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Author Topic: The Culture of Victimhood
Fenring
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You neglected a third option, which is that he has an interest in being courteous to women more so than men. Men are often boorish with each other, crass, and so forth, and this is often welcome. We've been taught that you have to treat a female 'like a lady', and although one doesn't want to go too far in this direction and be a chauvinist, at the same time I rarely meet a lady who tells me she doesn't like to be treated like one. The sticking point, as you put it, would be for guys who literally hang out in doorways waiting for a woman to arrive. How often do you think this happens, really? Or rephrased, what percentage of men do you think really do this? If you experience this 'all the time' then I'm sorry to hear that. I experience street buskers (people who stand on street corners and go from car to car asking for handouts) all the time too. There are actually very few of them around, maybe a dozen placed strategically around town, but when you drive through certain arteries you will encounter them every single time. But while this is annoying I would hardly initiate a social movement to make people realize they shouldn't beg on the street. It's only a handful of people, even if their presence is felt regularly.

[ October 01, 2015, 03:37 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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kmbboots
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Why, beyond being taught that, would you have more interest in being courteous to a woman than to a man? Are men less worthy of courtesy? Do you think they need it less?

BTW, women are "taught" to refrain from telling men that they don't like they way a particular man treats them. We are conditioned, too.

People who beg in the streets usually aren't doing it because they think it will get them a girlfriend.

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AI Wessex
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Kmbboots, I think you're overstating a little. People in our society are raised to social norms. Courtesy and politeness aren't the highest virtues, but from the time we are late adolescents through later years of adulthood we are seen and measured against those yardsticks.

Are you saying that women *don't* notice when men are polite or courteous? Are you saying that women don't care? <The usual caveat that I don't mean every man or every woman, but general norms in middle class society> I know you're saying that men are selective in how well and when they use those social graces, and many men aren't well trained in their supposed purpose, but I do think it's an equal opportunity aspect of social behavior for both sexes.

I'll mention that about a month ago my wife read me the riot act for not holding a door for her "long enough", letting it hit her sore elbow. OTOH, if she were truly "liberated", should she have assumed I wouldn't hold it for her and reached out to protect herself? (She doesn't read Ornery, btw, so let fly.)

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Why, beyond being taught that, would you have more interest in being courteous to a woman than to a man? Are men less worthy of courtesy? Do you think they need it less?

BTW, women are "taught" to refrain from telling men that they don't like they way a particular man treats them. We are conditioned, too.

I'm telling you what females I've anecdotally encountered say they prefer. If a decent guy offer chivalric service to a female the worst case ought to be she says "no thanks" and goes on her way. As far as I can tell it's you who is dictating on behalf of all women what they ought to want, and trying to impose this standard on both sexes. What gives you the moral basis to tell both women and men that what they claim to want is indoctrination and should be stopped? Most people are indoctrinated in one way or another, although this doesn't automatically mean the indoctrination will lead to malice or misery. But I don't see how you can justify a construction of other people's value as being wrong when you are otherwise taking an entirely relativist position where what other people say they want is what others should have to do. In the end playing the 'indoctrination' card is a cheap trick to avoid the substance of a claim. I was indoctrinated at a young age not to hit people and guess what, it was good advice. Are you quite sure that if you had your way people wouldn't be indoctrinated, just in your mode of thinking?

quote:
People who beg in the streets usually aren't doing it because they think it will get them a girlfriend.
The motive is irrelevant; you don't really have a right to try to guess others' motives and criticize them hypothetically, although it is certainly proper to address what they are actually doing and how it affects others. A person can do a good thing for a bad reason or a bad thing for a good reason, but as far as socialization goes the only appropriate area to police is the behavior, not the intention. To do otherwise gets into the area of thought policing which is anathema to a free society. But in any event you surely must have recognized that the purpose of my analogy was to demonstrate that the fact of encountering a thing frequently in no way indicates that it is a pervasive and common thing for people to do. There can be a tiny fraction of men who act a certain way but if they are persistent then there will be many instances of females encountering them.

[ October 01, 2015, 04:46 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:

I'm telling you what females I've anecdotally encountered say they prefer.

You are probably just meeting the same few over and over again.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:

I'm telling you what females I've anecdotally encountered say they prefer.

You are probably just meeting the same few over and over again.
Good thing this doesn't happen in academia.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Kmbboots, I think you're overstating a little. People in our society are raised to social norms. Courtesy and politeness aren't the highest virtues, but from the time we are late adolescents through later years of adulthood we are seen and measured against those yardsticks.

