Social Question

mowens's avatar

Are you ashamed of your demographic?

Asked by mowens (8367points) April 19th, 2010

There is no way I can say this without offending someone. In advance, I would like to say offending people is not my intention with this question.

I’m gay. I am very comfortable with it, and all of my friends know, because in our minds, it is not an issue.

I am all for equal rights. But I understand, that with rights come both good and bad. Some people, when they finally see their taste of equality, they don’t like what they see… and call bullshit.

Women want equality. I say give it to them! More power to them… and just because you don’t have a penis it doesn’t mean that you are any less of a human. But, what enrages me, is when someone uses their demographic as a reason they can’t do something, then have the gull to cry about equal rights. To me, women should be ashamed of a woman who demands she doesn’t have to do the paperwok that comes along with her new job, just as I am ashamed to go to a gay pride parade because men are wearing assless leather pants and having sex in alleyways.

A woman I used to work with, could not get into the company van, it was too high up. After helping her, she told me that both me, and the van were racist because she couldn’t get into the van. I started laughing, because I thought she was kidding. I got written up for laughing.

African Americans HAVE to be ashamed of the statistics that go along with their demographic! I am of mine! Do you know what the chances of a gay male contracting HIV is?! My only solice is that I Differ from the norm.

We demand equal rights. We demand respect, yet, as a collective we give no respect. I know gay guys that call straight people breeders with malice… and that’s ok. But if someone jokingly calls that person a faggot? It is discrimination.

What about your demographic are you ashamed of?

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88 Answers

Kraigmo's avatar

If someone is not proud of their demographic, they have no reason to be ashamed of it, either.

But everything you pointed out is true, and every Demographic has its own unique trash problem. And those that fail to self-criticize their own Group…. are the same that fail humanity overall.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Well, like you, I thought that Queer As Folk did gays a disservice and the behavior on the show was embarrassing to me. My feeling is that while that sort of thing exists, making it seem like every gay person was having unprotected sex in the back of clubs pushed us way back in the wrong direction. If you didn’t know any gay people, or didn’t know gay culture, your conclusion from watching the show would likely be that we engage in some scary, freaky, and unsafe practices.

As for women, I’m all for equality.. I just hate it when women pretend to be weaker or stupider in order to get something they want, as that only furthers the stereotype that we are not as capable as men.

DominicX's avatar

I am not ashamed of anything. I am not tied to my demographic. You and other people like you tie me to it and claim that I represent it or that the other people in it represent me, but I do not tie myself to it. I am an individual; I am not my demographic.

janbb's avatar

I thought you were taling about geographics and was going to say, “Jersey? Ashamed? Faggeddaboutit!”

gemiwing's avatar

I take the question to mean are you embarrassed about the group other people label you as part of, so I’ll answer it that way. If I’m interpreting this wrong just give me a heads up.

I’m queer, so I get tired of the ‘gay idea’ especially being a queer female, well that just sucks all the way around sometimes. I get asked, often, if I sleep around because I couldn’t ‘possibly be happy being in a relationship with just one gender’. Bullshit.

I’m mentally ill so I also get that whole shebang of crazy-person association. Even though I’ve done tons of work, I still get grouped in with people who hurt others and don’t care or even think about changing. It’s frustrating sometimes.

The biggest problem is that for all my individual differences, there are some demographic generalizations that I do fit into. It chafes every so often.

mowens's avatar

@DominicX I see what you are saying. I had to talk to one of my friends to get him to stop introducing me as “his gay friend Mowens.” I told him, you know I am gay, but you could introduce me as your nice friend, your smart friend, or even your funny friend.

That being said… I , as an individual, do not care what anyone says about me. But, when you hear people stereotype, it is because a large majority of that group does actually do that specific behavior.

It is like profiling. Do you know why law enforcement uses it? Because it works. When looking for a serial killer, they look at white males. Why? Because in the past, most serial killers have been white males. Everyone is fine with that! That’s cool! But when looking for terrorists… they look at people of middle eastern descent. Why? Because in the past, many terrorists have been of middle eastern descent. Now, this all of a sudden statistics becomes racism? I think I’ve rambled a little…. my bad. :)

TheOnlyException's avatar

I am proud of my demographic, it is fluid. I don’t label myself as anything. I feel freer that way as it ends up affecting simple things like the music I listen to, the clothes I wear, even the food I eat. And all because I have changed from something I wanted to be perceived as once upon a time and am still trying to force myself to be.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I’m odd. I used to be queer, but the word was co-opted. Fine; I’ve been kicked out of better words than that.

