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Old 2013-05-11, 16:27   Link #1
Dawnstorm
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Arranged Marriages

[mod edit: This topic was split from another thread. The first ~30 posts were moved from the other thread. This is why this topic has a bit of an unconventional opening. Also, despite being split to a new topic, the staff ask that people try to keep this thread polite and on-topic, and avoid flaming other people for their personal beliefs.]


Take, for example, Ai Yori Aoshi: gender, traditon, money... All that works together to create a social background that gives meaning to individual decisions. This show, to me, also shows how the term "progressive" can lead you miss a lot: I was so biased against arranged marriages that it took me a while to "get" the story; watching this one has been a very interesting cultural experience for me.

Last edited by relentlessflame; 2013-05-14 at 00:20.
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Old 2013-05-11, 21:32   Link #2
synaesthetic
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Bias against arranged marriage shouldn't be "overcome." It's an archaic concept that boils down to little more than slavery.
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Old 2013-05-13, 04:08   Link #3
Dawnstorm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Bias against arranged marriage shouldn't be "overcome." It's an archaic concept that boils down to little more than slavery.
I agree with the latter, but disagree on principle with the former ("you should overcome any bias you hold"), though I might pragmatically agree on that as well depending on circumstance (though this is too complicated and off-topic in this thread).
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Old 2013-05-13, 07:54   Link #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
I agree with the latter, but disagree on principle with the former ("you should overcome any bias you hold"), though I might pragmatically agree on that as well depending on circumstance (though this is too complicated and off-topic in this thread).
If you agree that arranged marriage is "an archaic concept that boils down to little more than slavery" than aren't you effectively "biased" against it?

Also, I have to frank - I find it silly to expect humans to overcome any bias that we may have. We're human beings, not perfectly objective machines. It's when we think we're holding no bias at all that we are actually at our most biased, in my view - Because it gives us a false sense of "higher ground" compared to others.

The fact is that we all have culturally/socially-ingrained biases, and the most we can realistically hope to do is to recognize them in ourselves and try to temper them/account for them.
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Old 2013-05-13, 13:24   Link #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
If you agree that arranged marriage is "an archaic concept that boils down to little more than slavery" than aren't you effectively "biased" against it?

Also, I have to frank - I find it silly to expect humans to overcome any bias that we may have. We're human beings, not perfectly objective machines. It's when we think we're holding no bias at all that we are actually at our most biased, in my view - Because it gives us a false sense of "higher ground" compared to others.

The fact is that we all have culturally/socially-ingrained biases, and the most we can realistically hope to do is to recognize them in ourselves and try to temper them/account for them.
Yea, it's never that wise to claim some objective machine stuff. This is why I brought up biases earlier, and frankly could give less of a shit if people accused me of being biased, because that's just pointless. We all are born into different situations, and obviously this influences how we view things. That is why I pointed the thread on how you (as an individual) view what is happening. Of course, this is the internet, and it's necessary to tell people on how wrong they are because for some reason the truth is only available to some people for the low low price of $99.99

Though when people mean overcome bias it also means to simply accept other possibilities.

As for arranged message itself though, I think it can been sufficiently strong enough to address as what certain people believe it to be something like that. Yes, I understand that a strong belief in individual choice is particularly a facet of the mindset of Western Democracy, but I think it would be so firmly ingrained in our collective morality, that I could most indeed feel that it is wrong if it involves coercion that I would be pretty dishonest if I were try to argue otherwise. It probably isn't the only valid assessment, but then again what ever is? Is this really "bias" or a "cultural difference". Yes, but if you're addressing this particular poster as a person, it would be impossible to separate these beliefs from my own. Obviously this isn't as clear cut as say, the treatment of women in the Middle East.

It is certainly a degree of high horsedness, but then again I think it's somewhat necessary, especially against the more extreme examples of inequality out there.
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Old 2013-05-13, 13:27   Link #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
If you agree that arranged marriage is "an archaic concept that boils down to little more than slavery" than aren't you effectively "biased" against it?
Yes.

