The uselessness of Pride
06-17-2017, 03:59 PM, (This post was last modified: 06-17-2017, 04:51 PM by Jeremy.)
The uselessness of Pride
I was talking to my sister about the Orlando city soccer game that we are going to tonight and with it being around the one year anniversary of the pulse mass shooting here, she was asking if they were doing something special. Anyways the topic of her shirt being supportive of the gay people who were killed came up and I told her that them being gay had no bearing on my feelings toward the unfortunate event. They just happened to be people who liked the same sex. I explained that I disagree with labeling such as race, sexuality, religion as it divides and distracts away from the fact that we are all human. 

So the topic of Pride came up and to me, pride is such a useless emotion especially in the case of ones sexual orientation, race, religion,nationalism  etc. So I started pondering on that a bit and found a wonderfully written article pertaining to the emotion that I hope you will enjoy
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06-18-2017, 12:21 PM,
RE: The uselessness of Pride
"them being gay" is EXACTLY why they were killed...

so - for that to have "no bearing on (your) feelings toward the unfortunate event" is (likely) because you're not gay (?)

if you're straight - you have the luxury of this detachment...

your philosophy about "labels" is also a luxury you're able to have - because you're not in a targeted/villified group (I presume?)

sure - a world without 'labels' would be peaceful... but tell that to the haters - not the hated...(or their supporters)
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06-18-2017, 12:29 PM,
RE: The uselessness of Pride
I do have furry pride more than I have gay pride. But it's not about boasting about it. It gives me the warm fuzzies.

Reality is absolutely infinite. We are God veiled.
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06-18-2017, 01:08 PM,
RE: The uselessness of Pride
I was wondering if someone would take my message that way and I apologize that you did as it wasn't my intention. I never downplayed the significance of such a horrid act.

The reasons why they were killed in my mind is immaterial to the fact that humans were killed. The specificity behind the act is no different in my mind than the killing of any other person.

This inherent need to attach a label or identity to ones self is the point I was trying to make though I can see how one can interpret this as me downplaying the fact that they happened to be homosexual. This need to identify ad this or that rather than human is one of the greatest divisions within society.
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06-19-2017, 04:54 AM, (This post was last modified: 06-19-2017, 04:57 AM by smc.)
RE: The uselessness of Pride
no - I got both "ways" your message can be interpreted

I didn't say you were downplaying the significance of the deaths

but I do say through the identification of 'difference' - of 'other' - you're removing the significance of the reasons FOR those deaths (saying they are "immaterial to the fact")

do you postulate a causality between gay (etc) identification as a cause for their deaths?  

or are you simply sharing that in a world without 'labels' these deaths wouldn't occur?

if the latter... I agree it's a utopian idea - that maybe we're moving ever so slowly towards

- but I don't think stating it to those being hated, or their supporters, is sensitive or useful

and not being in the hated group you have no authority to recommend it

lastly you write: "they happened to be homosexual"

no - it happened BECAUSE they were homosexual - buuuut not because THEY identified themselves and grabbed those labels first... the 'pride' movement came about as a strategy of subverting the original prejudice in the first place

for millennia humans anthropologically had (still have) a built in 'warning' to recognise difference primarily for survival
so 'things' or persons considered 'out of place' were noticed and viewed with caution
the 'Other' has always paid the price of being different from the group...
but you don't tell the 'Other' to stop feeling pride in their difference - they're educating the 'group' by their 'pride'
"you teach people how to treat you"

if humans can survive on Earth long enough
eventually the labels will fall away

also - consider that some labels can be useful
also - some people really like having labels/descriptors
and just as I don't get to say what's right for you
you don't get to say what people who live lives you don't relate to or can't - from your position of (comparative) safety, you don't get to say what they should do or feel or believe

you say (twice) - "in my mind" - this is my whole point - your mind (life) is not directly affected so you can have feelings of expectation that your philosophy should be the 'norm' more easily

google intersectionality  

btw: the "need to identify" always comes from the dominant culture/group

who's that been for thousands of years?

