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They Have To See It With Their Own Eyes: Men and Violence Against Women

[Content note: gendered violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment]

It’s been about a week and a half since Elliot Rodger shot six people and himself in Isla Vista, and the discussions are starting to die down. As they always do, as I knew they would. Plenty of men have authoritatively told me that misogyny is not the best explanation for this act of violence, that not all men are violent, that we need to reform the mental healthcare system, that autism makes people dangerous, that I have no reason to fear that something like this will happen to me, that I have no reason to fear men at all.

As I knew they would.

Then I read this piece on Jezebel by Madeleine Davies, and something clicked:

They don’t believe us. Hundreds of thousands of women from around the world can weigh in and tell their first hand experiences and there are men out there — seemingly reasonable and intelligent men — who still refuse to admit that maybe, just maybe, we have good reasons to be afraid. A 22-year-old kid spouts the same misogynist rhetoric that my coworkers and I receive in our inboxes on a daily basis and goes on a shooting rampage with the expressed purpose of punishing women for not giving him the sexual attention he felt entitled to and we’re still told that we have no right to be scared because #NotAllMen are like that.

Davies goes on to tell a story about her male college roommate and his persistent inability (or refusal) to internalize what Davies told him about women’s fear of and susceptibility to male violence:

In college, I had a male roommate who badgered me endlessly about my frequent choice to take a cab home from my restaurant job where I would — more often than not — clock out well after midnight. The walk from work to our house wasn’t long (maybe 20 minutes), but it was poorly lit and remote, taking you over railroad tracks and past warehouses. Honestly, it shouldn’t have mattered if the walk was 5 minutes and through the busiest part of town — I was paying for the taxi with my own money and it was my own business, but for some reason, it drove my otherwise decent roommate mad. He would call me lazy. He would imply that I was cowardly and weak. On multiple occasions, we got into shouting matches about it that left me feeling stupid, small and crazy.

While we were living together, a girl at our university was murdered by a stranger who broke into her on-campus apartment. They never caught the man who did it and still, my roommate couldn’t see why I would get mad when I came home to find our house unlocked and empty or why I’d be mildly nervous about being alone and vulnerable.

That was years ago, but recently, we met up for dinner.

“I’ve gotta apologize about something, Mads,” he said, pouring a glass of wine. “I know I used to give you a hard time about not wanting to walk alone at night, but a couple weeks ago around bar time, I saw a girl get attacked. It was crazy.”

To my friend’s credit, he didn’t stand by and simply watch the attack happen. He tried his best to help, but I still left the conversation with a sour taste in my mouth. I tried so many times to tell him about the scary realities of existing while female and he, like all of those dudes on Twitter, refused to believe me. He had to see someone undergo traumatic assault with his own eyes before he would recognize what we women know inherently.

And I remembered something else that I’ve observed and written about myself:

I’m tired of men getting attention for saying things that women have been saying for ages. I’m tired of the fact that men don’t believe women’s experiences unless they find a way to have those same experiences for themselves. I’m tired of the fact that women’s experiences are constantly being dismissed as overreactions or distortions or outright lies–until a man comes along to validate them. I’m tired of the fact that these men can then delete their online dating accounts or take the women’s outfit off, but I can’t stop moving through the world as a woman.

Probably any woman who has discussed sexism publicly has experienced a man showing up and demanding citations to “prove” that her individual experiences really happened. But even when the proof is there–Davies’ college roommate presumably knew about the girl at their university who was murdered, as that tends to make front-page news, and most men realize on some level that women get lots of sexual harassment both offline and on dating websites (or other websites)–these men are unable to convert that knowledge into an understanding of phenomena such as women being afraid to walk alone at night, demanding that the door to the apartment remain locked at all times, or quitting dating sites in frustration at the disgusting messages they receive. They still see these things happening and read them as “women are so irrational and overemotional B” as opposed to, “Wow, this is a sad but totally rational response to the unacceptable reality that these women face.”

That it was not enough for Davies’ college roommate to know that their classmate had been murdered by an intruder to understand Davies’ fears honestly terrifies me. That a woman had to get attacked right in front of him in order for that to sink in is horrifying. And as Davies points out, he was not some anomaly. This is common.

I’m going to go out on a limb a little here and then solidify that limb as much as possible. Men who refuse to take violence against women seriously until it happens right the fuck in front of their faces are as complicit in this injustice as men who commit violence against women. This is not to say that they are as individuals just as bad or just as sexist or whatever. It just means that, without their silence, their ignorance, their shrugging shoulders, this situation could not continue as it is. It cannot continue without the participation of men who commit violence, and it cannot continue without the participation of men who shrug it off or blame the victims or accuse them of “overreacting.” Both of these are gears have to turn in order for it to continue.

If you have to watch a woman be harassed or beaten or raped or almost raped in order to care, that means that even more women must be harassed or beaten or raped or almost raped in order for you to join in the fight against violence against women. If you have to watch a woman be harassed or beaten or raped or almost raped in order to care, that means that women’s personal accounts of violence–which they have little reason to lie about but many reasons to keep silent about–aren’t enough for you. If you have to watch a woman be harassed or beaten or raped or almost raped in order to care, that means that on some level–even if you won’t admit it–you think that there’s some level of “bad enough” that this shit needs to get before you’ll even acknowledge it as a problem, let alone actually do something about it.

Keep in mind, Davies hasn’t indicated that her former roommate has become some sort of anti-sexist crusader as a result of what he saw. He apologized to her, which is nice. He tried to help the woman who was being attacked, which is a good thing to do (although I hesitate to demand that men do it, because for all sorts of intersectional reasons, that may not be safe or possible for them).

But what’s it going to take for more men to actively, assertively challenge male violence against women? To shut down other men who excuse it or attempt to exonerate themselves by chanting “Not all men!” as though it were a magic spell? To refuse to support a type of masculinity that glorifies dominance and violence?

