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By iGrrrl (Wed Oct 14, 2009 at 10:05:44 PM EST) (all tags)
Schrodinger's Rapist.

Discuss.

[[ETA: Master class: How Not To Be That Guy]]



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Do women really live in constant fear like that? by jaxom green (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Oct 14, 2009 at 10:49:23 PM EST
Is the fear of rape or abuse such a constant part of the average woman's life?

I know my female friends by garlic (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Oct 14, 2009 at 10:54:18 PM EST
spend a lot more time thinking about their safety than I think about mine.


[ Parent ]
They Seem To Say So Rather A Lot For Some Reason by motty (4.00 / 3) #5 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 06:46:06 AM EST
I wonder why that is.

Bear in mind that this is the whole point of her article. Reread the chorus of comments by other women in response saying 'thanks for saying this, yes, we agree'.

And still men say 'but is this really true?'

At this point the women might be thinking, well, we just said it like 100 times, but you're still asking 'is this true'.

I don't know, but could there maybe be some thing whereby women can say things over and over again until they are blue in the face but men pretend they haven't been said at all? I mean, I don't know, I'm not a woman, but I've heard that kind of idea before and it looks like this is a pretty good example.

There's extensive discussion of this exact point here, though a lot of it consists of women saying 'yes, this is true' and men saying 'but hang on... is it really true', and women saying yes, and men not really believing them, and various people going off on various tangents. Worth a read if you have all day.

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T

[ Parent ]
Pretty much, yeah by iGrrrl (4.00 / 2) #6 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 07:27:51 AM EST
I don't know, but could there maybe be some thing whereby women can say things over and over again until they are blue in the face but men pretend they haven't been said at all?

I read this as you being sarcastic about this happening and supporting the point, so yes, there are men who don't even understand that this happens. It's called male privilege. Just because something isn't true for guy, that doesn't mean it isn't true for a woman. A man gets to question that this is reality for women, no matter how many women say it. It's very maddening.

And, I glanced at the MeFi comments, and really, I didn't want to get out my bingo cards.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
Bingo indeed by motty (4.00 / 1) #12 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 08:10:32 AM EST
'But I want to talk about this. Listen to me!' is the one I always fall into there.

As it goes, for such a subject, it was not a bad MeFi thread at all, but it got very long, and there's a heady mix of moving stuff and maddening stuff.

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T

[ Parent ]
I understand it happens by Tonatiuh (2.00 / 0) #16 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 08:34:58 AM EST
I personally have no doubts that women feel that they have to be careful out there.

The question that should be asked is if their concern has real basis, and if the appropriate response is the kind or paranoia the writer is advocating.

Here in the UK crime rates have been consistently falling, nevertheless the perception of many people is that crime is a big issue. The feeling is irrational, has no basis in facts, and the proposed solutions (bringing back the death penalty and many other similar niecities) is an overreaction.

What I don't agree with is the inference of the writer (who re-wigs the statistics as she sees fit, ignoring the bits that don't support her world view).

Women fought hard to stop being stereotyped so crudely, the proposal of the author is just the pendulum swinging too far in the other direction.

 

[ Parent ]
err... by R343L (4.00 / 1) #19 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 09:12:59 AM EST
The problem with invoking crime stats is the vast, vast, vast majority of sexual assaults are not really reported. Many women (myself included!) tend to think after being assaulted (n.b. not necessarily up to "rape") that being more careful would have prevented it ("sort of my fault") or are too scared/ashamed to talk to anyone and so forth.

Based on my own experiences, which are honestly quite tame, I would bet every woman on husi has been minimally coerced or taken advantage of (e.g. drunk) to participate in something sexual further than she wanted to go. It won't be "rape" in every case, but even if you've only been groped or kissed against your will, you're still going to be pretty aware of the risks. A person who is willing to grab you uninvited is maybe willing to do more. See also iGrrrl's bingo card links.

Rachael

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
See also, differences between sexes. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #25 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:06:51 AM EST
The following is based on what I've heard at AA meetings.

After night of heavy drinking a guy wakes up in bed next to a cute girl, both naked, with no memory of last night or how he got there. He is amused, at least. Has no (or very little) thought that he may have been victimized. Feels pretty good about it, actually.

The girl, waking up in the same situation next to a cute guy, is horrified. Swears off drinking forever. She may call the police.

Same situation, two very different reactions.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Where the alcohol impairment is really an issue by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #28 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:11:37 AM EST
...is when the guy knows exactly what he's doing. Or gets her liquored up (and maybe drinks with her) in order to lower her resistance. Or get her too drunk to even protest. Or...

Sometimes they put a nice face on it and call it "seduction."

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
But if it's the other way around... by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #31 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:26:55 AM EST
that is, she gets him liquored up, the guy is usually OK with it.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
That's the power dynamic by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #34 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:33:20 AM EST
There's more to say on that, but I'm going to let it stand.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
That happened to me once by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #43 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 12:12:34 PM EST
And I had the typical man's reaction: annoyance.
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Those examples by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #46 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 12:24:05 PM EST
Are drawn from experience.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
mutual victimization by R343L (2.00 / 0) #63 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 01:40:03 PM EST
Assuming that so far as both could consent while drunk and there were no additional coercions going on, then I consider that essentially mutual rape. BUT, since it's mutual I can't see near as much horror simply because neither party was choosing anything so it's hard (for me at least) to be mad or angry.

But alcohol is a whole thing in itself. Even a reasonable amount can make a person more pushy (this is usually the man) and wheedling and can also make either party more amenable to something they wouldn't consider sober. In an ideal world, men wouldn't be pushy (drunk or sober) and women would know their limits.

Also, and this is something I never understood, why would a man be happy to have had a pounding headache and no memory of sex? What's the fun if you don't remember??? I'm not saying calling it rape is really much more reasonable, but it just doesn't seem like fun.

Rachael

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
Well, by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #65 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 01:46:09 PM EST
these people are talking about it in AA meetings so I guess in retrospect they realise it wasn't as fun as it seemed.

[ Parent ]
oh sure by R343L (2.00 / 0) #68 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:01:50 PM EST
I'm sure many men do regret drunken nights (remembered or not). But the stereotype (as wiredog points out) is basically high-five! you scored! And it's that stereotype (and culture) that is informing teenage boys and young men leading them to think that "getting some" is more important than actually enjoying it or the woman consenting (in the extreme case).

