All This Talk of Harassment Is Harassing Me!

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210 Responses

  1. simon says:

    You go girl.

  2. eigenperson says:

    #FTBullies snorted Ken's taint… and then failed to govern themselves accordingly!

  3. Chris C. says:

    For rational people, the only person who can *make* you feel inferior is . . .yourself.

  4. laj says:

    What a dipshit.

  5. DRS says:

    I occasionally visit some of the websites on your sidebar and while some are interesting to me, others are….not. I paid one visit to someone called the Anchoress who discussed this elevator incident and most of her argument (as far as I could tell) consisted of the fact that she's in her late forties and still attracts men who make passes at her. She seemed very proud of this. Some of the male commenters made very nasty comments about the young woman in the elevator and very few responded with the appropriate "hey guys, being a gentleman means don't be a douche" point that I would have thought obvious.

    Have we really forgotten how to be polite to strangers?

    And I hear you re conferences and insurance companies: it's amazing how otherwise legally-adult individuals can go crazy away from home.

  6. Mike K says:

    If it makes you feel any better DRS, I'm one of the few people that are polite most of the time all the way down to (usually) saying please and thank you to employees at restaurants. I'm not sure why I'm that polite since not even my parents are, but then again I'm weird so there ya go.

  7. Sara says:

    I've noticed a trend in these debates, where people end up attacking the critic and not the criticism. It seems like they nothing valid to say on the actual topic under discussion, so the resort to labels and name calling.

    Which is not to say that many people don't use an effective and maddening mix of both attacking the issue and the critic. Because if you add in some scathing personal remark it's always more interesting to your reader.

    I also have a hard time calling myself a feminist or a skeptic or a liberal or a conservative. Although I have a great deal in common with all of those labels, I also have some very distinct differences and I don't want people to generalize me in with the label. So I avoid using it on myself.

  8. Adria says:

    The skeptics brouhaha seems to reflect, at least in part, the Geek Social Fallacies at work.

    Thank the gods you and your compatriots continue to prove that you can find intelligent, reasonable people even on the Internet. (Or even more reassuring for me personally: intelligent, reasonable conservatives. They're scarce on the ground where I live.)

  9. David Leech says:

    Lol, u mad bro. I wouldn't touch this issue with a barge pole as the interwebs tend to explode. Hopefully you are sufficiently off the radar of the science/skeptic/atheist blogs for them to notice this otherwise shit meet fan:-) I tend to don a tin hat and jump in the nearest foxhole ( see you do get atheists in foxholes even if it is just me cowering from the sheer lunacy of it all.)

  10. Mike says:

    People have to use "bullying" and "harassment" because today's society only validates people who are victims.

    If someone comes at me, I'll never cry. I'll fuck the guy up. That makes me an asshole, or dangerous, or mean, or whatever.

    But if someone comes at me and I cry, then I'm deserving of attention and respect. My voice will be heard.

    More people will cry about unfair treatment because crying is the only thing that works.

  11. Graham Martin says:

    You wrote: "…since I quit the Stanford Pro-Choice Alliance after a very solemn discussion of how it was imperative to call people "anti-choice" rather than "pro-life" or "anti-abortion."

    While I agree that such discussions induce in me alternating fits of nausea, face-palming, and dropped-jaw blanks stares, I feel compelled to point out that there is a reason that the GOP spend so much time/money on word-smithing like this. (See, e.g., http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/04/09/1081786/-Messaging-Maxim-2-Rinse-and-Repeat.)

    The fact that so many GOPers can stick to carefully crafted talking points using carefully evaluated phrases such as how the DEATH TAX affects the ability of JOB CREATORS to follow the wishes of the FOUNDING FATHERS and avoid BIG GOVERNMENT so that we can win the WAR ON CHRISTMAS without resorting to CLASS WARFARE.

    9/11!

  12. Kelly says:

    Just my humble opinion, but I think all of this is a part of a bigger problem. Bullying is a major issue, one which has been all but ignored. Treatment of women is also part of it. I just think that we, as a culture, have reached that point of screaming from the rooftops to get someone- anyone- to actually fix the problem. That problem as I see it is simply utter and complete lack of respect for our fellow human beings.

    Also, props to Abby, my girls are the same way and my boys have been known to stick up for their sisters and call the other boys out on their dipshit behavior. Fighting is not the best option and I have made that clear to them…but sadly sometimes it is the only option that works.

  13. Robert White says:

    The Gay Test — How women can make the first cut on whether the man she is dealing with will turn out to be a douche-cannon.

    I often tell women, or the brothers, parents, and friends of women, this simple test to weed out the virtually all of the guys in their lives that will mistreat them pretty much on the first encounter:

    Start talking about your gay friend Bob — even if he doesn't exist — and how it would be great if he were here right now. One or two mentions are sufficient.

    See, over the years I have pondered so-called "homophobia" and the "why would I be afraid of some faggot" response, and it struck me that the "fear" would be that out there somewhere, in the mind of the homophobe, is a man who is ready, willing, and able to see them and treat them exactly the way they see and treat women.

    It doesn't matter what the guy's mistreatment or depreciative view women is. Maybe its "be seen and not heard" or "barefoot and pregnant" or "use onece and discard while offering false validation" or "bury in lime pit after beating to death." you talk about your gay friend Bob and imply that his presence is imminent and a guy who is willing to treat you badly will immediately imagine that Bob will put him in the same position he is trying to put you into.

    I cannot say that every man who doesn't respond badly is a good catch, but any man who does respond badly is a disaster on the hoof waiting, most likely unbeknown to himself even, to wreck your life in the short or long term.

    This isn't really a pro-gay stance. I have met just as many gay ass-hats as any other cross-section of humanity. This is just a litmus test for knowing if the guy right next to you is a douche-canoe.

  14. Chris R. says:

    I find adults whining online about how someone argues with them to be a sign of abject weakness and self control issues. Dealing with people over the internet comes down to words. Words can be fought with other words(weakness), or plainly ignored (self control). Whatever happened to sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me? I know it's not the truest saying ever, but I doubt my feelings of self worth could be injured by someone I didn't know on the internet.

  15. deezerd says:

    Sign me up for Team Abby. :)

    (So Ken – is your daughter a Taekwondo kid, or just a girl with a low tolerance for BS? Either way…)

  16. Grifter says:

    I remember when this brouhaha started. Frankly, it put me off quite a few websites I used to visit, because of the "final" way certain positions were put forth; for a skeptical community, logical discourse on the subject seemed hard to find.

    Part of the problem with it is, anyone who disagrees with the original complainant becomes immediately a "misogynist". Bringing in her behavior as part of the debate (not her behavior that night as much as her behavior towards critics and other bloggers, particularly her very public call-out of a critic) just made it worse.

    That type of logic infuriates me. I believe in the honest disagreement; I don't assume anyone's anything awful that they claim they aren't until I can't think of anything else that would make sense. This: "Well, I'm sure there are a lot of issues at these conventions, but that story really doesn't seem that bad, by her own description of the story he never actually propositioned her, so she seems to be assuming he was inviting her for anonymous sex when he might not have been, which is itself a fairly sexist thing to assume" is not a misogynist statement to anyone that thinks words actually mean the things they mean. You can disagree with the statement, you can think the person's being simplistic, or an idiot, but to call it misogynistic is to be intellectually dishonest, and unfortunately that's what a lot of that side of the debate would do.

    Of course, the worst of the opposite side was full of "hurr hurr bitches jest needs to get sexed and like it", so neither side was white-driven snow. But I have more patience for someone who seems to be a simple troll than I do for someone who's being intellectually dishonest. Maybe that's me, but while I certainly can't justify the idiots defending harassment, I find it easier to dismiss them than the side of the fence that says "any criticism of our position or even just this story means you're a sexist who hates women" with fancy talk. It's part of why I have more patience for that crazy guy who sues everybody than I do for Carreon; Carreon's crazy still holds onto enough logic to know better.

    While I agree that both sides entrench themselves rather deeply into their positions and have their own idiocy, I do seem to recall sthat some positing "anti-harassment" policies had ideas for those policies that were so restrictive, so antithetical to allowing free speech and actual socialization, as to "break the marketplace of ideas". This does not mean everyone who thinks "hey, let's not sexually harrass people" is advocating a speech gestapo by any means, but it is worth bearing in mind. I didn't follow your links, because I know it would be falling into an abyss of awful, so I have no idea if the person you were referencing is addressing that, or just engaging in hyperbole. I'm guessing the latter.

  17. ShelbyC says:

    @Robert White, just to be clear, women should not use the Gay test during sex, correct?

  18. Robert White says:

    On Gay on Straight Sexual Harassment: (true story bro!)

    So this younger guy (here after "Guy", even though I think his name stared with a "D") (23 to my 33 years of age or so) dude once complained that I sexually harassed him at work. The facts of the case:

    For several days Guy was talking about his girlfriend. He went on and on about how sweet she tasted and the ampleness of her endowments and the profusion of the her fluid response to his ministrations. (Yes, he when there. Graphic descriptions of oral sex and anatomically detailed play-by-plays and all.)

    I listened to Guy politely and let him have his guys-will-be-guys credit for vulgarity while quietly hinting and breaking off conversations and such. The company had a lot of ex military guys in its management. Neither Giy nor I were ex-military. I didn't even think of trying to complain about sexual harassment because (a) that just isn't done in that atmosphere and (b) the kid had -some- possibilities if proper guidance could be offered.

    Guy also often came to me for life advice. (People to that to me with startling regularity. I end up in conversations with total strangers about the severity of their heroin habits and how they were beaten or molested by their guardians etc. But I digress…)

    So finally, and in front of several people, Guy waxes in his eloquence over his girlfriend's traits and responses. Comes to a sudden stop. Looks over at me and asks "so ho do you get to be gay?"

    I instantly realize that these last few days were him "building up his straight cred" to ask this question.

    I am also a little pissed off but I am, overwhelmingly, a smart ass.

    I look him placidly and factually in the eye, and with great seriousness say "There's a test." His eye's goggle and I continue, "The written is really easy, but the orals are a bitch".

    The next day I got called into my bosses office about an anonymous complaint of sexual harassment.

    I was forced to re-tell the entire incident including the days-long lead in harassment.

    But the joke was funny.

    People just don't get when they are contributing, and the "initial condition hypothesis" has been disproved, so I just assume all stories told start too late in the scenario to tell the truth. This goes from sexual harassment to many incidences of police response. By the time the camera is rolling the context has gone by unrecorded. This is as true in the mind as it is in the box. The simple truth of most situations is lost.

    So people confabulate in the scenarios of their own life as precursor to the events reported. This means they conclusions drawn on all sides are simply crap.

    Most people re-tell the stories of their life with no context, and most audiences hear a story while crammed full of bias and previous misuse. So now accusation becomes guilt automatically in that people just believe that "someone is guilty of something somewhere and that person must be found and punished no matter what the cost."

    A second story: my bud Blake and I have some conversational shorthand for many things. One he brought to the table was describing dates and potential dates and such with two labels: "like two" for clearly under-age people, and "like twelve" for people who are of legal age but still mentally or emotionally too young to be involved with you (e.g. the subject of the sentence.

    So there we are standing in a bank discussing his 23 year old girlfriend (blake is 27, so there is nothing creepy going on here). He's complaining about her various behaviors and I am saying things like "well of course you don't get along on (topic), she's like twelve, you have nothing in common." then he goes on about how he cannot seem to meet compatible women and as I say "well, that's because of your fixation on twelve-year-olds, I mean they are fine too look at, or hook up with I guess, but you just cannot talk to them."

    This is when I remember that we are on line at a bank. We are in public. People can here this conversation. I look at Blake and change the subject.

    Now anybody overhearing that conversation clearly though the words were literal truth and we were discussing pedophilia. It would be the most obvious conclusion. Where there recordings of this exchange and police present it would have been damning indeed.

    All for the lack of context.

  19. Dawn says:

    Come now, Ken, just admit it. You are secretly very proud of your ass-kicking, take-no-crap little girl's wicked right hook.

  20. Robert White says:

    @ShelbyC — if the woman is trying to determine if the guy "makes the first cut" during sex then there are issues here too deep address with simple litmus.

    On the other hand, any woman who does bring up the idea of how nice it would be if her gay friend Bob were here, loses all rights to complain if boyfriend agrees or later brings up gay friend Wendy or other non-traditional activities.

    Some bells can not be unrung and after that there's no point in getting all upset about any other propositions.

    Just Sayin.

  21. Robert White says:

    @Dawn – did you miss the part where Ken gave his daughter pointers on weight, positioning, and mode-of-strike while telling her how she ought not to punch a guy? 8-)

  22. Jess says:

    Unfortunately I have to say I know what Rebecca Watson is talking about. I attend conventions in my business about 4 times a year. There always some drunk numnuts that try to pull that stunt. I don't bother getting angry about it – there's no point – it won't change them. But, I usually like to make sure to have a good comeback line or two ready. One of my favorite standbys is "really I would love to screw your brains out, but……..it looks like someone else beat me to it". During the 60 seconds or so it takes for them to figure out the meaning of what I just said I'm gone.

  23. Robert White says:

    I don't use "pro-choice" or "pro-life" or "anti-choice"…

    I refer to a particular cross-section of people as "The Reproductive Enslavement Lobby".

    As a person I think that abortion is abhorrent and it diminishes us all by its practice.

    As a person I think abortion must exist in order to prevent the misuse and enslavement of an entire subsection of our population.

    As a person without a uterus I think my opinion is rather less important than that of those with one.

    As a political animal, I think the combination of being "anti-abortion" and anti sexual-education and anti contraception, all while trying to make any conversation of sex dirty and taboo is just totally fuck-headed. This silence and taboo not only increases unwanted pregnancy, but it increases the likelihood of the sexual abuse of children and the decay of society.

    Think about it, if any person of any age felt free to say "but, you know, I just don't -want- to have sex with (priest, teacher, etc)" or "billy is trying that 'but guys will die without sex' and 'i can't feel anything though a condom' crap on me just like he did with Karen and Bob" well then things would get out there and get resolved.

  24. Robert White says:

    Formula for Stopping Unwanted Teen Pregnancy:

    All people aged 12 or older must witness "natural child birth" live at least once, start to finish, no modesty drapes no condensed for film version. The guys -must- stay through the delivery of the placenta.

    Education and Full Disclosure. This is the only way. 8-)

  25. Robert White says:

    When a guy gets all out of sorts, and if you don't feel threatened, the best comeback is:

    "No thanks, I go for men."

    Particularly effective as a gay guy on straight idiot as to "come back" on that they effectively have to try to start selling themselves to me.

    I don't know how well this works for a woman, having never been one, but it is -always- workable if there is an audience, particularly if doofus' wing-men are in the audience.

  26. Katryna says:

    I hesitate to read the comments, because this is one of my hot-button issues. I just want to point out that many of the women who do lose their shit over this do so because they have a past history of being threatened, assaulted, etc. Is it completely right, no (that's why I don't join discussions like this except to point out things that I feel are either very very obvious or non-inflammatory).

    I was sexually assaulted at the age of ten, and though I got over most of it and am living my life mostly normally there are just some conversations that I don't join except in a limited capacity.

    It can feel very very threatening for a woman who has been assaulted to hear something along the lines of "you don't have a right not to be offended" by creepy behavior or hurtful words because it tends to get translated into "you don't have the right to bodily autonomy".

    I tend to err on the side of the victim's right to not have to hear a bunch of entitled crap. I recognize that I'm pretty much the definition of biased about this. I don't even know why I'm posting, you've pretty much said you disagree with this (Ken) and I can respect that you are principled about it even though I disagree pretty strongly despite the fact that you are principled about it.

    Gah. Talking about this is really difficult. I think I'm just going to leave it at that.

  27. Ken says:

    Katryna, when I refer to people "losing their shit," I was thinking of people who flip out because women (or men) talk about harassment or sexism — though I suppose there may be people who flip out in the other direction.

    Also, when I saw that no one has a right not to be offended, it should be clear from context that I am not suggesting that if someone is a jackass, you shouldn't call them out on it. You should.

  28. Dawn says:

    Robert, do you compulsively comment on everything here because you have no social skills, or out of a desire to be the center of attention? Either way, it is really quite off-putting. You are not nearly as clever as you imagine yourself to be.

  29. Ken says:

    Cut it out.

  30. Shay says:

    It's really not practical for women to go around punching men every time a man acts like a dipshit in that manner.

    Sounds like a rule made up by men to protect themselves.

  31. Robert White says:

    @Dawn – I love my words, and desire them to be free to find good homes. When the fall on minds made of barren earth, such as that named for the advent of a blaring sun, I cant bring myself to weep, for seeds that don't flower were not wasted. It's in their nature to go astray.

