Brandon Strader

Tropes vs. Women / #GamerGate Conspiracies

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One assumption I'm making is that that action also tends to be done for itself, i.e. for its own sake. When you've done it once or twice and then suddenly realized, "wait a minute, I shouldn't do this anymore," then how could you be characterized as someone who does that action [for its own sake]?

You don't have to do something for its own sake in order to do a thing.  If you do something sexist, then you're doing something sexist, regardless if you're doing it out of ignorance (because you didn't know it was sexist), out of malice (you think sexism is great and are deliberately being sexist), or for some other reason entirely (you don't give a damn about sexism, you just did something sexist because it was the easiest way to achieve an unrelated goal).

 

Being sexist is still being sexist even if you're not doing it specifically for the purpose of being sexist because you agree with sexism.

 

The point is, do you really think that doing something that you then realize is wrong after-the-fact, and then you stop doing it from then on, all of a sudden defines who you are, i.e. permanently characterizes you? Isn't someone who "used to do something" not the same as someone who "does something [repeatedly]"? This refers to if you *have been sexist before*, that it does not necessarily mean that you *will do it again and again*. Yes, if you have done something sexist, the action itself is sexist automatically. But if you have done sexist things [before], I truly believe that you're not necessarily sexist until it is clarified that you have continued to do sexist things.

No one's saying that one action defines you for all time.  But you're trying to draw a distinction between the actions a person takes and the character of that person, as if there's a difference between "this person does (or has done) sexist things" and "this person is (or was) a sexist".  There's not.  

 

 

I like how people in this thread somehow came to the psychologically unfounded conclusion that a person's mind has nothing to do with their character.

That's not what we're saying.  We're saying that you can't completely divide a person's character from their actions.  If a person does sexist things out of ignorance (not realizing that what they're doing is sexist), that doesn't make them not a sexist.  It makes them a sexist, but only out of ignorance.  If a person used to do sexist things, but has since stopped, it doesn't mean that they weren't a sexist then, it just means that they've since stopped being sexist.

 

That kind of reeks of "objective reality" type philosophy, be careful with that. It's also a bad method of evaluation; generally an action is meaningless without context and a history to measure it against in relativity. This is how media can basically turn any "action" into any "meaning" or "evaluation" they want. They take some snippet of something they see from their armchairs and then interpret it how they see fit.

While that's not wrong (you can certainly take things out of context and interpret them differently), it's not really relevant to the conversation, either.  If something isn't actually sexist, then the person doing them isn't sexist for doing that thing.  No one's suggesting otherwise.  Everything we've been talking about has been "if someone does a sexist thing".  If the thing they do isn't actually sexist, then the rest of the statement doesn't apply.

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we should only evaluate their actions, and hold them responsible accordingly

nobody is good or bad - only the things they do

 

Wow, okay, this makes a lot more sense now. However it doesn't agree with every definition of sexism, some of which pertain to beliefs and attitudes, not just physical (or verbal) actions. So even if you're purely motivating reaction according to action, I think fundamentally the way you're describing people is wrong. You're saying you're not trying to evaluate anyone, but calling a person sexist and calling them out for doing a sexist thing are different reactions.

 

If a person does sexist things out of ignorance (not realizing that what they're doing is sexist), that doesn't make them not a sexist.  It makes them a sexist, but only out of ignorance.  If a person used to do sexist things, but has since stopped, it doesn't mean that they weren't a sexist then, it just means that they've since stopped being sexist.

 

I don't think I'm trying to say they're not sexist if they don't know their actions are sexist. I'm saying doing sexist actions doesn't ma-

 

Sorry, nothing makes you sexist until you satisfy the definition of being a sexist, many of these definitions pertain to belief/attitudes about sex/gender superiority, and not specifically actions. So you're not wrong by some definitions, but you are by others. It's a spectrum, and so your absolute assertions are irresponsible.

 

According to definitions that pertain to belief/attitude:

 

If I do something that objectifies women, but I don't believe that men have any more humanity or that women are objects that doesn't make me sexist, that just means I'm doing something sexist. This is because the action -> belief feedback argument doesn't work because there are many reasons besides full agreement that motivate an action.

 

I said this earlier: money. A lot of this stuff is economically motivated because of money. The game developers or artists may or may not have actual creative input and/or take actions that agree with their own beliefs. Sure, their output is sexist but that doesn't mean all of those people are sexist people for doing it. In fact, not even the person who made that business decision would be sexist either; if he only cares about money and success and doesn't really care either way, the only thing you can evaluate him as is greedy in the face of hurting minorities because it's the status quo.

 

I'm not interested in "you're wrong, and yes they are sexist", I'm looking for an explanation as to why you don't think the variable motivation for an action is negligible in determining if someone is a sexist person if I can clearly come up with an example in which a person performing a sexist action does not line up with a number of definitions of sexism.