I am reminded of several posts by Hugh Schwyzer: one about masculine expression of sexuality and one on the enthusiastic yes

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #71 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:15:38 PM EST

This comment has been deleted by ucblockhead



[ Parent ]
Alternatively by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #72 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:16:13 PM EST
There's the evolutionary psychologist's explanation.
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
yeah by MillMan (4.00 / 1) #83 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 06:06:50 PM EST
this culture isn't in a place to deal with their approach, though. The humanities will not give up enlightenment ideals, even though psychology and neuroscience rendered them obsolete many years ago.

"Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no libertarians in financial crises." -Krugman

[ Parent ]
Islam attempts to address these issues. by dmg (2.00 / 0) #85 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 07:12:24 PM EST
At a certain cost to the "freedom" of the individual. 
--
dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
and they fail spectacularly by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #93 Fri Oct 16, 2009 at 01:02:44 AM EST

"Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no libertarians in financial crises." -Krugman

[ Parent ]
Indeed by dmg (2.00 / 0) #96 Fri Oct 16, 2009 at 05:38:11 AM EST
It's not going to be solved any time soon. 
--
dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
However by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #101 Fri Oct 16, 2009 at 11:09:14 AM EST
People who want to pass laws banning burkhas because they "oppress women" may want to think long and hard about that style of dress and the issues raised in those two articles.
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
I can't remember when it was by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #73 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:19:29 PM EST
that you introduced me to Hugo Schwyzer (I'm thinking 3 or 4 years ago) but I'm incredibly grateful to you for it. And reading much of it has filled me with shame, even though the woman who I am feeling ashamed about my treatment of would deny that my behaviour was unacceptable.

If it's any real feedback, there was a substantial element to which I was coerced into my first sexual experiences. I was certainly plied forcefully with drink earlier on in the evening. But it's not something that has been a huge problem for me, and something I look back on with detachment rather than anything else.

[ Parent ]
Might have been aphrael actually by R343L (2.00 / 0) #75 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:30:35 PM EST
As I heard of Schwyzer from him.

But yeah, even my experiences that are less than ideal (drunk, etc.) that I recognize were sexual assault (and certainly coerced) by some kind of legal or moral standard, I look on now kind of detached, realizing it could have been a lot worse. And moreover, realizing that a lot of men have probably experienced sexuality the same way, only society gives them no real way to express it since obviously it's fun(!) to have sex drunk and he should be grateful for whatever he can get, etc.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
ego by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #66 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 01:46:27 PM EST
I suspect a lot of women don't understand how much sex is wrapped up with ego for many men.
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #26 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:09:02 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by iGrrrl



[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #88 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 08:42:28 PM EST

This comment has been deleted by iGrrrl



[ Parent ]
The better response to this is... by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #89 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 09:00:26 PM EST
This comment on research about the undetected rapist
Anyway, Dr. Lisak conducted research aimed at characterizing the undetected rapist. Briefly, he used a survey that just described behaviors without labeling them. About 120 men self-reported behaviors that would classify as rape. Of these, nearly 2/3rds were serial rapists (76/120), and accounted for an average of 14 victims apiece. So Starling, your guess was right in the damn ball-park.
The review article is here.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
Women who will tell you otherwise aren't paying by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #9 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 07:39:51 AM EST
... attention to their own behavior.

In my younger, wilder years, I would have told you I was fearless. I also carried a knife and walked alone only with my keys between my fingers in a makeshift weapon. I wasn't afraid. No, no. I was just taking sensible precautions.

Wait. Why did I have to take precautions if I wasn't aware/concerned/someotherwordthatafraid that there was the potential for attack?

It is something women have to be aware of. Always.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
I said it on FB by muchagecko (4.00 / 1) #3 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 01:43:11 AM EST
and I'll say it here. That story is really spot on.

There was a time when I had to explain to a guy I was walking with why I went way out of my way to avoid a parked van.


A purpose gives you a reason to wake up every morning.
So a purpose is like a box of powdered donut holes?
Exactly
My Name is Earl

Did he believe you? by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #11 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 08:07:13 AM EST
Or did he try to explain why your concern was an over reaction?

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
He had never even considered by muchagecko (4.00 / 1) #42 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 11:54:22 AM EST
that a van should be avoided. He seemed shocked.

He definitely believed me. He never said anything about my concerns being an over reaction -  which was a smart move on his part.

I wonder if he avoids vans now. Probably not. It took years of horror stories to create my level of cautiousness.


A purpose gives you a reason to wake up every morning.
So a purpose is like a box of powdered donut holes?
Exactly
My Name is Earl

[ Parent ]
I agree with all that by Phage (4.00 / 3) #4 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 03:20:10 AM EST
Other than,
"It is that your desire to interact trumps her right to be left alone.
Very USian. There is no 'right' not to be addressed in public. Provided it is respectful and polite, it's part of life.

yeah by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #7 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 07:29:37 AM EST
The cult-of-self and fear/hysteria based culture in the US makes the perception of danger even worse.

"Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no libertarians in financial crises." -Krugman

[ Parent ]
Ahem by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #10 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 08:06:17 AM EST
1 in 6, Snuggles.1

I have already had to deal with this with my eight-year-old daughter.

And having traveled a tiny bit, I agree that there is a lot of fear mongering in US culture. I don't think this post is trying to add to that. It's trying to explain to men why many women don't like it when their signals to back off are ignored, or worse, treated as if the woman who wants to be left alone has some sort of problem. Are you That Guy? I've met you, and no, not likely. Just because you aren't, doesn't mean there aren't plenty of others who are.

and if you don't like me using a familiarity, now you have an idea why I don't like being called "honey."

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
Agreed by Phage (2.00 / 0) #15 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 08:26:27 AM EST
It's the ones who don't back off are the ones who are either terminally dumb or dangerous.
As I said I quite like the article aprt from that oine quote.

Heh Snuggles....How I dream to be called snuggles by random women !

[ Parent ]
The article made sense to me by MillMan (4.00 / 1) #18 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 09:09:03 AM EST
I wrote a more generic comment about it on mefi.

To further what I was saying - the fear/hysteria in the US makes the dynamic even worse, whereas ideally cultures should help make life easier to live. She definitely was not addressing this; I'm trying to think of it in broader terms.

"Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no libertarians in financial crises." -Krugman

[ Parent ]
That is a lovely comment by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #33 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:31:00 AM EST
And thank you for linking to it.

Yo, guys, go read it.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
1 in 6 by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #45 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 12:20:37 PM EST
Most of that 1 in 6 are not strangers.  The cult of fear makes us fear strangers while sometimes blinding us to where the bigger dangers lie.

I am not at all disputing the article's call for how men should treat women.  Far from it...men should certainly read that and understand.  But I think it is very important to remember that for every Garrido, snatching someone of the street, there are numerous men like Johnny's daughter encountered.

Now it may be because women have their defenses up with strangers that the world is the way it is...
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
The guard has to do with more than this by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #50 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 12:48:19 PM EST
Yes, the world is in a sorry shape because of women's legitimate fears. Right. You trolling UC? Because you're earning yourself a Bingo square.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
Uh...how... by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #52 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 01:00:58 PM EST
It is true that most rapists are not strangers.

I am not saying it is wrong to be cautious with strangers.  I am saying that women are much more likely to get themselves into trouble with people they know, probably because they feel less threatened and are thus less cautious.
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
This: by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #53 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 01:07:21 PM EST
Now it may be because women have their defenses up with strangers that the world is the way it is.

Unless there was sarcasm I missed?

It is true that most men who force non-consensual sex are known to the women. For many, but not all, women, once that happens their guard is up. The article is trying to explain to men what it is, what happens in many women's heads and the behaviors/perceptions that creates. We're quite aware that it would be nice if it weren't that way.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
um by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #55 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 01:12:49 PM EST
I think you are reading blame in there that wasn't intended.

All I meant by "that the world is the way it is" was "that most rapes are not stranger rapes".  No blame of anybody was intended, nor was there any desire to suggest that women are acting "wrong", anti-social, or doing anything other than what is in their self-interest.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
as i read it by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #56 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 01:15:11 PM EST
you are saying "the reason that comparatively few rapes are stranger rapes is that women have their guard up with strangers".
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
That was the intent (nt) by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #57 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 01:16:52 PM EST

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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Sure by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #8 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 07:32:51 AM EST
As long as similarly polite signals to back off are respected.

I have a face that, when I have no expression, can be interpreted as upset/sad/angry. My mouth naturally turns down at the corners. I'm so sick of random men on the street telling me, "Smile!" What makes them think they can give me a command like that? Would they say it to another man? Maybe they think they're being friendly and flirtations, but to me it sounds like they think they get to determine my facial expression for me. How rude.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
Indeed by Phage (2.00 / 0) #13 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 08:23:11 AM EST
But is it a command, or a short way of trying to tell you to cheer up ?
Ahhhh I smell a perception flamewar....

[ Parent ]
okay, but by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #24 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:05:01 AM EST
Why am I supposed to obey the command cheer up? Would you say that to a man?

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
for what it's worth by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #27 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:10:26 AM EST
i have said that to men who looked particularly down, without realizing that it could trigger the kind of reaction that you and yicky are talking about.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
Yup by Phage (2.00 / 0) #47 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 12:36:36 PM EST
Of course.
Perception again.

[ Parent ]
Also.. by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #32 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:27:49 AM EST
It's an intrusion, regardless of gender, IMO.

I might look that way because I'd just been diagnosed with Cancer. My mother might have just died. I may have had to put my cat to sleep.  If someone said, "Cheer up," or "Smile" at that point, I would want to do them serious bodily harm.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by yicky yacky (4.00 / 1) #17 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 09:01:10 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by yicky yacky



[ Parent ]
depends on who and how by R343L (2.00 / 0) #30 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:19:54 AM EST
Fatherly/grandfatherly man sweeping his stairs says "Smile!" I'm not going to take it wrong. Twenty-something male seemingly with nothing better to do? Ick.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
no pass for grandfatherly types by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #35 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:35:15 AM EST
They still don't have any right to tell me how to look, and they're more entrenched in their privilege in thinking that they do.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
well by R343L (2.00 / 0) #64 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 01:42:18 PM EST
I can't get angry or all that annoyed at someone I think is genuinely being friendly. I might think they are wrong still, but I often think people are wrong. And the genuinely friendly "command" of that type doesn't creep me out (i.e. I don't worry they are going to do something).

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
The power of nightmares. by Tonatiuh (2.00 / 0) #14 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 08:24:57 AM EST
So women should consider every male stranger a potential rapist.

Fine, it is a shame that most rapists are not strange to women victims: http://www.rainn.org/statistics  (in 73% of cases, according to the same statistics I suppose the writer is using).

And 1 in 33 men will suffer sexual assault during their lifetimes, so we blokes should also see other blokes as potential rapists, although clearly our risk is much lower (but the risk is there nevertheless).

Finally I will quote what that same website says:

"The majority of those who commit sexual assaults are men.  Even so, it is important to remember that the vast majority of men are not rapists. "

If that is the kind of society that women want to live in, where the way of life is suspicion and negative stereotyping (I thought we wanted to move from that, women got their fair share of that kind of treatment in the past) fine, but once we get started in that direction something fundamentally good about living in a society would be irretrievably lost: the capacity to believe that people are good in general (as actually proven by the statistics).

I don't think that says what you think it does. by aphrael (4.00 / 4) #20 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 09:16:22 AM EST

So women should consider every male stranger a potential rapist.

I don't read this poster, or any of the other posters I've read on the subject, as making this sort of normative claim. They're making a descriptive claim

It's not that women should consider every male stranger as a potential rapist; it's that a lot of women do, and are asking men to not behave in ways that trigger that response.

but once we get started in that direction something fundamentally good about living in a society would be irretrievably lost: the capacity to believe that people are good in general

Aye. I believe that the point is that for women, this has already been lost, at least as applies to strangers ... and that much of the responsibility for that can be laid at the feet of the men who rape 1 in 6 women and who otherwise behave in ways that give women the willies.

I have a hard time with this sometimes; I like to be friendly, I think we all benefit from living in a society in which everyone is friendly to one another, even strangers on the street, and I'm not always sure I get the signals right. But, damnit, neither do I want to be part of the problem, and that means I need to listen when people tell me what behaviors are part of the problem.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
In Italy... by Tonatiuh (2.00 / 0) #97 Fri Oct 16, 2009 at 08:11:49 AM EST
... I have been patted in the back by women in a friendly manner.

