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> Are you a person of color? Are you a woman? Are you gay? Are you trans? Are you disabled?

Does it matter?




Yes. If you're speaking from able-bodied, neurotypical, straight, cis, white, male privilege, your opinion on how hurtful 'trolling' is to people who don't share your privilege carries no weight.


When did HN devolve into the insipid land of Tumblr SJW? It takes some mighty mental gymnastics to convince yourself that only a black, trans, gay, crippled, ADHD person is allowed to offer opinions


You don't need to invoke the strawman of Tumblr to conceptualize that at a first-order guess the dreadful SJW (what a terrible insult!) who's been coping with racism/sexism/homophobia/ableism for most of their life has a more insightful perspective on those issues then some dude who only reads about discrimination as something that happens to other people.


No, but the point is that a lot of people will quite happily insist "I'm not really hurting anyone", immediately after being pointed out to that their behaviour patterns do in fact hurt people. That's almost exactly what happened upthread. In many people's books, that's really not on.


I'm not, actually, but that rarely seems to make a difference to how much weight my opinion carries with people who don't share that opinion. If nothing else, the facts that I only tick one, maybe two, of the boxes you listed, and that I loathe identity politics games in general, almost always outweigh the substance of what I actually happen to be saying.


Your distaste for identity politics doesn't obviate other people's legitimate concerns about them.


That's probably the single thing about identity politics that crosses me the worst: there are actually legitimate points in there, but they're so deeply buried under assertions like "you can't say X around me because I'm Y" and "P's have mistreated Q's for so long that Q's deserve special treatment from P's in recompense", which may not be contested in any fashion but must be taken as axiomatic, that ordinary people of all stripes, who would otherwise be quite sympathetic, instead flee screaming into the night.


I am not saying "you can't say that". I am saying that the context of who is speaking matters quite a bit. It may not seem 'fair' that when speaking on how hurtful a statement is to a particular group, whether you are actually a member of that particular group is highly relevant, but that perception of unfairness is itself an aspect of privilege.

Basically, if you make a joke about a group you aren't a member of, don't expect to be able to tell someone who is a member that it's 'just a joke', and that goes double if you're a member of the dominant group (whichever that happens to be in context).

Personally, I hit almost all of the privilege checkboxes with the (very mild) exception of religion/ethnicity. Guess what? If you aren't Jewish, and you tell me a Jewish joke, and I take offense (and I might even if it is a joke I have used myself), and I then call you out on it, 'lighten up' just isn't an appropriate response, regardless of the fact that you may not have privilege in some other area.


Because they're not people too?




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