I’ll Give You a Topic:

Aren’t civil rights a social construct?

I’m legitimately curious about what’ll come of this and would love to get some input. No opinion is neither incorrect nor unwelcomed – consider me the devil’s advocate in this instance.

=^.^=


This inquiry washed upon me the other day when I was stuck in pesky Angeleno traffic – suddenly, I thought, how did civil rights become a thing? Maybe civil rights isn’t the right term to describe it because that’s automatically correlated to The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s-1960s – which is also an American thing.

No, I thought even before such a time. Way back to disparities of the Roman Catholic Church in Europe. Back to ancient wars in Mesopotamia. Way back… how did people know better treatment existed? How did it become such a phenomenon? And much how racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, all the -isms, much how self-esteem, gender roles, culture, religion, and on and on, are all social constructs… wouldn’t it mean that social equality, too, is of the like?

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17 Replies to “I’ll Give You a Topic:”

    1. mmmm yes, take for instance ignorance – by that I mean when one doesn’t know any better. SomeONE must’ve figured out they too deserve better treatment and the trend must’ve sparked from there. But how’d that happen? Maybe that’s a question too convoluted to answer, but that’s what I’m wondering about.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I think the judgment of ‘better’ is crucial here. What is ‘better’? Has there been a good or a bad or did we just categorise actions, ideologies around us as good or bad? If we were absent of any thought, we would not have had the ability to identify a better world. In this sense, I think that it is man-made based on our interaction with the world. Although it is socially constructed, it does not mean that we should not aim towards it or should not try to create an equal world. Contrary to that, the fact that we can recognise and change what can be categorised as ‘bad’ around us is a sacred gift. I hope this brings a different (or a supporting) perspective to your initial thought.

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    1. Right, “better” is left up to interpretation as everyone’s standards of treatment are different from the next. I agree, our ability to distinguish the differences between “good and bad”, “saint and evil” is a blessing without which so many battles wouldn’t have been fought at the micro and macro levels. Thanks for the input, glad to have you!

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  2. The problem with all kind of ism is the ism itself. Whether you are in majority or minority. Nothing is better, but worst is ism feminism, religionism, racism, nationalism. And best is synergy and harmony. Respect the opinion of other and give them freedom of expression and action. Flexibility over rigidity. Peace over conflict. White above orange or green.or white between orange and green. Men or women.

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      1. No. Not telling it to you but all those who want to prove themselves right at any cost. Victory means nothing if you or anyone loses everything else in the process so I have stopped throwing stones to prove myself right. Those who will throw stones to prove themselves right will end up being proved wrong.
        What you do in your situation is totally your choice and I respect it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, I was taken aback, tbh.
        But yes, I agree wholeheartedly. People will go to great lengths to win, to trump, to outmaneuver their competition, even when competition is in the form of a baby obstacle. It’s probably the problem of an unbalanced id to super-ego, or it could very well be something else, who’s to say. Nevertheless, the complication still remains of disparate treatment from one individual to the next. Even within family and friend groups. Such a damn shame – cause really if the inequality is found at such micro levels, I personally find it hard at times to have faith in attaining equality at the macro level. It’s like a pipedream. But hell, they say, “don’t stop believin'”

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      3. Agree..why fight for equality..rather believe that you are equal and take ownership of your thoughts, actions and behaviour alone. People suffer from offendicitis, get offended without any reason so why bother?

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      4. hah you mentioning that reminds me of Obama’s distaste of “trigger warnings”. People have become soooo sensitive, even to others’ experiences, further undermining voices for the sake of their own ‘safety’.

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  3. Great topic. Foucault seems to present converse forms of similarity. Showing difference rather than binary judgement. An example is punishment, as retribution (medieval eye for an eye). Behavioral adjustments (more modern approach to punishment). This becomes a method of qualitative analysis. Where presumably new models may be brought to light.

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      1. Thank you! I remember reading a bit of Foucault’s material in Philosophy of Evil (college). So much insight – questioning such minuscule concepts yet thought processes that are so crucial to understand what anything even means.
        Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll look into it!

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