or, "that which must never be spoken..."

Like Stem Cell research to Republican's - this discussion is liable to get some emotions running high; what I'm looking for is cold, hard discussion of human behavior.


Put your emotions aside and please, if you don't feel able to do this, please don't contribute.


Elephant 1

David Starkey's remarks on the BBC the other night: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/13/david-starkey-claims-white... have provoked a storm.

Starkey put his point badly; excruciatingly so - but was he wrong? Was he even being racist?

Oddly enough, when a coloured woman (Dreda Say Mitchell, who appeared with Starkey) makes an off-the-cuff comment about whites "It's just a couple of white guys running around London" - when evaluating the then still to be broadcast BBC Drama Sherlock - it goes unnoticed and overlooked.

Why is it acceptable for coloured commentators to make remarks such as this (which I found offensive in context) but when a white makes a completely valid point (even putting it so badly) that raises a storm of controversy?

Elephant 2

Why is it acceptable for children - note that it's primarily pre-teen girls - to be dressed up "sexually" for the delight of god only knows who when we have a laws against paedophillia?

Elephant 3

The remark that caused the "slutwalks" seems similar to point 2.

In all three examples, there is good, ice-cold evidence to support the statements - yet this bizarre political posturing when we hear things like "I have the right to [insert here]" seems to be running amok.

It strikes me that with great freedom, comes great responsibility.

We seem to have forgotten the latter half of this.

From the sexual point of view, for example, women wear make up (lipstick for example) to indicate their readiness to breed - at least, that was the original intention. Flushed lips are supposed to represent good health and are even analogous to the female genetallia.

Foundation, lotions and potions give the appearance of skin which is healthier and more youthful than it really is and so it goes on: and that's just basic cosmetics.

The slutwalk protests of a few months ago demanded that it was OK for women to dress provocatively without accepting some responsibility if some alcohol-fueled grunt tries to take advantage.

I even find the very thought uncomfortable.

We are still animals even though we like to think that we are not.

It's crazy to think that we readily accept that a domestic dog can turn on a child - "because it's just a dog" yet politicians, the press, and popular opinion can't accept that we're really not that different.

Tags: emotion, politics, science, sexuality

Views: 229

Replies to This Discussion

These could really be split into two different discussions, but I'll attempt to coldly answer number one.

 

I think the reason Starkey's remarks are racist is because he is assigning a set of human characteristics (that, historically, have been demonstrated by many different groups of people) as being specifically "black" characteristics.  Young black men do not have a monopoly on behaving in this manner.  It is similar to me when people talk about slavery in America and say, "How could white people have done such a thing?"  when in fact we should be asking, "How could people do such a thing?" because, again, historically we know that Mayans, Egyptians, etc. (the list goes on and on) have enslaved others.  So, I'm afraid I don't agree with you.  Starkey did not make a valid point.

 

As for Dreda Say Mitchell's comment, she was making an observation.  Are the actors in the film white?  If so, she is not applying stereotypes to the situation, she is actually identifying the actors with a known, visible characteristic.  Since I don't know who she is, and I didn't see the clip, it's hard for me to evaluate the context of her statement. 

1. The historians remarks indicated that he placed the blame for the degradation of Britain's society on Afro-caribbeans. More specifically the youth being corrupted by the grime or hip hop culture. I should not that he's a Tudor historian who knowledge of history largely consists of aristocracy and not the plight of commoners. Race aside, The rioters are largely made up of poor disenfranchised youth made worse by the fact that school isn't in session. Idle hands, woeful economic opportunities coupled with racial profiling by police meant this was brewing for quite a while. His remarks held some truths but it still must of stung hearing it for a Caucasian person.

As for Dedra, It's common for pretty much all minorities to refer to Caucasians in that manner. I'm not saying it's right but it's accepted largely because Caucasians don't necessarily see themselves as a collective like other minorities do. The actions of one or a few minorities tend to perpetuate negative stereotypes, this is a mindset that that Caucasians rarely fall prey to. Her words aren't sparking any outrage considering she's a black women and people don't fear what black woman, she's holds no real power or influence on the totem pole.

 

2. There seems to be a trend for teens to a appear as sexually mature adults but that's largely propagated my the fashion industry and the media. Personally I'm unsure of the harm, but as for pre-teen I accept that body image issues are bound o happen when they are trying to look and act older than they actually are; that is harmful. The question should be put to the parents of children that are allowed to dress that way.

 

3. I support the slutwalk movement. The words of the officer who inspired the movement was appalling since he was insinuating the victims brought it on themselves. Why shouldn't women have the right to dress however they please and not be physically assaulted or verbally abused while walking down the street. It's similar to the comments I would read on news sites where articles reference a late night or early morning robbery, assault or murder. Commentators have to the gall to question why someone wouldn't be home at that time of night where's it's 'safe'. People should be safe no matter what time of day or night it is. i don;t think women wear makeup solely for the purpose of attracting men or to 'indicate their readiness to breed'. Women tend to want to dress up 'just because' Ala girls night out. Somehow many rapists convince themselves that their victims were asking for it even as that screamed and fought back their advances.

Haha, actually in the context of the point he was trying to make, I saw it as completely innocent. He wasn't making a racial comment, but a comment about culture. The black culture we all know about (but sometimes are afraid to talk honestly about because we don't want to appear racist) is about some definite things - it's about demanding respect, the willingness to be unabashed, unashamed, and even violent about it, it's about empowering young black people through a culture of fierce individualism and an appeal to sex, money, status, and violence - essentially, it is the lowest form of empowerment there is, and for a reason: black people often feel completely powerLESS in modern capitalistic society, justifiably so, and so they seek to find their self-esteem, self-respect, and self-empowerment in the only way available to them. It is a rejection of the modern white ideals, because for many black people, those ideals are just that, and are completely unrealistic and unattainable for many black people and now poorer whites as well. It's easy to identify with that sort of culture, because it speaks to our baser nature. Of course we all should want to aspire to loftier ideals, but for many, whether because of a lack of money-power or a lack of brain-power, the default position will just have to do. If people made the point as I have just made it, I think things would be a lot clearer on this issue.

