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  1. #1
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    Default Allison Types - May 5, 2014

    Allison Baker examines prejudice, sexism and bad behavior, as well as why it's important for everyone to help stop it.


    Full article here.

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    Love what you said here and I have to say that I make it a point to try to offer something positive even when I don't like something but...well...we aren't perfect. To the point though, I was sharing this earlier in another discussion. Isn't it great that we are now even having the conversation? I know I'm excited. It is only going to open doors for creativity, and maybe if us fans can embrace it we will see more of this established in other industries. AsH Beckham did a great TedTalk about coming out of our closets. Not just "gay" closets, but those things that hold us back in life. In it she shares a story with a similar tone to your opening in which she met some people at a wedding that had just found out she was a lesbian, and when they tried to relate she was reading to pounce. But she stopped and thought to herself that, "Hey...they are trying. At least some part of them cares." We should be very excited that this "white boys club" (I'm a white 36 year old male btw) is learning, but also understand that we have all been conditioned to have certain reactions based on outside exposure to the world around us. While we grow we have to allow others to grow, and help if we can to facilitate that. Great article.

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    Moderator Stony's Avatar
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    Keep it civil, please
    Debate the content, not the person

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    Default I have a few problems with this article, NOT the author on a personal level (is that better?)

    In an effort to appear hip the language used is entirely too conversational and at times unclear.
    "There was a point in time in my life I wouldn't have noticed some random dude making a stereotypical sexist assumption about me." Could (and should) have been written, "There was a time in my life when...." Also, what happened to change that? The author goes on to say that there was a time it would have "rolled off her back". Why? There is no follow up. Does it bother her now because this is an issue that is currently getting a lot of attention and someone told her she should be offended? I feel like if her disdain of this kind of sexism were genuine it NEVER would have been acceptable. I guess since it appears to have developed over time I'm a little dubious. I am truly on the side of the article, I think sexism is systemic and often marginalized. It's offensive and wrong. I just find it equally offensive when someone jumps on this bandwagon to drive page views and does such a shoddy of job of explaining such a serious and complicated issue.

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    Member Lt Trouble's Avatar
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    It probably used to roll off her back because she - like many/most women - grew up with that treatment, and just kind of... assume that it's normal. Annoying, but what are you going to do about it, that's just how men are and how the media is. It's easy to internalize these kinds of messages, because they're all around us constantly.

    Maybe there was a defining moment that made her go, "hey, actually that's not okay and should be challenged", or maybe it was a gradual thing. Maybe she took a women's studies course, or maybe she just got wore down from dealing with this stupid crap all the time and decided she wasn't going to take it anymore.

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    I agree, it could have been any or possibly all of these. I just feel like it would have been a more compelling argument if she had explained what it was. Just a sentence or two to help us understand. Without that it seems like a convenient (and timely) realization given the current climate surrounding this issue. I also feel it undermines her credibility when she refers to herself as "totes blonde". It's an unfortunate choice of words given the subject matter.
    Last edited by Type_B; 05-05-2014 at 07:16 PM.

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    I think the "totes blonde" was used ironically, along with her reference to "sportsball" fans.

    But yeah, I would assume things like this used to roll off her back because she was programmed to think it was normal. In a way, it is "normal", but not "okay," if that makes sense. This is definitely the kind of sexism that I've (unfortunately) been party to. I don't realize that I've been programmed to think that women act a certain way, so I assume that's how they act or that's where their interests lie (or don't lie, in the case of this example.)

    And that's why it's important that we realize that while this behavior may not be malicious, that doesn't mean we should drop it. I don't think I'm a bad guy, but pieces like this or the In Your Face Jam on the Star Wars cast are great little reminders that since we live in a patriarchal society, my privilege can blind me to when passive sexism or stereotyping can occur. From there, it'll become easier for me to keep in mind that when I meet folks, I'm talking to individuals, and not embodied stereotypes.

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    Junior Member Rocket Red's Avatar
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    I began to type at least two different paragraphs when I realized... all this board reboot has done is made me terrified to post an opinion that might seem even remotely contrary to an article like this. I'm liable to get banned even if I think I present my opinion in a well thought out way.