My problem is that people think that because I’m odd I’m “strange” and “weird”. Well, those adjectives apply sometimes, I suppose. But I’m always odd, and only occasionally strange and/or weird.

I used to like being queer. I still like women, too. (Some of them think that is strange.)

I don’t know if I have a demographic. I take Groucho Marx’ (paraphrased) advice on the topic: I would never join a demographic that would have me as a member.

lynfromnm's avatar

We aren’t responsible for what we are born with – our national origin, race, ethnicity, gender, any disabilities or sexual orientation. We are only responsible for what we do with what we have.

Therefore it would be silly to be ashamed of, or proud of being a member of any demographic. If you actually accomplish something, then you can be proud.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I am ashamed of stupidity in all demographics equally.

Arisztid's avatar

I am neutral in all regards to my demographic. It does not make me what I am and does not even bear mention. I shall bring up the bit that does.

I am proud of my actions and, yes, I am proud to be of an ethnicity that has survived all this time despite repeated, and current, efforts to exterminate us. This statement is not based on anything but history and does not make up who I am. On another website I answered why I am proud. I asked the question and answered, link to my answer. I do not feel too sporty about some of the young in my ethnicity but, eh, I would feel that way no matter “what” I am.

I am annoyed that I now fall in the “poor” demographic when I have been comfortably middle class most of my life. I am not ashamed of that, rather raise my middle finger to Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama and the economy.

I guess humanity might be able to be wedged into demographic and, if so, I am not too hot on that one.

mowens's avatar

@gemiwing you’re right. I didn’t realize it, but I am ashamed of the people in my demographic. Because like it or not, I am associated with them.

Berserker's avatar

I always thought it was funny how women demand equal rights, and when they get it they start bitching that chivalry is dead. Or something. But as DominicX said, I’m myself, not whatever demographic people think I belong to, despite how official some may be.

You said it yourself, for example, I don’t even understand why, to this day, people still debate things like homosexuality. On the other hand I’d ask myself why demographics even exist, if it wasn’t for mankind’s need to separate itself in these things we call countries.

But to answer the question, I’m a freaky female gamer who watches horror films constantly if I’m not playing some game or another, I denno what demographic that belongs to, but then I’ve never looked for one, either.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Symbeline I, for one, demand equal rights and chivalry can go to hell.

Berserker's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Hellz yeh. Slams mug of beer on the table in approval.

eden2eve's avatar

I may be ashamed of some people in my demographic, but that does not make me ashamed of the demographic itself. It’s inanimate and not responsible for the behavior of it’s members.

I can express my disapproval and hope to change the minds and/or behavior of the members of my demographic. I can disassociate myself from those who do not represent it well. Nobody requires me to assume responsibility or guilt for what people do who just happen to fall into the same “group” as I do. There will always be people of any given group who do not speak for the others. There will always be individuals who discredit those they choose to affiliate themselves with. What I do with that is my own decision, and I do not choose to feel shame or guilt on their behalf.

Coloma's avatar

I am ashamed as a woman of integrity the behaviors mentioned by someone above amongst women.

I loathe women that play the emotionally fragile card, the sexual baiting, the helpless, rescue me routine.

It gives healthy women a bad rap, paying for the sins of their crazy sisters.

DominicX's avatar


Oh believe me, there are negative stereotypes that I don’t like, but there are always stereotypes and I’m not ashamed of the demographic because people match those stereotypes. If people can see past the negative stereotypes and judge people as individuals and not freak out when I match not-so-negative stereotypes, then we will be in a better world.

And by not-so-negative stereotypes I mean things like gay people liking musicals or shopping. I love both of those things and I am gay and it bothers me when people say things like “effeminate gays are an embarrassment to gay people!”. They’re just a different type of gay people and you shouldn’t have to feel tied to them just because you share a sexual orientation.

But of course I notice negative stereotypes. I’m young, so I must be rude and stupid. I’m from a wealthy family, so I must be a stuck-up brat who expects the world to be handed to him. Of course there are people from those demographics that are like that, but I don’t have to be associated with them.

