Comic Talk and General Discussion *

The myth of exceptionality
Ozoneocean at 9:52PM, March 21, 2021
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There is a sometimes annoying trend on social media of people going:
“Hey! Let me educate you about me and inform you about my thing, which you can't possibly really understand because only I or my group experience this so I have to tell you about it”

Now there really ARE many things that are unique to certain people; gender specific, mental health specific, ethnic, cultural, differently-abled, generational etc, BUT also many experiences that are common and not unique or exceptional at all and I think it's important to find out what those are before people write big educational posts about them.

Because when they're about truly unique things those posts are informative, educational and very valuable.
When they're not they're patronising, misleading, and even dangerous and harmful because they spread misinformation.

A good example of the dangerous kind is mental health posts:
“Let me tell you what it's like to be (insert condition here)”
And they go on to list a whole bunch of general stuff that supposedly characterises the experience of this particular condition, but in reality is common to most people.
50% of the time those people are self diagnosed and don't have that condition so they're spreading misinformation. The rest of the time they do have it but they're niave and think most of their personal experience is related to their condition rather than just a few traits. Either way the information is still wrong and dangerous.

This is sort of a rant I suppose, but I come across this a lot.
People imagine personal experience always equals exceptionality, when in reality a lot of it is common and general.
We need to be able to understand experiences that are different from our own so it's good that people are willing to educate others. It's bad though when it becomes about “let me tell you why I'm special”.

Astrology is perhaps the best analogy… everything about it. XD
 
last edited on March 21, 2021 9:54PM
Ozoneocean at 12:39AM, March 22, 2021
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A funny example of this was a thing going around on Facebook with owners of Maine Coon cats talking about how isn't it amazing and cool that Main Coon cats chirrup at things (when they see a bird usually) and how that's a breed specific special thing and ONLY Maine Coon owners know about it.



Which of course is quite moronic, since every single species and breed of cat that currently exists in this world all chirrup, from tigers to tabbies.

Great example of the myth of exceptionalism!

I think that what was REALLY going of was that most of the Maine Coon cat owners had never owned cats before so had never observed that trait, because cats only do it occasionally, so when they saw their own cats do it they assumed it was special XD

 
bravo1102 at 12:56AM, March 22, 2021
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A lot of things are exceptional about Maine Coon cats but chirrup isn't one of them.

But they're no more exceptional as a breed than any other. They are great cats though, and freaking huge. And all that fur! There's this lean cat under this coat of fur that makes it look like the fattest cat ever.

Everyone is special and yes this can impact someone very hard, but the important thing to remember is you're not alone. Others have been there, are there and willing to provide whatever support you need. But you're not alone.

Well, except me.
Ozoneocean at 12:57AM, March 22, 2021
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Another example of it I saw recently:
The complaint that women's clothing sizes are all different depending on the brand and this is something only women deal with and understand, whereas men's clothes “are all pretty standardised across the board” was the phrasing used.
The conclusion being that it's unfair or something nefarious is going on…

Which was an incorrect conclusion based on the faulty assumption that men's clothes don't suffer from this. In reality it's exactly the same with men's clothes and children's clothes too.
Sizing isn't really standardised anywhere unless there's a lot of control over it like military uniforms.

The true reason for a lot of the issues with size disparity is that the size are garment will be is decided on when it's cut:
That is totally flat, separate pieces of unusually shaped cloth that have to be sewn together and a specific way with seem allowances and stretch and all the rest and end up being a specific sizing! That's very hard in sweatshop, mass production conditions. people make mistakes all the time.
The only reason this would happen just a little more for women is that when you have more measurements on one garment (hips, bust, waist, length), there are even more measurements to mess up.

But yeah, that's one of the main reasons sizes don't match in different brands or even the same brand sometimes. Obvious when you think about it but you HAVE to think about it and realise that it's a common thing, not an exceptional thing in order to understand it.
 
Ozoneocean at 12:59AM, March 22, 2021
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bravo1102 wrote:
Well, except me.
This is true. You are utterly unique and special ^_^
At least to me <3
 
bravo1102 at 3:00AM, March 22, 2021
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Men's sizes are deceptive because they appear to be measurement as opposed to just an arbitrary standard.