    That my attention has landed here is no indicator that it will remain.

    The bulk and frequency of same here can largely be blamed on drinking a lot of caffeine.

    Your opinion of them, their frequency or content, is immaterial individually, particularly since you offer no response, nor explain your inability to scroll past them unread, should that be in your nature or the realm of your desire.

    Or in other words, I care not if you are put off, because I see no reason to have put you on in the first instance.

    As yet I don't notice you making a material contribution to what is being said here. So perhaps you find my words galling because you have none of your own.

    /doh. 8-)

  32. Jes says:

    Robert – after all, who else would be able to hold a meaningful conversation with me on linear regression models and their applicability in describing the correlation of asshattery to the Carreons :-)

    On the other hand, I'm not convinced witnessing live childbirth would have much impact on teen pregnancies given that watching movies of the terrible results of car crashes doesn't seem to influence teen driving behavior. At that age they think they're invincible and that bad things only happen to other people.

  33. BebeTaian says:

    GO ABBY! She's a smart one, Ken. Remember to tell her to go for the soft parts first, since the jaw is usually very strong.

    CSB: Being a kid sucked for me. I dealt with crap from people all the time, and adults always wanted to do the "Don't fight! Just tell them how you feeeellll!" bullshit. If someone CARED about how I *felt*, then I wouldn't have the problems I did! Then one day, I think I was 12 or so, some chick kept harassing me in the locker room at Phys Ed. She wouldn't back away from me (and there was less than a foot between us), so I slapped her in the face with a padlock. She threw a huge tantrum over it, playing victim. She then got the clue when no one cared about her plight, as no one cared about mine or anyone elses' she'd messed with. But I tell you- I never saw her mess with anyone again.

    The point is that sometimes telling people that something is wrong or bad doesn't work; a nice happy doctrine, but ultimately toothless, pointless, and to the people it affects, downright insulting. Hitting that girl back with force showed that even if not one single authority took her actions seriously, that *I* would, and she would be wise not to mess with me again. Whether or not it's right is questionable; what I don't doubt is whether or not it WORKED. When you're a kid, no one takes what you do seriously until the magical day when that kid turns 18, and suddenly "they should know better!". But by then it's a bit late to teach values, isn't it?

  34. Robert White says:

    That's why I said it couldn't/shouldn't be a movie.

    Just as watching movies of car crashes is very different than getting live action of blood and brains, or the stench and 3D reality of same is totally different; (I have "been to" at least one or two really intense crashes in my life.) I must imagine (I've never been to a live natural child birth) that sitting through the hours of boring pain, seeing an Episiotomy and watching the "beauty" of shit and piss and blood and stretching that is actual "natural" child birth would tend to put a girl off risking it for a while.

    And guys are just massively freaked out by afterbirth, since they sometimes eat at that restaurant, so to speak.

    One of the things you rarely hear about is the farmers daughter actually getting pregnant before she decides she's ready. Anybody who really has done any animal husbandry knows how it is for animals. But since evolution has developed us the way it is, its much harder for humans to get the crotch-fruit™ out. So even the farmers daughter might want to know that this _isn't_ a one-hour-int-the-barn transaction.

    Especially when she knows that forcing Billy-Bob to put on a condom will mean that he goes for longer than the mandatory eight-second ride, and maybe gets around to making it good for her too. 8-)

  35. Robert White says:

    By the way, what do you mean by "skeptics conventions". I mean I get that you are talking about a convention held by and attended by "skeptics" but, um, not to be clueless…. skeptics of what exactly?

    I mean I am skeptical of rather a lot; most religious theory, numerology, bigfoot, the existence of rational political debate involving more than three people at a time, taxation with -competent- representation, UFO's, the impossiblity of UFO's, or the claim that having decided they are alien craft its reasonable to call them unidentified… Nobody has ever invited me to a convention.

    It draws to mind a sea of people who's every other sentence is "So prove it." you know, "I can't find my wallet." "Prove it." "This pie is pretty good." "I don't believe that for a second."

    It actually sounds kind of fun. You'd have to have it catered by one of those restaurants that prides themselves in rude servers, and I'd never let it happen at -my- hotel (had I one) since like -everybody- would dispute their bills. But it still sounds like at least a good flash mob.

    So what, in this useage, is the "skeptic community"?

    [ASIDE: and if they have pride in the fact that they don't believe in things, you know, as their unifying theme, why would anybody expect them to believe in granting human dignity to others? 8-)]

  36. Gretchen says:

    I've been following this whole thing very closely and occasionally posting about it on my own blog. On Freethought Blogs itself, I would recommend reading Greta Christina's take as she has written quite a few posts on the topic but is also what you might call relentlessly patient– she's content to explain the buttfuckingly obvious to those who don't comprehend it (such as that consent is in fact important, even in a bar, and the fact that a person posted nude in a skeptic's calendar doesn't mean she should be assumed to be "available"), but she does so while not hiding the fact that it should require no such explanation.

    I do dislike the apparently growing assumption that any and all disagreement with those FtB bloggers who have opted to opine on the subject amounts to misogynistic trolling. You can, after all, be both a feminist and wrong. You can be wrong, for that matter, on a feminist issue. Imagine that! Today on Twitter Paula Kirby said “Opposing ‪#FTBullies‬ no more means you approve of misogyny than opposing death penalty means you approve of crime.” Her point was obviously (to me) that disapproving of the proposed solution to a problem does not mean you endorse the problem. And yet this was taken as if Kirby had actually suggested that the FtB “bullies” kill people, and that agreeing with her analogy means agreeing with what she has done and said, including the ridiculous campaign against the “bullies.”

    If you declare yourself a feminist, and declare that people who oppose you are misogynists simply by virtue of the fact that they disagree with you, you’re doing it wrong. This becomes blatantly clear when feminists (or adherents of any ideology) disagree with each other and refuse to play No True Scotsman, but sometimes people don’t make it beyond that point.

  37. Myk says:

    @Robert – again, some great writing! You've reminded me of one of my favourite responses when I was managing bars. Often, for various reasons, I'd need to remove a drunk male customer or two. Frequently they'd resist, and enquire along the lines of "Are you a fag, or sumthing?" to which my response was a calm "Sorry, no. But I can give you some phone numbers if you're interested." Unneccesarily provocative, yes, but oh so funny as their friends all catch the joke.

  38. M. says:

    [q cite="It draws to mind a sea of people who's every other sentence is 'So prove it.' you know, 'I can't find my wallet.' 'Prove it.' "This pie is pretty good.' 'I don't believe that for a second.'">

    @Robert White: Thanks, I think you've found my calling in life.

  39. Robert White says:

    I blame most problems in our world on the fact that we stopped teaching our children Rhetoric and then turned the entire idea of speaking and writing rhetorically into a villain.

    When people lose the ability to express their ideas with clarity, they lose the ability to experience their ideas and discern them from the ideas of others.

    At that point everyone is mentally finishing everyone else's sentences and couching responses to the ideas they -imagine- the opposing party would have said were they in the others place.

    This is the histrionic hate spiral that leads to flame wars in postings.

    If people could just be made to understand that they are reading everything in their own voice instead of the voice of the readers, then they would be able to filter out the self-directed rage and the tone of voice they use to drown out other people's words.

  40. Gretchen says:

    Robert White said: "By the way, what do you mean by "skeptics conventions"

    The specific one that was the catalyst for this recent flare-up is TAM: The Amazing Meeting. This meeting takes place annually in Las Vegas, is hosted by the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), and is the big celebrity draw– Penn and Teller are part of it every year, and other regular attendees include Phil Plait (astronomer), Carol Tavris (psychologist and co-author of Mistakes Were Made But Not By Me, awesome book), the Mythbusters' Adam Savage, Lawrence Krauss (theoretical physicist), the hosts of the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe podcast, Eugenie Scott (Executive Director of the NCSE), and so on. As with most skeptical conferences, the topics are about taking a critical/scientific approach to pseudoscience, the paranormal, supernatural and religious claims, etc.

  41. Ken says:

    I do dislike the apparently growing assumption that any and all disagreement with those FtB bloggers who have opted to opine on the subject amounts to misogynistic trolling. You can, after all, be both a feminist and wrong.

    Of course you can, Gretchen. But there's a difference between saying that certain self-described feminists are wrong, and saying that they are bullying totalitarians.

  42. Jess says:

    crotch-fruit Gawd that is hilarious. I noted you have it TM'd

  43. Gretchen says:

    Absolutely, Ken! However, it's good to keep in mind that each individual on FtB has his or her own particular take on the issue– it's not like collectively they represent feminism as a whole. Yet objections to a blogger's take on things is sometimes treated as an objection to Feminism. I'm just saying that on this one point, Kirby is right– having a problem with FtB's treatment of the matter does not make a person a misogynist. I do not believe that DJ Grothe is a misogynist, for example, in spite of how much anger (including accusations of misogyny) has been hurled his way.

  44. Ken says:

    I don't know whether he is a mysogynist or not. Taken purely from a competence point of view, however, he is terrible at public relations.

  45. Gretchen says:

    I agree with you on that.

  46. Robert White says:

    @M. — This delightfully terrible movie made the point that there is no statement, interrogative, or declaration that can not be properly answered, fully in context, with the question "what difference does it make?" It can be far more utilitarian and vexing than "prove it". So now you have a fall-back calling. 8-)

    @Jess — I can't take credit for "crotch-fruit", I think it's from a comedian on TV and everything, but it is actually common usage in several circles. I use "the ironic trademark" in text the way some people do that finger-quotes-in-the-air thing. The ™ is really easy to compose on my Linux/KDE system keyboard. The original usage was using "That would be a Bad Thing(TM)." in a lot of very technical meetings and official position papers shared amongst engineers and managers at two humongous companies, but it moved on once I discovered the compose key. 8-)

    I am the kind of dick who, on discovering that I had a reputation for blunt disclosures of unpleasant truths, walked up to a VP of AT&T at the start of a meeting and introduced myself as "Rob White, Evil Bastard." and then described myself as "Keeper of the evil 'NO'" when we were doing introductions. 8-)

  47. htom says:

    Ken — congratulations on your daughter's behavior. I'm reminded of a conversation with my mother, who once told me "I taught your sister how and when to kick a guy in the balls and run away; there are times for you to do so, too!" Please get her into a martial arts class where she'll learn how to use leverage to compensate for her (presumably) smaller stature if she ever needs such. I'm a fan of TaijiQuan, but good instructor is more important than the art or style thereof.

  48. Joe says:

    " and then described myself as "Keeper of the evil 'NO'" when we were doing introductions"

    I am so using that in my meetings going forward. Brilliant.

  49. Pete says:

    Robert – I read your comments on my IPad while watching tv in bed with my wife, and I decided to try out your "Gay Test". "Honey, it sure would be great if Lisa were here right now". Turns out my wife has a right hook like Ken's daughter, Abby. You'll be hearing from my attorney.

  50. David Leech says:

    Ken "Of course you can, Gretchen. But there's a difference between saying that certain self-described feminists are wrong, and saying that they are bullying totalitarians."

    Seriously Ken! Have you ever posted on freethoughtblogs? Don't take my word for it try and indulge in some free thought there. If you manage to ignore the advice to anally rape yourself with a porcupine or shove a rusty knife up your anus sideways you are doing well. Though don't try logic or reason as they will 'disappear you' with their magic banhanner and censorship. I would say you couldn't make it up (especially in the science/skeptic/atheist community) but these lot have taken Orwell's 1884 as a blueprint for how discourse should be governed. Again don't take my word for it try (as an experiment) to disagree with the freethoughtblogs collective and then see who are the real bullies.

  51. John David Galt says:

    Guys get it perfectly well. "Sexual harassment" is just guys being guys, and if you have a problem with being "hit on," you are a bullying totalitarian. Either grow up and live with it, or stop expecting the rest of us to pretend you are a rational human being when you're on the rag.

  52. Rob says:

    @david leech,

    oh, so those meanies at FtB censored you, did they? Then how did you manage to get a comment posted here?

    Maybe try reading this part of Ken's post again:

    What I will not to is attempt to portray myself as some sort of victim of bullying and censorship

  53. Aaron W says:

    Disappear you? Have you read any comment threads at FtB? They have an abundance of people that disagree vehemently or are trolls. They may get flamed, but the comments generally stay unless they are outright spam.

  54. Ken says:

    @David:

    Seriously Ken! Have you ever posted on freethoughtblogs?

    Yes. I've posted in a thread in which I disagreed, vigorously, with most of the commenters and the person who posted the thread. Some commenters were obnoxious, but I was not banned. Here I still stand.

  55. l.smith says:

    Whatever happened to Gary Cooper?

  56. Joey Maloney says:

    We cautioned that it's generally not the best policy to punch boys, rotating her upper body and leaning in with her shoulder to get weight into it and leading with the heel of her hand into a vulnerable spot.

    I LOLd.

  57. Robert White says:

    Sounds to me like this "free Thought" movement is having what I call "the Libertarian problem".

    As a movement, I have found, Libertarianism is a thin rich chocolate shell of progressive idealists hiding a meaty, inconsistent nougat of biggoted ass-hats looking for a system of thought that can keep the faggots, darkies, spics and freeloading liberals out of their lives. Both outer shell and inner douchebag (again, talking libertarian here) unable or unwilling to take their propositions all the way to their logical conclusions such as, if every road were a toll road, a box of corn flakes would have been tolled so many times in reaching you that it would cost like $87.50 even as part of larger job lots. Note that this isn't where Libertarianism started, which was a proposition largely indistinct from "communism with a cash bias".

    So the label "free thought" has started to collect the off-gassing from other movements now that it is established. The bulk of people who would hear "free thought" are likely to hear it as an invitation for people who want a forum to say any damn thing that comes to mind and have it be taken as intelligent discourse despite the content.

    "Densa" is a case study in this. Originally founded as a mocking of Mensa, and intended for those wishing to express irony at the close minded definitions of intelligent used by the later organization; the founders had to flee the group when, after a couple of years, they realized that all the irony was gone and they were surrounded by the profoundly ignorant and genuinely stupid. "The organization" is now something of a flash-mob of separate organizations, including a Special Interest Group inside of Mensa itself.

  58. Blaze Miskulin says:

    If people could just be made to understand that they are reading everything in their own voice instead of the voice of the readers, then they would be able to filter out the self-directed rage and the tone of voice they use to drown out other people's words.

    Oh that it would be so.

    I write (and speak) in a forth-right manner without the usual splattering of "in my opinion" and "as I see it" and the ever-present "YMMV".

    I will be in a pleasant mood, smiling, even laughing sometimes, as I write a reply to someone. And… the inevitable response is "Geez! Calm down! Who got your panties in a bunch?"

    People simply don't understand civil discourse and forthright language anymore.

    So… I just ignore it, sit back and laugh at them. :)

  59. Laura K says:

    @Ken: your daughter sounds awesome. I was (internally) Cheering "ABBY ABBY AAABYY!" all the way through the post. That is, once I stopped laughing at the image of convention attendees, women and the 2001 style monolith dance.

    @Robert White, I loved your response to Guy's crudity. I do dispute that watching natural childbirth (even placental) delivery is effective birth control, mostly because kids in other countries see this stuff and either out of cultural duty or general interest still pursue sex and in the US, video games being what they can be, I wonder about desentization toward gore and fluid .
    PS I am NOT a moderator, site owner, site-runner-grand puba etc…but I like your comments

  60. David Leech says:

    @Rob

    I’ve never been censored at FtB blogs why would I as I mostly agree with their feminist stance, It was the free speech issues that made me leave of my own accord. I agree with Ken about the market place of ideas, it was when I saw other people being censored and their posts disappear that was enough for me. If your position is strong enough why not argue it rather than quell dissent.

    What is me managing to post here got to do with anything?

  61. Gretchen says:

    Robert White,

    Actually the owner of Freethought Blogs, Ed Brayton, is himself a libertarian. He's the one who recently gave two bloggers the boot because their behavior in this mess was just too out of bounds. Obviously he doesn't speak for the movement in general, but he's definitely sympathetic to the issue of sexual harassment and one of the Good Guys. Why say "libertarian problem" when what you mean is "asshole problem"? They sure aren't synonymous.

  62. i've been reading this entire commentary with interest. it was mentioned by one commenter waaaaaay up there in the comment thread (sorry, i forgot your name now) that (basically) if someone harassed or bullied you, you'd "mess them up", and that crying is not a good way to respond to bullying. i'd like to point out that not everyone is physically, emotionally or verbally equipped (or willing) to "mess up" someone who is bullying them, and crying happens in response to this sort of abuse and should not be looked down on. case in point: this story.

    reactions/responses to abuse are like opinions: everyone is entitled to have their own.

