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Friday, February 10, 2012

On substantiating one's points

"Rules are just helpful guidelines for stupid people who can't make up their own minds." - Seth Hoffman

***

From Case #1: Shakesville vs. Penny Arcade and “Rape Culture” « Compromises For Assholes:

"Shakesville:

1. You should substantiate your argument that this concept exists for real, with data. I shared the graph about how rape is becoming more rare while violence in popular culture and access to porn is going up, and got this graphic in reply:



Very droll indeed, but unfortunately for people who are not you, conversing with someone who is asking to make sweeping cultural changes but can offer only personal anecdotes that loosely illustrate why their changes are so urgently needed is rather tedious. I, for example, wish that Larry the Cable Guy was not allowed to perform comedy because I believe he makes people stupid. But I don’t have any evidence of it, so I basically keep that one to myself. Especially when I’m actually speaking to Larry the Cable Guy."

Related:

From Derailing for Dummies:

"You're Arguing With Opinions Not Fact
If you really want to excel as a Privileged Person® you need to learn to value data, statistics, research studies and empirical evidence above all things, but especially above Lived Experience©.

You can pretend you are oblivious to the fact most studies have been carried out by Privileged People® and therefore carry inherent biases, and insist that the Marginalised Person™ produce “Evidence” of what they‘re claiming.

Their Lived Experience© does not count as evidence, for it is subjective and therefore worthless.

This is very important because it works in two ways: 1) it communicates to the Marginalised Person™ that their personal testament is disbelieved and of no value, causing them great hurt; and 2) it once again reinforces your privilege.

You see, the very capacity to conduct studies, collect data and write detached “fact-based” reports on it, is an inherently privileged activity. The ability to widely access this material and research it exhaustively is also inherently privileged. Privileged People® find it easier to pursue these avenues than Marginalised People™ and so once again you are reminding them you possess this privilege and reinforcing that the world at large values a system of analysis that excludes them, and values it over what their actual personal experience has been.

The process of valuing “fact” over “opinion” is one very much rooted in preserving privilege. Through this methodology, the continued pain and othering of millions of people can be ignored because it’s supported by “opinion” (emotion) and not “fact” (rationality).

It is also important because it calls on the Marginalised Person™ to do something that is simply impossible, and that is summate the entirety of their group’s experiences into a definitive example. It is important that you establish this precedent for the next couple of steps."

When evidence is actually seen as a bad thing, there really is no point talking anymore.
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