Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Privilege Check

-I was born into a middle class family (race doesn't enter into it, socio-economic class is the deciding factor on this one. Just so happens that black people are more likely to be born into poor families.). Therefore, I'm less likely to end up in prison, more likely to graduate from college.

-I was in foster care. Therefore, I'm more likely to end up in prison, less likely to graduate from college. Though I already graduated from college and don't look to become desperate enough to end up in prison any time soon, so we can say that being middle class was a more deciding factor than broken homes.

-I am female. Therefore, I am less likely to be interested in technical things, though I happen to be. There are plenty of programs and scholarships to help me if I do decide to go into a STEM field. This also means that there is no program I can't enter, nothing I can't try to do, and no place I can't go in to. Unlike men.

-I am female. This means that I have access to the following birth control methods:
*depo-provera shot
*a bunch of different types of monthly pill cycles
*a three-month pill cycle
*a ring to insert into my vagina, which I change once a month
*a device inserted into my vagina which must be monitored yearly and changed either every 5 years or every 7-12 years (IUD)
*keeping track of my fertility by being very very diligent and careful
*"plan b" morning after pill
*various natural concoctions which can induce a period to act like a morning after pill
*a device which fits over the cervix to the vagina to keep the sperm out of the womb (diaphragm for long-term, or a female condom for short term)
*having tubes tied or snipped for a permanent solution
*a gel which is sprayed into my vagina and acts to kill and slow sperm

I also have access to the following methods if none of the above work
*abandon at a safe place (church, monastery, police station)

I am allowed to use any combination of the above methods without consulting the potential father, or even informing him that I am pregnant. I also have the option of not telling him I'm pregnant, having the child, and then naming any man I want as the father to get his money.

As a woman, I am more likely to be hired for a job than a man is because of affirmative action. As a woman, I am more likely to be accepted to anything I apply for, because of government programs. So, I think I'll count female as being privileged.

Check my privilege:

white- propaganda says "privileged", I say "irrelevant"
middle class family- propaganda says "privileged", I say "privileged"
foster care- propaganda says "disadvantaged", I say "irrelevant"
female- propaganda says "disadvantaged", I say "privileged"
cis-gendered (or close enough)- propaganda says "privileged", I say "privileged"
christian upbringing- propaganda says "privileged", I say "irrelevant"
non-mainstream beliefs- propaganda says "disadvantaged", I say "irrelevant"

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Insights- Aggression

There's a bit of a debate about whether the human male or the human female is more aggressive. Why the debate? Well, the females are well known for using passive-aggressiveness, for hanging on to a grudge, and for seeking the worst sorts of revenge. The human males are known for having their altercation, fighting it out, and moving on (unless the wrong involves hurting someone they actually care about, then it gets ugly). But, the males are more about physical aggression, while the females are more about emotional aggression. The males will settle by punching, but the females settle by ridicule, shunning, and other such tricks. The male's aggression looks worse, but, barring actual death, the female's aggression takes longer and is more damaging to the target in the long run (it takes longer to fix a broken spirit than a broken arm, after all). Thus the debate.

But I think it's more than that.

Consider in the wild. The species which are aggressive are those which eat meat. The species which aren't aggressive don't eat meat. (I won't say eat plants, because omnivores fall under eat meat category). Non-aggressive species tend to hide, run if they can't hide, and only fight if they are forced to. The only way to force them is to attack another member of their group, or to corner them. However, during mating season, a male becomes dangerous, because he will attack. So, we could say that the males are more aggressive among the more peaceful species.

In the aggressive species, the whole species will attack to defend their territory, not just their people. They also attack for food, but I won't count that as aggression, not because it's not aggressive behavior, but because the motivation is hunger, which isn't necessarily aggressive. Among these species, the only reason a male will attack another of the same species is dominance/possession issues, as well as the familiar quick revenge match we see in human males. (Don't take my mate/territory, or I am higher than you are, or That hurt!) But the females will nip and bother, attacking for any and all reasons. When defending their young, the females are always accepted as being more aggressive. So in meat eaters, in aggressive species, the female is the more aggressive one.

Now look at humans. Not the in-group aggression, but the out of group aggression. We are evolved to be omnivores, eating both meat and plants. But how many people try to live off of just plants? We tend to attack to defend our territory, but our ideals are to only defend our persons. In short, we are an aggressive species, but we want to believe we are not. Since we are, in fact, aggressive, then we can say with confidence that the females are actually the more aggressive half, but since we want to believe we are not, we try to prove over and over again that the males are the more aggressive half. It also results in us socializing our boys to be more aggressive, but it only really gets directed against the out-group. Girls and women are still very aggressive towards even peers within their group.

So there you have it. The fight is not just about who is more aggressive within the species, but about the nature of our species as a whole. I hate to say it guys, but we are an aggressive species.