Quote:
Also, I have to frank - I find it silly to expect humans to overcome any bias that we may have. We're human beings, not perfectly objective machines. It's when we think we're holding no bias at all that we are actually at our most biased, in my view - Because it gives us a false sense of "higher ground" compared to others.
I agree.

Quote:
The fact is that we all have culturally/socially-ingrained biases, and the most we can realistically hope to do is to recognize them in ourselves and try to temper them/account for them.
I'm not fixed on terminology, here. "Overcome" is synaesthetic's word. I'm fine with "to temper" or "account for them", though. Here's what I said in my original post:

Quote:
I was so biased against arranged marriages that it took me a while to "get" the story; watching this one has been a very interesting cultural experience for me.
Here, my bias was an impediment to understanding. I could have raged against the show, saying it's not nearly critical enough of arranged marriages. And even if - considering my own biases - I'd have been right, it'd have been an accident. If I hadn't relativised my gut reactions, I wouldn't have got the show. (Of course, I'm still not sure I actually got the show; my interpretation might easily be another sort of misunderstanding.)

When I say "cultural experience" above, I mean that by confronting my bias in that one instances I learned to understand things better (or I got the illusion of understanding things better) that express themselves in many anime: like the gap between what you say and what you mean, some things about respect... None of these concepts are culturally specific, but all of them are culturally flavoured - sometimes to the point that they seem alien. Can you imagine a Hollywood remake of Ai Yori Aoshi?
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Old 2013-05-13, 14:02   Link #7
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A bias by definition is an illogical and unfair prejudice.
If you think "arranged marriages" are wrong you should condemn them after an objective and fair analysis.

There is just no excuse for not trying to get rid of biases, no matter the case.
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Old 2013-05-13, 15:01   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
A bias by definition is an illogical and unfair prejudice.
No, it's not. A bias by definition is this.

A bias is simply "a particular tendency or inclination". It's a personal preference.

People will always have their personal preferences, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Some anime fans are biased in favor of slice of life. Some are biased against slice of life. Some are biased in favor of certain character types. Some are biased against certain character types.

As long as we recognize these biases in ourselves, and account for them when discussing our opinions on things, I think that it's fine. For example, if you have a strong dislike for slice of life - If you simply find it slow and boring by your tastes - Then that is a legitimate taste preference. It's not something you should feel you have to "overcome" (i.e. defeat, conquer). But it is important to recognize this bias in yourself, so you don't go around thinking that slice of life shows are all objectively bad, when really it's just that they don't align well with your tastes.

Trying to force people to like certain genres, plot elements, and character types that they have a personal bias against is generally counterproductive in my view.

These personal preferences are part of who we were. To try to force ourselves to get rid of all of them would simply amount to us denying who we are.


Quote:
If you think "arranged marriages" are wrong you should condemn them after an objective and fair analysis.
And what would such an "objective and fair" analysis even entail?

A statistical breakdown of how likely such marriages are to end in divorce compared to non-arranged marriages? Quality of Life indexes comparing countries with arranged marriages against countries without them? Interviewing people in arranged marriages to determine how happy and content they are?

These all can make us more well-informed, of course, but they paint a very vague picture by themselves. Ultimately, personal preferences will have to fill in the gaps. Ultimately, you either believe that personal freedom in making important life choices is a top and unassailable priority, or you don't believe that. You can't fully measure specific ideals like "freedom" and "equality" - You either hold to those ideals, or you don't. You can't reasonably expect everybody everywhere to just naturally share all of your ideals, as those ideals are shaped (at least to some degree) by your own social and cultural context.


Quote:
There is just no excuse for not trying to get rid of biases, no matter the case.
I strongly disagree. Our biases - Our preferences - Go a long way to shaping who each of us are as individuals. Many biases are perfectly harmless, and actually add flavor and distinctiveness to people, as long as we recognize these biases in ourselves and hence realize the practical limits in applying them to others and the situations of others.
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Old 2013-05-13, 16:46   Link #9
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
A statistical breakdown of how likely such marriages are to end in divorce compared to non-arranged marriages? Quality of Life indexes comparing countries with arranged marriages against countries without them? Interviewing people in arranged marriages to determine how happy and content they are?
What if the few arranged marriages that still happen in Japan turned out to be more stable, more fulfilling, more harmonious in the long run?
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Old 2013-05-13, 16:50   Link #10
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Originally Posted by scineram View Post
What if the few arranged marriages that still happen in Japan turned out to be more stable, more fulfilling, more harmonious in the long run?
Well, that's good. Nothing wrong with that. It only proves that some went good. It depends on the pair and on the way they were arranged in the first place.
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Old 2013-05-13, 17:08   Link #11
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
No, it's not. A bias by definition is this.

