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The Problem with Privilege (or: Predatory Behaviour)

Post 9 in an ongoing series. See the Master Post for previous entries in The Problem with Privilege.

From blacklava.net. Buy one today! (If you're privileged.)

In the last post in this series, comments diverged from the topic of overzealous application of skepticism to the idea of whether it’s right and rational for women to assume that all men are potential rapists. I made the following analogy, as regarding a comparison to assuming all Muslims are terrorists:

I also suspect you’re suggesting that there is a visual difference between Arabs and Caucasians, but you substituted “Muslim” for it. Muslims don’t necessarily have to look like brown people in turbans, you realize.

And as for assuming all of them are terrorists, there are just as many non-Muslim terrorists in recent history to suggest that what you mean is that you’re justified in thinking that anyone who is overzealous about some particular dogma is a potential terrorist. Meaning animal rights activists, Christians, men’s rights activists, anti-abortionists, et cetera. The problem with that is, you can’t visually distinguish that someone is an adherent to a dogma unless they do something to self-identify, like wearing some distinctive symbol. And even then, your fear responses shouldn’t automatically trigger or you get incidents like where clerics are arrested for praying in an airport.

And in the States, carrying guns or knives is legal in some circumstances, so even if they were, that doesn’t mean they’re planning on using them.

So, you can get situations where people’s fear responses are triggering unnecessarily. You’re within your rights to be afraid of every person you meet being a terrorist, but unless you see them with a bomb or knife or gun, there’s something slightly irrational about it. Likewise with women who have already been assaulted, or have already been trained by seeing others assaulted, or have been trained by just about every “rape avoidance” sheet, that there are certain behaviours that, to them, are like seeing a gun or knife or bomb.

Following a woman into a secluded area where they don’t have any potential backup and don’t have an easy escape route (like an elevator), making your first contact with them something that doesn’t make any sense outside of being an oblique request for sex (because there’s no coffee maker in the rooms and there was coffee at the bar you just left), or even just waiting until the girl has had a few drinks and is heading to bed because she’s tired — all of those are predatory behaviour. Whether Elevator Guy knew it or not, he was sending off all sorts of signs to Watson that he was carrying a gun or knife or bomb like your hypothetical “potential terrorist”. And just like your “potential terrorist”, he doesn’t have to actually use those weapons to be scary.

I’ve pointed out before that the elevator pitch is a well-known hard-sell technique in the business world, so named because you have a captive audience who can’t get away from you for a minute or so. This is another example of a predatory behaviour, and society has a tendency to look down on such behaviours unless a premium is put on them — for instance, if you’re in an extremely competitive marketplace, using an elevator pitch on someone might be seen as admirable by a sufficiently sociopathic recipient.

The term “predatory behaviour” covers a spectrum of actions that society generally frowns upon, because it involves taking advantage of imbalances of power between two or more entities. Predatory lending, for instance, takes advantage of the poor by offering them a way to get out of their financial situation, but doing so in a way that the loan-taker likely does not understand the risks they’re taking, and where the lender benefits more if the loan defaults than if it is repaid in full. Some predatory behaviour is not so abhorred by society at large, like within the capitalist context of a business: where one advances within a company by taking no prisoners, back-stabbing, lying, cheating, or sabotaging one’s opponents within the scope of their office politics. This will win you no friends but might win you the big promotion. And some predatory behaviour drives steep divides between political parties, like when lies and misinformation peel voters away from their own best interests, eviscerating the social programs that keep them afloat.

In the context of sexual politics, predatory behaviour takes a different cast. With sex, consent is paramount — it is the singular defining factor that segregates acceptable and unacceptable congress. Not everyone understands this point, and in fact, not everyone agrees with it. Some people engage in zoophilia or pedophilia or necrophilia, engaging in sex acts with entities that are incapable of giving informed consent. Society frowns upon these fringe activities more strongly than more common acts, where there is significantly less agreement as to what constitutes informed consent. It was, until very recently, treated as “not rape” to force one’s matrimonial partner into unwanted sex. It is still, to this day, difficult to get the legal system pretty well anywhere in North America to take seriously any charges of sexual assault or rape made by a sex worker, much less a girl that goes to a party and has too much to drink, or who wore a low-cut dress, or anyone else prejudged to be “loose” or “looking for sex”. And attendant to the question of consent is the concept of the “pick-up artist”, the guy who learns psychological techniques to convince women to have sex with them outside the scope of any level of familiarity. All predatory behaviour with respect to sexuality involves finding ways to circumvent consent or to obtain it under false pretenses. This makes it significantly more difficult to obtain justice after a sexual assault has occurred, especially in assaults that do not result in physical harm.

With the difficulty women have in having rape charges taken seriously; with so many of them being classified out as “false reports” for having insufficient evidence, or being summarily dismissed before being investigated at all because the report taker believes it to be invalid; and with the difficulty of providing positive identification resulting in a woman really being raped, and the very real possibility of an innocent man really going to jail; it’s small wonder this culture has developed the nervous tics that it has about the topic. These nervous tics manifest primarily in people completely misinterpreting incidents like the blow-up that has been the blogosphere’s reaction to the admittedly mild Watson elevator incident. I say “admittedly mild” with reservations, because in comparison with genital mutilation, the incident is fairly mild. But then, so’s having your car stolen, on that particular yardstick. And putting scalar values on personal experience is a fool’s errand at best, a convenient way for apologists to piss a lot of people off at worst.

The “disputed” events around Elevator Guy’s actual cold-proposition notwithstanding, if you take every element out of the picture including the prior “no’s” expressed by Watson except for the following facts, the story plays out thusly:

1. Guy and girl who are not familiar with one another get onto an elevator together in a hotel at 4 am after drinking in the hotel bar for multiple hours
2. Guy suggests he has been paying attention to girl, includes prophylactic “don’t take this the wrong way”, and would like to invite her back to his hotel room
3. Girl says no, guy relents without further incident

There’s “no harm” there in that the guy did not actually force himself on her in any way, per 3, but she still has every right to recognize his behaviour as predatory. The facts that indicate predatory behaviour in this attempt are:

1. Girl has been drinking and is probably visibly fatigued, suggesting vulnerability to such tactics
2. Guy has isolated girl in an elevator despite having had other opportunities to make his proposition when others were around in a more public venue
3. Girl does not know guy AT ALL prior to this proposition, no matter what guy knows about girl from observation (because girl has a higher profile in their community)
4. “Don’t take this the wrong way” indicates comprehension that what he’s about to say could be interpreted negatively — meaning, in a manner that might be off-putting to the girl

There are more indications of predatory behaviour in the story though, when you take it all as true, including the high-pressure sales tactic of ignoring blanket statements at two previous points during the day that she’s not interested in being hit on in this way, at all, ever. Apologists might dispute the possibility that Elevator Guy was around to hear either signal, but the only people disputing the core of the story — saying the incident was fabricated from whole cloth, for example — are so far removed from rationality that they truly believe that all feminists want men to be subservient to women, or think that all men are rapists, despite all the evidence to the contrary. In point of fact, Watson gave the mildest of mild rebukes to this man and his actions by saying his actions were creepy, and don’t do it the way he did because it probably won’t work.

Apologists demanding an explanation as to why it’s creepy have been given this exact line of reasoning a number of times already, but each time, it appears they are unwilling to accept the facts in evidence. Stephanie Zvan crafted a challenge for EG apologists asking that they stop arguing the minutiae and accept the premises regarding the story as true, then argue how it was in fact “zero bad”, akin to chewing gum. Many folks stepped up to… dance around the challenge and haggle for a more favorable-to-their-viewpoint set of circumstances, and met with being put into moderation until they could actually bring themselves to address the challenge proper. The howls of censorship have reverberated through the various blogs that the various actors have not been banned at yet. I fully expect one of them to appear and call this a screed against men, in fact.

One of them, in this last post, suggested that I believe all men are rapists. I do not. I don’t even believe all men are capable of rape. I have made the point previously that I will not brook statements that all men are rapists, and I stand by it — if you make this statement and refuse to recant, you will be summarily banned, I don’t care whose side of the argument you claim to be on.

This suggestion about my philosophy is only true in the same sense that I think all people are terrorists, or all people are astronauts, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of people are not terrorists or astronauts. I believe that all people (note, not all men, all people) are POTENTIAL rapists, insofar as there’s nothing a person can do to tell us apart except to watch for predatory behaviour and defend themselves when they spot it.

This statement shouldn’t be controversial, no more than the statement “all guns are potentially loaded”, as made by pretty well every gun safety course or manual I’ve ever been privy to. This safety tip does not stem from bigotry against guns. One does not have the ability to distinguish between a gun that is loaded and a gun that is not from the outside of the gun (assuming an average, modern gun). The consequences of getting it wrong can be disastrous, even if the vast majority of guns are not loaded.

The fact that according to the US Department of Justice, 99% of rapists (in reported cases) are men, strongly suggests that women have more to fear from strangers than men do with regards to sexual assault, though fully nine percent of rape victims are men. Behaviour like Elevator Guy’s, whether he knows it or not, involved doing stuff done mostly by pick-up artists and rapists. He was engaging in predatory behaviour that sent signals that Watson picked up on as creepy. And because of it, feminists like myself would like men to shoulder some of the burden by avoiding sending such signals and ending such predatory practices where they see them. Certain less savoury elements characterize our wishes as misandry or sexist behaviour or an attempt at establishing a female-dominated society. I call bullshit on this particular slippery slope argument.

Since society has placed such a high burden on women to defend themselves from rape, and since failing to do so could come at such a high cost to the woman in question, and since certain men are fighting the necessity to shoulder some of their burden with cries of sexism and abridged freedom, it’s frankly no wonder that so many women react strongly to situations like the elevator incident. It’s no wonder these women treat every man that does not go out of his way to avoid predatory practices as a potential rapist. They’re well within their rights to do so, at that, because too many men have betrayed them by refusing to acknowledge this is even a problem.

