing wrong with him that a million bucks will not cure.’ Sometimes I think that’s true of me, but then again, sometimes I think I am so inherently undesirable that nothing will help. I should like to have the chance one day to find out which is the case, but that seems unlikely at present.

                    • Tom– please don’t call me Mrs. Bagley– that is my mother. When I married my hubby, I didn’t take his name. There were quite a few reasons (one is that I was in the military and it takes forever to change names when you are there). So just call me Cyn or Cynthia… thank you.

                      As for Larry King, yes- to all your points.
                      As for you, there may be someone for you. I found that out when I left my home and went FAR away before I finally found someone for me. I was married at 32– so I wasn’t a spring-chicken. It may work for you, or not. I know that before I met my hubby, I began to plan my life around being single and happy. I met him shortly after I made the decision. It wasn’t easy though. It was four years after I met him (plus I went to Japan with the Navy and he stayed in Florida) before we were in the same place (physically same place, not mentally) again. It isn’t ever easy. At least for some of us.

                    • Beg pardon about the surname, Ma’am. I’m 47 (but publicly admit to 114), so I’m a lot further from being a spring chicken than you were.

                    • Bah. I’ve had friends marry later.

              • Yes, but the person who wrote that post also thought that she could mentally communicate with plants…

                • She may have been right. Look at her rational thoughts, and then look at a plant’s rational thoughts: can you see any difference? And if they are both having the same thoughts, clearly they must be in communication with one another. (Just as anybody who isn’t a VileProg must be in the pay of the Koch brothers and Big Oil.)

                  • Nyah – lower life forms cannot communicate* with higher forms. What plant would ever listen to her?

                    *N.B., people communicate with dogs, cats communicate with people.

              • Your wife is obviously a victim of false consciousness, probably induced by your repeated rape of her as well as your subjugation of her as chattel property (as evidenced by your phrase my wife.) As we know from studies of Stockholm Syndrome experiences, people — especially womyn, since males (the insensitive brutes) cannot truly be thought people — typically identify with their oppressors and adopt the views of their tormentor to protect their delicate psyches. The willful submission of the woman you term your wife is simply evidence of the degree to which you have imposed this false consciousness upon her, denying her attainment of true personhood.

                I best stop here — if I push this circular reasoning any further I am likely to shove my head up my …

                • Yeah, trying to reason that crap would have given me an aneurysm. Kudos to you!

                • Yeah. The woman who made the assertion obviously believes in the recovered memories of child abuse thing, casually discussing how women forget how they were tortured by their fathers and blame their mothers — and get over this as they recover memories of the torture.

        • That’s the closest the idea of “white male privilege” comes to the truth. We’re far more likely to ascribe negative behaviors towards us to simple assholery, even when they’re actually motivated by bigotry. That allows us to move on and find a non-asshole to deal with.

          Of course, it’s not really privilege. Anyone can learn that there exist dicks, and that you will encounter them. Some people will be dicks because of your race, others because they’re having a bad day, and still others won’t even realize they’re being dicks. But far more people won’t be dicks, so if you’re unlucky just try again.

          • I did it. And more or less on purpose too. I realized I could go through life thinking “you only said that because I have an accent’ OR I could ignore it and go “ooh, you’re a douche.” and move on.

          • Sadly, I beleive they’re trying to break that relience. Even the patriarchy of white, male oppressors must learn to be ineffectual in the face of mildly irritating behavior…

            • They can try, but the cultural tendency to persevere and innovate through hardship is pretty deeply ingrained. It’s one of the reasons that Anglo-Saxon culture is dominant on the planet. Another is the cultural tendency to look at an innovation and say “That’s cool, how can I use it to kill people?”

              • 😀

                It’s what gives me hope.

                • TINS: At my high school graduation, several of us Odds started looking at the (pre-knotted) cords we wore to show we were in the academic Top 10% and realized “Heeeeyyyy, these would make a fantastic garotte!” Followed by “Has anyone ever come up with a ninja mortarboard, sort of like Odd Job in James Bond” and it went from there. The assistant principal in charge of the holding pen was not amused.