A bias is simply "a particular tendency or inclination". It's a personal preference.

Read the full definition:

a particular tendency or inclination, especially one that prevents unprejudiced consideration of a question; prejudice.

Prejudice

an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.
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Old 2013-05-13, 17:13   Link #12
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Then I'd venture to say I'm not biased against arranged marriages, but logically and rationally condemn them as violations of human rights.
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Old 2013-05-13, 17:18   Link #13
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Living in a country where arranged-marriage is more or less a norm, I would say its got more to do with the social environment one grows up in. I mean people here consider marriage like a check-point that that needs to be arrived at. More correctly a means to further the family name and line. While that may be logically correct, it just seems too cold.

The choices more often than not are made for you - regardless of gender of the parties involved.

Oh, and divorce is really frowned upon here - its especially painful for the women since, the bias against women is already bone deep.
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Old 2013-05-13, 17:19   Link #14
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The social environment is irrelevant. Slavery is not okay; we don't excuse enslaving people based on culture. Neither do we excuse murder. Arranged marriage is simply another form of slavery, so why do we consider it okay? We shouldn't.
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Old 2013-05-13, 17:32   Link #15
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^ Not saying I agree with the notion of arranged-marriage. But, when it becomes a norm its easier to overlook as being an incursion on your free will. And, frankly, people here are eye-balls deep in the belief that their children should obey their every word, forever - and in fact, almost all the time they do.
So, yeah its pretty cultural as far as my specific example is concerned. Social standing is greater than individuality here.

Admittedly, its better now than it was before.
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Old 2013-05-13, 17:34   Link #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
The social environment is irrelevant. Slavery is not okay; we don't excuse enslaving people based on culture. Neither do we excuse murder. Arranged marriage is simply another form of slavery, so why do we consider it okay? We shouldn't.
I have mixed feeling for fixed marriage coz it exist in Muslim culture. What l disliked is the "forced" fixed marriage, that children like don't have a choice with I think is very wrong.

I experienced once from a friend of mine that though they were fixed by their parents, she came to grew up with the guy (since high school). They spent a lot of time together until they were comfortable.

Their marriage was finalized with their respective approval.

You can't marry someone you just meet.
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Old 2013-05-13, 18:25   Link #17
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I'm of the opinion that the worst possible evil you can inflict upon a sentient being is to take away their self-determination. Even death isn't as bad.
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Old 2013-05-13, 19:37   Link #18
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
I'm of the opinion that the worst possible evil you can inflict upon a sentient being is to take away their self-determination. Even death isn't as bad.
I will just agree that fixed marriage should be not be at the hands of the parents completely and be done at the complete awareness of the children...

I'll be damn happy if my fiance is a beautiful girl.
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Old 2013-05-13, 19:58   Link #19
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I used to be completely against arranged marriages until I became friends with someone who was in one. My friend was from India but she was an international student at the same college as me.

Her parents really picked a good guy for her. They have things common and are friends and he treats her right. Was she in love with him? I don't think so but I can see it was a relationship of mutual respect.

I think if she really disliked the guy, she could have said no. But as she had no outright reason to object, besides I don't love him she accepted the marriage.

Anyways I think the arrangement was similar to what Genjichan was saying. You aren't completely forced and you do have a say but its still your parents who will arrange the marriage.
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Old 2013-05-13, 20:00   Link #20
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
The social environment is irrelevant. Slavery is not okay; we don't excuse enslaving people based on culture. Neither do we excuse murder. Arranged marriage is simply another form of slavery, so why do we consider it okay? We shouldn't.
The Aztecs revel in sacrifices, and slavery was an important part of the world economy in ancient times. So yes, people do excuse things based on culture.
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