 

#2 Without trying to seem like too much of a perv, it is young women just on this side of puberty that have been the most sought-after mates in probably most cultures, for good reason - only until relatively recently (given the whole of our species' existence) did people begin to live much further past childrearing age. People were expected to have children early and often before they were dead. So while we think (and rightly so) that women shouldn't get pregnant before at least age 18, women have been getting pregnant much earlier than that for eons. Having just watched something on the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette married King Louis XVI at only age 14, he at age 15 I think, and they were expected to start trying to have babies from night #1. Poor Louis was impotent until he got penile surgery (best not to dwell on this point), but even 2 and a half centuries ago this was common practice in the Western world, and still may be today in many parts of the world. If we want our females to protect their sexuality and withhold using it until a good many years past they become sexually receptive (and I think this is a terrific idea), we should not be encouraging them to dress so provocatively. Identifying women in general with only their sexual powers is dehumanizing, so I wish all of society were at least a modicum more modest. On the other hand, I agree with John that we all know the rules, and there is next to no excuse (I avoid absolutes) for transgressing them.

 

No idea what a slutwalk is and not interested, but Marc, you say "we readily accept that a domestic dog can turn on a child"... WHAT? I am by no means following this train of thought. Clarification please?

"The black culture we all know about (but sometimes are afraid to talk honestly about because we don't want to appear racist) is about some definite things - it's about demanding respect, the willingness to be unabashed, unashamed, and even violent about it, it's about empowering young black people through a culture of fierce individualism and an appeal to sex, money, status, and violence - essentially, it is the lowest form of empowerment there is"

 

And that is the real issue in my opinion. People do not realize that there is much more to the African American and Afro-Carribian culture than what you just stated it is all about. That part is only one part of one side of the coin. Just because you and this other guy think that this is all non mainland Africans are about then you are all severely misinformed and honestly that is a type of racial profiling.

 

But don't worry I also place the fair share of the blame on my fellow non mainland Africans who feel that this is all their culture is about. In this day and age of widespread information, there is no reason as to why anyone should not know their culture

Did I say anywhere that I thought "that all non mainland Africans are" all about that kind of culture? No, I did not, so be careful when you toss about accusations, you should make sure you are understanding what you read first.
The black culture we all know about (but sometimes are afraid to talk honestly about because we don't want to appear racist)
I do apologize because I wasn't meaning offense and perhaps should not have tried to infer what you were stating, but with that quote would you mind informing me what it was you were exactly trying to say. My understanding from that is that you were speaking about all non mainland Africans. I could very well be wrong, but in that case would you mind clarifying for me. I have no knowledge of your personal knowledge on that subject, but it seems that maybe you should make sure you are understanding what you're typing and trying to convey before assuming that those who are reading are not able to understand what you are saying.

Now after re reading my original response to your comment I have to doubly apologize. You are correct and I was wrong in assuming what you were inferring, however the first question in my second comment does still stand, because if that is not the group you were talking about than what group was?

 

I was simply trying to state that there is much more to the culture than what you stated as it being. :-)

#1:

I can't say that his comment was racist as much as it was just ignorant of him to say such a thing. In my opinion it was more racial profiling than out and out racism. And let's be honest the colored woman you referred to isn't making a racist comment because as someone else has also pointed out she was simply making an observation about the particular skin tone of those men. But as also stated previously, without the full context, making a good judgement call either way is kind of difficult.

 

#2:

In my opinion this is where parental responsibility comes in.

 

#3:

Yeah we aren't that different from animals, except for our ability to know and reason. Now I personally have an issue with females who go out and dress provocatively and then get upset from the stares they receive from others around them, but that is just because why would you complain about people's stares if you are dressed in a manner that is supposed to cause stares haha. However, looking and touching are two completely different things. We may not be that different from animals, but we do have laws and the knowledge that states how in this day and age it is not okay to simply go around and take things just because they're shiny and we want it. And I personally like to hold myself to a much higher standard of self awareness and self control and would much rather take full account for my actions rather than trying to shift the blame to those who don't deserve it or toward some inner "prime directive" per se.

1)  I think he was referring to the gangsta language that our teenagers have adopted.  I don't think he was being racist.

2)  That is distasteful.  I don't know why parents give in to the pressure.  My daughter wanted those clothes, but I dressed her age appropriately. 

3)  When I was young and beautiful, I dressed to be looked at on appropriate occasions, but of course, I didn't want to be mauled. 

No offense, but I wasn't aware that saying whites are turning black is a form of "gangsta" language.

Dress to a teenager is one of the few ways they have to express their individuality and for the most part it's harmless.  I taught high school for 30 years and can tell you high school girl's dress can test a heterosexual male's will to the max - any male that tells you that they don't find them desirable is either gay or lying through his teeth.
Despite their comeliness the law says statutory rape – their dress, regardless of its provocativeness, is not invitation - nor is it for an adult woman.

I have two 14 year old grand daughters that are both knockouts and a 12 year old that soon will be. I keep thinking of my own hormone saturated teenage years ( distant memories that they are) and all I can do is cringe.

At my age any nubile young thing attracted to me would have some significant mental issues.

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