Donate Now
We've Moved! Check out our new boards.
  New Poll  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Allies / minority groups: Single issue politics

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Allies / minority groups: Single issue politics
kitkatbits
Neophyte
Member # 45431

Icon 1 posted      Profile for kitkatbits     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
(Subject of thread expands on the small blurb below)

One problem I have observed with some allies and/or some minority groups: they fail to see the Big Picture of their existence and how their existence contributes. They go around setting up ONE issue as the most serious issue for the minority group when in fact it is only one of many issues that it has to suffer through for its continued existence in wider society. This eventually results in no actual difference at all.

For example:

Many in the LG community are focusing on same-sex marriage to the detriment of other important issues affecting the LG community. (They also forget about the B and T part)

Many people in the Deaf community are being affected by cochlear implants. I don't think the CI is entirely the issue here, but rather the attitude behind the person wearing the CI.

Posts: 30 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Cesario
Activist
Member # 47095

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Cesario     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I see this as a necessary evil.

Being a minority means that if you take a wholeistic approach to your politics, you will lose every time, since the majority will always have more votes than you do.

It's only by voting as a block, sometimes against your own personal interests in general, that you can magnify your influence and get anything accomplished.

[ 09-05-2011, 09:55 PM: Message edited by: Cesario ]

Posts: 64 | From: United States | Registered: May 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kitkatbits
Neophyte
Member # 45431

Icon 1 posted      Profile for kitkatbits     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Cesario:
I see this as a necessary evil.

Being a minority means that if you take a wholeistic approach to your politics, you will lose every time, since the majority will always have more votes than you do.

It's only by voting as a block, sometimes against your own personal interests in general, that you can magnify your influence and get anything accomplished.

Well, certainly this is one thing to think about. However, many of the tactics I have observed around minorities and their allies look eerily similar to majority tactics to disagree with the existence of the minority.
Posts: 30 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
How about some more explicit examples?

And maybe some questions?

Sorry, just having a hard time kind of finding the door into a conversation with this one.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bump on a log
Activist
Member # 60751

Icon 1 posted      Profile for bump on a log     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by kitkatbits:
Many in the LG community are focusing on same-sex marriage to the detriment of other important issues affecting the LG community. (They also forget about the B and T part)

Well, I wholly agree with you here, but then I am not a fan of marriage in any form, so while I can see the necessity of gay marriage with things as they are now, I'm uncomfortable about it.

quote:
Originally posted by kitkatbits:
Many people in the Deaf community are being affected by cochlear implants. I don't think the CI is entirely the issue here, but rather the attitude behind the person wearing the CI.

I know no deaf people, so I hadn't known about that. Thanks for telling us. Maybe tell us a bit more, just because it's interesting?

I think single-issue politics are a necessary evil sometimes. Sometimes there's one big important thing, like same-sex marriage, that you stand a decent chance of winning, and so you put all your efforts into that one thing. That doesn't matter so much as long as you bear in mind that it is temporary, and as long as you make an effort not to lose sight of the big picture. But there are only so many hours in a day and sometimes people do lose sight of the big picture. Also, sometimes people who have little political experience or sophistication will get involved in one of those single-issue campaigns and will be tempted to view the winning of that single issue as a panacea.

Then, with something like gay marriage -- it's a thing that involves many people's emotions. They want to be normal. They want to be accepted. They want their mother to be able to cry at their wedding and hold her grandchildren. They are afraid of loneliness; they want lasting love, and hope that a State-sanctioned ceremony can give it to them. So people get very bound up in it and that's part of the reason why it takes over, too, I think.

And I'm trying to be uncontroversial here, but it does have to be said, in passing, that some elements in the gay movement don't forget the B and T, but rather deliberately jettison them.

Posts: 170 | From: UK | Registered: Mar 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kitkatbits
Neophyte
Member # 45431

Icon 1 posted      Profile for kitkatbits     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by bump on a log:
quote:
Originally posted by kitkatbits:
[qb] Many in the LG community are focusing on same-sex marriage to the detriment of other important issues affecting the LG community. (They also forget about the B and T part)

Well, I wholly agree with you here, but then I am not a fan of marriage in any form, so while I can see the necessity of gay marriage with things as they are now, I'm uncomfortable about it.