We’re better than this, men. We can shoulder some of this burden. We can stop this utter assholery that has spawned from Watson’s mild rebuke of a mildly creepy incident. All we gotta do is take responsibility for our actions and understand that even some of the more innocuous ones might have consequences for women who have been damaged by society at large. And hell, fixing the parts of society that tend to damage these women in the first place might be a good idea, while we’re at it.

Comments

  1. says

    I don’t know how it’s voodoo to recognize that some people have power, other people don’t, and the people who have the power do what they can to concentrate and maintain it. Collectively, regardless of what group you’re talking about, it’s called privilege. In North America, whites have privilege over non-whites. Christians have privilege over non-Christians. Males have privilege over females. The rich have privilege over the poor. This observation is not voodoo. It’s basic sociology. As I’ve said in the comments over on the post about your overzealous skepticism.

    I don’t know what you mean by “what happened to the comments”. I don’t see anything in spam. If you’ve posted something that didn’t appear on either thread, feel free to post it again, the server (as I’ve said) is having issues tonight with the large amount of traffic us unskeptical feminist gynocrats are generating.

  2. DavidByron says

    I keep pointing out to you that it’s not a good argument to resort to “the bible says so”. I suppose that was an attempt by you to “prove” your religious doctrine to me. Yes everyone agrees that the rich have power that the poor don’t. That’s not the problem is it? The problem is your ridiculous feminist cant about “male privilege”. I must have seen feminists talk about male privilege thousands of times but of course there’s simply no such thing. It’s an ideological belief you have. Its the same sort of belief all hate movements have. And all their beliefs are bullshit.

    Even the rich complain that the poor are getting stuff for doing nothing (ie they claim the poor are privileged). The Christian fundies go on about how biased things are against them. The Nazis went on about what a lot of power the Jews had. The KKK used to go on about how the Pope had his tentacles reaching all over the world.

    There’s nothing special about your lot. All those group say that they are being victimised no matter how absurd it is. They all said they spoke for a MAJORITY demographic like you do, and attacked a MINORITY group like you do.

    Problem is your audience lives in the real world where the general response from men is “what fucking privilege?”

  3. says

    We may be a slim minority in population balance, but I’ll be damned if I have to refer to some sort of holy doctrine (which would be… what exactly?) to show that there is an imbalance in power between men and women that men benefit from. Directly, as relates to salary, and indirectly, as relates to whether women can get justice when they are raped.

    Meanwhile, whose bible do you thump?

  4. DavidByron says

    One of the things I’ve noticed about your narrative is how anti-male it is. You have basically assumed that everything Rebecca Watson says is 100% true, which I think is fine. But then you assume that everything the man said is 100% false. Why is that? I see that as resulting from your extremist bias against men. You see the woman as honest and good, while the man is depraved and a liar.

    What else would I expect from someone who says “all men are potential rapists”.

    Now let’s see what changes if we extend the benefit of the doubt to BOTH sides instead of slanting things to one gender over the other.

    First of all we note EG seems to be positive in his regard of Rebecca Watson. That means that if he did hear her saying she didn’t like being hit on, which seems likely, he would not be hitting on her. Period. When he says that he doesn’t want sex (“don’t take this the wrong way”) that is what he means. When he says he is asking to talk that is exactly what he means.

    But oh god no we can’t possibly say that because that would mean saying the guy was a normal decent person instead of a rapist predator asshole monster.

    So you instead choose to believe a bunch of self-contradictory negative stereotypes. You say the man was a stranger, but you also say he was in the bar talking to Watson for several hours and was a fellow conferencee. You say he is making a “hard sell” and ignoring Watson’s feelings which is contradicted by what Watson herself report him saying. What the fuck kind of hard sell goes like this?

    Hey, you want to buy my product?
    No.
    OK then!

    And it makes no sense to say that he was ignoring her plainly stated wishes – as for example Stephanie insisted in her challenge. If EG knew Watson was going to refuse he wouldn’t have asked her. Period. If he knew it was pointless he wouldn’t do it. people generally don’t do utterly pointless things that just get them humiliated.

    But then like George Bush and his view of terrorists (“they hate us for our freedoms”) men are like terorrists in your mind are they not? Men are irrational and violent and just do things for no reason beyond hurting women, right? or “exerting their white male privilege” or some voodoo crap.

    Reality check here. Most of the men at this conference would have been pretty geeky and socially quiet. At these sort of conferences actually yes people do talk together into the small hours over coffee. Yeah that happens. And another thing that happens in the real world is that people say they are going to go to bed but then change their mind. You know why? Because regular people change their fucking minds sometimes. Yes, that happens. “OK I’m tired. No, lets go get coffee” That’s what a friend says to another friend OK? It’s not being a sexual predator. YOU put all the slime into this thing. It comes from YOUR head.

    Your ENTIRE narrative is nothing but warmed up anti-male hatred. It falls to pieces entirely if we simply assume that men are decent people and honest the same as women. Instead of “potential rapists” and scumbags who only want sex and lie all the time.

    In short your narrative says far more about you than it does about EG.

  5. DavidByron says

    There’s about 50 other problems with what you wrote btw if you want it picked apart. It really was a miserable piece of work.

  6. says

    But then you assume that everything the man said is 100% false.

    The only assumption I have ever made about what Elevator Guy said is that “coffee” didn’t mean “coffee”, because context is everything. This is not because he is a guy, but because what he said and in the context he said it is so laden with subtext that one cannot interpret it differently.

    But do it yourself for fun. Ask people to your hotel room for coffee at 4 am in an elevator and see how many of them assume you mean sex.

    You see the woman as honest and good, while the man is depraved and a liar.

    What else would I expect from someone who says “all men are potential rapists”.

    I said all PEOPLE are potential rapists. Men are a subset of “people”, so your statement is correct. And contrary to what you evidently believe, women are people too, so they’re included in that superset as well.

    I see the person telling an anecdote as having no reason to lie about it, given the events and the measured response. There is absolutely zero reason to assume someone is lying when they say “I went to the store yesterday and picked up a quart of milk”, and a picture of the quart of orange juice in their fridge is not evidence that there is no milk there, or that the person telling the anecdote never went to the store at all. Nor do I have to launch a full-scale investigation of every person when they say they’ve done a thing that is mundane and not at all extraordinary.

    Getting hit on is not extraordinary. Getting hit on by someone who doesn’t understand context is certainly not extraordinary. Having people descend on you like vultures trying to find the fatal flaw in a regular plain old anecdote about how someone’s actions creeped someone else out, now that’s an overkill level of skeptical reaction and I think deep down you know it.

    There are hundreds of problems with your posts, but I frankly don’t have enough time or patience in a day to deal with them all. How about you pick one thing at a time, and we hash it out until we’re at some sort of agreement, then we move on to the next thing that you want to holler about? Can you handle that? Can you restrict your frothing at the mouth long enough to have a calm, measured, reasonable discussion with someone who does not have the same amount of time to sit at a computer screen and rage, rage at the text he finds at it?

  7. DavidByron says

    You have never thought about this have you? You’ve never had to try and debate your ideology because you live in your feminist ghetto. Call yourself a skeptic? You need desperately to be taught how to think. I guess it is not all your fault. If you only talk to people you agree with your brains turn to shit. You can’t get outside that bubble. You seem to have no ability to empathise with others because you’ve never bothered to listen to other peoples’ stories.

    So…. you try to scratch your head and come up with ANYTHING to say that sounds like men are better off. What do you come up with? Just two things. Both utterly easy to refute.

    (1) wages
    (2) rape

    I could refute either in a variety of ways. Why? Well in part because I’ve done this before and you obviously have not. I could give you a list of the top five things feminists grasp for when I challenge then to come up with ANYTHING where women are discriminated against in our society (USA basically but Canada is similar).

    (1a) the feminist wage gap is a diction – women earn as much as men or more for the same work
    (1b) differences in wages represent the narrower choices open to men as compared to women, many of whom can *choose* to not work at all. More choice = more power
    (1c) while men earn the money it is women who spend it. who has more power the worker or the one who spends?

    Any of those three destroys your point. Have you heard any of those arguments before? Maybe you heard of one. Enough to know your argument was going to go down.

    (2a) men are the majority victims of violence (there’s no reason to focus on rape except to give a false impression)
    (2b) the definition of rape is gendered so that a woman who forces a man to have sex doesn’t always count
    (2c) counting men in jails and prisons men are probably raped more often in the USA than women are

    I don’t know the figures for Canada. I certainly hope that they are not as bad because the USA is a sort of prison country. The entire country is set up to lock up as many men as possible. Millions of them.

    By the way? if you are interested I can tell you that you came up with the number one answer and the number four answer out of the top four. The ones you missed are domestic violence (#2) and for some bizarre reason women’s right to vote (#3). I don’t know why but for some reason when you ask feminists to name anything where women face discrimination today they say the right to vote. Well, OK I do know why. Because they have NOTHING ELSE to say.

    Of course those are mostly American feminists and it’s dated a lot to the 1990s when domestic violence was really being pushed so that’s why they chose that a lot. The right to vote thing is probably American-specific as an answer too.

    Anyway you did crap but no worse than most.

    So how would you proceed if you were actually trying to think about what gender was worse off? Well if you look for neutral definitions of quality of life you can see they usually go by education levels and literacy. Women do better than men in both categories of course. Another key quality of life indicator is health and life expectancy. Women again beat men by quite a lot here. Finally they do look at money but as men and women usually live together it’s not really possible to compare like with like between men and women unless you eg. only look at single men and women. These days in that group women are usually earning more than men (because they get better educations than men).

    You actually did a better job of listing advantages women have over men when you tried it once – at least you got one item – namely how much worse men have it in family law (although in fact the entire justice system is sexist against men – it’s not just family law – the gender ratio behind bars exceeds the race ratio easily). Oh of course you nearly discovered how biased the justice department is when you got accused of rape that time. Fortunately for you you only found out how biased people in general are to believe the woman and never the man.

  8. DavidByron says

    Jason? you’re the one that can’t handle this OK? You’re the amateur here. I don’t want to “beat you” simply because you’re naive and inexperienced and can’t articulate what you want to say because you have never really tried to debate or think critically about your ideological beliefs.

