Everyday sexists or exceptional sickos? Observing hostile public masturbation


Laura Bates this week devoted her Everyday Sexism blog on the Guardian to the issue of men masturbating in public, specifically as a means of harassing women. Based on the contributions submitted to her website and over Twitter, she made a convincing case that this is one of the more common forms of harassment women experience, and her correspondents made a convincing case that it is also one of the most disturbing and frightening.

Beneath the line, an interesting and at times furious debate erupted. Some commentators, mostly men, I suspect, suggested that this should not be considered a form of sexism, it is instead the work of ‘sickos’ or ‘the local lunatic.’ Others, mostly women I suspect, responded that the men they had encountered behaving like this had been wearing suits and ties and showed no other sign of being mentally ill or generally disturbed. Some suggested that the experience is so common that it must be a large proportion of men who are doing this. This opinion, needless to say, was not well received by many men.

It was a debate that raised a lot of really interesting and important issues, and I thought they might be worth unpicking. My initial sense is that public masturbation is not a thing – it is several different things. Examples quoted in Laura’s piece include men masturbating when alone in a train carriage with a woman and leering at her; a woman discovering ejaculate in their hair from someone sitting behind her in a cinema; frotteurs rubbing themselves against a woman in a crushed tube train; people catching someone hiding in the bushes and masturbating while watching them in secret and even a man walking down the road, apparently unperturbed with his penis in his hand.

While these have an obvious superficial similarity, I’d suggest that they are actually all different phenomena and may have very different forensic profiles.

For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to focus on public masturbation, with the intent or expectation of being seen and eliciting a reaction. This is clinically classified as exhibitionism, which is a very common form of paraphilia. As long ago as 1973, JM McDonald noted in the original textbook that fully one third of sexual crimes reported to police were exhibitionism of some sort. A Swedish survey of the general population found that 4.1% of men and 2.1% of women admitted that they had, at some time in their lives, experienced sexual arousal by exposing their genitals to strangers. This suggests that the behaviour, while only performed by a small minority, is not freakishly unusual. It should be noted that despite those survey results above, the incidents which are reported to police (a rough proxy for incidents which could be considered threatening or traumatic) virtually all offenders are male. Adult male victims are almost unheard of. Child victims are roughly evenly divided between boys and girls.

Paraphilias (as sexual disorders are described in the psych literature and textbooks) are not generally considered to be mental illnesses, although – like personality disorders – they fall under the remit of mental health professionals when they begin to cause harm or distress to either the individual or those around him/her. So an exhibitionist, even a compulsive, repeat offender, is not necessarily ‘mad’ or mentally ill. Paraphilias also appear throughout the population, and there is some (albeit disputed) evidence that they are slightly over-represented among better educated, higher social-class individuals, which would validate the point about offenders wearing business suits.

However this gets complicated when one notes that exhibitionism, like other paraphilias, often appears in a pattern of comorbidity with mental illnesses, personality disorders and neurological disorders – spanning everything from autistic spectrum disorders to temporal lobe seizures.

The final piece in this puzzle is that exhibitionism also commonly appears in a pattern of co-morbidity with other paraphilias and sexual offending behaviours. So a persistent sex offender who commits contact offences – up to and including rape – is reasonably likely to have a history of other offences that include exhibitionism. It is also true that a small number of offenders commit these offences prolifically, so there will be far more women who have encountered such behaviour than there will be men who have committed it.

The sad but inescapable truth is that most people who display hostile paraphilias begin their ‘careers’ in perversion at a young age, usually still in childhood. A large proportion have been victims of childhood abuse of some sort, often but not always sexual. This does not make their behaviour understandable, acceptable or forgiveable.

Without getting lost in philosophical debates about free will and determinism, paraphiliacs have responsibility for their own beliefs, their own behaviour and their own values. The vast majority of victims of child abuse do not go on to abuse others. Most people with atypical sexual desires or who respond to unusual sexual stimuli find safe, non-abusive expressions for those urges and desires, ideally with an enthusiastically consenting partner or at least a rich fantasy life.

One can be mentally ill, one can be a misogynist, and one can be or neither, or both. I don’t think it is any kind of a stretch to include this type of behaviour under the banner ‘everyday sexism.’ It happens commonly enough and undoubtedly has a heavily gendered dynamic in the overwhelming majority of cases. On the other hand, the people committing the offences probably are not ‘everyday sexists’, they are what the textbooks call ‘deviant’ or disordered sexual offenders. There is no contradiction there.

So are these offenders damaged, disturbed, mentally disordered individuals or are they women-haters, sexists and misogynists? I’d hazard an educated guess that most are both. 

—————

Some more reading I found useful today:

Niklas Langstrom (2010) The DSM Diagnostic Criteria for Exhibitionism, Voyeurism,and Frotteurism

Sex and Sexuality: Sexual Deviation and Sexual Offenses. Ed Richard D. McAnulty, M. Michele Burnette

Lee et al, 2002 Developmental risk factors for sexual offending   

 

Comments

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

    Eww .. I’d rather look away when when it comes to public hostile maturbation.

    Embarrassing for everyone involved really.

  2. Gerard O says

    I’m not sure how this is a political issue though. If it belongs to the medical-criminal world then it’s perhaps best to leave it there.

  3. mildlymagnificent says

    I’m not sure how this is a political issue though. If it belongs to the medical-criminal world then it’s perhaps best to leave it there.

    If you’re in need of a bit of depression to counteract an unusually good mood, you could read the article Ally linked. Then – you could keep clicking on more, and more, and more, of the examples reported at everyday sexism. (Eventually I just had to stop. It was too much.) Doing that, you’ll see that very many of the women and girls who’ve experienced this complain – repeatedly – that no one in a train, bus, park or street will do or say anything to help them. There’s no need for people to try to do anything to or with the offending man, but it would be nice to see people being a bit supportive or sympathetic to the unlucky objects of his attentions.

    The other frequent complaint is that busdrivers, police, transport officials are dismissive, even scornful, if women report these events to them. Though I did notice that they responded more appropriately on the few occasions where it was the the girls’ mothers who made the reports.

    I half agree with Ally that this is often an instance of “both bad and mad”. But I also think it’s one end of the continuum of harassing behaviours that women and girls face when they’re out and about. It’s not a very big step for men who make crude invitations to sex – usually followed by extremely offensive insults when refused – from their cars, to drop their daks and otherwise expose themselves while doing so. (I do think that driving your car completely naked tips you right over into the mad as a box of frogs category. But those guys are also often much more scary, trying to grab girls who get too near the car.)

    My solution, if there is one, is for this to be yet another of those behaviours that we should all commit to be “a bystander no longer” when we see it happening or, more likely, when someone tells us they’re concerned about harassment, bullying, or this particular form of harassment. How many people actually make a move to strike up conversation when they see someone leaning over someone’s cleavage, crowding against another person on a train seat, rubbing up against a woman standing in a train or a bus or pulling her earbuds out to force conversation rather than let her listen to her music/ lecture/ book? No need to tell a pushy bloke to pull his head in, just make an appropriate move to give the poor woman a chance to get away from a creep or at least the knowledge that someone’s keeping an eye on both of them.

    Being realistic, there are far too many instances of people sitting or standing back and allowing overt, obvious bullying to continue for me to be very optimistic that people will step up to this particular plate. But I can dream.

  4. says

    Ally

    Oh, everything is political, including crime and mental health.

    Then the word political is probably not a good descriptor and you should not use it.

  5. Ally Fogg says

    Then the word political is probably not a good descriptor and you should not use it.

    I didn’t until GerardO did.

    MildlyMagnificent

    Lots I agree with there, but…

    It’s not a very big step for men who make crude invitations to sex – usually followed by extremely offensive insults when refused – from their cars, to drop their daks and otherwise expose themselves while doing so.

    I’m not sure about that.

    I would agree with that statement if we were talking about sexual assault / groping etc or various other kinds of sexual aggression, but the exposing genitals thing is kinda weird.

    The key difference is that most forms of sexual aggression place the offender in a position of power and control. Indecent exposure is different in that it involves making one vulnerable, to an extent. It strikes me as off the continuum, happening for different reasons.

    Although I must admit that is purely based on my instinctive feelings about it, how it would make me feel if I did it. But it could be that I’m just not “getting” the behaviour. I’m equally baffled by the internet thing of sending women cock-pics. it’s not one of those things where I can see the appeal but resist the temptation so as not to offend, I just genuinely cannot empathise with the wish to do it in the slightest.

    But anyway, I think one of the reasons there was such a strong response on Laura Bates’s blog is that a lot of men just think no, I could never do that, therefore the people who do must have a screw loose.

  6. says

    Ally

    I didn’t until GerardO did.

    You did not in this context, but you used the word previously in other contexts, such as here:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2014/05/25/madman-or-mra-looking-beyond-easy-answers-to-the-santa-barbara-massacre/

    Among several other manosphere communities, there are men’s rights activists, (MRAs) who mostly deal in political issues and gender relations, and there are pick-up artists (PUAs), who strictly concern themselves with sex, specifically how to manipulate women into bed.

    If you are really of the opinion that every issue is political, then this paragraphs does not have much of a message regarding MRAs. Note that the conceptual opposition between political issues and sex and poltical issues and crime/mental health is of similar quality, making your comment above strange.

  7. mildlymagnificent says

    I’m equally baffled by the internet thing of sending women cock-pics. it’s not one of those things where I can see the appeal but resist the temptation so as not to offend, I just genuinely cannot empathise with the wish to do it in the slightest.

    But anyway, I think one of the reasons there was such a strong response on Laura Bates’s blog is that a lot of men just think no, I could never do that, therefore the people who do must have a screw loose.

    Yeah. I’ve already had that conversation here with my husband.

    That’s one reason why it might make it easier to understand it as an extreme end of all the other harassing behaviours which are intended to shock or to upset – which most men don’t do either. I’m pretty sure you (and my husband and every other man I know) wouldn’t crowd up against a woman on bus seat determinedly keeping her eyes on the book she is reading, let alone grab her breasts or grope her groin or grind against her on a train or dancing at a club. All these behaviours can be intrusive, vulgar, annoying, threatening, or upsetting – or any combination of those things.

    Once you realise how far some men are willing to go beyond what most of us consider the bounds of civilised behaviour in doing these things, dick-pics??!!?, one further small, or big, step along that path is a bit easier to comprehend. Especially when such men are doing these things in the relative privacy of their own cars.

  8. Ally Fogg says

    sheaf

    If you care about it that much, take it to the open thread next door please.

  9. drken says

    I think there’s a tendency of people to dismiss a lot of aberrant behavior as the product of psychiatric or neurological illness so they can distance themselves from it. It also excuses inaction because “you can’t account for crazy”. I disagree with Ally on whether this is an act of aggression. You might feel vulnerable if you exposed yourself, but the perpetrator might get a kick out of “I’m going sit here and masturbate and there’s nothing you can do about it”. I think that’s where the power trip comes in. It compares to whistling and cat-calls in pretty much the same way foot massages and cunnilingus does in “Pulp Fiction”. A difference in degree, but not type.

  10. Thil says

    “The sad but inescapable truth is that most people who display hostile paraphilias begin their ‘careers’ in perversion at a young age, usually still in childhood. A large proportion have been victims of childhood abuse of some sort, often but not always sexual. This does not make their behaviour understandable, acceptable or forgiveable.”

    Ally what definition of “understandable” are you using that doesn’t make it a total self contradiction to explain why a person does something in once sentence, then say it’s not “understandable” in the next?

  11. Thil says

    I don’t think it’s correct to call this behaviour an expression of sexism because even if it is mostly a thing men do to women it’s not a thing men do to women because they have some kind of intellectualized rational for why it’s ok to treat women differently/worse than men. They do it mostly to women because it’s a sexual act and most men are sexually attracted to women.

    Unless you want to argue anyone who isn’t bisexual is sexist I don’t see how you can argue that this is the result of sexism

  12. Maureen Brian says

    Thil,

    There are probably a million reasons in total for the behaviour but some of it, especially what happens on public transport, is about controlling space. I’m not talking about why they do it but possibly the urge to do it “here, in this train carriage, because no woman will dare challenge me and no man will bother.”

    In that sense it’s only one step on from the many men who put their elbows across both armrests and the ones who sit with their legs wide apart – examples of both are readily available on the internet as in everyday life.

  13. Ally Fogg says

    Thil (11)

    Ally what definition of “understandable” are you using that doesn’t make it a total self contradiction to explain why a person does something in once sentence, then say it’s not “understandable” in the next?

    Because a person experiencing abuse in their own childhood does not explain why they go on to abuse others. At most it provides one part of an explanation. There is not a direct causal link between being abused and abusing others, there are many, many other factors that go to influence whether one person commits an abusive act.

  14. elementary_watson says

    @Maureen Brian: “In that sense it’s only one step on from the many men who put their elbows across both armrests and the ones who sit with their legs wide apart.”

    No, it isn’t. If it were, then the women who claimed lots of space in public transport, be it witheir bags or stretching across several seats, would also be only one step away from starting to masturbate to make other people uncomfortable.

    I am not a big fan of blurred lines in these matters, and your comment, I feel, is blurring the lines between lazily selfish behaviour and hostile sexual aggression. I find it highly unlikely that a man goes from “Dammit, I sit like I want to because I’m exhausted and don’t care to look out if others might need the space I’m taking up” to “might as well get my wiener out and stroke the little fellow” because those are two very different mindsets.

    In other words, there is a difference between a person who takes up more than the usual space in public transport because that person is in the mood to see others who might object as mere annoyances, and someone who actively infringes someone’s boundaries (and, as someone who as a 34 year old man got his hair tousled in a condescending manner two weeks ago, even *that* is a far cry from actual sexual aggression). Public masturbators (at least the kind described here) don’t do it because they don’t care whether anyone sees it, they do it because they want to be seen by their “prey”. That’s a huge difference.

    @magnificent 8: Well, grinding on the dance floor is kind of a different issue, because apparently, quite a few women and girls go there to be grinded against. As a non-grinder myself I find myself often surprised with how open many women apparently are towards being grinded against. So I guess the reason many men grind in dance clubs is because they’ve seen it/experienced it to be a somewhat working strategie to get it on with young women.

  15. Bugmaster says

    @Thil #12:

    > Unless you want to argue anyone who isn’t bisexual is sexist

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this a core tenet of feminism ? This is basically a combination of the concepts of “male privilege” and “objectification”. Though I would probably amend the statement to exclude gay men (who would lack the objectification component).

    I’m not saying I agree with the statement, but as far as I understand, that’s what “everyday sexism” means. All men are privileged, most straight men objectify women, most men are straight, therefore most men are sexist.

  16. JT says

    Interesting, the more I read this blog and share it with my wife we realize there is an alternate universe that we and our friends and family are not part of???

  17. Gilgamecha42 says

    Indeed. There appears to be some some sort of reality different from mine where men are ever the pigs of society, and women are ever the angels that wouldn’t hurt a fly. What’s more, men are repeatedly reminded that they are said uncouth animal by women who’d, by their demeanor, would rather stab people in the back if they could than offer assistance.

    Everytime I come here to read about these bizarre happenings on FtB, I begin to wonder if I, too, perhaps am living in an alternate universe.

  18. Koken says

    Presumably the contentious part, which Ally’s statistics can’t really answer, is whether these sorts of behaviours are in fact encouraged, condoned or at least tolerated as part of a wider societal sexism. If the people who do this either form the desire to do so due to sexism or are able to do so because of sexism-based indifference, then this is both an example of, and a battlefront in the fight against, everyday sexism.

    If on the other hand this is a desire formed in the teeth of societal disgust and ridicule which is considered far from acceptable behaviour, then it is probably not really accurate to make it part of a story about wider sexism, even if it does have the effect of creating problems for women specifically. The pattern of men doing this to women is presumably explicable on this basis primarily as being to do with heterosexuality rather than sexism – men forming the desire and then acting on it only toward those people they find sexually desirable, with those who do it being more likely to feel the thrill of risk than the comfort of security in terms of the reaction they would expect if caught.

    Presumably if this belongs in the first category, the ‘everyday sexism’ box, there should be some reasonable level of, y’know, actual acceptance that this is OK or at least not very bad. I would have thought that it is precisely the sort of thing likely to be labelled perverted, disgusting and generally pretty unacceptable – it’s hardly the epitome of macho masculinity. That said, the bits about people being unwilling to intervene could certainly be said to show a dismissive attitude to problems faced primarily by women.

  19. marduk says

    I think this is over-sexualised. Problem is we don’t seem to have words for it but not everything about the genitals is necessarily sexual (indeed, it feels to me like a lot of human sexuality has nothing to do with sex). There isn’t for example really a way of saying that something can feel good as a physiological fact that isn’t tied up with the social construction of sexuality (the only place I think this is ever discussed is with regard to the action of prolactin and oxytocin in breastfeeding).

    Certainly it can be a knowingly aggressive thing (the prison form is known as ‘gunning’ for example, its in one of the Louis Theroux documentaries).

    It can be transgressive thing.

    But you look at it developmentally, there is something compulsive about it. Lots of little boys go through a phase where they can’t leave it alone for five seconds, this is very much a pre-sexual thing as well and obviously a marked enough phenomena for it to make it into Freud (who amongst other things uses it as an explanation for male superiority in chess, go figure).

    I just have the feeling that in practice this is about obsessive compulsion more than its about “sex”.

    For example, to the extent porn addiction can be said to exist its not thought to be because someone likes sex, its because its a particularly potent displacement activity. Porn addicts are really self-medicating for anxiety disorders, they aren’t sexually dysfunctional beyond the obvious.

    @Maureen Brian
    Bollocks. I mean that in more than one sense. The other option is of course to do a bit of manual adjustment which I take it you’d not want to see going on either. Has nobody ever wondered why the tube (I’ll give you a clue, Victorian tunnel makers didn’t waste money on making them wider than they had to be = small carriages = small and low seats. Now imagine if you will a model skeleton sitting down on a seat too low for it, note what happens to posture and weight loading around the crotch area). This is the daftest Graun feminist meme in many years. If we’re talking slippery slopes and continua, I’d say viewing voyeuristic photos of men’s crotches taken without their consent under the guise of “activism” is more of a worry to me than some dude sitting so as not to crush his own junk.