Are you saying that women *don't* notice when men are polite or courteous? Are you saying that women don't care? <The usual caveat that I don't mean every man or every woman, but general norms in middle class society> I know you're saying that men are selective in how well and when they use those social graces, and many men aren't well trained in their supposed purpose, but I do think it's an equal opportunity aspect of social behavior for both sexes.

I'll mention that about a month ago my wife read me the riot act for not holding a door for her "long enough", letting it hit her sore elbow. OTOH, if she were truly "liberated", should she have assumed I wouldn't hold it for her and reached out to protect herself? (She doesn't read Ornery, btw, so let fly.)

Not sure how many times I need to say this. The problem isn't that people hold doors for other people. Of course, it is good to be polite and courteous to both men and women and certainly people notice this. What is problematic is men who make grand gestures of "politeness" specifically to women - usually attractive women - in order to impress them or otherwise attract them.

Of course you and your wife can sort out whatever works for the two of you. Although why you would start to hold a door for her and then do it badly, especially when she is already incapacitated elbow-wise.

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jasonr
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quote:
What is sexual harassment?! What's the difference between sexual harrassment and just being an idiot? I mean, if my father didn't harrass my mother, I wouldn't be here! I mean, I understand some sexual harrassment.. if a man is your boss and says, "Hey, sleep with me, or you're fired." That's sexual harrassment. And that's the only thing that's seual harrassment! Everything else falls under "Just trying to get laid." You can't put a man in jail for that! I don't care how hard he tries, that's all he was trying to do! Anita Hill started this whole thing. It's all about looks, you know? Because if Clarence Thomas looked like Denzel Washington, this would have never happened! She'd be all, "Oh, stop it, Clarence, you nasty! Your fine self!" So, what's sexual harrassment, when an ugly man wants some? "Oh, he ugly! Call the police! Call the authority!"
Words of wisdom.
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TomDavidson
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Do you really think so?
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jasonr
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quote:
Do you really think so?
Yup.
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LetterRip
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TomD,

quote:
Participants were asked to rate each photo on a series of traits before making harassment judgments. Overall, females perceived more harassment. The behavior of attractive males was less likely to be seen as harassing. Attractive females were more likely to be seen as harassed, especially when the potential harasser was unattractive
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1015688303023

quote:
When is a man perceived as sexually harassing? A team of Arizona psychologists found it depends a lot on how good-looking--and how available--he is.

Conventional wisdom holds that sexual advances from people in positions of power have a coercive edge, and thus are felt as more harassing. But Virgil Sheets, Ph.D., and Sanford Braver, Ph.D., found that it has little to do with a man's position within the organization.

A critical component of a victim's perception of harassment is the undesirability of the sexual advance.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199405/the-attractiveness-factor

So Chris Rock was basically spot on.

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DJQuag
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As soon as the majority of women stop expecting men to make the first move, I'll stop hitting on women.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
quote:
Do you really think so?
Yup.
It's an open secret (that girls amongst themselves know well) that "unwanted attention" is code for "attention from guys that aren't good looking, and in a way that is annoying." While whistling and catcalling is almost universally disliked, a warm smile or random compliment from a charming man can make a girl's day. I can only think of it as dismal to suggest people be deprived of these kinds of small pleasures (some of which can lead to greater pleasures).

I hope we don't forget that prior to America being such a frightened and angry place, it used to be commonplace to meet people on the street. Heck, guys used to literally pick up strangers on the street and ask them out, and I know more than one old married couple who met exactly like this. I have no doubt that guys still would like to ask girls out on the street, but now people are afraid of offending others and a general sense of xenophobia has spread across the land. New York City is so far the only place I know well where it's still fairly common to chat up strangers on the street or subway and make connections that way. It's an enormously friendly and welcoming place in that sense, which I think it partly fueled by the general sense of stress and burden there which requires a sense of open community to cope. I even dated a girl in New York for some time who I literally met on the street in Times Square and we hit it off. This notion of feeling barred from approaching people of the opposite sex because to do so would mean we feel "entitled to their attention" is very depressing. Since when did a person need a permit to commune with other human beings?

You know why I feel entitled to talk to strangers I come across? It's because I am. Everyone is entitled to mingle, express themselves, and interact with others in the world without needing an invitation. Now, sometimes we encounter a blatant unvitation, and I do agree with encouraging people to recognize when a woman definitely doesn't want to talk to anyone (earphones on, head down, moving in a hurry). If the concern is that guys are sometimes approaching woman to get something from them, well guess what, more or less all human interaction is to get what we want, and ideally if we use people to this end then we will try to use them well and find ways for them to use us well also. A mutually agreeable scenario where everyone gets what they want is exactly what is best. If a guy wants something from a girl then I think this should, as a whole, be seen as seeking a mutually beneficial arrangement, rather than seen as him 'just using her.' Some guys are players, no doubt, but we shouldn't discount women who want to go with players, either, and there are some of them. As for scumbags I don't really see that much value talking about them.