              • We have a cultural tendency to make projectile weapons out of anything, I mean who else would look at a chunk of PVC pipe and a can of hair spray and say, “hey, I bet I can use that to launch a potato at significant, if subsonic, speeds.”?

                • That’s not a cultural tendency. Every culture has that. If there ever were any that didn’t have it, they all got killed before they could close to melee range.

                • Why America will never lose a war: Look on YouTube at all the crap rednecks come up with because they’re bored. Now imagine what they’d do if they collectively decided that a particular group of people needed to die.

                  • But America already has lost wars, and for much the same reason: You get bored. You let yourselves be beaten by grossly inferior enemies because you just don’t care enough to win, and they do.

                    • And which war would that be?

                    • Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, take your pick. You had the capacity to win every one of those wars handily, but instead you handed victory to your enemies by giving up and going home.

                    • One has to define the states of victory and defeat in those last two conflicts to render final judgement. I’m not sure information of adequate detail is available, as of yet, to rule.

                      Not to say I disagree with the apparent state, but I’m not fully convinced, either. I was in Iraq, there are things to be said…

                    • *cough*
                      Americans didn’t lose those last two — Kenyans did. 😉

                      In all three instances cited, the “enemies” to which you refer … would those be a craven Socialist-Democrat party and its corrupt media? Double- 😉

                    • By military standards, we *won* Vietnam. The war ended with a peace treaty, and so we went home. Then the vileprog congress (but then i repeat myself) defunded the materiel support that we were obligated to supply to South Vietnam, by treaty. So, when North Vietnam resumed hostilities (after spending a couple years building up forces, subsequent to us leaving and in violation of that treaty) and then attacked, South Vietnam didn’t have the supplies that the North did (which were coming in from an external source) and eventually South Vietnam fell.

                      Of course, you won’t hear that in school, because it is essential to the vileprog social theories that they can say we lost X war.

                      Iraq? We (as in the state department [H. Clinton, who swore to get all out troops out of Iraq], which is run by the executive branch [B. Obama, who swore to get all of our troops out of Iraq]) walked away from the negotiating table regarding our troop dispensations (i.e. who would be left there) – thus leaving no troops there, and fulfilling their promise to get the troops out, while leaving our allies in the lurch again. This time, it was done using the state dep’t because they couldn’t have done it in congress.

                      Afghanistan is just a couple years behind on the same curve.

                      Basically, in order for their current pattern to work, the vileprogs need another Vietnam periodically, so they can reinforce how horrible and imperialistic we are.

                    • All true and undisputed, Draven; but the net result is that your enemies won the war in each of those cases, which means that you lost.

                      There are at least five fundamental forces in the universe: electromagnetism, gravity, the weak and strong nuclear forces, and the force exerted by American politicians to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

                    • I don’t mean to bumble in here, but — I have difficulty letting stand the unequivocal statement that ‘your enemies won and you lost’, with reference to Iraq and Afghanistan, and to some extent Viet Nam.

                      The modern conflicts were not simple cases of clearly identified hostile powers standing in opposition across defined demarcation zones. In so much as they were, those engagements were won decisively and early. At the conclusion of that engagement, the actions moved beyond ‘wars’ and became sustained low-intensity conflicts, the resolution of which is frequently ambiguous at best. There is some significant question as to whether or not the political objectives of the engagements was achieved, and what purpose the ongoing actions served militarily and/or politically. Leaving aside the war on a word, there was an engagement of a dispersed, non-centralized, extra-national opposition, the attention of which was focused on territories far from American shores. The extent to which the prolonged LIC served the military and political interests of the U.S. is, I believe, still largely undefined.

                      As these were not wars of conquest, or aimed at the seizure and control of significant territories, I don’t believe victory and defeat can so easily be judged. I don’t believe the withdrawal of military force necessarily equates to defeat in these instances, and I think final judgement on the efficacy and outcome of these conflicts will have to await further disclosures in the future.