  20. Bugmaster says

    @Thil #19:

    > gay people don’t objectify each other?

    I was talking about gay men specifically, and, as far as I understand, feminist theory doesn’t have much to say about them, so I don’t know… maybe ? Presumably, being men, both the one doing the objectifying and the one being objectified possess the male privilege, so they can’t be sexist by definition.

  21. mildlymagnificent says

    Koken

    That said, the bits about people being unwilling to intervene could certainly be said to show a dismissive attitude to problems faced primarily by women.

    Yup. I know I harp on it – just a bit – but my view is that, if we had better attitudes and social behaviours around all forms of bullying, we’d all be better placed to make good decisions and take helpful actions to support victims. My feeling is that far too many people feel that they’d need to “take on” a bully (or a group of bullies) and that is too much to ask rather than focusing on doing the right thing – for the bully’s targets.

    The pattern of men doing this to women is presumably explicable on this basis primarily as being to do with heterosexuality rather than sexism – men forming the desire and then acting on it only toward those people they find sexually desirable, with those who do it being more likely to feel the thrill of risk than the comfort of security in terms of the reaction they would expect if caught.

    Discussing this in terms of “desire” is just as inappropriate as it is when talking about rape. It is most certainly not about people they find sexually desirable. Repeat rapists focus most strongly on finding targets who appear vulnerable, or on creating isolation and/or vulnerability (usually with alcohol, less often with drugs). They usually start, in social situations, by testing boundaries and seeing if the potential target can become a real target.

    When we step down from individual sexual assault to general harassment, especially the various forms of extreme harassment, vulnerability and isolation are still big issues. Mainly because of the brazen stepping straight over a boundary, in this case all known boundaries, with complete strangers. The vulnerability in these instances is to shock and disgust, but women who find themselves being crowded, leered at, groped or fondled often feel isolated even, maybe especially, when they’re on a train or bus or street full of people.

    (And for those who think it’s weird, spare a thought for women who work in the menswear section of department stores. My sister didn’t usually work in that area, but was called on at various times. There’s A Reason why they need to keep glass cleaning products handy for the mirrors in the fitting rooms. When a bloke emerges from a fitting room with a silly smirk on his face as he completes his purchases, staff know that they have to get in there pronto and clean up the evidence. That’s another instance where the payoff is shock and disgust.)

  22. avern says

    This is just more evidence that feminism is nothing more than traditionalism in a skirt. Feminists start these hash tags in order to spur chivalrous, protective action from men who have no greater moral responsibility to solve this problem than anyone else.

    Men masturbating in public is not a manifestation of sexism or patriarchy. I’ve spent a lot of time watching amateur gay porn and browsing gay forums and none of the behavior/impulses described above are unique to straight men.

    Extreme exhibitionism and other aggressive fetishes are generated from shame not entitlement, which is why fetishes are more often centered around things that are considered dirty or taboo. Men are told that their sexuality is bestial and threatening and that they need to have an iron clad control over it or else they are a BAD PERSON. That cultural mindset is going to result in a lot of shame and repression, but also a lot of aggressive exhibitionism.

  23. Sans-sanity says

    A very good write up Ally, but I take issue with one of your opening comments:
    “Based on the contributions submitted to her website and over Twitter, she made a convincing case that this is one of the more common forms of harassment women experience, and her correspondents made a convincing case that it is also one of the most disturbing and frightening.”

    While people volunteering their own personal experiences makes a good source of evidence for investigating the nature of a phenomena, which makes your latter statement that it is “one of the most disturbing and frightening” well founded (although it must be noted that it is better when the ‘study’ population is not so self selecting). This kind of data are entirely useless for judging rate and incidence. This leaves your former statement “she made a convincing case that this is one of the more common forms of harassment women experience” quite unsupported in the text.

    I hope you consider it a complement of your usual scientific rigour that this stood out! I would not expect half as food at you at your worst from most bloggers at their best :)

  24. mildlymagnificent says

    Men are told that their sexuality is bestial and threatening and that they need to have an iron clad control over it or else they are a BAD PERSON. That cultural mindset is going to result in a lot of shame and repression, but also a lot of aggressive exhibitionism.

    By feminists?

    I can see that someone might think that if we were talking about first wave feminists fighting for the vote. One of their arguments was, in fact, that women would be a civilising, moral influence on the body politic. Though I’m pretty sure that it was the prohibitionists, men and women alike, who really pushed hard on the line that men were crude, violent, disgusting beasts when under the influence of the demon drink and that family and public life would be much improved if it were banned.

    But when it comes to modern feminists, the argument has always been that women and men are equally able to be decent, kind and sensible as well as vulgar, cruel or irresponsible. In sexual matters and all other aspects of life.

    The idea that male sexuality is an uncontrollable, ravening beast (that can only be controlled by marriage to a decent woman) is as old as the madonna/whore concept of women’s sexuality. And equally misguided.

  25. avern says

    “But when it comes to modern feminists, the argument has always been that women and men are equally able to be decent, kind and sensible as well as vulgar, cruel or irresponsible. In sexual matters and all other aspects of life.”

    The feminist ontology for male misogyny may point the finger at nurture rather than nature but the effect is EXACTLY the same, maybe even more extreme. Feminist ideology works in the same way as the religious kind; if you are behaving sinfully it is your responsibility to change because you have the ability to be kind, decent, and sensible.

    And here is the tragedy of human psychology. Trying to not think of polar bears makes one more focussed on polar bears. Trying to not be a pervert makes one’s fetish more amplified. I guarantee you that most flashers have a huge amount of guilt over their sexuality, but eventually had a “fuck it all” sort of breakdown at some point.

  26. Ally Fogg says

    Feminist ideology works in the same way as the religious kind; if you are behaving sinfully it is your responsibility to change because you have the ability to be kind, decent, and sensible.

    That is not restricted to religion or feminism. It is the fundamental starting point of every framework of human morality, including secular humanism.

    if you reject the premise that we all have the responsibility to change our behaviour to be kind, decent and sensible you are left with nothing but a Crowleyesque Do As Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law.

    Feminists start these hash tags in order to spur chivalrous, protective action from men who have no greater moral responsibility to solve this problem than anyone else.

    …and who have no less moral responsibility to solve this problem than anyone else.

  27. Bugmaster says

    @Ally Fogg #29:

    That is not restricted to religion or feminism. It is the fundamental starting point of every framework of human morality, including secular humanism.

    That’s true, but not entirely true.

    Firstly, different moral frameworks define what counts as “sinful” in very different ways. For example, certain branches of Christianity declare that being gay is sinful, yet many other moral frameworks disagree.

    Secondly, change is not always possible. A gay person may very well believe that he is sinful, and may even sincerely want to become straight, but evidence shows that this is extremely unlikely to occur.

  28. Ally Fogg says

    Firstly, different moral frameworks define what counts as “sinful” in very different ways. For example, certain branches of Christianity declare that being gay is sinful, yet many other moral frameworks disagree.

    Secondly, change is not always possible.

    And you could add that there have been secular systems, including communist USSR & China that have considered homosexuality ‘sinful’

    However the power of secular humanism is that you can challenge the fundamental basis of such judgements and ask why something is considered sinful and sometimes change your mind.

    At a fairly basic level, we can say that causing unnecessary harm to others for one’s own benefit or pleasure is wrong. Not many moral frameworks would exclude that.

  29. says

    That is not restricted to religion or feminism. It is the fundamental starting point of every framework of human morality, including secular humanism.

    Absolutely untrue and I have to scratch my head how you consistently come up with such sweeping generalizations. Consequentialst ethical theories typically regard concepts such as kindness or responsibility as only instrumental to desred states, such as e.g. maximized human happiness, and not as fundamental.

  30. Ed says

    It depends on the individual case. If a psychotic person is so out of touch with reality that they don’t understand the implications of their actions or have so little impulse control that they can’t really help it, it’s a mental health issue.

    If someone who knows better is doing it to intentionally disturb and intimidate women, it’s a crime and misogyny on that man’s part. If society doesn’t care that women are forced to deal with this, it’s systemic sexism.

  31. Ally Fogg says

    Consequentialst ethical theories typically regard concepts such as kindness or responsibility as only instrumental to desred states, such as e.g. maximized happiness, and not as fundamental.

    I notice that you don’t deny that such concepts as kindness or responsibility ARE instrumental to desired states?

    Come on Avern, I know you like being contrary, but even the most cynical, sophomore Victorian utilitarian sees through the sadism paradox in about five seconds, or at least by the time they read some Popper and/or grow up.

    Not all pleasure have equal ethical value. The aim of consequentialist morality is not just to increase morality, it is to minimise suffering. Blah de blah.

    And you do realise that arguing – however hyopothetically – that there may not be a moral or ethical proscription against sexually harassing strangers really does put you on the side of the most monumental bellends of society?

  32. marduk says

    “…and who have no less moral responsibility to solve this problem than anyone else.”

    Well that is true enough, the problem is when someone presents that in a collective blame kind of context.

    Everyone who has some sort of adult responsibility in this world knows that if you have a really difficult problem, you sit down and everyone talks about it and you try and figure something out as openly and calmly as possible. That is never what happens. It is impossible to have an adult discussion of DV data (for example) never mind creative policy ideas. But the collective guilt thing seems to be almost a rite of passage for many angry bloggers at this point. There isn’t any dialogue you can really have, so in the end, you just have to ignore it.

    It always goes something like this:
    – TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ENDING X NOW!
    – I don’t know anyone who does X, I’ve never seen it happen, I don’t know anyone who think its OK. I also don’t know what to do about it, any ideas?
    – ALL MEN BENEFIT FROM X!!! YOU ARE AS GUILTY AS ANYONE!
    – I don’t know what to do, it seems to have nothing to do with me, my knowledge of this is minimal. Tell me what to do if you know all about it.
    – THAT IS YOUR JOB!
    – Um, ok then, well there isn’t anything I can do.
    – THAT JUST PROVES HOW HAPPY YOU ARE ABOUT IT!

    The thing about this is that even if we accept the premise of ‘benefit’ that doesn’t mean its obvious what you can do to remove that ‘benefit’ much less the thing that creates it. Look at it this way, Julie Bindel is white and British and, from her holidays, it seems fairly wealthy. A situation that can only exist due to her directly benefiting from the reign of blood, terror, slavery and genocide that was the British Empire. I’m sure she’d agree as well. Now end the historical benefits of empire and make good on the suffering caused Julie. Go ahead, in your own time but preferably this week.

    Its asinine thinking parading as uncompromising activism. Something needs to change.

  33. says

    Ally

    I notice that you don’t deny that such concepts as kindness or responsibility ARE instrumental to desired states?

    Assuming for a moment that I am a consequentialist (my exact position is not completely fleshed out, as I at least seem to intuitively have some, if few strong, preferences that collide with many notions of consequentialism, but I certainly tend in this direction), then yes I would say that based on contingencies such behaviors will on average at least improve states of affairs. Not really relevant though.

    Come on Avern[1], I know you like being contrary[2], but even the most cynical, sophomore Victorian utilitarian sees through the sadism paradox in about five seconds, or at least by the time they read some Popper and/or grow up. [3]

    [1] I am sheaf, not Avern, such as a topological space with a local group structure that is consistent with gluing.

    [2] Hm, probably?

    [3] I think this is somewhat of a conflation as utilitarianism which is not the same as consequentialism in general. To be sure there are powerful objections to total utilitarianism (though sadism s much weaker than many problems arising from additive utility). This does not mean that every form of consequentialism is invalid.

    And you do realise that arguing – however hyopothetically – that there may not be a moral or ethical proscription against sexually harassing strangers really does put you on the side of the most monumental bellends of society?

    Good that I did not do this then, I am relieved. I just answered your false characterisation of ethical frameworks- partially because I believe some of the most promising ethical systems lack the properties you claim to be fundamental of all, and partially because I feel you have been pretty dickish to some commenters in this thread which seems somehow irresistable to my psyche.

  34. Ally Fogg says

    I am sheaf, not Avern,

    Oops, avern started an argument, you took over, I didn’t notice the names had changed, apologies.

    Good that I did not do this then

    No, but avern certainly did.

    I feel you have been pretty dickish to some commenters in this thread

    Goodness but there are some sensitive little snowflakes round these parts

  35. Ally Fogg says

    marduk (35),

    I can sympathise with your point, because like you suggest, I have never knowingly witnessed a man flashing or masturbating ‘at’ a woman, I very rarely see or hear women being sexually harassed in public in such a way that I could intervene.

    However I don’t accept there is, therefore, nothing I can do about this. Here is a list of things I try to do which may be helpful:

    1. I do not dispute, disbelieve or doubt those who tell me (via whatever medium) that it has happened to them. Just because I don’t see something happen, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen to others.

    2. I do not react to being told that it happens by instructing victims that they should put up with it, accept it or laugh it off.

    3. I make some efforts to persuade other people to take crimes like this seriously, recognising that they have a corrosive and harmful influence on society.

    4. I don’t laugh about or joke about these kinds of attacks in a way that would make any perpetrator feel better about himself or any victim feel worse.

    5. I do my best to educate myself about the extent and nature of problems like this.

    Do steps like these make a meaningful difference to how many such crimes are committed? If everyone observed them, yes they would. Even if it has a minimal effect on the number of offenders out there or the number of offences taking place, it would make a large and significant difference to how supported and secure victims feel in the aftermath, and that is very much worth the effort.

  36. Koken says

    @mildlymagnificent 23

    Even assuming that you are completely right about the psychology of rape, there seems no particularly clear reason to presume that the psychology of this is analogous. It is also worth bearing in mind that the fact that these acts are experienced as harassment by those subjected to them does not mean that this is what drives the perpetrators.

    In fact, even in the rape cases I tend to suspect that whatever urges towards dominance or whatever go into the motives of perpetrators, heterosexual men tend to want to exercise them sexually in relation to women for pretty straightforward reasons.

  37. thetalkingstove says

    Men are told that their sexuality is bestial and threatening and that they need to have an iron clad control over it or else they are a BAD PERSON.

    No. Not in the least. The message is ‘don’t harass’. If you can only interpret that as requiring ‘iron clad control’ then I don’t know what to say. It should be the lowest of low standards that a person doesn’t push unwanted sexual desires onto another person.

    The number of people who apparently can’t tell the difference between harassing and flirting is amazing.

  38. Thil says

    @sheaf @Ally Fogg

    just t be clear sheaf compared feminism to a religion in that it pushes moral responsibility onto people, Ally pointed out that all moral frameworks do that, sheaf brought up the issue of Consequentism and Ally responded by saying that that even if what’s good is changeable people taking responsibility for their actions is always going to be needful to achieve it? is that the guest of the argument?

  39. says

    just t be clear sheaf compared feminism to a religion in that it pushes moral responsibility onto people,

    No? Where did do this?

    Ally pointed out that all moral frameworks do that, sheaf brought up the issue of Consequentism

    No Ally made a broad generalization that concepts lke responsibility are fundamental to all ethical frameworks and I pointed out that this is simply incorrect.

    and Ally responded by saying that that even if what’s good is changeable people taking responsibility for their actions is always going to be needful to achieve it

    No he responded to me in 34 confusing me with avern and condescendingly reframing the argument about utilitarianism.

    is that the guest of the argument?

    You got pretty much every facet wrong.

  40. TMK says

    Huh. From what you wrote in first two paragraphs, it was not a debate, but bunch of ignorants pullings things from the sky. I facepalmed when i read the reasoning behind the conclusions that it is:

    1: done by large number of men
    2: one of the most disturbing and frightening

    As you found yourself, the first one is not true, and from what i recall, the second one is actually the opposite of what it is in reality. Although i also remember they are not violent, so was a bit surprised at the assertion they commit other offences. Unless the small number is likely the proportion found in general population (or even smaller). In fact, they are usually very easily frightened, shy and insecure, which is connected with their inability to form typical sexual relationships. I dont think misogyny/sexism gets into this picture in any way whatsoever.

    And i think abuse history certainly makes it understandable. Havent you pointed the abuse history of the perpetrator of that recent shooting? Understanding is simply a knowledge, and prior history goes a long way there.

    Btw, if the cinema hair masturbation is what was mentioned in the first comment, thats likely also a case of pedophilia, since the commenter said she was 11 at that time (you wrote women, that was somewhat misleading).

  41. TMK says

    Hrr. And here people do the same thing. No, its not the continuum, no, they (exhibitionists) dont get a power trip from it.

    In any case, Allys intuiton is correct here:

    The key difference is that most forms of sexual aggression place the offender in a position of power and control. Indecent exposure is different in that it involves making one vulnerable, to an extent. It strikes me as off the continuum, happening for different reasons.

    Although I must admit that is purely based on my instinctive feelings about it, how it would make me feel if I did it. But it could be that I’m just not “getting” the behaviour. I’m equally baffled by the internet thing of sending women cock-pics. it’s not one of those things where I can see the appeal but resist the temptation so as not to offend, I just genuinely cannot empathise with the wish to do it in the slightest.

    Because a person experiencing abuse in their own childhood does not explain why they go on to abuse others. At most it provides one part of an explanation. There is not a direct causal link between being abused and abusing others, there are many, many other factors that go to influence whether one person commits an abusive act.

    But it does. Childhood sexual abuse makes (like most childhood experiences do) great impact on future sexuality of a person, and can result in such person having strongly negative feelings about their body and sexuality, experience overbearing anxiety when it comes to sexuality, and having significant trouble with handling their emotions in flexible way. In a way, it could be seen as repeating the abuse, or acting it out. Also, there is no problem of no causality, since other factors, such as support, or general childhood atmosphere (for example whether sexuality or body is seen as negative, which could compound the abuse) could mitigate or agrravate these factors.

  42. TMK says

    That said, the bits about people being unwilling to intervene could certainly be said to show a dismissive attitude to problems faced primarily by women.

    Eh, its not. I mean, bystander effect is widely described and dare i say known phenomen, and it is not affected by gender.

    For example, to the extent porn addiction can be said to exist its not thought to be because someone likes sex, its because its a particularly potent displacement activity. Porn addicts are really self-medicating for anxiety disorders, they aren’t sexually dysfunctional beyond the obvious.