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NobleHunter
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quote:
A critical component of a victim's perception of harassment is the undesirability of the sexual advance.
This just in: people perceive harassment when the behavior meets defining feature of harassment.

One might be entitled to talk to strangers but one is not entitled to their attention.

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TomDavidson
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Man, you guys are troglodytes.
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DJQuag
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Of course no one is entitled to attention. I don't know that anyone is saying that. The issue at hand appears to be how appropriate it is to flirt with or otherwise try to chat up a random woman you meet on the street. So long as you acknowledge when they're not interested, and stop, there's nothing wrong with that. Or as Fenring said, if their body language shows that they don't want to talk to anyone.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
One might be entitled to talk to strangers but one is not entitled to their attention.

Oh, no question. All a person ought to do is offer the opportunity of an 'encounter', and the other party can decide for themselves what to do. Feeling entitled to have the other person agree would, indeed, be gross.

The only thing I'll say is that from time to time it's brought to our attention that it can be hard to be an attractive girl who received more attention than she can handle. This is no doubt a mixed blessing, and some people probably like it better than others. I have heard, though, that ironically it may be the case that extraordinarily attractive women actually receive less attention than one might expect and sometimes even express having difficulty meeting people. The explanation given is that men are so intimidated by their looks and by the perception that there would be too much competition for them that very few guys actually muster up the courage to try to approach them.

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DJQuag
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Man, you guys are troglodytes.

Oh man, you nailed it. Just an old fashioned misogynistic sexist, me.

Hey guise, why is it a stupid idea to buy your wife a watch?


The oven already has a clock on it.

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scifibum
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There's a repetitive miscommunication on this thread that goes something like this (simplifying into two groups to hopefully make it clear)

1. [Group A] provides a description of a widespread problem.

2. [Group B] else challenges that it's widespread.

3. [Group A] obliges with an example and personal testimony.

4. [Group B] misunderstands and thinks example is supposed to represent all behaviors that share a feature or two with that example.

5. [Group B] goes "Man, society would suck if we couldn't do [all behaviors that share a feature or two with that example].

6. [Group B] dismisses problem.

There are some variations on the above.

It's happening to the extent that Group B, in my opinion, is engaging in uncooperative communication, and highlighting some of the key markers of what is known as "privilege."

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jasonr
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quote:
Man, you guys are troglodytes.
Better than being a feminist.
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TomDavidson
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I'm just waiting for someone on this thread to complain about Betas.
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JoshCrow
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As a duly appointed representative of Group B, I hereby inform you that the challenge is not "how widespread" a behavior is, but how serious it is and whether it merits a greater response than could be attended to by the aggrieved individual alone.
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jasonr
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quote:
It's happening to the extent that Group B, in my opinion, is engaging in uncooperative communication, and highlighting some of the key markers of what is known as "privilege."
Maybe you should tell them to check their privilege. That's bound to solve the problem and build the bridges of communication.
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DJQuag
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You know, I have to admit, I enjoy this place a lot more when it's not just an echo chamber consisting of Rafi and Seriati versus everyone else.
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jasonr
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In the spirit of communication rather than name calling, let me say that the problem of unwanted male attention is not lost on me. My sister complains about it all the time. She walks down the streets of NYC minding her own business when some stranger asks her to "smile". She wants to punch him in the face. I don't blame her for that.

I think that it would suck to be the constant recipient of unwanted attention. But it also sucks to be the recipient of no attention. I know women who have complained about being "invisible" to men just as I have known women (like my sister) who complained of the opposite.

Personally, although not a woman, I know which I would prefer if given the choice. I suspect that most people, including women, would choose unwelcome attention from time to time over invisibility - but of course that is a highly personal thing.

One thing is for certain - a world where strangers can't freely approach one another is a pretty cold one. I dare say it's an unnatural, alienating circumstance that would contribute to mental illness. Big cities are known for that.

Group A no doubt believes I am setting up a straw man or a slippery slope perhaps. They're not against human interaction, they will say, just "harassment". Group A thinks that the two things can be neatly separated. Group A thinks that there's a black line and you can easily tell one from the other. Group A is dead wrong.

