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Alyssa and John 8: Four Daughters, a New House, and a Pool


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16 hours ago, SassyPants said:

I’ll own BEC on this one. Buying a desk for a newborn baby merely to have matching furniture reeks of privilege. Not to mention that by the time Maci is 3, Allie will be within weeks of turning 7 and will  probably be in need of a new desk-

Oh good grief.  If wanting to have a space that looks nice and welcoming and feels balanced reeks of privilege than I would hazard a guess that most of us here have similar privilege.   Would it be better if the Webster kids were being raised the way Alyssa and her siblings were in a tiny box with old mismatched broken down furniture? 

Not to mention, the desk is hardly a big expensive item... It is basically just a tabletop with a couple legs on the other side if the divider shelf.  The desks could have come that way where there would not have been an option to divide in half.  Plus, for all we know John or Alyssa are using that extra desk right now for their own needs.  

Of all the things to complain about with fundies, this just seems trite.  

 

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13 minutes ago, HermioneSparrow said:

Ummm, I'm pretty sure Allie will be six years old next week, by the time she's 7, Maci will be 1.

You’re right, LOL. So in 2024 Allie will be 9. Yep, she’ll probably want a new desk by then. 

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1 hour ago, Melissa1977 said:

For me, telling average people they are privileged because they are not suffering as much as others is complicated. It's making them feel bad. . .

I think that is the whole point. Instead of doing something constructive, many folks latch onto something (a matching desk!) and point it out as "privilege." It accomplishes nothing. Helps no one. 

People who really care about poverty aren't spending their time calling Alyssa Bates privileged. They are out there doing something useful.

I don't know why it is a crime to be privileged anyway. Nearly everyone has something that can earn them the label "privileged." 

It's just a tool to insult or hurt others. Go ahead and call me privileged! I'd gladly admit I am. 

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1 hour ago, Jackie3 said:

I don't know why it is a crime to be privileged anyway. Nearly everyone has something that can earn them the label "privileged." 

That's why I don't think the concept of privilege helps in discussions, at least not as it's being used lately. For example, all man are privileged over women, but many men aren't privileged people themselves. Rich women are supposed to be privileged over poor men but the odds of a rich woman suffering sexual abuse is way higher than a low-income man. Who is privileged? Of course there is no doubt some people are privileged, but I'm not comfortable including fundie women there (are these women free to get a job, free to marry, free to say no to sex, free to decide how many children they want? Can they divorce? Can they put kids at school?). People say Alyssa is privileged because her pool and her ridiculous number of dresses, but I don't think having a bunch of material things is enough to call someone privileged. 

 

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There seems to be a deep misunderstanding of this concept. Privilege is not a dichotomy, nor is it an insult or necessarily something negative, and it doesn’t always apply to a minority of people. Nearly everyone has some type of privilege (being male, being white, being able-bodied, having disposable income, clean drinking water, access to healthcare, having a place to live, etc). 
 

Perhaps the word is frequently misused, but the entire purpose of pointing out privilege is to acknowledge when you have it because it is only then that light can be shone on inequities and real change can take place. Being blind to your own privilege is what perpetuates the pull yourself up by your bootstraps, your plight in life is of your own doing, I don’t see color, type of mentality. It is deeply damaging not to acknowledge privilege where it exists. 

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10 minutes ago, Johannah said:

 

Perhaps the word is frequently misused, but the entire purpose of pointing out privilege is to acknowledge when you have it because it is only then that light can be shone on inequities and real change can take place. 

Alyssa Bates is not here, though, to acknowledge her privilege. So what is the purpose of commenting on it? "Real change" cannot take place.

Would "real change" take place even if she was here? Do you think she'd read the comment saying her purchase "reeked of privilege" and then suddenly change? Give away her new desk and buy an old one from Goodwill?

Honestly, when you say something "reeks of privilege", it definitely seems like a negative, and no one will learn anything from it.