Like a 16 1/2 inch neck or 32 inch waist versus a size 12 dress. I mean measure twice and cut once and every 16 1/2 neck on every shirt everywhere will be the same. No. There's about a 1/8 to 1/4 inch variation. There can be up to an inch in sleeve and leg length. A regular isn't always 32 1/2 inches. You could end up with a 32 for a regular sleeve and always have the cuffs halfway up your forearm (like I do now) Oz is so right. Unless personally tailored different makers can be all over the place. And it's even worse for things “proportionally” sized like shoulders, chest and waist.
Ozoneocean at 3:27AM, March 22, 2021
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bravo1102 wrote:
Like a 16 1/2 inch neck or 32 inch waist versus a size 12 dress. I mean measure twice and cut once and every 16 1/2 neck on every shirt everywhere will be the same. No. There's about a 1/8 to 1/4 inch variation. There can be up to an inch in sleeve and leg length. A regular isn't always 32 1/2 inches. You could end up with a 32 for a regular sleeve and always have the cuffs halfway up your forearm (like I do now) Oz is so right. Unless personally tailored different makers can be all over the place. And it's even worse for things “proportionally” sized like shoulders, chest and waist.
Very true.

I have size 28, 29, 30, 32, 33 waist shorts and trousers and the actual sizes are all over the place! 29s bigger than 31s, 32 the same as 30, 32 being massively wide…
And the XS, S, M, L, XL sizing is far worse, even for the exact same items.
I have two identical style leather jackets from two different makers, both XS size. One is slightly bigger but also has much bigger shoulders and arms.
 
usedbooks at 5:29AM, March 22, 2021
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My autistic friend posting autism memes… Bless your heart, bud. But those generalizations are not group specific. A LOT of people can hear and are annoyed by the hum of the factories in town.

Also, introversion isn't a magical club. Everyone needs alone time. And everyone needs social interaction.

Now, there are some interesting breed traits in purebred animals. The traits don't make them unique; the unique thing is that they are standardized for the breed, so it's actually predictable. Chittering is very common in cats so it's a bad example (not all cats do it, though). Loving a good swim in water, however, is much less common, so for a breed known to enjoy it (Turkish Van) one can mention it as a breed trait. Does it mean no other cats like to swim? No. But it means if you want a swimming cat, a Turkish Van is your best bet. I'd say a Maine Coon's notable traits are that they are frikkin huge and have the ugliest kittens on the planet. Sure there are other huge cats and ugly kittens around, but if you want a guarantee, that's your breed!

As for clothing sizes, my complaint is specifically standardized tops. You'd think women's clothing, especially plus sizes, would allow for boobs. And you'd be wrong. Gotta size up until the sleeves are falling down your arms just to prevent hulking out of your top on an inhale. -_- I'm not even claiming exceptionalism. A lot of people have boobs. Someone should make clothes for them. You can find different slacks cuts for short or long legs of various thicknesses. Stores even label those different cuts. But tops have no wide/narrow or long/short cuts (that I've seen in the cheap stores I can afford).
last edited on March 22, 2021 5:31AM
Ozoneocean at 6:11AM, March 22, 2021
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Ah yes… the autism, introversion etc etc brigade. You are so spot on.

————-
Boobs ARE exceptional though to some degree I'd say because they come in all different shapes and sizes so you've got a right to claim exceptionalism there!
The variations of boob shape and size to torso shape and size are fricken endless. Infinite. If I was a woman I'd get everything tailored. Mass production certainly fails in that regard.
 
usedbooks at 6:24AM, March 22, 2021
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Ozoneocean wrote:
Ah yes… the autism, introversion etc etc brigade. You are so spot on.

————-
Boobs ARE exceptional though to some degree I'd say because they come in all different shapes and sizes so you've got a right to claim exceptionalism there!
The variations of boob shape and size to torso shape and size are fricken endless. Infinite. If I was a woman I'd get everything tailored. Mass production certainly fails in that regard.
Then you would have much more money than the boob owners I know. XD

They could make standardized clothes for boobs. They standardize clothes for different legs and feet (ie, “wide” and “narrow” shoes). Feet come in all shapes, lengths, and widths too.

I tried to get a tailored work uniform, but the wait time was longer than my working season. I would have changed sizes AND been unemployed before they were finished. -_- So, I sewed all my buttons closed and let them bulge. (The agency I work for didn't even have uniforms in women's sizes/cuts until the 80s. Wanting clothes that fit may be a bit much to ask for. lol)
last edited on March 22, 2021 6:26AM
Ozoneocean at 8:12AM, March 22, 2021
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I'm surprised… Making clothes isn't that hard and altering something to fit is really easy.

Back before cheap mass production that's how all clothes had to be dealt with: Either made to measure or altered to fit.
 
Ironscarf at 6:02PM, March 22, 2021
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I can definitely confirm that my siamese (creator diety rest his soul) used to chirrup at the birdies on a regular basis. He was smart enough to operate the front door knocker in such a way as to sound exactly like the milkman, but dumb enough to try stealing fish from a pan of boiling water.
 