                      I do not dispute, however, that the handling of these conflicts by the politicians has significantly damaged the reputation of the U.S. and the standing of our military. And I certainly have no argument that subsequent actions by the administration have further damaged the credibility of our military power and will.

                      As to the fact that we had the strength to deal with these situations with far less ambiguity and far more decisiveness, no, we did not do that. I’m not entirely certain that exercising that strength would have been in the best long-term interests of the U.S. or our allies. Though — some days I lean strongly that way. What I do know, with no doubt, is that exercising that strength is not something most Americans or our allies have the will or stomach for.

                    • “What I do know, with no doubt, is that exercising that strength is not something most Americans or our allies have the will or stomach for.”

                      Meaning, among other things, that the creation of large glass parking lots in then-unpopulated desert terrain is an unacceptable outcome. (What, you never heard of “Nuke ’em ’til they glow (then attack at night)” somewhere along the way. Ah, sheltered youth!) /sarc

                    • Nukes wouldn’t necessarily be required, nor even large loss os life. Prolonged total military control (which we never exercised) would likely be. And the deliberate and forethought reshaping of cultures (a crapshoot, at best, but for various reasons more likely in Iraq than Afghanistan).

                      Note: not advocating, observing. Particularly in conjunction with win/lose.

                    • We’d have to be MEAN, and that would mean actually recognizing differences in culture that go beyond the “food and outfits” level.

                      I’m kind of terrified ever since I figured out that a lot of people have no idea how much Christian philosophy our very culture has, starting with the idea that we’re all people….. (I kind of knew it, but it didn’t click until I absorbed enough Japanese mythology with some consideration of tribal organization with basic, ancient Catholic philosophy and it just kind of– congealed.)

                    • Yes. And recognizing the damage prolonged tyrrany does to both the culture and the individuals living within it.

                      Client state status is inadequate to achieve the necessary reforms.

                    • “I figured out that a lot of people have no idea how much Christian philosophy our very culture has,”

                      Take any neo-pagan and you’ll find that the beliefs are overwhelmingly Christian, liberalized a bit more than the liberal branches. You will not find any neo-pagan discussing what sacrifices are mandatory, or how to discern which god you have offended, or how to propitiate the god once you discern it. They would have been fed to the lions faster than the Christians.

      • We’re routinely called Holt and White because people half catch the name. Micro Aggression.
        And what they did when pronouncing Robert’s name for elementary graduation was painful. Al Mierda for Almeida. Micro aggression? No. Dumb principal.

        • I’m routinely found to have my last name called out as “Knight” when it’s “Knighton”.

          Who knew it was micro aggression? I could have had a field day with this back in school.

        • I don’t care about micro-aggression, I just want to know why so many people call me Mark, even if they don’t know my brother! (Seriously, this has happened so many times, I can’t figure it out)

          Then there’s my perpetually clogged sinuses, which have people repeating my last name as “Blackbird”.

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          Does this mean I could claim every time someone misspells or minspronounces “Chupik” I could claim micro-victimhood? Cool.

        • Spanish speakers generally cannot pronounce “Bob” and can’t seem to even remember it. It is too bizarre. They tend to call me “Paul” or “Pablo”, or if I admit that it is a form of Robert they never call me anything but. Of course if I claimed Micro Aggression I’d just get laughed at. Granted, I’d be laughing too.

          • Just tell ’em it’s Berto. Same spirit.

            • Yeah. But it’s not my name.
              Granted, I get my back up when I get referred to as “Joven” too.

              • Oh, I understand. Note the nom de plume and imagine how often it’s handled accurately. By English speakers. I suspect, say, Arabic speakers would find it fun. My RL name is even more awkward for non-English speakers, and the Spanish and Arabic treatments are — odd. To say nothing of Czech.

                But I’ve had need of being addressed frequently by other than my habitual given name, so though my identity is still tied up with it, I’m relatively comfortable answering to alternatives.