In Malaysia I was approached by both Muslim and Chinese girls, and no, they were not disreputable as far as I could tell.

My point is that such articles (apparently  an US phenomenon) are feeding irrational paranoia.

Or Maybe that is the kind of society the US has become, as an external observer it all looks to me utterly puzzling.

[ Parent ]
She does go on about stranger rape a bit much by R343L (4.00 / 1) #21 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 09:22:48 AM EST
But to me, the fear of it is also an example of how some men think they have a right to a woman's attentions -- even a woman they just started talking to and who is clearly uncomfortable. When you translate that to interactions with a man a woman knows already, she's fearing he's going to think he can go further than she wants. And there lies sexual assault of many flavors. If complete strangers sometimes think they have a right to something from you, how much more will an acquaintance (or god forbid a friend) think he has? As you note, most sexual assaults are committed by people who know the person being assaulted.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
friendship is an awkward case by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #22 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 09:44:42 AM EST
as the nature of friendship is such that people, through repeated interactions, develop an expectation of what will happen in future interactions, and often maintain the friendship in part because of those expectations.

this can break down in one of two ways: either one party doesn't want to continue behaving in ways the other party has come to expect - something that party has the right to do, and which the other party has the duty to respect, but which could understandably lead the other party to feel surprised or hurt.

or one party could have expectations which the other party views as being wildly irrational and bizarre.

the way i read much of what i've read on the subject is that it is very common in male-female friendships for men to have wildly wrong expectations driven by their desires rather than an honest assessment of the desire/feeling of their female friends.

which is hard for me to analyze from personal experience because, not being attracted to women, it would never occur to me ...
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
you've hit lots of squares on the Bingo cards by iGrrrl (4.00 / 2) #29 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:19:11 AM EST
If that is the kind of society that women want to live in

I am restraining myself from being very, very angry with you.

Do we want to live in it? No. Do our experiences tell us that we need to have a level of personal caution that men simply do not even consider? Yes.

Post like this shouldn't have to be written. Go read the second link I posted, too.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
Point taken. by Tonatiuh (2.00 / 0) #98 Fri Oct 16, 2009 at 08:34:09 AM EST
My gut is telling me there is something wrong about such perception of men, and of the world in general, but perhaps I can't articulate it coherently.

[ Parent ]
I think I know (or don't) what bothers me by Tonatiuh (2.00 / 0) #99 Fri Oct 16, 2009 at 09:33:04 AM EST
According to the second article, one will get all defensive when hearing her arguments, which pretty much kills any possible rational debate, because I can't think of any criticism against her thesis that could not be construed as "becoming defensive", which probes her point regardless of which logic arguments one wants to make.

I find this comment by somebody in the replies illuminating:

"The problem is that most of us find it easier to focus on the privileges we don't have than those we do have. So if we're female we forget our white privilege, and if we're African-American we forget our male privilege, and if we're a female African-American we forget out heterosexual privilege, and if we're a blind, deaf, mentally ill, African-American lesbian in prison we forget our first world privilege."

US society is very peculiar on this regard, the mentality of majority vs minority, the unavoidable pigeonholing (being 1/2 this, 1/4 that and the other 14 something else) the mentality of victimhood, rightly or wrongly, inspires many debates in US politics.

I am not saying that is not the way in which the topic should be approached in the US, simply saying that the approach is completely alien to me. I still feel personally aggravated when some official paper asks me my race for example, simply because I have no answer to such a question.

To add to my confusion, in other countries women (which are not disreputable) approach men and even grope them (I personally have been recipient of this attention in Italy and Spain, and believe me, I am not good looking and rarely flirt with strangers). Even in Malaysia a couple of Muslim women, in full Malaysian Islamic dress, approached me, I was told this wasn't uncommon.

So allow me to be confused please, I can put that down only to unbridgeable cultural differences ( I have always advocated feminist and gay causes, and no, I am not gay, I have been beaten a couple of times for standing to bullies making life difficult for a woman and a gay chap, but still the articles you posted are rubbing me the wrong way, and I still think I have not explained coherently why :- )

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by yicky yacky (4.00 / 4) #103 Fri Oct 16, 2009 at 11:46:07 AM EST

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[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by yicky yacky (4.00 / 1) #106 Fri Oct 16, 2009 at 12:12:56 PM EST

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[ Parent ]
interesting by MillMan (4.00 / 1) #108 Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 01:50:01 PM EST
We realize that you're exercising your right to assert yourself and make plain your views, but by doing this you yourselves risk sending up a red flag that has absolutely no need to exist in the first place. Men of a certain post-enlightenment viewpoint will read that kind of sentence and think, "I know you; I recognize your kind", not because they think you're some bitch-dyke-andromedan (those will be the men of a non-post-enlightenment viewpoint) but because that use of that kind of language has been almost solely the preserve of tyrants for at least a couple of millenia, probably more, and we have a tendency to view it as such, independently of the sex / gender of the source.

What you are seeing in some of the comments are women who are reflecting the narratives they grew up with. It's not a coincidence that you used the word tyrant. If you grew up in a household where the male parent exerts absolute physical and emotional control, you will know nothing else. You don't go from being sexually/physically/emotionally abused for years to a young feminist with a nuanced view of gender relations with knowledge of how to negotiate power and sexual dynamics that maximizes everyone's happiness (and in this epoch I don't think the people who I consider the most mentally healthy and intelligent are coming very close to some theoretical limit of human potential in that department - we have stunning levels of damage to our culture stemming from past christian ideals). Once you reach an adult level of self awareness, you have two choices as starting points: agree with what you were taught (women should be dominated by men) or invert it: men need to do what we say. From there, it takes years to move to a new paradigm or a more nuanced view of the current one.

That's only the most extreme case, of course. You often see the same thing with kids who grow up in fundamentalist houses - if they ultimately reject religion, the next step is usually fundamentalist atheism.

I went through something similar with religion - waffling for a number of years on "does god exist or not," eventually deciding no. Some years after that, my thoughts on spirituality have little to do with christianity. I'm thinking in different terms. And I'm far from an extreme case - I did not grow up in a fundamentalist household where nothing can be questioned upon penalty of violence.

