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Comment Re:Gender discrimination? Say it ain't so. (Score 1) 224

You know, you make some good points. I'm willing to conceded that domestic violence is not just a men's issue, that it's a women's issue too. I think it's definitely an issue that should be addressed partially in a non-genered way. So, I agree that we should work to discourage violence in general.

But what I'm not willing to concede is that it's the same on both sides.

It's expected that ... the numbers for FM violence is severely underreported

Like I said, raw rates of incident don't matter much to me. Women can be hitting men with a ratio of 10:1, and I won't care, if women are still the only ones ending up in the hospital. Research shows that women are substantially more likely to be injuried[1]. I would like to see some data about the severity of injuries on both sides. My suspicion is that women attack more often, because they're not really able to inflict much harm. Men do it less often, but when they do the woman is much more likely to end up in the hospital. But it's just a suspicion.

Women seem to be somewhat less likely to murder their spouses, although I think honestly (I'm being honest here) I rarely meet a couple where I think the woman poses a legitimate physical threat to the man. It happens, but it seems uncommon to me. Maybe my feelings are skewed because I'm 6'1" and 205 and the women I've dated have always been smaller and unable to really hurt me. I'll give it some thought.

No, but lots of public jobs and government contractors make it very hard to get hired if you're white.

Why are you saying "a lot"? I think there have been some high profile cases, because whenever a white person gets shut out, there is a huge fuss and it's in all the papers. But it seems ot me that white people are still vastly favored in government contracts. In San Diego, where I live, I just read that 98.8% of construction contract dollars from the city go to businesses owned by white men[2].

Now, as for solutions... I don't necessarily think there should be short-term requirements that a certain amount of money goes to women- and minority-owned businesses. But I think there should be programs that try to address the problem at lots of levels. Offering contracts to smaller businesses might be one way to do it. I don't know all the solutions, and I don't think "forcing the numbers" is a solution, but I think we should be able to agree that the numbers as they current stand are a problem.

What I'd like to see here is some financial aid for people based more on economic hardships than race

I agree with you that there should be financial aid based on economic hardship. I don't know what's currently out there, but there should be more. However, you seem to be suggesting that there be no race-based scholarships. Is that true? If so, I disagree.

You seem to think that the ONLY way that black people are hampered by our system is because of economic hardship. There are two problems with this:

1) It's not true. Black people with money still face constant racism. It sucks up time and energy. In my experience most of the black people I've gotten close enough to that they feel safe talking to me about race have confirmed this. Some people of color will say that it doesn't affect them, but they are a very small minority. And good for them, but that doesn't make everything right for the rest of folks who struggle with it every day.

2) Some of the economic hardship is a result of race-based discrimination. The reason why people of color are disproportionately poor must be a race issue, no? How else can you explain it?

For example, despite the fact that most drug dealers are white, black folks are much more likely to be convicted for dealing drugs, which means lots more black folks in prison, which means it's harder for them to get jobs, which means more poverty. That they're kids are in crappy schools IS a poverty issue, to some extent, but the root cause is racism.

you mean some blacks can't go act gangster and talk like an idiot and expect respect? Are the asian kids acting white?

Yes, what you call acting "gangster" is a predominantly black way of acting. Just because you act "gangster" doesn't mean you can't write or take classes or run a business. And yes, people are discriminated against for acting "gangster" and yes, that is racism, and it's exactly the problem I'm talking about.

And yes, asian kids are under an extreme amount of pressure to "act white". It's another form of racism. If asian kids could act asian and still be accepted in school, I'm sure they would be even better at their subjects of interest. "Acting white" takes a lot of energy.

Could you describe a female pattern of argument?

I just know lots of women who say they find they have to speak like men to get listened to. And they have to dress like men. Suits, no low-cut shirts. If you wear a dress that shows off your femininity, you lose respect in the workplace and in the classroom.

I have seen one or two women socially who are incapable of telling someone that they aren't interested, even when asked rather bluntly.

Have you been put in that position? Have other men in your office been put in that position? I suspect it happens much less often, which makes this Yet Another Thing women have to deal with, that takes up time and energy, that men do not.

Also, why do you think those women are incapable of telling that person they're not interested? Because society has told them over and over that they don't have a right to. There's a great essay on the subject written by Fugitivus[3]. Here's an excerpt:

... women are raised being told by parents, teachers, media, peers, and all surrounding social strata that:

it is not okay to set solid and distinct boundaries and reinforce them immediately and dramatically when crossed ("mean bitch")
it is not okay to appear distraught or emotional ("crazy bitch")
it is not okay to make personal decisions that the adults or other peers in your life do not agree with, and it is not okay to refuse to explain those decisions to others ("stuck-up bitch")
it is not okay to refuse to agree with somebody, over and over and over again ("angry bitch")
it is not okay to have (or express) conflicted, fluid, or experimental feelings about yourself, your body, your sexuality, your desires, and your needs ("bitch got daddy issues")
it is not okay to use your physical strength (if you have it) to set physical boundaries ("dyke bitch")
it is not okay to raise your voice ("shrill bitch")
it is not okay to completely and utterly shut down somebody who obviously likes you ("mean dyke/frigid bitch")

The truth is, sometimes when women put their foot down about stuff like that, the men turn violent, or they step up their harassment. I'm sure the women you're talking about think they're less likely to be harasses or hurt if they are polite, than if they are "blunt".

I do want to state for the record that there's this nasty thing called 'black culture' that attempts to define itself apart from america

What you call "America", I call "Whiteness". I have a different definition of "America", which includes "Gangster" and "Asian" and a lot of other things. America has set up the definition of "American" such that the only way a black person can be "American" is to shed their blackness (or latinaness or asianness). So, of course black people want to define themselves outside of that "America".