Sarcasm's avatar

I’m embarrassed by American behavior in general.

phillis's avatar

First, I’m not entirely convinced that the human need to put things into categories is something that needs to be held against us, even amongst ourselves. For instance,of the groups you mentioned, gays, blacks, women (not so much anymore) tend to categorize themselves. We evolved to categorize things so that we can understand our world better, so I can’t possibly find fault with it. To me, cursing humanity for that is the same as cursing humanity for walking upright.

Next, I want to give a very special Kudos to you for saying everything you said in your details. I just said the same thing yesterday! You don’t defend undefendable actions. Gays, due to the pain they have endured for something they cannot help or change, have gone way overboard, to the point that many of them have an “in your face” attitude. They force feed gayness down people’s throats, which is immediately met with resistance, because that is human, too.

The same goes for women. Women developed an “in your face” attitude and took to the streets to burn bras – a wholly unnessary act. However, it was in response to pain that oppression brings. They needed to make a damn point. But eventually, they took it too far. It went beyond the point that the message was neccessary. Considering that we didn’t even get voting rights until less than a century ago, I understand why these things happened. It HURTS being forced into a second class citizen group. The mentality behind it is terribly painful.

Then we have the blacks, who have yet to figure out that forcing a point down people’s throats is a pointless venture that only serves to create animosity, not solve racism. Representatives go on national TV to claim RACISM! where none exists. This does not help their cause. It creates problems that have no need to be here, and continues the divide. In thier myopic view, they are only reacting, not creating. So to them, the cycle was never broken.

The common theme here is that ths is not a subculture thing, but a human thing. People respond from emotion, not logic or reason. When you couple that with the fact that hardly any of us have been taught how to clearly see a situation for what it is, the result is a long, drawn out process which could have been solved years and years ago, yet is still raging. That being the case, unless we teach this year after year in schools, or individually give classes on it, the problem is here to stay. When people are in pain, they cannot hear anybody else due to sheer defensiveness. If we had more people like YOU, this could be resolved for the whole country within a year.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@phillis @mowens The problem I find with both your arguments is what is ‘too far’? Burning bras, in my opinion, was necessary and a good statement. When some gay people wear assless chaps, they’re not doing it for straight people, so let it go.

phillis's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Am I to understand that you can excercise your freedom to say everything you want, but if I do, it’s because I am not letting something go? If I am misunderstanding your words, I am open to your saying so.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@phillis You are misunderstanding my words. I am not telling you what to think and what not to think. I am discussing your statement with you (in a completely non-accusatory manner, btw) and would like you to talk to me. Oh and the ‘you’ in my last statement from the comment was not you, specifically, but in general.

Berserker's avatar

@phillis I agree that it’s a natural thing to categorize one another…I used that in my example with countires, too, even if it is a bit different. So I wonder if by my ignoring it, or trying to, say with gays, I still don’t get why we make such a big deal of it, is healthy. :/

phillis's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Then, we are agreed. We may both enjoy the same freedom of saying what we need to facilitate building a bridge between two opposing views. I also agree with your comments in another thread that dialog is very important, no matter how obvious the answers may seem to some. Please carry on, and I will do the same.

phillis's avatar

@Symbeline I commented somewhere last night that a society is identical to an individual. Both grow, learn, observe, form opinions, bitch and moan, push and pull, and make the same mistakes an individual makes. That is why it isn’t a stretch to boil these situations down to the bare bones and see the root of the problem. The root of the problem is that humans off of emotion, not reason or logic. We have to get past that if there is any hope of reconciling opposing views, or we end up creating additional problems to trudge through. I couldn’t agree more.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@phillis Okay, I guess. Do you have a response to my comment?

Fred931's avatar

A lot of people think “Alahbahmia” is just one big redneck demographic that orders a Bud Lite for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, the very bottom of the state, lining Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, Is actually quite nice and much more civilized than the hilly northern bits of the state which contain many trailers and super speedways.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Not ashamed but definitely not proud I’m now old, “uneducated” and poor as dirt.

phillis's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Not exactly. I said in my original post that I understood why the bra burning occured, but my intent was’t to dwell on perceptions specific to any individual. My intent was to be malleable enough to address the overall point presented by the author.