    Ah so true. I sort of concur on the compulsive nature of exhibitionism, too.

  43. Thil says

    @TMK

    “As you found yourself, the first one is not true”

    I think he means compared to the number of people who do public masturbation over all, not compared to the number of men over all

    “from what i recall, the second one is actually the opposite of what it is in reality”

    Recall from where? And how do you measure something like what the most “disturbing and frightening” experience a person has is?

    “Although i also remember they are not violent, so was a bit surprised at the assertion they commit other offences”

    Why does that surprise you?

    “In fact, they are usually very easily frightened, shy and insecure, which is connected with their inability to form typical sexual relationships”

    Where are you getting all that from?

    “And i think abuse history certainly makes it understandable. Havent you pointed the abuse history of the perpetrator of that recent shooting? Understanding is simply a knowledge, and prior history goes a long way there” “But it does. Childhood sexual abuse makes (like most childhood experiences do) great impact on future sexuality of a person, and can result in such person having strongly negative feelings about their body and sexuality, experience overbearing anxiety when it comes to sexuality, and having significant trouble with handling their emotions in flexible way. In a way, it could be seen as repeating the abuse, or acting it out. Also, there is no problem of no causality, since other factors, such as support, or general childhood atmosphere (for example whether sexuality or body is seen as negative, which could compound the abuse) could mitigate or agrravate these factors”

    The fact that some abuse victims go on to abuse other well some don’t and we don’t fully understand what causes them to go down one parth or the other means that we don’t fully understand

  44. avern says

    @ally

    “It is the fundamental starting point of every framework of human morality, including secular humanism.”

    This is so glaringly incorrect that I must assume you’ve never seen the inside of a college-level philosophy classroom or really have investigated the history of philosophy at all. The starting point of secular humanism is the belief that morality is possible without god or a similar supernatural force. Secular humanism is also very concerned with the idea/problem of autonomy as a criterium for moral behavior. Autonomy in human behavior is often imperfect and sometimes impossible which is why we don’t judges the actions of children, addicts, and the mentally ill as harshly as everyone else. Therefore assuming people have the ability to act morally is already misunderstanding secular humanism. Also, to bring it back to the specific terms I referenced, I’m guessing “kind, decent, and sensible” are not even moral tenants that you hold yourself. A drag queen dressed as a nun and sucking a dildo in front of a catholic church is not kind, decent, and rarely sensible, but would you claim it’s immoral?

    “If you reject the premise that we all have the responsibility to change our behaviour to be kind, decent and sensible you are left with nothing but a Crowleyesque Do As Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law.”

    Do you really want to get into a debate about meta-ethics? Because I can, but my original intent was to break down the deceptive and hypocritical morality of feminism and its adherents.

    “…and who have no less moral responsibility to solve this problem than anyone else.”

    Not according to feminists. According to them, men have a greater responsibility to stop harassment (both by fighting patriarchy generally, but also in the moment while it’s happening) because they will suffer less consequences by intervening and because they benefit from the institutions that promote harassment.

    “And you do realise that arguing – however hyopothetically – that there may not be a moral or ethical proscription against sexually harassing strangers really does put you on the side of the most monumental bellends of society?”

    Settle down, Mary. You’re going to hurt your hand clutching those pearls that hard.

  45. TMK says

    Thil, i dont remember. Most likely from sexuology courses i attended decade or so ago, and reading associated books.

    I think my surprise is obvioius given what i wrote. For exhibitionists, commiting other sexual offences would contradict what we know about them.

  46. Bugmaster says

    @Ally #31:
    In addition to what Sheaf and Avern are saying about consequentialism, let me say this:

    At a fairly basic level, we can say that causing unnecessary harm to others for one’s own benefit or pleasure is wrong.

    This simple-sounding statement opens up all kinds of cans of worms that Avern is probably better equipped to handle, but in practice, the overwhelming majority of people would probably agree with it. For example, fundamentalist Christians would wholeheartedly agree that gay people who choose to indulge their sinful impulses for personal pleasure are causing massive — in fact, potentially infinite — amounts of harm to others, by incurring the wrath of the almighty God.

    The problem here is that people have starkly different notions of what counts as “harm”, especially “unnecessary harm”. Thus, your statement that I quoted may sound nice, but by itself it is almost completely useless as any kind of a guide to what a person should and should not do, or what public policies should or should not be implemented.

  47. Sans-sanity says

    @Bugmaster, I had been thinking along the same lines. As well as the definitions of “harm” and “unnecessary” being rather wide open to debate, confusion and deliberate distortion, people could (and do) argue nigh on endlessly on what is truly meant by “causing” (for example, am I causing something to happen when I allow something to happen with that I could have stopped with effectively zero investment or effort?) as well as “one’s own” (how about if a person does harm for someone else’s benefit?), and, seeing as this thread has already strayed into the realms of philosophy, “wrong”.

  48. says

    @EverydaySexism I had taxi driver in Bangkok masturbating whilst driving. On highway to airport so couldn’t just jump out #everydaysexism

    Well, come on, it is called “Bangkok”!

    No? Too far?

  49. Adiabat says

    After thinking about this for a while I think I’m going to take a page out of Ally’s book and file this problem under ‘don’t really give a shit’.

    Firstly, feminists have a reputation for overinflating issues, from dodgy statistics to just banging on about trivial stuff endlessly and nagging everyone. I simply don’t believe that these things happen as often as claimed. The main problem with Everyday Sexism (besides the number of “A boy at school was mean and/or childish. Sexism!” posts) is that by putting rare occurrences together in one place it creates the impression that they are more common than they actually are. (And yes, one time is too many, but I prefer to deal with the world as it is, not as I wish it would be.)

    Secondly, I think the “harm” of these incidents is being exaggerated. Maybe I’ve been out drinking too many times with the rugby team but it’s just a cock, get over it. Sure they have that ‘last chicken in the shop’ look to them but you’re not some snowflake in a bad period drama who should be fainting at the sight of one. Maybe the cultural shift that we should change is our aversion to nudity, and not our aversion to white knight on behalf of others.

    Thirdly, no doubt I’ll be a bit disgusted if a fat, ugly woman decided to ‘ftg’ at me on the subway, and I’m sure I’ll wish afterwards that it never happened, but it’s already illegal and frowned upon by society; I don’t know what more I would expect to be done. I sure as hell wouldn’t expect some girl in the corner of the subway car to put her book down, walk over to the crazy woman and kindly ask her to put her fanny away.

    I might take this issue out of the ‘don’t really give a shit’ category if those complaining were capable of coming up with a sensible solution.

  50. says

    1. I do not dispute, disbelieve or doubt those who tell me (via whatever medium) that it has happened to them. Just because I don’t see something happen, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen to others.

    I don’t dispute them either. The flasher or “dirty old man” cliche is a bit too extensive and long-lived for this to be some kind of urban legend, and the stories don’t originate as moral panic or mass hysteria. My own mother has recounted a similar instance when she was in a local park years ago.

    The question whether this is a “common” happening is a little harder to answer, not because there is any dearth of anecdote, but simply because the database from which queries are pulled is so huge. This is one of the major problems I have with things like the Everyday Sexism projects and an objection I started to describe in one of your previous posts. Our minds are geared toward feedback from a tractable number of people, not the potential billions available from the internet. Everyday Sexism describes feedback from girls to grandmothers, so its anecdotes might well span an available pool of millions of people over decades of experience. How do we begin to assess everyday frequency from a poling that vast? Has anyone even asked the question? It would be easy to conclude that there is some social urgency where there might not be. The internet has become the universal fire alarm lever, but which alarms are real and which are false? It has introduced a new arena of vast numbers and associated data that may have us chasing mirages.

  51. says

    The main problem with Everyday Sexism (besides the number of “A boy at school was mean and/or childish. Sexism!” posts) is that by putting rare occurrences together in one place it creates the impression that they are more common than they actually are. (And yes, one time is too many, but I prefer to deal with the world as it is, not as I wish it would be.)

    Beat to the punch by Adiabat.

  52. Jacob Schmidt says

    Firstly, feminists have a reputation for overinflating issues, from dodgy statistics to just banging on about trivial stuff endlessly and nagging everyone. I simply don’t believe that these things happen as often as claimed.

    Is the CDC 2010 sexual violence report considered “dodgy”?

    Non-contact unwanted sexual experiences are those unwanted experiences that do not
    involve any touching or penetration, including someone exposing their sexual body parts,
    flashing, or masturbating in front of the victim, someone making a victim show his or her
    body parts, someone making a victim look at or participate in sexual photos or movies, or
    someone harassing the victim in a public place in a way that made the victim feel unsafe.

    34% of women and 13% of men. Or, to look above, 4% of men and 2% of women (in Sweden, admittedly. but I don’t think Sweden can really be considered unique) engaging in the behaviour in question.

    How often, exactly, is it being claimed to happen, and what indication do you have that that it is happening less?

  53. Jacob Schmidt says

    To put 4% and 2% into context, the Lisak and Miller 2002 study (“Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists”) reports about 6% of men committing or attempting rape, translating to 18% of women who report being raped, or attempted rape (from the CDC). I’m willing to bet that exposing oneself follows a similar pattern to that of rape and sexual assault (lots of one time offenders, a few serial offenders).

  54. says

    How often, exactly, is it being claimed to happen, and what indication do you have that that it is happening less?

    How often is it being claimed to happen? Often, if you believe Everyday Sexism. But why should you derive a conclusion from a website that solicits global anecdotes and how do you translate that into frequency? That’s my question. No doubt frequency varies widely, which explains why some people can recount no instances. Do you use public transport? Do you frequent secluded locations? General awareness and media reports might give you a better clue. Collecting multiple instances in a single group of coworkers is more convincing than disparate individual reports. In summary, it’s kind of complicated question.

  55. Jacob Schmidt says

    It should be noted that the scenario in which those 4% and 2% report exposing themselves are unknown; many of them might be consensual. The link Ally gives appears to go to a harddrive

    How often is it being claimed to happen? Often, if you believe Everyday Sexism. But why should you derive a conclusion from a website that solicits global anecdotes and how do you translate that into frequency?

    How often, exactly, is ‘often’? One does need an actual quanta, or at least the sense of such, to make claims of the veracity of such.

  56. says

    How often, exactly, is ‘often’? One does need an actual quanta, or at least the sense of such, to make claims of the veracity of such.

    Exactly. From what’s given, there’s no way to tell. From the linked article we have this:

    Looking at the Everyday Sexism Project database, I realised that in the past two years, 525 women and girls have reported this particular experience.

    Okay, so that gives us a time span of two years, so we proceed to the Everyday Sexism Project “database”:

    The Everyday Sexism Project exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced by women on a day to day basis.

    The problem here is that these are not day to day accounts. They are accounts spanning years or decades reported on a daily basis, which makes any type of temporal analysis impossible.

  57. Adiabat says

    Jacob Schmidt:

    in Sweden, admittedly. but I don’t think Sweden can really be considered unique

    You mean the Country where it is normal to go nude in Sauna’s and has a thriving nudist community, right? I’m surprised it isn’t much higher tbh. If anything this shows that having a healthy, and tolerant, approach to nudity would reduce the arousal, and thus the prevalence, of the situations we are discussing.

    As for the CDC, surely you recognise how vague that category is? It lists a few examples for illustrative purposes but can include practically anything, including being hit on in a bar. So yes, your use of the CDC 2010 sexual violence report in this case is ‘dodgy’.

    what indication do you have that that it is happening less?

    The nature of the evidence provided, ie tweets and Everyday Sexism (not to mention your use of the ‘Non-contact unwanted sexual experiences’ category), is going to give the impression that it is more prevalent than it actually is. This indicates that it is happening less than the impression Bates, and other feminists, wish to convey. QED

    (59):

    How often, exactly, is ‘often’? One does need an actual quanta, or at least the sense of such, to make claims of the veracity of such.

    Exactly. Now get back to us when you have that ‘quanta’. Until then I’m filing this “problem” under “don’t give a shit”, and “not a big issue”.

  58. Adiabat says

    Hunt: Plus the fact that the anecdotes that are uploaded aren’t area specific. There’s no indication just how many of those 112.5 per year were reported from London, where the article states 2000 officers have been trained specifically for this issue.

  59. Jacob Schmidt says

    You mean the Country where it is normal to go nude in Sauna’s and has a thriving nudist community, right? I’m surprised it isn’t much higher tbh.

    Did you argue that nudism (i.e. a desexualization of nudity in and of itself) leads to increased sexualization of nudity in and of itself?

    The nature of the evidence provided, ie tweets and Everyday Sexism (not to mention your use of the ‘Non-contact unwanted sexual experiences’ category), is going to give the impression that it is more prevalent than it actually is.

    Unsubstantiated.

    Exactly. Now get back to us when you have that ‘quanta’.

    I have no dog in this fight. You made a claim. Back it up with substance.

  60. Jacob Schmidt says

    to clarify, “nudity in and of itself” should really read “being exposed to strangers.”

  61. says

    The pattern of men doing this to women is presumably explicable on this basis primarily as being to do with heterosexuality rather than sexism – men forming the desire and then acting on it only toward those people they find sexually desirable…

    The exact same excuse is routinely made for rape and practically all forms of sexual harassment and assault, and it’s pure bullshit. Like all other forms of sexual harassment and assault, public exposure and masturbation is not an act of desire or courtship, it’s an act of hostility, committed towards people who are unable to prevent or stop it. So yes, it’s an act of sexism, not sexual desire.

    And what the fuck does nudism have to do with this? I’ve been to several clothing-optional events, and even there, it is NOT considered acceptable to wave one’s private parts about, let alone masturbate in public. Nudists understand that such acts are, by nature, hostile and inappropriate, just like the rest of us.

  62. says

    This is just more evidence that feminism is nothing more than traditionalism in a skirt.

    Yeah, feminists want men to abide by old, perfectly sensible rules of conduct in public. Remind me again why that’s a bad thing?

    Men masturbating in public is not a manifestation of sexism or patriarchy. I’ve spent a lot of time watching amateur gay porn and browsing gay forums and none of the behavior/impulses described above are unique to straight men.

    Your opinion of a certain male behavior is based on watching PORN? That’s fucking ridiculous. I’ve known since junior-high-school that porn is not a realistic guide to any aspect of real life. You need better sources of factual information.

  63. Ally Fogg says

    Hunt & Adiabat

    re: the frequency debate.

    In 2011/12 there were 7,000 reports to police of indecent exposure in England and Wales. For context, In 2011/12, the police recorded a total of 53,700 sexual offences across England and Wales, of which the most serious sexual offences of ‘rape’ (16,000 offences) and ‘sexual assault’ (22,100 offences)

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/214970/sexual-offending-overview-jan-2013.pdf

    Now we don’t know what number of incidents go unreported, but the CSEW (crime survey) finds that 85% of victims of all sexual offences do not report to the police. That might be a reasonable estimate. That would scale up to about 50,000 incidents per year, or a thousand per week.

    That kind of ballpark would place the phenomenon as a relatively commonplace crime. Of course it is not happening to every woman every day, but you would expect a pretty high proportion to have experienced it at least once in her life.

    Now, you might not give a fuck about that. You are not under any obligation to do so. It’s refreshingly honest of you to admit it. However most of us with some modicum of compassion, empathy and human decency might consider it a sufficiently large problem to be worth addressing.

  64. Ally Fogg says

    Jacob Schmidt

    Sorry about the dead link. Not sure what’s happened there, will try to fix it.

    In the meantime, the abstract is here
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16900414

    But the key point is that the phrase used was ‘being sexually aroused by exposing their genitals to a stranger’

    So that obviously cannot be a consenting partner.

    However I would accept a large couple of caveats there. The first is it doesn’t necessarily imply a hostile act. It could well be someone naked in a sauna getting a thrill from knowing they are being observed by others. And of course there is a big difference between someone getting a thrill from undressing while leaving the curtains open for the benefit of passers-by and someone aggressively flashing / masturbating at someone in an enclosed space.

    The other thing is that we should always be wary of reading too much into 1% or 2% of respondents to a survey giving a particular answer. You always get a few people who misunderstand the question, tick the wrong box or who just like giving contrary answers.

    Having said that, you do certainly get female sexual exhibitionists, so not all of those 2.1% will be rogue respondents, I’m sure.

  65. Jacob Schmidt says

    In 2011/12 there were 7,000 reports to police of indecent exposure in England and Wales. For context, In 2011/12, the police recorded a total of 53,700 sexual offences across England and Wales, of which the most serious sexual offences of ‘rape’ (16,000 offences) and ‘sexual assault’ (22,100 offences)

    Interesting. From the statistics above, I had ballparked the rates at approximately 1/3 to 1/2 that of rape. 7000 vs. 16000 fits that well, though I’m guessing rape and sexual assault go unreported more often than indecent exposure.

    Also, indecent exposure can also (so I’ve been told) get slapped onto things like public urination, so I take 7000 with a grain of salt.

    But the key point is that the phrase used was ‘being sexually aroused by exposing their genitals to a stranger’

    So that obviously cannot be a consenting partner.

    I was thinking along the lines of swingers party; a scenario in which parties expect to engage in sexual acts with strangers.

  66. Ally Fogg says

    I think as a point of fact, urinating in public is not indecent exposure (in the UK) – it’s normally treated as an environmental nuisance (ie littering) or more commonly drunk and disorderly. It;s almost always treated with an on-the-spot fine these days too, so doesn’t get counted in recorded statistics, I don’t think.

    For an incident to be classed as indecent exposure it needs to involve dellberate intention to expose oneself.

    But you’re right that the 7,000 could include oddities such as people mooning a policeman (or anyone else) which might not be considered very threatening!

  67. Koken says

    @Raging Bee 65

    I’m not sure why these crimes would be excused if they were in fact a result of sexual desire. That seems strange. I am also unclear why you think hostility and sexual desire are mutually exclusive. Hostility or the urge to dominate directed specifically at people you find sexually desirable do not seem implausible. Beyond that, the confidence and forcefulness with which you state your assertions does not make them particularly more credible to anyone coming in with doubts.