Finally, I don't know anyone who goes around "acknowledging" their privilege by saying, "I know I am privileged to be able-bodied" or "I know I am privileged to be able to afford this smoothie. . . "

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7 minutes ago, Jackie3 said:

Alyssa Bates is not here, though, to acknowledge her privilege. So what is the purpose of commenting on it? "Real change" cannot take place.

Would "real change" take place even if she was here? Do you think she'd read the comment saying her purchase "reeked of privilege" and then suddenly change? Give away her new desk and buy an old one from Goodwill?

Honestly, when you say something "reeks of privilege", it definitely seems like a negative, and no one will learn anything from it.

Finally, I don't know anyone who goes around "acknowledging" their privilege by saying, "I know I am privileged to be able-bodied" or "I know I am privileged to be able to afford this smoothie. . . "

I do. Not usually verbally, but I try to make it a point of being aware when I have an unearned advantage over others. I think I would be a worse person and a worse member of society if I didn’t.
 

And I agree about Alyssa. I wasn’t commenting on the post about her desk. Just making a comment on what seems to be a misunderstanding of the concept of privilege in general. 

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2 hours ago, Johannah said:

There seems to be a deep misunderstanding of this concept. Privilege is not a dichotomy, nor is it an insult or necessarily something negative, and it doesn’t always apply to a minority of people. Nearly everyone has some type of privilege (being male, being white, being able-bodied, having disposable income, clean drinking water, access to healthcare, having a place to live, etc). 
 

Perhaps the word is frequently misused, but the entire purpose of pointing out privilege is to acknowledge when you have it because it is only then that light can be shone on inequities and real change can take place. Being blind to your own privilege is what perpetuates the pull yourself up by your bootstraps, your plight in life is of your own doing, I don’t see color, type of mentality. It is deeply damaging not to acknowledge privilege where it exists. 

Privilege can't be something the majority has! Privilege, by its definition, is something special, better than average, and often unfair to others. It's not a privilege to be able-bodied, it's average (realising that vision is normal to humans is not irrespectful to blind people). Having clean water is (or should be) a right, not a privilege... calling it privilege means that it is something only a few can have. The focus must be put in the lack of (lack of rights, lack of justice, lack of opportunities etc), not in those who already have what a human being deserves.

Of course, privilege exist. Some kind of people always win, have all the money and resources and power. I'm not denying that. But I prefer to use privilege for the high-privileged, not for ordinary people.

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12 minutes ago, Melissa1977 said:

Privilege can't be something the majority has! Privilege, by its definition, is something special, better than average, and often unfair to others. It's not a privilege to be able-bodied, it's average (realising that vision is normal to humans is not irrespectful to blind people). Having clean water is (or should be) a right, not a privilege... calling it privilege means that it is something only a few can have. The focus must be put in the lack of (lack of rights, lack of justice, lack of opportunities etc), not in those who already have what a human being deserves.

Of course, privilege exist. Some kind of people always win, have all the money and resources and power. I'm not denying that. But I prefer to use privilege for the high-privileged, not for ordinary people.

From a linguistic standpoint you are correct, but that is not the definition used when referring to the social justice concept of privilege. I think this article in The Global Citizen does a good job of explaining it:

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/why-its-important-to-think-about-privilege-and-why/
 

An excerpt:

“Case in point: At a dinner with a friend to who works on Wall Street, I began discussing a recent New York Times article that looked at how high school students challenged and thought about privilege. I said, “I find it sad that a student was quoted as saying that she didn’t want to be called privileged, just because her parents were able to buy things.” There was a long pause, and my dining companion responded, “Well, who is to say she is privileged? She could be experiencing a lot of things that make her life hard.”

