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Body Positive Movement - For or against?

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  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Posts: 7,005Member Member Posts: 7,005Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    These movements grow in roughly the same manner - from a legitimate concern which needs to be reviewed, but once addressed the momentum isn't stopped. People are too invested into the political animus and branch far beyond, so movements unreliant on competency inevitably trend to corruption - unchecked consolidation of power.

    What is the purpose of recognizing privilege? Is there a resulting action from this? If one was to conduct a comparative analysis of successful and unsuccessful individuals and adapt behaviors to better prepare the unsuccessful, then this has potential for good. If used to remove "roadblocks" this has potential for good. Check the system for systemic unfairness - again potential for good. If simply used to fulfill a narcissistic need to justify fantasy and reject reality, then there is no potential for good. If used politically to pit one group against another - while there may be a theoretical potential for good historically this has resulted in starvation and genocide.

    It's also incredibly dishonest (although insidiously brilliant) how binary thought results in very specific recognition of privilege in certain areas while completely ignoring others. Although I suspect this will continue to increase given time as a good majority active seek and promote some manner of how they do are part of a victim class. It is far easier to destroy than create, as such far easier to criticize others than change your behavior.

    There's a foundational flaw in the logic which presumes that man is good and that if the system were to only be tweaked, life would be better. Reality is quite the opposite as your chances of making this worse greatly exceed your chances for improving anything for anyone. Man has an equal capacity for good and evil, but left unchecked trends to evil. The most effective means of mitigating this is serving a higher purpose beyond the individual - beyond generations.

    Another foundational flaw is that of zero sum - that the assets are fixed. The resentful look at whoever they see as having life better and cannot see beyond privilege - skinny genes, high metabolism, etc. The fit did not get so by making the obese, nor did the obese suffer at the hands of the fit. Assets in nearly all systems are variable - they expand and contract - are created and destroyed.

    The fatal flaw in privilege, and this also lies at the heart of postmoderism is the limit of scope. Any hypothesis worth review is taken to extreme to ensure consistency. Privilege is highly scoped by very specific criteria to establish a false narrative to gain political power. Competency for example is a very real privilege. The competent are given increasing challenges while the incompetent are given less. Attractiveness, sex, sexual orientation, gender, age, hair color, eye color, height, weight, epidermal pigmentation, IQ, EQ, culture, race, creed, genetics - carried out infinitesimally this brings us and infinitesimal number of privileges, which brings us inevitably to the individual. No two humans think and act the same every time - and you've once again stumbled into the age of enlightenment. Congratulations! You've discovered what we figured out 300 years ago (which figured out what we knew 2000 years ago).



    So, the bolded sentence isn't using privilege in the way that it is used by most people who think talking about privilege is an important and enlightening thing to do sometimes. To them, privilege is not the inherent genetic characteristic you have (like skinny genes or high metabolism, or even being white or male). Privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have characteristic, including the privilege of not having to even notice that you get benefits that people who don't have that characteristic don't get.



    Then the correction would be to precisely define privilege and we can effectively debate. The next step would be to review data to verify that preconceived notions are indeed correct.

    This would be acceptable and as you say enlightening if done in review of other key characteristics. If you're only looking at one trait, then as there are an infinite number of ways of viewing things, you have a corresponding chance of reaching an incorrect conclusion.

    Thanks for explaining to me that the correct thing to do would be the thing I literally just did.

    What's the difference then between privilege and competency?

    From my earlier post that you responded to by saying the correct thing to do would be to define privilege:
    privilege is not the inherent genetic characteristic you have (like skinny genes or high metabolism, or even being white or male). Privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have characteristic, including the privilege of not having to even notice that you get benefits that people who don't have that characteristic don't get.

    Privilege is also not competency. If you gained that competency through avenues not open to everyone because of their inherent characteristics, socioeconomic status, or religion (or other things that it would be unreasonable to demand they give up to try to obtain access to those avenues), competency might be a reflection of privilege. Again, privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have a characteristic, it is not the characteristic itself.

    Maybe a concrete example would help. Let's say that in a particular society, certain professions and the academic paths to those professions are barred or extremely restricted (legally or de facto) to certain people based on race, religion, gender, etc. Let's say that people in those professions then find that they are accorded favorable treatment in situations that are not directly related to their profession (obtaining loans on favorable terms, for example, because the lending officers steer people in the trades to higher interest or balloon loans), regardless of their credit (and this is not a hypothetical example). The ability of the people in those professions to draw blood or draw up a contract (or whatever their competence may be) is not their privilege. Their privilege is how other people treat them.

    The fundamental issue is lack of an agreed upon definition, so until then it remains a nebulous term similar to "healthy". We also have to specifically state the intended outcome of this to ensure it is just. Proponents of the movement have already determined that the outcome is favorable, but this has yet to be scrutinized or thought through the next step. What then is the counter to this movement?

    Privilege is a symptom of something deeper - a root cause. So just as in weight management addressing a symptom such as eating healthy, which neglecting the root cause of caloric surplus, serves nothing. Competency is closer to a potential root cause.

    A concrete, and real example, would certainly help. Is there currently a specific profession or academic path which deliberately excludes based upon race, religion, gender, ideology, etc.?

    This would be in direct violation of existing law, so then one would have to ask, why? Then examine that individual or group of individuals.

    I gave you a definition, twice, of what people mean -- which is not what you seem to mean -- whose usage is being mocked. You cannot fairly criticize someone's usage of a term when you use it to mean something else. Until you agree to base your criticisms of people's use of a term on their actual meaning, you're just criticizing something that doesn't exist -- something you're just making stuff up.
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,084Member Member Posts: 6,084Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    These movements grow in roughly the same manner - from a legitimate concern which needs to be reviewed, but once addressed the momentum isn't stopped. People are too invested into the political animus and branch far beyond, so movements unreliant on competency inevitably trend to corruption - unchecked consolidation of power.

    What is the purpose of recognizing privilege? Is there a resulting action from this? If one was to conduct a comparative analysis of successful and unsuccessful individuals and adapt behaviors to better prepare the unsuccessful, then this has potential for good. If used to remove "roadblocks" this has potential for good. Check the system for systemic unfairness - again potential for good. If simply used to fulfill a narcissistic need to justify fantasy and reject reality, then there is no potential for good. If used politically to pit one group against another - while there may be a theoretical potential for good historically this has resulted in starvation and genocide.

    It's also incredibly dishonest (although insidiously brilliant) how binary thought results in very specific recognition of privilege in certain areas while completely ignoring others. Although I suspect this will continue to increase given time as a good majority active seek and promote some manner of how they do are part of a victim class. It is far easier to destroy than create, as such far easier to criticize others than change your behavior.

    There's a foundational flaw in the logic which presumes that man is good and that if the system were to only be tweaked, life would be better. Reality is quite the opposite as your chances of making this worse greatly exceed your chances for improving anything for anyone. Man has an equal capacity for good and evil, but left unchecked trends to evil. The most effective means of mitigating this is serving a higher purpose beyond the individual - beyond generations.

    Another foundational flaw is that of zero sum - that the assets are fixed. The resentful look at whoever they see as having life better and cannot see beyond privilege - skinny genes, high metabolism, etc. The fit did not get so by making the obese, nor did the obese suffer at the hands of the fit. Assets in nearly all systems are variable - they expand and contract - are created and destroyed.

    The fatal flaw in privilege, and this also lies at the heart of postmoderism is the limit of scope. Any hypothesis worth review is taken to extreme to ensure consistency. Privilege is highly scoped by very specific criteria to establish a false narrative to gain political power. Competency for example is a very real privilege. The competent are given increasing challenges while the incompetent are given less. Attractiveness, sex, sexual orientation, gender, age, hair color, eye color, height, weight, epidermal pigmentation, IQ, EQ, culture, race, creed, genetics - carried out infinitesimally this brings us and infinitesimal number of privileges, which brings us inevitably to the individual. No two humans think and act the same every time - and you've once again stumbled into the age of enlightenment. Congratulations! You've discovered what we figured out 300 years ago (which figured out what we knew 2000 years ago).



    So, the bolded sentence isn't using privilege in the way that it is used by most people who think talking about privilege is an important and enlightening thing to do sometimes. To them, privilege is not the inherent genetic characteristic you have (like skinny genes or high metabolism, or even being white or male). Privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have characteristic, including the privilege of not having to even notice that you get benefits that people who don't have that characteristic don't get.



    Then the correction would be to precisely define privilege and we can effectively debate. The next step would be to review data to verify that preconceived notions are indeed correct.

    This would be acceptable and as you say enlightening if done in review of other key characteristics. If you're only looking at one trait, then as there are an infinite number of ways of viewing things, you have a corresponding chance of reaching an incorrect conclusion.

    Thanks for explaining to me that the correct thing to do would be the thing I literally just did.

    What's the difference then between privilege and competency?

    From my earlier post that you responded to by saying the correct thing to do would be to define privilege:
    privilege is not the inherent genetic characteristic you have (like skinny genes or high metabolism, or even being white or male). Privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have characteristic, including the privilege of not having to even notice that you get benefits that people who don't have that characteristic don't get.

    Privilege is also not competency. If you gained that competency through avenues not open to everyone because of their inherent characteristics, socioeconomic status, or religion (or other things that it would be unreasonable to demand they give up to try to obtain access to those avenues), competency might be a reflection of privilege. Again, privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have a characteristic, it is not the characteristic itself.

    Maybe a concrete example would help. Let's say that in a particular society, certain professions and the academic paths to those professions are barred or extremely restricted (legally or de facto) to certain people based on race, religion, gender, etc. Let's say that people in those professions then find that they are accorded favorable treatment in situations that are not directly related to their profession (obtaining loans on favorable terms, for example, because the lending officers steer people in the trades to higher interest or balloon loans), regardless of their credit (and this is not a hypothetical example). The ability of the people in those professions to draw blood or draw up a contract (or whatever their competence may be) is not their privilege. Their privilege is how other people treat them.

    The fundamental issue is lack of an agreed upon definition, so until then it remains a nebulous term similar to "healthy". We also have to specifically state the intended outcome of this to ensure it is just. Proponents of the movement have already determined that the outcome is favorable, but this has yet to be scrutinized or thought through the next step. What then is the counter to this movement?