The same pattern emerges in the comments of the stories of abuse and inappropriate behavior from women at the hands of men. Those who face/faced it constantly over a period of many years were often abused as children (and of course all women face it to varying degrees). Weak men who prey on women for their sexual and control needs usually know how to find abused women who are more likely to not resist as it shows clearly in body language. So many of the stories in the comment section by women being mistreated as adults featured women who, during mistreatment of some sort, were clearly going to back to what they were taught as children - "well, this is all my fault somehow," or something similar, while the men are saying good god, why didn't you scream / tell him to fuck off / etc (at least for situations in which physical control by the male wasn't possible). We're well into the there-is-no-god territory.

I've known abused women who have escaped that world and women who haven't. It depends on how well they can self-reflect on their behavior and how mentally strong they are. I had a girlfriend in college who was not sexually abused but whose life was fully and absolutely controlled by men having grown up as a Jehova's witness. When we'd go dancing (we were 21 at the time) and I'd leave her to go to the bar or use the toilet, I'd often come back to her being chatted up by the creepiest fucking men in the whole club. 11 years later, she's the sort of woman men find intimidating, and the creepy men stay away. She's one of the better adjusted people I know regardless of background. Not everyone is as lucky.

"Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no libertarians in financial crises." -Krugman

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #109 Sun Oct 18, 2009 at 06:57:58 AM EST

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[ Parent ]
unknowable minds by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #110 Sun Oct 18, 2009 at 08:22:33 AM EST
The truth of the matter is that I don't fucking know and you don't fucking know.

I think this belief is good for this society as a whole given our level of maturity - which is adolescent, in my opinion. Believing that all other minds are fully knowable leads to "men explaining shit again" as you put it.

To me, that theory of mind is very poor, as is its opposite (that all other minds are completely unknowable) - I believe we can all model other minds to varying degrees of success. To be sure the gap between men and women is sizable given physiological differences and how that further feeds back given different experiences in the environment - but the idea that women's minds and experiences are fully opaque to men strikes me not only as a fundamentalist view but anti-social as well.

I agreed with the ideas given in the "schrodinger's rapist" story - and it's not just agreement, they actually make sense to me. They didn't always, though - in my younger years I wouldn't have agreed with all of them, mostly out of immature selfishness.

Accounts by trans-people can be pretty revealing, I think, when they go over their mental states and perceptions of the world as men and women. I've read some good accounts but I have no links on me.

More generally I think there are cultural myths at work behind the idea that other minds are completely unknowable - one, that we are all "perfectly unique," and two, that the mind is unknowable because it is in part a non-physical process. In my opinion both ideas have been rendered obsolete by neuroscience.

"Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no libertarians in financial crises." -Krugman

[ Parent ]
Fair enough by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #104 Fri Oct 16, 2009 at 11:48:25 AM EST
I can accept that this may be primarily a US way of looking at it, but the groping examples that you cite absolutely do not apply to US culture. I'm glad you took the time to write something thoughtful. Here's my response.

The automatic defensiveness comes in part from the challenge to male privilege. How is it a challenge? Because a woman is saying something you don't agree with, even though you have no personal experience with the thing she's talking about. From the second article:

Women -- in person and on the internet -- hear, day in and day out, implicitly and explicitly, that their experiences don't count. That they need a man to come along and Explain Things....

But to a woman's ears, that sounds a whole lot like "Let me come along and tell this woman (who cannot possibly be as smart as a man) about all the things that she thinks she knows. Because she can't possibly know them. She hasn't had them explained to her by a man. It is my duty to come do her this service." Whether or not that's what you mean, that is what women hear....

In the case of clear-cut facts, there is an objective truth: you can reasonably expect to find the "right" answer. When it comes to personal perception of the world around you, there is no right answer. There's my right answer, and there's your right answer. Resist the urge to explain to women how "the world works". No, really. Women know how their world works.

Note that it is their world, not your world.

I have no idea what your world is like. You've alluded to issues coming up with respect to your work situations and the perception of you because you're Mexican. I have no right to try to explain to you what your experiences must really mean from my white, WASP perspective. I have no clue. All I'm trying to do here is demonstrate where a clue can be found with respect to these issues for women, at least from a US/Can/(some)Euro perspective.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
You've missed the point by motty (4.00 / 2) #107 Fri Oct 16, 2009 at 01:30:51 PM EST
The point is this:

The vast overwhelming majority of women have either been victims of rape, attempted rape, sexual assault or attempted sexual assault. All women know this. Until very recently, hardly any men had a clue about it.

That sort of changes everything. It explains a great deal about women. It also explains why there are those who find it hard to worry about what might or might not bother you when the subject is discussed. At this point it's not about you and what bothers you.

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T

[ Parent ]
It is not balanced by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #59 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 01:19:29 PM EST
As a 6'3" man, I know I can go many places with very little fear violence.  There are purely physical realities of size and strength that cannot be ignored.
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
I do the same as a 5'5" man. by garlic (4.00 / 1) #81 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 05:08:42 PM EST


[ Parent ]
I struggle with this by aphrael (4.00 / 2) #23 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 09:54:33 AM EST
You're not going to viscerally get it when it's explained to you. You can start to understand, but it will never be your world the way it is for a woman.

Right.

I wouldn't even say that I understand. I acknowledge; I've been hearing a consistent message for years, and that message must be true. But it seems so strange to me ... and my response is generally one of disbelief: not disbelief in what women are saying, but just absolute incredulity that men would act like that, so frequently, in so many different contexts. It's so alien and strange to me; I can't wrap my head around it.

I want to believe in the goodness of people and have faith in them. But many people seem to go out of their way to make that hard.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

^ this ^ by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #36 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:36:33 AM EST


[ Parent ]
at least you try to wrap your head around it by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #37 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:37:10 AM EST
And thank you for that.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
thank you for the cookie by aphrael (4.00 / 2) #40 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 11:01:12 AM EST
but ... the fact that your experience causes it to be reasonable to thank someone for the basic human courtesy of listening to what people say about their own experience, believing it, and trying to come to terms with it ... in and of itself, that speaks eloquently about how broken our society is.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
I put my hands up by jump the ladder (2.00 / 0) #38 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:44:00 AM EST
i'm pretty crap at this whole seeing things from a woman's perspective. But at least i know I'm crap at long last.

Did you try by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #39 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:50:32 AM EST
The second link up there? It's useful. IIRC, it was written in response to the Open Source Boob Project.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
Try this one, too by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #87 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 08:39:44 PM EST
http://fugitivus.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/another-post-about-rape-3/

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
I think it explains by jump the ladder (4.00 / 2) #95 Fri Oct 16, 2009 at 05:31:51 AM EST
Some of the "mind games" of the dating situation. i used to get resentful as I thought i didn't deserve this treatment and I was being used and admittedly felt a sense of entitlement.

