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Post 20

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 10:57amSanction this postReply
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Well, if you are still here, can I ask you why you cannot get health care as a transgender?  Why would I turn down your money?  I would not do so if I were selling anything at all, let me tell you that! 

We have already addressed that people deserve to be left alone, and that in no way is it right for a person to be a target of attack, and I and everyone here I believe would support full punishment to those who would hurt someone for being different, or any other reason.

The rest of it does not seem to follow, as we all support individuals being what they choose to be.  We just believe in persuasion, so frankly, if a business openly discriminated, I would not longer buy from them.  I just believe that this is sufficient, and that government regulation is immoral and counterproductive.  It creates a hostile us vs. them attitude and breeds resentment, whereas social pressures of persuasion create a more harmonious and moral environment.

(Edited by Kurt Eichert on 7/17, 10:59am)




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Post 21

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 2:20pmSanction this postReply
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Yes, if Eve is still here it would also be helpful if she would tell us under exactly which species of victimhood she wishes to be considered, or if she claims victimhood under every possible category?

A White Male (Where's my dividend check?)

Ted



Post 22

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 5:08pmSanction this postReply
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Where did all these Europeans come from? Why do you get these fuzz balls, Luke?

I am disgusted with myself for ever being taken in by this kind of "individualism."  My congratulations to all of you capitalists for encouraging this ex-libertarian to take a second look at social democracy.
Un-defined criticism always comes from fuzzy minds filled un-defined/half-defined concepts.  Life is one big pity party, I guess. Suffering is all that matters.

Happiness is a myth.  There are only fleeting encounters with joy. Life sucks, then you die.

Not.  

 




Post 23

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 5:20pmSanction this postReply
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Maybe Eve has a thing for asses, Ted?  It could have been a compliment.

;)




Post 24

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 5:34pmSanction this postReply
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Teresa, I can indeed be an ass, but I truly don't even know what Eve's arguments here are, other than a general shriek of complaint against existence. S/h/it can let us know, in the form of a short coherent paragraph if s/h/it still wants to do so.

Ted



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Post 25

Friday, July 20, 2007 - 5:06pmSanction this postReply
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Eve seems to be here (or was) legitimately to work things out and perhaps challenge her (hir) own ideas about certain things. I do not recommend adopting a condescending, reproachful, or confrontational attitude toward someone who legitmately seems to be trying to grow intellectually. Adopting an attitude like that will be an immediate turn off to the person seeking new knowledge. This is not conducive to spreading the ideas of a rational life loving philosophy. Or as I try to remember it, don't tell people what to think tell them why you think what you think i.e. bring them the the process of reason by which you came to your own ideas.

Well said -
[and my emphasis...]




Post 26

Monday, July 23, 2007 - 7:23amSanction this postReply
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After reading this thread I've seen a lot of people arguing to downplay the obvious prejudice in society (this particular one) today. Racism, sexism, and Abrahamic religion are all things that run deep and influence and spawn prejudice in our society. If it happens in other societies, that's expected. I'm just referring to this one in particular. Do you think it could be more difficult for a black male to succeed working service jobs in the Bible Belt region in a mostly white town than in other regions? Would this have to do with prejudice, or would it be considered demographic preference? I live in Maryland and I see in it's society the prejudice I feel some of you "Objectists" are trying to write off daily.



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Post 27

Monday, July 23, 2007 - 9:22amSanction this postReply
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Racism exists, no doubt about it, but creating a balkanized situation where each group hates the other and vies for privelages of one sort or another is a guaranteed way to keep it going.  Al Sharpton & Jesse Jackson harm race relations as much or more so than a David Duke.  The latter at least is considered a nutter, while the race hustlers are given air to every absurdity as a matter of course.



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Post 28

Monday, July 23, 2007 - 9:32amSanction this postReply
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I'm certain no Objectivist wants to write off prejudice, however what is so wrong with discriminating? I discriminate constantly and try to be consistent about it.

As for Eve's concern about the transgender populace lets look at it this way: is being transgender right? Does a transgender person have a right to choose what sex they will be? And finally, what the hell is a transgender person?

Special rights should not be given to those who feel they are discriminated against. The only rights we have are those that every man has. It is not that an objectivist wants to write off prejudice, we merely see prejudice as a symptom for a deeper problem.



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Post 29

Monday, July 23, 2007 - 10:12amSanction this postReply
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Dustin,

Objectivists don't "write off" or downplay the existence of racism, or sexism. They simply focus on the personal responsibility of individuals, including those on the receiving end of racism (or other unjust "-isms") to not embrace a perpetual victim mentality, and to work to better their own situation.

You said,

If it happens in other societies, that's expected. I'm just referring to this one in particular.


Why you don't "expect" it in this one, I'm not quite sure, but since you brought up this society...

This society is one of the few where a "victim" CAN actually rise above it, and improve their lot in life...if they're so motivated. In the other societies where you seem to give it a free pass (because you expect it), this is a lot harder to do. Does anyone else see the irony?

Do you think it could be more difficult for a black male to succeed working service jobs in the Bible Belt region in a mostly white town than in other regions?