Would you identify as "American" if everyone else felt that the only way to be "American" was to act "gangster" all the time?

as a whole and blames its shortcomings on 'the man', all the while immigrants from kenya (not obama) do just fine.

First of all, most of the black folks I know are pretty hard on themselves. I don't know what you're experiences are, but I hear much more white people blaming "the man" than black people. You yourself are blaming "the man" for discriminating against white people in college admissions and government hiring. White people often blame "mexicans" for their inability to get a job. The black folks I know are much more likely to put that stuff on themselves.

Second of all, I think you're wrong if you think that Kenyans in america don't suffer from racism. What gave you that impression? I think they may experience it less, but that doesn't mean they experience it not at all.

In addition, because much racism doesn't just hinge on skin color, but on african-american culture, Kenyans are immune to some of it. Black folks who don't "act black" suffer less racism, which is a big reason why so many black people who assimilate succeed much better. But that's racist.

And my last point is that some effects of racism are immediately present (external racism), but some of them are cumulative over a lifetime (internalized racism). Kenyan's have to worry about the first kind (peoples' prejudices, discrimination, etc) but less so about the second, because they grew up in Kenya, where there isn't a white racist system of oppression against them.

Black folks who grow up in the US, where the system is constantly telling them they're not good enough, and putting road blocks in their way, have a bunch of extra, internalized racism to contend with.


Comment Re:Gender discrimination? Say it ain't so. (Score 1) 224

No, it's usually in order to dismiss claims that prejudice only flows one way.

I'd be surprised if you could find many examples of that. In this example, no one said any such thing to skornenicholas. There's one example in my favor, do you have any in yours?

For instance, domestic violence is usually perceived as man on woman violence, even though it's fairly even.

It's only close to even if you use a ridiculous metric like number of encounters. If you look at more meaningful metrics, like actual harm done (women are far more likely to be injured in domestic violence) or society's response (men receive much shorter prison sentences for killing their wifes than vice versa) then really there is no comparison.

It isn't 1970 any more, and you can't assume that prejudice is endemic and one way

Sorry, I must've been unclear in my post. Looking back I could've worded it better. Prejudice happens in all directions. People make unfair assumptions. It's human, and unavoidable. But the question is, are people turning down white men for jobs because they are white? No. Not on a large scale.

hell, everyone's heard about the college admissions bias against white males, right?

I've heard people claim that this happens, but I don't believe it. You'd have to give me some examples if you want to convince me.

What I have seen is a very strong bias against women and people of color, which is so strong that any attempt to bias in the other direction is pretty inconsequential. Black students have to learn all of the same material as white students (math, biology, etc, etc) PLUS they have to learn how to "act white" in order to be accepted. They are forced to speak and write and think more like white people. Similarly, women have to not only learn all the same material as men, and build the same (genderless) skills, but they must also spend a bunch of energy learning to "act male", in everything from clothes to patterns of argumentation, in order to be accepted in many professional environments. And on top of that, they have to deal with harassment.

White men have no idea how much extra free time and energy they have because of their whiteness and maleness. College admissions are a little like holding olympic trials, and having one person carrying a 50 lb pack while they compete in the 200 meter dash. If they come in a half second behind the leader, but they did it with a 50 lb pack on, doesn't that mean they're probably the fastest in the bunch, and they should make the team?

Comment Re:Gender discrimination? Say it ain't so. (Score 1) 224

I'm sorry that you've suffered from other people making assumptions about you. But I want to post, because there are two issues with talking about prejudice against men that you seem unaware of, and they have nothing to do with "taboos".

1) People sometimes bring up prejudice against men in discussions about prejudice against women in order to dismiss the concerns about the prejudice against women. As the adage goes, two wrongs don't make a right. This is particularly rude when YOU are the one being called out for sexism. It's like if I punched you in the face, and you call me out on it, and I start talking about how many times I've been punched in the face growing up. It's not that no one is sympathetic to your plight, it's just not a good time to bring it up.

Now if people were having a discussion about "rare forms of prejudice," then prejudice against men, prejudice against white people, these are welcome topics. If people are discussing sexism against women, then they're not.

2) Prejudice and systematic oppression are very different things, and it's naive to conflate them. I appreciate your point about men and children. I've experienced it to, and it's sad, and it bugs me. But it doesn't prevent me from getting a job. It doesn't prevent me from going out and having a few drinks without someone grabbing my crotch (or worse). It makes me feel bad, and it hurts. But it doesn't get in the way of most of my every day activities. It's not the same as sexism or racism, which are prejudice with the force of systematic oppression behind them.

I would be happy to read and discuss your experiences, the Wal*Mart experience, etc, and prejudice against men in general. But if you are using it either to distract away from a conversation about chauvanism, or to suggest that women's oppression and men's oppression are somehow equal, then it's inappropriate.

Comment Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (Score 1) 180

If you truly believed in limited government, and you had any backbone, you'd start by throwing your own pet projects to the "limited government" furnace. What about the highway system that I don't use because I bike everywhere and stay local? What about the tax breaks that go to churches that I don't attend? What about the military that I think should stay a lot closer to home?

The truth is, you just think the government should spend all it's money on you.

Comment This could be totally green (Score 1) 249

I wonder if you could design this in a way that didn't use any energy (post construction)... using ocean water (which is ostensibly cooler than the sand) and using the force of the waves, or tidal pressure to move it through the pipes.

Perhaps most simply, couldn't you fill an underground tank during high tide, and then during low tide just let the cool water leak slowly through the pipes, and then out into the ocean?


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