            • My mom calls my kids Rrrroberto and Rico (from Marshall’s first name, Eric.)

  22. Here is another form of (non) privilege. Try being a white, US citizen, male, shy, STEM major, with a family in a doctoral program and start looking for academic jobs. They will go for the female, the minority, the international student, etc., etc. before he would even get an interview. That was only one of the many reasons my husband ended up not going for a professorship when it came time to start job hunting.

  23. I acquired this wisdom by finding that someone I thought was a precious snow flake was actually deathly ill – she just didn’t show it.

    Actual paraphrased conversation with someone who should’ve known better:
    “I don’t know why you’re so unsympathetic, you never had any problems while you were in.”
    “Yes, I did. So far, every single thing they’ve told us anything about, I had to deal with too.”
    “You didn’t say anything!”
    “What’s the point? Most of it is normal, and talking about it would just mean it’s always on my mind.”

  24. “Pray really hard that she/he/it/precious unicorn never has to face reality and find out how he/she/it has been privileged all along.”

    No, I pray that Reality comes up and smacks her like a brick wall, the sooner the better.

  25. William O. B'Livion

    Personally I’m more into macro-agressions.

    And when people use the term “micro-agression” in front of me they’re going to understand the difference.

    Intimately.

  26. Arwen Riddle

    Off topic, but is anyone besides me going to be at the Salt Lake Comic Con this week?

  27. I took one of those “white privilege” tests once, or at least read through it. It may have been the same one for all I know. It was being passed around during the race-fail thing…

    I didn’t recognize myself in it at all. What it seemed to be testing wasn’t “privilege” so much as how big of a jerk you were, how oblivious to the people around you. And I thought, that’s not *privilege* that’s just profoundly bad manners, like your mamma never taught you not to walk around like the world owes you something.

    And that’s not WHITE… it may well be privilege… but it’s not *white*.

  28. I stumbled across this essay tonight, just in time for a link to be apropos here: Progressive Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Tote Bag. 😈

    • Patrick Chester

      I feel a disturbance in the Force. As if millions of vile progs had their ox gored.

  29. Somewhat tangentally related, via the ” must be victims” topic here, and the hoo-ha crowd insisting we MUST write about these characters.

    I am at the very end of (90% or so) Weber’s latest safehold book. Tor needs to get a real editor on that series, because having both listened to and read everything else in there up till now, and the number of characters with “cold” smiles (usually right at the end of a chapter) got so repetitively annoying that it knocked me out of the story.

    The reason why I mentione it here though is one other scene right near the end of the book that comes practically out of nowhere, and seems bolted on just to show “magical power gurl beating up a bigoted guy [but I repeat myself] from a less enlightened society who can’t get it through his thick skull that he should respect and fear the character as a bodyguard and not just put her down as ‘just a giiiiiirl.'”.

    Why bolted on? Because to the extent that he may have neede to show conflict over this character being inserted into the position she was in, or even if Weber WANTED to make “girls are just as good as guys” a point as part of the process, this scene came almost completely out of nowhere (this chapter is the first time you hear of the character who gets demolished, not sure yet if he shows up again…) – and I could imagine a lot of ways this could have been resolved without a 250 lb guy loaded with muscle being effortlessly beat to a pulp by a 5 foot 7 girl who was really an android.

    So yes, I actually find it distateful that the ‘enlightened’ character who came from a society where 90% of the society was in the military in a (losing) fight to the death so desperate that having kids was a non-starter until (and if) the war could be won, and everyone was augmented (and infantry presumably in power armour) at a tech base with cybernetic androids you could load your personality into, couldn’t accept the reality of amedieval society and the impact that strength and endurance differentials would have on the attitude toward the suitability of women in general as bodyguards and sodliers.

    It would have been a great opportunity to show off what an equalizer a revolver WAS. A great scene to show off how exceptional the character was as a “mystic warrior”. We didn’t need the moral preening mocking the man for looking down on women in general as “just a girl” as if that itself was the problem in context.

