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what determines identity?
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Strange Famous Forum > Social stuff. Political stuff. KNOWMORE

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crash



Joined: 07 Aug 2003
Posts: 5456
Location: the chocolate city with a marshmallow center and a graham cracker crust of corruption
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the other thing that got me thinking of this is blog post i saw about this book:



here's a segment of the post

Quote:

Are Arabs so diverse that they do not constitute a world at all? That’s what “The Economist” would have us believe. In a special 2009 issue of this magazine, the editors described the region as “a big amorphous thing and arguably not a thing at all”. Once again, our polling reveals quite the opposite. Across the region, Arabs do identify as “Arabs” and they describe themselves as tied to one another by a common language (and the common history that implies) and shared political concerns, with majorities of all generations and in all countries demonstrating a strong attachment to Palestine and the fate of the Iraqi people.


now, to hear it from my coptic friends, arabs are confined to the arabian peninsula. everyone else is just an arab speaker. but i haven't heard this from muslim egyptians. i think the christians are reluctant to identify as arabs (especially since the death of pan-arabism) is because they see themselves as the original inhabitants of egypt and the arabs as the invaders (which is more or less true).
Post Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:46 pm
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Confidential



Joined: 23 Jan 2004
Posts: 2040
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You imposed an identity on her that she does not accept. That was lame. It sounds like the way you approached it was as if you had something to teach, rather than something to learn. Her construction of identity is as valid as the one that's already been constructed and pre-determined for her- perhaps more. Either try to learn where she is coming from or drop it, but don't insist on your point of view.
Post Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:52 pm
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breakreep
homophobic yet curious


Joined: 27 Sep 2004
Posts: 6627
Location: Fifth Jerusalem
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Confidential wrote:
You imposed an identity on her that she does not accept. That was lame. It sounds like the way you approached it was as if you had something to teach, rather than something to learn. Her construction of identity is as valid as the one that's already been constructed and pre-determined for her- perhaps more. Either try to learn where she is coming from or drop it, but don't insist on your point of view.


I think crash elucidated his intent here pretty clearly when he wrote:


Quote:

i think my question here is pretty clear. i'm not trying tell anyone who they are - i'm trying to mesh my understanding of the world (in this case from a detached academic perspective) with other someone else's personal identification (which is obviously very close to his/her heart). i think to rely on either elusively is simple minded and lazy but i'm not sure how to harmonize them.


Maybe my reading skills have degenerated since I entered university, but it seems like he's neither giving a confession, nor asking for advice or absolution, but trying to attain a better understanding of what seems like a fairly complex ontological question which entails a couple of supporting epistemological questions.

I'm interested in reading some cogent answers, if any are posed. Berating crash for the specifics of the conversation he had with his girlfriend is entirely missing the point.
Post Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:13 pm
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Confidential



Joined: 23 Jan 2004
Posts: 2040
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Ok so my tone was berating. So if he's not asking for advice, he's asking for a consensus on wether his lady is an Arab? I don't know something about the way it was asked seemed disingenuous to me. When I read the thread title I honestly thought it was going to be a link to some Christian blog about sniffing out clandestine arab tendencies. I don't know, I guess I have nothing to contribute. Good luck.
Post Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:32 pm
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xGasPricesx



Joined: 23 May 2008
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I see what crash is trying to get at and I don't think his intent is to tell his girlfriend what she is, but the thread title might be part of the reason people are a little confused.
Post Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:40 pm
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crash



Joined: 07 Aug 2003
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Location: the chocolate city with a marshmallow center and a graham cracker crust of corruption
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i can see how the thread title could be misleading so i changed it. i thought something provocative would get people to notice but i didn't anticipate the misunderstanding.

Last edited by crash on Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:08 pm; edited 2 times in total
Post Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:46 pm
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mancabbage



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
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Location: london
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Post Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:54 pm
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IAmNiki



Joined: 15 Aug 2005
Posts: 1605
Location: North Smithfield, RI
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some of you guys need to learn how to read and understand the text on your screen. I don't know how many times he has to state that he's not trying to impose anything on his girlfriend, or change her mind about anything, or argue with her about it. God damn.

Also, this IS very interesting topic of discussion. It's in no way 'lame' or 'dumb' or 'pointless.'
Post Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:50 pm
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NPS



Joined: 06 Oct 2010
Posts: 86
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Identity chooses you. You do not choose identity. You can embrace identity, but you cannot abandon it.

Whether its your gender, your culture, or your ethnicity, its all the same.

NOOOOOWWWWWW. Identity is also very subjective and definitions of certain identities are blurred within certain groups. GROUP A calls you black, GROUP B calls you brown. These are merely imposed identities used for classification and once again, you do not have a choice in the matter, society does. You can lie to yourself, but identity once again, is imposed, not chosen. It can be embraced and refined but not chosen!

Speaking for myself, I am a kid who grew up in the burbs of america, a "white mutt". I was born largely, into a seemingly cultureless life. The only culture that found me was hip hop. At age 7 I became infatuated with the music they called rap and the lifestyle they call hip hop. I am 25 now, and throughout all these years I have embraced that culture as my own. On the surface to some, it would seem like I chose this culture, but I was 7 years old at the time! Did I really have a choice? I would still say, in these instances, culture found me, I merely embraced it and rejected other flaky identities suburbia presented to me.

Now you have plenty of "hipsters", for lack of a better word, who flip flop on different cultures all the time depending on what is in at the moment. These people are without identity, life's true posers, ignore them. They are without meaning.