This comment is the crux of the issue when discussing privilege and how many misunderstand the term. Having privilege does not mean that an individual is immune to life’s hardships, but it does mean having an unearned benefit or advantage one receives in society by nature of their identity. Examples of types of identity that can afford an individual privilege include: race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, country of origin, lanuage, and/or ability.“

 

 

Sylvia Duckworth’s Wheel of Privilege:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CEFiUShhpUT/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

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2 hours ago, Johannah said:

From a linguistic standpoint you are correct, but that is not the definition used when referring to the social justice concept of privilege. I think this article in The Global Citizen does a good job of explaining it:

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/why-its-important-to-think-about-privilege-and-why/
 

An excerpt:

“Case in point: At a dinner with a friend to who works on Wall Street, I began discussing a recent New York Times article that looked at how high school students challenged and thought about privilege. I said, “I find it sad that a student was quoted as saying that she didn’t want to be called privileged, just because her parents were able to buy things.” There was a long pause, and my dining companion responded, “Well, who is to say she is privileged? She could be experiencing a lot of things that make her life hard.”

This comment is the crux of the issue when discussing privilege and how many misunderstand the term. Having privilege does not mean that an individual is immune to life’s hardships, but it does mean having an unearned benefit or advantage one receives in society by nature of their identity. Examples of types of identity that can afford an individual privilege include: race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, country of origin, lanuage, and/or ability.“

 

 

Sylvia Duckworth’s Wheel of Privilege:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CEFiUShhpUT/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

How do we know that student's advantage was unearned? Who decides when an advantage is unearned vs. earned? 

 

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6 minutes ago, Jackie3 said:

How do we know that student's advantage was unearned? Who decides when an advantage is unearned vs. earned? 

 

Anything you are born with is “unearned.” Your race, your gender, your social class, financial resources, intellect, access to education, being free from disability. The point of acknowledging one’s own privilege is not to denigrate or dismiss your own achievements or accomplishments, but merely to recognize advantages you have that other people don’t. In doing so, we can hopefully have increased awareness of societal inequities, work towards mitigating them, and hopefully garner more support for social policies that provide a leg up rather than maintaining and exacerbating existing inequities. 

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3 minutes ago, Johannah said:

Anything you are born with is “unearned.” Your race, your gender, your social class, financial resources, intellect, access to education, being free from disability. The point of acknowledging one’s own privilege is not to denigrate or dismiss your own achievements or accomplishments, but merely to recognize advantages you have that other people don’t. In doing so, we can hopefully have increased awareness of societal inequities, work towards mitigating them, and hopefully garner more support for social policies that provide a leg up rather than maintaining and exacerbating existing inequities. 

I'm just chiming in on this topic because I find it so interesting.  I've definitely dealt a bit with it myself (in terms of understanding that privilege isn't a personal slight) and with explaining it to people.  And I think the biggest reason for people having a hard time coming to terms with their privilege is this notion (especially in North America) that you are better if you did it all by yourself and the focus on individuality.  I think individuality is an important concept and right that should be protected, but it can also be exploited to make people think that systemic problems are because of their individual behaviour.

It's easier to accept you have certain privileges when you let go of the mentality that the best people are people who did everything by themselves and only those that did that deserve their particular existence.  When you accept that parts of you and your life experience exist or have happened for reasons outside of your own choices, it makes it easier to accept privilege as something that you didn't choose.  

So, for example, men have more privilege than women or other gender groups (non-binary, fluid, trans, etc.).  We have made certain behaviours and needs that are attributed to men as the norm.  It is weak or unprofessional to cry, something men experience more in the childhood socialization than women do.  We set the thermostat to be at a level that is more comfortable for men and their traditional work clothing.  

For something a little harder to understand is the privilege that you are able-bodied.  What this means is that society is designed to make life easier for you.  Often people who are abled-bodied start off thinking that they need no accommodations to live or experience life like other people with certain disabilities (i.e. the beeping sound at cross-walks for blind individuals so they know they can cross or a ramp so a building is accessible).  But able-bodied people have just come to expect these accommodations will exist so we don't see them. We might not need a ramp, but we certainly need the accommodation of stairs so that we can reach the entrance of a building or we use the lights at a cross walk for our signal to cross.  These are all access needs that we have, it's just that we make assumptions as to what works for people and forget how those choices might exclude others.