    Privilege is a symptom of something deeper - a root cause. So just as in weight management addressing a symptom such as eating healthy, which neglecting the root cause of caloric surplus, serves nothing. Competency is closer to a potential root cause.

    A concrete, and real example, would certainly help. Is there currently a specific profession or academic path which deliberately excludes based upon race, religion, gender, ideology, etc.?

    This would be in direct violation of existing law, so then one would have to ask, why? Then examine that individual or group of individuals.

    lynn_glenmont literally gave you a definition: "Again, privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have a characteristic, it is not the characteristic itself."
    If you disagree with that definition, you're just talking past her in your argument. I actually think you're the one trying to avoid it having a definition because it is far easier to debate something nebulous doesn't exist than to argue against something that obviously happens - certain people are treated differently for just having certain characteristics.

    We have to state the intended outcome of what? Are you saying privilege means society has to do something about it? That's jumping the gun when you're trying to hold that it doesn't exist first. It is a fallacious is-ought. Privilege could exist and we could have different concepts of justice that say it isn't on society to address them.

    Then let's test that specific definition - noting that we are then rejecting the formal definition. How then is privilege measured? Seems to be a completely subjective system of measurement.

    As example - Prior to learning about CICO how many people on MFP believed that those successful in managing their weight was due to some manner of unearned privilege? Is it true?

    What is the intended outcome of privilege? Is it simply for those so judged with privilege to apologize and atone? Seems a massive waste of effort without an end goal.

    Privilege is an abstraction, a concept. It's pretty rare that we can directly measure a concept. Most people believe in things like compassion, dishonesty, greed, kindness . . . there is no yardstick for those concepts.

    In some cases, you can measure the symptoms or outcomes of a concept. I think some of the things Lynn referred to are reasonable examples of symptoms or outcomes of privilege. (Are all disparate outcomes a result of privilege or the lack thereof? Unlikely. Are no disparate outcomes related in some way to arbitrary characteristics attributed to humans because of their membership in some group? Also unlikely.)

    Of course some people misuse the priviledge concept (and others), misunderstand it, reason about it in quite unreasonable ways.

    Same is true of a lot of abstract concepts or generalizations, because it's simply harder to reason about abstractions, in general. In practice, there will be nuances and exceptions. (This is one reason I don't much like abstractions, generalizations, and concepts, and avoid them when I can: Using them sensibly is hard, and I don't like hard things. But there's also no reasoning without them! :grimace: ).

    That some people misuse a concept is no reasonable test of the total value or correctness of the concept. If it were, we couldn't have any nice things. ;)

    I already told you what I think the "privileged" person is supposed to do, in my personal view of how I should behave: I should recognize when personal characteristics I did nothing to earn are in play, strive toward empathy and compassion for those differently situated through random circumstance, and use my "privilege" to help those without it (including supporting societal measures that I think would reasonably level the playing field), when I have reasonable opportunities. (I don't always succeed, of course.)

    Did you see "apologize and atone" in there? No, unless empathy and sensitive assistance are forms of atonement.

    I also said what the "not privileged" person is supposed to do (what I in fact have personally done**): Recognize that some situational advantages may apply to others that are not quite as accessible to me, and plan my actions and strategies to work around, over or through those limitations to accomplish my goals. I'd say that that includes working hard, recognizing that at times I might have to work a little harder (or smarter) than some others to accomplish the same goal . . . which doesn't mean they aren't working hard, too. The privilege factor is not their creation, so it's not their fault, either (. . . unless they use it as a club, try to defend and prop up barriers, etc., which is also unreasonable and lacking in insight, compassion, etc.).

    The whole idea that resentment is the only possible outcome of the privilege concept . . . well, that's just silly, frankly. I see no point in resenting people for something they didn't ask for, didn't earn, and possibly even aren't fully aware of. (I do wish they'd wake up and smell the coffee, in some cases.)

    ** I entered a male dominated career field when there were few women in it, when the legal environment was just undergoing material change to equalize the legal context, and while social attitudes were still lagging behind. For one easy example, men had advantages of social connection (men's golf leagues, hunting trips with "the boys", etc.) where close relationships helpful to work were formed, and useful knowledge was exchanged. Had I tried to press my way into that full range of social activity, it would've created resistance from some, and perceptions that I was making sexual advances to others. Not a good strategy! So I figured out other strategies, worked hard, and ended up doing OK in my career. My male colleagues also worked hard, no question. But they had certain advantages (advantages they never asked for, and that I didn't expect them to give up, in this particular case, BTW).

    I would agree with this use; however this is not how the corrupt and incompetent are using this concept. As example review the conduct on college campuses within the humanities. If used for personal reflection, a severly underutilized tool, this can lead to great moments in one's life. The problem with such a generalized and non-specific concept is that it invites corruption. The vengeful will use this to serve baser instincts. The incompetent will use this as an excuse. To those who have been unfairly treated this may be meaningful and to those who feel guilt over a perceived unearned reward, equally so. It brings up immediate counters to the concept as the core concept is bigoted.

    Perhaps that's the core difference. As long as privilege is personal, there isn't an issue. The moment one attempts to project this onto others this becomes a problem as this quickly turns into resentment.
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,084Member Member Posts: 6,084Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    These movements grow in roughly the same manner - from a legitimate concern which needs to be reviewed, but once addressed the momentum isn't stopped. People are too invested into the political animus and branch far beyond, so movements unreliant on competency inevitably trend to corruption - unchecked consolidation of power.

    What is the purpose of recognizing privilege? Is there a resulting action from this? If one was to conduct a comparative analysis of successful and unsuccessful individuals and adapt behaviors to better prepare the unsuccessful, then this has potential for good. If used to remove "roadblocks" this has potential for good. Check the system for systemic unfairness - again potential for good. If simply used to fulfill a narcissistic need to justify fantasy and reject reality, then there is no potential for good. If used politically to pit one group against another - while there may be a theoretical potential for good historically this has resulted in starvation and genocide.

    It's also incredibly dishonest (although insidiously brilliant) how binary thought results in very specific recognition of privilege in certain areas while completely ignoring others. Although I suspect this will continue to increase given time as a good majority active seek and promote some manner of how they do are part of a victim class. It is far easier to destroy than create, as such far easier to criticize others than change your behavior.

    There's a foundational flaw in the logic which presumes that man is good and that if the system were to only be tweaked, life would be better. Reality is quite the opposite as your chances of making this worse greatly exceed your chances for improving anything for anyone. Man has an equal capacity for good and evil, but left unchecked trends to evil. The most effective means of mitigating this is serving a higher purpose beyond the individual - beyond generations.

    Another foundational flaw is that of zero sum - that the assets are fixed. The resentful look at whoever they see as having life better and cannot see beyond privilege - skinny genes, high metabolism, etc. The fit did not get so by making the obese, nor did the obese suffer at the hands of the fit. Assets in nearly all systems are variable - they expand and contract - are created and destroyed.

    The fatal flaw in privilege, and this also lies at the heart of postmoderism is the limit of scope. Any hypothesis worth review is taken to extreme to ensure consistency. Privilege is highly scoped by very specific criteria to establish a false narrative to gain political power. Competency for example is a very real privilege. The competent are given increasing challenges while the incompetent are given less. Attractiveness, sex, sexual orientation, gender, age, hair color, eye color, height, weight, epidermal pigmentation, IQ, EQ, culture, race, creed, genetics - carried out infinitesimally this brings us and infinitesimal number of privileges, which brings us inevitably to the individual. No two humans think and act the same every time - and you've once again stumbled into the age of enlightenment. Congratulations! You've discovered what we figured out 300 years ago (which figured out what we knew 2000 years ago).



    So, the bolded sentence isn't using privilege in the way that it is used by most people who think talking about privilege is an important and enlightening thing to do sometimes. To them, privilege is not the inherent genetic characteristic you have (like skinny genes or high metabolism, or even being white or male). Privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have characteristic, including the privilege of not having to even notice that you get benefits that people who don't have that characteristic don't get.



    Then the correction would be to precisely define privilege and we can effectively debate. The next step would be to review data to verify that preconceived notions are indeed correct.

    This would be acceptable and as you say enlightening if done in review of other key characteristics. If you're only looking at one trait, then as there are an infinite number of ways of viewing things, you have a corresponding chance of reaching an incorrect conclusion.

    Thanks for explaining to me that the correct thing to do would be the thing I literally just did.

    What's the difference then between privilege and competency?

    From my earlier post that you responded to by saying the correct thing to do would be to define privilege:
    privilege is not the inherent genetic characteristic you have (like skinny genes or high metabolism, or even being white or male). Privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have characteristic, including the privilege of not having to even notice that you get benefits that people who don't have that characteristic don't get.

    Privilege is also not competency. If you gained that competency through avenues not open to everyone because of their inherent characteristics, socioeconomic status, or religion (or other things that it would be unreasonable to demand they give up to try to obtain access to those avenues), competency might be a reflection of privilege. Again, privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have a characteristic, it is not the characteristic itself.

    Maybe a concrete example would help. Let's say that in a particular society, certain professions and the academic paths to those professions are barred or extremely restricted (legally or de facto) to certain people based on race, religion, gender, etc. Let's say that people in those professions then find that they are accorded favorable treatment in situations that are not directly related to their profession (obtaining loans on favorable terms, for example, because the lending officers steer people in the trades to higher interest or balloon loans), regardless of their credit (and this is not a hypothetical example). The ability of the people in those professions to draw blood or draw up a contract (or whatever their competence may be) is not their privilege. Their privilege is how other people treat them.

    The fundamental issue is lack of an agreed upon definition, so until then it remains a nebulous term similar to "healthy". We also have to specifically state the intended outcome of this to ensure it is just. Proponents of the movement have already determined that the outcome is favorable, but this has yet to be scrutinized or thought through the next step. What then is the counter to this movement?

    Privilege is a symptom of something deeper - a root cause. So just as in weight management addressing a symptom such as eating healthy, which neglecting the root cause of caloric surplus, serves nothing. Competency is closer to a potential root cause.

    A concrete, and real example, would certainly help. Is there currently a specific profession or academic path which deliberately excludes based upon race, religion, gender, ideology, etc.?