heterosexual males

and if you're in the dominant group you won't know you're speaking from a place of ignorance

can you see you're 'victim blaming'?

by this I mean you're expecting the situation to be fixed by those who are penalised by it

if you knew what it's like to be the 'other' (to the strongest extent) you might have the wish for a label free world but you wouldn't have written this thread... because this thread is essentially arguing for the hated to become passive and wait for the labels others gave them in hatred - to somehow magically disappear.

capisce?  Wink
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06-19-2017, 09:59 AM, (This post was last modified: 06-19-2017, 10:36 AM by Jeremy.)
RE: The uselessness of Pride
Awesome thank you for the thoughtful reply!!

One of my biggest challenges I've always had is having empathy relative to this idea of labels and the reason for it. My belief of complete unity without the need for labels is something that can lack empathy to those on the other side of the coin. Obviously I'm not one that has ever been labeled except for something minor in my mind like being short but I got over that in high school and it's obviously nowhere near as discriminated against or even worth mentioning in the same breath to be honest

As far as claiming that labels are wrong. Nothing is ever wrong just misguided. It's that all is well mentality Smile

Has the pride thing really resulted in a positive change to those that are ignorant in it? From personal experience, all I've heard from those that disagree with the lifestyle is further backlash claiming that it's simply being flaunted and they don't want to see it.

I'm not telling anyone to do anything with their lives or how to live it. I'm only suggesting an alternative way of thinking. Also i should have stated more clearly that I wasn't only claiming that those who identify themselves a certain way as the only ones who could benefit from a different line of thinking. I just assumed that my point would include everyone could benefit from not labeling anyone. If those that committed such an act had not agreed with the lablelling in the first place and regarded them as humans as well, I'm sure this wouldn't have occurred.

But of course this line of thinking is utopian and I get that. I just don't believe that the further use of labels will result in any type of positive change towards acceptance of that which some may see as unacceptable because they don't have a common theme to rally around. If the theme was centered around the idea that we are all one species, one race, one society just with different attributes, I truly think it would allow those that disagree with it at least a starting point to begin to allow some level of acceptance.

I thank you for the mirror as I had hoped this forum would be such an educational tool in this respect. You gave me much to think about in regards to empathy Smile

Edit: so I started trying to find something that I identify with to allow me to see from the other side and I think I'm beginning to forn a grasp. Let's take the label of being a wanderer for instance. Once I found that I could potentially be such an entity, it did give me a sense of purpose and direction. Though I claim such a potential label, is this necessarily the same thing? Does labeling gives those that identify a certain sexuality, race, nationalism also give them a sense of purpose? Maybe this can be the bridge in my potential err in thinking.

My next question is how do these other labels serve a purpose? Since I'm ignorant, I'm truly looking for help to understanding their plight. By saying one is homosexual or African American or whatever, how does this serve a greater good in societal terms? I can see how labeling as such can provide the catalyst to those that are against such races and lifestyles to potentially allow them to accept that which they aren't. In this respect, I can see the benefit of labels in the short term.

Am I coming to a somewhat better way of thinking?
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06-19-2017, 10:41 AM,
RE: The uselessness of Pride
(06-18-2017, 12:21 PM)smc Wrote:  your philosophy about "labels" is also a luxury you're able to have - because you're not in a targeted/villified group (I presume?)

sure - a world without 'labels' would be peaceful... but tell that to the haters - not the hated...(or their supporters)

Isn't it possible to simultaneously have compassion for the situation in which people find themselves without attributing to that situation some sort of special, absolute significance?  Ultimately, all of the identities to which we cling, those that define us both socially and individually, are features of the map and not who we really are. There's a difference between seeing labels as constraints on another's identity and seeing labels as simply partial, incomplete expressions of it. And to the extent the "haters" cling to the former usage -- that all those victims were were gay people, and that because of that label it's ok to kill them without regard for their greater uniqueness and humanity -- I often wonder like the OP whether identity movements on the other side don't feed into this.