Anyways, getting off the soapbox now...

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35 minutes ago, Johannah said:

Anything you are born with is “unearned.” Your race, your gender, your social class, financial resources, intellect, access to education, being free from disability. The point of acknowledging one’s own privilege is not to denigrate or dismiss your own achievements or accomplishments, but merely to recognize advantages you have that other people don’t. In doing so, we can hopefully have increased awareness of societal inequities, work towards mitigating them, and hopefully garner more support for social policies that provide a leg up rather than maintaining and exacerbating existing inequities. 

How do you know she was born with it? For all we know, her parents are immigrants and she worked in the family restaurant since she was a child. 

 

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I will say this once if not a million times 90% of Alyssa’s actions are motivated by all the issues of growing up in the teeny tiny house prior to the big house the parents are in now.  I can not imagine how often toilets backed up, Gil wasn’t working or the complete & utter lack of privacy.  
I will be shocked if Alyssa & John have any more children.  Things are manageable now & Alyssa can raise her kids how she wishes, which is basically give them everything she never had.  
I would not be surprised if the girls (Allie) start in a Christian Academy in the Fall.  Tuition in the area they live is reasonable.  Sending Allie to a bricks & mortar school will give Alyssa time to deal with the younger girls, let her get some time to herself when the girls are napping, and provide her a circle of friends hanging with the other carpool moms. 

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2 minutes ago, Tatar-tot said:

Things are manageable now & Alyssa can raise her kids how she wishes, which is basically give them everything she never had.  

I do think she likes to give them the things she never had.

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The desks come with two attached to one another, so in buying the same setup for Kid 3 she wound up with space for Kid 4.

 

88E60464-408A-4A14-95AB-A589C42F1912.png

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3 hours ago, Johannah said:

Anything you are born with is “unearned.” Your race, your gender, your social class, financial resources, intellect, access to education, being free from disability. The point of acknowledging one’s own privilege is not to denigrate or dismiss your own achievements or accomplishments, but merely to recognize advantages you have that other people don’t.

The thing is, you never know what people are born with. A person may seem able-bodied but actually had cancer ten years earlier and was left with chronic pain. Another person may be able to walk today, but spent her childhood in a wheelchair.  Another person may seem to have plenty of privilege but is actually legally blind and can barely see you. The same goes for social class--it's impossible to tell. A man may seem impoverished but have money in the bank. Another may spend like crazy and have lots of debt. A person can be born into money but have squandered it all, or be born into poverty and made a fortune.

Your definition of privilege requires you to make assumptions that may be completely false.  You're making judgments based on the outside, which I thought was something you're NOT supposed to do. A man who "works on Wall Street". . . let's automatically assume he's rich, rich and clueless.  A high school student who has a politically incorrect thought about privilege. . . let's assume she's white and wealthy. All these assumptions, based on very little information or fact.

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Hence why you should acknowledge your own societal privileges, not judge people for what you perceive to be theirs. 
 

For example, I am privileged to be a white, abled bodied woman. I am privileged to have been born into the upper middle class and have no college debt. I cannot judge or speak to others’ situations, but I know that I must use my privileged to help those who need it. 
 

Yes, my parents worked extremely hard for me to go to college and live upper middle class. Yes, I still face challenges as a woman and in my life. But I still live in a society that makes it easier for me than others. 
 

easy Peezy. 
 

a good book to read is “white fragility.” It’s all about white people getting their panties in a twist when told they have privilege, because they can’t understand that their problems don’t ALSO have the problem of being discriminated by societal structures as a whole because of their race. Can be applied to other types of privilege as well. 
 

so I think we can agree that Alyssa has the privilege of being white & Christian woman in a society that prioritizes white and Christian women above others. Doesn’t mean she doesn’t have other problems in her life (lack of education, impoverished childhood, brainwashing, heart condition, etc). But it really doesn’t have to do with her wanting to buy a desk for her baby. 

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Ok moving on from social justice and privilege...

