Posts Tagged ‘personal

26
Jan
10

On Civility and Rules

No Comment Moderation Policy Here, Yet

As this is more of a blog to keep me in practice blogging until I decide it is okay to resurrect my real blog, I don’t promote it much nor do I get much traffic.  That’s okay with me, trust me.  Not only am I used to being rather ignored, the purpose here is not to sell Amazon Gifts or clickthroughs to Google.  I just need to have a place to write.

Since I have only garnered 8 comments on this blog, I haven’t seen fit to design and develop a comment policy.  Until I do, I retain the right to be capricious with any of the comments that may find there way here.  I will follow the general guidelines set by one John S. Wilkins of Evolving Thoughts. To wit:

  • Comment policy

    This is my living room, so don’t piss on the floor. I reserve the right to block users and delete any comments that are uncivil, spam or offensive to all. I have a broad tolerance, but don’t test it, please. Try to remain coherent, polite and put forward positive arguments if engaged in debate. There are plenty of places you can accuse people of being pedophilic communist sexist pigs; don’t do it here.

This, apparently is too restrictive for some people who think that their own rules should apply everywhere. Such a restrictive policy is akin to telling people that they belong in the back of the bus and that requesting a certain level of decency is akin to arresting Rosa Parks, or insecure about their sexuality:

Oh, and BTW, all this “pissing on the carpet” shit is just cover for some serious unresolved masculinity issues. These “don’t piss on my carpet” douchebags are the same ones who get in fights in bars because some other d00d looked at them funny or accidentally bumped into them on the way to the fucking men’s room. They’re just insecure little boys playing at being big, tough, men-in-charge.

I am going to make a blanket statement of character regarding Comrade Physio Prof:

He is a suckup, always trying to prove to the oppressed that he is not one of “those guys” but couching his suckupedness in foul language so no one thinks he is a ‘modern caring sensitive male.’ He is a rule enforcer.

It doesn’t matter that I don’t know CPP other than through his anonymous comments at other people’s blogs. He backs the clicque’s rule enforcement, and here is the main issue that I have with the clicque (pronounced “cleek” as I have been re-corrected by a Canadian friend and that is the way that I used to pronounce it until I was corrected long ago to sound more American by pronouncing it “click.” It’s a French word, after all and we must be careful to defend freedom wherever we can.)

Way back when I was in my twenties and sitting with a group of women who were complaining about how much they hated the men in their lives, my girlfriend at the time made the statement that she hated men. Then she realized that I was in the group and said, “I don’t mean you. It’s not like your a man, anyway.” Then she backpedaled to try to dig herself out of a hole and said “Well I mean you’re not an asshole like all the other men.” I told her to forget it, I knew what she meant.

Comrade PhysioProf wants to be one of the guys that my girlfriend was talking about. Not an asshole to women and minorities, and traditionally underrepresented groups. He wants to be the guy they know that will stick up for them when they are in a battle over issues related to suppression and rights of the traditionally underrepresented groups. But, here is my problem with him:

In doing so, he is engaging in stereotyping of his own. He is further engaging the problem by accusing people like Wilkins of having masculinity issues and assigning that reasoning to the reason that Wilkins expects civility.

The problem with society and the way that minorities are treated is that their contributions are diminished and not valued. It is a cultural impression imprinted on children at a very early age, sometimes intentionally and sometimes imprinted even by parents who have the best intentions to try to avoid that. It is a set of issues that we are struggling through to enlighten ourselves and make the playing fields level for women and minorities.

I agree that the sexism, racism and classism that we have inherited through ages past must be fought; and sometimes discivilly, but being uncivil is not the only way that it can be done. And if a person has a commenting rule that requests that people be civil remember one thing:

It is their blog.

This is my blog. If I request that people don’t piss on the rug, please be clear that I don’t start bar fights to prove my masculinity.

Wilkis Clarifies:

Now, when you are first meeting someone in debate, you have to assume certain things about them. Is it fair to assume that because I am male, white, middle class and western that I share the hidden brain of that group? It’s a reasonable bet. But such class-based categorisation depends on a lack of information about the individual with whom you are actually dealing. Suppose, as you get to know me, that I turn out to be actively trying to overcome those attitudes in favour of a more equalitarian view. Suppose you find that I try very hard to treat all comers civilly and equally. Suppose I do not oppress minorities. Are you excused from treating me civilly because of my membership of a class that you despise?

Think very hard about that. It’s in effect to justify discrimination on the basis of what groups someone falls into. Sure, you are doing it for the Very Best of Intentions, but we know where roads thusly paved lead. If you cannot reason with me because I am white, male and all the rest, why try? Why not just ignore me, or seek to suppress what I can say by employing any guerilla tactic you can? End justify means, after all (the idea that they do not is, of course, another tool of the patriarchy/capitalist oppressors/other hated group).

It seems to me that there has arisen a split over the last century or more between those who try to employ reasoning (not Reason – that’s an equid of an alternate aposematism) to argue to true conclusions, and those who think reasoning is a matter of social jockeying for power. As a philosopher, I value the former, but I know that we have to recognise that power relations enter into every interaction. Nevertheless, it doesn’t follow that because some conventions disadvantage minorities, that the mere fact of having conventions does; nor is it true that because some people use rules of reason to establish and strengthen their unjust social control, that all uses of reason are of that kind. There are some pretty basic fallacies involved, of the kind that first year students doing reasoning skills are expected to learn.

And that’s it- you can’t effectively fight the problem of sweeping generalizations by returning sweeping generalizations.

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