If what it takes is personally watching women being victimized by that type of masculinity, we’ve got a huge problem.

~~~

Moderation note: No, I did not discuss violence against men in this blog post. That was a deliberate choice. It is not the subject of this blog post. Do not turn the conversation in the comments section into a conversation about violence against men. Do not insist on reminding me that men can also be the victims of violence.

You are, however, welcome (as always) to draw analogies to other axes of oppression, because these dynamics play out in all of them.

Comments

  1. says

    I don’t even feel comfortable taking cabs, though it can be the least bad option. Quite a few years ago when I was living in boston, I caught a cab to take me from a dance club I’d been at with friends, back to my car, which was quite a ways away, because I had parked it near a friends house and we carpooled over.

    The cab driver ended up taking me to some dark location where he wanted to smoke pot with me and wouldn’t bring me to my car until I agreed to kiss him, which I continually told him I was not interested in doing and could he please bring me back to my car. He was also adamant that I give him my phone number even though I told him that I didn’t want to. I ended up giving him the kiss and a fake phone number and he brought me back to my car. There was absolutely no chance I could have defended myself against him. I was in heels and he was bigger/stronger/longer legged and had a vehicle so I wasn’t really sure there was any escaping him. It’s terrible feeling so helpless and like you are at someone else’s mercy, who has no consideration for what you want.

    I’m not sure this adds anything to the discussion but I guess what it comes down to is that Madeleine Davies’ story upsets me because I can imagine how helpless she must have felt trying to argue for guarding her own safety with someone who couldn’t find a scrap of empathy for her. I can’t help but put myself in that story and feel just a flood of fear and frustration on her behalf.

    • smrnda says

      This is what I detest about cabs – in some places they are fairly regulated, but it’s often not much more than ‘someone with car and a light on top and meter inside’ – no way of knowing anything about the person driving it, and no real accountability (if it’s a one cab operation, what do you do?) .

    • Blanche Quizno says

      The summer after I graduated from high school (1978), my roommate worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken. It was still called that back then. Anyhow, we had a party, and several of her coworkers came over. One of them, a man in his early 20s, and I got to talking cars – I had a 5 speed; he had a 3 speed; would I like to take it for a drive so I could see for myself how it was similar/different to the stick shift I knew? Sure!

      He was my roommate’s friend. They’d worked together for over a year.

      We went driving, then switched so he could drive back. Instead, he drove out into the middle of a dark field and told me he wouldn’t take me back until I gave him a hand job. Threatened to put me out in the middle of that dark field in the middle of the night. I didn’t even know where I was (this was around a smallish town in Kansas).

      So I gave the pig the hand job. And then avoided him from then on. It took the #YesAllWomen campaign for me to talk about it. Do we have to give men a “gimme” so that we can figure out which ones we need to avoid? That’s an awful lot of gimmes…

  2. Menyambal says

    I used to date a woman who would just open her door, without looking, whenever I rang the doorbell. I suggested that she look first, before opening the door. She said she had used to do so, but some friends told her it looked silly. I still get twitchy just thinking about that.

  3. says

    Awesome and well articulated post. Thank you for continuing the conversation as the rest of the world dies down in an enabling silence.

    • katy says

      Thanks for the great comment, beautifully said, “enabling silence”, will remember that one, reminds me of, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” MLK, Jr. On issue of violence against women, frequently “enabling silence” also could mean and has meant (Kitty Genovese, NYC) the physical death of a woman.

  4. says

    *shudders*

    What I don’t understand is… why? Why do some people have such a hard time believing women when we do speak up? I mean… yeah, okay, sexism and all that, but I feel like this goes beyond society’s general devaluing and marginalization of women to something… I dunno, more sinister and malicious and ooky.

    • Ben Finney says

      From the perspective of the average privileged (e.g. white, non-elderly, non-poor, or some happy combination) man, someone who has never had to fear that they might be targeted based merely on their gender, the idea is quite difficult to empathise with. It is, frankly, difficult even to imagine.

      For myself, a member of many of those categories of privilege, the blinkers are near-complete, and intrusions of the facts about danger most women live with every day are so foreign that they fail the availability heuristic. Couple that with the inability to imagine feeling the same fear, and there is a vicious feedback between the two.

      This feedback results in our own minds being complicit in dismissing the importance of reports of threats against women for their gender: Because I can’t imagine experiencing this, I can’t symmpathise with it properly; and because I can’t sympathise with it properly, I don’t code it as a plausible threat; and because I haven’t coded it as a plausible threat, no volume of such reported threats will affect my availability heuristic when assessing the next report I encounter.

      It’s possible to overcome this, by assessing the evidence rationally and convincing oneself of the truth. But that is *difficult*, and our minds resist doing difficult work to learn something, especially when we already appear to have a perfectly serviceable answer at hand. It is our responsibility as rational beings to overcome that limitation, but most don’t.

      Not a flattering revalation, but hopefully one that helps to explain one factor behind the default dismissive attitude of the general male population toward these reports.

      • Ben Finney says

        I’m referring here to the availability heuristic which our minds automatically use to assess the likelihood of something happening (or of happening again), based on how easily recalled (how “available”) similar instances are to bring to mind quickly. From the Wikipedia article:

        When faced with the difficult task of judging probability or frequency, people use a limited number of strategies, called heuristics, to simplify these judgements. One of these strategies, the availability heuristic, is the tendency to make a judgement about the frequency of an event based on how easy it is to recall similar instances.[4] In 1973, Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman first studied this phenomenon and labeled it the Availability Heuristic.

        It’s important to note several things:

        This is automatic, fast thinking; it is not a process of rational deliberation. It’s a highly irrational way of answering the (often implicit) question of “how likely is this?” by answering a different, easier-to-answer question — hence “heuristic”.</li
        This heuristic, like most of the ones our minds have by nature, are acceptably effective most of the time, in the conditions for which they evolved. It’s only when it fails that it’s a problem.
        This heuristic, like many of our automatic innate biases, can be improved through the deliberate effort of learning and training ourselves to notice events that seem unimportant but are in truth salient to the issue at hand.

        So, in a way I’m saying “that’s human nature”, but we can improve on aspects of human nature – including the availability heuristic – by conscious effort over time to counter our biases with rational, reality-checked learning.

        This is just another area where the biases in our mind are persistent because they are unexamined, and we resist changing them both because that’s difficult and because the easy answer just feels right already. We can do better; but being aware that we’re doing so badly, and why, is IMO a necessary prior step.

      • says

        I get that part, I really do. I knew what women go through, but living it post transition made it real in a way it never was before, but it also feels like there’s just a lot of automatic distrust when someone from an out-group is telling you something that might implicate you in any way, or require anything of you, as if they’re trying to scam you out of something.

  5. says

    women can’t win in the context of safety anyway, no matter what they do. This woman was considered “crazy” for taking a cab; I was considered “crazy” for choosing to walk home through Seattle’s International District (along a well-lit main road). Basically, women choosing which risks to take (or not) are always considered “crazy”, no matter what.

    Other aspect of this can’t-win scenario: I take the risks many women won’t, and for that they get called “crazy”; but if something ever happens to me while riding in cars with strangers or whateverthefuck, that will also be my fault, because how could I have been so “stupid”.

    • Onamission5 says

      THIS THIS THIS

      I, too, often take risks that other women can’t or won’t, I do the thing that we’re told to do when someone is pushy or aggressive (that is, to speak up and to speak loudly) and for that I get told that I am “provoking” or “rude,” or that I’m not careful enough, or whatevereverythingidoisthewrongthing. There’s no winning. There’s also no not playing.

    • Lauren M says

      The “can’t win” scenario you’re so accurately describing is also referred to as a “double bind.” The existence of double binds for groups of people (in this case, women) reveals oppression:

      “A double bind is an emotionally distressing dilemma in communication in which an individual (or group) receives two or more conflicting messages, in which one message negates the other. This creates a situation in which a successful response to one message results in a failed response to the other (and vice versa), so that the person will automatically be wrong regardless of response. The double bind occurs when the person cannot confront the inherent dilemma, and therefore can neither resolve it nor opt out of the situation.” (Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_bind).

      “One of the most characteristic and ubiquitous features of the world as experienced by oppressed people is the double bind – situations in which options are reduced to a very few and all of them expose one to penalty, censure or deprivation.” (Marilyn Fye, “Oppression,” http://people.terry.uga.edu/dawndba/4500Oppression.html)

  6. says

    anyway: pretty much any scenario of “privileged person pretends to be disprivileged, finds out it sucks to be disprivileged” often ends up as “well of course I didn’t believe them, because victim culture and emotional and blah blah; had to see for myself.”

    But I still like “Nickel and Dimed”, even if it’s kind the poverty version of that…

  7. katy says

    You could publish this every day of the week forever, and maybe if enough of us read it, violence against women would fuckin be the daily topic, and we might, just perhaps, begin the uphill battle to change our hideous “rape culture”. No, “not all men”, but “yes, all women”, from a 74 year old radical feminist who has seen and experienced the violence in all its many forms, all too many times. Hopeful for the future when I have “walked on” because of younger generation of articulate, brilliant, powerful feminists like yourself out there. You are one of the all too few lifelines for so many, hope you know it, and keep on keeping on, please!!!

  8. Martha says

    It just means that, without their silence, their ignorance, their shrugging shoulders, this situation could not continue as it is.

    This, this, a thousand times this. The “good guys” who shrug and say it’s not their problem are definitely complicit.

    Great post, thanks!

  9. says

    I think Jadehawk @ 8 got at what I’ve been thinking. Now, there may be two completely separate populations, but I doubt it, there must be extreme overlap. How they present depends on the situation at the moment. You have the “there is no problem with misogyny, you are crazy for your everyday experiences and your fear of potential extreme occurrences”, and then you have the “what are you crazy or something for being here, walking there, dressing like that, looking like a woman around those guys, you should be more careful”. I’m pretty sure the same people are in both these camps. Deny the problem, blame the victim. Men who commit violence against women are just Monsters, outliers driven by elemental evil or teh cray-cray. They have no connection to either casual sexism or celebrated misogyny, neither of which actually exist, excepting in some extreme subcultures. Which we happen to agree with on occasion… Women are just so stupid for doing dangerous things, and for their fears, aren’t they? That’s why they need to be protected. In captivity. By men.

    Um. &lg;/barf>

  10. marduk says

    [marduk's comment has been redacted because they apparently missed this note at the end: "Do not turn the conversation in the comments section into a conversation about violence against men. Do not insist on reminding me that men can also be the victims of violence." marduk may comment again once they have developed the skill of reading comprehension. -M]

  11. says

    I always find it weird that some people are so anti noticing the differences between men and women. As a woman I am physically not as strong as a man and I realise this can make me more vulnerable. Some people seem to be keen on forgetting this. There is a brilliant musical called Avenue Q which has a song called ‘Everyone’s a little bit racist’ and the song goes on to discuss that by accepting this people could perhaps learn to get along better. I have to think the same goes for male female interactions. we are different, we had different limitations and abilities perhaps if we could accept this things would be better.

  12. smrnda says

