Binary Thinking or 'ya is or ya aint'
UNIVERSITY OF REGINA
Binary Thinking Assignment
Binary thinking is the representation by members of a privileged or dominant group of. themselves as superior and of other groups as inferior. Find a Canadian or at least a North American example of binary thinking. It might be a literary text which we have not discussed in class, a newspaper clipping, a movie, a television program, a cartoon, a conversation which you participated in or overheard, a personal experience, your own thinking. Write a short analysis of your finding--3-4 paragraphs. You might consider addressing the following questions:
How does my finding relate to the definition of binary thinking?
Who constitutes the privileged or dominant group?
Does my finding challenge binary thinking?
Does it fall into the trap of binary thinking?
What are some of the consequences of binary thinking related to my finding?
There are 2 phenomena associated with small oppressed groups that result in their own binary thinking.
1) any splinter groups or dissenters to the majority opinion in the small group is suppressed lest the group dissolve into nothing. Their power is being the majority be default by not being in a minority If you oppose them they have ammunition to attack you as the one who will cause the small group to die a slow and painful death.
2) after this small group has been oppressed, especially by a small elitist group, the gain the power of being able to accuse the original oppressors of discrimination or bigotry. and everyone else not in either group just sees the original elite as the bad guys.
Binary thinking and reverse discrimination
Binary thinking has been defined as "the representation by members of a privileged or dominant group of themselves as superior and of other groups as inferior." When a particular group has been at the receiving end of discrimination for a while but gains back some of the rights they were denied, they develop their own kind of privilege often termed reverse discrimination. No one dares oppose them or they will be considered to be bigoted. Another type of privilege can be developed in groups with unique interests that comprise a very small portion of the population. No one dares oppose splinter groups or their small group might cease to exist. I have seen both of these privilages in the act of developing a binary thinking mind set in a unique community I am part of.
Some people gain a lot of pleasure imagining what it would be like living in the body of a non-human. With the advent of the internet, these people could find others who shared that interest and the term "furry" was coined. There were all sorts of furry groups that enjoyed their non-human fantasies differently such as fur suiters, comic and animation fans, plush animal dolls, and mostly artists who made these various objects and art. Many furry icons like Bugs Bunny do not wear cloths and artists view drawing nudes as a sacred part of being an artist so this community has a problem with censorship regarding non-photographic "pornography". This left the door wide open for pornography lovers to embarrass the "furry fandom" as it was called. The "Burnt furs" movement started to try to clean out the "yiff" (furry term for acts of sex) but were strongly opposed by those who thought the furry fandom would disappear if it was split up. Art archives with strong self-censorship rules provided "yiff free" places and other archives dedicated to freedom of speech provided the place for yiff lovers so things quieted down for a while. People who meet on the internet will want to meet in person and the science fiction and fantasy had already been having conventions so several yearly furry conventions started up. To maintain a good public image, everyone kept their yiff art "under the table". These conventions are a major source of income for artists and crafters and the only place where people can meet close friends they only know on the internet so many are very protective of their conventions.