  68. says

    Now, you might not give a fuck about that. You are not under any obligation to do so. It’s refreshingly honest of you to admit it. However most of us with some modicum of compassion, empathy and human decency might consider it a sufficiently large problem to be worth addressing.

    I will start to post this about any or all of your condescending I don’t give a fuck rants from now on- implying that you are a bad person by ignoring the psychological realities of compassion, empathy and human decency, but hey, you are an ideological opponent so dismissal of reality is ok.

  69. Ally Fogg says

    this time I most definitely wasn’t talking to you sheaf.

    I was talking specifically to Adiabat who said (OK, I’ll go for word for word quote:)

    After thinking about this for a while I think I’m going to take a page out of Ally’s book and file this problem under ‘don’t really give a shit’

    and

    Now get back to us when you have that ‘quanta’. Until then I’m filing this “problem” under “don’t give a shit”, and “not a big issue”.

  70. says

    this time I most definitely wasn’t talking to you sheaf

    Yes? Did I say you did? As far as I can tell, I am within my freedom of disagreeing with stated opinions on this blog, even if they are not addressed at me.

  71. 123454321 says

    I think men who openly piss on the side of the road or up a wall in and around town are fucking stupid, low-life, idiots who obviously can’t time their toilet breaks properly and don’t give a shit about potentially offending other people. I also despise men who can’t tune into the appropriateness metrics associated with removing their shirt in public places.

    So I’m not going to even begin telling you what I think about men who choose to reveal themselves or masturbate in public!

    One thing I will say is that I’m not surprised that boys and men these days have no respect for their own genitals and show no signs of dignity. TV and films over the last few decades have unashamedly shown close-up, graphic images of men’s genitals (at all hours of the day) whilst at the same time relentlessly censoring female genitals in line with the usual protection rules that apply to females but not males. Boys are not taught to cover up, where as girls are. Complex and unprovable, I know, but this foundation training (or absence of training) could fundamentally extrapolate and lead to more malevolent happenings.

    I think some men need to take a good, hard look for their dignity!

  72. avern says

    “Your opinion of a certain male behavior is based on watching PORN? That’s fucking ridiculous. I’ve known since junior-high-school that porn is not a realistic guide to any aspect of real life. You need better sources of factual information.”

    I’m going to explain this to you as if you are a child, since that is perhaps the only way you’ll be able to understand. Some porn uses actors and is highly produced and edited in the same way a Hollywood film and, like a Hollywood film, is not representative of how most people express sexuality. Some porn is amateur or documentary, does not involve actors and usually contains a single unedited static shot of people expressing their normal sexuality. When a man video records himself masturbating in his car hoping that a straight business man will see him, that’s is in no way different than a straight man doing the same thing to female drivers without a video recorder. Do you understand?

    “Yeah, feminists want men to abide by old, perfectly sensible rules of conduct in public. Remind me again why that’s a bad thing?”

    You really don’t grasp things easily do you? The traditionalism I was referring to was not the rules that condemn aggressive exhibitionism. The traditionalism I was referring to was the use of heated rhetoric used by feminists in order to spur the chivalrous protective instinct in men to save delicate victimized women, which is a traditionalists gender dynamic. Do you understand?

  73. avern says

    @123454321

    “TV and films over the last few decades have unashamedly shown close-up, graphic images of men’s genitals (at all hours of the day) whilst at the same time relentlessly censoring female genitals in line with the usual protection rules that apply to females but not males. Boys are not taught to cover up, where as girls are. Complex and unprovable, I know, but this foundation training (or absence of training) could fundamentally extrapolate and lead to more malevolent happenings.”

    While I don’t share your disdain for public urination or toplessness in general, this is 100% truth right here and needs to be constantly repeated. Men’s bodies have always been exposed for scrutiny and cheap titillation in the media far more than women’s bodies, which is part of the cultural devaluation of men. For proof of this, just read any feminist article about the overabundance of female nudity. They ALWAY complain about the unequal appearances of female breasts and penises in movies. That is a disgusting equivalence.

  74. Adiabat says

    Ally (67):

    In 2011/12 there were 7,000 reports to police of indecent exposure in England and Wales.

    Where is this figure? The closest I can find is on page 19 where it clearly states that the figure is for ‘exposure or voyeurism’. That figure is never broken down further, as far as I can tell. And as you say, of the ones that remain how many are for mooning, or a Scot proving he’s a real Scotsman ;) . And while peeing in public, sunbathing nude or skinny dipping at the beach have seen an attempt to be excluded under the 2003 Act we still see cases being recorded as indecent exposure. And then we have harmless drunken hijinks such as a stag night out lifting up their skirts, a woman lifting up her top, or a streaker at a sports game.

    So after we discount all that we’re left with core ‘perverts’ (for lack of a better term) and with a problem that’s much much less frequent than most other offenses. And to top it off the actual ‘harm’ is minimal. Seriously, it’s just a cock. It’s probably more scared of you than you are of it. I can see why someone might be shocked or disgusted, but to me that’s on par with that list of non-fucks you gave in a previous thread.

    And then we have the point that there’s not really much more we can do about it; it’s already illegal and a major social taboo. Changing the culture is the only option, and I’d rather we change it so people don’t have fits at the sight of a normal body part over 3 billion people have. Take away the shock and disgust at the body part and the problem will disappear by itself.

    So no, I’m not going to be shamed into giving a fuck just because you happen to do so for this one.

    (68):

    But the key point is that the phrase used was ‘being sexually aroused by exposing their genitals to a stranger’

    So that obviously cannot be a consenting partner.

    Does a one night stand qualify?

  75. TMK says

    @JS

    Interesting. From the statistics above, I had ballparked the rates at approximately 1/3 to 1/2 that of rape. 7000 vs. 16000 fits that well, though

    I’m guessing rape and sexual assault go unreported more often than indecent exposure.

    Why? I would think it is the opposite.

    Also, expanding on what i said earlier about exhibistionist, another intersting thing is that they were exclusively male. Now, that was over ten years ago and sourced only by (IIRC) clinical data, so i guess the 4%/2% is more accurate and it was simply a bias due to selection (as in, reporting) – perhaps exhibitionist females were not interesting to police.

    It also means i really think police data is almost completely worthless. With such huge and unavoidable selection bias, it simply cannot be used to get accurate view of prevalence.

  76. 123454321 says

    Avern – “They ALWAY complain about the unequal appearances of female breasts and penises in movies. That is a disgusting equivalence.”

    Yes, agreed, I’ve never quite worked out why someone would argue for an equivalence between penis/testicles and that of a pair of breasts – quite different in my opinion. Their arguments are probably based on illogic, devious manipulation (something that feminists are good at) or selfishness – or a mixture of all. Yes, I get it that we all have a body and it’s the human form and totally natural etc. but once again we’re talking about yet another double-standard which, strangely enough, suits the female sex rather than the male. I’d like to know how many other men are growing tired of being confronted with the exposure of men’s genitals on TV and in film. Boobs do not equal genitals in my book. They’ve even shown full frontals of men in all their glory in children’s films. FFS, is there no shame!

  77. 123454321 says

    “Seriously, it’s just a cock. It’s probably more scared of you than you are of it. I can see why someone might be shocked or disgusted, but to me that’s on par with that list of non-fucks you gave in a previous thread.

    And then we have the point that there’s not really much more we can do about it; it’s already illegal and a major social taboo. Changing the culture is the only option, and I’d rather we change it so people don’t have fits at the sight of a normal body part over 3 billion people have. Take away the shock and disgust at the body part and the problem will disappear by itself.”

    I’m not sure I can agree with you here Adiabat. I think you’re overlooking respect, dignity and other people’s perception of what they may find potentially offensive. It might be just a cock to you but to a Grandmother out for the day with her Granddaughter it may be perceived as totally offensive. Or maybe a guy taking his girlfriend out for the night confronted by the sight of you flashing your cock around (cuz you don’t give a shit) may want to chop it off and shove it down your throat as a token example offering of a bit of free edification. :-)

    Also, don’t forget that billions of people have vaginas and labia too, but they usually retain their dignity in public more so than their male counterparts. Men have less dignity bred into them and it shows. They should wise up and some men in particular ought to stop being asshole exhibitionists because they really do make themselves look like low-class, undignified, brainless fuck-wits that give the rest a bad name.

  78. says

    Different subject, same childish reflexive one-size-fits-all MRA stupidity…

    I am also unclear why you think hostility and sexual desire are mutually exclusive.

    I never said they were. I said that public exposure and wanking are hostile and sexist acts, because they disregard women’s rights not to be so harassed in public places.

    TV and films over the last few decades have unashamedly shown close-up, graphic images of men’s genitals (at all hours of the day) whilst at the same time relentlessly censoring female genitals in line with the usual protection rules that apply to females but not males. Boys are not taught to cover up, where as girls are.

    What alternative reality are you phoning that rubbish in from? I watch a good bit of movies and TV, and men’s genitalia are explicitly shown only in porn. It looks to me like the problem here is your viewing habits, not the mass-media. Seriously, number-boy, what the hell are you doing in your spare time?

    Complex and unprovable, I know…

    Um, no, your assertions are quite simply false.

    I’m going to explain this to you as if you are a child…

    Yes, I know how porn is made. My point was that it was irrelevant to the issue of public exposure and lewd conduct; and you failed to address it. But thanks for reminding us that the most patronizing rhetoric so often comes from the stupidest commenters.

    The traditionalism I was referring to was the use of heated rhetoric used by feminists in order to spur the chivalrous protective instinct in men to save delicate victimized women, which is a traditionalists gender dynamic.

    What’s wrong with using heated rhetoric to describe bad behavior and urge the people responsible to change it? I guess you can label it “traditionalist” or “chivalrous” if you want, but that doesn’t make it wrong — it only implies that you don’t understand the concept of personal responsibility.

    And to top it off the actual ‘harm’ is minimal.

    Yeah, I’m sure a racist yelling epithets at darker-skinned people can make the same excuse. Does something have to be as bad as rape or lynching before you give a shit about it?

    So no, I’m not going to be shamed into giving a fuck just because you happen to do so for this one.

    If you don’t give a fuck, then why are you bothering commenting here at all? If you’re coming here just to flounce, then leave already. Don’t worry, that won’t upset any of us.

  79. Jacob Schmidt says

    TMK

    Why? I would think it is the opposite.[1]

    It also means i really think police data is almost completely worthless. With such huge and unavoidable selection bias, it simply cannot be used to get accurate view of prevalence.[2]

    1) I was thinking of the fact that rape tends to be perpetrated by acquaintances of the victim; its hard to go to the police about your friend, or you friend’s friend. I neglected that it would be fairly difficult to report a stranger for indecent exposure accurately and quickly enough for something to be done, and that many people might just not bother because of it.

    2) If I’m reading you right, the problem you describe would only exist with the prevalence of male victims. Also, at least according to Ally above, it’s more that men aren’t reporting it than anything else.

    123454321 & avern

    Where are you seeing all these penises in the media?

    I’m not sure I can agree with you here Adiabat. I think you’re overlooking respect, dignity and other people’s perception of what they may find potentially offensive.

    Oh, its worse than that. The “objective” approach to measuring harm is worthless. “Objectively,” a punch to the face isn’t that bad, barring any breaks. Being hit every other week by ones partner isn’t that bad. Stubbing one’s toes on a table edge might hurt just as much, if not more (seriously, you can break your toe doing that, and there ain’t shit that can be done about it, except to walk gently, if at all, while the break heals).

    I think most people would recognize that someone masturbating at you is different from accidentally seeing a penis in a change room, just as much as we recognize being deliberately punched in the face is quite different from accidentally hitting your head on a shelf.

  80. 123454321 says

    “I watch a good bit of movies and TV, and men’s genitalia are explicitly shown only in porn.”

    Bull shit. Horse shit. Heaped, multiple-spiralling, piping-hot, humungous, stenchified dinosaur shit.

    I can’t be bothered to list the huge, growing plethora of films and mainstream TV programmes engaging with this trend. And it’s not down to my viewing habits as I really don’t wish to be confronted with such images when I tune into the TV, but it’s here, there and everywhere nonetheless. If YOU haven’t seen numerous men’s genitals in programmes such as Inbetweeners, and other popular shows, or films such as Forgetting sarah Marshall, or any Ewan McGregormovie, or series such as Embarrassing Bodies, or…….. then it’s probably down to YOUR limited viewing habits e.g. Teletubbies, Tweenies and Rosy & Jim – you know, the type of stuff that attracts your level of intellect!

  81. Jacob Schmidt says

    A list isn’t very helpful, as the total of the media is, at this point, massive. With time, one could likely generate a list about almost anything. But yes, a list would be nice, if insufficient.

    I don’t see penises nearly as often as I see breasts, and most of the time I do see a penis it isn’t sexualised, but just there, like in Watchmen or Hollow Man (you see the outline of a penis when the invisible man jumps in the water). Most of the “degrading” penis related acts I can think of don’t actually show a penis, like the pie masturbation scene in American Pie.

  82. 123454321 says

    Breasts aren’t in the same league as labia, clitoris, testicles and penises. Women appear to show just as much attraction to men’s bare torsos as men do to women’s breasts. Actually, in public I’d go as far as to say women show far more excitement towards half naked men. Anyone ever seen crowds of women at a male strip club!!

    Also, you don’t need something to be sexualised to deduce a double-standard. You could just as easily show a woman in a non-sexualised pose with genitals in full vision, but they don’t. The answer as to why is simple. Women get the protective measures where as men aren’t afforded and such measures because they are….well…men, so every producer and director acts out what they deem is appropriate in terms of social acceptability. I guess some of those male viewers subconsciously taking all of this in as they grow up probably go on to become public masturbators. Like I said, complex and unprovable but, then, life is complex. It’s all about dignity and respectability and i’m afraid men just aren’t taught to care in the same way as women are. It’s all no surprise to me.

  83. marduk says

    The inherent danger of everydaysexism’s methodology (or lack of preparedness to comment about it) is that various deeply unpleasant people use the same approach to their topic of choice (i.e., their interactions with whatever group they hate on racial or religious or ethnic or economic or lifestyle grounds). The US security agencies have also noted this amongst people who actually do nasty and dangerous things to people and discuss it in the context of “autoradicalisation”. Everyone at the forum is, say, mildly racist, then they start putting their anecdotes together and all of a sudden there is an epidemic of X and Y occurring (in their minds) and it turns into Something Must Be Done amongst a group of people whose first recourse is not to dash off a Guardian blog but to start carrying their guns with the safety off.

    Perhaps as one person’s freedom fighter is another’s terrorist, one person’s consciousness raising is another’s radicalisation.

    I don’t need ESP to change what they are doing or apologise for it but that has been raised with them before (although somewhat interfered with by Guardian moderators) and they have a big fat no comment to make and I’d like to see a bit of reflection on this in the wider context. Has Laura Bates for example noted times when a slam-dunk on ESP turned out to be not all she thought it was when she checked it against reality? Are their currents within it she doesn’t turn into Guardian blogs (for example, it would amaze me if certain people weren’t trying to use it as another vessel for their transphobia), does she feel in control of it, could the mechanism spiral out of control, Etc. At the moment it all seems a bit mysterious to me.

    In the end is this sort of thing ok for everyone or does it depend who you are? Actually think the latter is true, its the premise you begin with that matters. Again though, Laura Bates has nothing to say about this. In public life though you have to take responsibility as well as credit.

  84. Lucy says

    Adiabat

    “Firstly, feminists have a reputation for overinflating issues, from dodgy statistics to just banging on about trivial stuff endlessly and nagging everyone.”

    A reputation amongst whom? Are you sure you can trust the source?


    “I simply don’t believe that these things happen as often as claimed.”

    How many times are they claimed to happen? How many times do you think they happen?


    “The main problem with Everyday Sexism (besides the number of “A boy at school was mean and/or childish. Sexism!” posts)”

    Such as?

    ” is that by putting rare occurrences together in one place it creates the impression that they are more common than they actually are. (And yes, one time is too many, but I prefer to deal with the world as it is, not as I wish it would be.)”

    No it doesn’t. In fact if you want to give the false impression of commonness it would be best to distribute them, centralisation leads to consolidation.

    —-

    “Secondly, I think the “harm” of these incidents is being exaggerated. Maybe I’ve been out drinking too many times with the rugby team but it’s just a cock, get over it. Sure they have that ‘last chicken in the shop’ look to them but you’re not some snowflake in a bad period drama who should be fainting at the sight of one. Maybe the cultural shift that we should change is our aversion to nudity, and not our aversion to white knight on behalf of others.”

    If a guy is prepared to get his penis out in front of you while looking you in the eye, if he’s prepared to go on to fondle it and spaff on you then all bets are off on what else he’s prepared to do. For the knowledgable amongst us, you will remember that there’s a high probability that he is a careerist sex offender on his way up the escalation ladder and tonight could be the night he decides to upgrade. It is a profoundly disturbing and intimidating experience.

    “Thirdly, no doubt I’ll be a bit disgusted if a fat, ugly woman decided to ‘ftg’ at me on the subway, and I’m sure I’ll wish afterwards that it never happened, but it’s already illegal and frowned upon by society; I don’t know what more I would expect to be done. I sure as hell wouldn’t expect some girl in the corner of the subway car to put her book down, walk over to the crazy woman and kindly ask her to put her fanny away.”

    That’s because fat ugly women don’t rape men on subways or best them to death.

    “I might take this issue out of the ‘don’t really give a shit’ category if those complaining were capable of coming up with a sensible solution.”

    Why don’t you come up with a sensible solution, you’re part of society.

    I’ve got a sensible solution: invest the same effort in making men sexually accountable as is currently put into making women sexually accountable. Make them cripplingly self-conscious about their bodies, fearful of social consequences and ostracism, stalk them with camera phones and social media, pour over their appearance, in the tabloids, introduce stigma for the vice of publicly admitting sexual desire, invent a virtue of sexual modesty, promise post-mortum rewards and punishments, give male virginity and chastity a monetary value, restrict their right to free movement and association, blame them if they don’t abide by the restrictions. Or put guards on public transport and in parks.

  85. Bugmaster says

    Firstly, I’ve never seen anyone masturbate in public; I can’t even imagine anyone doing so voluntarily. I would not be surprised if this behavior was classified as some sort of a DSM disorder.

