Time machine question made me check my privilege

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Chew Toy McCoy, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. Chew Toy McCoy macrumors regular

    Chew Toy McCoy

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    #1
    Hello. White male here, well past my SJW age if that matters. Was listening to the Nerdist podcast with Anna Faris as the guest and mixed in the banter was the question if you had a time machine where and when would you go back to? She responded that as a woman she can’t really think of a time or place she’d rather go back to. This was almost meant as a passing joke but I found it somewhat profound.

    If you are a white male and go back in time and place at best you’ll be in a power position and at worst you could probably treat it as a fairly safe amusement park experience. There are exceptions to that for sure but I’m saying in general. If you are a woman or aren’t white you’d probably be hard pressed to think of a time and place where you would be better off. If you are a white male try to put yourself in a different position and try to think of where and when you’d rather be. I’ll wait.

    I don’t see this so much as an argument that things are a lot better now as a realization that I don’t have much of a clue what women and nonwhites have been through for a good part of recorded history. 50 years from now we could probably reflect and still see this as not an ideal time for women or nonwhites, comparably assuming things continue to improve.
     
  2. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #2
    Devil's advocate here: in the 1950s there was a thriving black middle class and nearly all black Americans were born within the bonds of wedlock. Of course, they had fewer rights. What era was better? If you're a 75 year old black make living in 2016 Chicago, you might look back fondly at the fifties.

    Frankly, I doubt anyone wants to go back to last week, never mind decades ago. IMO, of course.
     
  3. Chew Toy McCoy thread starter macrumors regular

    Chew Toy McCoy

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    I think a lot of people look back at their younger years with some fondness hopefully. But I’m saying if you just dropped yourself in a time and place with no personal connection and based on the social attitude and laws of the time it probably wouldn’t be easy to pick a time and a place.

    As an American you might want to go back to witness the founding of this country, but probably not so much if you are an African American that would still be subject to the laws and attitudes of that time. That wouldn’t even be on the concern radar for white males.
     
  4. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #4
    As a white male who is also Mormon, I'd like to go back to 1830's-1840's Missouri. Gov. Boggs executive order 44 sounds like good times!
     
  5. unlinked macrumors 6502a

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    In general if a white man went back in time he would end up in a ****** time the vast vast majority of times. Assuming he didn't come back as King George through some random luck. When my mum was a kid in the 50s (granted she wasn't a white man but her dad was) she lived with more than half a dozen siblings in a 2 room cottage with no electricity. Her dads father didn't have a vote because he was poor. His granddad didn't have a vote because he was catholic. His granddad probably didn't have a vote because they weren't all that into democracy yet. Poor people really did have something to complain about and starved to death.

    People should just appreciate now for a change. Even when it is ****** it is still actually pretty great.
     
  6. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #7
    I have to disagree with Anna Farris. If she traveled back to the Jurrassic period she wouldn't have to worry about woman's rights.
     
  7. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #8
    Time travel to the Jurassic and wrestling with early hominids sounds rough. Better send me.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. unlinked macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    I'm kinda reminded of the Red Dwarf experience of time travel.

     
  9. tunerX Suspended

    tunerX

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  10. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    I don't know that anybody would be better off by going to any previous point in history. Depending on how far back you go you would give up the internet (think of everything that would be affected), inexpensive technology, car safety features, telephones, cures and treatments for countless diseases, flight, indoor plumbing, climate control, or whatever. Those sure were the days.
     
  11. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

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    #12
    Not to mention that your body couldn't handle the food and water from way back when.
     
  12. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

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    #13
    Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Armenians, etc.- all people who have faced discrimination or worse despite the members being predominantly white.

    And throughout much of history, oppression applied not just to ethnicity or religion, but to economic class. If you weren't a member of the nobility or royalty, you had a pretty hard life...even if you were a white male.
     
  13. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    #14
    The problem is that you westernized the question, and made it according to our current standards. Whites in contact with Asia didn't really enjoy life, and they were discriminated/killed. Same in Africa. Karankawas in the Americas ate whites and latinos for breakfast including almost the entire de Vaca's expedition.
    As for women, there are plenty of powerful women; queen Anne ruled France. Queen Elizabeth ruled England. There are also plenty of matriarchal societies. India and China have matriarchal components.
     
  14. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #15
  15. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    #16
    Read this, it's a great book... which also shows how tribal societies are quite... discriminatory...

