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Diversity in Modern Society


Fair enough. I thought you meant that anyone thinking Western civilization is superior is racist.

I am open to anyone argueing that Western civilization isn’t superior or that it is worse than other forms of civilization. However I don’t buy the argument that is made sometimes that all civilizations are equal and that you can’t judge values held in other cultures. For instance there are some theocratic principles that I think everyone should oppose, however I would defend to the death any member of a religion who is targeted just because they are a member of that religion.


There are always two poles.


The opposite poll of racism isn’t calling out racism. Anyway, I’m ducking out of this conversation while I still can.


It’s trolling, Emile Ratelband is a looney who has been trolling since he became a B-grade celeb in the Netherlands.


Calling things racism that aren’t is definitely being part of the problem.

There’s a climate of hatred being created by some extreme left wing nutbags against everything that isn’t as left wing as they themselves are. So far it is a lot of harrassment and property damage, but I am afraid it could easily escalate in bloodshed. These extremists don’t have a lot to do with what is traditionally left wing, they have more in common with right wing fascsists.


Okay, I’m sorry, but this is ridiculous. You don’t think very many people are sexist or racist (despite plenty of evidence to the contrary) but you believe that there’s some number of left-wing extremists who are creating a climate of hatred that is concerning? Do I have that right?


Honestly in this era I don’t think you can have that conversation. Nerves are very raw, the rise of the right over the last half decade is incredibly disturbing, a kick in the face to what seemed to be progressive changes over the previous decade. So these days folks will be too quick to interpret the worst in what you say, or needlessly attack you rather than try to appreciate or try to see your point. It’s a culture war and in war there’s no space for middle ground or conceding points. I mean how many people many have friends of different political views and beliefs? Beyond obligation friends. We’ve segregated ourselves in mental ghettos, coming out like the Warriors every now and again to fight the different rather than break bread with them.


However, that is a bit nonsense. There really is no such thing as Western Civilization. There is nothing you can point to and say “that’s Western Civilization.” Is democracy a result of Western Civilization when it began in one city that depended on slave labor in Ancient Greece a few thousand years ago? Is it the Enlightenment or the Colonial Period? For most of the history of the West, “Western Civilization” was synonymous with Christendom. Even today, it’s hard to find authorities in most of the Western hemispheres whose leaders don’t tout their godliness and churchgoing ways.

Western Civilization doesn’t mean anything specific so of course it can be “superior” when you can wholly define it whichever way that you want.

If you ignore all my bad habits. mean spiritedness and misbehavior, it turns out I’m practically the best person in the world, you know.


I saw that on Twitter - which means that even if he was allowed (?) to identify as 20 years younger, most people in his country would know his real age regardless.


I see left wing extremists and right wing extremists in the US, they both contribute to this hatred. I have no idea of which there are more, but I think there is probably less than 5 % on both sides.


I can deal with heated discussion of racism, sexism, inequality and nazis, but this is the first point where this thread actually offended me.


Which returns to what I was saying earlier; its a publicity stunt, although less so for the principle of opposing ageism, and more because he wants the personal publicity.

It’s an ideal; free, democratic, fair and prosperous. Then people being people throw various aspects of that under the bus as they go along.


That is absolutely true. Western civilization is a very broad term, just like any other civilization it encompasses a lot of different things. It is probably better to point at specific features of what one may call Western civilization. I wouldn’t call Christianity superior to other religions for instance. Some may claim Western art is superior to that of other cultures but that is a very subjective thing. In some aspects I like Eastern art better.

Things in Western culture that are worth defending are the rule of law, the importance of personal freedoms, liberal democracy, rationalism, and modern science. Although some of those are very new development, like personal freedoms and liberal democracy, so it is debatable how they are characteristic of Western civilization. And it’s not like they are completely absent in other cultures.


As much as I think there is truth in this, I think we’re still at the stage where these conversations have to be had clearly and openly to help people understand why gender is different to age and other factors in terms of people identifying as something different. (I lose track of where we are on the transracial but I get the impression that it’s still seen as not being equal to transgender, but I also feel like that is gradually starting to change.)

It was emphasised to me how little the conversation has really moved on for the general public when I went home recently for a family gathering and had a long conversation with my extended family about it. The attitudes to transgender issues (especially among my parents’ generation) are still surprisingly old-fashioned and unaccepting when it comes to gender transition, there is still a lot of work to do in raising awareness and understanding around the issue.

While tweets like the above might want to just shrug off false equivalences like the Dutch age story, I don’t think it’s that easy - the conversation still has to be had, repeatedly and publicly, if people want attitudes to change.


If every sixty-nine year old is forcibly reduced by 20 years that might take care of the pension problem.


A good point. If the courts back his case then he’ll have to wait another 20 years for his pension. That would put paid to the idea pretty quickly I imagine. :smile:


I suppose the difference is that we have a hundred years of evidence on gender being a spectrum rather than a binary, and as I understand it no evidence that race and age identity are


Isn’t the official line that gender is a social construct?


The roles we assign to gender identity are a social construct. How we express our gender identity is a spectrum that is not directly linked to the gender assigned at birth - which is also more complex than a simple binary


I see the age question raised by this Dutch case as a bit silly, as age feels like more of a metric, more an objective measure than an inherent part of someone’s physical or psychological identity.

But I don’t think I fully understand the distinction between gender as a spectrum and race as binary - I think of race as a fairly broad spectrum too.

Is the idea about fluidity - that gender is fluid whereas race is more fixed? And if so, is there a reason why they should be perceived so differently?

This isn’t me trying to be provocative, it’s a genuine attempt to get a more informed perspective on what the perceived differences are.