    Instead, Weber amped up this schtick. It stuck out like a sore thumb. There’s a reason even GUYS don’t fight significantly out of their weight class without equalizing weapons. For that matter, I’m amazed at the steretypical “old style” treatment of women from a guy who knows his history – because frontier women ran businesses, ran farms while husbands were away, and even fought off indians. Farm women were not pushovers sitting on their asses eating bon-bons in ANY era. It seems to be becoming more and more of a blind spot for him.

    Perhaps in addition to editing out verbal ticks like every character having a cold smile, the Baen editors would have pointed out the scene didn’t slot into the flow of the story well? Or perhaps the Tor editors didn’t realize it stuck out because, well, glittery hoo ha?

    • And yes – for what it’s worth. It pisses me off because I’ve read and enjoyed a LOT of his books, and both that repeated phrase, and that scene jumping out of nowhere, are not things I’ve come to expect out of him.

    • weight classes are sexist. Really. And it leads to this:

      I warned her as graphically as I could that she was already well down the slippery slope leading to poverty and misery—that, as I knew from the experience of untold patients, she would soon have a succession of possessive, exploitative, and violent boyfriends, unless she changed her life. I told her that in the past few days, I had seen two women patients who had had their heads rammed down the lavatory, one who had had her head smashed through a window and her throat cut on the shards of glass, one who had had her arm, jaw, and skull broken, and one who had been suspended by her ankles from a tenth-floor window to the tune of, “Die, you bitch!”

      “I can look after myself,” said my 17-year-old.

      “But men are stronger than women,” I said. “When it comes to violence, they are at an advantage.”

      “That’s a sexist thing to say,” she replied.

      A girl who had absorbed nothing at school had nevertheless absorbed the shibboleths of political correctness in general and of feminism in particular.

      “But it’s a plain, straightforward, and inescapable fact,” I said.

      “It’s sexist,” she reiterated firmly.

    • Recently read the scene and you are right it doesn’t work. Sadly the whole series is suffering from Tom Clancy Syndrome.

      • I would have said Robert Jordan Sysndrome; it seems to be moving towards “tons of words that don’t really advance the plot.” Someone needs to tell Weber that even well-written combat gets a little stale.

  30. Totes for the most part, or as a pal of mine put it: “BTW, that recent hot Buzzfeed thing about “How Privileged Are You?” is incredibly malignant. Supposedly set up to make the disenfranchised gain a little perspective on how self-righteous they can be, it just confirms how the cultural left (of which I count myself a part) can be consumed by self-hatred. Do I really need to know that, because I’m an Asian, I got the shit kicked out of me as a kid but because I’m a cis-male, I had something like “privilege”? And am I really a cis-male? Does it matter that I was called a fag by high school kids (when I was in high school)? Basically, the ultimate “privilege” is to have chanced upon the idea that you’re not like everybody else, and that you have nothing left to do but to go for it. Don’t know how that happens. The questionnaire claims to champion something like diversity but in fact it’s just a noxious way of making people feel like they are of merely quantitative value no matter how radical, weird, or unique you are. I say fuck it.” The fact that power is multifarious and intersectional seems like a totally obvious and necessary idea, which somehow ends up getting served terribly by terminology of privilege & oppression (e.g. as you point out, it’s incredibly easily recuperated as sheer self-aggrandising rhetoric by pretty much anyone who has a platform from which to speak, whilst how visible & vocal people are in a weird way may have a rough inverse relation to the level of oppressive forces straitening ’em) … I dunno, I almost think the BuzzFeed quiz is a helpful sign, like the current terminological regime has nuked the fridge and is just going to have to mutate or something :;D

  31. Yes, I took that quiz and despite being a middle class Brit who went to Cambridge, I came up as one step up from someone living on a rubbish dump. I think it might have been the public transport questions that did it. Very weird quiz, anyway. (Liz W)

    • Hey, I’ve taken public transport IN THE US, as a broke newlywed to my first job as a college instructor. The assumptions are obviously from someone way better off than I.