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I try to avoid posting in this shitstorm that I'm not even sure what it's about anymore, but I've gotta say...

 

no, see, you're strawmanning still - I'm saying we shouldn't evaluate people at all

we should only evaluate their actions, and hold them responsible accordingly

nobody is good or bad - only the things they do

 

Just what do you believe? Like, I am genuinely curious.

 

Just a page or two back, you said that "society is what it does" and that "people are the sum of their actions". So by simple math, if a person does sexist things, then they are sexist. 

 

You've shown that your stance is "sexism is bad" in far more threads than just this one, and I believe it was early on in this thread a couple years back that you were quite notorious for including "yeah see, you're sexist" in your posts. So you believe that society (people) are the sum of what they do and that sexism is bad, which would lead to the logical/only conclusion that sexist people exist and therefore are bad...yet you also say nobody is bad or good - just what they do is bad or good? This makes absolutely no sense. Have you ever heard the saying 'the pen is mightier than the sword'?

 

You seem to be forgetting just how powerful belief is. There are people out there who genuinely believe that: women are inferior to men, X race is inferior to Y, all non-believers should be killed as described by the Koran, Jews are bad etc. They actually believe these things and this is the very fuel their actions. Yet, as far as I can tell, you seem to be arguing in two directions at once. That people aren't inherently good or bad, just their actions are - but people are what they do (sexist actions means sexist people) and sexism is bad. So if you put it all together, sexist people aren't bad and you shouldn't try to change their beliefs (imaginary cores as you call it) and instead should just focus on making them stop doing sexist things. 

 

Spoilers:

 

That involves changing what they believe in...what they are.

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Spoilers:

 

That involves changing what they believe in...what they are.

 

The nuance is that he doesn't believe that belief has anything to do with it, and that a person's actions are inseparable from their character or that there is any belief beyond what is in accordance with a person's actions. Maybe? I don't know. Like you said, he's kind of just going to two directions at once. His crappy post writing doesn't help either.

 

The entire point of my side here is that belief has everything to do with it, and more effectively than policing sexist actions is stopping the motivation for sexist actions by passively correcting beliefs of people in society over long periods of time (you know like how we've dealt with every other civil rights issue). In other words, make sexist actions stop by raising kids to be less sexist as they grow up (shit, all the preventative rape culture stuff I was shoveled in high school actually did contribute to why I'm informed about ongoing conversations about consent and sexism in the first place. More schools should have that.). Showing businesses that sex doesn't sell anymore. Maybe even possibly persuading currently sexist people to be less sexist, but it's harder to change a person's mind than it is to raise a small person or take away money. Hell, if you fix the market, and fix the kids, society's in good shape already, and that's not counting the other solutions you can come up with when not idea-blasting them on a game music forum.

 

I'm not sure why this is rocket science, but the gist is he doesn't agree because he doesn't think sexism has anything to do with how the person is raised, what they think, or what they believe; it's only sexism when it is manifested as some action or some kind of observable oppression. And when it is, it can be viewed without context and it is ultimately sexist, even when the brain isn't actually behind it.

 

The same kind of logic, of course, does not work at all when applied to mental health issues. If a person keeps quiet about their depression, does that make them not have depression? If they have homicidal thoughts but don't act on them, are they not homicidal, and do they not need mental health care? How far do you extend pervert the definition of "action" before you end up just taking into account all of a person's psychological factors anyway? Then you're just back at square one, and I say those psychological "actions" are the ones that cascade into "real ones" and those former are what we should focus on.

 

I'm not really interested in further asserting this point, since it's been clarified a bit ago that claims of Anita's censorship talk has been unfounded. And so I don't actually really particularly care about her in this instance anyway, I'm just responding to supposed counterpoints despite that it's irrelevant to the thread at this point.

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So you believe that society (people) are the sum of what they do and that sexism is bad, which would lead to the logical/only conclusion that sexist people exist and therefore are bad...yet you also say nobody is bad or good - just what they do is bad or good?

sexist people exist because people do sexist things - being a sexist has nothing to do with what you think (because what you think doesn't matter) and everything to do with what you do

to prevent people from being sexist, you have to prevent people from doing sexist things - the reason we're talking about this is because people were arguing that preventing people from doing a bad thing wouldn't solve the problem, even though the problem is that they are doing a bad thing

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The entire point of my side here is that belief has everything to do with it, and more effectively than policing sexist actions is stopping the motivation for sexist actions by passively correcting beliefs of people in society over long periods of time (you know like how we've dealt with every other civil rights issue).