Ozoneocean at 7:05PM, March 24, 2021
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I think it's really tempting to do this yourself- to put yourself in an exclusive category somehow so you can explain to others how it is for you…
Like “I'm special, let me explain things for you normals…”

But if you ARE special then how can you really know what “normal” IS?

I think that's the biggest issue; people pre-defining for others how they are and what defines them, which you can't do, you can only do that for yourself and ask “Do others experience this?” rather than telling people how unusual your thing is and explaining why others aren't, which leads to errors and skirts arrogance and hubris.
 
BearinOz at 11:13PM, March 27, 2021
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Ozoneocean wrote:

But if you ARE special then how can you really know what “normal” IS?



A lot like the rest of us and our P.M., the ScoMoses ! B-)
The thought has crept up on me, over recent weeks/events, that perhaps he is somewhere on the autism spectrum, well onto it. No empathy, no answers to journalists, etc.. It would explain a lot.
 
last edited on March 27, 2021 11:14PM
lothar at 1:12PM, March 28, 2021
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my Main Coon cat never chirruped … he was a good boy, i miss him
bravo1102 at 2:41PM, March 28, 2021
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Something that is usually also overlooked is that there is more variation of individuals within a population then there is between populations.
MegaRdaniels at 3:07PM, March 28, 2021
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Hey guys! Just here and such. Dealing with some personal problems at the same time fixing a woman's machine remotely by installing a realtek wizard. I'm getting really good at fixing sound issues lol.

Plus I am making a print version of my comic! :)
hushicho at 3:34PM, March 31, 2021
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Oh my god, yes; all of this, yes.

There's a huge difference, too, between experience in a culture or subculture, and presenting one's entire existence as somehow exceptional. I could definitely present something that would be an education to most people who don't belong to the same cultures I do, but it would be extremely presumptuous of me, not to mention kind of counter-productive, to assume that they couldn't understand my experience.

That's what I think tends to be at the crux of the worst of these tendencies: exclusive, exclusionary thinking that focuses on perceived differences, rather than places people can make a sort of bridge and understand each other's experiences. That's what I think comics and most creative output do: they create a common place to share feelings, thoughts, and expressions that can't really be conveyed another way. It's the same reason why people paint.

There's a fine line between being unashamed or proud of one's heritage and one's social groups, and acting like one is superior because of the way one was born. The latter is uncomfortably close to the nazi rhetoric, and I don't have time for it. It's very often someone trying to feel superior due to an inborn trait, too.

When you get right down to it, just like most every social media trend, so many people – especially immature ones, so you see it often in teenagers and children – want to feel special. They see people getting attention, no matter whether it's good or bad for those people, and they try to attach themselves to that. It's easiest if it's something that can be self-diagnosed or claimed without anyone having the ability to challenge. It's even better if it's something that anyone challenging the claim can be annihilated for their presumptuous rudeness, even if they happen to be part of the group that's being claimed.

People seem to, more than ever, look for validation in strangers. This is one of many ways they desperately search for something that sets them apart, and usually above (in their minds, at least) others, and they wait for every opportunity to “prove” their special quality…even if it's exactly like countless other people and often makes their fight harder.
last edited on March 31, 2021 3:38PM
L.C.Stein at 11:48PM, April 6, 2021
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I'm not sure if this has to do with wanting to proclaim they are a “special snowflake” or people coming together who may be neuro-divergent, or have been shamed for being introverted, or whatever, and feeling like they finally have a voice. People who are neuro-divergent and/or introverted or are suffering mental illness may not feel proud in their real-life environments that they fit in, or feel there is something wrong with them and looking for ways to cope. Maybe they have tried to talk to people in their family or friend circles, and have been dismissed. so they find camaraderie online.

Many people also may have been misdiagnosed, particularly women. I was diagnosed with a learning disability as a child, but it may not have been the correct one, or it may have been co-morbid with others. ADD and lots of spectrum disorders go undiagnosed in girls because their presentation does not match the diagnostic criteria utilized by doctors and psychologists - diagnostic criteria that's based on behavior in boys. Girls quickly learn on to mask their symptoms because the presentation of any oddities for women is more detrimental socially, and this is learned very early in life.

Where this gets to be troublesome is when people use their mental health status or personality trait as a crutch for shitty behavior or their lot in life. There's a lot out of our control, but it's important to develop coping skills. What truly unfortunate, however, is the complete lack of access to mental health professionals for the average person. It's expensive out of pocket, and/or most mental health professionals are not seeing new patients since their case loads are already saturated.
bravo1102 at 1:06AM, April 9, 2021
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This is also evident behavior among the conspiratorial thinking people. They also believe that with their special “knowledge” and “thinking” and avoidance of the mind clouding that the normal asleep people have that only they are awake, aware and truly exceptional.

Everybody wants to be special when in fact more binds us together than separates us.

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