    I want the best stuff you can possibly come up with. Because only that has a chance of making me have to think for more than one half a second.

    So I can handle anything you throw at me but you’re no doubt wise to know your own limits here and I agree to cut it down. These things have a way of exploding. Having said that there’s value in my giving some broad strokes commentary but already did some of that so you can get at least some feel of what you’re up against here.

    So pick your best shot. What do you think your very best shot is?

  9. Philip Legge says

    DB, you do like to be a thread hog. Assuming that other people are able to post now that the server problems seem to be resolved, would it really kill you to take a less adversarial attitude to responding four or five times as often for every one of anyone else’s posts?

    One of the things I’ve noticed about your narrative is how anti-male it is.

    This is going to be good. *popcorn*

    You have basically assumed that everything Rebecca Watson says is 100% true, which I think is fine.

    That’s a big concession considering how few people were able to deal with that concept over at the “Elevatorgate” challenge on Steph’s blog.

    But then you assume that everything the man said is 100% false. Why is that?

    If you are prepared to grant that Rebecca quoted the guy’s “elevator pitch” more or less accurately, then the main issue is that it’s a mixed message containing indirect speech. From the transcript of her vlog:

    “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I find you very interesting, and I would like to talk more; would you like to come to my hotel room for coffee?”

    Here are some examples of indirect speech highlighted by Steven Pinker:

    Well, I said I’d talk about two windows on human nature: the cognitive machinery with which we conceptualize the world, and now, I’m going to say a few words about the relationship types that govern human social interaction, again, as reflected in language. I’ll start out with a puzzle: the puzzle of indirect speech acts. I’m sure most of you have seen the movie “Fargo.” you might remember the scene in which the kidnapper is pulled over by a police officer, is asked to show his driver’s license, and holds his wallet out with a 50 dollar bill extending at a slight angle out of the wallet. And he says, “I was just thinking that, maybe, we could take care of it here in Fargo,” which everyone, including the audience, interprets as a veiled bribe. This kind of indirect speech is rampant in language. For example, in polite requests, if someone says, “If you could pass the guacamole, that would be awesome,” we know exactly what he means even though that that’s a rather bizarre concept being expressed. “Would you like to come up and see my etchings?” I think most people understand the intent behind that. And likewise, if someone says, “Nice store you’ve got there, it would be a real shame if something happened to it,” we understand that as a veiled threat rather than a musing of hypothetical possibilities. So the puzzle is why are bribes, polite requests, solicitations and threats so often veiled when no one is fooled? Both parties know exactly what the speaker means, and the speaker knows the listener knows that the speaker knows that the listener knows, et cetera.

    Sorry for the longish quote. The point is, only the most obtuse and socially unaware person would have lacked the insight to notice that such a query as Elevator Guy’s would have involved subtext. And Rebecca Watson commented later, “Allow me to help clear something up: there was nothing — not a single thing — that led me to believe that the man in the elevator was “awkward.” He was bold, direct, and confident.” In other words, the “there is no subtext” argument is undermined from the start – Elevator Guy understood the potential impact the words would have, and can have anticipated Rebecca would read the subtext.

  10. Kiwi Sauce says

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for doing these blog posts, and linking back to earlier ones.

    I don’t know if someone else has pointed this out already with the “elevator pitch” metaphor. I don’t think it is a good analogy because, in the pitch proper, the power lies with the person who is the receiver of the pitch. The reason the pitch is being done in that environment is so that the powerless can speak to the powerful. In the EG incident, the power was with the man, so the context is extremely dissimilar: the one already with power is the one controlling the situation.

  11. DavidByron says

    Philip,
    “The point is, only the most obtuse and socially unaware person would have lacked the insight to notice that such a query as Elevator Guy’s would have involved subtext.”

    You just described half the men at a skeptics conference didn’t you? But seriously many men would word it like that and mean nothing but conversation. And yes some of them might say it confidently. I would be one (if I liked coffee). Actually I’d probably say it that when even though I don’t like coffee because it sounds funnier.

    My point remains. Given the choice of two interpretations, one of which believes both the man and the woman, and has both behaving decently, and another which has the woman telling the truth and the man being a lying asshole rapist predator….

    ….well of course all the feminists pick the man to be the very worst. Not only that, but they say with absolute dogmatic certainty that no other interpretation is even possible. This is not skepticism. This is clear and obvious sexism and nothing else.

  12. DavidByron says

    Kiwi,
    “I don’t think it is a good analogy because, in the pitch proper, the power lies with the person who is the receiver of the pitch.”

    Well of course women have the power over men in those situations so that part is a fit, but more broadly the analogy does bring attention to the powerlessness of the man so it’s a bad idea to use that analogy for the purposes of a feminist. I agree there. Just one of fifty odd problems with that essay which was riddled with them.

  13. Philip Legge says

    My point remains. Given the choice of two interpretations, one of which believes both the man and the woman, and has both behaving decently, and another which has the woman telling the truth and the man being a lying asshole rapist predator….
    ….well of course all the feminists pick the man to be the very worst. Not only that, but they say with absolute dogmatic certainty that no other interpretation is even possible. This is not skepticism. This is clear and obvious sexism and nothing else.

    [note emphasis; I will return to those four words, separately]

    This is not true: many people have articulated a nuanced position that Rebecca’s uncomfortable reaction stemmed from Elevator Guy employing the same sorts of techniques that are viewed as predatory, whether the guy himself is or isn’t, and that her commentary on this was a proportionate and mild response. If the Elevator Guy wasn’t aware of such coercive techniques then his ignorance doesn’t make the situation better – it is still not “zero bad”. Taking your strawmen view of absolute feminist dogmatic interpretation:

    The claim that EG is “lying”: as my previous comment alluded to, EG’s language sends out more than one mixed-message. It is impossible to draw a conclusion that he is lying, though he is probably being indirect.

    The claim that EG is an “asshole”: this with more justice, would be a view if the other aspects of context are correct, and that he made a proposition despite having repeatedly heard Rebecca’s contrary opinions.

    The claim that EG is a “rapist”: again, this is a totally un-nuanced supposition on your part and the entire reason why rape enters into this discussion stems from legitimate concerns of personal safety in situations like these.

    The claim that EG is a “predator”: if there was no subtext intended by EG’s proposition, why did he wait until Rebecca was cornered in an elevator? Why did he wait to press his advantage at a time which would maximise both the power differential and the coercive pressure? Again, people have generally not claimed that EG must be a predator, but instead that by happenstance he adopted one of a number of known predatorial strategies.

    I would take the reported proposition of “[d]on’t take this the wrong way, but I find you very interesting, and I would like to talk more; would you like to come to my hotel room for coffee?” to involve about four component phrases, and I would not be hard pressed to find at least three possible readings of each of those phrases. Unless EG himself were to come forward and tell his story, it’s your dogmatic assertion that there’s only one possible interpretation that “feminists” are reading into it.

  14. says

    Jason,

    Best of your posts so far. Of course, it has to bring out the MRA bastards.

    Byron, first off, as someone who has been sexually exploited by a female, I sincerely wanna say fuck you, you do not represent me or my experiences in any way.

    Like most MRAs, you’re using “facts” that have no back up, that are supposed to be “common knowledge”. You know, like the Tea Party and their understanding of tax distribution and global warming.

    Here’s some DATA that disputes your claims.

    1) Feminist Wage Gap:
    Here’s stats from the BLS:
    http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2011/ted_20110216.htm

    2) Narrower choices only exist in jobs that specifically forbid men. As you can see by the stats above, women doing what is considered to be “men’s work” have a lower wage gap. Men are not forbidden from becoming nurses, secretaries or teachers… they are encouraged to become doctors, bankers and professors instead. And even when they do work in “women’s industries”, they still GET PAID MORE.

    3) Women spend it: Not a fact, just a sexist stereotype. If this was true, every single ad on television would be aimed at women. Show me some data on female spending habits.

    Also, on the “prisoners get raped more”, yes, it’s a terrible problem, and you diminish it by comparing it to people being raped in a society that is supposed to be free and unmarginalized. Here’s the facts:
    http://www.hrw.org/news/2007/12/15/us-federal-statistics-show-widespread-prison-rape

    That’s about 70,000 reported last year.

    According the US Department of Justice, the were over 168,000 rapes reported by women last year.
    http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv10.pdf

    Stop insulting victims on both sides by using them as part of your crusade to justify your inability to deal with cultural change.

  15. Nepenthe says

    of course women have the power over men in those situations so that part is a fit

    Indeed. To paraphrase Margaret Atwood, men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.

    Being laughed at is a terrible thing. I really feel for EG, taking that risk.

  16. B-Lar says

    Big, exciting, posts from David Byron there, whom I note falls into the apologists camp. Its great to see a fellow human who uses such persitance in maintaining an unpopular perspective.

    Bravo!

    Fascinatingly, the implication that he is justifying predatory behaviour doesnt seem to have gotten past his mental filters. I wonder if there might be a comment forthcoming about that…

  17. says

    Ignoring DB for a (very long) moment…

    I think there are some important points raised here, and I think some ideas might be missing.
    When talking about predatory behaviour, rape prevention and so on, people talk to women.
    To word it badly, women get some exclusive information men on the large don’t get.
    So, while women know what behaviour to look out for, men don’t know what behaviour to avoid.
    And I’m talking about the “good guys” here. Creepers gonna creep.

    When hearing about the whole thing, guys often identify emempathisize with EG.
    After all that’s the experience they’re familiar with.
    When told to think how they would feel in her place, they actually take it literally: How would I, a guy, feel if a woman like RW came up to me like that?
    Putting themselves in RW’s place as RW is hard, they’re lacking a lifetime’s worth of being a woman.
    Trouble starts when they assume that their experience is somewhat a more real asessment of a situation than a woman’s.
    I had this problem in a discussion with my husband. He was talking about some guy from work, when he mentioned that his female colleagues find the guy creepy, but that he can’t say anything against him, he’s always been friendly and polite. I really had to laugh at the sheer naivity that a guy would not treat a 100lbs single young woman differently than a tall, cis gendered, middle-aged, married heterosexual guy and that therefore one impression of the guy was more accurate than another one, and since he knew that he himself was not wrong, it had to be his colleagues.