The girls' "classroom" is just about the saddest classroom I've seen. It looks like a college computer lab. No toys, no pictures, no alphabet or numbers, no toys, no games, no tables for crafts or working together. Just depressing little computer carrels. Poor girls. They will hate learning in no time.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, FrumpyAtheist said:

Ok moving on from social justice and privilege...

The girls' "classroom" is just about the saddest classroom I've seen. It looks like a college computer lab. No toys, no pictures, no alphabet or numbers, no toys, no games, no tables for crafts or working together. Just depressing little computer carrels. Poor girls. They will hate learning in no time.

 

 

but they have a flag and big crosses on the wall and that is all they need to know and learn....patriotism and god.

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They look like child-sized corporate cubicles. I was half-expecting each to have a framed family photo and a houseplant next to their computers ?

I don’t follow her on Instagram. Do any other homeschoolers or people trained in education ever point out or comment on the inadequacy of Alyssa’s approach?

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1 hour ago, Johannah said:

I don’t follow her on Instagram. Do any other homeschoolers or people trained in education ever point out or comment on the inadequacy of Alyssa’s approach?

I don't read the comments, so I can't answer you, but considering many fundie homeschoolers don't have a classroom, neither desks for each kid, I think Alyssa is more admired than critizised. In addition, it seems that the Abeka videos are very popular among fundies, so putting a kid in front of a screen to "learn" is ok for them.

I won't be surprised if Erin makes Chad build a "schoolroom" in their lawn. I know they rent and may not be allowed to build, but in September Erin will have 3 students and only a kitchen table to eat/do crafts/do worksheets etc. I doubt they can keep using Tori's house as a school, because Tori is having kids very often. 

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16 hours ago, Jackie3 said:

Finally, I don't know anyone who goes around "acknowledging" their privilege by saying, "I know I am privileged to be able-bodied" or "I know I am privileged to be able to afford this smoothie. . . "

Oh, I definitely do know many people willing to admit their privilege, but that's because I'm among a more liberal "woke" community.

I'm sure Alyssa realizes too how much more economically privileged she has become compared to her family's upbringing, I hope all the Bates kids realize that.

 

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3 hours ago, freethemall said:

I'm sure Alyssa realizes too how much more economically privileged she has become compared to her family's upbringing, I hope all the Bates kids realize that.

 

I would honestly be surprised if she didn’t. I grew up very poor, like hide from the landlord because we couldn’t make a $250 rent payment and went without food sometimes poor, and when my circumstances changed through a change in parental custody, I had a very strong culture shock of realizing that not everyone was as poor as I was. I’m sure Alyssa went through something similar with realizing that she could splurge on things she wanted instead of sharing everything and that if she did splurge, that that didn’t mean she went without food or rent or utilities. It’s a freeing feeling that I definitely think she realizes and I agree that she definitely doesn’t want her daughters to go without. I think that’s why we see them eating fast food and having lots of dresses and their own schoolroom. Those are the things Alyssa wanted as a kid that she didn’t get. I also think that’s why Alyssa was so excited to say that she “finally” had bought a house. She’s probably dreamed of having her own house to decorate and design since she was a kid in her parents loud and messy home, and so for her it’s a lifelong dream. Is she very privileged to have bought one at her age? Definitely! But I understand why to her it’s a “finally” and why she spends money on things we consider frivolous. Of course all of this could be me projecting since I don’t truly know her mind, but under the lens of her childhood, a lot of her decisions make sense to me even if I don’t necessarily agree with all of them. 

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Will be interesting to see how she “educates” a son as I think it’s a given she or they won’t prioritize a daughters education. The daughters should be well and always cutely dressed, have make up done right and hair always cutely done and act cutely. The aim is to train them be like mom...get them married youngish to Godly young men not make them intellectual or career oriented

A boy is different and need enough education to get a job in politics or maybe Law presumably for the Webster’s So he can attract a Godly cute pretty young girl like dear old dad did , impress her dad and the cycle can continue. 

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