    This would be in direct violation of existing law, so then one would have to ask, why? Then examine that individual or group of individuals.

    lynn_glenmont literally gave you a definition: "Again, privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have a characteristic, it is not the characteristic itself."
    If you disagree with that definition, you're just talking past her in your argument. I actually think you're the one trying to avoid it having a definition because it is far easier to debate something nebulous doesn't exist than to argue against something that obviously happens - certain people are treated differently for just having certain characteristics.

    We have to state the intended outcome of what? Are you saying privilege means society has to do something about it? That's jumping the gun when you're trying to hold that it doesn't exist first. It is a fallacious is-ought. Privilege could exist and we could have different concepts of justice that say it isn't on society to address them.

    Then let's test that specific definition - noting that we are then rejecting the formal definition. How then is privilege measured? Seems to be a completely subjective system of measurement.

    As example - Prior to learning about CICO how many people on MFP believed that those successful in managing their weight was due to some manner of unearned privilege? Is it true?

    What is the intended outcome of privilege? Is it simply for those so judged with privilege to apologize and atone? Seems a massive waste of effort without an end goal.

    You can certainly objectively measure privilege. It's been done in everything from credit and real estate redlining to traffic stops.

    I don't have any stats on the beliefs of people before they learned about CICO.

    "What is the intended outcome of privilege?" In many cases, it has no intended outcome, because it is unconsciously accorded to people by other people who would vehemently deny that they are doing so.

    The Oxford definition is: a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.

    So what special right, advantage, or immunity is granted or available?

    Credit and real estate is based upon risk. If you have a claim against these industries then file a lawsuit against them. A logical path and one with little controversy would be to collect evidence and verify if your hypothesis is valid. If not then introspection would be worthwhile to understand how this confirmation bias formed to begin with.

    The entire notion is disingenuous as we live in an information age and can easily discover specific individuals responsible for criminal activity, but casting others based upon similar appearance isn't virtue - it is bigotry.

    Yes, casting others based on similar appearance isn't virtue, it's bigotry.

    And, to use a historical example, when the overall social system, on balance, does things like urban development from the national level (that tore down neighborhoods, mostly selecting those filled with certain groups, at the cost of community social fabric); redlining that was encouraged and permitted by state and local governments to shut out some people from some neighborhoods based on appearance, and limit credit based on the neighborhoods they were therefore forced to live in (which is using risk as a pretext, when you look at the whole environment); and mobs of just regular people (not everyone, but large groups) burned crosses on people's lawns, threw rocks through windows, taunted children, when people moved to neighborhoods where their appearance was not liked by their neighbors . . . that's bigotry, of such a wide scale, that it creates advantage for some groups (who are "privileged") and major disadvantage for others.

    Lawsuits were not exactly immediately helpful, in the context of those times. (They were a small nudge in the greater set of forces that improved things, but very small. Certainly not a remedy in the moment.)

    Some of those specific issues have diminished within our recent history, to our collective benefit (if you ask me). But to think that there is no privilege (of any sort, based on people's appearance or other non-chosen characteristics) . . . that's equivalent to believing that there are no societal patterns of bigotry left anymore, which I think is false. (Someone, IIRC it was Phirrgus, gave us a current example in the realm of the above historical scenario.)

    I'd point out that - information age or no - that since (IMO) we've not wiped out all societal bigotry (of various sorts, not just playing out the historical example scenario above) and probably never will, considering whether some groups, as a generality, have arbitrary advantage, is still a useful form of analysis. Where that's found, where there are still irrational or over-generalized beliefs about groups built into our social system, it's not the case that all individual actions reinforcing that bigotry will be criminal acts, or able to be identified "because it's the information age".

    P.S. I feel like the only really important distinction between Lynn's definition and the OED's is the word "only".

    P.P.S. Are you arguing that those who have their privilege pointed out are being subjected to bigotry?

    I think we all (at least I hope) agree that we are better off in a world where bigotry is diminished. Most people can't look past what's directly in front of them and rarely think of the unintended consequences, so my optimism is at odds with my realism.

    Lawsuits, direct enforcement actions, whatever the course may be - what is required is action on that specific occurence.

    I bring up the point that we are in "the information age" as if there is an injustice, it seems fairly easy to identify specific historical injustices. So those individuals who unjustly profited could be identified. To judge others because they share similar appearance is bigoted and inherently unjust. I wonder if this lies at the heart of the movement - projection.

    I'm pointing out that the concept of privilege invites bigoted views and carries more harm than good - sadly the norm on many college campuses. As previously stated if used in personal reflection has potential for growth and good. If used outwardly this leads to resentment.

    When it leads one to state "“I’m sorry I was born white and privileged, It disgusts me. And I feel so much shame.” you've jumped the shark.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 12,127Member Member Posts: 12,127Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    These movements grow in roughly the same manner - from a legitimate concern which needs to be reviewed, but once addressed the momentum isn't stopped. People are too invested into the political animus and branch far beyond, so movements unreliant on competency inevitably trend to corruption - unchecked consolidation of power.

    What is the purpose of recognizing privilege? Is there a resulting action from this? If one was to conduct a comparative analysis of successful and unsuccessful individuals and adapt behaviors to better prepare the unsuccessful, then this has potential for good. If used to remove "roadblocks" this has potential for good. Check the system for systemic unfairness - again potential for good. If simply used to fulfill a narcissistic need to justify fantasy and reject reality, then there is no potential for good. If used politically to pit one group against another - while there may be a theoretical potential for good historically this has resulted in starvation and genocide.

    It's also incredibly dishonest (although insidiously brilliant) how binary thought results in very specific recognition of privilege in certain areas while completely ignoring others. Although I suspect this will continue to increase given time as a good majority active seek and promote some manner of how they do are part of a victim class. It is far easier to destroy than create, as such far easier to criticize others than change your behavior.

    There's a foundational flaw in the logic which presumes that man is good and that if the system were to only be tweaked, life would be better. Reality is quite the opposite as your chances of making this worse greatly exceed your chances for improving anything for anyone. Man has an equal capacity for good and evil, but left unchecked trends to evil. The most effective means of mitigating this is serving a higher purpose beyond the individual - beyond generations.

    Another foundational flaw is that of zero sum - that the assets are fixed. The resentful look at whoever they see as having life better and cannot see beyond privilege - skinny genes, high metabolism, etc. The fit did not get so by making the obese, nor did the obese suffer at the hands of the fit. Assets in nearly all systems are variable - they expand and contract - are created and destroyed.

    The fatal flaw in privilege, and this also lies at the heart of postmoderism is the limit of scope. Any hypothesis worth review is taken to extreme to ensure consistency. Privilege is highly scoped by very specific criteria to establish a false narrative to gain political power. Competency for example is a very real privilege. The competent are given increasing challenges while the incompetent are given less. Attractiveness, sex, sexual orientation, gender, age, hair color, eye color, height, weight, epidermal pigmentation, IQ, EQ, culture, race, creed, genetics - carried out infinitesimally this brings us and infinitesimal number of privileges, which brings us inevitably to the individual. No two humans think and act the same every time - and you've once again stumbled into the age of enlightenment. Congratulations! You've discovered what we figured out 300 years ago (which figured out what we knew 2000 years ago).



    So, the bolded sentence isn't using privilege in the way that it is used by most people who think talking about privilege is an important and enlightening thing to do sometimes. To them, privilege is not the inherent genetic characteristic you have (like skinny genes or high metabolism, or even being white or male). Privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have characteristic, including the privilege of not having to even notice that you get benefits that people who don't have that characteristic don't get.



    Then the correction would be to precisely define privilege and we can effectively debate. The next step would be to review data to verify that preconceived notions are indeed correct.

    This would be acceptable and as you say enlightening if done in review of other key characteristics. If you're only looking at one trait, then as there are an infinite number of ways of viewing things, you have a corresponding chance of reaching an incorrect conclusion.

    Thanks for explaining to me that the correct thing to do would be the thing I literally just did.

    What's the difference then between privilege and competency?

    From my earlier post that you responded to by saying the correct thing to do would be to define privilege:
    privilege is not the inherent genetic characteristic you have (like skinny genes or high metabolism, or even being white or male). Privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have characteristic, including the privilege of not having to even notice that you get benefits that people who don't have that characteristic don't get.

    Privilege is also not competency. If you gained that competency through avenues not open to everyone because of their inherent characteristics, socioeconomic status, or religion (or other things that it would be unreasonable to demand they give up to try to obtain access to those avenues), competency might be a reflection of privilege. Again, privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have a characteristic, it is not the characteristic itself.

    Maybe a concrete example would help. Let's say that in a particular society, certain professions and the academic paths to those professions are barred or extremely restricted (legally or de facto) to certain people based on race, religion, gender, etc. Let's say that people in those professions then find that they are accorded favorable treatment in situations that are not directly related to their profession (obtaining loans on favorable terms, for example, because the lending officers steer people in the trades to higher interest or balloon loans), regardless of their credit (and this is not a hypothetical example). The ability of the people in those professions to draw blood or draw up a contract (or whatever their competence may be) is not their privilege. Their privilege is how other people treat them.

    The fundamental issue is lack of an agreed upon definition, so until then it remains a nebulous term similar to "healthy". We also have to specifically state the intended outcome of this to ensure it is just. Proponents of the movement have already determined that the outcome is favorable, but this has yet to be scrutinized or thought through the next step. What then is the counter to this movement?

    Privilege is a symptom of something deeper - a root cause. So just as in weight management addressing a symptom such as eating healthy, which neglecting the root cause of caloric surplus, serves nothing. Competency is closer to a potential root cause.

    A concrete, and real example, would certainly help. Is there currently a specific profession or academic path which deliberately excludes based upon race, religion, gender, ideology, etc.?

    This would be in direct violation of existing law, so then one would have to ask, why? Then examine that individual or group of individuals.

    lynn_glenmont literally gave you a definition: "Again, privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have a characteristic, it is not the characteristic itself."
    If you disagree with that definition, you're just talking past her in your argument. I actually think you're the one trying to avoid it having a definition because it is far easier to debate something nebulous doesn't exist than to argue against something that obviously happens - certain people are treated differently for just having certain characteristics.

    We have to state the intended outcome of what? Are you saying privilege means society has to do something about it? That's jumping the gun when you're trying to hold that it doesn't exist first. It is a fallacious is-ought. Privilege could exist and we could have different concepts of justice that say it isn't on society to address them.