  18. DavidByron says

    Philip,
    “Again, people have generally not claimed that EG must be a predator, but instead that by happenstance he adopted one of a number of known predatorial strategies.”

    Would you lot prefer it if instead of saying you are sexist bigots, I merely said that you employ a number of known sexist bigot strategies?

  19. DavidByron says

    Nepenthe says all men are rapists. Jason has said he will ban such comments but he will not.

    “Indeed. To paraphrase Margaret Atwood, men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”

    Women in general don’t. as ever the feminist tries to pass herself off as if she represented all women. But some some women who are sexist might, just as some white people are afraid black people are going to attack them, or let’s say the rich might fear the poor.

    Such fears are irrational and caused by their prejudices. The reality is that in all these cases the class doing the fearing is the safer class.

    This is in general the case btw. Powerful people complain more than the powerless because complaining is only functional if you have power. if you have no power nobody will listen to your concerns except to — as Atwood says — laugh at you. So you don’t complain.

    That is why the most powerful demographic complains the most — you rich white women. And it is rich white women who founded feminism. The most powerful demographic in world history bitching for no reason than their complaints were always pandered to because of their power. They came to believe that complaining about something was equivalent to evidence that you had something to complain about – whereas the opposite is true.

    A rich man in a 5 star hotel and a homeless bum sleeping under a busy bridge.

    Who complains when they don’t get a good nights sleep?

    And that is feminism.

  20. DavidByron says

    “Being laughed at is a terrible thing. I really feel for EG, taking that risk.”

    You should probably read the recent thread set up by Greta on that topic then. You lack the ability to have compassion for your fellow human beings and for that I pity you. Try reading some of their (truncated) stories there and perhaps you’ll regain some humanity.

    Thanks for demonstrating the face of feminism.

  21. DavidByron says

    B-Lar,
    “Fascinatingly, the implication that he is justifying predatory behaviour doesnt seem to have gotten past his mental filters. I wonder if there might be a comment forthcoming about that…”

    You employ a number of known sexist bigot strategies.

    But I don’t think I need to note that every time one of you does it. Still my hypothesis is that this behaviour is normative across the feminist movement so I guess it is like counting black crows.

  22. B-Lar says

    Interesting that sexist bigot strategies might be used to counter the opinions of a sexist bigot!

    I also like that you point out that there are “so many holes” and could point to “every time one of you does it” but that you decline to do so.

    Earlier today I copied and pasted all of these comments and amused myself by highlighting each time that you came out with a “gem”. There was a lot of highlight. I was thinking about doing a critique but;

    a) you dont seem to stop posting them so I wouldnt be able to keep up and

    b) you arent interested in becoming a better person through dialogue (I can know this by your language, tone, and perpective but would be delighted to be incorrect)

  23. tawaen says

    @DavidByron

    I find it interesting that in each of your examples (“…But some some women who are sexist might, just as some white people are afraid black people are going to attack them, or let’s say the rich might fear the poor.”) you’ve traded out the positions of power for the people involved.

    A woman being afraid of a man is not like a white person being afraid of a black person. To be an accurate metaphor, it would be a black person afraid that a white person might harm them or a poor person fearing a rich person. Both of which are much more logical and hardly irrational.

    Because if a white person is assulted, they can be sure that the police will take their complaint seriously. But a black person cannot be assured of the same level of respect, and will probably end up defending why they were in that neighborhood or why they fought back. (Also, police brutality is heavily skewed towards people who are poor and not white. A black person might be afraid to even file a complaint, with good reason.)

    And a poor person knows that a rich person can do far more harm to the poor person with no repurcussions than vice versa. They could be fired if they offend the rich person. They could have the police called on them.

    It’s very interesting that you can’t keep the power differential straight in your examples. I wonder if it’s on purpose, or if it’s ignorance…

  24. B-Lar says

    Hey David,

    Are you a predator?

    Like, do you find the best way to get what you want is to put someone under pressure? Engineer situations where someone might submit to your will because they feel trapped? Do you use emotional psychology to confuse and bewilder people into agreeing with you?

    Not saying that there is anything wrong with that of course, just that it makes you a bit of a dick if you are, you know?

  25. says

    Nepenthe says all men are rapists. Jason has said he will ban such comments but he will not.

    Nepenthe said no such thing.

    I will make a corollary to my one rule. Lie about other commenters like this again, and you will be summarily banned if you refuse to recant when asked. Falsely calling for people to be banned for violating my one rule in this discussion, forces my hand to make another rule. I don’t like having my hand forced like that.

  26. says

    Tawaen @24: it is one of DavidByron’s central dogmas that men are unprivileged and women are privileged, so his role-reversals in his metaphors are entirely intentional. His view on the power dynamic between men and women is, as an article of his faith, entirely backward and will not be swayed by actual data, like that which Mitchell contributed @15.

  27. DavidByron says

    Clearly you want to ban me and are just looking for an excuse. That’s the usual thing for people like you (feminist) who want to pretend to have an integrity you lack.

    Noted: I’ve twice asked you to recognise that the sort of statement I alerted you to above, is exactly the same as “all men are rapists” as far as I am concerned. It’s the exact same piece of gender hatred. You’ve refused to acknowledge this is how I feel. Of course it is how many people see it.

    Your silly rule is entirely for your own purposes to make you look less of an asshole. I’d prefer you let your commentators display their bigotry openly.

    This latest threat by you is illogical as there’s nothing in common between (as you put it) making a bigoted statement and (as you put it) sincerely accusing someone of making such a statement.

    For that matter your commentators routinely accuse me of bigotry and you’ve never had an issue with it have you?

  28. DavidByron says

    B-Lar,
    “I also like that you point out that there are “so many holes” and could point to “every time one of you does it” but that you decline to do so. ”

    I didn’t decline.
    I offered.
    I was told not to.
    You’re a dumbass.

    But if you want to take this somewhere else I can go over them all for just you.

  29. DavidByron says

    Jason,
    “His view on the power dynamic between men and women is, as an article of his faith”

    Not only have I provided more data for my hypothesis than you have for your ideology, YOU have provided more data for my hypothesis than you have for your ideology.

    Since you seem to not get it let me explain the difference between a faith like yours and a skeptically held opinion like mine.

    (1) my opinions are my own, formulated by me alone, your opinions are someone else’s
    (2) you belong to a broad group of people who’s views you must echo or be socially attacked. I don’t
    (3) I talk to people of different opinions to check myself. You don’t.
    (4) I am not just willing to hear, but actively seek criticism of my views. You do neither
    (5) your opinions are considered “safe” or “conventional” by society and mine are not.
    (6) I am fully capable or articulating the evidence for and against my opinion. You can’t do either.

    Now I am limiting those differences to meta. ie I am not talking about the actual facts in the specific case here. Your argument is of course ad hominem anyway. Even if there was some crazy cult like movement of which I was a part, and whose admonitions I feared if I ever broke ranks — as there is for you — that would NOT be an argument against my message, just as I have never argued that you must be wrong simply because you belong to a hate group, and parrot ideas not your own.

    But having said all that, yes, the fact that you belong to a movement which is so insular and paranoid, is obviously going to impact your thinking. It is a disability that you have. People can overcome disabilities. It doesn’t prove you’re wrong. But it should be a big red flag.

    And so I tested you.

    I asked you to articulate the reasons for your faith. So far you’re not doing very well at all. So far you come across as someone who’s never really thought about what they believe, someone who has never really exposed themselves to anyone outside of the cult.

  30. says

    Noted: I’ve twice asked you to recognise that the sort of statement I alerted you to above, is exactly the same as “all men are rapists” as far as I am concerned. It’s the exact same piece of gender hatred. You’ve refused to acknowledge this is how I feel. Of course it is how many people see it.

    (Emphasis mine.)

    I’m not going to ban people because they, in your twisted view, violated the rule by saying something that definitely does not mean what you say it to mean. My saying “all people are potential rapists” is not “all men are rapists”, no matter how you slice it. I acknowledge your beliefs on the matter, predicated by your faith, but the fact that I do not share them means I am not beholden to interpret things the way you do.

    If and when someone says “all men are rapists”, I will ask them to recant, and if they do not, then I will ban them. If and when you accuse someone of saying that, when they assuredly do not, I will ask you to recant, and if you do not, I will ban you. That is how this works. It’s a simple rule, please follow it.

  31. DavidByron says

    tawean,
    “if a white person is assulted, they can be sure that the police will take their complaint seriously”

    Are you seriously saying you think the police take complaints from men more seriously than from women? Are you kidding me? Women’s complaints are taken seriously by law, men’s are treated like a joke.

    Let’s take domestic violence shall we? If a man goes to the police he’s often taken so unseriously that they end up arresting HIM not his victimiser. Meanwhile all a woman has to do is even hint at an accusation and the police hands are tied they MUST prosecute, often even if the woman later recants and says she lied or doesn’t want to press charges any more.

    Florida for example has a law saying that police MUST investigate if it even vaguely looks like DV against a woman. But they did nothing about Tiger Woods’ case because he’s just a man.

    Let’s take rape. You think police take much notice if a man says he’s raped?

    Let’s say a woman hits a man in public. The general public reaction (from enactments) is to say “You go girl” and assume the man is the real bad person. But if a man hits a woman oh my god that is NEVER excused. Men have been arrested for merely fending off attacks by their abuser wives.

    In short you have no idea what you are talking about.

  32. DavidByron says

    Jason,
    “I’m not going to ban people because they, in your twisted view”

    But apparently you will ban people who in YOUR twisted view say something offensive? You seem to think that because its necessarily subjective that you can discount my view but say your view is not subjective?