Haleth's avatar

I don’t agree- there’s nothing shameful or contradictory about the behavior of women. Individual women don’t have to be perfect for the push for equal rights and fair accommodation to be legit. Same with gay rights- even if some gay people do things that are wild or dangerous, so do some straight people. That shouldn’t be an argument against gay rights. In every group, there are examples of a few who behave badly, so don’t take it too personally.

Trillian's avatar

I don’t know about matching all your terminology, but I know what you mean. A few years ago there was a girl who kicked up a big fuss because she wanted to go to The Citadel. They finally let her in and women all over were congratulating themselves. Then the bitch started going and didn’t want to follow the rules. She didn’t want to shave her head, she couldn’t keep up with the physical aspects and crapped out after I think one hundred says.
She was lonely and ostracized, but what else could one expect, being the first female in and all boys club? I think that she was ill prepared for the whole thing, and had she been a little more willing to play by the club rules it might have gone better.
There there was a group of women later in that same decade who wanted to be navy SEALs but they wanted the bar lowered so that they could play. I call this “Mission Endangerment” and fortunately it wasn’t allowed. I’m embarrassed by women who try to bully their way into exclusive male clubs and places, whining about equal rights. I feel that men have just as much right to exclusivity about some things as anyone else. We need to leave them alone in some places, just like we don’t want their smelly asses everywhere we go. (No offense guys, you know I love you.) Just because we keep some things separate does not mean unequal. Men and women need time away from each other and the fact is that men are physically, emotionally and psychologically better suited to some things than women are. There will always be the exception to the rule, granted. Shannon Faulkner was not one of those exceptions.
In the meantime, let the guys have their stupid men only clubs. We can talk to them when they come out. I feel no need to force my way in. I’m embarrassed by the women who do.

jerv's avatar

No, but if I display pride in being a white, heterosexual male then I will get crucified.

My demographic isn’t allowed to be proud!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

As a white, hetero male then you are the pinnacle of the food chain, props go to you if you’re also able bodied, relatively fit, have a car, a job and at least 60% of your skull covered in growing hair.~

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@jerv do you want to be proud? then be proud.

jerv's avatar

@Neizvestnaya Yes on all counts. Now, where are my special scholarships and commemorative month?

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I am, but I have to do it quietly. It’s not PC for people like me to be publicly proud, and I have no desire to get lumped in with supremacist groups.

janbb's avatar

@jerv To paraphrase, every month is White Men’s Month. :-)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@jerv Well I must admit it’s tough for me to understand why you, as a white man, would want to be proud of your race but it’s tough for me to get that for anyone – nobody chose their race or accomplished it, it just was. When people of other races and ethnicities are proud, they’re not proud of their color, they’re proud of remaining whole in the face of discrimination.

jerv's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I am proud of who I am, period.
And it’s not that I feel that my heritage makes me better, I am merely proud to be me and I happen to be in a certain demographic that faces a different sort of discrimination in that we are not allowed to be proud.

lynfromnm's avatar

Bravo @Jerv

cockswain's avatar

I’m not ashamed of myself per se, but I’m ashamed of things my white male ancestors did, from slavery to killing Indians, and racism to greed.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@jerv Exactly, be proud of who you are not your race. And no one is not allowing you to be anything. If you believe race is something to be proud of, stand by that. I don’t believe that so it’s nothing that I consider important. Different strokes.

phillis's avatar

I feel the same way. For those who take pride in their gender or race, I don’t quite understand that anymore than I understand pride in being from a particular state or a particular patch of dirt (continent/government) on the globe. All races have done their share of contributing to the overall betterment of the our species, every patch of dirt has added fabulous things we enjoy as a species.

It’s not like we earned any of those things. Gender is assigned to us from the time the chromasomes come together, as is skin color. Nationality is based upon what patch of dirt you happen to be born on. Nobody earned it. So, how can someone be proud to the point that they feel superior over anybody else? What are we – Sneetches?

I get it. Well…...kind of. I get it that people need to feel powerful, or at least powerful enough to successfully defend themselves from their oppressors. The KKK and Aryan Nation are two such groups who take extreme pride over absolutely nothing that they have any control over whatsoever. None of that makes any sense at all to me. White power?? Please! How can you be that retarded?