Well, sure. Probably explains why so many blacks got the hell out of the south to improve their lives. Are you familiar with the "Great Migration"? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Migration_(African_American)

Oprah Winfrey (my favorite example) has endured all types of racism, sexism, even sexual abuse. Oprah Winfrey also has a billion dollars.

As far as I'm concerned, Oprah (and Condoleeza, and countless others) pretty much ruined any excuse I could ever come up with for not succeeding in my life because I'm a (sniff, sniff) "oppressed black woman"...(bwahhhh!) And most of these people came of age in a much harder era than I did. Truth be told, I couldn't look at myself in the mirror and bitch about racism, sexism, or any other "oppression" knowing full well that I will never have to go through the crap that older Black Americans did. (These ideas are actually true for other groups as well...it is easier today to be a female, a gay, a transgendered person, or the member of a racial minority than it was in times past.)

Are there still issues? Of course. Do you let it destroy you? No.

The victim mentality is paralyzing, Dustin. I choose not to let my brain atrophy, and encourage others to do the same.


Erica





Post 30

Monday, July 23, 2007 - 11:12amSanction this postReply
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Three cheers for Erica!



Post 31

Monday, July 23, 2007 - 3:54pmSanction this postReply
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Indeed!! Three more cheers......!!!



Post 32

Monday, July 23, 2007 - 4:05pmSanction this postReply
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That "irony" comment was excellent. Sanction,  Erica. :)




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Post 33

Monday, July 23, 2007 - 5:05pmSanction this postReply
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I'll sanction getting rid of the baby picture! :-)
--
Jeff



Post 34

Monday, July 23, 2007 - 7:30pmSanction this postReply
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Yes - ye look MUCH better all growed up, Erica......:-p



Post 35

Monday, July 23, 2007 - 10:45pmSanction this postReply
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OK, now I have to taker back my sanction. :-(


What the ... every time I look the picture is different.

STOP THAT!
(Edited by C. Jeffery Small
on 7/23, 10:46pm)




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Post 36

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 - 1:19amSanction this postReply
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I'd sanction Erica's post too, except then I'd look like a craven, me-tooing social metaphysician, instead of the crusty old contrarian individualist that I am. On the other hand, if I didn't sanction it, I'd be a counterfeit individualist. Can't have that either!

So . . . SANCTION!!!

I guess Eve -- our political foil -- is out of the picture. Just wanted to say to her if she might still be hanging around reading our posts that if she is concerned with tiny minorities, the tiniest minority on earth is the individual, which is why Objectivists advocate individual rights instead of group rights.

As for the right to discriminate, it cannot be denied without violating freedom of association. To deny such freedom is to hold people in bondage to one another. Involuntary servitude is what you get when you force people to deal with each another against their will. It is only under capitalism that they are free to go their own way -- to associate with, or dissociate from, others as they choose. It is only under laissez-faire capitalism that they are not the property of other people.

Is there any other system that recognizes the right of self-ownership? I don't think so.

- Bill

(Edited by William Dwyer
on 7/24, 1:26am)




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Post 37

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 - 5:03amSanction this postReply
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I think you make a great point William. The more sophisticated we become the freer we should be. Didn't Ms Rand say that 'civilization is the process of man free from men'?
Unfortunately we live in a time where most people seem to feel that the more civilized we become the more intrusive we must be to each other.



Post 38

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 - 11:34pmSanction this postReply
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William, I was merely in temporary retreat to construct my moon-laser with which I will force upon the world my diabolical communist ideals and place hairy-legged lesbians in power. The tiniest minority is the individual, yes, but even the most ardent and rugged individualists coalesce into groups of individualists (usually to battle other groups of individualists). Each individualist individual does not lose hir identity, just as a member of a social group retains hir individual identity. So if a group is made up of individuals, why does "group right" not mean "individual right for people in this group"? We do, after all, reserve the right to vote to individuals in the group "18+ years old", but the right to vote isn't considered a group right. Thoughts?



On a completely unrelated matter addressed to everyone, I'm confused about this "victim mentality" thing. When one suffers an injustice (we'll keep it easy and say your neighbor stole your stereo), one is a victim of this injustice. But this is different from the "victim mentality", yes? Am I correct in thinking that a victim of injustice goes about correcting said injustice (by, say, going to the police in the stereo-theft case), but someone suffering from the victim mentality would…

This is where I get confused. If you have suffered an injustice and seek to correct it, are you not acknowledging your victimhood yet fighting against the injustice? Is the implication, then, that one holding a victim mentality does not seek to correct the injustice, but only proclaims their victimhood and does nothing? If I have that much right, why is someone fighting for oppressed people embracing a victim mentality?

So we have some people acknowledging that racism and sexism and homophobia (tools of oppression) exist, but noting that the situation is much better than it was a generation ago – which is true. But those who don't consider the situation good enough are just stuck in a victim mentality?