    But secondly, the problem with the “everyday sexism” hashtag is that it’s pretty much the very definition of confirmation bias. By looking at that hashtag, you can count how many events occur, but you can’t calculate how frequent they are. Thus, the only conclusion you can draw is, “sexism sometimes occurs”, vs. “OMG sexism happens all the time in all places and is an endemic critical problem that must be fixed in an emergency fashion”. To be fair, the second statement might still be true; you just can’t tell whether it is or not from the hashtag alone.

  86. Lucy says

    “They ALWAY complain about the unequal appearances of female breasts and penises in movies. That is a disgusting equivalence.”

    There is an equivalence between breasts and testicles. They both grow during puberty, they both contain glands that both produce reproductive fluids, they’re both vulnerable to pain and damage, you can get cancer in both of them.

    It would be cool if there was a daily paper or several showing both natural and surgically enhanced testicles along side a quip about politics and if men started wearing cut away balcony, under wired pants that showed a bit of testicle cleavage which we could stare at and comment on. And no film should be complete without at least one male character who’s whole entire point of being in the script is to show his testicles.

  87. Lucy says

    “Anyone ever seen crowds of women at a male strip club!!”

    Yes. Went to a Chippendales show in a big theatre with some friends where you could cut the sexual tension with a string of cooked spaghetti. You cheer and make noise because it’s expected of you, like being in any audience.

    Also worked in a nightclub with a male strip show some nights for hen dos. The main attraction of which was that the bride’s friends had an opportunity to humiliate her. I got up close and personal with one of the strippers once when he chased me round the bar: about as sexually exciting as you might imagine being chased by an undersized hairy naked Yorkshireman might be.

    That’s not what turns women on, and I feel I can talk for all women everywhere, ever.

  88. marduk says

    Lucy

    “A reputation amongst whom? Are you sure you can trust the source?”

    Amongst most people interested in statistical data and evidence-based policy? Feminist scholarship has a very poor reputation in this area. I’m sorry but the charge stands some scrutiny and it isn’t as such about sources (which is the arts graduate’s favourite form of sophism around this topic as it allows them to turn a discussion of things they don’t understand into rowing about our feelings about people and things, Delingpole and Simon Jenkins pull the same stunt on other topics).

    Ally has written about this numerous times:
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/jan/14/ethics-domestic-violence

    It is about the kind of thing clear to anyone with even basic training.

    Some specific examples? And lets ignoring anything that is about sources.

    DV as a leading cause of death.
    A simple misunderstanding about what the term ‘morbidity’ actually means. No ‘source’ debate here, just ownership of a dictionary required.

    Women own 1% of the world’s wealth/property/assets/titled land
    Absolute gibberish based on back of a fag packet miscalculation in a 1978 editor’s introduction. No studies done, no research done, sometimes cited as a “UN” figure because they have it on one of their websites and a minor UNESCO functionary once read it out in a speech written by an intern. Fails the common sense test merely by considering the existence of widows in Florida and California.

    The Lillith Project’s laughable inability to analyse its own data (redone properly by Dr Magnanti but any epidemiologist would come to the same conclusions, not about sources, its about competence in basic principles of analysis, point your copy of SPSS in the direction of the same data and see what you conclude).

    It goes on and on. As I think Paglia once pointed out, if claims about eating disorders were true, a women’s college in the US would be one of the most dangerous places on the planet. You’d be safer fighting on the frontline with the USMC (even in Vietnam) than you’d be studying English Literature in a leafy private institution with a curfew. You’d need stretcher bearers in every lecture theatre. God knows where that ‘fact’ came from, looks to me like it was a simple typo that nobody ever checked too closely.

    In this country, Fawcett seem to be particularly innumerate.

    This isn’t about contentious issues of sourcing, its about complete gibberish being repeated over and over without anyone ever fixing it or checking it. The web is groaning with this nonsense in innumerable ‘fact sheets’ to this day. The most disturbing thing is how many police and social services websites you can still find this rubbish on (advised by the “experts” providing the non-fact sheets I suppose).

    Campaigning and rational analysis don’t tend to make very good partners it seems.

  89. avern says

    “My point was that it was irrelevant to the issue of public exposure and lewd conduct; and you failed to address it. But thanks for reminding us that the most patronizing rhetoric so often comes from the stupidest commenters.”

    I was wrong thinking that simplifying things so that even a child could understand would be sufficient, since you’re clearly far less intelligent than a child. Sometimes I think you must be a cat squirming on top a computer keyboard. That’s the only way I can fathom your incoherence.

    “What’s wrong with using heated rhetoric to describe bad behavior and urge the people responsible to change it? I guess you can label it “traditionalist” or “chivalrous” if you want, but that doesn’t make it wrong — it only implies that you don’t understand the concept of personal responsibility.”

    Um, it’s wrong because it promotes violent vigilante justice against non-violent criminals. Another, perhaps even worse, outcome is that it pressures all men, including those that are just as weak and vulnerable as your average woman, to put themselves in dangerous, life-threatening situations in order to protect women from fear. Do you understand?

    I guess you wouldn’t have picked up on that on your own since you have a sub-human grasp of responsibility.

  90. avern says

    @Jacob Schmidt

    “I don’t see penises nearly as often as I see breasts, and most of the time I do see a penis it isn’t sexualised, but just there, like in Watchmen or Hollow Man (you see the outline of a penis when the invisible man jumps in the water). Most of the “degrading” penis related acts I can think of don’t actually show a penis, like the pie masturbation scene in American Pie.”

    Repeat after me: penis are not the equivalent of female breasts. The male chest is the equivalent to female breasts. The penis is equivalent to the clitoris. A feminist should be able to understand that since they always make the point that the equivalent to female circumcision would be to cut off someone’s penis.

    You want a list? Here’s a list of just mainstream rate R American comedies I can think of off the top of my head: Sideways, Walk Hard, Hall Pass, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the Hangover Series, Zach and Miri Make a Porno.

    Also, you seriously can’t think of degrading scenes penis related scenes? Then you haven’t watched many popular movies recently. All of the Jackass movies have them. Borat and Bruno have extremely graphic instances that are also sexual in nature. You mentioned American Pie; well American Pie Reunion, which was extremely popular, had a graphic, humiliating close up of the main character’s genitals.

    An even more graphic example is Under the Skin with Scarlett Johanssen, which was also only rated R. That included two scenes where brightly lit actors are walking around FULLY ERECT.

    Feminist are 100% wrong on this issue. Their claims that women’s bodies are more regularly and graphically exposed in the media is a blatant and cynical LIE.

  91. Bugmaster says

    @Lucy #91:

    …and I feel I can talk for all women everywhere, ever

    Are you being sarcastic, or are you serious ? This is the Internet, so it can be hard to tell the difference sometimes.

  92. Jacob Schmidt says

    Repeat after me: penis are not the equivalent of female breasts.

    Also, you seriously can’t think of degrading scenes penis related scenes?

    Tell you what, avern: when you manage to address something I actually wrote, we’ll talk. My patience with dealing with people who can’t be bothered to read what I actually wrote is at its end.

  93. Lucy says

    “Are you being sarcastic, or are you serious ? This is the Internet, so it can be hard to tell the difference sometimes.”

    Usually. But in this particular case also realistic.

  94. Lucy says

    Marduk

    “Ally has written about this numerous times”

    Yes and numerous times he has been taken to task for that, by me and by others far more qualified than me. It is the area where he does most damage. He isn’t a statistician.

  95. Lucy says

    Marduk

    “DV as a leading cause of death.”

    Feminist source please.

    “Women own 1% of the world’s wealth/property/assets/titled land”

    Feminist source please.

    “The Lillith Project’s laughable inability to analyse its own data (redone properly by Dr Magnanti but any epidemiologist would come to the same conclusions, not about sources, its about competence in basic principles of analysis, point your copy of SPSS in the direction of the same data and see what you conclude).”

    Relevant feminist sources and claims please.

    “As I think Paglia once pointed out, if claims about eating disorders were true”

    Relevant feminist claims please.

  96. Bugmaster says

    @Lucy #98:

    …and I feel I can talk for all women everywhere, ever … in this particular case [I am being] realistic

    I’m… not sure how to respond to that. Is there something in particular that empowers you to speak for “all women everywhere ever” ? Is it divine revelation, or were you voted to be the Ultimate Female Overlady, or were you given massive telepathic powers by the entity known as Phoenix, or what ?

    I mean, I am a straight white man, and thus a cookie-cutter poster child for the Patriarchy, but even I wouldn’t presume to speak for “all men everywhere ever”. Not even for all straight white men. Even on relatively uncontroversial topics such as as “what color is the sky”, or “kittens: good or bad”. There are about 3.5 billion men in the world, chances are very good that more than one of them will disagree with me. And if we’re talking about controversial topics, such as politics or sexual preferences then, well… the chances get a lot higher.

  97. mildlymagnificent says

    Um, it’s wrong because it promotes violent vigilante justice against non-violent criminals. Another, perhaps even worse, outcome is that it pressures all men, including those that are just as weak and vulnerable as your average woman, to put themselves in dangerous, life-threatening situations in order to protect women from fear. Do you understand?

    Who says that? Women, and feminists in particular, do not want heroes swooping in to save us from offensive or violent men nor do we want vigilantes bent on vengeance to beat up other horrible men.

    What we want is for people To Believe Us when we say someone’s behaviour is causing us a problem. As a bonus, it would be nice if other people, men in particular, would take more notice of problematic behaviour. One important instance is what happens in men only conversations. If more men simply said that rape jokes, or other offensive conversation, were not funny that would be a good start.

    When in mixed company, a double take when you see a woman being cornered or isolated or crowded gives you a chance to act. No. You don’t run in with voice raised and fists flailing. You just make yourself part of the conversation for a moment to see if the woman wants to use the chance to separate from an importuning oaf or if she’s really into it and wants you to leave her alone for more fun with her potential lover.

    Getting back to the subject of Ally’s post, intervention does not mean shouting at or assaulting or restraining the offensive man (though sometimes a well directed can of drink or carton of coffee can be an appropriate response, though personally I’d reserve that for a park or a street rather than a bus or a train). It means being supportive and helpful to any person, woman or man, in the vicinity in the same way as we focus on victims and not the bullies in other intimidating circumstances. Acknowledging the shock-disgust-distress and/or easing the person’s escape from the environment is the priority. Calling the police (transport police usually) is also a help.

  98. TMK says

    I stopped watching most media quite a few years ago, so the penises in it got me interested. Lo and behold, i went to pirate under the skin for a quick look, and my, wasnt i surprised! Never before i saw an erect penis in non-porn. We have taken a big step forward :D

    I would not be surprised if this behavior was classified as some sort of a DSM disorder.

    302.40, to be precise :D

    @JS

    2) If I’m reading you right, the problem you describe would only exist with the prevalence of male victims. Also, at least according to Ally above, it’s more that men aren’t reporting it than anything else.

    I did not really mean only that. I was talking about general use of police statistic, reporting crimes differs from their prevalence, depending on many factors, population, type of crime, etc. Even with murders, which get priority for investigations, for example, homeless people deaths will be underreported.

  99. marduk says

    Lucy

    Actually no, Ally hasn’t been ‘taken to task’ at all. What he has had is a lot of snark and abuse.

    Anyhow, in order: The Women’s Aid factsheet (the one I’ve got is May 2013), UN Development Programme “Gender equality review” (2014) and here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/47185652/Green-Paper-Camden-Lilith-rape-stats

    There Lillith Project was an Eaves initiative, it is a feminist source silly!

    Paglia was talking about the claims made in The Beauty Myth, which have been taken up by many experts in the field, e.g., “A critical appraisal of the anorexia statistics in The Beauty Myth: introducing Wolf’s Overdo and Lie Factor (WOLF).”. Eat Disord 12 (2): 97–102. 2004

    “In her first book, The Beauty Myth the American feminist writer Naomi Wolf wrote about an epidemic of anorexia nervosa in Western countries. Today, her statistics are still cited in the media and in scientific publications. When compared to the relevant epidemiological reviews, however, 18 of the 23 statistics are inaccurate and overdone. On average, a statistic on anorexia by Naomi Wolf should be divided by eight to get close to the real figure. Implications of this finding are discussed.”

    This is what I mean about the dismal reputation of feminist scholarship, people make fun of their inability to use statistics properly across the academy.

  100. marduk says

    @Lucy

    Now I’ve answered your (largely rhetorical) questions let me tell you what I actually think about this.

    When we care about something we have good numbers on it. Baseball, economics, sales targets, we have good figures here. Domestic violence, women’s economic participation in the developing world, impact of planning policy on women’s experiences in an area? We know nothing.

    There is an urgent need for data here that will not be addressed until people can give up their junk statistic habit and go around pretending we know things we don’t because they like the rhetorical effect. Zombie stats help nobody.

  101. says

    I can’t be bothered to list the huge, growing plethora of films and mainstream TV programmes engaging with this trend.

    You only cited FOUR examples (only one of which I’ve even heard of, let alone stumbled on while channel-surfing) as a “huge, growing plethora.” And in one of them, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” the guy’s schlong only appears for, what, less than a minute toward the end. You really don’t have a case, do you?

    And let’s quit whining about women looking at male bits in strip shows — those are PRIVATE places where women CHOOSE to be exposed to naked men. That’s not at all comparable to men exposing themselves in public places where people have NOT chosen to see it.

    Um, it’s wrong because it promotes violent vigilante justice against non-violent criminals.

    Campaigning to get people to change their behavior promotes “violent vigilante justice?” That’s gotta be the most ridiculous cop-out I’ve seen from the MRAs. So far at least.

    Another, perhaps even worse, outcome is that it pressures all men, including those that are just as weak and vulnerable as your average woman, to put themselves in dangerous, life-threatening situations in order to protect women from fear.

    What “life-threatening” situations do men get into by NOT harassing women or waving their dicks in public? Seriously, we’re not asking men to put their dicks in a fire — we’re asking men to put them BACK IN THEIR TROUSERS. The fact that this otherwise noncontroversial idea (something I learned long before I first heard the word “feminism”) is causing such a laughably ridiculous freakout here, speaks volumes about the MRA mindset.

  102. says

    Feminist are 100% wrong on this issue. Their claims that women’s bodies are more regularly and graphically exposed in the media is a blatant and cynical LIE.

    No, it isn’t; it’s an observable fact — naked women are shown far more often than naked men, and the sex scenes — in both porn and non-porn genres — focus more on the women’s features than the men’s. The counter-examples you cite are a small minority compared to an overwhelming number of movies that regularly show full frontal shots of naked women but not of naked men.

    I’m still not sure what ANY of that has to do with the issue of men exposing themselves to non-consenting audiences in the real world; but there it is anyway.

  103. Lucy says

    “I’m… not sure how to respond to that. Is there something in particular that empowers you to speak for “all women everywhere ever” ? Is it divine revelation, or were you voted to be the Ultimate Female Overlady, or were you given massive telepathic powers by the entity known as Phoenix, or what ?”

    I have female hormones and a female brain and I speak femalese. I therefore know what turns women on. And your typical male strip show ain’t it. I challenge you to find a single solitary live female who has ever experienced the sweet sensation of groin stirring at a sight of a man in the front half of a butler costume in the London Palladium.

  104. 1233454321 says

    Lucy,

    “There is an equivalence between breasts and testicles. They both grow during puberty, they both contain glands that both produce reproductive fluids, they’re both vulnerable to pain and damage, you can get cancer in both of them.”

    Lucy, you’re really not very clever because breasts don’t produce reproductive fluids; they produce food. Also, based on your logic we should bring the vagina/labia/clitoris into the same category as testicles in which case I ask you why women’s genitals aren’t part of your equivalence list and therefore should appear in your daily paper? Huh?

    “It would be cool if there was a daily paper or several showing both natural and surgically enhanced testicles along side a quip about politics and if men started wearing cut away balcony, under wired pants that showed a bit of testicle cleavage which we could stare at and comment on. And no film should be complete without at least one male character who’s whole entire point of being in the script is to show his testicles.”

    You know very well that men’s private parts are not equivalent to breasts. And there is literally masses of publicly available, mass produced material out there that, not only objectifies men via glossy pictures of oiled up, male torsos (all for the pleasure of females and gay men), but goes one step further by showing men’s genitals in mainstream media channels inc. under 18 films, soaps, series, comedies, documentaries and magazines.

    For example, one of the Inbetweeners scenes, as part of the last series, showed one of the cast with his testicle hanging out the side of his underwear. The scene wasn’t short, the viewing distance was short, the image was clear. Now go show me evidence of a similar scene, which is part of a mainstream, popular TV terrestrial broadcast – one with a character playing a young girl with her labia hanging out. You can’t.

    Yes it’s probably on Ally’s “couldn’t give a shit list” (he’s still learning himself, as we all are) but it’s yet another one of the hundreds of double-standards that you enjoy and probably feel very smug about. I suppose in your world, Lucy, you would like to see all women covered up and censored in every way that could possibly protect their dignity whilst supporting men getting their cocks out on primetime, family-viewing TV and in our daily newspapers. At the same time you would moan about why some low-intelligence men have no built-in respect for their bodies (or anyone else) and follow through with more serious extrapolations on a similar theme. Yeah, I get you, just as I get every other feminist who illogically argues the same points with the same old devious motives to channel absolutely every single strand of respect and dignity in the direction of women and girls at the expense of men and boys. I get it.

  105. Lucy says

    Marduk

    “Actually no, Ally hasn’t been ‘taken to task’ at all. What he has had is a lot of snark and abuse.”

    Your loyalty is sweet, but his poor and biased statistical interpretation make for a plausible sounding agenda-pusher.

  106. 1233454321 says

    “Yes. Went to a Chippendales show in a big theatre with some friends where you could cut the sexual tension with a string of cooked spaghetti. You cheer and make noise because it’s expected of you, like being in any audience.

    Also worked in a nightclub with a male strip show some nights for hen dos. The main attraction of which was that the bride’s friends had an opportunity to humiliate her. I got up close and personal with one of the strippers once when he chased me round the bar: about as sexually exciting as you might imagine being chased by an undersized hairy naked Yorkshireman might be.

    That’s not what turns women on, and I feel I can talk for all women everywhere, ever.”