It’s just that when it goes so far to the extreme long after their point has been acknowledged and corrective steps are enacted, that people have undeniably overstepped their boundaries. This is what has to stop. Due to many people cheering this on, however, the overstepping of boundaries can go on indefinitely. People are then rejoicing for all the wrong reasons. But since their defenses (read: emotions) are so high, they fail to realize they are then creating a whole new set of problems. That only succeeds in prolonging any resolution, which is what everybody wanted in the first place (the overwleming majority, anyway).

The question is, how do we help people realize this in a way that causes them to listen without being offended? And, what about the people who use being offended as a shield so that they don’t HAVE to listen?

Arisztid's avatar

@Sarcasm I am not too happy about the behaviour of humans in general.

meagan's avatar

“African Americans HAVE to be ashamed of the statistics that go along with their demographic!”

I’m ashamed of you.

Arisztid's avatar

I understand what @jerv is saying when he says this : I am, but I have to do it quietly. It’s not PC for people like me to be publicly proud, and I have no desire to get lumped in with supremacist groups.

If I wore a tshirt that said “Gypsy Pride!” a few people would make snarky remarks about me stealing wallets, be asked to tell people’s fortunes, etc., but mostly I would be ignored.

If Jerv wore a tshirt that said “White Pride!” he would be automatically labeled a supremacist and resoundingly condemned.

Yes, most of the year is geared towards white people, the media is mostly focused on white people, etc. et al. That does not nullify the veracity of his statement. There is the never ending debate as to whether or not someone should have pride in their ethnicity. That, also, does not nullify the veracity of his statement.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Arisztid You can wear gypsy pride because it’s meant in jest or it means something to you BECAUSE you were discriminated against. I take each person’s situation case by case but we can not deny that SYSTEMIC discrimination in this country is still white towards those of color. PS: this comment is not about @jerv.

phillis's avatar

Ugh. Can we please overlook inflamatory comments? Just this once? Just so something can get accomplished? Pretty please?

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I just reread your comment that asked “how far is “too far””, and I realized I overlooked that part of your comment when I responded to you. I will try again. If you don’t want to overlook the mistake, that’s okay, too. Other people are free to respond if they wish.

I inadvertantly answered your question in my last post, only I didn’t realize it at the time. Things go “too far” when boundaries are overstepped long after results are able to be seen. I feel it is also important not to let isolated incidences set us all the way back to the beginning. For example, the Matthew Shepherd murder had teh potential to set us back lightyears, but it didn’t. I was exceedingly proud of the way the gay community’s representatives handled themselves over that horrendous act.

An example of taking things too far is when indecent behavior is chosen, despite laws that govern everyone. No one is exempt from laws simply because they choose to consider that they are an exception. Assless chaps and fucking in alleyways are not only a distraction from the intended message, it also breeds resentment and, potentially, contempt. It may not be “right” in the truest sense of the word, but nobody likes people who carry around an attitude with a false sense of entitlement.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@phillis Laws are not objective and do not protect people equally. There is a reason I worked against the police on behalf of the trans community here in NYC.

jerv's avatar

@Arisztid ”Ţigani mândrie” ?

Arisztid's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Very true and I fully understand what has gone into this dynamic. I do not have a t-shirt that says that but I do have one that says “this IS my ‘Gypsy costume’ ” on the front with “Call us Rroma” and our flag on the back because I have been asked so many times to “dress like a Gypsy.” :)

The thing is, it does not make it any less annoying to those it effects. I take each individual as themselves and, for instance, have known @jerv for some time on another site and know that he is not racist and think that he, if he wanted, should not be judged based on things other people have done. It annoys me that I am judged based on stereotypes and what others have done and, if I was white, it would also annoy me.

@jerv * sniggers * Arva, but I do not need to wear it on a tshirt to have it. :)

phillis's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Understood. Actually, we may have more in common with legitimate gripes against the government than you may know. However, we aren’t talking yet about exceptions to the rules. We’re talking about how to stay within the boundaries of decency in behavior and demeanor for the sole purpose of building a bridge between two communities. I will happily commiserate with you on piss poor government issues some other time. We have to acknowledge the mistakes made, and work to correct those mistakes, so that a culture’s point can be heard. Mentioning the good work from the gay community is intended to illustrate a spirit of willingness to give credit whwre it is rightfully due.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Arisztid I do not presume white people to be racist, whatsoever.
@phillis Sometimes, it’s not about building bridges – why should the burden of ‘appropriate’ lay with the disenfranchised? I suppose this is what separates me and my friends from the gay assimilationists.

jerv's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I figured, but he is correct that walking around with a “White Pride!” shirt on would probably be suicidal on my part.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@jerv I don’t know, you should try it and report back. Maybe the people that would kill you assume you mean ‘at expense of people of color!’.