Now i know that a) I know it's not personal and b) know when I'm stepping over the mark.

[ Parent ]
Unintended consequence by ana (4.00 / 3) #41 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 11:36:38 AM EST
Thing the first: This kind of thing needs to be said, often.

It seems hardly worth, or perhaps more that I have no right, to add anything to this.

However, I will continue. You know me, very well. And you know, I presume, that I've read with interest, and tried very hard to comprehend, this kind of discourse throughout my adult life. The attempt at comprehension was an attempt to find a place within this narrative where I can survive. I have zero interest in threatening anybody in any way. Zero. I also have certain innate desires.

I was, for many years, utterly unable to find any intersection. The "How not to be That Guy" kinds of discourses have pretty specific, but not nearly specific enough, rules about how to behave. It is a situation in which our friends the Rabbis build fences around the Law, so as to be absolutely certain of avoiding transgression, whether inadvertent or not.

And so I repressed my sexuality for decades. And came, ultimately, to a realization about myself which is not germaine to this discussion but allowed some room to live in.

The consequence is, I am sure, unintended. But it is very very real, and pretty horrible.
But it is nothing like being raped, and so it should probably not be brought up in this context.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

intersectionality by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #44 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 12:15:35 PM EST
These issues intersect a lot. I have the privilege of being white, and the oppression of being female and queer, and the privilege of not looking queer. I am advantaged by upbringing and education, yet men with similar backgrounds discount my input. I like ogling women, but I want you to look at my face and not my chest when we talk, etc., etc.

But, in a world where date rape T-shirts are considered funny, all of this needs to be said. I'm all for room to live...

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
It does need saying. by ana (4.00 / 3) #48 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 12:39:33 PM EST
And I am, as you point out, an inheritor of certain kinds of privilege.

The intersection i was unable to find, despite diligent searching lasting decades, was between male sexuality and being nonthreatening. There's surprisingly little advice on the subject that's at all useful.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
I was talking with my SO about this last night.. by infinitera (4.00 / 2) #58 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 01:16:53 PM EST
It really bothers me when people say "Oh, feminism is done/not needed anymore".

It's heard so often. And yet all that's been won is the right for women to be nominally men in a fucked up patriarchal culture. No recognition of non-market work has been achieved (e.g. childcare). No cultural revolution doing away with gender roles has occurred, and no paradigm for new relations has been created (MillMan touched on this in his MeFi post). So we're all free to be fucked up, and to try to forge better things within this broken shell.

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

[ Parent ]
I know you've found your answers. by ambrosen (4.00 / 3) #74 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:24:52 PM EST
But the two articles by Hugo Schwyzer (a man not without his critics) referenced by R343L below are great (and ones I either know well or read keenly):

Lust and humanity, desire and dignity and
[...] Enthusiastic Consent and the Stoplight Problem (I find the title of the 2nd one a bit difficult).

[ Parent ]
yeah, those are good thoughts by infinitera (4.00 / 1) #77 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:41:02 PM EST
It is sad how many people (both men and women) deem them extraneous.

Men because it challenges their self-image (that is, "I don't have to think about that or talk to others about it, I'm good people")

Women because it challenges their solidarity with others of the same self-image (that is, the fear and lack of power is something only women could understand, "Why are you talking to men about this??")

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

[ Parent ]
Huh by Phage (2.00 / 0) #49 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 12:46:26 PM EST
This is offensive.
"because it's been drilled into their heads over and over again."
Perception is everything but that is prejudice.

Huh? by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #51 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 12:52:21 PM EST
Do you mean this from the second link?
Women have, for the most part, come to accept that, oh, anywhere from fifty to ninety percent (based on the situation and circumstance) of their male acquaintances will at least pay lip service to the concept that "no means no", because it's been drilled into their heads over and over again. But there's a huge number of men whose actions behave as though "no" means "maybe", and they will keep turning up the pressure, and women have no idea which category you fall into when you're a stranger to them -- and because they don't, they must assume the most paranoid reading.
Do explain where you take offense, please.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
I'd like to but by Phage (4.00 / 1) #54 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 01:08:47 PM EST
I'm very aware that I run a real risk of being labelled badly. It's not a fight/stand that I care to make. It's not one that I can win or lose as it's all based on perception.
Ultimately it will end badly, all downside. Why would I want to take that path ? I don't want to lose your regard/piss you off because I already know that the anger in that article is not to be reasoned with.


[ Parent ]
fair enough by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #61 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 01:30:17 PM EST
But you're not talking to the article. You're talking to me. If you are offended by having someone you don't know provisionally label you as a potential threat, yes, it could easily be offensive if you discount the validity of the experience that led to the labeling. You're also witnessing the generalized reaction to being labeled as "available for sex/groping unless proven otherwise and then she'll change her mind if I'm persistent enough," which is also offensive. (And it happens often enough that women can get very annoyed when "reasoned with" and told that it isn't always like that.)

I also find it interesting to dissect the power dynamic here. Women often don't speak up about issues like this for fear of losing regard or pissing someone off, and because they don't have any expectation of actually being heard.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
I'm mildly offended, but only mildly by notafurry (4.00 / 1) #67 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 01:52:47 PM EST
See, I don't pay lip service to "no means no". And I don't follow it because it's been drilled into my head over and over ahead.

And just as you object to the characterizations of women, regardless of where the come from, I don't think it's reasonable to make characterizations of men, either.

Yeah, the overall points of the articles are good and positive, but just as a woman who's a homemaker with a fondness for wearing lacy dresses is not necessarily weak or dependent on her husband, not all men are would-be raping bastards who can occasionally be taught better if you use a big enough hammer.

[ Parent ]
another problem.. by infinitera (4.00 / 1) #69 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:05:57 PM EST
Well-trained bastards are still bastards you can't trust - doesn't change the nature of the problem only provides some risk mitigation.

Addressing the problem means promoting a different sort of male self-identity, which is a somewhat larger undertaking.

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

[ Parent ]
The question is by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #76 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:36:02 PM EST
how is someone you meet on the street who doesn't know you from Adam supposed to be able to tell that?