    I think your threats to ban people for either reason is childish and I’ll continue to point out episodes of offensive sexist crap on your board when it happens. However I don’t mind changing one word or two to satisfy your childish threats.

    I’ll just say that the comment was basically the same as “all men are rapists” or a variant on “all men are rapists”.

    Incidentally would you be equally OK with someone saying,

    “all jews are potentially tight fisted bay eaters”

    “all women are potentially good for nothing but fucking and making babies”

    “all black people are potentially lazy and smelly”

    Basically what you are saying is that adding “potentially” to an obvious slur against a minority group makes it OK with you?

  33. Quietmarc says

    I think it’s telling that David Byron responded to everyone except for mitchel @15 where he did all the work of posting sources and references. Maybe facts are too difficult to refute?

  34. B-Lar says

    “I didn’t decline.”

    Yes you did! You failed to provide examples of a claim! The word “declined” has a variety of uses.

    “I offered.”

    You postured

    “I was told not to.”

    Citation needed.

    “You’re a dumbass.”

    Not just A dumbass, David, THE dumbass. Your ability to burn me is nothing short of legendary.

    “But if you want to take this somewhere else I can go over them all for just you.”

    Is there something wrong with using the comment thread of a post to dissect and debate the merits of that post? Why not do it here? I really do come back to this page each time with the hope that you will have grown the ability to actually have a dialogue.

    Why do you dissapoint me?

    Why does your perspective need you to use hyperbole and over agresssive language to get the message across? Is it because you have a rhetorical and agressive perspective?

    You failed to answer the question as to whether you see yourself as a predator, or see predatory aspects in your own behaviour. Can you answer this question? Can you answer another? Do you think that predatory behaviour should be encouraged as an approriate strategy for fulfilling your sexual needs?

    Do you need examples of predatory behaviour not already provided in order to answer?

    I am going home for the weekend, but when I get back, I hope to see something that demonstrates you are more than just a tiny minded self righteous tragedy with thumbs.

  35. says

    But apparently you will ban people who in YOUR twisted view say something offensive?

    Yes. Such is the privilege of being the blog owner. I set the rule, and it is not open to outside interpretation. The rule is fair and just in that I will ask people to recant. If they feel I’ve misinterpreted them, they can show that that’s the case, and they won’t be banned. If they refuse to recant, if they say “yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying”, then they’re banned.

    You don’t get to be the jury, David. You’re already running this comment thread, you don’t also get to run my blog.

  36. says

    Basically what you are saying is that adding “potentially” to an obvious slur against a minority group makes it OK with you?

    No. I’m saying that using a prophylactic “potentially” makes the statement factual, if controversial, because an inverse of “all black people are potentially smelly and lazy” is “all white people are potentially smelly and lazy” and is equally true. The part that makes it a slur is the gendered part, assuming that the person doesn’t recognize that it is equally true of the other part unless some fact of genetics makes it only true of one set of people. For instance, “all men potentially have vaginas” is incorrect because there’s another word for a man (who has a penis) with a vagina as well. If you say “all people potentially have vaginas”, this is true, up until you start identifying other characteristics of the “people”.

    You are fundamentally incapable of comprehending simple English. No wonder you’re so damned upset about everything that everyone’s saying on this topic — you can’t understand any of it and are forced to fill in the blanks using your faith. You’re viewing the world through Anti-Feminist Glasses. Only one of the two of us is thinking clearly and rationally about this stuff. Each of us thinks it’s himself. One of us owns this blog, though, so the other only gets to pretend he’s the rational one until the blog owner gets sick of giving that other so much leeway.

  37. says

    Men have been arrested for merely fending off attacks by their abuser wives.

    As usual, you’re missing the forest for the trees. The problem is not that male victims of spousal abuse are arrested for fending off attacks, the problem is that men are not reporting spousal abuse because society has enculturated them with the false belief that men are supposed to be physically dominant and they will feel emasculated (made to feel less like a man — I define it since you have so many problems with language, it seems) if they report it. This same societal pressure does mean that when the guy fends off an attack, say by hitting back, the woman has successfully baited her husband into doing something that she can have him arrested for.

    I contend this rarely ever happens, though. And in cases where it does, for instance, I know a guy who was attacked by his girlfriend with a knife — the police not only took him seriously, they pressed charges themselves. She is in jail now.

    There is a gender disparity in support structure where there are no battered men’s shelters, also caused by society’s enculturation that men are supposed to be the dominant ones. In my fight for egalitarianism, I want this nonsense to end. Even if women abuse men at a much, MUCH lower rate, there should be adequate support structures for those men that do feel the need to leave their homes and go into hiding lest their psychotic ex tries to hunt them down and kill them. The fact that this happens far more often (by orders of magnitude) to women does mean that more shelters exist for women to meet with the demand, but the fact that there are so few battered men’s shelters is abhorrent.

    My feminism stems from egalitarianism. To be quite frank, though, I would address the statistically larger problems before I would address the statistically smaller problems until every problem is dealt with, unless I can end multiple problems in one fell swoop. The first place I’d change society is in finding ways to end the enculturation of gender. Once people are not ridiculed for being outside the “norm” for their sex, many of these problems will be easier to tackle, or will even evaporate of their own accords.

  38. tawaen says

    @ DavidByron

    I was speaking more generally about the caution or fear a minority feels around people of realitive power over them. With people of color, that fear is the very justified fear of racial discrimination or violence from white people, such as what played out in the 1960s during the civil rights movement. There’s along history there of oppression. Even if things are better now, the memory doesn’t fade that easily.

    With poor people, it’s the fear of economic retribution from someone with more resources.

    Not all fears are the same for every power differential, so saying that women fear men hitting them in public is silly. That wasn’t the point of the metaphor, if you understand how those work. I assume you do, since I quoted your own metaphor trying to equate the fear of rape in women with the fear of racial violence in white people.

    And the corresponding anxiety that a woman may have around men would be of sexual harrassment or sexual violence, not necessarily physical abuse. Considering that every single woman I know has been sexually harrassed, and none of them have felt that the police would do anything if they complained, then I would say there is a problem. Would men be taken more seriously than women are now if they reported all the women shouting sexually explicit messages out of cars at them? Or if they reported women going around exposing themselves to teenagers on the subway? I don’t know, because I’ve never met a man with that problem.

    Is it a bad thing that physical abuse against women is occasionally taken seriously, but not abuse against men? Yes. But that would be less of a problem if more men and women challenged gender norms and became more aware of how sexism influences society. Again, the patriarchy hurts men, too. It teaches that men are strong, never cry and can’t be hurt by women, which are automatically classified as puny and weak in comparison. Men can be hurt by women, but by and large, men are usually the ones who hurt women and other men. Trying to deflect the problem onto women having privelege in this one area solves nothing.

    Also, it’s relatively new that women’s complaints of physical abuse are taken seriously. Before the second wave of feminism working to raise awareness of the problem, the only thing that was taken seriously by police was if they were beaten by a stranger. Family or spousal abuse was considered to be a private affair, unless the woman’s life was in danger. In less developed countries, that’s still the norm.

    If men want abuse against men to be taken more seriously, maybe they sould try to organize awareness raising campaigns trgeted at law enforcement and other officials that silence them. I would support that fully. However as a woman, obviously I can’t speak from experience on the issue so I’m only an ally, not an orgainizer.

  39. says

    tawaen@39: it is also an article of DavidByron’s faith that there has not been multiple waves of feminism, that all feminists are misandrist under all circumstances. Suggesting a “second wave” or “third wave” to him will meet with blank stares at best.

  40. Nepenthe says

    David’s spectacularly poor grasp on language is obvious in his twisting of my words. Even if the Atwood anecdote were saying that all X are Y, the correct implication is: “All men are murderers. All women are gigglers.” Rape never entered into it.

    I suppose he just saw my female ‘nym and was incapable of actually reading what I said, so he had to substitute his own preconceived notion.

  41. DavidByron says

    “I think it’s telling that David Byron responded to everyone except for mitchel”

    So I am attacked for replying more and I am also attacked for replying less. It’s fairness feminist style!

    You want to pick one?

    Jason,
    “it is also an article of DavidByron’s faith that there has not been multiple waves of feminism”

    Jason try to articulate your OWN beliefs better before you assume to tell others what they believe. Please quit lying about me. You don’t have a clue what I believe.

  42. DavidByron says

    Jason,
    “all black people are potentially smelly and lazy”

    Let me get this right.
    You do not think that statement is racist?

  43. DavidByron says

    Jason,
    “One of us owns this blog, though, so the other only gets to pretend he’s the rational one until the blog owner gets sick of giving that other so much leeway.”

    Ah yes the threat of force. A great argument used by folks like you since forever. Hate group members, that is.

    LOL, what were you thinking when you posted that?

  44. DavidByron says

    Jason,
    “I contend this rarely ever happens”
    (Domestic violence against men)

    Duh.
    You feminists have tried to hide the truth about the research on rape and domestic violence for decades. That’s what bigots do. That’s why your movement lobbied in the US(*) for explicitly discriminatory laws that made it illegal for DV shelters to help male victims.

    Of course you pretend it “rarely” happens. It would be shocking if you treated men equally.

    (*) I know less about the Canadian situation but I have heard they are/were even worse.

  45. DavidByron says

    Jason I am SHOCKED to hear you say you are a sex segregationist as all other feminists are.

    “The fact that this happens far more often (by orders of magnitude) to women does mean that more shelters exist for women to meet with the demand, but the fact that there are so few battered men’s shelters is abhorrent.”

    Men and women MUST BE SEGREGATED!! Like white people can’t be expected to share the same water fountain as black people. Separate but unequal is your cry (men, you say, should get far less). Why? Well it’s because you are SUCH an egalitarian.

    If only those egalitarians who opposed the Civil Rights movement had had you explain to folks why segregation is a really cool idea and isn’t the slightest bit discriminatory.

    Actually … could you go over again for my benefit why segregation is the real way to make people equal? Honestly to me it sounds like a bigoted way to justify giving no services to the hated minority group.

    Please tell me why black people should have their own water fountains Jason.

