Biased Balance

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Aiming for balance not between two sides coexisting, but rather between one side's right to exist and the other side's “right” to harass them. (In Swedish: balansbias)

Biased Balance as a facet of categorism

Something is a facet of categorism when it on some level and based on a categorization of people is an expression of prejudice, bigotry, discrimination, or some combination thereof. When Biased Balance based on a categorization of people, it is a matter of prejudice. Which is often fueled by and used to further fuel bigotry and/or discrimination. Note that while a person can do biased balance without basing it on a categorization of people, it is unlikely to stay that way for long: How would they justify their bias without making a distinction between "us" and "them"?

  • Biased Balance is prejudice: A biased balance is the misconception that a perspective is fair and balanced when it is actually very biased.
  • Biased Balance can be fueled by bigotry: When you hate them, anything done against them seems "fair".
  • Biased Balance can be fueled by discrimination: The "just world fallacy". The emotional need to perceive current practices, whatever those practices might be, as being "fair".
  • Biased Balance can fuel other prejudice, bigotry and discrimination: Once you have established it as being "fair" and decided to ignore the evidence to the contrary, anything goes.


This facet of categorism is an expression of: prejudice, leading to discrimination.

It is likely to intersect with facets such as:

  • Narrativism: Building a story about how the injustice is "fair and balanced".
  • Zerosumming: Making it seem fair by pretending that every gain for the people in one group automatically is an equal loss for the people in another group.
  • Normalization of violence: Creating an illusion that we need a balance between violence and freedom from violence, thus establish that a certain level of violation should be expected and accepted.

As well as with abstractions such as:

  • Categorist co-definitions: Fiddling with the categorization to hide the injustice, through lumping one group into another.
  • Categorist distinctions: Fiddling with the categorization to hide the injustice, through separating a part of the relevant group from the rest or separating the people in the group from their rights.
  • Zero-category: Making it look as if equal rights for the people in a marginalized group would be "special rights" by hiding the normative group.

Biased balance and foci of categorism

Examples of applying this facet to a particular foci of categorism can include:

  • Homophobia: Not standing up for the right for gay people to have their relationships in peace as well as the right for religious people to worship in peace, but instead standing up for a balance between the right for gay people to have their relationships in peace versus the “right” for religious people to persecute gay people.