Getting back to the Chris Rock quote, what he said isn't literally true, but it does have truth to it. Guys who are awkward, unattractive, lacking in charm, will tend to provoke defensive, if not hostile reaction when they try to approach a woman. They will come off as "creeps", even as the more charming, attractive and socially skilled males will not, even if they are every bit as aggressive, if not moreso. I don't think there's anything controversial about this assertion. When you accept it as being true and apply it to the workplace where both consensual office romance and non consensual "harassment" occurs, it is fairly easy to grasp Rock's point.

Indeed, my only critique of Rock's statement is his emphasis on looks. In my experience, looks are only a small part of male "charm". But what he says is basically true, if you take "ugly" to mean socially inept.

[ October 01, 2015, 10:20 PM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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NobleHunter
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The bright line between harassment and flirting is whether or not the one on the receiving end objects to the behavior. I don't see why this is hard to understand.

Granted it's trickier in a workplace since one has to consider bystanders and the general atmosphere. However, at least for white collar environments, potentially harassing behaviors aren't professional. Which is a perfectly good reason to restrict them on its own.

The thing with charming guys vs creeps is that the charming ones recognize that communication involves at least two people and recognize when communication isn't working. They can tell the difference between "I'm performing the minimal amount of social interaction required to be polite," and "I welcome your attention please provide me with more of it." (Can you tell I have a cat?)

Creeps either can't tell the difference or don't care. As I said earlier, once someone has disregard the giant flashing **** off sign, there's very little way to know what else they'll disregard. Even the oblivious creep might react badly to a response blunt enough to get through their haze of entitled lust.

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AI Wessex
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quote:
You know, I have to admit, I enjoy this place a lot more when it's not just an echo chamber consisting of Rafi and Seriati versus everyone else.
I was going to write a similar message, because it is happening in pretty much every thread that tries to get to substance. I didn't because, well, it happens in pretty much every thread like that...

It's usually between a few people who deflect and object to questions because they are convinced about the topic and unmovable in their opinions, and others who start off with a semblance of an open-ended question or comment. It doesn't take long before they have to take a position opposing the ones with hard opinions in an attempt to re-open the discussion. It's even more glaringly obvious in a discussion that allows partisan bickering. Their motto is "Don't Back Down".

Basically, you almost never can start a thread or make a post around here that that includes, "What does it mean that..."

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jasonr
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Noble I don't think we are actually disagreeing much. You state: "creeps either can't tell the difference or don't care". Indeed, let's assume that at least some fall into category 1. That would be the definition of awkward / charmless/ inept flirting. I put it to you that the difference between the creep and the charmer is the creep is incompetent at reading signals and the charmer isn't.

That is just a reiteration of Rock's thesis.

No one is defending stalkers or those who criminally harrass women. But there is a whole range of social behaviour that many women deem "creepy" that just boils down to some guys being sadly inept. These men are to be pitied more than anything. I fail to see much utility in lambasting them for being inept. Finding themselves failures at attracting women is punishment enough and if that doesn't lead to a change in behaviour I doubt much else will.

[ October 02, 2015, 09:42 AM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
No one is defending stalkers or those who criminally harrass women.
I think you'll find, if you look, that there are plenty of people who are doing both.
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D.W.
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Tom, I haven't finished my coffee yet this morning (and I'm not sure it will help) so I'm afraid I've got to ask. Are your last 3 posts some form of sarcasm or a joke?
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
No one is defending stalkers or those who criminally harrass women.
I think you'll find, if you look, that there are plenty of people who are doing both.
In this thread? I doubt it.
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jasonr
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Don't bother D.W. Just ignore him.
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NobleHunter
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quote:
"Just trying to get laid." You can't put a man in jail for that!

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Are your last 3 posts some form of sarcasm or a joke?
No. I think a lot of the whiners on here are remarkably tone-deaf in their defense of what they consider a perfectly "natural" status-quo, and are asserting an enormous degree of male privilege due to their complete inability to actually empathize with the issue. Their knee-jerk responses here are entirely reactionary, defensive, and self-interested, and I'm very disappointed in them.

But, to be honest, this perfectly fits the "white male technocrat" model, so I'm not particularly surprised by them. In that model, all problems go away once people make the conscious choice to rise above and ignore them, as long as the issues in question don't actually cause problems for upper-middle-class white men. "People are just this way," goes the argument. "I know this because I feel this to be perfectly natural and expected, and my personal experience is inarguable. Nor do I consider this to be a real problem. In fact, I find asserting there to be a problem and demanding changes to what I consider perfectly natural and expected behavior to be more annoying than any amount of wolf-whistling that might be directed at people who aren't me. In fact, I might even appreciate a little wolf-whistling, so I'm not sure what they're complaining about. It's like when a celebrity gets mad at all the cameras, except that I don't have to worry about what a celebrity might think of me most of the time. It inconveniences me to expect that I behave in a way that does not come naturally to me; we could nip that in the bud if the people offended by those actions just chose not to care. If they were better people, they would."