    Then let's test that specific definition - noting that we are then rejecting the formal definition. How then is privilege measured? Seems to be a completely subjective system of measurement.

    As example - Prior to learning about CICO how many people on MFP believed that those successful in managing their weight was due to some manner of unearned privilege? Is it true?

    What is the intended outcome of privilege? Is it simply for those so judged with privilege to apologize and atone? Seems a massive waste of effort without an end goal.

    Privilege is an abstraction, a concept. It's pretty rare that we can directly measure a concept. Most people believe in things like compassion, dishonesty, greed, kindness . . . there is no yardstick for those concepts.

    In some cases, you can measure the symptoms or outcomes of a concept. I think some of the things Lynn referred to are reasonable examples of symptoms or outcomes of privilege. (Are all disparate outcomes a result of privilege or the lack thereof? Unlikely. Are no disparate outcomes related in some way to arbitrary characteristics attributed to humans because of their membership in some group? Also unlikely.)

    Of course some people misuse the priviledge concept (and others), misunderstand it, reason about it in quite unreasonable ways.

    Same is true of a lot of abstract concepts or generalizations, because it's simply harder to reason about abstractions, in general. In practice, there will be nuances and exceptions. (This is one reason I don't much like abstractions, generalizations, and concepts, and avoid them when I can: Using them sensibly is hard, and I don't like hard things. But there's also no reasoning without them! :grimace: ).

    That some people misuse a concept is no reasonable test of the total value or correctness of the concept. If it were, we couldn't have any nice things. ;)

    I already told you what I think the "privileged" person is supposed to do, in my personal view of how I should behave: I should recognize when personal characteristics I did nothing to earn are in play, strive toward empathy and compassion for those differently situated through random circumstance, and use my "privilege" to help those without it (including supporting societal measures that I think would reasonably level the playing field), when I have reasonable opportunities. (I don't always succeed, of course.)

    Did you see "apologize and atone" in there? No, unless empathy and sensitive assistance are forms of atonement.

    I also said what the "not privileged" person is supposed to do (what I in fact have personally done**): Recognize that some situational advantages may apply to others that are not quite as accessible to me, and plan my actions and strategies to work around, over or through those limitations to accomplish my goals. I'd say that that includes working hard, recognizing that at times I might have to work a little harder (or smarter) than some others to accomplish the same goal . . . which doesn't mean they aren't working hard, too. The privilege factor is not their creation, so it's not their fault, either (. . . unless they use it as a club, try to defend and prop up barriers, etc., which is also unreasonable and lacking in insight, compassion, etc.).

    The whole idea that resentment is the only possible outcome of the privilege concept . . . well, that's just silly, frankly. I see no point in resenting people for something they didn't ask for, didn't earn, and possibly even aren't fully aware of. (I do wish they'd wake up and smell the coffee, in some cases.)

    ** I entered a male dominated career field when there were few women in it, when the legal environment was just undergoing material change to equalize the legal context, and while social attitudes were still lagging behind. For one easy example, men had advantages of social connection (men's golf leagues, hunting trips with "the boys", etc.) where close relationships helpful to work were formed, and useful knowledge was exchanged. Had I tried to press my way into that full range of social activity, it would've created resistance from some, and perceptions that I was making sexual advances to others. Not a good strategy! So I figured out other strategies, worked hard, and ended up doing OK in my career. My male colleagues also worked hard, no question. But they had certain advantages (advantages they never asked for, and that I didn't expect them to give up, in this particular case, BTW).

    I would agree with this use; however this is not how the corrupt and incompetent are using this concept. As example review the conduct on college campuses within the humanities. If used for personal reflection, a severly underutilized tool, this can lead to great moments in one's life. The problem with such a generalized and non-specific concept is that it invites corruption. The vengeful will use this to serve baser instincts. The incompetent will use this as an excuse. To those who have been unfairly treated this may be meaningful and to those who feel guilt over a perceived unearned reward, equally so. It brings up immediate counters to the concept as the core concept is bigoted.

    Perhaps that's the core difference. As long as privilege is personal, there isn't an issue. The moment one attempts to project this onto others this becomes a problem as this quickly turns into resentment.

    I'm unwilling to cede pretty much any language usage to the people who egregiously misuse it - to the corrupt and incompetent, as you put it.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Posts: 3,321Member Member Posts: 3,321Member Member
    Although I tend to agree with most everything Ann has posted here, I don't think the privilege conversation is an especially good fit for the body positivity (or even the weight loss) topic. One reason is that it tends to automatically take on political connotations for many (even if wrongly), and thus becomes difficult to discuss without some degree of prior work or trust, and especially in a forum where we have to be careful not to say anything political or be violating the rules.

    I (of course) do think that some things (such as economic advantage) can make weight loss easier in some cases (although it depends on the specific situation -- plenty of well off people work more hours and live in areas not well-designed for walking, etc., while plenty of not well off people don't live in areas where outdoor exercise is a problem and might even be more likely to live in more rural areas with some healthy traditions or have active jobs). There are tons of variables. Certainly, on average, I think there are things more common in various poorer communities that make weight loss more difficult, but you cannot generalize, especially since there are so many specific and individual things that can be a problem. Not having to deal with some of those things can definitely make it easier and we should be aware of this, and that not everyone is in the same position we are -- this is empathy, IMO -- but we also shouldn't think that we know how much others do or do not struggle with the same things we do or other stumbling blocks.

    I don't think that's been happening on this thread so much, at least not in the context of the privilege conversation (I did think some of the dismissal of how hard it can be fell into this). However, I have definitely seen others conversations here where I thought posters made snap judgments about how "privileged" or "non-privileged" posters were based on very little evidence (and often contrary to my own intuition, although my snap judgment on such matters is worthless too) and treated posters differently (with more or less compassion, holding them to different standards, reading different things into what they write) as a result. I think that's something we should all try to avoid -- we don't really know how much another poster has struggled, and we can't assume someone has struggled more because they are still new to weight loss or some such.

    Perhaps too much of a digression, I dunno.

    Back to body positivity, I think it's valuable (whatever we assume about privilege in a particular case) because it helps people move to a position where they may be more able to make healthy choices, on the one hand, and because it is simply common courtesy, what we owe others as humans, not to insist that their weight makes them worthless or that they must be shamed and should not love and accept themselves. In that weight loss/maintenance can be hard for all kinds of reasons, it's not great to make judgments about people based on them being overweight, no matter what you think their privileges were.
    edited October 2
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Posts: 7,005Member Member Posts: 7,005Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    These movements grow in roughly the same manner - from a legitimate concern which needs to be reviewed, but once addressed the momentum isn't stopped. People are too invested into the political animus and branch far beyond, so movements unreliant on competency inevitably trend to corruption - unchecked consolidation of power.

    What is the purpose of recognizing privilege? Is there a resulting action from this? If one was to conduct a comparative analysis of successful and unsuccessful individuals and adapt behaviors to better prepare the unsuccessful, then this has potential for good. If used to remove "roadblocks" this has potential for good. Check the system for systemic unfairness - again potential for good. If simply used to fulfill a narcissistic need to justify fantasy and reject reality, then there is no potential for good. If used politically to pit one group against another - while there may be a theoretical potential for good historically this has resulted in starvation and genocide.

    It's also incredibly dishonest (although insidiously brilliant) how binary thought results in very specific recognition of privilege in certain areas while completely ignoring others. Although I suspect this will continue to increase given time as a good majority active seek and promote some manner of how they do are part of a victim class. It is far easier to destroy than create, as such far easier to criticize others than change your behavior.

    There's a foundational flaw in the logic which presumes that man is good and that if the system were to only be tweaked, life would be better. Reality is quite the opposite as your chances of making this worse greatly exceed your chances for improving anything for anyone. Man has an equal capacity for good and evil, but left unchecked trends to evil. The most effective means of mitigating this is serving a higher purpose beyond the individual - beyond generations.

    Another foundational flaw is that of zero sum - that the assets are fixed. The resentful look at whoever they see as having life better and cannot see beyond privilege - skinny genes, high metabolism, etc. The fit did not get so by making the obese, nor did the obese suffer at the hands of the fit. Assets in nearly all systems are variable - they expand and contract - are created and destroyed.

    The fatal flaw in privilege, and this also lies at the heart of postmoderism is the limit of scope. Any hypothesis worth review is taken to extreme to ensure consistency. Privilege is highly scoped by very specific criteria to establish a false narrative to gain political power. Competency for example is a very real privilege. The competent are given increasing challenges while the incompetent are given less. Attractiveness, sex, sexual orientation, gender, age, hair color, eye color, height, weight, epidermal pigmentation, IQ, EQ, culture, race, creed, genetics - carried out infinitesimally this brings us and infinitesimal number of privileges, which brings us inevitably to the individual. No two humans think and act the same every time - and you've once again stumbled into the age of enlightenment. Congratulations! You've discovered what we figured out 300 years ago (which figured out what we knew 2000 years ago).



    So, the bolded sentence isn't using privilege in the way that it is used by most people who think talking about privilege is an important and enlightening thing to do sometimes. To them, privilege is not the inherent genetic characteristic you have (like skinny genes or high metabolism, or even being white or male). Privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have characteristic, including the privilege of not having to even notice that you get benefits that people who don't have that characteristic don't get.



    Then the correction would be to precisely define privilege and we can effectively debate. The next step would be to review data to verify that preconceived notions are indeed correct.

    This would be acceptable and as you say enlightening if done in review of other key characteristics. If you're only looking at one trait, then as there are an infinite number of ways of viewing things, you have a corresponding chance of reaching an incorrect conclusion.

    Thanks for explaining to me that the correct thing to do would be the thing I literally just did.

    What's the difference then between privilege and competency?

    From my earlier post that you responded to by saying the correct thing to do would be to define privilege:
    privilege is not the inherent genetic characteristic you have (like skinny genes or high metabolism, or even being white or male). Privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have characteristic, including the privilege of not having to even notice that you get benefits that people who don't have that characteristic don't get.

    Privilege is also not competency. If you gained that competency through avenues not open to everyone because of their inherent characteristics, socioeconomic status, or religion (or other things that it would be unreasonable to demand they give up to try to obtain access to those avenues), competency might be a reflection of privilege. Again, privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have a characteristic, it is not the characteristic itself.