Let's consider an atheist running for US Presidency. There are no laws forbidding an atheist from holding the office, but a vocal atheist who supported secular government wouldn't make it in the 2008 race. Is the victim mentality in this case to whine until someone grants an atheist the office? But if a candidate fights for the position while pointing out that keeping a person out of office because of religious affiliation (or lack thereof) is mind-bogglingly counter to the spirit and letter of the US Constitution, would you label hir as suffering from the victim mentality or a righteous defender of justice and freedom and such things. If you'll allow me to assume the latter, I take it having Oprah point out that racism exists and is, yes, still a significant problem would not qualify as victim mentality – because she's rich?

If this post sounds confused, it's with good reason. Is anyone willing to explain this or point me to some reference for clarification?



Steve,
is being transgender right? Does a transgender person have a right to choose what sex they will be? And finally, what the hell is a transgender person?
A transgender person is someone who identifies as a gender differing from hir sex. Asking, "Is being transgender right," is akin to asking, "Is being male or female right?" A is A, as you folks like to say. And of course a transgender person has the right to and should be free to alter hir body in any way that does not encroach upon others' rights.

As for "special rights", I have a little anecdote from my travels among the genderqueer: There once was a woman named A—. She had a temp job that she did marvelously, which she completed in a tenth of the time expected. She was also legally male – which, when you think about it, is a rather pointless distinction to have, legally. To get the job, she pretended to be male, despite living as female everywhere else. After impressing her bosses and being offered jobs in several nontrivial departments like advertising and management, she told her bosses that she was, in fact, female and would start working as her chosen sex, the sex in which she functioned most efficiently – more efficient than before, even. Her boss' reply: no. No? "Your options are to not come out or to quit."

She chose to quit. For others, the choice is to not quit or starve.* For all the talk of "special treatment" from anti-discrimination opponents, the only thing we (AD proponents) are fighting for is equal treatment, to prevent the "special" situation where excellent employees are ousted for their gender nonconformity. There was a recent case in the news of a transsexual city manager who was fired for being transsexual – rather, the city commissioners "lost confidence in Stanton's ability to lead" after sie (that's another gender-neutral pronoun replacing "he" or "she", since I don't know how Stanton wishes to be identified) announced hir plans to undergo sex reassignment surgery. These anecdotes are not so rare, and I'm fighting against this kind of special treatment of these and all oppressed people.

* For the life of me I can't find the statistic, but the USDOL reported that ~46% (I think) of out transgender individuals suffer from chronic unemployment due to explicit discrimination. Since only a handful of states (five or six, about) protect against gender identity discrimination, there aren't always places to go. And if you can't get money to move to one of the states that does protect you, then you have even fewer choices.



Kurt,
Well, if you are still here, can I ask you why you cannot get health care as a transgender? Why would I turn down your money? I would not do so if I were selling anything at all, let me tell you that!
One of the most prominent reasons a transgender person has difficulty receiving health care is a lack of education in the medical community. The idea of someone changing their sex or not being the gender everyone thought they were is just as foreign to most of them as to you. Having little information, their concern is often being sued. The US medical community has acknowledged and has been treating transsexuality for about half a century now, yet there remains no physician education on the subject. I often hear of transsexuals educating their doctors on what needs to be done.

Another factor is health insurance. With most health insurance companies, transsexuality (which I pick out because it often comes with the highest medical bills) is simultaneously a previous medical condition and not a medical condition at all. By that I mean that if you happen to care about whether your health insurance covers medical procedures related to transsexuality, the condition will likely be deemed preexisting. If you do manage to get coverage for any transsexuality related medical items, the procedures are labeled experimental, despite them having been used for 50+ years.

The answer if you're a health insurance agency is: you aren't turning down their money. You just aren't providing the services for which you were paid. And if you're a physician, you're protecting yourself from an unknown that could result in a lawsuit, a risk not worth a small percentage of clients.



Post 39

Wednesday, July 25, 2007 - 1:58amSanction this postReply
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What about the masses of people -- often Left-tards -- who hate the good for being good. Sheesh! There are tons of people who hate me!

;-)

No, really. In college I was despised by a few professors, many of my peers, and even the program director. Why? Because, in my field of knowledge, I often knew better than the college textbooks (making them all appear inferior). I once found 13 errors in a single chapter of the college textbook.

When I gave a seminar (on amino acid metabolism) to other graduate students and Ph.D.'s -- you wouldn't believe the haggling hassle they gave me. Upon follow-up research, even my guesses were more correct than their "facts."

When I was called in to the program director's office (to talk about a college course which I had created and was managing), he snobbishly asked the rhetorical question: "What makes someone an expert, really?" And, while the question does have a knowable answer:

The "expert" in a given room is the one knowing the most about what is known on the subject (the knowledge base) and who most understands the operational use and applications of that knowledge base -- as well as how it integrates with the current scientific body of knowledge at large.

... I decided not to push my luck (the air in the room was too thick with ivory tower arrogance).

Anyway, my point is that I'm trying to get ahead in a society that (largely) hates me. And I'm a white male, g-dammit! I mean, doesn't that count for anything these days??

;-)

Ed
[wondering how my college Left-tards would've reacted to me if I was black -- the same, better, or worse]



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