[ October 02, 2015, 10:05 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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jasonr
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Tom I could have sworn there was a forum rule against motive speculation and personal attacks and name calling. How many times has it been with you on this thread?
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TomDavidson
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Whom specifically have I criticized? Or should we say that every criticism of "feminists" on this board should now be taken personally as motive speculation and personal attacks by those who consider themselves feminists?

Heck, I know some of the jerkier among us drove all the women away a while ago, but there used to be actual females here with pretty strong "feminist" leanings. Would you say that your criticism of feminists applies to, say, Marni?

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jasonr
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Don't blame me Tom. Being a troglodyte, I have trouble with such subtleties.

But on the topic of feminists, my observation is that they love to dish it out but don't like to take it and try to shut people up who disagree.

That's what this topic is about - leveraging victim status to shut people up.

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TomDavidson
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And, heck, I defy you to read my -- admittedly rather scathing -- rewording of the traditional anti-SJW Reddit reactionary argument and tell me that any part of it is unfair or unrepresentative. It's ugly, but that's only because I'm not making any effort to make it seem less ugly.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
That's what this topic is about - leveraging victim status to shut people up.
Oh, I'm certainly not going to disagree that the five pages of this thread consist of a whole bunch of victims whining about how they feel victimized by what they consider the politics of victimization. *grin*

There is an interesting argument at the core of this complaint, and I think Fenring in particular has managed to get closest to it a couple times. I'd even be interested in engaging in a discussion on that, except that I suspect that everyone here largely agrees on that narrow point and therefore discussion would be largely empty. But the shell wrapped around it is a noxious, smug, and largely circular attempt to secure Grey Party privilege, and I don't see any merit in pretending otherwise.

---------

I'll elaborate: the idea that any assertion of victim status or any sort of personal "trigger" winds up arrogating undeserved power is, I believe, a perfectly valid one. It's a useful concern, in the same way that it's a useful concern to worry about women on food stamps who're buying brand-new Cadillacs and the latest Apple products. These are abuses of mechanisms put in place to help the otherwise underprivileged. But as with food stamps, it is a mistake to use the largely mythical Abusive Unicorn -- unicorns that exist, but which are in practice so rare and easily dealt with when they occur as to be functionally irrelevant -- to argue against those support mechanisms.

The more interesting question is how we as a society can maneuver around the issue of potentially offensive prejudices and "micro-aggressions" (a term I really hate, by the way) when nothing can be taken for granted. It is indisputable that someone who presents as female but considers himself male is going to bump into dozens of people using the wrong pronoun in a given week, or have to decide which public bathroom to use, or constantly be faced with rejection and false promises by the media. These small misunderstandings (and a lower number of deliberate challenges and offenses, which certainly do still exist) add up, creating a tense and worrisome and hostile environment. So how should this man react? Should he correct people when they misuse a pronoun? What if they do so repeatedly? Should he dress differently? At what point do these misunderstandings become his fault?

Or, heck, consider trigger warnings. I know someone who was assaulted and raped and penetrated with celery, and actually finds mentions of celery slightly traumatic. Would it be unreasonable of her to expect a trigger warning on any story involving the use of celery as a weapon or sex object? How could she expect anyone to know? But once she tells the people in her circle, is it now reasonable of her to expect them to keep that in mind?

These are things to be negotiated. It is, I believe, fair to push back on them and demand that society come up with happy mediums -- which will almost certainly be mediums that make no one happy. And this will, I believe, happen perfectly naturally.

It does not mean that trigger warnings are "silly." It does not mean that the man sick of being called "ma'am" is unreasonably upset. It does not mean that the women speaking out against public shaming are whiny, soft-willed harridans. It does mean that finding a neutral ground is going to be one the struggles of any society that is actually going to care about how those whose defaults do not align with those of the majority are treated and received.

[ October 02, 2015, 10:48 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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jasonr
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I will have a look Tom. But ugliness begets ugliness. The SJW feminist brigade go around harassing silencing and in some cases getting people fired for the most meagre transgressions using the cudgel of social media. Then when they get cudgeled back I am supposed to be outraged? Please.
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