    Maybe a concrete example would help. Let's say that in a particular society, certain professions and the academic paths to those professions are barred or extremely restricted (legally or de facto) to certain people based on race, religion, gender, etc. Let's say that people in those professions then find that they are accorded favorable treatment in situations that are not directly related to their profession (obtaining loans on favorable terms, for example, because the lending officers steer people in the trades to higher interest or balloon loans), regardless of their credit (and this is not a hypothetical example). The ability of the people in those professions to draw blood or draw up a contract (or whatever their competence may be) is not their privilege. Their privilege is how other people treat them.

    The fundamental issue is lack of an agreed upon definition, so until then it remains a nebulous term similar to "healthy". We also have to specifically state the intended outcome of this to ensure it is just. Proponents of the movement have already determined that the outcome is favorable, but this has yet to be scrutinized or thought through the next step. What then is the counter to this movement?

    Privilege is a symptom of something deeper - a root cause. So just as in weight management addressing a symptom such as eating healthy, which neglecting the root cause of caloric surplus, serves nothing. Competency is closer to a potential root cause.

    A concrete, and real example, would certainly help. Is there currently a specific profession or academic path which deliberately excludes based upon race, religion, gender, ideology, etc.?

    This would be in direct violation of existing law, so then one would have to ask, why? Then examine that individual or group of individuals.

    lynn_glenmont literally gave you a definition: "Again, privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have a characteristic, it is not the characteristic itself."
    If you disagree with that definition, you're just talking past her in your argument. I actually think you're the one trying to avoid it having a definition because it is far easier to debate something nebulous doesn't exist than to argue against something that obviously happens - certain people are treated differently for just having certain characteristics.

    We have to state the intended outcome of what? Are you saying privilege means society has to do something about it? That's jumping the gun when you're trying to hold that it doesn't exist first. It is a fallacious is-ought. Privilege could exist and we could have different concepts of justice that say it isn't on society to address them.

    Then let's test that specific definition - noting that we are then rejecting the formal definition. How then is privilege measured? Seems to be a completely subjective system of measurement.

    As example - Prior to learning about CICO how many people on MFP believed that those successful in managing their weight was due to some manner of unearned privilege? Is it true?

    What is the intended outcome of privilege? Is it simply for those so judged with privilege to apologize and atone? Seems a massive waste of effort without an end goal.

    You can certainly objectively measure privilege. It's been done in everything from credit and real estate redlining to traffic stops.

    I don't have any stats on the beliefs of people before they learned about CICO.

    "What is the intended outcome of privilege?" In many cases, it has no intended outcome, because it is unconsciously accorded to people by other people who would vehemently deny that they are doing so.

    The Oxford definition is: a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.

    So what special right, advantage, or immunity is granted or available?

    Credit and real estate is based upon risk. If you have a claim against these industries then file a lawsuit against them. A logical path and one with little controversy would be to collect evidence and verify if your hypothesis is valid. If not then introspection would be worthwhile to understand how this confirmation bias formed to begin with.

    The entire notion is disingenuous as we live in an information age and can easily discover specific individuals responsible for criminal activity, but casting others based upon similar appearance isn't virtue - it is bigotry.

    I don't have a claim against those industries. Shockingly, I am able to recognize that not everyone is treated as well as I am.

    The logical path and one with little controversy has been followed over and over through the decades and cases successfully brought, including criminal cases by the government. It's not my "hypothesis." And yet people who don't recognize their own privilege continue to insist it's not a real thing.
  • PWHFPWHF Posts: 165Member, Premium Member Posts: 165Member, Premium Member
    On the way in to work today there were newspaper ads and billboards saying "we need new fashion icons" with a much more average and healthy looking model on it. This is what I think of when I think of body positivity.

    Regarding privilege - if 'checking your privilege' is just the same as having compassion for those less fortunate, being charitable and understanding then I don't need to be told to do that, especially not because I am a [insert racial/gender/etc] profile. And not by someone who's vested the power in themselves to go around telling people that.

    There's no refusal to acknowledge that one does in fact have privilege, it's a rejection of the person who's calling them out's place to do that.

    The whole South Park/mocking this isn't mocking the concept of privilege or those less privileged. It's mocking self-righteousness and those who ordain power in themselves to point fingers at others as being morally inferior.

    Which is a shame because it takes away credibility from these movements. I think looking at root causes - in this case the fashion industry, comfort eating as a form of substance abuse (addiction) is a far more constructive way to go.
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,084Member Member Posts: 6,084Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    These movements grow in roughly the same manner - from a legitimate concern which needs to be reviewed, but once addressed the momentum isn't stopped. People are too invested into the political animus and branch far beyond, so movements unreliant on competency inevitably trend to corruption - unchecked consolidation of power.

    What is the purpose of recognizing privilege? Is there a resulting action from this? If one was to conduct a comparative analysis of successful and unsuccessful individuals and adapt behaviors to better prepare the unsuccessful, then this has potential for good. If used to remove "roadblocks" this has potential for good. Check the system for systemic unfairness - again potential for good. If simply used to fulfill a narcissistic need to justify fantasy and reject reality, then there is no potential for good. If used politically to pit one group against another - while there may be a theoretical potential for good historically this has resulted in starvation and genocide.

    It's also incredibly dishonest (although insidiously brilliant) how binary thought results in very specific recognition of privilege in certain areas while completely ignoring others. Although I suspect this will continue to increase given time as a good majority active seek and promote some manner of how they do are part of a victim class. It is far easier to destroy than create, as such far easier to criticize others than change your behavior.

    There's a foundational flaw in the logic which presumes that man is good and that if the system were to only be tweaked, life would be better. Reality is quite the opposite as your chances of making this worse greatly exceed your chances for improving anything for anyone. Man has an equal capacity for good and evil, but left unchecked trends to evil. The most effective means of mitigating this is serving a higher purpose beyond the individual - beyond generations.

    Another foundational flaw is that of zero sum - that the assets are fixed. The resentful look at whoever they see as having life better and cannot see beyond privilege - skinny genes, high metabolism, etc. The fit did not get so by making the obese, nor did the obese suffer at the hands of the fit. Assets in nearly all systems are variable - they expand and contract - are created and destroyed.

    The fatal flaw in privilege, and this also lies at the heart of postmoderism is the limit of scope. Any hypothesis worth review is taken to extreme to ensure consistency. Privilege is highly scoped by very specific criteria to establish a false narrative to gain political power. Competency for example is a very real privilege. The competent are given increasing challenges while the incompetent are given less. Attractiveness, sex, sexual orientation, gender, age, hair color, eye color, height, weight, epidermal pigmentation, IQ, EQ, culture, race, creed, genetics - carried out infinitesimally this brings us and infinitesimal number of privileges, which brings us inevitably to the individual. No two humans think and act the same every time - and you've once again stumbled into the age of enlightenment. Congratulations! You've discovered what we figured out 300 years ago (which figured out what we knew 2000 years ago).



    So, the bolded sentence isn't using privilege in the way that it is used by most people who think talking about privilege is an important and enlightening thing to do sometimes. To them, privilege is not the inherent genetic characteristic you have (like skinny genes or high metabolism, or even being white or male). Privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have characteristic, including the privilege of not having to even notice that you get benefits that people who don't have that characteristic don't get.



    Then the correction would be to precisely define privilege and we can effectively debate. The next step would be to review data to verify that preconceived notions are indeed correct.

    This would be acceptable and as you say enlightening if done in review of other key characteristics. If you're only looking at one trait, then as there are an infinite number of ways of viewing things, you have a corresponding chance of reaching an incorrect conclusion.

    Thanks for explaining to me that the correct thing to do would be the thing I literally just did.

    What's the difference then between privilege and competency?

    From my earlier post that you responded to by saying the correct thing to do would be to define privilege:
    privilege is not the inherent genetic characteristic you have (like skinny genes or high metabolism, or even being white or male). Privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have characteristic, including the privilege of not having to even notice that you get benefits that people who don't have that characteristic don't get.

    Privilege is also not competency. If you gained that competency through avenues not open to everyone because of their inherent characteristics, socioeconomic status, or religion (or other things that it would be unreasonable to demand they give up to try to obtain access to those avenues), competency might be a reflection of privilege. Again, privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have a characteristic, it is not the characteristic itself.

    Maybe a concrete example would help. Let's say that in a particular society, certain professions and the academic paths to those professions are barred or extremely restricted (legally or de facto) to certain people based on race, religion, gender, etc. Let's say that people in those professions then find that they are accorded favorable treatment in situations that are not directly related to their profession (obtaining loans on favorable terms, for example, because the lending officers steer people in the trades to higher interest or balloon loans), regardless of their credit (and this is not a hypothetical example). The ability of the people in those professions to draw blood or draw up a contract (or whatever their competence may be) is not their privilege. Their privilege is how other people treat them.

    The fundamental issue is lack of an agreed upon definition, so until then it remains a nebulous term similar to "healthy". We also have to specifically state the intended outcome of this to ensure it is just. Proponents of the movement have already determined that the outcome is favorable, but this has yet to be scrutinized or thought through the next step. What then is the counter to this movement?

    Privilege is a symptom of something deeper - a root cause. So just as in weight management addressing a symptom such as eating healthy, which neglecting the root cause of caloric surplus, serves nothing. Competency is closer to a potential root cause.

    A concrete, and real example, would certainly help. Is there currently a specific profession or academic path which deliberately excludes based upon race, religion, gender, ideology, etc.?

    This would be in direct violation of existing law, so then one would have to ask, why? Then examine that individual or group of individuals.

    lynn_glenmont literally gave you a definition: "Again, privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have a characteristic, it is not the characteristic itself."
    If you disagree with that definition, you're just talking past her in your argument. I actually think you're the one trying to avoid it having a definition because it is far easier to debate something nebulous doesn't exist than to argue against something that obviously happens - certain people are treated differently for just having certain characteristics.

    We have to state the intended outcome of what? Are you saying privilege means society has to do something about it? That's jumping the gun when you're trying to hold that it doesn't exist first. It is a fallacious is-ought. Privilege could exist and we could have different concepts of justice that say it isn't on society to address them.

    Then let's test that specific definition - noting that we are then rejecting the formal definition. How then is privilege measured? Seems to be a completely subjective system of measurement.