    Wow, the roommate went beyond oblivious into serious jackass territory. It’s one thing to just quietly *not get* why someone takes more precautions than yourself in an area, another to go on insulting rants about it. There is a point at which what someone else does isn’t your business any more, whether it’s taking a cab or not wearing socks. I wonder if part of the dynamic of that situation was the idea that 1. women to *irrational things* and that 2. men, as arbiters of sense and rationality, tell women what they should and should not do.

    My partner used to walk to work when she lived in another town. Of course, men would sometimes with varying levels of creepiness offer her a ride. Once a cop offered her a ride, and she of course said no because 1. the cop has a gun and 2. if something happens and they end up in court, who will be believed? I find that easy to understand (cops have raped women while on duty) but I find this is something that some (particularly white) guys just don’t get – that you don’t *automatically* trust a cop. (As men go, I find men who are not white get that a bit easier.)

    • says

      I find it hard to believe that with the general suspicion about people of color and things like stop and frisk that men of color are all that trusting of cops.

      • smrnda says

        I was pointing out that white men don’t understand why women don’t trust cops , but non-white men DO get it. I might have been unclear . All Black or Hispanic men I know have a very justified suspicion of cops, at least the ones who have expressed an opinion.

        • Blanche Quizno says

          I’m white. Upper middle class. Female. In the wake of the Stephanie Ramsey murder and the police reaction to it (coercing her brother into a false confession), I told my son (early teens) and his friends (mostly Hispanic) that, until they are 16, they are not allowed to say “Yes” or “No” to a police officer. They are only allowed to say, “I want my mom.” When they reach 16, they are only allowed to say, “I want a lawyer. AND my mom.”

          Whenever my son started hanging around with a new friend, I reiterated this lesson to him as well.

    • says

      Now that I think about it, my mom told me stories about Texas Rangers murdering Mexicans. When I researched I realized she was telling me stories from before she was born. Cultural memories are long.

  13. BrainyOne says

    …without their silence, their ignorance, their shrugging shoulders, this situation could not continue as it is. It cannot continue without the participation of men who commit violence, and it cannot continue without the participation of men who shrug it off or blame the victims or accuse them of “overreacting.” Both of these are gears have to turn in order for it to continue…

    It sucks when your sufferings and pain are minimized and not taken seriously; or worse, when you are told they are your fault. Absolutely.

    But I’m not seeing the connection here with regard to the prevalence of violence. Are you assuming that the men who commit violence actually care whether other men blame the victim or not or shrug it off or not after the fact? Or do you mean that these other men could lessen the impact of violence, even if not its prevalence?

    But what’s it going to take for more men to actively, assertively challenge male violence against women? To shut down other men who excuse it or attempt to exonerate themselves by chanting “Not all men!” as though it were a magic spell? To refuse to support a type of masculinity that glorifies dominance and violence?

    If what it takes is personally watching women being victimized by that type of masculinity, we’ve got a huge problem.

    Yes, indeed we do have a huge problem. We need a new type of masculinity.

    • Ben Finney says

      I’m not seeing the connection here with regard to the prevalence of violence. Are you assuming that the men who commit violence actually care whether other men blame the victim or not or shrug it off or not after the fact?

      Not assuming; pointing to the reality of rape culture. It is real, and it is actively harmful, and those who are dismissive as you describe are part of, and enablers of, rape culture.

      To dismiss a report of sexual assault is a very common way in which rape culture is enabled by even men who do not commit sexual assault, making it incrementally more likely that this assault and future assaults will go under-reported.

      And yes, a culture in which sexual assault is severely under-reported is thereby significantly unsafe for women.

      • BrainyOne says

        I get the culture/under-reporting/law enforcement issue. Change the culture and you have more successful prosecutions of sexual assault. No argument there. I think though that Miri’s point goes farther than this though and I’m trying to flesh it out. Is the argument that changing the culture will result in less prevalence of sexual assault (as opposed to merely being more successful at catching the perpetrators after the fact)?

        • Ben Finney says

          Is the argument that changing the culture will result in less prevalence of sexual assault (as opposed to merely being more successful at catching the perpetrators after the fact)?

          Sexual assault of women by men rarely occurs ex nihilo. It is, instead, part of a spectrum of activities men engage in as a culture that degrades, objectifies, and dismisses the concerns of women. A group of men who cosider each other in-group will look to each other to see what activities are encouraged by laughter and atta-boys.

          If a man is inclined toward misogyny or even sexual assault, the opinion and apparent attitude of the men whom they consider peers will be influential in the degree to which they act on their inclinations. If the man in question has peers who laugh at misogynist humour, or discuss women as prizes or as though women’s consent were irrelevant, that man will be emboldened to acts which that culture apparently approves.

          When a group of men are escalating their joking braggery about conquest of women or rating women as objects or other misogynist behaviour, a single member among that group expressing disapproval can be enough to end the escalation and make it clear the support for that behaviour is not unanimous. Even better, it often allows others who did not approve but were uncomfortable dissenting, to speak up also.

          This is not to say that every man telling a sexist joke is a suspect for sexual assult. Instead, it is to say that such a group of men cares very much what the other men in the group think of misogynist activity, and look to each other constantly to rate the group’s approval of these inclinations.

          I think that any of the in-group men observing a potential, or especially an in-progress, sexual assault can reduce and even prevent it by ending complicity.

        • nrdo says

          There’s presumably, a basal rate of violence committed by individuals who don’t care what people around them think. But I think it’s a reasonable inference from other types of violence that eliminating rape culture would reduce the overall number of sexual assaults.

        • says

          Social pressure is powerful. The toxic conception of masculinity that is dominant allows and even pressures men to disparage the feminine, sexually harass, be violent, act entitled, engage the world with a taking mindset rather than exchange for mutual benefit, push past boundaries, etc. Masculine status and the approval of other men can be gained for exhibiting these behaviors or lost for neglecting or criticizing them. This has to change. Men have to change what they will or will not accept from other men.

          Someone posted recently on FB (paraphrase, and I’m sorry I don’t remember who said it): “Feminism doesn’t need to make space for men. Men need to go into the spaces they already inhabit and make them more feminist.”

          That’s exactly it.

        • Blanche Quizno says

          BrainyOne, let’s use the example of racism. When I was growing up (1970s) and when I go visit my elderly father to where he moved to (in the Deep South), racial jokes were commonplace. They were usually stupid, but you felt compelled to at least chuckle out of respect for the person’s feelings. That chuckle encouraged the racist joke teller to find and tell new racist jokes.

          Racist jokes are not commonplace in other parts of the country any more, and this is because the effect of the Civil Rights Movement rippled out to the point that more and more people realized that, besides being not funny, these jokes made them feel icky. They stopped chuckling. They changed the subject. They even said, “Hey, dude, not funny.” And now that sort of thing is fading.

          Where do you see racist violence against black people? In the same parts of the country where racist black jokes are still considered acceptable humor. Think of the murder of James Byrd, Jr., who was tied to a truck by white men and dragged until he was dead. And in pieces. People who successfully demean and debase entire groups of people, who regard these groups as less privileged and entitled than themselves, tend to think it’s not so serious to do something to them that would be obviously a crime to attempt against a member of their same privileged, entitled group. (This is also why there are no real legal protections for children from assault at the hands of their parents/caregivers.)

          The laws changed to prohibit discrimination throughout society, and little by little, the more minorities were able to move through society, the more white people got used to them and started seeing them as fully human. And the jokes faded. The jokes remain about women. I caught my 17-yr-old son discovering “blond jokes” (which are always and only about stupid women) and reading them off to his friends. I told him, “That’s enough practicing your sexist pig persona, honey.” When he persisted, my husband his father said, “You heard her. Knock it off.” Thing is, my 82-yr-old father STILL tells blond jokes – and we all chuckle indulgently. Because he’s rich and we don’t want to risk pissing him off.

          When you harbor bad intent toward another group, it always starts with the little things – the jokes. See what people will accept. Once they demonstrate that they’ll accept the jokes, you can go a little farther. Make comments about the unfairness of affirmative action (minorities) or women getting alimony after a divorce. When everyone around you accepts and agrees with these statements, you can go farther. And farther. And farther. If you make rude comments to unfamiliar women as you drive by, if your friends all laugh, you’ll do it again – worked once, it’ll work again, right? All individual bricks in an eventual wall that separates you in every meaningful way from the others.

          One time, in about 1979, I was in college the first time, and I was out with friends at a bar we regularly frequented. Because it was crowded, a couple of girls and I were sitting on the back of one of the booths because there wasn’t enough room for us all to sit on the seats. A young man I’d never seen before, sitting behind me, bit my ass. Hard. I yelled. He and his friends all laughed and high-fived each other. I got a nasty bruise the size of a tennis ball that lasted two weeks. No, you didn’t report assaults like that back then – what would I say? And I’d of course get a lecture on how I shouldn’t have been sitting on the back of the booth in the first place and putting my ass that close to face level – what was I thinking?? When assaults and harming women are treated as jokes, it should surprise no one that women are not safe in society. It isn’t just that they don’t feel safe. They. Are. Not. Safe.

    • says

      Are you assuming that the men who commit violence actually care whether other men blame the victim or not or shrug it off or not after the fact?

      It’s well-known that sexual assault victims have a hell of a time being taken seriously when they report and therefore often don’t. The criminals know that and actively exploit grey areas to maximize their chances of getting away with it.

      Some forms of violence are crimes of passion, but rape isn’t. It’s deliberate and calculated and as such, increasing the risk of punishment will reduce the frequency. Also, taking this more seriously can make it easier on the victims when it does happen, since they won’t have to face the meat grinder of public scorn, slut shaming and suspicion when they report.

      So:

      Is the argument that changing the culture will result in less prevalence of sexual assault (as opposed to merely being more successful at catching the perpetrators after the fact)?

      I’d say both.

  14. Sector 249 says

    My understanding of this article is that men are not doing enough to prevent or point out violence against women in our society. Is this is message?

    If so I’m having some trouble with this message because from what I observe our society as a whole has become very passive in regards to everything. Very few people get involved out of fear and because of repercussions it may bring. When we speak of criminal acts or harassment I think both men and women passively ignore the problem because our society values privacy and also punishes you for getting involved in other peoples affairs. However, with sexual harassment in public towards men I almost always see random men getting involved. So Im not sure if misogyny is as widespread among males as some feminists claim.

    Also in an attempt to outline violence in society im not sure how concentrating on gender specific violence is better than pointing out universal violence as a whole. After all, every human can be subject to some form of violence and I’m not sure if prioritizing certain acts of violence is necessarily the best method of getting support from the general public as a whole.

    • Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

      However, with sexual harassment in public towards men I almost always see random men getting involved.

      How much of all sexual harassment do you think you witness? Do you think that, if you don’t notice it, it didn’t happen? What effect did the intercession of these random men have on your ability to even notice there was harassment going on, i.e. did you perhaps only notice something was amiss because someone intervened? What about sexual harassment that doesn’t happen in full view of the general public? What percentage is that of all total harassment and how much are you aware of?