  46. DavidByron says

    Oh, oh oh!
    I bet I know why men and women must be SEGREGATED.

    It’s because all men are rapists isn’t it Jason? isn’t that going to be what you say?

  47. says

    http://www.dvrc-or.org/domestic/violence/resources/C61/

    I contend women baiting men into violence to get them arrested rarely ever happens. I contend also that domestic violence against women far outstrips domestic violence against men (my hyperbole was “by orders of magnitude” — when really, it’s only about two to three times as much). I contend also that men should have battered spouse shelters in proportion to the demand. What part of this is bigoted against men?

    Now show me the statistics about domestic violence being more commonly done to males than to females, or concede the point. That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

    Why can’t you at least point to actual studies that show the things you claim? You’d think if you had the statistics on your side, you’d be pounding on them, instead of repeatedly calling us names.

  48. says

    Jason I am SHOCKED to hear you say you are a sex segregationist as all other feminists are.

    I said no such thing. Point to a quote, recant, or be banned. I’ve had enough of these slurs.

  49. says

    I’ll even give you some more quotes that you can attempt to mine to suggest that I’m advocating segregationism.

    Battered spouse shelters have a disadvantage in that they have to take anyone at their initial word in letting people into the building. Existing men’s and women’s shelters do not account for the possibility of homosexual relationships, and thus can have significant disadvantages for the people trying to make use of them — disadvantages including that someone’s partner might claim to be a battered spouse to gain access to the inner sanctum and attack their ex again.

    But sure, make it one single “battered spouses” shelter. If you can do it while also addressing the concerns that people might enter the shelter specifically to find and attack the people who escaped them.

  50. Pteryxx says

    I saved this statement from onion girl, posted in a discussion back in April:

    (Disclaimer: I am going to write from a US perspective because all of my professional experience is based in the US.)

    >I’m fighting against laws that work to hide the amount of domestic violence that men suffer.
    Laws that define domestic violence, or even rape, as specifically something a man does to a woman.

    Yeah, those suck ass. And state by state we’re slowly changing those laws. Despite the fact that male victims of domestic violence can, in some states, have difficulty accessing services and getting justice, 50%-70% of domestic violence victims are women (Sources: CDC, DOJ, NIJ)

    And let’s look at some stats here:

    *From 1993 to 2007 female homicides dropped 43%, yet the rate of females killed by intimate partners was 70%, approximately the SAME rate as it was in 1993. (Source: BJS)
    *In 2008 females age 12 or older were five times more likely than males age 12 or older to be victims of intimate partner violence. (Source: BJS)

    *One in five rape or sexual assaults against females (20%) was committed by an intimate partner–on the positive side, rape against women dropped by 70% from 1993-2008, and rape against men to 36% (.5 in 1000 to .3 in 1000) (Source: BJS)

    So what we get from this is that rape and violence against men (over age 12–we’re not taking into account child abuse) occurs, but still at a drastically lower amount than against women–which is not to say that under-reporting will probably shoot these percentage points up about one or two notches.

    In the past decade that I’ve been working with domestic violence, 99% of the case of male domestic violence victims that I have worked with have been ‘retaliation victims’–that is, men who attacked their partners, generally by hitting with fists or objects, and then were injured when the partners fought back, usually by scratching or biting. When the police arrive, the bruises on the women are not visible, but the scratches on the men are–and the women are charged.

    Those actual male victims of domestic violence generally had totally different injuries: they’d been struck with heavy objects, stabbed with pens or other sharp instruments, had food tampered with, or been injured in the groin–exactly what you expect from a woman attempting to injure a man, using weapons, poison (three rat poison cases), or attacking the genitals.
    I once ran a batterer intervention group where one guy started talking about how he got his wife put in jail, and the entire rest of the session was the rest of the guys admitting how they’d manipulated the situation to have their partners arrested.

    Domestic violence against men DOES HAPPEN. I have seen it, I counseled men, I’ve put women abusers in jail. BUT.

    Working to eliminate patriarchy only serves to BENEFIT male victims of domestic violence. By changing the dynamics of male-female relationships to eliminate the assumption that a power imbalance must exist, eliminating the concept of women (and thus all things female) are weaker, negative, bad, by promoting communication and equal, healthy relationships–you will DECREASE the number of victims. Male or female.

    Likewise rape–defining rape as only occurring between men & women is ridiculous, and most states are changing those laws. But to eliminate rape, you MUST eliminate patriarchy, because the power imbalances in male-female relationship–the ACCEPTANCE of those imbalances–are 99% of what causes rape in the first place–regardless the gender of perpetrator or victim.

    Source for original comment: here.

  51. DavidByron says

    tawaen,
    it’s like you swallowed a bag of buzz words but have no idea what they mean. Can you help me understand what it is like to sound of on a topic that you don’t know much about? Why do people do that? I wish I knew.

    OK first up: black people fear white people you say. I have never heard that. Are you black? Where do you get this from?

    “fear of racial discrimination”

    You ever been on the end of discrimination? Sure doesn’t sound like it. You don’t fear discrimination. You EXPECT it maybe. You get angry about it. You get resigned to it. Fear it? Can you give an example of what you mean?

    “such as what played out in the 1960s during the civil rights movement”

    Yeah being beaten up is something to fear. But you were saying black people fear white people just standing there doing nothing. Not even saying anything. Meeting them in an elevator. That’s my point.

    I don’t think you “get” discrimination. I know all this is so new to you. I know it sounds funny to say that it is the powerful who fear the powerless. Specifically though – get the context here – I mean that if a member of the powerful meets up with a stranger who is of the powerless, and they meet together briefly on equal terms, and there’s no police or whatever to protect the powerful person — that is often pretty scary for the powerful person. Because in that instance they wonder if their power can really protect them.

    Sure rich guy has money and maybe bodyguards, sure the woman has centuries of prejudice on her side saying “women and children first” and “never hit a lady” but in that instance those societal protections may be lacking.

    Plus of course – which is more my point more – the powerful tell fearful stories about the powerless, to dehumanize them. To justify their own power.

    Do you get the idea?

    “With poor people, it’s the fear of economic retribution from someone with more resources.”

    You are talking about maybe something else entirely. Something far more abstract. I’m talking about the raw emotion of fear merely because you meet someone else in an elevator.

    “Considering that every single woman I know has been sexually harrassed”

    Well duh. Everyone on the planet has been, male or female. The definition is that wide on purpose. Its to give you feminists some artificial crap to bitch about.

    “none of them have felt that the police would do anything”

    Maybe because it is not actually a crime?

    Do I need to explain to you what sexual harassment is? It’s history? Sexual harassment is a form of institutional discrimination. It’s not done by an individual as such. And its a law suit not a criminal case.

    “Would men be taken more seriously than women are now if they reported all the women shouting sexually explicit messages out of cars at them? Or if they reported women going around exposing themselves to teenagers on the subway? I don’t know, because I’ve never met a man with that problem.”

    Men don’t die of breast cancer too often either. But they die of all sorts of other stuff at higher rates than women do. You are just ignorant of what men’s issues are. So you deduce “men have no problems”

    Your sexism and prejudice leads you to disinterest which leads you to ignorance which you then interpret as evidence that men have no problems.

    “Is it a bad thing that physical abuse against women is occasionally taken seriously, but not abuse against men? Yes. But that would be less of a problem if more men and women challenged gender norms and became more aware of how sexism influences society.”

    Thanks for admitting your initial comment was wrong.

    What a shame there’s no movement of people to tackle that problem huh? But you feminists are too busy screwing over men to get to that issue.

    “Again, the patriarchy hurts men, too”

    Then you’re doubly an asshole for calling it a patriarchy aren’t you? You are blaming the real victims. That’s sexist.

    “it’s relatively new that women’s complaints of physical abuse are taken seriously”

    Don’t be absurd. Things have ALWAYS been this way. “Women and children first” is not a 20th century slogan.

    “Family or spousal abuse was considered to be a private affair”

    They would go round to the guys house and beat the shit out of him if that’s what you mean by “a private affair”. Of course there’d also beat the shit out of the man if his wife was the one beating him. I don’t know if you know this but life used to be pretty damn violent, and just as today, most of that violence was against men. Women and children were protected (although it was still bad for them too but far less so).

    You’ve heard of “women and children first”, right? On the titanic first class men died because third class women were given priority. Gender trumped class on life and death issues. And you have the utter gall to suggest to me that women used to have it bad?

    “If men want abuse against men to be taken more seriously, maybe they should try to organize”

    Yes “men” should organize. Of course when they do you attack them as “MRAs” or “mansplaining”. I happen to think that ALL PEOPLE OF GOOD WILL should fight for equality. But I guess that thought is way over your head.

  52. DavidByron says

    Pteryxx thanks for pointing out (as I have done before here) that the definitions of rape and DV are sexist.

    Quoting statistics based on sexist definitions and then saying “OH gosh look, men are hardly ever the victims so screw them!” is pretty sick thing to do, and something it seems all feminists do.

    Jason getting the ban hammer out again.

    Jason. Serious question: in real life do you constantly interrupt conversations by threatening to hit people? Because that’s what you are doing here. Cut it out.

    “But sure, make it one single “battered spouses” shelter. If you can do it while also addressing the concerns that people might enter the shelter specifically to find and attack the people who escaped them.”

    Since you already mentioned the gay issue, I don’t comprehend why you seem to think that concern you mention is any sort of problem. As a result I am not sure what you are saying.

    Do you or do you not favour sex segregationism? in domestic violence shelters for example. It’s really rare for a feminist to oppose sex segregationism. It’s how they get their money (as a movement). It’s like a CIA agent being opposed to drugs.

    I understand many DV shelters have been sued over this in Canada?

  53. says

    I’m waiting, David. Quote, recant, or be banned?

    Though honestly I’ll probably just put you into moderation rather than banning you, to be released at scheduled intervals when I can address your claims with well-researched evidence-based argumentation. You know, since you’re the only one of us has roughly fifty dispensable hours a day to post anti-feminist screeds on feminist blogs. (I’ll have to ask at some point for your time management tricks!)