    As example - Prior to learning about CICO how many people on MFP believed that those successful in managing their weight was due to some manner of unearned privilege? Is it true?

    What is the intended outcome of privilege? Is it simply for those so judged with privilege to apologize and atone? Seems a massive waste of effort without an end goal.

    You can certainly objectively measure privilege. It's been done in everything from credit and real estate redlining to traffic stops.

    I don't have any stats on the beliefs of people before they learned about CICO.

    "What is the intended outcome of privilege?" In many cases, it has no intended outcome, because it is unconsciously accorded to people by other people who would vehemently deny that they are doing so.

    The Oxford definition is: a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.

    So what special right, advantage, or immunity is granted or available?

    Credit and real estate is based upon risk. If you have a claim against these industries then file a lawsuit against them. A logical path and one with little controversy would be to collect evidence and verify if your hypothesis is valid. If not then introspection would be worthwhile to understand how this confirmation bias formed to begin with.

    The entire notion is disingenuous as we live in an information age and can easily discover specific individuals responsible for criminal activity, but casting others based upon similar appearance isn't virtue - it is bigotry.

    Yes, casting others based on similar appearance isn't virtue, it's bigotry.

    And, to use a historical example, when the overall social system, on balance, does things like urban development from the national level (that tore down neighborhoods, mostly selecting those filled with certain groups, at the cost of community social fabric); redlining that was encouraged and permitted by state and local governments to shut out some people from some neighborhoods based on appearance, and limit credit based on the neighborhoods they were therefore forced to live in (which is using risk as a pretext, when you look at the whole environment); and mobs of just regular people (not everyone, but large groups) burned crosses on people's lawns, threw rocks through windows, taunted children, when people moved to neighborhoods where their appearance was not liked by their neighbors . . . that's bigotry, of such a wide scale, that it creates advantage for some groups (who are "privileged") and major disadvantage for others.

    Lawsuits were not exactly immediately helpful, in the context of those times. (They were a small nudge in the greater set of forces that improved things, but very small. Certainly not a remedy in the moment.)

    Some of those specific issues have diminished within our recent history, to our collective benefit (if you ask me). But to think that there is no privilege (of any sort, based on people's appearance or other non-chosen characteristics) . . . that's equivalent to believing that there are no societal patterns of bigotry left anymore, which I think is false. (Someone, IIRC it was Phirrgus, gave us a current example in the realm of the above historical scenario.)

    I'd point out that - information age or no - that since (IMO) we've not wiped out all societal bigotry (of various sorts, not just playing out the historical example scenario above) and probably never will, considering whether some groups, as a generality, have arbitrary advantage, is still a useful form of analysis. Where that's found, where there are still irrational or over-generalized beliefs about groups built into our social system, it's not the case that all individual actions reinforcing that bigotry will be criminal acts, or able to be identified "because it's the information age".

    P.S. I feel like the only really important distinction between Lynn's definition and the OED's is the word "only".

    P.P.S. Are you arguing that those who have their privilege pointed out are being subjected to bigotry?

    I think we all (at least I hope) agree that we are better off in a world where bigotry is diminished. Most people can't look past what's directly in front of them and rarely think of the unintended consequences, so my optimism is at odds with my realism.

    Lawsuits, direct enforcement actions, whatever the course may be - what is required is action on that specific occurence.

    I bring up the point that we are in "the information age" as if there is an injustice, it seems fairly easy to identify specific historical injustices. So those individuals who unjustly profited could be identified. To judge others because they share similar appearance is bigoted and inherently unjust. I wonder if this lies at the heart of the movement - projection.

    I'm pointing out that the concept of privilege invites bigoted views and carries more harm than good - sadly the norm on many college campuses. As previously stated if used in personal reflection has potential for growth and good. If used outwardly this leads to resentment.

    When it leads one to state "“I’m sorry I was born white and privileged, It disgusts me. And I feel so much shame.” you've jumped the shark.

    There's room for thoughtful people to disagree on most anything, but for my taste, the complete rejection of the concept of privilege - a sensible definition of it, such as Lynn advanced - leads to more bigotry in our current world than does a thoughtful acceptance of the concept.

    The outrage by individuals who may be in advantaged categories - or think they may be - when simply asked to acknowlege that group stereotyping influences other individuals' lived experience . . . well, it seems like the same flavor of "corrupt and incompetent" usage you decry, but in mirror image.

    Being expected to notice that I may have advantages others don't is, IMO, in no way an example of bigotry. That's in effect an absolutist "reverse discrimination" charge. One is rarely disadvantaged, in any significant practical way, by being lumped in conceptually with an advantaged group.

    In this thread, is the display of resentment stronger in the "privilege is a lie" camp than in the "privilege is a thing we need to consider" camp?

    I agree with the concept in very specific circumstances, but I don't believe it is correctly framed or particularly beneficial. I disagree that myopically focusing on race and eliminating other key elements leads to less bigotry. To the contrary it promotes it. The study - "The Perils of Privilege" make this case quite well. Seems rather obvious that if you narrowly concentrate on race, you're effectively promoting racism. Seems a rather easy effectiveness check. Does the public believe that race relations have improved or degraded since the concept of privilege was introduced and actively promoted?

    Are white coal miners in West Virginia privileged? Are white male homeless veterans privileged? What if one takes review of their life and discovers that they lack these privileges?
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,084Member Member Posts: 6,084Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    These movements grow in roughly the same manner - from a legitimate concern which needs to be reviewed, but once addressed the momentum isn't stopped. People are too invested into the political animus and branch far beyond, so movements unreliant on competency inevitably trend to corruption - unchecked consolidation of power.

    What is the purpose of recognizing privilege? Is there a resulting action from this? If one was to conduct a comparative analysis of successful and unsuccessful individuals and adapt behaviors to better prepare the unsuccessful, then this has potential for good. If used to remove "roadblocks" this has potential for good. Check the system for systemic unfairness - again potential for good. If simply used to fulfill a narcissistic need to justify fantasy and reject reality, then there is no potential for good. If used politically to pit one group against another - while there may be a theoretical potential for good historically this has resulted in starvation and genocide.

    It's also incredibly dishonest (although insidiously brilliant) how binary thought results in very specific recognition of privilege in certain areas while completely ignoring others. Although I suspect this will continue to increase given time as a good majority active seek and promote some manner of how they do are part of a victim class. It is far easier to destroy than create, as such far easier to criticize others than change your behavior.

    There's a foundational flaw in the logic which presumes that man is good and that if the system were to only be tweaked, life would be better. Reality is quite the opposite as your chances of making this worse greatly exceed your chances for improving anything for anyone. Man has an equal capacity for good and evil, but left unchecked trends to evil. The most effective means of mitigating this is serving a higher purpose beyond the individual - beyond generations.

    Another foundational flaw is that of zero sum - that the assets are fixed. The resentful look at whoever they see as having life better and cannot see beyond privilege - skinny genes, high metabolism, etc. The fit did not get so by making the obese, nor did the obese suffer at the hands of the fit. Assets in nearly all systems are variable - they expand and contract - are created and destroyed.

    The fatal flaw in privilege, and this also lies at the heart of postmoderism is the limit of scope. Any hypothesis worth review is taken to extreme to ensure consistency. Privilege is highly scoped by very specific criteria to establish a false narrative to gain political power. Competency for example is a very real privilege. The competent are given increasing challenges while the incompetent are given less. Attractiveness, sex, sexual orientation, gender, age, hair color, eye color, height, weight, epidermal pigmentation, IQ, EQ, culture, race, creed, genetics - carried out infinitesimally this brings us and infinitesimal number of privileges, which brings us inevitably to the individual. No two humans think and act the same every time - and you've once again stumbled into the age of enlightenment. Congratulations! You've discovered what we figured out 300 years ago (which figured out what we knew 2000 years ago).



    So, the bolded sentence isn't using privilege in the way that it is used by most people who think talking about privilege is an important and enlightening thing to do sometimes. To them, privilege is not the inherent genetic characteristic you have (like skinny genes or high metabolism, or even being white or male). Privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have characteristic, including the privilege of not having to even notice that you get benefits that people who don't have that characteristic don't get.



    Then the correction would be to precisely define privilege and we can effectively debate. The next step would be to review data to verify that preconceived notions are indeed correct.

    This would be acceptable and as you say enlightening if done in review of other key characteristics. If you're only looking at one trait, then as there are an infinite number of ways of viewing things, you have a corresponding chance of reaching an incorrect conclusion.

    Thanks for explaining to me that the correct thing to do would be the thing I literally just did.

    What's the difference then between privilege and competency?

    From my earlier post that you responded to by saying the correct thing to do would be to define privilege:
    privilege is not the inherent genetic characteristic you have (like skinny genes or high metabolism, or even being white or male). Privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have characteristic, including the privilege of not having to even notice that you get benefits that people who don't have that characteristic don't get.

    Privilege is also not competency. If you gained that competency through avenues not open to everyone because of their inherent characteristics, socioeconomic status, or religion (or other things that it would be unreasonable to demand they give up to try to obtain access to those avenues), competency might be a reflection of privilege. Again, privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have a characteristic, it is not the characteristic itself.

    Maybe a concrete example would help. Let's say that in a particular society, certain professions and the academic paths to those professions are barred or extremely restricted (legally or de facto) to certain people based on race, religion, gender, etc. Let's say that people in those professions then find that they are accorded favorable treatment in situations that are not directly related to their profession (obtaining loans on favorable terms, for example, because the lending officers steer people in the trades to higher interest or balloon loans), regardless of their credit (and this is not a hypothetical example). The ability of the people in those professions to draw blood or draw up a contract (or whatever their competence may be) is not their privilege. Their privilege is how other people treat them.

    The fundamental issue is lack of an agreed upon definition, so until then it remains a nebulous term similar to "healthy". We also have to specifically state the intended outcome of this to ensure it is just. Proponents of the movement have already determined that the outcome is favorable, but this has yet to be scrutinized or thought through the next step. What then is the counter to this movement?

    Privilege is a symptom of something deeper - a root cause. So just as in weight management addressing a symptom such as eating healthy, which neglecting the root cause of caloric surplus, serves nothing. Competency is closer to a potential root cause.