Arisztid's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I know, my friend. You are nowhere near that illogical.

phillis's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir The disenfranchised – in this case, gays, as the author is gay – want their voices heard, once and for all, right? And – they want to see results. That is a very reasonable expectation. How reasonable is it to expect the majority of people (straight folks) will care about a problem that isn’t even their own, if additional problems are introduced that are offensive to to so many?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@phillis I think there is a time for being heard, for results and for righteous indignation. We are heard by those that matter to us and it should not (certainly, not for me) be about getting the heteronormative majoirty to hear us – there are plenty of people out there doing the whole ‘oooh, I promise we’re totally like you, look, we’re harmless..totally..we too have love and kids and please like us, accept us’...there is no need for all us to act ‘nice’ and ‘not threatening’ – I think societal institutions need to be fundamentally shaken and only a little of that opinion comes from my being queer.

phillis's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir The only thing wrong with that thought is that it essentially staunches the flow instead of allowing free flow. Who do you think influences lawmakers? Who lives around you? Are they all lawmakers? If not, then part of handling a problem isn’t singularly focusing on only one way to acomplish your goal. It’s to handle it from multiple fronts, from all sides, at every opportunity presented.

That is how you achieve success is more quickly. If you disagree with that, then we have a fundamental difference in how to achieve the same goal.

Arisztid's avatar

@phillis I am going to have to disagree with you on a point, old friend. I am referencing this quip

You said: Gays, due to the pain they have endured for something they cannot help or change, have gone way overboard, to the point that many of them have an “in your face” attitude. They force feed gayness down people’s throats, which is immediately met with resistance, because that is human, too.

The thing is is this: how much of the behaviour that is so often interpreted as “feeding it down people’s throats” is seen every day with heterosexual couples or regarding heterosexuals in some other way? However, it is not seen as forcing it down people’s throats when done by heterosexuals.

phillis's avatar

@Arisztid Point taken, my friend. I was myopic, and wrote that according to my own perceptions.

I see that the majority of people take offense to certain actions. But is that my perception, or is it reality? This is the thing, Aris. It isn’t JUST gays. That’s just who we’ve been discussing so far, but it could be any group. It’s humans, in general! Blacks, women, gays along with a flotilla of other special interest groups…..all the groups of oppressed people who really DO have a valid point, but which gets obscured by overtly emotional responses and defensive postures.

On TV, it’s black representatives crying racism where it doesn’t actually exist. With gays, it’s assless chaps and fucking in alleyways (is that two words or one?). With women, it’s demanding entrance to male-only places, such as Boy Scouts, and daring anyone to tell them otherwise. So, Simone really does have a point. How much is too much?

Arisztid's avatar

@phillis Thankyou my friend.

I do see your point. I have never been to a gay pride parade and am, personally, put off by some of the things that go on from what I have seen on tv. I am generally put off by loud, garish displays of any kind by any group. Personally, I prefer a generally understated way of getting a point across. If garishness is incorporated, my mind just shuts off. Calm logic is the best way to reach me.

However, while I pay attention to subtlety and quiet logic and am much more likely to listen to such, so much of humanity does not even pay attention unless you, basically, hit them over the head with a metaphorical ballbat.

As far as gays, the only thing I can offhand think of that they do differently than heterosexuals is the pride events. Fucking in alleyway is hardly the sole providence of homosexuals nor is, shall we say, risque attire. I think alleyway is one word.

From what I can tell the only way that gays act any differently is by having pride events and, well, one of the ways used to get equal rights is by doing such things.

As far as blacks calling racism when there is none, that is hardly limited to blacks. Sadly, every time anyone of any group does this, it is like crying wolf. When there is real racism the false cries of it make the real issue less likely to be addressed.

How much is too much? I do not think anyone can answer that.

phillis's avatar

@Aris, And that was my point, exactly. No one really knows the answer to that.