    So women only go to humiliate the bride? Bull shit. And you went to the chippendales for what reason then? You could have said no! I’ll await more baloney from you on that one!

  107. 123454321 says

    #95 Avern,

    100% agree and you didn’t even scratch the surface with that list.

    I’m fairly certain that young men growing up in today’s society will put a stop to this feminist-supported trend soon as they channel their energy into straightening up all of these sorts of double-standards which collectively contribute to societies biased, female-friendly behaviours.

  108. Lucy says

    1234567890987654321

    “Lucy, you’re really not very clever because breasts don’t produce reproductive fluids; they produce food. ”

    Fluid food for the purpose of reproduction.


    “Also, based on your logic we should bring the vagina/labia/clitoris into the same category as testicles in which case I ask you why women’s genitals aren’t part of your equivalence list and therefore should appear in your daily paper? Huh?”

    Why? They don’t satisfy any of the criteria in my logical list.

    —-
    “You know very well that men’s private parts are not equivalent to breasts. ”

    No I don’t, testicles are the equivalent of breasts.

    “And there is literally masses of publicly available, mass produced material out there that, not only objectifies men via glossy pictures of oiled up, male torsos (all for the pleasure of females and gay men), but goes one step further by showing men’s genitals in mainstream media channels inc. under 18 films, soaps, series, comedies, documentaries and magazines.”

    Very little produced by women that rings women’s bell. It’s all bland, safe, machine-generated. Nutritionally empty. The X-Factor of erotica.

    —-

    “For example, one of the Inbetweeners scenes, as part of the last series, showed one of the cast with his testicle hanging out the side of his underwear. The scene wasn’t short, the viewing distance was short, the image was clear. Now go show me evidence of a similar scene, which is part of a mainstream, popular TV terrestrial broadcast – one with a character playing a young girl with her labia hanging out. You can’t.”

    Little Britain, men dressed as parodies of women urinating on themselves or their labial folds hanging over their g-strings?

    “Yes it’s probably on Ally’s “couldn’t give a shit list” (he’s still learning himself, as we all are) but it’s yet another one of the hundreds of double-standards that you enjoy and probably feel very smug about. ”

    I don’t enjoy the double standard hat means most terrestrial TV is created by men who think they know what I deserve to see or not see, and that most of it is bland or gross-out teenage fare, no. I hate the fact that men think they can stick an oiled up torso on the screen and that’s female desire seen to. I am irritated by the fact that you think a nad in a teenage boys’ film is some kind of corrective to the ocean of female objectification.

  109. Lucy says

    “So women only go to humiliate the bride? Bull shit. ”

    Well I’m sure you know best what drives women’s decisions when organising hen do’s.

    “And you went to the chippendales for what reason then?”

    Because my slightly common friend was having a Hen do and invited me so I felt obliged to accept.

    “You could have said no! I’ll await more baloney from you on that one!”

    Yes, I could have told her her hen do was beneath me I suppose. I could have turned down her wedding invite too and flicked her in the face.

  110. 123454321 says

    “You only cited FOUR examples (only one of which I’ve even heard of, let alone stumbled on while channel-surfing) as a “huge, growing plethora.” And in one of them, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” the guy’s schlong only appears for, what, less than a minute toward the end. You really don’t have a case, do you?”

    I cited four examples from hundreds that i could cite if I could be arced to help you improve your knowledge. But I can’t be arsed so if you’re interested in learning I suggest you go use google to search for mainstream films with genitals in them. I’m confident that the ratio of male/female will be extremely high, which should shut you up for 5 minutes. And yes i do have a case with the SM film but please go ahead and correct me by pointing me to a mainstream film with a vagina parading around for 1 minute without a merkin concealing the detail.

    “And let’s quit whining about women looking at male bits in strip shows — those are PRIVATE places where women CHOOSE to be exposed to naked men. That’s not at all comparable to men exposing themselves in public places where people have NOT chosen to see it.”

    I agree with you. I never drew a correlation between private strip shows and public masturbation.

  111. Koken says

    ‘“You know very well that men’s private parts are not equivalent to breasts. ”

    No I don’t, testicles are the equivalent of breasts. ‘

    Can I just take a moment to observe how surreal this has all got?

  112. says

    Wait…a man is questioning a woman’s ability to speak for other women? Yet more surrealism, and moreso because the man in question seems to have a hard time addressing men’s interests.

    I cited four examples from hundreds that i could cite if I could be arced to help you improve your knowledge. But I can’t be arsed…

    In that case, you have no case. I almost never see naked penises on TV — not on the “mainstream” channels, not on the movie channels, not on any of the “niche” or “specialty” channels either, and even the hardcore-porn channels focus more on female than male privates. Your raving about penises being all over big and small screens is, at best, a laughable exaggeration that makes me wonder what channels you’re spending so much time watching. If it’s the gay-porn channels, then that’s nowhere close to a representative sample (and it’s countered by all the girl-on-girl scenes I’ve seen in both porn and non-porn genres).

  113. says

    Lucy, you’re really not very clever because breasts don’t produce reproductive fluids; they produce food.

    Lucy is not clever because of what breasts do? Who knew breasts were that magical? Apparently even my breast fixation doesn’t do them justice.

  114. 123454321 says

    “No, it isn’t; it’s an observable fact — naked women are shown far more often than naked men, and the sex scenes — in both porn and non-porn genres — focus more on the women’s features than the men’s.”

    Nonsense. Porn focusses just as much, if not more, on male genitals as it does anything else. You know it!

    “The counter-examples you cite are a small minority compared to an overwhelming number of movies that regularly show full frontal shots of naked women but not of naked men.”

    Which planet have you been watching TV on over the last few decades? There is far, far, far more male flesh on display than female. It’s just that objectification of men’s bodies has become acceptable. Please find me a mainstream, popular film with a full frontal woman without a merkin.

  115. says

    I’m confident that the ratio of male/female will be extremely high…

    You can’t be bothered to even gather the examples, let alone do the math based on said examples, but you’re “confident” it will lead to a certain number? You sound like a Republican pretending he knows there’s widespread welfare fraud.

  116. 123454321 says

    “Fluid food for the purpose of reproduction.”

    Wrong. Food after birth is for the purpose of survival. What’s it like being wrong all of the time?

  117. 123454321 says

    “No I don’t, testicles are the equivalent of breasts.”

    You really are fucking serious, aren’t you! The shear quality of your wrongness is truly and utterly indescribable. I can’t be bothered. Go think some more.

  118. 123454321 says

    “Little Britain, men dressed as parodies of women urinating on themselves or their labial folds hanging over their g-strings?”

    You got a link to prove these labia folds were real?

  119. 123454321 says

    “I don’t enjoy the double standard hat means most terrestrial TV is created by men…..”

    Anyone know the ratio of male/female employees at, say, the BBC? Just interested.

  120. 123454321 says

    Raging Bee, I don’t watch gay porn and I’m still waiting for any links you have to back up your case that women are treated the same in terms of receiving no censorship of their genitals in mainstream films. I’ve already given you some examples for men – I could provide loads more. Where are your examples? Stop waving your arms and give me some factual evidence.

  121. marduk says

    @Lucy

    It isn’t about loyalty. The core of the problem is you seem to think that this is all a matter of opinion (as Sir Simon Jenkins was once actually taken to task for believing in Nature, which may work for the arts but isn’t appropriate when there are data on the table). It isn’t about Ally, its about whether the points he makes made any sense, it isn’t about, best example ever, who Dr Brooke Magnanti is or what she believes, its about whether her methods are appropriate and correctly applied (which they are).

    The issue is not about really about ‘bias’, it is about things that any can check and evaluate. The task is not to choose the bias you want (as selecting between the Mail and the Guardian say) but to check whether the person you are reading wherever you find them is correct.

    This sort of mentality is why we can’t have a grown-up sensible discussion about anything in evidence-based social policy.

    And after demanding lots of information which I have provided for you, that is all you have to say?
    Were you interested in discussion or were you just trying to catch me out? I don’t mind providing things to people who are interested, if you are just here for a row say so and I won’t go to the effort again.

  122. Bugmaster says

    I have female hormones and a female brain and I speak femalese. I therefore know what turns women on. And your typical male strip show ain’t it. I challenge you to find a single solitary live female who has ever experienced…

    Once again, it’s hard to tell if you’re being sarcastic, or trolling, or entirely serious. I am going to assume the latter, for now. Assuming that you’re serious, your statement is once again so flabbergasting that it leads be to believe that I have, perhaps, misunderstood your position. In an attempt to clarify matters, could you please tell me if you see any important differences between the following statements ? If so, which of them best describes your position ?

    1). “I’m a woman, I don’t like X, therefore no woman in the world likes X”
    2). “I’m a woman, I don’t like X and none of my female friends like X, therefore no woman in the world likes X”
    3). “I’m a woman, and I’ve polled a representative sample of 1000 women. None of them like X, so I’m 95% certain that the next woman I meet won’t like X either”

  123. says

    Once again, it’s hard to tell if you’re being sarcastic, or trolling,

    From my past interactions, most speaks to the direction of trolling. I would strongly advice not to engage.

  124. says

    I need links to prove what I DON’T see on TV? You’re the one making allegations that don’t square with what I, or anyone else I’ve heard from, observe, so I really don’t see why the burden of proof shouldn’t be on you — especially since you have a long history of making up ridiculous allegations and never backing any of it up.

  125. says

    …testicles are the equivalent of breasts.

    In terms of how they are sexualized, considered “private parts” and erogenous zones that need to be covered up in public, and seen as both indicators and triggers of arousal, yes, they really are equivalent. Yes, this equivalence is mostly a “social construct,” but it’s one that has real effects on feelings, decisions and TV content.

  126. Pen says

    It’s a bit late, but on the question of non-reporting. I had an experience with a man masturbating at me from the window of a Catholic seminary (talk about a stereotype). I didn’t report it, I didn’t actually feel threatened since he couldn’t have got near me without breaking his legs as he jumped out of the window. I just thought ‘poor, dumb, out-of-control idiot’. In retrospect, I regret not reporting, at least to the seminary itself. That poor, dumb, out-of-control idiot is almost certainly going to be a repeat offender and possibly go on to worse offenses. He needed help, external control, and above all to be shifted on to some other career path than the one he was headed down.

    I know of another case of deliberate public masturbation where the women involved didn’t report the offender. It was a random stranger, on a random public footpath where they were jogging and their view was that they would be wasting their time because the police wouldn’t be able to do anything even if they wanted to.

  127. Ally Fogg says

    Koken

    Can I just take a moment to observe how surreal this has all got?

    You can. It has all been very strange.

    For what it is worth, I’m not aware of any objective research into this pressing issue, but the impression I get from watching a fair few fllms and a wee bit of TV is that it is exceptionally rare to see genitals of any genus on mainstream screens. I’d go so far to say that vulvas and penises are shown with similarly scant frequency. I exclude both porn and any programmes about Embarrassing Bodies from this analysis.

    As for toplessness and other forms of titillation and bodily adornment, my impression is that cameras and directors linger a bit longer on women’s bodies than men’s, but the difference there isn’t that great either. The disparity is far less than it was in the 1970s and 80s when a pair of tits in the background was pretty much an essential component of every film and TV show.

    YMMV

  128. 123454321 says

    The only thing I find strange is how easily everyday people can be socially programmed to disengage themselves from various double-standards based on what they have been taught in relation to society and acceptability.

    I’m really not going to provide loads of links to TV scenes with cocks in them but you only have to google “Zach McGowan Shameless” and you might find a video which quite frankly would NEVER be passed for broadcast should the sexes be reversed. I was unlucky enough to switch over to this whilst surfing TV channels a few months ago and I caught it right at the wrong moment. I mean, who wants to see THAT on TV, I ask? If you want to see men’s cocks then go watch some porn and you’ll see plenty. I’m no prude and I don’t have a problem with nudity on TV if it’s done tastefully but this is yet another in-your-face double-standard because I’ll bet that nobody can find me a similar graphical scene with a woman displaying her genitals so openly, whether it be Shameless or any other regular TV show. No wonder they called it fucking shameless!

  129. avern says

    @ jacob schmidt

    “Tell you what, avern: when you manage to address something I actually wrote, we’ll talk. My patience with dealing with people who can’t be bothered to read what I actually wrote is at its end.”

    I did address what you wrote; I gave you a list of mainstream movies with explicit shots of male genitalia which is what you asked for. So, either explain how that doesn’t prove my point or admit you stuck your head into a debate that you are not prepared to have.

    @ raging bug

    “No, it isn’t; it’s an observable fact — naked women are shown far more often than naked men, and the sex scenes — in both porn and non-porn genres — focus more on the women’s features than the men’s.”

    Sweet Zarathustra, you are dumbest micro-organism that ever crawled out of the primordial soup. List ten mainstream movies-like I have done-were you can clearly see a woman’s genitals. You can’t because there probably aren’t more than two (Basic Instinct, Trance). Put up or STFU.

    @ ally fogg

    “I’m not aware of any objective research into this pressing issue, but the impression I get from watching a fair few fllms and a wee bit of TV is that it is exceptionally rare to see genitals of any genus on mainstream screens.”

    Your impression is 100% wrong. I provide 10 mainstream movies that graphically show male genitalia. Provide 10 mainstream movies that graphically show female genitalia or admit that you are wrong.

  130. avern says

    @ ally fogg again because, god, this sentence:

    “The disparity is far less than it was in the 1970s and 80s when a pair of tits in the background was pretty much an essential component of every film and TV show.”

    Give me a break, Ally. Who gives a shit about tits? You can see a hundred male tits in ten minutes while watching the swim portions of the olympics. That’s the whole point you are woefully not getting. Let me break it down:

    Male tits are far more available than female tits.
    Male butts are somewhat more available than female butts.
    Male genitals are far, far, far more available than female genitalia.

    THUS

    Male bodies are more available than female bodies. The reason you’re not understanding this is because you’re not treating the different sexes equally.

  131. pikeamus says

    I have to disagree with Ally on the penises point. There are definitely more of them in meanstream tv and film than there are female genitalia. They are normally on show for the purposes of (pretty juvenial) comedy, and in films pitched at male audiences. This is a qualitatively different type of nudity to the typical female nudity though, so compating quantities is probably not helpful. My gut tells me there is something wrong with this situation, but it isn’t the same thing that as the sexualisation issue that feminists talk about.

    I also disagree with Ally that male and female sexualised nudity get roughly equal camera time. I do think female nudity, in a sexualised sense, get’s more camera focus and screentime. There may be more topless men than women in films and tv, but most of the time this is not filmed in a sexual way. Men are much more rarely the subject of lingering camera shots that highlight specific elements of their nudity in sex scenes.

    I mean, just look at advertising. Compare a mens deodorant advert with a womans advery. The man may well be topless where the woman is not, but the camera work is much more business like. In the womans advert, the shot will pan around the womans body, and may be accompanied by a shot showing just how smoothly an item of silky clothing slides over her skin. Qualitatively different. Shaving ads are even worse.

    This is not to say that I think male sexuality is well represented in movie and tv. I think the amount of scorn and mockery male nudity receives can’t be a good thing. I also think that there has been a considerable increase in the objectification of male sexuality (see, for example, the Zach Effron shirt thing that Ally blogged about) which also isn’t good. I just don’t think that part of the problem is on the same level as female sexual objectification just yet.

  132. 123454321 says

    I 100% agree with Avern, who is obviously far more perceptive and less brainwashed than most in this aspect.

    “probably aren’t more than two (Basic Instinct, Trance)”

    Nah, sorry Avern, Basic Instinct doesn’t count as you can’t see anything other than a bit of muff fluff, which is most likely a merkin. Don’t anybody dare argue with me because I’ve freeze-framed it to check it out :-)

    “Trance” is getting there in all honesty but the shot (which is in low light) lasts less that a second and it’s still not even close to the graphical scenes of male genitals, like Shameless, which I cited before.

    So the question is: could there be any possible links between the general push of (and society’s associated apparent acceptability of – due to the actions and inactions of various censorship bodies) the explicit nature of men’s genitals in the media on programmes such as ‘Eurotrash’ (only watched it once) which appeals to some of our younger generation, and that of a guy who thinks it’s ok to get his todger out in public to masturbate? The link may appear farfetched but like I’ve said before, TV and the media have a HUGE influence in teaching what is acceptable to our up and coming generation and TV/media is partly accountable for instilling values (whether right or wrong) into the minds of our society.

    If you’ve never seen Eurotrash, by the way, then the name does give quite a lot away but the interesting part is that every single shot of a woman’s genitals was cut out or blurred out while male genitals were frequently shown close up from all angles, some clearly semi-erect! What does this say to those who make up society? Whatever the answer, it’s clearly becoming an out-of-date double-standard if we are to strive for true equality.

  133. 123454321 says

    Pikeamus, I pretty much agree with you but I think you’ll find that male objectification is becoming increasingly noticeable and frowned upon from more corners than previously. You only have to look on the internet to find plenty of disgruntled individuals writing blogs on the subject. It’s so obvious that scenes in TV and film are being designed around a particularly fit looking male character taking his shirt off for the pleasure of the female and gay audience. It’s becoming quite a cliche these days and it’s getting a bit fucking tedious in some cases. It’s not that I care but feminists go mental when more than an inch of female flesh is on display and it’s that double standard that pisses me off.

    Interestingly, I’ve noticed some changes in male behaviour since this trend has been escalating of late. I’m convinced that more men are remaining fully shirted in certain public places. I’m not really sure what’s going on here but I’ve definitely noticed a change in general behaviour. Are more men becoming concious of their bodies? Are they starting to associate with taking their shirt off as being potentially perceived as a sexual thing judging by their visibility of hoards of comments from women about fit, oiled up torsos appealing to them as part of their fantasies. Dunno.

  134. says

    For those who think testicles and breasts are the same and sexualized in the same way in our society I have a couple of questions:

    1. What do you think of the complaints from some that women shouldn’t show any cleavage in a work-environment?

    2. What would you think of a work outfit which entailed such short shorts that seeing parts of the wearers testicle wouldn’t be uncommon?

