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  #21  
Old 11-03-2012, 04:04 PM
northhome northhome is offline
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
Your pheremones fit into each other's brains differently depending on your sex. Of COURSE those things are going to fundamentally affect attraction! Color, on the other hand, is cosmetic.

It's not comparable.
I recently met a Chinese woman who told me she should would never have a relationship with a white man because of the way white people smell.

I wonder, is she racist, or is she simply noticing that there are differences that affect attraction?
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  #22  
Old 11-03-2012, 04:25 PM
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I recently met a Chinese woman who told me she should would never have a relationship with a white man because of the way white people smell.

I wonder, is she racist, or is she simply noticing that there are differences that affect attraction?
I think that statement is part of racist conditioning. I have heard white people say the same thing about black people - that they smell different, or funny, or strange. I think someone saying that a certain race turns them off because of how they smell is like equating that with garbage or something not as clean or as human as they are. It's different than being turned off by someone's cologne or garlic breath.
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  #23  
Old 11-03-2012, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
Actually, I think this is a complex enough issue that you can't boil it down to such a basic question. I continue to disagree that it makes any sense to conflate hair and eye color with race, just to stick with that example. Within living memory, in our country, it was ILLEGAL for people of different races to marry. It has never been illegal for people of different eye colors to marry. Several generations ago, many white people in America considered the idea of one of their children getting involved with a black person to be, not just illegal and immoral, but distasteful, cause for *violence*. We are still struggling, as a society, with those hateful prejudices -- we've come a very, very long way, but there's too much history there, too much racism that still exists, to say that we're over it as a society. Eye color and skin color, when it comes to who we consider acceptable mates, are not the same in our societal context.
The only thing I can really do is disagree and repeat myself, I feel like we're not going to agree on this point.

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It doesn't make me comfortable either, but unfortunately, it's a real thing -- http://www.livescience.com/16339-culture-racism.html

Where personal responsibility comes into it, is that you can choose to face this uncomfortable fact about what it means to have been raised in our society, work to understand it, identify where it might exist in your own life or the lives of those around you, and attempt to confront it, break it down, change it. We can make a better society by taking personal responsibility, even for the things that we didn't ask for.
I'm sorry I just don't buy the unconscious racism. I'm fully prepared to accept that some people have cultural biases towards "their own" and that plays out as unconscious bias or discomfort around a diverse environment but to call it full-blown racism, I dont see any basis for that.

Racism is out-and-out hatred for a different racial group and discomfort from lack of knowledge based on experience is not even on the same street.

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One could choose to use it as an accusation to shut down conversation, sure. But that wouldn't be fair or cool, and you would deserve to be called out for it. I don't think that just because we acknowledge that unconscious racism is real, it means that people must automatically get away with using it as a brickbat to shut down others. I don't see how that follows at all, actually. Any time you make an argument, you need to back it up with why you think it is the case.
It automatically shuts down a conversation.

Joe: "You wouldn't understand, you're racist."
Jack: "What? I have friends of different ethnicities, I've dated women who were of a different ethnic group, I live in a heavily ethnic neighborhood, how am I racist?"
Joe: "Its unconscious racism."

What then can you say to that? You cant deny it because its something that you apparently cant sense and your examples of how you're not racist don't do anything against it. Even if you accept it, what do you do about it? When are you NOT unconsciously racist anymore? Do you have to go back to the original diagnoser for another test or can you just ask a whole bunch of people?

I'm against the idea that someone with zero training in ANYTHING can slap a label on someone else that has some very serious social ramifications that the target then cannot dispute without digging the label in deeper nor can they do anything to "fix" the problem themselves without the approval of others. It basically turns into a tool of marginalization for someone you dislike or disagree with and I'm not cool with that.

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Skin and hair color are superficial characteristics that denote no real difference between people beyond exceedingly minor things, like, say, susceptibility to a particular genetic disease. There are infinite permutations of race when different ethnic groups blend, there is no clear dividing line. Sex (while it can be a broad and fluid spectrum with many exceptions and variations), in general, represents two distinct, real categories with physical, hormonal, pheremonal differences. Your parts fit together differently, depending on your sex. Your pheremones fit into each other's brains differently depending on your sex. Of COURSE those things are going to fundamentally affect attraction! Color, on the other hand, is cosmetic.

It's not comparable.
As I said before, I dont think we're going to see agreement on this point.
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  #24  
Old 11-03-2012, 06:51 PM
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@Helo

So you also do not believe in unconscious sexism, ageism, nationalism, cultural bias, etc.?

I mean, its cool if you don't. Hey, live and live, right? But I tend to go with the idea that a lot of our behavior is shaped by unconscious forces that, if not examined, can cause us a lot of problems in life.

But, about the racism thing...

Not sure if preference based on our own personal Imago can be considered racist, at least not reasonably. I've never been that attracted to pale, skinny women because I really like thick, curvy women with dark hair. Doesn't matter if they are thick and curvy Polynesians, Puerto Ricans, Italians, Blacks, etc. I don't think that makes me a racist, although I KNOW that I have some racist beliefs (as do we all, America!) that I have been working on...mostly towards my own race (LOL).
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  #25  
Old 11-03-2012, 07:01 PM
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I've never been that attracted to pale, skinny women because I really like thick, curvy women with dark hair.
Hey, what about thick, curvy women with salt-and-pepper hair (that used to be dark)? <wink>
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  #26  
Old 11-03-2012, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Hey, what about thick, curvy women with salt-and-pepper hair (that used to be dark)? <wink>
Oh, my other thing is that I LOVE older women..salt and pepper hair is a big YES!
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  #27  
Old 11-03-2012, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Hades36 View Post
@Helo

So you also do not believe in unconscious sexism, ageism, nationalism, cultural bias, etc.?