  63. Jeremy says:

    I didn't know about this fruhaha (fantastic made up word) in the skeptic community. I'm actually fairly ashamed of this fact since I used to keep up with that community pre-facebook (I don't use fb).

    Having visited Rebecca Watson's video, and read your article fully now (only took me an extra day to get back around to it), I wanted to reply to this:

    I don't get it. I'm not saying that self-described feminists — or anyone else talking about sexual harassment — are always right. They're not. Sometimes they're perfectly silly. I'm saying that they are participating in a marketplace of ideas, and that responding to them with "your criticism breaks the marketplace of ideas" or "your criticism is tyrannical" tropes is unserious and embarrassing. I sometimes write things that some people think are sexist or offensive. I own them. If someone calls me out on them, I will apologize if I think it is appropriate, or refute the accusation if appropriate, or shrug and move on, possibly with a lol u mad bro. What I will not to is attempt to portray myself as some sort of victim of bullying and censorship — as if someone had sued me, or tried to get me arrested, or physically attacked me. People hissed at me for non-liberal views in college, people sure as hell hissed at me in law school, and here I still stand, not a victim.

    Well, some of us are single. Some of us are single and looking and that means we mostly feel entirely lost as to how to look. This developed world we live in (particularly in the U.S.) has no rules, but apparently lots of horrible consequences for doing the wrong thing with respect to dating. So listening to a woman give a very short story calling a man a misogynist for simply asking to talk with a woman, that can only strike a huge nerve.

    Try being single and trying to find someone, and watching someone you might want say, "you can't ask me out, that's creepy," and feel good about your prospects. This reaction you say you don't get, it's likely because you're married (I'm presuming here, correct me), and have kids, and you're likely very stable in how you'd like your life to go. Not everyone is this fortunate, and I forgive you for perhaps missing that fact.

    What Rebecca Watson set in motion was a classic battle of the sexes, though she likely had no intention of doing so. There's nothing rational about it and frankly it is quite literally the perfect storm to let loose in a hive of people who consider themself rational. This subject of procreation turned Vulcans (admittedly fictional) into irrational beings, it would surely turn a skeptic used to dealing with questions into an opinionated bigot in a hearbeat.

    It is not that criticism from any side is tyrannical or breaking the argument. It's that the criticism made breaks a far more fundamental argument that has always existed outside the scope of internet social circles. Some things said back and forth are direct assaults on individual hope for a family or direct assaults on individual sexual choice (and that's not really an exaggeration).

    Procreation is a biological imperative that imposes on everyone, and men at basically any age. So yes, when those who see their idea of how to deal with the opposite sex torn asunder, it causes no end of paranoid reactive argument.

    I also want to say, I don't agree that a simple question in an elevator late at night is creepy. If there's more to Rebecca's story than that, I apologize. If women want equality and empowerment, then they need to step up to the plate and learn to handle situations like that without labeling men who have their own issues with asking and trying to find the right situation to ask. Sometimes the shyest guys come off the creepiest, and there's no shame in this.

  64. Rob says:

    @David Leech,,

    you don't understand what it means to be censored, which is sad given that there's a whole post at the top of this page devoted to the subject.

  65. Rob says:

    @Jeremy,

    bullshit, just bullshit. I don't have time to go into all that's wrong with your comment at the moment, so that'll have to do.

  66. Ken says:

    I also want to say, I don't agree that a simple question in an elevator late at night is creepy. If there's more to Rebecca's story than that, I apologize.

    From what I understand, Ms. Watson was talking to people in a bar until 4 a.m., announced that she was tired and wanted to go to bed, and went to the elevator. This fellow followed her into the elevator, and when alone there with her, having just heard her say she was tired and was going to bed, suggested that she come back to his room for coffee.

    As I said, I find this self-evidently creepy behavior. Others apparently don't. I'm at peace with that.

  67. Jeremy says:

    As I said, I find this self-evidently creepy behavior. Others apparently don't. I'm at peace with that.

    Would you ever presume that the person asking hates women because he behaved this way?

    To me, calling a guy creepy for trying is not much different than calling a woman a slut for spending lots of nights with men. It's an undeserved label that places blame where none should exist. Calling a guy misogynist for trying is even further down the spectrum of undeserved labels i(again IMHO).

  68. Gretchen says:

    Jeremy said: "I also want to say, I don't agree that a simple question in an elevator late at night is creepy. If there's more to Rebecca's story than that, I apologize."

    If you actually watched her video, or read, I don't know, any of the accounts about it, you'd know there's more to the story than that. Some necessary reading for you (and everybody): http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2012/06/21/elisions/

  69. Pete says:

    @ Jeremy – "Procreation is a biological imperative that imposes on everyone, and men at basically any age. So yes, when those who see their idea of how to deal with the opposite sex torn asunder, it causes no end of paranoid reactive argument"

    Procreation may "feel like" a biological imperative, but it's certainly not a right. I wish you the best of luck finding happiness with a partner, but it may or may not ever happen for you. If you want to improve your odds, you're simply going to have to learn to approach women in a congenial, respectful, non-threatening, non-creepy manner. This is not rocket science, as evidenced by the successful relationships between billions of men and women who have preceded you.

    As I recently explained to my 14 year old son, "Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus" and you're going to have to learn to understand and appreciate those differences to be able to relate to women and have them relate to you. Reaching this level of maturity will take years of effort on your part and, until such time, you should, errr, just learn to take care of business by yourself.

  70. Jeremy says:

    Procreation may "feel like" a biological imperative, but it's certainly not a right.

    This is a new subject. Nowhere did I discuss rights w.r.t. procreation. We can discuss it if you want, but it is off-topic.

    I wish you the best of luck finding happiness with a partner, but it may or may not ever happen for you. If you want to improve your odds, you're simply going to have to learn to approach women in a congenial, respectful, non-threatening, non-creepy manner. This is not rocket science, as evidenced by the successful relationships between billions of men and women who have preceded you.

    This is presumptuous and condescending. I technically could qualify as a rocket scientist, as it happens (though I've never actually designed a rocket).

    As I recently explained to my 14 year old son, "Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus" and you're going to have to learn to understand and appreciate those differences to be able to relate to women and have them relate to you.

    Saying that phrase offers no help at all in actually understanding people, and frankly just creates more confusion.

    Reaching this level of maturity will take years of effort on your part and, until such time, you should, errr, just learn to take care of business by yourself.

    Also condescending.

    I felt that what I posted was worthwhile to read and digest. It felt good writing it. Women are going to seek their pleasure with what god gave them, I won't fault them. Why would I then fault men for trying? So long as an individual (of either sex) is not curtailing the rights of other individuals, that individual does not deserve labels, blame or shame for their behavior.

    This is not to invalidate the *feeling* of being creeped out anymore than it invalidates the *feeling* that someone you care about is slutty. But labeling someone, publicly, is a different matter entirely.

  71. Robert White says:

    The Guys will be Guys phenomenon and what Women "don't get"…

    [WARNING: I will be using words like "you" and I have never met you. I am making -massive- generalities. You -- you you in this case -- will want to start saying and thinking "but I am noting like this" and so on. Even if you you aren't anything like this, you clearly are like this generally. Get it?]

    The foundation of male bonding is the continuous urge and struggle for alpha-male standing. But in a complex society nobody can be, or even expects to be, the complete and uniform alpha. The urge has then been addressed by dividing the struggle into an uncountable myriad of ill-defined topics and areas of effort and standing. This has brought the male impulse under manageable control.

    Everything from sporting events to who in the office knows the most about coffee or the least wasteful circuit that can be built from a given pile of commodity parts is on the table in the male mind-set.

    Traced back to childhood the ranking system, fluid as it may have been, firmly and completely defined the best and the worst at everything on the playground and the street corner.

    And yes, sexual prowess is clearly and obviously a lead topic in this battle.

    Now for guys, the battle is subliminal and continuous. It is a battle of counting coup and death by a billion cuts. When guys "bond" there is a continuous undercurrent of "who's the little bitch now" which -isnt- really sex based, but purely a matter of transient social standing and how one moment of "loser" will or may decrease, or indeed increase, the losers standing.

    See one of the most critical measurements of a man in the eyes of his peers isn't the win or loss, but "how he took the hit." A man of standing can actually increase his standing by suffering a micro-humiliation and fully embracing it as "a good hit".

    Women are completely blind to this, all of this top to bottom, even after you point it out to them. They find it irrational and childish and just plain freakishly annoying.

    Now I will dare to say this: Men and Women are different at the brain level. If thought is a biochemical process like we know it to be, and hormones are chemicals that effect biochemistry as we know they do, then the expectation that women think and respond to even basic logic -identically- is irrational. This is not a statement of right-or-wrong, its not a value judgment, its just a fact. For instance, before men tried to make computers "all about math" the people most apt at -running- computing systems were all women. And before electronic computing, all the best librarians were women.

    [ASIDE: being a -good- librarian is a high art, and includes the correlation of prodigious amounts of information. A -good- librarian can cut a research project by eighty percent just by knowing her inventory and which elements are relevant and which are highborn crap. The internet has killed librarians, which is a great loss. If you want a meager glimpse of how things were, check out the movie "Desk Set" with Spencer Tracy and Cathrine Hepburn.]

    So here is the first half of our problem: Men harass each other constantly. We just do. We do it sexually, we do it circumstantially, and we do it situationally. It is a fact of our biology. This harassment simply exists. It is the way we constantly measure ourselves amongst our peers. This harassment is subliminal to our existence. It spans from "making Tommy the office bitch" to the number, type, and placement of certifications hanging on the walls of our cubicles. Its not that we want to -unman- every guy who comes by, but we want to filter out those who are -easily- -unmanned-. Its this thing you know.

    Now just as women don't get this, men are blind to a few facts about the female brain.

    Women don't generally attack unless they are going for the kill. Okay, that's over-stated but when women deal with women, they measure each other by circumstantial awareness. When a woman smacks another woman down factually that's pure end-game. A woman will be polite and correct to your face until its time to stick in the knife. But they will speak amongst themselves to "build consensus". This is what men call gossip and women "call gossip but think of as fact checking."

    For a woman to move too early or without consensus is considered poor womanhood. This is antithetical to man, who are considered weak if they delay overlong or try to "gang up" over an insufficiently serious issue.

    If you listen to how men brag, they tell a story from start to finish, and at each significant point they detail -how- they won-out or got away with something. "My trainers were all fucked up. I went down to the store, This guy tried to sell me some piece of overpriced crap, but I called him on it, then talked him down and got these sweet kicks."

    If you listen to how women brag, they tell you the end of the story and then backtrack through all the important bits explaining -why- she won out. "I went to the store and got these sweet kicks. The salesman tired to get me to by this overpriced junk, but they were knockoffs and the brand they knock off is already overpriced junk."

    One of the reasons that Men cannot listen to most women's stories is that to the man the story ended when the shoes were bought, and now he's not honoring her prowess etc.

    So how does all this apply?

    Well men bitch that "women want to come into the work place and be treated like an equal, but then they complain when we do".

    Women moan that "the men were all mean to me and didn't show me the respect I deserve, but instead started under-cutting me from day one."

    Both positions are -absolutely- correct when the other is of the same gender and -absolutely- wrong when applied across gender lines.

    There-in lies your perfect storm.

    The women -are- being harassed and undercut at work etc, because that's what men do to men. That's also why women feel "frozen out" after they complain because it cuts them off from the guy-on-guy by-play and most guys don't have a backup scenario.

    The women are also wrong to imagine that there is a conspiracy, or that they are bing excluded. When a guy naturally starts "digging at" a woman he is accepting them as a peer in full standing, said standings actual rank is yet to be determined. But only when the woman digs back does she earn other-than-low standing.

    When the woman collects up resentment and then makes an "attack" instead of all the digs she should have been getting in over time, well then the guys call her a bitch. They aren't wrong really.

    And in the name of parity I have worked in all women but for me (and another gay guy) environments. I didn't out myself because I wanted to see what would happen when, as I was being hired, I was informed by the manager that "no man who [she] had ever worked with except (existing gay guy) had ever turned out to be worth a damn." So from the moment of my hire I was treating the job as a sociology experiment since it was doomed as a career. I didn't go running to district management because, well, men just don't unless they want to lose standing. 8-)

    Think of all this and watch something like "The New Girl" (which I don't watch, so I am hoping blindly is a good example) or any other "woman amongst guys" comedy as written and enjoyed by men.

  72. Robert White says:

    By the way, the guy who followed and hit on whomever was, if we apply the social version of Occam's Razor "never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity", most likely an omega male who didn't feel comfortable approaching the group, but who was attracted to the woman in a normalish way, taking his first opportunity to speak to her alone, likely after a little too much liquid courage.

    The only reason it would be naturally creepy is that it happened in the enclosed and inescapable space, which most guys don't understand is -inherently- threatening to a woman.

    My sisters explained this male-patterned-blindness too me as a kid, when they described how they felt if a side-door van was parked next to their car when they came out to leave, and how I probably never felt nervous about stuff like that.

    The main reason to say no to this guy is not that he was drunk or that he asked in an elevator, its that Omegas are -terrible- lays.

  73. EBL says:

    After reading this post I keep seeing that scene of Father Lonergan in The Quiet Man, when Thorton (John Wayne) and Danaher are fighting and the young priest suggests they should break up the fight. And Father Lonergan says, "Aye, aye, we should…" without taking any steps in breaking it up.

  74. singersdd says:

    Ken, I think you taught your daughter well. Some people just will not listen to reason without the prior application of dimensional lumber – or a well-placed right cross. I have a feeling that the little jerk won't harass a girl again, less he come in contact with another daughter whose daddy taught her how to place a punch.

  75. Jeremy says:

    @Robert White

    By the way, the guy who followed and hit on whomever was, if we apply the social version of Occam's Razor "never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity"…

    The only reason it would be naturally creepy is that it happened in the enclosed and inescapable space, which most guys don't understand is -inherently- threatening to a woman.

    My sisters explained this male-patterned-blindness too me as a kid, when they described how they felt if a side-door van was parked next to their car when they came out to leave, and how I probably never felt nervous about stuff like that.

    The main reason to say no to this guy is not that he was drunk or that he asked in an elevator, its that Omegas are -terrible- lays.

    Hilarious, and on-point. Thanks for that. I often apply that same simple principle, never attribute to conspiracy that which can be more easily attributed to incompetence.

    I would only disagree slightly in the feeling threatened portion of it. I think that women in general should take a more active role in their own physical safety, rather than simply allowing themselves to feel frightened by specific situations. To me that means taking self-defense arts, and if necessary buying and learning to lawfully use weapons. I don't own guns personally but I'm not opposed to it. I certainly like to hear of women who exercise their rights in this regard. I have done martial arts, and I can tell you that women who train for this can be quite quite scary, even for me (and I'm a big guy).

  76. Robert White says:

    @Jeremy – finer point, one penis to another…

    The ability to address a threat, re taking martial arts etc., doesn't change the feeling of "being threatened". It is a very male centric thing to believe that being able to dismiss a threat is the same thing as not feeling threatened. We were raised, and arguably programmed by testosterone, to perceive a much higher "background threat level" as a "neutral" circumstance.

    Women are wired up with a naturally lower acceptable background threat level. They just do. Just like they are more likely to complain of it being cold. (Interesting fact, women complain about cold sooner than men, but are able to survive the actual application of dangerous cold for significantly longer than men.)

    Women are not unjustified in that lower acceptable level, as man-on-woman predatory behavior is a substantially more normative event than man-on-man violence (in the straight community).

  77. Gretchen says:

    "I think that women in general should take a more active role in their own physical safety, rather than simply allowing themselves to feel frightened by specific situations."

    *facepalm*

    Let me fix that for you:

    "I think women have a right to defend themselves, and we can help them with that by listening to and believing them when they talk about feeling threatened, doing everything we can not to make them feel threatened, and helping them acquire better self-defense skills for if they feel threatened and want to fight back."

  78. Gretchen says:

    "Women are wired up with a naturally lower acceptable background threat level. They just do."

    …because just as with a lot of other animals that reproduce via sexual intercourse, we are susceptible to sexual assault by males far more than vice versa. It's not some random roll of the dice, you know.

  79. Jeremy says:

    @Gretchen
    Let me fix that for you:

    "I think women have a right to defend themselves

    That right is inalienable, it's existence is unquestioned. I think this response is putting words in my mouth as nowhere did I even hint at anything different.