      Why the fuck do you think that your subjective impression of how often men intervene in sexual harassment which happens within range of your vision (not necessarily noticed by you) says anything at all about how prevalent misogyny is in society in general?

      After all, every human can be subject to some form of violence and I’m not sure if prioritizing certain acts of violence is necessarily the best method of getting support from the general public as a whole.

      It’s not about prioritizing certain types of violence. It’s about looking at certain types of violence and addressing them on the basis of what specifically motivates them. A bar room brawl doesn’t arise out of the same social dynamic as domestic abuse which, in turn, doesn’t arise out of the same social dynamic as as drug related violence and so on. If you want to have some impact on domestic violence, you’re not going to get very far with the same approach you’d use to prevent a bar room brawl.

      • Sector 249 says

        “What about sexual harassment that doesn’t happen in full view of the general public? What percentage is that of all total harassment and how much are you aware of? ”

        That is the whole point of what I was trying to say. We value privacy and its a criminal act to intrude on peoples privacy so how is it possible to prevent such crimes that happen behind closed doors. We can prosecute after we know it happened.

        “Why the fuck do you think that your subjective impression of how often men intervene in sexual harassment which happens within range of your vision (not necessarily noticed by you) says anything at all about how prevalent misogyny is in society in general?”

        Because on average it seems more men are willing to intervene and stop violence than the other way around. If the majority of men where misogynists then they would encourage violence on women at large. I dont see evidence of that. Its a small minority at best that thinks along those patterns.

        • Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

          Because on average it seems more men are willing to intervene and stop violence than the other way around. If the majority of men where misogynists then they would encourage violence on women at large. I dont see evidence of that. Its a small minority at best that thinks along those patterns.

          Your subjective impression is not an average of anything. Your subjective impression is based on a couple of (probably faulty assumptions):

          1) That you’re noticing all of the sexual assault that happens within your range of vision.
          2) That the amount of sexual assault you notice is proportional to the total amount of sexual assault society-wide.

          Also, say a sexual assault happens in public. Some random man intervenes. Dollars to donuts there were a lot more men in range to step in than actually did. Are you claiming to know that they would have if the other guy hadn’t gotten there first?

          Last, you’re gonna need to stop the whole “I don’t see it so it doesn’t exist” garbage. Things don’t wink out of existence or cease to happen because you fail to notice them.

          • Sector 249 says

            “Also, say a sexual assault happens in public. Some random man intervenes. Dollars to donuts there were a lot more men in range to step in than actually did. Are you claiming to know that they would have if the other guy hadn’t gotten there first?”

            So are you expecting men in general to step in and get involved even though they might be beaten, harmed or killed in the process? Most men are not violent to step in and get physical.

            I’ve pointed out that OUR SOCIETY VALUES PRIVACY, as a reason why most people men/women are passive. That was my initial point. In the old days or even in small tribal communities today nothing is private and one persons problem is the whole villages problem so they dealt with criminals accordingly based on their customs. We dont have anymore so I’m not surprised that so much violence and suffering goes unnoticed. People in general are selfish and passive women included.

          • Sector 249 says

            “Last, you’re gonna need to stop the whole “I don’t see it so it doesn’t exist” garbage. Things don’t wink out of existence or cease to happen because you fail to notice them.

            Are you claiming to know that they would have if the other guy hadn’t gotten there first? ”

            Never said it doesn’t exists. never…

            Lets reflect this back to you then, how do you know what most men would do in that situation? Also how do you know what percentage of men are misogynists?

        • Blanche Quizno says

          Sector 249, it’s not that it’s happening “behind closed doors” and that’s the reason you aren’t seeing it because privacy. Many men only harass women who are alone – if the woman is joined by a male companion, the harasser stops. The fact that the whole “Pick Up Artist” scenario (that Elliott Rodger had hoped would enable him to get beautiful blondes to suck his dick) includes a section on “separating one from the herd” means that, yes, getting a woman alone is a huge step in the rapey direction. It’s not about her necessarily accompanying you to a private room and then things get horribly out of hand (though that happens) – it’s about a man targeting a woman and isolating her so that he can then overpower her without witnesses. A recent study showed that the men who have forced a woman to have sex more than once typically use intoxicants – getting her drunk or drugging her. When I was in college the first time in the late 1970s, we used to hear about how there had been a “nymphomaniac” at such-and-such a frat party over the weekend. Only years later did I realize they were talking about gang rape. And only a few months ago did I realize that the reason there was always so much alcohol at frat parties wasn’t (just) because the frat boys liked to drink (a lot), but to create a drinking environment where they could more easily get their female guests too intoxicated to fight back.

          If he rapes her in her car, does privacy still apply?

    • says

      After all, every human can be subject to some form of violence and I’m not sure if prioritizing certain acts of violence is necessarily the best method of getting support from the general public as a whole.

      But we’re already prioritizing certain crimes according to gender. That’s the problem.

      Violence against women, and especially sexual violence, is treated as much less important than any other kind of criminal activity and the victims are routinely dismissed or treated as suspects themselves. When women are concerned about such violence, they’re treated as hysterical lunatics, or even as aggressive, man-hating harpies, for the simple act of trying to protect themselves. Of course, if they don’t protect themselves, they’re the ones who get blamed if things go wrong.

      The point isn’t that we should treat violence against women as more important than anything else. The point is to recognize that we’re already treating it as less important and that therefore, we need a special focus to combat this cultural deficiency.

      • Sector 249 says

        “The point isn’t that we should treat violence against women as more important than anything else. The point is to recognize that we’re already treating it as less important and that therefore, we need a special focus to combat this cultural deficiency.”

        I see violence against children more ignored in our judicial system. Violence against women in north America is already a serious crime. One phone call and the police raid the place. Physical abuse is a criminal offense.

        • Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

          One phone call and the police raid the place.

          Um. Fuck you. Tell that to the millions of women all over the world who endure years of vicious abuse precisely because nobody takes them seriously.

          • Sector 249 says

            “Um. Fuck you. Tell that to the millions of women all over the world who endure years of vicious abuse precisely because nobody takes them seriously.”

            You represent the women of third world countries? They also work slave jobs, have no say in marriage, dont get to vote and at the end of the day still take care of their families. They dont need your empathy and your hashtags wont help them. They need real help.

        • says

          One phone call and the police raid the place.

          That’s the exact opposite of my experience. Sure, you can call, and they’ll (eventually) arrive, but chances are, they’re just going to pat you on the head and tell you (in an oh-so-politely condescending way) that you just need to stop provoking him, and that you’re overreacting and need to calm down. The word “hysterical” may or may not come into play, but it’s just so fucking frustrating… you’re told to go to the police, you know, growing up, “if you’re in trouble, find a police officer; they’ll help you.” And when you do just that, go to the people who’re supposed to help, and they repeatedly treat you like you’re the one in the wrong, when that just keeps happening, you end up losing a lot of faith in “the system”.

          The sad and ugly truth is, they don’t care until you’re nearly dead.

          • Sector 249 says

            I’m not going to argue with you there. The police dont follow up properly and they do ignore domestic violence but that is a direct problem with their training and lack of in some aspects. Also its a government funded organization so shouldn’t be a surprise that its malfunctioning. Its very similar to male on male violence or child abuse cases as well.

            I agree 100 percent that their needs to be something done but the issue is when its happening in the privacy of home very few people will see fit to intervene. Mainly family member’s are very close friends will. To resolve domestic violence we have to go beyond admitting it happens. I deal with child abuse cases voluntarily and honestly its so much more difficult as children dont know their rights or dont understand when they are being abused.

          • Sector 249 says

            “that you just need to stop provoking him, and that you’re overreacting and need to calm down.”

            I cant pass judgment because I dont know the whole story but if he’s not giving you the option of breaking up then just leave. The behavior your are mentioning is psychological abuse and obsession. It wont resolve by itself.

          • ceesays says

            getting the police involved never, ever helps. it usually just makes shit worse. Again. personal experience. This sector249 fool ain’t knowing shit about anything.

          • Sector 249 says

            NOPE. You still need to call the police regardless because they file everything and that can help you in a court case. Ceesays is clueless.

          • Sector 249 says

            Your account of what happened isn’t for the police to judge, its for the courts. Cops dont have to believe you but a judge will. Not telling you what to do, but ive dealt with courts over similar cases.

          • ceesays says

            Sector249, you have no idea what you’re talking about. At all, and you’re trying to tell people who have personal experience with police in situations of male violence against women, who have told you that police involvement did not help and actually harmed them, that your baseless armchair knowledge is wrong because … written records actually help?

            did you notice that in the case of Elliott Rodgers that the police were called, and they did nothing, and opined in their written records that there wasn’t anything wrong with him? or did that just conveniently slip from your mind while you were caressing your sexy sexy evidenceless speculation?

            There’s a reason why I say you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about, and it’s because you demonstrate your ignorance so clearly all on your own.

          • says

            Sector249

            Once again, they talked to him like a person and treated me like a nonentity.

            Tell me, how useful is that? How d’you think their reports are going to read, if they’re visibly favoring the abuser in front of the victim?

            And can you understand why that might make someone feel deeply betrayed?

          • ButchKitties says

            I cant pass judgment because I dont know the whole story but if he’s not giving you the option of breaking up then just leave.

            Women are most likely to be murdered by an abuser when they try to leave or shortly after leaving.

        • says

          There’s a backlog of something like 400,000 unprocessed rape kits throughout the US. There is little evidence to suggest that police take assaults against women seriously.

          Then there’s the fact that women are sometimes expected to pay for their own rape kits. From a NYT Op-Ed:
          http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/opinion/sunday/kristof-Outrageous-Policies-Toward-Rape-Victims.html

          The lackadaisical attitude toward much sexual violence is seen in another astonishing fact: Sometimes, women or their health insurance companies must pay to have their rape kits collected.

          “No other forensic evidence collection is treated in this way,” said Sarah Tofte of the Joyful Heart Foundation, which has focused attention on the rape kit backlog. If her home is broken into, she notes, the police won’t bill her or her homeowner’s insurance company “for the cost of dusting for fingerprints.”

          Anyone arguing that women should just go to the police, is ignorant (willfully or otherwise) of just how useless that endeavor is likely to be.

        • says

          My friend’s rapist was a cop. His fellows helped cover it up.

          The reaction of the police when I called them made it impossible for there to even be a court case. They outright refused to collect evidence and filed the report as ‘nothing really happened’. The guy went on to rape and eventually murder.

          Have you ever actually looked at rape investigation/conviction rates? Seriously, 5 seconds of research will show you just how full of shit you are.

          • Blanche Quizno says