      • I take public transport most days to save money (and keep from being the one stuck behind the wheel in rush hour traffic).

        • I take public transport whenever I go downtown, because parking in downtown Calgary is actually more expensive than parking in downtown Manhattan. There are not obscenities enough in the English language to fitly describe our municipal government.

      • Not in the Seattle area, either– they have some very expensive “public transit” to get folks to the sports arenas, and a lot of DINKs to their office jobs. My car is taxed over a hundred dollars to pay for it. Oh, it also takes folks to and from the airport– the well known travel hub for those of disadvantage!

        http://www.soundtransit.org/Maps

  32. Somewhat related, in that the girl is claiming to be over her relationship victimhood:

    http://thoughtcatalog.com/isabel-chalmers/2014/04/dear-nice-guy-i-wasnt-ready-for-you-before-but-i-am-now/#gwYkQ6lSgZUcwOjb.01

    There are so many thing wrong with the assumptions there that it’s scary.

    • Wow. Her misconceptions have misconceptions. “I’ve gotten tired of being treated like dirt and being available, so now I’m ready for a gentleman.” Because “nice guys” will be so happy to take her on, now that she’s told the world that nice guys are second tier until the “fun’s” over. Ye gads and little fishes.

      • The guy who I got the link from said, “What makes you think the Nice Guys want you now that you are used goods?”

      • The thing is, a lot of nice guys will. After all, they’re nice guys. They overlook some of this crap.

        The problem comes in when a bad boy starts to show her some interest. Will she stick around? Let’s face it. When you’re attracted to X, you tend to stay attracted to X. Not always, but that’s the kind of thing that fades. It’s not a switch that can be turned off (at least based on my experience).

        So, she’ll date a nice guy who’ll overlook that he was second banana (in more ways than one) and just be happy she’s there now. Then, when a Bad Boy decides she’s a challenge or whatever, she’ll drop the nice guy and go back to bad boys and never think a thing about it.

        • People have been known to occasionally learn from their mistakes. It might surprise you but there are women who have realized that what they once thought of as self-confidence in a man was, in fact, signs of an egotistical cad, and concluded that they want no more of it.

          • Mind you I am not saying anything about the particular young lady who wrote the article. I have not read it, and from the comments here don’t think I will.

            Somewhere along the line I looked at what I enjoyed reading, considered my reading speed and my age and concluded that there are many things I can’t afford to waste time and energy upon if I am going to remain relatively happy.

          • When so, it’s prudent to display a little contrition about one’s lack of judgment and imprudence. Serene confidence that you did nothing wrong, asserting that “But to be honest, I don’t regret any of it now.”, or “I realized it was never me; it was always them.” — do not create confidence that you have realized where you went wrong.

            At the very least, one should acknowledge that only fools learn only from experience.

            • Learning from something other than experience? As a society we have been defining deviancy down for more than one generation. Consider what many women have been and are being taught in their homes and schools these days.

              (When The Daughter was young we avoided participation in Girl Scouts. At least locally, they had a tight relationship with Planned Parenthood. Other mothers I knew actually boasted about this aspect…)

              • Yeah, the local GS organization has apparently endorsed Wendy Davis in the TX Governor’s race, and my wife got so mad, she’s forbidden us from buying the cookies.
                Can’t explain that to the kid who comes to the door, though. Maybe that’s a good thing, that we’re not the kind of people who would beat a little kid over the head over a political connection that’s one or two degrees removed from them.
                At least, I hope we’re that kind of people. (As it is, I had to hide the box of Samoas I’d just bought the day before.)

                • Yeah, the local GS organization has apparently endorsed Wendy Davis in the TX Governor’s race, and my wife got so mad, she’s forbidden us from buying the cookies.

                  Wait, wait, wait…

                  The Girl Scouts — a 501(c)3 non-profit organization — have endorsed a candidate in an election?