    …and we can help them with that by listening to and believing them when they talk about feeling threatened

    Nowhere did I even imply that by taking a more active role in their own physical security that their fears are somehow un-"believable" and not worth listening to. Again, I think my point is being twisted to mean that female feelings are invalid, when I said no such thing. In fact taking a more active role means preparing for situations that frighten. Looked at in its proper context I am in fact validating the feeling, but attempting to invalidate any passive response. When you prepare for these situations mentally and physically, they often feel less scary.

    You can feel threatened by a van door open near your car door, that's a valid feeling. If you think that no men ever have have similar feelings, you're deluding yourself. However, when guys feel threatened, they don't respond passively nearly as often as women do. A passive response does nothing to alleviate the feeling of helplessness and when its habitual, it means you're simply twisting your life around what frightens you. That's not healthy.

    doing everything we can not to make them feel threatened, and helping them acquire better self-defense skills for if they feel threatened and want to fight back."

    I can't make you feel less threatened, that is not within the power of another human being. I can behave differently, but there's no guarantee that my new behavior wont cause some other feeling, or even exacerbate the original one. How is does this fact not go without saying? Your feelings are within your own emotion-space, I have basically zero control over those. I also cannot read your mind, so if you feel threatened by me, you should be saying as much loudly and warning me that you're going to take action.

    Is my point more clear? Taking a more active role means positive action to affect your current situation, it says nothing about whether or not situations should or should not generate fear. I generally believe, however, that if people take a more active role, they will feel less fear as they go through life.

    Do I still really earn a *facepalm* for that? The condescension here is fairly high.

  80. Robert White says:

    @Gretchen — Please do try not to act all attacked by your supporters, it is counter-productive in every case.

    At no point did I infer that the female sensitivity was improper or inexplicable. I even made the point of man-on-woman violence as my supporting conclusion.

    Knee-jerk defensiveness does nothing to further any position, including your own.

    Rather than attribute malice, I am going to presume you didn't really read past the sentences you felt were inflammatory.

    But poor rhetoric if you did.

  81. Grifter says:

    I really don't get a lot of the discussion, because something that wasn't harassment by anyone's honest definition has led to arguments about harassment, with some of those arguments going way afield of anything resembling debate on the original topic (no offense, Robert White or Jeremy). The elevator guy (EG) asked her to his room for coffee. That's all that happened. The mere fact that he was in the same bar as her means nothing as reagards to the "well, she said she wanted to go to sleep," especially since she said he wasn't part of her group that was all talking. She assumes he must have heard her and specifically decided to ignore her wishes. That's awful arrogant of her, isn't it?

    It wasn't harassment. Nor was it even necessarily an invite for random sex, as she originally claimed (and I continue to maintain that it's sexist of her to assume that…for all she knows he's gay or married, or just not into her physically). If he'd: bothered her a second time, touched her, responded poorly to her refusal, or done something else douchey, that would change the circumstances, of course. But he didn't. So this story is about how a woman was asked for coffee in an elevator and posted on the internet that "that's creepy" because it must have been an invite for random sex, and that "guys just…don't do that". I'm sorry, I just don't see it, and I'd love for someone to explain it to me. Use small words, since I'm apparently not all that bright.

    There's terrible behavior, at these cons and in society at large. And it bears discussion. Ken's daughter was subjected to some of it, and she responded fantastically. The more debate on poor behavior, the better. Shine a light on that shit. (And, on a side note, check out: http://www.notinthekitchenanymore.com/ for some examples of Gamers Behaving Badly to a female gamer, and her responses, which I think are fantastic). But this specific debate about this specific incident boggles my small mind.

  82. Jeremy says:

    @Grifter

    I really don't get a lot of the discussion, because something that wasn't harassment by anyone's honest definition has led to arguments about harassment, with some of those arguments going way afield of anything resembling debate on the original topic (no offense, Robert White or Jeremy)….

    …There's terrible behavior, at these cons and in society at large. And it bears discussion. Ken's daughter was subjected to some of it, and she responded fantastically.

    I wanted to get back on topic in my last post, but deleted those sections as they felt "reaching". Thanks for that. I'll refrain from more.

    I agree with Ken's daughter's response wholeheartedly. Maybe not the punching, but the direct confrontation is *exactly* what a well-raised daughter will do. I wish Rebecca had simply, loudly, told that guy, "Look, regardless of what you mean, I feel threatened and imposed upon, please refrain from any further conversation or I will be seeking the help of security."

    He would have shrunken down quite fast from that kind of response, and we wouldn't be discussing about some guy labeled a mysogynist for asking to have a conversation.

  83. Grifter says:

    @Jeremy: It's worth noting that RW specifically said in her original message that at no time did she feel threatened, which, again, is why I get bothered at the far afield comments from both sides.

  84. Jeremy says:

    @Grifter

    Which is where my basic question comes in above (unanswered). Would you label someone who behaved this way a mysogynist for asking that question? Again, it is fine to FEEL creeped out, not fine to call someone a creep for that. That's the only question based on Rebecca's video for me. Why the horrific label and instant prejudice applied for behavior that isn't so far outside of the norm?

    Also, Conventions are social gatherings. This cannot be read to be a justification for whatever this guy did, because it isn't. But walking down the street, one might expect to randomly be hit on so why is any convention, which is a deliberate gathering in which to socially network, somehow exempt from this? Sounds far-fetched to expect limited social possibilities to be positively enforced. In fact, it sounds downright cultish.

  85. Gretchen says:

    Jeremy said:
    “I think this response is putting words in my mouth as nowhere did I even hint at anything different.”
    The fact that I said something in my statement that you didn’t say doesn’t mean I’m assuming you don’t agree with it. That’s just me trying to be as clear as possible about who is responsible for and allowed to do what.
    “If you think that no men ever have have similar feelings, you're deluding yourself. However, when guys feel threatened, they don't respond passively nearly as often as women do. A passive response does nothing to alleviate the feeling of helplessness and when its habitual, it means you're simply twisting your life around what frightens you. That's not healthy.”
    You say things like this, and then you wonder why people are being condescending to you? Really? Here’s a hint: if you’re smaller than the person threatening you, fighting them is generally a really stupid thing to do. And most women are smaller than most men. Even if you have Jackie Chan-level martial arts skills and/or a gun, fighting them can be a really stupid thing to you. In addition to being raped, it’s like you will be beaten and/or shot and then raped. Do not tell women that they are being “passive” and that being passive is weak and unhealthy, because that makes you an inconsiderate asshole. Literally, inconsiderate—you’re not considering the factors involved for people different from yourself and taking those into account before blaming them for their own problems.
    “I can't make you feel less threatened, that is not within the power of another human being.”
    Yes, you can, and yes it is. You can help people to not be threatened by not threatening them, and not blaming them if they feel threatened. Unfortunately you’ve been doing a ton of the latter (hence the condescension) with no stated interest in the former.

  86. Grifter says:

    @Jeremy:

    Well, I do think there's a core problem that does exist, and is attempted to be addressed but often lost: at these cons, a lot of women feel as though every social interaction is aimed to get them into bed. Not just some. Almost all. Their feelings, opinions, personalities don't seem, to them, to be a focus for any of the dudes at these things, they feel constantly hit upon. I won't get the cart and horse discussion here, I will just say: This makes them feel unwelcome, and makes less women want to come. And I do think that needs to be addressed. It's worth saying "Hey guys, not every woman comes to a con because she wants your junk". Remember, dudes generally outnumber the women by a lot, and often in geek/skeptic/other communitites, a lot of these are not socially adept individuals.

    And it's also worth noting that to a lot of women, walking down the street shouldn't submit them to being hit on (from a rudeness perspective, not a rights perspective), and I don't fault that perspective. To return the question: why should a con be any different?

  87. Gretchen says:

    Robert White,

    You said women have a higher threshold of threat detection because they "just do." That is not the case. Please refrain from getting all stroppy over a mildly stated correction.

  88. Kelly says:

    Oh boy. Okay, I am going to jump back into this.

    Women have been conditioned by a patriarchal system to allow the men in their lives- fathers/brothers/husbands and so on to protect them. They are the little women who shouldn't have to protect themselves because the men are there to do it for them. Our culture is moving past this 'women are helpless' idea slowly, but surely.

    There was a study done- I can go look in my files if someone wants the specific citation. But, what it did was record women walking in public places. Most women look down, don't pay attention to their surroundings and so on. That is a direct result of the 'men will protect you' idea. Funnily enough, if you try it with female anthropology majors, the opposite usually happens. What this says is that many women (and no do not think I mean *all* women) do not pay attention to their surroundings. Right or wrong, the more unaware of your environment you are, the more of a target you are for creepy men looking to take advantage. Now, let me be perfectly clear here- women are not to blame for harassment and sexual assault. That is squarely on the shoulders of the men who engage in such actions. What it does mean is that more women should pay attention to their surroundings and, if threatened as Abby was (for example), fully exercise their right to defend themselves.

    I'll put this story out there: My 15 year old daughter was being harassed at school. I won't repeat some of the vile crap the little jerk was spewing, needless to say that none of it is something that any woman of any age should have directed at her (or anyone of any age to be perfectly honest). The school officials told her to 'ignore it'. She told me about it the first time and I called the school. I was told that it was their 'policy' to tell those in this sort of situation to ignore it. When pressed, and yes I asked if verbal sexual harassment was something that they really wanted to ignore…yeah they said it was. I pressed further and asked about bullying. That too, they claimed that they tried to 'ignore in hopes of it not escalating'. I was stunned. Words one really shouldn't say to high school administrators were said. The man on the other end of the phone was stunned. I said that should my daughter continually face harassment that I would be visiting the school and should this boy touch her, she had my leave to defend herself accordingly.

    Funnily enough, the creep decided to start getting grabby with her. She took my advice as well as her 13 year old brother's advice. Mine was go for the soft spot, lay him out, and report the behavior. My son's was 'kick him in the balls'.

    The boy was expelled since once my daughter laid him flat more girls came forward- with witnesses to each verbal and/or physical harassment.

    It should be said that I have taught all of my children to be almost hyper-aware of their surroundings and not take crap from anyone. Thus I get labelled a 'rabid feminist' and a 'bitch'. If it means I keep myself and my kids safe, I'm okay with that.

  89. Robert White says:

    @Gretchen — so you believe they "just don't"?

    Did I somehow -not- go on to explain -why- women "just do"?

    Statements of fact remain factual no matter how you chose to judgmentally interpret the intent behind them. It is you who are, for whatever reason, choosing to be offended.

    Did you know that black people have a longer achilles tendon? They just do. That it statement is a truth "without respect to cause" not a statement intended to infer is it "without cause". That is, it was an attempt to assert that there was point of argument in the declaration.

    Try to be a lot less sensitive, you are presuming a dismissiveness that isn't there. So you are victimizing yourself. You are reading my words the way you would speak them instead of trying to read them the way they were said.

    When you strip sentences out of arguments and get all sniffy about them you play yourself the fool, which abrogates your standing in the venue. If you are going to object to interstitial components of peoples thought instead of their entire position, particularly by hopping on the emphasis phrases, you are not going to "come off" as a reasonable person with witch to exchange views.

    Now I do beg a little pardon for having stepped upon one of your personal Emotional Land-mines™ but I have to plead innocent of knowing it was there. I can not be expected to know or predict the inferiority complexes of every person who sees what I write. You find the phrasing dismissive. I find your apparent inability to see it in it's context as a comment "aimed at" Jeremy, to be annoying and a tad presumptive.

    I suggest you learn to better use your words instead of bing all butthurt by the words of others.

    Since it is impolite to argue in other peoples blogs, but since this was a thread that was about harassment, I find I have gotten to the ragged edge of what is appropriate to say. Say your peace for posterity and I will let it stand unanswered, you've made up your mind to view my words a certain way and I find no promise of you changing that, so further response would be all heat and no illumination.

  90. Jeremy says:

    @Gretchen

    9/10 on the trolling attempt. What you're saying is nonsense and not worth reply. Try again when you've calmed down and aren't simply accusing men who generally agree with you of being things they are not.

  91. Jeremy says:

    @Grifter

    Ya, that is a problem I'm not in a position to deny. It's more a factor of social change I would say though. The steady march of female liberation women means more smart women are attending these things. That's good. Unfortunately it means there's a bit of a social clash. It's only been a decade or so since women were truly freed of the ball-and-chain to the family structure, freeing them to pursue the social/intellectual en masse.

    There's also a significant male population that RARELY gets to see smart women. To these guys, finally seeing these women is like finding an oasis of the kinds of women you always wanted to date, but couldn't find. There's no quick solution for that, it's simply a bad situation that will resolve when generations change.

    I would note that submitting to being hit on is not what I was asking for. Don't submit, but don't expect that it will not exist. I was stating that expecting skeptic organizations to police behavior in this regard is just ridiculous.

  92. Scott Jacobs says:

    Yes, you can, and yes it is. You can help people to not be threatened by not threatening them, and not blaming them if they feel threatened.

    You know what?

    Eff you.

    I have no control over how you react to anything. Yes, I can help you not feel threatened by not threatening you, but if you don't tell me, flat out, that you feel threatened by something I am doing I am unlikely to stop because I can't read your mind.

    If you want to be less threatened, take active steps first. DO something for yourself. It isn't my God Damn Job to protect you or any woman from the world. Might I choose to act to protect women? Certainly. But it's a short list.

    And seriously… Not every guy is out to rape you, and even guys who are creepy do not – as a default – want to rape you. So stop using it like a talisman to defend your position, because it makes me want to drag the Fainting Couch™ over so it is more conveniently placed for you.

  93. Michael says:

    Honestly, there's plenty of stupidity on both sides of that debate. DJ Grothe, president of the James Randi Educational Foundation, has received some pretty absurd criticism for not doing more to end sexual harassment at Skeptic conferences, even though it was under his tenure a policy was written and well promoted.

    There is plenty of absurdness all over this issue.

  94. Mike K says:

    Just thought I'd mention about Rob's point on men and women being different, that he means in a general way. Not all men think and act in a certain way and not all women think and act in a certain way.

    Actually for those that are different from the norm, it can hurt to try to function normally in society, especially if they don't fit in with either group.

    Totally random thing I just noticed, Ken, why do you have a tiny smiley face at the bottom of your footer?

  95. ULTRAGOTHA says:

    This thread seems to be moving in a direction where the Schrodinger's Rapist post may be useful.

    http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger’s-rapist-or-a-guy’s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/

  96. Grifter says:

    @ULTRAGOTHA

    That post is never really "useful". Quotes like "When you approach me in public, you are Schrödinger’s Rapist." are really just awful bigotry.

  97. Robert White says:

    Besides, when they opened the box they discovered that Schrödinger had killed the cat with a hammer.

    (Most people don't know that his actual point was that it was -absurd- to bring the quantum out to the macro scope. Not to mention that both the sensor, the trigger on the canister, and the cat itself were all competent observers of the event. The idea of the whole cat as a waveform was offered as a hyperbole.)

    [The title is also very wrong since that would make "the rapist" the target of the uncertainty, when the rapist is the source in the analogy.]

    Just Sayin. 8-)

  98. Mari says:

    Some of the Watson elevator fallout when to absurd lengths. There was one contingent of frothing-at-the-mouth loudmouths who said Watson had narrowly escaped being raped and shouted down anyone who challenged their viewpoint as a rape apologist or worse.

    For a subculture that claims to pride itself on rationalism, the skeptic movement has real problems with thinking clearly.

  99. Scott Jacobs says:

    Mari, you are confusing things a bit. It isn't the Skeptic community you mean, it is the subset where they cross with feminists.

    It is the latter that usually can't wrap their head around the concept of "honest disagreement"…

  100. Jeremy says:

    Schrödinger's rapist… LOL. I want a t-shirt now, I will almost certainly wear it.

    If women want to seriously consider all men as possible ends to their lives as they know it, there's less reason to pretend otherwise. The lesson of Schrödinger's cat for physicists was to consider (bizarrely) sub-atomic particles to be both waves and particles. So what this person is doing is telling people that it's ok to consider men both criminals and prince charming. Fortunately I know that not all women do this, thank god for that.

  101. Gretchen says:

    Scott Jacobs, the comments in this thread are the biggest wake-up call to how very necessary the subset of feminism within skepticism is.

  102. Scott Jacobs says:

    *rolls his eyes*

    You wait right there. I'll go get that Couch for you…

  103. Gretchen says:

    It’s always fun to be treated by different groups as if you’re opposite things. A couple of days ago Ophelia Benson suggested that I support misogyny because I didn’t have a problem with Kirby’s analogy. Here, you guys (or at least Robert White, Jeremy, and Scott Jacobs) are treating me like a screeching feminist harpy for pointing out some very basic, non-controversial facts about harassment.