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Chew Toy McCoy thread starter macrumors regular

    Chew Toy McCoy

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    #17
    Yes, most people are better off now, but the scenario is white men compared to everybody else. Look at it as a week-long jaunt. As a time tourist you can’t tell me white male’s interaction with other people of that time and place is going to be exactly the same as women and nonwhites. Just the act of walking down the street could be vastly different experiences.

    And as yaxonmoxy mentioned above I probably should say in the western world, but interesting that there are probably mostly white males responding to this post and either marginalizing it or are quick to point out exceptions to overall attitudes of the past.
     
  17. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #18
    Yeah sure, cis white male here, but I'm ethnically Jewish so if I were to travel back 80 years ago I might have been killed by the Nazis. "Privilege" doesn't really apply to everyone of a single gender or skin tone. Even then, I doubt I'd enjoy living in a constant economical and political shitzone and I wouldn't enjoy being killed for saying that god doesn't exist.

    Regardless, my argument against the whole white/male/etc "privilege" thing and SJWs in general is that we don't live in that kind of society anymore. A woman has all the rights she could hope for, and a black person has all the rights you could hope for. All of those claims of sexism and racism aren't real, and generally miss the context of their respective scenarios entirely. I think it's time to drop this issue and instead of trying to fix something which isn't a real problem in the first place, try to fix this overly left-winged "accepted" racism and sexism, as in the whole "ugh a policeman shot a black terrorist! he's a ****in white supremacist racist!!!" issue that's actually growing.

    We don't live in an age where women are forced to marry however wants to marry them and we don't live in an age where black people are slaves until they die. Problem with catcalling? Deal with it, your ancestors have seen worse than silly things like that. You have the most rights you could hope for, so enjoy them and don't let them go to waste.
     
  18. deany macrumors 68030

    deany

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    #19
    I'd like to go back to when Jesus was about 12 years and just starting his mission.

    I'm not worthy, but to just follow Jesus from the say 12 yrs until 3 days to a week after the crucifixion would be my wish.

    The to follow St Peter for the rest of my life to Rome.

    Not quite sure why the "I'm a white male" needs mentioning - so what?
     
  19. Absrnd macrumors 6502

    Absrnd

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  20. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

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    Devil advocate lvl2 here: adjusted that for you
     
  21. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #22
    Don't forget that if you do travel back in time, don't step on anything or you will alter the course of history forever. Fairly certain somebody already did this and caused President Trump.
     
  22. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #23
    Seriously what planet are you living on. As the demands of "free market" capitalism have ground down the cost of that ever so annoying line item called "labor", the rights of women, men and children alike have steadily been eroded, regardless of any other grouping like race, religion etc.

    Now I'm not suprised to hear a whole chorus of "enough already" on the rights of human beings, especially women and especially women of color. After all back in 2014 it seemed like women and women of color were actually making some progress on quite a few fronts -- in labor organizing, particularly... so I'm not at all surprised to see some major pushback ever since then. I mean when you see some headline line this, you might get antsy if you're a typical union busting member of the oligarchies, or even if you are just a typical shareholder in companies that depend on cheap labor to help keep profit margins moving up:

    How the Rise of Women in Labor Could Save the Movement (2014)


    Women have only recently made headway into real positions of power in organized labor, after making slow progress over the movement’s history. “The male leadership have been very pleased to accept the assistance and support of women union activists and leaders,” said Ileen Devault, a professor of labor history at Cornell, “but they haven’t been so eager to give them actual power in the union movement.” The early labor movement organized workers by occupation, in highly gender-segregated workforce, women were often left out of jobs that became unionized. Even when women began to be organized, they were relegated to segregated locals.

    By the mid-1930s, union leaders began to realize that success would rest on organizing all workers at a workplace, no matter their gender, race or skill, explained Roosevelt Institute Fellow and labor expert Dorian Warren. That’s when women began to make gains in leadership. But women labor leaders aren’t only found at the top: between the late 1980s and late 1990s, the percentage of female lead organizers increased from 12 to 21 percent. Meanwhile, the rise of the “worker centered movement”—groups such as the National Domestic Workers Alliance or ROC United that aren’t formal unions but help workers organize and advocate for better conditions—has been more effective at fostering the leadership of women and people of color than traditional unions, Warren says.

    So you know in 2014, we really had come a long way for women and back from practically dead in unions. But the better one does on that score, up against this country's top tier of capitalists, the harder the push to get us back to those days when things were different, 'cuz maybe they could be made different again, eh?