All anyone can do is gently point out what doesn’t help a cause. You won’t find me shoving that down anyone’s throat, either. A mere mention should be enough. But I guess you’re right. The metaphorical baseball bat is required for ALL humans, because lookit – the point of fucking in alleyways was never acknowledged even after being brought up by two different people, three different times.

There is nothing offensive about gay pride parades (garishness aside, I love Mardi Gras). To me, it is a fantastic way to make a point, along with the social aspect of spending sometime enjoying those who can relate to you. Being around like minds is a human need. I don’t see any fault in that, either. Nor sit-ins, nor protest rallies, nor the walk from Selma, Alabama, nor any of those things.

Arisztid's avatar

@phillis I do not know what is required for the struggle for gay rights. I know that a large portion of humankind needs the proverbial ballbat to pay attention. I remember seeing a cartoon of a guy who just clobbered a horse with a 2 by 4. The caption is “first, you have to get their attention.” From my jaded viewpoint this is sadly true. I am rather understated in the way I fight for my causes and the way I debate. I do not raise my voice or get loud in any way. Sadly, due to this, I am oft ignored.

If the world was like you and I, the better way to get a point across would be a quiet one. On a larger scale, I really cannot answer the question as to “how much is too much.”

I would actually like an answer to that question but I doubt it is one that can be answered.

I also think that gay pride parades are a good way to bring solidarity to the movement and do exactly what gives them their name. I am just not too fond of some of the more, err, garish things that go on. Of course, garishness is not limited to gay pride parades, as you have stated.

phillis's avatar

@Arisztid God, how I wish conversations could be carried on like mine and yours are! What an absolute delight that would be. Can you even begin to count the hours we’ve spent talking through these same exact subjects for the last two years? Never once was a cross word spoken between us.

There is still plenty to be gleaned from incoming information. Even if we weren’t sure how to solve a problem, we still know what doesn’t work. So, if a minority wants to be heard, what do they not do? Let’s identify the “turn offs” that apply to most people, and simply not do them anymore. Simple, huh? You don’t even have to admit to any wrong-doing before you can see success with this.

Arisztid's avatar

@phillis Indeed. It has been quite the relief knowing that we can disagree with each other and we can work it out with no hostility and, even if we do not reach agreement, we can disagree civilly with no impact on our friendship. Even if we are angered with each other, that we can discuss it and logic will prevail over anger. I would be much more inclined to enter debates on touchy subjects if this was the norm.

The big problem is to know what to not do. Where, exactly, is the point where pressing the point is counterproductive with more than it is productive. That is the big question that cannot be answered.

phillis's avatar

I sincerely think that an astute person could successfully see when a person is closing off. Usually, that reaction can be traced back to something concrete. Closing off is easily recognized. It’s a change to the negative in body language, overall demeanor, a sour face, a raised voice, shaking the head no, interrupting your sentences, snide and/or sarcastic comments, and a rising of temper.

All these things are crystal clear signs that something went wrong. If that “something” can be addressed as soon as a negative reaction appears, and feelings can be handled with finesse, it is likely that a catastrophic end can be averted. It’s a slow, yet steady pace, as opposed to yelling obscenities name-calling, unfair judgements, and attacking one’s character, ALL of which are responses that turn people off from listening to the content of what is being said.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I’m proud to be an Earthling, where we have the most prolific (and pugnacious) life forms in the Solar System.

mowens's avatar

@Arisztid I hate to pick out examples of things, but unfortunately they were all I could think of. I am fully aware that more than one group is guilty of it. I am unfortunately limited to my experiences. I used to work in the prison systems, and I found myself getting more and more cynical every day because…90% of the population all across the state… were black! I saw the worst of the worst, every day, and after a while it began to wear on me. That is why I got out. The paycheck wasn’t worth my humanity.