  54. says

    Jason getting the ban hammer out again.

    Jason. Serious question: in real life do you constantly interrupt conversations by threatening to hit people? Because that’s what you are doing here. Cut it out.

    I’m threatening to cut off your mic until someone else can have a say. I’m threatening to usher you out the front door since you barged in here uninvited. Under no circumstances would putting you in moderation be like hitting you. You’ve more than had your say, and I am, as it says on the column on the right, under no obligation to give you a platform for unanswered proselytisation.

    QUOTE, RECANT, OR BE BANNED. Last chance.

  55. DavidByron says

    Oh Pteryxx was a little dishonest. Some of that comment was written by someone else and just quoted. The reply above makes it sound like the woman had been working for men’s rights. The opposite is true. She was part of an effort to slam an MRA who wrote this:

    ===================================================

    Ignoring the attempt at sexist, emasculating language, this is actually a couple of quite good questions.

    Because the men I’m concerned aren’t the ones who are “privileged” at all. If you think all men are privileged then you’re sadly, sadly, mistaken.
    Men’s Rights would be better off named Men’s Issues, but it doesn’t have quite the same ring.

    I grew up in rural Australia, where after twenty years of drought, the suicide rate of rural adult males was almost fourteen times that of rural adult females. Yet this has been almost totally ignored by the media and government. I’m fighting to reverse this trend.
    All over the world, for every ten workplace fatalities, nine of those will be men.
    I’m fighting against laws that work to hide the amount of domestic violence that men suffer. Laws that define domestic violence, or even rape, as specifically something a man does to a woman.
    I’m upset about laws that allow rapists to force their victims to pay child support, as long as those victims were male, and raped “willingly” despite being below the age of consent.
    I’m fighting for father’s rights, against the sexism and bias in prevalent in family courts in so many countries.

    I could go on for pages, but the short answer is this:
    I’m not an anti-feminist, I think feminism has been and continues to be an important force for social change and justice. What I am against is EXACTLY your attitude: “why would someone who is in the privilaged class feel the need to advocate for the rights that he already has and has never needed to fight for?”

    The issues I listed are just a drop in the bucket of the issues that are uniquely male, but they’re largely made invisible by society. The focus is so overwhelmingly on feminism, the perception of masculinity so thoroughly negative, that speaking up results in this INCREDIBLE backlash.

    Can you tell me why, as a gender, men shouldn’t be allowed to come together and campaign for our own issues?

  56. DavidByron says

    Jason,
    “I’m threatening to cut off your mic until someone else can have a say”

    LOL, no you’re transparently not Jason.

    You said something which marked you as a sex segregationist. That is true. Most feminists are sex segregationists. Also true. When I deduced you were a sex segregationist — not exactly a huge leap of logic — you objected. Sort of.

    So I asked you to clarify your position.

    And I am waiting for you to do so.

    Could you do so?

    I repeat:
    Do you or do you not favour sex segregationism? in domestic violence shelters for example.

    Instead of more threats you could simply have said, “Actually I am opposed to sex segregation. I think DV shelters should be opened to all.”

    But you did not.

    So I am waiting for you to clarify your position…. or do your threats do that for you…?

  57. DavidByron says

    Feminists are such bigoted fucks that even male kids are banned from DV shelters (in the US) if they are over about 14 years old which as you can imagine causes problems. It’s nothing to do with allowing attackers into the shelters. The ban is sex segregation in its most brutal form. Feminists say men have an evil stench and women can’t be expected to be in the same place as men. Not even a 14 year old kid.

    So again Jason. Simple question. Do you think men and women should be allowed equal access to domestic violence shelters?

  58. DavidByron says

    Jason,
    “since you barged in here uninvited”

    You did invite critics over actually. Regretting that now? Never mind you can just lie about it, although PRO TIP, it is generally easier to ban people first and THEN lie about them.

    Should I DEMAND A RETRACTION from you? for lying about me?

  59. says

    I even gave you more quotes to mine from which provide explicit clarity on that point:

    But sure, make it one single “battered spouses” shelter. If you can do it while also addressing the concerns that people might enter the shelter specifically to find and attack the people who escaped them.

    To reiterate, if you can address all the concerns that led to domestic violence shelters being sex-segregated to begin with, if it can somehow be done more efficiently that way, then by all means, overhaul the whole damn system, especially if you can also address all the issues that the LGBTQ communities face with regard to domestic violence and the inadequacy of current resources. I do not explicitly support sex segregation, nor do I explicitly want to abolish it. I want all parties to have access to support structures in “safe zones”, whatever happens to be “safe” for them, and I welcome ideas on how best to do that.

    Since you couldn’t comprehend that, and you refuse to recant, I am doing a pretty douchey thing by moderating you despite your obvious learning disabilities.

  60. says

    Ladies and gentlemen, he’s modded. Please feel free to go back through the Gish gallops that this anti-feminist dogmatist has spouted, and rebut, knowing that he’s not about to go off on another tear.

    I will also do so as time allows, because despite everything else, despite his invective and his lies about us, there are a few points that actually matter with regard to egalitarianism. It’s very much a “but think of the men” cry on a post about the inequalities that women face, and so off topic, and I apologize if that has hobbled rational discussion.

    For right now, I have work to do, and I’m tired of parrying his ridiculous unevidenced assertions.

  61. DavidByron says

    I apologise to tawaen for biting her head off there.
    Sorry.

    Jason: I let this through because it’s the first sane thing out of his mouth. I didn’t let the thing through about me being a liar, though.

  62. Crommunist says

    @DavidByron

    I would appreciate it if you would find a new analogy, and leave the comparisons to the black civil rights struggle alone. Not only do I not wish to have one of the proudest achievements of my ancestors in modern history sullied by being associated with such an ass-backwards argument, but it makes you look like an idiot. The civil rights movement, from its very inception, was pro-feminist. To use it to cry “help help, I’m being repressed by feminists” is absurdly inappropriate.

    @Jason – you lasted about 30 comments longer than I would have before simply ignoring him, and advising my readers to do the same. His is not an ignorance that wishes to be corrected through argument – it is one that boldly crashes through your front door, stands with muddy boots on your sofa, and sneers at you for failing to be a good host.

  63. Karmakin says

    I think men are allowed to come together and campaign for “their” issues (note: male here).

    It’s just that we don’t have to take them seriously.

    Speaking for myself, there’s a very good reason why I don’t. I consider myself a feminist for very similar reasons to our good host. It’s an egalitarian thing. I as well, seek to break down gender roles and social norms. They hurt men as well as women. I also want to break down social norms and roles relating to things such as religion (see the modern atheist movement) and sexuality among others. A good example of the “other” is anti-bullying.

    I write this because on my Facebook today it’s pretty crowded as a young girl around my hometown committed suicide due to bullying. One thing that bullying of the social variety does, it it seeks to enforce said social norms. As such, it’s why I think reducing the power of non-harmful social norms is essential.

    Instead of acting like a male-focused version of feminism that seeks to tear down these social norms, those that campaign for “Men’s Rights” instead often act as anti-feminists, that is, looking to maintain and even increase enforcement of social norms.

    And that’s something that most of us simply can’t and won’t tolerate.

    I think that everybody will agree that there’s some there there in terms of the MRA movement. Not to the scale that they claim, of course, but men do get abused, and often are unable to get help, as an example. But unfortunately, what is there is lost under the mountain of BS that you and others like you heap on top of it.

    Or in short, you’re your own worst enemy.

  64. Thylacine says

    With people like DB, that’s his sole intent. Just to hobble rational discussion. By creating enough noise that nothing else can be heard. He’s been refuted easily on the many threads on this topic on other FTB sites, but he thinks if he can just take up 99% of the airwaves with “but what about Teh Menz” shyte then people must see that he’s correct in his wonderfully mature philisophy that bitchez ain’t shit.

  65. says

    I want you folks to know that he’s posted an extraordinarily conciliatory comment explaining that he would like another chance at rational discussion sans all the insults and recriminations. I’m not planning on letting him out of moderation until I’ve gone through this thread, picked all the actual pearls of wisdom from the piles of dog feces and hobo vomit he’s couched it all in, and put up a post about issues that men face, because they’re worth discussing, but they’re most certainly not on topic here.

    I am an egalitarian, as I’ve said before, and there is some amount of truth to some of what he says about ways that men are disadvantaged. I personally feel that these ways in which men are disadvantaged are wholly resultant of the patriarchal society we’ve got presently. But there’s a hell of a lot to unpack. So bear with me.

  66. Philip Legge says

    As a public service for ease of reading this thread, I present links to Greasemonkey and the Pharyngula Wiki collection of user scripts. If you are using the Firefox browser you need to install the Greasemonkey add-on (first link), which can then use various scripts. The killfile script does what it says; all comments by a single poster or individual comments can be hidden, so when an obsessed poster hogs the thread with 30 Gish-galloping comments (way more than the blog owner), hiding them all via a single click can clarify what other conversation is being had.

    KiwiSauce wrote:

    I don’t know if someone else has pointed this out already with the “elevator pitch” metaphor. I don’t think it is a good analogy because, in the pitch proper, the power lies with the person who is the receiver of the pitch. The reason the pitch is being done in that environment is so that the powerless can speak to the powerful. In the EG incident, the power was with the man, so the context is extremely dissimilar: the one already with power is the one controlling the situation.

    [my emphasis]

    Despite the apparent reversal of power dynamic, the similarity is in the fact that the hard-sell spruiker is pitching his or her case to persuade or pressure the listener to do something which is in the listener’s power (such as extend a favour to the spruiker, or otherwise “buy into” the pitch), and which the listener would have no inclination to do without the deliberately contrived opportunity to hear the spruiker. This is exactly the same in the Elevator Guy scenario: the speech, though rather shorter than a typical elevator pitch, appears reasonable on the surface but the mode and subtext of its delivery are far from reasonable (which the guy himself perceived judging by his initial rhetoric). Like the elevator pitch the elevator guy wants something which is in the listener’s power to give:

    “… I would like to talk more; would you like to come to my hotel room for coffee?”

