View Single Post
Old September 14 2010, 12:52 AM   #38
Christopher's Avatar
Re: Nikita: "Pilot" - Sept. 9 on The CW - Grading & Discussion

Pilot Ace wrote: View Post
I think it matters a lot, given your alternative is rarely adopted for good reason... At least from my perspective in both regards.
I disagree profoundly that there is any "good" reason for defining a person's ethnicity as overwhelmingly more important than anything else about them. And I find it rather sad that you feel the need to assert that your perspective is somehow more correct than mine. It makes you come off as rather defensive.

It seems people naturally gravitate the other way or have adopted it readily.
In earlier generations, yes. Not so much now -- for good reason. Insular life experiences like yours are becoming less common. Whole generations are growing up in more multicultural, multiracial environments. We have a lot more bi- or multiracial role models on our TV and movie screens, Maggie Q being just one example, the current President of the United States being another. Not as many people, at least not in the US, are growing up in the kind of single-race environment that you were limited to. Americans today are increasingly experiencing diversity as a routine part of their lives, as I did. So it's not realistic to assume they'd end up perceiving ethnicity the way you do.

I also pointed out how the characteristics you're using are generally more fleeting and unreliable in comparison to recognition using more lasting ethnic features.
The characteristics I'm using include a person's height and build. How are those any more "fleeting" (assuming we're talking about an adult) than the shape of their eyes or the tint of their complexion? It's not like a grown woman's height changes with the seasons while her skin tone remains constant. Quite the opposite, in fact.

And yes, people can change their hair color and length, but they can also get cosmetic surgery to change their features or skin tone. The features you ascribe disproportionate importance to are not really more fundamental than the features I've listed; it's just that your own personal life experience has conditioned you to react more strongly to them.

I know it's not easy to look beyond one's own lifelong assumptions and accept the validity of other ways of looking at the world. But really, you don't have to see this as a contest where you need to "win." The real way to "win" a discussion is to learn something from it.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
Christopher is online now   Reply With Quote