    I’m going to state them (and add to them a bit) one more time. If you still think it constitutes trolling and I need to calm down or eff off or both, fine. Whatever. Just know that nothing I’m saying here is remotely extreme or radical. It has has been repeated ad nauseum in discussion at FtB—it is, in fact, what this whole brouhaha is about—but I’m not going to tell you to just go over there and read. Although you should. I’m going to make it easy and just state the main points right here:

    1. “Feminist” is not a slur. If you use it as one, you look like a person who uses “anti-racist” or “anti-homophobe” as a slur. “Feminist” is a term for a person who opposes sexism. Yes, you might say “anti-sexist” might be a better word, and I might agree with you, but you and I don’t get to determine these things. I don’t care in the slightest if you don’t care to adopt this term for yourself, but you should know that if you slam feminists in general, you are slamming concern about sexism in general.

    2. The Schrödinger’s Rapist analogy is intended to point out that every strange man a woman meets (and even those who aren’t strange) might be a rapist. If this thought makes you uncomfortable, good. It’s not a pleasant fact. It does not, however, mean that all men are rapists, or even that all men are likely to be rapists. It means that women have to consider whether men are rapists in the act of trusting them and being willing to be alone with them. Getting all butthurt about that fact doesn’t make it untrue.

    3. Women feel threatened for reasons. Sometimes they’re not very good reasons, but generally they don’t just decide “Hey, I think I’ll feel threatened right now!” “Creepy” is a word for a person who has the effect of making someone feel threatened. Yes, I said “make.” The way people act has effects on other people. A woman might call you “creepy” for unjustified or even absurd reasons, but that doesn’t mean that all accusations of creepiness are unjustified. Again, getting butthurt about this fact does not change it.

    4. Asking men not to act creepy and encourage women to feel threatened by them is not asking them to “protect” women—it’s asking them to be decent human beings. It’s certainly possible to be creepy on accident, but that doesn’t mean that people who are creepy are never responsible for it. When people tell you what they find creepy, listen! They’re helping you out! Nobody wants to be a creep, do they? And I don’t want to claim that people just want to creepy without being called creepy, so don’t make me.

    5. Yes, harassment and creepiness are ambiguous matters to a certain extent, and ambiguity sucks. I know. The solution, however, is not to shoot the messenger. Don’t just conclude that every woman who talks about what made her feel uncomfortable is making shit up, or over embellishing, or pursuing some misandrist agenda. And for the non-god’s sake, don’t leave important details out while considering a story about this topic! If you totally misrepresent a woman’s story while dismissing it, it sure looks as if that’s WHY you’re dismissing it. Pay attention to clues like time of day, state of inebriation, level of isolation (can she easily escape, or not?), level of familiarity, overtness of the sexual overture, and so on. These all matter. They are the things that determine whether something is read as harmless flirting or overt creepiness. Ignoring them is the equivalent of throwing your hands in the air and just declaring that women just be crazy, yo. And if you do that, you’ve lost. The height of creepiness is not believing that women have reasons for what they do and feel. Trust me on that, and take that to the bank if nothing else.

  104. Scott Jacobs says:

    The Schrödinger’s Rapist analogy is intended to point out that every strange man a woman meets (and even those who aren’t strange) might be a rapist

    And you wonder why none of us take you seriously.

  105. Scott Jacobs says:

    The height of creepiness is not believing that women have reasons for what they do and feel.

    Wait. I'm creey because I think you're full of bullshit?

    Whatever. As if I needed further convincing that you're unserious and not worth engaging with.

  106. Grifter says:

    @Gretchen:
    I feel a decent segment of feminist thinking went off the rails years ago. When "you're derailing" became a popular way of avoiding answering legitimate questions, when someone posted "inside the mind of a gender traitor" and wasn't immediately cast out of rational discourse, when "Schrodinger's Rapist" wasn't laughed out of the conversation, I think that it truly became clear that the movement lost sight of equality long ago in favor of favoring women.

    "Pay attention to clues like time of day, state of inebriation, level of isolation (can she easily escape, or not?), level of familiarity, overtness of the sexual overture, and so on. "

    If we pay attention to these "clues" as they relate to the original issue, we see that:

    while it was late at night, a lot of people were still awake (full bar),
    we have no idea of the state of inebriation (I don't think RW ever said if she was drunk or mentioned EGs Apparent Intoxication Level [AIL]),
    RW wasn't isolated (elevators open a hell of a lot, and the hotel was packed, and she specifically said she didn't feel threatened),
    while there was no familiarity, the request was polite, (one "would you like to", followed by no more requests when rebuffed)
    the sexual overture (if that is indeed what it was, which I've quibbled on before several times) was not overt at all.

    That's all from RWs own statements.

    Yet, again, EG has been pilloried and villified. Even if we follow your advice Gretchen, it's wrong because, according to some feminists, the man is always wrong. And pointing that out gets you labeled a misogynist. Just as asking questions is "derailing".

    And Gretchen: Women have reasons for what they do and feel. That's legit. But when you say "and therefore you are obliged to respect that", you lose credibility. If a woman (or a man, or blue-headed alien) is being irrational and going overboard, then I'm not going to care. I might have sympathy if they have a legit reason for their inappropriate behavior (like someone who has been assaulted who screams whenever a man enters the room), but I'm still going to say that's their issue, not mine. The Schrodinger's rapist analogy fails because it says not only that women must assume all men might rape them, but also that therefore it's the guy's job/fault to deal with that. In the comments for that very post, the argument was brought up "replace Man with Black Man, and read how awful that sounds", and the response was "No,no, this is different…" without actually giving a reason that made sense for it to be different. If an old white lady is bigoted about black guys, that's her deal, not the black guys'.

    A section of the modern feminist movement seems to feel that all female feelings are legitimate no matter how unfair they are (the SR post, btw, brought up the "1 in 6 statistic" that's so popular, while conveniently ignoring the same "1 in 6" can be applied to men, as well. (http://1in6.org/the-1-in-6-statistic/) ), while any male feelings, particularly if they are frustration or a feeling of being attacked, are illegitimate or misogynist.

  107. Scott Jacobs says:

    Grifter is far more polite and civil with the man-hater than I could ever be…

  108. Jess says:

    @Kelly – I thought your comments were very interesting. You hit on something that I've observed as well. I think as a woman if you walk head up shoulders back meet people's look directly walk, etc. with confidence you're far less likley to become a target.

  109. Jess says:

    Oh Scott, when have you ever been civil or polite? If you were we wouldn't know what to do with you :-)

  110. Gretchen says:

    Grifter said:
    “The Schrodinger's rapist analogy fails because it says not only that women must assume all men might rape them, but also that therefore it's the guy's job/fault to deal with that. “

    How do you define “deal with it”? If by that you mean “live with it,” then…well, yeah. You have live with the fact that women wonder if you’re going to rape them. That’s part of the territory of being a man—even the nicest, most considerate man in the world who would never hurt a fly. Because we don’t necessarily *know* that you are the nicest, most considerate man in the world would never hurt a fly. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that every time a woman looks at a man she thinks (or should think) “I wonder if he’s going to rape me?” That’s not what I’m saying, and that’s not what I think the Schrodinger's rapist analogy is saying. It’s pointing out that some men you would never think are rapists, are rapists. So be careful. And guys, please don’t blame us for being careful. Especially if you’re going to blame us if we *aren’t* careful as well.

    As for the rest of your comment—I actually agree with most of it, and don’t understand why you appear to be holding me responsible for the behavior of “some feminists.” I didn’t say that women’s interpretations of events always rule. I didn’t say that that the guy who inspired discomfort in Rebecca Watson was a misogynist, or even necessarily a creep. He came off as creepy to her, and she said later, to guys in general, “Don’t do that.” If you think that suggestion is useless, okay! Now you know what Rebecca Watson finds creepy, so consider not hitting on Rebecca Watson. I think the consideration of the incredible firestorm of ridiculous accusations that happened afterward is really irrelevant, except that it indicates that simply *bringing up* the topic of sexual harassment tends to provoke people to bring out their flame-throwers.

    Earlier in this thread, you’ll note that I was saying just what you are now—that some of the people who call themselves feminists are defining mere disagreement with them as misogyny, and that’s wrong, wrong, wrong. I am not defending that; I’m accusing it! And for that, I’m assumed to be alternately a misogynist by someone of the feminists and a man-hater by some of the….well, Scott. But the truth is, I don’t hate men. I am not fond of Scott, but that’s because he’s a douche. And being assumed to be two contradictory things at the same time is not a new experience for me, as a libertarian who is accused of being both a Neocon and a flaming liberal alternately as well. So. YMMV. Point being, I hear you, and am not (I think) your enemy.

  111. Gretchen says:

    Oh, also– I'm not endorsing everything or even anything in particular about RW's handling of the elevator thing. But to point to what EG was accused of *anonymously* and complain about that, while ignoring the long-term and sustained deluge of harassment and threats RW has received personally…well, that's disingenuous. A person should not be subject to that simply for bringing up something that made her uncomfortable. And yet I think at this point it's pretty much axiomatic at this point that if you are female and discuss such things on the internet, you will be harassed for it.

  112. Gretchen says:

    That last sentence brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department.

  113. Jess says:

    Gretchen – I think everyone on this thread, myself included think that anyone who would send harrassing or threatening emails, etc. to RW is a douche. RW is entitled to her opinion, others are entitled to agree with it or not, taking it over the line to harrassment and threats is not OK.

  114. Jeremy says:

    @Gretchen

    Here, you guys (or at least Robert White, Jeremy, and Scott Jacobs) are treating me like a screeching feminist harpy for pointing out some very basic, non-controversial facts about harassment.

    Actually no, that is not accurate. I did not treat you as a "Screeching feminist". What actually happened is I announced that I started ignoring you. I did this because you seemed to be incapable of reading what I wrote without imposing your own meaning. You did not try to grasp my meaning. Further, you started leaving very obvious hints that I was some kind of abuser, a man who threatens women. That left me with only one option. I shut it down and rightfully so. When you start accusing or even insinuating things like that, you're only trolling, ONLY. I would wager that if I ever tried that tactic on you, the reaction I would get would have been far harsher than you're receiving.

    “Feminist” is a term for a person who opposes sexism.

    Then why is the word used FEMinism? Are you capable of seeing the bias in the very word itself? There are two sexes, but only the female side can be associated with opposing sexism? Is that what I'm supposed to take from it? Language is important, if the Feminists want to lead a crusade against sexism that's fantastic. Why inherently alienate half the population with word choice? Feminists asked us to stop calling people Policeman and Fireman to avoid alienating women, but it's ok to keep using the term Feminism to represent the worlds efforts against sexism? Seems like a double standard there at the very least.

    2. The Schrödinger’s Rapist analogy is intended to point out that every strange man a woman meets (and even those who aren’t strange) might be a rapist. If this thought makes you uncomfortable, good.

    Don't mistake disgust at inaccuracy with discomfort. It might also help your argument if you didn't take delight in evoking emotion out of rational discussions. You want to not be considered a troll, yet you love it when you make the men uncomfortable? Contradiction seems to abound here.

    It does not, however, mean that all men are rapists, or even that all men are likely to be rapists.

    Actually it kinda does. You clearly do not understand the Schrödinger analogy. That analogy was born from quantum mechanics. Specifically it came out of an article about quantum entanglement that made the (at the time quite bizarre) claim that sub-atomic particles are in an indefinite state until measured. The traditional lesson taken from it is that we treat the subatomic world as both waves and particles until observed. If you apply this to the social, the people using that analogy are essentially saying that all men on earth are criminals until proven otherwise. Essentially we're all guilty until proven innocent, per the feminists. Thank you ladies, you just again alienated half your support. Job well done right? It's a very very bad analogy that criminalizes half the world.

    3. Women feel threatened for reasons. Sometimes they’re not very good reasons, but generally they don’t just decide “Hey, I think I’ll feel threatened right now!” “Creepy” is a word for a person who has the effect of making someone feel threatened. Yes, I said “make.” The way people act has effects on other people.

    And thankfully we don't live in a nation of laws that engage in prior restraint, otherwise our prison population would be the only source of insemination to procreate the species. I would challenge you to find a universal definition of "creepy" that fits all people and all situations, and then get back to that argument. You argument there begs that fundamental question, what is creepy? Until such time as a universal answer to that question exists, please try to hear me once again when I say, FEELING CREEPED OUT IS VALID, but labeling someone creepy is a mistake.

    4. Asking men not to act creepy and encourage women to feel threatened by them is not asking them to “protect” women—it’s asking them to be decent human beings. It’s certainly possible to be creepy on accident, but that doesn’t mean that people who are creepy are never responsible for it. When people tell you what they find creepy, listen! They’re helping you out! Nobody wants to be a creep, do they? And I don’t want to claim that people just want to creepy without being called creepy, so don’t make me.

    Did you re-read that paragraph before posting? You use creepy so many times that I wonder if you could replace it with "boogeyman" and mean mostly the same thing. I wonder if you have a solid definition for that word.

    Frankly, and I mean this with respect, you're flailing. I understand that you have something to be upset about, but implying that the men posting here with their opinions are your enemy is just about the worst thing you could do. You want, just like us, for abuse of women to end. Yet when responsible men have an opinion on this thing they're supposedly responsible for, we get ignored? That's not rational, that's not how a feminist skeptic should behave. Skeptics listen to everything anyone has to say, and then make a decision. They don't say things like:

    Just know that nothing I’m saying here is remotely extreme or radical. It has has been repeated ad nauseum in discussion at FtB

    So you're pre-qualifying your points before we read them? That means they must be correct before we can form our own opinion? That doesn't sound skeptical in the slightest.

  115. Grifter says:

    @Gretchen,

    Think long and hard about your statements, and translate them into racial terms.


    "How do you define “deal with it”? If by that you mean “live with it,” then…well, yeah. Black men have live with the fact that white women wonder if you’re going to rape them. That’s part of the territory of being a black man—even the nicest, most considerate black man in the world who would never hurt a fly. Because white women don’t necessarily *know* that you are the nicest, most considerate balck man in the world would never hurt a fly. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that every time a white woman looks at a black man she thinks (or should think) “I wonder if he’s going to rape me?”

    Do you see how, if this were about race, then you would be a terrible person for advocating that black men have to "deal" with white women's intolerance of them?

    My point was that the burden rests not with the men to "understand" women and behave differently (than normal, not to justify harassment or poor behavior), it's up to women to understand that some things are perfectly reasonable behavior, and they need to accept that.

    As regards to RW, Jess is correct; no one is justifying sending her threats, nor any wrong behavior sent her way. But on the flip side, I'm perfectly within the bounds of common decency to say "her complaint was bullshit", and to say "she is a sexist hypocrite who has no problem calling someone out in public in a type of forum where they can't respond". I can think she's a bad person who purposefully misconstrues situations in order to create drama, and I can back that position up. But I will not defend poor behavior on either side ever.

  116. Scott Jacobs says:

    Careful, Jess. Best stay back…

    I might be a rapist, apparently…

  117. Scott Jacobs says:

    How do you define “deal with it”? If by that you mean “live with it,” then…well, yeah. You have live with the fact that women wonder if you’re going to rape them. That’s part of the territory of being a man—even the nicest, most considerate man in the world who would never hurt a fly. Because we don’t necessarily *know* that you are the nicest, most considerate man in the world would never hurt a fly.

    Yeah, and every woman might be a prostitute. I mean sure, she might be the most gentle and chaste of souls, but we don't know that, do we?

    Sucks when you're on the other end of a horrible analogy, doesn't it?

  118. Gretchen says:

    Grifter said:
    “Do you see how, if this were about race, then you would be a terrible person for advocating that black men have to "deal" with white women's intolerance of them?”

    Yes, I do—because making it about race is nonsensical. Women do not consider whether a man might rape them because they are “intolerant”—they consider it because they care about their personal safety. A racist might care about his or her personal safety as well, but a) concerning yourself with possible attacks by members of a certain race only is irrational, and b) considering that any man might be a rapist does require treating him badly in any way whatsoever. If sexual dimorphism worked in reverse and women were mostly bigger and stronger and more aggressive than men, and vastly more likely to sexually assault them, you would be pardoned for considering whether individual women you meet are rapists. Since that isn’t the case, I can’t find being offended by women doing it anything but silly.

    “My point was that the burden rests not with the men to "understand" women and behave differently (than normal, not to justify harassment or poor behavior), it's up to women to understand that some things are perfectly reasonable behavior, and they need to accept that.”

    Without actually clarifying what you’re *calling* “perfectly reasonable behavior,” this statement is both trivially true and meaningless.