I'm not a fan of marriage in any form either.

quote:
Originally posted by bump on a log:
quote:
Originally posted by kitkatbits:
[qb] Many people in the Deaf community are being affected by cochlear implants. I don't think the CI is entirely the issue here, but rather the attitude behind the person wearing the CI.

I know no deaf people, so I hadn't known about that. Thanks for telling us. Maybe tell us a bit more, just because it's interesting?

Well, there is a whole CI debate in the Deaf community. The cochlear implant is a technology usually marketed to certain profoundly deaf people who meet relatively strict qualifications, to help them hear. But the marketing of the CI shows an agenda of attempting to cure hearing or make them "normal." So the attitude reference was as per if someone wearing the CI doesn't believe they are still deaf when wearing the CI and continually discriminates against the deaf.

quote:
Originally posted by bump on a log:

[...] Sometimes there's one big important thing, like same-sex marriage, that you stand a decent chance of winning, and so you put all your efforts into that one thing. [...]
Then, with something like gay marriage -- it's a thing that involves many people's emotions. They want to be normal. They want to be accepted. They want their mother to be able to cry at their wedding and hold her grandchildren. They are afraid of loneliness; they want lasting love, and hope that a State-sanctioned ceremony can give it to them. So people get very bound up in it and that's part of the reason why it takes over, too, I think.

Certainly it would be benefical for everyone who wants it to have it. I'm not saying that these people should be treated differently, that is wrong. I am saying what exactly you're implying, that focusing on only one issue too much will not solve the ills of a minority community. That issue alone will not cure all the systemic problems of that community, it will only bring them to the surface.

quote:
Originally posted by bump on a log:

And I'm trying to be uncontroversial here, but it does have to be said, in passing, that some elements in the gay movement don't forget the B and T, but rather deliberately jettison them.

Yes, they do deliberately jettison them to meet their own needs. But this is short sighted and ill-formed.

[ 09-08-2011, 01:46 PM: Message edited by: kitkatbits ]

Posts: 30 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kitkatbits
Neophyte
Member # 45431

Icon 1 posted      Profile for kitkatbits     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
How about some more explicit examples?

And maybe some questions?

Sorry, just having a hard time kind of finding the door into a conversation with this one.

Well, I certainly feel that diversity is important. I'm not saying that minority groups should remain minority groups. What I'm saying is that many minority groups do not present themselves as being benefical to the majority on their own terms. They fight the majority group with the same strategies that the majority group has used in the past against them. Also, they fight for equal rights in a manner that does not validate the existence of the minority group as human.

I'm not sure how to explain concretely in terms of examples. However, one thing that comes to mind is how feminism is stereotyped as bad, e.g. bra burning and things of that manner. Does that help with a bit of a start?

Posts: 30 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm so sorry to tell you that only left me feeling a bit more lost. I thought you were talking about the behavior/approaches of minorities within minority groups, not external stereotyping?

(I am not particularly swift today, though, so this might be about me missing something, not something actually being missing.)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bump on a log
Activist
Member # 60751

Icon 1 posted      Profile for bump on a log     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by kitkatbits:
So the attitude reference was as per if someone wearing the CI doesn't believe they are still deaf when wearing the CI and continually discriminates against the deaf.

OK. I'd heard about cochlear implants but I hadn't realised that that sort of thing happens. Sucks, doesn't it?

quote:
Originally posted by kitkatbits:
Yes, they do deliberately jettison them to meet their own needs. But this is short sighted and ill-formed.