  9. #9

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    I am all for more diversity in all media.

    People can be quite condensing when they think they know something you do not. Put yourself in a man's shoes. What if that old couple had been talking about cosmetics and the woman talked down to you because she assumed you, being a man, did not know anything about cosmetics. This phenomena is not necessarily unique to the female experience. The issue is identifying things as stereotypical interests of one gender/race/sexuality and not another. Not all gay men are into Broadway, not all black people love rap, not all women enjoy fashion, not all men adore sportsball, etc. The real goal should be the elimination (or at least blunting) of those stereotypes.

    Like Allison said, I do not think people are doing this maliciously, rather it has been ingrained into them via pop culture. The media (Movies, TV, Books, Comics, Games, etc.) are the ones we, as a society, need to target, and foist change upon. Once they change, so will the world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Type_B View Post
    I feel like if her disdain of this kind of sexism were genuine it NEVER would have been acceptable.
    I've heard this line of thinking before, that if something didn't used to be a big deal to you it can't be now, and I think it's just wrong.
    People can change, situations can change, people can see things differently, the culture can be different. Lots of people grow into different people over time and things which are important to them change. It's not just about trendy, it can be about there being a cultural moment. Where before you didn't see either the bad behavior or a way around it, now you do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hufnagel0 View Post
    I think the "totes blonde" was used ironically, along with her reference to "sportsball" fans.
    Some people just have a more conversational writing voice. This isn't a college paper, it's a comic board and column. Different audience.

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    Senior Member harashkupo's Avatar
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    We need to pay attention, take notice and speak up so it can enlighten everyone who might be unaware there's a problem that requires change....
    Prejudice is everywhere and it's up to all of us to help stop it.
    I can't argue with this sentiment. It's applies not just to discrimination but anytime someone sees something wrong. But this piece seems hollow after I finished reading it. While talking to this guy she felt he was being condescending "making a stereotypical sexist assumption" about her which seemed unintentional. Instead of letting him know, she just lets it happen and writes an article about it.

    Isn't this the time to open up a dialogue and fix the situation by letting him know that it was wrong to talk to her that way? This seemed to be exactly what the spirit of the article was about but failing to actually put it into practice.
    DIS GUY MUST BE A ALIEN OR SUTIN - gerybaboona

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by harashkupo View Post
    I can't argue with this sentiment. It's applies not just to discrimination but anytime someone sees something wrong. But this piece seems hollow after I finished reading it. While talking to this guy she felt he was being condescending "making a stereotypical sexist assumption" about her which seemed unintentional. Instead of letting him know, she just lets it happen and writes an article about it.

    Isn't this the time to open up a dialogue and fix the situation by letting him know that it was wrong to talk to her that way? This seemed to be exactly what the spirit of the article was about but failing to actually put it into practice.
    If someone is a writer, going home and writing about it IS an appropriate response.

  14. #14
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    All good points raised in this article. It's important that we take a stand and help combat discrimination in all forms. After all, everyone deserves to grow and live without so much ugliness around them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Type_B View Post
    In an effort to appear hip the language used is entirely too conversational and at times unclear.
    "There was a point in time in my life I wouldn't have noticed some random dude making a stereotypical sexist assumption about me." Could (and should) have been written, "There was a time in my life when...." Also, what happened to change that? The author goes on to say that there was a time it would have "rolled off her back". Why? There is no follow up. Does it bother her now because this is an issue that is currently getting a lot of attention and someone told her she should be offended? I feel like if her disdain of this kind of sexism were genuine it NEVER would have been acceptable. I guess since it appears to have developed over time I'm a little dubious. I am truly on the side of the article, I think sexism is systemic and often marginalized. It's offensive and wrong. I just find it equally offensive when someone jumps on this bandwagon to drive page views and does such a shoddy of job of explaining such a serious and complicated issue.
    Always worth a reminder that someone's personal response to experiencing racism, sexism - basically growing up on the wrong end of a systemic social power structure - is not subject to others' approval (especially when those "others" are people who grew up in, and take for granted being in, a more privileged rung on that power-ladder).

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