    Notice the indirection that the expressed aim is the guy’s wish “to talk more”, but what is actually desired of the listener is “come to my hotel room for coffee” and the place and time of the utterance serve to undermine the plausibility of such a request.

    I mentioned earlier that each phrase of the “elevator pitch” could be interpreted several different ways but I don’t intend to do that unless we’re all really bored trying to find other related topics to this thread. The point is, even if the meaning was the intended one and the guy really did want to offer (presumably non-existent) coffee in his hotel room to Rebecca at 4am in order to keep talking with her, the situation would still be “zero bad” because of the coercive method of making his approach.

  67. Philip Legge says

    [meta]

    Jason, I can’t see any evidence in the 30 posts that did get through before you put him on moderation that the guy is prepared to approach the topic in good faith, let alone refrain from serving up insults and off-topic “what about teh menz?” ranting on the side. The apology at 63 is too little, too late (and I gather from your comment there it didn’t prevent him offering a fresh insult alongside the apology). There have been some things worth responding to in some individual posts, but they are usually surrounded by worthless dross. His supposed change of heart and attempt at conciliation is the expected bait-and-switch. He’s already made his points at considerable length: what more does he need to say on this subject that he hasn’t already said?

  68. tawaen says

    Wow, not to hit a guy when he’s down, but DavidByron went so far past wrong with his response to my post that I’m not sure how to even feel about the apology.

    I assure you, DavidByron, I don’t deserve an apology because you managed to miss every point I made.

    I wonder if DB sneaks up behind soldiers that have come back from combat operations and pops balloons. And then calls them bigots for reacting negatively, because obviously he wasn’t really trying to hurt them because he’s clearly not an enemy… Are they saying that they think he’s a terrorist? They’re just oversensitive after being shot at, and shouldn’t they know that he’s such a nice guy that he’s only trying to help them get over their fear.

    Such irrational people, everyone who’s been conditioned by their environment to be wary of warning signs. Geez, just like those women who don’t like to be cornered at night, or those people of color who don’t like the cops stopping them to ask for their IDs… Straight white guys have it so hard when not everyone trusts them implicitly. And don’t you know that this one time on a boat men were told to put women and children first, so that makes everything OK?

  69. Michael Fisher says

    Hi all

    I’m trying to get up to speed on current feminist thought, but the language used is outside my experience ~ a bit of a barrier
    Where can I find a concise on-line resource that defines “privilege”, “silencing” & the like?
    Who coined those two terms & did they originate inside the feminist movement?

    Thank you

  70. says

    Jason,

    I think a men’s issues posts would be good. Lots of the feminists I know are actually really encouraging of that, and one of the reasons we have guys like DB here is because there’s only really non-progressive places for them to do so, because they’re only being started by men with no idea of how privilege works sucking in guys with a lot of unconscious privilege and messing their heads around. Any place where our “safe spaces” are not also “hate spaces” would be a very progressive thing.

    I’ll say this for DB…he obviously gives a shit and his views do seem to come from experiences in his own life as opposed to rhetoric from someone else. Which doesn’t give him the right to talk about OTHER peoples experiences, of course, but good for you for holding your ground so long for not discarding it.

  71. says

    The new post will be good, but don’t expect that David will have anything but insults and bile for it and you, Jason. Like the MRAs who say there should be shelters for battered men but never follow the lead of the feminist movement in building their own shelters, David doesn’t actually want you to talk about the menz. He wants you to stop talking about women. He wants you to stop being a feminist.

    Evidence here: http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2011/06/wealthy-handsome-strong.html?cid=6a00d8341bf68b53ef01538f5c52f5970b#comment-6a00d8341bf68b53ef01538f5c52f5970b

    Also, this is the guy who responded to me pointing out that (in the U.S. at least) that white guys have the lowest rates of victimization of violent crime and that the gendered difference in victimization is due to the crappy way our society treats black men by saying I don’t want to help men. He doesn’t actually want anything to happen to make things better. He just wants feminists (yes, not feminism) to end.

  72. Nice Ogress says

    I will confess I can’t really be rational about this thread because DB’s style of ranting triggers me very strongly.

    I lived with someone who talked EXACTLY like that for six years. In private, in public, on the internet, in restaurants, pretty much nonstop.

    He was not a rational, egalitarian fellow who just wanted women and people of color to give him a break. He was an abusive, psychotic asshole who thought all women who weren’t doing whatever random thing he wanted RIGHT THEN were bitches and whores and all other people – men, women, whatever – who weren’t in his immediate family were stupid, evil monsters who were out to get him. When he decided he wanted something he could be very charming, but it turned off and on like a spigot.

    It’s very fair-minded of you to want to give DB another chance to prove he’s not that type of guy. Really, it is. I applaud you. But I’ve stayed out of these threads specifically because of his trolling, and I’ll continue to do so.

    Sorry, but I’ve done my time with folks like him. Not doing it again.

    While I’m here, though, I’ll second Michael Fisher’s request. A basic, non-Elevatorgate related primer on race/class/gender privelege would be INCREDIBLY useful – not just for ourselves but to point other people to.

  73. Michael Fisher says

    Thank you

    I’m reading it now & I will think about it & then respond. What about my other questions ?

    Where can I find a concise on-line resource that defines “privilege”, “silencing” & the like? [A dictionary ~ a quick scan of the linked page didn't produce "silencing"]

    Who coined those two terms ?

    Did they originate inside the feminist movement ?

  74. says

    Michael, I don’t know of any good single source for you. The concept of privilege goes way back. The only thing new in any discussions of privilege is that we now understand that they can be granted by societies instead of just by law makers. Wikipedia has a decent intro to the concept: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Privilege

    Silencing appears to be more recently understood. If I had to guess, I’d assume it came out of the work on political linguistics that started in the 50s. The word looks to have come into common usage in this sense in the late 80s. If you want to understand it better, I suggest you read this post: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/25/the-ways-of-silencing/

  75. says

    I wonder if DB sneaks up behind soldiers that have come back from combat operations and pops balloons. And then calls them bigots for reacting negatively, because obviously he wasn’t really trying to hurt them because he’s clearly not an enemy… Are they saying that they think he’s a terrorist? They’re just oversensitive after being shot at, and shouldn’t they know that he’s such a nice guy that he’s only trying to help them get over their fear.

    Wouldn’t surprise me. My ex — yes, that one — once pinned me down and restrained me in such a way that I was completely immobilized. He did it “to help [my] claustrophobia.”

    *shudder*

    @Nice Ogress — Did we date the same guy?

  76. cmv says

    I have to say that I share the view that DB has no interest in engaging in dialogue, only in bullying everyone into accepting his assertions. In case I’m wrong in that view, here are a couple of points.

    Segregation by sex is not always a bad thing. We do it in the case of washrooms almost everywhere. In the case of domestic violence shelters, how else would you assure that an abuser could not get in? Admittedly there are shortcomings as outlined by Jason and by DB (same-sex relationships and pubescent male children), but making all shelters co-ed is not a valid solution to those problems. Women who go to shelters are afraid of their partners and need a place where they will feel safe. If feeling safe requires that there are no men there, how is that a problem?

    More germane to the original event that set all of this off, why would anyone question Rebecca Watson’s version of what happened? In this case, she didn’t name names. There’s no reason to make this up. Take Jason’s example of buying milk: Imagine a post in which the blogger mentioned that they’d gone to a store where the milk in the cooler was past its sell-by date, and suggested that store owners should be more careful about making sure that they weren’t selling food that had gone off. Would you demand proof that the milk was actually old? Or give the benefit of the doubt that it really had happened that way?

    There are problems that men face in society, but those do not negate the problems women face. Nor does discussion of the issues women have to deal with in society negate the validity of men’s issues. In this case, a woman expressed discomfort due to the manner in which a man approached her to suggest an activity. After that, a lot of other women agreed with her that they, too, would feel uncomfortable in that particular situation. As decent human beings, it behooves us to listen to what these women say, and take it as advice on how not to make people feel uncomfortable.

    Jason, I want to thank you for the series. I didn’t see your blog until I followed PZ here from SB, but I’m glad to have found it.

  77. B-Lar says

    There is this place…

    http://noseriouslywhatabouttehmenz.wordpress.com/

    which I have found extremely interesting. Some excellent posts with the focus being on gender egalitarianism, one in particular is worth looking up… The one about “Ozy’s Law” which states that for every instance of misogyny there is also an equal and opposite instance of misandry. I cant do the site justice with my own words, but I think they would definitely benefit from more visits and debate.

    David Byron, I was sad to see him go. The comment about abusers bringing flowers the very next day seemed spot on.

  78. Arnold says

    Regarding #4, you are certain that “Don’t take this the wrong way” is an awareness that the following words are wrong/immoral? It seems to me to be an awareness that he is likely to be rejected. It may also include genuine concern that if he is rejected, that she not be offended, because that is not his intent.

    Surprisingly, her original reaction was mildly expressing her feelings and requesting that some of her audience change their behavior with respect to her. It is the Rebecca Watson defense force that have turned this polite, yet socially awkward man into a stalker and a creep, including this article. Your suggestion that he should have propositioned her in public, not private, is daft. And equating it to a predatory elevator pitch is also unfounded, since by all accounts it was one line, full of uncertainty and without an accompanying hard-sell – without a follow up of any kind. You assume so much from so little.

  79. says

    Arnold @84: you are erecting several straw dummies here. First, nobody said what EG said was wrong or immoral. They said that he exhibited predatory tactics and was aware that what he said might be taken as such, and that he didn’t want Watson to react negatively to them, but was aware that she might. Second, the “Watson defense force” didn’t rally until people started saying that she thought all men were rapists, or nobody should be allowed to flirt ever, or men have no right to want to get laid, or something.

    We assume predatory behaviour due to all of the itemized reasons in the original post. Try reading it. It actually talks about the reasons why his behaviour was predatory, even without all the stuff you claim to be contentious.

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