    A concrete, and real example, would certainly help. Is there currently a specific profession or academic path which deliberately excludes based upon race, religion, gender, ideology, etc.?

    This would be in direct violation of existing law, so then one would have to ask, why? Then examine that individual or group of individuals.

    lynn_glenmont literally gave you a definition: "Again, privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have a characteristic, it is not the characteristic itself."
    If you disagree with that definition, you're just talking past her in your argument. I actually think you're the one trying to avoid it having a definition because it is far easier to debate something nebulous doesn't exist than to argue against something that obviously happens - certain people are treated differently for just having certain characteristics.

    We have to state the intended outcome of what? Are you saying privilege means society has to do something about it? That's jumping the gun when you're trying to hold that it doesn't exist first. It is a fallacious is-ought. Privilege could exist and we could have different concepts of justice that say it isn't on society to address them.

    Then let's test that specific definition - noting that we are then rejecting the formal definition. How then is privilege measured? Seems to be a completely subjective system of measurement.

    As example - Prior to learning about CICO how many people on MFP believed that those successful in managing their weight was due to some manner of unearned privilege? Is it true?

    What is the intended outcome of privilege? Is it simply for those so judged with privilege to apologize and atone? Seems a massive waste of effort without an end goal.

    Privilege is an abstraction, a concept. It's pretty rare that we can directly measure a concept. Most people believe in things like compassion, dishonesty, greed, kindness . . . there is no yardstick for those concepts.

    In some cases, you can measure the symptoms or outcomes of a concept. I think some of the things Lynn referred to are reasonable examples of symptoms or outcomes of privilege. (Are all disparate outcomes a result of privilege or the lack thereof? Unlikely. Are no disparate outcomes related in some way to arbitrary characteristics attributed to humans because of their membership in some group? Also unlikely.)

    Of course some people misuse the priviledge concept (and others), misunderstand it, reason about it in quite unreasonable ways.

    Same is true of a lot of abstract concepts or generalizations, because it's simply harder to reason about abstractions, in general. In practice, there will be nuances and exceptions. (This is one reason I don't much like abstractions, generalizations, and concepts, and avoid them when I can: Using them sensibly is hard, and I don't like hard things. But there's also no reasoning without them! :grimace: ).

    That some people misuse a concept is no reasonable test of the total value or correctness of the concept. If it were, we couldn't have any nice things. ;)

    I already told you what I think the "privileged" person is supposed to do, in my personal view of how I should behave: I should recognize when personal characteristics I did nothing to earn are in play, strive toward empathy and compassion for those differently situated through random circumstance, and use my "privilege" to help those without it (including supporting societal measures that I think would reasonably level the playing field), when I have reasonable opportunities. (I don't always succeed, of course.)

    Did you see "apologize and atone" in there? No, unless empathy and sensitive assistance are forms of atonement.

    I also said what the "not privileged" person is supposed to do (what I in fact have personally done**): Recognize that some situational advantages may apply to others that are not quite as accessible to me, and plan my actions and strategies to work around, over or through those limitations to accomplish my goals. I'd say that that includes working hard, recognizing that at times I might have to work a little harder (or smarter) than some others to accomplish the same goal . . . which doesn't mean they aren't working hard, too. The privilege factor is not their creation, so it's not their fault, either (. . . unless they use it as a club, try to defend and prop up barriers, etc., which is also unreasonable and lacking in insight, compassion, etc.).

    The whole idea that resentment is the only possible outcome of the privilege concept . . . well, that's just silly, frankly. I see no point in resenting people for something they didn't ask for, didn't earn, and possibly even aren't fully aware of. (I do wish they'd wake up and smell the coffee, in some cases.)

    ** I entered a male dominated career field when there were few women in it, when the legal environment was just undergoing material change to equalize the legal context, and while social attitudes were still lagging behind. For one easy example, men had advantages of social connection (men's golf leagues, hunting trips with "the boys", etc.) where close relationships helpful to work were formed, and useful knowledge was exchanged. Had I tried to press my way into that full range of social activity, it would've created resistance from some, and perceptions that I was making sexual advances to others. Not a good strategy! So I figured out other strategies, worked hard, and ended up doing OK in my career. My male colleagues also worked hard, no question. But they had certain advantages (advantages they never asked for, and that I didn't expect them to give up, in this particular case, BTW).

    I would agree with this use; however this is not how the corrupt and incompetent are using this concept. As example review the conduct on college campuses within the humanities. If used for personal reflection, a severly underutilized tool, this can lead to great moments in one's life. The problem with such a generalized and non-specific concept is that it invites corruption. The vengeful will use this to serve baser instincts. The incompetent will use this as an excuse. To those who have been unfairly treated this may be meaningful and to those who feel guilt over a perceived unearned reward, equally so. It brings up immediate counters to the concept as the core concept is bigoted.

    Perhaps that's the core difference. As long as privilege is personal, there isn't an issue. The moment one attempts to project this onto others this becomes a problem as this quickly turns into resentment.

    When was the last time you were on a college campus taking classes, teaching classes, or working in an administrative position? Additionally when was the last time that you spoke to a group of college professors and/or adjuncts based at more than one college? You're talking a lot about how the word privilege is currently used within academia and your claims fly counter to my experience as someone who graduated less than a year ago and who talks to professors from multiple universities on a regular basis (I row with people employed by one three different universities, still take part in research, and regularly go to academic conferences. Didn't you say last week or maybe two weeks ago that you have long been out of academia?

    You're talking about how corrupt and incompetent people are without seemingly actually having any basis for those claims. You're also making a whole host of baseless assumptions under the guise of fairly complex sentence structure, a lot of repetition, and a handful of low frequency words ("baser" is low frequency). All of that while completely ignoring the definitions that multiple people have given you multiple times - and you're complaining about the corruption and incompetency of others? You're saying that other people aren't capable of personal reflection? Do you even want to engage in any sort of dialogue that involves understanding where other people are coming from and what other people are saying?

    And let me just say, I know a number of white cisgender men, some with with a boat load of cultural and social capital (a concept created by a few other white men), who are perfectly capable taking part in a rational discussion about privilege. These men range in age from 30 to 55+ with most of the people I'm thinking of being in the 50+ range.

    If you feel guilty about something like your privilege then that's on you. That's for you to practice self reflection on. There are more than a few resources to aid in that, but I'm not willing to do that homework for you. No one here seems to be wallowing in self-pity nor is anyone assigning guilt. Pointing out that privilege and marginalization exist is not assigning guilt. If you can't grasp that things like redlining, other forms of systemic racism, as well as systemic sexism (among other things) effect multiple people who you have engaged with on this forum then I suggest that you take a hard look at yourself, history (recent and not so recent), and the state of the world. If you're not willing to do that then it's very clear that you're not willing to meet people half way.

    I work in industry, but part of this is acting as a liaison between the academic and industrial space to help programs align to industry needs and to prepare students on what to expect during this transition. I'm working primarily with life and physical sciences, but with my background contract out or review data for colleagues in the humanities. As an "outsider" I'm able to have conversations where there's no fear of reprisal for "wrongthink". Some universities have pushed back against such regressive notions, but few and far between. Universities were once a place when challenges and disagreements were not only welcomed, but mandatory. Growth originates from resistance.

    I bring up corrupt and incompetent in reference to systems without accountability as they are allowed to thrive. This is not an accusation on the individual, but the system - pointing out the lack of checks and balances.

    I cannot imagine talking to someone - the whole wonderful breadth of qualities, experience, and knowledge - and reduce this to race and sexual orientation. We are far more than this, yes?

    I can grasp the concept, but I focus on the objective data, which effectively contradicts the concept.

  • BuiltLikeAPeepBuiltLikeAPeep Posts: 101Member Member Posts: 101Member Member
    @lemurcat2 I totally agree to walking as opposed to youtube. You never know if those people know what they're doing.
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 2,964Member Member Posts: 2,964Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    These movements grow in roughly the same manner - from a legitimate concern which needs to be reviewed, but once addressed the momentum isn't stopped. People are too invested into the political animus and branch far beyond, so movements unreliant on competency inevitably trend to corruption - unchecked consolidation of power.

    What is the purpose of recognizing privilege? Is there a resulting action from this? If one was to conduct a comparative analysis of successful and unsuccessful individuals and adapt behaviors to better prepare the unsuccessful, then this has potential for good. If used to remove "roadblocks" this has potential for good. Check the system for systemic unfairness - again potential for good. If simply used to fulfill a narcissistic need to justify fantasy and reject reality, then there is no potential for good. If used politically to pit one group against another - while there may be a theoretical potential for good historically this has resulted in starvation and genocide.

    It's also incredibly dishonest (although insidiously brilliant) how binary thought results in very specific recognition of privilege in certain areas while completely ignoring others. Although I suspect this will continue to increase given time as a good majority active seek and promote some manner of how they do are part of a victim class. It is far easier to destroy than create, as such far easier to criticize others than change your behavior.

    There's a foundational flaw in the logic which presumes that man is good and that if the system were to only be tweaked, life would be better. Reality is quite the opposite as your chances of making this worse greatly exceed your chances for improving anything for anyone. Man has an equal capacity for good and evil, but left unchecked trends to evil. The most effective means of mitigating this is serving a higher purpose beyond the individual - beyond generations.

    Another foundational flaw is that of zero sum - that the assets are fixed. The resentful look at whoever they see as having life better and cannot see beyond privilege - skinny genes, high metabolism, etc. The fit did not get so by making the obese, nor did the obese suffer at the hands of the fit. Assets in nearly all systems are variable - they expand and contract - are created and destroyed.

    The fatal flaw in privilege, and this also lies at the heart of postmoderism is the limit of scope. Any hypothesis worth review is taken to extreme to ensure consistency. Privilege is highly scoped by very specific criteria to establish a false narrative to gain political power. Competency for example is a very real privilege. The competent are given increasing challenges while the incompetent are given less. Attractiveness, sex, sexual orientation, gender, age, hair color, eye color, height, weight, epidermal pigmentation, IQ, EQ, culture, race, creed, genetics - carried out infinitesimally this brings us and infinitesimal number of privileges, which brings us inevitably to the individual. No two humans think and act the same every time - and you've once again stumbled into the age of enlightenment. Congratulations! You've discovered what we figured out 300 years ago (which figured out what we knew 2000 years ago).