I'm pretty sure that most if not all examples of "passively correcting beliefs" is literally just telling people "no, you can't do that" directly or indirectly

again, the reason this is even being talked about in the first place is because you were arguing that preventing sexist art won't prevent sexism, because the creation of or appreciation of sexist art must not contribute to the existence of sexism (because there isn't physical evidence that fits your arbitrary standards)

basically what you're saying here is that you don't believe that doing sexist things notably contributes to the existence of sexism (you talk about "the dregs of Tumblr" but this is basically just a Reddit-tier opinion), and I'm saying that sexism is people doing sexist things

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I'm pretty sure that most if not all examples of "passively correcting beliefs" is literally just telling people "no, you can't do that" directly or indirectly

again, the reason this is even being talked about in the first place is because you were arguing that preventing sexist art won't prevent sexism, because the creation of or appreciation of sexist art must not contribute to the existence of sexism (because there isn't physical evidence that fits your arbitrary standards)

basically what you're saying here is that you don't believe that doing sexist things notably contributes to the existence of sexism (you talk about "the dregs of Tumblr" but this is basically just a Reddit-tier opinion), and I'm saying that sexism is people doing sexist things

Besides the examples I gave that weren't that (market influence, proper school health programs), sure

I'm saying that sexism by dictionary definition is having a belief in gender or sexual superiority. A sexist person fits that definition. If a person does a sexist action but doesn't actually believe in sexist opinions, they are not sexist. I can't make this clearer. This is just the basics of applying a definition to something.

Again the only way your argument works here is if action has 1 to 1 mapping to motivation, or in other words if I make something that objectifies women then I actually believe women are sexual objects and no other reason.

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Sorry, nothing makes you sexist until you satisfy the definition of being a sexist, many of these definitions pertain to belief/attitudes about sex/gender superiority, and not specifically actions. So you're not wrong by some definitions, but you are by others. It's a spectrum, and so your absolute assertions are irresponsible.

"Irresponsible"?  How so?  Making statements based on the definition I'm using rather than some arbitrary collection of definitions that other people use is some sort of reckless disregard for the truth?  It's not like I've been shy about the definition I'm using -- basically all I've been doing is spelling out that definition (and its consequences).  I'm really not sure what you mean by that.

 

 

According to definitions that pertain to belief/attitude:

 

If I do something that objectifies women, but I don't believe that men have any more humanity or that women are objects that doesn't make me sexist, that just means I'm doing something sexist. This is because the action -> belief feedback argument doesn't work because there are many reasons besides full agreement that motivate an action.

 

I'm not interested in "you're wrong, and yes they are sexist", I'm looking for an explanation as to why you don't think the variable motivation for an action is negligible in determining if someone is a sexist person if I can clearly come up with an example in which a person performing a sexist action does not line up with a number of definitions of sexism.

You can have all the sexist beliefs or attitudes you want, but if you don't act on them, then they don't matter, because they don't affect anyone else.  (Note: speech is an action in these terms.  If you go around making sexist statements, then obviously that does affect other people.)

 
The basic point here is that sexism is bad because it harms people.  We don't want to harm people, so we want to stop sexism.  But only sexist actions (agan: including speech) cause harm, not sexist attitudes or beliefs (except inasmuch as sexist attitudes and beliefs contribute to sexist actions), so we don't really care about attitudes/beliefs, only actions.

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But only sexist actions cause harm, not sexist attitudes or beliefs (except inasmuch as sexist attitudes and beliefs contribute to sexist actions), so we don't really care about attitudes/beliefs, only actions.

 

...

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it's not that it's irrelevant, it's that it's not possible to influence people to change what motivates them to do bad things without implementing significant penalty for doing that thing

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it's not that it's irrelevant, it's that it's not possible to influence people to change what motivates them to do bad things without implementing significant penalty for doing that thing

I disagree in two parts.

Number 1 is that you can in fact change what motivates people. First thing I said is change the economy and market demand. Make it so businesses see that sex no longer sells (bonus i guess if sex hurts sales). It's just capitalism at work. Second is raise kids better. You haven't really addressed this besides reducing it to "telling people not to do the thing" but I don't think you fully understand what it means to influence growing youth and what kind of long term benefits it has for society insifar as repairing these so called intangible things you guys see as something that needs no attention.

Number 2 is I'm not sure I've ever really seen punishment for actions to be at all effective. I'm not gonna pull the prohibition card since it's obvious, but generally retaliating against someone and antagonizing them for doing something bad is less effective than reaching them at a level they understand (the motivations for their actions). If the problem examples are doing it for money, then we know it's a market demand problem. If they do it for their own artistic expression, we know it's an attitude problem (between men/women). "Sexist" people are still people, and they often don't know they're doing something wrong because their understanding of right and wrong is different from everyone else's (which ultimately was shaped by how they grew up both before and after entry into adulthood).