    The Men Behind The War On Women (2012)

    Over the past two years the GOP-controlled House of Representatives has launched one of the most extreme assaults on women’s choice the U.S. has seen in decades. Republicans voted twice to slash federal family planning funds for low-income women, moved to prevent women from using their own money to buy insurance plans that cover abortion, introduced legislation that would force women to have ultrasounds before receiving an abortion and, most recently, passed a bill that will allow hospitals to refuse to perform emergency abortions for women with life-threatening pregnancy complications.
    Now before anyone gets all annoyed at the idea it's just the Republicans behind this gig, that piece is actually about the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. We got some radical nuns running around the states, well into social justice and following the teachings of Christ and so forth, but we also got some radically inclined clerics in this country, and believe me, they are not all fundamentalist protestant Christians. The message is woman, get thee back to thy place. Yah, well maybe there's a little confusion over where exactly that place is in the United States of America.


    What Happens when Welfare Recipients Replace Union Workers? (1996)

    A limited form of WEP (Work Experience Program) started during the Dinkins administration, but it took Giuliani to dramatically expand its scope. Thousands of adults between the ages of 18 and 60 who receive public assistance have been forced to "work off" their checks by doing public sector jobs, from street cleaning to tree pruning to clerking in a welfare office. Single parents with kids over 3 years old receive lists of child-care centers (usually full) and are pressed into WEP service. Some 5,000 welfare recipients studying at city universities have been forced to quit school to fulfill WEP assignments, and as many as 10,000 single mothers now at city colleges will be forced out by WEP by the end of this year, according to the City University of New York's own calculations. Although the WEP law requires that participants be assessed for skills and placed in jobs that provide training that will lead to real work, it rarely happens. The law also gives people the option of education over work, but that provision, too, is routinely violated.

    While the ostensible purpose of WEP is to force people on welfare to "give back" something to the city, the unstated and undeniable effect of WEP is to break the back of labor unions. Viewed together with Giuliani's drive to privatize public services, the WEP program is a frontal assault on the most basic tenets of unionism: equal pay for equal work, a safe working environment, and the right to organize.

    Well if you follow politics, you probably know who Rudy Giuliani is. There's always been at least two or three or five or six sides to how Rudy manages to operate. He's changed over the years but he hasn't changed how he works.

    The other side of the WEP equation-the side Giuliani downplays-is the 22,000 public sector jobs lost through a massive buyout and early retirement program the mayor offered two years ago. The correlation between lost union jobs and the growth in WEP should be obvious to even the casual observer. Hospital Workers Local 420 lost 2,000 members to the buyouts. The parks department lost 2,400 full-time union jobs. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) local District Council 37, the largest municipal union, lost a total of 11,000 members, according to its president, Stanley Hill.

    For Giuliani, the math of WEP workers in city jobs is irresistible. According to Ken Peres, research director for District 1 of CWA, the average clerical worker's salary (not including benefits) costs the city $12.32 per hour. A WEP worker, meanwhile, costs the city just $1.80 per hour for a 20-hour workweek. (That's based on a $577 monthly welfare benefit, one-quarter of which is paid by the city, one quarter by the state, and half by the federal government.) With cuts in welfare benefits proposed by Gov. George Pataki and the jump to a 30-hour workfare week, the cost to the city will be 53 cents per hour for a WEP worker.
    Well I could go on but you get the picture. We were makin' some headway after the 90s there for awhile, and then... we weren't. So no surprise I take sharp exception to your suggestion that it's as good as it's gonna get. It's not. And it may get worse before it gets better. I hope not, but hoping isn't enough either so I have taken to encouraging all my nextgen to reconsider whatever their current positions are on things like labor unions, right-to-work, welfare, privatized education, privatized social safety nets, privatized incarceration and... their political apathy and their sometime lack of empathy as well. I remind them that they needn't believe in a deity to understand what means "There but for the grace of God go I."

    Their rights are not only at stake but are eroding by design of the government they don't even bother voting for half the time. Which suits the preference of guys like you who rant about how we have enough rights already. We may have certain rights today, and they may be gone in a month. Well... sometime after January 20th, eh?

    So on the time machine question of this thread? I'll take right now. Anyway I was taught it's good to just glance back now and then, not stare backwards, because I'm in forward motion and so might fall over something in front of me. No one told me it might be legislation proposing to nibble away at our civil and human rights though. Silly me. I get that now. Eyes forward. And open.
     
  23. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #24
    If you were a rich white male that was the right ethnic mix/religious following at the right time you'd probably be good.

    If you look back through history white males also built a lot of what is known as western civilization today so there's that.
     
  24. CaptMurdock macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Yeah...on the backs of the non-white and the less-privileged.
     

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