            I had a friend who was raped by a former boyfriend – she’d broken up with him, but he convinced her to go for a drive so that they could talk. He took her to a remote location and raped her. She got pregnant and gave the baby up for adoption. He dragged her through the courts, charging her with black market adoption, baby selling, and murder (where’s the baby??). That case set numerous precedents in family law, BTW.

            After that, he would wheedle her phone number from friends who didn’t realize what a dirtbag he was. She moved to several different cities, because at each place, he’d find her. Sometimes through unwitting friends; sometimes through friends on the police force. He even got a job at DMV and used that to track her – she didn’t have a driver’s license for over 5 years because of that.

            I guess he finally gave up. But he pursued her for over a decade. AND used the police AND used the courts AND used even the DMV to harass her.

          • Sector 249 says

            Also what intrigues me is that you dont seem to have a problem with women hanging out with men they consider friends after knowing their true intentions. If its a friendship then their has to be a reason the women stay friends. Perhaps a social factor or just to have someone to talk to.

            It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that the nice single guy you’ve been friends with for a while is also interested in being more than friends. Its obvious. So why do some women lead men on? Friendships have to be mutual on some level so I dont see how men alone are to be blamed for this problem.

    • says

      @Sector 249

      My understanding of this article is that men are not doing enough to prevent or point out violence against women in our society. Is this is message?

      I’m not going to speak to Miri’s intentions, but from my perspective, the concern is not with what most people would recognize as sexual or physical assault in public. That’s a very small facet of a bigger issue. The problem is that many men feel not only entitled to the attentions and affections of women, regardless of her interest in reciprocating, but they also deny women their experiences and tell them they are over-reacting, paranoid, or that boys will be boys.

      Do you know what kinds of men sexually assault women? The type who think that paying for dinner, or going on a particular number of dates, ensures sex. Have you ever talked to a guy who felt annoyed that a women didn’t have sex with him at the time he felt she should have? Did you and every man in ear shot tell him that is some effed up thinking? If not, that is a part of the problem.

      Do you have guy friends who feel genuinely put out because they believe they are in a “friend zone” with someone? Were they only interested in being kind to a person if that person was willing to have sex with them? Have you and all your guy friends in earshot, adamantly argued against that idea as entitled and dangerous? If not, that’s part of the problem.

      Have you ever been with guys who catcall or grope women? Have you ever seen your friends call a woman a bunch of slurs for declining his advances? Did you and every guy near you shut that down? If not, that’s part of the problem.

      I’m not talking about approaching strangers, I’m talking about looking at the way the men you know and are friends with, view and treat women in this world. It’s the idea that the right kind of women have exactly the right amount of sex with the men who behave in certain ways and the rest are prudes or sluts or bitches, that makes it easier for men to both dismiss the risk women face (“if she weren’t such a _____, that wouldn’t have happened to her”) and to justify assault (getting a woman too drunk to consent, or not taking “no” or “stop” for an answer when you start to get intimate with someone.)

      • Sector 249 says

        “I’m not going to speak to Miri’s intentions, but from my perspective, the concern is not with what most people would recognize as sexual or physical assault in public. That’s a very small facet of a bigger issue. The problem is that many men feel not only entitled to the attentions and affections of women, regardless of her interest in reciprocating, but they also deny women their experiences and tell them they are over-reacting, paranoid, or that boys will be boys.

        Do you know what kinds of men sexually assault women? The type who think that paying for dinner, or going on a particular number of dates, ensures sex. Have you ever talked to a guy who felt annoyed that a women didn’t have sex with him at the time he felt she should have? Did you and every man in ear shot tell him that is some effed up thinking? If not, that is a part of the problem.

        Do you have guy friends who feel genuinely put out because they believe they are in a “friend zone” with someone? Were they only interested in being kind to a person if that person was willing to have sex with them? Have you and all your guy friends in earshot, adamantly argued against that idea as entitled and dangerous? If not, that’s part of the problem.

        Have you ever been with guys who catcall or grope women? Have you ever seen your friends call a woman a bunch of slurs for declining his advances? Did you and every guy near you shut that down? If not, that’s part of the problem.

        I’m not talking about approaching strangers, I’m talking about looking at the way the men you know and are friends with, view and treat women in this world. It’s the idea that the right kind of women have exactly the right amount of sex with the men who behave in certain ways and the rest are prudes or sluts or bitches, that makes it easier for men to both dismiss the risk women face (“if she weren’t such a _____, that wouldn’t have happened to her”) and to justify assault (getting a woman too drunk to consent, or not taking “no” or “stop” for an answer when you start to get intimate with someone.)”

        Ive seen all these examples in the past, however not in my circle of friends and not on a large scale. Men do complain about being in the friends zone but isn’t that part a whole bigger problem society has with expectations? Do we not expect to get promoted in our job, get a raise, qualify for scholarship etc…I know these are not the same scenarios but they are all examples of expectations. Have you never heard other women show anger and resentment because a guy rejected them or choose a friend over them? I see the issues you are highlighting here the difference is I see it on both sides not just men alone.

      • Blanche Quizno says

        The old joke: The difference between a slut and a whore is that a slut has sex with everybody while a whore has sex with everybody EXCEPT YOU.

        The “friend zone” is an artificial nicety – yes, nicety – and not because guys are so nice – it’s because girls are so nice. Girls have created this whole illusory category because they don’t want to have to (take the risk of) tell someone that they simply do not find him at all attractive and do not want to have any physical intimacy with him. The men who put on the whole “aren’t I a great friend?” act just to get close enough to a girl that they figure she’ll see their great qualities and a fire will ignite and she’ll want to hop in the sack with them are really saying that, if they’re going to go to the trouble of being nice to a girl, then she’s obligated to ride their pole. The girl’s friendship is nothing but a shitty consolation prize.

        • Sector 249 says

          “The “friend zone” is an artificial nicety – yes, nicety – and not because guys are so nice – it’s because girls are so nice. Girls have created this whole illusory category because they don’t want to have to (take the risk of) tell someone that they simply do not find him at all attractive and do not want to have any physical intimacy with him. The men who put on the whole “aren’t I a great friend?” act just to get close enough to a girl that they figure she’ll see their great qualities and a fire will ignite and she’ll want to hop in the sack with them are really saying that, if they’re going to go to the trouble of being nice to a girl, then she’s obligated to ride their pole. The girl’s friendship is nothing but a shitty consolation prize.”

          First of all I highly doubt women created that term.

          You are right about the intentions of men who act friendly just to get in the sack. Its so obvious sometimes but then again it could be misleading other times.

          Are you implying that that behavior results in rape? If so, pleas provide a valid study. Many men are in the friend zone according to themselves but the most they do is complain about it. Its not a crime but they are crappy friends and I think most women realize that eventually. Women show the same exact behavior as well. They show interest in a guy as a friend but pursue more after a while. Its very subtle but it happens quit often.

          So that leads to the argument of ‘entitlement’ which in this case is entitlement to sex or a relationship. Why is this expectation questionable to you if their is no crime committed? What I mean is if she hasn’t been forced into something against her wil why is this an issue? After all, doesn’t society validate marriage, love and finding a suitable partner? Its only natural for some to try to achieve this by getting emotionally attached and expecting the same feelings in return. Its selfish at best but its more of act of desperation.

          Generally, young inexperienced men try this tactic in hopes of getting a girl to fall for them because they lack the courage to admit their intentions out of fear. Fear of being rejected and left alone which is what most young males have to deal with. You are forgetting the fact that the female has privilege in choosing a partner. She ultimately decides who she wants to be with not him. Mature men and women make their intentions obvious.

        • Sector 249 says

          Also what intrigues me is that you dont seem to have a problem with women hanging out with men they consider friends after knowing their true intentions. If its a friendship then their has to be a reason the women stay friends. Perhaps a social factor or just to have someone to talk to.

          It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that the nice single guy you’ve been friends with for a while is also interested in being more than friends. Its obvious. So why do some women lead men on? Friendships have to be mutual on some level so I dont see how men alone are to be blamed for this problem.

    • says

      —-If so I’m having some trouble with this message because from what I observe our society as a whole has become very passive in regards to everything. —

      Ever consider that the reason for that is that those privileged enough to have a ‘say’ are the ones privileged enough to not really have the problem in the first place or are the ones the problem directly benefits?

      There is a difference between being ‘passive’ and either being ignored or forced to remain silent for your own safety.

  15. Ysanne says

    I guess this is one of the worst manifestations of a general human tendency: Not wanting to believe that something isn’t as good for everyone as they are for you, if this would imply that you actually didn’t get that good thing by merit but rather through the lucky circumstance of having some sort of (unfair) advantage. After all, who’d want to feel like they’re being unfair and hey, I didn’t ask for that unfair advantage anyway!
    In just the last week, I’ve seen this principle applied way too often:
    * A male friend denying the existence of gender-based discrimination in hiring and coming up with ridiculous definitions of “merit” when faced with obvious examples;
    * A female acquaintance denying any bias against fathers in family courts and coming up with contrived reasoning about how men “naturally” can’t be as good parents as women when faced with the experience of a specific man (whom she happens to know to be a great dad);
    * A male acquaintance denying the existence of any kind of privilege in access to education and jobs and instead preferring to see anyone who ever needs welfare as lazy and having some kind of character flaw;
    * Yesterday, a friend who felt just had go and ride his bike on a massively dangerous bit of road so he could to see for himself, after hearing from a number of quite competent cycling friends that it’s an extremely scary “never again” experience. (Unsurprisingly, he joined the “never again” club now. At least he made a video to show future skeptics.)

    It’s frustrating enough to see this play out in these more or less trivial ways, and downright dangerous when it comes to women’s experience of misogyny and violence. And since I don’t see any way to get people to listen to others’ experiences without automatically thinking they could have handled it better, I do find it quite important to get privileged people into trying out the non-privileged view first-hand. Sure, it’s not the same as actually being non-privileged, but at least it gives a bit of perspective.

  16. says

    From my point of view, the “Not All Men” response is another example of this. A group of white people are experiencing a taste of something people of color have been talking about for years without being heard.

  17. queequack says

    Question: can you link to an article on a reputable, non-MRA site which actually blames the shooting on “mental illness” and/or denies that misogyny was a motivating factor? Because it seems to me that much of the media attention was indeed focused on his misogyny, even in the mainstream publications. Yes, there were the careless references to Rodger as a “psycho” and “madman”, but that’s just reflexive, lazy writing.

      • queequack says

        Ok, but TIME also published this, and has referred to Rodger’s video as a “hate manifesto”. Moreover, that article is reacting to the dominant analysis, which is that misogyny did play a role in the shooting. In a general sense, that opinion column is certainly the exception, not the rule.

        What I think is that you’re actually pretty hard-pressed to find anyone in the mainstream media who thoughtlessly blames the shooting entirely on mental illness. As happens fairly regularly, the SJ crowd have distorted the MSM’s narrative, so as to portray themselves as some sort of minority perspective who must scream relentlessly, lest the world miss the fact that Rodger hated women- when in reality, very few people have claimed otherwise.