    Scott Jacobs said:
    “Yeah, and every woman might be a prostitute. I mean sure, she might be the most gentle and chaste of souls, but we don't know that, do we?
    Sucks when you're on the other end of a horrible analogy, doesn't it?”

    Umm, no? Not really? Feel free to consider that all you want. I don’t know why you *would* stop to wonder whether every woman is a prostitute, but if you get your jollies that way I sure don’t give a shit. You seem to be assuming that considering whether a man is a rapist means mistreating him in some way, but it doesn’t. Neither does considering whether a woman is a prostitute mistreat her, and in neither case will the subject ever know it unless you tell them. And in neither case would I say you should.

  119. Gretchen says:

    Sigh. That first "does" should be a "doesn't." My kingdom for an edit function.

  120. Mike K says:

    Are you sure you don't mean 'does'? Isn't the purpose of considering someone a possible rapist to treat the situation differently than you would if you assumed that person was an average person just trying to get through the day?

  121. Gretchen says:

    Treating the situation differently ! = treating men badly. Considering that people in the area might be home invaders might lead you to lock your door. That doesn't mean your neighbors were abused in some way.

  122. Scott Jacobs says:

    I don’t know why you *would* stop to wonder whether every woman is a prostitute

    For much the same reason you wonder if every guy might be a rapist…

    Because I'm a fucking moron.

  123. Scott Jacobs says:

    God damn tagging fuck ups…

  124. Gretchen says:

    Oh, and Jeremy, I see I somehow completely missed your post. But I've read it just now, and…have no urge to bother replying. Your first post here was a confused tangle of petulant frustration and misapprehension, and that apparently hasn't changed.

  125. Gretchen says:

    Yes, you are, Scott. Glad you've grasped that.

  126. Scott Jacobs says:

    Treating the situation differently ! = treating men badly.

    Lady, read that slowly, and think about it…

    What you are suggesting is that you treat potential rapists no different non-potential rapists, or else you don't consider treating a guy like a potential rapist as treating him badly.

    I assure you, I actively treat people who are potentially violent felons quite differently from the rest of the general population, and it sure as hell ain't for the better.

    I don't consider the new black couple moving in next door to be potential home-invaders, while I DO consider the white teen wearing a hoodie in THIS weather with a large backpack that appears to be empty and who is walking by the house for the 3rd time in under 10 minutes as a definite "maybe".

    But by your logic, I have to actually consider the 75+ year old grandmother 2 doors down as a potential threat.

    And that is really fucking stupid. It leads to a life that is gripped by constant fear and promotes a sense of paranoia that even *I* would consider to be excessive.

  127. Grifter says:

    @Gretchen:

    I feel you're being a bit intellectually dishonest here. The Schrodinger's rapist argument came from the debate about how the EG should never have gotten into the elevator, and how wrong he was to do so. You yourself said that men should behave differently, in regards to how men can't control other people's feelings of creepedness:

    "Yes, you can, and yes it is. You can help people to not be threatened by not threatening them, and not blaming them if they feel threatened."

    So don't pretend that this was all just "hey guys, heads up, women are careful of their surroundings", this was "hey guys, you need to behave differently. Women are going to assume you're a rapist, and that's the right thing to do because they all might be, so adjust your behavior accordingly and be obsequious about it."

    I find this logic repulsive, and equating it to the bigotry of racism is 100% valid. Perhaps you're unaware that statistically a person is more likely to be attacked by a minority. You can't dismiss those statistics while bemoaning when people dismiss yours, and you can't use your logic then complain when its applied in a way you do recognize as awful. It's bigoted to tell black people to behave differently because they might be assumed to be criminals, and it's bigoted to tell men to behave differently because they might be assumed to be rapists.

    Of course, you also said earlier:
    "If you actually watched her video, or read, I don't know, any of the accounts about it, you'd know there's more to the story than that." when in point of fact, there isn't more to the story than that. So, of course, it's hard for me to take some of your arguments seriously when you're willing to bullshit so easily.

    @Scott Jacobs: I have a sickness. So long as the debate remains moderately civil and ostensibly obeys the rules of rhetoric, I find myself compelled to answer and to try to maintain the same level of civility I've been given. Mrs. Grifter accuses me of having chronic SIWOTI to go along with my Aspy's

  128. Gretchen says:

    Grifter,
    FFS, don’t make assumptions about what I’m defending and what I’m not. *That’s* intellectually dishonest.

    “The Schrodinger's rapist argument came from the debate about how the EG should never have gotten into the elevator, and how wrong he was to do so.”

    I was not aware of this, and don’t agree with it.

    “You yourself said that men should behave differently”

    Differently from what? I said that men have the ability to not be creepy, and they do. Maybe not in the eyes of everyone, but there are ways to be generally more or less threatening in the eyes of women. Do you deny this?

    “So don't pretend that this was all just "hey guys, heads up, women are careful of their surroundings", this was "hey guys, you need to behave differently. Women are going to assume you're a rapist, and that's the right thing to do because they all might be, so adjust your behavior accordingly and be obsequious about it."

    I neither said nor implied any of that.

    “I find this logic repulsive”

    So do I. I also find it repulsive that your immediate response to the suggestion that a woman might wonder if you’re a rapist is to equate it to bigotry rather than…you know, to not want to seem like a rapist.

    “Of course, you also said earlier:
    "If you actually watched her video, or read, I don't know, any of the accounts about it, you'd know there's more to the story than that." when in point of fact, there isn't more to the story than that. So, of course, it's hard for me to take some of your arguments seriously when you're willing to bullshit so easily.”

    Ahem. There is more to the story than “I don't agree that a simple question in an elevator late at night is creepy. “

    Namely:
    It wasn’t a simple question. It was an invitation to come to his hotel room.
    It was an invitation made after a long evening of no previous attempt at interaction.
    It was an invitation made after RW stated 1) that she’s sick of being hit on, and 2) that she’s really tired and wants to go to bed soon.

    I’m not the one bullshitting here, and if you’d bothered clicking the link I provided along with that comment it would have been clear to you instantly.

  129. Mike K says:

    Gretchen, I might have to think about that. I suppose it depends on how far you take things.

    If I hold the door open for you, what's the appropriate response given your views? Going through would be opening yourself up for an easy attack. Refusing to go through would be considered rude, although not necessarily extremely so if you do it right. Now if you had kids in tow or trouble walking, refusing to go through an open door says a lot more.

    I know I'm more paranoid than a normal person. My response to that paranoia is to be aware of my surroundings. Even when I don't feel threatened, I know without looking where everyone in the room is, without looking. I'm thinking that the biggest problem with your analogy is what has already been pointed out. It's deliberately insulating to men. Try imagining yourself as a black man in the southern US. Statistics down there will tell a white woman that you are more likely to kill her than a white man. Now imagine this woman is backing away from you, or watching you constantly, or walking across the street just to avoid walking anywhere near you. The analogy you put forward may not be racist, but it is definitely sexist and would be familiar to what many minorities have faced.

    I think it would be better to generically tell women (and men) to be aware of their surroundings. You'll probably find that learning ways to better keep track of events around you is more useful than being on edge when around any one of about half the people in the world.

    Also your home invader example doesn't fit. It would be more like this: You see a person jogging so you stop doing yard work and run inside the house. If the jogger actually noticed you, the jogger now either thinks you're really weird or feels insulted if that person thinks that you ran inside because of his/her approach. Locking your door in private doesn't compare to changing your behavior in a public arena.

  130. Mike K says:

    Grifter, I may have some of the same problem as you. If I see glaring holes in an argument, sometimes I can't help but try to point them out. I usually stop after realizing that the person refuses to acknowledge any other ideas.

  131. Gretchen says:

    Mike K,
    I take your point but I think you're making too many assumptions about what considering whether a man might be a rapist *means*. It sure doesn't mean avoiding all men! You know, given the statistic most women are actually less cautious around men than you might expect– most rapes are acquaintance rapes, and roughly 1 in 5 women have been raped in their lifetimes. And yet, if you ask women what they do about protecting themselves from rape they will offer statements like "I never leave a party by myself, or alone with a man I've just met" or "I don't go on a first date without telling someone where I'm going and with whom." Stuff like that. That's a relatively low level of concern. I can’t imagine why a man would be offended by being told these things, unless he’s offended by the fact that women find themselves in need of these considerations in the first place.

  132. Grifter says:

    "I said that men have the ability to not be creepy, and they do. Maybe not in the eyes of everyone, but there are ways to be generally more or less threatening in the eyes of women. "

    Creepy != threatening. Don't conflate them unless you define them for our debate. RW felt EG was creepy. If he'd been a different guy, or if she'd been a different woman, that might not have happened. Why is that some great wrong on his part? Basically, her complaint was that he should be psychic.

    And:

    "It wasn’t a simple question. It was an invitation to come to his hotel room."
    "I have heard you talk and you seem pretty smart. Would you like to come to my hotel room and have some coffee?" Is not a simple question? On what planet?

    "It was an invitation made after a long evening of no previous attempt at interaction." — Which is a meaningless point. Thanks for mentioning it though! The sun also rose on that day, too. Oh, and some women make false rape claims. I can bring in stupid and useless facts that have no bearing on anything, too, even ones that might appeal to emotions while also just making me seem like an asshole. But I find that type of logic stupid and insulting.

    "It was an invitation made after RW stated 1) that she’s sick of being hit on, and 2) that she’s really tired and wants to go to bed soon." – contradicted already! As I've said before, by her own words, she said he wasn't part of the conversation, so 2 is simply disingenuous. And 1…we still don't know she was being hit on! You are making the same assumptions that she was. The same sexist ones, FFS.

    So yes, it was as simple as: dude asks woman if she'd like some coffee during a con where lots of people were staying in the hotel and staying up late. Woman refuses. Conversation ends. Woman complains on internet that guys should be psychic. (That last bits an oversimplification, but not a great stretch).

    Implying otherwise, and bringing in useless or flat-out wrong points, is, indeed, disingenuous.

  133. Gretchen says:

    1. I didn't say EG committed a great wrong. Neither, for that matter, did RW.

    2. "A long evening of no previous interaction" is relevant because a) there was ample opportunity to make such a proposal beforehand in a more safe and comfortable atmosphere, or b) so much as *get to know her*

    3. RW made these statements about being tired of being hit on, and tired generally, to a group of people in which EG was present, in my understanding. If I'm wrong about this I apologize, but the assumption was that he *knew* she would not be receptive to the proposal, and knew why.

    God, I am tired of this discussion– not the harassment one generally, but the elevator thing. It really doesn't matter whether anyone in particular thinks that RW was justifiably creeped out, or whether EG was legitimately creepy. The point was that Jeremy left out important details that were factors in *why* RW felt creeped out, and that's a common tendency in people who want to completely dismiss the concerns of whomever they're talking about. The best way to approach these things is actually to be as charitable as possible and take as *many* details as possible into account, so that if you have an argument against that person you can make it fully and completely without being accused of misrepresenting them.

  134. Gretchen says:

    You know, that big long screed at 9:55am was intended to be my last comment on the subject. But I have a weak will, apparently, and have kept going to the point of conversation fatigue. So rather than become increasingly (and justifiably, I think) adversarial, I'm going to stop there…with a suggestion to please re-read the original post on which you're commenting, and consider whether you have an argument with that.

  135. Dan Weber says:

    Grifter,

    Here's a general life rule: don't worry if someone is wrong about you. Yes, it can be upsetting if someone thinks you are, say, racist, if you have never had a racist thought in your life. But you can't control what other people think.

    That little piece of advice helped me in lots of ways, including dealing with women. The other one was to stop dealing with women in their 20's. (Things get easier as you get older, since both you and your potential mates will be more mature.)

  136. Mike K says:

    @Gretchen
    So are you saying that you take the 'consider all men rapists' thing to mean only taking the nearly useless precautions you mentioned? I say useless because avoiding being alone with strangers doesn't seem to avoid the acquaintance rape you admit is more common.

    The other males responding on this issue probably have read that article linked above previously, I hadn't, just taking the term as what people here have mentioned. That article, though, specifically says that men should act differently. I skipped over large parts of it simply because of how exaggerated it was. I think it may be best for your argument if you define what you mean by it, since it is obviously different from the exaggerated tone that many others seem to know it by.

  137. Jeremy says:

    Dan Weber
    Here's a general life rule: don't worry if someone is wrong about you. …But you can't control what other people think.

    That little piece of advice helped me in lots of ways, including dealing with women. The other one was to stop dealing with women in their 20's. (Things get easier as you get older, since both you and your potential mates will be more mature.)

    That might work, except… These are intellectual women who want to be taken seriously. I want to take them seriously myself, I like smart women. I don't like absurd arguments that shift the burden of behavior so far onto one gender as to require mind-reading to avoid being treated like scum. So dismissing what they're saying isn't so simple.

  138. Grifter says:

    @Dan Weber:

    The issue isn't as much that someone thinks that I'm something I'm not, as it is that wrong statements bother me. I think they bother me because either that person is wrong, and should stop saying what they're saying, or I'm wrong, and I need to adjust my thinking. Obviously I hate being wrong, and I would rather be right; this means that I'd rather be proven wrong and reach the correct conclusion than win an argument through sophistry. I can't stop gnawing at the debate until someone has admitted rhetorical defeat; though sometimes that just means the person is a better arguer, sometimes it also means the truth has been found. And sometimes the truth is somewhere in the middle of the original point. All things you only really find out by arguing and debate. Since this is the internet, of course, debate becomes an awful cycle. Like I said, it's a sickness.

    On that note:
    @Gretchen

    "1. I didn't say EG committed a great wrong. Neither, for that matter, did RW." — She said, after making assumptions that were sexist: "Just guys…don't do that. It's creepy". So yes, she did imply it was bad. And her supporters have carried on the argument, which is what I've said. So please, don't insult me.

    2. "A long evening of no previous interaction" is relevant because a) there was ample opportunity to make such a proposal beforehand in a more safe and comfortable atmosphere, or b) so much as *get to know her*" — a) comfortable for her perhaps, not for him. By her account, she was having a converfsation with a group. What was he going to do, butt in and say "Hey, want to get a coffee"? That's rude by anyone's standards. If he's shy, his first opportunity was when she left the group.
    b) she's a public figure with a website. Who's to say how much of her he knew? You once again assume he was trying to get into her pants, and that's not fair of you just as it wasn't fair of her.

    "3. RW made these statements about being tired of being hit on, and tired generally, to a group of people in which EG was present, in my understanding." — He was present in the bar. By her account he was not part of the group. So you are wrong. I'll wait for the apology, which I'm sure will be forthcoming. It was unfair of her, and it is unfair to you, to assume everyone in a place is hanging on your every word.

    "The best way to approach these things is actually to be as charitable as possible" to the woman only, apparently. Because the men are instructed to "just not do that". There's no "Well, maybe he wasn't hitting on me, or didn't hear me, or is just shy, or perhaps just awkward". Nope, just a public pronouncement that his behavior was Bad.

    "You know, that big long screed at 9:55am was intended to be my last comment on the subject. But I have a weak will, apparently, and have kept going to the point of conversation fatigue. So rather than become increasingly (and justifiably, I think) adversarial, I'm going to stop there…with a suggestion to please re-read the original post on which you're commenting, and consider whether you have an argument with that." — Bullshit. That type of "You're wrong, but I'm too far above you to continue debating, and you're an asshole anyway" arugment is simply insulting, and shows you have no decent arguments. It doesn't mean you're wrong, but it means you're so far into your own position you can't see that you might be.

    It's also bullshit to say "Just read the original post". The original post referenced an event. We've been discussing the event in question. That's a perfectly relevant thing to do. As it is perfectly relevant to question how the debate got where it is from where it started, which was my point.

  139. Scott Jacobs says:

    2. "A long evening of no previous interaction" is relevant because a) there was ample opportunity to make such a proposal beforehand in a more safe and comfortable atmosphere, or b) so much as *get to know her*

    Yeah, because it is impossible to consider that he might be really shy and/or wanted to avoid public rejection.

    And if it was in any part the latter, boy did HE fuck up in assuming RW wouldn't call his ass out.

    So RW is tired of being hit on? God forbid. What mindless assholes men are for hitting on a woman they find attractive (for certain low values of "attractive", I suppose).

    I'm sure guys all over are re-considering ever hitting on her ever again, if only so they don't get called creepy for showing any interest what so ever.

    That might work, except… These are intellectual women who want to be taken seriously. I want to take them seriously myself, I like smart women

    Then I don't think you'd care for this particular subset. They THINK they are intellectual. That doesn't make it so.