The safe thing to do is to assume that you're a would-be raping bastard until proven otherwise.

Now ... there's a social cost to that, certainly. And it would be very easy to get angry at the people who are doing what they need to do to be safe, to blame the cost on them ... but they're not creating the situation, they're reacting in an entirely understandable way based on their experiences.

I showed this thread to a coworker; she responded by telling me about how, when she was in 4th grade, some kid in the 9th grade whose mother was her mother's best friend attempted to molest her. Her mother's response was to tell her, hey, always be careful, with everyone ... because that's the only way to be safe.

It sucks that for many women, that's the only way they feel they are safe. It's absolutely fucking terrible. But the blame doesn't lie with the women who respond by assuming the worst about strange men until proven otherwise; the blame lies with the assholes that abuse women and create the experiences which give birth to the fear.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
as an aside, on the _safe_ thing question by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #78 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:41:33 PM EST
for similar reasons - and with much less personal experience to back it up - I find the safe thing to do when encountering random straight strange men is to assume that they might be gay-bashing homophobic assholes unless proven otherwise.

it sucks. it sucks for them to be prejudged, it sucks for me to feel that I have to prejudge them, it eats a way a bit at my soul everytime it happens ... and I can't help the immediate reaction.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
I don't think that the blame for the environment by notafurry (4.00 / 2) #79 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:54:56 PM EST
lies with the women. I think that by using the perspective of "all men are rapists, and even the ones that aren't would be if they hadn't had it beaten into them somehow" they're taking a position which does not help improve the situation, as it does damage to their position with the good men out there and gives the bad ones an excuse to ignore the message.

It is possible to act as though all men are threats without believing that all men are threats. The first is a reasonable safety measure. The second is bigotry.

[ Parent ]
i think aphrael agreed with you in his self-reply by infinitera (2.00 / 0) #80 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 03:16:48 PM EST
en tea

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

[ Parent ]
Indeed by Phage (2.00 / 0) #94 Fri Oct 16, 2009 at 03:20:53 AM EST
The article states that even those men who do not exhibit those behaviours, only do so because the pay 'lipservice becuase it's been hammered into them'.
Ergo, all men are rapists. We've just socialised some of them through a big hammer.

There's no arguing with such a position. It's prefjudice.

[ Parent ]
There's not a position to argue by iGrrrl (4.00 / 2) #102 Fri Oct 16, 2009 at 11:37:16 AM EST
The point is over here somewhere.

The whole "Schroedinger's" question is not predicated on the idea that women actively assume a man will not respect their personal boundaries. You are quite correct that would be prejudicial assumption. And I think the author goes farther than I certainly would. As I said above, you're talking to me (at least, I think this is my HuSi diary...), and not to the article.

The whole reason I had for posting this goes to a different point than the one you've taken, the one that is reflected in the original post's title. We don't know, so we pay closer attention to signals (like respecting personal boundaries) so that we can tell. We spend much more mental energy on personal and interpersonal safety than men do, because we have to. As jump the ladder noted, it explained some of the behaviors he'd seen in women he dated. It should explain the outrage over the Open Source Boob Project.

I wanted to put something out there that might impart a clue of what it can be like to be a woman with respect to these issues, how many of us think with respect to our personal safety, so men will stop dismissing our concerns.

I am 46 years old, Phage. I came of age while the transition was happening that women could even be in the work force as anything other than secretaries, teachers and nurses. No did not mean no, because it was always a woman's fault that she'd got herself in the position of sex even becoming an option. (Alone in his apartment, etc., accepting Madeira.) I think you're a bit younger than me, so yes, the message has changed from, "Hey, she wouldn't be there if she didn't want it, no matter what she says for form's sake." to "No means no." And it had to be said loudly and repeatedly. Still, though, while the latter is the verbal message. the cultural message is still the former. Hence, the existence of certain T shirts.

My assumption of whether a guy is a threat (which includes "taking advantage" of a situation, like me being drunk, which is nonconsentual sex, and thus rape) isn't automatic based on the fact that he's XY. I don't assume the worst. But when I'm in a situation where it matters, my "radar" is very attuned, even now when I'm arguably past my "sell by" date and very married.

The point is not for this to be argued so that you can tell women that their life experiences are somehow "wrong." Arguing that with a woman is a pretty strong expression of male privilege. The point is for you to see what experiences and opinions underlie women's behavior with respect to these issues.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
Indeed by Phage (2.00 / 0) #111 Sun Oct 18, 2009 at 05:17:19 PM EST
You created a new point by using the same prejudice as you decry. No sane person would argue with the thrust of the article, what I can't understand why you feel it's OK to apply prejudice in a post condeming it.

The T-shirts are abominable. No-ones arguing.
you can tell women that their life experiences are somehow "wrong."
I have made no such statement. Why do you think that I would ?

The point is for you to see what experiences and opinions underlie women's behavior with respect to these issues.
I don't need you to point this out. I completely agree, and see this in my wife and kids daily. The facts are self-evident. Why do you feel the need to educate me ? Just in case ?

The article and your statements have the underlying assumption that men need to be educated in general. I disagree. Your assumptions as to my age, my sensitivity to issues, my intellectal capacity, and goodness knows what else are illuminating.

[ Parent ]
I'm very confused by infinitera (2.00 / 0) #112 Sun Oct 18, 2009 at 08:11:20 PM EST
As I think I'm reading a completely different thread from you and can't figure out what you're actually responding to. It's just not there.

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

[ Parent ]
The items in italics are quotes [nt] by Phage (2.00 / 0) #113 Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 02:39:53 AM EST


[ Parent ]
yes, but your response is not to them [nt] by infinitera (2.00 / 0) #114 Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 04:30:34 AM EST

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

[ Parent ]
Pardon ? by Phage (2.00 / 0) #115 Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 06:49:00 AM EST
There are 4 paragraphs, three of which contain and refer to quotations from the previous post. How is that not responding to the points raised ?

This is down to a matter of perception.
I agree with the article but find that it goes too far.

"It is possible to act as though all men are threats without believing that all men are threats. The first is a reasonable safety measure. The second is bigotry."

My response to comment 102 was pointing out that the OP was usding the same prejudice and assumptions as the article, even while protesting that she did not. Assumptions as to my age, my behaviours and my need to be educated.

Comment 105 gets down to it.
If you argue with me - you are, by default, a bigot and possible sex offender.
I am entitled to indulge in prejudice becuase that's what I suffer everyday.