        Actually, I think Rodger’s misogyny has been centered too much; it was undoubtedly a major motivating factor in his rampage, but it was not the only one, and there are other issues that the shooting has brought to light, issues that have mostly been lost has in the endless repetition of tired feminist talking points and retweets of that Margaret Atwood quote. For example, what is the responsibility of the police in situations like this? Two officers visited his home after viewing his Youtube channel, but he managed to convince them that he posed no threat. Those officers are not psychologists; it would not be reasonable to expect them to detain Rodger based on vaguely troubling videos- and yet if they had, seven people would still be alive. The MSM has also centered the gun debate, of course, but more specifically, should voluntary therapy (of the sort Rodger was receiving) disqualify someone from acquiring firearms? That is, at what point is it acceptable to deny someone with mental health issues the sort of access that the rest of the public enjoys? I also think it might be worth discussing how we frame virginity- particularly male virginity- in our culture, and how this framing might cause someone so much psychological agony that they would consider shooting people (or even just posting at a place like PUAhate).

        But, as always, SJ is determined to make it all about feminism, all the time (probably because most of them are otherwise-privileged women), and are on a hair-trigger to drown the internet with “yes all women” and blogs and tweets and tumbls- plus that terrible podcast, Citizen Radio- that all rehash the same old shit.

        Yes, that’s what I think, after giving genuine consideration to the tumblr POV.

        • says

          ialso think it might be worth discussing how we frame virginity- particularly male virginity- in our culture, and how this framing might cause someone so much psychological agony that they would consider shooting people (or even just posting at a place like PUAhate).

          But, as always, SJ is determined to make it all about feminism, all the time (probably because most of them are otherwise-privileged women), and are on a hair-trigger to drown the internet with “yes all women” and blogs and tweets and tumbls- plus that terrible podcast, Citizen Radio- that all rehash the same old shit.

          Feminists and feminism have exactly addressed exactly the point you raise in the end of the paragraph above. They’ve been doing it for a long time, and specifically in relation to Rodger’s misogyny. You’re being deliberately ignorant if you think they haven’t.

          However, they don’t do what you claim in the next paragraph at all. When it gets that loud, it’s a response to the constant denial that culture generally raises men to be privileged jerks, which hurts both men and women.

          • queequack says

            Feminists and feminism have exactly addressed exactly the point you raise in the end of the paragraph above.

            Oh, not really. It seems to me that most tumblrites shit bricks at any sort of analysis of this complex and multifaceted tragedy that doesn’t center women and/or feminism.

          • says

            most tumblrites shit bricks

            Again, can you please stop with the condescending tone you’re using? It’s not contributing to a productive discussion. You have a history of that sort of thing on this blog, so I’m not being as lenient as I might otherwise be. This is your last warning.

        • says

          But, as always, SJ is determined to make it all about feminism, all the time (probably because most of them are otherwise-privileged women), and are on a hair-trigger to drown the internet with “yes all women” and blogs and tweets and tumbls- plus that terrible podcast, Citizen Radio- that all rehash the same old shit.

          This is ridiculously tone-deaf and disrespectful and pointless.

          • queequack says

            I don’t see it that way. Sometimes I think I’m the only sane person on the internet, or at least the only one not chained to some political orthodoxy or another.

          • Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

            Of course when lots of people disagree with you, the most parsimonious conclusion is that they’re all wrong and you’re the only one who sees the truth. *eyeroll*

          • says

            Sometimes I think I’m the only sane person on the internet, or at least the only one not chained to some political orthodoxy or another.

            That’s a pretty self-aggrandizing thing to say, but regardless, you would probably be amazed at how many people there are besides you who have useful and important things to say about the world, if you’d actually read their words charitably and fairly.

        • Tessa says

          Ok, but TIME also published this, and has referred to Rodger’s video as a “hate manifesto”. Moreover, that article is reacting to the dominant analysis, which is that misogyny did play a role in the shooting. In a general sense, that opinion column is certainly the exception, not the rule.

          What I think is that you’re actually pretty hard-pressed to find anyone in the mainstream media who thoughtlessly blames the shooting entirely on mental illness. As happens fairly regularly, the SJ crowd have distorted the MSM’s narrative, so as to portray themselves as some sort of minority perspective who must scream relentlessly, lest the world miss the fact that Rodger hated women- when in reality, very few people have claimed otherwise.

          You asked me to link to one, so I linked to one.
          I picked that one because it was one I knew off the top of my head. Plus it met both your criteria. Any piece that specifically says it’s not misogyny will automatically seem like it’s “reacting to dominant analysis” if you already believe that misogyny is the dominant analysis.

          And how many links would I have to supply before you’ll be satisfied? Was I wrong for only having the minimum number of pieces of flare?

          The gun debate is what it is because it’s being blamed on mental illness. There are no congress bills demanding a misogyny test being used or something like that. It’s about sufferers of mental illness getting guns. How is that not evidence that mental illness is being seen as the cause?
          Or Congressman Tim Murphy using it to push his Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act and asking: “How many more people must lose their lives before we take action on addressing cases of serious mental illness?”

          Actually, I think Rodger’s misogyny has been centered too much

          How much discussion on misogyny is just enough for you?

        • Blanche Quizno says

          So you’re not going to accept any sources that are offered – is that it, queequack? Because if so, you know, the decent thing would be to just make that clear up-front instead of pussyfooting around about it and looking like a great big old a-hole in the process. Just sayin’…

          • queequack says

            The social justice community doesn’t offer “sources”, though; mostly what they offer is anecdata and opinion. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I sometimes disagree with those opinions, and I’ve found that the community seems generally beholden to a particular series of narratives (ie, an ideology) that I think are flawed in certain respects. It’s all really pretty similar to Occupy, albeit on a smaller scale and more web-based.

            But anyway, I don’t think I’m really adding to this conversation, so I’m going to leave it at that remove myself from the thread.

  18. Jackie the wacky says

    A male “friend” of mine used to complain that women had it so much better than men when it came to speeding tickets, because women could. “just flirt their way out of it”. When I tried to explain to him that in fact, I always had to wonder if the cop pulling me over might be one of the ones who rape women they pull over, he thought I was being ridiculous.

    He was a “nice guy” who used to complain about how women only dated assholes too.

    We haven’t hung out in a while.

    • smrnda says

      More people need to be aware of the fact that cops DO rape women while on duty, and often get away with or, or get slap and the wrist punishments when caught.

      Also, I kind of feel like the average man who becomes a cop probably did so for the power aspect of it, which means that I’m less likely to trust the cop than an average non-cop person.

        • says

          Holy shit! How did I miss that? They finally arrested that piece of shit? I love how they refer to April 25, 2011 as the ‘first incident’. Bullshit. That wasn’t the first incident by far. Not even the first reported incident. The stack of complaints they had to ‘lose’ to call that the first incident must have been a foot tall.

  19. fmcp says

    This is a great post, and the comments have been enlightening as well. In particular, Ben’s explanation of the Availability Heuristic (at 5.1) gave me a eureka moment. My partner is a straight, cis, white, relatively wealthy man, who is also strong enough and good enough in a fight that no one scares him. So, privileged. He absolutely believes every single thing he has been told about violence against women. But. He is surprised. Every. Single. Time. I think the fact that it’s just not part of his experience is perhaps a bigger mental block than I had realized. He also has made the point to me that the idea of rape is completely bewildering to him – how on earth can anyone do that? So, although he knows it happens, he can’t quite fully integrate it into his understanding of the way the world is working right now.

    Of course, he’s not so bewildered that he would ever act like the jackass roommate. What in the ever-living fuck is that all about?

    • Jeff Engel says

      re 22 – I suspect your partner may be having a hard time understanding rape because he’s trying to understand other human beings through empathy, and he simply (go him, in many ways!) cannot wrap his head around the mindset that would do that. Clearly, he’s gotten the information well enough it really does happen, a lot, and he doesn’t discount it on any given occasion, but it’s got a hard time counting up for a change in his expectations. But if he _is_ having that block understanding it, that may be a reason it’s not changing his expectations – he cannot adjust expectations of people so that they can be counted on fairly often to do something he cannot comprehend them doing.

      I suppose we can chalk it up as another instance of how one’s gut is not the thing one should be trying to think with, but for a lot of people and a lot of circumstances, there’s not much helping of that. One place to start is realizing that other people just do not and will not think or feel the ways we do and what we might imagine ourselves doing can be a lousy, systematically misleading guide to what they will do. That’s likely a lot harder for him sitting in a privilege sweet-spot – he’s not getting a mainstream culture that’s clashing with his own core sense of self and attitudes on a regular or severe basis – but maybe he can start keeping it in mind assessing how other people think, feel, and act.

  20. says

    I would definitely say that this is a pretty normal human mode of thinking. Isn’t this the basis of privilege of all types? People who don’t experience disadvantages aren’t going to be aware they even exist and will generally have a hard time believing they exist. Of course most women believe it happens because it happens to them, but men and certain anomalous privileged women don’t experience it much, so can easily brush it off as women being sensitive or over exaggerating. The above-mentioned availability heuristic is certainly a big part of that, though I think this probably intersects with the human tendency to the just world fallacy. I can believe plenty of good things without experiencing them first-hand (and that’s how most cons work), but if you present me with something I don’t want to be true, and I would say neither I nor most men really want it to be true that men treat women as badly as they do, then it’s going to be a lot harder to convince them. So, yeah, I think that is going to be what it takes for the average man and human in general, and we do have a big problem.

  21. K says

    Well, look, there are two kinds of males.

    There are men, who treat women as the equals they are and aren’t violent crapheads.

    There are also stupid little chimps who have impulse control problems, tiny brains, and an urge to get their dick wet or to smack people or things with their fists that is so beyond their ability to control that they hurt others in the process. These are not people, but the collective property of liberal women, and we should smack them around as we please.

    • Sector 249 says

      I guess you are the authority to distinguish between the two.

      Never mind deep psychological issues and abuse from childhood that leads to anger management issues and violence. You sound psychologically abused.

          • Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

            And that qualifies you to make a diagnosis from afar based on a single comment on a blog, does it?

          • ceesays says

            why are you assuming a gender where none was indicated?

            and you can claim that you’re the Queen of England’s psychiatrist if you like. The fact still remains that you can’t diagnose a person based on a single less than 150 word blog comment, and if you really *did* have the qualifications to give diagnoses, you would be able to speak exhaustively about why you shouldn’t *do* that.

            so mark me down as skeptical of your claims.

          • Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

            I don’t have to agree with K to think you’re out of line. People can be wrong without having suffered psychological abuse.

          • Sector 249 says

            Yeah but its okay to generalize 50 percent of the population based on a few examples…

            yeah that makes perfect scientific sense.

  22. K says