Tangential side note, belief and attitude INEVITABLY manifests in action. Ignoring the problem until it actually *happens* is not enough if we want to get anywhere. The recent surge in Islamophobia is proof of this; long held attitudes by sectors of the American public have now been unleashing at alarming rates because of encouragement by the words from Repub. This isn't just about the actions. The problem is ignorance, belief in fearmogering, etc. all of these mental "non actions" are what's accelerating this mess, because they inevitably are resulting in actions. So casting them aside as not wothy of consideration until they manifest is like a police officer letting an armed robber walk into the bank and only trying to stop him after he's begun shooting the glass.

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it's not that it's irrelevant, it's that it's not possible to influence people to change what motivates them to do bad things without implementing significant penalty for doing that thing

 

Using your words... sure it's possible. You can reward them for doing something good. Build up their motivation through operant conditioning. No one else said that the consequences have to be negative. Seriously, I didn't have to do anything more than read off my psych notes to tell you this. :/

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"Irresponsible"? How so? Making statements based on the definition I'm using rather than some arbitrary collection of definitions that other people use is some sort of reckless disregard for the truth? It's not like I've been shy about the definition I'm using -- basically all I've been doing is spelling out that definition (and its consequences). I'm really not sure what you mean by that.

Your definition is just as arbitrary as anyone else's, and so asserting it as infallibly true (read the tone and wording of your posts, dude) is nothing short of disingenuous. You say things like "That's what sexism IS!!!!!" Well, no, that's clearly not the case if sexism is ill defined in the first place.

Using your words... sure it's possible. You can reward them for doing something good. Build up their motivation through operant conditioning. No one else said that the consequences have to be negative. Seriously, I didn't have to do anything more than read off my psych notes to tell you this. :/

He probably doesn't believe in formal psychology. I'm not saying this to be demeaning; many people reject formalities of soft sciences because they're... Well soft.

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psychology is currently more or less as valid as astrology

 

Dude, astrology isn't in the least bit valid. Even my psych professor calls astrology a "pseudo-science". You didn't ask this question, but it's *more* valid than astrology. Psychology *actually* incorporates hypotheses and independent/dependent variables, isolates extraneous circumstances/influences, values reproducibility, expresses notions of uncertainty, etc. Psychologists certainly are methodical to their approach. Astrology just gives deceptive generalizations (intentional or not) in the horoscopes. The main reason why psychology isn't as highly-regarded as something like chemistry and biology is that it studies something intangible in the most ideal circumstances as the researcher can manage. Astrology is just general claims that appeal to things like the Barnum effect and fallacies of positive instances, just as you see in fortune telling, palmistry, and other pseudo-sciences. i.e. it's just broad generalizations without being methodical. It's an invalid comparison.

 

You can dismiss whatever you want, but you're still saying that only actions matter when judging someone, and that, again, disregards motive and other components of everyone's belief system. It's, as Neblix has said as well, irresponsible. It's cherry-picking what you want and dismissing what you don't believe as valid to your argument. Have you said anything about WHY beliefs 'can' be ignored while trying to change someone to no longer perform sexist actions (without simply stating something arbitrary like "it's not possible to influence people to change what motivates them to do bad things without [insert undesirable consequence here]"---WHY is it "not possible"?)? There is simply no reason for me to NOT continually assert that most if not all people do what they believe in.

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literally everything you said about astrology also applies to psychology

This is not even close to true. Now you're just trolling. Psychology studies do NOT depend on appealing to positivity (i.e. uncritical acceptance).

Here's a simple way to see it.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/psychology - a *science*

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/astrology - an "attempt"-heavy study

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This page clearly makes it known that reliability is important, and makes the case for why it is reliable.

 

Why is consistency important? Because when you measure something with an instrument two times, you want it to come out with the same answer (or close to it) both times.

[...]

Personality is qualitative and therefore difficult to measure, so psychological instruments cannot have the same consistency you would expect from, say, a ruler.

[...]

When the MBTI instrument is used with groups where reported reliabilities are lower or data are lacking, caution should be exercised and the professional should evaluate appropriate use.

 

A major part of science in general is reliability, i.e. reproducibility. You can't rely on astrology, because horoscopes are vague. They can apply to literally anyone. Psychology distinguishes itself from it by NOT asserting quantitative accuracy with certitude. Astrology doesn't care about accuracy; it cares about appealing to many people with fallacious generalizations that only appear accurate.

 

Did you read this at all? Clearly, psychologists call astrology a pseudopsychology. They wouldn't bother classifying it as such and dedicate several pages in a textbook debunking it if it weren't clearly inferior in being methodical. And obviously, inferiority implies dissimilarity and thus grounds for false comparisons. And you would see the discussion on vagueness of horoscopes from the same link.

 

Read the definitions. This HAS to be understandable. Otherwise, you're just not even trying to understand, and it's not even worth staying in this conversation (is this even a conversation or what?).

 

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/psychology - a *science*

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/astrology - an "attempt"-heavy study

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