I mean, its cool if you don't. Hey, live and live, right? But I tend to go with the idea that a lot of our behavior is shaped by unconscious forces that, if not examined, can cause us a lot of problems in life.
I think we need to stick to the dictionary definition of racism and its especially important that we do that because this is such a loaded term.

Racism is defined, basically, as "hatred or intolerance of another race or other races." That's a very active and aware statement. I've always preferred the distinction between ignorance and racist as such; ignorant means you don't know any better but you're willing to learn, racist means you DO know better but you're deliberately ignoring it.

Cultural bias is not the same thing as racism though I do accept that bias of all types exists, I just wouldn't put it on the same level as racism.

When you have a label like "unconscious racism" then, as I said, its a completely indefensible and invisible accusation and ultimately I feel creates even more of a divide between people because they want to avoid being "unconsciously racist." If you've got a situation where people are so nervous about talking with each other, you've made the situation worse than if you just sat down and said "Yeah, we're all biased, as long as it doesn't effect good sense, who cares?"
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  #28  
Old 11-04-2012, 02:05 AM
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How about "you don't know any better and you don't realise there is anything to learn"?

In this case your* actions are still racist and you're making no effort to change them. If someone calls you out on your behaviour there's a chance you might realise you have unconscious prejudices and start trying to learn, moving from Unconscious to Ignorant on the Helo Scale. If everyone avoids mentioning it because it might make you nervous then you're being denied the opportunity to learn and instead go though life with everyone thinking of you as a bit of an arsehole.

* generic "you", not you personally.
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  #29  
Old 11-04-2012, 02:24 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Originally Posted by Helo View Post
The only thing I can really do is disagree and repeat myself, I feel like we're not going to agree on this point.
It seems like you're right that we're not going to agree, and I don't care for a pointless back-and-forth either, though how you can put difference in hair color on the same plane as difference in skin color in our cultural context, I really don't know. I mean, I did explain why I think they're different, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts in response as to why they're not?

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I'm sorry I just don't buy the unconscious racism. I'm fully prepared to accept that some people have cultural biases towards "their own" and that plays out as unconscious bias or discomfort around a diverse environment but to call it full-blown racism, I dont see any basis for that.
Ok, again, would you care to explain why you don't buy into the concept? There are many more studies out there, not just the one I linked. I didn't make this up as a talking point

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Originally Posted by Helo View Post
It automatically shuts down a conversation.

Joe: "You wouldn't understand, you're racist."
Jack: "What? I have friends of different ethnicities, I've dated women who were of a different ethnic group, I live in a heavily ethnic neighborhood, how am I racist?"
Joe: "Its unconscious racism."

What then can you say to that? You cant deny it because its something that you apparently cant sense and your examples of how you're not racist don't do anything against it. Even if you accept it, what do you do about it? When are you NOT unconsciously racist anymore? Do you have to go back to the original diagnoser for another test or can you just ask a whole bunch of people?
Anyone who would talk like Joe in your example would be being a jerk. I mean, I'm talking about the concept of unconscious racism, am I talking like Joe, throwing out accusations and refusing to back them up? No, I'm positing suggestions, saying it would be worth considering why something would be the case, and explaining my position. As for what you can say, you can say "I disagree, and if you're not willing to back up your point, then you're not interested in having a real discussion." Then, if the person with whom you're speaking does convince you that there's something you ought to consider, it's on YOU to consider it. YOU figure it out for yourself, by reading, thinking, examining yourself. Sure, you can talk to other people but they can't "diagnose" you nor "test" you.

I completely get it, as someone who was raised to be fair-minded it SUCKS to think that one might be walking around with prejudices banging around in your head. But then, for example (this is a real example from my life), a friend wants to transition genders and you have a knee-jerk negative reaction and then you realize you have a bunch of stuff to learn about and work through. Or maybe you realize that, despite living in an ethnically mixed society, you've never once been attracted to a black person, even ones who would have been perfect for you, and you have to step back and say "Huh, what is this about, is it a matter of prejudice?" and you just start being conscious of it and actively considering black people as potential partners and see if anything changes. Maybe, in the end, it won't, maybe it really IS just like a preference for blonds -- but why not consider the idea that there's something else going on? Is the thought that threatening?

The brain is elastic. Our families, and our societies, imprint it with ALL sorts of things. We can choose to create new imprints that match OUR values, if we want to.

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Originally Posted by Helo View Post
I'm against the idea that someone with zero training in ANYTHING can slap a label on someone else that has some very serious social ramifications that the target then cannot dispute without digging the label in deeper nor can they do anything to "fix" the problem themselves without the approval of others. It basically turns into a tool of marginalization for someone you dislike or disagree with and I'm not cool with that.
It's really not about trying to slap labels on people, I promise. If that's what I'm doing, for example, please show me where I did. I don't see why we should avoid discussing something that science has proven is real, just because someone *could* try to use it as a conversational weapon -- in which case we can just call them on what they're doing! If we don't talk about hard topics, how can we deal with them?
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  #30  
Old 11-04-2012, 02:59 AM
SkylerSquirrel SkylerSquirrel is offline
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Okay, so here's a question about the unconscious racism thing as far as being attracted to people of a certain race.

What if you're not attracted to people of other races, but it's in the context of only being attracted to people like you?

As in, you not only prefer your own race, but your own height, your own body type, your own age, etc.?

Is that still unconscious racism?
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