    … okay, well, the chimpy subset of males isn’t our PROPERTY but I maintain we should still smack them around when we get the chance. I didn’t want to make it sound like sane women got into relationships with chimpy males. We get into relationships with MEN, and they are not our property and we are not their property either.

    • hoary puccoon says

      Even awful men aren’t chimpanzees and don’t deserve smacking around. (For that matter, neither do chimpanzees.)

      I’m really hoping your posts are just a false flag operation by some MRA sympathizer. But if they’re not, leave the women’s movement out of your hostilities, please. We have enough problems without being blamed for your fits of pique.

  23. hoary puccoon says

    On topic, I once worked in a building of three or four floors– low enough to take the stairs easily. But there was an elevator. One of the other women who worked there was raped in the elevator by an unknown assailant. The rapist was never caught. I, like the other women who worked there, stopped using the elevator unless I was with other people I knew and trusted. And one of my male colleagues dressed me down for my “paranoia.” Because I refused to enter an enclosed space where a violent crime had been committed– while the perpetrator was still at large. That’s how obtuse some men can be.

    Of course, if I had submitted to my colleague’s manly, cool-headed assessment there was no danger and been raped in that elevator, he or some other man would almost certainly have dressed me down for being foolhardy, as in “what were you doing, entering an enclosed space where a violent crime had been committed while the perpetrator was still at large?”

    (Oh, and you’d better believe I sympathize with Rebecca Watson.)

    • Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

      That’s exactly what I’ve always found infuriating about the whole elevator-gate thing. Every damn one of the people hissing and spitting about what Rebecca Watson said would be lining up to tell her what a fool she is if she’d accepted the guy’s offer and been assaulted and/or raped.

  24. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @ Sector 249

    So are you expecting men in general to step in and get involved even though they might be beaten, harmed or killed in the process? Most men are not violent to step in and get physical.

    You are the one who claimed that more men than not intervene when they witness sexual assault happening. You then based a claim that misogyny isn’t as prevalent as we think on that claim. Now, apparently because you don’t like where that reasoning leads, you’re turning the narrative upside down.

    “Last, you’re gonna need to stop the whole “I don’t see it so it doesn’t exist” garbage. Things don’t wink out of existence or cease to happen because you fail to notice them.

    Are you claiming to know that they would have if the other guy hadn’t gotten there first? ”

    Never said it doesn’t exists. never…

    Oh really? I beg to differ:

    I almost always see random men getting involved. So Im not sure if misogyny is as widespread among males as some feminists claim.

    You see random men getting involved, so you think misogyny doesn’t happen as much as we say it does.

    I dont see evidence of that. Its a small minority at best that thinks along those patterns.

    You don’t see evidence of prevalent misogyny therefore it’s only a small minority.

    If you can’t be arsed to think about what you’re saying and remember it from one post to the next, stop posting.

    Lets reflect this back to you then, how do you know what most men would do in that situation? Also how do you know what percentage of men are misogynists?

    I’m not the one claiming to know what percentage of men are misogynists; you are.

    NOPE. You still need to call the police regardless because they file everything and that can help you in a court case. Ceesays is clueless.

    You’re the one pontificating about shit you know nothing about based on a whole series of bullshit assumptions.

    • Sector 249 says

      “I’m not the one claiming to know what percentage of men are misogynists; you are”

      Yet your entire argument is based on the fact that the majority of men and society as a whole is misogynist.

      Murder happens and murderers exist yet their is no argument to support society as a whole is pro murder. Just because you dont intervene to stop a murder it doesn’t make a murder supporter…

      That right there is your argument regarding misogyny and rape culture.

      • Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

        Yet your entire argument is based on the fact that the majority of men and society as a whole is misogynist.

        Um no. It’s not. Of course if you ask most people directly, they’ll tell you they consider women deserving of all the same rights and freedoms as men. That does not mean that they don’t engage in behaviors that have the practical effect of denying women rights and freedoms.

        Murder happens and murderers exist yet their is no argument to support society as a whole is pro murder. Just because you dont intervene to stop a murder it doesn’t make a murder supporter…

        For the third time, you’re the one making claims about the prevalence of misogyny based on your subjective impression of how often someone does intervene to stop a sexual assault in progress. You don’t seem to be challenging the idea that most people don’t intervene and that is the entire fucking point here. Most people, even though they may be horrified in the privacy of their own skull, don’t step up. They may not be cheering the assailant on but they’re certainly not doing anything to make him think his actions are unacceptable.

        • Sector 249 says

          “For the third time, you’re the one making claims about the prevalence of misogyny based on your subjective impression of how often someone does intervene to stop a sexual assault in progress. You don’t seem to be challenging the idea that most people don’t intervene and that is the entire fucking point here. Most people, even though they may be horrified in the privacy of their own skull, don’t step up. They may not be cheering the assailant on but they’re certainly not doing anything to make him think his actions are unacceptable.”

          Are you serious?

          I came on here with a point or observation I had that the reason most people dont get involved is due to how we value privacy and that most men cant get involved out of fear but Ive yet to hear you take this into any consideration. I dont care about being proven right or anything else, I just wanted to get some view points in regards to my observation which personally I see as conflicting with the notion that men should get more involved. That is all, I’m not disregarding the experience most women have or that sexism exist in society.

          • ceesays says

            Except that you have repeatedly demonstrated a disregard for the experience of people who have related to you their direct experiences right here in this comment thread, documented for anyone to come along and read.

            Maybe you should try a different tactic, because directly contradicting yourself with a written record to prove it is not working out all that well.

            JAQing off should be done in private.

          • Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

            My mouse has a scroll wheel and I have this nifty little bar on the right side of my screen and I know how to use both. I can see you saying exactly what you claim not to have said.

        • Sector 249 says

          “For the third time, you’re the one making claims about the prevalence of misogyny based on your subjective impression of how often someone does intervene to stop a sexual assault in progress. You don’t seem to be challenging the idea that most people don’t intervene and that is the entire fucking point here. Most people, even though they may be horrified in the privacy of their own skull, don’t step up. They may not be cheering the assailant on but they’re certainly not doing anything to make him think his actions are unacceptable.”

          Most people cant intervene for obvious reasons I already brought up. To expect random people to intervene in every situation is madness. Its the same ideology that made people suspect terrorist in their neighborhood after 9/11. Calling out on violence in general is one thing but to assume most people have good judgment in every circumstance i absurd.

          • Blanche Quizno says

            At the point where people have the opportunity to intervene, things have already progressed so far beyond the pale as to be at a crisis point.

            The problem here is not how many men will intervene when they see a woman being attacked by a man or how many men WON’T intervene when they see a woman being attacked by a man. The problem is not an expectation about whether or not a man should put himself in harm’s way to rescue a woman who is being attacked by a man, regardless of the man’s state of health, mobility, fitness, size, strength, etc. etc.

            The problem is that there are women being attacked by men.

            THAT is the problem.

            We need to change our society so that this is not an unsurprising scenario.

          • Sector 249 says

            “The problem is that there are women being attacked by men.

            THAT is the problem.

            We need to change our society so that this is not an unsurprising scenario.”

            Yes, that is a problem. This may come as a shocker by women do attack men as well. It does happen.
            Most of these can be traced to abusive behavior inflicted from childhood. People are not born violent. Child abuse by men and women is on the rise and often results in abusive behavior later in life.

  25. Rik van says

    Shared it. Not sure it’ll reach the men that really need to take notice, though.

  26. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Well said, Miri. Very powerful article, shared on fb. Some disturbing stories in the comments too which hopefully will make more people wake up.

  27. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @ Sector 249

    The police dont follow up properly and they do ignore domestic violence but that is a direct problem with their training and lack of in some aspects.

    Violence against women in north America is already a serious crime. One phone call and the police raid the place.

    Which is it? The police take violence against women and take care of it after one phone call, or they don’t follow up properly and ignore it?

    If you think people don’t notice when you alter your narrative to suit whatever comment you’re responding to, think again.

    • Sector 249 says

      That comment was regarding violence in public, we weren’t speaking about domestic violence you are mixing things up to suit your argument.

      Domestic problems are between two people with history and its never easy to resolve.

      • says

        While taking public transportation, I was backed into a corner and groped. I managed to make enough of a fuss that the police officer that was PRESENT for these events couldn’t continue ignoring them. He told me I couldn’t file charges just because I ‘got a little bit more attention than I wanted’ and that in the future I shouldn’t go clubbing by myself. For the record, I wasn’t clubbing at all, just trying to get home from a late night at work. But even if I had been, that doesn’t excuse what happened, nor the officer’s reaction.

        So again, I’d just like to reiterated, fuck you.

        • Sector 249 says

          That sucks and all but what exactly are you expecting to change?

          I mean people get robed on a daily basis, how exactly is this preventable?

          Keep in mind that the person who did this to you would probably resist arrest, beat a cop and assault people in the process.

          • Blanche Quizno says

            “Violence against women in north America is already a serious crime. One phone call and the police raid the place.”

            That would be a nice place to start. A consistent, serious attentiveness to the problem would be a step in the right direction. Yet that’s not what happened, is it?

            “I mean people get robed on a daily basis, how exactly is this preventable?”

            With a police officer WATCHING??? POLICE OFFICER: THAT’s how it’s preventable! Do you think before you post, or are you really a roomful of monkeys with keyboards in real life?? Do YOU expect a POLICE OFFICER to *watch* a crime in progress, do nothing, and then, when challenged on his ineptitude, tell the victim that it’s no big deal???

            “Keep in mind that the person who did this to you would probably resist arrest, beat a cop and assault people in the process.”

            Wait – WHAT?? So a police officer can NOT DO HIS JOB because a person *MIGHT* “resist arrest, beat (him) up, and assault others”??? WTF??? Most police officers are ARMED, douchewad. And if a police officer is too CHICKENSHIT – yes, I said it – to DO HIS JOB, he needs to be FIRED, not excused, not defended, not applauded.

            Holy shit!! What a doucenozzle!! I can’t believe it!

          • Sector 249 says

            I dont think you are following what I’m trying to say at all. Are you interested in a reasonable debate or passive aggressive arguments that go no where.?? I dont have any interest in the later and its a pure waste of time so I wont respond unless you make a valid argument.

            “That would be a nice place to start. A consistent, serious attentiveness to the problem would be a step in the right direction. Yet that’s not what happened, is it?”

            You are not the only person to complain from police negligence. All minority groups in this country have experience police double standards. Unfortunately, aside from reporting the problem to the media and making complaint to the department that person wont be held accountable.

            “I mean people get robed on a daily basis, how exactly is this preventable?”

            With a police officer WATCHING??? POLICE OFFICER: THAT’s how it’s preventable! Do you think before you post, or are you really a roomful of monkeys with keyboards in real life?? Do YOU expect a POLICE OFFICER to *watch* a crime in progress, do nothing, and then, when challenged on his ineptitude, tell the victim that it’s no big deal???

