Debating someone by attacking their position in the social hierarchy (either real or assumed) rather than addressing their arguments is a destructive application of identity politics. Anti-scientific, even when it doesn’t lead to a lot of baseless accusations about others, as it frequently does. And – if there are good arguments to be found to support your own position – this should be unnecessary.
ehungerford addresses this briefly.
Originally published DECEMBER 6, 2010 (edited slightly to remove tangential content).
I am going to talk briefly about what I call the “Privilege Blinders” method of discrediting other people’s arguments and opinions. It’s closely related to Oppression Olympics, where social I-dentities are vigilantly tracked for the purpose of evaluating the speaker’s perceived “qualifications” (by virtue of personal experience or I-dentity) to discuss particular topics. Both Oppression Olympics and Privilege Blinders fail to analyze the substance/content/meaning of the speaker’s words. Instead, legitimacy is determined by the speaker’s apparent location on the social hierarchy. These techniques are conversation stoppers. Which makes them very dangerous.
And yes, Privilege Blinders work just like beer goggles. When intoxicated with privilege, one cannot understand why she is sooooo Very Wrong about [insert contested socio-political issue here]. I am using the term BLINDERS in the cognitive sense; it (allegedly) prevents one…
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