Anyways, about your girlfriend.. She is Arab in the eyes of Group A, non arab in the eyes of Group B. Does she live in the Arab world? Does she live in the African world? No? well then this is pretty pointless. Pointless in the same way it is for whatever poster said they identify as being Dutch despite only being 25% dutch genetically. Ås time goes on in this globalized world the lines between race/ethnicity are being blurred out everyday.

If your girlfriend doesn't want to be arab just let her not be arab. Its obviously not up to her what she is but hey, let her be happy. Hopefully there are no negative stereotypes that causing her to be offended by your implications that she may in fact, be arab. Just let her be man.

Apologies for any errors here. In a rush! gotta go!
Post Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:19 pm
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Dan Shay



Joined: 30 Aug 2003
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Location: MN
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Good luck telling a Puerto Rican they're not Spanish.
Post Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:03 pm
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Raoul DeGroot



Joined: 30 Apr 2009
Posts: 2437
Location: Son Quest
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NPS wrote:
Identity chooses you. You do not choose identity. You can embrace identity, but you cannot abandon it.

Whether its your gender, your culture, or your ethnicity, its all the same.

NOOOOOWWWWWW. Identity is also very subjective and definitions of certain identities are blurred within certain groups. GROUP A calls you black, GROUP B calls you brown. These are merely imposed identities used for classification and once again, you do not have a choice in the matter, society does. You can lie to yourself, but identity once again, is imposed, not chosen. It can be embraced and refined but not chosen!

Speaking for myself, I am a kid who grew up in the burbs of america, a "white mutt". I was born largely, into a seemingly cultureless life. The only culture that found me was hip hop. At age 7 I became infatuated with the music they called rap and the lifestyle they call hip hop. I am 25 now, and throughout all these years I have embraced that culture as my own. On the surface to some, it would seem like I chose this culture, but I was 7 years old at the time! Did I really have a choice? I would still say, in these instances, culture found me, I merely embraced it and rejected other flaky identities suburbia presented to me.

Now you have plenty of "hipsters", for lack of a better word, who flip flop on different cultures all the time depending on what is in at the moment. These people are without identity, life's true posers, ignore them. They are without meaning.

Anyways, about your girlfriend.. She is Arab in the eyes of Group A, non arab in the eyes of Group B. Does she live in the Arab world? Does she live in the African world? No? well then this is pretty pointless. Pointless in the same way it is for whatever poster said they identify as being Dutch despite only being 25% dutch genetically. Ås time goes on in this globalized world the lines between race/ethnicity are being blurred out everyday.

If your girlfriend doesn't want to be arab just let her not be arab. Its obviously not up to her what she is but hey, let her be happy. Hopefully there are no negative stereotypes that causing her to be offended by your implications that she may in fact, be arab. Just let her be man.

Apologies for any errors here. In a rush! gotta go!


Thinking like a cut-rate Holden Caulfields supposed to be out of your system by 22. You're behind the curve, buddy.
You must be from the midwest
Post Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:05 pm
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Raoul DeGroot



Joined: 30 Apr 2009
Posts: 2437
Location: Son Quest
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Crash, stop telling your girlfriend what race she is! Why do you care if she is arab or not? Do you hate arabs? God that is so like you! What an arrogant bastard...

I'm outta here!
Post Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:10 pm
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erich



Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 3048
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crash, you know we're cool, but i gotta say this just sounds like some academic lumping of a person into an easy label through cultural or historical generalizations, no matter how accurate they may appear. that's a really ugly slope to be slipping down. are you comfortable completely invalidating a transgendered person's experience, for example?

self-identification is immensely important and needs to be respected. if that makes it harder for you to break down and comprehend the world, maybe your world needs to be a little more complicated.
Post Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:49 pm
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Raoul DeGroot



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Location: Son Quest
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Meow Meow I'm a doggie
Post Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:03 am
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NPS



Joined: 06 Oct 2010
Posts: 86
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erich wrote:

self-identification is immensely important and needs to be respected..


That's like... your opinion man. Outside of gender identity I don't see why "self-identification" is so important. In the transgender community I see it as needed only in a simple way... For instance, if you are of male gender but you are born physically female it is important to self identify mentally (and perhaps eventually, physically) as the sex you feel you should be for various, and obvious reasons.

The reason there are societal issues with the gender/sex question/controversy in the first place is because humans have always been too polarized in their thinking. For thousands of years (with the obvious exceptions of certain cultures at various times) it was assumed that man should love woman because of offspring the relationship yielded. Up until the 20th century it was believed that if you were born a man, surely your gender was that of a man, and if you were born a woman, the same; but, as we open our minds and let them become less polar, we can see there are many possibilities to these pallets. There are lesbians in men's bodies who aren't content with their penises. Just an example.

Polarized-classified-thinking - imposed upon you by society, or brought about yourself by "self identifying" are both problematic to me.

I am not a fan of society assigning identities, nor am I a fan of you alone, wearing a sign around your neck, telling me what you are.

Identity finds you, and if you work at forming your own identity, you are thinking too hard and probably have anxiety issues. Be good. That should be your identity. Don't worry about it so much.






@ RAOUL, I know I'm a newcomer, but I resent the pointedness of your comment. Good job at discouraging discourse and I like your use of sarcasm. I'm learning so quickly who the assholes around these parts are.
Post Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:13 am
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