    I’ll end with this cartoon which seemed apt: http://www.spaceavalanche.com/2011/03/09/work-environment/

  135. pikeamus says

    123454321:
    I do certainly agree that sexual objectification of men in media is increasing.

    I forgot to mention in my last post that yes, I do think trying to draw an equivalence between breasts and testicles is ridiculous. I don’t have the energy to get into an argument with Lucy, and I don’t want to be rude by referring to her disparagingly in the third person (beyond this sentence – this is an acceptable use of third person right?), so I’ll leave my comment at that.

  136. says

    For those who think testicles and breasts are the same and sexualized in the same way in our society…

    That’s not something we think, it’s something we OBSERVE: just like asses and genitalia, breasts are considered “private parts,” not to be randomly displayed to the public; and they are, in fact, “sex organs” to the extent that they play a role in sexual arousal and pleasure comparable to that of asses and genitalia. (And the sensitivity and fragility of breasts, relative to the make chest, is, I suspect, part of the reason why breasts are more hidden and protected, and thus more sexualized, than male chests.)

    1. What do you think of the complaints from some that women shouldn’t show any cleavage in a work-environment?

    It’s nothing new, and as office dress codes go, it’s quite reasonable. (And it’s nowhere near the whole of most professional dress codes, which get a lot more specific than “don’t show cleavage.”) Rightly or not, showing cleavage tends to be considered “slutty” and “unprofessional,” and women who do it at work tend to be looked down upon, even by those who enjoy the view. That may not be fair or “rational,” but it’s a fact nonetheless.

    2. What would you think of a work outfit which entailed such short shorts that seeing parts of the wearers testicle wouldn’t be uncommon?

    That might be appropriate for an establishment where people knowingly go to see men’s bollocks hanging out; but nowhere else.

    Now a question for you, Tamen: what do your questions have to do with ANY of the issues discussed here?

  137. 123454321 says

    I’m sure Lucy will be on here later, all fired up after her trip to a male strip bar, speaking for herself and telling us that she’d love to see some big, round, hairy testicles in her newspaper while she sips her morning coffee.

  138. says

    …feminists go mental when more than an inch of female flesh is on display…

    Which “feminists” are you talking about? The same feminists who vocally oppose body-shaming and forced modesty? The same feminists who support nude photos in protest against misogyny?

    I’ve heard quite a few people “go mental when more than an inch of female flesh is on display,” but the overwhelming majority of them are right-wingers, not feminists; and they go just as mental when an uppity woman, feminist or not, opens her mouth, with or without showing any flesh.

    Yet another unsupported, blatantly stupid and false over-generalization from the number-guy.

  139. says

    Interestingly, I’ve noticed some changes in male behaviour since this trend has been escalating of late. I’m convinced that more men are remaining fully shirted in certain public places.

    Which “certain” public places are you talking about? I’ve seen no such trends — men have always tended to be shirtless at beaches, pools, soccer fields and other sporting locations, but put on shirts to go to pubs and parties.

  140. 123454321 says

    Raging Bee – you’re not accounting in any way for the fact that there is a hierarchical pecking order in terms of the general perception of sexual organs. I think the list order is shifting about a bit due to the dynamics of society perception e.g. men’s chests are being objectified more and more recently and therefore the sexual nature of bearing one’s chest is becoming a consideration amongst a growing number of men.

    However, your assertion that testicles are in the same league as boobs is light years away from most people’s perceptions, I would have thought. Testicles are elevated up the list because they are genitalia, just as labia is. A boob is NOT the same for many reasons, one being that you don’t have the evacuation of yucky bodily waste material.

    Personally, I think much of the problems are derived from the fact that women cover up their boobs (due to social programming) and men don’t, due to social programming. This has consequences which surely don’t need explaining. For example, for the first 10 minutes on a Spanish beach many men may feel like they’ve landed in heaven. After that, it just becomes the norm. Also, RB, if you were right then all those men on the beach would be walking around with their knackers hanging out, but they don’t, so you are wrong again, as usual.

  141. says

    As for toplessness and other forms of titillation and bodily adornment, my impression is that cameras and directors linger a bit longer on women’s bodies than men’s…

    I’ve seen the cameras linger a LOT longer on the women’s bodies, both in the gratuitous sex-scenes in non-porn shows, and in the clothing choices for women relative to men nearly everywhere else (especially the body-armor in all those lame swords-and-sorcery movies, which provide plenty of protection for the men, and plenty of exposure for the women).

  142. says

    Testicles are elevated up the list because they are genitalia, just as labia is.

    That classification isn’t all that meaningful when people are seeking and having sex for reasons other than reproduction.

    A boob is NOT the same for many reasons…

    I just explained some reasons why boobs ARE in the same “league” as genitalia. Are you going to address those reasons?

  143. says

    Number-guy, no one is “forcing” you to educate me — that would be kinda cruel, since you’re clearly not up to the task. All you did in your last comment was cite two ads and make yet another unsupported claim about what (still unspecified) feminists have said about them.

  144. says

    And what’s with the reference to “numerous numbers of feminist groups?” Is that anything like “binders full of women?” Or is it an unintentional admission that there’s a dispute over the actual number of feminist groups taking a particular position? I mean, if you really knew what you were talking about, you’d be citing ONE number of feminist groups, right?

  145. says

    For example, for the first 10 minutes on a Spanish beach many men may feel like they’ve landed in heaven. After that, it just becomes the norm. Also, RB, if you were right then all those men on the beach would be walking around with their knackers hanging out, but they don’t, so you are wrong again, as usual.

    Non-sequitur.

  146. says

    For example, for the first 10 minutes on a Spanish beach many men may feel like they’ve landed in heaven.

    Citation required. BOYS might think that, but MEN are less likely to do so. I certainly didn’t react like that at any of the nude or semi-nude events I’ve been to — especially since I’ve gone in knowing that: a) I can’t stare too blatantly; b) I can’t just grab what I like; and c) not all the bare breasts are really all that instantly arousing.

  147. 123454321 says

    “I just explained some reasons why boobs ARE in the same “league” as genitalia. Are you going to address those reasons?”

    Millions of people visiting sunny beaches could disagree with you.

  148. 123454321 says

    “Citation required. BOYS might think that, but MEN are less likely to do so.”

    You will probably remain blissfully unaware that you’ve just contradicted yourself in relation to the sexualisation and perception of boobs. You don’t know whether you’re coming or going do you.

  149. 123454321 says

    Raging Bee, do you have no clue what a fool you are making yourself out to be by trying to argue that boobs are equivalent to testicles?

  150. 123454321 says

    “I just explained some reasons why boobs ARE in the same “league” as genitalia. Are you going to address those reasons?”

    But your reasons are similar to saying that they are both covered in skin and are attached to the human body. I agree that there is a similarity in terms of sexualisation but THEY ARE NOT ON THE SAME LEVEL.

    I’m getting bored of you and your illogical reasoning. Bored.

  151. says

    Millions of people visiting sunny beaches would deny that breasts play a role in sexual arousal and pleasure? Would they also deny that women, when not at the beach at least, tend to consider their breasts “private parts?”

    “Citation required” would be an understatement here.

    You will probably remain blissfully unaware that you’ve just contradicted yourself in relation to the sexualisation and perception of boobs.

    I am aware that you have not actually explained how I’ve contradicted myself. I’m still waiting…

  152. says

    But your reasons are similar to saying that they are both covered in skin and are attached to the human body.

    No, they’re really not.

  153. says

    I agree that there is a similarity in terms of sexualisation but THEY ARE NOT ON THE SAME LEVEL.

    Why is this “level” you speak of meaningful?

  154. 123454321 says

    Feminists will try every devious trick in the book to promote the censorship of female flesh whilst at the same time promoting the fact that it’s ok for men to get their cocks out. Surely most men are beginning to see through their transparency.

    Good try raging Bee.

  155. 123454321 says

    “Millions of people visiting sunny beaches would deny that breasts play a role in sexual arousal and pleasure? Would they also deny that women, when not at the beach at least, tend to consider their breasts “private parts?”

    yes I agree with you but you’re arguing that testicles are on the same level as boobs and you’re wrong, wrong, wrong.

  156. says

    Feminists will try every devious trick in the book to promote the censorship of female flesh whilst at the same time promoting the fact that it’s ok for men to get their cocks out.

    Again, WHICH feminists? Citations, please, or admit you’re full of shit.

    Surely most men are beginning to see through their transparency.

    In this case, we’re able to see “through” them because they don’t really exist. And stop calling me Shirley.

  157. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat

    “After thinking about this for a while I think I’m going to take a page out of Ally’s book and file this problem under ‘don’t really give a shit’.”

    At least you’re consistent, you were very indulgent about an MRA “not giving a fuck” about rape victims. You still don’t find him objectionable.

    You’re a real charmer.

  158. Jacob Schmidt says

    “You still don’t find him objectionable.”

    That, at least, is unfair:

    But neglecting to point out [Hembling’s] actual fairly shitty position, which he acknowledges is shitty, and instead try to manipulate people into thinking he holds an even worse position feminists again give the impression that feminists care little about the truth and are willing to lie and deceive to smear the MRM.

    Adiabat

    Adiabats argument relied on sophistry and false pedantry,* but he did fall short of stating that Hembling’s whiny bullshit** was unobjectionable.

    *the worst kind

    ** which, iirc, Hembling later retracted, stating that it was parody;*** of what, I’m unsure.

    *** AVFM should probably learn what parody is one of these days.

  159. carnation says

    @ Jacob

    Adiabat wrote that he doesn’t see why people find the head honchos at avfm so objectionable. I can’t be bothered looking through the thread to find the exact quote, but it was that or thereabouts.

  160. says

    Raging bee:

    It’s nothing new, and as office dress codes go, it’s quite reasonable. (And it’s nowhere near the whole of most professional dress codes, which get a lot more specific than “don’t show cleavage.”) Rightly or not, showing cleavage tends to be considered “slutty” and “unprofessional,” and women who do it at work tend to be looked down upon, even by those who enjoy the view. That may not be fair or “rational,” but it’s a fact nonetheless.

    This comes off as you saying that a no-cleavage dress-code is quite reasonable because women showing cleavage are rightly or not seen as “sluts” and “unprofessional” and will tend to be looked down upon. So they shouldn’t show cleavage at work, even though this outlook on women showing cleavage may not be fair or “rational”.

    I can’t help but wonder when it’s right to consider a women showing cleavage to be a sliut…

  161. says

    Perhaps I should have clarified: I call office dress codes “reasonable” for MANY reasons, including (but not limited to) the fact that men are expected to cover their chests too; most offices are too cold, all year round, for bare chests; and like it or not, most people apparently just don’t want to see, or expose our own, half-naked bodies all around us at our regular jobs; and probably other reasons, both rational and cultural, that aren’t occurring to me now.

    Again, I’m not sure what any of this has to do with the original topic of lewd conduct in public…

  162. 123454321 says

    Raging Bumble Bee,

    “Which “certain” public places are you talking about? I’ve seen no such trends — men have always tended to be shirtless at beaches, pools, soccer fields and other sporting locations, but put on shirts to go to pubs and parties.”

    I agree that the places you just mentioned are still well inside the acceptability zone in terms of baring one’s chest (male, that is, but sometimes even female depending on exactly where you are geographically). I’m convinced that men are becoming more conscious of exposing their half nakedness, though, in various other public places, and I think it’s because they are recognising associations with the increase in objectification and sexualisation of males in the media. So, for example, runners appear to be keeping their shirts on along with cyclists (last year I heard a voice scream from inside a car yelling at a jogger saying “put yer fucking shirt on you fucking dick-head….blah, blah…”). Workmen aren’t exposing all the flesh that they used to, whether they be working in public places or in your home. Also, towns and city centres appear to have far fewer half-naked men walking around. You’d need to be a very perceptive person to pick up on things like this but I’m convinced I’ve noticed a change. For the better, I might add, as I’m not overly keen on being faced by sweaty beer bellies as I’m tucking into an ice-cream!

    If you think about all the men you know, there appear to be those (most of them I think) who keep their shirts on when washing their car on the drive (despite it being sweltering hot) and then there are those (a much smaller percentage) who strip off at the first opportunity, whether it be with friends in a garden or walking through town etc. I am in no way embarrassed to say that I do think some men look like complete plonkers when they expose their chests in slightly inappropriate places – especially the ones that do it for the sake of vanity and think everyone is looking at them in awe. The low-intelligence ones can be forgiven for being a bit, well….low-intelligence.

    All in all, there are definitely men who keep their shirts on in certain places, such as the ones I’ve just given as an example, and men who don’t. There must be a difference in thought patterns between the two groups.

    The other thing I’ve noticed (and I hope this doesn’t come across as racist in any way) but you never tend to see any asian (or even many black men) walking around in public places without their shirts on. Is there a reason for this, i wonder, or am I wrong with my observational perception?

  163. says

    You have shown absolutely no connection between the changing clothing trends you speak of and “increase in objectification and sexualisation of males in the media.” In fact, many of the instances you speak of predate the media trends you speak of by decades (i.e., local dress codes); and others, such as “Workmen aren’t exposing all the flesh that they used to,” have other causes, such as a need to both look more professional and wear recognizable uniforms so female clients won’t mistakenly let in a rapist pretending to be a serviceman.

  164. 123454321 says

    “You have shown absolutely no connection between the changing clothing trends you speak of and “increase in objectification and sexualisation of males in the media.”

    That’s because I don’t NEED to show you a connection. It’s merely an observation and a ‘possibility’ suggestion.

    ““Workmen aren’t exposing all the flesh that they used to,” have other causes, such as a need to both look more professional and wear recognisable uniforms”

    You have a point there, but I’d already thought of it along with Health and Safety legislation demands. It still doesn’t account for town centre activity or joggers or people doing their garden etc. There has definitely been a reduction over the last few years.

  165. summerblues says

    “That’s because I don’t NEED to show you a connection. It’s merely an observation and a ‘possibility’ suggestion.”

    Yes, actually you do. Men wearing shirts either in public or private could also be due to modesty (not insecurity), the men have class or they don’t want either a sunburn or to sear their skin on a hot car.

    You are reading too much into this “trend” as you call it than what is really there. You’ve focused on sexual objectification and therefore see nothing else. You’re doing a piss poor job of it as well.

  166. 123454321 says

    summerblues,

    “…due to modesty (not insecurity), the men have class….”

    Are you suggesting that men who remove their shirts are low class then? That’s an interesting thought.

    “You are reading too much into this “trend””

    People often say that when they realise they’re being led to an outcome outside of their comfort zone. Sorry, I must have touched a nerve.

  167. summerblues says

    Looking into the history of men in film you will find a good deal of modesty, covering up, probably due to the moral code (Hays code, I believe) set up either in the late twenties or early thirties. Men shown in their undershirts or shirtless would have been the low-class baddies: the rapists, the thugs, etc. There was a lot of stereotypes, prejudice and racism back then. So, yes, it was considered low class for a man to show himself in public wearing only his undergarments. This also would have been grindhouse, not mainstream Hollywood. Grindhouse was able to get away with a lot more. “Freaks” and “Child Bride” come to mind. Mainstream Hollywood, however, has always pushed as far as the code allowed to show “grit”. It probably began with showing men with their oxfords unbuttoned displaying their undershirts to showing men in their undershirts to showing bare chests, perhaps with a towel slung over their necks or unbuttoned shirts showing bare chests (James Bond?). Then to swim trunks, showing both chest and leg to probably men in their boxers or briefs.

    I find it painful to read your comments where you are flailing around trying to make a valid point, IMO, and undermining your own credibility by screeching “feminists dun it!” and providing what seem to be vapid, teeny-bopper films as proof of your “observations” (didn’t you mention “Jackass”? If so, shouldn’t you be questioning the actual content of what young men are watching rather than having your takeaway be simply “they showed peen!”?) If more male genitals are being shown, as you claim, then this could be construed as simply natural progression. Also, if “a cock is just a cock” then what is your problem with one being shown on film? This obsession you have with what feminists are doing appears to be blocking your ability to be objective and provide well-researched claims that can be restudied. The claim made that this is simply observation is simply a way to wriggle out of having to back up this claim. It’s cowardly. You’ve proven nothing, not even by stating “in the past thirty years” (you’ve provided nothing to compare this to) and appear to be simply expecting your claims to be accepted just because you stated it. Feminists have fuck-all to do with what the media does or we would no longer see women in bikinis or breasts bared for gratuitous (sp) shots in movies or parts and pieces in print ads. Your claim that “feminists dun it” falls apart. Obviously, the media does not care what feminists want. The men you claim are showing their genitals seem to have no problem baring it all on film. The problem is you.

    Side note: my husband says this is your homophobia showing.

  168. avern says

    “Side note: my husband says this is your homophobia showing.”

    Nice try, dipshit, but I’m probably even more pissed off by the nudity double-standard than 123454321 and I’m a man who loves men’s bodies. Your pathetic attempts to poison the well are no longer working; find a new tactic.

    “If more male genitals are being shown, as you claim, then this could be construed as simply natural progression.”

    Then why aren’t women showing their genitals in mainstream movies as well?

    “Feminists have fuck-all to do with what the media does or we would no longer see women in bikinis or breasts bared for gratuitous (sp) shots in movies or parts and pieces in print ads. Your claim that “feminists dun it” falls apart. Obviously, the media does not care what feminists want. The men you claim are showing their genitals seem to have no problem baring it all on film. The problem is you.”

    Since the women baring it all gratuitously in movies and print ads seem to have no problem with it, does that mean that the feminists complaining about it are the problem and not the movies and print ads?

  169. avern says

    @ 123454321

    We’ve straight-up won this argument (not that it was difficult seeing as all the evidence is on our side). Just the fact that the feminists are trying every desperate, ad-hoc counter-argument that enters their feeble minds is proof that they’ve got nothing. They’re like flailing swimmers drowning in a sea of their own belligerence and stupidity. The turning point was the comparison between female breasts and testicles which is completely deranged idea for anyone to even entertain.

    It’s sad to watch really.

  170. summerblues says

    LULZ! Really, avern? You’ve got nothing else but these insults? You have no argument at all.