Short-sighted...well, it's morally wrong to be sure, but I'm not certain it's bad strategy. Lots of people who are unwilling to accept transgender people are happy to accept gay people. Lots of people who are made uncomfortable by the sexual flexibility bisexuality implies are happy to accept the reassuringly simple story that you're born either gay or straight, that you stay that way all your life and it can't change, that about ten percent of the population is always going to be gay. So, jettisoning the B and T might work well. But you may be right that it's short-sighted, in that the less tolerant a society is, the less tolerant we allow it to be, the more at risk we all, but especially minority groups, are of being turned upon and cast out of that tolerance. A more cynical view would be that societies beyond a certain size always have to have a scapegoat group and you just better make sure it's somebody else. Though to be sure it's sex offenders who these days fulfill the psychological function of the scapegoat, the monster, the terrible faceless Other if you will. Transgendered people are simply cast out and discriminated against. Do societies need a group to do that too, as well? I don't know what to think about that, really.

[ 09-08-2011, 07:16 PM: Message edited by: bump on a log ]

Posts: 170 | From: UK | Registered: Mar 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kitkatbits
Neophyte
Member # 45431

Icon 1 posted      Profile for kitkatbits     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
I'm so sorry to tell you that only left me feeling a bit more lost. I thought you were talking about the behavior/approaches of minorities within minority groups, not external stereotyping?

(I am not particularly swift today, though, so this might be about me missing something, not something actually being missing.)

I'm unsure how to explain about the behavior/approaches of minorities within minority groups without such a "external stereotyping" example.

That example was of a minority being stereotyped as what they are seen as doing from limited experience and extreme ignorance being filtered through preexisting biases. The filtering results in the majority using strategies that actively disagree with the existence of the minority. Many minorities then respond with strategies that desire to bring them up to majority standards, but this only hides "what they are seen as doing." Thus, eventually the minority becomes hateful towards their own for doing what they were doing in the first place that they effectively abolished through adopting the majority standards!

I can't think of any more concrete examples that better demonstrate the above thought manner.

Posts: 30 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bump on a log
Activist
Member # 60751

Icon 1 posted      Profile for bump on a log     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by kitkatbits:
Thus, eventually the minority becomes hateful towards their own for doing what they were doing in the first place that they effectively abolished through adopting the majority standards!

Yeah...I kind of worry that now that many gay people can marry, you'll be looked down on if you are gay and you don't want to marry. Though I read somewhere that somewhere (sorry to be so vague -- I think the country was Denmark) that though same-sex marriage has been allowed for a long time, only an estimated ten percent of local homosexuals have married.

You have kind of hit the nail on the head with your point about majority standards. A lot of people find it hard to be different all their lives, and not that many people have the bloody-mindedness to hold opinions differ in major ways from the accepted community standard. So people want to integrate. The more 'integrable' ones do and the less so are left behind.

I don't know how the problem might be soluble. What do you think?

Posts: 170 | From: UK | Registered: Mar 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kitkatbits
Neophyte
Member # 45431

Icon 1 posted      Profile for kitkatbits     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by bump on a log:
...

Yeah...I kind of worry that now that many gay people can marry, you'll be looked down on if you are gay and you don't want to marry. Though I read somewhere that somewhere (sorry to be so vague -- I think the country was Denmark) that though same-sex marriage has been allowed for a long time, only an estimated ten percent of local homosexuals have married.

You have kind of hit the nail on the head with your point about majority standards. A lot of people find it hard to be different all their lives, and not that many people have the bloody-mindedness to hold opinions differ in major ways from the accepted community standard. So people want to integrate. The more 'integrable' ones do and the less so are left behind.

I don't know how the problem might be soluble. What do you think? [/QB]

Well, not a direct answer to your question...and may seem unrelated.

Many in the disability community do not feel the need to be cured, but the majority sees disability as a defect to be cured.

Posts: 30 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bump on a log
Activist
Member # 60751

Icon 1 posted      Profile for bump on a log     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Which may be where the analogy breaks down. Because if you belong to a minority that is about whom you find sexually attractive, that minority status is usually also, by extension, about the kind of relationships you have, whereas though I'm sure disability has a tremendous effect on relationships, it isn't in the first instance about relationships. And so perhaps sexual minorities are hit differently by social exclusion.

Oh I don't know...this isn't my area of expertise. Just tossing ideas around.

Posts: 170 | From: UK | Registered: Mar 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

  New Poll   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3