                  Has anyone informed Lois Lerner about this? I’m sure she and Eric Holder will get right to prosecuting this violation of Federal tax law!

          • Learn from their mistakes, absolutely. However, what you’re describing is an attraction based on a misunderstanding of the signals. A woman attracted to self confidence will continue to be attracted to self confidence. However, from time to time, they may misunderstand it and find someone who’s ego is so big, she’s bumped to the back seat on the way to dinner.

            What she finds attractive “self confidence” hasn’t changed. She’s just learned to be more careful about what form it takes.

            The author of that piece, however, has consciously decided that bad boys aren’t worth the price. However, unless that also happens at a deeper level (and it regularly does not unfortunately), what she actually finds attractive won’t shift.

            • I have seen well educated parents let their young teens go unsupervised. I heard a middle school principal at what was considered a desirable school advocate letting the children develop social rules for themselves. I have seen a soft-hearted and caring young lady, the daughter of a father who in middle-age slid into alcohol and drug abuse, choose one wrong young man after another, in large part because she has no good examples in her life. I have seen people who figuratively ‘shoot themselves in the foot’ and are genuinely surprised that they have gotten hurt.

              Possibly it is an aspect of my advancing age, but I spend less time being angry and more time grieving when I look at the way people are towards each other and themselves.

              You are correct, real change has to take place at a deeper level. It is more than the realization that getting burned hurts. I just hope that once someone has determined that something isn’t working it might become that the first step towards better things.

              • I’m with you on the grieving, especially when you see them desperately trying everything but what would probably help– and see the folks that’d complement them likewise making mistakes.

                And folks are so lonely…..

      • Haven’t read it, yet (phone surfing) but I know the woman (type) you’re describing. See, the nice guys are gonna scoop her up because they’ve just been desperately awaiting their chance…

        :-I

        Reality may be shocking.

    • I didn’t see a comment section unfortunately. It would be interesting to see what responses the article elicited there.

      • When I saw the article linked on FB, there was mention of comments, and just looked at other articles, and they do have comments, so the comments must have been turned off for that post.

        • It said at the bottom to reply to the post to use the ‘submissions forum’, I thought she was asking for “Nice Guys” to send her messages, but more likely that was where the comments were.

    • That girl is sooooooooooooooo condescending.

    • Oh, nice. Had to get all the way to the last paragraph to hear her acknowledge that a relationship might not be all about her life lessons.

      Sorry. I don’t think nice guys have time to teach you some lessons you should have learned before graduation. Nor should anybody step up to be your next lab partner. You haven’t been dating ‘bad boys’ you’ve been dating filth. And nobody needs to get that on their — hands.

    • Eh. *dumbfounded stare* not even sure what to say to that. Some peoples assumptions and thinking are so convolutedly screwed up that it is impossible to make a coherent reply.

  33. You may like this article:

    Every night and every morn
    Some to misery are born,
    Every morn and every night
    Some are born to sweet delight.

    The first couplet of Blake’s verse seems to me a good deal more certain than the second because happiness and misery, while opposite, are not in the least symmetrical. I count myself to have had more than a usually fortunate life (except for a wretched childhood), and I think I have been in the top one percent of humanity where luck is concerned, but still I would not say that I had been born to sweet delight, even if I cannot take the credit for my good fortune.

    Full thing here:
    http://takimag.com/article/some_to_misery_are_born_theodore_dalrymple/print#axzz2zB04giUy

  34. In the progressive philosophy, if one is a member of a category then the individual characteristics do not matter: the category standards apply.

    Thus a member of a designated victim class, as O. Winfrey, C. Rice or M. Obama is, takes precedence over any number of individual privileges, just as our white male West Virginian’s burdens are negated by the privileges inherent in his category.

    Of course, this only makes sense if you distribute traits across a group while ignoring individual variations. Because individuals don’t matter, with guilt and privilege being categorical qualities. As with holograms, any portion is one with the whole.

  35. I’ve been admiring your blog in silence, but this post made me want to say something.

    Hear, hear!