    The only nudity double standard that I have seen is men not showing their genitals on screen. Women have been taken down to filmy bra/bikinis or topless and filmy bikinis, possibly even thongs. In fact, in the miniseries “The Borgias” you do get to see a woman’s privates and she grabs herself a la Michael Jackson. And this is just the beginning: there are probably frontal shots, I just have not seen the movies. You keep trying to make the case that men’s chests are equal to women’s breasts but I have yet to see you provide any real proof of this. They are not equal. Women’s breasts are considered sexual. The closest I’ve seen to a cleavage-equal from men on film is, laughingly, the young men playing the werewolves in “Twilight”: low slung shorts showcasing a beautiful “V” pointing in the right direction. But that’s nothing but a tease…

    I’m not familiar with the sites that want women to be covered up so you are going to have to provide a link. I believe the problem is that the …portrayal or use is demeaning, no different than rude penis shots done for laughs. Sexual objectification and sexploitation…exactly what you all are complaining about in regards to men. If so, then this is vindictive but not proof of a double standard.

    Your being gay is irrelevent, IMO. Provide proof why that should make a difference. I’m a straight woman. While I find men’s upper bodies and legs quite delightful to look at, it’s really not that ..stimulating. If a “cock is just a cock” then it’s time to take off the shorts.

    Again, there is no double standard against men here. You are making that up. You have deliberatly chosen a feminist site to support your own bias: women covered, men nude. Try challenging yourself a bit. This feminist likes sexploitation films/grindhouse from the ’60’s and ’70’s. This feminist believes that there does need to be more male nudity. The more male nudity, the more relaxed the people will be with the male figure. Right now, men are laughed at, ridiculed. Many of us in the US have no idea what a penis actually looks like because we routinely circumcise.

    I would say “Ball’s in your court, motherfucker” but if these comments are truly the best you’ve got then don’t bother responding. And..really, you pulled the gay man card.

  171. avern says

    “The only nudity double standard that I have seen is men not showing their genitals on screen.”

    Over ten examples of mainstream movies explicitly showing male genitalia have been given, so you’re either lying or stupid enough to make this claim without having read the last half of this thread.

    “You keep trying to make the case that men’s chests are equal to women’s breasts but I have yet to see you provide any real proof of this.”

    Nope, sorry. This new feminist tactic of continuously making obtuse statements in order to exhaust their opponents is not going to work. They’re anatomically homologous. It doesn’t get any simpler than that and the fact that something so simple is lost on you is tragic.

    “Women’s breasts are considered sexual.”

    Buttocks are not sexual in a reproductive sense either, but they’re also considered nudity and are censored in many contexts, so you lose this argument as well.

    “[T]his is vindictive but not proof of a double standard.”

    It’s a double standard because female genitals aren’t also portray in this fashion. That has been explained many times. Why are you so slow?

    “While I find men’s upper bodies and legs quite delightful to look at, it’s really not that ..stimulating.”
    Wow, your husband must be a lucky man. /s

    “If a ‘cock is just a cock’ then it’s time to take off the shorts.”

    If a cock is just a cock, then a cunt is just a cunt. It’s time to show those coochies ladies.

    “I would say “Ball’s in your court, motherfucker” but if these comments are truly the best you’ve got then don’t bother responding.”

    Oooh, I bet your five cats think you’re a real tough cookie.

    “And..really, you pulled the gay man card.”

    You pulled the homophobia card. Typical feminist to think you’re allowed to use the struggles of the marginalized to win message board debates.

  172. Ally Fogg says

    to be honest, punchdrunk, I’ve long since abandoned even the pretence of keeping some kind of grip on this thread.

    Between you and me, I lost track sometime around the testicles-tits interface.

    If you point me towards any particular posts you have an issue with I’m happy to make a decision.

  173. punchdrunk says

    I was just wondering if I’d dreamed it.
    It seems impossible for some people to make their point without the antifeminist sentiment informing and then overwhelming their argument.

    Maybe I should subscribe to more of your posts, this cock-counting competition is pretty funny.

  174. Bugmaster says

    @Ally #182:

    Between you and me, I lost track sometime around the testicles-tits interface.

    Oh good, I thought I was the only one.

    On the plus side, “balls-tits interface” sounds like a decent name for a punk band.

  175. 123454321 says

    sunnerblues – UK Feminista executed their very best efforts to ban lads’ mags. Did you support that? If so, would you support a ban of wrestling magazines which are low-shelf magazines with a content of glorified, brutal violence where oiled up male hunks smash the crap out of each other for the enjoyment of young children?

    Ally – many of the subjects you talk about on your blog have root cause links with sexual power. It’s how the human sexes market themselves in order to survive and progress. Not many people scrape that deep into the root cause analysis because they deem it to be beneath them. It’s actually fundamental. It’s also interesting to spot a double standard (which from the point of view of an outsider IS a double standard) and then hear the reasoning behind the defence. I don’t think anyone really wanted to derail this thread but it was about public masturbation after all!

  176. Adiabat says

    Jeez, been swamped this past week so barely kept up with this thread. Now I’ve caught up I kinda wish I hadn’t.

    My 2-pence worth: Nude men and women are becoming more common on TV, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. I suspect there is a difference between UK and US TV. Ofcom guidelines don’t technically restrict anything but any nudity has to be justified (which is how we get ugly naked people on comedy gameshows; for the laughs). While it’s easier to justify a full frontal of a man (or a woman) it’s harder to justify a spread-eagled shot of a woman, which would be needed for parity. So we can’t really draw much insight from prevalence.

    123454321 (81):

    I think you’re overlooking respect, dignity and other people’s perception of what they may find potentially offensive.

    Well, I gave an example where I would be as disgusted, so I haven’t overlooked it. But yeah, “offense” is a type of harm, I guess. Can’t say it really ranks that highly for me but I accept your point.

    It’s enough that I’ll join you in campaigning to make what these people are doing illegal… oh wait, it already is. Well, there’re lots of things which are illegal which people still feel is acceptable. I’ll help make it socially unnaccept… oh wait, it already is.

    Frankly the level of harm, and low prevalence, doesn’t really justify, to me, getting worked up about this issue any further. It doesn’t justify the expense of policing every subway car and dark area. It doesn’t justify encouraging bystanders to risk actual physical harm to offset some temporary emotional distress. At some you’ve just got to accept that things happen and there’s’ nothing reasonable that we can do about them.

    Carnation (166): You make me laugh. Do you even see the irony of what you’ve done in this post? In an attempt to smear me you decided to misrepresent my position from a discussion we had, the topic of which was how you misrepresent people’s positions to smear them.

    You have this uncanny ability to repeatedly make yourself look like a fool; and I don’t even have to do anything! The only advice I can suggest is to concentrate less on getting ‘one up on me’ in every thread I comment in, even when I’m not talking to you (I suspect you’re doing this to repair some bruised ego from our past discussions), and focus more on your arguments.

  177. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat

    “The only advice I can suggest is to concentrate less on getting ‘one up on me’ in every thread I comment in, even when I’m not talking to you (I suspect you’re doing this to repair some bruised ego from our past discussions), and focus more on your arguments.”

    Yes, it’s all about you, you special lil thing :-)

    What I wrote is absolutely accurate. And besides, it’s easy to get you riled. Your brain seems bruised with numb surprise. Learn to forget.

  178. 123454321 says

    Adiabat, I agree with everything you just said. But it’s still a double standard – a double standard that always sees women on the best end of a shitty-ended stick. Grant female dignity thus censor fanny. Fuck men, they don’t matter so show cock. Each and every time. True to form. Totally predictable. Yeah, I get it. Let’s move on; next debate…..

  179. 123454321 says

    Summerblues,

    Good for you; at least we agree on something then! Not that I particularly support lads’ mags, but they’re a darned sight less degrading and offensive than wrestling magazines, once you’ve done a grown up analysis.

  180. Anton Mates says

    While it’s easier to justify a full frontal of a man (or a woman) it’s harder to justify a spread-eagled shot of a woman, which would be needed for parity.

    Huh? To be artistically “equivalent” to a naked man just standing there, a naked woman needs to spread her legs? That sounds like the very definition of a double standard to me.

  181. Jacob Schmidt says

    Huh? To be artistically “equivalent” to a naked man just standing there, a naked woman needs to spread her legs? That sounds like the very definition of a double standard to me.

    Only if one assumes that men and women are physiologically identical.

  182. 123454321 says

    Tell you what, I’ll solve that little conundrum for you by looking at this another way. On the same programme, at roughly 11pm, a programme called Sexateria (or something like that – again I only watched one programme for the purpose of research!) showed a man on all fours, camera angled from the rear and close up to show his anus and his dangling testicles and penis for what seemed like an eternity as he was whipped from behind as part of some bondage fetish clip. Like I said, same programme, same camera angle, same distance, but with a woman. And guess what? Anus and genitals were pixelated out. Explain that then! Because I sniff a double standard, once again. I reckon a lot of men and boys are tiring of these double standards.

  183. summerblues says

    What are you watching?! Send off an email to the website customer care and ask them!

  184. Anton Mates says

    Jacob,

    Only if one assumes that men and women are physiologically identical.

    Sorry, I don’t follow. How do the physiological differences between men and women imply that a full-frontal standing shot of a naked dude should be legally equivalent to a spread-eagled shot of a naked lady?

    123454321,

    On the same programme, at roughly 11pm, a programme called Sexateria (or something like that

    Do you mean Playboy TV’s Sexcetera? Pretty sure that falls under Ally’s execption of “porn and any programmes about Embarrassing Bodies.”

    And I’m not surprised that the BBC blurs some of the ladybits in that show. Doesn’t it still have the “no labia minora” rule? I believe the rationale is that depicting genital mucous membranes is unacceptable–which is kinda silly, but not particularly hostile towards men.

  185. Jacob Schmidt says

    Grant female dignity thus censor fanny. Fuck men, they don’t matter so show cock.

    You’ve yet to demonstrate this in any capacity.

    Explain that then!

    Female nudity is seen as sexual, so it is censored. Male nudity is seen as utilitarian, so it isn’t. A double standard, yes, but not one against men in any capacity.

    How do the physiological differences between men and women imply that a full-frontal standing shot of a naked dude should be legally equivalent to a spread-eagled shot of a naked lady?

    In the case of men, the penis hangs off the body; its naturally very visible. Women, on the other hand, can hide their genitalia with a bit of hair. Equivalent “explicitness of nudity” (as it were) requires that women put in a bit of effort.

    (I seriously don’t know why this even matters; I admit I haven’t been following all that well.)

  186. Anton Mates says

    Jacob,

    Female nudity is seen as sexual, so it is censored. Male nudity is seen as utilitarian, so it isn’t.

    In this particular scene (as 123454321 describes it), both the male and female nude scenes are explicitly sexual. But the woman in the same position is displaying more mucous membrane, so she gets the blur by BBC censorship rules.

    As you say, this is not a standard which discriminates against men. The equivalent censorship criterion for men on camera is the degree of erectosity, as measured by the not-very-scientific Mull of Kintyre test You could certainly make a case that this policy is shaped by a heteronormative model of sexuality in which men go “Rar, ready to penetrate” and women go “Ooh, penetrate me right here.” So a passive, receptive, tie-me-up-and-flog-me dude is considered insufficiently sexual to bother censoring, which is…unfair, I guess? But it ain’t misandry. In fact, this is another example of Ally’s frequent point that men are more oppressed by patriarchal institutions than they are by feminists.

    In the case of men, the penis hangs off the body; its naturally very visible. Women, on the other hand, can hide their genitalia with a bit of hair. Equivalent “explicitness of nudity” (as it were) requires that women put in a bit of effort.

    True, but pubic hair is part of the genitalia, at least as far as standard modesty norms go. It’s not like you can take your pants off in public and nobody will care as long as you’re hairy enough.

    In any case, if we’re comparing media sexualization of the genders, I don’t think the actual percentage of exposed hairless flesh should decide the question. A naked woman in a take-my-pap-smear pose is more sexualized than a naked man just standing there, precisely because she has to put in a bit of effort. Even if they’re showing off the same square-acreage of bare skin.

    (I seriously don’t know why this even matters; I admit I haven’t been following all that well.)

    I interpreted Adiabat @186 as saying that each full-frontal naked dude on TV ought to be balanced by a spread-eagled naked chick, if you want gender-equal media representation. But maybe I have that wrong….

    And no, that doesn’t have a lot to do with men who masturbate at nonconsenting women in real life.

  187. Jacob Schmidt says

    In any case, if we’re comparing media sexualization of the genders…

    We’re not, as far as I can tell. They seem to be complaining about showing the genitalia, not about the sexualization. 123454321 was clear about this not being about sexualization up thread somewhere.

    (I agree with you entirely, otherwise.)

    A naked woman in a take-my-pap-smear pose…

    I laughed; that is quite funny.

  188. Anton Mates says

    123454321 was clear about this not being about sexualization up thread somewhere. </blockquote.

    I must have missed it. I thought the complaint (e.g. 123454321 @75) was that male genitalia are shown more on TV because men are not expected to cover up, unlike women, and that this double standard in media-depicted sexual behavior leads to more boys growing up believing that it’s cool to expose themselves to random ladies in elevators.

    If the actual point is simply that male genitalia are more visible because that’s how anatomy works, I’m not sure why seeing this demonstrated on TV would encourage men to masturbate at strangers. (I also know this is not an argument you endorse and you’re not obliged to defend it!)

  189. Anton Mates says

    123454321 was clear about this not being about sexualization up thread somewhere.

    I must have missed it. I thought the complaint (e.g. 123454321 @75) was that male genitalia are shown more on TV because men are not expected to cover up, unlike women, and that this double standard in media-depicted sexual behavior leads to more boys growing up believing that it’s cool to expose themselves to random ladies in elevators.

    If the actual point is simply that male genitalia are more visible because that’s how anatomy works, I’m not sure why seeing this demonstrated on TV would encourage men to masturbate at strangers. (I also know this is not an argument you endorse and you’re not obliged to defend it!)

  190. 123454321 says

    “Do you mean Playboy TV’s Sexcetera? Pretty sure that falls under Ally’s execption of “porn and any programmes about Embarrassing Bodies.”

    No exclusion required. We’re talking same mainstream TV, same channel, same programme, same sofa from which we are seated. But different treatment with respect to dignity and censorship. Ok?

  191. 123454321 says

    “And I’m not surprised that the BBC blurs some of the ladybits in that show. Doesn’t it still have the “no labia minora” rule?”

    There may be a rule. I’m suggesting that it’s a sexist double-standard where the outcome favours the female sex in terms of retaining dignity.

    “I believe the rationale is that depicting genital mucous membranes is unacceptable–which is kinda silly, but not particularly hostile towards men.”

    Hostility is the wrong word. ofcom supports this double-standard which promotes dignity for the female sex but doesn’t apply the same moral attitude to males. I’m not surprised because it’s typical. But it’s still wrong. The internet is pretty rife with people who object to the double-standard but it hasn’t filtered through to becoming a rule of governance at bodies like ofcom because ofcom are highly resistant, for some reason, at supporting men. They’s rather focus their efforts on supporting the protection of women. Again, fairly typical of all areas of concern.

  192. 123454321 says

    “We’re not, as far as I can tell. They seem to be complaining about showing the genitalia, not about the sexualization. 123454321 was clear about this not being about sexualization up thread somewhere.”

    Spot on. I’m not talking about sexualisation because everyone knows that you can be faced with a very non-sexual, obese (no offence meant), bedraggled woman, open-legged showing her genitals, while at the same time being faced with a sexualised image of a semi-clad male with not that much on show. The latter would be deemed more sexual. It works the other way around too.

    I’m talking about programmes which go out of their way to censor female genitals, by either removing the clips of female genitals at the editing stage or pixelating them while at the same time ignoring the fact that you can see in plain view male genitals. That is a double-standard. You can witness this in tribal nature programmes, and you can’t argue that there is anything sexual about those, surely!

  193. 123454321 says

    “I must have missed it. I thought the complaint (e.g. 123454321 @75) was that male genitalia are shown more on TV because men are not expected to cover up, unlike women, and that this double standard in media-depicted sexual behavior leads to more boys growing up believing that it’s cool to expose themselves to random ladies in elevators.”

    Yeah, I think there could be a potential causal link here between the outcome from what an easily influenced young lad has grown up watching, and how he reasons that out in terms of his output to society.

    After all, that’s pretty much how we operate. That’s why we have different religions, beliefs, cultures…..and behaviours. Yes?

  194. 123454321 says

    “If the actual point is simply that male genitalia are more visible because that’s how anatomy works, I’m not sure why seeing this demonstrated on TV would encourage men to masturbate at strangers. (I also know this is not an argument you endorse and you’re not obliged to defend it!)”

    Girls are taught dignity and encouraged to retain it. The sort of censorship I’m talking about supports that notion.

    Boys aren’t taught dignity in anywhere near the same way and showing their most private parts on TV – whilst concurrently making it obvious that female private parts are taboo via censorship – does nothing to support the fact that boys shouldn’t expose themselves.

    Introducing humour into a scene which shows male genitals further compounds the notion that it’s a good thing to expose your genitals if you’re male.

    I’m not wrong.

  195. Jacob Schmidt says

    Girls are taught [shame] and encouraged to [avoid] it.

    Your baseless interpretations are pretty obvious.

    Introducing humour into a scene which shows male genitals further compounds the notion that it’s a good thing to expose your genitals if you’re male.

    Given that this is, at best, a recent trend; one that mostly occurs in shock comedy; and that men showing women, girls, and boys their genitals is not anything new; I seriously doubt it’s any meaningful source of the problem.

    I’m not wrong.

    Yes you are.

    (I can make bald assertions too.)

  196. 123454321 says

    Jacob, it’s quite obvious that you see benefit in cock being shown, as you refuse to recognise any disbenefit. I’m cool with that and I’ll draw my own private conclusions. Thanks for the chat.

  197. Matt B says

    “the incidents which are reported to police (a rough proxy for incidents which could be considered threatening or traumatic) virtually all offenders are male. Adult male victims are almost unheard of.”

    That could be because men don’t report this kind of incident, rather than most perpetrators being male. This could have to do with male victims not seeing the point of reporting, out of fear of being disbelived. The evidence isn’t sufficient to conclude that the vast majority of offenders are male and that there are no male victims.

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