not your typical annihilatrix (furiosity) wrote,
not your typical annihilatrix

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1001 things

0001 - This week is another super long one. D:

0010 - But FanExpo is on Saturday, yay! I wasn't going to cosplay originally, but I'll take Hibari along since anathema91 is a filthy enabler.

0011 - And next week at this time I will be on my way to the airport to fly to Dragon*Con. :D I need the vacation, for srs. (wtf self, you just went on vacation 3 weeks ago -_-).

0100 - Bella is fixed! Considering that the previous two times with the body shop my old insurance company used, it took 3 weeks each even though they claimed they'd take less than a week, I am very impressed. Going to pick her up tomorrow morning. \o/

0101 - I've updated my about this journal page to better reflect the current state of things, plus I've felt for ages that it was too tl;dr anyway.

0110 - Also I made a list of fandoms I'm in and things I like, dislike/avoid, and plan to pick up. (Recs welcome. :D)

0111 - I've been doing a lot of thinking about engaging in discussion about social issues and the weight/relevance of experience. Like, someone makes a post saying "I find this thing oppressive". Then someone else replies to them and says, "I am from the same marginalised group as you but I don't find this thing oppressive". More often than not, that commenter will get a response along the lines of "you can't speak for everyone from our group". Which is fair enough, but how come the OP can? Does actually feeling oppressed make their experience more important (because oppression is real and talking about it is vital in the effort to eliminate it)? Is it that any dissent/argument with "this is oppressive" oppressive by definition, regardless of who dissents or makes the argument? Is there a double standard or can a double standard simply not exist in this situation -- does a member of a marginalised group who hasn't experienced oppression have privilege over those members of the group who have experienced it? I think privilege is something you just have as a function of some attribute you cannot help (genes, life circumstances, plain old Lady Luck), not something you obtain by expending effort, so I can see how that idea might work in theory, but is that how it really works? These are not rhetorical questions or lead-ins to conclusions; I really don't know the answers.

To be clear, I'm not talking about arguments along the lines of "I personally don't feel oppressed by this, therefore it is not generally oppressive and everyone who feels oppressed by it is just making things up/too sensitive/needs a sense of humour/etc". That's obviously trying to erase the experiences of others and I don't think it's okay at all, regardless of the source. But I feel like any time someone from a marginalised group says "well, my experience with this is different from yours so I do not share your feelings", people are really quick to jump to the conclusion that they're speaking generally and therefore silencing. I don't like that.

For example, the other day my boss had a conference call starting at 10 sharp and he ran a bit late coming into the office, so he asked me at 9:58 to make a coffee for him because he just didn't have time to do it and be on time for the conference call. He was apologetic about asking, and there was no one but me in the office at the time, and making his coffee equals sticking a K-Cup into the machine and pushing a button (he drinks it black). The whole thing took less than 5 minutes and didn't make me feel the least bit uncomfortable or harassed/discriminated against. But another woman might well tell me that, well, tough titty, this was an example of gender discrimination in the workplace and it means nothing that you personally didn't feel that it was. In short, to this hypothetical woman, my real experience and my actual feelings would hold no meaning or relevance. I don't think that's awesome. OTOH, my experience also included having to consider whether or not I'd been discriminated against by a very polite and apologetic request to make a cup of coffee, but does that make the situation itself discriminatory or does it simply illuminate the fact that I don't have male privilege? Is being reminded of my lack of male privilege oppressive in and of itself? I've got no answer to this one, either. :\ But basically, I don't feel like it's okay for another woman to essentially tell me that I ought to feel oppressed when I don't already. I don't want to feel oppressed when I don't think there's a real reason for it! Why is that wrong. :(

1000 - I prefer to use gender-neutral language, but I don't like invented gender-neutral pronouns, like "zie" and "ve" and that sort. They as a gender-neutral pronoun does not discriminate; the only thing that is (humanistically) wrong with it is that it can be claimed to implicitly erase the individuality of the person to whom it is applied; it's not only gender-neutral, it's utterly impersonal. For me that doesn't pose a giant problem, because in Hungarian (my second native language), the same gender-neutral pronoun is used to refer to men, women, and animals, so I a priori don't have very strong feelings about pronouns being personal.

I'll take "they" over "zie" any day, because if I am talking to someone for whom English is not a first language, I can be reasonably sure that person will understand what I mean by "they" (even if they might think my English is bad because I'm using a plural pronoun to refer to a single individual). Chances are high that the same person will not understand if I use "zie" or any other made-up pronoun; they might ask me what I mean but they might also just quietly feel inadequate for not being able to understand me. Some of these invented pronouns have been around for over a century, and not a single one has been adopted as the standard outside specific groups of people. The idea of forcing a language to change upsets me, because language belongs to everyone who speaks it, and if a word, phrase, or saying is not accepted by the users of the language ("accepted" meaning "becomes understood and used", not necessarily "is liked"), then insisting on its use is a bit like saying "I don't care what the rest of you do in our shared pool, but I'm gonna do what I want whether you all like it or not".

1001 - I am going to change all my icon keywords to random song lyrics because I feel like it. And possibly change a bunch of my tags around. /o\
Tags: cons, cons:dragon*con, driving, language, politics
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