@meagan Why are you ashamed of me? It’s statistics! The African American male has a much hire chance of being shot in a gang related shooting than a white male by the age of 35. I am not saying that I agree this SHOULD be the case, I am not saying we shouldn’t be doing something to fix it… and I am certainly not saying that it is a particular groups fault BECAUSE they are whoever they are. I am simply stating a fact. The people who consider that racism are really slowing down the movement. If people don’t talk about it, we can’t fix it. We can’t talk about it because it is racist… Oh I like where this is going.

phillis's avatar

Yep. Stifling free flowing communication is the single biggest detriment I can think of. If you want to ensure utter lack of progress, that is definitely the way to go. That is why defensive people, those who prefer to control anything that comes out of someone’s mouth, are the worst possible representatives for a subculture. Personal issues and past problems encountered before to resolve an issue, must be set aside temporarily in order to facilitate the flow of conversation. Whatever “bad” that occured, the current person you’re speaking with has absolutely zip control over it. Let it go. You can always be miserable about the past later.

jerv's avatar

@mowens Actually, I believe the real cause of the disproportionate representation of minorities in prison is that African-Americans are more likely to be poor. It’s not the color of one’s skin, but the thickness of their wallet. Trust me, there are some poor white people doing the same shady stuff.

phillis's avatar

When you have a group of people sharing the same skewed perception as a result of the same emotional pain (a shared malady amongst ALL humans), it can seem like “everybody” (who thinks like me!) is right. Therefore, how could “all those people” be wrong? Without insinuating that there is no more racism (because, how stupid would that be), I offer the following thoughts about this struggle, refering only to the U.S…...

Black representatives, whom blacks look up to, and rely upon so their voices can be heard, saying on national TV that “we are oppressed”, {paraphrased} “We will do everything in out power to fight you/this thing” (meaning whites, of course. Who else?), that people (whitey) is “trying to keep the black man down”, and other counter-productive comments, do absolutely nothing to foster unity between two peoples.

As long as people choose to doggedly cling to a negative mindset (don’t trust whitey, et. al.) and raise their children with that mindset, without emotionally fully digesting any of the massive efforts solely for their benefit, this will continue to cause pointless strife where there needn’t be any.

I have a difficult time trusting someone’s perceptions/intellectual capability/motives when they say they didn’t get a fair trial because they were black. Oh, really? Well, guess what, buddy? NOBODY gets a fair trial who doesn’t have the money to buy their way out of it! That’s not a “black thang”. It’s a corrupt system thing. People of all colors get released from prison and death row when DNA evidence exonerates them. If you cannot afford a crack team of lawyers, you’re fucked. It doesn’t matter what color you are. All you have to be is broke.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@phillis I know I have to fight my battles on different fronts – these days I work within the system (hell, even the DA’s office is in on what we’re doing) but that doesn’t mean I’m done with my illegal/radical actions/protests either.

phillis's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Keep it up! Nothing gets done without people like you willing to come out of their comfort zones. When we start a conversation or enter into a new opening, we have to leave the issues of the past behind. We can’t let past sleights skew our judgement. We have to check those responses at the door upon entering a new opportunity. The person in front of us had no control over anything that happened in the past.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@phillis I don’t generalize about cops (though most experiences have been negative) and lawyers (same here) so I am glad to have some reps from these two fields that want to reach across and work with us.

phillis's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I’m glad, too. It sucks when you don’t have the support you need from authority just to do the right thing. Many people in authority operate from an ego standpoint, or let theri fears make their decisions for them, never realizing just how much they are part of the problem they are when they do that. So much so, in fact, that it seems like a whopping victory if you can get just one of them to cross over the line to do the right thing. It shouldn’t be like that. You shouldn’t have to go to jail for doing something that’s fair and right. People hate being called on their shit, so guess what? You get a rap sheet for your troubles. What a world.

mattbrowne's avatar

I am not ashamed of anything. People are the way they are. As long as there’s no harm, we should accept diversity and accept ourselves the way we are.

Silhouette's avatar

No, I’m ashamed of myself because I haven’t a friggin clue what my demographic is and I guess maybe I should. Smart arsed old ladies? Woman? Mother? Heterosexual? Jellie? Middle class? I wear a lot of hats.

jerv's avatar

@Silhouette Are you a crazy cat lady?

Silhouette's avatar

@jerv I don’t think so, are you?

jerv's avatar

/me checks down front of pants

Fred931's avatar

@Silhouette It’s ‘ROFLMAO’ you no0b.

Silhouette's avatar

@Fred931 I’ve never been called a no0b before, should I cry?

Berserker's avatar

@Silhouette Not at all. In fact, actually, if you knew every single online slang by heart and had so little life that you had to correct someone when they’re doing it wrong, I’d cry then, haha.

Oh sorry Fred…doin it rong. Moar like it amirite?

Fred931's avatar

@Silhouette I can’t imagine why.
@Symbeline omglol ya

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