            <> I believe the subject was violence and sexual assault in which police rarely witness the crime. I repeat this again, the police are not always helpful and at-least in public with enough witnesses one can make a case to remove the incompetent officer and hold the department accountable.

            I seriously wanted to know what solution you propose for this specific problem. It was a question more than an argument. No need to be defensive when someone actually validates the problem.

            The reason why I mentioned this is because this person shows all signs of being abusive and violent in general. Possible drug induced and more so psychologically disturbed which makes him dangerous to you and others. You mentioned a cop not taking your case seriously which I believe is true but that is very unusual specially in a public setting. Would all cops act exactly like him? His actions are grounds for being removed from the force.

            I dont see much else that could have been done in this case aside form you gathering witnesses and filling a complaint. It would be the same argument if someone was assaulted as well. even though it happens some cops dont bother with it and its negligence.

        • Sector 249 says

          Since we are on the subject its worth mentioning that police officers rarely get involved when they are alone. That is the protocol. They wait for a a partner before they make arrests or put themselves in a dangerous situation. statistically, that significantly reduces their chance of getting seriously injured or killed specially when they have to take on more than one person or a group.

          This brings me back to my initial post on this thread. Its obvious that these types of criminal acts happen in our society. Are men in general denying that these things happen? Are the courts and law enforcement denying sexual assault on women at large? for example murder happens despite our culture condemning and opposing it at large. One cant conclude that our society is pro murder solely based on the fact that it happens. We will always have some rotten apples in the mix that act upon their own selfish desires.

          By admitting that these problems exist, are we changing anything long term? I’m not so sure.
          Can our legal system do a better job at criminalizing it, Absolutely but it will require evidence.

          Are rapist and murderers born that way? I highly doubt it ad from my experience working with children the psychological and physical abuse they endure at a young age can manifest to much more serious problems later on. Our society currently lacks a proper system of determining and preventing abusive behavior by mothers, fathers a others on children. That to me is the root of the problem.

  28. says

    I can’t help but notice that Sector249′s behavior in this threat perfectly illustrates the problem mentioned in the OP. It’s not a problem unless Sector249 has personally witnessed it being a problem, no matter how many people say otherwise.

    • Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

      Someone’s gotta do it. Personally, I think we should all be applauding Sector249 for stepping up and taking one for the team.

      /sarcasm

    • ceesays says

      yep, we got someone who is all too willing to give an unironic living example of the sexist fuckery talked about in the original topic. It’s nearly as reliable as the dawn.

    • Blanche Quizno says

      Could it be that he’s the women’s rights equivalent of a Poe in Christianity?

      I’ll just BET he loves him da jeebis <3

  29. MadHatter says

    So all the times that I’ve been publicly harassed or assaulted must have been in my head because there’s always a man around to step in, but since one didn’t it must not have been a real assault. Ditto for all the stories from my other women friends.

    Also, men totally take women seriously about male violence which is why no woman is ever killed by an ex-husband or boyfriend who they did in fact report to police. My sister was never told by police that it was her fault that her ex beat her up or that he couldn’t possibly have raped her since she had once consented to sex with him in the past. They also have totally taken her report of repeated stalking totally seriously, I mean so seriously that when the stalker blocked her and her toddler into a dark parking lot they never responded. Luckily she could hide in a woman friend’s locked apartment for a few hours…

    Nope…Sector249 has it all right. Men always step in, so since they didn’t these weren’t real assaults, rapes, or harassment. And of course it never happens out of view of these men who always step in…

    And this xe is a great example of what Miri is in talking about.

    • Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

      Well..per Sector 249, assault does happen in out of view of men who always step in; it’s just “difficult to resolve” i.e. bitch probably deserved it.

    • Blanche Quizno says

      Oh, come now, MadHatter! Everyone KNOWS that proper ladies never set foot outside their homes without their burquas and without a male relative escorting them for safety (and presumably not assaulting them in the first alley they pass).

      And doesn’t it make all women feel just warm and fuzzy to know that they have to depend on men to stop the women’s being assaulted of other men? That it’s a matter of what men do, all the way around?? Ah, to be free of agency – such a relief! All we have to do is lie back, think of England, and wait for our hero to swoop in and rescue us! Ah – modernity!!

      Say – fun fact: In Mississippi, a wife can divorce her husband on the grounds of adultery (not acknowledged in all states). BUT – this is the fun part – she can only divorce him for adultery if it’s the FIRST instance of adultery! If she realizes he’s cheated and forgives him, then discovers he’s cheated again, she can’t divorce him on grounds of adultery!! How great is THAT???

  30. RM says

    It’s hard to fathom…what is supposed to be accomplished by criticising anyone, man or woman, for taking the taxi or avoiding the elevator if they feel unsafe doing otherwise? How does it inconvenience the men around her if a woman is slightly-over-cautious-or-maybe-justifiably-cautious in her own personal life? Apparently, just by being a woman, your personal decisions get to be everyone else’s business and a matter of public debate. However, the personal decisions of the harassers and assailants are apparently just human nature, “boys will be boys,” they were driven by an irresistible animal impulse…or some other such nonsense.

    Here’s what I’d like. I’d like to live in a world where that extra little bit of caution isn’t necessary, we won’t fault you if you decide to forgo it, but you can have it if you want it, because it’s your life. Either way, if someone harms you, the rest of humanity has your back.

  31. Blanche Quizno says

    Good points, RM @35. That’s exactly it – women do not have the right to make their own decisions based upon their own criteria, grounded in their own independent agency. They are required to have the permission and approval of men for every move. Ideally, they should be asking the men around them for instructions instead of making their own decisions. After all, doesn’t everybody know that a man’s decisions are FAR more reliable and sensible than a woman’s? And THEN, if something bad happens to her, it’s still all her fault! Yay for male privilege!! Men get to have it both ways!!!

    Women, on the other hand, get to be abused and vilified both ways. Nothing they do is right. It’s all part and parcel of the patriarchy that condemns women to second-class status (and ideally chattel).

    THAT’s the reason slut-shaming is a national pastime here in the US, which, in case anyone has forgotten, is a Christian nation. THAT’s the reason so many (mostly Christians) want to restrict access to both abortion AND contraception – the objective is to punish women for having sex by forcing them to bear children. Nobody give a rat’s ass about the fate of those children – it’s enough that they’re punishing those nymphomaniac slutty trashy tramp whores. THAT’s a job well done. Forcing one of these filthy sluts to undergo a few pregnancies and childbirths (each iteration FAR more risky to her health and even survival than a safe medical abortion – or contraception) – THAT’ll learn her to keep her knees together! Filthy sluts – they just won’t learn any other way!

  32. Noel says

    I have been raised by, close friends with, dated and married to people like Sector 249.

    Their ‘logic’ concerning women’s experiences is as follows:

    ‘Women are inherently stupid, sneaky, untrustworthy and essentially worthless. Therefore, everything they say and do is suspect.’

    Ignore them. They are not here to learn or think. They are here to project their sad, simple, dysfunctional coping mechanisms onto a big, scary world full of complex concepts and ideas that their stunted, fearful minds cannot deal with.

    • Sector 249 says

      “‘Women are inherently stupid, sneaky, untrustworthy and essentially worthless. Therefore, everything they say and do is suspect.’ ”

      Bravo for interjecting your deepest biased view point and labeling out of context.

      Are you sure thats not how you view the world? You live day to day thinking that society as a whole is your enemy and instead of speaking open with those that you despise you shut down all dialogue and run with your opinion and believe all else to be false.

      Typical borderline personality conflict.

      • says

        Your continuous attempts at diagnosing people say much more about you than them. It’s not only stupid, it also marks you as a rather unpleasant person.

        • Sector 249 says

          “Your continuous attempts at diagnosing people say much more about you than them. It’s not only stupid, it also marks you as a rather unpleasant person.”

          Yet,when you label and judge my character thats fine and dandy. Oh the double standards. Equality?
          Apparently, I’m not allowed to have an opinion without being labeled everything that I’m not.

          • says

            Actually, making judgments about people’s character is not the same thing as armchair-diagnosing them with mental illnesses. If you need to insult someone so badly that you have to resort to your patchy and simplistic knowledge of the DSM, that says a lot about your attitudes towards people with mental illnesses, which includes me. So I’m tired of it. If you do it again you’ll be banned.

          • says

            Yet,when you label and judge my character thats fine and dandy. Oh the double standards. Equality?

            No double standard. There’s a difference between expressing an opinion about someone’s personality and behavior and diagnosing them with a mental illness. The fact that you don’t know this makes me wonder about your supposed credentials in this area.

            Apparently, I’m not allowed to have an opinion without being labeled everything that I’m not.

            Apparently, I’m not allowed to express my opinion about your opinions. Oh the double standards. Equality?

          • Sector 249 says

            “Actually, making judgments about people’s character is not the same thing as armchair-diagnosing them with mental illnesses. If you need to insult someone so badly that you have to resort to your patchy and simplistic knowledge of the DSM, that says a lot about your attitudes towards people with mental illnesses, which includes me. So I’m tired of it. If you do it again you’ll be banned.”

            Don’t care about you banning me. This is beyond biased in my opinion.

            All you have done is validate her comment “Women are inherently stupid, sneaky, untrustworthy and essentially worthless. Therefore, everything they say and do is suspect.’ ” towards me. In other words you agree with this statement despite the fact that none of posts reflect this.

            This is not a debate on any level, just mindless shaming in hopes that I will retreat from my original argument and feel guilt for a view point I have never promoted or shared.

            Great job.

          • says

            All you have done is validate her comment “Women are inherently stupid, sneaky, untrustworthy and essentially worthless. Therefore, everything they say and do is suspect.’ ” towards me. In other words you agree with this statement despite the fact that none of posts reflect this.

            Miri didn’t say anything remotely like that. You were criticized for a specific kind of behavior: applying psychiatric diagnoses to people.

            I can only conclude that, as a worthless troll, you’ve realized that your shtick isn’t going to work anymore and you’re firing off one last incoherent salvo to make sure you earn your ban badge. Your mom would be so proud.

        • Sector 249 says

          Honestly all anyone is doing here is diverting the conversation. I thought this was more of an academic thread judging by the writer of the article but its the same non sense I see elsewhere.

          I mean their has to be more to life than labeling and generalizing one would assume but not here.

          • says

            If you would like this to be an academic thread, which is the sort of thread I like, you are welcome to stop flinging around mental illness terms and seeing what sticks to the wall. Be the change you want to see in the thread.

          • Sector 249 says

            “If you would like this to be an academic thread, which is the sort of thread I like, you are welcome to stop flinging around mental illness terms and seeing what sticks to the wall. Be the change you want to see in the thread.”

            I did when I made the first post. Perhaps you should read the entire content.

            Instead of getting an argument I got insulted and labeled.

            If you care to keep this professional then please make proper rules for posting for all not just those who oppose a view.

            “There are also stupid little chimps who have impulse control problems, tiny brains, and an urge to get their dick wet or to smack people or things with their fists that is so beyond their ability to control that they hurt others in the process. These are not people, but the collective property of liberal women, and we should smack them around as we please.”

            Apparently post such as this are allowed with little criticism from you.

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