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Category Archives: The Privilege List
The privilege list has gotten some of its much-needed update. Changes: Replaced most instances of “minority” and “minorities” with “non-privileged” Added a new section: Learn What is Meant by “Privilege” Fixed miscellaneous minor typos and outdated information It’s not perfect, … Continue reading
From talking about privilege by Steph: So these days, I believe in some guidelines, things like this list. Not because I think that we all need to be nannied whenever we cross our various social boundaries, not because I believe … Continue reading
No, I didn’t delete it! But in preparation for an upcoming overhaul (I want to see if I can’t make it more newbie friendly, right now it’s only useful mostly for intermediate and advanced users), I’ve updated the name to … Continue reading
A real life example and another reasons why men need to call other men out on their shit. This is an area that women cannot make any progress in because we’re not part of the male homosocial group. In her … Continue reading
Filed Under [Adopt a Language of Respect and Equality]: Intent Doesn’t Matter To Do List: Tokenism Sucks Integrating Privileged Spaces
So, a while back I got an e-mail from a reader about my Nice Guy list. Finding it interesting, I decided to make it the subject of a post. That was, as I said, a while ago. I am nothing if not a procrastinator.
Anyway, the e-mail (reprinted with permission) is as follows:
I read the article “How To Be A Real Nice Guy” and most of the comments to it last night, and I am somewhat confused by what is really a core premise of the article that isn’t fully articulated, namely what exactly you are saying qualifies as a Minority Space. The definition given is “Minority spaces exist, whether they be safe-spaces, places where we can go to not have to focus on priviliged groups for once, or even exclusionary ones.” This leaves me with a number of questions. For example, is a blog on feminist issues by default a Minority Space by virtue of its subject matter being one of concern to the Minority rather than an issue that caters to the privileged group? Or would there need to be more specific and/or explicit criteria followed for it to constitute a Minority Space? Further confusing me is that certain parts of the article appear to treat the concept of entering a Minority Space interchangably with having a conversation with a member of a Minority.
There is in your article a strong emphasis on the idea that members of a Majority who are in a Minority Space should listen and learn (without requiring active teaching) and refrain from actively participating, and in particular, to be extremely cautious when comparing the experiences of that Minority group to their own as a member of another Minority group and not to compare said experiences at all to the experience of the Majority. I certainly agree that members of a Minority should be free to construct such a space if that is their wish, and there are certain spaces that could be assumed by their very function to be, unless otherwise noted, a Minority Space of this type (eg a rape survivor peer counselling group). But a broad definition of Minority Space that encompasses any space where members of the Minority engage in discussion about issues of concern to their Minority, combined with all members of the Majority who participate following your suggestions (a perhaps unlikely hypothetical) would largely preclude direct discussion between members of the Minority and members of the Majority on those subjects, which would be an unfortunate result.
(Of course, it could be that what I see as the inherent benefits of direct discussion between members of the Minority and members of the Majority- that the insights of all parties, both as individual thinkers and as people with the respective experiences of being part of the Minority and the Majority, will together allow understanding that would not have been possible otherwise- is a viewpoint derived from my position of privilege, and that such discussion is not actually beneficial to the Minority. Nevertheless, I believe that such benefits do exist.)
So, first, the simple answer: a “minority space” is a space created by minority groups, for minority groups. It may allow privileged groups to listen to or participate in discussion, and it may not. It differs from a “privileged space” in that its exclusionary nature is not designed to uphold established power structures (as with gentlemen’s clubs and the like), but rather to provide a safe environment for minority groups to discuss issues that are not able to get airtime in “default” spaces due to those spaces being primarily focused on so-called “real” issues which too often amount to issues that the privileged group cares about.
The longer answer to Nicolas’ questions will be behind the cut. Continue reading
Filed Under [Adopt a Language of Respect and Equality]: Debunking the “Reverse -ism” Argument Filed Under [How to Approach Minority Spaces]: All Opinions Are Not Created Equal Trust Needs to be Earned Give Minorities the Benefit of the Doubt To … Continue reading
Please do not reproduce this article in full on any other site! This list is modified every so often to fix broken links, add new points, and otherwise update the material. While I appreciate readers’ support in spreading this through … Continue reading