As I said originally, this is perception. In the OP anger as well. When that rage, fear and hurt is presented to me as my comeuppance for years of patriarchy, I can only be sympathetic. However, my sympathy only goes as far as that.

Goodness knows, I'm hardly a fan of notafurry, but in this instance he and toniatuh have demonstrated how much perceptions are variable and how little people are prepared to accept that when on their hobby-horses.

Accordingly there is no winning this 'discussion' the issue has had it's publicity, and I'm sure that many people now feel better. What else could you ask for ?
As Igrrl posted - change the culture ! And no, this doesn't work on the 'tubes.

[ Parent ]
I don't think that's the point by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #90 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 09:30:44 PM EST
The issue, to my mind, is not to characterize men as would-be raping bastards. Not in the slightest. It's for men to understand that there are enough of same in the culture, that it is not safe, in their experience or opinion, to operate on the assumption that no man is such harbingers of personal violation.

Why? Because of this.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
typo by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #91 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 09:32:08 PM EST
...not safe for women, in their experience or opinion...

grr. sorry

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
See comment #79 by notafurry (4.00 / 1) #100 Fri Oct 16, 2009 at 10:21:52 AM EST
First, let me stress that I'm only mildly offended. It's understandable in many ways, and in these articles it's present only as a minor bias that could be explained by an attempt at dark or sarcastic humor.

However, the bias is there, and it exists not just in these articles but in the attitudes of most feminists and and many women in general.

I don't claim that it would be easy to separate the action from the attitude, but that doesn't change it - to act as though all men are potential rapists is a reasonable safety precaution. To believe it is bigotry, plain and simple.

[ Parent ]
I'm tempted to say, "welcome!" by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #105 Fri Oct 16, 2009 at 12:00:37 PM EST
Why? Because that level of bias, perhaps minor, perhaps in-you-face-womyn-style is something I live with every day on the flip side. I lose perceived IQ points for being female.

The funny thing to me is how what you have written here can easily be read as coming from male privilege. "But I'm going to be offended if you are biased about me. I am the default."

And also, comment 102.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
Key Point by motty (4.00 / 1) #84 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 06:09:04 PM EST
I also find it interesting to dissect the power dynamic here. Women often don't speak up about issues like this for fear of losing regard or pissing someone off, and because they don't have any expectation of actually being heard.

It's great that we are having this discussion. Not just us, but all over the internet. I know this article linked above has been and is being discussed in numerous places, not just here and over on MeFi.

The bald fact of the matter is that the vast overwhelming majority of women have either been victims of rape, attempted rape, sexual assault or attempted sexual assault. All women know this. Until very recently, hardly any men had a clue about it.

What is absolutely vital is that the situation changes. That won't happen until the information gets out, that men know the facts, and that those men who need to - which is most of us, myself included - change their behaviour accordingly.

I'll repeat, because it's the key point. The bald fact of the matter is that the vast overwhelming majority of women have either been victims of rape, attempted rape, sexual assault or attempted sexual assault.

It's hard to accept, for men. We rarely see it and never experience it directly: by and large the women we know don't get harrassed when we are around, just when they are on their own. Harrassers tend to preemptively back off when they see another man there.

But it is still true. It explains a great deal. And it won't change until men are as widely aware of it as women are.

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T

[ Parent ]
Wow by Gedvondur (4.00 / 2) #60 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 01:28:38 PM EST
Well that was somewhat an unexpected subject for today.

I don't disagree with either article.  Women need to be careful. And not rely on "subtle signs" to get men to back off.


I just wish these articles didn't make me ashamed to be a man.  After reading them, I don't even want to talk to a woman.



Gedvondur









"...I almost puked like a pregnant StackyMcRacky." --MillMan
Don't be by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #62 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 01:34:12 PM EST
I found many of my own behaviors in the "That Guy" article. I'm a wicked mansplainer, and I have two X chromosomes! I found a lot of her comments to be generalizable and useful in working to change my own behavior.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
I think that can come from partly fro being a nerd by garlic (2.00 / 0) #82 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 05:12:33 PM EST


[ Parent ]
/waves nerd flag/ by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #92 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:21:17 PM EST
Could be. The point isn't to make you feel bad. The point is to help us all do better.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
I had a moment of understanding. by ambrosen (4.00 / 3) #70 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:11:24 PM EST
As a student, walking back home from my office (3 or 4 blocks) exhausted in the middle of the night and not really paying as much attention to the surroundings as I normally do, so I didn't really notice that I'd come within the 15 metre radius of risk around a woman walking in the same direction ahead of me until she made a change of course (crossing the road, IIRC).

And my first thought was "Doesn't she know I'm not that kind of person?". And when my brain answered that very loudly with "Well, how could she know?", then I kind of got it.

---

I was assaulted in the street in January. It wasn't especially nice. I was in tears for an hour or so after I got home. And then I drank lots of water, maybe had a camomile tea and realised that in fact, the fact that I didn't break stride was enough to stop the assaulter progressing, and I'd had that control over the situation, because a man decides whether he engages in a fight or not. We simply don't have anything to compare it with.

---

I hope those are helpful reactions to share. I know a lot of the ones I had as gut instincts aren't worthy of sharing.

misc. by Kellnerin (4.00 / 2) #86 Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 07:51:09 PM EST
I read the post and got through some portion of the comments. This comment was a good one. I suspect that men who don't think they are threatening believe that because they don't realize what is threatening behavior. Behavior, not intent. We are not mind-readers, we are observers.

There's a nuance about the notion of "Schrödinger's rapist" that gets lost in the We said/They said. It's not that, as a woman, you must treat each man as if he is a rapist. It's that his rapist-status is unknown, but you have a deep interest in the answer that question, so you must constantly evaluate the probability (or put another way, the risk to you) based on context and situation. This continues (or should) even when the man in question is no longer a stranger, until there is no more uncertainty. (I originally wrote, "until the box is definitively opened," but that was the worst metaphor/inadvertent euphemism I have ever written. I think I'll leave it parenthetically because it is so appropriately inappropriate.)

Several comments reference Gavin de Becker's Gift of Fear. Good book, especially in regard to making that risk calculation, and not just in the context of sexual assault.

--
"Plans aren't check lists, they are loose frameworks for what's going to go wrong." -- technician

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