Now, I don't think it's my place to tell marginalized people how they must proceed in their own liberation. I do, however, believe that we all need a healthy dose of critical thinking (I've certainly appreciated yours, SMC). Pointing out a downside to an approach is an act of support, not of rejection, and there are downsides to identity politics as they are typically realized in our political context, downsides the OP accurately pointed out. And indeed I think much leftist activism suffers from thinking on purely tactical terms without a broader strategy, so that activist priorities seem to perpetually orbit the news cycle and reactions to the latest outrage, instead of building the groundwork for the world we wish to see emerge in the less public, more intimate spaces of our lives.

In my opinion, "pride" and identity movements serve their most valuable purpose when they are morale boosters for folks who have been historically downtrodden. What I would think we want to avoid is the old in-group/out-group sociology that seems to prevail throughout history, where former out-groups get power and just turn the tables and make the former in-group the new out-group. Thus while I recognize the appropriateness of a certain amount of "stridency" in the activism of marginalized populations, and while I think it's important that we let the marginalized know in concrete terms that our hearts are with them, I don't think that means we have to construct our politics as an exact replica of theirs. Yes, I have lots of luxuries, lots of privileges, and the point should be to work for a world where I necessarily give a lot of that up. But the only way to do this is to change structural factors, and while we celebrate other identities let's not let symbols trump material conditions.

I found this recent article really good on this point. Here's a great excerpt:

Quote:…you cannot be polite enough to black people, as a white person, to undermine white supremacy. You cannot be respectful enough to women, as a man, to dismantle patriarchy. You cannot celebrate LGBTQ people sufficiently, as a straight person, to reduce homophobia. Instead, tackling these things requires fighting for changes that will actually cause you real diminished status, as a member of a dominant group — reparations, equal pay laws, legalization of the undocumented.

I get that it's important to educate straight, white males on their blind spots, but let's not forget that that's a means to an end; me being a kinder, gentler holder of privilege isn't really going to change material conditions in a way that allows marginalized people to thrive on their own terms. Thanks for reading this!

It is not that love will tell you what to do.
It is that love will tell you how to do it with love.
Q'uo 3/19/06
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06-19-2017, 10:58 AM,
RE: The uselessness of Pride
Awesome response brother. You two are teaching me much!
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06-19-2017, 06:03 PM,
RE: The uselessness of Pride
I am cis-everything myself, but I was afforded an opportunity to see the Pride phenomenon from the inside. A rock band I was in was fronted by an out and "proud" lesbian woman, and our fanbase was awesomely diverse. We played a lot of gay bars and Pride festivals in the Central US, smack in bible-thumper land, where every non-cis person is guaranteed to have been made to feel very uncomfortable about who they are at some point...probably that very day. Here's what I observed:

Gay bars are some of the the best bars. Almost everyone there is in one of the few safe spaces that they know in their lives, so it's a place full of people that are just about the happiest they ever are. There aren't many of the usual terrible people that usually make bars terrible. Instead, they're just full of joy and light.

LGBTQ people are people, without exception, who have been forced through frightfully deep societal catalyst to fight for their identity as sovereign human beings with agency over their own lives. They are usually people of fascinatingly unique individual expression as a result.

Pride events are amazing, for a lot of the same reasons as LGBTQ bars and clubs. And it is not "pride" that is on display there, in the sense the article talked about. It's the other thing it talked about. It is dignity. These are people reclaiming their dignity, standing in their dignity, refusing to accept any more of the indignities that our culture doles out to them.

There is a form of the biblical deadly sin version of pride on display in this broader story, however. You pointed it out Jeremy:

"From personal experience, all I've heard from those that disagree with the lifestyle is further backlash claiming that it's simply being flaunted and they don't want to see it."

That's negative pride, right there. (Not you, those who "disagree" with someone else's lifestyle, just to be clear.) It is the epitome of pridefulness to look at a group of people who are different than you, to decide that first, they are not One with you, and that further, that you judge them to be beneath you, or unacceptable, or "flaunted when they should be shamefully hidden." To my mind, people who act that way should be pitied, loved out of their state of dysfunction, and thoroughly, THOROUGHLY ignored when it comes to their opinions about the way the world should be run.
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