    Just because you put a top hat and a monocle on a howler monkey doesn't make it a 1920's industrialist…

  140. Chris R. says:

    @Scott, I haven't watched the video, but as Ken describes it all she was doing was a little fyi. Not sure? Maybe wrong? If I am not wrong, since she didn't name the dude, it seems perfectly reasonable to me. He might be shy etc. but it doesn't make it less creepy on the other end. I am tired of being hit on repeatedly in elevators myself, and these women who do it are very socially awkward. ALL I WANT IS TO GET TO THE THIRD FLOOR AND NOT BE TREATED LIKE A WHORE!

    Also note, I am pretty much incapable of taking most things seriously.

  141. Scott Jacobs says:

    No Chris, you are right. The fact that you ARE a whore doesn't mean that you deserve to be treated like one. :)

  142. Chris R. says:

    @Scott, thank you! Finally some respect. I deserve to be treated like a lady.

  143. Jess says:

    @Scott @Chris – well shit so much for my being a lady then. #1- I enjoy it when men hit on me. I find it flattering. I like super smart, confident, aggressive guys. #2 – I don’t necessarily need to have an emotional connection to a guy to enjoy fucking him. Third, I don’t like it when other people try to mess up #1 and #2 for me. I understand not all women feel that way but I also believe it is up to us to spell out what we want and expect from the opposite sex (they’re not mind readers) and we’re more likely to get what we really want if we openly communicate about it. On the other hand, if I’m not interested in the guy and he will not get out of my face even after my spelling it out for him, I have no problem kicking the shit out of him. Even though I’m a black belt in Taekwando, I’ve never had to use that set of skills to get my point across. #3 – I understand there are women who are not comfortable with #1 and #2 and who may have been improperly taken advantage of in the past. I feel sympathy for them and hope they get the help to be strong, confident, and comfortable in their surroundings. At the same time, I think it is unreasonable for me to expect someone else (opposite sex or not) to be responsible for my happiness, fears, or feelings. If I don’t like something it’s up to me to deal with it, say something about it, and/or leave.

  144. Scott Jacobs says:

    All I can think of is the recurring characters from the sketch show "The Mitchell and Webb Look"

  145. Chris R. says:

    @Jess, I hope you come with a disclaimer.

  146. Kelly says:

    @ Scott and Chris: I laughed so much, thanks for that.

    @Jess: I think the term 'lady' is derisive in the first place, but that may just be me. I can't say that my list flows like yours, but I will say that this I understand not all women feel that way but I also believe it is up to us to spell out what we want and expect from the opposite sex (they’re not mind readers) and we’re more likely to get what we really want if we openly communicate about it. On the other hand, if I’m not interested in the guy and he will not get out of my face even after my spelling it out for him, I have no problem kicking the shit out of him. I agree with 110%.

    My bottom line is be respectful, as Robert pointed out somewhere up in the comments- male brain and female brain work totally different. Men seem to grasp it, frequently owning up to the fact that they simply don't get how female minds work. Women should do the same. On the topic of the whole 'who is alpha' mentality of men: I totally understand and acknowledge the male 'pack' mentality. Frankly, I vote they should hold public bouts actually. Tax the hell out of those tickets and the US government deficit problem would be taken care of in a few months.

  147. Jess says:

    @ Chris R. – you bet –

    Jess is provided "as is", without any representations or warranties of any kind, and expressly disclaims all express and implied warranties including those with respect to accuracy, completeness, or fitness for a particular purpose of the deciding about how to best interact with Jess unless otherwise expressly indicated. Jess assumes no responsibility for any losses, physical damages, whether direct, indirect, special or consequential, which arise out of her miss understanding of your intentions or abuse of her physical self howsoever caused, whether such damages arise via direct contact, negligence, or by way of any other legal theory regardless of whether such damages could have been foreseen. The information is subject to change without notice depending on Jess’s mood at the time.

  148. Dan Weber says:

    Scott, I get my crude British humor mixed up. This isn't Mitchell and Webb, is it? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXEUltZvJKs

    On a serious note, millions of person-years of talking have been consumed by one sex of twenty-somethings trying to convince the other sex of twenty-somethings that they should change their mating rituals and vice versa, and all for naught.

    If you want the other sex to do X, the #1 way to accomplish it is not to whine at them do to X; it's to get all your brothers/sisters to reward that behavior. This often ends up as a feckless prisoner's dilemma spread over millions of people instead of just two.

  149. Chris R. says:

    @Jess, great! Now if only women came with a manual or a game informer, I'd be set!

  150. Jess says:

    @Chris – if only. Many have tried. All have failed. But here is the unabridged version. Best of luck.

    http://gotsmile.net/141484/the-condensed-manual-for-understanding-women

  151. Ken says:

    I am on vacation with my family, and am not spending time moderating, and I certainly hope that I don't need to be.

  152. Chris R. says:

    @Ken better close all comments.

  153. Chris R. says:

    @Jess, I think I read that before. Unfortunately it was in a library for the blind and I can't read braille. However what I got from it was, that women are bumpy, sometimes rough, sometimes smooth and rolling, and have too many pages to read.

  154. Scott Jacobs says:

    @Jess – Tell me that's tattooed on like your shoulder blade or something… The warning isn't legit unless it is affixed to the… ahem… item.

    @Dan – No. This is, though not the right skit. Still a favorite… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRujuE-GIY4

  155. Jess says:

    @Scott – no tatoos. Just a polite verbal warning and then a wicked right if someone gets out of lne :-)

  156. Grifter says:

    @Jess, @Kelly:

    You're pretty awesome.

  157. Scott Jacobs says:

    Really Jess? Usually I have to pay extra for that…

  158. Scott Jacobs says:

    Good heavens I am so embarrassed… It wasn't Mitchell and Webb, it was Little Britain…

  159. Kelly says:

    @ Jess: I didn't see your comment way up there, but thanks! Studying anthropology gives many insights I either didn't possess or didn't pay attention to before. It certainly makes it interesting.

    @Jeremy: Not all smart/intellectual women are quite so … ahh… fervent? Some actually want to engage in an actual discussion even on this topic without it degenerating into some sort of pseudo-you aren't listening to me! sort of thing.

    @Scott and Grifter: Thank you. You have amused me greatly.

  160. Kelly says:

    @ Grifter: Thanks!

  161. Whatdouno says:

    Back when I was just a nice young girl of twenty, I was walking down the street along a strip mall and a perfectly decent-seeming older gentleman with a friendly smile on his face and a calm, measured step came down the street towards me, and as he made to pass by me, he leaned in to ask me a question. I can still see him to this day as if it happened yesterday. I so very assumed that he was going to ask me the time that I had my left wrist already coming up so that I could read my watch for him. Unfortunately what he said, with that charming smile on his face, was: "I would love to shove my cock in that sweet mouth of yours."

    And he kept on walking with his unhurried step and I was so frozen with shock and dismay and hurt that my legs automatically kept me walking away without missing a step, too. And that was how I learned that any man I didn't know might be a sexual predator, and that I had to stay on my guard, keep my eyes open, and not assume anything until it was proven to me. It was a lesson that has, for the most part, protected me for a good thirty years, and has kept me from extreme physical and emotional harm. I've had girlfriends who have been raped and beaten because, sensitive to the same sort of accusations Gretchen has received, above, they gave someone the benefit of the doubt. They didn't want to seem unfriendly or make a scene or make the man in question feel self-conscious or hurt his feelings or be judged as some sort of feminist ball-buster. Bad choice.

    In fact, I am relatively certain that every one of my woman friends (and my sister, and all of my female cousins) have at some point in their lives been sexually assaulted in one way or another, and most of them more than once. Those assaults have run the gamut from the relatively harmless but still unwelcome random guy leaning in to verbally inform us that he'd like to shove his penis in us in some way or other, to having used condoms put in our mailboxes or lockers, to having an unwelcome hand shoved up our dress or down our blouse, to being groped or flashed on a crowded train (incredibly common in NYC), to being given drugged drinks at bars or college parties, to being stalked, to being threatened quite seriously with rape, and to outright rape (or as the idiot Whoopie Golberg put it, "rape-rape"). Women talk to one another, and it turns out sexual assault is really, really, REALLY depressingly common. And most of those guys looked perfectly normal if not utterly respectable. Turns out any man you meet *could*, in fact, be a sexual predator, because on more than one occasion, they have. (Please note: that's ANY man, not ALL men. Some of these replies seem to conflate the two.)

    I've never put a name to this lesson I was taught, but I think I like "Schrodinger's Sexual Predator" as a title, "Schrodinger's Rapist" being a little too specific for my taste. And if that offends any of the fine gentlemen who wouldn't hurt a fly reading this, well that's just too bad. It's my life and my body and I'm going to be more protective of it than your feelings, and frankly I'm not really interested in your good opinion, esp. if you think my life is worth less than your feelings or a devotion to some abstract notion of fairness. I mean seriously, screw you. With any luck there's a special level of hell set aside for condescending fuckers whose knee-jerk reaction in any conversation about rape sounds like: "But What About The MENS?!?!!"

    If you have a daughter, the "Schrodinger's Sexual Predator" lesson is something you should sit down and talk to her about, before life teaches it to her. Because both experience and statistics have shown me that there are a lot of sexual predators out there and the odds are she's going to meet more than one of them if she puts so much as one foot out your front door. Very few of them look like a crazed rapist character on television. A lot of them seem very nice and respectable, or at the very least completely normal. Getting her some self-defense lessons would not come amiss, too, but they won't be worth a damn if she doesn't keep her eyes open and guarded.

  162. Gretchen says:

    I don't really have much to add to Whatdouno's post (though I'm very glad she wrote it– thank you) except this thought experiment: Obviously that nice-looking older gentleman's statement was intended to shock. He didn't think she would take the proposition seriously and say "Well, get it out then!" Because no sane woman would do that. If no sane woman would reply to whatever you're doing or saying receptively, that's a good sign you’re being creepy—at *least* creepy. And no sane woman would go to the hotel room of a man she didn’t know, for coffee or any other proposed reason, at 3am after having been asked in the elevator on the way up. If you have trouble figuring out what a sane woman would do, consider what you’d want your daughter to do. I realize that’s too tight a restriction because most daughters eventually want to do things their fathers wouldn’t approve of, but it’s a good starting point. If a woman would have to be wantonly reckless with her own safety to comply with whatever you’re contemplating saying or doing, it’s probably safe to call it creepy.

  163. Grifter says:

    @Whatdouno:

    There is no justification for bad behavior or assault.

    However, there is a difference between "I'm going to be aware of my surroundings" and "Men need to behave differently because they just need to understand they'll be treated like a rapist". The former is obvious and totally acceptable, the latter is bigotry.

    I'm not saying necessarily you advocated the latter, but that that was part of this debate. And, for the record, if you decide that men don't matter, you've become condescending yourself. That's like saying "I'm going to mace anyone within 30 feet of me. It's my own safety, and if anyone says anything, there's a special place in hell for them, because eff them for not caring about my safety!" Not a single person here has dismissed the fact that women have an absolute right to their own safety.

    @Gretchen:

    Just stop. As has been covered before: RW said she never felt threatened, and more than one woman has stepped forward to say that they wouldn't have found the offer odd or awful in its context.

    In fact, one blogger said she saw no problem with it, and it resulted in RW insulting her in a public forum. This is the kind of logic that in this debate pisses me off. And I'm still waiting for that apology.

  164. Gretchen says:

    Uh, I didn't say that RW said she felt threatened. I said she felt creeped out, though I think dwelling on the distinction between the two could hardly be more pointless. I also don't give a damn whether more than one woman said she *wouldn't* feel creeped out, because my point was about what sane women would be receptive to. You have a remarkable talent for putting words in my mouth, Grifter. You might as well put an apology in there while you're at it, because I have absolutely no reason to give you one.

    I do find it amusing that you continue to say that considering whether a man is a rapist means "treating him like a rapist," which is bigotry, when countless women around you almost certainly consider the question of whether you're a rapist on a daily basis without your knowledge. I'm sorry that the knowledge upsets you, but I think it also clearly puts the lie that such consideration amounts to mistreatment.

  165. Gretchen says:

    Actually I should have said "consider the question of whether you're a sexual predator," because Whatdouno is right that there are plenty of ways to be sexually threatening without actually committing rape.

  166. Grifter says:

    @Gretchen:

    No, you didn't say she felt threatened, you said that to accept an offer of coffee "a woman would have to be wantonly reckless with her own safety ". I was pointing out the implication there, and showing how even RW never really brought the idea of safety into the debate (at least not at the beginning anyway). Therefore, you dragging it in is disingenuous.

    So to be very clear, and to avoid "putting words into your mouth", any female who disagrees with your assessment of the situation is by definition, insane?

    To quote you: "I also don't give a damn whether more than one woman said she *wouldn't* feel creeped out, because my point was about what sane women would be receptive to."

    And to be clear, the apology was for a misstatement you made upthread, where you said "If I'm wrong about this I apologize," You were wrong, so I was waiting for the apology and acknowledgement. Silly me.

  167. Grifter says:

    Oh, and

    "I do find it amusing that you continue to say that considering whether a man is a rapist means "treating him like a rapist," which is bigotry,"

    Actually, what I've said is that those are two different things. But whatever, the point is we agree!

    Those are two different things.

    Of course, you must also therefore, like me, take issue with the arguments that men need to behave differently (not as regards to bad behavior, but as regards to perfectly reasonable behavior…and since you took issue with that phrase earlier, I'll say "behavior which, if it were a woman, would be perfectly acceptable"). Which, of course, means you don't like the Schrodinger's Rapist post, because it tells men to behave differently.

    Sweet!

  168. Scott Jacobs says:

    After this thread, I can say with absolute conviction that Gretchen and Whatdouno need never fear ME because I fucking refuse to ever so much as be within Line of Sight of either of them without 100 witnesses.

    Seriously, how the fuck do you live life in such a perpetual state of terror? How the fuck do you two manage it?

    Every person you meet could be intent on stealing your virtue. Every person in line at the store could be plotting your abduction and week-long sexual assault.

    I'm not fucking kidding, this is the life you lead.

    Whatdouno, one guy – ONE FUCKING GUY – said something disgusting to you, and he BROKE YOUR MIND. What kind of raging pussywillow were you BEFORE then, huh?

    Jesus God in heaven.

    You're pretty sure that almost EVERY woman you know has been sexually assaulted, many more than once? Really?

    You ARE aware that your date trying to "steal third" isn't sexual assault, right?

    Jesus. I wash my hands of this entire fucking thread. I refuse to stand here and be told I might be some sort of sexual predator.

  169. Gretchen says:

    Yes, Grifter, you are silly. For fighting tooth and nail against generally patient, rational suggestions on how not to be creepy which by the way could help you get laid, you are silly. For being absolutely intent on mis-portraying what I'm saying at every turn in order to make me sound like a terrified man-hater, you are silly– but Scott and Jeremy are even more silly, if that's any consolation. The three of you are downright ridiculous for responding to statements of "This is what makes women uncomfortable" alternately with "That's your own fault" and "That shouldn't make you uncomfortable; what's wrong with you?" and "You're bigoted against men." Ridiculous? No, hateful yourselves might be a better description. Again, you are the living embodiment of why the flame war Ken describes in this post– which you apparently oppose completely, but choose to attack the women who agree with it in the comments rather than the post itself– is happening. I hope you're pleased.

  170. Grifter says:

    Oh, stop.

    I'm married. To a woman's studies major, no less. So don't give me that "I'm just trying to help you get laid" crap.

    What you're saying is very similar to "when I see black people, they make me uncomfortable. I just have some suggestions for how they can make me feel more comfortable! Why won't they listen?" You've very consistently tried to ignore that that's what it is.

    Can you point to a single thing I've "misrepresented"? Something tells me you can't. You sure as heck can't in my last post, though you imply you can. And still you haven't acknowledged the points where you were wrong. You are being intellectually dishonest, while saying "No, no, you are. If you have a point, make it, and back yourself up. When that backup is questioned, defend it. That's how debate is supposed to go. Attempting to just use ad hominem and appeals to authority as though they mean anything is insulting.

  171. Scott Jacobs says:

    Give it up, Brother Grifter. These two have no interest in actual debate. You can not reason them away from a position they weren't reasoned into in the first place.

    They FEEL as though they are right, and thus they are. Further conversation with them is fucking pointless. Just do your best to never be around them without plenty of witnesses, lest you end up accused of something because you smiled and said hello to them.

  172. Chris R. says:

    Wow I left this thread for the Carreon thread last night and it went to a dark place. Every woman has been sexually assaulted, sometimes more than once? As a woman I know would say "Where they do that at?" When did being a complete asshat become sexual assault? The implication that bad behavior is sexual assault really dilutes the severity of actual sexual assault. I mean you could read an online fetish forum and be sexually assaulted then right? What sense of entitlement. Why don't you go share your sexual assault story with the women of Somalia? I bet they'll agree that being told a guy wants to put his dick in your mouth is the same as gang rape.

