Brute Reason

A collection of thoughts about psychology, social justice, and anything else I give a shit about.

Topics: feminism / psychology / lgbtq / sex / politics / abortion / health / mental illness / language / depression / sexism / sexual assault / fashion / racism / education / social justice

my actual writing, if you're curious

Both men and women interrupt women more often than they interrupt men, according to a paper published earlier this year in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology. In that study, two researchers at George Washington University reported on an experiment where they put 20 women and 20 men in pairs, then recorded and transcribed their conversations. The result: Over the course of each three-minute conversation, women interrupted men just once, on average, but interrupted other women 2.8 times. Men interrupted their male conversation partner twice, on average, and interrupted the woman 2.6 times.
These Christians equate not getting their own way in the political sphere – not being able to impose their idiosyncratic religious views on others with the force of law – with brutal and unjust persecution. As America becomes more diverse and less religious than ever, white conservative Christian men are losing their disproportionate influence on politics and, because they think of themselves as the natural and deserving custodians of that power, having to share it feels like a shocking injustice.

But part of the justification for their victim routine is theological: the Bible predicts that Christians will be persecuted, so these conservatives believe that it must be true. Acknowledging the true extent of both their current and historical power and influence would generate an uncomfortable cognitive dissonance with a text that often takes the side of – and venerates leaders who serve – the low and the downtrodden.

The only remedy is thus to declare, despite the evidence, that they are truly a persecuted minority in a country filled with other self-identified Christians, which makes a mockery of the true victims of religious oppression all around the world.
You don’t necessarily have to do anything once you acknowledged your privilege. You don’t have to apologize for it. You need to understand the extent of your privilege, the consequences of your privilege, and remain aware that people who are different from you move through and experience the world in ways you might never know anything about. They might endure situations you can never know anything about. You could, however, use that privilege for the greater good—to try to level the playing field for everyone, to work for social justice, to bring attention to how those without certain privileges are disenfranchised. We’ve seen what the hoarding of privilege has done, and the results are shameful.
— Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist




I saw that post “is it morally ok to pray that your crush’s relationship doesn’t work out” going around a few times and

only now it has occurred me

prayer doesn’t actually do anything

except make you feel better

so yeah, it actually is morally ok to do it

(not that before thinking this I had thought it wasn’t morally ok, I just hadn’t thought about it at all)

I’m not sure this is entirely true. I’d expect if not the action of praying itself then certainly the underlying attitude that made you pray to be harmful to any friendship or chance of a future relationship with your crush. I mean wishing bad things to happen to someone is unlikely to be conducive to good relations

for me, prayer has self-modification effects. So I predict praying for my crush’s relationship not to work out would lead me to value my crush’s relationship not working out more (and in general to prefer that bad things that benefit me happen to other people). So I would steer clear of it and pray for compersion instead.

Interesting discussion.

(via michaelblume)

We tend to believe that accusations of privilege imply we have it easy, which we resent because life is hard for nearly everyone. Of course we resent these accusations. Look at white men when they are accused of having privilege. They tend to be immediately defensive (and, at times, understandably so). They say, “It’s not my fault I am a white man,” or “I’m [insert other condition that discounts their privilege],” instead of simply accepting that, in this regard, yes, they benefit from certain privileges others do not. To have privilege in one or more areas does not mean you are wholly privileged. Surrendering to the acceptance of privilege is difficult, but it is really all that is expected. What I remind myself, regularly, is this: the acknowledgment of my privilege is not a denial of the ways I have been and am marginalized, the ways I have suffered.
— Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist
Privilege is a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor. There is racial privilege, gender (and identity) privilege, heterosexual privilege, economic privilege, able-bodied privilege, educational privilege, religious privilege, and the list goes on and on. At some point, you have to surrender to the kinds of privilege you hold. Nearly everyone, particularly in the developed world, has something someone else doesn’t, something someone else yearns for.
— Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist
I don’t differentiate between friends on the basis of how I met them, and it infuriates me when other people do. What matters isn’t how we met, but rather our shared history together and our experiences as friends. And having contact with people through the internet provides me with a huge, supportive, and wonderful network that I wouldn’t have access to otherwise.
“Social Justice Warriors” is a term used often by these sort of people, and it’s a term whose pejorative use perplexes me, because aside from the source of its invention, it sounds like a really badass thing to be. I’d much rather label myself a Social Justice Warrior than a warrior for…whatever it is that these people are warriors for. Social justice is such an inherently positive thing - literally everyone benefits from greater equality - that it’s impossible to see its enemies as anything but sociopathic. Hatred of Social Justice Warriors can be seen as a broader hatred of social justice itself.

Central to the self-centred psychology of these people is that they see themselves as the targets of a grand conspiracy of feminist, progressive journalists and game developers that seeks to destroy their ability to…something. They have no actual issue. It’s all perceived persecution at the hands of political correctness. These “theories” are so narcissistic, so devoid of substance, that the only way to explain them is through delusion. And I mean, I get it - justifying one’s shitty behaviour with a made-up conspiracy probably feels better than confronting the painful truth that one is an asshole. They think they’re part of a “silent majority”, but the real silent majority is the one that either isn’t aware of their ridiculous conspiracy theories, or understands that there’s simply no reasoning with people who are so obviously out of their minds. It’s the same kind of fictional oppression old white folks claim about foreign immigrants who are still generally less well-off than they are. The moment a woman - or even someone who empathises with women - muscles in on “their” territory (which hasn’t actually ever been “theirs”), they’re off, spouting slurs, giving the fingers at intersections, and publishing their banking details on hate sites.
Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of people roll their eyes at ‘political correctness’ and pose this kind of exaggerated rhetorical question about how it’s impossible to please everyone; this idea that if you took everything that could possibly ‘offend’ someone out of your creative work, you’d end up with an insubstantial beige soup of nothingness. It’s a shallow argument deployed by cynical developers who don’t want to admit to their own bullshit, and the kind of lay gamers who speak out in defence of cynical developers with childlike innocence (here’s a thought: presuming that minority groups will never be satisfied until everything worthwhile has been destroyed is quite obviously a patronising attitude in itself???) “This is censorship!” they cry, in an eye-opening demonstration that they do not understand what words mean.
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