    So, the bolded sentence isn't using privilege in the way that it is used by most people who think talking about privilege is an important and enlightening thing to do sometimes. To them, privilege is not the inherent genetic characteristic you have (like skinny genes or high metabolism, or even being white or male). Privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have characteristic, including the privilege of not having to even notice that you get benefits that people who don't have that characteristic don't get.



    Then the correction would be to precisely define privilege and we can effectively debate. The next step would be to review data to verify that preconceived notions are indeed correct.

    This would be acceptable and as you say enlightening if done in review of other key characteristics. If you're only looking at one trait, then as there are an infinite number of ways of viewing things, you have a corresponding chance of reaching an incorrect conclusion.

    Thanks for explaining to me that the correct thing to do would be the thing I literally just did.

    What's the difference then between privilege and competency?

    From my earlier post that you responded to by saying the correct thing to do would be to define privilege:
    privilege is not the inherent genetic characteristic you have (like skinny genes or high metabolism, or even being white or male). Privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have characteristic, including the privilege of not having to even notice that you get benefits that people who don't have that characteristic don't get.

    Privilege is also not competency. If you gained that competency through avenues not open to everyone because of their inherent characteristics, socioeconomic status, or religion (or other things that it would be unreasonable to demand they give up to try to obtain access to those avenues), competency might be a reflection of privilege. Again, privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have a characteristic, it is not the characteristic itself.

    Maybe a concrete example would help. Let's say that in a particular society, certain professions and the academic paths to those professions are barred or extremely restricted (legally or de facto) to certain people based on race, religion, gender, etc. Let's say that people in those professions then find that they are accorded favorable treatment in situations that are not directly related to their profession (obtaining loans on favorable terms, for example, because the lending officers steer people in the trades to higher interest or balloon loans), regardless of their credit (and this is not a hypothetical example). The ability of the people in those professions to draw blood or draw up a contract (or whatever their competence may be) is not their privilege. Their privilege is how other people treat them.

    The fundamental issue is lack of an agreed upon definition, so until then it remains a nebulous term similar to "healthy". We also have to specifically state the intended outcome of this to ensure it is just. Proponents of the movement have already determined that the outcome is favorable, but this has yet to be scrutinized or thought through the next step. What then is the counter to this movement?

    Privilege is a symptom of something deeper - a root cause. So just as in weight management addressing a symptom such as eating healthy, which neglecting the root cause of caloric surplus, serves nothing. Competency is closer to a potential root cause.

    A concrete, and real example, would certainly help. Is there currently a specific profession or academic path which deliberately excludes based upon race, religion, gender, ideology, etc.?

    This would be in direct violation of existing law, so then one would have to ask, why? Then examine that individual or group of individuals.

    lynn_glenmont literally gave you a definition: "Again, privilege is all the benefits society accords you because you have a characteristic, it is not the characteristic itself."
    If you disagree with that definition, you're just talking past her in your argument. I actually think you're the one trying to avoid it having a definition because it is far easier to debate something nebulous doesn't exist than to argue against something that obviously happens - certain people are treated differently for just having certain characteristics.

    We have to state the intended outcome of what? Are you saying privilege means society has to do something about it? That's jumping the gun when you're trying to hold that it doesn't exist first. It is a fallacious is-ought. Privilege could exist and we could have different concepts of justice that say it isn't on society to address them.

    Then let's test that specific definition - noting that we are then rejecting the formal definition. How then is privilege measured? Seems to be a completely subjective system of measurement.

    As example - Prior to learning about CICO how many people on MFP believed that those successful in managing their weight was due to some manner of unearned privilege? Is it true?

    What is the intended outcome of privilege? Is it simply for those so judged with privilege to apologize and atone? Seems a massive waste of effort without an end goal.

    You can certainly objectively measure privilege. It's been done in everything from credit and real estate redlining to traffic stops.

    I don't have any stats on the beliefs of people before they learned about CICO.

    "What is the intended outcome of privilege?" In many cases, it has no intended outcome, because it is unconsciously accorded to people by other people who would vehemently deny that they are doing so.

    The Oxford definition is: a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.

    So what special right, advantage, or immunity is granted or available?

    Credit and real estate is based upon risk. If you have a claim against these industries then file a lawsuit against them. A logical path and one with little controversy would be to collect evidence and verify if your hypothesis is valid. If not then introspection would be worthwhile to understand how this confirmation bias formed to begin with.

    The entire notion is disingenuous as we live in an information age and can easily discover specific individuals responsible for criminal activity, but casting others based upon similar appearance isn't virtue - it is bigotry.

    Yes, casting others based on similar appearance isn't virtue, it's bigotry.

    And, to use a historical example, when the overall social system, on balance, does things like urban development from the national level (that tore down neighborhoods, mostly selecting those filled with certain groups, at the cost of community social fabric); redlining that was encouraged and permitted by state and local governments to shut out some people from some neighborhoods based on appearance, and limit credit based on the neighborhoods they were therefore forced to live in (which is using risk as a pretext, when you look at the whole environment); and mobs of just regular people (not everyone, but large groups) burned crosses on people's lawns, threw rocks through windows, taunted children, when people moved to neighborhoods where their appearance was not liked by their neighbors . . . that's bigotry, of such a wide scale, that it creates advantage for some groups (who are "privileged") and major disadvantage for others.

    Lawsuits were not exactly immediately helpful, in the context of those times. (They were a small nudge in the greater set of forces that improved things, but very small. Certainly not a remedy in the moment.)

    Some of those specific issues have diminished within our recent history, to our collective benefit (if you ask me). But to think that there is no privilege (of any sort, based on people's appearance or other non-chosen characteristics) . . . that's equivalent to believing that there are no societal patterns of bigotry left anymore, which I think is false. (Someone, IIRC it was Phirrgus, gave us a current example in the realm of the above historical scenario.)

    I'd point out that - information age or no - that since (IMO) we've not wiped out all societal bigotry (of various sorts, not just playing out the historical example scenario above) and probably never will, considering whether some groups, as a generality, have arbitrary advantage, is still a useful form of analysis. Where that's found, where there are still irrational or over-generalized beliefs about groups built into our social system, it's not the case that all individual actions reinforcing that bigotry will be criminal acts, or able to be identified "because it's the information age".

    P.S. I feel like the only really important distinction between Lynn's definition and the OED's is the word "only".

    P.P.S. Are you arguing that those who have their privilege pointed out are being subjected to bigotry?

    I think we all (at least I hope) agree that we are better off in a world where bigotry is diminished. Most people can't look past what's directly in front of them and rarely think of the unintended consequences, so my optimism is at odds with my realism.

    Lawsuits, direct enforcement actions, whatever the course may be - what is required is action on that specific occurence.

    I bring up the point that we are in "the information age" as if there is an injustice, it seems fairly easy to identify specific historical injustices. So those individuals who unjustly profited could be identified. To judge others because they share similar appearance is bigoted and inherently unjust. I wonder if this lies at the heart of the movement - projection.

    I'm pointing out that the concept of privilege invites bigoted views and carries more harm than good - sadly the norm on many college campuses. As previously stated if used in personal reflection has potential for growth and good. If used outwardly this leads to resentment.

    When it leads one to state "“I’m sorry I was born white and privileged, It disgusts me. And I feel so much shame.” you've jumped the shark.

    There's room for thoughtful people to disagree on most anything, but for my taste, the complete rejection of the concept of privilege - a sensible definition of it, such as Lynn advanced - leads to more bigotry in our current world than does a thoughtful acceptance of the concept.

    The outrage by individuals who may be in advantaged categories - or think they may be - when simply asked to acknowlege that group stereotyping influences other individuals' lived experience . . . well, it seems like the same flavor of "corrupt and incompetent" usage you decry, but in mirror image.

    Being expected to notice that I may have advantages others don't is, IMO, in no way an example of bigotry. That's in effect an absolutist "reverse discrimination" charge. One is rarely disadvantaged, in any significant practical way, by being lumped in conceptually with an advantaged group.

    In this thread, is the display of resentment stronger in the "privilege is a lie" camp than in the "privilege is a thing we need to consider" camp?

    I agree with the concept in very specific circumstances, but I don't believe it is correctly framed or particularly beneficial. I disagree that myopically focusing on race and eliminating other key elements leads to less bigotry. To the contrary it promotes it. The study - "The Perils of Privilege" make this case quite well. Seems rather obvious that if you narrowly concentrate on race, you're effectively promoting racism. Seems a rather easy effectiveness check. Does the public believe that race relations have improved or degraded since the concept of privilege was introduced and actively promoted?

    Are white coal miners in West Virginia privileged? Are white male homeless veterans privileged? What if one takes review of their life and discovers that they lack these privileges?

    This comes off as "I think the solution is we need to be color blind". Doesn't work, can't work. Humans naturally categorize things. You don't hold up a rock on a leash and say it is your dog because "I don't see categories".

    As far as your effectiveness check, are you now saying we should use a group subjectivity instead of an objective measure of race relations? And on such a nebulous concept instead of measures of specific attitudes. Like just for example, if we took the concrete concept like percent of people that oppose mixed race couples? We absolutely know that's down. Though as DuBois discussed privilege (without coining a term), I think we can get a lot of people to agree race relations are better now than when slavery was legal.

    For your final questions, they read as trying to misunderstand the concept. Even the grammar is wrong. It is trying to avoid the relative nature to make it like there is some absolute. Do white coal miners have privilege, not are they privileged. Yes, a white person has privilege. Does a male white homeless vet have privilege? Yes, being a man, he has far less chance he'll be sexually assaulted if he sleeps on a park bench compared to a homeless woman. That's a privilege, not privileged. If you disagree, go ahead and tell me what part of being a man he earned that makes him less likely to be victimized.

    And to expand on your last paragraph, while a white homeless man does have various forms of privilege, economic privilege is not one of them. To assume that things are black and white is not a wise or comprehensive way to look at the idea of privilege. If we have a white man in the US with severe mental health issues that have contributed to being homeless and a black man in the US with severe mental health issues that have contributed to being homeless, the black man will be at higher risk for police brutality. That said, if we compare those two people to me, a black person with mental health issues who isn't homeless, they both are likely at a higher risk of police brutality due to their homelessness and the severity of their mental health issues.

    It's not as simple as either or. Intersections exist and make things complicated.
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