  173. Chris R. says:

    And now I'm probably the asshole for saying that. I with Scott, fuck this thread.

  174. Jess says:

    So I’m a bit confused in reading the above comment trail. Don't want to read anything into what anyone else is saying. Is Gretchen simply saying R.W. was entitled to say some guy’s behavior was creepy? If so, certainly both Gretchen and R.W. are entitled to that opinion. If she’s attempting to state that an entire class of people (in this case men) need to behave a specific way because “some of us” MAY think X_____, then I would say she is being ridiculous.

  175. Chris R. says:

    @Jess, I have no problem with anything anyone said up until the point whatdouno called me a sexual predator. Not that she ever talked to me or has met me, but because I was born with a penis. It must be like some sort of alien tentacle that just does what it wants, and my whole life until now I was blissfully unaware of the harm and hurt I have cause every woman on Earth. People can argue all day about what is and isn't creepy for all I care, but when my alien tentacle is insulted I am insulted too. I am not a minority so maybe I am not used to being judged with preconceptions, but I am really fucking mad right now. I never knew the time I took punches to the face because I got between some guy and his girlfriend I was only doing it because I myself was a sexual predator and must have been jealous or something.

  176. Mike K says:

    I'm still thrown by the idea that juvenile pranks are as bad drugging and raping a woman. I'm hoping that wasn't what was meant, but mooning people isn't sexual assault. At least the idea of every woman being sexually assaulted makes sense if you decide to define sexual assault that broadly.

    I'd say Grifter makes a lot of good points that I'd like to see addressed.

    I knew someone that couldn't handle anyone standing behind her. She didn't tell people to never stand behind anyone, because it's a relatively normal thing, she just asked individuals not to stand behind her because it bothered her. I suppose, though, that standing behind a woman shouldn't be done at all because it could creep them out. Of course that would then need to be extended to teachers not standing behind students, because a person twice your size standing behind you is even worse than someone about the same size but a different sex.

  177. Randy Jordan says:

    In this thread, an actual woman comes along with advice for men who are frustrated by being told that it's simply not acceptable to harass any woman into having sex with you. Her advice is pretty easy to follow: Women are just conditioned by a lot of natural factors and some societal ones to require a heightened defensive system. If you want to have sex with them, do the opposite of harassment, and be patient, and don't be convinced to try more-harassing tactics when you find out that the woman you're most-attracted-to isn't attracted to you, or doesn't want to fuck you right now.

    The response from the closeted MRAs (and one or two out-and-out MRAs) here? BEAT DOWN THE MAN-HATER!!!

    It's really sad, since the entire product of Phaedra Starling's Schrödinger’s Rapist explanation was to help us men understand women better. Those men who jump right to (and never return from) tearing it apart miss the whole benefit. She's trying to help you better see the world as women do, which is supposed to be really good for you. You know, if you care about women and managing how they see you.

    If you don't, I guess you can raise your voice and your rhetoric and yell at the women here that they don't know what they want and like and think. Of course, you know what they think! The woman who tried to explain it to you here is "full of bullshit". She can't even be trusted to get her own opinion right!

    @Scott Jacobs –

    To a woman who doesn't know anything about you, who sees you in public, who has lived an entire life in a body that is smaller than yours, and whose existence is the product of many millenia of men harassing women… you might be a predator. Get. Over. It.

    No woman here ever said anything even remotely close to indicating that they live in a perpetual state of terror. Good job beating the fuck out of this latest of your many straw men. In this comment thread alone, you'd have to have deforested half of Malaysia to consume so much straw.

    Please read this: http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2012/07/labeling-women-crazy/all/1/

    Debating women's issues when you're a man is already a challenging place to be. Doing so via ad hominems, straw men, appeals to emotion, and outright name-calling is just embarassing. You're not helping anyone.

    To anyone who hasn't read the whole thing — I'm not shitting you — some guy in this thread actually stooped to bitching about the word "feminism"! It was pathetic.

  178. Scott Jacobs says:

    OH shut up, Randy.

    Just because you've been beaten down and trained to accept that you are WRONG simply because you are male doesn't mean that the rest of us have devolved into spineless pansies hoping for whatever the women of the word might deign to grace us with.

    Some of us – and you most certainly are excluded – understand that while some women are so frail and delicate as to need to be protected from every-fucking-thing in life, most are actual adults, capable of coping with a world that does not caret to their every whim.

    My girlfriend is a rape survivor. Anyone who suggests I don't have sympathy for women (or men) who have been sexually assaulted is a fucking fool. That does not mean, however, that I will stand by and let some jackass a) tell me that I – for all she knows – be her next rapist simply because I have a dick or b) stand here and listen to some other jackass say to me – without any detectable sense of irony – that having some older dude say something perverted to her IS SEXUAL ASSAULT.

    Because it fucking isn't, and if that event is all it took to break her little spirit, then it was to be broken eventually because at SOME point in her life mommy and daddy wasn't going to be there to comfort her when someone said she did poorly at something, or was less than completely supportive of whatever damned fool thought danced through her largely vacant skull.

    You're a dishonest hack, and you might be the best living example of the concept of "Beta Male" that I have ever interacted with. You're almost a parody of the concept of the sniveling, groveling pansy who will do and say anything if he thinks it will make him seem sensitive enough to be allowed to gaze upon a womyn.

    You're pathetic, you're worthless, and you should just shut your nommer lest you emasculate yourself further.

  179. Randy Jordan says:

    @Scott Jacobs

    I just removed all of the ad hominem from your reply, and was left this this:

    .
    ,
    .
    .
    ,
    .

  180. Gretchen says:

    *tries counting the fallacies and insults in Scott's post*

    *gives up*

    *decides to instead feel sorry for his girlfriend*

  181. Chris R. says:

    Wow. So because of what one other man did to some woman I am now a potential sexual predator Randy? Awesome. In middle school I got jumped by 3 Hispanic youths. So I guess it is now fair that I proclaim "All Hispanics are probably thugs who want to assault me and anyone else?" I can tell people "Hide your daughters in your house because Hispanics might beat them up?" Which is almost exactly what whatdouno said about men? Or as a Baptized Catholic should I be against all Jews, Muslims and Protestants for centuries of wars of religious attrition? What a world you and whatdouno live in. It must be frightening to step foot out the door every day knowing that there is someone who is related, by some absurd classification, to someone who has harmed you in the past. "Yeah one time a guy named Dick told me to go fuck myself, so I don't like people named Dick now." That is what we categorize as prejudice.

    rej·u·dice   [prej-uh-dis] Show IPA noun, verb, prej·u·diced, prej·u·dic·ing.
    noun
    1.
    an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.
    2.
    any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.
    3.
    unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious, or national group.

  182. Chris R. says:

    And Gretchen, you've stooped to talking about other people's significant others, so I won't be reading your posts any more. That's right below "your dick is small" in my book.

  183. Gretchen says:

    *sets fire to the strawman that anyone here said that men are probably rapists because they're men*

    *watches it go up in smoke*

    Hmm, this is going to take a while.

  184. Randy Jordan says:

    "So because of what one other man did to some woman I am now a potential sexual predator Randy?"

    Nope. I never said that, nor do I believe such a thing. No one here has asserted anything close to that, either.

    Ignoring the rest of whatever you posted, since it's inferred from a false premise.

  185. Dan Weber says:

    an actual woman comes along with advice for men who are frustrated

    Not necessarily. I was given lots and lots of "advice" by female friends on how to hit on women. But it wasn't advice that was supposed to help me with women. It was advice that they wished all men would follow. Now, there are a lot of confounding factors, but my social life improved considerably once I realized it was okay to make someone feel a little verklempt by having to shoot me down.

    Women, like men, lie. Women, like men, lie especially hard when it comes to relationships. Most often to themselves. It's probably the single most deceitful area of human interaction, which is incredibly ironic because it's probably the most important interacton and a long-term relationship is built on trust.

    To whomever was frustrated: things will get easier as both you and your potential paramours become more mature.

    if you care about women and managing how they see you

    One cannot control other people's perceptions. They are their own sentient beings. One can, however, forfeit control over one's life by trying to please complete strangers.

  186. Scott Jacobs says:

    if you care about women and managing how they see you

    See, that's the thing…

    I don't.

    I don't give a single solitary ounce of a fuck what more than a handful of people think about me.

    I know who and what I am. I am vulgar, crass, blunt, and prone to the use of violent rhetoric. I am also one of THE most loyal and compassionate people you are ever likely to meet. If a friend is unfairly attacked, I don't just offer my support, I'll offer to go buy the baseball bats. In the same vein, if the attack was warranted, I'll tell the friend as much, because lying just to save someone's feeling is just plain fucking stupid.

    People react to me however they react to me. I won't bullshit my way through life just so shallow, ignorant, prejudiced people like Randy, Gretchen or Whodouno can think well of me…

    Because they aren't worth the effort, not even a little.

    In fact, you three are exactly the sort of people I actually TRY to offend and disgust, if only so you stay the fuck away from me and don't bother me with your sniveling, cowardly opinion.

  187. Chris R. says:

    Randy you disingenuous fuck. This is what whatdouno said:

    And that was how I learned that any man I didn't know might be a sexual predator

    This is what you said:

    "So because of what one other man did to some woman I am now a potential sexual predator Randy?"

    Nope. I never said that, nor do I believe such a thing. No one here has asserted anything close to that, either.

    So either you are not reading the same thread as me or you are completely incapable of reading thoroughly. I have addressed everything I said up until I told Gretchen and you off, to whatdouno. ProTip: "an actual woman comes along" makes you sound like you live on some island with no females.

  188. Gretchen says:

    And Chris yet again displays his apparently estranged relationship with probability. "Might be" and "potential" mean "might be" and "potential," respectively. They do not mean "probably," let alone "is" or "are."

  189. Randy Jordan says:

    "One cannot control other people's perceptions. They are their own sentient beings. One can, however, forfeit control over one's life by trying to please complete strangers."

    One can definitely impact strangers in myriad ways.

    I obviously disagree that being pleasing to complete strangers is a forfeiture of one's life.

    In any part of the world that is not unpopulated, we are strangers to many. We have many tools in our kit for being pleasing to those we encounter, and the tools vary by what sort of person we come across. We do different things to be pleasing to an elderly stranger struggling with a heavy door, versus a mountain of a man exiting a bar, versus a child in the grocery store, versus a police officer who is giving us a hard look on the street, etc. etc. etc.

    As derailment attempts go, this one isn't worth debating.

  190. Gretchen says:

    Oh, I misread. Small correction: Someone did say you are a potential sexual predator, yes. But not because of "what one other man did to some women." Because of what many men have done to many women, throughout recorded and evolutionary history. Because of that, women consider you a potential sexual predator.

  191. Jess says:

    Well Ken is going to be sorry he's on vacation and not moderating.

    I think everyone is in agreement that harassing any woman in an attempt to have sex with them is wrong. Plus, I can tell you it doesn’t work. And while it would be great if we could all get together and sing kumbaya and men would not harass women, the reality is there will always be a few jerks who weren’t raised properly or are missing a social “filter”. But I’m not sure I can make the leap that means all men should be classified as being a potential threat or that I necessarily have a heightened self defense system. I don’t, but maybe I’m the odd one out here.

    This discussion reminds me of a friend who had a knife put to her throat and the thief took off with her purse. As a result of that incident she is hyper sensitive to the possibility of it happening again. She won’t go to the store at night she tells me the gas station I go to which is in a good neighborhood is crawling with people waiting to jump me. She has cameras and all kinds of security equipment around her house. She lives in perpetual fear all the time that someone is going to rob or assault her.

    I can’t entirely fault her as it is her perception is based on her own personal experience – she’s entitled to feel that way. But I also have to wonder why let that kind of fear be a prison? Why put that power and control in someone else’s hands? It seems to me that expecting someone to act a certain way to ally your fears or concerns is giving power away to someone else to control how you both feel with and deal with certain situations. I’m not condoning men being jerks but I am saying as women we also have to be careful about giving power away – which is what you do when you put the onus on someone else to behave like X or you will feel like Y. Which is pretty much (I think) what Dan Weber said.

  192. Chris R. says:

    Okay breaking my promise just for you Gretchen since you admitted you were wrong but then decided to go and be wrong again.

    Unfortunately what he said, with that charming smile on his face, was: "I would love to shove my cock in that sweet mouth of yours."

    And he kept on walking with his unhurried step and I was so frozen with shock and dismay and hurt that my legs automatically kept me walking away without missing a step, too. And that was how I learned that any man I didn't know might be a sexual predator

    That is what ONE PERSON SAID. Not an entire history of one gender's actions. Wrong again. Both you and Randy are corrupt in your arguments because you can't even get the facts straight. I am not asking you to research a whole library of material. Just one post and it keep's getting misquoted back to me.

  193. Randy Jordan says:

    "I don't give a single solitary ounce of a fuck what more than a handful of people think about me."

    "I'll offer to go buy the baseball bats."

    "In fact, you three are exactly the sort of people I actually TRY to offend and disgust, if only so you stay the fuck away from me and don't bother me with your sniveling, cowardly opinion."

    Wheeee! Failure to meet debate with anything resembling useful argument or even the slightest desire to improve one's perspective has been met with flailing about aimlessly! Hulk smash!!!

    This is why we can't have nice things.

  194. Chris R. says:

    @Jess, I am sorry for your friend truly. You should encourage her to seek counseling, or else whatever crime committed against her is being committed to this day.

  195. Gretchen says:

    Jess,

    I think many here have simply assumed that considering whether a man might be a sexual predator or not is like your friend's hypersensitivity. It isn't. It isn't even a fear, let alone a fear acting as a prison. Just a precaution, practiced by women who are aware that sexual predators exist and don't want to be the victim of one.

  196. Gretchen says:

    And Chris R., you've stooped to talking about other people's friends, so I won't be reading your posts any more. That's right below "your dick is small" in my book.

  197. Chris R. says:

    And Chris R., you've stooped to talking about other people's friends, so I won't be reading your posts any more. That's right below "your dick is small" in my book.

    How does that make sense? Oh I'm the bad guy for actually caring what happens to Jess' friend? Ok!

  198. Gretchen says:

    Scott brings up girlfriend who is a rape survivor, I say I'm sorry for his girlfriend, I get yelled at. Jess brings up friend who is a mugging survivor, you say you're sorry for her, I'm yelling at you.

    Actually I'm not. I think that yelling at people for either thing is beyond silly.

  199. Chris R. says:

    I offered advice to someone who I wasn't arguing with. You were arguing with Scott and from my perspective (which is something you hold holy apparently, people's perspectives) it seemed like you said you were sorry for her because of him, not what happened. Nor did you clarify why you felt sorry, I did. If you had before now, I would have retracted my previous statement, which I now do.

  200. Chris R. says:

    However now that I am past civilities on the previous issue, Gretchen, you have not responded the fact that whatdouno was talking about 1 person influencing their opinion of all people of one group.

  201. Gretchen says:

    What do you want me to say? She said that that particular man's behavior woke her up to the fact that a man can seem polite, kind, happy, and pleasant, and yet still be a nasty horrible person underneath, the kind to tell complete strangers that he wants to shove his cock in their mouths. She did not say that this incident made her decide that all men are nasty horrible people. So I don't understand why I apparently am being asked to defend a statement she didn't make.

  202. W Ross says:

    Chris R, are you being a privilege based defacto rapecrimer again? Your penis is always ruining everything, and I want you to appologize to all these people for your precrime. Stop being the gender rapists are and read these pamphlets.

  203. Chris R. says:

    Gretchen, No she said:

    And that was how I learned that any man I didn't know might be a sexual predator

    Then you said:

    But not because of "what one other man did to some women." Because of what many men have done to many women, throughout recorded and evolutionary history. Because of that, women consider you a potential sexual predator.

    Which in fact you then back pedaled to:

    She said that that particular man's behavior woke her up to the fact that a man can seem polite, kind, happy, and pleasant, and yet still be a nasty horrible person underneath

    Icing on the cake whatdouno also said:

    Turns out any man you meet *could*, in fact, be a sexual predator, because on more than one occasion, they have.

  204. Patrick says:

    Ken's not sorry he isn't moderating, because I am.

    I haven't read through all this shit because I'm busy with other shit, but rest assured, I'm going to read this thread very carefully tomorrow morning and take whatever banning action I deem appropriate.

    And I'm closing comments on this post now.

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